And when in love..

… 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:)

And here is output:


Potpourri – Home made

It was one of the holiday assignments for Vyas.. The first batch of leaves, flowers, lemon/orange peels turned black with fungus when we tried to dry them.. So we trashed it and started all over again and this is what we did:


Flowers used- Few roses (2-3 varieties), jasmine, magnolia (sampangi?)
Leaves – Lemon, mint, tulsi, corn earns
Peels/Vegs – Orange, lemon, a baby corn, the center of a capsicum with the seeds intact
Spices – Cloves, cardomom, cinnamon, fennel seeds
Oil – Few drops of Rose and Sandalwood oil each


1. Put all the ingredients (other than the oil), together in a large bowl and leave it for a day so it becomes limp
2. Shade dry them for 3-4 days
3. When dry, put them in a bowl and add few drops of rose and sandal oil and toss them lightly
4. Arrange them neatly in a bowl and adorn any spot in your house..

Tips: The corn, corn ears, capsicum etc are for mere decoration.. The orange peel can also be cut like a flower and dried.. Use your imagination and turn just about anything into a potpourri ingredient!


Last work-week this year is like this- Artistic!

What you think about these art works by my colleagues?

By colleague K: Guess the objects in these pics. Besides the coolers of course!

By colleague A: He did this for a modern Christmas theme contest in his Church. It measures around 8 ft. in length- nose to tail!!! Loved it! What say you people? See, am surrounded by creative people:)

Its a sin if you don’t contribute anything to your cubicle’s creativity or at least make an attempt. So signing off with this humble drawing by yours truly around the laptop-lock-hole on my desk to avoid yawing post a heavy lunch- meant to be a ‘kaala-tika/dhristi pottu’ for above arts:

Wish you all a happy, rocking year ahead!!

Bird Collage

Vyas is programmed to remember school assignments delivery just on the day before the D-line. That is, if it involves any craft. He is probably aware that his mommy is wired not to refuse cooperation. He had to come up with 2 crafts involving birds and this is what we did.


We used the box of a board puzzle game for the base. Idea courtesy- Vyas. Had not stocked up any charts and the colored scrap paper-book did not have one full decent page that was not cut up! Following are the materials used for filling:

1. An old pair of white socks – for the white-furred portion of the pingu’s body
2. A black satin band – for the black furred arm portion
3. M-seal – for the nails, feet & beak outline
4. Tea-dust – for the tail and filling the feet
5. Corn-rava plus yellow glass paint – for the yellow portion on the breast, neck and beak. Vyas kept saying it looked like butter-scotch ice-cream:). The book from which I lifted the drawing idea had the yellow-coloring. Not sure if all the penguins really have them. It looked nice and that is all that mattered:)
6. Black felt cloth cut into small pieces from an old un-finished embossed painting kit – for the pingu’s face.
7. Glue.

Yours truly did the drawing outline. The sticking was done by the junior. I helped with stretching the socks to fit the shape! Finally, we stuck a transparent glass sheet stretching on the entire box giving it a framed-photo look. I forgot to click a pic of the final product..

Making of Pingu

Time taken: 2 hours. Of which 1 hr was spent finalizing what kind of collage we need to come up with. The ideas from the master included one super bird with a lot of sub-sets of smaller ones, or sticking pics of various types or beaks and claws to form the body of a larger bird, a model of a bird with real feathers, ithyadi. I had to remind my fellow that a bird on paper/board was worth 10 in the mind! Well in this case, while all his ideas were awesome, something churned out quick and simple was the need of the hour! And it was decided we’ll do one easy bird and fill it up. Eagle, Kingfisher, Vulture, Woodpecker, Humming bird et al were in the reckoning and Pingu won. Another 30 mins was spent on turning the kitchen upside-down looking for things to fill the pic with. To our utter dismay we found only the corn-rava and tea dust there! And then some bulbs flashed and we quickly tore up an old pair of socks and a black band. Thus Pingu was born.

Penguin Collage

Mobile Birds

The next day, Vyas told be about another deadline the following day. And we had to make what he called ‘mobile birds’ and for reference, he showed a picture of something like a wind chime with birds hanging. “We’ll quickly go and buy few plastic birds and string them, okay? ” he said. It was 8.30 PM. He had to make good with few posture cards I’d stocked. I drew only one picture- the yellow woodpecker. He drew and colored the rest.

Materials used:

1. Posture cards (cards of thick chart paper used to make flash cards)
2. Crayon colors
3. Twine bits
4. Ice-cream sticks
5. Cello-tape
6. A curtain ring.
7. Glue

The picture explains the rest..

Birds Chime
Birds Chime

Craft using thermocol

After much contemplation, I decided to ask Vyas if we shall do some craft work using thermocol. I told him that there is a Shruti aunty holding some contest on the web and if he helped, we could come up with something. He immediately suggested we do a model train with an engine, a coach and 8 pairs of wheels. He hunted for something in his room and came up with a thermocol used for packaging for a toy, I guess a remote-operated car.

So, coming up is our entry for the Arstsy Craftsy challenge:


Went to a shop on my way back from work, got a couple of quick-fix tubes and fevicol. I already had some fabric, poster, and glass paints and decided to manage with what we had. After dinner, we cut something like the body of an engine and another simple rectangle for a coach and managed to cut nearly neat circles for the wheels. Then glued the engine and the body first, then the wheels and decided to proceed after it really gets fixed. Keeping Varun at bay while we were at it was a big challenge. After 30 mins, we took out the colors, brush et al, and what did we find? The quick-fix had eaten into the thermocol!! And the pieces where lying few millimeters apart!! Disappointed! We abandoned the rest of the work for the night!

The whole week went by and we did not have a bigger piece intact. I had to buy on one of the days if I managed to reach home early, and so deferred the affair for the weekend. Wanted to try something more easier and simpler as Sunday was the only day available. Shruti had done some painting and craft with thermocol plates and thought I’ll try something on the same lines. And this is what we came up with on Sunday.

A decorative tray, a candle holder, a flower… call it anything.

It took around 10 minutes to cut the 2 plates. I originally wanted to stack one on top of each and arrange it like a flower-vase. But like the individual products better:)

For coloring the base for the pink one, I used green fabric color with fevicol. The rest of the colors (the yellow, red, pink etc) are a mix of Fevircryl glass colors and a pink left-over color from an embossed painting kit. Coloring took 10 mins for each plate and the drying time was about 1 hour. The total making time was 50 minutes for both put together. Vyas colored the pink flower and part of the base plate for the yellow one.


Yellow flower tray

1.Cut 2 inches deep along the lines in the plate.
2.Lift the alternate strips slightly with your fingers.
3.Color based on your gut feeling:) to please your eyes.
4.Color another plate for the base with alternate color and decorate as desired.
5.After the base plate dries, glue a bottle lid (juice or a pickle bottle lid) to the center.
6. Fix the top flower designed plate to this lid.

The flower tray is ready.

Thermocol craft : flower tray
Thermocol craft : flower tray

Pink lotus candle holder

1. Cut along a lines a little deeper leaving a small circle in the middle.
2. Lift the alternate strips as above.
3. Slip an unused think bangle pulling the centre strips inside so that the strips are brought closer like a bud.
I used an wooden bangle which was a little big for me:)
4 Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 above.

Thermocol craft : Candle holder
Thermocol craft : Candle holder

Cutting smaller circles and stacking one on top of the other must look good. Must try. Kids in the age group 7 to 10 will find it easy.

More pics:

Thermocol craft : Candle holder & Tray
Thermocol craft : Candle holder & Tray
Thermocol craft : the four plates
Thermocol craft : the four plates
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