Monday, March 30, 2015

StitchXplorations-French Knots

Take a look at my exploration of French Knots.

The back ground is as usual, unbleached heavy cotton cloth. I have used stranded cotton thread mostly. I have used all the 6 strands for a thicker knot. I have also used stem, outline, detached chain, and fly stitches with long tasils.

For grass I have used Rim Jim Threads(it is some what fuzzy) for grass for the fluffy look. 

This is one more stitch I am not so good at. But I think it is better than my satin stitch skills. I find Chinese knots easier than this for filling up.

Strictly speaking Knot stitches are fun once you master them. they give a textured look, a 3D effect and are quite interesting.

What do you say?

This is one more stitch I need a lot of practice

Watch out for more......

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Spring Time in my Garden-5

These are the chrysanthemums I have in my garden. Now since day temperatures are quite high, these are not blooming. 

 This is the button or miniateure mum.

I also have purple ones. I forgot to take a pic before cutting the blooms. 

These plants which have bloomed were cut to almost ground level and left in the pots. Now I have put them all under shade till monsoons arrive. The mother plant will give out many shoots which can be replanted to get the blooms. But it is really difficult to save them during summer. No matter how careful I am, I always loose some of these plants.

Have  to see how the summers will be this year. It is already quite hot here...

Watch out my blog....

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Monday, March 23, 2015

3D Greeting Cards-1

How nice it is if we have lots of time to think and create our arts or crafts? But many a time, I don't have that much luxury. Suddenly a little one comes to me saying, it is his birth day, or my niece tells me that she has to attend a birth day party in next half an hour, so I don't have much time to think, I have to rush around to create something with what I have at hand. It is quite irritating but then do we have a choice?

Here is one attempt at one of the cards I made(Sorry for poor quality of the picture, I was in a hurry).
These days you get so many 3D stickers of different sizes for decorating your walls. I keep in stock some of them. We use it for our niece's school projects.  So I used a bunch of sunflowers and a butterfly. The back ground is cream coloured textured card stock of A4 size folded in half. 

I just stuck them on the card-they are self adhesive. Then the message was written with glitter pens(I don't have a photo of that, as I was in a hurry). Message inside was also hand written with colour pens and glitter pens on a plain white sheet and stuck up. 

VOILA! We had a card in a jiffy, hand made and messages hand written with a personal touch. No one could make out that they were made from a sticker.

TIP:     So when you are in a hurry, and want to make a card in a jiffy;

Keep stock of such stickers, you can use one of them. They can be birthday cards, congratulation cards, thank you cards or get well cards. If you have a printer, you can print the greetings on the card stock before sticking or decorating it. similarly, message can also be printed and stuck inside. If not just write it down. 

So watch out for more......

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StitchXplorations - Satin Stitch

This is again one more attempt at satin stitch from the same sampler done long time back.
The background is unbleached cotton fabric. I have used a shaded cotton thread, 2 strands. I have outline some petals with back stitch to see how it looks. The leaves and stalk, stem have been done in satin stitch.

I have not filled in the center. I think s few french knots would look nice. I will try them.

What do you think?

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Friends in My Garden-Wasps

I like to spend as much time as possible in my garden. No doubt, it requires lot of time and energy, in maintenance. But the result is that we have fresh air, greenery around us, it supplies us with, flowers, fruits and vegetables now and then. 

It is a pleasure sitting in the garden, any time of the day or season. In spring or in summer, monsoon or in winter, lot of activity can be seen. Watching, bugs and bees, birds and butterflies, caterpillars and many other creatures is meditative.

Well here is one of the visitors, who became a resident of my garden:

These are very small wasps, constructing their home with white substance. They make tube like hollow structures, lay their egs and seal it.
 You can see here the sealed ones.
We have so many of these colonies in our garden.

Well their sting is very uncomfortable. It feels like a small shock at first and then you feel as if burnt by the fire in the area where stung. This lasts for two to three days. So even though their size is small their sting is quite something. I have experienced it once.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015


Ugadi- 2015 Special

This is 25 to 1 dots- straight dots.

I have drawn here, houses decorated with mango leaf torans, front yard decorated with rangolis, mangoes and blooming flowers celebrating Ner Year Ugadi.

This is simple and easy to draw. Hope you like it.

Here are some borders, you can try with this Rangoli:

My Warm Wishes, to the Telugu people, Kannadigas, and Maharashtrians who are celebrating, Ugadi, Gudi Padava... that is New Year as per our Indian Lunar Calendar. 

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Monday, March 16, 2015

StichXplorations-Satin Stitch

This is a very old sampler. This was my attempt at satin stitch. The stems and sepals of the buds are chain stitch. The center of the flower is diagonal stitch over satin stitch base.

