Category Archives: Play

Mosaic – it’s worth the work

There is a certain amount of risk we take every day and the way our lives run, a certain kind of risk-taking becomes a part of it all. From measured teaspoons and tablespoons, we often move to knowing exactly how much for an approximate number of people.

But then, that’s food…the only form of making that still finds pervasive acceptance.

For someone,

who enjoys making and experimenting in the real-life space, the risk is greater. Making doesn’t remain confined to crafts or working with the material without playing with anything that appears pretty okay to the people around you.

Needless to say, the sensibilities of the people around you shape your risk-taking abilities in the MAKING arena too.

You have to beat all the mindsets – from ‘my four-year-old niece does it better than you’ to ‘is it worth your time & money’ or ‘ there are more pressing issues than these leisurely activities’ and so on and so forth.

These are some of the side-effects of Prescription Living. You are raised with the knowledge of what and how much you need to live along with the intensity of the vibes you are allowed to go through.

But, MAKING (Artefaction),

The Purple Frog agrees is the greatest gift to humans. No other species can do it like we can. And it is our only piece that keeps us connected to the ground beneath our feet. No matter how evolved and technologically versatile the world becomes, there is no substitute for having a little Making Corner in your space in this world.

On that note,

The Purple Frog wishes to draw your attention to Mosaic. Not the kind that uses waste material to create a piece of art or outdoor spaces but the type that uses high-quality, dedicated-to-mosaic glass, ceramic and other materials to create an artsy space.

A Make-It-Yourself of a bigger scale where you personalise a corner, a wall or a set of unused terrace steps to simply add to the aesthetic value of a space.

It is a bigger risk

Since The Purple Frog is suggesting working on an immovable object that already exists in tandem with its surrounding.

Again, it runs the risk of,

  1. Not meeting your great expectations or those who lent you permissions of playing with their property
  2. Spending a lot more time and energy than your other projects

For all such doubts,

The only thing The Purple Frog assures of – it’s a risk worth taking.

Based on its own recent experience and learning from a similar such project, it can safely recommend a large scale mosaic project to MAKERS. It is simply metamorphosing.

Just plan it well and go for it.

Sharing a few observations:

  • Give one week of research and reading to the art form – Mosaic.
  • Apart from arranging the basic material such as white cement, grout and glue, arrange for a few sets of disposable gloves (not just one) and a pair of safety goggles. Keep children away from the place and always keep your slippers on.
  • Broken china and mirrors make for a great combination with colourful grout filling. Can be easily worked with a light-weight hammer and plier…Avoid shaping glass, mirror and similar such material. Readymade pieces by the kilogram are available.
  • Start your material search with Amazon. It always helps.
  • Just decide white cement or unsanded grout for the top layering of your project before starting the work. Since unsanded grout has a smooth and silky finish, it may not fill wide gaps well and may leave sharp, unattended edges of tesserae (material) you create yourself with a hammer and a plier.
  • Market bought glass tiles and other materials are usually very well-cut and require less caution.
  • Again, if it is a set of steps you want to work on…pick matte/rugged tiles or the ones with certain embossed lines that set well with grout within their lines, making the surface pretty walkable.
  • One last bit that may help – This project is difficult to be undone. Moreover, the work dries up fast. What you do will set faster than you can imagine. So preparation (appearance and step-by-step execution planning) should get almost 70% of your project time.

The Mosaic Work here

Read two books and prepared notes. Wish had referred to the notes more. Gathered all the material ever bought for any project that could be used here. Bought readymade mosaic tiles. Fixed up cool hours for work. And then through a fast cycle of arranging, sticking, cementing, grouting, cleaning and more, created this. And super love, love, love it despite all its rough edges.  They are a sign that a bigger & better mosaic project is right around the corner…


The Purple Frog | Mosaic

The Purple Frog | Mosaic

The Purple Frog | Mosaic

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Travel – Andaman Islands (I)

How do you know that a place is still in the hands of nature and humans haven’t still taken over it the way they do…

Well, when the lil lil things are in tandem with each other and there is this rhythm in the movements of all natural things there that only they know has no plastic or damage between them.

So when The purple Frog hopped on to this group of islands together called the Andaman & Nicobar set of islands, it felt this perfect rhythm and harmony between the sea and its shore every time the waves rose and fell.

It was almost like the rough & rogue ocean around this corner of the world hadn’t seen the wrath of human growth and the shore with all its big and tiny creatures from (trees to snails) was only used to dealing with Poseidon’s wishes and like a yet-not-noticed love affair, no one was in between them. Probably, a sea capable of Tsunami-like rage keeps everyone away and the shore surely knows how to deal with that rage too…Perrfect.

As a human, I felt like an extra and exploitative with those greedy taste buds that devoured the juicy seafood that only an untouched, healthy ocean can offer. As The Purple Frog, completely belonged there…

A Long Island Trip (14 days)

Yeah, sounds extremely wishful in our time and age and with those expensive package deals of the likes of 4Nights and 5 Days, pretty impossible for most of us. But, here, wishes are horses and frogs do ride them…

About the place

It is happening – human habitation of the modern kind.

It is only wise for some native tribes to be a part of mainstream comfort and join other humans to go to the next level. Some tribes refuse to accept this reality and are living in the small communities exactly how they deem fit.

The Purple Frog hopes the exotics do stay and multiply.

However, government manifestation is not bad either…they are just protecting some exotic species that the ignorant may consume till those species turn endangered.

For instance, a local told how much they love a good Turtle catch. Feeds many of them and they just love the meat… Tastiest stuff they have known. And they think there are way too many of them in the waters here…

So yeah, the government is very protective here – trying to keep the exoticism alive for as long as they can without anyone feeling the pinch.

Just that sometimes in these settings what always seems unclear is – protecting what from whom…lol. It does get restrictive and that’s why a lot of people (The Purple Frog had a chance to interact with) who were used to beach vacations were easily bored and had no clue what to do…

 This is why

It is a nature lover’s paradise and not a typical beach vacation sorta city. It is still not developed to give the nature lover a comprehensive trip, that’s why a short vacation may confuse people and they may find the place boring, like a small town of India that if grows bigger will still be like the small town got crowded.

Design wise…

Since it is still pristine and growth has almost just started, as a traveller you do feel that nature is far more stylish and creative than us humans. Given a piece of land with such richness and beauty, not getting to see something different in the way it is being constructed is a bummer.

It is a tropical paradise so the vegetation offers a great relief to the eyes every once in a while, especially flowers. Otherwise, with human intervention, the place is moving towards the same uneven, non-descriptive skyline that lacks a character or rather displays a character of – let’s just build something and get over with it kinda aesthetic…

That hurry shows in these newly done housing projects and buildings that have nothing special to them that says, you’re in Andaman…Exoticism Dying.

The Design Verdict: It is nature’s masterpiece…let’s just let it be till we figure out some thoughtful way of doing it up…or just go slow to match its natural beauty.

Food wise…

The best seafood ever and they make it well too…Authentic recipes and restaurants can be looked for. People are sweet and welcoming. If you find someone from one of the Nicobari tribes (now settled in the city) to host you, you can taste some authentic food too…Otherwise, good breakfast menus are all over the place.

Word of caution: They still need to learn how to fix good cocktails…

Ignore the above and

Just go like a traveller. Live for days & months next to a beach in a basic hotel/grove…dip in water day in and day out…lie on the soft sand bed under the tree shade…hire a bicycle and eat, drink in the cafes around…spend nowhere else except on exploring the sea. Scuba dive, snorkel, ride the waves on tubes, jet skis, boats, engage in activities of the locals, board their fishing rafts, watch the sun rise and set…go to one beach after another and spend all your time in the luxurious lap of nature…

The best part of the beaches here is that they are lined by dense trees, not just mangroves and coconut rather dense forest trees and that just makes them so shaded cool. The sand is super soft even though the beaches are quite rocky.

Since the beaches are not crowded and so many beautiful ones all around you, try a skinny dip under the stars, if that’s one of your wishes…

Again temperature-wise, the place feels comfortably hot during the day and soothingly cool from evening onwards.

