Colors of Provence

By Kate Riley October 5, 2017

I took a walk yesterday to clear my mind. I’ve had a lot of bad news this week and needed to process it all. That news coupled with the tragedies happening in the world, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, it’s left me with a heavy heart. As I walked I felt the sunlight on my face and despite all the sadness I felt appreciation in that moment for the beauty of the changing season.

It reminded me of my walks through Provence when I was there a few weeks ago. I stayed in Aix-en-Provence for a few days, taking little day trips to Cassis, Avignon, and the Pont du Gard. While staying in Aix-en-Provence, I had the immense pleasure of strolling the streets and shopping the markets Aix is so famous for.

Aix-en-Provence is a sensory city, filled with savory food and rich warm color around every turn. On a sunny autumn day, the dappled sunlight filters through the plane trees planted throughout the region. I loved my short time there and soaked it all in, the architecture, the people, the sights, the sounds, and the colors.

Many of the buildings share this lovely mellowed yellow, one I’ll forever associate with Aix. My home in California is the same soft shade of yellow which gives me joy, as if I share something special with this magical place.

 

 

I love to snap pictures of beautiful wood doors in Europe, this set stopped me in my tracks, such amazing detail.

 

Flower shops are another favorite thing I love to photograph, especially little boutiques that place their botanicals in bags or pots just outside their front door, to inspire the locals to purchase them and bring them home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Aix-en-Provence, the one thing you absolutely don’t want to miss are the markets that take place three times a week. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, the streets come alive with markets along in the main areas of town. This was definitely a highlight during my stay, and it was a dream just to walk among them for a few hours, savoring all the soaps, jams, flowers, produce, linens, and ceramics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I put together a 90 second video to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to walk the streets and markets of Aix-en-Provence. It may make you hungry :) Watch it below or on my YouTube channel. Enjoy!

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P.S. Some of you asked me about my travel camera. I have a new one that I use for both video and photos. I keep my larger DSLR Nikon at home for styling or interior shots or local photography, but for long distance travel I’m really loving this smaller Canon Powershot G7.

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I used this camera to capture all my video and take all my pictures in France. The quality is fantastic and the camera is so compact that it’s easy to store in my favorite travel backpack. I love it!

DIY Wool Felt Pom Pom Trivet

By Kate Riley October 2, 2017

This cooler weather in October gives me the desire to cozy up my house with things that offer warmth and texture. Last week I worked on a DIY craft project to achieve that: a wool felt pom pom trivet for use in the kitchen or on the dining table.

 

I gained a love of crafting with wool felt pom poms when I completed this paper leaf garland for my holiday mantel. Their soft and fuzzy texture is just so charming and I love that you can buy them in larger sizes and in any color imaginable.

Plenty of DIYers have created a version of this felt trivet project and many of their projects do it with a needle and thread. I wanted to get the look but quicker and easier so I used hot glue instead of stitching the felt balls it together. Using the hot glue method, this really is one of the quickest and easiest DIY projects I’ve ever done.

 

 

 

For this craft project I used the Arrow Fastener Dual Temperature Glue Gun with wool felt pom poms purchased in four colors and a cork base found on Amazon.

 

 

I purchased 2cm wool felt pom poms in colors that were fall hues but would also complement my kitchen. The colors you see are gray, snow, stone, and olive wool felt pom poms from Crafty Wool Felt on Etsy (the shop 90+ colors available).

 

 

The process is incredibly simple. Find the middle of the cork trivet base and glue the first felt ball down. Work your way around with hot glue, holding each pom pom in place for about 10 seconds to keep the arrangement tight.

 

 

 

I confess the ideas started out as a circle trivet but as I got to the edges I thought at the last second, why not turn this into a hexagon instead? It’s just a matter of squeezing the glued wool felt balls into corners and making straight lines around the perimeter. If you want to recreate this shape take it one felt ball at a time, holding each one in place as you form the geometric shape. Or you could trim the cork base into that shape beforehand.

Consider protecting your final trivet with a spray of ScotchGuard to resist stains.

 

The textures of these wool felt balls are oh so cozy to the touch and you can recreate these in any color palette or pattern you like. If you create your own, I’d love to see what color combinations you choose!

 

 

 

 

 

Some of you might question if the cork visible underneath. It is just a little bit if you look at the cork directly from a straight angle. You could use thinner cork bases and not have that issue, but since it sits on top of a counter or tabletop it’s not too noticeable.

 

 

 

It’s a fun and easy afternoon craft project, perfect for a rainy day, and a project you can complete in under an hour, just in time to enjoy a hot cup of tea. :)

 

Happy Fall, y’all.

 

 

*This post brought to you in partnership with Arrow Fastener tools! All opinions are mine, thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog. :)