DIY Projects for Diwali

Hi Readers,

It is about a month for the festival of lights and here are some easy and fun projects for this Diwali.

DIY Diya painting

Diwali - 2

Diwali Flower Wreath

Diwali - 3

Clay Urli Pot for floating candles and flowers

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Fun kids craft

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Paper Lotus wall/floor art

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Clay Candle holders

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Paper Marigold – festive decorations

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Air-dry clay Diyas

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Ganesha Wreath

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DIY Paper Toran/Garland

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Diwali Rangoli

Diwali -8

Hope you enjoy making some of these projects 🙂  See you all in my next post.

Palavelli for Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh pooja without palavelli seems incomplete. In the southern part of India, especially Andra Pradesh it is a tradition to hang the wodden grid called palavelli above Lord Ganesha during Ganesh pooja. The pooja prep starts with placing the palavelli.

When we were kids we used to wait for my dad to tie it up to the window and we would decorate it with hanging fruits, mango leaves and flowers. Same was the case with my husband’s family when they were kids. So for both of us Ganesh pooja has fond memories and he is our favorite god too 🙂

And we both performed the pooja post marriage with the same enthusiasm and devotion but one thing that we missed was the palavelli. We thought we should get one from India in our next visit.

However, my husband decided to make one from the basic wood trims and dowel rods available @ Homedepot. He designed it in a way that it can be taken apart easily and reassemble too. Here is how it looks 🙂

IMG_3511It is simple, easy and a quick project. And we have been using from past 5 years and it still looks great and easy to assemble every year before pooja.

All the supplies are available at the local home improvement store..

What you need:

Decorative trims from Homedepot  – 8 pieces ( sold as 8 ft panels and the HD staff helped us to cut into 2 ft trims)

1/2 inch Hardwood round dowels from Homedepot

Magnets – 8

Small hardware nails

Hot Glue Gun/Gorilla wood glue

Basic wood squares (left over from my Golu Padi Project)

Let’s assemble the pieces:

Start by laying the decorative trims as a grid (4×4) and use hot glue gun/wood glue to glue the pieces.
10599411_10152720817357059_8937066836147588088_n[1].jpgUse the hardware nails and add the small wood square base to the dowel rod. This helps in giving some support and stand up well as a mandir. 10457930_10152720814772059_6552548086848904735_n[1]Next add the mangets on the 4 corners of the grid and the dowel rods. Make sure you place the magents on the right side before gluing them. The magnets glue well with hot glue gun.

And Tadahh…..

10641157_10152720817662059_3617094739710470055_nYou have the palavelli ready. Decorate the grid and the dowels rods as per your style.

If you have a plan to hang it you can totally skip the dowel rods and hang the grid and use it. And post pooja they are easy to store as well.

Here is a picture from 2016.

img_3493This year Ganesh pooja is falling on a public holiday ( here in the US). I have a week left and can’t wait to make a handmade idol and have the pooja pictures in my next post.. 🙂

Happy Ganesh Pooja!!

Varalakshmi Vratam 2019

Like every year this year too I made a new Saree & Pallu Set for Lakshmi Deity and the colors I picked matched mine and Sisira’s attire (a closest match though) ❤

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The fabric I used is a silk Dupioni (available in the US in yards) and the gold and green silk border is from etsy.com. I wish I was able to decide on the colors when I visit India – so I can shop the fabric and other embelishments. But I am glad we find some of the silk fabrics and trims here too.

Hopefully, in my next trip I get a bunch of colors that match all of my silk sarees 😉

Well, the backdrop this year was Lotus. I made these using cardstock and here is my tutorial to make paper lotus. I have considerably reduced the size of the flower compared to the one I have posted in the tutorial to match the occasion. Here is a closer view of the flowers.
IMG_1504 (5)I had a grand plan of setting up those flowers as backdrop but with a super active 17month old I had to change everything and set it up in our prayer room and that has restricted me to decorate. Although I was disappointed for a while I was able to figure out a pattern and loved how everything turned out 🙂
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To glue the lotus flowers I have used painters tape and for the teardrop and the little circles a glue runner and it was pretty quick and sturdy too.

Overall, it was a great day with family and friends.

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And last year ( 2018)  was Sisira’s first pooja and I didn’t get a chance to make a new set – here is a pic of us from last year .

Paper Lotus Wall Art!

Lately, paper crafts have been my go-to party decorations – they are easy, quick and inexpensive too. I did couple of projects on paper flowers and I love how elegant and real they look, if done well.
img_5920One such project is these paper lotus using cardstock from Michaels, I like using a gradient to create these, but of course you can use whatever colors you’d like.

img_5923So, I started with a free tear drop template and resized to 89% while printing. That is the largest size of the petal and the rest 3 sizes were 80%, 69% and 50% respectively.

