Mixed Media Wall Decor – Create, Dream, Play

Hi everyone,

What?? Two posts in one day? 😀

I decided to just get with it, since I don’t know when I’ll next have time off. Even though I really wanted to take better pictures with my “real” camera instead of the phone… 😦

Well, here’s the next project… One of the first things I tried with mixed media, made a lot of mistakes and learnt from them too. 🙂

Mixed Media Wall Decor - Create 1

Here we go: This was created with an awful patterned paper used in the background (something that I bought because it was cheap, and the images were super blurry… Serves me right!). Anyway, I used a piece of corrugate from old packaging, distressed and glued down the background paper and then covered it with a thin coat of gesso to push the print into the background. Also sprayed a bit of green over it to brighten the color.

After that, it was just about adding embellishments to my heart’s content. 😀

I tore some strips of paper out of a wood-themed paper pack, distressed the edges with Vintage Photo distress ink and stamped them with the words “Create”, “Dream” and “Play”, all from different stamp sets. I think the first and last ones were from We R Memory Keepers Geohectic collection small stamp sets, and the second was from a Lawn Fawn set that also had feathers (bought it because of the feathers, really :)).

I also added some of the Vintage Borders from the We R Memory Keepers Good Day Sunshine collection. All the stamped images were inked with Memento Rich Cocoa ink. On a side note, I bought all my WRMK stamps from ItsyBitsy during their year-end sale and right before. The regular price was under Rs. 50 per set, and half of that during the sale.. That’s what I call a deal!!

Moving on, I also added raw chipboard shapes by PortaCraft, which I colored with random applications of acrylic paint and distress inks (Vintage Photo and Mowed Lawn). I also used an old credit card to apply green acrylic paint to the background, using the edge of the card to draw the paint upward and create “grass”.

I used (abused!) a pair of scissors to cut through some wooden shapes I had in my stash, and created the crooked fence out of them. I also added some 3D glitter flowers that were sent as a free gift with one of my ItsyBitsy orders, and embellished the centers with gold microbeads. As a final step, I added iridescent green seed beads under the flowers and near the fence, which I later covered with matt medium to cut down the shine a little.

The next day, I added a couple of brown rhinestones and a bit of scrap cotton twine to the focal image, because that edge just looked a little empty to me. Here are some close-ups if you want to see the effect of the matt medium with the shiny beads.. I love it!

I’m going to enter this project in the Peek-a-Boo Designs challenge (Challenge 2 – Anything Goes). Here’s the gorgeous color board from their blog:

peek-a-boo designs challenge 2 color board blogger-image-352790977

The challenge requires you to use shades of BLUE, SAFFRON, WHITE, GREEN and make anything you like, using at least 3 colors out of the 4 and a stamp. I’ve got Saffron, White and Green (as well as a little blue in the background), and of course, the stamps in the focal point of the image.

Mixed Media Wall Decor - Create 2

Also entered it in the Anything Goes Challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp challenge blog. Fingers crossed, I love the SSS products and my wishlist could use some help! 😛

I personally love this piece, and it’s taking pride of place above my crafting desk as soon as I get my hands on a drill (and clear up the stuff on my desk so it doesn’t get covered with wall dust :P).

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you liked my little foray into mixed media!

Birthday Cards for a Special Couple (Part 1) – The Wine Spill

Hi all, hope 2016 is treating you well!

I recently made some birthday cards for some very special friends and (especially considering that this was my first attempt at card-making in almost 15 years!) was very pleased with how they turned out.

Let’s take a look at the finished card… Please ignore the fuzziness of the image, it was taken in natural light on a foggy morning. 😦

Wine Bottle and Glass Card 1

Here’s a (somewhat) detailed step-by-step process for how I created the card:

Wine Bottle and Glass Card 2

First, I die-cut a notepad border onto a piece of scrap white cardstock and then stamped the wine bottle and glass from the Fiskars Aged to Perfection stamp set twice using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. First, directly on the diecut notepad sheet (which would be used as a base for paper piecing) and then onto another piece of scrap white cardstock.

I colored the second set of stamped images with Faber-Castell PITT Brush markers, working quickly so I could blend the colors (which, as you can see, didn’t happen too well!!). I added highlights with a white Sakura Gelly Roll gel pen and a few dots of the yellow marker over the white lines on the bottle’s rim. After that, I cut out the images in sections, so I could paper piece them onto the stamped image on the diecut notepad sheet.

