Wednesday, December 31

Wishing you Layers of Flavours in 2015

My first attempt at found poetry - newspaper blackout.

Layers of Flavours

Essential in our lives.
The very foundations of life itself.
Pleasure, enjoyment, experience, flavour, taste......
Really living.
Richness of experience that makes you feel alive;
allows your senses to be stimulated.
The biggest enemy is blandness.
The last thing you really want.
Avoid anything bland, one-dimensional, dull and boring.
What you really want is complexity.
What makes it good?
Layers of Flavours.
A tapestry woven together, specifically designed to take you on a journey,
give you an experience and the key is balance.
The skill of the creator.
The reason we celebrate artists.
It takes a real master to create unique, signature expressions.

I wish all the readers of this blog layers of flavours in 2015. I hope your experiences are multi dimensional and take you on a journey which allow your senses to be stimulated.
I hope you achieve balance and mastery over your chosen craft which will enable you to create unique signature expressions.
2015 promises 365 opportunities I hope you recognise them and are richer from the experience.Wishing each of you good health and happiness in the coming days.  

Monday, December 22

Putting up my feet

I finally get to put up my feet, sip tea and review the year which is coming to an end. 
 An exciting development was the inclusion of my work in the publication TextileArt. I'm going to find time in the next two weeks to leaf through the pages of TextileArt and discover the unique and exciting work of 160 artists from around the world whose work has been featured in this tome.Special thanks to Marta for letting me know about this project.
The YouTube video made by Ellen's son gives you a sneak peek of the book and the book is available to order here.

I've done a fair bit of travelling this year and had to juggle teaching assignments with the travel.

I'm glad I decided to participate in A Letter A Week 2014 because it's come to an end.I made an accordion style book with the Alphabets+Place. The second book which deals with Tamil slang and English words  has to be put together as a flag book.
This year I made books with paper and not fabric.I'm trying to decide whether to make a small fabric tome of Home Remedies or find a fabric book page swap to participate in , in 2015. Please point  me to any projects brewing in the ethernet involving fibre art, making fiber art/artists book in the coming year. I find that any collaboration however limited or involved has always enriched my work and broadened my horizons.

Second year running I participated in Roy G Biv conducted by Jennifer and Julie. I'm going to participate in 2015 as well but my findings will be on display each month on my other blog Take Diversion.   maybe you'll join in.

It's been a very full year and I'm grateful for all the interactions with family and friends which have enriched me whether in person, via social media and various WhatsApp groups.
Social media and the web which made it possible for my work to be accepted and published from the Netherlands. Who knew it was possible.
Travel which has broadened my cultural horizons.
Teaching has always given me an insight into what's in with Gen Y. This year I discovered Gen Y has ceased to write and notebooks aren't part of the paraphernalia they carry around. All I taught was typed and saved as memos on their smart phones, anything written on the board was photographed, submission dates and assignments were shared on WhatsApp.
All in all its been a good year.

Wishing all who stop here a season of good cheer,good health and happiness.

Thursday, December 18

Blogger's Choice - Gold - Roy G Biv 2014

For the final installment of Roy G Biv 2014 it's blogger's choice and I've chosen Gold.
Indians can't seem to get enough of gold.
The latest trend is painting temple vimanas or towers in gold paint.

Interesting imagery here. Let me tell you about the figures in this picture. Left to right we have Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, then there's a man holding a jackfruit on his head. In the center is the elephant headed God Ganesha and at his feet the little creature is the mouse. The mouse is Ganesha's vahan or vehicle. Next is a man carrying a huge bunch of bananas and on the extreme right is Goddess Saraswati or the Goddess of Knowledge.
 We Indians love gold, the precious metal and buying gold jewellery is a national obsession. Huge hoardings advertising gold jewellery are placed strategically on the highways.
From the day a girl child is born her parents will start collecting gold jewellery for her wedding and yes a traditional Indian bride will wear as much gold jewellery  as the model in the hoarding at times more.There's a piece of jewellery  to adorn every part of the human body.
Gold is wealth and gold is considered a good investment. Gold threads or zari is woven into sarees  and traditional cotton and silk clothing for men and women is almost always embellished with gold either woven or embroidered because along with a love for gold is the love for adornment and decoration. 

