Yesterday we did so much that I didn't have any extra for blogging. So we will see if we can catch up.
We went to a museum to see tapestries and rugs being woven. It was very interesting to learn that France has lost some of their very traditional crafts, so the state now owns them and supports them. France lost their ribbon industry to Japan. Countries come in and buy and use the people to learn the operation and then move it to their country. Most of the buildings we saw are the original ones from the 1700's except for the ones lost in fires in wars. They have 20 weavers (mostly women) who have been weaving everywhere from 2 years to 20 years. The weaving is done with silk or wool. They used to use natural dyes, but now use chemical dyes. The colors are brighter and do not fade. The looms are nothing like ones that I have ever seen before. They are huge and the women get up on scaffolding to string and set up the looms. When we asked what do they do with weavings done, the answer was that they are given as gifts from the country of France.
We then went out to a very nice restaurant for dinner with the group. One of the women ordered the pictured dessert. The French do not begin eating until 7:00 and most of the restaurants do not open until 7:00. They also think of eating of a enjoyable time and it should not be rushed. It took us three hours. There were eight of us and it was Valentine's Day, but they usually take their time even to bring the check. It isn't like America where you feel you should hurry because they could use your seat.
Today I spent most of the day at the Festival of the Needle. It was a wonderful experience. The europeans embroidery and quilts are very miniature. Their colors are muted. Their work is very traditional and beautiful. I can see that America with it's colors are beginning to come in. They had a display of our art quilts and even with some machine quilting. Free form design is beginning and felting is big. You will see a Japanese women has made a felted wedding cake for the festival. You will see a picture of women competing to see who can knit the fastest. There is a picture of a crocheted sculpture on the wall. There is a picture of a roll of knitting. These were in several places and used to sit on. I expected to see machine knitting, but all was done by hand.
Then my purchases. Some purple lace that had lycra in it. Scissors, some iron on transfers, some beads to make a necklace and a pin that had a magnet so part of it comes apart.
Then we went out to eat and ordered some mussels that had a cream sauce and french fries came with them.
Then we visited a large grocery store. Had to take a picture of the artichokes, egg plant and radish.