Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter activity for toddlers: Painting Easter eggs

My son was so excited to see Easter bunny ears in the local store. He wears them every day whereever we go the bunny ears are on his head. He feels he is a bunny- jumping and hopping like one. That gave me an idea of doing an activity of painting eggs.

I bought some ceramic eggs with a string from the store. They will make good ornament for X-mas tree I think.. to remember lovingly when I am old about the days when he was 26 months old:) 




Then the painting started. He asked for colors. As usual he asked for his favorite colors - red and yellow. I gave him blue as well. 

This is the result of the activity. He played with colors and painted more things other than the eggs:) I made sure he painted all the white parts on the eggs..well almost:)

 

This activity took half hour or so. 



What he learned from this activity:
Mixing colors: red and yellow makes orange. Yellow and blue makes green. It is fun to see his face when mixing these colors result in different colors. 
Painting on rounded shape: usually he paints on flat surface so this is something  different. 
Egg origin: birds,crocodile, snakes give eggs.

Question I asked my son: 
mixing yellow and red makes which color?
Who gives eggs? ( he knows hen/ chicken gives egg) 
What shape is the egg?

A fun activity for the Easter Sunday!!


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


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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. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Artist of the week: Maria Torroba


Spanish artist Maria Torroba's art is refreshing and unique. I want to share with you marvelous and visually enchanting art of this fabulous artist.  Her work is inspired by the great portraits of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. She uses unique and subtle techniques of mixed-media along with diverse range of materials and creates richly intricate works.


She creates fabulous and original new works of oil and collage, incorporating Spanish and Belgian linens, antique lace embroidered by her grandmother, ribbons, hessian,intricate silk, stamped cotton, sackcloth and even shells collected on her travels. Torroba playfully combines tradition with contemporary. She bring her characters’ garments to life and transports them to the present day. 



Marìa Torroba has developed a distinctive technique and flare preceded by her successful watercolor nature studies. Her artwork has that has taken her paintings from Spain to Mexico, to Shanghai to Argentina. 

Her work is on display at London's Stephaniehoppen Gallery. 
To admire more of her work 
do visit her website here.



Image courtesy: Maria Torroba

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Hibiscus centerpiece


Styling a centerpiece for a table gets so much easier and lovable when you have fresh cut flowers from your garden, isn't it? Having blooms to my plants makes me happy because that means they are happy.. I am taking good care of them.. Doing something right !! I am sure you would agree with me more if you are as emotional as me:)



Hibiscus is found in variety of colors - I have 3 plants- orange, red and pink. When we have sunshine and fresh blooms from our garden I believe there is no need to over decorate them. With hibiscus you have to enjoy them when are in full bloom since they stay open only for a day in a vase and 2 days on the plant. 
 Just putting them in a pretty vase or jar will add loads of  beauty. Just let the flowers talk. 




I used a small silver jar. It's main purpose of for sugar cubes, mouth fresheners like peppermint or other Indian ones , candies or dry foods. A Ikea candle holder plate and 
some of my wooden blocks. The bird is ceramic and looks very much real. I choose a ivory table runner. All of these things are from different countries where we lived before and have lovely memories attached to it. I don't know if it is the attached memories or just the flowers  that makes it special to me. 




Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lets have a tea party- Vivel Patissarie,Dubai

I am a kind of a person who loves good food and is passionate about design. So when these two come together I just want to scream and shout about it! 

Vivel Patisserie in Dubai Mall is one of them. It is known for its exquisite Iranian sweets, dates chocolate and gourmet teas. Their window display is a visual treat.



Macaroons, Iranian sweets,  chocolates , dry fruits, candied dry fruits and many other delicious looking sweets arranged in towers, glass tier arrangements, in pretty jars and glass pedestal bowls. They have themed displays as per the season. This is for the spring season.


The artistic display continues inside inside as well. There are lots to see before you even think of eating the sweets:)  The gorgeous details include beautiful chandelier, the intricate gold patterns on black wall paper, wooden shelves with amazing selection of gourmet teas, various types of tea pots and colorful packaging boxes.


What I loved most is this big beautiful Arabic painting on the wall near the cozy little seating area. It immediately creates a mood - relaxing, regal, happiness and style. A tea party with dance and music, tea and sweets in Arabic setting. 



            The pastries collection includes over 200 pastries with exotic and unique flavors and shaped by hand. They have around 40 varieties of tea. Most of them are perfumed with fruits, flowers or spices. 

Facebook: Vivel Patissarie


This restaurant review is not sponsored and all the views/ opinions are mine.  


Images: 1,2,3 Vivel Facebok, 4 taken by me.(



Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Art



Inspired by spring I made these illustrations on small notebooks. They are done with ink and pen. These are spiral notebooks with handmade paper covers. Looking at these notebooks lightens up my day especially on gloomy dull day. It makes making list of mundane chores much easier:)

I painted a book cover with Madhubani art sometime back. You can see that here.

Do you hate making list of banal chores then either buy or decorate your little book with something that cheers you up!!!




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Table vignette at home


Currently I am drawn ( read: obsessed) by lanterns. I have collected some 4 lanterns by now. It seems that I cannot get enough of Arabic and Moroccan lanterns now a days:)   This one is currently been displayed as a part of my table vignette in the living room. It looked kind of lonely, bare alone so I added some other things I am fetish about. 


