Saturday, 29 June 2013

Weekend Has To Be Varicolored

A weekend has to be... diverse, relaxing, cheerful, happy, stress-free, energetic too, and yes, varicolored.  The week has been dragging its feet very slowly this time, making me feel stressed, unhappy, worried, and tired. Since I am in the office today as well (don't like this tendency), I have to bring some color to my eyes when I come home, or better take colors with me everywhere I go :) The latest such thing to take along was this String Tote bag designed by Linda. Few days ago she kindly shared the pattern, and I HAD to make it! Thank you, Linda, so much for the pattern. I will make more of these bags for sure!
My version of the bag came our slightly longer than I expected, perhaps because I used acrylic yarn, and not cotton as directed in the pattern. Well, because I don't have it, but I have many balls of acrylic in my stash. The bag in the action - hanging on the nail in my room. *The wall hanging picture to the left is a memory from our trip to Massoori hill station 3 years ago. Might be not hand made, but looks like, and they say it is good to have a picture with the flowing river in it (Feng Shui). 
This string tote has a unique feature - you can turn it inside out, fold into a cute pouch as to carry in your purse in a compact way. I would never think of such an option!
The colors I chose remind me of some hip-hop street art, may be the one I saw somewhere in Moscow and the colors printed in my mind.
Oh yea, a close up view of my favorite acrylic yarn, and the pattern. It is the easiest possible pattern, but it looks gorgeous. I can imagine a net cardigan made with it.
I didn't have much for a Wednesday Blanket Update, so will be doing it next week now. Yesterday I  was seriously worried about my blanket border. Every crocheter says that this is the most important part of the blanket, it gives that finished look or probably ruins it, so it has to be perfect... Well, I started rummaging Pinterest, trying to search randomly in the net. I did find good patterns, which I thought of using, but either they were too common, or too complicated, too lacy. Therefore I decided to design my own. Here it is. 
Color sequence will be not the same as in the pic, but the pattern will be such. I will of course make the border broader, at least 6 cm in width. Yes, I know, I hurry a little, imagining how the blanket looks like when finished. I am preparing the written or/and graph pattern of this border for myself and will certainly share with you. 
I skipped my mind to share with you another self-manifestation of nature in our garden - a pigeon fledgling who settled at our back yarn garden few days ago. He can't fly yet, but keeps on sitting on the flower pots and plants all day long... Once I saw when his parent was feeding him. This picture isn't new, so at that time he was scared of us. Now he is totally used to our presence as we keep on checking on him every day. I am a little worried for him though because it seems like his one wing is bigger than the other one... I hope he will still be able to fly later on. Still I wonder why they chose our garden as their sanctuary.
Have a nice weekend, my dears, eat well (I will!), sleep well (I am so doing it!), and enjoy your time with your close ones!
P.S. hmm... just noticed while previewing my post that I surely like purple and green yarn colors :)

Monday, 24 June 2013

Upcycling and Lavender Obsession Weekend

It is never enough when you have only one weekend day. Saturday is already not a weekend when you spend 8 hours in the office and come back home in the evening just to have food and sleep. And Sunday looks like this: all the house work and outing plans, and all the crafting plans are messed up, and the day runs so fast, you won't notice it is already evening... Though we watched a movie Raanjhanaa yesterday (yea, I know a bit of Hindi), I wish I had one more day off. My favorite word here is "nevertheless", yes in spite of all that I squeezed few minutes of hurried crochet.
Here is what it was - making of T-shirt yarn! It is a wonderful upcycling time pass, which brings a lot of joy as you have to cut, tie, spin, and weave it. I collected few of my old clothing items for this project - one T-shirt and two capri. I need much more and my D already showed me some of his old stretchable track pants kept in the cupboard... He knows what a girl like me wants :) 
After all the cutting I got the stripes, which were tied together and spun into a ball of yarn.
 Isn't it all mixed, crazy-colored and much shabby? I started crocheting something with it already, and would show this soon when finished.
My D looking at all of that process, noticed: "You haven't done yarn shopping for a long time now...". I said: "I am busy with my blanket, so don't need to buy more as of now". His reply was: "That's okay, I don't mind". Hehe, he still remembers I spent quite much on yarn last time but of course, if I say I need more of it we will  buy. A pleasant addition to t-shirt yarn were these buttons I cut from one of the capri. I can re-use them somewhere else.
I wanted to share my latest obsession with lavender color and lavender fragrance. Here are few latest purchases - lavender cream, oil and soap. They smell wonderful! All of them are Indian cosmetic brands. I also have lilac-lavender face wash and one more bottle of oil... Somebody stop me.
While writing about my happy times, I was continuously thinking of emergency situation in Indian state Uttarakhand. People there haven't had any food for 5-6 days, and rescue operation is not able to save them all at the same time. The rains are coming and today there has been an alert that land sliding have happened again. How much a person can take? How much more suffering? All in God's hands but here he is selfish and  deaf, and letting people rely only on each other. Nature has no mercy at times.
I wish you to have a peaceful and safe day, be happy and cherish every moment of life.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Only 40 Squares Left - Wednesday Blanket Update

Feels like ages since the last post about my blanket progress. It is progressing, believe me :) Though I had days completely crochet-free, I then had to overtake them in order to face at least some "deadlines", you know, I put such for myself. Here are fresh photos of the summer blanket - I love it so far! Can't wait when I finish last 40 squares, join them into blocks and make a soft snug blankie!
 One more photo for the history, just kidding. I know people make much more beautiful and complicated crochet things, but feeling of something you make with your own hands, and okay, this something is useful and is looking good, is one of the best feelings in the world (after love of course). I am sure it'll look much more impressive once I make a suitable border. The intuition says me that I will make until the winter starts... again. Then I can continue/commence other projects, many of which unfortunately haven't found any manifestation yet.
Just a short note that we are safe here in the foot hills of Himalayas during these early monsoon rains. Thanks for showing your care, my dears! I hope that Ganga will stop its devastating floods in Uttarakhand state, and let people obtain sanctuary and security again.
Wishing you all be safe whenever you are! Hugs!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A Slightly Gothic Anniversary

