30 March 2020

STORING AND MAINTAINING SAREES

STORING AND MAINTAINING SAREES
Sarees are a woman's pride and joy. It is a drape that instantly makes you look gorgeous and sexy at the same time.
Since I joined online groups of Saree enthusiasts, the number of sarees I own has increased and it's posing a threat to occupy any empty space it gets.
Extra Shelves have been made in my cupboard, I got a king size under bed storage.
The cabinets are starting to complain of the overload.
Luckily, I got my cabinets custom made to bear more weight, otherwise, the poor shelves would have given way.
Need to keep the treasures away from the prying eyes of my family(Especially my husband,😜😜 else he would say, you have so many, yet, you want to buy one), that was completely in humor. I have an eye to encroach upon a space in his cabinet too.
Posting something different for a change. Since its the locked-In period, I thought people can put to good use this period by tending to their precious weaves.
I would like to share with you'll.....
Tips in Storing and Maintaining Sarees:
Storing the sarees
I pack my sarees in saree covers made from Fabric with a front plastic sheet window panel for me to see the sarees inside. Some of them are in see through Plastic covers.
But the Fabric ones are long lasting compared to the Plastic ones and Eco-friendly too.
Planning to change all into Fabric covers soon.
I have been buying my saree covers for ages from a street vendor. It's done with the idea to support small time vendors as they depend on this as a source of income. I don't ever bargain with him, although he knows I live abroad, he's honest and charges me what he charges other customers. He doesn't even like to keep the change if I offer him out of goodwill. That's another reason to support him. Honesty and Integrity.
Care of the Sarees after use
  • Every saree I wear will be air dried after I wear them, then ironed and then placed inside the respective saree bag. Do not place the saree hot from the iron into the bags. Allow them to cool down first.
  • If there is a stain, only that part of the stain will be washed using a mild baby shampoo/soap and dried.
  • All sarees get a much needed Sunbath once every 3 months and the folds are changed and placed back into Saree covers. (This is important, as the humidity levels in Singapore are quite high and there's a chance to get fungus or silver fish).
  • Don't put them in the hot Afternoon sun, but mild morning sun or evening sun.
  • Again, do not place the saree hot inside the bags, let it cool down.
  • Changing of folds are important to avoid dust lines. Always change the crease every now and then to avoid deep creasing and permanent fold that may be difficult to iron out easily.
Sorting
When there is a population explosion of sarees in your house, it gets important to sort them; this, makes it easier to choose the saree based on the event and the crowd that would be attending it.


Example - My Kanjivarams, south silks would be worn for a party with the South Indians, Navaratri Festival(Haldi kumkum) etc.

My Banarasi sarees would be kept for North Indian functions/festivals.

My Bandhini's & Leheriyas for Teej/other festivals.

South Cottons and the likes for general events etc. And so on and so forth.....

You can sort it your way....

Now that all are sorted, I label the bags.
Expensive silk sarees are individually wrapped in cotton Fabric(My mom used to use old mulmul dhotis).
Even old cotton pillowcases can be converted to saree holders.
*Fabric Sort*
I sort the sarees based on Fabrics as well. Silk sarees are stored separately and cottons separately.
*Color Sort*
I also color sort the sarees into the bags, so when I'm in a rush I know exactly which bag I have to check to choose the saree for the day.
The dark sarees and pastel sarees are "not" kept together for fear of staining.
Care
  • I use cloves for the protection of my sarees. Cloves are good insect repellents and will protect your weaves. Instead of dropping them around, i put the cloves in small organza pouches and put the pouches in my saree bag. One pouch for one saree bag is enough. Every year the cloves get replaced.

  • An even better option is to use dry neem leaves as they have anti-pest and anti-fungal properties. Do not use fresh leaves as they could stain the fabric.
  • Neem has anti-pesticidal and anti-fungal properties.
  • Avoid using naphthalene balls or chemicals for protection from insects.
  • I also place De-humidifiers in my cupboard /cabinet where I keep my silk sarees. Always store in a cool & dehumidified space and away from direct sunlight.
  • Do not dry clean and roll press at the same time. The fabric will loose it's natural crispness and start to tear. I think if possible avoid the laundry, when it comes to your precious weaves.
  • Ironing at home is better than ironing at the laundry as they press very hard causing deep crease lines/folds.
My sarees are my treasure troves. Some of the sarees have sentimental value like my wedding sarees, the sarees gifted to me on special occasions, the sarees passed down by my mother(She passed away in 2017).

