Saturday, 26 April 2014

Crochet Handles for a Purse

Nearly 2 years ago I made this ripple purse from Attic24's neat ripple pattern. Since then I got many searches of "how to make crochet handles" which led to my old blog post... but there I didn't tell "how" properly. I don't know whether it is really required to make a separate tutorial or instructions for the same however I thought it could be useful for some folks just in case. I will be uploading the same on Ravelry, it's been loooong I logged in there. As I understood  I am not in favor of illustrating each and every step with photos, so I hope the written text is sufficient.

Materials: DK yarn, 100% acrylic
               Tapestry needle
Hook: 3.5 mm (not bigger than 4 mm)
Difficulty: easy
sc- single crochet
ch – chain
sts – stitches
st - stitch
A tip: You need to make two long rectangles.
Begin with ch 9
Foundation Row:  turn, sc in the second ch from hook and sc till the end – 8 sts. Turn work.
Row 1: Ch 1, sc in each st across – 8 sts. Turn work.
Repeat Row 1 till the desired length of a handle is achieved. Fasten off last stitch.
Fold first stripe into half, and start sewing  from the short side, and then - from the long side with a single crochet or slip stitch, or tapestry needle stitch. When you have finished approximately quarter of its length, stuff with polyfill. *DON’T stuff the ends of the stripe too tight, you’d need to attach them to the purse later*. I used a thick crochet hook to stuff the handle and move along the handle tube. Continue sewing up on the side and then stuffing as you
go. Finish by sewing another short end of your handle.
Work the second handle the same way. You will get two soft tube-like pieces in the end, now find where you would like your handles to be. Mark the point with a stitch marker or a piece of yarn. Start sewing one end of the handle to the purse, then another one on the same side of a purse (like in the photo above, I placed mine 10 cm apart). Secure the handle properly. Do the same with the second one. You can embellish the handles with crochet flowers or hearts, or other items like beads, sequins, may be ribbons, whatever you can think of.
I found that crochet handles come out sturdy and durable this way. I am yet to try to crochet a proper bag with lining, perhaps a diaper bag will be most useful now. We are going to be very busy this weekend - many pending deals are there plus meetings with friends are planned.
Have an enjoyable weekend, my dears Be happy and have peace of mind.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Which Language? Intercultural Couples' Communication

I love everything related to language and literature, and it wasn't at all surprising when I chose to become a philologist, a person who loves "word", just like my Mom. Different types of language, be it spoken, written, body, sign, help us to convey and ... connect.
I remember when we had one of the general linguistics lessons in the university, we came to the subject of language families. That was when I  discovered the variety of languages which exist. I took particular interest as I recollect now in Indo-European family which is the largest, and looked through the line-listing of the languages of India ... Oh my! How many of them were there I couldn't remember and pronounce their names at all, and only  few months later I myself was put into that language environment.                                                                
To tell the truth I wanted to be ready before I reached India, and started learning Hindi in my city. I did it because I was curious and inspired by love. It also happens that both the partners have the same native language they can use in all areas of their lives, but what to do when your native languages are different? I will not touch here the situation when partners live in a country which puts its own linguistic demands on both.
Our own experience is such - my husband's mother tongue is Hindi and my is Russian.
In our case comes the universal medium - English language. We chose this way because my Indian boy couldn't speak Russian at all that time, and I still hadn't developed my Hindi speaking skills.
We have Indo-Russian families who have different approach to this problem. In one family a wife speaks Russian, while husband speaks both, Russian and Hindi. English is not used at home much.
Two other families have both the parents speaking both the languages, depending on a situation, and I consider this to be an ideal variant, and that's how I'd like our communication to be.
One more "method" of communication I  got to know in the university was that some multilingual families learn and involve a third language like Esperanto  for daily communication. 
Okay, we still speak English with each other, but I in my turn learnt quite enough Hindi to watch TV and movies and understand what people say, and converse when I need it (let me boast more - read and write); my D also can speak Russian a little, knows alphabet and can write. In modern India though English is more than enough to feel yourself comfortable, and there is no obligation for foreigners residing here to learn Hindi in order to get good job or lift their social status.
However, at times it is not easy to make a person who speaks your own language to understand you. It is double fold difficult when you and your partner are using different language systems, because language also represents culture, it bears its concepts, and knowledge which have been accumulating for centuries! In many ways if intercultural couples don't at least try to learn each other's native languages, they miss on understanding their partner's inner world, his or her mentality, ways of life he or she chooses, and many other small things which are in fact important for a successful cultural blend :) But if you try may be the reaction of your loved one can be as such:
Dear friends, what is your opinion on this topic? Is it important for you that your partner speaks your language? Or do you think that love can break any language barriers?

