The other day when I dropped into Sew With Vision (my local fabric shop), the plumeria (frangipani) print fabric called out to me. I admired it, but didn’t buy any. I was back in today and today I couldn’t walk out without it!
I was able to partner it with four other bright fabrics. Now I need to go through my stash to see if I have any other fabrics to go with these – I have a feeling I don’t. I did buy 1/2 m of each so I have lots of fabric to play with as it is. NO idea what I might do with this – I know if I cut it into strips / triangles / squares I’ll lose much of the integrity of the plumeria but the colours will still be strong.
For now, I’ve put them away in a labelled box on my shelf. They’ll call out to me again, once I’m settled. At the moment I have two quilts to finish before I pack up my machines.
The purging is ALMOST complete – just the pantries (I have four food storage locations) to go through, none of them large. That’ll take a morning to throw out long outdated packages and tins and perhaps even storing what’s left in those large plastic tubs I bought the other day. Better than 2′ cubes – the tubs, although smaller, have handles so they are liftable!
Day by day, I’m getting there. Yesterday, 40 years of my professional life was sorted into paper / plastic / cardboard and bundled into recycling bags. Out the door. I had to ask myself – is that all it was? But then I think of the students in those classes whose lives were affected by the experience whether they’re aware of it or not. Those 40 years has a gentle ripple which keeps moving outward….
We began the day with a trip to the northeast part of Bali first to visit the Weavers’ market, then to stop at a weaving cooperative where the young women were weaving ikat fabrics (more about the ikat fabrics later).
The weavers’ market is an assemblage of indoor fabric stalls each displaying piles of handwoven fabrics, many from the local region.
What makes these weft ikat fabrics unusual is the process the weavers use – they set up their looms with solid colour warp threads then weave a design with weft threads that have been dyed using a tie-dye technique.
The photo shows the weft threads set up (tied in groupings which represent the design) just before they are placed in the dye. Once dyed, ties are systematically removed and the “blank” areas of the thread are hand dyed in the desired colours.
The weavers pass the shuttle loaded with the dyed thread back and forth making sure the colour alignment is accurate – this requires close attention to the colour placement at the selvedge edge. The fibers can be dyed with either natural or synthetic dyes. Needless to say, the fabrics using natural dyes are worth more.
I bought one sarong length of weft ikat fabric at the market; I bought a second length at the weavers cooperative. We were able to watch some of the women work at the looms – they can each weave about 2 m of fabric a day which earns them 40,000 Indonesian rupiah (approximately $4 CAD)! That same 2 m of fabric sells for between 150,000 – 200,000 rupiah depending on the delicacy of the threads and the complexity of the design.
After lunch we visited with an Indonesian woman who is an expert on natural dyes and who has been instrumental in helping revive the hand weaving industry in Bali. She showed us a number of textiles – all of which had ceremonial importance (textiles play a very large role on Balinese religious life). Each textile was connected to a particular ceremony. All of the fabrics she shared with us were stunning examples of hand weaving.
Our final visit of the day was to a sea salt maker – talk about labour intensive – the salt maker carries large buckets of sea water from the beach (2 at a time) to pour on the sand flats. Once dry, he skims off the crusted sand and washes it in a vat using more sea water. The sand is washed 4 times, then the salt concentrate is taken to evaporation trays so the sun can dry off the water leaving behind salt crystals. The process can take a day in the sun, several days if it’s cloudy and the whole operation is shut down during the rainy season. On a good day he harvests 10 kg of salt – not a lot for all his labour! Some of the gals bought a kilogram of salt for 40,000 rupiah which gives you an idea of what he makes for his 10 kg of salt.
Tomorrow we visit a temple – that should be very interesting.
Can’t upload pix again today-no idea why. I’ve tried several possibilities but can’t get any of them to work. I believe it has something to do with me not enabling international roaming. So I’ll carry on with describing my experience.
(I’m adding a couple of pix after the fact:
The grounds of the Patra Jasa Bali Resort are wonderful – you see gardeners cleaning up fallen leaves daily, pruning shrubs, attending to the clothing of some of the statues (they put sarongs either in black/white check or in a golden yellow on statues of what I believe are God images, rethatching some of the roofs/rooves.
There is bougainvillea everywhere in shades of white, peach/red, pink and purple; sometimes more than one colour on a single plant obviously the result of grafting. Lots of frangipani trees on the grounds. Heliconia, hibiscus, and a purple flour I don’t recognize. Cana lilies, and various kinds of palms. Kalenchoe which we get as a small potted tropical plant, grows shrub size here.
I stopped to take pictures on my way to breakfast this morning – too bad I can’t include a couple.
Following breakfast, I led a water aerobic class with three of the gals in our group-it was at their request. Following the exercise the group got organized to go shopping. Here’s the contrast again, we went to a LARGE shopping centre. This time both cabs reached our destination. We specifically went to a department store selling all sorts of goods made from batik. From tablecloths to men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. I could have binged on gift buying, but nobody needs more stuff so I bought next to nothing. The only thing I picked up was a gizmo with two holes used for tying a women’s sarong.
The mall was large and filled with shoppers. After an hour and a half of looking around the shops we went for lunch – to Pizza Hut – very contemporary Bali. Again, traffic was astounding – it’s a free for all – the motorbikers seem to ignore any rules of the road and swoop down on the cars.
We made it back to the hotel by mid afternoon – at which time I crashed – slept for an hour and a half before a group dinner which turned out to be good food and pleasant company.
Tomorrow we change hotels – we’re heading to Ubud and the artistic community and rice paddies. Should be interesting. The trip begins in earnest.