Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Traveling Gaspese (part 3)-- the Basilica Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre

The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre is one of the most beautiful and beloved religious shrines in the world.  St. Anne is believed, by the pious, to obtain miracles through her intercession. People from all around the world come to the Basilica seeking miracles. Pillars in the front entrance are covered in crutches from people who are said by the parishioners to have been miraculously cured and saved~

 located about 20 miles 
east of Quebec City,
our visit to this religious shrine
was easily done as a day trip
while we were staying in Quebec City.

This amazing cathedral is an important catholic sanctuary 
which receives about a half-million pilgrims each year.
 The peak period of pilgrimage is around July 26,
 the feast of Sainte Anne, 
the patron saint of Quebec. 

The basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre 
was initially a shrine  to honor Sainte-Anne.
 On March 8, 1658, 
a man by the name of Etienne de Lessard 
donated two frontal acres from the West end of his property 
to the Catholic Church 
 so that a chapel could be built. 
This chapel eventually became the site
 of the modern-day basilica. 
It was built for two reasons:
 to provide a place of worship for the new settlers
and to house a miraculous statue 
of St. Anne.

 The first reported miracle at the site
 happened during the shrine’s construction. 
A man named Louis Guimond 
was hired to help build the shrine even
 though he suffered from 
 After placing three stones upon the shrine’s foundation, 
Guimond was cured of all his ailments. 
This was followed by other testimonies
 of healed people 
and the shrine soon grew in 
For hundreds of years,
 pilgrims have visited this shrine
 hoping to be blessed with a

Because of the popularity of the shrine,
 the building was enlarged several times to accommodate
 all the pilgrims.
 In 1876, the first basilica opened for worship.
 The former basilica 
was destroyed in a fire on March 29, 1922. 
 The present-day basilica 
was built 
on this site of the prior church 
in 1926. 

Miracles are still believed to be performed at the basilica. 
When entering the church one can see two pillars 
filled with racks of crutches, canes, braces, 
and other signs of disabilities.
 Every item has been left by a pilgrim 
who reports being healed 
at the Basilica.

 The main doors of the Basilica
 are hand-made of copper
 and they present many scenes 
of the life of Jesus. 
This exceptional work of art
 created by the artist Albert Gilles
 was originally hanging on the doors of the
 St. Joseph Church in Quebec City in the 1950’s.
The three double doors alone represent
 12 months of laborious work.
 After the closing of this church in 2003,
 Albert Gille’s masterpiece was given a second chance at life
 when it was transferred to the Basilica 
the same year.

some scenes from inside 
the Cathedral~

this collection of candles was housed in one of the 
basement sanctuaries,
From my journal--
"as we walked down the stairs,
I could feel the heat from the candle lamps,
hundreds of prayers said from the hearts
of those in need"~

The pilgrimage to Beaupre
 has not always had the importance 
which it has gained
 in our time.
 Only in the last quarter of the nineteenth century
 did it attain to the growth, organization, and fame 
which now render it comparable 
with the great pilgrimages 
 to Lourdes.

across the street from the Basilica
stands the tiny little
Memorial Chapel

The Memorial Chapel 
is a souvenir of the third church 
which welcomed pilgrims from 1676 to 1876.
The chapel was built in 1878 
on the foundation of the transept of the third church
The material, the decor and the steeple 
were all retrieved from the old church 
and incorporated into the construction 
 of the Memorial Chapel.
 A rooster weather vane,
 a symbol of Peter’s denial as a follower of Christ,
 pivots on top of the steeple. 
The adjacent cemetery
 was where parishioners were buried 
until 1930.

scenes from inside the chapel
and the 
memorial plaque

in this photo--
I'm standing on the front balcony
of the beautiful, tiny
Memorial Chapel.
The Basilica is directly behind me.

