Feb 11

Lippan art work from Kutch

My recent trips to Himachal, Punjab and the Kutch region in Gujarat have made me appreciate our country’s diverse culture more than ever before and I stand amazed seeing the quantum of richness that we are gifted with. Well, one might think what is there in the barren Rann of Kutch, but then the beautiful artisan villages surrounding the Rann remove all the barrenness in the heart, especially for the art lover in me. Its fascinating to know that each tribe from that region has its own signature textile embroidery and the name of the karigari is derived from the name of the tribe e.g. Rabari, Aari or paako. So,the next time I step into a Gurjari Emporium I know what to ask for πŸ™‚


Its interesting to see that some of the art styles have evolved because of a need. One such art is the Lippan Kaam, a traditional mural craft of the Kutch region. It is a simple mud and mirror work done on the inner and outer walls of a house. This is believed to keep the house cool during summer and a single lamp would be enough to light up the whole house. I was so impressed with this work that i designed a small patch for our house. As usual I added a flavour of the South and went with “Aishwaryam” kolam pattern in the center, which is a symbol to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. In this way I also make sure that even if the states in our country are not united, my artwork will have them bonded πŸ™‚ This time, I was pleased to see the Gujarat float in the Republic day parade completely embellished with the Lippan work. As the saying goes “Kutch nahi dekha toh kucch Nahi dekha” …is so true!

written by Vidhya

Aug 29


Akshara wanted a Candy Theme for her 8th birthday party. This time though, with Advika around, it was difficult to do all the elaborate planning which we usually do. So, it was a last minute rush to get all the ideas and decorations ready for the party. The presence of my BIL & his wife, Rajaram’s mom helped a lot to get things done on time. Rajaram of course contributed by staying away πŸ™‚


The ideas were split into decorative items, menu items (that which can be consumed), return gifts and wearables.


We made candy necklaces. This was made using a satin ribbon and tying up candies on them to resemble a necklace. I wasn’t sure whether the boys would fancy wearing a necklace, so i made a bow-tie for them. Gems has a 10 rupee long packet. A black satin ribbon was used to tie by pinching it at the center to resemble a bow-tie.



We created an arch with couple of cardboard boxes and some chart paper. The candies were made by rolling coloured cellophane paper on thin bottles. The lollipops were made by sticking coloured paper strips on circular pieces of cardboard and rolling up newspapers to make the stick.


I made a simple chocolate bouquet by sticking various long chocolates onto a circular thermocol piece placed in a vase. We also made candy skirts for barbie dolls. The candies were chosen based on the colour of the dress.


I wanted to make many things for the kids to munch on. We stuck coloured jujubes on a stick and then put them up on a thermocol decoration to resemble jujube kebabs. I had also bought cooking chocolate bars and then using a smiley mould, made smiley chocolate lollypops.


candy theme snacks birthday party

We made vanilla muffins and put a candy on top of each of them. Using gingerbread man cutters, i made cookies. Going with the colourful theme, we put a small amount of assorted gems in a small cup and topped it off with strawberry cotton candy.



candy_theme_birthday_party snacks

For the return gifts, we included a small glass jar filled with various types of candies and a satin ribbon for a bow. The first idea i got when planning for this party was to make a train. We made one by stacking a kit-kat and a five star for the body, hershey’s kisses for the steam spout, glucovita bolts to make the circular section of the engine, coffee bite for the back and stuck together with a cellotape to bring in the brown colour. For the wheels, we originally had thought gold coin chocolates, but we couldn’t get enough of them. Then, jim jam biscuits were used for the wheels.



What’s a birthday party without games? We had many small games, the prizes for which were, of course, chocolates and candies.

written by Vidhya

Jun 16

framed monogram return gifts

“Monogram” – A design with one or more letters, mostly the initials of a name, used as an identifying mark.

It was Advika’s first birthday party and I wanted to come up with customised return gifts for the kids.I thought of making monogram picture frames with kid friendly designs with the first letter of each kid’s name. The easier way would have been to get them done online through some print shop, but then i wanted to completely customise it to my interest and hence decided to do them myself. I started off with the basic raw materials like card stock, flashy stickers, buttons etc. It was fun creating my own designs , letting my imagination run wild with all the scrap material that I had at home. The result was quite satisfactory and I got them box framed.


framed monogram return gifts

framed monogram return gifts

Monogrammed initials are not something new but have been around for centuries. History suggests that a ruler in a particular period used to stamp the coins with his initials for authentication purposes. It has also been widely used by artisans, craftsmen to put their initials on their piece of work.
So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself monogrammed and make your identity seen for ages πŸ™‚



framed monogram return gifts

written by Vidhya

Jun 15


‘Bib Necklace’? What’s that, exclaimed Rajaram!

I then had to explain to him that it’s nothing but a necklace which is huge like a bib and usually worn with a low neck evening gown. There is more to a bib necklace than it just being an accessory. Bib necklaces have been prevalent right from the period of Cleopatra to Victoria to Alexandra to Elizabeth ..and finally have found their way to my princesses:) It’s also interesting to note that the intricate design and the vibrant colours of the beaded bib necklaces worn by the Maasai tribe in Kenya not only add to their beauty but also make a statement about the person wearing it. I never thought that a colour in our accessory would mean so much, like red for bravery, white for peace, blue for the energy & sky, orange for hospitality, green for health and black representing people and their struggles.


I came up with the idea of making bib necklaces for Akshara’s fashion themed birthday party. Well,I didn’t have organic beads, ivory or heavy metals to make them and hence i resorted to simple materials like felt and gemstones that the little girls would adore. I chose to create my own designs and the glue gun came in handy for the sticking part. As a final touch, i tagged a piece of satin ribbon on the edges of the bib necklace so that it could embrace the pretty necks.






written by Vidhya

Mar 22

Holi painting - Krishna and Radha

It had been a long time since I had done a painting of Radha & Krishna. Now that it is the holi season, I felt that it would be apt to sketch one. Holi has many legends associated with it but the one most known is probably the story of Krishna’s antics at Vrindavan where he smears colours on Radha’s face to overcome his jealousy of her having a fairer complexion as compared to him.

The idea was to come up with a colourful picture with Radha & Krishna in the background. I browsed for some inspiration but with just a couple of hours of Advika’s nap at hand, had to go for a design with minimum brush strokes. Well, at first look, you must be wondering if Advika had dropped some paint on the canvas πŸ™‚ But it is not, the design is intentional! The drop, dab & smudge technique is what I adopted for this painting. The end result was a lil messy but that’s what holi is all about, get yourself coloured, soak in the sun and have lot of fun πŸ™‚

written by Vidhya

Feb 07

Whenever I come back from a vacation, I try to treasure some of my favourite moments by making a sketch on a canvas. During our last vacation I had a wonderful time star-gazing with Akshara on an island somewhere in the Indian ocean.
This time it was a similar destination in the Bay of Bengal – The Andaman& Nicobar islands.
White sand..pristine beaches..Yellow sun..Blue sky, all reverberating the sound of the chirping birds, a sight to cherish & remember.This painting is a reflection of what I witnessed from the balcony of my room. It was a everyday morning routine for the birds to keep moving (as a group) from one tree to another. The usual one cup of tea took much longer just observing these birds πŸ™‚ I am sure the walls in my home would be happy as well to echo the serenity of this beautiful island.

written by Vidhya

Nov 08

Once the Navratri Golu was dismantled, i was left with lots of colourful bangles lying around from the Bangle Rangoli i had done. Rather than finding a way to pack and store the bangles safely, i thought of an idea of converting them into tea light candle holders. I had seen this somewhere online and had always wanted to give it a try. Its such a cool and simple project that involves stacking the bangles on top of each other and glueing them together, that even the kids canΒ do it with great ease πŸ™‚

Bangle Tealight Candle Holder

With Diwali just around the corner, here are some more ideas to dress up a LED light string. These are more of “Best out of waste” projects.
Pretty flowers made out of egg cartons

Light Decoration from Egg Cartons

Origami cubes made from colorful flyers & waste paper which deserve a much better place than a dustbin πŸ™‚

Light Decor from paper balls

written by Vidhya

Nov 07
Our Golu for Navratri

View of the Golu 2015

Dolls on the golu for navratri

Handmade Dolls

Bangle Rangoli during Golu

Bangle Rangoli



World Map with Monuments

World Map with Monuments



Golu During Navratri

Krishna with Gopikas

written by Vidhya

Oct 10

Durga painting - Madhibani Art

I started this Madhubani artwork over a year back. Famous on mud walls, these paintings have attracted all kinds of surfaces including my canvas πŸ™‚ Over the past few days, i somehow pushed myself to complete it so that it is ready before the coming Navratri.

Madhubani paintings have a connection to Ramayana as it is believed that when Rama married Sita, King Janaka ordered few artists to make paintings of their wedding and this went on to establish a new style of painting. Slowly all Hindu deities started appearing on these paintings. Another interesting fact that I read about these paintings is that the artists from the Mithila region used to make these art forms of deities on the trees to prevent people from cutting them down. Maybe we can do the same on Pune streets and make a Swachh Pune.

I have tried to give a Madhubani touch to this Durga painting and believe that the bright colour dyes and the geometric patterns would evoke the festive mood.

written by Vidhya

Apr 04

green summer cooler drink

The tartness of this fermented drink caused by the action of lactic acid bacteria and the health benefits due to the probiotic microbes in it make it a favourite for the summer season. Btw, this drink is known as buttermilk, in simpler terms! Effect of writing a post after reading too many “3-idiots” jokes πŸ™‚

Since the “flavour” of the season seems to be “go green”, I decided to add a dash of green to the standard buttermilk. Blend together a handful of mint leaves, curry leaves, coriander leaves, pieces of raw mango, ginger, gooseberry along with some curd,salt and asafoetida. Strain the blended mixture by adding lot of water to get the thin desired consistency.
Sip away your drink and have a cool day !

written by Vidhya