Marker Doodles

Can you remember the excitement as a child, when you opened up a FRESH box of crayons or markers and knew that they were ALL YOURS?? The crayons with their flawlessly molded tips, letting off that sweet aroma of wax and the markers, beautifully pointy, just bursting with fresh vibrant ink…It represented a whole new world of beautiful art to be made! Some of us never quite outgrow that excitement of getting new crayons or markers, do we?

Ha! I sure didn’t! While cleaning out some of my old folders, I came across some doodles I had made when feeling excited about a fresh pack of markers I had just bought.

Vase

I used colored pencils too. Nothing fancy. Just something I did for fun and thought I’d share.

FairyFlowersFrmd

I hope everyone is having a lovely summer so far!

A Little Old Lady

Just finished working out…I really feel like I’ve got it all together, like a powerful Jedi, when I manage to work out amidst cooking, cleaning, potty-training J, semi home-schooling J, chasing after the dog and squeezing in crafting time! JEDI JAINY!

Anyway, even with all the business in my life, my mind always has a way of wandering to the people I am missing. Today, it’s my gram-ma. (In my language, Malayalam, we call our gram-ma’s “Ammachi”, pronounced UH-muh-chee.)

Although she passed away, I’ll never forget the way she made me feel…like I was just too precious for words. She was only about 4.5 feet tall but full of fire…with a bright twinkle in her eyes. She’d always stock up on my favorite snacks when I came and keep feeding me sweets, even as I got older. Every time she gave me a kiss, she’d inhale my whole cheek! That’s LOVE.

One of those times I was missing her, I let it inspire one of my random doodlings.┬áSo here it is…hopefully it gives you a pleasant memory of a special little old lady in your own life…be it your ammachi, neighbor, friend or other family member. Make sure you give them a big hug and inhaled-cheek kiss next time you see them!

Fancy art is nice, but sometimes crayons and markers just feel GOOD.

Fancy art is nice, but sometimes crayons and markers just feel GOOD.

Maybe, I’ll use this doodle to inspire myself to write a children’s book. Lol…yes, add that to my list of things to do. I’m clearly not busy ENOUGH! ­čśÇ

The Forever Blooms

We just moved in to our new home in October, and I’m pretty much STILL unpacking. It’s a lot of work but it’s fun unearthing all sorts of little trinkets and treasures I forgot I had. I recently opened up a box and found some old acrylic paintings I had done when D and I were “newlyweds”. They’ve been locked up in the box for almost 4 years so I forgot they even existed. I decided to change them up a little bit to better fit our home.

Well, my apologies because I really should have taken a picture of them, BEFORE I started modifying them…oops.ArttoModifyEach painting used to have a small maroon and pink bird on it. They were just “okay”, so I decided to erase any sign of their existence with a bit of black paint.

I knew I wanted to replace the birds with some flowers but then I had a stroke of genius thanks to Pinterest. Instead of painting on new flowers, why not create fabric blooms?! Not only would they add dimension to the art, but I could also incorporate fabrics I used for throw pillows in the adjacent room…Double WIN!

I first created a template for my flower petals – Folding a sheet of paper in half, I drew half of a flower-petal shape against the paper fold’s crease. I cut it out and then unfolded it to get a nice symmetrical flower petal template. I repeated this with a smaller petal size so I could have a double-layered flower which could incorporate two different fabrics.

Every flower needs its petals.

Using a template, I cut out several flower petals from two different fabrics.

Once the petals were cut out, I paired up one big petal with one small petal, and holding the two petals together, ran some needle and thread through them. You end up with a string chain of the petals.

Fabric Flowers Step 2

Create a string chain of the petals

I made sure that the needle went through both ends of the smaller petal when creating the chain.

Example of a petal string chain when using only one layer of fabric

Example of a petal string chain when using only one layer of fabric. (This was from when I first experimented with making this flower using just one fabric/layer.)

Once you have your chain of petals, you pretty much just cinch up the petals the way you want, and join the two ends by stitching them together however you see fit. To help make the flower more sturdy, I flipped it over and stitched the back corners of the petals together.

Fabric Flowers Step 3

Secure the back of the flower by stitching the bottom corners together.

I also used my scissors to trim the top of the petals until I liked what I had. Here’s the resulting flower!

FabricFlowerCompleted(Let the “Oooh’s and Aaaah’s commence!) But seriously, the number of uses for fabric flowers are countless! They would be great for hair clips/headbands, wreathes, clothing accents, artwork, gift packaging, general decorating, etc. However, if you were to use a fabric flower for a purpose where it would be handled often, I’d recommend using a fray-stopping solution, like Fray-Check to secure the edges of your flower. Also, this flower can be modified in so many ways, such as the┬ánumber of petals, number of fabrics/layers, colors, petal shapes…the possibilities are endless!

This lucky crafter FINALLY got her hands on her very own glue gun. (YESSSSS!) It’s a super basic mini gun but there’s nothing like hot glue to get a girl excited and ready to stick things (anything and everything) together! I broke-in my new toy by gluing a small square of felt as a backing for the flower. This provides a better surface to attach the flower to my art.

HotGlueBacking

Here are my newly modified pieces of art, with the flowers in place:

PaintingsModified

I just need to hang these up now!

Modified PaintingsI’m in love with the pop of color and the dimensional effect these flowers add to the art. I wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself adding these sweet little flowers to a few other things around the house. Can a girl have too many flowers? I guess I’ll find out!┬áFabric Flower 1A flower that will never wilt….forever in bloom – This is the flower for me.

Fabric Flower Art 2

I leave you with one of my more recent favorite quotes – “Be the kind of woman, who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says “Oh no, she’s up”.”

India: A Home of Inspiration

When it comes to inspiration, Indian culture is a huge influence for me.  Truly a land, with its rich heritage, that is just overflowing with vibrant and beautiful colors, textiles, architecture, music, dance, tapestries,wood-work and more!

IndianDancers

Classical Indian Dancers, with graceful and highly skilled movements, often portray beautiful and exciting stories and emotions with their dances. For more information on this dance troop, please click on the image above.

(The girls in the above photograph are actually friends of mine. Two of them were trying to figure out how to get into my blog but little did they know, they didn’t have to try too hard! I have a soft spot for them, so I’m pretty sure you’ll be seeing them again.)

 

Art is literally all over the streets of India.

Monkey Speak No Evil

“Monkey Speak No Evil” – I purchased this monkey from a street beggar who carved it from a dried coconut shell. (Coconuts grow in abundance in that part of India.)

Perhaps I’m ever-so-slightly biased, being the daughter of two Indian immigrants…Naaaah! India is amazing. Having personally been there, I can attest to the incredible rush of inspiration that floods you when you are surrounded by the lush sights, sounds, smells and flavors that are INDIA.

PineappleField

In Keekozhoor (INDIA), on a hill overlooking my late grandfather’s pineapple field and distant hills. 2004

As I mentioned in my Recap post, my interest with anything creative, started with illustrative artwork. So on one of my trips to India, I decided to channel that inspiration into a few sketches.

Here they are:

WaitingLadySM

Betrothal

The idea of the above sketch is a young woman, entering a very ornate temple, to catch a secret peek at her betrothed before they have their first formal meeting.

YoungElephantSM

Young Elephant

Elephants are big part of south Indian culture. It’s very common to see them in the streets, giving rides or carrying lumber.

IndianSummerNightSM

Indian Summer Night

This last sketch is just a product of my whimsy. ­čÖé

Looking at these sketches makes me wonder what other magical and beautiful cultural inspirations I might be missing from other parts of the world! I need to start travelling more!