Monday, 28 February 2011

OOAK by SisterBATIK

We have been busy making this weekend and also adding to our fabrics.

Here is a One Of A Kind - creative patchwork/ mixed batik pillow - hope you like it.  100% crisp Dutch wax print cotton.




Friday, 25 February 2011

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Bazaar

We are often asked by customers to help put together a selection of pillows on their behalf, which is a request we love to get and also love to do!

So we decided to put together a signature collection - "Bazaar" - a ready selection of six of our popular  pillows in a range of sizes - an eclectic mix, perfect for that elegant bohemian vibe - a preview on our blog for your delectation:



Have you ever been to a souk by the sea? 

The sea a calm antidote to life and its business.  As dusk settles, lamps illuminate like a genie set free to please you - a doorway into the night time bazaar; still a fantasia of noise, colors and textiles.



All images are © Sisterbatik 2010

Monday, 21 February 2011

Veronica Lake in a nightmare

Have you seen Shutter Island?

We are all a measure of our senses, what we see in something another might not.  What transfixes us, another can dismiss in a blink of the eye.  Our lives are full of the small things. 

Scorcese hits Film Noir with a Hitchcockian stick, in this 1950s-set drama of an asylum for the most violently insane or is it?  The island ferry horn that repeats and scores our deep senses, removing any alternate world beyond the screen, and removes the path off Shutter Island.

There is one scene, for which this film should be watched; a scene which I found visually mesmerising - the creative direction, production design and costume.  In the scene, Michelle Williams appears, with hair like Veronica Lake, wearing a sunny yellow 50s day dress against the grayness and only a distant sunset under thunder, she stands out like a beacon.  As the scene decomposes, her yellow silken hair begins to grease and drip and blood begins to permeate her skin, throwing us on the scent that tragedy pervades and haunts the protagonist's own device for being on the island.

    Shutter Island, 2010 - stills













Mid century on Etsy - get the look:



Saturday, 19 February 2011

Famous workspaces and Etsy studios





Having recently shared a few photos of our creative work space:  she-burns-brighter-now-shes-on-fire

We were very interested to see this recent Etsy post on: famous-workspaces and fellow Etsians have opened up their studios in a Flickr pool: etsyopenstudios/pool/

Fascinating!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

I've loved you so long.....innovation of the "Ghost heart" and beautiful science


 I have to share this with you, because I believe that when there is innovation that blows your mind and simply  takes your breath away it should be supported and shared across as widely as possible.

Last night in a TV documentary a doctor explained the holy grail in surgery; to mend a broken heart.  Great advances have been made in heart surgery and transplant, to save/ give life to someone with a failing heart.  When someone is given a heart transplant or part-prosthesis, possibly after a long wait for a donor organ, they rightly feel blessed and saved.  But to medics, it is essentially plumbing, in the sense that the failing organ has been replaced with a pump that works.  The reality, is still that the patient must take anti-rejection meds every day and often suffers arrythmias (may require further surgery to fix) or clots (which are potentially debilitating and life threatening without blood thinning drugs).  Currently, the standard life of a transplant/ prosthesis is either side of 10 years, so the heart beats louder as a reminder of time.  The stresses will take its toll and they will inevitably suffer the sypmtoms of declining heart function.  Unlike an indigenous heart, the transplant/ prosthesis does not have the benefit of being stabilised, protected and maintained by hormones in the human body, that necessarily interact with it via haemodynamics - the aim is then to produce a clone of the patient's own heart for transplant.

In Madrid they are currently working on some truelly beautiful science.  Where by they take a human heart and strip it of all it's cells (cardiac cells) what is left is a ghostly white vessel structure.  The aim is to inject stem cells (an as yet undefined progenitor with the potential to become any other cell in the human body given the precise stimuli and environment) from the patient into the "ghost" framework.  Allow the conditions for the stem cell to develop and replicate and essentially build the heart into a whole.  They have succesfully rebuilt a clone rat heart and porcine heart (pig heart is the most similar in geometry to the human heart), and importantly........the organs began to contract and pump.  I could not find images to illustrate this article, but it suspends belief, and the "Ghost heart" is a beautiful art that sends tingles down your spine because of its immense power and meaning.

