All posts tagged: Creativity

DIY trinket trays with air dry clay embellished with beads

An Ode to Teachers and a Handmade Thank You Gift for Teachers

Teachers no doubt shape the lives of their students in a multitude of ways. With a word that’s thoughtful or sharp, they can make or break a student. A good teacher is a rare gift that not everyone is lucky to experience. They nurture, educate, and inspire beyond their own classrooms.
Thank you to all teachers who touch the lives of others every day. We don’t always notice teachers’ efforts or impact on our lives, but they do so in many ways, and we are forever grateful.
Here’s an easy and awesome gift idea for a teacher’s day gift or a thank you gift at the end of the school year.

DIY Christmas tree made with cardboard packaging, lit up with a string light and decorated with toys

DIY Christmas Trees that are Eco-friendly and Plastic-free

It’s that time of the year again when we see Christmas decorations start to fill the streets. Most of these decorations sold in your regular stores are made from materials that typically get thrown out and end up in landfills (like plastic). Everywhere you look, it stares back at you in the form of trees, decorations, gifts, and wrapping paper. Here are some ideas that allow you to lead a low-waste lifestyle and conform to the true meaning of Christmas.

pen and ink drawing of a raven done for inktober 2021 prompt

The Inktober 2021 Challenge: Completed

If you spend any time on social media, you’re probably bombarded with hundreds of different challenges, big and small. It seems everyone is hopping onto the challenge bandwagon. Whether it was the ice bucket challenge a few years ago, a fitness challenge, or a TikTok dance challenge, someone is challenging you to do something whatever your area of interest.  If you’re an artist, you might have heard of the Inktober challenge. It is one of the more popular art challenges and has participants worldwide. This challenge takes place in October every year (virtually, of course). A list of one-word prompts is released, one prompt for each day of the month, and artists have to draw how they interpret that word. There’s no particular style you need to stick to—heck, you don’t even need to stick to the official list—just make your own list for the month. Inktober Art Challenge According to his website, Jake Parker created Inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since …

rangoli design of a flower

How to Level Up your Rangoli Skills with Homemade Colours

I love looking at the colourful piles of rangoli colours on carts that line the streets around the time of Diwali. The bright, beautiful hues in a myriad of colours fill my heart with joy and get me in a festive mood. This year, I decided to make rangoli colours at home. It was easy but time-consuming, and I loved the results. I’ve only bought the commercial rangoli colours a few times in my life. I prefer to use chalk and flowers instead of struggling to make delicate patterns with powder.  Making rangoli colours at home couldn’t be simpler, and best of all, it’s natural and eco-friendly. All you need is rice, refined flour, and natural food colours or use stuff from the spice rack. I ground the rice into fine powder. The rice flour from the store is too fine, so I prefer the homemade one, which is slightly granular. It gives a nice texture and flows smoother. I added refined flour with a ratio of 1:1.  Next, I separated this mix into different …

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 …