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Solar system using spin art

P got a lovely gift from his favourite aunt (we call her our in-house Santa Claus!) – spin art set.  It’s a more sophisticated version of blow and rotate art, which we used to do as kids. Back then we would put paper on a plate and when one would keep rotating the plate, the other will drop the paint and blow it to get a spin effect. The end product is very abstract and the fun part is it is different each time. This set is of course more posh, less messy and can be done by one person/child.

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I asked P to describe the art for me once he finished and he immediately said ‘Solar system’. I was pleasantly surprised when he went on to detail the sun, planets and comets! That is a possibility that didn’t cross my mind! We then went on to talk a lot more about shooting stars and milky way.

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We made birthday cards out of the final pieces of art for ammuamma (granny),a  cousin brother and an aunt who have their birthdays this month.

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Handmade paper

This was largely my project and P was a keen bystander. I was making paper for the first time, so I deliberately didn’t urge P to join and was happy to let him watch. The traditional method of making handmade paper involves using a woodden screen and deckle. Since I have neither, I just laid it out on parchment paper and sponged out the excess water. I came across this technique by chance from a craft book.

I made a small A4 size sheet and put in some fresh flowers and leaves (should be done in earlier stage rather than end, which I did). It turned out a tad more brittle than what should be, but I managed to cut at the brittle portion and turn them into cute gift tags, cards and bag tags.

P thought the paper pulp looked like vomit and didn’t want to do anything with it. But when he saw the end product, a nice sheet of handmade paper, he changed his mind and said, ‘vomit has become so pretty.’

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Art and conversations

This year I decided to make and personalise all our Christmas gifts. It was a long, tedious project done over almost a month because of paucity of time, but it was totally worth it for three reasons. One, the happy and smiling faces of friends when we gave the gifts, two, somewhere along P learnt that he can turn his doodles and paper scraps into cute gift tags, mosaic collage and gift wraps and three, something I didn’t bargain for, was the delightful conversations with P during the project.

The project was largely done by me and P helped enthusiastically in the sticking, cutting and printing process. During the time he helped me, we had long conversations, deliberations and harsh opinions. P confessed

  1. that he liked drawing more than painting ‘for now’
  2. that he thinks the colour purple is cool
  3. that elephants should have longer trunks to store more water,
  4. that African elephants have ears that resemble his uncle’s
  5. that planes should be more colourful rather than the boring white and silver
  6. that amma (I) should focus on my drawing as they are not neat enough
  7. that I simply must learn to draw planes correctly from the father
  8. that I speak too loudly when he is busy ‘working’ and it disturbs him

I got to hear so many opinions from my five year old that I now have a 2015 ‘to-focus’ list already!

Art has bonded us in ways I never imagined and I am truly happy and blessed that P is an enthusiastic partner in my arty world. Hope we have many more of these ‘Amma I think…’ sessions through our art journey.

Wishing all of you a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2015.

notepad, post it holder, crochet jewellery pouch

notepad, post it holder, crochet jewellery pouch

Jpeg xmas gifts

personalised diary and wind chime

personalised diary and wind chime

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Making our own gift wrapping paper

It’s raining birthdays and birthday parties and we have run out of wrapping paper. So I thought it will be fun to create our own wrapping paper. The paper from the dry cleaners I had stacked, thinking I’ll figure out what to do with it, saw the light of day finally. We got out our paints, spoons, brushes, forks and basically anything we could print with.

We started out laying the paper straight on our mat to ensure it’s devoid of wrinkles. P then squeezed out his favourite colours and started printing with fork, thumb, brush and at some point he found a discarded onion ring and tried some with that too.

The printed papers look cool and now our gifts are 100% handmade!

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Art tribute to Lord Ganesh

The Ganesh festival just got over. Like all kids P’s favourite God is Ganesh or bappa as he calls him. And what better place to be than Mumbai during the festival. We love seeing all forms of the elephant head God and we try and see as many idols as we can in and around in our locality.

I wanted to do something around Ganesh festival with P and came up with this project. Now that P is more steady with his hands and can manoeuvre curve fairly well, I thought it would be best to combine drawing and paint.

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We took out our coloured crepe paper, laid it out on watercolour paper and did our bleeding tissue art  https://artwithp.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/img_20140315_133249.jpg

I then drew a simple outline of Lord Ganesh once the colours dried. The idea was to have P go over with paint brush, but guess that will have to wait. P then went over the curves with sketch pen and managed to do a good job of the curves, pointees and proportion. He added his own bit here and there too which gave the Lord a modernist look.

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Shaving cream marble paper

We have made marble paper before using milk and food colouring, but this time I wanted to take it to another sensory level by adding texture and smell too. So I decided to use shaving cream. The creamy white fluff of the shaving cream has an inviting feel to it that even we adults love to squish our hands in it and the musk smell adds to the fun.

I bought one of the cheap foam spray bottles from the super market and P and I were ready to make our nice smelling marble paper and squish our hands later. The process is the same as regular marbling.

1. Spread a layer of shaving foam in a tray. Add drops of food colour randomly in the foamIMG_20140709_114120

3. Use a skewer, toothpick or fork to make patterns

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4. Place a paper gently over the patterned foam and press lightly so that the design gets embossed on the paper

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5. Peel the paper carefully and place on a flat surface.

6. Using a flat surface like butter knife or craft stick, scrape off the excess foam and hang it to dry.

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Voila you have a sweet smelling marble paper which you can use for a whole range of things like cards, wrapping paper, note pad etc.

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Once we made our stash, P dived straight in and started squishing and playing with the foam. He wrote his name, some random numbers did additions drew faces till finally the foam became one black mess.

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Tie and dye on paper

Ok, so the father thought it was a waste activity and we just ended up wasting colours on tissue paper. But I thought it was super cool as it was the first time I experimented with a type of art.

I’m talking about tie and dye, not on cloth but on paper. P and I have done tie and dye on cloth (organic and non-organic), so it was not a new technique for him. I wanted to try on tissue paper (best as it absorbs paint better) and see what comes up. P got excited as he loves to fold, tie and cut strings and there’s minimum supervision from me.

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We went about folding and tying our paper really carefully as it can tear. Once done P dipped the corners of the folded paper into food colours. The thing with food colours is that they are so vibrant and strong that the effect is stunning.

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We dipped multiple colours and kept the paper out to dry. Once it was bone dry we untied the strings and what a riot of designs and colours we had!

We intend doing this more to make cards, bookmarks and other gifts, but for now the first batch is for keeps.