Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thread and ink alien monster tutorial

A lovely alien right? How did I create it,  now that was a fun process. The unpredictability in creating stuff like these is really interesting. Kids do it, they see things in weird ways grown ups fail to. You can have endless amount of fun if you just let the kid in you imagine alien creatures and make up stories. 
I just found this little monster on my sketchbook today. While I was doing it, till the end I was not aware that this guy is going to show up in the end. Look at him. What an adorable monster :) 

The basic thing i did was this thread ink craft kids used to do all the time.
I used to spend hours doing this as a kid. It was such fun.
Doing this is still fun.

Here is how you do it.

Just the humble thread and normal fountain pen ink. A pencil to assist you in dipping and filling the thread with ink. Any notebook. Even typed pages or already written surfaces. The layers it can create will be amazing.

So first step is to wind thread on to the tip of your pencil. A thicker twine will be nicer. This is what I found today, so I used this.

Next step is to dip the thread in ink. Leave it there for a couple of minutes for the thread to soak all the ink in.

Next step is to take a notebook and make a pattern with the ink soaked thread. You will spill some ink in the process. Don't worry about that. It will all add to the effect. This is messy fun! Make the most out of the mess!

Now close the book, press down firmly and pull the thread while pressing the page down!

You will have this beauty in your hands in a matter of seconds! Dip in ink again and make a different pattern, you will get a different picture. Fair warning: This can be addictive. Do not try it if you have any deadlines to meet.

The best part of it all is you get an identical picture on both sides of the page. You can just keep admiring what you just did, or enter more interesting worlds like I did.

The childhood craft ends here. I tried to do more with the sketch I got. I continued to do different things until I got a satisfying effect. If someone else did it, they would have created something completely different from it, I am sure.

First I doodled all over with regular wax crayons.

Then I gave a light wash with watercolour paint. I am a big fan of what water does to ink. I loved the smudge it created. 

And some outlines later, a terrible monster of adorable features was born! 

The thought behind sharing this is to inspire people to embrace the fun side of life. You know, grab some cheap paint and go wild with it. :) Unleash the monsters within you! 

PS: Corporate people who are constantly in search of de-stressing can try this out. Name your monsters according to the names of your Managers, or irritating customers. Create a story in which the wicked monster undergoes transformation and becomes all good and understanding and all. Even create a story in which the wicked monster meets a terrible end. Whatever makes you happy! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

From the sketchbook: mixing poetry and paint

This post includes two works in which I have tried to mix paint with poetry. One was posted a little earlier in this blog when the cupcake fairy visited Daniel. The pink shaded painting must be leading its bright life with her. The yellow shaded sketch is with me, safe inside my sketchbook. Presenting the poetry meets paint pictures. 

Both these pictures were done using all kinds of paint that was lying around at the time when it was done. The artist just made use of whatever came handy. I can comfortably say thus that motherhood transformed me into a mixed media artist. As long as the colour and the effect is just right, I no longer have faithful attachments to any single medium alone. I use whatever paper and paint that is near me to sketch. 

Here is pic 1. 

And here is pic 2.

I also spent some very valuable time playing around using the image and the computer software I have. These are one click changes I could see using picasa. However, I must say I like the original much better than the technological manifestations. 

What do y'all think? 

This looks like a fancy shmancy xray of a picture or something. 

If you pass this picture to me and tell me that this is some elaborate cell division happening inside the brain of a dragonfly, I would buy that perhaps. 

And these two reminds me of this awesome hippie pants I once owned. 
Technology these days! 

Now that I have had my share of fun playing with colours using picasa, I should rush to meet my other deadlines! Byeze. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Handmade Alphabet Book in Malayalam

This was a craft experiment to see if I can make interesting yet sturdy books for Dan. Board books are available in English, but not in Malayalam. I wanted a simple 4 page book with thick paper so that he can easily flip it. The finished book is approximately about 7 cms long and 5 cms broad. It is perfect for Dan's tiny hands. It has no stitching involved, just simple folding and gluing. I used a single chart paper to make this book. The chart paper was first folded in half, then a cut was made in the middle to create a sense of different pages, then I used fevicol to keep the pages together. Once the basic book shape was done, I used water colour to cover the white space and put the letters and simple sketches down using Indian Ink. Now that this came out successful, I am going to make more Malayalam Board Books for Dan, probably write some stories and illustrate them too. I will take step by step pictures of making the book next time, I promise so that any one interested can try too. 

Take a look, take a look. 

Cover page for the mother and the son :) I am possessive and I show off a lot, whatever.

The "u" sound is for Umma, the word for a kiss in Malayalam. This is for my boy who learned to kiss even before he could walk or talk. I remember meeting fellow baby holding moms showing off their babies who could do all sorts of tricks including "smile and wave" and "namaste" the minute they turned eight months or so. My baby didn't do any of that when he was eight months. But if I kissed him, he would immediately kiss me back. This "Umma" is for my dear little boy. One good life skill you have mastered, my dear.

Since I am raising my child in Delhi, he is going through a lot of language confusion right now. We talk to him and talk to each other in Malayalam all the time at home. When we step out of the home, people talk to him and us either in English or in Hindi. Initially Dan had this blank expression to both English and Hindi. Now he responds to both these languages. He is more comfortable in Malayalam still, but I know things will change the minute he steps into a playschool. Hindi is bound to be the language he is going to grow comfortable with. But I wanted to do whatever little I can to help him be grounded in his mother tongue.

We subscribe to a Malayalam Newspaper, we have plenty of books around. But there should be more stuff to catch the interest of a child, especially when he is not surrounded by that language. This is what prompted me to try and work this out.

I have promised myself to tell him stories and now that this became successful, I will make storybooks too for him, I really hope. I will definitely teach him to read and write Malayalam. No, too many languages will not overburden kids. Kids are really smart, one should not underestimate their potential. It is easier for any kid to learn multiple languages as early as in utero.

Malayalam is the language his parents use, his grandparents use, all his relatives use. It is only through this language that he will relate with and connect to them all. I want him to have that connection. I want him to eventually be able to read and write in Malayalam, enjoy and understand the literature, the poetry, the movies, the abuses, the puns, the minute shades. I do not worry about Hindi or English for Hindi will happen when he starts playing with his friends in the neighbourhood. English will happen when he starts going to a school. This humble effort is for the Mother Tongue.

And my little reader approves, I think.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In which we all had a lot of fun!

This is going to be the most picture heavy post on this blog. Presenting the Birthday Party we had for Daniel in which all of us, the party goers and the birthday boy had a lot of fun! Pictures to testify! 

A Birthday 

In which Momma made all the party decor with humble craft supplies like chart paper and kids tempera colour and wool. The only indulgence we had was the balloons! Oh we went overboard with the balloons by making them a roomful. That made a certain dad extremely happy, not to mention the birthday boy's thrill. :) 

the party banners, paint splashes and circus pinwheels... 

and polka dots.... and marbled banners.... 

and some vangogh inspired starry night quick fixes... 

and a kid playing bazingaa! 

and the guests.... 

and more balloons...

And a big brother sporting a pencil moustache with the little one...

and a moustached momma who made dan go wtf? 

and the big fat birthday cake... 

and the "let me cut my friggin cake you control freak parent maniacs" moment 

and the "I don't think I like sweet things much why are you force feeding me this monstrosity" moment 

and the "don't you get it, I hate it" moment.... 

and the random party pic...

and aadi bhayya who played "happy birthday" and more songs too for dan... 

and other bhayyas in the neighbourhood.... 

and a fellow toddler sporting a moustache while dan is busy playing in the background.... 

and a quiet moment with a favorite maman 

the party animals 

who were too busy bursting baloons and picking potato chips from the floor....

and running away from uncles who tried to feed food...

and spending some high time with the appa

and curiously looking at something (?) 

and an amused didi with pretty flower hairbands...


and a tabla session on the table with like minded friends...

and little didi's sporting big moustaches....

and more big brothers with ravan moustaches

and happy little niya with her bunch of balloons

and kannan chettan and his mom....

and oh what a party, I went to bed and crashed! 
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