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Archive for July, 2009

Muses from JNU

“Most dangerous of all is to be filled

with deathly silence,

no turmoil within,

to bear all the suffering,

to leave home for work

and return home from work

most dangerous of all

is the death of our dreams.”

Sandeep Singh, JNU student union president

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Allsorts is one of my favourite blogs to read! Though Jenny B Harris –  children’s illustrator and blogger supreme – doesn’t update her blog much, she’s got quality stuff down there.
Do also check out her site – JennyBHarris! I first came across Allsorts because I was rummaging around the Pink Chalk Studio, which is another great crafts n’ sewing blog.

JennyBHarris

Even glimpses of home are divine! Her house and little studio abound with her creativeness, sense of colour and fun. I love eye-candy and her studio is a treat to the eyes! Most of my friends can attest to my untidiness – as they see my house in various stages of chaos with every visit.  I console myself that someday I’ll get organised. Meanwhile, I just keep hopping from blog to blog for more visions of loveliness.

studio

In her blog, Jenny has lots of posts giving step-by-step instructions on how to make Christmas ornaments and other cute crafty stuff. Every Christmas I was in charge of decorations at three places – my parents’, my paternal grandparents’ and my maternal grandmother’s. Since both sets of  grandparents didn’t want too much stuff put up as they would have the bother of taking it down, I couldn’t do much there. It was only at my parents place that I could give full rein to my creativity. And every Christmas the decorations was different.. Hearing Jim Reeves’s rendition of “White Christmas” and a large glossy picture of a white Christmas tree in a magazine, we once had an all white & gold Christmas. I hung up huge paper chains everywhere, pretty gold paper lanterns and gold stars made from thermocoal. While hanging decorations I learnt from bitter experience that one does not decorate doorways or hallways…many a time ornaments come crashing down on the heads of people passing by or the paper chains get entangled with their necks – tempers fly high and the paper becomes worse for the wear and tear.. After our fake holly wreath fell on Toto (our dog) and Toto also fell upon the wreath tearing it to bits – when someone slammed the door too hard, I was forbidden to tamper with doorways.

Christmas_JennyBHarris

The next Christmas was better, I pasted all the Christmas cards we had received (including my grandparents’) over the walls. Since my mother is a diligent correspondent and has been sending Christmas cards out to everyone since the time she knew to spell….we have a huge collection. The house resembled a card shop more than anything. My mother said that though it was a bit overpowering;  after one got used to the effect – it was quite nice…So many memories, so many people and so many warm wishes! I also used to make fake gifts to put under the Christmas tree – cover empty cardboard boxes with tinsel and wrapping paper. One of my little cousins, who was more curious than a cat was quite disappointed to open one and find nothing …we then had to give him something off our tree to cheer him up.

I loved the Christmas ornaments on the tree. Most of them were handmade by me or my mom…And some were really old. My mother had preserved ornaments from the Christmas tree I had on my very first birthday. Our Christmas tree was also quite small by modern standards. It had thick glossy green branches and looked lovely when it twinkled in the candlelight with pretty, shiny ornaments. Even though I loved glass, I could never persuade my mother to buy glass ornaments or electric Christmas lights – she said I could have those after my 18th birthday if I stopped behaving like a bull in a china shop (an exaggeration I can assure u 😉

Anyway, seeing Jenny’s tree brought all the old memories ago. I felt sad, that neither my parents nor grandparents decorated the house for Christmas after I turned atheist.

dentree

Jenny also makes and sells embroidery patterns on her Etsy shop. One wishes one could step back into childhood – when there were two whole months in summer to be spent in lovely activities like embroidery, knitting and paper crafts. Her patterns have clean lines and are well-drawn.

embroidery

I also love how Jenny has turned a plate rack into a storage and show piece. One of my grandaunts had also turned her metal plate rack into a show piece with pretty illustrations and ethnic artwork she collected from the different places her husband was transferred to. My grandaunt put up the metal plate rack on a wall out of reach of chubby little hands bent on destruction; “accidental” or otherwise. She always held that artwork should be displayed above 5 feet in any room for longetivity.

rack

Isn’t this a cute idea of displaying a doll’s dress?

dollsdress

Her collection of dollypops which she sold online on Etsy were simply superb! I still can’t get enough of them. I have downloaded most of the pictures onto my computer and have made a slideshow of them…the dollypops and her little dollhouse are too chweet for words!

dollypop1dollypop2dollypop3dollypop5

She’s also got lots and lots of lovely posts on crafts, cooking and gardening with great pictures. As far as dollhouses go, Smehreen’s are the best, but Jenny’s is a lot of fun too!

dollhouse2dollhouse1dollhouse

Do check out Allsorts for great images and great creativity!

Happy August!

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Making a come back!

rosesI never thought depression was going to hit me – I imagined that I always had enough sang-froid in me to keep going. Why did I feel down in the dumps? Too many problems caused by those near and dear relatives….it dragged on…I had to quit my job. Even now nothing has changed as far as the situation goes. Only I have changed; realised life doesn’t always go the way you want it to…and sometimes you just have to grin and bear it.

Another big boost to the spirits was finding a job – with a financial news agency. I was getting a lot of job offers in these three months – but none of the jobs were even remotely related to journalism. Meanwhile, I was feeling guilty about letting my friends take care of everything…did so want to pitch in. Sometimes I kept wondering if I was being too fussy; I mean what was so great about being a journalist? You were only going to write what ur allowed to write…But still I stuck it out and refused to take up any other job. Meanwhile I kept wondering what was worse? Taking up a job and being miserable or staying at home and feeling handicapped?

I can’t believe that my sense of self-worth is so dependant on my job…I avoided everyone of my journalist friends because I couldn’t bear to tell them I had quit my job and was looking out for another one. When I joined journalism four years ago it was the boom time for the media. So these last four years, everytime I thought of switching jobs, I had always had a slew of offers to choose from. With the recession, there was nothing coming my way and I was feeling so desperate…..I would have jumped at anything that guarenteed a press ID.

Feeling depressed, incapable and without a job…is something I don’t want to go through again. Even though my friends were very supportive and I didn’t really need the money…a job for me is something integral to my well-being. I always had a poor sense of self-worth. I was a problem child at school who always spent more time standing outside the class than inside it…College was a little better, was a topper in subjects I loved and barely scrapped through in subjects I hated (which included my major- Chemistry). Journalism was the best thing that happened to me. And getting a job at 19 was heady stuff…Even now I can’t forget how on “top of the world” I felt when I landed my first job.

This blog was intially started so that I can write about my views. I found how impossible it was do just that. Stating my real views on journalism would first considerably lower my chances of employment. Stating my real views on family & sentiments seems like an act of disloyalty…so even in this blog I find myself stating only things which are socially acceptable.
Anyway I have made up my mind to write n write n write 🙂

(P.S. Watched Scent of a Woman and I heart it. Do check out Por Una Cabeza, can’t get enough of it!)

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