Monday, November 2, 2009

Commercial Break: Talismania!!

The sisters are working on a new project!

Mel and I recently took a trip to the Topkapi Palace and spent a lot of time looking at the talismanic healing shirts made by holy men and worn by the Sultan. Inscribed with Quranic verse, the “healing shirts” were believed to be able to cure disease and protect the wearer from evil and harm. The Ottoman sultans believed their shirts would protect them like armor, and often wore them into battle. Since there wasn't any blood on them, they may have actually worked!

From Topkapi Palace (A must-see in Istanbul!)

Modern day talismanic scarves made with love in Istanbul: maroon 'peace' in five languages,

purple and red Turkish flower scarves designed and printed in our living room.

After leaving the Topkapi palace, we grabbed a coffee and talked about the shirts, our eyes rested on two women at the next table. One was wearing a Turkish evil eye bracelet, the other, a funky scarf that is the height of fashion in Istanbul these days. The inspirational discussion began, and before we knew it, we were embarking on our mission of creating good luck-infused and fashionable (and practical) lucky charms: The talismanic scarf!

Off to a good start!

Combining all of these good luck symbols and the idea of the inscriptions of the healing shirts, we came up with funky talismanic scarves - block-printed in Turkish inspired designs. Some have Rumi quotes, and all have their own evil eye hand sewn into the corner.

The evil eye army. We feel the power radiating off these little jewels, I swear.

The project has just begun, we are up to our elbows in carving block prints, printing scarves with fabric paint and sewing the evil eyes in a prominent place of protection. We'll post more pictures here as we go, but we wanted to share this special project with you before Christmas, as these work-of art-scarves are perfect for sending in the post.

The block Mel carved reversed in the mirror so you can read it:

"When I am with you we stay up all night. When we are apart I cannot sleep. Praise these two insomnias and the difference between them." `Rumi

"We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust." ~Rumi

The scarves will be sold in Istanbul in our Sultanahmet living room or at your place of convenience until the end of November,(at 25 lira each) and we'll be in Canada after that, at the Naramata Craft Faire on December 6th, and during a side trip to Vancouver and Victoria just before Christmas. (25 CDN including taxes.)

Contact me or Mel for details!

We really hope you enjoy wearing them as much as we enjoy making them!

Rene and Melanie


  1. You two seem to inspire creativity in one another... or maybe we're just hearing about it more. At any rate, good show! You should sell your prints too if you have any left.

    (The pic of the eyeballs is funny.)

  2. Hey Mel,

    they are just gorgeous, and what a life youre leading!
    I came across your blog through the internet and realized......hey!!! I know this girl!
    its a small world.

    love Alex Harrop from Naramata

  3. Thanks! Except, I'm Rene. You can find Mel at and see well.... what she's been up to!