Monday, 28 January 2013

Republic Day of India and Flags All Over

I (we) had a very Indian weekend. It was a Republic Day on the 26th of January, and enthusiastic company my D works for organized a ceremony of the flag raising and a small celebration of this holiday. We both had day off, so even I went there with my D. What I liked the most was the weather - a little chilled in the morning, but very pleasing by the afternoon.
I was very glad we had to go out in the morning, what we don't do frequently. The air was fresh, the sun was  warm... and the fields were green! On the way back from my D's office, we turned left and had a short ride among the fields of Punjab, the thing I wanted to do for so long, but wished we could simply walk among that green grass.
My dear D advised me to take the picture of these peculiar stacks of grass, prepared by farmers. You know he also participates in material selection for my blog :) There you can also see cow dung "cakes" which are used as fuel, and most probably, as fertiliser. 
We were hungry so the McDonalds cafe on the way was to the purpose. It was decorated from outside and inside in the colors of  Indian flag.
We had a modest meal, me - simple sandwich, and my D - Maharajah sandwich  He said that only Maharajahs (kings) eat it :) I had no problem, as Maharajah's wife is queen (Maharani), right?
 This is a picture of my Indian attire which is called suit. I don't really like wearing them, but it can be done for special occasions:).
 Going back home, I continued in the spirit of a very special day and wanted to show you my beautiful peacock purse, gifted by my MIL. Peacock is a National bird of India.
 Our car also bears our intercultural relations signs. My husband made Cross and Om stickers on the sides of the windshield.
This was just a part of my very Indian weekend. In the evening we went out to have South Indian food called dosa, and visited fair on Sunday. I made some meals at home, but probably will tell about all these in the next post. I'm glad I find support in all your kind comments and a true interest in my blog's topics :) Thank you very much!
As a new week has started, wishing you all a wonderful week and a fabulous weekend!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Apple Pie, Cutie Pie and Holidays

Sometimes you have to follow your instant wishes. Like I did yesterday. I came from office with a big big urge to make something tasty, homely. It's easy when you have all the ingredients, lying on the shelves and waiting for you to pick them up and start preparing... an apple pie for example :)

This pie is my Mum's favorite recipe, and this is the first bakery I learned from her. Why I give such importance to it is because it was my fourth attempt of making cakes in the electric oven here in India. All the three cakes made before were tasty, ok, but I couldn't make them fluffy and the process used to take me up to an hour and a half! Yesterday was different, and manipulating with the oven temperature, I finally got it right! You know, it was an achievement for me and was the most happy person in the house, after my  husband, who was also happy to have this dessert with evening tea.
Today is 25th of January, Tatyana's Day (Tatyanin den') which is a Christian holiday named after St. Tatyana. She is considered to be a patron of all students. The Moscow State University, my Alma Mater, has a chapel dedicated to this saint, so the tradition has been created that this day is also called a day of our MSU.
Among other small news is that I was awarded...*blushing*, with the Premio Cutie Pie (there was some prophecy in baking yesterday) award this time by Ljubinka from Made By Ljubinka blog :) Thank you so much! It's an interesting award, as it is given to those using nice colors. Actually, all of us use colors, so may better to call this award a Colorful Blog award or something like this. Now I have to nominate 5 more blogs for the same, and this cute child will be on your blog's page :) It's difficult to choose, as everyone has loads of beauty and color in their blogs. But, I nominated these:
Ali from Random Wooliness
Unn from TinsRose
Jenn from Color'n Cream
Such a cutie pie! :)
The post appeared to be quite informative, isn't it? I had one more thing to share but will tell about it next time.  Tomorrow's is the Day of The Republic of India, and most probably I'll be going with my D to celebrate it at his workplace.
Have a lovely weekend, dear friends, and thank you for your praising comments about my small projects!:) It means a lot to me.

Monday, 21 January 2013

From Small to Big - Crochet

Greetings of the day, dear friends! The Grow Your Blog party left me with some great reads and new readers! I"m glad  you stayed here :) 
The sunny weekend was enjoyable, as our friends came for dinner, and we had nice food and good chats. Now to business, here is a Tunisian crochet stripe turned into a wall decor with embroidered flowers. This type of hanging wall decor was inspired by Indian crafts, and I had such project in mind for over six months till I realized it. I had a little trouble as the stripe was actually curling up because of the tight crocheting. Hopefully I can improve this further. 

