Friday, April 10

21 Day Lockdown in India - Week 2 - 1st April - 7th April

Sometime in March I learnt about #Mendmarch and decided to jump in. Did about three prompts but it was fun. I began work a t-shirt mending the holes with patches cut from old underwear. More holes to be mended on this t-shirt.  
@visiblemend is going to be hosting #MendMay on Instagram so maybe you'll think of joining in.
My own challenge of making a kusudama for everyday of the 21 day lockdown is coming along slowly. Some take more than a day to complete. Have been looking for simpler ones with twelve modules or so to make so I can complete one everyday.
This challenge will extend beyond the 21 day lockdown but I shall complete it and make mobiles with the finished kusudamas and give them to people as a belated Easter gift? once the lockdown is lifted.

We had our first April showers.
Netflix and Whatsapp calls with family have kept us going. started a community Stitch Challenge two weeks back, and me being me couldn't resist getting involved. 
Week 1 was Sue Stone who asked participants to choose one stitch and explore the stitch in four,  3 inch squares. A sampling exercise to generate textures and patterns.  I chose Up and Down Buttonhole stitch. 
Week 2 the challenge was led by Cas Holmes to look for an object be it a letter, photograph, garment etc which holds memories and create a collage combining paper, fabric and stitch. I haven't started on this challenge but it's perfect for a project involving tea and my family which has been simmering for some years now but this is exactly what I needed.
There's a Facebook page where people are uploading pictures of their creations. 

Are you taking up the #100dayproject2020? I want to and it's already the 7th and I haven't decided what the subject for my 100 day practise is going to be.I seem to be catching up on so many different challenges, it's becoming a challenge in itself. Sigh! I hope to have decided and got started by the time the post for Week 3 is done.
Take care and stay safe.

Thursday, April 2

21 day lockdown in India. Week 1 - 25th March to 31st March

When 2020 began nobody thought we would be united by a virus which would stealthily take over and turn our lives upside down. India has gone into lockdown mode from the 25th of March to the 14th of April.
 Life for me hasn't changed dramatically because we live in a relatively isolated area.Social isolation was a way of life here in Lamb's Rock.We socialised by choice. We are lucky that we don't feel restricted and we won't suffer from cabin fever because we can step out into the garden, play with the pets and go for walks. Roads have been blocked and the forest and nature are reclaiming spaces which man had taken over steadily. This road would have seen a steady flow of cars and vans taking people to Lamb's Rock viewpoint from ten in the morning to four in the evening.Now it's peaceful all day long.
We have leopards in the area but they used to come out late in the evening once it was dark but since the lockdown they are venturing out when it's still light. We have to be extra careful about the dogs. 
The wild boar and bison are also roaming free. Our dogs go crazy barking a them. 
Less traffic, less people around which amounts to less noise pollution and so we hear so many bird calls right through the day and not just in the morning.
My garden is blooming. It is such a joy to observe buds appear and then over a period of a few days they bloom. It's a wild unplanned garden so the surprises are plenty.
I've decided to make a kusudama for everyday of the lockdown, following videos on Youtube.
Day1 - I made a 30 module Kusudama Dodecahedron.
Day 2 - A Kusudama cube with 8 modules
Day 3 - Little Turtle Kusudama
Day 4 - I was finishing up the little turtle.
Day 5 - Crystal Star kusudama by Denver Lawson and the tutorial by dutchpapergirl.
Day 6 - 12 module kusudama by ichiro999100. This one has triangular depressions.
Day 7 - 12 module Pinwheel Kusudama.I use the same module to make a pinwheel cube.
I'm using old Tupperware flyers for the paper. Part of trying to live a more sustainable life.  Recycling what I already have, mending and buying less. Buying only what is necessary.
Sharing these origami creations on a Facebook page set up by my fellow artists and designers called CoronArt. I also update my Instagram account @millionlittlestitches.
We went out to town to buy groceries on the 30th. mainly to buy meat for our dogs Ben and Blackie who have no understanding of a lockdown. A friend procured some meat for us,which was most fortunate. I hope in a week or ten days the butcher's shop will reopen.
The new accessory is the face mask. If people can't get a mask which incidentally is out of stock , a scarf or bandana covers the nose and mouth. 
The unfortunate side of the lockdown down is the plight of people producing perishable products like these beautiful Liliums. A hundred bunches of Liliums which couldn't make it to market were left with a friend to distribute.I was fortunate to get a bunch, their fragrance fills the house.
Needless to say the 21 day lockdown is going to be painful and hard for everybody and the pain will continue for a prolonged period long after the 21 day lockdown comes to an end.
How are you dealing with Covid 19?
Thanks to the internet I've been in two Zoom calls with family and friends. Zoom calls are all the rage at the moment. Have you had the opportunity to participate in a Zoom call?

