I design with an architectural aesthetic, who knows, maybe in a past life I was an architect! Both John and I in renovating our circa 1934 row home have tried to preserve the best of it's architectural design and introduce our own creative touches to add interest and folly. We think our cut outs resemble Origami, made with Sheetrock instead of paper.
We created a cut out in our bedroom ceiling in the window soffit just for fun. The Lion is old, it's made of cement and extremely heavy. We purchased him 30 years ago.
Another view of the cut out created in drywall and yes messy work but easy to create.
In our sitting room we changed the angle for a different feel adding interesting architectural detail over the built in bookcases.
Another look at them. In our sitting area upstairs we put up bead board on the ceiling on a diagonal and I pickled/white washed it. Since we opened up the area I wanted to define the space and the bead board does.
We weren't done yet and made another drywall origami detail in the window soffit. What can I say ... I like self expression and sometimes even a glimpse into a culture encourages me to explore, observe and study. I remember watching the Academy best picture award winning 2008 British drama "Slum Dog Millionaire". I was overwhelmed and deeply moved with the story line. For me it was emotionally difficult to comprehend the improvised portrayal of an 8 year old boy living in the slums of Mumbai. Up until the movie I hadn't a clue of the scope of India's poor.
I reflected on it awhile back and wanted to understand how a country rich with splendid beauty, intricately made textiles and breathtaking architecture and unique cuisine could be so diametrically opposed in living conditions. The rich-poor divide. Slums next to multi-million dollar homes and billion dollar hotels. Truth be known more than half of Mumbai's population lives in slums.
“Child mortality [since 2000] is down by 2.65 million a year. That's a rate of 7,256 children's lives saved each day. … It drives me nuts that most people don't seem to know this news.”
I have never been to India but through my armchair studies I have discovered a deep rooted respect for the Indian people. Their jewelry, crafts and textiles evolved through the centuries. Respected artisans like Michael Aram, American born and a designer I admire and collect,has taken his craft based design and set up homes and workshops in New Delhi. Creating handmade pieces from tableware to furniture, all crafted in India Rich metalworking traditions. He has accomplished much in helping out the Indian metal crafts and introducing his modern designs to us all. He is an artisan I truly admire.
My first Michael Aram purchase, from many years ago. I love setting this out with cheese when we entertain. It has a cool tactile feel in the hand from the different metals and always causes pause with people as they stop, look and think.
Not to mention the exquisite textiles of skilled Indian craftspeople. Dyed silks, intricate beading, sequins embellished and embroidered. Intricately crafted textiles which generates huge employment for both skilled and unskilled labor in India's textile trade.
I purchased this vest 20+ years ago! Beaded and dyed and still in perfect condition.
A close up of the beadwork
I am fascinated by India's architecture from centuries ago to modern. The photo above is the Nāga Snake Tower. It is 54 stories high and is known as "Guardians of the City".
This is India's largest temple in southern India. A Hindu temple built in 1987. The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple dedicated to Ranganatha a reclining form of a Hindu deity.
I express myself not only in writing but through my art and my interior design work which always has architectural flair. I leave you today with my poetic short story of young love who were destined to be together. Totally imagined and probably would not of been written if it were not for my boundless curiosity of understanding darma, karma and my continued spiritual journey.
Photo sources: 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9 taken by me, Vera
Photo's 5,10,11,12 Google images
Dawn and Yamir
In New York City, after a night of labor, a girl is born at daybreak's first ray, not a moment too soon.
On the same day nearly 7,800 miles away, a boy in India is born, beneath the bright light of a full moon.
Thus begins the story of Dawn and Yamir, born in diversity of cultures, half the world away.
Dawn an only child will live a privileged lifestyle, but by no means is this meant to sound cliche.
Yamir, the youngest of three is an optimistic, fun loving child who plays Cricket in Old Bombay.
As a Hindu he is taught everyone's divine and you create your own destiny, life dharma he will obey.
Dawn met Yamir at age 13, during a business stay at the Ambassador hotel in India's capital city.
Dad an international banking VP is bringing green growth strategies to areas impoverished and gritty.
It was 1992, 3 years before Bombay would be renamed Mumbai, the worlds most populous town.
A 5 week stay with her parents in India and instantly Dawn spotted Yamir, tall, lean and brown.
Yamir often goes to work with Dad a general manager with the Ambassador hotel employ.
That summer in the world's largest democracy, Dawn fell in love with it's culture, cuisine and a boy.
Serendipity brought Dawn and Yamir together, but that summer foretold their future dreams.
Yamir taught Dawn the game of Cricket where she developed a true appreciation it seems.
While touring the Taj Mahal, Dawn felt a calling to architecture, visiting historic spots everyday.
Her heart embraced the essence of India believing it is where her soul belongs - 7,800 miles away!
Dad accomplished his goal in establishing global financial flow, his work in Bombay was ending.
Dawn never influenced by people's beliefs or ambitions felt Yamir and her union was ascending.
It was then during their tearful and heartfelt parting embrace that Karma sealed their fate,
Although it would be 9 long years for Dawn's return she and Yamir would patiently wait.
Despite all obstacles and diversity these teenagers were destined to experience young love.
Flying back to NYC she committed to memory the horizons sightline from thousand's of feet above.
Over many years of communication there weren't any love letters tied in a satin ribbon bow.
Instead daily emails turned into Skype calls, where they could see each other's face aglow.
Skype allowed them to talk about dreams of a reunion, that they would one day soon share.
Recalling India's sunshine kissing her long golden soft curls living in NYC just didn't compare.
Eventually Yamir became a Batsman and his team won in Cricket's World Cup game.
But it was during London's hosting the World Cup's final, he earned player respect and fame.
Dawn driven by passion attended NYIT school of Architecture and design and earned her degree.
Returning to India and working in sustainable housing design was what and all she could foresee.
After graduating she accepted a junior position with a Mumbai firm designing affordable housing.
The firm is known for home vibrancy and sustainability and to become a protégée was very arousing.
Destiny was bringing her back to India and Yamir for a long awaited loving embrace,
After 9 years, 34 days and 2 minutes Dawn finally will dwell in her beloved chosen land of grace.
Karma is the law of cause and effect and where we create our destiny in thoughts and deeds.
Forever, as in always united, is measured perpetually and everlasting love always succeeds.