Saturday, March 27

Under the Sea in an Octopus' Garden

Instagram has become my go to place to discover projects to get involved in.
The latest was the opportunity to submit a drawing for the colouring book - Caring Colouring 2  
The invitation was made by Jehane Ltd. Inspired by the touching documentary 'My Octopus Teacher', Caring Colouring - 2 is going to be a crowd sourced colouring book. Participants were asked to submit a black and white line drawing of the page and make a coloured version.     
A limited number of number of books will be printed and distributed to children who need extra support and for people to buy. It will also be possible to download the book as a pdf in return for a donation.
100% of the profits go to the Sea Change Project 
I was drawing after a long time. It was lovely to spend time colouring the underwater scene i had drawn. 
Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, March 23

Seed Bank - #areyoubookenough_red

I've been following @areyoubookenough for the past year but I didn't  get around to making a single book. I was determined to set things right this year.  
The theme for February was Red. My favourite colour.
The empty red plastic casing of the Vitamin B12 I take was the starting point of this little seed bank. 
Made entirely from materials in the house. It was a pleasure putting this book together. 
The materials used are the empty plastic tablet casing,  the covers of the book were cut from the carton of Monsoon Harvest muesli , a bit of jute rope and the paper and red thread are from my stash.
Recycling, repurposing and using fund or thrifted objects are central to my work. 
The little seed bank can be reused. It will make a great gift. People around here are always exchanging seeds and seedlings.

Lime and orange seeds in one page and chilly seeds in another. 
Seeds are precious and I 

Follow @areyoubookenough on Instagram to see how various artists interpret the themes each month. It's extremely inspiring.

Thursday, February 25

Community Conversations

I have been given this opportunity to present my work to the MFA Textiles programme students of Parsons School of Design, NYC.
It will be a zoom presentation.
It's on the 25th of February. 9.30 am - 11 am EST. That will be 8pm IST (India)
Here's a zoom link

Join Zoom Meeting

Excited, hope technology behaves.

Monday, January 4

Looking ahead to 2021 with hope

2020 has come to an end.

The year of the pandemic which kept us confined in lockdown and made us reassess our lifestyles and priorities. 
Despite all these constraints I have grown artistically. Some projects were completed other are works in progress.
Top row - Left to Right
1. A commission - a birthday present for one who likes Michael Leunig and the sea.
2. I organised a fabric page swap with ladies around the world. They are a committed bunch, who made pages and posted them despite restrictions. i still have a couple to mail out. But the group is understanding and patient.I couldn't mail anything until November but it was good to receive a page from the others.
This is the first page I made forr the swap for a lady whose theme was Stampunk and it was for the month of February, therefore the steampunk heart. I enjoyed creting it.
3.A bit of cheeky mending on a pair of trackies.

Middle row - Left to Right
1.The hundred day project. I decided to make a hundred upcycled collages. This is a work in progress.
2. That's me after a much needed haircut, once the lockdown was lifted and restrictions on hair salons were eased.
3.My contribution to the Same Sea Different Boat - Our Isolation Story.  There was  lot of fruit availble. Produce which couldn't get to the cities and towns due to the lockdown and strawberries especially were being sold cheap. I bought quite a number of kilograms and made jam, the hot weather was perfect for pickle making and for tree tomato chutney. 

Bottom row - Left to Right
1.Another page for the fabric page swap. The theme was the sea or the seashore. I think my love of travel and visiting the seaside translated into this page.
2.Embellishment on the upcycled kimonoish robe - The Cocoon. Prompted by Jude of Spirit Cloth and you can take a look at what everybody is creating  @ragmates2020 on Instagram.
3.I made my first quilt - Blooming in my Garden. Entirely hand stitched and embellished, I entered it in the India Quilt Festival 2021. It wasn't shortlisted but the learning has been huge. It got me thinking about all the quilt practises around the country and the world in fact. Everyone of them are practises of thrift, upcycling and recycling. Everyone of them are sustainable and slow processes.

What are you pursuing artistically in 2021?
Do tell, leave a comment, maybe we could collaborate.
I hope it will be a fulfilling year for you.

Tuesday, December 15

Blooming in my Garden

My first quilt ever - Blooming in my Garden is  completed and ready to submit to the India Quilt Festival 2021.
That's the quilt. 3' x 4'  entirely hand stitched except for the binding which was machine stitched by Govindraj, the friendly tailor at Darlington Bridge.
I started the quilt during the lockdown, so apart from designing the quilt I decided to make it an exploration of thrift and sustainability.
So the rules I set myself was to use what I had in my stash  be it fabric, embroidery thread etc. 
The only things I had to buy were a metre of unbleached cotton fabric and iron on paper fusing which I ran out of.
The lovely vivid colored cotton fabric are those I got from a friend who makes garments, the fabric cutoffs from her garment collections.
My garden which has different flowers in bloom as the seasons changed were the inspiration for my motifs.
Every little bit of appliquĂ©,  quilting and joining of blocks was done by hand. I don't have a sewing machine and I couldn't justify buying one just for this project.
All traditional quilts in India are hand sewn be it the Kanthas of Bengal, the Kaudis and Kawandis of Karnataka. A unique artistic expression of the women who make them. Embroidered motifs of flora and fauna found in their environment. They use what they have - give old or torn clothes a new lease of life, a sustainable way of life.
My quilting too is to hold the many layers together so it's simple free-form quilting. The quilt Police will have a lot to say I'm sure.

I used the cartons of Monsoon Harvest  to cut out the paper foundation for the English paper piecing method of patchwork.
For the batting and the back of the quilt I used old bedsheets. Sheets with use and washing have become soft.
It's been a labour of love a project with so much to learn from.
The last big project for 2020.
I'm completing smaller projects for the festive season. A nativity garland to add a Christmas touch to my mum's home. Making batches of easy white chocolate fudge and sending in an application to a gallery which I hope will represent me.

Stay safe and well this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 11

Ben the Bernie

Ben the Bernie who came into our lives in March 2017.
Ben loved his buddy Blackie. Blackie was the alfa and Ben was happy to follow.
Both Ben and Blackie made friends with the cats but they kept their distance.      
Ben was devoted to Blackie. He wouldn't eat if Blackie wasn't  around, he took all his cues from Blackie.

Muruga was one of his favourite people.
Ben taught me perseverance. He would bark endlessly if he wanted a treat. Ben taught me that you can learn to adapt and love again. 
Ben passed away on 29th October, he had a heart attack. I believe he didn't suffer.
I miss my big furry baby.
Rest in peace Ben.