India pied-à-terre Holiday Wrapping Paper

My Spoonflower shop is called India pied-à-terre because everything there is India-inspired design. There’s holiday wrapping paper! It’s big over-scaled Indian block print holiday paper. Here’s a re-run of last year’s post so new followers don’t miss out this year, if you want to order some …

Head on over to Spoonflower to get some gift wrap paper …

Holiday Wrapping Paper at Spoonflower

The designs are big and dramatic. Because India is not a shy place. These are great prints for larger gift boxes. You can use them artfully on small packages too – one motif on a paper might cover an entire small box like this one which is an 8x8x8 box:

Red and Chartreuse Block Print Gift Wrap at Spoonflower

I cut a strip of the paper’s red border to make a paper ribbon.

All the designs were inspired by India’s block print textiles. Block printed fabrics are printed with wooden blocks, and the blocks are traditionally painstakingly carved by hand. So the designs on these wrapping papers have a hand-carved quality. Like, they are not 100% perfect as they might be if made by machine.

Purple-and-Teal-Block-Print-Holiday-Wrapping-Paper

For this Christmas and holiday collection, I chose jewel colors and golds. And some colors are a bit offbeat for the holidays but still very festive – to me, chartreuse and violet are like the green and red of India.

Teal-Temple-Bell-Block-Print-Gift-Wrap

Red-Paisley-Block-Print-Gift-Wrap

And may I also suggest, you could use these papers for decoupage and DIY projects too. They can be used for more than wrapping gifts. Spoonflower prints on quality paper – this is nice thick paper! It’s not thin paper that you must double up so people can’t see the what the gift is before they even open it. We’ve all run into that and it’s so annoying. I wouldn’t do that to you – I searched hard for a way to print quality gift wrap.

The wrapping paper is 6 feet long by 26 inches wide. A roll can wrap about four medium size gifts.

You can get them at Spoonflower! There are 15 designs and color combos to choose from!

*** HOLIDAY DEADLINES: Please note, if you’re interested in ordering, Spoonflower deadlines for holiday delivery are coming soon – order by Dec. 6 to guarantee delivery before Christmas. See their deadline schedule. Spoonflower prints custom paper when you order it, so it can take up to 10 days to ship. ***

 





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Moroccan Mint Tea Glasses

Some of us became addicted to the ritual of Moroccan mint tea in Marrakech last week. If you don’t want to go all the way to Morocco to get mint tea glasses (although I recommend that you do!), you can easily find these jewels online.

Many years ago, you could have bought Moroccan mint tea glasses from a candle catalog we had back in the 90s. I wish I’d kept a set for myself! We sold the glasses with natural mint scented votive candles. Here’s a photo of the glasses from our catalog:

Moroccan Mint Tea Glasses and Indian Temple Door

I styled the tea glasses on a little Indian tea table that I sanded down to remove dark stain (so the tea glasses would “pop” visually). My mother-in-law happened to be in town at the time, so I took her red sari and paired it with an old Indian temple door to make an exotic backdrop. She was more than a little surprised with what I did with her sari! This was my favorite all-time shot over about four years of running that catalog. You’d never know this photo was not in an exotic setting in Delhi or Mumbai. It was set up in a corner of our living room in a boring feature-less white condo in Novi, Michigan. So I’ve loved global decor for a long time.

Let’s look at some tea glasses available for you today. My favorite are these colors and design from Viva Terra:

Moroccan Tea Glasses from Viva Terra

Those colors would go so well in my dining room.

These strong jewel colors from JustMorocco.com are bold enough to elevate mint tea drinking to a special celebratory event:

Moroccan Mint Tea Glasses from JustMorocco

If you prefer a more subtle design, how about these delicate henna-inspired glasses from Not on the High Street:

Moroccan Mint Tea Glasses from Not on the High Street

I could see green and gold ones like these (or red and gold) as holiday candleholders for decoration, if you don’t think you will drink mint tea. These are from Moroccan Prestige:

Green and Gold Moroccan Mint Tea Glasses from Moroccan Prestige

This gives you an idea of what these glasses look like, if you haven’t seen them before. There are hundreds of designs and colors to choose from. Just Google “Moroccan mint tea glasses” in Google Image and you will find an endless supply.

Now what you must see is how to make Moroccan mint tea and especially, the impressive way they pour this tea in Morocco!

Pouring Moroccan Mint Tea

I wonder how much they practice and how much they waste to learn to pour like that. Because these glasses are tiny!





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Opium Bed Style

Normally I would tell you to not get involved with anything related to opium. Except when it involves a table. A table styled like an opium bed.

The opium bed style is from Asia, and you would find these style of beds in opium dens in China and Southeast Asia. Beds were available for reclining in a way that a writer might try to romanticize with words like “lanquid.” I am  not sure I’d romanticize smoking opium! But nowadays tourists like to collect the opium pipes and other paraphernalia when they travel to the Golden Triangle of opium dealers around Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Travelers have exported the look of entire dens, like this brocaded French opium den of the early 1900s, set up by people who returned from the Indochine colonies and brought their addictions back with them.

French Opium Den of the early 1900s

The reality is obviously far less beautiful. Like this opium den in Manila which is really sad.

I am only addicted to the style. I love those curvy table legs. And in fact I did bring an opium bed table back with me from Thailand! Way back in 2001. Please don’t think it was an extravagant thing to do. It cost us only $100! That is, folks, only $7.69 per year so far, for a large teak coffee table.

We ordered it custom made, about 3 feet by 5 feet, by a lady near Chiang Mai. We got to see it being made, under a tent on the family’s front lawn! It cost only a small fraction of what American retailers charge for a large teak table (including shipping) and we felt good about our money going directly to a family. Here it is in our living room:

Opium Coffee Table

Chinese Style Opium Coffee Table

Those are from a post from a year ago that gave you a peek into our living room. After almost 13 years, the table is a bit scratched and needs sanding and restaining, but I still love it and use it almost daily.

Can I entice you with more opium tables?

Opium Table

Opium Bed and Thai Style

Here’s an antique Chinese opium coffee table from Mecox with nice old details, as it should as it’s from the late 1700s:

Antique Opium Coffee Table from Mecox

Here’s an opium table from Golden Triangle in Chicago:

Opium Table at Golden Triangle

While it has a distinctive shape, this table can fit in many decor styles. It can be elegant and sophisticated, like in the photo above. But with woven cane in the middle, it is more casual. Paint it white and it can fit in a beach house. Could you see one in your house?





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Bhil Tribal Art

I discovered Bhil tribal art earlier this year when my husband and I found Sutra Gallery of fine art and textiles in Door County, Wisconsin. The owner, Abbey Box, spent a few years living in India and has now brought India’s art to the tippy-tip of northern Wisconsin. There’s a tribal art piece she has that every time I check her site, my heart skips a beat before I see it’s not yet marked “sold.” I don’t know what the artist’s original story was for her art, but I have my own meaningful story that fits it. It’s an important lesson to remember every day. I suppose that means that art is calling me. But it costs enough that I need to ask my husband about it, and might he say “no.” Anyway, I won’t tip my hand for now as to exactly which piece it is! Maybe I will get it and tell the story here. Visit Sutra Gallery online to see some excellent examples of Indian tribal art.

Tribal art from India seems to have been discovered. I’ve seen it on Saffronart and currently there are pieces for sale at Jaypore from the Bhil tribal community in central India. Their works show what they see and live with, mostly elements of nature like animals and trees. Although modern life is catching up with them, so you can now see automobiles and airplanes in their art!

Here’s a sample of their colorful style of art …

Tree-Bird Bhil Painting By Dubbu Bariya from Jaypore

Elephant Bhil Painting By Anil Bariya

Tree-Bird Bhil Painting By Dubbu Bariya

Bird-Cow Bhil Painting By Ramesh Bariya

Peacock-Bird Bhil Painting By Shanta Bhuriya

And finally, for today’s times:

Car-Men Bhil Painting By Ramesh Bariya

The works shown here are from Jaypore.

The style reminds me of Australian aboriginal art. This Bhil tribal art may look different than art you’re used to seeing. But don’t let that stop you from investing in something that draws you. As they say, “art shouldn’t match your sofa!”

Also you might notice price differences when shopping online. Some art may already be framed and others aren’t. Do check on that because good framing to protect art is not cheap and that can account for differences. And also obviously, some art is original and some are reproduced prints. It’s good to look carefully at what you are getting.





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