The title: I've loved you so long - I think may be the most beautiful sequence of words and underlies why some endeavours are enduring.  I wish that I had assembled those words, in that order and had reason to have conjured it up.

Be your own boss.........

.....so it seems according to Germany, one of the few developed economies to have shown growth in the last year - up 4%.


I spent some time in Germany in my early twenties.  After we both graduated, my college boyfriend moved home to Germany to begin his internet start up and so I split my time between our countries, to be with him and absorb myself abit into the society.  One of the things I did notice was a difference in attitude to taxation and social infrastructure.  It is interesting to note that the German economy is more broadly based, so no one sector/ industry can bring down the economy or adversely hold it to ransom.  Interesting also is the consistent success of independent companies, more family-centric you could say, where the people who work in the companies own the companies as opposed to investors, coming in, sweeping the profits off as dividends and keeping the majority of workers at standard pay scales.  These owner-managed companies are investing in their own craft and talents to maintain longevity and not just to spring a buck.  A business model where it's your life as well as your livelihood seems to have helped sustain growth in Germany.

We didn't think we had any particular business plan except to keep our hearts in it, so this business model is empowering for us to hear and we wanted to share this with other  independent creators who we stand beside - we are doing the right thing, keep working hard at it, even through the down times and stretch your creativity, there is a demand for well crafted production.

SisterBatik xx

Thursday, 10 February 2011

She burns brighter, now she's on Fire

We make pillows, simply put.....but it is total freedom, no person to instruct us in our vision - a bold statement for some pillows! Our dreams can gather pace.....and we might make you happy too : )

So share with us our tiny work corner, where new batiks bring joy, pillows stockpile and the creative hand feeds us.








Lost to a world in which I crave no part
I sit alone and commune with my heart.
Pleased with my little corner of earth,
glad to have come, not sorry to depart

D H Lawrence
We came by this poem at the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, Italy
On a vertical cliffside to the warm Tyrrenhian sea.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Mix and Match


We love to mix and match designs from our range - so for the next few weeks we are offering a Mix 'n' Match of any 3 large pillow cases. A perfect opportunity to treat yourselves to a new set of throw pillows - albeit, an ecclectic mix. Or a perfect housewarming gift for the new homeowner/ home or lover - it is the month of Valentine afterall!

Any three large (20" x 20") pillows (certain exceptions apply) for $80.

Bajan Blue

Somewhere between ink and the drama of rolling skies.

Colors can be loaded with memories and emotions, just as with smells or sounds. Last night I had looked up at the sky, in all its inkiness bearing down on life and remembered how I had felt the last time that hue of blue had passed me by.

                © SisterBatik
St Lawrence Church 

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Granada


It was January and already feeling the closing-in of the first month, we were in need of a jump-start; that is to say, a dose of travel.  The destination; Granada in the province of Andalucia, Spain.  In exchange for not having to navigate the tourist crowds of spring and summer (the Alhambra being the most visited attraction in Spain) – we had cooler temperatures, some cloud and a little rain – and we were alright with that.  Happy in the optimistic foresight, that the place would have bountiful warmth in the form of tapas, sherry, Cale flamenco and Moorish architecture. 
How to distil a city that gives the traveller so much?
The nomadic Cales (Romani gypsies) began to settle in Andalucia in the 15th century.  They have formed a community in Sacramonte, of whitewashed caves scooped out of the Valpara√≠so hill side, overlooked by the Sierra Nevada range.  The gypsies give Granada it’s very bohemian vibe, filling the air with music – like an acoustic soundtrack all around; on a healthy stroll along steep and narrow cobbled streets of the Albaycin neighbourhood are streams of semi-quavers floating out of open windows.   The Cale’s most fervent imprint is flamenco music and dance – a spirited artistic expression of their persecuted history and passions.   “You must see live flamenco at least once in your life” – was the advice– we agree!  As is the Cale way, performances can be spontaneous, when they are feeling the music, and happen to be in a bar, they will pick up their guitar or sing and you will feel rewarded for simply being at the right place at the right time.   But if serendipity should not be forthcoming, there is the excellent Pena La Plateria (home of flamenco in Granada), where the female dancing soloist is tremendously ferocious and gripping.

