Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chinese New Year: Year of the Rooster

Unlike the western new year which is fixed, Chinese new year is based on lunar calendar and will fall on the first new moon between 21 January and 20 February. The 2017 Chinese New year begins on January 28 and is called the Year of Rooster according to 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac. Those born in 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005 are known as Roosters. Specifically, 2017 is the year of Fire Rooster. Fire Roosters are known for being trustworthy, punctual and responsible. To commemorate the Year of the Rooster, I made this paper cut of a rooster crowing with the sun breaking out in the background. I used three layers of paper to get this effect. I particularly enjoyed the cutting the details on the rooster. 

I have been working on a series of herbal-themed papercuts and here is one I made this week. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs and I can almost smell its heady fragrance!

I also finished this illustrated recipe. A while ago, I posted here a version of it drawn on vinyl cloth using chalk pastels. This time, I drew an enhanced and a ore permanent version on wood using a hot pen.

Thanks for stopping by.

Linked Paint Party Friday. Thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting.

Monday, January 23, 2017


It is very windy and grey outside today here in New Jersey. Looking to brighten the mood, I found these sunny photos that I took during my trip to Santa Fe. New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment and you realize why when you look at its vast blue skies and large fluffy cheerful clouds. New Mexico is also a land of colors, predominantly copper and blue. These photos were taken at the Native American Museum and the Folk Art Museum plaza and at Abiquiu.

Linked to Our Beautiful World and Image-in-ing.

Also linked to ABC Wednesday. My words for C are Clouds and Colors. See below.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Creativity in New Year

So far, January 2017 has been very productive for me. I have been doing good amount of art and craft. I have been a tad slow in sharing them here but hope to make it up in this post.

The top photo is a sketchbook doodle I did consisting of only spirals drawn using just dots. It was a good exercise to perk ones spirits up. I finished it off with a semi camouflaged word. Can you spot it? I am linking this to this week's Moo-Mania.

The one below is a cigar box that I altered using a coat of black chalk paint and Martha Stewart's copper foil. The gilding was done using a woodburning tool since I did not foiling adhesive. I like the soft effect this technique has produced. Linked to Try it on Tuesday's Anything but Square.

The one below was inspired by museum piece at Victoria and Albert museum. As a kid I used to love drawing Indian jewelry. I thought I had outgrown that. Obviously not! This is an 18th century turban jewel made of gold and encrusted with rubies, diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. Sketched and colored on black vinyl cloth using Prism Nupastels.

Linked to Paint Party Friday. Thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting.

The pillows below are made from the end piece (called pallu) of old saris. Indian saris have three parts: border, body and end piece. It is on the border and the end piece that the designers and the weavers unleash their creativity and which end up being work of art in and of themselves. Long after the body of the sari is worn out, the end piece invites to be displayed in new ways. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Art on Wall

I had painted this half of the living room wall in teal a couple of years ago. Recently, we got some new furniture for the living room and I wanted the wall to have a new look. I did not want to spend too much money on it but at the same time I wanted to make it personal. Since I knew how to draw and paint I decided to create a mural. It was a little daunting but a practical and commonsense approach made it manageable with a happy end result. Here is how I did it:

1. Since the wall was already painted blue, I decided to paint the mural in white. I used motifs and images that could be easily scaled up. At the same time, I avoided geometric or repeat designs to save on time. I used motifs that I am comfortable drawing such as flowers, leaves and birds. If you are starting with a white wall, you may want to paint your mural in many colors. 


2. I used ordinary craft paints (FolkArt) since they are not messy (unlike house paints) and are washable with water. Which meant that if any part of the mural did not come out the way I wanted, I simply wiped it off using a damp paper towel and painted over again. 

I used wax paper as the palette for the paint. It is cheap, easily available and disposable.

3. I used charcoal pencils to loosely draw the various elements. Charcoal pencil drawings, again, can be removed with a damp paper.

4. I used inexpensive round brushes in various sizes. It is good to have 1-2 smaller sizes (0-2) for adding details. A liner brush can also come handy. You can find inexpensive set in the art aisle of any craft store.

5. Finally, what helped me most was the thought that I was creating art not on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel but just on a little corner of my living room. I only had to please myself. 

I hope you feel inspired to create your own art on wall. If you feel unsure, start small in an area that is not too visible. Experiment with designs and colors and see what works and what does not. Once you feel comfortable, go big.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


On new year's eve, the temple stays open till midnight to herald the new year. Celebrating the start of a new year at a temple is something many Hindus do. Last night,  I went with my husband and daughter to the Venkateshwara temple at Bridgewater, New Jersey to ring in the new year. As we came out to the car I stopped for a minute to capture this image. 

Thanks for stopping by.