Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Hello from Mumbai!

Hello Friends,

How have you been? Hope you missed me...😀

I write this post from my new home in Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra, a central state in India. Its been 48 days since we landed in Mumbai with dozen of bags and a scared cat.

While the house is far from "set" , I have been missing blogging so thought of writing a quick post.

For those of you who don't know Mumbai, erstwhile Bombay, is financial capital of India. Its one of the largest and most populous city in the country.The city is home to business houses established in British colonization era and to Indian movie industry called Bollywood apart from many other things.

The city has always caught attention of people from other parts of the country as well other countries and is called City of Dreams, City that never sleeps .Millions of people from across breadth of India come to Mumbai everyday to fulfill their dreams.

So far things have been good and I'm enjoying my new role of being at home(won't use the word housewife). I have decided to take things slowly , we only have a running kitchen and furniture in master bedroom .

What I enjoy most is the freedom of roaming around without carrying a residence proof. If you wonder why I say that its because in Kuwait , every expat has to carry a residence proof at all times and failure to do so can lead to deportation.

The second thing I enjoy most is how well connected the city is, the public transport is like a spider web here with intracity trains called local, metro trains, buses and monorail apart from autorickshaws and taxis. I have been able to go to places whenever I want by myself without spending a fortune on taxis .

One such day was last Saturday when I took a local to attend WWKIP (World Wide Knit in Public day) organised by Mumbai Ravelers. If you have followed me for a while, you know how KIP is a very important part of my crafty life , I hosted 3 KIPs in Kuwait with the very first in country in 2015.
Though I didn't organise or host KIP this time , I suggested the group meets on 8th after I joined it. Apparently the group hadn't met in months (over 2 years?).

We met at a cozy cafe which hosts Yoga sessions ,a total of 12 ladies attended the meetup and it was so much fun. The group is so talented with variety of crafts like weaving, knitting and crocheting. Some of them are designers, I was in awe!.

I share a picture of all the projects displayed together, though I wanted to click individual pictures of these projects.

On personal crafting front , I haven't been crafting much. Recently picked up my knitting needles and finished a scarf. Pictures to follow later.

While we have been busy setting up the house , we did take time out to explore the city. Husband and I are such travel addicts that we couldn't wait for us to settle down fully to explore the city. I will share a few pictures . Feel free to read about these buildings/monuments on wikipedia or ask in comments.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus ,also known by its former name Victoria Terminus , is a historic railway station and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The station was designed by Frederick William Stevens according to the concept of Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and meant to be a similar revival of Indian Goth (classical era) architecture. The station was built in 1887 .
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus or Victoria Terminus 

 The Municipal Corporation Building, Mumbai,built in 1893. Architectural style Gothic Revival style.

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai , popularly known by its former name Crawford Market , is one of South Mumbai's most famous markets. 

I would like to be more regular with my travel posts now compared to Kuwait , I hope I'm able to share more of this hobby of mine with you.

Friends, I have been reading your blogs , however as I do it from my mobile, leaving a comment is not possible. Once things get more settled , I will try to make a schedule for reading blogs from my laptop.

I hope you enjoy this update as much as you liked reading about my life in Kuwait.

Will see you for GG SAL update soon.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL April 2019 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. If you don't know what I'm talking about , check Jo's blog for more info. This is a easy SAL where you have choice to stitch any designer, color or pattern, just that it should be a gift for someone or gift from someone.

Warning :This is a picture heavy post.

If you read my second last post , you know that I'm moving out of Kuwait. I have been showered with gifts from friends here , specially my craft group. I think I have shared over the years that my craft group was a big part of my life here in Kuwait , infact for some years it was the only reason I used to get out of the house on weekends. So obviously , I'm going to miss my craft group the most .

Here are the crafty and handmade gifts I received last month.
Lovely Canadian Chaussette yarn handwoven by Mineville Wool. Gifted by Jody

This tote was gifted to me by friend Rene, who not only made the crochet mandala, painted the other side but also sewed the tote herself.Isn't she super talented? I have never seen such neat fabric painting .

Look at this super gorgeous shawl gifted to me for my birthday by my friend Z.

Am I lucky or what?

Another gift is  Free mag from World Craft Week, I know what you may be thinking, how do I manage to score all these free mags 😛

I haven't been crafting for obvious reasons , however I made some simple and quick gifts

A Rug and a Hug for a Mug ,pattern by Cathy Rubin
Made for Tammy
Simple Garter Coaster, pattern from Mr. Darcy Creations, made for Jeena
At last some cross stitch , I stitched this lovely pattern from Durene Jones for my crazy cat friend Rene. The pattern was so easy to follow , I enjoyed making it even though I haven't done many full coverage pieces.
Pattern by Durene Jones from The World of Cross Stitching Magazine, Feb 2016.
That's it my friends for today and may be for a few more weeks. On this day next week, I will be in a different country , standing in guest house surrounded by cartons.
Hope to settle down soon and come back to routine. Send me your good wishes virtually .

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Let the people choose-April-Speciality stitches

Hello Friends,

Today I join Jo for another SAL which she is hosting called THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE SAL. You can read about it on her blog.

The theme for April is Speciality  Stitches, basically any stitch which is not cross stitch.

I'm quite a newbie to cross stitching so my focus is mainly to expand my knowledge on it rather than any new stitching methods. I'm still to discover a pattern with Speciality Stitches which fall into category "have to do". However if the cross stitch pattern calls for any, I try and make them.

Here are few projects which had Speciality Stitches:
Free hand embroidery using lasy daisy stitches 

Project name :Heart Biscornu
Contains Spider web stitch

Project name :Gorgeous Gingham
Contains Symrna stitch
Having said that I'm not attracted to Speciality stitches , I realise that I do like Blackwork which is another form of counted threadwork. If you have known me for a bit, you may know that I had absolutely no access to cross stitch techniques , supplies etc while growing up . Its a long story...so cut to Jan 2016 , I discovered a project I made in college in my grandma's trunk.
This is the piece:

When I made this,I had no clue it was called blackwork...😲
Some recent finishes

I have a few blackwork projects I would like to do specially the one from Ajisai Press 

Ladybug & Daisy from Ajisai designs

Have you seen the freebie projects from Blackwork journey, they are absolutely gorgeous

I hope I haven't enabled you much 😛. May be one day I will learn some new stitches ...

Saturday, 23 March 2019

I'm moving

Hello Friends,

Today I want to share some big news with you...

Yes, I will be leaving Kuwait in one month ....

If you ask why ...here is the answer


Over the years I have realised that if I stay in one place or environment, I become resentful. I crave change ...

As many of you know , I'm an expat in Kuwait which means I live here on a work visa. My husband & I moved here for getting exposure of working outside my home country India and also some personal reasons. Since last few months, work has been stressful. Though I haven't written much about how living in Kuwait is like (mostly shared the good part) , I can sum it up in few words -Kuwait is one of the most expat unfriendly country . As work is major reason of us staying here, stress at work meant unhappy life here.

So in December 2018 , we started thinking of moving out, explored our options and resigned in January end .

I truly believe that if things are not so good at some point of one's life  , it is an indication that a change is required. After we have made the change and are happier , we realise that it was God's way up of telling us -get up and make a change . It can be a change in life style, job, attitude , physical location..it can be anything.

We are moving out of Kuwait for growth in professional as well as personal life...As much as I enjoyed my time in Kuwait, I'm ready for new adventures.

Now if you are curious where I'm moving ..I'm moving to India.

Most of the people I know here are saying "Oh you are moving back to India ?"

Well physically I'm moving to my home country but I personally believe -In life you never move back ..life only moves forward.

I can't describe how excited I'm about this new innings of my life. I know life in Kuwait was too comfortable, I may not be able to have some of the comforts in India but I want to challenge myself.

Most of the people I have shared the news with, have been supportive and understand my desire to move but there are people who have passed judgmental remarks on why they think it's so easy for me to move.So for the people who think its easy for me to move from one country to another because I don't have a kid or have enough bank balance...here is what I feel.

I know you may be thinking , what is this whole fuss about challenges, she is moving to her home country.. I will share about this in my post when I settle down in my new house 😉.

I understand that things are not gonna change between my blog friends and me as we met thru blog which is a virtual land . But I'm sure you are gonna miss my life updates in Kuwait ..aren't you?

Well I'm not going anywhere, I will keep posting, just the desk, chair and laptop from where I post will change.

So wish me luck friends ...

Monday, 18 March 2019

IHSW March 2019 check-in

Hello dear friends,

It's time to show what I stitched for International Hermit & Stitch weekend . If you don't know what  IHSW is, its a SAL which was started by Joysze at Random Ramblings .Here is how she describes it "International Hermit and Stitch Weekend takes place every 3rd full weekend of each month, from Friday till Sunday. In our very busy and hectic lives, IHSW is a chance for us to squirrel some time away for ourselves and "Hermit and Stitch." It is a time set aside to take care of us and our love for stitching."

Joysze hasn't been posting regularly so our blog SAL savior Jo provides a blog link up and also runs facebook group for the SAL. 
Weekend in my part of the world is on Friday & Saturday, so I will be stitching from Thursday to Saturday and post on Sundays whenever I participate in IHSW.

