Friday, July 29, 2016

Upcycle an Old Cotton Shirt into a Toy Chicken

I used felt scraps and what was left of the same cotton shirt I made into a pizza to make a couple of chickens.  Remember, I don't use clothes that are wrinkle-free, no-iron or treated with antibacterials/Microban/antimicrobials. To see the reasons why and where else these chemicals can be found, click above to read my earlier posts on the subject.

I turned the shirt inside out and drew my chicken's outline on it with a ballpoint pen. I then sewed about half an inch outside of the outline, leaving a little gap open to stuff the chicken.

I then turned it back the right side out, and cut out my felt shapes.

I sewed them on, stuffed the chicken with cotton scraps and drew two eyeballs on with a Sharpie Stained fabric pen and my chicken was done!

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Outer Space Card Table Fort Panel #3

Last year I showed you how I made the following panels for my card table fort:

Our solar system


For the third panel, I decided to make some aliens and planets.  I cut shapes out of the felt I had, and am not crazy about the color scheme but I guess the colors work together.  There were so many individual pieces that I had to hand sew on, this panel definitely led to some major felt fatigue.

I first laid out my pieces to find out the best orientation for everything.

I then sewed everything on over the course of a few days and used a Sharpie Stained fabric pen to add faces to my aliens and some craters to the moon.

Check back here for the last panel of my space tent!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My Middle Grade Novel Debut!

I'm thrilled to announce that I won the New Visions Award for my Middle Grade novel, AHIMSA. It will be published by Tu Books in Fall of 2018!

You can see the announcement here:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Upcycle Old Cotton Shirts Into a Play-Food Pizza

After seeing how much fun my kids had with an entire pretend pizza in a play kitchen at a Hands On Museum, I decided to make one for home. I turned two old cotton t-shirts into the pizza. Remember, I don't use clothes that are wrinkle-free, no-iron or treated with antibacterials/Microban/antimicrobials. To see the reasons why and where else these chemicals can be found, click above to read my earlier posts on the subject.

I started with some old shirts. I cut two circles out of the yellow and beige shirt to be my dough and one out of the red shirt to be the sauce.

I turned the dough circles inside out and sewed the two circles together, leaving an opening. I then stuffed it with other parts of the shirt and sewed it shut.

I cut out some yellow stripes from what was left of the shirt to be cheese.

I used old toppings from the pizza slices I had made a few years earlier, and the play food pizza was done!

To see some of my older play food tutorials, see the links below:

  1. Masala Dosa
  2. Idli Sambar
  3. Tacos
  4. Bowtie Pasta and Chef's Hats
  5. Pizza
  6. Sandwich
  7. Produce Stand
  8. Tea
  9. Indian food
  10. Another samosa

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Clean Eating Dinosaur-themed Snacks

Here are a couple of healthy snacks I made for Dinosaur Week at our house.

Using a pear, persimmon, and celery, I made a stegosaurus, grass and a tree. Sometimes when I make this snack, if I am not serving any other protein in the meal, I will use pumpkin or sunflower seeds for the spikes.

For the brachiosaurus, I usually make clouds out of yogurt or cottage cheese. The body is made from a pear with a small bit of blackberry for her eye. And pomegranate and blackberries help make the trees.

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Outer Space Themed Card Table Panel #2: Astronauts

Last year, I showed you how I made the first panel of our outer space themed card table fort:

To make the American and Indian astronauts, I took a large piece of white felt to size out how big I wanted my astronauts to be. I first sketched the astronauts out lightly with a ballpoint pen:

I then cut the shapes out and placed them on the felt. I sewed them in place.

I then went over the drawing with a Sharpie Stained fabric pen and added in details with other colors as well.
Then I cut a shape out in each helmet for my kids to be able to stick their faces in, and sewed along the openings to hold the astronauts to the black felt.
And my astronaut panel was done!

This panel leads to great photo ops with the kids and their friends.  Check back for the rest of the fort and lots more!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

2 Free Elimination Communication Picture Books!

I hope you had fun coloring my adult coloring book, Bollywood: An Adult Coloring Book.

I am excited to share two new picture books for kids with you.

As frequent readers of this blog know, I practiced Elimination Communication with my kids. That is when you take your child to the bathroom from birth. For my detailed post on EC, click here.

After EC'ing my children, I realized there was not a picture book on the subject for common phases in EC like when my oldest started having a few accidents when my youngest was born, or when we first make the switch from diapers to underwear, after a pee-strike. And so, Zuni's New Brother: An Elimination Communication Picture Book, and Nikhil's New Brother: An Elimination Communication Picture Book were born. 

Scroll down for more information and pictures from the books below.

Both books are available as paperbacks and e-books. And for a limited time, (3/17/2016 to 3/20/2016) the e-books are free! Just click on the links above during those dates and make sure you have selected the free Kindle version of both books if you want the free one. 

You can see all my books here. I have been able to give away thousands of copies of my Kindle books for free, and am happy to continue to do so. If you enjoyed any of my books, I would really appreciate some more reviews on Amazon. 

The illustrations are all done in collage, made out of old cards and magazines. Since I don't like to promote sexist stereotypes, the boys in my book happily wear pink. And since I don't want to contribute to the shadeism that is prevalent in the Indian community, I try to show picture book characters in various skin tones. Here are some of the images from Nikhil's New Underwear

And here are some illustrations from Zuni's New Brother:

So be sure to check out the books and get your free copies. And please take a minute to write a review on Amazon. Thanks!

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