28.02.2011

*indigo magic*

when I read first more than 20 years ago in a book about *indigo* dyed fabrics, about dresses & scarfs which are made from shiny, shimmering fabrics....blowing in the *desert* wind like flowers....I truly felt in love!
the day came and I found the fabric of my dreams....carefully wrapped in cotton around a stick...
and here it is....the *queen* of the desert fabrics...handloomed, hand dyed...and truly magic!
finally several meters found the way to me, whenever I touch it....blue traces of indigo left on my hands, two weeks ago I found blue tracks in my home and got a smile on my face....*magic* indigo paw prints on white, wooden floor...Mr. X turned into sahara desert cat :-)

27.02.2011

*happy sunday*

and where I found *inspiration*....
 
natural water sources in the sahara called *guelta* in arabic, the word in tamashek is *adjlmam*....precious like a gemstone in the desert.... one day I prepared coffee with water we picked up earlier on that day from this guelta....the coffee tasted some kind of *guelta green*...alga taste, too... ;-)
the red, orangeish *pink* shades...sand and sandstone..so bright....so beautiful in the late morning sunlight.....I love you, mother nature for this simple beauty!
running stitched blankets called *gadou* in tamashek, made from vintage fabrics and/or  new fabrics; it was a big surprise for me to find this kind of work also in the desert....:-) by the way...as usual the colour jumped first straight in my eye....*teal*....
a soft and *fluffy* camel neckline.....oh what a *joy*! one day...one day I will *hug* a camel and can say...this is my own one...sometimes dreams are coming true....I am patient!
inbetween working on clients orders and continue organizing/renovating my home I couldn´t resist to start working on new embroidery and colour combinations...*camelmilk white* a cool, offwhite shade... mysterious *teal* one of my favourite and most sold colours....and *guelta green* a fantastic, two-tone italian linen for new summer tunics and dresses....and...ooooh, there is a special colour...this colour will *blow* you away....on the magic carpet direction *desert*....stay tuned...and it is not a blue(s)... ;-)

*happy sunday*

images: petra hassan

P.S.: received last night a a call...Libya called me...it was good to listen the voice of one of my friends and hear that in the south everything seems to be still quiet...

26.02.2011

*temse*

means *fire* in tamasheq, the Tuareg language.....making a good fire is an essential need whilest travelling in the desert. Wherever we found dry *acacia* wood we collected it, prepared lunch in the day, bittersweet and foamy *chahi* and dinner in the evening :-) oh, how much I love the smell of the fire...!
 
one night I felt asleep next to the fireplace and do not ask what happened to me....I read some years ago in a book why the people in the desert never sleeping next to the fire....but I forgot! I wrapped myself in my sleeping bag and under my cozy, moroccan *hot wool* blanket...and after a time I started dreaming....voices and the sound of people walking passing by and walking around me...like some kind of dance...and I watched colourful fabrics...o.k. this was might be the nice part of the dream...!
Someone stepped next to my sleeping bag, my hands touched *sneakers*...wondering... no one of my friends wore this kind of shoes....the sound of the voices turned into a terrible, scary noise and someone tried to open my sleeping bag but I couldn´t  move....then I tried to say *hilfe* means help in german language, my german voice wasn´t working...then I started screaming *help*help*help*...good, the english voice worked.....then one of my friends made me wake up, talked carefully to me that I am save and nothing happened, moved me away from the fireplace....and I felt asleep again.....
the next morning I woke up totally confused and felt like overrunned by a tank....asked myself what happened to me? My friends told me what happened and why I never again should falling asleep next to the fireplace.....it was a matter of  *djinn* evil genies....then I also remembered about what I read in the book years ago....!

*good night* :-)

images: petra hassan

P.S.: take a look and read my friend Maryam´s blog MyMarrakesh she mentioned something about fireplaces, too...!

