Category Archives: art

Celebrating Ganesha’s Arrival with Art

Ganesha Chaturthi is around the corner. The festival of welcoming the elephant God home is celebrated in most parts of India and is especially popular among the people residing on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent.

It is a 10 day long festival, during which Lord Ganesha, the God of wisdom and prosperity, is welcomed to various households. After worshipping his idols for these 10 days, starting with Ganesha Chaturthi, the idols are immersed in water bodies, symbolic that the elephant God fills the house with happiness and prosperity, and takes away all the negativity with Him, only to come back the next year, with the same fervour and the same purpose.

As the air is imbued with the excitement around Ganapati celebrations, the media is already abuzz with articles related to the festival, the best pandal (Read: temporary shrine) in town, the best place to get modaks (Ganesha’s favourite sweet) to offer to Lord Ganesha, the new eco-friendly Ganesha statue, the best Ganesha sand art, Ganapati Goodies, and the list is endless.

While some people around the world find different ways to impress the Lord of Good beginnings and others try to take business advantage from the current buzz around Ganapati celebrations, I express my love and devotion to my favourite Lord through this simple, yet close to my heart painting.

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Being an ardent deity of Ganapati, His painting was the first that I made when I picked the paintbrush after years (may be only after the school art classes). This painting is extremely special to me and beautifies one of the walls of the Pooja (Read Prayer) room of my house.

Hope you like this!

The Henna of Celebrations

In India, the festive and wedding seasons are around the corner and so is the time for celebrations. And the word celebrations brings with it fun, entertainment, food, dancing, singing, culture specific traditions and rituals, dressing up, decorations, and above all thanking God for all the positivity around with lots of offerings in the form of prayers and fasting. I am sure to have left out a long list of things that are an integral part of Indian traditions apart from the aforementioned ones.

But one thing I personally love and can never forget is the tradition of putting Henna (Mehendi) designs on hands and feet during all these celebrations. Be it weddings or festivals, henna forms an important part of celebrations in the culturally diverse land of India.

Tattooing henna designs is such a craze in India that during festive time a visit to even a local market would expose you to a number of henna artists ready to show their skills on your hands and feet for a charge, of course. In fact, it’s a windfall time for the henna artists around this time.

Even women and girls are near experts when it comes to henna tattooing in many households and can dye hands of family and friends in henna with panache and in no time.

People say that it’s very auspicious for women (even the grooms for their wedding day) to put henna on their hands and feet.

Though, putting henna on hands and feet of women has religious link ups, many elders say that henna can change your fate lines and bring good luck. 🙂

Well, as I grew up I came to realize what it really meant when elders said about the fate changing qualities of henna. They say that our entire life’s fate is written in the lines of our hand and feet. Therefore, for me putting henna is nothing but a way of dyeing your hands and feet in beautiful designs and forgetting about all your troubles for those celebratory moments and enjoying them to the fullest.

It’s also a way of distressing and taking a break from the humdrum tasks (especially during festivities), I believe. The gorgeous designs and the fragrance of henna are relaxing for many. The comparison among girls about whose henna design is the darkest and whose husband loves her most, is a common humour related to henna tattooing among Indian women.

As a kid I remember being super excited around the festive season because Mom would put a new henna pattern on my hands. As we grew up, I and my sisters took to making some henna designs after imitating from magazines and now the Internet. 🙂

I love doing henna designs myself. 🙂 Here are a couple of designs I made for some festivals last year and desperately waiting for this year’s festivals to get down to some henna tattooing.

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I know these aren’t the best and there are people who are much better at this. But the idea was to rev up the festive fervour and bring in some feel of celebrations.

Hope you liked reading! 🙂

Art and Emotions in One Frame

A few days back, when I was busy completing yet another craft project, my mom came up to me and stretched out her hand to give me something and said, ‘Can you make something for this?’ On realizing what she was handing over to me, my eyes welled up with tears. It was mom and dad’s first photograph after marriage.

They had kept it preserved since 1965 and gleefully narrated the day they had gone to get the picture clicked at a famous studio in Connaught Place, Delhi (India). A few days after their wedding mom and dad went to get their first professionally clicked photograph as a couple. On that day, dad adorned his favorite black suit and mom wore a pretty orange sari, along with her wedding jewelry. I love this photograph of mom and dad and till date we tell mom that they made for the most charming couple we have ever seen.

After we had refurnished the house some years back, the photograph had been taken off the photo frame and kept safely in a plastic wrap to make space for new show pieces and other family photos.

Ever since we lost dad a few years back, mom had very rarely mentioned to us about dad and how much she missed her life partner. That day when mom handed me the photograph felt as if she was asking me to help her revive and relive her long forgotten moments and feel dad’s presence in her life.

I could not have let go of a chance to get some positive vibes to mom’s life and especially when she was the one keen on that. That’s when I decided to make a photo frame for the picture, rather than purchasing one.

Some online tutorials and my creativity helped me create a lovely cardboard photo frame to fit my favorite photograph. I added to its beauty by using quilling art and some Fevicryl Golden Glitter Glue to decorate it.

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I was the most satisfied when the best feedback for the picture frame came from mom when she said, ‘tune to char chand laga diye humari photo par’ (An idiom used in Hindi to tell that a thing looks prettier that before).

The Photo in its frame sits beautifully on a showcase in the living room of my house and usually gets an appreciative notice from the guests.

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Hope you like this.

First 500 Likes!

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Its just been a little under two months when I published my first post on ‘A Homemaker’s World’ and I proudly mention the first 500 likes on my blog.

Thank you all for appreciating and encouraging me with your compliments every time I post on the blog.

This means a lot to me and will definitely take my zest for writing more interesting posts and articles one step ahead.

Hugs!!

Extending My Best Wishes via Hand Painted Gift Tags

I keep taking up a lot of art and craft projects to make something new and useful for my home and loved ones and most often use handmade paper as the base. Since the paper does not get used entirely, I am left with lots of pieces of handmade paper, big and small.

Handmade paper forms a raw yet colourful and ‘no-so-plain’ background for the art piece as well as gives sturdiness to the final product, making it last longer. Broadly, it makes for a perfect base to portray my creativity with colours and the paintbrush.

My sheer adoration for the paper makes me think of new ways to creatively utilize the leftover pieces.

The idea of making Gift Tags or Congratulatory Message Cards on Gifts popped up in my mind and I started my new craft DIY project. 🙂

Method:

  • Cut the paper into equal rectangular shapes, which forms the basic shape for the gift tag
    • You can take any shape you prefer, i.e. diamond, circular, oval or square, but make sure that there is enough space on the paper to decorate as well as write a congratulatory message 🙂
  • You can start by making a rough sketch/drawing of the design/shape you wish to put on the gift tag
    • If you are an expert artist, skip this step and straight away start making the desired design using colours, paintbrush and some marker pens
    • I prefer to draw with a pencil before starting to add colours 🙂
  • You could make occasion specific drawings/designs
    • For example, a pram for a baby shower gift tag; a bouquet for multiple occasions; conical caps, cakes and confetti for birthday gifts; and paisley prints for Indian occasions and other celebrations, Ganesha/Swastik/Lakshmi ji’s feet for Diwali gift tags

Here is a look at the first set of gift tags I painted and used these for conveying my best wishes to loved ones. There is no better feeling in the world than gifting something handmade. The recipient treasures it for a lifetime and you can’t imagine how carefully preserved your handmade gift will be kept. I have seen this in my family and always get encouraged for making more handmade stuff.

Handpainted Gift Tags

Handmade Gift Tags/Congratulatory Message Cards for Gifts

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Ganesha Gift Tag for an Indian Celebration/Festival like Diwali/Marriage/Housewarming Gift

Alternately, just like many people use occasion based flags for inserting in cakes, I made a sort of miniature placard by pasting a toothpick at the back to make a ‘Happy Birthday Mummy’ card for placing on my mom’s birthday cake.

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Gift Tag Used as a Miniature Placard/Flag for Cake

Hope you like these 🙂

Photography Instincts: Melting Ice

This is the photograph of ‘frozen water’, which I captured almost three years back. This is ice in a metal container, just starting to melt at the sides. The melt down created arrays of air bubbles, a visual treat that urged me to capture this moment.

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Melting Ice

It felt as though the tiny air bubbles were waiting for the ice above them to melt away and be liberated to be a part of the fresh air all around.

Whenever I sit alone, trying to find some ‘me’ time, I find it relaxing to go through photos and albums, new and old. And this photograph of ‘Melting Ice’ always gathers my attention. It makes me stop and think. It brings two perspectives about life and relationships to my mind, and I must confess that my frame of thoughts and mood play a vital role in forming these perspectives.

After having gone through a difficult moment in life or in relationships, the ‘frozen’ water appears to me as hard feelings that the bitter moments leave behind and the bubbles appear as the daggers of regret, piercing through the hard of these feelings, making it even more painful to bear the moment.

Not at all positive, I know. This is just the first of the two perspectives though! 🙂

When I revisit this picture after a few hours or days, my mind and heart give way to the second perspective, an altogether new meaning to the pic.

This time I see the warmth of the air around the frozen water, helping the ice to melt and the bubbles to be freed , just like the warmth of strong relationships that flourish on the hope that the ice of hard feelings will melt away and the bubbles of bottled up emotions and regret will be freed.

Finally, we are just left with water, so transparent and moldable, a fine example and a wonderful basis for any healthy relationship.

Hope you like this.

Photography Instincts: Water Droplets Captured My Way

Mornings can get so monotonous and bore you out when you have to get down to doing household chores even before a refreshing cup of tea.

I captured this photograph on an early winter morning in my kitchen, at the time when I had just set cold milk to boil on the gas burner. Yes, that’s true and that’s why I call myself an instinctive photographer. 😉

I had an instinct to capture these tiny droplets in my lens before the heat of the flames made them vanish into nowhere, leaving me in the kitchen with the daily chores.

When the cold milk came in contact with the heat from the flame, tiny droplets of water appeared on the outside of the vessel. They trickled down and at some places formed a trail of water or left an array of tiny water droplets descending from the rim of the vessel to form bigger ones at the bottom, creating visually appealing patterns.

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Tiny Droplets Creating a Lovely Pattern

The beautiful picture that the droplets created, made me think of yet another beautiful morning.

As I observed the water droplets sliding and gliding down the milk vessel, my gaze fell through the kitchen window on the leaves and flowers in the garden area, on which similar dew drops rested, waiting for the warmth of the morning sun to make them evaporate into thin air.

The droplets of water on the vessel in my kitchen and the dew drops that lay on the leaves and flowers outside, made me wonder about the magic of science and nature, and how the greatest magician up there makes His presence felt every moment, even in the smallest of things, the dullest of chores. So idyllic and mesmerizing!

And no doubt some wise men always say, ‘enjoy the smallest pleasures of life’!