Monday, 25 July 2016

Bali textiles retreat - one place left!

We have one spot left on our textiles retreat in beautiful Ubud from 8 - 15 October. Do you fancy an indulgent and educational week in glorious tropical Bali, exploring the textiles of Indonesia? Do you want to know more about ikat, double-ikat, batik, indigo dyeing, and more?


This creative women's retreat offers you the chance to gather with
 like-minded women in a magnificent and spiritually nourishing
environment.  The week's explorations, day trips and classes share a
textile arts theme but there is also ample opportunity for other
activities including sightseeing, yoga, relaxing, swimming or sitting
and stitching and enjoying the company of other crafty creative women.
This retreat is open to women of all ages, from all over the globe.

The retreat price includes:

• 7 nights/8 days accommodation in a beautiful lush riverside resort
nestled on the side of a hill* within ten minutes walking distance of
Ubud.  Rooms include ensuite bathrooms, safety deposit box, air
conditioning, tea/coffee facilities, free wifi, robes, slippers,
toiletries, hairdryer).  The resort has two pools, a dedicated
restaurant, spa and several yoga and meditation rooms.
• pick up and drop off to and from the airport
• welcome drink on arrival
• fruit basket on arrival in your room
• daily bottled water in your room
• most meals
• daily yoga session (yoga mats provided)
• one 1-hour massage
• 30% discount on any additional massages or spa treatments at the resort
• scheduled shuttle services into Ubud's centre if you don't want to
take the short walk into town
• a traditional water purification ceremony at a Balinese temple
• a fascinating textiles lecture/class at the Indonesian Textile Arts
Centre 'Threads of Life'
• a batik and natural dye workshop, including lunch, in the Bebali
Foundation's studio and dye garden
• a full day trip with our guide featuring visits to a 1000 year old
temple, a traditional Balinese family compound, a weaving workshop, a
visit to Bali's most important textiles market, and lunch at a
restaurant overlooking magnificent terraced rice paddies and a
volcano.
• another full day trip hosted by Threads of Life staff to visit a
double-ikat weaving village (one of only three locations in the world
where this rare weaving technique is practised) and to an endek and
songket weaving village where we will also meet the author of Kain
Bebali: Sacred Cloth and learn about the increasingly rare striped
bebali cloth. Lunch is included.
• several free timeslots throughout the week for independent
sightseeing, exploring, relaxing, swimming, shopping, etc
• the opportunity to extend your stay at the resort before and/or
after the retreat, at a special room rate.


The retreat price does not include:

Airfares, travel insurance (compulsory), visas, the few meals not
scheduled, alcoholic beverages, expenditure of a personal nature, tips
and gratuities, and any additional classes or excursions you may wish
to schedule in your free time (eg. a trip to Denpasar to the famous
fabric shopping strip, sightseeing tours, other craft classes, etc).

Retreat price:  USD$1895 / AUD$2195

 If you have not been to Bali before, a treat awaits you.  Bali is a
beautiful island with a rich spiritual and ceremonial life and
fascinating cultural traditions.
We do hope you will join us!
Susan Rees-Osborne and Susan Keeble

Please email retreatrecreate@gmail.com with any questions, to register
for a place on the 8 - 15 October 2016 Bali textiles retreat, or to receive a detailed day-to-day itinerary.




Monday, 18 April 2016

retreat|recreate is now on Instagram!

As the departure date for our Vietnam textiles tour approaches, we decided it was time retreat|recreate had its very own Instagram account, not just a hashtag.


If you're on Instagram, please follow us here, but do keep an eye on the #retreatrecreate hashtag too as we'll be asking the others in our group to use the hashtag when they post. The more the merrier!


Also, don't forget to 'like' our Facebook page.


And finally, we now have a dedicated email address. Contact us at retreatrecreate@gmail.com for trip itineraries, general enquiries, or to go on our mailing list.


Happy textile travelling, be it with us in person or following us online,
Susan and Susan

Friday, 8 January 2016

2016 textiles retreat in Ubud, Bali




The 8 – 15 October 2016 Bali textiles retreat details are now
available!  The schedule has been tweaked and improved, with an
all-new day trip and visits to several new locations.

Please join us on this exciting and educational escape to beautiful
Ubud for a week of creativity, indulgence, community and inspiration.

This creative women's retreat offers you the chance to gather with
like-minded women in a magnificent and spiritually nourishing
environment.  The week's explorations, day trips and classes share a
textile arts theme but there is also ample opportunity for other
activities including sightseeing, yoga, relaxing, swimming or sitting
and stitching and enjoying the company of other crafty creative women.
This retreat is open to women of all ages, from all over the globe.

