Thursday, January 10, 2019

off and running

Gosh finally caught up on a lot of stuff, even had most of a day printing the other day and maybe able to get back to the print room again today.
Heaven, even though I was so tired I could hardly stay awake long enough to cook and eat dinner!

All part of my get fit and strong kick I have been on the last few months- you don’t notice getting old and lazy but it sure seems a great feat to go the other way… I know I won’t get younger, but I will hopefully feel fitter.
Interesting I have been doing yoga off an on for the last 30 years, and every so often I have felt something loosen up in my body and had a pop realization, like something has been let go.
Not sure how to explain it- but a sense of emotional freeing at the time a physical stretch improved.

Living in the home of yoga it is almost impossible out in the sticks to go to a class but I have tried some apps on my phone and so can workout each morning. The one I really like talks about strengthening the core all the time and how your core supports you, blah, blah, blah.
What I really like is the way this teacher talks you through, pull the abs in, tuck your tail, to help straighten your back…. strengthen your core so it can support you.
seems metaphorical as well as actual.... that is the way it is suggesting itself to me.

I have always slouched, as a kid I thought it was because I was always being told to pull my head in when I saw myself in school photos. Now realize, classic pose of abused kid…. Anyway, I was listening to my yoga class and trying to sort my body out, stay focused on the body and not wandering off in my head…. And something clicked into place as I got a stretch right and memories of being a kid and sexually abused by my grandfather down in the shed behind the bird aviaries just popped up- I was trying to sink into myself and disappear. Most of the problems that type of thing do to your mind and behaviour I think I have moved on from but interesting still pockets hidden in the body somewhere.
No big deal, just interesting how we are all put together, physical vehicle carrying the heart and soul.

Really like my morning yoga- I may grunt and groan but ultimately feel I am being kind to myself and feel so much better for it.
The last year has been so intense with work and trying to develop our gang and workshop- it almost toppled me over,
An acquaintance/friend has just visited and she said the reason she was looking forward to popping in was she liked my optimistic/can do practical attitude and wanted a dose :)
When she said that I thought “Not me, I am tired and grumpy and stressed out here” but really it got me thinking
Yes I do an enormous amount- 3 jobs running at any one time.
I could chuck it all if I wanted and move on. Why not we all have choices and I have been in a dark place lately- even considering it, actually.

BUT, I love my workshop and gang, I love my husband even when he is driving me crazy and I love our adventures together… what would I like to change?
Not much, just how I cope with it all and also some delegation and it would all come good.

Back to the yoga and staying present in your breathing and body, even those few moments in my day really help the rest of the day include that type of attitude. JUST BREATHE
and fit in a little block printing if you can!

This textile from Vietnam is on the bed in my yoga room- I love it, and the way it reminds me we are all the same just a little different and it is those small differences that make the magic.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019


What happened to 2018?
It came and went so fast.
I had intentions of making changes, might have even had a hope for a few minutes....
returned from Morocco all inspired to carve myself out a little time with a new hobby writing some little travel observations and stories.... got up to Number 20 and time disappeared....

Stitch no longer is really a relaxing hobby or time out, it is usually some type of work related idea and so becomes more about timing and how I would show someone else how to do it....

Good thing is I have been getting up super early 5.00am at latest grrrrr and doing a little yoga most days, even a bit of exercise bike.
As I mentioned in the CAS newsletter I am following a friend's lead and improving my strength and fitness. Fran can plank for 3 mins.... doesn't sound like long but I will tell you, you try! Each second is a challenge and 3 minutes has 180 seconds in it. You will soon see how slow they can be to slide by.
Haha. Good to have an aim.

Bugger! so pleased with myself - I got all the newsletter together and had all these emails links embedded- each labelled so I would see what people were responding to easily but since the last time I have done that my website/email has changed things and instead of the all coming to my usual email address labelled- they just bounce back. Grrr big bugger! So much for looking all organized.

I have itchy feet- well always but seems extra strong at the moment- being away to wander Rajasthan and then Gujarat was just lovely and I could do with more wandering.

The workshop is great, I love our gang but is time for a little weaning, people have been trained to do a job, I have worked so very hard to set up do-able systems that support the job running smoothly. It is now time people step up and followed the systems. They do quite well when I am in the house but I can see by what is done when I return from a break it has all slowed down and so many things forgotten. Sick of "sorry madam"s.

