Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Quirky vignette for Diwali

As the Diwali weekend approaches there is plenty to do so I will leave you with a funny mini vignette. It was my husband who got these decorative balls which I use to scent the room and it was he who suggested the fun idea...

He said I should tie  turban on its head and I looked at many you tube videos on tying turbans.., let it stew a bit in my head but it was not coming together for me. Till I took out some cuffs with the idea of putting tealights into them which is exactly what I did with one. But one look at the other and I knew I had my turban...

The screw type lid at the bottom and the "turban" on its head... made laugh. Take out your cuffs and put your tea lights and diyas in them for a fun and glam look.

Another take on the "Raja of quirk" as I call him

Wish I could show you the whole vignette... these days it is so dark and dull outside and I really don't like the way photos look with the flash on. Maybe I need a change of cam! But I like this vignette... doesn't it make a pleasing picture...

One more look and 

I will see you on the other side of Diwali... keep smiling!

P.S. Pics by my daughter ...
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Junk Diwali decor

Junk is green, junk is gorgeous, junk is the new glam... All that junk can be made glamorous.. An old torch is now aptly used to hold tea lights or diyas... the old torch still shines light on a new day. So let there be light and cheer this Diwali!

The old torch stands tall, with a pewter bowl on it holding a tealight while its top half with its rough scalloped edges stands on some iron  weights. I used the bulb holder and the cover as decor accessories and there is my rope coaster. To see how I made this coaster click here.

Old stuff often have a lot of happy memories associated with them. Why not reuse them this Diwali and relive those special moments...

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Diwali DIY : Wire art embellished boxes

Diwali is when we pray for peace and prosperity and deck our homes in gold to invite luck and prosperity in. I present to you a recycled wire art DIY this season.   I received some DVDs some years agoin a box  (I know I seem to be collecting these things in the hope of renewing them one day!) and I wanted to deck it out in traditional gold as well. As luck would have it, my favourite shop Lotus had these lovely gift wrapping papers. Armed with these and some fancy beads I set to work. I  got so immersed in the work I clean forgot to take the before pictures. But here are the raw materials and the after picture...

I know what you are thinking... that knot of wire will come to nothing! I couldn't agree more! I have made such a mess of keeping it well, but it is amazingly easy to straighten it and anyway I use small lengths of it so no worries.

I stuck the two wrapping papers - one with gold print and the other patterned tissue - one over the other on the box and then got cutting and sticking.  I have done a real easy print which makes this a snap to do! I cut the wire, flexed it to shape and stuck it at sort of equal intervals and voila! it has an embroidered effect with none of the sweat and toil associated with embroidering. 

Here is my Diwali tableau for all of you...

Another look?

A very happy, peaceful and prosperous Diwali to all of you!
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Adding grunge to Indian vintage decor

Junk is the new glam in decor what with the gorgeous junk decor ideas all over the blog world. Here is my take on junk decor. Like I mentioned before rust does not necessarily look great in tropical India. But there are other ways to incorporate a bit of grunge into Indian vintage brass and bronze.

That board there was once part of a play set my son used. I attached normal door handles available at the local hardware and marked it with a border mimicking a running stitch. I am sure you recognize the embroidered panel from my previous post on decorating brass.  I just need another look at this!

That large brass vessel is an older version of the one used in making kuzhipaniyaram...
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Folk designs on ceramic

I must confess that I love all kinds and manner of folk art. When I got a Warli card at a local exhibition I thought that I had to showcase it better somehow. I copied the design onto transfer paper and transferred it onto a silk cloth which I then stuck to a ceramic plate which once held Diwali sweets.

Oh I had to trim it with that stone string which I am obsessed with now. I just love the tribal candle holder. Right now I must also confess to having put up this prop for this blog post. I am still looking for the right place for it at home. Here is a closer look

Admittedly this is not the most innovative use of warli but it is pretty isn't it? I learnt something from this design transfer though. The best way to stick this is probably to use double sided sticking sheets ... nest time! 
 Do you know a better way of transferring designs on to ceramic? If yes do let me know

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Using embroidered patches and tanjore stones on brassware

This post is dedicated to my friend Janaki who gives me gifts to repurpose. The beautiful embroidery patch in this picture is one such. It was a big one which I have cut up and repurposed. The leaf brass wall hanging is again a gift which I dug out of my steel trunk. Take a look...

The zari work goes so well with tanjore stones and brass. Here is a look at the original wall hanging 

What do you think? I would love to hear your comments...

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Four fun side table decor ideas

The other day I just set up a little table by my workspace on the floor with whatever I found around and then it occurred to me that this could be a fun project so here are four arrangements that I put together with various objects from around the house

The plate which serves as the base is a picture plate from Amsterdam and the objects on it include my favourite Chinese vase.

This next one is set up on a chalk board and I put out a  few yellow and black pieces that I had on it.

I adore the colourful lantern which I picked up in an exhibition, the little cow photo holder and te tiny watering cans... these are indeed  a few of my favourite things and I put them up on an exam pad for a lark.They sit on an expandable hook rack for added quirk!

This has to be a travel story which is set up on a packaged embroidery design I did very long ago. The fox puzzle is from Stockholm (love the Scandinavian design sense), the long necked bottle is  from Dubai, the shell flower is from Chennai and the brass from Kerala.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The most awesome golu ever!

Every year Navaratri means a new themed golu at Janaki and Sabesh's residence. Preparation begins well ahead with the theme being chosen, dolls chosen or bought or both; and the props and return gifts made... this is not a mean feat; just take a look at the awesome backdrop created for this year's theme - Karnataka. It recreates in minute detail, the ambience of the Mysore palace.

The entire backdrop was made by Sabesh and lit from behind. The steps were custom made for their golus some years ago. The dolls have been selected for the theme. Take a look at the individual tableaus.
This one is the royal procession.

Goddesses Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi... and a closer look at the intricate detailing of the backdrop.

A wedding amidst the royal settings

other vignettes of daily life

This is a mini golu in case you did not guess...

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Decorating brassware

All of us have many cups, lamps, candle holders and such lying around the house. Me too! I decided to put some of them together and bling them up cos they are too pretty to give away and some are really old treasures too.. this will probably be a serial affair because I have a lot of things I want to put together and will do that when I find the "right" way to do it! 
Here are a couple of brass objects I put together with fevibond...

I stuck on the tanjore beads which seem made for brass somehow

and then stuck them together with fevibond

When it comes to adding bling to metal ware sometimes less is more. I have shown you my bling.. show me yours!

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Friday, October 11, 2013

An easy way to find an architect who will realize your dream home

At some point in our lives we build new homes or renovate extend or refurbish our homes and we are at a loss to find the right architect who will help you do that. Magazine after magazine splashes spreads of beautiful homes done by leading architects and interior designers but not all of us can hire them and not all of them are free to do our relatively little spaces. So we probably choose an architect/designer  recommended by a friend and  the result is probably a mix of our tastes and those of the architects we hire.
What if I were to tell you that I know how you can choose the professional with the same mindset as you to construct your dream space? Well I am telling you that now. Zingy Homes a site which has aggregated architects and interior design professionals and their portfolios exclusively for home owners. Right now they are inviting  all home owners to vote for professionals whose work they like based on their online portfolios. There are a range of professionals with diverse skills and knowledge of state-of-the-art techniques which are necessary in construction today. 
Get on to their website  and get started on voting. Who knows you may find the right professional for you right away! Awards will be given out based on votes by homeowners like you and this will help you get an idea of the talent out there and indeed pick from the lot when you need to. So what are you waiting for? Grab the chance to get familiar with the state-of the-art talent that is aggregated for you by Zingy Homes.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Create festive houseware with tanjore stones

Bling up your lamps and turn little matkas into decor pieces this season. All you need is glue and some pieces of jewellery... there is such a choice now in little shops that sell festive bling across town. I picked up two pretty bracelets which were going cheap and destrung them. I have already used part of the pieces on transparent pebbles, then I did this!

You have already seen the stone studded string. I just dug into my craft box and got out some tanjore stones to match. Here is another look

I found this matka when I started spring cleaning for the season (I seem to start every season and never finish!) and blinged it up as well. 

Such a stark contrast... warrants one more pic!

Here it is with afore mentioned heavily decorated pebbles.. I have shown you my bling... your turn now!

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Interesting everyday decor

There are many terrific bloggers out there and often I am inspired to recreate some of the stuff they put up. Here is something that is inspired by that awesome blog - Funkyjunkinteriors. Junk may not look the same here in India with the high humidity which mostly spawns mold but there is always a way to recreate ...

An upturned pot and an old cow bell strung simply through a rope. A knot holds up the pot - minimum fuss great effect what say!

Here is another look at the arrangement, this time with a little birdie (I have a weakness for little wooden birds!) on top

I am not done with this post yet. I am thinking of stringing another bigger pot on top... let's see ; that rope is quite unbending!

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Assemble a festive rangoli this season

The  Indian festive season is upon us and rangolis are an integral part of our festive decor. All manner of instant rangolis are available in the market but something from our own craft and jewellery collection can help give this festive season your very own personal touch. 
Here are some of mine

Interestingly apart from the first one the others are all just arrangements - no sticking! If you find it difficult to keep some beads in place use blue tack - it is removable. I particularly love the last one where the little pieces go on to transparent pebbles. Just dig into your pendant collection or buy an assortment of eye catching stones, beads and some string; add some pebbles, cloth - experiment!

Here is a look at the raw materials I used

I chose that aged looking brass plate; it adds so much character to the whole setting... Happy festive weekend!

Check out this fusion piece I made for a friend who has the most awesome golus ever. Hope to post pics of it soon...

I bought some cards which were basically peepal leaves which were soaked in some kind of liquid to make them skeletal and then decorated using coconut fibre.  I only cut the leaves to size and trimmed them with the stone studded rope which I am so fascinated by nowadays. Most puritans will not use three leaves well I don't stand on ceremony I just ran out of rope but my friend will get the full set of four!

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My home

My home is where my heart is; where I live with my two kids and hubby; where we lovingly and painstakingly assemble all the little things we collect during our extensive travels. I would like to think that every little corner of my home tells a story of time long gone; of travel and of beauty. Much of the furniture and some furnishings have been passed down from our parents. Here is a glimpse of some of our treasures...

Welcome to my living room where all the furniture is old and worn and beautiful. I simply love the old Kashmiri rajai which hangs as a curtain here.

I love this sage tableau with the two suited Ganeshas and the Krishna pic which was framed so well. It was a gift of an old calender which was laminated. It lends the print an aged texture. 

Here is my sun laden balcony where I keep my decorative garden accents. I collect these on my travels. Gotta love that little angel. I brought her home all the way from Norfolk.

Here are some more garden accents and the pretty vase which is made from rolled terracotta by an Assamese lady who lived here for a while.

Sitting on the ancient trunk with working wheels is an equally ancient iron vessel we call Kumuti which was used to hold coals. I think it makes a great charging station. I like magnets and these ones from Istanbul decorate the iron trellised candle holder. Law gardens in Ahmedabad has  many tiny shops where women sell embroidered fabrics  and I bought a huge piece for a tiny price ... one part of it adorns the trunk.

Wood and brass make a terrific combination; the large wooden box houses my junk jewellery and the chest of drawers is where I hide my clips and pins and such.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How to make a cushion in a hurry

I made this one in about ten minutes and I think I will use it or a long time.

 See I have this footstool on which I sit in the early morning light with my cup of coffee for about some ten minutes sipping and chatting with hubby before my son wakes and the morning run starts. My use of this footstool is limited to this morning time and for when I am sewing still I wanted to sink into something soft. Recently I bought some sponge wadding; I don't know for what - I often buy craft stuff without actually knowing what I will use it for and then find a use for it. I saw it sitting there one morning and had an idea. 

The wadding was already  neatly folded so I just removed the plastic covering, snipped off the cloth handles of the bag and stuck the wadding as it was into the bag. I only removed the handles because I wanted to use the velcro coins to seal the bag. You could very well snip the handle into two and tie it like a ribbon after stuffing the sponge in.  Works the same way. Me being me couldn't resist transferring the vintage Vienna poster as an addition to the bag but any old bag with character works well. Keeping the cloth bag removable allows you to wash the bag when it gets dirty. Here is a closer look at the velcro coins - super cute.

I cannot tell you just how amazing it is to sink into this little heaven every morning!
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