Vegi Patch is a compost of thoughts on graphic design, life and knitting from an american graphic design teacher in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I've enabled comments for everyone or you can Email me kate at kcarlyle dot com.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Royal Jordanian's got my baby

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

After noon commute, Jeddah style

this would be the day the camera got left at home. bless the cell phone.

Our driver was all over this situation, making major moves through traffic to get us behind them... and that is a full size, standard bed (for the truck freaks) Toyota PU with a king cab.

cheers, kate

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Monday, December 03, 2007


Illustration Friday topic was excess - couldn't get the image of the Airport in Jeddah out of my head - hundreds of trolleys with huge bags stacked one on top of the other. I fly with a carry on and one bag, I feel trapped when I end up with two bags. I included the sketch - my students seem to miss the connection between drawing and computer illustration.

best, kate

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007


You all think I didn't take any photos this summer. but that's not true. in fact I have so many that I'm having trouble sorting them into posts. because one really really long one seems the wrong way to go. I thought I would start with the highlights: This is my middle sister Tipper (who will not thank me for this post of her lily white legs :D) and my favorite niece Pearl.

I last saw Pearl in person when she was 9 months old and have had only the pleasure of photos and spoiling her with two presents a year. ( I am buying her all the cool stuff Alicia is too old for - absolutely self serving). So onward posting.

Tipper called and asked Thomas and me to meet her at the Coronado Bay Beach on Sunday. After much late afternoon maneuvering we snagged one and a half parking spaces and hit the beach. Pearl came with the firm intention of burying her mom in the sand. With Uncle Thomas' willing cooperation Tipper was transformed into MerMommy. Tipper is a trouper.

And the close up.....

xoxo, kate

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Grand Canyon

I spent the last 3 weeks in Texas up in the Hill Country getting rained on. There have been record torrential down pours almost like North Carolina in the hurricane season. Not really something to complain about given the average rain fall in Jeddah, and it's pretty and green and the birds and flowers are really going to town (pics in a later post.)

But in the mean time, I'm in Arizona visiting Tom and Aaron who live in Phoenix. Tom was out of town when I got here leaving Aaron to squire me about. Sunday we went to the Grand Canyon.

We ran into some locals on the way in.

and of course, it rained:

Which led to some quick thinking on Aaron's part regarding rain gear - we had to give up the umbrella because it was attracting electricity from the storm... which is what the ranger is telling the folks above, and seen demonstrated by my hair.

But it led to some pretty spectacular photos of the canyon, with the layers of light and atmosphere.

On our way out we stopped at one of the Native American run overlooks on the Little Colorado River, unfortunately all of the stands where empty because it was well after 6:pm so no pots this visit.

I got some pretty amazing shots of the river rapids - the river was muddy brown from the runoff.

And despite Aaron's urging, stayed well away from the drop off. The picture below was taken looking straight down into the canyon from a tiny railed barrier. (foot included to show off my pretty toes).

and finally a mouse who ran across the trail as we where leaving. I thought his camouflage was all but perfect, as did he.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Rose Water

Last weekend I got up at 6 am to catch a bus to Tief with the DAH Photo Club. We where going to see the Rose Water factory, the biggest exporting farm of ( Roses, flowers & vegetables) in the Kingdom, the baboons valley, Oldest historical Al Sharif Tree (250 years or so - cypress tree). I am not a morning person and this is earlier than I get up to go to work. So I was doing ok, id papers, good shoes, glasses, tissue paper, chap stick. And the bus was parked next to a coffee shop and a super market.

Well no money, so we stopped at an ATM - and I got a call from W who was already by some miracle at the bus and telling me the coffee shop was NOT open. Now Tief is up in the mountains and it is usually a 2 hour drive but there is a detour due to construction so right now it's a 3 hour drive. I considered going home but decided to trust in a higher power, and sure enough when we got there the counter guy was poking his head out the door of the Coffee Bean. My blood pressure immediately leveled out and with cafe 'ole securely in hand boarded the buss.

Approximately 10 minuets after we cleared the city limits I realized I had forgotten my camera, and my phone was 3/4's dead. hmmm. the higher power evidently has a sense of humor.

I reserved the camera for the high light - the rose water factory. Posted below are the photos I managed before the phone died. sigh.

It was a great trip and I have every intention or returning, with a camera. The high desert reminded me of the deserts in California, same cacti and fresh air.

cheers Kate.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

mother daughter zone

I taught a class in symbols and trademarks the first semester I arrived in Saudi. I tried to explain semiotics to my class. This didn't go over so well. I did manage to explain René Magritte's "The Betrayal of Images". [for those of you who don't know or perhaps truly care... its a very nice rendering of a pipe. and under it is written: "Leci n'est pas une pipe." translated "This is not a pipe."]

Why? Well because I am a huge fan of David Crow and Noam Chomsky.

While in Munich I became aware of this sign, which I instantly identified as the "Mother and daughter zone."

and then I saw this sign, and became confused. The "No mothers and daughters zone"?

Back in Nuremburg I finaly discovered the "Father and son zone" on a revolving door....

(Alicia does not think this is funny, I sort of ran it into the ground the whole time we were in Germany :)

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas in Germany

So we arrived in Germany after an uneventfull and not too long flight.
Gunther was introduced to Helen who he will be staying with.

the hegies where excited to find a patch of heather.

