Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Little d turns 1

Little d tuned 1 in Nov 2016.

So we decided to go all elephant themed in traditional Indian colors - considering there was a larger scale traditional ceremony on the day of the celebrations.

Ms. B helped out with the staging of the decorations this time. She surely is talented! Loved her attention to detail and design aesthetic!

This is how the dessert table looked.

Full credit for setting this up to Ms B. She pulled everything together in this nice coherent look.
Can you catch the traditional elephant theme going on in the set up?

Another look of the table and the back drop and us all together! :)

The cake was super duper cute - Nikita does it again :) I love the colors and it was very tasty too - almost everyone came back for a second helping :)

One other feature that we had for this bday was a wishing tree. Bare branches with hanging glitter leaves where messages for the birthday boy could be written. 
I love how beautiful this table turned out. The white vase never fails. Even in this traditional colored set up - it just fits in! The elephant theme continues to this table with that lone sandal wood elephant.

Another dear friend Ms. P helped out with the back drop for the wishing tree table. Blue and green crepe paper curtain.

The curtain and the wishing tree seen together in their final location. Oh Ma made that lovely little brocade fabric shawl for the sandal wood elephant :) 
It took help from quite a few hands this time to put together these decorations.

One more wall decorated with the elephant to spread the theme.

While the cake cutting and lunch took place at the hall downstairs - we had a pooja at home. This one is a picture of the home - S and me engrossed in the serious pooja. While friends R and V providing us a comic relief now and then :)

I am totally in love with buntings. They can totally dress up a space. They make their presence felt, transforming any space. Nice gingham buntings this time - found a free printable online and printed at Printo.

A tea light holder pair for all my friends :)
Completely hand made :)

Hand made favour tags in lovely hand made paper and gold sharpie - sits so well with the traditional indian theme.

More hand made paper and more hand made bags to hold the tea light holders.

These tea light holders are basically square and round shaped cork coasters dressed up.
I painted the coasters and affixed rhine stones and the candle holder cups. Designing them was a blast. The colors of base paint, colors of the rhine stones. So many many possibilities :) It was a riot!

Children's favors:

All children got a hot chocolate jar. These jars were hand painted with glass colors with lovely tags with the recipe / instructions :)
The jar had hot cocoa powder, chocolate chips and sprinkles.

I seem to be following a pattern where I do not remove all decorations as soon as the party is over. Some get taken off the day after while a few stay for a week and some stay even for 2 weeks. The moved furniture go back to their right place, almost the same night. But some decorations like this hand drawn elephant stayed for a fortnight :) Don't you just love the colors?

little d had a second traditional party in Chennai in december. The favours were the same for all adults and children. Some decorations were carried all the way there.
At chennai this rangoli is my favourite decoration element.
I love how symmetric it came out :)

I am sure little d had no clue what was happening on the day, but he was as co-operative as a lamb :) Adorable little munchkin turning one. Oh I don't know if you were able to catch it, all 4 of us wore  color co-ordinated outfits :)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

D is 5 Space bday

Up up and away we all went into space for Dhruva's 5th birthday!
Another great event with loads of DIY and decorations with D involved in it all more than ever!

Ready for a chronicle of all things spacey and galactic that this party had?

Venue: Living room of 207.


Paper lantern planets and striped bunting plus small xmas lights to mimic the night sky with stars.

The wall behind the cake table was made to look like the night sky filled with stars, planets, a satellite and one astronaut floating.

All these were hand drawn and hand cut out shapes, but for some of the stars (which I got ready made at Itsy Bitsy)

I think the biggest attraction was probably the rocket photo booth. Thanks to an awesome thoughtful friend who figured I could use her new ladder's packaging box for something useful at the party! Thanks to pinterest, she knew about the party even before I was ready to tell anyone about it! :)
Although, I am not completely happy about the way the rocket was finished, the kids just had a blast posing behind it.

Also the door behind the rocket booth was closed with a black curtain. Add a Sun and a few stars and you have some more sky for a back drop.

One more Rocket made out of cardstock to fill out the bare walls. I love how colorful it turned out.

I never knew I liked door signs so much! This sign we hung on the main door. A door sign is a good way to set the tone for a party. This one was printed out of 220 gsm paper and was completely deigned by your truly! Designed on this awesome app/ website called Canva!

Speaking of design and canva.. This time there was an official invite designed on canva, just to make sure everyone knows the when and where is the party clearly.
Here is how the invite looked.

The dessert table was almost true to the theme this time around. It had alien faces marshmallows and fruit rockets.

Covering up juice boxes in the colors of the party is an easy peasy deco that I am a fan of lately. This time juice boxes were further dressed up with Astronomical elements like planet, UFO, alien and other such.

More decorations: The wall next to the entryway has a window which was again covered with a black curtain and housed a sleepy moon and 2 clouds along with a colorful felt stars.

Another view of the decorations.

Entry way and more paper lanterns. Paper lanterns are my most favorite decorating element! They are under used. They are as colorful as balloons. They do not need inflating. They do not pop or go lifeless after a couple days, unlike balloons. If protected form the dust well enough, they can be reused over and over again.

Oh and btw, the alien from toy story was invited to the party. The children had to pin the antenna on him in a fun game!

Cake cake cake! What's a birthday without a cake! D's 5th bday cake had a typo! The A at the end of his name was left out. But D tried to reason it out saying, the astronaut at the end of his name is the A. :) Whatever makes him happy :)

Favors: Brown paper envelopes/bags are a new found treasure!! I have always been torn when it comes to favors. How much should I spend on them? Should it be a long lasting toy or should it just be a fleeting fun thing. Annnnd, I have the need to make it useful. Also, I need it to be within our budget. You get the conflict in my head - right?

I think the brown paper bags sort of take care of the budget angle - They can be decorated in many different ways - hence providing the carfting outlet while, they are one of the cheapest packaging available in many sizes. 
So this is probably the beginning of a long journey with the brown paper envelopes!

Favors this time:
- A small encyclopedia (one of Sun, Moon, Earth, Stars, Space, Universe) - package in a large brown envelope decorated with colorful dot markers.
- A star shaped hand made soap - packed in a smaller hand decorated brown envelope.
- A cardboard tube dressed like an alien with a candy.

All of the above was on the day we had the party - July 22.

One the morning of the real bday - July 25. D got a surprise from his appa and amma.
The room where he went to bed on the prev night had a yellow(his fav color) curtain when he walked out on his bday morning.

And he got a special gift form his parents again wrapped in a brown decorated envelope (Oh! I was serious about the long journey with brown paper...)
His gift was a sticker activity book / encyclopedia on horses and ponies which happen to be his latest obsession apart from yellow color.

Happy birthday dear little one! :)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dhruva's Fifth Bday food..

Dhruva is turning 5 tomorrow.. This time we had his bday on the previous saturday and we had a space themed bday party!

I am so satisfied this time... I got to do a large chunk of everything that I had planned. I think it was very nicely planned - S pitched in... dear sis M was around too to help out,.. Best of all Dhruva is at this nice age where he understands and enjoys everything that is going on and is young enough to co-operate to a large extent without many arguments/ questions.

The one thing that I really like this time was the way we handled food. The party started at 5pm (even though the first guest arrived at 545 probably) and by 9pm everyone was out.


Welcome all
Games pin antenna and planets hunt
Cake cut
Party favors

As soon as they arrived, adults got tea and samosa while kids got juice and some junk. junk being chips, marshmallows (alien face painted), fruit rockets.
And dinner for all was served soon after the cake was cut. Everyone got their own disposable box for dinner.

Adults: Chapathi - 2, aloo matar, Biryani, raita, curd rice and dry jamun. All in one plastic container
Kids: Half a cheese sandwich , half box of noodles and fries nicely packed in one cardboard box.
People ate and disposed their boxes in large carton boxes - ones we got from basement shop.

At the end of the day there was barely any extra vessels lying in the kitchen sink for cleaning. All we had to do at night after the guests left was to clear up the carton boxes and to clean up the floor where the kids ate.
So easy and breezy.

But we did waste some food. There were some 7 adult food boxes and 7 kids boxes of food left over.
we did use 2 of the kids boxes next morning for breakfast - but still there was wastage.
This time we tackled post party clean up well. Next party we have to tackle food wastage.
We could look at this food surplus in an altruistic angle and say well some uninvited security guards got to eat different food for one night. Still it seems like a bad thing to have excess food.

Anyhow will be posting one more on the decorations and activities... be right back!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cruise Happy...

Lately I have been noticing a pattern everywhere in my life. At various levels of time (like annual, weekly, daily). You might need to muster a little extra patience to understand what I'm trying to say..

There are generally 2 modes that I function in. The cruise mode and the peripheral mode.
For example, In a given week - I am in the cruise mode between Monday and friday and I am in the peripheral mode on the weekends.
In a given day, I am in the cruise mode between 9 and 5 and I am in the peripheral mode between 6am and 8 am and 5pm and 10 pm
In a given year, as parents, we tend to be in cruise mode when the school is in session and in peripheral mode when there are school breaks..
(Maybe Im pushing it here), Applying this to the lifespan of a person, we tend to be in cruise mode when we are working class, say 25 years to 60 years of age. Before we get a job  and after retirement we are in a peripheral mode.
Now at each of these stages (before work, while employed and after retirement) we could further split and assign cruise and peripheral modes.

There is a parallel here to the 80-20 rule (80% of the work gets done in 20% of the time). In any time frame it looks like we tend to be in a cruise mode more than peripheral mode. Widely speaking.
Our weekday cruise mode is longer than the weekend. School year - the cruise mode - lasts longer than the school breaks (So v glad for that design).

So getting to the point, here is a theory on capturing the ever elusive happiness factor. Make sure you are happy in the cruise mode, so that you will be mostly Happy in life. Do something you love in the cruise mode - don't compromise here. Push all other things, things that you have to do but don't necessarily enjoy, into the peripheral mode. So those boring chore like work - Do them in the weekends. Do them at night. Do them at your annual vacation. Save the cruise mode for things you love and things that make you happy. Arrange your life to be happy in the cruise mode. This way you can make sure you are happy most of the time!!

Just a thought! Just an observation..!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dasara 2015

Dasara is here! This time dolls, elephants and all the Dasara paraphernalia are arriving at Amma's home.
Here is a view of the final arrangement. Simple 3 steps, all traditional dolls mostly.

Project No.1:
Elephants Torana.
Right now I'm into 3d outliner also called puffy paint. Its like drawing with mehendi, this paint can go on pretty much any surface and will have a 3d feel to it when dry.
So I decided to try decorating elephants with this paint.

Its fun to draw with.

I used foam to cut out elephant shapes and then decorated those elephants with this puffy paint.

At this point I was still undecided if I wanted to make a rangoli out of these elephants or a torana.

More puffy paint trial.

The dimension is clearly seen on this following picture.

Instead of making them into a rangoli, I decided to string all elephants together and tie them up as a torana on one of the steps..

Project number 2:
This had to be peg dolls! Still such a pleasure to make. After making many pairs of dolls around the same time last year, I thought I finally had gotten peg doll making out of my system. No! that's not happening any time soon I guess. The bug bit me again this year. So here is another Radha Krishna for Amma!

Project No. 3:
Spruce up an old earthen horse.
We had an earthen horse brown colored, needed some life. So I just touched it up with white and gold paint to give it a classic look.


So here is the final look at the dolls.

Bottom most step has Astha Lakshmis and a wedding ceremony

Middle step is Dashavatara and horses and elephants.

Top most step (- still incomplete in this picture) Has the traditional Sandal wood dolls - sort of like our chief guest for the festival. They are flanked by Rama Sita Lakshmana and Hanumantha on one side and Lakshmi and Saraswarthi on the other side.
In front of Lakshmi and Saraswathi is a Satya Narayana Pooja going on!