Skip to content

Seasonal Stationery

April 5, 2014

At Ananya, we think any time of year can be wedding season. That’s why we design stationery to fit the mood, colours and themes of all four seasons. Once you set a date, let the season be the inspiration for your wedding preparations. Remember, your stationery is the first glimpse your guests will have of your wedding. Therefore, make sure to decide on your seasonal theme early and continue the designs throughout all the other aspects of your big day.

Spring Forward

Spring is a great time of year to get married. New flowers are blooming, the sun is shining again and everyone is in better spirits after the long, wet winter. Just have back-up plans at the ready for unpredictable weather and outside ceremonies! We think spring can be full of inspiration for the colour and designs of your wedding stationery. Light and cheerful colours taken from nature such as pink, yellow and peach would work well for your stationery. Designs incorporating flowers or butterflies will also set the tone for a bright and joyous celebration. We’ve infused  these spring elements into our Floral Fantasy and Butterfly Beauty designs.

floral fancy_wedding invitation4_from -ú4_ananyacards.com

butterfly beauty_wedding invitation3_from -ú4_ananyacards.com

Summer Lovin’

Summer is arguably the most popular time of year to get hitched. The warm weather and relaxed atmosphere makes it the perfect time to celebrate with family and friends. Whether you are having a formal affair or a small gathering in your garden, the summer theme can be incorporated into your stationery in many different ways. Floral prints such as daisies and dandelions will be a hit with garden celebrations. Choose summertime colours such as a bold pink, sky blue, sunny yellow or grassy green. Lace is always a popular design that works well for both formal and casual settings as it can be dressed-up or down based on the colour you use. We’ve used different summer characteristics to create our Summer Meadow and Lace Love designs.

Summer Meadow_invitation4_from -ú3.50_ananyacards.com

Lace Love

Autumn Appeal

Autumn can also be a wonderful time of year for a season-inspired wedding. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing colours and everything feels fresh and new. Natural and rustic designs such as trees and leaves would help to set the theme in your stationery. Choose cosy and comforting colours such as burnt oranges, warm reds, light browns and caramels. Halloween is becoming increasingly more popular as an autumn wedding theme. Fun couples throwing a monster mash of a wedding can incorporate haunting designs of eerie animals into their spooky stationery. Your favourite vampires, ghosts and zombies will love receiving your bewitching invitation! We’ve incorporated these elements into our Autumn Allure and Halloween Harmony designs.

a-w2

Halloween Harmony_wedding invitation2_from £4_ananyacards.com

Winter Wonderland

Last, but certainly not least, winter is a magical time of year for a wedding. There’s a chill in the air, but with a sense of excitement and holiday cheer. Some brides dream of snow for a truly white wedding, while others will have the space heaters blazing in their white tents. Either way, snowflakes make the perfect design for your stationery. No two snowflakes are alike just as no two weddings are the same. Christmas and New Year celebrations can also inspire your theme. Choose traditional reds and greens for cheery Christmas celebrations or black and white combinations for fancy, formal New Year affairs. We’ve created our Winter Wedding and Gatsby Glamour designs to suit either occasion.

winter wedding_green and red_from -ú4_ananyacards.com

Gatsby1a

As you can see, it’s easy to incorporate seasonal designs, colours and themes into your stationery and throughout your wedding. No matter what time of year you choose to get married, remember to have fun with your stationery and make sure it truly represents you and your partner as a couple. Your stationery might suit the whole season, but you only get one big day!

Planning a Spring Wedding? Let the Colours of Nature be Your Inspiration

March 12, 2014

Photo: Back from a very inspiring and sensory weekend.... These little bundles smell as divine as they look. Breathe! X

Photo: Deliciousness in my garden today. Sunshine and raindrops. This camellia bush is just laden with bright pink. Hurrah for Spring and colours!

Planning on getting married in the Spring? Then you really need to look no further than the colours that Nature can offer you.

Photo: It's all white in the bath. The astilbe are almost like mini Christmas trees in shape!

Spring Wedding Colours

Marry in March, April and the early part of May and you’ll be surrounded by inspiration.  Just think of the delicate beauty of pink camellias; purple grape hyacinths, pink blossom on the trees and sunny golden daffodils.

Springtime colours work together beautifully and create a natural palette of shades to choose from that are perfect for a wedding.

Your wedding cake could be full of the joy and exuberance of Spring, like this one from Cakes By Krishanthi.

Photo: Join Team Wedding and a host of other bridal experts for an evening of advice, pampering and cocktails (plus cake!) at our reader event in January... http://bit.ly/R7DJz9

You’ll want your wedding invitations to announce the mood and style of your wedding day. Look at Ananya’s wedding stationery which comes in Springlike shades of purple, ombré, blue and pink.

!cid_997984E1-99E5-488A-86FD-D4FE1EFA4E9C

!cid_87D6A26D-D46E-424C-8B91-845BC054CF58

!cid_48C79315-592E-4A7E-ADA3-B574D1B75647

!cid_3C28F252-B76E-426F-94BF-10F55E5BF546

You can also order wedding stationery designed to your personal design - this might be the perfect time to commission a monogram for you as a couple.

Photo

Have you created a moodboard for your wedding day yet? It’s a great place to gather together all your thoughts; put together ideas for dresses, shoes, invitations, flowers, a venue ….

Have a look at the Ananya Weddings moodboard on Pinterest. Plenty of inspiration for you there. Follow us to keep up with our latest finds.

Ananya weddings on Pinterest

You’ll also find a free moodboard tool at Dessy which is really easy to use. You just drag the images you like onto it and play about until you have a Spring wedding theme that you’re happy with.

green wedding moodboard

Think bridesmaid dresses and accessories in fresh, springtime colours ..

blue hair accessories in spring wedding colours                  yellow bridesmaid dress by Dessy

What colours have you chosen for your wedding theme? Are you letting the season inspire you or do you have another idea? How about a country garden theme? We’d love you to share your wedding thoughts on our Facebook page and post a photograph!

Photo credits: Flower images by Wilde Thyme. Wedding cake by cakesbykrishanthi. Wedding invitations by Ananya.  Green moodboard, bridesmaid dresses and accessories by Dessy

Ananya’s Top Wedding Stationery Trends for 2014

February 21, 2014

radiant orchid invite 1

radiant orchid Tango1

2014 has arrived! At Ananya, we love creating wedding stationery that reflects the top colour, embellishment and style trends of the year. If you’re getting married in 2014 then look no further for stationery advice! If you want to make a statement this year, start by choosing one of our picks for the top trends in 2014.

Top Trend: Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2014

Radiant Orchid

Pantone has announced that its 2014 Colour of the Year is Radiant Orchid. This captivating and charming shade of purple is perfect for romantic stationery and is set to dazzle the wedding scene this year. At Ananya, we love this enchanting, vibrant colour and have designed a collection of stationery that radiates love. This colour will be the hottest trend in fashion and interiors for 2014. Expect to see this colour accompanied with complimentary Ombre or monochrome shades. Make Radiant Orchid your stationery statement for 2014!

Top Trend: Signature Style

Bespoke Stationery

bespoke peacock wedding day invitation6_POA_ananyacards.com

bespoke peacock wedding day invitation7_POA_ananyacards.com

At Ananya, we specialise in creating bespoke wedding stationery that truly reflects the personal style and image of the happy couple. My team and I will meet with you on a number of occasions to offer suggestions and create exclusive designs. For truly unique creations, we can design a monogram to add an elegant touch to your stationery that symbolises your everlasting commitment to each other. Plus, their versatile use and adaptability make monograms a wonderful keepsake that can be used for years to come. For an extra hint of sparkle, the stationery can be hand embellished with crystals to bring a bit of glitz and glamour to your wedding.

Top Trend: Vintage Luxe

Pearl Embellishments

With the success of The Great Gatsby film in 2013, vintage motifs and delicate lace designs have taken over the wedding world. At Ananya, 2014 will be the year of pearl embellishments! Sweet pearls give an elegant and feminine touch to your stationery and set the tone for a luxurious celebration. Pearls can be hand embellished onto any of the Ananya collections and are a special accent for vintage-style designs. Pick pearls for timeless stationery with a romantic glow in 2014.

Tango black

Viva Vintage11_ananyacards.com

No matter what trend you choose, you can’t go wrong with Radiant Orchid, Signature Style or Vintage Luxe in 2014!

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways

February 5, 2014
Red heart card for Valentine's, Weddings or Anniversaries

Valentine’s card by Ananya

Heart greetings card

Valentine’s card by Ananya

Just a few days to go before Valentine’s Day! What does it mean to you this year? Are you hoping to be proposed to? Have you just fallen in love? How will this Valentine’s Day be different? No matter how you choose to celebrate, communicating your love for each other is vital. We all love to know how special we are and how much we are loved. The written word has tremendous impact and it endures – it can be read again and again. Giving your loved one a romantic card is a wonderful way to express exactly what they mean to you. Ananya has created a variety of lovely cards just for that purpose. If you are planning to propose on Valentine’s Day, we have special Proposal cards. We have unusual ways to propose and ask that all important question.

Pink proposal greeting card will you marry me?, for engagements and Valentine's Day

Pretty Proposal greeting card by Ananya

Pink heart Proposal will you marry me card for Valentine's Day

Proposal greeting card by Ananya

If you’re looking for a card that perfectly conveys your feelings, we have a great selection for you to choose from. Whatever else you give your beloved on Valentine’s Day, always accompany it with a card!

We have also designed 12 Little Letters of Love note cards, perfect as a Valentine’s gift which can then be used throughout the year. These are 12 love messages to slip into her handbag, his briefcase, under her pillow, his wallet – just use your imagination! Love by Surprise!

cute, romantic love notecards

Little Letters of Love by Ananya

romantic love notecards

Little Letters of Love by Ananya

There are lots of ways to be creative on Valentine’s Day – from baking cute cupcakes and cookies to decorating the home with flowers and hearts. Check out our Pinterest board for some great ideas.

valentine ideas with hearts, cookies, crafts and flowers

Valentine’s Pinterest board

What new and exciting ways have you thought of to celebrate this day, dedicated to love?

Do you really need a wedding theme?

January 27, 2014
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vrfp7jalhmtaynu/Screenshot%202014-01-23%2011.35.54.png

Today’s blog is by Charlotte P who writes the Wedbits blog for the Dessy Group. She talks about wedding themes, which are becoming more and more common – but are they really necessary? 

Back in your grandmother’s day you just got married.

You’d have chosen a fairly traditional white dress, probably with a bit of lace in it. A veil and possibly a tiara if you wanted a bit of sparkle.

Your brideroom would have worn a new lounge suit or morning coat with a smart tie.

Your cake would probably have been a traditional three tier – either square or round, with each tier propped up by decorative pillars.

Flowers? Probably roses, carnations and gysophilia.

In addition, the wedding was likely to have been held in the morning, with a wedding breakfast afterwards and the bride and bridegroom departing for their honeymoon at sometime in the afternoon.

 Fast forward to 2014 and it’s all change.

Nowdays more and more brides decide to have a wedding theme and we’ve seen all sorts. Woodland themes, superhero themes, festival themes, Cadbury purple themes… you think of it and a bride has probably done it.

Superhero wedding theme

Superhero wedding theme anyone?

But is all that theming really necessary? Are you as a bride in danger of overcomplicating things when really your grandmother had it just right?

Well, a theme can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. And really, if you have a theme, no matter how basic, it can actually help you with your wedding planning.

To give you an example, the simplest theme you can really choose is a colour you like. It could be a soft blush pink or a vibrant emerald green.

fuchsia pink wedding invitation.

A colour – say fuchsia pink – could act as your wedding theme. Wedding invitation by Ananya Cards.

Use the colour for your wedding stationery, your bridesmaids dresses, in your wedding flowers, your table decorations, your table plan, the sashes you have around your chairs … you get the idea.

If you’d like to take matters a little further you could explore a countryside or vintage wedding theme. Vintage could be a nod to the film of The Great Gatsby. Think Art Deco style invitations, a wedding dress with a flapper style, jewelled headbands …

If you’re more of a boho type and you’re having a wedding in the countryside, then you could give it a festival theme. Consider having a live band to play the music at your party afterwards, scatter haybales around for guests to sit on whilst they watch the show, serve a hog roast, place festival flags around the marquee …

Over the last few years, brides have opted to have a wedding theme because in fact, it’s a way to really personalise your big day and show who ‘you’ are. The old-fashioned formal way was fine, but didn’t allow brides and grooms to show much individuality.

best men at wedding

The bridegroom doesn’t have to wear a morning coat! Suits by Clements & Church.

Now at a wedding, the bridegroom can turn up in a sharp new coloured suit and it’s par for the course (and if you’re getting married, why not invest in the suit you’ve always wanted, rather than a morning coat you’re unlikely to wear ever again.)

From the moment your wedding invitation drops through a guest’s letterbox, you’re making a statement about who you are and what your big day will be like.

Having a theme doesn’t have to cost you more money either. In fact DIY wedding days are becoming more and more popular. Brides are creating their own table centrepieces, wedding favours and venue decorations. (My only advice would be give yourself plenty of time and not underestimate how long all this will take you).

So – there are pros of having a wedding theme, and not many cons really. Just think of a theme you like, consider how much time and effort you can give it to working it through every aspect of your big day and then just go for it.

Galloping into the Limelight, the Year of the Horse, 2014

January 20, 2014
Chinese New Year card, Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year card by Ananya

Blossom Beauty

Blossom Beauty card by Ananya

The Chinese New Year begins on January 31st, bringing with it a shift in energy and influences for a whole year as represented by the symbolism of the horse. The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in the Chinese year, and ends with the Lantern Festival on February 14th, coinciding this year with Valentine’s Day!

The yin, female energy of the snake changes to the high yang energy represented by the horse. The horse has been a much loved animal in China over the centuries, helping to win battles due to its strength and speed. It is therefore considered fortunate and thought to bring success.

