Make a volcano using clay


This is quite a short post because the making of a volcano didn’t take much time.

Santoshi had learnt about different landforms at school again this year but the additional assignment was to make a model of any landform using modeling clay.

During our usual after-school phone call, she said she wanted to make a snow-capped mountain and had asked me to buy clay. Not just any clay but soft clay which is easier to mold and not the one used for making a clay Ganesha which was hard to mold.

Soft clay means mostly playdoh or fun-doh. I could find some Faber castell modeling clay but there was no brown colour. Nevertheless, I bought the Faber castell clay set along with hard clay in brown, white and orange (don’t ask why I had bought orange for making a snow-capped mountain because I really don’t know why).

Looking at the clay, obviously Santoshi wasn’t impressed. We tried mixing red and green clay of Faber castell, expecting a ball of soft, brown clay but ended up with soft, ugly-looking grey clay.

Also, the soft clay didn’t hold any particular shape because it was just too soft. We tried to use a small bowl to hold the shape but no, it wouldn’t work.

Alright, now we were down to making something using the hard clay. I told her that I will help her with molding the hard clay. She decided to make a volcano instead of a mountain since we have brought orange clay.

In order to get a rigid structure, we used the top of a small bottle.

We wrapped this bottle top with hard clay and this is what it looked like (view from top):

Looked pretty neat. Yup, we didn’t have enough brown clay, so used some left over clay from the previous project (clay Ganesha).

Using acrylic paints, Santoshi painted the exterior using brown at first.

Then, we added strips of bright orange clay for lava and inserted a small amount of clay, roughly made into a ball, stuffed it in the bottle’s opening. (Sorry, no pics at this point).

Used some red, orange and yellow paint for lava (make sure to paint the interior of the bottle’s opening too). Tada, here is a miniature volcano made of clay :

Santoshi was quite happy with this!

So, that’s all for this post. Thanks for reading!



Another year, another witch costume

Hello everyone!

This time my younger one decided to go to the Halloween carnival as a fairy. So, we used a frilly frock, bought a pair of wings which came with a hairband and magic wand. That was easy.

The elder one insisted on going as a witch. You may remember that the broom made for Anjana last year never made its way back home. This meant that I needed to make a new one for Santoshi.

Didn’t have much time. So I used the last year’s broom idea and made a few changes:

– the stick was way too thin. So, I put together 3 sticks and used cellophane tape. This made sure that any splinter from the stick didn’t bother Santoshi, apart from holding the sticks together.

– added a bow using a bright green satin ribbon

– made a cat using black chart paper. Created a rough free-hand drawing of a cat, coloured the eyes using crayons (made it hetero chromatic) and added thin strips for whiskers. Made a pretty bow out of a gift wrapper. Attached the cat to the broom by wrapping it around the broom. Used double-sided adhesive tape to hold it in place. The idea was to make it look like the cat is peeping out from behind the broom. I hope it looks that way.


A closer look at the cat

Bought a hat and a jack-o-lantern bucket at a local store. Also, added a purple apron to her black frock to add a dash of Halloween colour to the black frock.

There are many witches, but this one is mine!

This fairy too

Thank you so much for reading the post!


DIY Frozen Anna Cloak


It’s that time of the year again where the kids want to dress up. Nope, not Halloween! It is the annual fancy dress competition at the local play centre.

Since I made a costume for my younger daughter Anjana (Little red riding hood), it was absolutely necessary that something was made for elder one too, even though the frock would have been enough.

So, I promised to her that I will make a cloak for her to go with this frock. I had promptly assigned the task of buying fabric to my mother (my very own Superhero who rescues me all the time). Unfortunately, Santoshi tagged along with my mother for this trip. Which meant that the fabric will be in purple colour


The Sanyare Chronicles – the happy accident

Hello everyone!

Been a long time, isn’t it? Well, with a full-time job, two young and energetic kids and home renovation going on in full swing, my blog has also collected as much dust as my home now. Majority of my posts have been my experiments with craft and costumes and of late, my kids don’t seem to be enjoy being the guinea pigs and I have zero patience for any craft projects, let alone the time and ideas that are essential.

A month back, I had to buy a skipping rope (jump rope if you are in the USA) for my 7 year old who was attending a summer camp. This little shopping trip meant a little walk in the shipping district of my city to go to the toy store where I can do some window shopping of pretty, fluffy bears, not to mention the side benefit of about 20 minutes of me-time. So, I declared my intention of not taking my daughter along and sneaked out of the house.

By default my eyes scanned the mailbox for interesting. Last year, I was part of a Christmas card exchange with my friends (mostly in the USA / Canada). That’s when I used to regularly check our mailbox. Along when the cards, I also started collecting the postage stamps. I now do have a decent collection of stamps. That particular day, I saw an envelope which saw a typical greeting card sized one addressed to my husband and it was mailed from the USA. Interesting! But no stamp, only franking; so, disappointing in a different way.

