Thursday, July 30, 2015

Temple Project

                       Summer home project-Temple Making

Temple Assembly Drawings

Don't be overwhelmed by these designs, done by my architect husband. I was surprised and confused when I looked at them too! I even thought of taking a step back and rethinking about our decision and just buying one ready-made :) It had been a long time since I wanted a temple and all options here in US were dark wood or copper/tin. They were nice but making something by hand was so interesting. Also I found some temples online made by others from home depot/lowe products ;) and to dismay of my husband the DIY bug bit me.  The examples online were so awe inspiring that I surely thought it was an easy project. Ever since then I have been asking him if we could work on one. So this summer we decided to! :)  Well, the truth being we thoroughly enjoyed the concept planning to basic modelling to aesthetics phase of the project, I would now say it is a moderate difficulty project. Below is parts info. You can directly skip and go to instructions and come back to it later.

Temple Assembly Parts

Home Depot

Temple Base and Pillars:

PS: The numbers mentioned below are part numbers from home depot, which can be entered directly in their search box on website to pull up the item.

185435000907 SHELVING 1X24X48 LAMINATED PINE  -- cut base(2ft*2ft) and drawer top (1.5ft*1.5ft)  = $17.87
750805419148 PRIMED BALUSTER 5205 SQ TOP 41" - 4 staircase bar used as temple pillars-cut according to height 4*4.98 = $19.92
750298153253 2X4-96 STUD2X4-96" PREMIUM KD WHITEWOOD STUD -- used for drawer/plinth support cut into 4 parts of 1.5 ft each to support the top of drawer = $2.87 204771223 1/4 in. x 2 ft. x 2 ft. PureBond Red Oak Plywood Project Panel -1/4 inch thin for top cut into (1.5ft * 1.5ft) = $5.40

Temple top:
095624515672 1X36DWL SQUARE DOWEL 1" X 36" $3.58 000868926047 BLOCK 7-5/16 X7-5/16 PINE DM358 O/S CRN $26.82 000868926023 CROWN ISC 7-3/8 X7-3/8 PINE DM358 I/S BLCK $7.51 100544892 DM ICBB458 - 1-1/8 in. x 1-1/8 in. x 4-1/2 in. Solid Pine Miterless Inside Corner Block for Base Moulding 4*1.35 4 ft. x 2-1/4 in. x 3/4 in. Maple Galley Rail (16.76*2) = $33.52


6920000601097 CAULK GUN  SMOOTH ROD CAULK GUN 10OZ $2.77
022078190728 LIQ NAIL HD  LN HEAVY DUTY 10 OZ $2.52
3-2/3 in. x 9 in. 60-Grit Coarse Garnet Sandpaper $3.97  021200471032 EXT MNT TAPE EXTERIOR MOUNTING TAPE $4.97
Drill with suitable drillbits

Decoration and Paint:

3LT DIMMABLE LED PUCK - WHITE (lighting) $19.99
Greecian White 4 in. x 12 in. Polished Marble Base Board Wall Tile (4.99*2) $8.98
White spray paint, White regular paint, Red paint
Liquid gold leaf paint
wood brass coasters, drawer knob, essence stick stand from world market
Part of materials list from amazon:

Temple Assembly Instructions

1.Use 2ft*4ft laminated pine piece. Cut the plinth of the temple 2ft by 2 ft 2 and cut the base 1.5ft by 1.5ft. Get them measure and cut at home depot.
2. Cut the 2*4 - 96inch stud in: 4 pieces of 1.5 each to support the base on plinth.
3. To the plinth(2ft*2ft piece) attach 3 of the above 4 pieces and create a raised platform for base/drawer. Remember to keep one bottom panel open as drawer opening.
4. Determine the height you want for the temple and cut the four staircase baluster each same height. Sometimes home depot won't cut such small pieces for you, at those times we found ourselves struggling with the tools in cutting area of these stores, working up a great appetite and gaining some workout muscles :) at the same time asking dumb questions like if we could rent an electric saw to cut those 4 tiny pieces.
5. To base (1.5*1.5ft) of temple attach the four blusters as pillars. For both the steps above use screws from the screw box.  As shown below:

6. Place the base on plinth like a raised platform as below. Remember to keep one bottom panel open as drawer opening or you will end up removing the screws again :P Though we remembered to keep the drawer piece of wood open, we had a really long discussion till a day later about how we want the drawer to open - sideways move, hinged rotate, pull push! Remember the number of options is equally proportional to time it takes to complete the project. Such are the complexities of life:P :)

7. Cut the 1\4 inch thin top plywood panel in 1.6ft*1.6ft and place it on top of the pillars. Again attach the pillars to ply with screws as per pic below. For the top, my dad suggested something more authentic and similar to top of temples. So with ideas from him we dismmised the design below and continued to think of something else.
8. Cut the Maple Galley rail to place over the top and base of the temple to create a verandah. Also, stick the crown molding outside corner and inside piece together with wood glue and make a temple kalash out of it a below. Before attaching the temple kalash create a small hole in center of plywood top for wiring for light.

