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 and recently mother to an adorable little munchkin :-), an Asian(Indian) native, nomad for a while and now currently @Portland, Oregan. Recently relocated from The Grand Canyon State and still adjusting to the gloomy weather here... When we first we moved to US(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..;)

Easy Baby Blanket – Revisited

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One of my all time favourtie and practical gifts for babies and toddlers is Blankets. You can’t have too many of these.

So a must project before baby ‘S’ arrived was a set of blankets in multiple sizes and multiple styles 🙂 They were super handy for the changing weather 🙂

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I have already posted a tutorial on how to make these beautiful baby blankets HERE.

The Giraffe minky blanket and the cat naps fleece blankets are half yard and they were prefect for an infant to use in the carseat/crib.

And this my favorite – we used it for her new born photo shoot ❤
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The other 3 blankets were yard size and are great size for toddlers too. Like I mentioned in my previous post Fleece is my favortie fabric and at Joann Fabric you get a ton of cute prints and most of the days they are on sale.

And the skill level for this project is very basic too – so try your hands and I bet you will not stop making baby blankets 🙂

Cheers.

 

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Carrot & Pea patties for Baby/Toddler

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I am so excited to share a recipe that will get your kids to eat and love veggies. Here is an easy carrot & pea patties  that are great for baby/toddlers.

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These patties are so versatile that you can serve them as a delicious savory breakfast, pack them in lunchbox or serve them for dinner.

My 1 year old loves finger foods and she eats better if she feeds herself and she loves “Peas” and also asks in a cute way in every meal. So, I had to come up with a recipe that is delicious and quick too.

Yes, these are absolutely quick and all it takes is 20 minutes and 5 ingredients.

img_48191 cup steamed peas and carrots ( or veggies of your choice )

1/2 cup whole wheat flour( ashirwaad aata)

Few sprigs of Coriander

A pinch of ground cardamom/jeera(cumin) powder

1/4 tsp of salt

2 tbsp. of oil/butter

Mash up the steamed veggies, you can use almost any veggie of your choice. img_4810

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and mix together to form a soft dough. With the moisture from the mashed veggies you should be able to form it without adding water.

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Form them as patties and cook them in butter/oil of your choice over medium heat until golden brown, approx. couple of minutes on each side.
img_4813Isn’t that quick healthy yet delicious treat for babies/toddler. For older kids serve with low sugar ketchup or dipping sauce of your choice. img_4818

Baby Burp Cloth

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Baby burp cloths make wonderful and practical gifts. They are super useful and can be used in many ways.

I made them as gifts and want to make for my little one too and it is one of the first baby projects I took up. The burp cloths I have done before for my niece and nephews and couple of other friends babies were just basic rectangle ones.

However, this time I wanted to try a new pattern and I must say they were absolutely great and super handy and I still use them and they are always there in my diaper bag.

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They are lot of fun when sewn up in cute flannel prints. The curve helps to stay on your shoulder while burping and also easy to wrap around baby’s neck as a bib 🙂

My mom loved them so much that she always had one on her shoulder ready before burping baby S 🙂

They can be made in cotton or flaneel. Flannel are my personal favorite becoz they are soft on new born’s skin.

img_0131You get 2 burp cloths from half yard of flannel using same fabric front and back.  I love to use different prints front and back so you can use the half yard for 4 burp cloths.

So let’s get started –

The fabric is from Joann, make sure to wash and press the fabric before using. I have used a free pattern available on pinterest, pick the one you find it easy to follow.
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Cut the flannel fabric (front and back) per the pattern and pin them together on the worng side leaving a gap along the opposite side of the inside curve. That opening is to flip the cloths right side out.

Sew the edges leaving the opening. Once sewn cut off the excess fabric and flip the burp cloths right side out.

Fold the excess fabric of the opening inside the burp cloth and pin them together and make a top-stitch all along the burp cloth.

Isn’t that quick, easy and  great baby gift!

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See you all in my next post!

Introducing our bundle of joy – Sisira!!

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Hey friends,

I am excited, anxious and terrified all at once to get back here and start writing. Its been more than an year and a lottt of changes have happened. I must say it has been a rollercoaster ride.

I apologize that I have not shared my pregnancy news, why I didn’t post for long and lot of stuff that has happened in the past 1+ year.

Finally, life is getting back to some certanity and I found time to get back to my passion.

So, she is our first and my pregnancy has been a breeze but still I didn’t find time to blog! I was too busy enjoying my pregnancy and getting prepared for the baby and taking up DIY baby projects.

Here she is – We named her Sisira ❤ and she is born on 21 February 2018 ( we named her after the season – Sisira ruthuvu). I can’t believe she is already 1 .

IMG_1238My parents were here from India a week before my due date to help us out and I was so excited – they were visiting us for the first time after our wedding(7 years). We got to celebrate my mom’s birthday after many years together. Here is a pic from my mom’s birthday ❤

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And couple of days later baby S arrived ❤

sisira and me

Life took a huge turn with a newborn and before we were adjusting to the new change – my husband had to take up a new job in Portland, OR (of course, after a lot of thought and deliberation before or after the baby we decided to relocate after the baby is 3 months).

It wasn’t an easy decision because we had to sell our house, our furniture ( we were planning to lease out an apartment) -it was a huge downsizing project. And my parents had to leave to India too, I was recovering from my surgery and Postpartum – it was the most stressful times of our lives and we survived!

 

We will forever miss Arizona, our first home and place where Sisira is born, friends we made and everything about it!

So, all this kept me/us super busy. I am happy to get back and can’t wait to share the tutorials of all the projects I made in the past year.

See you all soon in my next post.

Happy Monday and rest of the week ahead !!

Chunky & Soft Crochet Baby Blanket

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I loveee the Bernat Baby Blanet Yarn.

It makes a soft, lush and chunky baby blanket and is perfect as a car seat/stroller blanket.


Because of the thickness of the yarn, it works up super fast and in less time and effort you have a good size blanket that can be used in multiple ways 🙂

This blanket is special to me as I am making it for a new addition to our family. My sister is expecting a baby and she is due in December. They didn’t want to know the gender of the baby so made this neutral shade baby blanket.

This is my first pattern that I came up with and has Chain stitch, Front loop Single crochet (FLSC) & Front loop double crochet (FLDC) stitches.

Here is a tutorial to learn FLSC/FLDC stitch – click here.

Finished blanket is close to 30in*30in and you need a Size 10 crochet hook.

Step 1 : Foundation Stitch – Chain stitch 60 or equals 30 inches in length.

Step 2 :  Row 1- In 2nd chain from hook FLSC (Front loop single crochet) in every chain across and turn.

Row 2–  Chain 1 and  repeat FLSC (Front loop single crochet) in every stitch and turn.

Row 3 – Chain 2 and FLDC (Front loop double crochet) in every stitch and turn. Repeat this for next 4 stitches and turn.

With this the width of the blanket will total to 7 inches.

Step 3 – Repeat Step 2 for next 4 times – so it come to 28 inches ( 7 in *4 = 28)

Step 4 – End the blanket by adding one more FLSC (front loop single crochet) and continue to make a single crochet stitch all around the blanket. That will be the finishing stitch and will make the total size of the blanket approx 30 in * 30 in.

And that’s it you have a beautiful chunky and soft baby blanket ready. And I love the FLDC stitch because it creates a beautiful ridge pattern unlike DC (double crochet) stitch.

This blanket makes great baby shower gifts or new born and is super easy to work with. The total time took for me is 6-8 hours.

Cheers!!

Veggie Loaded Frittata

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Last 2 years we have been eating healthy and made many changes to our food choices. Little change have made huge difference and I absolutely feel light, little leaner and have more energy. So, I thought I will share some of those recipes that are quick and healthy.Here is one such protein packed recipe that can be a great breakfast, brunch or dinner and incorporates lot of veggies and eggs 🙂

It can be customized with any vegetables and add-ins (soy chunks/cheese) that you and your family prefers.

Ingredients  (Serves 2-4)

6 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped 

Seasoning and spices of your choice

vegetables(frozen or fresh) and red onion, diced

How to make :

Heat the skillet over medium heat and add some oil/butter and saute garlic and onions until the raw smell is gone and season with some salt, pepper and oregano.Add veggies and cook until tender covered on medium heat. At this point I add some Indian spices like garam masala/kitchen king masala for extra flavor.Once vegetable are cooked whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Arrange veggies evenly and pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. 

Now its ur choice to either cook it on stove or preheat oven to 400 F. If you want to cook in oven – make sure to use a oven safe skillet and place it into the oven for 10-12 minutes or until set.

I find it easy to cook on stove. Sprinkle some fresh herbs of your choice and without stirring cover it and cook on medium flame for 12-15 minutes.

It is easy to check when set – insert a fork and if it comes out clean it is done. Serve warm.

Isn’t that easy and keep checking for  more healthy and delicious options 🙂

Cheers!

Pretty Paper lanterns

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Paper lantern balls are all over and are used for almost any occasion in different shapes and colors. They are fun and easy way to decorate any space. In India, the lanterns are associated with the festival of lights – Diwali. But they can be used for any event/occasion to bring in the celebration mood 🙂

img_8212-1They can be just hanged by themselves or create a focal spot by grouping them together. Or even can be used to place it on a surface like a table top. Well, I made these large festive lanterns for Sankranthi Bommala Koluvu ( Doll festival in January) to cover LED candles on the wood candle holders.

Materials you need :

Choice of paper or poster board – 2 ( pref contrast colors)

Cutting mat

Craft Knife

Glue gun/school glue

Ruler and pencil

Rhinestone lace (from dollar tree)

Step 1: Take 2 sheets of paper. I used the poster board (22×28 inches)from dollar tree . You can make 2 large lanterns 11×14 inch each.

Step 2: Keep 1 sheet 11×14 inches and cut the other (contrast piece that goes inside as a tube) to 11X11. The tube length should be couple of inches shorter than the outer design sheet.

Step 3: Out of contrasting colored sheet mark 1 inch from the bottom of the sheet and draw a line. And on the line mark 1/2 inch dots all through on both the sides.

Step 4: Using a craft knife cut it lengthwise 1/2 inch apart from one end of the marked point to the other end. Carefully separate the strips and Glue the ends to the inside contrast sheet. Fold the sheet to form a cylinder and carefully pull and bend the strips to form different shapes like below.

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Step 5: Glue the rhinestone trims to the both ends of the lantern.

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Step 6: Punch holes at each end of the lantern and add a satin ribbon to hang it on.

These lanterns are just not hanging like traditional way – they also worked well to cover the LED candles

Aren’t they beautiful and  versatile.

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!