October 20, 2014

Diwali crafting: easy DIY paper lanterns diyas

diwali paper lantern display DIY tutorial
Diwali or Deepavali (“rows of lighted lamps”)   is a joyful festival to symbolize the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. Indians all over the world celebrate Diwali with beautiful lights, fireworks displays, “rangoli”s, prayers and parties. To mark this Festival of Lights, we made some colorful paper lanterns to decorate our home.

What you need:
A4 size craft paper/pretty wrapping paper
 craft scissors,
Scotch tape/glue stick.

What to do:
   Cut the paper into half,  to size 21cm x 15cm. 


   1. Take half of one sheet of paper, Fold it lengthwise, and 

2. cut  from the folded edge, about 1cm apart, up to 2cm away from the edge.( Small children need help with this step; you can make it easier by drawing lines 1cm apart for them to cut. )

    3. Open the paper

4.Overlap and stick the short edges of the cut strip to the form a tube.

 Ta da! The lantern is ready. Now make a few more to create a pretty display.

(Option 1) Place an LED candle inside the lantern for a cute table decoration. A tea light candle will work, too, but will need constant supervision.

(Option 2) Stick a strip of color paper 2cm x 15cm to make a handle, and hang a few lanterns together for a colorful Diwali banner. Use a string of twinkling lights to add to the festive look.

October 3, 2014

Best out of waste :how to make a paper coil basket - DIY

As i was browsing pinterest one day, I  saw this lovely little garbage basket made of waste paper. Such a  beauty.  I saw this, pinned it, and went my piteresting way.. but this little basket stuck to my head.  I looked through for instructions, but could not find any. Later, I saw someone  made the same circles on a coaster..okay, figured it out. 

Let's start with the super simple steps:
1. take an old magazine,
2. tear off its pages, one by one, and roll them into reeds. You can make many things with these paper reeds, I choose to make coils.

3. Roll them into coils and put a drop of craft glue at the end to keep it closed.

4, Add a little craft glue to stick the coils to a cardboard base.

5. Keep sticking all the coils till you get a basket the size you need, (or you run out of coils like me).
And thats it. 
So, would you make one?

September 26, 2014

Sewing a mini messenger bag, with tutorial link

first project of this term: a cupcake bag for you-know-who. Simple messenger bag with a flap, made with "expert" opinions on fabric, strap length and style. I used interfacing, squared the bottom of the bag and used webbing to reinforce the strap. Looks pretty cute, if i may say so myself .It has enough space for a couple of books, her pencil box, snack box and a small bottle of water.

I drafted my own pattern based on the books she need to carry to sunday school. 

You can get a free mini messenger bag/satchel  pattern and tutorial if you click on the bag here: 

September 15, 2014

What is quilting? explained here.

Recently , a facebook friend asked me about quilts. What do i know about quilts and quilting? oh my dear. I know a lot.(my pinterest page on quilts) I can find out a lot more with google as my friend. But let me start at the beginning.

A quilt is basically two layers of fabric with some filler like cotton or 'batting' in the middle. To prevent the filling from shifting inside the two layers of cloth, we stitch the three layers together. This process is called quilting.
  • The most basic way of quilting is to pin the layers together, and  hand tying the three layers at intervals. This is also called tying a quilt.  The image here is taken from a tutorial at http://www.everythingsewing.net/babyquilt.htm
  • The next method is a running stitch to keep the layers together. This can be straight lines or other designs . The stitching cow gives a lot of good tips for hand quilting.
  • The obvious next stitch is machine quilting. You can take the top fabric,( or  make a patchwork top), and after layering with the batting(filling) and backing fabric,  you pin the whole thing to prevent shifting. Then you can use your sewing machine to stitch the three layers together.  then when the quilting is complete, you cover the edges with another fabric, this is called binding.

There are a few subdivisions of machine quilting, like straight line quilts, whole cloth quilts, rag quilts, and many others.

There are a lot of blogs about quilting, I would recommend a few links to browse:
and a set of videos for beginners.

and here is a good tutorial to make a pretty baby quilt.

you can use the links I have peppered throughout this post to go to really well explained tutorials on each technique. Hope this helps you grow an interest in quilting!

A birthday dress for little me

via Jaya's Place http://ift.tt/XlVCht

September 10, 2014

Dates - fruits fresh off the palm

Having lived in a desert country in the middle east for the last 12 years of my life, I have to admit that I had ample opportunities to actually get a fresh date from a tree, many times before this.   Yet somehow, i never did.

In the course of my work, I visited a farm here, where many different date palm varieties are grown. It was a revelation, the sheer number of different dates, that i have never thought about. The yellow ones, the orange ones, the red ones.. the teeny tiny ones and the bigger-than-a-fistful ones. They were harvesting the dates there, and most of the fruit was ripe and dried in the sun, still attached to the tree.

I always wanted to try them, but thought the unripe ones to be sour, so when the farm manager asked me to pick one of the yellow ones instead of the brown ones, i was surprised. I bit into one, and it was crunchy! instead of the expected squishy feel. The date was slightly brown at the end, and it was VERY sweet.

I brought some of the  unripe(rutab) ones home, and this is a pic of dates at the various stages of ripeness.

Sceptic in Qatar recently did an article on dates, (the fruit!)  and it is very informative so check that if you would like to know more.

September 6, 2014

Pretty lace dress

Action shots were  taken over the vacation.  Lots of photos to edit. Working over them at snails pace. 

September 2, 2014

A significant update to my facebook page address

As of today, I have changed the address of my page to facebook.com/jayasplace
That means all the previous links in photos will become broken links and you wont be able to click through. Very sorry for the inconvenience, but I wanted a name that is easier to remember, and easier to tell to other people.


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