Tag Archives: embroidery

Fasten Seat Belts! It’s Lockdown. Recharge with Positive Actions


Chapter 6 of the Bhagvad Gita (a 700 verse Hindu scripture)   elaborately discusses the Mind.  “He who is the master of his mind is a sage, while he who is a slave to his mind is a fool.”

ie. if one controls the mind and channelizes its energy into positive actions, it can create a fulfilling life, calm and creative. Think of the great artists, writers and engineers who single pointedly focused and put their energy into a positive goal. If one cannot arrest the monkey mind it will be drunk with the wine of desires, quotes Swami Vivekanandaji and Adi Shankaracharya, the great Hindu philosopher and saint compares the mind to a huge Tiger, lurking in our backyard!  

Covid 19 lockdown time has brought upon all of us a ‘new normal’ and each of us has a story to tell. A change of mindset and positive thinking is necessary to tide over these challenging times. Those who are blessed financially and health wise have been lucky, but I send out a prayer each day to the needy, aged and below poverty line people. Lockdown has  become our new teacher, in a new garb of technology. Keeping the mind calm and well fed with nutritious thoughts will help us pass through the day.

Change is the only constant in Nature.

Positive Growth and change in Nature

Has sheltering at home become a cramped, claustrophobic space or a time and space to bond with family, share household duties and learn some new hobbies? How has this time impacted you? What have you done for a change?

Initially I was restless, always waiting to pack my bags to visit family. Retirement and lockdown created frustration, anxiety and a sense of ‘whats next’? It brought me SO MUCH free time, I did not know how to channelize it (other than just house duties and exercise). Well, “stash away those bags and dig open my craft and hobby materials”‘ I said to myself. Get going, stay calm, be happy for what you have NOW!

Having a hobby to focus on forces us to take a break from stressful activities and negative thinking. Without a reason to take a break, we may unwittingly overwork ourselves to the point of exhaustion. Indoor hobbies do wonders for children too – drawing, craft, reading is much better than staring at gadjets. Studies have shown that the best hobbies for reducing stress include knitting, gardening, reading, and yoga. At our home, hubby digs up soil and feeds the plants in the garden, I calm down with Nature craft.

What is your hobby? How do you feel when engaged in it?

Crochet: Spring and Summer Flowers

Here is my lockdown project inspired by our blossoming garden. An old silk saree is being converted into a day quilt, lined with an old bedsheet. Old is gold (memories)…and incredibly soft!


Another ongoing project is editing my older posts. Phew! as a novice, 5 years ago the posts written have no clarity of thought, nor a good flow of language. Well, I’m glad to have come out of the cocoon into an emerging butterfly! Thank you dear readers. I now have over 250 followers and more than 40 narratives about various markets I’ve visited. It makes me more responsible to write better, isn’t it?

My trip down memory lane brought out few posts, dear to me and friends, as I edited. Remembering those far away travels, meeting friends who hosted and cooked for us, surely they were a beacon of light on our travel journey.

Summer in Canada:Maple Syrup,Summer Fruit and Outdoor Kiosk

Beachfront Weekend Market at Manly, Sydney

World Palate Recipes: New Zealand Carrot Cake(2)

Daily Post Challenge Close Up: Parsi Saree Borders

Focus 12: Types of Markets

With Zoom, whatsapp, Insta, Meet/hangouts and other online portals coming up with a variety of free classes in Art, Music, pencil sketching, Scriptural discourses and story telling sessions, it’s a whole new ‘virtual’ world I have been swimming in – I even got Zoom fatigue within few weeks, felt dizzy staring at the screens, and saving multiple passwords. Haha…

That brings me to story telling via Zoom. Now that real-life classrooms are shut down for a while, rural children in India are being ‘virtually’ engaged by NGO’s and other tellers. I climbed onto the train journey to keep connected with story telling, rural children and technology. It did feel weird without hearing any noisy distractions from children, rather it was ‘use the chatbox to put your comments, or type raise hand or thumbs up’ Engaging or disengaging interactions? What are your experiences using virtual classrooms and meets?

Here are a few links for stories I told:

https://www.worldoftales.com/Asian_folktales/Filipino_folktale_45.html#gsc.tab( Turtle and Monkey)

Panchatantra wisdom tales,

Sang Kanchil, the clever mouse deer @Malaysian animal stories DashaAvatara of Krishna @ mythological stories

Australian aboriginal tales of Krangalang the crab and Tiddalick the greedy frog.

Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories


These are some drawings made by children, using Aboriginal theme of painting with dots.

What books or podcasts have you been listening to?

Do you have any story /link to share with us from your culture? 

That’s all for now. Stay safe, stay positive, be productive.

            If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal.

                                Not to people.

Albert Einstein



Details in Hand Embroidery and Crochet


 Here is my entry for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge.

Dictionary meaning of Detail is: specific feature, attribute, characteristic or element of an item or fact.

Whether in Nature or man made items, to create details involves extra time, effort and craftmanship. I salute all artists, weavers and craftsmen today as they  work on creating finer details in their hand made items.

Parsi Kor  borders showcase exquisite embroidery. Highly priced or kept as rich heirloom pieces, these borders are done with a cross stitch. A  variety of coloured threads in silk or cotton are used. The borders are then attached to sarees or wedding gifts like table linen.

Parsi Saree with traditional Kor / Border

Parsi Saree with traditional Kor / Border

Traditional Kashmiri designs are another example of detailed work.  Men and women, both work as Karigars or weavers. Thread colours used here are white (safed) and turquoise (firozi). Common motifs used are: paisley, delicate chinar leaf, saffron, narcissus and lily flowers. Just as in Nature, twirling creepers and lines add delicate element.

Kashmiri embroidery

Kashmiri embroidery

In crochet and knitting the details of design and stitch add that extra element. The picot stitch can be used in the border or in the body pattern (as I am using here). Picot adds a bit of charm, especially when used in borders to create a pointed effect on the line.

Crochet: Picot stitch

Crochet: Picot stitch

 if you want to produce something above the normal, just work on the DETAILS !

Guest Post: Extensive Kutchhi Embroidery in Ahmedabad’s Market


My young niece recently visited Ahmedabad’s famous shopping street, the Law Gardens. Revati is a budding architect, prolific reader and a writer for the magazine Urban Vaastu. Not the archetype shopper and bargainer, she still brought back bags full of colourful Kutchhi embroidered clothes as well as stories.  Thanks Revati, for sharing your experience at the street market.

Street shopping in Ahmedabad. Courtesy : Internet

Street shopping in Ahmedabad. Courtesy : Internet


‘If you think money cannot buy happiness then you do not know where to shop!’ This is a patent phrase every shopaholic is well versed with and more so, believes whole heartedly in it. This happiness intensifies manifold when one buys a particular item at half the quoted price. Welcome to the art of street shopping where the primary requisite is a combination of the sheer skill of bargaining and mammoth patience.

The Law Garden area in the city of Ahmedabad, western India, is a street side shopping haven and a ‘must visit’ for enthusiastic tourists and locals alike. It is an evening market where the shop owners can be seen unpacking and arranging their clothes for display after the sun begins its sluggish journey towards the west. The melancholic sun forms an ideal backdrop for their long grueling evening ahead.

‘Low Garden’ as the area is famously known in the native Gujarathi language offers a variety of Kachchhi embroidery work. This traditional threadwork on fabric is done by the artisans of Kutch, a region in the state of Gujarat and is thus called Kachchhi work. Kutch, lies around 400 km away from the city of Ahmedabad. This beautiful work can be seen on a range of fabrics and an assortment of clothes like ghagras, jackets, blouses and accessories like clutches, slings and slippers to name a few. It also displays stunning ensembles of the popular ghagra choli or chaniya choli, which is a traditional flowing skirt and short blouse, very popularly worn, especially  during the Navratri season while playing garba. Garba is the traditional Gujarati dance.

Embroidered dress materials with mirror work. Courtesy: Internet

Embroidered dress materials with mirror work. Courtesy: Internet

Kutchhi work is usually done on cotton or silk fabric. The embroidery involves the use of silk or woollen thread in fine stitches to create elaborate patterns, and draws its inspiration from romantic, architectural and human motifs, as well as Persian and Mughal arts. The colors used are mainly green, indigo, deep red, black, yellow and ivory. The embroidery is also distinctive in its use of mirrors and beads, placed strategically in between patterns.

Kutchhi embroidery on bedspreads. Courtesy: Internet

Kutchhi embroidery on bedspreads

History traces the origin of this Kutch embroidery work to mochis, shoemakers who used to work on royal textiles and decorative objects. Over the years it has grown to become an artwork of international repute. Kutchhi embroidery has never lost its sheen and in fact the colorful craft has considerably gained popularity over the years. It has survived owing to the constant influx of new designs and innovations along with new merchandise such as waistcoats, purses, bags, sandals, skirts, scarves and belts. Home furnishings and fashionable attire to suit modern wear also incorporates this embroidery.

Let’s take a look at the street market scenario:

This rich artwork is displayed within tiny (mostly shabby) 8′ by 6′ shops in the Law Garden area. The owner sits on a raised platform which exhibits the entire spectrum of his products. The tarpaulin sheets act as dividers between the shops but one can seldom notice them peeping under the riot of coloured cloth pieces on display. Bewildered? The designs, patterns and colours are so varied and intricate! It becomes difficult to vividly remember the patterns you have purchased or viewed. The floral motifs combine beautifully with lines and geometric and nature inspired forms to create a design with bright hues. An important fact to be borne in mind is that these products at Law Garden are open to bargaining since it is machine work designs and not hand work. The traditional hand worked cloth is understandably expensive and demands a more respectable selling place than a roadside shop. Nonetheless, the machine work products are gorgeous for a person who craves for a piece of  Kutchhi ethnicity albeit, on a shoestring budget, in their wardrobe. That is me!

As I began my shopping escapades, I was awestruck with the beauty that man could create on a mere fabric. Each region has its own specialty and it is always undoubtedly worth possessing. I must have appeared an obvious novice to this region, armed with a cap and a water bottle to beat the heat. Finally, after a bit of window shopping, I mustered the courage to actually ask the shopkeeper to show me various clothes and quote the price.

This is where the most entertaining part of the evening began. He quoted a price almost 4 times the reasonable rate and since my face must have registered the shock he quickly added, ” You choose first. Then we will decide the price.” Bemused at his calm authoritative manner I was determined to beat him at his own game. After selecting a certain product we began haggling over the rate. I offered something way below his quoted price and pat came the reply, “Tell a price that even we can afford. This is not possible. Tell me your last price.” This went on for a few minutes after which I gave in and said I was willing to stretch by a hundred rupees. He began packing the dress and I heaved a sigh of relief. Alas, I had emerged victorious against a skilled player who never misses a day of practice. He handed it over and said, “Let’s agree at a price between mine and yours. Give me 400 rupees.” The smug triumphant look disappeared from my face and I succumbed to the fact that I had lost the battle.

However, I repeated the same procedure in all the shops and passed with flying colours a few times. The pleasure one gets after bargaining and finally purchasing a product at a pre-conceived price can seldom be understood by the brand conscious people. The time when you pretend to leave and the owner calls you back to re-negotiate the cost is one of the trickiest part of this charade. If you are not effective in acting your part you will not be called back and that dress or bag which you had set your heart upon cannot be yours! Or else you will have to swallow your pride and walk back to the place and buy it at whatever rate he asks for. However, in any case, this is an experience of its kind and rather entertaining. I must confess that I have never been a shopaholic in my life and detest bargaining and street shopping in the heat.

However, the market at Law Garden seemed to exude a charm that even a person like me could not resist. Thus, I can happily state that after a couple of hours, I had two bags full of clothes and accessories and a third full of MEMORIES.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer