Greetings

Congratulations to Mirabai Chanu for winning two Gold Medals in Common Wealth Games - 2018, in Weight Lifting sport. We are all proud of you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rangoli-19

Here is a small one
This is 9 to 1. You can see the dots.

Indian Villages-3

These are some more photographs from my travels. I hope you like them.
You can see our women folk be it urban or rural strive hard rather more than men. But they dont get equal pay or recognition. Many a time its the lady of the house who supports the family members through her earnings. Here you can see some work relating to laying or road going on along the high way. See the way the ladies wear their saris. This is the way women (especially rural women) wear it when they work in fields.

Below is a fruit vendor selling, watermelons. Its quite hot in summer in India. So you see such vendors on the roadside. Its a very cheap and effective way to quench thirst.

Below you can see the coconut seller. These are tender ones with lot of water only. As the fruit ripens, the meat appears. Tender cocnut water is highly nutritious and good during summertime as it not only quenches thirst but also energizes by supplying salts and other nutrients like water melons. Its quite popular drink in South India.

You can also see a cobbler sitting under an umbrella mending footwear. Their tools are so simple. You can also see a little Panwala-beetle leaves and beetle nut seller who sell nut powder, cigarettes and bidis.

You can see fruit sellers selling various fruits of the season. They just have a plastic sheet or an old bedsheets to protect them from heat and dust during the hot summers. Its mostly apples, oranges, grapes during the early summer months. Lateron its musk melons, water melons, cucumbers and the likes. You can see a milk man on his bike, with his cans. Since it was in the afternoon, he might have been on his way home after selling the milk in the morning.

Below you can see the green fields, dotted with palms and grooves. I feel at peace when I look at such sights. I wish I could be there to enjoy them.

Terracota-2

Here are some more of the terracotta.... Hope you like them. Please leave your comments.
You can see little Ganesha hugging Shiva Linga. You can also see the vases in the back ground, painted in metallic shades. On one of them you can see fishes and underwater plants, on the other you can see the bunches of the grapes.
This is the face of Ganesha. This can be hanged on to a wall. See the way it has been decorated.
These are some of the shell and conch shell shaped plant holders. These can also be used for other purposes depending upon our creativity.
Here are some more plant holders. These can also be used as decorators. It can filled with water and then flowers can be floated in them or fragrant candles can also be floated.
Here you can see some more wall decorators.You can see the Sun God riding the chariot with seven horses, representing the seven colours of VIBGYOR. Then there is the fish. Next to it is again Sun God.You can also see the conch shell and lamp container.
Now here is the Soop (in Hindi) and Chaata (in Telugu), which is widely used in Indian Kitchens. It is made of bamboo strips woven like a basket. It is coated with cow dung, or pulp of fenugreek seeds and paper soaked over night in water, grounded to a thick paste along with turmeric. This seals the holes between the woven bamboo strips and retains the grains in it . This is basically used to separate the husk , small stones from the hand pounded grain. Its also used for separating the broken grains from the unbroken ones. But I could not find the correct English word for this. If some knows it then please tell me.You can see the grains. How skilled the artist is....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rangoli-18

Here are some more small, simple and easy ones....

 This is 7 to 4 dots.
This is also 7 to 4
This is 9 to 5

Some more next time

TAST-2nd Week-Knotted Loop Stitch

Here it is. My experiments with Knotted Loop Stitch.

 I could only do a few due to paucity of time. The ones with green floss are the ones I tried first.
Here is a closer look at the one where I used cut glass beads.

Here I have used the round white beads in the center.

Here I have first stitched with green floss, then used yellow floss to weave in and out of the base stitches. The yellow floss is only on the surface. No need to enter into the fabric. It can be done more neatly, I dint have time to do it again.

Hope You have liked them. Please leave your comments and suggestions. 

I am back

Friends! Here I am back for a very brief period. I wanted to share so many things with you very badly. I will do so as time permits. It was hot there. But back home its much pleasant. Thank God for that. 

I enjoyed my travels, my stay and of coarse loads of work. But now I have a very short break, want to spend that with my family.