It took me couple of trails to get the right size – you can vary the sizes too, based on how big you like your flowers and how you’d like to decorate. Once you have the size trace the petals on to a cardstock and gather the pieces and a glue stick.

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Let’s start assembling the flower. 

The flower is made by gathering the petals upside down. Start with the largest teardrop at the bottom and glue the next size petal on top and so on until you finish all the petals.

Turn the flower right side up and you have a pretty lotus ready to use.
img_5887Use the finished lotus as a base to assemble the rest of the flowers.

img_5890To complete the look I added a small circle at the center with some leftover golden cardstock from my previous projects.

img_5912And that’s it – use some painters tape and they are ready to decorate!

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Hope you liked it!! I can’t wait to share the gaint flower backdrop I made for my baby shower.

Easy Baby Blanket – Revisited

One of my all time favourtie and practical gifts for babies and toddlers is Blankets. You can’t have too many of these.

So a must project before baby ‘S’ arrived was a set of blankets in multiple sizes and multiple styles 🙂 They were super handy for the changing weather 🙂

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I have already posted a tutorial on how to make these beautiful baby blankets HERE.

The Giraffe minky blanket and the cat naps fleece blankets are half yard and they were prefect for an infant to use in the carseat/crib.

And this my favorite – we used it for her new born photo shoot ❤
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The other 3 blankets were yard size and are great size for toddlers too. Like I mentioned in my previous post Fleece is my favortie fabric and at Joann Fabric you get a ton of cute prints and most of the days they are on sale.

And the skill level for this project is very basic too – so try your hands and I bet you will not stop making baby blankets 🙂

Cheers.

 

Carrot & Pea patties for Baby/Toddler

I am so excited to share a recipe that will get your kids to eat and love veggies. Here is an easy carrot & pea patties  that are great for baby/toddlers.

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These patties are so versatile that you can serve them as a delicious savory breakfast, pack them in lunchbox or serve them for dinner.

My 1 year old loves finger foods and she eats better if she feeds herself and she loves “Peas” and also asks in a cute way in every meal. So, I had to come up with a recipe that is delicious and quick too.

Yes, these are absolutely quick and all it takes is 20 minutes and 5 ingredients.

img_48191 cup steamed peas and carrots ( or veggies of your choice )

1/2 cup whole wheat flour( ashirwaad aata)

Few sprigs of Coriander

A pinch of ground cardamom/jeera(cumin) powder

1/4 tsp of salt

2 tbsp. of oil/butter

Mash up the steamed veggies, you can use almost any veggie of your choice. img_4810

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and mix together to form a soft dough. With the moisture from the mashed veggies you should be able to form it without adding water.

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Form them as patties and cook them in butter/oil of your choice over medium heat until golden brown, approx. couple of minutes on each side.
img_4813Isn’t that quick healthy yet delicious treat for babies/toddler. For older kids serve with low sugar ketchup or dipping sauce of your choice. img_4818

Baby Burp Cloth

Baby burp cloths make wonderful and practical gifts. They are super useful and can be used in many ways.

I made them as gifts and want to make for my little one too and it is one of the first baby projects I took up. The burp cloths I have done before for my niece and nephews and couple of other friends babies were just basic rectangle ones.

However, this time I wanted to try a new pattern and I must say they were absolutely great and super handy and I still use them and they are always there in my diaper bag.

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They are lot of fun when sewn up in cute flannel prints. The curve helps to stay on your shoulder while burping and also easy to wrap around baby’s neck as a bib 🙂

My mom loved them so much that she always had one on her shoulder ready before burping baby S 🙂

They can be made in cotton or flaneel. Flannel are my personal favorite becoz they are soft on new born’s skin.

img_0131You get 2 burp cloths from half yard of flannel using same fabric front and back.  I love to use different prints front and back so you can use the half yard for 4 burp cloths.

So let’s get started –

The fabric is from Joann, make sure to wash and press the fabric before using. I have used a free pattern available on pinterest, pick the one you find it easy to follow.
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Cut the flannel fabric (front and back) per the pattern and pin them together on the worng side leaving a gap along the opposite side of the inside curve. That opening is to flip the cloths right side out.

Sew the edges leaving the opening. Once sewn cut off the excess fabric and flip the burp cloths right side out.

Fold the excess fabric of the opening inside the burp cloth and pin them together and make a top-stitch all along the burp cloth.

Isn’t that quick, easy and  great baby gift!

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See you all in my next post!

Introducing our bundle of joy – Sisira!!

Hey friends,

I am excited, anxious and terrified all at once to get back here and start writing. Its been more than an year and a lottt of changes have happened. I must say it has been a rollercoaster ride.

I apologize that I have not shared my pregnancy news, why I didn’t post for long and lot of stuff that has happened in the past 1+ year.

