Monday, August 31, 2015


I had this cotton shirt for a few years, almost new. My niece gave it to me since she was not wearing it. Cotton was of good quality. Other than that there was nothing to recommend it. 

Shirt - Before
I had made this lovely polka dot pink skirt which I adored. One day I was in one of those moods to cut up and stitch something. I picked up the shirt and found this skirt to match it, and got down to cutting and stitching.

Skirt - Before
 First I chopped off the sleeves and then the collar. I am not a fan of collars actually! Measured the length of the bodice I needed and cut off the extra length of the shirt. Removed the waist band from the skirt. cut up a a boat neck. 
Attached the facing to the sleeve opening. Made a narrow band around the neck and ran a cord like a draw string, both made out of the waist band of the skirt. Shaped the bodice to fit me and attached the skirt to the bodice.
Voila! there is a summer dress very comfortable and airy!

Summer dress - After

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Unusual pattern of leaves

Amboli Ghats in Sahyadri mountain ranges is a bio-diverse region. It is a nature lover's god sent. On our day trip to this area was full of discovering siting new flora and fauna. Found in the down stream of the waterfall at Nangartas is this unusual leaf formation. Leaves are formed on the outside of the stem in a circle. It is a small bushy plant. I saw it for the first time. 

Does anyone know the name of this plant?

Ground nut chutney

Ground nut chutney is made often in my house. Whenever it is idlies for breakfast, ground nut chutney should be there. So I had to find a simple recipe by trial and error. I leave the skin on the ground nut to retain the nutrients. It gets done in a jiffy.

Ground nuts (with skin): 1 cup 
Green chillies, chopped: 1 no.
Cumin seeds (Jeera): 1/2 tsp.
Garlic pods: 3 - 4 nos.
Finely chopped Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp.
Salt: to taste 
For garnishing (tadka):
Oil: 1 tbsp.
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Mustard (Rayi) seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Red chilli (optional): 1 broken into 2 pieces

Roast groundnuts, Green chilli pieces,Cumin, garlic pods, and salt. Put them in a mixie jar (small). Add salt. Grind to a powder. Add water and grind it to a paste. Take it into a bowl and mix finely chopped coriander leaves to it.
Heat oil in a pan and put cumin and mustard seeds, when they start to splutter, add red chilli pieces. Add enough water to make a semi solid consistency. Pour the oil mixture over the chutney and mix well.
Ideal with Idlies. Can also be eaten with dosa, rice or rotis.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Silk Kurta with applique work

The final look of this salwar kameez happened accidentally. It was meant to be different.
This outfit I did a while back. I had the off-white pure silk material which I wanted to make into a kurta. I was lucky to find salwar and chunni / dupatta materials in matching prints. The salwar material being thicker synthetic / polyester type and the chunni in chiffon like. 

I finished stitching the salwar and kurta. I wanted to put embroidery on the kurta dn had bought suitable threads, mirrors and beads etc. There was quite a bit of material left over from salwar. While watching TV, I kept snipping the printed left over material, and Voila! I had the flower motis neatly trimmed. 
If you remember as kids we would cut paper into different shapes, It turned out something like that. I must have had restless fingers, I cut quite a few pieces.

Then a brain waves struck, and wondered how will it be if I simply stuck these printed pieces of cloth on the kurta instead of embroidering etc. Sure enough it looked good. 
Then I arranged various pieces strategically around the neck, in the middle, and at the bottom corner.

Initially I stuck them on the kurta with fabric glue at places just to keep in place, and tacked it around the edge, with a loose running stitch and then, did a neat blanket stitch with matching silk embroidery threads.


Since I already bought the mirrors, I stuck them with fabric glue. The total outfit turned out well. Even after several washes (in the washing machine too), the applique, mirrors are still in good condition.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Know your Money - Rs.500 note

All of you have seen a Rs.500 bank note.

Can you identify an original currency note from a fake one? 

 Obverse side

 Reverse side

Every original currency note has 9 security features. If your note doesnot have one or more of these feature, then your note is a fake one. 

According to the Reserve Bank of India, all original Rs.500 bank notes should have the following security features:

1.  Watermark: The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi,  multi-directional lines and an electrotype mark showing the denominational numeral “500” appear in this section and these can be viewed better when the bank note is held against the light.

2.  Security Thread: 3.00 mm Security thread with inscriptions “Bharat’ (in Hindi), RBI and colour shift from green to blue when viewed from different angles. It will fluoresce yellow on the reverse and the text will fluoresce on the obverse under ultraviolet light. The thread is visible as a continuous line from behind when held up against the light.

3.  Latent Image: The vertical band contains latent image showing the numeral 500 when the banknote  is held horizontally at eye level. 
4.   Microlettering: The letters ‘RBI’ and the numeral ‘500’ can be viewed with the help of a magnifying glass in the zone between Mahatma Gandhi portrait and the vertical band. 

5.  Intaglio Printing: The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, the Reserve Bank seal, guarantee and promise clause, Ashoka Pillar Emblem on the left, RBI Governor's signature on the bank note and the identification mark for the visually impaired persons are printed are printed in intaglio which can be felt by touch.

6.  Identification Mark: A circle with Intaglio which can be felt by touch helps the visually impaired to identify the denomination.

7.  Flourescence: When the notes are exposed to ultra violet light, the number panels, which are printed in flourescent ink and optical fibers of the notes can be seen. 

8. Optically Variable Ink
The colour of the numeral 1000/500 appears green when the note is held flat but would change to blue when the note is held at an angle. The font size is reduced.

9.   See Through register: Floral design printed both on the front and reverse in the middle of the vertical band next to the water mark window has the denominational numeral “500”. Half the numeral is printed on the observe and half on the reverse. Both the printed portions have an have an accurate back to back registration so that the numeral appears as one when viewed against light.

Note: Currency notes printed before 2005 do not have the year of printing printed on the reverse side of the note. Those printed after 2005, have the year of printing at the bottom on the reverse side. RBI said all such notes printed before 2005 have to be exchanged for newer notes from banks. The deadline ended on April 1, 2015.  

Salvadordo Mundo Church - Goa

  It was Easter and we have a ritual of going to a natural spring before sunrise and drinking the holy water from it. Since both Jo and ...