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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Memento and Magnets

I often like to pick up things  from places that we have visited and try to utilize them in making magnets. I have almost made magnets of all the places we visited so far . Like for example, this particular magnet signifies our recent visit to Key Biscayne in the winters of 2010.

home-made KEY BISCAYNE magnet.

We were taking a walk by the ocean and I found this beautifully shaped leaf. It was a dried leaf hence easy to work upon. Cleaned and spruced it up, sprayed some blue color on it to signify water, painted a sun to portray the fantastic sunny weather and cut up a palm leaf in bits and pasted it on one side. Finishing touch ... a dab of varnish on top to give the ultimate shine :)

Another magnet I 'd like to show you is one I made to remember our visit to the Ever-Glades National Park. It was a memorable one-day outing. While learning and getting to know the Anhinga birds and Crocodiles up close and personal, I found one lost feather from one of the birds. Picked it and packed the lone lost feather in my knapsack. Came home and made this........

Keep-sake from our visit to the EVERGLADES.
our companion for the day that was..the Skillful ANHINGA." class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Toilet rolls and creativity ?!?!?!??!

product one on the wall

Taking a break from my travel story, I have some other updates for now.
 In due course of time, my successful road trip will get completely written ..just don't know when!
Meanwhile the focus shifted to making some new things again.More so experimenting with new things.
Every time, a toilet roll got over and it came to a point when I had to discard the cylindrical cardboard box in the waste bin, I used to stop and think , "what a waste". It can be utilized in making something, at that point I just didn't know what and how.
product two: NEAR YET FAR
 Then began my grueling brain storming. What, Where and How became indeed my favorite words for the next few days. And just like Aristotle, I had my little, miniature and definitely not comparable to Mr.Aristotle's 'Eureka' moment. :).

"Lo! Behold tiny grey cells of the brain for here I stand with an idea and need my friends at this hour". Off i went scrambling to my friends and asked them to save up the cylindrical rolls.What on earth...was their reaction. I said,"Dn't ask why, just save them for me". So, theirs along with ours got utilized and I made my idea into a being!
product two on the wall
 Played with patterns and somewhat on the lines of a 3 dimensional painting and came up with these two poster board sized creations!
Oh by the way , they are sitting proudly on the walls of our rooms. Your Views??" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Road Trip:DAY FOUR: The Everglades National Park and Robert is here...

Dec 22nd, 2010: Destination Everglades. They are an hour or so away from our temporary abode. The most different kind of a national park that I have visited so far. The basis of it is that it the world's only natural ecosystem, best place for bird lovers, and nature freaks. The Everglades are subtropical wetlands full of marshes which writer Marjory Stoneman Douglas had christened,'the riverr of grass'.The term RIVER OF GRASS justifies the definition of the Everglades which are the sawgrass marshes, part of a complex system of interdependent ecosystems that include cypress swamps, the estuarine mangrove forests of the Ten Thousand Islands, tropical hardwood hammocks, pine rockland, and the marine environment of Florida Bay.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Road Trip: DAY THREE: destination reached, FLORIDA CITY

Dec 21st,2010:I know my other two posts are half done and believe me I have got lots to share with you on those two days. It is just that I haven't had the time between all the driving, sight seeing,yapping away with Sam, arguing with him,making up and finally snoring, to pen down all that I have to say. First I thought, I would do all of it in one go, then I realized if I were to do it that way, I would forget the small nitty-gritties of the day which actually spice up the story .Hence, it is better I write a few lines everyday,and add on to it when I have the time so that I can pick up from where I had left.

Now third day, we covered 1500 miles(read nearly 2500 kms)and reached Florida City at 9:30pm. Now Florida City is going to be our home for the next 5 days or so. More on it later.

The third day journey was good. It was the brightest day to travel of all the three days. I took over the driving task first this time. Usually the other two days, Sam started driving and I took over the wheel after our lunch break while he snoozed away resting his filled tummy!! This time I thought of acting smart and I proposed I drive first!Little did I know that the plan would back fire and I would end up driving the most the entire journey!!!Not that I mind driving.It is too much fun if it weren't for the pesky, huge trucks on the narrow I-95 stretch.Everytime my honda coupe had to surpass its fellow brother, the mighty truck, on the narrow strech my heart would skip a beat!I just dn't know why!ANd to top it all, the Interstate-95 stretch from Daytona to about Miami, was getting repaired, so obviously the roads became narrower and my heart beats competed against each other!poor heart.

Map Reading can be fun...Do you like it?

Back to my teen years: rediscovering mushy love stories.
Georgia didnt take much time to cross from Savannah,GA where we had put up on the second night.We were out of Georgia in about an hour and half. As we moved towards south the sun only became more friendlier and decided to shine even brighter :) When Sam took over the driving part,I did two things,no..actually three things.One, I clicked pictures, two ,I caught up on my reading and three, brushed up my geography by scanning throught the pages of the hard copy of our map book.

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Before we knew, we had entered Florida and were in Jacksonville. I had often heard about Jacksonville from Sam when he worked on a project here. Modern city with glass facades and steel structures catching up just like the other booming cities. Next stoppage was Daytona Beach, the beach where we had lots of fun just last year in 2009. Daytona fell right on the way to Florida City ,it was nearly lunch hour and we knew the place hence decided to stop by, refresh the grey cells and grab some bite. Saw the 'Human Slingshot' again. I decided to pass the opportunity to ride it again.BUT I am definitely going to sit on it with Sam before I die. Have attached a video of it from you tube below.

The Human SLing-shot Video from

The Human Sling-shot,Daytona Beach, FL

After NASCAR site,you will see this ahead of you :)
After grabbing stomach -happy sea-food platter and a couple of drinks, we were on our way to Florida City and made it into the city at around 9:30 at the night. Didnot realize it, but we both had actually booked ourselves in this really nice quaint little place.Almost gives you the feel of a sea side village. Hmm..was very satisfied with our home away from home.The free contonental breakfast was one of the most appealing factors for Sam..I have to let that out to you ;P

Monday, December 20, 2010

Road Trip : DAY TWO:..Georgia it is :)

Second Day Weather: Sunny and smiling weather man
Dec 20th,2010: Slept like a baby.After the first day drive..the night's sleep was really good,rejuvenated all the senses.And to top it all what a bright and beautiful day it was! Cold it was no doubt,but when you have the sun shining on you and warming up every hair on your skin,the goosebumps have retreated in defeat.:)

With a happy mood, gym-loving Sam dragged me along too to the hotel's gym. Though I hate to admit it, it was a good work out,post-it felt better like never before.

I just love this part of the year. There is a certain unknown yet strongly felt warmth in the air. Every soul around you is eternally happy. Magic might as well be the mantra of the season. The wonderful part is, any place you are, every nook and cranny, is so brightly and beautifully decorated that it automatically lifts your spirits high. I can might as well be lost in all the goodness..but alas I couldn't..I had to travel....

the Waffle House mug:love it

So getting ready for the day's travel, Sam and I left our hotel and scouted around town for a good local breakfast, and we found THE WAFFLE HOUSE. Loved it from the moment I stepped my foot in the eatery. Realized that the more towards the south we moved, the more the likes of Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, Friendly's or a I-Hop disappeared and these names were taken over by a Waffle house or a Aunt Sarah's Pancake House. The Waffle house didn't disappoint us at all. From a friendly server to the food and the spirit,everything was class A.(to be contd)Here some pictures...

Superb,Sumptuous and Strikingly Stupendous


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Road Trip- DAY ONE: successful

And so it begins..The Odometer
 Dec 19th,2010 :Finally we took off. Felt a little sad to leave our home all alone during the holidays especially when the neighbors houses would shine bright with all the holiday lights,our house would be lonely and dark but what the heck..I am going to be traveling. Will get back and make our house shine and make up for the lost time. :)

Weather was perfect, there was a chance of snow in the weather reports the previous night and I was just worried about that, because I am a terrible driver in the snow. But thankfully it didn't. Someone listened to my silent prayers up there. No snow, that meant I had to do my share of driving too. Now the first stop on our trip was in Sandston,Virgina.
Except for the last exit in NJ,we didn't stop anywhere on the way as we had to reach Sandston on time. Sandston lies approximately 15 mins away from Richmond and came into being  during World War 1 when enlisted officers and non-commisioned officers were given homes. Afterwards an investor,Mr.Sands bought the properties and to cut a long story short, the place was christened Sandston after his name.(to be continued)

Could not have asked more from the Weather Man:clear skies

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Wall hangings ..etc

My  Wall -Hanging in the living room.
I had made this a couple of months back. I get these sudden urges to create something new...every now and then. Has it ever happened to you that an idea just erupts in the head and refuses to leave the company of your grey matter until and unless the idea has taken shape into the 'being'? does happen to me...too
And I get all restless unless and until I see it materialize. The above is a result of one such time.I used Handmade paper, Terracotta Clay, some colored Hay, Pulses from the kitchen, and colored Paper, Fall leaves which I had collected on our Hike on Monadnock mountain,New Hampshire to make this Wall hanging.." class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">

Our name plate..

Found a wooden piece in the local craft store, our permanent marker came handy, wrote the alphabets down and put some buttons..It has been 2 years..still hanging on our wall.. :)

When I had time,I adorned my walls

I had plenty of free totally 'unemployed' to the D of the word...Scanning my eyes around in eyes fell on the vacant portion of the wall of my living I decided to make the 'rotunds'(was thinking of using its common name but thought would sound gross...hence rotunds!! ha ha) float against the wall with the help of some Beads and Aluminum wires :)" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">

Blissful Baby shower

My friend is expecting a beautiful girl just like her..We celebrated her 'Panchami Puja ' recently. Well for those of you who don't know what it is..It is a Hindu version of the Baby Shower, aka 'Goad Bharai'. This is a sketch I drew really fast hence the rendering isn't to my liking..." class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">

Permanent marker sketch

I made this card for a very dear friend on her birthday. We are the kind of friends that can sit back for hours talking about everything under the sun over a cup of coffee...And after we have spent hours, the coffee would definitely get cold and we would order some more and gulp it down ..and order..and drink..and order...and the process would continue....
Ode to you my friend..You are my rescuer.. :)" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">

A hand made card for a friend on her birthday." class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Road Trip

H mm Road trip..Up till now whenever I had heard these two terms, it only meant movies..or deriving enjoyment(read excitement) from watching them in films. Seen Kurt Russell's Breakdown? Or perhaps National Lampoon's Vacation? Most recently may be Little Miss Sunshine..

The fun that is so prevalent simply watching someone else's road trip..their misery, blunders, fun etc are a sense of entertainment to the viewer' but is it equally fun to the people who are actually experiencing it? Well.. I do not know..because I have never been to one..or haven't even heard any of our friends going to one. Travel by a flight makes people reach their destinations in a jiffy ..and are in your destination and soaking up as much sun as you want! So the general feel is that why bother the struggle on the in these holiday- crunching days of the modern world, who actually gets the time to go on such a long vacation?Quite true that one...

But, come to think of it..won't a road trip be adventurous considering the fact that you do not have a 9-5 tourist sight seeing schedule? On top of that ..the events that take place will be unplanned and the traveler will get to experience it first hand :)

Been pondering about road trips for a while now.How will it be?What will happen?Will we see undiscovered destinations, will we follow an adventure or an adventure will follow us?In order to put all these conflicting and inquisitive questions to rest, Sam and I decided to quench it all this Christmas Holidays!!Holiday- crunched time it doubt..but poor Sam hadn't really taken one this entire crunched up holidays resulted in fat- holidays this year end..

So putting on our adventure cap and inquisitive cloaks on...we are set on a journey on the 19th to the very tip of USA mainland..the Florida Keys from the East coast. One way travel to our first destination , Florida City measures up to approximately 1400 miles one way.From there on to Florida Keys another 120 miles or so. All in all, some 1520 miles one way!!!! Will we survive it?Will we have the extreme fun quotient we are hoping to derive from this venture???Well...I don't know..but surely can say, it is worth the shot. 2 weeks, 2 people, 1 destination...coming up soon.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

beetle bailey n sarge

Was idle one fine afternoon and drew them Beetle's stories :) Mort Walker ( their creator ) is a genius cartoonist .For all those Beetle Bailey comics fans- Did you know that it all started in 1948 when walker was trying to sell cartoons to magazines for a living. His sheer amazement and love for New York City brought him to the Big Apple leaving behind him his family and a sheltered life in a small town.
Here began his struggle and he began drawing ferociously but like all of us he had to run from pillar to post before he met with success and his creation became a world wide phenomenon. Kudos to you Mr. Walker.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


this is a little token i made for cheel :)
p.s its a cd cover!

Friday, November 14, 2008

as assam burns...we merely spectate...

darkness has befallen. the city is literally dead.once a hub-nub with an assortment of automobile horns honking adding to the cacophony, today it lies deserted and gray.fear has engulfed the city and it leaves me sad and incapable.i feel worthless.being educated and able i am city is torn, my people are wary, homes have been broken, families distorted,children orphaned..

we know it all, yet we can do nothing.peace marches and banner with slogans come to our rescue . but is anyone listening?are we actually fighting an already lost fight?does it really matter to the people we are trying to put across a point?i guess not.

let alone as a city..we as a country are at a very sensitive stage now.
well i am no professional being to decipher the internal issues we are facing.and i would not really like to comment on the politics of it all without actually knowing the facts from level zero to what it is becoming now.but a point to note is that we as civilians are the sufferers come what one knows what guwahati is going through right now except for the inhabitants of guwahati itself.

8th of October 2008 marked the saddest day for the civilians a.k.a the residents of guwahati when they were caught offgaurd. without a clue or a premonition to save them, all were dead. within minutes we had bodies stewn all over the place, with nothing called as 'identity' left behind.the term "human beings are nothing but mere mortals" just came to life.after the tragic happening i have heard such heart wrenching tales that my heart bleeds.

my people back home are bleeding but there is no one to provide a moment of solace or an iota of peace to their homes!we are attacking our own homes with only a motive of putting a point across to others who are willing to listen but all in vain. at the end of the day 'innocence' is the victim. to be powerful, shrewd and god-hating seems to be in vogue. attention to the catastrophe is generated for a heated couple of days, after that things get back on track people still begin to prod the same path where the bomb blasts took place, going about their work for we, can't do nothing.

it's a call for one and's a call that we stick's time we evaded the farce face we seem to wear by talking about secularism in india and loving all religions. it's time we practiced what we preach to others!IT'S THE TIME OF THE DAY THAT WE PUT MORE ATTENTION TO OUR ACTIONS THAN JUST MERELY EXERCISING OUR VOCABULARY!!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

behind each smile....

There lies something charismatic..something special...
Each smile brews a special fragrance...evokes an identity..
Of a being...ready to take on the world...
It sees the world...
With eyes..but a varied perspective....
We are all, sailing the same boat...
But desire for destination...different...
Fate, they say, has brought us together,
Fate, they say, has made us understand our purpose, our deliverance...
Hence with each smile ..we bring new promise...
Multitude of people... varied smiles...varied destinations..varied desires////
p.s these are my fellow-girls from college...:)


‘Intelligent’, an adjective often used in our day to day lingo. An apt word used to describe the capacity for thought and reasoning especially to a high degree. The world is moving at such a fast pace today that buildings are also called intelligent. Now how can a man-made creation be called ‘intelligent’ as if it has life of its own? But this, in today’s context is true. There is something christened as ‘intelligent buildings’.

Trade magazines of the 1980s ran stories on intelligent buildings. Automation systems making buildings more energy-efficient added to the characteristic of an intelligent building. The communication industry has said time and again how advanced telecommunication system has made buildings more efficient hence more intelligent! It is seen
in today’s world of architecture, intelligent buildings are referred to an office building with telecommunications that allow the rapid reconfiguration of the interior layout for a client.

To come up with a perfect definition to describe an intelligent building is difficult, perhaps because the industry is
not yet out of its adolescence stage, hence there is no standard definition. The International symposium held in
Toronto in 1985 on May 28th and 29th states intelligent buildings as something that combines innovations, technological or not with skilful management to maximize return on investment.

After much research and study intelligent buildings can be categorically stated to possess the
following characteristics –

1. High Technology –
Early 1980s saw the concept of high technology in intelligent buildings being introduced in
the United States. Intelligent buildings use electronics extensively and are high-technology related. Considering
the electronic aspects of an intelligent building we can sub-categorize it into four parts.
· Energy efficiency
· Life safety systems
· Telecommunications systems
· Workplace automation
The basic concept is to integrate the four operating areas into one single computerized system. A single
supplier would be furnishing all the hardware and the software that would use compatible equipment and common CPUs and trunk wiring. Such integration is not realized as yet nonetheless several manufacturers are capable of supplying all four operations not as an integrated system but separately.

2. Energy Efficiency –
Energy efficiency in an intelligent building consists of reduction of energy use to the bare minimum.
Computerized systems are used extensively in order to achieve this. Computerized systems go by numerous
alibis. They are called Building Automation System (BAS), Energy Management and Control System (EMCS),
Energy Management system (EMS), Central Control and Monitoring System (CCMS) and Facilities Management System (FMS). The usages of these technologies allow the improvement of various site and building services and
are considered good for the environment. Building services within buildings can be controlled by various methods. Among them broadly they fall into –
Time Based­­ – Provision of heating and lighting only when required. For example, it
can be used to turn on and off the heating system used in the building at pre-selected periods.
Optimizer parameter based – Often utilizing a representative aspect of the service,
such as Temperature for space heating and illuminance for lighting. For example, whatever the conditions
the controls make sure the building interiors reach the desired temperature when occupancy starts.
Energy effective systems balance a building’s electric light, daylight and mechanical systems for maximum
benefits. To achieve energy- effective design daylight could be added to a building. Nearly every commercial
building is a potential energy saving project where daylight could be used for maximum benefits and electrical
lighting then could be dimmed saving up to 75% lighting energy consumption.

3. Life‑safety systems –
What comes under this heading is the usage of high technology to maximize the performance of life safety
systems like the fire alarm and security systems while at the same time minimizing costs. Some of the
mechanisms used in the intelligent buildings to act like a protection shield to the human –life are as follows –
· Closed-circuit television
· Smoke detection intrusion alarms
· Card access control
· Emergency control of elevators, HVAC systems, doors, windows.
· Reduction in Manpower dependence

4. Telecommunications Systems-

Intelligence with respect to telecommunications in an intelligent building consists of many sophisticated services offered to the clientele. These offerings are at considerably reduced cost taking the fact that the equipment is
shared by many users. To name a few, some of the equipment to fall under this category are-
· Cable Television
· PBX telephone system
· Electronic Mail
· Video Text

5. Automation in the Workplace-

The operation of an office building is more efficient and feasible with the usage and installation of high-tech office automation systems. If common equipments are shared between the employees it cuts down on the cost factor.
For example,
· Centralized data processing
· Computer Aided design
· Information services
· Word processing
· Message center: (It is a back-up telephone switchboard for the users. It answers all tenants’ telephones
and is connected to printers conveniently locate in or near the offices of the tenants for immediate
delivery of the messages. When the telephone line is busy or doesn’t answer after continuous rings the message centre answers the call automatically. If any call is missed then the caller’s name, identity, time
of call, operator’s name is printed in the recipient’s office.)
Very interestingly the first intelligent building to be built in India is in Manapakkam, Chennai.

L&T-ECC’s Engineering Design and Research Centre (EDRC).

It is the L&T-ECC’s Engineering Design and Research Centre (EDRC). It is fully automated in terms of
energy management systems, life-safety systems, telecommuni-cations systems and workplace automation. The building is a sheer combination of beauty and elegance, it rises like a tree the branches of which spreads out
shaping into juxtaposed triangles at each floor level. The following features are installed in the building- lighting control system, access control system, fire detection system, Air handling units, Public address system, closed circuit TV surveillance system, energy monitoring.
As possibly the first time in India the building is without any light switch. The entire building is controlled entirely
through networked modules and software. At every entrance the building has been equipped with Wing LightingControl Units (WLCUs). Any employee working over-time can select lighting in the desired area to turn ‘on’ by merely touching the area on the display board. The lights will be ‘on’ for a pre-selected period after which it will automatically revert back to the auto ‘off’ option.

Cabins are equipped with Passive Infra-Red (PIR) detector to detect cabin occupation.
Entry into the cabin switches ‘on’ the lighting and a vacant cabin is shown by the lighting switching over to the ‘off’ mode, interestingly the lighting revives by itself at the next entry.The building is also equipped with access control and closed circuit television. There are smart cards which are the keys for entering the building. These cards
are embedded with a microchip and a built-in antenna that functions as a radio transceiver. Each card is unique
and has a unique alpha-numeric code inscribed at the time of manufacture. The manufacture is such that it is
non-duplicable and is tamper- proof. The access control system is integrated with the Building automation system (BAS). Apart from this, the building boasts of an alarm system integrated with an alarm system at the service
building located almost 100 meters away. The power monitoring and the public address system show the massive capability of BAS.

This is the beginning of a tech-savvy era. Today technology has started to make its presence felt in ourday-to-day life. Intelligent buildings are here and it is up to the users of today to decide whether preference should be given to comfort to rule our lives or should we revert back to our life thought to be less-comfortable yet livable?

'published on Shrusti 07-college mag'