Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lisa Corti Home Textile

Even when I am on a tight budget there are a few things that I don’t mind splurging… no no ... not jewelry… its textiles and handlooms. I always had a soft spot for textiles that beautify interiors like bedspreads, table cloth, quilts, and table-runners, because it gives life to any home décor. Last night while browsing on the internet I came across this beautiful store that swept my feet away. It’s called Lisa Corti Home Textile Emporium, based in Milan, by Italian Textile Designer, Lisa Corti. Her designs and prints are eye popping, unique and beautiful mix of colours that strike a balance with interesting combinations.  She mainly draws her inspiration from different cultures and from her travels, especially India. Her store is an eye candy for sure to a textile-lover and I hope to visit some day.

Click here to browse through her store and products…. Wishing you all a happy and dreamy weekend!!

Image copyright Lisa Corti

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ria's Collections

A great food blog requires tried and tested recipes, beautiful photos that will make you drool and good writing skills that will keep your readers engaged. Ria’s Collections is one such popular blog that has all these goodness. The author, Ria Mary Mathew, is a busy mom, a cook instructor, an award winning blogger and a student once again. She is from Kannur, Kerala and based in Minnesota. Five years back I accidentally found her blog as I was searching for a good cake recipe and then there was no turning back for me. Her blog has simple and exotic recipes of cake, savory and other global dishes and she speaks for her passion for cooking through her stories and memories. I have been chasing her to reveal her inspiration with us and she was so gracious to take some time out from her busy schedule for us to share her blogging success story with us.

Ria, Tell us something about yourself.

To make it short, I am a person who believes in quality over quantity. I am a severe case of OCD and I repeat doing the same thing over and over again until I get it right. Even though I love to cook and bake, there are so many kinds of food that you will never see me eating!

When did your passion for baking and food begin? And what was your inspiration to start your food blog?

I started cooking from when I was 3 years old. Cooking and baking is in my blood. It’s the first thing that I turn to when I am happy or sad. For me, food plays an important role in creating memories. So, kitchen is my happiest place in our house.

I used to have a recipe diary from when I was a little girl. Every recipe that would capture my attention with its photographs or description would find a place in it. Therefore it was natural for that diary to grow bulkier as the years went by. My cousins and I would exchange recipe notes via emails and when my little brother saw me frantically typing recipe after recipe, he asked me why I didn’t start a food blog which would make things easier. The rest is history.

Have you taken any formal training in baking/cooking? And do you experiment in baking and cooking?

 I was trained under the watchful eyes of my mother growing up. I experiment a LOT in my kitchen and almost all of them have been delicious. Now, after all these years of cooking and baking, I can easily figure out if a recipe is good or not by just reading through the ingredient list and quantity. So disasters are very few.

Currently,I am a student at Le Cordon Bleu specializing in Baking and Patisserie.

Your food photography definitely stands out. Have you had any training in photography? Any tips in photography for fellow bloggers?

Thanks! No, I am a self taught food photographer (if I can call myself that way!). I always shoot in natural light and try to keep the props to a minimum so that the food is the main focus.

Browse as many websites as possible which focuses on food photography. See what they do to bring their food to focus and then try to develop a style of your own. In a photograph, food looks good in smaller quantities and on smaller plates/bowls.

What is the most gratifying aspect for blogging?

It is the network that I’ve built over the past 7 years. I have readers all over the globe and I am in constant touch with them. When they try out my recipes and write to me to tell me about their experience, it’s immensely satisfying. It helps me realize how wonderful it is to share something good with others.

Do you have any other passions apart from blogging and photography?

Family, of course! It is my first priority any day!

What are your future plans? Can we expect a cook book?

Once I graduate, I want to gain experience from working under experienced chefs and then maybe a few years down the lane,when I am confident enough,I will start something on my own. I don’t know if it’s going to be a bakery or a café .It will be something that will give me enough freedom to take a vacation whenever I want to!

Cookbooks…hmmm. I would love to write one but that needs a lot of dedication,focus and hardwork. I don’t know if there will be one in my near future as I am literally drowning in homework and test papers from school!

Here are some of her popular recipes and pictures... please click on the caption of each picture for the recipe

Thanks Ria for sharing your story with me and my readers and wishing you all the best with your current course. And I do hope to meet you in person in the near future!

 Please click here to hop on to Ria’sCollections and enjoy her recipes.
Images via Ria

Monday, August 10, 2015

Kumarakom Lake Resort

Do you want to enjoy a heritage retreat in a paradise in God’s own country? Kumarakom Lake Resort is the place to be. It’s one of the most beautiful resorts that that has a blend of south Indian architecture, lush greenery and the stunning view of the Vembanad Lake. I was just blown away by the beautiful waterscapes. And there was tranquility everywhere. The most interesting feature of this resort is the meandering pool that links to all the cottages.

