Friday, 23 December 2011

Happy holidays and best wishes for a peaceful and creative 2012

Tomorrow evening we will board a big silver bird and track the man
in the red coat flying across the skies.   Just for a few days.
Somewhere hot and steamy, with no Christmas pudding in sight.

See you next year


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Winter Solstice

Today is the shortest day, and the turning point of the year.   The sun gets stronger
and the nights shorter.  A cause for celebrations.   I can feel myself renewed, maybe
I will come out of hibernation!

Whilst I cannot post a picture of Stone Henge, where the sun rose beautifully , a good
omen indeed, I can give you some mistletoe from my garden.

and my Solstice hair 

Oh, I do like a bit of colour!

Sunday, 18 December 2011


a little light diversion from seasonal things

I found a box of pre felted wool and sari ribbons, and a little time

the hidden embellishing machine made an appearance

sari ribbons needle felted, then an assortment
from my box of bits - net, sheers, and unknowns

the back looked good too

lots of hand stitching and French knots,
plus shell sequins

made a little bag, and added a tassel wrap
something to keep my mobile phone warm

Friday, 9 December 2011

Past and Present

So, where has the time gone since we returned from India?!!  My days have been 
full, but only this week has it been textile related - more on that later.

My ipad is both fascinating and sometimes infuriating!  Guess there is still a lot 
of finding out to do!  

When staying in Castle Bijapur in the depths of the Rajasthan country side I
found something I 'needed".   Eating out, under the stars, and there were many 
of them, a fellow guest viewed the night sky through his phone.   There were the 
planets and constellations mapped above our heads.   And, so, dear reader, 
I purchased an iPad!

This wonderous devise has lurked on shelves for years.    Made up of
two discs of plastic, you can move the upper disc to select the time
and date.  So good, so far.   Next up, hold it above your head and
determine what is in the sky above.  It never really worked for me!

But just look at this - and if you look carefully you will have a
glimpse of my bangles and rings!

Truly amazing, now I know what's out there for sure, even
during the day!    I did let my son Nic have a play yesterday.
Being a Star Wars fan, it was difficult to wrest it out of his hand.

I have spent most of this week dyeing thread - lots of it,
and preparing for the Indian Bazaar which opens tomorrow,
for one day only.   Check out post on 24 October for details.
Apart from the Bazaar, Lis will be bring her collection of
old Indian textiles, I'll have my Emporium and we have
four guest sellers.  Silver jewelry, fabulous papier mache
bowls, lino prints and other yummy things.

Now I might just have to check out the night sky.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

shiny things

road side shrines



Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Testing, testing

From my iPad.

New toy.  Thought it might be convenient when on the move!   And.......there are interesting Apps out there.     Enough for today - my brain is scrambled.

Monday, 28 November 2011


We knew it was going to happen whilst we were away, but, 
my goodness, what a difference.

The dead birch tree has been chopped down, and the old green house removed.
The garden looks so much bigger.    On Sunday we cleared the ground of weeds
and leaves.    Now to ponder and plan the proposed vegetable garden.  Fabulous.


Friday, 25 November 2011

something different

seed heads

Yesterday I took a workshop with a local embroidery group.    The subject, fused
applique with free machine embroidery and hand stitching.   The piece is only
5 x 5", mounted on a stretched canvas.   Just enough to get the idea.   By the end
of the day everyone had finished the 'mechanical' bit, with just the hand stitching
to finish.

I loved the gathering of work at the end.   All had their maker's individual drawing
marks.   A good day, and such a change from my usual Indian inspired hand stitching!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

home again

back into London Heathrow to a chilly night, with a little fog
we travelled from Delhi, making our way west into Rajasthan, flying out 
of Mumbai

After all the bother in Delhi, the trip just got better and better, especially 
when we left the big cities and headed out to the countryside.   On the 
smaller roads, stopping for chai, and maybe a stuffed paratha, a delight.  
There were moments, of course, like when the car broke down!    The local 
boys loved it,  lots of help appeared from no where.The mechanic arrived,
 bearing wire and pliers.   A kind gentleman provided chairs for us, and,
later some fruit and chai.  We continued to be objects of curiosity.
The car was declared to have a broken gasket.  After an hour or so, another
car arrived so we could continue our journey.   Ah, this is India!

