Tuesday, 11 November 2014

How Could I Miss This?

I mean, just how? True, I have been busy and everything, but this is too sweet to be left out. We celebrated our birthdays, Coco and I. Yes, Coco is now a big boy of two years, and I am older too :| . It felt great to celebrate our birthdays next to each other's as it was an extended two day affair of birthdays. Coco watched wide eyed as we sang 'Happy Birthday' for him and duly remembered to sing 'Haapi Haapi' a few hours later for me. Ooh! It made my heart sing with joy.

He is growing wiser and smarter with each passing day. Sometimes it is really surprising to see him doing or saying something that we never thought he knew! His words are fast becoming phrases and further sentences. He is good at remembering names of people. Earlier it was difficult for him to say two words in a go, so he would call his dear aunties by their names. Now he is addressing them as he should. He had taken to calling his dad's 'sahayak' and the maid by their names, as he heard us calling them. After a little emphasising, he is now calling them uncle and auntie too. He also calls me by my name, as he hears from his dad. This usually happens when he is trying to find me or is irritated. I always respond very happily to this. My name sounds sweetest to my ears, when he says it. 
In the above picture, Coco is perched happily on a chair which is a birthday gift from one of my friends. It is so cute, I squealed with surprise! Oh, and the chair has a whistle, so it squeals too when Coco sits on it. So, he jumps up and down on the chair just for that funny sound.

We are trying our best to capture his moments on video. Time seems to have wings and Coco is growing in and out of his clothes and habits so fast, we are missing some things already. It is as if something is slipping out of our hands and we can do nothing about it but be happy as we watch it going by. As I watch him grow, I feel I am growing too. And why not? I am a two year old mommy now!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Quilled Gifts

                                     Quilled earrings
Some of my friends have become quite the fans of my quilling since they saw my quilled explosion box card. A couple of them also wanted to learn it. But some or the other engagements kept us all busy and before we could all get together for a quilling session and a cup of coffee, one of them had to leave station due to her husband's posting. Yes, this happens very regularly with army wives, friends going away... but it is also fairly regular to make a lot of friends and to meet those friends over and over, in different locations. 
Anyways, senti stuff apart, the one who was going away kept mentioning quilling whenever we met, and I wanted to make it up to her by gifting her something quilled. I thought over many ideas and the best thing that I could think of were quilled earrings, along with a quilled card or something if I had time.
I searched the great ol' Internet and many interesting patterns came up. Now, I like to refer to patterns or designs and give them my own little twists, instead of copying them. It's not something moral, but it has got something to do with my critical eye which makes my brain itch to add something here, cut something there etc. Many times, I take so much time mulling over the colour scheme or pattern that my projects refuse to get started and take forever to get finished, if they start at all.
But, in this case, I did not have the luxury of unlimited time on my hands. Plus, if it is openly available on internet and I can figure out how to make it, it is not copying, it is called getting inspired! And I did not have quilling strips of the colour scheme of my chosen pattern, so I used different colours. See, I did add my twist after all. 

So, here we are. After the earrings were all ready, I also 'figured out' how to make your own paper bag, made one with some fancy paper available with me and in went the earrings, lovingly kept in a 'shagun potli', not made by me. :D Do I need to mention, my friend was incredibly pleased to receive this gift.

When I shared some of its pictures with my sister, she liked them and mailed me some patterns asking if I could make those for her. So, here we are again, making quilled earrings, on one of my kitchen counters. If you are wondering, I have three counters in my kitchen (wide smile here!), of which, one is my dedicated crafting counter, away from Coco's reach.
This pair is almost finished and I have to figure out how to insert those tiny hooks in these thick paper beads. Meanwhile, I have moved on to other projects which can be done sitting in the sun, like knitting ;). The lovely warmth of sun is too precious to miss. Winter is here in Cocoland!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Happy Diwali!

Of the five Diwalis after my marriage, this one was only the first time that we three were together, Coco, his father and I. It had to be special. I remembered what I used to do on Diwali during my college days. I would spend the entire day decorating the house with flowers and making rangoli. These used to be two of my favorite activities on the festival of lights, which actually gave me the feel of the festival, apart from my mom's Dahi-vada. Somehow, I could not carry on both these practices for various reasons after I left home.

Celebrating this Diwali as a family of three, I chose to do what was closest to my heart, but in a much more organised(read scopeful of being lazy) manner. I asked my husband to bring marigold garlands and left him to decorate them as he pleased. That is one major task done! Without even moving a finger. I love delegating tasks suddenly. And I love my husband :)   
Then , I dedicated myself to making rangoli, with colored semolina (sooji), which was also coloured by yours truly the previous night, while preparing Dahi Vadas and Gulabjamuns on special demand. :) (I am not so lazy, people!) With most of the cooking out of the way, this day was carefully kept aside for decorating garlands and making rangolis etc. so that we could enjoy everything about the festival without being too rushed. And I must admit that the task of making rangolis is not only enjoyable, it makes you proud at the end of it too. 
See what I mean? I have captured a picture of this rangoli from every angle possible, feeling better at every shot. A sense of relief, calmness and happiness, all come together and envelope me.
 And this is the bigger picture, which shows where actually was this small semi circle of colored sooji present on my veranda. (Those spears have a long story. Some other day!!) And you can very well sample the fine work that my husband did with those flowers. ;) Earthen lamps were placed on the rangoli in the evening after Laxmi-pooja duly and happily, though we were getting terribly late for our social gathering. 
 And this is something that was lying as an empty rum bottle behind the dustbin in my kitchen for a couple of months. Then it spent a few days on my craft-counter, among paintbrushes and colours. Their company surely transformed its personality but on Diwali day, it took 5 minutes and a fairy light string to further transform it into this glamorous lamp, suitably lighting up a dark corner.

It was intensely gratifying to see how I could give shape to my own celebrations with gentle touches of colour and creativity. I am happily skipping like a little girl, standing on the threshold of the main door, craning out to see the rangoli, then peeking back in to see the bottle-lamp, now rangoli, now lamp and again...yayyy!! 

Oh, I remember, there is one more bottle lying in my kitchen, this time donated mindfully by my dear husband, after he witnessed what I could do with rum bottles, er.. empty ones I mean!   

It is amazing how small things are capable of providing such great happiness. One only needs to find the right thing. Small enough!