Author Archives: Nima

About Nima

Hi, I am very delighted that you stopped by! Welcome to Creative ME!!! I 'm a wife to an amazing hubby, an Asian(Indian) native, nomad for a while and finally settled @ The Grand Canyon State in 2012. Our first 2 months of accommodation was in a hotel and that's when everything started. You must be wondering HOW? I was introduced to HGTV and started reading craft blogs. Ohh yes, PINTERST toooo and that is my fav! Well, inspired from these places, I started to DIY on budget and decorate our home. Whenever I posted pics of my projects on Facebook, everyone loved and gave many positive comments. Some of them also said I should not look for a job, instead start a blog or sell some of my projects ;) They thought I was doing something very cool!! That was a great motivation and I decided to tickle my creative senses to tame the stress monster ;-) And then, one day here is my blog , where I share my ideas and projects with friends, family and all other aspiring DIY-er's :) And if you like my blog, please come back and also don't forget to tell your friends :) Lastly, if you have a fun and functional craft or project or even a simple recipe I want to hear….please let me know and I can feature, down the line we will make Creative ME to WE..;)

Woven bamboo mat

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Today I am going to share this bamboo sticks mat woven from the scented decorative sticks available @ IKEA. They are in 4 fun colors and I can’t wait to make more projects with these bright n colorful ones.

The packet has 20 sticks priced @ $1.99 and many months ago I randomly picked them and have been waiting for the right project.  Inspired from sushi mat and ikeahackers.net I gave it a try and it worked perfect.

Materials you need – 

SALTIG Decorative stick – 1 pack

Cotton Yarn 

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Step 1 : Arrange the sticks making sure they all lay flat.

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Step 2 : Take a piece of yarn double the size of the width of the sticks and make double knot on the first one.

Step 3 : continue making knots on each stick on both the sides and cut the extra thread. And turn it upside down

And Tadahhh……

Isn’t that cute mat to display and brag about 😀

Cheers!

Pond Diorama

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There is a long story behind this duck habitat diorama/project that I made for Bommala Koluvu 2016…..;-)

My love for miniatures made me buy the ducks used in this project. They are chopstick stand/holders that I bought in Singapore(China town) just before moving to United States. After we moved to US (2012) while unpacking I looked all my bags but couldn’t find them.

And in 2015 when we were moving from rental to our new home I was packing bags and found a small secret zip pocket on our suitcase that I have completely forgot about.  And I saw 2 bubble wrap pieces. I thought it is trash and almost about to throw it away and it suddenly stuck me ……..

I was so happy to see them again  ❤

Before I loose them I decided to use in some craft and that is when the pond diorama thought popped in my head 😀img_2879

This is a fun project and easy to put together. It can more fun if you have kid at home where you can involve them too in making this. It can be a great school project too..;-)

Supplies  you need to make this are –

Blue sand – Dollar tree

Moss sheet – Michaels

Stones, plastic plants and bushes – Walmart (Aquarium supplies aisle)

White fence (optional) – Hobby Lobby

Glue gun and modpodge/school glue

And here is how you make it –

Step 1: Take a cardboard that matches the size of the moss sheet. Use school glue or modpodge and glue it to the cardboard.

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Step 2: Mark a boundary for rocks and glue using hot glue gun.

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Step 3 : Apply some school glue/ modpodge to the inside portion of rocks and add the blue sand in layers. Leave it to dry for couple of hours. Glue the ducks, plants and bushes and you have it ready 🙂

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I made this for Sankranthi Bomalla Koluvu 2016 and displayed it as a little pond with a fence.

And this year for one of krishna’s stories – krishna playing flute in brindavan.

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Cheers!!

Bommala Koluvu 2017

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Hello Friends,

I am super excited to share Sankranthi/Pongal 2017 Bommala Koluvu/Golu pictures.

img_3736-1It is my 3rd year display and I am so happy that the dolls are increasing and the steps/padi are filling up well.

Like every year, last couple of months have been busy preparing handmade dolls.  Just not the dolls but it took a lot of thought and effort for the golu backdrop. So, this year for a change,  I used a pattu (silk) Indian dress chunni as the main backdrop and added some lights, party streamer garlandfoam leaf toram and clay mural kalash .

And on both sides I have used floor standing candle pillars and replaced the candle with a  a handmade paper lantern ( that I made for Diwali). (tutorial coming soon)img_7385Also, this year theme is 5 stories related to Krishna’s childhood.

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I already have “Krishna, balarama and friends eating butter” doll set that I made to display @ local Hindu temple on “Janmasthami 2015”.

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So, I added 4 more sets describing  some of important krishna’s stories ❤

1. Vasudeva carrying Krishna 

The basket and krishna are made of polymer clay! And the snake(vasuki) is air dry clay and painted the details with some acrylic paint.  Vasudeva is a male doll make over – added red dhoti, some brown beads. For the beard and hair used some black felt.

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2. Baby Krishna killing puthana

Baby krishna is made of polymer and I draped saree to a female doll and curled it’s hair with curling rod and added other details 🙂

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3. Krishna and twin trees ( kubera sons) 

Kubera sons are again the same male doll as vasudeva and I dressed them up as prince with   some gold lace from hobby lobby and the crown is made of gold foam sheet. The 2 trees are  made of cardstock.

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4. Krishna playing flute and mesmerizing Brindavan

Krishna and the tree backdrop is from last year Janmasthami – here is the  link to make the cardboard tree.

img_3699With these 5 stories -I have covered some of the most important events of Lord Krishna’s life and I can’t wait to add more for next year Bombala koluvu display 🙂

Hope you all enjoy this virtual display of our golu/koluvu.

Cheers!

Easily remove bottle labels and repurpose

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I love to reuse/repurpose  glass jars/bottles. It may be just because of the size or shape or for some craft and sometimes even as storage for pantry. But the labels on them can be quite annoying 😦

So, Pinterest has countless ideas and tips on how to remove them -but for me the most important was mess free. I tried couple of them but the one I am going to share is absolutely “ZERO” effort.

Isn’t that awesome – the glass bottle is absolutely clean and looks new 🙂

This magic lotion is absolutely mess free and the stickers slide off without leaving any residue on the bottle.

To make the lotion you need –

1 tsp – liquid Dish soap

1/4 cup – Baking soda

1/4 cup – Vinegar

Enough water depending on the size of the bottle/jar

And all you have to do is – 

Fill your sink or a container big enough to submerge the bottle with hot hot water. Add liquid dish soap and give it a gently mix. Then add baking soda and vinegar.Once you add vinegar it will get fizzy for couple of seconds and that’s when the magic begins.

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Leave the bottles for couple of hours or until you see the labels off the bottle like here 🙂

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And Tadahhh….they are ready to use 🙂

You can use them to store homemade lemonade or get inspired from pinterest and upcycle them for some fun home decor.

Here is a shampoo bottle that was up cycled couple of years ago to a cute vase using some spray paint 🙂

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Cheers!

New Year’s Eve Bash

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Happy New Year Readers!

We welcomed 2017 in a splendid way by hosting a New Year’s Eve party and it was so much fun and memorable..:-)

I wanted to try something different that’s going to stand out and..Yayyyy! it worked.

Yes, it is the fun photo session with some New Year props and party backdrop. I can’t wait to share how easy it is to set up something like this on budget 🙂

Photo Backdrop & Props -$10

Supplies you need are :

Plastic Table cover – Dollar Tree

Black and Gold Ballons – Dollar tree

Masking Tape – already on hand

2017 Photo Props – Ebay.com

New years Hat and Tiara – Walmart

Gold bead garlands – Dollar Tree

All you do is tape down the table cover on to the wall and add some helium balloons. Keep the photo props ready and let the guests take over…;-)

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We also played some games and here is a fun game to pass time until midnight 🙂

New Year’s Eve Game – Inspired from Pinterest 

You have to create some cards and let the players pick one each and share their story 🙂

Fill the cards with something like BEST GIFT OF THE YEAR, MOST MEMORABLE VACATION OF THE YEAR etc and it is fun to think about all good things happened in 2016 ❤

img_7211To make it little interesting I placed them in a paper fortune cookie 🙂  Make circles from cardstock and fold them and glue the tips. If needed use some clips until the glue is dry.

And when it is time to ring in the New Year a sweet treat is a must 😉

Here is my countdown cake that is really quick and easy to make. It has 2 layers of chocolate cake with a vanilla caramel ice cream sandwiched and frosted with some icing.

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The clock topping is edible sugar sheets and letters. To match black and gold theme, I used a metallic sugar sheet cut into circle and glued the edible sugar letters on to the sheet with  sugar water 🙂img_7212

We enjoyed the ice cream cake and ended the night with some fireworks 🙂

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Hope you all had fun welcoming the new year and wish you all again a happy and peaceful 2017.

Cheers.

Eggless cashew cookies !!

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These crispy melt in the mouth indian style butter and cashew cookies go perfect with a hot masala chai ( indian spicy milk tea). They are so quick and easy that you’ll want to whip up a batch right now 🙂

They are also perfect as after school snack for kids or even to share with friends and family during festivals as they are eggless.

Prep time : 20 minutes                   Cook time : 22 -25 minutes                     Yields :24

Ingredients – 

All purpose flour(maida) – 1 cup

Powdered sugar/confectioners sugar – 1/2 cup

Roasted cashews -1/4 cup

Unsalted butter – 1 stick (4 oz) at room temperature

Salt -1/8 tsp

Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp

Baking powder -1/4 tsp

Let’s see how to make:

Step 1: In a mixing bowl, add the butter that was left to soften. It has to be soft but not melting. Combine powdered sugar little at a time and keep mixing until it is light and creamy. To it add  cardamom powder and mix it well.

Step 2: Take separate bowl to sift all purpose flour(maida) with salt and baking powder. Combine the flour (little at a time) to the butter mixture until it comes together. Knead it well with hands to forms a soft dough.

Step 3: Coarsely grind the roasted cashews in a mortar & pestle and add it to the dough. Knead it until the nuts are mixed well with the dough.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Step 4: Preheat the oven to 300 F (150 degrees C). Divide the dough into equal sized portions and roll them into a smooth ball with no cracks. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 22-25 minutes.

As each oven is different please keep a close eye after 18-20 minutes.

Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before transferring on to a cooling rack.

And you have delicious cashew cookies ready to eat 🙂

Store in a air tight container and they stay fresh for 5-7 days.

Cheers!

Clay Urli pot for Diwali

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Diwali is incomplete without diyas,rangoli (traditional Indian chalk art), bright and  beautiful decorations, yummy food, family gatherings and fireworks. When I think of decorations – the first on the list is illuminating every corner of the home with diyas/candles and the second is urli pot filled with rose petals/fresh flowers and candles 🙂

Living away from home, I miss having this decorative piece for Diwali and this year I decided to use a terra-cotta cactus/round dish as a substitute. It will not replace the traditional brass uril but for sure warm and welcoming.

Here is before and after picture 🙂

This clay cactus dish is available @ home depot and has perfect depth and width to use it as urli pot. Since it is a garden pot it has drainage hole and all you have to do is to fill it with some waterproof silicone sealant/caulk.

Place the pot upside down and use some duck tape to close the hole.

Turn it right side up and squeeze out some Silicone sealant to fill the hole.

Use a toothpick to spread it making sure the hole is filled without any gaps/vaccum.

Instructions on the silicone caulk says 30 minutes to dry, since the hole is large and we squeezed quite some I would suggest to leave it to dry overnight.

Once dry you have the pot ready 🙂 You can decorate the pot in multiple ways – go with a solid spray paint or give some details with acrylic paints and embellishments.

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Isn’t that perfect and beautiful for Diwali….

You could use it in multiple ways – indoor or outdoor, on floor or on a platter stand.  All you need is to fill some water and arrange fresh flowers. Don’t forget to use some floating candles for Diwali 🙂

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And here is a picture from Diwali 2k16 with the urli pots filled with flowers and floating candles 😍


Happy decorating!!

Air-dry Clay Diyas

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It is just 2 weeks for Diwali and you must have begun the preparations. Every year I add something new either decorations or diyas and this year I was thinking to use the existing ones in new way but wasn’t convinced.

Well, Diwali is an important festival and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to experiment something unique and different and if it is a hit to share it with you all.

We all love to have a new set of diyas every year and in my earlier posts I have shared couple of alternatives. However, today I am going to share an easy way to make traditional looking clay diyas at home. It doesn’t involve a potter’s wheel or kiln.

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All you need is –

Air Dry clay ( I used Crayola from local craft store)

Rolling pin,  knife/butterknife and water

Glass bowl ( Dollar tree has these small glass bowls 4 for $1)

Step 1 : Start by dividing clay into equal sized balls ( depending on number of diyas you want to make). It helps in having equal size diyas.

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Step 2: Roll out clay on smooth surface to thickness of 1/4 inch.

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Step 3: Use the same bowl and lay it top side down on to clay. Cut around the edges with a knife. You may skip this step if you can roll a circle(like shown above).

Step 4: Place the glass bowl top side down and lift off the clay circle and place it on the bowl. Push the clay towards the bowl and on one edge pinch the clay like shown below.

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Step 5: If the edges don’t look clean, use your finger and little water to smooth it out .

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Step 6: Let the clay dry overnight ( preferably 12-14 hours). Once dry pop out from the glass bowl.

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Step 7 : Use acrylic paints of your choice and the diyas are ready 🙂

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You can use either white clay and paint or terra-cotta clay for traditional look.

Cheers!

Easy baby blanket – 2 yards and 30 minutes

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I am still at beginner/intermediate level of sewing and a quick project like this can never be boring.  You look forward to finish it and get pretty excited with the results..;-)

I made several of them( to be precise 12 baby blankets) full size, carseat and stroller blankets for friends and thought why not I post a tutorial. This is a beginner sewing project and fun to make. I buy my fabric @ Joann (stock up during sale) and love the nursery prints/flannel/soft and comfy fabrics. You can buy online as well like Fabric.com

What you need is :

1 yard of printed fabric(front)

1 yard comfy fabric (back)

Matching thread and pins

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It is important to prewash the fabric and make sure they are wrinkle free before you start sewing. Also cut any stray ends off your fabric pieces so they are the same size when put together.

Lay the fabrics right sides facing together. Make sure everything is smooth and  flatten to avoid any lumps or folds.

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Pin around the sides leaving 8-10 inches opening so that you can turn the blanket right side out later.

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Start with a back stitch and sew using 1/2″ seam allowance.

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Before you turn right side out – clip the corners and cut excess fabric to prevent bulk.

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Once you turn around, iron the edges until everything is flat.

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Sew  around the edges and you are done. The blanker is very soft and much thicker than the ones you find in stores.

I love  the decorative stitches on Brother Computerized machine and every time there is a new stitch to match the theme on the fabric…;-)

Isn’t that easy and they make perfect baby shower, baby receiving or even birthday gifts. Just the  size of the fabric you choose differs for each occasion and they can used in multiple ways 🙂

Here is a collection of some handmade baby blankets 🙂IMG_6703.JPGCheers!

Door/wall hangings with homemade clay…

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My favorite of all wall hangings is traditional Rajasthani ones. Specially, the string decorations are absolutely beautiful and comes in various designs and sizes. They add so much warmth, color and most important festive feel 🙂

Well, it is easy buy stuff from India, but I was itching for a project and decided to “DIY” and here is the result – a cute and traditional flower string door/wall hanging 🙂

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Aren’t they cute and colorful. They are about 24 inches (2ft) in length and add color and style to any room.

Well, before initiating this project,  I was looking at clay options to make the flowers. The ideal pick was polymer clay as it is light and break resistant. This time I wanted to go for an inexpensive option.

After some search, I found this recipe to make clay at home. That was super exciting.  It is easy-to- make, easy- to-work, inexpensive and can be used in variety of projects.

Here are is a video tutorial from youtube.

I couldn’t wait to get started and bought glue from dollar tree and corn starch from local grocery store for less than $3.

Homemade clay is ready and the other supplies you need are –

wooden beads (hobby lobby)

Cookie or fondant cutter

decorative mirrors (hobby lobby)

Bells (optional)

Lace or string of your choice 

Super Glue 

Step 1 : Condition the clay and roll it out until it is 1/8th inch thick approx. Here i used a fondant cutter for flowers. Choose a cutter of your choice and make 10-12 flowers.

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Step 2 : Let the flowers dry overnight. Once dry they are very light, unbreakable and almost look like resin. Color the flowers with acrylic paint and glue a decorative mirror in the center.

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Step 3: Take a string or decorative lace and few wooden beads. I added random and used multi colored beads. Once you add couple of beads glue the painted flower like shown above.

Once you string beads and glue flowers add a decorative bell and you have beautiful string wall hanging decor ready to use 🙂

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