Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Giveaway!

First of all...HAPPY NEW YEAR to all you wonderful folks out there! People who take time out of their busy schedules to read what I write....however short and sweet or long and boring it is, AND take even more time and comment on it! THAT'S what keeps me motivated to keep doing what I do.

So its been 10 months since I started this blog, and this is my 201st post! What better way to herald in the 2011th year than with my 201st post (It's just a coincidence...the 201 and the 2011!!! Or is it???) and MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!

So up for grabs are these dry pastel drawings I did a couple of months ago. The giveaway is open to those living in India as well as the US! The drawings measure 24" x 16" and are done on watercolor paper. My son from DC is visiting me this Jan and heading back to DC by mid Jan, so I am sending this one back through
If the winner is from the US, he/she gets this one
 And if the winner is from India, he/she gets this one

Here are the may sound complicated, but really it's not. 

You can be living anywhere to enter, but the giveaway can only be mailed to the US or to even if you don't live in either of these 2 countries, you can happily enter for someone in the US or India!

You are each allowed a maximum of 3 entries - 

1. For the first entry, leave a comment below telling me what you like about my blog. 
2. For the second entry, follow Saffron and Silk by clicking on the "Follow" widget and leave a comment letting me know you have "followed". If you are already a follower, leave me a comment saying that. Either comment will be your second entry.
3. For the third entry, blog about the giveaway on your blog, or your Facebook page, leave a comment letting me know you have, AS WELL AS the link to your blog post or the FB page.

Easy peasy right?

The giveaway starts today and ends Saturday, January 15th  at midnight, Indian Standard Time (US equivalent is Saturday, January 15th- 10.30am Pacific Time, 11.30am Mountain Time, 12.30pm Central Time and 1.30pm Eastern time)

I will choose the winner using and will announce the winner on January 16th! So be sure to check on the 16th to see if you have won, so you can send me your e mail/address info.
Good Luck to all of you! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

This is it, my last post for the year and my 200th post since I began this blog which has taken over my life willingly......couldn't sign off without wishing all you great folks out there, who keep me motivated and energized!

Have a fabulous holiday with friends and family, eat, drink and be merry! But DO NOT FORGET to come back and visit on the 1st of January, 2011, for my very first giveaway!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Giveaway a giveaway......

Yes, one more time!

Pree of PreeOccupied, is giving away an absolutely gorgeous Madhubani painting done by her to commemorate the first birthday of her lip-smackingly delicious blog! Here is a pic of that to-die-for piece of work. It will instantly brighten up any spot you put it in!

Yes, not just a super duper cook is she, but also a very talented painter! I don't know how she does it? How in the midst of whipping up Nigella's Party Chicken and King Kankra Curry she finds the time to do something as stunning as this??? So hop over to her blog NOW, follow all the rules and enter to win it!
And, speaking of is a sneak peek of my very first giveaway that's coming up SOON......! Be sure to check back on the 1st of January!

Good luck to you all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Greek interiors inspiration

(Disclaimer: In my last ditch desperate attempt to come up with a interesting post in this holiday frenzy I pulled this one out. But I just realized this was posted here when I did a guest post for Priya at OUATT a while back. So for those of you who may have missed it, here it is! For those who DID read it in OUATT, skip it....... and go back to whatever productive thing you were doing! )

This is like that game you play at parties. I'll say a word and then you say all words that come to mind. OK, ready, set, go...............GREECE!

Chances are you said Athens, the Parthenon, Olympics, Greek Gods, Food, Souvlaki, Feta Cheese.....?? (I tried this on my husband and he said Achilles, Piraeus and Gyros..????) How about Blue and White? Did you include those words? All of Greece and especially Mykonos and Santorini are full of white houses set against the azure blue backdrop of the waters!

A lot of people think this is because of the colors of the Greek flag...but its really more for practical reasons! Houses in Greece are traditionally covered with a layer of plaster (Sovas in Greek). This layer is made out of calcium carbonate or lime stone. This plaster is regularly maintained by whitewashing by the same material. Now calcium carbonate is very bright white, so bright that under the bright summer Greek sun it can give you a headache. So people add a bit of blue color in the whitewash to "break" the brightness. So there is aways blue in the whitewash even if it looks white to you, and by adding more blue you can have nice white blue designs.

Why blue? and not green or yellow? Well actually there are green, yellow, red even purple. People were using what ever color they could find. But blue was the most common because long time ago there was a cleaning agent called "loulaki" literally "lilac" that had that distinctive blue color. It had the texture of a toilet tablet and people using it for washing clothes and every house had some. So you get your bucket of white wash, you drop one two tree whatever tablets of "loulaki" and away you go.

The standout features of a Greek home are its materials. Pieces with bold textures such as sculpted stucco, earthenware tile, embroidered wall hangings and hand-painted tiles create a striking contrast. Furniture is bold, windows are large and ceilings are high. Terracotta floors are at home with indigo accessories and vivid white textiles. The decor is simple, with clutter hidden away. The overall effect of Greek Mediterranean home decor is to create a homey, artful space. Dramatic Mediterranean blue features in the kitchen make the room a gathering place. Ceramics and metal pieces are popular for cookery. Foyers tend to be grand as a way of welcoming loved ones. Trees and large plants can frame the entrance. Iron wall sconces, lanterns and rustic wooden tables add to the impact. Golden yellow is a major color, seen on interior walls, floors, cabinets, upholstery and furniture. Dark, burnt oranges and terracotta adds drama to an accent wall, cabinets, rugs and shelves. Ceramics and kitchenware may have splashes of poppy red, sunflower yellow, cobalt blue and olive green.

So if you want a home with a distinctive Greek flavor...take a look at these pictures and get inspired! Will you believe me when I tell you this is an apartment in China!!! It looks and feels so calm and serene like its right on the ocean!

Aaaahhhh, doesn't it make you want to get on a plane and head to Greece right away?
Images via

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up XI!

OK so I wasn't really planning on linking up with Patty's Weekend Wrap Up, but then she mentioned it is the last one for the year, so I buckled under the pressure and gave in! As you all know, I had guests this weekend too, my bro-in-law and family from Sydney, on their way back home after a European vacation...! It was a short 3 day stay but oh so much fun. My 10 year old niece loves our dog Lucy and vice versa, so for 3 days they were inseparable like each other's shadows. My 19 year old nephew ensconced himself in a chair in the library and immersed himself in John Grisham and Facebook. We adults sat around discussing everything under the sun.

I prettied up the house a bit with some flowers and greens....

My sis-in-law knowing my weakness for red and orange gifted me this gorgeous Murano glass pendant she bought in Venice. This picture really doesn't do it justice, it has a little band of gold glitter on it too, it is stunning!
On their way to Hyderabad they bought this decadent yuletide log in Singapore which we all gorged on that night....dark chocolate with cherries and some liquer in it! 
They left Saturday night. On Sunday I whipped up a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies (as gifts as well as some for my table snack) 
and we met up with some friends at the Hyderabad Sailing Club, one of the old establishments in this city 
 More gorging followed
 It was a really relaxing leisurely lunch, the weather was picture perfect, the food great, the conversation even better
And before I sign off I MUST mention this fabulous surprise I received on Saturday, delicious chocolates from someone in Bangalore. There was no name as to who it was from but after some sleuthing I found out it was from a fellow nice of her!
Its a busy time of the year, so much to do, so little time. So take a deep breath, count to 10 and relax! (I can hear my mom saying "YOU do that first and then preach to others"). I will not be blogging too frequently now for a few days. I have to work on a gift for my son and son-in-law for Xmas, a charcoal sketch of their beagle I have another cousin and hubby visiting this week. I want to time it so my first blog on the year 2011 - my giveaway post - is my 201st!!!!! So another 3 more this month! Have a great week all of you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sensational Spaces V - Coastal Casa in Malibu

Am not a fan of Martha Stewart. Never was, never will I rarely go to her website, and even if I do, I never share anything I see there...maybe I'm jealous of her "perfectness"???? But, I had to make an exception this time when I came across this house on her website's house tours......just HAD TO SHARE! If not for anyone else, for me to drool over every now and then and close my eyes and pretend I live there!!!! And then of course I googled some more and found this out about the lucky owners....

This is the Adamson House built on one of the most beautiful beaches in Malibu in Southern California.  Rhonda Ringde Adamson and her husband Merritt Huntley Adamson moved to California and bought 1,330 acres of Rancho Malibu in 1892 for $10 an acre!!! After her husband's death in 1905, Rhonda, a dynamic woman, (she fought the railroads and sought to stop the building of the Pacific Coast Highway) started Malibu Pottery Factory, which unfortunately burned to the ground in 1931 and never reopened. At its peak it employed over a 10 people and produced decorative tiles which furnish many LA area public buildings and residences, including the Adamson House which was completed in 1930 after 5 years of planning. The house is now part of the California State Park as a cultural and historical icon and a showplace for the craftsmanship of Malibu Potteries.

I present you then The Adamson House....the incredibly gorgeous tilework will make you swoon!
The exterior

The foyer with an eclectic tile table. The blue ceiling and burnished wall which symbolize earth and sky echo the natural vista outside.
 The Persian style "tile" carpet in the loggia. The elaborate pattern which uses more than 670 tiles was created using cuerda seca glazing
Glass doors with a wrought iron grille bring light and ocean views into the hall
 The baseboard skirting has tiny individual tiles in a motif that continues up the stairs
The living room
The dining room with a frescoed ceiling
The kitchen.....if I had to cook here I would never complain!!!!!
The kitchen's Pueblo Deco geometric patterns, and a ceramic clock above the table which was part of the Malibu Potteries Catalog
The Upstairs Hall

Viking and Venetian galleys, an ocean liner and a clipper ship navigate the bright blue tiled walls
 The Girls' bedroom
 Another bathroom, one of the 6 in the house
 The Peacock Fountain outside the loggia captures the colors of the Pacific. Apparently one tile to the left of the urn is set backwards (though I cannot see it), a deliberate error reflecting the Islamic belief that perfection comes only from God!
Images via. And those who think Martha Stewart is a domestic goddess, so be it!

The colors of Mexico

How is the countdown to The New Year going for all of you? Is sending out holiday cards stressing you out? All that baking and cooking and overdose of desserts weighing you down? The wintry gloomy weather making you dull and sad? All that gift buying and wrapping driving you crazy? Or are you one of those happy types enjoying the snow, the Xmas trees, the beautifully decorated stores, the warm eggnog and brandy, the children in the skating rink, the Christmas carolling and the stocking stuffing?

Either way, nothing will boost your spirits more than a jolt of color during these grey winter days! So while I was doing my second favorite pastime - surfing the web (for information on Frida Kahlo), I came across these bright colorful punches of color on flickr, which cheered me up and made me want to sing out loud. So I thought I'd share them with all you folks out there who could do with some color and pop from the vibrant country of Mexico!!!!
Frida Kahlo's house - La Casa Azul
Frida Kahlo Museum
Residence in Coyoacan
Dias De Los Muertos - Trotsky in Coyoacan
Don't know what this is other than its colorful!
 Basket girl
 Casa Leo Trotsky
 Residence in Coyoacan
 Rooftop made of bottles, pieces of glass and slabs of semi precious stones
 Giant lollipops
 Storefronts in Merida
 A church in Mexico city
 San Juan Chamula
 Say No to drugs
 Mexican shawls
 Taba colors
There....don't you feel much better now, and ready and recharged to tackle the holiday madness?
Images via here and here