Saturday, 31 December 2016

Year 2016's last GG post

I refuse to believe that this year has come to an end...its just yesterday I started making plans for the new year.

Alas! I don't have the magical powers  of stopping the clock...so let's move on and see what gift stitching I did since last post.

I have been feeling lost crafting wise...you see I have too many ideas in mind . I start with one idea and then end up not liking it. In this chaos, I have finished stitching some smalls which are being used for a new purpose as the old idea went poof.

First is this tiny card which I made and gave it to my friend E for her birthday .
Pattern name :Pudding
Source: CrossStitcher, Christmas 2008
Designer : Helen Philipps
Second is this Christmas card which I have sent to Shami .
Pattern name :Pudding
Source: CrossStitcher, Christmas 2008
Designer : Debbie Cripps
The reason I'm posting this update on last day of the month is that I wanted the receipients to get the gifts I have been making all thru the year.Very happy to report that 2 gifts were hand delivered and 3 sent thru post while  I was on vacation in India.
Now onto gifts received:
My mommy made me a knitted jacket;I received a beautiful package from Shami at my parents house after I left the place for catching my flight and a lovely pin cushion from a small handmade business owner as a thank you for a order.
Sorry I'm unable to add any pictures of the gifts received from my phone.I have struggled 2 hours to find out a solution to the problem with no success.
So I'm going to publish this post without the pictures of gifts received as I just cannot not post for GG. Come back for pics in a few days when I can access my computer.
Thank you for the gift of your friendship my friends , visiting my blog and leaving sweet comments .

Wishing you all a Happy and Blessed New Year.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Getting back to routine

Hello Friends,

Is it the 15th already? Just a few minutes back I was thinking that this weekend is the IHSW and I will put up a post for GG and IHSW together (sense the laziness here) . Another look at the calendar and I realise that its the 15th today and time for a GG post. Gifted Gorgeousness is a stress free SAL being hosted by Jo . Go check the easy peasy rules if you wanna join us .

As my post title suggests, I'm trying to get into a routine these days. We moved to a new appartment on the 22nd and it was quite a smooth move. It helped that we were living in a furnished appartment earlier and we had very little furniture to move. We didn't hire any movers and packers and were able to shift on our own.
We were able to arrange all the new furniture and kitchen appliances in 4 days after office hours. The reason I rushed moving  was that I wanted to celebrate Diwali in a new house. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights is one of the biggest Indian festivals and my favourite too. Cleaning of the house is one of the main ritual associated with preparation of Diwali. The cleaning begins at least 15 days prior to Diwali and involves opening the old trunks and deciding what to keep and what not to.
I mentioned to hubby that I wanted to move into the new house before Diwali as that meant a super clean house and all new stuff. Luckily he agreed.

We enjoyed the festivities for five days and had some friends and family visiting us during this time. I made traditional Diwali sweets and snacks and decorated the house with lights and colors.

You may ask that why should I talk about getting back to routine if the move was so smooth. Well I have been struggling to pick up my needle since August , for that matter I'm not even enjoying cooking which is my second favorite hobby. I don't feel motivated to either craft or cook , which has turned me into a couch potato.
September was vacation month, so again no time for stitching.Then came October,when I committed to participate in a handmade fair with one of the local crafters . I wasn't able to make stuff as the stitching bug is AWOL. May be some other time...

The lighting in the new house is not so conducive for cross stitch , all the bulbs are halogen focus lights. Not enough light to stitch and it's gets dark by the time I get home from office these days. I'm determined to set up a corner to stitch soon.

Yesterday was a good day though..I picked up my journal and cleared the back log of entries .Last weekend I tried two new recipes ,so I'm getting a feeling that I will get back to my craft routine soon.

OK, enough of rant , now some pics of handmade Diwali gifts I received and a scarf I finished knitting for my sister-in-law .
Gifts from Tammy
Gifts from Z
Gifts from Karen

The dishcloth is sky blue in color in real life.

