Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Messenger Rugs

Ok, so I've been babbling on and on about a rug post.....not just any old rug, but in case you noticed, this beautiful orange and white rug that was peeking out of my bedroom in my post a couple of weeks ago.
Yes, this one....
So here's how this ended up in my bedroom. A friend of mine in LA introduced me to one Kathleen Olsen, the maker, or rather the creator/designer/executor of this gorgeous piece of craftsmanship. Kathleen moved to rainy Seattle from sunny Santa Barbara a year ago and my LA friend thought we'd get along well. She was soooo right. I met up with Kathleen at a Starbucks a couple of weeks ago where we chatted and time just flew by. 
Kathleen founded Messenger Rugs, a company that makes rugs inspired by the traditions of yoga, meditation and prayer. The designs reveal how image and symbol serve as gateways to healing the mind and body. The designs evoke commentary on yoga and meditation as a practices affecting world sustainability.

Kathleen's personal interest in a variety of cultures as well as her deep interest in the study of Yoga, led her to A Masters in Mythology helped her enrich her knowledge of sacred symbols and the world's stories. She is well versed in Indian mythology and I bet could give me a run for my money in that area! 

Following Mother Teresa’s beloved adage, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love,” Kathleen began designing a line of rugs inspired by the practices of meditation and yoga. 

The result is the SERENITY SERIES of six symbolically rich rugs, beautifully crafted and hand-knotted in Nepal and designed by Kathleen. The rugs are intertwined with richly colored images of birds, dragons, phoenix’s and mandalas, offering inspiration from the World’s diverse mythologies. 

Here is a small sampling.....

The CHAKRA RUG depicts a body’s seven chakras; as the birds stand reminder of our spiritual freedom.
The LAW OF OPPOSITES rug depicts the duality of our physical world, the nature of opposites.
The LOTUS MANDALA is all about the beautiful lotus which grows up from the dark watery mire is a traditional symbol of purity and renunciation.
Check out the website to see the rest.......and tell me if Dragon and Phoenix isn't just spectacular!

Yoga, meditation, chakras, sustainability...all words that make my ears perk up....you see now why these rugs hold such incredible appeal to me?
At the end of a very interesting couple of hours with Kathleen, I of course, mentioned how I would love to do a feature on her rugs on my blog and lo and behold - she said she had a couple in the car I could use for my post! 

We went out to her car and sorry to use the phrase again, but LO AND BEHOLD....she had the Law of Opposites rug in orange!!! YES, orange! I mean of all the gazillion colors possible, how come she had an orange one, orange - the color that is all over my house, the color I love!! It was a sign....I was chosen to do a post on her! Laugh all you want, I'm convinced she and I have a deeper connection from some past times....

So armed with my prized possession I came home and laid it out, and yes, it was meant to be. Take a look....

So for the past few days it has been adorning my bedroom and I've been meditating and practicing my yoga on it. The rug is so incredibly soft to touch and the minute I turn my back on it, Lucy, my constant companion, sneaks by to sit on it. I have to keep shooing her away....
Messenger Rugs are made of 100% Tibetan sheep's wool in rug looms in Tibet providing opportunity to the weavers to embark on a new life. The rugs are small in size, but speak volumes by their sheer imagery and patterns! And trust me when I say, my Sirsasana and Kakasana have reached new heights on this magical rug! 

I am so excited to have this breathing, living piece of utter gorgeousness in my bedroom for a few days! Do check out Kathleen's website....just reading about it awakens my inner chakras and brings me peace! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The rest of the house....contd.

Sorry folks to break up one post on the house into so many small ones....but had to wait for a sunny day to get some good shots. The weather guys were all off....!

Anyway, be prepared for an orange onslaught when you see my bedroom pics. Don't know what it is about orange that appeals to me, but...well.....almost everything in my bedroom is orange and varying shades of orange. No one is complaining yet.......

The pics are pretty self explanatory. Its a large room with 4 large windows so lots of light floods in (on those rare sunny Seattle days).

So this is just as you enter the bedroom.....the door on the left leads to the bath, the one on the right to a walk-in closet.

Do you see my dog Lucy sleeping on the chair? Where I go, Lucy goes.......she never leaves me alone.
Lots of familiar stuff which came from Hyderabad.....
Thats a picture of my mother-in-law when she was vey young....teen years I think.
 More photographs....
 My bangle stand/wall art......
This is the hallway as you come out of the bedroom, The first door to the right leads to a guest bedroom, I have posted 2 pics below. The door farther down leads to another bedroom, which is still as they say "Under Construction". The door straight ahead is the guest bath! 

I'm still working on the third bedroom. Need to add a desk or something there.

Did you all notice that rug in my bedroom, the small orange and white one in front of the bed? Stay tuned for a story on that.......

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The rest of the house.....

Every time I start on a new blog post, I have to re-learn blogging!!!! Either Blogger has too many employees with nothing better to do than to keep updating the blogging process or I am waiting too long to post!!! I have a sneaky suspicion its the latter!!!!

For my loyal readers who still haven't abandoned S&S and are reading this, my lack of blogging is because I simply did not have anything to post! Ok that sounds like I am leading a desperately dull life!!! On the contrary....rather. My days are chock full, I don't have a second to spare but you really don't want to read about my yoga routine....or my dog walking routine (though those do get very exciting and adventurous at times when the squirrels are scampering about...)....or my daily meal plan! 

And I refuse to post and re-post the same old pictures of my home in different lights and moods! That's boring and a tad bit presumptuous?

But...wait! I do have more pics of my home that you haven't seen. Maybe you want to see that? Some of you may have missed part I of the tour. That was the living area of the house.....living room, kitchen, dining, family room etc. 

This is a sneak peek of Part II! It took me a while to get the bedrooms figured out...the layout, how and where to hang the pictures.....then changing things around and I think I am finally done. Unfortunately we are in the midst of a wet, rainy Fall season, so I am waiting for a sunny day to get some good shots. But here are a few I managed to capture......

The weather man has promised good sunny weather tomorrow, so if all goes well I should have the full "upstairs house tour" up by the weekend! Yay! 

I also have to tell you about my new friend in Seattle, an amazing lady who makes the most beautiful rugs! You all know about my rug fetish......so you can understand why I am so thrilled. But all that will come later. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vignettes of beauty in Reshma's home!

Its been a while since I have done a home tour. Not for lack of finding pretty homes, but all the other design bloggers beat me to them! :-)

Well sirree, not this time! 

Have you ever seen images of a home and related INSTANTLY to them? Homes that have the same design sensibility, the same colors and the same textures that appeal to you? That's what happened when I came across pics of Reshma's home. I had just befriended her a few days ago on FB and when she posted these pics of her home last week, I was like "whaaaaaaat"? 

Here's a look at one of them....

Wicker seat, ceramic pot with succulents, textured cushion covers, wooden tray.....I loved it! So I asked her for more pics and permission to post on my blog and she obliged.

What I liked best about her home is the little vignettes of utter beauty she has created. Little "hot spots" of color and texture that are total eye candy. I've long been a believer of "vignettes"...those little visual treats that light up dark corners and unused spaces and give your eye a resting place while they are darting about the room. A place to stop, stare and drink in the beauty. I have also toyed for a long time on doing a post on that. So this was the perfect segue for me. 

This is what Reshma says about her home 

 "It all started in Jan 2011 when we bought a plot and started building a house on it. We knew nothing about house construction, had never even got a pillar erected before this since we had been living in rented places for 10 years so were quite apprehensive but very excited nonetheless. I got into every aspect of house building, construction, masonry,carpentry, tiling, the works and there would be times when things went totally wrong and we had to pull down certain parts and do it all over again. i would get really mad coz I really wanted the work to finish off soon and sometimes things just did not turn out well. Those were the weak moments or rather frustrating ones but once I was flipping through some magazine and I came across a quote that said 'some people look for a beautiful place to live in and some can make any place look beautiful' and these two lines changed my entire view." 

Anyway, enough prose here. Let's get to the pictures. Enjoy!

Reshma herself says - "I love converting all those dead corners into something cozy and every room in my home has a corner dedicated to chatais/durries and floor cushions, some potted plants and knick- knacks huddled up together and of course a lamp. You will also see a lot of wrought iron stuff in my house...love it"!

"My patio is made up of 5 wooden pillars. I love that area specially coz I get to hang lots of chimes and pots from the beams...just love all that hanging stuff and terracotta is my favourite outdoor stuff....reasonably priced and ethnic too."

Another thing we both share in common is we are both "Lucknowites"! Many of you may not know but I lived in Lucknow for 8 years as a child and have always loved that city. So when I heard that Reshma lived in Lucknow, I felt the connection get even stronger.

Reshma, thank for allowing us all a peek into your home! Its lovely, and when I come visit Lucknow (which is a top priority on my bucket list), I'll swing by and see it in person :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our Seattle home tour!

"Unless a home becomes a love affair, it is not a success. You have to love every single little thing—if it doesn’t have a memory, a story, it doesn’t count". 

If you are someone who has ever received an e mail from me you will recognize the above line. It is my e mail signature line, something I came across many months ago and loved on sight. So I decided to use it from then on, as a reminder to myself (every time I sent out an e mail) to not collect and buy things indiscriminately. 

Before we left Hyderabad and I was sorting out the gazillion things I had, I very consciously tried to follow this. I could only bring so much, and so very deliberately chose only those things that "have a story to tell, things I adored, cherished and held close to my heart".

Sure, the story could be as simple and not too profound as "oh, a very dear friend gave it to me recently"....like the colorful platter below the bowl
....or as meaningful as these wooden ceremonial spoons which our family priest has been using in all our religious family events for the last 50 years, worn out and burnt at the edges from so many years of pouring spoonfuls of hot ghee into the sacred fires...for births, weddings (mine included) and deaths!!!! The last time it was used - before I bribed our family priest to give it to me - was for my late FIL's first death anniversary this February. So it has a lot of significance to us. 

Or these coasters, prints of temple drawings - done by a relative and given to my husband on his recent trip back to India for a ceremony - where each one of the 6 drawings represents a temple that was of special significance to the family performing the function!
But all have a story! And each time I see these things in my home I cannot BUT remember the story, the people and the occasion behind it. OK, I admit, there are some things that have no story other than "I went to the store and bought it"...but, for the most part I have tried to stay true to the sentiment. 

So......a little description on the house....its bright, its white, its ultra modern and has lots of windows! Quite a change for me from all my previous homes that have had nary a white wall, have been pretty typical, and with the usual amount of windows. But you know what, I've come to like it. At one time I shirked away from light, now I'm loving it. (I think its an age thing...). 
I chose bamboo reed blinds for the windows, to bring in some warm wood tones, and to let in light but still maintain some sort of privacy.....
I put up my artwork and stuff on the walls....
I threw pillows and added texture all around...
I scattered the rugs on the floor.....
And I can almost forget the walls are white!!

Anyway, enough rambling, you guys be the judge....So....

Then go here. Gagan of OPAP asked me months ago if she could feature our Seattle home on her blog, and so hop on over to her blog to take the tour! 

You will see many familiar things from previous house tours herehere and here, but also may new things. If you need to know anything about anything, just ask. Happy to oblige.