Friday, July 25, 2014

How to make a drum with recycled container/cans

The idea of making the drum came to my mind days back when I saw Avaneesh drumming on a can. The can looked perfect for a drum for my little drummer boy. I do daily creative afternoon activities with him and this seemed to be perfect activity to be done with a 2 year old. I used a empty container which is of perfect size for little drummer hands

Avaneesh was very excited when I told him that we are going to make a drum today. I cut shapes out of paper for the top part and the designs on the sides of the drum. I do all the cutting work in front of Avaneesh so that he understand the entire process of making it as well. His creativity will increase more this way. I asked him which colors he want to paint the triangular pattern with to which he said red. So he painted it red , the top part with blue and the border strips with orange. Then are all the pieces drying in the balcony. I take this opportunity to talk with him about the sun's heat and how the painting dries up so fast outside instead of inside.

We glued two white papers around the can.  My son enjoyed spreading the glue on the paper and the can. Then he helped me glue the designs around the can. We glued some paper to the dowels. This is how it looks like and..

There he is my little drummer. It is a big hit with him. 

In case you want to try making this drum with your little one, the only things you will need are a can to be recycled, dowels/ chopsticks, water/poster color paints, paper, glue and scissors.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sea shell Monogram art

A few days back we had been to the beach. My 2 year old and I collected lots of seashell and some sand as well. I came with a idea to make a monogrammed art for my son's room with the sea shells. A craft both me and my son can do together. I cut a thick card stock and drew a big A on it.  I gave Avaneesh the box in which we had collected the sand and sea shells. 

I helped him apply glue on the letter A. Then one by one he found the shells and fixed them on the alphabet. Later we sprinkled sand all over to cover the letter. We let it dry for a while. I applied a layer of modge podge to keep the loose sand together. 

Later i wrote his name under the big A with golden ink. I framed it after it had dried well.  It looks very pretty in his room. 

DIY/ recycled craft : Rocket

I had saved the cardboard tube of the kitchen roll to be used when I will get a idea to do a recycle craft. Today I finally got the idea. 

rocket- yes the tube perfectly fits the shape of a rocket. My planet loving son is very fond of rockets and UFOs.  I cut a yellow paper according to the size of the tube to cover the tube. Then two sets of blue and green strips, a few stars and circles to decorate the rocket. I also cut 3 legs for the rocket with a free hand design. A cone was made of the same orange card stock which I used for the legs. 

First glue all the decorations on the base paper. By this time my son who was sleeping got up. He wanted to be part of this activity. So I told him to apply glue all over the back of the yellow base paper. I glued it to the cardboard tube. With a sharp knife I made 3 insertions a little above the bottom of the tube for the legs in a way that the legs would touch the ground once inserted. Insert the orange legs inside. The conical top was glued to the top part. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fathers day greeting card

Fathers day is coming up soon. So my son and I got busy making something handmade for his Daddy. 

I have been pondering over this topic quite some time.what would be the best gift by a 28 month old. I wanted something Avaneesh can understand and love making. So I thought of a slogan' Daddy you are my star'. Avaneesh loves stars and planets. He is always singing twinkle twinkle little star. So this theme works in many ways. I cut shapes of stars out of a card stock. First he painted the stars yellow. Once done he started painting the background. I gave him blue watercolors. He painted the paper with layers of color. Avaneesh placed the star on the wet color. I let it dry.

Coincidentally he had placed the big star and other smaller star near each other.This gave me the idea of making a Daddy star and baby star. Initially I had thought of making only Daddy star. He glued googly eyes on the stars. I drew the smile on their 'faces'. 

I wrote the message inside. Avaneesh who is just learning to write. He can write a few odd shaped alphabets which include M, D and so. I told him to make a D on the card. 
when Daddy came home he gave to him saying " Look I made a Daddy star and a Baby star" Daddy loved it very much. He was very touched. 

What are your plans for Fathers day?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tea time - Me time!!

Being a full time mom of a energetic, very active and full time excited 2 year old means I really need my cup of tea in peace. I make it a point to style it a bit just so that I feel pampered and grown up for a while. 

The other reason I decorate, organize and set up the table all the time like a person with OCD( oh well who am I kidding I do have OCD lol) OK so the reason is that I want my son to pick these little things, learn to decorate and style the corners of the house. I have seen some male friends who can oh -so beautifully arrange the table and some men who don't help their spouse/moms even a tad bit. I would like my son to be like the former type.

