24 September 2013

hunter, gatherer, artist, a friar and a linky




 Three Franciscan Friars came for dinner last week, three wonderful men, one American and two Vietnamese. They span generations and have the most interesting stories to share. We see them every few months for dinner in our home and it is always a treat for us. Last week was a high for me.
Father Joseph walked in with his bright smile, entered our living room, glanced around to see what was new to the menagerie we call home and said with sincere enthusiasm "It feels like an artist lives here".  Those four words wrapped themselves around my heart and set it alight. My friends, If I was tied to a string, you would have had a hard time pulling me down from our ceiling. He got me on 'artist'. I felt the skies open up and my worries rise above me. I no longer felt that I had serious issues with my hunter, gatherer syndrome..and the menagerie mess I call home. I was an 'artist'. Roll it in, prop it up, worry about it later...no matter, an artist lives here. Why do I have three of the same thing? An artist lives here. Where will I put it all when we move? An artists worry, I will think about that another day. God Bless Father Joseph!

Our menagerie..in and out of Chateau Mango
Saigon, Vietnam

I suspect that many of you probably feel that same creative tug. Artists can sense fellow artists. Is there something that you can't resist...that draws you to it? Is there something that another would raise an eyebrow over and you secretly love? Do you feel the energy pulling you in every time you pass an art gallery or store filled with curiosities? A curiosity could be anything and everything. Do you feel drawn to photograph, draw, write, create, touch and dream about an idea?  Join the club...we are artists!   I have decided we can use this word as loosely as we like...if it's within you, it's divine and it's yours and yours alone.

I have been thinking on this new feeling and one word comes to mind.. 'bowerbird'. It is a charismatic bird found in New Guinea and Australia. Both male and female have a unique 'hunter gatherer' quality, a creative flair that makes them stand out from the rest, they are artists of the Ornithological world..

Bowerbird hunting and gathering in chartreuse.


A few word on bowerbirds from National Geographic....

People also study bowerbirds because, well, they're surprisingly similar to people. Indeed, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond has called them "the most intriguing human of birds." These are birds that can build a hut that looks like a doll's house; they can arrange flowers, leaves, and mushrooms in such an artistic manner you'd be forgiven for thinking that Matisse was about to set up his easel; some can sing simultaneously both the male and female parts of another species' duet, and others easily imitate the raucous laugh of a kookaburra or the roar of a chain saw. Plus, they all dance. 

Written by Virginia Morrell for National Geographic here
PS..while you are there, look at the photos...amazing!



Bowerbird creating in stone



Creating something new...Bowerbird Friends
A while back I started The Brown Paper Book Club, it is about friendship and books. You simply share a book or the name of a book you enjoyed reading. I pick up recommendations from all of you and add them to a reading list, they are old favourites and new favourites...they are all here. The link is kept at the top of my blog page if you ever want to check in for a reading suggestion.

So..now I am thinking of something new for us creative types...and I will call it Bowerbird Friends.

Bowerbird Friends is for artistic souls who are happy to share what they love. I will do it via a Linky post. For those of you who are not familiar with Linky, it is a place to share links, a place to meet each other.  It is easy to do, just click on the blue 'Add Your Link' below and follow the instructions. If you need help, let me know, happy to help.

I would love to have you share a creative post..writing, reading, photography, painting, cooking, sculpture, gardening, collecting anything...you let us know what you love. Pick one of your personal favourites. Link in the location where you express yourself best (Blog, Flickr,Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest etc). I think it will all work here.

Let's share...you just never know what will transpire, it could be the beginning of a new chapter in your life. I know for a fact that there are many creative souls who read this blog...I can read it in your words and your posts. I hope you will join along!


An artist creates....Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon
Where we met the first of our three Franciscan Friar friends. :)





37 comments:

  1. I understand your thrill at feeling someone understood your passion for collecting and home making, Jeanne... I certainly do... Perhaps you can show us more of your fabulous finds that are inhabiting Chateau Mango? Would love a peak.... xv

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    1. Like Vicki, I am absolutely pouring over each inch of Chateau Mango shown here and ask you in my most winning smile if you would be willing to share more with us? It is positively amazing what you have created.

