Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Have you seen Kedgree's latest designs ?

Hello there ! How have you been ? I am hoping by now, that spring has touched all your homes, and that you have been grabbing a few moments in the mellow sun, enjoying your cup of tea and those thoughts that are yours and yours alone. It is so important, to have a little time to yourself, to just 'think'. Works wonders for me, those little conversations with myself !

OK, so nearly every decor enthusiast I know, has a blind love for cushion covers. I am crazy about them, the 'unstoppable-compulsive-helpless-crazy' collector when it comes to them. And so I thought it relevant to ask you, if you have checked out the new cushion cover collection at Kedgree .

These cushion tops are special. Why, you ask ? While I would love to say it is because yours truly has designed them, the real reason why they are exclusive is, because, for the first time, 'hanbok' silk fabric has been used to make them. 'Hanbok' is the traditional costume of Korea, worn during festivals, weddings and special occasions by both men and women in the country. Several yards of free flowing silk and tissue go hand in hand in creating these beautiful heirlooms, passed down generations in Korean homes.

Stunning aren't they? The outfit, its colours, the fabric, all of it would catch my eye and fascinate me whenever I would see someone wearing the 'Hanbok' here. And while I knew the chance of me ever slipping one on is remote, I thought it would be lovely to bring a teeny bit of it back to my home, AND TO YOURS, by crafting cushion covers out it. Have a look ! :-)

These and many other vibrant colours from the Korean palette are available on Kedgree's Facebook page. I hope you will enjoy the collection as much as I have enjoyed the process of putting it together. They are my little home decor label's first in-house designs, would be wonderful to get your feedback.

Look forward to hearing from you ! Until next time, love to all of you for a beautiful week ahead.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Of Celebrations and 'Thank-You's !

Not too long ago, a girl and boy met up for lunch on a cold winter afternoon in India, at a quiet Italian restaurant, with expectations of some good risotto and bolognese sauce seasoned with interesting conversation. Whilst the food turned out to be average, what fortunately did not, was the rendezvous between the two, and before they knew it, the boy was on a white plane out of Korea, carrying a ring, she said 'Si`' and the two of them had their bags packed, blessed by all, ready to start a new life in the land of the morning calm. A few weeks thereafter, the girl chose to document her adventures in this country, about the hiccups and the highs as she set up their little home here. And 41 posts, and a zillion photographs later, she realised her blog had turned all of 12 months old ! :-) Yes, the journey here that began with a ceramic teapot, a Korean bell and a newly acquired plant has reached a wonderful milestone last week, my blog's first anniversary ! :-)

'Thank You's are in order, and while I will try not to let this sound like an acceptance speech at the Oscars, I have to say that I have received amazing love and support from family, friends and people unknown, who have joined me here to patiently listen to my ramblings :-) Not just me, my paan-daan, my art, the flowers in my home, and the incessant cups of tea that I have had with you all, albeit virtually, all raise their hands in grateful acknowledgement of your presence at A Treat for the Senses.

I also love, that blogging has found me friends across the world, lovely like-minded people whom I haven't met, but with whom I stay connected through our common love for all things beautiful.

And while I am on the thanking spree, I must mention my better half, the man responsible for bringing me to this wonderful part of the world that truly feels like home now, a big thank you to him, for being my 'grammar-check', for shutting his eyes to this 'significant other' in my life, my little niche here in the blogosphere, AND for making those 'special appearances' on Facebook to comment on and like my posts. Truly grateful that he edited those commas, the paras make much more sense when he steps in, just like everything else in life ! :P

What's a birthday without a small celebration, it is meant to be brought in with pomp and show and cake and all the other good stuff. So I spent a happy morning humming to myself, sifting the icing sugar, beating the eggs nice and stiff and baked a yule log for the occasion. I must also tell you, though you might have already guessed, that I stepped out to shop for some flowers for the house :-)

And as I sign off now to go attack the leftovers in the frig, I am looking forward to sharing more treats, more experiences and discoveries with you in the months ahead. Thank you all. Without your comments and feedback this little treasure trove of mine would not glisten as much, would sparkle a little less, and definitely not be as much fun as it has been the past one year. Hope to see more of you here, have a wonderful week ! :-)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Colours of Holi & Happiness !

Colourful, wild, bold and bright, messy for all, dressy for none...the first few thoughts that come to my mind when I think of the festival of colours. Marking the official onset of spring or Phalgun in India, Holi (also known as Dol Jatra, Phaguwa,Phakuwa,Sigmo,Yaosang,Ukkuli in Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Goa, Manipur, Kerela respectively) is your license to let your hair down, get 'happy-high', pull out the war paint, eggs, jam and what-not and go colour the people you like, or even better, those you don't like! ;-) Seize the opportunity, after all, 'bura na maano, Holi hai' ! ;-)

Generally falling in the month of February or March, this 'riot of colour' unleashes itself as winter reluctantly gives way to warmer days, a signal that it is time to gently fold those Pashminas into neem-laced trunks, as the buds of the Tesu flower begin to unfold and bloom on the branches of the Palash tree while twelfth graders have their noses buried into their question banks, writing Board exams.

I remember during my days in University, this would usually be a three day colour flinging uproar, with people prowling on the streets,armed with 'pichkaris', buckets, balloons and any and everything that can hold colour, in the hope of catching hold of someone unsuspecting or sporting enough to play Holi. The day would begin every year with a solemn promise to myself not to participate in the pandemonium, only because of painful reminders from previous years of having to scrub off the colour for weeks, but I would mostly always end up being the 'HOLI-est' of them all ! The tell tale signs would remain long after the festival was over, behind the ears and around the finger nails :-)

Hmmm, fun times! Holi is, exciting indeed, if you have family around, open space to play, running water supply and the ideal temperature to play with colour. The festivities are underway here as well, with the Indian community organising get togethers and events and also playing with wet colour this weekend, even though the weather forecast suggests the mercury will remain well below the zero mark !
I am nursing a cold, so the two of us here are going to celebrate in more sober ways, eat a gujiya or two and dot some 'gulal' to mark the day. More importantly, we wish for friends and family, that they see more blue skies, green grass, yellow sunshine  and crimson sunsets and hope that life's most beautiful colours flood their worlds this Holi. It is the festival of colours after all, and may the happiest shades find their way into your homes this year. I hope you enjoy the festivities with your loved ones and that you keep the coconut oil handy if you're planning to go the whole hog ! :-)
Happy Holi ! Have a wonderful day !

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Catching Up !

Hello everyone ! Already onto the 62nd day of the year, the seconds are sprinting ahead of me and I am trying hard to keep up with the action packed year that 2015 is proving itself to be !

First things first, allow me to thank you for the overwhelming love and appreciation towards the last post written by my mother. She sends out a huge thank you for your feedback, as do I. It is great to see how many nature lovers exist amongst us here, and how passionate so many of us are about its bounty! Your response was truly rewarding ! :-)

Coming back to the month of the Cupid, February has been simply wonderful, with many interesting and new dimensions to it.

It started with my return to the land of the morning calm after a roller coaster of a ride back in India. The home was lovingly tended to by my better half, and I was welcomed by cutlery that glistened and flowers that beamed in different corners of our apartment ! A quick project that I had painted a day before leaving for India also 'mysteriously' found place on his study desk :-).

Everything was spick and span and organised to the point of being scary ! :-) No prizes for guessing why he is the 'better' fifty percent ! :-)

'Kimchi land' has been really good to us throughout February. Korea celebrated the lunar new year last month, and we were spoilt for choice with the unbelievable list of art and cultural exhibits that were on in the city ! We decided to make a 'stay-cation' of the five day break here and visited some of the art galleries and museums in town.

Those of you who love art would be happy to know that I got a chance to see the masterpieces of Van Gogh, Monet, Degas and other legendary painters, as their paintings were travelling to our part of the world.

Not just that, we also visited a lovely exhibit on Bohemian glass from the 16th century and another one that had the ruins of Pompeii on display...a unique opportunity to appreciate, art and history from Italy, Czechoslovakia, France...in one city...we made the most of it !

The inhabitants of this lovely country made a fine festival of ushering in the year of the goat/sheep/ram (whichever one you like more) and there was of plenty of soju, song and dance that accompanied it ! Korea wined and dined and celebrated their biggest festival in style, and we were happy to join in !

February has also been the month of a few 'firsts' on the personal front. Year of the sheep did I say? Only fair then that I have been having a great time playing with fabric and design...

I began to explore the world of quilting last month and what a fascinating universe it is ! I have been working on a project that is a bit of a surprise, but I will be able to share more about it in my next post, so do look out for my baby stitches :-)

The weather here has been alternating between rain and sunshine, spring is still a month away, and in between all the action, I did manage to grab a few moments in the sun and caught up on some reading.

Looking back, I can say, the days have been blissfully packed and every minute has been deeply fulfilling and gratifying.

As I sign off for now, it has just struck me that the festival of colours is round the corner, AND, it is coinciding with my little blog's first anniversary !!! :-)

I am looking forward to writing to you about it end of this week, do write back, it really makes my day to hear from you !

Until then, take care and stay connected. May the days ahead be all sunshine for you :-)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Love, Dreams & A Garden Amidst !

I have always believed, that those with beautiful gardens are blessed with beautiful souls, for plants can happily thrive, in only such a world, that is made of selfless giving and love that is unconditional.
I have had the joy of growing up in a home where the garden and its inhabitants always come first, and are tended to with utmost care and attention by its anchors, my parents.

My parents, incidentally, and completely unlike yours truly, are very social media shy. So when I approached my mother with the idea of composing a post on her garden green, I did expect a firm 'No' :-) But like a lot of other stuff that I have inherited from her, I also have the family obstinance running through my veins, and so, after a lot of coaxing, cajoling and convincing, I did get, not just the post, but actually got her to write it herself !!! :-)

So here you go dear readers, in her own words, and on the first guest feature on my blog, over to Dr. Suman Banerji and her thoughts, on what she fondly refers to as, her 'Power Garden'...

My daughter asked me to write about my garden and for a moment I was confused. But then, I said, let me try. I don't have green fingers, but a green heart. 
My garden is my oasis in a concrete jungle.As I read once, it is my face to the world. It says so much about you, it reaffirms who you are. Its all about the shape of a rose, the growth pattern of a plant, and of course, where it would best thrive.

My husband is an equal garden enthusiast. Our garden evolved over a period of time as we experimented...filled it with bold colours, spicy scents, dramatic forms. It flows seamlessly, from one space to another, we avoided symmetry, wanted the 'just emerged' natural look. Sturdy trellises on the walls, support flowering vines, wisteria, ipomea, passion flower, mandavellia, cleredendrum, golden begonia...

We have the overflowing bougainvillea in different hues, as they lend vibrancy in summers. The 'kund', its fragrance enlivens summer evenings alongwith 'raat ki raani'. In summer, the potted plants, perennial and succulents continue to provide foliage. They add colour and flamboyancy, there being a contrast of shapes of leaves growing in myriad shades of green. There is a bouquet of hedges, as we sowed tall and short plants together. The green colour is so soothing, even as temperatures soar in summers.

In winters, colour, material and plants mingle with each other. Phlox, salvia, geranium, impatiens, pansy, petunia and 'so many others', our 'winter wonders', they flow as a carpet amidst the birds and the butterflies, we even get a bottle of honey as the bees love our climbers.

The diverse herbs offer me a world of flavours, chives, parsley, thyme, rosemary and the basil leaves...clip a few and enjoy them to suit your palette.

I must mention an old sculpture nestled in the greenery, it gives a touch of whimsy to an already shady area.

My husband loves fruits and we have often compromised because too many trees means too much shade which keeps the sunlight away. Jamun, mangoes, lemons, bananas, 'shehtoot', cheekoo, guava and grapefruit have gifts to offer in season.

The lawn is fairly ho-hum. Dogs play around and the family relaxes, interacts with each other in the lap of nature.

My bonsais are my babies and they do get neglected once in a while, and that's when I say ' STOP!!..'...all chores are then set aside while I tend to my babies.

Our kitchen patch, well, maybe another time. It's practical and provides fresh greens.

I should have mentioned earlier that our garden is East facing and thus we capture the early rays of the sun as it filters through the bougainvillea arbour, wisteria and magnolia branches, trips over the Ipomea and then smiles upon our front verandah. Ideal time for our morning cuppa.

The Wisteria was carried all the way from Saagar district in M.P. when we were posted there. Its rambling blossoms have deep emotions within, they bloom each year on my daughter's birthday, a delightful reminder of the arrival of our new born.

Time is what it takes to make a garden, that makes a gardener swoon. Do come. Do visit me. We shall spend time in my garden, you and I, but tread softly, for you tread upon my dreams. My 'Power Garden'.

Wasn't that beautiful ? I hope you enjoyed this very special composition.
Letting the fragrance of the flowers and the thoughts above linger on...
Thanks Ma, for opening your garden and your heart for us :-)