June 26, 2014
“For a June Photo Hunt, please show me whimsy!”, writes Karma at http://karmardav.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/in-want-of-whimsy/.
The deadline to submit your whimsy photos is Monday, June 30th if you wish to participate. I feel like sharing some pictures that may fit this definition of “whimsical” :
playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way. “a whimsical sense of humour” synonyms: fanciful, playful, mischievous, waggish, quaint, fantastic, unusual, curious, droll; eccentric, quirky, offbeat, idiosyncratic, unconventional, outlandish, peculiar, queer, bizarre, weird, odd, freakish;
Here they are, I hope you enjoy them.
Two sculptures by Dutch artist Hanneke Beaumont in the courtyard of an old castle in Gruyères, Switzerland. Not whimsical enough, are you saying ? Just wait for the next picture… The same characters are visited by tourists. Do you think they enjoyed this sudden familiarity with a photographer and his mischievous son ? ;) I did enjoy it. How about this whimsical presentation of two pairs of red shoes ? No shop window here but the yard of a large farm. I like the surrealist look of this work created by the artist, Flaviano Salzani. “To affirm oneself” (or to assert oneself ?) is the title of this curious sculpture by Mathilda Raboud. A playful angel riding on a not so funny crocodile. Look at his eyes and teeth ! One of them certainly needs to affirm oneself ;) Thanks, dear Karen, for your June photo hunt which is really fun. I look forward to seeing the other bloggers’ whimsy pictures.
June 15, 2014
As I received this image (in B&W), together with a fine poem by W. Whitman, I could not but try imagining how this world must have looked in colors. I spent a quiet moment painting it according to my own wishes. WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER
WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams,
to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer,
where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
” Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass, 1867
Have you ever stopped and looked up at the sky on a clear night ? Have you ever taken time to search for stars, the brilliant ones and the more dimly-lit ones ? Have you ever felt dizzy while looking up, your head pulled back and you neck sore from observing the vastness of the sky ? Dizzy, amazed and feeling so small under the celestial vault. We obviously need to be grateful to science and scientists to research and explain all kinds of phenomenons. Don’t we also need taking time to look behind the charts, figures and diagrams ?
Here is something I liked and felt like sharing with you ? ;) http://io9.com/5973932/walt-whitmans-when-i-heard-the-learnd-astronomer-in-comic-form
May 10, 2014
What better example could I give you of a Mother’s Love for her children than these images of the Tulip family in our garden ? The wind blowing lightly helped me greatly to create this little allegory. See how Mama tulip shows her affection to her youngest ? Bending gently and probably encouraging her to stand tall and strong in spite of the wind. Mama is guiding her sweet white tulip towards the right path. When difficulties arise and doubt makes one’s shoulders more fragile, Mama is still there, moving alongside her young tulip. Notice the support of the other family members, standing strong around them ;) Even if a bit disheveled… “Let’s move on, little one, you can make it, I believe in you and love you”, says Mama Tulip. And when the youngest one is ready and feeling safe to stand up again and grow, Mama leaves her going her way, calm and proud. So is Dad, standing on the left and knowing all will be good. Do not ask me about the different shades in their family, please. Race is not an issue with them. The more colors, the merrier ! This little allegory is to tell you of my love and gratitude for my mother, Cécile, living now in her own garden somewhere. My love for all mothers to thank them for all they do and are to us. Because we always remain the children of our mothers, don’t we ?
