Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Time is on my side?

I have not had time or mind to write in my blog for months! Such a journey..... doors closing, doors opening.... love, betrayal, birth, death.... the whole gamut. I can't believe I'm still standing! Is my glass half full, half empty or is the glass just too big to begin with?! I can't tell. I saw a truck on the road the other day and written on the back were the words "Merdeka, tapi bingung" in Indonesian, which translates as "Free, but confused." That sort of says it.

-Photograph by Katia.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Roald Dahls Revolting Rhymes

When my kids were little we had a tape of an English lady (I don't know who) reading Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes that we used to play in the car on the way to school. They were so hilarious, they always made us laugh, which is a plus with that many kids in the car, because otherwise they tend to fight!
He actually wrote them as a joke and never expected to publish them. The public loved them however, and they were published in 1982... here is one of my favorites...

From Revolting Rhymes
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
by Roald Dahl

This famous wicked little tale
Should never have been put on sale.
It is a mystery to me
Why loving parents cannot see
That this is actually a book
About a brazen little crook.
Had I the chance I wouldn't fail
To clap young Goldilocks in jail.
Now just imagine how you'd feel
If you had cooked a lovely meal,
Delicious porridge, steaming hot,
Fresh coffee in the coffee-pot,
With maybe toast and marmalade,
The table beautifully laid,
One place for you and one for dad,
Another for your little lad.
Then dad cries, 'Golly-gosh! Gee-whizz!
'Oh cripes! How hot this porridge is!
'Let's take a walk along the street
'Until it's cool enough to eat.'
He adds, 'An early morning stroll
'Is good for people on the whole.
'It makes your appetite improve
'It also helps your bowels to move.'
No proper wife would dare to question
Such a sensible suggestion,
Above all not at breakfast-time
When men are seldom at their prime

No sooner are you down the road
Than Goldilocks, that little toad
That nosy thieving little louse,
Comes sneaking in your empty house.
She looks around. She quickly notes
Three bowls brimful of porridge oats.
And while still standing on her feet,
She grabs a spoon and starts to eat.
I say again, how would you feel
If you had made this lovely meal
And some delinquent little tot
Broke in and gobbled up the lot?
But wait! That's not the worst of it!
Now comes the most distressing bit.
You are of course a house proud wife,
And all your happy married life
You have collected lovely things
Like gilded cherubs wearing wings,
And furniture by Chippendale
Bought at some famous auction sale.
But your most special valued treasure,
The piece that gives you endless pleasure
Is one small children's dining-chair,
Elizabethan, very rare.
It is in fact your joy and pride,
Passed down to you on grandma's side.
But Goldilocks, like many freaks,
Does not appreciate antiques.
She doesn't care, she doesn't mind,
And now she plonks her fat behind
Upon this dainty precious chair,
And crunch! It busts beyond repair.
A nice girl would at once exclaim,
'Oh dear! Oh heavens! What a shame!'
Not Goldie. She begins to swear.
She bellows, 'What a lousy chair!'
And uses one disgusting word
That luckily you've never heard.
(I dare not write it, even hint it.
Nobody would ever print it.)
You'd think by now this little skunk
Would have the sense to do a bunk.
But no. I very much regret
She hasn't nearly finished yet.
Deciding she would like a rest,
She says, 'Let's see which bed is best.'
Upstairs she goes and tries all three.
(Here comes the next catastrophe.)
Most educated people choose
To rid themselves of socks and shoes
Before they clamber into bed.
But Goldie didn't give a shred.
Her filthy shoes were thick with grime,
And mud and mush and slush and slime.
Worse still, upon the heel of one
Was something that a dog had done.
I say once more, what would you think
If all this horrid dirt and stink
Was smeared upon your eiderdown
By this revolting little clown?
(The famous story has no clues
To show the girl removed her shoes.)
Oh, what a tale of crime on crime!
Let's check it for a second time

Crime One, the prosecution's case:
She breaks and enters someone's place

Crime Two, the prosecutor notes:
She steals a bowl of porridge oats

Crime Three: She breaks a precious chair
Belonging to the Baby Bear.

Crime Four: She smears each spotless sheet
With filthy messes from her feet.

A judge would say without a blink,
'Ten years hard labour in the clink!'
But in the book, as you will see,
The little beast gets off scot-free,
While tiny children near and far
Shout, 'Goody-good! Hooray! Hurrah!'
'Poor darling Goldilocks!' they say,
'Thank goodness that she got away!'
Myself, I think I'd rather send
Young Goldie to a sticky end.
'Oh daddy!' cried the Baby Bear,
'My porridge gone! It isn't fair!'
'Then go upstairs,' the Big Bear said,
'Your porridge is upon the bed.
'But as it's inside mademoiselle,
'You'll have to eat her up as well.'

