Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bright Sunny Sunday...





These bright and happy door hangers for you??





I hope the people at the Holiday Market like the Indybindi style Door Hangers..

 some more examples of the crafty things for the stall are here and here and here

tweet, tweet!!

Some acrylic birds done on old book pages....




Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday update!!


Thanxgiving is over..whew!!
I will definitely write about all the eye opening experiences that only Amreekah can give, in my next post...
but as I have my "chai" and my homemade "hotdog" (soooper combination of desi and videshi!) on a Monday morning I update you guys of the stuff done over a soooper holiday weekend!
Was feeling nostalgic (rather homesick) so I wanted to make a bit of Indian art...maybe it might appeal to people enough to compel them to buy it!  you know the "exotic-foreign touch!"   :-)
I am being conniving but what can I say...am wanting to sell as much as I can!
so here are six water color illustrations done over the weekend...









hope you guys like them!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

wednesday works...


This is how it all started...was going to make something that goes with the bottles that I showed in my earlier post (same theme as the flowers)
 but got so carried away with the colors that they ultimately turned out like this!!






They are not big (6" by 8") so they got finished in a day...
got 6 more of these to make then will move on to something else....
I feel as though I am running against time....the 6th of December is looming closer and closer and I gotta do so much more!!.... GO!GO!GO!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

tuesday update!


hey guys sorry for the disappearing act...
got a lot on my plate but here is a quick update...
the vases are finished and now i move on to matching small paintings...





will post those as soon as i am done!
am a little confused as to how to price them...
got any suggestions?
Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Manic Monday!!!

Been busy busy busy the last few days...
I have requested a stall in my son's school's December winter fest in Manhattan and I going to be selling my sketches, illustrations, book marks, polymer magnets and some recycled/painted beer bottle vases and tins-painted in our Indybindi style!
this is just a sneak peak on some incomplete stuff
still working to get it finished...
as usual got soooooooo much to do and so little time :-) !!
will keep you guys updated!
ciao


all of them have yet to be colored!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

inspiration??

Here are the lovely colored leaves that I picked upon our drive upto the Bear Mountain last weekend...




I have to make something out of these lovely presents of nature...
Aren't the colors beautiful?
so let me see....what can I make out of them??
Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

snow in October??


The postcard quality couldn't really be captured from a moving car!



The swirling snow viewed from our apartment!



Its tuesday morning here and I know I am waking up a day late, to wish you guys a good and fruitful week ahead!
we had a fantastic and eventful weekend (which hopefully explains my absence from the blog)....
It was filled with Halloween festivities and fun with some old friends and SNOW!!
I know a lot of you must have experienced snowfall (esp. my army friends) but do you remember when you first felt the snowflake come floating down and fall softly on your cheeks...
its magical!!
and all the more magical when its the first time for both my kids and me (my dear husband has been there, done that, though he thoroughly enjoyed our enthusiasm)...
and we just couldn't get over the wonder of it...
we danced and twirled and ran in the in the softly swirling snowflakes till it became really gusty and windy and we had to rush back inside and watch it from a distance...
and what a magical day it was...
It was like those picture postcards or christmas cards that we used to collect when we were kids...
The drive back home from Manhattan (we had gone to pick up some old friends) was when the storm was at its peak and traffic was crawling...but we didn't mind because the scenery around us had taken on a fairytale quality...
I think the magical feel was more so because the snow was so unexpected....
it wasn't like the cold had been building up and we were prepared for it, like it would be in December.
The Weatherman here had been predicting snow on Saturday and though we knew the "Weatherman" is never wrong(wish we had this accuracy back home in India)...we didn't really take it seriously!
The snowstorm in New York was actually quite mild, but in the rest of the areas around, it was quite destructive...a few parts in New Jersey etc hadn't yet got their power on till last night!
But for us lucky people who were not hit that bad, the best part is that though it became really cold, the next day was clear and sunny with the snow still on the grounds and the pavements and roofs!
and it being Sunday, we couldn't waste that bright sun by being cooped up inside..
so Bear Mountain was where we went for a spontaneous and beautifully scenic drive
and I cant begin to describe how beautiful it was...
the fall colors on the trees were at their peak!
the yellows and oranges and reds were all along the road while the pristine white snow was covering the sidewalks and the roofs of the cottages!
we couldn't go up to the Bear Mountain because the road was closed but we strolled along the lake at the bottom of the mountain and tried to make a snowman and have a snowball fight with our bare hands!
what can I say, our enthusiasm couldn't match up with our preparation...
so the next thing on our shopping list is waterproof mittens so that we can make a snowman without our hands freezing over!
and a snow sledge so we can go sliding down the snow covered hill......yaaaaaay!

and so, we wait for the next snowfall....:-)
 and leave you with these pictures....ciao!









the photos taken from a moving car-couldnt stop coz we were on the highway!












the beautiful lake at the bottom of Bear Mountain



the colors... oh! the colors...





Thursday, October 27, 2011

veggie salad?

The Mix Veggie Salad!




There are some people who love eating and dont ever hold themselves back...but never gain even a microgram of weight....(my younger sister, Safoora is a very good example)
These people can eat what they like, when they like and remain the same...always!
They are the objects of envy of everyone around them...
Then there are some people who though they like food, but have a naturally low appetite...and hence never put on weight...(my friends Bazma and Richa are the lucky ones that come to mind)
These lucky few are not extremely fond of food, they are not really passionate about what they eat-they eat what they get and are ok with it!
The above two examples are the ones who hate excercising -or probably have never excercised...
they dont need it!
The next lot are the people like my dear husband...he loves food, he loves to experiment with all kinds of cuisines but has a superb will power...as soon as he thinks he is putting on weight...he just switches off, starts controlling his portions-maybe does a bit of excercise... and the pounds just shed like magic....
and he is back to his fit self again!! and I just watch in amazement and deep envy....
And then there are people like me....
Who love eating (in fact are passionate about it) but try very hard to hold themselves back...who have had a constant battle with the bulge since the time they can remember...
people like us who put on weight just by breathing the air we live in...
who have exercised like crazy, ran and walked and swam and done aerobics-you name it and we have done it all!!! ...but a svelte figure has somehow evaded us...
We have done dieting, had controlled portions...gone on a detox diets and everything, but to no avail!
Here in the U.S. its not difficult to lose weight... you are constantly on your feet, doing all the housework, lugging the children around everywhere, and especially in New York, where you have to walk a lot to reach most places!
All the help that you took for granted back home like the maid and the driver and the gardner and the cook...you are all that rolled in one!
and especially if you are cooking your own food, you can experiment with all the amazing ingredients, tastes and textures that are available here... and if you are careful with what goes into your food...you can at least not put on weight! and I think thats whats been happening with me...
I havent lost weight (I am enjoying my gastronomical journey too much for that) but I havent gained weight as well...
especially as I love my salads (much to my husband's amazement-he cant relate to the fact the some people might actually enjoy salads), so at least three times a week my dinner is a salad...
so here is a rather scrumptious salad that I love which is filling and delicious!


Dressing:
whisk together-1 tbsp mustard sauce
            2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt and freshly crushed pepper
(I also sometimes add low fat hung curd to the dressing for a more creamy flavour)
you can try both ways!


1/2 a zuchchini (cut in slices)
1/2 yellow/red pepper (cut in small squares)
3 button mushrooms (sliced)
4-5 baby carrots-whole/ or normal carrots-cubed

heat a little olive oil to just coat the pan, add the above veggies and stir fry till slightly cooked but still crunchy!
add a pinch of salt and pepper 
In a salad bowl, take about 3-4 leaves of Romaine lettuce, torn into bite pieces
add cherry tomatoes (cut them in half if you so prefer)
add the stir fried veggies and sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese.
pour the dressing over it, and enjoy!!
simple and delicious....







