Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fishie


Isn't he the cutest ever?

On our book shelf / console table

Cute, right? 

It's re-purposed from coconut shells. I couldn't believe it. It's so perfect. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Simple Pleasures: Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Image source:   http://www.kiboomu.com/  Coloring page. 

AN is going to be 8 in January. Ever since his friend Caroline lost her first tooth at 6 years old, he's been so embarrassed about not having lost his tooth. Everybody in his 1st grade class in the US lost at least 1 tooth by 1st grade. So go figure. When he started going to 2nd grade here in India, things were not different. 

Soooo...He lost it. He lost his first tooth. And man! was he happy. He started jumping up and down saying, "I am a man...now!!!" So turns out his 2nd grade classroom has a little privilege system. You get to talk to girls only if you've lost at least 1 tooth. So kept on saying "I am in the men's club now!!". It was hilarious to see him with that gap in his face. I couldn't stop laughing. I should have probably taken a picture of him. But at the right moment the battery died. 

Then he moved on to wondering what the Tooth Fairy would bring. He started talking about all kinds of toys. But I intervened and told him Tooth Fairy did not have enough time to go pick up stuff because it was already late into the evening. (Actually it was true, "Tooth Fairy" was already tired and didn't want to stop by the toy store). So we wrapped his tooth in a home made tooth carrier (:-)) and tucked it under his pillow. In the morning, he was so happy to find out that Tooth Fairy left 20 US Dollars and took the tooth! He was  convinced (It's only natural, Tooth Fairy comes from the US and in the middle of the night how can she exchange for Indian Rupee?) and very happy!

I am so glad and extremely grateful to have helped AN through this gracefully. Not a drop of blood. Not a tear from his eyes. Just pure excitement and happiness.

Been sewing. But showcasing my work is what I lack time for now. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween, oh how we miss you!

AN & BN (and me too) are a little down today. It's Halloween and we are here reminiscing all the Halloween's we had celebrated so far and being here in India means, there is no Halloween. They should start as a matter of fact. Ah, well. Is it even normal for adults who spent their childhood without Halloween to miss Halloween? 

This is just random rambling.


But hey, I am working on a Beetroot costume for AN for the school science fair.

Does this make any sense?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Then she took it out...of the closet.

So when I left the US 3 months back, I brought along a couple of friends. 


The one in the front is the new Serger that I didn't unpack until a few weeks back. He is such a sport. Made this in his company.


And look at those seams.... 


I am surprised at the difference in finishing quality with Sergers. I've always thought I could pull it off with zig zag stitches, I still can do, but nothing like this. This is sooooo good. 

I've got a major project in hands now. A beetroot costume, that's right. My son's going to be a beetroot at the school science fair. Other kids are doing science projects and my son gets to greet people........in a beetroot costume. Is that supposed to be an insult or a good thing? I don't know. But I am just glad that I have a dress-up project for him right around Halloween.

Can't wait to show you my ideas....I said ideas...not real projects :-)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Transformed. One down, 2 more.

Remember this from last post?

OK, now that's what I call...too plain.

I love circles, polka dots, pink. I had some some left over Kaufman I brought from the US and decided to use those. I just cut some circles out of the fabric, pinned them to the T-Shirt and zig-zag'd the edges 

Like this... 


and the result was this. 


I am pretty happy with the results and so is BN. She loved her T-shirt makeover. Well, we've got 2 more T-shirts to work on. 


Monday, September 19, 2011

Almost

perfect? Anything but.

The last 6 months a lot happened around here. We donated, sold, freecycled our stuff in the US that we accumulated over the years and packed some very precious belongings and moved across the globe. OK - that is a good enough reason for blogging inactivity...I think.

Now everywhere I look, I see clothes that are over-embellished, made with artificial fibers or that simply run color. It is extremely hard to find quality cotton here, sad, considering the fact that the world's 2nd leading exporter of cotton is India.

Sewing's on its way.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yoga Mat Bag Tutorial

Are you a Yogi looking to carry that yoga mat of yours to the yoga studio in style? Look no further. Here is a quick 1 hour Yoga Mat Bag tute. [Do I sound like an infomercial yet?]




Every tutorial deserves a story. So what's the story here? Really, nothing. It's just that I needed something to carry my yoga mat to the studio and it runs in the $20-30 range @amazon. I wipped up one in 1.5 hours including the tutorial pictures.

Yoga Mat Bag Tutorial


Grab your supplies


Fabric            - 1/2 Yard
Yoga Mat        - for measurements, or just use my measurements in this tute. My Mat
Thin Elastic    - 14 inch long [for drawstring closure]
Ribbon           - 1 yard [for drawstring closure]
Fusible
Interfacing    

Step 1: The measuring & cutting
If you want to use my measurements, skip the measuring part.


My Mat Bag Measurements





Step 2: The Handle
With right sides together start sewing the ends with .5 inch seam allowance.






Add fusible interfacing to both sides and turn right side out. Top stitch if you'd like.





Step 3, The Mat Bag body
With right sides together, sew along the length of the mat bag body with .5 inch seam allowance.


Now you have to sew the draw string casing. To do this double fold the edge [1/4 inch, then another 1/2 inch] and sew along the circumference and leave an opening 1/2 inch wide.



Step 4: Attach Handle to the bag on the drawstring side
Now you need to fold your handle 1/2 inch down and place it right on the seam line of your mat bag. like this.










Then sew it to the bag securing it well. Please don't sew through both layers, You are attaching handle to one side of the bag.  


Sorry about the crappy sewing. BN was pulling my hair, chair, and what not, while I was doing this. 

Step 5: Attach the circular bottom
Now it's a tricky part. You need to sandwich the other length of the handle, the body of the mat bag and the circular piece width right sides together and pin all the way around. Start sewing carefully 2 rows of stitches.





Step 6: The drawstring

You are almost done. Just turn the right side out and insert elastic through the hole we left. Secure elastic using the machine. You can have it like this or add the ribbon as a drawstring. But trust me, this is good as is.

There you have it!



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Days of our lives

...are somewhat alike. Then again there are some days that are held truly close to our heart, unique in its own ways. Today is one of those days. Today is the anniversary of the day SN and I joined together in marriage many years ago.

So...... as a token of his love, he gifted me this. A Kindle.


Image courtesy: amazon.com

I love reading books. If only I had more time to. Now that we are leaving the US pretty soon, one thing I am going to terribly miss is being able to go to my library here and indulge in books, especially children's books. I love the little short stories for children. So this is going to be one useful device.

In other news, I never realized sewing is going to take such a hit after we decided to R2I. The fact of the matter is, we are overwhelmed with moving stuff like getting a job, getting a house/apartment set up, oh man. I so much want to get some spring'y dresses for BN done, I will target for this week. Be back. Hopefully!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gearing towards switching Continents

As the "EXIT" doors of Boston's Logan International Airport slided open on a "chilly" April 18th, the 23 year old newly married me from a hot and humid south Indian state felt alone, naive and strange. The car ride with SN's buddy from Logan Airport to the apartment where SN used to live with a friend felt longer than the trip from India to Boston stopping over at Amsterdam.

As SN sat in the front passenger seat and talked to his buddy about things I could barely understand, I was sitting behind him in the back passenger seat looking at the image of his face on the front rear view mirror. Outside my window was this beautiful city just like I had seen in posters while back in India. The car wasn't just going, it was floating in the flawless road, and I was very comfortable riding in that car, or so I should have been. But all I could think about was the rural part of the Southern Indian state where I grew up where you could even see some unpaved roads. Suddenly tears started rolling down my eyes. I hadn't had a clue how this almost stranger and I could lead a life together in this perfectly strange country. This is despite being a high-achiever with good education, a good job and despite being with SN my newly wedded husband [on an arranged marriage after 8 months of chatting on the internet, talking on the phone].


Fast forward to nearly 10 years later, here I am, practically living the life of a typical Joe the Plumber, except for rice for dinner of course. The almost stranger sitting in the front passenger seat became my soul mate. I gave birth to two adorable kids. New York/New Jersey became my home. The highways, the streets, the stores, the malls, the schools, the day cares, everything seamlessly blended into my life. As the 6:30am alarm on SN's cell goes off, I'd get ready, then send kids to day care and school, go to work, do work, hate work, come back home, wish about winning the mega millions, talk about how quitting the job will make my life easier, pay bills, take care of kids, kinda take care of the house, watch reruns of Friends on WGN or watch "How I met your mother" on CBS and go to bed. Weekends involve(d) some kind of adventure PLUS the daily chores and "Desperate Housewives". If we hadn't done anything as a family outside the house, we never felt having enjoyed the weekend at all. I was loving it, I AM loving it, truly loving the independence, being able to take my Sienna and drive 1 mile and get to the center of everything. I was a natural at getting used to the US life.

