Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Flowers of Parents' Dacha - My Home

Ages.. It's been ages since my last post! The reason is that I went to my native country and dived into all the deals and events here straight away. I was missing my blogger community a lot and I am so sorry for not having time for it. Some of you even contacted me asking if I was fine, which was very pleasant, and thanks so much for your concern! 
Summer has been quite cold here. However my parents have beautiful flowers at their dacha this year. Here are some of them. 
Calendula flowers have layers of petals and I really like the look of them.
Californian poppy. It is open during the day and closes in the evening as if goes to sleep.
This chamomile is a wild plant, and there are many of them in our garden. Wonderful flower!
Delphinium beautifully decorated with stones around - simple yet nice idea.
A single red rose. It looked so touching with the rain drops among the petals.

I hope you all are doing fine and safe these days as I can see that the weather has gone mad in many parts of the world. As soon as I have more of free time I will make more posts with tales about my country, and of course will get back to your blogs, my dears! Last year I made many posts about my trip to parents, here is one of them.
Have a nice summer/winter and enjoy your family time!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Ivan Kupala (Иван Купала) - Kupala Night

Sometimes when you live far from your country and hence far from all its traditions you tend to forget some of them, you skip special dates and don't celebrate. Today however I am lucky to have friends all over the world and those who share same Slavic roots as me. I opened my blogger today to find a post by Ljubinka from Serbia reminding me that today is one of the biggest summer holidays which has Eastern Slavic Pagan roots and is called Kupala Night or Ivan Kupala (in Russian). Ljubinka created wonderful crochet flowers for this occasion, do check out her blog. Kupala day is celebrated from 6th to 7th of July.
The meaning of this holiday is connected to the role of water in fertility and ritual purification. I recollected some of the rites to be done this day. One of them is a weaving of the wreath from the flowers. Such flowers as dandelions, poppies, bluett, and others. But I don't have them around so what do I do? A thought flashed through my mind - use plants you have in your garden! That was what I exactly did - Indian curry patta, and some other green plant with beautiful leaves became my Kupala wreath. 
While I was taking this picture, a girl neighbour was watching me, as I saw when I lifted my head up. I waved her and smiled... It was too long to explain what it all meant :)
So today is good to bathe in the river, lake, or any open water source. If such is not available, take a simple shower. Also traditionally ancient Slavic people used to make a big bonfire somewhere in an open field and jump over it, what was the rite of purification as well. Bonfires might be not in my to do list today, but bathing is definitely is!
Have a joyful Sunday, my dears! Sending you Kupala blessings!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

T-Shirt Yarn Rugs - Different Techniques

Being in India for more than 3 years didn't make me accustomed to its weather. These days it is so humid outside that you are covered in sweat within 1 minute. The only way to stay indoors, in a cooled room, with fan too. We don't have AC in our drawing room, so any visit to it is a challenge, and we almost stopped watching TV there. Though last Sunday I attempted to sneak into it, switched on the fan at a high speed, and managed to have a look at the Big Bang Theory, after which I had to retreat into a cooler location. I look forward to the season change. 
The monsoon hasn't arrived yet in its full power. I hope the rains will not bring more devastation as they did to poor people in Uttarakhand. The tragedy is still echoing, the news is about it still on all the channels but unfortunately not much can be done now for those who lost their family members, or got a huge psychological shock for the rest of their life. 
Our life here at the foothills of Himalayas has been quite and I am grateful it has been this way. You can call it a "slow living", with all its ups and downs. Yesterday I had a unique chance have a mid-week break with my D, as he had an off, so I couldn't afford leaving him alone at  home :) We didn't do much cooking, had some street food, maggi for dinner (it is okay sometimes). Now I hope my morning exercises will not go in vain, I always hope after such "heavy" days. Besides I also did some crochet, to my pleasure and satisfaction. 
The rug below was made last weekend from that T-shirt yarn I proudly presented you last week + yarn produced from the grey  t-shirt kindly provided by my colleague. I like the the color transition at some places. I am not so fond of lumps and uneven edges though. Also it was so difficult to crochet this yarn at times, my right thumb was aching a lot when holding the 8 mm crochet hook. The rug is about 12 in (30 cm) in diameter, but I plan to add few more rounds to it, as it looks unaccomplished.
So yesterday, as soon as I had some free time during the day, I commenced and finished another crochet rug. This time it  was inspired by Pinterest, and involved clever usage of acrylic yarn. See the tutorial here. Really, I am amazed by the thought that once came to a person's mind to make it this way! Yes, there is expenditure of  acrylic yarn, but also a good stash buster of it, in addition, no thumb ache and t-shirt yarn is being utilized economically. I used only half of the blue track pants and half of a green t-shirt. More is left to make another rug? a table mat?
Furthermore, the edges are much neater, almost no lumps, the rug feels soft, though thinner that the first one. My D's verdict after seeing both the variants was: "That one (red and black) looks more like a mat, and this one (aqua) you won't lie on the floor, it's too good for this purpose". I agreed, still I insisted that aqua one would be his bed side mat, he had no means of retreat and surrendered.
The mat is now resting on my D's bed side. It came out about 45 cm (18 in) in diameter. My D told me he put his feet directly onto it when he woke up, but he didn't dare to stand on it with his slippers. So sweet, my dear! I am planning on making a rectangular mat in the same technique, as to lie it in front of our bed. As I found out in India people don't usually put mats (at least I haven't seen this yet), as mostly everyone has marble floor which stays cool in the hot summer season. However I long for coziness in my room, and such kind of details simply make me happier. I am sure my husband doesn't mind to have all of that too. Hope you also had good project to do and enjoy.

I would like to share a call from a fellow blogger and a doll maker Teresa of A Magical Whimsy, who needs help for her son recovering form West Nile meningitis. Please, follow the link and may be you would be the one interested to buy beautiful hand made dolls, Teresa put links to in her blog. 

Take  care of yourself, my dears! Have a blessed day! Happy Fourth of July to all who celebrate today!
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