Life · New Zealand · Outlaw Yarn · small things · Summer · Yarn Festival

Chat over Chai # 2

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year 2020

I hope you all are back to work after enjoying lovely Christmas and New Year holidays.

I have been long gone from the blog ,but I have been busy posting on other social media, which is You Tube and Instagram in bits and pieces. If you would like , you can catch up on my 12 days of Vlogmas on my You Tube channel Planetpearl.

The year 2019 seemed to whiz past , mostly because it was a year of huge personal growth for me.

I started working at Outlaw Yarn HQ . People who know me really well, know its a dream come true for me.

Once I read about a research that found ,that people who worked in Flower shops were one of the happiest . I can understand that , because how is it possible not to smile when you are surrounded by flowers, right?

As a fiber craft enthusiast, I feel the same way working in a yarn store( or Wool Shop as some people like to call it here ). It is hard not be happy surrounded by all the colourful yarn and meeting some really cool people , seeing the amazing projects they make. Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying it immensely.

It also opened up the opportunity for me to meet Steven Be . THE Steven Be . Which was one the year’s highlights for me.

He helped me cast on my Pearl Sweater. Which I thought was so cool. Really who would have thought I would meet him right ? And that he would be so down to earth and humble ,to patiently take the time to teach an absolutely beginner sweater knitter , how to do a cast on, explain the garment structure and make sure I got it right. Surely if that is not being generous with one’s time, I do not know what is !

Ever since I met him, I have been fan girling gushing talking about what a wonderful person he is to know! So much inspiration, wealth of knowledge , so positive and funny.

One of the things I checked off my Bucket list in 2019, was attending Christchurch Woolfeast as a stall Vendor ,selling my Hold and Cherish project bags . Two of my close friends and my son gave me so much support and made it a wonderful success.

Another wonderful experience was flying over to Wellington to attend Craft Camp. It was such a well organised camp which helped me meet some amazingly talented women.

I learnt to dye yarn along with Steve, my younger son, which was a great exposure to art of yarn dyeing for both of us.

I also tried weaving which I really loved too.

I’m really proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and I’m really pleased with how the year 2019 went for me craft wise.

For the year 2020

Regardless of how my personal life is going, I always get excited about a New Year. It’s always a time to reflect on the past lessons and look forward with hope, to another year of inspiration and learning .

The plans for this year include ,moving towards a more intentional ,slow living and uncluttered lifestyle.

I have already cleared out my closet of clothes that I do not wear, to be donated to Salvation Army. Which does make me feel better about putting my thoughts into action.

I also hope I will be able to keep up with my blog more regularly, sharing more of my creating journey ,towards a joyful life.

With that said,Thank you so much for being part of my creative journey , for your encouragement and support by way of likes and comments. Appreciate you all so much.

Have a very blessed 2020 dear friends.

Crafts · Finished Objects · Handmade · Home Sewn · Life style · Sew · Summer · zippered pouch

Zippered Pouch : quick and easy

As the days get longer and longer, day breaking at around 5.30 am and stretching late into 9.00 pm,  knitting and crochet have taken the back seat

 I’m on the sewing machine a lot more than usual these days.

Fabric selection and cutting, the two things that really threw me off sewing in the first place, don’t seem as daunting for me . I’m not sure if it is getting comfortable with time or the fact that I can walk into a fabric store and get help with fabric selection etc. It could be a combination of both.

Anyway, I found this gorgeous mint with gold cross cotton and steel fabric online a while back , didn’t have any plans for it when I got it.

I needed a pencil pouch , I’d been dying to make a zippered pouch, I found the perfect lining and zipper , with gold metal zip, like I wanted.It seemed like the stars had aligned when I found this pattern and tutorial at The Busy Bean.

Trying to sew a combination of a iron on batting as interfacing and metal zipper was indeed a wee bit nerve racking , but I  plodded on .

small sewing projects  are so gratifying and fun !


Ashley Gorge · Budget · Family · Glentui Waterfalls · Life · Lifestyle · New Zealand · Road Trip · Seasons · South Island · Summer · Travel

Glentui Water Falls

Do you have special traditions for the New Year’s Eve?

Back in India and Kuwait, we always had the Watch Night Service at Church, which we attended without fail.

Here in New Zealand, we don’t have that and so J and I had our own version at home.


Then later in the day, we joined friends for a walk around the Glentui waterfall


The Glentui Water Fall is about an hour’s drive from Christchurch. It is so serene and lush .

(At  the waterfall, my friend showed us the little Fan tail nest they had discovered there.If you looked closely at the nest,in the picture below, you might even catch a little orange open mouth, demanding to be fed. The little miracles of nature never cease to amaze me.)

and later for a sumptuous picnic lunch of sandwiches, cheese , crackers and pesto dips


It was a warm and sunny day DSC_1251 and the children had a blast swimming and splashing about in the Ashley Gorge river.



Budget · Life style · Road Trip · South Island · Summer · Takaka · Travel


Takaka took us completely by surprise!We were not expecting a little colorful Indie artist/hippy/boho town when we first saw the  road sign . Even  when a fellow traveller told us at Hawke’s Lookout about Salmon fishing at Takaka, and that we should check it out,we did not have a clue that we would greeted with so much vibrant colours in a little town.DSC_8614DSC_8615

My kids thought that the town had my name written all over it. “Mom ,you should try convince dada to live here ,rather than in Motueka , your inner hippy /boho self will be very happy here “they joked .



The reason why Takaka will remain etched in our memories for a long time , however ,is very different.

We were hungry and were in a dilemma trying to choose a place to have a quick snack. That is when The Dangerous Kitchen caught our eyes.


To be honest ,we were a little skeptical about going in to dine at first, we kept going back and forth but then got brave and decided to go anyway. Boy!Were we glad we did!


I thought these wall art  there were cute and funny

DSC_8627The grilled chicken with cranberry and Brie pizza we had here ,was just so amazing that we haven’t stopped talking about it!IMG_0838.jpg


Its always  all about food ,for our family.

Budget · New Zealand · Summer · Travel


When we were browsing some brochures at Bethany Park,we learnt that Collingwood is the Northern Tip of New Zealand’s South Island. So we decided to drive there and see how it looked.

Collingwood is a beautiful coastal village.DSC_8567

It had started drizzling and the boys didn’t want to get out of the car being half sleepy, so J and I decided to go around and see the place.

DSC_8568DSC_8571we were pleasantly surprised and disappointed to find a  closed chocolate shop DSC_8580DSC_8583



Budget · Hawkes Look out · Life · South Island · Summer · Travel

Hawkes Look Out

Hawke’s Look out  is enroute to Collingwood , which we learnt was the Northern Tip of South Island, from Motueka. We were in two minds about stopping and taking the short walk, to check it out. However, we were so glad we did anyway.

The  natural stone formations  were very interesting and  Hawke’s Lookout simply took our breath away!


chips break
the breathtaking view

Information about how the natural rock formations happened



There were quite a lot of visitors  along with us as we walked into the bush and not many opportunities to take pictures but I’m really glad we got a few.

Budget · Lifestyle · Motueka · New Zealand · South Island · Summer · Travel


Motueka is a little town near Kaiteriteri . J and I woke up early in the morning and decided to go get coffee at Motueka .

 We fed the name Motueka into our GPS but the GPS decided to take us on merry ride around the whole Kaiteriteri area before taking us to Motueka.

So much so that at one point we wondered if GPS was working and thought  we had  lost the way.

 Finally , we did reach Motueka, stopped by at a Dairy (convenience store) and got some good mocha coffee.

Our GPS played the merry go round game again ; round and round we went around till we reached the Kaiteriteri motor camp.

 It was a blessing in disguise as we got to explore the area as well.

Thinking it would be still cold for me, I had packed boots and  walking shoes for the trip; Impractical in the sunny and hot weather.

Being Christmas day Countdown,New Zealand’s equivalent of Kuwait’s Sultan Centre  was closed and I wanted some slippers to walk in, pronto. Spotting another General store near the motor camp, we decided to get to  slippers for all of us to walk around in. And while we were at it, decided to get a sun hat and some hair ties too.( I packed everything except those)

Having got what we wanted, J and I sat looking at the beach for sometime before returning back to the camp to wake up the boys.

We went back to our camp, woke the boys up, and took them back with to us to  this beautiful little town that we passed by

This was the only shop that was open. We got the best chips here! It so happened that the shop owner was Indian too and to seal the special bond of kinship that forms when you meet your countryman in a strange country, he made our chips  extra special. Sure enough it tasted so good!

This made it our favorite shop to go all the four days we were there . He would beam as soon as he saw us walk through the door.  I ‘m sure we were smiling ear to ear too ,knowing we were getting yummy chips made just the way we like it.Warm fuzzy feelings all around .

A few more pictures of the quaint little town

Motueka is a beautiful place that made me spend most of our time there trying to convince  J that we could spend the rest of our lives in……

Even though the convincing did not work, we came back with sweet memories of the place.



Bethany Christian Park · Budget · Camping · Kaiteriteri · Life style · Lifestyle · New Zealand · South Island · Summer · Travel

Bethany Christian Park ,Kaiteriteri


Waking to the sunshine and feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin,looking out at the beautiful pine trees covering the slopes as far as the eyes could see , was a big treat!

The minute I saw the world sunshiny and  bright when I woke up,I’d made up my mind, I was going to love Kaiteriteri. And true to that , I was not disappointed.

As I mentioned before, we stayed in Bethany Christian Park , which is a campsite in the resort town of Kaiteriteri.

We stayed in a heated cabin with comfortable bunk beds, a small table with four chairs.DSC_8358

There were several camp plots , with electrical points and  spaces for tents. Bathrooms were shared and so was the large well equipped spacious common kitchen. Everything was so clean and well maintained that we didn’t have any problem whatsoever .

We had a very pleasant stay here.We had prepared and packed  picnic food of tamarind rice, chicken fry and meat cutlets with us from Christchurch and we saved them all in the refrigerator there .The entire family enjoyed the food very much.

The other campers were very polite and friendlyDSC_8401DSC_8352DSC_8356DSC_8444IMG_8315


The stunning golden beach was just a five minute walk from the the park and we spend a lot of our time, lazing on the beach which was so relaxing and refreshing.

We didn’t have an agenda, we just decided to take it easy and enjoy each other’s company. After all the change in our lives we just needed to hang out together, and  do nothing but enjoy each other’s company.


Finding a quiet spot to catch forty winksDSC_8378

Building castles on the beachDSC_8369

We did the most mundane things like stopping on the roadside picnic spot to eat our fish and chips

Lessons on whistling sharply were  exchanged between the father and son. Its the son offering tips to the dad and not the other way round, if you were wondering!


Feeding ducks

 Hunting crabs


Taking advantage of the low tide and looking for  other sea life

Marveling the beauty of God’s Creation

and trying out some waterboarding

Briyani · Food · Handmade · Life style · Summer

Yearly Review :2014

little recap of my projects in 2014. I was really surprised with the finished projects, when I put together this collage.

2015 started with a wonderful fellowship with friends and then our family. 

slept in , had a leisurely breakfast and later went and got a haircut.(amma , don’t panic..hahaha… Just a few inches and layers to get the weight off my head ).

We then got back and made biriyani to celebrate the New Year. It turned out to best one I ‘ve ever made so far!

I wonder if it’s the mint , coriander and tomatoes from our container garden that made it so special.