Friday, January 13, 2017

Dot Art to decorate

A very happy and prosperous new year to all my dear readers. I have been too busy to post anything. According to latest article in prime newspaper of India, Indian women are most stressed out. I think it's so true in most of our cases whether we are employed or homemakers. While sometime when I am awake in middle of the night, I would be thinking what should I do tomorrow, what should I cook, what should I pack for lunch etc.,. I keep reminding myself to take everything slow and love what you do at least once a day.
Coming to my post today, it's simple and I think you need to have a very little artistic talents. It's the dot painting.

Dot Painting

Dot painting are part of the Australian Aboriginal art form. They are done using naturally available materials. It's vibrant, interesting, aesthetic, and these arrays of pattern of dots may seem meaning less to us but they do have some meaning to the Aboriginal artists. Each painting tells a story and are hidden sacred meaning, known only to the artist, hidden to the westerners. More about this art read from here

Dot Painting

What I have done doesn't have any serious meaning but inspired by Aboriginal art. I created few simple art just to decorate my home walls. I drew the design on a handmade colored sheet roughly and used ear buds to put drops of acrylic paint on the design. If you want smaller dots then do let little paint drip from the ear buds(just a small touch to the paper)and for larger dots drip more paint. Do not add water to the Acrylic Paint, use as it is from the bottle.
My art teacher mentioned about these kind of Painting, and the first one was done in our class. This was done on a green colored fine handmade paper.

Dot Painting

My husband had a T-Shirt bought as a souvenir from a recent trip and I loved the elephant face so much that I wanted to try that using dot painting. My second attempt was this.

 Dot Painting

So how did you like my painting? Want to try yourself? Have a wonderful, and happy year ahead.

Dot Painting

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Shibori and endless ways of tie and dye

Last few days has been very exciting for me and I feel happy to end this year this way.  I have learnt two new arts on clothes
Batik art
Tie and dye, Shibori

Tie and dye is what is locally known as the Bandani. I think every lady once in her life time would have bandani sari or dress in her wardrobe. What I learnt was various forms of tying a fabric and later dyeing it in dye solution. While learning to do this our instructor also taught us the art of Shibori.

Shibori is a Japanese dyeing technique where we fold,twist the cloth using a binding material such as thread, wood, rubber bands etc., and then dyeing it in indigo. Whatever is used to bind the fabric will resist the dye, resulting in patterns in the original color and areas of cloth where there was no binding would turn to indigo(dye color). Shibori is a very vast technique and there are tons of ways to do it and hence  you can create infinite number of patterns. While Shibori technique is mostly limited to indigo solution our own tie and dye techniques involves various varieties of Shibori but with different colored dye solution.

For the dye preparation, we used the direct colors available in the market. These are good for beginners but slight disadvantage colors might leak in the first few washes. Also the final color is slightly dull than what is expected.
To prepare the dye solution, weigh your cloth first(Say X grams).  Add
4% of X dye color,
4% of X Sodium Bicarbonate/Carbonate
4% of X soft soap like lifebuoy, grated
4% of X crystal salt.
All of these boiled together and you dip your cloth in it and let it stay for 20 to 25 minutes. Keep rotating the cloth frequently for uniform dyeing. Dry it in sun without untying. Once it has dried untie, wash it to remove the remains of soap.

And I will tell you it's really a magic created on clothes

Here is some sample which I did myself..

This I did drawing equidistant circles on a white cloth and later pinching these circles and tying it with thread.

After dyeing in Royal Blue dye solution I got this :

Second one was folding the cloth in a triangular shape and tying the ends with a thick thread and after dyeing it, and untying I got this. 

The third one was again folding the cloth in the triangular shape and tying the whole thing like a banana tightly with the thread.

And I got this!!

All of the above were white cloth of size 17 by 17 inch square with an intention of doing cushion covers. But unfortunately the color after drying turned out to be dull lavender so I am shelving the idea of cushion covers. Apart from this we also tried our hands on creating a dress material using Shibori. I am yet to finish it, and let you know the results soon. 
Till then, enjoy your last days of the year..

Monday, November 28, 2016

DIY: How to paint the terracotta

I had bought few plain terracotta lamps, lantern few months back and thought to make it fancy for this Deepavali festival. Due to overtime on the Internet and thousand other things I could not complete them in time. Hopefully they are ready for the next year.

I wanted something similar to the ones that we get in the shops like ExclusiveLane,  Jute cottage .The normal acrylic that we use from brands like Camlin, Fevycril etc., were not giving me the desired results. These paints apparently give a glossy look to the finished product.

