Well yesterday was Janmastami and I managed to finish Jagannatha Baladev Subhadra and Baby Gopal's new ivory brocade outfits. I'm still in the process of working Gaura Nitai and Madan Gopal's outfits, plus, I have another project lined up-- hopefully everything will be complete by Radhastami. Also, did I tell you that we ordered Srimati Radharani's silver anklets for Her? I also ordered another "fancy" set for myself... yes, I did just get new ankle bells a while back but my husband loves me dearly and who am I to argue with him over how he shows his affection? They should all arrive by Radhastami as well; I can't wait to see Sri Radhe's ankle bells hopefully She will get to wear them on Radhastami. Their Lordships will have two new outfits in Their wardrobe by then. With each new outfit, I'm getting more practice and learning things each time around and having so much fun with creative projects. The outfits are also better each time around and have become more opulent and elaborate. I'm glad I took a chance with sewing Deity outfits, if I hadn't, I would have been out a lot of cash buying outfits and would've never known the fun and challenging service of Deity jewelry and sewing. I have to work on my turban-making, though, I'm thinking about using Styrofoam balls to first shape and form the turban rather than making them directly on the Deity. Right now, I'm thinking up idea for the next outfit which will be green and magenta combination. When I have Them dressed up, I will remember to photograph Them and keep record of each outfit, color combinations and embellishments for future ideas.
Today is Nandotsav-- Nanda Baba's festival for Krishna's birthday and the Appearance Day of Srila Prabhupada. I'm so exhausted from fasting and running around all day yesterday that I didn't even feel like going to the temple today, I got bathed and dressed but I think I'll wait until Srila Prabhupada's abhishek begins til I head down to the temple in order to avoid the crowd. Plus, I'm watching the Janmastami festival going on right now in Sri Mayapur Dham. If you want to see Sri Mayapur Chandroday Mandir you can view their webcam by visiting Mayapur.tv. They also have links to other live temple broadcasts.
Yesterday, Chandaneswar prabhu cooked several preparations for Sri Krsna Janmastami, it was offered during sandhya-bhoga, then sold in the maha-prasada stall in the festival. One devotee made my husband aware that immediately upon transferring his offerings to the maha-prasadam stall, it sold out. A gentleman purchased a single bowl, dipped his finger and tasted it, then bought out everything on the tray! He asked Chandaneswar prabhu how it was possible for him to cook so many preparations and to give him the recipes for each dish. Prabhu usually cooks anywhere from eight to one dozen preparations for Kalachandji on Janmastami and everyone is always stunned at the quality and quantity of his preps. Usually the maha-prasad is distributed during the feast; his preps are so famous that devotees will fight over morsels of specialty dishes. I feel increasingly proud as I watch devotees hide bowls of curd dishes, vegetable curries and milk sweets in a secret place to retrieve it later.