Friday, 30 March 2012

Got Glass?

Do you throw away your old glass bottles and jars? I promise you, you'll think twice about it by the time you're done reading this post. I hoard pretty much everything...empty wine bottles, various other alcohol bottles, jam & pickle jars, olive oil & vinegar bottles etc. etc. The top of my kitchen cabinet is getting more and more crowded everyday and I could easily give the kabadiwala a run for his money. I've even carried back empty bottles from other cities! There are just so many wonderful things that can be done with them, so let me start by giving you a few simple ideas.

Here's something that I made just this afternoon, a plain old olive jar embellished with a few ghungroos (bells). You could make it without a handle if you like and it'll sit pretty on any shelf or table. Use it as a vase or as a fabulous tea light holder; if you want to make it more functional then fill it with pens, pencils, brushes or whatever it is that you like.

Who likes a wallet stuffed with coins?! They look so much better in an empty, see-through jar instead. I have a special one for the coins that get left behind after a holiday abroad, and even take contributions from friends when they come visiting. Practically anything can be used to add a fun element to these jars, the one on the right has some of my old beaded anklets around it's neck...

These are my favourite - soda bottles with marbles trapped inside, a common enough feature on the pushcarts of Delhi during the summer season. Not the most hygienic of drinks but a happy place for my  bobbing dragonflies.

Here are a couple of simple ideas - the square jar on the left used to be filled with wax, once that burnt out I replaced it with some dried flowers; the one on the right used to be a milk bottle. So much better than fancy store bought vases, don't you think?

And finally, the most common one of course - the money plant holder. It doesn't matter what sort of a bottle it is - tall, short, round, slim, green, brown, clear, gigantic, miniature - it will find a spot in some corner of my house.

There's lots more where this came from but I think I'll save it for another day. Meanwhile if you haven't seen these older posts, you might wanna check them out: High Strung & Kitschy Kitchen

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Coppy Cat!

Two days ago I heard from Sneha, an apparel and product designer who recently launched a label called Coppy Cat. I've never known of a designer who wanted to be known as anything but original and a harbinger of all things unseen and unheard, so this one definitely got me curious. Here's how she explains it, "with every great design comes a greater inspiration. They say nothing is original. In this world full of copy cats who love stealing other's work to call it their own, here comes one who may not be original but 100% authentic. We do get inspired but know where the inspiration ends and our own voice of work begins."

Sneha started out mainly as an apparel designer and after three years with a retail firm in Bangalore she decided to move back home to Calcutta and create her own line. But destiny had more in store for her when her tailor ran away just one month into the job, that's when she started dabbling with product design which led to the inception of Coppy Cat. For her it was simply the love of story telling through design.

Like Sneha, I adore all things old and am glad that there are designers like her who are trying to keep the magic of vintage alive through their creations. She also uses a lot of recycled material in her product line, from old bottles to fabric to novels with yellowing pages; it's like a breath of fresh air in today's world of overly stylised and blingy offerings. Her sketches and motifs remind me of the enchanting story books I grew up with - the bespectacled owl, birds with bow-ties, polka dots and zigzags, all very charming. Here's a look at some of her stuff...

A collection of wall frames made from recycled book paper, pepped up with digital prints and bow ties made from scrap fabric.

Fun cushions made from recycled duster cloth and jute bags

Here are some old booze bottles put to use in lamps and decorative pieces. I especially love the vintage inspired prints on the shades.

Finally, some stylish stationery...A5 sized notebooks made from recycled board.

To see more of Coppy Cat's stuff visit their facebook page. They also retail through a couple of other online stores:, and
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