Thursday, 29 December 2016

Feline Finger Puppet

This one was a gift for my little nephew, who was not yet 2 ! He loves cats, and wearing caps on his is not possible to see him without atleast one finger cap.

I used a sketch pen cap to use as the measure needed to hollow out the cat from the bottom. rolled out yellow clay and molded around the cap, after a serious dusting of powder between the surfaces. the clay surface was smoothed in first .

The head was attached next, and the features sculpted on bit by bit. Then attached to the cylindrical body. the feet, hands and tail were sculpted and attached.

The heart was sculpted and attached. And left to cure for 24 hours. the outside was given a glossy finish while I left the inner side as it was.

A perfect fit !

Monday, 26 December 2016

Hand-formed Rose Earrings

This was a special request and actually not easy when there are no molds used. To make handcrafted roses which are nearly identical . Also Cold porcelain, if not rolled out in the same thickness, dries differently.

My precision work actually leaves a lot to be desired, though I can do minute details. I do not like the idea of molds or cutters and work free form as much as possible. I tinted the clay a light peach and decided to colour as the flowers were cured.

So I did each corresponding petal on the two roses, simultaneously. But I had to wait till the roses dried to make sure that they could be used as a pair. Finally, I tinted the centre a deeper rose, and microbeads to give a pop of interest.


I have found a new app called Blogo and trying to get used to it. My problem is that when I get used to somethings, it is really tough to switch to something else.

There are quite a few posts pending, that I had post dated and kept ready on the now - redundant app.! And the past days, trying to recreate them, has been a pain. I have lost count of the number of drafts I have deleted.

But I am trying to update my work as much as possible before the New Year.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Disappearance of Blogsy App

I was just getting really comfortable with the Blogsy App through which we could update our post on Blogger via the iPad, when it completely disappears.!!

It took a while for me for me to understand why the app was not working at all ! It was gone from the App Store . Phew!

In those days, I was really busy with a lot of our family members visiting.

In between, I just noticed a glitch, but since it did not work when I tried, I left it at that !
And then I had to hunt for a replacement, an app called BLOGO. It is user friendly, but I am not someone who likes to keep trying things that have to do with technology.

Anyway, let us see how this goes..there is a backlog of stuff to work on, both for blogging, and others. It is nearly December. An year in a wink. But atleast a few respectable pieces to show for it, even though I sat twiddling my thumbs till the work space was done.

Hopefully all my posts will be done ASAP.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

BayBee Bear !

It took a while, but I finally finished the mixed media canvas. Prepared the background with acrylic paint.

Hand sculpted the baby bear with Cold porcelain. The bottle of honey, and a bee who decided to investigate the jackpot of honey .

The scene is set at that moment of suspense.!!! Will the bear and the bee bond over their mutual love for yummy honey? Or will it be a stinger ?.


Saturday, 8 October 2016

Chandelier Earrings

Making jewelry in bulk is beyond me. Every piece I make has to be thought over and over, and while executing, it may yet undergo a big change, making it totally different from when I started out.


Sometimes, I keep components for ages, before I am satisfied that I have found that perfect fit of parts. Working with Cold porcelain is another way, that I can craft that missing something, from scratch.

In this instance, the first thing I had, were the spiral designed gold tinted findings. I had bought a large haul of a variety of findings. In antique, Gold as well as silver findings. The next were the lovely malachite beads, cuboid shaped. These were a gift from my sis because I just love Malachite. I am not usually a fan of green, but I just love the natural markings on the malachite stones.

And finally, just recently, a cousin, visiting from Australia bought me an assortment of beads and findings with the triangular connectors.

It then a matter of playing mix and match, and the spiral pattern on the connectors, just called to the findings. It felt like the puzzle just fit together perfectly. The findings on the earrings were bought more than two years ago !


I have the rest of the malachite beads now to work with. But it could be some time before I am happy with using them.


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Whoa ! 40 !!


Celebrated my 40th birthday, on 24th . Best birthday so far..! Celebrating in picturesque Munnar, with family, albeit with a few key members missing, it was a great day.

Beautiful sights, great food, a surprise cake cutting and beautiful cards, and gifts that included a fab bag, a lovely saree, and things I needed for my creative pursuits...I could not ask for more!!

I think I was wished by everyone I knew, and quite a few that I have not even met in person. It just completed my day . I did get a message from a person wishing me, and marvelling at how at ease I was, revealing my age !

That part is easy, when you are in your early twenties, and get casually informed by your doctor, that the severe migraines , might be the result of a tumour! The few weeks it took, to get the tests done, and getting a negative, result was no fun. While my life did not flash in front of my eyes, it did pull me up to face things head on.

Putting everyone's wishes but mine first, was how I did things. So I stopped that. Never taking things, or people for granted was another lesson I took from this.

It is not at all easy , when you want to just fall back on the conditioning of two decades! First thing I did, was throw away the stupid medicines that did not stop my migraines, but kept me dull and sleepy. Having graduated from the science stream, doing my Masters in International Business, having to start from the fundamentals of another discipline, was no walk in the park. I did quit one time, long enough to go back home,had a re-think and decided to finish the course.

Appearing for about 12 papers, every trimester, while suffering frequent migraines that lasted a minimum of three days, ah ! Fun times !! But my batch mates were just the best. I got through a couple of arrears, and finally finished the course. I lost out on a first class by a mere 5 marks, but I consider it a big achievement .

I found a great doc back home, and got rid of my migraines. In the past 15 years, I have had only a handful of headaches! And, I married the man I chose! In my previous avatar, even if his proposal would have come home, I would have sat mute while others, being oblivious, would have arranged my marriage elsewhere! I used to be weird that way !

Ya, not that life has not thrown more thorns along the way! I was misdiagnosed as having PCOD, and the unnecessary Meds did a number on me. In fact, I lived with the side effects till last year, when I finally found a doctor who could help.

So each day that is pain free, without swollen joints, or not gaining weight while taking the next breath, I am thankful. I try to live in the moment, while I keep my dreams alive.

Every beautiful moment connecting with my family and friends, is cherished. For me, my age is proof that I managed to beat a few odds. So from that perfect cup of coffee in the morning, to managing undisturbed sleep - and every positive moment in between, is cheered for !

The toughest decision I made was to follow a creative path, after I took a break. Actually, the decision was easy. It was the guilt of straying from the beaten path, that was tough, especially considering the pain I went through, earning my Masters.

But looking back, nothing else would have given me the contentment or the will to strive and thrive. With full support from my husband, my daughter and a huge section of my beloved family and friends, I try to get better in my creativity, each day.

And the only way I can manage my being positive and creative is warding off negativity. I try as much, to keep away from toxic personalities and people who exude negativity.

The most thrilling of all, are seeing people who achieve goals on their own, following their passions. And also the various talents around the Globe who show that those superb standards are attainable, if only we strive for it.

What more can one ask for?


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Ethnic Blues

This was another custom request, on an earlier miniature tile I had made, inspired from the fabulous Jaipur Blue pottery. It was also featured in the Bead Chat magazine, along with an article I wrote .

The client wanted the similar colours that were in the tile. And so I made the pendant in the exact colours, giving emphasis on Amber.

It does resemble a mandala design. It is edged with copper metallic paint and hand painted the rest. Studded with Rhinestones.

She requested small earrings . So the discs for drop earrings are very small.


I finished it with beautiful German silver findings that are gold plated, and my favourite blue sandstones.


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Bling And Terracota

I had a new follower on my FBpage, contact me for a design similar to one of the first pendants I had made with Cold Porcelain.

It did look like it was made rather from Terracota. I had coloured it that way. And the beads I had used were green and copper. As always, duplicating anything is really not my cup of tea. And I did not want to disappoint her either.

The problem when using no molds, is just that! There is no way to reproduce anything just so. Also, I rarely have more than two strings of the same stones or beads.

Another fact is that my techniques have definitely varied over the years, I like to think that there is more finesse to my work now. Though when it comes to putting together colours and such, I tend to have my own mix.

Till today, I have never put together colours with anything other than my own inner meter. I see beautiful articles about seasons, colours, color palettes etc. But have not found much use for those while creating. So this is what I came up with, this time around.

To answer an FAQ,

I find that when picking out the colours for my creations, I can pretty much pick beads first and then get to making the cold porcelain elements, or the other way around. This instance , I made the pendant and then chose the beads.

And then for the earrings, I did not use and Cold porcelain.This earring looked festive enough and also gave a bit of a contrast, I felt.

To echo the Terracota brown, I used brown coated wire as the core instead of a flashier copper or gold jewelry wire.the Earrings are handmade wire work closed hoops on earhooks.


This is a glimpse of how they look together. The red crystals really pop. My client was happy too.


Monday, 19 September 2016

Onam 2016

Our family did not celebrate Onam this year because we had two bereavements in the family, my dad's mother - the last of my Grandparents, and a first cousin of my dad.

But our hometown is the hub of Onam celebrations in Kerala, and it is tough not to get carried away by the sights and celebrations. In fact these are times when we remember our past years with our grandfathers, most. We were not putting the formal carpet either this year, but our daughter got a chance to take part in the community event of our Residents association. And the result was nothing short of spectacular.

Work in progress, and initial layers.

The finished floral design. And of course, there is the famous Athachamayam procession, which is a spectacular feast for the eyes and very unique to Thripunithura.


The King Mahabali himself !



Kathakali, Theyyam and other folk forms.


Narada, Artha Naareshwara, getting ready for the procession through the the erstwhile Rajadhani.

Some of the Bhootha ganas.

And of course, we had little Mahabali , Vamana, and a few others visit us at home too!

After a blissful 10 days, even without the huge celebrations that is part of our household, school has reopened, and exams are on the threshold, to make sure that the fun mood does not go on and on !!

Back to routine !


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Teddy Bear Miniature Pendant

This is the smallest teddy bear that I have attempted yet. It is just an inch and 1/4th . The bear was to be attached to a key chain, but finally, it was destined to be a pendant.

It has a purple stole and and a very tiny pill box hat. Decided to just make it a pendant on a very thin silver chain. Gave a bead cap to give a slightly more ornate look, and a dangle of purple crystals to go with the purple accents of the bear. A slightly subtle touch.

And this is the finished look.


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Mini Bookworm Woes



Yet another Bookworm. Now sculpting a generic figure , is becoming easier than earlier. But the next challenge is mastering expressions. I tried a worry wart expression. An elderly book worm lamenting the fact that books are getting replaced by Kindle and tabs!

I caught it straight from the wriggly one's mouth. ! He looks all bent out of shape! Hehe

Kindle??? Reading 'apps' ?

How is a young bookworm to know?

What is a young one to gnaw?

The flavourful musty tomes,

The crispy, crinkle of the new

Oh woe ..oh woe....


The woeful bookworm is 2 inches long while his perch is 1 and 1/4 inches long, and less than an inch across.

I don't think the plight of books is as bad as he thinks! But since he was in no mood to listen, I left him wallowing. So do you think he looks worried? I would love to know your thoughts.


Friday, 12 August 2016

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Poppy Field Necklace

It has been a while since I had done the poppy pendant and matching earrings. It was inspired by the photograph of a poppy field .

And I just loved the hoop earrings. I think I have to make a few more of those !

However, for the life of me, I could not get that perfect fit of beads and findings, to complete the necklace and showcase the pendant well enough. So I just I left it sitting in a box.

The other day, while organizing my stuff, I came across these beautiful red stone beads, and it just reminded me of the poppy pendant. While it was imperative that I showcase the pendant well, I also wanted my necklace to hold it's own.

