ocean playmat

DSC00641

I have seen all these playmats on the net. They all look cute and wonderful. But they all had a major problem. They all involved a lot of intricate work. All made out of cloth, and involved stitching. And me? L.A.Z.Y. Plus, my son just can’t play with same thing for long. He can play with anything – including the smallest bit of paper or a piece of string. But he just can’t play with it for long. Whether it is the most expensive toy known to man, or a stone picked up from the ground, he spends the exact same time on it. I don’t know if that is true about all kids – These days I am finding out that whatever I thought are my son’s quirks, there are so many more behaving the same way.

DSC00647

So I made this play mat for him. It was super easy to make. All you need is some chart paper, a pair of scissors, some oil pastels, and clear tape (for longevity). I used the clear tape for laminating the whole thing. You can laminate it, or use any other substitute, or even ignore it altogether if your kid is on the careful side, or if you are sure (s)he wouldn’t play with it for more than a couple of hours.

I started out with two sheets of chart paper, the same size. It doesn’t have to be, one could be half the size of the other. One was light blue, and the other a darker shade of blue. I used the darker chart paper for the water, and the light one for the sky. Since the darker one I used was thicker (and therefore tougher to cut, plus would strengthen it), I cut the light blue one to make the sky. I also made the wave pattern when I cut it. I then stuck it on the dark blue chart paper. Then, I drew some white clouds, black birds and the sun in the sky part. I drew some sand, sea weed, a sunken ship and a treasure box (with some spilled treasure) at the bottom of the sea. I laminated the whole thing with rows and rows of wide clear tape. I didn’t worry too much about getting the lamination proper – the imprefections look like water moving 🙂

treasure and the sunken ship

I added some plastic sea animals. plus, I made some out of felt. Just cut out some shapes and glued them together with a hot glue gun. The black ship sailing on top is his favourite. He likes to make it go over the waves, and back into the water. And trust me, I felt like he played more than usual with this 🙂

DSC00641

I am not alone!

I am not alone!

I had read earlier somewhere – Just can’t remember where, that people like to think that they are unique. That they are somehow different from the other person out there. It cited examples of people buying white (or was it black) iphone just to stand apart, even though they liked the other colour better. There were more examples – just can’t remember it now. Ever since I read that article, I have been trying to find out how non-unique I am compared to the next woman.

And now, I have proof.

This article says that women are more likely to use pinterest, that 25% of all women on the net use pinterest, and that food and crafts are the two most popular boards. Guilty on all counts – That’s me! and you, may be?

But may be, I am not that ordinary. There are 75% women out there on the internet who don’t use pinterest! 🙂

Crochet-Do-Not-Miss list

I am still working on my vest. It will take some time since I am not that very fast at crochet, and I am really busy with my work, home and kid. While that is going on, I thought I will post some links to crochet projects that I really like, and hope to attempt sometime soon. This is my must do list 🙂

Purse 1:

For this one, I only have an image. I do not have a pattern. But it looks pretty straightforward. chain,slip stitch, chain, slip stitch, … until you get to the required length and width. When I get around to actually making it, I will post the pattern. And, don’t forget to line it!

Should be pretty quick to make. Even for someone who is as slow as I am.

Purse 2:

Doesn’t it look pretty impressive? Here is the pattern.

Purse handles:

Google tells me this page is in Portuguese. But then, the pictures are enough to let me know how to do it.

 

Top:

This is so good! I am definitely making this one too!

my current obsession – this vest

This is my current project. I am trying to make that one in white.

Now, I can’t do anything the way a pattern says I should. I have made modifications: Instead of alternate rows of single crochet and single crochet with gaps (use chain stitch instead of single crochet alternately), I am doing it all in single crochet. Also, I would like it to be longer, and am planning to get the part below the armhole, above the ribbing to be longer to do it.

Will post a picture once I am done. I am still not an expert at crochet. Actually, I am pretty slow. It is going at a snail’s pace, for now.  Hope I get it done in time for next lot of cold days. Actually, I have a plus. My office air conditioner is so pathetic that I can wear this one  any day 🙂

Full pattern here. I will add my modified pattern once I am done…

My love

I guess everyone already knows about Pinterest. But the social network illiterate that I am, I heard about it just a few months ago. But since then, my life has changed.

