Colourful day

March 30, 2010

And a Happy one too ! The top of my Séminole quilt is finally sewn together. It is not quite finished though, I may add a colourful border – pink ? turquoise ? yellow ?  See what materials are still there…  All are recycled fabrics and there are not many left in those shades now.

Then slowly but surely I will start the  handquilting. Not on the patterns themselves (too many seams) but rather on the plain stripes, black or coloured. A slow work I will enjoy doing during the Summer months, often as I sit in the garden. Hopefully the temperature will be milder as when I took this picture 😉

I may not sew again a second Séminole quilt… but I am definitely very glad I took up this 12 months’ challenge. I am happily surprised at the result.

This is the last picture I made of the stripes before I sewed them together, cutting some of the wide black parts and adding here and there a few colourful left-over materials and patterns.

What a warm and colourful Winter it was !

? Spring, really ?

March 27, 2010

Today is a stormy day, rain and wind and cold temperatures again. 10°C less than these past days.  Such will be  our weekend according to the  weather forecast… No wonder if  some trees  have adopted the “question mark attitude” and ask themselves questions about the  real arrival of Spring !

Oh well, Happy Spring weekend to all anyway !

Spring (8 haiku)

spring breezes
blowing bubbles
puppy tails

spring breezes
whispering now
our secret

spring wind
sail boats in the fountain
my first kite

spring wind
Easter dresses
white flashes

spring wind
foul air
circus in town

spring wind
gazebo gone
April fool

spring wind
kite in the sky
pulling my hand

spring night
our last dance
song without end

Ben Gieske

My Hometown

March 22, 2010

Scott Thomas has posted a new photo challenge  whose theme is “My Hometown”. Everyone is invited to participate in posting one or more photos about this particular subject.  If you are interested, please go to the link below and  post your photo(s) until midnight (your time) on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010.

http://stphoto.wordpress.com/

Fribourg, in the French speaking area of Switzerland is not really my hometown… but it is the place I lived the longest in. So now I consider it as my hometown, I feel as good here as I do when I go back to my home state in the Alps. It is a town of about 30’000 inhabitants, its medieval part built along a river, the Sarine. Its cathedral, dedicated to St Nicolas, is imposing and was built in the 11th century. When you walk through Fribourg as I did last Saturday, you cannot but lift your head and admire the old architecture of  its roofs and bell towers. Many of them !

Old bridges cross the river and one of them is covered. Cars may drive through it, buses too but just barely ! So much nicer to walk when no vehicles are around.

Saturday was a rather dull day, not many colours to light up my pictures but it was Scott’s challenge 😉 so I did my best and found some cheerful shades.  The sun was away but the moon stood in a garden ! Bright and smiling and joyful in a rainy day..

May I introduce you to The Big Moon ? a lovely sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle; the artist was born in Paris but lived in New York for a long time.  She spent some time in our town and left a great collection of art in a museum here. I visited it later on and, as always,  enjoyed it immensely. I hope you have enjoyed this short walk through my hometown too.

Thank you Scott for giving me the opportunity to present a little of Fribourg.

Something in the air…

March 21, 2010

… tells me that Spring is coming. Not quite here yet but well on its way !

Snowdrops are the first Spring flowers to take a chance and “pierce the snow” as they are called in French (perce-neige). Last week they had a good try but had to wait a little more…

Then there are those flowers whose name I never knew. They look like tiny roses only their texture is much harder. Something like a succulent or a cactus.  They entwine one another on a large stone and bring the first bright shade in the garden.

And of course, there is the  nice perspective of  being soon able to hang the laundry outside ! Not today, mind you 😦 It is raining, the wind is blowing hard and the sun shining somewhere else, hopefully in your morning.

Have a lovely first Spring day !

St Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2010

A special  ancient edition of James Joyce’s “Dubliners”, smooth cloth cover, as green as the  island of the “Forty shades of green”. Joyce’s famous book is translated in French “Gens de Dublin” and contains some lovely lithographies by Charles Bardet. I thought it would be an opportunity to wish a ” Happy St Patrick’s Day to all Irish people and  to those Irish at heart.

Sleepy garden

March 12, 2010

Have you ever enjoyed a walk through a botanical garden in Winter ? When I am in town, I often take time to stroll in the small garden that keeps its particular charm even though bright colours are not very present at this time of the year.But if you look closely you will find the warm orange shade of a  wild rose bud. In the pond, a small block  of ice shaped like a frozen silver rose. The pale Winter sun would light up the windows of  a greenhouse gently brushed by white rods.

Inside the greenhouse plants are growing slowly and waiting for better days to be brought outside. Their green reflections behind the glass add some life to the sleepy garden.

And when the weather is as cold as now, low temperatures and an icy Northern wind, the tropical greenhouse welcomes you in its warm and humid forest of banana trees, eucalypts, ficus, acacias  and a more exotic landscape. Wherever I go, I try to find a botanical garden, stroll through the seasons and the local vegetation. Often it is a breath of fresh air in the middle of a city. A green area to sit and rest or  read, just feel good and relax.

Dialog without words

March 7, 2010

Words do not always need to be expressed… So much can be said between four eyes.  Or so I imagined 😉

Oh Isa,  at last you are here! I was waiting for you .

I have a real big problem …

I lost that favourite bone of mine 😦 You know the one, don’t you ?

I searched everywhere for it, inside and outside.

I know it’s here somewhere but it’ll take me ages to find it ! I’m quite desperate 😦

Please Isa, can you help ??

“Sure, little Buddy, we’ll find it. Some day :)”

Oil

March 3, 2010

Those are the last drops, or bubbles rather, of an olive oil from Portugal given  by a friend. A particularly tasty, fruity, mellow kind of oil. When I turned the bottle upside down to get the last drop of it,  honeycombed bubbles formed and gave the bottle an antique and precious look !

About a year ago I visited some parts of Andalusia in Spain and especially a museum of olive; visitors were led  from a garden of olive trees through the various ancient rooms of an hacienda where  the famous oil was produced. The visit ended in a shop ( very olive-minded 😉 and in a restaurant which offered numerous dishes where the delicious oil played an exquisite role !

“The olive tree is surely the richest gift of heaven” (Thomas Jefferson).  This is one of the 80 sorts of olive trees growing in this hacienda.

Those are the old  jars that had contained the precious oil years ago.

Words that express the respect and care people had for their olive trees’ plantations.

A wonderful book for the “aficionados” of olive oil (I am one of them). It will tell you all about the origins of the olive from Africa to the Middle East, from Europe to the Americas and even some parts in Australia. And last but not least,  some recipes  are shown whose pictures only make you hungry. Here is a special treat for you : Bruschetta.

It is prepared by rubbing garlic (if you like it) on toasted bread that is then covered with fresh tomatoes and basil and smothered with oil. Olive, of course 😉

In 1889, Vincent van Gogh staying in the Provence/France wrote to his brother Theo : ” If you could see the olives at this moment… The old silver foliage and the silver-green against the blue… The murmur of an olive grove has something very intimate, immensely old. It is too beautiful for me to try to conceive of it or dare to paint it”.