Monday, July 22, 2013

Africa Print - Orange Babies - Vlisco - Made in Holland

Isn't it fascinating that the well known Africa print is Made in Holland by a Dutch textile company called Vlisco? The library of the Textile Museum in Enschede, the capital of the textile industry in the eastern part of the Netherlands, owns a publication (#4 from the top on the list) titled, Waar de Afrikaanse mammies hun kledingstof vandaan halen about  the history of the Africa print.

To me it's double interesting since my father's small Pre-WWII pharmaceutical company was named Vlisco as well, after his second wife's maiden name Van der Vlis. I wonder how it was possible that two companies had the same name. I have a letter in my possession sent to his Vlisco from a company in Germany that no longer could do business with him because ... well they don't mention that in the letter, but in retrospect it's clearly because his company had a Jewish owner. 

As a costume and stage designer I often bought fabrics at the Albert Cuyp Market from a man who told me the "traditional" African 6 yards were made in the Dutch province Twente, Vlisco.
Today —or, really last year the gala took place in 2012— the old textile mill is abuzz with young activity, Orange Babies is the trend, Africa print used for trendy fashion.

This work by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Photo Opportunity Views from High Elevation in Seattle

Years ago I made it up to the 50th floor of the Columbia Tower, or which ever floor it is where Starbucks allows you a view of Puget Sound and beyond. Seeing the glass walls I backed up into the opaque wall behind me, and slid to the elevator to return to the ground floor with a sickened stomach. Such a sissy I was.

Believe it or not, but after I took my first run up to the observation deck of the Space Needle after contemplating that ride for seventeen years, I became hooked on heights. A Space Needle Year Pass allowed me to take the elevator up as often as I liked and having seen the 360ยบ view on sunny, overcast and rainy days, I can tell you, there's beauty to behold whether the sun is out or not. 

After the Space Needle, hubby and I visited Smith Tower. Located smack downtown near the old Pioneer Square, you get a good feel for early Seattle, and great (at times moody) photo opps.
And if the view by itself isn't worth the small entrance fee, the interior of Mr. Smith's loft on the 35th floor is jaw dropping amazing. As the story goes, Smith gifted the Chinese Empress with a Corona typewriter (yes, he's that Smith), and Her Highness was so pleased with that device (used to hammer letters on paper) that she had her best wood carving artisans create the complete lining for his flat. You've got to see the Chinese Room to believe it. As a bonus Her Highness threw in some furniture as well.

And now that I've come this far, who knows, I may make it up to Columbia Tower's 73rd floor aka The Sky View Observatory to take in the view AND an exhibit on Puget Sound's perimeters.

This work by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License