Crafts & Creativity: Multi-Talented Preethi Venugopal

Can you make flowers from plastic bags and tulips from sock? Yes, it is possible!

Preethi Venugopal – a civil engineer from Bangalore, India inspires us with that creativity in her to make flowers from plastic bags, even tulips from nylon sock. 

Preethi is currently on a sabbatical. She was interested in crafts right from her school days. The best thing about her is she also teach crochet, crafts and arts to kids in her neighborhood for free.

She is an active on blogger ( Her talents expands beyond making crafts. She also makes pencil and charcoal portraits on demand, paints when she finds the mood for it.

She is proficient in acrylics, watercolor and oil paints, likes digital painting as well and often experiment with Adobe Photoshop.

We are happy to share a few of her tutorials here on Propel Steps,

Steps to make flowers using plastic bags:

Step (1): Cut in the indicated areas to get a rectangular sheet.

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Step (2): Cut the rectangular sheet into strips of equal width. Depending upon the width of the cover you can make different sizes of flowers. Make a minimum of 6 similar strips and stack them together

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Step (3): Make pleats on them (stacked together) of half inch wide throughout

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Step (4): Now tie a thread/ plastic strip/ in the middle. If you want the flower to have a stem tie with metal wire instead of plastic strip.

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Step (5): Now cut petal shape on both sides

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Step (6): This is how it will look

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Step (7): Now start pulling up the individual layers on both sides of the tie

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Step (8):  This is how it looks after pulling out one side completely. Continue pulling out the layers on both sides of the tie.

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Step (9): Two flowers that I made in similar fashion

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Step (10): Now add it to a bouquet or make one out of a similar bunch of flowers


Steps to make Tulips from nylon sock:

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It is pretty easy once you get the idea of how to make a single petal.

For making this, the materials we need are:

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  • Nylon sock : Cream and Green color (as you prefer)
  • Two empty bottles of slightly different diameter : ( I took 5 cm and 6cm dia bottles respectively to loop the wire around to create petals and leaves)
  • Cutting Plier
  • Scissors
  • Nylon Thread
  • Metal Wire : Gold Colour
  • Flower tape: Green
  • Anther

All these materials will be available in craft shops.

First wind the gold wire on the bottles to form loops and tie them tight using a cutting player. Make 3 smaller petals using 5 cm dia bottle and three larger petals by looping around the 6 cm dia bottle. For the 2 green leaves loop around the two bottles kept side by side together so that you get a larger loop.

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Add a central connecting wire : For the 3 bigger petals and the 2 leaves,give a central connecting wire as shown in the above picture using the cutting player. This central wire is important to give the shape to the Tulip.

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Wrap the sock around wire petal: Now wrap around the 6 petals with cream nylon sock and the 2 leaf petals with green sock and tie them up using the nylon thread.

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Anthers fixed to the stem: Now twist three 15 cm long wires and tie them together. Wind the green flower tape to create a stem. Now tie the Anthers onto the stem with nylon thread.

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Tie the petals upside down : Now tie the 3 larger petals upside down followed by the 3 smaller petals.
It will look like this after tying like this.

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Petals tied upside down : Now slowly pull them up one by one bringing the shape of the Tulip like this.

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Pull the petals up: Tie the leaves in a similar manner on the stem at different positions and gently shape the petals and leaves like this.

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Add the leaves : Now wind the flower tape around the leaves to hide the thread.
You are done!!!

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Make many to make a bouquet or give it pride of place on your dining table as a single flower arrangement…!!!

Recycling is not the only solution to reduce the adverse effect of the plastic bags, sometimes an artistic mind with little effort can help us to lengthen the usage / reuse the plastic bags. Rather ending up on garbage we can prolong their utility by making flower / crafts out of them. May be someday our technologies will find an efficient way to dispose them safely compared to now, till that we can make it decorate our home, instead of making landfills.

Please visit her blog Tulips and Me for more of her works and wonderful pencil portraits.

