Sun catcher in my eye

Last week I attempted a new skill – crafting stained glass into pretty objects. My friend Sara is a master craftsman and when she offered to teach me, I was most delighted. The bonus of learning with Sara is that she feeds you all kinds of goodies too.

We started with a visit to a stained glass factory, where they import glass from the US and make their own objects to order.

 

Sara has a neat little workshop at home with every tool you could possibly need for this activity. Zoey supervises.

Stained glass art at Sara's

 

I had to start with something simple and 2-dimensional, so sun catcher it was.

First, drafting the design on paper.

Stained glass art at Sara's

 

Next, transferring the sections on glass as per the colours I wanted.

Stained glass art at Sara's

Cutting glass and grinding to smooth the edges followed, to have them fit on the design.

Stained glass art at Sara's

Copper foil on the glass edges.

Stained glass art at Sara's

The individual pieces were joined to one another by soldering.

Stained glass art at Sara's

A wire looped around the edge to make it easy to hang, and some copper patina later, we had one sun catcher:

Stained glass art at Sara's

Now it hangs in my window with by a wire, to catch the early morning sun.

Suncatcher in the window

If only I would wake up early enough to catch the rising sun!

Don’t know if you can spot it but there’s a kitty perched on the glass.

Suncatcher in the window

 

I did wake up early enough one day!

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

First, the settling into the new house, and all those home improvement projects.

And some significant family events.

Mia came home in March and celebrated her first birthday in December.

Mia in action

Mia in action

My niece, Ira, made her presence felt with her non-stop activity and, in Reva’s words, comic relief.

Never-sit-still Ira

Never-sit-still Ira

Kelu came home 14/15 years ago, and refused to leave. This November, he ran off to the hills and never came back. Missing you, Kelubhau!

Kelu

Kelu

For me, it was the year of the water sports.

And finally, all that delicious travel!

Malaysia

Canada

USA

and, of course, Indonesia!

Sea, Air and Land

I’ve been mighty excited after completing my PADI open water diver certification. My Piscean nature has asserted itself, and I can’t wait to get back into the water and explore that fantasy world! So until the next dive I spend my time in the pool or lounging out of it, admiring the rain. Earlier this week there was a huge stormy rain, and a miracle occurred. The sky fell out and the sea emerged to splash itself on our backyard wall. See for yourself.

Baba's painting of our pool

Baba’s painting of our pool

 

 

Wall2

Wall1

Wall3

 

That’s my attempt at spray painting in all its amateur-ness in the art AND the technique. Artist I’m not, but ‘crafty’ is an accurate description ;-). I wonder what Souvik will say, since it’s gonna be a surprise for him. At least we’ll never swim alone!

Something Old, Something New

 

After the blue-door-painting project, the corner window needed some nice curtains, not those synthetic shower-curtain lookalikes that came with the house. So on my last trip to Delhi I begged Ma to part with some of her vintage sarees for this noble cause ;-), and came away with an armful. Still, they rested at the bottom of the cupboard while I took my time, half-heartedly looking for a tailor who could make curtains, then almost bought a sewing machine to DIM (do it myself), almost because I decided on a cheap handheld machine which is apparently not available anywhere. Finally, the makeover itch got the better of me – why not use those God-given tools, and some long-forgotten skills of hemming and hawing? The saree length was just right, and the ‘fall’ made great loops.

This was the outcome:

 

 

Jobless?

 

 

Project: Front Door

I’ve had the itch to paint the front door ever since we moved in. As soon as the dry season set in, I rushed off to Ace Hardware for tools, and got started.

Prachi & Siddharth insisted that the scraped off ‘distressed’ look was quite the thing, but that wouldn’t cure the ‘itch’, right?

After dragging the project over a couple of weeks, I put in a final burst of energy yesterday, and got it over with. Here’s the final outcome:

 

Need a new project now. Shall I settle for some travel?

Masterpiece!

Spent a perfectly good day in Singapore, working on my work permit. Well actually, the work was done by someone else, I just had to hand over some stuff. But any reason is a good excuse to hop over to Singapore, and catch up with two of my best friends.

Vaishnavi and I had a soul-satisfying morning, admiring an art exhibition called Dreams and Reality at the National Museum, which was a collection normally displayed at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

In our own uneducated way, we went around, admiring each painting – Vaish looking for inspiration , me simply looking. Spellbound, awestruck, I run out of words to describe my feelings. Most of the big names were there, and we learnt why they are so big. My photography doesn’t do justice to the beauty of the paintings, blame it on camera shake out of nervousness, standing in the presence of masterpieces!

The quirky pepper display outside the museum

The Knights of the Flowers, Georges Rochegrosse:
The Birth of Venus, Alexandre Cabanel:
The Dubourg Family, Henri Fantin-Latour:
Young woman on the beach, Philip Wilson Steer:
Boats: Regatta at Argenteuil, Claude Monet:
The Cardplayers, Paul Cezanne:
Georges Clemenceau, Eduard Manet:
Rocks near the caves above the Black Castle, Paul Cezanne:
The End of Autumn or The Blind, Eugene Laermans:
Camille Monet on her deathbed, Claude Monet:
The improvised field hospital (portrait of Claude Monet), Frédéric Bazille:
Couldn’t take my eyes off this one – Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh