My Romanian friend, Andreea Banita, herself a fabulous flower stylist,(take a look at her fabulous arrangements here )told me the other day that it is beautiful to be able to understand the essence of an object that you have or a place you are in and express it in your art or a table setting you create. I cannot agree more ! This way, what you create will never seem contrived . It is all about understanding it–not difficult if you try to look carefully!
The past couple of months I was quite happy gardening, reading, helping my daughter in her makeup studio and watching the violent TV drama, Game of Thrones. I know that I often need a push or a shove to actually start doing something creative. This time my push came from an online craft shop called ‘Artbugs’. They have some nice pieces on sale and I am delighted that I don’t have to travel to Delhi or anywhere to get some nice, artistic objects–I just buy it online and it gets delivered to my doorstep! Take a look at: http://www.artbugs.in/
I found some nice ceramic mugs and bowls on their site (how lucky we are that these days we don’t have to go to an artist’s studio in Delhi or Pondicherry to buy these !) You will find them here—
—and I fell in love with my own blue ceramic mugs all over again.
They go beautifully with the rough clay pot with a money plant and placed on an old, (genuinely) distressed table.
On a bit of prodding by the Artbugs people, I did a table setting with my own mugs. Enjoyed creating it !
A piece of worn wood from an old, dismantled traditional African boat(dhow)–it is actually a tea-light holder made by an artist in Tanzania–seemed to fit well with the organic, handmade mugs-so I used it. If you cannot travel to Africa to get one of these -that was a joke !-make a trip to the local lakri ki taal and get some rough pieces of wood that can act as a stand, a centrepiece for a table or a mat for a hot dish of food. Or forget about the piece of wood and just use three or four mugs from Artbugs or use your own, if you have them.
It was a matter of chance that I collected the last of the Marguerites from our garden today. Most seasonals, except for the desi petunia and nasturtium have almost dried up in our garden. Sad ! You can see and feel the searing Indian summer arriving! But never mind, I just put in Zinias and will add some summer Cosmos. Then we have the fragrant indigenous flowers-the Bela, Juhi and Chameli-these plants are starting to become green and robust, getting ready to flower in May and June- so I will not look at the ‘heat’ part of summer. I will look at the ‘fragrant’ part instead !
So the gardener, Daya Shankar( a very nice man-I am happy he is working for us), and I uprooted the drying Marguerite shrubs this morning and gathered what we could of the flowers. They suited the blue mugs perfectly. I mean, unblemished rose buds from a florist may suit a crystal bowl but a ceramic mug ? Not a chance ! You could easily fill the mugs with sprigs of mint available in the market these days-and it would look gorgeous !
Simple white plates, Indian tea glasses that I love and found on a thela in Aminabad, Lucknow, a jar of green chillies and two empty wine bottles which we now use to hold water and wooden spoons from Africa ( the ubiquitous steel spoons would be fine as well. But it is a great idea to buy some nice wooden spoons from a local craft mela–actually, Artbug could introduce some!)I left the worn dining table without a cloth-
I added cream and green cotton napkins from Fabindia-
The green wine bottles, a jar each of green chillies and salt (reminds me of our friend Kamlesh Pandey- from the Raja of Gonda’s family and a retired IAS officer-his meals are accompanied by green chillies that he dips in salt before biting off a bit each time he takes a bite of food )-
Thank you Artbugs for giving me a push ! And I am happy you sell some pretty objects online !
Take a look at a few more of my ‘tablescapes’ here
Do go ahead and try your own settings — it is a creative exercise and wonderful for the artistic part of your soul !
And tell me if you liked the setting I created..
‘Bye for now !