Saturday, 4 July 2009

March BJP (in progress)

March BJP in progress

Last year, I thought it was important to respect chronology in my BJP efforts. This year, I cannot do it, and I keep thinking for every piece alternatively "something is missing" and "I can't go on with this piece".

With this piece, still not finished, I am quite pleased because it is maybe the first time I really do improvisationnal embroidery. I am beginning to think more in terms of cloth and colours and textures, rather than in terms of illustration of a feeling/idea. Then, I am amazed to see the piece is more revealing (to me) like that.

I just started from the juxtaposition of two textiles I had, and went on, following the voices of the piece/materials. I know which beads are wrong for the piece because they make me sick.

In the first days of March I visited a town with a sacred tree dedicated to fertility, then left India and my boyfriend. When I look at the piece I can only see an empty bed under a tree, no lover, no baby. My first visit to India I did after discovering I will probably never have another baby. I see also Christian symbols (Holy Spirit and trinity), and it is amazing how the more I learn about Hindu faith, the more I understand the religion of my ancestors ; symbols may be different, but in the end all human beings aspire to the same things.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Bead journal Project Update

November 2008 - Skeleton Woman
First month after separating for the second time from the father of my children. Reconstructing. Work propositions.
Using Robin Atkin's ruffle embroidery technique.

December 2008 - Quiet Christmas
Using part of a made to measure Salwar Kameez and shisha mirrors from Chandigarh

January 2009 - Lightness of being
Snow, light, no pressure.

February 2009 - I love U
I went to India again. U became my lover.
U asked if I would consider marriage.
Using "ari" traditionnal Indian embroidery and Indian sequins.

June 2009 - Play/Marche
I went to a shamanic workshop. Did meditation work and drumming. Walked out of the workshop after a few hours with the two people I came with. Using textile markers as in workshop. Inspired by Marie's "Butterfly of How" and E E E E snake introduced to me by Acey.
Happy Solstice anyways everyone !

(September page here. October page here)

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Bead Journal Update - I'm still in

OK, I am very very slow, and very late, but I am still in for Bead Journal Project 2008.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Ha Melody...

This wonderful album by the great singer/composer Serge Gainsbourg was given to me by my first love. I was 18 back then and I didn't know that life was not only a big eternal scar. I was totally unaware of all the lessons that I was about to learn...

Gainsbourg died since and has not come back into fashion yet... But, boy, isn't he gorgeous ! and I really miss him. However, some of the songs are still painful to hear for me.

Anyways... Listen. Listen...

(Words translate roughly as "Ha, Melody, because of you I did so many stupid things... If you lied to me, I'll get really sick...")

And, don't ask why, I've seen my way to the next whisky bar and listen to this song about Paris all the time at the moment. Under the sky of Paris anything can mend... some people say :o)

Oh yes... it is almost April in Paris !

Happy Spring to everyone !

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Purple power

picture found here

Yesterday morning, my 9 year old showed me a little book filled with quotes. She had copied them in her best handwriting with purple ink and many spelling mistakes. I was impressed by what she chose.

For example one was
"Law is like a spiderweb. It traps only small flies and lets the big flies get through".

I wondered why she used purple ink, and it reminded me about this beautiful story....

G-Rated You have to be sure to read the very last line!!!

Beautiful Women
Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.

Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mom, I can't go to school looking like this!)

Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" - but decides she's going out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" - but decides she doesn't have time to fix it, so she's going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" - but says, "At least, I am "clean" and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am" and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. She goes out and conquers the world.

Age 70: She looks at herself & sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn't bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.

Maybe we should all grab that purple hat earlier.

Please send this to five phenomenal women today.
If you do, something good will happen; you will boost another woman's self esteem.
If you don't... your left boob will drop off.

(This version of the story found here.)

Friday, 6 March 2009

India continued

In Tamil Nadu, I saw many temples of course, and this time many temples dedicated to the Goddess. It is not allowed to take pictures of the shrines, and non-hindus are sometimes warmly welcome and sometimes barely tolerated. As a result, I don't have pictures of what moved me most. I wrote last year about what I felt in temples here.

I was surprised to feel a totally different kind of energy in Shiva temples and Shakti temples. I am sometimes very naive.

Here are a few pictures of expressions of faith...

Tiruvarur Temple - in each little house there is a statue.

Tiruvarur. Nandy looking after a Shiva lingam.

A statue in Arunchaleshvara Temple, Tiruvannamalai - temple dedicated to the element of fire.

Yoni (symbol of the Goddess) in Kamakshi Amman temple, Kancheepuram.

Offerings for fertility in Kamakshi Amman temple, Kancheepuram.

Ceiling in Palani, in the temple dedicated to Murugan, son of Shiva

Textile tribal snake - TRC museum

Mask against evil spirits.

Celebrations in honour of Goddess Kali, who defeated demons, but in her rage did not stop and tramped Shiva to death. Pondicherry. Don't ask what is in her mouth !!!

Village car festival in honour of Vishnou

Food stall, village, Nilgiris

Tribal Gods, TRC museum

Prehistorical rock art, Karikkiyur, Nilgiris.

Temple footprints.

Hello !

Pondicherry street office

For the last 2-3 weeks I managed to sneak out of my office and... went back to Tamil Nadu, India. I had a great time of course.

This time I managed to get a little closer to textile and jewellery craft people. This was possible thanks to the information found about Indian crafts on the CDs sold by the Craft Revival Trust. Thank you Lainie for the link !

I found my way to the wonderful Tribal Research Centre (TRC) in M Palada, near Ooty in the Nilgiri mountains. With a total tribal population of about 28,000, the Nilgiris is an important tribal district. You can read more about the tribes here. In the museum you can see many fascinating objects made of clay, wood and vegetals. Here are a few pictures relating to Toda embroidery, which is world famous.

Toda woman embroidering a Poothkuli shawl - Photo (c) TRC museum

Tribe scissors - Photo (c) TRC museum

Toda ancient shawl - Photo (c) TRC museum

Toda modern shawl with traditional flower motif bought in Ooty

If you are in the region, you can buy Toda embroidery in Ooty and there is also a recommended Woman's Cooperative in Kotagiri.


In Pondichery, I saw a patchwork exhibition at Aurodhan Art Gallery. The artist name is Vatika and he has a shop and guesthouse near the gallery, François Martin Street. I love the way he mixes printed textiles, embroidery and beads.

Vatika at work

Across the road there is a shop named Excellent Bengal Handicrafts specializing in fairtrade ecofriendly Kantha embroidery from Bengal. Ms Bharati Dhar, director, aims to save traditional arts of India, provide skills and jobs opportunities to under priviliged villagers and use natural, waste and recycled goods to manufacture simple and stunning products of a vast variety. She is trying to expand her work. If interested in helping her, she has a facebook page, her email address is

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Back to beading !

This week, I started beading again, after a very very long pause.

True, there was many things happening in my life, but I can't help noticing my creativity stopped just after I started working on the Maid with no Arms, and DOM, the Decent Old Man.

Dom, the first from the left on the picture below, was cut out from the ceremonial cloth I carried with me in shamanic workshops, and in India (to be honnest, this cloth is what made me decide to start visiting India by coming though Chennai/Madras - yes, i know it is very foolish). He is supposed to help me heal from the legacy of wounded ancestors...
A few days ago, listening to Clarissa Pinkola Estes' tape "How to love a woman", I discovered the Inuit tale of "Skeleton Woman". I cried, and creativity came back... Just like me, she doesn't like being photographed. It is funny because I kept wanting to add bones in my october page...

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Gentle cleaning

Denise Desjardins

Today I saw a film about Denise Desjardins, and she was there after the screening to answer questions.

I first heard about her many years ago through my yoga teacher.

A much loved figure in France, she was first a successful painter and decorator. After her marriage, she spent much time in India and followed the teachings of Mâ Ananda Mayi, and later on of Swami Prajnânpad. Together with her husband Arnaud, she founded the first ashram in France in 1974.

She went through a kundalini experience, and experienced memories of past lives simply lying next to Swami Prajnânpad. She says past lives are not to be understood as something that belong to you, but rather as energies that are deeply imprinted in your psyche for some reason or other, and that should be cleaned, so that you can find the real you.

She never chose between her spiritual life and her family life. She used to take her two children with her in India. She managed to maintain a balance.

She explained this idea, which I heard in India, that a woman taking care of her family and children does not need special rituals or mantra, because her whole life is devotion. However she follows the paths of fullfulling all the heart's desires so long as nobody is hurt, not even yourself.

She is funny and warm and so simple. What an inspiration !