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Organic Baby Gift Boxes

This week I've been working on some of my new ideas... one is gift boxes for newborns from lovely soft organic cotton. It's always hard to find a nice gift for a newborn. My first box contains a hat, booties, a receiving rug and a tee shirt, all in pure, soft organic cotton. I used recycled fabrics for the applique and the trims. So not only good for baby, but good for the planet. Don't we love that!

Still working on the boxes... my prototype is made from recycled paper with leaves and flowers pressed into the paper.... I'm desiging the labelling and the colors for now. Just realized how hard it is to take professional photo's of a product like this... let me know what you think of them!

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Home in Bali

My front garden ends on a cliff face above a steep river ravine. If you descend the steps hewn out of the soft pumice stone cliff, you can go down to a beautiful tropical river, with waterfalls, caves and beaches. Above the river a tucked into a mossy alcove there is a small bathing temple built hundreds of years ago around a natural fresh water spring that bubbles forth from the dark volcanic rocks.

The small temple is still used every day for bathing and washing clothes by the people of the village where we live. Bathing hours are always in the morning or late afternoon. The Balinese believe the guardian of the river is at large in the middle of the day, so they never go down at that time. I like to take Lilie down in the middle of the day when it’s so quiet it’s like having our own private paradise.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Still Part of Part I....

I just LOVE this jacket, the embroidery black on black leather with a damask like black silk screened motif. It's another amazing Ernte creation.
I don't really like to do logo work in my shop. Factories with huge machines with 20 to 30 heads hammering away in great cavernous sheds are the people to see about logos. That's the work my competitors here do. Amazingly they have managed to do this come hell or high water for the last 5 years without rising their prices. (or their wages for that matter).
In the beginning I took on all comers, desperate for customers, whatever the job. Besides making very little profit with orders for logos, it was boring! I remember the day I decided to go for a different kind of client. Our shop had an order in from the electricity company. They wanted their uniforms embroidered with their new logo stating "Keeping World Standards". As usual they wanted it yesterday. We went straight to work the next day and barely had the second run through when the electricity went off!
This does happen at intervals in Indonesia; an event frequent enough that it is usually greeted with silent apathy by the locals. I called their "hot line". "Might be on at 2pm" was the offhand answer once I managed to talk to someone. Later at 5pm that day, our electricity company client swans in the door wanting his "world standards" uniform. The electricity had only just come on at 4pm, only enough time for us to make a sample for him.
"Keeping 3rd World Standards"
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My favorite Customers: Part 1

One of our favorite clients Ernte Fashion Systems designed this black leather jacket, silk screened in black with a damask like pattern and then embroidered in red over the top! This is the kind of work we love to do!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Post of the Blank Page

I think I've sat here sitting staring at this blank page for the good part of an hour. Who was it that said "there is no more challenging environment then the blank page"? Whoever they were, they were right. It was probably the only thing they ever wrote.

Sitting and Staring hasn't helped.

A relatively privileged background as regards to education and freedom of thought hasn't helped. Beer hasn't helped. The blank page definitely hasn't helped.

So really I'm left with nothing else to do but continue with a litany of idiotic excuses or to plow right in. Seeing that I don't enjoy portraying myself as an idiot any more than the next fellow, you're in luck and I shall plow right in.

For the past five years I've run a small embroidery and garment production studio in Bali, Indonesia. I love to create unusual and unique things. Years ago, I ran my own garment factory in the north of Denpasar. I closed down shop during the Asian financial crisis of 1998. After a few years of working for others I decided to try running my own shop again in 2004, with the addition of a digital embroidery machine.

Ours isn't a huge factory with rows of machines and platoons of staff. We have a small 'shop' (and yes, we do sweat in it) with a beautiful Tajima 4 head 9 color embroidery machine and a small staff to produce embroidery and samples for our garment production. We can make all kinds of things, from sheets, to art smocks, toys, bags, banners, yoga wear, baby clothes, jewellry and gift boxes and even on paintings.

We design, program and produce embroidery for clothing designers according to their design and specifications. We also create garments made to our customers specifications, with or without embroidery, screen printing and general bending over backwards.

Since December last year, we have experienced a downturn in the embroidery side of our business, and this, although not without it's stress, has created some new opportunities for me as a business owner. I have had to take stock of my business and think seriously about taking it in a new direction. I'm now on the look out for new ideas that could help send my business into an abundant future!<

I guess this blog (today at least) is a way for me to test the waters with some of these new ideas... At some point I could have what I think is a brilliant idea, and post it on this blog, giving any number of readers the opportunity of writing back and saying "Are you daft!? That'll never work...!" or "Brilliant! I'd run with that one!" or "What about, trying it but with this sort of an adjustment?" That's rather more dynamic than just sitting and staring at a blank page isn't it?

And, that said, it appears this page is no longer blank.