Hello everyone, this week in ‘Crafter in the Spotlight’ an ardent crafter from Mumbai, Hina Manik tells us about her creative journey.
A strong believer of creativity, Hina has been crafting since her childhood. She started with small dressing table mats and embroidered television covers for her mom. Hina is an Electronics Engineering and Management Degree holder. She finds time to do what she loves even with her busy job as a full time executive with a corporate. As a strong supporter of everything ‘Handmade’ she loves the beautiful imperfections that handmade creations bring along with them.
Read along to find out Hina’s favourite craft forms, her arty-crafty wish, how she describes her style of crafting, what she enjoys most besides crafting and more. Also, catch glimpses of a step by step project by Hina. Don’t forget to leave your loving comments for her.
Rashmi closepet: What are your favourite craft forms?
Hina manik: I love all forms of crafts – but home decor amalgamated with green touch of plants, infusing mixed media in paper craft and shaker tags are my personal favourites. Miniature fairy gardens are another of my close to heart creations.
RC: If you are granted an arty-crafty wish, what would you ask for?
HM: I would love to have my own Craft Studio – it’s a dream which I have been looking forward to everyday. In fact, it’s so close to my heart, that I discuss about it almost every fortnight with my friends.
RC: How did you come to know about Itsy Bitsy?
HM I came across the store at Pheonix Market City, Kurla in Mumbai on one of the shopping trips and it has been a favourite since then.
RC: Tell us about your most exciting shopping experience at Itsy Bitsy.
HM: The shopping experience at Itsy Bitsy, R-city mall, Ghatkopar at Mumbai on the opening day, after attending the demo workshops. It was such a twinkling experience to meet you (Rashmi, owner of Itsy Bitsy) – your grounded attitude and your way of introducing the new products personally brought in an overwhelming charm to the whole day. Can never forget the immense influence which you left in my heart then.
RC: What craft products attract you the most?
HM: Any new product which helps in enhancing decor projects brings a swish in my life. Chalk paints, 2 in 1 Mixed Media Paste, stencils, Decor Varnish are something which will always be there in my stash. Also, I love to have different miniatures for my fairy gardens.
RC: What is your ideal crafting time in a day?
HM: Being a full time executive in the corporate world leaves me with only weekends to follow this passion of my life. I always run short of time to execute the overflowing ideas in mind and my brain continues to process them all though the day! And when these thoughts overpower in their own sense, I find myself crafting at mid-night as well!
RC: What are your ‘Can’t live without’ craft essentials?
HM: Can’t live without paint brushes! They are absolutely must for any type of craft I set my mind on!
RC: How long have you been crafting?
HM: As far as I remember, I had a crafty knack since childhood, when I made handmade greeting cards for my extended family members and sent them by the Indian post on every other birthday and festivals. This surely left them happy and me contended. Even though my desire of getting into Architectural Engineering was left behind while I followed Electronics and Telecommunication engineering, the inner self always tilted towards creative things. The passion re-kindled when my daughter was born six years ago and I have never looked back since then. Being able to spend some creative time is synonymous with peace which one can get with meditation. It has been a beautiful journey all along!
RC: Which 3 words describe your crafting style the best.
HM: Personalized, Green and Vibrant!
RC: Any inspirational tips for newbies and craft enthusiasts?
HM: Follow your heart more than your mind – this surely leads to beautiful creations!
RC: Any tips for fellow crafters to help them organize their workspace better.
HM: Though, I myself am struggling to manage in the best possible way, but the organization is space dependent for every individual. If you have limited space, make use of transparent boxes to store similar items together and stack them. If there is a more luxury option available, then storing them in a cupboard with customized partitions and pull-outs help gloriously.
RC: What inspired you the most in your creative journey?
HM: Other crafters’ journey and their success stories are part of learning and I always look forward to meet and get their insights of this passionate world!
RC: According to you what’s the best way to overcome a creative block?
HM: Happy souls produce the best of creative art! As crafters, we all are bound to face roadblocks at various junctures – a quick solution to them is to give a memory restart and look at the project from an all-together different angle. It usually gives a different insight and helps to resurrect the outcome.
RC: Why do you think people should continue with ‘Handmade’?
HM: Uniqueness and personal touch can never be represented by anything else other than Handmade. In this fast-moving world of digitization, I am still one of those who would scan through, pick up a handbag of my choice, make a handmade card for my darling sister-in-law and courier it from Indian post to reach her on the occasion of Rakshabandhan. On being questioned, that this could have been ordered online, the only response which I have is – “it would have reached, but would not have given that contentment of personal touch to me”.
RC: Other than crafting what do you enjoy the most?
HM: Gardening is my other favourite and it brings an instant smile even on spotting a single bloom in my balcony garden. Staying in a compact Mumbai apartment, things get pretty difficult to manage, but I still owe my happiness to the 72 varieties of plants which cover the 3 balconies of my abode. And yes, the pots surely have craft elements in them, many of which you would have seen on my posts in Itsy-Bitsy Crafter’s Cafe on Facebook.
RC: Which are the product categories you check out most often for new arrivals?
HM: Any new arrival, irrespective of the category brings a spark inside me, and I start thinking of ways to use it. Itsy Bitsy has been such an influence, that all new arrivals somehow find ways to sit in my projects.
Here is a step by step project by Hina Manik
This is an upcycling of a square cake board. However, once could easily use canvas board here. Apply gesso to the cake board/ canvas and let it dry.
Have decoupaged a beautiful paper print from the store on one end of the board and covered the remaining portion with my favourite Sailing Sky chalk paint.
Further, took a gate chipboard from the store and applied Stone Texture Paste on it. Left it overnight to dry.
Now coming to the main focal of the project – a faux tree bark created from a mouth freshener bottle. Unfortunately, I got so engrossed in building this one, that skipped to take pictures of the raw bottle and the making.
So essentially, applied Mixed Media Fibre paste on the plastic bottle, covered it with Driftwood Chalkpaint, and then used the brown, red and black acrylic colors to give the desired combination and look. The branches have been created using small twigs from my balcony garden, and attached with the fibre paste.
Next, stencilled the stone effect for the house walls with sand dune chalk paint and mixed media paste. Here, dried it with the heat gun, to give some cracks, and voila, it gave good results.
The magic of Copper Blaze Metallic wax set in then. Used finger tips to rub it over the stencilling and it gave the perfect look.
Then, used a broad lace, glued it at the top, and gave it a curtain effect by pinching it with a small metallic hoop.
Adorned the panel with some beautiful Little Birdie flowers, mounted the chipboard gate and a sentiment, planted a money plant in the tree trunk and spread its leaves around the branches to give the tree effect.
Glued the Tree to the panel and the Home Tree Planter is ready to be hung or kept at the table 😊
Here are a couple of Hina ‘s other awesome creations:
Many congrats Hina Manik for being the CRAFTER IN THE SPOTLIGHT – ITSY BITSY!!
You will receive Rs.500/- Itsy Bitsy gift voucher & a Crafter in the Spotlight badge, which can be proudly displayed on the side bar of your blog and other platforms. Looking forward to many more creations.