Thursday, June 20

Embroidered poetry commission

The poem - Where the Mind is without Fear was my first commission and that has since brought about others.
I received another commission to embroider the very same poem for a dear friend. 
Similar but different is what makes each piece so unique.
The embroidered poem is for her father who served in the Indian airforce  and so I chose to embroider the poem in blue.

Working on the border. My signature appliqued silk circles with multi coloured buttonhole wheels. 
The completed piece. I hope my friend's father will like the way I've visually represented his favourite poem.

Sunday, June 9

Colours, Textures, Forms and Composition

We were driving to Wellington and had no intention to go to Hawke's Bay but our GPS had a mind of it's own and at around noon we started noticing vineyards and boards displaying address' which had Napier on them. We were puzzled but decided to make the most of what the location had to offer and have lunch at one of the vineyards.
We chose to drive into the Te Awa Winery.
The dining area at Te Awa. It was a grey blustery day but inside it was warm. Very few patrons but service was excellent and we got a great view of the vineyards beyond the large glass doors.
There's outside seating but that day because of the weather there was no service outdoors. 
We ordered the Gimblett Sampler
Beautifully plated, the food was a visual delight and it brought back memories of classes in the Elements of Design. We aren't connoisseurs of  haute cuisine, we are more the hearty home cooking sorts but it was an interesting meal. The chef was obviously an artist.
Ora King salmon crudo, wild fennel & granny smith.

Little neck clams, wine, saffron and mustard cream.

Mata figs, milk curd,cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds and fig leaf. 

Hillcroft mushrooms, port wine broth, pecorino custard.

Venison Boudin noir, pine nut, pickled cabbage.
Along with the bill came these two marshmallows. The best, softest marshmallows I've ever tasted.
Space outside the Kidnappers Cliffs Room for private dining for 8 - 20 people. Love the outdoor fireplace.

I've forgotten the taste of the food but I will look at the pictures of the food as a great resource for creating colour palettes in future.
What unexpected encounters with food have you had and have you used this experience in your work?
Are you guilty, like me of photographing the food when you eat out? My husband has learned to wait patiently while I photograph the food. He doesn't understand why I do it but he indulges me. :)
Hope you have a great week.

Friday, May 31

The National Weaving School at Te Puia

I last posted in February and the months have flown and after three months I've finally got a chance to update Million Little Stitches.
There's much that has happened and I have matter for at least five posts but I have been travelling and we have been hosting a number of guests. I'm hoping to catch up with my blogging in June.

Our travels took us to New Zealand. In Rotorua I got to visit the National Weaving School.       
It's good to see that traditional Maori weaving, processing of flax and dyeing are being passed on to younger people who are keeping the traditional practices alive.

A variety of products for various uses are made with the flax.
The Weaving school space is decorated with so many objects suspended from the roof all made with natural materials. 
Students and teachers work at tables quietly conversing and are happy to answer your questions. One can't walk into the space and examine what they are working on. Which is a pity because I had a number of questions.
 There is a gallery where the work of the students are displayed beautifully and available for sale.
 A number of bags called Kete in Maori.

 Intersting use of materials and colours.
 Garments or fashion accessories.
These appear to be like stoles or capes.
 Modern interpretation of something traditional.

 New Zealand is a beautiful country,one can drive all day and see only sheep and cattle and no human beings, everything is orderly and people follow traffic rules. A huge contrast to India which is teeming with people, chaotic and so diverse. In India one still sees the use of traditional textiles in everyday life but other than this weaving school and the gallery I did not see traditional woven Maori textiles anywhere.
The quality of the photographs aren't the best as they were taken with my mobile phone.
Have a great weekend. Hope to have another post up earl next week.
Take care.

Monday, February 11


Plans are afoot to visit New Zealand this year and I was wondering if you could recommend things I should not miss seeing or doing.
We intend to drive as we've been told it's the best way to see the country and along the way I'd like to visit museums, shows or maybe even participate in a workshop if possible. My interest lies in fiber art, embroidery and textiles but I'm open to view and be exposed to anything of beauty and creativity.
Should I avoid something? that would be useful information too.
Thanks in advance for any tips and suggestions you may have.
I hope you have a good week.     

Sunday, February 3

Patch Exchange

In December last year Erin of gatherwhatspills  had put out a call for a patch exchange on Instagram. 
I started work on my patch in January. The starting point were these beer bottle crowns which I flattened out. The husband had got himself some Simba stout and the lion on the crown is a cool dude with sunglasses so I decided that would be my starting point.
Added line after line of embroidery.
And ended up with this. The finished patch. Ready to be posted this week to my exchange partner in Washington DC.
  I've made a couple of round patches which will  be available in my Etsy store along with a few other things. Here's the link to my Etsy shop - millionstitches
We're already in February. Time really flies.
Have a good week.

Wednesday, January 30

Meaning, Metaphor - Handspun and Handwoven in the 21st century.

 I didn't expect to be treated to such a fantastic  textile display 75 kilometers away from where I live.
A display of handspun and handwoven fabrics and sarees first commissioned for Khadi - The fabric of Freedom which was curated by the late Marthand Singh.
The sarees, 108 of them, were designed and produced between 2000 - 01 and a 108 cotton hand spun and handwoven fabrics were woven at handloom centres across the country.
A major part of these 108 sarees and fabrics have been acquired by the Registry of Sarees, Bangalore.
 The collection held by the Registry of Sarees curated this show at the Lakshmi Mills in Coimbatore.
 I just loved the display.Looks like calligraphy to me.

Sunday, January 27

Graffiti in the by-lanes of Fort Kochi

 While trying to locate one of the venues for the Kochi Muziris Biennale I walked down a by -lane expecting to find the gallery but I didn't, instead I found the rear walls of buildings painted with graffiti.   
 Graffiti is a great means to convey a social message. Creating awareness and sensitising people about the use and disposal of plastic which is choking our  waterways, land and oceans is a formidable task.   
 Love the layers and depth achieved in this work. The flimsy single use shopping bags which are silently killing sea life and animals. 

 Some were a tribute to the people of Kerala who bounced back from the devastating floods which wrecked havoc with peoples lives and property.

 This is my favourite. Artist unknown, would be nice to view more work by this artist.
 Guesswho is a graffiti artist who makes me smile.
My sister and I have started posting a picture a day. A picture of some significance to both of us.One picture taken in Hong Kong and another in India. We are on Instagram, do check it out. 852_and_91

Have a great week.