Friday, May 04, 2018

Sparrow Cafe | South Minneapolis

It's taken me more than a year to get here.
Not just to be posting here in my creative space, my blog Rang Decor but to reach this space in my heart to slow down and get back to storytelling through blogging.

So, lets get the ball rolling with a feature on Sparrow Cafe.

One sunny winter morning Heidi Van Heel, a longtime blogger friend and I met over a cup of chai in this quaint little cafe in South Minneapolis.

The name itself conjures up images of chirpy little birds fluttering around. Aroma of freshly brewed coffee, delightful bird art and a smiling face welcomed me.

(These images I had to steal from my Insta-stories as I seem to have deleted the original ones! I promised myself to start carrying my dSLR camera again)

Sparrow Cafe serves fair-trade coffee and tea sourced sustainably by the owners Sheila & Jasper.
They envisaged a beautiful space where people could enjoy local artisanal baked goods and great beverages.
A great space to catch up with friends, work on your laptop with a cup of coffee or just sit and watch the world go by.

Gorgeous 300 square foot mural inspired by sparrows by local artists Broken Crow

The vibe is artistic and that of a welcoming neighborhood cafe!

 Little sparrows everywhere:-)

Loved the ceiling crown molding and the birds stenciled art!

Hope you liked this feature on local Minneapolis cafe interiors.

(Images by Arch and are copyrighted. Please do not use without permission)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Rang Style: Pure Ghee Designs

What is Rang Style?
Earlier this year I shared with all the blog readers that Rang Decor is evolving to encompass all the wonderful designs related to fashion, textiles, jewelry and more.

Today on the inaugural post I am sharing with you all an accessory brand that creates bags distinguished by color, craftsmanship and signature charms.

Pure Ghee Designs.
The vibrant colors, the attention to details on every aspect of their product and inherently Indian in design sensibility caught my attention.

Pure Ghee Design is the creation of Aditi Prakash who is a sculptor and industrial design post graduate from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad one of the top design schools in the world.

Keya Mini Sling Bag

Aditi's  work is deeply inspired by the  rich colors and textiles of India. She started Pure Ghee Designs in 2010.

Red Suvi Bag

The name Pure Ghee came about when one of her craftsperson presented her with a dabba ( tin container) of homemade pure ghee or clarified butter. It was the best gift he could think of, it was handmade, it signified quality and a taste that had no substitute.

Multicolored Gajra Hair accessory

 Potli from the Raat Rani Collection

Red Quilted Shopping Bag

When I wrote to Aditi about doing a post on Pure Ghee Designs, she suggested a creative collaboration. I loved her enthusiasm and decided to visualize, style & shoot with some of the wonderful Pure Ghee Design products.

So presenting visuals & words.

Scene I 

Damini~ Ma, I am wearing the brocade half sari with deep pink tiny floral prints today, can I borrow your tie-up high heel sandals please?

Tara, looking up from pleating the soft silk sari between her fingers, 'Sure go ahead. Are you braiding your hair? 

Yep. Why?

I completely forgot to order fresh Jasmine flowers yesterday. It would have looked great with the braids.

Damini smiling  ~No worries Ma. Look!

Tara's face lit up with admiration as she looked at her daughter.

Fuchsia Gajra

Scene II

Ironing her crimson silk blouse on her bed, Kavita's thoughts meandered to Delhi. She remembered fondly her best friends wedding with an early morning Muhurtham. She had worn the same sari on a cold winter morning and made heads turn.

She peeped out from her Michigan home window, the sun had finally come out after a week of snow.

Kavita looked at the Gajra Potli draped on her chair and smiled. She was going to recreate that same magical entrance but in a new place.

Gold Leaf Gajra Potli

Scene III

Kia looked at her watch, 4.06 pm. Where did all the time go?

Completely engrossed in numbers and graphs on her presentation.

Thankfully a big batch of soup was simmering on the stove. Ah! Dinner taken care of.

Ting Tong the doorbell chimes.

How was your day sweetie ?

Mom, the soccer practice starts at 4.30p.m. today replied Maya

Are you kidding me? It's 4.10 pm already!
Maya, go get your snack from the kitchen, let me grab my bag & the keys! We are out in 5.

Keya Sling Bag.

To know more about the Pure Ghee Story, do watch the video below where Aditi talks about how it all began 7 years ago.


Pure Ghee Design Studio is based out of Ayanagar, a suburban village in South Delhi. Aditi believes in creating sustainable livelihood for the women and youth in the local area.

Aditi in her studio


Pure Ghee Design's Signature Charm

Aditi with her team of women & young artisans

Hope all of you liked the new feature Rang Style and the wonderful brand Pure Ghee Designs.

