Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ragamala - A garland of Ragas

 I know that its been pretty late showcasing the now almost sold out Ragamala collection here, but then as they say, better late than never. This Collection was a part of the Chithiram edition 2 and took a huge chunk of my time this year in research.
Even though I hail from a music oriented family, I am not a music buff and certainly knew nothing about Hindustani music when I started on this journey. I turned to a few people for help, but I guess they had better things to do. So I spent a lot of time reading on various ragas, their difference and pictorial references which I later simplified to help me make my pieces. I am by no measure an expert on this topic, but I would like to share with you, a portion of my research and what this collection is all about. 

Ragamala Necklace - Featuring all the six Parent Ragas
Asymmetrical necklace with a Collage of all 6 parent ragas of Ragamala - Bhairav, Deepak, Sri, Malkaus Megh, Hindol on a handcut aluminium base, backed with leather along with crystals wrapped and looped in copper wire

What is Ragamala?

 Ragamala meaning a garland of ragas  is a set of 12 verses describing various Hindustani Ragas or musical nodes (Each node comprises of notes sung in a definitive pattern). It details the six principal (male parent) ragas -Bhairav, Deepka, Sri, Malkaus, Megh and Hindola, The Raginis - their 30 wives and Raga putras - their 48 sons. Ragamala paintings are visual descriptions of the raga families and can be found in various art styles such as Pahari, Rajput, Deccanni, Kangra, and Mughal. Mostly miniatures, these paintings represented the nodes (Ragas), by associating them with deities (Krishna for Megh and Shiva for Bhairav), kings and queens or even ordinary men, women and animals that are outstanding in their own right.

Ragamala Necklace - Featuring all the six Parent Ragas
Ragamala Necklace - Featuring all the six Parent Ragas
I found many different texts classifying ragas differently, that it was extremely confusing. I read through all of them but in the end, came back to this Wikipedia entry  on ragamala paintings with first set me on this path and decided to follow it wholeheartedly. 

 Ragamala of Chithiram

This line of Chithiram collection –  my Ragamala, attempts to take the connect between music, poetry and art one step further by creating adornments that transcends religion, aesthetics, and even time thereby reestablishing the parampara or tradition of storytelling that is filled with rich visuals, good music, strong morals and great creativity. A unique line of jewelry that narrates outstanding tales of India's Tradition.
  Simply put,  Ragamala of Chithiram,
is a collection of Jewelry personifying the visualisation of music; of Ragas, Raginis & Rajaputras. 

 Design Process

The most interesting part of the research process was finding paintings that were inspired by these ragas. Most prints were copies or derivatives of works done by masters, yet they were very old and had to be restored which I spent a lot of time on photoshop doing. It was extremely interesting to see how painters from different schools of art approached the same raga. The color combos and dress detailing on the paintings was so fascinating that it made me regret not pursing textile design.
Once I amazed enough prints and sorted through them, I resized them, fit them on readymade bezels, glass tiles or handmade metal bases (designed and made by me). I then decoupaged, glazed or filled them up with resin depending on the base and strung them together with coordinating beads. It was time consuming with each piece requiring constant attention that drove me mad. Photography was even harder as these were glazed shiny pieces. But in the end, everything came together that it was like making a song - setting a tune, writing words, singing and filming it! A fine metaphor considering  that the Inspiration was music.

I'll post details on one family of Raga and the pieces inspired by it every week. Find the first post of the series here, on Bhairav Raga as a part of the octoberfest  Autumn celebrations here

I hope you find it interesting
Read More

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Octoberfest and Indian Autumn

Not to be confused with the Bavarian Oktoberfest in Germany, a funfair with lots of beer, The "Third Annual Octoberfest" is a bloghop of ideas, themes, and inspirations for autumn celebrations hosted by Rita of Toltec Jewels, or Jewelschoolfriends as we all know it. The first time I saw the invite for this bloghop, I was hesitant to sign up, as I felt I couldnt really relate to "Autumn of the west" Let alone it being Orange and black, filled with yellow pumpkins and red orange leaves as we really dont have an autumn season per say in India, particularly the south where I am from.  Then I read Rita's description of the hop -  "A Home & Hearth Celebration of Autumn's Splendor" and realised that it didnt matter when or where as long as it was in the celebratory spirit and I decided to participate and talk a little of the "Indian Autumn" or  festive fall as we know it here.

