Sunday, August 29, 2010

Woman is by nature a shaman?

                     "Seven Moons Passing" by Susan Seddon Boulet
I did really not know much about the skills attributed to female shamans until one early morning in Istanbul when Princess Milou opened her eyes and started to chat with the black mullberry tree that she saw through the window. The leaves were flirting elegantly with the wind and Milou was babbling sounds eagerly along with her sequeals and operatic octave changes. She was stretching both arms forward as though she could touch it. Eyes fixed on the leaves and hearing no one around, she seemed to have entered a deep state of happiness. What was it that Milou was talking to? Was it the tree itself with strong branches and berries riping among the large leaves or something else beyond it over great distances?

I do not have the faintest idea even now. Milou is only a six-month-old baby girl and it is still the trees in our garden that makes her respond with that shamanic state of joy. The question mark about what she sees through those babblings will always remain unless one day she decides to share with us on her own blog.

Luckily my husband managed to shoot Princess Milou in her shamanic trance while she was lying on my lap in the shade of  the pear tree. I am glad to have this copy just for future reference.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Archivist Next Door

An archivist lives next door: My mother-in-law. She doesn't work in archives but she has been gathering letters, photographs, papers, receipts, even the first saucer she cooked baby rice in for my husband. Her apartment is a repository for stored memories. She has never cared a fig about their evidentiary value. Her documents are precious, though. She has neither taken extra care to keep them safe nor had a disaster prevention planning. Besides exposure to light or moisture, mice, fire, and flooding, her apartment with all those documents went through a devastating war between 1992 and 1995. Nevertheless, she could preserve all that she had collected. When I first came to Sarajevo, she rummaged a dusty drawer and gave me some pieces of white lace that Bosnian ladies used to pin on their dresses in wedding parties – an earlier version of corsages.


Well, here is the latest item from my personal web archives – my blog. I found this dry (dead) branch during a joyful bike ride. I cut the ends and trimmed nodes. After painting it all white, I glued artificial flowers which I have been keeping since my engagement ceremony. The pieces of white lace are my mother-in-law's contribution. I preferred hand-made paper for the lantern with metal construction I made myself. 

Check it out! They have established great success in many European countries but remained little-known in their native Britain. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Humble Suggestions

Never in my life have I made a suggestion knowing what a suggestion itself defines in psychology. Have you? If I had known, I would have definitely hesitated before every suggestion I made. The word describes the psychological process by which one person guides the thoughts, feelings, or behaviour of another and to my suprise it is associated with hypnosis. Oooppss! Was it actually what I wanted to do all those years? I have always been full of fresh ideas for other people but never intended to manipulate their expectations or beliefs. Well, I didn't have the faintest idea that I was trying to influence my new friend Zerrin while I was making her this card which includes four burgundy envelopes filled with small items - my humble suggestions for some possible daily circumstances to suggest about.

The texture of the card stock which feels like accordion itself inspired me to make accordion folds so that each panel would be large enough to fit a small envelope. Instead of using envelopes available at stationary stores, I made all four envelopes applying my own template. Using a craft knife, I made corner slits in all but the front panel. I pasted stickers to label the envelopes and glued a flower-shaped button with a matching white butterfly above the title-like introduction as a final glittering touch. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Marry! Mary!

"Why are you this much cheerful today? What is it that's made you so happy?" was the first two questions one of my dear friends in Istanbul dropped in the chat box this morning. My answer was a quick and short one: "I just woke up happy." As the greetings were turning into girlie gossip, I found out the source of my glittering happiness: I had completed my postcard project the night before and gone to bed with an ecstatic smile on my face.

Having signed another artistic creation was my mere source of happiness which was dazzling even from between the lines in the chat box. No one else could buy such a postcard in any gift shop around the universe. I was truely content that my postcard was something totally new and unique. The friend I made it for would appreciate my talent and applaud the result. She would tell everbody how creative and innovative I am. Hoping for such self-appraising and so satisfactory feed back, I am still carrying that rapturous smile on my face.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Three Sisters

The Triplets of Belleville is an animated surreal adventure film by Sylvain Chomet. In their youth, the Belleville Sisters were bewitching music hall singers. Now, they are three eccentric elderly women in a bizarre jazz band and they determine the end of this adventure by their maneuvers to help Madame Souza rescue her cyclist grandson Champion from the French mafia. When I first saw the Belleville Sisters on the 15.4" monitor of our laptop, I murmured to myself 'Have I met them before?'. Actually I had.

They are Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos - the Fates. They are the three witches in myths who handle the thread of human life. Clotho spins it, Lachesis draws it out and Atrapos cuts it. Similarly, the Belleville Sisters are illustrated as three old batty women who have a word on the main character's adventure. They are some kind of modern witches with strange stage costumes from 1930s, crazy musical improvisation, weird daily habits including fondness for eating frogs, and their supernatural interference to rescue Champion. They handle the thread of the story.

Well, I bought these three crow sisters at a garage sale a long time ago. After watching the film I decided to picture them brooding over a thread ball. It took me quite some time to make them fit the right pondering position. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Red Apples

"Brita as Iduna" (1901) by Carl Larsson

A few days ago, my mother-in-law brought Princess Milou some red organic apples. While I was trying to remember how to say 'red apple' in her language, I realized how she had always followed her motherly instinct all those years to find healthier and more natural food for her sons. Interestingly enough, she had never googled for 'how to tell if a fruit or vegetable is organic, conventionally grown or genetically modified'. Instead, she had just made friends with small local farmers.
Containing no chemicals the apples would have gone bad soon if I hadn't found a way to turn them timely into something delicious. Instead of googling for a recipe which might cost packets of baby rice for Milou, I just followed my motherly imagination and here is the result. 

While I was taking photographs, I remembered how to say 'red apple' in Bosnian – Crvena Jabuka which is also the name of a popular Sarajevo-based pop band founded in 1985.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So I am a mother now.

While we were both laughing out loud in this photo, my mind was overwhelmed by realities of motherhood. Princess Milou's needs and a disorganized household frenzy have been working overtime to maximize my constant sequence of laughter and panicked horror.
I happened to find these puffy stickers at a supermarket in my neighborhood which at first sight inspired me to display my captivated mind with responsibilities of motherhood while enjoying it to the full. I pasted the stickers in two groups: the ones telling my concern about Princess Milou's health and the ones telling my constant worries about keeping the house clean. Instead of scanning the photo, I just took another photo of it to keep the puffy effect which also made a mother's deep down confusion look imaginary.