Add Another Dash of Paprika

My favorite color room, delicious for the eyes:

Found at Pinterest from

I posted this room last month:

Paprika is made from grinding the dried fruits of capsicum annum or bell peppers. The heat level can vary. In the U.S. it’s used as a garnish more than as a major flavoring. I say bring it on, I can’t get enough of this color!

How about this? From a designer’s home in Copenhagen:

Not quite enough! Then how about this? Draped all around the room? You can find this place in Jaisalmer and in the current issue of Conde Nast Traveller India.

More please!  Okay, how about this rug from the Spice Collection from Pittsburgh Rug Company?

Better, but not enough! More! Okay then, what about this wall from Wunderley?

Love it with that mirror and cabinet! Great start, don’t be shy. More paprika! Okay if you like paprika with black, here’s more and with splashes of hot pink too! From the S R Gambrel online portfolio.

Wow. A great pick-me-up on gray February days. Here’s  a real dash of paprika from Recipes Wiki:

I wrote before that our guest room is this color. Promise, promise, I promise pictures soon. We’ll have a steady stream of guests for my husband’s business from mid-March to mid-May, so the room will be photo- and guest-ready soon.

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Beetle Wing Embroidery

This image was initially saved in a “peacock” inspiration folder, to be shared later in a long post about peacock colors:

Then I read the description about this Southern Indian antique embroidery from around 1880. I discovered something mind-blowing! What do you think those peacock-colored iridescent specks are?

They are beetle wings. Yes!

Very skilled hands at the  Hobart School for Mussulman Girls in Madras used zardozi and the wings of Jewel Beetles to create this piece which was then shipped to England in 1882. Read more about it. Here’s close up detail:

Astounding! Some things shouldn’t be buried in a long post among other photos — they’re worthy of their own spotlight. Just like this proud guy:

Peacock displaying his feathers at the Milwauk...
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s the Jewel Beetle:

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Block Print Color

My previous posts about block printing favor light natural colors. But of course block prints also come in luscious and even riotous color. Check out this first one — looks like the richness of pomegranate color!

Images from Soma, textile creators and exporters in India:

These can be yours, at Soma shops in India. (By the way, I am not paid at all to post about where to get these things — I really appreciate it when other bloggers reveal where to find the things we adore, so I’m just sharing in the same way.)

From Kilol, here is a combination of prints similar to the look I favor from Les Indiennes but stronger in black and white — a mix of very large and small prints:

This image above reminds me — this weekend I got a little package in the mail from my parents. It was an envelope of photos they found of my first apartment as a single gal finally earning enough for my own place, in the mid-90s. That apartment was full of black, white, gray, maple and other blond woods, just like the photo above. I had columns and Grecian busts mixed with modern silver/aluminum things. Framed posters of words and fonts. A cardboard chair! An eclectic mix. I loved what I lived with then, I love what I live with now. Certainly there’s much more color now. Oh how things have changed over the years. I think we all evolve that way, don’t we?

Back to the block print obsession of today. Following images are from Anokhi’s USA website (although I’d rather go to Mauritius to buy in person there! ha ha). Here’s only one of an enormous selection of hand-printed cotton voile scarves:

I love cotton voile. Sewing is one of my hobbies and for summer I sew dresses with two layers of cotton voile — one outer layer usually with a printed design, and a solid lining layer. It’s so sheer, you need minimum two layers. The two layers of cotton voile feel luxurious due to the quality of the fabric, and they’re very cool in hot climates. Lightweight cotton voile scarves are a great way to add a punch of color to spring and summer outfits. Anokhi is in Chennai as well as many other cities in India. Surely I’ll stop in the Chennai store on our next trip. Thankfully it’s not far from our apartment in T Nagar. If you’re in Jaipur, you can visit the Anokhi Museum on hand block printing. As I appreciate textiles and learning more about them, that’s on my must-stop list whenever we get to visit Jaipur.

Speaking of learning about textiles, Selvedge magazine celebrates all textiles. Here’s an image from the magazine of brilliant block print inks:

Imagine mounting wood print blocks with remnants of color inks on a wall — they really are little works of art:

If you find wood print blocks with ink, don’t wash it off — hang mixed colors together. Or apply ink to unpainted blocks you find. The mix of various colors could bring an eye-catching look to a wall, more than plain wood.

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This is among the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen. It made my heart beat faster. There’s something I love about the color paprika. Or chili. Or saffron threads. Or tandoor. Whatever spice it conjures for you, here it is:

From August 2010 issue of Whirl Magazine

I don’t know why I’m drawn to this color so much? But it is true, I am. Years ago in our first place, a little condo, I painted a basement wall this color while my husband was away on a business trip. I knew if he saw the color in advance, it would be a no go.  But also I knew if he saw the end result only, he would love it.

It’s easy to be more uncertain of the “could be” than what is already done. But that shouldn’t stop us from reaching for our visions. And he did adore the color of that wall. It was a cookie cutter condo basement in suburban Detroit, but with the deep bold paprika wall meeting concrete and beams in wood and steel, it felt like our own little Soho loft. I installed track lights and rails on the paprika wall to hold a black and white photo gallery. That basement became a favorite gathering place. That one wall made the whole place feel warm and cozy.

Now, our guest room is painted this color because this color must be somewhere on walls wherever we live from here on out. I’ll feature that room in a post soon.

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