Thursday, February 28, 2013


Someone said " Be pleasant till 10'o clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself" ! Yesterday being my day off, I went for my usual morning jaunt to the beach.  Even with Singapore's unpredictable weather, the last few weeks have been pretty weird. Blazing sun in the morning with abrupt  down pour by evening. So I took my chance and ventured out. Boy was I glad!

"Im thankful to be breathing this side of the grass. What comes, comes." Ron pearlman

Earth does laugh in flowers..

Dunno what this reminds me off.. let me know if you think of something

I am always thankful for being surrounded by such gloriousness. There is so much beauty everywhere. If we could just keep our eyes open for it!

Friday, February 22, 2013


I love all things Indian. I truly belive India has one of the best artisans in the world. Unfortunately not all of them have access to an international market. There is hope yet as numerous organisations are now dedicated to bringing the wonderful works of our rural artisans to the fore. Something that is specially close to my heart is Kalamkari ( Telugu: కలంకారి) as it is indigenous to Andhra Pradesh.

Kalamkari has been around since 15th century AD, initially patronized by Vijayanagar emperors and later by the Persian royalty. 'Chintz' ( glazed calico ( derived from Calicut) cloths block printed with flowers and other patterns )was very popular with the ladies of Britain , France and Holland, so much so there was a ban on Chintz since it couldnt be manufactured there!

 I had visited Pedana, the epicentre of AP's Kalamkari production back in 2006 with dreams of starting a fashion line of Kalamkari and silk! This was while I was on a sabbatical after my baby's birth (I was young and indomitable). But then I had to get back to my day job and thats a different story altogether!
Anyway, I was  amazed at the ingenuity of the whole process of dying and block printing using completely natural and bio degradable materials. Unlike other styles of painting, Kalamkari painting demands a lot of treatment before and after the painting is completed on the cotton fabric. Hence Kalamkari is a laborious and time consuming process.

I was shocked to learn that the first step in naturally bleaching the cloth is to cure it in cow dung for days before washing it to dye! After the cloth is done languishing in sun, it is treated with milk ( how decadent!) and painted with alum. Dyes used are all natural - red from madder (found in the roots of plants of the madder family (Galium, Asperula), yellow from pomegranate seeds or mango bark, blue with indigo solution (Indigofera tinctoria).

Bamboo kalam painting (as opposed to block printing) is seen in Kalhasthi. The rest of the procedure is the same.
From bedsheets

Image Source Page:
To accessories!

Image source: global conduct

Image source- paper jewellery.wordpress

Images- pottery barn

I came across this really informative blog  for anyone who loves beautiful things - An Indian summer
Through her, discovered
this very talented lady Ritika, with her 'Mora' collection. For more, go to

Neeta Lulla and Shashikant Naidu's modern rendering of the Kalamkari in Fashion week

I heart this dress! ( Image: Fashion inquisitive)

Below are pics from Asmita Marwa 2008
Images- homeshantihome

Talented designer Yuti Shah of  Udd and her collection in Klamkari

Kalamkari art comes in all shapes and sizes - each equally enthralling!

Do you have a favourite Indian handicraft?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Garden's in bloom!!!

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.
Eleanor Roosevelt

What a perfect Rosette!

Happy to report my small little garden is sprouting colours, thanks to the continuous downpour peppered with clear skies.
I was always hesistant to grow roses because of their reputation of being high maintanace. Ventured cautiously and bought my first Rose bush. A very 'garden' sort of variety with tiny flat blossoms.

 They turned out to be quite hardy, much to my glee! What's better, they ever prune themselves! Once the flower dries out, it drops off as if by magic at the exact 3 leaf node! Im a happy camper!

Wild Petunia/ Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex)- very hardy and self propogative too! The purple leaves in the background are Oxalis

Got this from a dumpster (!!) Picked up my neighbour's pruned Hibiscus from his dumpster on my way back from the beach. Its coming along very well :)

If you ever catch a black clad tall woman snooping around Singaporean dumpsters, you probably just ran into me !

Lovely pink Vinca- I love the hanging vines

My blue pea flowers (?) Love the velvety indigo and purple blooms

These vines have an interesting moniker- Lipstick vines!
Bunches of lovely tubes of red

Like mini Anacondas!

I think this is similar to 'powder puff' - Calliandra tergemina var. emarginata

Im still sourcing the names of these plants but what the heck is in a name? A rose is a rose is a...