Monday, January 27, 2014

DIY : Fun with scraps.

A brand new -closet to decor- DIY project for old faded garments  to start the year...!

Five old - really old garments, one fine day in a stroke of inspiration... (Remember this ?) go under the scissors. And the resultant is a shabby and unevenly sewn yet  fun coverlet for the master bed!

I have a thing for not throwing away stuff.  So a few old kurtas and  table cloths which were  completely exhausted  but loved all the same  -for one reason or the other,  get reinvented  over one weekend.  Since I am no expert with the sewing machine,  it helped that the project did not require one to be perfect.

The Recyclables:
Old kurtas table cloths and an old curtain..

The garments were chosen based on a broad color scheme I wanted to follow for the bed-spread. They were then dismembered into same sized squares and put together  strip by strip until we finally have a Indian block print meets  Chinese and Japanese vegetable dyed batik meets pin-tuck story..!

Here is the shabby chic boho inspired results.. You like?!

Although not pictured here, the sheet has been backed with a plain navy blue casement fabric from an old curtain .

While cutting the squares and assembling the scraps  here are the few things I tried to keep in mind:

~  Cut equal sized squares form all over the garment, sleeves and interface included.
~ Join scraps of similar colored/ patterned fabric from the trims to extract the maximum use out of  the garments.
~ retain the full motif of large prints without wasting fabric to the extent possible.
~ Try not to repeat the same fabric twice in a row .
~ go over each row twice with the machine or better still interlock if you can ( I do not have the interlocking feature on my machine )
~ try to be neat. ( even with all the striving to be neat, the result is uneven in this case, but focus while working helped!)

I had a great time putting this one together.  You like ? !! Do share simple ideas of your own  to recycle and reuse old things...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Color studies : in brown and blue.

Launching a  line of art work  ( photo +) that deals with layers of materials and techniques,   has done a few things to me and the way I  approach my photography. It forces me to think accross disciplines. For the first time the image is also a starting point for a larger story. I am learning to see things accros a broad spectrum of things without compartmentalising. 
Images objects and stories come together to make a memory.

In 2008, I curated a small object based exhibition that appropriated household objects from expat Indian homes based in Hongkong ( pictured below). 
The experience of working with a large number of migrant  families and their stories of movement, dislocation and nesting in a foreign country was eye opening. The power of the domestic space in defining identity and  the immediacy of a possesion however small was a revelation.  My fetish for objects and material goes farther back, but this small exhibition encouraged it tremendously.
There was an intense desire on my part at that stage to work with objects and possessions. I started collecting  materials. Letters, postcards, photographs and the like.  

With Photo plus that desire to curate across media has gradually taken shape. There is a long way to go yet.
Late last year it struck me to apply a simlar approach to the blog. Talking homes, decor, interiors and lives still,  yet in different ways and definitely with more engagement with the subject.

I have made small beginings already. Today's post is yet another effort in more involved blogging. 
A series of posts will follow suit.

Today, I pick a color based modboard  for browns and blues
A combination of the contrasting elements of the earth and sky creates unearthly poetry..It's chic, contemporary and timeless, all at the same time. Here is a little brown and blue from  all over, other  homes, closets, the Photo+ work table, some of my photography and my own home.
Will come back with more since there is a lot more to say, until then I hope this make sense...


Photo credit : Pinterest. Among a lot of  wonderful oriental and Cuban interiors is also an outfit from my favourite designers, Payal Khandwala's previous collections.  A big fan of her fantastic sense of color and a very boho take on cuts and styles. 

A mood board created with an assemblage of color based objects, illustrations and photographs  from my studio and home.

Details from the mood board..

An Arastan shop in shop at Goodearth, Raghuvanshi Mills.
Arastan. The Bangalore base home and artefact label is unfortunately closing down soon. [A post about them was among a long list of to do's which never got done for one reason or the other unfortunately.]

One of Jodhpur's many blue houses. The  old quarter of the city is a symphony of blue and earth. Check out a more detailed post here.

When the dining table is off duty.

Browns and Indigo in the bedroom, plus and minus orange and rust as accent colors.

Hand built pottery in the kitchen.

Photography from Jodhpur livens up a mostly earth canvas of objects.

Finally a few images of a silk cushion I hand embroidered a while back from the archives..

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

At home and work: studio and home tour, Anek Designs

I had a coloful Diwali in 2013 thanks to the wonderful designer collaboration with Anek Design's wonderful Kanika Bhal (read the story here ). Kanika's ecelectic design sensibility that is a trademark of her line of decor products flows just as easily and copiously into her domestic and work spaces. Posting a few images from around her studio and lovely apartment in Mumbai.

Two words braced on top of a door ledge pretty much sum up her work for me

And here, in a small but dear little studio in Goregaon Mumbai,  Kanika creates her label Anek Designs..
"It is a very functional space. We were lucky to find neat and clean nook right at the edge of a basti" Says Kanika describing her workshop and it's neighbourhood.

I am amazed at the neat organized interiors encountered within..

The small yet  airy and organised space takes me back to anpther space..
 Barely a few hours back , I had sarted the morning at  Kanika's  airy and charming apartment in Malad.

There is hints of Kanika's love for textiles every where in the house. The space brims with color and craft in every corner..

A  humble sweet platter  very cleverly used as a trivet  for serving snacks on the coffee table.
Or a long kalamkari cushion in earth colors on a stark blue sofa.

Kanika's chunky potli neckpeices adorning the top of a cupboard in her study..

A key organizer  at the entrance of her home..

A simple arrangement of objects and fruit  top a dining table.

Shadow puppets hung on a string..

Or a simple yet stunning curtain made out of  colorful scraps of left over fabric..
(I have a good mind of returning to this beauty here in an upcoming post, but more about that later)

Infact colors and weaves are abundant in this home..

And getting back to the workshop, there is piles and stacks of colour and more weave!

In Kanika's signature potli and scrap key chains..

In scraps of kantha materials. ( Kanika has been working with kantha since 2010, and in the time to come, she intends to offer all textile craft traditions from India and a few from abroad.)

In a wide variety of natural textiles Kanika likes to work with..

In the kalamkari range that she launched recently. ( Anek's  kalamkari  based patterns are commissioned from a national award winning weaver  based in Andhra Pradesh)

And last but not the least in a bunch of yummy cushions I splurged on in while a visit to her workshop!

It has been enlightening and inspiring knowing  Kanika. There is much  she will offer via Anek in the time to come, starting with a range of pure silk and woollen products. Do keep an eye on her facebook page.. I  have mine glued too!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Giving away

Among the many things that happened last year was  my participation in a blog give away for the very first time :) The gorgeous Vineeta Nair of Art n light was giving a Mora by Ritika Mittal stole away.   ... Wait ?! was it a Mora?! I would have killed for this one, but thankfully  no such desperation was required.  All we needed to do was to drop a note about tradition and what it meant to us. Easy peasy. I did my bit and waited patiently. And  in due course a  beautifully finished stole came to me in a cloth package bearing the signature red dot !!!

Image courtesy Artnlight

I am yet to thank  Vineeta and Ritika for their generosity formally. So I start the new year with this little note of thanks.

Taking the right cues from the two ladies I admire so much, the very first post of 2014 on Girl about home  is going to be a very first give away!

To all my  lovely readers  who coming back to the blog time and again.   For  all those I have connected with through this site. For keeping up with my moody, erratic and half hearted posts sometimes - here is a sincere word of thanks too. Do keep reading the blog as well as my recently launched Facebook page. I promise to keep sharing on both these spaces out through out 2015.

The rules of the give away are simple .
For a 9 by 13 inch card mounted print on archival grade paper :

Temporary home at  Kumbh Mela Allahabad,  Maha Kumbh 2013.

- follow girlabouthome if you are not following already

- like  the Chandan Dubey Photography Facebook page at:

- drop me a comment about what your own home means to you, in the comment section below this post.

- Once there is critical mass of comments,  I will choose five responses  and draw the name of th

winner by lots. 

The give away is open to readers of the blog around the world. Don't forget to leave your email ids !
Happy new year guys, come get your print!


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