Friday, December 18, 2015

DIY : Semi quilled flowers

Hello friends, what are you up to?
My online window shopping has become so compulsive that my data pack gets over in no time. I am sure there would be many people like me around this world who are into this addiction. I have made a strict resolution of limiting my browsing the e-commerce sites. My attention now is on few saved pins that I thought I should try in my lifetime. This one DIY which is quite easy but bit wearing.Hope you like it and give it a try.

Semi quilled flowers

So here I go with the steps.

Things you need.
Semi quilled flowers

I chose blue colored strips because it went well with my vase. Since the blue color was monotonous I also made few white colored ones(I did not have the white quilling strips, so I ended us making them but cutting the white colored A4 sheets).

Initially cut a quilling strip into strips each of length 9 cm. You require about 12-25 strips of this size for the base. Keep decreasing the length and the number of strips for each layer.

Semi quilled flowers

Fold the strips at the center and using the quilling needle curl the end of the strips slightly.

Start laying each strip over the other gluing at the center with a glue dot.

Semi quilled flowers

Semi quilled flowers

 Take the floral wire and wrap it with the floral tape.

Make a small tight rolled coil of the same colored strip and attach it to the base of the flower.

After it has completely dried attach the floral wire to the coil at the base with a bit of glue.

Semi quilled flowers
Adding this to Welcome Back To Craft Schooling Sunday Jan 09 2016

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Indoor Plants : Growing Arrowhead Plants

Arrowhead plants
Today I am going to show case a plant which is abundant inside as well outside of my house. This is so because it's very easy to grow, easily adapts to the environment, easy on care. Yes, what I am talking about is the Arrowhead plant( Syngonium podophyllum).

The arrowhead plant is a great container plant for shady balcony gardens and a plant which does better indoors.
Leaves initially are heart shaped and later as they mature, develop into arrowhead shape. They are generally green in color with silvery white or cream variegation. There are many varieties that include variegated leaves of differing shades. Green varieties requires average light and variegated ones requires more light. I have tried growing a sapling picked up from my mothers place which has a different shade initially but when it grows in my house it turns into normal green one. Then I realized that it is due to the light exposure.
Avoid keeping them exposed to direct sunlight as the leaves may have a burnt look. As it grows it tends to climb up with support sticks. You can see tiny aerial roots along the stems. You can also prune the plant to keep the bush like appearance or support it using the moss stick.

Arrowhead plants

It grows well in the moist soil. Keep them well watered in summer and less watered in the winters( I water it once in 3-4 days). You can use potting mixture, always remember to use a well drained container.

Propagation is by stem cuttings, or by division. Cut at a node where there is slight root protrusion. Keep in water for few days till roots develop and then it is ready to be potted. Propagation can also be done by division.

I have also tried them growing in water, changing water for every two weeks. For obvious reasons the number of leaves are less but they do add on to your décor quotient.

Arrowhead plants



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

DIY: Pistachio shells tea light holder

Pistachio Shells Tea Light holder
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It's days of Diwali celebrations in India and it's a tradition to exchange and gift dry fruits among other gifts. So while you are eating those pistachios, don't toss away those pistachio shells and instead make something beautiful out them. I and my kids made tea light holder from these shells. Here are the easy steps to do these.
Things you need corrugated cardboard, glue(fevicol), pistachio shells, tea lights, scissor, pencil.
  • Cut out circle of about 4 inch diameter of cardboard. 
  • Place the tea light at the center. Draw the rough outline of the tea light.
  • Apply glue on the rim of the cardboard. Start sticking the pistachio shells upside down. The base should be inside towards the circle and the pointed end should be pointing out. Wait for at least 15 min to for it to dry.

  • Start sticking the second round of the shells on the first round of shells.
  •  Continue till you reach the penciled circle. And you are done!!
We did about four of these. My son insisted on coloring one, but it wasn't  pretty as the natural one.
Have a wonderful and happy Deepavali folks..... 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Diwali Decor : Crepe Paper Marigolds

Festivals in India are incomplete without Marigolds. These saffron and yellow colored flowers has been one of my all time favorite for their beauty and pungent scent. Today I am sharing with you a tutorial on making the marigold flowers.  Off course they do not match the fresh and real flowers completely but they can be incorporated in your décor. You can use them at the tables, or simple string them to make Toran.
Please note that since these are paper flowers, do not place them near the candles or your wicker lamps.

Paper Marigolds

Gather the items that are required to make the flowers. Please note here that I have taken a thick and strong thread not the regular embroidery floss. I felt that while tying the ends together the regular thread easily slips and you will not be able to form a tight loop.

Paper Marigolds

Using craft scissor with zig-zag shaped blade, cut the crepe paper about 2 and 1/5 inch width.

Paper Marigolds

Taking a thread and a needle, start stringing these strips. Use a running stich along the center of the strip.
Paper Marigolds

When you feel they are of enough volume, tie the two ends of the threads tightly.

For the center part of the flower, create a 1/2 inch wide and three inch length strip. Make fringes. Twist a small piece of crepe paper for a stalk. Glue the fringe to this stalk. Note that the stalk is very small here about two inches but thick enough to get inside the flower.
Paper Marigolds

Insert this into the center of the flower, gluing to the flower.

For the base part, twist the base part of the flower as much as possible, to make it pointed at the bottom. Glue them with a floral tape.
Paper Marigolds

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Book Review : Panchatantra by VishnuSharma, retold by Vrinda Varma

Panchatantra Review
I bought this book recently for myself and to read it to my younger son. The Panchatantra as most of us know, is collection of stories written by Pandit VishnuSharma around 200 B.C.  They are one of the most sought after book for children and many Indians like me would have listened from our elders. These are one of the oldest fables written to inculcate moral values, kindness, wisdom among children. These stories have been told and passed on from generations to generations.
About the book : These stories were written by VishnuSharma to educate the there sons of king Amarashakti.  The name "Panchatantra" means Five("Pancha") Stratergy(Tantra).The book is divided into five sections each one dealing with ways and strategies to live and lead a prosperous life in this world. The stories are written as stories within stories, however you can read any of the story randomly. These stories are accompanied  by beautiful illustrations by K.R.Raji keeps you mesmerized. The language is simple enough to understand by young kids, each story having a moral at the end. This book is published by Mangobooks.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Post celebrations of Ganesh Chathurthi

Bangalore is the only place in India where the festival of Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated at people's(our) convenience. You can see various pendals/mandaps sprouting here and there throughout the month of Ganesh Chathurthi. The same thing happened in our residential layout too. Our reason for celebrating off time that we wanted the weekends, so that working people can freely participate in the celebrations. The last few days were hectic for me and few residents in organizing the cultural and sports events for our community. In the end we were applauded for our efforts and volunteering. We were felicitated with the bouquet of roses. Aren't they cute? They are there in most possible corners of my home. Don't think that I am going gaga over the roses, it's just that they are just perfect after engrossing celebrations.

I don't want to part away with them even though they have dried..

Saturday, September 19, 2015

News Paper Crafts : Paper Bells

In my earlier post on Dastkar exhibition, I told you I got few ideas for paper crafting. What I am sharing today is not something new, many people have done it before. Here is the tutorial on paper bells. Don't go by the number of steps, they are simple to do.

Firstly begin with making sticks/reeds from the newspaper. This is bit tough for beginners and you may get sticks of varying sizes initially. But practice makes man perfect. I learnt finally to make uniform and thin reeds. My learning tip here would be don't stop in between. Finish doing your reeds all at once.
Make 4 vertical strips out of one sheet of news paper. Begin rolling at one corner of the paper. Place at an angle and start rolling over the skewer  till you reach the opposite corner. In between you have to pull your skewer slightly out of your roll. At the end of rolling put a drop of glue/fevi stick. Here is a video for this step.

Once you have enough sticks, flatten them by rolling them over a pencil.

Take a thin skewer, in my case I used my knitting needle and started rolling tightly my first flattened stick. At the end of the roll apply glue and hold it for five minutes.

To create the slightly dome shape, slowly push the circle from side by side, all sides. Don't over do it, else the roll may come off.

Start attaching the second roll, to this basic roll. Start gluing at half of the strip. I used totally three strips to make a bell.

After the bell is made, apply a coat of glue/fevicol to the bell.
Now comes the fun part. Color these bells with colors of your choice. I used acrylic colors and I gave very thin coat both inside and outside. This is to retain the newspaper print on the bells(People should know that they are made of newspaper isn't it?).
For the beads, I took shilpakar Epoxy based clay and made beads out of it. I took this because I wanted the beads to be bit heavy compared to the weight of the bells. They are very easy, just follow the instructions on the box. As soon as you make beads make a hole using toothpick. Let them dry for few hours.
The final part of putting all your efforts together. I took a chord which I had bought to make bracelet(which never happened -:))) Start stringing your bell and beads alternatively. In order to retain them in place, tie a knot and another two on the same knot. This is to make the knot big enough. This may be not clear, but you will know.

 You can even use these bells for making torana for your main door..
Update : Add this craft to December  link-up at Just Keep on Creating

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Flower power

Who doesn't like to have flowers at home? A single bloom can make a great difference to the look of your home. Having flowers at home is the display of your creativity. They add grace, charm, bring good luck, and enhance positive energy in home.
While arranging the flowers, keep in mind that the height of the flowers depends on the type of the vase. Tall vases demand the long stalks while with smaller vases you can put short stalked flowers.Trim them and add some green foliage to break the monotony of the flowers.
The flower arrangement need not be always expensive. Ditch the traditional way and have flowers in small mason jars.  When bunched together in small container, it can create an interesting coffee table setting.

Otherwise, tie them with twines or wires and hang them onto windows.

Bring out your vintage copper or brass containers, arrange ordinary flowers in them and see the difference they make.

Wrap the glass bottle with colorful yarns, dollies and fill them with the contrasting flowers.

Taking the cue from above I have put few dried flowers in jute wrapped glass bottle.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Wrist band for Independence Day

Hello Amigos!!!

Indian Independence day is on 15th August, I am sure all of us have plans to celebrate it. For me it includes participating in the community flag hoisting, attending my kids school celebrations, decorating home with tri colors.
Every year we buy some or the other thing for the kids to show off their love for the country and they forget about it sooner or later. The next year again we are coaxed to buy, be it the wrist band, brooches or flags. This time we made few tri-color paper wrist bands. They are extremely easy to do, fast, easy on pockets and eco friendly. More over, it's done it themselves feeling for the kids. All it takes is the colored papers and some quality time with kids.

Here is the YouTube tutorial. I took about 2 inch square sided colored sheets and fevicol. All three color bands were made as per the video, I joined all of them with drops of fevicol.

Hope you all have a wonderful independence day. Jai Hind..

Monday, August 10, 2015

Dastkar Nature Bazaar 2015, Bengaluru

Hello there!!!
I had a fabulous time last weekend visiting the much awaited Dastkar Nature Bazaar 2015. I had been waiting for this from a long time and my wait was worth. For us, the people who hardly visit North Bangalore, it was bit difficult to locate Manpho Convention Center Grounds. We faced heavy traffic on our way, I thought my family would backlash me for this but I thank them sincerely for their once in a while devoted patience.
All stalls were colorful, a visual treat for your eyes, I had a hard time in deciding what to buy. At first we had a glance of all stalls to see what is in store.

The patchwork bags, accessories, sling bags, key chains. 

Banana fiber products from Karnataka

Metal crafts from Chattisgarh. I fell in love with the tree, later when I came back for it, it was gone. So sad...

If it is craft exhibition how can we miss the famous Madhubani paintings from Bihar.

The lambani's and their jewelry from Karnataka. Later this woman gave demo of her working. 

Pattachitras from Odisha.

Traditional games

Some miniatures..

 Beautiful baskets

Colorful small pouches, paper wind chimes. I am going to try doing this wind chime at home.

Leather works from Rajasthan.

 Embroidered bags from Gujarat

We bought couple of things which were expensive. After coming home in retrospection, we realized that we should have bought some lesser priced ones. It was bit disappointment compared to the craft melas in other cities like Jaipur, Delhi, Hyderabad. The stalls were less in number but definitely more when compared to other craft fairs in Chitrakala Parishat.
Hope you get to visit this bazaar which is till August 16th.