Now - something related to Russian culture. When I just started crocheting, the first "order" I got was from my D, when he asked me to make a Soviet cartoon character Cheburashka. I didn't fulfill this wish until I learned how to make toys (amigurumi). I felt a little guilty about my procrastination, so the Cheburashka's face jumped from the crochet hook at once few days ago (did it sound scary?:). Other parts are coming up soon too. By the way, those Pony split ring markers worked very well for marking the stitches, so this purchase wasn't waste.
Sunday can be called a "Yarnday" for me, as this is when I do... yarn shopping, yea! With valuable help of my husband (as he always deals with the shopkeepers), I purchased these 6 colors for my ambitious (hehe) blanket project. I'm slowly trying to move from small to big forms as you see :). This yarn is of the Indian brand Vardhman and called Brilon. I'm glad it had at least this marking on it.
That's all so far.  Will be back with some more crochet and perhaps, a pattern for Cheburashka. 
                    Have a nice day and take care!                                                 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Let's "Grow Your Blog" Party!

Hello, my dear friends! I have a special post today as it's an eve of  a Grow Your Blog party, organized by Vicki from 2 Bags Full. I'm grateful  to her for this initiative and opportunity to connect to more lovely blog  writers. Vicki will start the event in the morning of the 19th of January (US time). Click the badge to see  her beautiful blog and also participate in a giveaway.
Since I've already told a little about myself in a special column to the left, I'm going to introduce my sunny world and thing I do to make it even more bright. I decided to keep the blog's name in relation to India, Hindustanka, as my life changed so much in this country. However, my blog is a blend of two cultures at the same time, which me and my husband represent, what I feel, enriches every aspect of our lives. 
Firstly, I am a Russian a girl who tries to adjust in a new country, and accept a completely new to me culture. I live far from my parents, so this experience is not an easy one. But my dear husband (who I call in the blog "my D") helps me a lot and supports my hobbies and interests, and I have many of them, fortunately. 
Secondly, the blogging became a real way out for me in the moments of sadness and feeling low. That's what I'm doing here: sharing, telling, connecting. The latter is the most enjoyable among all the blog's possibilities.
I started blog with a tiny post called Believe in which I kind of pledged "Many people are writing about India... They have different reasons for this. Then...What new can I bring to all that amount of blogs on this topic ever existed up to now? Can be unique and interesting? Yes, I can". Quite confident, isn't it? :) Then followed my first steps in exploring India as we visited 
 and other places of which I didn't even tell.
The other significant event of my life in India was when I renewed my hobbies, particularly, crocheting! This boosted my blogging as well, as I had a creative part to share now. 
Of course, I also like to tell about my native country Kazakhstan, and about "dacha". I made quite a few posts about my last summer trip to parents
Redcurrant growing at my parents' dacha :)
Gardening is a hobby I picked from my parents. I'm trying to grow vegetables and flowers in my small Indian garden, it makes me happy. Been successful with marigolds and beans so far :)
So here I am, telling stories about my Sunny Indian Days with Russian touch, indulging myself in crafting and willing to continue my blog as farther as I can. Now I see that those weren't just words as I gained blog friends who take interest in what I write and in their turn, find time to comment and tell about their lives too. Thanks to you all! :)
 If you wish to have a peek inside colorful India and beautiful Kazakhstan, get inspired to create and learn new things, you are welcome to join me in my journey, and I'll  be more than happy to get to know your worlds too.
***Have a happy day!***

Monday, 14 January 2013

Sunny Indian Days Are Back

While still seeing snowy and icy pictures in some of your blogs, dear friends, I can announce that  the sunny Indian days are back to our city with loads of sunshine, blue sky, +20 C and little happy moments.
I think I haven't been sharing yet any Indian animals' pictures, so here is one - an emerald green parrot who was sitting on our neighbors' tree. Can you spot the parrot among the green leaves? It was, of course, much more beautiful in real.
Continuing sunny theme I'm introducing my first stripe of Tunisian crochet, in very summery colors. The edges are not quite even though. You must have recognised those crystal head pins from my previous post. Not sure what was I taking the pictures of - the crochet stripe or the pins. 
I like how the Tunisian stitches allow colors to be joined. I've learned only the basic so far which I picked up from here and here. The "canvas" appears  to be indeed very tight and will be great for making bags and sweaters.
I was crocheting outside our house yesterday, with my husband sitting on the chair to my left. Our all-seasons-changing-tree is still naked, but probably will burgeon soon. Right now as it has some kind of berries/nuts on it and has been a very good feeder for squirrels and birds.
Yesterday we celebrated a Punjab  festival Lori. I think it's linked to the farmers calendar. We had a small bonfire, and were eating yummy sweets and peanuts. As a coincidence it was also a so called Old New Year  eve in my native country, so we kinda celebrated two holidays! 
Hope you all had a nice weekend and having warm days at home or outside. Thanks for you lovely comments and for expressing so much interest to my sunny Indian days.
***Have a great start of the week!***