Terracotta Diyas

There was an exhibition during Deepavali near my residence. The painted terracotta hanging bells were cute and I bought one for home. Soon as I showed it to my family, their unanimous reaction was that why did I buy it since I could color them myself. But there was a selfish reason behind it, I wanted to know the type of paint she used. But to my disappointment the she didn't part with her trade secret.
This incident made me more determined to find the paint. And to some extent I found it I think. I used the left over Asian Paint premium emulsion paint( Matt finish) from our painting. The results exactly matches what I had in my mind.

How to paint

For the terracotta lamps, soak them overnight in a tub/bucket of water. Next day take a old unused tooth brush and brush off any dust/mud in the corners or holes. Let it dry thoroughly in the sun light.
Apply a coat of terracotta primer. It would fill the small holes or cracks in the lamp and you would require less of the main paint.  I used  Fevycril Terracotta Primer and diluted a little adding water. This primer comes in 1 kg bottle( they didn't have lesser than this, while I was buying).
Let it dry in the sun.

After it has completely dried start painting with your choice of colors.
For the lamps after they are primed, I have used yellow shade of Asian Paint Premium Emulsion Paint for the base color and later for the designs I have used acrylic colors. I didn't want yellow but I had no choice since that was the only one left out from my house painting.

Here for the lantern I have used three shades of Fevicryl Acrylic colors. It looks OK, bit glossy, and I plan to use in my balcony garden, lighting it with a bulb.

Terracotta lanterns

If you are not confident with directly painting, you could draw using color pencil initially(very lightly), as you can see it here.

I have painted these only for decoration purpose and thought it would look cute among lighted diyas. You cannot really find much difference between the lamp and the lantern here in the photos but they do look different in real. The lantern is shining in color while the lamps are not.

Please feel free to suggest or any other tips you have.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Diwali DIY : Bangles Tea Light Holder

It's just a day to go for Deepavali, Indian festival of lights and I haven't done any decoration so far. I am down with heavy cold and severe lower back pain. In between I am busy in cleaning the house for the festival. Searching my crafts stuff I realized, I could do a quick craft for a tea light holder.

It's a tradition in Hindu religion, to gift bangles to the married women along with vermilion. This is something we women cannot refuse. Over years bangles have piled up in my home, some pretty some very dull. Often I donate them to my helper.  For our DIY today, gather some of your old unused bangles, strong adhesive(fevicol), some small golden/pearl decorative buttons/artificial stones.

Bangles Tea Light Holder

Roughly arrange the bangles of same size, and start gluing each one on top of other.

Bangles Tea Light Holder

In between make sure that your tower of bangles is straight and not slanted or in other shape. You can take break in between to make sure that glue has dried properly.

I managed to decorate with the items that I had in my home at the instant. On the top bangles I decorated with the golden buttons, gluing them.

Bangles Tea Light Holder

I used approximately around 15 bangles for one tea light holder.

Bangles Tea Light Holder

Finally place your bangle tower on the card stock, measure from outside and cut it.
Stick it to the base of the tower. This is optional step.

Wasn't this simple? Place the tea light inside and watch the glittering light. Have a happy and safe Diwali.

Bangles Tea Light Holder

Update :
Adding this to Craft Schooling Sunday @ Creative Jewish Mom

Monday, October 24, 2016

Travellogue : Sigiriya Lion Rock Fortress, Sri Lanka

Thanks for your lovely comments on my previous post.
I was vacationing in the beautiful country of Sri Lanka and Thailand earlier of this month.
Our main trip was to Bangkok, Thailand, we had an opportunity to stay for three days in Sri Lanka. It was difficult to choose the places in Sri Lanka, as everything seemed beautiful, important, and we also had to consider distance from Colombo(where we our flight landed). Finally we zeroed on Kandy, Sigiriya and Dambulla caves. Last two are closely located, so you can cover both the places in one day.

We had booked taxi from Kangaroo Cabs from Colombo from India. As soon as we landed, we hopped on to this taxi and drove to Kandy first.

After exploring the Kandy city, we had a comfortable stay for a night  in OZO Kandy. Kids were so disappointed for our short stay here and didn't want to leave at all. We had heavy breakfast and started to Dambulla Caves at 7:45 AM the next day.

Driving in Sri Lanka is not that tough as roads are well maintained. Unfortunately the driver was very clueless of the roads and routes( forgive us Dilshaan), luckily we had offline google map of Sri Lanka and guided him well all the way.

After a tiring hike at Dambulla Caves, we started to Sigiriya around mid after noon. We were not sure of having lunch and more over there aren't much options for vegetarians like us here. We stopped by a fruit shop and had stomach full of fruits, cucumber and raw mango. I got to taste the dragon fruit which is scarcely available in India.

Although Sigiriya rock was visible from long distance, we had tough time in finding the entrance. Our driver, who while conversing with us in broken English said that last time he visited that place was when he was a kid but he was very confident of finding the entrance. After going round and round, we decided to be wise and asked for the Foreigners entry(there is other options for the locals)

The entry is free for the locals, and we foreigners have to pay a hefty ticket price. But fortunately, there is a discount for the SAARC countries and we ended up paying 2000 SLR for each one of us. You need to also show your passport at the entrance.

It looked very challenging to climb a 200 meters enormous rock on a hot afternoon but don't let it deter you. Most of the people prefer to either morning or late after noon to climb, and it's one of the most visited sites in Sri Lanka. When you enter you will not miss the beautifully landscaped gardens. On climbing further you will come across the boulder gardens and the terraced gardens. There are many little caves here whose walls were once adorned with beautiful frescoes.



According to Sri Lankan History, this site was selected by King Kasyapa for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colorful frescoes. You can still see the remains on top of the rock. The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.
The steps are narrow and you need a lot of energy and water to reach the top.

While you are climbing, just before you reach the Lions Staircase, there is a mirror wall onto your left. Originally, this wall was so highly polished that the king could see himself on it. Now you can see various inscriptions on it, written by visitors both old and new. Few security guards were guarding it, preventing it from further damage.  At the same point you can take few spiral steps upward to see beautiful wall murals/frescoes. Unfortunately we were not allowed to click photos here.

After you have climbed half of the steps, you can see a small plateau, there is a gateway in the form of an enormous lion.

Further climb is the most challenging part of the climb and the stretch will definitely give you knee pain in the end. We have to carefully climb up a narrow steel stair case on the exposed side of the rock to the summit. You will also  see the grooves carved into the rock surface by the ancient builders to provide the footing for the original staircase that led to the top.


After the ascent, you can see forests every where around the rock. There were couple of ponds(belonged to the palace) on top which gets full in the rainy season. The usual pictures that we see over the internet are taken in the rainy season where this rocks looks out standing among the greenery that surrounds it. When we visited the ponds were almost dry.

After reaching the summit, and admiring a palace at such a height we stayed there for half an hour, and if you have patience you can go to each and every corner of this palace.


While we finished the descent, we bought few liters of cold water quench our thirst and refreshed ourselves at the rest room. There are few shops selling the souvenirs but do bargain hard before you decide to buy something.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Small hand embroidery on Kurta

I love crafting and more than anything else I love hand embroidery. I usually search for tops having some sort of hand embroidery. They are bit expensive and it's justified as it takes effort and time.

Few months back, I had bought  a block printed cotton fabric for getting my self a kurta stitched. I first give a trial piece to stitch before giving anything to any new tailor I want to try. As it happens with most of us, it didn't fit me perfectly. The plain and simplicity of this Kurta made me to try my naive embroidery skills.
I first drew triangles using free hand and a bright colored color pencil. Thus you see no two triangles same ☺ The stitch I used is Herringbone Stitch.

Hand Embroidery on Kurta

Hand Embroidery on Kurta

Hand Embroidery on Kurta

The top had a plain join like thing in the middle which ran till the neck. The filled triangles look more uneven as there was a long time gap in between stitching. It's not perfect but now my kurta looks wearable.

These are couple of cross stitch projects that I did when I was bored during our one year stay in Germany(some 10 years back). I wanted to do something similar. I searched for ready made cross stitch kits on but options were limited and I found it bit expensive. I guess they are imported. I wish my husband was smart enough in these things to get them from his Germany trips.

Cross Stitch

I am planning to start with this Volkswagen cross stitch project. Hope I put my plan to action soon. I am right now in the stage of gathering threads.
Source : Pinterest

So see you soon with another post.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Welcoming Ganesha

Lord Ganesha is most sought after and worshiped deities in India. He is always been my favorite in real life as well as in my drawings. We celebrate this festival for the sake of celebrating, to keep our traditions alive. I am not doing a very good job of following it, but I want my children to be aware of it, just as I have beautiful memories of Chaturthi. My day never ends without praying the Lord. Of the very few festivals that we celebrate, we try to celebrate this in a traditional way, be it offering Ganesha's favorite sweets, Garike grass or singing Ganesh Bhajan/Shlokas. In the evening it's a visit to a temple, followed by visits to  houses where idols are kept. Most of our neighbors, friends keep Ganesha idols at home, it's also to judge whose idol is best.

In art world Ganesha is the most flexible subject. The elephant head makes him unique and instantly identify the subject. There are thousands of ways of drawing this God. I have tried to incorporate the spirit of the festival into the paper. These are my humble attempts and the originals are more beautiful. Hope Lord Ganesha blesses me to be do more, strive more and achieve what I want, more than anything else find the satisfaction in my work.

First one was done with acrylic colors, and later filling the background with black gel pen.


This Madhubani style Ganesha is found it in my Pinterest board. I experimented with outline this time. Usually I use black marker pens for the outlining, this time I used size 000 brush. I wasn't consistent with the thickness of lines and so you can see. I have used acrylic on handmade paper.