Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Hello friends , its been quite a long time since I posted . I was little busy keeping Navarathri kolu and inviting friends to my home. Right from my childhood I loved arranging the dolls, decorating the house , inviting guests and singing songs for Navarathri. Its indeed my most favorite festival. When I came to US after marriage I didn't want to break our family tradition of keeping kolu. So made a few quilled dolls and arranged it as Kolu. Two years have passed and now I have enough handmade dolls( thanks to the craft challenges) to fill three big steps. So this year we decided to invite non-Indian ( foreigners) friends to join us in our celebration. Below is the e-invite which I created for inviting the guests.

My regular readers would be familiar with  the dolls kept in the Kolu as they are all posted in my blog previously.

In South India the kolu has evolved itself and people celebrate it by arranging the dolls based on a specific theme. Well what is the theme of this Kolu?? Maybe we can say Altered art / recycle craft as most of the projects you see here are recycled. 
Now let us take a closer look at the individual steps. 


      I used one medium sized box measuring 18" (height ) * 18 (breadth) * 16 (length)  and one large sized moving box measuring 18" (h) *18 (b) * 24 (l). I wanted the steps height to be at a difference of 6". The bottom step measures 6" , the middle measures 12" and the top most step measures 18" in height. 
Since the height of the medium box is 18" I cut it into two  pieces - One with 6" (h)*18(b)*16(l) forming the bottom most step and the other with 12"(h)*18(b)*16(l) forming the middle step
I kept the large box as such but trimmed the edges to get the length of 16". 


In the first step I have kept Mandap , clay Ganesha with lotus asana, Altered jar and paper roses.

1. Mandap:

   My father and me made this mandap last year. For the base we used old laptop box . The pillars are made by stacking  empty tissue paper rolls. The roof is made using packaging cardboards. The mandap is covered with golden and red color paper and decorated with golden glitter lace and small bells. Inside the Mandap Ihave kept the idols of God.

Things Altered: Empty Laptop box,Tissue paper rolls & packaging cardboard 

At the top of the Mandap you can see the Ganapathy with instruments mural work.
Tutorial for Ganesha with Instruments

2. Clay Ganesha with lotus Asana:

At the center below the Mandap is the clay Ganesha in lotus Asana.. Click the link below for the tutorial. You can use this Asana to keep the idols of Lord Durga or Lakshmi.

Material Altered: Candle jar , cardboard sheet for the backdrop
Tutorial of Lord Ganesha with Lotus asana

3. Fall themed altered jar:

You can alter an empty jar to demonstrate a theme. Here I have demonstrated a fall theme by decorating empty ghee jar.

Things Altered: Ghee bottle
Tutorial of Altered Jar 
4. Paper rose bouquet:

Materials Altered: Ghee jar , paper
Tutorial of paper rose bouquet

5. Clay teddy bear:
On both sides of the Clay ganesha I have placed two cute teddy bears made using playdoh.


6. Violin Shaped card:

Materials Altered: Packaging Cardboard
Violin shaped card tutorial

7. Spring Garden:

Instead of a normal garden create this Spring garden using books, bird nest and lamp.
Things Altered: Soap cartons, empty ribbon roll, Packaging cardboard
Tutorial of Spring garden

8. Bird house:

Things Altered: Empty tissue rolls , Cardboard
Tutorial of DIY bird house

9. Girl playing piano:

This piano card is not an altered project. It is created using black cardstock.
Tutorial of Grand Piano 

10. Tulip Garden:

Made this tulip garden with playdoh, tooth pick and Styrofoam sheet .

11. Bicycle carrying flowers:

Things Altered: Tissue paper rolls , Tissue paper
Bicycle carrying flowers Tutorial


In this step I have displayed some of my mural and mixed media works .

12. Beach Mural:

Have lot of sea shells collected at the beach?? Create a beach layout and stick the sea shells to it.

Things Altered: Altered card board sheets
Beach Days

13. Kalash clay mural:

Things Altered: Card board
Tutorial of Kalash clay mural

14. Beach Days:

Things Altered : Plastic plate
Beach Mural tutorial

15. Thulasi Maadam:

Things Altered: Perfume Carton
Thulasi Maadam tutorial

16. Christmas sleigh:

Things Altered: Cereal box , soap carton
Christmas Sleigh Tutorial

17. Chettiar dolls:

I made these dolls last year for Navarathri using terracotta clay.
Chettiar dolls

18.Fruit tray:

Things Altered: Peeled garlic tray
The fruits are made using air dry clay.

19. Cake factory:

These cakes are made using playdoh and cold porcelain.

20. Natural cooking set:

I made this natural cooking set using playdoh.

Usually in India all my relatives and neighbors celebrate Navarathri by keeping Kolu. So there is nothing new to explain them. This year kolu was very special to me as I was very happy to explain about our festivals and traditions to foreigners. They were very eager to know everything about Navarathri and greatly appreciated our rich Heritage. So this is my most memorable Navarathri kolu. 

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