Sunday, December 30, 2012

last but not least Marakech

old door to the Mosque at the Saadi tombs, this entrance has long gone.

I had a wonderful time in Marrakech

Museum of Marakech

Next to the Medersa is the Museum.  Where a highly decorated traditional palace is the setting for modern art.  Absolutely mind blowingly amazing

The last two can be clicked to see the detail

medersa ben youssef

I love historical buildings, ya didn't know that?  If you google images for medersa ben youssef you will see for yourself why it took my breath away.  Pattern and colour and doors and .....

You wouldn't believe how long I had to wait for there to be no-one in this photo.  You enter the Medersa through that door and the colour and pattern hit you right between the eyes, so everyone coming through stood, mouths open in amazement.  Sometimes my patience surprises even me :)

 There were many many doorways to drool over

You can click on this one to enlarge and see the wonderful angels wings on the wooden panel over this doorway. 

Some of the students room overlooked the courtyard, this was the view from inside of one of those rooms.  Other rooms were smaller and had no windows.

the carvings around the walls and doors were intricate and amazing

Marakech Jardin Majorelle

Jacques Majorelle built the garden, it was bought by Yves Saint Laurent and restored, later left to the Foundation Pierre Berge with the intention of being open to the public for ever.

Wow. and again WOW! There was lots of water, fountains and orange and yellow pots, with bright blue and aqua buildings. 

   Even with lots of tourists visiting, it was tranquil and peaceful and it was easy to relax and just enjoy the setting.

I loved the patterns on the windows, especially the play of light and shadows.

There is a quiet little cafe where I drank my first real cup of tea in Morrocco whilst Tina tried mint tea for the first time.

some of the plants were interesting too :)

Within the garden there is a small but very interesting Berber Museum, the jewelry shown was incredibly creative but sadly no photographs were allowed inside. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

people in Marakech

This water man was the most cheerful and charming man, would you look at his smile.  The watermen ring their bells to announce their arrival.  I guess they make their living these days from tourist taking photos, but who could resist...

I am not sure the 'tooth puller' still earns his living pulling teeth, but he had a huge pile of teeth and dentures.  His own teeth were perfect and I have no doubt he sees a standard dentist regularly.  He was another perfectly charming character.
I don't like the way animals are used to entertain humans, but couldn't resist sneaking a pic of this baby monkey wearing his nappy.  This city is incredibly clean. 

I hope you are not bored yet as I haven't even started sorting the photos of the art and architecture, maybe tomorrow

more Marakech

We spent a lot of time in Jemaa el Fna sitting people watching whilst eating a tajine
or drinking mint tea (and coke!)

I love these tables, and the rooftop view gave us loads of oportunites to watch the huge diversity of people crossing the square. 

If there are 1million bicylces in Bejing, then there must be 1million mopeds in Marakech.  We saw some amazing balancing acts but the most surprising was a woman wearing a full burqa - I wondered how she could see properly to drive and how she kept her dress from catching on the chain of the moped.  She clearly could and managed very well. The man with the 20 or so trays of eggs balanced on his knee (he had one hand on top of the stack of eggs and the other on the steering wheel) was entertaining too. 

Taxis, mopeds, donkeys, and white vans alongside Mercedes and four wheel drives all passed through the square. Occasionally it seemed all in the same square metre at the same time.


I went to Marakech and had a ride on a cart with two of these..
Check out the bag to catch the stinky,  Marakech has to be one of the cleanest cities I have ever visited.

We say lots of camels but didn't have a ride on any on account of the last time I encountered one, it spat at me

We ate a wonderful meal and this little dog found us fascinating. 

Monday, December 03, 2012

twisted pleated thingy

is it a bag

or a bowl

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Cloth paper studio have a pocket swap.  Eventually we will have four different pockets to turn into a pocket book.  This is the front of one of mine

and this is the back.  It was made on a base of felt, with scraps of fabric machine stitched into place, then embroidered and lastly I added the buttons and beads.  It is lined with orange fabric.

this is the front of the second one, the fabric scraps were stitched onto the felt in a more haphazard way, and I embroidered around the buttons. 

and the back.  

