Saturday, August 31

To sew or not to sew?

I can't imagine being creative without learning how to sew. Being raised in a household where my mom was a stay-at-home mom, sewing lots of her own clothing and our clothing and later on starting to do repairments for clothing shops, it was bound to happen that one day, I wanted to start sewing :-)

Today was that day. I bought an in-step sewing machine, for an ultra beginner like me! After many words of encouragement and advice from my mom, I drove home with my new baby and started to install a sewing place. I got some scrap fabric to learn some stitches and started to just 'invent' something on the go, because I didn't really had a first project in mind. So the first 'thing' I sewed together can pass for a...bag kind-a-thing...yes, I think I can call it that. I added a button and a buttonhole so the bag has a function too: I can actually close and open it, aha,...functionality rocks!


Fiancé was quite impressed by all that sewing together thing talent, so I started looking for a real project to impress him even more ;-). Just to point out that a sewing whim was out of the question! Since I didn't have a pincushion yet, I started looking for how to make one. I still had some stuffing left from the Briar Bunny, so I thought I could give it a try. And I think it turned out well!




Do you like to sew or like to learn it?

Wednesday, August 28

In the mail today

Being very tired after working a busy shift at the hospital last night I came home this morning to discover a package in the mailbox! In particulary, the package came from Liesl from the U.S. I believe many creative bloggers know her, and if you don't, I really suggest you to check out her blog: Lieslmade. This highly creative woman can sew, knit, garden, cook, photograph, so many creative things! Her Etsy Shop opened recently and I immediately fell in love with her self-made make-up bags.Aren't they lovely? I'm not sure what to use them for yet, so in the mean time I'll use them for my small knitting projects, such as socks.


Also, seeing these sewing items and browing sewing blogs I kind of have the urge to start sewing too. Especially since I've been looking for a knitting bag to stash my yarn, needles and other accessories. Maybe I can make one myself? So I hope to buy a secondhand sewing machine soon so I can start and see if it's something I'd like to do. My mom's a sewer and I pretty much grew up in a household were a lot of my clothing was selfmade. Having a small size, my mom's also fixing my clothes from time to time so they fit me. I'd like to be able to do that myself.
As you can see, I started the Hermione’s Everyday Socks. The pattern is fun and easy to knit. The yarn I'm using is Malabrigo Yarn, Indicieta. I can't wait to finish them and wear them this Autumn.

Thursday, August 22

Le Tour du Carlit - Day 3 & 4

After our adventure with the wild pig, we got up early on day 3 (6 am). The wild pig left some time during the night and after packing our bags, we set off to the next point: Barrage des Bouillouses (2020m). After two days of trekking in less populated areas, it was nice to see other hikers on several hiking routes, leading to Lac des Bouillouses. In fact, there's a junction with the GR10 and the GRP Tour du Capcir. Le Lac des Bouillouses is actually a giant lake (reservoir) at 2017m. A little bit further we enjoyed soup and a piece of our tourbread. Baking our own tourbread at home before we left for trekking, was a good idea. The bread is about 3500 kcal and doesn't putrefy easily, but has good nutritional value. We used the following recipe, but divided all the amounts by two:

  • 625 whole wheat flour

  • 250 gr flour

  • 250 gr meal

  • 125 gr rye meal or wheatmeal

  • 1 spoon of salt

  • 125 gr dried apricots

  • 125 gr hazelnuts

  • 150 gr margarine

  • 100 gr syrup or honey

  • 125 gr sugar

  • 0,5 liter milk

(1 hour on 180°C)


Le Lac des Bouillouses behind us, we crossed "pla de la Têt". It was one of the most beautiful and idyllic places I have ever been. We saw snow, pine trees, wild cows and their calfs, wild horses and foals, along streams and waterfalls. It was like a Disney movie :-)
After 2 hours on pla de la Têt (2050m) we ascended to l'Estanyol, a little before Portella de La Grava (2426) where we found cows, chamoises and lakes, streams, snowy mountainstops. Perfect place to pitch our tent and cook our meal 2297m. Satisfying our hungers and reflecting in the late evening sun about our views and experiences of the past few days, we went to get some water from a stream, coming from the mountain tops. At that moment, a troop of chamoises crossed the mountain ridge full of snow. This Nat-Geo-moment I was thankful for, left me standing in awe for a few moments. I took a photo of it, 75% of the chamoises were already gone by then.



We tried to stay awake until 11 pm, but I fell asleep :-). Luckily he woke me up to see the stars. I was struggling out of my warm and cosy sleeping bag, into my sandals, totally cold and tired. But when I saw that starry sky at approximately 2297m, with no light polution, I was dazed by the beauty and amount of it. So many stars, they seemed to be a lot closer than ever! In the morning  we got up at 6 am to got over the mountain ridge of Portella de la Grava and arrived at a large lake (Estany de Lanós).








Once more, we were blessed with a clear blue sky and no rain on day 4 of our trekking. Crossing valleys with streams and pine trees and filling our waterreservoirs for the last time, this trekking was coming to an end.  Approximitely 2 hours of walking in full sun against a mountain side on a very small path. Constantly crossing dayhikers, trekkers, all ages of walkers. It seemed as if the path just carried on and on. Finally, around 2 pm we arrived in Porte-de-Puymorens where we only had to walk back to the camping where we left our car, 4 days earlier. It was a wonderful journey!




Sunday, August 18

Le Tour du Carlit - Day 1 & 2



Le Tour du Carlit is a multi-day walk in the French Pyrenees (Cerdagne). It's described in the 'Topo-guide de grande randonnée. Pyrénées Orientales.' It's located an hour drive from El Serrat, the village where we booked a stay to visit Andorra after our trekking. After visiting Bordeaux on Monday, we drove to Porte-de-Puymorens to spend the night at a camping. The tour starts in Porte-de-Puymorens, so the next morning we left our car outside the camping and started the trekking.


After ascending 667m through the forest and some open spaces we arrived at Col de l'Homme Mort (2290m). We couldn't really trust on the indicated hours in the Topo-Guide. Usually we would count 1,5 hour more then indicated to get to the next point, due to our backpacks and the hot weather. The view at Col de l'Homme Mort was stunning.




We descended again to 1580 m (a little bit before Bèna), where we pitched our tent near a tree and in the proximity of a flowing stream. It was quite hot that day, around 32°C and we refreshed ourselves in the stream and also rinsed our t-shirts and socks.



After a good night's rest we headed to Bèna and Dorres (1430m). We had lunch in Dorres, which was a nice alternative to the 'camping-gaz-meals' we had the other day.




Now we were recharged to ascend again to 1593m (Chapelle de Sant-Marti-d'Envella). A few hours later we camped at a flat area, again near a stream. Once in the tent, we wanted to stay awake to gaze at the stars at night. It was a clear sky and it got dark around 23 pm. So we tried to stay awake (which is quite hard when you've walked for 6-8 hours with a backpack weighing between 12-20 kilograms). The moment we checked the sky through our ventilation window for some stars and discussing we were about to go outside, we heared a grunting noise and screaming sounds from a beast that was being chased. 'Pumbaa' flashed through my mind and I was convinced it was something like a wild swine. I can not imagine what else it could have been. It really sounded like a wild pig and I knew they could be very dangerous. We turned the light off and tried to sleep. I wasn't much worrying about the pig after a while, I started puzzling over what was chasing it that would cause the pig to make such a panicky noise!



To be continued...

Wednesday, August 14

Bordeaux

For our Summer holiday this year, we planned a trekking trip in the French Pyrenees, and a short visit to Andorra. It is about a 1200 km drive from where we live so we planned a stop in Bordeaux (southwestern France, Aquitaine). It's a beautiful city, known for its wines. The historical city is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of it. In my opinion, it can beat Paris. :-)



We visited Place de la Comédie, Esplanade des Quinconces with a gorgeous big fountain: 'Monument aux Girondins',...



We arrived around evening and that made the entrance to Bordeaux so magical. The monuments were beautiful in the evening light. Place de la Bourse, Place Saint -Pierre, Place de la Victoire, Basilique Saint-Michel....all worth visiting. I recommend visiting Bordeaux in two or three days. We only had an evening and one day.


More photos can be found on my Flickr-page. After visiting Bordeaux we hit the road to Porte-de-Puymorens where we camped in our tent overnight to start the trekking in the morning. You can read that in my next post.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 13

Soon...

Long time no blogging. Hope you all are well. The reason for my absence here is my trip to the mountains.










Soon...I'll tell you all about the trekking and places we visited in the Pyrenees. Do you like trekking or hiking in the mountains?