Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Let us continue the festivities..

Last week this day ,the house was filled with the fragrance of flowers and incense sticks. In the evening, warm glow from the tiny diyas spread happiness and love in every corner .Their flames danced in the cool breeze. Akashkandil -paper lantern, diyas and the twinkling string of led lights dazzled the outdoors. Rangoli designs were made by sprinkling the white powder all over and making designs in a heap of powder with 2 year old insisting on 'helping' me. My son's eyes gleamed with joy to see the shapes we made with the sparklers.   

After day 3 of Diwali, some flowers in the garlands began to dry.. became dull, brownish. It is then when you realize that the festival will soon be over. How we wish that it would last a bit longer, isn't it? The festival won't but what I would like very much is for the decorations and euphoria of the festivities to continue a bit longer. I hate to remove the decorations down so early but then I had to save the ones which are still so much alive and happy.. 

Let them spread the love and joy.. So I took down all the garlands, cut the string and sort out the better ones. You can make this with fresh flowers as well. 
Take a slightly deep dish and fill it with just enough water to dip the stem of the flower. This helps to keep them fresh for many days even week(s) additionally it looks good from aesthetic point of view. This vase is a heirloom .. Belonged to my grandparents.. I was so happy when my father gave it to me.

 As for now I am happy that I get to enjoy the flowers , cherish the memories and continue the festivities. They make a good centerpiece as well!! This centerpiece can be good for India themed party or Indian wedding. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween DIY treat bag ideas

Halloween is just around the corner - just a few days away. Here are some last minute , easy to make DIY ideas with free printable and a tutorial as well. Halloween treat bags are a must. Instead of just handing out the candies or cookies , lets personalize them, make it extra special for the little ones- something different ..something unique..something thoughtful !!! My son is invited to a Halloween party and we are super excited. I really want to make a treat bag which they will remember and say" That lady is so amazingly  creative"..Hahhaaa.
Avaneesh's mom is so cool..LoL

So lets look at the round up of ideas.. 

This is a  Halloween party invitation but I think it will look good as a treat box. You can see the tutorial and download the printable from do-it-yourselves invitations. Instead of "You're invited ", print BOO or happy Halloween label.

Another cute Halloween treat bag idea !! These are mummy, pumpkin, Frankenstein and vampire free printable. Just print on paper and have to roll into cones. So simple and so adorable!! Free printable and tutorial can be found on like a pretty putinia.

Something homemade creative to fill the treat bag ..... If you have time on hand and if you find these cute little knifes, give bleeding red velvet truffles a try. Get the recipe from Cookies and cups.

My son loves gingerbread man. This ginger bread skeleton is a new twist to the traditional story. Make the gingerbread man cookie and make the skeleton on it with royal icing !! 
This is from Martha Stewart

Some last minute decorations for your front door. These Lanterns are super easy to make with paper cups and led lights. See Australian baby blog for the tutorial.

If you want to make a family dinner Halloween menu, this is tomato and mascarpone soup with witches broom dippers are perfect starter. I found it in a local grocery shop - Spinneys.  
You can get the recipe here.

This one is also from the same store's website. The orange is scooped out and carved. It is then filled with orange and hazelnut salad. You find the easy and quick recipe here

Some fun games for toddlers. This 'I spy' print is too cute!! I am thinking of putting it with the Halloween treat bags. These free printable can be downloaded from pleasantest thing.

You can see the Halloween ideas I have shared earlier here

So what I am planning to make.. well the plan is to carve a watermelon, cutify some healthy treats like raisin - boxes which are so popular among toddlers, coconut and chocolate truffles, customized to the theme treat bags and some more. 

Wish me luck..:)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Happy Diwali!!

The Festival of Lights is the time when we think of the triumph of good over evil, of light over dark. May this Deepavali bring you lots and lots of happiness in your life and fulfill all your dreams !! 

A very happy Diwali to everybody!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Diwali centerpiece- Flowers, colors and candles

Every year I make it a point to do a different Diwali centerpiece on all five days. The time of Diwali makes me all charged up to do something new.. dress up the center table and the dining table in different style. Flowers, lanterns, lights, diya, colors so many beautiful things you can decorate the house with and all of them together.. and the quantity does not matter.. more the merrier!! I have used flowers, colors and candles - a few of the aspects of decorating for Diwali - in this centerpiece today! 

Today's centerpiece has these three aspects..In the center is Urli with floating flowers from the garden .. surrounded by tea lights floating in brass diyas. On both sides I kept devdas samai using them as a flower pot this time !! 

Tomorrow is the big day and I still have to make gujiyas so I need to run to the kitchen:))

Happy Diwali to you all !! 

Diwali centerpiece: simple and quirky

Surprise your guests with simple and quirky decor ideas. Style the samai in different ways other than the traditional way. Remove the stem and fill them with water. Float tea light or some flowers in it. These are sure to grab attention!!

