Monday, January 31, 2011

A Healthy Snacks…

 I am always reading blogs about food because I love cooking and enjoying making food for my family. Over the past years I have always navigated close to the idea of natural ingredients less preservative. I have blog about this subject in past too. Finding the correct food with natural elements take skills in today’s world because we are basically raised in a preservatives and fast food.

I have begun to use honey as sweetener in my tea for last 4-5 years and find that it is very beneficial. I use raw honey when I make fruit tarts as a garnish. It took me a while to adjust to the taste because honey does have an after taste. What I found recently was when I ran out of my honey stock that I did not like sugar in my tea.

So when I was at the farm stand since I have started to go back to school the one of the items they sell at the farm shop was honey during these cold months. Not only that she told me that they harvested the new honey during Thanksgiving and will be on the self soon. When I explained to her that I couldn’t take my tea without the honey she told me one of her quick snacks she makes with honey.

This is my version of a healthy snack. My recent visit to IKEA I purchased a packet of Rye Crisp bread made out of 73%Wholegrain rye flour, 17% rye flour, water, yeast, salt, and ground caraway. I spread a 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (freshly ground) and drizzled some honey on it was delicious.

My little one didn’t like it very much but she was happy to take few bites when she saw honey on it. I have a night class I looking for ideas to have healthy dinner at school that works with my body and brain at the same time.

Quote of the day “face a limitation and give your very best”


Friday, January 28, 2011

Room Makeover…

Nicolette being a two made me realized that she needs a room make over. We did together my husband did a great job in drawing a branch on the wall free hand. After watching the idea of having a decal on the wall I wanted to have a branch, some leaves and a bird nest.

It was very simple but did add a big impression to her room. Most of all she loves the painting very much as I did creating this space for her. For some reason if we were to move all we have to do is paint over it may be add some primer and it will be gone. I am glad that I can pain wall because it does come in handy so many ways.

I did add a small chair next to her basket of books so she can have some quiet time reading. Nicolette is a very loud reader with so much drama I love to hear her reading books to us.

It was so much fun creating her space with little changers. She was helping us throughout this process and I think it gave her some ownership in her newly created space with responsibilities of cleaning up after play is very vital now since the kitchen is in her room.

So in a nut shell creating her room cost $3.00 bucks only the paint… I thought it was a budget friendly way to add a little action to any one’s space. It does not have to be a huge thing even a small subtle changers can make a big impact.

Quote of the day “be in love with the world”


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Introducing baby blocks to my ETSY shop…

I was playing with this idea of making blocks for my daughter when she was a baby. I never had the opportunity to make them for her which I regret a lot now. I bought the fabric and the fiber filling while ago. And it was sitting inside the closet. I finally washed the fabric, ironed and cut the fringes. I wish I got some bold colors at that time but I didn’t. I started to work with what I had. Mainly because I wanted a baby shower gift and then my friends were saying you should add this to your shop with much hesitant I did.

I cut 4 inch squares and sewed them and formed it to be a square and filled it with the fiber filling. I was thrilled to see my daughter playing with these blocks. And I have a gift for a friend who is expecting very soon. (finally shower gift is done)

I loved the fact I choose some fabric with dimensions for a new baby to discover and stimulate energies and senses. Yes, they are available for you to purchase through my online store for your convenient…

When I was working as an Infant toddler teacher in a Montessori I had the opportunity to work with kids to use soft blocks. Of course they were not made out of fabric. They were made out with some fake leathery fabric for easy washing to keep up with cleanliness and to sanitize them easily due to multiple kids using them in the classroom. Of course they were about 10 -12 blocks and solid colors. I remember toddlers having a blast with them. They would build them with such concentration and will kick or punch it and watch them fall. They would try to play with the fallen blocks on the floor and rebuild it again and again with such joy. I have had great joy watching them and it’s amazing to see my little one has the same enthusiasm to play with these blocks.

Quote of the day “Take advantage of found time”


Monday, January 24, 2011

Thank you Cards…

I enjoy making cards at home. I was running out of my stock and today I decided to make some cards. This was my design with some leftover scrapbooking paper. Sometimes I do use small scrapbooking booklet papers which are the idea size for card making.