I had these lovely textured tubes of German silver, in an antique finish. The pendant was of the same finish. So then it was a matter of choosing some more beads to contrast with the red. A lot of red would have just been too much.

I had some green monalisa beads that had different hues of green. So here is the finished set. I would love to know what you think.


Monday, 1 August 2016

Swardaa turns 5 !

It is already the month of August, and I realised that I last posted here in June! The month of July just flew by. It was a memorable month by all means .
Our daughter turned 10 ! It should have been a huge celebration, by a bereavement in the family was a big blow. So we kept it rather low key, and just showered her with choice items on her wish list, wrapped it up with a midnight cake cutting and a dinner.
And 10 days after that, it was another anniversary, marking 5 years after my venture into the online business world.
Still feel like a beginner - though, especially in terms of the small amount of work that I had been able to put out . But In terms of trial and errors and learning various techniques and such, I do feel that I have come a long way. I had a giveaway too, on my FB page, since it all began there.
So I gave away two pairs of earrings, and a bracelet. I am planning something for my website too.. There is no dearth of excuses to host a give away !
Right now, my work space is getting some much needed furnishings . Once it is all done and in place, it will be great to do a reveal. Meanwhile, my work is getting some attention, but it is not time yet, to talk about that !!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Wayward Creations ! Dandy Bird

I had posted the work in progress of a miniature Cold Porcelain Bird earlier. This was one of those times, when I was really pleased with the sculpt. I did not have to do any corrections in proportion, or anything . It just came together perfectly . And this was done with plain Cold porcelain because I had thought to paint the miniature after it was done.

But the painting was another story..despite my best efforts, it just had to have a mind of it's own and the color I had in mind did not work out. But somehow the finished work was more of a stylised bird.

The bird does have a very contended look. I posed him with a couple of friend, but the cat does not look quite pleased wit h the arrangement . Too much a dandy, that bird !!


Monday, 20 June 2016

Miniature Stylised Cat

Ah well, I tried to think up some clever title for this post , but I guess this is it !!! Haha

Sometimes while I think up elaborate designs to craft with, something simple may actually come out better. And while I try to make something simple, it may end up being too elaborate. And there are yet other times, when things look fine, ,but the end product completely throws you off !

Is there any wonder why I love what I do? Every end result is a surprise to even myself ! Even the ones that end up exactly as planned !!

This little feline is only about a half inch tall, if tall can be applied at all here ! It was just a teeny bit of clay left over from a batch, that last bit I usually neglect and finally when I get back to clay after a few days, it would be really rock hard . I have not had much luck softening clay that has gone rock hard, and in such small quantity.

This time, I was determined to use up every last bit of my clay.All that was left, I divided it into three unequal portions. The biggest ball I shaped into a dome - like end with a flat bottom. The medium sized one, I divided into four tiny balls, with which I shaped the front paws and the front of the face.

With the last bit of clay, I shaped out the tail, two tiny triangles for the ears and the nose. So all I had to do now, was let it dry and then colour it.

Used beige and light brown pastels to highlight the ears, paws and end of the tail.

Then black acrylic paint on the nose, and around one eye. The markings on the body and tail, I used a black micron pen since it was not much of a surface to work with !


Saturday, 11 June 2016

Calligraphy Art

I took a three day course in calligraphy last year, and have been working on different fonts and styles on and off. But I guess I am not truLy happy with my works, even when my letters look okay, I am not sure I have the precision and slant perfected.

But rather than just doing practice strokes and forming letters, I decided to have some fun with it too.

The picture above was done trying out a Parker calligraphy pen. The next picture I tried to draw was a horse, and I was not at all pleased with the proportions of it. So I ditched it.

Just the day before yesterday, I tried out a dragon with a Speedball Elegance writer with a 3.0 mm. I think it came out okay, but I would not mind hearing what you think about it too.

So how do you like my dragon? Please let me know.