Finally, life is getting back to some certanity and I found time to get back to my passion.

So, she is our first and my pregnancy has been a breeze but still I didn’t find time to blog! I was too busy enjoying my pregnancy and getting prepared for the baby and taking up DIY baby projects.

Here she is – We named her Sisira ❤ and she is born on 21 February 2018 ( we named her after the season – Sisira ruthuvu). I can’t believe she is already 1 .

IMG_1238My parents were here from India a week before my due date to help us out and I was so excited – they were visiting us for the first time after our wedding(7 years). We got to celebrate my mom’s birthday after many years together. Here is a pic from my mom’s birthday ❤

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And couple of days later baby S arrived ❤

sisira and me

Life took a huge turn with a newborn and before we were adjusting to the new change – my husband had to take up a new job in Portland, OR (of course, after a lot of thought and deliberation before or after the baby we decided to relocate after the baby is 3 months).

It wasn’t an easy decision because we had to sell our house, our furniture ( we were planning to lease out an apartment) -it was a huge downsizing project. And my parents had to leave to India too, I was recovering from my surgery and Postpartum – it was the most stressful times of our lives and we survived!

 

We will forever miss Arizona, our first home and place where Sisira is born, friends we made and everything about it!

So, all this kept me/us super busy. I am happy to get back and can’t wait to share the tutorials of all the projects I made in the past year.

See you all soon in my next post.

Happy Monday and rest of the week ahead !!

Chunky & Soft Crochet Baby Blanket

I loveee the Bernat Baby Blanet Yarn.

It makes a soft, lush and chunky baby blanket and is perfect as a car seat/stroller blanket.


Because of the thickness of the yarn, it works up super fast and in less time and effort you have a good size blanket that can be used in multiple ways 🙂

This blanket is special to me as I am making it for a new addition to our family. My sister is expecting a baby and she is due in December. They didn’t want to know the gender of the baby so made this neutral shade baby blanket.

This is my first pattern that I came up with and has Chain stitch, Front loop Single crochet (FLSC) & Front loop double crochet (FLDC) stitches.

Here is a tutorial to learn FLSC/FLDC stitch – click here.

Finished blanket is close to 30in*30in and you need a Size 10 crochet hook.

Step 1 : Foundation Stitch – Chain stitch 60 or equals 30 inches in length.

Step 2 :  Row 1- In 2nd chain from hook FLSC (Front loop single crochet) in every chain across and turn.

Row 2–  Chain 1 and  repeat FLSC (Front loop single crochet) in every stitch and turn.

Row 3 – Chain 2 and FLDC (Front loop double crochet) in every stitch and turn. Repeat this for next 4 stitches and turn.

With this the width of the blanket will total to 7 inches.

Step 3 – Repeat Step 2 for next 4 times – so it come to 28 inches ( 7 in *4 = 28)

Step 4 – End the blanket by adding one more FLSC (front loop single crochet) and continue to make a single crochet stitch all around the blanket. That will be the finishing stitch and will make the total size of the blanket approx 30 in * 30 in.

And that’s it you have a beautiful chunky and soft baby blanket ready. And I love the FLDC stitch because it creates a beautiful ridge pattern unlike DC (double crochet) stitch.

This blanket makes great baby shower gifts or new born and is super easy to work with. The total time took for me is 6-8 hours.

Cheers!!

Veggie Loaded Frittata

Last 2 years we have been eating healthy and made many changes to our food choices. Little change have made huge difference and I absolutely feel light, little leaner and have more energy. So, I thought I will share some of those recipes that are quick and healthy.Here is one such protein packed recipe that can be a great breakfast, brunch or dinner and incorporates lot of veggies and eggs 🙂

It can be customized with any vegetables and add-ins (soy chunks/cheese) that you and your family prefers.

Ingredients  (Serves 2-4)

6 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped 

Seasoning and spices of your choice

vegetables(frozen or fresh) and red onion, diced

How to make :

Heat the skillet over medium heat and add some oil/butter and saute garlic and onions until the raw smell is gone and season with some salt, pepper and oregano.Add veggies and cook until tender covered on medium heat. At this point I add some Indian spices like garam masala/kitchen king masala for extra flavor.Once vegetable are cooked whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Arrange veggies evenly and pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. 

Now its ur choice to either cook it on stove or preheat oven to 400 F. If you want to cook in oven – make sure to use a oven safe skillet and place it into the oven for 10-12 minutes or until set.

I find it easy to cook on stove. Sprinkle some fresh herbs of your choice and without stirring cover it and cook on medium flame for 12-15 minutes.

It is easy to check when set – insert a fork and if it comes out clean it is done. Serve warm.

Isn’t that easy and keep checking for  more healthy and delicious options 🙂

Cheers!

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