Planning for a birthday party at home

Last week we had our son’s 4th birthday and we had arranged a party at home. Being a crafter, this is the time of the year I look forward for the most. If there is one thing I love most about having a birthday at home, it is decorating the home for the party. Having done the birthday decoration for my son’s birthdays over the last 4 years, I have realized how easy it is to arrange for the party and decoration if one plans well in advance. Being a working mom, I start planning at least 2 months in advance  so that we have enough time for shopping. Also, I do the decoration on my own so that the expenses are well within budget.

Here is a typical list of shopping items that would help you in planning for the party:

  1. Dresses for the birthday kid – Since a lot of people at the party will be holding, playing and lifting the birthday kid, it is good to have at least two pairs of dresses so that you can change once the dress gets dirty.
  2. Return gifts for kids – I take utmost care in choosing the return gifts for the kids. Ceramic/plastic mugs or stationary are definitely not on my list of return gifts. Over the  last 4 years, i have realized that kids love puzzles . Also, puzzles come in a lot of varieties catering to different age groups. So, one can never go wrong with puzzles as return gifts for any age group.
  3. Disposable cake plates, water cups and tissues/napkins – this is a no brainer and needs no explanation.
  4. Party Decoration supplies– The must have items for any birthday party are balloons, birthday banner, non adhesive flagging tape / plastic ribbons. You can make wonders with just these 3  items. Make sure you buy them in complementing colors.  Apart from the above, you will also need facemasks, birthday caps and party blowers for the guests and kids.
  5. Cake- Order the cake one week in advance. Before ordering cake from a baker, make sure you have tasted a few cakes or pastries from the bakes to be sure of the taste and quality. Also, it is good to ask the bakes to show you some pictures of the cakes they have made for orders which will give you an idea of how well the bakers decorate the cake.
  6. Garbage bags– A house party will generate a lot of thrash both recyclable and non recyclable. Make sure you have arranged for waste segregation and disposal of both the kinds of waste.

Apart from the above list, there is one more important list which is the guest list. Make sure you have a proper count of the adults and kids in the guest list. It is also good to invite the guests 3 to 4 days in advance so that they can plan to attend your party. If you wish to have lunch/dinner for the party, have a list of the items in the menu.

Arranging a party at home can be very stressful because you will be taking care of many things at the same time. Having lists for different purposes will be very helpful so that you can plan and keep track of the arrangements without forgetting anything.

To keep the expenses low, it is better to purchase supplies in bulk from a wholesale dealer. I usually buy all the decoration supplies and return gifts from the wholesale dealers in Chikpet and Avenue road in Bangalore. Check if you have any such area in your town/city where you can make bulk purchases at wholesale price.

How do you usually plan birthday parties at home?  Is there anything else you would like to add to my list here? Do let me know 🙂

Converting a waste mobile box to a Keepsake box

Ever since I have started quilling, I have been learning many other crafts. Most of the new forms of crafts I have tried have been with respect to recycling stuff.  With all the issues with garbage we are facing in Bangalore and the ever growing emphasis on recycling waste, I have decided to do my share of the job. It has almost become a habit for me to carefully preserve any kind of boxes and packing material for upcycling. I have almost filled one whole cupboard with paper cuttings, cardboards, small carton boxes, packing material, bubble wraps and whatever I feel could be reused.

After newspaper weaving and cardmaking with invitation cards, I tried my hand at decoupage.I tried converting a empty box of my Nexus phone into a cute keepsake box . I was more than glad with the outcome-  Not very bad for a first trial.

  • I used two patterns of  scrapbook paper which I had bought from Itsy Bitsy and the metallic acrylic paints to get the antique/gold tinted look on the box.
  • The reddish or rusty tint in the edges of the box is achieved by dabbing and smudging some metallic paint in the colour rust.
  • I applied a thin coat of metallic gold acrylic paint on the paper to get that extra elegance.
  • For the lace/border, I used a MS punch which I had received as a prize from Lulupu.
  • I made the tiny white flowers using the small floral punch.IMG_20150927_102545IMG_20150927_102456IMG_20150927_102342IMG_20150927_102321IMG_20150927_102245IMG_20150927_102150IMG_20150927_102126IMG_20150927_102057

It was fun working on this project.  My first trial has yielded beautiful results and has motivated me to make more of such upcycling projects with decoupage. Decoupage is one such craft which does not require great skills. All you need is some pattern paper and modpodge and you are all set to go. So, why wait?  Wear your crafty hats and start transforming boring stuff into interesting masterpieces.

Happy crafting!

 

DIY fiesta: Making Clay Ganesha

The months of August and September have always been my favorite… That is the time when we see the dry lands turn into green pastures. The weather is pleasant with mild showers and cool breeze. The sun is not too hot and there is greenery everywhere.

These months usually coincide with the Shraavana masa of the Hindu calendar which brings with it festive season. The first major festival we celebrate in our household  is the Varamahalakshmi Vrata which falls on the 2nd Friday of the Shraavana masa. The next big one being the Ganesh Chaturthi which falls in the month of Bhadrapada.

What I love the most about this festival is the way the neighborhood comes together to plan and celebrate it as a social festival. From our childhood, it has been a tradition in our home to get the Ganesha idol and offer Pooja. The same tradition has continued even after I got married and moved in with my husband.

We have always made sure we bought the eco-friendly clay idols with no paints. Same would have been the case this year aswell. But having bitten by the DIY bug of late, I proposed that we make the idol by ourselves this year. Though I had no experience working with the clay earlier, I was totally determined to make the idol. My mom and husband had some experience in making clay toys in their childhood. So, they readily agreed to my proposal.

The preparations began about a week before the festival.  We happened to visit my mom’s home town from where we got a bag of clay from a pond while returning to Bangalore.  We also collected some soil from roadside. The first thing we did was to powder the soil cakes which we got from the roadside and sieve it to separate the dirt. We mixed the filtered soil with water to get the right consistency of the clay. The clay we got from the pond was already wet and we mixed both the clay types.

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We then made multiple balls of clay with varying sizes for the stomach, head, trunk, hands, legs and crown. We started putting together the parts to get a vague form of the idol. As we worked to get each part in shape the idol took better shape. We tried to add all the minute details to the idol.. The eyes, the fingers, laddoos in the lords hand, the mouse and even the pleats and frill on the lords dress… We had defined them all. Mom inserted two pepper corns to mark the eyeballs and gosh, it looked as if the idol had come to life.

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It was time to decorate the idol with jewelry. All the types of rhinestones and ball chains that I had purchased for my handmade jewelry came handy in decorating the idol. I had a spare quilled stud that I had made while attempting to make a pair of earrings for an order. It fit so well in the center of the idols crown. It looked as if the stud was made for the crown. It took about 5 hrs to completely get the idol ready from scratch.. The idol looked so magnificent… I will leave it to you to praise the beauty of the idol..

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Our success in making the idol has made us more determined to make our own idol each year going forward. Do let me know how you like our Ganapathi Bappa And don’t forget to like the post to show your appreciation..

Harmony: Beads, paper and Resin…

Hello friends.. It has been a while since I have posted on my blog. I have been quite occupied of-late with orders from my customers. And not to forget my demanding office work. The busy schedule has kept me away from writing from some time.However, I couldn’t hold myself from sharing the news about the new techniques I have learnt in jewelry making.

After making quilled jewelry for some time, I felt my creations had become quite monotonous and there was not much variety. Most of the orders that I received from my customers were just color customization requests. The techniques however remained the same. My creative side was yearning to do something new. Luckily, I  came to know about the bead weaving techniques from some of the youtube videos. As i explored more about the beading techniques, I knew that this was the next thing I wanted to learn and make.  The break came when one of my customer asked me to create something unique which should look both traditional and trendy. She didn’t want the usual quilling jewelry everyone wore. Thanks to her, I could experiment with a couple of new techniques in my jewelry.. Bead weaving, paper weaving and resin casting.

