Thursday, 17 November 2016

Musk Studio #meetthemaker

Anyone who knows me, knows I struggle to start the day without my moka pot of coffee, so no surprise that this image caught my attention on instagram



It is the work of Casablanca based artist and designer Fadwa Azhari . I was immediately drawn to it,
and I started looking a little further. I loved the understated design and humour that runs through her work with its contemporary interpretation of some typically Moroccan images.
I decided it was time to get to know her a bit better here on the blog!



So lets start at the beginning

#1 TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND MUSK STUDIO
Hi, my name is Fadwa Azhari, I am 28 years old and live in Casablanca - I have always dreamed of having my own brand of stationary and posters ever since I studied at Art School . . . it was always at the back of my mind! In the meantime I started a blog as a creative outlet to escape the stress of my day to day work. This blog (musk-elil.blogspot.com) was part journal, part creative laboratory - a place to post my writing, photography and other things I loved. I was often invited to write about events and exhibitions, and every time i did that I told myself that one day I would be in an exhibition myself! Then about a year and a half ago I was contacted by a friend who was looking for local designers for a concept store - this project never actually took off but it was the push I needed to get me started! And today Musk Studio is officially 1 year old!


Moroccan Pop

#2 WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR DESIGNS?

I draw inspiration from Moroccan culture in general, but always trying to reinterpret it with a fresh look. I grew in a family of Maallems (masters in Arabic) in sculpture and wood painting. I was always fascinated by the work of my grandfather (whom I did not get to know) and my uncles.I have not had the opportunity to learn this art, but it is perhaps for that reason that I like to revisit our traditions by transforming this heritage through my own vision. That being said I don't like to limit myself to a single aesthetic and I also let myself be carried by my inspiration and state of mind in the moment. For example my Moroccan Pop collection is quite fun, colourful. with lots of play on words and a mix of languages. While my second Moroccan Minimal Collection is much more minimalist and monochrome, very Moroccan meets Scandinavian design.

Moroccan Minimal
#3 WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF THE DESIGN PROCESS FOR YOU?

The best moments are when I stumble across a word game and imagine how I can exploit and develop the concept visually - but unfortunately that doesn't happen every day! I also love to create small stagings of every day objects which I then photograph - as in the case of the AnaNas, Sabah, Lfol, Sukara and Hob posters - and yes, that is real pieces of sugar that I used!



I try to work as much as I can by hand even if the final process is digital. At the moment for example I am working with traditional patterns which are randomly chosen and then I rework it while experimenting with several techniques. I am also trying to learn lino cut as I find it graphically very interesting even if it is a difficult process to print.




#4 DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DESIGN?
Pixel Tarz in the Moroccan Minimal Collection!

#5 PLANS & DREAMS FOR 2017?
A list !! I hope to have a 3rd collection of posters out - explore larger formats and work on unique pieces - have more exposure in concept stores both in Morocco and abroad - I would love to have a collaboration with a brand - have a wonderful trip to inspire me - and finally have a small Musk Studio workshop  . . . nut that might take a bit longer!



#6 WHERE CAN PEOPLE BUY YOUR DESIGNS?
In Morocco my work is currently on display at 2 stores: 33 Rue Majorelle in Marrakech, and La Galerie de l'Aimance in Casablanca. I also take orders via my FaceBook page as well as my shop on Etsy : Musk Studio Shop



#7 AND FINALLY {of course} - YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE FOR COFFEE (OR TEA)!!
Bondi Coffee Kitchen in Casablanca!

Bondi Coffee Kitchen


X


Thursday, 10 November 2016

#CookForSyria


I dont know about you, but the events of the past year, months, few days,
 have left me feeling a little overwhelmed. 
Suddenly things feel strangely out of kilter.
There is a lot of anger and destruction around us - and this coming from a person who grew up in Apartheid South Africa and spent the greater part of my my 20's fighting for change.
But right now I am indeed feeling overwhelmed . . .


But the #cookforsyria project has rekindled some positivity!


Reading about #CookforSyria felt like a rainbow emerging out of the morass of media spin and information that surrounds us. Instead of focussing on the destruction and depressing daily reality of many in the world today - it is a celebration!

A celebration of a rich culture that will not be bombed out of existance!

image via

I wish I was closer to London so I could support some of the initatives that are part of this project - if you are, have a LOOK HERE and see if there is anyone or anyplace that you could support. There is a list of participating restaurants where £2 for certain items on the menu will be donated to the charity.

With the thought in mind that "every little bit helps"
I have decided to donate £2 of every jar of our Shouf! harissa sold this month to the fund - so you can enjoy the heat of our harissa knowing that the money spent is going to keep someone else warm this winter!

shouf!{look!} harissa
SHOP

You can also pre-order the cook book #CookForSyria - a result of time and talent in collaboration, with all profits again going to the fund.

And dare I mention the "c" word?
Christmas people  . . . 
and  I know a few people who would love to find this book in their stocking!
It seems to me quite simply to embody all that this festive season of ours should stand for.
x

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Dar Ka - a riad in Assilah

We have just come back from a quick visit to Morocco and were lucky enough to be able to stay in Dar Ka in the seaside medina of Assilah.



And believe me there is nothing finer than coming home to such a beautiful space after a busy day in the markets and souks.
The word "oasis" is thrown around a lot when describing places in Morocco
but there is a reason for that,
and Dar Ka certainly is a calm, contemporary oasis full of traditional details that place it clearly in context.


So, before the grey skies and dripping rain envelop me completely
I thought I would share some of the little details from my Instagram page that I think make Dar Ka so special . . .






For the bigger picture read THIS post


And for more information about rental availability pop across to THIS PAGE


x

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

chocolate {brown} and pistachio {green}


My eldest daughter and myself are partial to a pistachio or two . . .


We do try and make a regular stop at the Nut Mans table at the Medina gate in Assilah to get a paper cone full when he comes out to ply his trade in the evenings.



But this morning, in more of an autumnal mood here in the uk,
 I decided to channel the domestic goddess in me!
Something I haven't done for a while -
and actually bake something off my Pinterest boards!
All my favourite flavours . . .
pistachio, cardamom, chocolate!



And that swiftly led me onto a decorating tangent
I've always loved the green tiles and design of Le Jardin in Marrakech,
 and I think the green works perfectly with the basket tones and browns.


textiles via

A perfect auntumn palette - and not bad with my morning coffee either


recipe via

x

Pauline



Thursday, 22 September 2016

shouf!


There is a chill in the air as autumn settles in here, which has prompted me to try and cosy up the shop


ochre mountain boujid rug


some new, things some old favourites . . . still very much a work-in-progress!


ewwel sugar bowls

Please follow the link and have a look -would love to know what you think!
www.shouf.co,uk



vintage cushion

xPauline



Tuesday, 13 September 2016

hard at work . . .

Admittedly its been a little quiet on my blog of late,
but just to let you know that I am working hard behind the scenes 
to make sure everything is working just how I want it to!



in the meantime
don't forget you can find me attempting to be arty
on
 INSTAGRAM



philosophising
on
PINTEREST



and just generally sharing the stuff of life
on
FACEBOOK



please keep in touch & I will be back to the blog soon!
x




Wednesday, 24 August 2016

shouf! {look!} SUMMER SALE


I am getting busy and trying to get organised as September looms and life shifts up a gear!
So with this in mind
shouf!{look!}
 SUMMER SALE 
 its time to clear the shelves to make space for new stock coming soon!

simply use code: shoufsale at checkout for a 20% DISCOUNT
while stocks last only