Monday, April 27, 2009

LiPeony and Mark the Bookmark!

Today I got two packages in the mail, and the timing of both was quite astonishing... I got a package from Smarmyclothes that not only contained the custom Maiden dress I had ordered, but also a book by Kathy Reichs, Déjà Dead. And I got another package from LiPeony that contained the three cute bookmarks I ordered from her shop last week!

Tell me if it isn't good timing that new bookmarks arrived with a new book to be read? ;-)

I found LiPeony's shop through the Etsy forums. I was there trying to promote a bit this very same blog, when I saw her cute avatar, featuring her Chibi Girl, and had to check her shop!

I saw all her lovely & cute prints featuring her more than cute character, Chibi Girl, and saw her Mark the Bookmark listing, and fell in love! I'm a complete bookworm, and have tons of bookmarks, but for some reason I'm always in need of bookmarks and can't find them!

After a quick reading over her profile and shop policies, and reading that due to spring break she was offering free shipping WORLDWIDE!, I went ahead and bought my set of 3 Mark the Bookmark!

Mark's a really sweet character, and he seemed earger to start working, so you can see him holding the spot for me, so I can keep on reading Temperance Brennan adventures as soon as I'm done with this entry!

If you love Mark, as I do, you need to check LiPeony's shop and meet Chibi Girl!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Shots: Week 2

Our next installment of the weekly photography challenge.

Apparently Gaurav & myself have a thing for working under pressure, because we both shot our photographs for this week today itself.

Here they are:

Keep an eye open for next week!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shopping Handmade: Diaper Bag & Matching Blanket!

Long time no blog! At least not one about handmade goodies!

After quite some good use, the Dolly's diaper bag I got for Dee was ready to be retired for another one, and this time I decided I'd let Dee decide which fabric she'd what. And I asked Dolly if she could make the strap an adjustable one. She managed fabulously and made a lovely bag, that Dee and Ravi loved!

Shortly after ordering the bag, I saw in Amber's shop: RockerByeBaby, a lovely blanket in the very same fabric that Dee had chosen for her bag, and I thought, that it'd be a wonderful set if I could get not only the bag, but the blanket and a bib and burp cloth set! I asked Amber, and she was more than happy to make the set for me!

So, here you can see not only a very happy Dee & Ravi with their new diaper bag, but also a very happy baby Rudra, enjoying his newest blanket!

Keep tuned for some blogs coming next week, including the Sunday photos feature!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

52 Weeks, 52 Photographs, A Learning Experience

A new challenge and learning experience, suggested by my boyfriend the photographer, taking a self-portrait every week, during 52 weeks. It's supposed to help you grow as a photographer, and also in the way you see yourself (in the vein the great artists did, with their self-portraits).

So, here goes the first installment, for both G and me:

This will be my Sunday update on the blog, so it'll become a stable feature. Watch out for next week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Big Fat Indian Wedding.

But not mine!

During my latest trip to India I was told shortly upon arrival, that we were to attend an Indian wedding - "Whaaat?!"- was my instant reaction, thinking that I had no sort of wedding-like clothes in my suitcase, nor shoes, bag... nothing that could be taken to a wedding, even less an Indian wedding!

My sis-in-law was quite pleased at that, cause it meant taking me shopping for Indian garb, shoes and jewellry, and I can assure you that's something she DOES love!

After our trip to Goa, she decided to take us shopping to one of the malls with the biggest selection of Indian formal clothing shops. We agreed that a saree would not be the best idea, since we didn't have enough time to get it fitted or fixed if it was a ready-made one (which means it has hooks and buttons to help someone like me wear it, cause wearing a saree properly is quite an art in itself!) so we'd go for a suit (kurta & pajama pants). I must say I like shopping, but going from shop to shop, looking and trying stuff on... I have a limited amount of endurance for that, so after three shops I was ready to quit and run... I had liked a suit that had a vest alongside the kurta & pants for the Sangeet or wedding, but Dee decided that we need to look at another shop, where luckily I found a gorgeous black & golden suit that was ideal for the wedding! So after trying it on, I said enough - we'll buy this for the wedding, and the other for the Sangeet and please can we go home now?

And I still had to buy the jewellry and the shoes... which meant another trip to another mall, and visiting another bunch of shops till I could convince Dee that I liked that and that, and I was done! I don't have a problem with window shopping for a while, but when I've found something I like and which price isn't bad, I don't want to go on looking.

Since everything I got for the wedding was store-bought and not handmade, I at least managed to get handmade in there with my make up, from two brands I've found on Etsy: Glittersniffer Cosmetics and Pink Quartz Minerals.

On the day before the wedding there was this traditional celebration called the Sangeet, where the family of the bride or the groom get together, and there are stories and jokes, and dancing and food, and mendhi (henna tattoo) for the women that wants to get it. I was dressed quite formally (for my taste) and thankfully not only Dee was too, but when we arrived there, I most of the rest of the women were too. Gaurav got to dress in shirt and jeans (lucky bugger) and were playing un-official photographer all evening (I'm sure a lot of his shots were better than the ones taken by the "official" one).

I decided to get the mendhi done on my hands (making sure it wouldn't stick out of the area covered my the gloves at work) and wow, it takes some talent to be able to draw all those lovely shapes! The bigger part of the mendhi goes in the palms of the hands, and just a lil in the back. It's quite a laborious process in itself, and once it's applied you have to let it dry for an hour, then apply lemon juice and wait for another two hours before removing it (I ended up using a butter knife to scrap it off) and not wash it with water till the next morning so it'll have a pretty dark orange colour and will last longer. Letting it dry for two hours meant that I couldn't touch anything, so I got lucky and got Gaurav to feed me dinner! ;-)

The day of the wedding I went to the beauty parlour to get a manicure & pedicure and to get my hair straightned (a wedding seems an appropiate excuse to pamper oneself). One of the surprising things for me about India is the amount of people employed doing things, I'll illustrate my point with an example: not only I got one guy doing my pedicure and another doing the manicure at the same time, but there was a guy just to wash my hair, and another holding the hair-dryer while I was getting my hair straighted by the hairdresser, again a guy.

As with the Sangeet, I did my own make-up, and I must say I'm quite proud that I got the handle of the mineral make-up, and did quite a good job with my make up for both the wedding and the sangeet, using PQM foundation and translucent veil, and eye shadows, and Glittersniffer's eye shadows.

After all the make-up, dressing up, and mainly the straight hair, I was looking rather different to the way I usually do, so much that my bro-in-law did a pair of double-takes while we were still at the house! So yeah, different indeed! So much that we decided to play a lil trick on Gaurav's parents, and see if they recognized me!

When we arrived at the hotel the wedding was held at, we joined the Barat (which is some sort of a procession where the groom on a horse wearing a pink turban, is precedeed by a band and his family members dancing) since we were invited on the groom's side (which was the brother of the wife of the elder brother of Ravi, Gaurav's brother in law, confusing yet?).

After a bit of dancing, of me trying to avoid being in the thick of things, Gaurav taking pics all around, the Barat got to the entry of the place where the wedding was taking place, the males of both families interchanged gifts, they then let the groom enter and is welcomed by the family of the bride, and then the whole family enters the place.

Here things can be slighty different depending on the time of the day (or night) the actual ceremony is taking place, since astrologers after some sort of calculations decide which days and at which hours is lucky to get married, so if the lucky time is 1 am, you have the party, the picture taking and the dinner before the religious ceremony, and if it's like 5 pm, you first have the ceremony, and then the food, the pictures and the party...

Once the groom and the family is inside the place, there are aperitifs served, and drinks, and there's chatting till the bride enters the room (in this case escorted by the females in his family, Gaurav says that the most traditional way is having her under a parasol carried by 4 of her brothers (family or as close as brothers). The bride was covered head to toe in a gorgeous saree and loads of jewellry all over, so much it was difficult for her to walk, and I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her to actually dance and have dinner!

Once they're both together there comes the time of the picture taking and gift giving... and that MUST be soooo terribly tedious, since they take pictures with everyone that has come to the wedding, whether they know them or not, and in 300 people, you're bound to NOT know a bunch of people (do you think 300 people is a lot? well, I was told this was a very small event, Dee & Ravi's wedding had more than 700 people, yeah, right, that is so NOT for me!).

While they take pictures the rest of the people is either dancing or eating at the buffet, and we were keeping an eye for Gaurav's parents so we could play our lil trick on them, we'd pretend I was a friend of Ravi's niece, and it worked! Gaurav's mom did a double-take and was soooo surprised to see me so changed! And so was Gaurav's dad. Both agreed that I was looking gorgeous and very Indian!

After the photo taking, dinner-eating and dancing, came the time to attend the proper ceremony, but we didn't stay through it all, cause it was nearing 2 am, and the next day we were leaving for the Sariska preserve to see big kitties!

My opinion on Indian weddings? They're gorgeous to look at, just as long as it's not my own!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Warning!: Custom Creation from the Label!

Finally! Time and energy to write a new blog entry!

I have been planning to write this entry since Tuesday, when I got my very awesome bag from the amazing Jamie of Warning Label Creations, but first, I wasn't too keen on the pics I had taken, and then my camera's battery died, and I had a few very tiring days at work... So the blog entry got delayed till today, my first and only "sort of" day off this week (I worked last night, so today doesn't really count as day off).

After getting my gorgeous clutch from her, I saw a bag browsing Etsy made with Alexander Henry's Inked Tattoo Girls fabric, and fell in love with the fabric! But I had seen Jamie's new style of bag, and thought that combining her new style with this fabric would be a win-win situation! I asked Jamie and she agreed with me, and got onto working on my newest custom bag (it's my fourth bag made with a fabric bought from Lucky Kaeru Fabrics, and now I have an eye on some of her fabrics for a few pillows).

Here you can see my new beautiful bag! Inked Tattoo Girls, with the most perfect fabric placement, with red piping and black fabric for contrast, and the CUTEST skullie appliqué in pink leopard, that is the perfect unique touch for it!

After a few fights with my camera, I opted for this self-picture, kindly edited by Gaurav to try and fix a bit the colours and other general issues, cause this was the only photo where I liked how I look like, though the bag looked great in all the others too!

So, now you know that Jamie not only makes awesome bags, but can also create that perfect custom bag for you!