Friday, October 29, 2010

Lichten Craig Architects - refined and sophisticated

I stumbled upon this Architecture and Interiors company, and absolutely fell for their design aesthetic. The rooms they create are sophisticated and stylish with refined details. Something common to all their projects is a confident and well edited balance of elements - formal and casual, classic and modern and stylish simplicity. Its got a little bit of everything and will appeal to anyone...a bit of color, a little bit of sophistication, a touch of earthiness, some traditional elements, rooms that would be absolutely minimalist of it wasn't for that dash of color they bring in....

They are based in New York and Chicago. I spent hours browsing their website and was totally inspired. Here are a few images of their can go see more here!

So which one is your favorite? Mine has to be the second pic in orange and cream, with that to-die-for rug!

Mystery box opened!

For all of you waiting with bated can let go now! Whoosh....! The suspense is over. The mystery box that belonged to my great grandmother (the lady holding the baby in the pic below, the baby is my mom, the other lady is my grandmother)has stayed locked for 50 plus years has finally been unlocked.
The locksmith arrived early - that in itself was to me a good omen! I mean who EVER comes on time, leave alone early, in Hyderabad?????? Then he attacked the box with a vengeance.....he brought out all his keys, big, small, round, tapered, narrow, with a hole, without a hole and methodically tried them all! After about half an hour of valiant effort, he sat back and pronounced it impossible. He said the box was so old they didn't make keys to fit them any more......! I almost cried. He must have sensed my disappointment, cos he said he would go back to his shop, scrounge around, ask his locksmith buddies and try to bring back a key which he could file down to fit the keyhole! We had been chatting all the while and I think he realized his role in the big mystery....and how many fellow bloggers are dying of curiosity.

Well, true to his word he showed up in the evening, and after finding a key to fit the keyhole, he drilled it, he sawed it, he cut it, he filed it...and then when he was satisfied, he put the key in, turned it was so silent you could hear a pin drop.....we heard a little click, he asked me to lift the lid off! Voila! It opened! And this is what I saw....

OK, so I am a wee bit disappointed. I had visions of mysterious things hidden there....maybe some valuable coins, jewelry, photographs, money, letters, secret compartments....! It had none of those but it did have 4 compartments, and I am glad we got it opened. Just to have a box that is close to 100 years old, which my great grandma used is reward enough! Its in amazingly perfect shape, no scratches, sturdy hinges, brass hardware..all in good condition.
So now what shall I use it for? The locksmith fixed the key too, so it can be locked/unlocked. For now I have kept some of my silver bling bling in it...

So we can all relax now.... It sure was fun for me to have you share in my anticipation :-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DIY sneak peek...

For those of you curious to know how my DIY is coming along...all I can say is that it's coming! Its taking a lot longer than I had expected, and I don't have too much patience for these long drawn out projects, but I have decided this time to see it through from start to finish, and take my time in doing so. No hurrying this time! There's a lot of work left to do but here are some progress pics.....I need encouragement to keep going :-)

Also, the locksmith bailed on me last Sunday, and we are all dying to know what's in the mystery box. The locksmith is missing in action, took off for his village for the festivities and is keeping mum about his return date, so I was resigned to having to wait till His Majesty showed up. Locksmiths are hard to find......! But, a guardian angel fellow blogger (hint: to her I say "Tusen Takk") spread the word...and I just received a call from a locksmith who has promised to show up tomorrow!! Yay yay yay!!!

Turquoise anyone?

I know I know...its been said and done and blogged about...but turquoise is popping up everywhere! I vowed at one time there would be no blue or any shade close to blue in my home, I just didn't get the blue thing, but its all changing now. Along with my slight recent obsession with pink - which too I had pooh poohed for along time - this turquoise color is calling out to me. I'd have to change every paint color in my home - somehow I am not sure it will work well with the reds and oranges - which I may very well do if it means I can have this gorgeous azure blue. Here are some lovely turquoise inspired rooms.....! Makes me want to fly to Greece or someplace where I can spend all day gazing at blue water and blue skies!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Rap-Up!

Linking up to Patty's Weekend Wrap-Up!

The weekend is over, it came and then went
Why isn't it longer? That's my constant lament
With 48 hours to use and abuse
and time to chill out, relax and let loose
You'd think I could get all those chores completed
and still have some time for my feet to get treated
at the spa round the corner? But the days just flew by
I have so much undone, my plans went awry!
It started with sanding and scraping the trunk
The one that long been abandoned as junk
Once it was smoothened bit by small bit
I got out my brushes and started on it
I painted a border of black on the top
Inside of which my new painting I'd drop
And decoupage it with a glue called Mod Podge
To hold it in place so it doesn't dislodge
Then I drew with white charcoal some art on one side
Nothing fancy or showy but I think it's alright
I stopped at that point, I had things to fulfill
I'll get back to the painting, I certainly will.
Then later that day I went for a lecture
On the origin of Sanskrit and Indian culture
About Brahmi and Pali the professor drawled
Spellbinding and thrilling it had me enthralled
I came back enlightened about linguistics
And metre and rhyme and ancient phonetics
On Sunday I cooked, my uncle came by
I made matar panir and stuffed okra fry
Then I lazed and I blogged and then shopped for some lamps
My diya collection I had to revamp
The locksmith who said he'd come by on Sunday
Never showed up at all to my sad dismay
So the mystery box still stays locked and sealed
The contents of which yet have not been revealed

So that was my weekend, some this and some that
Some eating, some shopping and time for chit chat
I finally finished the article I started
In which some ideas for design in schools I imparted
I went to the shop and got some art framed
To send to a blogger....who shall stay unnamed :-)!!

I hope that the weekend brought joy to you too
And it was restful and calm with no hullabaloo!

Friday, October 22, 2010

DIY II and a mystery box....!

Inspired by the success and your comments of my first DIY, as well as the fun I got out of it, I am embarking on my second DIY project! Some of you may recall my mentioning an old wooden trunk my mom unearthed from her attic and brought over during Navratri. It had some really really old mud dolls, including a Dasavatara set. But the box excited me more than the dolls! Its wooden, about 60 years old, a bit scratched, dinged and dented, it has some paint marks, a really old metal latch...and definitely showing its age! How many homes it has lived in? How many dolls has it transported back and forth? How many Golus has its contents decorated? It excites me just thinking about it.....and anything that has lived in our family for that long deserves to live on forever! But it needs a bit of a makeover.

 I have been contemplating decoupaging it. I have never dc'ed before, but from what I have read about it, it seems fairly straightforward. My mom who is always collecting arts and crafts materials for projects, just happens to have some of that glue needed for dc'ing! I want to give it a sort of rustic, tribal, villagey look, so last weekend I bought this Madhubani painting which I am thinking of decoupaging on the top. The trunk measures 26" x 16", the painting is a bit smaller. So before doing that, I will sand and scrape the box and give it a border of black paint. Then glue the painting on top.
I got some wood paint in colors to complement the painting....
 .....with which I am going to borrow some ideas from this tribal motif on Matsya's blog (from their trip to Kutch last month), and paint the 4 sides.
 I am not going for a refined, sophisticated look here. I want it to be loud, colorful and vibrant, like those storage trunks we see being used in rural India! So wish me hoping to start this weekend with the sanding!

Speaking of boxes, here is another 100 year old box that my mom handed down to me a few years ago. It has my great grandmother's name on it- RAJAM - and it has remained locked for the past 50-60 years ever since she passed away! Its sort of heavy and feels like it definitely has something in it and I am told my great grandma used it to keep some money. Anyway, I had a locksmith come by a couple of days ago to look at it and he has promised to come back Sunday with all the appropriate keys needed to try and open it!

 I wonder what I will find inside? Secret compartments? Jewellry? Letters? Photographs? Maybe nothing??? I'll let you know......

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Online Store Find - Three Potato Four

While blog hopping from one blog to another, like we all do - I came across this incredibly cool online store called Three Potato Four Shop!!! I mean, just the name is enough to arouse your curiosity right? 3P4 is run by Janet Morales and Stu Eli, who grew up collecting things and are now married to each other. They both have backgrounds in the graphics design industry and started the online store in 2007! Three years later they opened their first brick and mortar store located in an old Philadelphia textile mill! How cool is that! I love industrial buildings and lofts! Anyway, let me not digress....! They collect the most interesting and quirky stuff you can ever hope to see. Here are some of the items, just to show you what they stock.

Agreed, not all of them would be useful, I mean what the heck would I do with dispensary boxes and a bunch of skeleton keys....but just think how interesting and fun they would look in your home. Definitely a conversation topic if nothing else.
Old dispensary boxes...I guess you could use them as storage, maybe in the kitchen for tea bags and such! Love them.
Hmmmm....when you have misplaced that key, you can try one of these.....! How cool they would look all lined up and hung on the wall of your study or studio!!!!
But they also have some items which are not just quaint, but which would be fun to use around the house!
Test tubes....fill with water, a single stemmed flower in each, line up on dining table or window sill...WOW!
Same with these 4" high prescription bottles.
A vintage foundry mold...12" x 7" x 4". Wonderful storage for all those glossy glamorous design magazines maybe????
Old Mexican sugar cone mold! Geninne of Geninne's Art Blog uses them to hold her paintbrushes. What an ingenious idea! if you haven't visited her site, DO SO NOW!! It is utterly captivating!

A motley collection of textiles spools...I love them! All displayed on a mantel or table, lovely!
A collection of wooden model airplane propellers! My husband who builds model airplanes went all googly eyed at this!
Lovely old botanical print. Would look absolutely gorgeous in a kitchen!
Hmmm...I could use this. Our watchman Krishna is always asleep...zzzzzz!

This is just a minute sampling of what they have. Check out their website, or if you are lucky enough to live in PA, go to their store!