I have my experiments with TAST 2010 to share. Apart from that celebrations of Sri Rama Navami, new Rangoli designs, new recipes, latest saris and much more

Keep watching my blog......

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Enjoying my travels....

Hi Friends. I am busy with travelling and my work. Its quite hot here. I am exploring the TAST second week and third week stitches. But I am afraid I am not able to post the pictures. There seems to be some problem. Its quite frustrating as to why I cannot load them. May be the net I use in the net center is slow or some problem with the computers. I think I have to wait till I get to post these from my own computer at home. Hey the spell check is also not working and I dont know how to make it work. So you may come accross many a printers devils.

Here the people are gearing up for celebrating Sri Rama Navami on 24th. Where I am staying, Lord Rama is worshipped with great reverence. So there is large scale celebrations of Rama Navami. Navami or 9th day of Chaithra month is supposed to be the day on which Lord Rama was born. But here in Andhra Pradesh, his marraige with Sita is also celebrated on the day. If I am lucky, I will be able to can some of the celebrations. I am eager to I used to participate as a child. Now after a long time I am going to do so again. For nine days starting from 24th, these celebrations go on. There are also some special dishes made on this occassion. I am afraid I can only share these recepies only after I come back.

I am also shopping liesurely in my limited spare time, especially for cottons and silks. The range here is mind boggling. Oh I also landed my hands on some of the Kalamkari patches. I am very exicited to share them with you. But alas! I cant. I have also bought some plain saris, on which I can applique them. But that will have to wait till I return home as I dont have any stitching resources here.

So keep an eye on my blog......

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Indian Villages-2

Here are some more pictures from my travels. You can see the lone Plam tree, amidst the lovely green fields. Actually Palms are quite common in South Indian country side.
Below is the quite shaded grove on the road side. There is a small tent and also a structure made of mud and dried palm leaves. You can see people relaxing in the shade away from the hot Sun.Isnt it quite beautiful? Usually villagers relax under the shades of trees, chatting up, drinking tea or buttermilk during the hot summer afternoons. Infact its quite cool under the trees than under the tin roofs.
The mountains in the distant and the rolling fileds under the blue sky....
Here is an interesting one. This is a typical village dwelling. The roof top is covered with clay tiles. There is a little shade with tin sheetsin the front yard. In summer it could be quite hot under the tin roof. You can see the clothes drying and ofcoarse the Red hot chillies for which Andhra is famous for, drying in the Sun. I could not capture it properly due to the stones in front of the house. Its quite common to find the agriculutural produce, like corn, lentils, chillies etc, drying out in the front or back yards under the hot Sun.
Here is again the various shades of greens...
This was taken sometime in the late afternoon. So you can see the shadows. 
Hope you have liked them too. Some more next time.....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rangoli-17

Here is one more design of 4X4.
This is a single block. It can be combined to make the one below and many more.

Blouses In Fashion-Crocheted Blouse

Friends I have been out of touch with the happenings in fashion arena for some time now with me so busy with my work. But when I went around for shopping, I was amazed to see so many new designs and patterns especially in saris and  blouses. Here is one of them - a sari blouse-crocheted. The colour is showing as gray instead of light lavender shade. I just could not get it right. The thread used for this seems to be having a silvery sheen. Even the buttons have been covered with thread. There were only few colours, like the shocking pink, black, apple green, light blue and lavender all shot with silver metallic sheen. All of them looked like pearl shades with the silvery sheen.
Here is how it looks-so simple.
This is the scalloped neck on the front side.
This is front opening with the buttons too covered with the yarn used for crocheting.
This is the view of the neck on the back side.
This is the sleeve. Note the edges.
This is the bottom of the blouse. Those who can crochet can make this. It has been made in parts-two for the front one for the back and the sleeves and then attached with stitching. Hope you have liked this.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Terracotta-1

Terracotta is derived from Latin word "Terra Cocta" meaning cooked earth or baked earth.. It is made from clay and is plain unglazed ceramic. Terracotta usually refers to those items which are made with hand or rather not made on potter's wheel.

