forest stars

February 27, 2010

In black and white  or in colour this wild flower enchants me all year long. A shower of small twinkling stars in the woods.

I think it is called “Queen Anne’s Lace” or wild carrot. In French “la berce des prés”, a very common wild flower in fields and forests. As for “lace”, when you see this plant in Summer… no need to explain its name.

It looks like the most delicate natural embroidery.


Going South

February 21, 2010

More snow fell yesterday, a Siberian North wind blows over the landscape today and although the sun is trying to shine, its rays are still too weak to warm up the atmosphere. So I thought why not going South ? in my memories at least. When I mean South, I mean one of the most Southern parts of the world if you live in Europe. That is Australia. About three years ago I went there for a while, I left Winter behind  and found Summer in Victoria, beautifully warm and green in many places.

Walking in the bush was quite a discovery for me. Eucalypts and  plants unheard of over here. Forests that seemed to have grown in a kind of disorder  but once you walk through them, you notice a natural harmony in those twisted tree trunks and wild plants covering a rather dry soil.  The woods  were either silent or very noisy with the cockatoes’ calls.

An amazing entanglement of trees, bushes, high ferns. Sometimes a beautiful confusion, at other times a forest as imposing as a cathedral.

The beautiful canopy of a eucalypt, its silvery leaves barely moving in the heat of the day.

Here and there the Australian forests reminded me of a poem of Baudelaire :

La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles ;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.

Nature is a temple where live pillars
Sometimes whisper confused words
Man walks across it through forests of symbols
Which observe him with familiar looks.

Charles Baudelaire
Extract from the poem  “Correspondances”

Here is a site about Australian nature that I love to visit :

Robert Burcul’s  amazing and artistic pictures of Queensland are well worth seeing.

A gentle curve

February 18, 2010

“If your mind becomes firm like a rock

And no longer shakes

In a world where everything is shaking,

Your mind will be your greatest friend

And suffering will not come your way.”


In love

February 14, 2010

A young couple looking into each other’s eyes with so much love 🙂

Usually I am not too keen on taking pictures of people, I am a bit shy about it. On this particular occasion, I thought I would not be noticed at all, so totally oblivious were they of the people right beside them.  There were many tourists visiting the ancient castle of Gruyères. Now imagine that for a second they, “les amoureux”,  had looked around  or below the old window they were sitting on. It  was highly unlikely but just imagine 😉 This is what they would have seen : a nicely designed  garden inside  the castle walls. Over the walls, green pastures, forests and mountains. An idyllic landscape.

The castle is built on a hill and is quite a sight no matter what direction you come from. The young couple was sitting inside a large open window that you may notice on the outer wall of the castle. Better seen in the last picture, in Winter time.

Here is  is the  castle of Gruyères in Summer and in Winter. I have seen it many times but can’t help admiring this site whenever I am in the area.

Happy Valentine Day to all !


February 11, 2010

Yes, this happy time of the year has come again ! Time also for a school holiday that coincides with the celebration of Carnival for all those who wish to participate. And there are quite a few, believe me !  Of all ages. Last year in February I happened to visit a small town, Bulle. In spite of the freezing temperature, the atmosphere in town was very warm. It was the Children’s Carnival ! For weeks, the kids had been making their own costumes at school or in kindergarten ; they were proudly and joyfully coming and going in the streets of Bulle.

It was a colourful event; imagination, creativity and talent sparkled in those beautiful  costumes . There was music too, dancing, singing and above all the enthusiasm of everyone for those happy confettis-battles !

Some cute little guys  – and far-sighted ! – were collecting   confettis for next year ! Or to bring back home for their parents’ joy 😉

At the end of the parade, a few little heroes were obviously very tired… and happy to be pulled in an old hand-cart. The Children’s Carnival was a great success,  viewers and actors, all enjoyed themselves a lot. Then everybody went back home,  by foot, in a cart or by car… The streets would keep a trace of Carnival for a long time ! And the kids would dream in colours,  with in their ears maybe the sound of exuberant trumpets and drums.

Sewing in green

February 7, 2010

Although Winter has its particular beauty, and a dormancy that seems to quieten down everything around you, there is one aspect that I miss a lot : a colourful vegetation. Of course there are some Winter colours that brighten up gardens, parks or forests. Moss, bays, leaves, lichen, cones and the occasional bushes that keep their warm shades all Winter.  Leaves or branches. Green is probably the colour I long for more than any other.

It is the time of the year when I like to sew “colourful”. Two projects are on the way – Seminole and calendar quilt – their bright shades are a real pleasure to look at and they add this cheerful mood in the thickest of fogs outside the window.  Recently I sewed a small garden for my friend Else in the Netherlands. She loves flowers and her garden is a joy to look at and to walk through.

So I chose amongst my  fabrics those flowers I imagined Else would plant in her garden and this is the result :

Flowers from here and there sewed directly onto a piece of green linen, rough edges around the fabrics. I added a special Swiss material  with a black cow, some rhododendrons, pine trees and a deer  to remind her that she should visit me in the Alps during Summertime 😉

The back of the quilt is also decorated with flowers. I called it “Delft garden” from the beautiful  blue and white Delft pottery made in the Netherlands. Those materials were like our Winter, in a state of dormancy in some boxes. Now they are alive on Else’s quilt and who knows ? those flowers may well bloom in the Spring in her garden ?


February 1, 2010

A book I am re-reading at the moment, “The Art of Simplicity”.  Still fascinating and inspiring. Dominique Loreau writes about living more simply, reducing the number of objects that may surround us, having less, making choices about what is really essential in our life. Her wish in writing this book is to invite us to try getting rid of the superfluous to find more inner space.  She reintroduces us to the pleasures of living without the excess. A wonderful perspective,  one of my resolutions for this new year. The good news is… slowly but surely I have started the “désencombrement”  (to clear) and it feels so good !

I chose this picture to participate in Scott Thomas’  “White” assignement for this month on his blog . You are all invited to visit his site and join in ! Don’t wait too long : your “white” pictures should be posted till Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 ! Good luck and much pleasure.

The red rose is for you, giiid, . Thank you so much  for your help ! I made it 😉