woensdag 2 oktober 2013

Think Pink ! October - Breast Cancer Awareness month

We know it is there, we can see it all around us. The celebrities reach the news,  but there are many more woman who deal with breast cancer or the fear of having breast cancer every single day.

The truth is that this particular kind if cancer is one of most "treatable" kinds, if you are diagnosed in time. The clue to all this, ladies, is that we have to be aware of our own body and notice changes in it. If the changes are there, and you are not relaxed about it, please do not tell yourselves that it is probably nothing and it will go away. If it is cancer it will not just go away. It never leaves by itself with other woman, why should you be an exception?

Let us inform ourselves well and when in doubt go for a check up.

Life is great and we owe it to ourselves and our families to take good care of ourselves (and outlive at least a few of them).

Pink ribbon raw silks India
Especially for the breast cancer awareness month I made a special listing of all shades of pink raw silk from India.

As I want to do my bit, the whole month of october this special listing will be available in my Etsy silk shop.

I pledge to donate $ 10,00 for every  set of pink silks I sell to Pink Ribbon (you will have to take my word for it, but I will keep track of the proceeds on my blog!!)

pink raw silk set $ 30,00

I leave you with a few useful links. Live life now!

American Cancer Society: The importance of detecting breast cancer early
Pink Ribbon Holland
Pink Ribbon Shop
Breast Cancer Research

dinsdag 13 augustus 2013

Big silk sale in my online shop!

I am back home and have made arrangements to have my silks shipped to me. This will take a few weeks to happen.

As we are all waiting for these new sweeties, I am offering you up to 30% discount on my current collection. This offer can be used till August 31st!!

Silk brocades from India | Silks by Umf

This is the scheme:

Order a minumum of $ 30,00 and get 15% discount.
Coupon code: SILKMANIA30
Order a minumum of $ 50,00 and get 20% discount.
Coupon code: SILKMANIA50

Order a minumum of $ 150,00 and get 30% 

discount. Coupon code: SILKMANIA150

See you soon in my shop! 

Farewell Mumbai

My trip to Mumbai has come to an end. It has been a short week of intensely shopping and finding the right silks. I am exhausted, but extremely happy with my finds. It has been too short because there is always more I could see and more exhibitions to visit.

In between of all that I try to find the time to see all my friends and catch up with them. This is not an easy task because traveling in Mumbai requires very specific skills. If you are going to a specific part of town, it is best to do everything there at once. A trip from the largest shopping area in town to where I was staying can take up to 2,5 hours while it is only about 30 km. This is not a problem as long as you plan your trips accordingly.

Thank you my friends for just being that and thank you Mumbai for welcoming back as a daughter.

maandag 29 juli 2013

Mounth Mary Church Mumbai

The mount Mary Church in Mumbai to me is one of those magical places that cannot be explained. It is a Catolic church in Bandra, Mumbai and the color blue that the church is painted in is one of the nicest you will ever see.

Let me be frank about something: I am not a Catolic. If I have to be really really frank I have to say that I do not believe in religion as an institution. I was raised a reformed Christian and every year I religiosly visit my community on Curacao, because it is as much a part of me as I am a part of the community (and my mom sees to it off course). I do belief in faith, honestly and the potential goodness of men. But at the same time I get enchanted by religious rituals. I like seeing the praying men at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the Ganpati madness in Mumbai and crazy crowds gattering in Brazil for the Pope's visit.

The mount Mary church affects me. From the very first time, every time I set foot in this church I instantly lose my restlessness. I can sit there forever, enjoying the crowds and inhalating the peace.  If  I ever felt down, a few minutes in the Mount Mary church took care of this.

Apart from being a beautiful church, you get to pray to Mary in a very unique way. Outside the church there are many stalls where you can buy postcards, flowers and candles. But you can also buy wax body parts. If you want to pray before getting a kidney removed, you buy a wax kidney, pray and lit your kidney in front of the cross. It works like a reversed voodoo doll actually. But instead of using pins, we use ordinary fire.

After my father had his second major open heart operation and was facing a month recovery, I bought myself a wax heart, sunk into my prairs and lit the heart in front of Jesus' cross. It must have worked because he is still alive and kicking (and being the occasinal pain in the ass, I don't recall seeing that bodypart in the stall's collection by the way).

At the moment my mother is struggling with painfull knees, so I went upto one of the stalls and asked the guy if he has wax knees.
 "No", he replies, "but I have full legs".
"Good", I answered, "can I please have a leg".
"Left or right", he asked.
"I don't know", I said, " give me both, just to be on the safe side".
The guy took some time finding a left and a right leg, I paid him 130 rupees fir the limbs and a few candles and I left.

When I got home I though at first that I was sold two random legs, but no! There is actually a left and a right leg and I have the photo's to prove it.

Som mom, stay put cause one of these days I am going to fix your knees ( or at least have a good time trying).

zondag 28 juli 2013

Silk, silk and more silk

On my first day of fabric shopping I got lucky. I met one of my old friends from Varanasi with some amazing silks. He also showed me a great piece os silk brocade in which the zari work, that is the metal threading, is made of 100% silk. The colors are breathtaking, as is the price of the silk. I did not  buy it, but my hands were aching.

I forgot to take a pic of the silk, but here is one of the stand!

zaterdag 27 juli 2013

Mumbai here I come!

I am - as we speak - on my way to India to do some serious fabric shopping. I really reallly do not enjoy flying, although I love to travel. But traveling without flying is not easily done so I think I will just have to live with it.

Anyway, keep an eye on my blog if you want to be on top of my finds. Untill then just wish me a pleasant flight!

maandag 24 juni 2013

Silk brocade is soft colors

I have three new silk colors in my shop with very small designs in the most amazing soft colors. The quality is superb but the extra here are the colors. They are soft and sweet! They are available as a set or separately:

maandag 25 maart 2013

Shopping in Mumbai

In the blog post “shopping and eating in Mumbai” we did not get past the eating part of the trip, but I still would like to share with you how all this started.

When I started making travel accessories, back in 2007, I could dig into my huge collection of silks and other fabrics and just let the creativity flow freely. I already told you, I could not get enough of the Indian silks! I kept buying them as a mad woman resulting in me leaving BOM for ROT after three years with 20 boxes of fabrics added to the 5 I already had. I was unable to transform all this silk into little travel bags and jewelry pouches within a reasonable time. At the same time everywhere I went to sell my bags there were all these ladies trying to persuade me into selling them pieces of my fabics (which I brought with me as a props to pimp my stand).

So I started thinking…..

Just say (for arguments sake) that I am suffering from a addiction to buying great silks, but I am unable to process them in my current business, why not turn the fabric buying fettish into a second business? I am not hurting anyone, am I? I get to buy as much as I want of the most beautiful silks more often then now because they will stay with me for a while (in which time I will cherish them as my children) and after a while they will all find new homes with nice families. If I am lucky I get to adopt a piece that remains unsold. This sounded like a win-win situation to me!

I started out with a pilot last year, just to see if there are more addicts out there that fall for the stuff I fall for. The great respond I got encouraged me to take the shopping trip last October to Mumbai. I gave myself only one restriction (two actually if you count the finances too) and that is to only buy silk of the best quality, that I have never seen anywhere else before that is a treat to my senses (I know this sound as three variables, but it is more of a three-in-one package. In theory I could encounter a silk, that I have not seen anywhere else before, that is of top quality. But if I find so horribly hideous that it assults my senses, that would not be a treat, you see.)

Having lived in Mumbai I knew exactly when en where to go. October is a good month because of the abundance of silk fairs all over town. As all the Mumbaikars are getting ready for festival season silks will be bought and garments will be made.

I had a great trip and the result is visible in my Etsy shop. So far my win-win situation is working out for me. I just need to find an excuse to go more often!

vrijdag 1 maart 2013


And that is why I offer everybody 20% off on everything in my silk shop. Only today for the coming 24 hours!!!!

use this coupon code: HAPPYTOME

Yay me!

vrijdag 8 februari 2013

Shopping (and eating) in Mumbai

I always wait for some time before I write something after a trip to India. I tend to repeat myself and have to let it all sink in before I can put pen to paper.

I really wanted to go in October or November because there will be silk fairs and expo's all over town. The amount of material one can get is great and the quality superb. Many of the silk fairs have shops and weavers attending from all over India, giving me the opportunity to browse through enormous amounts of silks, brocades and cotton silks.

This time my trip was different because I took a friend. I normally enjoy plunging myself in Bombay life all by myself, going to all the fairs every day and meeting my friends in between for lunch, dinner and more. Having someone along that is new to India forced mo to add some sightseeing elements to my trip, and I actually enjoyed that (I hope she enjoyed me talking all the time about everything she should see, do or - most importantly, eat).

which brings me to the core of this story. Obviously I took my friend to see my Indian friends too. The main focus of everyone she met was wether I have fed her so and so:

" Did you take her to Gajalee?"
" Did she try pani puri"?.
" Surely she had Biryani!?"
" Which Biryani did you feed her?
" Did you offer her proper Indian breakfast?"
" Has she had aloo paratha, lassi, puri, idli, gulab jamun and paneer?"

I do contribute to this food frenzy big time by phoning in my favorites before I arrive. I always stay with my dear friend and am crazy about the biryani she serves. Even though we arrived in Mumbai past midnight, the biryani was there. Waiting for us to come home!

This well known (and very pleasant) focus towards food adds an extra dimension to my trips. This time things got a little bit tricky when one morning - late for a appointment - we left without having breakfast. After that morning my friends mom-in-law started checking on us every meal of the day, just to make sure that we were not only shopping but eating too.

So we did shop - a lot, but we ate even more.
And yes, my friend had pani puri, biryani, puri, idli, lassi and paneer. But we did not get a chance to have aloo paratha and gulab jamum.

We will have to wait till my next trip. I just hope it is soon, I am really really craving my Biryani......

We will have to discuss the silks next time.

zaterdag 26 januari 2013

Ipad hoesje met Delfts blauwe tegeltjes!

Het blijkt leuk om Nederlandse items te maken. Ik ben de laatste maanden zo druk bezig geweest met de nieuwe stofjes die ik uit India heb meegenomen, dat ik minder tasjes heb gemaakt dan ik graag had gewild.

Maar een paar weken terug vroeg iemand mij een speciaal ipad tasje te maken. Iets Nederlands, in duidelijke kleuren. Een franje mocht wel, maar niet te wuft. Het moest ook praktisch worden: een ipad hoes, mooi maar stevig. En het moet tegen een stootje kunnen.

Op dat moment zat ik met mijn hoofd in "silk heaven" en moest ik echt effe met mijn beide benen op de grond om deze ipad hoes te produceren.

Maar dit is het resultaat! In stevig katoen met blauwe tegeltjes, gevoerd met oranje boerenbont. Niet wuft, wel praktisch en natuurlijk wasbaar.

Wat vind jij?