I love to travel. This photoblog has been a portfolio of my adventures in Oman and China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, Canada and the UK. But there are no posts from 2020 because…well, none of us could travel.After I got over the angst of feeling trapped, I realized how lucky I am to be in Oman and I realized I needed to do something to occupy my time. I started writing a book about Mazin’s grandfather’s life and times, and it has been slow-going, but I am learning a lot about Oman’s history.Strangely, though, I found myself craving a sewing machine. I could see myself making simple things sewn in straight lines. From a past life, I knew I could manage straight lines, and amazingly, my new Singer was almost exactly the same as my Sears Kenmore of 50 years ago. Exactly.The resident Omani thought I was crazy. There are countless Indian shops cheaply making women’s clothes. Countless. Why did I need to sew?!?Hard to explain, but I had found myself wanting to connect more deeply with this beautiful country and these people that have inspired me to stay and put down roots. I needed to create my tribute.See this headgear? The men are wearing ghutras. They are squares folded and wrapped to cover the head from the sun. I am fascinated with ghutras: they come in so many beautiful colors AND they sew easily!kcbDesigns burst into life. Once I started to sew things with ghutras, I couldn’t seem to stop.My first designs have been inspired by the characters and ghutras you would see in images in the media.And images from my own experience.I headed to the souq for materials.Lots of ghutras!And lots of finishing materials.It was overwhelming at first.But I started to sew and it made me so happy.Simple at first. Two ghutras sewn together for a beach cover-up.Then more complicated: cutting ghutras into sections and making gowns.And then on to my current favorite: my walking coats.I have a closet full of my new designs and we will be selling some through the AmberCollection_ on Instagram.As I wear them in public, people seem fascinated by the fusion of Omani fabrics and Western fashion.Maybe the designs will sell, but it doesn’t matter. I just love designing my special creations. I think of them as art. Instead of feeling trapped by the pandemic, I now feel liberated and inspired and free to try creating things.
And inspired to photoblog my story of Oman.