Monday, 29 August 2011

Library room


The top image is a corner of my favourite library, the Wren library at Trinity College, Cambridge (image from idlethink ) - wouldn't you want to waste some time there?  I am enamoured with books and if I had the space for a library room, it would be stacked floor to ceiling with the written word like that.

All the library finds are from lovely Etsy sellers - check them out - I am especially hankering after a vintage library catalog drawer, it would be great for keeping all my vintage cotton bobbins, trimmings, zips and samples, neat and organised.

And some day, I would like to put some written word of my own into a beautiful artisan handbound book : ) 

You might like to see my favourite local antique emporium - my-favorite-place
and a post on the- literary-look

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Leopard Print Tote

Fashionably slouchy...... 
Lots of room........ 
Stand out Julius Holland Designer wax print
    Available on Etsy leopard-print-tote-shopper-large


    Wednesday, 24 August 2011

    Pantone Colour Report - Fall 2011 Trends

    I was first introduced to the Pantone colour chart in 2004, when I was working for an art gallery and producing the exhibition brochures for the manicured digits of their glamorous and esteemed supporters : )  I still go beady-eyed for their colours and shades, and I love the range for Fall 2011.

    Full article here to get your creative juices flowing!

    And for those of you, like me, struggling and juggling words to find that exact description of a colour, here is an article to finding-pantone-colors-for-etsy-product-listings

    Also here are trends for September from the Etsy Merchandising desk, to get your creations and online store, Fall - ready : )

    And in case you happened to miss the Etsy article on the changes to the way items are listed in searches now based on relevancy.  This makes sense in the "universe" of the internet to improve relevancy of searches and the buyer experience, and being sure of reaching target audiences - what do you think?

    Have a great mid-week!

    Saturday, 20 August 2011

    Mocha, Blush and Apple

    Just in and available on Etsy:  mocha-blush-and-apple-throw-pillow

    I find this Missoni home style print just irresistable!

    See summer-tribe kaftan by Missoni.

    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    New Prints

    I just wanted to share a few new prints which have me excited : )  Hope you like them - they will be made into pillows or bags and in store soon x

    ps. I can custom make pillow covers so feel free to get in early with a request by convo on Etsy:  SISTERBATIK

    Monday, 15 August 2011

    Wanderlust Wallpaper

    Les Rives du Bosphore at

    I live in a small apartment but more often I live in my imagination. 

    With your eyes closed, you might tilt your head upwards and see the Sistine chapel in all its celestial glory, or glide your fingertips along the cool interior stone wall again, regarding the ancient fresco art in Angkor Wat.  Touching the surface that paintbrushes of artisans past had transferred their prized pigments to.  If you focused those follicles, you might even breathe the air of your imaginings and remember simultaneously, the prickling heat of foreign climes on your skin.

    The historical wanderlust wallpaper (using cloth paper) above, known as Papiers peints panoramiques, or antique block-printed panoramics for your walls, from the early 19th century by French manufacturers Joseph Dufour and Jean Zuber - would have been so decadent!  They would make a brave statement in decorative direction today - I just love and would go crazy for, if I had a pretty penny!  Maybe I'll make my own : )

    How about ancient fresco art for a feature wall?  I took these at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which I can imagine being digitally printed onto wallpaper panels.

    Have a great week!

    Wednesday, 10 August 2011

    The London Cooking Club @ The London Foodie

    Being me - I was prepared with my Piaf slant on Pink Martini's " Ma maison a la forme d'une cage, Le soliel passer son bras par la fenetre......" in case the cooking club should result in a merry sing-song: ) 
    The London Cooking Club is an experience that should not be missed if you are good food obsessed and enjoy cooking. Our host and Cooking Club innovator was Luiz, the man behind the highly ranked online London food guide The London Foodie (and also wine and travel). Luiz is an absolutely disarming host, one of life's natural personalities at creating laughter and a fertile conversationalist.

    The premise - 12 cooks (a mix of new enthusiasts with aspiring talents and experienced friends of the London Foodie) each with a recipe from the excellent Lebanese cook book Saha to prepare, mostly in situ at the host's home, and bring to the table where we all dine together.  Seredipitously on this occasion a few stunning bottles of 2004 Chateau Masur red were kindly provided by the Lebanese winemakers to prime and pique our tastebuds to food of the Levant country.


