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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Its been a long time.....

Hello friends, I am yet on another one of my hectic tours. That is why I could not keep in touch. But today some how I managed to, so here I am. There is lot to share with you. I will try to post as much as I my hectic shcedule allows me to. I missed you all and I did not have time to at least tell you all that I may not be able to post for some time.

It was quite difficult for me to prepare  for the travel. Till the last moment I was just packing something or the other and did not have even two hours sleep a day  a week before leaving for here. But I slept most of the way on my long journey by the train. I love trains. There is something very romantic about it.

Anyway,  here I am. This is a beautiful place, surrounded by gardens, beautiful lawns. Its so peaceful here. I am able to let my hair down as we are not able to go out much after the working hours. Its far away from the city and not possible to go out much. Equipped with a swimming pool, a gym, tennis and badmionton courts, a beautiful library and other facilities, this is a paradise. After our work, we are all going for long walks or work out in the gym, play one of the sports, or just sit quitely and talk. Boy it had been a long time since I felt so peaceful.

But I would love to go out seeing the sights and shop. Here its a shoppers paradise for many things, be it be the accessories like bags and purses, belts, scarves, bangles, jewelery, hair accessories, clothes and of course textiles. Moreover, there are different markets in different places for different price ranges to shop for these things. Each market is famous for some thing or the other....That makes it more complecated. Added to that  there is not much time after our work hours before the shops are closed. We are trying to shop as much as possible in the little time. Being so far away from the city with lack of proper conveyence its difficult. Moreover shopping should be slow and liesurely not rushing through. At least I cannot enjoy it that way. Let us see what happens.

It seems I am well behind on my TAST. I am not able to do much, as my stash is very limitted. I could not pack much. But I think I will pick it up and post you with some of my experiments.

So keep watching my blog for the latest in the acessories, textiles, and of coarse lovely sites here........


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rangoli-25

Here are some floral Rangoli designs....
This is 9 to 6
This is 11 to 6
This is 13 to 7

Just practise these designs and let me know please.....Some more next time....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Miniature


I love miniature or small ones be it cars, bikes, or any other things for that matter. I do collect some. But this bike is my niece's. It runs on battery. Have a look. I will be sharing many more of my miniatures in the future too.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A date with Squirrells

Recently when I stayed with my cousins, every morning we used wake up  before sun rise and  sit out in their garden. There used to be a lot of visitors-butterflies, birds and Squirrels. I am fond of squirrels as it evokes in me my child hood memories of playing in the big backyard at my granny's place. There were at least four to six squirrels living on the trees. Well I am not exactly sure of the number.It used  to be very pleasant  early in the morning and these little fellas used to start chirping, climbing trees, searching for the  food.

Any way Here is one of the many little fellows. Its very difficult to catch them on camera, as they are so active and keep on darting here and there. By the time you focus and try to click. They are gone. But that day I was lucky. This little one so patiently posed for me and showed me all his antics.



Here you can see the structure built around a tree. This not only creates a seating space, but also prevents the tree from being uprooted if there are any storms or strong winds, which are quite common in coastal areas. They have decorated it with Rangoli using paint. This little one is eating something so peacefully.
  
Story of the Stripes:


Do you see the stripes on the back of the squirrel. Well there is a story associated with it. Lord Rama whose story is known as Ramayana, left his kingdom and went into exile for 14 years. During this period, his wife Sita was abducted by the Demon King Ravana was kept in Lanka (meaning Island). This Lanka now presently known as Srilanka was ruled by the Mighty Ravana,  He was very powerful and dreaded by all. He committed many attrocities, one among them, to kidnap and prison, beautiful women.


When Sita was abducted, Rama learned of it and after searching for her through his friend Sugriva's( a Monkey King)  army of monkeys, he came to know that Sita was in Lanka. In order to reach there and wage war with Ravana, he had to cross the sea. So, a massive stone bridge was built by the monkeys. ( army of King Sugriva) On each stone, Rama's name was chiseled and then thrown into the sea. Surprisingly, the stones  did not sink but float on the surface.


A squirrel, who watched all this was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. It felt so sad that being so small, it could not help him  either in building the bridge, or in any other way. But, after thinking for some time, it made a decision. It went into the sands on the banks of the sea, rolled in it, went on to the bridge being constructed and dropped all the sand collected on its body. It went on doing that.


One day Lord Rama came to check the bridge, which was finished by now. His sight fell on the little squirrel and watched what it was doing. Then he went to her and asked what she was doing.


The Squirrel felt so happy to find her Lord before her eyes. She bowed at his feet and said " O Rama, I am such a little creature. I love you so much but am not able to help you in any way. So I thought, if I cannot build this massive bridge, I can at least, make the surface of the bridge soft for your delicate feet to tread on. Rama was so touched by its service. He said that though you are small physically, your thoughts, your devotion and service you are doing for  me is so very great. So Rama took her into his hands and softly, caressed her all over. The squirrel lost her fatigue and became rejuvenated. Rama ran his three fingers  on  its back and as a remeberence of her service, he left the mark of his fingers, and said from today, you and your species will carry this which will  remind people of your great devotion and service.


So thats how she got her stripes. Even today people who are modest, or do some service or give alms say this is very little-or Udutha Bhakthi. Udutha in Telugu means Squirrel and Bhakthi means devotion. So she is remembered for her service.
Some more pictures ....
Up on a tree, watching me carefully...

Ohh I loved this Gooseberry tree laden with those golden green fruit. Goose berry is rich in Vitamin C and the berries have very good medicinal properties.
It was so peaceful in that little place, though hot and humid.  I miss my little friends....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rangoli-24

Here are two more designs from my mothers note book.

 
These are two different designs of "Chair". I will have to search for more of them. Its really interesting to draw such designs. Hope you have like them....


TAST-2010-5th Week-Knotted Buttonhole Stitch

Friends Sharon B had posted on Knotted Buttonhole Stitch in the 5th week of TAST 2010. Link to her site is here:

Its a beautiful stitch. I enjoyed playing with it. I could have done more, but for my precious little time. Here are the pictures





I still have to load pictures of two more Stitches apart from the current one. Please let me know how you feel about my efforts....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rangoli-23

Here are some small and simple designs. These days with flats, people dont have much space and also no time   to draw big rangolis. So small ones are easy to draw.









 Hope you like them. Try them out and let me know....


Rangoli-22

I am back from my hectic touring. Very tired  as its so hot here. If this is in April Second week we dread to think of May. I feel so drained out but have to work out on my TAST stitches and many other pending projects. I am lagging behind. Hmmm I need a long holiday to set things right and catch up with everything.

Here is another 11 to 1 design. Its done in two ways. Hope you like it.
This is one way
This is another way. The design is the same, but done vertically and horizontally.

I have collected and recollected so many designs during my stay with my old friends and relatives. I need to pen them down properly. I will be posting many more shortly. Give me some time....Keep watching my blog...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

TAST-2010

I am so tired and stressed out because of my hectic travels and these hot summers. I am still doodling with Knotted Buttonhole Stitch. and Portuguese Stitch. Yet to start on buttonhole eyelet. I have some pictures of Knotted Buttonhole. But need to sort, and trim them before posting and I am still adding more and more to it.

I know I am lagging behind, but then I cant help it. My niece is also having summer holidays. So she is visiting me when ever I am at home. That means I have to shut my work box or else she insists on trying out the stitches. With all these boy I am not able to make much progress. But I am definitely going to post some by thursday or Friday. Let me see.

I have also to work out TAST-1 Stitches which just started. Boy I am a late Kate. But then I am doing it for fun. No pressure at all.Like Sharon has said even if I miss out some of them, I can still work out at least some stitches. All in all its fun. Thank you Sharon. Its really nice of her to motivate all of us.

Keep an eye on my blog friends.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sri Rama Navami

Friends we celebrated Sri Rama Navami on 24th of March. Its celebrated with much fervor and widely by many in various regions of India more so in my State of Andhra Pradesh. This year I happened to be in Andhra and was fortunate enough to attend one of the celebrations.

Lord Rama is considered as Avtar of Lord Vishnu and Sita, his wife, is considered as Avtar of Goddeess Lakshmi.

Lord Rama is known as Maryada Purushotamma- that is the most exemplary and best human. He personified an ideal man and most popular figure in India. To this day people consider him a role model. As a son, as a husband, as a brother, as a king, as a friend and even as an enemy he set an example to others. He adhered to and followed Dharma- the right path, no matter how many hardships he had to face. His story is known as The Ramayana and is one of the most revered epics.He sacrificed his right to the throne and was in exile for 14 years. His wife Sita also is considered role model for Indian women.I am giving the link here for those who are interested in reading his story.

Rama was Prince Of Ayodhya, born to King Dasratha of Ayodhya and Kausalya (eldest of three wives). He was the most beautiful, brave intelligent, gentle and dutiful person. he marries Sita Princess of Mithila after breaking the Shiva's bow. Just when he was 17 years old and was going to be coronated as King, he went into exile for 14 years to honor his father King Dasharatha's promise to his most beloved wife Kaikeyi. Sita follows him as an obedient wife and so does his brother Lakshmana. There Sita being very beautiful is abducted by the Demon King Ravana. Rama kills Ravana and brings back his wife. After exile returns to his kingdom and rules his people as an ideal King should.

