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Archive for August, 2011

Aug
8
2011

I remember August in India…wedding season, the hubbub of village festivals and the lingering monsoon rains.  It seemed that there was a function everyday – and our outfits were never complete without flowers in our hair.  We weaved malli (jasmin) and kanakambaram (crossandra) into our braids – a poola-jeda – for big functions.  Even if we were just going to an evening cinema, my uncle would bring back strands of flowers on his way home from work – so my aunts and cousins and I could clip them to our hair.

As I think back to my summers in India, I am inspired to bring back the simple whimsy of flowers in your hair…

Above:  a modern rendition of ye old poola-jeda (shown below):

Perfect for a date night:

Cute for your little girl (ponytail holders via NuxieMade):

Perfect for summer – sweet floral crowns by HeadCasebyG

No jewelry needed:

The oh-so-stylish side ponytail:

Images via Google Images, NuxieMade; HeadCasebyG

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Aug
5
2011

She hails from Britain (father is Indian and mother is from Jamaica) and started in the footwear business with the goal of designing the most luxurious shoes in the world.  Goal reached:  Aruna Seth has desgined for celebrities all over the world, was a top contender to design Kate Middleton’s wedding shoes and was recently featured in a Ritz-Carlton Weddings Magazine.  Though her specialty seems to be bridal shoes, she also designs flats, wedges and boots.

You can drool further on the Aruna Seth website.  See girls, you CAN be anything you want to be!

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Aug
3
2011
Rakhi Ready
Author: Gnaana

Raksha Bandhan is a beautiful holiday that celebrates the love and friendship between a brother and a sister – and, as is the trend, between friends in general.  This year, Raksha Bandhan falls on Saturday, August 13th – just about 10 days from now.  So be sure the kids are Rakhi-ready to make the celebration extra-special this year!

1.  Explain:  First and foremost, explain to your kids what Raksha Bandhan means and why it is special – that it’s about friendship and love and also a pledge of protection.

2.  Make a Rakhi-list:  Have your kids include not only siblings and cousins, but also friends and neighbors they may be close with.

3.  Prepare rakhis and cards:  The tradition is for girls to tie rakhi (bracelets) around boys (or to send them in the mail if they live far away).  The boys then give gifts to the girls.  Although you can pick-up rakhis and cards at your local Indian grocery store or online, this is an opportune time to get crafty:
a.  Have kids hand-make cards.  You can use paints, stamps, stickers and embellishments.  Encourage them to think about each recipient’s interest.  For example, if their cousin likes dinosaurs, make that the theme for the card.
b.  Remember to be age-appropriate with the rakhis.  Small beads may look great, but they are not suitable for young children.
c.  The rakhi is traditionally supposed to be sacred and made of silk, gold and silver threads and/or small jewels and sequins.  But who says you can’t think outside the box?  Try making rakhis with natural materials like hemp twine, flowers and small berries.  These will dry beautifully for a special keepsake.  Also, if you have very young children, what can be more sacred than edible rakhis – especially when made with yummy candies or dried fruit!
d. For gifts, again encourage children to think of the recipient.

4.  Deliver:  If you plan to see the recipient on or before the holiday, you can deliver the rakhi/gift at that time.  Otherwise, send it in the mail.

If you are able to celebrate Raksha Bandhan in person, you can make it festive by getting dressed up, doing a small puja with the kids, followed by an aarti and then the rakhi-tying and gift giving.  Kids can then feed each other sweets and you can take pictures.

There’s only a few days left – so get Rakhi Ready!

Images:  Top of post (left):  kundan-zardosi handmade rakhi with matching note card by Aboli; Top of post (right):  rakhis and envelopes gift set via Exclusively.in (expires soon).  Below, handmade Friendship Bracelet from Bangladesh via Ten Thousand Villages

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Aug
1
2011
Sri Krishna Dioramas
Author: Gnaana

What does Lord Krishna inspire in you?  Joy?  Complete devotion?  Or perhaps he is a supreme symbol of hope – the lifeblood of human existence?

Sri Krishna Janmashtami is on August 22nd this year – and it’s a time of colorful celebration and cheer throughout the world (check out our post last year on The Global Gopi).  Crafting diorama displays of Krishna’s life is a popular activity in homes and temples.  This month, we challenge you to create your own diorama with your kids!

Start by having the kids pick their favorite Krishna story and then a specific scene from that story (for inspiration, scroll down this gallery).  Then, gather supplies from your garage, playroom or from a visit to a craft store.  Get the kids involved as much as possible, although fine detailing may require adult hands.

The scene we picked was of Krishna stealing butter.  We used old boxes, paint, craft ribbon, wooden poles, sheer fabric and cardstock to create the basic alter.  We adorned the alter with moss, toy animals and a Krishna figurine.  We also made dolls from wooden pegs found at a craft store – and dressed them up in tissue paper “sarees” – a big hit with the kids!

Did we inspire you to make your own?  Start now and slowly build your diorama – so you can display it with pride throughout the month of August!

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