Category: Home as a Hobby

Summer Colors ~ Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea in the Frontyard
Royal Purple Bougainvillea in a Pot ~ Coloring the Frontyard Garage Space

A brilliant performer, bougainvillea does well in hot Houston summer. Passionately colorful, passionately vibrant, passionately floriferous – they remind me of bright, eye-catching, gorgeously swirling Rajastani dresses of Bharath.


Home as a Hobby ~ Clay Diwali Diyas

Clay Diwali Diyas
Homemade Clay Diwali Diyas

We had neighbourhood Diwali party this week. One of the activities we did was make clay diyas. I made those two and jeweled them for that festive Diwali feel. It was a nice thing to do with family and friends.


Home as a Hobby ~ Pumpkin Bouquet

Pumpkin Bouquet
Ceramic pumpkin and few flowers and leaves,
a pretty pumpkin bouquet for the holidays.


Vinayaka Chaviti Celebrations

Vinayaka Chavithi 2010 Celebrations at My Home
Bala Ganapathi on Vinayaka Chaviti

Vinayaka Chavithi 2010 Celebrations at My Home
Purnam Kudumulu and Undrallu ~
A Virtual Vinayaka Chavithi Pandaga Bhojanam to All Our Family and Friends
Vinayaka Chavithi Subhakankshalu!


Homemade Ganapati Bappa

Homemade Ganesh for Ganesh Chaturdi
Homemade Ganesh with Clay

I made bala Ganapati with clay today for Vinayaka Chaviti festival tomorrow. The decorations are with kumkum, turmeric and rice powder. Eyes are whole urad dal (minapa pappu) and the laddu is dotted with skinless, split mustard seeds. It’s a simple vigraham, still looks divine to my eyes.

Vinayaka Chavithi shubhakamnaye! May Bhagavan Ganesha bless us all with peace, happiness and health!

Homemade Ganesh
Bala Ganesha with Kumkum and Pasupu Decorations

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Mahanandi Readers’ Ganesha

Sachin Ganesha
Sachin and Family’s Clay Ganesha

Vaijayanthi Ganesha
Vaijayanthi & Arvind Family’s Play-doh Ganesha

Rashmi Ganesha
Rashmi and Family’s Clay Ganesha

Rashmi Ganesha
Vinayaka Chaviti Celebrations at Rashmi’s Home From UAE

Narayan Swamy Ganesha
Narayan Swamy and Family’s Clay Ganesha

Sireesha Ganesha
Sireesha and Family’s Play-doh Ganesha

Chaitanya Ganesha
Chaitanya and Family’s Rice Flour and Sugar Ganesha

Thank you Sachin, Vaijayanthi, Rashmi, Narayan Swamy, Sireesha and Chaitanya for sharing your Ganesha with us.


From the Garden ~ Zing Zing Zinnia

Homegrown Zinnia
Homegrown Zinnia Bouquet

On summer break. Will be back in August.


Home as a Hobby ~ Lily Bouquet

Peruvian lilies (Alstroemeria)
Floral Expressions with Peruvian lilies (Alstroemeria)

Peruvian lilies or Lilies of Inca are pretty flowers. They are inexpensive here in Houston, and I buy them sometimes. I like how they instantly bring spring sunshine like warmth to the home.

Happy, flower filled July 4th weekend!


Support Mahanandi and Shop Amazon through this link.

Special Book Sale

Wanted: Food writers for Indiaphile website.


My deepest condolences to Dr.Sinha’s family. May God bless him and his family during this time and always.


Home as a Hobby ~ Cilantro Bouquet

Every kitchen garden needs a healthy combination of both herbs and vegetable plants, and nothing beautifies the homestead like flowers. Cilantro is a great annual herb with memorable fragrance, flavor, and flowers. This old-time herb sprouts from coriander seeds, grows compact, flowers prolifically, sets seed gladly and reseeds with ease, offering a perpetual, perennial-like performance in the kitchen garden. The whole cilantro plant, from fresh leaves, flowers, root to seeds have valuable roles in the kitchen and many culinary uses.

I noticed that cilantro loves warm and humid Houston weather. I let my cilantro bloom this spring and then fruit. When seeds are plump, I removed the plants and arranged them in a flower vase to air-dry. They made a beautiful arrangement and filled the home with wonderful coriander fragrance. It makes me happy to think that in about a week when they are dried, I could harvest home-grown coriander seeds.

Cilantro in Bloom
Cilantro in Bloom

Fresh Dania (Coriander Seeds)
Cilantro with Plump, Green Dhania (Green Coriander Seeds)

Cilantro with Seeds
Cilantro with Coriander Seeds

Cilantro Bouquet
Celebrating Mother Earth’s Generosity with Cilantro Bouquet


Party Favors ~ Candy Train

Candy Train

When you plan a party, giving your guests, particularly to the little ones party favors that will be appreciated is a nice way to say ‘thanks for coming.’ This budget friendly and fun to assemble candy train is always a hit with the kids. We need a packet of life savers, double mint, and few Hershey varieties. Attach them with a glue stick for body, wheels and whistle of the train. And, hear the delighted squeals.


Home as a Hobby ~ Needlepoint Serenade

Needlepoint Serenade
Magnolia Serenade ~ A Needlepoint Design

A soothing sunset serenade. That is what I had imagined when I started this needlepoint design. It took me nearly two months to complete the 16″x18″ project, and now decorates our home in a homemade frame. The pretty lady serenades us to sleep with her gentle harp playing.


Home as a Hobby ~ Pillow Embroidery

Embroidered Pillow Cover for Home

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving (and a wonderful weekend to those non-US readers too). We spent the day with friends and of course eating too much food. It was a classic Indian celebration: curries and koftas, conversation about movies, cacophonic games, more food and then to home to sweet slumber.

For sweet slumber, some good pillows with pretty covers are required. So, I have hand embroidered two pillowcases last week. The design is store bought, printed on the fabric and it is a cross stitch and embroidery combination. The stitches are not perfect but I love how pristine and peaceful the pillows look with the new covers.

Embroidered Pillow Cover for Home


Weekend Home: Mandala Cross Stitch

Mandala Cross Stitch for Sofa Pillow Cover

I enjoy cross stitch very much. It’s relaxing to perform, enriching to learn and produces such varied and attractive end results. If you have been wondering about the lack of updates on the website lately, this is the reason. The art form is absorbing and I have been working on a Mandala cross stitch design for sofa pillow covers.

The beautiful Mandala design is courtesy of a wonderful website called The Floss Box. I downloaded the pattern, printed it on a paper and traced the design on to a pillow cover and started stitching it. It is a simple design, requires only few color threads and will be done in two to three days. I have planned this design for four pillow covers. Three are done, one more to go.

Mandala Cross Stitch for Sofa Pillow Cover


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