Easter cascarones

March 29, 2013

Wishing you all a Very Happy Easter  Weekend !

cascarones 2

Last week, I received those “cascarones” decorated for me by Mariana, a dear friend in Texas. What a surprise and a pleasure to open a long box of 12 colourful eggshells ! Only one of them had not coped with the long travel over the pond. You can see it in the basket : half broken and filled with paper confetti. More information about this Latin American, Mexican tradition here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascar%C3%B3n

I wish I could have sent you  Springful images of my surroundings. No way. As I write to you, it is snowing again and the rare flowers that I spotted a few days ago like snowdrops, crocuses, primroses, are now covered by a  layer of snow that keeps growing. So, why not stay in tune with  the “cascarones” and share pictures of a beautiful trip I did in May/June 2008 in South Texas. The vegetation was in full bloom and my friends’ gardens were enchanting. And cool to sit in.

TX, Fina's garden, bougainvilliers

Fina’s bougainvillea right outside my window.

TX, Dora's garden, art tree

Dora’s artistic tree in her magic garden.

TX, CC Carmen's garden, birdhousesBlue birdhouses and Sweet Dreams in Carmen’s lovely  garden. There was so much to look at!

TX, CC, Carmen's garden, bed

TX, CC pastries 2

The Canelas Bakery is “Serving Crystal City for three generations“. I imagine those tasty pastries are on my friends’ table on Easter Day, with a lot more delicious homemade food.

TX, CC Juan's painting

This is a painting created by Juan for his sister Mariana. For me it symbolizes  the warm welcome I received in my friends’ home. The generosity of their kind heart.  The creativity and variety of their tasty cuisine. The strong family links between all generations. Their luxuriant and inviting gardens. The unbelievable heat around midday when only a foreigner could be on the streets taking pictures…

church Crystal City

Can you feel the heat under this clear and blue sky ?

TX, end of the road

This is probably one of my favourite pictures taken during my Texas journey. A wide, straight and endless road. A flat landscape (particularly in this area) and a big, huge sky. And, last but not least for a Swiss person, no mountains on the horizon. Thank you Juan, thank you to your dear family for making me feel at home in your hometown.

Feliz Pascua !

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This is my contribution to a new photography assignment proposed by Scott Thomas:  black-white photography. I find it always interesting to join in,  visit other participants’ blogs, learning more about photography and  seeing each one’s perception of a similar theme. March 20th, 2013, is the deadline to share your pictures.

All details are given here : http://viewsinfinitum.com/2013/03/06/assignment-24-black-white-photography/

Nino, regard, B&W

Ninio, my Beagle, in one of his patient looks, waiting for the photography session to end and go for a walk. I converted this picture  to see how my colourful  dog (black, white and tawny) would look in B/W. I like his somewhat softer look and particularly the expression in his hazel eyes.

magnolia B&WEarly morning in a park of Houston, a flower of magnolia that looked so fresh and brilliant. I felt like heightening this contrast in converting the picture in B/W.

Lyon, B&W, 2Lyon, France, on the deck on a barge. The colours of the boat were a bit dull and I was surprised to see the difference in shades as I converted the picture.

double click, Williamstown, Melbourne

“Here’s to the happy couple !” Williamstown’s harbour, Melbourne. And long live the daring photographer 😉

Broken landscapes

March 5, 2013

For the past two years, I have been sewing this quilt by hand, on and off. I started assembling  fabrics after the shock and distress I  felt when  a major earthquake hit the  Eastern coast of Japan in March 2011. The earthquake triggered  powerful tsunami waves devastating everything on its way and caused nuclear accidents. Friends of mine were living in the same area. They barely escaped this disaster but so many, many people lost their life, were injured and are missing. Towns, villages were destroyed, homes broken, roads and railways heavily damaged,  whole landscapes disappeared.

quilt Japan, 3

 

The quilt is better looked at from the bottom to the top. This is how I started assembling my thoughts and fabrics. Scraps of materials like the broken pieces of a familiar world that suddenly was “deconstructed” by powerful  and unstoppable natural elements. Layers of fragments and leftovers remaining after the devastation. Phases of life after the tragedy.

dét 4Huge black and fatal waves reaching the shore, blowing away and destroying everything   on its way, leaving only  unrecognizable bits and pieces.

dét 3

Destructive waves moving further inside the country, over scattered parts of houses and objects that were discarded and that used to be part of people’s life.

dét 2

Little by little as waves receded, life went on when men and women overcame their indescribable fear, loss and distress.  With immense joint efforts, resilience and great courage, people started reconstructing homes, birds found their way in a nature that slowly came back to life.

dét 1

The top part of the quilt is sewn with  some Japanese fabrics. Symbols and tribute to  the People of Japan, survivors of  many tragedies, moving on with life courageously, great willpower and hope.

The quilt below, “Friendship Squares”, is one I sewed several years ago; it was sent with many other quilts made by quilters all over the world to various Japanese rescue associations that distributed them to people in need after the devastating events in 2011. My quilt was not very large, but I like to imagine it  warmed the body and heart of a child.quilt, carrés d'amitié