Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Shop At My Dream Canvas An Update

Its that time of the year. My little online store is filled with goodies for the festive season Yay!! Here are some quick facts about the store.
  1.  We ship only with the United States. 
  2. We use USPS 2 day priority mail shipping. 
  3. Payment is via Paypal. 
  4. For those of you that are local to the Seattle area, message me for pick up.

Here's a sneak peek :)

Click HERE to visit the online store!

Here's wishing you a bright, beautiful and prosperous festive season. 

Images: Copyright My Dream Canvas.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Reminiscing and Celebrating the Festive Season with Tania

Festival time in the United States is fun and joyous. Its the time to celebrate the festive season in our own unique way. Yet, there is one thing, one emotion that connects us all. It is the desire to recreate the joyous atmosphere we left behind in India. It is a walk down memory lane,  a time to reminisce, and a time to create new traditions and memories. For me this time of the year is all about family, love, laughter, blessings, happiness and twinkling lights :)  

I wanted to do a post where I could share a glimpse of a home dressed up for the holiday season. Tania has created festive vignettes in her home that are stunning. What pleased my heart is how beautifully she has incorporated pieces from my little store into her puja decor. 

In Tania's own words, her home dressed up for the occasion....

Durga Puja and the Hindu festive season is my favorite time of the year, without fail. The leaves are just beginning to turn colors in this part of the continent. The days are warm and the evenings are cool. When I was young and we were still living in India, Durga Puja was a sprawling and elaborate ten day celebration that required months of planning. Each year, my extended family gathered in my maternal ancestral home in Benares to fast, feast, pray, and welcome Durga home. The three story house was filled with the fragrance of hundreds of flowers, freshly ground chandan, incense, and the distinct scent of the oil that filled brass lamps, and camphor - scents that I still cherish to this day. None of those celebrations exist anymore. The house is gone. The traditions as they were, are gone. Many of the people are gone, too. The last time I had the privilege of seeing it all was in 2001, when I was 12 years old. For this reason, Durga puja is an extremely colorful yet slightly bittersweet time for me. 

For the last few years, it's become a tradition for me to set up a small Ma Durga shrine at my parents' house. It is a personal way of celebrating those auspicious ten days. The last time that my parents went to India, they were able to bring back some of the heirloom puja articles from my mother's home - hammered copper vessels (ghots), brass plates and cups, and an intricately carved stone sondesh mold belonging to my grandmother, among others. One of my favorites is a majestic, heavy, five pronged brass lamp, or panchapradeep - objects that have been in my family for generations. Over the past four years, I have slowly been incorporating these articles into my Durga Puja set up. I'm not a particularly religious person, so this becomes my puja every year: picking out fresh flowers, finding greens from our garden, and painstakingly arranging and re-arranging everything until it's up to my satisfaction. At the center of it all is a gilded clay statue of Durga that I found in Gariahat market in Kolkata when I visited in 2016. 

Naturally, I miss the grand Durga Pujas we used to have in Benares, and I am always nostalgic for pujo in Kolkata, which overtakes the whole city - but which I have never seen myself, only caught glimpses of in photos and accounts from friends. Here in DC, I’m so incredibly lucky to have a huge Bengali second family, where we celebrate with just as much enthusiasm as we would’ve in Benares or Kolkata - new clothes, bhog, temple visits, listening to Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s timeless Mahalaya recordings in the mornings. Each year, the smell of incense, camphor, and sandalwood, and the steady, familiar chants of the mantras, the unmistakable sounds of kaanshis and dhaak drums always fill me with equal measures of joy and nostalgia. Here’s hoping that I can be in Kolkata for a pujo, super soon - but until then, our larger-than-life Bengali community in DC is doing a fine job of keeping the pujo spirit just as alive as it was when I was young"

Tania thank you for inviting us into your home! Your words have brought back so many of my childhood memories. The festivals are truly bittersweet. Living abroad our lives have changed in big and small ways. However, creating new traditions, while keeping some semblance of the old intact, is such a beautiful way to celebrate this season.

Tania Chatterjee is a brilliant photographer and you can visit her website  to know more about her. Follow her on Instagram as her posts are a visual treat.
All the images above are Copyright Tania Chatterjee and cannot be used without written permission.

The Shop At My Dream Canvas has a host of goodies for the festive season. Click here to visit the store!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Fabulous Find Friday Mia Nicole Design Co.

I am back after a long hiatus but hey its a fresh start, and there is lots heading your way :) So before I introduce the Fabulous Find of the week, I have to tell you a little story.

I have been married for 19 years and yet I never know what gift to get my husband. Be it birthdays or our anniversary, its a constant struggle to find something for him. The guy is exasperating!! He has no strong likes or dislikes. He is not into clothes, cars or gadgets. The one thing that brings joy to his life is Travel. He loves to go on vacations and therefore is forever planning our trips :) I should not be complaining.... but seriously he is obsessed about exploring the world. As a result, he works and plans vacations and has little time for anything else :) You cannot even imagine what a long, and neglected list I have on the home front. It  simply never gets done :)

We are also budget conscious travelers so that requires even more research and hard work ! For my anniversary this year in August,  I got him this delightful adventure fund box. I  had it personalized and it looks amazing. For those of you, who might say, that that piggy banks are for kids, have not seen my hubby dear grinning ear to ear when he opened his gift.  He absolutely loves it :) We have found a nice spot for it in our family room. As of now, we are filling it up with currencies from around the world :)

For me, our decor style is very personal. Over the years our home has become a canvas to showcase our personalities. My family room is a collage of things we love and the memories we cherish and this box fits in perfectly. Thank you Mia for creating this for us. 

