Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Marhaba from Jordan

Today all morning till afternoon I have been busy with my 'Keep Calm' projects that I haven't touched for about a week. Since I made this blog I was so hooked up on blogging world. I was busy browsing other stitchers' blogs, 'oooh' 'aaah'-ing the finished pieces (they all are lovely and amazing!), put them on my following list and blog list. It is funny that this blog doesn't make me more productive, but otherwise :-) So today I decided not to go online because if my stitching interrupted with internet then I won't go back to my stitching again :)

In the afternoon I decided to turn my laptop on because I wanted to buy tickets to Cirque de Soleil  for me and my daughter. I have been wanting to watch them since a long time ago. They performed in Christchurch in 2011 (we left New Zealand already and I envied my friends who watch!), and 2010 in Istanbul. We were in Turkey at that time, but it was too expensive to go there (we lived in Konya, about 1 hour to Istanbul by plane, or 10 hours by car) only to watch a circus. And now for the first time ever they performed in Amman! (have I mentioned this is me and my husband first experience to live in a capital city? we moved around but never been lived in Jakarta, Wellington, Ankara and Damascus!). Unfortunately all the seats are sold for the class that I wanted (the cheapest one is 25 JD, its around 35 USD). There were one or two actually but they are far apart (some even in different side of the stage!). There is no way I would be seated separated from my 4 years old daughter, and no way I would buy higher class seats available (80 JD, it would be 225 USD for us both!). Better I send that money to those who needed in Indonesia, or buy more fabric and threads :) Well hopefully there will be next time; my younger son would be older and allowed to watch (they don't give admission to children younger than 3 yo) so the whole family could go together (then it means we need to reach our pocket a little deeper to buy 4 tickets :-p). Thank God I haven't mentioned and haven't made any promise to my daughter otherwise she would be very disappointed!

Anyways, since I am online already I decided to peek a little at blogspot. Its surprised me I have 10 followers today and also one new comment :) After made the reply and checked back the followers sites I started to click on the new posts from my blog list. I was surprised to see my blog was featured by Jo on her post here. As I commented to her, I was a bit embarassed but very very grateful, I would be very happy to have new friends to interact in this cross stitching world wide webs :) Thank you so much Jo!

So... for my new friends, readers, followers... MARHABA from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan!
Marhaba means Hello in Arabic, in Turkey we say it as 'Merhaba', in Maori they say 'Kia Ora' and in Indonesia we simply say 'Halo' :)
My name actually Yuana. When my daughter was around 18 months and we just moved in Turkey she was confused what to call me: in New Zealand people called me her 'mum', in Indonesia they called me 'bunda' (we stayed in Indonesia for 5 months in between Christchurch and Konya), and in Turkey they called me 'anne', but most of the time everybody call me by name, so she imitated it but couldn't really able to pronounce it yet so she called me 'YANA'. Many people in Turkey and Indonesia would frown (in our culture its impolite to call older people by name, particularly for your parents) but I think it was cute :) Not long after that I got pregnant to my son and in doctor's clinic they would call me 'Yuana Hanım', at the first time I didn't realise the nurse was calling my name, I stayed on my chairs until she called me several time and my husband nudged me 'I think its your name' :-p I found it funny and wrote on my facebook. My friends started to combine two nickname: Yanahanim and the name sticks :) Hanım (pronounced as HANEM) means Mrs or madam. oh btw now my daughter calls me 'mama', and I expect it would keep changing depends on where we live, where her school is and what majority of nationalities in her class :) for my husband she called him 'baba' when speaks to him in Turkish but 'daddy' when she speaks in English and Indonesian. Oh ya her Turkish is much better than me, she learned from Turkish dubbed of Canadian animation 'CALLİOU' :)

I don't have any stitching picture to show today but since this is my 'hello' post I want to share our latest holiday pictures, taken in Wadi Rum last easter (April 2012). Visit Jordan website describes this place as:

