27 April 2011


An impromptu snack 
I had half a baguette (a thin loaf of french bread) lying around and a quick snack was needed. So vegetables were chopped up, bread was sliced and bruschetta was made!!!
This is such an easy snack to make and serves well as an appetizer too with variations to the toppings depending on whatever you have on hand and is ready to serve in ten minutes....
Here's what you do...
  -slice up the bread, on the diagonal, into 1/2 inch thick slices,
  -chop up a few tomatoes, spring onions, basil and coriander.
  -mix them all together with a few tablespoons of olive oil and some salt.
  -can add strips of cheese slices on top, if you like.
  -grill them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.
  -ready to go!!!!
You can omit the last step, but I like it crispy.
Here's the mixture.....

26 April 2011

Slouchy Hobo Bag

I knit this as a KnitAlong (KAL) with a Ravelry group.
 It is a much modified Lambe pattern by Berocco....
 I modified it a little by making the sides straight and not slanting like the original pattern and will probably knit a strap instead of the bamboo ones.
So, I cast on the stitches from pattern line “Inc Row 3 (RS) i.e. 63 stitches.and knit straight with no increases or decreases along the way.
I knit the base entirely in garter, instead of keeping the central stitches in pattern. I also knit an i-cord for the handle (with 9 stitches) and for the closure (with 5 stitches) and added a wooden button…from Galaxy stores, Pune.
Added an ikat cotton fabric lining.
Turned out to be the perfect slouchy hobo.
That's my 'Citron shawl' peeping out.....
 A closer look at the garter stitch base and gusset.....
 I, ultimately, did not use the garter strap and knit an i-cord for both the strap and the closure loop.....
Here's a link to my Ravelry project page...

18 April 2011

Cross and Noughts - Recycled Newspaper Crafts - DIY #1

Recycled crafts...using up stuff lying around the house...minimizing waste....making something out of nothing...teaching kids recycling...is what we are looking at...a game of Cross and noughts is what we are looking at....
This game is a favourite with most kids. Help them make this and teach them the art of recycling.
My daughter is the one who made this. She got the how-to from this great show she watched on TV -'Art Attack'- where this guy Neil Buchanan taught kids how to make stuff with old newspapers and stuff lying around the house. 
This one, too, has been made here using up old newspapers and some glue and paint. This is a great craft for your kids to make this summer. All you need is an old newspaper, PVA glue, loads of  kitchen towel paper or loo roll and acrylic paint to finish it off.

What you'll need:
6-7 sheets of old newspaper,
sticky tape,
1/2 cup PVA glue, or any white glue, mixed with 1/2 cup of water
acrylic paints.

Step 1: Roll up a sheet of paper along its width and stick tape at a couple of spots to prevent it unrolling. Repeat this with three more sheets to give you 4 rolled tubes. My paper gave me an 11" long rolls.
Step 2: Make three or four more of these rolls and keep aside.
Step 3. Lay the 4 rolls that you made in step1 into a grid like this:
Once you are happy with the placing just tape them into place.
Don't worry if it looks untidy just now. Once you stick on a layer of paper towel it'll neaten up, believe me.
This will be your basic frame. Cut up the ends to even them up, if need be ( as I had to).
Step 4: Now to make the crosses and noughts:
Take the other rolls you made in step 2. To make the crosses measure across one section of the grid to get a size for the cross that will fit: Cut out 10 such pieces to get 5 ready crosses.
Step 5: Give the pieces a little twist, if you like, to give a little texture. You can add some more tape to hold the twisted shape.
Lay these out as a cross and tape them up to get your crosses.
Step 6: Do the same to get your circles. Measure and cut and then tape up into a circle.
Once done this is what you get finally. Make five of each.
Step 7: Tear up some kitchen towel paper. With the diluted glue mix, stick the pieces to the newspaper frame. To do this lay the pieces of paper on the grid and use a brush to coat with glue.
Do the same with the circles and crosses.
Step 8: Let the first layer dry and add another layer to even out the surface. Leave out in the sun to dry, if possible, as the newspaper soaks up the water/ glue mix quickly and needs to dry out well.
Cover the ends of the roll also to seal the tube...like this...
Step 9: Color the pieces all in bright, cheerful acrylic colors of your choice. You can make them in a single color or use two to cheer up the pieces....as my daughter did here. The choice is yours. Let dry. 
Your picnic carry-along game is ready!!!
 Step 10: Have a great picnic !!!

17 April 2011

A Fabric Flower and A Skirt Restyle

This skirt when originally bought was a bubble skirt. After wearing it once my daughter didn't like the pull around the hem you get when you wear this kind of a skirt and I didn't have the heart to give it away. So I decided to restyle it. And this is what I did...I opened the hem up....I actually just cut it away from the lining.....then  ironed it out flat and sewed a satin hem on. The satin was pretty tough to sew as it slips and slides, but pins, pins and more pins and loads of ironing helped.
Here is what it looks like now....I should have taken a before pic too, I know....
To add some embellishment I decided to sew on a few flowers. Used this tutorial on how to make these flowers...

I just made four layers. These were so easy to make and look lovely. I attached it to the skirt with a safety pin so they can be removed while washing the skirt.
I made just the one for trial and if it goes well the skirt, will add a few more.
What do you think? Should I add one or two more?

12 April 2011

Sweet Corn Chowder and Grilled-Cheese Tortillas

Here's something I tried out the other day - 'Sweet Corn Chowder with Toasted Tortillas'.
I saw this recipe on Nigella Lawson's show on TV. Here's a link for the recipe... well, it looked better on TV.

It was raining, the day was chilly and I thought, why not??
Was an easy enough recipe to make - simple ingredients, simple technique...but will I make it again???? It wasn't too bad, but am not too sure....The kids did love the tortillas though.

11 April 2011

Scrappy Fabric Flowers

A fabric flower I made for the first time as an embellishment on a tote that I made for my sister.
There are innumerable posts on the net about how to make different fabric flowers and I learnt it from one of them.
This tote...
(The flower picture turned a 90° turn....I don't know why!!! Sorry. Blogger does that to few of my pics...)
A few of my friends wanted to know how I did this, so am writing this, but this is not my original idea.

I cut concentric circles of different sizes from the left-over fabric I used for the lining. The largest was about 2.75" in diameter and the smallest  1.25". You can use bottle caps of various sizes to draw the circles.
I then piled the circles up largest to the smallest and anchored them down with a couple of stitches in the centre. A button was added as a centre and to sew the flower on to the bag.

Note: I didn't use the red button on the bag, finally, as blue seemed to match the flower better.
Hope this was helpful and hope you make a few. Would love to see them!!

10 April 2011

My Beaded Fire-Engine Ishbel

Done!! Done!!Done!!
Here's another shot..
and another...
and another....
The pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague.
I just loved knitting this shawl!!!! Though it needed close attention for the lace bit, it was an easy-to-make project, with lots of stockinette stitch, that knit up pretty quickly. 
But this project, and a few others, had to wait for some time as I injured my arm which in turn had to be immobilized for a couple of months, which put all my projects into cold storage. So it took me almost three months from start to to finish for this project. And this is where it waited out the hibernation....
Well, all's well that ends well, as they say...:)
Here's a link to my Ravelry page..
I thought the colour was too bright,thought of ripping it up and starting with another, then decided that I'd wear it only at night which would make it bearable, but now.....‘I'm loving it’!!!
When I reached the lace bit, I used the lifeline religiously, which saved me from unnecessary frogging whenever I made a mistake, which happened quite often in the beginning.
Added beads in section ‘D’, but only from row 3 onwards as I felt the beads were a little too heavy for the yarn.
I knit this with acrylic which I find suits the Indian weather better as we have just a couple of months of winter and that too if you live up north.The acrylic was fun to knit with, very soft and pliant and after washing seems to have softened even more. 
This is a picture before blocking it...
After blocking or rather killing the acrylic it flew to a big 78" span and was 30" deep. That seemed like a big shawl considering I used a mere 100 gms of yarn. 
Waiting for winter now.

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