Saturday, November 27, 2010

My new creations!

It has been nearly a week since my last post. Over the last few days, I have been extremely busy trying to finish my pending projects. A couple of bags had to be repaired, a couple of them had some finishing touches to be made, and some were midway.

This is one clutch that I completed over the last few days. Also made a new fat bottom bag.

This bag is one of the quickest projects I have finished. It took me just a couple of days to make this bag!! For a change, I used wooden handles and wooden beads for this bag.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A great beginning to a great new year

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday thanks to my dear husband and my loved ones.
yummy chocolate truffle!

First, there was the cake-cutting at midnight, at sharp 12. Then there were the gifts. Then lots and lots of wishes over the phone from family and friends, followed by a nice birthday lunch with my darling husband at my favorite restaurant. This was followed by meeting relatives and then friends with whom I shared some wonderful moments yesterday. A truly great day!!! Thanks one and all for all your best wishes and for making my birthday, a great day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 things to know about me!

On the eve of my 29th birthday, today, I decided to put down certain things about me that I would like other people to know. Since I am entering my 30s tomorrow, I decided to find 30 things about myself. So these are the 30 facts about me, not in any particular order.

  1.  Born in the early hours of a wintery Friday, 20th November 1981, in Mysore, I am the eldest child of my parents.
  2.  My favourite colour is pink.
  3. My hobbies include reading, mostly nonfictional like biographies etc, embroidery, and crochet.
  4. I spent the first five years of my life in Kanhangad, Kerala, the next 18 years in Mangalore where I grew up and had my education. For the last almost 6 years I have been in Mumbai where I settled after marriage.
  5. I have a younger sister with whom I fight a lot, but also am protective about her. 
  6. I love to cook, love to eat, love seafood, love to try new cuisines, love to experiment in food but no plans of eating giraffe/crocodile/cockroaches etc.
  7. I love to travel. In the last few years, my husband- who shares my passion for travel- and I, have traveled to most places in Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Singapore.
  8. I am a very organised person and love to take up responsibilities. Any responsibility allocated to me is considered done.
  9. A graduate in Microbiology, I am working as a medical transcriptionist since the last six years now.
  10. I  make friends with great thought, but if friends with someone, then friends for life. 
  11. Try to betray me and you will feel my scorpion sting forever.
  12. I am very good at running a household and taking care of a house, all thanks to my Mother who trained us well.
  13. I was good in studies, never had to read before exams all thanks to a great memory. Always scored well.
  14. Love to play with colours, be in embroidery or painting or crochet.
  15. I have a great collection of novels, fiction and nonfiction, ranging from the Enid Blyton series, Nancy Drew, to the biographies of Maharani Gayatri Devi and other prince and princesses of ancient India.
  16. I am very short-tempered, something my family and friends will vouch for.
  17. Blessed with good parents, sister, family, in-laws, and also a supportive and loving husband.
  18. I had a love marriage, which some of my friends still find hard to digest that I, being as practical as I am, managed to fall in love.
  19. I used to write poems, but it has been ages since I wrote anything new.
  20. A good agony aunt to friends and colleagues.
  21. I can be lazy at times, many a times actually, but will spring into action the minute some responsibility is handed to me.
  22. I don't shop often, but if I do, then I prefer to go for quality than quantity.
  23. When I got married, I was not even aware of the basics of makeup. Even applying lipstick was with great difficulty.
  24.  If I know about something, I know it well. If I do something, I do it well. If not, I will not speak or do it. Nothing is half done. It is either done well or not done at all.
  25. I can be very very dominating, but then that is the way I get things done. It is my way or the highway!
  26. I am very good at embroidery, be it the basics, mirror work, kutch work, Kasuthi work, shadow work, ribbon work.  
  27. I get very excited about my birthdays.  In school and college, I used to remind everyone a day prior to my birthday, not for want of gifts or cards, but I felt happy when everyone wished me.
  28. I get emotionally attached to my loved ones. So I get angry and sad pretty soon.
  29. I hate my photos. I don't feel I ever look good in pictures.
  30. I am very independent, want to do everything myself, find out about things myself, but if my husband offers to do that for me, which is very rarely, then I just love it. But even then I do find out about things, just in case he forgets, which is often ;)
Anybody wants to add more points about me, good or bad, please feel free to do so. 
Anybody wants to negate any point from above, good or bad, please feel free to do so.
And guys, please do remember, its my birthday tomorrow!!! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This granny troubled me a lot!

This granny troubled me a lot!! Since the last one week, I have been having some trouble or the other with this one.

Granny hexagon bag

This is the first time I tried granny hexagons and I liked it in the first try. But I could not decide what to make of these hexagons. It took me almost 5 hours to finally decide to make this bag. Once I started making the bag, one of the yarns got over and I had to wait for two days to get a fresh supply of that colour. Then I was not sure as to how big or small the bag should be. Finally when I decided upon the total number of rows and columns, I just could not get the base attached properly. Since afternoon today, I had been working on getting the base right. Finally when the base worked out properly, and all the loose ends tied securely, one of the upper hexagons gave way, and the petals opened up. So I had to remove that hexagon, do it all over again, and finally take a picture of the completed bag. Phew!! Never had so much trouble with any other bag till date!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hand embroidery

Hand embroidery is something that I hated for years before finally falling in love with it some 7-8 years ago. I have always seen my Mother embroidering since ages but I always avoided it. May be this was because we had been forced to learn and do embroidery in school. There was a mental block against embroidery and anything to do with needle and thread.
It was the summer when I graduated from college and I had plenty of time on my hands, not knowing what to do to while away my time. That is when I saw my younger sister take a keen interest in embroidery. First out of curiosity, and then later with genuine interest, I learnt the basics of embroidery all over again from Mom. Slowly, I got so occupied and enthralled by embroidery, that most of my waking hours would be spent doing one design after the other.  One by one, I learnt new stitches like shadow work, Kutch work, Kasuthi work, ribbon work, etc.   I was involved so passionately with embroidery, that my mind was racing against time to learn new stitches, create new patterns, try new methods of embroidery. I wished there were more hours in a day so that I could get more and more time to devote to this art. I just loved to play with colours, different techniques, use different types of cloth, etc.  People started noticing our work and appreciating it and some of them started requesting that we do some hand embroidery for them on saris, suits, etc.  Initially we did it for free, never thinking about money. Embroidery was just a passion shared between us three women, Mom, sis and me.  But soon more and more people appreciated our work, some  suggested, and some even insisted that we take monetary compensation for our work as it involves a lot of our time and effort.   Soon we were inundunted with orders for more saris, suits etc.  Check this orkut album for some of our works.  This continued for the last 7-8 years, when finally at the beginning of this year, I had to stop doing embroidery because of my weak shoulder.  That is when I took up the hook and  began crocheting, another creative art that I learnt in school.
I just love creating something with my own hands. I love it when I have a choice of colours to mix and match and something totally different is created. I love it when my hands are busy, because when my hands are busy, my mind remains active, my creativity remains active and I am free from all negative thoughts. I have loved each and every creation of mine because if I don't like what I do, I dismantle it, be it embroidery or crochet, and it sure does pay dividends, when people appreciate my work. Thanks everyone for appreciating my work and for motivating me to do better and better.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last 24 hours!

The last 24 hours have been really really great. I completed a new bag. I made a few new friends. I got a lot of appreciation for my work and last but not the least, I made my first sale on Etsy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks to all the people who liked and appreciated my work and motivated me to keep going on, especially Friend, who became my first customer on Etsy, and Suneera, who even posted my album on her FB profile to let more people know about my creativity. Thanks guys. The world sure could do with more people like you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Now a pink one

This was the bag I was talking or rather blogging about yesterday. A candy floss pink fat bottom bag, again for a client. Since it was one solid colour, I added three flowers to give it a new dimension.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Another FBB

I am falling in love with these fat bottom bags! Even though the pattern remains same, the colours used give each bag a different appeal.

