February 26, 2017: Update on “Spirit of Japan #3 – Kuruma”; Thai silks; Thailand elephant camp visit and ride!

Greetings!  I am patiently (well, maybe not so patiently!) waiting for my bones and tissues to heal.  It is exceedingly hard for an active and independent person like myself to be bound to rest and to the help of others, but I am so thankful that I have that help and a comfortable home in which to rest!  My follow up visit is Tuesday and I’m hoping I can start PT.

Meanwhile, I have been hand quilting “Spirit of Japan#3 – Kuruma (the wheel)” and am about 98% done!  What is this pile?:


This is the pile of basting threads which I pulled out of the quilt this AM!!!  For those of us who hand quilt and baste (or have basted) our quilts with thread, this is a fun moment, at least it is for me.  I just love getting my first look at a quilt in its “pristine” state, without all those threads criss-crossing and interfering with how the quilt should look.  So here are some pictures of “Kuruma”, unbasted,  with nearly all the hand quilting done, laid out on my living room floor with some sun coming in through the window allowing a good look at some of the hand stitching (click on pics for closeups):


I intend this quilt to be a lap quilt for my living room – the colors match very well the red, navy, and tan colors there.  This also looks good with 3 sashiko pillows I made a few years ago:



I spent some time figuring out the colors for the next stars in my silk quilt.  I did so by drawing a grid and filling in the colors I already have and then adding colors randomly but yet trying to make sure I don’t get 2 of the same colors next to each other.  This should really help me when I am well enough to start cutting and sewing more stars:


Here are pictures of the Thai silk fabrics I bought.  I managed to find and buy them the night before my accident – so happy I found them, but I had been planning on trying to go back to get more and that obviously never happened.  Take my word for it – these are gorgeous and my pictures don’t do them justice.  I especially had trouble getting an accurate shot of the lemony yellow (which looks more like a washed out cream in my picture) and the spring green (which looks way too faded in the picture):


I’m really looking forward to incorporating these into my silk star quilt!!!

We spent a chunk of one day of the Thailand vacation visiting an elephant camp.  It was a favorite activity of mine.   Elephants are essentially the official “animal” of Thailand and are revered there.  There are many elephant camps in the country where they are taken good care of and trained for rides and shows.  Each is paired with a “mahoud” who trains and takes care of him/her for the entire lifetime of the animal or the mahoud;  they develop a strong bond.

Here are my friend Van and I riding one with his mahoud doing the “driving”:


Here are several more pictures from the 45 minute ride on the elephants by the group:

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While at the camp we had a chance to talk with one of the mahouds about his life with the elephants and ask all our questions.  His elephant ate bamboo the entire time!  During the ride and during this discussion we got to feed the elephants bananas and sugar cane which they took from our hands with their trunks and then put them into their mouths.



Some of the elephants have been trained to paint pictures!


While at the camp we had a delicious lunch.  At many meals we noticed that food was wrapped in and sometimes cooked in and served in banana leaves – very sustainable!  and attractive!


Notice that the “pointy” green structures in the above picture contain, when unwrapped, rice!


The food on the trip was wonderful and I will devote another section of another post to show pictures of food – unusual for me as I don’t normally take pictures of food!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi



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