Saturday, June 29, 2013

DIY: Repurposed Tin into Handmade Clock

I am a big tea drinker. I make my tea the Indian way, which is to brew loose tea in boiling water and adding milk and sugar to the filtered brew. Occasionally, the tea comes packaged in a nice tin canister. After the tea is all used up, I keep the empty containers hoping to reuse them. Here, I have re-purposed one into a desktop clock as well as a storage container. It is quite easy to do. I got the clock unit from a local craft store. I drilled a hole into the box and attached the watch unit. I wanted to keep the logo and the product information. But, one can alter it with alcohol ink which might be quite lovely. I might try it on the next one.
It will also make a nice gift for a tea lover.

You will need:

1. An empty tin canister, at least 6" tall (you can pick one from a flea market)
2. A clock unit (available in any craft store)
3. Alcohol inks (optional)
4. Electric drill and bits


1. Choose a proper bit to drill a hole big enough for the clock unit to insert. Drill the hole from outside of the tin. Drill only on side.
2. Insert the base unit from the inside through the drilled hole. Before inserting the base, fit it in with the battery.
3. Assemble the clock face and the hands.

You are done!. If you choose, you can alter the tin with alcohol inks and make it pretty.

Here is another of my DIY wall clock.

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Azores: A Virual Paintout

We visit the Azores archipelago for plein air painting at the Virtual Paintout. For some reason, whenever an European location is chosen, I tend to gravitate towards church buildings as the subject of my painting. I have already done a few for other challenges. Azores is a pretty place with lots of interesting sites to choose from. I chose this little church at a place called Altares in Azores.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Illustrated Recipe with Yoga Art

I created this illustration of my original recipe for They Draw and Cook a few months ago.(You will find the full step-by-step instructions with photos here  I finally got around to creating a print version for sale in my Etsy shop. This is the first time I have done an illustrated recipe and combining my signature yoga art with vegetarian cooking and it is an exciting new path. I hope to do more.

Thanks for visiting.

(Republished as a new post as part of Seth Apter's 2013 Treasure Time)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt is the third rail of south Indian cooking (rice and spices are the other two). No meal can be complete without yogurt or yogurt rice at the end. My husband and I have yogurt every day at least once. Although my husband like store bought yogurt, I find it too sour and unnaturally thick. As often as time permits, I make yogurt at home. 

Mind you, making yogurt is both a science and art. A well made yogurt should be solid and sweet tasting with just hint of tang. Room temperature of around 110°F ± 5°F for 7-8 hours is essential for the fermentation process that converts the inoculated milk into yogurt. Making yogurt is an unfussy task in tropical places like Chennai where even night time temperatures for most of the year hover around 90 degrees. However in colder climates like the New England, there is a lot of cosseting and coddling involved in getting the yogurt to form. The method I use has been very successful in producing consistently thick and sweet tasting yogurt. I must confess, I came upon this method by remembering how my mother used to make delicious yogurt in Delhi's freezing winters.


a. Fresh milk, 1 quart (whole, 2% or 1%)
b. 3 tablespoons of yogurt with active cultures as starter (plain regular or low-fat; if you are doing this for the first time, you can buy a small plain yogurt from the grocery store)
c. an incubator


1. Heating: Boil the milk in a stainless steel sauce pan. Here the operative word is boil, not "heat". As you can see in photo 1, the milk is boiled to the brim. This boiling causes the milk proteins to denature and solidify. 
2. Cooling: Let it cool for five minutes. Test the temperature of the milk with your little finger. It should feel hot but not scalding. 
3. Inoculating: Stir in the the yogurt into the milk and gently mix it in. Cover the sauce pan with a lid.
4. Incubating: The purpose of the incubator is to keep the milk warm for several hours while the fermentation is taking place. There are many ways to incubate the milk (check the internet) . Mine is pretty simple. I have a stainless steel box, a fairy deep one, which I use for storing  rice/wheat flour. This  is my incubator. I put the sauce pan containing the milk into this container (flour and all), cover it and let it sit undisturbed for 7-8 hours. 
5. At the end of 7-8 hours, you will have your fresh, thick and sweet yogurt. Works every time!

Note: The thickness of the yogurt is totally dependent on the fat content of the milk. Whole milk produces the thickest yogurt. No matter what the fat content, all home made yogurts taste fresh and sweet.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Birds on a Wire UMT

This is the first Monday of the month and it is UMT at I am the Diva. The tangle that was chosen came from Mary Kissen and is called Birds on a Wire. It is a very pretty tangle and I decided to dress it up with an actual bird image. The bird comes from one of my watercolor paintings. I printed it on an old book page and filled the space around with various tangles. I also added a little bit of color to the tangles as a way of complementing the colorful bird.

Thanks for visiting.