Wednesday, October 26, 2011

halloween craft for school!

sorry about the quality of the photographs...I have to remember to use a proper camera rather than the iphone every time...



My older son's school has a couple of days holiday because they are celebrating U.N. Day  (its a U.N. school, so...)... and for me this means that no housework or no freelance work is going to be done...
I have to be constantly at his beck and call-from one hour of compulsory studying to endless rounds of snacks, a bit of craft to some reading and then of course lugging the two boys for Karate classes and back.
Its only now that I have allowed him an hour of T.V. that I can sit on the computer and at least visit my friends on the blogosphere...
so I thought why not update you on the crafty things that me and my two munchkins have been upto today...
He has a Halloween party in his school this Friday so we decided to make something "Halloweeny" for his friends in school...
And here is a step by step photo essay of Halloween Monster book marks for the 19 students in his class and the 20th one for his class teacher.
I didnt have the stiff heavy stock paper for the book marks so we had to make do with what we had at home...
the colored paper that I had were slightly flimsy so they needed a stiff back...hence we improvised by sticking them on a box of  Cheese-its and cutting them out.
then after making the goulish faces with the wiggly eyes, we stuck them on colorful craft sticks and voila.....!!!

all the stuff that is required to make these cute bookmarks!



my little two year old also made a tiny little owl of the remaining papers and was pleased as a punch about it!
And now they are waiting for their dad to come home so that they can surprise him with their creations...
there is one bookmark for dear dad too!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What the "*#@$" is Halloween???


A lot of my folks back home are wondering what is this "Halloween" that I keep on talking about all the time since the start of this month...(apart form the fact that it is all about ghosts and monsters)
and I know a lot of you are thinking... "oh no...there she goes again...she seems obsessed with this Halloween thing!!"

Thats right guys, it does seem that I am getting a bit obsessed with the whole concept of Halloween (or my husband certainly seems to think so!)
I don't know, I find the whole "Halloween" hoopla highly amusing and a lot of fun!
But before I go onto another rapturous monologue I'll just tell you a bit about what I gathered is Halloween…esp the Halloween in the U.S.!
The history is very unclear whether the festival has a celtic or a roman or a welsh origin…mostly its believed to be from a Celtic festival called Samhain…
In this Festival, which fell in the time when summer had ended and winter was fast approaching... People would light bonfires, and wear costumes to ward of evil spirits and ghosts!
The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day which is actually All Saints day to honor and pray for the souls of saints and martyrs!
So All Hallows Eve becomes "Halloween" and over time it loses its religious fervor and superstitions and becomes a more of a community based event with child friendly activities like trick or treat and hay rides and telling of ghost stories and having halloween parades and parties.
ok now we come to the symbols of Halloween…
For instance, the carving of jack-o'-lanterns springs from the souling custom of carving turnips into lanterns as a way of remembering the souls held in purgatory (or place between heaven and hell).The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween,but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips.
Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, or mythical monsters. Black and orange are the holiday's traditional colors and used in all the decorations around the house.
Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. 
Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In some parts of Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of trick, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, to earn their treats.
The American Halloween tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits
Costumes
The tradition of dressing up in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.  
Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.
Halloween costume parties generally fall on, or around, 31 October, mostly celebrated on the Friday or Saturday prior to Halloween.
the Haunted attractions and Hoopla!!
They include haunted houses, corn mazes, and hayrides, and the level of sophistication of the effects has risen as the industry has grown. Haunted attractions in the United States bring in an estimate $300–500 million each year, and draw some 400,000 customers at the least!!
And the halloween industry on its own brings in about $6 billion annually in America which makes it the  country's second largest commercial holiday!
so I guess now you can understand my fascination of the ghoulishly fun festival?
i leave you with some images of how people all over America are decorating thier homes, gardens and front porches with pumpkins and ghosts, crows, bats and even spiders.... they are awesomely creative  :-)














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