The Multicolored Tulips May 31 2016, 0 Comments
One of my favorite prints being developed for "Twist Me Dip Me Dye Me" is the tulip print. It combines two of my favorite things: tulips and polka dots.
Tulips have a symbolic significance in different cultures throughout the world. In the thirteenth century the tulip was a popular subject in Persian poetry. Eventually tulips became popular garden plants in East and West. In Turkish culture it is a symbol of divine status and in the Netherlands the briefness of life.
(Images courtesy of ecru, Etsy, and Google Images)
All Eyes On You! September 21 2015, 0 Comments
The eyes are the windows to the soul! A powerful symbol, the eye,is used in many different cultures. To ward off the evil eye, talismans were used since Ancient Greece to turn it away or back it off. ecru's first collection introduced eye prints and charms to keep you safe. For our upcoming collection, we've played with this traditional symbol and updated it. We cannot wait to show you what we have stored for you...
Turquoise Blue March 31 2015, 0 Comments
Between blue and green, turquoise is a color that adds a sense of tranquility and coolness against the African dessert. While researching images for the upcoming “Africa” collection, I kept stumbling on images of houses and women wrapped in turquoise. The color is throughout the collection, in various tints of it. We used light turquoise in the Little One’s prints, and in its deeper shades we used for the table linens and cushions.
Stay tuned for the final products…
(Images courtesy of ecru and Pintrest)
Bananas! October 13 2014, 0 Comments
One of the most exciting things about ecru is seeing how the inspiration turns into a product. It usually starts with coming up with a concept of the collection, in this case, Take Me to the Tropics. Inspiration for the Banana print came from vintage encyclopedia prints and images of tropical fruit stands. These images shaped the design of the Banana print that turned into our bright table linens.
Banana Napkins can be found here.
(Images courtesy of Pintrest and ecru)
A Taste From The Tropics June 16 2014, 0 Comments
Nothing tastes more tropical than coconut and pineapple. In this sweltering heat, I just want to cool down with something freezing and delicious. I cannot wait to try this Pineapple Flurry and Coconut Chia Pudding to help me escape the heat.
18 ounces of fresh pineapple juice
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of plain strained yogurt (or substitute with almond milk or coconut water)
1/3 cup of chia seeds
honey to taste, about 2 tablespoons (or other sweetener)
Pour pineapple juice into a shallow pan. Freeze for about one hour. Scrape ice crystals forming on the edges of the pan to the center. Repeat every hour until icy and flaky, about 4/5 hours.
Stir yogurt, coconut milk and honey in a bowl to combine. Add chia seeds. Let sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours.
To assemble, place chia seed pudding at the bottom of a cup and add pineapple flurries to the top.
(Image and Recipe courtesy of Honestly Yum)
Ocean Blues June 04 2014, 0 Comments
It’s no surprise that we are so moved by the ocean and it’s creatures at ecru. This season our ode to the sea is our barracuda print. With three different shades of blue stripes, it is reminiscent of the different colors of the ocean as it reflects the sky. There is nothing more calming than losing yourself in the endless ocean horizon.
(Images courtesy of ecru and Pintrest)
Tropical Moonlight May 12 2014, 0 Comments
We are always inspired by palms. Last year our Palm print was a take on the palm leaf. This year, since we went to the tropics, we had to add the coconut palm as part of our prints. The Moon Palm print is an ode to long balmy nights under a tropical moonlight listening to Latin beats sipping on a fruity drink. As a symbol of a tropical island paradise, we had to use the coconut palm in our latest “Take me to the Tropics” collection
(Images courtesy of ecru and Pintrest)
Birds Of A Feather February 24 2014, 0 Comments
A parrot’s bright colored feathers are beautiful. We imagine their wings spread out, flying in a tropical forrest with all the other exotic animals. Since we are in love with all things tropical, we’ve created a print inspired by the parrot’s beautiful wings for our Spring-Summer collection.
(Images courtesy of Pintrest and Google Images)
Take Me to the Sea January 29 2014, 0 Comments
The Kuwaiti boom or Dhow has a certain majesty to it. Since the 17th century the Dhow has been used for pearl diving, transportation of fresh water, trade, and travel. As it connected Kuwait to India for many years of trade, it has a special significance to us. We've recreated the Dhow into one of our prints because we love how magnificent it looks at sea.