looking out from the inside
of the chapel~

Forgive me for being so "historical" in this post.
I'm not usually so "factual" when I share photos -- 
but this is such a special place...
  It just didn't seem fitting to say,
"and here are some photos of this pretty church we visited..." 
 I really wanted to share with you
 some of the history relating to this
 amazing place.  
a visit to the
 Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre 
is truly a destination.
On this trip we were only there
about 2 hours,
but on one of our previous trips,
we were there the entire day.
Truly, it is a place
of great spiritual presence
and beauty.
(You can read more about the
Basilica here )

As we continued on journey northward
to the town of 
we passed this beautiful place
and stopped for photos--
(of course)

traveling down the gravel road
brought us to a beautiful restaurant
housed in a home that dates back
to 1840.
You can read about the Auberge Baker
and see photos of the inn and restaurant

 In my next post-- (in just a few days!)--I am taking you to the eclectic little artist town of Baie-Saint-Paul... a lovely little town on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. You will so enjoy a tour of this beautiful little town known for it's artist colony and quaint little shops and restaurants. On our visits to the Basilica and the town of Baie-Saint-Paul, we continued to stay in Quebec City -- as both these visits were actually little day trips for us.  

After the post of the little artist town... we will pack our bags and truly begin our northward trek to the Gaspe Peninsula.  As much as I am enjoying sharing  with you all that we did in and around Quebec City---- I cannot wait to share with you the amazing sights from our travels around the Peninsula.  I hope you will continue to follow us along on this incredible journey..

A note from me~
Spring is truly and finally here!  I am mowing grass, starting to prepare for planting flowers,... I am a happy girl.  My winter nesting is over and I am working on some new projects to share with you later this summer.  I've just finished watching the Ken Burns documentary of the Roosevelts. I loved every minute of this incredible historical documentary -- so much that I may watch it all again! (I watched it on Amazon Prime). Also, I just finished reading book 2 of the Glassblower series -- "The American Lady" (loved it).
  (Book 3 will be out in September.)  Honestly, I have so many books, and sample books in my Kindle Que, that I'm quite sure that I won't ever get them all read! 

Thank you for your wonderful responses to the travel series posts, I appreciate your comments and emails-- and I am so happy that you want to go along with me on this incredible journey. I am so very excited to be taking you there~


ps--soon, very soon, hopefully next week... our packages of love will be arriving in Mombasa and from there they will travel to Kampala, Uganda.  The minute I have pictures of the children opening their gifts, I will begin to share them with you.  Please pray for the arrival of your gifts for the children..

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Shabby Chic story-- (and a few to share with you!!)

This year's Shabby Chic nest is one of the most beautiful ever. Vintage laces, exquisite yarns, and an amazing vintage bridal headband are all combined to create this year's 
stunning nest~

the process for creating this year's nest
was one of the most time consuming
I've ever done...

 my goal was to have these
nests finished by Spring
and I just barely
made it!!

my Mother had an amazing lace collection...
I had no idea that she collected vintage laces.
finding them in her craft room
made my heart beat faster! 

those laces 
lived in my own
craft room for several years
with me thinking
"what will I do with these?"

I would just open up the tub
and finger them, 
just admiring their beauty
and different textures..

 the idea to create a nest
using my Mother's beautiful laces
was actually very frightening to me~

but after I began to work them into
the design...
it began to feel so right,
almost like they had been waiting all this time
be used in these nests~

I'm not sure what my Mother
had in mind for these laces...
but I think she would
love seeing them
used this way~

 she must have collected these
laces over years and years
of visiting flea markets
and antique shops~

 when I found this antique
bridal headpiece
at the flea market last year..
I knew that it was meant for the shabby chic nests!

the general design of the nests
remains the same,
year after year,
the embellishments change
based on my mood
and---- my latest
treasure finds~
working with the bridal headband
was not easy..
it was so very fragile..
but now that the nests are finished--
I think they are the most beautiful 

 As a special surprise
for all of you--
I managed to create 3 extra nests.
You can find them here
in my ETSY shop.
These nests are NOT reserved
and may be purchased by anyone
who wishes to give them
a loving

If you wish to be placed on
next year's Shabby Chic waiting list
please email me

Some notes~~
Gosh I wish I had all the time in the world to blog --- there is SO much I want to share with you.  I just returned from an amazing 3 days at the Abbey of Gethsemane in Trappist, Ky.  Spending 3 days of quiet time... just me, the beautiful gardens, silence, and of course, the monks--- this was maybe one of the best things that I have ever done for myself.  Beautiful does not begin to describe this amazing place--- and of course I so want to share those photos with you!

