Friday, May 18, 2018

Sherline's Sari Style: Inspired by art & worn with boho-panache

Hello Sari/Saree-loving ladies! Today, we have sari style with an interesting twist.  Sherline Pimenta, a storyteller and Lush Green Wellness member (check out da community – you won’t be disappointed), shares a fun, fuss-free drape with us. 

Here’s what she has to say:

Sherline says:

“This is all about the Sari drape that I've been flaunting:).

The story behind the drape is a simple design problem that I faced.

I am a storyteller and I need to have both my hands free as gesturing is an important component of narrating oral stories. I am also a lover of saris and wanted to use it as my trademark costume for my storytelling sessions.

In the most common way of draping a sari the pallu is left hanging over the left shoulder. This did not allow me to use my hands as freely as I wanted to so I looked at alternative ways of draping the sari.

The other issue was the blouse, I have been losing weight and gaining weight so my blouses just don't seem to fit me well. So I was looking for something that does not show the blouse too much.

Additionally, since I am a performer, I will have people looking at me and I get very conscious if my midriff or cleavage shows.  So all in all i wanted a one step solution to all the above.”

Inspired by art: Explains Sherline, “I was familiar with the traditional Kerala manner of draping the sari through the Raja Ravi Varma paintings. I understood that it is actually a two piece sari that is employed in the Kerala style. I liked that style and I really would have even given up the blouse but alas I am not that daring. So I tried to do the best I could with what I had.”

How to wear this drape: “My sari is the normal 5 yard one. My blouse is a crop top. You could use your regular sari blouse or a T shirt or a crop top. Just keep in mind if the sari is transparent the blouse will be seen and therefore you would want to choose wisely what would look good even underneath the sari.

For draping you begin like the normal sari drape, when you get to the pleats, instead of bunching up all the pleats in the center you spread them out over the front half of your body, kind of like a skirt. This will give you a skirt like volume beneath the pallu.

For the pallu, take it around you body like you would in a normal sari, the side that comes to your left shoulder you hold a bit of the material in your left hand against the front left side of your chest. Pull up the rest of the pallu from behind you and underneath your right arm. Leave about 8 inches of material free from the pallu end of your sari and grab the upper side of the saree into a bunch to be united with the material you are holding in your left hand and tie into a comfortably tight knot. 

Then go to the leftover 8 inches of the pallu that is hanging down in front  on your left side, pleat it up and pull up the tip and tuck it over the knot to mask it. Spread the top corner into a neat little triangle. Arrange the pallu pleat like a waterfall pallu, to give it a nice fall. And viola, you are done. :)”

Work in progress: “Please note this style of draping the sari is my work in progress, while I am pretty happy with the "handsfree part" I am not totally happy with the way the pallu falls in the front. I need to experiment a bit more. Also I have been using cotton saris, I have yet to see how silk with behave.
On the positive side, I've not used a single safety pin and I am glad because i do it like the holes them make in my precious saris; but on the other hand I have to deal with the sari material getting pulled into a knot.

Every part of me was covered & no cleavage showing, the focus is totally on the sari rather than the blouse :) so yes I am happy with my solution!

Well that's all I have to share about my sari draping style :)”

Thank you, Sherline, for sharing this drape and style with us.

Do you have an interesting drape to share with us? Leave a comment below with a sentence about your drape and your email add, and we’ll get back to you.

Also, don’t forget to grab a free copy of our e-book ‘Everyday Sari Style’ by signing up for blog updates.

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Hungry for more posts? Hop over to Gorgeous Girls go Green – our sister website. She truly is gorgeous and packed with green wellness articles for women (it's win-win for the reader). Here's the web magazine link.

#saristyle #sareestyle #sareechic #bohosaree #FashionFriday 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Work-from-home Fauji Wife – 5 Beginner Issues & How To Crack It

For every feisty fauji wife/military spouse entrepreneur I meet – the ones who make working-from-home work for them through the thick and thin of fauji life, I meet 10 others who are equally qualified and super talented but are not sure how to turn their talents into a viable career. The question is, whether working-from-home or military spouse entrepreneurship can be made to fit into our already buzzing fauji life and how to go about doing it.

Can one set aside time to carve out a career while also hosting Ladies’ Clubs, welfare meets, coffee mornings, weekend parties, beerings and breakfasts?
Is working-from-home easy or difficult? Is it worth giving a shot?

These are a lot of questions, but let me zero down on the first step - how to hack through the beginner issues of working-from-home and get down to business.

Let me begin by the quickly outlining the common issues that many fauji ladies face while taking the work-at-home/entrepreneurial decision & how to find come up with viable solutions:

1. Issue: “How do I know what I should do from a back-of-beyond place (because I can’t find anything to fit my college degrees) or where do I start looking?”

Crack it: Make a list of your strengths and hobbies and interests. What floats your boat? For me it’s writing and green living & women’s wellness. For you, it might be art, craft, fashion, counseling, baking, teaching or designing. Do a quick online search to see what kind of entrepreneurial careers can be fashioned out of these. Would you like to exhibit your art or sell within your community (a lot of my friends do this); can you take permission to create a baking business from home (I’ve seen this too); would you enjoy teaching online (this is getting popular); or, working with a karigar to create your own jewellery range (a friend had a home-based silver business)? Pick out one or two ways that you can work with a talent or qualification to set something up for yourself.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Fort Kesroli - A Queen-size Holiday

As the summer see-saws between mind-numbing heat and raging storms, I yearn to escape the dusty furnace that this big, jammed-with-traffic city has become. 

