In a crafty mood

6:05 PM

When I was living in Switzerland, there were lots of handicraft supplies shops, enough material to fuel my imagination and fill my craft boxes...BUT...I had too little time to get involved into crafty activities.

I moved to India,  and gave all my stuff to friends who liked to get creative before leaving. And now I have a lot more free time but no supplies. WORSE it seems that they are damn hard to find. 
When I was living in Chennai the "Landmark" book store there had decent artist paints and supplies but nothing fancy. I bought some paper and paint and had a friend send me loads of beads and threads from Switzerland.
Now I'm in Bangalore and the "Landmark" here is pathetic when it comes to paint and ribbons. They usually look at you as if you came from another planet when you ask for "acrylic paint" and hand you fabric paint failing to tell you it's powdered and tell you to use it exactly like poster paint...of course once you bought the transparent medium to get your powder to be turned into paint that is (which you only realise you have to do once back home). You also need to ask twice for super glue before they understand and apparently have no idea what a poster pin, or board pin is.

No loose feathers, no colorful beads, no glitter paint, glue gun, nails, or stencils, no empty clay pots, sequins, or plain wooden crates. No blank items to personnalise, and forget about glass paint. I'm sure they must exist somewhere, just not in a convenient place for me to visit, the whole sale market is miles away from my place and I dont really feel confident venturing in it. 
What I miss, is a big "supermarket" like store that sell all those under one roof, including hardware stuff, such as screws, hammers, saws, and nails...why? Because as a woman I simply don't have the guts to go at the counter of a roadside hardware store. The world of tools here is still pretty much masculine and a woman who knows how to handle a saw is simply not a notion commonly entertained around here. I don't have the patience to deal with a sexist shopkeeper that will fail to understand any English just because a woman shows up at his counter.

I'm an upholsterer and interior decorator by profession. I'm the queen of do it yourself, can even build a bookshelf from scratch and add home made candles to decorate it. And I could as well as repaint the living room and sew curtains...The only problem with India is that there is too much cheap labor available and people don't go in the habit of getting down and dirty with those crafty projects. 
But seriously as I look how my flat has been painted, I could have done a 10 time better job than this so called painter (in Switzerland you have to attend professional school for 3 years to call yourself one). I would have made mosquito nets that  properly fit my windows, and if I had the proper tools I would never ever have to wait on an electritian or a plumber to solve basic household issues. We wait and wait and wait some more for a plumber, electritian, painter, or any handiman just because it's not the norm to do those stuff yourself and whats more you pay extra for the handywork to get a super awful job done...

I have dreams of handmade photoframes, cabinets, potted plants, and lampshade and no means to realise those projects. I feel totally disabled, and now keep an eye open for those stuff because as soon as I see something, I buy it. Just because that will still be one thing stroke down on my list of supplies, wether I need it right away or not.
To make me feel even worse about my unability to craft, there are all those very very very interesting shows on the discovery travel & living channel such as : Monster house, while you were out, trading spaces... which has my imagination run wild and yet I'm still unable to do anything about it.

Dear readers, if you know a big craft and art supply store in central Bangalore please please please let me know about it, I'll be one very very happy girl. And who knows I might post pictures of my creations on this blog for you to see...do I appear to be begging here?

2014 update!
If you reached this very very old entry in one of your google search. Know that things in India have changed a lot, craft supplies are way easier to find, most stationnary shops now keep them. You also find a lot of things available online, on Flipkart, Amazon and a special craft supplies company called itsy bitsy. You can even find basic tools online as well. Hardware stores are still a bit creepy to visit as a woman, but there are some that are friendly enough if you just get over your initial anxiety and go there with a very specific need in mind.


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