Sophia 203 Dhow pouch available in our boutique at AlOthman.
(Dhow photograph courtesy of Google Images)
Fruitful Blessings December 02 2013, 0 Comments
What's not to love about a pomegranate? It's full of surprises when you open it up. It could be perfectly sour or delectably sweet. The texture that you feel while eating it is pretty amazing too.
Since its prime time for pomegranates, as it is the season, we've been inspired not only by the fruit itself but by the tree as well. Here's a little peek of our latest Pomegranate print in the making.
(Images courtesy of Google Images and ecru)
Succulent Octopus September 23 2013, 0 Comments
People either love or hate the taste of octopus. However, when it is cooked right, octopus is very delicious. Since we are holding onto the last days of summer, we can’t help but think about having a fresh Octopus Salad. Enjoy this fresh and simple recipe from Puglia.
2 pound frozen octopus, thawed and rinsed
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 celery rib, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Cut off and discard head of octopus, then cut tentacles into 1-inch pieces. Generously cover octopus with water in a heavy medium pot and gently simmer, uncovered, until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Drain octopus in a colander and cool to room temperature, then transfer to a bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and additional sea salt to taste.
Let stand 30 minutes for flavors to develop.
(Recipe and Image of Salad Courtesy of Epicurious)
A Little Copacabana September 09 2013, 0 Comments
Pineapples are playful and fun. They constantly remind us of Carmen Miranda’s fruity headdress, which is always a good thing.
As much as we love to eat this sweet and fragrant fruit, we love to use it in our products. Used in the design of a bowl or printed fabric, pineapples add the right amount of tropical feeling to a space. And there’s nothing wrong with making your home feel like the Copacabana.
Tablecloth sold at 42KD, Cocktail Napkins Sold as a Set of 4 at 32KD, and Sophia 203 for ecru Pouch sold at 30KD.
(Images courtesy of Tales of Endearment, Pintrest, Amy Stone, and ecru)
Explosive Pomegranate August 26 2013, 0 Comments
Summer is still in full force, but fall produce is slowly approaching us. Pomegranate is one of those fruits that is usually introduced towards the end of summer to pave the way for the rest of fall and winter's fruits. Here’s a light Pasta with Spinach and Pomegranate that is filled with both texture and taste. Just as the fall produce is coming our way in the markets, we’d like to introduce you to ecru's new pomegranate print for the upcoming fall and winter collection.
8 ounces (227 grams) Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti, cooked and drained (or any pasta you like)
1 cup (120 g) diced Red Onion
1 Garlic Clove, diced
6 ounces (170 grams) Baby Spinach
4 ounces (115 grams) fresh Pomegranate Seeds (Arils)
Roasted Slivered Almonds
Crumbled Feta, Blue Cheese, or slivered Parmesan Cheese (your choice)
Cook pasta, toss with some olive oil and set aside. Add a splash of olive oil to a large saucepan. Heat the garlic and onion over medium heat until lightly browned and the onions translucent. Stir often. Season with garlic salt, smoked paprika and black pepper. Add baby spinach ~ one handful at a time. Let each handful wilt a bit before adding the next. Once all of the spinach is wilted toss with pasta, pomegranate seeds and some fresh thyme. Season to taste with more garlic salt, smoked paprika and black pepper if needed. Top with slivered almonds and or cheese.
(Recipe and Image of Pasta courtesy of Family Fresh Cooking)
Fresh Fish July 29 2013, 0 Comments
Light and refreshing food is all we can think of in the midst of summer. Grilled fish is a favorite meal of ours, and it's a great way to fill up and still feel light. The best way to satisfy our fish craving is by having these Grilled Fish Tacos. We do love our fish.
4 halibut fillets (5 ounces each), skin removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
12 corn tortillas
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup 2 percent Greek yogurt
1 lime, cut into wedges
Rub fillets with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill fish, flipping once, until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Flake fish into large pieces, discarding any bones.
Toast corn tortillas over a kitchen burner using tongs or wrap in parchment-lined foil and heat in oven, 5 minutes. Divide fish evenly among tortillas and top with cabbage, radishes, cilantro, and scallions. Season with salt. Serve with yogurt and lime wedges.
(Recipe and Image of Tacos courtesy of Whole Living)
"The Octopus's Secret Wish" July 17 2013, 0 Comments
There is something quite magical about an octopus, almost otherworldly. With its fantastic tentacles moving swiftly in the deepest ends of the ocean. This mysterious creature is fascinating to us, and at ecru most of the inspiration came from the prints of octopuses in vintage storybooks and encyclopedias. It is the mystical essence of the octopus that we wanted to recreate in our fabric.
Octopus Table Cloth 170x250cm sold at 42 KD and 170x350cm sold at 52KD, and Anantaya for ecru Suri Platters sold at 32KD.
(Images courtesy of Img Fave, Pintrest, Vintage Printable, and ecru)
Calm Sea-Foam July 08 2013, 0 Comments
Bright colors are invigorating and fun, but at times a subtle soft hue is needed to add a sense of calmness to a space. One of these pale colors is sea-foam green, which is a wonderful shade we love to work with at ecru. Since we are captivated by the sea, we want to recreate tints that reflect the many colors of the sea.
Sea-foam has been used in our first collection and ecru will be developing similar pigments for our future collections to add a little tranquility to your home.
Lovebird Pareo sold at 20KD, Sophia 203 for ecru Chevron Teenie Pouch sold at 18KD and Chevron Teenie Tiny Pouch sold at 15KD.
(Images courtesy of Pintrest, Vogue, and ecru)
Arabesque Mysticism May 20 2013, 0 Comments
Moroccan architecture always mystifies with it’s intricate geometric shapes. Whether it’s the detailed floor tiling that was set by hand, or the amazing patterns created by the repetition of shapes in the building.
Other moving arabesque structures are the beautiful Jalis in Indian palaces. They also have a certain allure, and that comes from the meticulous work that has gone into them.
Traditional arabesque architecture and the craftsmanship that has gone into these magnificent structures has influenced us at ecru. This has led to the production of the Geo Flow Print table mat and napkin, so your mind kind wander to Morocco and dream of Mughal India.
(Images courtesy of Wikipedia, Pintrest, & ecru)
Season Of The Crab May 08 2013, 0 Comments
We like to keep it light during the summer, especially with our food. With all the beautiful produce available at the markets all we want to do is eat fresh salads. And since you know we love our crabs, we definitely want to add some fresh crab meat to the mix. Here’s a delicious Crab, Mango, and Avocado Salad to snack on while you spend your afternoon at the pool. Enjoy!
Makes 4 Servings
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced paper-thin
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over, separated into chunks
1 large mango, peeled, pitted, sliced
1 large avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, sliced
12 large Boston lettuce leaves
Combine first 4 ingredients in small bowl; whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Mix in onion; let marinate 15 minutes.
Combine crabmeat, mango, and avocado in large bowl. Gently mix in dressing. Overlap ends of 3 lettuce leaves in center of each plate, forming bowl. Mound salad in lettuce bowls and serve.
(Recipe and salad image courtesy of Bon Appetit)
Palm Trees, Ocean Breeze May 06 2013, 0 Comments
Growing up in the Middle East, especially in Kuwait, you cannot but help feeling a certain connection to palm trees. They evoke a sense of hospitality, rest, and abundance.
When summer comes along you eagerly await the date season when you can eat them ripe off of the tree. It’s not only the date palm that has a special place in our heart, but also the coconut palm that awakens our desire to escape to a secluded beach.
ecru created the palm print to bring you a welcoming sense of serenity. So why not enjoy some fresh dates and coconut water this summer while relaxing on our palm cushions.
(Images courtesy of Pintrest, Ruby Lane, & ecru)
ecru's Pop Up Launch April 16 2013, 0 Comments
Please join us at the launch of ecru. We hope you love it, just as much as we love creating it.
