Art Journal | Inspiration Station

It’s time for a project from another Inspiration Station challenge, where my sister and I select a theme, and each of us creates something inspired by the theme.  It was my sister’s turn to pick the inspiration this month, and she made a mood board for us from the pictures that inspired her.

Inspiration Station | Jun inspiration

We also created a logo for our challenge because, why not? (And because we were bored one day.) 😉 We used a project from each of us for the sections.

Inspiration Station logo

For this month’s Inspiration Station, it was the content that interested me more than the colors – circles, patterns and flowers – and I intended to make an art journal page with them. For the longest time, I kept thinking of a design with patterns along the left half of the page, and some poppies on the right half. But the design just felt off, and I kept postponing my project. In the end, I thought I’ll just create some gel prints first, and see where it takes me. I ended up going with the flow, and this is what came out of it –

Art Journal | Inspiration Station | Anita

I already this teal-hued scrap page from my earlier gel printing attempts. I made gel prints along the left and top edges, and at the bottom-left edge. I then added some strokes of pink paint over it. The background appeared too heavy for the poppies, so I added a thin layer of white over it. The design looked good by itself, but the more I worked with it, the more I felt like poppies wouldn’t fit in well with it. Time for me to abandon my plans. 🙂

Art Journal closeup | Inspiration Station | Anita

So I used the circles from the picture as inspiration, and picked up a Spirograph to make a design that would be the base of a mandala-like doodle on one side. As I doodled, I found that the doodling was overpowering the gel-print background, so I started working on the background too, bringing in elements that stuck with me from the inspiration picture. I probably could continue doodling and keep adding more, but I felt this was a point where I could stop so I can still see something of the gel print background.

Art Journal closeup | Inspiration Station | Anita

I found that I like the diagonal placement of the finished content better, so that’s how I’ll store the page. And I’ll incorporate poppies in an art journal page someday. I didn’t watch a bunch of poppy-painting videos on youtube just to drop the idea. 🙂

As for my sister’s project for the challenge – check out her magnificent pen holder! I’d love to have it on my table, actually, but she’s already called dibs on it, so I guess she’ll have to make one for me someday…

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Stormy Earrings | We’re All Ears

For this month’s We’re All Ears challenge, Erin chose Storms as the theme. Storms, being a force of nature, are hard not to get inspired by. 🙂 My polymer clay earrings are inspired by the torrential rain during a storm, and the gentle ripples from stray post-storm raindrops hitting a puddle. As usual, the design for these earrings started out as something and ended up as something else. 🙂

Stormy Earrings | Polymer Clay | Anita

The smaller triangles depict raindrop-caused ripples, and I used Mokume Gane for the veneer, with light and dark blue clay. I’m pretty happy about the Mokume Gane since it’s the first time the technique has worked with me and created what I wanted. 🙂 The larger triangles depict stormy rains, and I made a veneer after twisting a few leftover light and dark blue clay strips together.

After baking the triangles, I backfilled their sides with hot pink clay (and baked them again, of course.) This color combination works really well for some apparel that I own – blue tops with hot pink accents – that seems to a long-running trend in Bangalore now. I used the Jessama Smear technique from Jessama Tutorials for the backfilling. It’s a lot of careful work but is incredibly satisfying and provides a wonderful finish to edges!

I drilled ear-wire holes so the stars form asymmetrical earrings. In spite of trying a few finishes – including making hot pink seed beads by rolling white beads in alcohol ink (looks like they need more dunking), I still haven’t figured out one that I like – so the finishing will definitely change. But I’m pretty happy with the rest of the ensemble.


A huge thanks to Erin for hosting the challenge! Please check out storm-inspired earrings by other guests in the challenge reveal at Earrings Everyday.

Green, Stripes, Polka Dots | Inspiration Station

Continuing the theme-inspired creativity challenges that my sister and I throw at each other, our Inspiration Station, it was my turn to think of a theme. One day, looking at my sister stand near the curtains asking if I’d come up with a theme yet, I rattled off the three things that came to my mind from what I was seeing – Green, Stripes, and Polka Dots. That’s one way to figure out a theme, right? 😉

Actually, it might be a great way to come up with a challenging theme, since it’s completely random. Neither of us was getting any ideas right off the bat this time. (Hehe…) Eventually, after a long time trying to visualize the general design of what I wanted to create, I took some gel prints on pages from an old manual, using a 15cm (6″) square gel plate.

1.

Green, Stripes & Polka Dots - Inspiration Station | Anita

Yellow-green polka dots, white stripes

This was actually a later attempt. I needed to use the negative from this polka dot print on another print, but then I liked the polka dots here and decided to print white stripes over it. (The white paint is drying, and I want to use it as much as possible before I bin it.)

Green, Stripes & Polka Dots - Inspiration Station | Anita

I struggled with the text here, since no color would show on this print. I’d have really liked green, glowing text, but in the end, I had to write in gold for some visibility at an angle, at least. Fine, I’ll take it!

2.

Green, Stripes & Polka Dots - Inspiration Station | Anita

Dark and light green polka dots, pink stripes

This was my first print, where I wanted to see if green and pink would work together. They don’t look bad at all! I used two stencils of different polka dot sizes for this.

Green, Stripes & Polka Dots - Inspiration Station | Anita

The text here was a bit difficult too. I thought shocking pink and purple would be pretty visible, and it is, but not as much as I’d hoped for. It’s still an improvement from the earlier one, I suppose. I added some silver lining to the text, and I’m happy with this effect.

The print looks kinda vintage, doesn’t it?

3.

Green, Stripes & Polka Dots - Inspiration Station | Anita

Green and yellow-green polka dots, dark green stripes

This was mostly from negatives of the other prints. It’s a bit tricky to get the negatives to work, since for the positives, you start with light background and work your way to the dark foreground. For the negatives, depending on the amount of negative space in your stencils, the darker negatives could overwhelm the earlier lighter ones. This time, it turned out well since I finished with a lighter negative.

The text was a breeze with this print – the white worked perfectly. I should try some stamping next time.


I’m happy with all of the prints – they turned out truer to my vision than any of my earlier gel-printing attempts did.

Sis’s card is very different from my prints. It has clean separation of the stripes and polka dots (I love that polka glam!) and she’s represented green by some greenery, which I think is awesome.

Wire-Form Inspired Statement Earrings

May’s inspiration for the We’re All Ears challenge at Earrings Everyday is Wire forms. Specifically, wire forms by artist Ruth Asawa. Erin Prais-Hintz, who hosts the challenge, discovered Asawa from the Google Doodle celebrating the prolific artist, and, inspired by her wire art forms, thought it would be a challenging inspiration for this month.

And it was definitely challenging. I tried pretty hard to feature wire art as the star of my earrings by knitting / crocheting with it, but it turned out to be even more difficult than my previous pair of earrings. So I tried to go in a different direction – use Asawa’s sculptures as inspiration, and make some statement earrings embodying the salient features of her art.

Wire-form inspired statement earrings

For these earrings, I continued with the repurposing theme that defined last month for me. For the focal spheres, I crocheted around a pair of chunky faux pearls with pink scrap yarn. For the dangles, I cut out strips from some sari silk. With each strip, I tied a larks head knot over a large jump ring, and then a knot (or two) along the length to add some undulation like in Asawa’s sculptures. I attached three dangles to each focal sphere. A pair of earring findings at the top completed the earrings.

The earrings are chunky, but since all components used in the earrings are lightweight, they are surprisingly well-behaved. 🙂


Thanks to Erin for such a challenging inspiration! Do check out the challenge reveal at Earrings Everyday and enjoy the inspired creations from other participants.

A Shadowbox Begins

Wow, did this month fly by or what! It feels like only yesterday that I thought the Art Elements theme of the month, Repurposing, was perfect for a project that I’d been thinking of, and it’s already reveal time. Many thanks to Lesley Watt for hosting this theme, since it turned out to be the spark that got this project started.

We’d taken out a new set of teacups a few months ago, and since then, I’d been holding on to the styrofoam container they came in, because it was perfect for a shadowbox!

Styrofoam Shadowbox: WIP

However, I’ll add some emphasis on the first statement of this post, because I couldn’t complete as much as I’d thought I would. To compensate for the lack of creative time last month, I think I put my fingers in too many pies this month. 🙂 So I’ll just list the few steps that I’ve completed in the project as of today. So far, I have:

  • Decoupaged the styrofoam surface with newspaper
  • Added some texture by crudely adhering cheap toilet paper onto the surface
  • Applied gesso over the surface
  • Brushed some yellow / orange acrylics over it

All of these steps were interspersed with a lot of waving around of a heat gun, and then, because the surface still seemed a bit springy to the touch, letting it dry overnight and get some sun through the day as well.

I like how it looks so far. Next, I’ll add more acrylics of orange / red / brown shades, and try out some ideas for decorating the shadowbox with other material. Hopefully by then, I’ll have figured out what goes into the shadowbox, because let’s leave the most important stuff till the end! 🙂

Coincidentally, some of my other projects this month fit the repurposing theme too, but they’re not a part of this reveal, and I’ve already talked about them. Though I couldn’t complete something for the reveal, I had a lot of fun this month, and it feels great after the crafty scarcity of last month!

More repurposing: a trinket box made from packaging cardboard base, scrap clay, and paper from a manual; and a shawl (which I’m still working on) using yarn reclaimed from an earlier project.


This is a blog hop, so if you’d like to check out what the other guests and the Art Elements team have repurposed for their artsy projects, do head over to their blogs linked below!

Guests: Tammy Alysen Evie & Beth Karin Hope Divya Anita (you’re here) Sarajo Kathy Rebecca Martha

AE Team: Niky Laney Cathy Caroline Jen Jenny Sue Claire Lesley

Jewelry/Trinket Box | Inspiration Station

It might seem like my sister and I have forgotten about our Inspiration Station challenges, but that’s definitely not the case. It’s only that March got a bit lighter on the crafty side (because life!) and I just couldn’t work on any challenges. Not to fret, we’ve both managed to finish our respective artistic projects now. Here’s the inspiration that my sister chose –

Inspiration Station - Feb inspiration

Inspiration Station – Feb inspiration – Modern, eco-friendly greeting cards from Seedlings (with actual seeds embedded!), mentioned on Paper Crave

I’ve wanted to make a trinket box for my mom for a while, and I decided to do that for this Inspiration Station. My original idea was to use polymer clay and make a round, hinged box, the idea then turned into a square box, then became a gel-print based box, and finally, in its completed form, it’s a cardboard box with polymer clay embellishments. Talk about twists and turns! 🙂

Jewelry / Trinket Box (Mixed Media) | Anita

This project was split over many, many days – even put back into a drawer since I wasn’t working on it – and I’m glad it came together well in the end. Due to so many changes to the project’s design, I eventually just used the colors from the inspiration, though I’d picked more elements earlier.

I started this project with thick cardboard from packaging material, making a box and a lid from it. On the inside of both, I glued some floral gel prints that I pulled using texture plates on a gel plate – I never thought texture plates would work so well with monoprinting! I had to dilute the paint a lot, though – it almost looks like a watercolor.

Jewelry / Trinket Box (Mixed Media) | Anita

From our acrylics stash, I picked blue, green and a bit of black, and painted the outside of the lid and the box.

For the embellishments, I picked various molds whose designs would work for the rococo / ornamental theme I had in mind, and used scrap polymer clay to make a number of pieces. I used 3D matte gel to stick these pieces on the walls of the box and of the lid, and to the top of the lid. For some added interest, I adhered sand over some of the still-blank areas using soft matte gel. I applied more blue / green / black paint over these for added depth.

Jewelry / Trinket Box (Mixed Media) | Anita

I brushed metallic coral acrylics and then applied brass / vintage gold wax onto the relief. I intended to finish the piece(s) by applying soft gloss gel, but the gel remained tacky upon drying. So I applied clear gesso over it – it seemed to fare better than soft matte gel – and though I gained a better surface to the touch, I lost all the sheen. 🙂 I brushed more wax on the pieces, but let’s face it, it’s never the same. However, I don’t have any regrets about any of the choices I made, and that’s saying something. 😉

Jewelry / Trinket Box (Mixed Media) | Anita

My mom loves her new jewelry / trinket box, and so does my sister. Now that’s what I call a satisfying ending to a project!

Speaking of my sister, you’ll want to check out the oh-so-colorful underwater scene in her card. I just love, love, love the fishies, and the background is absolutely fantastic! She nailed the theme.

Storage Bag Tags

Even the tiniest amount of crafty time can result in a positive feeling. Case in point – A trio of tags that I made for keeping track of storage bags in our attic. These storage bags contain similar items but are only used occasionally, and the tags would be handy to figure out which one to pick items from next.

Making the tags barely took a couple of hours, since I didn’t try anything too complicated – just made half-knot spiral sennits using macramé. Even so, the happiness of hand-crafting something functional still applies. 🙂

Storage Tags - Macramé

This is how I made each tag –

I started off with a 30-cm cord and a 50-cm one. I made half-hitch knots with the longer one over the central 10cm of the shorter cord, and was left with two almost equal sized arms, each containing two cords. I used these four cords as the holding cords, and used a 90-cm cord as the working cord for the spiral stitch, which I made by making non-alternating half knots. When done with the sennit, I used E6000 to hold the cord tassels together so they don’t unravel.

Making these was a little ray of sunshine in an otherwise not-so-great weekend. I’m hoping I find tiny crafty time pockets now and then to keep my spirits soaring! 🙂

How are your crafts brightening your day?