9. Cut back plyboard size to desired height. Place the cloverleaf metal sheet and attach it to the back of temple. We used push pins/needles to actually hold them in place since  anything else was too thick for the metal and top plywood. Attach the ply board behind the metal sheet again with very thin screw.
10. Use the remaining pieces or stair baluster to make side staircase.
11. Add knob to drawer
12. Attach the puck light with a 3M mounting tape.

13. Spray paint base in white.Paint all the decor pieces, poles, kalash, back panel etc with liquid gold color, so as to maintain uniformity. Decorate with colors and stickers the way you like. If you like put some flowers, bells and toran decoration.
14. Use Marble pieces in front of drawer where you can put diya and dhoop so that the wood does not get stained. Also (not shown here) get a piece of marble slap to put atop the base to place idols on so that it does not stain during pooja and prasad. This piece was a home run! It is a no work but awesome usability kind of piece:)

This project took about 3 weeks from start to completion with numerous trips to home depot, atleast 10:) and an ultimate question from my dad "why are you making this?", because he thought we were making this for some occasion or event :). Since we didn't actually know what to buy, what will work, what will not etc, it took longer to complete and more trips than expected. I think we solely took up the project because we stayed within 1.5 mile of home depot :) Thought of putting together this DIY post incase we need to make improvisations in future or if someone wants to try making a temple. If you do plan to build one, please take all necessary precautions in using various tools described above and share the pictures!
Ideas and design by Sayli Deshpande and Aditya Deshpande (ar.aditya at

Alternatively order some parts from Amazon except cut wood:
Basic structural wood pieces are from home depot since they can be precision cut as per temple size.
Pillars: cheaper available at home depot
outside corner:
inside block:
Maple Galley Rail
Dimmable Puck Lights amazon:
CloverLeaf Brass back:
60-Grit Coarse Garnet Sandpaper:
Mounting Tape for light:

TiteBond 2 weatherproof wood glue: 
Caulk Gun:
Liquid Nails:
Assorted screw pack:

Liquid gold leaf paint: 
Drill: Drill bits:

Materials list from amazon:

Friday, May 1, 2015

The train along the west coast...

When you think of the west, cowboys horse ranches really come to my mind. Thats is one of the most wanted thing on my to do list for now "horseback riding". Well we can save that story for later. But for now the West I am talking of is away from the dessert heat and cowboys, it is the West Coast.
I had gone for a training to Sacremento, which is the capital of California. I had taken an extra day off for visiting my brother in Sunnyvale as the training ended Thursday. Sacremento is not one of those bustling cities and you would really feel out of California there, according to my observation. I took a cab from my hotel to Training site every day but hardly noticed many people except when I went out for lunch. So, on Thursday as the training got over, I decided to quit exploring the city and go to Sunnyvale before nightfall. I asked one of my training mates to drop me to the rail station nearby.
As I looked at the small old architechture station building, I saw a lot of beggars and some people just sitting around without a reason there. I gathered some guts to go in the station. Thought to myself "there is definitely going to be station staff". I entered the station and it was no better than a Bombay local station. Some stench and again the similar people inside as the one outside. I walked across the hall and came to the ticket window and asked "when is the earliest train to Sunnyvale". The ticket counter lady infomed me it just left 10 min back and the next train was at 7PM, 3.5 hours from now. Well as I had no other option I took the ticket and kept thinking to myself, would it have been better to take a plane ticket, but I so much wanted to experience the train journey. What about Greyhound, but then it was not going to be any better. I thanked the lady and again looked around.
This time more keenly as I had to sit there for 3.5 hours, again beggar, beggar, person with colored hair, person with piercing and guitar, person in tattered clothes. So I was not sure how much I wanted to sit there trusting that at the end of journey I would have all my baggage safe. It was still daylight so I ventured out to see if there was a deli or coffee shop around, and see if I could catch some interenet. And well starbucks came to the rescue, it was like 200ft from train station and I was relieved. Well thats the safe feeling something familier can provide. Another thing crossed my mind, mostly ppl working at starbucks are students or they have other jobs, so they might be nice people. I entered the coffee shop, It was really small and a bit stuffed. Ordered my regular hot Chocolate Mocha, well sometimes the regular feels really special and this was one of those times :), where you thank the regular speical things in your life. While I eyed tha cake, which I usually skip at starbucks because of already heavy caloried coffee, I had no intention of doing any such thing this time. "A babana loaf cake for here" came the words right out. Somehow I was able to get hold of a single chair and table near the window and sat sipping my coffee. I had a book to read "Micorsoft course book", but I had already had 4 days of crash course and this really was those fun + exciting moments where you are enjoying your time along sitting in coffee shop, knowing nothing and noone around you. One of those least bothered moments.
I peered out of the window for sometime and wondered at the people walking around and the calmness of the place. It was definitely eerie, I was still surprised, maybe I was in the "No tresspassing" area of the city. While I conjured up something to write about this place then its only now that I am writing it after 7 months.