23.02.2011

*the favourite dress*

well...I will go back to the past about the story of my *favourite dress*....
the idea came into my mind last year.....I wished to have pictures with exactly this dress last summer in morocco...but sometimes everything is not working like expected...so I sat in front of my friend Mustapha´s shop in a medina alley in Essaouira, accompanied by my canadian friend Krista during the gnaoua music festival in june, was fighting with the sewing machine and tried to finish this and several other dresses. I imagined having pictures with a traditional moroccan hat, my hairs in braids and the bright *cobalt* blue dress... on the second day I finished the *cobalt* blue dress (I carried all the cutted fabrics including for clients orders with me...) washed it to soften the silk in the bathroom of the hotel tafraout...and then there was no time left to take pictures....because it was the time of the gnaoua music festival in Essaouira...

when I had been in the desert a few weeks ago there was no reason not to wear my favourite dress....comfortable and airy...the weather was not so hot...but warm....and I was all the time well dressed...you know...I do not like wearing 25 zipper and 50 pocket safari pants....could you imagine me in something like this?? me...never!!
on this day...oh it was a beautiful *desert* day....we crossed the red sand in the tadrart area and I found myself  inbetween truly stunning *pink* and *rosewood* rocks....mother nature really did a great job with this colours and shapes! and also one of my tuareg friends, Mohammed did a great job when he took the pictures for me :-)
the *favourite dress* is now available in my online shop at dawanda in bright *cobalt* blue & mysterious *black* in any size you want to make me this for you :-)

P.S.: I got in touch with one of my libyan friends this morning, thanks god that it is still quiet in the south where all of them living and they are fine! I wish for all libyans that this nightmare ends better today than tomorrow!

images: mohammed hassani

21.02.2011

*friends*

a few weeks ago I stand on the top of one of the highest dunes...somewhere deep in the heart of the sahara *desert* in southeast of Algeria very close to Libya....
it was silent there, peaceful and calm....sand under my feet...the sound of the wind in my ears...sunset in my face....I turned and watched the landscape, a smile on my face & friends in my mind....friends who are living not far away on the other side of the border...
now, the situation is becoming since days and within every minute much more horrible in Libya.....there are no words left for this nightmare all of the people there going through right now......

please, sign the SEND HELP TO LIBYA!!! petition!

written for all the Libyans, all the ones who living there and for my friends and their familys: Fadi, Mohmed, Alwa, Messoud, Taher, Lamen, Abkda, Mohamed and Aqdora!

20.02.2011

*sunday morning*

well...this sunday.....I talked last night on the phone for a few minutes to a friend in Libya who plan to visit me, soon...after we finished talking I realized that there must be so much more confusion there than we can imagine. It seems that it is still quiet where he is living in the south but he also told me everything is calm in the north and this words showed me that there is no access to real/true informations......and all of us know why...!
I also sent several sms to all my friends who living there but no one replied until now....after I watched last night for about more than one hour the twitter timeline I really did not know what to think, say or do anymore....it is truly shocking and horrible!

I drawed this heart earlier a few weeks ago one morning in the sand of a high dune in tadrart area/algeria....for all of you!

well....today I will continue organizing parts of my home, working on new *ranipink* products for summer and may updating my website....wish you all a relaxing and may creative *sunday*! :-)

image: petra hassan

*desert style*

come with me...and take a look....
what pretty *colours* my friends are wearing :-)
shiny *indigo* blue and apple green...
*lavender* blue...
shades of chalky *pink* and tie dyed purples...
light blue like the sky and *mandarin* yellow...
rich *citrus* colours...
*mysterious* and bright cobalt blue(s)....
and delicate yellow embroidered *black* pants :-)

during my stay I watched so many more stunning colour combinations...there is a little story who is still making me smiling...one day I visited girls who working as artisans and after I went back to the car & watched a young man next to the car wearing such pretty colours...I nearly felt like I got heart attacked (because of the so, so cool style and colours)..and told Mohammed "did you saw the colours this man was wearing, I would love to have a picture from this..."??!! ...and Mohammed said..."ah...this is my friend Ahmed, he is coming with us..." *haha*!

there is a way of wearing clothes, a special kind of elegance I noticed earlier first on my morocco travels to the desert, too....owned by the people of the sahara :-)

images: petra hassan

19.02.2011

*tasghnast*

or how I tried to wear a traditional dress in the desert....
one day I found myself next to an elephant....
wrapped in layers of bright *grapefruit* pink cotton voile...oh, what a colour!
 
surounded by pretty tie dyed patterns...
under the *hot* sahara sun :-)

a few years ago I discovered first at my friend Mustapha´s shop in morocco these pretty dyed fabrics and started to collect & use it for shawls and curtains first until I finally found -after years- out how to wear it.

