Sunday, February 26, 2012

Finding a Department Store in Paris

The star attraction of this wall art is the lovely french label of a department store from the Graphics Fairy. There are hundreds and thousands of fabulous vintage images there but I favorites are usually are the labels. The mat for the label was woven into the canvas using embroidery floss. I distressed the label and affixed it to the woven mat. For more texture, I crackled the outer areas of the canvas. The glass pieces which were backed with bits of Paris map (again from Graphics Fairy)  completes the piece.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Palm Leaf Book

One of my favorite book formats is the palm leaf book. It is a very ancient book format prevalent in India and other South-Asian and South-eastern countries. Palm leaves were one of the earliest writing materials to be used and initially they were used for religious texts. Eventually their use expanded to include art and other subjects. The leaves were made into a book by stringing them through either a single hole or two holes. Often, the top most leaf was covered with panels of wood, ivory, or other hard material that were often elaborately decorated with carving, inlays, painting, or precious stones. Even today, one can still find in some Hindu temples the resident astrologer  reading astrological predictions from palm leaf manuscripts. The format continues to be popular in folk art.

Anyway, I decided to make a palm leaf book myself. Obviously, I did not have access to palm leaves. Instead, I used Arches rough 140 lib watercolor paper. I painted the paper first using a combination of olive and sap green to give it a look of palm leaf. Then I antiqued the edges using distress stains. I cut the paper into 13 strips of equal width and length. On each strip, I adhered a scrap of vintage music paper and a thin layer of mulberry paper. Then I sewed the strips together. I wrote a a quote by Indira Gandhi, carefully spreading the lines across all the strips. I adhered a piece of vintage looking ribbon on the top most strip and attached a length of string to wrap the manuscript. 

The quote is biting and true and appealed to me:

"There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first. There is less competition there".

Indira Gandhi

This piece of mixed media art is in response to Ginger Snap Words of Wisdom Challenge

Thanks for visiting.

Yarn Wrapped Decorative Box

Sometimes, inspiration and a good product come about unexpectedly. Like the box above. Last night after dinner, I had about two hours to kill before going to bed. I decided to try out a new idea for decorating the box. I have seen bottles wrapped with knitting yarn and I wanted to see if it would work on a wooden box. I already had all the supplies on hand including time. So, I set out to play a little.

Two and a half hours later it was done and I absolutely loved how it turned out.  Here is how I did it:

Supplies and Materials:

1 small box (wood, cardboard, paper mache etc.)
Knitting yarns of different colors, fairly thick
Glue (I used Sobo, you can also use Modge Podge); craft stick for applying glue
craft paints and scrap papers

I first sanded and painted the sides and the insides of the box and lined the inside top and bottom with scrap paper. Then started applying the yarn to the sides with the glue. It is easy to wrap around if one works with a long string of yarn. To cover the top of the box, I cut and glued single strands of yarn lengthwise. I finished the piece with a piece of embroidery from a discarded top.

Went to bed very happy!

This and several other decorative boxes are available in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

For Lunch Today: Rava Semia Iddly

My lunch (actually brunch) today is rava (cream of wheat) and semia (vermicelli) iddly with spice powder and pulled madras coffee. Take a look below:

Iddly with spice powder (aka mulagai podi)

Pulled Madras Coffee


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DIY: Artist Canvas Wall Clock

The idea of using a paint canvas to make a wall clock came to me quite accidentally. After a frustrating search for a wall clock that was reasonably priced, one that matched the rest of the decor of my living room and was of the right size, I decided to make it myself. A search on the internet for ideas came up with many using ceramic plates, which, for many reasons did not appeal to me. While I was still waiting for that eureka moment, I joined Traci Bautista's called Doodles Unleashed, the first of three online workshops run by Stathmore's Artist Studio.  For lesson one, I created this doodle art using an artist canvas that was first covered with vintage papers and painted and stenciled with various found objects.

Used for stenciling

I loved the way it turned out and that was when it hit me that I could turn this canvas into a clock. Off I went to Michaels to buy a clock kit and came up with this!

As you can see, it is not a very functional clock because the busy background obscured the numbers. I removed the clock unit and covered the design with a green paint mixed with glaze, which created a transparent layer letting the design beneath show through. I put back the clock unit and now it looked like this:

This was better and I was happy with it. For a week. The numbers were beginning to look too small and brassy. Went to Michaels again and got another number set in a larger size. They too were in metallic brass but I painted over them black with a deco art pen. Here is the final version (for now!).

Thanks for visiting.

Submitted to Gingersnap Creations Color Challenge Glorious Greens

P.S. I will post detailed instructions for making the clock soon.