The horse also symbolises nobility, intelligence and social aptitude. Admired for its free spirit, strength and speed, it is competitive, action oriented and represents freedom and adventure.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year

  • This is a time for families to come together and celebrate. Remembering and honouring members of the family who have died is also very important
  • Presents are bought and exchanged and new clothes worn
  • Houses are thoroughly cleaned as a way to sweep out negativity and bad luck from the previous year, and making way for fresh, new energy and good luck
  • Lights and lanterns are hung outside homes. Doors and windows are often painted in red and decorations in red and gold are hung on the doors with messages of good fortune. Red is considered a lucky colour as it scares away bad fortune, and gold represents wealth
  • Younger members of the family are given red ‘lucky envelopes’ to pass on prosperity

Chinese new year celebrations

CNY

Horse harrods

Harrods salutes the Year of the Horse in its window displays

The Year of the Horse in Fashion

Never letting an opportunity pass to impress and seduce the label conscious Chinese consumers, global brands have been busy designing special Year of the Horse products.

Here are some examples:

Horse watch by Heidi Daus

Horse watch by Heidi Daus

Horsebit ring by Gucci

Horsebit ring by Gucci

Langchamp's galloping horse handbag

Longchamp’s galloping horse handbag

RollsRoyce

RollsRoyce

Even RollsRoyce has added the Horse to its horse power!

Not to be left behind, Ananya too, has been putting its creative juices to work and have designed some spirited Chinese New Year greeting cards. Generous use of the ever favoured red colour symbolises luck, happiness and good fortune. Wonderful designs full of blessings to send to friends and loved ones!

What Year of the Horse designs have you seen incorporated in fashion?

Congratulations On Your Engagement. What’s Next?

January 2, 2014

So congratulations.  He’s popped the question and you’re getting married.

You may be already sporting a shiny new engagement ring on your finger. Making plans, reading wedding magazines and sifting through the Internet for bridal inspiration.

bride with updo and strapless bridal gown There’s a lot to do.  But what should you be thinking about right now and what can wait until later?

Here’s a list of 10 things that you should be considering from the word go. (And if you’re a bride-to-be and have any tips to add, please let us know by adding a comment in the box below.)

What To Do When You Get Engaged

  1. Set a date.  It sounds obvious but until you’ve set a date you really can’t get on with planning any aspect of your wedding as the time of year you get married (and the location) is going to have a major effect on the venue you choose, what you wear, the flowers you use for decoration, the colours you want to feature … so diaries out and set a date to work with.
  2. Next on your list should be setting a budget. And keeping it. You really don’t want to overspend and your budget may determine your wedding date … if you want to save up, you could decide to wait a bit longer to get married.
  3. Book a venue. If you want to, you can hold your nerve and book a venue very last minute but really, all the best venues get booked up well in advance, particularly on Saturdays in the summer months. Remember it can be cheaper to get married on a Wednesday and also you may find more availability for your chosen venue in the winter months.
    Mint and peach vintage wedding table stationery 2013

    Mint and peach themed wedding at St Ermin’s Hotel

    Peacock feather, exotic table stationery

    Peacock themed wedding at Sanctuary House

  4. Consider using an online wedding planning tool which will help you to sort out your guestlist, budget and to do list. You can also find wedding planning tools as an app, so you can get organised whilst on the move.
  5. Once you’ve set a date, you should also book a photographer.  Have a look at some wedding blogs of real weddings to see the style of photography that suits you.  Reportage is very popular just now but you may want something a little more traditional and old school.
    Indian wedding with brightly coloured saris

    Indian wedding

    Interior of wedding marquee with greenery

    Summer Wedding in Jersey

  6. Ask your friends if they’ll be your bridesmaids.  They’ll need to put the date in their diaries!
  7. Send out save-the-date cards. If you’re getting married in the summer, or at Christmas, people have an annoying habit of being away on holiday!  Ananya has some beautiful save the date cards to choose from. bridesmaid wearing purple sari with purple wedding bouquet
  8. Pinterest is a fabulous place to set up a moodboard to plan your wedding.  You can make boards of wedding dresses, wedding cakes, shoes, bridesmaid dresses, venues … it’s great fun, addictive and best of all, it gathers all your thoughts together in one place.
  9. Okay. The dress.  You may already have ideas of how you’d like to look but all the top designers say that you should really keep an open mind.  Try on a dress you may not have considered and it may surprise you.   If you want to save some money, keep an eye out for wedding dress designer sample sales which can save you hundreds of pounds on your dream dress.
  10. Book your caterer. As before, the good caterers book up in advance and by booking ahead, you’ll find you have a lot more choice in the matter.

Perhaps most importantly of all, remember to enjoy planning your wedding! It’s a wonderful time, so don’t get stressed out about it.  Just relax and try to stay calm.

Have you any wedding planning tips to share with us?  Any advice you found invaluable?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Credits: Top image via Pinterest; Mint and peach image by Victoria Grech Photography with styling by Pocketful of Dreams and stationery by Ananya; Peacock theme image designed by Vivah Weddings with stationery by Ananya; Indian Wedding image by Sanjay D Gohil photography; Summer Wedding in Jersey image by Natalie Mayer Photography with stationery by Ananya; Floral bouquet via Project Wedding

Make it a Merry Christmas

December 8, 2013
Christmas, Harrods. ananyacards

Christmas at Harrods

Gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread tree cookies

The word Christmas conjures up a host of feelings and memories, sights and sounds; from mulled wine to mince pies, office parties to wrapping presents. Beyond the outward festivities and activities, however, Christmas is a time for families, for connecting, for giving and receiving. It is a chance for families to come closer, for businesses to thank employees and colleagues.

Brownies, ananyacards

Santa hat brownies via Maharani Weddings

Christmas also brings out our sense of compassion, our need to help those who deserve a helping hand – a time for generosity and contributing to others in whatever way we can.

As Christmas draws closer, the excitement is palpable – how are your preparations coming along? How many things on your list still remain to be ticked off?

The shops are decked in all their finery, every shop window beckoning us with its best offerings while sparkling street lights make us feel as if we have been transported into a fairy tale.

peacock, Christmas, ananyacards

Exotic peacock ornaments via The Big Fat Indian Wedding

At Ananya, we love Christmas; the bright colours, the scents and aromas, the beautiful displays which make all our senses come alive. The excitement of Christmas is reflected in our Christmas cards, which are full of colour and vibrancy. While using the traditional symbols of Christmas, like Christmas trees, snowflakes, baubles and stars, we have added our own unique interpretations and combinations to the traditional symbols, making them contemporary, bright and beautiful. Keeping in touch with friends and family, especially those who are far, or those you are not likely to meet is so important at Christmas. Have you sent out your cards yet?

Christmas card, ananyacards

Christmas card by Ananya

Christmas card, ananyacards

Christmas card by Ananya

Christmas card, ananyacards

Christmas card by Ananya

All of us at Ananya wish you a wonderful Christmas and all best wishes for 2014.

Diwali: Festival of Lights or Festival of Feasts?

October 23, 2013
Indian sweets, mithai

Indian sweets by Devnaa

Diwali, lights, diya

Dispelling Darkness by Asha Susan

The Diwali celebrations which stretch over five days are a real gastronomic treat. Traditionally, women of the household got together and started preparing and cooking several days ahead of Diwali, making both sweets (known as ‘mithai’) and a variety of savoury snacks. It is a custom for friends and family to go to each other’s homes with wishes of happiness and prosperity, where they will be offered the sweets and snacks that the women have devoted so much time in preparing.

Indian sweets, mithai

Indian sweets by Devnaa

For the Diwali meal itself, the dishes prepared traditionally vary from region to region, with many variations and adaptations by the younger, more adventurous generations. We are dipping into the collection of recipes of Anjali Pathak of the renowned and much loved Patak’s to offer you a delectable recipe to try for Diwali.

As George Bernard Shaw said: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” Enjoy!

Herby paneer with warm green salad

Paneer

Paneer to make Herby Paneer with Green Bean Salad by Anjali Pathak

Serves: 4 people

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • For the paneer:
  • 1 x 227g block of paneer (available in the chiller cabinet of most supermarkets)
  • small handful of fresh mint
  • good handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed if you prefer, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For the warm green bean salad:
  • 250g peas, thawed of frozen
  • 250 g green beans, thawed if frozen
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • good pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 75g spinach, washed and drained
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste

Methods

1. Whiz together in a food processor the mint, coriander, red chilli, olive oil and pine nuts. Add a good pinch of salt.

2. Cut the paneer in half through the middle lengthways so you have two long flat pieces.

3. Add some of the herby filling onto one half and place another half on top.

4. Cut the paneer into 4 long pieces.

5. Dip into the beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs.

6. Continue with the rest of the paneer. Place on a plate, cover with cling film and chill for at least an hour (if you have time).

7. Fry the paneer in the vegetable oil until golden brown, draining on absorbent paper.

8. In the meantime make the warm green bean salad.

9. Blanche the peas and green beans for 5 minutes in a pan of salted boiling water.

10. Drain and refresh by plunging them into ice water to keep the vibrant green colour. Drain and set aside.

11. Heat half the olive oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, smoked paprika and garlic slices and a good pinch of black pepper.

12. Once the cumin seeds start to sizzle add the peas and green beans and warm through for a few minutes.

13. Remove from the heat and squeeze in the lemon juice.

14. Add a good pinch of sea salt and toss together with the spinach leaves and the remaining olive oil.

15. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.

16. Serve the Herby paneer with the warm green bean salad.

Thank you to Anjali Pathak for sharing her recipe with us. For more of Anjali’s delicious recipes, please check out her website.

Diwali, greeting card, Ananya Cards

Diwali greeting card by Ananya

In addition to cooking for guests, Diwali is one of the most important times to send gifts and greeting cards to your relatives as well as business associates as a way of building and maintaining relationships. Ananya’s colourful selection of Diwali cards is full of the vibrancy and joyous spirit of the festival of lights – a perfect accompaniment to your gift and the ideal way to stay in touch.

Happy Diwali!

Diwali Delights – 3 November 2013

October 16, 2013
Diwali card by Ananya

Diwali greeting card by Ananya

Diwali – the Festival of Lights

What is Diwali?

One of the most well known and loved Hindu festivals, Diwali meaning a ‘row of lighted lamps’ is approaching. Better known as the ‘Festival of Lights’, it is generally acknowledged to symbolise the victory of light over darkness, and good over evil. To represent this, small earthenware oil lamps are placed around windows of homes and shops and places of worship.

Legends and reasons behind the celebrations

  • The Hindu Lord Rama returned from fourteen years of exile after the defeat of Ravana; the citizens of Ayodhya, overjoyed at his return, illuminated the entire city with earthen lamps
  • Goddess Lakshmi’s (goddess of wealth) birthday. People start the new business year at Diwali, with blessings beings sought and prayers said to Lakshmi for a successful year. They light lamps to help Lakshmi find her way into their homes
  • For those of the Jain faith, Mahavir, considered to be the founder of modern Jainism, attained nirvana on Diwali day
  • The third Sikh Guru Amar Das made Diwali a day when all Sikhs would gather to receive the Guru’s blessings
  • In Nepal, Diwali celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon king Narakaasura
  • In Bengal, Diwali is associated with the goddess Kali. Kali is known to destroy evil and fights for justice. Through prayers, people seek her blessings for happiness, prosperity and protection against hardships
Diwali cupcakes

Diwali cupcakes
Source: The Cupcake Blog

Diwali Rangoli, Festival of Lights

Diwali Rangoli
Source: arunamusings.blogspot.com

Diwali, marigold, diya

Diwali preparations
Source: Rajee Sood home

Preparing and celebrating

  • Spring cleaning is a must as a way to usher in new energy into your environment
  • It’s a great time to go shopping, especially for clothes and jewellery. Wearing new clothes during Diwali is a must for those who can afford it
  • Decorate the entrance to your home or business with a colourful motif called ‘rangoli’. This bright and vibrant design welcomes Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and of course, your friends and family
  • Make sweets, snacks, and savouries to offer friends and relatives who come to visit.  These are traditional offerings for Diwali and are also sent as gifts
  • Light small lamps or tea lights at night around the home. These lamps symbolise inner light which dispels darkness and brings inner peace
  • Get together with friends and family, light fireworks and have a blast
  • Send Diwali cards to friends and relatives, especially those who you will not be able to meet in person. Keeping in touch is extremely important at Diwali.

Ananya has a wonderful array of bright, colourful Diwali cards to pick from; you’re sure to find the right ones for all your friends and family.

Diwali greeting card

Diwali greeting card by Ananya

Diwali greeting card

Diwali greeting card by Ananya

Check out our Diwali Pinterest board for more ideas and images.

Diwali Pinterest board

Diwali Pinterest board

Diwali greetings from all at Ananya!

Photography credits: Sanjay D Gohil Photography for top image, with model Kaajal C. Vaghela, taken at Michelin starred Benares restaurant

Eid ul Adha: the Festival of Sacrifice

October 10, 2013
Eid Mubarak, Ananya Cards

Candle-lit lanterns and bold flowers
Source: The Knot Australia

On 14th October, one of the most important religious festivals called Eid ul Adha will be celebrated by Muslims all over the world. This is the second Eid (first one is called Eid ul Fitr) and is often referred to as the Greater Eid.

Occurring at the end of the annual Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca, Eid ul Adha commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) submission to God’s commands and his willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God (Allah). However, having tested Ibrahim’s willingness, God asked him to sacrifice a goat instead of his son.

As a commemoration of this ultimate act of sacrifice, and a reminder that the love of God must supersede everything else, Muslims traditionally sacrificed a sheep or goat during Eid ul Adha. This practice is no longer carried out by all Muslims, especially in the western world. The spirit behind the sacrifice is also to show compassion and generosity towards the poor and disadvantaged, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. So the meat from the sacrifice is divided into three equal parts. The family keeps one third, one third is given to relatives, friends or neighbours, and the final third is given to the poor.

