Monday 6 April 2015

Recipe: Thrifty Bread Pizza

There are often days when I don't feel like cooking and when hunger strikes, its time for thrifty cooking. Here is one such thrifty preparation that I go to frequently.

6 slices of bread (your choice). I used garlic bread in this instance
Half onion, cubed
Half bell pepper, cubed
Half tomoto, cubed
Grated cheese, 1 cup
The usual stuff that you put over pizza, I used oregano and chilli flakes

Preheat oven to 425 F
On a baking tray lay the slices of bread and layer your veggies one at a time, starting with onions, followed by bell pepper and ending with tomatoes

Next top with a handful of cheese. I used mozarella.

 Bake for 15-18mins

Sprinkle the chilli flakes and oregano and enjoy!

© DESILOOP/ Shweta Shankar Khatri (SSK)

Friday 27 March 2015

Coming Up...

While I can't do much of anything else - reading, writing, knitting, crocheting, cooking, walking around etc except lying down between symptoms and watching / listening to podcasts, I have discovered Instagram!!! I know... where have I been. Honestly, I didn't have much use for it till now. But it is a life saver. Facebook and Twitter, still involve a bit of reading so I am steering clear. All I do is watch the pictures and videos posted by family and friends.
The other thing I have discovered is a setting on my computer that reads out text from the screen. That works well for blogs, although, it does tend to read out everything including menus and tabs. Hey, I'll take what I get at this point. So here is my plan for the blog till I am better able...

  • With the help of dictation setting on my computer, I will be posting Spotlights on designers (starting next month) with giveaway's
  • In addition, there will be Spotlights on books, products, Websites, videos, techniques, etc related to knitting, crochet, sewing, photography, cooking, and everything crafty....
  • Finished object pictures and information (when I have any)  
  • I am building up a Help page with links to helpful videos and tutorials, this should be available sometime during the year
  • I am getting help to put up some links on the right bar of the blog. You can find links to my work on other sites here, my earlier work and new stuff (there won't be much new for a long time though as I recover)
  • Find me on Instagram
Till next time, I leave you with my current favourite picture of a few balls of unraveled yarn.

© DESILOOP/ Shweta Shankar Khatri (SSK)

Thursday 26 February 2015

Cake in a Cup!

So I have been pinning a lot of recipes on my Pinterest food board and I decided to try out on today. It's how to make a cake in a cup found here:

What better to try than a chocolate cake, so off I went. And after 3 mins I had this...

I thought the coffe cup was too small to carry all the ingredients so I took out my ikea soup mug. Ingredients fit with no mess and the cake was ready in 3 mins.
As my kiddo says "yummy yummy in my tummy"!

Definitely delicious. Although, I would like to add, the ingredients you put in will govern the taste. I think I put in dark cocoa instead of regular, so there is a bit bitter taste. I also added a pinch of French vanilla coffee powder and 2 tsp of sugar extra. Love it. Next time I will try tweaking this a bit and post about that experiment.

Monday 2 February 2015

Spotlight - Photography: Polaroid 4-piece close up camera lens filter kit

It wasn't soon after getting my 50mm prime lens that I felt that I would like to take closeups of tiny things. For instance my son's tiny lego thingies... or flowers, insects etc. How do I do that? This lens wouldn't focus after a point. So after watching several related videos on macro and micro photography I started looking for extension tubes or other lens attachments which come in cheaper than getting a new lens altogther. I new lens would only make sense if I wanted to get into it professionally, which I don't as of now. I just want to get pretty pictures of life happening around me. So I got myself a Polaroid 4-piece close up camera lens filter kit from Amazon.

Although my estimated delivery was in 3-4 weeks, I received the package in the second week only. I was so thrilled that I had to try it immediately. The box (shown above) contains a wallet (shown below) with 4 filters. 

There is one each of +1, +2, +4, and +10 filters packaged neatly in individual packets put in four net pockets of the wallet.

Here is a close-up of one filter.

These screw on easily on my 50mm lens which has a 58mm thread.

I tried taking a few pictures with the +4 lens... since I was doing it indoors and I didn't have any additional lighting.
The first try didn't focus properly... see below, the centre is out of focus

So I switched the lens to manual focus.

Much better results.

And just to compare between shots of naked lens and lens with +4 filter. I also switched back the lens to AF (auto focus) and this time it worked nicely.

so in summary. These are really good filters which gave me value for money.

------------------------------------------------------ © DESILOOP

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Uljhan Re-release

Its been some time since the rights to Uljhan reverted back to me. Since then I have been working on putting together all comments, suggestions, and corrections in a pdf that follows my usual pattern template (although I have not fixed on a single one yet). 

Toddler version from three years ago is a bit small for my kid now. It is knit using Cascade 220 in Orange and Black
For the re-release, I wanted to work on a single colour sample for the design so that I could show that the hat looks equally good worked up in single or double colours. 

