“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.
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 🙂
‘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.
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 🙂 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 🙂
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 🙂 I am sure the walls in my home would be happy as well to echo the serenity of this beautiful island.
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 can do it with great ease 🙂
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
Origami cubes made from colorful flyers & waste paper which deserve a much better place than a dustbin 🙂
I started this Madhubani artwork over a year back. Famous on mud walls, these paintings have attracted all kinds of surfaces including my canvas 🙂 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.
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 🙂
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 !
Suzhi kolam is a traditional South Indian rangoli (using rice flour) wherein curved loops are drawn around dots. Supadi, in Marathi, is a sieve. I tried combining these two in this decorative piece to bring a village flavour in our urban home. There are lot of reasons (psychological, religious, scientific) for making kolams/rangolis at the house entrances, theories like the sight of them bringing positive energy, the kolams feeding small insects like the ant (as the kolams are made using rice flour ), welcoming gods/goddesses, they being a good exercise for women early in the morning… I do it for a very simple reason , to maintain our tradition 🙂
When I make these kolams, Akshara likes to try her hand too and hence I believe there is no reason for this tradition to fade away. An interesting fact about the suzhi kolam (aka sikkal kolam ) is that it’s complicated patterns help to improve the problem solving skills. So, it is believed that a woman doing a rangoli at dawn is all set to handle any type of task that comes her way during the day.
And if you are the jugaad kind, you can always ask your husband to stand beside you and fan the supadi!
Joy of giving week is an annual charity event celebrated in many companies across India. As part of the event, Rajaram’s workplace organises a “food fair” where employees/spouses put up food stalls and the revenue generated from the sales is given to charity.
Rather than making just any dish for the stall, I wanted to make something which was attractive to see and to taste but still conveyed a meaning. So, I chose to make a flower. Giving a flower to someone symbolises affection and the feeling of sharing. This is the essence behind “joy of giving” and I wanted the person handing out the “flower” and the person buying it to feel this.
Last year, I made a “honey bee”. That was much more time-consuming to make. This year, it was a bit simpler (or at least I thought so when I planned). The dough (made of biscuits,milk powder and milkmaid) would form the main part with different coloured chart papers forming the petals. I melted chocolate bars and dipped the flower in them forming the topping for the flower. The paper cuttings did take up a lot of time with me having to outsource part of the work to Rajaram. So, all the irregular shaped ones are made by him 🙂