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Hi, Hope you will like this blog. In this blog I'm trying to share my experience with various forms of arts, crafts and hobbies. My experience while making each piece of work is different. Sometimes its fun, sometimes its tedious, sometimes I learnt lessons of life and sometimes it makes me to introspect myself. Of course you know, suggestion and comments will help anybody to improve the work. So please share your thoughts also. So what are you waiting for? Enjoy!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ghats of Varanasi-Bank of Ganges

Varanasi , an ancient city of India, famous for temples, spirituality , pilgrims, the river Ganga( Ganges) , and of course the ghats on the banks of Ganga. Ghat is long stretch of steps leading down to the water on the western bank of the Ganges. There are approximately 80 ghats on the bank of river Ganga.
Normally people visit ghats during sunrise. We visited ghats in the evening, because we wanted to attend Ganga Arti . I could click some photos of ghats from the boat:



The guide was explaining about many ghats, in that I remember very few, one of those is Scindia Ghat.
  Shiva temple lying partially submerged in the river Ganga.

This is very famous Manikarnika Ghat, where the cremation of dead bodies takes place here throughout day and night:
And the below one is the Dashashwamedha ghat, where, every evening Gaga Arti is performed:

But I feel, the cleanliness of Ganga water is really a serious concern. Hope this will be resolved soon. 
 
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bobbin lace- Desire unfufilled

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers
 When it comes to crafts, I have learnt quite a few of crafts. Some are inherited from my mother, like sewing , crochet, hand embroidery etc. Some I learnt from different craft teachers. Painting and sketching - I never learnt  from anybody, just tried it, sometimes it was good sometimes disaster. I can say,I'm still practising pencil sketching . Every time I make pencil sketching, I  feel I have achieved not even 10% of perfection : (.  While learning tatting , I literally begged a lady to teach tatting. I know , still more to learn, and very long way to go in this arts and crafts world!
Today, when I was trying to clean my crafts materials. I found this kit .This is a bobbin lace making kit I had bought 3 years ago. Hmm... I never got a teacher from whom I could learn this art of converting thread into beautiful laces. I know , you all will suggest me to go through some online tutorials. But I feel, some arts require teacher, who will be  with us to guide  whenever we are stuck, give easy tips to learn fast. Especially in crafts involving threads, there are chances that patience will be lost in case of knots.   I have gone through some of the online tutorials too, tried but in vain.
Bobbin lace
You may wonder, why I'm so much murmuring about not learning bobbin lace. Any craft lover if sees the bobbin lace would have the desire to  learn this art.
Bobbin lace
Image courtesy-Wikipedia
Bobbin lace
Image courtesy-Wikipedia
Bobbin lace making is an amazing craft of converting threads into beautiful laces. Bobbin lace is woven with pairs of threads which are woven on these bobbins.
Bobbin lace
 The magic of threads getting converted into laces :
Bobbin lace
Image courtesy-Wikipedia

Its an European art , which spread to many parts of India by Christan missionaries. Now also, in Kanyakumari its an industry, and the laces are exported to Italy.
When I visit Kanyakumari, I will explore more about this craft. Hope, I will find a teacher to fulfill my desire of learning "bobbin lace making"

Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Monday, December 1, 2014

Krishna Radha - Beaitiful Idol in bronze.

I'm planning to post tutorials to make different models for school projects. In between, I got an opportunity visit a craft fest . There this beautiful idol of Radha -Krishna was exhibited.
Amazing ! Isn't it? In the image you can see, beautiful Radha -Krishna idols standing on lotus. An arch, on which all the events of  Shri Krishna's life can be seen. 
This is made  by a process- lost was casting of bronze, and ancient metal work practiced in India. About different kinds of metal work I will write in my coming posts.   

Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Horizontal arrays of sculptures- Beauty of Hoysala Architecture

The sculptures in horizontal arrays at the base of the temple is another unique feature of Hoysala temple architecture .
When I had been to Keshva temple at Somanathpura, I captured the sculptural beauty. The base is star shaped , and on top of the different sculptures in arrays:
The top row has beautiful sculptures of peacocks,
The second row is a imaginary animal. The guide told its combination of pig and rhino:
The third row is warriors on chariot :
And finely carved vine and floral designs:
The guide told us , if its observed carefully, no two sculptures are same in design. That shows the skill of the artists. I could observe some more interesting features in this architecture. Will share about in coming posts.
About another unique feature , beautiful carvings on ceilings  , you can read in my previous post. 
 
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Carvings on ceiling -unique feature in Hoysala temples

Hoysala dynasty is one of the powerful dynasties ruled Karnataka. History says , they were brave as well as patrons of arts. There are  many temples  in Karanataka built by Hoysalas which witness their love for arts and architecture.

The Hosysala temple architecture shows many unique features, like intricate carvings, star shaped platform , carving of ornaments on the idols , arrays of stone sculptures and two towers. I had the opportunity to visit two Hoysala temples, Somanathpura and Amrutheshwara temples. I have captured the these features and sharing with you.
Some of the features like star shaped platform, two towers and intricate carvings can be seen in this image:
Somnathpura temple
 
I have shared about the ornamentation on idols ( Somanathpura Temple-Carved ornaments in Hoysala Architecture) and carvings on the walls (Amruteshwara Temple-Rich heritage of Karnataka(India)) Another  feature of Hoysala architecture is symmetrical carvings in circular shape on the ceilings. 
These are the carvings on ceilings of Somanathpura temple:


 Closer view of the carvings :



   The symmetrical designs are carved in circular shape and in the center the bud shape is carved:
The patterns are different in each circular carving:

 Does it not look like lotus flower? The craftsmanship is really amazing.
Same kind of circular carvings are on ceilings of Amrutheshwari temple, another temple built by Hoysalas:

Another unique feature of Hoysala architecture is wall panel with  horizontal arrays of sculptures. I will share about that in the next post.

Until then, 
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Is it Ikebana?

Recently I visited Bodh Gaya temple. Its a pilgrimage place of Buddhists.  When I visited Bodh Gaya  , I could see  many disciples from all over the world. In that some devotees from Japan, were meditating in front of the Maha Bodhi Tree( where Budha attained enlightenment). Though they were in a group of 25-30, it was very calm there. What attracted me, was the flower arrangement made there.
Here are the closer view of the flower arrngement:
The combination of  Orange flowers with Green leaves was eye catching :
You can see the white buds on the tip of the artistically arranged leaves. Here is the close view :
From side also it was looking very beautiful, like temple.
This was the flower arrangement made behind Maha Bodhi tree:
Isn't this flower arrangement very unique? I don't have knowledge of Ikebana ( Japanese art of flower arrangements) ,as there were many Japanese pilgrims meditating there at that moment, I thought it must be Ikebana. 
Is it Ikebana?Anyone of you know about this kind of flower arrangement ?
 
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Monday, November 17, 2014

Banjara Embroidery- unique combination of patchwork, mirror work with embroidery

When it comes to craft, my favorite is always embroidery, hand or machine embroidery. I really love the way the threads fills the cloth with the colors. Nowadays , because of time constraints not able to work on any of my embroidery projects. Especially hand embroidery requires lot of time and patience.Sometimes its very tedious, and if the threads knot with one another,Uff! it really makes one to loose patience . So I wonder when I see the hand embroidery made on the entire  cloth or dress. One such , embroidery is Banjara embroidery. Here is a bag with Banjara Embroidery:
Banjara embroidery
Banjara embroidery is very fine embroidery  combined with patchwork, applique work and mirror work. And also the work is decorated by cowrie shells. Here is the closer look :
This is made by  artist  Late . Smt. Manjula,I have  written about her in   my   posts ,
3rd anniversary of my blog
Cute... cuter....cutest dolls .  
and 
Lets enter the world of craft- Wire handbags made by Smt. Manjula
 Banjara embroidery is traditional embroideries by semi-nomadic community called Banjara or Lambani.  In earlier days women of Banjara community used to wear these kind of heavily embroidered costumes:
The top(Blouse)

 Embroidered Long Skirt:
Banjara embroidery
And the veil :
Banjara embroidery
Late Smt.Manjula with the costume she embroidered.
In Banjara Embroidery , majorly used stitches are Chain stitch, herringbone stitch , cross stitch, chevron stitch and mirror work.  Below image shows the different embroideries: 
 Embellishments made of silver and gold were used in earlier days,now the fancy artificial embellishments are used. Here the embroidery with silver color embellishments:
Embroidered waist belt with mirror work :
 
   One more specialty of Banjara Embroidery is, the cowrie shells are used to decorate the embroidery, like this one:
  
All the above works are made by Late. Smt. Manjula. She was an expert in almost all arts and crafts. Here is a cute doll decorated with Banjara costume, by her:
 Banjara embroidery is very colorful embroidery combined with mirror work, patchwork and embellishments. Now many Banjara women are using this embroidery on different kinds of products for sale. This is also supported by Government organizations too.
Planning to design a dress or saree with Banjara embroidery. Hope I will complete that soon and share with you.
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

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