Tag Archives: do it yourself

The Henna of Celebrations

In India, the festive and wedding seasons are around the corner and so is the time for celebrations. And the word celebrations brings with it fun, entertainment, food, dancing, singing, culture specific traditions and rituals, dressing up, decorations, and above all thanking God for all the positivity around with lots of offerings in the form of prayers and fasting. I am sure to have left out a long list of things that are an integral part of Indian traditions apart from the aforementioned ones.

But one thing I personally love and can never forget is the tradition of putting Henna (Mehendi) designs on hands and feet during all these celebrations. Be it weddings or festivals, henna forms an important part of celebrations in the culturally diverse land of India.

Tattooing henna designs is such a craze in India that during festive time a visit to even a local market would expose you to a number of henna artists ready to show their skills on your hands and feet for a charge, of course. In fact, it’s a windfall time for the henna artists around this time.

Even women and girls are near experts when it comes to henna tattooing in many households and can dye hands of family and friends in henna with panache and in no time.

People say that it’s very auspicious for women (even the grooms for their wedding day) to put henna on their hands and feet.

Though, putting henna on hands and feet of women has religious link ups, many elders say that henna can change your fate lines and bring good luck. 🙂

Well, as I grew up I came to realize what it really meant when elders said about the fate changing qualities of henna. They say that our entire life’s fate is written in the lines of our hand and feet. Therefore, for me putting henna is nothing but a way of dyeing your hands and feet in beautiful designs and forgetting about all your troubles for those celebratory moments and enjoying them to the fullest.

It’s also a way of distressing and taking a break from the humdrum tasks (especially during festivities), I believe. The gorgeous designs and the fragrance of henna are relaxing for many. The comparison among girls about whose henna design is the darkest and whose husband loves her most, is a common humour related to henna tattooing among Indian women.

As a kid I remember being super excited around the festive season because Mom would put a new henna pattern on my hands. As we grew up, I and my sisters took to making some henna designs after imitating from magazines and now the Internet. 🙂

I love doing henna designs myself. 🙂 Here are a couple of designs I made for some festivals last year and desperately waiting for this year’s festivals to get down to some henna tattooing.

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I know these aren’t the best and there are people who are much better at this. But the idea was to rev up the festive fervour and bring in some feel of celebrations.

Hope you liked reading! 🙂

Art and Emotions in One Frame

A few days back, when I was busy completing yet another craft project, my mom came up to me and stretched out her hand to give me something and said, ‘Can you make something for this?’ On realizing what she was handing over to me, my eyes welled up with tears. It was mom and dad’s first photograph after marriage.

They had kept it preserved since 1965 and gleefully narrated the day they had gone to get the picture clicked at a famous studio in Connaught Place, Delhi (India). A few days after their wedding mom and dad went to get their first professionally clicked photograph as a couple. On that day, dad adorned his favorite black suit and mom wore a pretty orange sari, along with her wedding jewelry. I love this photograph of mom and dad and till date we tell mom that they made for the most charming couple we have ever seen.

After we had refurnished the house some years back, the photograph had been taken off the photo frame and kept safely in a plastic wrap to make space for new show pieces and other family photos.

Ever since we lost dad a few years back, mom had very rarely mentioned to us about dad and how much she missed her life partner. That day when mom handed me the photograph felt as if she was asking me to help her revive and relive her long forgotten moments and feel dad’s presence in her life.

I could not have let go of a chance to get some positive vibes to mom’s life and especially when she was the one keen on that. That’s when I decided to make a photo frame for the picture, rather than purchasing one.

Some online tutorials and my creativity helped me create a lovely cardboard photo frame to fit my favorite photograph. I added to its beauty by using quilling art and some Fevicryl Golden Glitter Glue to decorate it.

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I was the most satisfied when the best feedback for the picture frame came from mom when she said, ‘tune to char chand laga diye humari photo par’ (An idiom used in Hindi to tell that a thing looks prettier that before).

The Photo in its frame sits beautifully on a showcase in the living room of my house and usually gets an appreciative notice from the guests.

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Hope you like this.

Extending My Best Wishes via Hand Painted Gift Tags

I keep taking up a lot of art and craft projects to make something new and useful for my home and loved ones and most often use handmade paper as the base. Since the paper does not get used entirely, I am left with lots of pieces of handmade paper, big and small.

Handmade paper forms a raw yet colourful and ‘no-so-plain’ background for the art piece as well as gives sturdiness to the final product, making it last longer. Broadly, it makes for a perfect base to portray my creativity with colours and the paintbrush.