This is the teen size since I have a very small head. This is knit using a random undyed yarn from my stash
Getting the right pictures for the new version also took some time, long story... don't ask. In any case. It is finally here.

Nice and Toast

Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi) 

22 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches in Colorwork cable 

US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 8 - 5.0 mm

75 - 150 yards (69 - 137 m)

Preemie (Newborn, Baby, Toddler, Child/Teen, Small Adult, Large Adult) shown in child/teen

You can download it for free from the following resources: Ravelry, Craftsy, Kollabora, (search for DesiLoop). If you share your finished projects on Instagram and other social sites, please use the tag #Uljhan or #desiloopdesigns, for everyone to admire your version. Happy Knitting!

------------------------------------------------------ © DESILOOP

Monday 26 January 2015

Review: 50mm 1.8g lens for DSLR

Last year I received a long desired gift... a DSLR. Since then I have been getting to know all its features and capabilities. I took some awesome pictures after the huge winter storm of last year. Here are a few.

These were all done with my kit lens 18-55mm VR. It is a great lens with excellent sharp results. However, when doing portraits, I was not getting that dreamy bokeh effect that I loved in some great portraits I have seen on the web. So it was time to add a prime lens to the arsenal. So this year, I got the Nikon 50mm 1.8g lens as a gift and was immediately thrilled with the resulting photographs. It was just what I wanted. Although I would need to move closer and farther to get the right focus and frame.

Here is a picture I took when submitting my design to two years ago. This uses the kit lens.

Here is one I took for the self-published version of the pattern with the 50mm lens.

The difference is quite evident. I love my new lens.

------------------------------------------------------ © DESILOOP

Monday 19 January 2015

New Year, New Me...

Well, at least I would like to think so.
Its been long... and the experiences have made me realize I have spent too much time worrying about everything and everyone around me. Its time now to look at myself and focus on things that make me happy. Things I have wanted to do for so long (and there are so many...) and I have been deferring all this while to wait for the right time. The right time, well I guess now, it is when you want it to be. So now I am trying to experience more of life.

  • Spend more time with and for family
  • Experiment even more with food
  • Explore my DSLR and photography
  • Organize my house and life
  • Make time for creativity and DIY
  • Post to instagram at least once a day
  • Watch all Movies and Series on my list
  • Review most products I own including services I use and love
  • Change to a healthy lifestyle and recover
  • Loose weight
  • Communicate more with friends and family
  • Do, not just for the sake of it, but when it matters
  • Forgive
  • Hear and see reality
  • Rest adequately
  • Be happy
  • Find me...

------------------------------------------------------ © DESILOOP

Monday 8 December 2014

More Lined Hats

Here are two more freshly lined hats. One is for my son's winter festival. Both of these are crocheted using My Little Minion pattern. You can easily see from my Olaf version (snowman), that you can easy customize the embroidery and appliqué on the hat to take on various personalities. There will definitely be more in the future at my end. :)

You can find the tutorials for how I do this on my previous post here.

------------------------------------------------------ © DESILOOP

Friday 14 November 2014

How I Line My Handmade Hats

Off late it seems that I cannot get enough of colorwork projects, especially earflap hats. Having Cheery Scrap Hat, left me wanting more. Little lad was quite happy with this one.

Designer: Kate Oates
Pattern: Petite Purls, Issue 3 Winter 2009

And we discovered that my head size is just half an inch more than his so we can practically share all our hats.

And then came the flurries. Yes its gone below zero where we live. So this beautiful hat just wouldn't cut it for us. IDEA.... let's line it with something warm mama.... that ways it will fit me better too. So off I went to my fabric stash to find some fleece.

Here is how I lined this hat.


Fold the fleece fabric in half such that the whole hat fits, with earflaps on the double fabric. 

Fold the hat sideways so that the earflaps are on top of each other. Use fabric chalk/ marker to draw the outline of the hat, quarter inch out of the actual edges.

Now cut both layers along this outline.

Now we need to sew the two layers together. This can be done either with a needle and thread or with a sewing machine. I chose a sewing machine and a zig zag stitch. However, a longer straight stitch would also do. Also I did it in red thread so it would show up in the picture, but you would need to match your thread to your fabric. Sew along three sides of the head circumference, leaving the bottom edge and earflaps alone. If your fabric has one better looking side than another, keep that one facing the other layers side, sandwiched in between so that the less pretty side is outside for the seam.

Now we fold the lower edge inward toward the larger part of the hat and continue doing so along the earflaps and out the other end (one layer at a time, we do not want to sew the layers together.... our head needs to fit in). Sew along the folds as neatly as possible. This side won't show up so it doesn't really matter.

We are now going to turn our hat inside out and place it inside this fleece hat. Do a blanket stitch all around the edge. I created a short video for this here:

Next secure the top of the fleece to the top of the knit hat by tacking it down a few times.

Enjoy seeing the warm and fuzzy expression on the wearer's face :P

Here is how the hat will look inside out.

Be warm!

------------------------------------------------------ © DESILOOP