Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bangles in Fashion

Friends these days I feel so tired after a days long work. Moreover it is raining here intermittently sometimes heavy, sometime just drizzling mostly highly overcast. All this is making me lazy. My niece also suffered from fever for the past one week or so. So I had to look after her by sitting her bed side through out the nights. With all these I dont feel like getting up in the morning from my bed...:) :).  I am unable to post much..though I have loads and loads to share with you.

My TAST10 and Butterfly Sampler have been kept on the back burner for want of time and energy. I have bought loads of beads and other material for making necklaces. Have planned to embroider my saris...Oh God I have so much to do...so many creative designs keep on churning in my mind. I don't even have time to jot them down. 

Any way just a snippet to share with you. Recently when I was scouring the markets I found some metal bangles. These days they are a rage here. they are available in rainbow colours, pastel shades regular colours, some plain, some with glitters, some with gold dots and so on. The colours are beautiful  and match our saris or dresses well.  So we have lots of colours to choose from They are very thin and we have to buy at least a dozen.  They make beautiful tinkling sound when worn. I love that. The cost is very cheap. Since they are metallic they are durable. we need not fear that they may break. You can also combine two or more colours depending upon the sari or dress you are wearing. So here is a glimpse.
See the colours and how various colours can be combined.
This is a simple metal bangles with some design on it. These are also available in many colours and designs.

Hope you like them...keep watching...some more next time....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kalamkari-The Art of Painting fabric with a Pen-1

India is a treasure house of various Arts and Crafts since ancient times. These have been handed down from generation to generation, each time not only preserving the past traditions, but also creating and adding new techniques or forms due to the influence of people, culture and arts from other countries who came to India from time to time as well as changing tastes according to the times. This has refined the art or craft forms in the process, such that today we have such exquisite and priceless creative techniques.

I myself am discovering so many different Arts N Crafts every time I visit a place or meet people from different regions. In this post I am going to share with you one of such traditional art form-“KALAMKARI. I did not know much about this art until my aunt married into one of the oldest and well known families from Machilipatnam. My uncle is connoisseur of arts and crafts and through him I learned more about this craft. Still my knowledge is very little.

Origin and History:

Kalamkari was originally known as VrathaPani. Vratha in Telugu means writing or drawing and Pani means hand-so it means hand drawn. Later on it became popular as Kalamkari. In Urdu, Qalam- Kalam means pen and Kaari is art or work. So Kalamkari means art drawn with pen.

In ancient India, the story tellers played a very important role in spreading the culture and keeping alive the Indian Epics of Ramayana and MahaBharatha. This was one of the forms of entertainment the people had in those days. The story tellers, consisting of singers, musicians and other artists like painters, roamed from village to village, reciting stories, from Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Puranas and other folklore legends. Later on, in order to attract the attention of audiences, the painters in the troop used to paint pictures on cloth, paper, leaves and other such media using naturally and locally available vegetable dyes. This was done on the spot most of the times. So basically picture of Gods, Goddesses and other Mythological, folklore characters, etc were painted.

More over banners and scrolls painted were also used for adorning temple walls or chariots (temple cars used for religious processions) during festivals and other religious functions. Kings, land lords and rich would get these paintings done and gift them to temples or for adorning the walls of their dwellings. In fact most of the Indian folk painting forms originated and survived because of this.

Kalamkari a very ancient form of painting might have been developed as such. Later on it enjoyed the patronage of Mughals and Golconda Rulers. The painted articles were good sources for earning income through trade and export.During 16th and 17th centuries, this art form was quite popular. Later on it declined but was said to be revived to some extent by the British. However the modern day Kalamkari owes its existence to Smt. Kamaladevi Chatopadhyaya, the first Chairperson of All India Handicrafts Board.

Styles And The Materials Used:

These are the distinct styles of Kalamkari:
  1. Srikalahasthi Style-Painted with hand with the help of a pen like instrument
  2. Machilipatnam Style-block printed
  3. Karrupur from Thanjavur in TamilNadu is done on hand woven gold brocade fabric
Cotton fabric was and still is being used for this purpose as it is most suitable and cheap. Silk fabrics were/are also used but are quite costly. In the present day scenario, other synthetic materials are also being used. Still cottons and silks are more suitable and look beautiful, being natural fibres.