The relationship between Rama and Dasharatha is considered as the ideal one between a father and a son. The love between Rama and Sita is even today considered as an example that shoul be followed by a husband and a wife. Rama and Lakshmana-the brothers have set an example as to how the relationship between two brothers should be.

His birthday is celebrated on Navami or the 9th day after the New Moon of the lunar calendar (followed by us) in the month of Chaitra. In Andhra there is a unique custom of performing his marriage to Sita as well. This is celebrated for 9 days starting from the Navami. All the temples of Rama celebrate this. We have one of the oldest and famous temple at Bhadra Chalam. For those who are interested please read about it here:

At homes we worship the Lord with various seasonal flowers, like jasmine etc and a feast is offered and then enjoyed with family and friends. The special offerings are Vadapappu- a dish made out of split green lentils, raw mangoes, fresh coconut etc, and a sweet drink Paankam made of jaggery and water with a dash of black pepper and cardamom.

One can find the Pandals or canopy in almost most of the important areas where the marriage of Lord Rama and Sita is celebrated. All the nine days there will be cultural and religious events in these pandals. A pandal is a temporary structure erected by using locally available materials like wooden poles, bamboo poles, mats made of bamboo, and cover it with palm leaves or coconut leaves. These days they are being decorated with cloth and other materials apart from, flowers, fancy decorating materials, electric lights etc. Everyone vies to errect the best and attractive one to attract the devotees.

Here are some pictures of the celebrations I could click...
Here you see the Lord Rama with his wife Sita , his brother Lakshmana. and his most beloved devotee Hanuman (the monkey God) in all the splendor. The temple like structure has been erected specially for this purpose. It looks like a permanent one. There are ladies having a Darshan. This has been sponsored by the merchant association in the business street and is quite popular.
Here is a closer view. See the garlands made from jasmine and other flowers.
One more view. the idols are made of silver and you can see the Umbrella the ones used for kings as Lord Rama was an emperor.
Here you can see the floral decorations. Now a days we are using flowers which are not native to us, but are now being cultivated in some cooler parts of the country.
Below you can see the structure. It looks like stone but is temporary structure with some figures of the Gods.
A closer view. These are also not the native flowers but now being cultivated in green houses and under controlled conditions.
Here You can see the entire Banana bunch along with the plant used for decoration. This is how our Pandals are decorated traditionally even for marriages

Below is the Pandal I was talking about. Underneath the white cloth, the top is covered by dried palm leaves, which was the most popular one for all ceremonies like marriages etc to protect and provide shade .
You can see the lighting in the night and the crowd enjoying the holiday.

My Little Friend

Everyday I get up at 4O'Clock in the morning and complete my Yoga and meditation. Me, working on my TAST or other projects and my Mom, on some of her own projects, have coffee and discuss various topics from spirituality to mundane things. We talk till the first rays of the Sun slowly start penetrating the black of the night. Its just then I hear this little fella singing chirpily. His call is sharp but sweet. Oops I dont know whether its a he or she. But I think its a he.

Any way he sits on a pomegranate tree of my garden, which is near my window. He seems to be visiting it in the afternoon and evening also. But yesterday in the evening when I was watering my plants, I found him happily singing. I went in and brought out my camera and very quietly shooted him. But could not go much nearer for the fear of sending him away. Any way it will take some time for me to befriend him. I love birds and animals. I make friends with them easily.

Here now is the little one...

He always sits there as if the place belongs to him...I think he is trying to build a nest. I wish he would.
Just when I was thinking that I did not have a good view of him, he hopped on to the rope. Ha ha! He is posing for my photo smart chap! First one side of his profile and then another. He is so handsome.
Black but beautiful.   But then he flew away.  But I will keep an eye on him.....may be I can have some more of his pictures...

Oh! I am so tired after my hectic traveling. But just wanted to share this with you .I could not resist believe me...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Terracota-3

Here I am with some terracotta. You can see a lady with the grinding stone. This is called Visurrayi or Tiragali in Telugu. In olden days this was used for grinding cereals into powder or semolina. Women used to sit together and powder rice or other grains. Andhra women used to sing songs while grinding. These songs have beautiful folklore, reflect their culture, traditions, celebrations and glimpses of their daily life. Now a days we dont find them any where except perhaps in very remote rural areas.

This is a plant container, or can be used as a vase. I liked the horse cart carrying this pot and placed it in my garden. I also like the dangling beads attached to the container.

This is a bullock cart. I have placed this in my garden. This can also be used as a container for flower arrangements.
 
Hope  you have liked them.  Some more next time.....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rangoli-21-Borders-1

Borders around a Rangoli enhance its beauty. Here I am posting some of the borders. These are all free hand drawings, that is with out use of dots.

















I will be posting more as I pen them.So keep watching.....