Thursday, August 11, 2011


In Udaipur, our hotel, the Jagat Niwas Palace, was a heritage hotel located on the shore of the lake, overlooking the Lake Palace. It had once been owned by the Maharajahs but in 1989 it was restored and refurbished. It was decorated with gorgeous antiques.
Janine and I felt like princesses sleeping in our high beds each night.
There were lots of levels to the hotel and many nooks and crannies to explore.
The view from the window seat in our room overlooked the Lake Palace.  With our windows open you could hear religious chanting coming over the water...very spiritual.

Sometimes on our trip Janine and I would rise early and go exploring just to see what we could find. Early morning on the lake in Udaipur was breathtaking, with the early morning sun casting shadows over the lake and the surrounding buildings.
This woman was washing her clothes on steps to the lake, just around the corner from our hotel. It was amazing how clean she was able to get them by hand. Since it was so early in the morning, she was able to do her chores in peace and quiet.
In India, I asked most people if it was OK to take their photo before I actually took it. Most everyone was happy to oblige and if they said "No" I respected their wishes. When I saw these four gentlemen sharing their morning tea and chatting, I thought how charming they were and just quickly took the photo, without thinking or asking permission.  I got caught in the act. They in turn asked me for money.  I gave them the change I had in my pocket.
So they were definitely the seed of an idea for my first "text block". Especially when I noticed that they were so well placed in front of all the advertising billboards.

I knew these text blocks would definitely stretch the edge of my envelope and have me working outside my comfort zone.  Being firmly rooted in "pretty" and "applique" the techniques used to create a mixed media block don't really fit in that realm, causing some stress, at least for me.
The background of this block is black felt. Behind the photo of the men is news paper from India which has been sprayed with distress inks to achieve the golden color, sewn closely in a grid to the felt, then sprayed with water, and distressed with a brush.
The coins and paper money are Indian Rupees, less than the change I had in my pocket at the time, but they seemed quite happy with the gift.
The photo was printed in my HP printer on fabric that has been prepared using Bubble Jet Set 2000 and rinsed in Bubble Jet Rinse. Both the photo and rupee note where stitched using a very free form stitch, using two strands of a 6-strand embroidery floss.

The block was hand quilting using black quilting thread and bound in gold fabric which I hand dyed.


Anonymous said...

That is really cool!


Notjustnat said...

Cynthia, these are amazing! How you captured the beauty of everything from your trip. You are living out side the box! The danger now is that, it's hard to get back into that square box again. I know I've been there and now I stranded out side the box and can't get back in :(


Notjustnat said...

Hi Cynthia. hope you are having fun in Sri Lanka. I sent you an email to the Emirates address - hear from you soon - Love Natima