Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First and a Monster.

Today I sent my daughter to playschool for the first time.  It was scary.. for me that is. She did just great. We felt she needed some more interaction with other children and she just was not getting that at home. I am hoping and praying that we have chosen the right school to send her to. I hope she fits in there. I hope she learns to be a good  friend, to listen to her teachers and how to interact with other kids. I hope she enjoys it. She seemed a bit overwhelmed and hyper when the school day was over. Jumping up and down and wanting to see everything but at the same time asking mommy for cuddles a lot while on the way home. So many new things I guess. She is taking a nice nap right now. 

She was not ready to stand still and pose for nice first day of school pictures.. maybe I'll shoot some this afternoon at home.

Last night as I was getting her bag ready for school I thought that the lunch box she had picked out was really boring.. I let Anaiah pick it out herself. I think she liked the cartoon that was on the packaging because the little lunch box itself it very plain. It was also probably the cheapest one.. maybe she knew mama would jazz it up a bit??  

Here is the before: - Boring red and blue snack/lunch box

I had some fun fat quarters from the US and some from her uncle Erick in Japan. (He knows what to send to made me happy!)  Mixed them with some bright solids and a little felt and I got this:  - A much cuter little lunch cozy.

Then you open it up and.. 
A monster ate my lunch! 
I hope it brings a smile to her face at snack time! 

I thought about writing a tutorial.. but I don't know if that is really needed. Let me know if you want one! 

Were you nervous the first day your little one went to school?

Friday, January 27, 2012

He had more!

I had posted last week about my shopping trip to get cake decorating goodies, well I decided on a whim to go see if maybe I couldn't get lucky again and find some fondant cutters at INA market.  My sister in law was home for the day so I asked her if she didn't want to go out and check out INA, thankfully she was up for it.  To my great delight fondant cutters were back on the shelves in a few shops.  I bought almost all of the different ones that were available. I mean who knows if we will be so lucky again and the prices were right! I think I paid about 3-4 dollars for each set. (150-180 rupees)

I think I have enough now to start a small cake decorating business. :) Anyone need some adorable cupcakes with pretty flowers on them?? :) I'm really looking forward to making some gumpaste and using my cutters! Now off to find some yummy cake recipes! 

I'm still trying to find some fondant tools and a few special cookie cutters but I was so happy on the way home from the market! 

Oh, I also baked a 'normal' cake on Monday because my little lady kept talking about cake.. It's a pretty basic yellow cake baked in a bundt pan, with dark chocolate butter-cream frosting and lots of sprinkles for the little one. 

Do you have any yummy cake recipes to share? I'm especially looking for good egg-less ones as I am not use to making egg-less cakes but with so many people in India who do not eat eggs I would love to learn some good yummy egg-less cake recipes. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lilac Blossom Shrug.

It's finished! I love a fast knit, don't you! 

I'm really happy with it! Anaiah looks adorable in it and I feel inspired to go out and find some matching fabric to make her a dress! Or maybe just look for one in a store, but then again what would be the fun in that!  ;) The weather here is still a little cold for such a short shrug but by the time March rolls around it will be warm again and I think this little shrug will still fit! So maybe a cute matching birthday dress is in order.  

I still have some of the yarn left over and am trying to decide what to do with it. I have about 2.4balls left. (about 130 grams or so) Any suggestions? 

I've also started a new project. A navy colored corduroy dress. The pattern is from a great magazine I received in a swap on Ravelry. Burda kids. There are so many cute patterns in there that I'd like to try. Need to brush up on my German a bit to read it though. More on this project another day. 

Did you finish a project this week? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shopping Adventures!

I love a good shopping adventure especially when I don't come home empty handed after the wild goose chase!  A few months ago I heard about a place, Culinary & Cake Decorating School, where they hold cake decorating classes. They mostly cater to  professionals and chefs who work for hotels and bakeries because cake decorating is not a hobby many people in India have. I think however that might be changing slowly.  I was thrilled to look up their website and see that they had Wilton cake decorating supplies and ingredients that are hard to find here in Delhi.  It's not that I am such a big cake decorator but I do enjoy it on special occasions.  The last time I made a full on fondant covered cake was for my daughter's 1st birthday.  I was going to order one at that time but the bakery (the only one that I talk to that even knew what fondant was) was unable to make the kind of cake I wanted because they were short on staff. I love to have a special cake for my daughter's birthdays because it's something my mom ALWAYS did for us. She would do make awesome cakes for us decorated according to our interests. I still remember my brother Erick's half pipe skate board cake and my pond cake with a real gold fish in a little bowl in it! She always made it special. I want to pass down that tradition. 

