Thursday, 28 June 2012

Fun With Block Printing

Block printing is one of the most ancient fiber arts in existence. Did you know that its origins actually lie in the Indus Valley… some four and a half thousand years ago! The local craftsmen used teakwood blocks and carved some astonishing patterns.

And it may be a dying art right now, but here and there we see some fabulous block print work: like in traditional sarees.

But guess what? Options really start to open up for you when you apply this method to fabric and mix it with interior decoration.  Consider a table runner, cloth napkins, or some tea towels in fall colors! And the pattern on a large throw pillow would add a great pop of color to a neutral chair or couch: what we love most about this are the endless possibilities that you can work with to decorate your place.

Here we share a very simple way to produce a type of modern print you might find in contemporary settings. When done on paper and mounted in a frame, these prints make fabulous wall art for a variety of room styles.

What you need: some yarn, paint and brushes, and a few blocks.

Begin by wrapping a small wooden block with yarn. Then knot the end and use some tape to secure it in place. If you don’t have a block, not to worry, all you really need is anything “wrappable” in a shape of your choice.  

Once your printing block is ready, take a brush and apply your paint. The yarn can be pretty absorbent at first so you’ll need to experiment with how much paint to apply on a practice sheet of paper. It’s also a good idea to brush on the paint in only one direction so the yarn fibers lay flat.

And once you have your technique perfected, start stamping. To add interest, layer on some orange paint for a few of the squares as it gives the print some nice depth in real life.

So if you’ve got a little time this weekend, spend some time working on a little project such as this and create some art! Not only will you have a good time relaxing, but it’ll be something that you can use to accentuate your room with.

And remember: have fun with it!! 

Friday, 22 June 2012

Know When It’s Time to Throw Away Your Makeup

Getting rid of your beauty products can (and should) come at any time of the year. Disposing of beauty products such as mascara and lotions may come naturally to some; others might not realize the importance of cleaning out one’s makeup bag in order to maintain a fresh collection of products that are helping, not hurting us!

Just knowing how to apply makeup is not the only important thing, but you should also know when to toss your makeup and when and how to clean your products.

Remember: your makeup has an expiration date as well! Keep the below few points in mind when you are deciding toss away stuff.

Throw away cream blushes after one year and get rid of powder blushes after 2 years.

Powders generally can last a year to 18 months.

Toss your cream and liquid foundation after using it for 6-8 months.

Throw away concealers and cleanser after 6-8 months of use.

For mascara, toss after six months - Tip: For fake eyelashes, dispose after one use.

If you are sharing eye shadows you can get eye infections, you can spread pink eye back and forth from cosmetic to cosmetic, so be careful! Tip: Be sure to toss your makeup if you have an eye infection.

If you are a fan of liquid liner you need to remember that it needs to be replaced every three months.
Regular lipstick can last six months. However, lip glosses last less than that.

Test nail polish to see if it goes thin: If you take it out and it's clumpy and thick and drags through the nail, it's time to discard it. If you look at it, and there are rings of color, it's time to discard it.

Dump your lip pencils after 18 months of use.

Before you think about throwing away your brushes, wash your brushes with your shampoo.

Any change of color, smell or texture? Get rid of the item stat! And lastly, your makeup bag! If it's in good condition, put it through the washing machine; if it's seen better days, throw it out and buy a new one. Try to stash your beauty goods in a clean, dry area for the best results.

Splurging on longer lasting items is the best way to go and make sure you don’t buy too much makeup that you won’t even end up using! 

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The New Black

Ever wonder how one day you wake up to find that pink is the new black?? How does the fashion industry flip on a switch and push something so blatantly onto us? Is there a science to it or just some fashion Svengali’s whim?

Well… there is actually a job designation termed ‘color forecaster’. That tangerine orange, that’s so on trend right now? Predicted by Pantone, the quietly ubiquitous American company that maintains color standards for publishers, designers, and the fashion world two years ago for the color of summer!

Color forecasting is almost as old as the fashion industry itself. In the late 19th century, color cards issued by French textile mills were snapped up by their American counterparts, eager for ideas and direction as to what might be the next color of the season.

In fact:  color forecasters get together twice a year in a super hush-hush meeting at the Pantone HQ with colorists that have traditionally worked with textile companies and others to set color standards. Over two days, these ‘colorists’ will each pitch a palette concept, organized roughly around a theme that has been chosen in advance.

The debate results in finding something more concrete: a story paired with a color and based on the cultural diversity of the forecasters who pick up on local trends that are seen on the streets and merged together to give a more global outlook.

And in case you are wondering: the results are published in Pantone View, a publication that is purchased by companies across a broad consumer landscape, from fashion designers to supermarket chains to the floral industry (yes, you read that correct: the floral industry) to see what word on the ‘new black’ is. A fine art, indeed!

Oh and while we are at it, enjoy this marvelous clip from Meryl Streep’s the Devil Wears Prada and the color cerulean!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

It's Tiramisu Time!

We were really excited when our design associate Mehreen decided to delight us with tiramisu, probably the most famous Italian dessert and the coolest trifle, we'd like to add. I mean cream AND coffee together? Mmmm...we don't think it gets any better!

So roll up your sleeves and prepare to surprise a loved one with this sweet and bitter treat.

- Cream Cheese - 1 box
- Cream - 300ml
- Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
- Sponge Fingers or sponge cake (You can find the... fingers at large supermarkets like Aghas by the name of Vicenzovo)
- Coffee - Brewed (Strong)
- Icing Sugar- To taste
- White sugar- To taste
- Brown sugar- To taste
- Cocoa powder or grated chocolate


- Brew very strong coffee in a coffee press or on the stove, using approximately 4-5 heaped tbsp of ground coffee to 3 cups water.

- In a food processor or mixing bowl, add the cream, cheese, vanilla, and icing sugar and beat till soft peaks start to form

- Use approximately 300ml of cream to one box of cream cheese (the taste should be slightly sour, the sweetness depends on you)

- Add in approximately 3 tbsp of white sugar and 2 tbsp of brown sugar to the coffee; maintain a bitter sweet taste

- Once the coffee has cooled, dip the sponge fingers and start layering your dish with them

- Pour a few spoonfuls of the remaining coffee over the sponge fingers

- Top off with a thick layer of the cream mixture

- Dust with cocoa or grated chocolate. Let set in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving!