Thursday, December 12, 2013

Snows of Kilimanjaro

Presenting you the 'Snows of Kilimanjaro' shrub which is blooming fully in the parks of my surroundings.The blooming time for this plant usually in the months of November and December. It produces a mass of creamy white bracts which looks like miniature white poinsettias. Native of Central America this shrub grows up to 2 m tall. When it blooms, the air around is filled with a sweet pleasant smell. This gives me an excuse to take the kids to the park full of these flowers.
But be careful while cutting, pruning these plants, the white secretion is said to cause skin irritation.

Next time when you come across them blooming, do stop by and indulge in it's sweet smell.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Flowers wall hanging

Hope you all Indians had a wonderful Deepavali. 
While cleaning the craft supplies, I found a flower loom which was bought ages ago. While buying the flower loom I had thought of definite project  but so far I haven't started -:). Few flowers were lying about which I had made just for sake of learning. An idea struck to me.  I made few pom poms, added some colorful beads and put them all together. Voila!!! you have a colorful hanging!. I put it on the mirror in the common wash basin, which definitely colors up this corner. 

Things you need : Flower loom(available in craft/fancy stores), wool, needle with a hole big enough to pass the wool, colorful beads to match the wool yarn.

Flowers using the flower loom.  As you can see, I used only the inner pegs so my flowers are small .

Pom Poms.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jaya, by Devdutt Pattanaik

I bought this book a long time ago on Flipkart, recently finished reading it. It's an interesting read, once you start it becomes an addiction -:).

Most of us would have heard the stories of Mahabharata either through our elders or by watching the famous 'Mahabharata' which used to be aired on DD once upon a time. I have couple of books on Mahabharata one for the children , one for facts by C Rajagopalachari . But what is interesting in 'Jaya' is its simple, beautiful illustrations, the way it is narrated. You feel like reading more and more and never putting it down. Even people who don't like mythological stories too would love to read this since it flows like a fiction.

What I loved was the box in the end of each chapter where the author gives us an insight into the local, regional version of few of the plots. Also how these stories are relevant even today, what lessons we can learn from it as a reader. At the end of the story  the concepts of dharma and justice are explained very well.
You will learn lot of new things from reading this for instance,
Pandu while dying tells his sons, ' I have after years of meditation and celibacy have achieved  great knowledge and is embedded in my body. When I die eat my flesh and you will be blessed with knowledge'. But the Pandavas cremate their father and will not do as their father had instructed them. However Sahadeva one of the Pandavas sees ants carrying tiny pieces of his fathers flesh and eats the ants. After doing this he would know what happened in the past and in future. He eagerly wishes to share this information with his brothers but stopped by the God himself. God instead  forbids him telling anything voluntarily to anyone. He says when people ask you questions reply with a question. He waited for the people to ask him right question but it never came. Interesting isn't it?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rain rain go away..

It's been raining non-stop here in Bangalore, so much that I started hating these rains. It's all wet-wet every where. In the garden you see lot of snails, fed up of killing them.  I am so longing for the sunshine.

Have a nice, rain free weekend everyone.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Jog Falls, Karnataka

Continuous rains past few months, we decided to visit Jog falls. 
Jog falls is located in Sagar Taluq, Karnataka, India and is the second highest water fall plunge in India. We took Bangalore-Honnavar highway via Shimoga which is in good condition. As there were adequate rainfall this season, it was the right time to visit. After visiting we heard from the locals that couple of days before the gates of the Linganmakki dam were opened and there was a thick flow of water. But what was presented to us was beautiful.

View of the Mahatma Gandhi Hydro electric power station.

En route to Bhatkal, on the coastal Karnataka, we found this breathtaking beauty. It was more beautiful than Jog, since we could see it, hear it from very near. Had it not been deep we definitely would have plunged into it.There are hundreds of such waterfalls in the Western Ghats, India which would sure leave you spell bound.

Greenery everywhere..

