Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shadow Box

When a friend of mine asked me to make a shadow box for her son I was super excited. I had never made one before but I assumed that it wouldn’t be too different from a picture frame. And it wasn’t! Just needed more depth behind the glass and the shadow box was done!

Merry Christmas!

It is a little too late, but better late than never right?

Here are a few frames that I packed and sent on their way just a couple of days before Christmas.

The weird angle of photography on the second frame is cause no setting on the camera seemed to be able to capture the actual colours and beauty of the fabric. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On the Button

I’ve always loved buttons and have found a ton of cute button designs on the web. Since a friend asked me to create a frame for her and left the choice completely to me, I thought I’d  experiment with buttons. Here it is!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Over the past week I had to come up with picture frames for two brothers - one in college and the other working. One brother plays the guitar while the other plays the drums.

What do I make for big boys? You can never go wrong with black right? And white? So I came up with these. A 3-D guitar frame and a silhouette drums frame.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Pretty Little Snowflake

I have always felt a little strange about decorating with snowflakes. Seriously... snowflakes in Chennai?

But I couldn't resist these plastic ones that were selling at Rs. 20 for three at a store near our home. And they don't look as dreadful as I feared they would.

I then remembered that I had actually made a couple of snowflakes last year that I thought were really pretty. So who am I to criticize?

These were super easy to make. I just bought some stones (I really don't know what those things are called) and stuck them on a transparent plastic sheet (used to cover text books) and cut the plastic to shape. Then I outlined the design with silver sparkle glue and let it dry.

It so makes me want to sing Jim Revees' snowflake song.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Something Blue

Finally I got to work on something not pink! A friend's baby boy was born last week and I knew I had to use this opportunity and make that evasive blue picture frame. Another first Christmas ornament, but for a baby boy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ushering in the Season

With the dawn of December just around the weekend, I’m really excited but am also beginning to panic. With having to decorate ours, my parent’s and my in law’s homes all within the first week, it’s quite a daunting task at hand. And undeniably, bringing out the stored up fake trees and decorations also brings on a lot of cleaning and allergies. So between the sneezing and the cleaning and the running around, it’s only logical that I dread this season. But apparently my brain knows and understands no such inconveniences. The more the merrier it tells me. One house is boring. Three houses! How exciting is that! Putting up three Christmas trees, three stars, and three different decorating schemes to think off! Awesomeness I say!!!

So what’s the first thing I would do to welcome the season into our homes and lives? The festive wreath on the door! This year I thought I’d try and make a couple of wreaths instead of using the store bought ones . My husband cut and carved two thermocol wreaths and then I just spruced them up with some ribbon, pine cones, flowers and twigs. 

At Christmas, all roads lead home.  ~Marjorie Holmes

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

{AWESOMENESS} Green Thumb!

I’m surrounded by beautiful things everywhere I look. Along with the feeling of being absolutely blessed that floods me, my mind also very freakishly, in a very high pitched tone, screams “AWESOMENESS!!!” (All caps with three exclamatory points.) So AWESOMENESS would be posts paying tribute to all handcrafted things I see and love and the wonderful people who create them.

My first post in this series is about Divya from Bangalore, a super cool friend of mine. She has a wonderful hobby. Gardening. As age old as this hobby is, Divya’s super crafty too, and that should mean something. So she got to work and decided to spice up her balcony garden by adding character to her pots. Check out her work!

She followed these instructions and used the material shown below.

Here’s what she has to say to help.

“The stuff in the blue bottle is turpentine oil, that’s like the thinner for the paint/ varnish and primer. I got wood primer from Asian Paints, Asian Paints white paint (I asked for the trial pack that will go on wood) , and the varnish bit, I never used it at all , I think that will make it look nicer.

The first time, I didn't use enough turpentine oil, so the paint was super thick and took forever to dry, so make a thin coat instead and do another coat if you want to later.

For the pink shades I used Asian Paints red stainer with the white paint and for the violet shades I used Ujala (liquid blue) with the Asian paints white paint. And brushes are super cheap if you get them from a hardware store. The huge one you see in the picture is for Rs. 12. They have smaller and bigger sizes too.

For the "art" work, I used acrylic paint from Fevicryl.

After each coat, you have to let the coat dry: primer- 6 hrs, paint 4 hrs. Also ensure that you are working in an open, well ventilated area because the whole place smells like a car repair place. Turpentine oil smells like kerosene and the paint, when you smear it on yourself, has to be removed with turpentine oil. I am sure my domestic help suspects I try to kill myself every weekend...she keeps asking me why the place smells of kerosene :D”

I told you she was super cool, didn’t I?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Silk Route

A few weeks ago on my usual trip scouting for fabric and ribbons, I stumbled across the prettiest ribbon ever! It’s beige tulle (net) with a satin trim in the same colour. I just had to create something worthy of it. I finally decided to experiment with silk (which I had been avoiding because of how expensive the fabric is) and an opportunity came up as I had to make something extra special for a friend.

The beige tussar silk frame is accessorized with three ribbon flowers and some dried teak tree flowers stalks.

I used creamy white handmade paper for the backing of the frame.

And doesn't pretty things in pretty packages make everything so much better?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tickle me pink!

If I were a man, Harry from SATC would’ve described my life best – “It's my lot in life to be surrounded by beautiful women.” Man or not, it still describes my life!

Every beautiful girl I know seems to be giving birth to the most gorgeous baby girls in the world. It seems like my life has turned into shades of pink- A colour that I never particularly warmed towards until three years ago when my niece was born. And now I dream in pink.

Of three of my pregnant friends, two have scans confirming that they’re going to have baby girls (they live abroad) and the other one in India is keeping her fingers crossed and hoping that she’ll have a baby girl and can dream pink the rest of her life too!

So with Christmas around the corner I decided to make two first Christmas photo ornaments - one for Baby K and the other for a friend’s yet to be born baby girl who’s expected to make her debut in the first week of December.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Look what I found on Martha Stewart’s website! Glittered Candle Holders!!! Makes my Nativity Hurricane Candle Holders look so amateurish in comparison. How does she do it?

And also Bakerella, one of my favorite bloggers ever, is hosting a giveaway by Shutterfly. And check out the prize!!! Downside… you have to be living in the US to enter. No fair :(

Tissue Paper Pom Poms

I came across these tissue paper pom poms a long time ago while browsing through some blogs. Martha Stewart apparently is who it all tracks back to. Some women have made booming businesses of these pretty fluffy paper balls. They make an awesome addition to a birthday party, wedding or dinner party… or even just home décor.

With the apparent lack of coloured tissue paper in large sizes (if such paper is available in Chennai please, please let me know) I decided to use kite paper. I initially wasn’t sure what that kind of tissue paper would translate to in India and kite paper seemed the safest bet. So here’s my not so great attempt at re-creating those lovely tissue paper Pom Poms.

You can also check out Pom Love on Etsy. Happy Floating Paper indeed!

Monday, November 8, 2010


The thought of cupcakes make me happy! I read Bakerella’s blog and drool thinking of cupcakes. But they aren’t so popular here in India. Or are they? The only ‘cupcakish’ food I’ve come across are chocolate muffins and the plain sponge cake variety. Someone had put up a cupcake link on Facebook and that got me so excited. But it all looked pretty disappointing mainly because everything looked so fluorescent. I only hope it tasted better than it looked.

I remain undeterred though and have decided to make myself some cupcakes this Christmas. I plan to try Bakerella’s S’more Cupcakes. I could probably opt for something simpler as this would be my first try at cupcakes… but what’s trying if you’re unwilling to go the distance. So I went the distance and even bought myself some very pretty cupcake liners from Sweet Estelle’s Baking Supply on Etsy to inspire me.

Here’s hoping that this Christmas my cupcake dreams come true!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Soul Sister

This is a long one. Hope you have the patience!

Girlfriends are sisters you get to choose. And if you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough, you get to actually have a sister! I have one. It’s just the two of us.

Luck and good things aside, boy have we fought! Even to this day I can hear her screaming, “I wish you die!” and in revenge I may have pushed her and fractured her hand (*grinning sheepishly*). And then there was the favorite’s game we played with our parents. I’m sure they must’ve had times they wished they could’ve disowned the both of us.

I actually did something as cliched as Google “Sister Quotes” and look what came up! Truer words were not spoken.

Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life. ~Charles M. Schulz

If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child. ~Linda Sunshine

If your sister is in a tearing hurry to go out and cannot catch your eye, she's wearing your best sweater. ~Pam Brown

I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones. ~Author unknown, attributed to a 4-year-old named Lauren

All us younger sisters have been there 4 year-old named Lauren, and only growing up can put you out of that misery.

And then there were some sweet ones too…

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double. ~Toni Morrison

What's the good of news if you haven't a sister to share it? ~Jenny DeVries

I know some sisters who only see each other on Mother's Day and some who will never speak again. But most are like my sister and me... linked by volatile love, best friends who make other best friends ever so slightly less best. ~Patricia Volk

‘Volatile love’. Could we ask for a better description?

And the ultimate!!!

A sister smiles when one tells one's stories - for she knows where the decoration has been added. ~Chris Montaigne

Just one more. I really think my sister wrote the following quote under a pseudo name–

If sisters were free to express how they really feel, parents would hear this: "Give me all the attention and all the toys and send Rebecca to live with Grandma." ~Linda Sunshine

Oh well… there are a million more and I seriously may never finish writing this. So we eventually grew up and the fighting dwindled. It hasn’t stopped though and I doubt it ever will!

And then there were all those matchy-matchy clothes. Yeah, you heard me right. Don’t pretend to not know what I’m talking about. Especially if you have sisters! Looking back at pictures it seems like my mum’s only and ultimate goal in life was to put us in matching clothes and my father's was to photograph us in those. I remember roaming the corridors of Cizons Complex, Egmore and going to meet tailor aunty to get that perfectly matched outfit ready. Even on our birthdays! We matched on birthdays!!!

Here’s me, creating a photo op to show you my kiddy pics ;) And in matching clothes of course!

Even in matching night clothes...

All this and a gift of die cut paper in shapes of dresses from a friend in Bangalore got me thinking. Here’s my picture frame tribute to sister’s everywhere. You girls maybe single and living with your parents like we were or married and living in different countries like we are now. But hold onto her tight, you know she’s the bestest friend you’ve got!

This one’s for you Ruthie!!!

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~Marion C. Garretty

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pillow Boxes

As I had mentioned on an earlier post, there was a pre-wedding phase in my life when favour boxes became my sole obsession. So much that I made 800 – 900 handcrafted pillow boxes for my wedding. I did take the help of some friends eventually, but 80% of the work was done by me. Ridiculous I know! It went on till the night before the wedding day because I wanted to make 1000 boxes. I’m so glad I got that obsession out of my system.

Here are some pictures of some boxes I made later, when sanity returned and I had some time on my hands. These can be used as little gift boxes for jewellery, key chains etc.

And here’s a picture of my favour boxes taken by a friend.

At the end of my wedding day the only thing I apparently kept repeating to my husband was "Thank God we get married only once!"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This picture frame was created for friends of my father-in-law who visited us. It’s made from printed cotton fabric that has a pattern of leaves running through it which creates a wonderful rustic vibe.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pink it is!

What is it about baby girls and pink? Could anything make something sweet sweeter?

Two lovely picture frames that I created for two beautiful baby girls. The first frame is for the grandparents of Baby K and the second one is a personalized frame for the baby girl of my husband’s friends.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nativity Candle Holders

Remember that catchy song from Alvin and the Chipmunks that can get really annoying when a person (my husband) sings it all year round? Story of my life… and an example of our obsession with Christmas. If ever anyone needs a reason as to why I’d want to move to a Western country, it would be this - I hate having to wait until December 1st for shops to stock Christmas décor, magazines to even make a mention of the advent season and grocers to remove stale stock from last year and re-stock baking powder, cocoa and unsalted butter. Seriously!