In the material produced by Srikalahasthi artists, a pen made of bamboo or palm wood, sharpened at one end is used for drawing the motifs. In Machilipatnam, wooden blocks carved with the designs are used for printing. The outlines and main or important features are first printed using these blocks. Later on the finer details are filled in using the pen. This allows for mass production. However, the finer details are not much clear. So the products from Kalahasthi do stand out as unique and beautiful.

The colours used are natural dyes extracted from vegetables or plants-leaves, roots, flowers, minerals etc. Cow dung, milk and other natural products are also used in the process.

Artisans and Patronage:

The designs and motifs used in this art have been quite distinctly been influenced by the patronage of different rulers like any other art form. There may be many similarities between the styles but there are also some features unique to each style which sets them apart.

In Machilipatnam, weavers were involved in this art form. They were patronized by the Golconda Sultanate and the Mughals. This form consists of motifs, designs reflecting the influence of Persia. These designs are intricate and remind us of those on the walls or Tajmahal or other such Mugal constructions and Art.

In Kalahasthi, the Balojas, who were bangle makers, took up this art. They were patronized by the Hindu rulers. Hence they catered to the needs of the temples and other religious ceremonies. Their art was centered on the themes from Hindu Mythology and Epics. Gods and Goddesses, scenes from Ramamyanam,  Mahabharatham, Bhagawatham, figures of deities, elephants, divine birds and animals etc were painted surrounded by intricate borders.

In Karrupur, Kalamkari was used to embellish the gold brocade edges woven fabrics. These were under the patronage of Raja Sarfoji and Shivaji. The Royal family members used to wear these fabrics as dhotis and saris.

Under the British Raj, the use of Kalamkari fabric was entirely different. They were used for furnishings-bed linen, curtains and also for making garments. So floral designs preferred by the English were brought into use. They even painted portraits of English men in Kalamkari. These fabrics also constituted one of the varieties of the Chintz which was much in vogue during that period.

It became almost extinct at one time. After India gained Independence, our Handicrafts Development Board took up the task of reviving this art. Today our crafts men have not only retained and revived the traditional motifs and designs but are also evolving new ones to cater to the needs of the modern age. Quite recently we have seen a surge of huge demand for this work being used as patches or appliqu├ęd on saris, and other dress materials.

In every textile and craft exhibition you see there are some stalls selling Kalamkari products. Here you can see a wall hanging of Arjuna and Lord Krishna on their way to the famous Mahabharatha war and some patches of peacocks.

For those who want to know more..Here is the link:

I have been collecting quite a few pieces. So brace yourselves, I am going to post more on Kalamkari...Keep a watch on my blog friends....

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Lotus Rangoli-4

I have been concentrating on other things and was not able to post any designs of Rangoli. Well here they are now. I will be posting now as regularly as possible.

This requires 13 to 1 dots. You can see how to place them and then draw the design. Try this and let me know. More designs to come...Keep a watch on my blog.....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Learn With Me-Making of Necklace-2

Blue and Gold Metallic Beads

Friends, I have been extensively scouring the jewellery market-not the precious metals or gems kind -latest in fashion like beads, crystals etc. which are less expensive but more in vogue. With the prices of gold and silver increasing day by day, these beads have gained popularity. Moreover, since these are stringed they can be redone in a different design if one gets bored by the present one.
My visits to these market is enabling me in absorbing the new trends and fashions. I have realised so much can be learnt just by watching other customers, shopkeepers..and so on. Especially when I meet the designers, whether young and up coming, amateurs or even professionals who visit these bazaars I realise that I can learn so much. I love to watch what they are buying, strike up a conversation with them about the latest fashions. I have learnt about the types and varieties of raw material being used in making of this kind of jewellery, right colour combinations and much more.

Any way here is my second project:

Metallic beads 50 numbers
Gold coloured metallic beads  51 numbers
Wire or String


These metallic Beads are available in three or four colours all pastel-as a pack of 25. I bought two packs of Blue colour. Gold beads which I have used in between the beads are available in various sizes and varieties; mostly round or somewhat oval. They are available in plain, matte finish, cutting designs etc. 

  • Decide the length of the necklace you want and cut the string accordingly after allowing an extra five inches or so for attaching the clasp. I prefer to string the beads first without cutting the wire or string. This way we can cut off the required length after attaching the clasp without any wastage.
  • The length of my necklace is just enough to circle my neck. that is I have not made a long chain.
  • First string in a gold bead then metallic coloured bead followed by a gold bead and so on...till all the beads are finished off.
  • Join the clasp on both the ends by securing the string/wire tightly .
  • I have not used any pendant as I could not find any matching or complementing the blue beads. You can add a pendant.
Here are the pictures...
Blue Metallic beads
Gold Beads. You can see the cut design on them. The cutting on these beads reflects light and makes them appear more shiny than the plain ones.
This is how I string cutting the string only in the end.
This is the finished product.

