Thursday, 20 October 2016

Bonfire Night Photo Frame # Bostik Challenge

Its again time of the month when the lovely people at Bostik send their arts and crafts box. This month the theme is Bonfire. The box had lots of sparkly stars, colourful lolly sticks, glitter card , foliage and pipe cleaners. I always save the box so that Little M  my niece and I can create the craft together, so this weekend she came over on Sunday afternoon and we had our usual cake and smoothie.

This week I had lots of apples and pears that I had picked from my neighbours garden so we set about making an apple and pear smoothie and I added a handful of baby spinach just to make it a little more healthy. Little M did not complain and in fact she liked it so much she asked for a second helping. We played in the garden for a while and Little M collected some pretty leaves,but it started to rain so we went indoors only to realise that the box of leaves were still outside in the rain. Little M was a little upset so I let her look through the bostik craft box to see what she wanted to make.

She really liked the leaves and foliage in the box (thank god they were in there as it made her forget about the leaves we had collected in the garden which were now drenched). We decided to create a collage with them. Whilst I was looking for some card, I found an old picture frame that was sitting in one of the drawers so I gave it to little M and we decided to stick the leaves and stars to the photo frame to make a little Bonfire night theme present.

The frame turned out really pretty and we wrote a message and put the card in where the photo goes to create a perfect photo frame. Little M said that the lolly sticks with the stars looked like fire works.

To create your own Bonfire night photo frame you will need:

  • A photo frame with a wide edging (minimum 1 inch wide)
  • Bostil spray glue
  • Foliage, leaves in different colours, 
  • Coloured lolly sticks
  • Silver stars and sequins
  • Black card and silver pen to write message.
  • Scissors
How to make:

1. Remove the back from the photo frame and take the card out. using this card as the template cut a piece of the same size in black card.
2. Write your desired message on the black card with a silver pen and then place the black card inside the frame and fit the back on again.

3. Spray some bostik glue on the right side of the picture frame very carefully as not to spray the glass.

4. Arrange the lolly sticks and leaves on the frame as you like and then using either the bostik glue or bostik glue dots stick stars at the end of the lolly sticks to make them look like fire works.

5. Leave to dry and the photo frame is ready.

Little M is thrilled with her frame and proudly took it home to gift to her parents. This would be the perfect gift to make during half term with youngsters as its really simple to make.

Being part of the Bostik 2016 bloggers with Tots100 and Merrily Crafts, I was sent some craft items in a box to create this project.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Chakra ~ Contemporary Indian Fine Dining

Over the years I have eaten at many Indian restaurants in and around London, offering varied regional cuisines such as Nepalese, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali food. Most of the restaurants offer a large menu and dishes are always prepared and served in a very traditional and authentic way. However at my recent visit to Chakra in Holland Street, near High st Kensington with my two friends Heidi and Manjiri, I was totally taken back at how different it was compared to other Indian Restaurants. Chakra have 15 years of experience behind them, they have used creativity and flair from artisan chefs and given Indian food a modern fine dining twist.

The restaurant is fairly small and decorated in a contemporary decor, the menu is select and we were intrigued to sample many of the dishes as they were indeed unusual.

We nibbled over mini poppadoms and drinks whilst we browsed through the menu.

The tropical fruit mocktail was colourful and very refreshing and a perfect start to the meal.

The menu is fairly concise but each dish sounded amazing, Chakra has taken the traditional Indian dishes served in Indian restaurants and given them a very fusion twist. Being a vegetarian I opted for the vegetarian starters whilst my friends ordered the chicken. We ordered 4 starters to share, Each was beautifully presented, cooked to perfection  and tasted amazing.

Sweet Potato & Pea Open Samosas & Tamarind Chutney- this starter was a twist of the pastry filled triangular samosas. It was beautifully garnished with fresh edible flowers.

The other three starters were equally nice. TheSpinach Galouti, Baby Spinach Fritters, Radish & Spinach Salad was beautifully seasoned and the spinach fritters were so moreish , I could have easily eaten a plateful.The Tandoori Paneer, Basil & Mint Chutney was ok although I felt that the flavour was a little bland as the paneer was cut in large chunks and the marinade did not reach inside.

I did not eat the Chicken Tikka, Mint & Coriander Spices & Chilli Chutney as I am vegetarian although my friends really enjoyed it.

For my main course I selected the Meloni dhal, this is urad dhal slow cooked with aromatic spices until it was rich and creamy, steamed rice rice and the purple potato and ivy gourd curry which was cooked with onions and tomatoes.We also ordered the raita  and basket of partha and nan breads to share which complimented the main course beautifully.

My friends chose to have the seafood biryani, the tandoori poussin and sides of sweet potato and okra which was cooked with onions, chilli and lime. Both of them gave the thumbs up for the dishes.

After eating such lovely starters and mains we had a little break before ordering desserts. Both Heidi and I opted for the Mango Kulfi served with fresh mango and mango sauce, whilst Manjiri opted for the Gulab Jamun Caviar with pistachio toast and cardamom cream.

The mango kulfi was served in the most unusual way, small slices of kulfi balanced on shot tubes filled with mango sauce were really delectable and the fresh mango was both sweet and tart giving you a refreshing flavour in your mouth.

The Gulab jamun caviar is something I was totally mesmerised with.Traditional gulam jamuns are walnut sized round balls soaked in sugar syrup, the gulab jamun caviar has the same flavour but were a work of art and patience.They were pea sized and served in a little caviar tin.We finished our meal with masala tea, coffee and mint tea.

In all our dinner at Chakra was very pleasant.We were guests of Chakra and all opinions and photos shared are of my own experience of the meal.

Ambience - 3.5/5
Service- 3.5/5
Food- 4.5/5
Total score 11.5/15

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Halloween Light Jars #Bostik Challenge

In my previous post I wrote about creating some Halloween place mats that my niece Little M and I created for her Halloween Party.

We also made some Halloween light jars to light up the room and give the party a spooky Halloween feel.

Making these Halloween Light jars are so easy and they really look very effective.The jars can be painted in any neon colour and they look super with battery powered T lights in them to light them up. The activity is fairly simple to do with children but supervision will be required. The painting part is the messy bit and I strongly advise that you cover your work space with lots of news paper and get your little ones to put on an apron or pinny.

For the Halloween light jars you will need:

Glass Jars
Acrylic Neon paint colour of your choice
Halloween themed ribbon to fit neck of glass jar.
Bostik glue
Black marker pen and pencil
Paint pot
Paint Brush
Battery powered T light

To see how to create these awesome Halloween Light Jars  watch the video below:

Being part of the Bostik 2016 bloggers with Tots100 and Merrily Crafts, I was sent some craft items in a box to create this project.

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