Saturday, June 25, 2011

More Crochet

I've been working at my crochet lately and I made a bunch of more these round pouches.

 This one was requested by my sister. She made the flower on top by herself.

Now that I'm finally getting better at crocheting stuff, I decided to try this crochet basket too. It took me almost a day but it's done at last. (I didn't make the handle for it)

It's actually quite big and I'm thinking it will be useful to keep on the dresser for random things such as hair ties and clips perhaps.

The angry birds seem to find it real cozy. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Am Blessed

"If you are thankful, I will give you more." Quran 14:7

I have a roof over my head, warm food at my table and a family that cares around me. This is something that many people around the world crave for right now. I am, indeed, very lucky. But oh, how easy it is to forget it and whine and complain. Instead of looking at what we have, we only see what we don't have. I want to sit back and appreciate all that I have in my life right now and be thankful for it. 

I am blessed to be able to go for Umrah this year as well. So many people asked me to pray for them. Some asked for something in particular and some in general terms. I don't know how many of my prayers will get accepted but I remembered each and every person. Usually, I can think of a billion things I'd want to wish for but when I get there, all my wishes seem so insignificant. Nothing really matters. I end up not asking for anything at all but just guidance and forgiveness.

 In Makkah and Madina, it's a whole new world. The residents are usually guiding and helpful. The only concern is getting to prayers on time. There seem to be no worldly burdens. The sacred water, Ab-e-Zamzam keeps us refreshed.

I find it very amusing to watch  the little children around. I got a cut on my foot and had to use a band-aid for it. This little girl looked at my foot twice as she went by and the look on her face was SO worried. It was the cutest thing ever. My Dad says I should have said to her, "a pigeon bit me". (hehe)

The beginning of May has not been an easy one for our family. I'm glad we got the chance to go to for Umrah and pray at this tough time. I know this tough time won't last but it's much more comforting to go and pray at such spiritually charged places. We return with high hopes and greater trust in Allah.

 Now that we are back home and it's been a few days, I miss being there and really hope to go back again. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Beaks and Bows

Last time, while I tried to sew a small Totoro, I watched the movie. It made me realize that I can watch an animated movie while I sew. Why animated? Because I can just glance at it every now and then and just listen to it while working and still know what's going on. Makes sewing more fun for me. 

I had made the blue bird and the yellow bird right after I made the red one. But I wanted to make the black one before I put them all on my blog. So today while I made the black bird, I watched Howl's Moving Castle. I don't have a sewing machine yet so I hand-stitch each bird. I seem to have a hard time sewing on their beaks. It takes about five tries to get them okay looking. But they're worth it. Here they all are:

The black bomb bird is my favorite! I am so so thankful to Care's blog where I got all the patterns from.

The other thing I've been working with felt making little bow hair clips. I got a pack of black hair clips for very cheap and the good thing about them is that the top black part actually comes off from the clip. I made little bows with felt and used glue to put them on the black top. Left them one day to dry and viola! pretty little clips all ready! 

 I didn't really think it necessary to cover the black part with felt because my hair is black and when I put it on, only the bow shows. I don't know how long they'll stay with glue. Maybe I should have sewn them on. I guess I will if they start to come off. Right now, I'm happy with they way they are.

Might make more birds and bows with the felt I have left. Perhaps get better at sewing beaks on? :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Neighbor Totoro

Today I FELT like working with felt. (heh) I've seen Totoro plush around the web so I decided to try and make one. I also watched the movie today.  My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 Japanese animated movie that has been dubbed in English by Fox and then by Disney. I think the one I watched was the Disney version. Anyway, while I watched I started putting together this little Totoro figure. Later, I added a keyring to it.

I think it turned out cute :) Have been working on more angry birds too. Will blog them once they're all done! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Small Crochet Pouch

I've been practicing my crochet for the past couple days. And I've finally managed to make something that is actually of some use. I have learnt single crochet and discovered that many things can be made with it. I do plan on learning other stitches but for now, I'm having so much fun trying out this. So this little pouch I made today took me about three hours. And I'm very happy with the results.

I think this one is going to go to my little cousin Nozzles (as she likes to call herself. :))

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Crochet - Level : Beginner

I really have been wanting to try crochet for sometime now but was not able to find the aluminum hooks that are needed. I've always been inspired by friends who crochet and really wanted to learn. I'm pleased to announce that I finally found one. For some reason, the few places I have been to in Saudi Arabia, they have just one size aluminium hook, which is 4.0 mm (a size G i think) Moreover, the shopkeepers are really not in the mood to help out or guide one. I managed to get some yarn too but didn't realize that I'd need a needle too. 

So anyway, right now I'm a very basic beginner, practicing my simple crochet. Have had to open it and start over countless times but I can tell I'm improving with practice. There are some awesome 'Youtubers' out there who make the learning process so much easier. Yesterday I made this rosette with pink yarn. 

Today, I tried making two cherries. 

