Thursday, 21 April 2011

Morning on the beach

I just spent a very enjoyable morning with my daughter on the beach.

The ocean is very calm here - ideal for an almost three year old - with lots of shells and other interesting things to find in the sand and in the shallow waters.

And good views too:  To the one side the Burj Khalifa in the background,

and to the other side, the Burj Al Arab.

Look what we found:  A paper nautilus shell, 2 old pottery bowls and a pretty stone.
A perfect morning.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Haberdashery Souk 3

A few of the items I acquired at the Haberdasher Souk yesterday...

Do I need any of this?  Of course I do!  Silly question.

Haberdashery Souk 2

Let me show you what the shops at the haberdashery souk look like on the inside:

This one only sells trimming.  Floor to ceiling.  Trimmings.

This one looks like nothing at all from the outside.  We almost didn't even go in.  But wow!  what a treasure trove.  This is the ground floor space as seen from the door.

The stairs going into the basement.  It is lined with beads.

The stairs going to the first floor. More beautiful things.

A few of the shops as seen from the street. No hint of what is going on inside.

Another shop front.

The button wall.  Part of it.

Sample sheets of what is hidden in all the boxes.  It is impossible to display everything, although some shop keepers surely try.

The floor of one of the shops.  It is made up of display boxes covered by plexiglass.   It is too wonderful!

Just in case you feel you have to go there immediately, I marked it on the map for you. Print it out and take it with you.  If you are unfamiliar with Dubai, start from the Gold Souk, (all taxi drivers know where that is) and just walk the two blocks down the street to the area marked on the map. The intersection  marked with the arrow is c/o 107 Al Sabkha Road and Sikkat Al Khail Road.  Start there and just browse the whole area.

Happy shopping!  

Haberdashery Souk 1

The Haberdashery Souk is an area in Deira, Dubai, where the streets are lined with textile and haberdashery shops.  

The shops are filled from floor to ceiling with trimmings, lace, ribbon, buttons, beads and all sorts of add-ons a needlework lover would adore.

They also sell sewing tools, pins, needles, scissors and anything else you can think of.

They sell wholesale and retail, but the smallest you can go is a roll of trimmings or a bag of buttons/beads.  They don't sell by the yard or one-offs.

 Most items are imported from Asia:  India, China and Thailand seems to be the major sources.

 I cannot walk through this area without buying at least one several items without any plan or project in mind. Surely I will find the perfect use for a roll of trimming / a bag of buttons / a spool of ribbon?

Isn't this wonderful?

And this..

and this...

In the next post I'll show you what the shops themselves look like.

Butterfly Sewing Macines

While visiting the Haberdashery Souk in Deira yesterday (more about that in the next post) we stumbled across a small sewing machine shop in a side street.  Of course I can't just walk past old sewing machines without having a closer look.  At fist glance these machines looked like old Singers, but on closer inspection it turned out to be all different and unknown brand names from India and China.

The most beautiful one was a Butterfly machine.  The man in the shop told me it was from India, but I have since learned it is from China.  Apparently it is a copy of the Singer model 15 machine.

The metal and paintwork is beautiful.  The man told me the machine is in full working condition and comes with a wooden base and box (which I didn't see) and sells for AED220 (US$60 / GBP36)

I didn't buy it, but it was beautiful to look at.  No doubt modern machines do a great job, but isn't it a joy to see so much decoration going into something so utilitarian? I am sure a person working with a machine like this cannot produce anything ugly.
While searching the internet for more information on these machines I found these wonderful resources:

I apologize for the poor photo quality.  The shop was quite small and not very well lit.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Lovely new things

I saw these beauties in Bloomingdale's in Dubai Mall about 2 months ago. Now, Bloomingdale's is one of those shops where I only go to look, and drool. I don't buy anything there - they don't do my price range. Sadly.

But this morning as I approached the shop I decided that if they still have these beautiful PVC coasters in stock, I'm going to buy myself a set. And here they are:

Six perfect laser-cut pvc coasters made by Imagedorient in Lebanon.

They have points of sale in 29 different countries. Have a look at their website and catalogue. It is delicious.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Dubai in pictures 15

When I opened the blinds this morning, I was greeted by a rainbow. This is definitely not a everyday occurrence in Dubai. How beautiful!

This is most probably the last coolish, wettish spell before summer, and only the second time in six and a half years that I saw a rainbow over the desert.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Stash-buster quilts

While my knitting project is taking a break, I started working on another project I've been putting off for a while...

I have loads of old fabric stash which really don't inspire me much anymore but it's keeping me from buying new stash. One of the targets I set for myself in the beginning of the year was to work away all my old stash into charity quilts.

And then when I have a clear cupboard (and conscience) I can buy loads of delicious new's that for motivation.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

I,m not so sure...


I thought this is what I wanted. But it's not.


  1. I think the script is to narrow. I need something bolder

  2. The colours are all wrong. I need more earthy colours - browns, greys. Maybe ochre or terra-cotta?

  3. I need a thicker yarn, something more robust - this one is to flimsy. I thought I was going to get away with using what I already have, but I will have to go out and buy the right thing. Bummer...


Putting the whole thing together is going to be a finger numbing exercise. Which is why everything else has to be perfect - or it won't be worth the trouble.

I guess this project is still in the development phase...

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Graph Paper Generator

I was looking for triangular graph paper recently but couldn't find anything in the shops. In the end I decided to order online...

But guess what I found instead? A free online graph creator! Isn't this cool!!

You can design your own graph to the scale you want, with lots of options of line direction, thickness, colour, etc

You can even get a circular graph! Once you create the graph, you can instantly download it as a pdf file and print it out.

This opens up sooo many new design possibilities!

I think my family might just go hungry over the next few days while I play with my new graph paper...