handmade

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.

 

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

 

 

A Good Night’s Sleep. Not As Easy As It Sounds..

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It may be essential for energy, health and a lifetime of happiness but getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. When it comes to proper shut eye, we all know we’re supposed get plenty of good sleep and avoid snoozing, but sadly for most of us it’s not always easy.. and often, the harder you try to still your mind and count the sheep, the worse it gets. So read on: perhaps some, or all of the following, may just help you get a better night’s sleep:

  1. Sniff lavender: the calming scent will help you relax and bring on the zzzzzs by decreasing your heart rate and your blood pressure. And keep it dark: if your bedroom’s not a pitch black place then find a comfortable eye mask and block out any annoying light
  2. Limit your caffeine intake after 3pm and if you can, steer well clear of it after 12. Easier said than done!
  3. Eat 3 hours before you plan to head to bed. Sleep’s not easy if you’re too full or too hungry
  4. Meditate: still your mind, switch off your brain
  5. Switch off your screens too: no phones, no laptops. Light emitting from screens apparently can disrupt the production of melatonin and ruin your sleep
  6. Exercise: it will definitely help you sleep more soundly
  7. Read a good book to still your mind: let your brain know it’s time to unwind
  8. De stress, stretch out, try some yoga or simply try some progressive muscle relaxation once you’re tucked up in bed: clench your muscles for a few seconds then relax. Start at your toes and work your way up!
  9. Keep fluffy pets out of the bedroom..not easy for some..but the fewer late night disturbances the better..
  10. Last but not least: have a hot bath before bed: raise your body temperature  a degree or two and then keep your bedroom cool (around 60 degrees is ideal). Throw the window open, keep your hands and feet warm (wear socks if necessary) and keep the bedding light. A cotton sheet and a cotton quilt is great..it keeps you more comfortable and feels fabulous against your skin too.

Sleep well… And Happy Valentines Day!

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All ibbi pure Indian cotton hand block printed quilts and throws are now 25% off until Sunday 19th February 2017.

ibbi block printed eye masks arrive this Spring.

http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

 

New Arrivals From Africa

IMG_9633At ibbi we love our products: they’re not only beautiful but they all have stories to tell. And our new collections of Kiondo baskets from the weaving groups in Kasigau, Kenya are no exception. By buying these products which have been created by small scale crafts people, you’re helping to uplift communities, create employment and support sustainability. The arid rural area of Kasigau is home to many talented weaving groups. Most of the weavers are women, who tend to be the main breadwinners for their families. Their primary source of income is through subsistence farming but when the rains are late or don’t come at all, it is devastating for them. Creating alternative revenue streams through practices such as weaving is therefore of the utmost importance. We are so pleased to be supporting these extraordinary people through trade in a very small way. Every basket created is entirely unique in colour, size and pattern. No two are ever the same. Kiondo baskets add a fabulous splash of colour to your home. They make great Christmas gifts and are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms: store your spatulas and spoons, decant your veggies and fill them to the brim with your bathroom bits!

Available very soon at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk or get in touch with us at info@ibbidirect.co.uk if you’d like to discuss . We love hearing from you!