May 31, 2010

A few pics to entertain you...

Hi,

I am totally busy this week with my whole place turned almost literally upside down. I have just sat down at the computer to look at a few pictures of places that we've visited recently just to unwind. Then I thought I would share them with you too...








These were all taken in Mahabaleshwar, a hill station near Pune, about three hours' drive away...

May 26, 2010

Not so perfect crafting

Phew, didn't that week pass so quickly? And there's something in the pipeline that I am very excited and busy about... but more about that later!

One of my pet hobbies is saving crafting tutorials of all kinds from the internet - I already have a collection of craft projects that could last me at least two lifetimes. And I won't mention how I get craft supplies without really having a project lined up for it! If it was just yarn or painting supplies or embroidery supplies, it would have been ok. As far as I am concerned variety IS the spice of life, so I have many things stashed in several places including a 5-year-old box of Perler beads that hasn't even been opened. Since we have been on the move since I bought them, it is now in a suitcase in my mother-in-law's home. When I came to Pune, I brought my crochet hooks and a set of yarns that I have had since 2006. I wanted to do only crochet, but after getting here, I got myself some painting supplies and a sewing machine!!!

Looking back at this pattern during my reflections, I tried to understand why I didn't do any of the projects that I envisioned so brilliantly in my mind and brought supplies for, but finally were let to languish before even starting. It was again my perfectionist attitude rearing up. What if the project didn't turn out as I envisioned it? What if the thing I made was not usable? What if no one appreciates it? A whole lot of what ifs would queue up and the supplies would just resign themselves to the inevitable and heap dust upon themselves.

But not any more - this year I started off  by making something deliberately not perfect. Earrings are my favorite accessories and all of them lay tangled and mismatched in a box that I brought to Pune. For several months I had been wearing my mainstay gold studs just because it was easy to leave them in my ears and not have to search for appropriate ones. I checked online for some earring organizers, but most of them required some kind of frame and metallic mesh/ chicken wire etc. That is when I had this idea to make one of my own - a crocheted one! Since it was intended to be a prototype, I got out some of my cheap woollen yarn that I had bought from the Pimpri market and found unusable for apparel because it had a lot of impurities in it. Then I found a spare plastic hanger and made this:


I made it and started using it although it is not perfect. For instance, I had started off making a block of fabric that would be the width of the whole hanger, but got bored with making it too long, so I turned it on the side to attach it to the hanger. The stitch I chose was double crochet with stitches in the back loop only so that there would be loops to hang the earring in. When I turned the piece on the side, the loop ridges turned vertical instead of horizontal, but they still work! Here is a close up to show you what I mean.



I also don't like the plastic hanger or the white "trim" that was an after thought to "pretty up" the piece, and in spite of a frantic voice in my head screaming "Nooooooo!!!!", I hung it up and put up all my precious earrings on it. Do I cringe a little each time I see it? Yes. Did I have a super-cringe when I just uploaded the pictures now? YES! But hey, I will do it in a good cause. Here is a shout out to those people in the world who procrastinate on their dreams due to their perfectionism. Get rid of that monkey! If I can do it, any body can!!                                                                                                                                             

By the way, I do dream of making another one with the following:



But hey, that's another project altogether! See y'all next week!



May 20, 2010

Hello Blogland!



Dear reader,
Let me tell you who Karthi is... it's not me! Karthi is short for Karthika, my family's dream home in a village in Thiruvananthapuram. We got it built more than a year ago and spent one night in it. Then we moved to Pune, a 36-hour-long train ride away from our home because of a year-long assignment for my husband.

Karthi is the name of my blog because to me, our as-yet-uninhabited home is a metaphor for several things, most of all, my own life. In the past one year, in which I had a BIG 35th birthday, I have come to certain realizations. Many months after moving to this tiny apartment, I let all my homemaking slide because I was engrossed in thinking when I would be able to live in Karthika, making up and collecting ideas to decorate our dream home, and daydreaming about how life would be so perfect once we got back to living there. I was constantly finding fault with everything here, the heat in Pune, the black dust and cement dust that blackened my apartment's floors each day, the unfinished apartments sticking up like eyesores in all directions, and on and on and on.... (I'm a very good complainer!) Then I joined a reading group led by my elder son's Kindergarten director. That opened up vistas for me that I had never imagined possible...

I suddenly found that this "waiting for the perfect ... " has characterised all my life as in "Life will be perfect...
...when I grow up
...when I have job of my own
...when I become pencil thin
...when I have babies
...when the babies start sleeping all night
...when my book is published
...when the babies are potty-trained
...when I have a sewing machine
...when the babies are old enough to go to school
...when we have a house of our own
...when we finally start living in a house of our own

I think you get the idea. So around the beginning of 2010, (or mebbe half way into Feb!) I resolved, or rather made some vague and meandering moves towards not putting my life on hold any more in favor of a particular geographical, social, emotional or physical state. Today my motto is "Carpe Diem" (in that eerie Robin Williams whisper). And what have I done with the days I have seized? Stay tuned/ bookmark and follow to find out!!!

Movie Review: Koode

All things happen for a reason. The last month saw several power cuts due to the incessant rains. One evening we switched off the electric...