Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Undeserved Love

Undeserved and Unmerited Love!
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is the best work of fiction that I have ever read. The book tells the incredible story of Sarah, a prostitute whose freedom is bought by Hosea, a prayerful Christian man. The hand of God was truly on Francine when she wrote this improbable story of redemption taken right out of the book of Hosea in the Old Testament. I found the book imaginative and creative because of the realization that beautiful fiction can be inspired by the Word of God. I love historical fiction, so I found this book engaging in that aspect as well. 
For anybody who has any questions about whether God loves them, I beg you to go read your Bible. God sent His one and only Son, Jesus for me and you. His love and forgiveness cannot be earned by anything we do, our education, our job, our possessions, our family lineage, our talents or our good works. The grace of God through Jesus Christ is free for anybody who is willing. John 3:16.
If you are still not convinced then you need to read Redeeming Love to know what extent God will go to, to show His love to you.
If you think your life is an ugly unspeakable mess, then you need to read this book to get to know what a mess really is. There are horrifying sins in this book, but God wipes all clean and makes everything white as snow. 
Do not give up on God, because God has not given up on you!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Consider This...

The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth

For the past several weeks I've been thinking of something wise my Biology teacher, used to say all the time. Whenever the class got out of control this wonderful woman of God would give her one and only warning "Just because I'm meek don't take me to be weak."
This world views meekness negatively. But Jesus says, "The meek shall inherit the earth." The most positive meaning given by the Webster is 'enduring injury with patience and without resentment' and the most negative one is 'deficient in spirit and courage', but God sees meekness as a virtue.
Jesus was meek, He endured insults and pain with patience, without resentment and carried my sins on the cross. Jesus was full of the Spirit of the Living God, strong and full of courage to complete what He was called to do.

Biblical meekness can never be weakness, it shows the strength of your character. Another virtue to impart to my child!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Baby Anouk

Baby Anouk

Baby Anouk is one of those patterns, which you instantly fall in love with and wish you had a baby to knit for. I picked out all the yarn that I would be using and just waited for that perfect baby who would wear it. After years of sitting in my to-knit list, it finally found the light of day. Before the baby got too big for the pattern, I managed to knit up the outfit and she proudly wore it for her birthday!
I used some alterations that were available on Ravelry, so that I knit most of it in the round instead of two separate pieces.

Pattern: Baby Anouk
Yarn: S.R. Kertzer Super 10 Mercerized Cotton in Orange a little over a hank, 1/2 hank green
Needle: Size 5 circular. crochet hook for flowers
Notions: Flower Button, stitch markers

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Little House in the Big Woods

A Great Learning Experience!
The Little House in the Big Woods is the story of the author Laura Ingalls Wilder. She has written the book as a fiction perhaps because she narrates it from the point of view Laura, the little girl, instead of the grown woman she was at the time she wrote the book. I picked up the book to read, to see if it was something I could gift to a preteen. The book provides a look into the life of a pioneer family living in the woods. For someone not familiar with pioneer life, this book would be as vivid as peering in through a window into Laura and her families' activities.
The book, details the simple yet challenging life that Laura's family lead. I found it very enchanting; the fact that people actually lived in such harsh physical conditions and did such hard work, yet had a contented life, really intrigued me. I also appreciated, how no matter the century in which one grew up, there seemed to be all sorts of insecurities. Laura, the little girl shares how she felt about her 'dull brown hair' when compared to her sister's 'shiny blond hair'. Even in a world of no television or magazines, the pressure to look a certain way, very much existed. What I loved about the book was how much I learnt about pioneer life, from making hulled corn, to cheese, to maple sugar, to straw hats, to bullets, to threshing wheat, to dressing up for a dance! The beauty of it all!

I read the 75th anniversary edition which had illustrations by Garth Williams. He had actually met Wilder and palces where she grew up in order to draw the pictures. Ms. Wilder supposedly loved the illustrations. The illustrations are not the cute kind, which I love. But, for this book, the minimalistic rough sketches pair well with the story.
I  do have to caution parents about the sections where animals are killed for meat, which as you may imagine is part and parcel of living at that time. But otherwise, this book is a book worth sharing with children of all ages! It was a learning experience for me.
Age Appropriate For: 8 and up
Verdict: ****

Sunday, September 09, 2012

My favorite online communities

Every once in a while you come across some online community that you know is the solution to the problem that was nagging you for a long time.
Almost every knitter  knows that Ravelry is the home of knitters and crocheters. I dont know how it works now, but when ravelry was first started there used to be a  long queue to request membership. I think it took me atleast a few months to get in. I have enjoyed being a member of ravelry for many years now. It is a great resource for knitting-related information.You can add the projects you are working on, completed or want to knit. You add everything from pattern, to needles to something as specific as the total yardage that you used for the project. Lots of free patterns are available as well.

Ever since I was a child I have maintained a list of all the books I've read. The last time I visited my mom's place, I recovered the stack of browning old papers with my juvenile handwriting of book lists. I later went from paper to digital and maintained a draft of of my book list for more than a decade. I have also started a list for kids in the family, mainly to keep track of the books that the kids love. Even though I have begun blogging about books, I was so excited when I accidentally happened upon Goodreads. I cannot believe that I did not know that this website existed all these days. Ever since I discovered it a few months back, I have truly been in book heaven. Goodreads is an awesome community of book lovers. You can maintain your 'bookshelf' - add books to your reading list, rate books and if you are like me you will love the fact that you can add the date when you read the book. There are great book recommendations and best of all you can add friends; see what they are reading and get suggestions from them.

Pinterest and Instagram are also quite intriguing. I have been observing these two, for sometime now. Pinterest is a photo community to pin up your favorite stuff. I dont think I need to become a member of yet another photo community. Having said that I do love the photo filters available on Instagram, which is a free photo sharing app. for smart phones.

Last, but certainly the best, is my new favorite site for Bible verses -  complete with concordance, Bible timeline and all sorts of commentaries.

Check these out if you have not already.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Whenever I've seen a good movie, I have always wanted to write a movie review. Here's my first review. The movie Attakathi, is a Tamil movie, set in the suburbs surrounding Chennai. It is about the love life of the hero Dinakaran, who is lovingly given various nicknames throughout the movie.

The movie is funny, I enjoyed the humorous and mostly pathetic situations that the hero finds himself in as he pursues one girl after the other. This movie is different in the way it portrays the hero's love. Unlike other movies where heroes love just one woman or at the most two, here the hero pretty much falls for any woman who even accidentally happens to glance in his direction. His life's ambition is to have a love marriage, so he tries really hard.
Every single attempt of his to win the heart of a girl, fails miserably. Even as the hero suffers insult after insult, the audience will love the humor in the situation at the expense of the poor guy. I have to say I was quite repulsed that the hero kept jumping from one girl to another and just as I was beginning to lose interest, the hero completely renounces his love life. He also forbids his friends from falling in love, which obviously doesnt go down well among his friends and eventually a rift happens between them.

Now comes the part, which I truly enjoyed the most. The hero becomes a bad boy in college.He goes from being called 'Attakathi' to the name 'Routu Thala'. Routu Thala means he is the leader of his particular bus route. Everyone looks up to him and he lives a carefree life.
Right at this point, a blast from the past, walks back into his life, in the form of the heroine, Poornima.She had years ago rejected the hero's advances and now she befriends him and really becomes a caring friend. The hero once again softens and begins making changes in his life for her sake. He dreams of rekindling his his love for her. The rest of the story revolves around whether she reciprocates.

The heroine, Nandita is a good, pretty find. It is only fitting she is called Nanditha. I didnt know her real name while watching the movie, but throughout I kept thinking how she resembled one of my favorite actresses, the talented Nanditha Das. The heroine even has teeth just like Ms.Das.

