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.

Monday, August 18

Web Wanderings # 3 - Flag Book

Instead of working on the August TIF and TAST -Cross stitch I have been wandering the web and I've been wowed, I think that's a word - in any case it describes my awe when I discovered a Flag Book and thanks to Google( what would we do without google - no I'm getting paid for this line) I was further shocked and awed by all the creativity shown with Flag Books.

This fabulous example of a flag book by Cristina Montejo - Alligator Hunt is her first attempt at a flag book!
Now if you want to make a flag book , you'll find instructions here.

Wednesday, August 13

Web Wanderings # 2 - Tifaifai

I'd seen visuals of Hawaian quilts but I wasn't aware of the term Tifaifai. While perusing blogs this afternoon I came across the Pomegranate Tifaifai which Dijanne Cevaal is in the process of creating, this prompted me to wander the web in search of Tifaifai.
This is some of what I found.
A “tifaifai” (pronounced: tea-fae-fae) is the Tahitian version of a quilt and is an integral part of Polynesia's home and heritage. The tifaifai is similar to a quilt in that the patterns are appliquéd to a background fabric. Since the climate in Tahiti remains temperate year round, tifaifai are made from lightweight fabric (as opposed to heavy quilt designs) that is intricately appliquéd and hemmed around the edges.
The history of the tifaifai is not entirely clear, but its roots have been traced to the arrival of missionaries in the late 1700's. During that time, sailors from the Dutch East India Company allegedly wooed young Tahitian women with Scherenschnitte, a signature pattern made by folding paper in eighths, then diagonally to make a triangle. Next, certain areas of the triangle would be cut (or torn) to create a snowflake pattern when unfolded, and given to the young girl as a memento. It is believed that the snowflake pattern design now seen on Tahitian tifaifai was influenced by these early Dutch sailors' gifts. Tahitians began creating colorful tifaifai designs based on the snowflake design.
Tradition held that once a tifaifai pattern was used, that pattern was to either be destroyed or passed on to a family member. That family member could only use the design if he or she added a signature design to it and gave it a new name.Overtime, Tahitian tifaifai evolved and the designs became larger in physical size, yet the process of folding into eighths was abandoned for folding into fourths. (By contrast, Hawaiians still fold fabric into eights when making Hawaiian quilts.) This difference in design is key in determining the origin of a particular tifaifai.

Night Sky



Click here to view some beautiful Tifaifai.
I've been inspired to work with the tifaifai concept for the August TIF.Watch this space.

Monday, August 11

TAST - Fly Stitch

I have been working on Jungle and planning work on an ATC and a postcard which I need to send out soon, so TAST - Fly Stitch this week got delayed.
No progress on the August TIF and I'm seriously considering participating in the Bead Journal Project (BJP) 2008.
I'm hoping involvement in all these various projects ( and I haven't listed everything, not even half) will make me more efficient,better at managing my time and somewhere along the way I'll learn to be able to say "No" to some things however exciting and fantastic they may be, but then again you don't always get a second chance so I think I'll have to improve my instincts to recognise a once in a life time opportunity and go ahead and take the plunge and simply follow my bliss.

Wednesday, August 6


Feather stitch growing organically on this piece. It will be reversible and the two and a half metres makes it versatile - dupatta, stole or sarong.Three bands of colour - black, blue and brown. Soft cotton silk which drapes like a dream.

Friday, August 1

TAST - Feather Stitch

My second favourite stitch is Feather stitch.The little plant like forms on the left of the sample are reminiscent of block prints from Gujarat and Rajasthan. I particularly like the enmeshed rows of feather stitch at the top right corner which seem to grow organically in all directions. I've begun embroidering a dupatta - two and a half metres long and forty four inches wide, haven't decided or planned the outcome just organically growing feather stitch.
Go over to Stitchin Fingers to view all the explorations other people have done with Feather Stitch. Have a great weekend.Sharon has posted the TIF challenge for August. The colour palette is quite nice and different from what came up in previous months. Will be thinking of the challenge and figuring out how to tackle it as I go through the weekend.