Tuesday, 15 April 2014


there are a couple of places left on the Shibori/Procion workshop Saturday 26 April
if shibori is not for you, you, come along and do your own thing

busy days

The workshops went well.   Fabulous students, who worked very hard!     No photos, far too  busy 'doing'.

Workshop 1 - Indian Applique

folded square for a warm up

Workshop No. 2 Indian Mirror work

the basic stitch, then we went on to
explore different methods of attaching
mirrors, including thick machine cut mirrors

Well done to all my lovely students!

on Saturday morning I woke up early and witnessed the
most incredible sunrise, it was raspberry coloured
by the time I found my camera the colour had faded
a little, much not that much

isn't that amazing?
the old saying 'red sky in the morning shepherds warning
a sure sign of rain, but not that day

Back home again on Saturday evening and a quick meal before setting of for London.   Will was running in the Marathon and we were taking Ben up to watch some of it, then ending up in The Mall for the finish.

the view from Hungerford Bridge across to Waterloo Bridge
(you wait for ages for one bus, then loads suddenly appear)

we walked to Trafalgar Square and had a picnic    Ben had a good run around
and loved the fountains, but not having his photo taken

I loved the blue cockerel on the fourth plinth
the blob of blue on the right
my camera battery died
I'll just have to return

and so to The Mall

Daddy did it!  

Home again, and relax, that is after putting all my workshop stuff away.
Ignoring all else, the sun is shining and I am now going to visit the green gym.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

all boxes ticked

Thirty five kits to go for two workshops at the end of the week.    Paperwork gathered.   All ready to go.   Who knew it would take so long?!!

After this weekend, I am looking forward to having time to 'play'.    Summer workshops start at the end of the month, they are always fun.   The garden is in need of attention!   Plants are growing like mad with the 'April showers'.   Lots of ideas scribbled down in my notebook, it will be good to revisit and put thoughts into action.

but look

today I did some stitching and it felt good!

a patchwork bag to hold a iPad 
the photo was taken outside in the sunshine
which was a bit of a bonus

Thursday, 27 March 2014

so, where am I now?

Or rather, what have I been doing over the last three weeks?

It's been hectic.    Two workshops at the beginning of the month.   Shed loads of paperwork and admin to deal with.    Prep for my summer workshops, and gathering all the bits and pieces for the two workshops I am taking at the Quilters' Guild AGM in two weeks time.

basket of bags - part of the student's pack
and I cannot possibly say what is inside!

a surprise package from the postman

a package from Australia

way back in November I was asked to submit
an article on shisha for the World of Quilts - India.
which is included  with the Down Under Quilts magazine
 thank you!

Not a lot of stitching going on, one or two pieces sort of on the go when I have a spare minute or two!   The dye pots are busy dyeing yarn, cotton and felt.   It's heads down for
the next week, and then I will resurface and serious get stitching again.

lastly, I just have to post this

I love travelling on Indian Rail.   Overnight trips are great - interesting fellow passengers, or not.   In the morning you are woken to cries of chai, chai, or coffee, coffee.   The country side whizzes by.  If you are getting off at the end of the line no problem, if not, keep your eyes peeled lest you miss your station.

This time we travelled to Mumbai from Ahmedabad, no stopping train for us, but the Duronto Express.   We left just before midnight and arrived at our destination by 6.00am
The coach attendant handed out the Laundry Bag to passengers.  Crisply ironed sheets and pillow case (or 'face towel')  together with a bottle of mineral water.  Bed made up with a cosy blanket on top made for a perfect night's sleep.

Thank you for following my Indian adventures.   Some might have found them tedious!   Since we now seem to find ourselves out in the wilds far away from Internet access, and it takes some time when I get home to sort out the blog, I am thinking I might just set up another blog  just for my travels.

Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary

Up early and ready to go, except after our little night excursion, we found three punctures in one tyre, which only took an hour to mend!

We could see the large lake in the distance, a few more miles through winding country lanes and we were there.

breakfast time

village taxi

Down to the lake, where our 'country' boat awaited.   I was not too sure about that, but it would have been ridiculous to sit on the bank.  Luckily a slightly larger vessel appeared.  How to describe it?!!!   Well, think fibreglass structure, very low in the water, and propelled by punting.   Fortunately the waters of Nalsarover Lake are shallow.  We arranged ourselves
on plastic matting placed on the deck, and off we went.  Not quite Venice, but lovely.

the crew

fishermen unloading and sorting their catch

lunch - and they were delicious

lake temple

and so we just glided along  it was a beautiful experience
so quiet and peaceful 

there were thousands of flamingoes
these are getting restless, they have seen us!

I got a bit carried away taking photos of reflections of reeds
it was mesmerising, watching the shapes change as we passed by

reeds being gathered for cattle food

doing the laundry

Back on dry land again after a dreamy hour on the lake.

Fish for lunch, of course.   Packing to do, we leave for Mumbai tonight.

The Little Rann

North of Dhrangadhra lies a land of salt farms, heat mirages, flamingos and other migrating birds, plus the Khur or Asiatic wild ass.    I visited here with my sister Aly in 2009, can it be that long ago!    (see blog post 16.02.09)

I had to take Keith to see the Asiatic wild ass, and whatever else that might be there.  

a boat

which is a strange thing to see in the middle of no where
there are loads of grass covered islands, know as bets, which, during the
monsoon season really do become islands again    when the waters rise
fishermen take boats out and go fishing for shrimps

So that was just a taster.  Next visit we must go stay in the Koba huts again!

Well, all that salty air means a chai stop on the way home

local village warrior stones

In the evening Mr. Singh took us out on a night safari.   I thought it was around the grounds, but it turned out to be his farm, not so far away.  So off we set, with torches, stumbling through the undergrowth, lots of scuffles and strange noises!  We were looking for night jars or hares.  Think they might have gone to bed.  Then there was great excitement,
two porcupines, never seen here before.   Very ghostly looking.  A frog and a nilgli (also know as a Blue Bull) made an appearance as we walked through a field of fodder, which smelt sweet and delicious.  

A stroll around the gardens of OBGH, we could hear a Little Spotted Owl.  
But, enough, time for bed.   We are going on a boat trip tomorrow.

putting my feet up!

Keith and Samshu set off at 6.00 on their journey to Velavadar National Park, home of the Black Buck, and so much more.   It's beautiful, but I have been there before.   A lazy day for me instead I think.

I sorted my photographs, caught up with my Journal, read my book (The Strangler Vine by 
M.J.Carter, based on the East India Company and The Thugees mid 19c) sitting with my feet up on the balcony looking out on the jungley garden.

Watched a whirlwind/ tornado travelling at great speed across farmland.   Fascinating - either dark or light depending on what it picked up.   There were many whirly things flying in the air.

An invitation for evening drinks with Thakore Sahab Rajah P.S. Jhada of Sayla, best kurta I think.   He is such a lovely gentleman and host.   Indeed, it was a great honour to be invited.

the Durbar Hall

the royal throne

our host and his son, owner of The Old Bell Guest House

It was a wonderful evening.  Tales told, songs sung, all in great company   One of the delights of our travels.  We have a vague plan to start with, but then amazing things happen which could not be imagined, and not knowing where you are going or who you will meet along the way!    The Durbar Hall is full of interest.  In the past it must have magnificent, and you can just close your eyes and imagine the gatherings held here.    

the company