How to clean silver jewellery or silverware at home

I’m somewhat obsessed with silver. That really shouldn’t come as a surprise, should it? I mean, my handle does have the word “silver” in it…!

Earlier in 2015, I went to visit my parents in Delhi. I was back in Delhi after more than two years. You know what that means – shopping!

And my mum, because mums have a special way of knowing exactly what you like and what you need in your life, took me to the silver shopping area. Not the big malls or fancy air conditioned stores, but them small cozy and super awesome tiny shops.

As I walked into one of these small silver shops, I realized I’d carried with me some of my silver that had oxidized over time. So I promptly took my jewellery out and asked the gentleman there if he had the special solution to clean silver. Because, well, I clearly hadn’t bothered to look around for it.

This is one of those moments when I kinda applauded my laziness. Not just me, my mum applauded my laziness too! Why? Well, because our man at the shop proceeded to give us a handy little tip on how to clean silver at home. I didn’t quite believe my eyes when he cleaned my jewellery thinking there must’ve been some kinda hidden ingredient he’d used. It really couldn’t be that simple!

So what does the scientist in me do? Tests it out herself! Right before karvachauth this year, I took out my silverware and proceeded to clean it.

Here’s the what and how:

supplies 3 what to do 3 Nope, not kidding – that’s all it takes!

Now for some classic before-and-after pictures…

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There you have it – you learn something new every day!

G’luck with you silver-cleaning. =)


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Balcony makeover

This is the third post I’m rewirting – I’m doing bloody well, even if I say so myself. =P

Now, in the past, I’ve primarily done indoor crafts and DIY projects, like Pages on a wall, 5th anniversary present, Picture frame from recycled magazines and some other ones I haven’t gotten around to blogging yet.

The very first outdoor DIY project I did was giving my balcony a makeover.

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Our flat (we’ve since moved from there – sigh!) was on the 26th floor, smack on Sheikh Zayed Road. The view, as you can imagine, was epic. So when the weather was nice, we found ourselves in the balcony, chilling. As did our guests.

So we thought, hey, why not redo our balcony to make it more…hmmm…what’s the word? Less dry looking? Let’s go with that for now.

But then the question arose: how does one make a balcony less dry? Before we’d had a chance to sit down and brainstorm what to do with it, we ended up going to a friend’s house who’d redone her balcony. And we realised that what they’d done with their balcony would work perfectly with ours!

So off we went to Ikea, bought ourselves some wooden planks, got Rohit in a throw-away T-shirt, and got him straight to work.

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Of course Rohit did the hard work – I’m just taking credit for accessorising the balcony and writing this post!

Hey, at least I’m honest about it. =D

This is what the balcony looked like before the makeover…

Before …during…

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…and after it was done:

final Again, it isn’t rocket science trying to figure out how this was done. But I thought I’d just share a few handy tips with you before you start working on your balcony makeover.

Tip #1

Clean the balcony! Remember, you’re rarely going to clean under those planks, so make sure you do a thorough job before starting to lay the planks out.

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Tip #2

You might have gaps between planks and the edges of the balcony to cover in case the planks aren’t an exact fit. If you have a balcony that’s not structurally aligned (and gives you nightmares occasionally – no? Really? Just me and my OCD then!), then you’ll have some asymmetrical gaps to cover. Get creative with theses gaps!

IMG_8660 Tip #3

If your balcony isn’t too big, then keep your furniture to a bare minimum. Remember, if people tend to be in your balcony often, you wouldn’t want them fighting furniture for space to stand!

Tip #4

Add a little more DIY flavour to your balcony with this super quick and easy tip: thoroughly wash and rinse an empty wine bottle. Get a single long stemmed flower and stick it in there. Make sure there’s a little bit of water in the bottle, of course. And add a dash of salt – I hear it helps. =)
What a difference it makes to the overall look! And so ridiculously simple.

wine bottle

And this, boys and girls, is what the final product looked like:

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Ta-daaaaaa! =)

As always, drop in a comment below with what you thought of this.