Terracotta colour is a brownish orange colour. But the exact shade may vary depending on the properties of the clay used locally.

Terracotta in India has been used since ancient times since Indus valley civilization. Its used for pottery, bricks, shingles, votive figures of animal, gods and goddesses. Figures of horses, camels, elephants, tigers, monkeys, bears, bullocks, serpents, birds etc are made in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarath, Jhabua and Bastar regions of Madhya Pradesh and Darbhanga of Bihar. In Darbhanga of Bihar the figures are painted in bright colours. Similarly in Tamil Nadu too horses and other figures are made of clay. These are then offered to the local deities.

In rural India, roof tops have always been covered with natural materials, one of them being the tiles or shingles made from clay or terracota. You can find these even today. Its easy to make, cheap and effective. But it requires replacement due to wear and tear with the passgae of time. Its also natural and easy to dispose off as it becomes dust and quite Eco friendly.

Terracota pots have also been in use in India. Either plain or decorated are used for cooking, cooling water and for decorative purpose. In the recent years, we Indians have again started using terracota products for decorating homes and gardens.

Here are some of the products- quite artistic and beautifully made:


See the bells. Two of them have been painted silver colour. these are hung in the gardens or in the front of the houses. The big one can also be used for covering an earthen ware lamp (Diya) to protect it from wind. The holes on it would allow the light.

Here you can see some more including the lanterns and bells which can be hung from trees in the garden.

This is a wind chime made of terracotta. I wanted to paint it. But did not have time yet. Its hung in my garden. I doubt whether even a hurricane would make it chime. LOL! :) :) . But it produces a beautiful sound, though not as much as a metal one.

You can see a terracotta parrot perched on one of the bells.

Here you can see some figurines of artisans at work. A lady and two men. These are used as decarators in the gardens, or in homes.

Here you can see two candle holders, one with the handle, and the other black one shaped like a tabla. There is a swan lamp, and a conch shell shaped plant holder.

The swan lamps, and a pot with a wine round it and boat shaped candle holders.

You can see some simple lamps. They are called diyas, which are lighted by using wick and oil in our prayer rooms, or for decoration or any religious/festive occasions.
 
These are a few of the beautiful items our craftsmen make. Especially the ones from Bengal are very skilled ones. They make some of the most beautiful ones. Hope you like them. Please leave your comments if any.
 
Keep an eye on my blog for more.....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Diamond Stitch

Here is at last, my version of Diamond Stitch. I am afraid I could not practice much. But I am happy that I have attempted it at all. With working continuously 10-12 hrs a day and away from home, it was difficult for me at the end of the day to sit in the night and do this. But I am happy.

My doodling of the stitch are here directly on the cloth as you can see above. So I have made some mistakes, since I had to get the hang of it. The first ones are the two rows of the aquamarine green floss. Then I thought of adding the beads with the pink thread. Then came the purple one and the yellow. Actually I just wanted to do some more rows of the yellow floss and decorate it with beads. But just dint have the time or energy. it took me a while to grasp the stitch and establish the rhythm.

Here is a closer look.
Here I used it for couching the silk ribbon. The stitches can be put on the ribbon to attach it to the base cloth. I put the stitches out side the ribbon, so that the ribbon is not attached to the base cloth and can be changed. It would look new each time. 

How about using this as a border to a sari, blouse/tunic (at the sleeves and neck) or for a skirt or for a bag or a purse? I have left the edges of the ribbon with out stitching. But the edges can be zigzagged with out touching the ground cloth, so that they don't fray. It would look good if the centers of the diamonds are decorated with beads or sequin.

I may doodle  this stitch again when I feel like. then I will again upload my pictures.

Please do leave your comments and suggestions.

Indian Villages-1

I never observed that I had completed hundred posts on my blog. It was quite difficult and I had to struggle initially with paucity of time. But all you appreciation and encouragement has spurred me on.  I just dont want my blog to have posts on one or two subjects alone. It should reflect my culture, my life and my country with bits of everything a I see as I comprehend and as I feel I want all of you to share with me...

