Monday, September 29, 2014

Air dry clay Betel leaf

Found these betel leaves I had made some time ago. If you don't know what is a betel leaf you can find more information here. It is used in any puja or auspicious occasion in a Hindu's life has a spiritual significance. 

These betel leaves are made of air dry clay. I made the shape and engraved the fine lines. I  painted them with acrylics. Then applied a generous coat of glossy varnish. 

Sharing at

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Halloween Food

I am seeing Halloween pumpkins and scary outfits everywhere in the market. This reminded me that Halloween is not far away. Some posts back I had mentioned that I am working on making breakfasts special for the family especially on holidays. This is an attempt to make my son aware and excited about festivals and events. 

I found FB page of a  lovely lady who makes amazing meals for her daughters. Honestly speaking, I have not seen any mum on the internet who makes prettier meals than these. These whimsical, colourful and healthy meals are par excellence. She is an inspiration to all mums who want their child to eat healthy and happily without fuss. A adorable way to tell a story with food art.
I am sharing with you some of the Halloween food pictures of  her super imaginative meals. 

Joker from Batman 

Star wars

Her name is Lee Samantha. She lives in the very green and beautiful Malaysia. Lee initially created the Japanese bento for her eldest daughter, around the time when Lee’s second daughter was born. She started creating food art back in December 2008 to help her eldest daughter eat independently. 

Morticia Addams : 'Black is such a happy colour.'

Lady Tremaine (Cinderella's wicked stepmother)

Samantha's approach is fuss free and imaginative, using simple tools to create her food artworks. She doesn't believe in wasting food and is a strong believer of utilising fresh and healthy ingredients.

Dracula ! 

Wednesday Addams  from the Addams Family. 

 Her creative and unique ways of approaching mealtimes has garnered her international attention from likes of Daily Mail UK, Huffington Post, ABC news, InStyle, MSN,, Yahoo! and many more.��

Halloween cats


She has over half an million fans on Instagram and Facebook. Samantha shares her adorable food art with her fans on InstagramFacebook and her website !!

Take a look and be inspired!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thai floral table arrangement

Hello friends! How is the week treating you all? My week as usual was divided between getting over the weekend relaxation and  planning for the next weekend. My mind has been drifting to our trip which we did around this time last year. We went to the very relaxing, stunning, colorful, green Thailand . Thailand has hot and humid climate which is perfect for many oriental varieties of flowers. 

We stayed at Mandarin oriental. It has every possible nook, corner and table ravishingly,  elegantly decorated with exotic , colorful, vibrant floral arrangements. The concrete bowls with floating lotus were placed in the garden which led to the outdoor pool and restaurant. These pop of colors were so soothing  to the eye and relaxing in the hot weather. It instantly puts you into the state of nirvana !!

 Floral arrangements need not be elaborate,  grand , eye popping all the time. Single stem flower arrangements look equally exquisite and elegant. They blend gorgeously in the setting and rest of the decor. These minimalist arrangement complement the setting well especially when there is limited space or the arrangement need not  be the center of attraction. The color combination of the flower and the vase in first picture which was taken in the outdoor restaurant is soothing. The lovely stem/s are displayed angelic in a clear glass vase. 

I would love to have tea like this every day.. A white plate, banyan leaf cut round, orchid, green tea with lemon and honey in a clear glass.  Divine!!! 

I would really enjoy recreating all these arrangement for my dining table .. That is if I find lotus here and I don't think they look any good with artificial lotus.. So till then I will dream and reminisce !!!!

Joining the party at Tablescape Thrusday, Home and Garden, Home sweet Home, Show and Tell!! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Diwali decorations- Diwali DIY for kids- How to make a paper flower garland

Festivals and celebration seem dull and meaningless to me if every item needed for celebration and festivities is store bought, especially the food and decoration. Its time to be creative and  family projects. Doing it together makes it all so merry. This is how memories are created. One of the best memories of festivals while  growing up are the fun we had threading these fragrant flowers and leaves to make garland. 

Sharing with you is a Diwali DIY decoration/craft for/with/by kids:) My 2 year old and I made paper marigold and mango leaves garlands. Marigold and mango leaves garlands are used to decorate for almost every traditional Hindu festivals and marriages.

For this Diwali DIY  project you will need : Cardstock, string, colors, glue, scissor.

Start by cutting the shapes. I did free hand drawing of leaves and flowers . Cut the flowers double the number of leaves. Give them to your child one by one to paint. My son painted all the leaves and then all the flowers with watercolors. Let it dry completely.

After they are dried I cut the sides of the flower to make it smaller. The remaining border I coiled together. Ask your child to coil some as well. Mine coiled a few, not perfect but it's all learning.  Then Avaneesh applied glue in the center and pressed the smaller flower on it and the coil over it. You can see his cute little hands at work in the mosaic. The last pic in the mosaic shows how the three parts of flowers will look like:)

Arrange them alternatively and with your child glue the back to a string. I taped them to the string as well since glue was not enough to keep them in place.

