Friday, September 21, 2012

BLOG 5 Awards!

And now on to the 5 awards that Cynthia from Antiquity Travelers has created.

(If you don't know what I am talking about, read my previous post here)

The first one is The Artistic Award: For a blogger whose work (artistic talent) is consistently beautiful

This goes without any hesitation or second thought to Priya of The Plum Tree. I "know" her for what seems like the longest time. Ah-mazing artist!
Each and every illustration she has done is so very will stay in your mind for a long long time.She is one very spunky, fearless woman, with a sweet, tender heart, and a weakness for chocolate.
She loves to explore the city of Bengaluru at the crack of dawn and creates pictures that give a completely new view of the city.
Here's one of my recent favorites...isn't he gorgeous! You need to click on the picture to see those intense eyes!

The next award is the Style Award: A blog that uses style to inspire, a blog that is photographically beautiful.

This was a tough one for me to pick, because most blogger do take a lot of care and effort into their photographs. I went through quite a few blogs and settled on this one: Prerna of Indian Simmer

I have been following her for a while now, but I don't think she knows that! Yeah, have not commented much there. She is an awesome cook, and she says three things led her to that: circumstance, lack of help and hunger! Her two moms (hers and her husband's) helped her along the way. She is also a really good photographer, and I think that happened when she had her baby. Here's one of her mouth-watering dishes...Lamb Kofta Curry, I don't eat lamb, but this makes me want to!

Next up is the Journalistic Award: A blog that is well written, informative and inspires discussion.
The winner for this one is:
Galen of 10 Steps To Finding Your Happy Place (And Staying There)
An awesome human being, who has found her happy place after a lot of ups and downs, and is brave enough to share it with us. I interacted with Galen during some troubled times I had, and am really glad I found her. Her blog has been so successful, she recently published her book! And she is donating all the proceeds from the book. Here is her post with details about the book:

I am having a hard time picking a favorite post, each one of them is suited to some situation or another. All are extremely helpful!

And then we have the Educator Award: A blogger providing great, usable tutorials that are easy to follow. This one goes to Mortira of Inspirational Beading.

She creates the most fabulous jewelry designer, focusing a lot of bead weaving. But more than that, she is an extremely generous artist, who has shared some great tutorials...for free!
Here's some of the gorgeous work you can learn from her:

Graduated Herringbone "Bobble" Rope

And finally we have the Newbie Award: A favorite new blog (less than 100 followers, blogging less than one year).
When I saw this award, I knew who would get it right away! My dear dear Monique of  A Half-Baked Notion.

Monique started her blog in July 2012, as a birthday gift to herself. Monique, good choice of gift, girl, because we get to benefit from it too!
When I started following her blog, I had no idea she was this green! She has a wonderful way with words (she says she loves to learn new languages, and I have suggested a Rosetta Stone for a different language each year as a birthday gift from now on, since she already has the best gift ever this year ;-)

She loves to play with clay, and this is my favorite creation of hers! She made a map of the world! Nothing less than the globe for this one! Love you to bits, Mon!

So these are my favorite bloggers....some of them.

THE BLOG HOP RULES: there are no rules, but we do have some suggestions. These awards were designed to point out some of the great blogs out there. And you can choose to pass on your award to as few, or as many as you like. So if you've been tapped on the shoulder and given one of these awards, we would love to see you display it proudly on your blog. Join the blog hop and show off that lovely blog of yours. We would, of course, love to hear why you like to blog, and why you chose a fellow blogger for an award. So let's get hopping!

Sunshine, Premio and Appreciation Awards

I have been really reallly bad with blogging lately :((

And a bit (ok, more than a bit) ungrateful to Cynthia of Antiquity Travelers who has been putting in so much work to create these awards. But I will take my apologies to her personally, in private, and do what this post is about!

Cynthia received three fabulous awards from Marcela at Fashionadictas. 
 Here's what she got - Sunshine, Premio Colors and Appreciation.

She gave each of these to me as well, and did an entire post about me as well (yes, my head hangs somewhere close to my knees (and not lower because that's as far as my back will take me), ashamed I did not blog about it) here:
Blogger Award Feature: Sadafulee Always in Bloom
Thank you, Cynthia!!!! 

She gave this award to 6 others, and here are the blog posts about them. Do take a few minutes and visit them too!

Blogger Award Feature: BIKBIK & RORO
Blogger Award Feature: New End Studio
Blogger Award Feature: All The Pretty Things
Blogger Award Feature: One Kiss Creations
Blogger Award Feature: Theresese's Treasures
MISS VAL'S CREATIONS - I think her blog post is coming tomorrow.

Cynthia is fairly new to blogging and wanted to show her appreciation for her fellow bloggers, and to do this, she created a set of 5 supercool awards! And 6 of us are co-hosting a blog hop tomorrow with Cynthia to give these away.

She's created some awesome graphics for them:

And since I am writing this intro post when I should be writing the awards post...I will end this one here and move on to that one.

