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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dawn of 2010

The dawn of a new year is something we all look forward to. Let all readers be blessed
with peace, joy and happiness in abundance.

Am back at work today because in Sri Lanka we believe that it is important to start work
on the first of the year as this is our main source of income. Children are encouraged to even
sit at their books for a few minutes and read something, farmers will definitely tend to their
fields and all trades people would like to do even a few minutes of work before going off to
spend time with family and friends.

I hope that I will be able to get back to my quilting which has taken a back seat for the last
two months. I have taken the quilt that I started for my daughter out and hopefully should
finish the hand quilting soon. At home things are slowing down - our eldest daughter left for
Melbourne on the 28th and though she is the quietest in the family, her absence seems huge
our son leaves on Monday and then it is only our second daughter who is with us till the 13th.
Once she goes back, we are back to only my husband and me and the quiet of an empty nest!

The quilting and book bloggers have saved my sanity and I just love reading the blogs on both
subjects as they are so varied and interesting. I am glad that I took up quilting again as it makes
me feel so rested and the end results are appreciated very much. The book bloggers have opened a beautiful world of books of every genre possible, and even though I cannot possibly buy all I would like to buy, I can certainly read excerpts, and reviews and try to get what I really
really want to have. I have been lucky with giveaways and contests as well and have won several books all of which have come through safely in the post. Lots to be appreciative about.

I do hope all my readers would have had a merry Christmas. May your new year be blessed with an abundance of joy, hope and happiness not just for you but for your families as well.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Going Home

After a very pleasant stay am going back home on Tuesday with a
stop over in singapore for just one day. That is going to be fun - as my
younger daughter is a confirmed shopaholic and I know she will want
to shop for the entire 16 hours we are there. Mustafa's a shopping mall
which is always open for 24 hours will be her first port of call and I can
see an exhausting though interesting day ahead.

My son is also travelling back with us but he will be leaving us on an
earlier flight and he certainly is not the shopping kind other than for the barbecued pork from the chinese food shops which is his only request from
Singapore!

I am sad to leave my library which has contributed so very much to my enjoyment of my visit. Having the facility of unlimited books available, all
the very latest as well as the older books as well as able to get books from neighbouring libraries is a luxury that I did not take for granted. I have also read so many "new" authors and enjoyed their books tremendously. I am truly grateful for this opportunity.

I will write again once I am back in Sri Lanka - looking very much forward to going home and seeing my husband, our extended family, the dogs and having a really good Christmas with all three children home for the holidays.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More books

My holiday in Melbourne is sadly coming to an end but it has been a
very nice holiday specially since all three children are returning home for Christmas. Getting back to Sri Lanka and getting ready for christmas is now the next thing on the list. Strangely enough, despite the shops here in Melbourne being full of christmassy stuff, I dont feel very christmassy yet.
I think one of the things I miss is the carols. Other than church having christmas carol services, I havent heard carols being played in shops and shopping malls yet. Maybe because of the multi cultural society Melbourne does not like to upset other communities?? I thought this was strange because back at home where Christians are a very, very small minority christmas carols and the message of christmas is very much evident. Here its only shopping, shopping and more shopping.

I dont want to sound rabid but the message of christmas is completely absent in Melbourne - there are appeals for help for the homeless, for aid to families and its nice that people do these things but these are big organisations helping people but individuals doing anything specific is not there. The entire emphasis seems to be on food (huge), the bbq (also huge) and how you could do it easily and better than anyone else, and of course gifts and more gifts and how to get the perfect gift for everyone. I havent seen advertisements or notices for church services, for nativity plays (dont schools do nativity plays at the end of the year) for carol services. With the hosts of facilities and talent available, I thought these would be commonplace. Maybe I am not looking in the correct places???

Enough of my rant! Getting back to books, I have just finished Cleopatra's Daughter which I loved. I have also gone back to Georgette Heyer and read a couple of them plus a couple of Agatha Christie which I always loved and love to read again and again!!! I have also been able to read so many books on my book list and for this I am very grateful. I was also able to read Love Marriage by Ganeshananthan which was recommended on a book blog - chasing bawa - which I also liked very much. Thanks to all the book bloggers who recommended such lovely reading material.

In the meantime I have also won two books - one a seasonal one with a Christmassy theme and the other was The Barbarian Earl and hopefully when I get back I would have received both of them. Thank you Ioanna and Janna.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Books

Have put quilting aside for books for one month. I am in Melbourne right now and the Carnegie library is my second home. I have so many lists of books I would like to read (all from book bloggers sites). I have also been lucky that the library has practically all of them so my job right now is to diligently go through the whole lot.

I was very disappointed because I first went for Michelle Moran's Heretic Queen and Cleopatra's Daughter and both were out and were only coming in mid December when I would no longer be here. Luck was on my side however and Heretic Queen appeared and today Cleopatra's Daughter. I am so glad because I entered over 20 competitions for these two books and never won! I also have read an extremely interesting book which has not been reviewed on any of the blogs I do read - Leaving India by Minal Hajratwala. The book covers a topic that is very common both amongst Sri Lankans and Indians and amongst all people who emigrate and make another country their home. It echoes feelings and experiences undergone by anyone who has formed part of a diaspora in a different country. The writer is very down to earth, very expressive and portrays perfectly the difficulties undergone by children whose parents live in another world - culturally, spiritually and expect their children to live in both worlds the new and old with equal balance and excellence. I would love someone out there to do a review on this book which I feel is really good.

Weather in Melbourne is erratic. From two days of being hot, hot, hot we went down to a mild cool day which was wonderful. Coming from hot and humid Sri Lanka I dont want to face hot weather in Melbourne as well, today was rainy and dismal but it has become bright and sunny and I am glad because there is a whole lot of laundry out there!

Back to the books - Cleopatra's Daughter and also Pride and Prescience (just to strike a balance!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Books and more books

I am buried under with books from the local library and am hoping that I
can get through my list fast in order to accommodate the balance books in
my list. I am in the middle of The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran - this was a lucky find as it had just been returned and with only a single copy - really good luck. I also have Elizabeth Chadwick to read and have also thought of trying to get some Jane Austen fan fiction to sort of lighten things up a bit!

The weather has been very hot for the last two days but a completely different kind of heat from Sri Lanka. Over there its humid and everyone sweats it out. Here its a kind of very dry heat which saps all your energy and
makes you feel as if you are something akin to dessicated coconut!

Other than the library havent gone out anywhere as just enjoying being around my three children and being absolutely domestic (which I enjoy in small doses).

Hope the heatwave breaks soon. I heard someone muttering about scattered showers but whether its wishful thinking or actually going to happen I dont know.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From Melbourne

I have been in Melbourne just a couple of days and have found my way to my local library which is a dream. I do wish Australians (and others) would not take for granted so much of what is available to them and not grumble when something even small goes wrong. Coming from Sri Lanka I do so appreciate the facilities available at the library, the local council who has made such a good effort to keep the area where we live so clean, and so green with the planting of so many trees on the verges so that even though this time of the year is hot and sunny, you do get patches of shawdow whilst you walk and at the same time it adds so much greenery which is sop pleasing to the eyes.

My quilting is put on hold though I do love to read the blogs but of course my reading goes on at quite a pace. I try to squeeze in as many books as possible when I am here and right now am on the second book. The first was The Way we Were which was light reading but extremely enjoyable. The one I am now on is historical - and I cant for the life of me remember the name of the book. Its about Catherine de Medici and I know the title has something of the queen in it but I cant get it right now. A fascinating book of a very strong woman who is so very protective of both her husband and children and will do anything and everything to protect them.

Thats it for now.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Up up and away!!!!

Decided on the spur of the moment to go visit the children in Melbourne and leaving on Friday. I am so looking forward to this as it has been quite a few months since I saw them. Most parents here who have children studying abroad will see their children just once a year during Christmas vacations and I think I am truly blessed as I see them at least twice a year and when I do go to Melbourne, I hang around for a month at least. Weather in Melbourne is not very enticing as its
becoming really warm and I like to exchange our hot, humid weather for some cooler weather. Strangely this is the first time I am going to Melbourne in hot weather so lets see I how I weather that!!!

