Posts Tagged With: art with heart

The beauty of a few concentric circles

It’s amazing how a few concentric circles slowly evolve into a beautiful mandala. Each line emerges on its own. Most often inspired by something seen in the nature or work of friends. These mandalas started as a gratitude offering to the universe, for everything that I have been generously bestowed with.

how to make a mandala drawing

I am no artist but once I learnt how to make mandalas with a basic template of concentric circles, there is no stopping 🙂

While making these mandalas or stitching the hearts I experienced a beautiful calm that would take over me. I haven’t been able to sit in stillness in a long time. I think it has been almost 6 months that I was able to sit for an hour. Whenever I started on these little gifts, my mind would soon forget its entire chaos and the ordering of the “to-do” list and just focus on one petal to another or one stitch to another. Even though I wasn’t sitting in a specific position or had my eyes closed; it was akin to meditation for my mind and body.

When I start, I have no clue how it will turn out to be. I have no clue of how the design will grow. Sometimes I will start with a pattern and then look it from far thinking this won’t look good. I wasted a card. But then I will go on and complete it only to realise that each has a life of its own and each is beautiful. I often felt like my hand was just a tool and someone else had the design in mind :).

mandala designs

Some of the mandala cards I made. Some original, some inspired, some copied 😀

With the heart bookmarks, I wanted to write a quote on each one of them but was lost on which ones to pick. Just then Vandana didi started on this beautiful project of one-canvas-a-day with quotations and I found my quotes right there. Every day is a beautiful start with her paintings and quotations.

Paintings with quotations

Every morning Vandana didi sends us a picture of her beautiful art. I would say it is her sadhana!

I usually try to sit down for making any art when I am in a happy space but a recent turn of events showed me how art is the best therapy. When I was so stressed that I could do nothing else, I would sit down with a pen and paper and soon my mind will be lost in thinking about how to extend it and just for those few moments forget the impending problem and relax.

All these cards and bookmarks have gone as gifts for friends and strangers. I don’t know when, how and who will receive these or has received them. I am so grateful for having this opportunity to be able to gift some love through these little cards. Each one of them brought me a lot of peace and I hope it does the same for the noble friend who receives them.

Heart bookmarks! The bright African fabric were scraps given by a friend who uses them to make wonderful bags. I love these prints!

Heart bookmarks! The bright African fabric were scraps given by a friend who uses them to make wonderful bags. I love these prints!

With all my love

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Feito com Amor

It started at a morning tea session, when a friend of mine said “For Christmas, I want to make a nice gift bag for the ladies with dry food items like rice, milk powder, oil and some sweets”

The ladies here are the patients of a local maternity hospital. Every two weeks, my friend makes 100 sandwiches and goes to the maternity hospital to feed the ladies waiting for their labour and their families who all wait and live outside the hospital on the road for days.

I started thinking of how we can raise funds for this. The easier option was to just ask in our immediate circle but I wanted to do something more and reach out to more people so that they can all be a part of it. And I just didn’t want to ask money. What was it that I could offer?

Paper. I love paper. I love the way I can turn it into something beautiful. And I was at it. For almost a week, I made gift bags, cards, gift tags, quotation cards, fortune cookie stars, bookmarks… anything that I could think of. My whole room was full of craft material everywhere 🙂

feito com amor, made with love, wisdom crafts

Then I gave them to friends who I knew hosted many gatherings and offered them as wisdom crafts – no price tags; the price of the product is what the buyer is inspired to offer. I put up a paper explaining what they were for and asking people to give from their heart.

What was amazing was how more and more people joined in. One girl came up and said, I know you are making those bags.. I had these felt sheets at home, can you use them?

Another one came and said “I have these glitter tapes I haven’t used for months.. I am sure you can use them for your cards..”

Ribbons, more craft paper, sequins, paint everything started coming from unknown friends!

 

Naama, who runs a non-profit organisation, came to know of it and asked me if I could make 30 bags for their Christmas gifts for their supporters.

At first I thought I will make all of them the same. But as I started decorating the bags, something came over. Each bag spoke for itself and each was different. Before starting I didn’t have any set idea on decoration but slowly every bag’s decoration unfolded as if they were speaking for the person who is going to receive them.

