Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cruise Happy...

Lately I have been noticing a pattern everywhere in my life. At various levels of time (like annual, weekly, daily). You might need to muster a little extra patience to understand what I'm trying to say..

There are generally 2 modes that I function in. The cruise mode and the peripheral mode.
For example, In a given week - I am in the cruise mode between Monday and friday and I am in the peripheral mode on the weekends.
In a given day, I am in the cruise mode between 9 and 5 and I am in the peripheral mode between 6am and 8 am and 5pm and 10 pm
In a given year, as parents, we tend to be in cruise mode when the school is in session and in peripheral mode when there are school breaks..
(Maybe Im pushing it here), Applying this to the lifespan of a person, we tend to be in cruise mode when we are working class, say 25 years to 60 years of age. Before we get a job  and after retirement we are in a peripheral mode.
Now at each of these stages (before work, while employed and after retirement) we could further split and assign cruise and peripheral modes.

There is a parallel here to the 80-20 rule (80% of the work gets done in 20% of the time). In any time frame it looks like we tend to be in a cruise mode more than peripheral mode. Widely speaking.
Our weekday cruise mode is longer than the weekend. School year - the cruise mode - lasts longer than the school breaks (So v glad for that design).

So getting to the point, here is a theory on capturing the ever elusive happiness factor. Make sure you are happy in the cruise mode, so that you will be mostly Happy in life. Do something you love in the cruise mode - don't compromise here. Push all other things, things that you have to do but don't necessarily enjoy, into the peripheral mode. So those boring chore like work - Do them in the weekends. Do them at night. Do them at your annual vacation. Save the cruise mode for things you love and things that make you happy. Arrange your life to be happy in the cruise mode. This way you can make sure you are happy most of the time!!

Just a thought! Just an observation..!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dasara 2015

Dasara is here! This time dolls, elephants and all the Dasara paraphernalia are arriving at Amma's home.
Here is a view of the final arrangement. Simple 3 steps, all traditional dolls mostly.

Project No.1:
Elephants Torana.
Right now I'm into 3d outliner also called puffy paint. Its like drawing with mehendi, this paint can go on pretty much any surface and will have a 3d feel to it when dry.
So I decided to try decorating elephants with this paint.

Its fun to draw with.

I used foam to cut out elephant shapes and then decorated those elephants with this puffy paint.

At this point I was still undecided if I wanted to make a rangoli out of these elephants or a torana.

More puffy paint trial.

The dimension is clearly seen on this following picture.

Instead of making them into a rangoli, I decided to string all elephants together and tie them up as a torana on one of the steps..

Project number 2:
This had to be peg dolls! Still such a pleasure to make. After making many pairs of dolls around the same time last year, I thought I finally had gotten peg doll making out of my system. No! that's not happening any time soon I guess. The bug bit me again this year. So here is another Radha Krishna for Amma!

Project No. 3:
Spruce up an old earthen horse.
We had an earthen horse brown colored, needed some life. So I just touched it up with white and gold paint to give it a classic look.


So here is the final look at the dolls.

Bottom most step has Astha Lakshmis and a wedding ceremony

Middle step is Dashavatara and horses and elephants.

Top most step (- still incomplete in this picture) Has the traditional Sandal wood dolls - sort of like our chief guest for the festival. They are flanked by Rama Sita Lakshmana and Hanumantha on one side and Lakshmi and Saraswarthi on the other side.
In front of Lakshmi and Saraswathi is a Satya Narayana Pooja going on!

Monday, September 21, 2015


This post has been lying around in my drafts bin for a while and today is the day it is going to see the light!

Warli art has been around for many many years. But lately I feel like its gained a lot of popularity. It is everywhere! Its on the walls of a civic building, on sarees, on dresses, on shoes - everywhere!

Obviously it is very eye catching and easy to draw too. I ended up buying may be a couple Warli adorned products and then I decided to make my own Warli.

These stick figures are so simple to draw!

For S's bday this year we went to pottery classes. It was super fun - getting hands all muddy with river bed clay. Throwing the mud on a potters wheel (This one was electric wheel) and pinching squeezing and pushing around the clay to give it many shapes was a great experience. 
Our teacher for the day was so passionate about the art and taught us well. May be that made the whole experience all the more enjoyable.

By around the same time I had also drawn a couple warli inspired drawings in my book and then I decided to paint it on to the pots that we brought home. :)

So here they are completely hand made - hand decorated, warli adorned earthen pots!

Happy birthday S! Cute looking pots to remember your 2015 bday - won't you say?! :)

Kundan rangoli

Its festival season!! Finally!

I feel like festivals bring in so much positive energy. They are a busy time, no doubt. Busy socializing, busy decorating, busy shopping, busy cooking and hence busy making memories year after year.

Living in an apartment community is not new to us. But a community that actively celebrates all festivals is a first. So, even if nothing special is happening at home on these festivals, simply going out and taking part in the community celebrations brings out the festival spirit.

I had to take a (long) break from my crafting but the festivals have rekindled the enthusiasm to decorate. I made these Kundan (rhine stones) rangoli for Ganesh Chaturthi. One for home sweet home and one more for Amma's

Simple procedure -
1. Draw your design on paper.
2. Place that paper under an OHP sheet.
3. Stick stones on the sheet with glue as per the design you can see through the sheet.
4. Give it ample time to dry and then cut out the design

Supplies Needed:

1. Kundan Stones / Rhine stones
2. Fabric Glue - this dried clear and had held the stones well on the OHP sheet.
3. OHP sheet.
4. Scissors.
5. Design of your choice on paper.

This is how the first one turned out.
The best part it is rearrangeable, so you get many deigns out of one rangoli.

Changing the background is an option too.

Here is a look at the second one.

And this is how that turned out.

This is our beloved Ganapathi this year. We went eco friendly and opted for very minimal paint on the idol. S thinks we should take it a step further and get ganapthi who will stay with us for good, instead of having to get and dispose one each year. Not a bad idea!

This is the pink rangoli in front of Amma's Ganapthi.

Glad festival season is here and gladder that my craft supplies are out!

Friday, February 27, 2015

DIY Torana

My first attempt at a Torana. This also happens to be the first diy in this new home. 

Traditionally Toran - a sting of leaves tied at the top of the main entrance door to home, (most likely leaves from mango or neem trees) were meant to block insects and other germs because of their medicinal properties. But is this practice relevant anymore? But this tradition like so many others gives me a chance to make my home colorful and vibrant. So my twist on Torana will not repel insects but it sure does bring me joy, adding color and a tad bling to the entryway.

Very simple project. Here is what I used:
- Card stock various colors
- paint chips - various colors
- rhine stones - variety of them
- glue and scissors

Above is the template of each leaf in the torana. This is roughly measured and cut by hand.

Then I marked out the leaves on card stock and cut them up.

Then once I had all the card stock leaves cut out - I scored the top edge leaving about half an inch. This is to help fold them over the string easily.

Then I randomly picked colored paint chips and cut up rectangles and pasted them on top of the leaves.

Then just decorate with rhine stones.

There he is little Mr. D at my work station.

He are all the leaves stung together.

I love the colors.

Tied to the door :)

What do you think?