I have found some fabulous book bloggers and have been enjoying reading their reviews and ideas on books so very much. One of them chasing bawa is based in the UK is really very good and of much interest. Another Savidge Reads again a UK based blogger is very interesting to read. On a more personal note I won another book William's Wife which is a real treat for me and
another prize winner Julia and Julia is fabulous reading. One book blogger who ran a contest and
from whom I won a book was kind enough to send me a second book along with the prize winning book when she heard about the high cost of books in Sri Lanka. I thought that was particularly generous of her, when I look at the high cost of postage for books from the USA to Sri Lanka.

On the quilting side I finished my brother's quilt and I do hope he likes it. I have started hand quilting the quilt I started for my second daughter. Its a log cabin design in shades of red and
pink and looks a bit flamboyant, but I think she will like it. This will now be put on hold till I return but I do hope I can finish it in time for Christmas.

My blogging may be put on hold unless I am able to get computer time at the local library in Melbourne where I am a member. Looking forward to my visit and catching up with friends there as well.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekend over

The week and weekend went by so fast - but at last I got the photographs of the quilt
and table runner sets that I had done posted. I still have not learnt how to do it and
totally depend on my son doing this for me!

The week in the book blogging world has been very good. I have won two books this
week and am delighted. One is in a CD format and for me this is a first. The other one
is a book that is just published and has been in heaps of competitions and I never thought
I'd win that one as there are many people entering these contests. The book is Beat the
Reaper and the one on CD is a very intriguing sounding account from Kabul, Afghanistan.
The book I am really eyeing is Cleo's Daughter by Michelle Moran and despite entering
over 20 contests for this book no luck as yet but I have not given up hope as there are
still several contests going on for this book.

As I mentioned before books are prohibitively expensive in this part of the world but this
last week I was in luck. The shop which sells used books had a very good selection and for
roughly 20 US dollars I got almost nine books and practically all of them have been best
sellers/reviewed amongst book bloggers and maybe just one of them is something I just
liked the look of and picked up. I finished one by Rosie Thomas - light reading, the sort of
book you can read and pick up later but am now starting the rest. I was also able to pick up
from another book shop again second hand, a whole lot of books including a couple of Shakespeare. I have been wanting to read some classics for sometime and here they were
just waiting to be picked up.

On the quilting side, am in the middle of a simple Sunshine and Shadows design of blocks,
very easy to put together for a little girl for Christmas. Pictures will be posted. I have also cut
out and am in the process of putting together a quilt for my very fussy brother who I hope
will like the final product! I generally like to have two or three projects on the go at the same
time and do bits and pieces from each one as and when I find the time.

Sadly my son is not coming down to Sri Lanka this month but both girls will be here fairly soon.
Cant be helped though it was a real disappointment for me. Trying to cope as best we can.

Hindus all over the world celebrated Deepavali as we call it the Festival of Lights. We also celebrate this festival in our island country. To everyone out there Happy Deepavali. Let light
and joy enter your hearts and minds. Till my next posting!

Cheers!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Christmas Gifts Done


Gift for Little Boy












Table Runners












Table Runners



























































Saturday, October 3, 2009

Christmas and children coming home

I know its a long way off for Christmas but its something great to look forward to specially when all three children are hopefully going to be home for Christmas. My son is coming home on vacation this month and will be staying with us for a looonng time which is wonderful and the two girls returning very early in December for a shorter stay!

We have had very unusual weather in this part of the world with heavy rains and gale force winds in some parts of the country. In the southern area in a district called Galle a tree had fallen on a house killing five inmates and in a very sad incident in Kurunegala a bomb went off in a van killing a 12 year old school girl. This was really very tragic. The bomb had apparently been intended for the van driver and had been allegedly done by someone who wanted him out of the way on a personal vendetta. The bomb had been fixed to go off when he started the ignition. This man was a van driver who picked up school children and dropped them off at school - something like a school run. In Sri Lanka private vehicles do this as a business as everyone does not have cars and upto 20 children at a time travel in these vans to and from school. This particular day had been a very rainy day and instead of the van driver going to each house as was the norm, some children had been brought by parents to the van drivers house and had got into the van from his house. The little girl who died was one of those who was sitting beside the van driver. Eleven people injured totally and for what.... At the time it happened we really thought it was a terrorist attack once again and we were surprised as this area is not one where such attacks take place normally. What sadness for all the families involved.

On a brighter note my sewing is coming along very well. I have done table runner sets (sets as with matching coasters) for Christmas. I am now on my third set (I have to do about six in all) so still some way to go but its coming along nicely.

On the book reading side, I have come across a blog today which I find very good. Please go across to it and have a look. Its www.stepandtonyinvestigate.com - its a bit different to other book blogs but you need to go and have a look yourself. I have not been buying books new recently as prices are prohibitive but I picked up a Joanna Trollope from the book stall near Commercial Bank, Fort from the man who has a rather ecletic selection of books! Paul Coelho was at Rs 600 I felt a good buy and reasonable at that. I have found another second hand bookshop in Wellawatte and will post on that once I go and have a look. If any Sri Lankan readers find other good sources of books please post details here so that we can share the good fortune. On a nice note, I won a book known as The White Queen on a blog Planet Books and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. Michelle Moran also very kindly sent me bookmarks as well as a personally autographed bookplate which was very nice to receive!

Till the next time! Cheers!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quilts Done



For a Baby Girl



















Christmas Gift

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekend

Is it just me or is it that when Friday rolls around we all breathe a collective sigh of relief. In my case the weekend is not full of chores to be done (arent I lucky) but I just wait for Friday to come around all the same.

This evening watching a game of cricket - England playing Sri Lanka, I was so very disheartened by the lack lustre performance of the Sri Lankans (at the initial stages that is) that I just left the TV and came back to the computer for solace as it were! I have started going into the reading bloggers world, apart from the quilting and crafting world that is and it is so huge and so varied and so interesting that you feel swamped by what is around you.

Books are an expensive commodity in this part of the world. They fall into a category of being a sort of a luxury! if there is a classification like this. In an average home, no one would be buying books "just". It would be bought for studies, for college, for something necessary. Buying books for the pleasure of buying and reading the very latest is a luxury afforded to a very very few. So what do the balance reading public of Sri Lanka do. Like everything else, you do get by on the second hand book market, friends, swaps, libraries. However the very latest books and the enormous amount available certainly do not reach us for one thing the English reading public is very limited, so that economics do not permit the import of so many books. I personally have been very fortunate in being able to get a fair amount of books either through my children or through friends who are all aware of my mania for books. India has a very good range of books for the English reader and I try to get as many as I can from Chennai. The bookshops at the
Spencer Plaza in Chennai is very good and the Manager even more so. If you email the Manager before your arrival in Chennai he will make sure he gets whatever you want. Thats service for you.

In the quilting line I have finished two more baby quilts - both given to two adorable babies and I am so very glad that I had this opportunity of doing them the quilts. I have started on a disappearing nine patch quilt - its coming on nicely though I am still not very good at the color combinations. I think I have got lots to learn in this field.

The good news is hopefully my son will be back home for an extended vacation starting next month. Am crossing my fingers (and my toes) on this. It will be lovely to see him. Daughters will follow one month later if all goes well.

Cheers!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Busy week

I havent realized how the time has flown and its already the tenth of this month. I have also started reading once again without concentrating only on my sewing. I finished Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh and such a fascinating read that you have to find the time to read it soon. Its not a book that you can read, put down and take up again later! Books like quilting supplies is another expensive hobby in Sri Lanka but I think that when something is not freely available, people get creative and somehow find the ways and means to get what they want. I think quilting also started like that with people using whatever scraps of fabric they had to turn out the most exquisite quilts. In the case of books I have looked around and found a few sources of second hand books not unreasonably priced, also discovered a library run by an association of British expat ladies in Sri Lanka. They very often have the almost latest of whatever is "happening" in the book world and this has been a source of books for me. Another source which I know will be very strange particularly for Sri Lankans is that books are reasonably priced in India but getting them here is the problem. So if there are book lovers out there amongst any Sri Lankan readers of my blog, please remember that Chennai and Bangalore are both havens for book lovers. Just send me an email and I will give you details of how and where you can get the best bargains in the very latest best sellers from both these cities.

The children's home with which I am associated with is hoping to start another home in the area of Mannar but this time a children's home for disabled children. This is a huge undertaking and we are hoping to start very small because this involves much more work than a normal children's home. Facilities for the disabled are very limited in this country and there is a move by a group of dedicated people to make it compulsory for at least government departments to be handicap friendly by way of ramps etc which would help the disabled. The progress is extremely slow as this is a subject that has not got the attention it needs upto now. Hopefully with time things will improve. Will keep you all updated on the progress of this home in Mannar. It involves a lot of paperwork as this was part of the area which was in the conflict zone so clearances at every level has to be obtained before work can start.

The good news is that my first log cabin quilt is coming on nicely. Have done 41 blocks (how that odd figure came about heaven knows) only another seven to do and most probably this weekend I will start the sashing and putting it together. This is another Christmas present! My children want to know what they are getting so although photos will be up, no one knows who is getting what!

Cheers for now!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Captions

The posting with the photographs got a little complicated! I am not very sure how this
posting of photos is being done and got my son to help out - as a result it came without
captions or rather proper captions so please excuse that part of it.

The baby quilts both went to friends daughters one who opened a day care center and the
other who had her first baby. The triangular pieced quilt is with me and is a christmas present.
I do have another one which I will post photos of.

Right now two quilts in progress and a very long way to go. One is strip pieced in blocks, now to
be sashed and basted and quilted, the other a log cabin which is turning out to be lovely though I say so myself in shades of pink, reds and a touch of aqua! More on that.

Had a friend over for the weekend and since she is also a sewing enthusiast, we had a very good
time looking at all the internet has to offer in the form of tutorials, blogs and patterns. She lives in a rather remote area of Sri Lanka in the hills of Sri Lanka actually and computer access and
and continuity of access is very difficult. We take so much for granted by way of technology in
our cities whereas so many parts of Sri Lanka are still not able to take advantage of all that is available.

My apologies also for not replying to those who commented on my blogs. I was thrilled to see people had taken the trouble to read and comment and just figured out how to reply. I am a slow learner I think. Thanks for the comments. Everyone of them is appreciated.

Pictures!!!! Finally



Baby Quilt



















2nd Baby Quilt






















Quilting for a Friend

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Too many happenings!

The last few days has been overwhelming. I have had to accompany people to hospital
for check ups, and then subsequent visits to doctors and this round has not ended as yet.
On top of that I had visitors to attend to and although that is the enjoyable part it does
tend to take big chunks of the day. As a result my crafting/quilting took a back seat over
the last few days.

I was able to complete two more tote bags and I know they will be liked as one friend for
whom I intended to give it to for Christmas remarked on the bag saying I hope I am doing one
for her as well. OK. That means she likes it and she will get something similar - I myself love
surprises and hate to know in advance what my gifts are! so definitely she will get something
different, not the same tote bag hanging in there. Christmas seems very close now. I am hopeful
that my three children will be able to come home for Christmas this year (like they usually do)
I am also hoping that we could have a wedding in the family sooner than later and am crossing
my fingers hoping it will come true!

Weddings in Sri Lanka for my overseas readers are elaborate, lovely affairs. There is a church wedding which is almost identical to what my overseas friends would be familiar with - the only difference in attire where the bride may wear a sari instead of a dress. And there is the wedding which is very common in Sri Lanka today where people of two different faiths get married so there are two separate functions to satisfy both families. This is what makes it more complicated, of course more expensive and more interesting. There are invariably different sets of clothes, the different accessories, different hair styles and everything else that goes to make a "mixed marriage" wedding complete. Sri Lanka has a majority of Buddhists in this country, followed by
Hindus and Muslims with Christians as a small minority so the degree of mixed marriages is high particularly in cosmopolitan Colombo our capital city.

Weddings can also be very elaborate affairs in Sri Lanka involving a lot of expense, sometimes needless expenses just to keep up with the Jones. In Sri Lanka the trend of having weddings in your own home has become restricted mainly to very interior small villages where the lack of community halls, hotels and reception centres forces one to have it at home. However, the trend in cities is to have the reception in a wedding reception hall and cater for a sit down or buffet style lunch or dinner. Food at receptions is invariably very good with a wide variety of dishes to suit all tastes.

In lots of American and Australian blog sites people talk of change of the seasons and it is with so much affection for the coming autumn or spring or whatever. Here in Sri Lanka where invariably it is a dry hot season or a rainy wet season with not much change in the temperature it must be very nice to have such distinct change of temperature and have different clothes to wear for the different seasons. Of course it has to be expensive as well but one cant have everything can one?

I have still not been able to do the photographs and know that it is now an absolute necessity. Hopefully next week.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Informing friends and family!!!!

