All posts tagged: Creativity

3 colourful journals with markers and pens on a table

Art Journal Review: Paperclip

Paperclip notebooks were one of the first notebooks I bought when I started art journaling. (Art Journal Ideas for Beginners) They’re sturdy, cheap, and look great – a perfect combination of things to help you get started on your art journey. The papers are thin for dry media, ranging from 60 to 100 gsm. They’re perfect for line sketches and for planning your final pieces. I’ve used these as practice journals to get into the habit of creating something every day without feeling the pressure to make it into something perfect. I’ve used one of the journals to collect reference drawings and elements for inspiration in all my artwork.  I’ve used the colourful Play Series to practice lettering and formatting.  These notebooks are also great for their original purpose – taking notes. My husband uses it for his office notes, and my son uses it for his class assignments. The colourful covers not only look pretty but can help you identify the notebook you’re looking for easily. Do you have recommendations for good journals? Let …

Father and son spending quality time with a science-themed activity box for kids

6 Awesome Activity Boxes for Kids

When my son was a toddler, I had gotten one of the popular activity boxes for him to try. I was pretty disappointed with my purchase because I felt I could’ve done all of it at home without spending half as much. As he got older, especially during the lockdown, I looked for ways to engage him constructively. We tried the activity boxes again and were pleasantly surprised. They were things to build, to learn, and to experiment. Most of it he could do without our direct supervision since he was already building Lego sets. There are so many good options for activity boxes for kids now. I prefer to buy individual boxes instead of starting a subscription. That way I can be sure I’m getting things that would interest my son and not go to waste. Here are some of them we tried and loved. 6 Awesome Activity Box for 4-year-olds and above Skillmatics This is an excellent activity box offering many different themes. My son loves vehicles, so we got him the Transport …

collage of 4 hand-painted terracotta planters with plants

DIY Painted Planters

Once I figured that I could paint pretty much any surface, it was hard to control myself. In one of my previous posts, I’ve talked about painting some decor items. Next, I wanted to revamp my balcony garden. The boring old brown and black plastic pots are a thing of the past. Welcome to the terracotta age. These pots look gorgeous even if you don’t decorate them. They are also a much better option for growing healthy plants. The terracotta wicks away the extra water, and since it’s a breathable material, the plants stay happy. I got my set of pots from The Handcraftian. The set of four came wrapped in a newspaper without a single crack. No unnecessary plastic or thermocol. These are sturdy pots with a large drainage hole at the bottom so you can be sure your plant roots will not rot if you overwater them by accident. I had purchased some clay pots from local nurseries, but I found them to be thinner and developed cracks quickly.  I wanted to try …

collage of hand painted cotton bags and a child using them

DIY Hand-painted Cotton Bags

Have you gotten used to carrying your own bags for shopping? Be it groceries or clothes, most cashiers will check with you if you’re carrying your own bag. It’s a refreshing change from just handing you a plastic bag. Even paper bags need resources to make and a whole pile of unused ones generate a lot of waste. I have various cloth bags distributed all over the place – a few in my car, a foldable one in my purse, a few next to my main door, and a few ‘fancy totes’ to be used for the upscale flea markets. I had a few plain cotton cloth bags lying around and thought about giving them a makeover. I had never painted on fabric before and was sceptical if they’d last. After having used and washed them over the past year, I was pleasantly surprised. I even tried embellishing some of them with beads and parts of junk jewellery that weren’t getting used, and I was thrilled with the results. All you need are some fabric …

Top view of a Child with a science activity box making a fizzy bomb

Activities for kids at home

At no other time was my creativity (and patience) as a parent tested more than during the 2020 lockdown.  Containing a high energy child within an apartment for two whole months was not easy for anyone. There were days when we over-extended screen time to give all of us a break. But by and large, we were in a position to engage our then four-year-old in multiple activities that did not involve a screen. Fun activities for kids at home Activities for kids at home during lockdown wouldn’t be complete without some amount of screen time every day. Even if it was educational, it still added up. Thankfully, our 4-year-old only had an hour of class time, and he barely kept still during that time. His screentime for the day included activities as well as TV shows or movies. Activities for kids online gave us parents some respite.  Some of the online activities for kids that we tried and loved are listed below. 1. Online Storytime  One of the most heartwarming things to come out …

