Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A stroll through Shuka Vana, Mysore

If you are looking for a weekend getaway from Bangalore, Mysore is one of the place most of us choose. There are lot of things to do in Mysore which is calm, peaceful and pensioners paradise. Last weekend we visited sister in law place in Mysore. Kids were demanding trip to either the Zoo or Palace. Having seen them many times, we definitely weren't in a mood to go there. While contemplating a new place to visit, we decided to go to to Avadhoota Datta Peetam situated on the foothillls of Chamundi Hills.

The Avadoota Datta Peetam or Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Ashrama , as it is popularly known, is not any typical ashrama. The Ashrama, spread over a few acres, houses a Bonsai garden, lots of beautiful sculptures, a massive bird cage, a temple, prayer hall, vintage cars, a park, large Hanuman Statue and many more. Founded by His Holiness Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, Avadhoota Datta Peetham is a world-renowned institution for the social, moral, cultural and spiritual welfare of mankind.
You need at least a day, if you want to explore the whole of Ashram. Our visit was worth, since it caters to everyone's desires. It has a museum for museum lovers(which we skipped due to priorities  and time), Shuka Vana, a bird aviary  and a Bonsai garden for garden lovers. Apart from these it also has large statue of Lord Hanuman, Nada Peetham and Dattatreya Temple for the spirituals.


The Shukha Vana bird aviary encompasses more than 568 species of birds mainly parrots, macaws, horn bills etc most of them from the tropical countries either rescued or bought.  Entry is free to the Shuka Vana. Apart from beautiful birds, another major attraction of this aviary is feeding the birds at a nominal cost and getting clicked with them. I wouldn't recommend the taking photos with Macaws as it is slightly overpriced and the staff are rude. The use of mobile phones is strictly prohibited inside the aviary. The birds are enclosed in cages which is well maintained and taken care of. At the end of the day, I think a few of them are let free in an enclosure. Some of the cockatoos are very adept at mimicking what you say and it was so fun. My son was busy talking with it, seeing it talking back all of us were talking it with, and finally it got confused whom to mimic.



The jewel in the crown was the Kishkinda Moolika Bonsai garden. The entry to Bonsai Garden costs you rs 20, and its just awesome and very well maintained. Here you can see lots of Bonsai, one for each day of the year. Also these Bonsai's are kept with the name of the raaga. I have never been to Bonsai garden before and I was left stunned and thoroughly impressed by this collection.





Both Shuka Vana and the Bonsai garden are the award winning projects of Swamiji.
If you plan to stay or visit Mysore, Karnataka, don't forget to add this in your Must Visit list.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Decor with dry flowers, pods

Living close to nature has been a boon to us. My morning walk is never complete without observing the minute details of the nature. There are lots of trees near our house which bear beautiful flowers. These flowers make their way to my home, as well as their dried version. Here are some ways in which I have incorporated them into my home decor.
Sandpaper vine is most beautiful while in bloom, but dried version is also glorious. I picked up an entire dried twig. Isn't it looking gorgeous? These flowers in an abstract vase and with yellow background looks good in my home.

Decor with dry flowers

The pods of "Pride of India" which are beautiful in their own way. I get different ones each time, half closed, closed and fully open ones. These are brown ones which goes well with any kind of vase either plain ones or designed ones.


Decor with dry flowers



These were few dried wild pumpkin that I picked up on our home from a road trip. They were plain and I could not resist the idea of doodling on them. In this vignette you can also see the pods, the ever blooming dried flower famous in Ooty, India and also some pine cones that we purchased in Ooty.

Decor with dry flowers

If it's India you are sure to spot the May flower or Gulmohar as they are popularly called.While their flowers are irresistible, their pods are also good item for testing your painting skills. Besides making a simple tea light holder from this, these are popular in my home for the fake sword fighting among my kids.


Decor with dry flowers


Some wild grass that I picked up on a day of hot summer. Note that these were already dried due to summer heat and I didn't have to put any effort in drying them.

Decor with dry flowers

And finally, my favorite vignette at home on the coffee table. I randomly put some twigs in tinted glass jars.