An interesting traditional aspect of giving meat to the poor is that the two Eids were the only times when the poor were able to eat protein rich meat because they could not afford to buy it.

While prayers and sermons are important at Eid ul Adha, so is giving gifts. Spending time with family and friends, eating all kinds of sumptuous food and desserts and giving thanks for life’s blessings are all part of the celebrations.

Our Pinterest Eid board has some interesting ideas and inspiration….do check it out.

If you’d like to stay in touch with friends, invite them for a meal or thank them for a gift, Ananya has a wide range of beautiful and colourful Eid cards – you are sure to find some you love!

Eid greeting card by Ananya

Eid greeting card by Ananya

Eid Mubarak, Ananya Cards

Eid greeting card by Ananya

Eid Mubarak!

Halloween Ideas

September 24, 2013

Ideas for Halloween cards

When Halloween comes around on 31st October, we know that winter is setting in and that we’re coming up to the end of Autumn.

Kids love dressing up in Halloween costumes and going off ‘Trick or Treating’ with their friends and parents. Halloween costumes can be cute – like a pumpkin outfit. Or scary – think Dracula or a witch. Although you don’t have to wear a scary outfit at all if you don’t want to – there are plenty of kids going around dressed as Snow White or one of the Incredibles. Vampire costume for Halloween inspiraiton

You can buy some great Halloween costumes online, like this Lady Dracula number from Marks & Spencer. But if you’re feeling a little more imaginative, making a Halloween costume is a creative way to spend time with the kids.

spider web Halloween costume

This cobweb spider cape discovered via Martha Stewart is really easy and inexpensive to make and very creepy!

If you’re going out trick or treating in a group or waiting for it to get dark, you’re going to want to feed your hordes of ghosts, vampires and zombies beforehand – because afterwards all they are going to want to do is get stuck into all the sweets and treats they’ve amassed in their goodie bags.

Halloween ideas for recipes

This soup (recipe via BBC Food) is suitably green. Serve up before you go off and you’ll know the kids have got something substantial and healthy in their tummies to keep them going.

Ghost cakes Halloween ideas

This recipe for ghost cakes made from marshmallows (again via BBC Food) is easy and another way of spending time creatively and productively with young children.

Halloween fingers sweets Luxury grocer Fortnum & Mason have some fabulous Halloween goodies. If you’re looking for a Halloween gift, Fortnum’s are famous for hampers and have produced some especially for Halloween with suitably scary contents.

pumpkin faces Halloween ideas

Carved pumpkins lit up with candles are the traditional way of decorating the outside of your house for Halloween (apparently it also lets people know you’re happy to be visited for trick or treating). However, it’s not always as easy as it might seem to craft a really good pumpkin face. Yet again, Martha Stewart comes to the rescue with an easy to follow guide on how to carve a pumpkin and templates for different scary face designs that you can copy.

Halloween pumpkins

A great place to look for inspiration for Halloween is our Pinterest board on which we’ve collected together some images which have caught our imaginations.

Halloween cards      Halloween cards

Halloween cards     Halloween ideas

You might not always be able to get together with friends and family for Halloween in which case it is a perfect time to send a greetings card. Ananya has some beautifully designed Halloween cards for you to send and they could also double up as Halloween invitations if you’re planning on having a party. Here’s one we have produced for a wedding.

Halloween wedding invitation

We’re looking out for Halloween costumes to feature on our Facebook page – so if you’re making one you’re really proud of we’d love to see a photo!

All Halloween cards shown available via Ananya Cards.

Wedding Stationery Inspired By Movie Magic

September 19, 2013

Tired of attending weddings lacking any imagination? Stumped on how to give your wedding the all important “wow” factor? Why not plan your wedding based on your favourite movie! Movies make fantastic inspiration for fun and fabulous celebrations.

At Ananya, we love a good movie themed wedding! The roaring 20s has always been a popular theme for parties and weddings, but no more so than in 2013 with the release of The Great Gatsby. Starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Carey Mulligan as Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby depicts the glamour, luxury and extravagance of the time period. This is the perfect theme for modern brides wanting a bit of old world opulence and sophistication.

Your invitation is the first glimpse your guests will receive of your wedding, so make sure to incorporate the theme early. We’ve designed the striking Gatsby Glamour collection for our fab, flapper brides.

HaylieHaylie and Mathew

Why not make your big day extra memorable by creating a bespoke monogram design? At Ananya, we create personalised monograms, which are wonderful keepsakes from your wedding and can be used on all manner of things to remind you of your happy day.  Here is a Gatsby inspired wedding invitation with a monogram of the couple’s initials at the top.

Julia

All little girls dream about their fairytale weddings- many of which aspiring to be a true princess on their big day. This is why movies make great ready-made wedding themes. Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska as The Mad Hatter and Alice, was a huge hit in 2010. Being inspired by Alice would make your wedding day a quirky and creative affair that no one could forget! We designed the Queen of Hearts collection for our fun loving brides who aren’t ready to give up their childhood dreams.

Mad hatterEat meCuriouser

Remember, movie magic doesn’t just come from Hollywood. As 2013 celebrates the 100 year anniversary of Bollywood, we have created this limited edition Bollywood Bliss collection of stationery. This collection brings the glitz while allowing you to showcase your culture.

Rupaposter

No matter what movie you choose, remember to stay true to yourself and make your wedding memorable in your own way. Just don’t forget hand embellished crystals on your stationery for an extra spark of magic on the big day!

Wedding DIY: Downloadable Bunting

September 14, 2013

Pack A Punch With Buntings; We Show You How

Perfect for setting the scene at a wedding, buntings have become hugely popular as a way to add that all important personalised element. With a diverse range of uses and materials from which to craft buntings, you can use them to tell a story, display a symbolic message, or have the bride and groom’s names, as we show you how.

A big display of buntings will look dramatic in a large space, while small ones can stand on guest tables, and even on top of the wedding cake! Easy to put up, they can even be used as decoration for the bridal room. With the incredible choice of colours, fonts, textures and materials available, the possibilities are truly endless!

We at Ananya are all about personalising wedding stationery and below we show you how to create ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ buntings using our template. It’s fun and easy to do, and should get your creative juices flowing to add your own unique touch and flair!

Each bunting template is A5 in size and so there are two templates per A4 piece of paper.

free downloadable wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding

Bride bunting in green

free downloadable yellow wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding

Groom bunting in yellow

free downloadable wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding

Bride bunting in pink

free downloadable grey wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding

Groom bunting in grey

- Download the templates and print on white cardstock.
- Cut around the templates.
- Using a hole punch, punch 2 holes along each corner of the top of the bunting templates (where instructed).
- Using a long piece of string, thread through each bunting template, adding knots after each hole as you go along to keep each of the templates in place.
- Carry on doing this until you have a sufficient length of bunting.

Please click on the links below to download your wedding bunting PDFs.

‘Bride’ bunting in green

‘Groom’ bunting in yellow

‘Bride’ bunting in pink

‘Groom’ bunting in grey

Enjoy! Please do send us some photographs of how you have used the bunting…we would love to see them!

Hot Off The Catwalk: Stationery Trends Inspired By Autumn/Winter Fashion 2013

September 8, 2013

borrowed-blue_wedding-invitation4_from-£4_ananyacards.com-1-300x300

borrowed-blue_wedding-invitation3_from-£4_ananyacards.com-1-300x300

Choosing your theme or colour scheme for your wedding day is a critical decision as it will set the tone for the entire occasion. Many fashionista brides gather their inspiration from the latest looks on the catwalk. From the dress to the stationery, every aspect of your big day can be customised to resemble your favourite designer’s creative vision.

At Ananya, we pride ourselves on creating dynamic wedding stationery that is on point with the current fashion trends. However, it’s important to remember that this is your wedding and your stationery should truly represent your style. You don’t have to go overboard as there are easy ways to bring to life your favourite runway looks in your stationery. Here we will give you some fun tips on how to reinterpret a key fashion trend, turning simple stationery into haute couture works of art.

Following the colour schemes used by designers is an easy way to show your wedding stationery is on trend for the season. Deeply saturated blue was the hottest shade showcased on the New York runways for A/W 2013. Michael Kors, Lacoste and Marc by Marc Jacobs all incorporated the electric colour into their collections. We love following fashion colour palettes and created these vibrant designs. Plus, they make the perfect Borrowed Blue!

fullpeacockinvite_2

peacock

Adapting fabrics and textures into designs is another fun way to make your stationery stand out. At Paris Fashion Week, feathers were all the rage at Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen. For the extremely bold bride, feathers can be adorned onto the stationery to truly capture this look. However, if you want to keep it simple, we recommended using feather designs on the invitations. We recreated this trend in our pretty Peacock feather stationery.

black-gold_invitation6_from-£4_ananyacards.com_-300x300

Baroque-bliss_wedding-invitation10_from-£4_ananyacards.com_-300x300

Lastly, Baroque designs and styling were commanding the catwalks in Milan at Just Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana. This theme can be shown through black and gold colour contrasts as well as traditional Baroque patterns.  This is a great theme for modern brides who want a bit of old world glamour. Here are more options on how to revitalise this trend into your stationery.

No matter what theme or colour scheme you decide on, remember that embellishments are the most important accessories for your stationery. Glamourous sparkles exude luxury and transform your simple stationery into one-of-a-kind works of art. Our love affair with embellishments will continue to dazzle us into the autumn and winter seasons. Whether you choose a subtle hint of sparkle or a completely bejeweled invitation, it will definitely reflect the splendour of your big day!

Remember, your stationery is the first glimpse of your wedding that your guests will receive. It is important to set your theme early and continue it throughout all the wedding preparations. If you are feeling confused or overwhelmed, just look to your favourite designers for inspiration to be on trend for A/W 13.

Personal Touch and Winning Ways to Make Rosh Hashanah Extra Special

August 29, 2013
Table decor, Rosh Hashanah

Apple centerpiece

Rosh Hashanah, greeting card, Ananya

Rosh Hashanah greeting card by Ananya

Make Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, memorable and innovative by using some creative ways to add your own stamp to the celebrations or give imaginative gifts. At Ananya, we have done some research and offer you some simple, easy, yet effective suggestions.

1. Personalised Place Settings with a Difference

Table decor, Rosh Hashanah

Apple place setting
Source: http://www.creativejewishmom.com

Each place setting uses an apple adorned with a golden leaf on which is written the guest’s name. This is what you will need:

  • Heavy gold paper or gold cardboard
  • hemp or ribbon
  • a hole punch

Cut the gold paper into the shape of a leaf, in proportion to the size of the apple. Write the name of your guest on the leaf, make a hole at the base of the leaf and pass the hemp/ribbon through the hole and tie it to the stem of the apple. Do this for each guest and place each apple at the correct place setting. It’s quick and easy and looks elegant! If you want, you can write Shanah Tovah on each leaf and have the adorned apples as a centre piece.

You can also replace the apples with pomegranates, which are symbolic at Rosh Hashanah. For other craft ideas, check out Creative Jewish Mom.

2. Apples and Flowers, a Great Match!

Table decor, Rosh Hashanah

Apple Centerpiece

Using apples in your flower arrangements is another novel idea to create drama to your table décor. You will need:

  • A clear glass vase – either tall and narrow, square or round
  • Some green apples
  • Your choice of colourful flowers

If using a tall vase, place some green apples into the vase so they almost fill up the vase, add water, then arrange flowers in an oasis and place them at the top of the vase. The contrast between the green apples and the flowers will be striking! If you don’t want to arrange flowers at the top, simply place small colourful flowers interspersed with apples along the sides of the vase and fill it with water. The apples and flowers together will look beautiful. If you are using a round vase, you can fill it with water and add decorative twining stems around the interior of the vase, add apples up to the top of the vase, then allow some contrasting coloured flowers to float at the top of the vase – again the effect can be stunning! Use your imagination and create something unique!

Source: Project Wedding

3. Apples + Tea Lights = Ambience

Table decor, Rosh Hashanah

Apple candles

So simple and so sweet – it can be used either as a centrepiece, on a sideboard or coffee table. You will need:

  • Apples
  • Tea lights
  • Knife to carve

Cut out the centre of the apple to make enough space to fit a tea light comfortably in the apple so it is flush with the top. Then light the tea lights at the appropriate time and watch your friends go “wow”!

Source: Style Me Pretty

4. Going Natural

Hamper, Rosh Hashanah

Hamper by Ripe Gifts

A gift basket with a difference; an English Ash wood foldable basket from sustainable resources in Cumbria is filled with goodies such as delicious luxury dried fruits and nuts, an Israeli wild flower raw honey, a bottle of Chenin Blanc and a wooden honey drizzler. This is a gift oozing with luxury and will last well beyond Rosh Hashanah.

There are also other choices on offer at Ripe Gifts to wish your loved ones Shanah Tovah!

5. Apples and Honey for a Sweet New Year

Apple Honey, Jewish New Year, Giftwrap

Apple Honey Giftwrap by Arona Khan

It is a simple gift, but full of meaning at Rosh Hashanah, from International gift wrapping expert Arona Khan. An apple sits atop a bottle of honey, both tied together with raffia with a bow at the top! Apples and honey to usher in a Sweet New Year!

 

While you may not be able to invite all your friends to your celebrations, you can let them know you remember and appreciate them by sending them a card; either with a gift, or by itself. A hand written card is always welcome. Ananya has a range of beautiful contemporary cards for Rosh Hashanah that are sure to please your friends. Make them feel special – send them a card.

Shanah Tovah!

Shanah Tovah! Warm Wishes for a Good and Sweet New Year

August 25, 2013
Pomegranate Guacamole, Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah

Pomegranate Guacamole

Rosh Hashanah, card, Jewish New Year

Rosh Hashanah greeting card by Ananya

As Rosh Hashanah and the beginning of a new year approaches in the Jewish faith, we thought we would offer you a couple of easy recipes to try that include some of the symbolic fruits often eaten at this time – the pomegranate, apples and honey. The pomegranate is regarded as the symbol of righteousness because it is said to have 613 seeds representing the 613 Mitzvot (commandments) of the Torah. The pomegranate also represents fruitfulness because of its many seeds, as well as knowledge, wisdom and learning. The apples and honey are harbingers of a good, sweet and holy year. Shanah Tovah and a sweet New Year to you! Refreshing and simple to prepare, they are great dishes no matter what your faith.

Recipe: Pomegranate Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1/2 large onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 fresh chilies, serranos, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 freshly squeezed lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Directions

1 Finely chop the onion, garlic, chilies serranos, and coriander leaves.

2 Place in bowl and add lime juice and salt, set aside.

3 Peel and pit the avocados and place in a bowl. Mash with fork slowly adding the tablespoon of pomegranate juice.

4 Add onion and garlic mixture and fold together to make a course pulp. Gently fold in pomegranate seeds.

Serves 6

Source: Recipe and image thanks to www.joyofkosher.com

Rosh Hashanah, recipe, Jewish New Year

Apple and honey tart

Recipe: Apples and Honey Tart - an elegant yet easy finish to a Rosh Hashanah meal

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry (1/2 of a 17 oz box)
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • cinnamon for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons Honey

Directions

1 Place frozen puff pastry on the counter and let thaw until it is soft enough to unfold without it cracking, approximately 40 minutes.

2 Unfold pastry and cut in half. Preheat oven to 415 degrees. Place the two puff pastry rectangles onto a baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment paper.

3 Place apples, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Allow to sit for a few minutes, until the juices start to come out of the apples.

4 Arrange apple slices on the pastry rectangles in a straight line, overlapping as you go. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown.

5 Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with honey, using 1 tablespoon for each tart. Transfer to a serving tray and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6-8

Source: Recipe and image thanks to www.joyofkosher.com

Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, Shanah Tovah

Shanah Tovah greeting card by Ananya

Shanah Tovah, Jewish New Year card

Shanah Tovah greeting card by Ananya

At Ananya, like the meaning behind the symbolism of the pomegranate, honey and apple, we too are constantly learning and increasing our knowledge and appreciation of other cultures. Whilst the pomegranate and honey were valued symbolically in ancient times, they are very much relevant in today’s world for their health promoting benefits. And an apple a day, as we have been told, keeps the doctor away! Giving new life to ancient traditions and making them appealing, meaningful and contemporary, is at the heart of Ananya’s vision. Our lovely Rosh Hashanah greeting cards capture the essence of this ancient tradition and bring it into today’s world.

Have you bought your Rosh Hashanah cards yet?

Looking For Rosh Hashanah Cards? Here’s An Elegant Way To Wish Family And Friends A Happy And Healthy New Year!

August 20, 2013

Rosh Hashanah greetings card

Rosh Hashanah – the celebration for Jewish New Year – is nearly upon us, falling on 5 September this year.

What Does Rosh Hashanah Mean?

The Jewish New Year – known as Rosh Hashanah – commemorates the creation of the world and lasts for two days.

When greeting one another Jews say “Shanah Tovah” which means “for a good New Year.”

Observant Jews will attend synagogue where one of the rituals for Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the Shofar, a ram’s horn trumpet. In a special pattern a hundred notes are sounded out. This is something young children particularly look forward to.

After the service, families disperse for a special meal where the theme is sweetness. Families wish one another a “happy and sweet New Year”. Apples are dipped in honey, as a symbol of the sweet New Year that each Jew hopes will follow and sometimes a sweet carrot stew called a ‘Tzimmes‘ is served.

Tree of Life Rosh Hashanah Card Rosh Hashanah Card

The traditional Challah or Hallah bread is served as a round loaf at this time of year, rather than the plaited loaf usually served. This symbolises the circle of life and the year.

Sometimes a pomegranate is placed on the table too. Tradition dictates that a pomegranate holds 613 seeds, which represent each of the commandments a Jew is meant to keep.

Being with family and close friends is a wonderful tradition to keep over Jewish New Year but sometimes this is not always possible. Talking on the phone is lovely, but sending a beautiful Ananya Card for Rosh Hashanah is an elegant way of sending Jewish New Year greetings and messages to far away loved ones.

Our cards have a variety of designs featuring both apples and the tree of life and a message for a sweet new year. You can order the Rosh Hashanah cards online in plenty of time for the end of September – receiving a handwritten card through the post is always a delight.

Here are just some of our designs – you can find the rest on our website.

Shanah Tovah greetings cards Shana Tova greetings cards Shanah Tovah greetings Shanah Tovah greetings

We also offer cards for other Jewish celebrations, including Bar Mitzvah messages, Bat Mitzvah and Pesach. We pride ourselves on elegant and contemporary designs, so take a look.

What do you enjoy best about celebrating Jewish New Year? Have you any special recipes you’d like to share with us? We’d love to feature them!

Raksha Bandhan: From a Simple Thread to a Sacred Bond

August 17, 2013
Ganesh card for Rakhi

Divine Devotion – Ganesh greeting card ideal for Raksha Bandhan by Ananya

Raksha Bandhan sweets

Raksha Bandhan Indian sweets
Source: kirantarun.com

There is one special day every year in the Hindu faith when a simple thread becomes the symbol of love and protection between a brother and sister. The thread or ‘Rakhi’ is tied by the sister on her brother’s wrist and is considered stronger than a metal chain because it has been imbued with prayers and mantras for the wellbeing and protection of her brother. At that moment, it is transformed from a simple thread to a sacred bond.

That special day falls on the full moon in the lunar calendar month of Shravan (usually in August) and is called ‘Raksha Bandhan’ – the bond of protection. The sister offers her brother sweets as a symbol of her love, and the brother in turn offers her a gift of cash, clothes or jewellery and a promise to protect her and be there for her whenever she needs help. It is a day for celebrating and re-enforcing the ties between brothers and sisters. This year, Raksha Bandhan takes place on 21st August.

Rakhi thread

The thread of Raksha Bandhan
Source: Merinews.com

Indian Sweets

Raksha Bandhan Semolina sweets
Source: kirantarun.com

Rakhis

An Indian Muslim trader checks the Rakhi as he prepares a bunch of them for sale at his shop in India.
(Ajit Solanki – ASSOCIATED PRESS)

‘Rakhis’ have evolved a lot with the changing times, and there are ‘Rakhis’ available in every colour and size, from big and bold to studded with semi-precious stones, to floral. The thread can be replaced by a gold or silver chain and look more like a piece of jewellery than a simple strand of threads. ‘Rakhis’ are becoming more and more ornate with the ‘Rakhi’ vendors in trying to out-do their rivals in coming up with fancier versions each year.

For those sisters living far from their brothers who are not able to personally tie a ‘Rakhi’, Ananya has a range of beautiful, festive coloured cards in which to send your ‘Rakhis’. There are many choices in our General collection, including one from the ‘Love’ series or one featuring the Ganesh God to show him how much he means to you, or even a Thank You card or note card to tell him how much you appreciate him.

Paisley card

Golden Paisley greeting card and notecards by Ananya

How will you show your brother that you care?

Recipes from Food Connoisseur Anjali Pathak

July 22, 2013
Anjali Pathak, recipes

Anjali Pathak

Greeting card

Greeting card by Ananya, suitable for all occasions

In the spirit of adding an innovative element to a traditional custom, something we always love doing at Ananya, we wanted to share some easy to make recipes you may want to try for any occasion including Ramadan. These recipes come from culinary expert Anjali Pathak, of the famous Indian food company Patak’s, whose brand of curry pastes and sauces has been a household name since 1957.

The holy month of Ramadan is with us. A whole month of fasting from dawn till sunset will commence, and at sunset each day, the fast will be broken with an ‘Iftar’ a meal shared with the family and often the community, with a sense of celebration.

Spiced Fig dish

Spiced Figs with Saffron Scented Yoghurt by Anjali Pathak

Spiced Figs with Saffron Scented Yoghurt

Serves: 4 people

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 8-12 fresh figs
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 150 g thick greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mint, roughly chopped

Method

1.    In a pestle and mortar bash the cloves and green cardamom pods to release the flavours.

2.    In a pan gently heat the honey with the cloves, green cardamom and cinnamon for a few minutes.

3.    In the meantime prepare the figs. Cut the figs into quarters from the top to the base without cutting all the way through. Pinch the bottoms slightly so the flesh is exposed.

4.     Pour the aromatic honey over the figs making sure there is plenty in the centre of each one. Bake in a preheated over 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for 12-15 minutes or until they are softened. Discard the whole spices before serving if you prefer.

5.    In a small bowl soak the saffron with a teaspoom of warm water and stir to release its wonderful colour and aroma.

6.    In another bowl mix together the yoghurt, sugar, saffron including the water, and mint. Taste and add more sugar if desired.

7.    Serve the figs with a good spoonful of saffron scented yoghurt. Simply delicious!

Caraway Roasted Aubergines

Caraway Roasted Aubergines by Anjali Pathak

Caraway Roasted Aubergines

Serves: 4 people

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 large aubergines, cut lengthways into thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely crushed
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 large red chilli
  • 4 cloves garlic, in their skins
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • ½ lemon, cut into wedges

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.

2. Cut the aubergine slices in a criss-cross pattern on one side. Lay them on a greased baking tray.

3. Drizzle over most of the olive oil and sprinkle over the turmeric powder, caraway seeds and black pepper.

4. Sprinkle over some sea salt.

5. Slit the chilli down the middle and carefully remove the seeds, or you can leave them in if you like your dishes hot.

6. In the corner of the baking tray put the chilli and garlic cloves and drizzle over the rest of the olive oil.

7. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes until they are soft and golden brown.

8. Slice the roasted chilli and remove the skins of the roasted garlic. Sprinkle over the aubergines with some fresh coriander and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Anjali’s Tip  I like to make a dip by mixing yoghurt with some stir fried onions to tone down the chilli heat.

As well as being a member of Patak’s Indian food dynasty, Anjali is an Indian food connoisseur in her own right. She is a chef and a food writer who loves experimenting with traditional Indian and contemporary International cuisine. Please visit her website for lots of wonderful recipes and inspiration.

What are some of your favourite dishes for Iftar? Do you experiment with new recipes? We’d love you to share them with us.

What is Eid? (Enter our competition to win Eid Cards)

July 16, 2013
Eid greeting card

‘Geometric Glamour’ Eid greeting card, crystal embellished, by Ananya

Eid greeting card

‘A Drop of Heaven’ Eid greeting card by Ananya

Eid ul Fitr: End of fasting, beginning of feasting

Eid ul Fitr, meaning the Festival of breaking fast, is one of two very important religious festivals celebrated by Muslims (the other being Eid ul Adha). It is a time of great rejoicing and marks the end of Ramadan and a month of fasting. Beginning with the sighting of the new moon its exact time varies according to the location it is being observed from.

Breaking fast

Rising early and having a light breakfast of sweet food such as dates, Muslim men dress in their best clothes and attend a special prayer and sermon. Before attending the prayer, however, each Muslim must pay Zakat al Fitr, a donation for the month of Ramadan, which can be in the form of money or food.

A feast for the eyes and taste buds

Women take great pride in decorating their homes and laying on a feast, including ‘sivai’ – a special sweet made with vermicelli and cooked in milk and sugar. This is an occasion for them to dress in all their finery, decorate their hands with henna and look glamorous.

Eid cookies

Eid cookies by Natasha Ogle

Baklava pops

Baklava pops
Source: A Crafty Arab

Giving and receiving

Eid ul Fitr is a day for giving gifts, starting with the children. In addition to receiving gifts from parents, children also get money, called ‘eddi’ from elders. Daughters are not forgotten in the gift giving, and brothers go to their married sisters with ‘sivai’ (special sweet), and presents which may include clothes, money and jewellery.

Eid decorations

Eid star decorations
Source: Honey Sweet Home

Greetings for Eid 

Ananya’s fabulous range of Eid greeting cards incorporate beautiful designs with the bright and joyous colours of festivity. They can be hand embellished with crystals to make them sparkle and twinkle – a perfect way to wish your friends and loved ones Eid Mubarak as you exchange gifts and wishes for their good fortune.

Eid greeting card

‘Joy of the Day’ Eid greeting card by Ananya

Eid ul Fitr 2013 falls on August 8th. Beginning with the sighting of the new moon, its exact time varies according to the location it is being observed from.

Enter our competition to win Eid cards

What does Eid mean to you? We’ve 2 sets of 10 Eid Cards in some of our beautiful new designs to give away to two lucky winners. Just visit the Ananya Cards Facebook page and let us know what Eid means to you. If you like, you can post a picture too.. We’ll then choose the two descriptions we think represent Eid best! Good luck. 

Autumn/Winter 2013 Wedding Stationery Trends

July 1, 2013
pretty lace wedding Invitation for autumn winter trends 2013

Lace Luxe Invitation by Ananya

Autumn/ Winter 2013 Trends

For those couples planning to tie the knot this autumn or winter, it’s time to start planning your stationery. We have some tips we hope you will find valuable. Planning a wedding can be so stressful and confusing in terms of what is in fashion, so we hope our views on the trends we see as being fashionably forward will help.

All Things Lace

Black and white lace wedding invitation. Autumn winter trends 2013 by Ananyacards.com

Wedding invitation by Ananya

Green and white lace wedding invitation. Autumn winter 2013 trends by Ananyacards.com

Wedding invitation by Ananya

The delicacy and intricacy of lace conjures up romance and love and instantly transports us to fantasy land. A sought after wedding look, its creative use has transformed everything from wedding dresses to wedding invitations. This trend shows no signs of abating, and will continue into the autumn and winter. Adaptable to Western as well as Indian weddings, you can make the stationery as regal or as classic as you want with careful choice of colours and embellishments.

