Age-Old DIY: Handicrafts

It’s been a while since my last post, and I owe that to jet-lag. Matt and I visited India and London a couple weeks ago. Rather, I flew off right after my conference ended and he joined me a week later. It’s been a crazy three weeks – I recovered from my jet-lag in India just in time to fly to London for a couple of days (for our anniversary, and to visit a dear friend), and then I spent the last week trying to keep my eyes open at work before coming home and collapsing in bed.

So here I am, freshly adjusted to the Pacific time zone, in time to share some of our haul from India. I hadn’t been back in a few years, and it was our first time there together after getting married, so we definitely got a lot of attention – and gifts. And the best thing about India is, you get a lot of lovely stuff that’s locally sourced and handcrafted. Basically, the kind of stuff everyone here swoons over, but anyone back East merely blinks at. Hand-crafting is an old art in India, and in some places, a tradition.

Hammered Copper handcrafted

We received this gorgeous set of hammered copper tea light holders, bought from Coppre in Pune, India. There’s a third, larger one that I haven’t figured out a placement for yet, but right now I’m happy with these two. The detail on them is stunning, and I probably want to retain the shine on them rather than letting them develop a patina.

hammered copper tea light holder

The globe in the center is carved bone, and we bought it from a small handicrafts store. It’s also a tea light holder, and the carved pattern yields pretty shadows when a candle is lit. Another score was from the same shop, but it’s an essential oil burner:

bone carved essential oil burner


I love the detail in the carvings; the leaves are veined and the curves are skillfully done. Mind you, these are all hand made.

bone carved tea light holder detail carving


Adding these pieces to the living room/dining room table really spruced up the living area. I think it’s important to remember that the so-called DIY trend was preceded by people who made a living, or even just spent their private lives, making things with their bare hands. Even here in the U.S., there are plenty of craftsmen whose work should not be forgotten. The wooden trunk we have, for example, was made for us by Matt’s grandfather, and I’d be hard-pressed to find something like that in the market (well, unless it was handcrafted, perhaps!)

Incidentally, the only reason the coffee table has room for decor (or frankly, any room at all) is because I finally installed the mail/coat holder above said trunk. It only took me forever.


Matt also spotted a pair of gorgeous coasters while we were shopping in India, that I snapped up because of the metallic finish and the fact that the pattern tied it to our rug (oh yeah, I switched out the rug). I don’t believe these are handcrafted, but I like the touch all the same.

lattice pattern coasters and woven rug

It feels good to have a room slowly come together. It takes time, but finds like these always remind me that hasty purchases are usually less worth it in the long run. I like interesting finds that mesh with my taste (and Matt’s), and and it’s always satisfying to bring them home and really make a space.


xo Rucha


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