Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Family Time....The Indian Way.....

Who says we cannot make some time to enjoy with our family and friends even in the midst of such tight schedules and deadlines to be met. Get together with friends and family can be fun and inexpensive. At the same time we may be able to acquaint the younger generation with some of our traditions and impart some moral and ethical values.

Well the Monsoons have brought in heavy rains, which made us keep to our homes. So this week end we made most of it. My niece loves corn on cobs like me and this being the  season for it, we wanted to have  little get together and enjoy it. 

Starting with the monsoons, the corn on the cobs are sold in the markets. They are very tender now. Unlike the sweet corn, our Indian corn is not sweet but still tasty. It is generally eaten by roasting over coal and dabbed with salt and lemon juice. These days we have our street corners, picnic spots and markets filled with vendors selling these roasted corn. Some of them even visit our residential areas with push carts laden with corn cobs. We can choose the one we want. the cobs are then de husked and roasted over coals to our liking. He than dabs it with salt and lemon juice. It is really yummy to eat hot roasted cobs when it is raining and chill out side. It is also quite healthy.

So, on Sunday afternoon, my niece wanted to try her hand at roasting of these cobs on coal. I used a clay tray filled with red hot coals, as I don't have the traditional clay stove  which is used for cooking with coal.

We had fun sitting on the floor around the tray (it kept us warm) roasting corn cobs, talking about our school and college  days, how we enjoyed roasting these corn cobs, potatoes, poppadoms, sweet potatoes, jack fruit seeds on coal and eat it with our friends and cousins. We also watched Ice Age - we all love it and don't mind watching it a hundredth time. 
Every Saturday afternoon all of us friends used to meet at my place and enjoy such snacks. Or else I used to cook some new dish which was tested by them all. 

It was the same when I used to visit my aunts or my Gran. In the after noon, all of us used to sit in the open veranda in the back yard. My Gran used to roast the cobs on the coals in a big mud stove constructed with mud bricks and coated with clay and cow dung. All of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends visiting us would have a great time. Women would sit  in a group and gossip about their in laws, recently performed marriages in the family, or the arrival of a baby or clothes and ornaments. Men would have their own group talking about, politics, sports and current affairs. We children used to eat more than our quota by pinching a little from mom or dad and end up with stomach aches in the night, with lot of scoldings from our elders. But my Gran used to have her home remedy ready to pacify us and put to sleep. by next time we would forget all this and be ready to stuff ourselves again with corn cobs.

Hmmm my niece was so very happy that she could roast the cobs herself. She was bouncing up and down as if she  landed with a great jack pot. She listened to all our child hood memories. It was really fun to bond with our family. My niece learned the traditional way of roasting the corn cobs and enjoyed it too. That did not cost us much but achieved a lot.

How we roast the corn cobs the Indian way, you can read it here:

Happy Monsoons to all of you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Basque Stitch-2

TAST-2012-Week 29-Basque Stitch

It rained here cats and dogs for the past few days. The skies were highly overcast. It rained most part of the night and in the evenings with heavy drizzling through out in the day. In such a weather it is really difficult to attend  our  daily chores leave alone any thing else. 

Still I just tried a little doodling.

Here it is.....
1. Stitches with space in between
2. Stitches close together
3. Stitches with beads
4. Basque Stitch with Fly Stitch
5. Slanting Stitches. The bottom part was difficult to work. I don't know weather I got it correctly or not.
6. Basque Stitch with one sided Feather Stitch.

Need to work out a lot on this stitch. I do have lots of ideas but I don't think I have the time now...So I will note them down and work when I am a bit free....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Painting on Fabrics-Sea Creatures-1

My first passion always was and will be painting. I feel so happy when I have a paint brush in my hand. I don't mind painting a wall, a door or a window grill work, or on paper or fabric. It is somehow soothing to simply paint a surface with all your concentration. I even like it better with my favorite music playing along. Even now, when I am depressed, or feel low, I either, paint or head to kitchen to experiment some new dish. It sort of makes me forget everything.

I used to paint a lot on paper which later on I made into greeting cards and sent to my friends and relations. 

But when I discovered painting on fabric, it was a totally different experience. Painting on fine muslin cottons is different from thicker ones. Similarly painting on crepes or nylon is different from silks. Well there is lot of scope for experimentation and I did lot of experiments, learning something new each time. Of late, somehow, I don't find that much time to hold a brush, let alone paint.

This one is one from a series of sea creatures, I painted on my cushion covers, divan set and table cloth. 

There is something magical and mystical about the sea creatures and the sea itself. I love to paint fishes.

This is very old and it has been washed so many times, with lots of brushing-so the paint might have peeled of in some areas.

I just loved the expression of this fish-all jubilant and that's why selected to paint it.  The back ground fabric was a very thick casement fabric. It is very difficult to paint and if not painted properly, the paint will peel off on washing. 

The colour I chose was sea green (or blue?) since I was painting sea creatures. I used pearl colours too (for the sea grass) but its shine cannot be seen here.

This I used this motif for the center of table cloth. I will post the remaining ones in my next keep an eye on my blog.....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Basque Stitch-1

TAST-2012-Week-29-Basque Stitch

29th Week's challenge announced by Sharon in TAST 2012 is Basque Stitch. Visit her site here for more info:

This is one of the simplest stitches. It is easy to stitch and once we make a few stitches, it is quite rhythmic- something like knitting.  This is one of my favorite stitches as it is easy and there is lot you can do with it.

Here is one of my attempts: 
I used this stitch to decorate the neck and pockets of my kurtha. The fabric is pure heavy cotton known as Khadi-that is hand spun. You can see the colour in the below pictures better.
I made a mistake here. I could have followed the curve while stitching at the neck. But somehow I did not. So it is broken. It would have been more beautiful if I had followed the curve with out a break. But if I remember this was my first attempt and that too with out much practise.
A closer look at the stitch. I used tow stitches of Basque -one with yellow and the other with green.
Here is a look at the stitch around the pocket. Here I used single stitches inbetween the green one.
A closer look at the stitch.

This was one of my first attempts long time back-years ago. Now I would love to do a sampler. Let me try it and post it....Keep a watch on my blog.....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Flower Arrangement

With fresh flowers...

This is a small terracotta tray filled up with water. The petals of yellow Chrysanthemums and red coloured marigold flowers and few leaves were just thrown into it-not arranged in any particular order. It is a mosaic of colours but the beautiful smells of the flowers fills up the room with an interesting fragrance.
One can use one these terracotta urns and trays available in various shapes and sizes. We can also paint them according to our requirement.

Reorganising my Blogs....

Of late I don't have much time on my hands to pursue all my favorite things. This blog is one of them. I have lots to share with you but the major problem is time. So I am not able to take proper pictures of my work and write my posts. One more problem is the erratic power supply. In monsoon season it is quite common that power supply is stopped when there are heavy rains or strong winds. With high surges in power, I am worried about all my gadgets. So posting of tutorials and my work is taking time.

I knew that I needed to organise my blog properly as it looked very cluttered and all of you are finding it difficult to browse through my blog. But again lack of time was the reason I could not take it up till now. 

I was actually confused as to where to start or what to do so that you all find it easy to browse and still am. As you can see I have already started reorganising. But it will take some time for me. I am not much tech savvy and also am slow. So i can do it slowly and steadily. So bear with me please.

I would like to thank Ms Sony Patel, who took time to point out certain things, which gave me courage to start this reorganising. Thanks a lot Sonyji, your suggestions have helped me a lot.

I would like to have your suggestions in this regard as to what and how I can do to re-organise. This will really help me. So please drop in your suggestions.

Thanks a lot to all my friends who visit my blog and take time to leave comments and suggestions which all help me a lot.