Balcony Love: Hand Painted Planter

Auto Rickshaw paint

Balcony Love: Hand Painted Planter

 

Now that I’m on a break from paid work, I have some mornings when I need to get onto a project for the sake of staying sane. So, I’ve been trying to fix that cursed black thumb of mine…anything I tried to grow promptly died on me in the past. But I am so happy to see that some of my new green friends are positively thriving.

To break the jinx, I bought plants from my local nursery and had them potted by their gardener. A couple of palms, a fern, a native bush that has pretty peach blossoms and a lemon tree. As they began to thrive under the care of little K and me I began to dream of bigger things. I was bold enough to bring out two old tubs that had been purchased a couple of years ago with the intention of growing tomatoes.

I really wanted to add more colour to my balcony garden, so the pepper saplings (I grew them from seed. Hurrah!) were planted in a tub that I painted turquoise blue. I stencilled on a simple graphic of elephants and voila, I had a happy place to nurture my bright coloured peppers. (If and when they actually arrive, that is. Fingers crossed.)

The baby steps I took towards sprinkling some balcony love, have added a lot of happy mornings to our life. K and I spend time watering, pruning, weeding and learning about nature in the early morning sun. What a great activity for a toddler, which also gives him the daily dose of vitamin D.

So to add a touch of whimsy to our morning ritual, I decided to paint a plastic basket before I planted some basil in it.

Now, much to my dismay, my wee one is head over heels in love with vehicles of every kind. His love affair began with ‘bus’ and ‘auto’, and now has spun out of control. I’m dismayed because I didn’t want him to be such a boy. I do find some solace in the fact that he loves ‘cooking’ just as much. So to begin with, maybe I should try not to slot him.

I’ve been meaning to paint an auto rickshaw for a long, long time. With the renewed burst of optimism from nature, I thought I could do it this time. Or maybe it was just a case of too much sun, if you know what I mean. For over a week the poor basket had sat on my table painted a staid grey on white just crying out for some colour. And against my initial inhibitions against kitsch, I went for it.

I used acrylic colours for this planter since they hold up well to rain and sun. The simple joy those couple of hours brought me is something I will hold onto for a while. As K napped, I pencilled in the outline and went to work with the colours. It’s been a few years since I’ve held a brush, so I was thrilled with the final product.

 

Auto Rickshaw painting

Balcony Love: Hand Painted Planter

Hand Painted Planter with a polka dotted back

Hand Painted Planter with a polka dotted back

 

My special props assistant did a smashing job as I clicked these pictures. But by the end of his shift, he’d had enough and decided that the only way to stop his mad mum was to make away with the ‘ahtou’.

 

Props Assistant: Various Moods

Props Assistant: Various Moods

 

The results are here for you to see. What do you think?

DIY Handpainted planters1

The Makeover: a shabby plastic basket turns into a quirky, fun planter

 

 

Infectious Creativity: Pinterest Delights

If you’re new to Pinterest, then let me shine the spotlight on this wonderful social sharing platform. It has tons of inspiration in the form of pictures and videos, all put up by people like you and me. You can create your own moodboards and go nuts (like I have done).

In all fairness, there is a bit of trend spotting on the agenda for about 20 of my Pinterest boards. Some of us at work thought, ooh, how do we make all this pinning of beautiful stuff legit. Bam. Our Signbanking boards were born.

But getting back to my original point, this is the place to go completely loony about everything your eyes desire. If you’re a closet hoarder, you can come out to the world here. After all, you’re only spreading some joy. It’s easy to sign up using your Facebook profile,Twitter handle or email id. Be sure to add the ‘pinmarklet’ button to your browser, so you can pin all the lovable things you see from any page online.

There is some gorgeous edible art that I have been pinning onto my Tuck Box board and thought it would be wonderful to give you a peek at it. Just looking at these creations makes me pine for delicious treats.

1. Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Mousse from The New York Times via Chloé Douglas
2. Mr. Egg from a bit of pilli pilli via Anne Louise
3. Van Gogh Cupcakes from Kate’s Cupkery via Akanksha Khatri
4. Dragonfly Cupcakes from Disney family.com via Brenda McGuire

If you’d like to see the rest of the drool worthy stuff I’ve been pinning, just head over to my Pinterest profile.

Easy DIY Fabric Flowers: Poppies

I saw these lovely flowers on Ez’s blog Creature Comforts a while back and was dying to try them out. When I finally went to Mumbai in March, my sister and I picked up some satin to try our hand at all the enticing flowers we’ve been pinning onto our DIY boards. I’d seen the tutorial for these ones and tried them out.

Now that am back home, I made a fresh batch of two! The little one was a great accessory for my bright red saree. It made me feel like a retro film star, mostly because of my hairstyle really. The big poppy has been made for a special little girl. I just need to figure out how to get it to her now.

Go check out Ez’s super easy tutorial. She’s even added videos, just watch them even if you aren’t making the flowers right away. You never know when you’ll be in the mood for poppies too. These make excellent gift toppers, hair accessories or brooches.

I’ve made much flatter versions of the original design, with only three whorls, which I think look good as hair accessories. If you add your own little twist, be sure to share it with us.

Little Rainbows in a Jar

Colours really make me happy, they put a smile on my face. Just glancing at this corner of my desk where I’ve stored some felt pompoms in an old jam jar, every once in a while makes me feel joyful. Colours have always had that effect on me. As you may have noticed, yellow is my favourite colour. It has the magical ability to uplift my spirits. Could be one of the reasons I love Goa so much. I have never seen such wonderfully yellow, mustardy, orchery houses anywhere else in India. And the police stations are painted a bright, inviting yellow, somehow making me fall for the Goa all over again. The beaches and sea food do a darn good job of enticing me there in the first place, but these special touches of yellow make a world of difference to me.

Hot pink and coral make me feel quite stylish, I really can’t explain why. Must be some odd wiring in my head. And then there are the divine whites, blues, greens and warm, fuzzy oranges. What’s really fun about shades is trying to mix and match to create interesting, surprising palettes that can help sprinkle some fairy dust on ordinary things to transform them into art. Am inspired by the myriad colours I see in nature – the ultimate master blender.

It’s pretty easy to be my friend, just buy me a box of colours – crayons, water, fabric, glitter. Anything, really.

You can imagine what happens to me in candy shops. What makes your world go round?
Have a lovely weekend.