Turning 26…

I could not have asked for a better birthday week. I simply had it all; family, travel, scenic locations, picnics, spa, games, cycling, yummy cakes and shopping for curios! After spending a few days at my parents house in Coimbatore, we started early morning on May 1st for our first stop of the vacation – Munnar. We were headed to this very scenic hill station for the first time and I must say the reviews for this place is underrated. It must be seen to be believed! Long winding roads in the ghat sections that seemed to go on forever, tossing us left to right and right to left as we desperately tried to soak in all that lush green beauty around us! The tall trees with massive trunks that might be a few 100 years old, sprawling tea estates that resemble a patchwork lawn you just want to lie down on and beautiful birds flitting about, Munnar indeed has plenty to share.

greenery1Sprawling Tea Estates

We stayed at Sterling Resort in Munnar, the rooms were cozy, but what interested us more were the outdoor activities. Playing games, cycling, taking long walks and having hot cups of ‘Kattan’ ( black tea in Malayalam) made us forget that back home summer was actually causing havoc!

flower thumbprintedColorful Flora

greenery2

On visiting the spa at the resort, I was pleasantly surprised to see Kerala wall murals adorning the reception area. I love this vibrant and ethnic form of painting that one can see across many parts of Kerala. We saw more of this in Cochin as well, but more on that in my next post.

mural1Kerala Wall Mural Depicting Lord Vishnu 

mural2

Another element of decor caught my eye in the spa, something I had not seen before. Coconut shell lamps; the intricate patterns drilled into these shells threw sparkling light all around. And since they were small with low wattage lamps, more of them were used to adorn the ceiling here to make the room appear brighter, providing a spectacular arrangement.

coconut shell lampsLovely Coconut Shell Lamps

And lastly before we left for our second part of the journey to Cochin, we did some yummy shopping at the Tata store in Munnar. The well laid out shop offered plenty of choice in tea, flavored tea, strawberry preserve (one can get this only here in Munnar, I think the rest is exported). The highlight for me is the wholesome strawberries soaked and preserved in lemon syrup and my favorite lemon tea! We have stocked up enough to last us a few months 🙂

preserveStrawberry Preserve Manufactured By Tata

Kattan ChaiLemon Flavored Black Tea

As we prepared to head out again, the only thing that made leaving behind this beautiful  hill station for the hot and humid city of Cochin bearable was the prospect of visiting a tiny area called Jew Town, which I first visited in 2009 and loved at the very first sight. More on Jew Town and its precious curios in my next post.

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The Purple Turtles

In continuation of my visual walk through of two lighting stores in the city that I find interesting, lets take a look at a rather unique store starting with their unusual name – The Purple Turtles. Started by ex-advertising professional  Radeesh R Shetty, this store offers designer lighting of every kind from industrial to recycled material. There are lamps that can be customized on customer request as well. They don’t just stop with providing unique lighting solutions, but provide lighting and design consultation as well for both residences and commercial projects. Having been around the city for more than five years now, this lighting store albeit a little expensive can add that special something to your home.

Thread spheresI love this type of ceiling lamps. They remind me of festival fairs and the beach cafes. It also has a very earthy feel, natural fiber, thread, coir or wool is used, as you can see they come in a range of shapes and colours. I have similar ones for my dining area, and they look great!

Fire Fly Bead SpheresThese bohemian firefly bead globes are simply dreamy. Made with metal string and numerous tiny beads, provides this overall effect.

Banana fibre Sea Urchin Inspired Lamps_turtleBanana fiber paper has turned out to be a great idea in lighting. This paper has a unique texture making it look great with or without the light turned on. Besides, the versatility of the medium has allowed various shapes and themes to take form in this range of lighting. Above is sea urchin inspired ceiling lamps.

Banana paper_sea shell paper lampBanana fiber paper is made from the bark, stem and other un-utilised parts of the banana plant on harvest. Here we see it as an oyster inspired table lamp.

brass metal lamps_purple turtleBrass, copper and other metal inspired lamps are a rage these days. People are increasingly appreciating these metals in the form of handcrafted home decor items. Here are some metal inspired lamps/ lanterns for the table or floor and ceiling.

Metal range turtleLights with different kinds of fabric are also popular. Silk being a favorite for its sheer glamor.  There are other textiles such as cotton as well with interesting dye, motif and stencil treatments. Here are some Shibori Dye lamps that are designed by Jenny Pinto. This is a popular Japanese method of cloth dyeing. In India we refer to this as tie and dye, such as Bandhani famous in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

shibori dye range by Jenny PintoGlass lamps, be it plain or coloured have a timeless quality about them. Have a little something to brighten up any corner of your home, here simple is beautiful.

glass lampsFrom rural India to mainstream art, many crafts and arts from lesser know parts of the country are being recognized and revived in the form of products for home and office. Channapatna in Karnataka has always been popular for the craft of wooden toys and accessories. Bringing that into the limelight, here is the store’s range of Channapatna table lamps.

channapatna lampsAnd some hand painted touch of whimsy to sum up this visual store tour.

whimsy table lamp_purple turtleHead over to their facebook page here to know more about them. They also deal with home decor accessories and furniture.

