Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Winter Mood

Hello my dears... The past week was rather tiring for me on the job side - more translation work started coming in which resulted in me being completely drained by the end of the day. As soon as I work half day from home, it might seem like an easy task, but it isn't. In fact, my day is endless. Some days I simply feel like curling up on a bed and doing nothing at all. It doesn't happen, almost never. My sleep timings also depend on little A's preference, however one good thing is that he finally started sleeping through the night. Before that I couldn't get a proper night's rest for more than 2 years :O Hence I am very happy for both of us.
Thank you everyone for your wishes for my mom's recovery. She is already at home and doing well, though would need to be more careful from now on and still requires to support her arm. Life seems to be getting on its' usual track.
That winter mood always visits me as Christmas and New year approach. It's time for cozy evenings and hot chai, for warm socks and crocheting. As our house gets colder, I feel the need to keep warm whenever and however possible.
Yesterday I had a crocheting "onset" and accomplished a sweater for little A. I still need to work on to weaving the ends and probably blocking it. The pattern is "from my head". The yarn I used is like 15 years old! I got it from home last year. First, I had doubts about the colour, but then, why boys should wear only all dark and blue and green?  I am planning on adding some applique to it.
Updated - sweater pictures! :) Its a little bulky and tacky, but Ok to wear at home. I have a pattern for another crochet sweater, so hopefully the second attempt will be better. My model though refused me taking his pictures in a new attire :)
 Recently I tried making something new - baked samosas. They are a totally healthy vegan version of a popular Indian snack. I am going to make more... when I feel like :P
Have a happy day my friends whenever you are! Blessed be!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

An Owl Pouch for Toffies

My son has a great attachment to his grandparents, which is so natural. While me and D are "bad bad always prohibiting everything and stopping him from doing anything he wants parents"! I believe though that grandparents contributed to my little A's  sweet tooth development. But if I think more, it couldn't have been any other way when his dad can never resist a bite of chocolate or some Indian sweets whenever offered (or not offered, and he grabs them himself :))
A's recent obsession - toffees of different kinds (in wraps). He might not eat them but will be carrying around the house everywhere, eventually losing them and asking me where have they all gone. What's more, yesterday he didn't want to fall asleep until I put two little toffees in his hand! Hence, to ensure he always has his favourites in one place and won't be dropping them here and there, I crocheted this super easy owl pouch, and EVEN inserted a lining made of an old T-shirt.
It seems to be very handy, and little A loves wearing bags too (often wears a similar cross shoulder pouch of mine which is too long for him). The days have become colder in Chandigarh, we wear sweaters and socks at home and sleep under thick quilts at night. This might have promoted my wish to crochet cozy little things. My A enjoys wrapping up himself in various blankets and not resisting to wear sweaters and socks anymore.
One more owl to our collection, this time, a useful one. I can improve the pattern and make it in bigger sizes with a zipper or any other type of lock. Attaching the lining was not that difficult and scary (lol) but rather interesting.
Here are our owl-y wishes of a warm and welcoming home for you to have and to live in! Blessed be!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Life's Challenges and Gifts

I am not in a position to critisize and judge, but you would agree that events which happen all around the world sooner or later echo in other parts. I am not feeling any change since the US election result came up, but I know that it would reflect in some of the areas of our lives at some point of time.
Indian government has also surprised us with a sudden scrapping of 500 and 1000 banknotes in order to extract black money from turnover. It created a real panic and hurdle among people as not everyone had proper information what it was all about and why. Right now things are better and getting calm and in order slowly.
Politics, economics and world problems aside we continue our lives because this is what we have to do for our families, we have to move on and continue dreaming, hoping and believing.
And honestly speaking, I don't care as of now about these big things, because our family has got a real challenge to deal with. On Tuesday I received a bad news from my dad that my mom broke her shoulder joint bone. She is going to be operated today, and the surgery is not the easy one. I cannot tell how much scared and worried for her I am because she is not young of course (not old either) and the fraction itself is dangerous but surgery I dread more actually... I pray she stands the operation well and gets fine very soon! She promised she would be fine my summer for sure. My little mom... I miss you so much, and I am sorry I can't be with you right now when you and dad need me so much... I rely on our good friends and family whoever are left in the city to take care of this situation. My papa is a great help to her these days! And I know he always tries to cheer her and me up. He made smile many times yesterday when I was talking to him on the phone.
November is my and my dad's birthday month, and our dates are just back to back. :) How cool is this? :) Next month, December, is also wonderful and magical, and I have started preparing some handmade New year decorations which I will showcase a little later.
Recently I have started following some of the wonderful upcycle ideas by Jill of Creating my Way to Success, and here is what I came up with: my first sock puppy. Hmm, looks slightly creepy but kind of naive too, maybe because of the colour. I have some more bright and cheerful socks to upcycle, so more sock animals to come.
In addition, I am in the process of making an up-cycled clothes purse/clutch/wallet. I absolutely had no plan of HOW to stitch this purse, how to cut pieces properly, so it is rather tacky and totally handmade looking. I am also not sure how to close it and what kind of handles to attach, but I am in love with the idea of re-purposing old clothes. I have also started making T-shirt yarn and probably will make a storage bag - they are really useful around the house.
 To sum up my today's blog post on a positive note, here is a little gift my D got from his colleagues from Russia yesterday. Can you say how happy I am? I have two Russian dolls now! One is a nesting doll with two more inside her, and this one contained a VERY Russian surprise - a small bottle of vodka :P
 So, cheers to life, to our families, to their and our health!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Diwali and Halloween Are Round the Corner

