Ganesh Chaturthi, a celebration that I most certainly wait for year after year, is just round the corner. I love everything that is associated with this festival - handpicking the perfect Ganesha idol for the special puja, preparing the appetizing modaks that vanish as soon as the bhog ( offering to God during religious ceremonies) has been offered and glitzing up my decor to take the festivities to a whole new level.
However, things have changed over the years. I strive to do my bit for the environment and do not indulge in the painted statues that are readily available in the market. In fact, we have gone from handpicking to homemade. We make ours at home with bio-degradable modelling clay. As for the modaks, I like to serve up South Indian delicacies and have bookmarked a few favorite go-to- recipes that are quick and easy (one of them being Sia's Vegan Avalakki Payasa).The only thing that has amplified with time, is my fervor to spruce up my home for the celebration. I do not curb the excitement and grandeur that surrounds this festival. Traditional but special touches like bringing out my antique brass collection and seasonal flowers, transform my home in no time.
Let's start off with this dramatic color combination of Royal Blue and Red, with gold thrown in for the festive sparkle. I've used an inverted colored glass votive holder from World Market as a pedestal for my brass Natya-Ganesha. Moroccan tea glasses serve as votive holders. I've paired the Blue Chicory flowers (found in abundance at this time around in Virginia) with a simple brass vase. In fact, this entire vignette was sparked off with this fascinating wild flower in mind.
I love keeping things as traditional as possible and have brought out the antique brass puja thali, kumkum container and a few prints of Ganesha Tanjore paintings (I plan to frame later), add color and drama to the festive celebration.
Our next Ganesha vignette, revolves around the time tested analogous color combination of Orange and Yellow. The heart of this vignette is a very special "Ganesha". A new addition to our home, this detailed, hand crafted brass Ganesha was gifted to me by my parents on their visit this year. He sure looks happy in his new home:) To frame the vignette, I've used a Rajasthani glass work cushion cover and I love how the mirrors picks up the sun streaming in through a near by window and lend a festive shimmer to this display.
Pass up the regular glass vases and bring in the traditional elements at play for a festive environment. A bunch of yellow Zagreb's from my garden displayed in a brass Kindi (Kindi is a traditional water vessel used in Kerala during various religious rituals and ceremonies) bring this vignette alive and help tie in the colors together.
Looking to create a quick regal ambiance this festive season, then this vignettes for you. Place a brass Ganesha statue in the center of a urli and float seasonal flowers to add celebratory atmosphere to your home. Working with nature's bounty, I've used Miss Molly Buddleia blooms to add a purple and mauve hue to this setting. Paired with matte gold, it's a regal affair alright.
And finally, a look at the wooden Ganesha statue that graces my entryway this festive season. This wooden statue was sourced from Kallakurichi (Tamil Nadu, India). It was love at first sight. The trip (more than 20 years ago) to Kallakurichi with mom, dad and a dear friend (who is no more), was quiet an experience and we came home with car loads of these magnificent pieces. The whole purpose of our trip was to spend some quality time with a group of talented community of carvers out there and personally observe the entire process.
The whole trip is vivid in my memory. I remember interacting with one of the carvers as he explained that they adopted traditional methods of wooden carving process to this day. The art form, passed down through the generations follows the rules of iconography described in the Shilpa Shastra (which is the ultimate treatise on image making). He explained that the master craftsman is responsible for tracing out the blue print of the basic shape with a chisel onto the wood. The process is then taken forward by a group of assistants (family members) under the guidance of the master.
Gladiolas (from my friend, Vijaya's garden), a table runner used to anchor the setting and a traditional brass hanging bell, completes this entryway.
I do hope you are inspired by these simple decor ideas, experimental color palettes and my infectious enthusiasm. Despite the incursion of busy schedules and appointments, do take the time to celebrate life and make it special for your family and you :)
|Subtle changes from red to yellow make a huge difference in this vignette. So experiment and let the decorator in you take over.......|
Wishing you and yours, A Very Happy Ganesha Chaturthi !!!
Images: Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright.