Friday, May 31, 2013

Sunitha Murthy's Happiest Moment!!

I have been away from blogging these days and I have lots of reason for that and will be away for few more days. Just popped in to share a sweet moment that my blog reader Sunitha Murthy mailed me as an entry for 'Mother's Day Party & Giveaway' .  I have extended the last date of the giveaway to 20th June as I'll be away from blogging, please bear with me :) Read on what Sunitha has shared about proud Mommy moment.

'We will generally buy Bisleri 20lt can for drinking and my husband will keep the can in my kitchen as we don't feel like allowing strangers inside. My husband was out of station, so I was trying to lift the can and place it in my kitchen. Suddenly my son who is 4 yrs old told me to move and started rolling the can on the floor and kept it in the kitchen. It was my most happiest moment and I realized that my son was growing older.'

That's indeed a proud moment and sweet memory to cherish. Thank you so much Sunitha for sharing such a sweet moment with us.

Dear readers if you also want to share such lovely memories then simply write me at or just blog about it and link it here.

Linking this to 'Mother's Day Party & Giveaway' on behalf of Sunitha.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Inspiring Eminent Blogger: Chris Emmert

Meet wonderful mosaic artist Chris Emmert today. I truly love and admire her art work. Read on to know more about Chris and her exquisite art work.

Welcome Chris, I am happy to have you here on Design Decor & Disha. Please introduce yourself.

I am a self-taught artist and have been creating many forms of arts and crafts for most of my life, but mixed-media mosaics are my passion! I enjoy using found objects and intriguing bits in creating a visually appealing piece of art……and ROCKS!~!!!

Upcycled Planter made by Chris

When and how you realized your passion about Mosaic Art.

I had a coffee shop that I sold in 2007 so I could focus on my art. I started listing on Etsy in September of  2010. Sales were slow to start but have steadily increased since.

Tell us when your artwork started getting recognized and you stepped into this business.

I do mostly garden stones and pet memorials that are very unique. By 2013 my name is becoming recognized and I get requests for custom rocks.

Garden Rock  done by Chris
What are the tools and materials you use for mosaic art and please share some tips for beginners.

In 98’ when I was making all the tables for my coffee shop, I did one in mosaic with broken up coffee cups. I used a hammer not knowing that there were special tools that make it easy to cut up pottery and glass. When I got my first pair of wheeled nippers I was in heaven.

Mosaic art on wine glass
How many mediums you have worked on. Which one is easy to work with.

Mosaics can be done on any surface. Around my house nothing is sacred. I just finished the guest
bathroom where I covered the sink in pebbles.

Mosaic art done by Chris in her Guest Bathroom

Which one is your favorite art piece and why.

My piece “Durango” is my all time favorite, mainly because of all the recycled materials I used in it.

Here is Durango

What other than mosaic art excites you.

I give rocks workshops and it’s so much fun to see my students get excited!!!!
Mosaic Mirror

Please share the links where we can find your Art work and where my blog readers can get connected with you.

Which blogs or web sites inspire you and you love to visit them regularly.

This is SAMA The Society of American Mosaic Artists, and I was able to attend the conference for the first time this year in Tacoma WA . It was so awesome meeting fellow artists and taking a few classes.

Thanks a lot Chris for taking some time out to share about you and your art and being with us virtually.
I found Mosaic art such a beautiful art form and Chris has inspired me enough to create one art piece by my own, though I didn't have all the supplies available but I tried my best to give it a mosaic like look.

Have a wonderful weekend friends, have creative one!!
Check out other interviews under Inspiring Eminent Bloggers here.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Party & A Giveaway!!

First I would like to wish all the beautiful, lovely, hard working, devoted, caring and loving mommies all around the world a very happy Mother's Day!!!
Now I would like to wish a very beautiful women inside and out, who is my truest friend, who teaches me how to behave, who keeps pushing me to be better, who always motivates me, who teaches me to be true to myself, who is really a big part of me, who is everything to me, my love for her is inexplicable-
Happy Mother's Day My Dearest Mom

Image: Mine

Now I have a great news I am hosting a 'Mother's Day Party and a Giveaway'. I want all the mommies and children out there to speak their heart out. Lets share your sweet/bitter memories and experiences of pregnancy and parenting. I have a big big surprise for one whose story will touch lot of hearts.

Mother's Day Party & Giveaway

1. Anyone blogger or non-blogger can participate in this giveaway.
2. Write about any sweet, bitter, funny, embarrassing moment or anything that brings back memories of time spent with your mother/kid, can be a picture or poem or just a sentence to express feelings will be considered as a valid entry. 
3. Bloggers can write post and publish it in their blog and link it by clicking on the link button at the end of the post. Non-bloggers can directly mail me their stories on and I will submit their post on behalf of them.
4. Party starts on 12th May 2013 and will end on 31st May 2013 announcement of winners will take place  on 2nd June.
5. First two entries have a change to win an assured gift. Yes you heard it right!! Post that will get highest number of votes will be a winner and the prize is a big surprise (will disclose little later)!!
6. Following this blog isn't mandatory but if you love reading this blog then following it will ensure that you will not miss any update.

Go get your lovely stories and share them here, party has begun :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Moroccan Interiors

Today I'm going to show you some Moroccan eye candies. In recent days, Moroccan style decorating has become very popular. This style of decorating is exotic and elegant. Located between Europe and Africa, Morocco has European, African and Persian influences. Moroccan decor is a perfect blend of styles from France, Spain, Portugal, Africa, Persia and has Mediterranean and Islamic influences. 
Morocco is a warm and dry country so Moroccans love to bring outdoors in and their houses are pots of exotic plants. Main elements that play a key role in Moroccan interiors are vibrant colors, intricate work on wooden furniture, mosaic products, carpets, pottery and lamps.
Here is how you can achieve Moroccan look for your home:

Furniture: In this Moroccan style of decorating furniture is mostly made of wood. Seating is usually set low to the ground. Choose furniture that has an intricate design on it. Wooden furniture has designs of mosaic tiles on them. On center table place brass or copper trays to serve food or to display some decor accents. 

Image Source: Click Here

Furnishings: Use fabric that is luxurious and rich in colors and to add texture use it everywhere, drape it on furniture, windows and even on the ceiling. Four or five cushions aren't enough, use them in abundance and choose cushions and throw pillows that are vibrant and with intricate designs and patterns. Rich colours play a vital role in Moroccan style decorating hence the rugs, cushions, throws and drapes should be in vibrant hues.

Image Source: Click Here
Walls: Color is the main element if you want to achieve a particular look for your home. Choose vibrant colors for the walls like fuchsia, red, orange, blue, green, shimmering gold or silver. Walls in textured terracotta is the important element of Moroccan style decor. This blue room conjures up the images of Atlantic and Mediterranean sea and give the space a perfect Moroccan vibe.

Image Source: Click Here
Walls of this orange room is evoking the image of the sunset in Africa.

Image Source: Click Here

Floors: Floors should be wooden, ceramic or terracotta ones. If you are opting for a wooden floor then it should be hard and dark in color to achieve Moroccan look. Use plush Persian or Asian carpets and rugs in abundance and stack floor cushions to create perfect Moroccan ambiance.

Image Source: Click Here

Lighting: Morocco is known for its dim, soft lights and variety of handmade lamps. Use lamps and pendants that have carved wood, colored glasses and metal frames. Put aroma candles in them to create a romantic ambiance.

Image Source: Click Here
Accessories: Accessories give a complete look to any decorating style and if we are talking about Moroccan style then there have to be lots of accessories. Use mirrors in different sizes and shapes to reflect light and to adorn walls. Bring in exotic flora in large and colorful pots or baskets. Use ceramic pots in rich colors on the dining table and center table or even hang some ceramic plates on the wall. Lamps with intricate designs and stained glass create a quintessential Moroccan look.

                               Eclectic Living Room by Los Angeles Home Staging Madison Modern Home

Try using these simple tips to achieve that perfect Moroccan look you were looking for.  Leaving you with all these Moroccan eye candies :)
To know about different style of decorating read my earlier posts on Interiors here.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vastu Gyan: Kitchen Vastu

Kitchen is the most important entity in the house. It is referred to as the treasure of the house in some Chinese scriptures.
This is the only prominent place where fire element plays a key role. In vastu shashtra the principle direction of natural energy field of fire is Southeast. Hence the ideal location for kitchen is southeast. A visible advantage of having the kitchen in the southeast is that it is open to the positive effects of morning sun rays and also gets fresh air most of the time.

Cooking gas should always be placed in southeast direction of the kitchen. As this direction is also referred as having the place of the Goddess of food. One should face east while cooking food.
Windows in the kitchen should be in east and ideal location for door is northeast, east or north to allow the natural light and fresh air through out the day.

Color of the kitchen walls can be green, soft pink, orange, brown or yellow. As these colors are considered as appetite stimulator.
All the equipment like microwave, electric oven , toaster etc should be placed in south or southeast direction. refrigerator should be placed either in northwest or southwest direction. Empty gas cylinders should be placed in southwest.  Exhaust fan should be in east direction as all the cooking is done in this direction. Grain pulses and spices must be stored in the west or in the south direction.
The ideal location for sink and drinking water storage is northeast corner as this direction gets maximum morning UV rays that kill the germs.
There should not be a common wall between toilet and kitchen. Kitchen should not be constructed in front of a bathroom, bedroom or worship room.

One need not panic if it is not possible to follow some or even none of the guidelines provided in the Vastu Shashtra as vastu principles and effects are only secondary to one's inner strength and endeavor toward soul growth.

Read my other posts on Vastu here.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Views From My Balcony

After Mercury hit 42 C in my part of the world, short spell of shower in the evening gave big relief from scorching heat. I totally enjoyed the view from my balcony. Can you spot raindrops in this picture.

Even birds enjoyed their flight afterwards. 

Sun peeking through clouds and making view even more mesmerizing.

Vivid sunset colors, chirping birds, soothing breeze, smell of rain and cuppa in my hand.....don't you think made my day completely awesome.

 Coming up with some moroccan eye candies stay tuned!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Artist In Making!!

Whenever I get a chance to dip my fingers in color I never miss the opportunity. Some times I find excuses to play with colors. These days I am trying lots of different painting techniques so thought this is the right time to get organised with all my brushes, pens and other accessories. If you know me well you must be aware of my habit of hoarding lot of junk and I try to upcycle, recycle and reuse almost everything around me.

Here is how I turned plastic food containers into my brush holder, pen holder and tool holder.

Now artist in making is all set to create some magic with these magic I typed it not being serious.  But seriously when I see everything around my home organized, colorful, artistic and done by me it gives me a boost to do lot more.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Unusual Uses For Baking Soda

Once again I am sharing some interesting and weird uses of stuff very common in households. Its Baking Soda. Earlier I have shared unusual uses of toothpaste. Now I am going to tell you uses for baking soda other than making your cakes and muffins soft, fluffy and spongy.
Baking soda is white, dry, powdery chemical leavening agent. It is pure sodium bicarbonate and is different from baking powder. It releases carbon dioxide in form of bubbles when it interacts with an acid and water.

Image Source: Click Here

  • Used as a cleaning agent: Take soda on damp sponge and clean your microwave, silver items, plastics, showers, bath tub, bathroom tiles, refrigerator, burnt-on food from cookware, cutting boards, food containers, tea pots, dentures and stainless steel sink. To clean the toilet, add a cup to the toilet leave for an hour and then flush, it will sparkle and odor will be gone. Use it to remove grease from pots and pans. Remove crayon marks from walls and vinyl floor. Soak brushes and combs in baking soda solution.  To make scrubbing dishes easier use it in dishwasher. Sprinkle it over the carpet leave it for an hour or overnight and then vacuum up. Mix it with warm water to wash baby bottles, nipples and brushes.
  • Use it in your laundry: Add half a cup of baking soda to regular liquid laundry detergent to whiten dirty cloths and socks. Use it to wash diapers. It also minimizes the smell of dirty laundry. 
  • Health and beauty uses: Dissolve half cup soda in a tepid bath and soak in the bath for fifteen minutes to soothe sunburn, windburn and prickly heat. Use half cup soda in a tub of warm water for soft and relaxing bath. Use it as an antacid. Works as a underarm deodorant. Use it as a scrub for face and body.  One teaspoon baking soda in one-half glass of warm water works as a refreshing mouthwash. Mix tablespoon of soda with your regular shampoo and then rinse your hair it will prevent conditioner and styling gel build up in hair. Mix half teaspoon of soda with peroxide and use it as a toothpaste. Baking soda works as a blackheads remover, wash face with warm water and apply a dab of baking soda on affected area leave it for two minutes now rinse off soda with warm water.
  • Used in allergies: In a neti pot full of warm water mix quarter teaspoon of soda and quarter teaspoon of salt clean out nasal passage once a day will cure nasal allergies and cold. To soothe baby's diaper rashes add two tablespoon of baking soda in baby's bath. To reduce pain and swelling of red bump caused by insect bite or animal/plant sting dab thick paste of soda on the sore area and let it dry. For itchy and dry eyes make an eyewash with baking soda use one teaspoon of baking soda and two cup of water. 
  • Uses in the home: To repel cockroaches and ants put it under the sink and in kitchen cabinets. Add a teaspoon to the water in vase to keep cut flowers fresh for longer. Keep it in open container in a fridge to absorb odor. Baking soda can work as modeling clay mix soda in 1 1/4 cup of water with one cup cornstarch. To soften the stiff brushes boil them in solution of one cup soda, 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 gallon water. Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda in shoes, slippers, socks to remove bad odor from them. Wash fruits and vegetables with baking soda solution. Use it as an air freshener by mixing it with perfumed bath salt and then keep it in small sachets. 

There many other  uses also but I found these tips very useful in day to day life so shared them here for my blog readers. Now I am sure that after reading this you are going to stockpile it, isn't it :) and its very cheap too!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Indian Art: Mural Paintings Of Kerala

Mural Painting

Kerala also known as 'God's Own Country' is well known for its resplendent greenery and exotic views. Art here perfectly blends with the nature in harmony. Mural paintings are one such form of art. These paintings are drawn on the walls of temples and churches. 

Image Source: Click Here

Tradition of painting walls began in Kerala . Roots of extant mural paintings of Kerala could be traced as far back as seventh and eighth century AD. Oldest murals in Kerala were discovered in the rock-cut cave temple of Thirunandikkara. Archaeological evidences show that period from the mid 16th century onward is the golden period of Mural paintings in Kerala.
Image Source: Click Here

Subject or theme of mural paintings are related to Hindu Gods, Goddesses and ethics. Paintings art greatly inspired by Hindu mythology. This art form adorned the temple walls and Guruvayur in Trichur is one such temple famous for Mural paintings on its wall. It is rich, vibrant bold yet delicate style of painting. Paintings show artistic brilliance as there is acute clarity in form, costumes and expressions.

Image Source: Click Here

Process is somewhat similar to Pattachitra, as Kerala mural is also process driven with atleast six process involved in completing one painting. Mainly five colors are used in making Mural paintings: White, Black, Yellow, Green and Red. Colors are sourced from minerals and vegetable pigments. Even in present days artists use natural colors only to fill the paintings. 
It is interesting fact behind each painting that characters are given colors based on their virtues, like red is for power and wealth, white is for lowly and mean characters, green for divinity and black is for demons as usual.
Six steps involve in making murals are:
1. Image is sketched on wall with cow dung ash mixed with coconut water or water.
2. Outlines were originally done with cow dung pencils. These days pencils crayons and acrylics are used.
3. Color is then filled based on the virtues of the characters. The colors are generally painted beginning with the lighter colors. The order of coloring is firstly yellow, red, green, blue and brown.
4. Shading is done after filling colors.
5. On shading, black is used to delineate and bring life to the portrayal.
6. The painting is over-coated with pine resin and oil for sheen and protection.

No other mural tradition has been able to match the linear accuracy of Kerala murals. 

For new readers of my blog who recently joined me, read about other Indian Art forms here.

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