Tuesday, December 23

Merry X'mas & a Wonderful 2K9

That's my Christmas tree and the cross stitched ornaments on it. I'm going out of town and will be back in the first week of 2K9. Wish all of you a warm joyful Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful new year.

Friday, December 19

Did you know ?

I thought this one was real cool. came by it at Monster Munch. One more fact - this is my 100th post. Woohoo!!!

Thursday, December 18

Another post about ATC's

I began this blog last year around this time.Its been an eventful year full of learning thanks tothe various interactions blogging affords you .
One such was the world of ATC's and the first opportunity to participate was Cyber Fyber .
Susan Lenz is a fiber artist and the brain behind the Cyber Fyber exhibition - an intenational event which focuses on the influence of internet access for fiber artists today.
I exchanged a postcard and an ATC with Susan. See them here. Susan has videos of the ATC's and postcards she has recieved if you'd like to see how varied they can be.
On Stitchin Fingers I joined the Fiber ATC group and did a couple of swaps, adding to my modest but growing collection of fiber ATC's.
Here's one I swapped with Anna. in the UK. I call this one "My Hippy Heart".

This one which I call "Heart of Gold" I sent to Gina in Australia who organised the first swap on Stitchin Fingers.Apologies for the blurry pic. I've joined the ATC trading group on Yahoo which has trades of cards in all sorts of media but I'm lurking for the moment because those trades are pretty elaborate ones but I'm learning new things there too - Steampunk for one.I wasn't aware of it as a genre until a couple of months back!

Now if you'd like to get started and trade ATC's there's The International Random ATC Swap which is a part of the Cyber Fyber event. Read about it here.

Friday, December 12

November - TIF

I've completed the Take it Further challenge for November. The theme was typography.

In India you need to travel from one state to another and the language changes, most have their own distinct alphabet.Most people will grow up learning Hindi ,English and the language of the state they live in .Now if you happen to be native of another state then you'll probably be speaking some other language at home and should you move to work in another part of the country you'll atleast pick up a smattering of the language in that state too! Fascinating wouldn't you say and did I mention dialects? The mind boggles.
For the page on the left I chose to look for typography of Indian languages, I got these from food packaging.I've stitched it - a la crazy quilting style onto a piece of card paper cut out from a cereal box.The top looks kind of bare and is calling out for something with a bit of punch and colour. I'm hoping I'll get lucky in a day or two when I go grocery shopping.

This is the little sampler embroidered on the page on the right. Its all of 4 inches x 6 inches.

I'd hoped to be efficient and have the challenge completed by the end of the year but life in general does have other plans as we all know. So, the challenge for December will be tackled in January and The Take it Further book will be completed early in 2009 and featured right here. I hope you'll keep visiting though.

I'm going to be putting up our Christmas tree this weekend, very exciting considering its done every alternate year and I have some new ornaments to put on the tree. Have a great weekend.

Monday, December 8

TAST - Palestrina Stitch

I'm working simultaneously on about four different projects and haven't had an opportunity to post anything this past week.
Did manage to finish the sample of Palestrina stitch and get a photograph this morning.

Is that picture a bit blurry? Probably going cross eyed finishing up some last minute cross stitch X'mas tree ornaments. The pictures of said ornaments will be spectacular I promise once I decorate the tree this coming weekend.

I'm going to put TAST on the back burner until February which will mean close to twelve stitches to catch up with but there are projects with deadlines looming large on the horizon.It's a decision I've had to make if I have to retain my sanity!

Thursday, November 27

X'mas tree Ornaments

Making some tree ornaments. I get to put up our Christmas tree every alternate year and this year is one of those years.
I'm making a couple of ornaments for the tree, I like to add one or two to my collection each year and I'm making a few to send to my sister in Hong Kong.
Other bloggers are busy making ornaments too, some have been making them through the year in stitch alongs and ornament swaps.
Here are some links to blogs which have freebie or complementary charts you can follow to make tree ornaments for your personal use.




Monday, November 24

ATC's and an Award.

I've been doing quite a bit the past few weeks but I just haven't got down to updating all of you on the happenings. Let's hope that's going to be remedied starting this week.

I've recieved some ATC's in the post. So let me show you.
This one is from Anna who makes amazing corsets and is equally adept at creating unconventional fabrics.My ATC to you will be in the mail this week,finally got a few done - that's one of the things I've been doing the past few weeks.
This one's from Gina in Australia who organised the first ATC swap on Stitchin Fingers. Gina I finally have an ATC to swap with you, on that one on one swap we've been mailing each other about.About time ! I imagine you must be saying.
Thank-you Anna and Gina for taking my ATC collection to 3.

I've also been given an award by T&S a couple of weeks back.Thank-you for the Premio Dardos award.
The norms of the Premio Dardos award is to pick 15 blogs who deserve this award for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.

Hmm... 15 is a bit much and lately a number of people have blogged about the absurdity of awards and made their blogs "tag free zones" so I'm just going to list blogs I personally find culturally enriching,are creative and original.
I'm not going to notify the authors of these blogs so there's no pressure and compulsion to comply with the rules and pass the award on to 15 people!!!
If you are reading this and have a culturally enriching blog , then please consider yourself a recipient of the Premio Dardos award.

Thursday, November 20

TAST - Oyster Stitch

Cinzia is back after her holiday and TAST has begun again with Oyster Stitch.This one is new to me.
Get to see all the inspiring stitch samples done by the nimble fingers of the participants of TAST by clicking here.

Thursday, November 13

Sep - TIF

The pages for the September TIF. I've followed the suggested colour palette.
The challenge for September was Lists. Lists....hmm..... gave it much thought and couldn't come up with anything all through September probably because I'm not a lists person.I have a diary and make notes in it - when the utilities have to be paid, birthdays, appointments and I stick in movie tickets , write short recipes that sort of thing but lists I don't make lists.
So in departing from the tradition of the TIF's done in previous months where I stuck to both theme and colour palette I've gone with the colour palette and created two compositions. I won't call them representations of the given theme, just compositions where I had great fun going wild with herringbone stitch.

The page on the left. I wrote out things I had marked in my diary in September but the herringbone stitch just grew organically outwards and obliterated all the writing done with a marker and I think it is better that way.

The page on the right.
I'm working on the TIF for November

Friday, November 7

Recording history in the Little Red Book

"The times are rare when history stands still to watch a man change its momentous course.
Barack Obama holds out hope for all the world's sidelined. For he has proved with conviction that nothing - neither skin nor suppression nor two centuries of vicious hatred - can stop a man from taking the centre stage of history. Yes, we can .... we all can."
- The Economic Times. 6th November 2008.

Have a good weekend.I'm going to be watching Quantum of Solace, the new Bond film.

Tuesday, November 4

October TIF

The challenge for October was to represent your studio or workspace.My work is done sitting on a black sofa listening/watching BBC or Bollywood music on 9Xm or the fantastic foreign language movies on NDTV Lumiere or World Movies. I have three round palm leaf baskets stuffed with the things I need to do my work. Embroidery thread, scissors, pin cushion, packets of beads and sequins. I'm a magpie and collect all manner of things which find their way into these three baskets - sweet wrappers, foil from chocolate bars,the plastic ribbons off bouquets, currently its beer bottle caps which I have flattened with the kitchen tongs and the labels carefully peeled off the beer bottles too. I work on more than one project at any given time and mingled in with all this is the newspaper, my mobile phone and the innumerable remote controls and when R is around there is his mobile and blackberry which gets added to the accumulation of stuff .

Now here's the interpretation.

