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 ( 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


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



Thursday, 22 September 2016


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!,uk

vintage cushion


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


and just generally sharing the stuff of life

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

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
 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

Tuesday, 5 July 2016


its that time of year
time to step away from my laptop
shake out the beach towels
and head for some sunshine

Flights have been booked

and we are looking forward to taking time to slow down

enjoy leisurely and warm summer evenings

and sunny beach days

and maybe even a little time to play . . .
but as they say
i will be back
see you in a few weeks time

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

majorelle blues

I have had a busy month on the home front with moving house taking up a lot of my time and energy
so not a lot of time for blogging . . .
But slowly the practicalities are getting done and moving aside for the pretty stuff,
and even more exciting - I have a small office/workspace.
So I thought I would share some of the images I have earmarked for inspiration in this "room of my own"
The starting point - and hence the title of this post - is the quintessential blue of Jardin Majorelle.

It's the combination of that intense blue, with that wonderful accent of sunshine yellow

{and lord knows we need all the sunshine we can get here in the uk
even if i have to paint it in myself!}
Here are some more images for my Majorelle Blue Moodboard
all images and credits can be found HERE

So I am off to buy some paint!

if you have a spare moment or two
click across to my shop
for some more inspiration

zwin cotton throw