Monday, December 26

A Joyous X'mas and a Marvellous New Year

I hope your Christmas was a jolly affair if you celebrate and you're holiday season is filled with good cheer. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all the 243 people who have chosen to follow this blog and anyone else who might stop here, an awesome 2012. I wish each one of you a year of happiness, good health and boundless energy and inspiration.

R and I are off on a five day trek to Dodital,Uttarkashi. Its going to be an adventure which has us so excited.
We'll be ringing in the new year in what promises to be a winter wonderland.
Stay safe,stay warm and I'll catch up with you in the new year.

Thursday, December 22


 The elements which define Graffitti -  skinny cotton silk scarf, appliqued with tussar silk, chain stitched, tea dyed ,running stitch details, a raw edges finished with blanket stitch and tassels  .
 A soft feel and a primitive appearance characterises  Graffitti.
This scarf is the first in a series exploring the representation of circles. The circle is a recurring element in my work ( like you never noticed) so in the next couple of scarves I make I'm going to explore embroidery and sewing methods/techniques to create a circular form and circular patterns. This is one of the techniques I'll be trying.

Wednesday, December 14

What's Cookin?

What's cookin'? The Christmas tree is up and decorated. I like the ritual of decorating the tree and remembering the story behind each ornament. I also like to add at least one new ornament each year, this year's addition is a pretty enamelled bauble decorated with poinsettias and holly which was given by my sister. 
2011 is drawing to an end and I have been scouting for projects to be involved in, in the new year. I've signed up for two projects TAST 2012 and Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2012 . If embroidery and creating heavily embellished surfaces interest you. You might consider signing up for these two challenges. The Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) will document events and milestones in each month of 2012 and will be compiled into a fabric book eventually .I think I'll make flowers the theme and incorporate silk ribbon embroidery (SRE) flowers .SRE is going to be another first so I've signed up for tutorials .

What project or challenge are you contemplating taking up in the new year? Cathy Cullis has thought out and discussed at length how one can go about choosing a project.   
With embroidering scarves, Crazy Quikt Jourbal Project and Take a Stitch Tuesday its going to be a packed schedule but when I came across this blog during a blog hop I couldn't help but wonder if I could devise a similar project which would help me recyle flyers I get in the newspaper most mornings and improve my origami skills. I'd like to do something similar, any suggestions?
If you're wondering about the pictures in this post, this is what's currently cookin' - a scarf I appliqued, tea dyed in a cast iron vessel and am currently embroidering.
Drop a line, I'm off to make a cup of tea and browse the net.

Tuesday, November 22


Pebbles - a silk cotton scarf
 Circular forms of different sizes stitched with running stitch.The random placement of the circular forms reminded me of pebbles scattered.
Colours used are browns, greys and a space dyed black and white.

Pebbles is now available for sale at Plantation House which has moved into a larger space on level 1 at the Leela Galleria, Bangalore.

Wednesday, November 16

Embellisher needs your votes!

The shortlist for the Covered in Stitches Contest is out and my embroidered interpretation of  The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency has made the shortlist.

 I need your votes dear readers. Please click on this link and vote for The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Embellisher. Voting is open until 22nd November 12 am CST.

Stupendous embroidered creations were entered into this contest which can be viewed here.

Update - 24th Nov.2011
The Winners of the Covered in Stitches Contest have been annouced - read about it here .
Thank you for your votes, it was a fun contest and it was wonderful to have ones work make the shortlist.

Monday, October 24

Namma Metro

Bangalore has a metro service and we took a ride on Sunday night. 
 From Vivekananda road to M.G. Road.
 Shared a pitcher of beer and a plate of fries at a pub on Church Street before taking the last train back.
It's a great addition to the city. Can't wait for the network to grow and expand and become like the NYC Metro which I simply love.

Thursday, October 20


 Entrapment. People must wonder where I come up with the names for my scarves. Usually the pattern, the colour or texture suggests a name. In this case I caught a bit of the movie Entrapment while embroidering this scarf!
Its a silk cotton scarf, two colours divide the scarf into two halves along the length of the scarf. Zig zagging lines of chain stitch and circles of sequins embellish Entrapment.
Entrapment and Purple Prose will be available at Plantation House just in time for Diwali!

Monday, October 10

Embroidered interpretation of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency

The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency interpreted as an embroidered piece for the Covered in Stitches contest    

I've used French Knots for the  crocodile, Stem stitch, Open chain, Chain stitch, Herringbone and Buttonhole wheel to name a few. Some applique. All images will enlarge if clicked on. 

A detail. Other than framing this embroidered interpretation I wonder what I can do with it. Any ideas?

 The cover illustration for the book is by Hannah Firmin.See more of her richly coloured  wood and lino cut illustrations here.
Take a look at other submissions for the Covered in Stitches Contest - here and there's time until the 7th of November if you'd like to participate.
Have a great week.

Monday, October 3

Purple Prose

Purple Prose my latest creation. Cotton silk scarf embroidered with tiny sequins and appliqued with pieces of silk.  
Will be available for sale at Plantation House.

Friday, September 23

Covered in Stitches

From pen and ink to being covered in stitches.
Read all about it here.

Covered in Stitches is about embroidering the cover for your favourite book. It may be the existing cover illustration/image you choose to interpret in stitch or you create the cover illustration.
Guess which book cover I've chosen to interpret in stitch?. Don't you love that French knot Croc? I'm quite pleased with the way its turning out. Next update I'll have a pic of the book cover I'm interpreting.

I've won tickets to go watch Johnny English Reborn this weekend, thanks to Radio Indigo.
Hope your weekend is wonderful.

Saturday, September 10

Pen & Ink

Here are the pen and ink sketches I've been working on.
The Woodlands Big Bungalow was built in 1830 or so.
There's a monkey puzzle tree in the garden which is so tall it can be spotted from Doddabetta in Ooty. It was raining when I went to sketch this particular bungalow so I sat in the back of the Scorpio with the radio on, R was reading his book and we were served tea there by the butler.
Engifer the family cat at the home of the Managing Director came to inspect my progress.
There's a stunning garden in front of the bungalow with a beautiful lily pond and weeping willows. Bison are frequent visitors and can be found sitting on the lawn chewing the cud early in the morning.
The Manar Bungalow
Elephants come to eat the Jackfruit when the tree at the back of the house bears fruit. There's a lot of wildlife on the Craigmore property. Bison can be seen grazing in the tea fields at all times of night and day, camera traps set up by WWF to map the flora and fauna on Craigmore have captured leopards and panthers. Tiger has been sighted but has not been captured on film.
The Halashana Bungalow
A large garden umbrella was found to protect me and the sketch from the unpredictable weather so I could continue my sketching unhindered for two or three hours at a stretch. Garden umbrella, folding chair and table became a part of the standard equipment which were loaded into the Scorpio every morning.
The Craigmore Tea Factory. R's first visit to a tea factory to see how Orthodox tea is manufactured.
I sat in the tea fields under a garden umbrella, listening to my ipod while sketching the factory. Inspite of the garden umbrella I got sun burnt.
Must say this has been the most luxurious assignment I've had to date.

Monday, September 5


This is where I currently reside. Its temporary but absolute bliss and I'm soaking it all in - fresh mountain air, sumptuous meals which I don't have to whip up, beds turned down at night, a bell to ask for more green tea.... I can go on and on. Its the most luxurious assignment I've been on to date and I'm getting used to it at an alarming rate, I have to keep reminding myself its temporary.
The assignment is to make pen and ink sketches of bungalows and factories on Craigmore tea estate and paint watercolours of the stunning landscape. Craigmore has been in existence since 1884. The Chairman's bungalow is the first in the series of pen and ink sketches and I've photographed it on a red oxide floor which is characteristic of old estate bungalows. Someone decided to walk all over my sketch, can you spot the centipede or is it a millipede? Partial view of the verandah and the garden. The trees are grand and gorgeous, all a part of the quaint lifestyle on a tea estate. I'll be sharing more glimpses of this life in posts to come.
It's time for evening tea.I hope you're week is magical.

