Simplicity is the Key

You might already know of the brightly coloured, often symmetrical floor patterns called Rangoli, made by Hindus during the Festival of Lights – Diwali. It is believed that these beautiful patterns encourage and welcome the Goddess of Wealth – Lakshmi, to enter their homes and bless them with Her presence on this auspicious occasion.

Customary materials used to create Rangoli are flowers, coloured flour, lentils, pulses and food colour, all of which are readily available.

Even more basic than these materials is the next – sand.

Ilana Yahav’s expression of emotions through the shifting of sand is utterly mesmerizing. She uses just her fingers empowered by her soul to portray a vast range of human emotions and feelings in her creations.

But wait. There’s more…

I came across one other artist – Huang ZhuLin –  who paints on water, using Chinese Ink.

 

Evidently, creativity knows no bounds. It flows from within.

When you are artistic at heart, you don’t need to go out and buy expensive materials to produce a piece of art. Some of the most exquisite art can be produced using the most basic and natural materials at hand.

Roll it up!

Other things that we happen to stock up a lot in our houses are newspapers and magazines.

Picked up at the Sky-train stations, in the morning, they find their way home in our bags or purses with the excuse to be read later in the evening. This is how you can upcycle those newspapers and magazines and convert them into beautiful accessories for yourself.

Materials I used:

  • Magazines/newspapers
  • Liquid paper glue
  • Scissors
  • Toothpick
  • Clear nail polish

Process:

  1. Cut up various lengths of strips from the colourful magazines and newspapers, tapered at one end (You’ll end up with various sized triangles)
  2. Place your toothpick at the broader end of the strip (triangle) and begin rolling it very tightly towards the tapered end. You’ll end up with hollow tube-like beads, except they will be wider in the center.
  3. Apply just a spot of glue on the tapered end and stick it to the wide belly of the bead.
  4. Repeat process to make all your beads.
  5. Finally when you’re done, apply 2 coats of clear nail polish on each of your beads to make them water proof and let them dry for about 15 minutes.
What your bead will look like, when complete

What your bead will look like, when complete

Once dry, string them up to make necklaces, bracelets or earrings.

 

Here’s what I made:

P1030572-001P1030576

Capture and Re-capture Memories with Coasters

Living in such a fast-paced world, it’s almost impossible to see someone who DOESN’T own a smartphone. With smartphones, come hundreds of free apps! Needless to say, Instagram is one such app that simply cannot be resisted.

I am one such Instagram fiend and I found an alternative way to post my photos, and get 10 times the followers 😉

Materials I used:

  • Pictures from Instagram
  • 4”x4” tiles (I had a few extras at home, but you can easily get them from Home Depot for under 30 cents each!)
  • Mod Podge (from Michaels)
  • Paint brush  (which you probably already have)
  • Felt stickers
  • Water Proof Sealant  (also from Home Depot)

What I did:

  1. I got my photos printed at my nearby printing store (London Drugs) to fit the tile size (4”x4”)
  2. Applied a layer of the Mod Podge with my paint brush on the tile
  3. Pressed a photo firmly onto a tile
  4. Painted a layer of Mod Podge on the photo and let it dry for about 25 minutes. Mind you, initially the Mod Podge appears white, but don’t worry, it dries clear
  5. Sprayed a thin coat of Water Proof Sealant on the photo
  6. Finally, I stuck on felt stickers on 4 corners of the underside of the tile

 

As eye-catching as these coasters are, I find them to be such amazing conversation starters. Not only that, they also are a great way to re-live some of your most cherished moments.

Bagging your groceries has never been greener

So once again, it was the weekend, which meant chore time. Yes, ACTUAL chores…

Grocery shopping and dropping off a heap of old clothes at The Salvation Army were on the to-do list. That’s when inspiration struck!

3 items and 3 easy steps.  That’s all it takes.

What you’ll need:

  1. an old t-shirt
  2. a pair of scissors
  3.  a sewing machine

What you’ll do:

  1. Turn the T-shirt inside out, pin it and sew it along the hem.
  2. Flip the T-shirt right side out, flatten on table and cut along the neck to make a larger opening for the bag.
  3. Line up the hems on the front and back side of both sleeves, and cut the sleeves off to make the handles.

And there you go! You have made yourself a reusable grocery bag.

Not only are they “green”, but they are a clever way to upcycle your not-so-favourite- t-shirts-anymore. You can use different sizes, materials and alternative styles to make them. You can even accessorize them with bead work, embroidery, brooches or simply paint them. What’s not to love about these?!

Here’s mine:

:P1030565

If you, too, have a large heap of t-shirts lying around, like me, you might want to try these projects.

I know, I’ve been away for a while and haven’t had much chance to post anything new. I’ve been so bogged down with coursework and midterm exams lately; project after project, deadline after deadline. I feel like a hamster on the wheel…

Buuut! I’ve got a few fun DIY’s that I will be posting. Be sure to check them out and probably even try them for yourselves!