Tapas
The local food is tapas, small dishes of food served free (yes free) with the order of a drink at the bar – or larger racions (portions) can be ordered for sharing, as tapas is intended as a sociable way of dining and catching up.  Bodega Castaneda was a firm favourite and the place quickly fills up with the locals rolling out their evenings.  With dense oak barrels of sherry behind the bar and thick joints of Jamon hanging directly above the bar, colorful stain glass and evergreen wall tiles – there is no mistaking you are in Granada and in the kind of place where everybody knows eachothers' names. Try the regional Jamon Trevelez – slightly richer and heavier than the Jamon Iberico (pata negra), but delicious all the same if you are a Jamon lover – like us : )   Other favourites were the boquerones (anchovies) either fried or acetic pickled, the pulpo a la gallego (octopus garnished tastefully with paprika – a Galician signature)our mouth waters at the mere thought of it, and the patatas a la pobre (poor man’s potatoes).  Also the homely liver stew we were served as gratuity with our drink at Pena La Plateria was a delicious surprise in addition to enjoying their flamenco.
And the best thing after a day walking around the sites - a late afternoon with piping hot churros dunked in unadulterated chocolate!



 Moorish Architecture

The Alhambra "red fortress"is the city's majestic backdrop. 

Built towards the end of  Muslim rule in the 14th century - now an enduring architectural feat of the Moorish dominion of Spain.  Cool quadrangles flowing into courtyards, light and air passing between them, boasting imperial stone work and wood carving and vibrant wall ceramics.  And the gardens are a celebration of palms and bougainvillea - reminding us of how beautiful having some summer heat would be.

At our Etsy store: deluxe-persian-floral-large-cushion

All images © SisterBatik

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Color....a bohemian affair


You might call us bohemian in the way that we love color thrown together.......
I remember disembarking by the side of the creek, at the foot of the souk in old Dubai – ready to breathe it all in and forgetting I was heartbroken; the exotic air, the stifling afternoon sun, my skin glistening from sweat under airy, light cotton.  The warm stream of spices from the stalls creating an olfactory whirlpool, the soft 22 carat gold, chains upon chains draped in the windows, that seemed to melt in the heat and appear almost radiant orange, the shuffle and pounding of human traffic – it was intoxicating and one of those moments that floats in the memory because your mind is so enthralled and your sight is so vivid.

And so too in the "red city" of old Marrakech, where the souks are more demanding – come in and take a look they persist.  Startling licorice colors and crafts, leather, ceramics, lamps.....the winding souks, where you can lose a day..... a week.......where you fumble in bartering......but fall in love with every color; each shade of the color a truer version of itself.








All images © SisterBatik





I brought these wonderful color dyes back with me to England - including a pot of the Marrakech red and Marjorelle blue (made famous as the color chosen by the artist Jacques Marjorelle to elucidate all the built features in his famed garden in Marrakech - later maintained by the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent).

The Marjorelle blue led us in our early creative experimentation - tie dying plain cotton we had previously sewn into shopping totes - and the earliest items we made to sell.  And so the rest, as they say, is history as we continue creating.

NB Marjorelle blue - is similarly Yves Klein Blue or International Klein blue if searching for it.  Interesting fact; it is outside the gamut of computer and photographic display and therefore can never be truelly represented outside of witnessing it personally.