A sample of her work. Hindu God : Baby Krishna

A sample of her work. Hindu God : Baby Krishna


Courtesy : Preethi Venugopal , Tulips and Me and Indiblogger

Alert! : Going to the ATM? Precautions : A Woman brutally attacked in ATM

You must have come across this news, it happened not in an isolated village ATM but in Bangalore. A woman was brutally attacked by a robber with a machete ( a heavy knife ). She survived it but the barbarian escaped and till now not arrested in spite of having a video footage of all his act of cowardice and brutality. A big question is are these CCTVs aren’t lively monitored by anyone? If not, what the heck the use of these cameras? Why there is no surveillance facility to monitor the CCTV cams of ATMs 24×7 live? They can notify police in case of any robbery, violence or theft. Banks can appoint them or outsource it as well. There are so many jobless and even students can do this job part-time. As appointing a security guard for all the ATMs could be an additional measure but that alone is not a complete fool proof way. 

Before you go to any ATM, please follow these steps.

1. It is absolutely fine to stand in a line of 4 people, always prefer ATM in a crowded place.  Mostly, Avoid going alone to ATMs in a remote location, which has no security. Make plans and withdraw cash in advance. Always keep some extra cash as a backup / emergency, so that it reduces the chances of visiting ATMs frequently. If you are a father or a husband, always ensure women from your home has enough cash as a reserve so that they do not need to visit the ATM alone.

2. If you can talk along your friend / relative with you it is more advisable to ask him/her to wait outside for you and if anything happens odd they can always call the Police immediately. If no one else is there, just call / text a friend that you are going to the ATM and will text / call back in 5 mins, not only ATMs whenever women go outside to a new place, it’s always better to keep the concerned people informed. 

3. If you find anybody locked inside the shutter, please do not panic and run. Also not to try to get in to ATM to do any heroic activity, because it may cause the culprit go mad and cause damage to your life as well as the victims. Just lock the Shutter from outside, inform the police, then warn the culprit from outside not to harm the victim, negotiate that if he not harm the victim you will let him go, just manage till the police comes and they can sedate and capture the culprit or any other way they can save the victim.

4. If you are locked inside, do not try to fight the robber unless you are trained martial arts. Just withdraw the amount and give and let him go. Because there is a CCTV footage of his face you can retrieve your money later. Even if it is not gonna return, let it be, your soul is worth a lot than the money.

Be Safe! Where ever you are. 

Sick of idiots who do not value a life and after all they cannot steal more money than the withdrawal limit. Is that the worth of a soul in India? The future has to answer. Please share your opinions on this and how effective we can include technology and security to prevent any such happening in future.

– Words by Din


20 News Daily : Nov.21.2013

  1. Bangalore, Chennai top on website’s bribe index, cash paid totals Rs 23cr

  2. Andhra Pradesh set to face cyclone Helen’s wrath 

  3. Jailed persons can contest polls

  4. Now, schools impart lessons in kitchen gardening

  5. Bangalore woman attacked in ATM

  6. Nigerian held with Rs 1cr drugs

  7. Yahoo to encrypt all users’ data

  8. Facebook defends beheadings footage

  9. Afghan-US security deal ‘finalised

  10. Ancient Egyptians mummified food for afterlife

  11. Scientists use CT scans, 3-D printers to recreate fossils

  12. New insights into evolution of Earth’s atmosphere

  13. World Philosophy Day

  14. Number of migratory birds declines

  15. Blood test can predict life expectancy

  16. Oxford’s word of the year: Selfie!

  17. Children ‘slower than parents were’

  18. An underwater hotel opens in Africa 

  19. Day in pictures

  20. China retains supercomputer crown

Courtesy & Sources : BBC, Times of India, The Hindu

Kudos : Doodle 4 Google : India Winner n Runner ups Doodles Gallery

Sky's The Limit For Indian Women : Gayatri Ketharaman

Sky’s The Limit For Indian Women : Gayatri Ketharaman

The Children’s Day doodle on the Google India home page has been designed by a class 10 student from Pune. The doodle titled “Sky’s the limit for Indian women” has been designed by Gayatri Ketharaman for the fifth edition of Doodle 4 Google competition with the theme celebrating Indian women.

“Each letter of the doodle depicts the trait of Indian women. She is graceful and elegant, adept at balancing work and home. She is a go-getter and also personifies motherhood,” said Gayatri Ketharaman, a student of Bishop’s co-education school in Pune.

This year the competition received 1.5 lakh entries in the contest held across 100 cities and 1,500 schools. The winner was selected from among 12 finalists chosen from different parts of the country by the national jury comprising actress Kirron Kher and political cartoonist Ajit Ninan. Along with the national winner, three students grouped into different categories were also awarded.

Madhuram Vatsal from Lucknow won the prize in Class one to three category, while Binita Biswajeeta from Odisha with her doodle ‘Women are future, empower them better’ won in Class four to six category, and Akash Shetty from Bangalore with doodle titled ‘Indian women leading our country’ won in the Class seven to ten category.

Here are the Doodles of other finalists

Class 7-10 Category

Nari, Tere Roop Anek Devanshi Das, Delhi Public School, Faridabad

Nari, Tere Roop Anek
Devanshi Das, Delhi Public School, Faridabad

My doodle shows different shades of Indian Women. ‘G’ is the Indian Bride cald in traditional red saree, epitome of grace and beauty. First ‘O’ is the symbol of Womenhood and second shows the goddess in her representing her inner strength. ‘G’ represents her most important role as a mother. The happiness and contentment is clearly visible on her face. ‘L’ and ‘E’ present the women with power as a warrior. – Devanshi Das, Delhi Public School, Faridabad

Indian Women Leading Our Country Akash Shetty, St Aloysius High School, Mangalore

Indian Women Leading Our Country
Akash Shetty, St Aloysius High School, Mangalore

It is not always that man make history, women do that to. Nobody can forget the contributions of women like Indira Gandhi, Rani Laxmi bai, Kalpana Chawla, Mery Kom, Saina Nehwal. These women have contributed to make our country proud – Akash Shetty, St Aloysius High School, Mangalore

Many Facets of India Women Vinni Malik, The Emerald Heights International School, Indore

Many Facets of India Women
Vinni Malik, The Emerald Heights International School, Indore

In my doodle, I have shown women working in various feilds like sports, writing, singing and dancing. One could see that the condition of women in society has improved alot. They have progressed from the boudaries of kitchens to the space beyond earth. There is nothing women can’t do. – Vinni Malik, The Emerald Heights International School, Indore

Class 4-6 Category

Celebrating Indian Women Prakhar Singh, St. Francis's College, Lucknow

Celebrating Indian Women
Prakhar Singh, St. Francis’s College, Lucknow

Indian Women are blessed with a diverse personality. They respect the bond of marriage and care for their children. They are equally successful in their professional lives too.. They are astraunauts, lawyers, sportsperson and administrators as well.. This is what my doodle depicts. – Prakhar Singh, St. Francis’s College, Lucknow

Celebrating Indian Women Dikshitha S, St. Charles High School, Bangalore

Celebrating Indian Women
Dikshitha S, St. Charles High School, Bangalore

Women’s status in the society has highly developed. They are being successful in all fields. I feel they have become more independent in today’s world so I have tried to incorporate it by showing it with various colours. Their freedom is represented by the colors – Dikshitha S, St. Charles High School, Bangalore

Women & Children Working In Different Ways Ayan Yasin Shaikh, St. Joseph High School, New Panvel, Mumbai

Women & Children Working In Different Ways
Ayan Yasin Shaikh, St. Joseph High School, New Panvel, Mumbai

Women in India now participate fully in areas such as education, sports, politics, media, art and culture. My doodle represents the life of an Indian Women… – Ayan Yasin Shaikh, St. Joseph High School, New Panvel, Mumbai


Women Are Future, Empower Them Better
Binita Biswajeeta, D.A.V Public School, Balasore, Odissa

In my doodle, Indian Women has encapsulated Google logo representing Past, Present and Future. ‘G’reat warrior, ‘O’mni Talented, ‘O’rbital Queen, ‘G’amesmanship at International level, ‘L’ata mangeshkar, India’s Nightingale, ‘E’ternal Mother Teresa – Binita Biswajeeta, D.A.V Public School, Balasore, Odissa

Class 1-3 Category

Mother Of India Avipsha Das, Loreto Day School, Sealdah, Kolkata

Mother Of India
Avipsha Das, Loreto Day School, Sealdah, Kolkata

Indian Women is the real poradox. She has reached unattained heights of success in terms of profession, social status and education. The modern Indian Women have honed their skills and jumped into battlefield of life, fighting against social restrictions, emotional ties, religious boudaries and culture barriers – Avipsha Das, Loreto Day School, Sealdah, Kolkata

Today's Indian Women Soham Patil, Vidyashilp Public School, Pune

Today’s Indian Women
Soham Patil, Vidyashilp Public School, Pune

The women in India is now making a great progress in all the areas such as sports, education, science, environment, fashion etc. They have also won prestigious contests all across the globe – Soham Patil, Vidyashilp Public School, Pune

Roles Of Indian Women Shreya Pandey, K V Hebbar, Bangalore

Roles Of Indian Women
Shreya Pandey, K V Hebbar, Bangalore

This doodle represents the different roles played by an Indian Women. She not only does the household work but are also involved in other professions. Thus, she plays a vital role in society – Shreya Pandey, K V Hebbar, Bangalore

Celebrating Indian Women Madhuram Vatsal, St. Francis's College, Lucknow

Celebrating Indian Women
Madhuram Vatsal, St. Francis’s College, Lucknow

my doodle shows all the forms of Indian Women – a learner, a warrior, a goddess, a dancer, a scholar and a jewellery lover – Madhuram Vatsal, St. Francis’s College, Lucknow

All these Kids deserves appreciation and we hope Google will reach the rural parts too in the coming future. There are many potential kids there too 🙂

Source & Courtesy :, IBN

Tribute : Shakuntala Devi “Human Computer”



In 1977 in USA she competed with a computer to see who gives the cube root of 188,132,517 faster, she won. That same year, at the Southern Methodist University she was asked to give the 23rd root of a 201-digit number; she answered in 50 seconds. Her answer—546,372,891—was confirmed by calculations done at the U.S. Bureau of Standards by the Univac 1101 computer, for which a special program had to be written to perform such a large calculation.

On June 18, 1980, she demonstrated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779 picked at random by the Computer Department of Imperial College, London. She correctly answered 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 in 28 seconds. This event is mentioned in the 1982 Guinness Book of Records.

Shakuntala Devi (November 4, 1929 – April 21, 2013), popularly known as the “Human Computer”, was a child prodigy and mental calculator. Her talents earned her a place in the 1982 edition of The Guinness Book of World Records.

Google, on Monday Nov.4,2013, celebrated mathematics wizard Shakuntala Devi’s 84th birthday with a doodle. 

Shakuntala Devi was born in Bangalore, India, to an orthodox Kannada Brahmin family. Her father rebelled against becoming a temple priest and instead joined a circus where he worked as a trapeze artist, lion tamertightrope walker and magician. Devi’s father discovered her ability to memorize numbers while teaching her a card trick when she was about three years old. Her father left the circus and took her on road shows that displayed her ability at number crunching. She was able to do this without any formal education. By age six she demonstrated her calculation and memorization abilities at the University of Mysore.

In 1944 Devi moved to London with her father. She returned to India in the mid-1960s and married Paritosh Bannerji, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service from Kolkata. She and her husband were divorced in 1979. Devi returned to Bangalore in the early 1980s.

Devi travelled the world demonstrating her arithmetic talents, including a tour of Europe in 1950 and a performance in New York in 1976. In 1988 she returned to the US to have her abilities studied by Arthur Jensen, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Jensen tested her performance at several tasks, including the calculations of large numbers; Examples of the problems presented to Devi were calculating the cube root of 61,629,875, and the seventh root of 170,859,375. Jensen reported that Devi was able to provide the solution to the aforementioned problems (the answers being 395 and 15 respectively) before Jensen was able to copy them down in his notebook. Jensen published his findings in the academic journal Intelligence in 1990.

In addition to her work as a mental calculator, Devi was an astrologer and an author of several books, including cookbooks and fictional novels.


Courtesy : Google and Wikipedia