Photo hunt and idioms

October 28, 2011

Karma’s photo hunt for this month is about photographing idioms. If you feel like participating – you may do so until October 31st – then get ready to take pictures and share 3 photos, or more if you wish so.  Karma also posted a link of a great list of idioms to help us. Interesting and fun ! Please go to her site for more information :

http://karmardav.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/october-photo-hunt/

Here is my contribution :

I am not so sure if this was meant to be a life-size dummy or a dress stand. It stook quietly in a room of a small castle near Geneva.

“Ancient times, ancient customs”

Nino was not so guilty but very impatient  with me gardening on the other side of the fence. “Woooooo”…

“The guilty dog barks the loudest”

Three mushrooms – good or bad I do not know – standing in line in the forest. The fourth one was either watching them or rebelling…

“Bad things come in three”

No broth in this old cauldron but it fitted perfectly the idiom I chose.

The best broth is made in the oldest pots”

Those graphics may look pretty but…

it’s “All Greek to me” !

A fabric with small chickens and ducks I knew I would use some day. Not exactly for an idiom though !

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch”

Thanks Karma for this great photo hunt. It was interesting and sometimes funny to see the French and English translations of the same proverb.

il faut casser le noyau pour avoir l’amande
no pain, no gain; one has to break some eggs to make an omelet (lit.: one must crack the shell to get the almond)

il faut tourner sept fois sa langue dans sa bouche avant de parler
you should count to ten before you say anything (lit.: you should turn your tongue seven times in your month before speaking)

il ne faut pas vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué
don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched (lit.: do not sell the skin of a bear before you kill it)

quand les poules auront des dents
never; never in a month of Sundays; when pigs fly (lit.: when hens have teeth)

Good luck with your choice of idioms and pictures !

Have a pleasant weekend.

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quilting pieces

October 20, 2011

This past Summer was quite busy, in a nice and interesting way. Yet every time I could, I managed to save some time for myself in sewing and quilting. My way of getting away from the busy surroundings and concentrating on new projects… although there  still are some UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) !

One of them was this small square of dyed cotton where I embroidered a feather for a great project initiated by Jude Hill. The fabric is dyed with a wild yellow flower called  “genista tinctoria” or “Dyer’s broom”. The  jay feather litterally fell in front of me one evening as I walked on a mountain track at sunset. Here are more information about this wonderful project; anyone wishing to embroider another magic feather is  welcome to join. There is a description and a free instruction here too.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joodles/sets/72157627306006169/with/6260997500/

My garden of roses is continuing to bloom, no matter the Season. Here is a lovely rose blossoming on an Indian silk.

Months ago when the terrible  disasters occured in Japan, tsunami, earthquake, flood and more tragedies, I kept thinking of  dear friends  living there. I had been given some Japanese fabrics and I decided to sew a quilt using those and others that I thought would fit in my project.  Sewing for a better future, for a reconstruction of the disaster area by the resilient people of Japan. This is only a small portion of the quilt. It has to be looked at  from the bottom to the top, starting by the huge devastating waves. The more one looks upwards, the more hopeful, colourful the quilt will appear. From distress to hope.

Also progressing, a soft lap robe for a friend who has not been well for many months. She chose the colours: brown, yellow and green. I found in my precious collection of scraps the materials and patterns that would be meaningful to her. She loves reading in the garden of the home she is in at the moment and I feel she will enjoy wrapping herself in a warm friendship quilt.

And last but not least… every member of our quilting group had to sew those small “pochettes” or pouches ? Next May there will be a large reunion of quilters in our area.  We will organise this event. Each participant (about 300) will receive such a little pouch as a gift from our group.“What is it for ?”, you may ask. Ah, that is the question ! The first one who guesses its use will receive a similar “pochette”. How about that ? 😉 In fact, there could be several utilizations for this tiny pouch but we have a particular one in mind.

Bonne chance, good luck !