Not a bad start I think. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How To Sew A Drawstring Bag

I haven't ever met my mother's grandmother. But from what I hear she was highly creative at sewing. She'd make these drawstring pouches and give them to everyone. Recently I learnt how to make them too.

Here I'm going to show you how I make the drawstring pouch above. It's fairly simple. I'm not an expert at sewing and I'm not taking any classes. My stitches are not very neat since I'm still practicing and trying to learn on my own. I'm putting up the process of making a drawstring pouch here for people like me who are looking for easy projects that they can start with. You can, of course, try variations of the design shown here. Do let me know what you come up with! 

The things you are going to need are:

- Felt
- Ribbon
- Thread
- Needle
- Scissors
- A safety pin

To make the bow, first cut a small rectangle. (It should be the size you want your bow to be) I had a pink bow so my rectangle is out of the pink felt. 

Now thread your needle and start at the very middle of your rectangle.  

Start sewing in a line in the middle.

When you pull at the thread, the rectangle will shape itself in a bow.

Pull the thread and tie the thread in a knot. Now cut off the excess. 

Now to begin the pouch, cut a piece of felt that is the size of two squares. You could cut two squares if you want. I think this way I don't need to sew the base of the pouch. 

When folded, this is what the felt piece looks like. 

Now sew on the bow somewhere on the lower side of the square.

As you can see, I have sewn a little piece of felt in the middle of the bow to give it a cleaner look. 

Now flip it over and pin down small portions of the felt from both top and bottom. This is going to be the place where the string is going to pass so you want it such that after you sew it down, there is room for the ribbon to go through.

Start sewing in a straight line. I think that this part should be sewn strongly as the drawstring will be pulled through it many times. 

This is what it looks like when both sides have been done. (Your stitches might be a bit more neat, mine aren't that much)

Now you have made two "tunnels" for the ribbon to pass.

This is what the front looks like now. 

Keeping the piece of felt in the same place (ribbon side up), fold it back into a square. The bow is now hidden inside. 

Now sew both sides, right and left. Basically, we're sewing on this side so that when we turn it inside out, the seams will be hidden. 

This is what it looks like when I turn it inside out after sewing. 

The seams of the side are not seen from this side. For the top, you might want to use a matching thread, mine doesn't match but I think pink looked fine.

You will need two pieces of ribbon. Each piece should be double the horizontal length of the pouch. Maybe a little more if you like.

Attach a small safety pin to the ribbon.

The safety pin will make it easier to pass the ribbon through the "tunnel".

Pass it in a complete circle and you will have something like this.

Tie a double knot to secure it. Now attach the safety pin to the other ribbon. You will pass it through the circle the same way but this time you will start at the left side. 

Tie both ends with double knots. 

If you pull at the strings knots in opposite directions, the bag will close.

Drawstring pouch/bag is now ready! 

Note : I have used hand stitching for this pouch and I do not take responsibility if you place things that are too heavy or too precious in it and lose them. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Angry Birds Mania

I started playing Angry Birds on my PC a few weeks ago. It's so thrilling to get all three stars in a level. I think why this game is so popular is that the effects of gravity pull seem so real. At first, it just seems like throwing birds around, no biggie. But then as you play on, you realize there is some thinking required. I am currently on "The Big Setup" level 7.  This is one game I've found after a long time that I can play on for hours.

The red one is the classic and basic angry bird. They're basically angry because their eggs have been stolen. I was really inspired to do more than just have their wallpaper in my phone and on my computer. So I went to the mall and got some red, black, white and yellow felt and put together a red angry bird plush. The tutorial I followed mentioned an orange beak but I preferred the yellow one. As the bird started coming together, the whole family got excited. Mom was actually awake at night to see what the final look would be like. I got really confused as to how I'd get all the stitching from inside. Took me about two hours to figure that out. But it was worth it. Here he is!

Now is that an angry bird or what. ;)

*Update* I just finished all the levels on my PC game. Will I try for all three stars? Maybe. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gajar ka Halwa (A Dessert Made With Carrots)

These days, we have gajar ka halwa made every other day at our home. The recipe that ma is using is actually my grandmother's. I'm going to post it here. It might not be clear enough because it's a housewife's-own-precision kinda recipe. Plus, I asked my ma to tell me and have loosely translated how she and grandmother would explain it. Like, I asked ma to tell me the ingredients first but she said, "No, you just note them as they come." =D

Basically you will need 1 kg of carrots, 1 cup of sugar, about a cup of malai (cream), almonds and raisins and some ghee (clarified butter)

Peel the top most skin of the carrots and wash them. Cut them into small cubes. Grind the carrots in a chopper until it is almost paste-like. Then add the cup of sugar. Preheat your oven and keep this mixture in the heat for about 15-20 minutes. (The temperature should be just enough to heat it well)

Now, place the mixture on the stove and add the cup of malai (cream) Stir it well till you see ghee rising on the surface. (Apparently this ghee is from the malai)

Fry sliced almonds and rainsins in ghee (clarified butter) and use them for garnishing. And you're done! A delicious dessert is ready! I'm gonna go have some now!