A Three Dimensional Nature Collage and a Gallery Walk with 22 Forest Fiesta Contributors

by Rashmie Jaaju on June 15, 2011 · 30 comments

in Art & Craft,Nature Learning

Nearly two weeks back, after we came from our 'gorgeous green' vacation to Coorg, I came to know that this year the World Environment Day is being hosted by India and the theme is Forests! 

We were so full of inspiration from our nature walks and forest exploration activities in Coorg that celebrating the World Environment Day seemed the most natural thing to do. Initially my idea was to do some nature-inspired crafts with Pari but then, I thought, we are talking here about the WORLD Environment Day, so why not celebrate it with the whole wide world? (smiles)

So, here we are – with 18 of my mommy blogger friends who have joined in to celebrate Forest Fiesta. Plus some beautiful entries from my readers too, including one entry from my 9-month old niece named Sarah!

At Coorg – which is an enigmatic hill town with dense and lush Coffee plantations – Pari, my mom and I did very little of anything else except nature walks, collecting leaves, Coffee blooms, pine cones and other treasures and spotting birds, bugs and critters.

Those treasures from nature are so close to our heart that Pari decided to create something using them. 

And this is what she created - 

A three dimensional art/collage illustrating the colours and beauty of a forest.

The collage adorns our book shelf in the living room and every look at it makes us remember the blissful and fancy-free hours and days spent in the woods. I'm going to hang it in her room.

What I like best about this art is:

  • It was super easy for Pari to make – completely on her own. This gives her confidence and imbues a sense of independence
  • It is a beautiful reminder of the place that she visited and the time we all spent together as a family collecting those 'finds'
  • It acts as a nature journal too besides being a wall art for her room.
  • It will motivate her to undertake many more forest treks

For the base of this painting, I cut out a stiff cardboard from a cardboard box. I am planning to make a really big collage like this and I think I'l use a wooden base for it.

We set the table up with all that she would need – the 'finds' from nature, play dough, and patterned rolling pins.

These days, Pari is so enamoured with kneading the dough and rolling out rotis/breads that the very idea of rolling out the play dough for this art was enough to excite her.

She started off by rolling the blue dough to make water. Into the water, she pressed the silk cotton pod that looks so much like a boat.

She went on adding three dimensional layers of colours by pressing the rolled out dough. And, in each layer, she 'buried' her finds – coffee and cardamom blooms (that were green when she had found), pine cone, acorn, dried pine leaves etc.

Reminded me of the exquisite Lily flower and their pads that we clicked in Coorg

Finally, she glued the pressed leaves (she had pressed them between the pages of a heavy hard bound book) outside the play dough area and completed the painting.

Here are some closer views:

Just for context: These are the green Coffee Arabica blooms that we collected

The boat-shaped silk cotton pod. We collected dozens of these. And, there's a little (scary) incident too associated with it. When opening one of these, a BIG red silk cotton bug jumped onto my neck. Now, however much nature-loving I may be, I can't handle creepers and bugs. We were then in the middle of a plantation forest and the guide told us that this creature's bite can be very dangerous. Gosh! That was my day, I think, or the bug was just trying to check me out…!

Now for the delightful entries from the kids of my readers!

The first two entries came from Kiran and Soni – the two little girls who are mentored by Protsahan – a Non-Governmental organization that works towards providing creative and meaningful learning experiences to those kids whose families cannot afford for them or for those who were relegated to living on the streets because they had no body to take care of them. We're proud of you Kiran and Soni and thank you Protsahan.

The third entry came from the adorable Khwaish – from Bangalore. Her mom – Ashu – helped her make this beautiful forest with day-time as well as night-time scenes. They used waste sketch pens to make the tree trunks. Painted pasta made for the butterflies. The night time forest shows off fire flies, while the day-time scene has butterflies fluttering by. Utterly creative, isn't it?
Ashu loves setting up art and craft activities for her daughter. They also like connecting with nature by visiting the local farm often.

The fourth entry came from Karan Krishnan – from Mumbai. Karan made this forest scene using stamping technique. He used sponge and cotton to dab clour into his trees. I admire the fact that though Karan is more the sports-type of kid, he still made this with much enthusiasm. Thank you to Param – Karan's mom – who inspired him to make. I'd like to mention that Param owns an online store for Children's books. You can check out the wonderful collection it has.

The fifth entry came from Vasavi – from Noida. Vasavi has created a garden or a forest that she wishes to have some day. She has used leaves, petals, ferns etc to make her garden. Vasavi's mamma – Chhavi helped her here and there. I liked how Vasavi has written that "Vasavi's garden" in her beautiful handwriting. I would like to add that Vasavi is brilliant at sketching and drawing. She makes cute family portraits of her mom, dad, grandparents and cousins. She also made one of my family. (smiles)

And the fourth and final entry came from the little Sarah from New Delhi: Sarah - my 9-month old neice created her very first painting for Forest Fiesta with her jungle friends – "Hippu and Teddu" (in the pic) – using some edible colours that her mommy – Srishti – made for her at home. Srishti made those colours by crushing coriander leaves and beet root and mixing them with corn flour to make green and red/burgundy colours. With Sarah, using edible colours was most essential because this little girl has to explore anything and everything by putting it in her mouth first! Gosh! Talk about heightened sense of taste. But then, when it comes to eating (I mean eating real food), she gives her mom the toughest time on this earth. 

And then, dear readers, I too gave some creative outlet to my passion for nature and photography by clicking a series of photos of our 'finds'. I have named this series "Nature Platter". I'm not going to share the full series here as this event is all about art for and with kids. But, you can have a look at these samples and see the rest of the 'Nature Platter' series on my other blog – Gorgeous Karma.

And now, join me in the gallery walk through these 19 blogs – below

My hearty thank you to these bloggie friends who sportingly participated in this art event. So proud to be a part of this immensely creative and friendly community of bloggers. Being a work from home mom without any real-life office community that office-going moms have, I would feel lonely, lost and siloed without this blogging community that I'm a part of. I love visiting these blogs every once in a while to seek ideas, inspiration and more than anything else – to connect and bond. The fact that we all love nurturing a creative and playful environment for our children helps us resonate at many levels. 

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

welcome to our wonderland June 15, 2011 at 11:35 am

love her mixed media art project! all the art work is so great!!!

we have had a lot of fun with this thank you so much for hosting it!
welcome to our wonderland’s recent fabulous post..Rainforest Habitat Exploring- Books and Forest of Green Art

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Rashmie Jaaju June 16, 2011 at 7:24 am

@welcome to our wonderland – thank you for your comment and for participating in this event. What fun it was!

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Jill @ a mom with a lesson plan June 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm

What a beautiful recreation of nature. I love the bright colors and texture. Thank you for hosting this event. . .and for the invitation.
Jill @ a mom with a lesson plan’s recent fabulous post..Father’s Day Tribute…Lucky Me

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Rashmie Jaaju June 16, 2011 at 7:26 am

Jill,
Thanks for visiting. I am so glad you participated in this event with your kid. Looking forward to more such projects and taking forward our community.. :)

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Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree June 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Rashmie this is Wonderful! I love the process and result! Beautiful Inspiration to look at each day! Thanks for having us for the Forest Fiesta!!
Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree’s recent fabulous post..Forest Easel Painting

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Rashmie Jaaju June 16, 2011 at 7:27 am

Melissa,
Thank you for your lovely words. We loved the forest easel painting that your sweet daughter made. And, thank you to both of you for your participation… :)

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Roopa @putti prapancha June 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Very well done Pari, it is beautiful !! Love the colors and the textures:)) And those coffee and cardamom pictures makes me home sick, hemanth has them both in his garden in bangalore !!
Loved all the other entries from your friends too. Thank you for having us !!
Roopa @putti prapancha’s recent fabulous post..Creating Indoor Forests for Forest Fiesta !!!

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Rashmie Jaaju June 16, 2011 at 7:32 am

Thanks Roopa for your nice words :)
Yeah, I know – you being originally from Bangalore must be reminded of your farm. My hubby is from Sagara – near Bangalore and my dad-in-law owns a farm too – with Areca, Cardamom and Vanilla plantations. Every year when we visit them, Pari loves exploring the plantations. What a place it is to be…!
We loved your Putti’s indoor forest. Thank you to both of you for participating… :)

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Melissa @imaginationsoup June 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Fabulous ideas, I am so excited to read them all!

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Rashmie Jaaju June 16, 2011 at 7:45 am

Thank you, Melissa! :)

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Srishti June 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Oh my my!!! What a collection of craft work !! Have just gone through your post…what an innovative 3D collage Pari has created. Proud of her and you too :)
Sarah says thanks to Bua for posting her entry in the post !!

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Rashmie Jaaju June 16, 2011 at 7:53 am

Srishti,
I am glad you liked all the projects. And, thank you for having Sarah baby dabble with colours and sending her artful fun for all to see… :) Looking at the pics I can tell how enthused she must have been… :))
Say thank you back to Sarah with a big kissy from me…!

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victoria antar June 15, 2011 at 8:29 pm

The begin of a work of art. Congratulations Pari for a job well done, your creation, the colors, you did a great work of nature. Go girl!!! More power to you! Love, Vitoria

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Rashmie Jaaju June 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

Thank you, dear Vitoria, for encouraging us as always! Love and hugs :)

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jen at paintcutpaste.com June 16, 2011 at 2:30 am

the 3D forest collage is just LOVELY! thank you again for all of the inspiration, consciousness, and community you’ve created through this project. we’re honored to be included.
jen at paintcutpaste.com’s recent fabulous post..forest fiesta- redwoods &amp paperweights

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Rashmie Jaaju June 16, 2011 at 7:56 am

Thank you, dear Jen, for participating and making this event so much fun and meaningful. I loved your redwoods exploration and the related forest model.
How exciting that we are a community now… :)

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param June 16, 2011 at 7:38 am

Dear Rashmie, karan was so happy seeing his art work on your blog, a big “thank you from Karan to Aunty” must say the credit goes to you and pari for making us get creative each and every time we come to this blog. Loved all the entries sent by kids for the forest fiesta theme. Each kid has done the best they could. Last but not the least, thanks buddy for sharing my website link:)

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Rashmie Jaaju June 16, 2011 at 7:59 am

Param,
I am so glad Karan is happy seeing his artwork here… :) And, humbled that our small efforts are providing creative inspiration to your family..! Thank for making us feel special :) About your book store mention – well, I had to! We love books out here and you have such a great collection that mommies will love to check out…

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Deborah June 16, 2011 at 11:39 pm

What beautiful works of art and nature!

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Rashmie Jaaju June 22, 2011 at 7:50 am

Thanks Deborah :)

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himadri June 17, 2011 at 6:49 am

hi rashmie…..loved pari’s collage…..i am completely inspired and it has given me an idea…will share the results soon…..moreover we have submitted our entry too….i am happy and excited….u have done a grt work by hosting this meaningful and educating blogging event…thanks. all works linked here are unique and inspiring

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Rashmie Jaaju June 22, 2011 at 7:50 am

Himadri,
My reply is a little late. I saw your contributions and totally loved them :)

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Pritam June 17, 2011 at 9:02 am

Beautiful works of art and nautre!!
Rashmie, as always wonderful work by you and Pari!!
I love your way of putting it and beautiful pics!

This also reminds me that long time i did not do anything with my son…he was enjoying on his own…

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Rashmie Jaaju June 22, 2011 at 7:48 am

Pritam,
Thank you dear for your comment. I am glad you have found inspiration to renew artful activities with your son :)

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himadri June 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm

hi rashmie…glad that u liked our forest and garden:)……hope u like our second creation for forest fiesta too.
himadri’s recent fabulous post..Love thy Trees

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Rashmie Jaaju June 22, 2011 at 7:47 am

Himadri,
Loved your second contribution too. I am so delighted that you and Mishu participated in the event.
Looking forward to more contributions from you for future events :)

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Chhavi June 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm

must say….very beautifully set up photo gallery!!

both of us loved participating in the event…look forward to more such creative platforms.

take care.

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Rashmie Jaaju June 22, 2011 at 7:45 am

Thanks Chhavi for participating and for stopping by to share your comment.
We’ll look forward to Vasavi’s contribution in any future events/collaborations…

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mama roses June 18, 2011 at 12:11 am

Beautifully done !! On pins and needles to view ‘Nature Platter’ !
mama roses’s recent fabulous post..It’s The Time Of Your Life- Entomology- Keep Them Busy- 14th of the series

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Rashmie Jaaju June 22, 2011 at 6:01 am

Thank you, Roses :)

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