Every time I wear them, i feel like my mother is hugging me.
With love and care, the sarees will last longer. With these simple steps you can make each worthy saree an heirloom, to be passed on to the next generation. An expensive saree is like an expensive car. So nurture it and enjoy the returns.

16 May 2019

FLOWER POWER - SEEMA IYER (A PASSIONATE IKEBANA ARTIST)

FLOWER POWER - SEEMA IYER (A PASSIONATE IKEBANA ARTIST)

SEEMA IYER

Coming from a military background and armed with a degree in Geology from the reputed Fergusson College, Pune & an MBA in marketing,
Seema is a woman with grit and determination.
She loves travelling, has varied interests in trekking, rock climbing, a self confessed exercise enthusiast, she maintains a disciplined lifestyle and enjoys Ikebana with a passion unsurpassed.
Being a nature lover, she was always fascinated by flowers, leaves and rocks.
Studying geology further enhanced and deepened her interest in this subject.
She proudly shares with me that she was given the first prize in the inter school rock climbing competition by Ms.Bachendri Pal, the famous Indian mountaineer (the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest).




Introduction to the Art……
She chanced upon getting to watch an ongoing Ikebana class at the Community centre while dropping her son for a class, she was so fascinated that she decided to enroll to learn the art.

From there began her journey……
Seema started to learn the Ikebana art of the Sogetsu School of Japan, which believes Ikebana can be created “Anytime, anywhere, by anyone, using any material”.
Since young, she used to love arranging fresh flowers in a vase at home, but Ikebana gave wings to her creative mind, as it allowed her to play with more materials and the freedom to express her innermost feelings and beliefs through materials that she always loved.

SOME NOTABLE WORKS
Ikebana is about tradition, serenity and the appreciation of nature.
According to one of Japan’s most influential modern ikebana practitioners, the reclusive 69-year-old artist Toshiro Kawase, that is precisely the point: to see that “the whole universe is contained within a single flower” — for one small thing to open our minds to so much more.
In our living environment where more and more artificial and inorganic substances are being used, flowers bring peace of mind to us.
Seema says, “Ikebana to her is like meditation, it’s a meditation on Nature’s unique gifts to mankind, even dried and withered materials grace an arrangement with pride.
The beauty is in the process and it is very personal.

SOME NOTABLE WORKS, THE LAST ONE IS A GRASSHOPPER MADE FROM COCONUT LEAVES
Seema finished her course, but she wanted to pursue it more, so she kept on going to the next level and the next.
She started excelling at class and her teacher appreciated her “Unique style of arranging flowers”

Receiving a certificate in Ikebana

Seema innocently quips, “I didn’t know that I had a hidden talent waiting to be discovered”
Ikebana is a form of art, making an ikebana arrangement is no less than a work of art, it involves meticulous planning, arranging and oodles of creativity.
Arranging flowers has always been considered a way of harmonizing humanity and the natural world.
Recently, she joined a group on Facebook called “Ikebana Passion” which is a group of ikebana lovers from all over the world. She started sharing her creative works online and she received rave reviews from people on the platform encouraging her further.
Learning this ancient art over the past few years has taught me that simplicity and minimalism are the hallmark of classic Ikebana.
Ikebana arrangements can be used to decorate weddings, banquets, events, corporate events, alcoves, entrances, centre table and coffee table arrangements etc.
It can be customized based on themes as well with freedom to the artist’s expression.
Now, a certified teacher of Ikebana from the Sogetsu School of Japan, Seema runs workshops for Ikebana.

Seema conducting a workshop
Pictures from the workshop
Pictures from the workshop

Ikebana Workshop group

































If you want to learn from a person who truly and passionately loves the art, you must contact her.
If you want to get an artistic arrangement made by her…..

You can Contact -:
Seema Iyer
Singapore
Handphone No. +65 83078977

Different Strokes
Segment featuring and honoring local Artists.
© Sukanya's Hobbies And Crafts





THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND TEXT OF SUKANYA'S HOBBIES AND CRAFTS CANNOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION AND WOULD BE CONSIDERED A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.

11 April 2019

ABOLI CALLIDUS - AMISHA BHATT, A CLAY ARTIST WITH A DIFFERENCE

AMISHA BHATT

AMISHA BHATT 











Once you check her Facebook page ABOLI CALLIDUS, you will know that Amisha Bhatt is an artist with a difference.
Recently i had the fortune to visit this very talented artist Amisha Bhatt. Not sharing about her would be "sacrilege"
Amisha Bhatt⁩ is very passionate about her art. Her art is very unique. Very few people do clay art in Singapore, but Amisha's clay art is a class apart. It's very different from other's. She weaves magic with clay. The piece of clay comes to life under her deft, artistic fingers.
A visit to her house will make you feel the passion that she has for her craft. You will feel like getting each and every piece to decorate your home.
Although an engineer by profession. She left her job to pursue her passion, And now teaches her craft to people from around the World.


You will be mesmerized watching her transform a piece of clay to perfection.
The petals of the flowers are so thin & fine that it almost looks like a real flower. Ask her how she manages to create so beautifully, she humbly replies, "She uses the best quality clay imported from Japan".
Amisha is a person who would never compromise on the quality of the material used for her art.
Amisha admits, it is no walk in the park starting out as a self-taught craft artist, especially for one who hopes to turn his or her craft into a full-time job.
Amisha also laments on the misconception that being one’s own boss as an independent artist is easy money.
On the contrary, she says one would need to have a genuine love for his or her craft, while being clear of having the right intentions. It's not only about money!!!
Nonetheless, Amisha acknowledges the sense of fulfillment that comes with being able to craft beautiful creations by hand.
She recalls moments where her handmade creations have brought joy to another.
Amisha runs workshops in Singapore. She also runs craft classes and workshops from her home at Bukit Batok, Singapore.
You can contact her to learn her craft or for those not artistically inclined you can buy beautiful and unique gifts for any occasions from her. She can customize gifts according to requirements. Everything will be handcrafted and guaranteed unique and memorable.

You can Contact -:
Amisha Bhatt
Singapore
Handphone No. +65 8657 1600
ABOLI CALLIDUS (Click on the name to reach her facebook page)

Different Strokes 
Segment featuring and honoring local Artists.
© Sukanya's Hobbies And Crafts






THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND TEXT OF SUKANYA'S HOBBIES AND CRAFTS CANNOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION AND WOULD BE CONSIDERED A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.

10 April 2019

UNSUNG HEROES WHO CHOSE DIFFERENTLY……

DIFFERENT STROKES - UNSUNG HEROES
For very long I have not been able to contribute much to this blog of mine
Sometimes it's very good to take a break, you return back with a bang with renewed ideas and energy and your creative juices flowing.
It's been a long time I have not been blogging on my Hobbies and crafts blog and rightly so, the demands of everyday life, taking care of my family and career sucked out all the energy and there was no energy left to pursue hobbies and crafts.
But, now, after a few years I feel it's the time for me to start doing the things that I love to do and one of the things I absolutely loved and still love to do is Write.
Back in the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s we had no social media or mobile phones but our lives were enriched by books. I have to thank my parents who encouraged me to read. They also encouraged me to write and use good vocabulary.
Reading great works inspires good writing and you become a better writer by osmosis.
Fortunately, we had the privilege of reading works by great authors like Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the list of the stalwarts is endless. Even now I read, but on my mobile phone.
I need to also give credit to my friends who always kept telling me that I must write. The writing got contained into social media posts. After seeing some of my posts they would comment; "You write so well".
Just recently, a social media friend stopped me outside a shopping centre and said, “ I saw your post and it’s so beautifully written that it touched a chord”.
Sometimes, we ourselves are unaware of the impact of the things we do, until we are made aware of it by the people around us. I enjoy writing and sometimes end up reading what I wrote a couple of times. When the thoughts flow, I just keep typing vociferously at my keyboard and sometimes on my mobile. Mobile phones have definitely given us the convenience of writing at our own pace and time and wherever we go.
Writing makes me very happy; it helps me to find solace like an oasis in the desert.
Writing is definitely an escape for me.
For as long as I can remember, I used to write.
I used to write when I was sad, I used to write when I was happy and somewhere in between too. It has always helped me feel better.
I think that the best part of writing is; it not only helps you. It helps others and brings joy to others just as much as it does you.
And I have thought of using this skill to bring into limelight the people around me who are heroes in their own right. Some people get the name and fame for what they are doing and there are yet others who are not acknowledged or recognized but are committed to give more than they take.
People who have been noticed less or haven’t gotten the laurels they deserve.
I would call them “Unsung Heroes”. These heroes are focused on the big picture and are willing to sacrifice time and effort for the good of others or to pursue a passion that they so deeply believe in.
These fearless hearts and audacious dreamers have maintained their optimism.
They have followed their heart and have been standing against all odds to prove their mettle.
Being a hero is not an easy thing but there are more heroes out there than you might think. People who are heroes do not always get recognized. Some of them don’t even think of themselves as heroes.
This is a humble attempt by me to showcase the heroes around me from various walks of life.
A hero is not necessarily someone who wears a cape or has superpowers and saves the world.
Being a hero is about helping others, sharing, caring and endeavoring to make a difference in other people’s lives, creating a ripple effect that all started with you whether using art, craft, talent, acts of kindness; giving back to the society and always hoping to make it a better place to live in.
Extraordinary people exist within even the most seemingly ordinary lives. They are the ones with the knack for living genuinely and who inspire us to attempt the same.
We all have a unique talent and skill set. What the world needs are heroes who have the ability to make extraordinary things happen in the environment we live in.
Different Strokes is a segment featuring and honoring local Artists.

