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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A lovely poem..

I read this somewhere when I was a teenager and thought how comforted one would feel.

Death is nothing at all

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my own familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Canon Henry Scott-Holland, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral (1847 - 1918)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some things from the past...

I uploaded some pictures of some of my past endeavours a long time ago but failed to publish the post.So here they are:

These are goody bags I made from scratch for my son's first birthday. I printed out the animals on different coloured photocopy paper and cut out segments and pasted to make a final colourful picture. For example I cut out the duckies beak and wing and pasted on the orange duckie printout.

This is the knitted elephant that I again made for myson. It took a lot of concentrated knitting to do this. But the final product was well worth it. Its from this site

This is the cake I decorated for my niece's second birthday.

This is a baby bag I sewed for my son and me. He is wearing a pixie hood knitted by my mother.

A picture of the elephant again. I think he turned out really cute!

And this is a cake I iced for my husban's 30th birthday. It had butter icing and the sides were done with a cashew nut nougat. It was delish.

This is the amigurumi turtle I knit for my son. This is the link.

That's all from the past. I bought a silicone chocolate mould tray (rose mould) yesterday. I want to make candy and chocolate and give as gifts to my friends and relatives. I will post about it soon. I am so exited about this! Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

On my mind

Bagels anyone?

I made bagels for breakfast and they turned out lovely! They were melt in the mouth soft. Light and airy. I am realtively new to baking and the few times I have made buns/rolls, they have come out "ok". Not great or super. Nothing to rave about.
But these bagels....Out of this world...

So I thought I would share the recipe. It is from a book called Breads and Baking edited by Gina Stear. (Quick and easy, proven recipes)


450g plain flour
2tbsp sunflower oil (I used olive oil)
1 1/2tsp salt
250ml tepid water
2tsp easy blend yeast
2 medium eggs
1tsp clear honey (I used bee's honey)

To finish: 1tbsp castor sugar, a beaten egg

Pre heat oven to 200 Celcius degrees 15minutes before baking.

Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in yeast, make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with honey and oil and add to the dry ingredients along with the tepid water and mix to form a soft dough (I used a little less water)

Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 10minutes until smooth and elastic.

Put dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place till doubled in size (about 45mins)

Briefly knead dough to knock out air. Divide into 12 (I divided into 16), form each into 20.5cm/8inch rolls, curve into a ring and pinch edges to seal (do this properly otherwise the ring breaks in the next steps)
Put rings on oiled baking sheets and cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for about 20 mins or till puffy.

Here are mine, rising in the morning sun:

Add castor sugar to a large saucepan of water. Bring to boil, drop bagels, one at a time and poach for 15 SECONDS. (This is where if you have not sealed your rings properly, they come away and they cannot be sealed afterwards. Happened to me, but it does not detract from their heavenly softness)

Lift out with a slotted spoon and return to baking tray.

Brush the bagels with a beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds (I sprinkled sugar).

Bake in a pre heated oven for about 12-15 minutes or till golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and serve when cool (we ate it hot from the oven with a dollop of butter....)

Mine are ready to come out of oven:

My soft soft bagels...

We had these for breakfast. I started getting the ingredients around 6.30am and the bagels were ready to eat by 8am. The poaching bit takes extra effort but it is totally worth it. I don't think I'll make bread rolls again. Bagels it will be..

Linking with Rhonda at Down to Earth.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Handy Medicine tote

So You Think You Can Sew?

I thought I would enter in this online competition that Mommy by day and crafter by night is hosting. I actually stumbled upon this competition after reading about it in Pleased as Punch blog. So I thank Rachel from the bottom of my heart for enlightening us.

I am an ardent crafter and I love sewing very much. I am a working mother of a two and a half year old son and while I work , both sets of grandparents take turns caring for him. So I do a lot of traveling and needed a bag to take his and my medicines/ creams etc from place to place. I googled a pattern but couldn't find one to my satisfaction and so decided to create one from scratch. This is the result:

This is the inside of the bag. It has a place to slip my son's thermometer in, on the under side of the lid. And a pocket which carries vitamin supplements, Oral Rehydration Solutions etc.

It measures a handy 14cm x 21cm with a height of 21cm. I have been using this for about 6months now and wonder how I ever managed without it.

Hope my creation is crafty enough to enter the competition!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Homemade yoghurt

I made yoghurt at home! I felt so proud of my results! And the way my husband and son ate it and how the jar is now almost empty, after not even 24hours!

I used Rhonda's recipe and followed it to the last t. I didn't have a large bottle so I adjusted the recipe for 1L. I couldn't find a brand of yoghurt without gelatine in Kandy so I took the starter from a pot of curd I git from the market. This is very thick and rich and contains buffalo milk.