April 15, 2014
Did you think Spring had come ? I did too last March. Then one morning I felt everything looked too white, too cold. Different. A patch of Winter had covered the landscape. Again. Just to give us a fright. It did not last long though. When snow melted, the soil got warmer by the day and little by little tiny flowers, daisies, appeared in the grass. Some were quicker to open to the sun, others more shy, stayed asleep. Dialogue between two cotton sheets in the open. “What is Isa thinking to hang us outside today ? Early March is too cold and what a Siberian wind this morning !!”. “I know, I am freezing. Let’s huddle up together, get warm and dry. Isa will come over, bring us down into her basket and put us back nicely onto our beds”. Hiding in the grass ? I saw you, pretty white primrose. You made my day. Thank you. Spring can affect some animals, apparently not these quiet cows grazing along the railway road. As I and other passengers were waiting for the train back in Fribourg, we were told that the train would have an indeterminate delay. We waited as the same message was repeated again and again. Finally we knew what it was all about : heifers were on the tracks and all trains from Zurich to Geneva (half of Switzerland, North-South) were delayed. Maybe it was the cows’ first day out in the pastures after a long stay in the barn ? Such an excitement and joy ! There must have been some serious gap in a fence somewhere too. Fortunately nothing wrong happened to anybody, the cheerful cattle was driven back home and the train moved on. Missed connections but more time to admire the scenery. Spring can also make you feel more tired. This is my case. I do not seem to be the only one… I was looking for Nino at home, no sign of him. I found him upstairs, dozing lazily on a comfy quilt, eyeing gently at an exotic parrot. Oh well, change of Season, you know.Since we are in a patchwork mood, let me show you my new Spring project. Something I have been planing to sew for a long time : a picnic blanket for Summertime. All different scrappy squares, economy blocks or diamond in diamond. I really enjoy going through my leftovers boxes. The quilt is far from being finished; I plan to separate each square with a plain fabric, white or green. Spring has just started and I hope to sit in the open on this blanket next Sumer. How I love picnics ! Just a few touches of my Spring that I felt like sharing with you, hoping yours is pleasant too. Any project on the way ?
March 19, 2014
Over the past weeks it seems like I did nothing much but come and go between the mountains (4429ft) and the plains (1480ft) and yet I can assure you a lot happened in-between ! The seasonal flu’ hit several family members I looked after; Spring cleaning fever hit me too, as well as clearing out. I also took time to visit with friends here and there. During these constant trips up and down the valley, I became interested in comparing the changes of Season according to the different altitudes.
A forest of slender masts in the town of Morat, at the edge of a lake. The boats are stlll protected from the cold and the frost that can cause so much damage in Winter. Soon they will sail on the lake though.
Under an unusual mountain fog, the slate roofs of the chalets are still covered with a thick layer of snow.
whereas the old red tiled roofs of the ancient houses shine under the sun near Morat.
Snow flowers over 4000ft
and Spring first pink blossoms at the lakeside. So welcome !
Someone you know, my Nino, is almost taking off a steep slope in the mountains, a simple joy he never gets tired of,
and a thirsty dog (20°C on that particular day) taking a bath and drinking water at the edge of the lake, after playing with his master on the grass.
Typical Winter activity…
and early Spring relaxing moments at the lake.
Such are my landscapes at the moment. Winter is not yet over (far from it) and Spring is starting to shine down in the valley. I even saw apricot trees in bloom, a rare sight at the end of March. I wish you happy moments, joyful colors and a warmer sunshine in a blue sky.
En route for Spring !
February 24, 2014
Here is a fun photo challenge from Karen at
Karma asks us to “Choose a word. Or two. Or three. It really doesn’t matter. It could be your name – real name or nom de blog. It could be a favorite noun, verb, adjective or interjection. Anything is fine. Now go find pictures of stuff around your house, objects not letters, to represent each letter of your chosen word or words! Get it?”
The deadline for this Photo Hunt is on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.
Ready to find my hidden word ?
Go and good luck !
February 21, 2014
It all started about one year ago after I visited a friend’s exhibition near my home. My friend is a sculptor, someone who looks at things she finds here and there in a way you and I may not always do. Marie-Chantal collects driftwood, pebbles, metallic parts, all kinds of abandoned objects transformed over time and permanent evolution. Corroded steel is probably her favourite material to create her sculptures. She associates stone to solidity, wood is her symbol of evolution, paper means malleability, glass she uses for transparence. Marie-Chantal likes to cite the philosopher Heraclite :
“The absence of consistency of things which move endlessly, never stay like they were originally and that can transform themselves into their contrary”
To show you how her sculptures look like, you may wish to open this link on her website and see how inspired I was by her creativity :
Here is the result of my inspiration.
A quilt made little by little putting together many scraps. Rough and soft materials that looked “rusty” to me, textures like gunny, raffia, corduroy, copper threads, cotton, linen, wool or softer fabrics like gauze and raw silk.
It was a challenge to work with materials whose texture did not always blend in nor fit perfectly with others. I used my scraps like Marie-Chantal used her little bits of stone, wood, corroded steel or glass. Looking differently at things bring you lots of joy too.
And now, a long delayed work that I look forward to create. More scraps and more memories, dear ones. Pieces of materials, handkerchiefs, aprons, pillow cases, napkins and more that belonged to my mother. i am not sure yet what I will do at the end but I do look forward to remember moments, events, words and thoughts as I will sew these small pieces together.
January 31, 2014
Back with you , my friends, after a demanding month of January. I had very little time to write and download more pictures from my stay in Istanbul. When I did so, I realized there was a lot of turquoise color in them. You surely have heard this lovely song “La Vie en Rose” (seeing life through rose-colored glasses), so why not seeing “La Vie en Turquoise” in some streets of Istanbul, Turkey ?
Turquoise, the blue cousin to lapis lazuli, has been known and valued for thousands of years. The early mines in Sinai, Egypt, were already worked out in 2000 B.C. Today the best quality Turquoise is found in Iran. Turquoise was first sent to Europe through Turkey, hence its name, which means “Turkish” in French (turc or turque).
Turquoise has long been appreciated as a holy stone, a good-luck-charm or a talisman. It is believed to promote good fortune, happiness, and long life.
You often get surprised whether you look up or down. Here, an artistic minded mason had decided to embellish the pavement in inserting typical Turkish tiles… or what was left of them. Isn’t it charming ?
I stood a long time there. In front of the shop various jewels decorated the wall. Turquoise necklaces of all sizes, shapes and lengths. On the right hand side, several “nazar” were displayed (Turkish: bazar boncuğu) . A nazar is an eye-shaped amulet believed to protect against the evil eye, they are seen and sold all over the city.
Turquoise and golden shades are engraved in the Ma’mun globe (a Caliph who reigned from 198-218 H./813-833 CE.) in front of the entrance of the Istanbul Museum for History of Science in Islam. A great achievement. The map on this globe displays, with surprising accuracy, the geography of the part of the world which was known at that time.
Maybe your weekend is in the grey shades ? or all white with so much snow ? or golden with a hot sun ? blue, if you live near the sea ? No matter the color you are living in, here is Edith Piaf singing for you “La Vie en Rose”. I hope you will enjoy it.
Happy weekend to you :)
December 31, 2013
For a HAPPY NEW YEAR with light and colors on the horizon of your life.
A boat in the sunset cruising on the Bosphorus strait last November. A short but most pleasant stay in Istanbul with my family. It was a surprise trip for our eldest son and the most enjoyable experience for the four of us.
May your New Year fit nicely in this colorful year cycle. This is how I interpreted this painting in the astronomy section of the superb Museum of the History of Science & Technology in Islam from the 9th-17th centuries through a series of replicas of its greatest achievements and inventions (Gülhane Park in Istanbul).
The objects displayed serve to honour a number of the sciences including astronomy, geometry, chemistry, physics, optics, mineralogy, architecture, time measurement and war technology. They attempt to show how discoveries made across the Islamic world were adopted, altered and assimilated into European culture.
Thank you to each and all of you for sharing with me your own pictures and experiences here and there, your own beliefs, traditions and cultures. I really believe that it is in communicating with others, all over the world, that we start understanding one another better. Less fear of the unknown and more peace all around.
Bonne et heureuse Année !
December 24, 2013
This time has come again.
A time for joy and togetherness, for traditions and preparations, for gifts and decorations.
A time with happiness, with fear of loneliness, of memories and changes.
A time for songs, poems, prayers, candles and the scent of oranges and spices.
A time when a single brilliant Star lead the way to a crib and a new born Child.
A time when everyone everywhere should find its own Light, shining.
A warm and comforting feeling in one’s heart.
May one of those lights on our pine tree in the garden find the way to your heart and
Let you know you are thought of, thanked and wished the best only.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, JOYEUX NOEL, FELIZ NAVIDAD, GLAEDELIG JUL, HYVAA JOULUA !