Friday, 25 March 2016

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop

Hello Friends,
Welcome to Easter Treasure Hunt blog hop organized by our wonderful host Jo... First off I'll start by introducing myself: I’m Mini , an Indian expat in Kuwait. I have been cross stitching on and off since I was 7. My other interests are cooking, travelling, meeting new people and trying new foods.
Before I show you what I have to offer for the blog hop, let me tell you how to follow this blog hop. You must start at Jo’s blog and then visit, in order, each of the participants listed who will display a letter.  These letters will form a phrase and when you know what that is, visit Jo again and leave her a comment mentioning the phrase and you might find some treasure.
Here is an Easter card I stitched for a kind lady in the UK , from whom I bought some charts last year.
The letter you collect here is :

And I would like you to hop on to Kaye’s blog for your next clue.

I hope you have a Happy Good Friday and Easter.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

IHSW and my nemesis project

Hello and Welcome to my first IHSW post.

For those of who don't know about IHSW being hosted 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."

Weekend in my part of the world is on Friday & Saturday, so I will be stitching from Thur-Sat and post on Sundays whenever I participate in IHSW.

Here is my starting point of the piece I worked on 

Progress after 6 hours and 20 minutes

I was able to add 1164 stitches during the weekend.

Remember I told you that this piece has a story ...Infact I will call this as my nemesis project-a name aptly chosen by Diya.

So here is the story....

Time rewind to mid of year 2014, picture a girl who has just discovered the vast world of cross stitching . Picture how amazed she is, keeping in mind that all her life (which is around 30 years ) the only cross stitch she has known is making table cloths with borders, simple scenery or flowers . She has never heard of cross stitch kits, samplers , electronic patterns , social media cross stitch groups.She is a returning from a big cross stitch break of 10 years because of being busy with college and job.

So she finds out about all these wonderful patterns,threads,kits,fabrics and wants to try hands on them.Being a practical person,she starts with buying second hand stuff .

She buys kits from a lady off facebook plus some non Aida fabric and is so excited it when she gets them in post.Its Oct 2014 by now.

She decides to start the kit she loves the most.She wants to stitch it for her bestie as she thinks this is the design that matches her friend's personality a lot.

Oh she is suprised when she opens the kit- its stamped . Oops she has never bothered to think that kits can be stamped too. Lets check the fabric-sail cloth..what's that? All she knows is Aida and just saw linen and evenweave for the first time .

She is sad ,doubting whether she can do stamped cross stitch that too on sail cloth..She asks around on social media and gets tips.
She starts stitching but isn't happy with top of X's not aligned and the fabric showing beneath the stitches..
By now she has studied the pattern and realised that the X's in the pattern(flowers etc) are double the width of X's in the lettering.So that means we can try switching the fabric and do some over 2 and over 1 stitching and fix this issue,right? Wrong, she is too inexperienced to try stuff like this and the kit goes to bottom of her stash.

Fast forward to Feb 2016, the girl is desperate to make stuff for her bestie .She still thinks that the above mentioned project is best gift for her and decides to try it once again.

After a few hours of chat with DH and Diya, she decides to stitch 2 over 2 on 25 ct evenweave.
Small test patch is stitched and the coverage is not good.
Coverage with 2 over 2 
Again a quick discussion about the coverage and thread available, the decision is taken - Stitch 1 over 1 on 25 ct evenweave with one square on the pattern(non-lettering) equal to 4 X's on the fabric.

So here you are my friends, looking at the project which has been on my mind since last 2 years and troubling me

I can't show you the cover picture even though that would have made understanding problem a bit easier. My bestie visits my blog and I want to maintain the surprise as long as I can.

I know some of you may not be able to relate my lack of knowledge about cross stitch world but that my friends is a truth in many parts of the world. Cross stitching is a dying art in these parts and the supplies and knowledge of this art is not available .

Anyways ,now that I have overcome the initial startup hiccups , I'm really loving working on this piece and looking forward to finish it soon.

I hope you have a relaxing Sunday doing what makes you happy.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Let's talk about birthday gifts..shall we!!

Hello friends,

Thank you for your wonderful comments on my last GG post and welcome to new followers.Highest number of comments on any of my blog post !!

As the title of the post tells , I have been getting and making birthday gifts since my last GG post.

Yesterday was DH's birthday and this is what I made for him(apart from all his favourite food).

My first quilling attempt
I baked a chocolate brownie for him instead of a cake for the occasion.When I gifted him the card , he didn't open the card for a while thinking that it is a store bought card and focused on eating the .

Tammy of T's Daily Treasures celebrated a big 0 birthday last week of February.Both of us are a part of the craft group which often meets on weekends.This is what I stitched for her

Trust me it was not easy to decide to what to gift to her. She is multi talented,dabbles in so many crafts, does charity work and is involved in many community projects here in Kuwait. I had to consult a few friends before I zeroed down on this project.

An example of Tammy's talent is this lovely birthday gifts from her.

Let's talk about my birthday gift from DH subscription to The World of Cross Stitching Magazine. I posted about my dilemma of whether to keep the subscription or not in my last post here. 10 people commented and 6 said that it would be a better idea to buy an individual issue once I find out what chart I like in that .So I have decided not to keep the yearly subscription. However,before I could take a decision ,the amount for yearly subscription has been deducted and I will try to get the money back and pay for a single one.Don't know if I will get any success in that looking at all the digital subscription woes I read on facebook.

I started a new project on 3rd march...a gift of course . This piece has a story (how can there be not a story!!!) which I will share in my next post.

Progress as of 12th March
Another gift (shoe horn) which I can show is a square I stitched "Stitch for Syria" project which Jo talked about on her blog few weeks back.This is a free pattern from Mr. XStitch and concern world wide . The square is now on its way to London . Thank you Jo for spreading the word for such a good cause.
The aida was a gift and I have used one of the floss my mom gave me a few years back.

