January 12, 2012

fabric shopping at souq wakif, and the first project of 2012

Souq Wakif.. it is a landmark tourist spot in Qatar. Every visitor who stays for a week will have seen at least a glimpse of it.  The area was developed to look like the really old souqs(markets) of arabia, with tiny shops and narrow alleyways, mostly shaded to escape the desert sun. (if you're the couch surfing type, here is a link to a gallery) It is a real market, selling everything from spices to shovels and everything in between.

I went there to buy fabric.  The labyrinth is amazingly confusing , especially if you're as directionally-challenged as I am, but I bravely marched in.  This corridor  leads to  the fabric-shop lane. 

Sadly, I am rather shy to take pictures of random strangers. so I   did not take any pics inside the shops, nor their owners. The majority of fabric shops there sell really shiny, sparkly  fabric, more satins and polyester and chiffon and sequins and embellished tulle.

If you have time to explore, you will find a few gems, shops that sell japanese cotton and indonesian rayon, korean satin and thai silk.  and many varieties.. cotton satin, charmeuse, poplin, lawn..(well. if you're not into fabric, these words are gibberish.) After browsing through at least ten or twenty shops, I make some purchases. I bargain on the price. I agree with random Arab ladies who say the price is too high in arabic, though I don't know any arabic, i get the gist of the conversation. bargain hunting transcends language barriers :) I let my little one play with the old men tending the shops.. i feel really sad for them.. living so far away from their families, making a living without a life.

then we go to explore the pet souq. where there are many varieties of birds, small animals like rabbits, puppies, kittens, hamsters, and lots of varieties of fish, turtles, lizards,  etc etc. she was enthralled by the rabbits, but were scared to go near.  she did have lots to say about them later :)

The souq authorities work hard to keep the old world feel of the place, as the covered ATMs suggest.  We saw the cavalry patrol through the souq. They were happy to pose for pictures.

I came back with my new purchases, drawing pictures in my head. Spring is in the air. The winter cold is gone. new clothes for the girls, new clothes as gifts.Today, the girls had holiday.  so I measured one, drafted, cut and sewed. Took a long time, but finished now.  The inspiration, Burda 9697. I am glad to say it turned out almost exactly the same. She wanted wider straps, she got.  The tulle peeking out is a separate underskirt, just like the pattern. She loves her new dress, extra points for twirl-ability.

January 9, 2012

new year celebrations

We went to the beach to celebrate the new year. It was really cold outside, so I dressed the kids in normal clothes. That did not keep them from jumping in the water...

the water was very shallow, the tide was out.  since this area is behind a breaker, there were only tiny shells left from the dance of water.. I found a hermit crab, but forgot to take its picture. Here is a picture of flotsam  instead:
 Here's to a  calm and peaceful year!


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