Who’s That Girl in Assiut: Feiruz

Taheyya Kariokka | Studio Davina • www.davina.us

During the 1950’s, the Egyptian movie industry was obsessed with Hollywood style musicals. Egyptian filmmakers developed their own style of musicals with dramatic action taking pauses for traditional songs and dances. Directors created opportunities for musical by setting scenes in entertainment venues, outside during festivals, or at celebrations.

In this 1951 movie entitled Feiruz Hanem (Mr.s Feiruz), the Egyptian child star Feyrouz appears with belly dancer Taheyya Kariokka. In this scene, Feyrouz wears a beautiful assiut shawl draped over her head while she sings and plays the riq. Her traditional floral pattern dress is peeking out from under the shawl.

It makes my researcher’s heart skip a beat when I can locate a video clip that matches a movie promotional still like the one at left and below. If you are a fan of vintage Egyptian dance clips, I highly recommend checking out Vimeo and the feed of The Classic CaroVan.  There are dozens of fantastic movie excerpts to watch and enjoy.

Over the past few years, I’ve made a Vimeo playlist of both classic and more contemporary dance performances featuring costumes made from assiut. It makes a great jumping off point for your own assiut costume research.

Feiruz Hanem

Taheya Karioka and Fairouz Arteen (1951) from TheClassicCaroVan on Vimeo.

Taheyya Kariokka | Studio Davina • www.davina.us

Here’s another promotional still of Taheyya Kariokka

Are you interested in more information about this beautifully metal embroidered fabric? There’s a lot more history in my book, “The Cloth of Egypt: All About Assiut.”  You might also enjoy one of the other posts in the “Who’s that Girl in Assiut” series.  Including vintage film stars Vilma Banky and Lyda Borelli.

Good luck with all of your costuming adventures!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
November 9, 2018



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DIY Pen Quiver for Journals

On a recent research trip to New York City, several people at the library noticed my custom pen quiver on my travel journal book. Earlier in the year, I became frustrated with trying to keep my pen and my journal connected. After losing my pen at the bottom of various bags or leaving it behind in coffee shops, I decided enough was enough! I had seen various different styles of pen quivers available at stationery stores and online. But I knew I could make something of my own using materials I have on hand.

As a writer, I use my journal almost daily.  Having a pen or pencil ready and at hand eliminates the frustration of not being prepared to go.  Not having to look for a writing tool saves time too. This is a small little accessory that has improved the quality of my life.

I’m working on my first novel during November’s NANOWRIMO – Read More

Because I’m in a “use it up” phase of my sewing career, I brainstormed how I could craft something from materials in my stash. I poked around my collection of materials and supplies and decided to use a left-over scrap of 1.5″ wide elastic. I spent about an hour fooling around with various ways of using this single piece of elastic to make a functional pen holder.

Tips: I keep this size elastic in my studio for waistbands and recently I’ve been buying it buy the reel from Amazon.com. I used a ballpoint needle to go through the elastic without breaking the threads. Thank you for supporting this blog by using these Amazon Affiliate links.

YouTube Instructional Video

As you may already know, I’m in the process of learning how to make instructional DIY videos.  Since this was a quick and small project, I decided to give making an instructional video a try.  So I made the video and put it on my YouTube channel.  Although I’m by no means a polished and sophisticated videographer, I think this demo gives you all the information you need to make your own pen quiver.

This simple little tool has changed the quality of my writer’s life. I no longer leave pens behind or lose them in the bottom of bags. These are easy to make, so I now have several on different notebooks.  I’ve even made a few to give as gifts. If you have a friend or family member who uses journals and notebooks, you might find this a quick and easy holiday gift. 

Happy Crafting!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
November 6, 2018

PS:  Like this idea?  Please share with your friends on your favorite social media sites.

Make a Custom Pen Quiver

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NaNoWriMo – Shimmy on the High Seas

Working Cover for the upcoming novel, "Shimmy on the High Seas" by Dawn "Davina" Devine

In 2018, I’m taking on the challenge of NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. Although I’ve written nearly 2 dozen books, hundreds of articles, and thousands of social media posts, until now, I’ve never attempted a work of fiction.


My mum initially challenged me to write a novel. It was a little over a year ago, and my schedule looked too tight to squeeze in yet another project. However, after much mulling about, I realized that perhaps I was just procrastinating. So, on her last visit to my house, we talked about this project again and decided that I would tackle this project during #Nanowrimo. NaNoWriMo heraldic crest

What is NaNoWriMo?

This challenge began many years ago, back before the turn of the century in 1999. Since then, the hosting organization has become a non-profit and includes events throughout the year. They even have challenges just for youth writers. Each year the pool of novelists grows, helping authors with support History of the NaNoWriMo challenge here.

Nanowrimo Prep Prompts50,000 Words

The challenge is simple, write a new 50,000-word novel in 30 days. The thought is to finish the month with a rough manuscript ready for editing. To achieve this goal, participants need to write 1, 667 words a day. The difficulty is in resisting the urge to edit as you go. People also need to stoke their creative fire to feel motivated and inspired to achieve a high level of production.


Although I came up with the concept for this novel a year ago, it’s only in the past two weeks that I’ve focussed on getting the stage set to tell this story. Although I’ve never written a novel before, my research and organization skills have come in handy when planning this mythical event, describing the locations, and writing character profiles. The official Instagram feed from the @Nanowrimo Preptober Prompts 2018 on Instagramorganization featured the above right October challenge to prep before the novel writing begins.

I also found a great resource in Scotland based novelist Rachael Stephen who has a great set of prep and planning resources on her website. This year she also hosted a #Prep_toberchallenge that has simply stunning autumnal photography and thought-provoking prompts. I started in the second half of the month, but if you are interested in seeing my response to these prompts, you can check me out on Instagram.

Preptober 2018 for Nanowrimo

The Adventure Begins Nov. 1

Starting on the first, I’ll be re-arranging my schedule to add an extra hour of novel writing to my morning, and another hour in the late afternoon/early evening. My personal goal is to hit 2,000 words a day to build in time off for family visits, weekend business adventures, and Thanksgiving.

If you are interested in tracking my progress on the official Nanowrimo page, my handle there is DavinaDevine. Alternately, I’ll be posting regularly in all the usual social media places. If you’re on FaceBook, you can keep an eye out for a few live feeds throughout the month where I share my experience of tackling this challenge.

Wish me luck!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
October 23, 2018

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