Monthly Archives: July 2014

Design Inspiration: Ikat

Ikat is a dyeing method in which the threads themselves are dyed and then woven, rather than dyeing the finished fabric.IMG_0535 The word is Indonesian, and the ikats of that region can be incredibly precise and elaborate, resembling printed rather than woven fabric. IMG_0543I first came across the fabric in my dress-designing days, when one of my fabric wholesalers offered an Indian ikat. There are some beautiful sarees made in India which are double ikat – both the warp and weft being ikat-dyed.IMG_0523 I was also privileged some time ago to watch ikat being made at Artisans d’Angkor, in Cambodia. The skill almost died out under the Khmer Rouge and it is wonderful to see it being resurrected.IMG_0533 It can also be found in Thailand,20140713-162059-58859269.jpg South and Central America, 20140713-162118-58878307.jpg
Spain 20140713-162209-58929506.jpgand Japan.20140713-162228-58948243.jpg

But the style of ikat that most appeals to me comes from the Silk Route in what is now Uzbekistan, Kyrghystan, and Xinjiang. 20140713-162439-59079584.jpgSuppressed in the Soviet era, ikat is now making a come-back in Uzbekistan in particular, and this is the style which will probably be most familiar to anyone who follows decorating trends.




What is your preferred ikat style?



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Filed under Art, Crafts, Decor, Textiles, Travel

Friday I’m in Love: Beach Finds

A lovely friend invited me to her place in Newport Beach recently. We ate, drank, cycled and walked on the beach…and picked up a few souvenirs…


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Filed under California, Happiness Project, Nature, Travel

Descanso Gardens in June: The Water Issue

Descanso in the summer is a study in contrasts. The grass under the oaks is parched, but the oaks themselves are cool and inviting. IMG_5735And if you look, there is water everywhere.IMG_5790





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Friday I’m in Love: Roses

Roses, to me, epitomize summer. By which I mean the soft, warm beauty of early summer, the summer of lush greenery and country weddings, rather than the beach picnics and scorched earth of late August. And they should be “au naturale”. Not for me the manicured specimens of hybrid teas, each in their own two square feet of bare earth; I like my roses big and blowsy, fat with fragrance, spilling over arbours and mixed with companion plants. If that offends you, move along..




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Filed under Flowers, Gardens, General, Happiness Project, Photography, Plants

Bastille Day

Happy quatorze!

20140713-102519-37519129.jpg {source}


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Filed under France, Happiness Project, Parties, Travel

Friday I’m in Love: June Gloom

Yes, I’m aware it’s July…

The phenomenon known as June Gloom is a marine layer that covers the coast of California, and a little way inland, in spring and early summer. As the name suggests, this happens most commonly in June, but can also occur in May and July.  We are about 50 miles from the ocean and at an elevation of 1700 feet, and the cloud usually burns off by mid morning. But mornings can be magical! 





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Filed under California, Happiness Project, Nature

Descanso in June: The Wildlife Issue

I went to to Descanso this month with a couple of photographic projects in mind. The wildlife had other ideas..!






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Filed under California, Descanso Garden, Gardens, Happiness Project, Nature, Photography