It's time to introspect. How are we going to lead our lives once the pandemic is over? I think I need to grow more vegetables and fruit.
Be more thrifty and smart about how I use resources and try to lead a more sustainable life. A more mindful life.
Stay safe.

Wednesday, March 11

Patch Exchange 2020

@gatherwhaspills each year organises a patch exchange.
Here's the little patch my patch pal sent me from South Carolina.
This was what I sent her.

Saturday, March 7

Fabric Page Swap 2020 - February

It's been a at least five years since I got involved in a fabric book page swap. So in January this year I decided to test the waters and see if there would be a few people interested in a fabric book page swap. I put it out there on a fabric book group that I'm a member of on Facebook. Over a couple of weeks there was a group of eleven ladies. A couple of us were together on a swap called The Story of the Traveling Pages and one other swap.There are three participants from the Netherlands, two from Australia, four from the UK,one from Canada and one from India. 
The first page I created was for Catherine in Australia who chose the theme Steampunk. I was dealing with this theme for the first time. Being February and Valentine's day, I decided to create a Steampunk heart. I've used a beer bottle cap, a couple of tabs from beer cans and an orphan key. A couple of rusty bits and pieces from my rust dyeing experiments.   

I received a page from Marja in the Netherlands. Here's the page which Marja created for me based on my theme - Cats.

It's been an exciting start of the new decade. A number of things on the fiber and fabric horizon, all to be revealed in good time.
Have a great weekend.

Saturday, February 15

Making a Needlebook. A tutorial.

A needlebook for my mum. So I decided to document the process and make a little tutorial for anyone who might want to make something similar.
It's quick and simple, easy to personalise and I made the needlebook while watching episodes of The Crown.

The materials required are
1. Iron on paper fusing.
2. Felt for pages of the needlebook
3. Fabric for the cover of the needlebook. I used a printed fabric made by Julie B. Booth which I won as a giveaway while participating in Roy G Biv and a piece of cotton fabric from my stash.
4. Sequins to decorate the edges of the cover.
5. A length of ribbon
6. Sewing needles
7. Scissors

Cut out two pieces of felt measuring 8.50 inches x 6.00 inches.
The felt for the pockets measure 6 inches x 3 inches.
Curve the four corners or you could leave them straight.
Use embroidery thread and do blanket stitch around the two pieces of felt. Place the felt pieces at either end of one large piece of felt and join them so that a pocket is formed.

For the cover cut two pieces of fabric. I chose the heart print fabric for the outside and a solid colour for the inside. Both pieces of fabric measure 9.50 inches x 7.00 inches.
Cut  2 pieces of paper fusing which measure 9 inches x 6.50 inches.
Iron on the fusing. Decorate the outer cover with embroidery.  I outlined a few of the heart motifs with chain stitch.
My mum's favourite colour is pink. So I used pink wherever possible. :)
Then fold in the excess fabric and do a line of blanket stitch to finish the edges of the covers. I added sequins while finishing the edges of the outer cover with blanket stitch.

Put the outer and inner covers together with the fused sides facing each other and whip stitch the two together with embroidery thread.
Take the two felt pages and do a line of running stitch along the center of the two pages to hold them together. With a length of ribbon go through the felt pages and the cover. Secure with a knot on the outside.

Pockets for keeping thread, lace or a small packet of buttons. 
The finished needlebook.
If you do follow this pattern do share the finished needlebook. I'd live to see how you have decorated the pages or changed things to improve the pattern.

Have a great weekend.

Saturday, February 1

Joyma embroiders a panel for the #25 million stitches project

My mum who's 82 was excited about participating in the #25 million stitches project.
She was my first embroidery teacher and always had something to embroider or sew. Her home has so many embroidered touches - embroidered guest towels, cocktail napkins, bedcovers to name a few.

She began work on her panel in Chennai at a time when she had to pack up her home and move to an assisted living facility in another state. She took her embroidered cushions along with her.
It was a difficult time. Being uprooted is not easy. Embroidering this panel helped to come to terms with the move.
In her new home she continued work on the panel along with her attendant - Omana who is fond of sewing and embroidery.
Embroidery has helped my mum and Omana bond together.
I'll be posting three panels to Sacramento next week.

Friday, January 17

Happy Pongal 2020.

Happy Pongal from our home to yours.
First festival of the year.

A big thank you to Selvi who got up early in the morning to create this beautiful kolam at the main gate.
Had the good fortune to share a traditional Pongal meal with friends and neighbours.
There was ven pongal, chakra pongal, crisp hot vadas, coconut chutney and sambar on the menu. 
Nothing like a hot meal on a cold day. I have Rosalin our cook to thank for a scrumptious meal.

A New Year and a New Decade

I had meant to post at the beginning of the year but it was not meant to be. Better late than never. Let me wish all those who follow or chance upon this blog, a happy new year and the beginning of a marvellous new decade. I hope there will be innumerable occasions for you and your family to be grateful for the blessings showered on you. Stay blessed.