Saturday, January 31, 2015

Unpacking my Bag, Part 2

When we travel, I'm always on the lookout for easy-to-pack, non-fragile, lightweight gifts to bring back to my beloveds. Scarves 100 percent fit this category. Our most recent trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand had me all wrapped up in scarf excitement.

While we were in Cambodia, I kept seeing gingham plaid woven scarves -- on men, women and children. Called Krama, Cambodians tie them around their necks, fashion them around their heads, wrap them around their waists, and create slings for carrying babies or firewood.

The hotel where we were staying left a green-and-black-plaid krama on our bed as a welcoming gift. I wore it often over the next two weeks. I told myself that the cotton scarf added an element of chic to my plain t-shirts and helped hide those extra chins that sometimes appear in photos!

On the afternoon of our ATV ride through the Cambodian countryside, we stopped at a roadside eatery and discovered a table full of kramas for sale. Jack bought six and I bought six more. Ed rolled his eyes. Here's one of my six, modeled by Mary's dress form. Can't wait to give them as gifts – and keep a couple for myself.

Next up was a visit to a silk workshop in Chaing Mai, Thailand.

silk worms
silk thread being unraveled from cocoons
natural dyes
weaving the dyed threads into silk fabric
small portion of wall of finished fabric – shelves and shelves of beautiful color
So, of course, I had to buy a silk scarf for Maggie, Jack and Mary – and one for me too. I meant to give Jack's to him before he left to go back to China, but forgot. He assured me that he would appreciate it for Christmas 2015.

I'm only wishing I had bought a dozen more of the Cambodian scarves and a stack of the silk ones. They are all so lovely.

Next up: Unpacking my Bag, Part 3: Pottery

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