It’s also nice to hear if you’ve done something similar or if you end up trying this. So yeah, drop in a comment and let me know. =)


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Pages on a wall

I promised I’d slowly, but surely, revive my blog. As you can see, I’m doing exactly that.

The second blog that I’m rewriting (in case the context is lost on you, take a minute to read The day my DIY blog died) is another popular one: Pages on a wall.

As the name suggests, this one’s about a wall I’d redone in our flat over a year ago. Here are a couple of classic before-and-after pictures:

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Before After small

I’d just finished reading Dozakhnama: Conversations in hell by Rabisankar Bal and incidentally, come across this idea around the same time. I’ll leave you to read the book – no spoilers! – but I will say that it has a lovely blend of different languages in their original scripts. By that, I mean that there aren’t merely phonetically translated versions of the verses.

The final wall had not only English and Hindi, but Bengali and Urdu script as well. It added a lot of character to the overall final product.

Languages

Since I can only ready English and Hindi, I do wish some of the things in Urdu and Bengali had phonetic translations, I won’t lie!

Alrightie then: moving along to the wall and how that entire process transpired…

It really isn’t rocket science trying to figure out what I did and how I did it. But there are a few pointers that I’d kept in mind that I think might help you. It’s always the little things that matter the most! =)

What you’ll need (supplies)

Supplies

  1. The wall
    *ahem* This is a no-shit-Sherlock one. But I suppose what I mean by this is that you should pick out a wall that’s visible and can be easily accessorised – I had a ladder and a bean bag against mine. But if the wall is cramped and restrictive, then it limits what you can do around it. That said, I’ve seen some stunning examples of these walls being done up in bathrooms and under staircases!
  2. Paper cutter / slicer
    My DIY and crafts haven in Dubai is Daiso. Everything in the store is for AED 7, unless the product has a price tag. You can get this paper cutter / slicer from there.
  3. The book
    Pick a book you like. I’ve also seen some walls that have comic books, magazine covers, newspapers…so you can let your imagination run wild with this one!
  4. Pair of scissors
  5. Glue stick
    I used UHU glue. But in retrospect, I would recommend using wallpaper paste. I mean, it is made for that purpose!

What to do (instructions)

1 | Ripping pages off

You’ll need to gently rip off pages from the book you’re using. I know that’s kind of an oxymoron, but hey, you know what I mean!

Tear pages 2

See that you take special care make sure that it’s a clean break. This will reduce the amount of work required to even out edges, etc.

Clean break vs not so clean break

2 | Start pasting

As simple as the process of pasting might seem, this, too, can be quite tricky.

Start pasting1

The reason I started pasting from this corner is that the other end of the wall would then get incomplete / half pages. Take a look at the final wall image to see what I’m saying!

Edges

stages

Hard at work

3 | Admire your work of art!

That’s right – there’s nothing more to it! I’m saying this with a disclaimer: it took me a looooooong time to get this done! I worked on this over a weekend and busted my back doing it.

No, I’m not even kidding – I needed an entire day to straighten my back.

I have to admit, though: it was worth every minute!

Here are some pictures of the final product:

the wall

final

GS1

GS3

Final 2

GS2

Before After small

And that’s how I put up pages on my wall. =)

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I have no imagination. No, it’s true!

I can perhaps take something I’ve seen and add my two cents to make it look decidedly different from the original piece, but at the end of the day, the idea would probably not crop up in my mind on its own. Le sigh!

This idea, just like many others, was inspired from a few posts that I saw online. As always, I’d like to take a second to give due credit to those who have creative minds. It’s these people my creativity thrives off of!

Big shout out to The Desi Wonder Woman. Few can do DIY like this awesome woman! Also, here are examples of what some other mad creative people have done:

On that note – enjoy doing up your wall! And as always, drop in a comment if you do try this. =)


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5th anniversary present

I recently wrote about the day my blog died. Tragic as it was, it’s now time to get going and rewrite posts I’d lost.