This was my first fondant cake. Made with  marshmellow fondant. It was really yummy!
I had found an online tutorial for the bees and kinda winged the rest of it with whatever tools I had, which at this time was just some cookie cutters from my brother in Japan(flowers), a butter mold (yellow rose) and a regular indian style rolling pin. 

Since then I have found a few new tools. Anytime I see something that I think would be helpful I just pick it up because you never know if you will see it again! I have bought some plunger cutters like these: Thankfully I found them at INA market and they only cost me 150rupees each (about $3) If the shop keeper had had more I would have bought them!

Getting back to today.  I got all excited about the possibility of getting some fun cake decorating things! You have to make an appointment at the place in order to get to shop there which I found kinda strange but hey they must have their reasons for that.  I called them up and asked if I could come today, thankfully the lady said she would be available to let me in.  So we sat in the car for the 45 min. drive and there in the middle of what looked like a residential block it was! Boy o boy did they have stuff I have never seen before in India! They even had Kitchen-aid stand mixers! (not that I could handle that price tag!!) There were cookie cutters, cake tins in special shapes, fondant tools, cupcake papers in fun designs, chocolate molds, cake boards, stands and boxes, food coloring and other cake related ingredients and even things I never expected like a kitchen grade blow torch and air brushing equipment!  They had lots of fun things! 

I picked up some daisy cutters, a fish shaped cookie cutter that Anaiah loved, edible cake glitter, some cake boards, a bowl scraper and some baking ingredients.

They didn't come at INA prices but I was ABLE to get them and that makes me HAPPY.  I'm very excited now about making a special cake for my special lady for her birthday this year!  They have written on their website that they are going to open an online store so that should be exciting! They are also going to have a sale I was told, after I made my purchases, in a few days. Here is the link to their website: Culinary & Cake Decorating School

Do you like to bake and cake decorate? Any tips or recipes to share?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Work in progress.

After a few frustrations with another pattern, I decided to cast on this, Flower Girls' Knitted Bolero - Snowdrops,  an adorable little shrug/bolero. I have loved the look of this little shrug ever since I saw it and was gifted this pattern so I am so happy to be trying it!  It's not very practical for the climate right now but wait a month or so and it will be spring here.  I'm hoping it will fit my little munchkin then. I'm making in the size 3-4 but didn't have a size 4mm circular needle to make this on and though the pattern says that you can use a straight needles, it also expects you to pick up stitches all around and work in the round, so I am using a 3.75 mm circular instead. I hope that the pattern indeed runs a little big like others have mentioned in their project notes.  Other than the needle thing it's a very nicely written pattern and is moving along fast! So much so that I am nearly onto the ruffle edging! A fast project always makes me happy! :)  

The yarn I am using is Wendy (India) Knit Shine. It's a light DK weight acrylic wool blend with a lovely sheen to it. I still had a little left from the Saroyan I made for my brother's girlfriend Lindsey for Christmas.  It's a french Lilac color. The yardage this yarn gives is excellent so I think I'll have enough to make another one if I want to. (or need to if it does not fit)

What are you working on? This post is linked to other wonderful knitters' works in progress: here!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A new year ahead.

It's been a while since I posted but sometimes life gets in the way of blogging and personally I think that ok! I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas and start to the new year.  Ours was nice, lots of time spent with family and just relaxing being together. While usually most of the Christmas gift giving goes towards things for our daughter, this year I asked for some craft things for myself and I got them!  I am now the proud owner of a ball winder and swift for turning hanks of yarn into lovely workable yarn cakes! It's wonderful! I'm so thankful that my hubby decided to go all the way to Old Delhi to the crowded old markets to get it for me. My sister in law also bought me a hot glue gun which I had been missing in my crafting tool arsenal.  Today on a whim I took it out and made a satin ribbon flower pin: 
I also got some yummy bamboo circular knitting needles, some Tunisian crochet hooks a flexible bodkin and other crafting goodies I had ordered from Pony with some wonderful ladies from Ravelry. I was so happy with them I wish I had ordered more! I cast on Summer Flies on my new needles almost right away! It felt so nice to work with bamboo in my hands instead of the cold metal. I finished it and here is how it turned out. I'm not over the moon about it by any means. I wish I had made it in a solid color. I love the look of variegated yarns when I buy them but not as much in their finished objects. It's alright but not my favorite.

This year my hubby and I started the year by cleaning out the house a bit. I feels really good to start the year off getting rid of the clutter and starting fresh.  I cannot say that the job is finished yet but I feel inspired to keep going and that is half the battle for me. I don't really like to make resolutions but I do have general hopes for the new year. I hope this year is filled with gratefulness, for the things we have, things we get to do, and the people we love. 

Do you make resolutions? How did you start your year?