The seeker-Book Review

The Seeker
Karan Bajaj
Philosophy, Spirituality, Fiction
Penguin Random House India
June 11th 2015

The seeker is a man’s journey towards attainment of his goal…finding his inner self. This book beautifully portrays a man’s tryst with the supreme power. The seekers is a perfect specimen of breaking the boundaries of ones own limitations.

seeker

Max the protagonist has been depicted as a strong willed person since childhood; it’s an escape story from a life of local gang wars to a life of elite job, from a life full of worldly pleasure to penance, from worldly attachment to union with supreme power.

“So if there is birth, age, suffering, sorrow and death, then there must be something that is un-born, un-aging, un-ailing, sorrow-less and deathless, immortals as it were.” These words keep reverberating in Max’s mind. With unsettling thoughts he starts treading new path for seeking the purpose of his life, from a world of luxury to a world of bare minimal, from an easy New York to the unforgiving Himalayas.

Karan Bajaj has beautifully penned the sufferings and sorrows of human life. As a reader one can relate oneself gripped in vicious cycle of birth and death. Attachment and desire leads to suffering and only a willful person can attain inner peace. ’The Seeker’ is a gripping story about life, mystic penance and understanding of a man’s purpose in life.

The seeker is journey of Max’s life from a wanderer to yoga practitioner… to yogi and finally a sage. A beautiful journey which shows a mirror to your soul! As a reader we are drifted with the flow, thousand questions arise within, with each passing phase of his life. Every time there is a hunch that Max will go back to his normal life but he never did. There lies a deep emptiness when the book completes, it makes you ponder, and it brings flashbacks of your own life.

This stirring story tells one of what your life may be, even in the most soulful time of one’s life one can discover this state of consciousness. Many people think seeking truth is a religious task, finding a guru, but it is the very basis of our nature. A seeker is an aware conscious being, one lying deep within oneself. This one is a fabulous read.

 

Transfer photos to board using mod podge

Photo transfer to canvas – this is a project which I love to do again and again. For completion of a project like this it requires one of my favorite Mod Podge products, the photo transfer medium! If you haven’t tried it, it’s kind of amazing. Photo transfers are a neat and pretty cheap way to get your favorite pics on the some of the coolest material around—wood,canvas,fabric etc..

13064470_10205877282606239_4670260520931757267_o

 

Its a beautiful way to make a gift for near and dear ones. Its always debated…whats the use of photo transfer medium over decoupage. answer to this comes only when you try it once yourself. Photo transfers gives an adorable vintage look to the photo prints.

Mod Podge photo transfer medium gives your image a fresh look. I love the vintage,cool faded feel, and you also don’t have to worry about creases.Canvas isn’t the easiest surface to Mod Podge a sheet of paper to, one need to be cautious. If you’ve been holding off on trying the photo transfer medium, give it a go – it’s pretty fun.

TRY IT OUT:

To make this project all that you need is mod podge photo transfer medium, canvas board(I have used a small sized board 5*7 you can use larger boards), photo prints, foam brush.

 

13002412_10205877280486186_7669105261210683908_o

 

I took a print from an laser printer. Keep in mind to use good printer or else ink will smear and you’ll be disappointed.

Be sure to have them reverse (mirror-image) your photo or graphic, especially if it has words or letters. It will come out backward otherwise. Many online websites are available that creates a reverse image for free. I trimmed the photos down to get rid of any white edges as the medium is not transparent.

Time to move to next step.

 

13055029_10205877281086201_2800034229945099614_o

 

The moment you saw the medium over the photo…you think it stupidity…hold on…this is the tricky part. You need to pour mod podge over the print.

 

13071952_10205877281246205_2111116207363878212_o

 

Its time to get generous. Apply a generous amount of the transfer solution to the image.  You’ll need a thick layer.See! It almost disappears against the white background.

 

13063387_10205877281206204_6187593348651586191_o

 

Once you’ve coated it completely it’s time to apply it to your surface. Press the image, photo side down, onto the canvas board. Make sure to press gently from the center out rub firmly to smooth-en out the image and remove air bubbles.

 

13055168_10205877281726217_8730204953304594670_o

 

Its time to let the board dry. From here, you must let it sit for 24 hours to cure before removing the paper.

Once your wait is over,time to get to work. Dampen a towel and cover the board with, lay it over top of your photo. Leave for approximately 5 minutes.

 

13063246_10205877282126227_4296464518912530483_o

 

Once the paper is damp comes the fun,Now it’s time to gently rub the paper away from your image being careful not to press too hard and remove part of your image.Rub in a circular motion until all of the paper has been removed.Start rubbing your finger over the paper, almost using your finger like sand paper. The photo print is going to appear to split in half. The white part of the paper will start to lift away and the paper with the ink will stick to the canvas board. Take this part very, very slow. If you go to fast the ink will lift away from the wood and you will be left with bare patches. You will see color prints adhering to the canvas and white paper coming out.

 

13063406_10205877282326232_5173758569713690237_o

 

Once I am sure that I have the first layer of paper off I set the canvas down for a couple of minutes and clean up all of the paper bits. This will give the transfer time to dry. When you look at it you will probably see that there are still places where there is a thin layer of paper left, the image will look cloudy. Wet your fingers and start sanding away again. When you can’t see any white cloudy bits anymore set aside again, clean up a bit while it dries, pick it up again and rub gently for some more time.Let the board dry 5-10 times before you are done done.

 

13055670_10205877283046250_8442455045417276377_o

 

Its good to apply a thin layer of mod podge matte gel, but I haven’t used it in this project.Give this transfer a few tries and I promise you’ll be good to go! Its a fun project do give it a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY bottle candle holder

Here is an idea to enhance your tablescape, its an recycling idea too… we all have small glass jars which accumulates with time and we don’t know what to use it for??. I got few small coffee jars….have been thinking of making something beautiful and here is a perfect example of using them for something other than preserving food.

 

13063448_10205877239965173_3785372882103597202_o

Taking a glass jar and making it into something nice is a great way to use something that you do not need anymore. Glass jars are great for this type of project. You can make lots of interesting candle centerpieces using them. For example, these candle holders have a lovely rustic look and they would look great on a table. You can even use them as centerpieces for candle light dinners.

TRY IT OUT:

For making these glass jar candle holders all you need is jars,scissor,sticker paper and acrylic color of your choice. Before starting make sure the glass jar is clean and dry.

13029705_10205877240125177_558782769769722987_o

 

Once you have gathered things together, its time to take the sticker paper and draw heart shape over it. Idea here is to cut out a heart out of tape or something that sticks to the jar and paint everything but that area. Then peel off the heart and you’ll get this lovely design.

 

13048220_10205877240445185_5485874810987118066_o

 

These sticker papers are very handy…you can print stickers using it…here we are going to use it to give beautiful design to the bottle.Now take the cutting and sick it on the glass jar, remove the upper layer of the paper.

 

13063063_10205877240845195_1296738624868530830_o

 

I have used little heart cut outs too….they will look so perfect when its done. Draw strips,dots or any design of your choice.

 

13071820_10205877241885221_3090725343886265933_o

 

With beautiful sticker design all over the glass jar its time to spray the paint. I have used green color you can make any color choice.

 

13040878_10205877241245205_7981853046645792870_o

 

Remember whenever you use spray acrylic colors do keep distance from the surface.Shake the spray bottle before you apply the first coat. Try to paint evenly, if your paint doesn’t look even don’t worry girl, second coat will do the magic 🙂

Do keep min. 1 hr gap between coats.

 

13055732_10205877241685216_8566926509645757530_o

 

Let aside the bottle overnight to dry. Once the color coat settles perfectly its time to remove the stickers. The bottle looks perfect, just bind some colorful ribbon around the rim and put a candle inside the bottle, and you are ready to decorate your table.

 

13071749_10205877239165153_3359012519945134401_o

 

13055225_10205877238925147_6411736076676595191_o

 

This project is an easy one and can be made at your leisure hours.When the candle is lighted, the bottles glow with a flickering internal candlelight which looks amazing.

Perfect for a centerpiece decor, the candle holder can also be a dramatic piece for a romantic candlelight dinner.

The Bankster-book review

The Bankster
Ravi Subramanian
Fiction,thriller
Rupa Publications
October 2012

A thriller by genre…the name tells it all “The Bankster”….a gangster in the bank :-p, but is it so..the book has a very intriguing story-line.Enfolded in conspiracy,weapon smuggling,money laundering,nuclear threats,murder this story has parallel plots.

Bankster CTC

 

‘The Bankster’ revolves around three different plots at same time.
The story begins in Angola where a CIA agent gets weapons from covert sources in exchange of diamonds,next chapter is set in a small village in Kerala where a man is determined to fight against government agencies for banning an upcoming nuclear project.Krishna Menon who ran his home stay resort had lost his son to nuclear plant explosion in Russia and now he fights to save life of his villagers from the horrendous nuclear plant in order to fulfill a promise made to dying son.
Third plot is set in Mumbai and scene opens in GB2 office where we are introduced to bank officials, the story takes a new turn when a key employee happens to die in mysterious way in a foreign land.
The plots though seems so unrelated culminate into a shocking revelation.
The chief investigator an ex-employee, now a journlist by profession Mr Karan Punjabi is a man who puts his life in danger and unveils the mask of the fraudsters.
The plot and narration keeps the reader interested. It appeared to me, that, after few pages or so there comes a twist in the tale. Things, at times, are left hanging nowhere after capturing the readers attention which makes one keep on guessing. Sure page turner from that viewpoint.
As the blurb in the back cover says the story is indeed one of intricate web of lies that do not reveal themseleves or make themselves clear till the very end. What appears as insignificant becomes pivotal towards the end.
To me who is not a ‘thriller’ enthusiast this fails to give goosebumps…the author introduces few techno geek short of info which fails to impress the readers..the book points out some social issues and gives reader a thoughtful insight,overall the book is a good read 🙂

DIY Packing tape transfer

I brought some packing tapes for gift packing, but you will be surprised to see what I made using these cheap tapes. The tapes were used to transfer images, which can be used to decor glasses,bottles and even candles. DIY Packing Tape Transfers is a great technique for transferring onto glass.

What’s best about this method is that you can have customized prints of your choice at cheap rates.

12957671_10205806264030819_8929540359316688827_o

These prints are removable and can be re-used, you can make theme based prints..one for birthday party, bachelorate party and many more.

TRY IT OUT :

All that you need for this project is Heavy duty tapes( regular tapes can be used but prints are not perfect), scissor, burnisher,prints and vessels.

Note: The one thing you have to remember is that you MUST use printers that are either LASER or TONER based.

 

 

12974306_10205806263350802_2834562966630218353_n

 

Once you have gathered everything its time to get to work….Trim your images and remember one thing…whatever is white will be transparent…only colored ink remains…. Just lie your image down and center the package tape over it evenly and press.  Then cut the tape exactly the size you want.

 

 

3

 

Once you have cut the images you need to burnish it.

 

 

12985375_10205806262910791_5222263315869398532_n

 

Make sure to press heavily over the entire space… it is very important.  I went over it a few times to be sure…from corner to corner…end to end to insure a great finished product. Don’t press too hard or else the prints might tear.
12974433_10205806263790813_259177920993456050_n
Now get yourself a bowl with  warm water. Its time to place packing tape burnished image into the bowl and allow to soak about 2-3 min. The images should be completely covered in water.
12919886_10205806263430804_1849212043772881179_n
Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock….times up…..Its time to remove prints from the bowl,place it in between your thumb and index finger and begin to rub back and forth with force…you will see the paper coming off…continue to dip it into the water and keep working on it.. till all the white paper comes out. You need not worry about the sticky side…it will be just like new when it dries.  Also there might be a tiny bit of white residue on your tape…that too is not an issue…cheer up 🙂 🙂
12920287_10205806263870815_7032187001097086721_n
Dry out the images on a flat surface.Once the stickers are dry it is time to apply them to your surface…it couldn’t be easier…it goes on just like a sticker…it is that easy!  Make sure to smooth it nicely. These prints retain stickiness, so can be removed from one vessel and attached to another.
12973193_10205806264710836_3536295416151559165_o
This can be the perfect decor idea…its so easy that you will wonder how good you are at crafting…Different sized tapes can be used to decor vessels of different sizes. If you have stickers that you are not going to use…just place them on wax paper for another day.
12976814_10205806264150822_4328057564850461782_o
12983395_10205806264310826_6169923028922069665_o
12973249_10205806265870865_2915129907169942103_o
Give it a try…you will love it…the more you try…more perfect you become… 🙂 🙂

handmade pillow covers

Cute couple pillow covers, hand painted with love. Here is something different to gift out or something that you can make to adorn your house.

12697276_568199516690326_5574712789601727221_o

This pattern can be tried on cushion covers as well.

TRY IT OUT:

This is a cool idea. To start making it all you need is white colored pillow covers and acrylic colors.
Soak pillow covers overnight into a water tub, this is necessary in order to remove starch from the fabric.
Next day, after the covers are dry iron it and remove all wrinkles from the fabric.
Graphics can be drawn with free hand on the fabric or can be traced using tracing paper and carbon sheet.
After that use acrylic colors on the fabric.
Once coloring is cdone, leave the covers to dry for 24hrs.

All that you need to do now is….iron the cover from backside.This fixes the color permanently.

12768396_568199563356988_72267126760852197_o

12747438_568199523356992_2128386304103997463_o

12747259_568199526690325_7259732043910046792_o

Your cute washable pillow covers are ready.

Handmade bangle box

I had a bunch of colored corrugated papers, thought of using them this weekend. I looked at my stacked bangles and thought of arranging them. Here is how this paper can be used to make storage boxes.

12496130_554090064767938_4502098841214827972_o

These beautiful boxes can be used for other things as well– chocolates,cookies 🙂

These can be easily made within no time.

TRY IT OUT:

For making this project all you need is colorful corrugated sheets of your choice,cardboard sheet,scissor,ribbon and glue.

12711018_10205391188374187_549206238729963864_o

You can see that I have cut round shaped cardboard sheets, these will be attached at the corner of the boxes.

 

12710918_10205391188214183_7416364356813249846_o

Once you have collected all the things as shown above its time to get to work. Take one sheet along with two round shaped cardboard.

 

12711062_10205391188814198_6893446981563500456_o

Before you glue the sheet to the cardboard, first cover the rim of the cardboard with colorful strips of your choice.

 

12646626_10205391189374212_88814375101505135_o

 

12646894_10205391189174207_3556705172904293893_o

Now all that is left to do is glue the sheet to cardboard. In order to make bangle holder attach a round pipe shaped cardboard to the round card boards. (Here I used paper rolls cardboard tube).

12525668_554090008101277_6627892684404380037_o

 

12485985_554090004767944_7333411294269868884_o

 

12473638_554090001434611_1810576799540297216_o

Wolla !! Your cute lil box is ready.

 

holder box

A beautiful holder box to adorn your table or wall. This box has been upcyled  upright from a cardboard box. Three sections inside it, gives ample storage space.

12466038_10205242525057697_4463950184628550_o

Customized to showcase removable photos and along with it a small sticky notepad to write errands at hand.

An idea to make something useful out of waste at your home.

TRY IT OUT :

In-order to make this box all you need is a cardboard box,glue,thick cardboard sheet,scissor,photos,both-sided tape,sticky notepad,craft paper of your choice and black chart paper.

12471464_10205242516417481_538939622851632471_o

12491921_10205242516577485_3051437840357855879_o

Now as you have collected the materials its time to get to work. From the top remove covers and make a cut as shown in the image.

10557506_10205242516937494_8326590051374284803_o

 

12491996_10205242517337504_3037559396184565029_o

Try to cut as smoothly as possible. Once the top portion of the box has been cut its time to take small cardboard sheet equal to height of the box. This sheet will be used to make partitions in the holder.

12418862_10205242517697513_9084902507193502895_o

Make a straight slit in the sheet at the center of the base of the sheet as shown, fold the sheet along the slit. This will help you to attach the cardboard sheet firmly to the base of the holder.

 

12471388_10205242517897518_2380535954308211522_o

Glue the sheet with fevicol.

Once the base model is ready its time to make removable photo holder for the box.

Take two sheets as shown and cut it into square size(measure the size according to your box).

12466362_10205242518457532_3482129686559161192_o

Mark 1 cm border on each side. Cut and fold the sheet at the edge as shown in the above image.

 

12465811_10205242518617536_8428979179444810546_o

Again make a cut 1 cm away from the edge of the sheet. Your sheets should look exactly as above.

Once its complete use black chart paper to cover the box.

10557495_10205242518257527_5828382810414728669_o

Once done. Its time to glue the photo holder sheets to the front portion of the box.

12471832_10205242519097548_3991678669605365861_o

Cut photos into sizes that will exactly fit into the holder. Glue the sticky notepad and TADA….you are ready with your holder box 🙂

12466038_10205242525057697_4463950184628550_o

12466180_10205242525217701_515128716323026298_o

12487258_10205242525457707_247732255045656455_o

Use craft paper to decorate it…Just try it out with any box that you have at home….and enjoy the fun making it 🙂 🙂

 

 

Photo card

Here is a lovely idea of making birthday card, its a 3D card which has pictures on it. A perfect idea to gift something new and beautiful this year on birthday and make it most cherished one.

12469663_10205176700732130_5596766504314614758_o

This card is alluring, handcrafted and contains photos and short messages.This card can be rotated inward to outwards.  Lets check its procedure.

TRY IT OUT:

To make this card all you need is square sized colored paper,glue,photos and craft paper of your choice.

12466031_10205176227840308_7018530007923997858_o

I have used an orange colored 40cm square sheet
Now lets start folding the sheet.

860539_10205176228360321_8124826703927587205_o

1498031_10205176228200317_4506690497892136319_o

Fold the sheet in two equal halves both horizontally as well as vertically.

 

10648455_10205176228680329_3354036961223534985_o

Fold the sheet in equal halves, now again fold in equal halves. Make creases as shown in the image.

 

12471467_10205176229160341_2941838862197751508_o

Try to fold the sheet half diagonally. Your sheet should reflect all the folds as shown in the picture.

 

10580887_10205176228960336_5379996107868672025_o

 

12466009_10205176229360346_8179317750166140984_o

Now start folding the corners as shown in the picture, once one corner is done folder other three corners of the sheet.

 

12402194_10205176229600352_619695502374616568_o

10431193_10205176230040363_1450704181806817430_o

Once done hold the corners of the sheet and fold it the way its shown in the above pictures.

 

12440512_10205176230200367_1328698764140082481_o

Once all the corners are folded the sheet will become box shaped, press the corners towards the wall.

 

11224738_10205176230520375_5644422439265642863_o

Press the box from other sides, because of the creases the box will get folded inwards.

 

12401981_10205176230760381_3153327494641999299_o

Press it further and the box will take the shape as shown below.

 

886964_10205176231080389_294633039654068921_o

Now its time to take paper cutouts and stick to your card.

 

12402099_10205176231280394_7462613105654325748_o

This card box is nearly complete all you need to do is stick a photo to the base.

 

10633390_10205176230360371_6517566996053319984_o

Similarly open the inner portion and stick photos.
Once done the outcome will be pleasing.

 

10604519_10205176700532125_4617170035095478163_o

10648301_10205176699532100_1003484697186391999_o

12440480_10205176700252118_181352133180866784_o

12440526_10205176699892109_2540842996360722506_o

12469527_10205176701572151_6190181951695622394_o

12469604_10205176701292144_852311304370594010_o

All you need to do is tie up the photo card box with a ribbon and your gift is ready.

Photo flip book

I always wanted to make a priceless gift for my best buddy, it was her birthday and I gifted her this cute photo flip book…filled with moments spent with her hubby.Entirely handcrafted with love.

 

12339550_539845586192386_45141231193504184_o

She loved it so much…and what I got in return?? to see her beautiful smile 🙂
Its a beautiful and easy to make idea.So just scroll down to learn it.

TRY IT OUT:

For making a flip book first essential is photographs,get all those pics from your closet and get them printed. In order to make a flip-book, start by selecting quotes of your choice as you can see in the image.

12339638_539845279525750_3520270389786864892_o

Make collage. I did using picasa. On each page add a photo along with a quote.Now, when you go for getting photo printouts do take printouts in landscape mode.

 

12339245_539845289525749_1445631749117896275_o

Cut the outer linings and make sure that all images are of the same size.Once cutting is over, its time to fold the pages midway in two equal halves.

 

12339389_539845332859078_4372340654340906432_o

All you got to do now is pile up all the prints one over the other. When all the pages are aligned, find the center of the flip book and staple it with a stapler.

 

12374991_539845356192409_7268720243961302743_o

As we did not take both sided printouts so you will find few pages of the flip book blank. Here I took few small photos, glued it and decorated the pages. I also used few glitter stickers and color pens.These blank pages can be used to write beautiful messages.

 

12375009_539845382859073_3158078228154226693_o

Use your creativity to decorate this book the way you want.

 

12377950_539845692859042_3632684552177487612_o

12365884_539845609525717_508260732629869631_o

12363222_539845676192377_4740648936025265399_o

12339234_539845649525713_6517025910960138989_o

12357199_539845626192382_6033962489902892977_o

You can make a cover box for flip book as i did it here. 🙂