Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pope visiting .. why wouldn't you..

I feel awkward to tell you frequently about my city.. but I have an excuse.. it is beautiful.. and The Pope is visiting .. I am a studious girl.. so this is an occasion for me too to read a bit more about the history of places I already know.. but being a blogger I decided to write about it too.. and share.. under one condition.. when the Pope or some other important visits your country.. you have to study..and tell us about these places.. so we will all be able to think and understand about ..

he will visit Sultanahmet Square today..this place is situated inside the old byzantine city walls.. and facing the open sea.. the port.. the commerce centers are and were always situted there.... and of course this part has been and still is one of the most important parts of the city for all ages..
During the byzantine empire.. it was the hypodrome area.. where they made rallies of old days.. there were two groups the greens and the blues.. and these had even political power.. the two team raced in small cars and it was turning to quite a bloody end sometimes.. the big royal palaces and the big churches were there.. here is general view..

the pride of this place are the two neighbour buildings.. the Hagia Sophia.. Ayasofya in my language.. and the Mosque of Sultanahmet ..Saint Sophia which is not dedicated to St Sophy as believed but to ''Holy Wisdom'' was built on 360 AC.. but has perished many times.. and the last building dates to 537 .. during the reign of Justininus.. the dome was a roman.. but placing a dome on a rectangular building has never been attempted before.. and never again after.. this was a trial of architecture.. the aim was to prove the power of the byzantine emperor to the world..but the structure was not right and the dome was so large that the walls which carried it ..bended by this weight..and it has collapsed a number of times and had to be restorated a number of times.. which costed great amounts of money..finally on 1453.. when the ottomans conquered the city.. Mehmet the Conqueror.. has had his religeous 'namaz' sevice held in here.. another show of power.. but the bulding it was in ruins..the head architect Mimar Sinan.. was ordered to renovate it.. and has added some external walls to prevent collapse.. four minarets.. and it has been converted into a mosque.. it was converted to a museum.. after the republic was the orders of Atatürk.. and still is a museum.. the dome is beautiful.. and large as I mentioned..and it is happy to see that the mozaics remained all these years..The same Fatih the Conqueror.. he killed himself to stop one of his soldiers destroying a marble cover within the order to find a hidden treasure .. this was a very clear message.. to whoever thought of destroying..

there are many beautiful mozaics.... dating back to the 9th.. 12th century..this one below is Jesus Christ coasted by the empress Zoe..and emperor Konstantin Monomaknos..who is 3rd husband of the empress.. and the writing over the head and the head itself ..of the emperor which was dating back to the first husband were scraped and changed after their marriage.. and the mosque of Sultanahmet.. known as the blue mosque.. It is the only mosque which has 6 minarets.. and at some angles you can only see three .. they superpose each other..
and the dome .. and some of the walls are covered by
Iznik tiles .. very renowned for their intricate design .. mostly bue..therefore the name.. and has lots of botanical patterns on them..
the dome and arches .. are beautifully shaped..

this is all for the Pope.. half an hour in the Hagia Sophia.. 15 minutes in the Blue Mosque..

but there are so many beautiful things around he misses.. the Egiptian obelisc.. the serpentine column.. the palaces.. and other museums dating from thousands of years..this place is also a social center for people.. parks.. cafés.. and lots of special restaurants are making this place a favorite one for us.. not only for the tourists.. the best meatballs of the city..are made in a restaurant at the square is there.. for us on sundays.. autumnal walks in thousand of years old streets.. and parks.. filled with centennial trees..

walkng feel as though you could hear the whispers or even shouts of all those people.. who reigned.. had fun.. had strikes.. died and loved in this old city.. this is the city's soul..

Istanbul had been and still is the most important aim of those who look for power.. but she never cares.. like a beautiful lady .. she has her own lifestyle and interests.. she remains.. the others are gone.. will be gone.. one day..

as I always say.. art remains.. beauty remains.. everything else.. is transitory..

