Home decorating

Use fairy lights in your everyday decor

8:00 AM

When you think of strings of lights, aka fairy lights or mirchi lights in India, chances are the first thing that pops to your mind is either Christmas or Diwali (and possibly both).

I personally thing it is a shame to air them out only during the festive season. Especially when you can do this with them:
I always loved the soft glow they can give to your decor, year round. For a while I had some in my kitchen. Back then I used the cheap kind that kept frying and needed to be replaced.

When I took down my Christmas tree earlier this month, I decided I wasn't just quite done enjoying the fairy light glow. I already had stuffed my white lantern with them before Diwali, but I wanted more.
I added a string of light around the flower painting that is hung above the dinning table and glued it to the wall using a hot glue gun (you totally must have one of these if you are going to do a lot of craft projects).
The hot glue gun will secure the string to the wall and won't leave a mark once you want to remove it.  All you need to do is warm the glue again (it works with a hairdryer). and it will come right off. Because this glue isn't really glue you see, it is more like a soft plastic resin that melts at high heat and solidifies quickly once the heat source is taken away.
One of the thing you ABSOLUTELY want to keep in mind with fairy lights is that the cheap incandescent bulbs type will fry VERY quickly. I went through way way way too many of these cheap Chinese import rubbish one in my kitchen. So this year, after burning a few more on my Christmas tree alone, I invested into LED bulbs strings.

They last much longer, and they don't give a lot of heat which could burn your walls and furniture. I myself prefer the warm white light over the cool white, or even colours strings for light. But this is really entirely a matter of taste.

10 comments

  1. Awww.. I like those fairy lights just shoved into that lantern. It reminds me of going to my Grandma's house in Louisiana & catching fireflies in a jar at night.

    So for kicks 'n' giggles I sleuthed out my troll. She's a grumpy old aunty from UP who now lives in the UK.
    She doesn't like my recipes because I don't fry/scorch the onions for 20 minutes at least, is insistent that ground onions will turn bitter in sauce (even though a chef in a famous restaurant in Delhi showed me that trick), and she's convinced that poppy seeds are the same as sesame seeds. Sorry, I just don't care for the incinerated onion/scorched spices/burnt ghee flavor in my curries ALL the time. Besides, she uses canned tomatoes in her curry, how Anglicized is that? Guess you just can't please everybody.

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    1. Poppy seeds and sesame seed are the same...hmmm looks like she is the type that just cooks because that is what good wives do but she doesn't like it.

      I am amazed at how many believe in tossing all the spices and oninons in smoking hot oil and carbonize everything before the rest of the ingredients are thrown in. It makes no sense and no flavour can develop that way, every Indian cuisine chef will say the same thing as well but then that also means the cooking time will be a bit longer.

      You definitely can't please everybody, and the rolls are usually fairly unhappy people to begin with.

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    2. Anonymous8:01 PM

      I thought fairy lights had something to do with faries. We call them "Laries", the word is also used for a chain of diwali crackers. We have fairy lights in our pooja room which gives a nice glow to the place considering that it is a little dark there.

      That lamp thing is quiet innovative. The plug attached to the wire is kind of little loose.


      Talking of poppy seeds, have you tried something with them like poppy seed fried patties with green chillies or poppy seed paste with potato and onion sabzi.

      Apple

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    3. Hey Apple,
      Can you buy white poppy seeds in Delhi? I can't find them in Nepal & my brother in law in Kolkata says they are illegal in India now.
      Thanx!

      Delete
    4. The wire is a bit loose because that plug point is broken :-) the switch that is supposed to switch it on and off is broken so the only way to switch off these lights is to remove the string of lights plug from the socket.

      These lights go by many name, I think the fairy name comes from the fact that when you hang them in trees outdoor they look like tiny dots of light floating in the air and remind people of sparkly little fairies from children stories.

      In India I heard the term Mirchi light or rice light used as well. Rice light makes a bit more sense than mirchi because yes the bulbs are as small as grains of rice.

      I have never tried those fried patties. @Bibi really? They banned poppy seeds in India? Wow! That wouldn't totally surprise me, they tried to do that in Switzerland when I was a kid too, because of the opium content or something, but they realised it was totally ridiculous. I don't use enough of it that I noticed if they were still available in the market or not. I will check that today.

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  2. Wait! I keep forgetting we have Amazon.in now & I can go online and check the price & availability of darned near ANYTHING for sale in India!!! It looks like poppy seeds both for plants and culinary use are still available. Odd. I couldn't find them in J&K either the last time I was there. Maybe it is just certain states of India that have banned them?
    My wish list on Amazon.in is growing at an alarming rate!
    They talked about banning poppy seeds in the US during Pres. Bush's failed 'war on drugs' program. You can grow opium poppies from the seeds & if you gat enough poppy seeds (we're talking like 100's of pounds) you can extract a bit of hydromorphone from them. I remember some Vietnamese neighbors we had in California during the Bush years grew some opium poppies (like 10 plants) in their yard & sure enough - the police came & yanked them all out.
    We don't call those lights 'fairy lights' in the US, they're just called Xmas lights. Even thought they've grown popular for use at nearly all evening events in the US from weddings to birthday parties.
    I never bought any fairy lights here because we don't have 24 hr electricity & it just seemed wasteful. Although now I'm looking on Amazon & there are solar fairy lights available. That sounds like a good idea to put up on the roof or out in the yard.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, Amazon.in just linked itself to my US Amazon account. How did that happen?
      Amazon.in has this fab Bollywood-y bright yellow banner with elephant heads for their 'Great Indian Sale' campaign, I'd like to have that for my blog title. How do I get soneone to design that for my blog?

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    2. Anonymous12:30 PM

      @ bib

      bengalis have been eating poppy seeds for ages. It is mixed with just about everything from prawns to potatoes. It is the second most important item after fish . have u tried something with bengali cuisine.

      @ cyn

      poppy seeds are incredibly verstile and tasty with everything as garnish or plain patties.

      apple

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    3. Bibi, I think once you have an Amazon account, it works for all the Amazon websites. I remember creating my Amazon ID years before it came to India when I redeem an Amazon US gift vouchers I recieved, and when Amazon.in came, I could log in with that one on the Indian site.

      For the banner, you can either find a graphic designer that would do it for you or draw it and scan it, and then work on it in a picture editing software to get it to look right.

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  3. Apple,
    Poppy seeds are very common in Mughal dishes also. Poppy seeds were used by Mughals to thicken sauces and to top Mughlai baked wheat flatbreads with their nutty flavor.

    I thought Bengalis used black mustard seeds alot. I know a paste made from black mustard seeds is used al ot in Bengali fish & prawn dishes. I like the tart, zesty flavor of the mustard paste paired with fish quite a bit. I wasn't aware Bengalis used poppy seeds.

    ReplyDelete

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