Friday, October 13, 2017

Festival Season

Come August and all our favorite festivals begin.. Navrathri is the first biggest festival

Navrathri, literally translated as 9 nights, is a festival of the Goddess. Though Navrathri is celebrated in different ways in different parts of India, the basic belief is that the Goddess killed Mahishasura. This also symbolises that we kill the demon within by invoking the Goddess

In TamilNadu, the first 3 days we worship Goddess Durga - who symbolises Shakti (power); next 3 days we invoke Goddess Lakshmi - who symbolises prosperity; the last 3 days we invoke Goddess Saraswathi - who symbolises intellect/wisdom.

Many people setup a Golu, which is setting up dolls of Gods and Goddesses. This was our simple 5 step Golu this year
The Golu signifies human evolution. Fruits, vegetables are kept in the lowest level; then lower forms of insect and animals; then saints and other great human beings like Buddha; then the various incarnations of the divine

The above explain the spiritual significance very briefly. The other aspects of Navrathri include inviting women and girls over and honour them with small gifts and sweets. Slokas are chanted and devotional songs sung in the evenings in front of the Golu.
As the whole festival is about celebrating the Goddess, Navrathri is considered as the true celebration of women in India

Gearing up for Diwali next :)

That's the story tonight dear friends. Till next time.. Take Care.. Be happy.. Craft about.. Au Revoir


Monday, September 25, 2017

Gifts

One thing that has amazed me in our crafty world is how selfless we become.. we share and give so much love without ever expecting anything in return

One such person who has always inspired, motivated and encouraged me from the day I started blogging is the multi-talented Meari. She is excellent in anything she does.. be it painting, carpentry, any DIY and of course cross stitch!! You can see all her works here in her blog

My brother had come from US for a short vacation and look what she sent for V and me through my brother


Three lovely sticker books and a cross stitch kit for V. Looks like I missed to take a picture of the kit


And a whole lot of goodies for me!!
I have been wanting to buy a Lizzie Kate for a long time and Meari just sent me one. Thanks a ton Meari for all these goodies..

There's a lot happening at my end here.. but that's it for today's post.. more next time. Till then.. Be Happy.. Keep Stitching.. Au Revoir

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Some Reading

I have been trying out various genres of books of late. I recently realized that I love to travel. And reading travel books is one way to get to know places

I started with a book of our own Chennai.. to know our own history before moving to other places.


This was my first 'Travel' book. It appeared like a slow read to me, but learnt quite a lot about our own city

I never scored great marks in history, but my interest in knowing our past has been growing quite strong of late

This book gave me a very good insight into the Mughal period and I finally can now recap which emperor is whose son.. can I appear for my history exams now.. hehe
There is such detailed description of the jewels and clothes worn by the women.. it has now triggered my interest to visit the Taj Mahal even more

For some reason or the other I never got to read a P.G.Wodehouse till now. While browsing through the various sections in the library I came to this section and picked a book in random, going by the cover of course

I loved the book and still wonder why I never read a Wodehouse till now. Anyway, am happy atleast now I read one

I am reading an Indian mythology series currently and am loving it so far
This book is the first of the 'Krishna series' and takes us to the period prior to Krishna's birth. The main character in negative role in this book is called the 'dark lord' which sounds like it has been inspired by Harry Potter. But the overall book is good so far.

So.. that's it from me today friends. Till next time.. take care..be happy.. Happy crafting.. Au Revoir

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A birthday, More beading and some baking

A very special person celebrated her birthday last month.. yours truly - wink wink! I have not been baking for a while of late. Ever since V started baking, I took a step back and allow her to bake. This time I had to get that mojo back again and decided to bake my favourite - brownie of course.

It's a choco-mint brownie with candied peel. I had been wanting to try this combination in a brownie ever since I tasted Orange Lindt. I used some home made mango ice cream as topping

V and I have been beading a lot

 This is a bracelet that she made for herself. The chunky parts are from Michaels

I have been trying some bold patterns too. These are ceramic beads and really heavy

One of V's creations 

That is all friends from me today. Till next time.. take care.. Be happy.. Craft About.. Au Revoir!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Crafting About

About 2 years ago I bought V a long stitch kit for her summer vacations. But she did not show much interest and I did not want to force her into something that she's not really interested in.
But on seeing sea shells completed and all framed up, she is very motivated to try her hand at a stitchy project again. So we went shopping for long stitch kits again (my mother threw away the old one thinking V would never get back to it). To our utter disappointment, there was not stock in any of the craft stores and we learnt that they had stopped supplying to the stores. Finally amazon to the rescue and we found a beautiful kit there called 'Returning'

Here's a picture of her progress.


She has been going steady at it every day. School starts in a week.. wonder how she is going to manage

Here's a picture of my progress on 'The Bookshelf'


This is coming up very quickly.. but I am not able to stitch as often as I'd like to

Pictures of some beading we did last weekend


That's about it from me today friends. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Craft Away.. Au Revoir!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day

Hope all the lovely mothers had a wonderful day!

I have been wanting to maintain a stitchy journal - if not for anything, just for my own memories. And look what V made for me this Mother's day

She made a journal for me!! I was so touched. She did not have any hand made paper, so used plain A4 sheets. And a very cute card

She also baked this lovely Mango Semolina cake


Here's the recipe:
Ingredients:
Semolina - 1 cup
Mango puree - 1¼ cup ( 1 large mango) 
Sugar - ½ cup (you can add upto ¾-1 cup depending upon the sweetness of the mango and your tastebuds) 
Oil - ¼ cup
Baking Soda - 1 tsp 
Baking powder - ½ tsp 
Milk - 2-3 tbsp 
Vanilla Essence few drops (optional) 
Some chopped nuts of your choice for garnish ( I used almond, pistachios and cashewnuts)
Method
Peel the mango skin, cut them into cubes. Add the mango and sugar in a blender cup and blend them into a fine puree.
In a bowl take the milk, baking soda, baking powder, Semolina, mango puree and gently mix them well. Let it stand for 10-15 mins.
Add the oil and the vanilla essence and gently fold them.
Preheat oven to 180° for 10 mins. Pour the batter into a greased pan. Garnish with chopped nuts and bake for 30 mins.
A toothpick inserted should come out clean.
Let it stand for about 5 mins. Remove from oven, let it cool down completely. Demould, cut and serve.

Totally made my day!!

That's about it from me today friends. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Au Revoir.. Keep Crafting.. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

New Recipes

V and I have been experimenting with new recipes.. of late we are leaning towards healthy recipes and using lesser sugar, mainly because the hubby is diabetic

First in the list is an Oats, Fig and nuts cake


Recipe

Ingredients:
Oats - ½ cup
Whole Wheat flour - ¼ cup
Maida /All Purpose Flour - ¼ cup
Fig - 5 nos chopped
Honey - 3 tbsp
Almond - 2 tbsp chopped
Brown Sugar - ¼ cup
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Curd - ¼ cup
Oil - ¼ cup
Vanilla Essence - ½ tsp
Milk - ⅓ cup
Cinnamon powder - ¼ tsp

Grease a cake pan and set aside. Preheat the oven at 180 ° for 10 mins

In a small bowl add little milk and soak the chopped first while you make ready the other ingredients.

Seive the flour, baking soda, cinnamon powder in a mixing bowl. Add the oats, mix well and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, take curd and sugar and whisk till smooth and sugar is dissolved. Add milk, vanilla essence, oil and stir well.

Add in the flour mix, chopped figs, chopped almond (both reserving some for topping) and fold gently and make a smooth batter without lumps.

Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 35-40 mins. Start checking from 35 mins. A tooth pick inserted should come out clean.

Remove it from the oven, let it stand for 5-10 mins. Invert it and let it cool down completely, cut and serve.

Next is a Ragi, Dates Cake


I was so tired on this day and allowed V to just handle the baking. She did everything here.. and the cake turned out absolutely delicious

Here's the link to the recipe - http://www.quichentell.com/gluten-free-ragi-finger-millet-date-cake/

Being summer, how could we not make ice cream.

Here's our Mango Cheesecake Icecream

This is a very simple recipe. Here's the link to the recipe - http://cookclickndevour.com/mango-cheesecake-ice-cream-recipe

So, that's all from me today friends. Till next time.. Take Care.. Be Happy.. Keep crafting.. Au Revoir

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The BookShelf

The days are getting warmer and very humid, and summer is just beginning. The temperature is already nearing mid-30's!! Though I am looking forward to the holidays to spend time with V, I am dreading the heat.. sigh..

I started working on The BookShelf by LHN


I am loving the way it's shaping up. I feel this is going to be a quick stitch, atleast by my standards :)

That's about it today friends. Till next time.. Take care.. Be Happy.. Keep Stitching.. Au Revoir

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A surgery and some beading

About 5-6 years ago I noticed that there was a small lump on my back on the left hand side. Doctors initially said that as long as there's no pain and it did not grow we need not worry about this. But over the years the lump grew though there was no pain, and it was quite prominent that people started asking what it was. That rang a bell and I did a checkup last September. It was found to be a Lipoma. Though it was nothing to worry about, I was advised to get it removed soon as it was growing and was beginning to breach into the back muscles.

So finally I had the surgery on 9th February and am just recovering. I am allowed to work from home during this period, so thankfully not bored to death yet

On the crafting front - V and I started the year with some quick beading using some of the beads I bought in South Africa



Thursday, January 5, 2017

Finishing 2016 with a finish!!

Here's wishing everybody a very happy, crafty, fulfilling 2017!!


Yesss.. finally seashells is finished. I literally stitched my way into the new year. I was putting in the last few stitches in seashells when the clock struck 00:00 on 1st January 2017!! Isn't that a grand way to finish a year and start a new one


Isn't she a beauty. I started this in December 2011 and finished in December 2016. It has taken me exactly 5 years to finish this - phew!! V was beginning to ask me if I would manage to finish this by the time she reached college :)

So now I am totally excited to start working on my next project. It's going be a pattern from LHN - The Bookshelf.


I have kitted it up and all set to start. I also have accumulated quite a few strands of beads from all the travel this year. Hoping that 2017 is going to be a year dedicated to fulfill all my crafty dreams

Signing off with this today friends. Wishing you all a brilliant year again.

Take care.. Be Happy.. Keep crafting.. Au Revoir