Monday, 19 September 2016

The fifth wave !!.......

......I mean , the fifth Wow !! I completed the fifth cushion yesterday :)

I used 4 mm hook . The light green yarn is Sirdar Cotton DK and the red one is Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton DK .
The stitch pattern is called as 'Twilight' and is from the book 'Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia' by Robyn Chachula .

I have one query, has anyone ever used ultrasonic devices for pigeons? If so , do share your reviews . I am having lot of problem with these birds . We got temporary nylon bird gaurd mesh installed in the bedroom balcony and I shifted all the veggie plants there but I don't want the front balcony covered . 

My cherry tomatoes are growing but only one has turned red so far, others aren't in a mood for the show time . Spinach has given me 4-5 times good harvest so far .
I have 6 pots of cherry tomato plants like these and all are at the same stage

Life is going on very busy , will share a picture of all five cushions together in next post and some cross stitch too , now that the recipient has acknowledged and loved my gift .

Have a great week !

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Jo's Big Birthday blog hop !!

My blogger friend , Jo from Serendipitous Stitching is celebrating her Golden Jubilee today and all her blogger friends are celebrating together sharing her and in turn their life events .

She was 32 in 1998 and was becoming an experienced cross stitcher and decided to try speciality stitches with some delicate band samplers from Shepherd's Bush.  At this time many of her friends and colleagues were starting families.  In 1999, she stitched three baby samplers for three close friends.  

The environment at work was changing as people left on maternity leave and younger people joined the team.  The financial world involved changes too with fewer people doing more work.  She becomes responsible for some very large and complex accounts while dealing with a new computer system forced upon the company with the threat of The Millenium Bug wiping out all non-compliant systems on the stroke of midnight 31/12/99

While she was busy combating Y2K bug , I entered into the IT phase of my life embarking upon my journey of Post Graduation . I was in the first year of my Master's degree in Computers. I was 22 years old at that time and the good things happened to me apart from the new year in new college were :
  • My father gave me a new Kinetic Honda , an automatic scooter for girls . It was a surprise and I wasn't expecting since he already got new computer and printer for me a month ago . 
  • It was a class of 30 students and there were only two girls including me, so there was plenty of attention from boys ;)
  • I wasn't struggling with weight issues, I was at my I can only fit into the earrings I wore in college .
Jo's stitching projects are different than what I stitch , I have one Joan Elliot project but that's not complete yet . But , Jo , hope you like this one ....... My first blackwork project

HAPPY    BIRTHDAY !!!!!! :)

Have loads of fun!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

One more down and an up-cycled project :)

Thank you for your comments on my last post . My cushion marathon continues and I completed one more adding stars to my crochet collection :)

Crochet Polish star cushion

This is known as Polish star pattern and I first saw it here on the blog of my blogger friend Lisa from 'My world of crochet'. I found it complicated then but after trying , I got a hang of it .Thank you Lisa for sharing this pattern and helping me clear my doubts . I have used edc(extended double crochet) stitch and ch-12 loops in my cushion .

I made it with yarns : Patons Cotton DK (purple), Tivoli Cruise cotton DK (cream) and 4 mm hook . I had completed crocheting last month and only the last row was left but I found a mistake in a row so I had to unweave those loops which I did last week . I sewed it on to a fabric base cushion, haven't taken any pic of the back , it is same as previous ones . I also referred to a post by another blogger here  which again points to Lisa's post but there are some detailed English instructions about how she did .

Anshita made this sketch in school in her drawing & painting activity . They are given a topic and based on that they have to creatively represent a message within the art . She got the topic as 'furnace' and here she represented it with a brain processing thoughts into words that can hurt someone . Her painting sir was very impressed with her creativity :)

I have this Godrej Almirah , a large  size iron cupboard commonly known by that name in an Indian household . It has lot of storage space and is still very sturdy even after 15 years . Also, since it was gifted on one of the festivals by my parents so I did not feel like selling it . But this was the only color mismatch in my craft room and it wasn't possible to paint its smooth surface .

So with Raj's help , I covered it with self adhesive printed wall/shelf paper . I love seeing the new look whenever I enter the room :) There weren't enough choices at the stationery store from where we got the paper and this was the nearest match to my colorful craft room . For those who haven't seen my craft room post earlier, they can see it here .

Also , I would like to thank some of my blogger friends who showed interest in taking part in the challenge I mentioned in the last post . I have emailed to those with queries . There are no such rules like CAL or SAL to link back to me . You are on your own , just mention about your project and stick to that one mostly . It would be great if you show a weekly progress mentioning your success/failures and sharing tips on the same . I will start in October and I have chosen Temari balls from Japan . I had purchased a book long back but never had time and patience to try . I will wind up my near completion projects in September .