The retreat price includes:

• 7 nights/8 days accommodation in a beautiful lush riverside resort
nestled on the side of a hill* within ten minutes walking distance of
Ubud.  Rooms include ensuite bathrooms, safety deposit box, air
conditioning, tea/coffee facilities, free wifi, robes, slippers,
toiletries, hairdryer).  The resort has two pools, a dedicated
restaurant, spa and several yoga and meditation rooms.
• pick up and drop off to and from the airport
• welcome drink on arrival
• fruit basket on arrival in your room
• daily bottled water in your room
• most meals
• daily yoga session (yoga mats provided)
• one 1-hour massage
• 30% discount on any additional massages or spa treatments at the resort
• scheduled shuttle services into Ubud's centre if you don't want to
take the short walk into town
• a traditional water purification ceremony at a Balinese temple
• a fascinating textiles lecture/class at the Indonesian Textile Arts
Centre 'Threads of Life'
• a batik and natural dye workshop, including lunch, in the Bebali
Foundation's studio and dye garden
• a full day trip with our guide featuring visits to a 1000 year old
temple, a traditional Balinese family compound, a weaving workshop, a
visit to Bali's most important textiles market, and lunch at a
restaurant overlooking magnificent terraced rice paddies and a
volcano.
• another full day trip hosted by Threads of Life staff to visit a
double-ikat weaving village (one of only three locations in the world
where this rare weaving technique is practised) and to an endek and
songket weaving village where we will also meet the author of Kain
Bebali: Sacred Cloth and learn about the increasingly rare striped
bebali cloth. Lunch is included.
• several free timeslots throughout the week for independent
sightseeing, exploring, relaxing, swimming, shopping, etc
• the opportunity to extend your stay at the resort before and/or
after the retreat, at a special room rate.

The retreat price does not include:

Airfares, travel insurance (compulsory), visas, the few meals not
scheduled, alcoholic beverages, expenditure of a personal nature, tips
and gratuities, and any additional classes or excursions you may wish
to schedule in your free time (eg. a trip to Denpasar to the famous
fabric shopping strip, sightseeing tours, other craft classes, etc).

Retreat price:  USD$1895 / AUD$2195



If you have not been to Bali before, a treat awaits you.  Bali is a
beautiful island with a rich spiritual and ceremonial life and
fascinating cultural traditions.
We do hope you will join us!
Susan Rees-Osborne and Susan Keeble

Please email retreatrecreate@gmail.com with any questions, to register
for a place on the 8 - 15 October 2016 Bali textiles retreat, or to receive a detailed day-to-day itinerary.

* Please note, the resort is located on the side of a steep ravine and features many (many) steps. This retreat is not suitable for those in wheelchairs or with mobility issues.


Don't forget to follow retreatrecreate on Instagram and like our Facebook page!




Friday, 18 December 2015

STOP PRESS! Vietnam tour is now FULL.

Only one place  left on our 7 - 19 May 2016 textiles tour to northern Vietnam so if you've been dithering, don't delay any further.  Details here: http://retreatrecreate.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/vietnam-textiles-tour-register-now.html

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Bali 2015 retreat | recreate round up :: 2

One of our textile activities in Ubud was participating in a batik and natural dye workshop where we created our very own piece of batik artwork.  First we were given a brief introduction to the natural dye plants traditionally used throughout the Indonesian archipelago - the mordants, the various oils used to coat cotton thread, and the plants used to provide blue, black, red and yellow.  We were also shown the tools used in batik - the tjanting tool that allows you to 'draw' on the fabric with melted wax, the beeswax and paraffin wax, and the decorative stamps available.


Tools of the trade for natural...

Then it was time to try for ourselves. First we applied the wax using either one of the supplied stencils or coming up with our own design. It's harder than it looks and we all became quite adept at embracing our mistakes and incorporating them into our designs. Some more successfully than others (cough).

Half the group went to Umajati...

When we were happy with the first stage the cloths were dipped in an indigo bath of Strobilanthes leaves (assam indigo) that had been soaked for 24 hours.  There was much aerating and splashing and dipping, much to the confusion of those of us experienced in indigo dyeing and who know the importance of reducing the indigo vat to remove as much oxygen as possible and keep it as oxygen-free throughout the process as is humanly possible.  When we asked about this, master dyers Tutut and Frog explained this was a direct dye method, and that the second dip later on would be in a reduced indigo vat much more similar to what we are used to (except that the reduction agent used here was palm sugar, as is appropriate in Bali!).

I took the other half of...


While our little artworks dried in the breeze Tutut took us on a tour of the dye garden. The Threads of Life business and its sister organisation, the Bebali Foundation, undertake research here in collaboration with dyers from all over the Indonesian archipelago and botanists from Kew Gardens, London. The aim is to reclaim and preserve the knowledge of natural dyes, mordants and processes that is in danger of being lost as communities turn to synthetic dyes for a faster turnaround and cheaper materials. By paying the dyers and weavers an appropriate amount for products made with traditional, natural materials,  and supplying them where necessary with the dye materials while they establish their own sustainable supply, the communities not only make a living wage but maintain the traditions and precious knowledge.

After touring the dye garden (laid out in colour order and marked with their latin names),  it was time for the second layer of wax to be applied to our pieces. Professional batik workers do multiple wax layers and colour dips to produce complex patterned and coloured cloth but we only had time for two layers, giving us a total of three colours (white, pale blue, darker blue).

Applying the second layer of wax...