Sunshine Boulevard – Let There Be Light !

Over the next two days, I’m going to walk you through two magical and unique lighting stores in Bangalore, India. I have been to both stores, on more than one occasion to just relax and soak in all that radiant beauty around me. And no matter how many times I visit, I still get tempted to make another trip for some inspiration.

The first of these shops that I stumbled across  is the Sunshine Boulevard, situated in Koramangala 4th block, it was love at first sight for me. Just the way the shop looks, standing out from the traffic and other buildings like an oasis of bright treats. I love their logo and signboard as well, it seems to be calling out to you, to step into a world of summer fairies and elves and their magical lamps!

sunshine boulevardTheir products range across different materials from glass to banana fiber. The lamps are made by  leading designers from India, with many pieces being unique and in limited numbers only. Certain others are made by rural craftsmen, lending an authentic and ethnic touch to these handpicked lamps. Here are some of their lighting wonders.

Of Harmony, Purity and Mystical Beauty, The Dragonfly LampFireflyMade of dreams, a string dream catcher lamp to be mounted on the wall or ceilingWall Mounted unique string lampOf ancient beauty and everlasting charm, The Peepal Floor LampsPeepal Leaf Floor LampAnd talking about beautiful leaf patterns, here is another tropical charm, Wall LampWall lamp in metal leafLove makes the world go round. Interlinked Polypropylene sphere lampsPolypropylene Interlinking LampsSitting Quietly, Doing Nothing, Spring Comes and The Grass Grows and The Flower Blooms By Itself…The Lotus Ceiling Lampdining table overhead ceiling lampArt is when you hear a knocking from your soul, And you answer it. ~ Terri Guillemets. Ceiling lamp made with textured paper.Paper style ceiling lampTo love beauty is to see light ~ Victor Hugo. The Lotus Tea Light HolderTea light holder lotusAnd for a parting glimpse of this lovely store, where every lamp has a story to tell… sunshine boulevard insideIf Light Is In Your Heart, You Will Find Your Way Home ~ Rumi

Visit their store in Koramangala or their Facebook page here , to know more about them, they also deal with other interesting home accents besides lighting.

 

 

 

Malang Mela – Festival Fairs and Unique Finds!

Festival fairs are great fun to attend. They present a feast for the senses, with a variety of items available ranging from clothes to yummy foods. The Malang Mela at Sun City on Saturday was held to celebrate the Kannada New Year – Ugadi. They had more than 20 stalls catering to every need from home decor to food. We had our own stall, selling some silk quilts/bed covers and bags. Though we have been attending such events for a few months now, this is the first time I get to write about it.

The mood was upbeat despite the summer heat. People happily made a beeline for the lemonade and buttermilk stalls to beat the heat! Walking around, I noticed many stalls had interesting products for home decor and furnishing. These items are not available in stores yet, which made them all the more special at the event. The products ranged from soft furnishing such as cushion covers and table mats to lamps and paintings. Here is a look at some of the products and where you can find them :

1. Non-Woven Furnishing:

The stall ‘Pink Petals’ had on display some interesting cushion covers, table mats and runners. What made them interesting is that they were made from non -woven fabric, reminiscent of a certain type of packaging material. It had certain perks such as wrinkle free even after a wash and some funky designs on neon shades. Both ethnic motifs and contemporary prints are available. The products are from a brand called Cannigo. You can find more on their website : http://www.cannigo.com/ or get in touch with Sharda Jain at +917676124433.

cushion covers

2. Lamps, Tea light holders and bowls:

The stall ‘Decor by Sarika’ had decorative lamps, tea light holders and bowls made from attractive crystal beads. Come evening the lights and the lamps beckoned to the crowd to come take a closer look. You can get in touch with Alpana at alpanavivartsingh@gmail.com / +918197920357, if interested in any of these products.

lights2 lights1

3. Paintings & Wall Art:

The stall ‘Aakriti ‘n’ Arts’ had a range of affordable paintings and wall art to add life to your walls. The team Anu and Namrata had some eye-catching ethnic work such as Madhubani and Warli besides others. You can check more of their work at http://aakritinarts.in/ or  contact them on +919620549901.

art2 art stall1

4. Up-cycled Jean Products:

The stall ‘Prerit’ run by Prabha showcased some very creative work , up-cycling old jeans into bags, clutches, wallets, hair-bands, scrunchies and even storage pouches for your home! If you are interested in buying any of these products or lending your old jeans for money get in touch with Prabha at +918792867281.

pouch

And lastly our products on display, silk quits that can also be used as bed-covers with matching pillow covers.

silk quilts

Though we went to the festival mela as vendors, we could not resist the charm of certain products. Saturday ended on a great note, we sold some and brought home some new items as well!