… with Cricket and the Cricketer Ashwin, everything gets painted blue. Including a school project. The convo went thus:
Varun: Amma, I’ve got to make a t-shirt from a chart. Need your help.
Me: Done. I’ll do the sketching.
Varun: Okay. A round-neck t-shirt, Okay?
Me: Can we do one with a cute collar?
Varun: No ma. You just draw the shape and cut. I’ll do the ‘detailing’. (he said that!)
Me: Alright. What ‘details’ are you going to add.
Varun: I have an idea. You first cut the shape.
I draw the outline, and cut the shape. And then this chap brings out the model t-shirt and takes my help with fine-tuning his drawing. We finally end up adding a collar too because the model t-shirt has one:)
Varun attended a terracotta craft workshop for kids the weekend that just went by. Here are some wonders he created and will surely feature in our Golu next year. Thanks to Suja Shrikanth for teaching this amazing craft to the kids.
Varun’s ‘Dum-takas’ metamorphosed to a Pot/Vase because he tried all the Mridanga Chakravarthy tactics and tore both the ends. There were two dum-takas, one small and another bigger one. A part of the smaller one was affixed on top of the bigger one to make the pot.
Varun’s first school assignment, which amma did with the constant threat of the little one holding a handful of sketch pens over the chart, ready to doodle on it any minute.. He settled for another ‘quarter’ after some cajoling. Quarter chart I mean!
Forgive the poor Picasa edit effects.. The pics were a color print of a collage on a thick A-4 sheet.
Vyas’s had to do a model of one of the man-made wonders.. I was insisting on the Forbidden city, but he wanted to keep-it-simple and opted for the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Materials used: A 1 liter water bottle (a straight one, not too narrow at the mouth), 3 bricks of off-white moulding clay, few tooth-picks, a saree-box or puzzle-box cover or anything flat for the base, and fevicol glue.
1. Stuff the empty bottle with bits of waste paper to keep it tight and heavy.
2. Dot the glue lavishly on the outer surface and start patting the clay and spread using finger pressure.
3. Even out the surface using a rolling pin.
4. Roll out thin ‘snakes’ like Varun calls it, and make arch shapes.. There seem to be around 8 floors in the actual building. So 8 floors of arched shapes.
5. Layer the floors by making a ring and pinch them to make it flat. Make sure you keep dabbing the glue at all the stages where you do the sticking..
6. Slide or stick 2/3 tooth-picks between the arched shapes to give a ‘pillar’ appearance.
7. Fix the tower now onto a base with a little more clay on one side of the bottom and incline it slightly.
And you have the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
After we were done, the fellow remembered the following morning that it was a group activity and another girl had volunteered to make one and had also brought one. But was quick to add that it was an out-sourced project and was done for her brother the previous year!! And so, it does not count it seems!! Brat! Well, we enjoyed doing it though!
At the Chennai Book Fair this year, I spent a good five thousand rupees buying books for my brats and also to gift to a few other kids! At the end of the purchase, I figured out that I hadn’t bought a single book for myself! Now, be nice and say what a good mommy I am to endure such changes as putting myself last 🙂 It’s another thing that I got myself a Paper Quilling and a Madhubani Painting kit, something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time! But it does not count, right? The stuff was sitting idle on my shelf, with all the covers intact until the need came! Vyas had to do a greeting card for his mommy as part of his craft class, and his next project is a paper bag!
Here’s what he did with a little help from me.. I helped him roll the strips on the pin and he did the rest.. He insisted on using chamkis which i wasn’t too happy about, but it is his project and he did it the way he wanted it.. He wanted to keep in ‘simple’ not for the aesthetics aspect, but sheer laziness to spend a little extra time on intricate or elaborate designs! Lazy BUM! Still, it turned out nice.. He wouldn’t tell me what he was going to write on the card though.. I’ll get to see only when it is returned after assessment 😐
Vyas is happy because people will not be able to burst crackers:) Varun is neither here nor there.. He tried lighting a few sparklers and he did! But jumps out of his skin every time he hears an atom bomb explode some 100 miles away!
Here are the cards Varun made for his ‘payshkool’ teacher and her two assistants wishing them a happy Diwali. He held it out and told all and sundry that he did that himself. Which is true by the way. I helped cut a straw for the stalk, poured few drops of poster colours in a bowl he picked, gave him the white cards (that i use to make flash cards) and few bits of pencil shavings.. He made impressions of his thumb wherever I pointed, glued the other bits himself.. He seemed to enjoy doing it.. Must spend more craftsy-time with him… (that’s a note for myself:))
1.The pink flowers in two cards are finger paints. His thumb finger:)
2.One card has leaves made of green scrap paper and the other is made using straw.
3.The other flower petals are pencil shavings..
4.A coloured sequin is stuck in the center.
Submitting this entry for Shruti’s contest this month after a looooooooonnnnng time!
Vyas and I got ours hand dirty this weekend and are ready to spout a thesis on crafts using papier mache. According to Vyas, its a ‘wuuaaack’ affair till it dries. We made the following for his school project.
Surprisingly this time, he informed well ahead of the project deadline at school. He had written down the recipe to make papier mache, which itself resembled the mashed pulp.
“Okay, give, I’ll read what I’ve written” he said. “1. Soak some pieces of paper in water. Along with fenugreek seeds” and paused. “Ayyo amma, we forgot to get them fenugreek seeds from stationery shop!!”. He eyed me suspiciously when I told him that you buy it only from provision stores and that it is English for ‘vendhayam’. “I think it is Greek”, he observed. “The name says it”. Had to remind the fellow to go on with the procedure. “Grind the two to a smooth paste and mould into desired shapes. Maa, this sounds chappa easy”!
We stuck to the recipe and I can now say,”Preeti (mixer/grinder) kku naan guarantee”. Vyas looked on the verge of puking several times through the 30 minutes operation and my steady glare kept him at the job. Actually speaking, the smell emnating from ground newspaper is not all that nice. Specially Dina Malar.
Having decided to try 2 or 3 crafts (backup. what if we lose the train ticket. we will still have the monthly pass!) we tried making a tribal mask, a simple bowl, and a little bigger saucepan kind.
For the mask:
Spread the mache on an oiled plaintain leaf and let it dry. When it din’t dry enough under the fan overnight, we put it under the scorching sun the following day. Came off the leaf like a stiff poppadam, a little distorted: I badly wanted to dab some moisturizer on it. After colouring, we pierced/glued some toothpicks for the head gear;)
One more mold for the mask made on a balloon got ready this morning as we let it dry indoors. Easiest. Once dry, you’ll just need to pierce the balloon and it peels off on its own like that mask in the beauty parlour! Will post pics when ready.
For the bowls:
Used an inverted Bournvita lid for the smaller one, and a microwave bowl for the bigger one. Vyas coloured the smaller one, struck decorative-cello tapes on the edges of the bigger bowl.
We are now certified pros at making cow-dung pats. Vyas will need a heavier mask, that’s all!
After putting the mache onto the moulds, we must have stuck a sheet of paper onto the shapes. This would have given a smoother finish, and the painting would have been freckles-free. And sun-drying is a bad idea, specially for flat shapes.
Now tell me you really got scared seeing the mask and that you’ll have nightmares!!