Late night creative sparks!

These days I find it a little difficult to crash after work & baby-ma. Since sleep eludes me, I’ve started reading Perry Masons, crocheting and making costume jewellery to while away the midnight hours.

Yesterday, one of my dear friends from Delhi visited. She was interning with a city NGO and it was lovely meeting up with her. She plans to leave soon for Paris on a scholarship for higher studies (sounds so glamorous, doesn’t it?). For lunch, I had invited her and two of my other colleagues – we had a wonderful time just chatting and talking about the good old times. I was also quite pleased that the pasta, salad and sandwiches turned out well, even if the chicken didn’t measure up to standard.

As a little surprise thank-you gift for her, I made this necklace. I hope she likes it!

Emerald n ruby-lookalike pendant encircled with white stones n green loreals - Rachel Chitra

Emerald n ruby-lookalike pendant encircled with white stones n green loreals – Rachel Chitra

My necklaces!

I have been making costume jewellery as gifts for friends and family for nearly 6 years now. I was taught this craft by a very dear friend of mine. Someday when I have more patience and a less-inquisitive toddler I hope to post tutorials on how to make necklaces. For now I’m uploading some of my work! Hope you like them!

Costume jewellery - easy as a pie to make - but great on the flashy, glittery factor! (Red stone, white loreals and golden balls make up this necklace)

Costume jewellery – easy as a pie to make – but great on the flashy, glittery factor! (Red stone, white loreals and golden balls make up this necklace) – Rachel Chitra

Mango-design stones & a temple-jewellery pendant

Mango-design stones & a temple-jewellery pendant – Rachel Chitra

Garnet-look-alike pendant on white stones embellished with red loreals

Garnet-look-alike pendant on white stones embellished with red loreals – Rachel Chitra

Rhinestones in a simple tier-necklace

Rhinestones in a simple tier-necklace – Rachel Chitra

Red-stoned tier necklace with gold loreal - Rachel Chitra

Red-stoned tier necklace with gold loreal – Rachel Chitra

Traditional Karnataka style choker - Rachel Chitra

Traditional Karnataka style choker – Rachel Chitra

Green-moonstone pendant encircled with white stone n green loreals - Rachel Chitra

Green-moonstone pendant encircled with white stone n green loreals – Rachel Chitra

Red-stones n cascading white loreals - Rachel Chitra

Red-stones n cascading white loreals – Rachel Chitra

White n gold! - Rachel Chitra

White n gold! – Rachel Chitra

Christmas @ The ChocolateKids Playschool

One of my school friends S Nirmala started the Chocolate Kids Play School in Chennai in 2011 for tiny-tots. The school has seen rapid growth and is now a familiar cornerstone in the bustling, sub-urban area of Guduvancheri.

At her school, they recently hosted their Christmas celebrations and I really couldn’t resist showing you pictures of the  children’s handiwork. Pretty talented wouldn’t you say?

The Nativity scene - pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
The Nativity scene – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool

Tiny Christmas trees all sparkling with the efforts of their bright, little owners - pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
Tiny Christmas trees all sparkling with the efforts of their bright, little owners – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
Another set of prettily decked up cheery trees  - pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
Another set of prettily decked up cheery trees – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
A little Christmas village made from paper hats -  pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
A little Christmas village made from paper hats – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
An Indian Gingerbread house -  pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
An Indian Gingerbread house – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
A 3-d card paper Christmas tree and a cotton-snowman -  pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
A 3-d card paper Christmas tree and a cotton-snowman – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool

Kagitha Sirpi Ramesh

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Long, long ago, when I was part of the Chennai blogging circuit (and owner of the now-hacked and deleted URL http://www.rachelchitra.wordpress.com) I was quite familiar with the members of the Chennai Bloggers Club. It was quite an active club with the members meeting often for lunch-cum-discussion sessions. One of my professors in Madras Christian College Ms Caramalin A Sophie was also part of the club.  She blogs at Che Sara Sara and was a very active member of CBC and once or twice tried to get me interested in the same.

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So it was quite a serendipitous discovery to re-discover the blog of another CBC member Aarti Krishnakumar. I especially love her post about one unusual auto driver she met. The story starts very close to my childhood home (which is also R.A.Puram, Mandaveli, Chennai).  It was a little late in the night, and our blogger heroine was walking down the road on her way home, when she spotted an auto. Mid-way, the auto-guy said he’d reached his home and if it was “okay” with her, he’d like to drop her off there. Aarti also happily acquiesced and got off…only to find the auto guy following her. As she turned with a little trepidation (Oh! God-what-to-expect-now-with-an-unknown-man-types) …the guy tells her that since she’s a woman and walking all alone at that time of the night, he didn’t have the heart to drop her off and offers to drop her home.

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She gets in and she starts chatting up with him, when she realises that the identity of the chivalrous auto driver is none other than the famous Kirigami expert Kagitha Sirpi Ramesh. “Kagitha” means “paper” and “Sirpi” means “sculptor” in Tamil and this is the sobriquet the Chennai media have given him.

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I always love stories of chance encounters and quirky fate. And Kagitha Sirpi Ramesh’s story is the “stuff of legends.” He started snipping away with his scissors and created masterpieces long before he even knew of the existence of the word “Kirigami.” He says till date he has made nearly 7,000 such pieces – quite an entry for the Guinness Book of World Records. Despite being featured in umpteen number of Tamil TV Channels and local newspapers, Kagitha Sirpi Ramesh has still been unable to surmount the red tape surrounding applying for the Guinness Book of World Records.

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In his talk with Aarti Krishnakumar, he expressed his frustration in not being able to properly showcase his art form on his blog as he is not tech-savy. He asked her help in figuring out the nuances of blogging and Aarti also put up an SOS on her blog for web help for this talented artist.

I was sad to see that even after so many years  his blog hasn’t improved in appearance…

But on the positive side, Ramesh is still a very nice, affable, approachable human being, who is very happy to teach his art form to all who are interested. So the next time, you are in Chennai, do drop by his studio…you never know, you could later boast that you were taught by a Guiness book record holder 🙂

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Contact info for Kagitha Sirpi Ramesh:

+91 9841240152
Email:- kagithasirpiindia@gmail.com

Facebook:-www.facebook.com/kirigamikagithasirpiindia.ramesh
Kathiga Sirpi Ramesh_Hindu article

Little Fingers

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I am not such  a big earring and necklace person…but with baby-ma around I’m constantly stocking up on trinkets for her.  I already have quite a small collection that my neighbours feel I’d be better off wearing NOW! than saving for her later. In India, there is something about well-settled, homey-homey matrons that makes them want other mommies also to follow in their jhumkha-wearing, bindi-sporting, bangles-flashing footsteps.  Anyway someday I promise to take the time for myself and dress up a little, but meanwhile I thought I’d leave you guys with some seriously drool-worthy stuff from Little Fingers.

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Given that I make ethnic jewellery myself, I really appreciate the artistry that goes into the making of these fun, but beautiful pieces of jewellery. Don’t you now want to pick up something from Little Finger the next time you are shopping in Chennai?

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Love anything that resembles felt beads and the violet chocker looks so ever-so nice!

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I just love the fun, vibrant colours they have made use of….so appealing!

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Feel spoilt for choice…wondering whether their ethnic offerings look better than their earthy, clay-ones or vice-versa…

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Totally love the stained glass effect of this earring

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Just love this set of clay roses…so abundant n gorgeous

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The above selection is totally appropriate for your average teenager – with angry birds in tow

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For a little whimsy…how about these sweet piglet earrings?

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Do check out their FB page! Its got more gorgeous, gorgeous eye-catching jewellery

Silk thread bangles – DIY

I’ve always wanted to learn to make silk thread bangles. More so after all my Masscom classmates went on a class trip to DakshinChitra and I didn’t. All the girls in my class couldn’t resist bragging to me how they went to this fabulous workshop and flashing their shiny colourful silk-thread bangles at me.

So was I happy, when I came across this DIY for these super-colourful bangles

Silk thread bangles

 

Image courtesy – Dhivvya’s handicrafts

And in between, DakshinChitra is an awesome, visually-spectacular place that my fellow Chennai journalists have written about time and again…this cultural hub showcases both Indian art and traditional homes from the Southern states . So being a Chennaite its a crying shame that I still haven’t been there. Really anticipating taking baby-ma there someday!

DakshinaChitra

Image courtesy- Livemint