 And as you know parents are the best role models so I do my bit!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Spring/Summer activity with kids: DIY coasters

In case you are wondering where I have been for so many weeks. Since March I have started afternoon creative activities with my son who is now 28 months old and has started showing keen interest in learning new things. So every afternoon we do these activities.It gives me immense pleasure, happiness and creative satisfaction to think and create different creative projects for him.These are on varied topics like maths, science, art, craft and many other. 
I have started writing a personal blog where I store all the creative activities/projects I do with him. By the end of the year I intend to print that blog. I find a blog a good way to write daily and store pictures more like a online private scrapbook. It keeps me busy and fulfills my creative desire to write( a blog). 

Anyways some of my friends&relatives( whose kids are around the same age group)asked me to share some of the projects/activities I do with my little ones. Since the other blog I have lots of personal pictures I do not intend to make it public fearing that my son's pictures will be swimming on the internet. I don't know how mom bloggers do that. Anyways I will be sharing some on activities/DIYs/ projects here on this blog. So here it goes. The first one I have selected to share is a set of clay spring coasters we made.

There are lots of Gulmohar trees all around Dubai. One day when I took Avaneesh(26 months then) to play on the grass. I started gathering flowers while he played. He saw that and he also started gathering flowers in his dump truck. I kept the Gulmohar flowers in the fridge to keep them fresh for a day or two. I had planned to make coasters by pressing flowers in air dry clay to store the memories of spring/summer flowers.

I made two balls of the air dry clay. One for me and one for Avaneesh. I showed Avaneesh how to roll the clay. He did exactly same. Rolling the clay into the base circle by pressing it and later with the rolling pin. It took some time to completely cover the base with the clay. Once done I took out the flowers from the fridge. First we separated the petals from the flowers. Then started placing and pressing the petals on our coasters. 

Then he rolled the coasters with a rolling pin to press the flowers firmly in the coasters.

Then I put it in the sunlight to air dry it. Avaneesh just couldn't stop putting flowers on them. 

Later when he was taking his afternoon nap I put a layer of Moshe podge on them.The clay had air dried by next morning. They make nice coasters.

Using the things made by your kids in daily use increases their confidence. Any child wants to do things to make their parents proud. 

Joining party at BNOP!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Floral arrangement for summer

It is getting nice and warm day by day. The sun roof in the dining room brings bright sun shine all day long. Makes the room so lively. The desire to decorate and make the dining table increases by all the sun shine. So now the dining table does not have the 'ready to eat' look but ' ready to party'  look. What better way to add colors to any room other than flowers. For the love for floral arrangements I did a certificate course in floral design. Although I admit that most of my designs come up impromptu without much attention to the traditional setups. Here is what I did recently. 

Curled up the leaves on the sides all around. Blues, purples and pink with hints of white giving it a wavy symmetry with few leaves springing out to add a little drama.  

Some more pictures. Wooden jars giving them company. 

A glimpse of my living room in the background. 

Have a lovely weekend!!

Joining party @ BNOP!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

On my table

I am not a food photographer but these luscious, delicious, juicy, sweet cherries where screaming to be photographed. I thought I should take a picture of them before we devoured them!! 

These juicy, yummilicious strawberries ...divine .. just cannot get enough of them!!

Summer is the time for ice cream..Another excuse for digging into the selection of ice creams available in the market. This one was rich, creamy, sweet and tangy mango flavored.

Summer is the perfect time for fresh fruits, ice creams and anything everything that you can make with it!! Enjoy them while they last!!

Images taken by me @ home.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Floating flowers centerpiece

Flowers can add pizzazz to any room instantly with ease. Although I make and believe in proper floral arrangements with perfect shape using florist foam and suitable vase. You can see the several floral arrangements I have done till date here. There are times when I just want to take it easy plus I have some flowers fallen from the stems( How we hate seeing that). It is those times when floating flowers seems to be the easiest way out.  Floating flowers in a bowl or uruli are one of the easiest way to instantly perk up decor.

One can use different combinations of store bought or home grown flowers and make a striking floral designs. It goes well with traditional Indian decor for a India themed or Bollywood themed party.  These metal bowl called uruli are traditionally used for cooking of which I have no connection left ( just kidding) This arrangement looks good outdoors and indoors as well. Many resorts and restaurants even spas incorporate these to create a traditional welcoming effect.

