16 May 2019




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.

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.

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
Handphone No. +65 83078977

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


11 April 2019




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
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


10 April 2019


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


09 November 2012


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. 

24 October 2012


Very soon we will be ushering the Festival of Lights(Deepavali/ Diwali). This is not only the time for festivities but also the time for spring cleaning, disposing the old stuff, buying new stuff, decorating the altar and the house. Beautiful door hangings also known as Torans or Bandanwaar are hung at the entrance of the home to invite Goddess Lakshmi (The Goddess of Wealth).
Torans are hung outside offices/shops too, to please and attract the Goddess. Every year people throw the old torans and replace them with new ones. 
Traditionally Toran was made of Mango leaves and Marigold flowers, these were harmless to the environment, when disposed, but, nowadays we have Torans made of Wooden beads, crystals, metal, plastic etc. 
These when disposed cause harm to our environment even affecting our eco-system.
We can’t stop buying this or using this completely as we want to be updated with the times and sometimes it is a matter of convenience and availability. 
This Diwali I decided to go green and do something with a difference. 
I didn’t buy a Toran and decided to re-use my old Toran which was made of wooden beads, metal and plastic.

Things to note while re-using and recycling are 
Some materials like
-         Cheap fabrics etc used in Torans are not re-usable or recyclable as once they are dusty you can’t even wash them as the colors start to run or the fabric becomes shapeless. These Torans are primarily made with the purpose that they cannot be re-used and the people will go back to the shops to buy new ones.
-         Plastic balls tend to get dents easily and loose shape and are not easy to re-use.

What can be easily re-used and given a new look are 
-         Wooden beads, crystals and Metal.

How to go about it -
Step 1 – De-string the wooden beads, metal rings, metal balls or crystals.
Step 2 – Wash the beads, metal rings, metal balls or crystals neatly with soap and water.  Give it a quick wash and rinse as sometimes they run color. Do not use hot water. Preferably use normal tap water.
Step 3 – Dry the wooden beads in the sun till they are dry.  The other materials have to be wiped and air dried.
Step 4 – Measure the area where you want to hang the toran. Stick a blue tack to the centre and string them in the same sequence from both sides. String them in the sequence you want.

What I did with my Toran

The toran you see in my picture has a new look, I removed the colored plastic balls which had become shapeless and the mirrors stuck on them had fallen off, so I just disposed them. I also disposed the metal bells attached to it as they were totally rusted and there was no way to refurbish them. I just used the metal rings, the wooden beads and used the little piece of kalash which was gifted by a friend as a centre piece. Unfortunately I forgot to click the picture of how the old toran was looking for people to compare. But I do have a simple and elegant new toran and I attached 2 key rings to the ends to enable easy hanging of the toran.

What you can do with them 
-         You can always bead them in a different sequence using a strong thread and give it a new look,
-         You can buy new beads (with holes on both sides, so you can easily string it) and make a different pattern,
-         You can use different colored beads to give it a new color combination or as per your creativity and the ideas that come to you.
-         Just remember that string them in an order like 4 beads left and 4 beads right for it to look as good as the ones you buy in the market. 
Have a sequence, a pattern. If not it will look messy and disarrayed.

And lo and behold!!! 

You have a new toran to adorn your home and altar. If you don’t want to buy torans, you can make these at home.  
These Torans not only enhance the main entrance of your home & make it look festive but also give a friendly welcome to those who drop in to wish you for Diwali.
Imagine the compliments that you would receive for displaying something unique that cannot be seen in any home as it is not available in the market and the proud look on your husband’s face that you saved his money.
Try making these for this Deepavali....
Go green, Recycle and re-use. Save the environment and Save your money too.