Pont du Gard, France

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Just a short drive due west of Avignon is one of the greatest Roman ruins in the world: the Pont du Gard aqueduct.

Throughout the ancient world Roman aqueducts were a powerful symbol of the greatness of Rome. A visit to Pont du Gard today still impresses and awes. 
This perfectly preserved aqueduct was built in 19 B.C. as a key link in a 30-mile long canal that supplied water to the Nîmes, one of ancient Europe's largest cities. The stones you see sticking out held the original scaffolding used when the aqueduct was built and the workers decided not to chop them off so they could use them again for more scaffolding during future repairs.
Fox being a little monkey.

Graffiti from all ages.
The lovely Gardon River winding through this picturesque corner of southern France.
My boys!
The bridge is about 160 feet high and 790 feet of the original 1,100 remain intact.
This canal drops only one inch every 350 feet. Amazing.

This aqueduct is exceptional not just for how well preserved it is, but for its sheer size. The arches are twice the width of standard aqueduct arches and the main arch spanning the river is the single largest arch the Romans ever built!
The whole enchilada. 
Video footage of Pont du Gard:
Our family at the Pont du Gard on Wednesday April 5th 2017.
Next stop: the amazing medieval walled fairy-tale city of Carcassonne!

Avignon, France

Saturday, April 29, 2017

For 94 years Avignon served as the seat of Papal authority, the French Vatican if you will, and grew from a quiet village into a thriving city. Today, while the popes have returned to Italy, modern Avignon is a bustling city with a university, history, cafes, and shops galore. 
I had to find me a Nutella crepe, STAT! This little place was really cool. It had an automatic crepe maker machine that squirted out the batter onto a rotating hot plate. Plus, look at the size of this crepe!

We started our exploration of Avignon on Place de l'Horloge, a shady, cafe-lined square with a cool carousel we let the kids ride on.
Leading into the square is Avignon's main drag, the Rue de la Republique.

Chris the human stroller.
Just north of the square is the historic Palace of the Popes. In 1309 a French pope was elected and at the urging of the French king the new Pope decided that dangerous Italy was no place for the Holy See and moved the whole operation to Avignon. The church literally bought the town and built it up to be a fitting home for the popes who resided here until 1403.
Aside from the Papal Palace, Avignon is known for its bridge. The St. Benezet Bridge is the famous bridge from the nursery rhyme ("On the bridge of Avignon, We all dance there, we all dance there. On the bridge of Avignon, We all dance there in a ring.") and dates back to the 15th century.
Across the river is Fort St. André which was built by the French in 1360 to ensure the Pope didn't extend his worldly political power into France.
Walking along the ramparts down towards the bridge.
On the bridge, after we had danced (in a ring), we got a picture looking back towards the palace.
In 1668 a large part of the bridge was knocked down by a disastrous icy flood. The townsfolk decided not to rebuild and for a century they had no bridge across the river (this was only the only bridge crossing the mighty Rhône between 1171 and its destruction). Only four arches of the original 22 that spanned the river survive today. Here my feetsies are at the edge of the bridge.
Walking along the outside of the medieval fortifications.
Then I jogged across the modern car bridge to get the view of Avignon I had seen on so many postcards.
Back in town we explored a little more before finding a grocery store and heading back to our five-star airbnb for dinner.
Such a lovely town!
A compilation of walking around and through Avignon:
Our family in Avignon, France on Tuesday April 4th 2017.
The next morning we drove to the Pont du Gard aqueduct - definitely worth its own post!

Gift Coptic Books

Friday, April 28, 2017

To say "thank you" to my amazing design team and the graphic designers at Pink Paislee I made each of them a coptic book!
In between assignments, traveling, teaching, mommying, and life in general, I gathered all the supplies and worked on the books assembly-line style over the period of a few weeks.
They are all made with Oh My Heart patterned papers and matching colors of cardstock then embellished with the Heart Charms, pearls, jewels, and sequins.
I stitched the first half of each book with pink thread and the second half with aqua thread.
The books are made with 4x6" wood covers and they're great for photos, journaling, scrapbooking, and so much more. One of these days I will film through a finished book :)

I left the covers plain so each designer can decorate it and personalize it.