I was for whatever reason a bit hesitant to inform friends and family about my blog!!!! I know that amongst Americans blogging seems at least (to me) to be a way of life and there are blogs covering every aspect of one's life. But and a bit but, Sri Lankans are a little more private about most things and I was wondering how people would react to this!!!!

Today I informed friends and family about this blog and the reactions have so far been very good! People are in turn surprised, pleasantly so, some had not even known that I was interested in crafts (goes to show how much we keep hidden from everyone!!!!) and the reactions anyway have been very nice. I am so pleased with myself.

On another pleasant subject, I do feel that with the cessation of hostilities in our country, tourist arrivals have begun to increase and this is apparent from two visits I had made recently to Negombo and Hikkaduwa (both tourist destinations in our country). It used to be very sad to see Hikkaduwa once a bustling hive of activity so drab and most shops and little boutiques closed down. Now there is an air of expectancy - shops are being painted and you can see tourists trickling in. I do hope this trend will continue as tourism is an industry that is an income earner for not just the big hotels and travel operators but right down to the little man who sells batik, or the woman who sells hand made chains and coconut shell ornaments. The benefits trickle down to everyone in these areas and we hope that this is a good sign of things to come.

Right now I am having sponsors from Finland here who are helping me assist a children's home in Negombo where 40 girls are being housed. We help by way of supplying groceries, clothes, shoes and miscellaneous items as and when needed on a monthly basis. The children all go to local schools and are growing up very nicely. There are a fair proportion of girls from the North and East where the war was at its worst - but they have settled down very well in the peaceful atmosphere of this Negombo home. My sponsors themselves are here after a very long break - everytime they wanted to come out bombs were going all over the place, and it was always a question of putting it off for a safer time. Now the safer time has come and I hope that we will have more and more visitors here.

I have still not got around to uploading photographs on to this blog and this is I know something that has to be done urgently. Photographs make a blog so much more interesting than just reading about a subject and I promise you that it will be done shortly.

I am in the middle of a quilt but just cant get around to decide what colors I should use for sashing. Everything I place by the prints seem to either clash or just melt away into a colorless mess!!!! so I have put it aside till inspiration strikes.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Work, quilting and friends

Its been quite a while since I wrote last and the last few days has been extremely busy. In one of my previous blogs I had written about the work of getting sponsors for children in need in Sri Lanka and a comment made by a reader made me re-think the whole process. She had mentioned that this work must be very rewarding. To this I would dearly like to add a rider that apart from rewarding it is very frustrating!!!

In Sri Lanka we have a segment of very affluent people who could very easily spare some cash for helping out those in need and it is this segment of people who sometimes seem to me to live in a world of their own, not realising that poverty and need is just outside their door!!! How people can live in a little world of their own and never see what is in front of them I will never know. Anyway enough sermonising!

This last week I gave as a gift one of the baby quilts I had made. It was the first time I have gifted someone with a quilt and I really think that it gave me so much pleasure since I was so delighted with the way it turned out. It was a simple nine patch quilt, nothing fancy, but hand quilted of course and I do hope it will be used well.

Tomorrow another friend's daughter opens a day care centre cum activity centre for children and I have made another quilt slightly bigger than a baby quilt - in the coins pattern - which I will take with me as a gift. I am so delighted that I have been able to do this because if someone told me six months ago that I would be quilting again, I would never have imagined it to be possible.

Crochet is another craft that I would like to look at more closely. The granny squares made into spreads and afghans has fascinated me. Lets see whether I could learn this from one of the numerous bloggers around. More on that in a later post!!!

Right now in Sri Lanka the advanced level examinations are on. This is the examination from which students qualify for entrance to Universities locally. This is a time that not only the students but also parents are absolutely stressed out wondering whether their children would succeed in their attempts to get into Universities locally. University education in Sri Lanka is free but spaces are limited hence the competition is fierce. My good wishes to all students out there.

On most American blogs people talk about the changing of the seasons and are looking forward to fall. It must be a very nice feeling anticipating this because here we do not have specific seasons. It is either a rainy season which can be very very slightly cooler or the normal hot and dry season. Interspersed with that could be a time with no rains and drought or excess rains and floods!!! No specific seasons at all. The world is indeed different in all its aspects!!!

Till next time!

Friday, August 7, 2009

More giveaways!