Simple Garter Stitch Scarf for SIL
Some pics of Diwali decor
Small Rangoli for Choti Diwali/Diwali Eve

Food Table decor on Choti Diwali

Rangoli for Laxmi poojan
Food Table set up for Laxmi Pujan 


Handmade lantern

A view of  the dining corner of the house
The runner you see on the table was painted by me in year 2000 or 2001. I never had courage to use it before fearing that some food will drop on it and leave stains. This Diwali I gathered the courage and used it for the table set up. Here is a full picture of the full dining set, with mats on the left and napkins on right. You can see stains it's got from keeping it in trunks for 15 years.


Last weekend I attended a very interesting exhibition , however I will save the pictures of that for my next post.

November marks the start of winter here in Kuwait. Temperatures have dropped to 20s (deg C) and I'm enjoying the pleasant weather. I hope you are enjoying the weather in your part of the world too.

P.S. Welcome to new followers. Thank you for following my blog and leaving a comment. Please leave you blog address next time you visit me. I would love to check your blog if you have one.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Take a bow!!

Hello Friends,

I just can't stop smiling and dancing in my head...the reason you ask...

Well I have finally completed all stitching on my biggest project ever. Here I present to you Flower of the month series designed by Ellen Maurer Stroh in its full glory. It took me so long to stitch this project that I can't believe that I finished it .



Some details:
Started on : 27-Apr-2015
Finished on: 18-Oct-2016
Number of days: 116
Stitched on: 14 count  Aida
Floss used : DMC,Anchor
Designer: Ellen Maurer Stroh
Stitch count each flower  : 63H*63W

The last time I showed you this project was in August ,very little was left to stitch. I was wondering why did it take me so long to finish after the last update? I realized these last two months have been pretty busy.Vacation in Greece which required a lot of planning , participating in exchanges, knitting , house hunting and some sick time.

We will be moving to a new house this weekend. We have been wanting to shift to a new house since start of the year, but weren't able to do because of unfavorable circumstances.
The move isn't going to take much time as we currently live in a furnished apartment. 
We just need to pack our clothes,kitchen utensils,toiletries and of course my huge craft stash and we are ready to move. However, this means we need to buy all the furniture and home electronics before we move in to our new house. That's what we have been doing since last week.

Not that I'm complaining about the move, I'm excited to be living in a new place and decorate the house as per my taste. Also very happy that we are able to move before Diwali, which is the biggest Indian(Hindu) festival.It's time to decorate the house with earthen lamps,flowers,colors after days of cleaning, make sweets and enjoy family time.

Oops I forgot to mention that this is a collective post for Gifted Gorgeousness SAL & IHSW hosted by Jo and Joyce respectively.

I hope you all are having a nice fall/autumn in your corner of the world.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness September Update

Hello Friends,

I'm back from a two week vacation in Greece . I had a time of my life and left a part of my heart there. I will probably dedicate a post to my Greece vacation. Between planning,packing and travelling ,I managed to stitch some gifts.

First is a small birthday gift I made for dear Jo
I made this washi tape card on handmade paper .I used to collect handmade paper in mid 2000s and recently brought my collection to Kuwait from India.

I also added a small pouch to her gift which I stitched during my vacation at my parent's house in February. I was saving it for the right occasion .This was a kit from Vervaco ,given to me by friend Linda, which I mentioned in my earlier post here,on her last day in Kuwait.

As all of you know about the postal issues in Kuwait, I'm always looking for opportunities to send mail to my friends , participate in swaps when I travel. My Greece vacation couldn't have happened at better time as I was able to send Jo some handmade love.

I also participated in a cross stitch ATC swap on Instagram.For those of you who haven't heard of ATC, here is what Wikipedia says Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) is a conceptual art project initiated by the Swiss artist M. Vänçi Stirnemann in 1997. He called it aCollaborative Cultural Performance. Artist Trading Cards are 212 by 312 inches (64 mm × 89 mm) in size, the same format as modern trading cards (hockey cards or baseball cards). They are self-made unique works or small series, signed and dated on the reverse by the artist/producer, exchanged and collected by the people who participate in the collaborative performance.


