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.