This is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its destructive forces. Here, it is the weather and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and God-like..." A maze of monolithic rockscapes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750m creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the boundless empty spaces and explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000-year-old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store. Also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, this is the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I, their exploits intrinsically woven into the history of this amazing area.
This place was SO AMAZİNG, we had a great and memorable time there, took hundreds picture (I had 12 albums on my facebook from Wadi Rum only!). We had one day jeep tour, visited some places of interest (did some climbing and hiking there), lots of relax - relax and relax! (quite opposite of typical tours where you usually being dragged here and there and everything was timed by the guide, in here they said 'take your time!' whenever we asked how long we can spend the time in particular site), blown away by Bedouin hospitality, stayed in a Bedouin camp in the middle of protected areas and ended the trip with camels ride. Beyond our imagination this trip turn out to be the best child friendly holiday ever! No sharp edges from the furnitures in the hotels, no climbing the hotel tables, no cable laying around, no electric plug at all, no telephone to picked and dialed the front desk accidentally... just sand, sand, and sand... and a lot of Bedouins who were ready and willing to spoil our children and made them felt as if they were the prince and princess of the desert!.

The visitor center with the famous 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' in the background

Enjoyed their biggest sand pit ever! (Khazali Canyon)
A little drama where my husband said 'help... wateeer!' and the kids crawled down to rescue him. This is very high red sand dunes. Dilara hiked all the way by herself and Ali was being carried halfway. When we hiked up I thought to myself 'we must be crazy' but the view from the top was priceless and to go down we went sliding :) oh so fun!

He made it to the top of Um Frouth Arch

Ali, sitting on 'The Chicken and the Egg' rocks

Waiting for the sunset on the red dunes overlooking the white dunes. On the left was David our Canadian friend and  the one in the middle taking Dilara's pic was Raj, our Bedouin driver and guide.

Our camp was secluded and surrounded by rocks formation. A little separated from the main tent, on the left was our family tent. The tent was typical Bedouin tent, hand woven from goat's hair

The camel ride back to the village. Dilara was trying the camel by herself, she was brave enough but when the camel stood she felt the height and said 'I dont like it, I wanna go down!' so my husband took her on his camel. Ali was hysterical but once I put him on my mobywrap he was settled and even fell asleep!. The picture was taken by David who rode on a camel behind us (he said he got so many butts view back there LOL his camel was naughty as well, kept nibbling my husband's kuffiyeh (the headdress)).

I hope you enjoy the pics, the only thing I regret is I wish I had my cross stitch with me. Imagine the picture, cross stitching on the top of the sand dunes overlooking the house of Lawrence of Arabia? I still have other ambition though; cross stitching on the dead sea... hope I would be able to make it :)

I almost forgot to mention KANAVİÇE (pronounced as 'kanawice', read as it is don't read it as kanawais ^-^) in Turkish means Cross stitch. In Indonesia there are many names for cross stitch: tusuk silang, sulam strimin, and kristik (the last one just how 'cross stitch' being heard in our ears and said by our tounge)

***** many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Indonesian Food Tray

One of the reason why I was interested in cross stitching when I came for the first time at the embroidery club because Elizabeth, our Polish host, has got so many different types of finishing products. Wall clocks and trays were things that took most of my attentions. So when I went to Indonesia, I immediately grabbed the first clock and tray kits that I saw :) My first clock (and the only one at the moment :-p) has been featured in this post.

When we went to Turkey for Christmas holiday 2011, I was so eager to make this tray. But it was so hard, the fabric was 18ct rustico colour. I couldn't find the holes! I missed the holes a lot, skipped some stitches (I made only one \ instead of X sign, I thought I had made it already). I even had to sit near the window and leaned to catch the sun light... I laughed at myself and decided to stop. I put it down until I was back in Syria again. When I was about to restart, I realised I started it wrongly, instead following the center of my fabric I started it on the folded mark that left of the fabric (because how they folded it to fit it in the package of the kit). Then I decided to stop completely. No way I would pull the threat and start again in such fabric!

However, I ran out of project to make. I didn't know where the local needle shop was, even worse I couldn't speak Arabic so I needed somebody to take me there. Some friends from the club promised to take me there but we couldn't find suitable time sooner. Meanwhile, my hands were itchy to stitch! I have no choice except stitching this, the only project that I had left. And then bombs exploded in Aleppo (early February 2012), there was no way I would go out to downtown to buy cross stitch supplies (some of my friends still did but I wasn't that crazy :-p). We were so stressed out and concerned about our security, the contingency plan from my husband workplace wasn't certain so me and the kids were trapped in the house (my daughter school was closed immediately after the bomb). That situation speed up my stitching progress (finally I get used to the hole sizes and the colour) and it helped me to clear my mind from all the crazy thoughts about what was going on in Syria. I think I was thinking more rationally when I stitch.