Once again! Thank you, Cynthia!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Akshaya Patra - Providing Mid-Day Meals To Underprivileged Children

I am usually a nice and amiable person. Except when I am hungry. I get cranky, nasty, and not someone you want your path to cross with. Growing up in an affluent family, I never knew what it was to feel hunger. Mom used to make sure I was fed even before my stomach had a chance to feel empty. I really did not know what it "felt" like. Until of course I moved to the US and had work and school and no one at home cooking for me. I am embarrassed to say I still take food for granted, and need to make a conscious effort to change that.

I subscribe to the this blog called "The Better India". They talk about "Positive News. Happy Stories. Unsung Heroes". Last week they posted a photo-essay about an organization called "Akshaya Patra".
Akshaya Patra, meaning inexhaustible vessel, is an object from Hindu theology. It was a wonderful vessel given to Yudhishthira by the Lord Surya, which held a never-failing supply of food to the Pandavas every day.

The TPI Photo Essay

I am picking this straight out of the mission statement, because they say it the best!

Our mission is to simultaneously address childhood hunger and malnutrition and to promote education for underserved children in India. Akshaya Patra believes that no child should be denied equitable access to food and education. The Sanskrit words “Akshaya Patra,” meaning an abundant or inexhaustible vessel, has its origins in the great Indian epic, The Mahabharata,and aptly reflects the aspirations of the organization to provide unlimited food to underprivileged children.
A secular, charitable organization, Akshaya Patra offers unlimited, nutrition-rich food everyday to deserving school children. After reaching its goal of feeding one million children daily a year ahead of schedule, the organization’s next goal is to feed 5 MILLION CHILDREN IN INDIA BY 2020.

Results Achieved:

Akshaya Patra has a demonstrated impact on the children it reaches.

AC Nielsen, an independent research firm, performed an impact assessment in 2010, measuring key indicators such as enrollment, attendance and health. The study demonstrated an increase in enrollment, especially among the female students, and better health and improved performance among all students who received school lunches.
  • Increased school enrollment, especially for girls
  • Increased school attendance and retention of children
  • Improved performance and improved health
 And only $15 feed a child for an ENTIRE YEAR!

So here goes, here is how you get to Akshaya Patra

I cannot imagine not helping this noble cause. And would urge you to help as well! Hunger is very ugly. Wiping it out may not be possible, but we should definitely try to help as much as we can, especially when someone else is doing all the hard work for us.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Amazing Gals of CBC

What's CBC you ask? Why, its my favorite place to hang out on Facebook.

Its called the "Creative Bead Chat" group. Started my Melinda Orr of Melinda Orr Designs about 6 months ago. It has grown with leaps and bounds to over 1000 members.
Her intent for creating this group:

A home for creative component and jewelry designers to share new creations, tool tips and help build our creativity and ...sales ! A home for new designers as well experienced to share your experiences and ask questions. Ultimately we are a team and work together towards the goal of being proud of our accomplishments and accomplishing our dreams.
This group has helped me grow so much as an artist, and as a person. I know I can go here and ask questions about anything, even if it is not related to jewelry design, and I will get help, support, answers, guidance, hand-holding, lots of shoulders to lean on, and awesomely great company through everything!

Helping Melinda to "herd the cats" (its an inside joke, you gotta join the group to find out  ;-) are the amazing admins of the group:

Marla James of Marla's Mud
Or shall we say, My Dear, Marla? ;-)
My Dear Marla creates prettiness out of mud...err...porcelain.
See? So pretty?

Next is Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio
Karen is an extraordinary metal clay artist. How cute are these Quilt Strip Charms!

Then there is my dear friend, Marla Gibson of Spice Box Designs.
Her motto is Live, Laugh, Create :-) This sweetheart is going through some difficult health issues right now, so the etsy store is "on vacation" right now. Do drop by her blog and give her some love.
She creates some of the most wonderful bead woven work I have seen. Like this utterly delicious necklace she made for the bead soup blog hop.

And then we have Keirsten Giles of Lune Designs.
Her store is called "Uncommon Handmade Jewelry by Lune Designs"
Uncommon, gorgeous, eye-popping, totally droolworthy. And SO very inspiring!
I mean, if this is not uncommon, gorgeous, eye-popping, totally droolworthy and inspiring, I don't know what is!

So these are the amazing gals of CBC! Do visit their stores to see what goodies they have for you right now!

