Thursday, June 03, 2010

Syria, Syria, Syria....

How fast time passes and things soon become a memory.
I think it is the current heat at home -well up in the mid 40's [perhaps closer to 90'C but I could be exaggerating a little] but lovely Syria is fading fast.
I find it such a soothing place to visit....elegant, sometimes dazzling [the light on the white and cream stone they favour to build is sizzling some days] and interesting the ways such large chunks of time are juxtaposed together. Does that make sense? Walking through a Roman Gate 2000 years old to a Mosque started 1200 years ago on foundations that stretch back many, many religions and years....and the modern living world of Syria today, throw in a layer of Crusades time nearly 1000years old....almost like walking along through some fantacy novel....hmmm?
Dijanne Cevaal was working with me on this tour and she will lead further adventures in Syria....I got to handle her Traveller's Blanket [I had permission to take pics but seemed to have forgotten in my excitement!Look back through her blog there is bound to be pics] it really does feel as luscious as it looks...the few layers of soft fabrics together create a wonderful medium for stitch and like the Kantha quilts of India the many simple layers add up to a whole different handle in the finished fabric- somehow extra cuddly.

The idea that got her started came from earlier travels in Syria and imaginings of industrial espionage....a traveller or merchant wanting to colllect ideas to take back home would have needed to be rather discreet. Ideas and expertise are carefully guarded in all times...she thought a traveeler might collect small samples and use them as patches on a warm and comforting blanket and escape notice of its true intention to carry memeories of things seen.

Here is some older pieces of Palestinian Embroidery....patterns got me going....

Love the idea of a blanket but realistically knowing I don't have the time for a blanket I started on cushion covers.
I have used fabric from the souq [lovely bright Damascus Brocade] and stitched into it small motifs using cross stitch which we were taught by a few Palestinian Refugee ladies
[did you know Syria houses 170,000 Palestinian refugees? Some are third generation- for the lucky ones who made it to Syria they can lead the same life as a full Syrian Citizen education, healthcare, workwise except they have no passport and can't vote. Someother refugees lodged in othe countries are not so lucky- very little opportunity is offered them at all, no chance for education, limited healthcare and resricted work opportunities....lucky sometimes aren't we tolive where we live?]

Very shiny - sorry hard to get a good image....the cushion covers are for Praveen and our new house- I knew he would love the bit of glitz.

The ladies these days use this open weave white stuff to make it easier to know whee to put your stitches...I guess like trainer wheels on a pushbike. I love it!! and can stitch even on  bumping bus!! So relaxing....can also stitch when I am exhausted of an evening- it is undemanding but satisfying

1 comment:

Jacky said...

Wonderful cloth and patterns. I only stumbled upon your blog earlier this week.
Enjoyed reading through, getting glimpses of your India, seeing the progress of your new home.
What a wonderful trip to see India through your eyes and your experience.