Happened that these two festivals coincide almost on the same dates. Diwali is on the 30th of October this year , and  Halloween, well, as usual is on the 31st of October :) I like this because this way we celebrate cultures' chord for real!
My A's school has been decorated with Halloween stuff to the brim! I suppose they get from abroad or something because you can't find such stuff in the usual markets here. I am sure kids enjoy the change in the school's furnishing every week.
Today is the Orange day in A's class but I couldn't find ANY orange clothes for him, so I simply made a Pumpkin ornament and a diya sticker from orange foam paper to take along. Then A and D are having 4 days off due to Diwali - lucky boys :)
Now, what I have been up to. Though I did very little on a crafty front I managed to finish A's cape, here is a look of work in progress. We purchased this one to one meter of shiny material for 60 Indian rupees, which is equal to 0.90 USD. The sewing and design are my own - it has a hood as well :)
Yesterday, after dropping to school a leave application because little A stayed home with cold, I couldn't not to take few snapshots of lobby decor... when I was stopped by a teacher who said I wasn't allowed to take photos... hehe.

Today is also  a special pre-Diwali day called Dhanteras. It is auspicious to buy any metal things today like jewellery or kitchen utensils and appliances. So if you ran out of spoons, go get them! :) A pooja (a form of a religious ritual) is held in my D's office today. Many offices do this in order to welcome Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity (Lakshmi).
We wore traditional Indian clothing today. Here is my Indian suit. I loved how the colors became vivid under the morning sunlight!
Rangoli (in the photo below) is also being made in all the schools, offices, homes. Here is Ganesh is in the middle, people pray to him on Diwali for prosperity, wealth and well-being. Rangoli designs are endless!

Another rangoli one from my office which reads Happy Diwali written in Devanagari, and also two diyas (little oil lanterns) and OM are a part of this composition.

 Our big Indo-Russian family wishes you all a Happy Diwali - Let the Light come into your home and in your hearts, and make your life happy and joyful! 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Festival Season is On

Following the last post about Dussehra here I am going to tell about another North Indian festival called Karva Chauth which took place on 19th of October - a day when wives fast for a well-being of their husbands. It is a tradition in many North Indian families, and we also follow it. Though this year I didn't keep fast, I followed all other rituals of this day, like applying mehendi (henna), dressing up in suit and wearing bangles, attending pooja in a temple, and at last breaking the fast when the moon rises. This time the moon kept us waiting till 10 pm until it finally became visible behind the houses...
Other than celebrations, we are in our usual mode - office, home, school. Last weekend was particularly enjoyable because in-laws were out of city and we had the house all to ourselves, forgive me announcing this happiness openly, but this is required at times. They also had some break from routine in Delhi, attending a marriage. We had  a lovely family time at home. I indulged in baking again - this time Apple Crust Pie with cinnamon - it was delicious! Easy-peasy to make too.

Little A has got his portion of delight on weekend by playing with colourful dough. I purchased a set of cutters along with four dough pieces.
Look how many shapes we made! He especially likes a star, a circle, a heart and a butterfly :) To my amusement the play dough is still popular with little A.
Today when I was dropping A to his school, his class teacher met us at the reception with a giant spider in her hands! Hehe, they are preparing for Halloween now. After I said "Bye, I love you, baby!" to my boy (while he was too interested in that handmade spider to even look back at, and was about leave the premises, I noticed these cute bats and spiders on the lobby's TV stand - aren't they fun? They made me smile!
 Have a happy day and enjoy time spent with your dear ones :)
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