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!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Back to my routine...

Hello all,

Thanks for your comments and wishes on my last post . I was away for some time because Anshita was down with chicken pox and was at home for more than two weeks :( She is fine now and since she was vaccinated earlier so she was moderately affected . She started going to school from today . But all this happened when Raj was on his US trip and I was alone to struggle with and she missed her school tests as well :(  When he was back , I got cold and fever so I took rest and read books . 

I  was working on crochet cushion which I will share in next blog post . Here are the remaining pictures of my family trip to Australia .

In Melbourne , we stayed in an apartment type hotel in a 2 bedroom apartment suite with all the facilities in kitchen . Although I did not cook but we could order Indian food online there .

Views from the sit out of the apartment and also from the bedroom window

Melbourne exhibition building
The Science Museum next to it was very nice and there was a Jurassic world exhibition at that time which had many giant dinosaur robots . If anyone is a dinosaur fan, I will share the videos .

We could not visit this church because of timings and most of our trips were Full day and outside Melbourne 

The apartment we stayed in

We visited Phillip island near Melbourne to see 'Penguin Parade' where every evening hundreds of  penguins return to their nests . We saw them from underground covered area which was the nearest you could see . Photography was not allowed there . These are the pics from their app . These penguins are the smallest of the species known as Little Penguin and are around 13 inches in height . It was nice seeing them walk into their nests in natural habitat .

They looked like Penguin babies , so cute :)

Melbourne cricket ground . A visit to cricket ground is always a part of an Indian's itinerary :)

We went on the Great ocean road trip to 12 apostles . We hired a private cab for the day .

Source : Internet

On the way we stopped over to see people surfing on the waves

and a light house

There was an area through the village where you can feed wild parrots .

12 apostles...not all can be captured together in a shot . The weather was nice and cool . Good for us as we were visiting after our hot summer in India.

I liked this place a lot !:)
There was a helicopter ride too but since we were running late we did not go for it .

I am done with the sight seeing pics from Australia although there are still lots of pics left unsorted . I have shared my yarn shopping and will share my craft books shopping along with my crochet project in the next post . 

Thanks for seeing !! Will soon visit your blogs .
Have a creative week ahead!
Preeti :)

Monday, 20 June 2016

Baaa in Australia means Merino !! :)

Thank you for your comments on my cross stitch and trip photos !! :) I have been adding my WIP progress along with the vacation pics but I don't have anything to show today .

I have just one more set of trip photos left which I will share later . Right now , I will share some crafty shopping adventures . I had dedicated the last day of vacation for my crafty shopping after collecting a mountain of souvenirs for our extended family and friends .

Baaa......Australian Merino sheep 
Saw lots of these while passing by villages towards Great Ocean road from Melbourne city

My shopping had me visit three places in Melbourne - Lincraft Store , Wondoflex Yarn center and Cando Books . My blogger friends , Lavina and Pam shared information on various shopping destinations and touring places in Sydney and Melbourne . Lavina also gave feedback about Indian restaurants as she had stayed there for years . Thanks Lavina and Pam .

About my yarn shopping , I got information from SnB Melbourne group on Ravelry and they promptly shared info on the stores based on my specific yarn choices . And this blog post on many craft stores in Melbourne also helped a lot .

Lincraft Store

Lots of threads

fabric...not much of choice 

DMC and Sullivan threads 

Lots of yarn and they were having 50% off on many brands on the day I visited

jewelry crafts section 

and this is what I got from there ......

Aida fabric, some random DMC and Sullivans threads, a white aida fabric band and a wooden lap frame . I have no idea if there are any more attachments needed with this frame . I just bought it and need to learn how to use .

random things --- those pebble shaped sticky notes and the thimble were bought from some other place . The 'make- a- zipper' roll is a new thing for me  

Got some bamboo batting for small projects , some more random zippers and flannel fabrics

Lincraft local cotton yarn and Paton's Sorrento synthetic yarn 

Made in Australia Pure wool yarn - Cleckheaton country 8 ply

I will make something for either me or Anshita

Shepherd baby merino wool 4 ply . I hope to make a short jacket for Anshita

A visit to Wondoflex Yarn center 

Lots of yummy yarns :))))

and this is what I got from there ......
Australian Superfine merino 8 ply by Cleckheaton. 
These were a bit expensive , 65gm ball @ 12 . 50 AUD . I guess I can make a short top for me with 3/4th sleeves .

Touch 2 ply pure merino was from Newzealand, very costly, so I got only one skein . 

Made in Australia Heirloom 100% cotton on left and Paton's cotton blend on right .

I was surprised to find that there were many yarns which were made in India and some in China too . There were European yarns also but those I can purchase from Deramores . I wanted to buy Australian yarns mostly made in Australia . My mother sponsored my shopping, looks like my 40th Birthday celebration got extended :)

Last weekend we went to New Delhi to get an award for Anshita :) She got 3rd prize in an International English Olympiad conducted by an organization among schools of south east and middle east Asian countries. Also , I had to visit two of my cousins family there so the three of us had gone .

Hope you had a lovely virtual shopping time with me :)  In next post, I will share about the craft books and magazines I purchased .

Have a great day!

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