Sunday, June 28, 2015

Handmade stencils

I was itching to do some DIY and struck upon this a few weeks back when I was ogling mixed media projects online with a crazy obsession.. Well, before trying these designs above, I started with simple ones:

 (had used this one on my son's birthday album cover page.. wasn't quick enough to wash the acrylic off.. u have any tips for this?)

Did this with a craft knife on some plastic folders that we usually get in stationery stores ( cost just 6 Rs. and each was cut into four pieces for all the stencils above!) The hearts was the first one I cut and it shows in the pic that I wasn't deft with the knife to begin with, right? :-)

But once I got the hang of it, the rest patterns were a breeze.. I just drew the image on a piece of paper and placed the plastic sheet on top of it and went through with my knife.. Well, everything placed on a thick newspaper bed to avoid the floor getting the scratches, of course!

Peach-Plum-Apricot cobbler

I made this most-delicious-dessert-we-have-ever-had with a bag of these summer fruits gifted by a neighbour who happened to visit the hills to beat the heat.. it was melt-in-the-mouth and finger-licking-good!!

We had it with vanilla icecream.. yumm!!

Here's the recipe at :

I had halved the recipe and we(four adults) finished the whole batch in two servings!!!

Birthday card for a Special Someone

Hi all.. With the scorching summer waving goodbye and making way for monsoon winds and rain, there seems to be a lot of cheer around! Kids are coming out to play after a long dreary time and seeing them play makes one feel good and playful too :-)

Here's a little card I made for a special someone a couple of months ago.. The kraft cardstock and Lunne patterned paper was bought at Ananda Stationery Store a few months back when I made a trip to Chennai. The cupcake is handmade with scraps which I handcut and embossed.. The 'frosting' was done with Faber-Castell 3D outliners (Pearl) which I had in my stash for a long time.. I had planned to give it a nice piped design but it so happened that the tip was dried out and everything came out in one BIG blob when I unplugged it.. so, there goes my design ;-( But I like this look too.. don't you?
The 'cherry' is a spare button that came with one of my kurtis :-)

Here's a  closeup of the cupcake:

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Another day's dinner...

Oh. no.. I don't really keep cooking exotic dinners all the time.. These are reserved for close knit family on special days.. That day, it was fried tofu, chilli-garlic spinach (some of it ground with some leftover dal to a paste for the dip) and zuchhini-capsicum bread. The tossed spinach was the best!

Baked Lemon - Chicken Breasts with Herbs

Tweaked the popular lemon chicken recipe to make this by stuffing with garlic and sprinkling oven-dried mint which I crushed/powdered with hands and sieved on top.. Served with home-made garlic bread (turned out very average.. boo hoo..) and veg corn soup.

Dinner that day:

Photo fridge magnet for my neighbour

My neighbour is a very sweet lady.. her daughter's family stays abroad and so she misses being with him. But her daughter keeps sending her his pics on Whatsapp.. Having a son almost that age, I understand how cherished these memories would be for her.. So I made this fridge magnet for her as a gift..
(Again, please excuse me for the pic.. even the stray glue marks show..hmm !!)

I cut two pieces of card stock of equal dimensions for the base (to give it proper strength), rounded the corners with my Docrafts Corner Cutter and stuck them together. Then matted a DCWV pattern paper after rounding its corners too. Then I die-cut the photo using Spellbinders Nestabilities Blossoms 4 die and matted it on to black card stock cut with the same die. The embellishment are glass stones that we usually find in our homes for decor (to put in fish tanks, glass bowls etc), some pearls and a Portacraft sticker with ribbon bought from Itsy Bitsy during the recent summer sale.. I bought the Spellbinders Die too on the same sale and was raring to try it :-). After sticking it all together, I stuck some self-adhesive magnetic tape (that hubby bought for me in a US craft store - was on my wishlist and on his phone to-do list for a long time :-)) on the back to convert it to a fridge magnet.

So, how has this turned out??

Li'l N's Birthday album

This is one MEGA project I was (and still continue to.. for the stamping and embellishments) working on for weeks together.. Each page is a project in itself and I used the opportunity to learn quite a few techniques.. I have finished some of the pages.. here's the stack:

And a sample of the insides:

(The decoration at  home was entirely done by me and balloons were blown by my father-in-law.. will add more pics of it later)

For the cover page, I have painted the background with acrylics on canvas, used some homemade texture paste and hand-cut stencil for the squares.. painted on it with pearl metallic acrylics (matching his outfit) and used wooden store-bought alphabet. The '1' is handcut and painted, again to match his outfit that day..  :-)

Will keep uploading pics now and then as I keep completing the album...

Bagels with Cream Cheese

V LOVVVES bagels.. He has a few every time he goes to the US and almost everytime we go to a Dunkin Donuts outlet.. This one has been on my must-try list for a long time but I was a bit apprehensive about getting the texture right (my nemesis in baking!) But when I did dare try, what a treat we had that Sunday morn for breakfast!!

Made the bagels and the cream cheese from scratch.. Will upload the recipe soon.. if you'd like to try it sooner, please check Peter Reinhart's recipe on Epicurious and Yummy Tummy for the Cream Cheese! Both are a little time and effort-consuming.. but worth it, really!!

Flowers with Thanks to Dr. Sonia

Hello all!! I'm back from a loooooong hiatus, thanks to Dr. Sonia.. She literally brought my blogging spirit back to life when she put in a comment in my previous post asking if everything was right :-) I just adore her for her time management and involvement with all her readers despite being a busy professional with an active kid at home!! KUDOS TO YOU MA'AM!!

Though I have not been blogging actively for the months past, I have been experimenting a lot with cooking and crafting too whenever I can steal time after my son sleeps (and everyone else too, for it usually gets past 1 or 2 at night!!). Yes, I really don't focus too much on photographing and blogging/recording things too much due to this time crunch but just manage to click a few pics with hubby's phone for memories' sake..Well, there's no stopping us crafters, right? :-)

That said, it is really becoming increasingly difficult for women to manage everything these days.. Work, home, child(ren), hobbies, relatives, guests, social circle and what not.. PHEW!! ;-).. So, here's a little bunch of handmade flowers for all the wonderful ladies and Dr. Sonia especially!

I die cut half A4 sheets of blue and teal felt, a pink jute sheet and a purple foam sheet to begin with.. Here, I have used Sizzix Tattered Florals die. Then, I layered the flowers with different combinations to check out what looks good. Once the combinations fell in place, I used a head pin and a bead for the center and glued the layers using hot glue (by melting a glue stick over a candle..I had bought the glue stick in an exhibition long back and it was lying unused till now!). Then applied distress inks (Worn lipstick, Evergreen Bough and Chipped Sapphire) around the edges of some of the flowers (lighter toned layers) to make em pop and voila.. done!

Will be posting more pics of my craft work and a few special new dishes that I tried (all in the past few weeks) in future posts.. but please do bear with the poor quality and raw, unedited or minimally edited pics.. Time is at a very high premium and I'd rather prefer to use it to finish those n projects that I always start but have to leave unfinished!!