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shriman Shrimathi(Recycled pencil holder)

How do you spend quality time with your kids? One way is by crafting with them. Ask for your kid's ideas, execute them. This is about a recent craft activity done with elder 'P'. The detailed instructions are here .No matter how it's turns out they would always love to show off the end product. I love to see his face of satisfaction in the end.
We have done this with the kitchen paper rolls. Few activities like cutting the roll, drawing was done by me and the REST by elder 'P'.

When I posted it on my blog and showed it to him, he was even more proud of it and enthusiastic to do more such activities -:). Good isn't it?
Linking this to Colours Dekor Weekly-story-wk-26

Monday, July 22, 2013

Warli Bookmarks..

Hello readers.. How was your weekend?
 Mine was super, I did a lot of creative work after a long time.

Nowadays you see lot of thick invitations of all size, color, weight. I had kept aside a couple of them, thought I would make something useful out of them. I took one house warming invitation and took out the plain side without any text on it, cut them into equal shapes and size. They were small, I painted a few warli motifs on them and turned them to bookmarks. Why bookmarks?
Bookmarks are hard to find when they are in need in my house. Courtesy my two kids. Elder one always wants them, doesn't know where he keeps them when he lays hands on them. The younger one just wants to play with it, crumple and finally throws into a dust bin. 
I hope to keep these at least for few days and make use of them. 

 After painting, this is how it looks..

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Weekend snack fresh from garden.

The short spell of rains in B'lore has done well for my colocaesia leaves. There were almost 10-12 big leaves.We were expecting few guests next week, so before it caught thier eye, I decided to make Pathrode.
Pathrode is a coastal Karnataka recipe made mainly from Dosa rice and colocaesia leaves. As of I know people living in Western Indian Coastal area do similar kind of dish with colocaesia leaves.
Most of Colocaesia leaves when eaten produces itching in mouth. To reduce the itching remove the thick and thin veins at the back of leaves. My mom used to joke that those who are over smart, only they feel itching.

Well I am not posting the recipe here, but giving a good recipe over here. What I follow is almost similar except that I add more jaggery, cumin and coconut(almost double the quantity given).

There are many ways with Pathrode. For all these, the batter remains the same.

  • You can either cut the colocaesia leaves to small pieces and add it to the batter. Dilute the batter and make dosa of it.
  • You can paste the batter onto the leaves and then make small rolls. Cut rolls into thin slices, roast on heated tava applying lot of oil. 
  • You can make rolls and steam them(healthiest way). Eat when still hot with dollop of butter.
  • Steam the rolls, cut them to tiniest pieces,add tadka, shallow fry them using additional fresh coconut, jaggery.

Friday, June 28, 2013

June so far

I am been away for a while, reasons few.
1. My younger son has started schooling, and those were anxious days. Both me and him feeling sad for couple of weeks. Him sad, as he started to be away from me, and myself sad, I could not bear him sobbing and feel myself harsh for pushing such a toddler to school. Now both of us have got over it -:).

2. Dull, grey mornings and day, which makes me lazy and sit idle.

A recent visit of guests, who were all in praise for our little garden. That lifted my spirits up, and made me plant couple of Hibiscus plants. I bargained it for Rs 45 each from Bannerghatta weekly market.
This one, sure of surviving, but the other I think will die in few weeks.

It's literally raining lemons in my garden. So I am distributing lemons to all who visit my house, neighbours, etc.,. I don't see any new flowers so there may not be new lemons for sometime.

I told four families of Daily Dump, two of them hopefully should begin home composting.

Malabar Spinach growing tall. This was propagated from stem cuttings of the mother plant. We planted  in a patch of land where most of the plants so far refused to thrive. I am waiting and watching what happens to this.

Lastly caterpillar(Kambali hula in Kannada) destroying all my small plants. I simply smash them.

 So how was your June? Have a nice weekend...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chenne Mane

I bought this Chenne Mane(traditional indoor game of coastal Karnataka, has different names in South India) from the car street of Udupi. People play this game in the rainy season when there is nothing much to do in the fields after sowing. People all over the world visit Udupi mainly being for  the darshan of Lord Krishna. But I visit Udupi for buying few traditional things like the below Chenne Mane. After bargaining for Rs 600 I bought it to B'lore. It was plain looking one and I wanted to paint and polish it.

This is how it looks after painting and varnishing. I gave a thick coat of varnish by mistake, so it looks too shiny.

Linking this to Colors Decor

Friday, May 24, 2013

Kumta Onions

If there is one thing common in the houses of coastal Karnataka it would be onions from Kumta. They are pink, medium sized and have long strands. These onions are sweet and less pungent unlike the regular ones.
These onions are grown in winter in few selected villages around Kumta, North Kanara. The coastal climate and the soil is best suited to grow these onions.
Since they have more water content they cannot be stored for long time unless one take lot of precautions to preserve them.
These onions come to market in the month of  April. They are available in most of the grocery shops in the coastal regions as well as few Mangalore stores in Bangalore.

Once we buy them from the shops, sun dry them for 3-4 days.

 Make a plait out of the stands.

 Tie them to any pole high near the ceiling.

These onions are a must when some non coconut dish is prepared at home. If you are from coastal Karnataka you would know what I mean -:)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What's blooming in my garden..

It's the season of spring-summer and my garden is yet to pick up the colors. Sharing with you are few small joys in my garden.

Lovely Blue daze. What I have observed is it thrives well when kept in a height, above the ground, may be give out best results when put in a hanging pot.

Mexican petunia. They have propagated all across the pot.

Crape Jasmine(Nandi Battalu in kannada). I could successfully propagate this from a stem/stick cut  from a large tree from the garden in our layout. It gives me one or two flowers per Week.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Kids crafts - 1

What do you do to keep the kids engaged on summer holidays if not send them to any camp? Well I am clueless just like you. I wish they didn't have such a long break during summer(cruel of me to think that way -:( ).
My son is not interested in drawing, crafting or any creative work, all he wants to do in play, play, watch T.V, eat junk.
Engaging such a kid in craft is a challenge. Half the way through he would get bored, abandon everything and go. With millions of kid craft projects on the Internet, I decided I would at least make him do something. Something short and cute.
So here is our first project together.

It's from

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Colorful fishes

With my son's exams finally over, some relief to me for another 1 and a half month on the study point of view. So this weekend I had a little bit of 'me' time and did this wall hanging. Inspired by the leather work of Andhra Pradesh, I drew out these fishes and colored them to my fancy. I had few wooden beads at home so used them and made a wall hanging. Welcoming spring in my own way, colourful isn't it?
Linking this to Colour's Decor Weekly Story.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy B'day my home

It's again the time of the year where my sweet home is celebrating her birthday.
It's so true that you build your dream home only once, isn't it? The excitement of seeing your dream come true is wonderful, decorating it is even more wonderful.  Wherever I go, I long to come back to my sweet abode.
Sharing with you another corner of my home where I spend my evening sitting with a cup of chai.  I love to sit here when it rains.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Window makeover

If there is any place in my home which I dislike that would be our bed room's king sized window. Why?
1. It is high, I can't open/close it without the help of stool.
2. Due to west facing, it lets in lot of sunlight in the afternoon.
Somehow I am not convinced with the idea of putting vertical blinds to this window, so I covered the half of the window with curtains. The other half  i.e. slanting in size lets in lot of afternoon sunlight directly on the bed, making difficult to take nap.

We knew we had to fix this problem by consulting an interior decorator and but we keep on postponing it. 
A recent visit to Mahabalipuram, I had an idea, which would lessen the problem. While shopping, I found these hangings made from the sea chips. So we bargained two of them for Rs 700 and bought them.
I dis-tangled them(didn't have the heart to do it) and made them to linear hangings.

For time being I have just tied them to the window railings. These hangings block the sunlight to some extent.

The best part of the project, like to see the shadow it creates in the evening!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wind Chime from Xylophone

Who doesn't like the tinkling sound of the wind chimes? When there is ample space and constant breeze I think you should hang a wind chime in your home.


