Monday, March 5, 2018

March 2018 "Ode to the dreamers"

My sincerest apologies...
I dont know where my life has suddenly gone off on a tangent that I am not getting any time to do anything that I want to...
Sometimes it happens that there are so many things happening on soooo many fronts, that there is no "me" time left...
And my blog and my art is very much "me" time!
This is the first time in my 6 and a half years of blogging (except probably the month when we were relocating back to India from the U.S.) that I havent been able to put up even a single blogpost in a month...
Come what may, no matter how busy I am, even if its the fag-end of the month, I try and put up my Desktop calendar for my friends to download.
Its been a promise to myself.
And this calendar had been made in end January (when I was obsessed with succulents!) to be uploaded in February 2018.
But I didnt even get time to visit my blog, let alone put up the Calendar.
Its been changed now, and I am using it for March.
I hope you all like it and I certainly hope I get some more time this month to do more of what I want to do, rather than what I am expected to do!!
and that is, of course, more ART!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday Moment with my Watercolors

I admit, I am succulent obsessed these days...
And it all started with the succulent miniature fairy garden that I made as a gift for a visiting dignitary. ( A peek here)
And I was hooked!
Even though I know that surviving the intense heat of the Haryana summer will be really difficult for the delicate succulents, but I am nothing if not hopeful.
I shall give them a lot of TLC and just generally hope for the best!
Right now the weather is really conducive and boy are they thriving...
Its fun to be able to sit out in the mild sun of the North India winters, as the fog clears, sip on a hot cuppa joe, nibble on some namkeens., watch the squirrels come out of hiding...and paint the delicate plants in my favorite medium.. watercolors.

Here is a peek at the little lovelies that I picked up from the nursery a couple of days back and cant't get enough of!!

Have I got you all mesmerised and obsessed with succulents, yet...
Join the gang!

Sunday Slurp...Roasted Honey-Garlic Chicken

It seems like been a real long time since I cooked something nice.
And put it up here to share with you all.
These days it feels like I am running against time, failing deadlines, not being able to cope up, and most of time doing everything but art....
And its getting to me, and in the running huffing and puffing, I know I am neglecting the one place that I can be what I am, the place I can dream, and share.
My blog.
And my New Year resolution's gotto be to get my priorities straight and focus on me, my work, my dream projects that have got sidelined and most of all my art...
and of course get back to cooking delicacies for my family.
Can u imagine, I feel lazy and overstressed to even think of baking a cake for them??
But enough of the cribbing...
Lets get started on the juicy, melt in the mouth, sweet and savory, delectable:

(Serves 4)


1 1/2 tbsp olive oil or any refined oil will do
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp brown sugar
5-6 garlic cloves- crushed/minced
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil (I used 5-6 fresh basil leaves)
Pink salt (I used Himalayan salt) to taste
freshly ground pepper
1 tsp chilly flakes
juice of 1 lemon
(mix all the ingerdients given above and whisk well to blend)

2 boneless chicken breasts
2 medium heads of broccoli
400 gms small potatoes cut into halves (leave the skins on after scrubbing)
2 tbsp fresh parsely (if you can get them) or maybe use fresh coriander


  1. Marinate the chicken in half of the whisked marinade for at least a couple of hours. Reserve  the remaining for later. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 C and line a baking tray with foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray or oil.
  3. Place the cut potatoes on the tray in a single layer, and brush with a little olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  4. Add the chicken on top of the potatoes (rubbing the marinade well on top)

  1. Place the tray in the preheated oven and roast for about half an hour.
  2. Add the broccoli lightly seasoned in the last 10 minutes... kepp checking so it doesnt get over roasted/ charred.
  3. Serve immediately garnished with fresh chopped parsley or fresh coriander.

And for you pin for later :-)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Making a Miniature Fairy Garden of pretty succulents.

I had been toying with the idea of making a miniature garden for myself, especially after I had made an intricately hand-made Bougainvillea Bonsai garden that had a few elements of a miniature garden.
I had even made it into my November Desktop Calendar with a little illustrated gnome!
But before I could get around to making something for myself, a VIP comes visiting, and another little gift of a similar kind is required.. 
As the earlier one had been a big hit!
But this time as it was a being given in an elaborate Coffee Morning, I thought why not have the miniature garden in a huge cup? filled with pretty succulents and teensie fairy garden elements!
So I scoured everywhere for a decent sized coffee cup... One that wasn't too big or too small and finally found one.
But getting decent, pretty succulents in the back of beyond place that we live in was difficult, and they had to healthy, different colored, textured and sizes so that the over all look comes out lush and pretty and not just a bunch of greens!
So long story short- ordered some online, some from Delhi, and a couple of okay ones at an ancient church's backyard...
Got enough to make the garden and got started.
Different textured gravel added interest and my little critters arrived just in time for the presentation (the evening before!!)

