Creative Thoughts

Creative Thoughts

Sunday, 30 September 2012

My children's gifts of motivation

There are some things in life that stand out like beacons in the misty past.  Many of them are the thoughtful deeds of our children. 
In the late 90s, my son Shawn gave me this book.  At that time I worked at a full time job and most evenings came home late.  There was no time to craft.  I would keep on looking at this book and 10 years passed but I knew the time would come, one day, when I would begin what I like doing best. 
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going" ~ Jim Ryun
Thank you, Shawn.
And this one's from my daughter, Simone - one of many little tokens of gratitude.
Thank you, Simone.
"No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child." Emma Goldman, author
I am blessed.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Gold & Silver work bowls

I simply love 3D paints for the dramatic effect they bestow on dark backgrounds. Here are two plain bowls I got from a sale and which I really enjoyed painting as it was my first attempt using 3D acrylics on ceramic.


I would appreciate your valuable comments.

If you do make anything from my blog and post it on yours please be sure to give me credit and a link back to my blog.


Simone's "Star" Jug

On one of our jaunts to the busy marketplace of Bhuleshwar, Simone picked up a plain ceramic jug to alter.  She has an eye for these items.  At that time, I had no idea how to paint on ceramic.  Paint sponged, stencilled and outlined with gold acrylic, here's what it looked like after the transformation !

10 years and counting, this is how it looks....

....still the same !

If you do make anything from my blog and post it on yours please be sure to give me credit and a link back to my blog.


"Capped" Notepads 2

I had some pads leftover from the first pack I bought and here's what they look like after using the bits and pieces from my scrap tray.

If you wish to see the first batch I made, you will find it here

I would appreciate your valuable comments.

If you do make anything from my blog and post it on yours please be sure to give me credit and a link back to my blog.


Altered Fish Bowl


This used to be a terrarium.  The miniature plants grew abnormally large so I transplanted them into flower pots.  This is the altered bowl.
I've used mostly green and blue shades of glass paint.  Unfortunately, the 3D silver outline and small motifs do not stand out in this photo.


Pink Fantasy purse note pads

One of my favourite colours is pink and I am also fond of mettalic shades in cardstock.  I made these "purse type" covers for lined pads.  They open either from the sides or bottom of the pads.   You will need strong glue to adhere lined pad to the card stock. To decorate....all kinds of delicious possibilities.  They fasten with a small velcro piece glued to the underside of the flap.

I've stamped this one with (as you can see) butterflies from a stamp set gifted to me by Joe Roberts from England.  I used my scallop circle punch to make the dark pink "clasp" and scattered some gems for added dazzle.  By now you've noticed I love glitz !  The stiff pink and silver strip is from the busy marketplace in Mumbai (of which I've mentioned in my previous post) and is sold in bunches of 9 yards each.  Why 9 yards ?  Because generally, the length of a saree is 9 yards and these ribbon strips are stitched onto otherwise plain sarees, as borders.


I call this Pink Paisley.   To one side of the design paper, I've glued on pink rick rack.  I've cut out two motifs from the same paper and decorated the two ends of the flap.  I stamped the label shape onto thick cardstock of a darker pink shade, cut it out and embellished it with two floral "gems".   

Pink Lace
This is also giftwrap paper that looks like fabric and even feels like it.  The background is almost transparent and the flowers are lined with silver so there was no need for more embellishment.  
Hydrangea & candy stripes.
The hydrangea motif and butterfly were cut out from old cards.  I mounted the hydrangea picture on stiff paper, cut it into shape and stuck it on the cover.  The candystripe bit on the flap is again giftwrap paper.  The stripes have a gilt edge which does not show in my pics.
What do you think of them ?
You will find a post my mini notebooks here.
Stamps used: Papertreyink's Take Note set.

If you do make anything from my blog and post it on yours please be sure to give me credit and a link back to my blog.


Ceramic Planter

This was an ordinary ceramic planter I picked up from a busy market place in Mumbai.
I painted it with acrylics in matt shades except for the orchid petals which are pearlescent.
The charm of Mumbai lies in its bazaars.  I often go to Bhuleshwar, which is one of the densest areas of South Mumbai, to hunt for trinkets and embellishments for my craft.  Although the lanes are very narrow and teem with people, I enjoy the ambience of the place. This is one of those neighbourhoods where you can slip back effortlessly into old Bombay.  There's a myriad of colours, sights and smells.  Sometimes I go just for the pleasure of exploring the numerous nooks and crannies where old houses rub shoulders with ancient temples.  You never know what “crafty” treasures you will come across.
Thanks for visiting !

Mini notebooks

Hi everyone,
Whilst surfing to see what other people did with ordinary notebooks, I came across Wanda's works.  I also learned that decorated notebooks are called "altered notebooks".  I was inspired to make these mini ones from My Creative Corner.

I used a strip of faux metallic lace just above the edge of the opening flap.  I stuck it over double sided tape and then sprinkled dark pink glitter over it to cover any exposed tape.  Ofcourse this gives it extra bling !

It fastens with a bit of velcro.
If the cardstock is thick and you crease it well....

...there is no need to use any velcro...they close quite neatly, like the ones above.
A small tip I got from the net.....If you don't have a bone folder, use a butter knife.  I use the latter and the result is fine.
Have an enjoyable day !

I would appreciate your valuable comments.
If you do make anything from my blog and post it on yours please be sure to give me credit and a link back to my blog.


Friday, 28 September 2012

Mushroom Curry

More than 10 years ago, this recipe of mine was featured on Joe Barkson's World Wide Recipes.   It brought me in contact with other food cultures and some of the people I met online, are email friends till date.  Two of them visited Mumbai so we could meet personally.

I'd like to share this recipe, and many more, with those of you who love Indian food.
Mushroom Curry  
200 gms. fresh white button mushrooms - cleaned and halved
1 medium sized onion (chopped very fine)
1 tbspn. Oil.  I use sunflower oil.
1 cup unflavoured yogurt (beat it till no lumps can be seen)
half cup tomato puree.  I use fresh tomatoes. 
( chop 2 tomatoes and grind them to a smooth paste in your mixie)
1 teaspoon heaped, Indian garam masala.
One cup chicken stock or vegetable stock (I use one small Maggie cube)*
half tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste (if using a Maggie cube,  go easy on the salt)
Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish. 

Heat oil and fry onions to a golden brown colour. Add tomato puree and fry till juice evaporates.
Add the garam masala Keep stirring for 5 min.
Put in the yogurt and stir for 4 minutes. Add  chilli powder and salt if necessary. Stir for a minute.
Throw in the mushrooms and stir till coated with mixture.
Finally add the stock and simmer for 10 min.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice or parathas (Indian flat bread). 
If you want a smoother curry and with a little more volume -
Slice the onion fine and after it is fried to a golden brown, let it cool a bit. Use a slotted spoon, take it out from the oil and put it in the mixie.  Add the fresh, chopped tomatoes and blend this to a smooth paste. Takes only half a minute. Put this back into the cooking pan and proceed further with recipe.
*Check that your Maggie cube does not contain MSG (ajinomoto) i.e. if you have diet restrictions.

More Money Envelopes

It's time to make more money envelopes !
all together now.......

a closer look..

That's it for now.  See you later.  Bye.....

If you do make anything from my blog and post it on yours please be sure to give me credit and a link back to my blog.


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Ganesh Festival

A festival to commemorate the birth of Lord Ganesha
Ganesh Chaturthi is a religious Hindu festival which celebrates the birth of  Lord Ganesha (the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati). According to mythological anecdotes, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the god of good fortune and prosperity. This Hindu festivity lasts for 12 days and according to the Hindu calendar, usually falls between 20 August and 15 September each year. This year, Ganesh Chaturthi began with zeal on September 19. It is an important festival and observed with fervour in India but especially in our state i.e. Maharashtra of which Mumbai is the capital.  During this period, Hindus maintain a strict vegetarian diet.
Lord Ganesha is easily recognized for his elephant head irrespective of his other attributes. About his birth there are numerous myths and traditional stories. According to legend, Lord Shiva, the Hindu God of resolution, was away at war. Pavarti his wife wanted to bathe. She set her son, Ganesha, to stand guard at her door and instructed him not to let anyone enter. In the meantime, Lord Shiva, after a long time, returned from battle. Ganesha and Shiva did not know each other. Ganesha stopped Shiva from entering Parvati's chamber. Shiva, enraged by Ganesh’s impudence, cut off his head. Pavarti emerged to find her son decapitated and flew into a rage. She threatened destruction to Heaven and Earth. Fearing the inevitable, Shiva to pacify Parvati, went out to bring the head of the first living being with his head towards the north (the auspicious direction associated with wisdom). He came across an elephant. So he brought the head of this elephant and placed it on the trunk of Parvati's son and breathed life into him. Parvati was overjoyed and embraced her son, the elephant-headed boy who is revered as the preserver of all good things and prevents Vigna (meaning obstruction/bad omen).
Ganesha being taken to a "mandap"

Devotees across India offer prayers and prepare sweet dishes. Markets are embellished and skilled artisans start crafting clay models of Lord Ganesha in various poses, a few months earlier to the mega-event. People install Ganesh idols in different themed "mandaps" in well decorated lanes or squares in the city. The statues are decorated with glittering lights and colourful flower garlands. A range of cultural activities are also organized to observe this festival. The celebration starts on a grand note with the chanting of mantras and prayers offered by a priest clad in white or red. Loads of sweets and flowers are offered to Lord Ganesha.

Many families also install smaller statues in their homes and chant hymns to show reverence. They invite family and friends (irrespective of religion) to their homes. 

"Modaks"  - traditional sweet dumplings specially prepared during this period.

All roads leading to the sea are closed for traffic on the last day of the festival.

The celebration concludes after more than a week by submerging the statue in a river or in the ocean.  Immersions take place on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th day of the festival.  This Saturday, 29th September is the last day.  The sound of drums will reverberate through the city, the streets will be strewn with flower petals and the smell of incense will fill the air. The city will bid adieu to its favourite deity.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Simone's Tissue holder

Hi everyone,

Our daughter Simone painted this while she was still in college.  We have been using it ever since (more than 10 years) and as you can see, it looks as good as new.

It is from her that I learned how to paint on glass, ceramic and acrylic.

 This is one side....

.... and the other side
I love her choice of colours.
I would appreciate your valuable comments.
If you do make anything from my blog and post it on yours please be sure to give me credit and a link back to my blog.