Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Diwali Everyone!

I have had many a lazy weekends up until I discovered the event Patty runs on her blog every week. Its called Patty's weekly story and it just inspires me to do something creative each weekend. I mean I do most of these things anyway but now I remember to take pictures and post them here so that I can share with you guys and get more inspiration :-)

So here's what I have been upto this past weekend. Surprisingly it was quite a busy weekend in the creativity department. It started out with me finishing up a project I had procrastinated for quite a while...a hand embroidered pillow case for lil N's bed.

After this, I spent most of Saturday morning baking a cake for lil N. I have been wanting to re-start baking which I had almost stopped ever since we moved back to India 3 years ago. Reason being I missed the conventional oven that we had in the US and was never sure how the microwave that doubles up as an oven will really work. So I started with a ready cake mix just to see if the baking gets done evenly and I was pleasantly surprised! It was awesome and now I am ready to try my hands at more healthy recipes - inspiration being my friend G and this site here.

On Sunday, I finally wanted to get started on the festivities preparation for Diwali. I took inspiration from Patty's hand made lanterns and got to task. My baby and I worked on making these paper lanterns on Sunday afternoon while dear hubby was cooking up some yummy lunch for us. I plan to hang up some of these with bulbs in them and some I will probably use to decorate the rangoli I am planning on attempting at the entrance to our home. This project was super easy and lots of fun for the kiddo and me. Thanks Patty!

In the evening we wanted to try our hands at cooking up some sweets and snacks for the Diwali season. Now mind you I have never made Diwali snacks at home...have always just assisted my mom in doing these things and even that has been over a decade ago. So each Diwali, we just got store bought goodies until last year when I decided I'd try my hand at just one item - besan laddoos (recipe from here). They turned out yummy which probably got my hubby enthused about doing more at home...just like his and my mom used to do. So we thought why not try a Diwali with homemade delicacies and hopefully set an example for our lil N. That is how we spent Sunday evening making shakkar paare and namak paare. This was the first ever time I made them and they turned out alright. Thank god! Next I plan to make besan laddoos and a few other items such as chivda/bhel, gulab jamun, etc. Ofcourse I cannot make in huge quantities so store stuff will be bought to supplement too. But atleast now I can say I did make some Diwali goodies at home as well :-) BTW I didn't really take pictures of the food since I am no good at food photography (also coz I got worn out doing all the cooking :-))

Other Diwali things on my list - I have been looking online for some very simple rangoli ideas. Want to do something a little more than usual but still very simple. Let's see what I end up with...will post pics if I can :-)

Until then, do let me know all about the new or creative things you are trying out this Diwali. And here's wishing all of you a Very Happy & Safe Diwali Season!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My first attempt at a frock

Remember how I mentioned in my last post that I was working on a frock for lil N? Well...I finally finished it yesterday (well almost...pending a few finishing touches). So here it is...

So a little bit more about this frock. The design evolved over time as I kept working on the project. I did not start with any pattern in mind other than the umbrella skirt shape that I had already cut earlier. I wanted to make a low waist frock since I think N looks great in them. So the umbrella cut skirt bottom is made of left over fabric I had from my first ever sewing project - a top for lil N (see pic 1 in my previous post). The top portion is made of a blouse piece that my MIL gave me as part of the multiple fabrics she gifted me when I visited her last and demonstrated my new found love for sewing!

I wanted to do something different for sleeves this time. So after browsing online, I came across a video on how to make ruffles. Loved it. And tried it. And it came out fine - am mighty pleased with the new skill :-) Take a closer look...

Sewing the bottom to the top half was the most difficult part in this project since this was the first time I was making a frock. I had only made a separate skirt and a top earlier. I searched a lot for a tutorial or a video detailing that aspect but found none. So this frock is literally a result of lots of trials, errors and discoveries from my end. I would love to add a red satin belt at the waist or a black satin ribbon at the bottom of the umbrella skirt. Let's see when I get to doing that :-)

In the meantime, fit wise it turned out to be just the right fit for N. Which actually means that she may outgrow it soon! So I really hope she wears it a few times before I have to retire it.

Linking this to Patty's weekly party here. Lemme know what you think!

Updated to Add: Thanks to one of my friends, I also learnt a new trick to alter the length of pants using the free arm feature of my sewing machine. It is super obvious to the pros but was a duh moment for me :-) So obviously I got "trigger happy" and amidst the frock project, quickly altered (read:chopped off) one of my office trousers to turn them into capris! Now I can wear them more often in a totally different style! Pics later...ta da!