Deepika Blogs…

Live Creatively

Me May May ’14 – Taking the Pledge

May is beginning to be my one of my favorite months of the year. Too many reasons…

1. PR Weekend (http://www.patternreviewweekend.com)

2. Its finally spring here in New England

3. My Best Friend’s Birthday

and this year I am super excited about Me Made May! I’ve seen the excitement over the years in the blogosphere and this year I am taking the pledge!

 

me-made-may'14

 

I, Deepika (www.deepikablogs.com), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavor to wear one handmade item (sewn/knitted/jewelry/painted) each day for the duration of May 2014

A heart circle skirt for a cutie

No, this is not for my cutie, and Yes, this is my second post in a week on my blog which has been feeling a little neglected lately. Nothing like  party planning to bring you out of your blogging rut right? Anyway, since I am sewing a lot for kids and it is after all Kids Clothes Week, I decided why the heck not!

This cute valentine’s day inspired skirt is for a 4 month old cutie pie. My friend’s daughter… She is precious I tell you and primary colors look good on her. Actually any color looks good on her. And since I am  a polka dot fan and I had this fabric in my stash, I decided to make a quick circle skirt for her.

IMG_8422

I used the free pattern Dana provides here.

I’ve made this skirt half a dozen times before but never for such a small girl. She is only 4 months old! I can’t wait to see this on her. The whole sewing took me one evening and it was so enjoyable. Valentine’s day is coming up so I decided to add a little something special for the baby. I know I know, I must be going soft in my old age. I never used to believe in any valentine’s C.R.A.P. (yes we’re so used to spelling bad words now, half the time its not even worth saying them anymore). Having a 3 year old in the house is cramping my style!

IMG_8426

I’ve never done applique before but I had felt lying around from making a head bands for Dia, so I figured why not. And I think it turned out so darn cute. I sprayed the heart with temporary adhesive to stick it to the skirt and then carefully and slowly sewed it on. Since felt doesn’t fray, a simple straight stitch was all that it needed. I have no idea how craft felt does in the washing machine, but its very easy to just rip out the heart if it doesn’t work out. I just had to do it.

IMG_8423

It just love the black polka dot and red combo. I was lucky enough to find this red elastic at Joann’s the other day. Also added a label in the back, just like Dana does. It also tells the front apart from the back. As if the red heart wasn’t a dead giveaway.

IMG_8434

I am meeting the cutie’s mom  for tea this Sunday, I am so excited to give this to her. I know she will love it. I just hope it fits the baby girl. I bought a red onesie and made a matching felt headband too. I think the baby is ready to celebrate her first Valentine’s day. Don’t you?

Dia’s Lego Birthday Party

You guys, it feels like yesterday when I was gushing over becoming a mom and its as if I blinked and she turned 3!

IMG_8201

With 3 younger brothers growing up, I’ve planned my share of birthday parties but January in New England… Brrrr…  The party has to be indoors. We decided to host it in our basement. First things first, I had to come up with a theme. Not only are themes fun, it makes planning easier.  There is something you should know about me. I am a Pinterest junkie. And here’s another thing…. I love making and creating all sorts of things. Not just sewing. Since Dia is really into legos and they appeal to both boys and girls I decided to throw a lego party.  Upon research on Pinterest, I found tons of ideas. A month before the party, I started collecting them on my “secret” board on Pinterest and started making notes on what will and will not work. I only had limited time given that I work full time and take care of a 3 year old when I come back. But then again, she is my daughter, she loves to create too! So Mother and Daughter team got to work…

In this day and age when children have pretty much everything, how do you teach your children the value of money and things? You teach them to MAKE ‘em. I want her to learn to enjoy the process of making and not just the end result. And she loved every minute of it. She was involved in every stage of this party. It was kind of cool actually. We started prepping for the party 2 weeks before the party so it gave us plenty of time. I’ll add the resources at the end of this post, so read on.diaage3

Party Favors

We made lego men chocolates in white and milk chocolates. Dia watched as I melted the chocolate and poured it carefully in the molds. This was super easy but each round only made 8 little men so we did a lot of rounds! I think we made about 60 lego men. I wanted to use them as cupcake toppers also. I bought the molds here.

collage_chocolates

We made lego crayons too. This was a little more involved. We soaked the crayons, took the paper off, broke them into small pieces (Dia helped with that) and placed them into the molds. Then we baked them in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes or so. A quick rest in the refrigerator and they were perfect!

IMG_6345

collage_crayonsI didn’t take photos but I made barrettes for girls. I bought “Bricks and more” Legos from Amazon.com and used some of the pieces for decorations (to follow) and used the square legos for the barrettes, Super simple, just hot glued them on carefully. Speaking of bricks, how cute are these! I got the ideas of these boxes from deliacreates.com Actually a lot of the ideas for this party came from her blog. Thanks Delia! These did take a while to make but that’s what evenings were for. So fun. For boys, I ended up buying minifigures. I couldn’t figure out what to make,, so I gave in..

collage_bricks

Decorations

I bought this banner PDF from Etsy, printed it and hot glued it to baker’s twine.  Gagan wrote DIA on lego plate. Cute right!

IMG_8227

I set the table the night before the party. Juice boxes were wrapped in lego printables and I added lego men stickers on the plates. Dia filled a couple mason jars with legos and we used them as balloon weights.

IMG_6443

IMG_6442

Lego (actually mega blox) utensil holder. This one was a favorite with adults :)

IMG_6446

We even had lego soap. Hey, the kids need to wash their hands and what’s more fun then lego soap. The moms got a kick out of it too. And of course, Miss Dia helped with this too. She filled the soap dispenser with legos.

IMG_8208

I didn’t do paper invites but I did make thank you cards. I simply took a photo of a girl Lego on top of a base plate. Added a speech bubble in Photoshop  and got them printed at Costco as a 4X6 photo. Wrote the note on the back of the photo. Cute ha! Not my idea again. Delia rocks!

thankyoucard

Food

I kept it very kid friendly, I made mac n cheese in muffin cups for kid sized portions. I used the fun wheel shaped pasta and the kids loved it. We also had a few snacks like veggie straws, hummus, chips, cheese and fruit skewers (another favorite). Gagan made the skewers. They were a huge hit. Put anything on a stick and they’ll eat. We also ordered pizza and asked them to slice two of the pies into 16 slices instead of 8. Adults had coffee, pizza and salad.

IMG_6440

IMG_8286

We also made graham cracker legos.  I put frosting on the crackers and Dia decorated them with M&Ms. She made all of these!

IMG_6445

IMG_8291

And then there were the cupcakes! I made 48 chocolate cupcakes using my go-to recipe from cooks illustrated. Yup, I don’t think I will be eating cupcakes for a long time. But the kids ate them and we had like 4 left over! I tried to color the buttercream frosting red and blue but it was pink and sky blue. Does anyone know how to get deep red color from food coloring?

IMG_8179

IMG_8185

IMG_8306

Don’t they all look cute?

IMG_8300

Games

It was hard to come up with games which would appeal to 3 year olds so I created “stations”. We had a lego building station. I put dia’s foam mats down and put some of our legos and other games so children could play on the floor.

IMG_8256

I also put a small coloring station where I put a big box of crayons and lego coloring pages. That table got a lot of attention!

IMG_8258Pin the head on the lego man. I thought of this last minute and once again, Pinterest to rescue. I found a template here. I already had the cardstock from the boxes, all I needed was foam core and we were ready!

IMG_8289

Finally on the day of the party, my friend got the kids to play musical chairs. It was hilarious. They obviously did not follow any rules and kept running around the chairs. Hey, at least it got them moving. And it brought back some fun childhood memories.

IMG_8237

THE DRESS!

And last but not the least, I made Dia’s dress. As I always do on her birthday. I wanted to tie in the lego theme and red looks good on her. I bought these handmade buttons on etsy. The seller was so sweet. When I told her it was for my daughter’s birthday dress, she rushed them to me.  I will totally buy from her again. Since I wanted the buttons to be the focus, I selected a solid fabric and added a ruffle to showcase the ruffles. I’ve written a full review on PatternReview.

IMG_8188

buttonsI also made a felt flower headband and added a tiny white lego piece, just because!!! Yup I’m crazy that way.

headband

My favorite moment from the party? When she was blowing out the candle and everybody was singing happy birthday to you, Dia was smiling from ear to ear. Totally loved the attention. Another one.. when I was frosting the cupcakes that morning, she came to me, kissed me on my cheek and said “I love you Mama”. AWWWW I love you too Munchkin. Happy Birthday Sweetheart! Now that the party is over, I am a little sad… Valentines anyone???