Kate was thrilled to find the native food excellent. Alicia and Helen where pleased with the shopping.

Helen stashed Gunther whilst sampeling more of the local wurst.

The next day Alicia, Kate and the hedgies went for a walk in Auerbach, which is home to a nunnery. And a duck pond with some lovely swans, and a child working out some pre-christmas tension (?)

Christmas found everyone calmly sipping the caffein of choice.

Alicia scored some fine fingerless gloves.

Helen's true nature became apparent as she drew bead on her husband, Dave, who was peacefully unwrapping presents. Dave's parents shared the couch with Ella the dog who knows she's invisible.

Dinner was a nice selection of ham and starchs (bless Helen) the hedge hogs approved but where too full of chocolate to eat.

Ah, and this is a little decoration I picked up after a disagreement with the jump seats in the rental... Merry christmas all!


Friday, December 15, 2006

Texture and Light

I was privileged to go on a tour of Dr. Sami Angawi’s home a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Angawi is an expert on and an activist in the preservation of Islamic architecture in Saudi Arabia. You can find more about him here and Amar International here . He is a forward thinking and somewhat controversial figure in the kingdom so I will let you Google your own research.

His home combines the old with the new in a seamless and comfortable manner. The open style of the house echoes the multi-layered tradition of old construction, with a pool in the atrium and a garden on the rooftop. I was so taken with the details and texture of the house that I completely forgot to take photos of the exterior.

Many of the ornamental details where salvaged from old homes that were being torn down. The house is an all-new construction in the north of Jeddah. The roof top views are included to give a better understanding of the beauty of the enclosed space as a refuge from a modern urban environment.

More photos here: Photo Essay of Sami Angawi’s home.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006


I've been traveling, a lot. Not just miles. Jeddah to Raleigh is give or take 8000 miles. But that's still one trip. My schedule for the last 6 (and counting) weeks went like this: Jeddah (KSA) - Raleigh (NC) - Boston (MA) - Raleigh - Emerald Isle (NC) - Raleigh - Comfort (TX) - Raleigh - Chicago (IL) - Raleigh.

We'll start with Boston where I was attending the Siggraph 2006 Conference: AMC SIGGRAPH. These friendly folks are faculty from the Art Institute of Washington, Media Arts department, and this is their hapless entrée, we where having lunch at the No Name Restaurant. I always encourage my computer animation students to volunteer at Siggraph and I took this photo to document the fun and interesting things student volunteers get to do.

Emerald Isle was my next stop, I rented a small place two blocks from the beach. I don't know these ladies but they represent my archetypical image of east coast beaches. Alicia and Erik seemed somewhat confused about the whole sand and sea thing. Nice little sandpiper and a kite to round things out.

On our way home we stopped in Wilmington the epicenter of the film industry in North Carolina. We had lunch on the water front at the Riverboat Landing Restaurant the food and the service where excellent. We walked around and came across the location of Karen's Cafe from One Tree Hill, and yes, that IS a fake door painted on a piece of plywood.

On to Comfort TX, located in the hill country northwest of San Antonio, population 2,358 (in 2000 but I don't think its changed a whole lot). This is the water tower across the street from my parents house. We actually got to watch them tear down the old one and put up the new one, in 1994 I think. (That was a blockbuster summer :-)

So this is the Carlyle Homestead. My parents have been technically located at this house for more or less 12 years, with a couple of side trips to Qatar and Japan. And THIS is what happens to native Californians who relocate to Texas (born and raised in the San Diego area, my dad claims the east coast migration drove him out).

My elder brother James is currently running his custom decal and vinyl sign shop, Signology , out of Mom's sleeping porch. He relocated a few items when he moved in, including this vintage truck he restored from a rusting hulk. If you look carfully you can see a catamaran behind the pear tree.

This is the best picture I have ever gotten of my mother, dob 1935. Nice shot of the dog too. The dog's name is MacTavish, (which I do not understand as he is a long haired miniature dachshund, a distinctly german breed.) This is the window in Mom's kitchen, the selves contain an assortment of coffee mugs, tea stuff and critters. On the top self are puffin salt and pepper shakers my brother and his wife used to manufacture, a ceramic castle mug I made in eighth grade, a ceramic musk ox, stone hedgehogs, and a brass rabbit. Note the Cat Fish on the cabinet and the Kitchen Witch on the counter.

And before we leave the kitchen, one of the nighttime visitors who lurk on the window screen waiting for unsuspecting insects attracted by the light.

In the dining room hangs one of Mom's paintings, more of moms art here. The sharks are by long time family friend Lorenzo Foncerrada.

So this is my dad again. Not sure why the rope. Musta' been in the truck. The Bronco's stickers include an "evolve" fish. And these are some of Dad's inside critters (found on most horizontal areas not occupied by books), the panther and anteater are Oxacan Woodcarvings. The little guys are japanese and the lion is from Africa.
And the last stop was Chicago to help Alicia move in to her new dorm room. Well, by help I mean rent the van and drive it from Oak Park where her stuff was stored to Loyola University. These volunteers (and a couple of hired ringers) swarmed the van and carried all of her stuff up the THREE flights of stairs, cuz there is no elevator. My eternal thanks to the move in volunteers whoever you are.

And now I'm "home" in Raleigh, waiting for my airline tickets to come through - I'm working on a few things, next post is a different kind of travelog.

best, Kate.

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