February passed by too quickly. When suddenly a month passes by and you barely realize it – you’re busy !
Much research and personal philosophy of myself and my husband led us to a Montessori close to where we live. The Montessori method of education is the closest match to our ideal standards of education and we felt it was time to start familiarizing our daughter to the external world in small but secure steps. Thus myself and my darling Amaira enrolled ourselves in the “mother toddler” program.
February marked the beginning of her stepping out in this small Montessori setting holding her mommy’s hands. Here she is trying out her brand new pink sports shoes for her “nu nu skool” (new new school)
She has always enjoyed her coloring sessions, but with friends at the Montessori its just more … errr chaotic (you thought I’d say fun – didnt you ! ) Its fun too …. for me. Like you can see the parts done by the mother and toddler below (and please dont mind the shadow)
And the excitement of coloring continues even at home … on walls, sheets, furniture and sometimes paper.
The whole of Feb was also test for Amaira’s immune system as it was getting acclimatized to the new environment and the pathogens ! I read that there are over 100 varieties of the virus – wow ! She had (and still does) several bouts of cold ,cough and sometimes fever. Several visits to the doctor too. Hopefully her health should be better soon – really hoping. I realize how much as parents we read about whats going on with children – can we be called half doctors 🙂 (“quack” laughed the duck)
Besides balancing home, the trips to Montessori and handling all the emotions and stories after that – there is always something that I do – my work and my passion. Last month bought to life a truck load of both organic fabrics and regular cotton fabrics – some of my best designs that were best sellers were back.
Looking at the fruits of labour of your designing job is beautiful. My eyes twinkle almost each time the design comes to life – whether as a journal cover or as a fabric. Personally a very rewarding moment.
Some of the most sought after prints that came back with “popular demand” were the batiks, kalamkari’s and the block prints.
Also the herbal vegetable dyed organic cotton lotus print.
I also loved these images sent by one of my clients Abbi Franki who has an Etsy shop – SewAbbi. She made these gorgeous bags for her daughter using this fabric from my shop.
What’s written in the stars for Pisces this month ? Or how about writing your own destiny
I’d like to end with this post with lovely quote that used to keep coming up on my Facebook feed – and almost each time I would stop and look at it to admire. The whole archival paper ,the color rendering and the soft yellow with the innocence and simplicity – I adore this whole image and the deep message. I even made it my Whatsapp profile display picture.
I have never followed a Gift Guide before – neither read , nor got inspired by. I haven’t even created one, maybe because I didn’t have a blog. However, I am proud to say that my family and friends usually look forward to my gift for them. I am easily the uncrowned Queen of Gift Giving in my circle ! And what makes me one – I look for something that can make a connect with the recipient.
So here goes – completely followed by my gut instinct – some of the gifts that I feel would be worth considering for your near and dear ones. These are products that I personally endorse because I have bought / used / made them. I almost always look for artist made , one of a kind and unique gifts. Being an artist myself, I am aware of the immense value, love and warmth a handmade item can bring – it can be a forever keepsake for some. Also I must say that I have not been paid by any of the makers or artists to mention their names that are in no order of priority. In fact, I hope that they would be pleasantly surprised to find out this blog post.
Indian Journals : This is my brand of handmade , one of a kind , unique and very Indian notebooks that only you would have.
With 100’s of designs and 4 sizes in both blank and ruled pages, these gifts are safe and very appropriate for literally all age groups and genders. There are also classic Indian motif covers in various color combinations such as the Good luck Elephant, Paisley ,OM and many others.
The versatility of these books are great. They make handy gifts for both close and distant people on your list. Excellent as last minute gifts too !
2. Basketful of Grace – This has been a personal favorite. I gifted this to one of the closest members in my family for their wedding and the couple was very touched.
They offer personalized gifts perfect for many occasions including engagement gifts, bridal showers, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers and more.
This can be such a wonderful source for buying precious art and collectible keepsakes that you would like to keep or gift.
Jamie, the shop owner is so easy to work with. Her communication is clear and she is very quick to respond.
I wanted to change the date on the wall art that I bought from her and she was so creative in sending me an option that worked really well for us.
One of the prime reasons I chose her because not only was her art so unique and so very customisable – I also liked the cleanliness and simplicity of how peices of maps could evoke so much love and meaning. Secondly what I also really liked is that she was offering different framing options. Not very many Etsy sellers do that. And this comes in very handy when you want a complete gift – ready to be hung !
Also I must say that the packaging is perfect and the product arrives in an impeccable condition.
I am a very satisfied customer and I am sure you would be too.
Coming to the Bath and Body section – this is one area that makes me go weak in the knees. Over the past decade I must have tried over 50 Etsy sellers who sell handmade soaps and natural Bath and Body products, however there are only these handful that I now find myself going back to :
3. AB Soap Studio – A wonderful story of A and B who live in a beautiful Island in Ireland and share the passion of creating additive free soaps that are completely natural and very pampering to the skin.
It is this Luxury Lemon soap that attracted me to their shop first. I have always been a fan of citrus-y smells because of the squeaky clean feeling that lingers around them. However they are also associated with making your skin dry. So in the hunt of a soap that moisturized and left that feel good clean feeling landed me to their shop page and the rest they say is a loyal customer !
In their policy on additives , they proudly say that – their soaps and shampoo bars contain only natural butters, oils, clays and botanicals, carefully chosen for their beneficial qualities. They do not use parabens, SLS (sodium laureth sulphate), PEG (polyethylene glycol), DEA (diethanolamine), siloxane (silicone), or any of the other surfactants, preservatives or artificial perfumes found in many commercial cosmetics.
They have recently added gift sets which I feel is a great addition to their shop as well as a brilliant way to try and obviously gift.
In my opinion, their soaps are very nourishing. They are not an overdose of perfumes and you cannot feel even and ounce of artificiality in them. I have a very sensitive skin and my skin has always approved of all its flavors. So always a thumbs up 🙂
4. Empathetic Elephant – In days where goats milk is a rarity – they sell goat milk soap. Now you know why I make a beeline to buy this soap almost always !
Experts and naturalists promote goatmilk soap for youthful skin. Here is a lovely article that encourages the use of goatmilk soap.
Lia , the owner of the soap is creative even with this simple looking soap – she offers them in various scents as well as color options apart from the basic white fragrance free version. She also uses Phthalate free essential oils in her products. She specializes in floral arrangements/decor, candles, soaps and other specialty gifts.
Although I have never gone beyond the mesmerizing soaps in her shop – she does have something really wonderful soap moulds I must say. I am already brimming with so many gifting ideas with them. I mean who could think of Unicorn Poop and Zombie Hand for soaps ! So creative 🙂
Also her packaging is lovely. Even if you open it – it feels as though you have gifted this to yourself. It feels like a mini celebration. I would totally recommend trying them out.
Moving on from soaps, we have :
5. Eco Fabric Store – This is my store where I sell beautiful Indian Fabrics that are soft to the touch. Our Earth Friendly fabrics are made from Organic Cotton, Bamboo Yarns, Soya Bean Protein, Banana Yarn and the likes.
Dyed with Plant Extract Vegetable Dyes or certified dyes, we offer wonderful prints and evergreen designs. Our fabrics are also available in solid dyed colors.
All the fabrics are manufactured by Authentic and Certified mills based in India.
Herbal dyeing is basically the expertise of dyeing/printing with flowers, roots, fruits such as turmeric, onion, myraballams, madder, kesu flowers, dhavadi flowers and natural indigo.
This not only prevents water pollution due to replacement of petrochemical dyes with vegetable dyes/natural dyes, but also imparts medicinal value to cloth as many herbs used for dyeing have high medicinal value.
This mimics and age old process from Ancient India which was historically done by hand and on a small scale.
Wholesale orders and Custom Prints are welcome. Certification is also available for custom and wholesale orders.
6. Fibers to Fabric – As the name suggests, this particular store I own has some unique supplies, vintage haberdashery as well as some really cool fabric printed on very high quality Indian Cotton
All the fabrics are soft to touch and are of great quality. Boutique store and wholesale options are always open. There are always bolt ends and fat quarter price deals that make shopping all the more fun and thrifty !
The price advantage of trims and buttons is worth mentioning. Also not to forget some really wonderful DIY quick stitch kits. They make wonderful gifts as well as lovely holiday projects. Some of them can even be used as wall arts or handmade presents.
7. SJ Engraving – One of the best sellers on Etsy and my favorite husband wife team of all times.
I bought a keepsake from them for my own wedding and later to gift a very close friend. The nest and the names on the egg looking stones are so symbolic and so precious.
For some special occasions, custom engraving is your best choice to convey your sentiment and thoughtfulness and SJ Engravings exactly cater to that.
I particularly love their garden stones. It gives the old era feel and also lends stability to the house. The best part is
that these stones are completely natural and majority of their items are customizable.
They can even engrave your logo or personalized message on stones. I really have to try the logo part, but right now its time for me to add a stone to my nest – that of my daughter’s name 🙂
As a repeat customer – I can guarantee the quality and the impeccable craftsmanship on the stones. Not a chip here and there – pure natural stone engraved for you to keep forever.
Hope you enjoyed some of the items that I truly testify and can vouch for. Happy Shopping and Happy Gifting 🙂