Tuesday, March 29, 2011

India-Inspired Picks of the Month

Hello folks! Well rested from the weekend? Monday blues still on? Debuting this week on SHP is a new series called the 'Picks of the Month' to chase away those blues. I would ideally have done a 'Picks of the Week' series, but at present spare time has become a hard commodity to come by.

Ready for some window shopping and some sighing? 

Madhubani inspired Mr. Sun and Lady Moon cushions. How cute do they look sitting side by side?

Remember the post on the dying art of hand-painted Bollywood posters here on SHP? Well CB2 is now selling an 'artwork' hand-painted by Bollywood signboard painters. 

But, I wouldn't buy that at all. I'd rather get myself this lovely accent table 'inspired by the centuries-old red lacquer wood kneading bowls of the Chettiar in Tamil Nadu at India's southern tip, each is handpainted in an optimistic burst of bright calligraphy squiggles and brushstrokes by Indian signboard painters whose trade has vanished in the age of computer graphics.' 
These tables have been made in collaboration with Ayush Kasliwal, a young Indian industrial designer who is keeping the traditional skills of local craftsmen alive with the creation of modern objects.

How about this lovely 3-piece set of lotus candleholders? Should I?

Have you taken part in the Red Patang giveaway as yet? Hurry! It closes on April 4th. And in case the rules are unclear, you need to 'Like' Red Patang on their Facebook page to be eligible for the giveaway and a 10% discount. According to the rules set by Swapna from Red Patang, following SHP is insufficient to win the giveaway, you need to Like Red Patang on Facebook too. Good luck!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Guest Post at Tot-a-Style

Its Friday! And I am really looking forward to a relaxing weekend attending Belgium week here in NYC, some Belgian food, fries and a Tintin quiz :)

Please hop over to Totstylist Sangita's lovely blog, Tot-a-Style to read my guest post on Indian children books. 

I am re-publishing the last bit of the post here on SHP (as that was my favourite pick!) on DIY art/ craft kits for children in traditional Indian art and craft forms by Kadam.

The exhaustive list includes, Madhubani from Bihar/ MP, Hand Block Printing from Rajasthan & Gujarat, Warli from Maharashtra, Santhal Painting from Orissa, Gond Painting from Madhya Pradesh, Patua from Orissa, Phad painting from Rajasthan and Chittara from Karnataka.

That ain’t all folks- the kits come with a DVD of 5 animation films of various folk tales from India! You can buy them here and here.

When I found these, I wanted to buy them all for myself! Where else can one source natural colours as used by the original tribal artists nowdays? Do you know the green is dried horse dung as an art teacher pointed out to me when I threw a fit that my Madhubani didn't look 'original' :)

Also, Red Patang  is hosting a special coupon for their Facebook fans, it'll show up as soon as you like their page. Have you participated in the giveaway as yet?

Thank you Sangita! I had great fun writing up the post and hope to see you here on SHP soon ;)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Red Patang and a Giveaway!

Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway Time!

NRI Indian parents wondering where to source Indian clothes and games for your little ones without having to pay exorbitant shipping costs or deciding which ones are priority while packing those already bulging suitcases on every visit home, Red Patang is here!

Red Patang is a newly launched website for Indian inspired products that are unique, fun and hard to find. Founder Swapna Mehta as a new parent realized that there was a need for a single shopping portal for Indian families in North America. When I asked Swapna why she quit a successful hard-earned career in Finance to start Red Patang, her response was "Some day I wanted our daughter to feel proud that her mother followed her heart."  Awwww... Swapna, I think your daughter will definitely be very proud!

Take a peek at some of the wonderful stuff Red Patang has to offer...Amar Chitra Katha Comics, the Little Guruskool educational series, kurtas, handcrafted lacware toys and Chumbak products at affordable prices.

I am writing up the post today, as Red Patang offers weekly deals every Monday, with deep discounts of 20% to 40%. Red Patang ships economically at a flat rate of $5 for every order in the US and $15 for every Canadian order. So, hop over here and get shopping for your little ones. Also, do keep your eyes out for products coming soon on Red Patang for the grown-ups too ;)

Also, Swapna has been kind enough to offer a giveaway for Sound Horn Please readers!

Very aptly, they are Sound Horn charms and Keychain from Chumbak featured here before. 

The rules of the giveaway as set by Swapna are,

1. Become a fan of RedPatang on their Facebook Page and leave a comment here saying so.  If you are already a redpatang fan - share the giveaway via facebook and leave a comment that you did so.  
2. Follow Sound Horn Please and leave a comment. If you are already a follower, leave a comment saying so.
For an extra entry  - 
3. Blog/Tweet/Facebook about the giveaway and post the link as a comment.  

Each action gives you one entry. The contest is open to U.S. and Canadian readers only. The giveaway is open till April 4th, 9 PM EST

I've had e-mails from a lot of readers here asking me about fun new Indian products they could buy for their kids, so I have a series of posts all this week on some lovely Indian kids' products available. 

Watch this space!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Udd Fabric Design: Yuti Shah

This post has waited for a wedding, a honeymoon, a flu attack, two home moves, various weeks of lack of internet connectivity to all get out of the way before finally getting published here on SHP. 

I am now grateful to all the above conspiring factors, because in these few months that I have known Yuti, she has morphed from an artist to an entrepreneur with her own Design brand. 

Let's start at the very beginning, shall we?

Yuti Shah is a graphic designer by training who decided to quit her 4 year old safe corporate job to explore her creativity. Her journey began with art and resulted in multiple successful art shows. 

Take a peek below and you'll know why they were so successful....

A 3-month stint in a Paris design school made Yuti realize that "Design is the ability to transfer your creativity onto any surface or medium." 

This realization resulted in Udd Design...

The innovative and unique concept behind Udd is to highlight the art that inspires fabric design. At Udd Yuti's actual artwork is printed on sarees, dupattas and stoles. 

The actual saree or dupatta is available for sale as well as the artwork that inspired it!

Don't you absolutely LOVE it? I love how the art reminds of Madhubani and other tribal Indian art forms, but is still fun, fresh and has such lovely colours (Turquoise and purple, you say? I am Sold!)

As most of Udd's designs are still in production, let me give you a teaser of what's coming next ;)

Jade Buddha on a Sari pallu

Radha and Krishna rocking it away on a Silk Duppatta
Yuti hopes to make Udd a platform for young artists to be a part of the design process.

Go to Udd Fabric Design to check out more of the artwork that is in the production process.
Head to Everythingthatssomehting to see more of Yuti's artwork. Psst... She designed her own wedding cards. Go take a peek on how gorgeous they are!

{Credit for All Images to Atul Edward}

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Creative Talent Profile: Rohini Kummitha

The Creative Talent Profile series is back with yet another contemporary artist(Remember the wonderfully talented Ganga Kadakia?)! 

Rohini Kummitha wrote to me saying- "Unlike many other artists, I didn't always know I would be an artist." Rohini, you will be surprised at the number of artists and entrepreneurs featured on this site who didn't either!

(The above painting is from Rohini's Sanskrit Art series)

Like many of us who haven't been wise enough to sit under a Bodhi tree or immerse ourselves in a bathtub, Rohini spent the first 24 years of her life being a software professional until she quit her job in 2009 to 'sail away from her safe harbor to explore, dream and discover'. 

Rohini is a self-taught visual artist working with an amazingly wide array of media like mixed-media, paint, photography and recycled art. 

Rohini's hand drawn Mahabharata artwork series took over 2 weeks to complete. I love how she has depicted the long epic so intricately!

A closer look at the work above

Some more of Rohini's unusual artwork
Top: Facebook status messages from her friend's list over a moth depicted visually
Bottom: Peacock created using a technique known as paper quilling (Paper quilling was a technique used by French and Italian monks during the renaissance to decorate religious books!)

Some work from Rohini's fantastic Three Six Five Project, 1 creative project every day of the year.

I am highlighting her installation work from the project here on SHP, as I think she grows great promise in this field.
Top: Art from Toilet Paper Rolls
Bottom: Wings of Knowledge

She also dabbles in photography- My personal favourite "Don't Hit Me" - Her ode to the erstwhile(?) practice in Indian schools to cane young students for failing to learn by rote.

I am usually quite curious to know what the home of an artist, photographer or anybody remotely creative  looks like. Aren't we all? And I wish all of them looked as gorgeous as Rohini's does!
(Rohini's Living Room Baithak)

Rohini is applying for her Masters in Integrated Visual Arts to expand her artwork in form and context- Sending you lots of Good Luck with that!

On a personal note- A BIG thank you for having so patiently waited for me to pack-move-unpack and write up this post (Rohini first wrote to me 1.5 months, so thanks again R!)

You can look up more from Rohini's portfolio on her Behance or Facebook pages.

{Image Credit for All Images to Rohini Kummitha}

Friday, March 4, 2011

Keh rahi tumse yeh khamoshiyaan.....

Keh rahi tumse yeh khamoshiyaan.....
(My feeble attempt at translation: My silence tells you....)
(To hear me... errr.. Shubha Mudgal croon it, go here)

My silence tells you....
~ That I am still furiously attempting to unpack. 
~ That I am fretting over having to replace the bookcases(read:Ikea) that broke during the move.
~ That the unpacked boxes(from the lack of bookshelves and from closets with no shelves!) are severely affecting my creativity to 'do up' the house, while the husband hollers about how we are soon to have an endless stream of guests and it is time to snap out of my zen mode.

This post is an ode to the colour RED
It is an ode to the home that was. 
It is an ode to new beginnings. 

My old apartment had a lot of red/ maroon accents. I even had a bathroom dominated by a REquaint Chinese cupboard and heavily accented with other red accessories. Every visitor staunchly claimed that it was the best room in the house ;)

This apartment now has a bathroom in soothing blues and greens and a living room that is a mass of boxes. 

So help me say goodbye to red today, while I reach out to other colours in the palette.....

Good day to SHP's Asian readers, good night to everybody else tucked away in bed...

{All images from Elle Decor}