A Visit to Sharjah……

American University Sharjah

I recently spent some time with good friends who have lived in the UAE even longer than I have and they took me and a few other friends to the old Sharjah Souq or market where there are serious bargains to be had…especially carpets…in fact my friend picked up the most gorgeous Persian carpet (silk and wool) for an amazing price! While I was not interested in buying a carpet, I was intrigued by the show put on by the carpet trader who unrolled at least 30 carpets for us to look at, spreading each one out on the floor with a flourish, while we sat on wooden benches sipping sweet tea and Arabic coffee.                                                                                Then the hard work started while my friend and her husband bargained with Mr Mohammad, the carpet seller! After much moaning and comaplaining about how he was being robbed, they settled on a price and the carpet was rolled up and loaded into their car….I should add that this is the 6th or 7th carpet my friend has bought from Mr Mohammad and she assures me that each time, the show is exactly the same…including the moaning about how she is taking food from his many children!!! They always part friends and each party ends up very happy…the joys of bargaining….

Here are a few images I took while wandering around….

shopping in the souq
another interesting store with a myriad of items for sale
amazing traditional dress with incredible embroidery
newly renovated traditional home

I must say that I enjoyed my visit immensely and found it refreshing to be among traditional buildings and a slightly slower pace  of life for a change………

Some things I have been busy with…..

I recently painted a fun painting for my sister’s birthday (her request) and we are busy decorating her bedroom in pinks, aquas and silver so I wanted something pretty and feminine and I came up with a Chinoiserie inspired piece which I was sure she would like…..I have since decided to add a few more peonies….

the image is a bit dark...but the background is a lovely pale pink...

I  gave her a few other small things wrapped up with a gorgeous black ribbon I have been dying to use and left them and the paintng on her doorstep for her to find when she woke up on the morning of her birthday! She loved them all…

This is the mood board I came up for inspiration for her bedroom awhile ago….

mood board for my sister's bedroom

There is finally some progress on the home front with regards to her apartment and we have painted the entire place with gorgeous calming colours…..although she is not happy with how the colour has turned out in the guest room…she is convinced that it is “peach” which of course is unacceptable, conjuring up images of 80’s over the top decor a la Dynasty……so we may have to re-do that one room and I also feel that we may need a feature wall in her master bedroom. It is really big room and needs some focus, so I think a darker wall behind the bed might be a good idea.

These black, gold and silver organza flowers were posted off to the UK to decorate handmade Christmas crackers (for those readers who have no idea what a cracker is-it is an English custom dating back to Victorian times involving paper cylinders wrapped like a candy, which snap when pulled between two people and usually hold a toy or trinket..lots of fun at the dinner table!), to be sold at a  Christmas Fete my mum’s village is hosting to raise funds for charity. I am dying to see how they turned out -she promised to take photos, so hopefully I will eventually get to see the finished product!

hand made organza flowers

boxed up and ready to go

Happy Thanksgiving……

I don’t actually celebrate Thanksgiving with a dinner , but I certainly have a lot to be thankful for…..my family, my amazing and supportive friends , my work, this interesting and challenging city I live in , my loving and adorable pets, a safe and secure place to live….the list is endless and I really am thankful every day that I get the chance to work in a field I love.

No one does Festive tables and occasions like Martha Stewart so here are a few gorgeous images of Holiday Decor…..

                                                                *All images via Martha Stewart Living

Have a wonderful day and take a moment to be truly thankful!

One year old……….

image via http://lasscreative.com.au

Today’s post marks my first year of blogging and I am amazed at how quickly the time has flown by! Since I started posting I have learned so much about internet marketing, blogging and on-line business in general! I plan to learn even more in the coming months as I honestly believe that the future is on-line “everything”!

Twelve years ago I did not even own a computer and now I am setting up an online shop- exciting times ahead…..and I will soon have a website and of course,there is my blog ,which I hope will just grow  with more readers and followers!

 

linen fabric with silk organza flowers

To celebrate my one year anniversary, I am offering a give-away….a gorgeous scatter cushion decorated with hand made silk organza flowers with crystal bead centres. All you need to do, is become a follower by clicking the “sign me up” button on the right of the column and providing your email address. I will pick a winner at the end of November and the lucky person will receive a cushion in the post.

Good luck!

How to do black and white in Swedish…..

image via VT Interiors

This magnificent apartment is currently for sale in Sweden…..I am seriously lusting after these beautiful interiors. With my ongoing obsession with black , white and grey, this home really speaks to me and with the pop of orange…..it is just perfect.

I LOVE the zebra rug…yes, they have been overdone but laid on the harlequin tiled floor it looks fresh and different! It certainly helps that the architectural “bones”of the apartment are exquisite, but the styling and layout are sublime!

                             

This kitchen begs for marathon cooking sessions…..

And then dining sessions……

The media room/library/living room….with the pop of orange! I have been reading a few Swedish blogs lately and the thing that stands out most for me is that their interiors seem to be disciplined, especially in their choice of colours…exactly like this one with the grey, black, white and orange. It works really well…..

all images via VT INteriors

Where to look first!! The fabulous Toile  fabric on the scatters..the Hermes boxes under the console table…the topiaries….the gorgeous grey linen chairs….the exquisitely detailed cornices…..

Oh to have a few million to invest in property….and a whole load of Swedish lessons of course!