Giveaway of a stimulus package!!!! everyone needs it now.

http://frummiesquiltedgarden.blogspot.com

The blog www.fiftyfactor.com is carrying a fabulous giveaway in two parts. One part of the giveaway is internationally open and the other is only for US and Canadian residents. It is fully worth your while to have a look see.


Another nice giveaway! at http://beeshebags.blogspot.com go check it out

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Two new giveaways

Pls go to http://sewfunquilts for a giveaway

and a very intrigueing giveaway to

http://faithfulquilter.blogspot.com

Do go over to Jenny's blog - Elephantz and have a look!

Go on over to Bluebirds blog and leave a comment on her blog to go in the give away

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More giveaways! My real work..

There is a beautiful giveaway of a quilt in the most exquisite colors at http://mariemadelinestudio.typepad.

Back at work today after a lazy holiday yesterday. In Sri Lanka apart from the Saturday and Sunday weekend, we also have a once a month holiday for Poya day. Poya signifies the day of the full moon for that month and is a day of religious observances for Buddhists. Of course it becomes a day of rest and relaxation and doing the million chores around the house for everyone else!!!

I finished my first baby quilt and have now pieced and basted the second ready for quilting. I am not so happy with the second one as I feel the colors do not quite go together. I am still a novice at the color matching and most probably will learn only with time.... There is such a world of quilts out there, one more beautiful than the next and some of them look so easy and pretty to start with that one is constantly tempted. I dont want to land with a whole heap of unfinished projects so have to think carefully of what I want to do next before I start.

Am solely tempted by the disappearing 9 patch as I do have some fabric that I think would be suitable for this but then there is another beautiful quilt design I saw on some blog. Plain white squares interspersed with a white square on which a pink heart had been appliqued and the whole thing quilted in swirls and hearts! My description is not as good as it looked.

I have been also neglectful of my work involving the sponsorship of children from poverty stricken homes and really should work harder at this as well. Its a project I started years and years ago - getting sponsors for children from poor families and trying to help them out even for a year or two at least to get them on their feet mainly for schooling. Schooling in this country is free for everyone, with even free uniforms being given once a year or rather the fabric to make the uniform and school text books also given free. However, shoes and socks, the other books, the pens and pencils and the bus fares all add up and some families find it tough when you have two children or more to find the money for all these added expenses. I was fortunate that this week two sponsors turned up out of the blue from overseas, and through a series of contacts of a friend of a friend found their way to me and in turn to four children which is such a godsend. Two of the kids lost their father just six months ago to a heart attack and since the children are only 7 and 5 it is difficult for the mother to find full time work as she has to be around when the younger child gets back from school by noon. The father was just 36 and the mother is just 30 so its a very young family to face tragedies so very soon in life.

The other family are in better circumstances with the father and mother both there for two little girls aged 10 and 5. The father works as a labourer whilst the mother is a stay at home mum. It is almost impossible to manage on a single person's earnings these days and hence they seek help.

So these two families have been taken care of so I now have to work harder to find people for the others on my list!

The weekend is coming up and looking forward to that and more sewing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Another giveaway

The most beautiful vanity case looks absolutely gorgeous on this blog

http://littleremindersoflove.blogspot.com

A very generous giveaway!


Mystica

Book giveaway

There is a book giveaway at http://bookgiveaways.blogspot.com

Journey of the Promise - promises to be a very interesting read.


Mystica

Giveaways

Despite getting help with a tutorial how to post on a sidebar I was not successful with posting
about the giveaway hence the need to type out the whole address where beautiful and generous giveaways are currently on.


http://barbsgoodlife.blogspot.com
http://mellissasheartandhome.blogspot.com
http://vintagetochic.blogspot.com


Good luck to all!

Mystica

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Comments on my blog!

2nd August 2009

When I started this blog I thought the response would be zero! Very pleasantly surprised to see that people are interested in reading this little blog. Because I have not been able to put up images as yet as my knowledge of blogs is so very limited and I need help there, I find the blog to be rather plain and uninteresting. Its encouraging that people find the time to stop and read!

I am starting or rather started last night on a simple nine patch baby quilt for a friend of mine
whose daughter has had a baby. I am an amateur where the quilting is concerned and am amazed at the quality and professionalism of work displayed by people who are mostly quilting for the love of sewing and nothing else! I still find it difficult to actually come up with good color combinations and going thru the blogs I realize that this is a matter of experience and good taste of which I think I am sadly lacking...