Can you spot the tiny rabbit with the pink years hidden behind the foliage? And the little hedgehog and squirrel?
The different textures and colors of the succulents went so well together, with the white picket fence adding a whimsical look to the whole arrangement.
I also added a big piece of textured lava rock to have a point of interest in the arrangement.

I was so super excited with the whole arrangement that I HAD to make one for myself too...
So here it is:

This one has a bridge and a little pond with pretty swans and of course my little hedgehog and rabbit!
I spray painted the gravel blue. to give the lake some color...

And of course one little arrangement for the living room in a small coffee cup!

This one has a tiny little house, a picket fence, a bench and a lamp-post!
Didn't add any critters (animals) here, just used a couple of red lady birds.

Now a few tips for all who want to get their hands dirty with pretty succulents:
They are pretty easy to take care of- No direct sunlight... put them somewhere where they can get the mild morning or evening sun...
Water sparingly... just a small spray or splatter every couple of days or even weeks.....the soil should dry out between the watering.
Not more, because over watering is what kills them the most.

Next on my list is a small terrarium... got the succulent bug big time, now!
will keep you all posted.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

January 2018-fairytales

Todays is already the 18th and I have been swamped with work and commitments that have nothing to do with Art and everything to do with the man that I married and the responsibilities that come with it. And its been a kind of a frustrating start to the New Year ,because I had a lot of things lined up... and lots of things planned.
But I hope to get to them sometime soon and hopefully things will fall in place.
Ever the optimist, I am!
Anyways I had made a teenie water color illustration because I wasn't able to take out the time and though I am sharing it here, I feel its not good enough to make as a calendar.
Actually its photographed with a phone camera, and not very well taken, and I havent had time to scan it in a good resolution, so it didnt inspire me enough to make a calendar out of it...
Here is the water color (little fantasy illustration) that I made...
Loved the concept, but it needs a bit of tweeking.
will work on a few more similar ones and keep u all posted.
here's a look at what I had made:

So then as the clock was ticking and the days were passing by, its already the 18th,
I just took an older illustration that I had made during my Inktober stint... (made 30 illustrations with pen  and ink- here)

and converted it into a calendar with a whimsical quote:

Just download, save as Desktop Calendar and enjoy!
And for your pinning/sharing pleasure : just the lovely quote!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Adios 2017... and welcome 2018 with a new painting

I have been in this new station for 5 months now, but still feel unsettled and restless..
Like one "mojo" was missing!
I had all my paints out and all my brushes laid out...
My half finished paintings all displayed to get me going but I just wasn't getting a move on...
And then I gotta a push.
A National level Painting/sketching competition was  just the incentive needed and though I uploaded all my old ones for the competition, I was just itching to try out something new as well.
So here's what I did in 3 days flat....
Worked with fast drying acrylics and painted in the nice winter sun warming me up from within and without... and of course, endless cups of adrak ki chai (ginger tea)!
So a little peek into my last artwork of 2017.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

10 Fun Treats to Make for Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!!
As my kids have their school break, my sons was insisting that we make something fun for Christmas tomorrow.... and I looked up easy, fun, kid-friendly Christmas treats to make on the internet...
So many different, fun things popped up that I thought why not compile a small list of Christmas Treats for my readers as well?
So 10 different, fun, Christmassy treats for all my favourite people.
Have fun trying them out this christmas, or save them up for next time!

1- Pesto Christmas Tree Bread Sticks (link)
Absolutely delicious and looks fabulous too!

2- Pull apart christmas tree (link)
Fun to make and sooooo much fun to pull apart and eat!

3- Christmas shortbread cookies (link)
Colorful and vibrant that kids will have fun with!

4- Easy Christmas tree brownies (link)
Looks absolutely scrumptious!

5- Strawberry Christmas Tree (link)
slice it half, and you see a strawberry inside!

6- Santa Hat brownie bites (link)
Absolutely adorable.

7- Red Velvet Banana Bread (link)
luscious and gooey... you cant go wrong with red velvet can you? and top it that with christmassy forsting! yumm.....

8- M and Ms Christmas Cookie Bar (link)
Cut them into bite size chunks and you are good to go...

9- Holly Jolly Jello Shots (link)
So easy to make and they look like such awesome party treats!

10- Chocolate dipped ginger cookies (link)
Chewy and chocolaty at the same time, and soooo festive to look at!

These were fun to group together... and me and my boys will probably be making quite a few of them soon... maybe a couple tomorrow on Christmas Day itself...
will definitely share them with everyone.
I hope this inspires you all to get cracking have fun in the kitchen with these pretty treats.
Merry Christmas to you all!
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