“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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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 🙂 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.
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.
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 🙂
Warli painting is a tribal art-form from Maharashtra. The paintings usually depict scenes from daily life. The important aspect of these paintings is that the themes are never mythological and the figures are devoid of colours.
I had not tried my hand at warli-style painting until now. To start with, I thought of making something very simple like the warli procession. You might see a bit of color in this design as I like to add color to anything & everything in life. In this artwork, I have tried to make both ends meet – the East & the West. The frame that has been used for the painting is a typical north east handicraft , a coaster by itself. Usually, I do not miss any of the handicraft exhibitions that come up in the city and I make it a point to buy simple, yet nice and not so expensive stuff for my collection. This coaster was bought in one such expo and now I have totally changed its purpose, to hold my painting. I am sure that the coaster would be very delighted to hold some cool painting rather than a cup of hot tea 🙂
Oru poongavanam, pudhumanam,
adhil romaanjanam, dhinamdhinam
A beautiful song penned by lyricist Vaali. This line exactly explains the feeling I get when I go for my routine early morning walk in the nearby garden, with tall trees and a small pond with floating ducks and lilies on its surface. The picture becomes just perfect with the moon lighting up the scene.
I have always fancied pencil shading and developed this interest over the years while attending boring classroom lectures 🙂 Well, came up with this sketch today while on my morning coffee. Won’t the ducks get bored spending their whole life in this pond? But then if U wake up to such a lovely sight everyday why should they get bored.
When it comes to flowers, the rose is one of my favourite and it definitely brings a smile on my face when I see it on my table 🙂 This is how I started with this simple project of “button roses on a twig”, not the fresh ones though. I got hold of some soft foam-like wrapping material which comes in the packaging of almost all electronic gadgets. This was the main raw material.
Upon pondering, I felt that quilling would be the best way to get the shape of a rose and within some time I was done with a bunch of them. I had also painted the sheet PINK before proceeding with the quilling to give it a rosy effect. You may also refer to Art Platter to get ideas on how to quill a rose. So next time U see any electronic item wrapped in sheets that I have referred to here, do look out for a hidden Rose in them 🙂