Avaneesh is very happy that his work was a part of the decoration for ganpati bappa. Involving children not only gets them interested in festivals, ceremonies and culture but also helps to grow their self respect and self esteem. They feel proud that their work is getting the respect and honor of being a part of something important. 

Stay tuned!! More DIY diwali projects with/for kids coming up as soon as we complete them..I have a long list of Diwali projects to do with my little one!!!

Joining party at Sharing Saturday!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nursery wall art - Free Printable - Dream Big little one

I love creating cute art for my home. In last few months I have created many digital prints. Some used to decorate my son's room and some just for fun. These are quotes, nursery rhymes and digital art prints.  I will share some banner/ bunting printable which are festival themed for Diwali, Christmas,Halloween etc.I love them all and thought you would too.  I will share with all one free printable every week!!!

Today I am sharing with you a printable quote. I found inspiring art from the quote " Dream big little one" at Pottery Barn kids. I loved the quote but not the price or its design. So I thought why not make it myself. I wanted to it to be dreamy .. something I would like to say to my child before he sleeps at night.

This print is a fun decor touch to any child's room. It is perfect to print and frame as a welcome baby gift or to decorate a nursery, bedroom or playroom.

You can download the free pdf from here !!!
 If you have problem downloading please let me know. 

*The print is sized 8×11″ and all you have to do is download or save and print! while printing the pdf choose Actual fit option. Feel free to use and share as much as you would like, but please link back to here.Thanks!*

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sun, Sand and Turkish coffee

Welcome Decor enthusiasts!! How are you all? The weather here is getting a bit milder. Winter is on it's way. Of all the season I find winter to be the most romantic season!! Its perfect to cuddle up and be cozy .. Grab a warm cuppa and enjoy the extra calories without feeling guilty.. I like to believe that I need those to combat the winter.. Also one can lose more calories in winter or so I like to believe ( every season;) The winter also brings in lot of festivals !! All the major festivals come around winter.. Another reason to be jolly and happy about winter.. all the winter festivals help ward off the winter blues if any... 
Ok before I get too much engrossed in my winter love ..I will pull myself out of my dreamy winter land and share with you a corner of my sun soaked room!! 

After breakfast when husband and toddler went to a football class , I decided to soak up the atmosphere ..relax and have a coffee all by myself enjoying the quiet start of the day.. I made and poured myself a cup of Turkish coffee.  Thus I got a chance to use this Turkish coffee set which I had bought from a very friendly Turkish vendor at the Global village exhibition. This exhibition brings in vendors from all over the world who bring their exotic and traditional items.. Food and decor items have the most exotic and extra ordinary variety. It gives you a glimpse of art and craft from these countries. Many of these countries I won't be traveling to so it is very exciting for me. Turkish, Moroccan, Tunisia and some other middle eastern countries have the best markets and bring exclusive pieces. With so many tempting exotic items in the exhibition, the mad decor enthusiast in me has to be under control all the time. It really tests my limits.

 In case you dont know let me tell you something about Turkish coffee. 
Cezve or ibrik is a Turkish coffee pot with a long handle. Traditionally cezve is made of copper or brass. The coffee is brewed in this coffee pot for two- three times on slow heat. Water, freshly finely grounded coffee(preferably in a turkish coffee grinder/mill), sugar , cardamom goes into it. Stir and boil it. Remove for 30 secs. Heat again. Repeat once or twice more. 
For that matter I did not use this silver one for brewing my coffee . I have another cezve made of copper. The coffee cups are unique as well. The curvy demitasse coffee cups do not have handles. They have a ornate holder with a lid. 

Turkish coffee is intense, dark and strong . It is without milk but has some sugar and spice in itTurkish coffee is traditionally served with sweets. I love coffee but the ones which has milk in it. This is way too strong for me. I had mini lokum along with it. Lokum is popularly known as Turkish delight. They are very sweet, soft and delicious - a perfect accompaniment for the nearly bitter coffee. 

These moroccan glasses look the best when the sun light passes through them..same effect when the light passes through the stained glass windows!! 

Joining party at BNOP, Home and garden !

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Recycled CD craft projects for kids

If you 're like me and have collected a lot of CD s and DVD s which you no longer like then this post is for you. I have songs and movies CD which I have kept with me since my collegedays. These reminded of the days I would liked to boy zone and Madonna. Now that I am a mom the only songs I listen to( as if I have a choice  are nursery rhythms  or kids music. 