    Courgette and Mint Fritters
    Hummus with Spiced Marinated Lamb and Pine Nuts
    Muhammara - Red Pepper, Walnut and Pomegranate Dip
    Chicken Livers in Za'Atar and Parmesan Crumbs with Yoghurt, Tarragon, Cucumber Salad
    Ma'hani - Spicy Lebanese Sausages with Pine Nuts
    Mushroom Stuffed Vine Leaves with Herbs
    Zghorta-Style Kibbeh Patties Stuffed with Cinnamon and Pine-Nut Butter

    Golden Chicken Soup with Coriander, Garlic and Parsley


    Confit Salmon Tarator with Coriander, Walnuts and Tahini Sauce
    Lamb Shawarma - Roast Leg of Lamb in Spicy Marinade
    (Served with Herb Salad, Tahini Yogurt Sauce and Arabic Flat Bread)
    Accompanied by: 

    Lebanese Nut Rice


    Watermelon and Rosewater Sorbet and Barazek*
    (*Crunchy Sesame-Pistachio Biscuits)

    My personal highlights:

    Mezze - Chicken Livers in Za'Atar and Parmesan Crumbs with Yoghurt, Tarragon, Cucumber Salad

    I was at pains to suppress my ohs and ahs at it's deliciousness.  Crunchy golden parmesan crumbs that instigate the first oh, sinking into the generous, perfectly silky and still slightly rare liver that emulsifies dreamily, as I cogigated and masticated.....I leapt at seconds

    Main - Lamb Shawarma - Roast Leg of Lamb in Spicy Marinade 

    I had been looking forward to this the most and from the dining table eagerly rubbernecked to see it being carved.  As soon as I saw the warm juices leak between blade and slice, it foretold a mouthwatering experience.  It never left my gaze as it landed plumply to my right and elicited a gladiatorial applause and bravo as though he were the returning huntsman to the feast.  Gerald really was the evening's food hero!

    The slices of lamb were served in flat bread, with tahini yoghurt sauce and herb salad.

    Later Gerald told me that the leg is de-boned and formed into a roll and ideally should be barbecued for a flame torched crust.  Incidentally, the next cooking club will take a BBQ theme.

    Dessert - Watermelon and Rosewater Sorbet and Barazek

    I normally refuse rosewater, as it makes me think of Yardley soaps, overpowering Turkish delights and an expensive meal in Marrakesh strewn with rose petals, incensed with roses, and the food doused with rosewater - it was our first night, that was the excuse.

    So unexpectedly, I really liked these sorbet crystals exactly for its tender handling of the delicate rosewater flavour, or perhaps it was the balance with the watermelon.

    Great food and company - where did the time go?

    For forthcoming Cooking Club themes and details to attend - see the London Foodie.  Do you have a cooking club in your city or neighbourhood?

    I have just discovered the exclusive design, artisan and upholstery work of Lebanon duo Bokja via honestlywtf - very GYPSET - I love!

    Not to be left behind, this is our Levant inspired OOAK patchwork pillow:

    Available on Etsy: ooak-pillow-cover 

    It is very sad that my beautiful city has in the last few days been burning, both in a physical and a metaphorical sense.  Our business has not been affected and we carry on as normal, and hope you continue to browse our designs and shop with us - thanks for your support always xx

    Monday, 8 August 2011

    DayDreamers Guild - Patchwork, Hand Embroidery and Lilac Velvet Ribbon OOAK Pillow

    Another Daydreamer patchwork pillow cover, to replace the last one which sold out very quickly.  Each is OOAK, so different and unique.

    Suggested collection for an eclectic feature:

    Sunday, 7 August 2011

    Emperor Pillow

     Available on Etsy: emperor-ooak-pillow-cover

    The first Emperor pillow 16" x 16" sold very quickly, so I have made another 12" x 18" using the same prints.  Batik patchwork in crisp Dutch Wax print cotton (from 3 different reams of fabric) on the front and heavy weight grey wool mix "burlap" back.

