that tower

I do love it.

The Tuilleries-

From the top of the Musee les Arts Decoratifs-

At a random bus stop-

The top of LaFayette department store, in the rain-

and a few other things. I love the car with the trailer-

Tour de France in a toy store window-

and really, this made me laugh-

Paris fabric shopping

And now for where I went and what I bought! Firstly, a HUGE thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions of places to go. I laid them all out on a Google Map and used that map to plan every day. That map is here. I’ve added notes to many of the addresses.

It was very hot while I was in Paris and so I didn’t run around quite as much as I might have if it had been cooler. There are a lot of wonderful shops in Paris that cater to people who do needlecrafts- mostly cross-stitch. And, there is a wide variety of beautiful threads in most of the shops- some of which I haven’t seen here. The stores I visited had cotton floss, linen floss, wool, silk, blends, thick threads and thin threads, crochet cottons in all colors, and on and on- WoW! But, the threads that are the same as I can get here (DMC floss for example), are much more expensive there. Here, I spend .39 a skein, in Paris it was consistently 1.30 euro. So, I didn’t buy any threads. I enjoyed looking at all the beautiful linens to use for embroidery- every store had a great selection.  I thought this shop- Des Fils et une Aiguille- had some very pretty finished pieces on display-a tree design stuck in my memory- but maybe it was that they were displayed well and I noticed them more!

I spent some time in the fabric block in Montmarte. That was great fun! First stop, Marche Saint- Pierre, six floors of fabrics. Next, Moline, where I bought some wonderful dotted netting on one side of the street and a bit of toile in their shop on the other side.

The other big store is Tissus Reine, another multi-storied fabric paradise. This store had a table of Liberty fabric (at 22 euro a meter) and I looked it all over but none of it needed to come home with me. There were a number of other stores that had cuts of fabrics, folded and stacked, apparently individually priced. These stores were a mystery to me while I was in the neighborhood though- it was only when I read about them on another blog that I understood how you were suppose to buy anything. The idea of messing up the stacks by pulling out the fabric to check the prices- no way would I be willing to do that! They have wonderful fabrics in all of these stores- not just fabric for quilting or home decorating. Although I didn’t buy much, I enjoyed my morning of eye candy. And, I enjoyed watching what other people were buying.

I did find some Liberty fabric at Entree des Fournisseurs that it turned out I need. And a little bit of something else too. I think the Liberty fabric was 20 euro a meter (25 euro on their website), which seemed like a good price, considering the current exchange rate.

The bottom piece is very wide and I am considering making a shirt with it. They had some very cute childrens clothing samples on display, some Japanese craft pattern books, adorable kids clothing patterns and this very sweet clothesline with doll clothes-

I asked if it was alright to take a photo and the answer was no. I explained (as well as I could considering the language barrier) that I had a blog about dolls and I wanted a photo of the doll clothes. I showed her my Moo cards and let her pick one… and she conceded. Just one photo. I don’t get it. What is the problem with pictures? I wonder what they are worried about. Anyway though, this is a charming store and well worth my visit.

My last purchase was felt-

It is thick (but not dense), slightly rough textured and has a handmade feel to it. It is different enough from standard felt that I think it will be fun to play with. I got it at Pain D’epices, which specializes in everything for dollhouses, but upstairs has supplies for teddy bear making, needle felting, and this felt.

That is all from me, but here is a list of some other helpful posts about Paris shopping from other blogs.

Townhouse from May 2010

Sew Stylish from February 2007, but still useful.

Kitty Couture, whose use of the word SEX for Stash Enhancement Experience made me laugh out loud!

connections

Probably the best thing about having a blog is the people I have met because of it. Traveling is so much more fun when I meet up with people who actually live in the place I’m going to be. I was able to connect with 2 people in Paris.

Catherine invited me to her doll-making gathering. Her website is here.

The dollmakers meet at a store that repairs dolls, music boxes and mechanical toys and is part of the Le Viaduc des Arts (which is under the Promenade Plantee from the roofs post). It was a beautiful day and they were sitting out on the sidewalk in the sunshine, working on dolls. Wonderful!

She showed me many dolls she has made. The Purl girl in the photo above was made by her 12 yo daughter! And, aren’t these clothes pin dolls amazing? I love the ribbon joints.

Another day, I met up with Laure for lunch and a drive out of town to see her family’s country house. Paris was terribly hot and it was a treat to get out among fields and trees. The house and grounds were lovely.

A structure in the woods- a Folly maybe?

And inside the house- what a beautiful chandelier.

Old walls and the road.

I actually spent some time in the studio yesterday. Hopefully I will have some finished work to show by next week.

roofs

I’ve got loads to show and tell about Paris and I want to do a complete report about the craft/sewing shops I visited. But, I’m jet-lagged and need to process it all and so this will be a picture post.

Lafayette department store-

the dome inside the store-

Up on the roof-

And some other roof we saw during a walk along the Promenade Plantee.

what happened to June?!

wow- I just realized that I will have gone a month without posting a new doll. What a crazy month! It is not that I haven’t been working.

Sage (my intern) and I have been working on a big pile of girls. We’ve got ten going. When I get home from Paris, these are going to get finished up. I also was working on a project that is one of those fun things that I can’t tell you about quite yet… actually, just having a project that I can’t mention is a thrill in itself! And, of course, there has been all my Paris prep. I am making myself a few new skirts and shirts. Hopefully I will actually finish them before we leave tomorrow.

If you are interested, here is the google map I am making with all the interesting suggestions people have made. I sure I won’t get to everything, but I have a lot to choose from.

And the garden is thriving. I’ve got my tomatoes in, using my containers, but this year I tried lining them with corrugated cardboard before stretching the t-shirts. So far, so good.

I am growing Carbons, Pink Brandywine, Copia, Bonny Best, Opalka, and Isis Candy.

Well, see you in Paris!

american in paris

So I mentioned back here that I am going to Paris- less then 2 weeks now! My life has gone into warp speed. Crazy!

I’m getting psyched. I borrowed some cds from the library to see if I could remind myself of some basic French. The conversation that I am learning seems to lean heavily toward picking up the mademoiselle. Hmm. I might have to see if they have Conversation for Middle-aged Lady who likes Needlework. I took out these movies too. I just find it difficult to make time to actually watch them.

I’d love to meet up with any like-minded people if you are near Paris during the last week of June. I’d love any suggestions for fun places to go, especially related to what I do. And I speak virtually no French and will be on my own for the weekdays. I know there are lists of a sewers guide to New York- is there something similar for Paris?

And on the life front- I feel like I am just settling down from Renegade. There is so much to think about. I continue to be amazed at how fantastic it was. Travel plans always make me feel like I need a new wardrobe, so I’ve got a pile of fabric and maybe it will turn into some shirts and skirts in the next 1 1/2 weeks. The garden needs me- the weeds are taking over and I still haven’t got all my dahlias in the ground. The tomatoes are looking very happy though. And, my intern has started- 2 days a week.  I have the projects that she can help me with and the other projects. I’m going to do dolls with her and my other projects when she isn’t here. That means the dolls will get finished slower but hopefully everything will move forward. Yes, it is busy around here.