The detail of the page on the right.That's the foil from a chocolate bar which is backed with polythene so it didn't tear when I stitched it down with running stitch. I quite like the texture that resulted and there's a small one inch square of card, pock marked with stabs of the needle which has been used a number of times as the foundation for the hand pieced patchwork scarves I make.
The page on the left.There are the beer bottle caps and the jumble of embroidery threads.The semi circle represents the palm leaf basket.
The challenge for November is to use typography or text which I really like.I'll be working on the September challenge too which was "lists".
A month to go and the year will be over.Its been a productive year and I'll have my first fibre book to show for all the work I've put into this challenge.
Sharon B has outlined the challenge for next year, read more about it here.

Wednesday, October 22

Monsoon Moodiness

Its been raining. Its the monsoon. Days are grey and moody.Everything is wet and soggy perfect for mould to proliferate. Its getting cooler and its dark by 6.30 in the evening. Perfect weather to sip tea and eat all manner of comfort food. Watch movies, everthing is slowing down most of all the economy. I still have a couple of million little stitches to embroider and my list of to do things, to contemplate and complete.
The visual is from the Little Red Book a visual representation of the monsoon .See more visuals of this project here.

Monday, October 20


I've been working on another narrow patchwork scarf. this one has some patches of tussar silk embroidered at random with fly stitch.

Will show you the finished scarf in a couple of days.I'm using the paper foundation method of patchwork. I have only worked with squares and rectangles, must try other shapes.

Monday, October 13

7 Little known Facts

Monika of Red2White who creates the most beautiful felt fashion accessories has tagged me for this meme. The rules are:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Ok now for the seven random or weird facts about myself .

1. I'm left handed. ( how cool is that - I've been told by many people)

2. I'm allergic to ice.( weird or what)

3. I don't have just one sweet tooth but 32.

4.I have a white(platinum?) streak in my hair - its natural and most people don't believe its natural.I make bets with myself when I meet someone for the first time that they will find a way to ask me straight after they compliment me on how striking it is and then look in disbelief when I say its natural.

5. I'm thinking of starting an Etsy shop ( have I said that a hundred times already?)

6.I hate being hot and sweaty

7.I love simple things designed and made beautifully with the greatest attention to detail.Kitsch things and those which are over the top are equally interesting to me.( Let's just say my taste is eclectic , I'm clarifying for all of you who think I'm fickle and undecided)

At the end of this exercise one of two things can happen - my little tribe of four who follow my blog will increase by leaps and bounds or there will be no one who can handle this degree of weirdness.

Now to tag 7 people and let them know.

Paddy's Daughter , Art Propelled , The Plum Tree , Arth and Nitya , Serendipity , ArtnLight and Greetings from the Shady Grove

Friday, October 10

TAST - Knotted Cretan

Long overdue but done at last. Knotted Cretan Stitch.
This month is choc-a-block with festivals, this week was Dassehra, a long weekend and many people out of the city.Its going to be a quiet weekend.
Thank-you for visiting and following this blog, I appreciate it.

Monday, October 6


I've been slaving over this sheer cotton silk scarf for the past two or is it three weeks, trying to populate it with random lines of cretan stitch to produce an overgrown effect. Its getting there.

The square patches are tussar silk appliqued onto the cotton silk with running stitch.

Wednesday, October 1

"Mantles of Myth-Narratives in Indian Textiles"