This is a monthly activity with rules and themes to follow. The theme for September was Astrology and my partner's sign is Pisces..what a coincidence.

After looking for patterns all over the internet and magazines , I decided to stitch Lesley Teare's astrology freebie. All except the February month freebie were available on her blog. I wrote to her and she promptly send me the pattern.

I had to skip the borders to meet the size requirement.It was sent along with a postcard with some envelope art.
If you wish to join the ATC swap on Instagram, I will happily pass on the details to you . The group is looking for more international stitchers.

August marked the end of vacation season in Kuwait with all the expats coming back from their respective home countries. My friend Tammy brought me wonderful gifts :A dimensions kit(does she know I'm addicted to Dimensions)? and World of Cross Stitching Magazine. Look at the freebie...a thread cutter .,appropriate for taking on airplanes. It did travel with me to Greece :)
My vacation in Greece involved a lot of travelling by bus and ferries. So I packed a cover kit and my knitting in my luggage . I love cover kits bcoz of the ease of carrying them around with all that's needed for stitching already available.This cover kit was also a gift .
Most of the days I worked on my knitting as its so easy to knit when you are travelling , no counting involved.
This will be a gift for my sister in law.

That's all for GG that I have to show you this month.

I have a developed a new hobby/interest lately ..Postcard exchange. I had mentioned about my love for postcards some time this year on my blog. While searching on Ravelry for yarn shops in Greece , I stumbled upon this group where members particpate in a Geographical Postcard exchange which is open to anyone.
I participated in 4 exchanges and postcards were sent to USA and Finland.
Here is what I sent.


I decided to put the postcards in an envelope(I'm always scared of loosing the mail) and decorated them. Happy to say that these were well received.

I received two postcards :one from USA and one from Finland.The one from Finland is of Aurora lights , reminds me of the famous dimensions kits.
All these swaps,gifts and postcards were sent and received in Greece , it was one of my favourite activity during my vacation.
One of the postcards was sent well before I started my vacation , so I'm guessing that Greek post liked the postcard so much that they decided to keep it. The fourth one was posted late and couldn't make it in time.
If any of my blog friends shares this interest and would like to receive a postcard, let me know. I will happily send one your way, when I travel next time.
I'm a bit behind in reading the blogs and I will visit you soon and read what you guys have been upto.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Jo's Big Birthday Blog Hop


Hello Hello,


Welcome to Big Birthday Party for Jo’s Big Birthday ….if you are tired of hopping around, sit down and have a cold lemonade. 

Don’t worry I’m not going to serve you cake, I know you have had enough of it already …how about some savory snacks.
Butter cigarette stick

Egg pandan

Jo, I hope you recognize these from your time spent in Singapore.

Now that you have caught you breath after hopping across blogs, it’s time to tell you what year it is
  
It is year 1993 and Jo is 27.

Something very important happened this year… She started cross stitching in this year. Yes Yes Cross stitching!!! She even has a piece dated for that year to prove it. 

Here is the story behind it.Jo was visiting a friend who was cross stitching a Country Companions design for her son.  She liked the look of the craft and bought two small Anchor sampler kits to try it herself.She was soon hooked and rest is history.

I’m sure anybody who is reading this blog now knows about Jo’s love for cross stitching. She has an eclectic taste and she has 500 finishes on her Happy Dance blog to prove that too.

Imagine where our blogging community would be if this event hadn’t happened…Cross stitch blogging would be no fun without Jo's seasonal and themed blog hops, SALs and of course the beautiful finishes we see on her blog so frequently.

Now let’s see what I was doing when Jo was discovering her new love for the art of cross stitching…..

