Saturday, July 31, 2010

J'adore Amaranth

A Rose and an Amaranth blossomed side by side in a garden,
and the Amaranth said to her neighbour,
"How I envy you your beauty and your sweet scent!
No wonder you are such a universal favourite."
But the Rose replied with a shade of sadness in her voice,
"Ah, my dear friend, I bloom but for a time:
my petals soon wither and fall, and then I die.
But your flowers never fade, even if they are cut;
for they are everlasting." ---- From Aesop's Fables

I think amaranth is one of my favorite plants. In permaculture we talk alot about stacking functions and the amaranth is truly a multi-functional plant indeed. You can use the flowers to make a gorgeous dye. You can grind up the seeds make plant based paints. You can eat the highly nutritious grains. You can eat the highly nutritious leaves. The plant is so gorgeous it makes your eyes hurt. It can be a cut flower. Time go to plant some amaranth in my garden.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lawsonia inermis

all of these beautiful images by paige green photography. thank you paige!!

henna or mehendi or maradhani is the dye from the plant Lawsonia inermis. The plant is native to Northern Africa, Southern Asia and parts of Australasia. We used to have a tree in my grandparents house in Chennai. The leaves are dried and powdered then mixed with water and sometimes eucalyptus oil to form a paste. The paste is then applied to the skin. When dry a mixture of sugar and lemon is applied to avoid the henna from chipping off. You can keep henna on any where from 30 minutes to overnight. For the wedding I kept mine on over night. It was the darkest 36 hours after application. It is such a beautiful art with rich designs from many cultures. The plant can also be used to dye clothing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

wedding detour

imogen the florist. we ordered bunches of local, organic wildflowers from the nearby full belly farms. imogen did a beautiful job assembling them into the centerpieces. 

zarah and valentina hanging up the handmade love flags that jaia and i stitched from beautiful sari fabric scraps and turmeric dyed bamboo fabric

meredith's lovely calligraphy on the name cards. when i was in india in february i got the name cards printed on handmade jute paper and the beautiful little bejeweled boxes from a local handicrafts shoppe.

hi friends, if any of you are out there. i'm going to put up a series of photos from the recent wedding! i can't help but. it was a beautiful weekend of events. i know when i was out looking for ideas and people's experience there was very little in they way of merging south indian ritual and tradition with local, organic, DIY. so here's my attempt. i'm starting with a few set-up images from our saturday pre-wedding dinner and reception at the headlands center for the arts in marin. it is a beautiful historic building, with lots of charm. we got there early morning and my "swat team" of friends and family helped with all the set up.