A three day conference to unravel and explain the stories which a number of Indian textiles tell.
"Siyahi's Translating Bharat comes forward with yet another endeavor to understand, explore and discover Indian literature. We are focusing on the origins of myths and stories that laid the founding stones of its history. These myths and stories have been transformed into oral traditions, bards, songs, rituals, creative works, performing arts and textiles.
Indian textile style has evolved with the development of civilization and its significance is hallowed by traditions. According to the Rig Veda and the Upanishads, the universe is a continuous fabric with a grid pattern upon which cycles of life are painted. In the Atharva Veda, day and night are said to spread light and darkness over the earth as weavers throw a shuttle on the loom.
Textiles with narratives are seen across the country and their range varies from painted and printed textiles to woven and embroidered pieces. These textiles tell us multiple stories and represent myths sacred to indigenous communities across the country. Many have religious and ritual value in the cultures they come from whereas others are folk and tribal textiles that carry narratives of their origins and legends of their ancestors and gods.These textiles remind us of the riches of material culture in traditional communities and the wealth of accumulated knowledge which is generally ignored. They augment the existing rich verbal and oral literary traditions that record and map cultures. Understanding and translating these is a key element of the Translating Bharat Project. An understanding of the real India is possible only by fathoming its multiple histories in myriad tongues and forms.
Mantles of Myth will be a three day conference wherein textile experts, writers, poets, musicians, performers, narrators, will bring together the diverse riches and variegated forms of story telling.
This conference will provide a forum for discussions, debate and interaction to focus on how essential and integral it is for us to protect and preserve our folk lore, literary traditions and the colors and threads of our culture."
From 13th - 15th December in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Read more about this three day event here.

Thursday, September 25

TAST - Couching

That's the Couching sample. Still trying to catch up with TAST but there's a little break for about a month which I'm looking forward to.Should be up to date with TAST by the time Cinzia gets back from her holiday in Italy and starts posting the stitches each week.
I've couched down foil from a bar of chocolate, curly bits of plastic ribbon from a bouquet, acrylic wool and tussar silk.

Friday, September 19

TAST - Up & Down Buttonhole Stitch

The Up and Down Buttonhole was new to me and I enjoyed working on the sampler. I plan on using it on my next scarf actually a lot of TAST is going to find its way onto my scarves which I think should give them a new dimension.
Have some catching up to do with TAST and TIF but for the next four days we're taking a break and going up to the hills. So see you all mid week next week and have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 18

Sequential Design - The Invisible Woman

I tried posting the little animated clip of The Invisible Woman but it takes forever to download.So here is the link to view it. This is the work of Lou Trigg embroiderer extraordinaire who's blog and website I'm going to be exploring right after this post.

I came across The Invisible Woman on Jude's blog who does extremely thought provoking and inspiring work.

This should keep you on the net for hours.Like you need an excuse!!!

Wednesday, September 17

The two sides of Fall

One side has more oranges and browns and the other side has white and grey in addition to the browns and oranges.
Fall - Tussar silk patchwork scarf. 72 inches x 3 inches.
That's the finished scarf.

Thursday, September 11


I'm busy hand piecing a patchwork scarf. Its all in tussar silk.
Squares cut from the cardboard of cereal and museli boxes make for the foundation onto which I tack the tussar silk.
The squares get laid out on the floor and I play around with the arrangement until I'm happy with the composition then they get stitched together.The cardboard foundation comes out at a later date. The scarf gets pieced together in sections.
I'm making this one like all my other patchwork scarves like a tube and this one will have slightly different colours on the other half. Colours which are a touch lighter. The finished scarf will be 60 inches x 3 inches.

Tuesday, September 9

Call of the Wild

T & S's passion for wildlife photography has resulted in a portfolio of stunning work.
On the look out for free loaders

Gone in twenty minutes
A spectacular series of photographs of a pack of Dhole (Indian wild dogs) making a kill and feeding on the Chital (Spotted deer) ,a rare event which T&S were witness to. Maybe gory for some but that's the wild for you, nothing stage managed just the natural order of things.
Be a part of T&S's wild experiences (not all gory) by visiting their photo blog - Walk the Wilderness. They are newbies to blogging so go on over and say hello and their photographs I assure you, will wow! you.
( All images courtesy T&S)

Friday, September 5

TAST - Barred Chain & Alternating Barred Chain

I'm running late on TAST but by just one stitch. Check out this site to see more samples worked with the Barred Chain and Alternating Barred Chain.
On an entirely different note and not a pleasant one. A fellow blogger encountered a nasty case of plagiarism, read about it here and learn about some useful tips to fight this malaise.(check out the comments)

