Lily and Hopie Stockman have brought together centuries-old textile printing techniques and modern Californian aesthete to create Block Shop Textiles.
Here is a peek into the beautiful process –
Lily and Hopie’s designs are hand carved onto Sisam wood blocks by master carvers in Bagru. The fabric is prepared for printing by being soaked in a bath of harda, a natural mordant from the myrobalan nut, which helps the natural dyes bind to the fibers of the fabric.
A master printer dips the wooden printing block in a dye tray, then stamps the block on the fabric with a hard pound of the fist. This will be repeated from left to right, aligning the blocks perfectly by eye from years of experience.
The printed fabric fashioned into scarves or pillows are hung from roofs in the communal drying field and left to fix in the sun for up to three days. They are then boiled in a large copper pot in a bath of alum and dried flowers for softness and colorfastness.
Shop their collection of scarves and pillows here.
YSL’s ‘Baby Doll’ Mascara is quite worthy of it’s cult status. A single stroke is enough to make your eyes appear bigger and give them a doe-like appearance. It’s so effective that at times this is all the make-up you will need.
Mysore, the erstwhile capital of Karnataka is a well-planned city with wide, clean roads, expansive gardens and stunning colonial architecture.
Places to see
Mysore Palace – The beauty of the illuminated Amba Vilas Palace in Dasara is beyond compare; All the beautiful streets of Mysore lead to the Palace and are decorated to form a capricious canopy of lights.
Kukkarahalli Lake – Located close to Mysore University, Kukkarahalli lake was created in 1864 by Krishnaraja Wadiyar to provide irrigation for land beyond the city. The lake is a treat for birdwatchers, over 176 birds migrate to the lake for a winter roost.
Place to stay
La Villa – Created by Patrice Avossa and Magoo Bourgoin, a former artist at Yves Saint Laurent, Paris – La Villa is an elegant bungalow in the midst of a well-loved garden and the place to stay when in Mysore.
Places to eat
The Old House – All the wood-fired oven pizzas on the menu are delicious and are a must-have. Watch the turtle swim in the pond while you wait for your pizza.
Just Gelato – The proprietors of the gelateria have learnt the craft in Italy and bring you rich, creamy, flavourful gelato in unique flavours. Do not forget to pack flaxseed chocolate brownies for the road.
Lalith Mahal Palace – The stunning baroque dining room is a treat to the senses, as is the delicious Dasara Thali. You can also partake in afternoon tea and explore the lovely garden.
The Green Hotel – The former Chittaranjan palace built for Mysore princesses is now a not-for-profit, eco-conscious hotel. The staff are wonderful and justly complement the understated charm. A wonderful place for breakfast, the rich aroma of freshly baked bread greets you as you walk in.
Places to shop
KSIC Mysore Silk – Resplendent Mysore silk sarees are woven with pure gold/silver and make wonderful keepsakes.
Oriental Arts – This antique store is a wonderful place to buy lithographs and fine china.
Would you like to know the unique essence of Mysore? Here is a hint.
Goa is lush and verdant in the monsoons; It’s a wonderful time to experience the beautiful countryside, traditional Portuguese architecture and the near empty beaches.
It is also the perfect time to enjoy delicious and fiery Goan cuisine in traditional Goan establishments.
Places to Eat
Ritz Classic, Panaji
The lunch thali here is not to be missed. The servings of fried fish, mussels, prawn and fish curry are fresh and delicious.
Cafe Venite, Panaji
This eatery has a wonderful, bohemian vibe, great music and flavoursome Goan seafood platters.
Cafe Baba au Rhum, Anjuna
‘Baba au Rhum’ is a quiet cafe run by a frenchman, Leo Michaud and his wife, Dayini Michaud. They make delectable chocolate croissants (pain du chocolat).
‘Curlies’ has a beautiful view and is a great place to unwind over a refreshing ‘Virgin Mary’.
The Best Beaches
This easily-accessible, white-sand beach is clean and free of litter.
The cove at the end of the beach is safe for swimming and always manned by lifeguards.
The beach for spectacular sunsets and long walks.
Two Forts and a Church
Immaculate Conception Church, Panaji
The striking church is a rite of passage for all Goan tourists and is always crowded. The best way to enjoy the lively promenade is to set oneself up on a bench facing the church and talk to old Goans about times gone past.
Fort Aguada and Fort Chapora
The scenic route flanked by luxuriant paddy fields and breathtaking views at the top of the forts make it a worthy addition to any travel itinerary.
Places to Shop
Wendell Rodricks, Campal
The flagship store in Campal stocks a great selection of linen prêt wear; Perfect for the Goan weather. They also have minimalistic yet elegant evening wear, the likes of which only Wendell Rodricks can create.
Look carefully and you will find wonderfully designed wrapping paper.
I visited the Jurong Bird Park and found it deserted, except for the beautiful birds and their caretakers. Enjoying the surprising calm and wary of the setting sun, I hurried along to take in as much as I could in the pouring rain.
Trudging along the rainforest, close to the spectacular 100-ft Jurong waterfall, I heard a voice saying ‘Hello’. I turned around and there was no one; I moved along even faster!
Then I noticed a beautiful black bird following my path; He would swoop ahead of me and I would hear a ‘Hello’.
I skeptically greeted him back and there it was again, a ‘Hello’ from the bird himself. Having made my acquaintance, he accompanied me around – hovering to match my pace, allowed me to feed him a papaya and even take his pictures while he peered curiously at me.
It was a magical afternoon and one I won’t forget too soon.