Liebster awards

liebster

‘Tis the season of blog tag game. I’m quite honored to have been invited by Mes Petites Récréations to tell you all a bit more about me. The rules of the game are simple: write 11 things about you, answer 11 questions, and nominate 11 other blogs to join, with a set of 11 questions for them too, different ones as much as possible. Here we go. To make this easier to read, I’ve kept the two languages separate for the answer sections. Scroll further down for the French.
C’est la saison du jeu de la tague sur les blogs. Je suis honorée d’avoir été choisie par Mes Petites Récréations pour vous en dire un peu plus sur moi. Le principe est simple: on écrit 11 choses sur soi, on répond à 11 questions, et on nomme 11 autres blogs auxquels on pose une série de 11 questions, si possible différentes. Alors on y va. Pour simplifier la lecture, j’ai séparé les sections de réponses anglais et français. Descendez plus bas pour le français.

11 blogs

The Knitted; Windy Wonderings; Autumn Geisha; Fashion: Yarn Style ; Holly Knits; My knitting Almanac; Patàmodeler ; KnitFitch; Ca Swingue sur les Aiguilles; Knit York City; Aroha Knits

11 questions – in no logical order
11 questions – sans aucun ordre logique

  1. Why did you start a blog? Pourquoi avoir commencé un blog ?
  2. What is the most difficult thing you ever did in your life ? Quelle est la chose la plus difficile que tu aies eu à faire dans ta vie?
  3. Apart from any economic constraint, where would be your ideal place to live ? En-dehors de toute considération économique, ton endroit idéal pour vivre?
  4. Your favorite movie ? Ton film préféré?
  5. A favorite craft tool ? Ton outil créatif préféré?
  6. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be ? Si tu pouvais changer une chose dans le monde, quelle serait-elle?
  7. What are your crafting plans for 206 ? Tes projets créatifs pour 2016?
  8. Which of your blog posts was the most read ? Lequel de tes billets a été le plus lu?
  9. If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would it be ? Si tu pouvais revenir en arrière et changer quelque chose, qu’est-ce que ce serait?
  10. What do you do when you’re stuck on a project ? Que fais-tu lorsqu’un projet n’avance pas?
  11. Your favorite material, or yarn ? Ta matière ou laine préférée?

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English answers

11 things about me

  1. I spent nearly 7 years of my life officially registered as a University student, and managed to get two degrees, but always stopped short of the Master’s.
  2. I wanted to be a fashion designer when I grew up. My booknotes were filled with drawings (especially in the science class, go figure!) So my first studies were focused on arts. I finally understood that drawing wasn’t enough: you had to understand cut and fabric. And I’m not sure I would have been happy in the strange world of fashion. So no regrets.
  3. I tried to learn sewing through a correspondance class. Yes, it did exist. It was way before Internet. Old-fashioned hand sewing, no less. After the eigth type of stitch, I gave up. This is a regret: I just wish someone had shown me how to do it, for real.
  4. I spent a year in drama school, but I was better at comedy. It was mostly a form of therapy. On the stage, I was someone else. I am a bit of a clown, I love making people laugh.
  5. My two kids were born at home, with only a midwife and my husband in attendance. Yes, it was a choice, which meant no epidural. The most intense moments of my life, and wonderful memories.
  6. My total luxury dream: get fresh flowers delivered to my house every week.
  7. My daughter has severe food allergies and is on a strict diet since she is a baby. My son is also on a diet since he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, in 2007. Both are in great shape and health. I did start to write a book explaining all that I did to help my son get better. I don’t know whether I will finish it, but I wish all parents knew that there are many things you can do to help your child thrive. Even if they cannot really heal from something that is not a disease.
  8. I love baking cakes, so I’m quite frustrated that I can’t make cream-filled pastries for my kids. I had to learn how to make the gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, but-free kind. Not as tasty.
  9. I have a chronic magnesium deficiency, which gives me a good excuse to eat chocolate.
  10. I circled the globe once. From east to west.
  11. I hate housekeeping, but I’m working at it.

11 questions from Mes Petites Récréations

1-  Which creation are you the most proud of  ?
Without a doubt, my Fretwork sweater. It is just a shame that it sits in my cupboard, unworn. I might frame it someday.

2 –Your bedside book ?
The Bible. I read a bit from it every day.

3- Your favorite pastime ?
Apart from knitting, reading and watching old movies.

4- Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert ?
I’m not sure.  My friends tell me I’m an introvert, that they can see there is always something going on in that brain of mine. But I love to be around people too and goof around. So a bit of both maybe.

5- Your favorite moment in the day ?
Early morning, with my cup of coffee, reading my favorite blogs.

6- Mountain or seaside ?
Hills. The mountains are too high (I’m afraid of heights), and I love the sea but it makes me restless. My favorites places in the whole world, so far : the hills of Tuscany, and the hills of Vermont.

7- What is your wildest dream ?
To write a novel. And open a yarn shop.

8- And the wildest thing you ever did ?
Leaving for England with my trunk and suitcase without knowing where I would sleep that night. I was meeting a friend and she was supposed to arrange everything. I ended up sleeping on the floor of her room for three days. I managed to stay a year and a half there though, and meet my future husband.

9- Your blog is…. (tell us what your blog means to you) :
A privileged place to share my creative desires and projects, my knitting and fahsion loves. It is still a work in progress, I have not yet managed to bring it where I want it to be.

10- Which craft (one that you do not master yet) would you like to learn ?
Crochet, definitely. And sewing. I bought a sewing machine last year, and so far, only learned to fill the thread thingy on the top of it (Learning the vocabulary in two languages is part of the project too).

11- A parting word ?
I am constantly amazed and impressed by the creativity that I see expressed through all these blogs and projects. Kudos to all creators out there.

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Les réponses en français

11 choses sur moi

  1. J’ai passé 7 années de ma vie officiellement inscrite en université. J’ai réussi à obtenir deux licences mais j’ai toujours stoppé avant la maîtrise.
  2. Lorsque j’étais jeune, je voulais être styliste. Mes cahiers étaient remplis de dessins, surtout les cahiers de science (allez savoir !), J’ai donc choisi d’abord d’étudier en art. J’ai finalement compris que le dessin, ce n’était qu’une partie. Il fallait surtout connaître  les tissus et la coupe. Pas sûre que j’aurais su faire mes marques dans ce monde particulier de la mode. Donc pas de regrets.
  3. J’ai tenté d’apprendre la couture par correspondance. Si, si, ça existait. Je vous parle d’un temps d’avant Internet. Bon, la couture à l’ancienne, à la main et tout. Au bout du huitième point, j’ai déclaré forfait. Dommage, j’aurais aimé que quelqu’un m’apprenne, pour de vrai.
  4. J’ai fait un an d’art dramatique, mais j’étais bien meilleure en comédie. C’était surtout une forme de thérapie. Une fois sur scène, j’étais quelqu’un d’autre. J’ai un côté clown très prononcé, j’adore faire rire les gens.
  5. J’ai eu deux enfants qui sont nés à la maison, avec simplement l’aide d’un sage-femme et de mon mari. Par choix, donc pas de péridurale. Les moments les plus intenses de ma vie, et des souvenirs merveilleux.
  6. Mon rêve de luxe absolu: recevoir des fleurs fraîches à domicile chaque semaine
  7. J’ai une fille qui souffre de graves allergies alimentaires, et qui est au régime depuis tout bébé. Mon fils est au régime aussi depuis qu’il a été diagnostiqué TED en 2007 (trouble envahissant du développement, une forme d’autisme). Les deux sont en bonne santé malgré tout. D’ailleurs j’ai commencé à écrire un livre sur tout ce que j’ai fait pour aider mon fils à aller mieux. Je ne sais pas si je le finirais un jour, mais j’aimerais que tous les parents dans mon cas sachent qu’il existent des thérapies qui permettent d’améliorer l’état de leur enfant, même si rien ne peut vraiment les guérir totalement.
  8. J’aime beaucoup la pâtisserie, et je suis très frustrée de ne pas pouvoir faire des bons petits gâteaux pleins de crème à mes enfants. J’ai dû apprendre à faire les gâteaux sans lait, blé, œufs et noix de toutes sortes. Pas vraiment aussi goûteux.
  9. Je manque de magnésium de façon chronique, ce qui me donne toujours une bonne excuse pour manger du chocolat.
  10. J’ai fait une fois le tour de la terre. D’est en ouest.
  11. Je déteste faire le ménage, mais je me soigne.

11 questions de Mes Petites Récréations

1- Quelle est la création dont tu es la plus fière  ?
Sans conteste, mon pull Fretwork, des mois de travail et une nuit sans sommeil. Dommage que personne ne le porte. Je vais peut-être finir par l’encadrer.

2 – Ton livre de chevet ?
La Bible, dont je lis des passages chaque jour.

3- Ton loisir préféré ?
A part le tricot, lire et regarder des vieux films.

4- Es-tu plutôt réservée ou extravertie ?
Pas sûre. J’aime le calme, mais aussi faire la fête avec des amis. Qui me disent que je suis plutôt intravertie. Alors ça doit être vrai.

5- Ton moment préféré de la journée ?
Le matin, avec ma tasse de café, en train de lire mes blogs préférés.

6- Montagne ou mer ?
Les collines. La montagne c’est trop haut (j’ai le vertige) et j’aime la mer, mais elle ne m’apaise pas autant que des collines verdoyantes. Mes deux endroits préférés au monde, jusqu’à présent: les collines de Toscane, et les collines du Vermont.

7- Quel est ton rêve le plus fou ?
Ecrire un roman. Et ouvrir une boutique de laine.

8- Et dans la même veine, la chose la plus folle que tu ais faite ?
Partir pour l’Angleterre avec une malle et une valise, sans savoir où j’allais dormir ce soir là. Une amie m’attendait et devait tout organiser. J’ai fini par dormir par terre trois jours dans sa chambre. J’ai quand même réussi à y rester un an et demi, et rencontrer mon futur mari.

9- Ton blog c’est… (dis-nous ce que représente ton blog pour toi) :
Un endroit pour partager mes envies, mes créations, mes coup de cœur tricot et mode. Je le considère toujours en chantier, je ne suis pas sûre d’avoir vraiment créé encore ce que je voulais.

10- Quel loisir créatif (que tu ne maîtrises pas encore) aimerais-tu apprendre ?
Le crochet, certain. Et la couture. J’ai acheté une machine à coudre fin 2014, j’ai tout juste appris à remplir la bobine de fil et le passer dans les aiguilles. (L’apprentissage du vocabulaire dans les deux langues fait partie du projet).

11- Un dernier mot pour la fin ?
Je suis toujours émerveillée et impressionnée par la créativité qui s’exprime au travers de tous ces blogs et projets. Bravo à tous les créateurs/créatrices.

summer break

I have taken a break from the blog these past few weeks, not because I was anywhere but because I was in deep thinking and introspection mode.  Why do I need a platform to show things I do? Or share things I like? Is this pride, or vanity, or just something I like to do that brings me joy? How would I feel if I stopped altogether?

I had to be honest with myself and acknowledge that I had been spending too much line in my online world, and not enough in my real world. I also realized that some of my regular posts started to feel like a chore, a happy one but something I had to do, rather than something I really wanted to do. At the same time, toying with the idea of stopping completely made me incredibly sad. I love writing, and I don’t want to stop.

What I no longer want to do is spend my sunday mornings collating pictures, adding links and proofreading for my sunday news, because, while I’m doing this, I am not with my family. Nobody asked me to do it, I chose to create this so I can now choose to stop it. So I will post when I want to, when I feel like it. Totally the opposite of what you’re supposed to do to have a successful blog. But that’s the thing: I don’t really care about that, and this is not my job. If it was, I would probably do much more clever things, and spend a lot of time on picture quality and so on, and fully transform this into a real digital magazine of some sorts. And maybe I would find it less pleasant too.

So there you are. I’ve been rewriting this text several times, because I’m really not sure what to do. One thing I know: I will not post something because I feel I have to, but because I want to. There might be the same kind of content, or not…I don’t know yet. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I still enjoy reading my favorite blogs on a daily, or weekly, or less frequent basis. Which is another thing I like about the blogging world: some are very prolific or regular, and I enjoy the routine and knowing I can find my favorite topics on a regular basis, others just post when they feel like it and I’m curious to see what they’ve been up to. I don’t have the time or the energy to be in the first category. But I hope you will continue to like what you find here.

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J’ai pris une longue pause ces dernières semaines, non pas que j’étais loin physiquement, mais loin mentalement, prenant le temps de réfléchir et me remettre en question. Pourquoi ai-je besoin d’une plateforme pour montrer ce que je fais, ou ce que j’aime? Est-ce de la fierté, de la superficialité, ou bien juste quelque chose qui m’apporte de la joie? Qu’Est-ce qui se passerait si j’arrêtais complètement?

En étant honnête, j’ai constaté que je passais un peu trop de temps dans mon monde en ligne, et pas assez dans mon monde réel. J’ai aussi réalisé que certains de mes contenus commençaient à devenir plus pesants, comme quelque chose que je devais faire plutôt que quelque chose que je voulais faire. En même temps, l’idée de tout arrêter m’a rendu très triste. J’aime tellement écrire, et je ne veux pas m’arrêter.

Par contre, ce que je ne veux plus faire, c’est passer mes dimanches matins à faire des montages de photos, créer des liens, relire et éditer ma rubrique des nouvelles du dimanche, car pendant tout ce temps, je ne suis pas avec ma famille. Après tout, personne ne me demande de le faire, c’est quelque chose que j’ai choisi, et je peux donc choisir de l’arrêter. Je ne suis pas les règles de l’art pour avoir un blog populaire, mais voilà: je m’en moque un peu, et après tout, ce n’est pas mon travail. J’aimerais que ce le soit, je pourrais vraiment développer mon blog en véritable magazine virtuel, me former sérieusement à la prise de photos et lancer toutes les rubriques que j’ai en tête. Peut-être que je trouverais cela moins agréable aussi.

Donc voilà. J’ai recommencé ce texte tant de fois, parce que je ne suis pas vraiment sûre de ce que je veux faire vraiment. Une chose seulement: je vais continuer de poster ce que j’ai envie de poster, mais pas parce que je sens que je dois le faire. Donc il y aura de la continuité, mais aussi du changement…ou pas. On verra.

En attendant, je me régale toujours à lire mes blogs préférés au quotidien, à la semaine, au mois, ou moins fréquemment. C’est ce que j’aime dans le monde des blogs: certains sont très prolifiques et réguliers, et j’aime retrouver mes rubriques habituelles. Les autres publient moins souvent et je suis toujours curieuse de voir ce qui se passe dans leur vie créative. Je n’ai ni le temps ni l’énergie pour être dans la première catégorie. Mais j’espère que vous continuerez à prendre plaisir à ce que vous trouverez dans cet espace.

 

 

just a view

 

Old Orchard Beach - Maine

Old Orchard Beach – Maine

The  topic for day 2 continued to resonate throughout my day. I felt quite sad after posting my first Writing 101, well not sad exactly but as if I had let go of something big, and this feeling of emptiness was with me when I got home. I needed a shower, to get rid of the sweat and languor brought about by the humid heat of the city. As I was washing my hair under the warm water, noticing I was running out of conditioner, I got suddenly transported to a moment in time that I willingly committed to memory, to use whenever I would need to feel peaceful and serene.
Without knowing it at the time, I did something loosely related to what NPL practitioners call an anchor, something that can be triggered to reach a desired state. I don’t have a gimmick to trigger this memory except the sudden need for peacefulness – when this need becomes conscious and is overwhelming, my mind instantly brings me back to that place, and this virtual trip brings along with it all the sensations and feelings imprinted in me. Hours later, as I’m typing this, this peacefulness is still with me, while the wind blows through the open windows, in the stillness of the night.