The fabric used is unbleached heavy cotton. I used Neem zari thread; cotton thread with gold or zari thread. 

This one time I got it perfect, as you can see below:

This is not my favorite stitch. Nine out of ten times, I cannot do this perfectly as I would like to. But I have improved over the years.  I need to practice this stitch  to improve my skills. But I keep on postponing it as this stitch is a strain on the eyes. 

What do you say? 

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Sring Time in my Garden - 4

Here are the Magnolia flowers known as Champka in Sanskrit and Hindi and Sampengi in Telugu.

This is the white coloured one. This gives a very light fragrance. It does not flower profusely; may be my plant is too young.

This is the green one known as Aaku Sampengi meaning leaf Champaka. This blooms frequently and every new shoot will have lots of flowers. The fragrance of this flower is different from the white one. Earlier days this plant used to be there in many homes  and gardens in Andhra. Even today these flowers are sold in the markets and one cannot miss their fragrance. This reminds me of my childhood at my granny's place.

I never knew this plant gave fruits like the one above until recently. 

This is the yellow variety, known as Simhachalam Sampengi, as Lord Narasimha Swami at Simhachalam in Andhra Pradesh is said to be found of these flowers. So these flowers are offered to Him. 

The fragrance of these flowers is different from the above two. I planted this tree twice and both times lost them to termites. I will try my luck again.

Keep an eye on my blog......

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring time in my Garden -3

Hibiscus, also known as Rose Mallow, Shoe Flower, China rose is a very beautiful flower and quite common in India, especially in South India. These are grown for their showy and colourful flowers and also as shrubs in the garden. These are evergreen shrubs and flower through out the year. 

They require very less maintenance except for lots of pests and bugs. They also flower abundantly, hence hit with us Indians and other countries, like China, Hawaii and Korea etc....They contain many species which are both annual and perennial varieties. 

These are known as Japakusuma or Japa Pushpa in Sanskrit, Mandaaram in Telugu and GuDDhal in Hindi. These flowers are offered to Lord Ganesha, Kali or Durga, Shiva and Sun God as their favorite flowers. In general used as offering to any gos or goddess in our homes.

I prefer the local varieties to the hybrid ones. The hybrid ones give big flowers in many colours but they don't have the beauty of the local ones.

 This is only one hybrid variety I have as it was gifted to me.
 This is baby pink multi petaled one.
 This is lemon yellow multi petaled one.
This is a different shade of yellow, shade of sandal wood.
 This is lavender coloured multi petaled one.

Below are two varieties of orange colured flowers

 This is tomato red coloured one
The one above is darkest red flower, which is not clear in the pic.
This one below is the single petaled local variety mostly in red, white and light pink colours. But the red one is most popular.
Here is my flower basket for Puja(daily prayers) filled with flowers form my garden.

Hibiscus, is used in ayurveda as it has medicinal properties. Tea made out of these flowers is quite popular in many countries. Paste of these flowers and its leaves, applies to hair make them long, lustrous, healthy and black colour. So women from South India use this as a hair tonic.

Watch out for more.......

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Time in my Garden - 2

Here are the Roses. 
 This is the climber which gives out bunches of flowers.
This is a marble shaded one, a new entrant...

Roses bloom round the year, but do well in mild winters and early summer. I have climbers, button or miniature roses as well as other varieties. Mostly these are hybrid ones and don't have fragrance or have a very mild fragrance. The local varieties of dark pink, white and pale yellow ones have strong smell.

Earlier I had nearly 25 different shades of these roses. But now, I have very few left. I am trying to build up my garden again. But in summer with water problems, it is  very difficult to save these plants.

These plants require lot of care, especially with pests. But still must in every garden. Don't you think so?

Watch out for more.....

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Springtime in my Garden-1

Its flowering time in my garden. Before the summer sets in fully, we are enjoying the riot of colours in the garden. Here is a glimpse of bougainvillea. 
This is the multi petalled one in a shade ranging from pink to orange.
This one is the classic dark pink one.
This one is the single petaled, pink-orange shade.

Though growing in pots, being trained for Bonsai, they bloom at the beginning of summer. If proper care is taken, they will bloom through out the summer season. This is one hardy plant, actually vine with spikes, which can be grown in pots, or as fences or as climbers. They bloom in a variety of colours and the flowers are single, double or multi-petaled. 

They are ornamental plants because of their colourful blooms and can be trained or cut in various shapes. They are easy to grow, as they require very little water. Thier growth varies from slow to fast, depending upon the variety of the plant. With frequent fertilisation, and if grown in plenty of sun light, they bloom well. 

They can be reproduced through cuttings. There are nearly 300 varieties of these plants.

This is a good plant for novices and  beginners in gardening as well as for Bonsai enthusiasts.

Keep an eye on my blog for more......

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