Crystal chandelier with gold shades at an antique shop. 

Gold lettering.

It's been an exciting year looking for colour, have to thank Julie and Jennifer for running this challenge. This month you get to see pictures of a particular colour each participant has chosen. Go over to Julie's or Jennifer's blogs to view the choices.  

Have a wonderful weekend. Everybody must be busy with the holiday season. Wishing everybody a season of good cheer, peace and happiness.

Monday, December 1

My World - a throw

The seasons have changed once more and it's winter once more in the Indian subcontinent. It's a delicious time when there's a nip in the early mornings and late evenings and the sun is warm without burning you. 
It's also the time I like to pull out a throw to snuggle under when I watch television in the night or take a nap in the afternoon.
There's this lightweight soft twill throw which I brought home a couple of years back and I've begun embellishing it.  
Inspired by Jude's Coma Cloth. My World is a work in progress. I've taken to appliqueing bits and pieces onto the throw while I snuggle under it. So it's going to take a while because I need a throw only for the next three months, by the end of March layers will be discarded and My World will go back into storage until the weather turns cool again.

On one side of the throw I've appliqued a border taken from a sarong which was converted into a top. The sarong has a simulated batik print. Another batik simulated sarong had blue flowers which found a place on the throw as well.  
My tailor has interesting scraps of printed fabric. There are two bits of floral prints waiting to be appliqued onto My World.I'm on the lookout for prints of elephants, autos, trucks or a line or quote in an Indian language.

I've put a wreath on the apartment door to mark the start of Advent. The Christmas tree  will be put up and decorated next weekend. What are you doing to get into the festive spirit.?
The Winter Sampler has been completed, will have a picture to show in an upcoming post.
Have a good week.

Thursday, November 20

Brown - Roy G Biv 2014

November and we're looking for brown.
Here's what I found. 
Elephant moving fallen trees in a very dry Mudumalai Tiger Reserve before the monsoons.  

When the oil got too hot in the wok one evening, a brown flower started blooming. 
 Someone was painting with brown paint at this table.
A scrumptious chocolate mousse.
Student's work on the walls at The National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore where I teach.

To see what other people have gathered check Julie's and Jennifer's blogs.

Saturday, November 15

Winter Sampler

It's that time of year when friends and family are baking fruit cakes for Christmas. Every year I say I'll bake one too but it looks like 2014 will not be the year I bake my first fruit cake instead I've started on this winter sampler.
It's all red cross stitch on cotton fabric, thought it looked all Christmasy . The pattern for the Winter Sampler is a free pattern from Leisure Arts. They have suggestions of using the different motifs in the sampler on other products like a napkin ring, table runner and a candle band.

Have a good weekend. Busy couple of week ahead with the semester coming to an end.Curriculum to be completed and assignments to be marked.
Will have to wait for December to get started on projects which have been marinating.

Thursday, October 23

The patchwork tunic

 The first garment I've made - all natural dyed pieces of cotton fabric. Dyed with rust and tea in my kitchen. Then pieced together by hand.
This is the front of the garment.
The patches overlapped each other along the edges and I stitched through both layers with chain stitch.
 The back of the garment.
Detail of the rust and tea dye. 
I spent time with my family last week and got to photograph the patchwork tunic in my mother's lush tropical garden.
I'm planning a small collection of hand stitched and natural dyed garments. I hope to find a gallery which will be interested in showing.

Happy Diwali to all those celebrating. Wishing everyone an abundance of health, happiness and prosperity in the new year.  

Thursday, October 16

White - Roy G Biv 2014

It's that time of the month when Roy G Biv rolls around and this month its white that's being showcased.
Thermocol packaging stacked against a wall.
Stairway to heaven. A little shrine on the way to our home in the Nilgiris. Built on a large rocky outcrop the stairs are painted white and the artist must have imagined the rock to be the night sky because there are stars painted at random on the black granite.  
Bringing in the catch. On Bandar beach in Andhra Pradesh.
In South India rice is the staple food and rice is the basic ingredient for a number of typical south indian dishes. In the picture above taken in One Town, Vijayawada, a man is frying the snack, Punagulu. One large container holds the white rice batter. A wok holds hot oil into which he puts small quantities of batter which are fried until a pale cream. Then they are removed from the hot oil with the large sieve like spoon resting in the battered looking colander like container. The Punagulu are fried a second time to make them crisp and irresistible. 
White bougainvillea.
To finish off I have a picture of a chocolate dessert platter which I really enjoyed.

