block printing by hand

Intricately carved wooden blocks dipped in dyes, painted on cloth with exactness not once but as many times as the colors needed… isn’t it intriguing to see an artist’s vision unfold so delightfully.

The craft was so snugly woven into the fabric of community that, in early days the motifs and colors in an outfit would suggest a person’s caste or place in the society and even their marital status.
Though the tradition of hand printing has sadly weathered and wilted in the past, some firms and export houses like Anokhi have been doing extensive work for its revival.

Anokhi foundation had set up a museum in Jaipur, not only to preserve the tradition but also to provide craftspeople with examples of best of hand block printed textiles from their archives.

~Detailed pics at Saffron marigold.

Sanganer, Bagru in Rajasthan; Farukhabad, Pethapur in Gujarat are some places where it is still flourishing.

Since I haven’t been as lucky as to pop in to any of these places, I was just thrilled to come across the prints so unexpectedly in a shop called Manasvi in Gurgaon.
They had a good selection too.

I’ve put aside little snippets of each piece as a keepsake before mailing them to friends and as you might have guessed, started to plot for something fun and patchy o_o

While the flowers and vines are quietly wafting through the warm winds as carefree as a dandelion snow in an August breeze… a fuzzy fluffy white slips in and spools around, and it all seem to come together in a few fleeting moments.

Aren’t these squares quick and fun?

You can leaf through some more delicious bits at Les Indiennes which I stumbled upon
on Sewn ~ so much inspiration to soak-in… eeks!

p.s. Nanette,Stephanie.. thank you so much for everything! I appreciate it all, more than I could ever tell in words (* u *)


Hyderabad, the real Koh-i-Noor

I cannot stop feeling mushy whenever I step my foot in Hyderabad. No other city makes me feel so connected than Hyderabad. This is a tribute to all the things that I love about it.

Hyderabad is not complete without its city buses in the hustle and bustle. Isn't it amazing to see a lady ticket collector all clad in a saree and garlands of jasmine which is traditionally dominated by men?

Summer is synonymous to wedding season, mangoes, jasmine blooms, and sugarcane juice in South India.

A piligrimage to Gokul Chat, a fast food place, is a must for any Hyderbadi student and families alike. So much so that this tiny place in the heart of the city was target of terrorist attacks.

For the sweet tooth, there is always Famous Icecream and Karachi Bakery at Mozamjahi Market.

Ganesh (Elephant God) temple in Secunderabad (the twin city of Hyderabad) for the devote.

Begum Bazaar in Afzalgunj is a place to go to buy anything at wholesale rates. These huge utensils are meant to cook food for wedding cermonies.

Hyderabad is not complete without its 400 hundred year old Charminar referred to as the Arc de Triomphe of the East. Hyderabadi's literally revolve around this beautiful limestone monument.

(thanks to Nataraj for posting this video on my facebook)
Historic Laad Bazaar (Bangle Street), Makkah Masjid and the Nizam General Hospital near Charminar.

We may have lost our Koh-i-Noor but for us it is right here, the city itself!
Happy Birthday India.

~ Kalyan



We all have fond memories from the days gone by, which were filled with endless fun of gilli-danda, ikri-dukri, ice-pice, current-shock…
…and when the weather isn’t feasible for playing outdoors; we could always fall back on playing with paper.

There is something so amusing about taking a small piece of paper and creating enticing shapes with it. Pinwheel being one of them.

Here is a how-to just in case you want to reminisce…
…but of course we never bothered to use up our pencil stocks.
Instead, when the paper wheels were folded just so, we would sneak into the backyard… untie granny’s broom to gather some silly little sticks and would hurry back before she caught us in the act!

Now all that was left to do was to fasten up one of them to the wheel, wait for the rain to clear up…
…and then proudly run from this end of the street to that end with a twirling pinwheel in hand and a huge big smile on the face.

The pinwheels here are for a friend’s baby boy except the pink one in there, which is for my dear friend who is very fond of pink. I hope she has as much fun playing with it as her baby boy does with all of his rainbow colored ones.

I got these 30’s prints from my lovely friend Jane. She’s the sweetest ever!

What were your favorite games that you couldn’t wait to play when school’s out?

~ Pattern from Better homes and gardens “Quilts & Gifts to give“ 2008 issue.
~Ice-pice : I think it's 'I spy', but somehow we always called it 'ice-pice'.
~Ikri-dukri : a variation of hop-scotch.