Clay Flower Basket

Clay flower basket that I made with the help of my teacher, Ms.Kalpana (Kalpana Clay Art). Arranging the flowers in a vase/basket is still challenging to me. Making the flowers is far more easier 😉

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Baker Costume

I made this simple baker costume for my LO’s Pre-K Theme party. The theme was “Piece of Cake”.

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Baker Costume – Apron & Hat

I made the apron using felt. I used an old apron to trace the shape on white felt and cut it. I also made a simple birthday cake using felt and glued it to the apron. The alphabets are pre-cut felt alphabets.

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Old apron used as reference

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Baker’s Apron

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Baker’s Hat

I made the baker’s hat using parchment paper after seeing some tutorials on Youtube. It was easy and I was able to make both the apron and hat in few hours. 🙂

 

BB-8 Costume

We had celebrated Halloween 2016 with our friends in Yokohama. Little T was dressed as BB-8. I had only a week’s time to make the costume. For BB-8’s body, I used the same technique that I used to make angry bird costume.

Materials Required for Headpiece:

  1. Felt fabric
    • White
    • Orange
    • Grey
    • Black
  2. Baseball cap
  3. Glue gun / Fabric glue
  4. Acrylic colour
  5. Thin straw
  6. Toothpick
  7. Capsule cap from the capsule toy / Styrofoam ball (for the black optical lens)
  8. Silver glitter pen

Materials Required for Body:

  1. Felt fabric
    • White
    • Orange
    • Grey
    • Black
  2. Filler material
  3. Glue gun / Fabric glue
  4. T-shirt for outline
  5. Pencil & Chart paper
  6. Sewing needle and thread (White)
  7. Scissors
  8. Black marker

Procedure for making the headpiece:

Cut the white felt in the shapes of the front, side and back panel of the cap.

My cap’s brim is grey in colour so I didn’t use felt there. If the brim was of some other colour, I would have used grey/white felt to cover it up.

Use fabric glue/glue gun to stick the felt to the cap.

For the black optical lens of BB-8, I used the transparent cap of capsule toy and painted it black. You can also cut the styrofoam ball into half, paint it black and stick it on the cap. I have used silver glitter pen to draw a thick outline on the base of the optical lens.

Use white acrylic to paint the straw and toothpick. Both ends of the straw must be painted black.

Glue the straw and toothpick on the top of the cap. Glue gun works better here.

Cut the orange and grey felt patterns for the headpiece. Glue them on the cap.

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BB-8 Headpiece – Front

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BB-8 Headpiece – Back

 

Procedure for making the body:

Please refer to the below link:

Angry Bird Costume

The procedure is the same as the one for making the body of the angry bird costume.

Instead of the angry bird pattern, cut the pattern for BB-8 using orange and grey felt. I’ve used a black marker pen to draw the outlines.

Note: Its easier to glue the BB-8 pattern on the front side before filling the filler material.

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Finished body of BB-8

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Side view of BB-8 body

Unlike the angry bird costume, for BB-8, I’ve used elastic on both sides to keep them together.

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Full BB-8 Costume

Tamarind Surprise

I usually get Tamarind blocks (used in Indian cooking) from my grandma in India. She has few tamarind trees from which we get enough tamarind for the extended family for one whole year.

Sometimes I find seeds in the tamarind block which have escaped deseeding. Recently I started planting them in the pot where I grow veggies. The first seed I planted was in Autumn last year.

One fine morning last week, there was this surprise! There were two tamarind plants! 🙂 After browsing for a while, I learnt they can thrive indoors in high light conditions during winter. That’s great news to me.

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I’m planning to transfer them to separate pots. I hope they survive this winter!

 

 

Black Nightshade (Manathakkali /Kamanchi/Kaachi Soppu)

Last summer, when my MIL visited us, she found the black nightshade plant growing around the trees in the pavement. This is a common plant in India. (Manathakkali/ Kamanchi/Kaachi soppu). The leaves and berries of the plant are used in cooking.

I’ve never noticed them before. These plants were also growing in the garden maintained by our apartment. When the gardener was weeding them out, MIL took a well grown plant and brought it home. It was peak of summer and the plant didn’t look healthy. There were lot of berries which were falling into the other pots nearby. Then it was fall and winter. The plant died.

This spring we noticed lot of plants growing fast in the pots in which I had planted garlic & dill.  Initially, we thought it was a weed but later recognised it. The berries that fell last summer had started growing now.

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Harvested leaves – 21 May 2017

I had enough leaves to cook this recipe from Padhu’s Kitchen  🙂

Keerai Kootu Recipe-Manathakkali Keerai Kootu

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Black night shade plant with berries – 26 May 2017

Now there are white spots/ discolouration on the leaves. I’ll update this post if I find the reason for discolouration.

Indoor Herb Garden

I’ve always wanted to have an indoor herb garden. I also mentioned it in my last post. I had bought seeds for coriander, dill and spearmint. I bought these colorful planters from the dollar shop and planted it around early March.

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Coriander, Spearmint & Dill – March, 2017

I’ve got spearmint plants growing outside but just wanted to try growing them from seeds. It’s taking a lot of time to grow. The coriander and dill plants grew faster.

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Spearmint growing from seeds

 

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Dill, Spearmint & Coriander – April 20, 2017

Although it’s not sufficient for Indian cooking, I’m happy that I’ll always have some in my garden! 😀

Growing Garlic & Dill

Another ~40 days for the Sakura (cherry) to bloom and we are really anxious to see some fresh green colour in the garden. Last spring we were too busy with cousins visiting us and then a month’s trip to India. This year we are all set for our early spring vegetable gardening!

Bitter gourd was the only success last year. We lost many other plants to pests. The spearmint plants just dried up. I hope it does not repeat this year.

For growing coriander I had used the Dhaniya seeds used for cooking. But they didn’t grow into healthy plants. And Dill, I’ve always wanted to grow them but didn’t know how. I recently knew they sell seeds and I started to plan for the indoor herb garden.

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Coriander plants – Fall of 2015

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Spearmint harvest – 2014

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Spearmint harvest – 2015

We went to the Home depot to look for a good stand for the herb planters. We didn’t find a right one 😦 We just bought some Coriander, Dill and Spearmint seeds. We also bought a rose plant.

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Coriander, Dill and Spearmint Seeds

This morning, Ganesh was repotting the new rose plant. Just then the idea of planting garlic struck me. Few garlic bulbs in the kitchen were already sprouting.  I checked some gardening websites and decided to plant them. I also found that Dill was a good companion plant to grow with garlic. We planted both garlic and Dill. It was a nice start to the day!!

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Garlic & Dill  – 11 Feb 2017

I will update this post with the pictures when it starts growing 🙂

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!

Update:

April 20

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