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New York, NY, United States

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Snake charmer!

This is a real snake charmer playing outside of the Amber Palace in Jaipur!

Bandhani unveiling

Here is a quick peek into the sari store... and the fun process of popping off the threads on the Bandhani tie-dyed fabric to reveal the patterns!

Birthday Parade

One day while exploring Patan (another city in the Kathmandu valley) we stumbled right into the middle of a parade- a birthday parade! Apparently in Nepal, if you are a woman and live to the age of 78, you are honored with parade! The birthday girl was carried through the streets in a jauntily decorated chair with a canopy and rows of girls threw colored rice while the men played flutes. We decided to import this cultural practice back to the States for our birthdays!

Camel ride!

My assistant Johannah and our business associate Luxmi riding a camel! The getting up and down part was definitely scary!

Women's Puja in Bhaktapur

Towards the end of our trip we stumbled upon a Puja at one of the temples in Bhaktapur. The women lined up all along the street waiting to enter the temple with their offerings. Everyone was dressed beautifully in strikingly colorful saris, beaded glass necklaces and some women even had colored threads braided into their hair!

Our beloved silver-smiths

Me and my daughter Layla with all of the silver-smiths in the factory!

Mirrors mirrors mirrors

This is the ceiling of a room in the Amber Palace, the beautiful and immense architectural marvel outside the city of Jaipur. This greeting room for palace guests is inlaid with thousands of tiny cut mirrors which made for quite a sparkling spectacle! The mirrors were so beautiful, we couldn't leave without them... they inspired us to create a whole new line of mirrored earrings and pendants for the holiday season!

Jaipur markets!

Here are a few images of the amazing markets in Jaipur... shoes and fireworks and bangles galore!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Just returned from Asia!

Hello Jane Diaz fans!

We just returned from an epic adventure to India and Nepal to work on our latest line of jewelry and scarves... and had many inspirational experiences along the way! Though often almost wilting from the oppressive Indian summer heat, we managed to wander through local markets, explore historical temples and forts, and soak up the colors, textures, and local style to incorporate into our latest collection available for Holiday 2010!

We spent the first week in Jaipur India working with local fabric dyers to create a new line of cotton scarves tie-dyed in the traditional Rajistani method called Bandhani. In this process, the intricate tie-dye patterns are made through an elaborate process of wrapping threads around minute gathers in the fabric. And when the the dye has dried... you get to pull the fabric and pop all of the threads off revealing the pattern!

We also spend hours pouring over piles of gorgeous cut gems searching for the most beautiful and exciting to include in our latest line. We found stunning colored druzies, quartz with golden fibers throughout, brilliant rubies and emeralds, and much more!

In Nepal we visited the workshop where our jewelry is made by hand, and got to work! The factory was bustling with silver being milled, stones being set, and wire being stretched (yes by hand!) for ear wires. It was amazing to see each piece we designed come to life in front of our eyes.

We also met with a cashmere scarf-producer in Kathmandu and got a tour of the factory- seeing threads being spun so fast the very air seemed to vibrate and after 5 different processes finally creating a beautiful, flawless scarf. We spent days rubbing our faces in the softest cashmere in the world, and couldn't leave without bringing some of it back with us.

After a tearful goodbye with the silversmiths, the managers, and yes even the stray Nepali dog we adopted, we packed up and set off to return to New York- with suitcases full of goodies to bring back to...you!

And as this is the inauguration of our new *blog!* we thought we would share a bit of our Asian adventure with you...