IMG_8321

IMG_8311

collage collage_2013

Our Bermuda Vacation

We love to travel. Always have. We find places which are off the beaten path. Love to sample local foods. We even attempt speaking foreign languages but most of all we love to  meet people on our vacations.  Most of our vacations are about exploring and adventure. ( I really should write about the time in Chile  when we got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere… TWICE! )

Post baby, our vacations are a little bit different. Don’t get me wrong, we still explore and do some adventures (we hiked the Torres Del Paine , Chile with a 11 month old on our backs)  but we’ve also learned to relax a bit.

Why haven’t I blogged about our Chile and Paris trip (last 2 years)? Maybe it’s time or maybe I’ve become lazy. I am going with the former :)

Anyway, this year we decided to go someplace close (Bermuda is only a 2 hour flight from Boston!). We spent 4 days there and came back totally relaxed. I’ll let the pictures do the talking… (Okay Okay I admit I am lazy!) Check it out will you?

IMG_7076

busride caves collage friends IMG_6853 IMG_6860 IMG_6905 IMG_7038 IMG_7042 IMG_7087 IMG_7092 IMG_7131 IMG_7152 IMG_7157 IMG_7182 IMG_7187 IMG_7195 IMG_7207

aboutme

A new pattern company – ooh la la!

Just before we were about to leave for Martha’s Vineyard, I received a package containing two new patterns which I’d been lusting after for a long time!

deearanddoe

And pretty they sure are! I ordered the Belladone Dress because I love the back cut out and streamlined skirt of the dress and the Blouse Datura. I can see myself using up a lot of the cottons I have left over from making things for Dia. I didn’t blog about it but last year we went to Paris and what can I say. I am in LOVE! I love all things french now :)  Ok back to Deer & Doe.

So last night  I traced off Datura and I even have the perfect fabric for it. I got this hand block printed fabric (all vegetable dyes!  ) from India years ago. It’s the softest cotton ever. I have used a similar fabric in this top and I wear it all.the.time.

Colette Sencha

But, I needed a contrast fabric so I decided to check out my local fabric store – Quilter’s Way, right here in my town and right next door to a knitting store and a kitchen store. See where I am going with this… Yup, I came back home with a lot more stuff than I needed :)

I picked up these two basic cottons. Actually the maroon is quite cool with a slight tone on tone print.  Donna, at the store was super helpful and I was able to find just the right fabrics.

Check it out. I am making the peter pan collar version. Black or Brown? Not sure…

IMG_4190

Most of my fabric still comes from online stores but I sure am grateful for Quilter’s Way.  The quilting manufacturers have actually started making really nice apparel quality fabrics and the prints are breathtaking. I’ve been using quite a few for Dia and starting to use for my clothing as well. Here are some photos I took there. I’ll write a full review on PatternReview soon too. Aren’t you dying for those polka dots? I AM!

quiltersway

Oh and Martha’s Vineyard, it was a blast. A perfect day! And this is one of the reasons I will never move  :)

collage_martha

29 inches…

When Dia was born, one of the first things I bought for her was this green Janome Mini Sewing Machine. I know I know… I am usually not an impulsive buyer but if you hear me out, it makes sense.

IMG_1361

If you know me at all, you know how much sewing means to me.  And one of the things I wanted as a new mom was to expose Dia to it.  I decided early on to educate her about all things in our home. And to involve her in our everyday activities. When I am in the kitchen cooking, she is there with me so its only natural that when I am sewing, she should be there too. Now, I know what you’re thinking … “The Pins!” Yes, with the pins, the scissors, the rotary blades, the whole thing.

collage_cooking

When she was an infant, I would bring her tummy time mat into my studio and she would peacefully sleep while I sewed.

As she grew, she started enjoying spending time with me in my studio. When she was able to sit up, I created this sewing basket for her with odds and ends from my sewing room. In an ideal world, she would be sitting in one corner just playing with it. But as soon as she was able to move around, my drawers which were once organized? Not so much anymore. But the important thing is, that she kept herself occupied while I sewed.

IMG_6755

IMG_1833

Instead of putting everything away, which wouldn’t be practical for me, I decided to introduce her to all of these things. I showed her how scissors work and that they are sharp and not for little ones. I taught her how to pick up the pins from their heads.  I am of course always in the room with her but the important thing is that I do let her explore.

collage_patterns

One of the things she enjoys playing with is empty bobbins! She places them on top of each other and says “Look Mummy, I made a tower”.

And now my two year old is conversing like a sewing buddy! Here’s what happened the other day. I was talking to my brother on the phone. Dia wallks in with a measuring tape and starts measuring me. After a few seconds, looking very serious she says “29 inches”. I almost fell off the chair!

IMG_6721 IMG_6768

One day, I was busy tracing out a pattern on my table, Dia made herself comfortable on my sewing chair, and said “Mummy I need fabric.” When I asked “Why?” She said “Because I am sewing”.

IMG_6756

At her day care, she likes to wrap scarves around other children and tell them that she made it for them.

When I sew, she hands me the pins and then puts them back on the magnetic pincushion.

Because I make a lot of clothes for her and take her photos for reviews,  she thinks every time she gets dressed, we should take a photo of her. Have I created a DIVA????

IMG_3297IMG_6586

IMG_6744

I am writing this so I’ll remember how early she started sewing even if she didn’t churn out clothes every day :)  For us, it is about the journey rather than the end result.  I feel that by making her a part of my life, she already has a head-start on all things sewing. Heck, I didn’t even know what basting was when I started sewing. Dia, knows her sewing jargon, so when it is time for her to actually sew on her Janome, she’ll be fearless and winding bobbins like a pro :)

How old was your child when they entered your sewing studio?

She wore all me-made!

5days

Well we did it. And it was a lot of fun! And it has inspired me to sew even more for her. These days her grandparents are visiting (my in-laws) so we’re having a blast! Next up – A July 4th outfit…

Me-Made-Week for Dia

The whole Me-Made-May had me baffled! Hundreds of sewers/sewists and crafters took a pledge to wear self-made items every day in the month of May. Super cool. But you know, I almost wear Me-Made every.single.day. I am not boasting.. just stating a fact. In fact, upon inspection of my closet I found that the pieces I do not end up wearing are all store bought! Now that is something to be proud of and I am. But you know me… I always need something to challenge myself so since I’ve been sewing up a storm for Dia.

mommymade

 

How about next week (June 17th – 23rd ) I am going to dress Dia in at least one piece of clothing which I’ve made for her. And while we’re at it, I’ll make sure that I am wearing a me-made every day too. And at the end of the week, I’m going to document the things she and I wore.

Another reason I am doing this is because she loves it when I take photos of her so this will be an added bonus and something to look forward to. So stay tuned for some cute show and tell.

B Present…

It’s going to sound so lame but this is something which has stuck with me. And it came from a movie!

Rumor Has It http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0398375/

Trust me I am not going to go preachy on you especially when I haven’t blogged in about 6 months! But just this morning as I was thinking about starting to write again I thought I’ll begin with this post.  I am guilty of not being “present” most of the time. Think about it. We’re either living in the past (oh those good ‘ol days) or in the anticipation or excitement of the future. But rarely ever in the present.

Gagan and I used to fight all the time when I would insist on taking photos of everything and everywhere I went. My argument “I want to be able to re-live this”. He’d say “But you’re missing it now!” Of course back then I would never agree with him but I do now ;)

And in this era of living VERY public lives (thanks to Facebook) we’re almost always living in the future when we take photos every second of the day to “share” later. In the last few events I’ve attended I’ve actually made a conscious effort to NOT do this and let me tell you it was not easy at first, but it was liberating! I didn’t care how I looked, I was just having fun with people I love. I was present. What a concept right? Then I started thinking… when am I ever present? I suppose one of the few times I am actually present is when I am spending time with my munchkin – Dia and I would not trade that for anything in this world. So I am going to end this on a positive note and go home and “BE PRESENT”

IMG_4776

Documenting my life – Day 4 – Your Kids Dressed UP

I didn’t forget about this. Just taking my time with this series and enjoying taking pictures. So the 4th in the series is all about KIDS and dressed up too. I am in a dilemma here. How is one supposed to select from over a thousand photos! No, I didnt take them for this blog, but I figured I have so many nice pictures of Dia (who just turned 1 btw) that I should just use those.

At her birthday party. She was an angel that day.

First Thanksgiving in a dress made by Gagan’s aunt.

First Diwali (Festival of Lights) – October – 2011

Blackberry camera phone. I just love the expressions on her face. I knit this red sweater for her.

Natural light filtering from the window in Dia’s room. It does wonders for this photo. I made this dress!

I think I am going to stop here. There are some of my favorite “dressed up” photos of Dia. At 15 months now she is super active so it’s getting harder and harder to capture her various moods and expressions but we are enjoying every single minute being parents.

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.