Monday, February 20, 2012

Laurels and "Ce n'est pas mal"

It happened: blogland has bestowed its approval upon the improbable Province of MulticoloredPieces. I'd like to thank Carolynn at "Artsy Stuff " for her encouragement by including me in her choices for the Liebster Blog Award.  I've noticed that quite a number of bloggers have received this award, which is meant to encourage blogs with less than 200 followers. It reminds me of the old-fashioned chain letters. I calculate that eventually just about everyone will receive it, but that's not a bad thing.
The Rules (of course, this is entirely voluntary):
1. Thank the giver and link back to her/him.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and leave a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

Obviously, this award helps generate blog activity and introduce people.  Personally, I would change number 4 to read something like this:

            4. Have faith that your followers will be interested in discovering 
                                the efforts and creativity of other bloggers.

Somehow, the word "love" (as a noun or a verb) serves so many purposes that it has become emptied of meaning. I confess that I also fall into the trap of the overuse of superlatives. I mean, don't you just love, love, LOVE this or that? We are now into the use of multiple superlatives emphasized with capitals, italics, colors, underlining, and bold font. What's next?

On the other hand, the French keep their perspective (unless things have changed radically in the last ten years): they say lightly: "O, ce n'est pas mal" (literally: "Oh, it's not bad") which can be translated as "Oh, that's very good" or, by today's standards, "Oh, that's wonderful!" So the French leave themselves someplace to go. They get in more meaning with less (not for the faint-of-heart, however) and avoid gushing. In fact, the French national hobby is to contest everything under the sun (which is why I enjoy France and the French), consequently, one may be thankful for "Ce n'est pas mal."

In any case, I would give an award to all the blogs I read (a rather substantial number), knowing the amount of work it takes to create and maintain a blog. And being barely able to post once a week, I respect all who manage to post more frequently. However, I suppose I must choose five...reluctantly... 

1. First of all, I would like to draw attention to Toefeather. She is a full-time art teacher and has committed to creating a patchwork block-a-day for a year. I stop by occasionally to cheer her on because her work/play is original and interesting and she keeps at it e-v-e-r-y d-a-y. She deserves a larger audience.

2. Then, there's Alaskan artist Susan Christensen at the Flying Dog Studio Design Wall. Not only are her paintings and sketches beautiful, but the photography of her part of the world (more or less the opposite of mine) always draws my attention. I especially like her textile artwork, which is often big and bold.

3. Sarah at Narcoleptic in a Cupboard always impresses me by the number of quilting projects she finishes despite her proneness to falling asleep. A tendency towards dry British wit makes her blog fun to read as well. 

4. I don't know many Spanish bloggers, but Lola at Quilts Improvisados puts on quite a show with distinctive and exciting quilt designs.

5. And, of course I must mention at least one French blog although the choice is difficult, so many good ones exist. Cécile Meraglia writes in French (Google Translator available) at Aventures Textiles, however, she is actually Belgian. Her felted, stitched, and crocheted artwork is exquisite.

I would like to mention an additional blog that does not qualify for this list because it has too many followers, but deserves recognition. Teri, an American, lives and works in Libya near Tripoli. She remained through the Libyan revolution with her family and tells about it. She continues to struggle to maintain family life and a semblance of normalcy, a difficult task at best under the circumstances. Fascinating to read--a reality check. Teri deserves a special award for courage.

              And yet, despite all the uncertainty, Spring appears clothed in 
                  colorful wildflowers and vibrant greens on certain days.
        Then the weather suddenly turns cloudy, rainy, and cold. Such is life    
                    in the improbable Province of MulticoloredPieces....


Diane J. Evans said...

You've shared some wonderful blogs here -- I'm in the midst of checking them out. As usual, your wit and wisdom entertain me greatly -- nice post!


Radka said...

I love the picture, those GREENS !!!

Anonymous said...

I have been a lurker for a while and have really enjoyed your blog and your humour. You just made me understand why I was a little hurt when my dad told be about one my quilt: "C'est pas mal!". See, I am French but have lived in the US, the country of superlatives as you point out, for over 30 years and I had just forgotten that "Pas Mal" is just "Pas Mal du tout" in fact quite good.
Your last piece about your pets is totally hilarious. Reminds me of the La Fontaine Fables in a way where under the guise of animals you tell truths about humans. Well done!

annick5424 at gmail dot com
I don't know if google is going to believe I am not a robot: I cannot read the stupid word properly even after enlarging it in Word!!!!!!

Merilyn said...

Congratulations on your Award!! I enjoyed reading your post and also the blogs you have listed, I will try and visit them all, Teri's intrigues me and also the one from Alaska!

Ms. said...

I will go look at all of your selections, of course. Meanwhile, still struggling with my own blogs, and not really a quilter, only occasionally a stitcher I will hold off on joining in the fun. Congratulations on a well deserved award, and your photograph is quite lovely.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Nadia for choosing my blog. I know you appreciate diversity so i, usually visit the blogs of your readers knowing that i'll find something personal and creative no matter their resources or, maybe, because of that.

Katell said...

Ta sélection n'est pas mal du tout ! Je remarque que les artistes textiles, celles qui comme toi vont bien au-delà du patchwork, sont aussi dessinatrices, peintres, photographes... Multi-talentueuses comme toi.

Emma said...

I LOVE the word love but do try to avoid too many exclamation marks, I don't like to appear too manic ;) down south in England everyboy is 'fine' Up here in Scotland everyone is 'not bad, yourself? Congrats on the award - I COULDn't choose 5 blogs, but I should at least say 'thank you'

khadijateri said...

Thanks dear! I'm not sure I'm very courageous... I did a lot of screaming and crying lol. I'll give it a think and post my links soon.

Keep on stitching... and posting!

Carole Reid said...

Congratulations Nadia for your blog award!


Congrats dear! you deserve some more :)
Love ~

dany said...

I agree with your words, it is true what you write! congratulations for your prize

gloria said...

Hola Nadia, gracias por visitarme. Tienes un blog con unos trabajos muy bonitos y originales. Me gustan mucho tus mosaicos, eres un artista reciclando.Saludos desde Tenerife.

blandina said...

It is so nice to get to know other interesting bloggers. I found a couple in your list that have me hooked for the originality of their work and that I will start following, therefore thanks a lot.
If 'love' in English has lost meaning, in Italian this happens to 'bello'. Everything is 'bello' which is very restrictive in many ways, we have so many adjectifs that would give a more complete and effective description!

Rachaeldaisy said...

Congratulations on the award!! It is a fun way to discover bloggers. I'll be checking the links your posted. Your picture of wild flowers in Spring is beautiful!! Ps I know I use a lot of exclamation marks, I like them! :)

Cécile Meraglia said...

Merci pour ce Liebster Blog Award, après une absence de 10 jours sur le net, je découvre l'information à l'instant, je vais donc publier ton lien sur mon Blog mais ne m'en veut pas si je ne vais pas au bout du jeu.
Je ne suis pas très bien en ce moment.
Merci pour cette gentille attention.