This movie is carried fully on the shoulders of Dinesh, the hero. He has excellent body language and expressions. Even though it is his first movie, he delivers an amazing performance, perhaps owing to his theater experience. But whatever the reason, Dinesh has acted as though his life depends on it. I love the scene where he tries to feel sad because a woman has rejected him, fantastic. When he walks in as the ring leader, he has great screen presence. Seeing him lift his collar and walk across the screen was like watching Karthik in Mouna Ragam.

The director has delivered a movie to which anyone can relate portions of their life to. Attakathi means cardboard knife. That's what kids would play with: it would provide great amusement but it would be harmless, at the same time.

This 'Attakathi' provides amusement and food for thought, as well, without preaching.
All in all, Attakathi- sharp!

Monday, September 03, 2012


After trying knitting, crochet, one stroke painting, cake decorating and the likes, a friend of mine convinced me to try jewellery making. She gifted me a nice kit out of which I made a few earrings. I, then decided to make this jade necklace and earring set. The other set is one my best friend made for me with beads she bought in Hawaii!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Paapa's Reviews

A Delightful Read 
It was Bedtime in the Jungle is a delightful book written and illustrated by John Butler. Butler has a very illustrious (no pun intended) career as a childrens' book author and illustrator. This book transports the child to nighttime in the Indian jungle and how the different animals prepare to go to sleep. The book is a really good book to learn counting. Every number is written out in words and numerical form. I used this good opportunity to spell each number for my child. The illustrations of the animals were very soft and nice. The book is written in the rhyme form and is inspired by the song "Over in the meadow". 

"It was bedtime in the jungle
And the stream was shining blue
A monkey made a bed
For her babies two.

"Rest," said their mother,
"we'll rest," said the two."

The rhymes makes for a quick and easy read for a child with short attention span. I particularly liked how the author cleverly begins and ends the book with an owl. This lets a parent talk to their young reader about how not all animals go to bed at night. My child enjoyed this book a lot. Overall a good book for children of preschool age and younger. The book is quite sturdy and the pages are thick enough for a gentle child to turn without ripping.
Paapa's verdict: *****

A Cute and Cuddly Book
If You See a Kitten  - is an adorable, cute and fun book. It so happened that without realizing, I had picked up two Butler books to read at the same time. Butler definitely goes down in my list of favorite children's illustrators. Amazing talent! The book is about what one might say when they see a certain animal. The illustrations are excellent; the animals look cuddly or stunning, for the most part. I would call this a book of adjectives. Every animal is described by one of its attributes and hence the parent can actually get the child to guess what they might say when they encounter that animal. For eg. "If you see a cuddly kitten, say ahhh!" Once again a sturdy hardcover book with thick shiny pages that my child thoroughly enjoyed.

Paapa's Verdict: *****

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kimono Shawl

Ever since I started to knit I had been lace knitting. Initially it looked very daunting to me - knitting with such fine yarn and hair-pin size needles didnt particularly appeal to me. I did love all the lovely finished products that I saw on other knitting blogs. Three years ago, I finally decided to make good use of one of the lace books I had. I pretty much use to ogle at the book without attempting to make any thing from it. On one of my yarn shopping trips with a friend, I scored some really lovely Malabrigo lace weight yarn, on sale. I knew that I had at last found the inspiration to knit my very first shawl.
The Kimono Shawl is the best shawl for a beginner lace knitter. It is knit like any normal rectangular project, so there is no need for grafting pieces together. The pattern itself is a very easy pattern to get used to once you hit a few inches.
This shawl was definitely a labor of love, I started it 3 years ago, did 4 of the recommended 25 repeats. I then put it down because of other things taking priority. I knit another 4 repeats in 2010, the major bulk of knitting was done in 2011. I took a break again because I was too lazy to wind up more yarn. I had probably 2 or 3 repeats left which I got done exactly 3 years to the date, after I began. I did only 21 repeats because I saw that the shawl was going to be long enough without getting to 25 repeats. After blocking, the shawl was 20x90 inches.
I actually calculated how many sts. I knit - 63648 sts  and approximately 140 hrs!
I just used some thin crochet thread I had and blocking pins to block this beauty.

It truly is a beauty. Very delicate, elegant, soft and nothing like anything I've ever knit before. I had this absolute feeling of exhilaration when I held it in my hands after blocking. A great sense of satisfaction.

Pattern: Kimono Shawl from Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle.
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace Merino #28 Blue Surf 50gm/470 yds. I used 2.5 skeins.
Needle: U.S. #6 24 inch circular needles
Notions: 2 st markers

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Back to crochet

I made yet another pinwheel for a colleague of mine who had become a first time grandmom. As you can see it has been kid tested :) I also made these two washcloths to go along with the blanket. With crochet, I always have to brush up my basics. But crochet is definitely faster than knitting. I chained on 20 sts and did double crochet throughout.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Special cakes for the special people in my life

All the cakes use basic decorating techniques, using the star tip. For the princess cake, I made 2D tip royal icing flowers ahead of time and placed them on the cake. This cake seems like a tough one, but it really isn't. I like its simple yet elegant decorations.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where there is a will!

I am posting after a long time and I have no excuse to give. I love keeping my thoughts in order and my work in chronological order. So I was trying to find the pics of some old projects that I needed to upload before I could mention my current accomplishments. I clearly did not have any willpower to do this and hence blamed my lack of time. But now there is a will and a way.
This baby washcloth is one of two I knit. They have since been well used. I shall try and get a picture of the other one in its present condition.

Pattern: Nubbins Dishcloth
by Vyvyan Neel
Yarn: Peaches & Creme Ombres in Daisy Ombre & Lilac Ombre
Needle: US#7

This a favorite pattern of mine. I love how quick and easy it was to knit and yet it looks so pretty. I knit the whole skein, so my washcloths were rectangular. I didn't want to stop because I enjoyed knitting it so much.

Pattern: My own

Yarn:  Kertzer Super 10 Multi in 2919 Brazil
Needle: US#4 Double points
Notions: One stitch marker

I fell in love with this colorway when I walked into the store and saw the storeowner knitting a preemie hat with it. So I got the yarn and it sat in my stash for a long time before it was knit into this hat for my precious child. The yarn is very durable so it wears well. Perfect for toddlers!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Teenage girl, much too young
Unprepared for what’s to come
A baby changes everything

Not a ring On her hand
All her dreams and all her plans
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

The man she loves she’s never touched
How will she Keep his trust
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

And she cries, oh she cries
She has to leave, go far away
Heaven knows she can’t stay
A baby changes everything

She can feel it’s coming soon
There’s no place, there’s no room
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

And she cries and she cries oh she cries

Shepherds all gather round …
Star shines down…

Choir of Angels say
Glory to the newborn king
A baby changes everything, A baby changes everything, everything,
everything, every day Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah

My whole life is turned around
I was lost and now I’m found
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

And I cry, oh I cry . Blessed be His name. This BABY changed everything. May glory, honor and power be to this BABY that gave me every single thing. Praise Him. Praise Him for He is God Almighty.I thank Him for His miracle in my life. Undeserved miracles!

Merry Christmas! God Bless!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A baby changes everything!

Pattern: Joseph's Blankie of Many Colors from Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Baby in Pink Poodle, Goldfish, Duckie, Sweet Pea, Aqua, Bluebell one skein each. [3.50 oz./100 g (170 yd/156 m)]
Needle: US #11 32 inch circulars.

