Sunday, July 17, 2016

Uzbek Suzani Pillows in the Colours of Fruits and Flowers

If I could wear these suzani pillows on a necklace, I totally would. They might be the most beautiful pillows we have had to date. They are made from a very vintage suzani and I just love them. They truly convey the spirit of traditional Uzbek embroidery. The raised design and rich colours make them especially attractive. Their colour scheme makes me think of Uzbek fruits which are incredibly sweet and fragrant. 


It looks a bit like a hooked rug to me. Actually the technique is quite similar.



We thought that denim was a good addition to the suzani. It is so modest, a perfect frame for the ornate embroidery. These embroidered cushion covers will look amazing in a vintage or bohemian room adding a spicy accent. They look fantastic next to my Tabriz rug, too. And of course they are stunning when placed next to a Russian shawl!



As I now have a traditional Uzbek house in the countryside, I think I am keeping one pair of these. Another pair is on sale in our Etsy shop here.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Vintage Hand Block Printed Russian Shawl: A Must See

I know I have been away for ages, and I do have a lot of news (which is why I did not have time to write). I promise to correct this, but for now I will just show a very unique and vintage Russian shawl that we bought recently. It is new old stock with a tag, and it is at least 50 years old. It has a field of flowers on soft ivory background, and there are also the prettiest tiny branches and twigs which make the print very elegant.


Such delicate and airy print is not often found in Russian shawl. This shawl is like a fine china or elegant lace.


The fine and soft wool drapes like a dream.


And I am always fascinated by hand block printed shawls, because they are so alive. They seem to breath. All the small imperfections are very dear to my heart - you can see that the shawl was made by people, not by metal monsters spitting dyes.



This is a very old tag. The "Weaving and Decoration Factory Named in the Honor of 10 Years' Anniversary of the Red Army" was reorganised back in 1963, so the shawl dates at least to that year, making it 50 years old. However, we feel that it belongs more to the 1950s.




The shawl is available in our Etsy store here.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Black Cherry is Here!


I am happy to announce that the season for black cherry is officially open! It is sweet and lovely, and when it is served on vintage Uzbek pottery, I like it even more!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Very Unique Dress from Uzbek Silk

...We are having a very busy spring; kids have Taekwon-do competitions, we have a lot of work to do, and I also resumed running and working out with weights. I feel a bit guilty about not writing, but not overly so, as I decided that, when choosing between writing and sleeping, I must sleep.

However, this is something I want to share. A new dress fully designed and made by my mother is always a bit of a special event to me, and this one is a very unique dress. It is made from highly unusual Uzbek silk with a very wild ethnic print - I have only seen a similar fabric once. It is many years old, was stored in a chest for ages, and it looks amazing. All these designs are based on ancient rituals and beliefs and are said to incorporate symbols that protect from evil and grant health and prosperity.

The dress is voluminous, flowing and gleaming. It has a deep plunging v-neck and kimono sleeves. I really, really like it, and I am a bit jealous of someone who will buy it. I love both the fabric and the design. But, realistically, I do not wear black and white, so I could not have it to myself, anyway. I hope someone who buys it will wear and enjoy it a lot. I will ask my mother to make a similar dress for me, in colors that will look good on me. She loves working with Uzbek fabrics, as did her mother and aunt before her - both were well known fashion designers here in Uzbekistan.

The dress is for sale in our Etsy shop, Mulberry Whisper, and I do not expect it to last long. It fill fit Large and Extra large sizes.






Wednesday, March 30, 2016

On Cherry Blossom and Lost Wanderers

I spent twenty minutes under the Japanese cherry tree today, marvelling at its ethereal beauty. We have only had these trees for ten years or so, I think; they are not native to Uzbekistan. The one I was admiring today grows near the Navoi Opera Theatre which was built by the Japanese prisoners after WWII, and I believe the tree has a symbolic meaning - was planted there for a reason.








I must admit that the topic of Japanese prisoners never was of a great interest to me - you see, our life in USSR was infused by the war, we were eating and drinking war - no, breathing it... every family would have veterans, or someone who was killed, or both; there were all those countless books, films, memorials - what does a handful of prisoners mean compared to this huge array of memories, evidence, emotions? However, when you stand under this tree, next to the theatre build by the prisoners from a faraway country, you have to think about them. I read that there were almost 24 thousands Japanese PoW in Uzbekistan, and that most of them survived - only 817 died and were buried here. Local people are kind, and even in the hungry time after the war they would share food with the foreigners. As one article said, "If civilians treated German prisoners like enemies, the Japanese were looked upon as tired wanderers far from home".

I hope that most of those lost wanderers finally made it home.

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