Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Theme-tas-stitch 2017:Focus Finish February

Hello Friends,

Its time for first check in for Theme-tas-stitch 2017 SAL. What's that I hear you ask? Theme-tas-stitch 2017 SAL is easy ,no fuss SAL being hosted by Kerry. Each month we are given a theme  and we choose a project which fits it.
The theme for February is Focus Finish . Work on a WIP in your stash that you would love to get finished.  When I joined the SAL I decided to focus on my Candamar Designs kit called Most Beautiful Things Picture, however I knew I can not finish it in one month. But I do want to finish this asap.

I have been able to add 2948 stitches since I started stitching for Focus Finish . I thought of tracking the number of stitches for this as it would give me a better perspective . Then I set up targets, 100 stitches in a week day and 400 stitches each day during the weekend. Looks easy right ...only if I stitch every day. I stitched 13 out of 20 days in February till now.

Here is a before and after picture.Sorry the pictures in night time under a lamp.

If I would have stitched all days and met my stitch target , I would have completed the project this month.
However, I'm happy to report that I have reached the full width and height of the project.

Not much stitching will happen in coming days as its my birthday and Kuwait National day celebrations next week. This is my favourite time of the year in Kuwait with everything decorated with lights.

I'm off to check what other participtants have stitched.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Alphabet Club Catch up post : Letter K

Hello Friends,

I’m back with another TAC catch up post . Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post. I’m happy to know that you found the J words interesting.

This post is going to be a long one, so get a cup of coffee and start reading.

K is for Khaki (UK /ˈkɑːkiː/, Canada and US /ˈkækiː/) is a color, a light shade of yellow-brown. Khaki is a loanword incorporated from Hindustani (Urdu or Hindi) ख़ाकी/خاکی (meaning "soil-colored") and is originally derived from the Persian (Khâk, literally meaning "soil"), which came to English from British India via the British Indian Army.
The word Khaki is commonly used for police uniform these days.

Another loan word from ancient Indian language Sanskrit is Karma (कर्म);  (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Speaker_Icon.svg/13px-Speaker_Icon.svg.png listen).It means action, work or deed. It also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect).

I see a lot of cross stitch designers using the word Karma in their designs and also subversive quotes in languages. I sometimes can’t understand the use of Karma there …ha ha

K is for Hindi word Kadhai(कढ़ाई ) meaning embroidery. India has been known for its rich handicrafts since centuries and there are various form of embroidery done in each state of India which is unique its own way.
Here are example of some K embroideries.

Kantha is a popular style of embroidery that comes from West Bengal,India. Kantha is perhaps the oldest forms of Indian embroidery as it can be traced back to the first and second A.D. The thought behind this needlework was to reuse old clothes and materials and turn them into something new. This is what makes kantha embroidery only one of its kind. Traditionally women would take 4 to 5 sarees, layer them together and create different running stitches on them which they then used as blankets to cover their children with. Day to day life was the biggest source of inspiration behind this craft. The motifs designed on clothes or bed spreads were of birds, animals, folk scenes, fishes and imagery that depicted different views of livelihood for the people living in Bengal. Reprocessing was another form of motivation, since initially women recycled their old clothes and turned them into something more practical, like covers for furniture, or blankets. Economical, practical and yet beautiful is what Kantha embroidery is all about. The type of stitch used is basically the ‘running’ stitch. 
Kantha used as bed spread

A panel of Kantha work
Kasuti (Kai=hand and Suti = cotton) comes from the state of Karnataka, India. Kasuti is done with single thread and involves counting of each thread on the cloth. The patterns are stitched without knots, so that both sides of the cloth look alike. 
Kasuti Sample
Kathi embroidery is an art and is adept by the women who belong to Kathi community; this is a nomadic Gujarat tribe in Gujarat, India. Black cloth is chosen for this embroidery. And many colors like crimson, yellow, golden, white are used to decorate and beautify the embroidery. To provide a balanced effect and good reflection blue and green colors are also used in a small quantity. To outline the embroidery work, chain cum and chain interlacing stitch is used. After that the fillings of it are completed by the herringbone stitch.
Kathi Sample
The Kutch embroidery is a handicraft and textile signature art tradition of the tribal community of Kutch District in Gujarat, India.This embroidery with its rich designs has made a notable contribution to the Indian embroidery traditions.The embroidery, practiced normally by women is generally done on fabrics of cotton, in the form of a net using cotton or silk threads. In certain patterns, it is also crafted over silk and satin. The types of stitches adopted are square chain, double buttonhole, pattern darning, running stitch, satin and straight stitches.
Kutch Tapestry
Kashmiri embroidery from Kashmir, India (also Kashida) is used for phirans (woollen kurtas) and namdahs (woollen rugs) as well as stoles. It draws inspiration from nature. Birds, blossoms and flowers, creepers, chinar leaves, ghobi, mangoes, lotus, and trees are the most common themes. The base cloth, whether wool or cotton, is generally white or cream or a similar shade. Kashmiri embroidery is known for the skilled execution of a single stitch, which is often called the Kashmiri stitch and which may comprise the chain stitch, the satin stitch, the slanted darn stitch, the stem stitch, and the herringbone stitch.  
Kurta with Kasmiri Emboidery
Kamal Kadai is an Indian embroidery style native to the state of Andhra Pradesh that primarily uses needle weaving to stitch beautiful flowers. There is definitely a specific style to the flower designs used in Kamal Kadai. The flower petals kind of look like they have "steps" or "levels" (for lack of better explanation). 
Kamal Kadai flower sample
Most of these embroideries above use simple stitches like chain and stem, however they differ from each other from the type of motifs, colors and base cloth used. The motifs represent the nature and life of the region.
Wait there is more to Kadhai… ha ha…well the word Kadhai is also one of the ways how the Hindi word कड़ाही is spelled in English. A karahi (/kəˈr/; Hindi: कड़ाही kaṛāhī, Urdu: کڑاہی‎; also kadai, korai, karai, kadhi, kadahi, kadhai) is a type of thick, circular, and deep cooking-pot (similar in shape to a wok) that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is used in Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Nepalese cuisine. Traditionally made out of cast iron, karahi look like woks with steeper sides. Today they can be made of stainless steel, copper, and non-stick surfaces, both round and flat-bottomed.
Aluminium Kadhai/Karahi
If you ever visit my house I will serve you food cooked in a Kadhai…lol. And if you like Indian food, you will now understand what Kadhai Paneer is-its cottage cheese cooked in a Kadhai.

