Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Updates and progress

As usual, there's sooo much to update you guys on. Wondering where to start, ummm . Ok let me first start with the small gathering we had at home in honour of my cousin's family visiting India.

My cousin, settled in New Jersey is currently visiting India for his annual vacation. As the visit is very short and they would be in Chennai just for a couple of days, I had a gathering of all relatives currently in Chennai. You see ours is a pretty large family. So, going around and meeting people would be a problem and extremely time consuming. We decided not to do any cooking at home and order some small eats from outside.

Except for the choco muffins, we ordered everything else. I could not take any pictures in my camera as I had run out of batteries. I will upload some pictures of the gathering once my uncle forwards his.

I made a small gift tag for my cousin's wife.

I got the design from "Cross Stitch Silhouettes". The card got slightly damaged while I was trying to punch a hole in it . But it was too late to re-do the finishing!!! Please, can you guys give me some suggestions as to how to finish it better??? Punching the card itself is not the thing, but how do I match the hole in the card and place a hole at the right place on the stitched piece? Also, what tool do I use to make the hole on the stitched piece??

And, yes this time I do have a picture of my name board too

Keeping my fingers crossed to meet my deadline of finishing this by year end and have it framed .

I start on my new project at work tomorrow (err, today)!!! Please do wish me luck.

Am sure, the christmas spirit is really high all over. Hope everybody has great fun getting ready for the day. Till my next update, aurevoir..

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Give-away

Karyn at The Teakettle corner is having a wonderful christmas give-away. Go over to her blog to see the entire list of things that are being given as a gift!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A few celebrations

We happened to have a couple of celebrations the last week.

One was our festival Kaarthigai Deepam. This time I tried making Pori with mom's help. All these years I only made appam and never ventured near Pori as it involved making jaggery syrup. I am slightly nervous making that. But it turned out to be a simple process and not all that time consuming.

Pori is made with puffed rice. We get various types of puffed rice. For Karthigai, we make the balls by mixing 2 types in jaggery syrup, which are Nellu Pori and Aval Pori.

The most important part is the lighting of lamps.

The significance being that, the month of Karthigai (as per Tamil calendar) is supposed to be inauspicious. So, by lighting lamps the entire month, we drive away the evil and bring home light. On the full moon day that falls in the month of Karthigai, we light many more lamps at dusk.

The second celebration that we had was MIL's 60th birthday. Though we normally don't celebrate birthdays in a big way, as it was her 60th b'day we decided to make a surprise visit. I had bought a beautiful Orissa silk saree in cream and copper-sulphate blue colour. I took the day off and baked a chocolate cake. Vaishnavi was extremeley happy with helping me decorate the cake.

It was her idea to add the cherries. So, while I cut the cherries in half, she decorated the cake with them. I added a few sprinkles. MIL was too happy with the gifts and the surprise. Doesn't it always feel nice to make others happy and see the happiness on their faces. Nothing can be more satisfactory than that.

You know what, out of the blue one day Vaishnavi said "Amma, you have stitched Vaishnavi and have not even started Akila. Go and do it now" !!! Of course she was talking about the name board. Now, do you think I would sit idle even with this. So, out came my project again after weeks!!! I am almost done with Akila (sorry folks no pictures of that yet). Hope to finish the project by year end and get that framed along with my peacock.

Of course, I made quite a few neck-hugging necklaces. Pictures in my next post for sure.

Meari wanted to know how to make samosas. You can find the recipe here http://sanjeevkapoor.com/Recipe.aspx?RecipeId=2944&Header=Searched%20Recipe&MenuId=0

So, with these updates, I am signing off. Till my next update...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My first bloggoversary!!!!

I am writing this update on the eve of my first bloggoversary !!!! Wow, how a year has flown!!! Isn't it amazing. And I think the blog and all my blog friends have really inspired me this year into achieving a lot this year!!! Thank you all friends for being sooo encouraging and keeping me motivated . Words cannot express how thankful I am to each and every one of you

As a token of my appreciation and gratitude, I wish to give a small gift to my first follower Chiloe. I have not decided what yet, but I would love to make something really nice for her very soon. Thank you Chiloe for being the first one to teach me more about the blog world and also give me many more tips.