My buffalo curd starter(it comes in a clay pot)

My yoghurt "monster" lying in the sun...

And finally my thick creamy and oh so lovely homemade yoghurt :-)

I suggested we all (husband and son) try it for breakfast and we did and now I am with an empty jar! My husband and son ate it with some jaggery as it was still not sweet enough for them. I added 3tbsp of sugar but think will need to make it about 5 next time as we have a sweet tooth in our family.

Thank you Rhonda!

Monday, August 15, 2011

On my mind..

Joining in with Rhonda at Down to Earth for an On my Mind post.

On my mind today are- MONKEYS!!!

The monkey menace in my area (Kandy, Sri Lanka) used to destroy all that sprouted in our garden and played with our clean laundry hanging out in the sun. They leave our water taps open, till the over-head tank runs dry; creep into our house to steal whatever is within sight. We've had over twenty years of this man-monkey battle. We have tried everything from spraying water at them from a hose pipe to lighting crackers to scare them off-with little success.

Now, finally our neighbours have tried and tested wearing a dark gown over their heads with a devil mask over their faces and jumping up and down, making a huge racket, and it has managed to keep them at bay for about two months.

My mother (who is adopting this method at the moment) consented to being photographed in her black under-skirt and pumpkin mask- her "Monkey chaser" attire!
Here's to hoping they will keep away for a long time..

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Crafting in July

Hi, These are some of the things I have been doing in the past month. I made a pyramid play tent for my son using thrifted material (curtains actually) and conduit pipes. It was with great difficulty that I made i because at first in my hurry to get it finished, I paid scant attention to dimensions and it turned out lopsided and awful. SO after giving myself an interval to get over the disappointment I tried again and this is how it ame out. The top part is still not perfect and I need to neaten the edges, butu it does function and my son enjoys being inside. The top was actually difficult to design as I only had elbows and Ts available and so it came out so.

I bought my first piece of furniture. I am at the moment using it as my kitchen table, fr cutting and chopping stuff, but when someday we do hjave a house of our own I plan to use it as my very own writing table. So as not to spoil its surface I covered it with a pretty green (my fav colour) oil cloth.

Then above is an old painting of mine that I had done like stained glass. I found it recently and gave ita facelift. The frame is constructed from an old storage box and frame was made from colour A4 paper. Cost me about Rs. 8.00 for the whole thing and took no more than 15mins to finish. I think it looks lovely, although I do say so myself. I keep gazing at it and loving the colours..Must make some more for our living room. Its dull at the moment as it is.

Then, last but not least, my reason for this blog post, I made floor pillow mattress. I discovered this t Ucreate. It was made by Kendra of Southern Disposition.

As soon as I saw it I jst knew I needed to make one. And so I did. last night. And my son loves it, as you can see in the picture. I bought thrifted material (again) and made it in nder one hour. I think Kendra's blog is great and am following her. I like the fct that she is also a working mom , but somehow manages to make lovely things for her child. Thanks Kendra, for the great inspiration. The best projects are the easiest ones to do-somtimes :-)

That's all I have done thins month except, I am doing a lot of cooking these days. I made home made pizza which was devoured by my husband and son (Courtsey of Down to Earth blog) and so many other stuff too.

Hope to post things I'v made in August sometime. Till then, Tata!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Keeping busy in June

Keeping busy in June

A lot has happened since I last posted which was in April. Writing a post and uploading pictures seems so tedious to me and I feel I'd rather be doing something with that time. But it is also nice to see what I have done on my blog too.

My son recently celebrate his second birthday and we had a small party for him at our annexe. Everything was homemade except for the marshmallows (which no one ate!)

I made the cake at my mother's with a lot of help from her. I have not baked many cakes and it was only because of her that this came out good. Its a doggy cake and I got the inspiration from this site

I also made some fancy sandwiches taken from one very old Good Housekeeping mag that my amma had. They looked nice but were very tricky to cut and also eat. Will not make again!

I got some thrifted T shirts from our relativey new thrift "shops". These are vendors selling ther goods out on the pavement. At least they used to sell on the pavements but have now been given tyhe rooftop of our biggest parking area-Kandy city centre. Its lovely to just walk around and see lovely material from all over the world. They are not greatly cheap but sometimes you do find some great bargains. I bought several shades of T shirts for just Rs.75 each and made the 90-minute shirt as per instruction by Dana of Made. Thew pants are also from her basic pants tutorial. Istencilled my son's name and age and also a figure of an elephant on the T shirt from stencils I cut out on transprent sheets. All in all think it came out just fine.