I use some stamps, ribbon, and the flower punch. I was able to replenish my thank you note cards stock in few minutes. I simply cut them to the pattern paper to the length of the cards and in various widths so I can layer them to get a funky look. I did use the three dimension stickers to elevate the flowers from the card. I love that look because it adds a subtle drama to the card. And the shadow plays a cool effect on these homemade cards.

I have used them with friends and always received good raving about these cards. I have completely stop buying thank you cards from the stores. I love to send an old fashion note for a gift I received or a service I received. Because I personally think people like to know and it feels good o know that the person who offered the service did a good job or in other words simply like to know the effort was much appreciated.

Again that’s me not everyone feels that way with today’s lifestyle.

Quote of the day “tie up loose ends”


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Visiting Purl - Soho, NY

It is worth the trip… I wish I was able to spend more time there but in way I was glad I didn’t because that could affect my budget heavily. But I was still able to spend couple of dollars and het some yarn to do some projects for myself. You will see them in future… But I love the yarn and the fabric collection they had over at purl. I can’t wait to see her summer work.

I would love to work at purl if I lived in NYC but I am not.
I love Joelle Hoverson’s work and how she displays her work in the store. They have really taken the time to group the colors which I find very beautiful and at the same time very attractive. As you enter there is this huge panel that frames the embroidery loops with beautiful materials very eye catching display. When I get my craft room this is a must I am going to work on to display so I decided to buy some loops and have a collection going. I might check on regular basis in thrift stores and so forth.

I love the display and the collection of yarn and fabric was very beautiful. I have not seen anything like that. I mean the staff and the owner has work really hard to create a unique place and a collection of fabric, yarn, needles, buttons and everything else you need for crafts.
So if you every visit to NYC it is worth the visit…

Quote of the day “explore new places, stay curious”


Monday, January 17, 2011

I am not tired of knitting hats… can you guess?

 You might think is she crazy… well I am not I don’t think I can ever be tired of knitting hats. During this past holiday I got to meet some wonderful people. One person was my scrapbooking friend’s sister. She was great. It’s been a while I have done any scrapbooking but I do enjoy this round of friends. Fun part was this friend’s sister was a knitter.

I would say she is revisiting her teenage knitting skills… but she was pretty good with her knitting skills. So she shared this pattern with me. I couldn’t wait to get my hands around this pattern. I re- visited my yo - yarn over technique which I use to struggle is a breeze now. This hat works great as gift for a new born and as great heirlooms piece.

I love the i - cord that use to tie around the hat going through the eyelets. It adds a little whimsical to this lovely hat.

Quote of the day “involve yourself with good people”


Friday, January 14, 2011

Baby Blankets…

I love creating for babies… when I bought the craft books this holiday I was inspired by some projects and couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. I loved these blankets because for couple of reasons first of all they were simple to make cut the fabric then cut the bias binding and attach it. I have mastered cutting the bias binding and attaching them. Since I make the topponcinos for newborns I thought it was a nice addition to add blanket with it.

Basically I got 1 yard of the flannel and ½ yard of the cotton printed fabric for bias binding. Then you sew the bias binding and hand stitch the hem stitch around the blanket. I love washing fabrics before I start any project so the final product is ready to use.

Another reason to fall in love with this blanket is it is fairly bigger than a receiving blanket. During the past two years I have been repurposing the receiving blankets to make bigger blankets for my little one to keep up with her growing pace.

Yet this is very simple project to do. For new moms who are new to sewing but intimidate can accomplish this project quiet easily.

My goal with this project is to use seasonal fabrics. In that way I can make these as a special gift to the new mom or may be with neutral bias I can add one valentine fabric, holiday, spring, or even St. Patrick’s novelty fabrics. I mean there are so many choices to make there will be plenty of blankets to be made for a baby shower. You can give one blanket with a hat all bundle up and tied with a pretty ribbon. Or simply 1-3 blankets all tied up with a ribbon would be lovely yet an elegant handmade gift with LOVE!

