11 August 2020

Unique Innovative Liquid Cotton Kolam/Rangoli Art

Unique Innovative Liquid Cotton Kolam/Rangoli Art
My fascination with Kolam begins with the days when my mother (Amma) used to draw different shapes at the entrance of our house. Sometimes she used to draw a pattern on paper especially the geometric ones and then recreate it with the Kolam powder.
On festival days she used to soak the rice and a wee bit of Udad dal/Urad dal and then grind it into a fine paste and dip a small rag cloth (meant especially for the purpose of drawing kolam) into the paste and squeeze with her fingers and make patterns deftly on the ground.
As a child I used to be awe struck and always wanted to try.
Never did it come as perfect as Amma’s.
As the days passed, I did get a hang of it but it would never turn out as perfect as Amma’s.
She was an expert in Ma-kolam and Podi Kolam (Powder Rangoli) and she would draw them religiously each day every day.
A kolam is not drawn only with the purpose of decorating the entrance but it serves a greater purpose of feeding the smaller beings like ants and other insects or even birds, thus defining a harmonious co-existence.
In the South of India, it’s believed that drawing a kolam is to invite Goddess Laxmi who symbolizes wealth and prosperity.
The patterns usually range between geometric and mathematical line drawings around a matrix of dots to free form art work and closed shapes.
Folklore has evolved to mandate that the lines must be completed so as to symbolically prevent evil spirits from entering the inside of the shapes, and thus are they prevented from entering the inside of the home. This means that it is also for good luck and protection.

Evolution of Kolam
As times passed, the humble Kolam Evolved and now we have various types and styles of drawing the kolam like flower rangoli, colored rangoli and water rangoli to name a few. 




Innovation of the Liquid Cotton Kolam/Rangoli
What is Liquid Cotton Kolam / Rangoli?

This is a special type of Rangoli/Kolam made using the traditional south Indian rice paste but drawn using a strand of cotton. (You can either use a cotton bud or a satay stick with cotton wound around it)
We must pull out some cotton so that it comes out like a brush (This part is tricky)

It isn't as easy as it seems.
A lot of control is needed as you are handling a liquid to draw and the strand can give way or change shape while drawing.

This style is innovated by me and is an Improvisation of the Traditional South Indian Ma-kolam, with a twist to help people whose hands have been affected by Arthritis.

How this innovation came into being?
Every year for Festivals, we make Ma-kolam. Ma-kolam is the traditional south Indian Kolam and without drawing it, the festival seems incomplete as it’s a ritualistic tradition passed down from generations together. It is done to welcome the Gods/goddesses to out home on festival days.

I got diagnosed with Arthritis in my early 40’s and started finding it difficult to sit, squat, bend on the floor to draw Ma-kolam.

Since my hands were also affected it became challenging to draw Ma-kolam.

While I was contemplating on a solution, I got the idea of customizing boards being made especially for the purpose.

Once that got done, I started making Ma-kolam on the boards and placed it wherever I wanted it to be placed.

Now, I could sit comfortably at the dining table and draw my Ma-kolam.

No compromise on the rice paste though as I need to serve the greater cause and stick to the traditions as well.

While doing this, last year I wanted to get more innovative and draw festive based themes and not the traditional patterns only.

I shared it on my social media handles and got rave reviews for it.

People personally messaged me to appreciate me on my Kolam designs.

And thus, came into being the Liquid Cotton Kolam / Rangoli

Now I sit where its comfortable and draw the Rangoli on customized boards.

They say that, "Necessity is the mother of invention".

If you want something, you will always try your best and put all your energies in getting it.