This bag is made for a client as per her specifications. Another bag is on the way, about to finish. Actually the body of the bag is ready, just have to stitch the handle. Will hopefully upload the picture of that bag by tomorrow.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Diwali and noise pollution

Diwali means different things to different people. For some, mostly kids, it means new clothes, sweetmeats, crackers etc. For others, it means a few days of holiday from work. For some others, it means lots of guests, meeting new people, catching up with relatives and friends etc. But for some others, it means creating havoc in other people's lives by bursting crackers all day and all night. Last night, even though it was relatively quiet all evening, just when we were about to retire to bed at around 10:30 PM, we suddenly heard crackers being burst in our compound. Since we reside on the first floor of our building, we are the worst affected by these crackers. When we looked down, we saw a bunch of guys, whom I have never seen before, bursting crackers in our compound. So I called out to them and told them not to burst crackers as it is past 10:30.  They happened to be friends and relatives of our second floor neighbour who then came out and  promised me not to burst loud crackers. Thankfully he kept his promise. I cannot understand what pleasure do people get from bursting such loud crackers that are well beyond the standards of noise polluting decibels. A couple of days back, when crackers were being burst outside, a showpiece from the glass mantel inside our house fell down. Luckily it survived the fall. But the earthen lamps that I lit have not been so lucky! Half of them have become victims to the noise pollution. Because of the strong vibrations of the ear-deafening crackers, these little lamps have fallen down from the parapet and broken to pieces. Why can't we have a peaceful Diwali? If at all one wants to burst crackers, burst the smaller ones and for a limited period of time, without disturbing other people. Because of all these crackers, during Diwali, I am forced to sit with ear plugs in my ears to block out the noise, and also close my windows to avoid breathing the polluted air.  It has been ages since I have burst any crackers and seriously, I don't feel I have missed anything at all, all these years. Let us work towards making our world a pollution free one.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Happy Diwali and 50th post

First of all, a very happy Diwali to you and your loved ones! May this Diwali shower light, happiness, and prosperity in all our lives. Today is Naraka Chaturdashi. This day celebrates Lord Krishna's victory over the demon, Narakasura.  Today, for us Konkanas, it is a day when the ladies and the children of the family have oil bath in the evening, after sunset. The ladies of the house perform pooja of the well, which is the water source, with flowers, aarti, and agarbathi (incense sticks). These days since it is hard to find wells, pooja is performed of the main water tap in the bathroom. Later, kids make noise by banging on steel plates with steel spoons. This is a tradition and it is believed that the noise keeps away bad spirits. Then small earthen lamps are lit and arranged near the doors, windows, and practically every corner of the house. After the pooja, ladies and children apply coconut oil over their bodies and have hot water bath. The traditional bathroom with the big pots of brass which are used to heat the water, acts as sauna. The steam inside the bathroom which is produced from the hot water and the wood used to heat the water, helps to detoxify the skin and makes it soft and radiant.  The coconut oil also makes the skin supple and leaves it soft and glowing. This is the only day of the year when women are allowed to have head baths in the evening, which is otherwise considered a bad omen.  I really miss the traditional bathroom and the geyser-heated water is no comparison to the hot water heated in the brass pots. After the hot bath, ladies and children dress in new clothes and then have a nice dinner with rice, fried fish and onion thambali.  This dinner is again a tradition which has been followed over the years. Primarily, fish such as King fish and  pompret are the main choices for this day. Men of the family have their hot baths the next morning.

Recipe for onion thambali:

Ingredients: Coconut grated 1 cup
                  Red chillies 2-3
                  Tamarind a small piece
                  Onion - 1 finely chopped
                  Green chillies 2-3 finely chopped
                  Salt to taste

Finely grind the coconut, red chillies and the tamarind with a little water. Add the chopped onions and green chillies and the salt. This makes a great combination with rice and fried fish. The consistency is gravy-like and this dish is not boiled.

This is my 50th post. In the last three months, blogging has become a very integral part of my life. Thanks to all my readers who have read my posts and encouraged me and motivated me. I hope to keep blogging and to hear your wonderful comments regarding my posts. Thanks one and all and once again, a very happy Diwali!


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