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Labelling a basket for kindergarten

Hi!

My younger daughter Anjana is about to start kindergarten and I am very excited (she? not so much! I see a lot of crying in her near future and a lot of anxiety in mine). The school is particular that we send these things in a basket (not in a bag or backpack – for ease of access; most children in this class would be 2.5 to 3 years old):

  1. Water bottle
  2. Snack box with plastic fork or spoon (no metal ones) IMG_20170602_080253
  3. A small cloth towel IMG_20170602_080221
  4. School diary in a ziploc bagDiary
  5. A spare set of clothes (including bloomers) in a ziploc bag IMG_20170602_080431

The basket also needs to be neatly labelled with the child’s name. I have a light-weight basket for her and I wanted to add such a label that it would withstand wear and tear for the next ten months. I had to keep labelling my elder daughter’s basket multiple times in the first  ten months of her kindergarten.

The label should also help the child in identifying his/her own basket. A picture that they can recognise will help since they can’t read yet. That’s the reason I chose Hello Kitty. So, here is how the labelling was done:

Things used:

  • Hello Kitty label – printed on vinyl (roughly 7 inches by 4 inches) – 2 copies
  • Old place mat for firm backing
  • Glue
  • Sewing machine
  • A pair of scissors
  • Punching machine
  • Polyester yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Permanent marker

How I did it:

Step 1: Using the permanent marker, I wrote her name, class and section on the top right corner of the label.

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Step 2: Paste the labels on the place mat and allow it to dry.

Step 3: Sew on all four sides. Cut the label with a margin of about 1/2 inch on all four sides.

 

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Step 4: Using the permanent marker, add borders to hide the stitches.

Step 5: Punch holes on all four sides.

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Step 6: Using the polyester yarn and tapestry needle, attach the labels to the basket.

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It’s done! You now have a waterproof, hard to tear apart label on both sides of the basket. The image will help your child identify his/her basket during snack break and pick-up times.

Here is the fully-loaded basket – Basket

Please feel free to you provide your comments/ feedback. For Hello Kitty Digital Paper and other exciting digital downloads, please visit my Etsy shop CrazyCookup! Thank you!!

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Spruce up a lunch bag!

Hello!

My elder daughter Santoshi will be starting with Grade 1 in a few days from now and she is very excited.   She has been waiting for almost a year to make use of her Tinkerbell backpack similar to this one.

She also got a water bottle with a fairy and a castle printed on it, so I thought why not get her a matching lunch bag too?

This would have been perfect but we do not live in the USA and we already had a simple (but boring) lunch bag at home. IMG_20170530_204356

So, as usual, another DIY project was born! I admit, until it turned out finished, I was not sure if it would really work or just ruin an otherwise good lunch bag. But I am quite happy with what I ended up with (I am not a perfectionist – you will see).

I got two images printed – one for the top portion (9 inches by 6 inches) and the other for the front (7 inches by 8 inches approx)

Things that I used:

  • A plain lunch bag
  • Disney Fairies/Tinkerbell poster (printed on vinyl) – one for the top portion of the lunch bag and the other for the front
  • Nylon webbing tape (salvaged from a small bag thrown away earlier)
  • Sewing machine
  • Seam ripper

How I did it?

Step 1: Rip the seams of the nylon webbing tape on the top portion of the lunch bag.

Step 2: Align the image (9 inches by 6 inches) to ensure that the ends will be inside the nylon webbing tape once we sew it back.

Step 3: Sew the nylon webbing tape back in place keeping all the ends of the image are tucked within the webbing.

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Step 4: Rip the seams on the webbing tape from the front portion of the bag. Align and place the second image (7 inches by 8 inches) on the front portion.

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Step 5: Sew the webbing tape back in place ensuring the the bottom end of the image is tucked in.

Step 6: Add the webbing tape on the other three sides of the image and sew.

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That’s it! Now you have turned IMG_20170530_204356

into IMG_20170531_104340

Thanks for reading my post!!

Here are other back-to-school ensemble options, check them out!

Hello Kitty Rainbow
and

 

Purple Hello Kitty
and

My Little Pony
, and

Paw Patrol Blue

Paw Patrol Pink
and

Wonder Woman
and

Batman versus Superman
and

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Homemade ice cream and popsicle

Hi!

Whoa, it’s been a month since my last post. So, let me post something tasty and cool to beat the summer heat in Chennai.

At the start of summer vacation for my kids, I tried making two kinds of ice-creams. One was kulfi, which I had done once before and the other was chocolate ice-cream for the first time.

Kulfi recipe:

Ingredients:

  1. 500 ml of milk (full cream or standardised)
  2. 400 gm of Amul Mithai Mate
  3. 100 gm of mixed nuts (pistachios, almonds and cashews)
  4. 100 gm of evaporated milk
  5. 1 tbsp of rice flour or corn flour
  • Grind the nuts coarsely and keep aside.
  • Bring 500 ml of milk to boil in a heavy pan.
  • Add evaporated milk and mix well to ensure that there are no lumps.
  • Add 400 gm of Amul Mithai Mate and mix well.
  • Mix rice flour (or corn flour) with water and add to the mixture. Mix well.
  • Add the coarsely ground nuts and turn the stove off

Let it cool. Before pouring into moulds, give it a twirl to ensure that the nuts are evenly distributed. Freeze for 4 hours before serving.

The kulfi turned out real nummy. I did not have any kulfi/popsicle moulds when I did this, so I used one of my tupperware lunch boxes to freeze. Sorry, the pics are not great.

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Chocolate ice-cream

Ingredients:

  1. 500 ml of milk (full cream or standardised)
  2. 100 gm Chocolate syrup
  3. 100 gm Sugar
  4. 1 tbsp of rice flour or corn flour
  • Bring 500 ml of milk to boil in a heavy pan.
  • Add chocolate syrup and sugar and mix well.
  • Mix rice flour (or corn flour) with water and add to the mixture. Mix well.

Let it cool and pour into moulds. Freeze for 6 hours before serving.

The chocolate ice-cream tasted more like dark chocolate and was not creamy enough, but not bad for a first try. Anyhow, it was a big hit with both my kids. Sorry for the awful quality pic.

IMG_20170421_173839

Orange Popsicle using Tang

Ingredients:

  1. 60 gm of Tang Orange
  2. 600 ml of water
  3. 50 gm of sugar
  • In a pitcher or a bottle, add Tang, water and sugar.
  • Mix well. I used a bottle, so I closed it with the lid and shook it vigourously.
  • Pour into moulds and freeze overnight.

I found a set of popsicle moulds at a local store. It was priced at INR 109 (roughly USD 1.50). When I billed it, I realised that there was a discount on it and I got it for INR 69 (a little over USD 1), yay!

IMG_20170517_100733IMG_20170517_100716

I was delighted to see that the popsicle coming out clean!!

IMG_20170517_100804

My elder daughter Santoshi just tried the popsicle, she loved it!! Made my day, ha!

Thanks for reading!

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New shower caps from old raincoat

Hi!

This is a post on how I made two shower caps from my elder daughter’s old raincoat. By default, I went to the all-knowing pinterest to get ideas on DIY shower cap and I was impressed by two pins – one by Rochelle and the other by One Thimble.

I did not have any vinyl and most definitely did not want to spend more money on buying vinyl than get a shower cap for INR 28 (roughly 40 cents in USD). I looked into my scrap clutter and came up with this:

IMG_20170418_094527

My mother had bought this for my elder daughter Santoshi in 2014. This is Santoshi wearing it on a rainy day in November 2014:

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Needless to say, Santoshi had outgrown the raincoat a long time back and the raincoat was beginning to tear at all possible joints. But, I was keeping it because it has cute baby looney tunes characters printed and yes, I am a packrat.

Given the usual hot summer in Chennai (a heat wave advisory has been issued for today – 18 April 2017), bath time in the morning with a lot of toys, bubbles and hand shower has become the norm for both my kids. And that, more often than not, ends in tears, “She splashed water on my head, my hair is wet, but I don’t want shampoo”. So, I thought that a shower cap would be a good idea to end this. But, of course, they will find other ways to fight!

Ok, let’s get back to making the shower cap before you close this tab.

Things used:

  • old raincoat (any waterproof material will do)
  • elastic cord
  • scissors
  • polyester thread
  • sewing machine
  • Pan lid for drawing a circle, LOL

Step 1: Measuring and cutting the raincoat:

Most pins suggested a radius of about 9 inches. But, having to work with a raincoat which makes the front part (open, button-down front) unusable for this project. I needed two shower caps (parents with two kids would understand – one for each kid, whether the little one needed a shower cap or no) and the back portion was not enough to get two circles. Which means that, as usual, I did not strictly follow either of the tutorials but improvised once again.

With the help of the pan lid, I made a circle of about 7 inches in radius and another one 6 inches in radius. Only one circle could be centered around the prints of Bugs Bunny and Taz. The other one has a part of Sylvester’s face, a heart balloon and a part of Bugs Bunny’s face.

IMG_20170418_095129IMG_20170418_095142IMG_20170418_095449

Step 2: Cut long rectangular strips of roughly 5 inches in width from the remaining part of the raincoat.

IMG_20170418_101510

Step 3: Align right sides facing each other, sew the strips to the perimeter of the circle. This gave it more of a hat-like construction, than just a circle. Sorry, I don’t have a picture for this step.

Step 4: Fold and sew the casing wide enough to accommodate the elastic band/cord, leaving a gap of about 2 inches to insert the elastic.

IMG_20170418_111836-1

Step 5: With the help of a safety pin, slide the elastic band or cord through the casing and sew (band) or knot (in case of cord).

IMG_20170418_111836

Step 6: Push the elastic band/ cord inside the casing and finish sewing the casing. Turn the cap right side out and it would look like these:

IMG_20170418_113121-1

The big one fits Santoshi, yay! 

Looks cute, doesn’t it? Please let me know what you think. Thank you!

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We are now crazycookup.com – please bookmark and continue to support us!

Hello everyone!

We wish to thank each and every one of you for your support all these months. The blog has made it so far and existed for so long solely because of your readership/ subscription, without which we would not have had the vigour and enthusiasm to keep this silly little blog going.

We are now available at the address crazycookup.com. Rest assured that nothing, other than the address of the blog, is changing. The existing content will also be in the new domain, along with the new  content which we would be adding on as usual. We are banking on your continued patronage to take the blog to new heights which it has never seen before.

No doubt, it does make us feel sad to leave the WordPress address, but the site wants to break-free of its current limitations and we are sure that you would understand. After all, aller Anfang sind schwer! (all beginnings are difficult.) Incidentally, this is our 50th post here.

Thanks once again!!

 

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DIY Bib

Hello!

As I was cleaning my kitchen, I got this one – an old 10-kg rice bag.

img_20161116_174823

The image of baby Krishna was too beautiful to be tossed in the trashcan. So, it got me thinking in to what could be done with this bag.

Just the earlier day, my younger daughter Anjana spilt yogurt on her uniform shirt while eating by herself. I wanted to make a bib.

Usually, the rice bags are made of jute or canvas. But this one was of a different material and had a lamination inside which made it waterproof. So, why not make it into a bib? I could, but there was one problem – my elder daughter Santoshi might (read will) blame me for making something special only for Anjana and how I don’t love her and so on.

But, Krishna saved me with a smaller image on the other side of the bag which could be used for Anjana and the bigger image for Santoshi.

img_20161116_174833

Things I used:

  • The old, 10-kg, waterproof rice bag (see pics above)
  • Scissors
  • Pieces of scrap fabric (pics below along with the steps)
  • Velcro
  • Sewing machine

Step 1: Cut two rectangles out of the bag (leaving enough margins on all sides of the image of Krishna for folding/ seam allowance).

img_20161116_175704

Step 2: Choose and cut fabric for the top of the bib (to cover the ‘Since 1972 – Gokul super premium raw rice’ text and also so that the bag does not scrape the skin) and the straps to go around the neck.

Fabric for the top portion:

img_20161116_180508

I used the ribbons from Anjana’s old frock for straps:

 

Step 3: Align the right sides together of the fabric for the top and the bib. Fold the seam and sew the fabric just below the ‘super premium raw rice text’ so that once it is folded up, it will cover the text.

img_20161118_091819

Step 4: Fold the top of the bag twice and sew the seam on all four sides.

img_20161118_091947

Step 5: Fold the fabric over and sew the top end of the fabric to the top end of the bag and you will end up with this:

img_20161118_092638

Step 6: Cut each of the ribbons into half.

img_20161118_092725

Step 7: Attach velcro patches to one end of each ribbon and align and sew them to the top of the bib.

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Here is the finished piece! This one (with the bigger image) is for Santoshi.

I know it still looks like a bag (the straps looking like the handles of the bag) but I think it will serve the purpose of saving the clothes from the stains and spills. The bib could be shaped at the neckline and also have rounded corners. Doing so will require casing or piping and i have never tried them. So, I decided to keep it simple.