Friday, 11 January 2013

New Beginnings In Crafting and Blogging

How much happy can you be when receiving a parcel? I was immensely happy and excited. This was lying on my bed when I came back home two days ago - a parcel from Pony Craft Store! Well, I knew it had to come as once again I was making an order together with my D, but still, it was like another gift for me, a Christmas gift:)
Not to stretch more the waiting, here is what was in the parcel - all colorful and useful. Seeing one of the latest Sangeetha's posts, where she expressed her wish to learn Tunisian crochet, I knew that it was exactly what I also wanted to learn! So now I'm a proud owner of a 3.5 mm Tunisian crochet hook (the top most of the picture). I also ordered a  4.5 mm  aluminium hook with plastic handle (top left of the picture).
 Speaking of other special items in the parcel, these are the row counters. I still slightly doubt whether they are used for crochet or not, but they were too cute and too cheap not to purchase them.
And these are beautiful crystal head pins!
 The split ring markers were bought with an aim of marking amigurumi stitches. Let's see if it works.
 Oh yes, this is a very very special tool for me - a tatting shuttle. I hope to learn tatting  some day too, it will be easy when having the necessary supplies.
I have even more happiness and love to share. I got my  third (!) Liebster award! This time from Nata who has a nice blog Nata's Nest, picturing her passion for crochet and other homely things. Thank you so much for choosing me, Nata! :). Moreover I'm very glad to get more and more blogger friends each day, as it makes me feel connected to the world.
Movie you could see again and again: Harry Potter
Country or city: City
Sea or mountains: Sea
Newest book: The Romanov Bride by Robert Alexander (now very new, but new to me)
High heels or flat shoes: High Heels
Cat or dog: Cat
Halloween or Carnival: Halloween
Summer or winter: Summer

Sweet or salty: Sweet

I'm glad to pass this award to 5 more blogs. They all are crafty and beautiful.
Bead and Needle
Crochet Lounge
Enhancing Crafts
Made to Treasure
Blog Funny Stitches
All you have to do now is to choose from the same pairs above, nominate 5 other blogs in return and put an award's image in your blog.
What else concerns blogging  is that  I'm participating in the Grow Your Blog event by Vicki from 2 Bags Full. If interested, you can also leave an entry message here.
***Have a rewarding day ahead and a great weekend!***

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Rajasthani Treat

What I like about India the most is its diversity. Travel from one state to another and you’ll see (and hear) different languages, traditions, clothing, life style. Living in the North part of India, in the city, a Union territory of two states Haryana and Punjab, we are lucky enough to have a piece of another state just 27 km away from the city. This place is called Chokhi Dhani, and it represents culture of Rajasthan state.
the restaurant building in palace style
the path leading along the performances
Last Sunday the company my D works for organized a get together for its employees and their wives and kids. It was a fun event, full of interaction and interesting things. We were able to witness some of the traditional Rajasthani performances.
Curiosity lead us to the palmist. Well, I said as soon as he doesn't tell anything bad its good :) Me and my D were happy with his predictions.
These women’s rhythmic and cheerful dance involved few of us later on (I was among them too). We danced  in the circle, repeating the dancers’ movements. That was my first such experience and I loved it!
The guy-rope walker’s show was a little scary at the moments when he was turning, lying, and walking backward. Another guy was sitting below, playing drum (or tabla?) and having some funny conversation with the rope walker, making the overall impression of danger even deeper.
The puppet theatre was hilarious, accompanied with music, singing and some story telling. I had already presented  Indian puppet theatre once in this post. Mostly, the scenes and  the characters from people's daily life are shown during the spectacle. 
The magician took all our fancy. His tricks must have been simple, nevertheless interesting. We were under impression from the last trick, when the magician covered a white dove with a lid and when lifted it up, there were already 3 doves sitting!
I’m sorry, but even the washrooms bore that ethnic touch - a drawing of a man and a woman in traditional clothing.
This boy was also dancing to Rajasthani beats, inviting people from our company to join him on the stage.
The most delicious part of our visit was Rajasthani lunch. Yes, this is the way it is served – on the broad dishes which stand on the low benches. You have to sit on the special mats and enjoy eating with hands! It really tastes better this way.
Such type of serving of the dish with loads of various meals is called “thali”. Ours included loads of things which names I’m not able to recollect now J. I liked chautneys a lot, those in the bottom right corner of the picture are garlic, green and peas with some plant. Yumm!
I liked the lamps which were hung all around the place and gave a stunning look with their lights at night.
Hope you liked being a part of our short visit to Rajasthan. It left many good memories to us and, of course, we would like to go to the "real" state to see all those beautiful maharaja palaces and try more of yummy food. 
Have an interesting and happy day!
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