Autumns here  are pretty muted, with leaves turning a stark dark green and and trees a darker brown. In the south, Yellow flowers fall off creating a soft velvety carpet on the roads waiting to be washed down by the south East monsoon. This monsoon often brings in cyclones making the atmosphere a moody blue, a slushy brown and gray - infact almost colorless. So we tend to make up for it, by dressing our brightest and loudest best for the entire gamut of festivals that are celebrated during this period (regardless of the religion they belong too) like Ganesh Chaturti, Janmasthami, Onam, Bakrid, Muharram and Karthigai apart from Diwali and Navaratri.

 Indian Autumn Color Palette

Navaratri and Diwali,  are the two most important festivals of the year which are a riot of colors with the aforementioned bright ethnic clothes and fine jewelry. To make sure that our houses dont get left behind we put up displays of dolls, add streamers and lights and draw kolams and rangoli in front on our houses. This is the Indian Autumn Color Palette that I can relate too. Warm and ethnic with yellows, reds and green, with strong blues and a dash of brown. Pink and purple peep in playing fun accents with gold and silver. Yup that's the whole spectrum right there and its the most colorful part of the year.
A very tired me posing next to this year Navaratri Golu - Doll Display
2013 Karthigai Flower Rangoli
And I dont miss out on seeing Orange and black together in nature, for we have glorious sunsets most months of the year.

What are festivities without good food and Music? Hindustani Music is one of the forms or schools of Classical Indian Music and it specifies a particular group of Ragas or Nodes to be played during different seasons of the year.  Raga Hindol in spring, Raga Dipak Summer, Megh in Monsoon, Bhairav in Autumn and Finally raga Malkauns in Winter. These Node families have been detailed in the book "Ragamala or Garland of music nodes" which was my inspiration for the recent Ragamala Collection of jewelry, where I created a piece of jewelry inspired by each raga specified. More on the Ragamala collection in a following post.
 Today, I would like to show you the pieces I designed based on the Bhairav raga family, the raga for Autumn season; you can see that the pieces look very colorful and festive .
Parent Raga: Bhairav raga
Wives: Bhairavi, Bilawali, Punyaki, Bangli, Aslekhi.  
Sons: Pancham, Harakh, Disakh, Bangal, Madhu, Madhava, Lalit, Bilaval.

Bhairav raga Necklace- Image of Shiva seeking bikshai (alms) decoupaged and glazed in 32g brass handcut sheet with bead danglers, aptly adorned with rudraksha seed beads and coordinating yellow glass beads. Rudraksha (Holy seed of E. ganitrus species) represents Shiva and is often strung together in prayer malas. Bhairav raga was historically associated with glory and awe, but became identified with peace and devotion.Carnatic equivalent -Mayamalava Gowla

Indian Beaded Necklace, Ragamala

Bhairavi necklace - This asymmetrical bead necklace in maroon, blue and green with sarafa closure has a handcut brass moppu of Bhairavi praying to Lord Bhairav in the form of linga. The second focal is a mini kemp rakodi. Bhairavi ragini is the foremost wife of Bhairav raga and is sung after midnight or early morning; Carnatic equivalent -Hanumatodi

Indian Beaded Necklace, Ragamala 
  Indian Beaded Necklace, Ragamala
The Above piece was a festive hit and recreated again but many who saw it thought it was too big and wanted a similar feel and same image but in a smaller and less chunkier avatar. So I made a Mini piece of Bhairavi using Glass and crystal beads in the same red - blue - green color combo with Bhairavi ragini resin pendant in shiny silver bezel.
Indian Beaded Necklace, Ragamala 

So that was a small tour of my Autumn celebrations and crafts, I hope you found it interesting. I Wish you all great autumn festivities and a very happy Halloween. Now I am off to Rita's blog to check out what the other participants have posted and then have a great sunday meal. I hope that you'll join me too on visiting all the blogs. Find the full list here


Read More

Friday, 24 October 2014

This Story has a ring to it

I hope you all had a fun filled Diwali and are looking forward to continuing the celebrations this weekend. Do look at my post of Styling tips for your weekend Diwali celebrations.
I guess I have "festival hangover", so here is a snappy post. Before I get on to the post, I want all of you to answer this following question truthfully - "How many Finger rings do you own?" Frankly I have too many and have lost count a long time ago. I was never a ring person throughout my school and college days and would buy or wear one very rarely. Then I went to Sri Lanka in 2009  and found these adorable solid color rings and fell in love with them, thus beginning my ring journey. I love chunky rings and many a times I have wriggled out of situations, got royal treatment  due to my rings and once even breezed through an airport security check when the personnel was charmed by my ring and started talking about it. LOL.  I will one day showcase my entire personal ring collection here.
So its only natural that every collection of mine should have some rings but I refrain from making them (particularly with adjustable bases) for sale as I am scared that the focals will fall down and break as its held with either glue or simple wire wrapping even though my rings are usually my best sellers.
So you can imagine my delight when I found these really sturdy bases from Sunandmooncraftkits which could be used with either resin or glass.  In my Chitra Katha collection I made three Statement ring designs (in multiples) with glass and they literally sold out in minutes. Do take a look.

Statement rings
 Royal parade ring - Glass cabochon with a royal parade - painting in mughal style in a shiny silver adjustable setting

Statement rings 
sangini ring - Glass cabochon with sangini playing a musical instrument in a shiny silver adjustable setting

Statement rings 
Decanni ring - Glass cabochon with a decanni painting in a shiny silver adjustable setting

All the three designs are inspired by royalty but are minimal in setting so as to direct full attention to the painting inside.
I hope you find it interesting
Read More

Monday, 20 October 2014

Styling tips to make you Shine this Diwali

Being a fashion designer I always wanted to do a styling post in my blog and figured that this year for Diwali week I  would post styling tips instead of the usual tutorial.
A quick survey of the social media sites and enquiries in my friends circle confirm that more and more people are doing festive shopping online (including myself) so the clothes here are from different popular online shopping sites (Myntra, Flipkart & Snapdeal) so that you can pick them up if you like. All Jewelry showcased here  is from Sayuri and are available for Sale.
 I have created Five looks here - one each for Dhanteras, Deepavali morning, Lakshmi Puja, Cracker bursting evenings and Taash Parties where I have combined some fashionable ethnic /Traditional wear available online with eye catching pieces  from Sayuri. The other accessories/makeup mentioned will help you pull together these looks.

Look 1: Dhanteras
The first of five day festivities begin with a lakshmi puja for wealth or Dhanvatri Puja for good health Wear white (silver) and blue is worn to depict the ocean from which Lord Dhanvantri appeared carrying the nectar (amrit) and Pink to depict Goddess Lakshmi.Also Buying jewelry on Dhanteras (Day that gives wealth) is said to be very auspicious and bring in more wealth.
Pair a gorgeous fuchsia, teal and beige lehengha from Four seasons with the splendor of peacock necklace for an ethereal look as you offer prayers to Lord Dhanvantri to keep you and your family safe and healthy. Coordinate with simple beaded danglers and silver khada (cuffs). Go for a flawless face, with a simple pink or rose lip color. Keep your eyes simple with a soft grey eyeliner on the waterline and mascara.

 Diwali fashion styling tips

Look 2: Deepavali Morning
Indian festival traditions vary vastly from state to state with a huge north - south Demarcation. Deepavali in south Indian (especially Tamil Homes) usually begins early morning around 4-5AM when people take oil bath and wear Silk clothes - Pattu Saree, Vesthi and Pattu pavadai before lighting the traditional Kuthu vilakku (lamp), getting elders blessings and eating lots of sweets.
To look like a goddess, Pair the Bhairava raga necklace and earrings with a gorgeous shaded Vivikta silk saree.  Dont forget kajal for your eyes and jasmine flower for your hair.
Enjoy Deepavali with Pattadai (new silk clothes) Pattasu (Crackers) and Palaharam (sweets & Snacks).

Diwali fashion styling tips

Look 3: Lakshmi Puja
Look resplendent like a princess in Red on Amavasya as you offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi. Pick this half and half Florence Red & Cream Saree and pair it with the Persephone necklace, diamond or stone studs, Glass bangles and a red bindi for a classic look. As loose hair is not an option while performing pooja, pin up you hair with simple floral clips to match your necklace. 

Diwali fashion styling tips

Look 4: Simply Chiffon
Lets face there are no Casual Evenings during festivals when friends and relatives keep pouring in throughout the day. The evenings are mostly activity filled with people playing Taash or similar games. So this look caters to those casual evening parties  where you feel like wearing something a little more simple but still  want to look good.  For a fresh festive look stay away from the Traditional greens and yellow and pick an acidic  Florence Green Chiffon Fashion Saree and pair it with a pretty garden necklace from Pixie dust, simple beaded earrings and thin elegant gold bangles.

Diwali fashion styling tips 

Look 5: Evening special - Lighting lamps & Bursting Crackers
Whether its the north or the South, the one thing which everybody enjoys is lighting lamps and bursting crackers in the evening. Here comfort gets prominence and its prudent to choose regular fit cotton clothes to avoid any fire related injury. Also as there will be a lot of smoke and heat, I suggest staying away from wearing necklaces or bangles and opting for long earrings. Style an ornamented Navy blue Kurta from Melange with these adorable Sapphire earrings for a grand look that ranks very high on comfort. Dont forget to wear flat sandals to protect your feet and tie up your dupatta while bursting crackers.

Diwali fashion styling tips

So how do you like these looks? Tell me whats new this year in your wardrobe and how you are planning to style yourself this Diwali. I do understand that this post is little late as a shopping reminder as most of you would have already decided what and how to dress for Diwali, but I hope that you'll get some styling ideas and would probably be able to apply your own personal twist to it.

Disclosure: I was not paid by any of the sites or brands featured here to promote them, nor do I endorse them, however the links used are affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I hope you find it interesting
Wishing you all a very happy and safe Diwali
Eat sweets, play and have fun

Read More

Friday, 17 October 2014

Pin Junkie Blogiversary Party

The blog world is all about sharing ideas, thoughts and inspirations, meeting or interacting with people and make a few friends in the process. And what are friends for if you dont help each other celebrate our joys? With that thought in mind, a bunch of us (40 to be precise) are coming together to guest host Bonnie's Pin Junkie Blogiversary Party. The Pin Junkie is celebrating it's two year blogiversary and we are helping to celebrate it in style with a HUGE link party! When you share your crafts and recipes at this party, they will be seen on all 40 of these blogs!

Two years ago, Bonnie a.k.a. The Pin Junkie decided to actually do the things she pinned on Pinterest.  She made a few crafts, tried a few recipes and had so much fun, she wanted to share her love of Pinterest with everyone and The Pin Junkie was born!  Now she's completely addicted and working her way through Pinterest one project at a time.  You can join her at:

 Now before we get to the party, here is a recap on what happened at JewelsofSayuri these past two weeks. We first had a How to post - on how to clean metal for jewelry, followed by A DIY tutorial of the super gorgeous Azuli Earrings and finally wrapping up with How to earn money from your jewelry blog  post which offers easy methods to start earning from you blog.

If you like these posts, I am sure you'll like those linked up below too. Its Celebration time now, Join in and have fun!!

Party Rules
1.  Share anything family friendly - crafts, recipes, DIY projects.
2.  Visit other links at the party.  It's always nice to leave some comments and pin from the original source.
3.  Visit and follow a few of the co-hosts.  They'd love it if you dropped by to say hello!

New Mrs. Adventures Made in a Day
Jewels of Sayuri Mom Home Guide
Wow I Like That Blogghetti
Natural Maker Mom at Satsuma Designs 2 Crochet Hooks
 photo button77_zps6991121a.jpg
Delightful Mom So Much To Make
Amanda G. Whitaker “mommyzoid I'm Not a Trophy Wife  photo WPORG_FAV_zpscfc08c44.png
 Who Gave The Baby Coffee What About DIYFunIdeas
 Jenny Marie A Peek Into My Paradise

Read More
Get widget

I party at

Grab a button

Jewels of Sayuri


Tutorials listed under Sayuri TM by Divya N are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Jewelry designs of Divya N (for Sayuri) are copyrighted. Details