Friday, April 27, 2012

Jewellery Pouches For my Friend...

My friend was telling that she needs pouches for keeping her jewellery. So I made small pouches for earrings with semi transparent material. The advantage with this net-like material is that, we can see which earring is inside, without opening the pouch. And it was easy to make...

Cut the cloth into proper size
Make a small fold at both the ends and stitch it.
Then fold the cloth into half and stitch two sides.
cut small piece of the cloth for the chord. Fold and stitch.

Arthur C Clarke Unlimited…

The way you do things in real life is not the way things would become in the future. We need great imagination to see into the future. Into the unknowns of space and time…Arthur C Clarke was such a person.

I finished his ‘The Sentinel’ two days back. It was a very nice book.. 

The book had 9 stories in it...Rescue Party, Guardian Angel, Breaking Strain, The Sentinel,Jupiter V, Refugee, The Wind From The Sun, A Meeting With Medusa, The Songs of Distant Earth. 

Last week I had bought few more books of Clarke... 2061, 3001 and Expedition to Planet Earth.

I had already read 2061 and 3001 a long time back when I was in college.  I had borrowed the books from the library at that time and I had loved the books so much. When I was raiding the bookshop last week, these books came up unexpectedly. So I bought them...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rain Soaked…

Today, the morning was filled with the aroma of the fresh Earth after the rain (Mazha).
The rain started yesterday night accompanied by lightning and thunder and continued till this morning. 

Oh God… what a feeling it was!! The rain soaked world!!!

Every single time it rains, it keeps us in awe… 

Rain is like a much loved person. Even after the rain there will be some sign of it around us…
Wrapping us up in its cool embrace, reassuring us… loving us…

There are so many poems, stories and articles which associate the rain with love. It really seem that rain is representing love. Love between the Earth and the Sky. The Sky is showering love on Earth and the Earth is flourishing with life after the rain. 

Rain banishes our feelings of being alone in the world. It gives you HOPE that everything is not over. There are some more things in life you have to see… so go on living… It whispers in your ears, ‘I am with you… So don’t stop your journey…’

Now don’t call me a ‘romantic’. Is there anyone who won’t look through the window when it rains? Is there anyone who is not mesmerized by the beauty of this wonderful shower from the heavens? 

The wind and the rain drops gently touch your face and remind you that you are human… and give you hope to stay alive… to watch another rain…

Jackfruit season is here…

The air is filled with the smell of ripe jackfruits.

This is a fruit which was originated in South India. It literally belongs to Kerala. The word ‘Jackfruit’ also comes from the Malayalam word ‘Chakka’. Actually the Portuguese modified this ‘Chakka’ into ‘Jaca’ when they first arrived in Kerala. ‘Jaca’ later became ‘Jackfruit’ in English.

There are two kinds of Jackfruit (Chakka in Malayalam)- varikka and koozha. ‘Varikka Chakka’ will be having a solid fleshy part while the ‘Koozha Chakka’ will be of soft- semi solid flesh. But both are tasty :-).

Chakka can be used in any stage of its life. Both ripe fruit and young fruit can be used for making various dishes.

A wonderful thing about Chakka is that, we can use every part of it except the spiny outer cover. Every other part can be used for making tasty dishes…even the seeds…

 Here is a great recipe for all Jackfruit lovers…

Chakka Ada –a sweet dish made with Jackfruit and Jaggery

In normal cases, this dish is prepared using  rice powder. But this is more tastier and softer if we use sooji rava instead of rice powder.


Jackfruit  (only the fleshy part)– as much as you like
Jaggery (karutha Sharkara) – quantity of jaggery is according to how much sweetness you want for the dish. So add according to your taste
Cardamom seeds – 5 or 6  (crushed )
Coconut- ¼ of the Jackfruit you have taken
Sooji Rava (white)- ½ of Jackfruit you have taken 
Salt - a pinch
Vazhana leaves (Bay leaves)or Banana leaves- as required

Cooking Instructions:-

Take the fleshy part of the Jackfruit.

Remove the seed and cut it into smaller pieces. 

Mash this into a paste using a mixer grinder.
Crush the jaggery into powder.
Add jaggery, cardamom (crushed) , grated coconut, salt and sooji rava into the mashed Jackfruit.
Mix well with hand (Consistency of the batter is given in the below picture). Make sure no clumps are there (Add water if necessary).

This has to be wrapped with either vazhana leaves or banana leaves. Vazhana leaves have a close likeness to Cinnamon leaves. But they are not same.
I have used vazhana leaves here. If you are using banana leaves, first cut it into small pieces.

Take small portions of this batter and wrap it in the vazhana leaves. I am not that much talented in the case of wrapping. You can do a better job by making a the leaf into a cone first and filling it with batter.

Now we have to steam it in a vessel (You can use a idli vessel).

Fill water in the idli vessel. Place the idli stand. Stack the batter wrapped in leaves on the idli stand.

Close the lid of the vessel and Steam it, steam it, steam it for nearly 45 mins to 1 hr.

 Here is the delicious chakka ada…. It is more delicious when served hot.

Get ready for the Venus Transit on 6th June 2012

The transit of Venus is going to happen on 6th of June. All amateur astronomers, get ready with your telescopes and pray for a clear sky as the monsoon rains will be starting on 1st June.
This site will give you more information regarding the transit:  (Hope I can mention this url here).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Summer Rains...

Well we were having a Topsy turvy weather here in Kochi for the last few days. The heat is unbearable. And there were light rains in the evenings. 
On Sunday we had a cloudy sky and there was a promise of rain but a sudden wind had blown the clouds away.
Yesterday evening, there was heavy rain all over our part. The heavens were simple pouring accompanied by lightning and thunder. It was MARVELOUS...

Jute Flowers…

Some Jute sacks and woolen threads can work wonder. It’s easy and attractive.
First of all cut the Jute sack into the required shape (any shape). Then make a border with woolen thread of any color…

My Buddha Statue...

I bought this beautiful Buddha statue in early April. The face is so peaceful…
So the statue needed a peaceful background also. So I converted the top shelf of the corner stand for this statue.
A dead banyan tree (bonsai) was sitting in my yard for some time. So I decided to use that and some dry flowers which I got from Kodaikanal (a lovely hill station in TamilNadu). Then some fish-tank-pebbles and Lucky bamboo added more texture to the scene.  
           The tree of tranquility was created using the dry bonsai tree and yellow dry flowers. The seeds in the center of the flower were taken out so that they will not fall out later. Then the flowers were tied to the branches using golden thread. I didn’t varnish the tree because I want to keep the rough natural look. 


      The Hangings were made of fish-tank-pebbles. These are attractive glass pebbles of the shape of Sun, Moon, stars and sea-shells. I used some metal wire (Silver color) to tie the pebbles together without piercing the pebbles.

      What is a serene scene without some green color in it? So I used a green bottle filled with lucky bamboo in the background. 
           Then filled an old wooden bowl with rough pebbles and placed the Buddha statue on top of it. 
      Arranged it on the corner stand. Here is the final product…

The lighting is very low in our room. So the picture is not that much clear.
And I know that the background paint color is not matching with this arrangement. But I can’t find any other place to put the tree and the statue.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pouch made from scrap cloths for my mobile phone…

My Mobile phone’s pouch had worn out. So I decided to create a new one from scrap cloths. I have used cloth, some sponge sheet and Velcro for making the pouch. It looks neat and comfortable (for the phone). Only problem is that it is not water proof. J

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mornings filled with Pavizhamalli (Coral Jasmine)

The Sun is slowly rising in our city. I had always loved mornings. It’s the time when the mind is fresh and when we could decide whether we want this day to be good or bad. It is always a joy to see the soft yellow sunshine sweeping the streets and the trees. Most of my mornings are filled with the scent of Pavizhamallis otherwise known as Coral Jasmine. It is a simple flower with white petals and orange tube at the center.

As I walk everyday to the bus stop, I pass a carpet of these flowers on the street. Actually it is blooming in a tree which belongs to a nearby house and one branch had grown towards the street. Flowers from this branch are covering a portion of the footpath. It is a wonderful sight.

A quick Google tells me that the name of these flowers is Nyctanthes arbortristis. I don’t know why anyone had chosen such a name for this tree. The meaning of this name is ‘Night blooming sad tree’. But I can’t see anything sad about this tree except the fact that the flowers are short lived. But most of the flowers which belong to the Jasmine category are short lived. The tree should be very happy that its flowers are so lovely.

The weekend is here!!! Two days of creativity ahead.  Planning to stitch something new (a bag or purse) this weekend.  And a lot of reading…

Currently I have a lot of books in my reading basket. But still the yearning for going to a book store is strong. I am beginning to suspect whether I am addicted to ‘book-shopping’.

With love from NASA…

 Discovery finds new home at Smithsonian Museum

SPACE SHUTTLE- This was a wonder word sometime back. But now the curtain had fallen on this word.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Discovery Space Shuttle is its flight in October 2008. There was lots of news coverage for that special mission because of John Glenn’s return to Space after 36 years. I had watched that launch on TV.

It is sad to know that the ‘space-shuttle days’ have come to an end. But at least we can see the legends in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

Discovery will be remembered for a lot of reasons… My favorite among them- The Hubble Space Telescope which is still alive and helping us to look at the far reaches of the Universe, was launched from Discovery Space Shuttle.
Good bye,  Discovery…

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hello Everyone! This is my first post!

Hello everyone! First of all let me thank you for stopping by my blog. I am a beginner so not sure about how well I can write something like this.
Well it was better to start this blog in the rainy season (because I am crazy about rain), but I was in mood of starting something new and I just started without thinking what season it is.

What I want to share in this is… a lot of rain… some sunshine… a beautiful friendship… the vastness of Universe and what we can make out of our tiny life. 

You can expect all type of topics in this blog. It could be craft ideas, night sky watching, cooking or travel.