    Suggested combination with some of our other OOAK pillows for an eclectic feature:

     Join to enjoy buying handmade straight from independent creators around the world!

    Friday, 5 August 2011

    Summer Tribe

    I loved this editorial in July's issue called "Tribes of Summer" - I have always loved Missoni vivid knits to conjure up exotic summertime escapes - this kaftan is a silk-knit mix from the Italian Fashion House.

    I won't be going away this summer but I can wonder and reminisce my GetAway capsule : ) 

    I have worn this silk chiffon embroidered shirt almost everywhere I have travelled to - I love it so much - it carries the memory in its fabric of so many adventures and places - I bought it in a thrift store in Greenwich:

    Including to Sri Lanka - where I paired it with baggy khaki combats rolled up to mid-calf.  On my feet some leather thong sandals I bought from a shoe-maker, cutting and melding the leather around my soles, on the side of the dusty road.  He had a shiny, toothless smile and I watched his labouring hands with fascination - the teak and texture, sinewed knots and veins, the cuts and abrasions to fingers, but ever nimble and calm - he knew soles very well.

    As sunset fell over the bush planes in Dambulla, we went down to the water and bathed the elephants.  They had a long day I think, giving rides to people or being watched or had carried logs. They liked the evening cool water so much, they knelt and softly placed themselves horizontal into the shallow bank side, while I took a brush and scrubbed them down and then lowered my cheek to theirs and whispered my fondness into their ears - they were giants, mild in my hands and they slumbered.

    Another stop was at Kandy in the centre of the island, where I convinced my friends to take a walk with a guide through the rich surrounding forest.  We had walked 45 minutes up the steep forest slope to the boredom of my friends who were not much into fruit and fauna talk and I felt guilty.  All of a sudden, there was a scramble of hundreds of macaques down the slope, taking over the path and overhead canopy. I will always remember the sound of their calls and chatter and the heavy rustling of branches and leaves surrounding us like the centre of an aural whirlpool.  We froze, I had never seen a sight of animal domination and charge.  I looked to our guide, who said it was okay, just to keep still, they were not interested in us, they were just passing.  Every evening they migrate from the peaks to the ground, I can't remember why, I was so in awe.  I saw the males, the mothers carrying their young on backs and cuddled in bellies, I half expected at least one to come and investigate us but they didn't.  The whirl was gone just as fast, leaving us wondering if it happened at all?

    These are my memories of travel to a most beautiful land.

    Hot colours instantly sweep me away:

    These accessories from GirlWithARadioMind give me just that wanderlust and imagination.  I especially love their combination of hot colours with earthy grade jute and burlap.

    I get the same feeling from this patchwork pillow with it's fiery colours - this is a favourite!

     Freedom Flock

    Singapore Top 5 Must See Travel Tips

    Being one, always curious for travel, I asked girlwitharadiomind  to share with me her top 5 tips should you find youself in her home land of Singapore - Asia's "melting pot" of cultures:

    1. Take a walk down Little India. Beautiful Hindu temples with colorful goddess statues and rows of pre-war shophouses. This is in one of my favorite street of shophouses in Little India. Little India mini-travel-notebook

    2. Arab street - Immerse in the rich culture of the Muslim district. Have a pipe of shisha and chill by one of the many indie cafes or jazz bar. Discover local indie fashion shops at Haji Lane.

    3. Chinatown - Crazy good Chinese food. Walk through the street and end the day with a cheap but good foot massage. Lovely :)

    4. Take a long and good bus ride. My favorite is double decker bus 30 that crosses through the East coast express way and you can see the Singapore Skyline in a cool cheap bus ride.

    5. and lastly, food of course. How can we forget that? :) If there's 5 must try, it'll be
    -Chicken Rice( most travelers told me that's their favorite),
    - Roti Prata (Indian bread with curry),
    - Ice Kachang (it's a dessert made with a pile of ice with colorful syrup),
    - Teh Terik ( how they make the tea, it's like a 10 second performance. See how they make the tea "dance from one cup to another")
    - and finally, Durian, the king of fruits ( the most "unique" fruit in the world) ;)

    This is exactly the sort of guide I wish I had when I was there!