Friday, July 30, 2010

No Whining about the Wine Route

Driving through the picturesque eastern townships we came across maaany vineyards. It was hard to choose which one to turn into - after all - if you're at the vineyard ya have to taste, right ? I was the only driver for our rental car, so with no designated driver, we couldn't stop at them all !  But ... we lucked out again ! We choose to turn into Domaine des Cotes d'Ardoise a vineyard that was also hosting an outdoor exhibit of 120 sculptures situated throughout their grounds.

After a long lovely stroll through the grounds, discovering all the sculptures, we went for a wine tasting. Jenna, on the right is 20 and Caela is 15. Our host set up glasses for all of us so we just went along and throughly enjoyed the generous samples of 7 of their products. Caela was pretty quiet in the back seat after that. Jenna and I each bought 4 bottles to take home which later proved to be a pain in the ass to pack into our luggage. But what the heck - it was worth it to share it with my husband and friends back at the farm. A few years ago, while traveling through B.C.'s okanagan valley, we had gone for a wine tasting at Mission Hill near Kelowna. Both my husband and I couldn't believe the swill they were serving the guests and left empty handed !

view from the top of the vineyard

sculptures in the wood

wondering what to do with your horseshoe collection ?

or your defunct water heaters ?

I'm sure we've got enough material here at the farm to put together a herd of these fellas

 Although it was hard to choose, this sculpture was probably my favorite. Just to give you an idea of scale - the wing span on these creatures is at least 12 feet.

Below is another favorite... so creative, fantastic use of materials !

church at historic Knowltown

Most of the pictures here were taken by Caela. I had started leaving my camera behind as it seemed that all three of us were taking the same pictures and Caela has a better eye for a good shot than I.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pottery Mother lode !

30 years ago, while living in southern Ontario, I had traveled to Quebec and loved driving through the eastern townships. This trip I wanted to return with my girls. While planning our trip I had quite a hard time finding any contacts for individual potters in Quebec. I had found some info on the internet about an outdoor exhibit that was on during our visit. I must say that we lucked out by visiting Mystic, a quiet little village,  south east of Montreal. It turned out to be the pottery Mother Lode !

This is the 7th year Jacques Marsot ( photo above ) has hosted an outdoor pottery exhibit. I enjoyed visiting with him; potters are the friendliest people ! I think there was work from 28 different potters displayed through out the grounds. Jacques has a well tended, beautiful yard and buildings. I had such a great time visiting and ogling all the pots that I didn't take any pictures ! 
The pictures below are some that my daughter Caela took. There's lots more pictures and info here:
I bought several pots and I'll show them to you in a later post.

extruded vase by Jacques Marsot

loved these handbuilt vessels, sorry, I didn't get the name 

these little nymphs were hangin around all over the garden

down the road from the Marsot pottery is this beautifully
restored 8 sided barn/museum which houses a collection of farming implements, ect. 

this is an interesting old general store, turned restaurant,
 in Mystic where we had a delicious meal.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Québec, La Belle Provence

                                                                  I've been away !

It was time for a mother/daughter trip so, the three of us left the men to tend the farm and jetted off to 
Québec !

We had a wonderful time in Montreal. We spent time in Old Montreal, 
walking the cobblestone streets and taking in the shops, 
museums, public sculptures and sites.

Below is Habitat '67 viewed from the Old Port of Montreal. Designed by Moshe Safdie for the 1967 Worlds' Fair ( 43 years ago !!! ), now home to 158 families. It was supposed to be a model of better aesthetic, affordable, pre-fabricated community living for city housing.

Enjoying the delicious food... the cheese in Quebec is the best !
 Poutine is a favorite and comes in about 167 different variations !

At the Museum of Fine Arts we were greeted 
by Joe Fafards', "Claudia". 
 Fafard is an internationally known artist from Saskatchewan

The Botanical Gardens were amongst my favorite places in Montreal. 
Below are a few shots from the Chinese garden.


the Japanese garden with their large collection of Bonsai - one is 215 years old !

and the Alpine Garden 

My next post will have some info on the pottery I saw in Quebec.