A blue theme mandala on a sketchbook with sharpie markers

Easy Mandala Tutorials

If you do a hashtag search for mandalas on Instagram, you’ll be overwhelmed with the results. In the millions of posts, you’ll see a variety of mandalas, from a beginner to an experienced artist and also some phenomenal work. Looking at some of them, you might feel intimidated. I know I was. I took it one step at a time and started with some basics. With some practice, I got a little better. I still have a long way to go before I come close to some of the work and artists I admire. But, the key is to practice regularly. For me, drawing a mandala helps me focus away from daily realities and routines. I find it very calming. The repetitive patterns soothe my mind. I had done a post on mandalas previously where I explained in brief what its significance was.  Let’s now learn how to make your own mandala First, we start with the basic grid. All you need is a basic geometry set with a compass, pencil, protractor, and ruler. Find …

diy bookbinding sketchbook with house plants and fine liner pens

Easy DIY Bookbinding at Home

I have scrolled through hours of arts and crafts tutorials over the last year and have been tempted to try each one of them. Some seemed easy enough; others were a distant dream.  Bookbinding was one such tutorial. The videos look so beautiful—the old-world charm of making something with your hands how people did it hundreds of years ago. I always felt you’d need special tools and skills even to try a basic version.  There are many different book binding types. Some of them need special book binding materials that you wouldn’t necessarily want to invest in. Thankfully, I came across some tutorials that a beginner like me could try with stuff you’d generally have at home. I had a bunch of loose papers from a tear-away sketchpad that was just getting tossed around in my drawer. It was the perfect time to make use of them and try bookbinding at home. Book binding supplies Loose sheets double the size of the book you want. We’ll be folding these sheets in half Sharp pin or …

Art journals from Menorah Stationery displayed with cover and inside pages with paintings

Art Journal Review: Menorah

I’ve been journaling for about two years now and am loving the experience. It inspires me to create everyday, even if it is a small doodle. On days I am unable to, I can feel the restlessness in my fingers. In the past, I’ve loved the control dry mediums gave me. Colour pencils and markers have been my go to materials for drawing and colouring. But, inspired by my sister’s watercolour journey, I was tempted to try out some wet mediums as well. Watercolours turned out to be too free-flowing for a control-freak like me. Then I tried gouache and I was in love instantly.  Not all art journals can hold the weight of the water-based paint so it took a bit of trial and error to find some good ones. I’ve written about the Kaagazi journals earlier. Today, I talk about another home-grown favourite – Menorah. I’ve used two of their journals and a bookmark pad. Let’s review. Menorah 180gsm 15cmx15cm This was my first journal from them, and I loved it instantly. I wanted …

Journals for Kids

As a teenager, I got tired of hiding my diary from my family, so I chose to stop journaling. Much later, as a working adult, I had a day planner I loved to plan the day on.  Even after phones became the norm, I kept a physical planner with me. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of making a hand-written checklist and crossing them off as you complete your tasks. Why Journal? It was only in the last two years that I have gotten back to writing a daily personal journal. And it just happened to coincide with the year of a global pandemic. I found it therapeutic to write down my day and feelings. I also wrote what I was grateful for each day and it helped me stay sane during a tough time. I wanted to inculcate in my child this habit of talking about our days and documenting whatever we wanted to. I bought two journals for my 5-year-old. One was total fun and the other a little more serious.  He’s just 5 …

Art Journal Review: Kaagazi

As someone who loves to draw and paint but hates criticism, I used to think every one of my artworks should be the final piece. I didn’t believe in practice or sketchbooks.  Over time, I learnt that it was too much pressure on each artwork to be perfect. I had stopped enjoying the creative process because I was seeking the end goal of perfection and subsequent monetisation.  I decided to start journaling for myself alone. It has freed me from many of my inhibitions. I’m not afraid to try out new things even at the risk of failure. I also experiment more with my techniques and practice a lot more as well. I had plenty of art journal ideas…from a doodling book to practising elements and patterns. So I decided to buy a whole bunch of journals and sort them into different art journal themes. Their pile on my desk inspires me to use them everyday.  Art journal inspirations can come from many different sources. You just need to experiment and see which ones interest …