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter 2014!

 I think it is a wonderful Spring time event marking all good in our life. When I was a kid I used to love all the preparations like coloring and painting eggs and baking traditional Orthodox Easter cakes called "Paska". My Mom also decided to bake them herself this year, and I would like so much to try again one of these tasty creations. 
What about me? I am kind of limited this year with just 10 eggs colored and decorated with lovely stickers which I still have from the special Easter decoration sets. Initially I boiled 12.. but I don't know why I always end up with 2-3 eggs completely destroyed. So even remaining ones are not perfect, but still I have Easter eggs in India!!! Yey! So today we will say each other phrases "Hristos Voskrese" - "Voistinu Voskrese" (Christ has Risen!) and exchange kisses into cheeks three times (I like doing it with my D)) as per the Russian tradition, and may be will have Egg game.
A lovely Easter poem father sent in the sms as I am writing this post (in Russian):
Ты яичко золотое на ладошку положи,
И на ушко тихо Богу жизнь свою всю расскажи.
Он поймет и не осудит, и подскажет на перед:
Где соломинку подбросит,
Где на ушко что шепнет.
Лучик солнца шлет с небес:
Радуйся, Христос Воскрес!

Happy Easter to all! Enjoy your day and be happy!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Crocheting for Home and a Baby

It is time for a crochet tour. Crochet made its way into my life and established itself as a much needed, joyful activity at least on weekends or very much inspired after office evenings. Ever since I saw Sangeetha's rainbow mandala doily, and many other round doilies of the same type in the Internet I wanted to make one or two or.. for myself. Bearing that in mind I found this pattern on the net and went on crocheting tranquilly this one, in one of my favorite color combinations.
Nearly the next day I felt an urge and itch to make one more mandala doily, this time in different color pallete. My D even had a question (again) why I make the same things again and again... Well, dear, because it gives me pleasure and peace of mind. One doily found its place on our room's  table, but this one is waiting for an owner perhaps. This doily would turn into a  lovely cushion cover if ... I have time.
Besides home decor crochet I of course tried my hands a hook in crocheting some baby clothing items. I made a sweater for the first time, and I liked it. The free pattern is called Baby Cardigan, click on the Baby Hat with Earflaps for a free pattern. I am so grateful to those who invent and post the patterns for us to use! I suppose that the white row of stitches I let in a sweater and a hat kind of makes it a set. I made both for a bigger baby, 3+ months old, for Indian "colder" months. I used my favorite Vardhman Brilon - purple is a left over of the summer blanket.
On the list of the clothes I planned to crochet for a baby was a vest. I noted many of the patterns, including Linda's wonderful Kids Sleevless Tops, but hesitated to adapt the pattern to a smaller size, and finally designed a vest myself, involving much loved granny square stitch and granny squares - it works up in no time, really. Once again I used Brilon yarn.
A finished vest on the clothespins. My husband said it looks like a bag... Thank you so much! I am okay with the result myself, the main thing it fits a child and will be comfortable to wear. I hope the neck line is not narrow... Otherwise I will HAVE to turn into a bag.
A close up of the  little granny squares before I wrap up a post.  They turned out to be 2"1' each, sewed together with a slip stitch and then edged with a single crochet stitch. I would like to try this way of clothing making for some accessories too, like booties and caps.I might try it out tonight itself! Yey! But first need to complete a blankie I have never even shown in blog.
I am oh so relieved this working week is getting over and the weekend is just round the corner! Can't wait to have my usual brewed cup of coffee tomorrow morning and watch favorite series (while D is still seeing dreams) - a rare Me-time. I hope the weather will not hit us with sunshine and high degrees. This Sunday is coinciding Orthodox and Catholic Easter. We might go to meet few friends.
♡Bye for now! Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Last Friday Morning

