Welcome to The Phoenix Files!

This blog is a collection of papers and how-to articles I have written over the past 25+ years, as well as my travel journals and announcements.  Scholarly works from "The Library" on my old website, are labeled here as "Historica Tractatu." 

My travels have had heavy influence on my work and are the 'back story' behind many of my designs. Some of my older journals are revised from the original, and most link to photo albums on Facebook.  

Return to Turkey - Bursa

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in September 2011, revised 2015 on 9/13/2015 to Travels in Turkey
I returned to Istanbul in September 2011 for a short trip that resulted in an impromptu visit to the ancient Ottoman capitol of Bursa.

Bursa became the capitol of the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Orhan Gazi, who is buried here. The city became the cultural center of the scientific world, and was an important part of the trade routes heading West. In recent times it has become a center for textile and automotive production in Turkey. 

Crossroads Tour - A final Bazaar, a last museum, a last day

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2015 on 9/10/2015 to Travels in Turkey
I find the Ibrahim Pasa Palace, a building that dates back to the Ottoman period. It houses the Islamic Art and Ethnology Musuem. A treasure trove ...including yurta rings and goat hair tents. Here are home interiors and women's clothing from the end of the Ottoman period. A lantern built around a Chinese dragon pattern blue and white porcelain drum... Anatolian kilims that were woven in one piece, a rare find as they are traditionally woven in two or three sections and then stitched together... 

Crossroads Tour - Aasofia and the Sea of Marmara

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2015 on 9/6/2015 to Travels in Turkey
Today is my last day in Istanbul, much of which I will spend on a ferry among the Princes Islands.  What an incredible trip this has been.  I will pack as much happiness into the day as I can possibly muster. 

My first stop this morning is Ayasofya, another architectural wonder whose design elements I would replicate as a hat...

Crossroads Tour - The Hamami, Suleyman Camii and a Lost Taxi

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2015 on 9/3/2015 to Travels in Turkey
I begin my day with a Turkish Bath...

Tarihi Gedikpasa Hamami (Turkish Bath) has the largest dome of any hamami in Istanbul and is one of the most important Ottoman historical buildings in this city. It serves both men and women in segregated parts of the bath. I check in at the front desk...

Crossroads Tour - The Horn, Astrolabes, and a Holy Place

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2015 on 8/30/2015 to Travels in Turkey
I am up and ready to go by 7:30, having three days remaining with a long list of things left to see. I step out onto my balcony to see that the sidewalk across the intersection has sprouted a rainbow of tables, and a grey haired man with a black cap and a brass shoe shine kit. I head downstairs to catch an early breakfast and am greeted by Baha and Erhan, one of his brothers, who apologize for the construction noise last night. "No worries," I say, "not your fault..."

Crossroads Tour - The Bosphorus

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2015 on 8/27/2015 to Travels in Turkey
I awaken from first decent sleep I've had since arriving here, to sun streaming through the embroidered and sequined curtain above my bed. What a glorious, sunny day! I decide to take the ferry to the Rumeli Fortress...

Crossroads Tour - The Topkapi Palace and Harem

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2015 on 8/23/2015 to Travels in Turkey
The Topkapi Palace, built between 1460-78, is a walled complex covering 700,000 square meters, comprised of three courtyards, several gardens and all the buildings you would expect to see in a royal administrative city. It was the residence of the Ottoman sultans until the middle of the 19th century, and also served as the administrative and educational center for the state...

I would find a great deal of inspiration here for my hats.

Crossroads Tour - Sleepless in the Sultanahmet

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2015 on 8/20/2015 to Travels in Turkey
I was up until 1 AM tearing my luggage apart, looking for my camera charger. Jackhammers pounded until well after midnight, demolishing the building next door, and a steady stream of bricks was heaved into the dumpster below my window until about 2 AM. Morning call to prayer wake me back up at 4:30 AM. I try to nap until 7:30 before giving up. I am so sleep deprived and exhausted that I can barely function. And now I cannot unlock my door to leave my room...

Crossroads Tour - The Grand Bazaar

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2015 on 8/16/2015 to Travels in Turkey
Touted as the first covered market in the world, The Grand Bazaar as large and noisy as you would expect a 5,000 store shopping mall to be. It was also much more colorful and brightly lit than I was prepared for, and I nearly reached complete sensory overload in the first ten minutes...

Upon my return home, my day in the Grand Bazaar inspired the hat featured here.

Crossroads Tour - The Carpet Salesman

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2015 on 8/13/2015 to Travels in Turkey
At last ... my first day in Istanbul ... 

History knew this city as Constantinople, the center of the medieval world dating back to 330 AD, the crossroads for East-West trade for centuries..it would become the jewel of the East and would see a golden era ushered in under Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent...

Crossroads Tour - Welcome to OZ !

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2015 on 8/9/2015 to Travels in Turkey
I arrived at Ataturk at 11 PM and got through visa processing fairly quickly. My luggage even showed up although I honestly did not expect it to. The luggage carousel was convenient to the Lost and Found desk, where I turned in a Diners Club credit card that I found on the floor near the visa desks. I took minor comfort in the fact that someone's day was worse than mine...

Crossroads Tour: Florence to Istanbul

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in May 2011, revised 2014 on 8/7/2015 to Travels in Turkey
It has been awhile since I have posted any travelogs... 

... I resume where I left off on my Crossroads Tour, departing Florence on a beautiful, calm Wednesday in May 2011, destination Istanbul ...