December 8, 2016
What a change of weather and temperatures in those first two weeks of Advent !
Snow fell – a little – and left.
It was followed by rather dull and foggy days . Then we got rain, lots of it, although the mood of the Season is here : red colors. Crisp, cold days, trees decorated in red or were they goblins’ tall hats ? A lot of red also in the window shops, fa sho’ !Red but frozen, a forgotten heart in a pot on the terrace. Forgotten but not broken !Outside the air is cold, a few leaves are still blooming in the late afternoon sun.But inside, a hot and spiced Christmas pot of tea awaits you for a quiet moment in the warm shades of candlelight. And… a cake too, if you feel like it. A lemon scented cake.Happy Advent’s time to you all, Friends, wherever you are.
November 19, 2016
Or “If sculptures could speak”. What would those beautiful Caryatids say ? A stately demeanor, indecipherable expressions on their sculpted faces. Would they talk about the endless flow of visitors coming and going around them in the New Acropolis Museum in Athens ? Or comment on the heavy burden they have been carrying on their head for so long ? Exchanging about their use as decorative supports in Greece and the ancient Near East ?
What could those men in their elegant toga be discussing about ? Would they talk about philosophy ? Would one of them be teaching the others ? Or were they engaged in a more private conversation ? In any case they will remain anonymous…Two worlds meet in this picture. Modern buildings behind a vision of other times. In those past decades when women, mothers had to travel on the back of a mule while taking their children with them as they went working in the fields.
Mules were equipped with two strong sacks (jute or leather) on each side of their flanks. Inside them and well protected, mothers would put a baby or a small child. Usually, the slow and regular mule’s step would bring the children to sleep. Maybe the little girl standing behind the mule would ask : “Mom, let me sit on the mule, please, I feel tired”. The track to the alpine village or to the pasture could be long. (Sculpture by Edouard Sandoz for the association of “The Mule”s Friends”, or Les Amis du Mulet, Sion, Switzerland).In an open air museum of the village of Etroubles, Aosta Valley/Italy, close to the Swiss border, I stopped and observed this three-dimensional sculpture by Andrea Granchi, a Florentine artist. It was entitled : “Viaggiatore sedentario incontra il Grande”. I tried to imagine what the sculptor expressed in this particular art work. Maybe the great (grande) man on the wall would say to the traveller (viaggiatore) : “Here you come, bumping into (incontra) other travelers like you who try – or tried – to cross this mountain pass !” It is just my interpretation of this amazing sculpture.
Greece, Naxos Island. On the metallic entrance door opening to a wild garden, someone had written : “This is paradise”. After a few minutes’ walk uphill, amidst bushes and trees of all sorts, we stopped in front of a dry stone wall. At the bottom of it and protected by a fence, a huge statue of a man, more than 17 feet, seemed lost in a long sleep. It was the “Flerio Kouros”, built in 570 BC in Naxian marble. What would the Kouros (young man) have said at that time ? Maybe he advised the stonecutters to be very careful when they would transport him to another site for the final touches. Apparently they weren’t enough or their artwork broke before ? The statue remains unfinished, its leg broken, the marble has turned grey/brown in time and the mystery is unsolved.I wonder what these sculptures inspire you ?
September 29, 2016
…our weather has obviously been changing. Although we still get to see a bright blue sky during the day, temperatures have dropped. Evenings and nights are cooler, quilts are welcome ! Mountains are often hidden behind a morning mist and parasols stay closed, a colorful reminder of our sunny Summer.
There are still some flamboyant colors left in the garden, like this red/orange gorse or broom ? that are brightening up any day.
In town, Fall and Winter clothes are blooming in the shop-windows. A little dog is sitting outside; he looks at the passersby as if saying : “Here is the new Fall fashion for you, ladies”. A nice encounter with this irrresistible and patient doggie waiting for her owner who went inside the boutique. For how long ? Who knows ? He will wait for sure.
On the way to the forest, I made another encounter that attracted my attention. A small yellow leaf was caught in a late afternoon sunray and shone in all its glory. Could this be another sign of Autumn settling down around here ?
Ninio has felt something too and is trying to blend in. Hunting season has started, his instinct for camouflage is awoken but I keep him on a leash…so as to be sure we walk back home together ! And avoid trouble with the hunters.
Feeling like more color ? Then I am happy to share with you my latest quilt. One I started sewing when I received the bad news of my cancer. It has been a great help all along this past year. Sewing by hand, having it close by wherever I went and whenever I felt like adding a piece of material carefully chosen for all it inspired me. I loved searching in my baskets of scraps for the right material or pattern. There are circles, many circles, more or less round – you could say like cells, breasts, life circles. Some are looking healthy but in others you can see wounds, pain, you can imagine hope too and whatever you feel like. (if you click on the picture, you may be able to see the details).I called this piece :
“Quilting for healing”
Circles … each one a precious life
Circles of all kinds
Circles of pain
Circles of fear
Circles of hope
Circles on the mend
Circles of gratefulness
Circles for Life
Quilting for Life
Wishing you all a happy, healthy and colorful Autumn.
August 18, 2016
White and blue make me think of holidays at the seaside, Summer clothes, sailing , a bright sun, sea and sky of a deep blue, and….a special country I visited last June : Greece and some of its islands.
Santorini and its small houses huddled together on the hills and rocks overlooking the Aegean Sea. Here and there another color of a wild plant illuminates the whiteness of a house.
A bright touch of red on a door, a blue dome in the far, an old broken wall and its multicolored layers of bricks and stones.
More colors catch your eyes in Greece’s Summer time : a green window frame protecting a lovely embroidered curtain.
Washing day in the sun, barely any breeze, plenty of colorful vegetation in the yard, no one around : time for a siesta indeed !
Not to forget : the colors of History that one finds everywhere in the country; here an ancient amphitheater (Delphi) of the same shades as the mountain above.
And when time for a rest comes, either from the brilliant sun or from too much walking and visiting, let’s close the blue shutters and enjoy the cool shade inside.
Wishing you a colorful Summer wherever you are. Mine is turning slowly but surely towards Autumn. A transition I do not mind and that reminds me to enjoy every minute of this brilliant Summertime.
March 26, 2016
May the sun rays over the Alps bring you light and warmth in your heart.
I hope you will rejoice and smile at the brightness of these fresh Spring flowers. A true renewal of Season.
Peace and love to all in those troubled times and let us not forget to stay strong and keep Hope alive.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Easter !
March 6, 2016
When the weather is not exactly bright, when rain and snow compete with a tempestuous wind to remind you that Winter is not gone yet, what do you do ? I am not sure about you but today I feel like sharing pictures of a place in a warmer climate. Will you follow me to Italy ? Arrival in Verona in the early evening. No Juliet on the balcony nor Romeo waiting on the alley below. A light is on though, someone must be in. The mystery will remain…
A brilliant morning ! a joy to discover Verona and its hanging gardens along the Adige river.Let’s cross one of the many bridges in Verona. This one, constructed with red bricks, has been partially restored and will lead us to the ancient part of the city. A picturesque link between epochs and styles.
What a treat to sit in an old church (San Domenico), listening to the melodious voices of those young and talented American singers ! They belonged to a choir and were on a musical tour in Italy. Sacred, classical and folk music from all around the world. How lucky we were to walk into this church !After a long guided visit through the old town of Verona, walking on uneven paved alleys on a hot morning, a pause was definitely needed. Remember the cool pasticceria (cake shop) with so many pastries and cakes to choose from ? My choice went to a small “Romeo” cake (chocolate/moka) and a strawberry tartlet with vanilla cream. With three drops of this strong Italian coffee. And a big glass of water. This was an exquisite moment.
This was the “Flego” pasticerria. Remember ? A stylish blending of modern and old decor.
Weren’t we happy to be back on Garda Lake in the evening ? just in time to see the last rays of sun and its reflections on the water. Peacefulness and beauty. This was a busy and very enjoyable day.
A few more sights of the lakeside as the sun went down.
There was this terrace almost floating on the lake where people sat and enjoyed quiet moments or animated talks. A place for everyone and “gelati” (ice cream) for all.
Back to the here and now… Looking outside, I see the weather has not changed, stronger rain, snow and wind. As promised to my little buddy, we will go out no matter what. You see, Ninio has been waiting, sleeping with one eye only, not even thinking of renouncing to a “promenade” in search of scents over and under the snow. So here we go, buddy ! It was nice to be back to a warmer climate for a while though. I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did.
More information about the ancient city of Verona here :
February 14, 2016
I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day !
This small heart, made of joyful scraps weaved together like a tapestry of friendship and love between us all, is my gift for you. I had so much pleasure sewing it slowly, seeing how simple stitches could create such movement on the various materials (cotton and wild silk). This is just the beginning of a new technique I discovered in a book by Claire Wellesley-Smith “Slow Stitch” (mindful and contemplative textile art).
Many Valentine’s gifts of all kinds are shown in our shops. I chose a window presenting books for children. Love stories with happy endings, questions like “What is Love” ? and many more tales about those unforgettable friendships with a beloved dog, a horse or a rabbit.Maybe these books will remind you of those of your childhood or the ones you read to your kids later on ? I do remember “The Family Bear’s Picnic”, a book brought back from the States and that I read countless times to my sons. Being in English, I had to translate this story for them every evening for quite a long time. Sometimes I would not find the very same word as the night before and…it was a drama: “No, no, Papa Ours (bear) did not say that !” or “His sandwich was made with ham and not cheese”! Memories of love that made me smile today.Nature offers us hearts and signs of love in places you do not always expect them. Like this piece of snow stuck between two branches and that I had not noticed when taking the picture. In fact, I was more attracted by the setting sun caught in the forest. Hasn’t it got a shape of a heart too ?And here is another gift of friendship and gratefulness for you on Valentine’s Day. Thankfulness for your visits and support even though I have not been regularly posting and visiting you these days. This is the landscape I saw this morning as I opened the shutters of the chalet up in the Alps. I am never tired of looking at it, morning or evening, at sunrise or sunset, in Winter or in Summer.Wishing you well on Valentine’s Day and on the other days too🙂
January 1, 2016
Happy New Year to you, Bonne et Heureuse Année, Buon Anno.
May the mosaic of your days flow smoothly and nicely as these colorful marble patterns on the beautiful floor of Santa Anastasia Church (XIIIth century) in Verona, Italy. All different and bringing joys, sometimes challenges but always hope.
I think there is one thing that I could wish to everyone, in every language and in every country of the world and that is P E A C E, as written on this armchair.
PEACE to you and yours and many other people here and there.
December 25, 2015
Wishing you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS, moments of joy and peace, togetherness, sharing the light and warmth of this special time of the year. Moments that I hope will last long after this day.
This is also a time when my parents are both very present around us. They both left days before and after Christmas. Here is the quilt I made in memory of my mother, gratitude and happy years together. Little pieces of materials that belonged to her or that she used a lot : pillow cases, towels, aprons, napkins, handkerchiefs, curtains, cushions, tablecloths. I felt good sewing it slowly, thinking of her and smiling.
A crib in town. There were many of them, nicely built and decorated along the “Path of the Cribs”. I like this one for the feeling of peace it conveys as well as togetherness, offering, sharing, realness.
These images are my gifts to you on this Christmas Day, dear visitors, friends who happen to stop here today.
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol