Fez

MOROCCO! 

Ten Days. Explorative mode.

The trip started in Fes; Morocco's ex-capital (as from 1925) and second largest city.

A majority of the short time was spent in the confusing, maze-like, puzzle Fes el Bali. This being Fes' largest medina quarter which is apparently the oldest walled part of the city and also houses the oldest university in the world! The University of al-Qarawiyyin. 

 

Absolutely huge.

Meandering in the souks, studying the Moorish patterns and reducing eye contact whether possible....Getting lost in Fes el Bali was the aim of the game, finding the way out was just a distant thought. Signs small and hidden....and asking for directions meant opening a new conversation for being sold...a carpet!


CHOURA TANNERY

The largest and most ancient Leather Tannery in the world...

Standing from the terraces, the smell isn't as poignant as most would describe it. Maybe due to the chilliness and the rennovations?!

Therefore the mint leaves were slightly unnecessary! 

 

The leather tanning PROCESS:

- Cow and goat skins are delivered to the tannery.

- They are soaked in Limestone and Salt to make the skins hairless.

- They are then soaked in pigeon poop! The poop is acidic which makes the skin softer. It also causes the poignant smell of leather.

- The skin is then washed in Cedarwood to reduce the odour. This is done three times at five hours a time.

- The skin is then dried for three days.

- And then it's ready to be naturally coloured...! Colours are extracted from various forms of nature....

Yellow - Saffron / Green - Mint / Orange - Henna / Black - Coal / Red - Poppy / Blue - Indigo


TEXTILES: Wandering through the souks... Beautiful textiles spotted against white-washed walls

CORAUXMEI X OYSTERS - Coastal photo Shooting

IMG_2304.jpg

What a fun roadtrip/worktrip with the amazing Isabelle and Naira of Naira FB Photography earlier this month!

We found ourselves escaping the Oyster card world of London and instead, delving into the delicious and juicy fresh Oysters of Mersea Island, Essex. The West Mersea Oyster Bar was our first pit stop. After filling ourselves up with the fresh seafood and chips, we ventured around the island and found idyllic and lonesome coastal locations to shoot the contrastingly bright colours of coraux mei's wares in. 

The sun was our friend for the day, as was the wind. Both probably not in our favours, but we learnt to withstand and embrace nature. As it is. The blue skies were a beaut. Plus, I learnt to hold a light reflector in the coastal wind and gained myself a well-earned work out - Very determined not to get blown away! 

 

 

Absolutely MASSIVE thank yous to both Naira and Isabelle for their great patience and excellent work! They are full of strength and creativity... Running around, withstanding the cold wind...etc etc. I apologise for committing them to such a huge task but we definitely have sweet and joyful memories to take home with us. A sneak peak below... Looking forward to see the results!

Nice one, team xXx

Selvedge Stroud + Bust Craftacular London

SELVEDGE SPRING FAIR - STROUD - 16TH MAY

 

It was the final stop for the Selvedge Spring Fair tour and this time it was in Stroud, Gloucestershire. How very refreshing to be out of London! Hosted at The Subscription Rooms, surrounded by wonderful people and met lots of wonderful people too. Got to explore some sights before and after the fair too. Thank you, Selvedge!

 Bryde and her mother came to visit and found some kid's skirts :)

Bryde and her mother came to visit and found some kid's skirts :)

 The Fair

The Fair

 A lovely returning customer with her new Himalaya pouch

A lovely returning customer with her new Himalaya pouch

 Holly from THE BASKET ROOM with her new Flower Hmong skirt

Holly from THE BASKET ROOM with her new Flower Hmong skirt

 Couldn't resist! A new ring by Rachel Eardey Somerset. An eidelwiess cut from a 1988 Austrian coin. Talented.

Couldn't resist! A new ring by Rachel Eardey Somerset. An eidelwiess cut from a 1988 Austrian coin. Talented.

 Couldn't resist (again!). The Basket Room bag now belongs to I! A beautiful social business celebrating basketry from Kenya and Ghana.

Couldn't resist (again!). The Basket Room bag now belongs to I! A beautiful social business celebrating basketry from Kenya and Ghana.

A stroll around the countryside surrounding Stroud... ahh, bliss...


BUST CRAFTACULAR - LONDON - 17TH MAY

Headed back down to London the next day it was definitely a busy, albeit fun-weekend. What a great array of stallholders in the airy and spacious York Hall of Bethnal Green London. Sharing a stall with Rodology, we all had lots of fun it seemed! Familiar faces from previous Craftaculars and other fairs and new faces too. Lovely. Thank you, Bust!

 Compact and cosy - set up next to Rodology (jewellery made from watches)

Compact and cosy - set up next to Rodology (jewellery made from watches)

Nepal - Tibet - Himalayas x The British Cotswolds

Who would have guessed that stepping into a cosy pub in Chipping Campden (North Cotswolds) one evening enticed by a very funny man playing the piano could lead us to a slice of Nepal / Tibet the next day. I just love chance happenings!

Massive thank yous once again to Keyna; a co-founder comedian of Creative Cows Comedy Club who we met that evening and suggested we visit this stunning gallery/cafe in the middle of the countryside.

 

 

Alain Rouveure Galleries is a treasure trove mysteriously located in Todenham near Moreton-in-Marsh that focuses on Tibetan rugs, Himalayan Textiles & Tribal Art. There could not be a better place to locate such a gem in the green fields of The Cotswolds.

Alain's travels had magnetised him to the Himalayan region where he became fond of the Tibetan people, their culture and was inspired by their long & arduous, freedom-wanting walks from Tibetan land to Nepal. His aims we were told were to encourage Tibetans based in Nepal to restore and maintain their traditional rug-making techniques. Thus, he set up a social business and has been selling them at the shop on the grounds. Lots of treasures from the Himalayan region can be found at the centre. 

What we found particularly found exciting were was the cafe and its serving of Dhal soup. The flavours were deep and immense! The soup was made by a friendly and humble Nepalese man behind the counter; who comes from an area largely affected by the initial recent earthquake. Thankfully his family are alive but their houses are no longer. He remains positive and unharmed, calmly saying - "What can we do...?" ('The Law of Nature' and Acceptance - this comes into my head). After my experience of spending four months in the Himalayan region in 2009, I continue to admire Himalayan ways....always. 

In addition we were lucky enough to witness a stunning temporary exhibition of the Jhankris people of Nepal. Old and worn traditional costumes, instruments and artefacts displayed (...in the middle of the British countryside!). Wonderful.

 Jankhris exhibition

Jankhris exhibition

The surrounding garden area of the centre is well-manicured and looked after. Green and lush with buddhist and contemporary art scupltures dotted around, benches to relax on, cats roaming around....it also houses a therapy centre. Idyllic.

 Gardens

Gardens

If you're ever in The Cotswolds and want a taste of the Himalayas, visit Alain Rouveure Galleries!

Many thanks once again to Keyna :)

Please donate to Nepal: www.globalgiving.org or another charity of your choice.