Girl In The Red Sari

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Of late, I have taken a small fascination to saris.

Actually, I used to wear them twice a week during my days at the university. During that time, I didn’t give saris any thought, for me they were a burden because they would take up a lot of precious time, after which I wouldn’t look near as elegant as I should have. Amongst the challenges of wearing a saree is managing the pleats at the front. There would be a weird bump around my midriff, where I would manage to have the pleats all bunched together.

Lately, I realised that the saree, being a traditional attire in India, and one that thrives so well ( there is no other national costume in any other part of the world that has thrived so well unto our modern age, part from the salwar kameez of course), there is so few art around them. I decided to create a series of art around the beauty of the sari. Here, this artwork has been inspired by the photo below, something I found off Pinterest, very cute and very different where the print was concerned. If anyone is interested, the name of the saree company is Queen of Hearts :

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My artwork during the work in progress stages:

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I get inspired by women wearing sarees with interesting compositions, like reading a book, wearing glasses, doing yoga, cooking etc. I prefer to see a woman wearing a sari, with an activity, rather than just making a model pose. If you think you have a photo that could interest me, you are welcome to let me have a look at it! 🙂

Woman obsessed with décor (and curtains)

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I thought of sharing this delightful carricature of a ‘Woman obsessed with home décor’, by the French illustrator Signé Benoit, whose works appear regularly in the magazine ‘Paris Match’. At first, the paintwork appears messy, but soon you notice the attention to details, and you can relate a lot to what the artist tries to portray.

My post is all to do with curtains, but while thinking about making this post, I was reminded of this carricature I found in the magazine, that I’d cut away in 2012. Some of the luxurious curtain drapes I have been checking out lately in the fabric markets of Paris, and all the wonderful ideas I could play around with them, reminded me of this woman so in bliss to be surrounded with opulent fabrics and other items of décor.

When my husband first proposed the idea that we buy the curtain fabric and I stitch them, I was absolutely in désaccord with him. The last time I touched my sewing machine was 10 months ago and that last time happened to be my first time too! I was presented with that machine by a benevolent family member who thought I could do more useful things with my craftiness. Here’s the end result of me slaving away on the machine just 4 days after we bought the fabric :

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Not too bad if I say so myself! As long as no one peeks on the other side of the curtains! My hands were clammy the entire while I was stitching them. Until they were put up on the rods, I had no idea if we’d wasted money on the drapes. It was of course the first time I was stitching curtains and I used the design from another existing curtain that we’d bought from Ikea a long time ago. Stitching this curtain opened my eyes to the world of curtains, the right fabrics, the different styles etc. Though a lot of mistakes have been made on this curtain (awry hems, no lining, base hem still not complete etc), I am confident I can do better next time around. Here’s a look at the fabric that we’d bought at my favourite store Marché St. Pierre in Montmartre, Paris :

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Here are some lovely curtain ideas I came across in a book :

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Handmade baby announcement cards, design 1

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My very first project of the year is semi-completed, yayy! And what better project could I start off with than getting to prepare the baby announcement cards of my own little angel due to arrive soon. 

This is the first time I attempted making cards, and so many of them too. At first I had no idea of how to start off with them. I got blank cards of the shade of teal, with envelopes a dark shade of blue. I scouted through Pinterest for inspiration, but finally I had to come up with my own ideas as I had already shopped random stamps and ribbons for baby ideas. 

I prepared the list of folks I needed to send off the cards to, and the number’s come to 45. I decided to make 3 designs in total (more to keep my interest alive!). in this set, I’ve prepared 11 cards of a particular design. The photo of the baby is inserted inside of the card and part of the photo will peek out through the heart design on the outside. I started off with a rough sketch of the design in my notebook. Here below are my 11 cards of the size 13.5cms X 13 cms. To start off, I decided to use my masking tape that has ‘100% boy’ on it, and I made myself a rubber stamp with a heart on it, that I could use to stamp evenly all over the card to give it some sort of background design.

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And here’s the result:

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Next, I’ve cut out part of the heart shape on the card, keeping a mini heart inside of the big heart, and covered the heart borders with an aqua-green glitter paste. For the second deco piece, I’ve made use of my polka dotted blue ribbon and made a tiny bow shape with a sequin stuck in the middle. For my third decoration piece, I’ve cut out myself heart shapes out of blue felt and made some stitches on it.

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Here’s how it looks like :

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Doesn’t it look so nice already? 🙂 Now, for the bottom portion, I wanted to use my rubber stamp on a separate background paper, and I decided to prepare the background paper myself. Using watercolours, I first dampened my drawing sheet with water and then ran parallel lines of dark blue and green through it. Once dried, I used my rubber stamp and created a border around, which I cut out and stuck each print on the bottom right of the card. On the left of the stamp, I used my special scissors to cut out a nice cursive border around a chart paper aqua green in colour. I filled up the paper with messages both in English and French. 

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Ta- daah!! Below are my cards completed!! I bought a nice calligraphy pen that helped me a lot making that nice handwriting. 

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The inside of the cards have a stamp that mentions details like the date and baby’s weight and size, etc.. details important to mention in a baby announcement card. Here’s a look at the envelopes that I designed. I am relieved and glad I managed to finish off my first lot, and can now look forward to my second!! 🙂

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Pretty paper snowflakes!

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Well, to be fair, this photograph was taken exactly a year ago. That was the first time I attempted making paper snowflakes. I have giant windows around my apartment and I couldn’t stand to see them all empty. So with a little bit of imagination and lots of help from online tutorials, I came across a few designs, and I was quite pleased to put them up on my windows. (The cats and the swallows were my ideas).

Here’s a view of another window with a different set of snowflakes from the outside (with my beermug of almost frozen parsley in it) :

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Of course, I attempted making more snowflakes this year, but honestly I am not that pleased with them. I took the designs off a creative magazine, a really wonderful French magazine called Marie Claire Idées, and though the designs are really quite different from the usual ones, they have a certain Russian theme going on them, and in the end I wondered if they really did convey the idea of Christmas. I think they would look better on some other time of the year, and perhaps on different colored papers. I haven’t taken any photos as yet. But one of my neighbours really liked my previous snowflakes so I put up my old ones on the front gate window panes of our building.

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Here in France, it doesn’t feel so much like Christmas as yet, as the weather is quite mild. Last year, it was cold but it snowed only a day. I wonder if it will snow this year too, I hope it does. As much as I like the snow, I feel very sad thinking of the homeless. There is an estimated ‘official’ count of 150,000 homeless in France. A recent documentary on TV that I watched the other day opened my eyes to a lot of the hardships they have to go through especially during winter. Here’s another shot of my favourite cat, Mimi sharpening her claws as she gets ready to face the cold weather. Happy and safe holidays to all you readers!

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Yoga with kitty

ImageI was tempted to make this piece of embroidery as I had a real book with dialogues used by yoga teachers when they instruct their students in class. How did I get to have this book? Well, I have a very good friend who happens to be an instructor of the popular Hot Yoga, or Power Yoga. My friend left this book behind the last time she came to visit me, and promptly got herself a new copy when she discovered it’s absence. So the book remained with me.

The many instructions for the many poses always had me a little intrigued. In fact, I had attended a few classes for the Power yoga, and though they left me feeling so energised, I haven’t been able to attend another class due to the great geographical distance from where I live. 

For this embroidery, I chose the Cobra Pose. It seemed fun and drawing out the pose was easy for me, unlike some other poses where a tangled up body was a little challenging for me to sketch out! Since this was my first time with a project like this, I was a little laid back, and I think if I’d used the proper materials (fabric is actually a wash-cloth!), and concentrated more, I could have done a better job!

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