A Little More Juice April 15 2013, 1 Comment
If our behind the scenes photos from last week didn't quench your thirst, here's a little teaser video of 'When Life Gives You Lemons'. Stay tuned for the full noon collection at the ecru Pop-Up Shop launching next week.
Quentin Blake's World of Whimsy March 20 2013, 0 Comments
Nostalgia for our childhood can be triggered by anything. Here at ecru Quentin Blake’s illustrations immediately take us back to ours, especially the pictures that accompanied Roald Dahl’s marvelous stories. The cheerful quality that his drawings have is what makes his illustrations so uplifting. Blake’s whimsical drawings are an inspiration for our ‘Little Ones’ collection. We wanted to make sure our children’s line brings enough magic into your child’s world as Quentin did into ours.
(Images courtesy of Quentin Blake)
Endless Blue March 13 2013, 0 Comments
There’s nothing like a bright blue sky once the sun shines and clears out a dark storm. That perfect smell of clean air all around you feels like a never ending dream. Sitting on the grass looking up at the majesty of the sky, or lying on the sand while taking in the different shades of blue the sky creates as it touches the sea.
And Since ecru’s leading collection is ‘By The Sea’, it’s only natural for us to be inspired to use different shades of blue in our prints and products. Ultimately creating a sense of calmness and coolness in your home during the long hot summer.
(Images courtesy of Milton H. Greene, ecru, Design Sponge, and Vivere)
Artichoke, Baby March 11 2013, 0 Comments
When spring blooms, it means fresh possibilities are around every corner. Other than the excitement of warmer weather that is affiliated with the season, there is the endless range of delicious produce.
A favorite spring vegetable of ours is the artichoke, and what’s not to love about an artichoke. It’s hard exterior when peeled leaf by leaf exposes a soft and scrumptious heart. One of our signature prints at ecru is baby artichokes. So while you wait for our launch, why don’t you eat up some to satisfy your craving.
(Images courtesy of Basquiat, Laurie Frankel, Slate, Snippet & Ink, and ecru)
Dressing Up A Room March 06 2013, 0 Comments
Decorating a space is similar to dressing up. You either start from an individual piece and work around it, or choose a color palette and decorate according to the colors you have in mind.
We are constantly fed images of extremely stylish people doing regular, or extra-regular, activities. Photographers behind street style blogs are a major part of ecru’s mood boards. The way people dress today is eclectic and stimulating. You either see someone clashing prints or going monochrome from head to toe. It's the same way with decorating, you either you clash pieces and fabrics or choose to stick to a certain color scheme.
(Images courtesy of Garance Dore, The Sartorialist, Jak & Jil, and All The Pretty Birds)
A Collaboration Made In Heaven February 18 2013, 0 Comments
Collaborations are exciting! Especially when you are combining forces with someone so colorful and bright.
ecru has joined forces with the talented Sophia Edstrand of the whimsical Sophia 203 to create an array of products that will add a little bit of fantasy into your life. Sophia 203's line of accessories involves an exquisite embroidery technique that was traditionally used to adorn miniature Hindu God figurines. Today Sophia uses this intricate handicraft to create contemporary accessories.
It is quite thrilling to embroider ecru's unique prints in such a beautiful way, and we can't wait to share this collaboration with you.
(Images courtesy of Sophia 203 and ecru)
Magic February 13 2013, 0 Comments
The day always begins bright in Jaipur.
Living with two fabulous girls, the three of us in design, means that without fail, the door bell frantically rings at 8.00am.
There are two painters who are back for the 100th time to repaint your house.
The tailor, who is soon becoming a fellow housemate arrives, tangled in swatches of fabrics for your approval.
A random 90 year old gardener discreetly floats by you in his white 'lungie' to save your attempt at a jungle terrace.
All the while coffee is overflowing in the kitchen, fresh fruits are being chopped and plans for the day are bouncing off of each person that passes by.
Your breakfast meeting then simmers and your working day begins.
You skip pass wild bougainvillea outside the house, waving at your smiling neighbors, inhaling the absolute exotic bliss that is your life.
Right before you crash. Hard. Into reality.
There's been some major confusion. The design which you handed to the block printer more than a month ago seems to have been used as a coaster for a paint bucket, as a result is no where near being made. The fabric you imagined your entire line of bed linens to be made in hasn't arrived from Calcutta, and will probably never arrive. Your order sheets have been misplaced - which technically means you don't exist.
Ah yes, the familiar roller coaster of emotions begin.
But that is what we love about Jaipur. One can be sure that a day does not pass uneventful. No emotions are spared. All senses are undoubtedly exasperated. Your breath is constantly cut short by a lingering date that floats in your mind - you know you're never going to make it - 1000 meters of fabric can not be printed in thirty days - there really is no point, you may as well quit while you're ahead. Quit now.
And then you enter the workshop. The artisans are jolly, they laugh at your impossible orders, they tease you with the potentiality of failure, they reassure you that it will all work out in the end. And you know it will. Then, with the precision of surgeons they begin. Chisiling at their blocks, creating colors from dust, stretching fabric so it's tightly crisp and printing in perfect rhythm. Everything makes sense.
The artisans are magic.
Seashells By The Seashore February 04 2013, 0 Comments
As a child, one of the favorite past times on the beach is collecting seashells. The thrill of finding unique shapes, different colors, and finally showing off your bucket full of treasures to your family.
We are all attracted to the mysteries of the ocean. It's salty scents and calming sounds, which is why we have taken the ocean, in all her glory, as inspiration for our launching collection. We plan on rekindling your childhood memories of outings by the sea.
'The sea, once it casts its spell holds one in its net of wonder forever' Jacques Cousteau.
(Images courtesy of Pintrest, 1001 Treasures, Glamour Magazine, The Graphics Fairy, and ecru)
Where Troubles Melt Like Lemon Drops January 28 2013, 0 Comments
Don't you love the ray of warm happiness that yellow showers you in? Especially in the cosy greys of winter? We love the contrasting, yet complementing moods of these two colors. Seeing yellow in a print immediately makes you think of soaking in the sun at the beach while sipping sweet lemonade. While grey makes you want to cuddle yourself in an oversized cashmere blanket by the fire.
At ecru, lemon-drop yellow and chinchilla grey are our two staple colors.
As we are already amidst greys this winter, this post will focus on our lemon-drop, to brighten up your day. The image below is the combination of several pigment pastes to arrive to our definition of the perfect shade of lemon-drop.
As Vincent van Gogh stated, 'How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.'
(Images courtesy of ecru, Pintrest, Sherri Conley, and Trendy Traveller)
Our Printing Process January 15 2013, 0 Comments
The thing that gets me the most excited when I first look at a textile, isn't the way it feels, isn't the brightness of its color or the sheen of its weave. It's the process behind it. Technique has always been an obsession of mine, and the technique of block printing is a fabulous one.
Every aspect of block printing is beautiful. From the wood block itself, which is meticulously chiseled, by an artisan who has been trained for years to prefect his craft. To the swatches of jute used to hold the pigments on which the blocks are stamped.
And what I love about block printing is it's lack of pretentiousness. It does not scream of the amount of work that is put into it's production.
Here's a little bit about the technique:
Blocks are made in a series, each block represents one color, the more colors in a print, the more blocks are made.
Once blocks are chiseled, and the pigments for a print are made and ready, a different set of artisans (the stampers) take control of the process. The stampers use the chiseled blogs to gently tap onto swatches of jute fabric which hold their respective colors. The drenched block is then tapped on the chosen, stretched fabric, until it dries.
The pressure of the tap while printing has to be of such a perfect mix of firm lightness, that it is enough evidence to differentiate an experienced stamper from another.
In a block printing workshop there can be up to two dozen stampers, each can produce a different looking fabric, even if using the same print and color, solely based on their tap.
The outcome of a block printed fabric depends on every person involved in it's making - from the designer to the block printer to the stamper. The look of a fabric can change based on any of these person's styles or moods. It is a highly sensitive process.
The perfect block printing quality is when one cannot tell where the print begins, and where it ends.
It is a beautiful technique of printing, we hope you love it as much as we do, as there are a lot of exciting prints coming your way.
Love from Jaipur,
*(images courtesy of Alfred Tarazi)