I have to do the bib for Anjana, may be over the weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Road trip from Chennai to Varahur via Trichy

When our second daughter was due for her third tonsure at a temple in Vaharur, my husband and I decided to go by road. We had arranged for a chauffeur-driven Honda Civic for the trip. The plan was to drive to Trichy, stay there overnight and proceed to Varahur early morning the next day.

We left at 1 pm on 10 September 2016 from Chennai. In the process of making my daughter sleep on my shoulder, I fell asleep soon after she did and opened half an eye to see that we had crossed Vandalur close to 3 pm. I hung on to my sleep and finally forced myself to wake up by 3:30 pm. By that time, we were miles past Haritam and 99km, where we could have stopped for a cup of coffee and some light snacks.  We told the driver to stop at a decent restaurant for coffee. We almost parked outside of ‘Padmma Vilasam’ but soon realized that we were closer to Aaryas and Vasantha Bhavan at Tindivanam, though both were on the right side of the road.

We made a stop at Aryas intending to have a cup of coffee each and use the restroom and be back on NH45 towards Trichy. AC restaurant did not have tables free so sat at a table in the non-AC space.  We found ourselves ordering a plate of dosa and parotta kurma.  The table had a tray of three kinds of chutneys, a type of pickle and chili powder mixed with oil. Two pieces of parotta were served with small portions of vegetable kurma and channa.  Though the parottas were not even luke warm, they were reasonably soft and were served quickly.  My husband’s dosa took a long time and we had to remind them to get the dosa.  Dosa was hot, crisp and tasty.  We had to remind them to bring sambar.  Sambar arrived in a small bucket. When I tasted the sambar, I realized that I should have ordered dosa in order to enjoy more of the sambar. Coffee was strong, tasty and hot! We had spent about 20 to 25 minutes at Aaryas including the use of restroom (which was clean).  By about 4:10 pm, we were on our way to Trichy when it started drizzling.  We decided to stop there again on our way back the next day.

After enjoying some of my parotta and a cup of milk followed by youtube, our daughter became somewhat cranky. Luckily, I lulled her back to sleep for another 90 minutes while my husband and I enjoyed the scenery on both sides of the road.  Light showers once in a while did not impede in any way in reaching our destination.

near Aaryas at Tindivanam

We reached Hotel Sangam at 7 pm. We were impressed by the tastefully decorated lounge. We were served with a glass of cool, fizzy panneer soda as we filled out the forms.  Our room was overlooking the entrance and the parking. The room was well-furnished and comfortable. We had cream of mushroom soup, sangam special tomato soup, paneer butter masala, phulkas, Cannelloni Florentine, mango milkshake and chocolate milkshake.  Nothing special about either of the soups or the milkshakes. Panner butter masala was good, but the Cannelloni Florentine was excellent! We never expected a restaurant in Trichy to make such a delicious continental dish.  The next morning, we had a cup of coffee each and checked out.  Check-out was quite quick and without any hassles.

A few things which would have the hotel unbeatable

  • We had asked for the wifi password during check-in. The front office manager told us that he needs to generate a coupon for the password and would have it sent to our room. We waited for an hour and reminded them for the password for which we got the polite and assuring reply “We will send it right away”. We never got the wifi password. 
  • The light in the corridor outside our room was not working. We noticed it when we entered the room. The staff member who accompanied us assured that it will be looked into immediately. We reminded them again, but still it did not happen.
  • There was no night lamp in the room so we opened the curtains by a few millimeters to let some light in.

 

Uchi Pillayar Koil on our way to Chennai 

We started for Varahur by 6:40 am from Hotel Sangam. After an early lunch, we left for Chennai from Thirukkattupalli by 11:45 am. Instead of stopping at Aaryas at Tindivanam as planned the previous day, we decided to try Haritam or 99km, which we reached by 3:30 pm. We chose 99km over Haritam which turned out to be a mistake. We ordered vazahaipoo vadai, milagai bajji and coffee. Neither the vadais nor the bajjis had any amount of salt in them. They were served hot but were not tasty. Coffee was tolerable. My husband wished that the men’s restroom could have been maintained better while I found the women’s restroom not so bad.

outside 99km

We spent about 15 minutes at 99km and continued our trip to Chennai. We reached home by 6 pm which was not bad for a Sunday evening.

When we go on another road trip in NH45, Haritam and Vasantha Bhavan will be need to tried and tested.