I have to really think hard as I find it difficult to recollect things from past these days…

Well I was in seventh grade, enjoying my school life. One day my teacher declared in class about an upcoming oratory competition in English language. The idea was to select a topic from a list given and talk about it in front of the school. I decided to participate and won a third prize. 
Picture from Internet
I hear you asking what’s so special about a third prize …well it was my first time participating in a school level competition which required preparation on my own with no help from teachers, parents and text books. Before this competition I used to participate in school co-circular activities mainly dancing but none of them were for a competition which required speaking in front of an audience.
My teacher was quite impressed and told my mother to encourage me further. After this I started participating regularly in such activities and it helped me in developing confidence of speaking in public. This skill was very helpful during my engineering days when we were asked to present our projects, interviews and meetings. I personally feel expressing your ideas in technical discussions is an important tool for success, especially if your business requires interaction with Client.

There is one more event or I would rather say a change that occurred during the year 1993 but I’m too embarrassed to talk about it on my blog… haha.

Moving to the last part of the blog party now, a cross stitch project I think Jo may like.


Earlier this year, I visited my maternal uncle’s house after a long period.My aunt gave me this piece which she had dug out from the old trunks. I remember stitching this piece in late 2003/early 2004 .My aunt had made the same piece and it caught my eye.It was different from the usual cross stitch which I had been doing in my childhood.I stitched it as a gift for a family member .When I finished college and moved to other town for job, I assumed that the piece must have been given to the recipient by my aunt. Imagine my surprise when she gave it to me after so many years and I realized I have done blackwork in past and forgotten about it.

The piece had some stains collected from lying around in old trunks, so I got it dyed.First picture is more true to color
  
I hope you have enjoyed your stop here and are looking forward to hopping on to next blog.

Here’s wishing our lovely Jo , happy birthday and a blessed year ahead.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

And Then There Were Twelve

What is she talking about? Is it 12 days of Christmas ?

Nope my dear friends, I'm talking about the twelfth flower of Ellen Maurer-Stroh Flower of the month project I completed stitching yesterday.

This post is a joint check-in for Gifted Gorgeousness SAL hosted by Jo & IHSW hosted by Joysze.

I didn't forget to post for GG SAL on 15th , I was deliberately holding the post so as to show you some substantial stitching. Hermitting over the weekend helped me achieve this.

So without any further delay here is the last flower :December "Poinsettia" in its glory.
I had to move the q snap so I can work on borders of other flowers and I clicked a picture of the whole project so far. I need to add borders to 5 flowers, fill in some white and add backstitch to the butterfly, bees and daffodils.I think it will take a week to finish this.

This piece is a gift for my aunt's 25th wedding anniversary and the aida was a gift from a fellow stitcher.

Yesterday while I was stitching the borders, I realised that I may run out of floss. Intrigued that I have already used 2.5 skeins of floss for borders so far, I calculated  how long is the border. The 2 stitches wide border around all the flowers has a straight length of 10.7 metre. 120 metre of floss has been used and I'm guessing I need 100 metre more...

What is the maximum number of skeins of a single color you have used for a project?

In June I won a giveaway on Instagram...my first.It took a total of 61 days to get the parcel in my hand from Hungary . Out of these 61 days , Kuwait postal service took 51 days to deliver it to my PO box. It beats me why would a basic public service like postal system be so slow in a small city country like Kuwait. Anyways, I'm happy that I got the package as I had lost hope of getting it after I visited the post office sixth time.Rant over..Let's move onto gifts received.
The package contains 28 ct evenweave ,lace ,lots of ribbons, chocolates,postcard ,cross stitch pattern book and a needle case.Thank you Dóra for the goodies , I love these.


Hopefully in my next post, I will be able to show you the FOTM piece finished.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Happy World Cross Stitch Day

Hey Stitchy Friends,

Wishing you all a very Happy World Cross Stitch Day. May you have smoky needles and be blessed with charts,fabrics and floss to last a life time...lol

I remember seeing a post about World Cross Stitch Day a year or two back. Didn't remember the exact date though. Yesterday someone posted on Instagram that its tomorrow. So I figured that its celebrated every year on 2nd Friday of August . I know its not as famous as other craft events like International Crochet Day or WWKIP but its upon cross stitch crazy people like us to make it more popular.

