Thursday, November 5, 2009

Art, Artisan & Artistry-Kiva

A Toast! And a big thank you to Kiva Atkinson, IGMA ARTISAN, Queen of Stargazies (nope, I don't know what that means but she name some of her food that) and all food, small and beautiful. Entitled "The Poisoner In The Box", the platter above is just one of the many macarbe, weird and over-the-top wonderful work of Kiva that I love. The pic clicks through to her website.

Yes, I am a huge fan of Kiva and have collected as many of her Indian Feast Meal Sets as I can lay my hands on for My Maharajah's Palace. And I tell you, not only does her food look real, they even feeeeeel real, it is unreal.

On 2/11/2009, Kiva passed me the Kreativ Blogger Award for this obscure blog that has hitherto been just an index blog for my other one, My Maharajah's Palace. No more though, now that I have re-titled my post, I will stop posting the ongoings of my palace here.

I thought a good start to the change is for me to celebrate Kiva's new blog called "Kiva's Miniatures". Yes, our friend has finally succumbed to the world of blogging and succumbed she did with a vengence. 55 posts in October alone !

So do pop over and pay her a visit. It is everything she is, funny, passionate, beautiful, creative. Even her comments are worth a read and if you leave her one, she will most certainly reply. That's what endears me to her and I am sure, she will you too, in no time at all.

And to whet your appetite, here's some of her work she thinks is goofy :

Bon appetit! Now, go say hi to the weird and wonderful Kiva.

PS If you want to know who I pass this award to, you will need to click

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Maharajah's Palace-Bazaar-Rolla n Ro

This is an excerpt from the post which 1st appeared on Day 93 of My Maharajah's Palace:

The 2nd scene for the bazaar is completed and it is of the opening day of the store. There was a musical performanace by the gypsies led by the Rollas. Rolla is on the tabla and Ro on sitar.

The other dancers too, take their place on the stage, frozen in their starting pose before the tabla begins.

If you look to the left of the stage, you'll see Sumaiya in a flowy orange sari and matching veil, her famous mehndi-ed hand around her man's neck.

And even the resident mystic has taken her place, shielded by a panel of delicately embroidered tapestries and surrounded by the various heirloom pieces from Rosanna. There's Ganesh in his lotus position on OM's table and Sissy, peeping through Sans! copy-bag.

Jai is sitting in the VIP seat.

A crowd, drawn by the music has also gathered.

And before they can sing "Jai" Ho (in honour of their VIP), dancing in the crowd has started.

The lone girl in the ribbon of orange veil with no partner can't help swaying to Rolla's drums and you can see she risks spilling and dropping her jug of goat's milk,kindly supplied by Sylvia.

A mother laden with a baby and 2 pails of wood and charcoal has to stop too as her baby gurgles in delight and wriggles to the beat.

I added her veil which is plain cotton with a mere slice of ribbon at the edge bought at the S$2 store.

A group of palace servant girls with their brass pots filled to the brim sit firmly on their heads.

They take their place at the far right hand corner. Their work cloth is made of fabric from S$2 store and SuZ's stash. The rings of cloth holding their pots are the same ones I used to make holders for handbags.

Then there are the students with heavy loads of their girl friend's books in pink basket (ebay junk to some)

or her shabby satchel and more text books, (more ebay junk)

They stand right at the back.

Only 1 couple seem oblivious to the celebration, incredulously occupied with the Royal Fan.

Standing behind the stage, they stare at the ridiculous size of the peacock feather on the fan. Comparing it with their albino baby peahen, they wish they have a giant one instead.

And here are the wares at the store:

For a start, we have the tapestries which are actually bookmarks.

Then there are plates of powder paint fronting the stall which are actually incense cones from Bangkok sitting on Thai plates. These incense cones represent gulal in India, the powder paint are used to celebrate the Festival of Colours or Holi.

The carved wooden toys were bought from my regular bead shop in Chinatown.

while the cloth ones were from Bangkok

Then there are the cushions on centre stage while

heritage Indian painted toys on "6 in 1" and traditional drums flank the right.

An update of the flower stall next door:

I have added dried flowers to the topiaries and they look like the have bore fruits!

Finally, the aerial view of Rolla n Ro.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Maharajah's Palace- Mehndi

This is an excerpt from the post from Day 88 Pt 5 & 90 of My Maharajah's Palace:

I have given my "Banjaran" female dolls mehndi and tattoos.

I used less than 1 packet of Body Tattoo transfers bought at Daiso for S$2.00. To apply, I peel away the pattern, put it on the side of the hands which can be seen, wet it with a tissue and then remove the paper leaving the design on the palm or the back of your hand and their waists as tattoos.

My Maharajah's Palace- Mini Cushions

This post 1st appeared on Day 92 of My Maharajah's Palace:

In India, where furniture was not introduced until after the 16th century and even tables and chairs were regarded as Western and untraditional, an important furnishing must surely be the floor cushion.

Even in decor books or movies on great Maharajah's palaces, I often see vast sitting rooms of beautifully tiled walls and intricately carved columns standing on floors that appear to be covered in miles and miles of the most luxurious carpets with nary a piece of furniture. But always, there are pillows, bolsters, floor cushions.For even the Kings and the Queens sit on the floor.

And thus these floor cushions were made using my most precious material, so that they be fit for the most delicate of bottoms.

The most exquisite jacquard ribbons I have ever seen, I found them in a quaint little shop on a side narrow lane in Delhi, India.

For those of you who do not feel like clicking through to Day 21-22, this is what I had written about the shop:

"I shall not tell you how badly I was fleeced at the lace shop but no, no, no regrets for it is the most incredible tiny 3 level lace shop I have ever seen. Can you imagine 3 levels of lifesized room boxes filled with nothing but ribbons, laces and tassels of all shapes and sizes and every colour ever conceived or not? Yes, I swear I met a few new colours at the shop!"

It was a good thing I only had 10 minutes at the shop or I would have been completely broke.

With this range of ribbons, I already knew they were going to be fashioned into floor cushions because of the designs. Each "mandala" is a 1 3/8" square and there are 2 alternating patterns and 4 combinations of colours. So each ribbon can make 2 different cushions with 2 different sides.

I cut 2 "mandalas" for each cushion and used glue instead of threads. This ensures that the integrity of the designs remains with no unsightly sewing.

I then stuffed the cushion with dried shells from bean sprouts before the last side was glued.

The eventual cushion measures 2" by 1 5/8" (because of borders). I believe they are the perfect scale for the smaller life sized throw cushions.

I am going back to India, even if it is just to buy more ribbons.