Every year, my artist friends and I would take a short road trip to a nearby village in the South of France for a plein air water color session and to chill.
I was very happy with our choice of location this year — the Plage des Chalets, which is the setting of the movie, “Betty Blue”, or “37.2° le matin” as it is known in France. I’ve heard it is also a location of one of Leonardo di Caprio’s movies, but I couldn’t seem to find which one it is. Let me know in the comments if you know which one.
Anyway, here is a short video of our trip to Plage des Chalets and the pink salt mine (yes, “pink”, that’s right!) of Le salin de l’île Saint-Martin. We had a lovely time there. Hope you enjoy watching! And if you did, please give the “like” and “subscribe” button a hit.
I can’t believe 2020 just happened. It just does not feel like we have really left last year though. It feels as if 2020 was not really done yet. It just wants to be a longer year than it already was. But I really don’t want to spend the first blog of the year ranting and complaining about 2020. I’m back here with some life updates, etc.
First off, I got myself a new iPad. It’s the 4th generation iPad Air. It’s really fancy-schmanzy and all coz I bought with it the Apple Pencil and the keyboard which also acts as a protective cover. So far, I’m really loving it. I bought it for the sole purpose of using Procreate coz I find that Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop nowadays are such an expensive scam. Since I’m already at ease with Apple products, why not just use Procreate, the much cheaper version?
Anyhoo, I’m thinking of creating some digital artworks with it, which I would like to mix with the old and familiar, watercolor. If you could see my new profile pic, I actually did the portrait sketch in Procreate but I did the soft-focus background with watercolor. I just love how the foreground seamlessly merged with the background. After unsuccessfully attempting to achieve this simple effect using Gimp, it is such a welcome respite to find how easy it is to do this with Procreate.
First of all, some updates… It’s been a while. I have been super busy with my Christmas Greeting Card for a Cause project the past few weeks. I’ve also just recently put up my online shop. Add to that the fact that I’ve started studying French again. The French government has been kind enough to approve my request for full financial support to study one-on-one, customized French course for myself online, so as to improve my conversational skills and to pass the exam to B2 (Advance Intermediate) Level. The last time I took the exam, I was B1 (Lower Intermediate) Level, and that was like 5 years ago, I think. 🙂
Anyway, just want to keep you posted. Been busy with the Christmas shopping, updating my online shop for more items and making videos. Also, preparing documents to submit for a Master’s Degree I’m looking to apply for next year. I might also enroll in the meantime in an online Garden Design class to a prestigious school in the UK. I’m excited about this! I’ll let you know more in the coming weeks.
Anyway, here is a video of me painting one of my Christmas greeting cards. You can follow along, or just watch. Watercolor is so relaxing to watch. Plus, I’ve put some nice and cheerful Christmas songs in the background. It helps to feel more relaxed, more zen and more cheerful, especially during this times of confinement and gloomy winter weather.
This Christmas greeting card, along with all my other watercolor artwork prints on Christmas gift items are up on sale, folks!
Also, there is now a new item in my menu (Link Tree) that links to a page containing all my social medial sites, FYI. I first had the idea to do this via linktree (the web site that allows you to create a “link tree” of you social media sites). But then I thought, hey why not just create a link tree of my own in my web site. It’s more practical and I get a nice URL with my own domain name instead of using theirs. Haha! 😉
During the confinement period, like most people I know, I have rediscovered my love for plants. Particularly, the indoor kind. I suddenly crave for more greenery inside the house as a result of not being able to visit my favorite garden (Jardin Japonais) right next to my old office. I have accumulated quite a collection of them, some of which, I am about to obligingly enumerate in this blog post… starting with my beautiful tall plants…
Pendant la période de confinement, comme la plupart des gens que je connais, j’ai redécouvert mon amour pour les plantes. En particulier, celles d’intérieur. J’ai soudain envie de plus de verdure à l’intérieur de la maison, car je ne peux pas visiter mon jardin préféré (Jardin Japonais) juste à côté de mon ancien bureau. J’en ai accumulé toute une collection, dont certaines, que je m’apprête à énumérer obligeamment dans ce blog… à commencer par mes belles grandes plantes…
If you have read one of my previous blogs, you would have already seen my Bird of Paradise, which is a Mother’s Day gift by my husband and my daughter. It has grown a lot of new foliage now. It looks quite happy and healthy. I have not repotted it for fear that I might damage its roots. So far, it acclimatized quite well. To take care of this plant, you need to put it closest to the window and water it every three days, or so. Of course, I also wipe the leaves with disinfectant once a week because… why not? I do this for all my other plants as well. Seriously, it’s a good way to remove the dust so that it could absorb more sunlight, and helps ward off bugs at the same time.
Si vous avez lu l’un de mes précédents blogs, vous aurez déjà vu mon Bird of Paradise, un cadeau de mon mari et de ma fille pour la fête des mères. Il a maintenant beaucoup de nouveaux feuillages. Il a l’air très heureux et en bonne santé. Je ne l’ai pas rempoté de peur d’endommager ses racines. Jusqu’à présent, il s’est assez bien acclimaté. Pour prendre soin de cette plante, il faut la mettre le plus près possible de la fenêtre et l’arroser tous les trois jours environ. Bien sûr, j’essuie aussi les feuilles avec du désinfectant une fois par semaine parce que… pourquoi pas ? Je le fais aussi pour toutes mes autres plantes. Sérieusement, c’est une bonne façon d’enlever la poussière pour qu’elle puisse absorber plus de lumière du soleil, et cela aide en même temps à éviter les insectes.
Next on the list is my Red Abyssian Banana. The hubs saw this basking in the sun outside our favorite plants shop in a town nearby. He took a picture and sent it to me. It was love-at-first-sight. So I just had to get it. Like most bananas, it grows sooo fast. I couldn’t believe my eyes. We’d eventually have to plant it outside at the rate that it’s growing! But I really hope not coz it just looks so gorgeous inside the house.
Le prochain sur la liste est ma Red Abyssian Banana. Mon mari a vu cette banane se prélasser au soleil devant notre magasin de plantes préféré dans une ville voisine. Il a pris une photo et me l’a envoyée. C’était l’amour au premier regard. Il fallait donc que je la prenne. Comme la plupart des bananes, elle pousse si vite. Je n’en croyais pas mes yeux. Il faudrait qu’on la plante dehors au rythme où elle pousse ! Mais j’espère vraiment que ce ne sera pas le cas parce qu’elle est si belle à l’intérieur de la maison.
Mother’s Day in France was surprisingly celebrated on the first weekend of June this year. I have always thought that Mother’s Day here always falls on the last weekend of May. It is a little late to talk about Mother’s Day but it’s better late than never.
La Fête des mères en France a été étrangement célébrée la première semaine de juin cette année. J’ai toujours pensé que la Fete des meres ici tombe toujours sur le dernièr weekend de mois de mai.Il est un peu tard pour parler de la fête des mères, mais il vaut mieux tard que jamais.
Starting now, I have decided to blog both in French and in English so that I can practice more written French and not lose this skill during these times of non-exposure to written French.
Dès maintenant, j’ai decidé de faire mon blog en Français et en Anglais en même temps pour que je puisse pratiquer mon Français à l’écrit et pour que je ne perde pas cette compétencependant cette période où mon occasion d’ecrire en Francais est bien limité.
What have you all been doing these days? As for me, since lockdown has ended here in our region in France, I have been able to visit some nice places close by. We are still limited to the distance we can travel, though.
Qu’avez-vous fait pendant ce temps? Moi, depuis la fin de la confinement ici dans notre région en France, j’ai visité quelques beaux endroits aux alentours. On peux déjà se deplacer mais la distance est encore limité.
It’s been almost two months since home quarantine started. Here in France, everybody’s going to be let out on 11th May. Not me, though. I’m not planning on going out there yet. I think it’s going to be crazeee!!!
What have people been doing during this time?
For some like myself, I continued to work from home. It was challenging at times because of the additional work of my daughter’s home schooling, and house cleaning, which was usually handled by a hired cleaner.
We’ve obviously been missing out on a lot this year. Half of the year is almost over, and nothing much happened… except maybe set some small (or big) personal improvement goals.