Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Homecoming

Do you know that feeling- when it seems like you have been walking or running for miles together, for hours on end, carrying a heavy load on your back and it feels like the journey will never end? Then you finally arrive at your destination and when you get there, there is someone waiting on the steps to relieve you of your baggage and offer you a foot rub. Do you know what that feels like? So, when I was 18, that's how I would describe the way I wanted to feel when I meet "the one" I want to spend the rest of my life with. In the two decades since then I have come to the conclusion that this feeling can also be realized through other quarters, albeit more platonic ones, like friends and family and sometimes even pets and children. But today, it happens to be these living quarters that I have been stepping into………





 These rooms held my hand and dragged me in as they tugged at my heartstrings with the warmth and familiarity of a long lost love. They stoked the warm fuzzy feeling inside, with a heady concoction of emotions invoked by a sense of deja vu. Now, they make me want to throw my backpack on the floor, kick off my shoes, pull my feet up on the couch and relax. So thats exactly what I do. I decide to enjoy this visual treat in the only way I know- i unburden myself, stretch my weary shoulders, massage my feet, crack my neck and rest my eyes on these cozy,  comfortable nooks that make me want to snuggle for just a little while longer; before I set out on yet another journey, to yet another destination with yet another dream, in my eternal quest for beautiful spaces and a place, that I call home.



Monday, 13 July 2015

Star-crossed

On the 30th of June, I looked up at the sky and saw two bright stars really close together almost as though they were touching each other. This piqued my curiosity and I immediately set out to find out what was happening. Thanks to Google, we now have everything we need at our fingertips. The enormity and resourcefulness of this reservoir of information and knowledge never ceases to amaze me! I salute the infinite potential of the world wide web!


Turns out, Jupiter and Venus, the sky’s brightest and second-brightest planets appeared in the evening sky throughout June 2015 and they were drawing closer together every evening! On that particular day, the 30th of June, they were staging their closest conjunction until August, 2016. Venus passed Jupiter in late June/early July and on that day Venus and Jupiter were less than one and a half degrees apart. These very bright planets were hard to miss because Venus and Jupiter rank as the third-brightest and fourth-brightest celestial bodies, respectively, after the sun and moon.


 At the time, especially on the nights of June 30 and July 1, we witnessed the closest Venus-Jupiter conjunction. A conjunction is an apparent phenomenon caused by perspective only and there is no close physical proximity in space between the two objects involved.Venus is currently about to pass between the sun and Earth. Meanwhile, Earth passed between Jupiter and the sun in February, 2015. So Jupiter and Venus are nowhere near each other in space. Yet, to the naked eye, as we look outward from Earth, we see these two planets aligned on nearly the same line of sight.


This phenomenon made me wonder about destiny, doom and the inevitability of star crossed lovers. And I marveled at how similar we all are to these celestial beings. Passersby in the night sky, on the roads, on the world wide web. Sometimes just walking past, oblivious to each others existence, once in a while crossing paths and occasionally, colliding head on, only to eventually go our separate ways. So, as dusk turned into darkness, I stared in awe at the night sky and bowed down to the limitless possibilities of the universe and the boundless potential of the world wide web. That night I went to bed a little starry-eyed and dream't of the time  Jupiter leaned over to kiss Venus....... and missed. 








ARTIST'S CORNER: Maheswari Janarthanan

When I first came across this little one’s doodles, I was mesmerized by the dreamy , mystical quality of her work.  Of  mermaids, buntings, fireflies, dragonflies, paper planes and all the little treasures and trinkets childhood fantasies are made of - this is how I would describe her art. Maheswari Janarthanan's work is evocative of a underwater wonderland.This ethereal quality of her work piqued my interest and thus compelled me to reach out to her and find out more about the artist behind the art. 




After a bachelors degree in visual communication from SRM arts & Science College, Chennai, Maheswari worked as a designer before becoming a full time freelance illustrator & designer. A voracious reader who is greatly influenced by books, movies and nature, she says Jane Eyre was her favorite book as a little girl. 





Deeply interested in pursuing the spiritual path, her eternal romance with magic and mysticism lead her to become a pranic healer. The basic principle of pranic healing is to utilise the inherent energy present in all living beings for self healing as well as to heal others. Another distinctive feature of pranic healing is that a practitioner does not physically touch a client. Maheswari’s art appears to follow both these principles. Her illustrations at once soothe and energise you by transporting you to a child-like fantastical world full of infinite possibilities and simultaneously offer visual therapy while they draw you in with their seemingly tactile quality. 