The Purple Frog | Travel Andamans

Overall, it is all so yummy that you will never want to come back once you live like this for fourteen days…That’s why just like a traveller and yes, please don’t litter. The Purple Frog lives in the hope that one day a mastermind designer, artist and engineer trio will just redo the world. Lol. For that day, just keep the planet clean.

Things That Week

To remember the place and its colours, made two things during the stay. Canvas work in Port Blair with coral and shell filled sand and a coral inspired piece with protruding edges at one of the islands.

The Purple Frog | Travel Andamans


The Purple Frog | Travel Andamans

Some other things made in these months 

A photo frame and a feather drawing on a distressed piece of wood.

The Purple Frog | Travel Andamans

The Purple Frog | Travel Andamans

Tried some glass paint with acrylic…glass paint on wood has a glossy mirror-like effect. For those of you who know how to draw and paint, try this combination…Wish to call it the juxtaposition effect.

Bought a lot of shells from Andaman. Have put one here…Hope to dedicate one full post about the shells & corals of Andaman and the things made using the materials bought from there.

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Candid Confessions

Several years back

The Purple Frog was a part of the cheering team hopping from one school to another looking for young, budding debaters. Every time the lady in the Judging Panel revealed she was from South Africa, the children showed surprise because she was white and unknowingly, at a subconscious level, the children associated Africa with a darker skin tone.

The honesty of little children has only given The Purple Frog the courage to go candid with its own experiences and surprises when it once visited the mysterious continent, Africa.

So here comes the brave confession part (unedited version, truly naive sometimes):

So Kenya was the country that The Purple Frog got the opportunity to visit. Experiencing Masai Mara and mood swings of the equatorial climate first hand were the anticipated thoughts. Some thought bubbles had clutter from the movie Blood Diamond too.

As a result, everything about Nairobi was surprising. Friendliness especially. Cool radio shout outs to people about music festivals and the overall content made them sound culturally sound and tolerant. A layer of prejudice cleared…

Nairobi to Masai Mara & back was going to be a cab ride with many stop overs. The mist covering the mind cleared during this days-long drive…

  • Weren’t Africans supposed to be violent and hungry? Reaction after meeting a lot of them with hefty heavy bodies and bottoms…Every breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet served potatoes of some fried form. People had backyard gardens where they grew their own roots and veggies. The Purple Frog reached the conclusion – Blame it on the potatoes or bless the potatoes for this easy omnipresence.

There were poverty and acres of barren land but wherever there was civilization, people were civilized.

Little children of a government-run school were being heralded by two teachers near Thomson Falls. They gave them candies. The children popped them in quickly but not one of those little fellas dropped the wrapper. They held them fast in their hands or kept in the pockets of their knickers – all without any instruction from the teacher. It was touching.

The Purple Frog | Candid Confessions

Another thing

That was very starkly present was street art. The Purple Frog thinks that street art is a far more pleasing way of communication than displaying prohibitive and non-negotiable messages all over the place.

The art used a lot of imagery and colours from the culture, flora and fauna of the place to get the natives as well as the visitors to acquaint about the place and its worth to the planet.

Braiding, of course, is a way of life for Africans

But finding a hair styling salon open in an abandoned, lost marketplace in the middle of nowhere shows passion for fashion! Again, something The Purple Frog thinks is an essential for the soul to keep going.

So potatoes, fashion, music and TLC for what surrounds them naturally were more visible than the drugs, guns, greed, money, hunger, desperation and ignorance.

P.S. Although The Purple Frog agrees that the touristy part of Africa may not be the best indicator of its struggles. But it also thinks that these are little life details that are more pervasive than singular.

There were large stretches of arid poverty and dusty eyes that couldn’t hide under the heftily-priced hot-air balloon ride or the lavish, outdoorsy brunch in the middle of the jungle.

At the same time, boisterous soccer games, abundant crafting skills and recorded audio cassettes of local music did make one believe that human maneuvers can add colour to any swath of land…

Thing This Week

Revived an old interest – Pottery & Ceramics

The Purple Frog | Candid Confessions


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