The first one I’ve decided to rewrite is one that became quite popular on Pinterest, with over 1000 repins: 5th anniversary present. I can’t stop advertising this. Clearly. *teehee*

I’m sure a lot of couples will understand when I say that when you’ve been together for a long time, you run out of ideas for gifts. Especially for anniversaries.

When I hit this road block a couple of years ago when Rohit and I were celebrating five years of having known each other, I turned to my one trusted advisor: Pinterest!

After this inspirational streak, I went online, dished out the lyrics to our song ‘Pehli Nazar Mein – Race‘ (Rohit is a Bollywood junkie – and the song isn’t half bad =P), and got straight to work. This is what I ended up gifting to him:

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Turned out pretty well, even if I say so myself!

Now, without going into further detail about why, where, when let’s get to the how, shall we?

What you’ll need

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  1. Photo frame
    I picked one with a thick border. This would highlight the text on white background.
  2. Pair of scissors
  3. Glue stick
  4. Smooth writing black ink pen
    Be sure to test the pen out before you start the project. If needed, go out and buy a new one. You’ll want to use the same pen for all the text else it’ll look quite shabby!
  5. Thick white paper to write on
    The paper you start of with should be bigger than the frame. You can then cut it to fit the frame.
  6. Lyrics to your song
  7. Your picture!

What to do (instructions)

1. Clean your workstation! 

As patronising as this may sound, you’ll be surprised at how many times projects get ruined just because of dirty workstations. Grab the table you want to work on, clean it thoroughly and then start.

2. Measure the paper

Inside the frame that you’ve chosen there will be a default picture. Take this picture out and place it on the thick paper you’re going to write on. Now make markings (little dots) on three sides of the paper. Make sure these marks are not exactly to scale with the default picture. You want to leave some space in case you make a mistake cutting it.

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3. Join the dots!

Now join the dots (markings) you’d made on the paper. This will give you a rectangular space within which you can write.

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4. Write away!

Now get those lyrics out and start to write along the rectangle that you’ve sketched out.

You can write however you want. I prefer giving things an artistic twist, so I started writing from the top right hand corner of the rectangle and continued writing in a loop. You can choose to write in cursive or not. It really doesn’t matter. The only thing I would say is that make sure you write the text yourself. Don’t get a friend with good handwriting to write the text for you. It doesn’t matter if you have bad handwriting or not – the idea is that it should be yours!

I left a little rectangle in the centre where our picture would go. It’s best to write more so the picture covers the text rather than write less and have empty gaps showing. Or maybe that’s just my OCD talking. =P

Here, this picture might explain it better:

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5. Cut and paste

Once your writing is done, cut the paper along the lines that you’d drawn. You’ll now have a clean rectangular sheet of paper that will fit inside your frame. Then, take the picture you’ve selected of the two of you and paste it in the centre of the sheet.

I chose a black and white picture just to go with the general monochrome theme. Also, this one happens to be my favourite picture of us. =)

Now, if you have OCD like I do, you’ll want to ensure that the picture is exactly in the centre of the text. I realised that mine was slllllllightly off centre. Looking at it still give me shivers down my spine. Almost makes me want to do the project all over again – yikes!

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6. Frame it!

Once the picture you’ve pasted has set, your sheet of paper is all set to go into the frame.

You can either gift wrap the final frame or you can place it somewhere obvious so your other half will see it. That’s what I did. =)

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And that’s that! =)

G’luck with making your version of this frame. Don’t forget to drop in a comment below when you do try this!

Since this frame wasn’t an original idea, I can’t end this post without giving due credit. These two pins are the ones that gave me my eureka moment: Picture of the first dance with the lyrics of the song written in the frame and First Dance with Lyrics. So in case either of these pins is yours – thank you!


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The day my DIY blog died

…was a painful fucking day.

You know why?