I recently came across a post Creative ways to re-use your old toys  from Swapna's blog The Mom Views.
I liked the idea of re-cycling the xylophone to a wind chime. Three of the bars from the xylophone had already come-off, but it could still be played with.  I wanted to try this idea so badly that I took off the remaining ones with children hardly noticing the missing xylophone -:). I tied it to the pergolas in the backyard.
It doesn't look great, but it keeps tinkling all day. That's what I love to hear..

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Recycling old sarees

What better way to feel your mother's warmth than to make a quilt out of her sarees?
My mother is not fond of cotton sarees, like many people she feels that wearing it makes her to look fat. But it is inevitable in coastal Karnataka in hot summers. Old cotton sarees are in great demand in my native village. People there always want old cotton sarees, not to wear them but to sleep in them and mostly to make diapers for the new born babies.
I had couple of my mother's old torn sarees and one of mine. So I thought why not make a quilt out of it.
For this quilt I used three sarees, old duppatta, cotton threads.
Lay down two of the sarees and thoroughly press them so that there are no folds. This also helps in stitching.
Use the less torn one/ good looking one out side. Just put the second saree inside the first one.
Since the saree is too long, I didn't want the whole 5 m+, so I cut it to the required length. In this case I cut out the pallu part.
Use running stich along the width of the sarees to stitch them together. Here you can see a saree inside and outside of which you can see a balck saree with red border.

After stitching the above, I had to give them a border for two reasons.
1. I did n't like the uncomfortable zari border.
2. I wanted extra width to the normal saree width.
For this I had an old dupatta. So I cut it into half, made the two layers of the third saree(exactly of the same lengh and width of the dupatta) and stitched it as a border.

It almost took me a week, to stitch everything by hand.
End result is not perfect but it's warm and cozy...

Friday, February 8, 2013

A lot to read..

Off late I have been travelling to city for my personal work. I always make a point to visit to this book store located opposite to Hot Chips/near to the Jayanagar bus station. This guy sells second hand books and has a good, huge collection of books. The shop also offers membership if you are regular and interested. If you happen to live in south of Bangalore, and book lover like me, do pay a visit.
After couple of visits last month I have a collection of books to read. I love author Alexander McCall Smith's writing and his famous 'The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' series. I bought a lot of them as it was available there. These would definitely keep me occupied for few days.
A lot to read before I go to sleep -:))

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New beginning....

A big HI and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all bloggers and readers.
I been really busy packing, un packing from back to back trip one in the year end and one in the long weekend of Sankranti.
First one was the normal one where we visited our native, second one was the long waited Chennai Trip.
It was wonderful drive down to the sizzling metro Chennai.
If I ask my kids what they liked a lot in the trip they would first say their stay in the HOTEL, MARINA BEACH and lastly CROCODILE BANK. If you ask me what I liked the most, I would definitely tell beautiful old temples and the sarees that I picked -:)

The half of the first day was spent in driving to Chennai, the second half in sight seeing in Chennai which included the visit to San Thome church, Mylapore tank, Kapaleeshwar temple, roaming around the east Mada st.

The second day was for the trip to Mahabalipuram and on the way back a visit to the crocodile bank of Madras. What was exciting was that we decided to drive in the streets of Chennai, thoroughly checking the GPS instructions and asking around. A strange feeling was always in the back of my mind that we would loose our way somewhere and struck in the traffic. But nothing that sort happened.

The third day we wanted to leave back to B'lore ASP but before that we wanted to do a little shopping. So we left for famous T.Nagar of Chennai. Roaming in T.Nagar in the early morning we looked like fools. All you could see was the closed shutters and workers in the shops waiting for the shops to open(may be because it was PONGAL in Tamilnadu).  But luckily even at 9:30AM few famous saree shops had opened. We entered the famous Sri Kumarans and  headed directly to the floor selling Kanchipuram sarees which I am a ardent fan of. The last time I shopped heavvily for Kanchi sarees was during the joint celebration of our Graha Pravesha and my brothers wedding. But back then the sarees was a bit cheaper.
I was so tempted seeing woven beauties one after the other, I finally settled for 4. My H had a big hole in the Credit card. But after buying them, marvelling them, I slowly wonder where will I ever where them? Aren't they beautiful?..