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    2. Thank you Heather...I will, promise! :)

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  2. Hi Vicki....I shall and will be sure to let you know when I do. :) xx

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  3. When are we ever going to meet?? It really has to happen. After reading this (well, and every post of yours) I think, "well that is a kindred spirit if ever there was one." I too am all for using the term 'artist' for many, many forms and disdain the high-fallutin' aspect of the word. We ALL have creativity within us and all we have to do is put it to use...
    I will think about what to share and return! But now, time to walk the puppers!
    Gros Bisous,
    H

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    1. One day Heather...I am sure of it. I am thinking of a September 2014 visit to London and Paris...just maybe we could coordinate something?? If not...there is always New Hampshire...and Saigon. :) xx

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    2. yay! i linked! it's a wonder i even have a blog i'm so tech challenged. :)
      have a good day jeanne
      xo

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  4. i am so inspired by creative women. i have never really considered myself creative either... however, i do love to collect, and cook and decorate. i think we are all artists in a way! i will figure out how to link up! never done that before! learn something new every day right?
    and can i get in on this meeting with you and heather?? how i would love to meet you both!
    xo

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    1. Your on Pam..we will find a way! If you need help linking up let me know..and based on everything I see, I would say you are very creative..and adventurous. You are living in Paris! :) xx

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  5. .. the ultimate 'high' for sure ... congrats ... a great affirmation of your style and choices ....

    Karen in CT .. now VA

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    1. Thank you Karen..it was a 'moment'..we all need those every now and again.. :)

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  6. How fun to learn about the Bowerbird. I've never heard nor seen it. I love how you are inspired to use its characteristics to create your new group. What am I drawn to?? Curiously, both my husband and I are drawn to Asian pieces...very much like what you show in those antique shops. My bedroom has a distinctly Asian touch to it and I would even love to find one of those gorgeous carved wood screens for the corner of the room.

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    1. I will keep my eye out for another Sarah...I think of you each time I duck in and out of the shops around Saigon. If you were with me, we would have so much fun! xx

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  7. Love those friars!!! I'd love to join the bowerbirds with a link but it's been so long since I've done anything creative...and we're heading out of town to our winter home in one day! I'll be out of the loop for awhile but I will catch up when I get my connections re-created in Florida :) till then...

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    1. They are charming Becky...truly. Enjoy your travels to Florida...I so admire your transitions back and forth. Sounds like the ideal lifestyle to me. xx

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  8. Good morning, Jeanne! I am not the least bit artistic or creative, but I am so inspired by those who are. I guess the term for me would be "art enthusiast". I enjoy reading your blog so much because it is such a reflection of the creative life you lead, whether it is writing, photography or art.

    Have a lovely day! xoxo

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    1. Thank you Sandy...and I think you are more creative than you know, just from what I have seen on your blog. You think big and travel well..I love that you are in the travel biz now too. You are a natural.
      Have a wonderful time in Paris...shop well! xx

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  9. Wow! Who would have thought I could be a bowerbird! In the past, I saw a great program on TV (PBS or some such channel) about bowerbirds. Amazing the oddities they put together. Another idea for you ..... how about calling a convention in Paris in September 2014 of Jeanne and her bowerbird friends?

