Water colour - Devi

I never used water colour since school days and I hardly know any techniques for water colouring.  So went through a lot of materials and did my research on acrylics, water colours and pastels and bought myself a Winsor and Newton student grade,  water colour set box. I wanted a built in palette as I did not want to mix colours on a separate dinner plate(as was suggested by some websites).
Compact set box 14 half pan colours
2 brushes - round synthetic brushes
8 " * 5" cold pressed note pad(20 pages).

During one summer holiday, I remember using my brothers' old and used camel water colour box which had 10 half pans. When I got posession of the box all the pans were having craters in them and yet I was glad to use it to colour the leftover pages in my school notebooks. I made some bad paintings which then ofcourse were my proud show items. I never tried painting again as I never got a hang of it.

Now with so much time at hand, I thought of trying again. I had tried oil painting some months back before I came to Brussels, which too was a bad experience. I chose the the 'girl with the pearl ear ring' painting to start of and did the outlines and laid the first coat of paint and this coat did not dry for almost a week . I am short on patience and I couldn't wait for the oil coating to dry and so had to leave it half way through.
 Before buying water colours I considered acrylics as well but since acrylics cannot be 'undone' like water colours I chose to go with water colours first and then upgrade to acrylics.

Deezden is a very good design website, I love the art work which Dithi shares there.  She had shared this 'how to draw a goddess for kids' in Gnaana and I liked it a lot. So made my first water colour painting.
A bit kiddish but whatever! You have to become a kid to learn new things isn't it?

Girl with the scarf

Realised that I have done enough portraits and this might be the last one for while now.  Long back while browsing I happened to see this portrait of a girl with a scraf I had saved it and over the weekend tried to sketch her. I completed it but lost to maintain the innocence and the hearty smile as in the original picture. 
I need a break from portraits and try something else.  Kind of loosing interest to get into details.

Get Crafty with Robert Crafts

http://www.robertscrafts.com/ - One stop for all that you need to get crafty! they have this freebie friday today and winners are entitled for a cool frame as giveaways.  Check this link RobertCraft Freebie Friday for more details.

Motor Cycle Diaries - Che Guevara

Motor cycle Diaries is a great movie. Loved the book first and thats when I got to watch this movie. Amazing spirit, brilliant acting, superb real life hero.  

Tried my hand at watercolour portrait again. The proportions are all distorted but I really liked the way eyes are in this and also its intensity. Should try for a better finishing too.
Despite the blemishes, I prefer the water color portrait to the pencil sketch. The stern and fierce look of a 'Hero' is standing out here. 
Since I'm run out of the cold pressed sheets, used my sketchbook for this painting and lessons are learnt. you cannot repair aqua paintings on sketchbook without spoiling the surface.  

Someplace Nice!

Someplace Nice! I wonder how I could forget this title. I love this title and I always wanted to keep it as the name of my venture(still wondering venture on what..? boutique, restaurant...???!!!).
First place where I'm publishing this. Yaaaayyyy!  

Minutes count

Life is fast! is it?  couple of days back I was very frustrated with myself for taking break from work and opting to come to Brussels with my husband and that too during winter. European winters are the worst and anyone can go crazy sitting at home the whole day unless you have something to keep yourself busy with. I have sketching , painting and facebooking to do and so I'm kind of fully busy but even this can get boring once in a while. So until few days back I had this routine.After VR leaves for work, I slept again and woke up only at noon this way I felt that half the day was already over and I had only 5 more hours to run the errands before VR returned. This felt good but however I started putting on more weight since I slept more. So I had to stop this routine.
These days once VR leave to work I make tea, wash utensils, clean the house and sit for my art work.  Sometimes I skip breakfast deliberately and somedays I forget to eat. Its only when my tummy starts grumbling I force myself to give the work a break and make something for myself like soup and thawed vegetables or a sandwich or I have the left over meals from previous dinner. The soup I have is interesting as I just have to add hot water to the sachet of soup powder and while the water is heating, I can solve the  puzzle printed on the back of the sachet. Sudoku, crossword, word finder, number games are all there. I enjoy making soup and solving these puzzles as well. Even the waiting time is busy.

I'm on all this work and some days I just go for long walks and somedays I get on knitting. Other days I just watch a movie. At 5 I start to cook dinner and from 6 to 7 I do exercise. I do Ramdev baba's 'motapa kam karne ke aasan' (Obesity removing yoga poses)'. Somedays I skip that too and just browse until VR comes back. Then we have dinner, watch TV for a while and sleep by 10 PM.
There was old man who lived in our neighbourhood a decade back. He was probably 70 and a retired man. His sons managed his business and all he did was watch TV,eat,sleep on his easy chair, walk in the evening and chew pan. He would say "Kelsaanu illa purusottu illa" "No work at all yet no free time". I found that funny then but now I understand what he meant.
Life surely is busy!

