The beautiful Taj Lake Palace Hotel, in Udaipur (India), achieved a worldwide reputation for major ‘wow factor’ in the James Bond film Octopussy. Irrespective of its role in the film as Octopussy’s lair, the property is deserving of attention in its own right.
It was built by a prince in the 18th century as a place to bring ‘the ladies’ and have parties. It is still a place of pleasure, exclusivity and seclusion.
Tourists can see this hotel from the shoreline or water but only guests can land on the property and enjoy its mystique up close.
I was fortunate to have a lunch there as a guest of Taj hotels so I got to see all of the wonderful rooms ands suites, restaurants, spa and other facilities, then enjoy a gorgeous meal while looking out over the water. Here are some shots from the experience.
Restaurant with Versace tableware
Spa with a view
Terrace for private dinners
View to Udaipur
Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur is one of the largest forts in India. Like so many of India’s monuments it is remarkably well preserved, thanks in part to the fact that it has been used and occupied since its foundations were laid in 1459. The fort houses an ornate palace that was used up until the early 20th century. Most of the current structure was built in the 17th century and the fort is home to a fine museum with collections of elephant howdas (like an saddle for an elephant), miniature paintings and turbans. Here are some of my photos from this place. It needs at least half a day to take it all in at a leisurely pace. I did not have that long so will definitely go back and see it all one day.
CROWDS AT THE FORT
BLUE HOUSES OF JODHPUR
THE FORT FROM OUTSIDE
18TH CENTURY SITTING ROOM
SMOKING OUT THE EVIL EYE
PALACE ROOMS IN THE FORT
PROTECT YOUR LUNGS
COURTYARD AREA IN THE PALACE
Last week I went to India for 8 days. Yes, it was a short trip but it was a taste of things to experience when I get to go back there, hopefully soon. Here are some photos from Agra…and I will add more from other cities in the coming days.
Back in 2008 I spent a month in Europe where I worked in Germany for a few weeks, had a week holiday in Paris then a week holiday in Northern Ireland. I’d been to Ireland before and loved the well-worn mystical landscape, ancient monuments and dramatic scenery. Northern Ireland was no different and here are some photos from that trip.
I’d been hoarding this snake/dragon chain for over a year, not really knowing how to use it. This weekend I got a burst of inspiration and used it in a design that features the most unique and special book locket I have ever seen.
The book locket features a series of black and white photos of ‘everyday life in Paris’ around the turn of the century/1900. They are incredibly detailed pictures, showing things like a car accident (no gore, thankfully), people at a market, people using a bus. It’s quite delightful and luckily the photos are in very good condition.
This one goes into the ‘moi’ pile – for me.
Pour toi – for you – is this new design to be listed for sale later today. It features lovely plump citrine stones with an unusual ladder pocket watch chain and a beautiful whitby jet and shell cameo pendant.
These whitby jet pendants were made in the 19th century as mourning jewellery, and the ones with a bit of colour in them signified that the wearer was now in half mourning, having passed through the stage of full mourning when only black could be worn.
Whitby jet with shell cameo is one of my most loved combinations and I have a few pieces in my own collection with these materials. I love the deep yellow citrine stones with the black – it’s a powerful combination.
That’s about all now for a cold and rainy day which is hopefully one of the few left this winter.
I have been feverishly making jewellery for a huge market I have on at the end of next week. This two day event attracts tens of thousands of shoppers and is the biggest maker’s market in Australia. I will be in the Vintage Emporium taking my work to a whole new audience.
I made a batch of ephemera bracelets for the event. Each bracelet has hand cut regional antique papers – such as stamps, letters, invoices and other documents. I seal each piece with plastic tape then set it into a bracelet and pour resin over the top. From the cutting stage to the resin hardening, it takes about 4 days. Any that are left over from the market will be offered here on Etsy – they do sell quick!
Wear one, wear a few. I love making these and love watching my customers as they carefully look at each one before choosing a favourite.
Elsewhere in the studio I’ve put together a few ‘Archaeology’ necklaces, using artefacts from domestic digs and elsewhere. Most of my parts are sourced from Eastern Europe – there seems to be a plethora of sellers coming up with these beautifully grungy, patina’d elements that can be artfully worked into designs.
I particularly love this one, as I hammered away at that piece of copper for the necklace for ages. It came up pretty well, I think.
I have also been working on a few antique assemblage pieces, and need to make a few more bracelets before the market. Tim wis quickly running out.
This Queen Victoria Jubilee necklace uses an 1887 medal which is a souvenir of the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign. I love the grossular garnets used in the necklace chain – it’s unusual to see garnets in these autumnal shades.
I’m not sure that I will get time to photograph more pieces tomorrow, so anything left over from the market will be listed in my shop in the next few weeks.