My first Craft project

As a child, I was constantly shifting schools because of my father’s job. The maximum time I spent at any school was 2 years. When my dad gets a transfer, all of us (Mom, my brother and me) would shift along with him. My friends would be awe struck if I tell them how many schools I have been to. In India we have 14 schooling years (2 years of kindergarten and 12 years there after). Believe it or not, I have been to twelve schools.

With all the shifting, I was used to constant change (oxymoron) in my life. I could adjust to new environments soon. But that does not mean I loved change. In fact, I dreaded change. Every year during summer holidays when all my friends and cousins are busy playing, I would be busy preparing for the entrance examinations to get into a new school at a new place. I hated to leave my new friends and join a new school. Again, before I make new friends, it was time to shift again. I hope my children do not have to go through all these torments.

Due to all these, I never picked up a hobby. If one school had an hour for hobby every week, another school would not have. One school has an Art class and the other would not have heard of it. Same goes with sports too. If volley ball was the main sport in one school, another would only have basket ball. So I became the jack of all and master of none.

As I was not properly introduced to any hobby, I do not know what I like. That is how I began this hobby hunt. After reading scores of information online, I took up the following two as a starting point.

  1. Convert a glass bottle into a flower vase
  2. Make tissue paper carnations

The Flower Vase:

I had no previous experience with paints. I had used only water colors during Art classes at school. The instructions were simple.

  1. Find a glass bottle for the project
  2. Clean it and allow it to dry
  3. Buy a shade of acrylic paint you like
  4. Just pour the paint in and swirl it around so that the insides of the bottle is fully coated
  5. Repeat step 4 one more time after giving some time for the paint to dry
  6. Allow the bottle to dry completely
  7. Find some flowers for the vase

Wow, these steps are pretty simple. I purchased 2 acrylic colors white and yellow. These were camlin tube acrylic colors. Once I had these on my hand, on a fine afternoon after putting my kids to sleep, I got ready for my first project.

I poured (read squeezed) the paint (read paste) into the bottle. Well, to be frank I was surprised that my acrylic paint was not in the flowing consistency (the way it was depicted in some blogs I read) and I was not able to swirl it around the bottle. I was impatient to get going. So instead of stopping my project and searching online for a solution, I did an experiment. I poured in some water to get it to the consistency that I would like. What a funny thing to do! If people who have some experience with paints read this, they will be laughing out aloud at my silly attempt. As it turns out, water should not be mixed with acrylic paints.

After spending nearly an hour and wasting more paint, I decided to give up. I was definitely disappointed that my first project was a failure. But the enthusiasm did not die. Immediately, I started the next project.

Tissue paper carnations:

A simple google search on ‘Tissue paper carnations” would show us a wonderful bouquet of these from Folding Trees. There is a wonderful tutorial in their website that can help beginners like me. Please find the tutorial here.

The steps are pretty simple.

  1. Find tissue paper for your project
  2. Fold it and draw around 5-6cm circle on top
  3. Cut along the circle to get a bunch of tissue paper circles
  4. Holding all the tissue paper circles together, shade the edges with a sketch pen. This is an optional step but makes the flowers pretty.
  5. Take around 12 circles.
  6. Make 2 holes in the center to fasten floral wire or pipe cleaner
  7. Layer by layer, scrunch up the tissue paper leaving some  space around the edges.
  8. At the end you are left with beautiful carnations.

Mine were not half as pretty, but to my eyes they were 🙂

Tissue Paper CarnationsI really enjoyed making these. It took one day to make one flower. Not an entire day, but around 15-20 minutes a day. That is all the time I get for myself with two children under 3.

If you have some time and are looking to do something on a lazy afternoon, why not give this a try. In case you do not have floral wires or pipe cleaners, use some yarn to keep all those circles together. The end result can then be used for decorating gift boxes.

Hobby Hunt

I am on a hobby hunt spree now. One of the main reasons for that is to keep my sanity. I badly require some distraction from my daily chores. Raising two children both under 3 is no small challenge. Since the time my husband went abroad for his work related duties, I have been having a very hard time. We are staying at our parents’ place. I have all the help that is needed. But as the children are small, they fight for my attention. Both of them want me to do almost all the things for them. The more I insist they take help from their grandparents, the more adamant they get. Finally, it is me who does that task. After a while, I just get tired. This tiredness gets converted to short tempers. I lose my temper for the silliest things ever. Later, I am cross at myself for this behaviour. But the routine just gets repeated over and over.

During the single 1-2 hour break I get when the kids nap, I get some things like bath, laundry done. After that I spend my time browsing the internet. Right when I am in a mood to sleep, one of them gets up. I am back to being grumpy.

Also, I realized that being a mom is a thankless job. Nobody appreciates the good work you do. But, yes, people are ready to point fingers when something is not done. Some of you might wonder why anyone should be appreciated for being a mom. Isn’t that your duty? Yes, I accept that it is my duty. But the child in me wants some recognition for the hours of work I put day in and out. Please do not get me wrong. I enjoy the little things both of them do throughout the day i.e. the hugs, kisses, smiles and numerous other things. I experience unconditional love which only children can shower on mom. I know this phase is not going to last forever and I am cherishing all that. But I do need some break to do something that I like.

Coming back to the subject of hobby hunting, I needed to do something in the little time I have. It should also give me a sense of achievement. Then I decided to learn something new. There were many things interested me  like sewing, flower making, general crafts, fabric stamping etc. With the amount of information available over the internet, if someone is keen enough to learn, it can be done. I decided to try something simple and fool proof. In plain words, I wanted marvelous results with little effort 🙂 Finally I narrowed it down to flower making and fabric stamping.

Now came the difficult part of sourcing the supplies. Since I cannot step out of the house, I decided to look for supplies online. I prepared my list over and over many times and at last ordered them from Itsybitsy. They had almost everything I needed. Shipping was not free though. But I was ready to pay the shipping charges because I will anyway have to shell out a lot more if I am going to take an auto to the nearest craft store (wherever that is). They sent my stuff after nearly 10 days. It seems this is not the usual processing time, but a result of numerous orders during a clearance sale. That was the only problem. By the time the shipment arrived, the enthusiasm had taken a hit. Apart from that, it was a pleasant experience shopping at their website. They had a wide range of goods that one would require for any craft and the packaging was neat. There were no damages to any of the items.Now what? I wanted to try two things. One was to convert a glass bottle into a flower vase and another was to make some flowers out of tissue papers. How did it go? Let us get to that in the next post.