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);  ( 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.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

The Alphabet Club Catch up post :Letter I

Hello Friends,

I'm sorry for not posting about the Alphabet Club since long, don't know what happened but I fell off the wagon for this one.So here I am trying to catch up ...

Without further delay let's talk about Letter "I"

I is for Hindi word Indradhanush meaning Rainbow. The composite word Indradhanush is made of two words Indra and Dhanush ,dhanush is a bow , bow of Indra, the god of lightningthunder and rain.
I haven't met a person who doesn't love rainbows. In childhood, we used to wait for rainy season in India to see a rainbow. However, I was quite surprised when I saw a rainbow almost every morning on my way to work while I was deputed to Pascagoula, Mississippi. Here are two of my favourite Indradhanush pictures:

Rainbow spotted on first day to office at Pascagoula,June 2008
Double Rainbow spotted at Edessa Waterfalls,Greece, Sep 2016

I can't think of many Hindi words starting with I, so I'm going to talk about my favourite city from my travels so far- Istanbul. Istanbul , capital of Turkey is one of the most beautiful cities of the world with a right mixture of history and modern world. It has everything to feed various type of travellers: one who are interested in architecture , history(Byzantine and Ottoman Empire), religion , food ,night life . The city is well connected with public transport which is one of the major thing whenever I select a country/city to travel to.The most popular tourist attractions The Blue mosque(Sultan Ahmet Mosque ) and Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) will take your breath away.
Blue mosque(Sultan Ahmet Mosque ) 
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)
Süleymaniye Mosque
Chora Church has one of world's most beautiful mosaics of Byzantine times.

I can ramble about the colorful city of Istanbul for days, talk about how it was called Constantinople and was the capital city of Roman/Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires, about how this transcontinental city has a rich culture influenced by Asia and Europe, the food , the relaxed evening routine...however I'm limited by time.
I feel lucky to have visited the city in peaceful times and wish peace prevails soon over this magnificient city.

I will be back soon with some intersting facts with letter J ...keep watching.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Year 2016 review and Crafty plans for 2017

Hello Friends,

Another year has come to an end and it is time to reflect on the year gone by.

2016 was a good year to say the least...I think I grew as a human being and have found ways to be happy(read avoid circumstances/people which/who make me unhappy).

The year has been good one with vacations, visits to meet family and some surprise meet ups with friends...something I always wish for.

As you all know, 2015 was a major breakthrough year cross stitching wise, 2016 may not have been so exciting however there are some new things I did in this year.

1. Participated in a cross stitch mystery SAL.
2. Started to write a daily and a craft journal.
3. Participated in postcard exchanges.
4. Won a cross stitch giveaway on Instagram.
5. Bought a cross stitch magazine in Kuwait.
6. Joined a book club and have managed to finish listening to one audio book.
7. Participated in a cross stitch blog hop.
8. First independent knitting finish.
9. Participated in a cross stitch ATC swap on Instagram.
10. First charity stitching.
11.Participated in monthly handwriting challenge on Instagram.

I managed to finish 15 cross stitch projects this year, 7 of which have not been gifted so can't show you yet.

I also made 1 knitted scarf, 1 crochet coaster, 1 quilling card , 1 washi tape card and a embroidery hoop this year.

Here is a pie chart showing my year round crafting,less stitching days compared to 2015

At the start of the year, I set up some crafting goals .Let’s see how well I managed to achieve them

1. Try blackwork -
2. Learn 2 new ways of finishing cross stitch 
3. Stitch on evenweave fabric-Yes stitched on 25 ct vintage lugana
4. Stitch a medium/big size kit - Yes stitching a kit bought in 2014, however have swapped the fabric
5. Use stash the maximum -I only bought one cross stitch kit this year and my spending on needlework stash was half of what I spent in 2015.😅
6. Pick fabric painting again -
7. Try embroidery other than cross stitching :) - Yes did some free hand embroidery 
8. Keep trying to crochet- I have now finished making a single crochet coaster 😁 
9. Learn quilling. This has been pending since 2010- Yes made a birthday card for DH

The score is 6/9, not bad haa!!!

I enter the New Year with only one cross stitch WIP and have made some plans for year 2017.
Candamar Designs kit-My only WIP from 2016

Monthly SALs I will be participating in
1. New Year New Start with Stitch Maynia (FB group)- I will start Dimension kit "Indian peacock" on 1st Jan 2017.
New Year New Start 
2. Tour de Designers 2017 - SODA stitch with Stitch Maynia (FB group) - I will start "The Love Rain" on 1st April. This was a gift from Justine.

3. Tour de Designers 2017 - Lizzie Kate with Stitch Maynia (FB group)- I will start "I Cannot Count"  on 1st July. The Kit was bought in 2015, however the patterns calls for specialty threads which I don't have.

Blog SALs/Activities 
1. I will continue to participate in Gifted Gorgeousness SAL .I recently found out that my bestie is pregnant ,so that means I have 2 birth samplers to stitch now.
2. I joined Kaye's Friday Frolicking somewhere near April but shamefully posted only once. Will try to post more often.
3. The Alphabet Club . Haven't posted about this since April. Need to catch up

For goals, I would like to work on goals 1,2, 6, 8 of 2016 which I wasn't able to achieve. My resolution for 2017 is to dedicate more time for crafting specially on holidays/vacation.

The goals I have set are not stringent , however I'm sure I will need encouragement from time to time from you my friends.

Wishing you a healthy and a crafty 2017. 

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL April 2021 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. I...