I don’t care much about the social networking part of it – but it is nice to know that I would get notified if someone I follow adds a new pin. The logic being, unless I am interested in the kind of things that person usually pins, I wouldn’t follow that person. Now, I don’t have any followers, nor do I follow anyone. Social recluse – that is me.

For me, Pinterest is a glorified bookmark, with a window to others bookmarks. But I love it. I can set my “bookmarks” on any of the computers I use (together with a picture – easier to find later), and catagorize them. The best part is that I get to see others’ pins. I am generally interested in something for some time, and then my interest changes. And the same interest comes back after a long time. For someone like me, Pinterest is godsend.

Everytime I start a new hobby, say, I am learning to crochet. (I am proud to say that I learned crochet, all by myself from the net – And I crochet a lot these days. Gifts to family, friends, relatives, myself – all are crocheted right now) I go online check how to crochet. I find images and youtube videos. (I use about.com for all of these, a great site!). And I learn how to crochet. So far, so good. And then comes the trouble. I need patterns for whatever I feel like crocheting. I go, roam around on the net, and come up with a set of patterns for items I might need sometime in the future. Earlier, I would just bookmark it in my browser. And forget about it later. I might use a different comptuer later, and wouldn’t have access to these links I saved. And then came google chrome, and I used to synchronize my bookmarks. But it still lacked something. I didn’t know what each link was until I actually opened them (partially because I never change the name of the bookmark while saving it). And then came (drum roll) Pinterest. Now I can save all of my links together with a picture on an online board, and I can access it from any computer. I don’t even have to login to view the page. Login is required only if I need to pin a new link. Together with the “pin it” button installed in my browser, I can pin any site with close to zero effort.

And the best part is that, if I want to see the most popular (and probably the best ideas), I just need to do a relevant search on pinterest.com. I love you, pinterest.

My big problem

I have a problem. A major one. It crept up so slowly, I never realized when it turned into an actual  problem. May be you have it too, and even worse, don’t realize it.

It started a few years back, when I bought my camera. It came with a chord to connect to USB port, A cable to connect to the TV. I also bought rechargeable batteries and a charger, and it came with cables to connect to the main power, and another one to connect to the USB port. My cell phone has a charger and a cable to connect to the computer. So does my husband’s phone, and the 1-2 spare phones lying around. All of these came with separate headphones. My kindle, luckily has only one cable. We have 3
laptops at home including office laptops, and all of them have chargers (and thus, cables). Plus all the mouse chords. And then, I bought a pocket camera – in come more cables. Several of my son’s toys have adapters and thus, cables.

Yes, you got it right. My problem is the set of cables I have lying around. Any horizontal space at home is covered with cables. (Remotes are another issue – will cover that sometime later). Every time I travel, I have to make sure I am carrying all the relevant cables. Even worse, I have to make sure I bring them all back home.

“Cables, Cables every where
Not a place without them”

7 Free Android Apps You Should Not Miss

When I first bought an android phone, I checked the net for “app lists”. I wanted to see what apps everyone was installing. I talked to my friends, colleagues. I tried out many of them, and have reached a steady state for now. I guess it will keep changing with time, but the rate of change is very low now.

This list is my contribution to the world, and would definitely not match anyone else’s. I order the apps in order of how much I use them. If you have another app that should have definitely made my list, please let me know via comments.

  1. Kindle: I have a real kindle, and I use it for reading. The problem is that unlike my phone, I don’t always carry it with me. I love to read on my phone when I have that unexpected 5 minutes.
  2. Moment Diary: It is a life saver. I don’t use it as a diary per se. Instead, I use it to jot down little bits of information I will need in a short while. Like the fact that I paid my cook in advance, etc
  3. 7 little words: Unless you play this once (may be a few times), you wouldn’t know how amazing this game is. I definitely recommend (and so do the multiple people I got hooked on to this).
  4. Tiny Words: If there is something more addictive than 7 little words, this is it. But a bad interface, I must warn you.
  5. Tiny Flashlight: I love it that I can turn my camera’s flash into a torch.
  6. MX player: I use this app to play my videos, etc. No complaints, so far.
  7. FB Reader: It can read out your books loudly. Plus it can access books that is on your phone/tablet, and not in your kindle library.

These are the apps I use, apart from the usual apps like gmail and google maps apps. I try to use free apps when I can, thereby excluding a large number of really good apps – the list is biased due to it.