I can’t wait to send mine away as gifts…

Quote of the day “Do small things with great love”


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Scrap Yarn & Hats…

 I received a bag of scrap yarn from another knitter. I wanted to knit some hats with scrap yarn. First thing I did was separate the yarn according to colors then I looked for the texture of the yarn to create some personality to the hat.

I was surprises with the final project myself too. I love this blue hat. I wished I had more to crate this unique hat but that is the fun part creating with scrap yarn. Best part is nothing gets wasted at the end.

Quote of the day “be curious about life”


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Let your child’s favorite Book inspire…

Last year for my daughters B’day I got these picture frames from IKEA. I used them to show pictures of her in a timeline fashion on my mantel with some flowers. It was a great center piece also visitors had a chance to see her growth. I had the frames tucked in the closet and I wanted to reuse them.

My daughter loved and her favorite book was once We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. I have read this book many, many, many times.

So I decided to color copy the book and I brushed it with modge podge to give add a glossy effect. And simply framed the pagers… and hung them on the wall. Before I did this I took away the book from her as we introduce her to new books. She was so happy to see the framed pictures of her favorite book. To my amazement she started to act out and read the book and tell the story as she stood in front of the frames.

This also adds a new dimension to her story time and we have rearranged her room a little bit to acknowledge that she is growing. These frames lend beautiful illustrations to dazzle on the wall with very little cost. She loves her big girl room with toys. We are waiting to add one more piece and then we are done.

Quote of the day “lose yourself in a child’s world


Monday, January 10, 2011

Order in the Kitchen…

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We decided to get a kitchen for my little one as she has expressed her interest very early on kitchen utensils and up keep. I have no idea where she is getting this from ha… ha… I am not into Barbie or Princess that’s not in my DNA. I vaguely do remember playing with some clay pots in Sri Lanka when I was a little girl and I have no idea what happen to that interest as I grew up. But the best memory I do remember was and cherished to this day was playing alongside with my mom and grandmother while they prepare meals. Even though to some extent I enjoy making meals to my family. I would like to have more time doing other things that I have found interesting right now.

I was simply elated to watch my daughter take such care with her kitchen utensils and making imaginary meals… I have been a great shopper at IKEA for her toys. I love the quality and the simplicity of their toys more than anything their concept of going green and no plastic.

Especially tea set I bought for her on her 1st B’day was a good investment. Even though she has learned some tough lessons they are breakable and can cut her skin. Which I have experienced with her but she learned quickly to hold on to glass with both hands have come a handy with playing kitchen.

I have seen so many things you can add on to this collection… I want to make few things for her imaginative play… hopefully I will be able to finish them before school start.

During assembling kitchen she was busy making tea for her dad and me I thought it was very sweet. We are planning to make more meals and have fun in her kitchen…

I have notice I enjoy play time a lot with her and observing is much more fun…
What do you play with your child and how do you make it functional play with your kids…

Quote of the day “teach your kids how to use appliances correctly”


Friday, January 7, 2011

On Pins and Needles…

We are expecting snow… I drop my son at school early morning as he had work with his student council. I don’t mind the cold weather actually I do enjoy it very much. With that stating I have two more weeks before school. I am kind of excited going back because of the interesting classes that I have chosen. In my collection of crafting books I have bought this year I was very much interested in making a book for a needles. Usually I keep needles in my pin cushion. I don’t know about you I do sometimes miss them and get frustrated. So I was anxious to make these books. I made a couple and gave them as gifts during holidays for my friends who are into crafting.

It was easy to make it cut a piece of felt fabric as for the book covers and I used flannel as for pagers. Depending the amount of needles you use you can add or subtract the pagers. I also thought for your convenience you can embroidery the numbers on the pagers so this way you know exactly where your needles according to their sizes. I know sometimes I can be very anal when it comes to order. I see this in my daughter too hope she will keep up not a phase that she is going to pass. I will post the pictures of my version of the book as soon as I get to it in my to-do list. My goal is to get myself organized this new l more over my crafting. Now I understand why I need a craft room. I can see my kids spending time there as much as I do…

This was a great gift. Some like them very much… I like them because it help me to get organized my needles… it is a simple gift with a huge function.