I have some orchids and roses in the uruli with two of my candle holders doing a part time job of single flower vase:)

Image taken by me@home.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring/summer table decor

Spring/ early summer is the time which brings not only happiness, flowers, colors along but also it is also for socializing, meeting friends, parties. We had first guests of this season.  We had guests this weekend so I decked up the dining table. 

I made a flower arrangement in a milk jug, Nothing much!! The flowers looked pretty as it is. We had a cheese platter to go with the drinks. I brought out the small sized cheese cutting board. It usually does the job of looking pretty in the glass cabinet;)

I took the pictures in a hurry as I was running late. We were odd numbered adults so I placed 3 on one side and 2 on other.  Guess where my 2 year old sits - always on the narrow side where usually the head of family sits:) now you know who calls the shots here..Haha!!

For the first time, I made the main & dessert recipes with wonderful recipes I found on internet. I am so glad it all turned out amazingly good.  We had spiced tofu and mozzarella cheese skewers for starter, barbecued Salmon with couscous and arugula salad. For dessert we had delicious and sumptuous fruit salad ( perfect after a hearty meal) 

Joining the party at BNOP, Show&tell party!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Where to eat in Zurich, Switzerland? Zeughauskeller - A must visit restaurant

If after living in Zurich for 4 long years if I cannot recommend you a restaurant it will be a shame. It was our favorite restaurant. We loved it for its delicious food , its decor and service. It is a traditional Swiss restaurant where you can enjoy traditional and authentic Swiss German food. 

The building was build in 1487. It was build for storing weapons and ammunition. The name Zeughas means arsenal storehouse. After the war in the Middle ages, in 1926, the weapons were gone and life became sociable. It was then the arsenal building became a restaurant- a place to enjoy- with visitors from all corners of the world. 

The restaurant has a large open space with an collection of weapons and armour suits decorating the walls. A huge anti-aircraft gun over the entrance invites you inside. One of the weapons on the wall is the William Tell's actual crossbow.

The windows are large with beautiful old style pattern. You get the view of the charming street of old town Zurich. The wooden ceiling has ornate design and chandeliers.

One of the dish on the menu is the "Mayor's Sword"- a real sword brought to the table wrapped with pork.

 The restaurant is located near Bahnhofstrasse. If you are travelling by tram, the best way is to stop at Paradeplatz and walk across Bahnhofstrasse. 

The place is always buzzing and lively. They always busy. There was always at lunch or dinner there was a queue outside. So it is best to book in advance. The service there is excellent and fast. WE have been there so many times and the food and service was always excellent. They wear traditional attire which makes it very interesting. 

Price: 50 CHF onwards
Website: Zeughauskeller

Image 1: Here All other Images taken by me@Zeughauskeller.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

In my son's library: The way back home by Oliver Jeffers


My son is 26 months old and loves books(touch wood!!) The way back home is the first book of author Oliver Jeffers I have bought for him. This book is perfect for toddlers. Introduces to the world of mystery, aliens and adventure. It is a interesting tale of a little boy who finds a airplane in his cupboard. He gets stuck on the moon and meets a alien. They become friends and help each other to get back home.  It is good for introducing to the elements of universe- dark space, stars, planets, moon. It is perfect for toddlers.

What I like about this book : 

Imagination : I think toddlers world should be like this full of imagination, without the logic of real life, thinking and dreaming about the (im)possible.
Emotions: I like that the book explores many emotions like being alone, afraid, friendship, helping each other,being tired and distracted,parting with a friend and worrying if they  would see each other.
Beautiful illustrations and text: Story is told in simple watercolor illustrations and short sentences. I think toddlers lose interest if the text is too much. Also this way I can tell him more from the pictures and ask what and why questions well. It also is a good book to start reading on own for kids.Since the text is short it gives me a chance to tell / explain the story/ pictures. 
Board book: As  I said this book is perfect for 2 year olds especially in their early 2s like my son. 

What my son learns from this: 
- about planets and moon
- aliens and humans 
- airplane and UFO
- helps develop  imagination
- emotions

Questions I ask my child while/ after reading the book:
- which planet do we/ aliens live on?
- what color is planet earth and mars?
- what is the boy/ alien doing( in the picture) and why?
Which planet you like? ( its always Mars:))
- Imagine finding a airplane/ going to the moon/meeting a alien

Last but not the least, all children are different and that's the beauty of life. The views and opinions in this book review are based on my experience with my son.