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Day 2 started off with a trip to the market in St Remy de Provence.  It was a beautiful morning and we were meeting our chef, Herve there.  He was going to take us on a cook’s tour of the market, as he was looking for products to buy to be used in the evening’s dinner.  He was very friendly and his English was good and when he didn’t quite know how to say something in English, he looked at me and said it in French then I told him what it was in English!  A partnership for sure!

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This is the view from the steps of a building overlooking the town square.  As we walked the market, there were so many things to get distracted by.  Fresh flowers, lavender and everything made with lavender, fresh produce and spices and meats and fish, clothing, linens for the table and linens for the bed….pretty much anything you could think of.

It reminded me of the market in St Chinian, France where I rented an apartment for a week 6 years ago with a dear friend.  Memories were coming back to me of the items I purchased at that market.  I still use my baking dish to this day that I bought there for only 6 Euros.  I just finished up with the paprika several months back so I was on the hunt for more paprika this trip.

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It was at this market that I found my fuschia/orange scarf that stuck out like a sore thumb when I passed the stand!  Wool and silk, and saturated color…there was no way I could get lost wearing it!  In a couple days you will see me wearing it when I blog about Friday’s events.  After the market, we had a rendez-vous at Impressions d’Antin, a vintage textile trunk show in St Remy.  She opened up just for our group. I wish I would have taken photos of the shop.  It was here that I found my antique linen embroidered bed sheet, similar to the ones I have from my mother in law.  I also found 3 antique fabric samples from Le Manach dating from the 18th century that I plan on making into a table runner and pillows.

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Here is our delightful chef Herve flanked by us gals in the courtyard of the house a couple days later, but I wanted you to meet him while I was talking about him.  After our visit to the vintage textile shop, we could go back to the market and do whatever we wanted before the next meet up back at the van.  4 of us decided to do a nice lunch and we sat outside under the umbrellas and enjoyed beautiful salads, wine and dessert.

Next up:  a visit to Les Olivades, the only textile printery of traditional Indiennes in France.

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This was a very informative tour because we were shown from the beginning the process of how the fabric is printed.  In the photo below is the machine that washes and dries the fabric after it has been scorched to remove any glues or surface impurities and bleached.  After this first bath, it is repeated.

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After this process, the fabric is ready for printing and while we were there, they were printing tablecloths.  This is an electronic printer which moves automatically and prints only one color at a time.  The blue thing that you see on the table is the screen that is used with the motif cut outs.

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After the machine prints, this is the result.  It skips to every other one when repeating. This square on the table is just one tablecloth.  The solid blue and lines were what was being printed in this step.

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This is almost the length of the table so you can see how long it is and the printing machine moved quickly along, much quicker than if using hand blocks to print as they did in the past.

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This is one of the screens being used for this tablecloth.  Big, isn’t it?

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Here is the tub of ink that was used for this section.  For every different color, there is a different screen used so if you have 15 colors in a tablecloth, you would have 15 different screens.

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After the printing was complete, they carried the screen to this side of the building to wash it down and remove the ink.

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Here is the lineup of all the different screens with the patterns that they print.

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Toward the end, we got to see finished fabrics that were printed from the screens that we had seen earlier.

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These neatly stacked cardboard tubes hold the screens for the digital printer.

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Here are a couple patterns pulled out to show us what the tubes contain.

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This is the digital printer that the tubes are placed in so they can print the design.

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And what do we have here?  Why, these are samples for none other than Pierre Frey, Brunschwig et fils, Schumacher, Zoffany and Lelievre.  Names we are all familiar with in the industry and of which I have fabricated beautiful things!

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In their showroom, we see fabric samples to choose from.

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More fabric samples, all of which are printed right there.

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After a lovely tour there, we headed on out to Les Baux, a beautiful fortified city up in the mountains on rocks.  This is the view from the road that we saw on the way there.  Deb was very accommodating with us as we rounded the curve and saw this beautiful view.  We jumped out of the van and took photos of this magnificent creation! In the bottom of this picture, you can see the road which curves and more curvy roads were what took us to this jaw dropping ville.

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And with a backdrop such as Les Baux, well, I couldn’t resist.

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Plaques announcing the name of the city.

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Picturesque views as we walked up the hill to see the town.  No cars are allowed, pedestrian traffic only.

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View from partway up and the valley below.

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One of the gift shops where I got a postcard for one of my bff’s but decided to keep it in the end and frame it.  Hee Hee!  Don’t worry,  I got her some Provencal lavender soap instead.

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Making our way up toward the top.

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Still climbing.

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Again, why not?   A beautiful view for sure.

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On leaving Les Baux and headed back to the house, I saw this vineyard several times in our journeys and the beauty of it never failed to amaze me every time we passed it.  I finally got a few photos of it and was glad my camera was able to capture these two shots as we were traveling and didn’t stop.  The beautiful cypress trees line the drive and the field with grapevines aplenty.

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Isn’t that drive just beautiful with the rose bushes lined up in front of each row of grapes?  Do you know why there is a rose bush in front of each row?  So that if there is a blight or a pestilence of some sort, it will attack the roses first before it hits the grapes and give the cultivators warning of impending attack and how to ward off the violators.

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And this…….I saw so many fields of poppies or patches of them and said out loud how I would love to have a photo shoot in a field of poppies….this is your preview of an upcoming day my friends….the perfect blue sky, the glorious red petals softly blowing in the breeze…yep, that’s where you’ll find me in a couple days.

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At the end of the day when we got home, while Susan was busily preparing the aperitifs and dinner, a few of us gals headed to the pool to unwind and relax…walking through the gardens to get there, enjoying the sights of the landscaping and sounds of the fountain of water running.  The water was a little cool for me and this is as far as I got, but it was just right.  A perfect way to unwind before a delicious dinner prepared for us by Herve in which he used the artichokes that he bought at the market.

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Goodbye Day 2……..ready for Day 3, a looooong day ahead of us.

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