I want to go to the hills with its lush forests and slower pace, bright sunshine and rolling breeze. We live in a huge apartment society with too many flats and lots of concrete; an island set amidst rivers of busy roads. If there’s anything I crave right now, it’s to sit on a patch of fresh green grass, listening to the birds (the only birds here are flocks and flocks of pooping pigeons) and the rustling of leaves.

But I’m not sure whether a holiday, even a teeny-tiny one, is on the cards. Not everyone in our house works from home, and so, out of the schedule holidays are hard to come by. So, the best I can do is escape into photographs of faraway lands that we traveled to this February, and create an imaginary holiday for myself.

Earlier in the year, we traveled to Fort Kesroli, right outside Alwar. Set on a small hillock, amidst dwellings of the local people and surrounded by a patchwork quilt of fields, Kesroli is designed like a fort, but is small enough to pass of as a haveli. Once upon a time it belonged to a jagirdar, but now it’s under the luxurious care of the Neemrana Hotels.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fauji Wife Sari Style - Standing Out In That Regiment/Squadron Sari

Earlier, when I’d hear about ladies of entire (fauji) units wearing the exact same sari, I’d roll my eyes and wonder why anyone would want to turn up in the same thing? I mean, why 'uniformalize' the sari for a party, even a super special party? (Ah! do wait...the gorgeous photos will change your mind.)

Photo credit: Strand of Silk

Over the years, I’ve seen ladies of units place an order for and dress in saris for official occasion that represent their unit colors (example: red & gold, or blue & white, black & gold), and the impact has been stunning. Instead of blending in, ladies decked up in that same shade of sari, stand out and proudly so. Wearing the same sari on a planned date generally takes place when there is something momentous happening for that particular unit – like a Raising Day function or a jubilee celebration, or sometimes even when the ladies are hosting a Ladies Club event (monthly evening get-togethers hosted by ladies of a particular unit and often with a theme).

Today, thanks to my fauji lady friends, I’m sharing some of their photographs.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Brigade That Builds Brands: Meet Artist & Air Force Wife Monishikha RoyChoudhury

We're back with another interview from the 'Brigade That Builds Brands' series. It's all about fauji wives / military spouses, who make work work for them through multiple postings, back-to-back social commitments, spotty internet connections, long stints of single parenting, community mindset regarding how military spouses should or should not work and a lot more.

Today, I'm chatting with Engineer-turned-Artist and fellow Air Force wife, Monishikha RoyChoudhury about how she juggles fauji life, motherhood and her art through postings and social commitments.

C. Please tell us something about yourself – what do you do, where are you based and how long have you been a fauji wife.

M. I am a fauji daughter, an Electrical Engineer by profession and an artist by passion. I have been married to an Air Force officer for 14 years now.

C. What has been your business or creative journey been like: how & when did you start your venture?

M. I have always had a passion for sketching but until a few years ago, I regarded it as a hobby only. I began painting two years after getting married, when I saw my mother in law painting .She introduced me to the basics of oil painting, and from there I took wing. A few months down the road however, a long cherished dream came to fruition when against significant odds, I became pregnant.So, I put away my paints so as to keep my baby away from noxious chemicals. 

Once my son was born in July 2009, I returned to blogging and sketching late at night while he slept. By the time he was a year old, I realized that watercolours would afford me the freedom of painting while being around my baby, without having to worry about any potentially toxic fumes. So I jumped in head first into what is mostly known as the most difficult medium of painting, namely watercolours. Thus began a long and happy creative journey of discovery from teaching myself how to paint, onto eventually teaching many a painting class and of late having the confidence to exhibit my work in exhibitions. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Sari Folding - An Art Or A Science?

Hello there sari/saree girls! Today, I'm popping in with a different kind of #sari Friday. Not about style, but about sari humor. Cartoonist and writer, Ramya Sriram shares her take on sari folding through her images. Have you struggled with folding a sari on your own? I sure do :-).

Shares Ramya, "Every time I have worn a saree, I have struggled to get the folding right. I was inspired to draw this comic when I realised that I'd given up and asked my mom for help almost every time. I don't get to wear sarees often, though I do have a small collection that I hope to unleash one day. I adore Sambalpuri weaves and Kalamkari prints."

Posing with an Ethicus saree in Pollachi. Pic: Pravin Shanmughanandam 

Who is Ramya?

"I'm a cartoonist and writer, and I run The Tap ( independently. I currently live in a small town in the UK, and go back to Hyderabad often, where I'm from. I like long train journeys, filter coffee, monsoons and the Western Ghats."

#sari #saree #sareefolding #ramyasriram #saricartoon #saristyle

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

19 Things I Like & Don't Like About The Fauji Wife Life

I’m married to a man in uniform. I’ve also grown up as a ‘fauji brat’ + my uncle and grandfather were men in uniform. And I have this to say: I like a lot of things about the services, but I’m also not totally gaga over it. Like all things in life, there’s always a good and a not-so-good side to every situation, and the same can be said for the service lifestyle.

Here’s what works for me (and what doesn’t work) in my life as a fauji wife/military spouse. 

Disclaimer: Your opinions may differ and this post isn’t meant to offend anyone. However, what I write here is based on what I’ve experienced as I've bumbled along in my ‘career’ as a military spouse.

Here’s my non-sugar-coated list:

What I enjoy about the service lifestyle:

1. Some of my deepest bonds have been built in the services.

2. I love how laughter and light are part of gatherings with friends. Most people in the fauj don’t take themselves too seriously, and that makes our banter lighthearted.
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