Glitter globe – DIY

Looking for a good craft time activity with your kids? Look no further than the classic glitter globes and snow globes. They are easy to make, and children love playing with them.

Here are the steps for a simple DIY glitter globe…

1. Take a small glass or plastic jar with an air tight lid. Glue a small toy to the inside of the lid. (Free gift toys in kinder joy candies or gems balls).

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2. Cut aluminium foil or gold colour foil into small thin pieces into the jar. Add small pieces of glittering embroidery threads, fevicryl glitters and gold embroidery sequins.

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3. Fill the jar with water. After the glue has dried, close the lid (with the pasted toy). Turn the jar upside down and give it a shake to enjoy the glitter globe.

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My four year old daughter loves making these glitter globes. Every time she walks into the room, she gives it a good shake and watches the gold flakes floating down. Hope your children too like this.

Happy crafting with your kids.

Corner sofa sets

Corner sofa is a popular choice of living room furniture. It consists of separate sofas (sectional sofas) that look like the letter L when arranged together. L shaped sofa attracts attention in a room, and becomes the point of focus. It easily enhances the look and functionality of a room.

To make the right choice of L shaped sofa, it is important to understand the nuances of it.

Loungers vs Sofas: Loungers are designed for sleeping or idling. They lack the traditional back support that sofas have. An L shape sofa with lounger has sofa seats on one side of the L, and lounger on the other.

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L shaped sofa with loungers look casual. They make the perfect choice for a cosy living room for a family that likes to idle time away on the sofa.

Balanced vs Extended: Balanced L shaped sofas are of equal length on both sides. A seven seater sofa with 3 seats on either sides, and one center seat is a balanced L. Extended L sofas have more seats on one side of the L shape. Balanced sofas give a formal look to the room.

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LHS vs RHS: Left Hand Side (LHS) sofa is a L shape sofa with the long side on the left. RHS sofa has long side on the right. 

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LHS sofas make the user focus on the right side of the room and vice versa. LHS sofas are the perfect choice for living rooms with  art display or entertainment unit on the right side of the room.

Leather (or PU / faux) vs Fabric: Leather sofas are expensive and require special maintenance. On the other hand, they are long life and give a rich look. Faux leather or PU (Poly urethane) clad sofas try to mimic the look of leather at a lower cost.  But, they are not suitable for long stretches of usage ad they heat up easily.

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Fabric sofas are comfortable and friendly for long stretches of usage. They lack the expensive look of leather or faux leather sofas, but give a cottage feel and cosy look. They are easy for handling.

Seating capacity: Traditionally, L shaped sofas come with 3 seater, 5 seater, 7 seater and 8 seater options. Length of the sofa depends on the seating options. Dimension of the sofa also depends on additional ottomans, or display units that come attached with some L shaped sofas.

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L shaped sofas can raise the look and functionality of any space, be it a house or office or hotel.With its wide variety and price range, these sofas are appealing in both looks and functionality.

If you have been searching for the perfect furniture for your living room, look no further. It will be worth the time and money to opt for a L shaped sectional sofa.

 

Image source: decoist, wooden street, pepperfry – rio sofa, highwayswest, The English Sofa Company

DIY – Birthday banner

This is a simple and easy to make DIY banner using paper board.

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Things needed:

Card board / kraft board / any paper board

Paints / colour paper

Satin ribbon

Adhesive / fevicol

Doing:

1. Cut the paper board into equal sized pieces, with rectangular slits on top.

To make the slits, fold an inch of the paper board at the top. Make two slits on the fold, 1 cm apart. Make a cut, joining the slits to cut away the board between the slits. Open the fold, and you have a small rectangular slit.

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2. Paint the sheets with plain water colours / fabric paints. A coloured background with simple shapes painted on top works well.

Or, stick coloured art paper or hand made paper with pretty patterns.

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3. Paint alphabets on the coloured boards, one alphabet on every board. Words like HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CELEBRATIONS or the birthday child’s name will look good on the banner.

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Alphabets can also be traced on to coloured art paper, and cut out to be stuck on the boards.

4. Take a good quality satin ribbon. Thread it through the slits on the boards. Apply adhesive or fevicol on the boards, and stick the satin ribbon to the boards.

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The banner is all set now to be hung or stuck on your wall.

Cook and see – Meenakshi ammal

This is the oldest and most authentic guide to the dishes of Tamil nadu. It is the first published cook book in Tamil. First version of this book was published in 1951 by S Meenakshi Ammal. This book was originally written in Tamil, titled Samaithu paar  meaning cook and see. It is also available in English translation.

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Author:

The author was born in a traditional Tamil family in the early 1900s. She started helping with cooking during child hood, as was the norm for girl children in her time. By the age of 8, she was well versed in all traditional recipes. She wrote down her recipes for relatives who went to the USA and other countries after marriage. Her recipes were famous for their authenticity and simplicity. Later on, her recipes were collected and published as a book.

Book:

There are 4 volumes of this book by the same title name. Volume 1 covers the basic everydaydishes like sambar and rasam. The author starts with the basic recipe of sambar, and follows it up with different varieties of sambar. The same style of writing is followed through out.

Volumes 2, 3 and 4 cover festival dishes, sweets, pickles etc. Volume 1 is for beginners, while rest of the volumes are for well experienced cooks.

Meenakshi ammal makes cooking simple. She sticks to the basics. Her measurements are visually indicative like a fistful of coconut, pea sized tamarind, etc.. making it easy for beginners. Her recipes give guaranteed results.

Each recipe takes no more than half a page. She focuses on the basic aspects of every dish, leaving it to the reader to customize recipes according to their taste. A must have for anyone interested in Tamil dishes.

This book is a wonderful reference and glossary covering every possible authentic dish of Tamil nadu. 

 

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Sexual Abuse and Globalization

1 month back:

News flash: (Tamil Nadu): A young woman, Swathi, was brutally hacked to death by a young men. Incident happened early in the morning in Chennai, at the crowded Nungambakkam Railway Station.

The killer walked away from the spot and no one chased him or took a photo / video on their phones. Police reached the spot 2 hours later. This incident has created a big outcry in the media, and among the public.

6 years back:

It was 8 PM in Chennai. I got down from the local train at Kodambakam Railway station. I had to walk though a few by-lanes to reach home. There were many passers by and street lights were on.

As I waited to cross the road, I felt someone push me aside. I looked up to see a man standing right next to me. I also noticed his hands coming towards me again. I asked him what he wanted. He replied back with a sheepish smile, without withdrawing his hands. I yelled at him saying he ought to watch his hands or be ready to face the police. I was scared and angry that I ran till I reached my  room.

I have faced similar incidents through out my tenure in  Chennai. While I write this, similar incidents are happening to many young children, teenage girls, working ladies and mothers across India. They face similar feelings of vulnerability and insecurity.

25 years back:

India was very different 25 years back. Streets in India were safer for women. In those days, it was common to see well-dressed stylish young men lingering near residential areas and universities to ‘watch’ young ladies. I remember seeing well dressed uncles loiter around our residential area to watch the young school and college going akka’s. But no one dared to go near or touch unknown ladies in public places.

A comparison…

25 years back, there were no hi-tech smart phones and CCTV cameras. Yet, an incident like Swathi’s murder in broad day light in a crowded public place could not have happened. Public would have raised the alarm, and chased behind the murderer. Passers by would have rushed the victim to a hospital immediately.

But today’s reality has let the murderer walk away leisurely from the spot, and no one went near the victim for 2 hours till Police arrived on the scene.

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Safety for women in India

What happened in the last 25 years ?

In the 1990s, India embraced globalization. It opened the door to lots of financial changes.  Education and career options became wide spread. It became easier to find jobs that paid well. Traditionally conservative women ventured out to colleges. They also got high paying jobs. Men and women interact and mingle a lot. Party culture, along with IT and BPO jobs have led to more women on the streets at night.

On the other side, Gloablization has also brought many social changes. There are realistic portrayal of crimes and social extremes in media. Films that portray brutality are appreciated by the public for their realism. TV channels bring all latest brutal crimes right in to the house. TRP is the norm of the day… As a result, common man’s mind has become used to crimes.

We have become numb to crimes and brutality. Unless something extremely brutal happens, there is no public outcry for the common everyday crimes. India is definitely not headed towards a safe zone.

The future…

Since globalization, India has been changing its social mindset. In the past, our culture and traditional practises were at risk due to globalization. But now, India has found a balance between international exposure and its own cultural identity.

Similarly, we are now going through a phase where human rights and personal freedom are at risk. We have to find a balance between modern lifestyle vs gender / religious / caste identity, and embrace humane feelings.

Globalized India has to pass this phase, and emerge out as a balanced and more humane society. Only time will tell how and when this happens.