La Vie en Turquoise

January 31, 2014

Back with you , my friends, after a demanding month of January. I had very little time to write and download more pictures from my stay in Istanbul. When I did so, I realized there was a lot of turquoise color in them. You surely have heard this lovely song “La Vie en Rose” (seeing life through rose-colored glasses),  so why not seeing “La Vie en Turquoise”  in some streets of Istanbul, Turkey ?

Turquoise, the blue cousin to lapis lazuli, has been known and valued for thousands of years. The early mines in Sinai, Egypt, were already worked out in 2000 B.C. Today the best quality Turquoise is found in Iran. Turquoise was first sent to Europe through Turkey, hence its name, which means “Turkish” in French (turc  or turque).

Turquoise has long been appreciated as a holy stone, a good-luck-charm or a talisman. It is believed to promote good fortune, happiness, and long life.

DSCN1021Had this dark roller-blind been up, I am sure the shop behind it would have looked like an Ali Baba’s Cave full of semi-precious stones and all kinds of jewels.

DSCN1076A quiet back street, away from the touristic main sites. This luminous quilt, a flash of turquoise, was hanging in front of an old shop.

mosaics You often get surprised whether you look up or down. Here, an artistic minded mason had decided to embellish the pavement in inserting typical Turkish  tiles… or what was left of them. Isn’t it charming ?

turquoiseI stood a long time there. In front of the shop various jewels decorated the wall. Turquoise necklaces of all sizes, shapes and lengths. On the right hand side,  several “nazar” were displayed (Turkish: bazar boncuğu) . A nazar is an eye-shaped amulet believed to protect against the evil eye,  they are seen and sold all over the city.

reflectionsColourful reflections. Shawls, fabrics, bags, cushions, carpets highlighted the wooden walls of an old Ottoman house. The sign in Spanish says “Good quality, pretty and cheap” !

Musée de l'IslamTurquoise and golden shades  are engraved in the Ma’mun globe (a Caliph who reigned from 198-218 H./813-833 CE.) in front of the entrance of the Istanbul Museum for History of Science in Islam. A great achievement. The map on this globe displays, with surprising accuracy, the geography of the part of the world which was known at that time.

Maybe your weekend is in the grey shades ? or all white with so much snow ? or golden with a hot sun ? blue, if you live near the sea ? No matter the color you are living in, here is Edith Piaf singing for you “La Vie en Rose”.  I hope you will enjoy it.

Happy weekend to you 🙂

Art and raindrops

June 21, 2011

Rain is falling today as it did last night and part of the day yesterday. A light and persistent rain. During the night I woke up and listened for a while to the heavy drops on the roof.  A stormy weather but a cosy feeling inside the house. In the morning a shy  and scarce sun lit up the sky for a  short while;    raindrops,  swept by the wind,  looked like tiny pearls, colourful beads, like the jewels I had seen once in  an artisan´s workshop.Somewhere under those  ancient arcades a door opens into a small art studio. Two artists work there, an artisan jeweller and a potter. They each have their own workshop and share a bigger room for exhibitions. I visited this picturesque old town on a rainy day, like today, and thought why not have a look inside ?

As I pushed the door and went inside,  stones and pearls were glittering inside showcases. Precious gems that I was reminded of as I saw the brilliant raindrops today. Bracelets, earrings, pendants, rings of different designs and shades.

The potter was absent, I was not able to take pictures of his pots, vases, dishes and jugs. A look inside  his small workshop showed an apron and  a potter’s wheel waiting for the craftsman.

In the jeweller’s workshop  a necklace,  as glittering as a river, was set on a bed of pebbles.  The necklace was catching the sunrays and colours reflecting in the window. A beautiful piece of art created with silver and labradorite.

I liked the green pendant with the embedded white flower, as if floating in a jade pond. Each jewel seemed to have a life of its own, one given to them by the artisan.Are you sometimes dreaming of faraway shores ?  I suggest you go and visit Deanna, a great artist from New Zealand. Her jewelry is inspired by the shores and beautiful  nature on her island.  http://www.deanna.co.nz

Is it raining in your part of the world ? Here is a child´s poem that will  surely  keep you smiling 🙂

“If I were raindrops…

I would fall and give kisses

To the world.

Give coolness to the poor.

Cool others who are hot.

I´m clear,

I´m caring,

And I love it when you are happy!

When it´s cloudy

I have fun

And yes, you know…

I am coming.”

Poem by Jaime

 If I