This year we had a great anniversary celebration with my D's cousins who came from Delhi. For the past two years we used to go to the restaurant, have dinner and go back home. So this trip was fun, a little adventurous, and did I say already, it was pleasantly different from all other celebrations. 
We started from the city on Saturday, and were escorted by the rain all the way. There were few traffic jams, because hilly roads here are usually narrow, so one has to be very careful while driving. However in a good company you feel happy and secure.
Driving to Kasauli hills. My D, I shall admit, is a good driver (touch wood). If you never were on Indian roads, you would never understand why I highlight his driving skills so much. The serpentine of the road, the rising level of it as you go up, makes driving hectic at times. Also that day, it started becoming foggy as the rain proceeded... Adventure!
Yes, we were heading towards our destination - Kasauli hill station. The weather didn't improve even when we reached the hotel. However we had to go out and see the city. My and my D had been to Kasauli few times before, but  it was a new experience for our cousins. 
We were very hungry and were planning to find some nice inn or a restaurant to dine in, but to our surprise and disappointment, every hotel said that they weren't serving food what was strange. After walking in the rain for about half an hour, we finally found a small kind of cafe (called dhaba in Hindi), and literally threw the food into our stomachs, though not completely satisfied with the quality and quantity of it. The weather didn't want to give up and continued to pour rain on us. We were wearing only thin jackets, and some of us (including me) didn't get any good shoes, because of which all the clothing became immediately wet, and water was dripping from my hair.  Furthermore it became very cold.
In spite of all of that, one of the cousins bought beautiful bracelets in the local market. Whatever, but we  still were enjoying the rain and our cozy company. 
The most famous sight seeing of Kasauli is a Christ Church - a heritage of India's British past. The church was built in 1844.
When we entered the church's gates, my eyes immediately noticed this pretty lilac-like flowers. They grew all around the church walls, and later I saw the same bushes in the city too. Thank you, my friends, now I can identify it as Hydrangea macrophylla, and it is for sure now among the plants I want to see in my garden!
I don't go to the church frequently in India, so whenever we are in Kasauli, we necessarily visit this one. It was so quiet and peaceful there on that rainy day. There was no one else in the church, except us and a candles seller. We all wanted to stay there more, as it is so rare we get such serene  moments among daily bustle.
The church has been built in a typical Gothic style, incorporating rib vault and pointed arches (I read in Wiki), which mesmerised me. The second arch and a porch you see is a modern addition to the construction.
The last time we went there, I said my D that I saw a beautiful, old furnace in the church, he didn't notice it. So this time I made sure I showed this useful vintage piece of house interior to my D and also took its picture. I love it!
Searching for an answer, dear? Look, I am here.
While leaving the church's premises, I looked at the outer wall, and admired the moss and some plants sprouting throw the stone.
As you know the bad weather can't last forever. By the time we left Kasauli and were going back to our hotel, the rain stopped and revealed beautiful sunset colors. We stopped a few times to see it and take photos - how could we resist?
The next day brought other beautiful scenery - a view opposite our place of stay. I would like to live in that house...
The plan for Sunday was to visit a Monkey Point - the highest peak of Kasauli, where the Hanuman temple is located. Unfortunately you are not permitted to carry any camera or mobile there with you, as the area belongs to Indian Air Force. But the climbing up the stairs, which was making us breathless, breathtaking views of the valley and snow peaks afar, funny monkeys trying to snatch stuff from the visitors, the temple and the way back along the fragrant forest roads - all is in our memory now, unforgettable.
We stopped at this point for a while when going back from the Monkey Point. The tree fell long time ago and was still supported by its comrades.
And just on the foot of a low hill I saw these pretty pink flowers - such beauty.
The day was coming to its end, when we decided to have one last adventure and drove to another city in the same area. Its name was Sanawar.
I told you it was an anniversary with a slightly Gothic inclination. So here is a St. Lawrence School graveyard - one of the places to see when you go to Sanawar side. The gates were locked and the sign said that the trespassers would be fined. I think they had good reasons to do so, as many people don't respect such places of last rest. You can read about the school here.
 A long graveyard wall was going and going down...
Picture credit to my D's cousin
Besides, we also checked out an amazing Sanawar nature camp situated in the forest - a lovely place to be and to relax. We are sure now that we would stay there during our next trip to the hills.
Picture credit to my D's cousin
These are just few moments of our last weekend, nice memories of a special day, filled with love, smiles, good mood and beauty of nature. Thank you all, my dear friends, for all your kind, sweet wishes to us - they certainly worked and will work :)
Have a nice week ahead and plan something good for a weekend!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

3 Magical Years

I don't really know how it has happened that it's been already 3 years after that memorable day of our marriage, back in 2010. It was memorable not only because of the character of the event itself, but how it actually happened. The way we met and became husband and wife still amazes us every time we recollect it. 
I perhaps would write a good, well thought-out short story about it later on, but not today, even though all those memories keep on coming into my head almost every day, and I say myself that if it wasn't nature's own wish, we would have never been together. So today on the 15th of June we have completed the circle of 3 years. 3 is a mystical and magical number in all Russian folklore and fairy tales. I wrote about it here. As soon as I am Russian  I believe that the power of 3 will give a good start for the next yearly circle of our union, full of good beginnings and successes, and happiness of course.
I love you my D, and I  hope that our love and understanding between each other will be increasing day by day, and spread around, making us, our parents and everyone else happy. I wish to both of us to keep that sparkle which came when we saw each other (live) for the very first time in Delhi airport and we didn't know  yet what this all would lead to. Let's cherish those days, and value present moment too, as we had to go through many things to actually make it the way as it is now. And now is beautiful.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Even A Storm Can Bring Beauty - Friday Garden (Nature)

Leading a not so housewife-like life here in India, I try to find some relief from a busy schedule in my favorite hobbies: reading in the evenings, crocheting, crafting and gardening... The latter to my disappointment has gone onto background these days. There are few reasons, one of which is hot Indian summer. Many plants, probably, under my not so experienced hand, simply can't stand the heat and dry. Unforgivably but I missed to post a birthday wish to my dear D, who turned... doesn't matter, he is still as young as when we met, though he was quite frustrated that he started another decade this year. Don't be sad, dear, we are yet to do so much in our lives (we don't even have children yet!)! Moreover, we ourselves still feel like kids, and behave like kids sometimes :)
This year I am planning to fully start planting again in the month of August, when the days will be warm and wet. Having nothing exciting in my garden as of now, I am enjoying whatever comes my way in a sense of beauties of nature. Thus yesterday we had an unexpectedly stormy evening. Around 5 pm the sky went dark and was having and giving away that strange yellowish glow. The wind was opening all the doors in our house, letting the rain to come in. The electricity was gone, and we had to lit the candles everywhere. The storm scared me first with all the thunders and lightnings... But it became fresh very soon, and I was grateful for this.
The rain brought some other beauty afterwards - the gulmohar flowers which were torn from the top branches and fell on the ground. I picked up few of them and brought home. The flowers made me very happy with their orange-green palette. 
 They were still with me today morning... when the power went off again. I lit up the candles and liked how my otherwise plain table looked like - festive and mystic at the same time.
 One more beauty I found in the morning was this solitary moss rose blossom (thanks to Kathleen from Yesteryear Embroideries for letting me know its name:)).
I am taking a day off tomorrow from my office, too tired to carry on like I did the whole week, participating as a teacher in our preschool's summer camp. It is a tough job to do, and so much responsible! Now I need a good rest, may be a good dinner, and a good drink... and a good dose of crochet! It has been long since the last portion of squares was made.
Wishing you to have a relaxing, joyful weekend, my dears! Thank you so much for all your beautiful, praising comments about fairy Angelonia and painted pebbles - I feel so happy being able to share my inspiration with all of you! Hugs!!!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

It Is Time to Paint... Pebbles

The Saturday has arrived and has brought some fresh wind to Chandigarh. I kind of like going to office on Saturday. Reason? Because there is much less traffic on the roads, morning seems brighter, I observe beautiful blooming trees, and today particularly I could see the hills afar! 
Our preschool is starting a summer camp on Monday. For the past two weeks we were busy preparing the program and daily schedule for kids. Among the activities we proposed was pebble painting - it seemed like so much fun to me that I couldn't resist to try it all myself! You should have actually seen me collecting the pebbles from the road side! I had to manage to pick them up without others noticing me, which was almost impossible. But here I am a happy owner of a few round rocks plus those I had collected before. So I grabbed my acrylic paints and ...
Ta-dah! They make me really happy, okay. I painted just four of them and was literally happy like a kid, showing them to my D again and again. I choose nature and summer related pictures. The cat totem was indispensable of course! The human paw didn't come out as I imagined it to be, but still, looks kind of cute.
I decided to give some paint touch to the other side too, this way I'll be able to change the look of the pebbles whenever I want to :) As you can see I am yet to decorate few more of them, and I can't wait to be back home and start doing it. The best part about this simple craft activity is that you can paint anything your imagination gives you, and make it a part of your interior design. This bowl now sits on my room table, making me smile every time I look at these colorful cameos.
Thank you all so much for good health wishes for the baby! He is all right now, but it took so much efforts to save his life! We visited him yesterday, and I was really glad to see his cute face, though he looked exhausted by one and a half week stay in the hospital. His Mum was smiling all the time and it was so good to see. Wishing you speedy recovery, baby boy!
Have an enjoyable weekend, my dears, wherever you are! 
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