Thursday, June 23, 2016

Paper Cut Art: Saffron

Papercut by Indira

Do-Something-Everyday, June 23, 2016

 Saffron, mainly used in the cuisines of India and the Middle East, is the most expensive spice in the world. It is derived from the flower of Crocus sativus.  Each crocus bears about four flowers, each with three red stigmas known as threads.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

The threads are harvested by hand and dried to be used both as a flavoring and a colorant in food. Each flower produces about twelve threads and about 125 flowers are needed to produce one gram of saffron threads. The labor costs involved in the cultivation and the limited amount produced by the plants are the main reasons for the high cost of saffron. Thankfully, only a small amount is needed to add distinctive flavor and yellow color to food. To make the most of  the small amount of dried saffron, soak it in a few teaspoons of warm milk for a few minutes before adding it just as the dish approaches doneness. When buying saffron, which are sold at all Indian grocery stores, buy a small amount at a time, and store it in the freezer.

I love the taste and the color of saffron and it finds its way in many of the milk based desserts that I make. Below is Eggless Indian Tapioca Pudding topped with threads of saffron.  The complete recipe post is found here.

Thanks for visiting. Linked to Paint Party Friday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

View From the Window

Do-Something-Everyday, June 22, 2016

There is nothing wrong in catching a squirrel waking up from its nap and grooming itself. Sometimes, I spend the afternoon this way :).

This is the window in my studio from where I catch the backyard action. Enjoy.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It is All About Summer

Do-Something-Everyday, June 21, 2016

This is my rendition of the scientific phenomenon known as electromagnetism in a three-dimensional format. The idea for it came after seeing digital rendition of protein molecules in the shape of ribbons, tendrils and corkscrews in the chemistry magazines that my husband, who is a chemist, subscribes to.

Electromagnetism is one of the fundamental forces of nature that regulate the movement of particles. To represent this phenomenon in art form,  I used a stretched canvas, embroidery threads, metallic beads and paints. I edged the borders with a map of the world to emphasize its material aspects.

I am posting this art to celebrate the beginning of summer yesterday which was astronomically a rare event with summer solstice and full moon happening on the same day.

Today is International Yoga Day. Here is elephant Lochanadevi doing her Sun salutation. This box and other yoga art are  available in my Etsy shop . 

With the summer just starting, the rudbeckias are beginning to show their bright faces to the world. They really make me happy.

Thanks for visiting. Linked to Art Journal Journey which has Maps as the theme this month.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Morning Art Fix

Do-Something-Everyday, June 20, 2016

For this Monday morning, I am posting two pieces of art. The first one is for I am the Diva czt this week's challenge which is Black, White and Red all over. My kind of color scheme.

The one below is a watercolor of the gorgeous magnolias that have been blooming all this month on my front yard.

The letter this week for ABC Wednesday is X.  It is hard to come up with a word that starts with X. Melanie's X is the symbol for kisses and hugs (XO). Mine is more prosaic. If you ever did a spreadsheet on the computer, you will recognize this logo. Yes, the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel! If you can be excited about this X, you are welcome!

Thanks for visiting. Linked to Paint Party Friday

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Old as in Historic

Do-Something-Everyday, June 20, 2016

This week's theme at Our Beautiful World is "Old".  (Also, linked to this week's  Image-in-ing.) I am posting photos of some really "old" (historic) buildings: The Forum, Rome, Italy and the Big Temple, Tanjore, Tamilnadu, India. The buildings of the Forum are ancient; the Big Temple built in the 12th century is relatively young.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Embroidery on Canvas Mixed Media Sari Art

Do-Something-Everyday, June 16, 2016

This mixed media art is constructed on a 8" by 10" canvas. At the center is a hand drawn and painted peacock (as you may have guessed, it is one of my favorite birds, in addition to being India's national bird). Around the bird I doodled a dense pattern that adds a great deal of texture. More texture has been given with hand embroidered stitches around the bird which has been embellished with sequins (photo below).

I must confess, it started out differently (see photos below). My original intent was to create this piece on paper (with fabric border) and then mount it on canvas. Half way through, I became dissatisfied with the paper which was too thick and hard to embroider on. So, I ditched the whole thing and started over again this time directly on canvas. I skipped the fabric and instead added doodle on four sides framing the image.

 Thanks for visiting. Linked to Paint Party Friday and Moo Mania.

P.S. Forgot to mention that it is now available for purchase at my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Wrong Season: Grand Canyon in Winter

Do-Something-Everyday, June 14, 2016

Here in the northern hemisphere it is summer and it is decidedly wacky to post wintry photos for the ABC Wednesday challenge where this week's letter is W. However, if we step out of the north-centric worldview, it is winter in southern hemisphere. These are photos I took of the Grand Canyon when I visited it one December with my friend from Phoenix. It was pretty snowy on the elevations and without doubt beautiful. This is the first time I am posting these photos.

Thanks for visiting.