But, what was inside? It was definitely not a greeting card. I looked at the sender’s name: Haskell. No clue. May be some small, niche computer part manufacturer, perhaps? (my husband is a techie, fyi). But, the package did not seem suitable for small, fragile items. I felt the envelope from all angles to see if it was anything else that my husband haf ordered from eBay which was shipping from the USA. But, hardly any chance of that because I am the forgetful one and he always tells me what he orders, where it will come from, etc.

Curiosity was killing me. I called him over phone to check what it was (too lazy to go three floors up to ask him in person, plus it might jeopardize my me-time to the toy store). He told me that it was from an author and he will explain once I was back home. I couldn’t stop thinking of the envelope. My husband does book reviews, ARC’s too and a few of the authors have sent him signed copies of their books. But this was not a book; it was small, lightweight and flat. I made a run to the store, picked the first skipping rope that I saw and skipped back home.

Back at home, I immediately gave the skipping rope to my daughter without a word (usually I would give her a sermon on value of money, the importance of taking good care of things, the consequences of not taking care of it, blah blah blah) so that she would be occupied while I could open the envelope and see its contents.

For us, unboxing is an important event by itself. We look forward to unboxing (be it a new PS4 or a new case for my phone or any Amazon package for that matter) – we sit on our sofa facing each other, keep the box between us and open it carefully, checking all of its contents one by one, sometimes click pics (like the serial number, etc).

During the unboxing ceremony, my husband told me that he was part of a street team group of this author. Wait, what’s a street team group? Similar to ARC (advance reader copy). Aaah, ok. The envelope had stickers and postcard sized illustrations about the book. Wow! He told me that the books had a strong female lead character and assured me that I will love these books.

I was still working on the podcast of the earlier book (The Maze Runner). The understanding between us was that the next set of books will have to wait until I finish the podcast of the current one. So, once that podcast was published, I started with the first book and soon was drawn into the series. Listen to the podcast on my thoughts of these books. The text review will soon be available at Digital Amrit.

I am soooooo excited about the new books that are coming up in this series – a companion novella will be out soon, followed by book 4.

Until next time, bye!


T-shirt to Football Jersey


It’s been a while since my last post. This time I made a football jersey for my younger daughter Anjana out of her regular t-shirt.

She goes to kindergarten and the theme of the month was ‘clothes we wear’. Her group had to come to school in sportswear  and we had, as usual, one clear day time to get it ready.

Initially I wanted to send her as a tennis player (white t-shirt, white divided skirt and may be a headband) but then my husband and I thought, why not a football player?

We were not sure if we will be able to get a football jersey for a 3 year old and she may not want to wear it, which means it will pile up along with a lot of other unused items of clothing.

Determined to DIY using something that she already had, I tried to recollect what could be repurposed into a jersey. Suddenly, a bulb went ‘ding’ and I knew a dark blue t-shirt of hers was in that pile and that it had a tiger’s face and the text “Roar” printed in the front.



After googling images of football jerseys, I had a rough idea of the “must-haves” of a football jersey:

  • The team name in the front
  • Number below the name
  • Player’s name in the back
  • Number below the name (bigger font size than on the front)

Since the t-shirt already had “Roar” which was the rallying cry of our football club “Little Tiger”, I printed the following out with white font and black outline:

  • 12 (smaller font size and bigger font size)
  • ANJANA (her name)

After cutting the letters and numbers to shape, I put a polythene carry bag between the front and back of the t-shirt to ensure that the glue didn’t seep through to the other size of the t-shirt.


I pasted the number to the front of the t-shirt using fabric glue:


It was fairly simple to align the number to the centre (below the “club” name).

Now, on to the other side:


I tried to roughly position them first and then pasted using fabric glue.


Keeping the polythene carry bag inside, I let it dry for about an hour or so (no weights added fearing that the glue might hold the carry bag to the fabric).

Anjana had a pair of red shorts, a pair of socks and a black canvas shoes which were used with this t-shirt-turned-football-jersey (which took about 45 minutes to hour – starting from google search to finish).

Here she is making a face, with 2 pigtails:



We introduced the word ‘football’ to her and told her that she needs to kick the ball to  score a goal. She was very happy to go to school that day to show off the jersey and the new word (football).



Labelling a basket for kindergarten


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.


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.



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

Step 5: Punch holes on all four sides.


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


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!!


Spruce up a lunch bag!


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.


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.


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.


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


Purple Hello Kitty

My Little Pony
, and

Paw Patrol Blue

Paw Patrol Pink

Wonder Woman

Batman versus Superman


Homemade ice cream and popsicle


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:


  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.


Chocolate ice-cream


  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.


Orange Popsicle using Tang


  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!


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


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

Thanks for reading!


New shower caps from old raincoat


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:


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


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.


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


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.


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).


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:


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 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.

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