Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Ewwel {to dream} Ceramics - Made in Morocco

The ceramic designs of Tangier based designer Sarah were - if truth be told - one of the motivating inspirations of me starting my online shop Shouf!. Spending time in Morocco brought me into contact with a lot of designers doing new and interesting work, as well as the more traditional and vintage designs and crafts that are normally associated with the country. Part of my vision was to showcase these contemporary designs - movement and life over the past year or so has made this a bit more difficult than I anticipated but I am still inspired by the innovation and design coming out of Morocco - many, like Ewwel, drawing on the rich tradition of craft and symbolism in the country and then giving it a more contemporary interpretation and design element.

The new collection from Ewwel is called NAHT - meaning engraved.

Sarahs images are as inspiring as her ceramics  - I LOVE the simplicity of the jugs and hope to have them on the shelf at Shouf! as soon as possible!

In her words: " With this new collection, I wanted to create multi-purpose containers easy to use in everyday life. Thus the bowls are also pots, empty vessels or objects of decoration. The Carafes are both vases and utensil holders.
A refined line, subtle motifs engraved in the clay, a symbol of my attatchment to the country"

Avec cette nouvelle collection, j'ai voulu créer des contenants multi-usages, faciles à utiliser dans la vie de tous les jours. Ainsi les bols sont aussi des pots, des vides poches ou des objets de décoration. Les carafes sont aussi bien des vases que des portes-ustensiles. 
Une ligne épurée, des motifs subtils gravés dans la terre, symbole de mon attachement au pays.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

new year - new stock

Is it too soon after Christmas to be talking about shopping?
I know I have been feeling a bit shopped out
but it does feel like the right time  - full of resolution for 2017 - to sweep out the cobwebs and choose a few additions to ring in the changes of a new year . . .

I have some website and blog related resolutions that might take a bit if time . . . 
but hey, I've got ALL year!!!
To start the year off I spent the morning playing with instagram 
and loading some new items onto my shop. 
 I thought I would share them here making it easier for you to have a "shouf"{look}



There is a lot of autumnal brown going on here so I thought we might need to throw in a bit of colour
in the shape of this wonderful bold and bright tassled vintage cushion.
Who can resist a generous tassle??


And finally, to thank you for taking the time to follow my blog and actually read the posts
I have a small thank you gift! 
Any orders via this post will automatically get a complimentary jar of our fabulous Harissa Paste!


Simply leave a comment after this post letting me know about your order and I will make sure its all packaged up together.

And finally,

 a little peace & protection for 2017

image via

{I suspect we might all need it!} 


Friday, 16 December 2016

A little love on my christmas list

Maybe its my age 
(quite possible - I am teetering on the edge of grumpy old lady-dom!)
or maybe it is rather the spirit of the age,
as we all realise how close we are to increasing uncertainty and change,
and that in this strange and convoluted planet of ours we are amongst the lucky ones who really, honestly,
don't need much more in our lives!

So what to put under that tree or in that stocking? 

I quite like the idea of focussing on experiences rather than "stuff", and taking my dog for a walk in the lanes recently, I discovered a small notice on a stone wall advertising bread making classes - amazing that right here in the middle of Wales I can learn how to make Breads of the Middle East . . .
Homemade pitta coming up !

My husband will be opening an envelope from under the tree (hopefully he is not reading this!) informing him I have booked his first skype Darija (moroccan arabic) lesson . . .

I have been getting inspiration from sites like Help Refugees for some stocking fillers!

And have been hinting broadly for THIS BOOK to be under the tree with my name on it

I also think it is great to support small businesses and peoples online creativity, and have earmarked these bags from Moroccan MustHaves

This Bristish Brand - Wawwa - are donating a hat for a hat
and the beanies look pretty cool too

Trust me - there will be plenty of Prosecco, silly hats and slightly more frivolous gifts being exchanged on the day, but I am planning to have one or two of these items in the stockings in a small attempt to spread the joy a little this holiday season.

Merry Christmas & Seasons Greetings


Saturday, 10 December 2016


It's that time of the year when I start feeling all creative about cocktails.
Its a christmas thing . . .
It is also the time of the year that you can find fresh pomegranates in the markets of Morocco
so when I saw this little recipe on The Bojon Gourmet, I had to share it in the spirit of the season!

I thought the idea of grilling the lemon is interesting . . . ?

Just follow THIS LINK to the Alannas blog for the full recipe and instructions
Happy Holidays

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

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


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

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.

Pixel Tarz in the Moroccan Minimal Collection!

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!

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

Bondi Coffee Kitchen in Casablanca!

Bondi Coffee Kitchen


Thursday, 10 November 2016


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

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.

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