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

photographs from sunday and the church of St Esprit

this is the photo I took.. of the ceiling of the small chapel.. new theater..

and the two others are the photos of the same ceiling at the exposition.. they are taken by professional photographers ... I can see what it means being a professional artist.. you add something.. colours in this case.. use a different angle looks so different..
this is the door of the grande salle and chapel photo taken by me...

and the followings are from the exposition again..light and angles.. I must remember this..

could you notice that the glass over the door is shaped like a lit candle..
I did..but only when I saw this photo.. not during the 30 years before..
I have gained a new respect towards photographers.. they show you the details of your life..that you have skipped..

le cour des glycines.. The garden of glycins..

and the church St Esprit.. seen over the garden wall.. this is where the Pope is coming for the morning prayer on friday.. this is a beautiful latin catholic church build on 1836.. and there is a beautiful statue of St Benedict in the front closed garden.. this must be the reason of choosing them.. this specific church..
for me this is the third church I have known as a child .. the first two were on the main street.. near my parents house.. they were one Armenian Surp Astvazizin.. and one Greek .. Hagios Georgios.. facing each other..then came the one next to my school.. my friend used to go in and lit candles.. before some exams.. and I went with them.. then I grew up and discovered .. that Istanbul has many churches of different origins.. mostly Orhodox but lots of them..

there are two things I like to do on weekends during spring one is join the guided tours of old city of bizans.. and the second is to go to old parts of the city and visit the ancient buildings..churches.. this gives me a feeling of being a tourist in my city..

today the Pope is visiting the house of Virgin Mary and the Church of Virgin Mary.. in Selçuk.. and tomorrow he will be here in Istanbul..

Monday, November 27, 2006

nice weekend.. nostalgia.. and centerpiece enjoyment..

I had a wonderful weekend.. on saturday.. went to the wedding of a friend's daughter..
I was with my husband.. because the bride's father is a good friend of him too.. and the bride's mother.. is my friend for 38 years.. our schoolmates were there.. most unaccompanied.. they were sitting in rows.. a group of beautiful ladies.. sitting the same way we used to sit in the classroom..
what do we do here?.. how can we become mother-in-laws.. and don't remind me .. soon grannies..
she was the first bride.. amongst us .. and her daughter is the first bride of our children's generation.. and after the coctail.. I heard the girls ( my friends) were going to pub-crawling.. so I left my husband at the parking place ( he is the sweetest man).. and we went to Pera .. with my girlfriends.. to celebrate.. our mature ages..
our happiness and sadness as all weddings make us feel..
wine and raki.. lots of turkish cold and hot plates.. no man to stop our laughters nor tears..

Sunday there was the show of the documentary of my high school in the new theatre build in the Grande Salle and Petite Chapelle .. my school dating back to 1856.. the documentary called ''150 years of a country..viewed from yhe windows of a school'' was fascinating..they made a really good job in research .. going to Vatican to the center of the foundation of Notre Dame de Sion.. and going through the archives.. the letters of the nuns reciting the last years of the Empire and the building of the republic.. I have photos and notes.. this is for another day..

coming back home.. so filled of relaxation and energy.. I re-arrenged some details in the living room..
the white lace-like metal tray and combined candle holders from
saturday trips.. and bits and pieces from the thrift or antique shops I love to visit..the angel from another saturday.. hortensia flowers from the garden.. finally came together and made a nice centerpiece for the coffee table..
the leaf shaped lamp parts were waiting for an inspiration.. and the glass flower was broken part of a vase I saw at the antique shop.. they didnot have the vase but the part =)) and I happily accepted their they insisted I should take it..and it has the same colour with the hortensia.. green.. plum.. faded and romantic.. some candles with the same colour.. I love how the light shines on the glass parts..
with some Xmas decorations will take pride until new year..and some fresh flowers will bring spring in..
another reason for a nice cuppa..

how was your weekend??

Friday, November 24, 2006

art remains.. life is short..

no crafts but some photos that came to my e-mail.. I wanted to share..
photos..of the city where I live..
to everyone.. his own nest.. city.. country is dear.. But Istanbul becomes dear to anyone who sees..
there is no city like it..
no city can hug all.. traditions of hundreds of years.. and modernity.. mistiscism and technology.. in one grasp..
the east and west meeting.. this is the description everyone makes.. well it maybe right .. but not enough to tell about it.. or her let us say..because.. Istanbul is referred as a beautiful and immoral lady by most of our poets..
there even was one saying
'' cover up mistress
cover up..yes you city..
cover up.. and sleep forever..
you woman of all men..''
when he wrote a poem about Istanbul in fog..
the silhouette is not the same as in my childhood .. now it became undescribable.. can you believe these so different views.. being intertwined.. so nice.. and so harmoniously..
the view from the port of Karaköy.. on the seaside ..on the right is the Dolmabahce Palace.. last residence of the Ottoman Emperor dating from 19 century.. now a museum..and on the left is the Dolmabahce Mosque .. .. and look behind.. this could be Manhattan ..
the bosporus bridge.. at the sunrise.. when we return to Istanbul from any trip.. we have to cross the bridge..and if this happens in the morning.. at the sunrise.. it seems as though the sun.. is rising in your body..and the golden orange light reflected by the sea is projecting from inside towards outside from your proper body.. you fill up with energy..
the pointed the Galata tower dating back to 1300 .. has an interesting story..the name 's origin.. and the purpose of built are not for sure.. .. it is told it was build as a lighthouse..or a fire controle tower.. the name Galata may be originated from the ''Celts '' who resided in this area for a while during Bizantyne Empire.. or to the words 'gala' and 'galatas' from greek language meaning mikl and milkmen .. or from 'Caladdo ' of italian ( genovese ) language meaning uphill..
living in Istanbul.. makes you more researching.. and fatalist at the same time.. even history has indecisions.. so you seek out for the truth.. the past.. you can dig as deep as you wish.. and never come to an answer for sure..and when you never find it.. you understand that nothing stays on earth as it was meant to be.. and that what is important is to stay where you are.. trying to be the best thing around.. standing proud..and waiting to be discovered one day..

