Category Archives: Bommala Koluvu

Pond Diorama

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There is a long story behind this duck habitat diorama/project that I made for Bommala Koluvu 2016…..;-)

My love for miniatures made me buy the ducks used in this project. They are chopstick stand/holders that I bought in Singapore(China town) just before moving to United States. After we moved to US (2012) while unpacking I looked all my bags but couldn’t find them.

And in 2015 when we were moving from rental to our new home I was packing bags and found a small secret zip pocket on our suitcase that I have completely forgot about.  And I saw 2 bubble wrap pieces. I thought it is trash and almost about to throw it away and it suddenly stuck me ……..

I was so happy to see them again  ❤

Before I loose them I decided to use in some craft and that is when the pond diorama thought popped in my head 😀img_2879

This is a fun project and easy to put together. It can more fun if you have kid at home where you can involve them too in making this. It can be a great school project too..;-)

Supplies  you need to make this are –

Blue sand – Dollar tree

Moss sheet – Michaels

Stones, plastic plants and bushes – Walmart (Aquarium supplies aisle)

White fence (optional) – Hobby Lobby

Glue gun and modpodge/school glue

And here is how you make it –

Step 1: Take a cardboard that matches the size of the moss sheet. Use school glue or modpodge and glue it to the cardboard.

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Step 2: Mark a boundary for rocks and glue using hot glue gun.

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Step 3 : Apply some school glue/ modpodge to the inside portion of rocks and add the blue sand in layers. Leave it to dry for couple of hours. Glue the ducks, plants and bushes and you have it ready 🙂

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I made this for Sankranthi Bomalla Koluvu 2016 and displayed it as a little pond with a fence.

And this year for one of krishna’s stories – krishna playing flute in brindavan.

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Cheers!!

Bommala Koluvu 2017

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Hello Friends,

I am super excited to share Sankranthi/Pongal 2017 Bommala Koluvu/Golu pictures.

img_3736-1It is my 3rd year display and I am so happy that the dolls are increasing and the steps/padi are filling up well.

Like every year, last couple of months have been busy preparing handmade dolls.  Just not the dolls but it took a lot of thought and effort for the golu backdrop. So, this year for a change,  I used a pattu (silk) Indian dress chunni as the main backdrop and added some lights, party streamer garlandfoam leaf toram and clay mural kalash .

And on both sides I have used floor standing candle pillars and replaced the candle with a  a handmade paper lantern ( that I made for Diwali). (tutorial coming soon)img_7385Also, this year theme is 5 stories related to Krishna’s childhood.

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I already have “Krishna, balarama and friends eating butter” doll set that I made to display @ local Hindu temple on “Janmasthami 2015”.

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So, I added 4 more sets describing  some of important krishna’s stories ❤

1. Vasudeva carrying Krishna 

The basket and krishna are made of polymer clay! And the snake(vasuki) is air dry clay and painted the details with some acrylic paint.  Vasudeva is a male doll make over – added red dhoti, some brown beads. For the beard and hair used some black felt.

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2. Baby Krishna killing puthana

Baby krishna is made of polymer and I draped saree to a female doll and curled it’s hair with curling rod and added other details 🙂

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3. Krishna and twin trees ( kubera sons) 

Kubera sons are again the same male doll as vasudeva and I dressed them up as prince with   some gold lace from hobby lobby and the crown is made of gold foam sheet. The 2 trees are  made of cardstock.

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4. Krishna playing flute and mesmerizing Brindavan

Krishna and the tree backdrop is from last year Janmasthami – here is the  link to make the cardboard tree.

img_3699With these 5 stories -I have covered some of the most important events of Lord Krishna’s life and I can’t wait to add more for next year Bombala koluvu display 🙂

Hope you all enjoy this virtual display of our golu/koluvu.

Cheers!

Door/wall hangings with homemade clay…

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My favorite of all wall hangings is traditional Rajasthani ones. Specially, the string decorations are absolutely beautiful and comes in various designs and sizes. They add so much warmth, color and most important festive feel 🙂

Well, it is easy buy stuff from India, but I was itching for a project and decided to “DIY” and here is the result – a cute and traditional flower string door/wall hanging 🙂

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Aren’t they cute and colorful. They are about 24 inches (2ft) in length and add color and style to any room.

Well, before initiating this project,  I was looking at clay options to make the flowers. The ideal pick was polymer clay as it is light and break resistant. This time I wanted to go for an inexpensive option.

After some search, I found this recipe to make clay at home. That was super exciting.  It is easy-to- make, easy- to-work, inexpensive and can be used in variety of projects.

Here are is a video tutorial from youtube.

I couldn’t wait to get started and bought glue from dollar tree and corn starch from local grocery store for less than $3.

Homemade clay is ready and the other supplies you need are –

wooden beads (hobby lobby)

Cookie or fondant cutter

decorative mirrors (hobby lobby)

Bells (optional)

Lace or string of your choice 

Super Glue 

Step 1 : Condition the clay and roll it out until it is 1/8th inch thick approx. Here i used a fondant cutter for flowers. Choose a cutter of your choice and make 10-12 flowers.

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Step 2 : Let the flowers dry overnight. Once dry they are very light, unbreakable and almost look like resin. Color the flowers with acrylic paint and glue a decorative mirror in the center.

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Step 3: Take a string or decorative lace and few wooden beads. I added random and used multi colored beads. Once you add couple of beads glue the painted flower like shown above.

Once you string beads and glue flowers add a decorative bell and you have beautiful string wall hanging decor ready to use 🙂

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Clay Mural Art on Cardboard

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I was introduced to clay mural art by Fevicryl Hobby Ideas (FHI) page from Facebook and since then I was looking for an opportunity to try my hands. There are many tutorials available on youtube on how to make beautiful piece of art using this technique.

After watching couple of videos I learnt that this can be done on almost any surface. Of course, in India it is easy to find the traditional MDF cutouts. Also, this tutorial on  Kalash clay mural art on cardboard helped me to take up a project for Sankranthi Bommala Koluvu 2016.

It is my first time so picked a kalash image from web as a reference.

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What you need is –

Print of an image on A4

Cardboard

Air dry clay (crayola)

Elmer’s Glue

Acrylic paints

Decorative rhinestones and lace/bead ball chain

Step 1: Trace the image on to a cardboard and cut it along the outline .

Take some air dry clay and start filling the details . For 3D effect – the thickness of the clay shouldn’t be consistent. Also, use glue to make sure it bonds well to the cardboard.

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Step 2: Let it dry overnight. Paint the kalash base, leaves and coconut. Get creative and add decorative rhinestones/fancy beads. Regular glue works well to stick the rhinestones.

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Soda can tab can be used as a picture hanger. Use hot glue or super glue to add the pop to the cardboard like here.

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Isn’t that pretty? You can make almost anything and this kalash wall art can be used in multiple ways for multiple occasions. I can’t wait to try more projects on mural art and share it with you all 🙂

Happy Monday!

Ganesh pooja 2016 !

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Yesterday we celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi – one of the most important and biggest festivals celebrated in honour of Lord Ganesha (the God with the head of an elephant). I can’t wait to share some pictures.

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Hope you all had wonderful time too celebrating the first biggest festival after new year (as per Hindu Calendar). And the best part is, this time it is over the weekend.

Here are some close shots of post pooja. Ganesha filled with flowers, tulasi and Garikey ( Bermuda grass considered scared in India).

Ganesh chaturthi is the only time you can offer Tualsi leaves to Lord Ganesha.

And Garika ( grass with 3 blades) is always offered and it has highest ability to attract Ganesha’s energy.

img_5764This festival is incomplete for me without making my very own eco-friendly ganesha idol. It took 4 hours but totally worth it 🙂

I started with Ganesha tummy, then legs. For legs, created a wavy texture for dhoti and added anklets too. Then added a small  clay ball as head, molded elephant trunk.

Before you add ears, add jewelry(if any), 2 husks and hands. This year I made sure i leave little space between shoulders and ears. I did so – it is easy to add any tiny beads jewelry to the idol. At the end added ears and other details and final touches if required.

I let it dry for 24 hours and used acrylic paints to color the idol.

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Lastly, added some rhinestones for ganesha and mushikam (mouse) and here he is sitting on the lotus throne with a paper fan backdrop 🙂

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Cheers!

Lotus throne tutorial

Paper Fan backdrop tutorial

Janmasthami 2016

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Janmasthami/Krishnathami is a very popular Indian festival celebrated by Hindus with lot of devotion and enthusiasm. It is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna – an incarnation whom many Hindus believe to be the god Vishnu in human form.

Krishna is regarded as great philosopher, teacher, role model and friend. His teachings are found in one of the holy books of Hinduism – Bhagavad Gita(song of the Lord). 

One important ritual of this festival is small footprints are made resembling toddler Krishna’s footprints heading into your house. I wanted to make something I can use every year so made these foam and bead footprints.

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Also, Lord Krishna is decorated with beautiful flowers and his name is chanted with huge devotion and love. In popular Krishna temples in India – 108 varieties of delicious food is cooked to offer the Lord. I was very happy to offer 9 delicious varieties of food to our little Krishna.

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Also another DIY project I made for this year theme/decoration is cardboard tree and used a turf sample(already on hand) to create garden base.

Step 1 : Once you choose the krishna idol for display, take a piece of cardboard that is couple of inches longer in height than the idol.

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Step 2 : Make a free hand design of tree base with branches and leaf bunches.

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Step 3 : Paint the pieces and let it dry. Once dry, hot glue the green leaf bunches to the branches. If you think the tree is big for the idol you can also cut the base to match the height.

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Step 4 : To make the tree stand well make a cross cut at the base and glue a piece of cardboard. It should look like X. Or you can also glue it to a lid/round base too.

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Add some mini beads/rhinestones for the tree to add some bling.

Lastly, arrange pieces together – turf(artificial grass base), fence and the tree with idol and ofcourse Krishna is incomplete with calf/cow 🙂

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This can be a great Golu/Kolu/Bommala Koluvu DIY project and best described as Krishna, the shepard boy with addition of few doll cows 🙂

Cheers!

Polymer Clay Dancing Couple!

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Creating new dolls every year for golu/doll display is totally a joyful experience. And today I am going to share one such doll made out of polymer clay for this year display (Sankranthi – Jan 2016)

IMG_1016The structure of the doll is inspired from Channapatna wood toys.

The pieces are molded individually with Sculpey white polymer clay and added them using toothpicks. Then, baked for almost an hour as per package instructions.

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And this is how it looked, don’t worry on overcooking/burning the piece because it going to get nice coat of paint and details.

Once you have the structure ready, pick some acrylic paints and color it the way you want! Since it is for a traditional display I picked bright colors and painted the dolls to look more Indian. 🙂

And Tadahh…….

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Just to make sure it stands firmly, glued it on to a painted plywood base from Hobby Lobby.

Cheers!

Festive Foam Wall Decal!

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Using glitter foam sheets for Indian festival decor is the most easy, quick and cheapest option. Specially, if you are like me who always crave for new decorations 😉

Well, today I am going to share a very budget-friendly project with foam sheets that can instantly add a cultural feel.

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Don’t they look pretty?? And the total cost of the project is $2 (scissors already on hand)

Material required to make these –

2 Glitter foam sheets from Hobby Lobby – 99c per sheet

Foam Scissors or Micro Serrated Scissors (Optional)

Image of your choice – the one I used is here 🙂

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 Step 1  Crop the 2 elephants and take prints on regular A4 sheet

Step 2 – Trace the image on to the wrong side of the foam sheet. Best thing about foam is if you trace it hard, it will leave marks and makes it easy to cut the desired shape.

Step 3 – Cut the traced pieces using a sharp scissors or foam scissors(surrogated scissors)

Step 4 – Use a small piece of painters/masking tape on each piece of foam sheet.

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That’s it – Glue the pieces referring the image.  Using a right color foam sheet ( based on the wall paint color) gives it a beautiful look 🙂

Isn’t that easy and quick.

And comes 2nd day of the challenge and my favorite quoteScreen Shot 2016-01-30 at 9.47.05 PM

And the nominees for the day are:

http://www.pinkstripeysocks.com – has some awesome kids crafts

http://cookingwithawallflower.com – for some delicious recipes

https://sewkatiedid.wordpress.com – get inspired to sew

Rules for the challenge:

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you.
  • Share one new quote on three consecutive days on your blog. They can be from anywhere, anyone or anything.
  • On each of the three days, nominate three more bloggers to carry on with the fun! No pressure; nominees are free to decline.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and don’t forget to leave your thoughts 🙂

DIY Dolls for Kolu/Bommala Koluvu

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I haven’t visited India after I started Bommala koluvu/doll display so, I don’t have many traditional dolls . That really worked well for me because it motivates me to make a new set of dolls. This is second year of display and also 2nd year of making  handmade dolls for Golu.

I am going to share tutorial of one such dolls I displayed for this year(2016) golu/kolu/Bommala Koluvu.

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These 3 little brahmins ( aprox 6 inches in height each) are loaded with cuteness and the basket of miniature Jelebi(Indian sweet) is my favorite 🙂

Well, this is not totally my idea. I made the structure of the doll and the eyes  inspired from Channapatna dolls.

It is pretty easy and self explanatory.

Material needed – Scupley white Polymer clay

Step 1: Make the base – a circle and 2 hands. Add a toothpick like shown below and bake for 45 minutes(or as per the temperature mentioned on your clay pack)

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Step 2: Then add the head and bake for another 20 minutes. Even if it is over baked and changes the color do not worry.

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Step 3 : Pick a color of your choice for skin tone. I used a basic acrylic and gave 2 coats. Sharpie marker works just fine for eyes. And for other details I used metallic acrylic paint, toothpick,  white and red nail polish.

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Step 4 : The mini basket is from Michaels and the miniature jelebi is made out of orange sculpey polymer clay 🙂

Step 5: For the base, I picked a 5X7 wooden rectangular plaque from Hobby Lobby , decorated the surface and borders and added 4 beads on to the bottom of the wood.

Finally, glued the dolls and the basket of sweets 😀  That’s it, a cute doll set is ready to set up!!

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial 🙂

Pongal – Bommala Koluvu/Golu

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Hello Friends,

Last 1 month has been very busy preparing for Doll display/Golu and I can’t wait to share the pics! This year I made some more handmade dolls out of polymer clay. I had friends over to view it and they were so happy to come and see and I was really flattered with all their kind words.

I shall publish tutorials for some of them in the coming posts!

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Here is the link to view the dolls closer – click here

Tutorial for 3-step display stand – click here

Tutorial for clay musical instruments – click here 

Some of my favorite handmade items of this year Golu/Kolu/Bommala Koluvu are –

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Cheers!