It was more than 20 years ago. I had traveled to the South of France with the consultancy firm I was working for at the time. I had managed to negotiate not to stay with them at the hotel, but with a friend of mine that was living close by, in this small city of Hyeres. After all the usual seminars, brainstorming sessions and strategy recaps, I was allowed an afternoon of freedom. My friend took me to the beach.
It was a week day in September, and there was no one on that beautiful beach, just us and the seagulls. As I lay there on my towel, I realized how peaceful and beautiful this moment was and decided to capture it for ever. In my mind I went over everything in a way that could be phrased like this:

I am lying down on this beach. It is entirely different from any other beach I’ve ever been to. The sand is so pale it is nearly white, the sea is pale blue. A couple of seagulls are standing by. If I open one eyelid I can see one taking watch over my resting body. The sun is shining but is slightly veiled, casting a while light over everything. All the colours are slightly faded, as if painted white and sanded over. There is no other sound but the gentle waves lapping the beach, the sounds of the birds and the gentle breeze caressing my skin. It is not too warm. My body is heavy on the sand, and I feel so peaceful. I’m not sleeping, my breath is slow and I open my eyes just enough to capture this white light, this pale blue and white sand. I will remember this moment and this memory will bring back this perfect stillness, this peace and tranquillity. I do not need anything, I do not want anything. I am fully conscious of everything in and around me, surrounded by nature, the sun, the sea, the sky, the sand. It is a perfect moment.

After that I simply relaxed into being there, in that moment. I cannot remember how long we stayed. It was just a moment in time, and it was eternity.
When I mentally revisit this place, everything comes back to me, and this incredible peacefulness rushes within, this profound tranquillity.
In my mind’s eyes I see the light, the sun, the seagull, and I can even feel the warmth on my skin. I know I can bring this peace with me everywhere, anywhere, forever.

 

new journey…

I’m starting the Writing 101 from Word Press today, a day late, but that’s OK. I will combine two assignements in one, meaning a stream of consciouness writing combined to the second challenge: where would you go right now if you could zoom through space?

The answer is: anywhere and nowhere. I don’t really care. These past few weeks I’ve been so incredibly tired that I am past caring about a lot of things, and I get the feeling I’m not alone. I am not into the New Age cosmic stuff, but I sense that there is something happening that makes us feel disconnected from ourselves. So if I had to be in another place right now, I would just want to me in my own body. Totally grounded, totally one, not having the feeling that my brain is somewhere and my limbs are in completely another dimension. Somehow the two seem to coexist, but the brain is moving at a separate level, at a different pace.

It might be the exhaustion, the accumulation of stress that has finally been released to leave a total emptiness that is not yet filled, a void that is strangely not uncomfortable and at the same time extremely weird to experience. How could I put into words? Isn’t it what writing is all about, to be able to express with words what you can only feel, to try to make sense of things that have no shape and meaning. I do not know where I am, mentally and emotionally. So how could I even think of going anywhere?

Any doctor would probably diagnose a depression and prescribe pills, but I am not depressed. I love life, I’m not anxious, angry, desperate, sad or suicidal. I have simply exhausted my limited supply of energy, and I need now to replenish it. Doing things I love, eating and sleeping. Sleep, precious sleep. In the past, people went to rest homes when their nerves were shattered. I wish I could do that, go somewhere in nature with nothing but trees, birds, and food. Sleep, eat, and knit a little too.

Another three weeks to go before I leave the company I’ve been working past for the past 15 and a half years. That is a long time. Way too long. The exhaustion had been there for months when they arrived in our office and sacked team after team. Since then my life has been on hold, managing things as best I can until my time has come to pack my things and go.
Blogging is an attempt to try and see if writing is any good to me, and if I’m any good at it. I’m not sure yet. Time will tell. I don’t even know if I’ll make it to the end of this challenge, the word itself is exhausting as it implies effort, time, energy. I have plenty of time but none of the rest. But I know it will come back, somehow. The only place to go when you’re down is up again.

And now I will click Publish, and let this weird ramble go out in the world.