A bit frustrated. It is not a matter of me being in the workshop or out, it is a matter of staff following the system and checking what they are doing, rather than rolling along blindly, thinking I will pick up the slack.  Management is what we need- we have a fabulous band or workers- ggggrrr what to do?
The big thing is if I am in the workshop I get sucked into paperwork and grunt work and not enough new design work and ideas generation.
Yep frustrated at the moment.
May the new year bring me HELP !!
Sorry a bit of a grumble bum..... weaning problems.
Look - a few minutes to play and try out an idea I have had for ages.
Saris are so comfortable- just a bit of cloth wrapped around you and a pin or two, which I never have but my Ladies can whip out from no where so fast- haha.
I wanted cotton saris to wear in the heat of summer- perfectly to bare your muffin top or two or three even, just make sure your ankles are covered- breeze around your belly would be so pleasant in the heat of summer.
Here and winter I have plenty of thermals on- no glowing, bare, white tummies in sight!
very pleased with the result.

Happy New Year,
may all your wishes comes true :)
I am really asking the Universe for help.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

time for changes?

Doesn't need to be the New Year,
It does feel like I have only just survived this year though..... I had high hopes it would be easier than the last.
more intense than ever,
workshop is more organized than last year, systems are working quite well,
people becoming more self reliant and not needing to be spoon fed.
well mostly...
I was starting to feel quietly confident and then there has been a huge blunder interpreting an order.
Trying to sort it all out GRRRRR
Really need an english speaking, well organized and experienced workshop manager.
Managing requires questioning what is happening not just blindly trundling along, my guys follow the system or what they have got into their heads is the idea
 but don't stop and ask questions when it would be a good idea to do so.

So many of our staff are doing wonderfully well, they have picked up on so much but Management is still a big gap. getting people to make comprehensive notes on EVERYTHING and reading them still needs a little work.

The day to day grind is too much for me- I have more than enough on my plate.
My Morocco group gave me this sign,
it is what I aspire to be....
can't you see me swanning around being Artistic Director?
Yes I will still get amongst it all but a little less of being total dog's body- do everything grunt.
Share the workload is my aspiration.

 I want to make beautiful things, create jobs for people, capacity build for them to take up the challenge, run away and lead fascinating tours, have time to smell a few roses.
I am putting it out there Universe and I am receptive.

OHHHH please :)

We're back... had a short break and this is our welcome home. Beautiful but ohh so cold in the morning.

via Instagram

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Excited bunch of visitors today. A gang of mothers and daughters exploring India. Block print day!

via Instagram

A moment for appreciation. So pleased with our new format Rajasthan Tour and being able to revisit places that have been off the loop for a while. One location that always gets a visit is the Taj Mahal. World famous and a must see, she is gorgeous but I think the people watching is even better. What a feast for the eyes. Note to self: for next visit let's try and dress for the occasion to rival all the local beauty. Good fun. Next "Rajasthan: a Tactile Textile Tour" runs near the end of 2019. Can't wait. #creativeartssafaris #textilefix  #textiletravels #crafttours #textiletours #travelwithlove #experientialtravel #handsonexperiences #culturaltourism #traveldeeper #weaving #khadi #lovekhadi #embroidery #wanderandwonder #visitthevillage #offthebeatentrack #inspiredtravels #travelwithus #travelwithlove #meetthelocals #enjoythemoment #tourresearch #storiestotell #craftstories #travelwriting #textilestories #loveindianfood #foodie  #blockprint

via Instagram

She has run away from her busy life in an Ozzie university to visit us. She fits right in being able to laugh and work at the same time! The gang asked can we keep our @boborina with us, she fits right in. So nice to be able to share our workshop with like minded souls. Come back soon. X

via Instagram

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Disappointed, the hotel we have used for years in Delhi has always been a cosy retreat from crazy Delhi, but it has gone downhill. A beautiful veggie market around the corner, cow parking out front, Metro and ATM 2 mins away and tucked into a clean garden edged space. Changed management and it has really lost the plot. I have liked being near Old Delhi as it throws us into the reality of much of India's daily life but without a cosy nest, it doesn't work anymore. So sleeping around town.... only for research of course! We think we have just the spot in South Delhi, not as close to the metro but easy enough and nearer the airport, lovely staff and atmosphere. We have a cosy place to chill in Delhi again Whew!

via Instagram

Haha. How many years have we been here? Kayef Stitching Project LLP is our legal name but our workshop is simply known as @the_stitching_project Says it all, I think. Do you like the heart... that is our hands making it and Praveen insisted on Babu inside, so you would know we are from Rajasthan. #thestitchingproject #socialenterprise #ethicalproduction #slowfashion #fairtrade  #trainingday #workforpeople #womensecconomicempowerment  #ecofashion #conciousfashion  #sustainablefashion #ethicalfashion #khadi #naturaldyes  #indigo #indigolove #khadilove #blockprint #handmadeluxury #handmadewithlove #handmadeindiantextiles #sustainable #ecofriendly #recycle #reuse #repurpose  #creativeartssafaris  #textilefix  #textiletravels

via Instagram