Julie and Jennifer will have links on their blogs which will take you on a discovery of white.

Two colours to go before the end of the year. You could decide to play along in which case
November 20 will showcase Brown and
December 18 will be Blogger's Choice.

Sunday, October 12

English Tamil Slang q to z

I've finished stitching the entire alphabet with sequins on paper.

Now to start assembling them into a book.
I was thinking of a flag book. Must work things out.
 In my last post about English Tamil Slang we'd got as far as p. Onward to q.

q - quarter cutting - phrase - 180 ml of any alcoholic beverage . The smallest quantity of bottled alcohol available for sale.

r - reel - comes from the era when movies came recorded on reels in Tamil slang it refers to an improbable story garnished with juicy bits and pieces to enhance the story.

s - scene -  to show-off, act pricey

t - tension party -  someone who gets annoyed easily or becomes tense easily.

Haven't found any gems for u, v, w, x, y and z still listening to Tamil conversations to find them.

Have a good week.

Amazon India is having a Diwali Dhamaka sale from the 10th to the 16th of October. Some great deals. Should you plan to indulge I'd appreciate it if you would click on the Amazon India banner in the right hand column of this blog and then cntinue with your shopping. As an affliate Amazon will pay me a small percentage of what you spend shopping. You will not pay anything extra.

Friday, October 3

Textile Art around the world.

I've had the hardest time ever, waiting for the right moment for this announcement.
Very excited to announce that my work has been included in the publication Textile Art around the world.
Textile Art is the latest book from the publishers Textile-link in the Netherlands and will appear at the end of October. 
This book is available for pre order. Order before 20th October and get an introductory discount.
Price: Euro 29.50
Discounted price if ordered before 20th October : Euro 25.00 

Click here to view sample pages from the book and place your orders. 

To all the readers of this blog in India - Happy Dussehra. 

Monday, September 22

Around the World Blog Hop

Sue tagged me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop.
Here goes, let me plunge in and try and answer the four questions this blog hop poses to its participants
1.How does my writing/creating process, work?
2.. What am I working on?
3. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
4. Why do I write/create what I do?
 At present I'm working on this silk cotton scarf. Free form discharge motifs outlined with blanket stitch. Its a work in progress. For the moment I'm calling it Weathering.
How does my work differ from others of this genre? What genre would that be - scarves or the embroidery? I like to think it's a personal signature of mine, this combining of discharge and blanket stitch. I've used this technique before on scarves I've made. Go with the Flow and Lichen are some examples.  
Why do I write/create what I do?
Embroidery has become my primary form of expression and therefore if there's something I want to express it's embroidery I turn to. I'm still learning and exploring and the experiments are helping me develop a style of my own.
My blog and the interaction it provides with people all over the world is also an important reason why I continue to do what I do.

How does my writing/creating process, work?
The process I follow is intuitive. There are periods when a piece of work is put aside to marinate before it is picked up and worked on. One such WIP is this patchwork project which i'm going to pick up again and work on very soon.

The blog hop asks of its participants to pass on the baton to keep the hop going. I'm going to direct you to the blogs of two people who's work I find inspiring.
Sharmond in Kentucky who creates great mixed media collages.Some of them have embroidery as well and Gwen in New Brunswick who creates jewellery, makes the most amazing quilts and she and her partner renovate and build houses too.
They should post about the blog hop on their blogs on the 29th of September.
If you would like to participate in the blog hop and you haven't been invited as yet please consider this as my personal invitation. Leave a comment on this post and I'll get back to you with the rules.

Have a great week.