Here are some pictures that I managed to click during stay there

Meandering pool

Vembanad Lake

Loved this beautiful flower arrangement

View from our cottage

Ethnic décor

a small shop full of traditional treasures

This is a restaurant reassembled from a 300 year old kerala home, which is an eight sided mansion

In the restaurant you will find these beautiful pillars and wooden carvings

Beautiful paintings adorned the resort

Stunning Waterscapes

Loved this mural painting in our room

Intricate designs on these traditional door locks

Images are clicked by me


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cochin Files

I am back after my short vacation.... the holiday blues continues but excited to be with you all... My each visit to Kerala always offer something different to experience...The recent vacation to Cochin, was something to remember. It had a bit of everything... a traditional Kottayam Christian wedding, an unexpected funeral of a great man who left a legacy to remember, a baptism...  quality time with family, catching up with some crazy cousins, a getaway to a resort on the backwaters, hogging on yummy food like appams & stew, beef fry, karemeen fry (pearl spot fish fry), ethakka fry (banana fritters) and to top it all ... Hot chai and rains.... it was just perfect!

Here are some pictures that summarizes my vacation

beautiful aerial view of Cochin


Wedding house in Kottayam


Cherpunkal Church

Kumarakom Lake Resort

Beautiful Table Décor for Jayden's Baptism

Miss the rains!!

Beautiful paintings from a Delhi based artist

a walk in the clouds.... back to Muscat

Images are clicked by me


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Artist of the Month: Deepshikha Mammen

I have always wondered why abstract and minimalist art is so appealing. I believe it’s because the creativity within the artist is just flung on to the canvas which illicit new imaginations within the viewer. It’s filled with exciting monochromatic palettes of bold colours, textures and basic shapes, breaking away from the traditional form of painting. And these elements attract an emotional response and imagination from the viewer. It’s my pleasure today to introduce Deepshikha Mammen, an abstract and minimalistic artist, whose work reflects a distinctive style with emotive use of colour.

Have a look at her beautiful work and scroll down to know more about Deepshikha and her art journey.

Tell us a bit about yourself
I am from Haryana but born and brought up in New Delhi. The earlier years of my schooling were from modern school Vasant Vihar New Delhi but later I shifted to Welham girls’ school in Dehra Dun. I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Stephens College and that's where I met my husband who is from Kerala. We lived in Melbourne for 8 years and now we are back in India with our 2 Sons.

How did your journey as an artist begin?
My journey as an artist began from the time I saw my mother paint. At age 2 I was introduced to paints by her and loved the idea of filling a crisp white sheet with colours. I always thought she was brilliant. I painted away right through my school years but stopped in 1996. After 1996 it was only in 2010 that I had the courage again to paint. It was in Melbourne after my kids were born that I felt like painting again. My husband’s encouragement made me walk down to the art store down the road from our house and from there I began my journey as an artist once again. Since then my mother, my husband and his family have been a great source of encouragement and support.
How do you define art?
For me art is an expression of a moment or time. It's a feeling and a though which I put on the canvas. Art is beautiful. It is the frame of your mind. You can get to know a bit about a person by walking into their homes and learning about them through their choice of art and deco. Art defines people. It defines you.

What medium do you work on? And what's your inspiration for your work?
The medium I work with is acrylic on canvas. It's a fun medium and basically very easy to work with. My work is inspired by 2 people as of now 1 being the late artist Mark Rothko and the 2nd being my mother Renu D Singh. I have learnt a bit from both their styles.

What is the most challenging aspect about your work?
Selling my work is the most challenging aspect for me. This is mainly because I am not a very social person any more as I was a decade ago and art is something which needs to go places. This may sound strange, but sometime I find it hard to part with some of my own art work! But reality is that you cannot keep it all for yourself even if they are your favourite pieces.

 What is your creative process like? And what keeps you motivated?
 "Colours" are what keeps my creative process going and they are the main motivation behind my art. They are beautiful even in a jar.

Have you had any exhibitions? What have you found to be the best way of getting your art noticed by buyers?
I have never exhibited my art at fairs and studios. It's sold primarily through word of mouth. People buy my art and hang it in their homes and their friends and relatives contact me after viewing my work. My husband and father in law forced me to put up my work on the web and initially I was reluctant but am glad now since it reached others who I have never known.
Any tips or words of wisdom for inspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?

I am too small an artist to give wisdom to inspiring artists ...but as a person who is having fun with colours the only tip I can give them is this - "paint when you are happy and paint when you want to relax. Don't let criticism of your art ever stop you from painting".
Thanks Deepshikha for sharing your art journey with us and inspiring us to unleash our imagination!!

Please click here if you wish to get in touch with her and click here to hop on to her website to view her work.
Images via Deepshikha Mammen


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Joy in Doing It Yourself

Have you experienced the joy of “doing it yourself”? I never considered myself a DIY person until lately when I co-hosted a baby shower for someone dear to me!! The feeling of self-sufficiency, choosing your own colours and textures and using it to your heart’s content was awesome and fulfilling… I finally managed to overcome my fears of trying out DIY projects…. I would love to know if any of my readers are DIY fans or never experienced the joy of DIY!!

Here are some pictures of some décor that I managed to create... click on the caption of each picture for tutorial

Paper Fans, Click here to view the tutorial

Tissue paper pom poms, Click here for the tutorial

Diaper Cake, Click here for the tutorial

Cut outs from free printables available online and stuck it on felt pieces

created a gift hamper for the mom to be, with lot of goodies in it

Notes, jokes and advice for the mom & dad to be

Images are clicked by me