Monday, November 3, 2014

Checking in from Charlottetown, PEI

We are staying at the lovely Elmwood Historic Inn (here) for two nights. I've just finished a lovely breakfast and am sitting in the parlour, complete with an Anne of Green Gables rag doll beside me.

Steve is here for several meetings on his new research project, the ARK. It was a 1960's experimental project to combine old technologies with modern life expectations and was very cool. But the community it was built in thought they were mad, they had just added indoor plumbing to their homes, why would anyone want a composting toilet. Pierre Treudeau loved it but most of PEI didn't. Anyhow, out of this game little project, things like solar heating, passive solar heating, circles of carbon and so forth developed. Steve can write his own blog if he wants to explain it all better, but I'm moving on.

Work on the giant hanky continues. I'll be stitching on it later this morning while I watch the latest video from Karen Ruane. 
 I have an applique flower coming for the last corner.

The cat had a panic attack while snoozing on the cloth and left a few reminders that cat's shouldn't be allowed to sleep on stitching. I patched the claw marks up and decided it made a nice addition.

Pale yellow flowers need to be embroidered in a few open spots. I am creeping towards being finished.

 I am impatient and have started on a new project.

My sewing buddies/artists group set a challenge for ourselves at the beginning of the summer. Antimacassars. Those doily things that protect the backs of chairs and couches from greasy hair etc. Somehow this veil came into my possession. It was worn to church probably up to the 70's. Women had to have their heads covered in Catholic churches. Possibly Anglican ones as well, but don't quote me. I decided it would make a good candidate for our challenge and cut a few holes into it, then did free motion embroidery around the holes to create a base for stitching.

Small holes didn't work as well as large ones, I'll have to go back to snip and sew the smaller ones.

I've added a bit of silky cord, lace on top of lace and have begun the hand stitching. I'll be adding some beads and am trying to decide if rhinestones will be too much. Maybe too heavy and it will tear the supporting machine lace? I'll think about it.

"Turkey?" you ask. "Alright!" I say.

Capedocia. Apparently this community arose from Christians fleeing persecution. The soft stone was chiseled out with tools that had blades about 2 inches wide. You could see the chisel stroke lines in the walls. This area was originally the site of volcanic detrius of different kinds. Soft stone underneath bals... stone. I know it wasn't balsamic, that's vinegar, but something that starts with bals... Chapels, homes, monestaries, convents, farms, and a larger Cathedral were all carved out of the rock. Guards pevented us from taking indoor photos. In the meantime, the inhabitants were chased out during the 1940's or so, and it is now a tourist destination. There are several towns and villages in the valley that still blend the caves with new construction but we could see these only from the look off spots.

This is a convent, but unstable due to earthquake damage. Doors originally tended to be set back as you can see below, but earthquakes have damaged most of the stair cases leading up to dwellings and front passage ways have fallen away.

As you can see from the dark opening, there was a huge difference in light quality inside the rooms. My camera didn't like the conditions, so I'll have to get Steve to see if he has inside images from the few rooms we were allowed to photograph. What is so interesting is the determination it took to make this work. Many of the chapels have fresco work that are charming. Most are damaged due to vandalism, age and sentiment. When people had to leave the area in the 40's, they took chips off the wall to remind them of home.

Ishel is enjoying the day in Capedocia. I nearly threw up when she did this. I have no idea if there is a steep drop behind her.

Each day in Turkey something happened that was huge, impactful, delightful, generous, thought provoking and (not or) life altering. We were there for 10 days. That is a lot of inputs. I am unable to have a favourite location because it was all so powerful. However, given a chance to return, I would vote for this spot. I would love to see how the farming was done in a desert valley, how the water was stored, how you moved from your own home to visit a friend across the gorge, how do you light the rooms without smothering yourself with fumes. It was fascinating. And the effort! In one chapel nave, where a statue would have stood, the tool used to chip away the stone was not much wider than a flat screw driver. I can't imagine the dedication to beautify a cave for a statue that might not be well lit. Or kneeling on stone floors to pray. Or hauling fuel or waste around. Or any of it. We think the pioneers must have had it tough, but this environment, with the harsh sun, little arable soil and no near by river must have been grueling. Yet is existed for hundreds of years and has modernized itself very nicely into the landscape.

What would you like to see next? The Haiga Sofia, Ephesius, more mosques, tile work, a palace?

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