Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Vignette Inspiration from my Home

Decorating your home with fresh flowers gives an instant make over by creating an oasis of comfort in your space. My chrysanthemums are blooming away making my garden so beautiful and I couldn’t help myself bring these beauties inside my sanctuary. Flowers are the key to any beautiful vignette because it creates the most impact while styling. I paired these gorgeous flowers with books to bring in character, a tealight holder to bring warmth, my favorite birdie to add charm and a little antique box to add glamour to the whole styling…. Voila!!! Enough to bring in a glow to my space…








What are some of your favorite elements in your arrangement? If you wish to share your favorite vignette or styling, please get in touch with me at tbinspirations@gmail.com 
 
 
 
All Images are copyrighted Tickled by Inspirations
 


 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Artist of the month: Mona Biswarupa

Mona Biswarupa, a Dubai based artist who I accidently bumped into on Instagram, allured me with her fabulous artwork. Her artwork is striking and there is a celebratory mode in each of her work. And the colors she uses are radiant. Most her work centers on female figures and silhouettes dedicating to women’s beauty and grace. And my personal favorite is the Sufi Series… those pieces are just breathtaking!

Have a look at some of her best art work and let’s get to know more from Mona herself…



 
 






Artist Mona at work
 
A brief about yourself
A small town girl from Odisha, with a small dream of living a life doing what I love and to leave the world with something others would love.

My dream took me to various places through various professions. Fashion design, Textile design, Graphic design, Academics and finally art! I am an introvert with a big volcano of ideas bubbling inside. I tried various languages to express them but could not.. Art is the only medium that understands me. So I am here to devote the rest of my life …understanding it.

 
How did your journey as an artist begin?
       Just like my father, I wanted to be a poet. But I didn’t know how to write…

       As a three year old little girl, I saw something beautiful in the alphabets, in the words and sentences.  I admired the way lines formed different shapes and stopped at various lengths meaning different things.. The beauty of those alphabets, the rhythm and melody in those words inspired me to draw some lines on a paper..  I stole my dad’s inkbottle and mom’s ‘Aaltaa’ to draw poetry on paper. But they didn’t look anything like my dad wrote.. They looked more like things I saw around me. Trees, the sun, birds, sky and the moon..  Sitting in the middle of my courtyard I watched the clouds changing color… My household was bustling with musicians and artists. Poetry, dance, music and literature were as natural as breathing in that house. Sitting in the middle of its courtyard, I saw seasons changing…I don’t know when I grew up. I travelled various countries for higher education and work. Lot of inspirations I drew from various cultures and people.. But somewhere I felt I am leaving something very precious behind. There was a big void. A recent trip back home changed many things… It was a monsoon night and I sat with my mom, two sisters and father around his old wooden table reading and humming his poetry.. It felt as if the world has stopped rotating.. We sat till daybreak reading, talking, singing and breathing poetry.. The simplicity in his words, the lyrical images that he had painted in those pages again stirred up my soul. With my husband’s support and encouragement I decided to quit my day job. I realized how far I was from my art, from my poetry.. ‘Art will not pay your bills!!’ Many well-wishers said many things as I walked out the corporate door.. But I smiled. That closed door opened a new door for me to a vast open sky. I wanted to write poetry in that big blue sky with my brush.

       The artist was always inside me.. Just that I never gave it a chance to talk.  Recently I stopped doing everything I was doing to listen to its muffled voice from deep within. I quit my 20 years old fashion career to give a voice to that artist. My journey has just begun and I am ready to go wherever the roads take me...  

 

Did you have any formal training or is it self taught?
For many years I kept painting without any guidance.  At the age of 13 I was fortunate to get the encouragement from my Guru, who spotted my talent and offered to guide me. For about six years I spent understanding free hand sketching and one of the most beautiful medium in painting, ‘watercolor’. I learnt a lot about life through those paintings. When water and color mix together, there is not much that you can do, the painting paints itself, and you are just a medium. I learnt to let go when a painting is beyond repair; I learnt to start allover again. I noticed, when I was painting, I felt an unique sense of nothingness at the same time a strange sense of being complete.. I realized, I needed to be in a creative profession. Got through the most prestigious fashion institute in India. I had some of the most wonderful teachers in the world who honed my artistic skills further. Many eminent artists visited as guest lectures to the institute sharing their knowledge and wisdom with us. . Learning for me has been an ongoing process. I learn each day. Till now I keep attending workshops in various institutes and art hubs to acquire new skills in different medium. And of course in today’s world of technology, learning is just a click away.


 
 How would you describe your art style?
 Not everything could be described, not everything could be defined… that’s why there is art !

My art is like a wild brook at the moment. . There is a long journey waiting ahead .I don’t want to direct it anywhere. The only thing I want to do is let it flow. I just want to paint, draw, scribble, spill, smudge and overwrite. . I myself am curious to know what my style would be in 5 years from now

If you talk ‘technically’ about my art, yes it is contemporary and probably would border Neo–Realism. Visually I would call it an act of balancing perfect and imperfect, reality and fantasy, chaos and control, expected and unexpected.

 
What's your inspiration for your art work?

Nature, both around and within, inspires my work. Amalgamations of these two forces reflect in my art. At times rhythmic and sublime, and yet another time a fiery duel.  The interaction between these two forces forms the vibrancy of colors, strokes and texture in my work. My roots, my culture, Poetry, music, my heritage, the tribal influence, my memories, my travels, my friends, the strangers I came across on the unknown streets ,the faces that I could never forget, the everyday mundane.. I see an inspiration in everything!!
 

What is the most challenging aspect about your work?
Since childhood I have had a special affinity towards Japanese culture and arts. There is a constant duel inside me between my love for the Indian Opulence as well as the Japanese minimalism. Though femininity has always been a common factor in my works, I am still searching for that middle ground where both my sensibilities are at peace with each other.

 
What is your creative process like? And what keeps you motivated?
Solitude inspires me. I am pretty happy with a cup of tea and my art materials. At times I keep staring at a blank sheet or canvas. Figures and forms as if appear and disappear on it inviting me to pin them onto it. Many times my hand just follows those silhouettes. Some other time while reading, listening to music or being in the middle of nature, some ideas come to my mind. At that time I get so impatient to give shape to that idea that few times I have ended up painting it on the back side of and in few cases on top of another painting. J  

 
Do you commission different projects?
Yes I do. Some of my best works are small in size. Many times I get requests for recreating similar ones on a bigger scale. For commissions I prefer the brief to be open-ended. Very strict guidelines and brief from the buyer restricts my imagination and takes the whole fun out of the creative process. 

 
What is your favorite art piece that you have done till date?
I have many pieces that are very dear to me. Some of them are with me and some are in their new homes. But I don’t know why, ‘Elephant in the Indian Monsoon'. A small piece of work in Ink and pen on Aquarelle paper remains very close to my heart. Each time I look at it, it fills me up with joy. Happy, carefree, in its own world… imperfect yet unique.

 
 

Thank you Mona for inspiring me and my readers with you art journey and your fabulous work!!! You have definitely inspired me to pick up my paintbrush again!! Keep it going and I hope to see your work in person.
 
 

If you wish to get in touch with Mona please write to

And click here to follow her on Instagram and here on Facebook.
 
All images are copyright Mona Biswarupa
 





Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The best homemade brownie

Since Christmas I am so obsessed with baking these addictive brownies! It is incredibly rich….full of chocolaty goodness that need no frosting at all. And I have to claim that I am so smitten by this easy recipe. The whole process of putting together the ingredients is so easy and hassle free. And you will find me baking more of these in the near future…. For now I am forgetting about the calories and going with the flow!




So here goes my first recipe for this new year! Enjoy making it!

The recipe is adapted from here

Ingredients: 
·         1/2 cup butter (100gm)
·         1/2 cup white sugar
·         1/2 cup brown sugar
·         2 eggs
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         1/4 teaspoon baking powder
·         1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions: 
1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees Celsius) and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

2.       In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder.

3.       Fold in gently chocolate chips and then spread batter into prepared pan.

4.       Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

5.       Once it’s cooled, slice into pieces and if you wish you can serve it with ice cream or whipped cream, or even dust it with icing sugar or cocoa powder.


 
 



Tips

  • Add walnuts or pecan for the nutty crunch. ( I sprinkled a handful of chopped walnuts)

  • If you like coffee flavor, add a teaspoon of espresso along with cocoa powder.
 
 
 
 
 
All Images are copyright Tickled by Inspirations and clicked by me
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year thoughts and Christmas warmth from my home

2017 has begun… and as always I am hoping for a happy and healthy new year… Life is all about ups and downs … my trials my pains has made me what I am today and none of these shattered my inner personality…. And more importantly I am still grateful for my family and good friends around me that is my support system. I still want to continue to make everything around me more beautiful …. continue to be comfortable in my own skin … do the different… be me… laugh loud… dance away, continue to count my blessings, be more fit, eat right, stay healthy and learn something new whenever there is an opportunity. So cheers to 2017 and I hope to continue a beautiful journey with all my readers out there!!! Shine on…. Glitter away and sparkle in whatever you do….

Here is a glimpse of the Christmas warmth from my home before I bring down the décor….

 
 
 
brownies recipe coming up... stay tuned!
 
mulled wine
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cheers to more inspirations and blogging
 
 
 
All images are clicked by me
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies

Christmas is around the corner… days are getting busier and shorter… evenings with friends and family… catching up with loved ones after a long time… reminiscing memories of previous Christmas… drinking wine and creating more memories with your loved ones… spreading your share of kindness and love around you…. isn’t this the best season? For various reasons this season brings out the best in everyone… the contagious feeling of love and kindness is in the air…. If only this could remain forever!!

I have fond memories of my mom baking away as Christmas is approaching… the aroma from the kitchen just filled my home with joy! And I am so blessed to carry out this tradition….Thumb print cookies are very popular and easy to make if you plan ahead. It’s a favorite of mine and they make great Christmas gifts once they are packaged well.
 
 
 

I managed to bake two batches so far and I enjoyed making these buttery treats with my 6 year old for my loved ones.... So here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy baking them!


I adapted this recipe from here with a little variation.


Makes : 36 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4cup  granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (160g) raspberry jam

Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) cream or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it aside.

2. In medium bowl mix together flour, Baking powder and salt and set it aside.

3. With a handheld mixer or a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract and continue to beat. Then add flour mixture half cup until fully combined. Then add the rest of the flour till dough is formed and for this step I used my hand in order to bind it well. If the dough is still too sticky add a little more flour to smoothen it out.

4. Chill this dough for at least 3 hours.

5. Before you start making the cookies, leave it out for some time it’s just about to soften up.

6. Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into small circles till they are nice and smooth. Lightly press your thumb in the center of each ball. If the dough cracks, smoothen it with your fingers and place it on the lined baking sheet. Fill each indentation with a teaspoon of jam.

7. Bake the cookies for 15 - 20 minutes till it’s slightly golden at the edges. Do not over bake.

8. Allow the cookies to cool for 30 minutes before glazing.

9. Make the glaze: in a small bowl whisk all the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Add more milk to thin out if needed or sugar to thicken. Drizzle it over the cooled cookies with a spoon. The glaze will quickly set in 15minutes.

 
 
 



the cookies are packed in this cute tin to gift!




Tips:

  • Cookie dough must be chilled and can be made overnight. It can also be frozen for 2 months.

  • Choose any flavor of jam.

  • Instead of jam you can use chocolate chips or peanut butter chips.

  • These cookies can be refrigerated in a tight box.                                                                                                              

 

Happy Holidays and Happy Baking!!!



All images are clicked by me







 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

DIY Christmas Decor

Every year for Christmas I have managed to come up with a different center piece for my coffee table that is not too bulky and easy to handle. This year I managed to pull off a super simple DIY… all you need is a fruit stand, some pinecones or ball ornaments, a bow and a favorite birdie and here is what it looks like...

 
 
 
 


 

 
I am sure you will come up with an even better DIY… Enjoy the season!!!



Images are clicked by me





Sunday, December 11, 2016

Quirkiness at Pyjama Party

Another end of an eventful year… we are nearing Christmas and I can hear myself muttering “things to do”… and while shopping online for my loved ones, I came across this cute range of Owlie hand-painted mason jars and snippety sip sippers… created by Rithika of Pyjama party… I am in love with all her product range because it’s full of color and quirkiness. Rithika was featured here on Tickled by Inspirations exactly 2 years back because I was in love with this fun and adventurous brand. If you missed reading that post please click here.





Aren’t they cute to gift someone for Christmas? Or even gift yourself!!

If you wish to get buy these please contact Rithika at   pyjamapartydesigns@gmail.com 
And click here to follow her on Facebook for updates on her products.

Enjoy your holiday shopping!!          
 
 
All images are copyright Pyjama Party