Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cooking from Memories

I was craving for the tomato chutney that was the staple at our home table in India, and when I found my mother had lost the recipe, I decided to try and make it from my memory of the taste, smell and how it looked. It was an interesting experiment, I first wrote down the visual ingredients - mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, garlic and of course, tomatoes. Then taste and smell - sourish (vinegar) bitter (fenugreek seeds) and spicy (green chillies). And lastly, every indian dish has turmeric and chilli powder, so I added those. The result was pretty good, though not exact. And the process was fun! Is there any favorite food you've tried to create from memories?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day!

As our spring garden starts to take off, I am skeptical. When we moved to Florida the first thing we did was to plant a vegetable garden. We planted tomatoes (which grew effortlessly in our house in California), peppers and broccoli. Everything grew amazingly well, but as soon as the fruit or vegetable popped out, it would immediately be taken by birds, bugs, or squirrels! We didn't get a thing! Seven years later, and a few tricks under my belt (like growing marigolds to keep away bugs, planting seasonal vegetables, and watering the garden with only one shoe on(!!)) I am trying again. I will let you know how we fare.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bunny Hunt

I created this activity for my daughter who loves Easter Hunts. I have outlined the steps below:

 1. I cut out a little bunny face from an old foam sticker that I had lying around.

 2. I pasted it on the side of an existing stamp block I had from another set.You can paste it on anything - a wooden block, a wine cork, etc.

3. Then I stamped the bunny onto all the pages of an old Magic Cabin toy catalog (any old catalog can be used, a busy one is preferable).

4. My daughter had to find the bunny among the toys on that page. She loved it! And proceeded to create Bunny Hunts for her brother using other catalogs.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Make your own Alphabet Flash Cards

Love this project which shows you how to make your own Alphabet Flash Cards in the latest Small Magazine, by Nonchalant Mom. It would also make such an amazing keepsake. Wish I had this when my kids were a little younger...

Monday, April 11, 2011


I have a recipe book that my mother gave me when I moved away from home. She has hand written all my favorite recipes. Whenever I open that book, I am taken back to my days as a child, and the feeling is so nostalgic and special. I remember my aunt's postcards that used to arrive promptly on every birthday and holiday, and her handwriting was backwards!

Today, I see that kids hardly get to interact with handwritten forms. In school, all projects are done on Microsoft Word, and Power Point. And it doesn't stop at school. My cousin was making a Baby Book for her baby, but I noticed that she had printed out sentences on her printer and pasted them in the book because she said her handwriting was too messy! I tried to convince her to put her own handwriting into the book, and that it didn't matter about how neat or legible it was, because the feeling her child would get from reading her mother's handwriting would not be the same as reading those same sentences in Times New Roman.

So what do you think? A handwritten alphabet, that instead of being legible, encourages appreciating the forms?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I can't believe my babies were once this little...

I made a newborn size dress for my friend's baby girl, and realized, wow. It goes fast! It was a reminder to enjoy every minute...

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Elephant and Owl are flattered!

Imitation is common in the design world, but somehow one is never prepared for it. The shock at seeing someone else openly proclaiming your work as her 'original' designs leaves you speechless. Earlier this week my sister called to let me know someone in Bangalore was selling products with copies of my animals on them. I went to her Facebook page, and saw them displayed - slightly modified versions of the Owl and Elephant printed in black on bright silk cushions. Then I found a video interview which she did for the local press, and that was the icing on the cake.

All our Wee Gallery designs are protected by worldwide copyright, and the law clearly says that if you don't defend your copyright, it is rendered meaningless. Therefore Aditi Banerjea is being served a Legal Cease and Desist letter from our lawyer, fined, and been asked to remove her products using the fake Owl and Elephant from stores.

While she will not get away with this, it is frustrating is that she probably didn't think twice, and just did it on a whim. Wee Gallery is our livelihood and we support our family on it. When one's family and means of living are compromised, one is forced to get agressive to defend it.

The video is here in case you are interested.

Another request - all Bangaloreans reading this are requested to keep an eye out for the fake Owl and Elephant, and if you see them in a store, please report them to the store staff. Thank you!
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