Monday, 26 October 2009

Flying South

Getting ready to fly to Marrakech on Wednesday, where the sun
is bright in a blue sky and it is hot! It is going to be so good.

We visited very briefly, like two days, a few years back, and said
then we must return.

Deep in one of the souks is this shop. Suitable for a
visit on Halloween I think. All sorts of lotions and
potions, terracotta scrubbing brushes, sea sponges and
oils for the hammam, strange magical looking objects,
plus dyeing ingredients - madder, lumps of dried indigo,
and 'red' indigo, although I think something was lost in
the translation. Maybe it was cochineal? I did buy a
little terracotta dish of Berber's lipstick - cochineal. Hmm.
But first I have to find this treasure trove again.

I must also revisit the metal souk and take a better picture
of these lanterns, including all of the spiral tops.

Doing some research I have found the cloth dyeing
quarter, a must. Then there are the tanneries - which
I might just give a miss. Never mind getting lost in
the small alleyways, the smell of leather curing in
pigeon poo is going to be a give away. My nose is
wrinkling just thinking about it!

Our riad has wi fi apparently, so I'll keep you posted.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Scarves to go

A stack of velvet scarves delivered today, thus a week
of manipulating, pole wrapping, and dye painting velvet
Rich jewel colours, very subtle colour blending. I find
it impossible to get a good picture of the dyed velvet,
suffice to say gorgeous!
Hey look, I've gone a bit technical. I took pix of velvet
dyed and undyed, then fiddled around in Illustrator.
I like the result, so I should do more of this!
I must make time to explore the wonders of Blogger

Monday, 19 October 2009

A "Parson's Egg" week

e.g. good in parts

Last Saturday found me on Brownsea Island, Poole.
Now owned by the National Trust, it was the birth place
of the Scout Movement - Baden Powell set up the first
camp on the Island. A beautiful tranquil place, no
cars allowed, home of red squirrels - all busy gathering
their nuts, so to speak. Delightful.

Cottages on the foreshore - what a great place for a studio.

I was invited over to take a dyeing class as part of an
Embroidery Workshop. Location The Girl Guides summer
house - so quiet and inspiring, especially as students were
encouraged to take nature as their theme.

Samples drying on hedges

Cloth dyed in autumnal/island colours

The view from the house - dappled sunlight, looking
towards Poole Harbour.

I had been invited by Betty (Ruffell) who organised the
weekend. I think I surprised her on my arrival in
complete walking kit, boots, walking pole, and
racksack, jeans, big jumper etc. My norrnal attire
for workshops is churridar (trousers) and a kurta!
We had a great time. When it came to make my
way to the ferry my back said 'no'. Consequence,
last week not a lot got done until a visit to my
Chiropractor on Friday.

Enter the 'elephant in the room'. Velvet for dyeing.
Getting a good way into this now - dyed lengths for
scarves piling up. A few more metres to go.
Must take advantage of reasonable weather today
and tomorrow before the rains come. Wednesday
should see me at the sewing machine, all being well!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Getting there

First off, the October Journal Quilt - Autumn Leaf

Then clearing the decks, so to speak. Velvet ordered
for the annual dyeing of scarves fest. Car reinsured!
Paperwork, blurb and photos - publicity for our
family exhibition in January. Next stage, really
getting my head down to some creative thinking.

Flights booked for a short break in Marrakech at the
end of the month, to celebrate (Keith's words) being
married to long. I think he meant it in a nice way!
Should be back in time for the arrival of the first
grandchild. Exciting times ahead.

Friday, 2 October 2009


Yesterday I slowly stitched a small
piece for a birthday card to a friend

Bright pink Dupion silk with shisha. It's a small piece,
about 6 x7 cm.The shisha are 0.5cm, snipped to size
with my special cutter. On one of my journeys I watched a
young girl attaching really tiny shisha in a slightly different
different way, using very fine thread. She kindly showed
me the technique, which took a little while to master.

They look like little jewels, surrounded with French knots,
then I found my sequin pot and went mad!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Proper Job

Thursday and it's meeting up with my friends at The Mill.
Today it's my turn to make a cake. Now I used to make
lots of cakes when the boys were small, and now I don't
so much. Today I was up early and baking, and proudly
presented my Dorset Apple cake. All very wholesome,
with the seasons Bramley apples and cinnamon.

I have to confess I usually forget/don't have the time/
ingredients so end up at the local bakers. There is
just enough cake left for Keith to have a piece with
his cup of tea. Halo shining brightly.