As I had nothing to do, I called up all my friends whom I hadn't called in a long long while. It was nice to touch base. I checked my watch and there was still 1 hour to go. I felt very comfortable beeing in starbucks but still I decided to move to the station as I dint want to miss the train, specially as it was the last train to SunnyVale and I knew absolutely no one in 'Sacremento'. Well I picked up my bags and went out, looked back at starucks and thought to myself, how much is the probability of me coming back to that coffee shop, I think never. Living on east coast I usually just do one trip to West a year, but to Sacremento is a possibility in millions. I thanked it for giving me the comfortable feeling and left the place as I put it in my books as 'random meetings'.
Back at the train station, I was hoping to see atleast someone and just then an old couple came in. They looked like the usual travellers and after they were a bit settled I decided to go talk to them. I asked them if they were from here and regular travellers and explained to them , I came from Birmingham and was travelling train in US the first time. They were very sweet and told the whole story of how their son worked there and they were visiting him and going back to sunnyvale themselves. And I told them how as an outsider, I feel Sunnyvale is much better and cozy as compared to this city and why I was here etc. After an intial exchange of information, they were even more settled and started talking of theri family and stuff. Time flew by fast and I did not notice that there was noone at the station as yet. There was no announcement. As it neared 7, we walked to station and looked for the train, when one of the officers going by just showed us to the train. Now these are like some of the pleasures who have staying in small city. You always have people working at a relaxed place and helping you out and noones rushing. If you have ever travelled in trains here, you will find that they are double decker couches. The inside of the train is as in picture :
It was cozy and I could see the full outside view. I was really excited for the 4 hour journey, not knowing what was in store.I took a seat across the old couple, made myslef cozy, opened up my laptop, put my phone to charge, took out movie CD's. Well except wi-fi they had everything. I had 3 movies, but decided to watch the pink panther, as I was in a light mood. The train started in about 10 min, I stretched my legs across the seat and just then teh sun came trickling throught he window right on my face. I had no intention of sleeping and the warmth of sun in that AC couch felt nice. I put the movie and earphone on and started laughing (obviously to wonder of whoever was around, but then who has watched the movie and like that genre is surely going to know what I am talking of 'i wud lake tho have a hamdurber' :)
15 min in the movie and I raised my head above the screen and there was the whole sea beside the railway. I was so glad to be on the right side of the train, we were travellign right along the coast. The sun was gleaming into the water and as far as I cud see was the sea. I was hooked to that scene, I have never in my entre life experienced such a beautiful train view. I always thought they wen through tunnels ;)
Then came the meadows, then the sea, agan the meadows and the train going in a zig zag fashion through them. Suddenly the train scene from Harry potter crossed my mind. His first train to hogwarts from platform 9 and 3 quarters. The greenery and the sea, I was tranferred to my land of wizards. I wondered to myslef, if there is any place as serene, beautiful and quite. I could kill time there not doing anything just looking out at the different shades of sky, water and meadows and the day changed to night and back to day and not feel bad about doing nothing. Just then the ticket checker came and I came out of the dream. Am sure by now even the readers are bored about this long dream, so 'yayy' for the ticket checker. After 2 hour journey and stopping at some sacremento type stations, I was still engrossed in the view doing back and forth on my movie. The movie ended and I decided to turn on some hindi music. Its very unusual to listen to any hindi music at all in US unless you are in states like NY/NJ and thus listening to it from my seat in train, was like being in India right in middle of a sceneic view. Now I decided to concentrate on view in order to absorb all it could provide. The "In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein Pakiza Se Riste Hain" song really went well with that place and time, the soothing effect of the music and meaning of that line in particular kind of summed up the moment :)..Yeah Indian music with a heavy classical base did the wonders, I thought to myself.
As the other songs from the movie played in loop we came to a number of stations some with coconut tress, while some with as much lighting as christmas decorations, some really old style. I am doing some research to collect pictures to post it here (to be continued..)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


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Among all the trip that we have done so far this is my most favorite, not only because of the sheer untouched awe-inspiring beauty of nature, but because of all the exploration the trip had to offer.
If you do plan to go to Alaska go in May-June-July and book for the trips in Jan, because they get pretty full in January. If you plan to chalk out the trip on your own and not through any cruiseline or tour then you can do the bookings latest by Feb end.
Check out the blog Alaska Tour Savor book for great savings and The Milepost book if you plan to drive around on your own.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Alls colorful in Fall!

The trees with beautiful orange, yellow, gold and brown colors and the rustle of leaves in autumn breeze always puts cheer in the step. But BAM! there comes the time savings and early sunset and cold chilly winter and the trees shedding their leaves looking more like a skeleton and this easily drops your mood. That's where the beautiful lights and the red and gold sparkling decorations and wonderful candle smelling of spices and pies helps.

This year I just feel like winter is a little different and much more colorful. Mainly because of the bright colorful fashion apparel hitting the racks and a cheer added to it by the wonderful polka, stripes and chevrons and all famous Paisley patterns. Though black is elegant, however much I try, I can't help putting a pop of color in every outfit!. So with my sewing machine which I almost now have for 2 months, I have done some mending projects and some brand new projects. Here is a short series of some sew and paint projects I had fun with. It was fun learning my way around things and making a few mistakes. Thanks to the plethora of wonderful sew blogs on internet for keeping me inspired.

sew sherlock Apron
sew lacy sleeves

sew diaper clutch
paint vase with stamps

sew poang chair cover



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chicken soup for fathers soul

When it comes to father’s stories, though there are many little countless things our dads do for us, I always remember telling people about one or two which have touched me. My dad is a very loving and easy going person. And I most definitely share the strong father daughter bond with him.
This was one incidence during my 10th standard exams. Back then, I used to not like history at school. As a child and also as adult I was very hard working but had a family history of weak memory. With a subject like history that had so many date based events, I should have known better than to trust my memory at doing well in it. Still I promised my dad I would do well in the 10th final exams without help. Even after his constant checks I kept assuring him about my abilities.
Before the 10th exams we had a mini prep test called prelims. I cleared history with passing marks not flying colors which as you might have guessed would take me nowhere in the rat race for excellence. I freaked out.
My dad spoke to me that evening and sent out a letter to his company very next day morning requesting a straight 10 day leave to make sure it din’t come in the way of my education. Where job is so important and he was the only working member of family, he gave such a high priority to me. We studied day and night together like buddies over the course of those 10 days. He used a lot of tips and tricks and fun filled activities to help me remember the stuff. I never knew studying for such a high pressure (well at that time it was high pressure) exam would be so much fun. The father daughter time spent then was the one I would remember for lifetime. The exams went well and the results were a straight 100% marks in history, which was only otherwise possible in Math and Sciences. We both were so proud of each other that day :)

After this there have been many more things that he did, like not taking a foreign job offer 10 years back for my 12th and accompanying me to the exam hall every single time, even to the mall, teaching me ride my bicycle, my first two wheeler and the car. For any questions of what could I do for him, all he says is seeing your smile is the greatest gift I always have. As much as I can remember he was always there. Thanks to my study buddy, friend and advisor, my dad for showing confidence and nurturing my abilities to the best.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Newfound love

Well with summer ending and the fall slowly setting in I need something creative to express myself. In past one year, moving to a new city has not been easy. With my husband constantly away for a year with work, the new city was hard to adjust to, right from finding a home, car, driving 40 miles to-from work, finding places, finding new friends, finding physicians, dentists and so on. The list is endless, leaving no time for blogging or anything else. Now that my husband is finally here after the long-term assignment, and above mentioned stuff sorted out, I feel a bit more settled in. I am now ready to get back to honing my blogging skills.

Recently I figured, I need to do something creative quite often to satisfy my creativity bug. I remembered something my Mom used to love doing when we were young. She loved to sew. She would sew dresses, bags, purses and more. So I called up my mom and asked her how she would love to share her sewing tips with me. And how about we both work on some fun projects to get back our lost skills. So out came her sturdy grandmas machine, she had saved all these years and I bought a Brother XLI2600. Soon enough we will be able to bounce back ideas and posts on this blog. With so much inspiration online, I would like to point to one blog, I love to follow:

PS: Please keep checking the posts and leave your valuable feedback.