Sunday, April 26, 2015

Virtual Paintout: Bhutan

Border Crossings (watercolor)

This month at the Virtual Paintout we travel to Bhutan, the Himalayan mountain kingdom which along with its Buddhist monasteries is also now known as the "land of happiness". Initially, I hovered over Thimphu, among the monks, lamaseries and the prayer flags. Bored I wandered around other lines of Bhutanese street view and landed on Samdrup Jhonkar on the Bhutan-Indian border. Despite the bucolic surroundings, it looked lively with lots of foot and vehicular traffic. These two Indian ladies walking with umbrellas open to protect against the sun near the border checkpoint caught my attention. Not sure if they are coming or going or whether they have come to shop or to sell.

I am also submitting this for Paint Party Friday.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Earth Day

This week at I am the Diva, it is celebration of Amanda Day also known as Earth Day :). To celebrate this day, I am posting this watercolor of an airborne green parrot. There are many ways to capture the glories of our wonderful planet Earth and a soaring bird is one of them.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tangle or Doodle with Objects as Strings

As the snow melted and the ground began to thaw, some of the buried treasures of last fall began to reveal themselves. I found one  large oak leaf, soft, pliant and still vibrant in its autumn color, near a pile of garden stones. I brought it inside and  sealed it in a ziploc bag to use it at a later time. This week at I am the Diva the challenge is to use stencils to trace as strings. I thought what better than  leaves which are nature's most bountiful stencils? I used the leaf as a traced object and tangled on it. The red, whit and blue on this leaf is just nature's cycle in a continuous loop.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cat on a Wall :Weekly Challenge Fanz

This succulent planter was a gift from my daughter for our wedding anniversary. The blank space of the wooden container was beckoning to be filled with drawing. Last Saturday morning, I began to draw  a tangle cat sitting on a wall first. Even as I was doing it, I realized that this could be my substrate for the Diva challenge for a while! This morning I extended the wall to include a bit of Fanz to it. It is not  perfect because I had to tilt the container to draw which was awkward at best. Also the graininess of the wood made the lines wriggly. That's okay. I like the imperfection of it.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Coconut Chocolate Fudge (Burfi)

This is one of the easiest and quickest desserts to make. It is also much lower in calories than a typical Indian sweet dish and it has the added advantage of being gluten-free and vegan. It is also a no-fail dessert. The worst thing that can happen is either the burfi comes out too soft or too crumbly. It is still sweetly edible.

If you have shredded coconut and sugar on hand, you can actually do this in fifteen minutes. I usually have a packet of dessicated (shredded and dried)  coconut (you can buy this from any Indian store) which I store in the freezer. Sugar, of course, is a regular staple in most kitchens.

Coconut Burfi

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-20 minutes


Dessicated coconut  1 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup (Whatever the amount of coconut you use, sugar is half of coconut. For me using more sugar makes the burfi too sweet.)
Unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4-1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Cardamom pods 3-4
Water 1 tablespoon
Coconut oil or ghee


This is stove top cooking. Use a deep pan or skillet to make the burfi.

1. Completely grease a cookie sheet or a plate with coconut oil or ghee.

2. In a bowl mix coconut and cocoa powder.

3. Add water and sugar into the pan and heat over medium flame. Let the sugar dissolve completely. Heat till it reaches a thin syrupy consistency.

4. Add the coconut mix into dissolved sugar. With a spatula blend in the coconut thoroughly into the sugar syrup.

5. Stir the mix over the heat till the mixture thickens and start leaving the sides of the skillet. As it thickens it will coagulate like a ball. When that happens, turn the heat off and let it sit for a couple of minutes in the hot pan.

6. Turn the cooked mixture over to the greased plate and with the back of a spoon spread it evenly and thinly across the plate. Using a knife, score diagonally to cut into diamond shaped pieces.

Enjoy and try to limit yourself to one piece a day :)

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Flux as in Tangle Challenge

For some reason, I kept associating leaf with Flux, this week's challenge at I am the Diva czt.  So, I decided to do the tangle on an actual leaf. This leaf is from Grandiflora Magnolia on my front yard. It is an evergreen tree with bright waxy green color and makes an excellent substrate for doodling and lettering. I used a gel pen to draw the tangles. You may also use acrylic ink.

Thanks for visiting.