Thursday, January 31, 2013

Over a cup of tea: Dreams

I have been wanting to talk about this for some time now and what better time and place than sitting here, late at night, nursing a cup of hot tea.  
All of us have our dreams: some big, some small, some that we believe in and others that we don't really think will come true but we dream about it anyway!  What is your most cherished dream, the one that you hope will come true, and soon?
My big dream is to retire early and move to an island, maybe Kauai, and live a sun-kissed life (being Kauai, the occasional warm rain showers are appreciated!). 
The ocean would surround me outside and inside my small beachside cottage, I will have my trusty laptop and precious books.  I can't think of anything else that I would love more! 
(The husband would love that too though he might also want his yoga mat.) I can even imagine the decor: completely bohemian. Cream walls, lots of reds, lovely fabrics from all over the world, some with tiny mirrors glinting in the sun. The bright green of the leaves and the cobalt blue of the ocean. What a riot of colors that would be! And when it rains, the whisper of the ocean and the plopping of raindrops will signal that its time for tea..
What do you dream about?
Image credits/copyright: Taken by me.
  The pictures behind me have changed yet again and taking pride of place is the suzani poster/picture, enlarged from a photograph I took in France

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pappadum (Chennai, India)

This post is about a lovely children's store in Chennai, India that goes by the witty name Pappadum (yum!). It is co-founded by Priyanka Raghunath and Harini Lakshminarayan and offers you a eco-friendly range of products for children aged 0-5. There is clothing, books and stationery, toys and much more. All in a lovely store nestled among trees that also hosts a bookclub, a science club and theatre workshop. Interested?

The products featured are designed and created by collaboration with many independent artists and from what I can see, it looks like my kind of store! 

Just gorgeous designs! I love pairing of the light pinafore with the graphic black and white. You can find Pappadum on Facebook here

Image credits/copyright: Pappadum. Thanks for writing in, ladies!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sponsor Welcome: CupoNation

Today’s post is about CupoNation, an online website that offers you deals and coupons for your online shopping pleasure. With retailers from Domino's to FabFurnish and deals on sites from Cleartrip to Rediff and Flipkart, CupoNation offers shoppers in India online coupons so that you can get a great deal without the hassle of clipping and collecting newspaper coupons. Just sign up for deal alerts and watch the savings accrue. Honestly, you are going to wonder how you ever shopped without it before! Visit CupoNation here to find out how to start getting your online coupons.

Image credits/copyright: CupoNation

Support the artisans: Coppre

I heard from the folks at Coppre about their venture supporting the Tambat copper work craft. I wasn't familiar with the work and thought I would share them with you because I really believe that supporting traditional artisans in every way we can is important to preserving our cultural heritage. 

Coppre "works with with the craftspeople, by contemporizing their products for today’s lifestyle, thereby making the old relevant in the new. We aim to bring dignity and efficiency to this ancient craft by linking talented designers to craftspeople and presenting their craft to the world. " Coppre is supported by INTACH Pune Chapter and Forbes Marshall. They offer a range of beautiful products for the home and you can visit them (and shop!) on Facebook here.

Image credits/copyright: Coppre

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tea time at the National Gallery (UK)

Hello Monday! I am going to start off the week with some tea-related goodies from the National Gallery (UK). I am besotted with this floral tea caddy and this tea-for-one, cup and pot set. Because, as we all know, tea time is as much about the drink as it is about a time to be surrounded by gorgeous objects and to fill our mind with beautiful thoughts, isn't it?
You can find the floral tea caddy and tea for one set here at the National Gallery (UK).

IMage credits/copyright: National Gallery. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Postcard From My Life

My days are almost as busy as the wall behind me. Most of it is because I went back to grad school again but also because of the blog, my two kids and on and on. I make lists of all that I need done each day and week and at the end of the week, I take a day off to relax. We will go to the craft shop, I will buy another frame or two or we set off on a long walk, collecting berries and twigs. The only rule is to relax. Hope you have a great weekend full of fun and relaxation. See you on Monday!

Image credit/copyright: Mine.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I love saris (or sarees), the traditional Indian attire that make every woman feel like a goddess. I wear them a lot more than I used to because my slightly bohemian taste in jewelry goes really well with them, almost as much as the traditional gold and diamonds. I also love to support entrepreneurs which is why today I have a post about clothing, specifically the sari blouse. We have all anguished over them: how to match them to the saris, what design and where to get them stitched. If you live here in the US or outside of India, finding tailors is harder. I have gotten blouses stitched here but it usually costs an arm and a leg. Enter Ashima of Ethnitude who has blouses in different patterns that can be used to match more than one sari and because it contrasts with your sari, it makes the sari look even more gorgeous!

 In Ashima's words.." The idea is to avoid tailors and match a blouse to each Saree. Contrasting the saree with a complimenting blouse brings out the saree more and all the blouses in the store are designer style high quality blouses. So one blouse can be used with different sarees as oppose to making a blouse for each saree, hence more economical. The best part, they WILL always fit. The designs have been tested thoroughly." All you brides, this will be great for your bridesmaids! In addition, for every blouse sold, Ashima donates to a cause: A Blouse For A House. For every blouse sold, they manufacture new cotton blouses and donate to households in India. Entrepreneurs with their wonderful ideas are great but those that give back to the community are simply the best in my book!

Visit Ethnitude here.

Image credits/copyright: Ethnitude. Thank for writing in, Ashima!


I don't think I have blogged about India based i-Tokri before and I want to share this wonderful online resource with you. iTokri provides you with access to the amazing work of artisans and creative types. Like these ikat stole/ dupattas from Dastkar that bring out the inner Bollywood heroine in all of us..(you know what I mean: imagine running through a beautiful field of flowers, the stole streaming behind you, feeling the wind in your hair, all the while lip-syncing to a Bollywood melody).

But that's not all. iTokri has everything from craft kits to stationery, home decor items to apparel for men, women and children. You are sure to find something there, so hop on over to iTokri. These cotton stoles can be found at Dastkar on iTokri.

Image credits/copyright: Dastkar/iTokri

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tribal Area

I am always on the lookout for affordable and stylish sources for ethnic fabrics and fabric-related products which is how I found Barcelona-based Tribal Area. They have embroidered bags and other accessories, clothing, pillows, bed linen as well as furniture and jewelry.

Visit Tribal Area here

Image credits/copyright: Tribal Area.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cole of London

I have always been an anglophile, all-world history buff and royalophile (pretty sure this word is made-up). And as you know, I collect tea cups and mugs. So imagine my absolute delight when I found the mugs designed by Sarah Cole "which provide you with a great way to mug up on your history while enjoying a relaxing mug of tea". These are bone china mugs and they feature British kings and queens as well as heroes and villains and writers etc. Can you help but fall for a set of 6 mugs featuring the wives of Henry the VIII or the complete Tudor set? Not only will you have their famous, well, mugs on one side  but also a very concise history with relevant dates on the back. I LOVE them and want it now! 

Visit Cole of London here

Image credits/copyright: Cole of London

West Elm's Pad-Printed Bowls

It's already Tuesday and there are so many things to share. First up, West Elm. Totally loving their new Pad-printed bowls. I would love to mix them up and not worry too much about matching. Find them here. I like the heart prints: lovely and subtle. 

Image credits/ copyright: West Elm

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sponsor: Zansaar Giveaway Winner

The winner of the suzani milk jug and two milk mugs is ..Shilpa Bindlish! Please email me so that I can pass on your contact information to the folks at Zansaar. Congratulations and thank you all for taking part!

sam_mom said...
my favr8 product is Philips Blown Glass Table Light 12.5 cm Dia

also tweeted abt the giveaway :)

Shilpa Bindlish

Before I go, may I just say how awesome Zansaar's new Morocco inspired dinner collection is! Love how vivid and  striking the patterns are. Visit Zansaar here

Image credits/copyright: Zansaar

Blocks Prints: Queen and Swan

Hope you are enjoying your weekend! 8:30 in the morning and it looks like a shiny, sunny California day. I have some work to finish before I officially start my weekend but I thought I would quickly share with you another gorgeous block print resource: Queen and Swan. This time it is the beautiful blocks themselves. Between you and me, I think these are the real beauties, patiently carved into trees, flowers, fruits, animals and of course, my favorites, the paisleys. These patterns have been popular in Indian textile design for years. You may use the blocks for printing/stamping. I collect them as pieces of art and at some point, when I have enough of them,  I am toying with the idea of mounting all of them up on a wall. That would look so cool!

The blocks come in a variety of sizes and the prices vary depending on the size and the intricacy of the pattern. See the entire collection at the Queen and Swan here

Image credits/copyright: Queen and Swan

Friday, January 18, 2013


It's a beautiful sunny day here and I am sending some block-printed flowers your way. I found Roopantaran, a block-printing artisan collective that brings to life the designs of  Mickey and Roopali Raina. Not only do they hand-make beautiful creations, they are a social enterprise that aims to provide self-sustaining livelihoods and education for the artisans and their families. I am passionate about the art of block-printing and I am going to revisit Jaipur one day. I have been to Rajasthan multiple times and my parents and I still talk about our trips there. It will be nice to go back and look at it from the perspective of block printing. Roopantaran brings to you beautiful quilts, scarves and pillows. I think block printing is most beautiful when the colors stand out against a white background: it allows me to appreciate the intricacy of the stamp and the vividness of the colors. 

They offer free worldwide shipping and competitive prices: this set of 5 cushions is $55 + free shipping! The quilts are reasonably priced too. They also offer kantha work. Visit Roopantaran here and here.

Image credits/copyright: Roopantaran

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rooms that tell stories...

I can't tell you how much I love this room! It reflects my design aesthetic and could be a room in my house. This was featured in the January issue of my all-time favorite magazine and muse, The World of Interiors. To me a home is not something you put up in days or weeks but something you create over a lifetime. Something with layers and layers of stories and happenings. Can you imagine being in this room, surrounded by all the different fabrics (and all that red)? All the different textures and patterns inspire me to do something creative. (I can imagine writing a book here!) Since I started writing the blog I have had many people ask me to help decorate their houses and to all those lovely people, this is my idea of a GORGEOUS room! See more pictures of this Suffolk home in the January issue of The World of Interiors (UK) and on their Facebook page.

Image credits/copyright: The World of Interiors. Photography by Tim Beddow

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Today's post is about a local venture/store here in Northern California. As I see more and more California readers in my site stats, I have to admit to feeling a special bubble of happiness and I am always proud to support local businesses. Artsiya is a Santa Clara-based venture that supports handmade work  and features bohemian-inspired jewelry, scarves and other accessories as well as Berber rugs, lamps and poufs from Morocco to India.  For all those of you who, like me, are always on the lookout for pretty scarves especially ikat, or  antique jewelry or in whom the sight of handmade rugs always brings a lift of excitement: visit Artsiya here.

Image credits/copyright: Artsiya. Thanks for writing, Saru!