ibbi: Fresh Thinking, Summer Style

 

Brimming with beautiful, bright colours, our latest collections are all about a V E R Y relaxed Summer style. We’ve lots of lovely outdoor ideas, from butterfly chairs, vintage throws, gloriously embroidered cushions, storm lanterns and stunning ceramic tableware, to authentic Rajasthani day beds and fire bowls (now they’re THE ideal gift for Father’s Day and the perfect accessory for a Summer in the garden). Embrace the eclectic! Take a look at what’s new..

http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

Celebrating The Start Of Summer

 

 

 

 

Today officially marks the start of Summer: a great time to refresh and add some colour to your home. So if you’re searching for seasonal accessories to brighten your outdoor or indoor space then hunt no more: our collection of hand block printed homewares will have you dreaming of long lazy, hazy Summer days and they’re perfect for adding a touch of hand crafted beauty to any interior. Mixing and matching block print with textiles of different colours and textures creates an individual, relaxed style. Our block printed products are created for us in Jaipur using traditional block printing techniques (as tried and tested by ibbi co-founders Eliza and Anna on their travels through Rajasthan earlier this year!)  If you love our table linen, quilts and home accessories then we thought you might like to see a little about how they are made:

ibbi co-founder Eliza: block printing in Jaipur

And ibbi co-founder Anna block printing too!

 

The process of block printing has been practiced in Rajasthan for over 500 years, introduced by the Chhipa community from the village of Bagru, an area now famous for its vegetable dye block printing. The physical Sheesham wooden blocks are meticulously carved by hand, with each colour in the design carved in a separate block. The outline block or the ‘rekh’ is usually the most intricate. Once the colours have been chosen and have been poured in to wooden trays, the process of stamping the pattern on to the stretched cotton fabric begins. Each colour pattern is stamped on to the fabric individually by the Printing Master and the tiny irregularities, the subtle gaps or overlaps are a beautiful reminder of the intricate process of creating this iconic product. The block printing villages are renowned for the rhythmic ‘tock-tock’ sound of the wood blocks stamping patterns on to fabric. A wonderful reminder to all visitors of the significance of this stunning artisan work.

Sheesham wood blocks

 

Our block printed napkins have arrived!

 

ibbi Block printed accessories: all made in Jaipur and available at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

Our thanks to Mehera Shaw for additional information.

 

Beautiful, Relaxed Spring Dining: And Wishing You A Very Happy Easter

It’s almost Easter and with all this glorious Spring sunshine we’re getting ready for a long weekend of celebrations. We hope you have a fabulous Easter! At ibbi, we’ll be:

  1. Eating: freshly baked hot cross buns, straight from the oven. Too mouthwateringly droolingly good for words (and possibly the only thing better than choccie eggs at Easter?)
  2. Shopping: because who doesn’t love an Easter offer! and happy news: some of our absolute personal favourites will be up to 50% off this Easter so you’ll  be able to add a splash of cool colour to your home for less!
  3. Decorating: we’ll adorn our Easter table with all things simple and beautiful: bunches of fresh Spring flowers picked straight from the garden, pretty painted ceramic bowls piled high with choccie eggs, lots and lots of colourful candles and lanterns too with small tea lights (candlelight wins every time) . We’ll merrily mix and match our table linen to create a beautiful individual dining style. Plain linens and block prints go beautifully together. It’s the small details that can have the greatest impact. You really don’t have to think big at all. Mix it up every time.
  4. Drinking: Orange and Rosemary Mimosas (delicious for Easter: make a syrup from sugar and water and then add rosemary sprigs and orange peel..allow to cool. Add a splash of fresh lime and a squeeze of orange juice to the strained syrup and add to chilled prosecco. Garnish with rosemary and a twist of orange and lime peel. Simply too good!)
  5. Going: absolutely nowhere. Isn’t it great to stay put if you can? Enjoy some wonderful home time with family and friends. You can even encourage them to help you dig the garden too!

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Pictured: Hand painted ceramics from £12, colourful candles £2 each, inlay candle holders from £17, block printed napkins £20 for a pack of 5. Check out our glass and brass lanterns too: from £9.95. All available at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

Why You Should Covet A Kantha

We talk about our love of kantha a lot at ibbi: and what’s not to love! Kantha quilts, kantha throws, kantha blankets, kantha cushions..they’re all truly unique vintage goodies, made in the brightest happy colours: timeless textiles to treasure forever. So what makes them so special?

Kantha is a type of Bengali embroidered quilt- the word kantha refers to a running stitch which has been widely used in Bangladesh and West Bengal for centuries. Our Kantha throws honour ancient traditions, using layer upon layer of softest,  time worn saris which are carefully stitched together with close rows of delicate running stitch. Each kantha is fully reversible and a labour of love, with quilts taking between 45 and 50 hours to create. And how to use? Well here are just a few suggestions and a few reasons why you should covet a kantha:

Kanthas are made to lay, drape and fold: and as they’re made from pure cotton they make the most spectacular bed blankets, adding fabulous colour to any neutral sleep space. Kanthas are made for sofas too: drape over the arm of your sofa or tuck in around the seat cushions for an instant new upholstered look

Whether you’re dining indoors or al fresco, kanthas make the very best tablecloths ( they’re pure cotton so easy to maintain). Blues are beautiful for Spring and Summer and reds are perfect for festive tables. Thicker kanthas make the best picnic rugs around. For small dark corners of your home, simply drape a small kantha over a side table, add leafy plants or bright vases of fresh cut flowers and dull corners will be transformed

If you’re a whizz with the sewing machine (or know a friendly seamstress) kanthas made the prettiest cushions and because they’re fully reversible you’ll have two stunning designs to choose from. Kanthas are perfect for small cushions for your bed or sofa and they make great floor cushions for teenage/student rooms. We also love to use kantha to upholster footstools: they make perfect statement pieces to suit any home, whether your preferred style be traditional or modern.

Just take one look at the stunning stitching that goes in to every vintage kantha throw and you’ll realise why they should be reassuringly expensive. They should have a good weight to them too: ours are made from 6-8 layers of sari cloth which means they’re super warm but not overly bulky.

To see more, take a peek at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

When it comes to Mother’s Day we all know what makes us melt: the little things, every time. Give us the handmade card with scrawled message, the wee gift or the bunch of flowers picked straight from the garden and we’re made up. What is slightly more controversial is the whole breakfast in bed issue. For many the very thought of scratchy toast bits between the sheets leaves us in a cold sweat. But we ibbi co-founders (Anna, Eliza and Claire)  are all huge fans of this kindest of gestures and so as we approach Mothering Sunday, we thought we’d celebrate in-bed eating by sharing some of our favourite breakfasts in bed. And if it’s served on a wobbly tray swilling with spilt tea, orange juice, fruit smoothie or possibly all three, then all the better. Here’s what we love: our top 5:

 

  1. Blueberry Bircher muesli, made with greek yoghurt, rolled oats, coarsely grated apple, hazelnuts, blueberries, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. (Anna’s favourite, which she would like followed by deliciously fresh sour dough toast and homemade marmalade and a pot of piping hot coffee. She’d also like her laptop, her Fitbit and The Sunday Times and Telegraph)
  2. Smoked salmon with avocado on rye with lots and lots of lemon juice and cracked black pepper (for Claire, plus lots of coffee and the Archers omnibus)
  3. Nutella stuffed crepes and a pot of fresh mint tea. (for Eliza..plus lots of peace, so she can finish reading her current favourite book: Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf.. and all the Sunday papers, plus the dogs walked.. and the hens fed.. )
  4. French toast with maple syrup and crispy bacon ( a winner every time and difficult for most to destroy)
  5. Strawberry basil bruschetta on toasted baguette, spread with greek yoghurt, chopped strawberries and fresh basil, finished with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and lots of black pepper (delicious but comes with a severe crumb warning)

So Happy Mother’s day! Enjoy breakfast. Enjoy your day. And good luck with those crunchy crumbs.

W’ve a gorgeous selection of hand crafted gifts for Mother’s Day at ibbi: take a peek: http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

 

 

Hand painted ramekins: £12 each

 

 

 

Beaded keyrings from Rajasthan in vibrant colours: £9 each

 

Frilly jugs £28. Our perfect pourers. Beautiful filled with fresh Spring flowers too

 

Hand painted espresso cups: £25

Celebrating International Women’s Day: March 8th 2017

International Women’s Day on March 8th celebrates the social and cultural achievements of women around the world. Thank you to just some of the many outstanding women who are responsible for creating and supplying us with such beautiful products. It is a pleasure to work with you all. We thought you may like to meet just a few of them:

NARIEMAN AND CHRIS

 

Narieman and Chris: creators of our favourite ceramic tableware

Narieman and Chris: creators of our favourite ceramic tableware

Founder Chris and her right hand woman Narieman are the very heart and soul of our favourite pottery in South Africa. They work tirelessly to create our best selling hand painted ceramic tableware collections, ensuring every individual bowl, cup and platter we receive is a beautiful work of art. Their sense of colour, design and form is inspirational and the pottery’s refined decorative creations, which reflect the flora of the Cape, are loved by all. Huge thanks to all at the pottery. It is our absolute pleasure working with you.

DEEPTI

Deepti: designer of our spectacular soft kantha throws

Deepti: designer of our spectacular soft kantha throws

In the heart of Jaipur, Deepti and her team work tirelessly to source the very finest vintage saris which they use to create our stunning kantha throws. Deepti is a perfectionist and is renowned and respected for her creative energy, her appreciation of design and her great use of colour, pattern and texture.

FIONA CAULFIELD

Fiona Caulfield: author of the 'Love Travel' guides

Fiona Caulfield: author of the ‘Love Travel’ guides

Fiona is an avid traveller and the writer of the fabulous “Love Travel’ guides to India. These are essential reads for those who travel to India in search of the authentic and long for local recommendations that stray from the tired tourist path. We live by them! Her travel brand is committed to conscious travel too and Fiona promotes a number of socially and environmentally sustainable organisations in her guides, as well as contributing a percentage of the profits to assist these groups. A craft organisation in Bangalore that has a livelihood programme teaching block printing skills to underprivileged women is just one of her many recent recipients. We are delighted to be stocking Fiona’s guides.

VRATIKA

Beautiful, bubbly Vratika works with her family who own a wonderful emporium on a dusty road on the outskirts of Jaipur. It is a treasure trove of textiles and authentic old tribal pieces, antique fabrics and rich embroideries. Nothing is ever too much trouble for Vratika and we love visiting her and working together. An amazing source of old and new textiles, vibrant new kanthas, embroideries and all manner of locally crafted colourful embellishments.

Vratika: in her family emporium, Jaipur

 

 

To our incredible suppliers: A very Happy International Women’s Day to you all.

Take a peek at more of their stunning collections: head to http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

 

 

Safe Travels In India: Our Top Tips For First Timers

unspecified-949 unspecified-948 unspecified-947 unspecified-945 Breathtaking, beautiful, bamboozling India: a country where we spend many glorious weeks each year, meeting with our suppliers and discussing our various product ranges. Spring is such an amazing time to visit India, so just in case you’re heading off there for the first time sometime soon, we thought we’d share out top five travel tips which have been so helpful to us over the years. It can be an overwhelming, sometimes daunting place to visit..but it’s magical too. Read on..

  1. Be realistic about what you can achieve during your trip and don’t try to cram too much in to your visit. Seeing places slowly means you’re less stressed and you’ll gain a far greater, deeper understanding of the land and its people.
  2. An iron clad constitution you may well have, but remember the tap water is never ever safe for drinking. Bottled is always best ( avoid singing in the shower too). And play safe by only eating fruits that you’ve peeled yourself. Avoid salad and ice cream too. And if you do have issues..and need to rehydrate.. remember it’s half a level teaspoon of salt and 6 level teaspoons sugar to 1 litre of clean water.
  3. Hand sanitiser is a great idea and use frequently particularly after climbing in and out of cars and tuk tuts or after handling money.
  4. We always stick to a pure vegetarian diet when we’re in India. Not only is it unbelievably delicious but undercooked veg is never going to be quite as harmful as undercooked meat. If you’re eating out head to the restaurants or street stalls that are heaving with locals (always the best barometer as far as hygiene standards go)
  5. Be courteous and always ask permission before taking someone’s photograph. More often than not the subject will be extremely jovial and highly delighted with your request..but not always. Frustrations boil up easily in India.. but so often can be avoided.

So there we go! And our final tip: check out Fiona Caulfield’s ‘Love Travel’ guides. We live by them. Each book is cloth bound and hand made in India and is essential reading for any visitor planning a trip to India. These guides detail all manner of local recommendations far from the tired tourist path. For those who search for the authentic.

Fiona’s Love Travel guides are available now at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

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Fiona Caulfield’s ‘Love Travel’ guides. Essential reading for those heading to India.