Tuesday, June 20

It's June

 With all the storms and rain in May the tea is doing very well. We could do with three pluckers to pluck the tea in our small holding but for the first time in two years we require two days with four or five pluckers to get the job done. We also have gathered enough firewood for the winter and to cook the dogs food each night. Yes, they get to eat food cooked on a wood fire. Very fancy.
 June started on a shocking note. I lost a dear friend. A friend I went to school with and the bond was deeper because we went to boarding school and grew up together. The class of twenty girls are more like sisters to each other. Dengue got her. Such a warm, joyous and lively person. She died too young.
I was introduced to Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 by my biological sister and it's been delightful. A lot of my stitching of 1 year of stitches has been done listening to Elif Shafak, Whoopi Goldberg and Ed Sheeran. All of which I enjoyed. Bill Gates was boring, I loved Liz Lochhead's Scottish accent and got to know that the Makar is the title given to the Scottish national poet.
 Have a good week.

Friday, June 2

At the end of May

 May, this year was unlike the past two years. We had two power outages. The first for 5 days and after two weeks another one for 4 days. We weathered it and realised we are calmer people who deal with such situations pretty well. I think my husband deals with it better than me.
 My Mum turned 80 in March.
 A landmark for a remarkable woman.
 Mamma loves flowers and gardening. So I had to embroider some flowers - some wonky roses and lazy daisy flowers. These were the colours of a beautiful boquet of flowers a friend sent her.
That's what 1 year of stitches looks like at the end of May.

Friday, May 19

Getting back to 1 Year of Stitches

I got back to the 1 year of Stitches last week after a month long break.
I decided to add a strawberry to the 12 inch circle.
In the process I've learnt two new stitches. The first one is Strawberry stitch. It's a composite stitch and I followed this tutorial on YouTube and the results are terrific I think.
The second stitch I learnt was Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch. I used it to embroider the stem of the strawberry.
It's season time here in the Nilgiris. Lovely cool weather with the occasional thunderstorms and the rest of the country is reeling under a heatwave. Our B n B has seen a steady stream of guests since April. People trying to escape the heat for a couple of days. I've been busy with laundry and cooking.
Ben the St.Bernard we adopted, two months back has settled in and made friends with Blackie our indie. He still has to make friends with Pepper the cat.
Hope you have a good weekend.

Sunday, April 30

The Sun Temple at Konarak

On a hot Sunday morning in March I went to see The Sun Temple at Konarak. I didn't expect to see such a huge structure.
Every inch of the temple is carved intricately.
Naga figures, amorous couples, vines and geometric motifs which form a texture. Such wealth of patterning.
The temple is in the form of a chariot and the wheels are iconic of Odisha.
One would require a lifetime to examine and appreciate the wealth of detail and iconography in this temple. It's simply mind blowing.
The person who conceptualised and directed the creation of this masterpiece must have been a master at his craft.One assumes it was a man but I wonder if were a woman.
In any case the person's knowledge of material, architecture, Hindu iconography and sculpture must have been unparalled.  

Wednesday, April 19

My trip to Odisha finds a place in 1 Year of Stitches.

 
 20th March.2017. I was looking to add a motif which would mark my visit to Odisha. I picked Jaganath. He's special to Odisha. He's the only Indian god who is worshipped along with his older brother and sister. Most Gods and Godesses have a consort but not Jaganath
 30th March.2017.
The day was spent in airports. Flying from Bhubaneshwar to Chennai with a four hour wait in Hyderabad to catch a connecting flight. Time well spent working on the Jaganath motif.
31st March.2017. 
The Jagannath motif is complete.I embroidered the pupils of his eyes and the motif was complete.
30th March.2017
It was so hot in Chennai my brain seized functioning and I could only think of adding some cast on Stitch leaves.

Monday, April 10

Progress on 1 Year of Stitches in the month of March

   A teaching assignment in Odisha took me away from the Blue Mountains for a good three weeks. 
I carried the 1 Year of Stitches with me.
   
 At the beginning of March here is what the twelve inch circle looked like.
 7th March.2017
 15th March 2017.
 16th March 2017.
20th March 2017.
I seem to have come to a creative standstill. Only adding little Algerian eye flowers and Lazy Daisy leaves.
Didn't get a chance to update my blog all that time I was away.
How did March treat you? The teaching assignment went well and I spent a week with family, celebrating my mother's 80th birthday with a thanksgiving prayer and lunch.

Thursday, March 16

A Gift of Books

Books are such wonderful gifts and I was the recipient of not one but two books from friends.  
 A Book of Simple Living by Ruskin Bond was sent by a dear friend. She sees my life mirrored in the stories in this book and I must say she's right.
You can open the book at any page and start reading, the stories are more detailed observations and advise which springs from experience.
 
Let me share what I found on page 30.

'The smallest insect in the world is a sort of firefly and its body  is only a fifth of a millimetre long.One can only just see it with the naked eye.Almost like a speck of dust, yet it has perfect little wings and little combs on its legs for preening itself.

That is perfection.'

The second book is from a friend who is a foodie, enjoys my cooking and sends me recipes. He knows I like Bengali food and has brought Mutton Kosha all the way from Bangalore.
I have yet to get started on The Calcutta Cook Book but it's my type of cook book it has stories about the food along with the recipes.
I must add some simple dishes from this book to my repertoire and I'll have a Bengali to critique the results so I can hone my skills of preparing Bengali cuisine.

I hope you have something interesting to read. Have a great weekend.

ShareThis