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.
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:
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)
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)
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.. )
French toast with maple syrup and crispy bacon ( a winner every time and difficult for most to destroy)
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.
Many of us may be sick and tired of boring old beige but apparently it’s still the safe shades of oyster, stone and cream that remain the nation’s favourites. Which is sad because although people are scared of making mistakes with colour, bland interiors can be very uninteresting. So let’s have less of the snoring boring and more of the creative colouring. And when it comes to adding colour to your home here’s our to top 5 favourite tips collected from some of our favourite British interior designers:
Be free and full of gay abandon the it comes to colour. Why stick to one colour palette? Look at nature for inspirational colour combos: take the happy and uplifting greens and lilacs in the Spring, or bright blue skies at sunset splashed with vivid oranges and reds. Colour will make your home more interesting and add intrigue to your interiors.
Experiment. See what works for you. Deep reds create warmth and a convivial atmosphere. Blues are relaxing and perfect for bathrooms, bedrooms and wherever else in your home you head to unwind. Dark greys and blacks create glamour and sophistication and purples lend a luxurious feel too. And green is smart, harmonious, lush and hopeful and in the bedroom it’s fabulous combined with pink.
Why are ceilings always white? Try painting them the same colour as your walls. Your walls will look less stumpy and it will help create that stunning, sumptuous atmosphere you’re looking for.
If you’ve reservations about splashing colour across your walls (and ceilings) then why not simply add a spot of colour with accessories instead? Think bold lampshades, patterned throws, rugs, and colourful cushions and bowls. It’s fun and it’s the small touches that create instant personality and tell your story.
Remember when it comes to accessories, make sure you combine the old with the new. All new looks generic and lacks character. Small vintage touches gives your home spirit. Be bold..and have fun with your home!
There’s currently 25% off our colourful recycled bowls and trays until Sunday 26th February 2017. Simply use the voucher code africa1 when you shop with us at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk.
We’re not the biggest gift givers at ibbi but we do love a Mother’s Day treat! So just in case you’re struggling to find a small something to help you celebrate on March 6th, here’s a few suggestions. We’ve chosen some of our favourite products with interesting stories, all made by artisans in marginalised communities, who we like to support. Read on for a bit of ibbi inspiration..
Why not look at:
Our hand painted espresso cups: they’re pretty, available in lots of gorgeous colours, have come all the way from South Africa and because they’re hand painted, each is unique. March 6th is definitely the day to ditch the old cracked mug with amusing slogan and serve the first delicious cup of coffee of the day in something seriously pretty!
Our metal trays: have a look at our amazing quirky metal trays. They’re available in different colours and sizes, they’re fair trade and hand crafted in Morocco, right on the edge of the Sahara. They’re stylish, unique and pretty indestructible too! Pop coffee, hot croissants, the Sunday papers and a small bunch of something handpicked from the garden on to one of these and your perfect start to Mother’s Day will be sorted.
Our baskets: our beautiful fair trade Kiondo sisal baskets from Kenya are always a hit. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and they’re great for those endless bits and bobs we all seem to have. Ideal for storing veggies, wooden spoons and spatulas in the kitchen, cotton wool balls in the bathroom. house keys, car keys, dog treats. dog leads, waste paper, kindling, endless toiletries..in fact you name it and our baskets will sort it.
Our hand painted ceramic bottles: they’re perfect for oils or great simply as stand alone decorative accessories. They look stunning when grouped together and will give your window sill, kitchen island or dining table a beautiful splash of colour!
A framed photo: whether it’s of you, the kids or your beautiful pets, a framed photograph is always special. And as we’re always looking for products with a story we especially love our recycled metal photo frames which have been a firm ibbi favourite since we discovered them last year. Lots of colours and sizes available and they look particularly good grouped together to create a stylish gallery on any wall space. So: wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, have a great day on the 6th and Happy Mother’s Day from us all! And remember, we’ve 20% off until March 6 2016. Simply use the voucher code: mum
Our new hand crafted, hand painted ‘Frilly’ jugs have just arrived from our favourite pottery in South Africa and they’re selling fast. We thought they’d make good pressies this Christmas and you seem to think so too! They’re perfect for your milk or winter warming custard. Or why not use as a vase: they look so pretty filled with festive flowers on your breakfast table too. Each jug is unique and there’s lots of colours to choose from.
In the republic of Senegal on the West African coast, communities are becoming increasingly creative when it comes to matters of recycling. Orange peel is used to create perfume. Cola, coffee and beer cans are used to create a whole host of home accessories including mirrors and ashtrays. And apparently there are even dancers just over the border in Mali who make costumes from them. Metals are constantly being recrafted in so many beautiful ways and at ibbi right now we are thrilled to be able to bring you a fabulous new collection of metal bowls from Senegal, made from creatively recycled oil drums. These highly polished beauties come in a vast range of gorgeous colours and each one is unique. Seriously, no two bowls are the same. We think they look wonderful on coffee tables and in hallways, piled high with Christmas pine cones, walnuts or delicious tangerines and they make perfect presents if you are looking for something slightly different. We hope you like them too.
We found these men’s belts in Peru recently and couldn’t resist them! Made from finest alpaca, each belt is a unique piece of craftsmanship. Peruvian artisans located in the Andes are using traditional embroidery and weaving methods to create beautiful ranges of contemporary accessories in both vibrant and subdued hues.