Wooden block-printing blocks, antic wooden moon cake mould, a round  hand painted & enameled trinkets box. Most of them bought from Hong Kong when we lived there. The wooden placemat is from Malaysia.  


The moon cake mould is antic- some 80 years old. It has engraving of a wedding couple. It is said to be uncommon if not rare now a days. All things in my house have wonderful memories attached to it. I think that's the way it should be. So do collect unique items instead of the common souvenirs when you visit places. You might have to go a little out of the way for these but nothing impossible. Do research or ask a  local friend. 


Joining the party at BNOP

All images taken by me@home. 



Monday, April 7, 2014

Artist of the Week: Eleanor Stuart



In case you are having Monday blues today's post will help you cheer up. Today I am featuring the super talented and creative person who makes fun and witty products with her illustration which adults as well as children will like. I think this combination is a bit rare, isn't it? ..And that's why she is the artist of the week.

Eleanor Stuart is a designer and illustrator based in London. She turns her illustrations into fine bone china plates, greetings cards and art prints.  Eleanor creates original pieces using a variety of media, from pens, ink, pencil and digital processes. Her work is bold, fun and very creative- filled with youthful imagination . She loves is to create work that makes people stop and smile. 




I love her Alice in Wonderland collection which includes plates and stationery featuring illustration of characters from the original story.  Her witty and charming collection include The Alice CollectionThe Alphabet Collection,  The Animal Collection, The Tiny Collection. 

You can see more of her work on her Website. She also has a Etsy shop.




Image courtesy: Eleanor Stuart






Friday, April 4, 2014

Style my room: Nature abundance


Hi friends!! Have you made any weekend plans? The weather is dull here. Its been pouring here all night. While looking for something to beat the weather blues , 
 I came across this picture. There is something so relaxing and calming in this picture. I instantly felt better. I wondered what if I could jump inside this picture, sit and relax. How wonderful it would be, isn't it? Since that's fanciful thinking,  I thought what I have to do to get this kind of look to my house.. Imagining of course, that I had all the resources:)( more day dreaming) Lets see how to get the look!!




What caught my eye in this picture:
Sunshine: One of the essential design factor is light- natural light is the best. Sunshine makes everything look so good and more the better. If there is blue water reflecting the sunshine that is pure bliss.

Flowers: Even a hint of natural flowers, nature, greenery makes it all worthwhile. That makes a place looks livable, happy and charming. I think the white flowers in the vase kind of softens the entire picture.

Wooden Furniture and flooring: The brown wood gives the entire look a perfect balance. It is creates an  warm and homely feeling. 

So what does the picture say to you?!!






Image courtesy: unknown via Pinerest 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Decorating with marigolds- indian themed floral arrangement withcontemporary twist


Marigold is a flower which is usedin India on any festive event. It is important part of Indian wedding decor and also during festivals. Flower shops in India are brimming with an abundant variety of flowers - especially marigolds any time of the year. 

Inspite of the abundance or because of it I feel marigold gets treated as a flower not worth to be put in vase for decoration or in flower arrangements. 
To break the myth I thought I will showcase some fabulous ways marigold is used to decorate in a chic and elegant style. I will start with the one I love the most.



             

Isn't this gorgeous!! I haven't seen a unique marigold decoration better than this ever- not in real life or on internet. This beautiful arrangement is made by Florali. It is made of zinnias, cosmos, peonies and marigold..all in vase wrapped in sari!! Wow !!  You must visit their blog to see the unique and extraordinary floral design done by them

I would love to try this as soon I see some marigolds in this dessert, maybe in winter or Diwali time. Would you like to try something like this - marigold in a different style and form of decoration for that festive occasion - like Diwali? 

More arrangements to decorate with marigold are coming up soon..


  This image is from Pinterst. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

April travel destination- Japan

What comes to your mind when you hear the word spring. My mind drifts to a beautiful, peaceful, cool place with blue skies, green grass and cherry blossom trees. Find a perfect place under a blooming Cherry blossom tree, spread the blanket, enjoy wine with friends and family. When the wind blows the delicate petals will fall like snowflakes. Ahh ..almost sounds like a dream but no this is happening in Japan right now. A perfect place to enjoy the arrival of spring and celebrate is Japan.  Sakura or Cherry Blossom blooming time is considered as the start of Spring as well as rebirth in Japan. 




In springtime Japan is nothing less than magical. From end of March to mid April or even till early May is the season of the iconic Sakura / Cherry Blossom blooming period. The beautiful pink flowers blanket the country in soft, colorful splendor. The blooming time of the cheery blossom varies as per the geographical location and weather. You can check the blooming period timetable on Japan's travel sites like japan-guide. It gives you the forecast of the Sakura season. You can also get information about the favorite cherry blossom viewing spots. There are festivals held to celebrate this beautiful time. 



Friends and family gather for picnics, spreading blankets under the cherry trees. 
This tradition of ´hanami´ includes attending tea ceremonies and festivals, or just walking beneath the flurry of pink petals. The falling petals are known as 'sakura fubuki' which literally translates into cherry blossom snowfall. 






Signing off with this lovely video of Sakura in Japan!!!!!! This is where I would like to be right now!!!




Pictures from Japan guide. 

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