Well as now we are talking of food, let’s talk of word “Khana” which is a common word used for food or meal and as a verb meaning to eat.
I know some of you TACers have a sweet tooth like me, so last but not the least is “Kheer” “खीर. Kheer is any sweet/desert made with milk. The chief ingredient may vary from rice, broken wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli. This is usually served cold and the popular English rice pudding is believed by some to be descended from kheer.
Kheer anyone?
Huff, I’m tired writing about all these K words , I’m sure you are too reading about them.

Will see you soon for the next post.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Alphabet Club Catch up post : Letter J

Hello Friends,
I'm back with another TAC catch up post. This time its letter J..

J is for Jungle .The word Jungle in English has been derived via Hindi (जंगल) from Sanskrit jāṅgala rough and arid. The word जंगल in Hindi has the same pronunciation and meaning as the English word. Isn't that interesting?

J is for Juggernaut.juggernaut (UK Listeni/ˈʌɡərnɔːt/US /-nɒt-nɔːt/jug-ər-not[1]), in current English usage, is a literal or metaphorical force regarded as mercilessly destructive and unstoppable. This usage originated in the mid-nineteenth century[2] as an allegorical reference to the Hindu temple cars of Jagannath Temple in Puri, which apocryphally were reputed to crush devotees under their wheels.

J is for Jalebi (जलेबी) is a sweet popular especially in India. It is made by deep-frying maida flour (Plain flour or All-purpose flourbatter in pretzel or circular shapes, which are then soaked in sugar syrup. They are particularly popular in the Indian subcontinent during Diwali.

Until two years back, I thought that Jalebi is an Indian sweet. One day I spotted almost similar looking sweet in Kuwait and did a google search, only to find out that it is actually from the Middle East though different variations of the sweet were found across different Asian regions. Originally called zalabiya (Arabic)or the zalibiya (Persian), the dish was brought to India by Persian invaders.

I sometimes wonder how many of my blogger friends are foodies like me. Do you like trying new cuisines. Do you look for new food options when you go out for eating?

Inspired by fellow TACers Jo and Brigitte , I'm going to talk about some cross stitch designers with name starting with alphabet J.

Being a relatively new cross stitcher with a liking for a limited themes , I don't have many patterns on my wishlist. However , this pattern by Jan Houtman caught my eye the very first time I saw a WIP of this on facebook.

Patchwork Sampler by Jan Houtman
Another one I like by this designer is 
Buds of Life by Jan Houtman.
Now, I'm not a fan of Quakers so I guess its the colors which attract me to these patterns.

I was surprised to find how many patterns from "J" designers I have stitched in last 2.5 years.
Designer: Jane Prutton
Designer: Joan Elliott
Designer :Jamie Chalmers (Mr.XStitch)
Designer: Joanne Sanderson
That's all for letter J, hopefully I will be back soon for next letter.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

It's GG time

Hello Friends,

I hope you had a good start to the new year . It's time for first GG update  of the year. What's GG you ask?
GG or Gifted Gorgeousness SAL is Jo's baby where we show what gift stitching we have been doing. These can be gifts received in form of patterns,kits,floss and fabric or gifts we make for others.

Here are the gifts I received last month and failed to show you.
I visited my family in India last month and somebody missed me.😁
Look what DH made me , a free hand embroidery piece . No need to say I love it ! I asked him how he made it and he showed me the steps :drawing the pattern, fitting it in the frame size. I'm impressed by the talent my man possesses.My late father in law used to embroider and I have seen some of the master pieces he has created. DH has been thinking of continuing with the craft his father did since a while, sorry I don't know what that embroidery is called in English.

I received a beautiful pin cushion with my initial from a fellow Indian crafter ,an extra she added as a thank you for placing an order.

Isn't this precious, infact too pretty to use. I will display this in my showcase instead.

Another new year gift from DH, some cuddly yarn and fabric 

He also bought me boxes to store my floss. Here is a picture of how all my floss away bags perfectly fit in these boxes.

I have been stitching the Candamar piece for my bestie and here is how it looks now. Even though this piece is a PITA , I love stitching this one.

I will end this post with a picture of the first sunset of year 2017, which I clicked while on the way to desert camp in Lahbab desert, Dubai.