Today DD took part in an inter-school theme talk contest. The topic she was given was "Conservation of Water" And guess what, she won the 2nd prize !!!

Does she not look happy!!! So am I :)

Now, for my updates. Let me start with my experiments in the kitchen. Chennai experienced very heavy rain for about 5 days shutting us all inside the apartment . It was terrible being shut inside the house with a 5-year old unable to step out. DH somehow managed to get to work, but I could not risk dropping/picking up DD at mom's place.

So, one evening I just felt like having nice hot samosas. How could I with an incessant. The cook in me then woke up and said "Lets give it a go"!!! Here they are

Well, I finished them only around 8pm, but they did turn out real yummy. Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor yet again. His recipes never let us down.

Another evening gave me a biiiig craving for something sweet. So, my next venture was my all time favorite Apple Pie.

And guess what it is now DD's favorite too!!! I got the recipe from http://www.joyofbaking.com/. The sides got just a bit burnt. That's mainly because I ignored (out of sheer laziness) the instruction to cover the ends with a foil for the first half an hour of baking!!!

I tried a different way of making aloo paratha too. But could not take a picture of it. Guess was too hungry .

Now, for my crafty updates. I have been doing quite a bit on the beading front of late. A few of my friends requested me to make some jewellery for them after seeing mine . So, I have been reproducing some of those. I did make a few new designs as well.

I could not take pictures of all. Here's just one of them.

This is one of my personal favourites.

And yes, I do have a stitchy update too. I have made some progress on our name board (should I be calling it a name board??? ).

Before I sign off for today, thanks a lot guys for keeping me going. I am eager to receive more feedbacks and comments. If you think I can improve somewhere, on the stitching/beading/cooking front please please please give your suggestions. I would love to improve. I love reading your blogs and comments. Keep commenting. Till my next update, take care

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Updates and a reminder

Hello, here I am, as promised with a whole lot of updates and pictures .
Now as I have sooo many things to update, where shall I start ... I guess our diwali celebrations woud be a good way to start.

My parents had come over on the eve of diwali to burst a few crackers with us.

That's DD in one of her new diwali clothes.

You can see my dad right behind her, escorting her!!! This is the first year she handled some sparklers on her own. So, you can see dad being extremely concerned and is hanging around as close to her as possible .

When we were kids I remember we used to be woken up by my maternal grandmother at about 4am . We were about 5 cousins (we were a joint family then) and all my aunts and uncles. By the time all of us had the oil bath (Ganga snaanam), it would be 5.30. One by one all of us would prostrate our grandparents and take our new set of clothes from them. The previous night all our new clothes, the sweets, savouries and the fire crackers would be placed in front of God. There would be a contest (an unspoken one though) as to who bursts the first cracker in the street. My aunt would be the first usually, to our greatest delight .

So, here you see I have tried to keep up atleast some of the tradition. Though, we did not wake up at 4am, we managed to wake up by 5am and go down to start bursting crackers.
I made laddoos (the traditional ones) under mom's guidance and murukkus. Then tried my hand at kaaju barfi. Everything came out real yumm .
We had to travel on the night of diwali to Coimbatore to attend a wedding. As we have many of our relatives in and around Coimbatore, we used the wedding as an excuse to visit everybody there. The 3 days we spend in Coimbatore was extremely refreshing and energizing.

On the crafty front, let me first show you what Lynn sent.
The most beautiful pinkeep!! I love the colours and the choice of fabrics. Thanks a lot to you again Lynn .

Now on my finishes on the beading front. I managed to complete 2 new sets of necklaces and ear-rings.
This one is a choker. The actual colour of the beads is a light purple, though the picture shows it differently.

This one is slightly longer, coming upto the chest.

I found this store where they sell such beautiful oxidized beads and glass and semi-precious beads. I bought a whole lot of beads last saturday. I am sure DH is going to have a fit if I go there again!!!

Finally, the most interesting part. My stitchy update!!! Here is what I have done on the name board.
I decided to use a metallic silver. Thought it would look best against black. I am trying to put in a few stitches atleast daily.

Again, a reminder on my PIF. The last date for giving your names is the 7th of November. Please post your comments if you are interested on my post dated 27th October.