Oops, I forgot Melinda, didn't I? She specializes in metalwork, patina, leather, oh heck, she does everything :-) (Including debuting chickens on TV)
This is one of my favorites from her store Melinda Orr Designs:

Ok, so once again:
So these are the amazing gals of CBC! Do visit their stores to see what goodies they have for you right now!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Challenge of Travel Blog Hop

I recently went to my first, and my very dear old blog...where I talked, talked and talked! Literally! I talked about every single thing :-)
You want to see, huh? Ok...go here: Me Wanna Talk, Talk and Talk (yeuap, [<--that is a new word I just coined ;-)] that is the name of my blog)

There was a "thread' going on at the time...write your memoirs in 6 words. Here's what I wrote:

Seen some (of the) world...wanna see all!
Ok, I cheated. I got 8 words, so sue me :)

Travel, as far as I can remember, is what I lived for. Not just me, my entire family. We inherit that from my mother. She grew up in a very small village in India. She has seen almost all of India. And has been to Nepal, Mauritius, Maldives, Philippines, Malaysia, China, Dubai, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, USA (more states than I have been to living here!), UK, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Switzerland, get the idea, right? And my parents took my sisters and me to most of these places. We got through each day just waiting for the next vacation. School was just something that happened in between vacations.

While visiting Switzerland, we went to a watch factory. We all looked at all the pretty watches, but didn't want any. The salesgirl there said to my Dad that he should buy each of us an expensive watch. Dad said, I am not a very rich man (he lied), I would rather spend my money showing my girls the world and give them lifelong memories than buy a trinket. Forever grateful to you for this, Dad, FOREVER! (Dad did buy us watches too. He can never refuse us anything!)

Every time I go back home (home will always be India, that will NEVER change), no matter WHAT time it is, the FIRST thing I do is pull out old photo albums and see my happy family posing in front of different landmarks all over the world. Every single time...for the last 15 years, this is what I do!

Anyway, so that's where my memoir comes from. Want to know how much progress I have made? Not much. The last GOOD vacation I had was in 2009 to Egypt.  I was in India for work during Thanksgiving. I had my official holiday during those days, even if my Indian colleagues did not. Dad helped me again. He got me reservations on a package tour to Egypt for 7 days. My first vacation alone! It was SO much fun, and I am SO glad I did it! Here's a few pics:

I saw some places I had always dreamed of! I went here and checked off the FIRST thing on my bucket list. See the pyramids. Check!

Met some famous "people" (he may be famous, but I have the better nose, don't you think?) (Do you think THIS is what Rowlings was thinking when she robbed You-Know-Who of his nose???)

Discovered that Nefertiti was copying my hairstyle (nah, that's probably not her, I don't remember who that is. In fact, I know this is a statue of a gal and not a guy only because there is no fake beard hanging on the chin)

 Dressed like her too....

Shopped the bazaars

Cruised the legendary Nile!

 Even danced with a whirling Dervish!

Sigh...what an amazing trip. And since then? Nothing :(((
Have not traveled in a long time, for various reasons.

Erin of Treasures Found organized a travel blog hop inspired by the Olympics! I saw the call to sign up, but did not. Me...who signs up for everything, did not sign up for this. For life! I guess it meant I would have to look up details of the country I was assigned, yearning to go there, and hurting that I can't/won't. It would hurt a lot! But I read one, just ONE post from the participants, and look what I am doing instead of hopping. Getting nostalgic and reliving Egypt. Its 12:30AM, I have a flight to catch tomorrow morning to go to LA to visit my niece (does NOT count as travel, although I am really looking forward to it, love that girl!), I have not packed, don't even KNOW what I am going to pack, and here I am, reliving Egypt. I think the takeaway from this is...a promise to do what makes me happy, makes me smile, makes me come alive! All those promises = promise to make that memoir come true! 

Seen Some, Want To See All!

(By the way, my mother still complains to Dad: You have not yet taken me to Japan!)

I think I should tell you where to go to see this blog hop that brought about this very emotional outburst. No, I am not going to hop. Not yet, I need to pack. (Once when I had visited her, I had packed only tops, no pants (I said pants, not panties!). I borrowed hers that time, but I should not make that a habit now, should I?) 

But you should see all the entries! Here you go:

            Therese Frank  
      Raychelle Heath
             Joan Williams
       Sherri Stoke
              Regina Santerre
          Raida Disbrow
        Kristi Wodek
       Sally Russick
       Melissa Trudinger
          Tracy Stillman
       Sandra Wolberg
       Tanya Goodwin
         Susan Kennedy
         Beth Emery
       Lisa Cone
       Inge von Roos
       Erin Prais-Hintz
       Dee Elgie
       Carolyn Lawson
       Lisa Stukel
       Shelley Graham Turner
              Paige Maxim
       Jenny Davies-Reazor
          Sharyl McMillian-Nelson
              Evelyn Shelby
       Holly Westfall
       Rebecca Siervaag
    Toltec Jewels
              Lee Koopman 
       Laren Dee Barton
              Cindy Wilson
       Kathleen Lange Klik
       Jennifer Justman
       Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
            Lola Surwillo
      Kim Hora
       Leanne Loftus
       Patti Vanderbloemen
       Marcie Carroll
        Marlene Cupo
       Ine Vande Cappelle
            Tammie Everly
            Alice Peterson
       Elisabeth Auld
  Susan McClelland
      D Lynne Bowland
       Denielle Hagerman
        Rebecca Anderson
        Mischelle Fanucchi
       Kari Asbury
       Cece Cormier
       Emma Todd
       Debbie Price