Tag Archives: hobby

Year End 2018: My Blogging Journey So Far…

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2018, another year comes to an end. How has my blogging journey been so far, I often ponder?

”Have you thought of blogging?” someone asked me a few years ago. I didn’t even know what a blog was, let alone create one. I baulked, shyly but firmly decide a blog will be born!

That brought a flood of questions to mind. Why write? Write what? Should I share my personal stories with an unknown audience? How do I create a blog? How to upload photos? What are the basic techno skills required? Writing demands a certain discipline and a focus. Am I ready to sit on the magic carpet and take my audience around the world?

“The magic of traveling is a change of perspective. The journey is more important than the destination.”

~ Maria Lehtman

Finding a focus

The first daunting question before creating a blog and naming it was to find a theme or particular aspect of that interested or changed me! The numerous Kodak prints and Iphone photos covered in dust (in online folders) awaited proper organization. Phew!

Travel had taught us many a history, geography and cultural lesson. Should I write about people? Their language and peculiar accents? Should I write about cultures or some hilarious or scary incidents we encountered? While travelling, we often visited local markets to buy fresh produce, breads or local food. It proved a cheaper, healthier, novel experience each time, instead of a meal at a restaurant.

I had found a theme. Writing about markets seemed apt.

Often walking along the cobbled paths in European towns, or dragging my shopping trolley in Singapore was the easy way to reach the local market. So ‘walktomarket’ seemed an apt title. I choose wordpress for its simplicity and support in technology.

Singapore’s 5C’s: What it means at the Wet Market

Hyderabad Two Cups of Chai at Monda Market

             Courtesy: Internet – Quotes on web writing.

Genre and Writing Style.

As the stories were my personal experiences, I adopted the narrative style, using first person while telling anecdotes. After studying the different writing styles, planning my layout (initially on paper, later more efficiently on the blog site itself) I slowly began posting online. But I soon discovered that to describe events or places in details, I have to use sensory language, make the place come alive actually. Was I able to deliver that to the audience? (Thank you readers for leaving generous comments sometimes). It required lots of writing and editing practice…and continuing determination.

Narrative writing is a way of story telling, personal, and yet conveying a moral or message. The reader must be able to learn, feel or gather a particular impression to remain interested. (Courtesy: Internet essays on writing.)

Throughout our life we learn from our experiences, and travel had given me a new perspective. THAT was the message I wished to convey. Thus my writing had to show that thought. I often had casual personal interviews with the cheese, bread or fruit or vendors while shopping. Including these was a wonderful way of projecting the human stories to a wider  audience. Other creative ideas like captioning photos, writing postcard stories and leaving questions for the reader helped support reader interest. And that’s important.

A Photo Essay – Al Mina Market, Abu Dhabi

The story and planning 

No work can be achieved without a proper plan or outline. Planning helps channeling of thoughts. In writing, after making a first outline draft, details are to be added.Then editing and proofing are next steps. Every narrative has a beginning, middle and end. Thus my narratives too required some structure. If I introduce a certain event or person, then at the end I must close this topic so. Learning to write, think and plan takes up energy, time and brain power, that at times left me happily exhausted.

“How should I introduce the place? Should I begin with an interview? Or describe the traditional attire? Whom should I highlight as main character? Should I focus on the historical aspect or pin point the road map for the next traveler?” So many questions to ponder and write about, to entertain the reader and keep him engaged in my story!

Mauritius – In search of an idol of Lord Ganesh

https://answershark.com/writing/essay-writing/how-to-write-narrative-essay.html

http://canuwrite.com/essay_parts.php

Read more to write better? What is a writer’s block?

Some days words would flow like a running tap, other times not a seed of thought crossed my brain. ”How can I be committed to blogging and my audience?” I grew worried.  Days would pass without writing even two paragraphs! That’s when I read about a writer’s block.( Dictionary meaning: the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.) Doing regular exercise, going for a walk helped me not only to revitalize, but also to literally think on my feet! At times, I rushed home to put thoughts on paper (laptop) lest they evade me later in the busy humdrum of life.

“It usually helps me write by reading — somehow the reading gear in your head turns the writing gear.” -Steven Wright

To write better one needs to read more. To improve vocabulary, to get creative, to improve grammar…read! So to improve my writing I began reading travel blogs, books, novels, biographies -anything to keep my mind in learning state.

ME Time. Hobby Time.

“It is important to have a hobby. It not only keeps your creative juices flowing it increases healthy mental activity. It even reduces stress, depression and loneliness. The secretion of good hormone endorphin acts as tranquilizer and is calming when one is happily engaged in a hobby.” (Courtesy: Internet)

http://docdreyfus.com/psychologically-speaking/the-importance-of-hobbies/

“Go away boredom and loneliness” I often found myself saying as blogging became my new hobby. As a beginner, I had to discipline myself to concentrate and write daily. “Yipee! another blog written and posted” I would cheer myself. “Has anyone left a comment yet?” Writing became therapeutic and I grew more responsible to my viewers.

Blogging provided me with ample brain food – writing, editing, saving my work, uploading and sizing photos, creating new sections and pages, adding widgets, changing the Header photo, responding to comments, visiting other blogs etc.

A new Category : World Palate Recipes was added to compliment my travel stories. Many a times our home kitchen was a culinary experimenting lab that reminded us of our different cuisines we had sampled across the world.

Finally, it’s been an interesting, enlightening and happy blogging journey this far. My aim of using the many photos and documenting some wonderful travel experiences  has proved immensely refreshing and satisfying. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs.

For Year 2017 see here

                 Happiness, Health and Friendships

                     to all in the New Year 2019. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crochet:Learning a New Stitch

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Repeating any action is always easy, learning something new is a challenge. To keep the brain healthy and active it’s important to keep learning new.  ‘In learning, there is growth.’ Information and knowledge is changing and increasing everyday and the brain must be stimulated. Whether we read a book, learn new strategies for managing our expenses, experiment painting or learn to cycle away…its all about being mentally active and alert. Besides, doesn’t it boost your self-esteem?

So what am I starting on as my first stitch for the New Year? The shell stitch or fan stitch. It’s so aptly named as it fans out, thus  It increases body volume. If you want a bit of  dainty or delicate touch to your piece then this is the stitch. It can be used for the entire body of the work or as a dainty border for a blanket, scarf or table-cloth. See here

Shell scallop edging for crochet blanket

A shell stitch is formed by inserting about 3-5 double crochet or treble crochet into one chain of the foundation chain, then working on the above rows. Thus it looks narrow at the bottom and spreads out like a fan or shell at the top end. There are a variety of shell stitches like lace, crazy, reverse. It’s a good idea to work on a small sampler first to accommodate trials and errors 🙂 Believe me, it saves time later, and you have neater work!

The pattern I’m working on requires 9 dc into one chain, the shell fans out almost 180 degrees. Since it fans out, it is essential to leave out the next couple of chains(refer to required pattern) else you will land up with many more chains on the next row.

Here are some sites I browsed. Thanks to all those wonderful crocheters who share their knowledge with all of us. Due credits!

http://www.bellacoco You Tube tutorial/shell stitch

https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2016/03/crochet-shell-stitch/

https://persialou.com/2016/09/how-to-crochet-the-shell-stitch.html

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-crochet-shell-stitch-979103

What are you going to make with this stitch? Do leave your comments /photos to share with others.

Crochet: Importance of Practice

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While chatting with a story-teller friend last week we discussed how we kept repeating and …getting better. She at story telling and me at crochet. I moaned ‘I just work on Granny squares time and again!’ She chirped ‘ I tell a few (same) stories to the children, again and again’. We both smiled!

Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes it perfect.’

Vince Lombardi.

  • As a beginner to crochet you will wonder where to start, what to practice upon. When a friend introduced me to the yarn and needle, we both began on mastering the chain stitch and double crochet(dc). Recently, two new friends came along and gifting them small colourful  yarn bundles to work upon was the best way to learn and practice crochet, in the midst of chai cups:)
  • Begin with small projects. Mastering the basic Granny squares works for me. As you master the yarn tension, keep count of the chains or trebles, learn to turn your work every new row, learn to measure, and of course find your mistakes – rip it – re-do. It’s all about practice. The process sure can be very demanding, at times frustrating, but surely satisfying!
  • Adding colour and variety keeps interest flowing. Who says you need to be a Granny to do crochet? Well, search the You Tube or crochet books and you’ll find a dozen different patterns to do a basic square to practice upon. (I know only 3 patterns).

Multi colour granny squares

crochet squares- solid granny pattern

  • Step up, move on. Once you’ve mastered a certain stitch or pattern, it’s time to add a bit of challenge to your work. According to Jean Piaget, a child psychologist, children (we) go through four stages of cognitive development. Thus, as we see and experience, learn the basic schema (a pattern), new experiences or knowledge presented modifies or adapts our learning to reach next level.
  • From small to big is the next stage. Practice old and new stitches. Create something more meaningful. Time to turn those squares or hexagons into dish cloths, Afghans, baby blankets,bags and more.
  • Granny square blanket

     

    Granny square bag

    Courtesy: Internet
    Granny Square Vest

    Do share your experiences on practice. What are you working on at present? How does practice benefit or irritate you? 

    All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

Crochet: Baby Items

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What’s on my hook? Recently I’ve been doing simple, small crochet projects for babies. Left over yarn scraps and a ball of baby soft wool both came in handy. Here’s what I learned.

Baby Girl Crochet Dress

  1. Browse and research well on You Tube, Etsy, Ravelry, CrochetCrowd on FB and other sites for patterns.
  2. Do a proper read through to understand/grasp.
  3. As a beginner, choose something simple and easy to finish within a time frame.
  4. If trying out a new stitch, make a small tester sample. What lessons did you learn about the hook size, yarn tension, suitability of colour, yarn and pattern for that particular piece?
  5. Adjust and apply this knowledge.
  6. Take a T shirt or dress of the required size, or visit a children’s shop for accurate measuring. Some sites offer details of size, some are dodgy.

This dress is worked top – down. Begin at neckline with 55 chains (or as required) and work a single crochet into each for a firm neckline. Add next 3-4 rows of dc.

crochet-baby-dress

Pattern from WoolyWondersCrochet.

A good idea is to watch the tutorial video few times, if you are a beginner, to understand the process. Choosing pastel or soft colours, soft wool is advisable.

Crochet Baby Dress

Crochet Unisex Vest

Baby soft acrylic or cashmere wool is great for this project. Decide the size ( a plus ) is always better. You want the piece worn for couple of years at least. The reward for your time, skill and patience!

I made up this pattern ‘on the go’ to practice a variety of stitches, see the outcome of design and texture and become a sampler vest.  Finished size measures 9 and 1/2 inches across and 13 inches height.

Basket weave stitch and double crochet

Row 1: Slip knot and chain to make size of 9 and 1/2 inches across.

Row 2: Add 3-4 rows of single crochet in each chain stitch, this serves as a  border.

Row 3 – 12: Basket weave stitch till the required height is reached. Chain 2, at end of each row and turn. Measure and adjust using sample shirt.

Row 13: Slip stitch into first 3-4 stitches, this makes sleeve indent. Then dc all the way across. Last 3-4 stitches slip stitch for sleeve indent.

Add more rows, measure height and make neckline. Add dc to both sides to make straps, add buttonhole by making 2-3 chain stitch /loop.

2 sides of crochet vest

There are many YouTube crochet vest sites for detailed patterns.

Best of luck! Do add a photo of your work.

Please do not link or copy this site. Please contact me for using any photos or material. I devote much patience and time for making this blog and I’m happy to share it.

Do share your work with me too.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

 

 

 

 

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Be like the perfumed flower, that gives out its own perfume to 

                make other’s happy, but, takes nothing from anyone.’

Anonymous.

I LOVE flowers, and I must have them everywhere. In my garden, on fabric for dresses, cushions or bedspreads, gorgeous floral bunch at the table or prayer altar, flower garlands in my hair. Flowers also make the best birthday gifts for dear and near. The colour and fragrance of flowers is soothing, refreshing and mood uplifting. Nature speaks to us in the form of flowers – warm spring weather gives new life to closed winter buds, reminding us of passing of time and changes in life.

Each flower is unique in its colour, fragrance and shape. Are you so busy in life’s activities that you don’t stop a moment to smell the flower? Sadly… you missing out on the the essence of Creation!

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Past few weeks, at the onset of spring (it’s almost summer now!) I am learning to crochet small projects like flowers and butterflies.

YouTube and many crochet websites like http://www.ravelry.com and http://www.petalstopicots.com are helpful.

In tune with Nature

In tune with Nature

When time is limited time one needs to plan and organize small projects. Working on dainty doilies, flowers or caps, making squares proves easy. Repeating the same pattern means less thinking too. Stock up and rearranging can be done at a later date. Just keep at it.

Row of crochet flowers

Row of crochet flowers

Make use of your time, create a hobby and follow it with passion.Practice, practice! Why not bring a smile to someone’s face by gifting your crochet flowers?

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

Crochet: Spring and Summer Flowers