So for recycling my CD "collection",  I thought of an idea of making craft with my 2 year old. The only things you need are paper plates, colors and CD s. These all are kids CD craft (I will do a post later on (grownups )decor project with CD s.) My son loves to paint and get his hands dirty and messy with colors. We do creative art and craft activities in the afternoon. I believe it helps them to be more creative, develop higher self esteem especially when we showcase their art work. His best so far are the Ganesha painting( see here) and the sea shell monogram( see here) which we have showcased in the living room while the other better ones of his art/craft projects are showcased on a wall in his room. 

This owl has made it to the 'wall of fame' in his room:) It looks very cute I think. He is made of a  big paper plate, foam sheet and CDs. I am sharing with you a quick tutorial on how to make it. I think the pictures make it easy to understand. 
Ask the child to paint a large paper plate with color of their choice. Mine choose blue. Cut out shapes from felt or foam sheet. Two for ears, one bigger in size for nose and an oval for beak. Ask the child to glue them in place. The CD eyes make the owl look very pretty. This is how I did with my little one. 

One tip I can give from my experience is showing kids how the result 
product( art/craft ) would look like makes it easy for them to make it. They are less puzzled and more focused.

I adore art of animals with big eyes. I find them irresistibly adorable and cuddle worthy. Since I am CD recycling and CD art and craft obsessed these days it seemed to me just perfect to make use of them as big ( really big) eyes for the little fox.

I cut out all the pieces from colored paper. I cut the papers in red, orange, white and a felt nose. My son glued them together one by one. I asked him where the nose or tail should be before gluing them in place. Like me he is also excited to make things with CDs whenever he sees one he says Mamma lets make eyes:))

Here's a very easy to make fish. It just takes 2 minutes or even lesser to make this. A round and a crescent shaped paper. Glue them together and put the eye in place. Draw a mouth or smile. 

Other than using them as eyes, you can use them as a base. The strong round CD forms a good base for any art/craft which is round in shape. It gets easy to store them as well.

We made angry bird. Although neither of us play angry bird still we find them very cute. My son saw a picture of angry bird somewhere and he wants to make all of them.  He painted and then fixed the features. Then glued to the CD. This is how it he did it. He painted the face and beak. The eyebrows and eyes are made of foam sheet which makes them pop  out.

Later we also made a cat, mickey mouse, penguin as well. These are made of colored paper and foam sheet. 

I still have a lot of Cds left. So this is just the beginning. I have lots of projects in my mind like making coasters. I will share it with all soon..
till then 
Happy recycling!!

All images are taken by me @ my home. Please do not use them without permission especially the ones with my son in it. Thanks for understanding!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Watermelon themed breakfast table

Weekends are meant for enjoying and relaxing. To make them even more interesting and extra special, I have come up with an idea to have a special themed (healthy)breakfast. Last three weekends I have managed to do so and am hoping to make it a tradition. 

So last weekend we had a watermelon themed breakfast. The summer sun is finally on its way out- and before it is still warm I thought of doing a watermelon themed 'party'. It was on my mind all the summer and it finally materialized. Watermelon is a perfect fruit to cool of on a hot summer day and it is good to cleanse the body as well. It is said to be a good for diet and to detox the body. With all these good things about it - I thought its perfect for a healthy breakfast:)

I started the preparation a few days before with my 2 year old. We made the banner and other party accessories. The watermelon bunting is very easy to make. All you need is colored paper,pen, glue, scissor and string. I cut the shapes from the colored paper and with my son glued it together. I drew the seeds with a pen. We glued the string at the back. 

We made 3 semi circle watermelon slices - big, medium, small- for Daddy, Mommy and baby toddler.. its hard to believe he is not a baby anymore. 
Sunny boy pretended to eat the slices with lots of oohs and aahs!!
The same way we made smaller triangles and circle shaped watermelon slices. I glued these to picks to make little flags.

I cut the watermelon half and scooped it all out. Luckily I had a bowl which fitted perfectly inside the watermelon. It was filled with watermelon juice. I decorated the border with melon scoops with toothpicks. The other food included watermelon on ice cream sticks, melon balls, Oatmeal with strawberry and melon pieces. I wish I had cupcakes as well.

 The breakfast turned into brunch- too much finish so much watermelon in one meal:)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Indian festivals and decorations

Its that time of the year when everyone starts preparing for a long line of festivals!!!

At my place last weekend we celebrated  Ganesh chaturthi- festival of Ganesha. 
Me and my son were busy making decorations for the festival a few days in advance. 
In our daily creative activities with my 2 year old we made garlands , buntings, painting of Ganesha and such which creates the atmosphere of excitement, anticipation and frolic!! My childhood memories of any festival are associated with these three factors. I want my son to have all these memories even though outside our house it does not feel like a festival like it feels in India!!

Here the weather is getting milder and flowers are spouting everywhere in the garden. In Indian decorations , flowers play an important role. Avaneesh and I plucked and gathered flowers from the plants. I made a garland of the flowers. 

You can see a glimpse of the paper marigold and mango leaf garland my son had made.( in the pic below) I will share the tutorial soon.

These are Modak- sweet dumplings I made. I make these with ricotta cheese. Stir sugar, saffron, cinnamon and some milk together with the cheese on heat till the mixture gets a thick consistency. It might take 25-30 minutes. Let it cool and then give it the modak shape. For offering to Ganesha they have to made either  11 or 21. 

Some roses in my Moroccan glasses - fit well in the Indian theme!!

I did this floral arrangement  for the occasion. I made in a copper vessel  to give it an Indian touch. 

Its hard to find flowers like marigold and others which are traditionally used in Indian festivals.So I think using Indian style vase/ vessel made of copper or silver 
can add that "Indian" touch !!

Downstairs I decorated the side table with my 2 year old 's Ganesha painting. Most friends tell me he is a gifted artist but I am still not convinced. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sun dried raisins DIY

Last year as summer project to beat the summer hear I made Gulkand .. Gulkhand is rose petal jam and you can find the recipe here! This year I thought of making raisins !!

It so happened that Avaneesh likes to eat raisins and one day he asked where does it come from? I said" It is dried grape which is made by drying it in the sun. Anyone make it . You only need really hot sunlight."  To which he replied then lets make it!! 
I thought what a  brilliant idea!! Lets try doing it.

Sun dried raisins are easy to make. All you need is grapes and a place where you get direct sunlight. Hot and dry weather is the best. You can leave it out day and night if the weather doesnot have any moisture in the morning. In that case bring it inside at night. 

Start by washing the grapes. Dry them on a tissue paper. Keep them in a sieve in a place where you can direct sunlight for most part of the day. 
Check the grapes everyday. Shake them a bit everyday to dry them evenly from all sides. Grapes first get darker and wrinkled. Over the days they became smaller and dried. After a week they are completely dried. The drying time also depends on how hot the weather is. 

They taste awesome and my sunny boy loves it!! 

Linking to Niftytrify sunday, Inspirational Monday, Motivate me Monday, Munching Monday, Sunday Showcase, Busy Monday, Mix it up, BNOP, Country Cottage, Artsy Corner!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Festive floral arrangements

I looking for some inspiration for a floral design I am working on. As usual I went to Pinterest and guess what I found some of my own floral arrangements pinned by others as floral arrangement ideas and inspiration!! So I thought I should share with you all some of the many festive flower decoration for festive occasion or a party!! I like these the best!!These  are the ones which I would like recreate !! 

This was done in the beginning of summer in Zurich. I used recycled mason jars in a row 

and tied to thick ribbon around all of them together. I got these from a 
Farmers Market on Tuesday and Friday at B├╝rkliplatz. There are many farmers markets around Zurich, Switzerland but this one was closest to my house and work. We could find fresh vegetables, cheese, fish and baked goods as well.

This one done in Singapore during Diwali. I was pregnant then and felt most creative ever. I carved a watermelon and put a candle in it. The Festive floral centerpiece had candles, diyas, flowers floating as well in a vase along with watermelon. Singapore has lovely flowers market on Upper Thompson Road. This flower market consists of many shops selling huge selection of cut flowers from all over the world. Plants and potted trees, vases and garden decoration accessories. 

This is how the watermelon looked at night. Earlier I had carved a watermelon in a peacock and ship. I have not carved a watermelon after this one .. Maybe time to do it again!!

This one I did in Singapore as well when I was carrying my sunny boy. I went to the flower market almost every weekend and bought so many flowers. There was a shop in the flower market in Singapore which exclusively sold foliage..beautiful,big ,small, wide, narrow leaves.. never seen and heard of such a shop ever... I loved going there to pick up leaves and to just look at extraordinary variety of leaves !! 

This one also while I was in Singapore. I did a course in floral arrangement while I was there. This one I had made in the class. When I was doing this course , our house had floral arrangement in almost all rooms:)

This was a festive Indian decoration done in Hong Kong. Hongkong has a large flower market- Mongkok Flower Market on the Kawloon island.  It has a long road with stalls and shops brimming with fresh cut flowers and exotic plants. The fragrance and color of the blooms was truly a treat to the senses. It was far away from my place- on another island - but I would drag my husband we would go there almost every next weekend!! 

 These are India themed floral decorations - festive flower arrangements done in a copper vessel and individual ones in clay diyas. These flowers look just like soft pompoms or cotton balls ..don't they:)

The above one is done this year in Dubai. Dubai being a desert does not have any flower market..Sigh:( It has one big garden shop which sells a variety of plants. In Dubai one can buy a limited variety of cut flowers at grocery shops at a reasonable price. 

I miss all the flower markets I have mentioned above especially on a festive occasion. 
I will share with you what come up with the lilies and gerberas I got just now!!