Tuesday, 16 December 2014

LET'S SAVE in this HOLIDAY!

Here is a small and very easy holiday project.
Let's learn the art of saving a little.
"Money saved is money earned"

Take a small can with a lid

Turn the can upside down and mark a line big enough for the coin of largest size in the center of the flat surface(look inset picture)
Now with the help of chisel and hammer carefully open up this mark

Now look inside the tin and try to fold in the raw edges and hammer them down inside the tin
Next tape this edges from inside the tin. This is now safe for even a child try to pick out coin from inside the tin(look at inset picture)

Measure any fancy paper or felt for the outer surfaces of the tin and cut them out. Apply craft glue on the surface of the tin(inset picture)
Neatly fix the paper on the tin can.

Decorate the tin cans with stickers or any thing you like. Once the lid is ON you have a coin slit in the tin and your bank is ready

Save all the coins in the house and have fun...
MERRY CHRISTMAS
and
WARM WISHES FOR THE COMING NEW YEAR!

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Sunday, 14 December 2014

West Bengal handicrafts Fair-2014

Every time winters come with holidays, picnics, exhibitions, bright colours, excursions and lots of fun
We went to West Bengal State Handicrafts Fair
Come have a glimpse with me

Here is a village craftsman painting beautiful wall hangings with tribal art.

Crafts men at work making masterpieces

Womenfolk making mats
behind one can see many items made of mats

 Flowers in full bloom, is it spring?
look closely these are dry flowers made of dry seeds and shola(stem of a plant)
Also note the craved bamboo vases in the bottom left corner

Ooh! the saree stalls!
So much of kantha work here

Best creation in the world just for me,
My Hubby and my dear cubs Aarotrika and Adhrit
They just finished eating candy

 Here are jute in many colours, plaited and made into various decorative and daily use items

 Don't you think I have reached some mysterious land where everything has turned into terracotta(burnt clay) by some wizard

The men at work with their instruments, men selling fresh fruits and vegetables, the baul singers, the tribals,...
beautifully handmade of soft riverbed clay and painted

 This fine painting on Taalpatra(leaf of palm tree), an ancient art form

 Can you guess what are these lobsters, birds, etc. made of?
Buffalo horn

This is a single wood panel with Durga carved on it and is about 7feet high.
Also like the owl sitting infront

Oh its already dark and time to leave.
Will come back again
or go to some place new
Shall definitely take you along... 


Saturday, 15 November 2014

GO GREEN!

Time to go green with matching hair band.

Here is the list of required materials for making this green hair band. A simple hair band, an array of green ribbons, white craft glue and all purpose fast adhesive.

 Start from the beginning, from one end of the band and finish when you reach the other end. Apply white craft glue on the band a small portion at a time and wrap tightly the dotted satin ribbon around it, till you have completely covered the band. You have already got a green band now.

With a needle and thread do run stitch along one long side of one inch green ribbon, pull the thread to form a tight ruffled ribbon, twist and stitch and secure with glue to make this green flower.

Now with all purpose fast adhesive fix the fancy flower atop the stitched flower. Wait till dry.
 

Use needle and thread and adhesive to fix the flower on the band, and its ready.

Here is Aarotrika modeling her green hair band.
Go ahead make your own band
any colour
fancy...

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Sunday, 12 October 2014

DURGA PUJA-9: MAHANAVAMI & DASHAMI

As per Hindu calender timings this time all puja were early in the morning.
We had Mahanavami and Dashami on the same day.

Devi Durga on the MahaNavami

Here the Purohit-moshai(Priest) is giving directions for the Havan(prayer offered in presence of fire with chanting of mantras or holy verses). He forced my hubby to change into white Dhoti(long white cloth wore as lowers), tie a gamcha pagri(head gear) and also have a paatvastra(the orange cloth around his neck with deity names on it) before he sat to perform Havan in behalf of the whole community.

Havan
My daughter Aarotrika on my husband's right and son sitting on his left. They were mesmerized by the fire. 

Dashami Puja is over
We did Boron were in the Devi and her family are bade farewell just the way a married daughter is bade farewell when she proceeds for her  husband's home after her stay in Maike(mother's home).
This was followed by Sindoor khala, wherein all married women apply sindoor to each other and share sweets
Me in a red Taant saari holding Aarotrika

 Tearful moment
The Devi is going back to her abode
Visarjan
We went to ghaat(river bank) to witness Visarjan(immersion)

The holy water from the river was brought home and sprinkled.

बोलो बोलो दूर्गा  माई की... जय 
आश्चे बोछोर आबार होबे 
Next year we shall again have Durga Puja
have already started waiting...

Saturday, 11 October 2014

DURGA PUJA-8: MAHASHTAMI & SANDHI PUJA

Mahashtami started early and ended with beautiful Sandhi Puja

It was fun waking up at 3am before dawn to go to Pandaal for making Mool Bhog(Anna or cereal prasaad for the Gods) for Ashthami
followed by Ashthami pushpanjali
then
Sandhi Puja

The 108 diyas were placed in shape of Devi's footprint
108 Lotus were bloomed
108 dhan(rice with husk) tied
108 dub(three branched grass tips) tied
 Best is when we all come together to lit the diyas with chanting of mantras

It is a pretty sight to behold

 Sandhyaarti time

Along with the Dhaak  and Dhuno(a type of dry gum from plants which when burnt gives out lovely scent)

Devi more beautiful on the Ashthami

Here is Dhunochi dance

My little ones performed in a group dance
Aarotrika woke up early after her afternoon nap
Time to get ready
I put nail paint on her for the first time.
Aarotrika was thrilled, a step towards growing up

Aalta(red colour) on feet
Payal
Bangles

May God protect her from all evil
 

 They danced to tunes of
"Ek ekke ek
dui du guni chaar..."
"1x1=1
2x2=4..."
The song says that children in the school are restless to see the preparations for Durga puja, can no more concentrate on studies...
 They even got lovely prizes for their performances
Kids: Adhrit, Aarotrika and Upasana
That's me on the right in the red Kantha saari

  After the Puja and all cultural events

Friday, 10 October 2014

DURGA PUJA-7: SAPTAMI

The days unfold so quick at times
Saptami is here

In the evening of Saptami in front of Devi Durga, a painting competition for the kids was organized
The winners
Adhrit also won 3rd prize in under 5yrs age catagory

My darlings at very hard work
Had to keep imploring my younger one, Adhrit to colour a little more as there is more time left

So many enthusiastic kids putting their imaginations on paper with colours
 
 Following the competition was Aarti along with Dhuno and Dhaak

Monday, 6 October 2014

DURGA PUJA-6: DURGASHASHTHI & PANDAAL HOPPING

Durgashashthi is here
Mothers ask for blessing for their children


We went Pandaal hopping in late morning
It rained here
Here's glimpse of a Pandaal in the shape of boat
Devi Durga is said to have come to her parent's house Earth on a boat this year

The rain stopped
Here is a small road off the main road and
we spot a beautiful Pandaal
The entrance

The entrance gateway
adorned in paintings and terracotta bells

Inside there were panels with many more paintings

 The Goddess with her family

There were many panels of paintings all around the pandaal

Each painting telling a folklore or

Religious story

 Another panel with Devi Durga, Laxmi, Saraswati, Ganesha, Kartike, lion and the demon Mahishasoor

 A little ahead another Pandaal in rich red colour

 Yet another neat and nice Devi murti

We went again at night
This Pandaal is in Gariyahaat

 You can see the croud
After crossing the croud we reached the Puja sthal, lovely

Here the decoration of the pandaal is with thin plywood, burlap and thermacol; and all coloured in sandstone shade
The walls and ceiling remind you of sand stone carved temples of Rajasthan

Neatly designed Pandaal closeby

Inside was a huge murti

I loved this Pandaal from Hindustaan Park
Very innovative
Verry interesting
The Gateway

From the ceiling is dangling shankha-pola (auspicious bangle of married bengali women). so many that can't see the ceiling

All the construction is with bamboo covered with Laal paar shada saari( red bordered white saari), sindoor (vermilon), diyas(lamps), shankha-pola(auspicious bangle of married bengali women) and red jaaba flower(Hibiscus)

All the statues of deities are made with cloth 

Stories from Devi Durga and Kali potrayed

Another small entrance to the main hall

Paintings of Shakti

 Mystical
Red sindoor
Jaba phool
Big eyes
Laal paar shada saari

Garbhagriha of Pandaal
Beautiful statue
Simple but striking decor

The ceiling of the same pandaal
painting and Laal paar shada saari

There are Pandaal at stone throw distance
Roads are full of excited people who come out just like me and you to see all the creative Pandaal and Devi murtis
The stalls are full of array of delicious fast foods
Some stalls for books, toys and decorative items
The air has the smell of Dhuno
Maa Durga is amongst us