I am hoping that the baby quilt will be pieced and basted today so that I could start on the hand quilting (which I do) by tonight and hopefully the quilt will be given this coming week. There is no point giving a baby a quilt when he is past the stage of a baby quilt. Practically every one of my friends are at the stage where they are becoming grandmothers for the first time and this is something nice to experience, even vicariously for me, because I can remember when we became mothers for the first time around! Seems a very long time ago. But actually time has flown and now friends are experiencing babies in a different manner which is also very joyful and happy. You have all the pleasure of the babies and none of the responsibilities and hard work!

Hope your Sunday was good!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Quilting Fabric in Sri Lanka! Hurray

31st July 2009

I was looking for fabric for a quilt today and for the first time ever came across fabric that was made specifically for quilting. This is something completely new to me as generally fabrics which are available here are not those which our other quilting blogs speak about. There are no Amy Butler and other speciality fabrics for quilting here. So this came as a very pleasant surprise because it means that there should be more out there lurking somewhere in some shop.

This fabric was part of a bolt of fabric being sold by the metre and sold what we call "pavement shopping". It means it is sold by vendors on the street of one of our towns close to where I live.

I am fascinated by the fabric shops available to quilters and crafts people alike abroad, the range and variety of fabrics, the tools, the rotary cutters, the boards, the quilting machines etc all available which must make quilting itself so much easier.

I have seen fabric shops and quilting fabrics available in Melbourne where my three children reside and so can see the best of both worlds as such! I also see the range of very good craftwork and the interest being revived amongst younger people in Australia with work such as quilting, embroidery and all kinds of art and design. Another thing which fascinated me in Australia was the op shops - which now I think has developed a culture of its own! The op shop experience is somewhat similar to a yard sale in America and something that is wonderful. You never could say what would turn up and of course the prices are still very good. I dont think this is going to last long (the prices being low I mean) as the charities who run the shops do realize they are on to a very good thing.

I am still very new to blogging and as a result no photographs are available which makes for rather a dull and unattractive blog. I am only hoping that those who are interested in craft in particular and Sri Lanka in general will tune into my blog and comment when they feel they have something to say. Would really like to have a few comments from expatriate Sri Lankans!

Monday, July 27, 2009

27th July 2009

It has been a while since I posted last and I promised myself that I would update my blog regularly if not daily.

It was nice that someone had commented on the blog wanting to know more about the country! This is very good news for Sri Lankans because at least there will be an awareness that our country is not just renowned for its long long war which has just ended.

Sri Lanka to those of who are not aware of where this country is other than a vague recollection of being constantly in the news (mainly for the wrong reasons) is at the very tip of the Indian sub continent but a little island of 19 million people. We are not a part of India though most people associate it as being part of India. It is a distinctly different country - geographically and scenic wise I dont think you could get a country having such a small area and being so diverse in both flora and fauna.

Apart from talking of Sri Lanka I would like to invite quilters to please follow the blog and also welcome their comments. Quilting in this part of the world, along with other crafts is very popular and our only problem is the fabrics - we do not have the variety that is seen on other quilting blogs! which can make for a great deal of envy. Sri Lankans who have connections and
relations overseas of course can get their stocks from abroad but the vast majority of people will have to be satisfied with whatever our local markets offer.

I am on my second quilt now and have almost finished the hand quilting of it. It is a more of a lap quilt than a full sized quilt and comprises half triangles. Will post a picture of it once its finished. I love to quilt, and even more love to read and view quilting blogs from all over the world.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

19th July 2009


Justify FullSri Lanka has more or less been in the focus of most people's vision as an island of war, of
terrorism and a place to be avoidJustify Fulled at all costs. Now with the hostilities at an end, and hopefully
the long period of reconciliation and healing beginning maybe its time for the outside world to
also know what this country is like. Justify Full

Not wanting to sound like a tourist blurb I still would like to welcome those of you who would
like to visit this country despite any adverse publicity there may be. On the other hand I would love to hear from fellow quilters both here and abroad your views and photographs of your work and ideas on how we could improve. Comments of any kind would be most welcome and queries would also be replied.