Wine Bottle and Glass Card 3

I added a light layer of blue color to the stem and bowl of the stamped wineglass and glued the pieces into place with a tape runner (except for the label of the wine bottle, which I adhered with foam tape for some dimension. I also added random spatters of “wine” with Barn Door and Vintage Photo distress inks and the red PITT marker (tried to use a coffee stains stamp, but that just added a few dots, and was a total bust in my book).

Next, I stamped a ticket from the Fiskars Teresa Collins Sentiments stamp set in Memento Rich Cocoa ink on scrap white cardstock (after masking off the sentiment that was originally on the stamp). I replaced this with a sentiment stamp from the Aged to Perfection stamp set, in Memento Tuxedo Black ink.

Wine Bottle and Glass Card 4

I fussy cut the image, distressed the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and a finger dauber, and the ticket was ready to be used as a tag on the wine bottle.. I think that looks lovely with the tiny star on the edge!

I distressed the edges of the “notepad sheet” and poked a hole under the sides of the cork so I could thread some floss through for the tag. I secured one end of the floss at the back of the diecut with a bit of tape runner, and also distressed the paper further with Vintage Photo on a finger dauber (this was before I received my foam blending tools, which are larger so they would have made this work easier).

Wine Bottle and Glass Card 5

Here’s the secret tool I use for distressing paper – a metal foot scraper from the local general store!

It cost only Rs. 10, and I bought it when my budget forced me to choose between new stamps and a fancy distressing tool, and glad I did. I may still get a multipurpose tool for paper distressing someday, but for now, this does the job perfectly. 🙂

At this stage, I was so excited working on the card that I forgot to take in-progress shots. 😦

Wine Bottle and Glass Card 6

Here’s what I did:

I cut down the red woodgrain paper to the size of my card (which I forgot to measure for this post! :P), and distressed it with Vintage Photo as well as Barn Door to deepen the color. I also stamped the large doily from the Itsybitsy Lace stamp set on the bottom right corner, using Memento Rich Cocoa.

Then I added a strip of paper (distressed with Vintage Photo) from the Animal Kingdom stack along the left side, since I loved the way the color contrasted with the red and added some interest. To soften the whole background, I spritzed it with water and let it dry, then added a bit of scrap twine around the bottom. I also stuck a small Prima Finnabair Mechanicals star-shaped brad into the messy knot I’d made, before gluing it to the card base.

For the focal piece, I wrapped the other end of the floss around the sentiment tag (got some brown ink on it from my fingers in the process, hehe) and then glued that down. I also stamped a flourish from the Aged to Perfection stamp set onto the corner of the notepad sheet, with Vintage Photo instead of Memento, since I wanted a softer effect. Then I curled and tore the edges till I was satisfied with the way it looked, and adhered it to the background using foam tape for dimension.

Finishing touches, of course. Some Wink of Stella clear glitter on the wine bottle, glass and “spilled wine”, and faux stitching with my white gel pen along the edges of the background and tag. Added some glossy accents over all three (except for the wine bottle label), so they would look more like glass/liquid/yummy red wine!

(You can see all these in the close-up images below, with the effect of the Glossy Accents in the last image)

Don’t the bottle and glass look lifelike? 😀

Products Used:

  • Patterned paper from the Recollections Animal Kingdom stack, scrap patterned paper and white cardstock from my stash (no brand)
  • Border Dies from Paper Smooches Wise Dies (I don’t remember the name of the set and it’s not mentioned on the package.. Will update it later when I find out :))
  • Fiskars clear stamp sets – Aged to Perfection and Teresa Collins Sentiments
  • ItsyBitsy clear stamp set – Lace
  • Faber-Castell PITT Brush Markers (Set of 12)
  • Memento Inkpads – Tuxedo Black and Rich Cocoa
  • Distress Inkpads – Vintage Photo and Barn Door
  • Prima Finnabair Mechanicals star-shaped brads (set of 100)
  • Sakura Gelly Roll gel pen – White
  • Wink of Stella glitter pen – Clear
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • No-brand paper distressing tool (gahahahaha)
  • Jute twine (found in my stash of recycled/found objects)
  • Foam tape and tape runner
  • Teflon non-stick craft sheet (Supposedly the one by Ranger, but it arrived in plain cardboard with no brand packaging so I assume I was duped, since I later learnt that these craft sheets are made with the Teflon sheets used with industrial flatbed presses and other high-heat machinery.. No regrets either way, since it does what it needs to!)

Here are a few images of the products, in case you’re curious:

I’ve decided to enter this card in a few challenges if time permits, starting with the current challenge over at the Lulupu Challenge Blog (2-0-1-6 Recipe Challenge #57).

The rules for this challenge were:

  1. Create any project – Card, LO, Mixed Media, Altered Art, 3D Project, etc.
  2. Use the ingredients given below and apply 2-0-1-6 to the Recipe
  • Stamps (any kind – clear, wood mounted, digital, etc.)
  • Washi Tape
  • Patterned Papers, and
  • Diecuts and/or flowers (only die cuts, only flowers or a mix of both)

For example: 2 Diecuts, 0 Washi Tape, 1 Stamp (or stamp set) and 6 Patterned Papers.

State the recipe in your post clearly as I will do for my project, below.

  1. You may use other items on your project, but please ensure that the above mentioned items are the focus of the project and are easily visible.
  2. Last Day for submission of entries: 31 January, 2016 11:55 PM IST

…I think that’s just such a fun challenge and this card fit perfectly!!

Here’s my take on the recipe:

  • 2 – Patterned Papers (Red-hued woodgrain from my stash)
  • 0 – Washi Tapes (Yeah, I haven’t really used Washi tapes on any project yet)
  • 1 – Diecut (The notepad sheet, border die from Paper Smooches)
  • 6 – Stamps (I went nuts with stamps and paper piecing on this one.. Details above)

If you haven’t heard, Lulupu is an online craft store based in India, and I’ve shopped from their site a few times in the last year or so. Karuna is one of the sweetest people I’ve had the privilege to meet, and while her adorable daughter keeps her busy these days, she’s done some amazing papercraft projects that you can check out on Youtube or at her blog… Go give her some love!

I’ve also entered it in the Anything Goes+Sentiment Challenge #47 at the Aud Sentiments challenge blog and the Anything Goes Challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp challenge blog. Fingers crossed, I love the SSS products and my wishlist could use some help! 😛

Update: I entered this card into the Linky Party #12 – Anything Goes at the Cropstop blog, and the Masculine Birthday challenge (funny enough, this card was made for a guy :)) at the Mod Squad challenge blog. These challenges are so much fun, and there’s so much inspiration out there… If you enjoy crafting, make sure you check them out!

Here’s a preview of the other card I made, which I will post as soon as I get the images edited and cleaned up a bit 🙂

Birthday Shaker Card Preview

That’s all for today.. I now have to get back to work, but I’m going to try and collect the images of my other recent projects and post them here as soon as I can.

Have fun, until next time! 🙂

Free Skull Beading Chart (and ramblings, yeah!)

As it turns out, I had to get surgery in the last week of November, with an expected recovery period of 4 months, which left me lying in bed with too much free time and nothing to do but read and dream. Fortunately I’m healing really fast (my doc is both surprised and impressed every time I see him), so I’ve been given a revised estimate of 2 months, YAY!

That still leaves me a lot of free time, though, since I can’t work as many hours as I used to. I’ve been told that I should cut down the amount of time I spend sitting on my behind in front of the computer, even after I recover completely. Of course, there is only one way I can keep from going mad, since I’ve read almost all the books I own… It’s crafting time!

Normally, I like to start every new hobby with attempts at creating complex and advanced pieces, which almost never ends well (although sometimes I surprise even myself). Since I have the attention span of a 5-year old, I decided to try starting with something simple, i.e. something I’m actually likely to complete.

I’ve always been intrigued by handmade jewelry and wanted to try making a few pieces ‘someday’. Well, someday is now. I ordered a bunch of tools and supplies online (will probably post reviews for different Indian craft sites soon) and spent a few days scouring the Internet for tutorials, ideas and tips. A personal obsession with mermaids, dragons and skulls led to this: My first beading chart (Project, tutorial and step-by-step pictures will follow as soon as I decide which beads to use). 🙂

Feel free to use and share this chart if you’d like to, but please provide a link back to this post and let me know if you have used it. I’d love to see your finished designs!



Creative Commons License
Skull Beading Chart by Sarina Parhawk is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Join Hands to Help the People of Kashmir

Dear Readers,

If you’ve been watching the news at all over the last few weeks, you know that the floods in Kashmir have been one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit the country in the last few decades. Other than the loss of life and property when the floodwaters hit, the men, women and children of J&K are fighting to survive past the secondary effects. Injuries (both internal and external), pneumonia and other illnesses caused by extended immersion in cold water, as well as water-borne diseases that thrive in contaminated water are the new evils that create a grim scenario for the days to come.

Many have noted that when calamities occur, private citizens are as involved in rescue and aid efforts as the officials are. In Kashmir, the Indian army and other military sections have been at the forefront of search-and-rescue, medical aid and reaching supplies to flood-hit areas, and we salute their efforts. These brave and generous souls are also being assisted by private organizations, large companies, NGOs and teams of volunteers. The way the nation has come together to help out the people of the state reminds us of the fact that we’re all one people – united in our diversity!

The desire to help is a great beginning, but it needs to be well-organized so that supplies and aid get transported and distributed properly. Today, I’d like to talk about Goonj – an organization that is filling this requirement and helping to organize the relief efforts on a private level.

How is Goonj Helping the J&K Relief Efforts?

Here’s a first-hand account of their contribution – “A team of volunteers came to Delhi from other cities, including medical professionals and a very close friend. They left for Srinagar with medical aid, blankets and other relief material but realized when they reached there that they had no clue how to get it across to people who need it!”

While they were trying to decide on a course of action, they met a team from Goonj, who efficiently guided them to different camps that required these items, helped them organize the transportation and took time out to explain what would be needed in the days to come. They said that people from all over the country were sending basic essentials, with truckloads of blankets, clothing and food arriving from their centers.

They also explained that the most essential requirement was for drinking water, as people drinking contaminated water (with dirt, flood runoff, human waste and decomposing bodies) were going to start falling sick and there might be greater destruction caused in the weeks to come. Dried foodstuff, medical and sanitary supplies, warm clothes and other materials are also used up as fast as they arrive. Goonj is working hard to spread awareness, too, and needs all the help it can get!


How Can You Help?

We’d like to make an appeal to anyone reading this post. Share, tweet and spread awareness of the issue, and donate whatever you can to the cause. What you spend on one meal at a fancy restaurant can buy a month’s worth of medicine for an affected village, one cup of that cappuccino you love so much can be sacrificed to save a child’s life with basic first aid, food and water.

Goonj has set up collection centers in every city, so you can donate material or money for the cause. You can also make online donations that will be used to purchase clothing, drinking water, non-perishable food items, medicines and other essentials. Goonj volunteers and associated organizations will arrange for these collections to be transported and distributed in affected areas.

If you would like to help with the rescue efforts in Jammu and Kashmir, here’s a list of items that are needed:

Non-Perishables – Tents, Tarpaulin / Plastic Sheets, Utensils, Blankets, Medicines, Solar/Emergency Lights (Hand-Cranked or Battery-Operated) and Batteries, Buckets, Umbrellas, Crutches, Sanitary Napkins, Bandages, Mats, Mattresses, Water Purification Tablets, Ropes (no old/used clothing please)

Non Prescription Medicines – Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS), Zinc Sulphate, Paracetamol, lbuprofen, First Aid Kit, Betadine, Hydrogen peroxide, Vitamin C, Iron Sulfate (FeSo4), Zinc, Multivitamins

Prescription Medicines – Amoxicilin, Doxycline, Ciprofloxacin, Norflox TZ, Anti-Tetanus lg, Permethrin Cream 5%, Lindane Lotion 1%, Salbutamol, Nebules and Nebulizers

Cash/Online Donations – To cover the costs of Transportation, Logistics and Purchase of Relief Material

Refer to http://www.goonj.org for more details and updated lists of required materials. You can also write to mail@goonj.org or call 011-41401216, 011-26972351 in case of any queries, or to organize collection drives in areas where there is no center.

Other websites and groups are also pitching in with their efforts, so check out about NGOs and humanitarian organizations in your local area. I’ve joined a group on Facebook that is working to provide LifeStraws for clean drinking water, which is one of the biggest concerns in flood-affected areas. Please help out the people of the state in any way you can!

Please Note: This post has been published with the intent to raise awareness and help flood victims, in good faith and without any commercial motive. I’ve done my best to list accurate information, but you may need contact organizations directly or check their websites for updated details.

Resources and Links






LifeStraws for J&K

It Lives!

*clears throat*

Dr. Frankenstein Voice: At last, it is aliiiiiive!

While I have been writing professionally for almost a decade, there is only a tiny dead blog that ever received attention on a personal level. Between tattooing, work and varied other demands on my time (as well as a few excuses), I neglected my muse till she was banging on the doors of my head at 10 a.m. after I had been working for 24 hours straight and just trying to get some sleep… 😦

This is an attempt to shut her up, though I keep ‘planning’ a blog and my laptop is littered with random musings in a variety of untitled.txt files. I will attempt to make some sense of them over the next few weeks and keep that noisy muse-lady at bay. 😀

She also made me write a short sci-fi/fantasy story earlier to(night?)day, which I am not sure I will ever have the guts to share. Still, you never know.

Ah, sleep beckons at last. There is so much I want to share and I hope I can give this project as much attention as I feel it deserves. We’ll just have to wait and see now, won’t we? 🙂

Header Urban Mermaid