Friday, November 28, 2008

Peruvian photographer Martin Chambí (2)

I posted earlier about Peruvian photographer Martin Chambí whose work was exhibited in Granada and some of you wanted to see more. Since then I bought the book of the exhibition and scanned those for you...I did it a little bit in hurry, so please forgive me if some are roughly cropped...

in Socorropata, Cusco, 1932

on the lake Titicaca, Puno, 1925

Q'eros natives in Paucartambo, Cusco, 1928

Young girls in Sicuani, Cusco, 1942

first motoyclist in Cusco, 1934

English dandy, Cusco, 1940

organist in the chapel of Tinta, Cusco, 1935

wedding of don Julio Gadea, prefect of Cusco, 1930

countryside in Yucay, Urubamba, 1929

serving chicha, Cusco, 1941

self portrait on Machu Pichu site, 1934

I was so glad to discover Martin Chambi's work. Hope you'll enjoy it too. Have a great week end, active or lazy with myriads of dreams.....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Little shops and cool waiters in Granada

Las pequeñas tiendas, the little shops are hidden treasures in the old districts of Granada

Don't these eggs look great in bulk ?

my favorite little shop. It sells mainly fruit, dried fruit, olive oil and wine, candies

Please, señor Mayor de Granada, don't ever shut these little shops down and replace them by an ugly superette! ...and also make sure waiters in Granada look always that cool...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Of bedsheets, of being in bed and fabrics

This is is the place I love every monday morning...every morning in fact, since winter quietly settled in....Yes, my bed !

If you ever visit Andalusia in winter and stay in a rural or traditional house, you will love the sunny hours in the morning but you will also discover that calefacion (heating) is most often non existent and this can be a drawback. I've got used to it now and do as people do here, keeping warm with a portable gas heater and a small electrical one in the bathroom. A friend made me laugh the other day, she was just coming back from a quick trip to France and didn't feel like coming back because all the places she went to had central heating and she just hated the idea of going back to her big cold house.

at least there is sunshine in my bedroom in the morning so it gives me the kick I need to get up, otherwise believe me comes 11 and you will still find me in my bed like a marquise waiting in vain for her chocolat.... This reminds me of a very interesting document I saw on Arte, a long time ago, about people who just love their bed and enjoy an horizontal life. Most of the people interviewed lived in Germany and had a busy professional life. I specifically remember this family who had an enormous Chinese bed in their living room where they watched TV, read, invited friends to have tea and chat and had dinner sometimes. This lifestyle is quite tempting to me but I would be afraid to turn rapidly into a fat loukoum. And to be honest, because I'm convinced, I'm a naturally born lazy person so in order to compensate, I want to be busy and make things all the time.

Last saturday, I took my friend Lyn to Tejidos Alberto, surely the best fabric shop in Granada and got some embroidered tulle and heavy dupion silk to make more collars.

I thought you would like to see the work in progress...
I like sewing while watching a movie. We saw Gosford Park this week end, I had tea and petits choux à la crème, Monchéri had beer and crisps. I kept being nervous all the time, he'd spill his beer on the expensive silk and in the end, it's me who dropped some cream on my work but no harm done.

I think I made a new friend at the fabric shop, señor Antonio. He gave me the exact composition of each fabric I bought, the pleated one is 100% silk. I love its paper wrapping which keeps it permanently pleated. Then, there is a very heavy ivory silk called mikado. I couldn't resist the embroidered ivory tulle. I only bought 25 cms of each as I don't need much material to make collars still they are very expensive fabrics but so beautiful. El señor Antonio was intrigued and asked me : ¿pero, que vas a hacer con todo eso? I told him, I'd show him when I'm finished. Actually next time, I'll take my camera with me and take a photo of el señor Antonio. I think you'll like him too and the shop of course.

would you say I'm in a bridal mood ?

ps: as we came out of the shop, I was so excited to possess all these ethereal beauties (I love fabrics to death you see), I told Lyn : know what ? this is even better than sex ! To which she answered, if they only they knew !

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Talgo train Madrid-Paris

I love trains
everyday the Talgo train leaves Madrid at 7 pm and arrives in Paris the next morning around 9. I took it a few times to go and visit and my parents when they're in France. It is always full and the staff never changes.
I get bored on bus or plane but never on a train. There is always something to do like listening to your neighbor's conversation, trying to start a conversation with your neighbors, reading, thinking, getting up to watch the landscape, making endless trips to the bar compartment
trying to engage conversation with the waiters whose dexterity I admire when they serve drinks
but the best part is when the controller comes and helps setting up the beds. On the Talgo, men and women sleep separately. I find it difficult to enter into a deep sleep and feel always groggy in the morning but I like the idea of crossing miles in the horizontal position, in my snug little bed.
I had a bit of insomnia these last two nights and I enjoyed counting my favorite train trips like the one from Kosice to Prag. It was the best ever, my travel companions and I could never sit still and eventually we met Tzigan musicians who transformed the trip into a mad feast. I also have a sweet souvenir of a trip in an old train going from Sligo to Dublin, with practically no passengers. I took trains in Madagascar too but the most enjoyable time was spent on the quay waiting for the train sometimes a whole morning. The first time I discovered Venice was by train coming from Austria and it was purely magical. I was on my own but still, it was very romantic...

I dream of travelling through Scotland by train, getting on board of the Transiberian or taking the Venice Simplon Express (does it still exist?)

I would love to hear of your favorite train trips and if you sometimes don't prefer trains to planes

Have a great week end !!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In my beige....

I dreamt this charming zephyr would bring me happy news from the Atlantic, singing something like : "hail, won Diane's painting of a dress" ....alas no...oh well never mind, may be another time !

Today I feel in my beige...Soy en mi beis, I told Monchéri and he said he was too. It's just a phrase meaning: so-so, half and half, half-sad, half-happy, half stupid, half moody, half visible even...and with no reason justifying the beige state of mind

so here's a post celebrating romantic beigitude

with lace stocking and silk garments designed for an invisible waist
perfumed gloves for delicate hands
oh...the impossible object of torture and desire
the compulsory element of seduction

pics taken at the exhibition "XIXth century garments" at the Museo de Bellas Artes en Granada, last march

Monday, November 17, 2008

Erins's wonderful autumn package

Do you remember this autumn swap organized by Sofia, which I mentioned a few days ago ? Well....just look at what the postman brought me, directly from Atlanta and all the way to Spain....Oh my, I've been really spoiled ! My secret swapper is Erin who's a stationary designer living between Atlanta and San Francisco and she put so much love and attention to each detail, I just couldn't believe my eyes and to be sincere, felt a little bit I really deserve all that and how poor looked the autumn package I sent compared to this !

she knew my favorite colors are turquoise and shades of pink...that I'm rather a tea drinker and she even made the tea packages herself and added some sweet delicacies : crystallized ginger and papaya. The Chinese tea balls are so cute, I want to keep them just as they are....
Of course, I'm keeping the lovely pale blue velvet ribbon which she used to adorn a package and the ring made out of old Chinese money made me smile and fits me perfectly !

inside the package, Erin included one of her lovely and clever calendars which comes into a Cd box which you can then use to display your calendar. They're so pretty I'm going to get one to send to my sister for the new year. I've never been a big fan of calendars, finding them generally boring but these are just too cute and you can find them here

look...more sweet cards celebrating la vie en rose...I will keep the sweet necklace as well..Erin, how did you know I have a special pink sanctuary at home ?
and last but not least.....Erin sent me this book, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith as she thought it would be appropriate considering the title of this blog. Touché ! I've never read it nor saw the movie. I didn't even know Dodie Smith was the author of The Hundred and One Dalmatians. I started to read it and am completely hooked....and with the book came a package of cookies which are so good ! Erin, you're right, they're totally addictive..(shit, where can I find those in Spain?) I'm having them for tea, reading my book....
thank you so much dear Erin and hope your autumn package will be as nice !!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Diane's giveaway and a favorite white dress

I've just come back from visiting one of my favorite design blogger, the dulce Karina from Buenos Aires and found out artist Diane Bronstein is having a giveway, this beautiful painting of a dress poetically named "Ghost of a memory". sigh...I never win anything but yes I'm so eager to participate ! and why don't you ? The rules are simple, leave a comment on Diane's post related to the giveway and if you want to double your chances, post a picture of your favorite dress.

I'm doubling my chances folks and here is a photo of one of my favorite dresses. I chose a white dress to be in phase with Diane's painting. I've got an army of white clothes but this is my darling dress, first because I made it, knitting, second because the pattern has been created by a former customer, French designer Chantal Thomass and the photo is by a friend photographer Jaine Laine. So I cross my fingers !ps : Diane will pick up a name by monday, so hurry if you want to participate !

Cute hostal La Ninfa en Granada....

Is it because today is Friday, but I feel inexorably sloppy and lazy and the one thing which crossed my mind this morning amidst a fair amount of worries - all related to work but with no gravity - was : where are we going to spend the King's night, next january ? Since two years Monchéri and I started to have routines or let's rather call it sentimental habits. Spending the Epiphany night (la noche de los reyes) in a nice place in Granada is one of those milk and honey habits. Since then, el Ladron de Agua has always been a favorite because of its heavy wooden door, its crisp linen bedsheets and its amazing views onto the Alhambra but I guess this time, our budget for milk and honey rituals will be drastically reduced. Never mind, a nice colourful hostal will do. La Ninfa is situated right on the plaza de Principe, a charming square with bars and restaurants at the foot of the Alhambra.

I haven't seen the rooms yet but the colorful plates on the walls act like vitamin C on my brain...

Meanwhile, I wish you a perfect week end (full of fun, Belgian chocolates, English humor, fizzy drinks and tutti quanti). I leave you in the company of my little neighbor, right around the corner.

ps : suddenly being hit by a touch of pessimism- may be we should just give up our sentimental habits ? I can hear you say horrified : "oh no...this is what keeps a couple from getting rusty!"
Right I you have any sentimental rituals ? :-)
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