Sunday, January 17, 2010

out of the bag

I hope you've had a good weekend. I had thought I'd be back sooner, but my family had other cozy plans for me. So here I finally am with my last installment from India. Click here, for other posts on my mother and sister's recent journey. Writing this reminded me of the travel game: I put in my grandmother's trunk...!

Let 's start with the kitchen and utility items that they brought back. I have to say that nothing could have prepared me for my sister pulling out this:

It's a traditional wood cook stove. They're used everywhere and my sister, a tremendous cook and occasional caterer, managed to squeeze one into her suitcase! She also brought out a large pot that rests on top... I was so shocked to see the huge iron cookware emerging that I neglected to get a picture. I did get a shot of this little chapati pan.

My sister lives in Hawaii, where she now cooks outside with her stove regularly. She brought back a different chapati pan for me and here it sits with little Chai cups. Chai is served several times a day in India, and they missed their daily dose. Luckily they brought back the recipe and spices and whipped it up morning, noon, and night while we were all together.

Seeing galvanized buckets pop out of the next bag didn't have the same element of surprise following the stove. As a bucket lover, I really appreciated the beautiful shape of this container (they actually brought back two!).

I get my love for clothespins and clips from my mother, who brought back this assortment:And now on to the wild and wonderful:

and lastly:

A giant ball of rope made of rags. These are used to stretch across bed frames. My mother thought they were the most beautiful objects ever! Interestingly enough, she was "inspiration shopping" at Anthropologie a couple of day ago. You know, peeking at their ceaselessly ingenious displays. Low and behold, they were using these very ropes, unwound and unbound, as a divider between checkout lines! Well, we all know she has an eye for the fabulous and unique! I hope you've enjoyed this bit of armchair travel as much as I did.
In other news: Craft Hope for Haiti had a tremendously successful weekend! As of Sunday night, they've sold over 300 items and raised more than $7000 for Doctors Without Borders. What an amazingly powerful force the crafting community is. Pin It


  1. The rag rope is absolutely fabulous!

  2. Beautiful things here - I love the rag rope, the paper clips and the wire cage... so nice to see these everyday objects from another culture.

  3. Hah! I love the idea of the little cookstove emerging from your sister's suitcase. I love your mother's aesthetic!

  4. Totally awesomely completely and utterly love that rope!!! Have a great day!!!

  5. These are just the sort of treasures that I would have returned home with, especially that ball of spun rags.
    Doctors without Borders is my favorite relief organization and I am very fortunate to have personally known the former head of this organization Dr. Orbinsky.

  6. wow what fab items to fetch home. love the little burner

  7. I'm impressed your mom and sister got all of these items home and in good shape! They must be really great packers!

  8. What wonderful treasures. Shopping with your mom and sister must be quite the experience. love all the colors that are India!!
    Also wanted to let you know that I love your blog, I just found you through the Squam Arts website and am hoping to take your class. Looking forward to meeting you.
    Thanks Carol

  9. Cool- how interesting all of it is! Great news with Craft Hope for Haiti.

  10. all so lovely! makes me want to cook & eat chapatis & hang art with colorful clips! & personally rope beds are a big thrill. that rope is amazing. enjoy it all :)

  11. the way you presented these made me feel as if i was there with you as you pulled out each of their treasures!
    all so unique and interesting.

    (i secretly want to travel the world and collect clothespins. i hauled my brother into hardware stores throughout norway looking for ones like the ones my 83 year old aunt used at her house but couldn't find any like them. fortunately my bro is the kind of guy to either "get" things like this, do things like this, or at least go along for the ride if he doesn't get it.)

    it sounds like your mom & sister are good traveling companions.

  12. have done such a great job with the pics and storytelling...whenever I miss India and need a good dose.. I head for your blog! The chappati stove has definitly been the biggest hit at home...the girls regularly ask to make chappatis and have become pros at getting the little oven going...and always with Rajasthani music playing in the backgound and insence burning. Believe it or not...I am still convinced we could have squeezed just a few more things into those bags!!xo

  13. The ball of rag rope is beautiful just as it is. Such treasures - love!

  14. Many nice things here! Love the colourful clips!!=)

    Hugs Camilla

  15. oh those colourful pegs... the cage... the giant string ball!!


  16. I love these images and colors. I am working on a dance piece about India ( I am from india) and these images inspire! thanks!

  17. Hi. I just saw your post on India and burlap. We call it jute or gunny sack here, and it is making its presence felt even in handicraft shops as fancy bags, small gift bags etc. It can even be used, in its finer version, as trimmings for clothes. I would like to compliment your sister and mother on their photographs and how they have managed to find some really interesting everyday items (like the sheets of images that are used by school children, and clothes pins) that are perhaps not noticed by many tourists. Your enthusiasm and excitement comes through wonderfully in your writing. - Namitha



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