Well its well past Sunday , but late post is better than no post, right? 

I talked about my Thursday evening activities and my Friday finish here . 

After I finished the birthday card , I picked up my knitting needles to make something quick. I had saved a dishcloth  pattern of  since I saw it on Rosey's blog .  

Picture from Designer
Well after making four rows, something didn't feel right ..so I unraveled and put the pattern in excel to get a better idea. I realised I hadn't read the pattern properly ,blame it on the designer for not using * for repeated stitches (Knitters know what I mean). 

Second time I knitted the way correct pattern should be done and still the stars couldn't be seen...so I unraveled it again 😢 Rosey I don't know how you made yours but I failed...

I looked for some easy patterns and couldn't find anything I like ..so ended up making these garter stitches coaster.

I love the color of the yarn...

That's it for IHSW.

Today I received birthday cards from my snail mail friends..Aren't they lovely?

Have a good week everyone.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL March 2019 update & IHSW

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. If you don't know what I'm talking about , check Jo's blog for more info. This is a easy SAL where you have choice to stitch any designer, color or pattern, just that it should be a gift for someone or gift from someone.

Not much to show this month as life has been keeping me busy, I have some news to share..wait for it...
The only gift I worked on this month is birthday card for my husband . 

His birthday was yesterday and I finished it today 😆.This year I didn't stitch a surprise for him , I told him when I selected the design that this is for your birthday :) . Well the design is perfect for him, he loves owls, but this pattern killed my mojo big time . You see the number of colors and back stitching bothered me so much that it took me 10 days to stitch this small a project. The pattern is from Lesley Teare's free Owl SAL but I have decided not to stitch anymore of the owls from the SAL.

 I may have been a day late in the birthday card but we did have a good birthday celebration . We invited some friends over and home cooked food was served. Everyone liked the food and the guests left by mid night.

Now to show some gifts I received for my birthday...

These gifts are from Tammy. Tammy and I are almost birthday twins and we have been exchanging birthday gifts since we met.  Tammy always gets me cross stitch gifts from her travels to USA, Jerusalem, UAE and Sri Lanka.  Thank you Tammy for the birthday gift and the travel souvenirs.

This week is also IHSW...time to be a hermit and stitch all weekend, something I wont be able to do 😀as I didn't stitch yesterday due to my husband's birthday celebration.
Still,I need to work on some quick gifts now, so its time to pick knitting needles. See you next month with another GG post.
Have a good weekend friends.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Kuwait National & Liberation day celebrations

Hello everyone,

As promised , I'm sharing pictures of this year's Kuwait National & Liberation day celebrations . 

I would like to share very interesting fact about Kuwait National day. Normally most countries celebrate their national day on the same date they gained independence. In Kuwait, this would have meant National Day would be on 19th June, marking the date of independence in 1961. On 19 June 1961, Kuwait became independent with the end of the British protectorate and Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah became the Emir.
However, it was felt that the holiday should be moved due to the extreme heat in June, and so from 1963, the National Day was moved to 25th February, marking the date that the Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah came to power in 1950.
Kuwait Liberation Day is celebrated on 26 February. This holiday marks the day when Kuwait was liberated from Iraqi occupation in 1991.
Liberation Tower as seen from Souk Mubarakiya
The month of February is celebrated as Hala Feb. There are concerts, cultural shows , exhibitions throughout the month. The most beautiful part is use of electric lights to beautify the country , most of the installations/decorations are using colors of the flag .
Al-Sief Palace
Every year, I visit two areas famous for its light art.
The Ahmadi lights (light art in Ahmadi) are decorations put up by Kuwait oldest and biggest oil company KOC. Ahmadi is a governorate south of Kuwait city , here are some pictures.

The celebrations of Hala Feb won't be complete if one doesn't visit Souq Mubarakiya. Souq is a arabic term for bazaars , most of them are covered with wooden roofs with carvings . If you ever want to see what life in Middle east was before oil was discovered, visit a souk. Souq Mubarakiya is one of my favourite places in Kuwait.Here are some pictures.

Most souks will have multiple entrances , with  cobbled streets , selling everything from fruits to electronics.

This year as we were exploring the souk, we ended up in a part where we saw this monument. 

A little roaming around and after reading the plaques we gathered that the square is called Safat Square. It is a  historical commercial square  where the seafarers of Kuwait would gather and trade goods with businessmen coming from Persia, India and other sea routes .Read more  about it here .

February is my favourite month to explore Kuwait , you can see why...
I hope you like this picture tour of National & Liberation day celebrations in Kuwait.

Hello from Mumbai!

Hello Friends, How have you been? Hope you missed me...😀 I write this post from my new home in Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra, a centr...