Dec 3, 2011

Indian Bazaar

Local bazaars never cease to fascinate ...
(Scenes caught on my lens at a market in Gangtok, Sikkim)
Linking up to Mosaic Monday at the Little Red House, and The Creative Exchange.
To a colorful week ahead!

Nov 30, 2011

DIY Ideas - Young, Wild and Free - A Collage from Yesteryears

Today is about reminiscence.
About the truckloads of fond memories you bring back from college and hostel life, and sometimes memorabilia... like this collage I made in my first year of undergrad school. It was on my wall then, moved with me, got packed in aluminium trunks, got unpacked, unrolled, pinned back on the wall as I moved rooms after each year ended... till the last year of study.

Looking at it now, I'm reminded of those things which used to excite me then, what appeared "cool" then, a celebration of the first year with new friends, and a break into life in a college hostel.

Red had to be the predominant color, signifying well, defiance. The red handmade sheet from Auroville's outlets in Pondicherry came handy! And all the teen magazines, newspapers were scoured and dissected for interesting pictures.

Here are portions of the whole...

Veerappan was smart I thought ;-) for being RobinHood

I guess this put the whole effort in a nutshell... I'm young, so is my world!

It was the beginning of the www exploration

Somehow, a kathakali also fit into the scheme of things

And here's the whole collage...

I cannot put this up on my wall now, of course, since we've grown out of "go punk" and "go funk"! Better-half S laughed it off :D
But it will always stay with me as a happy reminder of the years when friends and I first tasted Young-Wild-and-Free..

I'm sure you've got stories to tell as well ... what have you folks treasured as memories of your yesteryears?

Nov 20, 2011

MyMela - Shop, Learn, Invest, and Reach Out

A great initiative, MyMela. I was quite kicked about sharing their work with you folks after I received Leah Herman's email on the interesting concept called MyMela.

An online marketplace, MyMela was founded by Navroze S. Mehta, and envisions the creation of a dynamic online marketplace for Indian artisans, providing them a sustainable market for their work as well as a source of loans to ensure their independence and long-term viability.

Through their website you can buy distinctive handcrafted artwork while learning about the organization/artisans who created them. So you pick a durrie online, scroll down and read about Sanjay Goel from Agra who wove the Rajdhani Durries. Or you buy a wooden photo frame, while reading about Abid Hussain, a first generation wood carver from Uttar Pradesh. It completes the shopping experience!!

What's more, you can also choose to make small "MyMela" loans to artisans will be used to buy materials, make capital improvements or train other workers and will be repaid to you with interest in credits on the MyMela marketplace. Read in detail on how this works, in Navroze's interview with Forbes.

Here's what the marketplace offers...
Hand embroidered silk and cotton cushion covers

Sleek bowls


Lovely brass jewellery


and handmade silver necklaces, earrings, bracelets, anklets, embroidered silk wall hangings, coasters, incense holders, and more!

You can also stalk them by subscribing to their monthly mosaics/newsletters or by following their blog, getting updated through their Facebook page, or following them on Twitter.

"This is the unique MyMela experience: shop, learn, invest and grow while reaching out across the globe to form a new community committed to the survival of Indian crafts."
A hurrah for this social entrepreneurship initiative!

(All images courtesy MyMela)

Nov 18, 2011

Guest Post: A Handful of Decor Ideas

Say hello to Joanna from Arcadian Lighting who wrote in offering to do a guest-post on this blog. She's here today with a handful of interesting decor details which would make all the difference in a room. Over to her ...

Hello, my name is Joanna. I’m a writer for Arcadian Lighting, a top online source for lighting fixtures across the spectrum. I spend my work hours searching the internet for the best images of interior designs and then write about them for blogs around the world. I love my work because it allows me to share my finds with readers such as you. Thanks to A Sunny Yellow Window for letting me guest post today! Many tiny details within a room combine to finish an overall style or look. Without these tiny details, such as texture or a spot of color, a room can fall short of its mark. Below we’ve gathered some tiny details to help you start looking at every element in a room with a new eye.

