Wednesday, March 24, 2010

family ties

I usually try to post something every monday. But today I am posting late wednesday night. I blame this on my sister and husband ! Yes, they are responsible for tearing me away from my blogging and facebooking to partying all week long.  My brother in law gives me too much grief about me being addicted to facebook. Now, status updates once a week is hardly an addiction, I argue !

Before I delve into what we argue about, let me slow down and say this - my sister and brother-in- law are visiting us . Welcome to Australia, folks:)

So, anyway, the past couple of days, we have been having too much fun and eating way too much ! Too much chocolate at Max Brenner and at home and everywhere else. We hung out over the weekend at The Entrance at Central Coast, NSW . Bummed around on the beach , soaked up a lot of sun , watched hindi movies and ate too much. I highly recommend Wednesday and Rann . Its been a while since we saw some good hindi movies. Although these movies have been around for a while, anyone looking for a good Hindi movie , these are worth a watch. Did I mention we ate a lot ?

We took a lot of pictures as well - actually my sister did.  I should probably slow down a bit more - I have 2 sisters. This one is not the one for whom I did the painting. Its for her twin. Although she will be delivering the painting to her ! I have also earned another commission for a painting from my visiting sister and brother in law :))  The concept is deep ..but so is my brother in law ;-) We will miss you guys ! They leave this weekend :(

So thats what kept me busy in the family front. Other than that, I am starting to get back to keeping my hands busy . I am working on a banner for my business and trying to think of  packaging. I am probably getting ahead of myself before I have actual products to sell (!) ...but I want to give some thought to recycled packaging. At the moment, I am leaning towards newspapers and magazines. I think customers appreciate handmade products as well as eco-friendly packaging. And don't we have enough of packaging already that comes with toys ?! Good heavens, I almost need pliers and other tools to pry out the toy from the packaging. The toy is tiny and insignificant by the time the packaging comes off !

I know I haven't talked about what my products/artwork will be . I keep talking about sketching and doodling without giving away what I am doing. But, I am very superstitious when it comes to talking about something before it actually takes form. In fact, my 'visiting' sister and hubby are the only ones in my family who even know this blog exists , since its work in progress ! So,once I perfect what I am working on, I will talk about them !

I love this sums up what I am feeling these days... Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” 

Monday, March 15, 2010

soap anyone ?

So I created something on friday night. SOAP ! I had ordered supplies at least 4-5 weeks ago . I was itching to start making it. But I didn't. I promised myself I wouldn't start a new project until I finished my sister's painting . So yes, I finished the painting for my sister - signed and dated on thursday night!

So Friday night, I fished out my M&P goats milk base and whipped up few bars of soap with lavender oil and rose germanium oil. I was happy with the outcome for the first try. One soap clearly proved I was a novice at soap making . It was supposed to be a layered bar, but it didn't stay that way !

Anyway, the real reason for trying soap making - my son. My little boy was fascinated with the works of art done in soap by the incredibly talented people on Etsy. And ever so innocently asked me if I could make soap for him. How could I deny him this without trying it out first ?So, I started researching and reading hundreds of how to's about soap making . Also, since I had been scouring these websites , I learnt goat's milk was good for the skin. My son has extremely sensitive skin apart from dermatitis. So , that was reason alone to at least try it out.

Back to the present, he tried the soap, he loves it. He picked out a soap for his sister and now bath time, is so much more fun (as if it wasn't fun earlier !) , simply because he loves his soap. I plan on making more soap with the rest of the base over this week sometime. Baking bread, making soap - all this is fueling the creativity for my doodling. Today I picked up some blank coasters (MDF) (read MDF blank rectangle canvases ) and I am hoping to do some outlandish designs on them . I plan to put them in our family room which is slowly becoming my hubby's and my spare dining room while we watch some favorite tv shows after the kids are in bed ...tsk tsk tsk...

Before I conclude, anyone remotely interested in soapmaking I have to give a shout out to this incredible story on ETSY :

Happy Soaping everyone !

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Banana bread rocks !

..or in yesterday's case Apple Bread.

I thought I would post once every week, but here's one more for this week.

My son has a major sweet tooth. And for the last one month I have indulged him with his request ( read - demand ) for Banana bread. So, anyway, every weekend, I baked him different versions of Banana bread. One week along with bananas we added Zucchini , the other day we added apple. And yesterday, since we ran out out bananas, we baked an apple bread.

What is really funny about this is that, my son hangs onto every word I say when I am baking ! Every instruction is followed, every request is met with, toys are cleaned up and so on :-) Also, he 'assists' me with baking. He helps me with mixing up the ingredients, he has learnt what each ingredient is for the bread, he knows baking 'terminology' and he is learning to tell time by looking at the clock ! I should probably mention my earlier attempts to help him recognize numbers weren't really going anywhere ! So, now he is learning numbers and time since he has to wait for a certain amount of time for the bread to bake and then to cool down . Also, he holds his little sister close to him when I open or close the oven , so she doesn't come close to it ! Its really cute :-)

My husband loves the bread that I bake , so does our baby who makes hmmm hmmm sounds while eating it :-) So, I thought I would share the recipe for those who would like it. It was a recipe that a friend of mine gave me and it is simple and easy to follow.

Banana Bread

Preheat over to 350 deg F/ 180 deg C
2 c. flour
1 tsp. soda, salt
1/2 c. shortening (I used canola oil instead of shortening)
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. mashed banana
1 tablespoon vinegar + milk to equal 1/2 c.

Mix dry ingredients together. Cream together shortening and sugar;
Add eggs & beat till fluffy. Add dry ingredients alternately with
bananas and milk. Mix well after each addition. Pour into greased
bread loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degree oven. Check if
toothpick or knife inserted to center comes out clean, when this
happens the bread is ready to come out of the oven:)

Not only do all of enjoy eating the bread, I enjoy the time that I spend with my son during the baking . Because, once he satisfies his appetite and sweet tooth, its all about what do we do next ! But for the one hour or so , we enjoy all that there is about baking the bread !Together we create something fun and edible :-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wearing different hats

As women, we touch lives of people we come across. I was thinking about how different my life has changed over the years.

I dreamed about creating.. I became an architect and that's all I thought about. I admired people I worked with , feverishly trying to emulate some. For as long as I was in the workforce, it was a great experience . Then along came our son , and my world has never been the same. It revolved around him , his naps, his feeds, his diaper changes, his baths and the list goes on. Every new parent goes through this and wonders how a tiny person can have such a profound effect on us.

Once I decided to be a stay- at -home mom , my world changed even more ! It was a weird transition from having a day that included conversing with adults and discussing architecture , my son's antics , world news to a day that was for the most part kid related activities and discussions pertaining only to trucks ! I did learn a lot about trucks, though =)

Our daughter came along a few years later and our world has become a lot busier than I remember ! Bless our princess =) And now, that she is past night wakings ( crossing my fingers!) , I find myself thinking about my career and dreams about creating.

Over the years, I have been blessed to have friends from all different walks in life. At school, at work and not at work. I met moms who like me have stayed home to raise their family. I became thick friends with many and still am making friends with many more. What I find amazing is the resilience that each one of them has. Its not a smooth transition going from work to stay at home. But they do it with grace and style !

And then there are moms who balance work and family . How they do it is beyond me ! To be able to go from working woman mode to mom mode without taking a break and still maintaining sanity, is nothing short of a miracle ! Hats off to you , ladies :)

Here's to all the women out there making a difference in the world. It maybe a little late in the week but, Happy International Women's Day ! Better late than never.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

where and how do I begin ?

My first post on doodlekreations - a little bit of me, a little bit of the ones near and dear to me. That's what I hope I can achieve. Much as I spend my day enjoy being a mommy to a energetic 4 year old boy and a spunky 15month old girl, I wonder how things have changed for me over the last couple of years .

A typical day begins with our little girl waking and demanding milk at the crack of dawn and from then on we are all on the 5th gear. Quiet time allows me to check the email , facebook ( I FB a LOT!) and etsy. My favorite time is when the little munchkins hit the sack and I get 'me time' and 'our' time with my hubby. Off late I have been painting again. I took up the brush and paint after a hiatus - now that our baby sleeps better (thank god !) . I get a good 2-3 hours at night to doodle and paint.

My latest project is a painting for my sister . We have been talking about this since June' 09. Yes, it is well overdue ! Well anyway, my point is, I am thoroughly enjoying creating this for my sister and brother-in-law. I hope they will enjoy it in their home. She was specific about what she wanted.. one painting split into 4 canvases , warm colors and white flowers ! Well, its taking shape and I will post a picture once it is done.

What I hope to actually do is doodle more. I hope to create something that is special to me. Like my husband said once, " When you draw for yourself, thats when your drawings are so full of life". I hope I can unleash all that creativity. I get so inspired and humbled when I see works by all the talented people out there... have you checked out etsy ?

On their Quit your dayjob series, this week is featured a woman named Vana, who is an architect and now has her own business doing what she does best- creating. Check this out

A true inspiration for an architect like me who has been wondering how best to utilize my skills while I am at home with my kids.

So, anyway this post is in honor of all the artists out there - people who create something out of nothing, who persevere and create wonders and make it look so easy. Here's hoping I learn from you and muster up the courage to be able to show my work soon.

Take care, people.