The next post will be a continuation in the Traveling Gaspese' series--- (the good thing about taking so many photos is that you have all those wonderful photos to remember your trip!  The bad thing about taking so many photos is that you have to sort through them all!!)  

Did you notice my beautiful new blog header??? My friend and blog miracle worker Karen Valentine created it for me:)
I send her the photos and she works her magic every time making the most awesome blog header!  You can contact her for your own blog magic by clicking on her name above.

What I'm reading and watching---
Right now-- I'm watching the PBS Ken Burns documentary,
"The Roosevelts" on Amazon Prime. I've been waiting forever for it to be available for me to watch.  I'm totally loving it--

Slowly-- (because I don't seem to have a lot of time to read)-- I'm almost finished reading "At the Water's Edge" --- it's totally captivating and I loved it from the very first sentence.  The book is so beautifully written...I thought the premise would be silly (looking for the Loch Ness monster)-- but it's really not --- truly, it's a great read -- and beautiful.

Spring is here - and although it is still more cool than warm, I'm counting the days until I can play in the dirt and plant my flowers... I'm so happy when I get to be a "dirty girl"!!


ps -- if you left a comment on my last travel post or are leaving a comment on this post --- I promise I will be by to say Hello to you at your blog -- I am slowly making my rounds! xoxo

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Traveling Gaspese--- a day trip to Isle d'Orleans

Ile d'Orleans may be only a 20 minute drive from Quebec City, but in character it is world's away from the hustle and bustle of the busy tourist city.  Everything moves at a slower pace here-- there is no industry~ only farms, and cows, and sheep... and the people who own them...

 Isle d'Orleans
(September 16, 2014)
if you don't live here,
then your only reason to be here
is to marvel at the tranquil
and to say to yourself--
"yes, I could live in this beautiful

driving to the island,
takes you across the bridge that is pictured here...
although we have been here several times,
we never tire of making the journey
all around this island~

Ile d'Orleans is located in the middle 
of the Saint Lawrence River. 
Tiny in distance,
21 miles long
and 5 miles wide--
you can easily drive around the island
as a day trip from 
Quebec City~ 
the island is divided into 6 quaint little
each unique in it's own way~
come along with us
as we drive all around this beautiful
stopping for photos all along 
the way~

the island is famous for it's 
turning right after you cross the bridge
will bring you to the lovely
inside you can purchase
ice creams,chocolate candies
and also eat in the little
(this is probably the only touristy spot on the island)

the island is a haven for artists~
almost every little shop and
roadside market
will have art for sale

all along our drive
are beautiful views of the river...
there is no where along the drive
where you cannot see the

the island is also famous
for apple ciders and
ice wines..

 quaint little farms
are seen all along the drive around the island..
I fell in love with the old, tumbledown

many of the farms
provide guest houses,
similar to "bed and breakfast"

we stopped for lunch at a lovely
and found this cozy
little place to sit and enjoy
the views

the island is home to many 
wonderful restaurants...
this is one of our 

the view from the restaurant lobby

another beautiful little roadside
inn and restaurant --
we stopped to walk around for a bit
and take photos~
(of course!)

there are such beautiful views
all along this drive --
we found ourselves stopping 
over and over again
for photos!

one of my most favorite places
on the island~
a Catholic respite, (hidden from the road)
with the most stunning views
 of the river...
we found this place quite by accident
the first time we visited 
Ile d'Orleans--
now, we visit every time we
make the drive~
(you are SO going to love this place!)