Every day I get up to a lovely morning, not yet hot, slightly cool. It's been long time I wanted to take some snaps of my morning walk to the bus pick up point. And there are reasons for doing so. I didn't take photos of all possible interesting things, however tried to give you and impression of what the city we live in like. 
First as the path from our house leads me among the houses I can view how people manage their homes. I must say that in India those who have their own houses take really good care of them, and adorn their little front gardens with various beautiful flowers and gorgeous blooming trees and bushes. 
Like this bright orange ones which make a bright fence "cover".
Dahlias are very popular in our city. Mostly they are of a red color.
I couldn't miss this delicate lilly in one of the gardens.
Another dalhia - this kind are huge and have multilayered petals.
A nearly wild  rose bush with little roses of this dark pink color. 
Now as I filled my mind with color I continue strolling along the road, towards the market you can see afar. I will walk till those one storied buildings and to the left. It got really hot here, around +35 in the afternoon, though morning is still bearable. 
On the approach to the bus stop I take time to click a picture of these. (Please educate me again which flower it is). This wild bush can have flowers of different colors - red, pink, yellow, orange!
Here I reach the trees under which I usually wait for my bus and meet my co-workers leaving from the same spot. New translucent leaves appeared just two-three weeks ago, it was unusually "cold" the whole March. 
I am sporting my special maternity salwars - such a comfortable thing!
The bus picks me. I continue my morning riding along the city roads. At some point I realise that I need to include  my baby into this short photo shoot too. Here we are, 26 complete weeks. It looks big from the top, and round - I love it! 
The 44 sector market - still closed, people lazily preparing for the day. All the markets in Chandigarh city look quite the same, so it is a problem sometimes for a new person to remember the way. I still cannot give you directions if you ask me (so ask somebody else :))
The city roads include round abouts which join them into a web around sectors. Sector 35 cross road and a round about.  
The same round about - notice how pretty it looks like! Every such has its own landscape design and plants growing in it. My parents liked these very much when they saw them and took many photos.
Just a glimpse of how the morning traffic can be - all possible vehicles in one place! It is crazy at times! You can see an auto rickshaw -  a small three wheeler, which makes loads of noise with its engine, and is one of the essential types of  transport in Indian cities.
Sector 26 vegetable market "mandi". It is always chaotic and crowded, and noizy, be it morning or evening. From here vegetable sellers purchase their lot, and then sell on the carts in the city.
Oh well, this is an IT park where I work. It is a huge territory with different offices, including mine. No, that one is not my office :) I go back along this road which takes me about 45 minutes.
Just before I get in the bus again and start that routine itinarery - a Jerusalem Thorn tree covered with yellow flowers which give away the sweetest fragrance I've ever felt!
Bye bye for now! See you next time with a bit of crochet in my blog finally. I am also sorry for not replying your comments, I read them all, but this week my office work is so hectic that I am too tired to switch on my home laptop in the evening. I look forward to the coming up weekend and hope the next week gets better. Hugs!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Where Intercultural Couples Meet

In the beginning of this blogging way, almost a year after our marriage, I made a post about our intercultural story, and how we actually met with my husband. Since the time I came to India we witnessed many many stories about an Indian boy and a girl from another country. Some of them ending in good friendship, some in marriage, some not leading anywhere and becoming just a memory for their participants. 
Living in the age of advance technology which help us to communicate with hundreds of people across the Globe had its influences on how people find each other. I'd give few points which relate to how Indo-Russian couples make it (although it is applicable to all and any mixed couple of course).
Indian Henna
1. Social networking and Internet overall. This applies to us as well, though none of us had an intention of dating a person from abroad. We started talking as friends, then started web cam chatting and phone calling, and then gradually we already couldn't imagine being apart. That was when we decided to remove the physical distance of 3000+ km in between. One more example of a cross cultural marriage which had Internet beginning, is my Singaporean friend and her Indian husband. Her incredible and touching story is here.
2. Meeting in real in girl's country of origin. My Russian friend married to an Indian, who live in the same city as we, said me many times that for her Internet way couldn't be an option at all as she seeks for stability and certainty in relationships. So she, as many other Russian girls, met her husband in Russia when he came there for study and work many years ago. 
Russian Gzhel'
3. Meeting in real in boy's country of origin (India). This also happens a lot. For the past 4 years me and D saw numerous relationships starting between a foreign girl and an Indian boy while a girl visiting India with a different purpose initially of course. This way can be a little tricky as the boy is close to his family and there  may be or may be no difficulties for a couple to proceed with their relationships (further on that in the following posts).
4. Meeting in any other country. I believe this can be the best for mixed relations, as both the participants of it are free from their country's influence and can objectively see what's going on between them, and decide their options either in their respective countries or in a third one. I know that a number of international couples choose this option  for building up or strengthening of their relations before or after marriage. 
Anyhow the mixed relationships is not easy to sustain for a number of reasons (of which I would be talking in other posts), so those who make it up to some level deserve appreciation I think. Hope the above will be helpful in some ways to somebody at least. I really enjoyed preparing this post, and I know you have something to tell too, my dears. I am going to make it a weekly post and share my experience and thoughts on various intercultural topics.
To see how truly diverse relations can be I am giving the fact that among our friends we have such mixed couples as: German-Indian, Brazilian-Indian, Polish-Indian, Russian-Indian, Singaporean-Indian, Lebanese-Indian, Belorussian-Indian, Ukrainian-Indian. Indian men certainly have something special about them ;) And yes, they like CHAI (tea) a lot! So be ready to prepare quite a few glaaasses a day when it is his weekend, that I am going to do from today on :)
Have a lovely weekend my dears!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Awaiting Good

My blog has been enriched by one important topic recently - Baby. What is unavoidable, and baby keeps on popping up here and there, because he/she is always on my mind these days and days to come.
After giving it a thought I have decided to deliver in India because going to my native city will be of no use considering trip expenses and probable limited time my D would be staying there with me, and then my 2-3 months living at parents place before I could fly with a baby back here. Phew! Yea, it even sounds a little complicated.
So here I am ready to experience Indian hospitals and health care for the first time on a big scale. I am of a good opinion so far. Initially I had a really nice gynaecologist/obstetrician I found through one Russian-speaking friend, and who also spoke Russian as she studied in Belarus many years ago. It was a bliss for me! However I had to shift to a speciality maternity hospital and started showing there.I heard a lot about it from other girls who already went through their care and had good impression overall. Now I am more busy, doing the exercises after office and going to counselling sessions on weekends (together with D). I like it as it keeps me updated and aware as well as prepared.
I am at 26th weeks now and want to note for myself what good and bad effects of pregnancy I currently possess.
☁ Bad ones: 
1. Stretch marks - no, as of now. Using Indian Ayurvedic cream "Stretch NIL" and wonderfully smelling  "Parachute" coconut oil (which is much cheaper remedy than the first one). I know they don't help really, but I feel more confident with them.
2. Limbs swelling - Yea! I got it in my feet, a little. However all of it disappears during the weekend :)
3 .Pigmentation - no. Hope no at all.
4. Skin problems - significant reduction and overall face skin improvement - much softer and tenderer. 
5. Mood swings - oh yea! And also irritability with small things particularly and people's behaviour. 
6. Insomnia - no, so far. But baby sometimes starts being active when I am about to fall asleep.
7. Heartburn - not even a single time. Perhaps my diet is good.
8. Nausea - disappeared now, but was very inconvenient in the beginning.
Did I forget anything?
 Good ones: 
1. Better Hair - yes, feeling  much thicker hair because they simply don't fall!
2. Better Nails - grow faster and more strong. Consider all the calcium I consume.
3. Glowing skin - yes! I like my skin these days.
5. Mood uplift - some days is very significant, when  I feel my baby's kicks.
6. Eating healthier - definitely getting more nutrients and fiber, loads of fruits, and no alcohol at all (of course!).
7. Attention - well, people are more friendly now, but sometimes it annoys me when everyone smiles at me and looks at my bump. Some do it every day (office). See point 5 among bad effects.
8. More love - I feel more more and more love towards my D... and feeling loved and cared for in return. 
9.New plans - awaiting good new things to come :)
I suppose that's all, I could continue with smaller things but these are major, let me dwell on this.
Have a wonderful day, my dears! Thanks for all love and support, I appreciate it so!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Cultures' Chord in My Life

Many of you already understood or are yet to be introduced to the fact that me and my husband belong to different countries, religions and languages. Lately I have firmly decided that with our family expansion I would need to make my blog a place to share this incredible experience as a mother of a mixed child :) I am thrilled at the thought of it, I am a little scared whether we will be able to inculcate in him/her that consciousness of being so much enriched by belonging to two worlds. I am sure it all will be all right and natural. So the blog name I am finally choosing shall reflect that hey, we are a mixed family, one of many such in the world, but one of a kind at the same time, because our story is so precious and unique for us first of all. 
Taking into account all your huge response to two latest posts, valuable suggestions and experiences, and considering my own preferences and my D's opinion that he actually likes my current blog's name too but yea, I can carry on with the proposed names... I have finally chosen this one "Cultures' Chord by Hindustanka". The URL has not been touched, and the new name is combining the good old and a new idea. Was I way too worried for this? Haha, but I feel relieved and happy, and now can expand blog's themes a little more and discuss questions of a cultural blend which arise in my head all the time and what will help me to understand things better. I was thinking of this idea when first started this blog, but it shifted in some other dimension. Now let me take a leave and wish you all a Happy Weekend!
And a quote I liked a lot:
"I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry" - Rita Rudner. I want to believe it, my D has one ear stud, hehe :)
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