Friday, 13 February 2015

Paint Me A Leaf

While I always talk about sipping tea in the garden and knitting, here is what I absolutely love doing. It is something that I have always done, and have always loved. Though I love all sorts of handicrafts and have dozens of half-pursued hobbies, what really appeals to me is painting. Painting of any sort, on anything, with any type of colours. Of late, this love of painting has mostly concentrated itself of painting on fabrics.
I wonder, how I never mentioned that I love sarees. If there is anything else that I love more than a saree, it is a hand-painted saree. One can easily guess that is because it combines two things that I adore: painting and sarees. I recently could manage to somewhat sort out my craft almira (That is what I call it, because of it's contents.) and found out my forgotten swatches of hand painted fabrics, that I made during a week long fabric painting course a couple of years ago, after I got fascinated with lovely hand-painted chiffon sarees that I saw army ladies wearing at parties.

No, no, we are not painting a saree here. That is still a long way ahead. With so much inspiration lying around, my fingers got itchy to paint on fabric. I decided to start small and bought a couple of dupattas, those that you buy and get dyed to match your salwar-suits. So, while I was posting about all the flowers and knitting and leopards and what-not, i was also going into the kitchen, and doing a couple of brush strokes here and there, when you were not looking. I am not showing you those dupattas, not now. 
Now, as the suspense is darkening, and you are about to leave this page, here, let me tell you that I had this old unused cotton dupatta, and when I bought a kurta, I thought of using the dupatta, but did not like the idea of a plain dupatta. Nowadays, I am also found frequenting the crafty alleys of Pinterest, pinning images like this one or this one. So this new habit came handy as I painted the pattern on my sketchbook to get the feel of colour and design. Ah, long lost love!
And then, began the real painting on dupatta. I really did not like the effect, since what looked good painted on paper was not quite the same on a different texture. This cloth is also hole-y and the paint job did not give the smooth effect that it gives on a fabric like chiffon.

I cut up the outer rim of the leaf on a potato so that the leaf size stays uniform. But once, as I wiped paint off the stamp enthusiastically, one side broke off. Nothing a little brush stroke cannot fix! 

So, here we are, ready with the dupatta, three potatoes and 10 odd days later. Hey, I am not that lazy, I have a toddler who tugs at my kurta, right when I am at the most crucial moment of creating something, like when I have perfectly mixed a lot of paint which will dry on the mixing plate, and ruin the brush too, or the cake batter is half get the drift, right!

So, this one is finished, and only time will tell whether I will ever wear it or not. Meanwhile I am going through various ideas for yet another painting project. Thanks for bearing with me!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

One Word : Shopping!

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 51; the fifty-first edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with Red Ink Publishers and "Curse Of The Red Soil" by Durgesh Shastri. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton

Multicolored dreams in a material world...

A self-confessed shopaholic friend of mine says that she cannot live without shopping. Shopping is not only a proven stress buster for her and many more of us, it is also a drug to induce a zen like state of mind, wherein a person basks in the glory of their previous day's trip to the mall and crosses all the hurdles of their common routine without ever a crease on their forehead. Some people are also notorious of shopping during the end of season sale with the seriousness of an IIT-JEE aspirant. 

We also know as the dwellers of the internet era, that a lot of our shopping has changed hands and now it resides on Mount Internet, it's glorious image shimmering in the sunshine of end of season sales. Window shopping is now giving way to screen shopping, where sleepless nights are spent on browsing through categories and 'saving items for later'. All around the off sale time, we dream of owning that special pair of shoes or that gorgeous dress, but wait for the sale season to arrive, where, strangely, we spend more than we save. So, we can safely assume that hopes and dreams keep the human race alive, where shoppers hope for getting the item that they always dream of at a dreamlike price, while merchants hope to sell their wares and dream of making a killing.

As the winter arrived, I checked my shoe-stock packed away in a trunk (oh, those famous army trunks!), and found my old footwear in really bad shape. Sale season had also arrived by then. So many excuses to go shopping. Yay!

When I consulted my husband on the matter, he suggested that I shop online because
 A) He was too busy to accompany me to shopping.
 B) I was not willing to drive. 
 C) He had some discount coupons I could use. 
 D) Sale season was on. 
 E) All of the above. 

Correct answer: E

I do not really trust shopping online, especially for footwear. But after the above conversation, I found myself pulled into the vacuum of online shopping and hopelessly so. One fine morning I realized all I dreamt of last night was shopping for shoes online, when, after looking for and 'saving' footwear online, I had gone to sleep in the wee hours. In my dream, I ordered dozens of pairs of shoes from a fashion site, to compare and select a couple of pairs of footwear and return all the others. As it happens in dreams, the shoes were delivered to me while I was sitting in a shoe shop, probably shopping for more shoes. I took the shoes out of their boxes, one by one and tried them, liked quite a few and was thinking of a second round of the selection procedure, when to my horror, I saw a faithful salesman packing all my shoes and keeping them away. 

In doing so, he mixed up my shoes with the shoes in his shop. Though they were an honest shop and as soon as they realized their mistake, they started to separate my shoes from theirs. But again, since it was a dream , all the shoes now looked similar and it became really difficult to find out. I also did not have an exact count of my shoes, and was worried that now I will have to pay for so many shoes! (Imagine, they were delivered to me free of cost :D ). As I was frantically looking through the shelves to find out my shoes, I found that their shoes were as good or even better than the ordered ones, and priced to my liking. 

Suddenly, an idea struck me. As I had ordered them online, there must be a list of my order on the site, along with pictures of shoes. I can refer to them and find them out from this mess. Then I will return them and buy shoes from this shop itself, since they have such a good collection. Praising myself for being so smart, I whipped out my smartphone, and before I could even touch the screen to unlock, someone poked me in the arm. I opened my eyes and saw my husband standing by the bedside, waking me up. I sighed with relief that he had saved me from such great efforts of matching and sorting shoes. I was actually neck deep in shoes in my dream and woke up tired. As I told this to him, he gave one of his hearty laughs and said, 'Oh dear, you really need to shop.' 

So, thanks to this dream, I deleted all the shoes from my 'saved for later' list, went out shoe shopping, saw, touched, felt and tried as many shoes in as many shops as I wanted and bought footwear to my heart's content, including that elusive 'perfect' pair of peep toes. 

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