Tell me what you think about this… or may be how you store your needles…

Quote of the day “keep basic supplies on hand”


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stimulate Your Exploring Baby with a Fabric Ball…

I wanted to make this toy for infants so bad to add to my shop… especially for people who love to add simple toys to their nurseries with a touch of Montessori. When I took the training in Denver, CO we learned about all these toys that can lend to stimulate and develop the baby’s senses and let the child explore the environment with interest. As well as to make the child realize their action has an impact in their surroundings.
I will be introducing this to my shop during this winter…

I made one and planning to give it away for a relative. I love making them I wish I did this when my kids were little. I managed to make toys for my younger one but not much for m older one though.

Another way to use this toy is place it in front of a baby who is eager to move. In other words to crawl unintentional batting and hitting will roll the ball away from the baby but not too far few inches. This will encourage little one to master their skills in moving, reaching, and grasping. The bell inside the ball will make a sound the little one will be curious as well as be attentive to see what it is…

Yes it is simple but a beautiful toy for a little one…

Quote of the day “make the best possible choice”


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter…

I have been reading this past couple of days it was my second book that I bought at the church fair. Yes, I did cried while I was reading this book. I am sure most of you must have read this book for those who didn’t I highly recommend this wonderful book by Kim Edwards. # 1 New York Times best Seller.

“Anyone would be struck by the extra ordinal power and sympathy of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” The Washington Post

I usually read during summer when I was working since I don’t get a vacation. I use to teach year around, boy it does burn you out very fast. So my recovery to slow down was to at least read one book during summer. I have adapted this routine to cold, gloomy, and depressing days currently. Truly I love this weather it does not affect me at all funny right. I come from a tropical climate but loves the snow and live for the gloomy days to plan activities with my kids or just me.

About the book… I have not read anything like this I am going to be a special ED teacher that is my goal, but it was amazing to understand the Education system way back in 60’s. Yes very different, radical, and narrow minded. I am not sure if I chose the right word but that’s exactly how I felt. How things were handle, like delicate matters as loss, I have been through many of these situations and push myself hard to come out of the blue it was hard. But what I take from that situation is if you are aware of your feeling you can act accordingly with the right set of mind. Many times it is challenging be aware of your situation without any help. I have seen some people have natural ability or talent to come out of these difficult situationshowever not all.

This remarkable book talks about many aspects of Down syndrome, poverty, responsibilities, mothers fight to save her daughter, brother’s feelings for his sister, a husband and a father who loves unconditionally and ultimately looses everything for love…

If you have read the book tell me what you think about it… if not give it a try…

Quote of the Day “be comfortable with contradictory ideas in your mind”


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year…

My New Year resolutions consist of a list as always; How about you… what have you decided to accomplish this year, give up, help out, seek out, grow into, dig into, to create, or is it simply to soak life in… I would love to hear so feel free drop a line or two…

My New Year celebration was wonderful, memorable, and fun. I was able to watch fire works with my family on a boat at the Boston Harbor. I could not ask for any more it was beautiful, breath taking and the weather was great Surprising warm front help the Bostonians to celebrate New Year in spring fashion very unusual for most of us who choose to live up North. We all had a great time after a very long time as a family. I would not forget that.

I am anxious to see what 2011 has offer to me or in other words what I have to offer 2011. We will see as time unravels. Past couples of years have made me stronger, bolder, and a pusher. Not only that it allowed me to explore the creativity, understand me, what I want, and to realize where my life is heading, what I need to focus, my family and my children. It was indeed a great experience which I am still learning and exploring but it has definitely made me a totally different person.

Understanding relationships, family, and friendships… Yes, I have changes took charge of different situations, cried a lot but I grew up a whole lot past few years. When I look back those tracks I am humbly happy where I am it was not an easy ride… I thank many of you who stop by in my blog to take peak with your busy lives.

Quote of the day “accomplish something everyday”