“My love for Drawing Ma-kolam made me think of this idea”

- Sukanya Yogesh (Sukanya's Musings)

(©Liquid Cotton Kolam/Rangoli Art) 




#LiquidCottonMakolam #LiquidCottonRangoli #sukanyasmusings #Truimphoverarthritis

31 July 2020

A Sweet Chocolate Story - KANCHAN SHARMA (A GIFTED CHOCOLATIER )

A Sweet Chocolate Story

KANCHAN SHARMA - A GIFTED CHOCOLATIER 



Chocolate is happiness that you can eat.
Chocolate is love without Words.
Chocolate has been a gift that could never go wrong.
Be it a gift on a first date, for valentines, For an anniversary or to make up after a fight.
There are millions of reasons to gift chocolates.
Chocolates from time immemorial have been associated with happiness.
Chocolate contains the chemicals phenethylamine and serotonin, which are thought to be stress busters, mood boosters and even said to have aphrodisiac properties.
Eating chocolate makes you feel good, even euphoric. And nothing can beat the pleasure of how it melts in your mouth and instantly manages to change your mood.
When chocolate can do so much for you why not indulge in the delights from Kanchan Sharma's chocolate boutique "Mishtii". 




Mishti means sweet in Hindi and it means a sweet person in Sanskrit. What an apt name for my childhood friend who's as sweet as her sweet venture.
After getting married, having kids, managing her hearth and home and balancing a career in tutoring kids for 18 years successfully, Kanchan finally found her calling in Chocolates. 
Something that she loved to indulge in since she was a child.
She decided to follow her calling and learnt to make chocolates 5 years ago.
Armed with the skill, she started to perfect this art and made chocolates as gifts. 
She started getting rave reviews for her chocolates. 


This year she decided to name her brand. 
Her husband, Mr. Sanjiv Sharma, who's an ace in his business of "Sign boards making" since the last 25 years and very supportive towards Kanchan's venture suggested her, the name "Mishtii". 


When I asked Kanchan, "Why would people want to buy Homemade chocolates when there are so many big brands available in the shops?"
Pat came the reply, Can the brands customise to the person’s needs?, they are churned out in factories, lying in shelves, sometimes not stored properly even.
Mishtii chocolates are made fresh upon order. Kanchan insists upon personally handpicked ingredients that are fused into exotic combinations. She crafts them with love, they can be made into different shapes and sizes, she can make chocolates for vegans and diabetic friendly as well.
They can be personalized for occasions/events. 


She has made beautiful chocolate gifts for Milestone Wedding Anniversaries. 
She can design them uniquely depending on the occasion. 
She excitedly shares with me about how they surprised a relative with the unique gift of her husband's specially crafted signage board and a beautiful chocolate box from Mishtii. 
Her husband's business compliments her business in creating many unique and innovative gifts and together they can cater to many a corporate events and functions. 
Kanchan is constantly evolving and now she has a range in liqueur chocolates.
She says it's a rage among the New Generation chocolate lovers. Rum and raisins is the most popular flavor she quips.
Her Caramel & Butterscotch flavors are to die for. 
Be it dark chocolate, white chocolate, exotic nuts, center filled delights or truffles, she can make them in her home boutique.
Her chocolate fudge loaded with walnuts is another jewel from her chocolate boutique that should not be missed.
Her daughters are her strength and the pillars to her success story. They support her and continue to help her with the E-commerce requirements and marketing through social media handles and logistics.
With the support of family and friends and such rave reviews from customers, Mishtii has made a niche for herself with the likes of Master chef Ripu daman Handa appreciating her chocolates and sharing it on his social media handle.
Currently Kanchan serves customers only in Delhi NCR region, but she’s having a demand from other states in India and her customers settled abroad as well. 


Do Try Mishtii's fresh homemade chocolates prepared hygienically with love.
Satisfaction guaranteedπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

To order from Kanchan's chocolate boutique
You can contact -:
MISHTII (Chocolate Boutique)
Kanchan Sharma
πŸ“±Mobile No. - +91 98993 76602


Different Strokes
A Segment featuring and honoring local & International Talents. 
© Sukanya's Hobbies And Crafts 

Sukanya is an International blogger and Freelance Food Writer based in Singapore.
A freelance content writer, she has written articles for various websites on varied topics.
© https://www.sukanyasmusings.com/








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

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 & International Talents.
© 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 & International Talents.
© 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.