Some of the Indian Craft Blogs I read

Hey…I haven’t disappeared yet-before you leave this blog thinking I did:) I’ve been coming home very late from work and that left me too tired to blog or even tweet often.. I had a lovely Independence Day weekend and I hope you all did too…I got to try a new craft shop- A post will be up about it shortly 😉

I’ve found a new craft to obsess about- paper quilling..I chanced up on it after a random google…(How I love Google!)…in my search for Indian craft blogs I came up on some lovely blogs…I don’t know how these ladies manage it all-family+work+ crafting+selling…phew…I think I need lessons on time management from them 😉

Presenting:

http://www.craftyjc.com/

This is Jaya’s(also known as J.C.) blog where she shows off her paper crafts especially hand made cards. She is a mom and a Software Architect by profession…She has started what must be India’s only monthly Craft Challenge…Just go here to check it out.

Next you just gotta check out Juhi’s handmade cards. She is from Bangalore and she is a hardware verification engineer by  day! Her cards are very professional and absolutely CUTE!!

Last, my favorite favorite blog…Reshmi Nair from Mumbai has a craft’s blog with a LOT of detailed tutorials, photos and info on virtually almost every craft I have heard of! She’s into calligraphy, art, quilling, flower making, shell figurines…the list is endless..Her bubbly enthusiasm makes every blog post a fun read…

So there’s these 3 blogs on my “To follow” list for now…I’m off for a new adventure of Paper Quilling! Hope to be able to take some pics and share them with you soon.till then – Happy Crafting 🙂

Real India: Etsy Finds

I love Etsy.com …I’ve never made any secret of that fact 🙂 but I’ve always wished we Indians could do more for our little crafty shops on Etsy…OK…so I thought I’d do a little bit of scouting around using Etsy’s Shop Local feature…I was looking for products made by Indians, creations that reflect our rich culture, items that feature our insane love of color and beauty in all possible ways…Here’s what I found…head over to these shops and get a feel of India – real India and Indianness…Enjoy!

First stop- The Home Centric

Urvi, a qualified Fashion and Textile designer, has been designing for 5 years…I have no ‘one’ favorite that I can point out in her shop…all her cushions and pillow cases are unique and beautiful..No one can stop with one, I say!! The metallic ones really tempt me- must be the Indian love of ‘bling’ that’s making me want each one!

Gold Dreams Throw Pillow Cover
Gold Dreams Throw Pillow Cover by The Home Centric on Etsy
Plum Beauty - Throw Pillow Cover
Plum Beauty - Throw Pillow Cover by The Home Centric on Etsy
Marigolds - Throw Pillow Covers
Marigolds - Throw Pillow Covers by The Home Centric on Etsy

The Marigold one is my favorite!!! Such a lovely, bright splash of color…reminds me of saffron and garam masala 🙂

Second Shop for the day-Mayaruhi

Pearl Bhasin, a stay-at-home Mom, makes limited design earrings from semi-precious stones, crystal, cut glass, pearls, shell, 925 silver and 24-karat gold-plated 925 silver. (Her shop is based out of her home in Singapore but cos she’s Indian and her pieces are inspired by Mughal paintings she deserves to be in this list!)

Indian agate wrapped hoops
Indian agate wrapped hoops by Mayaruhi
Coral wrapped hoops
Coral wrapped hoops by Mayaruhi
Rainbow of Agates in big gold hoop
Rainbow of Agates in big gold hoop by Mayaruhi

Now, onto the next shop – HippieKingdom

Devi, an Accessory Designer, makes bright and happy jewelry that’s both eco-friendly and recycled- she uses thread, jute, hemp, cardboard and paper in her creations-playful and fun!

Coconut Shell and Colorful Tassel Earrings
Coconut Shell and Colorful Tassel Earrings by Hippie Kingdom on Etsy
Eco friendly Hemp Bangle by Hippie Kingdom
Eco friendly Hemp Bangle by Hippie Kingdom on Etsy
Cute Turtle Couple Earrings
Cute Turtle Couple Earrings by Hippie Kigdom on Etsy
Eco-friendly Paper Weave Earrings
Eco-friendly Paper Weave Earrings by Hippie Kingdom on Etsy

I simply love these earrings!!! They look just right for an afternoon out with friends, while drinking filter kaapi (coffee) 🙂 Nirvana!

 

Next shop – Bootika

Shruti hand paints her products – Tees, Tank Tops, Bags, Belts, Headbands  and Cushion Covers!! Her creations use graphics that reflect India- images that every Indian can identify with…Stop by her shop with some chai!

Handpainted Tote Bag with Chai Glasses
Handpainted Tote Bag with Chai Glasses by Bootika on Etsy
Handpainted Tee with White Auto rickshaw
Handpainted Tee with White Auto rickshaw by Bootika on Etsy
Handpainted Tote Bag with Matkas (Indian Pots)
Handpainted Tote Bag with Matkas (Indian Pots) by Bootika on Etsy

The Last Shops for the day- Art by susmitha and Veganosaurus

Susmitha from Bangalore makes Art Beads, Miniature Sculptures and exculsive Artisan Jewelry. She also makes cute little creatures to celebrate Veganism on her other shop-Veganosaurus.

Demeter Earrings
Demeter Earrings by Artbysusmitha
LOVE carnelian copper clay pendant
LOVE carnelian copper clay pendant by Susmitha
Spiral Dance chunky copper wire necklace
Spiral Dance chunky copper wire necklace by Susmitha

oooohhh…the colors are gorgeous-they remind me of peacock feathers for some reason!

Mommy and Baby Turtleclopses
Mommy and Baby Turtleclopses by Veganosaurus on Etsy

(the second turtle item I picked-anyone notice a theme here?)

Miniature Froggy Family -terrarium decor
Miniature Froggy Family -terrarium decor by Veganosaurus on Etsy
Puffy - smart little cyclops monster clay sculpture
Little cyclops monster clay sculpture by Veganosaurus on Etsy

Oh how I’d like a terrarium with these lil monsters on my desk at work!! I specially love the froggies (such an awesome orange) and of course, I love the blue cyclops’ tie (he’s a smartie!).

Which one’s your favorite product?? Which one would you buy? Stop by these shops and share your love…Promote Indian crafters and Indian crafts…

NOTE: All images in this post are the properties of the shop sellers featured in the post.

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How to Buy Beads

I recently found myself regretting my eagerness in buying beads- the reason being two of the plastic striped beads I bought were not pierced. I feel so bad each time I think of it..Sigh…I wish someone had told me to notice all these things, maybe then I would’ve spotted the flaws. I think it’s about time we stopped to consider before we buy beads. Here’s a list of points to consider before purchasing beads.

  1. Check the length of the beads for uniformity. See that they are not too heavy or too big (long) for stringing onto any eye pin or headpin if you want to make earrings with them.
  2. Carry a headpin or eye pin with you and ask the seller if you can place the bead on it to check the balance of the bead.
  3. When buying headpins or eye pins try and check to see that they are not bent or tarnished.
  4. When buying ear wires check to see that the end “eye” loop is present( In the packet that I bought there were three ear wires that didn’t have loops)
  5. The beads should be pierced and have sufficiently large holes or loops for stringing.
  6. The beads must have an even color and should not have any flaky bits.
  7. Check metallic beads for tarnished portions (unless you’re going for the antique look.)
  8. Check if the beads have sharp edges or cracks in the bead or near the holes for stringing. The beads should have rounded or ‘puckered’  ends (soft – not sharp).
  9. Textured beads should not have cracks in narrow areas or irregular bumps.
  10. Dots on round beads and other texture elements should be solidly attached. If you can flick the dot off the bead with your nail then the bead is not too sturdy .
  11. Powdery bead residue should not fall out of a bead when you tap it.
  12. Take a friend along to help you decide what to buy especially if you are color blind like me
  13. Study semi precious stone beads and pearls before you buy and always go to a reputed dealer.  A good book on minerals and semi-precious stones is worth the money you spend for it if you plan to buy a lot of them

Please feel free to add more points as comments.

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Romantic Nostalgia – Etsy finds

No. I haven’t fallen prey to Valentines Day hype… yet. What I have fallen in love with is the whole concept of romanticism and nostalgic whimsy in design and handmade goods.

I have never been a “girly” girl ever but the past few days I have gotten so hooked to romantic, Victorian and vintage style finds on Etsy. Some of the creations are so gorgeous it just hurts my brain to even think about them.

Like these earrings on Etsy by missficklemedia

Filigree wreath and lime green chalcedony earrings
Filigree wreath and lime green chalcedony earrings

and these earrings by serendipity2twenty2

Isle of Capri.. gorgeous Amazonite earrings
Isle of Capri.. gorgeous Amazonite earrings

Suddenly I find that I LIKE flowers! A whole lot of them! Blooms all over the place.

These just drive me nuts:

Sweet Indecision earrings by bombalurina

Sweet Indecision earrings - with roses and bows
Sweet Indecision earrings - with roses and bows

And guess what else? I am into lockets now!! I have ordered from these great sellers :

Vintage Silver Waffle locket from PeppermintSoda

Vintage silver waffle locket
Vintage silver waffle locket

and Antique Brass filigree round lockets (Nickel Free) from Beadsupplies

Antique brass filigree lockets
Antique brass filigree lockets

Hang around for some more time and I’ll put up pics of the lockets after they arrive and after I can get to working on them. Till then visit these shops to see how they will inspire you!

I love these dainty ballet shoes- locket by seaunicorn

French Blue ballet shoes and locket necklace
French Blue ballet shoes and locket necklace

For Valentines Day gifts I think the Amour locket by MiaBeads is perfect!

Amour. Locket Necklace
Amour. Locket Necklace

Isn’t this Thumbelina Locket Necklace by KristinFriesen simply beautiful?

Thumbelina Locket Necklace
Thumbelina Locket Necklace

Oh! I almost forgot! I like Steam-punk too these days. Some awesome steam-punk jewelery for you to feast your eyes on and sigh hopelessly that they are yours.

Clockwork Sparrow locket by TheGoldBug

Clockwork Sparrow Copper Locket- Steampunk
Clockwork Sparrow Copper Locket- Steam-punk

Mother of Gear earrings by Wenchie

Mother of Gear Earrings - Steamteam
Mother of Gear Earrings - Steamteam

Am I the only one who likes vintage chic? Do any of you share my current addiction?? Can Steam-punk and Vintage Chic be the next big thing Indian Jewelery needs?

Which is your favorite piece from this list?

New Origami Boxes- pics included

Another new month and I have stumbled on yet another hobby to keep me busy…Paper Craft!

I used to make cards and notes to my mom when I was little but gave up paper craft for fabric when I started college. In the last two weeks, I read up on the net and watched some tutorials on YouTube and Etsy Storque on making paper boxes….

In the past two weeks I made:

  • 3 paper boxes made from handmade Origami paper from Sri Aurobindo Handmade Paper, Pondicherry ( a pack of 50 squares in different colours from Landmark, Spencer’s Plaza)
  • 5 bookmarks – 4 given to friends and family, one is MINE 🙂
  • Customized a journal for my friend- with a bookmark and gift tag.
  • A pair of earrings

Some pics:

My first Box- dark red and tomato red paper box with lid.

Dark red and tomato red paper Origami box with leaf design on lid.
Dark red and tomato red paper Origami box with leaf design on lid.

Second Box for Suppie- blue and butter yellow paper box with gold design on lid.

Blue and butter yellow paper box with gold design on lid.
Blue and butter yellow paper box with gold design on lid.

Third Box for a colleague’s little daughter Srinidhi ( I had a custom request for a girly pink box). I also included a pair of lilac earrings for Srinidhi in the box.

Pink and lilac paper box with flower design on lid.
Pink and lilac paper box with flower design on lid.

Personalized Journal- book mark and gift tag

Red and white theme bookmark for journal
Red and white theme bookmark for journal
Gift tag for Journal Cover
Gift tag for Journal Cover

P.S. I am taking up orders for Christmas so let me know if you need paper boxes -I’m willing to work out deals 😀

UPDATE: I will be starting on my first Official order of 10 origami boxes for my friend K – 8 November Saturday was supposed to be Delivery Day but K’s being generous and extending the time to next week…Hope I don’t let him down…Will post more pics of the complete batch later.

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Get Ideas for Bead Jewelry

Waiting for Inspiration
Waiting for Inspiration

My brain went numb for a few days and I stopped making earrings just as abruptly as I started making them-dunno if the success went to my head or the fear did…Will I be able to make more…Have to wait and see..
What have I been doing with my time? Been put back into work-reluctant but happy…Did a bit of shopping for a sofa and at the Valluvar Kottam Craft Bazaar.

Thought and thought a lot about what project I should post- I have a very bad habit of having my fingers in quite a few pies at the same time-Then I got this brilliant idea-why not post about ideas and the things that inspire us?

 

 

 

 

So I put down what I do when I need ideas for jewelry:

  1. I read my Google reader feeds
  2. I google”beads” (Very obvious, I know)
  3. I search for colour schemes with a Color Scheme Generator
  4. I pull out clothes from my wardrobe that do not have jewelry to match and just find beads from my stash that match with them (Necessity is the mother of invention isn’t it?)
  5. I play with my beads-I take out some eye pins(gold and silver and then just sit and stack different beads from my box in as different arangements I can come up with
  6. I linger around sites like:
    www.Craftster.org
    www.Etsy.com
  7. I love to use the Virtual Bead Board, an awesome feature in www.FireMountainGems.com that lets you play around with thousands of beads all just after signing up for a free membership with them….While you’re there, you can check out the video tutorials and their “Gem of the week” section.
How do you get ideas for jewelry? What inspires you? What are the techniques you use? I’d love to hear about them…Do drop by and comment on this..
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Image:William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) – Inspiration (1898)

Crafts Bazaar 2008,Valluvar Kottam,Chennai

I went to Valluvar Kottam last Sunday for the Crafts Bazaar by the Crafts Council of India ….The bazaar started last week and will be on till the weekend.

Artisans from all over India are displaying their crafts ranging from Kalamkari work, block prints, sarees, jute bags, mats, carpets, silver and handmade jewelry. There are antique wooden boxes, blue tile pottery (where u can find lovely handmade tiles and doorknobs. You can also get to see and buy straw bags, hand embroidered linen, straw boxes and wastepaper baskets..Lots of wooden toys for children are also available…There are handmade flowers and paper products…

Let me show you what I bought:

Blocks for Printing

Some carved wooden blocks for printing- some come in pairs for printing in two colours. (Rs 30 onwards)

Papercut Stencils
Papercut Stencils

Some stencils for painting-papercut work. they are made of plastic though (Rs 40 onwards)

Gypsy  Jewelry
Gypsy Jewelry

I also got two Navrathna stone beaded chains( Rs 150 onwards) and two pairs of beaded anklets ( Rs 30 each) from two different sellers..

The Exhibition cum sale is on only till this Sunday, 28 September so hurry to Valluvar Kottam, Kodambakkam High Road…

The Sale is on every day from 10:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m

You can contact 28110101 for more details..

My First Handmade Earrings

After 2 months of hard work, I am in a rut again…jobless and “benching”. As a result I have developed a new hobby – making what is referred to as “junk” jewelry. I made around 22 pairs of earrings in two nights simply because the wire wrapping bug bit me late at night..All thanks to S who so sweetly took me to Raja Thread Stores(RTS) in crowded Ranganathan Street and took care to see that I wasn’t trampled….

I was inspired to start making earrings by two people-

  • My friend Methodless Madness returned from the US bringing chocolates and even yummier Beads!!!She got me 3 packets, each one more awesome than the other, costing almost 10 $ (approx 441.391 Rs) worth of beads from San Jose. The deep brown hexagonal beads were so gorgeous I can’t tell you…I gifted one pair of earrings made from them to my friend, I am keeping one and am going to give the last one away to another friend. She got me some lovely irregular shaped beads that she calls “pomegranate” and some Moroccan-blue ceramic beads with lime green Chinese dragons on them. I have used 3/4ths of the pomegranate ones and they have been a huge hit so far. I haven’t used the blue ceramic beads cos I couldn’t get headpins/eye pins long enough to go through them with ample space to knot up.
  • The other person who inspired me does not know me and I do not know her personally…I stumbled on this post by Iaminchennai when I googled…She has a beautiful blog showcasing her many talents that include knitting and making ceramic beads. Thank you Iaminchennai- without your directions I would never have found the beads when I did.

Coming back to my earrings, I gave away about 5 pairs to my friends including S..

I took the rest of the earrings to my office on 1st September and my boss saw them..The next 5 minutes went by in a whirl as ALL of my earrings except the ones already booked for my friends were bought..Such an amazing feeling to have SOLD your designs however juvenile and amateurish they may be!And to think that the sale happened only because of your boss’ curiosity!
Here are some of the earrings I made.

My first Earrings

Just a Note: I haven’t had any professional training in Jewelry design. I watched some videos on You Tube and decided to try my hand at making wire jewelry..Of course it helped that I always had a thing for beads.

P.S: I went to Parry’s Corner this weekend to pick up more beads cos I used almost all the beads I bought from RTS. will post the shop details soon. Any idea about the best shops in Parry’s Corner for bead buying??

Comments on my work and directions to places where I can buy more beads are very welcome.