Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Color on Tuesday - Blanket and Nail Art

Tomorrow, when I am supposed to do blanket progress update post, never comes, hence let's grab today and live today. As you all well know, I have been crocheting a big blanket for the past few months, and I haven't finished it yet, lol. To disappoint you - no Ta-dah news today, but  a glimpse (or two or three) of the  process. 
One achievement I can be certainly proud of is that I have started joining the blocks! You can see a pile of them, which makes already 3 rows of 8 blocks in each (total 24 blocks). However they have been attached only length wise, width wise will come afterwards, when I have all 8 rows together. I had a chance to experience how much warm the blanket is, as part of it was lying on my laps while I joined the other blocks. Believe me, it IS warm, just like real wool, and also soft. 
I like the view from this angle, the repetition of the pattern in different colors, the way the blocks' edges are attached kind of makes me happy :) Probably it is madness, or excitement, or I simply love the colors of this yarn.
Imagining this blanket spread on the bed, and making our room bright at once! My husband likes it too, already. Lately he asked why didn't I do yarn shopping for so long, it somehow worried him (hehe). Last weekend I bought 4 colors which didn't seem suffice to finish the blanket purely for the purpose of removing all the worries from his head. I am relieved now, my D too I bet.
For those who might be interested I am using slip stitch joining method for blocks, and very happy with how it turned out - it is a neat and strong join I believe. You can notice the crimson line of stitches between yellow and lilac. 
Next  is just an abandoned hobby of mine - nail art. I am in a long nails phase now, and I have some pretty nail polishes which make up a great duet (though it is not that you cannot do nail art when having short nails of course). Some doodling with nail polish few days ago - nothing special, but made me immensely proud of my nails look. I used dotting technique tool - a ball pen, for making of the design. 
I became a little lazy with taking of the photos of our weekends and so, but we have an interesting event coming up this week - an International Coffee Festival! So apparently, I will be there for... a cup of the brew of Gods. Otherwise, the yearly Hindu festival hustle is more than a month away, so I am enjoying the cooling off of the weather, and quiet days, and of course getting ready for Autumn and Halloween.
Have a blissful day and be safe wherever you are!

Monday, 16 September 2013

A New Award - One Lovely Blog

Hello friends! Hope your weekend went well and you enjoyed it to the fullest. We had a wedding reception to attend on Saturday evening, it was a special one as the same intercultural Indo-Russian family as ours was born. We are so happy for newly wed and I feel we can all become really good friends now :)
Yesterday me and D went out in the evening to have some South Indian food. As soon as we reached the parking and went a few meters inside it, a sudden storm was up and started whirling dust and plastic packets around, the trees were also disturbed a lot, it was really scary to be so close to them in the car, and when the hurricane subsided we hurried to the cafe. 
The unusually strong storm brought devastation in the city, leaving broken trees, crashed cars, injured people, and even dead after itself. I am thankful we were safe, and we got off only with 2 hours without electricity at home. I saw many fallen trees on the way to the office today, some say that one of the shops in sector 17 where I work, had glasses broken and furniture misplaced. I hope that such weather will not repeat.
Now to good news in my blogging life - I got a One Lovely blog award by a beautiful Greekwitch from Dreaming of Rosemary blog. Thank you so much Georgina,  it was an honor :)
The award rules say I have to tell 7 things I've never told about myself before, and nominate 7 other blogs (which is my favorite part).
7 things:
1. I am the only child. Yea.
2. I studied at the university for free, at the same time getting monthly stipend.
3. I don't really like my current job.
4. I don't want to have children  yet.
5. My favorite drink is wine.
6. If I sleep less than 8 hours I start having a headache.
7. I am a coffee addict (this I could have said somewhere already, but okay :))
Nominated blogs:
1. Diaper Mum - Rajeshwari always has some beautiful, colorful crochet projects and new designing ideas.
2.Linda's Crafty Corner - I am always delighted to see another crocheted kids wear by Linda, she always posts links to the patterns and her own patterns in her blog.
3. Nata's Nest - Nata has a cute blog, where she tells about her adventures in designing crochet, knitted, and other crafty things.
4. Sunny Simple Life - a blog I found through search of same Sunny Days title as mine. Have a look at bright homely ideas at Elaine's Sunny Simple Life.
5. Rhissanna - the author shares her journey in doll making and believe me there is always something beautiful to see in her creations, I love the doll clothing she makes.
6. Tahoma Beadworks & Photography - Jojo is one inspiring lady who is never afraid of experimenting with crafts, and herself creates beautiful projects made of beads, glass, glitter and with loads of love.
7. Incipient Wings - a truly magical, creative and fun filled blog where you will find something of your own.
That's all for now, dear friends. Hope you will have a look at nominated blogs, and enjoy the content. 
Have a lovely week ahead!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

What I Ate on Vacations - Russian Dishes

Over last few weeks I figured out that this topic deserves a separate post. Though I thought I was done with my Trip Home series, there was something else to tell - food we had there. However not just any food I ate, but those home made dishes, which my Mum never fails to prepare great! Why I want to have a special post about food is also because it represents some traditional Russian meals, which are my and my parents favourite. May be they will tease your taste buds too :)
May be some of your heard or may be even saw Russian feast, table with different tasty dishes, with many drinks and many guests sitting and talking absorbedly. All this is true. Russian family gathering at the table is a long lasting event, during which participants try out the variety of food which was made by a hostess and a host (my parents and me a little in our case). Here is one of the examples of how we used to taste at my parents house. As you know my D's whole family went with us this time, and I was very happy that everyone liked our cuisine. My Mum managed to please vegetarians as well as non-veg and prepare whole meal for 7 adults! Thanks Mum and Dad :)So here you can see (from left to right): turkey with vegetables, buckwheat, fried champignon mushroom, vareniki (I have a recipe here), vegetable salad, and cooked vegetables, sour cream + wine and vodka you know :)
The mushrooms were a real delicacy of that dinner, and freshly picked up by my parents on the way from Borovoe resort. Aren't they great looking?
Besides food my parents had home made cherry kompot (stewed fruit).What else to say? Delicious!
What concerns me, I made my dream come true and did some baking in the gas oven. I made "Sharlotka" pie which is my Mum's preference too when you need fast and easy dessert to be made. I was delighted when preparing the batter and then putting into a from and then taking our the flavoured yumminess! This one was an apple one, with a pinch of sugar and cinnamon.
After 3-4 days I baked one more but with raspberries from dacha! I put some cinnamon on the top simply because I love how it smells. This baking experience was different also because of the baking paper I used for the first time and I liked it this way - the pie doesn't stick and doesn't get burned.
Oh well and this is some special morning treat called oladii made of accidentally soured milk, flour and some sugar. Fried on oil.. and eaten with home made strawberry confiture! This picture itself makes my mouth watering, I better finish this post asap :)!
I want to try to make some of the dishes in India too, just need to find equivalent ingredients and here we go! Many times after finishing such care-free post I think of how happy I am to be able to enjoy all these! Because the world gets crazy day by day, judging by the news we see on TV and in newspapers.
I hope all of you are safe and sound whenever you are and enjoying the weekend with your families. Many warm blessings to you, my friends!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Flying High - Once a Year :)

Hello, dear friends! I hope your weekend was/or is great and you had good time with your loved ones, did some nice cooking, baking, and simply enjoyed your time. My weekend was not as active as I hoped for, due to some reasons. But yes, there was good food, some nice talks with my D, and movie watching on the big screen at home :) 
Today I am doing the last post from my Trip Home series, hehe.   This year me and D planned something different, as we wanted to see some more of my country. Hence we spent last days of our visit to Kazakhstan in Almaty, city in the South of the country, an ex-capital of it, and an awesome place to be! Here is we are on the way to it - wonderful view from the plane. 
We stayed at our friends place who recently shifted there. We arrived in the afternoon, and were out in the city in one hour and a half after that. We took the local bus, asked the conductor how to get where we wanted to, and here we were, at one of the most popular place to visit in Almaty - the Park of Culture and Recreation named after Gorky, a heritage of Soviet past, and it did look like time stopped there. This is the entry to the park.
The long flower bed was also a significant feature of such Soviet projects. You can spot a statue in the end of the flower bed, guess who is that?
Of course, Maxim Gorky, who was a Russian/Soviet writer, a political activist. But most I liked the bushy ivy weaved around the tree. Gorgeous nature!
We had a long walk in the park, exploring the places. There was this interesting fountain, would never think of meeting anything mythological in there. later we had a ride on that Ferris wheel. 
A slow ride, which gave us opportunity to see the TV tower, which became our destination the next day.
After that we continued our stroll, and once again saw the typical Soviet building - a Rodina Cinema (Motherland Cinema), fully functioning.
But India was calling me, when we stumbled upon a stand advertising Mehendi (henna) art. 
Oh yea, we were tired, plus I started falling sick that day and had a bed sore throat. We stopped at one of the cafes, had pizza and some beer (yea, I know, I shouldn't have had it, but I wanted to, before I was going to be away from any of Kazakhstani beers till next year). This cute cat came to us, but refused eating a piece of pizza, so I considered she was not that hungry, or pizza was not that good.
That day we came home back home around 9pm, asking people how to get at the location we needed, but we found it, and enjoyed walking under the street lights. 
Next day was not at all the way we planned it, because I had high fever till afternoon, and only after it subsided, we were able to go out again. I really couldn't afford cancelling our plan, and we headed up the hills. First, by local bus, then by small bus which delivered us on the top of the mountain Kok-Tobe, the highest point of Almaty city. It was worth it!
Being up on Kok-Tobe was a great experience for both of us, though we were in the Himalays few times already, the atmosphere of this place was different -  lively, and at the same time relaxing, fresh air and beautiful views! While walking on the path, we noticed that a girl was clicking photos of something on the tree, and we were so much pleased to see that it was a cute squirrel, busy with eating of the pine cone seeds. I adore those little fingers holding the seed!
From Kok-Tobe you could the whole city down there, the wide avenue took our attention - it was shining in the sun.
Soon we approached the point closest to that TV tower we saw the day before. 

From another viewpoint one could observe the snow peaks, perhaps of the Tian Shan range of mountains. After this picture our camera's battery died, and we had to continue  taking snaps with the mobiles, but you know, they were as good. Anyway, I think that these many photos can give you an idea of what Almaty city is. We liked it very much, and wouldn't mind living there if we can.
The next early morning we were awake, and proceeded out journey, now further, to India. I had the last glimpse of my native land (this year), waved "See you", and...
was going to be in Delhi in three and a half hours. The view of the mountains was breathtaking, and by the way Tian Shan is a part of Himalays, so India and Kazakhstan are connected.
I had emotional moments when leaving my land this year, even my D was sad, but what is important that we are always together, ready to support, to understand and love each other. Now my crochet "marathon" has started, and I will keep myself busy with it, like many of you suggested as to decrease that level of missing of KZ:)
Have a wonderful week ahead, value precious time, friends!
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