Autumnal Colours to Match the Season

wedding invitation in burnt orange and yellow for Autumn

Wedding invitation by Ananya

Red and orange leaves wedding invitation for Autumn Winter 2013 trends by Ananyacards.com

Wedding invitation by Ananya

Autumn and winter – a time of transition and a change in rhythm is reflected in the colours of nature. Stationery for weddings taking place in the autumn and winter will adopt some of those changing colours such as burnt orange and golden yellow to signify joy, deep red for desire, purple for luxury and restful green for harmony and serenity. Alone or in a combination, nature in all its glorious shades will be on trend, as well as all things rustic. The weather may be getting cooler, but the wedding stationery will be warm and cosy.

Art Deco Effervesces

Colourful 1920s art deco wedding invitation, Autumn winter trends 2013 by Ananyacards.com

Wedding invitation by Ananya

Colourful 1920s art deco wedding invitation, Autumn winter trends 2013 by Ananyacards.com

Wedding invitation by Ananya

The revival of art deco due in large part to the buzz surrounding the soon to be released film The Great Gatsby will continue to effervesce into autumn and winter. Wedding stationery will incorporate all the elements that reflect splendour – the colder the weather gets, the louder will be the clamour for glamour.

Embellishments – the Crowning Glory

Emerald, pantone colour of the year 2013. Autumn winter trends 2013 by Ananyacards.com

Wedding invitation by Ananya

Embellishments are like jewellery for wedding stationery. That all-important sparkle exudes luxury that transforms and elevates wedding stationery. Our love affair with embellishments will continue to dazzle us into the autumn and winter, whether it’s a subtle hint of sparkle or a fully bejewelled card, it will lift our spirit.

We at Ananya have a wonderful range of fashion forward stationery to meet your needs. Which of these fashion trends best describes your style, and which are you most likely to use?

Ananya supports charity Find Your Feet’s Campaign ‘Curry for Change’ this June

June 1, 2013

A3 POSTER

Find Your Feet is a charity that is dear to our hearts and one in which Vaishali Shah, Managing Director of Ananya has been a key supporter and Trustee. Find Your Feet supports very poor rural families in Asia and Africa to grow enough food so they don’t have to go hungry, to strengthen their voice so they can speak out against injustice and to earn enough money so they can find their feet.

According to World Food Programme 2012, one in eight people around the world suffer from hunger because they don’t have enough to eat all year round. The majority of these people, like the families Find Your Feet works with, live in very remote areas of Asia and Africa without the means or opportunity to speak out and change things for the better.

In order to raise awareness and vital funds so families in Asia and Africa can build a better future, Find Your Feet is launching a live campaign called ‘Curry For Change’ in restaurants throughout the month of June.

There are two elements to the campaign – dining out and eating in. There are restaurants that are offering the chance to add a donation with the bill or choose a special dish/menu in aid of Find Your Feet. Supporters can also get involved by hosting their own curry evenings throughout the year.

Find Your Feet aims to raise £10,000 through fundraising activities with restaurants and the public, to support Find Your Feet’s work and to generate media interest to raise awareness of the campaign and the partners involved.

A5 FLYER

Participating restaurants include: Benares, Cafe Spice, Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen, Cinnamon Soho, Cinnamon Culture, Indian Essence, Roti Chai Street Kitchen/Dining Room, The Regency Club, The Red Turban. Each restaurant has chosen an initiative to participate in such as £1 on the bill, a special dish or a special menu.

Ambassadors of the campaign are: Atul Kochhar, Anjali Pathak, Cyrus Todiwala, Dhruv Baker and Vivek Singh. Ananya’s sister company Creative id, graphic design and marketing agency, has designed all the promotional material for the campaign which includes the logo, flyers, posters, table cards, thank you cards as well as a web badge, web banners and twibbon.

FYF-BANNER2

A5-FLYER2

The launch of the campaign will be at Cinnamon Kitchen on Wednesday 5th June, where members of the press have been invited to attend to promote the campaign. Other events will also take place, including supper clubs.

Every £500 raised would enable 40 villages in India to have a farming demonstration to learn how to grow enough food and a variety of crops to feed their families, and build a future free from hunger. Every penny raised by the end of July 2013 will be matched by one of Find your Feet’s donors, which means your support will make double the difference to the lives of families suffering from hunger.

All information can be found on the Curry for Change website.

Please support this very worthy cause and help feed families and change their lives…thank you.

CURRY FOR CHANGE THANK YOU CARD

Ideas For A Destination Wedding

May 28, 2013
Couples Resorts

Just what is a destination wedding exactly?

We’d say that it’s really when you get married abroad somewhere. Maybe somewhere a little exotic… a little unusual.

You might be the type of bride and groom who’d like nothing better than to get married on a white sandy beach, with the warm blue sea lapping at your feet, palm trees shading you from the sun and an azure sky up above.

bride and groom on Italian lake

Or maybe you’re more the type who fancy a wedding in an Italian palazzo? With picture-perfect mountains in the background. Maybe a lake nearby. Delicious food and warm sultry nights.

pink passport stationeryWhatever you choose, it’s important to get the invitations and save the date cards sent off for your destination wedding as soon as you’ve decided on a date. Whilst it’s lovely for you to get married on distant shores, it probably means that your friends and family will have to make particular plans – and in fact they may decide to make your wedding day the basis of a holiday.

Ananya-28-sharp AnanyaWB-10

It’s elegant if your invitations reflect the style of your destination wedding and we have some sophisticated stationery options for you to choose. Here below are some invitations we created especially for a wedding in Mexico.

exotic wedding stationery Bespoke wedding invitation_ananyacards.com

Afterwards, you could send out wedding thank you cards with photographs of the two of you together where you tied the knot.

couple walking hand in hand on stationery card

Top Tips For Your Destination Wedding

1.  If you’re marrying somewhere hot, you’ll need to rethink a heavy, detailed wedding frock and consider something lighter – companies like Dessy have specially designed destination bridal gowns that pack without crushing in beautiful, lightweight fabrics.

wedding bouquet made from jewellery

Jewel bouquet by Debbie Carlisle

2. For your flowers, you’ll need to consider what is available locally and what’s in season. There’ll probably be a wedding planner at your venue so talk about the colours and styles that appeal to you. Alternatively you could consider having a jewelled bouquet for the day – something which is certain to become a family heirloom.

3. You’ll also need to think about your hair. A stiff lacquered style would look out of place on a beach – so if you’re set on having an updo consider something less structured, less formal.

4. If you’re marrying on a beach, ditch the heels and go for manicured toes in flats or even flip flops.

5. A long veil won’t really work at a beach wedding – you could however go for a birdcage veil or just accessorise your hair with flowers.

Take a look at the Ananya Cards destination weddings board on Pinterest for some more ideas.

Are you having a destination wedding? Where are you planning on going?

Photo credits: Top image via Couples Resorts. Couple on lake via Best Wedding Away.

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

May 13, 2013
pretty bridesmaid dresses in nude colour

The bride with her bridesmaids
Source: 100layercake.com

Grey bridesmaid dresses with their flowers

Bridesmaids with their bouquets Source: southernliving.com

Irresistible DIY cards for you to print and send.

Now that the ring is truly on your finger and you are officially engaged, it’s time to ask a special friend or friends if they would be your bridesmaids. They will play such an important role not just helping you to plan the wedding, but also offer you emotional support and comfort on the big day itself. So why not do something different, make them feel extra special by sending them a “will you be my bridesmaid” card? It’s a formal, official and endearing way to ask.

The best part is that we have made it very easy for you. We at Ananya have designed two beautiful cards – one is bright and colourful, and the other is classy black and white. All you have to do is select the one you want, download and print it at home on the cardstock of your choice, fold it along the lines as indicated on the card, write your personal message and send – a beautiful free card in easy steps – the first of your wedding stationery suite! We also have an extensive collection of greeting cards suitable for most occasions.

pretty bridesmaid card for engagement

Will You Be My Bridesmaid greeting card by Ananya

monochrome greeting card for brides to ask bridesmaids on their engagement

Will You Be My Bridesmaid greeting card by Ananya

Please click on the links below to download your greeting card PDFs.

Will you be my bridesmaid card_1

Will you be my bridesmaid card_2

The card can also be accompanied by a thoughtful gift; something meaningful and different. Use your imagination – it need not be expensive, but it will show how much thought you have put into it and just how much you want her by your side on your special day!

Wedding Stationery Trends for 2013

May 3, 2013

Every year brings subtle and sometimes not so subtle changes in fashion. In clothing it might be the length of a skirt or a particular fabric.

Colour often dictates a changing trend. Think of the 1970s and browns and oranges spring to mind. For the 1980s it’s royal blues, hot pink and metallic highlights.

At Ananya we notice emerging styles and modes and use them to inspire our stationery.

The year 2013 has brought some particularly vibrant colour palettes and ‘looks’ which are on trend but timeless.

If you check our YouTube channel you can watch our film ‘Wedding Stationery Trends for 2013’ which shows the array of shades, designs and options brides and grooms can choose from in our wedding stationery collection for this year. (We’ll be adding other informative stationery videos to the site soon.)

Vaishali Shah talks about her favourite 2013 stationery style – Emerald Green (which is Pantone’s colour of the year) which expresses love, oneness, balance, renewal and regeneration.

Green is also a very easy colour to adapt to a couple’s personality. It can be either cool and serene or majestic and dynamic.

Great Gatsby wedding invitations Gatsby Wedding 2

Another look that is going to be key in 2013 is the 1920’s – with the new film of the Great Gatsby launching. This decade makes its appearance in our 1920′s inspired wedding stationery with dusky pinks, greens and bold, geometric attention-grabbing detail.

Ananya’s stationery designs have an exotic opulence and the East Meets West collection shows this to perfection. Luxury brands like Chanel and Boucheron have picked up on this and designed ranges which reflect this fascination. Ananya depicts this East/West fusion with gemstone colours, rich shades … sheer opulence.

personalised monogram

If you’re looking for something particularly personal to you, then investigate the options of commissioning a personalised monogram for your wedding day or some stationery featuring photography of you as a couple.

Whatever the wedding stationery trend you find most appealing, you’ll be delighted with the ‘feel’ of our stationery and the sumptuous impression it gives.

Watch our YouTube stationery trends for 2013 video to get the full picture.

Holi – the Festival of Colours

March 25, 2013

Holi, the Festival of Colours, a Celebration of Spring: 27th March 2013

542f05a26018f4dd608f6777281bd349

315c9fd5641d8a0fc8c68d7148b3df06

As this most vibrant and fun-filled festival approaches, we are thrilled to have Phillipe Brown, founder of bespoke travel company Brown + Hudson reminisce about India’s most colourful celebration.

Brown + Hudson is a luxury travel company renowned for their bespoke, exquisitely crafted travel experiences tailored to your personal style. Like Ananya, they have a passion for what they do; they create experiences that are completely centred around you, reflecting your interests, taste, concerns and even quirks. Luxury, bespoke and memorable are what both Brown + Hudson and Ananya stand for.

Ananya’s colourful cards embody all the exuberance and joy of this fun festival.

Happy Holi, festival of colours, celebration greeting card

Holi greeting card by Ananya

red and orange Happy Holi greeting card for festival of colours

Holi greeting card by Ananya

Phillipe Brown reminisces….

I first experienced the sheer joy and craziness of Holi about 20 years ago. It was the day I arrived in Udaipur. I remember it vividly. How could I not? My clothes were colourfully ruined and my hair dyed a chic blend of pink and purple. In many ways the magnificent occasion left a rare and beautiful impression of India that will stay with my clothes and I forever.

Holi reminds me of face painting as a kid; and as a big one myself it’s my favourite festival. There isn’t a more vibrant, inner-child releasing celebration than the ‘Festival of Colours’.  I love India’s traditions. Like the country they’re a melting pot of everything colourful from the food, to the dance, to music and awe-inspiring ceremonies. Holi is a 48 hour festival of frolics and sheer uninhibited fun. People of all classes, ages and religions ambush each other with ‘gulal’ and ‘abil’ paint in what must be the world’s messiest party.

d4455c2a47d59ff88f2c392bda6b709c

05a0fa403e38569f51c6e3ca7cb848e7

I seem to recall a drunken chapatti seller telling me that Holi began as a celebration of the Hindu ‘Holika and Prahlad’ legend – the ultimate tale of good triumphing evil where Lord Vishnu repeatedly saves Holika’s life in reward for her devotion. Bearing in mind his state it sounded fairly convincing. Someone else told me of another legend involving a dark-skinned Young Krishna who became envious of his beloved Radha’s lighter skin so he covered her face with bright powder. Elsewhere I read that he was just a prankster who liked nothing more than splashing coloured water over milkmaids.

Whatever its origins, nowadays it’s all about dancing, singing, gifts, parties and bonfires; basically, anything goes and the phrase ‘Boora na mano, Holi hai,’ (Don’t mind, it’s Holi!) is the motto to live by. You’ll be drenched by purple water balloons, and in turn can return the favour to perfect strangers without fear of consequences – other than being drenched back. To this day whenever my niece’s finger paintings wind up covering her face and hair, my mind wanders to that day in Udaipur 20 years ago.

4879509b3b8a40629dcd6830a724996f

68ebc237e9d831cb483ebdcab19a0751

To see for yourself, check out Xavier Zimbardo’s brilliant video. It’ll whet your appetite (or at least add colour to a grey day).

For further information, please visit brownandhudson.com

Follow them on Twitter and Like them on Facebook

Passover

March 18, 2013
Blue star of David Passover and Pesach greeting ca

Passover greeting card by Ananya

Blue star of David greeting card for Passover and Pesach

Passover greeting card by Ananya

Passover : A Celebration of Freedom – 25th March to 2nd April

Passover, also called Pesach is one of the most widely celebrated Jewish festivals, commemorating the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

The story of the Exodus tells how God helped the Israelites escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves. The 10th plague was the death of the Egyptian first-born. The Israelites were told to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and that would be the sign for God to ‘pass over’ the first-borns in these Jewish homes.

The freed Israelites left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise (leaven). To commemorate this, no leavened bread is eaten during Passover. This is why Passover is also called “The Festival of the Unleavened Bread”, and ‘matzo’, an unleavened flatbread made solely from flour and water is eaten during the festival.

Special Service

On the evening before Passover begins, a special service called a ‘seder’ takes place over a meal with family and friends in the home.

The ‘seder’ plate consists of:

  • A lamb bone
  • A roasted egg
  • A green vegetable to dip in salt water
  • Bitter herbs made from horseradish
  • ‘Charoset’ (a paste of chopped apples, walnuts and wine)

On the table, there are three ‘matzos’ (unleavened bread) on top of each other. At the start of the ‘seder’, the middle ‘matzo’ is broken and the largest piece is hidden. Children look for this hidden piece, and the one who finds it gets a small prize.

Four glasses of wine are drunk to represent the four expressions of freedom from slavery. An extra cup of wine is placed on the table and the door is left open for prophet Elijah who the Jews believe will reappear at Passover to announce the coming of the Messiah.

Innovative Desserts

We’ve found some desserts not usually associated with Passover – people love experimenting with new, tempting ways to make Passover dessert!

Chocolate cupcake with raspberry frosting

Chocolate cupcake with raspberry frosting

Saffron cake with lemon-fig compote

Saffron cake with lemon-fig compote

Matzo chocolate-mint ice cream cake

Matzo chocolate-mint ice cream cake

Here’s one we found that matches our Passover cards.

Star chocolate cupcake

blue star Passover and Pesach greeting card

Passover greeting card by Ananya

Reciting the Story

During the meal, the story of the exodus from Egypt is read aloud from a special text called the ‘Haggadah’, and rituals that correspond to aspects of the story are performed. Everyone takes part in reading the ‘Haggadah’. Children play an important role in the ‘seder’ and the youngest child recites four questions from the book which ask what distinguishes this special night from all other nights, and the father answers the questions.

The story of Passover has a positive and inspiring message; that one can find freedom from bondage, and that the future can be better than the present.

Our Passover cards set the right tone for this significant festival, celebrated by Jews all over the world. Remember to send cards to your near and dear ones this Passover.

The team at Ananya wish all our Jewish friends and colleagues a very Happy Passover!

Expressions of Love – Be My Valentine

February 11, 2013
Valentine's Day, love, red heart greeting card

Valentine’s Day card by Ananya

Heart honey cookies with lace decoration for Valentine's or Anniversaries or Weddings

Heart Cookies by hanielas.com

Just a few days to go before Valentine’s Day! What does it mean to you this year? Are you hoping to be proposed to? Have you just fallen in love? How will this Valentine’s Day be different? What new and exciting ways have you thought of to celebrate this day, dedicated to love?

No matter how you choose to celebrate, communicating your love for each other is vital. We all love to know how special we are and how much we are loved. The written word has tremendous impact and it endures – it can be read again and again. Giving your loved one a beautiful card is a wonderful way to express exactly what they mean to you. Ananya has created a variety of lovely cards just for that purpose. If you are planning to propose on Valentine’s Day, we have special Proposal cards. As we had shown previously, we have unusual ways to propose and ask that all important question.

If you’re looking for a card that perfectly conveys your feelings, we have a great selection for you to choose from. Whatever else you give your beloved on Valentine’s Day, always accompany it with a card!

Red heart card for Valentine's, Weddings or Anniversaries

Valentine’s Day card by Ananya

There are lots of ways to be creative on Valentine’s Day – from baking cute cupakes and cookies to decorating the home with flowers and hearts. Check out our Pinterest board for some great ideas.

valentine ideas with hearts, cookies, crafts and flowers

Valentine Pinterest board

heart chocolate cupcakes for Valentine's. Annievrsaries or Weddings

Heart cupcakes by Rachelle’s Cakes

What new and exciting ways have you thought of to celebrate this day, dedicated to love?

Ananya makes it easy for guys to pop the all-important question

January 28, 2013
Pink proposal greeting card will you marry me?, for engagements and Valentine's Day

Proposal greeting card by Ananya

Will you marry me love and proposal card for Valentine's Day

Proposal greeting card by Ananya

In a recent survey conducted by Ananya it has revealed that over 92% of gentlemen turn into a big, quivering, emotional wreck the moment they are about to propose and who can blame them?

Gents tend to start the marriage proposal by proclaiming their love for their girlfriend, maybe reminiscing about the time they met, special moments the couple have enjoyed together before landing the big question. But imagine if half way through his planned speech emotions and nerves take over and before you know it a ring is being forced onto your finger without you even hearing those all important words you have been dreaming to hear since you were a little girl; “Will you marry me?”

Well now, we have made it that little bit easier for gents to propose. Our unique new range of proposal cards not only serves an important purpose but they make for a cute keepsake item.

Pink heart Proposal will you marry me card for Valentine's Day

Proposal greeting card by Ananya

The proposal cards, left blank inside, are designed to help gents pen a meaningful poem, a love story, or maybe some personal sentiments, so no matter how nervous he gets at that all important moment, his new fiancée will always be able to treasure those precious words in a beautiful proposal card.

To make the proposal extra special, we have teamed up with luxury cake supplier GC Couture, who have created stunning proposal cakes ready for Valentine’s Day. Complete with a ‘Will you marry me?’ gift tag and cute dummy ring (which can be replaced with the real sparkler if you want to seal the deal), we reckon there’s only one answer for guys who serve this up for dessert: ‘YES!’

Proposal cake with diamond ringby GC Couture

Proposal cake by GC Couture

The ‘Pretty Proposal’ cards cost £5 and are available online.

The cost for a cake and card is £55 plus delivery.

How would you like to be proposed to? How were you proposed to? We would love to hear your stories…

The Powerful Dragon Yields to the Mighty Snake

January 22, 2013
Red Year of the Snake card for Chinese New Year

Year of the Snake card by Ananya

Red Paper Lanterns for Chinese New Year and 2013 Year of the Snake

Red Paper Lanterns

The Year of the Snake dawns in the Chinese calendar, and brings with it a whole year of changes and influences represented by the snake. Beginning on 10th February 2013, it is the most important holiday in the Chinese year. Also known as the Spring Festival, it ends with the Lantern Festival on 24th February 2013.

The snake, the symbol of yin, female energy, is enigmatic and full of unspoken mysteries. It is associated with qualities such as influence and insight, intellect, determination and power, and represents material possessions. A symbol of happiness and auspiciousness, the ancient Chinese believed that a snake in the house was a good omen because it meant that the family would always be free from want.

Lanvin turquoise snake choker featured in Vogue.com to celebrate the Chinese New Year, 2013 Year of the Snake, Snake charmer

Lanvin turquoise snake choker

Traditions and Customs for the Chinese New Year

  • Cleaning the house thoroughly in order to sweep away any negative energy and making space for good fortune to enter.
  • Decorating windows and doors with red coloured paper and poems with themes of wealth, long life and happiness. The colour red is considered auspicious.
  • Exchanging presents and giving children money in red paper envelopes.
  • Wearing new clothes.
Chinese red and gold decoration used for Chinese New Year and 2013 Year of the Snake

Red and gold Chinese decoration

5 spice red and gold cookies for Chinese New Year, Year of the Snake 2013 to bring fortune and Fu

Chinese New Year cookies

On the eve of the New Year, families come together for a feast. It is a time for reconciliation and letting go of grudges. The night usually ends with fireworks.

At Ananya, we have a fabulous range of Chinese New Year cards for you to choose from, with several designs depicting snake designs using a rich, auspicious red. Remember that although the New Year starts on 10th February, the Year of the Snake lasts the entire year, so feel free to send cards any time during the year.

Spring blossom Chinese New Year card for 2013 Year of the Snake

Chinese New Year card by Ananya

Red Chinese New Year card for 2013 Year of the Snake

Year of the Snake card by Ananya

How will you be celebrating the Year of the Snake? Have you checked out our Chinese New Year Pinterest board for some unusual ideas?

Credits: Red Paper Lanterns image from Pattaya E-Magazine; Lanvin snake choker via Vogue.com; Red and gold Chinese decoration image via Pinterest; Chinese cookies via FoodGawker

Wedding Stationery Trends for 2013

January 11, 2013

2013 has arrived and with it, come the dreams and aspirations of every bride to have her perfect wedding. So what are the trends for 2013 that will help her create the wedding of her dreams and also one that is a la mode? Below are our thoughts…

Glitz, Glamour and the Great Gatsby

Great Gatsby, Art Deco, 1920s glamour inspired green and black wedding invitation by Ananyacards.com

Gatsby Glamour wedding invitation

Great Gatsby, Art Deco, 1920s glamour inspired cream and gold wedding invitation by Ananyacards.com

Gatsby Glamour wedding invitation

With the much-anticipated movie the Great Gatsby finally being launched later this year, the 1920’s fashion has already begun to make an appearance. Translating this retro style into stationery will mean soft and shimmery backgrounds, dreamy and lace-textured looks and floral motifs – all heavily encrusted with crystals. Designs can also be bold and geometric and attention grabbing. Quite simply, a feast for the eyes!

Ombré: Shaded, Faded, Gradient

Ombre shaded green and purple wedding invitation by Ananyacards.com

Ombre wedding invitation

Ombré shaded green and brown wedding invitation by Ananyacards.com

Ombré wedding invitation

The shaded or Ombré look has definitely caught on, and will continue to be favoured in 2013. The dipped and dyed effect gives the look of colour graduations from dark to light. Often based on a monochromatic colour scheme, three different complementary colours can also be combined. The Ombré look has pervaded clothes, fashion accessories and even cosmetics and will be seen in stationery with dramatic effect.

East Meets West

Bespoke paisley lotus orange turquoise pink wedding invitation by Ananyacards.com

Paisley Lotus union wedding invitation

Bandhani Bliss India inspired pink wedding invitation by Ananyacards.com

Bandhani Bliss wedding invitation

The enduring allure of India and the East is such that time and again, top fashion and beauty houses such as Chanel and Boucheron have been drawn to its multi-faceted heritage for inspiration. This fascination with the East will continue to play an important part in 2013 because of its undying appeal.

Couples are not shying away from choosing strong, dramatic gemstone colours that are rich and exotic, and tones that spell opulence. The designs create a modern interpretation of traditional images and symbols, skilfully harmonising the East and West. Studded with crystal embellishments, they are Bollywood come alive!

Making a Personal Statement

Monogram used as a Swarovski crystal cake topper by Ananyacards.com

Monogram used as a cake topper

Couples will want the stationery to be an expression of who they are. Whether adopting the latest on trend colour or other popular themes, they will want those themes to be intertwined with splashes of their own choosing – wanting the wedding invite to create the right tone – their tone.

Monograms will continue to be highly favoured as a way to express who we are and what we stand for as well as aspects that embrace our cultural heritage. They can also be adapted for use in a variety of ways to suit one’s needs. Monograms can become a work of art when embellished with crystals, adding that special exotic sparkle and shimmer.  It’s no wonder that such gorgeous invitations often become a keepsake – a fabulous souvenir to look back on with pride.

Cool Colour Hot Trend

Mint Modern spearmint green wedding invitation by Ananyacards.com

Mint Modern wedding invitation

Exotic Emerald and gold Pantone's Color of the Year 2013 wedding invitation by Ananya

Exotic Emerald wedding invitation

The soft and soothing colour of mint looks all set to become a hot trend in 2013. After the fiery, passionate, colour palette of 2012’s Tangerine Tango, the cool, crisp and fresh tones of mint will be most refreshing. Emerald, Pantone’s Colour for 2013, will also be a very popular choice. Cool and serene or majestic and mesmerising, Emerald can be used as an accent colour to add that all important sparkle or as a predominant colour, as deep and vibrant as the Amazon jungle. The main colour can be carried through the entire suite of stationery with variations on tones.

Fantasy and Fairy Tale

Pink butterfly fantasy, whimsical, princess wedding invitation by Ananyacards.com

Butterfly Bliss wedding invitation

Given the uncertain and volatile nature of the events of 2012, weddings in 2013 will be a great excuse to escape from the concerns of everyday living. The stationery will reflect a fantasy world full of magic and beauty. Soft colours, birds and butterflies, layering of designs and a touch of sparkle will create romantic and captivating stationery.

Classic and Always in Fashion

Classic monochrome black and white wedding invitation by Ananyacards.com

Monochrome wedding invitation

For those of us who like simple and understated chic, the classic look will always be in style – a relaxed feel with timeless designs and quiet luxury that speaks volumes. Soft colours, monochromes, monograms, minimal fuss and beautiful.

What are your favourite trends for 2013? We’d love you to share your ideas with us.

Credits: All invitation designs by Ananya

 

The Black and Gold Invasion

December 7, 2012
Wedding invitation, Ananya

Invitation by Ananya

Jimmy Choo, Ananya

Jimmy Choo – Lolita black and gold suede sandals

From high street stores to elite fashion houses, designers worldwide have been seduced by the bold and dramatic combination of black and gold. The 2012 fall collections glitter with imaginative interpretations of these two strong colours that inject much needed razzle-dazzle into the colder and shorter days of winter.

Not only clothes, but accessories of all kinds are receiving the black and gold treatment. From Jimmy Choo with gold suede shoes to Salvatore Ferragamo and Gucci’s black and gold jewellery, to Giorgio Armani’s handbags, black and gold are the colours of choice.

