Sunday, July 18, 2010

Inspired by Michelle and a mystery

This morning I logged into the Hero Arts Flickr group and saw this gorgeous card by Michelle.  I love the way stamping on bookprint looks!  I immediately dropped everything and started playing.  I tore out a page from a French textbook (I think) that I found at a Florida flea market this spring.  Here is my resulting card:

Supplies: HA S5362 Dogwood, AR130 Handwritten Sentiments, peeled paint distress ink, Prismacolor pencils, green cardstock

Now to the mystery part........This book has a copyright of 1924, could it really be that old?  It is called Contes des Provinces, by Suzanne Roth, published by American Book Company.  It consists of various chapters titled by province in France, but also includes a map of France, a Hymne a la France, Questionnaire et Exercises, and at the very back, a French to English dictionary (vocabulaire).  Two interesting things (at least to me):  in the chapters on each province, EACH page is numbered 5, 10, 15, etc. down the margin at the end of each 5th, 10th, etc line (if you enlarge my card you can see the 20 and 25 down towards the bottom right).  Is that a teaching tool?  And secondly, there are several pictures included in this book.   I've scanned 4 of them and made them into a collage for you to see.  Click on it and hopefully it will get bigger for you:

So, Michelle, look what you have started: a whole essay on this little book!  For any of you out there who speak French, I'd love to know what the page that I selected says!

Edited to add: look down in the comments below and see the translation from Carole!  After going back to see where in the book I got this page, it is indeed in the chapter titled "La Bretagne", and the picture above in the top right is part of the story!  Thank you so much, Carole, for solving the mystery!  I'm thinking that each chapter must be a little fairy tale or story from each of the provinces in France. 


  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous card, Lin!

  2. Such a beauty, Lin! I took French in high school but not good enough to help with translation! Hope you solve your mystery...maybe Jacqueline can help?

  3. Beautiful card and I'm no help with the mystery. I had Spanish in school.

  4. What a stunner Lin,. Love the green on the page for the background.

  5. Beautiful card Lin! Love the stamped book page. I've a lot of old books and have seen line numbering in one or two but I don't know why its done. Perhaps for reading aloud?

  6. What an interesting post, Lin. First of all, your card is truly beautiful! Love the look of the dogwood on the print! It was so neat to read about this book and look at the pictures. Glad you shared them!

  7. You truely make the dogwood stamp look like a star! Love your cards:-)
    And thanks for the mention..

  8. Lovely background with the stamped image and the popped colored flowers are beautiful.

  9. You will have to invite Jacqueline to comment. Love this card - the green images on the text is perfect. So lovely and vintage.

  10. This is sooo pretty. And your book sounds really neat, what a find! I'm hoping you'll watercolor one of those images & make a card! :-)

  11. Wow Lin, this is so pretty! It makes me want to run out and find a vintage book to stamp on!
    If my daughter were her she could translate for you but alas, she is studying French in Quebec right now. :-)

  12. I could not love this card more!!!!!!! WOW, WOW, WOW! Everything is perfect!

  13. wow! this is absolutely gorgeous, Lin!! beautiful colors and design!! i LOVE IT!!

  14. hi lin!!
    firstly, this card is absolutely beautiful!!
    secondly, i can translate for you, but it's a rather strange little tale. :)
    it's called "the ferryboat of carnoet" ~ i don't know if there is any religious or mythical significance to carnoet, but i just googled it and found out that it is a village in brittany, northern france.
    anyway, Milliguet is given a consecrated branch of holly by his mother, who tells him to show it to the ferryman and command him, in the name of the Lord, to bring him "en vie", alive, to the land of the dead. Milliguet is afraid but he obeys.
    at the end of the page, Milliguet has forgotten to say the words "en vie" and a second person, Guern, in his despair, hits the ferryman over the head with the holly.
    and then i don't know what happens!! ;)

    so yes, it's a gothic-style religious fable, with a decidedly french flair. just a beautiful book ~ what a find!!

  15. oops, me again.
    i just re-read it and Guern just hits the ferryman. i guess i embellished a few details!! ;)

  16. oops, oops.
    lin has sent me the other pages of the story, and i see that i've made a few mistakes.
    this is a "strange legend" spoken of by the old people of carnoet-clohars...
    long, long ago, there were two young lovers named guern and maharit. maharit is taken by milliguet, a sorcerer, to the "land of the dead". an old beggar woman, whom guern calls "mother" as a form of respect, tells guern everything he must do to bring maharit back: he must cut a branch of holly and dip it in holy waters, and order milliguet, in the name of the Lord, to ferry him to the land of the dead. milliguet is very powerful, and only the Lord is able to defeat him. guern gets the holly branch but forgets to say "en vie", or "alive", as he gets into milliguet's ferryboat...
    and that's where lin's page ends!!
    we may never know the ending!! ;)

  17. But wait - I googled the names of the lovers and found another translation with the ending! Here's what happened:
    When the ferryman Milliguet took no notice of Guern, Guern, "in wild despair, struck the ferryman with the consecrated branch. The strange man uttered a terrible cry, threw down his oars, and plunged into the dark waters.
    Still the boat drove madly on. Guern could never tell how long after it struck against a huge mass of rock, and was dashed to pieces under a gnarled oak that bent over the water.
    Years afterwards, at all the pardons of Clohars, of St. Leger, and their neighborhoods, was to be seen a pale, distracted-looking man, who ran hither and thither among the crowd.
    "Ah, my friends, he cried piteously, while tears ran down his furrowed cheeks, "ah, for the love of God and the saints, take me to the shores of the dead;" and at another time "Maharit, Maharit, where art thou, my beloved?"
    The young people looked at him with surprise and pity, but the older folk only shook their heads and said "It is the poor madman of the ferry; it is Loik Guern."

    Such a sad ending......

    Thanks so much to Carole; she and I have been back and forth on this all morning......Carole, I hope you didn't have anything pressing to do today!

  18. Hi, Lin! I just love this card! I like how you used the same stamp in the background as for the focal image. It looks amazing! Truly fabulous! :-)


Thank you so much for your kind comments - they make my day!