My sheer adoration for the paper makes me think of new ways to creatively utilize the leftover pieces.

The idea of making Gift Tags or Congratulatory Message Cards on Gifts popped up in my mind and I started my new craft DIY project. 🙂

Method:

  • Cut the paper into equal rectangular shapes, which forms the basic shape for the gift tag
    • You can take any shape you prefer, i.e. diamond, circular, oval or square, but make sure that there is enough space on the paper to decorate as well as write a congratulatory message 🙂
  • You can start by making a rough sketch/drawing of the design/shape you wish to put on the gift tag
    • If you are an expert artist, skip this step and straight away start making the desired design using colours, paintbrush and some marker pens
    • I prefer to draw with a pencil before starting to add colours 🙂
  • You could make occasion specific drawings/designs
    • For example, a pram for a baby shower gift tag; a bouquet for multiple occasions; conical caps, cakes and confetti for birthday gifts; and paisley prints for Indian occasions and other celebrations, Ganesha/Swastik/Lakshmi ji’s feet for Diwali gift tags

Here is a look at the first set of gift tags I painted and used these for conveying my best wishes to loved ones. There is no better feeling in the world than gifting something handmade. The recipient treasures it for a lifetime and you can’t imagine how carefully preserved your handmade gift will be kept. I have seen this in my family and always get encouraged for making more handmade stuff.

Handpainted Gift Tags

Handmade Gift Tags/Congratulatory Message Cards for Gifts

Gift Tag Ganesha

Ganesha Gift Tag for an Indian Celebration/Festival like Diwali/Marriage/Housewarming Gift

Alternately, just like many people use occasion based flags for inserting in cakes, I made a sort of miniature placard by pasting a toothpick at the back to make a ‘Happy Birthday Mummy’ card for placing on my mom’s birthday cake.

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Gift Tag Used as a Miniature Placard/Flag for Cake

Hope you like these 🙂

Icing on the Cake, Literally!!

Hi there!

This is in continuation to my post yesterday, wherein I shared the recipe for making an Eggless Chocolate Cake and all my hard work paid off when the resulting cake was fabulously fluffed and spongy.

The whiff in the air that a freshly baked cake leaves is absolutely irresistible. I just always want to cut the warm cake into slices, put some Hershey’s chocolate sauce and roasted nuts and eat it to get that melt-in-the-mouth feeling….mmmmm..:)

But, I had different plans that required the entire cake to be ‘saved’ and put aside to be cooled down. Then I started making the frosting for the cake.

As some of us were discussing yesterday, patience is the key to the frosting part, be it waiting for the cake to cool down to giving the final touches while icing the cake (an attempt to make a neatly wrapped delicious looking cake :)).

Usually I use a chocolate butter cream frosting for all my cakes because everyone at my home loves chocolate like mad ;). But this time I wished to make a contrasting frosting, as in white on chocolate brown, to make it look visually more appealing. I personally love the look of the white vanilla frosting placed neatly in the layers of the chocolate cake when sliced. 🙂

The final look of my vanilla butter cream frosting wrapped eggless chocolate cake (wow…sounds to tempting) is here for you. After wrapping this cake in the frosting, I dusted some grated Dairy Milk Chocolate on the top and sides of the cake and then to give a little colour to the too plain look of the cake, I decorated it with some Cadbury Gems on the circumference.

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting on Eggless Chocolate Cake

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting on Eggless Chocolate Cake

And for those of you who wished to see the sponginess of the cake from the inside, here’s the pic of the sliced cake. The contrasting frosting sits pretty in between the layers, making me happy with the final outcome.

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Yummy….Lip smacking 😉

Hope you like this.

For more visit my page Cakes with a Green Dot

You can also follow me on Pinterest and Twitter

Illuminating My World Through Bangle Candle Holders

Hello there!

Here’s another craft DIY by A Homemaker’s World. This time its candle holders made from glass bangles.

There was this big box of old yet colorful and glittery bangles lying around my home for quite some time. In Indian traditions we consider broken bangles inauspicious for any further use. The bangles I had were a mix of broken and unbroken, yet old ones. So i carefully pulled out the whole ones and disposed off the broken ones.

I really wished to make something bright and colorful with these bangles, so decided to make a few candle holders.

