Thursday, September 30, 2010

'Dis'periments, anyone?

Pattu: Can we do disperiments today?
Amma: Ain? What's that?
Pattu: Tch... what we did that day with water
Amma: (who figured out by now but won't cooperate) What did we do?
Pattu: Dis-peri-ments
Amma: Dis-periments
Pattu: (looking impatient)  You put salt in water and it dis... disappeared? (she forgot the word 'dissolved') That Dis-periment. We'll put sand today and see...ok?
We really love a mess, don't we.
Amma: You mean 'Experiment' where we saw the salt 'Dissolve'
Pattu: Not willing to give up. Adu thaan amma, 'dissolve' pannara experiment.... adu thaan 'Dis-periment'..ok? (That's what amma, the experiment that dissolves...that is 'Dis-periment'..ok?)

As you say Pattu!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm a Proud Owner of...

...a Quentin Blake book!!! Finally!!!

                                              British Council had a sale and I rushed in time to pick up the only QB on sale - Mrs Armitage on Wheels. I really like Mrs Armitage - she's crazy, clumsy and absolutely entertaining, with her little dog Breakspear. I was hoping to find my favourite - 'The Clown', no such luck though...

While I am quite pleased with what I took home, I really wish they would put books on sale while they are in reasonably good condition. Some were quite tattered.

But yes, I picked up few other interesting's the list...

A very good deal indeed!

 All Images Courtesy: Amazon

Monday, September 20, 2010

What a bum!

When Pattu was barely two and becoming extremely interested in physiology and anatomy of the human body, the 'thoppai' (tummy) was the first to fascinate her. The bigger, the better was her idea then. She would stand in front of the mirror and examine her 'thoppai' for a long time. At times she would insist on examining the amma's and appa's 'thoppais' as well, launching into some descriptive comparisons that'll make you squirm. Then came a day when an innocent visitor to our house was subject to similar examination.

Pattu: 'Ungalukku thoppai irukka?' Do you have a tummy?
Guest: **GULP** or  **AARRGHH** or a brave or one with a sense of humour would nonchalantly quip, 'Yes, I do have'
Pattu: Kaattungo ...Show....
We haven't seen a guest survive that attack.

Soon after the thoppai, she picked up the 'Bum' word, thanks to us! So you can imagine the plight of the guests!

Pattu: 'Ungalukku bum irukka?' Do you have a bum? Kaattungo ...Show....

For a while we didn't have visitors!

Ming Lo moves the mountain and others

All Images Courtesy:
Pattu Rating: 4.5
Ming Lo moves the mountain is an interesting Chinese tale that we read last weekend. Ming Lo and his wife live at the foothills of this huge mountain. By the time we say, 'Wow!', they tell us how unpleasant it is, because small break away stones fall on their house leaving holes on the roof through which water drips during rain and  hardly a ray of light passes through their window since the mountain blocks the sun. SIGH. So, one day Ming Lo's wife sends her husband to the wise man in the village (every Chinese village seems to have a wise man who just sits and smokes a pipe) to find a solution. So, obediently he goes. The wise man hears him out and draws long on his pipe and smoke swirls around his head. Then he tells Ming Lo to take a huge tree and push it against the mountain. He goes back home and executes the plan, but the mountain doesn't budge. Ming Lo goes back, the wise man draws longer from his pipe and the cloud of smoke is thicker around his head. Then he gives another idea - take a spoon and some utensils and beat throughout the night. The mountain will get scared and run away. Well, few more such ideas are executed and while we are thinking, 'If this is the wise man, then save the poor village', the wise old man knocks you over with his final idea which actually works for Ming Lo and his wife! Yes, the mountain finally relents and moves!!  You realise then that it was the wise man's way of telling Ming Lo and his wife it is such a folly to expect the mountain to move. There are some people who just don't get the message and they deserve a solution like this...

Pattu Rating: 4.2
 How Far Will I Fly by Sachi Oyama is another beautiful tale from Japan. Quiet, profound and yet very very simple in its style. It tackles big questions through conversations of a small boy with his grandmother. He starts will, 'How tall will I be?' and moves on to ask many more such questions. The grandmother answers in a single sentence that leave you thinking for many more minutes and hours later. I particularly like, 'How big will my arms be?' and 'How far will my friends be? and of course, the question in the title.
This book reflects the Japanese culture and leaves you thinking about many many more questions....The illustrations - soft pastels, pleasant, highlight the quiet depth of the messages. Go get the book, I'm not giving away anymore.
Pattu understood this in her own way - how deep? I don't know. But this is something that I'll treasure and read out to her at different stages. I'm sure she'll get more out of this every time. And so will I, I hope.

Pattu Rating: 4.8
 Something Good was Bizarre Fun! Tyya goes shopping with her dad. While dad throws in spinach, milk, eggs, bananas and the likes into the trolley, Tyya decides to looks for something good instead of all the boring things that is in the trolley. So, she picks up her own trolley and loads it with 300 candies. All excited about her find, she shows off to her dad who promptly tells her that candies are 'sugary junk'. The disheartened Tyya puts them back and looks for something else that is good... this goes on and finally her dad has to tell her to be stand quietly in a corner while he  completes shopping. Tyya following her dad's instruction to the T finds herself being poked, knocked and finally put on the shelf with even a price tag on her! And finally, how both Tyya and her dad buy something good from the store makes this cute little story.
Pattu obviously related to this so well. Did this make our shopping trips and the bring down demand for candies and chocolates? NO! :D

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Art and Craft Trail - Part I

If you've seen M.A.D on Pogo or Mr Maker on Ceebeebies, you would, without doubt, be itching to try out some of those little art and craft ideas by yourself. It is when you set out to execute that plan, that you realise that you don't have some things that'll make it as pretty as the ones you've seen them make. I just love Mr Maker's Doodle Drawers and wish I had one like that. Whenever I visit the regular neighborhood shops for art and craft supplies, I find them lacking in most of the interesting things - like the wiggly eyes, beads and foam sheets for instance. Ask them where to find these and they would promptly tell you to go to Parry's Corner.
Having heard enough, I finally trotted off along with a friend who was as excited about it besides being more familiar with the area. I've only scraped the tip of the iceberg and I still have lots to report!
We first went to Rahman Decorations. A huge market with both gaudy and pretty decoration materials. Danglers, streamers, grass carpets, gift bags - you just name it! Found some pretty cane baskets, candles, vase, flowers, birthday confetti, wall stickers etc.The cane baskets were tempting, but I exercised restraint and moved on. We were looking for handmade paper and we were given some names and directions. Most of them were wholesale dealers and were reluctant to give us a few sheets. We finally found one dealer (whose shop was more like a hole in the wall) who didn't shoo us away. He had a wonderful collection. Papers of varying thickness, coarseness, colours, design - self, glitter and dry leaf types. Irresistible! If you love handmade paper, you'll love this collection!
Here's the name and address:
Kibla Paper and Stationery Stores, 27, Anderson Street, Parrys, Chennai 600001. Mail -; Phone: 044-25380985/ 044-25380986
I still hadn't found my wiggly eyes, chenille sticks and pompoms. After some asking around, RR Fancy seemed to be the place to go.We hopped over puddles and navigated some difficult lanes to find RR Fancy Stores snugly sitting next to the famous Saravan Bhavan. Knowing the Sowcarpet area, we didn't expect it to be a big, fancy place but we didn't expect a shop of this size to have pretty much every art and craft material one can name.
Here's the address and the phone number : No 8, Umpherson Street, Chennai 108. Broadway, Near Saravana Bhavan Hotel. Ph: 8124757562/ 044-42064586.

So, finally what did I buy? Here's the list of things that I carried back home:
- Wiggly eyes - so many sizes, shapes and colours...and nose
- Quilling kits complete with the tool box
- Wax for candle making
- Gel wax
- Candle molds
- Wicks, Wick holders, Aromas and colours for candle making
- Glass cut to size for painting
- Emboss painting kits
- Paints - Ceramic paints, glass paints, fabric outliners, various 3D and glitter shades
- Foam sheets
- Felt material in different colours
- Handmade paper  various colours and designs
- Books on the basics and some designs
- Beads, buttons, threads
- Pre stitched zardosi patters and stones - you just have to stick it with glue
- Pompoms
- Set of brushes

What they also had:
- Canvas stretched on boards and canvas rolls
- Complete materials required for oil painting
- Ceramic powder and molds for ceramic art
- Plaster of paris with molds
- Different types, designs of molds
- Paper - all kinds including quilling supplies
- All things required for Zardosi work, borders, designs etc
- Lace
- Wool, knitting materials, Knitting kits
- Embroidery materials
- Craft punches
- Complete charcoal set

What I still haven't found
- Chenille sticks/ Pipe cleaners
- Furry pompoms
- Bendable wires 

The Glass paintings would have dried by now...will post a pic soon...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

While I was away

...lots of Happy Birthdays happened...
  • This blog turned one - since my first post i.e. Happy Birthday Blog!
  • Puttu turned 4 - a few friends out here saw the ticker and wished too - That was really nice guys...thank you sooo much! We had a simple and small get together at home.
  • Krishna and Ganesha were born

...I went gallivanting...
  • I set out on an Art and Craft trail and discovered some wonderful shops selling artsy craftsy stuff, tucked away in some nondescript corners - I promise to cover these in a few parts.

...some experiments
  • I tried my hand at some art and craft stuff - made some candles and tried glass painting besides the pottery workshop

AND...I won ..

Pottery Workshop Lets Do Something was even better than what they had organised last time. Last time, the entire workshop was spent on the wheel while this time we had a mix of the wheel and some clay molding. I looked at what the 8 yr olds had done in the morning session and got cold feet but it was too late to back out. I had paid up by then. The teacher must have sensed my apprehension, she was quick to dismiss my fears and I turned out alright.

So, what did we make? Roses, Calla Lily and other assorted flowers, candle holder, a face mask, few pots, an incense holder and couple of murals with all the flowers and leaves that we had made. They are drying now and am waiting to paint it next weekend.

I don't have the other pictures handy with me...but will surely update....

We had a very good teacher and she apparently runs a center dedicated to clay art, besides having a full time job!! Some people have all the energy (and talent too) *SIGH*. I'm also signing up for terracotta jewelry making workshop next month - there were some on display - Awesome is the word!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Pattu Wants

Ladder Slide Shoes. After she pointed out to the said shoes, I didn't have a choice but agree with the description though disagree with the choice.

Here's the Ladder Slide Shoes (Image Courtesy:

I'm back after a long break and have lots of updates.... Pattu, art and craft, the most recent pottery workshop etc... brb!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Workshops unlimited

at Lets Do Something. Here's a sneak peak and for details, visit their website or just call them up...

Am going for the pottery session on 12th and 18th. There's also a free Drawing and Painting competition for children on 25th September.