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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Decoupage table- to make a table look new

This year I have worked on many decoupage projects. Decoupage table for my craft room, then a decoupage shelf for the same. I feel decoupage is a simple craft which gives great results. The object gets transformed to look new. The simple wooden basket is made to look antique with miniature painting, by using some papers and glue.

Decoupage table this time: 

My son, who was observing me working on decoupage was astonished to see the results. His table was looking old, so he got an idea to make it new by using decoupage.He told me to make it new with decoupage. His old table looks new now with floral design on it:
Ok , before decoupage, how was it looking? Here it is:

What a transformation using decoupage!!!  And it is simple too.
I always use fevicol for decoupage if the size of the object is big. Here also I used paper with floral prints and fevicol. Made broad strips of the paper and glued it with fevicol.
Then applies glue on top of it also to give a shiny look.
 My son is very happy with the look now, though he wanted animal print paper for it. I could not get animal prints paper, at that moment.

Now  I have few decoupage papers with animal prints, planning to make some more projects using those.

Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Friday, May 20, 2016

Clay dolls from West Bengal

Doll making is an ancient craft . In India this must have started with making of terracotta dolls  , and then with wood and other available materials. Dolls making is very fascinating craft which attracts all the age range. I had recently shared about the clay doll I made.

Different kinds of dolls in India:

In India, many kinds of traditional doll making is in practise. It differs from area to area. Etikoppa , Kondapalli toys from Andhra Pradesh, Channpattana toys , and Kinnahala dolls of Karnataka  . 
Karnataka also has the tradition of celebrating Gombe Habba, festival of dolls
Similarly, clay dolls of Krishnanagar (West Bengal). These dolls though made of clay, and decorated with cloth to look realistic.



Craftsmen use clay and Plaster of Paris moulds to make the different parts of the figurine. The parts are joined with the support of a metal wire. Then painted and decorated with cloth and accessories. The craftsmen replete most of the professions and figure, by showing all the minute details.
Clay dolls
Dolls of Mahatma Gandhiji

Clay dolls
Dolls depicting some profession

Clay dolls
Some  more cute dolls
 I got an opportunity to talk to a craftsman in an exhibition in my city. He explained me  the process of making of clay dolls,in detail. I wish to visit these craftsmen to know how they make the dolls!

Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kalamakari border- on Chanderi silk

Often this happens with me. Once I pick up one craft or art, I will make 3-4 projects in that particular craft/ art continuously. Like if I pick up decoupage, for 4-5 days I will be making projects in decoupage etc. One way it is good, I can complete the many projects , but cons are I cannot practise other kinds of arts and crafts in that time. This is what happening, designed 2 sarees one after the other , that too with Kalamkari border :)
Last week I had posted saree designed for myself with Kalamkari border

Here is the saree I have designed for a customer:
Kalamkari border
Chanderi silk with Kalamkari border
 This is an order from one of my customers. She wanted Kalamkari border on pink color saree. The choice of cloth and the border she had left to me. I chose Chanderi Silk in pink,
Kalamkari border
The Chanderi silk cotton I have chosen
and  Kalamkari print border, in peacock design.
Kalamkari border
The Kalamkari print border
  Attached the border on sides of the saree, using sewing machine.
Kalamkari border
Sewing Kalamkari Border
Just attaching the border on saree is very easy and takes very less time. She didn't want any zari or extra border for the saree, it took hardly 1 hour to complete this saree.
To design a blouse I picked up raw silk with stripes on it, in contrast color.Hope it looks good with the blouse I have chosen:
Kalamkari border
With Matching blouse in Raw silk
The customer is very happy with this. Please share your opinions too.

Working on some Kutch work designs for saree as well as Kurtis. Will share more about those in coming posts.

Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saree design- with Kalamkari border

I never get satisfied with designing saree or dresses with Kalamkari designs. From my collection of patches I had designed a  saree with Kalamkari patches. Nowadays there are many colorful Kalamkari borders  available in market. With one such border , I had designed a black saree which I gifted to my sister in law.
This saree I have designed again with similar border, but in red color.

Here it is:
Saree with kalamkari border
Saree with Kalamkari border
While designing a saree, the color combination becomes very important. I had the red color Kalamkari border. I avoided a bright zari and chose an antique look blue silk. And a zari cloth for the border.
Here are the cloths I chose, blue silk cloth with circular motif, border ,red silk for blouse and zari cloth:
Saree with kalamkari border
Cloths used for designing saree
Saree with kalamkari border
Zari cloth strips
Attached Zari border first, the red color cloth strip and The Kalamkari Border. Another side of the Kalamkari border attached another lace. This highlights the Kalamkari border.
Here is the closer view:
Saree with kalamkari border
Closer view- Kalamkari border
As the border is very wide, I used it on only one side of the saree.

Red color border goes well with blue color cloth. Hope you too liked the color combination. :)
Designing another saree with Kalamkari border, without any zari. Will share about the same in the next post.

Until then,  
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Tanjore paintings- Rich heritage of a small city Tanjore

Tanjavur or Tanjore is a small city in Tamilanadu, famous for Brihadeeswarar Temple, one of the largest temples of India. Tanjavur art / paintings originated from this city. Tanjavur paintings are known for its richness in color and ornamentation. The paintings are embellished with semi precious stone and thin gold sheets.
Themes used in Tanjore paintings majorly include, life of Krishna. Nowadays many artists use different themes like Shiva, Vishnu, Laxmi etc. Not only painting with colors, also embossing technique is used in Tanjore paintings.

During my visit to Chitrasante 2016  I could capture some images of Tanjore paintings. Each painting was unique.
Here sharing the photos of the paintings exhibited:
The below painting is on theme Krishna's life. 
Tanjore painting
Tanjore painting with Krishna theme
 Another showing Rasha Krishna.
Tanjore painting
Radha-Krishna- Tanjore painting
As I have written, Though most of the Tanjore paintings are on Krishna's life, nowadays artists are trying different themes. Here is one such painting:
Tanjore painting
Tanjore painting - Devi(Goddess)
And the richest God :) Venkateshwara (Balaji):
Tanjore painting
Venkateshwara- Tanjore painting
As real gold foil is used in Tanjore paintings,these are very expensive. The small sized ones are affordable:
Tanjore painting
Small sized Tanjore paintings
Tanjore painting
Tanjore painting- Parrot

The below paintings show the artists creativity, mirror with Tanjavur painting:
Tanjore painting
Mirror with Tanjore painting
I had learnt this art a few years ago and here is the painting I made.
Though the  making of Tanjore painting requires guidance from an expert, I will share tutorial in coming posts, for enthusiastic art learners.

Until then,

Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Decoupage with paper napkin

In the process of decorating my craft room , I have already made a table using decoupage , a wooden basket with antique look to keep craft papers and a shelf with decoupage. Another box to decorate my craft room. I chose decoupage to work on it.

I had never worked decoupage with tissue paper. So thought of trying it on a small wooden box. I selected a small box, so that if anything goes wrong also, I need not worry much.
This is the MDF box I have selected:

Decoupage with paper napkin
MDF box
As usual the first step, painted it with wood primer. Here  is with the napkin design I chose. Normally I use fevicol for decoupage. After reading reviews about Modpodge, I thought of using it.
Decoupage with paper napkin
Materials- Modpodge, Napkin and the box
 I chose, floral design, so painted the background with light green color.
Decoupage with paper napkin
Painted with green paint all over
Then attached the the flower pictures cut out from napkins with Modpodge. After final touch of the Modpodge, the box looks like this:
Decoupage with paper napkin
After attaching the floral designs
Here is the side view:
Decoupage with paper napkin
Decoupage with paper napkin
 There are some mistakes. Hope will correct in next decoupage project.


Completed designing one more saree, will share about that on coming post.

Until then,
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Friday, May 6, 2016

Peacock design - woodwork

I have already shared about peacock designs using many media.Some of those are Screen printing peacock design on saree , Peacock design in ancient temple as well as peacock design in contemporary art  .
Last week shared about peacock design using batik painting .

In this post sharing a peacock design carved on wood. This is wooden craft practiced in Chittoor of Andrapradesh.  
Here it is :
Though both looks similar, you can notice the difference in design of the feather.

Normally usage of paint is minimal in wooden craft practiced in western parts of India. But in eastern and northern part of India, wooden craftsmen use very bright colors.

Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Monday, May 2, 2016

Chikankari Sarees- from Lucknow

Lucknow - state capital of UttarPradesh,which is famous for its Moghal tradition, known as city of Nawabs, also famous for its chikankari embroidery. There may be very few who don't know about chikankari embroidery.

Origin of Chikankari:

It is a similar to schwalm embroidery (white work). The embroidery is made using white thread on white linen.Nowadays its is done using colored cloths with color threads. Chikan is derived from Persian word Chikin meaning cloths made with needlework. This was originally introduced by Mughal empress Noorjahan.

The motifs in chikankari are majorly flowers, paisley designs , vine designs etc.
Motifs used in chikankari

 Types of stitches:

Chikankari is said to consists of  40 types of different stitches. Among them a very commonly used is tepchi -running stitch. Other few commonly used stitches are Phanda-small circular dot, Jaali - which forms a type of net, murri- knotted stitch,  and bakhia - which is similar to herringbone stitch, used for shadow effect.

Chikankari Sarees: 

Chikankari embroidery has been  influencing fashion industry from ages. Earlier it was a court craft, which were practised in Kolkata, Bangladesh, Delhi, Gaya , Varanasi etc. It is used by most of the designers now, may be it is a kurti, salwar kameez or a saree. 

There are many varieties in Chikankari sarees available. Chikankari sarees are normally in light or pastel shade, and the cloth is fine muslin, cotton, organdy , Georgette etc.
 
 Here is one such saree in light green color and paisley designs

Another is in  lavender color with paisley and florsl design all over:

 Nowadays many  have worked with dark colors like black, blue and red etc. Here is chikankari saree in black and white combination:

In 1980 , the Bhakia stitch which gives shadow effect, dominated and traders flooded the markets with coarsely embroidered chikankari sarees and dresses. Many handicraft organizations worked to bring back the intricate and fine designs involving stitches like murri, phanda, jaali etc. This has improved the quality of the embroidery. This also made chikankari  enter into international fashion market, thereby improving the livelihoods of crafts-persons.

Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana
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