Thursday, June 30, 2016

Golden Opportunity

Do you like reading Romance? I just love reading Romances. If you get a romance with intrigue also then? I would definitely love it.

Friends, this is really a golden opportunity for you. Today I am sharing the link to Freebie being given away by Goldenhaze

Goldenhaze is the pen name of the author and my sister Anu Ram who is a doctorate in Business Management and writes fiction for hobby. Her first novel The Mirage, was set in the back drop of Rajasthan and highlighted the theme of women empowerment, woven into romance and intrigue. 

The sequel of the Miirage, The Pursuit was again a romantic thriller which was much appreciated. Goldenhaze has also written several novels including The Masquerade, An Evening with U, The WhisperValley and Vaishali.

Known for the variety in her story settings, and the usage of local flavors and languages, with many ongoing works of her on her website, like A Dialogue in the Dark, The Inexplicable Attraction and the Contrivance.

Currently Goldenhaze is working on the launch of a new stream of intense romance, under the Destiny series, with Deepthimaan- a character she created in Mirage as the lead, who also happens to be the pivotal character in her much acclaimed novel Destiny U&ME.

Being her sister, I had the opportunity not only to read her works but also discuss the twists and turns of her plots. I loved all of them. The way she writes is amazing. So here is an opportunity for you to read one of the books for FREE:

Goldenhaze Give Away! 
100 copies of An Evening With U
Click here, and Grab your FREE copy Now! 
*offer on first come first served basis

An Evening With You

Hurry! Grab one and please spread the word ......

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Teens Trends-1

Hi Friends. Today it is partly cloudy here. No rain yet. 

I  promised to share with you latest trends in teen jewelry. Here it is. Me and my niece went on a shopping spree just before her school reopened. These are the ones which are in vogue with teens this season. With almost end of the summer holidays, the shops were full of mothers, aunts and young girls trying to buy these trinkets. So we had a hectic day shopping for these things.

Please excuse me for the poor quality of the photos. I had to take the photos in a hurry as my niece insisted on taking away her purchases with her.

These are some hair accessories.

 These have floral prints on them

 These have florescent colours.
 I like the above one. It is more colourful.
 This one has some cartoon characters on it.

I bought some extra strips. They would make a great gift for little girls. No need to run for gifts every time. Will save time and money too.

I will be posting watch out....

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Back To School Card

It is cloudy here. Just a little rain. Not even reaching the parched earth. Very humid. Still waiting for proper showers so that I can carry on with my work in the garden.

Here is a card made last week. It is back to school time here.

As usual I was under pressure to make these cards with no time at all. I am posting only one card as I couldn't take photos of other cards.

The base is white card stock. I have attached polka dot printed tapes pink and blue colours. Then the stickers of slate, bag, book and colour pencils. I punched out a circle from pink card stock and stamped  the Good Luck message with black ink. I attached it to the card with double sided foam tape.

I attached the same printed tapes to a white envelope and stamped the  sentiment in pink and blue coloured inks. 
So. Here it is.

As of now, I am making only simple cards. I am busy with cleaning my home and garden for the monsoon, in between attending to my other chores. I think I need more confidence and spare time before I experiment with some of my creative ideas. 

Thank God the pickling season is over for now. It is a lot of work. Need some time to rest.
But I enjoy pursuing my hobbies and creating something new every day. 

Materials used:

White Card Stock-Ivory Sheet
Polka dots printed self adhesive tapes
Black, pink and blue coloured inks for stamping

Hope you like it. 

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Custard Apple in Bloom

Hi there!. Finally monsoons are here. But not in my garden. There were some showers may be in other areas of the city, but my garden is still waiting for the monsoons. Yesterday and today, it was completely cloudy and there were just a few drops of rain. 

I have a Custard apple tree in my garden. It is also known as Sugar Apple. It is a very hardy tree. Requires very little maintenance and grows in any soil. Pests are almost nil. 

It does not grow into a very big tree with huge trunk like mango.

Its fruit are very sweet but with lots of seeds. It is rich in Vitamin C, B and many minerals. It is also known to be rich in calcium. The fruits are available in winter season.

Just have a look at the fruit.

Once the fruit is ripe enough it is very soft to touch. So we can check the fruit and pluck it. It also break opens on ripening.
This is the bud. I never noticed it before, even though I have this tree in my garden for some years now.
Here is the flower. I could not take a proper photograph of it as it hangs down and it was very difficult for me to photograph it. 

This is specially grown in hilly areas by the tribals. Rather they collect fruits from the jungles where these trees grow in forests of certain regions. Since they are grown naturally with out any human interference like adding of chemical manures etc, they are organic and good for health.

When we are travelling in certain areas, by road we can see the tribals or villagers on the road side selling these fruit. They collect these fruit (unripened) from the nearby forest and put they in bamboo baskets or straw baskets and cover the fruit its leaves. So they ripen slowly and naturally few at a time.  We can buy them in dozens, or 50-100 fruits by count or basket fulls. They sell it at a very cheaper rate when compared to our local markets.

We always buy them basket fulls. All our family members love it, so we have to have enough for every one. Moreover when we are travelling and in a group, snacking on these fruits on the road side is fun. Only annoying thing is there are lots of seeds and less flesh. So it is hard work if you want to eat it. Its also messy. But then who is complaining as it is so delicious.

I also love to talk to these people. The men and women are simple and especially the women are so beautiful. But mind you some of them may cheat you.Usually a few bigger fruits are placed on the top and underneath it there may be very small fruits or  raw fruits plucked before they have fully developed, which cannot be ripened. So we have to check the fruits in the basket and bargain before buying.

Even when we are travelling by train, we can find these people selling them on train. They board the trains, with baskets loaded with the fruits on their heads from nearby small stations when the train stops for signals or crossings. We have lots of time on train journeys, and generally people like to buy fresh fruit and enjoy them during the journey. I always feel hungry on train journeys and love to snack on these fruits and other healthy snacks sold on the trains or at the stations.  

Ice creams, milk shakes, puddings and desserts are made using the flesh of the ripened fruits. I prefer to eat it straight. 

On one of my tours travelling by road in Telangana,  we stopped at road side on the high way to stretch our feet. I saw a small group of children and women, sitting around piles of twigs and roasting something which smelt so yummy. I was curious and asked one of the children what they where doing? They told me that the make a pit in the ground, put some dry leave and twigs in it, then some raw custard apples plucked from near by forests, cover it with leaves and twigs and light it. The fruit gets cooked in the fire/coal slowly. After it cools down - may be in  2-3 hours time, they recover the fruits peel it and eat it. 

The custard apple tree in my garden is in full bloom. In a few days time, we can see tiny fruits on the branches. By Vinayaka Chaturthi (in the months of Aug-Sept) we have small raw fruit. We offer it first to Lord Vinayaka-the Elephant God. Then by winter we have the fruits, ready to eat. 

Waiting for the fruits.......

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Updates from My Garden

Half of June month is over. No rains yet. It is once again hot like in summer. We are again facing water problems. 

A few days back we have had some showers. It was a great relief. Here is a small peek into my garden.

Bougainvillea blooms through out the year if proper care is taken. But its blooms are the best in summer. It is a very hardy plant and requires very little care. I have some in pots for Bonsai. A little pruning and some fertiliser is all it requires. It can with stand hot temperatures. But those in pots require proper watering and semi shade during peak hours of the day. 

They look so beautiful when they are in full bloom. They are also known as paper flowers.

This is one variety of hibiscus. The size of flowers is small. But it blooms profusely and almost daily. It is still a small plant in my garden.
Just a few showers can do wonders to the plant life. No amount of water or fertilisers  we add can bring this green colour to the leaves. God's creation is great and has no competition.

Well I am waiting for the monsoon to begin my work in my garden. I have just weeded it out and just keeping it alive somehow. 

Wish rains would be here soon.......

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Birthday Cards for Kids

Hi Friends.

Back after nearly a fortnight. I have been busy with my new batch of students. It will take me till the end of the month to settle everything into a rhythm. After a long period of holidays, children will take time to settle down. I also need to work out a schedule and stick to it.

In between I had to attend to my dad's annual ceremony. A few days before and few days after it we have had a lot to do. It is really back breaking with all the work. But then rituals are strictly to be adhered to. 

Here it is hot once again. No rains. Humidity is really unbearable. So I could not spend much time on my crafts. But one of my friends wanted a birthday card for a little one. I had just 4-5 days and with my dad's ceremony in between it was really difficult to create something which would catch  the eye of the child, its parents and the sender(my friend). 

I did manage somehow to make this card. Then I had to mail it to reach on time.

This was what I came up with. 

I used a textured blue card stock, attached some stickers of animals. 

For the tree, I cut brown coloured thin hand made paper for the trunk and glued it. Then I punched out some oval shaped green textured hand made paper for the foliage. I attached some self adhesive red crystals as fruit on the ovals. 

The first layer I glued it directly on the card. The upper layers, I used foam tape for dimension. 

I punched out some green coloured thin card stock for grass and glued it near the base of the tree. 

The sentiment was stamped on thin yellow card stock. I then shaped the edges with a bracket punch. Then I used a brown coloured sharpie to colour the edges of the sentiment as well as the tab, before attaching it to the card. 

This is the inside of the card. I added the sentiment, message and balloons and the cake. I got it printed on a cream coloured papaer and glued a heart shaped puffy sticker.
This is the envelope. I had to use a ready made white one. 

I had some anxious moments when I was pushing the card inside it. I wanted to make a box type envelope to fit the dimensional stickers and punch art I used without squashing them. I didn't have time at all. Moreover, I am not experienced enough in making such envelopes. I didn't even have proper tools or materials to make one. 

Thank God! The Card fit the envelope :) With not much space around it. I attached mini and mickey stickers on the outside. I wanted to stamp it but no time at all.

I couldn't do much as there was no time to even think or shop for material. I had to do with what I had at hand.

I mailed the card and it reached on time. I got a feed back that they all loved it. So everything ended well. Hope you like it too....

Materials used:

Blue textured card stock
Yellow card stock
Green card stock
Green textured hand made paper
Dark brown hand made paper
Animal and cartoon stickers
Red coloured acrylic self adhesive crystals
Clear stamp for sentiment
Black ink for stamping
Brown coloured sharpie
Cream coloured thick paper for inside the card

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Card Making Kits

Hello there. We are having some showers here. Day temperatures are down. But it is still sultry. With frequent thunder storms, power cuts have become regular feature. So I have to do all my work as fast as possible-whether it is my daily chores or any other work related with electricity very quickly. We are always apprehensive as to when there will be a power cut. If we are stuck in the middle of doing something, then we have to wait until we get back electricity. 

One of my friends gifted me some card making kits. It was some time back and I din't even have time to open and inspect it. Recently, I opened it. Look what I found.

Three different colour card stock, folded and ready to use, three envelopes(white), some embellishments and double sided tape cut into neat little squares.

I felt that the size of cards was way too small. Any way while trying to make the cards, I ended up adding my own embellishments, as some of the one provided were too small.

Here is the first card I made.

I added the purple plaid self adhesive tape, some crystals and the butterfly from my own stash. The butterfly seems to be a little big for the size of the card or the embellishments. But that was the smallest I had and in matching colours.

I jazzed up the white envelope by adding the plaid tape to match the card.  I have not added the sentiment. I made it as all occasion card. I will add required sentiment when I have to give it away.

I think for a beginner or a novice, this kit may be of help. They don't have to buy all the required materials from different places, which is not only time consuming but also costly. But for a crafters like me, who has so much of stash lying around, I think, I prefer to do it in my way, choosing what I like and goes well with the theme or the card. 

What do you think about this card? Watch out, I will be posting, other cards I made.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Freebies at Flintobox

We all agree that fast changing technology touches every aspect of our lives. We have no doubt benefited from it. It has made our lives easy and changing it everyday. But there are also some negative effects. Specially when it is our children and their growth, we are worried about them .

Today our children are so addicted to TV and hooked on to smartphones, most of us parents are complaining that our children have become couch potatoes without any physical or creative activity. Naturally their growth is not as much or how we want it to be. 

90% of brain development happens by the age of six. Early experiences and positive interactions during the age of 2-8 years determines the overall development of children for years to come. Research shows that children need to be actively engaged in 12 different areas for a holistic development. However, in these busy days with nuclear families, parents don’t have the time to ensure that their child is engaged effectively. And this constraint makes children resort to the easy way of watching TV.

Friends, I came across Flintobox which helps parents in this regard. I feel that their concept is good. So I thought I would share it with you.

Flintobox provides age-appropriate activity boxes for children between the age group of 2-8 years. They are delivered to your doorstep every month! Each box is loaded with play-based activities for kids that promote early child development in a fun and explorative way. With a new theme every month, this research-based box is crafted by montessori experts and child psychologists, and caters to the 12 developmental areas of a child.

These are hands-on activities that will take the child away from the TV and hook him/her onto meaningful and engaging activities.

Each box contains different activities that covers 12 development areas including fine motor, cognitive and gross motor, creativity, exploration, language, and social skills through fun activities

Children are exposed to different concepts, ideas and inspirations which make them creative and inquisitive and they tend to use them in a variety of different aspects in their day to day lives. A constant encouragement from parents on such hands-on play will create a natural tendency in kids to move away from TV. 

Their  products are targeted for children between 2-8 years of age. Each box will contain the following four segments:

  • CREATE – An art/craft based activity to create something that will imbibe a sense of achievement in the child 
  • PLAY – A fun game setup which could be a board game, a card game or an outdoor game or a fun family game which will target holistic development
  • EXPLORE – An experimental or explorative setup to feed the child’s curiosity on the theme of the month 
  • STORY-- A storybook on Flinto (the octopus) which is generally an adventure or a moral story that parents can read with and to their child
Please do visit their site. Read their terms and conditions and offers and decide for yourself. Here are some links to Freebies from their site:

I think it will also make a great gift for any child. 

NOTE: I am not endorsing the organisation or its product in any way. I don't get paid for this. I just thought this is a good concept and wanted to share with you all. So visit the site read the terms and conditions and decide for yourself.

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