Category Archives: Artsy Craftsy

Bubbles and a colourful 100!


This is my 100th post – Yay!

Shruti guessed it! Our bubble wrap block print for the Artsy Craftsy June is here:

Cut out bubble wrap in desired shapes and print. Make sure the air in the bubble is intact for better effect. Make sure that you don’t take to much paint – it’ll get smudged.
The Rooster & Peacock: (Inspired by Tulika’s Rooster and the Sun) The rooster and peacock are friends and they were playing. The rooster saw the sun and smiled and the peacock saw the clouds and started to dance.

The Dirty Peahen: This peahen didn’t listen to amma and fell into a ditch and got dirty. Now no one is playing with him.

Flowers for Ummachi: This one is my favourite because it was conceived and designed and executed entirely by Pattu. Story by Pattu as well: There are no flowers for ummachi in the sky (which is why we keep flowers for ummachi here…you see?) so Pattu has planted some flowers in the sky. Potato carved for flower and pegs and blocks for clouds.

Hand PrintPattu who loved colour: Inspired by Tulika’s, ‘The boy who loved colour’, Pattu painted her hands (in fact the whole of her arms and legs..)

Okra Art: The Caterpillar who loved flowers. This one is also pattu’s work – almost 90%. There’s a caterpillar who liked to eat flowers and not leaves and when he became a butterfly he wore flower printed wings.

These two are newspaper strip art that we had done earlier… not for the Artsy Craftsy…We painted whole sheets of newspaper in different colours and cut them into strips and smaller bits. Then drew an outline and stuck the strips within the shape…


Artsy Craftsy – May Entries

Here is our entry to the Artsy Craftsy Challenge for May. 
Edited to add some more… and some more details
Plate Art – This one is simple. Just pick up a Styrofoam plate and paint it.

Earring and Necklace Stand – Simple again. Thermocol board, painted.

Flower Float (It kept moving on water so couldn’t get a good water shot)
This is a styrofoam bowl cut into the flower shape and painted.

A leaf wall hanging
Thermocol board cut into the shape of a leaf and painted. Mount it on a cardboard and hang it up on the wall.

This time, Pattu was so very involved in this whole thing. The room was a mess every evening and am sure my maid is expecting an extra sum for clearing up every day.
Entry 1. The Photo Frames – Mother’s day gift from Pattu to both Grandmoms. Two thermocol boards, one cut out in the center to make space for the picture and stuck on top of the base board with just a slit on one side through which the picture can be slipped in. There’s a slit at the top to actually insert the picture and it is operational 🙂
Pattu did some base colouring and me the details. One has pista and sea shells (coloured by Pattu) stuck to it.
Entry 2 – A Pen Stand – This was Pattu’s idea. She accidentally poked a hole in that styrofoam bowl and I surprised her by calling it a ‘neat idea’!
 Entry 3 -Pattu’s Room (sans the mess)

Entry 4 -Arty Clips – Pattu did base colouring and me the details. Cut out shapes on a styrofoam plate and paint them. Stick it on a clip (the ones we use for clothes?). I wanted a wooden clip ideally but couldn’t find one. I feel the clips are a bit too big for the shapes here…they should cover up the entire clip.
Entry 5 – Streamer – Stringed assortment. Pattu did all the colouring but for the details on the butterfly. She even broke one of the tail fins of the fish
 Entry 6 – A house and a park – Pattu’s Caretaker’s kids had come over and they did this. Such wonderful girls!

Artsy Craftsy – April

Edited to add:
Shruti asked me to share my clay recipe and here it is:

For the clay –

The recipe said
1. tear paper into strips and soak overnight
2. Grind it into a pulp using a blender
3. Add glue and knead into dough
4. Make whatever you want

and you could add some colours while grinding if you want some interesting combination and patterns…

But what I found while trying to make this:

1. Soaking for couple of days makes it softer to grind and the lower the quality of paper the better – eg TOI is better than Hindu in this context 😀
2. Blender doesn’t do a great job – the paper gets lumpy and clog up. I had to mash it a bit with hands and then use the blender – better still, the grinder. Also, you need some water for it to grind. I tried using some soaked methi and it works because it adds a bit of sliminess which helps the blending
3. Since I couldn’t avoid water while grinding, I squeezed the water out before adding glue
4. My glue:pulp ratio was something like 1:3. I used fevicol.
5. Then I made all of these… I used some bowls for the form – I should remember to use Shruti’s tips next time. And for some of the bowls I applied a very thin layer of pulp which became thinner when it dried. The thicker ones are more sturdy.
6. And for the lady, I made a skeleton with an iron wire – I wanted to make one who would be able to stand on her two feet but my pulp collapsed.
7. My sheep, mushrooms, fish, tortoise and Ganesha were nice and fat when I made them but they shriveled up on drying and the sheep got a sprain in the neck as he also couldn’t stand on his fours and hence had to make him lie down. I think my pulp/ clay wasn’t thick enough.

Then after drying and after the struggle to separate the bowls from the form, I used acrylic, undiluted to paint them all. The insides of the bowls were easier to pain since the surface was smoother…

On the whole – 2 days to soak paper, 4 hours to grind and make all the stuff, 2 days for drying (3 days of struggle to get them apart) 2 hours to paint them all and 1 night for paint to dry.

Here goes…

All but one of the bowls were made from paper mache clay…

Art on a Platter – Group Photo

A Gopika and a tribal woman – same piece painted differently on either side. Two shallow bowls, Fish – again the same fish painted differently on either side, two withered mushrooms, a sheep with a sprain in the neck and a Tortoise…

See some flowers that the tribal woman is picking?? A Ganesha who hasn’t had his quota of kozhukattais and the bowls …

The bowls up close – kitschy, drippy, sprinkly and all…

A peek into the making…


A goofy tale

My paper mache stuff has dried crisp in the hot Chennai sun for the Artsy Craftsy Challenge. But let me share the making of the *great piece of art* by the eternal goof…
This is my first attempt at paper mache with recipes that I gathered from few sites. By the looks of the specimen, I don’t think I got either of the recipes right – my FIL was going to dump the ‘hideous looking lump’ around the plants thinking it was cow dung LOL!  I tried the strips as well as the clay – but they just refused to leave the containers that I used for the form *ROFL*! So, I told Shruti that if I manage to pull them apart without much damage, she’ll find an entry from the Pattu household…
Did they part? Well, we forced them apart. Quite a struggle it was and you will see the evidence on the piece(s) of art. I think I used too much glue. My maid and Pattu’s care taker told me that the glue is not required – it seems that they just mash the pulp with methi seeds soaked in water and that’s enough. I should have taken the wisdom instead of waving it off with my ‘google’ confidence. They laughed and laughed and laughed at my struggle 😦
The painting is WIP – watch out!



… we came third at the Artst-Craftsy Challenge, though huffing and puffing 😀 .. Here’s the entry
I thank my husband for sacrificing the loofah (though it was stolen when he was away) and Pattu for successfully pulling out parts of her hair clip which inspired the princess idea…( I would have thanked my dog and my dinosaur but I don’t have one …)

But seriously you guys – Shruti and TPL , are awesome! Some effort and passion it takes to do something like this… I’m gonna flaunt this badge

Shruti, TPL – the cards & the puppet look lovely! 

Well, we tried….


Here’s Pattu’s entry for the March challenge. With Pattu, it is very difficult to hold her attention for long. So I had to think of ideas that can get done in less than 10 mins – that was my challenge (besides the fact that I am not particularly creative i.e,).
So, we started by making the paper plate clowns where she had to only stick things on to a plate and boy did she enjoy it! She wanted to convert all the plates in the house into clowns. 

What we used for the paper plate clowns: two rings from a toy for the eyes, a red hair band cut and stuck for the mouth and a black hair band cut and shredded for the hair. I did the cutting part while Pattu did the rest as instructed.
Then we found a bath scrub and wrapped it over a ball. We fastened it behind with some hair clips (one of the pics will reveal this :D) and cut out some packing material for the eyes and the mouth. To be honest, we wanted to make a cute looking puppy but this one ended up looking like a forlorn alien LOL! Here too, I helped with the cutting and Pattu did the rest…with a bit of struggle.

The gloves gave us an idea – the dwarfs. Black wool for the hair, black dots for eyes and red painted smile.
Then we rummaged further to find the loofahs – The maiden’s dress is a fluffy loofah. We found a hair clip that had the girl. Inspired by that, Pattu’s care taker thought of another maiden with a paper fan dress so that the loofah maiden had company. Pattu liked the fan folding…
Then the duckling – that’s another loofah with a handle. We found some pegs to go as the eyes and the beak is a pistachio shell coloured red using crayon. Pattu did all of this.
Then we had to make a story around it…. so, there it goes… phew!

 The story is in verse (because I am very lazy) and this is how it goes:

Slide 2

The little alien was lost and sad
He couldn’t find his mom and dad
Where are you,
oh where have you gone?
Will you be back by 
the break of dawn? 
Slide 2

The five happy dwarfs came along
And played a happy peppy song
Nothing seemed to
cheer him though
Home was just where
he wanted to go

Slide 2

The plate clowns vowed to make him smile
And they tried and tried for a long while
The little one just turned away
The clowns didn’t know what to say

Rest of the story…

Slide 2

Then came the maidens, with dimples and curls
They danced around and did some twirls
‘Oh no’, said the dwarfs and the clown
How do we get him to throw that frown 
Slide 3

Then came a ducking lost and scared
She is lost and no one cared
The alien cuddled her, ‘come let’s play’
He sang, he danced, he made her gay
The dwarfs, the clowns, the maidens broke into a song
Happy and merry, they danced along

So, that’s that….