Happy crafting !!
Preeti :)

Monday, 22 August 2016

Another Cushion !! :) And a plan for a challenge

Completed another cushion just a day before Ravellenics games closed on Ravelry .

Bobble-Shell stitch cushion
Crochet Bobble shell stitch cushion
Its done with 4 mm hook and Lincraft cotton yarn which I bought from Australia . Free pattern here . Usually it takes ages for me to weave in the threads and sew a fabric cushion to attach it onto but I pushed hard to complete it as part of my Ravellenics games . 

The back side

Also did the same for the cushion in my last post - weaved in and attached onto a fabric cushion .

Crochet arrow stitch cushion
The Front 

The back side

My capsicum and cherry tomato plants have started flowering. Hopefully, I will get small harvest next month if they survive . 

The pigeons destroyed one of my capsicum plants :(  

Cherry tomato dwarf

Cherry tomato and spinach

There are no flowers in my balcony garden as of now , got few plants from nursery this weekend , will share once I transplant them .

I have a plan for a challenge which I think I might do in October or November  to learn a new type of craft or needlework . I want to do Hardanger, Temari and few other embroidery types , macrame , quilling, clay craft etc. The idea is to create a project, small or medium, while learning . It can't be done without coming out of comfort zone of crochet and cross stitch . I will dedicate one month to the learning and , if at all needed ,  turning to crochet and cross stitch for few hours only on weekends . 
I would be happy if I get a company who would want to come out of comfort zone and take the challenge . You have to choose a project in which you need to learn a technique from the scratch . If you know crochet and need to learn complicated stitches then that doesn't qualify . But if you are still fumbling with basic crochet stitches , then it does . 

A rough plan for one month is : 
1st Week - Choose a project, search tutorials, gather materials, try your hands at  the basic technique
2nd Week - Gather materials, Start the project 
3rd Week -  In progress
4th Week -  Finish 

Finishing is not a compulsion and depends on the size of the project but giving most time , sticking with the new craft is important . If frustrated , you can find solace with your old stitching/crochet project for few hours on weekends as mentioned earlier .

Hope you are busy crafting lot of things .

Have a crafty week ahead!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Ravellenics Games update and a gift :)

Thanks for your comment on my last post ! :)

I have been crocheting more than stitching since I participated in the Ravellenics games on Ravelry and completed the front of one more cushion using arrow stitch . I shared the first cushion here .

I have used premier cotton yarns and 4 mm hook and here is the pattern for this . I need to weave-in the threads and hand sew all five of them onto fabric cushions which I will sew on the machine this weekend most probably .

As some of you know  my blogger friend Kim from Wisdom with Needle and Thread is celebrating her 60th Bday , I became one of the proud owners of her RAK gifts . Here is my lovely package :)

Hand painted Porcelain Trinket box , Mill Hill kit, Threads and vintage printed Windham fabric .

Kim painted the porcelain trinket box in 18th Century style painting and it is absolutely beautiful !!

Inside the box : cute lady bug

On the lid : Beautifully painted landscape

Thank you Kim , I will treasure these gifts - will use the fabric and threads though :)

I also made some special food items for Anshita last week . I always forget to take pics but this time I remembered . This is her favorite sweet and I have to control her not to eat too many in a day . These can stay fresh for almost a week .

Sweet : Karanji (in Marathi) / Gujhia (in Hindi)
Cover : flour, milk, pure ghee (clarified butter), Stuffing : maawa/khoya (made of milk) and then deep fried in pure ghee. Traditionally our sweets are all made in ghee since olden times and they don't taste better in any other cooking butter .

Spicy and tangy : Dahi Paapdi Chaat
Few broken down crispies are poured over with curd , tamarind chutney adding few spices and coriander/parsley

I am busy with lots of things and hopefully the blog posts will have more things to show .

Have a nice day!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Cross Stitch Rakhi / Bracelet !!

I made these cross stitch Rakhis a.k.a bracelets for a brother-sister festival named 'Rakshabandhan' .

Last year I made crochet Rakhis and shared details about this festival here . I am copy-pasting here again in case you are interested to know .