On to some stitchy news...First a thing which made me squeal...Those who have been following my blog regularly know how I keep complaining about lack of availability of stitchy supplies here in Kuwait especially cross stitch magazines.In last 2.5 years I have checked with all book stores for magazines with no positive results.
Yesterday we went to a home decor store to buy a hand bag and there was a small section of books there. I was casually looking at the magazine stand and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this:
I almost started jumping and hubby was astonished too. The guy at the counter wasn't able to understand why I was beaming with joy :). I started flipping thru to look for designs and hubby said you have to buy it no matter what as you have been searching for magazines so long.

The lady at the counter started asking me about where do I buy my fabric in Kuwait. She used to do cross stitch earlier but wasn't able to find fabric here. I offered her to bring some fabric when I visit the store next time and also invited her to my craft group.
I will do anything to encourage people to take up this hobby ...ha ha

Second..I finished stitching November flower "Chrysanthemum" on Wednesday . While stitching this I realised I have this plant in my tiny home garden.We bought two pots of Chrysanthemum in Nov last year and the plants almost died after the winter season. However ,with some care we were able to revive one and its blooming now.


I'm trying to grow tomatoes and the tiny saplings have spread all over.

That's it from my corner of the world.
Hope you get some stitching time today to mark the occasion.

P.S. -Edited to answer Khristine's question about blog header picture
The header picture is of from our trip to Goreme,Turkey in July 2014. Goreme is famous for its wonderful rock formations and the most intriguing ones are called "Fairy Chimneys" .

Sunday, 31 July 2016

July wrap up

Hello Friends,
Another month has come to an end and it's time for a monthly report.

I participated in Just one July SAL organised by Justine this month. As you know ,I have been stitching my EMS Flower of the Month project for this SAL.Here are some progress shots:
Left shows my progress before the start of  SAL.
Completed September flower on 7-Jul-16
Worked on some borders
Finished October flower on 23-Jul-16
Progress on November flower as on 30-Jul-16
I have now decided to stitch this piece until its completed.

Remember I told you I will show you some stash in my next post.My friend K is back from States and has bought me goodies.
First is my win from Mii Stitch's fourth blog anniversary giveaway.Thanks Mii, I love it!

Did I tell you that I have been tempted to buy Dimensions Kits since long? I love the designs they have to offer . However, I had read about how the aida in kits is rough and stiff and people run out of floss.To avoid these problems, I was looking to buy only a chart . Didn't get much success in that.So, I went ahead and bought a design which has been on my wish list


Isn't these beautiful? Do you know Peacock is National Bird of India? This is my first time buying cross stitch item from Ebay and I was a bit skeptical based on the feedback on various forums. Thank God , the seller sent me an original kit.

Here is my monthly stitching pie or should I say crafting pie
I have often mentioned that I'm part of a wonderful craft group here in Kuwait and we have regular meetups .We usually meet in coffee shops like Starbucks however it has been my intention to meet at new places so that we can explore Kuwait along with crafting.
Mid of July we met at a coffee shop called Lobelia Cafe. Its a small coffee shop with a vintage chic theme and the colors used are white and pink.The cafe has a sea view and we enjoyed our time there.


Yesterday we met at THE One, which is a cafe and Furniture store , isn't that a quirky combination
You can see a price tag hanging from one of the chairs here.

Thank you for your feedback on the blogger issues. Trust me I'm not as worried about the number of comments on my blog as about my posts showing up on the dashboard of  my followers.Turns out one of my followers wasn't able to see them .
Blogger issues still continue as I saw some weird feed on other blogger accounts. Hope the blogger team works on this soon.

It's time for our annual vacation and me and DH are busy planning . Any guesses what our destination country is this time?

Have a happy Sunday .

Gifted Gorgeousnes SAL January Update

Hello Friends, It's that time of the month when we show what gifts we have been working on or/and what crafty gifts we have received....