Now, that's about all my updates. Till I meet you with more updates, take care

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Giveaways and a PIF

I wanted my pictures to be the next post, but as I had to keep a few promises, here I am with yet another no-pictures post.

I just came across these lovely giveaways at Kathy’s blog. She is celebrating her first bloggoversary. CONGRATS Kathy.

And as promised to Lynn, here I am with my PIF. Anybody interested for the PIF, please post a comment for this post alone. The winner would receive a gift from me in the next 365 days. Also, the winner needs to agree to carry on the PIF by paying it forward to somebody else. Am all excited about my first PIF.

All my holiday pictures and crafty (beady/stitch) pictures are ready to be uploaded. Hope to do so very very soon.

See you all soon with loads of pictures and stories to go with them :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Diwali wishes

A quick post to wish everybody a very very Happy Diwali!!! Wow, I am so excited. This definitely is the king of all festivals I should say. The spirits are so high right now.

The bursting of crackers started about a week ago. DD is having a ball. She is beginning to get the hang of bursting crackers now.

We are going on a very short trip tomorrow night to Coimbatore to attend a wedding. We have also combined it with a visit to all the uncles and aunts who have moved to Coimbatore.

I owe you all a very very big/long update. There's soooo much to update and sooo little time. I am yet to upload allll of my pictures.

Guess what, I have received my first PIF from Lynn . It is soooooo pretty. This is my first ever cross stitch gift and I will treasure it for my life. I cannot express in words how important it is for me. Thank you soooo much Lynn!!!

I promise a picture-y update next. Till then, a very happy diwali again.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Back after a nice long vacation

I am just back and refreshed after a nice long vacation to the northern part of India. To be more precise, I am just back from the capital of our country, Delhi. DH could not accompany us and had to drop out in the last minute. So, it was just DD and me. We stayed at my cousin's place.

We were there during the entire Navarathri celebrations. So, golu this time was at my cousin's place.

On the crafty front, I do have a couple of finishes on my beading and a new stitchy start. That's right, I have started (though not a great amount) on the name board . I promise to post all pictures during the next week.

I am dead tired after a real long day. So, going to hit the sack right after I shut down and say bye bye. Till then....

Monday, September 7, 2009

Some celebrations and some finishes

Let me start with the celebrations. Isn’t that always a nice way to start?

Guess to turned 5 this month. Of course, DD !!! And she has been planning for the past few months for her bday. We did not want to make it a big celebration, just family. So, she came with this idea of visiting the Sai Baba temple in the evening and then cutting the cake at home. Could anybody have made a better plan than this . And her new dress had to be a salwar kameez WITH DUPATTA!!!! And where did we shop for that. Where else but my favorite Fabindia . I am a great fan of that store. (And now DD too).

So, on the evening of 19th Aug we set off to the Sai Baba temple. This temple is set facing the beach on East Coast Road. A very quiet and peaceful place. There's our sweetie on her bday.
This was the only picture I have at the moment that was taken on her bday. And that's her salwar kameez!!

I had made Rava ladoo to distribute there. My idea was to bake a cake for her bday. But then, what is life without hiccups. My oven breathed its last!!! I was devastated . I could not bake a cake for my own daughter’s bday. But then, the cake we ordered turned out to be yumm and was a feast for the eyes as well.
Doesn't it look yumm. It was choco nut!!!

That weekend we all went out for a nice family dinner to celebrate many events together (SIL’s bday, my bday, brother’s bday and DD’s bday). We had a great time there.

The next was Vinayaka Chaturthi. We celebrated Lord Ganesha's birthday with MIL this year. Here is our little Ganesha.
And there is the Kozhakattai (Modakam) that we made. This was a joint effort by MIL and me. It came out real yumm this time.

Now for my finishes. First, I completed a full jewellery set this time, a necklace and a pair of ear-rings. They turned out much better than any of my previous finishes.
And after a long time, I do have a stitchy update. I have completed the purple pansy . This is the first time I worked on perforated paper. I just love the way the stitches fall in place. It’s so easy.
And guess what, I finally got my black material as well. So my next is to get some nice shade of variegated thread. Am so excited to start working on it!!!

So, that's about allllll my updates for the day folks. Till I see you next, bye bye, au revoir !!!!