Textiles, travel and Teaching
 
Before I begin... almost all of my photos are taken with the idea of creating Textile Art.
I guess it doesn't hurt to have a goal in life, Considering I have some 100,000 photos I'm going to be busy for a long time.
When I photograph the buildings I want to create illustrations and  in Rome, I loved the textures and colors of the buildings. 
I love the sun, the rain and the light on the cobblestones and shadows.

In all I took over 2000 photos, I edit them, but keep most of them.
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Cobblestones
Of course I enjoy capturing people too.
It's rather embarrassing for my friends traveling with me  because I snap people from all angles, BUT, I don't let them subjects see me.

I capture images in a series to tell a story.traveling
 
 
Yesterday I took my little point and shoot camera and made this video for my friends and family.
It's not fancy,just little snippets and my thoughts as I walk, but it gives you an idea of the beauty of the city of Strasbourg.


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A cameo.
 
 
I made this little video the other day using my IPhone but the internet was difficult at my little hotel and I coudln't up load it
I had a day before I had to teach and I went in search of the town my class was in.

It took me three hours, and I decided to capture the adventure for fun.
Ultimately, class was great and I enjoyed the company of the students, we had a lot of fun. It was held in sort of the town hall and we had a lot of space.
I actually walked 7 miles that day.
About half of the students joined me for lunch and it was so nice to share experiences over a delicious french meal.
Mine host was hilarious and really passionate about her restaurant and her food, she almost watch us put the food in our mouth.

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Picture
 
 
PictureArtist, Christine Peyret-Gaudinot - France
To celebrate its 20 year existence the EPM organized a wonderful retrospective exhibition of artists who have participated in the event in the past. Each artist presented a quilt from the past and their new work. There were around 180 quilts on show. I photographed probably half of them. 
There was something for everyones taste. 
The ones I share are my favorites and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to see them up close.

This is the art of Lia Fleming - Belgium. These are sculptural pieces hanging from the ceiling of the venue.

Blow is the art of Christine Peyret-Gaudinot. France.
I was also fascinated by this work by Liz Maidment.France/UK
Created by Anco Brouwers - Pays-Bas (NL)
I believe this quilt was made by a number of artists, but I couldn't read the French description.
 
 

The days have  been very full.

I taught all day on Thursday and the students were very enthusiastic. Its different working with an interpreter However, we worked well together and the students responded positively.
We had two large rooms to work in and everyone achieved a small quilt.
We had a wonderful lunch served by a very vivacious restaurant owner who hawked her new menu's for the next few days to the entire assembled group. She spoke so passionately about her food it was a joy to watch.
These images are some of the class images and the view from the window.
I had a wonderful time.
These are images of class, the interesting things in the room and I love the lattice fence outside.

A few images from the Iryna Fomina exhibition

This exhibition was held in a church nearby and I wandered in late in the day. Her work is very interesting and I enjoy the perspective of others in this tradition of Textile art.
The day finished in a fun fashion with friends and frog pie.

 
 
Yesterday was sort of a free day. I did work early, but took time off to relax a little.

My Translator/assistant suggested that I visit the area of Colmar and I figured I needed to ignore the fact that I am driving a manual car and that the city was accessed across the mountains with turns like the devils elbow.

GPS primed I took off. Up the hills, round the bends and each turn bought forth amazing scenery.

The problem is there is no place to stop and take photos.
I only managed to make one stop.

It doesn't capture the uniqueness of this countryside, but I will say that as I stepped out of the car the air was crystal clear only punctuated by the sounds of cow bells. I almost felt like Heidi. I almost felt like yodeling but I refrained.
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It only took an hour and a half and the GPS didn't really prepare me for the twists and turns prior to the trip. I found out en route!
However, it was a wonderful experience. I drove past small villages, fields of corn and rows the most amazing vistas of grape vines.
For a foreigner who doesn't speak French I thought it was going to be difficult to find a park, but I recognized the big blue 'P' and found a park quite quickly.
I feel so clever when I achieve something that pushes me to the limit. "Well done Pammie"
First stop was Unter Linden Musee - Colmar.
The museum is renowned for its collection of paintings and sculptures from the middle ages and the Renaissance.

Right now the museum is undergoing renovations so I didn't get to view many of the paintings but the plans shown will make it a destination for the artistic.
You walk on cobblestone streets, goodness knows how long they have been there. 
Look up and the buildings appear to lear out of their foundations over hanging the road and beckoning you to investigate further
It was lunch time and I decided to choose a restaurant, which one? I was spoiled for choice. There was a group playing music outside of one and that influenced my decision.
Sitting there in the sun in the presence of a magnificent Cathedral, French voices playing into the air. The music of talented musicians and the clink of glasses as the patrons enjoyed their meal and the passing parade of people and dogs.
It was almost too much to bare, but I did it with flare.
That's about as much as I can write this morning, I will finish this afternoon but right now I have a class to prepare for.
 
 
 
 
I was on the 'go' for almost 24 hours yesterday. I'm not whining, but it takes its toll on the senses.
I left Dubai early in the morning, it was almost 30 degrees and I was able to have a really nice breakfast in the sumptuous club in the airport.
We flew over Cairo, Italy, the deserts of Africa and the suez canal.
I had amazing views and of course I documented it all.
That part of the trip was rather lovely but the next 10 hours were a bit of  a strain.
Long delays, long lines, very hot, no aircon and no where to sit.
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Almost in Nice France
I woke to a misty morning and I admit to being a little nervous about driving. I've driven here before but I never feel real confident.
Back to the airport and pick up the car and like most of the hire cars its manual. OK, I used a manual for years but to hop in one and drive in a foreign country it's a bit nerve racking.

I managed to get though the exit gates but I had to go up a hill…… Eeek I jerked and stopped and rolled back and there was smoke coming out of the engine. Oooooh. But I finally made it up the hill and out onto the freeway.
I had also discovered that I had no idea how to reverse. I tried everything. Look for a button, follow the directions. Nup, I reckon they gave me a dud and I have to drive forward for 9 days.
So Pamela, if you have to park, go where you don't have to reverse.
My GPS is amazing, I actually use my mini IPad, It tells me everything. Speed limit, each corner coming up and of course its bigger than the normal GPS and I can see it with a flash of the eye.(well sort of)
It guided me to my hotel which was about 90 kms from Strasbourg. I passed the most amazing scenery and once off the freeway I found myself in high rolling mountains. At one stage I stopped in a small layover under the shade of a tree and got out of the car to take a deep breath.
Even though I didn't know how to activate reverse, I continued on to the town Ban de Laveline and the hotel Auberge Lorraine I was aware it was  small with just 8 rooms but its very famous for its restaurant because it has a Michelin chef.
I had high expectations.
Part of the drive was through a huge, and I mean huge tunnel, probably about 5 kms long. As I came out into the light I found I had to pay a toll.
I can't read French, but I could understand the  little slot things to put your money in.
But how much?
I put 2 euro into the money slot.... No, that wasn't enough, I couldn't find my visa card in my haste. (there was no one behind me fortunately) So I put in 10 euro, surely that was enough and it gave me 4 Euro change. 
That little episode finished I traveled on to my small town. 
I found the hotel and parked (Oh no, I could only park in a position that I had to reverse from)
I was dying to find a restroom, thank goodness I was at the hotel.
By this time it was 12.30 lunch time. 
The hotel was closed.
The only thing was to walk through the town to find a rest room.
Everything was closed, there appears to be about 4 shops, the doors firmly shut, it was hot and I thought OK, I will go to the church and maybe find a restroom there.
Nope, that was shut too.
Back in the car park I approached some people who appeared to be going into the restaurant at the hotel.
They don't speak English... but I grabbed the man, asked him to follow me and pointed at the revers sign on the gear stick.
Ah. you have to lift a funny little cover up and it engages reverse. Lots of thank you's in my strange french and lots of laughing and they left.
I decided to turn on my Aussie phone and attempt to ring the hotel.
Mr Telstra, tells me it is going to cost a fortune. Ding, ding, ding, message after message. Thank you.
But I did manage to locate Audrey, the owner of the hotel and she came down, unlocked the door and after an animated conversation I was in my room.
No Elevator of course but we got the clothes case up the stairs.
The room is quaint and looks over the fields and hills surrounding the town.
I really needed a coffee. I did carry the small bottle of something alcoholic that I was given in the previous hotel, but I decided to wait and drive to find a coffee.
I set up the computer and it took me several hours to configure the internet.
I was frustrating, but I managed it. 
My instructions for the net were in French so I translated it and finally made my way through the intricacies.