Thursday, September 18

Black - Roy G Biv 2014

Great bag with a fantastic representation of Bob Marley. 
The timings at a very popular restaurant in the neighbourhood called Hole in the Wall.
Assignment  given to my students to explore positive and negative shapes using tessellations inspired by M. C. Escher's work. I liked this one.                                                   
Mille Fleur is another of my embroidered scarves.
Lichen - a black cotton silk scarf with discharge and hand embroidery.
By the way both scarves are available for sale. Drop me a line if you would like to know more.

Had to go into my archives for the pictures of black this month.I've also discovered that black and white go hand in hand and aren't far from each other.

Pop over to Julie and Jennifer's blogs to see what everybody has found that's black.
If you're considering joining in there are three colours until the end of the year
October 16 : White
November 20 : Brown
December 18 : Blogger's Choice

Thursday, August 28

English Tamil Slang - m, n, o, p

m, n, o, and p in the English Tamil slang book which I'm creating for A Letter a Week.

m - matter - shady secretive topic of conversation. Could be something underhand or of a sexual nature.

n - non-veg - short form of non vegetarian but also carries the implication of something shady and sexual. So jokes with sexual overtones are termed non-veg jokes!

o - over - excessive, over the top.

p - peter - someone who speaks in English and feigns no knowledge of any Indian language.

If you would like to know the English Tamil slang words associated with the alphabets from a to l click here, here and here.

If you're shopping on line via Amazon or Flipkart. I would appreciate it if you would click on the Amazon or Flipkart banners in the side bar and make your purchases.
 As an affiliate, Flipkart and Amazon will pay me a small percentage of the total amount spent. You will not be paying anything extra. Thank you.

Thursday, August 21

Pink - Roy G Biv 2014

Sweet Sakura tea was served to me by a friend who visited Japan. What a fantastic sensory treat. The delicate sakura petals which unfurl when hot water is poured into the cup are such a pretty sight.
Letter boxes on a door in Hong Kong.
Trishuls at a wayside shrine in the Nilgiris decorated with lemons and pink flowers. 
Pink thread and nails make a creative sign board at Soul Sunday Sante.
Fruit for sale on a fruit cart in Coimbatore.The blackish purple fruit arranged in the basket with shiny pink foil is Jamun. Its available for a short time once the monsoon showers begin in India in the month of June. 
 A rose in full bloom. Love the fact I managed to capture the bee.

You can begin discovering pink on some of the blogs in my side bar but to discover the entire trail check out  Jennifer and Julie's blogs.
Maybe you'd like to join in next month.
Here's a list of what we'll be looking for in the months to come.
September 18: Black
October 16: White
November 20: Brown
December 18: Blogger's Choice

If you're shopping on line via Amazon or Flipkart. I would appreciate it if you would click on the Amazon or Flipkart banners in the side bar and make your purchases.
 As an affiliate, Flipkart and Amazon will pay me a small percentage of the total amount spent. You will not be paying anything extra. Thank you. 

Sunday, August 10

Applique on the Cycle rickshaws of Vijayawada

Cycle rickshaws still ply on the streets of Vijayawada and the tarpaulin canopy of the rickshaw has colourful machine appliqued motifs.   
Rickshaws lined up on the side of the road under the shade of trees during the hot afternoon.
 Worn and weathered applique.

Detail of the applique done with coloured and gold plastic pieces which are stitched onto the tarpaulin with a sewing machine.  
 Brand new applique work on a rickshaw in One Town in Vijayawada. One Town is the old town in Vijayawada which has the wholesale market. Narrow lanes filled with jostling pedestrians and smaller vehicles like rickshaws,cycles, motorbikes and handcarts.It's the throbbing heart of the city.
The horse and helicopter are popular motifs along with flowers, initials and names.
Detail of the helicopter.
It's wonderful to discover that folk art is alive and well in smaller towns and cities like Vijayawada. The noodle carts of Vijayawada are another example of charming folk art. Click here to view them.

It's been quiet here for two long weeks but I'm back now, life just got hectic.
Wishing everyone a great week ahead.

If you're shopping on line via Amazon or Flipkart. I would appreciate it if you would click on the Amazon or Flipkart banners in the side bar and make your purchases.
 As an affiliate, Flipkart and Amazon will pay me a small percentage of the total amount spent. You will not be paying anything extra. Thank you.