Naama then insisted I create a tag for all of them and thus was born “Feito com Amor” [Portuguese for Made with Love].

feito come amor, made with love, art with heart, craft activities at home

Categories: Volunteer | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Tangling up

Almost a month back when I returned to Angola, after 2 months of lazying around and feasting on awesome food and love in India, I had made a promise to myself to do more art. Learn something new and gift. Actually I had many more plans 😛 as I wrote back then! I am so glad I wrote them down here, it at least keeps me from giving them a miss otherwise it would be too easy to fall back on my lazy ways.

One shelf in my cupboard has a lot of waste with which I feel I can do something. There are empty cereal boxes, biscuit boxes, kitchen paper rolls, cardbords, plastic bottles and other packaging material. One day I realised I’m just adding things to it and not really making anything from it. So I decided to take some action :).

I needed a mail and document holder so I took out one empty cereal box, covered it with a single colour paper and illustrated the front of it. I used a few pictures that I had to help with the illustration. Simple patterns that I didn’t think will really go well together looked like they were really thought out and planned out before :P.

 

Mail holder from cereal box, recycle, illustrations,

Mail holder from cereal box for me

And when Carole saw this one, she said she wanted one too! And when I made for her, I decided to try out something new that Thakkar had told me about – zentangle. In many ways it is actually illustrations but I like the way it says to divide the area into multiple sections and illustrate each separately without thinking about the other and ultimately the whole picture will be beautiful! At least that’s what I understood it to be! And here’s the one I made for her.

mail holder from cereal box, reuse, recycle, zentangle, illustrations

Mail holder from cereal box for my friend

Zentangle is fun. I don’t think I’m any sort of illustrator but once I divide the whole area into smaller sections, it does become easier and pinterest has so many images from easy to difficult patterns to give a start!

Categories: go green, recycle | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Go chalking!

I love chalk 🙂

Here are pictures of the first few chalk messages…

chalk project, art with heart, window dressing

I didn’t think much before starting these everyday chalk messages but its become quite exciting! My neighbours say they now look forward to reading what’s new on my window everyday!

Categories: Family, Volunteer | Tags: , | 1 Comment

A new magic every day!

It’s already 9 days into the new month but for me the month practically starts today. The first week of June was just busy with packing and travelling and settling back. Finally this week life has returned to some normalcy. While I was in India, I made many plans for the things I want to do once I get back to Angola (don’t know how many will start :P!):

  • Learn how to make a website using wordpress
  • Get back to sketching and learn to paint
  • Experiment with food more. For some reason in Angola I had just fallen into regular cooking routine. It has been such a long time since I tried something new and in this trip my sister inspired me to do more with food and flavours! 🙂 So hopefully My Weekend Kitchen will also get its activity back!
  • I want to do more art for gifting to strangers. I met Swara after a long time and she told me how our one day’s activity of writing letters to strangers had motivated her and she continues to do so even now. When she told me this I felt how I need to pick this one again. So I will be doing more art to gift. I even brought lots of handmade paper, colours and pens with me! 🙂

But one thing that I brought from home and I’m very excited to use is my box of coloured chalk and a small slate! I fell in love with chalk as a medium of art after seeing Lahar’s beautiful creations all over Sugad campus during Moved by Love retreats. Her hands would create magic on the floor and one thing which she said that stayed with me was the beauty of impermanence that chalk brings. Your creating is cleaned the next day and every day you start with a clean slate! Every day a different magic comes alive through your hands…

I was also inspired by the sidewalk chalk projects that many people have been doing all around the world and while I don’t think I will have enough chalk to do that; I plan to hang my slate on my window/ balcony with a beautiful quote every day and that would be my gift for each day for those who read it 🙂

I started yesterday, these are my first two!

art with heart, quotations in chalk on window

Categories: Family, Volunteer | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Dressing up …

… my small little coasters!

I’ve had this set of four coasters since a long long time… The idea is to put pictures in them and then use them to put your drink on! I did put pictures in them initially but soon realised that the water from condensation that collects in a little pool around your drink, slowly seeps into the coaster and then the picture gets spoiled. As soon as I noticed that, I removed the pictures and these were then lying just like this; with their original “Keep this cardboard as cushion” paper in them.

As I was unpacking one of my last boxes from the shipment, these came out and I started thinking “hmmm…. I need to do something for them… they don’t look very nice without a picture” and then it struck! Why not do some quotation cards! Even if they get wet; it will be super fun and easy to make some more; unlike pictures which I can’t print so easily!

art with heart,

dressing up with some art with heart!

And with some sheets of red and green paper and my beautiful pen set (that Lahar had gifted me) I made these cards and look how pretty my coasters now look! 🙂 I just love them. When Sikander saw these he said “now we can’t use them even more! I don’t want these quotation cards to get spoiled!” 😀

Well, I said, then I will get an opportunity to make some more! 🙂

Categories: Family, go green | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Art with Heart

It started in a hospital waiting room. The doctor was stuck in some emergency and the receptionist told us it will take about an hour. I was flipping through my phone and found this geometrical rendition of a person saying Namaste that I had clicked at Seva Cafe.

art with heart, Seva Cafe

The murals I clicked at Seva Cafe

I started making it on a blank sheet that I had. Somewhere in the middle of the drawing, my neighbor became very interested in the sketch and kept looking at its progress all the while :). When I finished the sketch, I wrote a message on the sketch and gifted it to him. The look on his face was that of utter surprise! He said “You just spent almost half hour on making this, how can you give it to me? You don’t even know me!”. My response was just that “I felt you would like it more than my file!” He couldn’t stop thanking me.

And I took his smile back with me. The feeling was so awesome that I made it a regular activity to draw that sketch whenever I was in a waiting area and gift to a stranger nearby. And then slowly the sketches evolved into handmade smile cards, message cards and bookmarks. Sometime back, after a service retreat, I gave them a collective name of art of heart. Art with heart was an activity we did with volunteers and I loved the name so much that I gave it to this little activity of mine.

The idea of art with heart is gifts made and gifted with love. A means to connect and reach out to strangers. In some sense it is an extension of letters to strangers. I make these little gifts and leave them for strangers to find them. Most often I do not know who gets them. There are times, I hear a story of how one impacted the receiver and it really adds to my joy of making them.
Volunteer Weekly Smile cards
I won’t say that I’m good in craft activities. In fact it started with a chance visit to kids craft shop. My 5 year old was visiting during her summer vacation and I wanted to plan activities for all the days that she was here… I went to craft shop looking for things to fill her days. In that shop I was so enamoured with all the stuff that was available like craft punches, fluorescent pens, foam moulds etc that I came back with a lot for myself.

I got some punches, some handmade paper and a silver and golden pen. At first it was simple smile cards, with a punched pattern in top and a message inside. And then I modified them a little as I got a feedback that the gold or silver was not so visible.. So I started writing on a white paper and putting in inside.

During a visit to ahmedabad,  I got a perfect opportunity to gift those punches to another friend.  that brought me back to the craft shop.. This time I also picked up some colourful glitter pens. And these pens just added a whole new magic 🙂 I loved them… Till now with just the gold and silver I wasn’t doing any illustrations, just the punched pattern but now with colours, illustrations came alive on paper. I made a lot of smile cards and message cards and passed them to strangers.

art with heart - message cards

And I went back to the craft shop to buy all the 12 shades of the glitter pens. And I found so much inspiration from the net for illustrations and quotes. Pinterest actually became my new best friend 🙂 I have to accept I am not so great with original illustration ideas… I can build on one more easily so while some are my own, most I have drawn from images I found on the net. I have used them in good faith with no copyright infringement intended 🙂

art with heart

Now I carry some empty paper and coloured pens with me all the time and whenever there is a little time I make a card. If I’m lucky I find the opportunity to gift them right away!

gift of love- bookmarks
If you want some of these message cards or bookmarks, just send me an email. If I can post them to you I will or else I can send you high resolution scanned images for you to print and use.
Every art is a work of heart made with a lot of love just for you.

Categories: Volunteer | Tags: | 10 Comments

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