Plastic cup lamp – Booze party (Sarakku party) décor

I made this plastic cup lamp for a Sarakku party (Booze party) that we had last week-end at home. It was a barbecue cum Sarakku party that we had been planning for a very long time with friends and which finally happened last weekend. It was also the eve of my husband’s birthday. I thought it would be fitting to have a huge plastic cup lamp as the centrepiece. You see the plastic cup is synonymous with sarakku (booze) here in TamilNadu (drink, crush and throw). This lamp is super easy to make, fully functional, practical and symbolic of the Moda kudi (extreme booze if you will) that happens at such parties. Best of all, the lamp is so cheap! I bought 2 packs of 100 plastic cups each and the total cost was less than 100 rupees. You’ll need a stapler and about half a pack of stapler pins. That’s it. Staple away.  You could make these lamps in any shape you want – I made a dome shape. I actually wanted to make a spherical lamp but I used up around 130 lamps just for one half of the sphere, I knew I didn’t have enough for another half, so I let it be a dome shaped lamp. This dome shape with the underside open turned out to be more convenient to fit in the light. So being flexible like this and not having a plan is actually good. We didn’t factor in the weather while planning this outdoor party. Who does that in Chennai? How often does it rain in Chennai? But we’re notoriously unlucky in that way. It was super sultry that evening and we had to retrieve our long forgotten air-cooler to create some circulation on the terrace. We had the barbecue going and everything went along great. And then it rained. Really lucky, right! Thankfully we were almost through and only our last batch of chicken remained to be grilled. We hurriedly moved everything in. But it was a short shower. It was then nice and chill, almost like in Ooty (not that cold obviously, but how would Ooty be if Ooty was in Chennai? It was like that) – even better for boozing. The men continued un-deterred determined to out-puke each other.    We couldn’t hang the lamp in the middle as we didn’t have a near enough light socket, so we had...

Glass Bangle candle Holder

These glass bangle candle holders are pretty, thrifty and functional. They’re super easy to make and are best for kids aged 3-6. It’s fun for moms to do on their own as well as these are beautiful and are a nice alternative to expensive store-bought candle holders and you need not worry about buying the same ones that everybody else has bought (think home-centre). The best part is it’s more of a candle shade than a candle holder. So you can light the candles first and then place these candle holders around the candle. Moving them around is also just as easy, you can remove the holders and then the candles. They need not go together. Every year we receive lots of these assorted glass bangles for various occasions – Seemandham (baby shower) or Aadi Pooram and they just sit there in a box as they’re mostly too big for my hands and they’re too mixed up to go with any one saree. These candle holders make the best use of my over-sized glass bangles. I made a “Crafts” menu-tab on my blog initially hoping to post simple and pretty crafts that ordinary moms like me could do. I’ve posted 60 recipes now and not a single craft. You should know by now that I am not very crafty. I wish I was. This glass bangle candle holder is something I did with my daughter a couple of months back. I say “with my daughter” because my kids don’t generally stay till it is done. My kids are too impatient to sit for long and are more naughty than crafty. My daughter likes using scissors to cut pillow covers, barbecue brushes, books and all sorts of important stuff that’d make you scream. My son is too young to handle scissors; instead he soaks up everything in water. I usually start with the two of them seated by my side, patiently explaining what we’re going to do, how it’s going to look and how much fun it’s going to be. My son bolts within the first 5 minutes with the glue or some crucial element. My daughter stays for a little longer and is a bit more interested but she too wanders away before long and I am usually left alone to complete what we had started. Does this happen to you? My craft principles: 1.      It’s got to be simple. As simple...

Danish Display – Wonderful little Crafts Store in Kodaikanal

 My son’s peeing partner I am a souvenir fanatic, I have to buy stuff wherever I go but as it turns out most often, it is not actually the specialty of the place or even worse it is available in Pondy bazaar or the numerous “handicraft exhibitions” that are put up in many places in Chennai. You are sure to find chennapatna wooden tops, semi-precious jewellery, traditional Rajasthani outfits for kids, carved wooden corner tables, centre tables etc. in these handicraft exhibitions in the city. No item is exclusive to any place anymore. Most things you find in a tourist place are already available somewhere in your own city. As long as what I buy is unique and I like it, I don’t mind buying coloured glass chandeliers in Goa, painted terracotta ganeshas in Kodaikanal or silk coin purses in Darjeeling. I found those silk coin purses so enchanting I bought one for everybody in the family. Imagine my embarrassment when a few months later I found heaps of these purses being sold on Pondy bazaar platform. This happens a lot to me and my husband is ever-ready to point out my blunders. But I don’t mind. He never stops me from buying anything, so I guess that more than compensates for his pointy behaviour. Danish display however is a really cool crafts store unlike your usual Indian touristy shop that you’ll find inside most 5-star hotels – pashmina shawls, semi-precious jewellery, carved elephant you get the picture? If you are going to Kodaikanal, you should visit Danish Display especially if you love crafts, knickknacks and pretty things. Danish Display has a wide range of things, I loved just looking though them. Most of their stuff is quite unique, although they have the usual wooden bangles and jute jewellry also. They have these tiered crocheted lamp shades I couldn’t resist buying although I knew I wouldn’t be using them in the near future. My kids would use it to swing from dining table to fridge top and back. Top of the fridge is the only surface in the house that remains untouched by their antics.  Terracotta Bird whistles There are some delightful little terracotta toys which are quite ingenious. The “little peeing boy” is one such and it looks so cute too. You need to dunk the little terracotta boy in hot water for some time and then in some cold water....
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