A dip in the second indigo bath (Indigofera tinctoria this time) and another stint on the clothesline followed while we enjoyed a magnificent lunch brought in from the village nearby, wrapped in banana leaves to keep it hot.  Takeaway fast food, Indonesian style.  Even the wee selection of optional spices came in its own tiny banana leaf vessel!

Takeaway lunch delivered to Umajati for...

Finally, our cloths were rinsed in boiling water and soda ash to remove all the wax and our masterpieces were revealed. Much oohing and aahing ensued.

The finished pieces! Thank you Tutut...

It was a fabulous day - we returned to the resort that afternoon bubbling with excitement and pride, full of plans of what we would each do with our batik panels.  You can see some of the finished pieces above. I didn't have a wide-angled lens to fit all twelve! If you travel to Bali I can highly recommend booking in for one of these classes.

I'll pop in again soon with photos of the lecture on Indonesian textiles and traditions that we attended.  That was another brilliant experience.

This dye and batik class, together with the textiles lecture, will be repeated in the 2016 retreat together with some new excursions and experiences, so if these photos are tempting you, consider coming along next October. Email sreesosborne@gmail.com for further details.

Monday, 16 November 2015

UPDATE: Vietnam textiles tour is now FULL

A 13 day adventure exploring the textiles and
cultural traditions of northern Vietnam
7-19 May 2016
Textiles, travel, craft, exploration! Does this sound like your cup of tea?
If so, you're invited to join a small group of like-minded textile-enthused women for the experience of a lifetime, visiting specialist handicraft villages, undertaking hands-on weaving, dyeing and embroidery workshops, exploring some of South East Asia's most jaw-dropping scenery and meeting and staying with the colourful hilltribe people who live there. Plus much, much more.
This tour, accompanied by a local (English speaking) Vietnamese guide, starts and ends in the beautiful city of Hanoi where we will spend several days based in the vibrant Old Quarter, exploring the town and its foremost sightseeing attractions in addition to nearby silk weaving and basketry craft villages.
An overnight train journey takes us to Sapa where we will spend three nights, one of those in a rural village homestay while we participate in weaving, batik, dyeing and embroidery workshops. We will also have the opportunity to cook (and eat) Vietnamese/Hmong food with our homestay hosts!
From Sapa we travel to Ha Giang province, a magnificent highland region near the Chinese border, comprising lush forests and terraced rice paddies, with the dramatic mountains of Heaven's Gate soaring in the background. This remote and spectacular area only opened to tourists in very recent years and is known as Vietnam's final frontier. We will spend several days visiting local hilltribe villages, visiting a specialist textile village providing skills and livelihood to victims of human trafficking, shopping at the local textile and general markets and trekking through spectacular landscapes.
Our final couple of days before returning to Hanoi will be spent at a guesthouse on the shores of beautiful Ba Be Lake, exploring the area by boat, visiting waterfalls and relaxing.



Included in price
  • local English speaking guide throughout the tour 
  • all transport, sightseeing attractions (museums, galleries, etc), workshops and excursions as per the itinerary
  • accommodation as per the itinerary
  • meals as per the itinerary (11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 3 dinners)
  • one group airport transfer each way
Not included in price
  • international airfares
  • travel insurance (compulsory)
  • visas
  • early check in or late check out
  • meals and drinks not included in the itinerary
  • expenditure of a personal nature
  • tips and gratuities
  • extra activities
Price: AUD $2,345.00 per person. 
A non-refundable deposit of AUD $300.00 is required to secure your place*.
The balance will be due by close of business on 26 February 2016.

Things to note
  • the tour comprises 12 nights/13 days and operates from Saturday 7th – Thursday 19th May 2016. The opportunity exists to extend your trip by an extra night or two at our hotel in Hanoi before or after the tour, at the special group discount price of AUD $60.00 per room per night;
  • accommodation is in single rooms in 3 star hotels, except for the homestay and overnight train trip where accommodation is shared and more basic;
  • we are striving to offer a culturally, environmentally and economically sustainable tour. To this end: we have engaged local guides and hosts; we visit several workshops and business enterprises that are either village co-ops (ie. all profits returned directly to the villagers), fair trade organisations and/or projects aimed at providing vocational training and experience to local youth or disadvantaged communities; the tour price also includes a carbon offset;
  • this trip includes several two to four hour treks so a moderate level of fitness and mobility are required;
  • this trip is offered in partnership with a licensed travel agent and tour operator for your (and our) peace of mind;
  • the itinerary is a full one, however several free periods (some afternoons and several evenings) are built into the schedule;
  • a detailed daily itinerary is available;
  • one group airport transfer each way is included so where possible we will encourage guests to coordinate arrival/departure times as close as possible. Guests who choose to fly at different times should note that a taxi to/from Hanoi and the airport costs approximately AUD $50.00. Pre-arranged airport transfers can also be arranged at an additional cost of AUD $50.00 per transfer.
To secure your place on this exciting textile adventure or for more information, please email susankee6@gmail.com to request a booking form and detailed itinerary.
We hope you will join us!
Susan Keeble and Susan Rees-Osborne
* Should the minimum number of guests not be achieved and the tour does not go ahead, your $300.00 deposit will be returned.
+ All photos used by permission of Peregrine Adventures Pty Ltd.