the Topkapı Palace.. another residence of the Ottoman Emperors.. build in 15th century..

as the parts of the city just behind this palace is full with old historical buildings the silhouette is not pierced by high buildings.. so when you stand in the middle of the beach.. and look to the left .. you go back in time.. and turn your head to the right.. there lies the future.. isn't that wonderful to caress the eras of human existance on earth at one glance .. you would wish to be a part of it.. time machine.. is Istanbul.. back and forth.. forth and back.. in a glace..

and if you are in the middle of the you will also see this the giel's tower.. with many mithological tales.. and still you'll never know why who and on which purpose someone decided to build it..

can you believe that this city which 1500 years old has been struck by 2 invasions.. the crusaders..and the ottomans..

by two big earthquakes.. many fires.. and kept so many of his art.. and beauty

what you learn in my city.. is that.. life is the only important thing.. what you try to achive will be past.. in a few years.. conquerors.. even emperors.. don't leave anything but art behind..

debates and wars.. will be gone.. forgotten.. harming just those who lived it.. but not leaving a permanent sign..

as they say.. ars longa.. vita brevis.. the art remains.. and life is short.. we can add.. even history is not reliable..

so live.. enjoy and keep creating your art..

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

houses .. doors.. emotions.. and a book to read..

I have a special relation with houses.. I have changed 5 during 17 yrs.. and even I buy or rent.. I decided the same way.. I fell in love with each.. did even not finish to visit them.. it was a love on first sight.. and in this condition.. love on the doorstep..
one of my favourite bloggers..tongue in cheek finds always beautiful ways of showing us the importance of life.. takes care to sharpen our sight and vision.. with her words.. and her photos..
and frequently.. she has door photos..
I asked her today if she ever thinks about the symbolism of doors..
I have lots of door photos myself.. doors.. walls and windows..
I believe windows and doors are like the face of human.. no I don't mean the eyes and mouth symbolism as in the children's naive pictures.. more than that.. they have expressions..
they can be happy.. satisfied.. interested.. hostile .. sad.. friendly.. or real in pain..
the one below is a very jovial door from old Datya.. an old stone house.. and the door has a very interesting stucture..
the dark part just above the opening is made of a log.. I know well I hit my head on it =))

I read somewhere that painting your main door red.. makes the visits to your house less frequent because it is an alarming colour.. well not this one.. I think it mostly relates with the shape of the door.. that one is so friendly.. you want to push it.. and step inside..
a hand carved .. once loved.. now less popular.. tired one
an arty one.. there is such a detailed work on the wood and the hand.. it shows you the power of the owner.. makes you think he is a nice and rich man.. I say nice.. because of the choice of the shapes on the wood.. so fine..intricate but not over-powering.. and rich.. beacause of the height and rich materials.. this must be the house of an harmonious family.. good relationship.. slamming ( you can't easily slam a door this big and heavy)

