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Archive for the month “March, 2009”

My Bags are Packed ( in theory) for my India Trip

In a perfect world, all my travel documents would be in place, my bags packed, all gifts wrapped, seats set in the flight, meal preferences set, house cleaned, not to mention stuff for, but we wont go there 🙂

In my world which is as real as it gets, NOTHING is done! Some would say “And you are blogging!” Ah… okay so I need to work on my priorities, but you know what, I need to do this. I need to start this post to prepare myself for what’s to come in the next few weeks.

So here we go, I am going to Delhi, India tomorrow for 3 weeks. From there, I am flying to Hyderabad to attend my brother’s graduation and then to Mumbai to visit with my cousin who is also my best friend and with whom I share so many fun childhood memories.

I am taking my netbook with me, and my hope is to share as much of my vacation with you as I can. See, last time when I was there was almost 2 years ago and every time I would visit a fabric store, I would think of you guys. I didnt blog then, but I do now, so I am bringing my camera with me and I promise you will hear from me quite often actually in the next few weeks. Even if I can’t find the time to post pics, I will post updates.

There is so much more to India than just bright colors and curry powder (although over there if you ask for curry powder they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about!). It is things like showing up in the middle of the night at your neighbor’s doorstep and being welcomed with open arms, It’s kicking back and relaxing over a cup of tea and samosas, surrounded by your loved ones. It’s waking up every morning to birds chirping and fruit vendors calling out in the streets. It’s about getting dressed up in saris and wearing lots of bangles for a wedding! It’s also about starting a conversation and continuing for hours with a complete stranger in the middle of the street and last but not the least, its taking a bite out of a FAT, JUICY MANGO!!!! in the summer. Renee, are you jealous?

It is my hope to share some of the joys of growing up in India with you as I travel.

So yes, my bags are NOT packed but I have my knitting with me, and guess what else I have? An advance copy of Annika’s BOOK – Micro Macrame!

As I was going through the book last night, I was literally drooling over the stuff she has in there. Do I need another hobby? YOU BET!!! And I am going to the right place to collect the goodies for it. Wait for photos of the jewelry district and OH MY did I mention there is a wholesale fabric market in Delhi where I am going with my mom?

While there, I’m also going to interview one of the finest menswear tailor in Delhi.

Stay Tuned!

Last minute sewing

March is almost finished and here in New England we are still wearing jackets! Oh well, I love MA anyway 🙂 Atleast we get to see all 4 distinct seasons. I am so close to falling off the wagon this month but I am determined to finish my March project, which is not too exciting, but it’s a blouse I’ll get a lot of use out of and it fits my goal of sewing more wovens and blouses this year.

It’s another version of the Burda Magazine Blouse I made last month.

This one’s as close to a white blouse (sorry I dont do white) as it gets. Its a lovely natural linen from

I experimented with wing needle top stitching and I love it! Birgitte, I took some closeups to show you what it looks like.

The only parts left for this blouse are sewing the sleeves and the collar which I intend to finish tonight. Oh yes, the buttons and buttonholes too. I can do it!!!

Sorry for such a bad photo. I snapped it with my Blackberry before leaving the house today.

I can do it, I can do it. I figured if I post it here, I am more likely to finish it 🙂 More on my travel plans later…

A kniting gift to someone who gets it

So this is why I’ve been MIA for the last week or so. Gagan’s cousin, who has become a very good friend of mine is leaving this week. She crochets and I knit. Together we have a lot in common. And…she is one of the few cousins (perhaps the only one) who values hand made things. If you recall, Gagan’s aunt helped me with my sock last month? She is her daughter…

So last few nights I kept all my sewing projects aside and got to work on these socks. She came over this weekend, I was knitting till the last minute. Believe it or not, we still have some snow in our front yard, and while stepping in, her socks got wet. When she asked to borrow some socks, I surprised her with my hand knit socks and said “Maybe these will help” 🙂 She was so touched! And later when I was taking photos of the sock to share with you all, she said “Wow, I’ve never been a foot model before”.

And now that the socks are with their new owner, I can go back to sewing 🙂 After all, I have to make not one but two garments this month. (Since I am away most of April).

Here are the socks.

Pattern: Embossed Leaves from Interweave Knits.

