Back from Vacation…..

I’m back from two wonderful weeks in Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec! Yes, it was our third time going there (now officially tied with trips to Iceland!) and there is a reason we keep going back- we love it!

So first, the question I am always asked when I say we are going there- where is that? Here is not the best map but Iles-de-la-Madeleine is circled in the green.  Kind of wedged between PEI and Newfoundland.  Getting there is a little convoluted- a five hour ferry from Souris, PEI.  But it is well worth the ferry ride and the two days of driving!

The first two times we went we stayed on the island of Grande Entrée. This time we stayed instead on Havre-Aubert which is at the other end of the archipelago.   We rented the best cottage ever- right on the beach!   The sound of the ocean waves was a constant and we could hop down to play in the sand at any time.  Even better was the big deck that we could sit out on and enjoy the view.  So even if the little guy was napping you could sit outside and still not miss a thing.


The goal of this trip was relaxation. And we got that in spades. Lots of days at the beach just hanging out and watching the kids play. Lots of evening walks on the beach, a trip to the aquarium, and clambering on the red sandstone rocks.  We completely lost track of time and at one point we lost track of the days. A sure sign of a great vacation!



We couldn’t have asked for better weather.  It rained the total of about an hour one day and overnight a couple of times.  The rest was sunny and warm.  And a nice warm- none of this horrible humidity we have here in Ottawa.  Just the right temperature with warm ocean breezes.





There is beauty everywhere you look.  A real maritime feel with lots of colourful houses, sand dunes and grazing cows.





The past two trips we have driven around looking for the traditional Madelinot barns and this time there were two right behind our cottage.  It was nice to look out the back window and see them there.





Another theme of the trip was food.  Oh the local foods are to die for.  Of course there is the seafood- lots of lobsters, mussels, scallops and oysters were consumed by my husband and I (the kids are not fans).  Then there is the honey flavoured with island wildflowers.  And the Pied de Vents cheese that we absolutely adore.  My husband enjoys the local beer that he can’t buy here. Croissants from the bakery became our go-to breakfast.  And on one of our last days we enjoyed some fresh island cream with some strawberries and bananas.  It was fantastic.


One of my favourite treats was the local apple cider.  We frequented the little store so often that the owner began giving us complimentary jars of “les pommettes”- basically little apples in syrup.  We were to put them in our glass to enhance the taste.  Lets just say we may have brought home a few pommettes and bottles of cider.  🙂



It was such a great trip.  I was so sad to leave, but I feel rejuvenated and refreshed.  And my time there wasn’t all relaxation- I did take some work with me as my exhibit date is looming.  I worked on that in the evenings once the kids were in bed and also during the long, long, car ride back home.  I also did some plein air hooking that I will share here soon (I think I have found my new addiction!) and I went on the trip loaded with art activities for the kids and will share the results soon!



Photo by Karen D. Miller

Travel Friday

Where: Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec, 2014

Inspiration:  I love the shades of blue in the background and the varying colours in the grasses and wildflowers in the foreground.  There is something very relaxing and beachy to me about this colour combination.



Every Friday in 2015 I am sharing a photo that I have taken somewhere that we have travelled.  My goal in looking back at these travel memories is to rekindle the inspiration that caused me to take the photos in the first place.




TWIST Fibre Festival

This past weekend we headed to the TWIST Fibre Festival in St. Andre- Avellin, Quebec.  A short road trip this time as it was only a short hour-long jaunt across the Ottawa River and through the Quebec countryside.

I didn’t go last year (which was its first) but saw there was a lot of hype about it so wanted to check it out.  I also wanted to see what the advertised fibre art exhibit was like to see if it was somewhere that I might like to exhibit in the future.

The fibre art exhibit, while having some very nice things in it, was very small and not very developed.  I’m not sure if they are even looking to develop that part further or not.  Certainly not reason enough to head to the show.

The vendor part, on the other hand, was huge.  As my husband said, it is just a trade show.  But if you are into making fibre art of any kind, what a trade show it is!  There were tons of booths of roving (both raw and dyed), yarns of every kind, spinning equipment, dyes.  If you can think of it it was pretty much there.

Did I come away empty-handed?  Of course not.  I found several skeins of silk sari ribbon in some pretty colours and bought two small boxes of roving.  There was one booth that I spent the most time at.  She had all sorts of little bits and pieces that would be great to add to a rug for texture.  I picked up some shiny blue firestar, silk sari strands, and some blue roving.   I also got one small skein of yarn that had a thread of beads wound into it for $1.00!   She even had some yarn with plastic skulls woven into it which I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I would use it for and which made my daughter exclaim “oh, weird.”

I’m not sure right now what I am going to do with it all but I know that I went home happy!  🙂


Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller