Colour in the Right Amount & Right Places….they Rock!

Colour is everywhere! Tress, flowers, mountains, people, animals, just everything has colour! It surrounds us at all times so why be scared to use some? I agree that everything does not solve all questions like what colour, or which combination, etc? However we can connect them and receive thousand tints which can be used in our decor, clothes, or anything that makes sense to us! Here is a little colour palette that may help you to choose combinations and implement is your daily life!

Wooden Flowers

The oddsome combination of subtle pink and bold orange with dark platform brings out a tender nuance between colours. Such combinations look good when you match smaller items instead of large ones like paitning connecting walls or sofas, etc.

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Vase

Orange can be overwhelming, but orange and beige is just a right combination! A lot of beige, cream or white with patched of orange will bring in an abundance of life!

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Antiques

Sometimes we have to leave the natural colours to make a difference! If the furniture is made with fine teak, leave it alone! Its lustre, elegance and character is matchless!

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Peacock Plumage

When you need something serene and meditative yet colourful, use the peacock combo! A best way to feel cool, fresh and happy at all times!

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Zanzibari Cottage

Look at the nuance of light yellow, blue and red, its so pleasing to the eye! It is a great combination to use in your living space. The yellow gives the warmth and the blue brings calm, both serve the purpose of life and peace in your home!

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Spanish Window Fort

When something needs to be highlighted yet have a subtle look, pale yellow, white and black does the magic!

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Stained Glass Celing

I had a chance to visit this exotic country in South America called Peru! Rich as it is, I also got a small subject for my blog! Loved the way the subtle peaches and greens looked on the ceiling of a church in Lima.

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Buddhist Inscriptions

I visited Sikkim in 2009 and I can’t explain how colourful and beautiful the monastries look! Though they use bold colours, some combinations are so vibrant that it makes the whole scene alive!

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Zanzibari Doors…Unique & Intricate

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I’ve just come back this morning from a splendid trip from the Africas and couldn’t help myself but write about this beautiful Stone Town on the island of Zanzibar. The island with narrow alleys, breezy rooftops, majestic Indian & Arabic doors and private courtyards and its pristine blue ocean.

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The reason I write about the significance of the Stone Town is because of its stunning, magnificient wooden entrance doors! It is a feature which makes a bold statement on this island. In my article today, I am going to describe the types of doors and its significance with the many pictures I have taken.

Since Zanzibar had a huge Indian & Arab settlement from the 13th century, the carved threshhold to the interiors played a role of a status symbol. The fashion for carved doors was brought in by the Indian & the Islamic people. Back then, doors were designed and scaled for each family, thus being unique.

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Some common features I noticed among these doors were that they had a centre post with a wide frame and a lintel all elaborately carved. The carvings have traditional Islamic or Indian motifs, iron or brass studs for decoration. Also, most of the doors are double and open inward from the centre. 

There are many types of door…some of them are –

Lamu Doors

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The door belonged to one of the Stone Town hotels…I loved the contrast of brown against the light blues of the walls.

The Lamu door is the simplest door and are found on smaller houses. The motifs of these doors are rosettes or geometric forms. They also have some Swahili colours like emerald green or gold.

Siyu Doors

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This picture is taken from an exhibit from the Nairobi Museum

This door is the only one different from the others…yes..it doesn’t have a centre post. Also, the doors are painted in circular motifs rather than carved. A little history about them is that they were made with very hard wood which was difficult to carve and hence the painted motifs.

Omani Doors

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I think this door was freshly polished…it just dazzledin the sunlight!

These doors have the grandest outward display I’ve even seen in my life! They are the most popular in Zanzibar. The lintel and side post are so ornate and intricately caved with looping floral designs and motifs that its hard to take your eyes off them. They have a very profound arabic feature i.e. they have inscriptions of the Qur’an at the centre of the lintel. They are also heavily studed with brass and iron hinges and ornaments. They say that such doors are seen very often in Oman. 

Gujarati Doors

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This door and a house belonged to a Bhori Zanzibari

Even now, these doors are found mainly among the Indian shops with thin centre post carved beautifully. These doors are wide, coffered and studded with a central hinges so that only one part of the door needs to be opened. History shows that they were imported from India since they are made up of teak which is not indigenous to Africa. 

Zanzibari Doors

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A lot of shops had this door!

Though they are named Zanzibari…they come from India and mostly from the Mumbai region. These doors were introduced by Sultan Barghash in the 18th century with a tinge of western classical feature of the pillars carved into the frames. This is one of the most popular door here and imitated widely.

This article might have sounded a bit boring but believe me, if you ever saw it, you would be as bewildered as I was! Infact, these East Coast African doors are marked contrast to very plain architecture of the houses and make a bold avowal of the occupants, both as reference to their culture and social status. This is a legacy that Zanzibar preserves and should preserve since its unique, artistic, intricate & obscure!

Unaccounted Artwork…..

In my last post, I talked about the Eatmoshphere project I did in April 2010. Its been doing great and my work has been appreciated. But sometimes it is also the small peices of art or just a little splash of colour helps make a difference. Its not always that I like to paint big things and hence, this time, I have showcased all the little sub projects I’ve done so far…unaccounted and solely out of interest…

I’ll start with 4 name plates I have done for a few friends! They were fun projects and done while my work load was low…

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The one below is my very own….done in a hurry and not so good but it still brings colour and life to my entrance.

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My friends tell me that these name plates have made so much difference to their entryways and not only that, they have recieved a lot of compliments on them.

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My friend Sayali a very romantic person and wanted her and her husbands name painted instead of their last name…and hence painted something cosy and romantic for them…

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Aside the name plates, I also did my husbands office, one of my big projects. The space came out great but it needed some colour bursters. I decided to make them instead of hunting for something. Hence I came up with a theme..flowers, fruits, animals, in amulgamation with humans. Not all paintings are original here but there is certainly a touch of my imagination….

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I wanted colour in this corner of the office and hence decided to use the vibrant reds and blues…the corner does look gorgeous..

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I did this for my husband’s cabin. He is very passionate about his drums…the Djembe, an African drum and in his cabin, I wanted to show all the elements of nature come together and hence the fruit, the human and his passion, his drum!

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These paintings are in the entryway – bright, bold and welcoming!

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A painting of a fruit is very important since my husband owns a coldstorage and one of the very important thing that is stored there is fruits and hence the artwork…

My next set of artwork was done in Eatmosphere..an abstract canvas which has a mèlange of the colours used in the cafe.

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These mirrors below are 4 different mirrors all put together to give one big feature in the cafe. It also gives a perception of space and adds to the vibrancy or the liveliness of the space.

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So this is some of my unaccounted but well appreciated work of art..I am sure I’ll work on much more because they are my stress busters and they make me happy and keep me going…

 

Quick Tips for Home Office Organisation

A lot of us work from home. For instance, even though I have my workshop, I carry a lot my painting and artwork back home so that I can work at my own leisure and mood. Just a cup of coffee, some good music and the comfort of my home motivates me to do better. There are times when my office space gets cluttered with papers and paints, brushes and catalogue books and it doesn’t help me achieve my agenda. To avoid such clutter, I have gathered a few quick practices and no matter what, I abide by them.

Cables and Wires – what a mess!
a) All the cables that are connected to the computer or speakers or TV can be categorized and bundled up in groups. For example, keep computer speaker wires with stereo speaker wires.

b) Some times you do not need all the cables, hence tag them and store them well. Don’t forget to label the cords that connect different components.

Position of Peripherals

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a)Position your equipment by frequency of use. If the printer is used daily, it should be within easy reach. 

b) When setting up hardware, be conscious of access to drives, trays and cords. Don’t block access to drawers or take up leg room with tangled cords.

Do have an Activity Centre?

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The efficient office should be zoned into activity areas:

a) The Work Area: This is a clear workspace, the computer and frequently used office products

b) The Reference Center: which includes binders, manuals, dictionary and professional books and materials. In my case, my refernce centre is paints and brushes, varnishes…etc. I have a small collection of reference books which I need as and when. Determine your reference area in your study or office.

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c) The Supply Center: This area is widely used. It needs to be segregated very well. This contains office and paper supplies.

Project Files, Reciepts and Rough Work...

a) Create an area for storing your current project files and paper work.

b) Establish a permanent filing system for papers you will reference, but not on a regular basis.

Tic-Toc goes my Clock!

Its been long ain’t it? I’ve got my hands on the blog after the festive season. You may be wondering why is my title ‘Tic-Tok goes my Clock’? Well this time, its all about hand-made and hand painted clocks made specially for this gifting season. So here is a glimpse of my work –

Sparkle Pinkie
I call this clock Sparkle Pinkie. It is obviously pink as you see it and has a whole bunch of feminine features in it like the flowers, a pretty ceremic shoe and to break the girlie monotony and stainless steel plate!

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Zardosi Ghoongroo
This clock is inspired by a beautiful saree I saw recently. The lady carried it very elegantly on her with some tiny ghoongroos or bells attached to them. I wanted to use it in my work and the most recent one I was making were the clocks…so here it is!

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The Foot of the Lord
This clock is a melange of English colours and the traditional copper foot imprint with several motifs drawn in the Hindu religion.

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Saree, Bangle, Mirror!
Another clock inspired by the tradition of India and seen very commonly among women, yes, it is the saree, bangle and the mirror!

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Star Flower
This clock is a work of geometry with some beads. It will serve best in kids rooms!

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A Bright Sunny Day!
One day I got up to such a beautful morning with home grown sunflowers and bold blue skies. This clock is all about that day! Happy happy thoughts!

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The Tool Clock
Sometimes, leftovers from factories makes me want to use it in my work. The ‘Tool Clock’ is a combination of bits of stainless steel and wood.

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You will find all these clocks @ Bliss in Andheri (180, Aram Nagar1, Fisheries University Rd, 7 Bunglows, Andheri. Ph: 022 26332111 )

Wanna buy Furniture for your Home? Check out the Guidebook!

We all have our own tastes…some people like long lasting, hard wood furniture while some prefer style and casual pieces which can be replaced in a couple of years. Whatever your style, make sure you know what you want to bring home. Here are some guidelines to help you make the best choice.

Hard & Soft Wood

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Hard Wood Rocking Chair

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Make sure you know the difference between hardwoods and softwoods. Hardwood comes Sagwan, Sesame or Salwood while soft wood comes from Pine or Deodhar trees. The hard wood has strength and stability in case of chairs, beds, tables etc; but those qualities can make hardwoods difficult to work with for intricate carving and detail work. Soft wood is easily carved or worked. Since their surfaces are often soft, they are more susceptible to marks and dings, which may result in a weathered or worn quality.

Soft Wood – Pine wood Yoga Chair

Is Plywood better?

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A lot of times, using plywood is the best option. Solid wood has a tendency to expand and contract as the humidity changes leading to instability.Plywood or particle board (MDF)is more stable and less apt to warp or split. Plywood then can be covered with veneers or laminates to recreate the desired look.

What is “Veneering”?

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Make sure you know what “veneering” is. Veneer is the use of thin layers of highly decorative woods on top of plywood. Veneering makes it possible to match grain patterns or create designs. The only factor that adds to veneering is that it cannot be left unfinished, it has to be touched up with a protective coat of varnish, polish etc.

 

A lot of wear & tear…..use Laminates

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If you know that your funiture will be unmaintained and needs sustainability the best option is to use laminates. Laminates are sheets of processed woods in different colours, textures, designs which help in maintaining the plywood against moisture, termites, humidity, etc. One can find a huge variety in them.