Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A gift from Japan

My dear friend Riana came back from her trip to Japan last week and brought me this great gift!  She visited the Tokyo International  Great Quilt Festival 2012 and came back with loads of wonderful goodies (needle-craft related and otherwise) which we never see on this side of the world.

This is part of a piece of printed cotton.  It has a border of beautiful Japanese ladies dressed in their traditional clothes and hairdo's.  Isn't it gorgeous?

The fabric has a fine texture which makes it even more wonderful.  I need to find something to make with it where I don't have to cut it - it is too pretty!

She also brought us some sweets from Tokyo.  

Neither her nor us knows what it is as we can't read Japanese, but that won't stop us from eating it.

What a wonderful gift.  Thanks again, Riana!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Project ABC: I is for India

So, I am a slow starter... It is already end of January and I am only now getting back on track with my Project ABC. For my India project I used some of the sisha-mirrors I bought years ago at the Haberdashery Souk.  I have used some of them before but I still have a whole box full of them in the cupboard.

This is not a complete item, it is just a doodle.  My self-imposed limit of 3 hours do not allow me to actually finish anything. (Did I mention I'm slow?)  The blue circle filled with the green french knots is where one of the shisas fell out.  I did not make the overlap big enough. But so you learn...

I still have enough sishas for a few more projects... or doodles...

Monday, 16 January 2012


Bastikya is one of my favourite parts of the city.  Unfortunately it is on the opposite side of town from where I live and not somewhere I can just pop into whenever I feel like it.  I have to have a reason to go there and plan a trip to that side of town.  Usually I go there to show visitors around, but yesterday I went there on my own, and what a good morning that was!

The Majlis Gallery is one of the friendliest spaces in the Bastikya and it's always a pleasure to visit. Last year I attended an exhibition by Stephen Meakin and was really bowled over by the intricacy of his work and his attention to detail.  He conducted a workshop back then which I really wanted to attend but couldn't, so when heard he's coming back to town for more workshops in March I had to book immediately.

After my visit to the gallery I popped over to the Dubai Litfest's beautiful new space just around the corner from the gallery to book my tickets for the upcoming Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.  What a friendly space and people.  It was a pleasure to visit them. 

I concluded my outing with a coffee at the Basta Art Cafe.  To sit in a traditional courtyard, under an indigenous tree, enjoying an Arabic coffee on a weekday morning is just about the best me-time there is.

With my culture-tank filled up, I am ready for the week.

Have a great one!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A quick recap of 2011

Before I get into 2012, let's have a quick look back over the past year to see what have been accomplished:

Tried black-work for the first time:

black work portrait

Started knitting again - first time since childhood:

knitted portrait

mystery knitted project - unfinished

Did only one crochet project (unfinished as yet):


Made two tutorials:


embroidery pattern

Made two quilts:

stash-buster 1

stash-buster 2

Traveled to three countries:


South Africa


Started a few long term project (still going...):

Project ABC

Arabian inspired designs

And a few other odd things:

I revamped the blog and designed a logo

I visited a few souks

I have many plans for 2012, which include lots of stitching, monetizing and travel.
Now, lets get to work!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Dubai in Pictures: UAE's 40th anniversary

 On the 2nd of December 2011 the United Arab Emirates celebrated it's 40th anniversary.  This is the 8th year in a row we were here to celebrate with them, but this time it was different.  We knew by now that Emirati people love to party on National Day and we suspected that the 40th year would be a big one, but it was way bigger than we anticipated!  What a party! 

The preparations started weeks before.  The theme for the celebration was SPIRIT OF THE UNION - the official branding can be seen in the picture above.  The seven founding sheikhs, leaders of the seven Emirates which came together on 2 December 1971 to form the United Arab Emirates were pictured in front of a UAE flag.  The seven emirates are:  Abi Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujeirah. Sheikh Zayad bin Sultan al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi were the driving force behind the unification and is still regarded as the Father of the Nation.

Shop window were made up in the national colours.  Every possible product were displayed in these colours and the windows themselves were decorated.

Flags were everywhere.  Houses, cars, lampposts, trees - nothing escaped a flag.

Memorabilia, decorations, souvenirs and everything else you can think of were for sale in the national colours.  The children wore national colours to school, painted their faces, made up their class rooms and shared in the joy of the nation.

And the cars were something to behold!  No costs were spared to 'pimp' your ride!  The car pimping shops couldn't keep up!

The owner of this Smart car was so proud of his ride!  When I asked him if I could photograph his car, he gave me a guided tour of all his pimps.  It even has string lights in the national colours which lights up his car like a Christmas tree!

 Even the Rolls Royce did not escape!  
This is one of the courtesy vehicles from the Burj Al 
Arab Hotel

The houses were covered in flags - some big enough to cover the whole house!

 The flag below is a huge flag which hangs above Union House in Dubai, the place where the unification documents were signed 40 years ago.

In this time when the world looks on at the unrest in the Arab world, where it is obvious that many of the rulers in this part of the world are not doing what is best for their people and where people suffer at the hands of their rulers, it is a joy to see how the people of the United Arab Emirates love and adore their leaders.  Sheikh Zayed is loved like a father by everybody in this country.  The rulers of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum and his son, the crown prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum are loved and respected.  Because they love and respect their people.

It was an honor to be part of these celebrations.