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Friday, July 26, 2013

Guest Bedroom Needed the Rest

An afternoon of not much busyness, a stencil lying about and some long forgotten paint rediscovered- all of this comprises the recipe for a much enjoyed and very easy project. In anticipation for a dear friend's visit to my humble abode, I am preparing the guest room. So without much preamble I present to you the before and after pictures.

The Blank Slate

As many of my readers know, I am the master of planning all my proejcts down to the last detail (hahaha) and so the work proceeds flawlessly to its intended completion (not). Well for this particular project, I just eye balled the midpoint of the wall and proceeded to stencil. But you see the devil being in the details, and since I had overlooked the devil, it reared its ugly head time and again and slowed me down. So I have had to improvise as I went, measuring and drawing lines and adjusting the stencil just so inorder to achieve the desired effect. Oh well! I never said patience was a virtue of mine.:-)

I spy the stencil on the floor

Well hopefully, all my mistakes are hiding well. I am satisfied with the progress. Can't wait to finish this one.

Much progress is made

 My favorite part - the metallic letters on the wall. A subtle contrast between the busy design on the wall and the message. 

The Rest is details

 I pronounce the room ready to receive guests and I hope that it would be a place for rest and comfort.

A touch of red

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"Parting Ways" acrylic painting - 11"by 14"

I did as I was told,
I served and sang and dipped and bowed. 
I was told that you love me with my faults and all
That you were the keeper of my soul.

And I, in my naivete believed that that which was outside of me,
That which I did not seek out to see in me-
the strength to face my destiny come what may.
 In waiting for you , it withered away.

And now I have not you , nor me
 I writhe and cry and rant and rave but now I see,
that I am the only one to set me free.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wall Wears Chevron Stripes

Finally it's done folks! I did it-chevron stripes on the game room wall! I had been mulling over how to achieve this look with as little an effort as possible. I believe in conserving energy people. I have been inspired by zig-zag-walls on  What a terrific project without all the laser level-juggling and chalk lines going nuts! I had the paint and I had the requisite brushes, rollers and frog tape, but as is usual with me - no patience for intricate measurement to draw the grid. But I was raring to go.  As I was shuffling through my mind for tool for the lazy painter also known as yours truly, to grid making on walls - I happened upon an 11" by 14" canvas. Perfect! Without further ado, I launched into drawing the grid on the wall with a soft pencil. You can tell, I am big on planning a project. :-) But in my defense, I did put it on paper to see how it might turn out. Here is the picture.Observe the detail and complex calculations........

$7 oops paint from Benjamin Moore
Paint tray
Frog tape( I can't recommend it enough)
Canvas or cardboard box or something to use as a measure to make a grid on the wall.

So I got to work. The canvas grid was easy to do. Then it was time to stick the frog tape across the diagonals to make a zig zag pattern. The most important thing is to get it really well adhered to the wall surface, so as to minimize the bleeding of paint.

Taped up and ready to go
Oops paint! here I come.I will spare you the pictures of my self painting the stripes. I depend upon your future visits for the survival of my blog. :-) But here is the work in progress.

Finally the wall wears stripes!
It is done, the painting I mean. Time to meditate and ponder the slowness of time it takes for the paint to dry. And here is the final result of all the work.

One more view.....

I am happy with it, if I do say so myself. What do you think? Please do drop a line. I would appreciate it very much.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ganesha on Fabric - Vegetable and Flower Dyes

"Happiness is making the most of what you have."
      Rosamunde Pilcher

I grew up in a frugal household. I was raised by my grandmother. We made do or did without.  She is  extremely industrious and can weld and sew or quilt with equal ease. First need and then habit led her to choose frugality as a way of life. While growing up, I had scoffed many times at this choice. But as I go through my own life, I see that there is potential to be generous only when you live within your means, because that would mean that you have saved something in order to share it.  Very early, I learned from her to make the best of what I had available to me, both of time and resources.

 When I came to the US in 2000, among my total life possessions at the time, packed in two suitcases, was a sewing kit with lots of  fun little sequins and beads and.......a hand painted Ganesha by yours truly! A long time ago, while in college ( heavens! That does seem a long time ago!)I had attended a workshop by an eminent vegetable dyeing and painting expert Toofan Rafai. I had  painted the piece then. I enjoyed the process of extracting the dyes and mixing them with guar gum to make paints. We had a smorgasbord of raw materials to choose from - berries and roots and flowers. Marigolds, beet roots, Indian gooseberries.... The fragrance that filled that huge room was remarkable!

You can tell that I love the piece. I cherished it and brought it along to the US in a suitcase where every cubic inch was expensive real estate. Now that I think back, I think I never did get that thick tome of a computer science textbook that  my husband reminded me innumerable times to pack. Haha! So anyway, I went to town with some cotton cloth and an old quilt to provide some body to the background for the art work. The cotton cloth was dyed yellow using turmeric after a good bath in the mordant of asaephoetida, both of which can be found on Indian woman's kitchen shelf.

Then began the fun part! Sequins were attached, various embroidery stitches applied and lots of songs were sung and many days passed blissfully lost in this work. If not for this kind of occupation, I would have lost my mind. But I have learned the way to my mind. It needs my hands to be working, creating, solving.

For all these years, this piece has hung in my home. I haven't yet gotten around to framing/hanging it better, but it is very close to my heart. Indeed, it is a very humble piece, and has not much to distinguish itself with, but to me it signifies steadfast loyalty to what I consider authentic about me.