Decor with dry flowers

So next time if you come across something like these, be sure to pick them. Turn them to affordable decor piece.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"Kaavi Kale", traditional art of Konkan

Kaavi art

India is a land of traditions and art. There are so many folk, traditional art forms which are still alive, specific to a particular region and being practiced. There are also few art forms which is struggling to find their place either due to lack of patronage or due to lack of people to carry forward the tradition. Once such art which was once popular and slowly declining is the 'Kaavi Kale' of the Konkan Region of India.
'Kaavi Kale' famous in the Konkan areas mainly in Goa, South Canara(Coastal Karnataka) and few parts of coastal Maharashtra. 'Kaavi' is the reddish brown pigment obtained from the laterite soil and 'Kale' means art. The ingredients for this art is abundant in the coastal regions and hence this art finds presence in the Konkan. This is the only color used in these murals and forms a fine example for the monochrome art.
This form of art is said to be originated in Goa and the Saraswats spread them to other regions in the Konkan.
A mixture of burnt snow white lime, river bed sand, jaggery is made initially and left to ferment for two weeks. This mixture is hand pounded to make it smooth, later mixed with Kaavi and smeared on the walls. The desired design is etched on this layer and its smoothened by river pebbles. Water is is sprayed frequently for couple of days while this layer is hardened(It may sound simple but one needs to be expert in etching as well as good in Material Science).
The main features in this art are the deities, floral motifs, and characters from the epics like Ramayana, and Mahabharata. Most of the time the engraving depends on the main deity of the temple.
These murals look outstanding on the white walls and there is no doubt you will be left impressed by their beauty. Sadly in the name of modernization, the Kaavi work is on the verge of getting extinct.


Kaavi art
On the outer walls of Udupi Shri Krishna Temple

Kaavi art
Besides the main entrance(Mukhya Dwara)  of a small temple in Chempi, Udupi


Kaavi Art
Marikamba Temple, Sirsi, Karnataka

Kaavi art
Outside Kaniyoor Math, Udupi, Karnataka

Kaavi art

Friday, May 5, 2017

Works in April

Hello there..
I have been totally away from the blog land. Lot of issues like health, kids exams and then vacation etc. I was present here but my mind inactive for a while. The soaring heat even in the Garden City like Bangalore has added to the list of issues. So here are few things I did in the past month..

I completed a Madhubani painting. This painting had few empty white space, and in the end I messed up by adding more leaves in black color.  I am owl fan and I always wanted to paint owl in Madhubani and this is achieved. I am soon going to try new one as I am not satisfied.


I completed two small level embroideries. These were just to fill the void in the ready kurthas that I bought. I know you would say there is nothing great here,  and I agree to that 😊. Only thing is that the tops have become more wearable like.




What is fascinating nowadays in the silk thread jewelry. Recently I just happened to attend a small party in one of our neighbors and that lady had called her friend who was into Silk Thread jewelry. I saw them and thought I could also try them at home. So for the start up, I just completed a couple of them. I kept them very simple without any embellishments.




So what's happening at your end? Thanks for visiting...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Recycled bottle with dot painting

Thanks for your lovely comments on my previous post, Weekly Market(Santhe)

I have been experimenting with Batik Design Technique on fabric for a long time, I have been successful to get the desired result in few,  and few of them were totally disastrous and unexpected. To take break from that, and to cheer myself I am exploring other crafts which are in my To-Do list.

There are few wine bottles that I have been hoarding for a long time to get them painted.  My first thought was to try dot painting with acrylics on the bottle. Before doing that, I tried dot painting with Fevicryl Liquid embroidery tubes. These are actually used for doing liquid embroidery on fabric but I have used to paint my bottle with them.

Recycled Wine Bottle with dot painting, Fevicryl 3D outliner



I got few limited colors in the shop, and the shop was selling more metallic colors. I bought orange, blue, yellow. I was looking for white color but I got pearly white which I thought was OK and still doable. Before I got started I had to remove the labels from the bottle.

How to remove the labels from bottle
There are methods to remove the labels which many swear by but this following process has most of the time worked for me.
Initially soak the bottle in hot water(not boiling) for about an hour. If the label has any paper part, it would come off with scrubbing.
To take off the tough, sticky glue, apply some oil and baking soda on the sticky label. Leave it for a while(about 10 min). Take a scrubber and scrub the label off. This should get you a sparkling bottle.

How to paint
Fevicryl 3D outliner
I have used the fine tipped pen to draw my designs on the bottle. I didn't go about drawing the entire design initially instead drew only what was necessary. . I just drew step by step, as my design demanded it.  Keep a wet cloth handy, because if you do not like what you have drawn, you can immediately wipe it.
Start with slowly squeezing the bottle. You would get tiny dots, which looks like tiny spikes.

Fevicryl 3D outliner

I tried first on the plain glass bottle, free hand without any particular design in mind. I am happy how both have turned out. Best way show them off is to have golden pothos in them.

Linking this post to Craft Schooling Sunday by Creative Jewish Mom


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Our Weekly Market(Santhe)

Have you ever visited the weekly market or the 'Santhe' that they are locally called? If you have not done it yet, you can do it here, on this post. Santhes are small local vegetable markets arranged on the outskirts of the city/village. The vegetables here are fresh, cheap, and more organic than you think. I bet once you start visiting them, you would never want to buy the vegetables and fruits from the malls and supermarkets any more.

Santhe, Village Market

How are these markets different from the farmers market in other countries? These markets sell many other things apart from fruits and vegetables. The vegetables that are sold here are either locally grown or bought bulk from the main market of the city. For e.g. I am regular at these markets and I often purchase spinach and coriander from a lady who grows them.  I buy it mainly because they look sooo FRESH!!!

During the years of transferable job, whenever we relocated to a new city my father's first lookout was to find a place to get vegetable and fruits freshly. That tradition is instilled into me.  For me it's just 10 minute drive from my house and this distance makes me more certain to visit every week.
Being a regular visitor, I am acquainted with few lady sellers, and after a small chat they offer me extra discount on already discounted price.

Santhes are indispensable of many villagers in Indian Villages. A cluster of villages say 4 or 5 will have one market. For most of the villagers living nearby, this is also one stop groceries mart. That is why you see pulses, spices, flowers,utensils etc. being sold in the same platform as the vegetables. The sellers set up make shift tents or more fortunate ones will have a reserved place under the government designated large open shed with a roof.

Santhe, Village Market

Santhe, Village Market
Homemakers, husbands, restaurant workers, villagers and people from different walk of life flock the village markets to buy their daily needs
If you go at the end of the day everything is even more cheap, as most of the sellers would be calling it a day and packing their stuff. This is also the reason the Santhes are over crowded in the evening.
Here you could buy vegetables weight wise or heap wise. The sellers divide the vegetables into small heap, the usual price of which is merely 10 Indian Rupees.

Santhe, Village Market

Santhe, Village Market

Santhe, Village Market



Santhe, Village Market

Santhe, Village Market

Apart from my usual vegetables and fruits, I have bought many plants, clay pots from the sellers here which are seasonal. Hope you enjoyed the small tour of the market.
Linking this post to Our World Tuesday

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Displaying artworks in a small space

When we were living in a rented home our display of paintings were limited to the number of nails in the house. This deterred from hoarding or buying any paintings. After we moved to our own space there is still a limitation on this because my husband is averse to the idea of drilling holes through the wall. I keep telling him that I want of a wall full of paintings and he keeps telling me to forget it. I have been collecting Indian Folk paintings and art works and few I have done on my own. If you have drilling restriction like me or have space constraint here are few cool ideas to display the paintings and art works. Your beautiful wall is left untouched and you could have a transformed space every time. Let us see how we can achieve it in a small way.

1. Lean the framed art works against the wall layering it slightly. This works best if you have symmetric paintings. You could hide half of the painting with another one. This is how I have done in my home. Two of these paintings are larger than A3 Size, and for the time being I have put them on top of the T.V. unit. They are a big attention grabber as soon as someone enters home.


2. Second one is to have a floating shelves and show off the paintings along with other artifacts. 


3.If the art work is big and you do not have that much space then leave it on the floor.



4. On top of the book case and behind the books.


5.I love this idea of hanging kids art works in clothes pin and have to implement this idea sometimes soon. This way I can put their first art work, gradually telling how they have done better.

My favorite one and which I follow all the time, display them on shelves along with your books. And yes, for that special effect add a tinge of greenery. I keep rotating the decor here with books, artifacts and lastly painting. Isn't it an awesome idea??