Thanks to a lot of art activities, we get a lot of magazines and books on art through email and snail mail. I have made it a habit to scour them with P, not that he understands or reads much of it , but he can see different art work, techniques and colour schemes. Some of them have detailed creative stuff to do with kids, while others have quick and easy drawings. One particular project that caught P’s interest was simple drawings from finger printing. These were simple everyday things one can draw using finger printing as it’s base.
We found this project in our monthly children’s magazine and in one of the art blogs. I showed it to P few weeks back but his interest didn’t hold then. However, in between his playing and general ambling around the house, I saw P kept going back to the magazine and looking at the finger print drawings. He finally came up to me last weekend and said, “you think we can try it?” And that’s how these cute colourful flora, fauna and underwater world was born.
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
- that he liked drawing more than painting ‘for now’
- that he thinks the colour purple is cool
- that elephants should have longer trunks to store more water,
- that African elephants have ears that resemble his uncle’s
- that planes should be more colourful rather than the boring white and silver
- that amma (I) should focus on my drawing as they are not neat enough
- that I simply must learn to draw planes correctly from the father
- 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
personalised diary and wind chime
It’s the season of gifting so P and I are back at our favourite art – stamping. We decided to make personalised wrapping papers to gift our handmade gifts. This not only adds a personal touch but also teaches P to look around and make do with the things we have before running to the store to buy.
I had a few stencils and stamps that I had saved from earlier days – I had bought these from the lovely craft store Itsy Bitsy. But as I wanted to teach P to creatively utilise things at home, we went on to make our own stamps too.
For making the stamps I used
- old wine bottle corks
- foam sheets
- double sided tape and scissors
I cut out a bird and elephant out of foam sheets and taped them to the corks and there we had – our very own stamps
Once colours and ink pads were out, P and I happily stamped away on our dry cleaning paper sheets, parchment paper, old used chart paper and whatever else we found.
We hope the people we gift will appreciate our personalised wrappers.
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!
Another new cousin arrived in the family and we were back to scratching our heads how to welcome the little bundle into the family. We definetly wanted to print some baby clothes but also wanted to do something new. So I thought why not tie and dye. P and I did an organic version earlier but this time I decided to try the non-organic colours.
P is older now so I showed him different techniques of tying the fabric (with rubber bands) and he managed to do some of it. He found the twisting and tying back the band tricky, so got rather annoyed. I bought blue, red and purple colours and once we tied up the fabric, dunked them in the coloured water and left them over night.
P could hardly wait for the fabric to dry, to untie the bands and see the wonderful designs. In his excitement a couple of them smudged and that kind of added an edge to the design. All in all it turned out well except the whole process was way messier than the organic version – I had to scrub the bucket and bathroom real hard for the colour to go. Also the blue fabric resembled a whitening process (using neel or blue bird brand) gone wrong.
We anyway gifted it to P’s new cousin hoping he will like it.
Continuing our sojourn with clay, we decided to experiment with air dry clay as opposed to the regular play doh. Since P still remembers our project about seasons using leaves, I thought I will incorporate that into our new project. I also saw a similar project by another crafter and was reallyimpressed.
So we set out our clay and went about kneading it. P loves this part and he instantly starts making planes, trains and other shapes. I had to rein him in and get him focused. I wanted to make a paper weight with an imprint.
P rolled out a fat piece and flattened it a bit. We then plucked a tiny leaf and pressed it vein side down on the clay. We let it air dry for a day so that it hardened and was ready for the next step.
Once the clay hardened we painted over it. When the paint dried, I peeled off the leaf and we had this beautiful white leaf imprint on red coloured clay. Our leafy paper weight was ready for use.
Yay! our first order is all set to go today. It’s a batch of block printed/hand painted baby clothes. Though P didn’t understand what an order meant he shared my excitement all the same. It kept us busy a good part of our Xmas hols. All of Ps friends have gone on vacation and he wasn’t too pleased to be left behind. I can’t thank the kind soul who gave us the order, enough.
P did help me with most part but I had to hand hold all through as I didn’t want to mess it up. He was certainly not pleased with all the instructions and hand holding.
We also handmade and customised the gift bag. That was new for P. More on that in the next post.
For now we are bidding an arty farewell to 2013 and hoping for more creative encounters in 2014.
Happy new year to all of you from us!