- Sukanya Yogesh












© Sukanya's Hobbies And Crafts


THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND TEXT OF SUKANYA'S HOBBIES AND CRAFTS CANNOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION AND WOULD BE CONSIDERED A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.


09 November 2012

PAINTING EARTHEN LAMPS (DIYAS)


PAINTING EARTHEN LAMPS (DIYAS)
Continuing with the recycling theme for the Festival of Lights(Deepavali/ Diwali). Here is another very beautiful and very novel idea. Recycling old earthen lamps and making them look unique. There are many beautiful and colorful diyas available in the market but they are expensive. You can buy simple earthen diyas from the market which are still quite cheap and give it your own personal touch, a dash of creativity.
I was inspired to do this because I saw some beautiful earthen diyas painted by my friend who is immensely talented and creative. I decided that I am going to embark on this project as I had decided earlier on that I will go green and recycle as much as possible this Diwali.
People will still buy diyas in the market as it is a matter of convenience and availability. But what I want to suggest here is to reduce the buying and try to recycle old stuff and also let your creativity take wings.

Things to note while re-using and recycling are
Earthen diyas sometimes can’t be re-used as there may be problems with oil leaking from the bottom or diyas not stored properly breaking or sometimes black burnt marks or oil stains making the diya look very old and not worth using.
-          If you have diyas with oil leaking dispose them, they cannot be recycled.
-          If they are broken they are not considered auspicious so you can dispose them.
Only the diyas that are working fine and not broken can be re-used

What can be easily re-used and given a new look are
-          Diyas which have burnt marks can be re-used
-          Diyas which have oil stains can be re-used.

How to go about it -
Step 1 – Soak the earthen lamps in hot water with some lemon soap. This removes the oil. Wash them nicely. Scrub the black marks with Cif or some such strong cream cleaner with bleach. Rinse them through nicely. Wipe them dry. Sun-dry them for about 2-3 hours.
Step 2 – Now your diyas are ready for some action. Choose a base paint. You can use any acrylic paint. I used a brown-red ultra gloss paint for exteriors. This not only helped me paint my diyas, cover the burnt marks which couldn’t be washed off but also gave it a sleek and shiny look. This paint cost me $1.40 for a can and I have a lot left still.
Step 3 – Choose a place which is airy and lay newspapers or a plastic sheet on the ground or table lest you stain them. Start by painting the inside, let them be until they are dried.
Step 4 – The next day I painted the outside of the diya



Step 5 – Let it dry and on the third day you can start decorating the diyas, You can draw simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, a flower, petal shapes, dots or anything as per how your creativity takes you.


What I did with my Diyas
I used white, silver and gold as the 3 colors for my decoration. I drew kolam (South Indian Rangoli patterns) patterns, simple chakras, Swastik, dots etc as you can see from the picture with Permanent Marker Pens. These dry instantly. You can alternatively use Acrylic paints and a brush to do these as well. Let this dry for another day. Sun-dry or Air dry as per convenience and your diyas are ready to use.



What you can do with them -
-          You can stick fabrics, glitter, sequences, beads, crystals, beautiful colored twines or anything as per your wish.

I’m sure people will be impressed with these diyas as they cannot see these anywhere in the market and they are one of a kind and unique and completely handmade by you.
I am sure the family will be proud of your art. 
Try making these for this Deepavali. Go green, Recycle and re-use. Save the environment and Save your money too.