And now some photos of the coat

As I mentioned yesterday, the fur coat deserves good photos, so I donned my black top, put on some lipstick and got down to it 🙂


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People who’ve made my life a whole lot richer

In the 34 years (I still feel like 25 though so that’s what counts 😉 ) of my life, I’ve come across many individuals who have inspired me, people I’ve looked up to, people who I turn to for advise, people whom I trust. And then there are people who are so incredibly gifted and yet so humble and modest that I feel proud of having been in their company.

Owen Aftreth is one of them. Owen is my ex-colleague from when I used to work for a software company. It’s been a little over 2 years since I last worked with him and yet, it warms my heart every time I think of him.

When I think of the smartest and most intelligent people I know, besides my brother and my husband, Owen comes to mind. And yet, he is also the the kindest, most down to earth man I’ve even known. In the years we worked together, he helped not only me, but whoever came to him. The guy just doesn’t know how to say “No”! During the stressful times at work, he would still somehow manage to remain calm and offer to help whoever needed him whenever he could. I still remember the night I was working late because I had committed to finishing my last project before I left. When he was still lurking, I asked what he was doing.. to which he replied, “Well I thought I’d stay in case you needed someone to help out.”

When it came to technology he was way ahead of most of us and still whenever we were troubleshooting, he would always downplay himself and say to others, “Its probably my code causing the trouble.”

He took a sabbatical to travel with a friend who needed help with a research project and the university would not let her go alone to China!

I still remember the times we would take a break and talk about anything and everything over our cubicle walls. I could always talk to him. He has that quality you know…

When I think fondly of the people I used to work with, he is the one who always brings a smile to my face. He is the kinda guy you never forget, who doesn’t need to say anything to make you feel better, he just has to be HIMSELF. The kind who always makes time for you. That’s the kind of person who enriches lives. Owen personifies humility and kindness. And I am lucky to have worked with him.

Kenneth King is another great guy who has influenced me in many ways. I remember the first time I met him. It was in the elevator of the Avalon hotel in NYC where I was organizing the 2nd or was it the 3rd PR Weekend. I had requested Kenneth to be our guest speaker for the day. Having never met him before, I was waiting in the lobby of the hotel hoping to welcome him when he arrived. As I was waiting, I started chatting with other PR members and lost track of time, when suddenly one of them alerted me to the fact that Kenneth had arrived and was going up the elevator. I rushed and welcomed him and apologized for not seeing him earlier. But he was just so cool, he didn’t care. In the elevator we chatted like old friends and if you were there at the PR weekend you’ll remember how much fun we had.

Kenneth is a self taught couturier whose work has been shown in various museums. He now teaches at FIT and Online Classes on and continues to develop new cool techniques and makes couture possible for you and me. He is also the author of Cool Couture.

He amazes me each time with his energy but having met him personally again a few weeks ago was a treat I cannot describe. He is Kenneth King and anyone who loves to sew, knows who he is, and yet when I meet him, it’s like we’re in that elevator again. We’re like two friends having breakfast and just chatting about fashion and sewing. Like Owen, Kenneth is also very humble and for as long as I was there, he gave me his full attention.

We went to his apartment and I fell in love with a fur coat he had made. I tried it on, posed in front of the mirror and you know… just had to have it. Instead I promised him that I will make a fur coat this season following his fur class.

And today, a big box arrived for me.

Puzzled, I opened the box and in it, was the FUR COAT with a nice note from him, “Dear Deepika, wear it in good health, love Kenneth”

My Mother in law once said to me that a true gift is when you make the other person believe that they are doing you a favor by accepting your gift.

When I called Kenneth to thank him, he said, “I wanted to send it while its still cold so you could enjoy it.” When I said “I am speechless, thank you so much. I don’t know what to say”, he said “You don’t need to say anything, I’ve had fun making it, now you’ll have fun wearing it”.

In this day and age when there is no dearth of people with giant egos, big heads and insufferable attitudes, people like Owen and Kenneth remind you of what truly means to be “Great”. These are the people I’ve had the good fortune of working with and who continue to inspire and enrich my life. I am grateful for them and many others, but today I dedicate this post to the two Smartest and the Kindest men I’ve known : Owen and Kenneth.

Perhaps this will remind you of someone who touched your life in a similar way with their kindness and humility.

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