Cuz I’d put in a lot of fucking effort to get my posts up here, had links to my posts up on bloody endless social media site and then – BAM! – just like that…it died.

Can I just take a moment here and say how tragic this was for me?

I didn’t recover for 36 weeks.

That’s quite a non-traditional time scale, no? Well, in my defence, it’s the only time stamp I could find. I got it off Pinterest, based on the last time I’d uploaded a pin on my My Blog Posts board.

As I was saying…I’d written a number of blog posts. Some of them went viral (at least in my little happy world a 1000 odd pins on a blog post equals a post going viral), while others got me critical acclaim.

Yes, I watched the Oscars recently.

*ahem* So yes, some blogs went viral and others received critical acclaim. And then there was one that was supposed to push me to do more crafty, DIY work. Well, not so much ‘push’ as ‘challenge’. I’d taken on a 52 Week DIY / Creative challenge and even created a board for it.

I believe it was a few days after this 52 week promise post went live that my DIY blog died.

*long sigh*

But now it’s time to resurrect the shit out of this blog.

I’ll start by painstakingly adding back posts I lost, including and especially 5th anniversary present and Pages on a wall.

And then maybe, just maybe I’ll try and give this 52 Week DIY / Creative Challenge another shot.

*fingers crossed*

Storing tea, sugar & green tea

You know that feeling you get when you’re moving into a new house? And you ideally want everything to be new? Including the furniture and utensils and well, pretty much everything else. =)I recently moved to England from Dubai and set up the house here with my husband. We got here a couple of months before our MBA classes started. And it was during this time that I got to put on my creative-crafts hat and get to work. =)This was my way of getting everything around the house a new feeling, at the same time making sure that I wasn’t spending on things that I could save up on. I do have thing for recycling and reusing, I won’t lie! =)So, amongst the many things I’ve made, this set is the most used of the lot.Most people I know are consumers of some kind of warm beverage – tea, coffee, hot chocolate, green tea, etc. And most kitchens I’ve been to have some form of storage containers for these tea bags or coffee beans or coco powder. Needless to say, we needed such containers for our house as well. I did go out and look around for some containers that I could use, but I just wasn’t convinced.

And then it struck me – why not try making these on my own? =)

The backdrop to this is that I’m a big, massive, absolutely crazy [bordering psychotic] consumer of Nutella.

Due to this, I have far too many empty bottles of Nutella lying around the house. And what better way to help the environment than to recycle and reuse to make these lovely storage containers!

Let’s be honest here for a second – making these crafty-containers isn’t rocket science. But sometimes a little guidance gives us exactly what we need to get our act together and make things. =) So, here goes!

What you’ll need (supplies)

  • old Nutella [or any other empty bottle / plastic] containers
  • white school glue
  • acrylic paint [you can use one color or mix and match with different colours]
  • paint brushes
  • mixing palette
  • old newspaper
 
Procedure / steps
1. Wash thoroughly and dry the Nutella containers.
2. Cover your workstation with old newspaper so as to avoid any damage to it by paint spills.
3. Take a mixing palette, add a dash of your paint of choice, and add a bit of white school glue. The reason for adding white school glue here is that it’ll help the paint stick to the container. Else, there is a possibility that every time you touch the container, a bit of the paint will come off. I haven’t faced this problem, and again, this might be because of the white school glue. This somewhat acts like Mod Podge, but on a much lower and inexpensive level.

4. Now take the Nutella container and start applying thin, consistent paint coats to it.
Try to keep the paint coats as thin and as free-flowing as possible.
Carefully place the Nutella container upside down and coat the bottom of the container with paint.
Take special care to avoid paint going inside the container – you wouldn’t want your sugar or tea bags taking on the color of the paint!

5. Let these sit till the paint is completely dry. The time frame here might vary depending upon the thickness of the paint coat applied, the temperature outside, etc.

6. Once these are completely dry, take on a contrasting color [poster paint or acrylic paint] and paint on the words. You can chose to use a stencil here or you can even take print outs / cut out of words and stick them on with the help of Mod Podge or superglue or something equivalent.

What’d I tell you – not rocket science! And I’m sure you already knew the steps before you even read them! But it’s nice to see visuals and steps to potentially refer back to someday. =)

Alright, more crafty stuff that I haven’t blogged yet will be coming up real soon. Meanwhile, if you get around to making these, do please drop in a comment and let me know. I’d love to see what you’re creating!


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Picture frame from recycled magazines

Wow – I’m overwhelmed with the kind of feedback I’ve received on my previous blog post! In that post I promised to let you know what I finally did with my set of black, red and white round bits. Well, this, ladies and gentlemen, is what I made:

I absolutely love the way it finally turned out! =)

The inspiration behind this project was, well, from all over the place!

But if you go to my Pinterest page, you’ll see projects I’ve pinned like this, this and this that really inspired me. My biggest problem with these was that I couldn’t really find decent frames. So I thought long and hard about what I could substitute for the frame and came up with the idea of using old magazines.

I’d like to add that this frame is completely made of recycled (magazine) paper. Quite proudly so, I won’t lie! =)

But at the end of the day, I ended up mixing and matching a number of things I’ve come across and just jumbled them all together to create this. A bit o’ this and a bit o’ that and bam – a masterpiece! =)

I must admit, this post deserves a tutorial in itself.

You already know how to make the round bits from this post. What I’m now going to do is give you a quick run down of what you’ll need to do to re-create this one.

What you’ll need (supplies)

  • stack of old magazines (that’s right, some more!)
  • old newspapers
  • glue stick / white school glue / home made glue / any other form of glue you prefer
  • knitting needle / long pencil / long stick or rod
  • poster paints and paint brushes
  • old rope (if you have any spare old rope around) or thick thread or yarn
Procedure / steps
Follow steps 1-6 from this tutorial – pay special attention to step 6. =)
Once you have your stacks of rolled up magazine paper ready, get ready to get the ball rolling! =)
7. Take two of these cylindrical paper rolls and put one inside the other. There’s no better way to explain this than to actually show you. So, do this:

Place one paper cylinder on top of the other and then put one inside the other.

Voila! They stay!
Don’t stick them all the way inside each other, but make sure they’re firmly placed so they don’t fall out. Don’t worry about gluing them. The next few steps will take care of that bit for you. =)
8. You’ll have rolls like these. The tiny ones are there just for comparison.
For the frame that I made, I used three cylindrical paper rolls one-on-top-of-the-other for the length. And two of ’em stacked up for the breadth.
9. Then I glued three of these cylindrical stacks together in a row and waited for them to set. And I created another such stack. At the end, I had two stacks of three cylindrical stacks together. That is 2 x giant cylindrical stacks composed of 3 individual paper cylinders.
I placed these 2 identical stacks on top of each other and glued them together. And then I let this duo set.
If none of that made sense, take a look at this picture – it might help you figure out my gibberish! =D
I hope that makes it clear!
10. Once I had all my four sides created and set, I got out my painting gear and let the Picasso in me out.
Basically, I coloured the length of the frame black and the breadth red. And then I let these dry off.
11. The next step was tricky. This is where I struggled the most!
I had a tough time trying to figure out how I was ever going to glue these four sides together. Doesn’t matter what glue you use, it’s rolled up paper and will just tear apart the minute there’s any sort of pressure applied to it.
And there would be pressure on this little baby, given what I had in mind.
So after a lot of thinking and pondering, it finally hit me – tie the damn ends together with some good old string! Sturdy string, but string!
12. Once the sides are secure, you’re going to need a mesh of sorts to clip your pictures or other stuff onto. I realised that I wouldn’t be able to stick a mesh like this or this onto a paper frame. So I thought it’s best to go ahead and recreate a mesh with my newfound secret weapon: string!
With the ends attached and mesh created, this is what my frame looked like:
13. Bland. That’s what the string looked like to me.
*shrugs* Sorry, but I put in a lot of effort and I just didn’t like it looking plain smack in the centre of all the gorgeousness! So what’d I do? I got some golden dust (acrylic) paint thingamajig and went straight to work. I painted the strings tying the ends of the frame together as well the strings creating the mesh.
Brush on some tap water onto the string before you paint over it.
The string won’t ‘drink up’ any of the actual paint when you start painting.
Also, it’ll make the painting go smoother.

 

There you go – works like a charm!
Nice glittering gold paint!
And it goes really well with black, red and white!
14. Once this is all done, it’s time to add the little round bits from this tutorial onto your frame! Figure out what placement looks best and glue ’em on nice and strong. Pretty straightforward, really. =)
The result? This:
You can touch up the little round bits, if you want. I like mine like this – giving a hint of what’s underneath.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that, ladies and gentlemen, is my first completed crafts project in the UK. =)
Needless to say, if you recreate this, do drop in a link or a picture to share with me. I’d love to see what you guys got up to.
And of course, if you have any comments on this blog, drop in a comment below.

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Recycled magazines

They look quite raw here, but there’s so much more you can do with them!

We all have those stacks of magazines we’ve held on to for heavens knows how long. We’re not quite sure why we’ve held onto them, but we just have.

Maybe for that one idea someday somewhere that’ll get us to recycle them in the most creative way possible?

Well, here’s one such easy, quick and quirky way to recycle and reuse them old magazines! =) And it requires very little skill (which is a very important criteria for someone like me that doesn’t have much skill!).

It’s rather simple, to be honest, but a tad bit time consuming. Which worked out well for me given that I have a lot of time on me before I hit uni in less than 20 days. =)

You can find many many mannnny more ideas on how to recycle old magazines on this website that I came across thanks to Pinterest: 100+ Ways To Creatively Reuse Old Magazines.

There are some absolutely fantastic tutorials there! I had a quick read through some of them and decided to mix and match and create my very own version of crafts from recycled magazines! =)

Without blabbing any further (I can really get carried away!), lemme give you a quick round up of what I did with those magazines.

What you’ll need (supplies)

  • your stack of old magazines
  • old newspapers
  • glue stick / white school glue / home made glue / any other form of glue you prefer
  • knitting needle / long pencil / long stick or rod
  • optional: poster paints and paint brushes



Procedure / steps

1. Make sure your working area is clean. Get your supplies together and ensure that you place a layer of old newspapers on your working area before you start. This will keep the area clean and save you trouble once you’re done.

2. Now grab a knitting needle (or equivalent), keep it at one of the corners of the paper and roll along till the end.
3. You’ll be left with a tiny little triangle at the end of the sheet. Use your glue stick on this triangle and stick it onto the rest of the roll.
4. After you’ve stuck the triangle, wait for a few seconds to ensure it’s stuck properly. Then, carefully get the knitting needle out of the roll of paper.
That’s me – hard at work!
And that’s my little helper husband! <3
5. Repeat these steps till you have enough paper rolls. You can never quite be sure of how many you need till you actually start making what you want. But you can always go back and make these and continue with your project. =)
6. Projects like these take a while. And sometimes one tends to lose focus. Don’t forget to keep yourself motivated at all times. I had my motivation with me throughout. *wink*
7. Once you have your paper rolls in place, you’ll need to roll ’em up and then paint them (if you want to paint them at all!).
Now, you may chose to paint the roll of paper first and then roll, or roll it first and then paint it. Either way is ok, but from personal experience, rolling first and painting later is a lot more convenient. But I’ve shown you both ways below.
TIP: Whichever way you chose, try to complete one thing completely and move onto the next. For instance, if you’re rolling first, then ensure that you roll all your paper rolls and then move onto painting. And of course, vice versa.
a]
Take a roll of paper and flatten it out.
Roll this flattened roll of paper and glue the end shut. Hold it there for a few seconds (or even a minute) to ensure that the end is tightly glued on.
TIP: When you’re rolling these, try to roll them in different sizes – some really tightly packed, some farther apart. It’ll give more character to your project. =)
Once it’s glued on tight, you can paint away! =)
b]
Start painting a roll of paper. Make sure you cover it completely. Also, ensure that you have lots of newspaper so you don’t mess up your working area!
Once this is completely dry, flatten it out.
Now roll this up and glue it shut. Make sure it’s tightly glued at the end.
TIP: When you’re rolling these, try to roll them in different sizes – some really tightly packed, some farther apart. It’ll give more character to your project. =)
It doesn’t matter which one of the above two methods you use, the result is exactly the same! Tell me if you can make out the difference between these two little boys:
8. I was just experimenting with the blue color here. I ended up using red, black and white colours for the project I made. I simply painted over these blue ones and made them a part of the stack. =)
I like to have the TV / Radio playing in the background while I work – keeps me company! =)
Now, once you’re all done with rolls (with or without painting them), you’ll find you have a nice mix of different shapes and colours with you.
There’s a lot you can do with theses – create mats or coasters by sticking them close together, or create a nice little wall hanging (check this link) or you can even create a beautiful photo frame with these! Basically, they’re yours to experiment with and use as you please!
You can see I used two different kinds of red paint here!
This makes a lovely mat or even coaster.
An abstract wall hanging, maybe?
Lovely picture frame use!
There is one thing I would say, though – if you do create these and make something with them, please do share them with me here. I’d love to see what you guys make. =)
Also, in case you’re wondering what I did with these little babies, hold your horses – my next post is all about how I used them to make something spectacular – even if I say so myself! =)
As you can see, I’m mighty proud of myself for having made what I did – so don’t forget to check back! Once I have the post up, I’ll drop in a link here as well. =)
I’ve just redone this blog to make it exclusively ‘creative’, which means that it includes cooking, crafting and any other creative ideas I might have (such as this one!). I’d love to know what you think of it so far – do please drop in a comment below and lemme know!
=)

 UPDATE:
Here’s the link I promised I’d post: Picture frame from recycled magazines
Hope you enjoy it!
=)

Enjoyed this post? Drop in your email address below – I don’t spam! *scout’s honour*

From Aloo ke Paranthe to Aloo Tikki’s

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I’d be writing a blog post on anything remotely related to food.

And yet, here I am talking about aloo (potato) and gobi (cauliflower) ke paranthe (stuffed bread) and tikki’s (patties?). Whaddaya gunna do, eh? *shrugs*
To be fair, I’ve always enjoyed cooking. Never had much of a chance trying my hand at it while I was growing up (that’s what happens when you have the world’s best cook for a mother!), but when I moved into an apartment with my best friend during our M.Sc. days, I did my fair share of cooking.
That’s where experimentation began. And boy, was it fun!
And now that we (my husband and I) have moved to the UK, the experimentation with cooking has begun yet again. =)
Two nights ago I gave my Mom in India a frantic call asking her to email me recipes for aloo and gobi ke paranthe. It was, after all, Rohit’s ‘cheat’ day, which meant carbs galore. No wheat, no gluten, but good ol’ carbs.
I made the aloo mix for his and gobi mix for my paranthe, got out some gluten free aata (flour) and went to work on them paranthe.
And what a disaster they were!
I shall not dwell into why (but if questioned, I will blame gluten free aata entirely).
So here I was with a lot – and I mean a lot of aloo and gobi mix but with no intention of trying to make paranthe with gluten free aata again. Ever again.
But I couldn’t let all that mix go to waste either. So what do I do? Why, I recycle, of course! =)
I had this ingenius (ok, not that ingenius of even original, but hey!) idea to make tikki’s from the mix. And despite what you’re thinking, they turned out pretty damn good. =)
Let’s take a walk through the tikki preparation, shall we?
What you’ll need (or ingredients)

  • potatoes / cauliflower
  • onion
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • green chilies
  • garam masala
  • chaat masala (another link)
  • salt
  • chili powder
  • amchoor powder (another link)
  • aata (flour) – gluten free, preferably!Note: all masalas above should be readily available in a store near you!
What you’re going to have to do (or procedure)
[This mix can be used for aloo / gobi paranthe as well as aloo tikki’s]
  • Boil potatoes and allow them to cool off. You can run them under cold water to speed up the process. Once done, peel off the skin and mash the potatoes.Or, wash the cauliflower and allow it to dry. Once dry, grate the cauliflower.

 

  • Chop up an onion into real small pieces and add to the potatoes.
  • To this, add some grated ginger, garlic and green chilies. Make sure these are grated well else you’ll bite into them.
  • Add garam masala, chaat masala, amchoor powder (just a pinch / pinch and a half) salt and some red chilli powder (optional if you have green chillies in there) to this mix.I won’t give you a specific quantity to add but when you’ve added the different ingredients, grab a chunk and taste. If it’s tangy enough for you, then you’ve done it right. =)

 

 

  • Now grab a bowl, pour some aata (gluten free!) into it, add a little water and make a thick paste.
  • Get some oil in a pan and heat it.
  • While this oil gets heated up, start rolling the potato + spice mix into little round, flat balls (or tikki’s!).
  • Dip these tikki’s (one at a time) in the aata mix and add it to the oil to fry. This layer of aata mix is required to ensure the potatoes don’t disintegrate as soon as they hit the hot oil. =)

 

 

  • Flip these tikki’s occasionally but not too much. Let them cook nicely and you’ll have yourself some yummy tasting aloo tikki’s! =)

 

And there you have it…them tikki’s! =)

Boy, I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, but if you make these at home, lemme know they turn out!


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Send me a postcard!

So, I’ve got a bit of a crazy idea. Not necessarily original, I’ll tell you that.

A bit of background (if you know me, you know I like backgrounds with most of my posts!) – I’ve got four blogs. I’ve got this one on Blogger, another one on Posterous, one on WordPress, and the final one on Tumblr.
There’s a bit of distinction in my mind as to which host is for what. Posterous is for my #AwesomeHandles, WordPress for the more serious me and Tumblr for a series of my favorite shots.
This one, ideally, I would like to maintain for the craftster in me. And boy is there a huge craftster in me! =)
Now, given that I’ve recently moved to the UK and will be setting up the house, I’ve been going insane trying to figure out what I can create on my own. My Pinterest page will tell you what I’ve been thinking! =)
During this process, however, I came across an idea. A ‘what if’, as it were. Again, I know this one’s been done before but there’s no harm in taking this further and seeing where it goes, eh?
What exactly am I on about? Well, I thought it’d be interesting get a collection of postcards from the lot of you!
I sent out a tweet and had four people ask for my address within 20 minutes. Now that’s bloody encouraging!
So this is what I ask of you: wherever you are, whichever part of the world, whether you’re at home or on holiday or travelling for work, just take a moment, pick up a postcard (hey, pick up as many as you want!) and mail them to me! =)
If you are interested in sending me a postcard, drop in an email to me at “swatirandev at gmail dot com”. Put “I want to send you a postcard” in the subject line and tell me a bit about yourself in the body of the email – heck, even leave the body blank! =) Once I get this email from you, I’ll send you my postal address and you can send me the postcard!
A bit complicated, I know, but I thought this was a bit safer than randomly advertising my home address here on the net!
I’m going to keep a collection and constantly update this blog with the postcards that come in.
If you’ve chanced upon this blog post and have no idea of who I am, you can check out my profile at http://about.me/silv3rglee to know more. And I would especially like to get a postcard from you!
I’m a bit skeptical about the success of this tiny project, but hey, I’ll be happy even if I get two postcards! =)
*rubs hands in glee* I can’t wait to get all your lovely postcards! =)
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