So finally I made it, after one month on-off:

Indonesian Food Tray
Aida Rustico 18ct, 37 x 21 cm
DMC threads

(kit bought in Indonesia, Nov 2011
started in Turkey, Dec 2011
restarted in Syria, Jan 2012 and finished Feb 2012)

The only thing is I haven't got it framed to a tray yet :( When I bought the kit I was offered a ready to use tray, but I refused to buy it because I thought it would be a little bulky and added a little weight to my already overweight baggage, not to mention the possibility the glass could be broken on the way. My friends said a frame shop in Aleppo could make a tray (all the ladies from the club made theirs there) so I thought I could do the same. When I went there for my Pooh clock  and Balinese Dancers I saw some example of the trays and I was dying to finish mine too. But after the explosions everything was changed (I even almost couldn't get my framed works). I didn't think it was worth the risk to go to that shop to get this one framed. Even if I did everything was so uncertain I wasn't sure it would be ready before we were being evacuated out of Syria. 

So it has been rolled and stored neatly inside my wardrobe, hoping one day I would find a ready to use tray frame or a frame shop who could turn this in to a tray. Either in Amman, Konya, or Jakarta. I will post again when it happened :)

 many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا

Friday, May 25, 2012

Balinese Dancers: Legong and Kebyar Duduk

Stitched in Aida 14ct ecru, DMC threads, size 20 x 25 cm each
The kit was bought in Indonesia (Nov 2011), 
Each of them stitched in Turkey for 3 days (Dec 2011), and framed in Syria (Jan-Feb 2011).

They are so cute, I am partly Balinese (from my mum) and as Indonesian living abroad these are just perfect for our house!

Couldn't wait to stitch another pair, but have to wait since two kits of Balinese Dancers (Tari Pendet and Gopala) are still in Indonesia, my friend would bring them with her when she is going to Izmir, she would send them to Konya and I have to pick them hopefully when we are going Turkey this summer holiday. what a long journey...

Balinese Dancer: Tari Legong.

Balinese Dancer: Kebyar Duduk.

I was so happy when I found the frames. At first I asked the shopkeeper if he got oval shape custom frames, he said NO. And then I asked him if he could make the backdrop paper in oval size, he was unsure and said he may asked another shop who can computerised cut the paper to different sizes and shapes. While I was waiting for my friend to place her order, my son was wandering around the shop naughtily. I had to chase him and when I did that I saw a pile of oval frames on a dusty and crowded corner! Eureka! thanks Ali, hahaha

Now since we are not living in Aleppo anymore I wish I bought another two for two balinese dancer kits that I would make :(

Sadly, now I don't know where they are. My husband was sure he packed them in our car (we were thinking we can put some stuffs in there when the car was being sent to Jordan from Syria). Some people then emptied the car and stored the stuffs in his office, and later on his secretary and assistant packed those stuffs and sent them through Royal Jordanian air cargo to Amman. But when I unpacked them, I couldn't find these two framed cross stitch. I hope they are among our household items stored by a storage company in Damascus. I really want to see them again...

many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا

My first work: Time for A Hug

Clock: Time for a hug (Pooh & Piglet)

Aida White fabric 14ct, size 26.5x26.5 cm, DMC threads

Cross stitch kit bought from Indonesia (Nov 2011), started stitching in Syria and finished in Turkey (Dec 2011).
Stitched in 1 week.
Framed in Aleppo, Syria (Jan-Feb 2012). 

I almost couldn't get this clock because bombs exploded in Aleppo just a day before I was going to collect it. But a couple of days later a friend collected it for me. She said 'I want you to have it because this is your first work'. So happy!

Initially I made it for my children bedroom (my daughter was so excited about it) but changed my mind several times after I saw more suitable designs for their room. Now it is proudly hanged on our living room in Amman since we don't have any other wall clock :)

***** many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا