‘Cheers to 18’ – A Mini Album Celebrating 18th Birthday

Hello there! I’m so excited to share with you this cute little mini album ‘Cheer’s to 18’, I created for the 18th birthday of a pretty girl. This album is cute, fun, simple and perfectly sized for putting together the precious memories from last 18 years.

The teenage years that our kids go through come with many ups and downs that are unique to this age group. When your little one is turning eighteen, it’s all the more special. You want to capture all the special moments and landmarks – the first day of school, turning five and ten years old, graduating from school, and finally, turning eighteen!

Once you touch this golden number of eighteen, life becomes more interesting, it’s eventful, it’s exciting, and has some magical effect on most teenagers. This is exactly what I wanted to create – bring back some of the best memories of her 18 years and leave a beautiful and lasting impact of the wonderful life she’s had so far.

I first gathered all the pictures that her aunt had sent across to create this album. Tried to put it in a chronological order, but seemed difficult as I didn’t have pics from each year. Hence I created a whimsical flow that captured the key milestones and occasions of her life. It took me about two weekends to put it together that includes creating the basic frame, designing and crafting each page with embellishments, die cuts and adding my journaling.

The basic frame of 8 x 8” is made from a simple black A3 size card stock which I folded at various points to create a mini book. I used different patterned papers, die cuts, stickers, washi tape, doilies (my favourite) and pretty embellishments to enhance the look of each page.

Here’s a sneak peek into the mini album:



I wanted to name this album something around celebrating freedom – coz at eighteen you feel like you’ve got wings to fly and everyday is a celebration. “Cheers to 18’ was the perfect name for this album. I love the “Cheers” die cut – it’s so cool! The number 18 is a foam cut numerical which I gave a distress brown look with pigment inks. The mango yellow burlap paper as a background adds that texture to the cover and the mint green doily just creates another layer of beauty. I added some yellow foam stars to complete the look.


The first page is a ‘hello beautiful’ flap that opens to a page with a big family pic and another flap pocket for notes and messages. Just love the colour combinations and cute little bow as the embellishments. I have added lots of tags and extra pop up cards to add messages from friends and family.


Time Flies – Wanted to capture the cute little journey from a baby to a teenager. This page with nine scallop shaped pictures will tell the story! Have added some wildlife circular paper tags as she has been very fond of the wild cat – Tigers. (These tips shared by the mother and aunt did help give a personality to the album) It exactly depicts what the girl stands for.


PARTNERS IN CRIME – I absolutely love this page (created lot of layers with different pattern papers and tags) – talks about the beautiful bonding the girl shares with her aunt. Both of them are literally the best pals or if I may put it they are “Partners in Crime”.


This page is all about her schooling – the first and last day of your child’s school is so special. What I like about this page are the pattern papers that go with the school theme – from the checkered (school uniform)pattern paper to the ruling lines notebook pattern paper, this background just takes you back to the good old school days.


Talking about school and college, how can I miss out on FRIENDSHIP! This ‘besties’ page with those colourful banners is just so girly and cute.


This page is for the rolu polu cute little baby pic when she was barely 8 months. I couldn’t get my eyes off that pic. She looks so adorable – cute little teddy bear you want to embrace!!



And finally my favourite page – The family is a wildlife and birding enthusiast and have taken several trips to various safaris – the best one being the one to SOUTH AFRICA’S Kruger National Park. The layout of the page is outstanding! It has four different boxes (black squares) to showcase some specific pics and one large family pic divided into four strips (leopard print)  to give that best adventure look. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this layout. The other flaps are for more pics and journaling some awesome memories.

Yes! This is it… An exciting album with so many small elements. Had great gun working on this scrapbook.


Things I love

Ganpati Nostalgia…


“A man’s homeland is wherever he prospers” There must have been an obvious reason why Aristophanes, the famous playwright would make such a statement. With embracing Mumbai as my homeland and fitting myself in the cultural mosaic of this city, somewhere in my ambivalent emotions, the nostalgia of my birthplace ‘ODISHA’ always beckons me, especially during festivities like Ganesh Chaturthi and Dussehra. You always feel that something is amiss in your life now. The feeling magnifies more when you see people celebrating these occasions with near and dear ones; suggesting that probably, just probably, you have lost a tad more than you have gained.

It’s Ganesh Chaturthi and like every year I am feeling homesick remembering celebrations in our neighbourhood. The excitement of wearing a new dress, meeting friends & relatives, the aromatic prasad of boondi sev (sweet delicacy), the theme based pandals, the exquisitely crafted idols (not as lively as the ones in Mumbai) and the communal celebrations that erupt all over Bhubaneswar – are still fresh in my mind. Ganesh Chatutrthi is as much a festival for Odias as is for some other places in India. It holds a very special place in my childhood memories. We used to look forward to this day with great zeal and enthusiasm. Preparations used to start atleast 10 days in advance. I remember accompanying mom and dad to local Haat (market) for buying the puja essentials, decorations and the idol. We used to build a mini pandal (temple) in the living area of our house. The mighty Ganpati idol was seated on a pidha, a wooden platform in the centre, with silk drapes (usually mom’s sarees) hanging on either side. Colourful streamers, paper halo, buntings, garlands and festoons added exuberance to our homemade pandal. On the day of the puja, we used to wake up early to finish our daily chores and wait for the pandit (priest) to come and worship the deity with a havan and aarti (read pushpanjali). As a ritual, we used to keep our books and pens for puja, expressing our devotion to the lord and praying for bestowing us with wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. The puja was followed by bhajjans, distribution of prasad, feasting on a delicious meal, catching up with friends and having a nice banter with them.


These ceremonies were not restricted to households only. Most cultural & educational institutions, besides social and street clubs used to organise the puja with much religious fervour and gaiety. Though, we never had these celebrations in our school, since it was a convent; but we visited other local schools and club houses, buzzing with bhajjans, devotional songs and bollywood numbers as well. Huge illuminated pandals with regal Ganpati idols adorned the streets of Bhubaneswar. My favourite used to be the one right opposite our house. We used to flock to various pandals in the city to take a glimpse of the striking Ganpati idols, displayed with splendor. The attraction of the pandals was the huge archway or entrance gate. From temple structures to iconic architectural buildings, the puja pandals were always innovative and are etched in my memory. Amidst the noise of trumpets, and the chants of “Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh”, you could also end up attending the music concerts called ‘Melody’ and other recreational programs. The festivities used to end with visarjan, when we immersed the Ganpati idol in the local Kuakhai River.


Well, all this can be enjoyed in any place and moreover in Mumbai, where Ganpati celebrations are held with even more grandeur and on a larger scale. It’s is not even about the fervour as you can experience it anywhere. But probably it’s about that vivacity, that warmth, that passion which makes you most nostalgic and most craving for the fragrance of the land – “The Mitti ki Khushboo”.

Things I love


It’s been a while since my last post… have been a bit too busy with professional commitments. But, all in good fun of course!

This post too has been pending for quite some time. A few months back I got a chance to go on a Fashion shoot. A friend of mine, Nosh Mather has been planning for this shoot since last January. Apparently, we sit right next to each other in office. Hence I am the first one to know or peep into his thoughts and imagination. The day he narrated the concept of this shoot, I was so thrilled, that I coerced him to drag me along with him in his journey to ‘A day in the life of a Muse’. What amused me was the preparation that went into planning and executing the shoot. Nosh has an eye for detail. From the flooring to the curtains, lighting to wall colour, make up to shoes, Nosh has dealt with each aspect of the shoot meticulously, with utmost care and detailing. The antique furniture, the unfinished jewellery, the vintage candle stands and the hand painted masks were just apt for the concept.


This indoor studio shoot was styled around capturing the candid moments of a new age woman who has an evening revelry to attend. All she wants is to impress her date. Twisting and turning on bed, she pulls herself to get dressed to the occasion. With his fascination of capturing emotions rather than just poses, Nosh made sure he not only got the right face in his frame but also those of sensuality & mischief, amongst other emotions. The most important aspect of this shoot was to get Pooja Pradaan (the muse) to emote the variety of expressions that Nosh wanted to capture through his lens. And Pooja did more than justice to the job. She was at ease and was be able to show off the perfect emotions during the shoot. I must say, a model’s job isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Fashioned with the help of Ruchika Vyas, a young versatile stylist, this shoot would have been incomplete without her exotic creations. Be it her dresses, accessories or embellishments, she has a knack of picking up the right ensemble for creating the perfect look.

Talk about FUN!!! Nosh and his team of stylist, make up artist, lighting technicians, art director, studio assistant and his muse have been just awesome!!!

Thank you guys for the wonderful experience. This was a first for me and I hope it’s not my last!

Take a look at the amazing work done by Nosh & his team.

Morning Glory!

Sizzling Red...

Oh Sexy Lady...

Mirror mirror on the wall...

Flare it up

Nosh & Team1


Happy Rakshabandhan to all my brothers…

Raksha Bandhan, is one of the most cherished festivals in India. A day meant to celebrate the love, affection and care between brothers and sisters. This raksha bandhan I decided, I would get back to my old school days of creating fancy rakhis for my brothers. Rakhi today comes in lot of modern and traditional designs. All you need for making rakhis at home is a simple thread (be it wool, satin ribbon or any silk thread) along with some unique fabrics (felt, crisp cotton colourful cloth), sequins, pearls, beads etc which can be twined together to bind the love. Hope my brothers love the rakhis. 🙂 🙂 Check out my creations…





Art & Design

Goa…a land of Heritage Homes

Whenever I travel to different places, there’s one thing that I set my eyes on – the traditional houses and heritage buildings of the city. I feel every house has a story to tell. From its architecture to its colours, from its outdoors to its interiors; every little aspect of a house speaks about the style quotient of the family residing in it. One such place of beautiful homes is Goa. Apart from its nightlife, exotic cuisine and sun kissed beaches; I am in love with the heritage homes of Goa.



On my way to Palolem beach, I was drawn to the old world charm of the traditional row houses in Margao. Though it was an unplanned visit to the town, am glad I stopped by to take a look at the beautiful sprawling heritage homes that dotted the roads of Margao. What caught my attention was the mysterious period look about them.  Huge castle like houses overlooking the streets with covered porches and verandah are a treat for the eyes. One cannot miss out on the green lush gardens in front of these traditional homes. It was worth seeing these Indo – Portuguese style mansions.




The Goan houses boast of impeccable style and luxury. While verandahs are adorned with classic neo gothic windows and pristine old English furniture, the roofs are made of Manglorean terracotta tiles. The ornamental cast iron railings, often a combination of greek and gothic motifs are quintessentially Goan. You would also find similar railings in the colonial buildings of Panjim.  Goan homes, they say have a significant influence of the European and Portuguese style of architecture. Though I felt, some of the houses have some resemblance to the typical hindu courtyard style mansions.



The most striking feature of the goan heritage homes are the expressive gables and the intricate eave boards. Each of these design elements epitomizes the luxurious goan lifestyle.


This time I could only glimpse through the verandahs and the gardens. I am sure in my next trip I am definitely going to enter one of these heritage homes to explore the beauty within the mansions and hear stories about the ancestral goan families and their lifestyle as I feel the history of theses heritage homes will be incomplete without their legendary tales.

Leaving you with the glimpses of some amazing colonial houses of Goa.






Art & Design

The house of the Khatris…

house of khatris by artisha

My quest for art, culture and beauty led me to the colourful villages of Kutch, where I discovered an extraordinary and unique form of art. At the first sight, I considered this art to be a form of intricate embroidery. But, as you enter the house of Sumer Gafoor Khatri, you unravel the mystery behind the richness of colours and an embossed hand painted art called ROGAN ART.

rogan art by artisha

Rogan art hails from the land of Persia that was brought to Kutch around 400 hundred years ago and is now only pursued by this lone family of Khatris, residing in a small village of Nirona, 20 kms from Bhuj, Gujarat.

Originally, Rogan art was developed as a cheaper and quicker substitute to hand embroidery to adorn bridal clothing of regional tribes of Kutch. From Ghaghras (traditional skirt) to huge odhanis (bridal veils), pillow covers to bed spreads, this art involved a diverse concoction of folk art forms, Persian architecture and linear embroidery patterns. Like my friends who accompanied me on this journey, I too wasn’t aware of this exquisite form of art.

traditional ghgra by artisha

Though Rogan art, could well be on its last leg, but the dedication and the effort taken to keep this form of art alive is definitely noteworthy. And the credit goes to Abdul Gafoor Khatri and his extended family. Abdul Gafoor Khatri is Sumer Bhai’s uncle who like his peers had given up rogan painting and left Kutch in search of a steady job. Gafoor Bhai, as he is referred to in the village returned to Nirona after two and half years once he received an appeal letter from his grandfather to come back, rejoin the family tradition of Rogan Art and continue the legacy. This was the turning point in his life as well as the art form. Returning from a cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, Gafoor Bhai had gauged the mindsets of the new generation and started experimenting innovative ideas in the art form. And thus, today, rogan art finds expression on cushion covers, table mats, kurtas, wall hangings, stoles, purses, paintings and saris. While the age old folk art forms are an all time favourite, patterns such is “Tree of Life” was something that bedazzled me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet Gafoor Bhai, but was taken aback by this inspiring story and commitment to his art. The Khatris claim that no one on this world can produce such elaborate forms of Rogan art. This art has been passed to generations in the same family. Currently, the eight generation performs this art.


The intricate process of Rogan painting involves 3 steps.

First step involves the basic preparation of color used in Rogan Art.  Castor oil is heated to a boiling point to reduce it to a thick gluey pulp to which appropriate amounts of colour pigments are added and thus we get different hues of red, yellow, white, green, and blue. These colours are stored in containers with water to keep them malleable. This process takes place over a period of 3 days in deep jungles as it leaves strong odour.

rogan colour pigments by artisha

The second step involves placing the fabric. Sumer Bhai squats on the ground, places the blank cloth on his thighs, pins it up to his jeans so that the cloth remains intact and doesn’t move.

The third and final step is the most important and time consuming process. The painting process starts as Sumer Bhai takes the colored pulp on his palm with the help of a metal stylus and keeps stirring vigorously till the pulp is stretched to a thread like consistency, perfect enough to start laying out the designs on the cloth. Apparently there are no outlines on the cloth, its free hand intricate painting done effortlessly with a precision born out of experience. Some designs have symmetric patterns. So to reduce the effort Sumer Bhai folds the fabric into half to get the mirror impression on the other half. This sight of painting left me completely awestruck and made me wonder, why not many art enthusiasts have tried their hands at this form of art?

process by artisha

Once the outline designs are laid out, the entire taar work as they say is filled with vibrant colours to emphasize the beauty of the art.  And then finally the cloth is kept under sunlight to dry for atleast 2 days.

rogan art variation by artishaa

The Khatri family boasts of some wonderful work on Rogan art and is also honoured by the Indian Government for their efforts to preserve this striking yet fading art. Gujarat Government has been taking a lot of effort to promote this art form by presenting framed rogan art work to foreign delegates who visit the state. With Gujarat tourism reaching new heights, let’s just hope this effort of the Khatris doesn’t go waste and the potential of Rogan art is appreciated by art lovers worldwide.

So if you are planning your next visit to Gujarat, the house of the Khatris is a must visit.

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Creamy, Luscious, Addictive…Part I

As my first food post, I thought it would only be appropriate to talk about my first love, CHOCOLATES..


Chocolates!  Tell me one person on this earth who doesn’t like chocolates. As the famous saying goes, “God gave angels wings and he gave humans chocolates”, God has definitely been generous to mankind and I am sure He too must be jealous of us. Who can resist the chocolates, its aroma, its beauty, its allure, its texture? Definitely not me!

I love chocolates – dark, gourmet, Belgian, milk, truffles, all of it! Never thought this love and passion for chocolate would lead me to create unique chocolates that looked as good as they tasted. And thus I named my little chocolate venture Tastebuds. I started this journey a year back with a small workshop on chocolate tempering and never looked back. This little venture of mine caters to yummy home made chocolates that add that exceptional sweetness to special moments, family celebrations, corporate events and gifting. I have enjoyed every bit of it – learning and making assorted handcrafted chocolates. From simple plain chocolates to ganache filled chocolates, I can make them all and have them all. 🙂

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Diwali Special Chocolates from Tastebuds


Tastebuds’ Ganache filled milk chocolates are to die for! These handcrafted chocolates bring together the wonderful flavor combination of dark chocolate and sweet creamy ganache together in one bite.


Tiny Temptations – Dark Chocolate cups with creamy white chocolate and roasted almond & butter scotch musings – from Tastebuds


Sinful Chocolate Cups with Chocolate Mousse from Tastebuds

Chocolates have such a good, positive impact on me that the mere sight and smell of it just make my heart skip a beat! Be it a slice of a rich chocolate cake or a swirl of creamy dark chocolate, a mug of hot cocoa, an ice cream drizzled with hot chocolate fudge, or a chocolate cupcake, chocolates just makes me (and my heart) go ummmh!

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Art & Design

Mesmerizing Wall Art…

From the regal ambiance of its elegant palaces to the riveting beauty of its desert, from striking wildlife sanctuaries to its colourful culture, Rajasthan is all wrapped up in splendid beauty.

Rajasthan is a state which has always been very close to my heart.  It is an experience that one will always crave for more. Whenever, I flip through my photo album, I always feel like visiting the state once again, owing to its opulent palaces, magnificent paintings, the excellent blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture, colorful textiles and of course the exotic cuisine.

One thing that stands out amidst all the beautiful offerings of Rajasthan is its Paintings. Intricate, colourful and elaborate; the miniatures, phads, mandanas, folk and wall paintings of Rajasthan are unique and absolutely outstanding.

The wall paintings in the four doorways of the majestic Pritam Niwas Chowk, a courtyard in City Palace, Jaipur; left me awe struck and fascinated.The four brass doorways are adorned with some amazing wall art, each representing a different season and dedicated to a Hindu deity. The  spectacular Peacock Gate at the northeast doorway has some exquisite peacock art of atleast seven variations.The Peacock gate symbolises the autumn season and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, whose marble idol can be seen resting right above the brass door.

The Southwest gate, representing the summer season is called the Lotus Gate predominantly adorned with pink lotus petals. Lotus, being the manifestation of goddess Laxmi, this gate is dedicated to the supreme Devi.

Right opposite the Peacock gate, one can view another stunning gate in lovely shades of green. Named after the dominance of the base colour, this northwest lehariya patterned Green Gate represents the spring season and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha.

And finally, I reached the winter season Gate dedicated to Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati. The vibrant pink roses embellishing this gate create a beautiful pattern that is still fresh in my mind. The outside wall of theRose Gate looks spectacular with patterned pink leaves and golden yellow hibiscus flower.

I literally went berserk admiring these immaculate patterns on each doorway. So stunning and detailed… Truly royal!

Some more inspiring patterns on the Pritam Niwas Chowk doorways…

Well, that’s it for my first post. Will delve into more aspects of paintings, patterns and colours. Hope you all enjoyed reading the post as much as I enjoyed penning it down.

Things I love

Know Me…

A creativity aficionado, I am Isha – a self confessed designer. Though I do not have any formal training in designing, I have a penchant for anything artistic and inspiring. I am a part of the corporate world, but at heart I am an art & craft fanatic, a scrapbooker. fabric junkie, home décor enthusiast and I love dabbling in sewing, decoupage and easy DIY projects. Paper crafts, wall paintings, Indian architecture, festivals, culture, hand made collectibles, food, textiles and beautiful places profoundly interest me. Would love to hear from you. Pour in your comments and suggestions at Thanks for visiting my blog!