Friday, September 2

Bathed in Bokeh

The cotton silk stoles I embroidered for the commission I mentioned in my last post was inspired by Bokeh.
The vision I had was of a person photographed wearing my stole in such a manner that the sequins of different sizes stitched at random would be transformed into bokeh in the photograph and make the person appear to be bathed in bokeh.
I hope the ladies who are gifted these stoles will derive immense pleasure wearing them and garner plenty of compliments too.

Thursday, August 25

What happened to August

I last posted in July and now its almost the end of August!
August has gone past in a flash..... wow. A month of hectic activity and travel.
I was in Kerala at the beginning of the month conducting an embroidery workshop for thirty women. I usually get the participants to start a sampler on the first day so I can assess what embroidery stitches they know, their skill level and its a surface for them to practise the stitches I introduce to them. This is my sampler. It was a good workshop and I don't get to say that very often.
There's been a lot of travel and time with family. My teenage nephew has educated me about the electric guitar and rock music which he's extremely passionate about. Did you know there are people who would list guitar tech as their profession? I didn't know. My ignorance regarding all things related to electric guitars was shocking to say the least but Z was kind enough to show me YouTube videos to explain a technique or demonstrate them if he could. Shredding, Floyd Rose the Wah Wah pedal and Steve Vai. Glimpses into a whole different world. Amazing.
I've also been working on a small commission which I'm happy to report is now labelled, appropriate packaging created, tags designed and attached and ready for delivery.
There's more travel next week, this time to work on a painting and sketching commission. I'm looking forward to it because I'll be going to the Blue Mountains.

Wednesday, July 20

Embellished Fragments

In my last post I wrote of a path I was exploring but I now find I'm exploring more than one path simultaneously. One such path which I would like to call Embellished Fragments has begun with this first piece.
Bits and pieces of silk and cotton some dyed with tea, others used for hand pieced patchwork and embroidered wisdom have come together in the creation of Fear Less.

Would you buy something like this? You might ask - what purpose Fear Less serves? To which I would answer - its a fragment - frame it, incorporate it into a quilt or just keep it in a drawer or folded and kept in your purse so you can touch, read and ponder the meaning of the words embroidered on the fragment.
I leave on a project tomorrow- (yet another path!) I'll be back in the first week of August.

Thursday, July 14


Tussar silk stole, dyed with tea, silk applique and sequins.
Got two shades of tea. One edge of the stole was dyed with tea boiled in a stainless steel vessel - the resultant shade was more golden, whereas the edge dyed in a cast iron vessel with tea resulted in a more dark nut brown colour.
I'm going to be exploring a new path which has opened up rather unexpectedly - excited, curious and just a teeny tiny smattering of butterflies in the tummy. Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 23


It's turned cool and cloudy and everyday holds the promise of a thunder shower late in the evening and its found its way into Splash.
Splash is a small square cotton silk scarf the sort you knot at the neck or wear as a head scarf. Bleach helped create the splotchy effect and running stitch which covers almost the entire surface provides texture.
The process of creating Splash got me thinking. Getting up, getting dressed and showing up has been the mantra R and I have followed for the past year. Clouds promising rain gather on the horizon and then melt away..... like Splash which was not planned but evolved I'm hoping both our actions and choices are in preparation for the splash in our life which will be monumental. I just need the grace to live in the moment until then and I can't wait to look back and see the pattern and texture which we created which enriched us and got us to the next level.

As for the future, your task is not to predict it, but to enable it ........ Antoine de Saint- Exupery.

Discovering a little line like this is so inspiring. Which is the quote which inspires you?

Tuesday, June 7

Brown and Blue

My adventures with pashmina include a snuff brown stole and a midnight blue one.
Detail of the applique done with silk cotton fabric and sequins.
Soft folds of pashmina
Diagonal lines of blanket stitch and sequins enhance a midnight blue pashmina stole.
Both stoles are now available at Plantation House.