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    1. Loving the idea of a convention in Paris Judy... Bowerbird Friends Flock to Paris? Ah..the fun we could have with that one! Thx for the book tip..in touch soon! xx

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  10. what a great idea! must go to linky now. bowerbird, i have never heard of them. a day that i learn something is so special! everyone is creative-just by being you you are creative. love your blog. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. Peggy...you sweet thing, thank you. So glad you linked..you are a natural Bowerbird..an extremely talented one! xx

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  11. Well Artist it is then! Love how that sounds;) I laughed out loud with the comment, "why do I have 3 of everything"! I also love the idea of hunter/gatherer. After our home explosion, and I suffered a brain injury, I had a very difficult time putting the house back together again. I use to have an intrinsic ability to see the big picture in terms of colour, texture, scale etc. but with the injury, that is gone. When I struggled to re-build, and re-decorate, it was devastating. I couldn't really articulate how difficult it was emotionally not to have my nest, ...feathered. You so beautifully identified the importance of our nests, and the fact that indeed it is primal . You made my day. xob

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    1. Brenda..I am so sorry that I missed this news of your home explosion. I will come along and catch up. I am glad you enjoyed my post..I had a feeling you would relate. I hope your 'nest' is taking shape... xx

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  12. So loving the bowerbird - how did I not know such fantasticness? Please add 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette?' to your list - really fun quirky book - and not too long. xoL

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    1. Lovely to hear from you Laura..thx for the book tip! xx

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  13. We are Artist is amazing! You are amazing Jeanne. Your house is just amazing. Love the decor and how it naturally fits in the environment there. I will definitely join the Bowerbird. Great idea Jeanne.

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  14. Bowerbird Club is a brilliant idea. Love your extraordinary post as much as I love your lively blog. Always a pleasure to read, warm embrace of kindred spirits.
    Please more of Chateau Mango. To show just a few pics is a teasing, a delicious amuse-bouche.
    And thank you very much Jeanne for stopping by.

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    1. Thank you Natalie...I will be sure to post more on Chateau Mango. It take a tidy house, not my strong suit...must be a sign of an artistic spirit.. ;) Sounds good to me! Thx for linking in..xx

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    2. Thank you for a kind book suggestion, I'll look into it. Here's one about Venice for Brown Paper Book Club: Peter Ackroyd Venice: Pure City. I found it very comprehensive. It really helped to feel Venice in a whole new way.

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  15. Jeanne, love, love, love this - Bowerbird Friends - for those of us who collect and are, or want to be known as, artists!! As long as you have a creative spirit and follow through in many aspects of your life, I feel one is definitely 'an artist'. Yes, I am a collector of what some may think are peculiar objects - and I find my preferences are getting even more peculiar lately - such fun though!

    I have to tell you this - I have actually watched a bowerbird adding treasures to it's nest!! It was built on the ground in a garden we visited - I was unable to get photos. What a fascinating experience - it was last Sept. in the Kakadu National Park in Australia's Northern Territory whilst on an expedition trip to awesome The Kimberly region.

    This painting in my post today is one I enjoy...........I would never be able to paint like that but admire artists who can.

    Enjoying meeting new 'bowerbird friends' here.

    Happy day - Mary

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    1. Hi Mary...I love the painting in your post today...I can see how it inspired you. I am so impressed with all your travels, I can't begin to imagine and the fact that you are so organised on your blog with your posts puts me in a very enviable state of mind. Your upcoming trip sounds wonderful...I imagine the Bowerbird in you will be delighted at every turn. Please be sure to post along the way... Save travels! xx

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  16. I came to ask for the link to your favorite pad Thai recipe but find myself intrigued--albeit unprepared--by the idea of becoming a Bowerbird. If you could send me the link, perhaps I could do a post about making pad Thai...when I have a kitchen again. E-mail address is urbancottageblog at gmail dot com. Steve

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    1. I am writing up a post today Steve..I will be sure to send you the link. I imagine with your renovation, knowing the area that you live in...and the shops at hand..you are a natural Bowerbird. Your Instagram photos say so!

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  17. Jeanne, I have loved the Brown paper book club! And to know that I can now be a member of like minded, collectors, artist's, hunters and gathers is like the icing on the cake! I am excited to check out the links!

    I can imagine that you were over the moon! How wonderful to have someone recognize your "eye" for the beauty in life.

    I thought about you all last week as I visited NH and MAine and wished you were in the area so that we could meet up for one of my favorite treats, a doughnut!

    Take care, xo Elizabeth

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. Just a few words or a few paragraphs, no matter. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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