Monday, October 15, 2018

A Little Stitchin' and Framing

Gentle Friends, still stitching away on Smith Sampler and here's a snap of where it is at the moment...


... I'm in the third section of this piece and am looking towards the finish already... 
I think next up will be a nice Christmassy piece...?
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I also picked up the last piece I had at the framers ...


"Sojourner" by Heart's Ease Example Workes

My take on this sampler.  It was a super piece to work on and one of the changes I did make was to swap out the called for silk color of the California Poppies which I thought was far to pale. Instead, I used a darker orange silk - "Lasagna" by Belle Soie, Classic Colorworks.  I thought it came much closer to the actual color of the poppies and since this is a California sampler I wanted it to look like the poppies I see all the time...

 ... and here's where I have it hanging ... on my sampler wall along the staircase... I shifted a couple of things and made it work.  When I thought about getting this one framed I felt it should be gold or golden color - since we are the "Golden State" and eventually it came down to two choices... so Rico picked this one and I really like his decision.  This chart was originally commissioned for the Bay Area Sampler Guild and then only as a Class Piece... now its available for purchase at quite a few shops.
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There you go sports fans - more France soon - thanks for stopping by do stop again!

Take care,
edgar

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Chateau de l'Islette Fall 2018

Gentle Friends, next we visited the Chateau de l'Islette.  A chateau that is built on an island formed where the river Indre forks.  The name even means "small island."  Although the river forms a natural border and affords an excellent strategic location there are no historical records that indicate the castle was ever utilized for defensive purposes.


The garden view of l'Islette

The Chateau was built by Rene de Maille with construction lasting from 1526 to 1530.  At the time of the French revolution, the Chateau was owned by Charles Tiercelin d'Apelvoisin who served as a member of the 1789 Estates-General government and was executed by guillotine in 1793.

the walks and grounds are lovely with lots of flowers and plants...


... this is the less impressive side of the Chateau more utilitarian... By the mid-1960's the chateau underwent major restoration by Pierre and Madelaine Michaud whose family still own and reside there today.  the castle opened to the public in 2010.
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The Chateau de l'Islette was built of freestone, which is a soft white stone of the area.  despite its delicate texture, the structure has survived intact for centuries.  It bears a striking resemblance to the Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau, which was constructed down the rod at approximately the same time and presumably by some of the same workers.


The most impressive room within the Chateau is definitely the Grande Salle or "Great Hall," which is over 15 meters (approximately 49.5 feet) in length and decorated in a 17th-century style.  It is adorned with portraits of the family, as well as the coat of arms of the Maille family, the original owners of l'Islette.

... the restored ceiling...

... this is the dining room, which is a less formal room than the Grande Salle, it's a really comfortable room used by the family and has the only fireplace in regular use in the Chataue



...one of the upstairs bathrooms updated in the 1960's - every single space was covered in mirror mosaics...it's far too reflective for my taste!!

... looking out towards the gardens...

... the chateau grounds, park, and surrounding waters are a perfect setting for a picnic.  The old mill house next to the chateau now is a shop and snack bar where we got a bottle of rose and took a nice long break......


... one of the main bedrooms ...


... I turned around and in this alcove.... are built...


... built into the 6.6 foot thick walls is a built-in shower on one side and water basin on the other...



... although not a really large  Chateau here's a floor plan that shows just how thick all the walls are...

... the chapel...

... the third and fourth floors are all privet spaces but there are lots to see and it's a lovely building to visit.
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There you go sports fans, thanks again for stopping by do stop again for another installment.

Take care,
edgar

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Little Lunch - Montreuil-Bellay and Saumur Fall 2018

Gentle Friends, this post is all about lunch, and two lovely churches.....
 we headed back to Montreuil-Bellay the village next to Le-Puy for lunch...

... a nice little place on the square that we walked through to the back garden and a super view... 

...all the little tables are set out with a view of the chateau and church steeple in the background...


 ... the daily menu board was brought around and we ordered...

 ... there is a nice wine list so we ordered lunch and a delicious rose...

 ... this is the curry of pork...

 ... and the chicken dish...

... this is the chocolate cake with orange flavor...

 ... and the apple crumble with caramel... it was a really delicious lunch and so relaxing sitting in the sun looking at the river and chateau while drinking wine... 
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Montreuil-Bellay castle, aerial view - Retouched.jpg
... ... I swiped this snap from the internet so you can see the church, 
castle, bridge and the restaurant's open area were we ate lunch in the upper part of the picture...
 and a little bit of Montreuil-Belay...

 After lunch we headed over to the church... looking across the 1863 bridge towards the church...the Chateau is closed on Tuesdays so we could only look at the church and the chateau was saved for another day...


 ... this is the side door were you enter the church...

...and the front of the Collegiale Notre-Dame Montreuil-Bellay... and a little bit of info...this former chateau chapel was rebuilt in 1472 and 1484 for Guillaume d'Harcourt, Lord of Montreuil.  It was established as a collegiate church in 1475 and became the parish church for Montreuil -Bellay in 1810.  The structure, the bridge, and the arched passageway were restored by Charles Joly-Leterme in 1863-65 and classified as an ancient monument in 1907.  Inside, each of the five spans is roofed with domed ogival vaults, known as Angevine vaults.  Diffused light filters through the vast glass panels with their flamboyant latticework.


