Tuesday, March 25

Slow progress on March TIF

Its slow progress on the March TIF. I still have to get one colour.

This is just work on one page, I'm trying to decide if I should work on another stitch on the other page or simply explore the possibilities of running stitch.

That's a bit of foil in the lower right hand corner. Intersting to see the effect of using a single strand of thread versus two or three. The possibilities are endless actually.

Monday, March 24

Happy Easter

The weekend which has just past has been a significant one full of celebration for just about everybody.Good Friday and Easter for Christians, Holi, Id-e-Milad for Muslims, Navroz for Parsis and New Year for the Baha'i community.

I boiled eggs on Sunday morning and wanted to decorate them with markers but R who loves boiled eggs could not wait for the decorating and photographing before he got to actually eating, so I decided to make Flan or Caramel Custard instead as the special thing to commemorate Easter and since seven eggs went into making it couldn't be more Easterish.

I had to modify the original recipe which Nioves used because you don't get cans of evaporated milk here. Nioves cooked Spanish food for me and was happy to talk to me in Spanish when she saw I was keen to learn.(My Spanish abilities are limited at best) Here's my embroidered recipe in Spanish for Avena which Nioves dictated to me.

It was a good weekend R and I watched the Formula 1 race , this weekend in Sepang, Malaysia- Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari won and on Saturday night we went to watch "The Bucket List". A great movie, Jack Nicholson is simply fantastic.Hope your weekend was memorable.

Saturday, March 22

Happy Holi

Colour, Water fights - Happy Holi. These kids are having a lot of fun. They have all the ammunition for a great time - the boy in front is holding a balloon filled with water, one is holding a bottle filled with coloured water - wonder how that will be used? and the plastic water pistols and guns. Those clothes - no amount of laundering will get the stains and smudges of colour out, and the colour on their faces and hands will remain for atleast a week. What fun.

Friday, March 14

Take it Further Challenge - March

I've just finished the Feb TIF but I've been thinking about the challenge for March and really itching to start on it but I had to finish the February challenge first.

Unlike February where I was struggling to decide on form etc the March challenge that Sharon has set us is "Do you ever notice the little things, the small moments, the details in life? This months challenge is to do just that, pay attention to the tiny details. Sometimes the small things become emblematic for something larger........."
Well, as a result of the Lambani embroidery workshop I am now the proud owner of a beautiful sampler. Practically all the women participating in the workshop have embroidered a motif on the sampler which makes it all the more precious. ( Little bits of embroidery make a beautiful sampler!!!)

On examining their work I discovered that they use simple stitches like the running stitch which they call chuki, becomes the base for a composite stitch, or the detached chain stitch which they call potae is combined with other stitches to create a wider border.

Samples of motifs which have been created on a base of rows of running stitch which are staggered. The variety of motifs which can be generated appears to be limitless and I'd like to explore that in the challenge this month.
Three examples of the use of potae or detached chain stitch, arround a mirror, three rows of detached chain further enhanced with blanket stitch.

So I'll be exploring composite stitches with the colour palette for March.

February TIF Finished Finally!

The title of the post makes the Feb TIF seem to appear to have been a chore, but that's not the case. I was swamped with making 60 sketches and preparing for the Lambani embroidery workshop and I simply didn't get time to sit down and embroider.

The workshop got over on Wednesday and I got my chance to finish the pages for February.

Click on the image to get a closer look at the details.

Thursday, March 6

Lambani Eye Candy

Take a look and tell me you don't feel overwhelmed. I love this, every square inch of the Lambani woman's outfit is embellished and personalised. Talk about making a statement.

The Lambani woman's outfit consists of a skirt or phetiya made up of five distinct bands and secured at the waist with a drawstring tie which hangs down embellished with cowrie shells and tassels , a backless blouse or kaachadi with the characteristic square mirrors embroidered on the front and sleeves and the veil called the chaatiya or ghungato which is a length of commercially printed or woven fabric embellished with a wide band of mirror work and coins.

I got caught up with photographing the embroidery so I don't have enough pictures of the jewellery which is an extremely important part of the whole look. Most of their jewellery is silver except for the nose ring which is gold.
The arm band in the picture above is made up of 25 paise coins and bunches of silver little bells called ghungara and the tassels to tie the armband on, have ghungaroos, cowrie shells and tassels called phunda made of acrylic wool.Silver anklets, 3 anklets no less.
Bangles from elbow to wrist, siver hair clips adorn a distinctive hairstyle. The older women have beautiful tatoos. I must photograph them too.

Applique, tassels of varying sizes made of brightly coloured acrylic wool, square and round mirrors, bells or ghungara, metal buttons, coins and cowrie shells all go to embellish the lambani outfit.
I'm not finished there will be a part two.