It was quite an unexpected moment in a Jain temple in Bikaner, when the resident monk asked for my mini i-pad, sat down and placed it on the floor. He had done this before! And before we knew it we had all become part of a heavenly Mandala. It seems rather fitting, at this time of the year, to be signing off for a holiday break with this image.
Happy Holidays to all my loyal blog readers who have lasted the distance. It brings me great joy to know you are out there and click on my blog for a quiet read during your day.
Lets talk again in 2014, a year of magical possibilities.
These water pots are seen throughout India. The question of how they are made was answered when we visited this family near Jodphur.
First the neck and a body is shaped on this manual pottery wheel. The skilled potter is demonstrating for us and made several small pots while the heavy stone keep rotating quickly. I had never seen this type of very basis wheel before ad was amazed by the practised skill needed to get everything just right!
For the water pots, the next step is to beat the base with a wooden paddle into a round shape. The clay is soft and paper thin when finished. Left to dry in bases from broken water pots, they are then fired.
It is a common sight to see people lounging or stretched out napping on these woven based beds, which are placed outside under a tree, verandah or awning. The weaving is artistic and the bed can easily be stood on its end to get it out of the way when more floor space is needed.
The upended bed is on the right. It has a brightly coloured woven base. Note the stitched fabric ceiling covering of this round hut with thatched roof.
We paused at the Lallgarh Palace Bikaner, now a heritage hotel, for a cool drink and while waiting for the sweet lime sodas to reach us, I snapped a few photos of these decorative tiled plaques. I love blue and white so they were particularly appealing.
The wide colonnaded passageways had many old photos of a bygone era.
I have been very organised for Christmas, so no last minute panic here! This project is for next year, for the first birthday of Granddaughter Maeve. I need to be stitching it now as most of January is allocated to travel and some babysitting. This was a fairy panel I fell in love with and it is making a lovely soft cuddle quilt with a wool wadding that I have had in the cupboard for a while. It was waiting for the right project.
How to board the bus? These photos were shot as we travelled through rural Rajasthan in our comfortable bus. Early in the morning and later in the afternoon we saw the routine of village life and met some people along the way.
Women carry many heavy bundles on their heads. The thorny bushes which line the roads and are dotted across the paddocks provide fencing and fuel.
Another form of fuel is the cow dung recycled into a dry patty for the stove. Mixed with chaff, by the roadside and left neatly, to dry in the sun. Note the mobile phone close by.
This was our rest stop for one night on our journey to Jodphur. The Bijay Niwas Palace is a grand old home and we had a palatial room, dressing room and bathroom on the ground floor. The staff were excellent and very attentive. After a day of travel it was lovely to relax in the grounds, but too cold for swimming.
The dressing room with an equally large bathroom. Built in the 19th century with high ceilings it now operates as a boutique hotel to cover the cost of maintenance. All the rooms had hand painted decorations, marble shelves, tiled floors and block printed curtains and cushions.
Marble fireplaces in the dining area and family portraits on the mantle.
Dinner was very grand with perfect service. Vegetable soup and numerous dishes for main.
Lots of great vegetable curries and chicken also. Note the family crest.
The naan bread was excellent.
And for dessert we had Rus Gulla, a sweet milk and coconut confection.
Early morning, cold and in the open vehicle called a gypsy we spot a rare Blue Bull.Spotted Deer, antelope called Chinkara and monkeys sunning themselves on the power pole were seem but the tigers kept to themselves.
Rhonda R and I are rugged up for the cold, as we set out before dawn. The hotel gave us thick wool blankets, which were great.
Travel is an exciting & large part of my life, combined with creating fabric, stitching art quilts & enjoying textile traditions around the world.
I work in the quilting industry; exhibit, judge, curate, tutor & write.
These are some of the threads of my life.