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I wove a small strips of quilled paper too get the checker board effect. The base was made with multiple layers of cardstock. For the border, I used the rhinestone cup chain in amber and gold which I later sealed with a 3 mm gold strip. I learnt the bead weaving pattern from a couple of videos in youtube.. This particular pattern is a variation of herringbone tubular stitch.. In-spite of all the layers of card stock, the pendant was not quite sturdy.. Resin came to the rescue.. and trust me, after the resin cast, the pendant looked more elegant. The resin hardened like a layer of glass on the pendant making it more rigid and sturdy.. Here are some more pics..

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I bought the quilling strips, jewelry findings, seed beads and swarovsky crystals from Raja market in Bangalore. resin was sourced from A1-Crafts, Mumbai.

Not to forget my Nexus 5 which never lets me down whenever I have to take some super cool pics of my creations..

Do let me know how you like my new creation.. Like/Follow my blog to get regular updates.

Upcycling to a new level: Jewelry from old invitation

Hello friends…

Up-cycling and jewelry making are two addictive hobbies. And what if we make some jewelry by using some up-cycling ? This is what happens when the two techniques come together..

I made the below pendant by up-cycling an old invitation. The pendant base is made of layers of invitation card. It is embellished with Rhinestones, ball chains and some paint.

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I cant help thanking Ms Pritesh from Artzire for being a great source of inspiration for me in trying out these techniques. Loads yet to learn from her. If you don’t believe me, do visit her blog here .

Do let me know how you like this friends….

Quilling jewelry: Indulgence

Hello friends…

Its been a while since I have posted on my blog because I m spending my all my free time in making quilled jewelry. Quilling jewelry is so addictive that I am not able to hold myself from making more. And why not I indulge when I am getting more orders for custom made jewelry from friends and family 🙂

here are some of the lightweight quilled jewelry which I made recently:

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I hope you like them.

Stay tuned for more quilled patterns for jewelry..

Desk organizer: paper weaving

Hello friends.. From the time I have started quilling, I  have fallen in love with all kinds of paper.  I have been constantly browsing the web to learn new techniques and crafts with different types of paper. My latest fascination has been with the paper weaving technique which is trending among the DIY crafters these days.

I tried making a desk organizer with the paper weaving technique using old newspaper and below is what I could come up with. The whole structure was made with just 2 sheets of a daily newspaper.

I painted the woven structure with in black with acrylic paints and embellished it with quilled rose and leaf.

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I totally am impressed with the outcome.. Do let me know how you like it…

Happy crafting !!!

Altered Card: Water colours

Hello,

Here is another card I made with water colors. This time, I tried altering an old invitation into a card and was pretty happy with the outcome.

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This was the invitation which I altered:

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Some random brush strokes is what I made to get the abstract look on the card background.

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Below are some of the picures of the card that I took fom different angles.

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For some one like me who has never tried water coloring earlier , this outcome was pretty amazing.. Hope you like it too..

I am entering this card at the Lulupu watercolours challenge # 48

Watercolour Card: Sail Away

Hello again,

After I tried the marbeling technique with water colours in the little hearts card, I couldnt hold myself back fm making more such marble patterns. I tried making marbled paper with different color combinations used it in the below card.

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I cut out two marble paper patterns and made the sea and sky. For the boat, I used plain cardstock-same as the one used for the background. I highlighted the edges of the boat with a permanent market.

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I wrote the sentiment with a crochet thread to add some dimension in the card.

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Below are few more pictures of the card I took from different angles.

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Water colours are a fun to use. And the marbeling technique is so addictive.. You cant just stop at once.

Do let me know how you like my new-learnt art 🙂

I am entering this card at the Lulupu watercolours challenge # 48

Water colour Card: Little hearts

Inspired by the water colour challenge on Lulupu blog, I tried my hand at watercolouring for the first time and made a few cards. Here is a card I made using the marbeling technique using water colours.

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I created a water colour marble on a white card stock and cut out different sized hearts from it. I assembled the cutouts to form a collage  in the shape of heart.

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I used a handmade paper as the base to make the card. I also used the border punch which I won in the previous challenge at Lulupu to cutout the borders form the marbled paper and added it as a border on the card.

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Below are some more pictures of the card which  I took from different angles.

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After all, I felt , watercolouring is so much fun and its definitely not as tough as I thought 🙂 !!

Do let me know how you liked the card I made…

I am entering this card at the Lulupu watercolours challenge # 48