Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Art Of The Asian Robe

While cruising one of my favorite blogs I was drawn to this wall of art. Included with the other great art is a framed piece from one of my favorites artist's, Vorakorn Metmanorom. A Thai artist who works in a number of mediums, but my favorites are his block prints. I have been buying and selling these signed limited edition prints since I started The Loaded Trunk.

His work has been influenced by Buddhist teachings, nature and his Chinese ancestry. This Asian robe series is stunning and shows the signs of an artist who has truly mastered his craft.

wall of art picture via
Signed prints available on The Loaded Trunk

Pin It

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Summer Migration

I am heading to Europe, specifically Spain, France, Ireland and England this July. I fly coach, so it is pretty no frills. It just means that traveling on a budget requires a bit more logistical planning. For buying trips, I often don't know where I am going to be staying, but this time things will be different. I'm on a real holiday (vacation) and I'll be with family and good friends for most of the trip. 

Regardless of who I visit or where and how I travel, there are some things I always make sure to pack for a comfortable journey.

{1} A pashmina. I never get on a plane without one. I have my favorites but this time I will take my linen striped one. We have a great selection of pashminas and scarves in the shop so take a look if you want something light and cozy for your own travels.

{2} Wax ear plugs. Whether it's a screaming child on a plane, or traffic and commotion on the streets you can hear from your hotel room, comfortable, noise-cancelling ear plugs are an easy solution to block out the madness. reviewed some of the best ear plugs in the market and you can read about them here. The best ones, by Hearos, at only $1 a pair.

{3} Eye mask. I have my own and bring tea bags that I use just before landing to make me look like I am not the dehydrated exhausted wreck I usually am. Here's a roundup of some of the best sleeping masks by for under $15.

{4} Wipes for my face and body. I don't wear a lot of make up so this makes freshening up so much easier. The Yes To™ line is really wonderful and the towelettes are especially nice.

{5} Altoids. I do brush my teeth in the itty-bitty bathrooms, but mints or gum are a must.  I have to have them. 

{6} Moisturizer, I love to treat myself Aveda. I've been a big fan of all their products for a long, long time. It all smells so nice, doesn't it?

{7} Magazines! Book come along too, but my New Yorker magazines pile up so quickly. I take a dozen or so and no matter how old, they always feel current and timeless. 

{8} The proper carry-on is essential and it must be totally organized so digging is at a  minimum. 

{9} A window seat. By plane, train or car, a window to rest your head upon is so much nicer for sleeping. Plus you can't beat the view from way up in the sky. I also bring my own mini feather pillow that I had made and that smooses to almost nothing.

{10} Water. Lately I've been using a Bobble water bottle. It can be brought through security at the airport empty and filled up inside. It has its own filter and you won't be adding more waste into the world with a single use bottle. So drink up and stay hydrated. It's no secret that water makes you feel better like nothing else!

Where are you traveling to this summer? Do tell!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Closer Look at Kuba Cloth

Pin It

Kuba applique cloth is a traditional royal textile from the Kuba kingdom of the east central Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the founding of the empire by the Bushoong people in the early 1600s, each new king would be responsible for introducing new patterns that were invented by, and named after designers, and was an honored achievement. Hundreds of royal patterns are known today and are collaboratively made.

Men weave raffia fiber on a loom and women applique cut shapes of raffia textile, tie-dye, or embroider fibers that are cut to create a cut-pile, velvety surface. The abstract shapes, arranged in bold designs, appear to be in a regular pattern, but actually embrace an asymmetrical composition. Similar patterns can be found on woven panels used in architecture, woven mats, and even carved wood objects such as court containers and masks. The British Museum has a wonderful example of a partially woven cloth pre-applique on a loom which you can see here.

The cloth was once only worn by members of the royal court for ceremonial events and would have been wrapped several times around the waist as a skirt, making the wearer appear larger than life as well as publicly announcing their status. Textiles are kept in the family treasury, used in gift giving, and presented at funerals for important members of the kingdom, and were traditionally used as currency.

Today, Kuba textiles are produced for local use, exported, sold to art collectors, and is heralded as one of the great international abstract art forms. To learn more about Kuba cloth and its history, check out the collection by The Metropolitan Museum of Art here. The Met shows various forms of the artwork, exhibitions and an art history timeline.

We have only one Kuba cloth in its original form as a textile in the shop. The others have been made into magnificent feather-filled pillows as you can see below. Click through to see the entire collection.