Well, in celebration of my century and of coarse my life......here is what is dear to me most...India;

India was and perhaps still is basically a country of villages. People are dependent on agriculture and related industries. With a climatic and geographical zones so different at various places, it is really a boon to India that various crops can be harvested. Kashmir has a cold climate like the Western countries. Here all the fruits like, apples, cherries, spices like cardamom, dry fruits, saffron can be grown. Punjab and other areas are fertile with water from the river sources. Hence various crops like the wheat, maize, sugarcane etc are grown in bounty.Rajasthan and Gujrath regions, are hot and covered by desserts. So we get some of the products like the dates and the dessert ber (its a kind of berry). Down South, its highly fertile and also has a very long coast line. We grow, rice, spices, coconuts, sugarcane, groundnuts and other oil seeds, tamarind, grapes, pomegranates etc are cultivated.

Well, I love our villages and village folk. Simple and frugal living, struggling lives., lots of problems like poverty,  debts, lack of even basic amenities, ...yet, there is a contentment, satisfaction, living near to nature in pollution free atmospheres which is not available in city life. Only if we can help them even in a small way....

Here are some of the scenes I tried to capture. But since I was doing so from a moving vehicle  some of them lack clarity and will be fuzzy. Sorry for that. I am a novice with a camera; even digital at that...lol!
These are the typical scenes of villages one gets along the roads, we travel.. See the rolling hills in the distance, a blue sky, various shades of greens and yellows, dotted with huge trees and tall palms every now and then and then of coarse the water and reflections of nature in the water. Oh so beautiful!
Here you can see the green fields, with the tall palms and other trees as boundaries. Some poets describe  this as Mother Nature wearing a sari in various shades of green...isnt the thought beautiful?
As my vehicle was moving with speed, I was suddenly caught with this one.  Amateur that I am,I  fumbled, mumbled, panicked and some how managed to click it. The greenery, the blue skies, the still water, the little rocks and islands in the water with greenery and little white egrets. You can see the green moss under the still water.
I think they are called egrets, they stalk the cattle along with the wild mynas and are found a plenty in our fields.
Here is perhaps a better view. Well every photographer gets caught with surprises like these. The coll and calm ones, the ones with more patience and the ones who are more experienced, but of coarse the ones with lots of LUCK in their favour can click it at the right moment. Mine was more luck  than skill. I just did not know whether to drink in the beauty of the nature or aim and get a picture. Perhaps I just did it as a reflex action? I don't remember at all accept for the fear that I passed a very beautiful chance. Until I had a look at it, I just kept on cursing myself for being so slow to react. But then I got it OK. Hey I think I did well?
Here you can see the cattle tied in ones yard, the farm implements and machinery, hay stack, dust and the greenery. You can see the a Babool trees on one side and tamarind on the other, which are quite common on our country side.

Babool trees as they are called in Hindi are the Acasia or commonly known as Gum Arabica, are called as Thumma Chetllu in Telugu. These are very medium sized, hardy  trees with long thorns and small leaves. So they are saved from the cattle and can with stand serious drought conditions. Its medicinal properties are well known to Indains since ancient times. They are used as protective hedges, help in vegetating arid and semi arid regions, used as fuel by the village folk and also give shade. Its good for teeth hence used in tooth pastes.

Well tamarind as you know are very huge trees, give shade and also the sour fruits which are used extensively in our cooking as souring agent.

The scenes are so idyllic ...Some more in my next post...Hope you have liked them as much as I do...
Please do leave your comments and suggestions.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Ohhhh! Its good to be back home after a long stay and long journey. I am so tired, have a splitting head ache. But I just wanted to share my photos, especially those of Tast 2010. But Alas! battery of my camera is completely out and it takes, overnight to charge it...I am disappointed  :( :( :(

But I will load them the first chance I get. I have also had a go at the village scenery. I am afraid I have to check how good the pictures are as I had clicked them from a moving vehicle. I just hope at least some of them are good.

I am feeling sleepy..but needed to share this with you...Ohh by the way I landed my hands on some of the most beautiful and unique Rangoli designs...Will have to draw them and share them with you. It will take some time though.....Good night for now

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Homeward bound...

Well after more than a fortinight, I am going home tomorrow to spend my long week end and celebrate Ugadi-our New Year with my family and friends. Well I miss them terribly. I miss all my plants, little visitors to my garden, my hobbies and ofcoarse my stash. LOL! I am just making do with a meager stash I was forced to buy, to practise Tast-2010 stitches. I am going to load my pictures during the week end.

Wow! Its time to relax and enjoy the brief break after a very hectic work shedule. 

Tomorrow by this time I will be nearing my destination...so homeward bound I am....

Will keep in touch with you all....until then have a great time friends!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2nd Week-Knotted Loop Stitch

Sharon B has posted on Knotted Loop Stitch. Visit her at the address below and see for yourself.

http://www.pintangle.com

I am yet to practise and explore it. Tonight I will do so. I have made some progress on the first one-Diamond Stitch. But sorry I am unable to load the pictures from here. I will do so this week end, since we have got a holiday making it a long week end.

By that time may be I will add some more examples to it and also, would have worked out on the second one too. I am planning to go home for this week end. Boy! I miss my family and friends there.

Keep a watch on my blog....

Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day

Today being International Women's Day, I would like to wish you all A Very Happy Women's Day. 

I would like to thank on this occassion, my Mother and my late Grand Mother, who have been  role model for me, inspiring me, educating me and motivating me to become a true Bharatiya Nari(Indian Woman), imbibing our culture, ethics, morals and values. They also taught me to be independent, at the same time not loosing the basic qualities of a woman- being kind and compassionate, having unlimited patience, juggling many things, multi asking...and what not.

Thier quest for education and for learning and creating something new every day, has also motivated me to do the same. I am also thankful to all my friends who keep on inspiring me with their own lives, their beautiful work and thoughts; Dee, Joan, Dawa, Sharon B, Lakshmi Sadala, Deepa Balagopal, Bev Ross, Astrid, Carol Leather, Julliette Coates, Jayashree and so many more......I cannot include all here...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

International Womens Day

International Women' Day is celebrated on 8th March every year. It marks the struggle of ordinary women for participation in society on an equal footing with men. This struggle is centuries old. The idea of an International Women's Day first arose at the turn of the century, during which period there was boom in population, industrial expansion but was also a period of turbulence and birth of radical ideologies. 

The women garment makers in New York worked in appalling conditions, earned half of men's wages, died prematurely from poor health and didn't have even the right to vote. They demonstrated for better working conditions in 1908.

The first National Woman's Day was observed across the United States on 28 February 1909, as per the declaration by the Socialist Party of America.This was continued to be celebrated on the last Sunday of February till 1913.

The first International Women’s Day was held on 19th March 1911 in Germany, Austria, Denmark and other European countries. German women selected this date because in 1848 the Prussian king had promised the vote for women. On March 19, socialists from Germany, Austria, Denmark and other European countries held strikes and marches. They demanded the right to vote, to hold public office, the right to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.

On 25 March, the Triangle Fire in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working girls, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This event had a significant impact on labour legislation in the United States, and the working conditions leading up to the disasters were invoked during subsequent observances of International Women's Day.

As part of the peace movement brewing on the eve of World War I, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with their sisters.

With 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war,Russian women again chose the last Sunday in February to strike for "bread and peace". Four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. That historic Sunday fell on 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia, but on 8th March on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere.
Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik feminist Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women's Day was declared as a non working day in the USSR 

Since then, International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international Women's movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations Women's conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point for coordinated efforts to demand women's rights and participation in the political and economic process. Increasingly, International Women's Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women's rights.

In India too this is celebrated. But is mere celebration of Womens Day enough for the upliftment of women?


Indian culture has been known for its reverence given to women as the saying from Manu Smruthi III-55-59, says" Where women are worshiped, there the Gods dwell. That is, where the women are happy, there will be prosperity. A Women must be honored and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers-in-law, who desire their own welfare. Where women are honored, there the Gods are pleased." 

But in truth is this being followed? So many atrocities against women in spite of one Jhansi Laksmi Bai one Indira Gandhi, one Kiran Bedi...and so on. Every day newspapers are filled with cases of rape, dowry deaths, acid attacks in the name of love and so many more. A girl child is killed even before she is born in spite of her being called as Ghar ki Lakshmi. She is discriminated and always comes second to the male child-be it education or nutritious food.In recent past we have so many attacks on women especially, acid attacks and in so many other forms.

Still all is not lost. We have more and more women coming out of homes getting educated holding responsible posts and going higher and higher like a Kalpana Chawla, stronger and stronger a Sania Mirza.... We Indians can be proud that we have a lady as our President, a lady who is the leader of our ruling party-Congress, a lady as Chief Minister of the Capital- Delhi, a lady as the Chief  Minister of the largest State -Uttar Pradesh, and in our own Andhra Pradesh a lady as our Home Minister....

Government as well as parents are helping the girl child. But still there is lot tobe achieved. Parents and society must encourage the girl child in all ways they can, instill confidence make them self reliant so that she can face he world and stand on her own feet.

Lets us hope this year and the years ahead bring more cheers to women in India and across the globe. But for that we, the society as a whole must pledge together that we will respect and encourage women in their efforts because "Yatra naari pujayate....

Wishing you all a very HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY

Week-1-Diamond Stitch

I am still practising the stitch. With so much  work to do I dont find time at all to concentrate on this. But I am enjoying what little time I find to practise this. I am unable to edit my pictures and upload here on my blog. Will try tomorrow. Keep watching friends. I am yet to see what others have done. No time for me to browse the net. Bye for now. Keep an eye on my blog......

Friday, March 5, 2010

TAST-2010

I am so excited about the TAST-2010. I have signed in for the challenge.

TAST stands for Take a stitch Tuesday by Sharon B, a great lady, a great artist. I admire her and she is my source of inspiration. Well every Tuesday she inroduces a Stitch on her site. Any one interested in that can practise explore, improvise, experiment and post the results. To know how and where, here is her site.


The first stitch posted on this Tuesday was Diamond Stitch. Its a nice stitch. I am still playing with it. Since I am away from home, I had to buy all the basic stuff like the cloth, frame, needles, threads etc. So, since I don't have all my stash with me, I cannot experiment much. But with in my limits, I am trying to. I will try to post the pictures, but if not I may post them late on my blog here. I am afraid I have to do so till I go back and have access to my own computer. The main problem is compressing or sizing my photos for loading.

Any way friends, please do visit Sharon B's site and enjoy.....

Keep watching my blog too for my experiments...

Monday, March 1, 2010

I am away

Hi friends, I am away from my home travelling. I am staying with my cousins and catching up with all thats going on after a long time. There is no TV or computer to distract me. So I am at peace, catching on my (much needed) sleep, soaking on the beauty of the surroundings and the nature- in general, relaxing and unwinding after a long time.

Oh I may not be able to post much for a week or so. But I will try to post some though. Its so hot here where I have come. I am busy with my work. But I am also collecting some books on various topics. 

Guess what? I landed my hands on some of the most beautiful books on Rangoli. I am trying to explore more on this subject.

I am also trying to go out in my spare time to look at the latest fashions, trends and designs in saris and blouses. This being the beginning of summer time, its time for cottons to come out. Lots of whites and other pastel shades with lovely block prints too in the market. I loved some of the applique work on saris. Was so tempted to buy one. But I would like to survey the market more before buying some. 

So watch out for some of the latest new designs. I am enjoying my stay here, though its hot during the day. Its pleasant during the nights but boy very sultry. I am enjoying tall glasses of cool juices, sherbeths, ices and bites of  refreshing seasonal fruits like the water melons. I am also enjoying showing off my culinary skills (quite shamelessly) by experimenting and cooking something new.

So bye for now...Keep a watch on my blog......