Sharing my reading

October 10, 2011

As promised, here are some of the books I read during these past months. They were either offered to me for my birthday, recommended and lent by friends or bought after I read a critical review. This is where I usually buy them.

“The Butterfly’s Weight”   is a  touching story . This is the title (translated from the French) of this little book by the great Italian writer Erri De Luca. A real jewel of a book. The writing is both poetic and thought-provoking. De Luca tells about an epic battle between man and nature. An old hunter, poacher, and an old, noble chamois; it is about their fight for survival. The originality of this book is that each of them, man and animal, tell the story from their own perspective. De Luca’s writing is just beautiful !
Unfortunately I am not sure this book has been translated in English yet, very few of De Luca’s works have been up to now. Don’t miss it when it will be.  This is a book I will surely read again. More slowly this time to appreciate it fully.

Another birthday gift. I know, I am a spoiled child… The friend who sent me the following book  always chooses books that I just cannot put down. I had never read anything by Carol Edgarian. She received great praise for “Rise the Euphrates”. I read “Three Stages of Amazement” in a few days, so engrossing it was.  C. Edgarian’s book is about the fragility and complexities of marriage and a demanding career. I found the central characters, Lena, Charlie and Theo very likeable and believable. Their story is ordinary and yet complicated and very humane with a touch of humour that I loved. A family journey at different stages of their life through love, marriage, motherhood, grief, betrayal, adversity, loyalty,  wisdom, hope.

The next ones are three books that I took more time in reading and reflecting upon. The first two books are real stories that  will remain with you long after their last page is turned.

“If Nights Could Talk” by Marsha Recknagel is a remarkable,  honest and courageous memoir written with great eloquence, even humour in spite of the tragic events that touched the persons involved in this stunning story. M. Recknagel’s memoir starts  when a derelict kid – Jamie,  her nephew – arrives on the writer’s doorstep. It is about the meanness and love in families, about evil and redemption and how one person can make all the difference in someone’s life by struggling to recreate a family. Marsha and Jamie are each other’s saviours. A beautifully written story, full of feeling and truths. I strongly recommend it.

“Shot in the Heart” (Un Long Silence, in French) by Mikal Gilmore. Mikal Gilmore writes about his brother, Gary, who was  sentenced to death and executed by a firing squad in 1977 after he committed a murder and refused any appeal.

“I have a story to tell. It is a story of murder told from inside the house where murder is born. It is the house where I grew up, a house that, in some ways, I have never been able to leave.”

Before  Gary’s tragic story devastated his own life, Mikal Gilmore decided to write this brave book to try and understand his heritage, to undo the blood ties and escape the family’s curse. M. Gilmore’s book is a real investigation both affective, painful and uncompromising about his own family and his origins. “Shot in the Heart” is a  very dark and courageous journey.

Today, October 10th, happens to be the 9th World Day against Death Penalty. The campaign focuses on a petition asking for a universal moratorium on Death Penalty. It will be the main theme of the 4th resolution of the United Nations regarding DP that will be voted on December 2012.

Both of these books are also powerful and humane documents about resilience. They are about the ravages caused by a devastated childhood where love and respect are just absent. “Murders of the flesh and the spirit”, as M. Gilmore wrote.  Reading those books was not only trying to understand the perversity of the acts that destroyed a family. It was  also about  realizing how someone’s childhood can be broken.

Then, I needed another type of reading, one I had meant to do for a long time. I chose Thich Nhat Hanh‘s “To Touch Life”. The Vietnamese Zen monk resides in a small community in France. He  teaches, writes,  gardens,  works  to help refugees worldwide. He also  travels all over the world to share his teaching about inner harmony. How to fulfil the unity (oneness ?) between body and mind through conscious breathing and meditation.

Before saying good-bye and wishing you a pleasant week, and a good reading – whatever  book is in your hands at the moment – let’s share a few quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

More inspiring quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh here :

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/9074.Thich_Nhat_Hanh