When asked about her creative process Maheswari says she loves working at night and usually starts by drawing her ideas/concepts in a book and then recreates them on the computer. Her future plans include learning pottery and creating her very own line of ceramics. I for one can’t wait to find out how she translates her mystical, magical prowess onto mud and clay! How about you?




Check out Maheswari's blog here

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Love Travel guides

 "I write about travel because I love to travel. I believe that travel is not simply an external journey, it is always a journey inside ourselves. Travel has the ability to transform us and to reveal parts of ourselves that otherwise may remain hidden and undiscovered. I believe that great journeys are like great love affairs, they never really end."


I could’nt agree more!  Fiona Caulfield perfectly echoes my sentiments on travel and how! She has turned this great love affair with travel and the lust to wander into the most exquisite and ingenious travel guides. Fiona beleives that every traveller values authentic information and that time is the ultimate luxury.


So Love Travel Guides was born, with a goal to enable the readers to fall in love with each destination. It aims at maximizing great experiences and minimizing poor ones. The guides are hand-crafted books for Luxury Vagabonds with carefully curated content showcasing the best and most authentic experiences.

Completely hand made in India, Love Travel Guides celebrate authentic Indian luxury and pays homage to India’s rich craft legacy. The books are printed on paper hand-made in Jaipur and hand-crafted with care by local fashion designers and crafts people.


The hand-loom khadi cotton book covers were developed in partnership with Delhi based fashion designer Sonam Dubal and are woven in Andhra Pradesh. The khadi and silk pouches were developed in partnership with Bangalore based fashion designer Sonali Sattar and are made from Mysore silk and khadi cotton from Andhra Pradesh.


Fiona is committed to Conscious Travel, travel that is environmentally and/ or socially responsible. So 10% of the profits from Love travel guides go to the Love Travel Foundation to contribute to Conscious Travel in India.

Love Travel guides can be customized for individuals, organisations and events as well.
Read more about love travel guides here

Monday, 6 July 2015

Neighbour’s envy, owner’s pride

Eating pulped avocados blended with sugar at my Granny’s, walking barefoot on wet green grass, long rain soaked rides on a green Vespa, two pairs of muddy paws and a mint green collarlush green paddy fields shrouded by a blanket of raindrops and a date with a pair of green eyes and teal green T-Shirt on an uncharacteristically cloudy November afternoon. This is the stuff my monsoon memories are made of. Moments that once bore witness to and are suggestive of ecstatic joy,  Zen-like tranquility and puppy love punctuated by gut-wrenching pain. Kind of bittersweet like lime with a pinch of salt. Much like life, which is a blend of all these emotions, rendered more palatable when consumed with a grain of salt.


Speaking of all things green, Greenwich, the time keeper of the world ought to be on your travel bucket list. Greenwich situated on the southern banks of the river Thames is characterized by baroque architecture, impressive view of London and is also a treasure trove of information on science, navigation and history. While you are in Greenwich, the must see places are the National Maritime Museum which is home to an impressive collection of naval art, Queen's House for its collection of fine art and the Cutty Sark, one of the world’s most famous ships. The village of Greenwich is also a wonderful shopping destination for quirky clothes and stylish furnishings. The Greenwich Clock tower Market is where you'll find vintage and craft items.




This tropical hue is also evocative of a more insidious form of emotion-envy, more specifically décor envy. Décor envy is the overwhelming jealous rage you feel when you come across spaces or décor accessories you wish you owned or had put together yourself. If you want to see your friends, family and neighbors afflicted by this lethal sentiment, join us as the bug and I drive down Limeroad, curating home décor products especially for this monsoon season. So what you waiting for? Hop over to www.limeroad.com and get your home monsoon ready! Pronto!




All images/products from www.limeroad.com

Friday, 3 July 2015

Mistress of distress

I have been in an ongoing love affair with distressed wood furniture for the past decade or so.  In this time, every carpenter who was unfortunate enough to cross my path has been subjected to the third degree. In my attempts to master the art of distressing I have picked their brains no end. Those of you who live in the southern part of India and don't speak the local language would understand what a herculean task this might have been. Language barrier be damned, I have made sure to extract every bit of information in their possession. Yes! I am crazy like that! As a result I have a treasure trove of tips and tricks on how to create the perfectly distressed piece of furniture.


Why do I love distressed furniture so much? Well, its just an extension of my love for all things vintage, things that have history and things that have a story to tell.......or in this case, at least look like they do. The pieces I own will definitely have a story or two up their sleeve about poor unsuspecting carpenters being driven up the wall by a plump overzealous woman putting them through a Spanish inquisition.


Distressed furniture has been trending for a while now but my gut tells me that this is one love affair that is going to last a lifetime and beyond. So don't be surprised if I rise up from the grave, cock my head and ask my grandchildren- Distress much?


 Alright, alright! Let me stop before these morbid visions and my inane attempts at humor get the better of me! Its not that kinda show! Oops! Blog! Unless some of the afore mentioned carpenters come back to haunt me! Aaaaaargh! Forgive me! I have missed my usual dose of crime thriller/ horror flicks this week. While i go make sure the  carpenters are safe and sound in their homes you feast on these beautifully distressed damsels I have 'dug up' for you. Eeeeeegaaaad! Frighten much?

So if you are like me and want to know more about distressed wood furniture, feel free to pick my brains. I promise not to come back to haunt you. ;) Drop me a line here theyellowbeetle6@gmail.com and I will try my best to answer your queries.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Hacienda

My insatiable need to seek out inspirational spaces always manages to rouse my desire for travel! And vice versa! Today, in my virtual quest for visual therapy, I accidentally walked into a Hacienda. What are Haciendas?


Hacienda is a Spanish word for an estate. The term hacienda usually refers to a landed estate of significant size. Smaller holdings were termed estancias or ranchos that were owned almost exclusively by Spaniards and criollos and in rare cases by mixed-race individuals. In recent times, the term has been used in the United States to refer to an architectural style associated with the earlier estate manor houses.

        

The hacienda system of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, New Granada and Peru was a system of large land holdings. A similar system also existed on a smaller scale in the Philippines and Puerto Rico.


Hidden in remote tranquil surroundings, the haciendas of Old Mexico have always struck a romantic chord with their rich mix of myth, history, and impressive architecture. Today, these once-abandoned colonial treasures have surfaced in contemporary design, sparking widespread interest in their restoration.


Originally dedicated to coffee, sugar and wheat production, haciendas have been transformed into myriad new roles—as country homes for artists, filmmakers, equestrians, and business entrepreneurs as well as eco-conscious resorts, art centers, riding schools, restaurants and work spaces.


Award-winning authors of books on Mexican design, antique dealers and designers Joe P. Carr and Karen Witynski Carr have been at the forefront of the Mexican design movement for over 25 years.


Together they have worked on residential & commercial design projects throughout the U.S. and Mexico, including hotels, restaurants, corporate ranch retreats and the restoration of an eighteenth-century Mexican hacienda.


Karen and Joe have spent years travelling through Mexican coastal villages and old colonial mining towns, alongside sugarcane fields and down narrow cobble stoned streets in search of  country tables, workbenches, storage trunks, corral gates, and old, heavy doors.


They were intrigued by the diversity they encountered: the variety in style, design, and shape of utilitarian vessels and carved wooden objects. From milking stools shaped like animals to grain-measure boxes and sculptural sugar molds, the pieces were like mirrors reflecting a rich local history as well as the ingenuity of the hands that made them.


Through their books we get to travel behind the scenes with Karen and Joe as they open the doors to Mexico’s remote country estates and reveal innovative interiors, artifacts, and antiques that echo the hacienda’s original architectural splendor. Inside, ancient stone walls and arcaded portals are at home with modern art and colonial antiques. Cobbled courtyards and grand salons come alive with a spirited mix of once-forgotten objects and contemporary furniture.


Once I walked into this virtual treasure trove of history and design, I could'nt  walk out without sharing this new found love for Haciendas, Mexican history and architecture with you. And as I brush off the cobwebs surrounding Hacienda's I am tempted to follow Karen and Joe's trail! To add to my distress as I write this Sex and the City (the movie) is on TV and Bradshaw and her coterie are sipping exotic cocktails in an idyllic Mexican resort with a fabulous view of the ocean! Its a sign!  Margaritas, Mayans and Mexico here I come!