Fabric, food and fantasy.

I bought Indian cotton today (in Bangkok) its very fine and I paid 60 baht a yard. which is exactly $2 US,  but although its quite sheer, I think it would look fabulous for the background for a quilt. 
I once saw a gallery of portraits in Mexico which had been done and then placed on  bold oil cloth fabric.  The portraits were in oil paint and it wasn’t a quilt but a framed painting. The portraits were cut from the canvas and stuck to the patterned background, but appliqué portraits or thread painted ones would look wonderful too.
I’ve purchased scarves made from this fabric over the years and worn it without a problem so I think it will work well with the plain fabrics I bought in Dubai. 
Looking at it now, I think I should have bought the turquoise background one too.
Oh well I have another 10 days.
I guess thats my creative nudge for the day, but once the idea is deposited in the brain it doesn’t go away and keeps resurfacing (sometimes at the most inopportune times.)

Most of the fabric I saw yesterday wasn’t suitable for textile art, you need to pick and choose, but then its not an American Quilt shop. Its very different and thats what I’m looking for.
I will have just over a week in Chiangmai to investigate the fabric scene and I’m excited at the prospect.
Having visited here so many times I’ve seen a huge shift in dress, style and availability, this country is changing faster than you can imagine. 

stool used by the bast creators, I couldn’t resist capturing the colors.

Next visit was to a small community tucked away in China Town.

Ban Baat was one of three communities formed by King Rama I two centuries ago, in order to preserve the craft of making monks’ bowls by hand. Even at this time the art was dwindling; now only three families still make bowls in this one remaining village. The village itself has long since been swallowed up by the expanding metropolis, and is pretty indistinguishable from the many warrens of backstreets in the capital

If you are up early enough, then you will be able to see the same ritual played out all over South East Asia. Just before sunrise, Buddhist monks leave the sanctuary of their wats, or monasteries, and walk silently around the nearby streets, collecting alms in their bowls from the faithful. In some places, lines of 50 or even 100 monks will file past, each receiving a small gift of food.
The bowls have always fascinated me, and we were keen to see where they are made.

We bought a small token  bowl, hand beaten and plied together with a copper seam. The ones the monks use are much larger of course… and I did buy one many years ago.

Map in hand we found our way to the river and joined hundreds of other people on the river taxis to the Amulet market. It might seem a strange place to visit, but we’ve never been there before and we were interested in the concept. We found some interesting things to photograph on the way.
If you can tolerate the heat, walking and public transport is the best way to capture the ambience of a place. Lunch was taken at a small restaurant by the river amidst the noise of the market. We had delicious fried rice and omelet… with drinks it cost us just $3 for the two of us…. Fabulous.

Today is Loi Krathong

Loi Krathong festival is a Thai tradition, which has been conducted for a long time ago. Loi Krathong has been held since the middle of the eleventh to the middle of the twelfth lunar month, which is a great flood season, especially on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month. When the moon shines at night, it makes the rivers clear and beautiful , which is suitable for floating Krathong. Nowadays, Thai people usually prepare natural materials to make Krathong. For example, they use banana trunk and lotus to make beautiful krathong then put stick candle, incense stick, and flowers in krathong. They always ask for good luck in the future and forgiveness Pra Mae Khongkha. At the temples and tourist places, they held the contest of making krathong and Noppamas beauty pageants contest. There are many entertainment shows and exciting fireworks at night”
We witnessed the preparation in the streets by the river, small stalls were making intricate decorations and they were for sale for about $2 by mid afternoon the crowds had grown to a little frightening crescendo.
Along the length of the Chao Phraya river families had gathered to float their offering down the river. 
Hotels offered parties, with music, lights and fireworks. It was a wonderful festive occasion, but so many people. 
Keith and I had to return to our hotel by sky train, we were wedged in like sardines… I hate that feeling of being powerless. I rarely put myself in that situation, anything can happen. But everyone was good humored and I was really relieved to get on the shuttle boat to our hotel and leave the crowds behind.
My favorite was watching the candle lit lanterns float up into the black sky.

It was a fabulously creative day. We were hot, tired and rather exhausted by the end of it, but today we’re off to the swamp jungle to photograph the monkeys and eat at a restaurant out in the ocean.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Deb at CV says:

    Oh Pam! Every image just takes me away from a dry, hot and dusty Barossa day. The lanterns are magic! Thanks.

  2. Sharyn Phillips says:

    Pam your photos, fabrics, food and even just your thoughts are probably the most interesting thing that happens every single day…..that’s not to say my life is boring……it’s just that you colour my world whether you are at home or abroad….please please please don’t ever stop posting!!

Leave a Reply