Monday, October 28, 2013

A Gift

Thanks to a beautiful, warm Indian summer, garage cleanup/clean-out continues to occupy me as I attempt to find uses for everything and downsize. 

The underlying idea, of course, is to not accumulate anything new, either. However, a horse's head in an antique store caught my eye. It originated in Germany and was made around a hundred years ago.

When a friend wanted to present me with a gift, she knew what I liked. I thought a spot outside in the garden would show off the horse's head, so I let it sit in the sun for a few days to see how it held up. Bad place; it seemed more fragile than I realized at first because of the repairs that had been done on it. Having a healthy respect for finely crafted, old things (including my husband), I added it to my copper collection, where it is in good company.

Since the walls are cement, my husband kindly drilled two holes to screw it onto the wall.

The artisan in me wants to paint it black to return it to it's original glory, however, the patina of age seems lovely as well.
And so the collection grows. I admire it every day...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Pen Revisited

When one feels the noose of repression tightening, one must not remain silent, and so I bring back The Pen (previously here and here) because it continues to be pertinent and actual.

The problem: Journalists are under attack as Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press--the only good that resulted from the Revolution in my opinion--slip away. Examples are numerous--a small sampling follows.

1. The well-known owner of a TV news station was summoned to appear before an attorney general (juge d'instruction), was then arrested and only released because of the large crowd waiting for him in the street. Several serious accusations have been leveled at this daring journalist/station owner, including betrayal of national security--which carries a death penalty. Although released, the lawsuits against him continue.
2. A militant journalist, who did prison time during the dictatorship, was summoned, arrested and spent two days in prison before he paid bail, which is unheard of because the bail system does not exist in Tunisia. Lawsuits against him continue.

3. A blogger who did some investigative reporting and revealed the "Sheraton-gate" scandal concerning large sums of money diverted by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs (son-in-law of the religious party's leader) had her passport confiscated and cannot leave the country.

4. Fortunately, "le ridicule ne tue pas" ("the ridiculous does not kill"). The government threw a lawsuit against a journalist with a radio program. His program was live and a caller criticized the government. That lawsuit is ongoing as well. 

And so, I salute the courageous journalists, writers, and media professionals who continue to risk their lives in order to maintain Freedom of Expression. 

In the meantime, after two years of the ruling religious party's government, whose mandate ended October 23, 2012, Tunisia is on the edge of bankruptcy. Persistent rumors whisper that currency is evaporating rapidly and that there may be nothing left in a couple of months to pay salaries and pensions. The ruling religious party has begun negotiations with the major trade union and opposition parties to create a transitional government, now that they have bled the country dry and international banks refuse to consider dealing with the ruling party. However, skepticism reigns--will they leave or will they hang on until nothing is left to pick over but dry bones? Ah, yes, this is all about money....

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Sea Monster in My Pocket

Clothing has required more attention since I returned to teaching after a long hiatus. At the same time, I remain committed to recycling and upcycling. Sooooo...
One white shirt 
with a hole in a strategic place

and a pretty fabric

inspired an appliqué design that looked like a sea monster at first.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding--it's meant to be worn.

The owner of the shirt in front of a pomegranate tree.

Maybe it's a multi-headed sea monster or a plant from another planet? In any case, I'm certain there will be more appliqués added on because white is so treacherous.

I'm not sure this is the "Professional Look" students are expecting....ahhhhh, but now that I am old I can wear purple with a red hat.....

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday".