Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Long time....

Its been two months since my last post. Meera was very unwell and had to be admitted to the hospital for a week. She's been diagnosed with intestinal koch's. We were extremely lucky to have a wonderful doctor and a nice hospital. Well Meera's back to work, but it took me some time to get back my usual routine as Meera lives with us right now, till she can get back to staying on her own. Gaurav and I often joke, that we now feel like parents of a teenager. Meera has a lot of dietary restrictions and so I've been putting all my creativity to use in the kitchen these days you see :) 
I missed my sewing machine the most and am slowly getting back to what I love the most. Its been a very emotionally and physically draining September. Its the toughest to see your loved ones in pain on a hospital bed and not being able to do anything about it. But, the worse is over and now Diwali shall be here very soon and then Christmas and gosh 2012!
Loads of cleaning and shopping to this month. How have all you people been? Would be really nice to get a line or two from you all sometime :)
Oh yeah, I lost the battle and cut my hair :) I looked terrible.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back To Work And The Most Difficult Task Ever

I've been cutting and sewing, cutting and cutting loads of pretty fabric for lovely people, who've waited so patiently to get their custom orders. It gets tired and painful too...specially since I have this terrible allergy on my fingers. I've been postponing going to the doc, but I should go next week. There are lots of projects I'm working on, will share pictures when they're all ready to be shipped.
Okay so the most difficult task now, us Damji's as a family are really really conscious about their hair. Yup, hair. I've cancelled plans and sat at home because I hated my hair or hadn't had my regular haircut. I've always had very short hair, except when I was very young. I have extremely thick and curly hair, which gets so difficult to manage when it grows, specially in the summers. I even fought with my Mother-in-Law, who tried so hard to make me grow my hair out for my wedding (the perfect Indian bride). Since then I've never tried growing them ever, but yesterday I decided to. Am quite surprised with myself, lets see how long I can hold on. I need a haircut every four weeks, so its going to be very very tough for me, wish me luck guys :)

This is me now

This is me 30 years ago, with my curls :)

And....I'm Back :)

Hi lovely people, I hope you all really missed me ;) I've been on quite a long break from work, five weeks to be precise, because my Mum was here from Bareilly. Roopa, yeha that's what I call her ( No, you cannot!), terribly needed a holiday. She hadn't been anywhere after my Dad had a stroke 3 years ago and my 85 year old Granny stays with us too. But, this time both Roopa and I decided that she had to take a break. She came on an open ticket, but couldn't stay more than five weeks, she missed my Dad terribly ( cute nah? after 36 years of marriage). 

These five weeks have been so special to all of us. I've never had to spend so much of time with Roopa since I was very young, cause I was always away at school or college. Okay so I got to learn to make lots of yummy stuff in the kitchen, like lets get your mouth watering - Eggless mixed fruit trifle cake, eggless chocolate cake, mutton samosas, ondvoh ( A Gujarati delicacy) and lots of other Indian stuff. I was surprised with how patient she was with me in the kitchen, cause I have a funny habit of wiping and washing every five minutes of cooking :) I was amazed at the treasure of tips and tricks she had. She's been sewing for us since we were kids, so I was able to get her to teach me the basic tricks on sewing and drafting as well. It felt really nice when she was really excited to see all the stuff I've been making. Oh, and I must share pictures of the really lovely fabric she brought for me. Half her suitcase was full of it. 

All the three of us, that's Roopa, Meera and I spent lots of gurl time too, yeha yeha, we went out shopping almost every second day. We would spend hours at stores more so because the monsoon sales are on here, and its quite a task shopping at sales. I wonder how you guys manage. I find shopping at sales really stressful. Roopa is crazy about shoes and of course so  am I, so a major chunk of our shopping was shoes, shoes and shoes. We also managed to pack in a trip to Goa and Alibaug over the weekends. We spent most evenings eating out, as Roopa loves to cook and try new stuff, but, we had no idea, she's so hard to please ha, because she's such a perfectionist herself.

She left a week ago and I miss having her around the house alot. My Dad really deserves a huge pat on his back for handling the house all on his own. Its been a great achievement for Babba and for us as a family, specially after Babba had a stroke. we'd decided we wouldn't leave him alone at all, and he'd become too dependent on Roopa. This trip has let us know how much Babba can really handle on his own and Roopa learnt how to have fun, without worrying about the house, the dishes, the laundry, etc, etc.

Roopa - Babba, I know you shall read this post, just to say Babba, I love you so so much and thank you, you managed Bhabhi (my Granny), the house, your work all so so well and Roopa was able to have a blast with us. Ummmmas and hugs to both of you. This trip was really really special to both Meera and Me.

Isn't she gorgeous?

Three Pretty Women

You'll never ever catch Roopa indulging like this ever!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sewing For Me

Since I read about this post, I really wanted to make one for my self, specially to store my fabric scraps. Turned out really cute and looks so nice on my craft table. 

And some more sewing, to make my handbag a little more organised during the monsoons :)

Ric Rac & Buttons

Oh, how I love shopping for ric rac and lace and buttons. Its so tough to end up not buying the entire store :)



Happy Weekend

This weekend it poured and it poured here in Bombay and I just had to get out of the house, and nothing better than going fabric shopping eh?. Well, I ok...Gaurav discovered this great fabric shop 20 minutes away from our house. Once we walked in, I went crazy...and I picked up loads of colourful stuff. Its really hard to find stores that stock all kinds of fabric under one roof. Here's what I picked up 

I specially love the little checks on the left, they so remind me of graph paper we used in school and the colourful chicks are adorable, aren't they?
I even picked up some colourful pompom lace and cute little beads in felt and ceramic. Must find a nice project to use them. Aaah, the hoader I am, I must really use them :)

Would be fun to use these little felt beads as zipper pulls.

Don't you just love this picture? Just the sight of embroidery skeins excites me, am so so longing to start a nice project with them. The monsoons here are terribly gloomy and these wonderful colours make me so happy. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I missed you

I've been away too long and there's alot to catch up. Meera was down with hepatitis and is back to work after a long break. The In-laws were here for a week and hopefully went back satisfied. Keeping everyone happy is a skill all girls should be taught right from the time they are little babies ;)

Well my sewing and crafting had to take a backstage for the last two weeks, and people have been so kind and patient to wait till they had their custom orders delivered to them. Managed to whip up a few things though.

I really enjoy making these fabric baskets by Ayumi , they are perfect to store just about anything around the house and ofcourse make wonderful gifts too. I  tried making a fabric wallet using Christine's tutorial and it turned out really cute. I managed to use my favourite fabric I've been hoarding for months :) sounds familiar right? I tried making a bigger fabric bowl this time and am quite happy this time with the size. You could make one too using this tutorial
I'm really looking forward to catching up with the latest videos on Craftovision . I've been a great fan of Corrine from her days at Threadbanger and her videos are so lovely. Whitney's celebrating her 5000th subscriber, how cool is that. Dont you just love her tutorials eh? She's got a great contest on and you could win some lovely handmade goodies. 
I'd love to hear from you all once in a while. Drop in to say hi! See ya!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Almost Done

Its been a week since I've been on my "sewing marathon", well quite thrilled as I'm almost done. The only thing left is tons of ironing, labeling and then they're ready to be packed off and hopefully they will find use in some lovely houses :) 

Here's a sneak peek on what I've been working on...

There's still alot more....but, that's when I click pictures tomorrow...till then love to you all...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sewing Marathon

Gosh! This is crunch time for me guys. I'm chasing a ten day deadline for a custom order to be sent to Bangalore. My craft space is a mess, buts its been terribly exciting so far. I'm working on 10 wallets and pouches and 5 tote bags. Phew! Its some challenge, but am up for it. Will post some pictures soon for all of you to have a look and also all you wonderful people in Bangalore  Bengaluru can go have a dekko and tell me what you think and yes of course pick up some lovely Haathmade stuff for yourselves :)

Its summer vacations here and awfully quiet around, every one's out holidaying. How about all of you? Any trips planned? any places visited? I'd love to hear from you all you know.

Okie signing off now...got to get back to work!

See ya!



Ma Sent Me a Letter :)

RUNA, I am on seventh heaven right now. You have summed up so well .Did i do so much? pata nahi kab kiya. but you have glorified it. Feel good to bahut ho raha hai. One thing that I do not have is good power of expression in words and I always wished that Meera and you should be fond of reading and writing. After reading all that you've written so far I feel so so happy and proud and I thank God for giving me the idea of keeping a stack of Readers Digest in the loo so that you could start with books fatafat :)

Lots of love and ummmmaaas,


Monday, May 9, 2011

Summer Tote Bag

Made this tote bag for a friend's birthday. Was very happy when she liked it and even put it to use immediately. (please ignore the wrinkles :) was in such a hurry to snap it :) )
I used my own pattern and the finished bag measures about 12 inches by 9 inches. I should've added a little pocket inside, which I conveniently missed putting. But, the size is just right to put in your wallet, keys and even your favourite book to read.

I loved how the flower turned out and the yellow button too...isn't it cute? I'm totally in love with the pink fabric which is a block print of the Swastika and Sanskrit text. I'm surely making more of these, they make lovely presents.

I Love You Roopa

I think of the word "mother", and yeah instantly I think patience, comfort, love, hot yummy food, tolerance, compassion, brave, strong, honest, hardwork, wonderful daughter, great friend , music, flowers and yes bolts of fabric :) That's my awesome Mother - Roopa.

Isn't she gorgeous...growing up I never realized how precious she is to me till I began to understand what it really is to be a mother...kids are quite a handful and they push you to the limit. Though am not a mother myself, but at 33 I do get a fair idea what it is to be one. I've been a tough kid in school, in my teens and even after I got married. As an adult I plan to let you know just how thankful I am to you. 

That's a picture of Roopa and me on my first birthday

Thank you Roopa!

That's the three of us

At this stage of my life, I now see you so differently and oh no! yours isn't the easiest job no! I now see all the hard times, the challenges, the sacrifices, yes I see it all and I know I'll be all of you one day!  Its an honour to be a mother and, Roopa an honour to be called your daughter. I love you and miss you tons. I slowly realize by the day that, I am all that I am cause you are all that you are :):) 

That's Roopa with her third daughter, Chui. I know she misses Roopa the most up there 

You are such an inspiration especially when I see the lovely daughter you are to your eighty-five year old mother. Love you Roopa, loads and loads of uuuuuummmmmaaaas.

Happy Mother's day!

I would love to hear about your Mother's day thoughts too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Summer vacations and mangoes

All my blogger friends across the world are writing about their summer plans with their families and I get particularly envious and nostalgic when I see status updates of friends of facebook, holidaying with their children. As grown ups, among the many other things that I miss about school,summer and winter vacations are what I miss the most. Parents were forced to make plans to take us out of town, no matter what. In India, it is a tradition in all families, come summer vacations you're packed off and sent to your grandparents. We hardly had an option, the same place, same people, but there was always something new to explore on each trip. My sister and I shifted schools a lot when we were kids so we have a variety of memories :) If that means anything. My early memories are of our little cottages in Mombasa by the beach. We drove down in our car from Nairobi all stuffed with our beach gear and spent two weeks wasting ourselves :) My parents seemed so much more relaxed and "romantic". I guess they had more time to spend with each other without worrying too much about us :)

That's Meera and me in the summer of  1981 in Mombasa (I must ask Roopa for some more pictures of us)

Once my sister and I were sent to India to study, we were now four sisters instead of two because we then lived with my uncle who also had two daughters. On our first summer vacation, we all traveled two whole days by train to get to our respective grandparents. We got to go to my cousin's grandma's too. My Aunt was one brave woman traveling across the country with four little girls. My grandparents lived in an old huge bungalow, with a lawn, lots of rooms to get lost in, tons of helpers around the house and the highlight - a mango tree of our own. Oh! how we guarded that tree. Children across the street would try getting on to the tree and pluck the mangoes even before they were ripe, but we sisters formed a gang and guarded the tree even on hot scorching afternoons. Mangoes were all over the place in summers. They were bought in sacks and crates, unlike today when you pay per dozen. They were soaked in huge basins in the backyard during the day and then free to be gorged after lunch. I really miss the mangoes up in Bareilly. Here in Bombay, they just don't taste and smell the same. 
Summer vacations were so simple and easy when we were young. Now after growing up, planning a holiday takes so much of your time and energy. 
How are you all spending your summers this year? I'd love to know :) 

P.S. I must share my grandfather's mango ice cream recipe with you all soon. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quick sewing

Hi people, I've been taking it a bit easy these past few days. Long hours of working on the sewing machine have left my neck and shoulders really sore. I stayed away from working yesterday, but by evening my urge to make something went out of control and hence this little fabric bowl was created.

I'd seen this cute bowl at Spoonful of sugar . These little bowls are handy to stuff ribbons, bobbins, buttons etc. Aren't they cute? and they're reversible too. I've stuffed in my ribbons in this one. It hardly used up any fabric. I dug out some scraps and wallah! finished it in ten minutes. I must try making a bigger one too. Pop over to Spoonful of sugar, the mother - daughter duo have some really great tutorials. I must try the covered tape measure next...seee ya!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A surprise package

Last week Gaurav was on a day long business trip to Bangalore. He came back with a bag of goodies for me from a colleague in his office. I was so touched because I'd never spoken or met this young girl. Thank you so much Mrunalini, I loved everything in it. I'm sharing pictures with you lovely readers as well.

Wooden toy elephant

Clay necklace and earrings

Wood and straw keychain

Hand painted mugs

I especially love the mugs. I'm using both the mugs on my craft table. One holds my large spool of thread and the other my pencils. Isn't it great when you get a gift when you're least expecting it? I love shopping online because I can never remember the delivery date and one fine day a package arrives at the door, it just makes me so happy. Tell me about any surprise gifts you've got recently. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I did manage to get quite  a bit of sewing done over the Easter weekend

 A bento-box lunch bag using Ayumi's tutorial Pink Penguin

Fabric basket again using Ayumi's tutorial here

 Jewelry organizer using this lovely tutorial at thimble

 Tote bag for Vipul, using one of his lovely photographs he got printed on canvas

Zakka pencil cases using Anna's tutorial at noodle-head. This is an excellent project to practice sewing zippers.

Some more jewelry organizers for Roopa

Back after a long break:

Its been a week since I wrote a post, thanks to my broadband connection not working for a whole week. I never imagined I would be so miserable. My blackberry too wasn't of much help :( Anyway now that I'm back, have lots to share.
Gaurav's Birthday was fun on the 19th and we always plan a party to bring in his birthday, but this time Gaurav decided that he wanted nothing too fancy, so we had his brother and my sister over and a last minute surprise , an old school friend. I baked him his favourite plain vanilla flavoured cake, which I had to twice cause I goofed up with the temperature of the oven :) It was one of Nigella Lawson's recipes I'd seen on television a couple of months ago. I figured later though that lemon flavour would've been much better than the strong vanilla flavour. But, everyone loved it. Must share it with you all some time. Gaurav loves traditional Indian food so that was the menu for dinner. Roopa called in late in the evening to share a quick recipe of cauliflower manchow, cause  she knows cauliflower is his favourite :) Yup, I know you're surprised, but yeah, cauliflower is what I end up making twice a week because Gaurav loves it so much.
After a couple of beers, we eventually ended up shifting all the furniture in the living room and converting it into a dance floor. We finally went to bed at 4.30 in the morning.Here's some glimpses of the great time we had

Birthday cake with smarties (Gaurav's favourite candy)

Gaurav's school pal brought him some fancy vodka

Vodka shots 

Meera's present for Gaurav, a Playclan tshirt

Our living room

The gang

On his birthday, the four of us had a nice quiet dinner with a few friends at Soul Fry in Bandra, a restaurant known for its sea food menu. So thats the last of the birthdays in the family :) Am so thrilled that Gaurav had a great time. Love you Honey.
Enjoy the pictures you all :) XOXOXOXOXO