I knit this for a very precious little baby. This blankie is an easy knit. I love anything that doesn't require a lot of finishing. This project is definitely easy. You just pick up sts and keep knitting till you are happy with the size. I used most of the yarn. A lot of prayer for sufficient yarn went into the sweet pea border that I knit all around. I really didn't want to have to go and buy another skein at the wee end. Thank God it got done with just a couple of inches of the yarn left.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Pattern: Pinwheel Baby Blanket
Yarn: Lion Brand Jiffy in White 1/4 a skein, Caron Simply Soft in Soft Yellow less than 1 skein, Red Heart Worsted Weight in Light Blue 3/4 skein, Mainstays in Pale Blue 1/2 skein.
Needle: US #8 DPNs and 36 inch circulars.
Notions: 9+1 stitch markers to place after the yarnover in each section. Always keep one stitch marker in a different color from the rest, for the beginning of the round.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Some knitted items

Pattern: Knitting Spring Wristers on (You have to log in to access the free pattern)
Yarn: Regia Sock Yarn 4 Fadig Patch Antik Colors Color # 5756
Needle: Dont remember probably US #4/5 DPNs
Notions: 1 stitch marker, st holder.

Pattern: My own, just plain ribbing for the bottom and stockinette for the rest.
Yarn: Peaches 'n Creme in Strawberry 1 skein
Needle: Don't remember probably US #8 DPNs
Notions: 1 stitch markers
I knit this for a student of mine. He wanted a hat and none of the girls in his class would knit one for him. So he begged and pleaded till I agreed to knit him one. But the problem arose when he wanted it in shades of pink. I wasn't sure of his choice, but he insisted that's what he wanted. So pink it was. He was thrilled, but his parents weren't. So now it lies safely in his keepsake box!

Pattern: February Sweater from Knitter's Almanac by EZ
Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby in Chiffon Print 1 skein
Needle: US #6 24 inch circulars.
Notions: Stitch markers & Stitch holder.

EZ rocks! I mean she is an awesome woman. Just look at this beautiful sweater. The pattern is a simple gull pattern. This is another classic minimal finshing-needing pattern.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Birthdays Come And Birthdays Go

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you did not get old? How about this idea - if we don't blog for a period of time then we don't age? Naa, the fun of life is encountering the challenges of every year as we gleefully watch others age and blissfully think of ourselves as still that young and energetic 18 year old!!
Birthday cakes are a wonderful way to record these epic moments. Here are some from the past year or so. The Elmo cake was terribly last minute to say the least. But the birthday boy couldn't have cared less!

Some of the cakes were totally unplanned creations. I just baked a cake an did whatever came to mind.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bounty !

I have been very behind in updating my blog. So I wanted to put up some pictures from my container garden from last summer and this summer. This year I ventured out into the uncharted territory of vegetables. I planted some organic bell pepper and sweet tomato seeds and then I waited and waited. Well my tomatoes have been giving me a good harvest - considering that they are in one single pot. My peppers are beginning to produce. I also have some flowers going on this year - cosmos, alyssum, impatiens and zinnia. But the pictures I have put up are from my flower garden from last year. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Let me introduce.......

I want to introduce to you my friend's blog. Its called Bestchristianjobs. It is a public blog so anyone can visit. She never stops amazing me. I am very proud of her and her heart to encourage others. That's what her blog is about - encouraging you in the work environment. Boy, don't we all need that. So go check it out. God Bless You my dear and keep up the great work.

Back to the present

Here's the tree I was talking about. Majestic isn't it? And happy birthday to a friend of mine - S. God Bless you!

After all the detailing of my past projects. Its time to show you what I knit recently. I hadn't been knitting for a few months. You could attribute it to boredom. But then a friend of mine wanted to learn to knit. As though I owned the store I proudly took her around ACMoore and showed her the yarn. I dutifully taught her how to pick a yarn, what needle to use, how to make the knit stitch. Well we got that far and she has half a scarf to show for that. Teaching her really sparked something in me and I knit another pinwheel blanket for an expecting friend of mine. I was a little doubtful about the color combination after about 300 sts. But I had come too far to turn back. I was praying that it wouldn't look like an Italian flag. I kept telling myself that its a choice between gift or donate. If it looked not so great it will be donated, if it looked decent it will fulfill its original purpose. But I have to say it looked quite nice - maybe not baby colors but it is for a boy, so I guess its not too bad. So I shipped it off to my friend. She called to say that she liked it. If momma's happy, then everybody is happy.
Pattern: Pinwheel Baby Blanket
Yarn: Lion Brand Jiffy in White half a skein, Lion Brand Wool Ease in Cranberry 1.5 skeins, green yarn -brand unknown but color fantastic
Needle: US #8 DPNs and 36 inch circulars.
Notions: 9+1 stitch markers to place after the yarnover in each section. Always keep one stitch marker in a different color from the rest, for the beginning of the round.

I wanted to do a quick project with some Peaches 'n Creme yarn that I had. God has blessed me with a memory that serves me well. I remembered the baby kimono from Mason Dixon. This is what came out of my knitting. I got a little worried that the yarn may be insufficient so I went and got some red yarn as insurance. The 2 skeins of Fiesta ombre would have been sufficient. But I went ahead and added the red yarn for both sides of the front bottom. I think it kind of gives some definition to the variegated yarn. I still haven't blocked it or attached the ribbon. I will add a picture with the finished details soon. The beauty of this project, is the need for minimal finishing. All you have to do is sew up the side seams. I am not a fan of finishing, thats why its been over a month and I still haven't attached the ribbon. So for people like me, the fewer things to sew up= a happier knitter.

Pattern: One Piece Baby Kimono from Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Peaches 'n Creme 2 skeins Fiesta Ombre, little bit of Red.
Needle: US #6

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Take That

The weather was fantastic today! I mean it was beautiful. There's this tree outside my house, its really tall and majestic. It looked so great today as it swayed and held its own against the wind. I love trees. I actually talk to the ones I love. I tell them how strong and patient and great they are. God is one creative person ha? Tomorrow we shall have a picture of that tree in the backdrop of blue skies dotted with cotton clouds.
For now here are two more of my Christmas gifts from last year.

Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth from Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Lily's Sugar 'n Cream in Warm Brown and Robin's Egg Blue - 1 skein each
Needle: US #7
This washcloth is the soulmate for one I knit in June last year. I was never a person who liked brown, but of late I had been leaning heavily towards the blue-brown combination in choices of clothes and yarn. I finally figured out why, when I knit this washcloth. Clearly, the body butter that I had been using for several months had silently yet strongly influenced me. So it was only right, to take a picture of the washcloth with the jar of cream that inspired it.

Pattern: Headband from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Opinionated Knitter
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Palais and Natural Mix
Needle: US #8 16"circulars
I cast on 80 sts, turns out that this is too big even for a fully grown man. So I knit up a second one with 60 sts for a teenager, I was concerned that he might complain of lack of blood circulation in his head but he said it was fine and I shall choose to believe him.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Every animal in this side of the world has its favorite seasons. Mine apparently isn't winter. While other animals simply curl up and go to sleep, at least I don't do just that. Believe it or not, I do a lot of other stuff and as you know, I don't blog because I have to, I blog only when I want to.
I present some proof of my being active these past months:

Pattern: Lady Eleanor from Scarfstyle
Yarn: Patons
SWS in Natural Plum - 9/10 skeins
Needle: US #11 32" circulars
Finally, finally I finished LadyE last September. As I said before, I love the beautiful shades in this yarn. The yarn sheds a lot and if you have sensitive skin it does make you itch, but it is beautiful and I can vouch for it keeping me warm this winter. I never in my life thought that I would knit a wrap or a shawl. Well I have surpassed my knitting expectations. Love it, love it, love it.

Pattern: Clapotis
Yarn: Patons
Classic Wool Merino in Rosewood (Pink shades) & Carron Simply Soft Shadows in Soft Merino (Blue shade)
Needle: US #8/9
If you love to knit wraps/scarves, this one is sure to become one of your favorites (if it isn't already). The scarf flies off the needles real quick, I felt like a kid at a candy store every time I dropped the stitches. After all these years of kicking the couch and throwing stuff across the room when I dropped a stitch, I never imagined that it could actually be this exciting to drop not just one stitch, but a whole bunch of them.