Stories

Birds of Prayer Dancing in Stone : The Fatehpur Collection

Birds of Prayer Dancing in Stone : The Fatehpur Collection

Fatepur Sikri, built by the Emperor Akbar, was the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. I’ve probably been to Fatepur Sikri (about 35km from the Taj Mahal) more times than my relatives in India combined. Each time I notice something different. When I was a little girl, I noticed my mom and aunts preferred talking to running. As an adult, I realized I took my frequent visits for granted. As an architect with my architect husband, I paid attention to the layout and function. As a mother, I wondered what my children were seeing and I saw...

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Girl Talk: An Epic Virtual Event With POPSUGAR, Michelle Obama, and the Girls Opportunity Alliance

Girl Talk: An Epic Virtual Event With POPSUGAR, Michelle Obama, and the Girls Opportunity Alliance

I grew up in the in 70’s and 80’s in Illinois. My mom was a dedicated homemaker with four children and taught me everything she could to prepare me for the world. Because of her, I cook delicious food, speak and perform publicly, learn eagerly, dote on my children, value cleanliness, make things by hand, speak Hindi and know how to put on a sari. One step from home and I was in a different world. Inside my house was India, but outside was America. Mainstream TV was like watching a foreign film. Other girls were looking up to Mary...

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Art Deco Earrings for Post-Pandemic Partying

Art Deco Earrings for Post-Pandemic Partying

As news trickles in about the end of our isolation, I continue last week’s design inspiration story for Artem Deco Earrings. Art Deco was style of art and architecture influenced by geometric patterns in ancient art and came to represent the possibilities of the future. The style grew in popularity in Europe and the US in the 1920’s. These were the years following the pandemic of 1918, which killed 50 million people, 675,000 in the US. Look familiar? Stewart and Holmes Wholesale Drug Co. employees on 3rd Avenue during the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic. (University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, SOC0394)...

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Art Deco Earrings and International Inspiration

Art Deco Earrings and International Inspiration

A simple diamond shaped pattern may not seem unusual. It is so familiar we instantly recognize it. We take it for granted. The first time I paid attention to this pattern was at our first stop on a much anticipated family trip to NYC when I was 15, Radio City Music Hall. Built in 1932, the building is a shining example of Art Deco architecture- sleek, streamlined, machine-like, modern.  In the lower level lobby, we were shown circular seating which prevented people from facing each other and therefore keeping quiet. The guide pointed out the diamond shaped pattern in the...

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St. Valentine and Heart Shaped Birth Control

St. Valentine and Heart Shaped Birth Control

Valentine’s Day. I’m a real fan of love and romance thanks to watching Room With A View at the impressionable age of 14. (I also fell in love with Florence but that needs its own post or five). As I age and I see heart-shaped dog pillows and college girls in mini-skirts and heels climb through snow banks on a date, Valentine’s Day seems ridiculous. But that may be appropriate. The ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia was celebrated from Feb. 13th to 15th. Men would go into the cave where Remus and Romulus, the founders of Rome, suckled on the...

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How an Indian Woman gets through Winter

How an Indian Woman gets through Winter

I am currently reading Wintering by Katherine May. It is about downtime in hard times and isolation as an opportunity. I look forward to it every night. At this point the book feels like a friend comforting me. And unlike with my friends, I can touch the book. I learned of Wintering from my friend Nitasha Manchanda, a voracious podcast listener and producer. Nitasha is the creator and host of The Indian Edit podcast where she talks to innovators in design, culture and entrepreneurship building a creative bridge to India. She lives the multi-cultural life many of us do -...

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