I recenntly took part in the dishcloth swap organised by Down to Earth blog and received a lovely dishcloth from Helen Wilson in Tasmania (Between nowhere else and Paradise:

The dishcloth was knit from the softest yarns I have ever touched-bamboo. She also sent me a pack of playing cards and a lovely fragrant soap from Tasmania. Thank you so much Helen, you were a great swap partner and I loved getting your parcel.

Here are some things I have made this year and got immense satisfaction making them.

A curtain for the bedroom. I patched up some coloured pieces of mterial and sewed a strip in the middle. At first I thought it was odd but later on it gave a stained glass effect in the afternoons and it looked nice.

this is he medicine carrier/tote I made to take my son's and my medicine from place to place. It looks nice here but tends to flop a little after carrying. But its quite handy anyway. I carry almost allof my son's medicine, his thermometer, nail cutter etc.this is the ball I made from small fabric peieces. The end pieces are rexine. Inspired by Made by joel
Here is the quilt that I made for my sister. It is fnally finished and lies where it was meant to lie-in my sis's guest room.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My dishcloth

Amidst chaos I have managed to "finish" my waffle knit dishcloth for the Down to earth dishcloth swap. Inverted commas, because I want to fancy it up in some way but I have not figured out how.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The dishcloth swap

I am taking part in the dishcloth swap sponsored on Rhonda's blog Down to earth.
I found a simple knit dishcloth on Home spun living and am knitting it in white. I am wondering whether to add a colour in the middle. How to make it into something special? I was wondering about adding a colourful cloth border.
Here is a photo courtesey of Fire Fly Farm
Or maybe not. My computer has slowed down and I seem unable to upload pictures.Anyway it finally appeared. Looks cute. I'm supposed to cast on 38 stitches but in my hurry I have cast 39 and I found this out in my 4th row so I did a 2 together and decided I will keep this for myself if the mistake is glaringly obvious.

Will try and post pictures of my ongoing dishcloth. SO exited to see the end result!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monsoon in March..

I have been unable to blog for some time due to various events that came up in my life. Out of the many the one that stands out is that my husband went into dengu shock while in Colombo and was admitted to Hospital by his friends. I was there with him for almost a week while our son was in Kandy with my mother. Thankfully things are back to normal now.

I made home made bread courtesey of Rhonda's recipe at Down to Earth

I also made a storage box using the tutorial on Positively splendid. As I couldn't find canvas I used rexine and sewed it in place using DMC thread punching the holes using a punch needle.

I took part in the Great Big stitched postcard swap (3) hosted by Beth Nicholls of Do What You Love and got this lovely postcard by Antoinette Vogt

And this is the one I made using punch needle embroidery. It was sent to Melissa of the Frugal Style. The postcards can be seen at this Flickr site

I won my very first giveaway! It was hosted by A foothill home companion and I won a lovely book by Ashely English of small measures called Home dairy. Thank you Melissa and Thank you Ashely! I am looking forward to making home made butter and yoghurt..

Till next time...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The year that ended

We are experiencing a very wet and dreary period in Kandy and it is quite depressing and scary too. Scary because all around us the hills are coming down along with trees and in some cases the houses which sat on them as well. We were marooned at my in-laws place for about 48hours with no electricity because two trees fell trapping their house in the middle.

This is how I crafted by lamplight:

I am punching a monkey face on to a piece of flannel using the punch needle. I want to use this to make another pair of shoes for my son. I made a similar pair for my next door neighbour's daughter using a giraffe face. Here is the image:

I also did some cooking. Rather, baking. For our 1st of January Department celebrations I baked some patties using a well tried and tested flaky pastry recipe from an old book I had. They came out really well and were crispy and melt in the mouth quality. Then I made some cupcakes for Dulmini's farewell party using the butter cake mix.

Then I made some home-made, all natural fruit jelly using mango and pineapple for my son. I was worried about the amount of chemicals they add to these shop bought jellies because everytime my son has some his whole mouth is left the bright colour of the jelly. So I made this using 600ml of fresh fruit juice (I stewed the pineapple with some sugar and a stick of cinnamon) and 1/2 oz of gelatine. It was really tasty and my son kept asking for more!

I also found time to make Dulmini a toiletry bag: The material I bought at relatively low prices from a shop where they sell "cut pieces". and the zipper ornament is from a pencil I had. I like the clour combination and the way it turned out. I machine quilted the whole thing and because I didn't have a walking foot on my machine it was a lot of frustrating work. But I love how it turned out and Dulmini also loved it.

This is the quilt top I am making for my sis: It is finished and I am now both hand and machine quilting it. Its a very slow process but I am enjoying every minute of it-especially the hand quilting part. This is a close up of the already quilted part:

Well that's all for now. Just looking at what I have done makes me feel thrilled about the small crafty accomplishments I have made last year and the beginning of this year. Feel very satisfied. My crafts keep me sane and happy and contented :-)