*tasghnast* is the word for this dress in tamashek, the tuareg language also known as *mlhafa* or *mlhefa* in the language who is spoken in the western sahara.

well...I spend a good time to fight with the meters of cotton around me and still need practice, too...but I *love* to wear it! :-)

images: mohammed hassani

15.02.2011

*tagella*

and how to prepare it :-)
first of all, prepare the *sauce*...made from chopped onions, green pepper, carrots, tomatoes and parsley....add a hint of salt and cumin, water, a hand full of  little *lentils* and sundried, salted meat...
stir well and boil the sauce on the fire :)
next step: made a doug for the bread from wheat semolina & flour, water and salt...knead well... :-)
prepare a hollow in the center of the fireplace...
put the prepared *bread* on the *hot* sand...
 
cover it carefully with sand and *glowing* charcoal, let it bake in the hot sand...
 
after a while turn it once and let it bake again...wait...may you want to enjoy inbetween a glass of  *atay*?
when the baking time is finished...I do not know how long it takes exactly, probably 30 minutes...remove the sand with a knife...
 rinse it carefully...
start breaking the bread in pieces...
little ones, please!
add tons of *fresh* garlic and warm up the sauce on the fireplace....yes, you are reading right...I probably ate never in my life before that much garlic as in the desert :-)
 add the *sauce* to the prepared bread, stir well again...
 
sprinkle all over olive oil and spicy harissa.....*tagella* is definitely one of the most delicious dishes I ever had!

what a bliss!

13.02.2011

*happy sunday evening*

well...I am a little late today posting *happy sunday*...;-)
I woke up this morning listening noise coming from outside the balcony and saw Mr. X the cat watching in a kind of  *very exciting but totally careful* way half hidden behind some moroccan vintage cushions what´s going on outside....after a while I also moved very slowly and took also a look...and what I saw made me laughing...very much!....a supercute & pretty *squirrel* attacked my 2 of my bamboo umbrellas and my greek vintage wool blanket.....ahem...I´ve never seen a squirrel attacking a blanket before!!

When I came back from the desert I was wondering that a little oak growed in my potted *arancia bizarra*...it looks like that the squirrel keep winter food in all my potted plants :-) to avoid that he/she get probably much more angry with me and start war with my vintage *kilim* carpet outside... the squirrel will find from tonight *walnuts* and so outside...and...of course served in a pretty moroccan ceramic bowl! :-)

by the way...I am feeling still totally overwhelmed, flattered and something else like this for the reason that feed magazin published yesterday the travel report I wrote for them... *happy dance* and a big thanks again to the editor, Karsten Marowski :-)
by another way....exactly today 5 years ago we had the same weather like today -greyish and rainy february day- I opened in the morning the first day without any promotion in advance my atelier, got the first clients on that day, had the idea in my mind what I want to do but never expected where I am going with my work. I started with 3 different pieces of clothes...very simple ones and seriously told the first clients "this is what I can do for now"...

Today, 5 years later everything changed completely...first my life changed into *never expected* but I moved a giant step forward, went to the sahara, found the silence and something I searched for the past 1,5 years in the most confusing time of my life...I found myself again! :-)

Within the past 5 years also my work changed more than expected. I found out that I definitely want spend much more time than before with hand embroidery work, dyeing and working in special products which need a good time to create it. My home and a part of my working space is still *under construction* and inbetween I am working on new *summer* products, countless new ideas, bridal gowns and clients orders...so I am really packed for the next weeks, no months with tons of work again and it doesn´t matter that the life is still changing...stay tuned! :-)

by the way again....*happy* sunday evening!

P.S.: there are still many *desert* stories to tell and write about...*pretty* pictures to show, I´ll continue writing about every week :-)

images: petra hassan & mohammed hassani

11.02.2011

*indigo laundry*

it started with this...
7 meters of shimmering, deep *indigo* blue fabric...
a turquoise bowl and clear water...
and slowly..slowly...
the water turned...
into the *blue*....
the hands moved the fabric carefully...
and I watched a deep *blue* full indigo moon rising in a turquoise bowl :-)

*magic* desert laundry!