Giorgio Armani, Ananya

Giorgio Armani clutch with Obsidian detail

Salvatore Ferragamo, Ananya

Salvatore Ferragamo bracelet

Gucci jewellery, Ananya

Gucci jewellery

Old is gold, and baroque is experiencing a grand revival. Mixing textures and patterns, embroidery on tapestry designs, dark velvets with ornate patterns in sparkling sequins – unapologetically opulent , exotic and festive, it’s right on cue as the festive season gets warmed up.

Ananya’s wedding and events stationery captures this black and gold fever to perfection. Our black and gold wedding invitation looks stunning alongside GC Couture’s 7 tiered wedding cake; each layer defined by a striking black and gold lace, and a swathe of gold-centred white flowers  draped around the cake – a perfect match.

Wedding invitation, Ananya

Floral Fantasy invitation by Ananya

Wedding invitation, Ananya

Orchid invitation by Ananya

Wedding cakes, Ananya

Madonna Cake by GC Couture

What black and gold faves have found their way into your heart and home?

What do Aphrodite, Enrapture and Strawberry Kiss have in common?

November 23, 2012
wedding cake

Rhapsody in Blue wedding cake

wedding cake

Aphrodite wedding cake

They are just some of the fabulous creations of wedding cakes designer Abigail Bloom of The Abigail Bloom Cake Company. We are delighted to introduce our first guest blogger Abigail who will share some ideas that are sure to inspire you and help you incorporate your wedding theme into your wedding cake. As with Ananya’s stationery, Abigail’s cakes, whether bespoke or off the peg are visually beautiful, sumptuous and synonymous with luxury. Abigail talks to us about winter wedding cakes.

Over to you Abigail…

“Coming up to the winter season you may be in the early stages of planning a wedding for winter 2013 or even in the late stages for this year. Our diaries are looking fabulously busy for 2013 and if you love the winter, then it is a great time to be able to reflect these colours and themes in your wedding.

Whether you are just using hints of silver, or you or going full throttle with snowflakes and icicles galore, your theme can be reflected in your cake design and cake table. The use of Gypsophelia between the tiers of a simple white wedding cake can not only work very well, but help keep your costs down. Gatherings of piped pearls on tiers can reflect icicles in your design, or perhaps you love the idea of your cake covered in sugar snowflakes.

wedding cake

La Traviata wedding cake

There are many winter themes, but the one we love most is the winter vintage glamour theme, with fake fur white wraps, diamante and pearl jewellery, a white and silver theme with hints of blue or black – stunning old world glamour. Whatever your design, off the peg or bespoke don’t forget a cake stand! A cake stand will help display the cake perfectly, whether your cake is contemporary in design and fits well with a white china cake stand, or you prefer the more traditional cake design and a stunning elegant silver cake stand to complement. Don’t forget to make sure your table is covered with a beautiful white linen tablecloth and for those with a real eye for detail – an ironed one!

Final ideas to help reflect your winter theme could include fake snow tree cones covered in fake snow, couple’s initials in white wood or silver that can be later used as book end or how about the theme of the moment – a bird cage entwined with fairly lights and the table adorned in tea lights. Any of these ideas will really help your cake table be a fabulous talking point for your big day.”

wedding cake

Sofia wedding cake

wedding cake

Cetelia wedding cake

For more information on The Abigail Bloom Cake Company and the new 2013 collection, please visit the website.

cake, weddings

Strawberry Kiss

Ananya’s Winter Wonderland collection captures all the magic and glamour of a winter wedding. Whether your preference is for soft and shimmery or bright and colourful, all the designs have an exotic look and offer tantalising colour combinations.

wedding invitation, winter wedding

Winter Wonderland invitation by Ananya

What theme are you planning for your wedding? If you are having a winter wedding, please let us know what colours you are using and what style cake you have chosen.

Easy DIY Idea For A Wedding Guest Book

October 13, 2012
tags: ,

DIY wedding guest book idea

If you’re planning a wedding and looking for inspiration then there are some great websites around that offer free advice, hints and tips. Amongst our favourites are Style Me Pretty, Wedbits and of course the unsurpassed Martha Stewart Weddings (which is where today’s idea has come from).

This wedding guest book ticks all the boxes.  It’s made up of individual envelopes into which guests slide a personally written card. It’s decorative, elegant and easy to put together. Your guests can put a private message into the envelope, draw a picture  (or perhaps even pop in a cheque!)

You need very few materials – this is one wedding idea that looks like a million dollars but actually costs very little.

guest book sign for diy wedding guest book

Materials Needed To Create Your DIY Wedding Guest Book

Scrapbook with blank pages

Small envelopes and blank cards

Paper doilies in different sizes and shapes

Strong paper glue (Pritt sticks work well)

Wedding guestbook idea

Putting It All Together

  1. Using the Pritt stick, glue the doiles to the scrapbook pages. This creates an attractive ‘frame’ for the envelopes.
  2. Next, glue the front of the envelopes and attach them to the scrapbook page on top of the doilies – flap side facing up.
  3. At your wedding reception, set up your wedding guest table with a sign showing the guests how to use the scrapbook. Encourage them to take a blank card, write a message and insert into the envelope. If they want to keep it really personal they can seal the envelope.

Kalyn & Todds wedding cards by Ananya

Remember, you can buy different coloured envelopes and doilies to match up with any wedding colour theme you may be using. You could go the classic route and just offer black ink to write in – alternatively you might like to experiment with coloured or metallic pens.

Whatever you choose, you’ll end up with a highly individual wedding guestbook that is sure to cause plenty of favourable comment.

Ananya cards on Pinterest

Check out the Ananya Pinterest page

If you’re looking for wedding inspiration, visit our Wedding boards on Pinterest where we’re gathering together a treasure trove of visual ideas.

Credits: Top image via Martha Stewart Weddings;  idea and photograph of purple wedding guestbook by Project Wedding, wish cards by Ananya created especially for Kalyn & Todd’s wedding day.   Thanks for sharing!

A Bright And Fresh Palette … Spring Wedding Colours

September 18, 2012

yellow and blue spring wedding bouquet

Planning on getting married in the Spring? Looking for a wedding theme? Then you really need to look no further than the colours that Nature can offer you.

pink ranunculus and purple hyacinth wedding table arrangement

pink and white tulips in flowergirl bouquets

Spring Wedding Colours

Marry in March, April and the early part of May and you’ll be surrounded by inspiration.  Just think of yellow primroses in the hedgerows; green and golden daffodils waving their trumpet heads in the grass; pink blossom on the trees; scented blue hyacinths.

Springtime colours work together beautifully and create a natural palette of shades to choose from that are perfect for a wedding.

Your wedding cake could be a delicate primrose yellow, like this one from The Abigail Bloom Cake Company.

pale yellow tiered wedding cake

You’ll want your wedding invitations to announce the mood and style of your wedding day. Look at Ananya’s wedding stationery which comes in Springlike shades of yellow, green, pink and blue.

wedding invitation in spring wedding colours

green wedding invitation  orange wedding invitation

pink paisley wedding invitation

You can also order wedding stationery designed to your personal design - this might be the perfect time to commission a monogram for you as a couple.

blue wedding flowers

Have you created a moodboard for your wedding day yet? It’s a great place to gather together all your thoughts; put together ideas for dresses, shoes, invitations, flowers, a venue ….

Have a look at the Ananya Weddings moodboard on Pinterest. Plenty of inspiration for you there. Follow us to keep up with our latest finds.

Ananya weddings on Pinterest

You’ll also find a free moodboard tool at Dessy which is really easy to use. You just drag the images you like onto it and play about until you have a Spring wedding theme that you’re happy with.

green wedding moodboard

Think bridesmaid dresses and accessories in fresh, springtime colours …

blue hair accessories in spring wedding colours  yellow bridesmaid dress by Dessy

What colours have you chosen for your wedding theme? Are you letting the season inspire you or do you have another idea? Maybe a hot pink wedding? Or country garden theme? We’d love you to share your wedding thoughts on our Facebook page and post a photograph!

Photo credits: Flower images (from top) Beauty & The Groom, Emma Lappin, Vogue Blog,   G Lily. Wedding cake by Abigail Bloom Cake Company. Wedding invitations by Ananya.  Green moodboard, bridesmaid dresses and accessories by Dessy

From India With Love

August 20, 2012
Chanel make up

Bombay Express de Chanel make up

Chanel Bombay Express make up

Bombay Express de Chanel make up

Such is the enduring allure of India that time and again, top fashion and beauty houses have kept being drawn to its vast treasure chest of multi-faceted heritage for inspiration. India has never failed to deliver!

More than a hundred years ago Louis Boucheron, the French jeweller, had travelled to Rajasthan to purchase gems for his designs. Recently, Boucheron launched a fragrance in the shape of a bracelet called Jaipur Bracelet, in a soft pink bottle inspired by the ‘Pink City,’ Jaipur.

Boucheron fragrance

Jaipur bracelet by Boucheron

Clarins makeup

Clarins Enchanted makeup

Clarins, the Paris based company has a new line of cosmetics called Enchanted, inspired by the Hindu festival of colours called Holi, with each colour named after cities in India. Chanel, too, has created a limited edition line of cosmetics called Bombay Express de Chanel. The colours were given Indian names such as Diwali for a nail shade in gold. Diwali is the Indian ‘festival of lights’. These cosmetics were designed for Karl Lagerfeld’s pre-fall 2012 collection called the Paris-Bombay Métiers d’Art show, which was inspired by sumptuous Indian fabrics, sparkling with embellishments.

Aveda, which has worked with Ayurvedic doctors for decades, recently launched a new line of products for thinning hair called Invati (the Sanskrit for ‘invigorate’) which has become their best-selling hair care system globally.

The beauty of India’s heritage is that it can be adapted to fit perfectly into the modern context, making the ancient relevant and contemporary. This is what Ananya understands and excels at. Our Eastern heritage and on-going research allows us to create personal stationery, wedding stationery and greeting cards that have their essence rooted in the past, but have a very on trend appeal. Ananya offers exotic and contemporary designs to the discerning, cosmopolitan individual who is looking for a modern interpretation on an ancient culture.

Greeting card, Ananya

Greeting card by Ananya

Greeting card, Ananya

Greeting card by Ananya

What aspects of India have most impressed you? Do you use any Indian inspired products?

Latest News from Ananya

Ananya is delighted to announce that it has been nominated for the Wedding Industry Expert Best Invitations Award!

If you like our work, we would love your support. Please vote for us here – thank you.

Some Moodboard Ideas

August 1, 2012

Pink stationery moodboards

If you’re planning a party, it’s a great idea to have a moodboard in place.

Weddings, Barmitzvahs, Baby Showers, Anniversaries … All need a Moodboard

A moodboard helps you to gather your ideas together. You can collate colours, venues, accessories, clothes, flowers, foods. A good place to find ideas is Pinterest, which lets you cherry pick from other moodboards people have put together to add to your own.

Interior designers have long known the worth of moodboards and when designing a new room or new ‘look’ for the house of a client put together a moodboard of colours, furniture, settings … it’s a great place to gather thoughts in one place. Rather like a digital scrapbook.

Ananya has stationery for most occasions – weddings, congratulations, parties … You can choose bespoke stationery or buy off the peg.

We’ve put together some of our stationery in different colours so you can add it to a moodboard you are creating.  We’ve also added some other images to get you thinking … and if you’ve any moodboards you’d like to share with us please do so on the Ananya Facebook page. We’d love to see your ideas too … We will be running a moodboard competition in the near future to win Ananya stationery, so keep a look out.

Purple flower arrangement for moodboard by Project Wedding Violet suede heels for moodboards

turquoise wedding moodboards

Blue tent for moodboard ideas Green wedding table idea

orange and yellow moodboards idea

Orange gerberasOrange one shoulder dress by Dessy

We hope these moodboards have got you thinking. At Ananya we can design a bespoke invitation for you although if you look at our website, we think you’ll find our designs very varied and certainly very colourful. Let us know if there are any colours we’ve missed!

Photo credits: Orchid image via Project Wedding, purple shoes by Aruna Seth, tent by Raj Tent Club, wedding table idea via Project Wedding, orange gerberas via You & Your Wedding,  orange one shoulder dress by Dessy.

A Scottish Indian Wedding at Stirling Castle

July 27, 2012

Indian wedding in Scotland

Take Stirling Castle, a Scottish bridegroom, an Indian/Scottish bride, tartan, henna and you have all the elements for a multicultural wedding…

Sheila and Nigel met at work as lawyers and got engaged during an energetic treking holiday in Nepal, where Nigel secretly lugged a bottle of champagne and glasses around in a rucksack, waiting for the perfect romantic moment. Nigel said that Sheila’s ‘yes’ was the most significant and happy word ever said to him …. sigh

Groom in kilt with Indian bride in sari          Indian bride with Scottish groom in kilt Indian bride

Tartan, Kilts, Henna And Choosing A Bridal Gown

Sheila’s grandparents were Goan and she wanted to incorporate aspects of Indian culture into her big day and decided to wear a modern lengha after visiting a couple of Indian bridal shows. She picked out the colours of Nigel’s kilt in her blue turquoise scarf and had henna designs painted on her hands and feet.

Orange and red calla lilies made up Sheila’s bridal bouquet and she continued the bright Indian colours with her stationery, which Ananya was delighted to provide.

Turquoise paisley wedding invitation pink and turquoise paisley wedding invitation

Paisley, Pink And Turquoise Wedding Invitations

Of course, with an Indian Scottish wedding theme, Ananya had to create a wedding invitation with paisley in a dazzling turquoise – perfectly combining the two cultures. Hot pink continued the theme and the wedding guests were very complimentary about the cards they received, loving the rich colours and the embossed texture.  Sheila comments  “I couldn’t imagine having a gilt edged cream invite, it’s just not me. My Ananya invitation cards were beautifully contemporary.”