How do you like it? Isn't this easy? 

This is not only easy to make but less costly as compared to those which we buy ready made. This also allows us to create the way we want it and also gives us immense satisfaction of wearing our own creations.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Learn With Me -Making of Necklace

Friends I have been bitten by this bug-Jewellery making. :) :) 
This is the  first time I am trying my hand at making some....
Here is the first  attempt....

Its very simple one, as I dont have any experience or fancy tools with me...I used what I could find in my brother's tool kit. Here is how to make it:

White metallic bead studded with white stones :
Big size     -1 (one)
Medium sized  -  40 numbers
Gold coloured buttons studded with stones- small size -43 numbers
Silver coloured square bits studded with white stones smallest size-2 numbers
0.45mm wire of sufficient length

These are the ball shaped beads made of white metal and studded with white stones. I chose one big one for the center and forty small ones twenty on each side.
These beads have holes like this.
Then I selected some gold plated buttons (I don't know what to call them) which are studded with small white stones on the sides. 
These are white metallic squares with stones studded on its side.
This is the gold plated clasp-or rather hook and rings.
  • First string a gold button then a small silver bead
  • String twenty silver beads with a gold button after every silver bead 
  • Now string  one silver square
  • Now string the big silver bead followed by the silver square and the gold button
  • String the remaining twenty small silver beads followed bye a  gold button
  • Now pass the string into last one of the rings on one side of the clasp. Wind it to the ring four five times pulling tightly. Now bring the wire down (just after the last gold button) and wind tightly around the re two three times .
  • now hold up the string on the other side so that all the beads come to the side where you have wounded it to the clasp. See that there is no gap left any where in between
  • Now pass this side of the string through the ring on the other side of the clasp and wind it once pulling it tightly so that there is no space left between the beads and the ring. Wind it three four times. Bring it down and wind it to the string (holding the beads) two or three times pulling very tightly
  • Cut off the extra string on both sides of the clasp as nearest as you can and slightly press the ends with pliers so that they don't pierce when you are handling them or wearing them
  • You can also use an ordinary cotton thread that can hold the weight of the beads or nylon thread or fishing wire. I am surprised that fishing wire is available in various sizes and colours.
The end product looks like this. Oh I just placed them in heart shape that's all. Sorry friends I could not photograph them well. Try as I might, the reflection from the stones made it difficult to capture them clearly. This I feel is simple but elegant without being loud. The length is just enough to loosely circle the throat. You can adjust it according to your choice.

The White beads are available in three sizes. The big one I used in the center and the medium ones I used for the rest of the necklace. A smaller size is also available. Also these ones are available in multi coloured stones studded in silver or gold coloured metal. 

Similarly the gold buttons and the silver buttons are available in round and square shapes and different sizes but studded with white stones. I have not found any with multi coloured stones.

All these beads are a bit costly but worth it for party wear specially with a black dress..

Friends hope you like this. I will post more . The latest in fashion in jewelery .......Keep a watch on my blog.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Stash-Sea shell Embellishments

This post is in response to the comment from Iniyaal-

These are the embellishments made from sea shells. You can see the heart shaped, petal shaped and also coloured ones. Apart from these they are available in many shapes like flowers, circles, oblong, square etc. and also in different sizes. I have not tested the colour fastness of the coloured ones.

Unfortunately some more of these I had, I gave away and I don't have any pictures of them or any pieces left with me now..
These are breakable so one has to be careful in handling them especially while washing if embroidered onto fabrics.

The ones below are fish shaped. 
You can see the holes in the above shapes. They can be tacked to the fabrics with a thread through them and beads, kundans, etc. can be used to enhance the beauty of the design.

These are available in the shops selling embroidery materials. Hope you do find them Iniyaal... and hope this post was helpful to you....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Butterfly Sampler


Hi Friends. Sorry I could not post for two days now. Here it is.

I have used a ceramic bead-blue with gold lines for the body, twin coloured (blue-green) bead for the head and the flower sequins for the wings. I have used twin coloured (blue-peach) seed beads to tie them down
Hope you like it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I am excited!