I started by placing 12-15 bangles in a beautiful sequence as is usually worn on hands, a mix of 2-3 colors of bangles and a few glittery ones. I cut a round shaped cardboard to make the base of the candle holders. Next, I started gluing the bangles one on top of another in the sequence I had initially arranged the bangles in.  Finally, placed a golden ribbon (Gota Patti) around the base of the holders to enhance its beauty. I let glue of the candle holders dry overnight. And the next morning, the candle holders were ready to be used.

Below are a few images of the candle holders, there illuminating effect, how they enhance the decor of my living room, and there alternative use as well. Take a look!

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Colorful and Glittery Glass Bangles Candle Holders

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Colorful and Glittery Glass Bangles Candle Holders

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Candle Holder with Candle/Wax Diya

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Lit Up Candle Creating the Beautiful Illuminating Effect

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Beautiful Decor for Living Rooms or Side Tables

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Beautiful Decor for Living Rooms or Side Tables

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Beautiful Decor for Living Rooms or Side Tables

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Alternate Use of Glass Bangles Holder – Multi-Purpose 🙂

I loved making these holders as they are being used not only as candle holders, but as multi-purpose article holders in my home. They look beautiful kept as center pieces and on side tables, and go perfectly with the traditional Indian decor of my home.

These can be made using old or new bangles. I am planning to make few more for my home, especially around the Diwali time when diyas and candles take center stage at Indian homes. Therefore, to avoid the mess of oil and wax spills , these beautiful candle/diya holders will work just fine.

🙂

My Ballerina Dances to the Tunes of Quilling

Quilling is the art of paper rolling I happened to come across while browsing some pins over Pinterest. Since that day I have come to adore and appreciate this art form in a big big way. Mind you, this art form requires patience to take the shape of the final product you wish to make, but the final product is always worth it.

Through this post I wish to share with you a beautiful ballerina wall hanging that I made for my home.

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Ballerina Wall Hanging Using Quilling

Requirements:

  1. For the quilled ballerina you would need a basic quilling kit, which includes a quilling pin, quilling strips and glue. There are other advanced quilling kits, but this DIY project requires just the basic kit.
  2. For the wall hanging, all you need is a cardboard, a chart paper or handmade paper, a base for the wall hanging (in my case, I used a beautiful cane mat to make the wall hanging).  So lets get started.

Steps to make the quilling ballerina wall hanging:

  1. Take a cardboard and cut it to a piece measuring approximately 6” X 8”.
  2. Cut an 8” X 10” piece of chart paper or handmade paper to cover the cardboard base. I would suggest using a stiff paper like a handmade paper to give a sturdy base to paste the quills. Also, use lighter shades of handmade paper as lighter shades will bring out the colours used for making the quilled ballerina.
  3. Make fine slits at the corners of the paper so as to allow the edges of the paper to be turned and pasted on the reverse of the cardboard. Finesse in pasting the paper will make the background of the artwork look neat and professionally done.
  4. Now we start making the quills. In case you are a beginner the following YouTube video by AV Visuals link will help you make the basic quills easily: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wULr0mYYr8c
  5. Take the picture provided for reference to make the quills step by step and arrange them neatly on the cardboard.
  6. Once, the shape, size and placement look perfect; take a small portion of glue to paste all the quills to make the ballerina come to its final shape.
  7. Stick this cardboard of the cane mat being used as the base for wall hanging. Alternately, you could use another cardboard and make a hole at the top and insert a thick golden/colourful thread to make the wall hanging.
  8. Keep the wall hanging aside for the glue to dry. Let it dry overnight if possible.
  9. The Beautiful ballerina wall hanging using quilling is ready.

P.S.: You can also make a card or a table showpiece instead of a wall hanging.

I came across this ballerina just as a Pin on Pinterest, loved it and instantly decided to make it. However, there were no instructions on how make this. Therefore, I decided to make it easier for my followers by providing these steps to make this wall hanging.

Hope you like this. Please share your views on this.

Happy Quilling! 🙂

Sources: Pinterest and YouTube

Its just the beginning

Hi there, all you homemakers, glad to have you here!

So here I am; after all these years of running around for studies, corporate life, challenges of the personal life; taking an altogether different route to connect back with my long lost friends, family, make new friends and share loads of stuff that forms an integral part of a homemaker’s life.

This is a platform for all the working/non-working, married/single women to share their thoughts, experiences, expertise and hobbies, speak their hearts out, share their daily challenges and their ways of dealing with them.

Check this space for cooking, home décor, fashion, beauty, DIY projects and much more. And not to forget sharing lots of personal daily life experiences, funny or emotional, with all you readers out there.