Thursday, 21 December 2017

Jodhpur~India Travels


Jodhpur is a state in Rajasthan, it was founded by Rao Jodha  in 1459. It is commonly known as the blue city as it has many blue buildings. There is no real evidence to support why the buildings in Jodhpur are blue, but rumour says that the Brahmins who lived in the outskirts of Jodhpur painted their houses blue to differentiate them from the rest of the population.



There are many places to visit in Jodhpur and on our recent visit we stayed over for two nights during which we had the opportunity to visit Mehrangarh Fort, which is situated on the hill tops outside Jodhpur city and overlooks the city of Jodhpur. 



The fort was constructed in 1459 by Rao Jodha.  It is surrounded by a thick, 10 km long wall with seven gates. The fort has beautiful architecture and intricate sculpting and carvings. 


The pink stone architecture is constantly being renovated and repaired to keep it in good condition. Every effort is made to keep the authenticity of the building and the detailing  and repairs are all done by master craftsman.






The detailing work on the structure is stunning created all by hand, it indeed was a labour of love and the craftsman must have had astounding skills to create such a magnificent piece of work.



The rooms and courtyards have narrow staircases leading to the royal residence with beautiful porches and carved doorways. The rooms have adorned walls and mosaic floors with intricate patterns and eye catching stained glass windows.




The rooms most famous in Mehrangarh Fort are Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sheesha Mahal (Mirror Palace), Sileh Khana, and Daulat Khana. 



The rooms make up part of the museum where the age old treasures are exhibited together with paintings, exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, miniatures, musical instruments, costumes, furniture as well as cannons on the fort's ramparts.



Not far from Mehrangarh Fort is Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial built in remembrance of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Jaswant Thada is popularly known as the ‘Taj Mahal of Marwar’.  Marwar being another name for Jodhpur. The Jaswant Thada is completely built with marble stones. It has a unique feature that the marble stones sets off a warm glow when the rays from the sun catch it.



The Memorial is built like a temple with domes and pillars and there is a natural calming aura and ambience with in the rooms. Inside the walls are adorned with portraits of past rulers and Maharajas of Rajasthan.




There are also beautiful gardens surrounding Jaswant Thada which have  gazebos doted around where you can sit and enjoy the tranquility of the place and its surroundings.



There are many other nearby places to visit in Jodhpur if time permits such as such as Mandore Gardens, Kailana Lake, Umaid Bhawan Palace museum,  Masuria Hills Garden and Balsamand Lake.

Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park is next to Jaswant Thada. It was created in 2006 to try and restore the natural ecology of a large, rocky wasteland next to Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.




Shopping in Jodhpur is a must, the most popular place to visit is the Sardar Market near the Clock Tower. Here you you find local as well as tourists walking through the local market where you can buy anything from fruits and vegetables to spices, homeware and also clotings. Jodhpur is famous for its handicrafts, pottery, costume jewellery and dyeing materials. Most popular buys are embroidered leather mojaris (shoes), painted woodwork, dye fabric, jewellery, miniature painting, and Bandhini sarees a very unique design and print that Rajasthan is famous for.


Our trip to Jodhpur was indeed very pleasurable, the weather in February was comfortable and not too hot. Ideally an extra day would have given us more time to do more sightseeing and catch a Rajasthani folk dance show too.


Whilst in Jodhpur, I also had the opportunity to meet Neelam and Nikki from Verhomal spices you can read all about their story in my previous post here.


To read about my other posts in the India Travels series see the links below.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Chinese New Year Lanterns ~Bostik Challenge


This month together with all the Christmas festivities my crafting buddy Little M and I have had lots of fun with the Bostik Box that is themed Chinese New year. Last weekend we made a lovely calendar and this week she came to visit and me have made some really petty Chinese New Year Lanterns.

Later on if time permits we are also going to make some fortune cookies and then go out for a Chinese Lunch. Now that Little M knows more about the Chinese culture she is really excited for the lunch.
In the mean time I am sharing a video of how we made the Chinese Lanterns.

To make the Chinese Lanterns you will need:
Equipment Needed:

A4 Red Paper
A4 Gold Paper
Gold pen
Scissors, Pencil, Ruler
Bostik Glue
Bostik Glue Dots

Please watch this video to see how we made them:


This craft is suitable for young children although, adult supervision may be required for using scissors.
If you like this project check the link below for more art and craft projects, that you can do with your children.

Kids Arts and Craft Videos
Kids Arts and Crafts Projects


Being part of the Bostik 2017 bloggers with Tots100 and Merrily Crafts, I was sent some craft items in a box to create this project.


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Chinese New Year Calendar Craft ~Bostik Challenge


The year has flown by and I have been part of the Bostik Bloggers for a whole year. My crafting partner Little M and I have really enjoyed the craft boxes that arrive each month and creating crafts that are set to a particular theme each month. The craft boxes always work a month ahead of the themes so In November we created Christmas crafts ready for the month of December. We made Christmas crown tea light Holders.
Now we have approached December, we are creating Chinese New year crafts for the upcoming Chinese New Year in Jan. Our craft box had some craft items themed around the Chinese New Year.

Little M was a little confused about this as at the moment she is seeing everything Christmas related however we chatted about different cultures and their celebrations and she was happy to craft with me.We chose to make Chinese New Year Calendar so she could take it home for her mum and dad as a gift.


To make the calendar you will need:



1 sheet A5 Glittery Card
1 2018 paper calendar.
1 red pipe cleaner to make hanging hook.
A New Year message written in Chinese (We found this on google and printed it)
Bostik Glue
Bostik Glue dots
Scissors
Pencil 
Ruler
Whole punch
Chinese print designs, ours were in the box but you can down load them and print from google


How to make:



1. Using the ruler measure and mark the centre of the card, Next mark two dots one each side of centre about 1.5 inches away.
2. Using a hole punch punch a hole on the mark.(This is where we will thread pipe cleaners to make hanging hook.)
3. Thread the pipe cleaner and wrap the end on its self through one hole, make a loop and thread the other end through the second hole and wrap around it self to secure.



4. Cut out the Chinese new year greeting and stick it on the top end of card under the pipe cleaner loop.
5. Glue the calendar underneath the greeting.
6.Cut out the Chinese designs and stick on either side of the card to decorate.


This craft is suitable for young children although, adult supervision may be required for using scissors.
If you like this project check the link below for more art and craft projects, that you can do with your children.

Kids Arts and Craft Videos
Kids Arts and Crafts Projects


Being part of the Bostik 2017 bloggers with Tots100 and Merrily Crafts, I was sent some craft items in a box to create this project.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Giveaway: Learn a Craft Cross stitch Kit





This lovely Learn a Craft Counted cross stitch kit  would be the idea gift for Christmas for a crafter. The kit consists of:

  • Presorted cotton threads
  • 14 count white cotton Aida
  • 6 inch plastic hoop
  • Needle and Instructions

    You can create a lovely Welcome cross stitch using this kit which would make a lovely Christmas present.

    How to enter:

    Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries:

    • Prize 1  Learn a Craft Cross stitch Kit
    • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
    • This competition is open to UK residents only over 18 years of age. Please read the rules below .
    • Leaving a blog comment is mandatory and failure to do so will void any other entries.
    • Closing date -  9th December 2017 12 am

    How Rafflecopter works:
    You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box.Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.


    •  Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
    •  Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
    • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
    • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
    •  For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
    • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video

    Rules:
    Competition ends 09/12/2017 2017 12.00 am

    This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK

    The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.

    The winner will be contacted by e-mail if they win the prize. citrusspiceuk will be sending the prize to the winner and by entering you are **agreeing** to share your address with them to receive the prize.

    Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to **substitute** the prize for one of a similar type / value if the prize above is not available.

    citrusspiceuk reserve the right to withdraw the competition at any time should any unforeseen circumstances arise.

    Instructions form part of the terms and conditions.

    All entries will be verified, failure to follow instructions correctly will result in participants being disqualified. 

    Wednesday, 15 November 2017

    10 Unique Christmas Gift Ideas

    I love celebrations and although I am not a christian, I do enjoy Christmas and all the cheer that goes with it. I enjoy the decorations, planning, gifting and above all a vegetarian Christmas dinner. Christmas to me and my family is an occasion to have family time together, rather than a religious festival. For gifting, I make home made edible gifts such as chutneys, jams, spice mixes and cookies to give that special personal touch and I always try to purchase bespoke and thoughtful gifts that the receiver will appreciate.

    Finding unique gifts that are appealing and sustainable is something that I favour. There are many   on line shops where you can buy such gifts and this year I have discovered a fantastic website called UncommonGoods.com that have the most wonderful sustainable Christmas gifts that are sourced from small manufactures and artists. I particularly like the fact that a lot of their gifts are handmade from recycled and organic products by local craftsman. I am delighted that they have now started shipping the items to the UK too and for each sale they make they donate $1 to a non profit organisation which is very commendable.

    Browsing through their website there are so many items that I would love to purchase, these are gifts that I have selected for my family and friends. 

    For my two daughters I have chosen the following items:


    Upcycled Cotton Saree Robe £38.14

    This luxurious patchwork robe is made from remnants of reclaimed saris by local women who get the opportunity to create a better standard of living for themselves, their children, and their communities in Rajasthan India. The kimono style robe comes with a tie and is both colourful and practical for lounge wear.


    Turkish Inspired Hand Woven Travel Jewellery Roll £15.26

    Inspired by the intricate tapestry design on carpets this colourful and eye catching jewellery roll is handmade in Turkey. It is perfect to store and carry all your jewellery safely whilst travelling.



    Kantha Arc Bib Necklace £30.52 and Kantha Chandeliers Earrings £16.78

    This colourful bib necklace and earrings are handcrafted by women artisans in South India, who receive training, education, and fair wages for their workmanship. The necklaces and earrings are individually made by wrapping saree material around different sized wooden beads and then constructed on a framework of brass beams and wires. 























    2-in-1 Vegan Convertible Backpack £73.24

    This beautiful 2-in-1 backpack is made from high quality vegan leather. It is bold and stylish but practical too with a diagonal side compartments to hold small items such as keys, tissues, bus passes etc. The bottom section has elastic holders and plastic pockets to hold larger items. The convenient adjustable strap converts the backpack to cross body bucket bag.















    There are many more unique gift ideas on the UncommonGoods website so you will be spoilt for choice.
    For my food lover sister and best friends, I am confident that they will love to receive these really unusual and unique items.

    Nesting Stoneware Mixing Bowl Sets £87.73

    These handmade rustic stoneware nesting bowl set with scoop style handles, integrated with the narrow spouts are beautifully crafted and would look great in any kitchen. They are also oven and microwave safe making them perfect as mixing bowls or serving bowls.


    Personalised Chopping Board £121

    This chopping /serving board is handcrafted from maple wood and can be personalised with any name. It can be used as kitchen top trivet, a chopping board  or can be used as a serving board for cheese or appetisers at the dinner table. It would make a beautiful keepsake gift for any occasion.




    Stoneware Fermenting Crock £73.24

    This stoneware crock is handcrafted and it is perfect to create your own home made kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut and to turn any fresh vegetables into tangy fermented foods within 1-2 weeks.

    It is made from stoneware and is totally dishwasher safe. It comes complete with a heavy duty lid to keep the vegetables submerged during the fermentation.


    Buying gifts for men can be rather difficult, but there is a great choice of gifts for men at UncommonGoods too. 

    Woven Wine Tote with Glasses £30.51

    This quirky hand-woven water hyacinth wine tote basket is the ideal gift for the man in your life. It comes comes complete with 6 glasses and you can add your own favorite bottle of wine to complete the gift.



    Black Tea Blending Kit £30.52

    For the tea lover there is Black Tea Blending Kit which allows you to make your own mix of tea to suit your taste.You can mix and recreate your own aromatic flavours using the teas included in the kit which are Assam, Keemun, Ceylon, Lapsang Souchong, and Pu’erh black teas; bergamot and lemon peel, lavender buds, and rose petals.












    The tea kit will make up to 100 cups of tea. This is a ideal gift for a tea drinker who enjoys experimenting with different infusions.







    Salvaged Wood Cookbook & Tablet Stand £45.77

    This beautiful folding book/tablet stand is handmade in rural India. It is made from reclaimed rich mango wood and has brass accents. The stand is versatile and adjustable and has built in space for charging cords.




    I would absolutely love to have this in my kitchen so I hope my family are reading this post to get a subtle HINT!!!! :)

    What is your favorite gift, do you like my choices??? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

    **This post is in collaboration with UncommonGoods.com




     

    Friday, 10 November 2017

    Giveaway: Win Martha Stewart Crafter's clay kit






    This lovely crafter's clay nature kit by Martha Stewart would be the idea gift for Christmas for a crafter. The kit consists of:

    • White, yellow, brown, red and blue crafter's clay
    • 2 detailing tools
    • 4 silcon molds
    • Floral wire
    • Floral tape
    • Instruction booklet with colour mixing chart.

      You can create some lovely clay pieces with the kit to make some brooches, ornaments and flowers.
      How to enter:

      Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries:

      • Prize 1 Martha Stewart Crafter's clay kit
      • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
      • This competition is open to UK residents only over 18 years of age. Please read the rules below .
      • Leaving a blog comment is mandatory and failure to do so will void any other entries.
      • Closing date -  24th Nov 2017 12 am
      How Rafflecopter works:
      You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box.Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.


      •  Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
      •  Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
      • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
      • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
      •  For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
      • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video

      Rules:
      Competition ends 24/11/2017 2017 12.00 am

      This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK

      The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.

      The winner will be contacted by e-mail if they win the prize. citrusspiceuk will be sending the prize to the winner and by entering you are **agreeing** to share your address with them to receive the prize.

      Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to **substitute** the prize for one of a similar type / value if the prize above is not available.

      citrusspiceuk reserve the right to withdraw the competition at any time should any unforeseen circumstances arise.

      Instructions form part of the terms and conditions.

      All entries will be verified, failure to follow instructions correctly will result in participants being disqualified. 

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      Wednesday, 8 November 2017

      Christmas Crown Tealight Holders ~Bostik Challenge


      It is less than 7 weeks to Christmas and by now we should have all started our Christmas preparations in reality. There is so much to do, Christmas lists to make, menus to plan, guest lists to sort out and presents to wrap , tree and  table decorations to choose and make too.

      As long as I can remember I have always encouraged my children to be part in all the planning, one aspect that we all loved doing when they were younger is making our own decorations and table settings. I really miss doing this as both my girls are grown up now. However I now have my crafting buddy Miss M to restart this tradition. This month our Bostik Box theme was Christmas so Little M and I made these pretty crown tea light holders for the Christmas table.

      To make the crown tealight holders you will need:


      1 a4 sheet of glitter card
      1 a4  sheet gold card
      2 tealights with batteries
      1 star punch cutter
      Bostik Glue
      Pencil
      Scissors

      How to Make.

      1. Measure and draw a rectangle 15 cm x 3 cm on the reverse of the green glitter card.
      2. On the top long top edge draw a scalloped edge.
      3. Cut the card out, if you have a star punch cut our starts along the cardboard strip using it. If you don't you can draw stars and cut them out free hand.



      4. Wrap the strip around the tealight loosely and secure the edges with glue so that it form a tube around the tea light.
      4. Using a top of a jar lid that is slightly bigger than your tea light draw around circle on the gold card and cut it out.
      5. Stick the prepared tube shape onto the gold card and leave to dry.


      6. Once dry, place your tealight inside the holder and put it on.
      7. Repeat for as many tealight holders that you require.


      This craft is suitable for young children although, adult supervision may be required for using scissors.
      If you like this project check the link below for more art and craft projects, that you can do with your children.

      Kids Arts and Craft Videos
      Kids Arts and Crafts Projects


      Being part of the Bostik 2017 bloggers with Tots100 and Merrily Crafts, I was sent some craft items in a box to create this project.

      LinkWithin

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