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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

{How do you Celebrate Diwali?} Rajasthani Traditions at the Verma home in Jodhpur

Manisha, Vijay and Tanmay have spent all their Diwalis overseas. 2014 is special to them, because it's their first Diwali in India. Manisha got in touch with me with photographs of their Diwalis past for our "How do you celebrate Diwali" event, and I must say they are lovely!!

Says Manisha,
"Diwali is a time of celebration, decoration, indulgence and getting together with family to welcome the new year and light up homes and hearts with lights and memories. Our Festivities typically start with getting the house in order. Next, we look for new drapes, linens and accessories to pretty up the home.

Little Tanmay enjoying the flowers and lights
We also spend the last few days before the festival preparing mithais and delicacies. During Danteras, the lighting of the lamps makes the whole home smell great and looks magical!
On the day of Diwali, it is usually very hectic with purchases for the evening prayer, last minute preparations for food & decorations and then getting dressed up in all splendour to welcome Maa Lakshmi to our home with open doors, heart and mind. " 

Manisha is an avid blogger, and you can read more about her Diwali celebrations here.
Thank you Manisha, it was wonderful to hear about your Diwali celebrations!

So, how do you celebrate? We are looking for more of you to write in - share your pics and tell us how you celebrate! Write to me with your festive stories and be a part of our "How do you Celebrate Diwali?' series.

Happy Festivities!
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Monday, October 20, 2014

{Store Feature, Festive Giveaway} The Purple Turtles, Bangalore


The Purple Turtles is a lifestyle boutique in Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. The owner and founder Raadeesh Shetty, quit a flourishing career in advertising to start the store. He had always enjoyed helping people transform their living and working spaces.

He loves connecting with artists who use their creativity to breathe new life into old or reused objects. For him, doing this feels right on many levels - connecting with the past, memories associated with everyday objects, collecting, recycling, reviving.

After years of concentrating on lighting solutions, the store recently introduced a unique and stunning line-up of Industrial, Distressed and Contemporary furniture that breaks away from existing trends and redefines it. The hand-picked pieces in this collection are designed by new and upcoming designers from across India, in keeping with the changing consumer mindset and offer singular concepts that are not available in every other store. The range comprises of vintage bicycle coffee tables, cycle bar stools with pedals, teak &cast iron combination furniture, sleepover benches, container cabinets, and other trendy, internationally ‘in’ products. The Purple Turtles is today more than just a store; it’s an “art gallery” which gives domestic designers a platform to be recognized for their talent.

A homely little garden welcomes visitors to this store. When you enter, the warm accent walls, beautiful framed pictures on the walls, breath-taking chandeliers and lamps, re-furbished furniture and quirky recycled accessories, make one feel as if they have walked into a very interesting home, instead of a store!

And now, for the giveaway that our facebook fans have been hoping for.
Three lucky winners will win one of these awesome products- a large bird cage, a small bird cage, and a t-light holder.

And what do you have to do to win it? It's as easy 1-2-3

  1. Email any one picture of your 2014 Diwali setting at home- it could be a tablescape, the outdoor lighting, the balcony, a wall, your pujaroom, anything!
  2. Like The Keybunch Facebook page and Like The Purple Turtles Facebook page
  3. Please leave a comment here telling us that you are in for the giveaway!

Contest ends on October 30, 2014. 
Contest is open to everyone, but gifts will be shipped to an address in India only.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

{East-West Fusion Glass Jewelry} Bangdar Sarali

I am loving the recent wave of east-west fusion products. I embrace it because times have changed, and contemporary styles are not desi but desi-global - styles that will not look out of place in a concert hall in Germany, a drawing room in Venice, or at an arty do in New York, but still fit right into your cousin's Mehendi function in Mysore.

Murano glass -  more Indian than you think!
Ikroop Dhillon is a glass artist who has an evolved an east-west glass fusion technique, where she has successfully married ancient European art styles (like Murano) with Indian karigari. Along with her business partner Pooja Roy Yadav, she sells them under the brand name.‘Bangdar Sarali’, what they claim to be India's first fusion accessories brand.

When I saw the beautiful pictures she sent me, I had to ask her a few questions - and for all those who want the "Story" behind this beautiful brand, this mini interview will give you the answers.

The Keybunch Ikroop, what does Bangdar Sarali mean?
Ikroop Dhillon Well, Pooja and I were room mates in hostel during out college days and have been friends for more than a decade. When we decided to start our own brand, finding the right name was a battle. Since the technique used was the ancient European glass art technique called Glass Fusion we knew it had to represent that and at the same time it had to represent the two of us. While brainstorming we went back and forth on the name and in casual banter, which involved humorous references to her Bengali heritage and to my being a Sardar, something clicked and we froze on Bangdar Sarali, which is a play on the 2 words Bengali and Sardar. (cut two words in half, and swap them to get the brand - also the perfect fusion :))

The Keybunch Wow, how cool is that! And who is the gorgeous model?
Ikroop Dhillon  The model is my beautiful mother-in-law who agreed to go ahead with the shoot which was held outdoors in sweltering Delhi heat and she braved through gracefully.

The Keybunch Is this line specifically meant for the older Indian woman?
Ikroop Dhillon Not at all, the idea to use her stemmed from two thoughts-  one was that with the way the fashion jewelry scene is exploding in the country, we wanted to demonstrate that unconventional jewelry does not need an unconventional look, it's something everyone, of all ages and styles can embrace and look great in. Unconventional doesn't need to break conventions; it can simply compliment it too. Secondly, we wanted to highlight the element of colour in our jewelry. Something which isn't seen too much in jewelry worn by women over 20s, in the hoard of crystals, gold, silver, it's mostly monochromes with the play of a few stones maybe. High street Jewelry which is common with young girls still does have a bit of colour play but that is not that space we operate in and we wanted to clearly communicate that.

The Keybunch Nice!Where do you retail from?
Ikroop Dhillon  We are currently at Ogaan in Delhi, Nimai in Delhi and Neon in Bangalore. We are also going to retain in Goa and Mumbai by the end of next month

Says Ikroop,
"Each piece is hand crafted in my studio, and with the nature of the medium kicking in only at 1000 degrees, it means that no two pieces that are created can ever be identical."

Model Gita Karwal flanked by Ikroop on her right and Pooja on her left.  

It all started with a simple conversation between two friends.

Both had quit their regular jobs to pursue new creative aspirations – one was training to become a Fused Glass Artist and the other was testing her new found skills as a Jewelry Designer.

One enjoyed the complexities of forms and the vibrancy of colors in fused glass and the other was drawn to the art deco, structural shapes, materials and metals in contemporary jewelry.

One used a fire kiln to play with glass and the other honed her skills with a pair of pliers, a box of colors and a sketchbook.

Before they realized it they were channelizing their creativity together to experiment with fused glass in jewelry!

Together they embarked on a journey of creating exclusive Experimental Fused Glass Jewelry - Art that can be worn – ‘Wearable Art’

Did you like these pieces? Would you wear them? Do share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Here is a link to an airline's TVC that also talks about "fusing" together two cultures to serve the globe better.

This post is my submission to Indiblogger's contest 'More Indian Than you Think' in association with Lufthansa.
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Friday, October 17, 2014

{How do you Celebrate Diwali?} Bengali traditions at the Chowdhury home, Bengaluru

Namaste! Have you started decking up your home? Are you busy with your mitai and farsan preparations? If not, this new series on our blog is sure to get you going, and put you in the festive mood!

I am pleased to kick off the "How do you celebrate Diwali?" series with a beautiful Bengaluru home  belonging to Vandana, Param and Pathikrit. Here are some lovely images from their Diwalis past.

Vandana explains how her family celebrates.....

    "Diwali or Deepavali or Kali Puja as we Bengalis like to call it, is a celebration not as elaborate as in the northern or southern parts of India. It is a one day celebration for us and we grew up  seeing our mothers, aunts and grand mothers keeping a fast during the day and break it only after the puja at midnight.Nowadays, of course, many of us do not keep this very elaborate and difficult fast though we do visit the pandal or the temple to do our puja. Keeping with the spirit of the festival, we, generally light 14 diyas or candles within our homes a day before the Kali Puja. We've been told that this ritual dispels gloom and evil forces and brings about happiness and blessings to the family.On the day of the Kali Puja, we decorate our homes with diyas or pradeep or even candles. We also use the pretty fairy lights that are available in the market.

    Our Ma Kali is offered sweets and flowers during the puja.That's how we celebrate!

Thanks Vandana, for sharing your festive rituals with us!

People, Vandana has also just started blogging here, so go on over and show her some love!
So, how do you celebrate? We are looking for more of you to write in and tell us - share your pics and tell us how you celebrate! Write to me with your festive stories and be a part of our "How do you Celebrate Diwali?' series.

Happy Festivities!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

{Online Store} Craft Khazana's Divine Diya Aarthis

I call it a happy quirk of fate. I had been eying a diya arthi at a local store in Pune for the longest time. Last Sunday I was at the Sanskriti Lifestyle late-night Diwali Exhibition and I almost bought one, but the price put me off! Early Monday morning, I saw Souparnika Holla's FB update - she had started an online store, and she was selling, among other things, beautiful Divine Diya Aarthis!

Born of a dream, Souparnika's Craft Khazana hopes to bridge the gap between artisans and customers and she handpicks a select collection of products from the artisans she networks with.

When I asked her how her store came about, Souparnika said
Souparnika Holla
"I am very interested in collecting antiques and visiting decor shops and sites. I always wanted to start my own shop showcasing my collections, my own taste. Some months back, while talking with a good friend of mine, a simple idea stuck me - why not share my passion for art and craft? That's the dream you see here. It took some effort, it is still wip, but I am happy to see that it is slowly taking shape in the form of this site. After researching about selling online, I was finally able to make it all happen."

Her store is just up, and you will love the stuff she curates.

Besides the gorgeous diyas you see here, Craft Khazana also stocks the most delightful antique brass finds - nut crackers, bottle openers and incense holders. They also have small carved pieces.

Souparnika is keen to sell at affordable rates, and I am sure you will love her prices.
Head over to her FB page or her online store.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

{Diwali Inspiration} Pookalam ideas by Vidya Nair

Vidya Nair runs a beautiful decor blog called What's Your Home Story. Today, I am sharing some of her really beautiful pookalam pics.

As you know, Kerala is probably the only Indian state that does not celebrate Diwali with as much of grandeur and show as the rest of the country. Says Vidya,
"Strangely the part of India where I come from Diwali is not big at all, which is quite a contrast from the rest of India where Diwali is the biggest festival. We wake up early, take a shower, visit the temple, and maybe make a sweet dish/dessert along with the usual breakfast or lunch. That’s it."

Nevertheless, the beautiful pookalams that are made during every festival in Kerala are great inspiration for festive decor. Here are Vidya's pookalams, ranging from beautifully simple to amazingly complicated,  and I hope each of you will be inspired enough to create your own pookalams this Diwali!

So are you inspired? Do send in your Diwali pics - we are focusing on the festival of lights this entire season and we would love to hear from you! There's more! Vidya also shares a tutorial on How to make a Pookalam, that's a must-see for anyone who is fascinated with this rangoli form, and wants to try it out!

Thanks Vidya,for sharing these lovely images with The Keybunch readers!

All pics via What's Your Home Story
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Who writes this blog?

Hi ! I'm Sharon.

I am so glad you are here visiting. The Keybunch is primarily a decor blog, but it's lovingly peppered with lifestyle and food posts.

I am most inspired by simple spaces that have evolved, or speak of their owner's creativity. I also adore old homes and antiques, possibly because I am from Mangalore, and my decor sensibilities are highly influenced by the colonial style of architecture that I was exposed to, growing up.

Do spend some time reading my posts. I have a search feature right at the top, that lets you search within this blog. I have also made separate drop down lists of my home tours, book reviews and the carnivals that we have hosted here.

I would love to hear from you. Email me your home pics, or DIY ideas to

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