Aug 29

candy_theme_birthday_party

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™‚

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

candy_theme_birthday_party

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 15

bib_necklace_for_kids

‘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.

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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.

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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

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

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

Oct 12

Flower_lollies

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 πŸ™‚

written by Vidhya

Aug 07

DIY Rakhi for the brother

The memory of Rakhshabandhan from my school days is that it used to be the only day when girls used to run after the boys to tie Rakhi πŸ™‚ Every year I step into a shop to buy a Rakhi for my brother. But this year I chose to make my own Rakhi. As expected, Akshara wanted to follow suit and make some Rakhis for her friends. So, we sat down together and started crafting the Rakhis based on some themes (chota bheem, lion, bird..). The raw materials that I used are very common things that one can find in any household. Just let your imagination flow freely to build these beautiful strings of love and affection.

Make your own Rakhi

A closeup of the Rakhi. The base is a circular piece of thermocol. On top of it are multiple layers of paper quills. The ‘pearls’ have been made with Sago (Sabudhana). Click for a better view.

Paper Quilling Rakhis

written by Vidhya

Apr 21

smiling_buddha

Anyone who visits Thailand would have a chance to see the different Buddha statues – Golden Buddha, Emerald Buddha, Reclining Buddha & so on. One would also hear a lot about the Laughing Buddha. Here then is my version of the laughing Buddha, but in a subtler reincarnation as “The Smiling Buddha”.
Wondering why I coined the name so? The moment I completed this canvas, I saw that my painting didn’t have the neutral look which is the most common expression portrayed on a Buddha painting/idol. Mine had a subtle smile.
The whole concept of this canvas was to build a space filled with peace and calmness. But, the irony is that “Smiling Buddha” was the code name of the first nuclear test explosion conducted by India!

written by Vidhya

Apr 09

paper_coasters

Every time I see the old newspapers lying in the storeroom they remind me patiently “free us from this place”. I have been behind Rajaram for months to get this cleaned up but I guess the time has not come yet. So, just for a change I chose few privileged newspapers, moved them to our coffee table after transforming them into beautiful coasters. I am not sure if the newspapers were happy after being soaked in so much glue and colours but they definitely brightened up my coffee table πŸ™‚

written by Vidhya

Mar 26

abstract_art

Abstract paintings are those that directly represent our thoughts and have no reference to copy from. For a change, I have tried to replicate one of the abstract paintings that I saw on the internet and have given my own color and meaning to the picture.
Whenever Rajaram and I have seen abstract paintings with geometrical patterns, we have always wondered as to what was so great about them .But then, after getting to work on this abstract painting, I realised that the greatness is in the thought of the painter and not in the design. The owner alone has the privilege of knowing the true value of it. The next time you bump into some abstract painting, take a min to draw your own conclusion on the image. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but an abstract picture is worth a thousand interpretations πŸ™‚
Wondering why the leaves in the picture are blue as opposed to being green or in some fall color? Well, that’s why it’s an abstract πŸ˜‰

written by Vidhya