Crafter in the Spotlight

Hello arty-crafty folks,

The week passed by so fast and it’s already Thursday again, time to meet another talented crafter. This week I have brought you the story of Ragini Gupta who is in love with the art of folding, cutting and moulding papers, anything that breathes life into them through creative approaches!

Ragini has completed her masters in marketing and has an interesting story to share about how she discovered her passion for crafting. She likes up-cycling, creating new and useful things and decorating quaint little corners with her creations.

How did Ragini get into crafting, what inspires her, what are her tips for fellow crafters, her favourite quote, how would she contribute to the crafting world if she had magical powers? Read answers to all these questions, discover more about her interesting journey and catch a glimpse of a step by step project by Ragini in this interview. Don’t forget to leave your comments for her.

Let’s see how Ragini feels about being featured in the ‘Crafter in the Spot Light”

I would like to extend a huge vote of thanks to Team Itsy Bitsy for considering me and my art in your weekly “Crafter in Spotlight”. It is truly a humbling experience for me to be chosen for this title. I think I can speak for crafters all over India when I say; these bits of motivation go a long way.

 

Let’s see how Ragini feels about being featured in the ‘Crafter in the Spot Light”

I would like to extend a huge vote of thanks to Team Itsy Bitsy for considering me and my art in your weekly “Crafter in Spotlight”. It is truly a humbling experience for me to be chosen for this title. I think I can speak for crafters all over India when I say; these bits of motivation go a long way.

Rashmi Closepet, MD, Itsy Bitsy:Tell us a bit about yourself & your background?

Ragini Gupta: I feel I always had a creative bent of mind coming from an Army background. I always loved decorating my house with my mom. Be it creating something new and useful, decorating that quaint little corner or just up-cycling the discarded stuff to make something dashing, my day in one way or other way revolves around creation and creativity. Armed with masters in marketing, I thought I was ready to take on the corporate world, till one fine day I realised the joy of paper crafting. Today, apart from being a loving partner to the most awesome person in my life, I can also proudly say that I am in love with crafting, organising and decorating.

RC: How did you get into crafting?

RG: Funny story actually. It all started when I couldn’t locate an Archies or Hallmark near my residence to get a card for my then fiancé. So, I decided to learn a simple card from youtube tutorials and get on with. That night, a part of me came to life, one that had gone missing in the din of corporate life. The card did not get completed, but my life found meaning. That was the day and I never looked back. With almost none to very little access to raw materials I used to utilise everything, from newspaper to magazine pages, anything I could lay my hands on. It’s been a long journey for me getting here, and I still feel there are miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep.

RC:What is your favourite type of craft?

RG: I love all kinds of craft, but if I had to pick one, I would put my finger on the enchanting art of folding, cutting and moulding paper to give it life, be it in the form of Quilling or Box Making. It is, I feel, akin to alchemy, or the closest relative if there existed any. Paper can transform itself into such wondrous creations. Some snips here and some sticks there, and voila! Gold from ordinary metal!!

RC: What are your favourite products at Itsy Bitsy?

RG: I absolutely love the quilling section at Itsy Bitsy. Ranging from quilling strips and quilling tools to the plethora of beads, I think I pretty much go in a hoarding frenzy every time I walk into the store. The myriad variety of papers from Metallic Sheets to my latest love, Handmade Papers, is enough to make any crafter weak in their knees. Oh and did I mention Chalk Paints…??
RC: If you had magical powers, how would you contribute to the Crafting world?

RG: Hogwarts School of Craft and Creatory, complete with our very own Itsy Bitsy getting a prime location in Diagon Alley. Too cliché? Ok then, my honest take would be to use my new found powers to bring the plethora of art techniques and talented hands of our rural India and display it for the entire world to admire. There is so much to see and appreciate in our very own country and being an Army kid, I have had the privilege to witness a small portion of that. But I feel that is only the tip of the iceberg. From my experience, I can say for sure that it is still unknown to us the potential that is in rural India and what wonders we can create by bringing all of that up.

RC:Your prized possession in your craft stash from Itsy Bitsy?

RG: My most prized possession would, no doubt, be the Burlap Printed Sheets from Itsy Bitsy. OMG, I can’t even begin to explain how much I had been waiting for something like these to come out in the market and be available for the general public. I am a complete and honest admirer for such things. In my opinion, burlap should be used as it is, by itself.  Adding any amount of colour or embellishments tampers with its beauty and look.

RC:How would you describe your style of crafting?
RG: As a crafter, I feel, my vision has always been to tie in creativity with utility, to make something more functional rather than a pure piece of art. Not that I am opposed to crafting for pure art, just that I am a utility person, which is essentially what drives how I design and craft. You would see me make stuff like boxes that you can use to gift stuff or up-cycling bottles to be used as planters. Oh and did I mention, I love plants.

RC:How do you organise your time for crafting?

RG: Organising is my cup of tea, ironically organising time isn’t. But still for all the budding artists out there, who want to understand how much time and effort goes into it, I can give a sneak peek into my schedule. I only work on weekdays (and party on weekends). I usually start off as soon as hubby dearest is out of the house and get into full craft mode, till lunch. Lunch for me is a very personal time, where I enjoy watching my daily dose of series (Game of Thrones fans, I hear you). Post lunch I manage to put in a couple of more hours till my evening walk. I try and split crafting and ideating equally through the week, where may be I spend a couple of days planning for the week and the rest of the days executing the plan. As I said, I love organising. Although, I can do this since I craft full time, but for my part time crafter peeps I would say being consistent is the key.

RC:Tips for people who want to craft

RG: My learning has taught me that there are so many different forms and types of craft, that it is easy to lose track and direction. Appreciate the work of your fellow crafters but do not let that sidetrack you. Crafting is about creativity and you need to nurture that creative spirit within you, sometimes by following the path others have walked on and sometimes by taking the road less travelled by. Most of all; be you!

RC: Your all -time favourite quote?

RG: J.R.R Tolkien
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Here is a gorgeous project by  Ragini  & step by step procedure:

1. Raw Materials Used- 
        * Old 2L Plastic Bottle
        * Scissors
        * Nail Polish Remover
        * Chalk Paints from Itsy Bitsy
        * Acrylic Paints
        * Paper to make the stencil
        * Paint Brush
        * Plants of your choice

2. Procedure-
Begin with wiping and cleaning your work surface. In this case it would be your bottle that you are going to work on. We would want to wipe it clean which allows for easy application of paint
Now before removing the sticker that is stuck on the bottle we will cut it to the required size. So one could use a permanent marker to mark out the rough line or directly cut if you are confident about it.


Now after cutting the marked line we know if there is any amount of sticker left on the bottle. The reason we cut first is so that we don’t have to take the effort of removing the sticker overall, only the part which is on our plant pot.


Next remove the sticker and whatever glue residue is left on the planter can be removed with the help of a nail polish remover or some oil if you don’t have any.
Here begins the fun part. Paint your pot in the desired colour. I chose ‘Sailing Sky’ from the collection of Chalk Paints by Itsy Bitsy. Tip- Mixing 2 colours can give you a unique shade of your choice.


Making the stencil- This part is highly customisable. You can literally choose any design of your choice. I chose to make this particular design. Below picture explains the format.



Now put the stencil on top and paint through the stencil. Important tip– Finish the edges of stencil with the help of a permanent marker. It will make the design look flawless.


My favourite part of it all. Place your plant in the pot. Make sure the pretty side of the plant is on the front side which is our design side. Voila !! Here we have it. Our own little planter to adorn our beautiful balconies and porches.

It survived through rains and heat in my case. You can always give it a shot and see it for yourself.


Here are a couple of  Ragini’s other awesome creations:

o    Handmade Shadow Box Nameplate

    Large Quilled Mandala for home decor

Gift Boxes as wedding and party favors

Red Foral Envelopes

Handmade Flowers to adorn gifts and walls


Many congrats  Ragini 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, Happy Crafting!

2 Replies to “Crafter in the Spotlight”

  1. Ragini what inspires me is your take on creativity and vast canvas of Rural Indian women. They have to establish themselves on global platform through people like you. Great going

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