Then why would we go back? Go back where? To India, of course.

Yes, after several years of debating the pros and cons, one of the decisions of New Year 2011 was to return to the home country - sooner than later - at the latest by June 2012. Make no mistake, I am not loving the idea. In fact, it scares the hell out me returning to a family of almost 200 members, infrastructure that is far from acceptable and a political system that is drowning in corruption. Not to mention the lack of uninterrupted supply of basic necessities like good drinking water and electricity. You must think we are nuts to leave the infrastructure haven we currently live in.


India is in plain simple terms is a rainbow. A rainbow of religions, cultures, political parties, languages, faces, wealth and more. With a few metros to spare, most of India is still rural, naive and under developed.

You cannot get out of the house and get into your car, without being asked by your neighbor who just moved in, where you are going. You don't answer - You will sure be labeled as the "the mean guy/girl". You answer, you are sure signing up for daily report to your neighbor about your activities. Just when you are ready to tuck the kids into bed, the "uncle" next door will come by and chat with the kids and the man of the household. It is really hard to get the "uncle"s go back to their homes. You say something, you offend them. You can't offend your neighbors, so you concede.


But the same nosy "uncles" and "aunties" next door won't mind watching your kids while you go to the supermarket and get your veggies. They won't mind holding on to your house keys and keeping an eye on your house while you are on vacation. They sure won't mind when you stop by their house to chat with them. They absolutely love the idea of being told when you are going, so anybody comes by can be told that you are away from home.


Then comes finding the roots. Yes, the long praised finding the roots theory. I don't think I want to go deep into why we think our American born Indian children will benefit from being among the Indians, Temples, Festivities so on and so forth. Every immigrant American irrespective of their religion believes that going back to where you come from will benefit your children in finding their roots. Yet they choose to remain in the US, the land of opportunities, land of the free, some do it to stay away from terror, some do it to stay away from trouble, some do it to make a better living, and yet another group stay so that they don’t know if going back will work.


India is highly competitive. Indian school rooms are even more competitive. Because of the sky high population, everything in India strictly follows Darwin's principle - Survival of the fittest. If a job opens in the state/central government, there will be at least 100,000 to 500,000 applicants. One will be chosen. The job may not even be a high paying job. But a job with the government offers lifelong stability, even after your life, for your children.

India is extremely rich, but the wealth is in the People's hands and not the governments. India has no proper taxation systems to transfer the wealth from businesses to goverment. You can see homeless men, women and children sitting next to a Ferrari parked by the Jewelry store. Go figure!

AN & BN are American born citizens. It is definitely NOT going to be a smooth ride for them, especially AN who wears Yankee hats, eats pizza, watches SpongeBob square pants and hides INSIDE the refrigerator whenever we visit India on vacation [of course because of the heat outside]. AN will need to adjust to his class where 95% of the students get A+. He will need to re-learn a lot of things he did already. He is a super speller and will have trouble adjusting to C-O-L-O-U-R color. There will be questions. There will be crying. There will probably be some throwing and slamming doors.


As for SN who has a "normal" blood pressure reading of 117/60, and a "normal" pulse of "55", it will be cool. He is a cool guy. I am sure going to have some..t-r-o-u-b-l-e-s that I can't even write about. To tell you the least, I am not going to like the fact that I have to take a driving test and then get a license all over again [with a right side driver seat! and left side driving -think England]. I am going to have to try a lot to keep my cool when I have to encounter issues that are aforementioned. But I will try. I will also keep my passport handy, in case I have to run back to US :-)


The next 6 months, we will be the preparing, backing out, trying again, and hopefully executing this plan. I will definitely take my sewing machine, just gotta figure out how to make this thing work in the 230V power supply.


No matter what, Sewing must go on. After all, that is one silver lining I see. If I miss Gymboree and GAP, I would just go to their websites, drool at the clothes, and make'em myself. Good Plan. And guess what? All of that will come to this blog. :-)


Here’s to times ahead.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss, and Wacky Wednesday at school

Happy Birthday to Theodor Seuss Geisel a.k.a Dr. Seuss.








Disclaimer: Above images were captured from internet websites.

Thank you for enriching the lives of millions and millions of children with words. From "Cat in the Hat" to "Horton hears a who!", from "Hop on Pop" to "The Foot Book", you have taught us how to make reading super fun and addictive. Thank you.

Soooooooo.... At school AN is celebrating the "Read Across America" week in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday. Today it's Wacky Wednesday. So he had to wear something wacky, something mismatched to school.


Is that wacky enough? One sleeve short and one sleeve long? I sewed the right arm sleeve short [I will turn it back to full sleeve using seam ripper]. He also wore mismatched socks. It was so much fun last night talking to AN about ideas for the day and he was very happy about this idea.

In other news, I am going to get back to some sewing. My hobby lately however has been going to Joann and picking up half yard fabric from several materials and add trims to each and use as scarves. I like'em scarves!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Still here

I am still here, just busy with stuff, stuff people do, when they are moms, wives, working full time, and did I say being sick does not help? its true, it does not.

On the bright side, I actually started sketching a few spring/summer styles for BN the other day while waiting for AN and his school bus, and I got this really good idea of a "4pm summer play dress" :-) I made that name up, because it was almost 4pm when the idea hit me, when I looked across the street I could see the wet and empty tot-lot that will be busy with little toddlers in a few weeks. I could see BN playing there in that dress. Watch out for a tutorial and pattern. It's cooooooooooooooming......it might take a couple of weeks though. I got to catch up on some work-work that I do at home. I know it's terrible that one has to do work-work even at home. But will be back.

Oh, and my mom is flying to the US. She will be here tomorrow! That's great because I see a lot of sewing in front me, with all that time I get while she watches the kiddos :-)

Monday, February 21, 2011

First time out in the sun in 2011, Living room and Presidents day

It was 62 degrees on Friday, School was off for Teachers' Professional day. I couldn't resist taking kiddos outside.

AN was sick, but that didn't stop him from being mad at mom for not letting him take his skateboard or bike out (to my defense, he had 100 degrees fever).

I managed to cheer him up, But still a statue :-)




And I did get to finish my living room make over.
And the mercury is back down at 36 degrees today. So President's day will be celebrated looking at this site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/photogallery/the-presidents

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blog Header Update

I love the color green. I have always. My wedding Saree was green. If you have noticed, the most prominent color in my blog is green. The green color of a sprouting leaf is very refreshing. 

I've been wanting to re-do the header of my blog with a newest pictures of my children for a long time now. Today, that is D-O-N-E done. I updated the header with better resolution font too.

So this


became this.

This exercise made me realize, I don't take good pictures of my son, just him in the picture, anymore. Not good. I searched and searched and couldn't find a decent one with just him. So glad I realized that now. I will make sure going forward he is going to be so tired posing for me :-)


Sheet Music Bag and.............My Tamron Lens.

Here I showcased the fabric and here is the product. A reversible sheet music, music books bag.

It goes very nice with a Violin :-)

Especially when you go for your music class!

All for my AN.

And
my Tamron Lens from Dana's giveaway is here. It takes nice pictures. Thank you Dana and BlogHer.

SN is loving it. He is starting the Digital SLR advanced techniques class at the parksystem on Thursday. I will have a dedicated photographer to capture the moments.   


What have I been doing the past 1 week? Here is the menu.

 
1 EKG
1 2D ECHO
1 Renal Ultrasound
1 XRAY
1 Bloodwork
Started 1 bloodpressure medication 

Next week I am going to get:
 
1 Stress Test
1 Pulmonary function test

 
So, its kinda down here. I didnt even open the lens box until after 2 nights, a little unusual after jumping and up and down about it here, don't you think? Yeah,  It's that down. But we are picking it up. I AM picking it up. The house is starting to look better. I got the will and courage to post on my blog.

 
In other news: This fabric combination here will adorn my living room in a few days.

 
Can't wait to share that.

 
Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Good Morning.

Good Morning!

I found this fabric at Joann yesterday. See, I started working on it already!

The moment I saw it, I knew what I was making. I was determined to get 1/2 a yard of this no matter what the price was, and turned out it was on sale for $4 a yard. Bingo.

Any idea what I am making with this? It's for AN, my son.




My slipcover fabric will be here anyday. I have also started checking out a few hidden zipper/invisible zipper tutorials.

In other news: Last night my BP shot up to 150/100 and had to pay an ER visit. They sent me back asking me to go on medications. Don't want to go down that road, but what do you do!

Be back soon.