Here's introducing Mia Nicole Design Co in her own words 

I started Mia Nicole Design Co. , a hand lettering business, as a creative outlet after I quit my full-time graphic design job to stay home with my kids about 3 years ago. Creating is a necessary part of my life. So when I had the opportunity to stay home with my kids and continue to use my artistic/graphic design skills, I couldn’t resist! My business has evolved quite a bit from the beginning but the thing that remains the same is my passion for creating unique one-of-a-kind gifts. It makes me so happy when a customer tells me how their loved one was moved and so thrilled by the gift they received. It is so incredible to be a part of something that brings joy to others and will be a keepsake for years to come"

For those of you who are local to the  Greater Seattle area, you can find her at the Great Junk Hunt in Monroe from November 1-3. Mia also ships her products, so you can connect with her via Etsy or Instagram and Facebook.

Here are images of a few images from her collection. 

I adore these  cute globe ornaments :)

Mini Adventure Fund boxes for kids.

Hope you liked my Fabulous Find pick? Have a wonderful weekend and see you back here soon :)

Image 1 and 2 Copyright My Dream Canvas.
Image 3, 4, 5 and 6 Copyright Mia Nicole Design Company.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

An Apartment Tour : At Home With Arundhati and Aditya

Hello there. I am delighted to be back here after a hiatus.  Today I am thrilled to feature a home that's personal and close to my heart. I had a lot of fun preparing for this post. 

There is nothing ordinary about this New Jersey apartment, which is the home of my sister in law Arundhati and brother Aditya, or the assortment of treasures you'll find inside it. Overlooking the impressive New York skyline, their apartment is dreamy with a layered, yet, laid back perfection that is usually hard to achieve. My favorites are the stacks of worn novels and leafed through magazines that add charm throughout the home.

If the objects inside a home tell a story, then this home is a master storyteller with few equals. For me, their home is undeniably chic with an element of fun thrown in. I told my SIL, during a visit to their home last month, that finally after 19 years of living in the states, I have a second home:) Take a peek into their cozy apartment, and you too shall be enveloped in the warmth it exudes........

Arundhati is the writer in the family so I asked her to describe their home. According to her:

"Home. One measly word containing four letters but what a difference it makes to each of our lives. A warm corner to call your own and the realization that you are privileged to have a place you can call home, for the sight of the homeless languishing on the streets leaves little rents in the heart every time you set eyes upon them. 

The first home Adi and I had was in the town of Leicester in the UK. Now here's a fact. Everyone feels sorry for you when you live in a city like Leicester, yet it was where we started together our journey together as husband and wife in this lovely two-bed apartment. We have come a long way from that first nest of ours where we owned nothing, by which I mean the entire paraphernalia of furniture and tchotchkes. Just four suitcases and a truckload of books (because books are the center of my existence). 

Our decor has been since then influenced by our travels throughout the UK and Europe. In the coastal town of Tintagel in Cornwall, we picked up our first metal tin sign. This was the beginning of a significant period of madness so that today we have amassed an intimidating pile of tin signs from all around. And magnets. Our refrigerator is crawling with them. While it is not be the prettiest sight, it gladdens us to the cockles of our hearts to see these reminders every day. Each item that we own has a back story and I could tell you all day about them. The chirpy yellow wooden bird perched upon a tall stand that came from a store in Lisbon, the memories it brings back of that hot springs day of loitering around the hilly streets of the Portuguese city; the huge photograph canvas of St. Michael's Mount propped up above our bed that caught our eyes in the narrowest of alleys in the fishing village of Polperro in Cornwall; the pyschedic pink lantern I fell in love with in Bergen, Norway; a local French artist's painting from the streets of Monmartre that a Parisian hotel's concierge helped ship to  New Jersey, all for the vast sum of 26 Euros. These are just some vignettes from our nest which is essentially everything about our journey together.

Now, time to rein myself in before I hear tiny little snores and then a crescendo"

Thanks Arundhati for sharing your home with the readers of MDC. Trust me, there is not a snore to be heard for miles :) This home is where the couple have combined their aesthetics and creativity to build their little haven. I seem to notice that my darling brother is rather house proud as well and quite the shopaholic when it comes to knick-knacks for the house :) 

Arundhati and Aditya kudos to you both and I shall be back to visit you guys soon :)

Here are some images from outside the apartment. A picture of the stunning terrace where you can get amazing views of New York City.

The Hudson River by sunset.

Views Galore and in the distance the New York Skyline.

Autumn hues 

I would love to hear from you. I know that I have been missing in action for a while. I am back now, so hit me up with all your news:)

 Images: Copyright : Arundhati Basu and My Dream Canvas. Please do not use without written consent.