Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Float em Rangolis!

A much needed idea for a fool proof, kid proof and long lasting  rangoli.
For somebody who is very powder challenged, these serve the purpose very well.

Consider making floating flower rangoli's  on a few days this festive season. They not only provide a contemporary twist to the good old traditional rangoli,  they are portable and super simple to put together as well.  

It does help tremendously that they can be made with very few flowers - Most of these here have been made with flowers that grow in the yard or the side of the road- and will last longer  than the traditional powder/ flower rangoli too. ( I have to be really lucky to have any thing on floor level alive and put together even for a few minutes!!)

They are simple like the one in red and yellow below

Or slightly complex, with the red flower petal patterned edging

An abstract composition created with three colours, seems to attract attention  of an entirely different kind.. as bees are drawn to the colour and water on the  balcony !

Trying a different colour combinations..   Using petals instead of whole flowers with blooms like rose and marigolds, various complex patterns may be created. Although, I  like to keep it simple and hassle free.

Yet another idea that uses very few flowers and takes seconds to put together..!

More coming up.. Watch this space.... until then happy floating !

Monday, October 29, 2012

All that glitters...

More from around the home.  Taken on Dussehra, these images  capture what sets the tone for the festive season for me.   Since I cannot be bothered with too many elaborate arrangements, simple elements handy around the house and kitchen are put to work.

Rich opulent and glittery.. Metals like  brass, copper and  bronze add sheen.

Pooja platters, kitchen implements, flowers, leaves, kumkum,  rice, camphor and incense create the ambience..

Traditional artifacts lend a ethnic, rustic vibe to spaces.

Finally the season is incomplete without lights - candles and diya's infuse homes with precious glow adding to the rich Diwali feel..

More festive ideas later.. until then hope you enjoyed these..

Monday, October 22, 2012

Festive Decor tips at Good Earth

With Diwali just a few weeks away, decor workshops are on offer by the dozen. I decided  to check one out at the popular Good Earth store at Raghuvanshi mills, Mumbai.
Conducted by stylists to the celebrities Kanika Bawa and the Extra Mile cafe, the workshop used delectable accessories and materials readily available at the store itself.   Sharing a few pictures ideas to help  add that extra something to Diwali sparkle this year!

Most of the materials are available at the store, so to recreate any of them, one simply has to head to Good Earth..

 However, many of the elements used in styling table top arrangements are readily available around the house..

Appropriate arrangements befitting the occasion can be created using traditional flowers and leaves such as- mogra's, marigold, tube roses, roses, betel leaves, mango leaves etc.

Diwali is the festival of lights, glitter and sparkle,  a good time to introduce shine and bling to the house using an array of materials- brass, silver, sequins, beads, textiles etc..

While addressing the sense of sight and taste with sparkling clean houses, and delicious food,  it is a great occasion to make the house smell good using natural materials such as fragrant flowers, organic dhoops and incense.

Will be back with more for the festive season, Have a Happy Ashtimi every one !!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The city in focus : Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla Mumbai

Situated in a pool of green, thanks to a classically planned botanical garden, surrounded by the bustling streets of Byculla and its  warren of empty crumbling textile mills, stands a building steeped in the city's rich architectural heritage and history.

With its collection of the industrial arts, economic products of the 19th century and a vast exquisite collection of local artifacts, the 134 years old Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (erstwhile the Victoria and Albert Museum)  was conceived as  a keeper and narrator of Mumbai's history.

Today however, the institution has a brand new story to tell.. One of painstaking renewal and a meticulous conservation that has restored the structure, interior and contents- all to its original, glitter and sparkle.

To walk into the glittering,  freshly painted interiors  of this Palladian structure built in the renaissance renewal style ( the only one of its kind in the city), it is hard to imagine the state of dereliction it had fallen to in the years after independence.

The original colours and details had been effaced from the, delicate stucco and stencil work was badly damaged,  Iron pillars everywhere had separated from the walls and many of the etched glass panes were broken.  And as is the case with most heritage buildings in Mumbai, haphazard and badly conceived electrification was conspicuous all over the building.

The museum was reopened to the public in 2008, following a seven year long, renovation and renewal project that resurrected 
both- the building and its collection,  from hugely diminished and deteriorated conditions. Led by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage- INTACH, supported by the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation, the project has received various accolades and widespread recognition.

The unassuming green and white structure from the outside, does not quite give away the magnificent interiors  that await one. Even the entry fee into the museum is a humble Rs 10!
But one push past an old railway style turnstile lies a stunning interior. Soaring two storey high walls and a intricately painted ceiling, held in place by handsome cast iron pillars,  intricate red and gold grilles and a delicate celadon green that adorns the wall - lend a matchless grandeur to the space. 

Walking on cool check board tiles, taking in the collection artistically displayed in  re polished and restored wooden cabinets that stand in rows in the central atrium, one arrives at the grand staircase- clearly the high point of the experience. The monumental staircase, with its intricately patterned encaustic Minton tiles lends gravity and beauty to the building, its colours patterns and texture demanding a lot of attention.

As the story goes, the original planner and architects of the museum ran out of money half way through the laying of the tiles..! hence only the stair case and the upper story of the building are laid with the imported tiles, while the rest of the space was finished with locally sourced chekerboard tiles.

Restoration of the priceless collection of rare books in the Museum library is in 

With a frequently updated exhibition schedule, workshops targeting children, adults and teachers and a full fledged year long course in Indian Art History, the museum has much to offer the community. On a much needed break from a hot humid Mumbai day, its cool interiors  have become a favourite haunt for me to spend a few hours engaging with the interiors. It is also one of the few places I am able to take my kids who love the museum's collection. One only wishes there were a small coffee shop besides the existing souvenir shop,  to help extend visits and make it a meeting point of sorts- a kid of hangout Mumbai so desperately needs!

Monday, October 15, 2012

ODD: Get a time keeper!

Much is flying around me... and before I start to lose it .. I got me organised !! how do you do it guys? Care to share?!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Colour stories: Turquoise!

Have not written a colour post for a long time ..Not that one needs to make an excuse for Turquoise anyway.. It's one colour like pink, I absolutely love, but have not imagined dedicating entire walls to!- yet  :)
Today's post is about the colour, used in a mostly traditional, ethnic scheme.... 

Turquoise in all its shades- wether  an intense burst of blue or a softer and paler version- is so unique to the gem stone it derives its name from, that the stone and the particular shade of blue are now synonymous to each other...

Called Turquoise as it was thought to have originated from Turkey at first, the gem stone hails from the Alimersai Mountain in Persia (now in Iran). The best quality Turquoise to this date  is credited to the region.

The intense shades of turquoise have endeared it to many ancient cultures:  Ancient Egypt, Aztec, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley and China. Despite being an old gemstone, it was introduced to Europe via Turkey only with the silk road novelties and  not until the 14th century was it used commonly in jewellery. The stone was introduced in India only during the Mughal times and remained unknown to the far east until the 18th century..

The color to me, denotes a relaxed, fresh and contemporary feel ..  It goes well with a bunch of warm colours, reds, oranges, pinks and yellows,  and provides a fun visual pop against muted, earthy tones of natural materials- stone and wood. It also provides a lovely foil for ethnic objects like baskets, textiles and jewelry..

Every once in a while, I change up the accessories around the bedroom and more private 
spaces of the house to make way for the Turq :)

Hopefully  in some near future, I will gather the guts for an all turquoise wall .. until then, this will have to do ..!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wedding moods

Four mood boards for three days of celebration. The brief: A traditional setting that marries (no pun intended!)  contemporary and kitschy elements.. Lends three distinct looks to the three evenings. Is fun and makes the most of the location..a renovated palace in Rajasthan. I am no wedding planner , but compelled by the colours  and light of   all things Indian that a Indian wedding usually epitomises, I found myself putting the `looks' together.
Sharing it here, if only for the fun that went into it...!

What to you guys think? Do indulge me.. let the suggestions and ideas flow!
look forward to hearing from  you :)

Most images used for the mood boards are courtesy the internet. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Id and Ganesh utsav have come and gone. The year is already on the brink of the festive season. Dussehra, Diwali and Christmas.. Also the much awaited short but sweet Mumbai winter - if there is such a thing at all!..
Taking a  short breather before diving back into the year again.. posting random pictures taken from around  home, of homes and random streets....

(More about Chawl)

Its the light between two seasons that makes such a difference to the way we see things.. Shifting rays of the sun create unexpected, surreal changes to perspective. The way  the breakfast table lights up some mornings for example....

Or another random corner of the house late in the afternoon....

Also today afternoon, rambling around a shaded Colaba street, I chanced upon this balcony besprinkled with light.


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