we spent several hours here,
walking all over the grounds
and taking photos~
the flowers
are always so lovely...
 this is one of those places
that lingers in your soul long after you
have left...
beautiful views that leave you
 we have been here in the spring
and now the early fall--
there is no season
that this place is not beautiful
beyond words~
 it is easy to see 
why people would want to come to this place
for silence 
and to find peace and comfort
in their lives~
wouldn't you love 
to just sit here all day,
 watching the river 
lazily float
in all the times that we have visited here,
we have never seen anyone 
walking around~
but this time,
I met someone who truly
touched my life...
 her name was Cecile...
she had been out for a hike
when we met walking the grounds--
although she spoke mostly French,
and only broken English,
we had a lovely conversation~
she was visiting here 
to rest and recover
from a recent serious illness,
her elderly parents were
also visiting here with her...
 she invited us inside to see her room
and to share with us this amazing respite home,
some of the rooms which date
back to the turn of the

inside the house
only "silence" is spoken--
so we tiptoed around all the rooms
and she whispered to us
the incredible history of the house..
the painting above the fireplace 
is one of the oldest artifacts
in this old house--
an ongoing restoration program
is in place to bring this
treasure back to life
once more... 
 to be able to walk the grounds
and enjoy the beauty that surrounds this place
is truly special--
but to actually be given the opportunity
to quietly breathe in the history of the house
and to see first hand the historic treasures inside,
 was truly an unbelievable
experience --

after filling our souls
with the beauty of the respite house--
we continued our drive around the island~
 this lovely little cottage
houses a working artist studio
and a chic little boutique

in addition to the gorgeous
black-eyed susan flowers,
the yard was filled with these
pink hydrangeas~
I thought they were absolutely stunning! 
 Isle d'Orleans is home
to many historic and beautiful churches
Church at Sainte Famille
est. 1749

Sainte-Famille is the oldest parish on Île d'Orléans.
 this church, built in 1743 and consecrated in 1749, 
is one of the last dating from the 
 French regime.
(note the shadow play on the roof line of the church)
 next door to the church 
is a little museum--
this old window 
is in the upstairs of the building
and looks out on the cemetery and the
beautiful gardens

it seems like
everyplace you look on this island
is a picture postcard scene~
a most perfect place
to have a picnic~

the climate must be just perfect
for flowers here--
the blooms are so beautiful

with this island being only 21 miles long--
you could actually drive all around
in less than an hour~
but for us--
it took us the entire day...
our last look at this beautiful
continuing our drive around the island--
our next stop was at this cute
little roadside market~
 quaint little roadside markets 
are found all along the road 
as your circle the
fresh raspberries in September!!
(and look at those beautiful apples!)
 autumn on the island
is glorious color~

I'd love to have this old
wooden cart in my yard
at home!

another one of my most
favorite places on the island~

Saint-Jean-de-Ile d'Orleans
est. 1662
I am in love with this
shady little cemetery on the banks
of the river~
 some of the tombstones
here date back to the 1700's~

I love how the cross in the middle of the gate
is bent and crooked~

just beyond the church
is this awesome rocky area
beside the river
(we sort of climbed over the fence to walk among these rocks!)
as the evening shadows 
started to fall...
it was time to make our way
back to Quebec City~
(note the shadow play on the door of the church)
Some notes from me~
I'm sorry for the excess of photos --I wanted to truly take you along as we drove all around the island.  This "Traveling Gaspese" series is meant to be a photo journey and I want you to feel as though you were really there...

Next up-- we will take one last day trip from Quebec City.  This time I will take you to the historic St. Anne de Beaupre church--one of the world's most beautiful churches, and to the quaint little artist colony town of Baie- Saint- Paul. We spent 4 wonderful days in Quebec City, making day trips from there during our stay. At the end of this series -- (and heaven knows, it may well be sometime this summer!!)-- I will post our entire itinerary.
In case you missed the first post of this series (a tour of historic Quebec City) -- you can find it here--
Spring is starting to really happen in my little corner of the world.  I can hear the birds singing and we have daffodils in bloom --- just knowing that warm days are ahead has put a spring in my step~