01 April 2013

Paper-hunting in Spain, Italy and France

Sometime in May of 2012, we were blessed to have gone on a Mediterranean cruise with the family.  We visited the beautiful and historic ports of Spain, Italy and France.

While enjoying the sights, I was on paper-hunt mode, keeping an eye out for shops that sold crafts and stationery.

In Barcelona, I found one (ONE!!!) pad of stationery with a print of Picasso’s paintings in Art Montfalcon, a century-old curio shop worth visiting for unique souvenir items mostly designed by local artists.  There were a couple of pretty notebooks with Gaudi artwork on their covers but I was on a hunt for notepads or notecards...I gave the note pad as a gift to a very close friend so I don’t have a photo of it.  Here’s an image of the Picasso painting though:
Really artsy and wanted to keep one for myself but it was the last piece.
In Florence, my sister-in-law pointed to the little souvenir kiosks that lined the piazzas and told me that it was where she found the exquisite, gold-lined notecards she had given to me a few years back.  I grabbed the chance to scour the kiosks and was ecstatic to find what I was looking for!

In France, one of our stops was a half-day bus tour around the city of Marseilles.  The whole city of Marseilles was under construction (as it was being groomed to be the next cultural capital of France).  Museums, sidewalks, roads were being fixed.  Here are a couple of photos: the magnificent Palaise Longchamp which was also under construction (No water running down from the center of this grand structure which would’ve been a breathtaking view) and Notre Dame de la Garde, a basilica with a golden statue of Mary towering over all of Marseilles as protectress of the city. 

Palaise Longchamp under renovation, May 2012

Notre Dame de la Garde, May 2012
After taking in the sights, we had a 15-minute pit stop at a mall - Galeries Lafayette in Centre Bourse. Since my daughter was asleep on my lap, I opted to stay and wait on the bus.  When my dear hubby returned, he was grinning from ear to ear, like he hit the jackpot!   He found what I had been looking for– a major craft shop named Loisirs et Creation. 
I cut out this portion of the paper bag as a souvenir!  Dorky, huh?  My friends would understand. 
The craft store carried embellishments, fabric, ribbons and scrapbooking materials but he made a run for the paper shelves and grabbed the ones with the best designs.  Really sweet of him, don’t you think?

These are some of the 12x12 papers he purchased in a jiffy (I photo-collaged them to show the coordinating patterns on the back):

I am certain there are more of these shops scattered around these major tourist destinations…and I hope to come back someday to conquer them!  Till the next Euro paper-hunt!

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