but there is none that impresses me like these left ones..
I don't know the reason of the stones in the middle of it..
of course it is to avoid intruders.. and to prevent hazards and accidents..
but why stones.. may it be.. to stop the whole structure collapsing.. because they are all wooden supports for the walls above the doors and windows.. and if not used or left empty they may collapse ??
but whatever the reason.. they touch my heart..
I think about the joy and good intentions .. with wich the construction began.. a new family nest is being build.. songs were süng during the construction.. meals were eaten in group..during the resting hours.. furniture were placed.. lives lived.. and then left behind.. who was the last person to get out of this door.. did he leave it open.. or lock it with care.. why did they not sell it.. or deconstruct it.. are there any hopes that he fills with life and human emotions again..
I read a novel this summer .. from a turkish author who leaves abroad and write in english (then translated to turkish.. it must feel funny being translated to your own language).. Seven Houses.. it was the story of the occupants of a house.. told by the house..a story of a few generations of the was dreamy.. I wish you could read it too.
this is a strong book which pushes you start to visualise your house .. as a person.. with emotions..
and it had a stronger effect on me.. as I already had that feeling ..
how about you.. how do you feel about houses.. and your's.. what story do you believe your house is telling to complete strangers
ps.. w.i.p. black bolero goes on.. will be finished in a few days.. still no photos.. =(

Monday, November 20, 2006

one ''use what you have ''project.. one question.. help please..

I love to do these small projects.. done on a small place.. preferabily sitting in the armchair.. watching TV.. and can be finished in one day..
this handbag is one of these.. made on a sunday.. It was a pattern shown in Marie-Claire Idées.. of last winter.. it was beige.. and made of felt.. with a fabulous feathery embellishment.. at the front.. the overall lok was like a doctor's bag.. with a short handle..
I did not have any felt.. and still don't have.. but had a divine thick wool fabric.. kind of fabric used for winter coats.. and it was in my favourite colour.. plum.. so I had hand - drawn the pattern on squared paper.. and cut it.. then sitting in front of the TV.. hand sew.. all.. I used back stiches.. to make the handle that attracted me.. and was the reason of my decision of making it..I needed two rectangular metal accessories which I did not have in stock.. so I rummaged in my box of ''miscellaneous things ''.. ( yes that is the label of the box..) I used the hanging parts of old drawer pulls =) .. hiding the part in which the screw went.. in the fabric..
the feathers were pulled from a clear vinyl inflatable cushion filled with purple feathers.. it had a hole.. so we could not inflate it anymore.. but for the sake of the purple feathers I had kept it.. ( I know they look mostly indigo.. but it's the light of the flash.. it has a plum colour in reality..and matches the colour of the fabric)
and I used a fabric covered button.. from an old suit.. in the middle of the flower pin .. after adding small glass beads on it.. as well as all alond the stich lines..
when you are addicted to a colour.. it is so easy to colour-match everything..
I love these kind of projects.. never needing to go out .. to collect material.. a real.. use what you have project.. I also made a beautiful lining.. in silk paisley patterned fabric with lots of candy colours and purple of course.. but I forgot to take photos of it..
this is my perfect winter.. evening bag of the moment.. soft.. shiny.. baroque..

the next photos.. are posted.. because I need your help..
as anybody has an idea.. of what it is.. a friend of mine bought it from a second hand shop.. she just liked the shape.. and details.. she asked me what it is.. well I cannot specify.. but I thought this could be a censer .. but the others I had seen had chains.. and I had never seen any one-sided wooden handle on any censer.. when you grab it from the handle it becomes very unstaedy to carry.. so what the handle is for.. and what is this for.. anybody any idea ??

Friday, November 17, 2006

saturday programs .. with a teenage daughter..

saturdays are my day off.. not from work.. but from the family.. or should I say were..
as my daughter grows.. she is spreading into my life.. and into my saturdays..
when I've got married..and had my son.. I was working until late in the evening..all week days..and on saturdays .. and sundays were spared to my family..
try to understand I got married when I was 32.. and before I had all my days to myself .. at least after work hours.. after a couple of years I felt exhausted by this routine and announced that I had to.. I wanted to.. have some time for myself..the only availble solution was to spend the saturday afternoons .. a few hours of it .. for be able to enjoy.. all the small details of life that make it 'your's.. so I went to see my girl friends.. went out with them.. went to concerts or movies my husband did not want to.. and my son was too small to come with me.. I went shopping.. to beauty saloon.. or just walked peacefuly..through this beautiful city.. saturday was my day.. my 14.00-18.00 decision..
and I was coming back home.. having missed them so husband and son.. I kept saying..this is good for good for you..and it went on ..all saturday afternoons.. after work.. until this year..
my daughter is a very social girl..and wants to have a social life with me too.. she wants to have special..mother-daughter times.. with me..and as she has her ballet lesson on saturdays at a dance school .. very close to my work.. we have now.. saturday afternoon programs.. she likes.. sometimes as I like.. and today looking through my photos.. I noticed I have started to collect a whole bunch of saturday photos..
the was enjoyed .. on the highway.. wo week ago.. coming back from Ikea.. where we went to see the new Christmas decorations..we bought a lot of them.. plus the purple bedcover to go with her room barcode designed wall.. no more pinks for her =(
these were taken with the camera of my phone.. no security endangered.. as the traffic was heavy..

this one the window of the antique shop next to the ballet school.. the ballerina at the back was her.. and the liquor bottle was my favorite.. but the store was closed.. so we have to check again next week.. on the first row.. are antique turkish coffee cups.. which are smaller than ordinary coffee cups.. even smaller than espresso cups.. and much thinner.. I should have a look at them too..
last saturday I drove her to a friend of her's birthday party.. and spend the rest of the time.. with my friends.. in Paul.. yes we have an original french bakery in Istanbul.. hasn't the world become so small.. my coffee had a heart shaped mousse over.. and the best and smallest buttercake was a courtesy of the bakery.. nice addition to my coffee..
they kept the decoration quite similar to french style.. and I love it.. especially the light shades.. the details are not seen but they are in crunchy 'taffetas' .. can you believe that I send.. a lightshade maker.. to whom I had ordered the new shades for my house.. to Paul.. to drink a coffee and have a look at these.. and create the similar effect for me.. =)).. coffee on my charge of course..
and this is the department store which I like to visit.. any time.. Pabetland .. and it is a turkish home design center .. it has two floors.. the ground floor is mostly accessories.. and modern design..and the second is .. oh so traditional- continental furnitures.. but the setting is just like a house.. you don't see the stock but decorated parts.. with dining tables as if set for the guests.. even the candles are lit.. the beds are half open as though it waits for you to get in and curl.. It inspires me .. I always get back home with a small package and big ..big ideas .. the photos are taken from the coffee shop situated in the hall.. just by the silk flower department.. it makes you feel as if you are overlooking from a garden into the shop.. and I must say this is the only adress to eat lemon meringue pie in Istanbul..
a woman must know these special places.. where?..what? details.. and must teach her daughter.. this is refining.. and I start to totally enjoy it.. shaping up the little lady..

this saturday we are planning to listen to a concert of classical music.. and then .. yes.. you have guessed right.. go and have some drinks and pastries..and chat about the week.. with my daughter..

what will you do on saturday??.. whatever is your program.. I hope you enjoy it very much..

Monday, November 13, 2006

flowers.. vases.. and love affairs..

I love my garden..
It keeps my heart and soul in peace..
I was born an grew in a house with a huge garden.. and my dad was the keenest gardener I have seen..
but I was not wise enough to learn things from him..
and when I get married .. we moved in an flat with a small balcony..
that is when I learned the value of my father's garden.. and years later.. we finally moved to house with a garden.. well it is slightly larger than a deck.. but suits me.. I can spend time.. play with my plants.. and enjoy the seasons.. and remember my dad.. try to figure out how he did things in the garden.. but my gardening is mostly remembering fondly my dad..
I like to make all places interesting to look at.. this chair was found by the curb.. all it needed was a paint.. I choose a pinkish purple.. the colour of my hydrangeas.. and I placed all my zinc accessories over and around it.. the long vase is planted with what you call baby breath and we call 'love-stairs' .. it is barely visible.. as a rounded elevation.. from the top of the vase..this photo is dated from begining of July 06..

a close-up.. will verify if I remembered the name right.. tiny heart shaped leaves..

and this is how it looks now.. you can understand why it is called love stairs.. they go down.. and the leaves look like small steps.. but what I am interested.. is how beautifully it filled the pot.. and how decorative it looks now just under the window of my dining room.. there are 5 candle holders.. some french some scandinavian looking.. and when I lit them my window glows so warm..

and my hydrengea flowers.. are now inside too.. they dried in e fine pinkish puple colour.. and now fill up my new porcelain basket.. yes the white porcelain collection grows up.. It was love at first sight.. a basket to go with my little girl..

and the flower details are so fine.. roses and simple petal flowers.. I thought it was french.. but was made locally.. has a fine crackle detail.. and the colour is a light pink-cream..
well this is the way I live.. sometimes very rarely.. I need things.. for a while.. I am very practical with these.. use it.. be nice to it..and dispose it.. but often.. I fall in love.. suddenly..because of one look.. one bud.. one colour or texture.. and can never live apart.. this small basket.. will be always in my life.. among with others.. and will receive a compliment.. care.. a new place sometimes.. new flowers.. and will always feel.. loved.. and cared.. as all objects and people I am in love.. and devoted.. in my life..