Transitioning Into Fall

Standard

The sun is beginning to set a little earlier and the evening breeze is a bit cooler.  Fall is near, but not quite yet here.  This is when my color palette begins to shift to richer hues and natural accents.  This ensemble is somewhere in the middle of Summer, with the sandals and sheer a Bohemian top and Fall, paired with dark jeans and warm wood accessories.  Here’s hoping my favorite season arrives sooner rather than later.

IMG_0808

IMG_0761

IMG_0812

IMG_0790

IMG_0779

IMG_0815

IMG_0810

 

{Pants/Top/Belt/Ross, Shoes/Lola Shoetique, Earrings/Santee Alley, Bangles/Bought in India, Ganesha Ring/Rose Bowl Flea Market}

 

Harem Time

Standard

It was funny explaining to my 13-year-old niece that Papa (her grandpa and my dad) used to rock Hammer (Harem) pants back in the day.  They used to sell them on the corner, 3 for $10.  Though I did my dance thing to M.C. Hammer’s jams, I did not have the confidence or fashion prowess to wear the pants.  Fast forward 20 years and here I am with my version of the Hammer, harem pant.  I’ve come a long way and so have these pants I picked up in India!

 

IMG_0669

IMG_0705

IMG_0706

IMG_0681

IMG_0024

IMG_0664

{Pants/Bangles/Bought in India, Blouse/Necklace/Macy’s, Headwrap/Ross, Ring/From Turkey, Shoes/Lola Shoetique}

In Living Color

Standard

My world was monotone before I started traveling. Seeing how other cultures embrace brilliant hues and bold accessories on a daily basis, my perspective was forever changed.  Now, I am living in color.

IMG_0616

IMG_0631

IMG_0609

IMG_0611

IMG_0626

IMG_0634

IMG_0622

{Dress/Ross, Top/Forever 21, Belt/Shoes/Bag/Target, Bangles/From Kenya & Mali, Swag Necklace/Bought in India, Spiked Necklace/IAMSHEGLOBAL}

Queen of The Jungle

Standard

This year, my friends threw me a pool party in honor of my birthday and being Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, I had to don my leopard print swimsuit and top it with a collection of jungle worthy, exotic prints and textures.

IMG_0538

IMG_0585

IMG_0541

IMG_0567

IMG_0574

IMG_0560

IMG_0588

IMG_0564

 

{Swimsuit/Newport News, Skirt/Love Culture, Kaftan/Karma Highway, Shoes/Steve Madden, Mixed Bangles/Bought in India, Headscarf/Necklace/IAMSHEGLOBAL, Hat/99 Cents Store, Bag/Buffalo Exchange, Ring/From the Philippines, Sunnies/Claire’s}

What I Bought In Jaipur

Standard

Jaipur, named the Pink City, for the salmon hued outer wall of the old city,  is by far my favorite city in India.  The old city center is a shopper’s haven, filled with streets lined with shops brimming with handmade delights.  Head straight to “Badi Chaupar”, one of the central shopping streets. It’s a good point from which to branch out and discover the small side streets.

IMG_0230

Jaipur is known for its jewelry.  It is the hub for cutting raw stones, like emeralds and sapphires and setting them in beautiful, intricate designs.  I was able to see this process first hand, which made me appreciate the work that goes into each piece of jewelry.  You can easily find a wide variety of modern and traditional Indian settings.  These shops are usually located away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, allowing for an air-conditioned, calm shopping environment.  These shops take credit cards and some bargaining can be done but reserve your intense bargaining skills for the shopkeepers in the market.

Raw, uncut gemstones

Raw, uncut gemstones

Cut stone in a temporary setting, ready for polishing.

Cut stone in a temporary setting, ready for polishing.

Handmade Lakh bangles made from tree resin and decorated with rhinestones are produced locally as well.  Bangle shops are one of my favorite places to visit in India.  There are endless color combinations and designs to choose from.  Traditionally, they are sold in sets of 4 or 8 pieces, though I tended to buy larger sets, enthralled by the sheer amount of variety available.  “Maniharon-Ka-Rasta” is a street in Jaipur with multiple bangles shops.  I recommend going there during the day as we ended up there around 8pm and many of the shops were already closed.

The material used to make Lakh bangles allows it to be heated and stretched, which can be done in the shops, if you need a bigger size.  I have a lot Lakh jewelry pieces (necklaces, earrings and bracelets) and I must share that the bangles are the most delicate of all my pieces.  They are fragile and can break quite easily.  I would not discourage you from buying them but I did purchase many other bangles in India (metal bases with decoration, rather than the Lakh) and they are much more durable.

IMG_0223

IMG_0224

Bangles being heated and stretched.

Bangles being heated and stretched.

These are the bangles I bought. The top row are all Lakh bangles and the others are metal bangles I bought in Hyderabad.

These are the bangles I bought. The top row are all Lakh bangles and the others are metal bangles I bought in Hyderabad.

The variety of handcrafted items continues in Jaipur’s textile shops.  There are a vast array of closet sized shops selling clothing, leather slippers, scarves and textiles, all of varying degree of quality.  The shops on the street are bustling, with shopkeepers trying to lure you into their shops with a bargain.  I did buy some lightweight harem pants in various colors and patterns to wear while I was there, in the extreme heat of India.  I was able to negotiate a better deal by buying a dozen pairs at a time.  That may seem like a lot but they made great gifts for folks back home.

IMG_0903

IMG_0902

I am all for a game of haggling, but when the heat is oppressive and you just want slow down a bit, I recommend visiting one the larger stores, off of the main drag, where you can shop a bit more peacefully.  We visited a wonderful shop, Krishna Textiles, that I would highly recommend going to (located at Opp. Golimer Sadan, Near Hotel Glitz, Sitaram Puri, Amer Road).  I am only sharing this place based on my personal experience, not because I was asked to.  I really appreciated the owner, Manu and how he treated us when we visited.  There is no pressure at all to buy.  You can browse at the massive variety of items they have from bedding to pajamas to silk scarves to bags to tunics, without being bothered or hassled.  They eliminate haggling by providing you a reasonable price at the start.  If you are interested in something in particular, they will assist you and show you a variety of options until find you what you are looking for.

IMG_0286

Block printed table linens

IMG_9085

Hand dyed silk scarves

Manu, the owner on the right, showing buyers some of the wall hangings

Manu, the owner on the right, showing buyers some of the wall hangings

You can also view the block printing technique being done by hand, in their studio in front of the shop.  This technique uses vegetable and natural dyes, hand stamped with wooden block stamps, in a layered pattern on cotton or silk.  You can purchase items displaying this technique in the shop as well as bolts of fabric if you want to make something with it when you get home.

Natural dyes used in block printing

Natural dyes used in block printing

Each pattern on the textile uses a different stamp, applied in a layered pattern.

Each pattern on the textile uses a different stamp, applied in a layered pattern.

This finished piece could be a table covering or scarf.

This finished piece could be a table covering or scarf.

Jaipur is also known for “Blue Pottery”, bold white and cobalt blue handcrafted dishes, tableware and accessories.  I did not get to visit one of the shops selling the blue pottery but it gives me something new to check out when I return.

Jaipur is one of the best cities to get your shop on!  If you get the chance to visit, I would love to know what treasures you find!

This is what shopping delirium looks like. I was checked out, chillin' (why, yes, I'll wear that turban) while my friend was still fiercely bargaining!

This is what shopping delirium looks like. I was checked out, chillin’ (why, yes, I’ll wear that turban) while my friend was still fiercely bargaining!

Sheena’s Sidenotes

  • Definitely get henna done in the city.  I got both hands, front and back done for around $14, in about 15 minutes.
  • Make sure you visit the Amber Fort.  The mirrored Winter Palace is breathtaking.  There are many forts in India and this is one of my favorites.
  • Grab a samosa at L&B, the oldest snack shop in Jaipur, in business for the last few hundred years.
  • If you can, stay at Rambagh Palace. With 120 peacocks on the property, it is a dream and one of my all time favorite hotels in the world
Henna I had done in Jaipur

Henna I had done in Jaipur

The ceiling of the Winter Palace at Amber Fort. The light of one candle would reflect in all the mirrors, replicating a starry sky.

The ceiling of the Winter Palace at Amber Fort. The light of one candle would reflect in all the mirrors, replicating a starry sky.

Amber Fort

Amber Fort

Indian Citrine

Standard

When you’re in India, in the middle of Summer and your dripping in sweat and you’d much rather be wearing no clothes at all, you look for the lightest, breeziest pants you can find and these were it!  I picked up a slew of these super comfy pants on the streets of Jaipur (tomorrow’s post will provide all the deets, so stay tuned) and this is my take on styling one of the pairs, with a twist of California cool.

IMG_0405

IMG_0436

IMG_0406

IMG_0395

IMG_0437

IMG_0441

{Pants/Bought In India, T-shirt/JCP, Shoes/Lola Shoetique, Short Necklace/Bought in China, Beaded Bangle/Claire’s, Blue Horn Bangle/Bought in India, Long Necklace & Earrings/IAMSHEGLOBAL}