Tiny Decor
Here’s an unexpected touch, dainty clear feet on the sofa. We’ve sees ghost chairs and ghost tables, but now we have ghost legs to carry the look through.

Tiny Decor
Silver nail head trim on turquoise doors is the kind of detailing that adds excitement to an otherwise plain décor element.

Tiny Decor
Fabric covered shades for lamps like this one can give a punch to an all white décor. The contrast of black and white with turquoise also adds interest.

Tiny Decor
Books add interest when placed in a haphazard way framing the door to the next room.

Tiny Decor
Differing textures come together to add tactile detailing to a linen covered sofa. The tiny details on the mirrors make an impact as well.

Tiny Decor
Pops of color, like the orange on the mirrors in this room, are details not to be overlooked. They can add excitement to any space.

Tiny Decor
A stark white passageway takes on a whole new look with a grouping of ornate white picture frames. The black chair and rug contrast, adding a new dimension to the look. A light source such as a floor lamp, pendant light or chandelier would be lovely here.

When looking to spice up your decor or when starting from scratch, don't forget the details! 
(Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
... Ah, among all, I loved the fabric lamp-shade the most, and I'm thinking of Ikat on it.
I hope you enjoyed these ideas too.. Do stop by Arcadian Lighting's blog for plenty of ideas and inspiration daily.

Nov 9, 2011

Fallen Flora, Singapore

It is not that fallen leaves and flowers are any different in different parts of the world ...

... but these pictures come from our hawaii chappal trails in Singapore.

The weather is fine at this time of the year,

with occasional thunderstorms leaving the greens lush, ...

 ... walkways wet, and fallen flora glistening.

A hot cuppa seems just apt now, doesn't it?

Nov 6, 2011

Jimbaran Bay, Bali

Seafood and sea lovers don't miss this place on a visit to Bali! In fact, it cannot be missed since it is very much in the tourist circuit and everyone comes here for a fun evening by the sea, to bite into freshly grilled crab, oysters, prawns and other fish while listening to local bands or watching occasional Balinese dance performances on a makeshift stage.

As you approach Jimabaran Bay by road (just South of the airport), you are greeted by rows of seafood restaurants and a strong waft of grilled seafood. (So strict vegetarians who cannot stand the yumm fragrance of fish being cooked/grilled, could opt out of the fun!) You enter a restaurant after being greeted by a pretty Balinese girl with a headgear made of frangipani flowers, and she gracefully takes a flower from her basket and pins one in your hair above your ear. 

Walk in and the restaurant opens into the beach where a few hundred tables are laid out, and lit with candles (by evening). Reach by sunset, watch the sun and the sky mate with the sea. It's a "wow" sight to behold.

Settle down with a few drinks...

... as you are entertained by dancers swaying to local music.

An infectiously enthusiastic local band comes to every table, and sings you a cheerful song, and sometimes in your regional language. We for instance, were sung 'Tum paas aaye' with a Balinese accent, to our surprise and delight :-)

Then came the seafood, which is well done and worth a try. Needless to say, it will be better if one goes without any expectations of getting a masala fry or a tamarind gravy. Bland is the word, but that's the way it should be!

After this, a walk on the beach through the water makes a perfect ending to the night!

Balinese offerings

On a visit to Bali it is difficult not to step on atleast one of these compact offerings the Balinese make to the Gods several times a day. They are seen offered in front of all temples, buildings, stores, homes, inside vehicles - in small neatly woven palm-leaf baskets called canang-sari, and is always accompanied by a couple fragrant incense sticks.

Inside the basket would be a banana or sugarcane slice, grains of colored rice, bright flowers and leaves, and sometime biscuits as in the one above.

In a way, it symbolizes the eternal all-powerful relationship among people, spirits and the all-powerful nature ... and is offered to appease the benevolent spirits.

A Taste of Balinese Artistry

Back from a vacation in Bali, with fresh memories of the beaches, paddy fields, wood craft, seafood, wayside temples, rustic orange brick buildings, friendly people, frangipani trees and fallen flowers on the streets.

I read this somewhere "The soul of the Balinese is in his religion, so it finds its expression in the arts." Indeed!
What I found irresistibly attractive were the artist villages all along our route to the town of Ubud. It just seemed that every other person was an artist in some way - kite makers, painters, weavers, stone and wood carvers, mask makers ...

We visited a few homes/galleries where the artists live, work and sell their creations.
Dear readers, here's a glimpse of it -

The master artist adding his finishing touches 

It's all in the details

Plenty more to choose from
Art supplies in the backyard

Carved in stone - A streak of sunshine falls across his curls, and all-knowing smile

The hundreds of these sculptures didn't seem to compete for the buyers' attention - they just stood weathering rain and shine, at peace with their surroundings
After day one of our stay, I sighed in realization that our short trip was going to be just too short for this beautiful a place, and resolved to come back for longer, someday ... for a better taste of local Bali.

Balinese (art) villages - I am certainly coming back for more!

(Linking this to And then she snapped.)

Oct 11, 2011

Three Delightful Stories

Two weeks ago, I got hold of a sketch poem book by Bangalore based artist Prabha Narayanan who blogs here. Delightful to say the least, the book is on and is called Nature and comes alive with easy watercolor strokes and poetry in the artist's own handwriting, and fits snugly in my palm. 
I first read about it in Priya Sebastian's The Plum Tree, and knew instantly that I had to buy it. A few email exchanges with Prabha and a copy of the book was mine. I have it up on my ledge like a fresh piece of art.

I also logged into Twitter after ages, never really understood the fun in it. But now I'm sort of hooked! I see several folks who write wittily, gives me interesting links, travellers, illustrators, and those who just write creatively about what they see around them. I really don't mind spending some time during my 1.5 hour bus journey to work, reading observant people who can play with words.
Tell me you are there too! You can find me @PopOfBright.

Let me leave you with this today...
                                                                  I opened an old book, 
Smelt the old pages.

As I flipped through the story, 
Which climaxes in Spring,

I found pressed 'ol flowers 
Between the pages.

Good day fellow bloggers!

Sep 13, 2011

Pattern Inspirations from Hampi

As you drive past wayside scenes as regular as small colorful houses, children playing on the streets, pigs and cows and dogs on the road, bullock carts, and old men sitting under the shade of trees, little would you think that this small village in North Karnataka was the capital of an Empire more than five hundred years ago.

A visit to Hampi, as any site of ancient ruins, evokes in you a strong feeling of awe of how prosperous the place must've been in its heydays. The temple stone carvings here are not as elaborate as you would see in other parts of India, but are awe-inspiring nevertheless. Now in ruins, they stand a reminder of the invasions by the Muslim-ruled Deccan Sultanates way back in the 1600s.

Apart from memories of the kingdom's past grandeur, I also brought back in my camera some of the simpler, easy-to-reproduce patterns from the ruins .... simplest among all the complex ones I spotted there.

As travel memories at home, I must try painting them onto fabric, paper, canvas, walls, urns, or tiles - to remind me of the place each time I walk by!

How about these as borders?

This string of elephants would make a happy border along the edge of a wall, or on a stole!

I got to try this one

Have to add in this pic of an elephant we spotted.
Love the frame - colors on his trunk, and the blue window behind.

On another note, let me proudly share this too ... that A Sunny Yellow Window has been added to the Directory of Best Indian Blogs in the Arts category, and I am Mighty pleased! :-) A big thank you to the team. Do visit their website for a listing of several wonderful Indian blogs.

Coming back to topic, tell me which heritage site has inspired you to Create, Write, Paint, Stitch, Engrave, Decoupage or just Poster-it-up-on-your-wall.

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