Wednesday, September 3


I'd like to introduce you to Sophie Christopher an artist and textile designer whose chosen medium of expression is tapestries.
Movement, Change, Processing -188 x 95 cms

The Point Is Always The Same 339 x 60 cms

Two Slow Cats And A Rooster 196 x 123 cms

Do check out Sophie's website and click on the images to get more detailed views in order to appreciate the manner in which the colours are mixed and the painstaking effort required to weave one of these beauties.Then I bet you will get in touch with her to commission a tapestry.
( All images courtesy Sophie Christopher)

Saturday, August 30

August TIF

The August TIF and just in the nick of time. The challenge posed for August was Balance.
I think one is constantly challenged by the need to balance things and there are no formulas.
In my explorations this month I've represented the fact that images which are symmetrical like the form on the right hand page are more easily balanced and symmetry is what we gravitate towards whereas asymmetry balance is more difficult to achieve- the image on the left hand page is an attempt at achieving asymmetrical balance.

Thursday, August 28

Retail Therapy of the Crafty kind

Working on various projects had me cooped up in the house for too long and I needed a change of surroundings to simply chill out for a bit and the Dastkar Nature Bazaar provided just that.
A society for crafts and craftspeople Dastkar is a registered society that aims at improving the economic status of craftspeople, thereby promoting the survival of traditional crafts. It was founded in 1981 by six women, who had worked in the craft and development sector.
Some of what caught my eye.

Dried gourds as lampshades. Quite pretty when lit up.

Some crafts people I was seeing for the first time like this stall which had masses of oxidised silver charms and beads wrapped and macramed into jewellery. I saw some girls getting their hair twined with thread. Wonder if they got bells and charms dangling at the end.

Mirror work embroidery from western India.

Colied grass baskets and containers from Bihar

Applique from Orissa.This was a fairly large hanging.
I go each year to buy sarees for my mother and I bought a little elephant wind chime/hanging/bell thingy, very cute. Incidentally the theme for the bazaar this year was the elephant.
The bazaar is on until the 1st of Sep, 10am to 7pm. The Naga lady has some bead necklaces which are very tempting, maybe I'll go back and go overboard and give Visa/Mastercard some copy for their next priceless advertisement.
Jewellery, sarees, & everything in sight - Rs.75,000
Twined and charm laden extreme hairdo - Rs.5,000
Expression on husband's face - Priceless
(The joke would be on me if R didn't recognise me with my extreme hippy hairdo but then again...)

Monday, August 25

The Idan Raichel Project "Out of the Depths" & Architecture in Helsinki - Like it or Not

Thank-you Sophie for the youtube link.Wonderful music to start the week with.Wonder what the effect of such soulful music will have on my work?

Architecture in Helsinki - Like It Or Not from helsinkids on Vimeo.

Now this one is more relevant to my blog - visually speaking.Came across it on Tonya's blog and like she suggests I turned down the volume to mute because Architecture in Helsinki by Helsinkids is not my type of music but the animated embroidery is fantastic.

Friday, August 22

Lambanification of the Biscornu

In March this year I conducted a workshop "Folk Expressions" in Lambani embroidery at NIFT Bangalore for their cluster developement project and the form of the biscornu became central to my explorations in product diversification.
I got some pictures a couple of days back so I thought I'd share them with you.(Yeah, yeah I know its August).

That's a decorative hanging. Decorated with tassels and cowrie shells, so typical of Lambani embroidery.

Biscornu in different sizes.Filled with polyfil they make soft, beautiful cushions and conversation pieces.
The Lambani favour bright colours and high contrast.The women who embroidered these pieces were pretty much given a free hand in the choice of colours and they did a great job. They have a great instinct for colour.
Here's one intended as a floor cushion. I could do with a couple.
Have a super weekend.