... the Lady Chapel...

... and a statue of Our Lady on the main Altar...

... the main High Alter...

... and part of the Memorial for the dead from WWI...

 ... another side chaple....  on to Saumur
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 ... all over the City are these umbrellas  - a sort of art installation that worked well in the bright sunlight!!

Eglise Saint-Pierre-du-Marais de Saumur

 ... I couldn't find much info about this church, but parts of it are Romanesque and most of the building dates to the 13th and 14th century...  so just enjoy the pictures...

 ... the high alter...

 ... looking form the side aisle towards the nave of the church...

  
... Saumur has many half-timbered ancient buildings and this shot shows just how tight the main square is in front of the church.  After touring the church we settled down at this cafe in front of the church for another bottle of rose.  We sat here for a good long time enjoying the town, the sun and just being in France!!
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There you go sports fans another page in my trip.  I do hope you are enjoying it a bit, stop back by for the next Post, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Le Chateau de Breze Fall 2018

Gentle Friends, the next chateau we visited was very near Saumur and Le Puy where we were staying... and called the Chateau de Breze (pronounced Bree-zay)...this is a smaller chateau but so interesting as it is dry moated.  The main castle was transformed in the 16th century and then again in the 19th century.  The current structure has remained in the Renaissance style with lots of medieval elements including a drawbridge and a 12th-century troglodyte basement and really extensive caves.  It is still the residence of the descendants of the ancient Lords of the Manor, the Marquess Dreux-Breze...

... this is the first building you come upon after leaving the car park and ticket building... it's the 16th century Pigeonnier...


... although there are no pigeons house here anymore there is room for thoudsands of birds if they were to ever to return...

... the Chateau proper is not as imposing as some but as you get closer you can see why this place is so interesting...

... to the left of the main building at the kitchens and storage buildings...


... on either side are imposing domed towers and as you head towards the drawbridge...

... and look down you can see the "deepest dry moat" in Europe...

 ... they are really very deep and impressive......


... once inside the main court you see the lovely main Chateau building and gardens...

 and the loge with the long gallery on top...

... this immense room in one of the domed towers was used for low ranking servants, but the structure is so great...

... loking straight up into the rafters...
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... the first room after the tower on the tour is the "Bishops Room" this room was redecorated in the 1840's in the neo-gothic style.  The walls are covered in oak woodwork with Trompe-l'oeil decoration.  The furniture is also of oak sculpted with the Dreux-Breze arms and was made specifically for the room...


 ... the ceiling beams are really spectacular!!
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... moving along the next room is the Neo-renaissance Study with a gorgeous sculpted and painted ceiling...

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... then it's on to the Richelieu Room... built in the 16th century the room retains the original tomette tiles and the renaissance fireplace, all the furniture is from the 16th century.  In 1617, Urbain de Maille-Breze the first Marquis in the family married Nicole du Plessis the sister of the Cardinal Richelieu who took a special interest in his sister and her husband the Marquis that this room was dedicated and furnished...
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In 1863 there began the building of this reception hall which is 26.80 meters long and was intended to provide a second-floor link between the Chateau's two parallel buildings - it wasn't until 2006 that the decoration for this long gallery was completed and now houses the protrtaits dedicated to the Marquises of Dreux-Breze...



... it was really bright and sunny and taking pictures of the portraits was very difficult, but this is one turned out ok... it's a portrait of Henri de Dreux-Breze (1762-1829) - he was the grand master of ceremonies to the Court of Louis XIV at Versailles...

... the end neo-gothic door and medieval fresco...

... at the other end a matching door and frame with medieval inspired frescos...heading down underground...

 ... the cellars... then its going underground ...

... there are huge rooms and lots of fern and moss...  all barrel vaulted...

... then there are the caves and we walked andwalkedd all over them, they were at least 20 degrees cooler then outside in the sunshine...

in the dry moat...

 back in the caves and the silkworm rooms, there was a huge silk business here...

looking out from the caves at the lower parts of the chateau...

 ... the kitchen/bakery built in the caves...the fireplace was once fitted with racks and allowed all types of foods to be cooked.  It has three ovens: 2 large bread ovens, and a small one to the left, for sweet dishes.  Over 100kg of bread could be cooked during each cooking session.  This oven is still used during events at the chateau...
 

 ... more walking around in the dry moat...

 ... this is looking up at th draw bridge ... here are some figures I noted about the chateau:
height: 48 meters, 5 different families have had ownership of the Chateau and the surrounding vinyards, opened to the public in 1988 with about 2300 visitors that first year and in 2014 they had about 80,000 visitors, estimated under roof 28000 meters, the moats, are about 18 meters deep and range from 15 to 18 meters wide.  They were first dug out in the 15th century and then again deepened in the 16th century.
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There you go sports fans...  more to come, stay tuned!!

Take care,
edgar