Month: November 2014

Time to go

All things must come to an end but this time I’m a little sad to leave behind the friends who have shared this amazing trip with us. I’m writing this in the plane on a short 35 minute trip from the Lodge in the Maasai Mara to Nairobi. Our Group.     We drove in convoy to the airstrip just a short distance from the Lodge. There is something about being in a formed procession that makes one feel just a little important. The entire staff of the lodge came out to say goodbye… I’ve never had that at the Hilton by Jove, Its a bit of an adventure having your own private plane. We waited in the small open hut surrounded by the plains of the Masaai Mara, elephants and Giraffes visible in the distance and the air was warm and the breeze balmy. The plane arrived in a cloud of dust and the sound of the four propellor engines increased the anticipation that we were on our way home. Below me are thee …

The experience of a life time

I’m sitting in my room as I write. The doors to my balcony are open and I feel at one with my immediate environment. I can hear the sounds of birds and the occasional utterance of an unknown animal. The vista is superb and I don’t think I will ever forget it. Soft clouds are forming into storm formations and the giraffes parade in a line across the Mara, their elegance begs you to watch. A rainbow has formed and I get an overwhelming feeling that something special is happening or about to happen. This is our last full day here in Maasai Mara. I stayed behind from this afternoons safari to catch up on work and  have a little quiet time to myself and its been wonderful. With the help of our Assistant Duncan, we negotiated too visit a small village not far from here. We encountered a huge lion, and literally thousands of zebras in migration. The scene is unparalleled and I never get tired of photographing.  Our vehicle was the first to …

Our Kenya Experience

We could hear them in the distance, there was an occasional trumpet from a very small trunk. We couldn’t see them, they were behind the trees.  The  enclosure we stood around had lots of huge baby bottles full of milk unceremoniously piled in an old wheel barrow. Suddenly from out of the bushes a  line of 14 small elephants appeared gaining pace as they grew closer. There was an urgency in their step, their ears folded back and the feet flew and trunks swung to the rhythm of their gate.   Cameras clicked and we were asked to keep silent and limit conversation. It was a wonderful experience watching the antics of 28 baby elephants. They rolled in the dirt, the hugged each other and showed feelings for their handlers and their elephant friends. It was a fabulous event. We stopped at a few stores and bought fabric, I’ve not photographed it yet because we got back to the hotel late  but I’m thrilled with my purchases and I as you might imagine, its rather …

Fabric and Animals.

I have little time to add more right now, but hopefully we have internet on safari. Of course fabric is our passion, and we had a chance today to buy a variety of different types of African textiles.The first photo shown here is of the woven ‘Shukas’ worn by the Maasai here in Kenya.Shúkà is the Maa word for sheets traditionally worn wrapped around the body, one over each shoulder, then a third over the top of them. These are typically red, though with some other colors (e.g.blue) and patterns (e.g. plaid).  The other fabrics I bought were very heavily waxed printed fabrics with bold heavy patterns.The fabric is really heavy and has its origins in Indonesia when settled by the Dutch, I have several pieces of this fabric at home, but I wanted to add to my collection.5 very heavy pieces have found their way into my case.I’m still researching on how its made. These are some of the faces I captured during my shopping visit and beyond. Can you tell there is a foundation …

On to New York.

 The morning dawned grey and misty and in a short space of time the wind began to rise. The trees waved their branches in freedom and the grasses bent low following the wind stream. purple grasses   Our anticipated visit to Round top was cancelled and we relaxed a little with no urgent deadlines. I wondered what the temperature was going to be, the computer said 75 so I put on shorts and sandals in anticipation of a warm afternoon in Houston,       As I write this we are driving to Houston on highway  290 and I'm wishing that I had dressed a little warmer. We did visit round top, but everything is closed for the memorial day holiday and this gal was in shorts as the outside temperature has  dropped to 49 degrees. a long way from 75….So we had to crank up the  heater to keep warm. We've passed the most interesting scenery. small wooden houses that belonged to another age clustered in villages. Huge pavillions that host the twice yearly …

inspiration, relaxation, perspiration and imagination.

Its been a week of inspiration, relaxation,  perspiration and imagination. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein    Inspiration flows from being at the International Quilt Festival and Market in Houston. I leave with so many new ideas and  I need to have time to compartmentalize them all. I try to put them down on paper, I really  don’t want to forget any thing. Writing, drawing and photographing are my tools and it takes time to analyze it all. I will continue with the blog photos when I get faster internet.  Of course it's an affirmation of the talent in the industry that I work in and I believe it all begins with imagination Einstein put great faith in imagination for a good reason, because it was a part of his own experience, I guess. Each idea for the design of a quilt begins with imagination, …

This is why you should treat yourself to a quilting cruise.

Light has hit the window and its luxury to lay in bed and watch the ocean.  The clouds are a soft early morning grey and the ocean reflects the rising sun.    But if it’s light,  its compulsory that I get up and I have work to complete.  It's our last day here on the ocean and a full day at sea as we sail towards the port  of Galveston.  It’s been a wonderful tour. The students have made six totally different projects from six “teachniques” We have free sewing every evening and the teachers are on hand to help students work through the process.  There is a wonderful environment contained in the conference centre with around 90 ladies chatting sewing and sharing ideas.The laughter and conversation flow over the hum of the sewing machines. But it's not just quilting we do…… We’ve had a number of get togethers that continue the fun. Yesterday, led by Jim West  we discussed the  such topic of “How to create a quilt business from your passion”  Then there …

More Quilts from the International Quilt Festival in Houston last week.

Its taken a while to add more images, in fact it can take up to 20 minutes to add each section.Right now I’m on the seas near Belize and the internet signal goes from the ship to a satellite and back down again… it takes a while. They tell me its completely different to the  internet on shore.I’ve added five more quilts for you to view today…deliberately, each section is a different genre.

Listen and see

There is something luxurious about going on a cruise. Its always a personal journey for me and also a huge privilege. I don't gamble, drink, play games or even go to the shows… so I guess that might seem  boring to some. Its all there for me to do… but when I'm teaching it's a serious business and I need to concentrate on that. But…. I'm in wonderful places, I'm with fabulous people and I get to interact with folk from all walks of life! Today we decided to hire a taxi at 1/4 the price of a tour bus and have a private tour… Poor driver, he had to stop at  cemeteries, he had to answer lots of questions and at the end of our tour the vehicle broke down and we found ourselves stranded until another taxi from the same company picked us up. It bought back memories of being hijacked in Haiti. This morning, browsing through the shops  in a small ocean side suburb,  my eyes locked on to  the very thing …