The couple made the day very much theirs in other ways. As it was an evening wedding, Sheila and Nigel didn’t feel a cake was necessary and instead extended the canapes and drinks, as that had always been their favourite part of weddings.

wedding guests at Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle was the most beautiful backdrop and wedding venue and lent a magnificence to the whole day, as you can tell from these photographs … (click on the image to see it in full size)

Indian bride and Scottish groom Indian bride and Scottish groom in kiltOrange wedding flower arrangementIndian bride with henna and braceletsIndian and Scottish guests at wedding guests at Scottish Indian wedding at Stirling CastleScottish piper at weddingguests at Scottish Indian wedding Indian bride and Scottish groom at Stirling Castle wedding Robert the Bruce at Stirling Castle

Wedding Invitations In Elegant Shades of Grey

July 24, 2012
tags:

Grey floral wedding invitation

Shades of grey seem to be a very popular colour right now for weddings.

Because grey is a tone, rather than a colour, you can mix and match it with other colours in your scheme.

Classic monochrome invitations are very chic and timeless. They don’t date, yet still have a contemporary feel.

Grey wedding invitation Grey paisley design wedding invitations

What Colours Does Grey Match Up With?

Of course, you can use grey alone, just teamed with black and white. But if you fancy adding a splash of colour then you should be thinking about hot pinks, turquoises, oranges and yellows.  All classic combinations with a grey shade.

A great way of picking out your wedding colours and seeing what tones in with what is to use a colour fan, like this Pantone one available from Dessy.

Colour fan design toolYou might also like to investigate creating a wedding moodboard, so you can put all your ideas in one place and see what works for you.

purple and grey wedding moodboard

Grey birdcage theme wedding invitation Grey wedding invitation with two birds Grey snowflake wedding invitation Grey wedding invitaiton

Ananya has several different wedding invitations in shades of grey – with different themes from paisley through to lovebirds on a branch.  You could put your grey invitation in a coloured envelope if you are mixing up colours – then you’ll be continuing through your colour matching.

Look at the wedding invitations section on our website for more ideas …. and if you are looking for something personal and bespoke, we will certainly be able to help.

Grey wedding invitation with abstract design

Eid gifts: Ananya’s top 5 ways to express your love and true appreciation

July 24, 2012
Swarovski, star, Eid

Star brooch by Swarovski

Macaroons, Bobo, Eid

Macaroons by Bobo

As Eid approaches on 19th August, our thoughts turn to gifts for our loved ones and friends. Gift giving is a widely practised custom at Eid. It is not only a reminder of shared beliefs and commitment to Islam, but also a way to strengthen the bond of love and kinship within the family and community. In that spirit, we offer you our suggestions of unusual and imaginative gifts.

1. The Gift of Time

More important and precious than money in today’s fast paced world is the gift of time itself; without the concerns and interruptions that rob us of the quality of attention we give to each other. Why not give your friend or loved one the gift of an hour or two, or a whole day of doing things you both love, even something as simple as cooking them a special meal and catching up, or going somewhere you’d always planned to, but ‘things’ always got in the way. How about driving to the country and going strawberry picking? The possibilities are only limited to your imagination, so start thinking! Send them one of our cards to tell them all about your gift of time – it will make them feel so special!

Eid, card, Eid Mubarak

Blessings of Eid greeting card by Ananya

2. Henna Decorated Candles

We have found some beautiful bespoke candles hand finished with natural henna and painted with coloured acrylics that have been personalised with Eid Mubarak. The range from Bespoke Henna created by the talented Farrah Azam comes in various intricate designs and sizes, with birds and flowers and includes candles with coloured rhinestones, as well as gorgeous vanilla scented candles and tea lights. Until the 31st August 2012,  all Ananya readers can take advantage of a fabulous 20% discount across the full range of Bespoke Henna candles, including the special Eid range. The offer excludes P&P which is £3.99 on a standard order and only available for delivery in the UK. Please use Code Ananya01 and visit the Bespoke Henna website to see the full range.

Eid, candles, henna

Henna candles by Bespoke Henna

3. Macaroons for Eid – an Ananya Bobo Collaboration

A first of its kind collaboration of Ananya with Bobo Macaroons luxuriously delicious macaroons to indulge your taste buds especially at Eid! Made with exotic flavours such as dates, figs, honey and almonds in rich and contrasting colours, they come with one of Ananya’s beautiful Eid cards and are packed in a box printed with Ananya’s design. A sweet collaboration and a must have! More details will be released soon, so please keep a look out…

Eid, Macaroons, Eid Mubarak

Macaroons for Eid – an Ananya Bobo Collaboration

4. Sizzling, Sparkling Jewellery

You can’t beat the wow factor of a sparkling piece of jewellery. And Swarovski know all about sizzle and sparkle when it comes to jewellery. They even have a wide selection of items on sale now, which means your budget could buy even more sizzle! We particularly like the geometric cufflinks for men and Pleasure star jewellery for ladies.

Cufflinks, Swarovski, Eid

Cufflinks by Swarovski

5. Gift Beauty Boxes with an Eastern Flavour

Nationwide retailer Body Shop is offering top-to-toe indulgence with their gift box called Moroccan Rose. It includes a Moroccan Rose eau de toilette, shower gel, body butter and body mist…heavenly! The gift box is decorated with an Eid Mubarak ribbon. If you want to try something different, they also have gift boxes that range from Japanese Cherry Blossom to Midnight Bakula, to Vanilla and Strawberry.

Body Shop, Eid gift

Body Shop Eid gift box

Which is your favourite gift idea? Have you seen any other lovely Eid gifts?

Gold Fever

July 3, 2012

 

 

 

Olympics inspired greeting card by Ananya

 

Olympics inspired greeting card by Ananya

As the commencement of the 2012 Summer Olympics approaches, there is a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation in the air. London is centre stage and the world will be watching.

With more than 205 nations participating, athletes will compete in 36 different sports and 300 events this year. Each athlete has dreamed of nothing but winning the gold medal. Every minute and every ounce of energy has been unrelentingly devoted to achieving that ultimate goal. Their steeled determination and one-pointed focus have brought them to this remarkable moment.

The five coloured rings on the Olympic flag representing the continents of America, Africa, Australasia, Asia and Europe were chosen because every nation represented at the Games had at least one of those colours in their flag. The Olympic spirit encourages nations to come together to compete, and gives the opportunity for each athlete to surpass their personal best.

Ananya’s values are very much aligned with the spirit of the Olympics. At Ananya, we constantly challenge ourselves to design stationery and greeting cards that are ‘without equal or unparalleled’.  We celebrate the diversity of cultures with our multicultural festival cards. Our passion for what we do makes us willing to work hard to achieve the best possible quality of work; and when a client loves the final result, it’s like winning a gold medal!

With the kick off date fast approaching, we have already begun to see Olympics-inspired products. People have really put their creative juices to work! Ananya’s own team have designed a UK printed range of cards called ‘Striking Gold’ so you, too, can feel part of this historic event.

Olympics inspired greeting card by Ananya

Here are a few of the Olympics-inspired products we found particularly imaginative: 2012 Team GB band from Links of London, a Going for Gold Cupcake Kit by Ella James, Gold Medallist Glasses Case by Retreat Home and a Torch Typographic Print by Ursula Hitz. There will certainly be more products that will be given an Olympics makeover…

Team GB Links of London bracelet

Cupcake making kit - Going for Gold

Gold medallist glasses case

Olympic Torch artwork

How will you be celebrating the Olympics?

Top Cookery Tips from a Top Indian Chef

June 22, 2012

Cyrus Todiwala and Nina Wadia cooking

Attending a cookery masterclass is always an inspiration and seeing a top chef at work not only makes the mouth water but offers new perceptions and insights into preparing and presenting food.

Last week Ananya attended a demonstration by Indian chef Cyrus Todiwala (whom you can frequently see on Saturday Kitchen and Daybreak)  at his restaurant in the City of London called Café Spice Namaste.  Acting as his sous chef was actress Nina Wadia.

Only The Freshest Local And Seasonal Ingredients

Cyrus has a very engaging style and right from the start the audience was caught up in his enthusiasm, wit and indepth knowledge of food.  Café Spice Namaste offers a twist on traditional dishes from Goa, North India, Hyderabad and Kashmir and uses the freshest seasonal ingredients and the best of British produce wherever possible.

I learned that Lucknow in India was one of the finest seats of Indian cuisine, with much of the influences being brought over from Persia. The Rajah’s chefs might have had respect but cruelly, their thumbs were amputated to prevent them sharing their secrets with others.

Whilst chopping, cooking, slicing and chatting, Cyrus dropped in many gems of culinary wisdom.

For example, it was King Henry VIII of England who brought ginger to England. At the time it was considered to be an aphrodisiac and with his desire for male heirs, he was keen on eating as much ginger as he could!

Other tips from Cyrus

  • After you have cooked your onions until they reach transparency, add a little water to your pan before the mince – this prevents the meat from clumping into lumps.  (I’ve since tried this and it really works…)
  • Olive oil is not good for Indian cooking – use extra virgin rapeseed oil which fries at a higher temperature
  • Never buy large onions – you’re just buying water. You also won’t be able to chop them finely as the layers are too large
  • Tuck your knife under the edge of your chopping board so you don’t cut your fingers.
  • Good quality cinnamon is tightly curled
  • Taking seeds out of a chilli is very ‘British’
  • Curry is really a food from the coastal areas of India – without coconut milk as an ingredient what you’re eating isn’t really curry. (And of course, coconuts only grow near the sea.)
  • Curry powder was invented by a Colonel Bolt in Madras, who wanted to take the taste of India back to the UK with him
  • A classic British curry would have contained oriental food; bananas, pineapple etc.
  • Roll a lemon and lime with the hands on a chopping board before squeezing as this makes the juice flow more freely
  • Dhansak only means lamb in India. So strictly Chicken Dhansak cannot exist
Indian food in bowlIndian food

Our tastebuds were delighted by paneer in a rich gravy, complete with fried green raisins and cashews. Goat meat shami kebabs enlived by a herby chutney. My favourite was a fluffy pilau rice, initially cooked on the hob and transferred to the oven – mouthwatering perfection.

Find Your Feet food charity

The event was part of the Curry For Change initiative which is aiming to raise awareness of Find Your Feet, a charity which works with poor rural families in India, Malawi, Nepal and Zimbabwe to help them grow enough food to avoid hunger.

Ananya Cards supports Find Your Feet. Ethical responsibility is very important to the company and a firm part of our ethos.

Championing a worthy cause and an exciting campaign: Changing lives and celebrating Indian Cuisine

June 19, 2012

The 50 year old charity Find Your Feet that supports poverty stricken families in India, Malawi, Nepal and Zimbabwe recently launched a campaign called Curry for Change to raise awareness of their work with poor, rural families in India and raise vital funds to change lives by celebrating Indian Cuisine.

Ananya’s Founder and Managing Director, Vaishali Shah, who has been a keen and active supporter of Find Your Feet for several years, was responsible for designing the logo and creating the branding and marketing material for Curry for Change.

Acclaimed chef Cyrus Todiwala and his restaurant Cafe Spice Namaste (regularly featured on Saturday Kitchen and Daybreak) held a master class where Nina Wadia (TV soap star) joined the chef in the kitchen at Cafe Spice Namaste on Wednesday 13th June in front of an audience of food fans.

Aprons worn at the master class by Cyrus Todiwala and Nina Wadia bore the Curry for Change logo designed by Ananya, as did the goody bags which contained pretty bookmarks donated by Ananya. We are delighted that Nina Wadia signed one of our new range of greeting cards.

The Curry for Change logo and branding has been used by Find Your Feet in their micro website and promotional material at participating Indian restaurants has also been designed by Ananya.

As Vaishali Shah, who was recently appointed as Trustee of Find Your Feet says, “Curry for Change is an exciting, innovative and enjoyable way to raise much needed funds for such a worthy cause, while promoting and celebrating the art of Indian Cuisine”
For further information, please contact: Find Your Feet Tel: 020 7326 4601

A Fabulous Stationery Show – Progressive Greetings Live 2012

June 11, 2012
Vaishali Shah of Ananya

Click image to watch video

Just over a week ago Ananya was exhibiting at a fabulous stationery show in London called ‘Progressive Greetings Live‘.

Vintage Style Greetings Cards

Inside over 500 stalls were showing just about every type of greetings card and stationery you could imagine. There were intricate, vintage-style cut out greetings cards from Germany which contrasted with the very current “Keep Calm & Carry On …” range. Retro kitsch got a look in, with fifties style postcards depicting housewives in pinnies and besuited men in hats driving big American convertibles.

Greetings Cards For Every Occasion

At Ananya, we showed all of our new range of greetings cards with designs for all occasions including: Eid, Diwali, Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Chinese New Year, Halloween … and that’s just to name a few.

Chinese New Year Greetings Cards

Ananya Stand at Progressive Greetings Live

Our stand attracted a lot of favourable comment and orders so Ananya cards will soon be available in an increasing number of independent stores. Currently Ananya cards are stocked in Harrods, Thomas Goode and Cards Galore. Of course, you can always buy our cards direct from our website by mail order – which is an easy and straightforward way of stocking up with stationery and greetings messages.

Eid Mubarak greetings card   Wedding invitation with peacock design  Diamond Jubilee greetings card

Diwali greetings card  Heart greetings card Jewish New Year Card

Whilst we were there, the founder of Ananya, Vaishali Shah, was interviewed and gave her vision for the company and the reasons for setting it up. You can watch the interview with Vaishali of Ananya in this video here.

As Vaishali says “Ananya Cards are for people who appreciate culture, elegance and artistry”. With 96 new designs being unveiled, there is a greeting card to suit every taste, no matter how sophisticated.

Which will be your favourite?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers

%d bloggers like this: