Favorite Pictures from January

Right in the first week of January, the apple of my eye met with a small accident. My daughter Amaira fell from a height and had to undergo stitches. For almost the whole January, she had to be taken care of and tended to. With God’s grace she is better now. January hence has a fewer pictures from my side to share.


In various bids to keep Amaira entertained and positively involved, I had to constantly churn up ideas to keep her mind off the “hurt” (she says “haat”) so that she doesn’t tug on her bandage and pull it off. Thankfully I had bought this book. It has her name with the exact spelling published on the cover ! It is a regular children’s book published by a renowned publisher much before she was born ! Back in October / Nov last year – happened to spot this and many others in the series – bought them all in a jiffy.


This one’s rather unique. It is my aunt actually, but I had to crop her face for her privacy. She was visiting a relative and probably someone offered her pineapple juice like that 🙂 Maybe some juice bars should take notice – novelty sells !!


Where there is a will – there is a way ! And we know a way to make non flowering plants flower. Just dig the flowers in ! Simple 🙂 One from the many (many) projects to keep the munchkin involved.


This one is of a Quartz Crystal. Little did I ever know that there is actually a goldmine of naturally occurring crystals just a stone’s throwaway from where my in-laws live. My father in law knew I value such things a lot – and especially since they have so many healing and metaphysical properties. This image is of one of my father in laws friends who owns such a quarry – he is holding one of the very many crystals that are dug out.

january-in-pictures-bird-in-flight-11-january-2017Truth always comes out – even if it is from a picture. Emotions cannot be hidden. Michelle Obama is hugging Barack Obama after his final speech as the President. He spoke in Chicago, where in 1996 he was elected as senator and started his political career. I can keep looking at this image and cant even imagine the wave of emotions that may have been running through the audience and especially the best couple I may have known. They have both set such a high standard that they are only worth emulating.


To end January and invite February – here is something for the Vibrant youthful and vivid Aquarians. Available in 3 colors – Aquarius Journals make pretty handy gifts.


Ending with a little Facebook wisdom that I downloaded in January


Behind the Scenes : Indian Journals

Since my teens, I have always been interested in Eco, Organic, Recycled and Earth-Friendly ways of living. The idea of saving trees slowly led me to foray into practical products made from recycled and handmade paper that could be used in daily lives.I also started to show keen interest in re-using and up-cycling leftover fabrics into creations of usable art.


Indian Journals was thus born, and it has now been close to 8 years of it’s formal existence. Myself along with my little team happily create – what we call an “ever ready gift for all ages and genders”

img_4556It’s about time we take you for a little elephant ride to take you around our little workshop and tell you how this passion started from a hobby and developed into a professional business front.

” Indian Journals ” happily runs from my home based studio – an enabling work space that reflects my style and sensibilities and compliments my creativity and eco conscious values.

We begin with buying authentic handmade paper from very trusted vendors. This paper is locally produced and has stood the test of time. Our clients love the paper to write and sketch and their admiration is very evident in their feedback and reviews.

pic_0711aInitially, we used get the papers cut through a manual paper cutting machine at the same printing shop where we get the screens of the screen printed journals made , but since the past couple of years we are getting them pre-cut by our paper vendors – in the journal sizes that we make (mainly for saving time)

Also initially, we used to manually fold the papers in half and sometimes even had to partially staple them in place and put under weights for the fold to set in before sewing, but this process too is now semi – mechanized and done by our paper vendors. With increasing orders and a baby at hand, pre-prepared raw materials are a boon ! So now prefolded paper and top hard cover is gladly purchased by our trusted vendor.

Various bits of fabrics which are usually left over bits from the garment and home linen industries are patched. Most of them are embroidered and sequinned. This whole multicolored process is the most fun part of it all ! Plethora of colors are all over the place and each diary cover becomes one of a kind piece. A lot of times I get this question for sari journals – “is it possible to get 4 of these” or “that one is sold, can I get exactly the same one? “ And for once I am not sad to answer in a negatory !

These beautiful sari patched covers are pasted on a harder handmade paper – almost like a card board consistency. And the reverse has another sheet of plain handmade paper pasted on it, for neatness as well as added sturdiness. We then sew the sides with a multicolored threaded gauze tape.

And then the cover along with the folded stack of papers are hammered in the center, and two more equidistant  holes are made to flank the middle. With a long needle, and a center hold knot, the journal is sewn in with a special 5 colored twine which is very strong and looks great too. The journal is secured with double binding procedure.

il_570xn-460041101_j97dThe lose end of the thread is kept very long and used to wrap the journal by its girth almost twice. In the case of screen printed journals, the entire procedure is the same – except the fabric is replaced by a screened handmade paper on the cover.

This creation process is pretty simple and sometimes meditative. Journals after journals are patiently made , packed, photographed and stored in a clean pet free home.il_570xn-460040651_r0qr

Speaking of pets, I have a little human monkey ! My (now 21 month old) daughter Amaira. She is of course not allowed in the “manufacturing” room, but she does get to touch and ramble through the tightly packed journals when they come out to face the natural sunlight near our french window ! More than half of the images I take – have her fingers, or a toy, or a sudden flashing of her latest drawing. Thankfully I discovered a few handy photo editing apps that help me clean and brighten the images !

il_570xn-1089235512_gtqzTo be able to manage the growing business, family and at the same time keeping focus on design and marketing – I really needed a very reliable helping hand. Printed covered journals for instance was one of our product variants that could be produced in collaboration with a production partner. Francis Uncle – the heart and soul of Ideal Printlinks offered help in screening the covers of my journals when I was no longer able to handle everything all by myself. He is the owner of a print shop where we get the covers of our Journals done.il_570xn-973783894_s4zt

Over the years, we have done a variety of covers such as printed fabric, brocade zari, screened designs and of course the best selling patchwork sari styles. I even did brush painted and marbled covers once.

One thing is making the journals – the creative process, imagining how they will look and so on. Another thing is selling them. Completely different ball games and opposite spectrum’s of the mind at work ! I guess creative entrepreneurs really live it up 🙂

Since the inception till today, things at Indian Journals are constantly evolving. Be it the style of taking pictures, to the packaging, to the logo and to the cover designs. I feel positive change is always good, and the need of bringing in freshness and uniqueness to Indian Journals is always on my mind. Like for instance I had been envisioning to launch a new range of journals since 2014. The Zodiac Star Sign Journals were born in late 2016 – after a series of design and brainstorming sessions – mostly with myself and also with my husband. More on them in another post soon !


We sincerely hope at least one Indian Journal finds it’s way to your home – and that you use it to express yourself in your unique way.