Reuse - Pencil and Brush organiser

These days I save anything that can be reused. Some of the most useful items are food packaging boxes, insides of tissue rolls, packaging thermocol, used toothbrush etcetc.   Since I dwell mostly on pencils and paints these days and was finding it difficult to pick anything from the flimsy clumsy zipper bag where I had dumped all the paint and sketch accessories. So made this organiser with 6 tissue rolls and a rectangle food packaging box(came with the mushrooms). I have brushes, graphite pencils, pens, colour pencils, shading pencils, mechanical pencils. The only remaining thing is to paint these rolls and I'm sure it will look fabulous.
It looks neat and compact now.

There was a time when I would yell at mom for saving all these kind of items. she kept them to do some craft work and she always said "you never know when they will be useful". I asked her to buy whatever she wanted from the market yet she never stopped saving them. Some times she would forget that she had saved something and it would just lie around for years then one day while cleaning she would throw all of them away and start collecting afresh.
I always say "I never know when I'll become like my mom"! :)

Vegetable Seller

Somehow I like to sketch portraits and as I am writing this I realised that most of my pencil sketches are of women. 3 from the Raja ravi verma collection, Monalisa, Lady with the pearl ear ring! Yeah! Girl power!
Picked this one from Prabhu's photostream .In his photos, even the local market looks like a must visit place ,the countryside hillstation looks like a foreign tourist place.
Thanks Prabhu for letting me refer it for this sketch.

vegetable seller

Rotring Pen works

There are some days when you want to see a splash of colours, get inspired and go vibrant and some when you just want the dull grey, yet sharp contrasts to play around and go along with the melancholy induced by the dull cloudy European weather during winters.

Banana plantation
Orchard Fresh

Drawcipe for Mushroom Curry

Heavy Weekend -Happy weekend

Internet and Idleness doesn't seem to go along together. There are so many things you can do by just sitting at home with the help of internet. you can manage an entire business by just sitting at home. Decide what you want to do, order the necessary items online,  Learn how to do it on the internet, take pics, upload and sell online.  when you are bored hit the recipe blogs and pick a dish and try it. If there was internet when my mom was my age, and if my mom knew to browse then I'm sure I would have had a very good fahion boutique to take care of by now. My mom is a super woman, she stitches, does craft work, she does yoga, she does gardening. She is like the 'handy-man' of our house .she can fix anything that is not right. She is always busy. She learnt to ride a bicycle when she was 45 and soon she bought herself a two wheeler. she roamed around the town in that for groceries and other casual visits. Now at the age of 55 she learnt to drive and she has got a driving license!
I am amazed the enthusiasm she has for learning new things and her determination she has to get it done. She is my inspiration.

Every time I make something special, I loose the urge to have it myself and I want someone to eat, taste and give honest feedback. Usually my husband is the guinea pig for me. 
Variety of Indian breads!
Friday Dinner:

Bhatura with Paneer butter masala

Saturday Breakfast :
Paneer paratha with a spoonfull of butter!

Paneer paratha in the making.Was very happy when paratha fluffed up like this. a bread with a stuffing generally doesn't bloat but the stuffing was spread so evenly it did.
  Sunday Brunch :
Butter dosa with Potato side dish

Recipes will be posted in the recipe blog soon.

Look out--- Its Changed!

Yes..I changed the blog's outlook and renamed it too..! I get bored of seeing the same thing and this happens quite often. Even at home, I keep changing the positions of  the cot, TV and vases giving the excuse of cleaning. This change to the blog was long due and I always wanted to link my Recipe blog to this blog. Here it is!! :)

Walking Joys

I love to go on long walks and espcially tread those paths which I have never gone before as I love to explore new streets, better shortcuts for home, nicer grocery store.  Today after strolling headlessly just took a deviation and went to this Cinquantinaire park near the house. Huge park with a huge monument and an old arms and weapon museum. Surrounding this are huge trees and plain grassland and some neat benches here and there. At this time of the year all trees are barren but still I could note bunches of green still on the trees. I went closer only to find parrots perched on the trees basking the fading sun. It was soothing scene for the grey dull sore eyes.

When I first came to Brussels, I went to this park on the day when sun shone bright and sat on the bench and made this sketch. After fifteen minutes,the cold had seeped in through the layers I had on me and my hands were going numb. So managed to scribble and complete the sketch.

Wishes on a rainy day

It is 9 PM. There is an important exam scheduled for tomorrow and I'm busy preparing for it against the hurdles which are coming up just to hinder my studies. My friends come over or my favourite movie is playing on TV or the power has gone off. Mysteriously I raise against all of them and study in the candle light trying to finish the syllabus . While studying I fall asleep when there is atleast 1/3 portion yet to be covered and wake up the next morning only an hour before the start of the exam. And I suddenly realise that I'm not in the town where I have to take the exam.I'm at my grand father's place which is a village 7 miles from the town where my school is situated. I have to rush and reach the venue if I have to pass the exam. I somehow manage to get the hall ticket, pencil and pen box and leave the house. There is no one to drop me and hence I walk around a mile, up to the main road to board a bus. With just fifteen minutes remaining I'm just hoping and being positive as I have studied atleast 2/3 of the syllabus. I board the crowded bus and then conductor asks for ticket. Panic button is rammed again. I do not have any money. I plead the bus conductor giving excuse of exam and also write down my house address as gaurantee while promising to repay him next day. So I manage to reach the venue 10 minutes late and school corridors are empty and the entire school is dauntingly silent. I see all my classmates busy scribbling lenghty essays on the white sheet of paper. I explain my teacher the reason for the delay and look for my place to sit and settle down with a sigh of relief. The moment of relief is only for a short while as I'm SHOCKED to see the question paper. It is a different subject and not the one that I had studied last night. I gape at the paper in disbelief while tears roll down my eyes! and I wake up! The most horrifying and the worst recurring dream I ever get is over, for today. It lingers in the head throughout the day and is kind of disturbing.
There are some memories which are very dear to me especially the childhood days where we 5 cousins would meet at our maternal grand father's place on the 2 months long summer holidays. It is a small village called Golgod. Grand pa's house is a huge tiled roof house with a big verandah in the front , end of that were steps leading to the garden which my grandpa had grown. Jasmine, hibiscus, red pink white roses ,Coconut trees and at the end of the garden was a small neat stream. In summers it would get water upto two feets which was very fine with us to do fishing,water walks and also bathe occasionally. when it rains heavily the water rises upto the banks and we stay indoors and watch the twigs, old shoes, tree branches and clothes drifting in the muddy water. On the banks of this stream is a big granite stone where the laundry is done by the maids and next to that is a sickle sharpner stone installed. I always looked out for that stone before stepping into the stream as below this stone there was something that looked like a snake.Sometimes there were snakes and sometimes reflection of coconut palms on rippled water. whatsoever it was I never went alone in the streams because of this. To cross over this stream, one feet wide tree trunk is placed across. without practice you need to do a bit of circus to get across. On the other side of the banks is a huge paddy field where rice is grown and that borders the bettlenut plantation. Entire day in those holidays we were outdoors on our interesting expeditions, looking out for cashew farms, making camp house of fallen palms, climbing trees and chewing mangoes. We also did farm chores and earned precious titbits for that. We did broom the verandah, picked fallen beetlenuts, cut grass for the cattle, removed weeds from the beetlenut plantation, picked fallen palm branches and dragged them to the shed, reared the cattle and drove them home safely, built fences , plucked raw mangoes for the elder ladies to make pickle, stole the sweet ripe mangoes and kept for ourselves, dug small false holes for dogs to get stuck and fall.
we also did stuff that angered the bunch of grumpy ladies. like bathing in the stream, stealing milk powder and chocolate drink powders from their pantry, which were very costly then. We stole dry fruits and munchies and brought it back to the camp house or the tree house and had it leisurely while playing cards. at times we even traded those stolen items in the game. We mocked the cows when they were milking them. Touched the pickled mangoes with our hands. made noise and jumped in the attic post lunch when they took naps.

I guess this is etched in my memory and that too in the easily accessed part of RAM,hence most of the time I get dreams related to this place. Like I meet an old college friend in Golgod while the college I studied was 500 miles away from this village. Or the exam venue is in Golgod and I'm in a far off place the night before it. Or I happen to bump into my ex boyfriend when I'm on one of those village expeditions with my cousins. My husband is making a house of palm trees in the fields.

Everything revolves around Golgod.

Fantastic feeling to have been there in my life,
the serene green fields brings a sense of relief,
a tinge of sadness for I see it seldom,
Nostalgia creeps in while skimming the photo album.

First venture at making a scarf

With the fluctuating interest levels that I'm known for it is hard to stick to one particular activity. The unknown and never done before always appeal me.
So I chose knitting. rambled through lot of websites and
finally managed to learn the basics from some free tutorials on youtube.
here is my first attempt at knitting.

Yarn :  Rapido for beginners from Phildar
Needles:  UK #7

I had read that if you pick a light coloured yarn it is easier to knit and so i picked a neutral colour and a dark colour for contrast colours however mid way through I was not happy with the colour and changed it.
it still looks nice...:)

Musings - 2

If employees of Infosys were called as Infosites and those of Wipro were called as Wiproscions would it have made any difference?
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