Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year Thoughts from Viakerala

Viakerala is thinking happy thoughts and with these we made a wish board for 2014.

My dear, hai, thanks for you, mega star, jolly, living, famiy, brothers, comrade, cool, king, step ahead, holiday, company, light, yathra - journey, amazing, friends, magic, years, more, cake, new gift, change, trust, local design, jivikum - will live, vijayapikum - will win.

Thank you for your support.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Let's rush Your Highness!

"..let's keep the fancy china for something special, like if the Queen of England comes over" - Monica Geller in Friends. With Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla in town it was no less of a celebration. I was brimming with excitement and not just us, the whole Jew town went Monica about it.

Oh! All the Preps.
And then, the checks
Traffic diverted from the last minute tarred road. Walkie-talkie buzzing Kerala Police checks through out the morning. Bomb detectors. Canines squad. You name it.

Still nothing could dampen the perfect day for me, with Viakerala all decked up he wasn't going to miss us. But my heart sank as I saw the entourage approach, tightly packed in between Scotland Yard protection, who in turn were surrounded by a couple dozen Kerala police and High Commission officials acting as the crowd control, and never mind the harmless paparazzi both local and Royal.
Surely when he stepped up the passage, he read the birthday greetings we'd put up for him. But what could be done with the uptight escorts who ushered him through the corridor at lighting speed? I only had to wait for the right moment to break into the circle. I waved a hi holding the gifts we had wrapped for him in the Viakerala bag and guess what, he recognized me!! giving me a handshake he said, " ..Oh! we'd stopped by". Of course, he couldn't accept the gifts because of security reasons.

Only later I learned that his shopping had been done a couple days in advance, which also coincided with the crazy spike in sales we had this week. I am preparing a list from the sales report of Viakerala, let's see what all reached kutty George Alexander at Buckingham Palace. Yay!!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sneak a peek!

So where have we been so long? Ah well, just been a little busy setting up our new store, Yes in Fort Kochi!! We know the wait has been long, trust me its been longer for us, and we are super excited about this new (ad)venture. 

P.S. :)

We are almost done, a few lights here, a couple posters there, finishing touches to the sticker-ing etc. etc.  just about all that remains on the check list before we officially launch the Viakerala store this Diwali.
Come take a look at the making of a design shop at Ethnic Passage, Jew town.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Jenn & her elefriends tale

A little oondu & a little gundu
A playful & minimalist take on our elephant; hand crafted with locally sourced handloom cotton is one of our all time favourites at Viakerala. They are available in different textures and colours, though with every new batch slight variations in colour are inevitable.

Who says soft, chubby, round elephants are only for kids!? 

Lovely Jenn & her herd.
Sometimes, like how it happened with Jenn, it gets hard to be without them. On one of her visits to India, she carried along with her a bunch of Viakerala elephants who lost their way on the flight back to Canada. This time around, we made sure she was reunited with her herd of elefriends who flew all the way from Cochin to meet her at Delhi.

She sends her regards with Toompa (Red), Ramu (Blue), Deepthi (yellow) and Uma (green), as she lovingly calls them.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Size does matter!

The Godzillas of work for our artists have been the tiniest of the lot.
The invertebrates. 
For one, its next to impossible of get a real life study and second, a single photograph is difficult to get them right. To get a realistic illustration of any species, especially insects require going through multiple images and watching videos to understand their physiology, explains our artist Usha. After finalizing the image, comes the play of light and shade, and on a colourful insect it is trickier owing to their body texture. Most emphasis is on getting the shimmer on the them right, for which a lot of techniques are applied. Manipulating the strokes of pencil colour from extremely soft on highlights to pressured on the depths, and so on.

Along with invertebrates are series of illustrated mammals, birds and amphibians translated into a set of collectible playing cards that have a definitive collection of the fauna of the Western Ghats.

These cards are available for sale in Viakerala Thekkady, Viakerala Cochin, NCF Valparai & Periyar Tiger Reserve Bookshop, Thekkady.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Lizard, lizard on the wall!

They may not be your best of friends but they are for sure, the ubiquitous listeners on the wall. In a traveler they induce concern and for most Malayalees there is at least one childhood story associated with them. Now, no matter what your perspective is, they definitely make the list of creatures-most-seen-in-Kerala!
Understanding these sentiments clearly, we designed and produced these simple looking household geckos. Fear not! because they are neither slimy nor do they fall on your shoulders, they sit quietly; listening.  

Other designs available at our stores are the well-rounded elephants, the wise owl, and as always, majestic hornbills; crafted with terra-cotta (fired-earth), these magnets add quirk to your metal surfaces. 

Friday, 31 May 2013

Night Prowler!

Once upon a time in India... oh wait! nowadays we don't scare-off children with tiger stories. We have reinvented the tiger into the friendly prowler, protector of the nights, playmate for the day. At least that is what Tulasi feels about her hugsy buddy. The child in you would want one too. 

These pillow tigers are handcrafted by a self-help women's organization in Cochin. They use applique embroidery and hand-loomed cotton fabric in two colours to highlight the tiger strips.
These kutti pillow tigers are available at the Viakerala store, Thekkady and also at the Cochin Studio outlet. 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

The Wild Side.

The Western ghats, one of the worlds richest hotspots for biodiversity, need a wee bit more awareness amongst people. Nilgiri and Anaimalai Hills, the end stretch of Western ghats separates Kerala from Tamil Nadu, giving Kerala its liberal rainfall. These highlands are host to a number of Wildlife Sanctuaries, Jungle Reserves, conserving many endangered and endemic species. 
A modest gesture to familiarize you with the Western ghat wildlife, we hand rendered in pencil colour illustrations, the standard set of 52 playing cards. They are divided in four suits of Mammals, Birds, Invertebrates and Amphibians. The most spectacular of the species being awarded the highest value cards and so forth. Each card carries the name of the species in English and the native Malayalam.
Grab a pack of custom illustrated playing cards at:
viaKerala Thekkady store
viaKerala Cochin store,
also available at Ananmalai Nature Information Centre, ANIC
and Last Forest, Kotagiri.