Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pot Decorating at Home

I have always been fascinated with all those huge decorative pots displayed at the home decor store. They become a really catchy decor piece and can be displayed around the empty corners in the house. The decorative pots available at the stores are just too fat on the budget. So I decided to decorate a pot myself and show off my creativity in an absolutely new domain. My dream is to decorate a pot that is as tall as my little girl. But before I get into such a huge project I wanted to take some baby steps.

I started out with a small 15 inch pot. I first painted the pots with multiple colors. Then I covered with a coat of burgandy. I used the crackle medium to give it a crackle effect.

I wanted to give the art a 3rd dimension, so I decided to go with flowers and fruits instead of flat work. I created the flowers, buds and leaves with M-Seal. This is similar to polymer clay but hardens without the need to bake. Then I molded some fruits like strawberries, grapes and berries. All the pieces were then air-dried for a day. I painted each piece with pearl paint to give it a shiny effect. After the paint was dried, I glue each piece on the pot. Lastly, to finish up I applied a coat for varnish.

The entire process of decorating took 3-4 days. It was pretty easy to decorate the pot. The challenge was to mold the petals of the flowers so they look realistic and then to assemble them together on the pot. With a little more creativity one can decorate pots similar to ones available in the stores and still stay on budget. Now I am looking forward to the day when I will decorate a pot as tall as my little girl. Happy Pot Decorating !!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gardening - A pleasant hobby

Growing vegetable garden was the most calming and peaceful activity that me and my family did this spring.

After having some failures in gardening in the past few years, I had almost given up this activity. But again this spring I decided to get my hands dirty. I hesistantly put forward this idea to my husband, who had always ended up cleaning the backyard after all those failures. As I had expected, he was not willing to repeat the same this year. However, I still continued to work on it. I researched over the net, borrowed several books from the library, some I glanced through the pages, others I read cover to cover and then talked to some people who had done it before and had succeeded. I almost spent 3 weeks in research before I purchased a single seed.

One February afternoon I went shopping to a home improvement store. A gardening expert helped me pick out my soils, compost and peat moss. I had already designed my garden's layout on a piece of paper, so it was very easy for her to calculate the materials I needed. I had set the limit to 3 vegetables this year. So I just picked up transplants of tomatoes, bell peppers and cabbages of different varieties to start with.

My husband saw my van loaded with those huge bags for soil. He thought I was going crazy. But again I assured him it would be fine this time. Hubby, Siya and I made one 7 X 9 bed, seeded it and planted the transplants. We would water it every single day. For almost a month and a half I didnt see substantial progress. But one fine day I saw the tomatoes fruiting. It was almost April till then. I was really excited and felt proud. Soon clusters of tomatoes started growing. I knew it would work this time, so I ran again to get some eggplant transplants. Then came some okra, beans and gourd seeds. I started growing tulsi, methi (fenugreek leaves) and curry leaves in pots. Over the period of time we extended our garden from one bed to three beds.

Soon my garden was lush green. I would water it every evening and check for new blooms and fruits. I felt it was a very peaceful and refreshing activity. My little Siya would jump with excitement when she would see some new tomato fruits, she was just interested in plucking them. My garden started being visited by a couple of neighbours who would peek through their backyard so see those fresh veggies growing. A frequent visitor to my garden was a little rabbit, who would sneak every afternoon to relish some veggies. My backyard soon became the most exciting place in my house.

Soon we started harvesting and consuming fresh veggies that were home grown. It was a successful and relaxing experience. Gardening now became my family's favorite hobby and we are eagerly waiting for spring to arrive.

I will keep posting details for each plant that I grew in my garden. Happy Gardening.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Attempt to Beading

Lately I decided to try a new hobby of crafting with beads. I had never dared to work with beads before as I found them too tiny to handle. I gathered a couple of variety of beads, strung them into the headpins and lastly attached the ear wires. It took just a couple of minutes to create them. I never had any idea till then how easy it was to create a pair of earrings. The most time consuming part was selection of beads and the design of the earrings.

Look what I came up with. Arent they good for a beginner ?

Next was to create a pair for Siya. She is so big now that she wants all those things that mama has. I decided to go with pink Swarovski crystals for her. Added a few golden metal spacers inbetween. They looked just perfect for a little girl.

I just loved the idea of making earrings at home. It takes just a couple of minutes to assemble them. Now I could make earrings that would match my outfit. And with all those wonderful beads just lying at my home, sky is the limit.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rakhi - A Creative Bonding

Raksha Bandhan symbolizes the bond of love between a brother and sister. For me its a perfect event to show off my mini creations. Since the age of 10 I have been making rakhis at home for my brother and cousins. They are so easy and fun to make, especially the Rakhis that have kids character, music and lights. The most creative Rakhi that I have ever made was of chocolate, yes real chocolate. I collected various mini bars of chocolates and assembled them on a rakhi base like foam. Then decorated them with beads, flowers and stickers. I think my little cousins enjoyed those as they could tear it apart and eat the chocolate later.

Below is the picture of a rakhi that I created for my brother this year. I stuck a plastic flower to the rakhi base. On the top of the flower, I glued a decorative stone and then topped it with a bead. Lastly I added the thread to the base. It took just a couple of minutes to make this handmade rakhi. I hope my brother enjoys wearing this rakhi as much as I enjoyed creating it.

I am sending this article to the Rakhi Event hosted by Vani of My Creations Thanks Vani for putting such a creative bonding event.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Floral Chocolate Bouquet

The picture on the header of my blog is of a floral chocolate bouquet. This was a very special creation that I crafted for my husband while I was out for a long vacation. Below is the picture of the whole bouquet.

Each of the flowers in the bouquet were unique and made out of chocolate. Some were made totally out of hard candies, while others were made out of materials like crepe paper, satin ribbon, stocking and netted fabric with their centers made out of chocolates.

Below are pictures of some individual flowers

And these are some hard candy flowers

First each flower was created separately. Then a showpiece was attached to the center of the basket using wire. The flowers were then arranged arround the centerpiece to make a round floral arrangement. Finally the fillers were added to it. The fillers were colorful cellophane paper. The basket was then wrapped with clear cellophane and topped with a bow and curling ribbon all around the bouquet.

This was a perfect combination of flowers and chocolates and it has been my most creative presentation ever.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fridge Magnets

Fridge Magnets have been serving a variety of purpose in our daily life. First it helps to adorn the plain looking refrigerator, second as a souvenir and third and most important as a way to organize our notes, phone numbers, to-do lists, baby announcements, upcoming events, right in from of our eyes.

I have been collecting magnets every new city I visited. Sticking notes, recipes, art work to the refrigerator all the time using them. This event was a good way of showcasing my collection of magnets. However my collection has been played with by my little daugther who has conveniently dropped them several times in an attempt to arrange them beautifully. This is what is left.

Below are some of my Kitchen Collection Magnets

And this one my personal favorite

This article was inspired by Veda of Iyengar's Kitchen for her event "Fridge Magnets". Thanks Veda for such a simple and wonderful event.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Welcome to Wrap N Bow

"Helped are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception."
- Alice Walker

Who can forget the very first craft of making colorful paper boats. My love for arts and crafts was conceived at a very young age.

My mom has been a true inspiration in all my creative endeavors. Since childhood I have been watching her making pretty and detailed embroidery, hard to see with a naked eye. Even with little resources at that time she somehow managed to motivate me to learn and explore my talents in arts and crafts.

Like most of us, I started out with paper crafts. I started exploring other crafts like flower making and arranging, clay work, candle craft and presentation crafts. I got a boost when pictures of my crafty creations were published in a local Gujrati newspaper "Vama" in 1996. I was also interviewed for the same. At that time I was mainly doing seasonal and wedding presentation crafts.

With the birth of my daugther, I got a chance to dwelve into USA's largest craft - Scrapbooking. Its like coming back to paper crafts.

Using this blog I would like to give exposure to my creative interests that include presentation crafts, floral design and food craft. It also provides me an opportunity to learn from people with similar interests.

Along with my craft creations, I will also try to post about my other passions - Culinary and Gardening.

P.S : Wrap N Bow comes from a mom of a beautiful girl, named Siya, presently residing in Austin-TX.