I'm participating in a daily challenge on Instagram called RockYourHandwriting. I'm loving it so far, I actually started logging in a craft journal which I have been thinking to do since long.The craft journal is up-cycled from a planner from a dental clinic,wrapping paper,clothes tags :)

Its lovely to scroll thru feeds of various participants and look at their beautiful handwriting and journals.
Do you like participating in any such challenges?

It's starting to get hot in the day time here,summer is knocking on the door. I hope you are enjoying time stitching in your corner of the world.

P.S. I just realized that I have completed goal number 7 & 9 on my list ...Yahoo!!!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Subscription dilemma

Please don't kill me for posting second time within minutes of publishing such a long post !!

I need help in deciding whether to subscribe to cross stitch magazines or not (be prepared for my rambling)

Hubby bought me a subscription of The World of Cross Stitching magazine for my birthday in last week of Feb.He worked really hard to get a digital subscription on my tablet with lot of email exchanges with the publishing companies, downloading various software etc.

Since the first time I came to know about cross stitching magazines in 2014 , I have tried to get digital/hard copy subscription only to find that its not possible to get one due to my physical location.
Between 2014 and now, I have bought a few second had magazines and have been gifted a big lot by a kind lady.

TWOCS had a free issue to offer for Valentine day and I was just playing on my I-phone knowing that I would never get the free issue.But, miracle happened and I got the free issue. You can imagine how excited I must have been(poor hubby was thinking his surprise is going to go down the drain).
However, after surfing thru the magazine ,I realized that I like only one pattern in the whole magazine.

Fast forward to my birthday , Hubby shows me my digital subscription on my tablet(picture me not so excited and elated). However he has given me a choice to whether to continue with the subscription or not. He knows me too well..I would be guilt ridden if I didn't stitch from the gift he got me.

Yesterday , I  downloaded two free issues of Cross Stitch Crazy mag on my phone and there are only few designs I like.These magazines have chosen the best time to offer free stuff ,adding to my dilemma.

So the big question my friends is :
What do you think-Should I continue with bday subscription ?
Is the money worth 1 or 2 designs which I may like in each issue ?
Would be it be too rude to cancel something which hubby gifted?

Come over for some Fun and Gala time at The Alphabet Club

Hello Friends,

It's time for detention at the Alphabet Club hosted by Chiara at Grey Tail. Alphabet club is based on the idea of the movie Breakfast Club and for our detention ,we bloggers post about something related to the letter of the month.

I have been a bad student and haven't posted my club entries for January (Letter F) and February (Letter G), so this is going to be a rather long post.

F is for Fattoush (Arabicفتوش, also fattush, fatush, fattoosh, and fattouche) is a Levantine bread salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables, such as radishes and tomatoes.
Image from Internet
People who follow my blog must be knowing by now that I'm foodie ,however I'm not very diet conscious person. I'm particularly not fond of salads and fruits , so trust me when I mention a salad in my blog ,it must be really yummy. 

F is for Friends , not our real life friends lol , the insanely famous American sitcom. I love this series and have watched the whole series twice since I first discovered it in 2008.
Image from Internet
There is so much that one can learn from these characters and I think the best takeaway is 

Image from Internet

I will not bore you by showing off my Fractal piece again in this post,however I think fractal may be one of my favourite theme to stitch.Geometric designs with splash of colors ...whats not there to like!!

Image from Cross stitch collectible
G is for Guru - a word now being commonly used in English language has been taken from Hindi language meaning teacher/priest .

G is for Gajak - A dessert made of jaggery (called Gur in Hindi) , sesame seeds and peanuts. This is eaten in winter months in Northern India . The method of preparation  is time consuming. It takes about 10–15 hours to prepare 5–8 kilograms of gajak. The dough is hammered until all the sesame seeds break down and release their oils into the dough.
Image form Internet

H is for Himalayas - The mighty mountain range in the South Asia,  home to nine of the ten highest peaks on Earth, including the highest above sea level, Mount Everest.The Himalayas span five countries: NepalIndiaBhutanChina(Tibet), and Pakistan.
Nainital: one of the hill station in lower Himalayas

My hometown in India is very near to foothills of lower Himalayas. During my childhood, every summer we would visit various hill stations and enjoy the scenery there. May be that is the reason I'm a more of a mountain person than a beach or sea lover :)

H is for Hala February - an annual event in Kuwait, celebrated in the spring season every year. Its a month-long commemoration of liberation of Kuwait,in which a variety of cultural activities, carnivals, games and events are organized for families and children.

Here are few pics I clicked during this year's Hala February

Traditional Bazaar called the Souk decorated for Hala February Celebrations

Lights with the colors of flag can be seen on buildings 
Kuwait celebrated 55 years of Independence and 25 years of Liberation this year
Fireworks at Kuwait Towers-landmark and symbol of modern Kuwait

H is for Holi  (pronunciation: /ˈhl/Sanskritहोली Holī) is a spring festival celebrated in India, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of sharing love.The festival is celebrated by a lighting a bonfire on the night before last full moon day of lunar calendar. Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after the Holika bonfire. Children and young people form groups armed with dry colours(called Gulaal), coloured solution, the means to fill and spray others with coloured solution (pichkaris), water balloons filled with coloured water, and other creative means to colour their targets.
Colors being sold in market.Image from Internet

I'm not a big fan of playing with colors however I love the delicacies made during the festival. Preparations start a week before Holi and friends and families help each other in making various dishes.
My favourite Gujiya. Image from Internet.

Oh man, I feel hungry looking at these pics...I need to eat something now lol

I hope you survived this long post and like it.

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