You can check out the beautifully crafted products at 

Stay updated on the latest on Facebook

Enjoy the visuals on Instagram

( Images & Video by Pure Ghee Designs. Visualization, styling & shoot by Archana Srinivas in creative collaboration with Pure Ghee Designs. The images are copyrighted. Please do not use without permission)

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Of Mythological Art, Oleographs & Om from India

In India anywhere you look, you will find Indian Gods & Goddesses showing their omnipresence. Lined close to the ceilings on shops, arranged in shrines in the 'puja' room of homes, propped against seasonal bounty of fruit sellers, blessing the daily commute in buses, trucks and taxis. They are everywhere.

So how did the Gods come to be in the form we know them as today? 
In the late 19th century the pioneer artists and entrepreneurs in colonial India realized the potential in using technology to mechanically reproduce religious images for mass consumption.
Sarasvati. Hand-colored lithograph, c. 1880, Shew Cobind Lall, Calcutta

The traditional printing technique of Lithography was used, which is based on the principle of the immiscibility of water & oil and the printing is from a stone or metal plate with a smooth surface.

Bhairavi. Hand-colored lithograph, c. 1880. Calcutta Art Studio, Calcutta

The two earliest major publishers of God-prints were Calcutta Art Studio and Chitrashala Press. As early as 1878. 
Kali. Hand-colored lithograph, 1883. Calcutta Art Studio, Calcutta

 Rama Panchayatana. Lithograph, c. 1890, Chitrashala Press, Poona (Pune)

Gayatri. Lithograph, c. 1890. Chitrashala Press, Poona (Pune)

In 1894 South Indian Artist Ravi Varma & his brother Raja Varma got into publishing Lithographs of their work and his style became extremely popular and it still is!
Oleographs are Lithographs printed in oil colors on canvas or cloth and this style was made popular by Ravi Varma.
Shri Shanmukha Subramania. Lithograph, c. 1910. Ravi Varma Press, Karla-Lonavla

These Lithographs prints became hugely popular and were printed all over India with evolution of unique styles reflecting the culture of the place they were printed.

If you are keen on reading more about the history of the Lithographs from 19th Century to Post-Independence Gods in Print by Richard H Davis is a great reference.

Mark Baron & Elise Boisante are collectors of some of India's unique and rare 19th & 20th Century Lithographic Mythological prints. Om from India is their art collection. A background in printing technology, their deep interest in the ancient Lithographic history, their in-depth knowledge on the subject makes them connoisseurs in this field.

Mr. Husband has been a lithograph collector for many years and they had connected online based on their mutual love for the topic. So when our New York trip materialized in December 2016. Meeting them was one of the main priorities of the trip.

Their home is a space filled with art and books. Elise is a wonderful hostess and allowed me to quickly shoot few wonderful corners of their home.


Gods in Print by Richard H Davis feature many lithographs from Mark & Elise's Collection.

Beautiful curated art in the living room.


Wood Cut art.


Books and art.



Ganesha Collection.

Elise Boisante and Mark Baron.

Vibrant turban rolls add color and pattern.

Hope you liked this post about the amazing Mythological Art of India. The collectors and their art- filled New York home.

If you are a passionate collector or have great interest in Lithographs you can make an appointment with Mark & Elise to see their amazing collection and even buy certain unique prints.

You can follow Om from India on FB.

( Home Images by Arch and images of prints from Om from India, Reference Gods in Print by Richard Davis and are copyrighted. Please do not use without permission)


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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Diwali: A tribute to Terracotta | The Red Clay

Hello Hello Hello.
6 months of being away from Rang Decor!
Anyway, I thought I'd drop by and share few frames from how we have decorated our humble abode for the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi.
This year's decoration is a tribute to the Terracotta, the red clay from which the 'Diya' or the earth oil lamps are made in India.
It is also dedicated to the artisans who work with the earth. Examples of which you can see in our previous home in Bangalore.

I have tried to incorporate terracotta in all aspects of decorating.

The Kum-Kum (Vermilion) holder as the prayer room gets ready for Lakshmi Pooja this evening.



She is omnipresent! Isn't she? Floated some button Chrysanthemums in terracotta urlis.

Long time Rang Decor readers might remember the antique Chettinad door in our Bangalore home flanked by traditional terracotta niche for placing oil lamps. Well, we had got extras made then which came all the way to Minnesota. 

The space got instantly transformed as I placed oil lamps in them.

Zoomed out view of our mantelpiece.

Ah! Floating fresh flowers in earthen Urlis is a classic.

 This wonderful terracotta oil lamp was a Diwali gift from my Mother-in-law few years back.


Goddess Lakshmi match box is a DIY project :-)

We have a corner in our home where we honour the deity whom we are celebrating. So for Diwali its a Tanjore painting of the Ashtalakshmi: 8 Lakshmis with Lord Venkateshwara in the centre.

The hanging brass lamps are from Ahmedabad, India.



The blue adds a wonderful contrast to the Terracotta. So I played around with table setting ideas with the colour combination. 


Wishing all readers of Rang Decor a very Happy Diwali filled with lots of love, happiness & health!
Have a great day with family & friends! ( ...and remember the loved ones not with us today)

( Images by Arch and are copyrighted)