Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Secret Language of Romanian Embroidery

Coming from a family with long tradition in practicing crafts, embroidery being one of them, I developed love for this unique language that was created with a needle and thread. 

Being a proud owner of a Romanian blouse, I was intrigued by the intricate patterns they used to decorate their blouses. The Romanian blouse, also known as Ia, is quite unique in its structure and distribution of the ornamental panel(s) in the center of the blouse and on the sleeves. 

The blouse is big and roomy with voluminous sleeves that actually indicate the wealth of the family - the puffier the sleeves, the wealthier the family. The color palette is usually entirely monochromatic, defined as "chromatic sobriety". 

The Ia contains secret carefully chosen symbols, each to communicate and convey feelings and emotions, a message or a story. It is a kind of a "manuscript" that tells the story of predecessors and links the past with the now. 

The peasant Romanian woman embroidered her clothes with her soul. The embroidery showed her prayer to God: "Inspirit my clothes, the secret of my soul". All the symbols and geographic shapes stitched onto the blouse aimed to generate and direct the energy they represent. The embroidery work on the chest and the sleeves channel the energy through the body, down the arms into the hands.

They used protective symbols to shield them from evil (the rooster and the eye), cosmic symbols and ascension (the stars, the sun), fertility and abundance (snail, wheat, leaves and fruit), symbols of time passing, rebirth and eternal life (grapevine, stream of water). 

By being able to read the needlework one can decipher a message from people that lived long ago and see what they feared, loved,lived and wished for. 

My blouse is similar to the blue one below and you can read about it here.

Did you know there was an international Day of the Romanian Blouse

Monday, October 29, 2018

Insta love - Vanessa Barragao - Textile Artist

Happy Monday! We are starting the week featuring an extraordinary textile artist! Meet Vanessa Barragao!
Growing up at the seaside, she uses the connection to the ocean as an everlasting inspiration for her artworks. Her work features captivating coral reef environments in which she merges and combines crafts and recycled materials and by employing old techniques such as latch hook, felting, macramé, knitting and crochet she brings life to her unique and luxurious sculptural carpets, rugs and tapestries.
Visit her instagram and site for more of her eye-catching work. 



Friday, October 26, 2018

Mix & Match: Vintage wonderland

Happy Friday guys! We had a mid week holiday which means we had a day off, but I am still tired as an old dog. So I am really looking forward for the weekend, hoping to rest, lounge and catch up on some wips. What are your plans for the weekend? Anything exciting?
Before I sign off, I want to show you my latest mix & match necklace I made using crochet trims, a decorative vintage resembling ribbon I sewed onto  a piece of crochet lace to make it a medal and as always, my bellowed wooden beads.
Now as I see the before picture, I think it would have been better if I tried and pulled up that look than the after one, but I doubt the construction would have held up.
This one I made for myself and cannot wait to wear it soon.
Bye bye for now!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Bohemian Fall Clothes Inspiration

I love when fall inspires designs and colors and reflects its rich palette on clothes.
Personally, I find this year's color trends vivid, appealing and refreshing, while the designs, especially the floral ones, alluring with a pinch of vintage.
The bohemian in me loves the textures and the layering;  lace insets and ruffles along with tassels and fringes enhance the visual effect and give an incredible volume, structure and captivating appearance to any piece of clothing, regardless whether it is a jacket, a skirt or a dress.
Enjoy my selection. For more visual inspiration on the topic, check out my bohemian fall board.



Monday, October 22, 2018

Insta Love: The Owl and Her Bluebell

I recently started following a lady on instagram whose interests and love are my perfect match. Her name is Krista and her account is called The Owl and Her Bluebell.
Although not much information can be found about her, in her introduction she has stated that she is a:
🐱🍄🌿 whimsical lady of new England 🌿🍄🐱

🍄🌿 forest wanderer, fairy seeker, coziness lover🌿🍄

🌿embroidery artist🌿

which on the other hand speaks volumes of the things she appreciates and treasures in her life.
Enjoy her attractively styled photos!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Flower Cabochon Pendant Necklaces

To be honest, I must tell you guys that I squealed in delight when I saw these amazing and oh-my-sweet word so romantic rose cabochons.
And when I saw the trays -  well, then I knew they were the perfect match! Aren't they gorgeous?!
There are about 10 or something designs, not sure, because I made just 6 necklaces for this time and I am saving the rest for next week.  These three are my favourites, the one with the blue and red flowers topping the rest. 

The other three are immensely soft and delicate and equally enchanting!

They are for sale here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Out & About in Istanbul


We spent five beautiful days in Istanbul and we definitely needed more!
As this was our third visit there we knew exactly what we wanted to do and that is to get more of the feel, rhythm and pulse of the city and a little less of museums and monuments, as we normally do on our travels.

What to see:

Topkapi Palace is an enormous museum dating back from the 15th century that served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans. The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. Female members of the Sultan's family lived in the harem, and leading state officials, including the Grand vizier, held meetings in the Imperial Council building.
However, in the 17th century it losses its appeal and importance and the sultan ruling back then moves the court to the newly built Dolmabahche Palace, which is another point of interest,worth seeing.


Topkapi is grandiose, treasuring many artifacts and relics. I recommend you start with it as soon as it opens, because the swarms of visitors makes the tour tiresome and extremely noisy.

We skipped Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmed Mosque, because we visited them on our last tour, but do pay them a visit.

Kapali Carsi and the Grand Bazaar. You will feel as if magically transferred to one of Scheherezade's stories. Indescribable, mind-blowing, elating. 

Take a tour on the Bosphorus where you'd be able to see the magnificent houses and villas set as jewels on the shore.

On the other side of Boshorus, across the Galata Bridge, visit the Galata Tower that offers a magnificent and breath-taking view of the city. The tour also includes a 3d show that tops the visit. From Galata Tower you can take a walk straight to Taksim, which is about 2-3 km away but the pedestrian street is filled with shops on both sides that will certainly steal your attention. Do wonder on the side streets and allies for amazing little artisan shops and authentic cafes and restaurants. On one such turning we visited the French Street which is a story of its own.

What to eat:
This depends on taste, and taste cannot be discussed. But if you are open to foreign cuisine and eager to try foreign specialties, you will be up for some interesting palate tickles.
We have some similar meals with the Turkish, but tried many of their specialties like the Ottoman kebap, some Chiken shish, Durum rolls, lahmacun, döner and pide bread.
This is like tapas, or as we and they call it meze, which many of the restaurants offer it as a starter and they do not charge it. It is a vegetable mix (mainly tomatoes and peppers) with spices served with pide.

They serve the Ottoman kebap in these clay pots.
The Turkish have a long and immensely rich history of confectionery, so understandably, they are wizards in making sweets. Now, I am not a baklava person (I cannot stand all that insane amount of sugar) and they have many similar sweets, but my friends were overwhelmed with them, so whatever you choose, you won't be disappointed! But I did try a Künefe, which  is a crispy cheese-filled dessert made with kadayıf  and my sweet word!! It was unlike anything I have tasted.
Künefe is a crispy cheese-filled dessert made with kadayıf, which is a traditional shredded wheat dessert with pistachio filling. Künefe is served hot out of the oven so the cheese is soft and stringy.

Künefe is cooked and served in a very shallow, round metal pan that's specially designed for making this dessert. It's so delicious that Turkish people and tourists alike keep coming back for more.

What to drink:

Turkish coffee. It is also our traditional/national drink, but they make it extra sweet, so have that in mind when you order it. I have it with zero sugar. Also they serve it in (a little bit bigger than a ) thumb size cups with oriental designs that makes the morning ritual special.

Also their tea or Çay, which is beautiful but too strong if you ask me.
Never skip an opportunity to have a glass of freshly squeezed pomegranate or order an Ayran with your meal. Ayran is a cold yogurts mixed with salted water. Salep is another drink they prefer that is made from orchid tubers. It has many health benefits so this is a recommended drink too.