Hi friends. I am excited. This week end I shopped till I was exhausted. You know I did a thorough window shopping and then bought some of what I looked at. Now I am talking about the establishments, laces,  beads, threads.....and other craft materials...:) :)
I am going to do some latest work on my saris. I just need a good two or three days at a stretch without any disturbance. You know or else I loose the track of my creativity, thoughts, ideas, the excitement.... Hmmm! I am not so lucky. But let us see what happens.
I am soooooo excited...I picked up some fabulous things. Oh by the way I am going to try my hand in making some jewellery.
Surprised? Thats me! Trying my hand at oddest things. Well I will first give it a try. I do design some pieces for my friends and my sister but  making it-I used to leave that to professionals. But this time I want to do it on my own. Some simple things. Let us see how I fare. If I like it. I will really give it a go.
Oh do keep an eye on my blog, as I am going to introduce you to some of the latest fashions in jewellery .....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ear Rings

Friends I could not post Day 10 of the Butterfly Sampler. There is some problem with my pictures. I will set right and post shortly. But meanwhile have a look at the cute ear rings.
 These are danglers, enamel paint on silver. Would look good with silver jewellery.
These are fancy type for my niece. Available in some other colours too. This looks good for children and teenagers. Quite informal.
This is how it looks at close.
Aren't these cute? 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Butterfly Sampler


Now here is Day-9. This time can you guess what these are made of?
These are made from sea shells, except for the head which I have stitched a crystal bead. I have used gold coloured thread for tacking them.

These shells are available in many shapes and sizes, some of them coloured too. Nice for stitching on saris, or dresses. But require careful washing and maintenance as they are easy to break.  

I hope you like it.

Let me know if you have any thing to say...Keep watching my blog for I am working on few saris. The moment they are finished, I will post. The works are something new and currently in fashion here....

Butterfly Sampler


Here I am so tired after a days hard work. Returned home late and feel tired to the bones. But Still I wanted to load Day-8 of the sampler.

These are crystals. These days these are even being used as jewellery-neck pieces, ear studs, danglers, bangles etc. So these butterflies have been stitched with crystals.

So how do you like them?  More to come, keep a watch on my blog.....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Butterfly Sampler


Its raining here since last two or three days. Sometimes heavily but mostly drizzling. I am not keeping good health-feel feverish and very lazy.  I also feel list less and don't feel like doing anything at all. So could not work on any thing much. However, this sampler is a challenge for me and I need to put my thoughts and ideas on the cloth. So here it is Day-7.
This is Antique work-Gold. The little one-I have already posted yesterday. So it needs no explanation. The flower and the bigger butterfly have been worked out in Antique Gold work (metallic). Hope you liked them.

Do leave your comments and suggestions, if any.......Keep a watch on my blog I have some surprises for you in this sampler.....

Butterfly Sampler


After a long week end, I am back. Its quite sultry here though raining on and off. I could not do much on my sampler, as I was busy spring cleaning some of my belongings.

Day-6 of the Sampler. Here it is.
This is antique work in gold. But this is not metallic. This is made of plastic. I have glued it. I have also tacked it with stitches but could not photograph it due to some problem with my camera. Will post it shortly.

I have still work on some more for my sampler. I think I will do some more antique work. How do you like this?

Keep a watch on blog.

Friday, July 2, 2010



Like I said earlier, Rangolis of animals, birds and other such forms are also created. Here I share with you a simple Rangoli of Fishes.

This is drawn with the help of 13 to 1 dots. This is very simple there are many other designs of fishes, but bigger than this. I will post them as and when I can.

Hope you like this.

Butterfly Sampler


I have posted so far with out a break for four days. It is an achievement since, I don't have much time to spare for my hobbies. So here it is Day-5.
Here is a little one. I have used yellow leaf like Kundan for its wings.
Here I have used green leaf shaped Kundans, for its wings.
Here I have used Paisley shaped Kundans for its wings.
Here are the Three Musketeers together. 

Actually while working with Kundans and creating a butter fly shape has been a challenge for me as I have to fit the available shapes to make it look like a butter fly. Hope you like them. 

I need to jot down all my ideas for this sampler in some note book because suddenly, ideas flash through my mind in midst of something. Let us see I will keep a journal.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Butterfly Sampler


Today  I feel so tired after a days hard work. I also got completely drenched in the down pour and had to wait in the traffic jam for 3 hours before I could reach home. But I had to upload this. Here is one more Butterfly-Day-4. Hope you like the Kundan Work.

I think it looks more like a Dragon Fly?   Please leave your comments or suggestions.