Thursday, February 04, 2016

A Guest post for Dvara Magazine.

Over the Thanksgiving break here in the U.S. last November we visited Turkey.
Cappadocia in the Anatolia region and Istanbul or Constantinople were our destinations.

Each place incredible in it's own way. Each requiring a post to convey the natural as well as historic beauty of it's region but today I am doing a fun post about an interesting topic of Ornate Turkish Taps.
Yes, taps or faucets:-)

While shooting during our travel, I came across many intricately patterned taps. Intrigued I shot a couple of pictures and got online to do a little bit of research about these taps.

…now hop on to Dvara Magazine's blog to read the whole post as I Guest post on their blog to join them in celebrating one whole year of the magazine.

Rang Decor readers will remember the first ever giveaway with Dvara Magazine.

See you there!

( Images by Arch and are copyrighted)

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Craft Boat | Handmade Paper Products | Jaipur

Paper. Stationary. Handmade.

…and you have my total attention.
Kickstarting the brand New Year 2016 with a post about handmade paper products.

Craft Boat is a Jaipur based handmade paper making and paper company. They hand make paper reusing the cotton fabric waste from the garment industry.

They further use this eco-friendly tree-free cotton product to craft wrapping paper, stationary, gift boxes, notebooks and paper bags.

A glimpse into the handmade paper making process.

Paper Makers~ A process of recycling cotton scraps to paper pulp and compress it into eco-friendly papers.

 Using traditional block print motifs to craft beautiful products.

Blue Leaf~ Stationary Gift Set

Recycled Handmade paper notebooks.

Artworks on the paper, Textures of the Fort Walls & The birds of the sky. 

'As children, making boats with paper is first of the many paper crafts that we learn; the core of 
Craft Boat sails on these paper boats for inspirations between the multiple layers of nature, people culture and traditions'

Happy New Year 2016 Rang Decor Readers!  Hope you liked the post. Stay tuned for many interesting posts coming your way this year.

You can get in touch with them on Facebook : Craft Boat  Instagram: Craft Boat

( Images by Craft Boat and are copyrighted)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Surrendering to the moment...

As the last few days of the year wind up leaving behind a single sheet on my flip desk calendar.
I try to slow down in an attempt to pause the scenes from this year that went by so quickly…

2015 served me a mixed platter.
I contemplated if I really needed to share my year here on Rang Decor.
Rang Decor is and will be my creative playground and you my dear readers have been with me through this creative journey.
As most of you, who follow Rang Decor's Social Media know I lost my father rather suddenly over the Diwali week.
Experiencing an emotion called grief has been a new one.
Dad was a Brigadier in the Indian Army. He first served the nation and then after his retirement he decided to volunteer his life to the service of others.
He touched the lives of so many people through his helpful nature, soft demeanour and loving smile.
One big learning through this difficult time has been that it is only your actions and deeds that matter. How you made other's feel.
I will continue to draw inspiration from that.

The experience has also taught me greater appreciation and gratitude for this beautiful life.
On a personal level this year is also when a happy soul entered our lives and changed it for the better.
His name is Cocoa Srinivas, our soon to be 10 month old Beagle Pup.
He makes me smile everyday!

On a creative, professional level
I self-published my first photo book 'A Cup of Chai…'  this year.

I enter the third year of my journey as a potter creating function pottery and soon to launch my creations for sale on Archana Srinivas Pottery.

Rang Decor continues to enjoy the love and encouragement of you lovely readers and is soon to reach 12000 followers on Facebook. Thank You.

A lot to be thankful for as I surrender to the moment and savour it's unpredictability.

December brings with it a healing magic dust, hope to roll in it. Grateful that my Mother is here with us, as we heal together.

Thankful for this precious life that offers so many wonderful experiences and lessons.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones.
Signing off for the year.

Peace and Happiness.

P.S~I will be posting visuals on Instagram. So do drop by.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Ibrahim Pasha | Sultanahmet | Istanbul, Turkey

A quaint boutique hôtel just walking distance from many of the historic sites in the old city of Istanbul.
A space filled with books, interesting pieces of furniture and loads of information of the Byzantine history of Istanbul.
A photo-essay.

The reception lounge.

The breakfast nook.

A cosy space for reading and surfing.

View from the rooftop.
Check out their website here: Hotel Ibrahim Pasha
Facebook: Hotel Ibrahim Pasha

( Images by Arch and are copyrighted)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall { Seasonal Entertaining at home. Part-II }

Rang Decor Readers were introduced to the first of the {Seasonal Entertaining at home} posts few weeks back with how I usually put together a table for guests during Fall.

Continuing our Food & Entertaining Series with our Guest Blogger Manju Mahadevan.

Manju is the blogger behind Cooking Curries, a food blog dedicated to cooking from scratch, avoiding processed food, eating more organic, seasonal, local food and introducing and developing a more cleaner habit into everyday eating.

A food philosophy that I believe in, so I knew she would be the perfect fit to Guest Blog about Seasonal Entertaining for Rang Decor.

Manju loves experimenting with seasonal produce and giving it an Indian spin with a touch of spice.

So here I am handing over the post to her…

Garam Masala Butternut Squash Crostini with Cilantro-Sage Chutney

When Archana asked me to make something as a fall feature – something that was fall and Indian-inspired, it was right up my alley. Especially so, as this season I have been experimenting with the seasonal produce and trying to spice it up a little bit.

This Garam Masala spiced Butternut Squash Crostini is the perfect example of an appetizer for fall entertaining that has an ethnic element to it. I have combined the squash topping with the sage chutney drizzle – a classic combination of squash and sage.

The garam masala spiced butternut squash has potatoes in it too and is inspired by the very traditional samosa filling that is usually made with potatoes and peas. A nice and crusty sourdough makes for the ultimate bed for this spicy flavorful topping and chutney.

Garam Masala Spiced Butternut Squash Crostini with Cilantro – Sage Chutney – The Recipe

1/2 loaf sourdough bread
2 - 3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced cilantro
For the Butternut Squash Topping
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 thai green chilli, minced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp crushed ginger – garlic
2 yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup cubed butternut squash
1/4 cup water
1 tsp garam masala
salt, to taste
crushed black pepper, to taste

For the Cilantro – Sage Chutney
1/2 cup cilantro
7-8 sage leaves
1/2 Thai green chilli
1/2 tsp powdered cumin
salt, to taste

To make the Butternut Squash Topping
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, when they become fragrant, throw in the onion, green chilli, turmeric and crushed ginger – garlic. Sauté till the onion turns color.
Now add the potatoes and the squash and mix well. Add the water and cook covered for a few minutes till the potatoes are soft. Cook for some more time, keeping the pan uncovered, till all the water evaporates.
Add the garam masala, salt and pepper and mix well. Remove from heat and keep aside.
To make the chutney
Grind all the ingredients in a food processor with a little water to form a smooth paste with a chutney like consistency.
To Assemble
Slice the sourdough bread at an angle to form the crostini base. Heat a skillet and toast the bread slices with a little butter on either side.
Top each slice with a little of the squash topping, spoon over some chutney and arrange in a serving plate.
Sprinkle the minced cilantro on top before serving.

Thank you Manju! 
Hope you try this simple recipe this season while entertaining at home. 

Stay tuned for some festive ideas coming soon!

(Images by Manju Mahadevan and are copyrighted)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Creative Connections: Karthik Vaidyanathan

I am back with a new Creative Connections post!

My first interaction with Karthik Vaidyanathan was way back in 2009 when I received a mail from him about a query related to our Bangalore penthouse home. He was in the process of doing up his own new home in a traditional style.

Few weeks later he sent me photographs of his new home which was featured in Rang Decor Readers Creative Spaces and till date remains on of the most popular posts on the blog.

Karthik Vaidyanathan works in the broadband and cable television industry but with great passion for interior design and Indian crafts. 
His home showcased his Chettinad heritage and the inclusion of various traditional crafts of India.

Soon Varnamhis creative venture took shape in the form of home decor accessories made of traditional hand-loom fabrics. 
Over the next few years he found his true calling in working with the artisans of Channapatna, a small town few hours from Bangalore which is known for it's wooden toys and lacquer work.

Varnam's philosophy, ' VARNAM (colours) is an ode to colourful India. Our attempt has been to bring our own aesthetic sensibilities and design philosophy to traditional crafts. The idea is to reorient our crafts to the modern context by ensuring that each design has a utilitarian value and thereby relevant today. There is a constant dialogue with our artisans on current market trends in terms of finish, utilitarian value, attention to detail, etc.  In doing so, we hope to enhance the sense of pride amongst our master crafts-people for their skill and ensure that these crafts continue to thrive. '

Today Varnam has a flagship store in a beautiful lush neighbourhood of Indiranagar in Bangalore and is a social enterprise interpreting the 200-year-old Channapatna toy-making craft in the home and lifestyle, women’s accessories space, giving tradition a contemporary twist.

My Creative Connection with Karthik happened over time while watching him make progress in this creative journey and his sincere attempt to promote a dying Indian craft.

Of all the years I lived in Bangalore I did not get an opportunity to meet him but as luck would have it, last year when I visited India, I decided to make a quick stop at his store and meet him.
So here is a store tour of sorts.

Kolam painted at the entrance welcomed me in…

Oh yes, we smiled a lot!

Beautiful carved details.

Some clever display of Channapatna knobs…

Owl Book ends

The best-selling Lacqer work bangles and cuffs. Inbam Series

Hanging lamps in vibrant colours.

Karthik's latest range of bow ties.

Goobie Night Lamp.

Meet Mr. Karthik Vaidyanathan.

Some interesting organisation in the store.

Flowers adding beauty everywhere.

Varnam has won many prestigious awards like the Kyoorius Design Awards 2013 in Design Craft and Packaging, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Design Excellence award for its ‘Oinkston tableware’ series 2013 and the CII Design Excellence award for visual communication and packaging 2014.
Award winning packaging design!

It was great to relive the memories of catching up with Karthik and taking you all on this colourful tour of his store.

Varnam has a whole range of new products and events coming up, so do connect with them on their Website Varnam
Varnam on Facebook
colorsofvarnam on Instagram

( Images by Arch and are copyrighted)