We spent the weekend in Paris visiting Quinn and Emily. The large cherry tree which sits right in front of their door had shed most of its leaves while they were away. It is a tree that brings pleasure all throughout the year. It also supports Quinn's swing.
Before we left home, Quinn called and asked us to bring the trains. The Brio set, which used to be James' when he was little, usually lives at Nana and Bobo's house, but sometimes when we go to visit we bring it along as a treat. Quinn can spend hours driving the train around the track and telling stories about where the train is going and who is all aboard. He makes a "shooshoo" sound as he drives his cars around.
One of the only things which can distract him from this occupation is certain music. There are a few CDs that when played absolutely demand dancing. He loves to sing as well and will gladly launch into Alouette, Frere Jacque or The Wheels of the Bus without much prompting. Emily got a book that has nothing but songs and chants and their associated hand gestures such as The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes and I'm a Little Teapot. We all enjoyed practicing old favorites and learning new ones.
Quinn also wanted to show us his drumming skills.
While in Paris we went to Chinatown in Belleville, which was an incredible treat for us as we simply can't find good Chinese food in our neck of the woods.
***While we were in Paris visiting one grandchild, another one was being born in California. Rick's son Chandra and his wife Kylie welcomed Mila into their family. She is their second child and our third grandchild. They are a very beautiful family, as this photo expresses perfectly.
***As promised I have made a print of the cabbage photo etching and am posting it here. It is printed in just one color. I think it turned out very well and I am pleased to be able to produce these photo etchings again after a two year hiatus.
I spent a certain amount of time getting my Etsy shop ready for the Christmas season, printing up some cards and adding several new things to my inventory.
***We had an adventure at one of the famous Puces (flea market) in Paris while we were there. St. Ouen is huge and rambling, taking up blocks and blocks with stands of mostly junk. You need to have a lot of time and patience to find anything too extraordinary, but it is fun to wander around. Since these places are so well known and patronized, it's fairly difficult to find a bargain.
When we arrived it was gray and cold. We cruised some of the streets and enjoyed the colorful neighborhood sights and sounds.
I don't remember the sky becoming this blue, but when I snapped the bones of this old building, the clouds must have lifted for the moment.
Emily knew of a couple of shops inside a passageway off the main flea market. We made our way there to get out of the crowds and cold. There were two shops side-by-side with some really very beautiful antique items for sale. We bought this collection of very old paper ephemera from one little shop that had huge bins of old posters, postcards, stamps and advertisements.
The shop next door is literally about the width of a small trailer but about a city block long. On one side, the whole length of the shop is antique clothing and hats and on the other are notions, buttons, ribbon, lace and mouthwatering bric a brac. I had to keep my purchases down to just a few meters of trim, because the prices were not bargain basement. Some of the items in the shop are 50-100 years old or more.
I came back home inspired to begin my holiday preparations. I have a long list of projects to begin. Emily asked if I could make an advent calendar for Quinn and I was happy to deliver my finished product to them when we visited. I was pleased with the results, especially since I'm not particularly a brilliant seamstress. I searched the internet for ideas, but in the end made up my own version. I happened to have 24 little items on hand to put in the pockets.