3:00 pm and I decided to walk out.It was warm, sunny and delightfully fresh.

Wow the small general store a few hundred feet away was open and I bought a pastry and a cake to take back to my room.

Still No coffee.

I figured I knew how to reverse the car and I would visit the town some 11 kms away where the quilt show is being held.

I walked on  the old cobblestone streets, past interesting doors that held mystery behind them.
Eyes of passers by were averted so I greeted everyone with an Aussie smile and I got a lot of surprised responses.

I found coffee. It was hot, strong and sweet.

Finally I had found my place. I'm comfortable and I know how to reverse the car.
 
 
I walked 7 miles, ate a little too much, and now its almost 8:00 pm and I'm ready for bed.
It's actually 2.30 am at home so it's no wonder I'm tired.

I'm off to France tomorrow.

Today I concentrated on making the extraordinary out of the ordinary.

It was 40 degrees and a little too hot to walk in the desert so I walked in a small desert and got sand in my sandals and then relaxed in the cool in the Dubai Mall.
I love capturing images of the windows and making something special out of them.
I was only using my small camera. However, I know its limitations and its plusses.
I'm still able to capture the moment. I love the photo of the men at the table. The red table is such a contrast to their dishdasha (white garments) Then again, the textured floor is wonderful against that round seat. Two men sitting one in western clothing the other in Middle Eastern. But there is little difference, both are on their phones.
Then there are the decorations.... millions of paper butterflies hanging from the ceiling.They take your breath away with their beauty. They sway gently in the breeze, ever moving,making it a magical place to be.
Then off to the train station. I went in the Women only carriage. What a fabulous idea.
I shot a lot of video today too but that has to wait.
Taking photos inspires me to be more creative. Its an absolute delight
 
 
I enjoy the window displays in shopping malls and this one just took my fancy today.
Of course I love the colors, but I really like the image too.

Travel

 Travel is a means of getting from one place to another. 

It might be a car ride. 
Then again it could be a boat, ship or plane. 

This gal has ridden on a donkey through the mountains up a very steep path. Well, it was supposed to be a path, any semblance disappeared after the first half mile.

My least favorite was a  very uncomfortable camel in the desert. I lurched from side to side like a drunk. I kept asking him to stop but he didn't speak English only Arabic. Horses and I don't work well together  either  somehow my legs just don't fit around his girth. When I get off, I crash to the ground through lack of circulation in the legs. Its not a pretty sight.

So give me a great big jumbo jet and I'm happy. In the middle of the night last night I was beginning to wonder about my affinity with planes. At one stage it appeared to drop out of the sky and we continued to bump around for about an hour or so. I love being on a ship as it rolls from side to side I reckon I have a chance if it's going to sink I'll grab a nice life boat, but the plane is different I think you just fall to the ground, no life boat just a big wing to slide out onto and I don't swim.

I obviously made it, because I'm writing!!!

On a serious note when I'm in the midst of something like that and its dark and I'm powerless. I wonder about the wisdom  of my ways.

How is it that Quilting or its fancy name 'Textile Art' can give me so many amazing experiences.

Today my invitation arrived from the US Embassy in Rome on behalf of the UN.
Its just one more of those experiences.
It matches many others and counteracts the desperation of stolen quilts the missing luggage and being mugged in South Africa! 
Put it all into perspective. Its pretty darned amazing.

 
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