Sunday, August 23, 2015

3 Free Raksha Bandhan Books!

Raksha Bandhan, the Indian holiday celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters, is just a few days away.

To celebrate, the e-book versions of my new Raksha Bandhan children's books are free, Thursday, August 27th, 2015 through Sunday, August 30th, 2015!  One is about a brother and sister, one is about two brothers, and one is about two sisters.  The books are also available in paperback if you'd like a hard copy for your kids but, unfortunately, I can't give those away for free.  So if you want the free versions, be sure to toggle between the Kindle and Paperback buttons to get what you want.  Either way, I'd love your reviews on Amazon!

Raksha Bandhan has always been one of my favorite holidays, but as a mother of two boys whose female cousins live in different states and countries, I felt bad that they couldn't celebrate the holiday in person, and thus the idea for Raksha Bandhan books about two brothers and two sisters was born.  Keep reading below for more information on Aarav and Dhruv's Raksha Bandhan, Soni and Rishi's Raksha Bandhan, and Arya and Simran's Raksha Bandhan, and their illustrations, made out of old wedding invitations and magazines.

If you don't have a Kindle, you can still read the e-book with the free Kindle app on your tablet, computer or phone.  Click here for more information.

I have loved being able to give away thousands of my e-books in the past for free.  If you like what you read and have a few seconds to spare, I'd really appreciate your reviews on Amazon.  And if you have enjoyed any of my previous books when they were free, like Nishi Goes to India, and my 9 Indian language books for kids in Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati, (also available in 3-in-1 combo books for each language), I'd be grateful for reviews for those too!  You can see all my picture books here on my Amazon Author Page.  Most are available both as e-books and in paperback.

And now back to the Raksha Bandhan books.
I upcycled old wedding invitations and magazines into collages for the illustrations.  If you've visited my blog before, you may remember that I love using old wedding cards to make new, generic cards, Diwali cards, and buntings.

It was important to me, while making the illustrations for these children's books, to not contribute to the shadeism that can be prevalent in Indian society.  I have found several Indian-themed children's books to have some skin-tone bias towards fairer skin types, and this isn't something I want my children to ever learn.  So I did my best, with the shades of wedding invitations I had, to try to represent a variety of skin tones.

If you have read my blog posts on The Huffington Post, like the one on the Lego Gender Divide or my son wearing pink, you know that I don't like genders to be defined by colors, nor do I like toy and clothing companies to propagate gender inequality by marketing robots and dinosaurs and monsters only to boys and fairies and flowers and unicorns only to girls.  So, although there is nothing wrong with boys wearing blue and girls wearing pink, I made sure my male characters were not in blue and my female characters were not in pink, so they could wear various shades of the rainbow.  In Aarav and Rishi's Raksha Bandhan, Aarav wears pink, my son's favorite color.  And the brothers play with a sparkly unicorn toy in this book and Aarav makes a drawing of a cat, whereas in Arya and Simran's Raksha Bandhan, the girls play with a fierce dragon toy and Arya makes a drawing of a robot.  And just for good measure, the dad cooks dinner in these books.  Because, why not?

I really enjoyed making the illustrations for these books and hope you like them too!
Check back every Monday for new posts, including more info on green products and DIY toys.

 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
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Sunday, August 16, 2015

DIY Raksha Bandhan Gifts

With Raksha Bandhan just a few days away, some of you might be looking for do-it-yourself gifts for the occasion.  Here are a few of my Indian-themed projects from the past two years.  And next week, I will be posting about my 3 new Raksha Bandhan-themed children's books.  They are available in paperback, and as e-books, and the e-books will be free for a limited time, (and one more of my books will be free during that period too as a bonus), so be sure to check in next week for more information.

Below are the Indian-themed DIY gifts.  Some involve sewing, others are just cutting and pasting things together, and one just involves cardboard and crayons.  Click on the links below each picture for a tutorial.

                                                      Indian-themed card table fort

Check back every Monday for new posts, including more info on green products and DIY toys.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Ear Wax Thank You Ear

What do you get an ENT as a thank you gift?  An Ear Wax Thank You Ear of course.

My friend is an ENT and helped us out with something.  I thought a felt ear with "Thank You" written on removable ear wax was the perfect way to say thanks.

First I cut the following pieces out of felt:

I then sewed the two duplicate pieces of the ear together with a blanket stitch:

Then I sewed the little flap on leaving the right side of it unstitched so it forms a pocket for the ear wax.

I then took a Sharpie Stained fabric marker and drew on the rest of the ear and wrote "Thank you" on the wax.

And that was it!  My son liked it so much I had to make him one too.  

I tried to convince my friend that this would make a fabulous business card, as long as people didn't lose the ear wax with all the contact info on it.  I don't think he was convinced.

Check back every Monday for new posts, including more info on green products and DIY toys.

 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25