We have this brother-sister festival named Rakshabandhan where a sister ties a Rakhi on her brother's wrist and asks for lot of gifts in return....just kidding ;) The brothers are supposed to be taking care of their sister's safety in return for this bonding . It is related to a historical story where a Hindu Queen sends a bracelet to a Muslim ruler to save her from another Muslim ruler who was planning to invade her kingdom . Touched by the gesture , he sent his army to save her . There are other stories too. Since then it is celebrated as a brother-sister bonding festival . We sure do get gifts from brothers on this day .

I randomly started stitching crosses and then moved to a canvas stitch similar to one used in blackwork . I don't know the name and not in a mood to search for it .

I have lots of strips of aida fabric left after cutting bigger sizes for my cross stitch projects . I saved those thinking I would make bookmarks . Those came in handy for stitching small pieces here :)
The cross stitched piece is sewed on two layers of felt fabric - lavender and yellow - and a thin foam circle sandwiched between them . I have made seven such Rakhis .

Anshita was busy this time to make cards so just folded some printed sheets from card stocks and glued a scrap paper on it.

I also stitched on ladybird fairy . Completed the wings and few more little areas . Now the skin part is left .

I have started my crochet cushions while participating in Ravellenics on Ravelry . I will share once a substantial progress is done .

Have a crafty week ahead!
Preeti :)

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Colorful Crochet and Craft books

Thank you for reading my last post and being there for me in my happy and frustrated moments .

Here is what I completed recently , a colorful crochet cushion with the Heirloom cotton yarn that I purchased recently from Australia . This is the fastest ever use of my stash :)

The yarn was very very soft to work with and I used 4 mm hook . The stitch pattern is from here .
This is just the front part , I don't crochet the back and I sew fabric cushion (front -white and back - printed) to attach it onto . I also need to sew regular fabric cushions with some patchwork thrown in which I haven't done before . I am in dire need of good cushions in the drawing room and I am not purchasing new ones as it will deter me from making a new ones . The cushions at my home usually get tossed off to next empty sofa/chair and if made by me then they are given a little care and respect while tossing off . My family doesn't want cushions and I cannot do away with the things that have opportunities to showcase my creativity .

Now the last part of my shopping to envy you all.....the craft books :)

There is a shop named 'Can do Books ' in Melbourne which stocks only craft, cooking and gardening books , I guess all the hobbies. I came to know about it from a blogpost on Melbourne Craft shops that I shared earlier .

Books - I liked this display area :)


and lots of books 

Here is my loot :)

Designer Crochet by Shannon Mullett - Bowlsby
Blue print Crochet sweaters by Robin Chachula

Origami Master class by various artists and geometric origami papers for Anshita

Reversible color crochet by Laurinda Reddig
Crochet Pillows with Tunisian techniques by Sharon H Silverman

Crocheting on the edge by Nicky Epstein

Old fashioned doilies to crochet by Rita Weiss
Simply Adorable Crochet by Maki Oomaci

Macrame by Kat Hartmann
Pincushion Appeal by Cecile McPeak and Rachel Martin

Sardinian knotted embroidery by Yvette Stanton

I could have purchased these at a less price online but then I rarely get to feel so many craft books in hands and all at one place because we don't get needlework books in stores here . So I indulged myself  :)

I also got Cross stitch magazines from a magazine store (with only magazines on two floors) , they aren't available everywhere but the owner of the Can do books store told us when I asked for Australia's 'Inspirations' embroidery magazine .
Cross Stitch Crazy - June and July issues (I got in May)
The World of cross stitching - issue 240

Unfortunately , I could not find the embroidery magazine there but got some patchwork quilting magazine with offer 3 for 1.

On Sydney airport , I bought another magazine , 'Homespun,' published from Australia .

So this is the end of my vacation related stuff and Yay I did complete this time . Most of the time I lost track after two vacation posts .

I liked Australia trip very much . It was relaxed as at many places we went with my mother's speed and enjoyed places than rushing into to cover everything . People were helpful everywhere -  rangers in the wild life park and penguin parade, guides at the Opera house and lot of other places we visited . Most of our travel was with private cabs and we met two nice and friendly cab service owners who drove us to Blue mountain tour near Sydney and Great ocean road(12 Apostles) near Melbourne . I am telling specifically because we would usually have lot of queries pertaining to lifts , walking distance , special facilities for seniors because of my mother's knee problem and they patiently answered all . I loved the weather as well , it was the beginning of winters and not too cool . You must sure visit once :)

I have signed for Ravellenic games for a group I follow on Ravelry which will begin from 5th August . I need to complete five crochet cushion fronts , out of which , one is done and second is also almost nearing completion . On cross stitch front , I am learning to use the Cross Stitch DP software that I got on my Birthday .

Have a nice day!

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