Our final destination, Udaipur.   Lake Pichola Hotel is like a home from home.
Four days of not traveling, just relaxing and catching up with friends.

Evening flight to steamy Mumbai.  Morning flight to UK

Good bye India, until the next time!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

at the end of the day

while we were traveling

through the countryside in Rajasthan, we came across a rather jolly gathering.
Sometimes it can be a little problem as to whether it is better to just glance in
passing, or stop.   With our friend Samshul in the car he insisted that it would
be fine to stop.  So we did!

a gathering of family and friends to celebrate the Mundan or Chadakarana 
ceremony, when the baby has his first hair cut.  The ceremony can take place on 
the 1st, 2nd or 5th year.  Once only for boy babies, but with changing times it has
become a practice for the ceremony to be done for girl babies too.

We arrived at the end of the celebrations.   Lunch was coming to an end.  We
were offered delicious cake.  Yum.   The ladies and men eat separately - above
the ladies and children.   

The men were very busy packing up camp, whilst the ladies were still enjoying 
themselves, talking and laughing.   Gifts of tiffin tins were passed around.  Had 
I not been travelling with three men I could happily have joined them, taking up 
the offer of henna painting on my hands.   There again, with a few more miles of
bumpy roads, probably not a good idea.   I can just imagine damp henna paste
decorating the inside of the car.

mattresses being loaded on a bullock cart

and back on the road, another bullock cart loaded with
rice straw.   


I've added a couple more block printing pixs to last posts.   Blogging on the go,
such fun, especially when you find images are too small, no time to alter.  Off
we go again, with no idea of the next wifi opportunity.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Friday, 18 November 2011

rock paintings

A day to remember.   With our guide Kukki, we set off early in the morning on a 
voyage of discovery.   Kukki, has been searching the land (and hills) around Bundi 
since he was a boy.   Apart from arrow heads, coins and bronze tools etc. etc., he 
also discovered rock paintings dating from the Stone Age through to the Bronze Age.
A lovely man, and a great storyteller.  We were entranced all day long.   His web
site is, well worth a visit.

Out from Bundi the land is very fertile, wheat, mustard growing well.  The rice almost
ready for harvesting.   After a while the scenery changes to a sparse landscaped,
mostly shrubs and trees.    We stop and walk for ten minutes for the first 'surprise'.
A beautiful waterfall cascading down into the valley below.

A walk of 2km in the broiling heat, brought us to a smooth ledge jutting out across
the gorge.     Where vultures fly.   We could see their nesting/roosting sites, and,
there, above out heads were a group of vultures just gliding on the thermals.  Such
a fabulous sight, especially as these birds were on the verge of extinction.

Scrambling up and down, squeezing through small gaps, negotiating thorn bushed,
we were amazed and the rock painting.    We saw only a few sites, and there are
many more.   A few pictures - Kukki's website has more information.

earth colour stones

on the left, a shaman - to his left a hunter with
bow and arrow (and quaking knees)  below
him, a man with a lasso

a group of woman waving and shout to frighten the
animal, play the bowmen on the other side.   It is
thought the women are off African appearance

On the way back we stopped on scrub land, and there beneath our feet, we could
see evidence of worked stone and agate cut into sharp blades.

The country side is the home to the Bhil people.  We stopped at one of the villages
but very few people were about.  Possibly working in the fields.

Bhil houses with typical decoration.  I love the blue
house with the painted train.

We arrived back in Bundi early evening, very dusty, with heads
full of wondrous things.   A fantastic day.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

To Bundi

via Ranthambore, to go on a tiger safari.  Unlike our last visit when five tigers
were spotted, this time, apart from a pug mark, nothing.  I think they have gone 
on holiday.

And so to Bundi.   The old city is a delight to wander through.  Slightly off the 
beaten track, not so many tourist make it here.

Monkeys rush down from the palace in the early morning, to return in the evening.  
Then it's the turn of the bats!

Goats enjoying the morning sun

fresh mooli from the market

Kota Dori cloth being woven.  Kota is the next town, 
famous for the production of this cloth.   Very fine cotton 
scarves dupattas, and saris.  Pattern or single motives
 are added, woven with metallic thread.