Hello from Daisyland. I hope you're all well, staying safe and staying sage.
I'm well and happily keeping busy in my sewing room. I've been working on finishing UFOS, some that I started 10 years ago! Coming up with new ways to use half finished quilts, and piles of blocks has been a great challenge, but I'm going to save save their stories for another day.

I've decided it's time that I start to write about my travels over the last couple of years. In a way they're UFO's as well, these half written blog posts from the past. It's as though I'm finally getting around to sorting through photos and putting them into photo albums. Plus writing about my travel adventures is a nice way to remember how wonderful it is to get out and about, during this time that we're staying close to home.

I have lots of photos and stories from trips to Houston, New Zealand, the Aussie Outback, the time I met Tula Pink and I even have half written posts about finished quilts that I've never shared, but I'll start with our travels to France in April last year when Mr Daisy and I visited as honoured guests of Pour L' amour Du Fil,  The Festival of Thread, in Nantes, to celebrate the launch of my book, Whizz Bang with an exhibit of the quilts from the book. 

I've learnt from experience that when I travel overseas it's good to have a few days to get over jet lag and to adjust to the local time zone to that I'm a fresh daisy for a big event. What better city to recover and rejuvenate than wonderful, vibrant, historic Paris. 

So here we go, back to April 15th, 2019. Just before we took off from Australia the news was  breaking that Notre Dame was on fire. We boarded the plane wondering whether Notre Dame would still be standing when we got there.

The sun rose as we flew into Paris. 

I was travelling with all my exhibition quilts, and remember these are my quilts with lots of folds and layers, doilies and denim so they're pretty bulky. Luckily we managed to squeeze them all into 4 suitcases. Mr Daisy and I each had a suitcase per hand and our clothes in shoulder bags. It was quite a feat to get up and down stairs and escalators, on and off trains etc. but we'd jolly each other along by saying it was like a comedy routine. It's tricky in Paris to store suitcases. Museums and art galleries don't accept them in their cloak rooms so we figured until we could check into our airbnb we were stuck with them. 

When we landed we collected our suitcases, and found where to catch the train and headed into Paris. Our first stop was breakfast in a quintessential cafe with wonderful woven Parisian chairs. It was chilly but we sat outside so we could enjoy the fresh air, watch the passersby, feel the city start to come alive as the day grew.

After breakfast we decided to go and see Notre Dame. We were a few blocks away so off we went with a suitcase in each hand bobbling over cobble stones and through crowds. We made our way through the streets to where we could see Notre Dame in the distance. Without diminishing the tragic destruction to the building it was a relief to see it still standing. We weren't game to push in closer with our suitcases, and we were being jostled by crowds so I didn't get photos.

We wandered through the streets and took in the sights of cafes, shops, the beautiful buildings until found a sunny square tree lined square to sit in. Paris is dotted with little gardens full of park benches for people to sit and catch the sun, meet friends, take their dogs, cats and birds for a walk and to just "Be". Mr D and I took it in turns to mind the suitcases as the other would wander off to see the neighbourhood and then return with stories of sights seen and cups of tea and coffees. We loved watching the people, listening to the beautiful language and enjoyed letting the fact that we were in Paris soak in.

Of course as I wandered around I took a million photos. I like the challenge of capturing what I see in real life in a photo, like the sunlight illuminating these leaves. 

Or sometimes, things take my interest because they're different. 

I wonder what happened to his arm?

Or photos that take in the general, overall sense of a place. 

Some photos are to remember beautiful sights. Flowers are always a favourite theme of mine.

I like to record colour inspiration. 

And I take a lot of photos of Mr Daisy. Here he is looking like a turtle in his extra puffy puffer jacket.

After a few hours we traipsed off, our suitcases rumbling over cobble stones again to another public square, this time in the small grounds of a beautiful old church. A few days later we found out the church was St Germain des Prés that was founded in the 540's. That's the 500's!!! At one time it was the main Cathedral of Paris.

For us on that day it was a lovely place to sit in the gentle shade of the big glorious pink cloud of blossoms.

with benevolent statues watching over us

I loved seeing the layers of history in the walls.

And felt that certain spring joy at seeing daffodils in the garden.

During the day our Airbnb host had been sending messages saying there were delays with our check-in time, from the original time of 1pm we finally got to check in at 5pm...

We arrived and carried our suitcases one by one, up many, many, many floors of an ancient worn spiral stair case right to the very top floor.

Every time we climbed the stairs in the coming days the top floor seemed to get further and further.
I couldn't help but wonder about the people who had walked up and down these stairs for hundreds of years, it felt quite wonderful to know we were adding the echoes of our footsteps.

Our little attic apartment was full of character and had quirks like crooked floors and walls which made us love it even more. A little home away from home. It was in St Germain, a great part of the city with lots of eclectic shops and walking distance to lots of great museums. In fact it seemed close to everything.

The lounge room was big enough for me to lay out all my quilts (and my colourful silk skirt) nice and flat so they wouldn't be too creased when it was time for them to be on show.

The cosy kitchen. Mysteriously every single one of the numerous mugs had their handles broken off but we just accepted it as another one of the apartments curious quirks.

It was lovely to open the windows..

and enjoy the view across the roof tops.

Our apartment was a couple of doors down from where the famous french pop star Serge Gainsbourg had lived. The house where he once lived now features a facade covered in ever evolving graffiti by admiring fans. There were always people gathered around, I had to wait a few days to get a photo with no one present. 

I added a little Whizz Bang heart to the tributes.

As the sun set on our first day, with our suitcases finally offloaded, a bit bleary-eyed but happy, we went out for a champagne and delicious dinner to celebrate our arrival in Paris.


The next day we woke up bright and early. When I opened our apartment window the sound of birds singing Mozart tunes drifted in.. I pinched myself and sure enough it wasn't a dream, we really were in Paris!

We headed to the subway, figured out how to get tickets and then we were off on the days adventures. 

Our first stop stop was L'Atelier des Lumiêres.

This is film experience like no other! Held in a giant warehouse building where there are giant screens everywhere, beautiful footage of Van Gogh's paintings were projected onto the screens. Images fade in and out set to music as you walk around and look at the changing images on different screens and walls. 

My photos don't do it justice because it's about the music and the beauty of the paintings glowing, moving all around you and filling the room. It feels as though you have stepped inside the paintings. It looks as though there are a lot of people but you don't really notice them when you are immersed in the experience.

Afterwards we walked a couple of blocks to the Père Lechaise cemetery, the largest cemetery in Paris and the most visited one in the world. It has several famous people buried there including a couple that I wanted to find.

We followed cobbled avenues of green arches,

through history and around many corners,

until we found Jim Morrison's resting place and paid our respects,

and then went on to visit Oscar Wilde.

We continued along the paths, noticing interesting details and wondered about the people buried there.

Signs of spring were popping up here and there.

In the afternoon we simply walked through the city. Every street is fascinating, with wonderful things to see everywhere; statues posing, gold trimmings, impressive churches appear when you turn a corner. Curious shops selling all sorts of things, some specialised in walking sticks, another in Japanese Samurai suits of armour. Tempting bakeries, chocolatiers and bustling bistros made our mouths water. Tall apartment buildings with beautiful scrollwork, flowering window boxes, and pretty wooden shutters towered over us. Intricately carved doorways, lacy ironwork and the big painted colourful doors with big fancy door knockers that made me want to knock and run away like a cheeky monkey. There is so much to see and admire. 

Street art hearts. Everywhere! Painted hearts across the city of love. Painted on walls, little paper cut outs, sticker art, tile art, drawn with chalk. These are just a few of the heart photos I took.


Our apartment was an easy stroll to the Louvre Museum. A beautiful walk in the early morning light.

Sunlight on the cobble stones,

The iconic entrance to the Louvre. We arrived early, there was a queue but it didn't take long to make our way inside.

Once inside we headed straight for the Mona Lisa! In my recent post about my trip to Tasmania I mentioned that I have a series of photos of "Phil Looking at Art". I was busting to get pictures of Mr Daisy looking at the Mona Lisa to add to my collection.

This was my favourite. That's Mr D in the crowd, miles away from the painting.

Having Mr D in the photo helps you get an idea of the size of these masterpieces!

It's not just the paintings at the Louvre, but the building too. It was once a palace and had ornate trimmings everywhere. It always paid to look up at the ceilings, 

and also down at the floor. 

Art lined hallways that continued forever.

We had the most flakey, fluffy, buttery mouth-watering croissants at the museum cafe  

Where we got to sit in a window seat.  A good moment for a selfie.

..almost as romantic as these two.

There were rooms and rooms of art, furniture, statues and more art. I have photos of favourites but here are just a couple of snippets..  

A monkey on a tight rope.  Hello fabric designers, I wish there were more monkeys like this on fabrics. 

So many statues.. I’m always amazed that sculptors can create figures that seem so alive and emotive from cold, hard marble or stone.

After a morning at the Louvre, We spent the afternoon at Museum D'Orsay, an action packed art day.

This museum was once a train station. with a huge main hall and enormous clock.

Caesar watched us walk by.

My favourite painting of the day is the one in the last photo. L’Italienne by Van Gogh.
It could have something to do with the fact that the woman has a colourful quilt on her lap and she’s holding flowers. But I also love the asymmetrical border on two sides of the painting and then the way the blue chair echoes that. The yellow background was comprised of the most delicious yellow brush marks going in different directions creating so much depth and interest in one colour.

Another favourite was Theo Van Rysselberghe's L'homme á la Barre

A beautiful Monet painting.

And I was very impressed when I walked around a corner and found Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe. It's really quite wonderful to see a famous painting in real life. To be able to appreciate the real colours and see the brushstrokes.

In one room there was a giant clock with amazing views out over the city.

I like to think that these photos show we were having a great Time in Paris. 

Here's what I wrote on instagram at the time,

"It’s not just the artworks but the buildings that house them. @museelouvre was once a palace and the @museeorsay was a grand train station, both so impressive from ornate carved ceilings to patterned marble floors. It’s so hard to capture the scale in photos, just imagine everything to be bigger and more spectacular than you can imagine."

One night I couldn't sleep so I got up to read a book.

I looked out the window and found there was another person who couldn't sleep either.  I wonder if they were excited about the day ahead as well.

That's quite a lot for one post so I'll leave it there, but stay tuned for the next exciting part of our trip. There's still the Eiffel Tower, a trip to Versailles, fun times in Nantes and more!