So until the advertising and retail world realizes it’s the season of joy, I spice up my life with my own little made up versions of joy. Like the following Christmas home décor idea that I simply love. This is my first DIY tutorial and I hope it helps!

Nativity Silhouette Candle Holders

The idea is to basically have the three most prominent scenes of the nativity story represented as silhouettes – the wise men following the star, the shepherds hearing the good news and the manger where baby Jesus lay. Now there are 3 ways to do this – Easy, Easier, and Easiest. Hmm… interesting. Follow on!


Things that you need
3 round drinking glasses preferably with a flat base
3 battery operated tea light candles
Plastic sheet (the transparent thick kind that we use to cover school text books)
Kite or tissue or tracing or butter paper or vellum (basically a paper that has a translucent quality and is generally in some shade of white)
A black and white print out on office white paper of nativity scenes (you can browse around on Google images and find quite a few!)
Art blade/ knife
Glue stick (I prefer Fevi stick)
Black poster paint and a paintbrush

- Take the printed paper with the nativity scene on it and start cutting out the silhouette. This can be quite tricky as there are many fine details. But these details make the end product beautiful. Don’t worry about chopping off a camel’s leg or a shepherd’s staff. Just make sure to retain all the bits that you’ve accidentally cut off. It can be glued on together.
- Once that’s done, you’ll notice that your sweaty fingers have taken off most of the black ink on the silhouette. So take out that black poster colour and paint the silhouettes. Let them dry.
- Take one of the glasses that you’ve selected and measure the plastic wrap around it and cut it with a little allowance for stapling the sides together. Then measure and cut 2 more pieces of plastic wrap and 3 piece of white kite paper… all in the same measurement.
- Take the dried silhouette of one of the scenes. For eg. The three wise men. Use the glue stick on the side painted black and stick it down on the plastic sheet positioning it in the centre.
- Now wrap this plastic sheet over the glass and staple or glue it in place. Gluing plastic can be tricky and so I prefer to mark it while on the glass, then remove and staple the sheet and later slide it back on the glass.
- Take the kite paper and wrap it around the plastic wrap and glue the ends together.
- Slide the plastic wrap and kite paper cylinder over the glass and place a tea light inside.
- Repeat steps for the other nativity scenes and Voila!

You will be able to see in the second image that the detailing was pretty badly cut out, like the disconnected rope. Also the size of the plastic wrap in the first picture was cut short for one of the glasses. And I haven't used flat based glasses either... Bad me. But if the instructions are followed the way they ought to be, the result can be quite remarkable!


You can skip all those steps by just buying 3 frosted glass cups. That would give you the translucent look that you require. So you just have to cut out the silhouettes, darken them (by painting them black) and paste them on the inside of the glass (which might be difficult if your glass is too tall). Forceps maybe of great help here.


If you’ve got the bucks, just scrap the entire project and buy them online at Dayspring!

I simply have to end this post with the immortal words of the chipmunks-

“We can hardly stand the wait
Please Christmas, don’t be late”


While I try getting over this feeling of unworthiness to blog that’s creeping back in (and that kept me from blogging all these years), I leave a picture of a photo frame I completed for the birth of a friend's baby boy. The frame looks much happier than I feel right now.

A reminder to us all : “Celebrate Life!”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Origami Paper Stars

I came across a tutorial for Lucky Wishing Stars on a wonderful blog called Folding Trees… and I just had to make them. What can I really say? Puffy stars make me happy!!! I had some quilling paper lying around from my previous failed attempts in that direction.

So I used that and made these miniscule paper stars that measure about ¼”.

After nearly 4 months of lying around in a little box I finally decided to use them on a photo frame. As I said before… puffy stars make me happy!!! Don’t they make you feel all happy inside too?