I have been making other stuff but that was more of things you have already seen, I won't bore you with a photo of 6 more baggies or even the 5 little birds I made from truly scrumptious moda Kasuri fabric

I went to K&S at Harrogate.  We went on the Friday and it was comfortable with less pushing and crowding and more being able to see.  Apart from my little sidestep to Oliver Twists stand, I stuck to my list but I seemed to have spent a small fortune.  Fabric isn't cheap these days!  I enjoyed being able to see the exhibitions, loved the artists open studio.  Was disapointed that Linda Monk's new book wasn't available.  Anne Small and Sue Walton's Jabberwocky stand was packed and no wonder, I especially loved the Queen's Army pieces.  The Tales of the Unfinishable was excellent.  Lots of pieces of work with stories behind them, many of the sad.  I wish I had bought the accompanying book now. 

Sunday, November 04, 2012


I had a visitor this week and he decided he wanted to do some painting so we went out and bought a couple of canvas blanks.

He used a very limited palatte, paynes grey, ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, burnt umber and white, using heavy body acrylics.

I thought torn paper stencils would make a good start and he did enjoy ripping the sheets of paper to make mountains.  A little lecture on how the things furthest away are always paler and then I stood back and let him do the rest.

Drying each layer with a hair dryer is good practice for impatient people, I guess he gets that from me :)

Lecture two was that nature isn't even, so his trees and shrubs are a subtle mix of colours and he did a good job of adding texture.  The beach and rocks were great fun to do, stabbing the paper with the brush to add different colours at the same time.  I think he did a fantastic job and he loves it.

Day two and he was ready to make another.  He found a landscape picture on the net and used that as a reference.  I was very impressed with his brushwork - he had definately been listening to my lectures.  We had a practice piece of paper so that he could get the hang of using the different brushes before he moved to his canvas.  He used torn up sponge to form the trees and the grass. 
For this landscape he used the same palette as before with the addition of apple green. 

There is a third picture, but I forgot to take a photo.  I am very impressed a the progress made in just three days, I must be a very good teacher ;)  My g-son is quite a forthright young man and he told me he wouldn't like me as his regular teacher because I nag too much!!! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

pretty pin cushion baggy

In my quest to finish something every week, I made this little pin cushion baggy for a girly I know.  It needs the stuffing putting into the pincushion part, but is otherwise done.  Yah me ;)

Friday, October 19, 2012


Five postcards finished in one week!  These are stamped and ready to mail

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching Show 2012

It was hot, crowded and I was bashed with a backpack one too many times.  Seemed to be a massive frenzy of people buying, or maybe just looking, people didn't seem to be carrying stuffed carrier bags.  We did find a restaurant with seats though :)
Didn't take the camera out of my bag so no pics. 

However, I did introduce baby daughter to the delights of exhbition attending and she has agreed to go again next year, so it can't have been that bad.....

Next stop Harrogate

Saturday, October 06, 2012

just a small piece

6" x 6"  layered felt, muslin, silk carrier rods, knitting yarn, wool tops mushed together using the embellisher machine, then hand stitched with a few beads for good measure

and a close up.
The pink and purply round things are the tops of silk cocoons, bought from Oliver Twists, along with the carrier rods, already dyed. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

the sun has got his hat on hip hip hooray

It was a lovely sunny day today so I took myself out to enjoy the fresh air.  Who knew what goodness you could find in an old graveyard?  Well to be honest Susan Lenz does amazing work using grave rubbings.  Anyway, today, as well as my camera, I took a couple of wax crayons and some cartridge paper with me. 

I soon realised that the heavily carved stones don't rub well, so concentrated on the text instead.  Isn't this fab?

It didn't take long to get a pile of inspirational pieces of paper.  These A4 sheets will be painted and no doubt 1/2 will be ruined but the beauty is, I can just go back and get some more.

Those who know me will understand how fast my heart beat when this image started to appear on the paper.  This beauty was carved on the back of a slate stone. 

Even the rubbings which didn't work well have interesting marks and once painted will make good pieces for collage.  I will definately be keeping crayons and paper in my 'go to' bag in future.