Shared these on Facebook a couple of days ago but took time to get to the computer to translate into a Blog post!!

Image mine taken @ home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Diwali centerpiece: Create a medley of colors and lights

Hi everyone!! Sharing with you all some Diwali centerpieces I create a few days back. We usually like to relax and sit in the living room chit chatting, watching the flickering, twinkling lights of the diya, reminiscing our memories of Diwali in our childhood, relishing the sweets and Diwali faral. 
This time now that our son is 2 so we tell him about the stories about Diwali. We have some crackers as well- sparklers and a few noise free/ less noisy crackers. 
This is probably more or less similar tradition in many families.
So the dining table is more or less not used. But don't forget to deck it. 

You can deck it up with a plate of diya or elaborately with a spread of diyas and lanterns. Create a unique arrangement, mix lanterns/ candle holders - old and new, metal and glass, Indian and Moroccan like in my case. 

Create a medley and enjoy the colors, bling and lights!

Images taken @home by me.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Freebie: Diwali printable labels - Diwali gift tags

Its freebie time!! I made some labels yesterday for the gifts I will be giving to my friends. It is a sheet of labels - 12 in total. Print and cut them.
Some things you can do with them:

Keep them either inside the gift box or stick it on the top. 

You can put a golden string through it and tie to the gift box as a gift tag. 

Make a banner.

Spread them on the buffet table here and there with flowers.

Make a small greeting card by sticking it to a folded card.

Do share how you used them. 

 These can be downloaded from here

As usual these are for personal use only. 

Recently I have been sharing lots of free printable on my Facebook. Its just convenient for me....can post on go. Blogger does not work very well on my smart phone. Its a bit frustrating. So join me on Facebook if you haven't done that already;)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Getting into the mood - Diwali centerpiece

Hi Friends!! Diwali preparations are in fast pace at my place as the day is arriving soon. Still have so much to do. The Diwali parties have already started. Its nice to be with friends and enjoy the festival with them. 

To get my dining table ' in' the festive mood I thought I should change its decor. We found some beautiful flowers from our walk. Floating flowers feel like zen isn't it?!! Something about them is so relaxing and calming, it instantly puts me in a happy mood. This small copper urli and the diyas are some new addition to my collection. 

It is so much fun to wrap gifts for Diwali. Just now wrapped a couple of them. I have to run now as I have a Diwali party to attend. 
***Happy dance*** 
Till then happy weekend to you all!!

How to make clay/terracotta diyas or lamps for Diwali

Hello all!! How is your Diwali preparations coming about? Today I am sharing with you a easy way to make clay diyas. If you are living out of India then you might have the same problem like me. Its hard to find diyas in bulk. Even if we find a handful we are elated isn't it?!!

I made some 100 diyas so I thought I should share some of my learning here :) I am sure there are various ways to make a clay/ terracotta diya , the best one ofcourse the ones made with potters wheel.  
This is how I made them.

You will need:
Terracotta modelling paste 
1 ready made diya which is made by a professional potter/ceramicist
Baking tray

Make a ball of the modelling paste. Insert it in the ready made diya . Give it a proper shape using your thumb. Keep it in the tray which you will use for baking them.

With slightly wet fingers enhance the shape and remove fine lines. 
Bake it as per instructions. I baked it in the oven f0r 30 minutes at 150 degrees.

Its time to decorate and embellish them. There are numerous fantastic ways of doing that. 
I decorated them with sunny boy. Asking your kids to do that is the best way. 

We used the brightest colors possible with 3- 5 coats on each. We painted them in one color in and out and some with different colors on both side. Some sequins and glitter for embellishment. 

Make different simple patterns of rangoli using them. They will look gorgeous when you light them. I made a circular one over here. 

Pictures taken by me@home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Creating a vignette for Diwali with recycled mason jars

Decorating your house for Diwali, festival of light, is most satisfying, pleasurable, happiest part of the festival. I think creating small vignettes with lights in different corners/nooks looks better than creating only one in one place. It is fun to experiment with different objects in your house. The basic principle to keep in mind is "If it is pretty you can use it to create a vignette and decorate your house".

The vignette I am sharing with you today is a very easy arrangement - colorful, bright and with bling.  The colored jars are recycled , hand painted and home decorated which makes any project especially one for festivals so unique. Anything made with/by children makes it so precious to the family isn't it?!! It is made with love:) 

Start by arrange the jars in symmetry - height-wise or size-wise. Try ordering them in different positions which will give you the idea as to which suits you the most. 
Find a backdrop. It need not be a tablecloth , it could be any attractive and visually appealing cloth you have.  I have used my pink shawl underneath which provides a soft and sweet backdrop (I think that about pink!). The shawl is of perfect size to cover the round table. 

I have been collecting these little mason jars -jam and honey bottles for a while. So finally I had them in enough quantity additionally Diwali is coming soon. It is a perfect time to use them.
So sunny boy under my direction painted the jars in varied bright colors. We used red, blue,orange,yellow, green and purple. Paint it from all sides. When they were still a bit wet I have him sequins and glitter to embellish them. A golden string went around their neck. 

What I like when doing any decor project with sunny boy is that his strokes are more natural and roughly made unlike mine. If I were do I would tried hard to make it perfect in one direction and the resulting outcome would not have been so good.
 As you can imagine he went crazy with it. Soon he was all covered in glitter:)

Coming back to our vignette, the easy way to create a connection is by placing something that visually connects them like I have used flowers. These are the common factor between the pieces of arrangement. Real ones will look better. Poor me ..where will I find real lotus in this desert (sigh)  Do see my tip on how to keep flowers alive and fresh outside the water for long here

Flowers soften the setting plus gives life to the arrangement. You can never go wrong with them. A little dose or whole bunch in the background both work when you don't want them to overpower the setting. The bead necklace was given to me by my masi- maternal aunt - when I was 5 or 7. It was that WOW feeling I had felt or rather I remember of first time in my life. It still makes me so happy to see it.

I am guilty of using smart phone to take pictures. My Dlsr is lying in dust somewhere in the cupboard. That's why no matter how hard I tried I couldn't take a better picture of the vignettes at night. It looked dazzling in person even if I said that myself :)

This display can be made with clear glass tea light holders or drinking glasses of different sizes as well.  

Stay tuned more Diwali decor ideas coming your way!!!

Use led tealights if you have young children. The light won't be as bright but it is safe. 

All pictures taken by me@home. 

Joining party @BNOP, Home and Garden, Show &tell, Home sweet home, 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Creative Weekend in Dubai

Hello beautiful people!! Hope you all are enjoying your weekend!!! Weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday. So ours have ended ( sad !) Never in my life I dreaded Sunday but now it is like Monday. Still getting used to this concept , I end up calling Sunday as Monday almost always. 

I shouldn't be complaining though since this weekend turned out to be quite productive and very amusing !! We went to the beach late afternoon to enjoy the sunset. The temperature is rising again so beach picnics in day time are not possible. While coming back to Business Bay we saw a muster of peacocks along the road. It is not uncommon to see them wandering on this road. From little I know , these peacock belong to the King and they have their home somewhere hidden in the green patch. It was the first time we saw so many all together. There were 8-10 peacocks, peahens and cute little pea chicks walking along the road. They are not shy - not a bit. A peacock waited for us and posed. 

I finished making my Akash kandil - traditional paper lantern. Its not easy to make especially if you have a curious toddler jumping around, sitting on your lap wanting to touch and "help". The structure is difficult/ tricky to make. It is made with dowels tied together in squares and traingles. They need to be in exact same shape and size from all sides to keep it intact. I want to make one more. If I do I will definitely do a tutorial.

Sunny boy and I made tealight holders/ glass lanterns from recycled bottles. He painted and decorated them with glitter and sequins. Look at his hands full of golden glitter . He sat there admiring his hands and sprinkling them around. A tutorial and table decor with these is coming up soon! 

Made 50 or so Terrecotta diyas. I moulded them with hand and then baked them for 30 minutes. I intend to paint them soon. My plan is to make 100 diya for this Diwali to decorate the outdoors. 

Diwali bunting is ready and hanging. I have shared the free pattern and tutorial in the last blog post. If you like it download and print it. 

Do share what you did this weekend!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Freebies: Diwali project for kids-Diwali Bunting DIY - Diwali free bunting pattern!

Hellooo !! Hope you all are having a lovely weekend!! Its time for sharing freebie printable with you all!! Diwali or Deepavali or Deepawali - is getting nearer. 

To me and many like me Diwali is to make decorations and eatables at home, homemade creations..the joy of doing something for the festival together with your kids..This is a perfect and easy project to do with children this Diwali!!! 

There are lot of free Diwali stuff coming your way!! This is a free Diwali Bunting pattern !! (Yay)

SO lets add that extra zing to the Diwali party and the living room with this festive bunting 'Shubh Deepavali'. I made it in two colors ' boondi ke laddoo' orange and ' jalebi ' yellow colors with pattern. The text is written in Indian-style- English font which makes it look prettier.

Here's how you can make the Diwali bunting.. 

Some things you might need to complete the bunting :

Scissors, a punch and string.

Ok now that you have got all the things in hand..

Step 1) Print all the bunting shapes on A4 paper.. could be a cardstock, plain printing paper or textured paper.Fold along the center line properly and cut the two sides with a sharp scissor.

Step 3) Punch each bunting along the center line..

Step 4) String them together..

Make either one single long bunting like this.. 

This will go well if you have a long piece of furniture like buffet table, cupboard, long wall, staircase etc

Or two buntings to be arranged one above other .. This way it look good on fire place , mantel , table , windows etc

You can download the free Deepavali pdf from here !!! 

If you have problem downloading please let me know. 

*All you have to do is download or save and print! 

Its for personal use only. 

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