And then I feel like I spent more time on the packaging than making the books themselves lol!! Confession: I hate wrapping things! Because the wrapping just gets thrown away... Anyway, I tried my best to make them cute though :)
I took a few pictures and then popped them in the mail! It has been fun to see them received and I'm glad they all arrived safe and sound.

Thank you to all of the wonderful and talented people I get to "work" (can't call it work when it feels more like play!) with on a daily basis!

And, if you're interested in learning how to make these books, I do have an online class available in my etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/255163506/coptic-bookbinding-class-pdf-and-video?ref=shop_home_feat_1

Hallo Liebe Layout

Thursday, April 27, 2017

One more layout to share using the Aloha collection!
HALLO LIEBE by Paige Evans
DESCRIPTION: One of the beautiful papers is printed with a floral wreath which I deconstructed by cutting all of the flowers out and then rearranging them into two half wreaths!
JOURNALING SAYS: Lazy afternoons relaxing on the couch with iPads are some of my favorite. Wouldn't you agree? I think so :)
HOW TO: Fussy cut the flowers from the floral wreath paper and then adhere them onto a smooth white cardstock background into two half wreaths using dimensional adhesive - also add flower die cuts into the mix. Splash black watercolors over the flowers. Tuck a black & white photo into the right wreath and embellish with a badge and tangled thread, flower puffy sticker, and heart puffy sticker. Add die cuts, another badge with tangled thread, and puffy heart sticker to the left side. Journal on a die cut on the top left side.
SUPPLIES: Patterned paper, badges, puffy stickers, die cuts: Aloha by Jessica Fabiano & Scrapbook Werkstatt; Cardstock, pen, adhesive: American Crafts; Watercolors: Loew Cornell; Thread: Coats & Clark
I loved scrapping with the Aloha collection - I hope you'll check it out too!

Nice, France

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The next stop of the Evans Family Spring Break Mega Road Trip™ was Nice, France!
The view from our five-star airbnb balcony. It was a very pleasant evening when we drove into town.
After a good night's sleep we were up early to explore this big city on the Riviera.
The main train station. | Smooth as silk tram tracks.
The Cours Saleya, Nice's main market square, was alive with colors, smells, and tastes. It has been the main place for locals to sell their goods since the middle ages.
The name Cours Saleya is derived from the word soleil, or sun, and it certainly lived up to its name.
Then we walked the block or so down to the beach. Jane was in heaven! I've never seen a bigger genuine smile on this girl!
Nice has a 4-mile long seafront and promenade. The beach was pebbly, rather than sandy, and the kids loved it < - - - understatement of the century.

After throwing rocks in for awhile, the kids stripped down to their birthday suits and jumped in! When in France!
After we got the kids semi-dry and clothed, we walked back into the heart of town and stumbled up the. best. macaroons. ever at Gourmandises d ANGEA.
One of each please! Which is exactly what we did (except the ones with alcohol and coffee) then ate them all so quickly and voraciously that we went back for a second box only minutes later. For reals though, we've had our fair share of macaroons and these are hands down the best. Chewy and rich and full of flavor. Man what I wouldn't give for more right about now!
The old city mixes Italian and French flavors creating a unique Mediterranean feel.
Charming colorful back alleys.
The Cathedral of St. Réparate is the city's main church. It was built in the 1500s and is named after Nice's patron saint.
Vieux Nice, or "old Nice," is a wonderful maze of narrow medieval streets with charming sights around every corner.
The seaside portion of town is straight up Riviera glamour!
Nothing epitomizes that glamour more than the Hotel Negresco - Nice's finest (and most expensive) hotel. The building is also a historic monument and symbol of the city. I just love the pink roof, what can I say.
We got some lunch and strolled in the sunshine back towards the tram stop in Place Massena.
Nice sure is nice! Come'on, it had to be said :)
Snippets of our morning walk around Nice:
Our family in Nice, France on Tuesday April 4th 2017.
Then we drove to the cute town of Avignon!
Paige Taylor Evans © // Quinn Creatives DESIGN