Friday, 31 January 2014

We could do what kings do...

Sneak peak of the upcoming post on MWiktoria, please enjoy the musical stylings of The Pierces...

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Good Morning Orchid!: Mid-Week Inspiration

 Good Morning Handsome & Beautiful,

I woke up this morning to find my orchid, which has been surely but steadily growing buds for the past several weeks was in full bloom *fingers crossed*  In all honesty I was thisclose to re-potting it, Orchid's roots look it its gonna get 'cha...Albeit at an incredibly slow and measured pace.  I feel for my orchid friend.  Here it is all feeling good about itself and it doesn't have enough room to keep all its roots inside the pot.

Alas, all of the sites or the information which I have been able to get my hands on has all "strongly suggested" that it not be re-potted until it is fully done is bloom cycle, or in this case re-bloom cycle.  So if it has nine buds and the first two bloomed...and the the buds are all different sizes, the only thing to think is that I hope my orchid friend holds out for that long...but it must be happy I mean its re-blooming right?

The last time it was in bloom was eight months ago, so its kinda the last thing I'd really expected it to do though I kept watering it, not icing it (maybe that's the key) to these ice orchids.  The urban myth about orchids or all of the "talk" is that they're really super difficult to grow?  Is there any truth in that I wonder. 

1.Good Morning Handsome Mug 2. Ice Orchid 3. Good Morning Beautiful Mug 4. Revlon ColourBurst Lipgloss

Not being a morning person, the mugs 'Good Morning Handsome'  and 'Good Morning Beautiful' would certainly not make me one of those I'm so happy to be alive on this glorious morning!!! types but I certainly think they would encourage and inspire me to start the day, with perhaps a little bit more pep in my step.  But then again I am writing this post coffee, so maybe is coffee which really deserves the credit.

After coffee, sometimes tea, depending on my mood, given enough liquid courage (coffee/tea not alcohol, just to be clear) I will put on my 'war paint'.  As of late that has included 'Revlon's ColorBurst Lipgloss' in Papaya, which was either discontinued or limited edition, so you can imagine how excited I was I discovered these in my mail box.  Ebay is a wonderful treasure trove where wonderful beings live who have access to things that a supposedly discontinued (they're like squirrels for the winter, though in this case men named Stephen. You should pay him a visit on Ebay, I'm sure he'd super appreciate it. 

 As I'm sure you've noticed by now, I have a bit of an interest in things made of clay as of late, which was addressed in this post here. 

In an effort to ensure I do not further amass more mugs, please save me from myself and pick up the above mentioned mugs, both of them in whichever combination you choose, swipe on some Papaya Lipgloss and perhaps try your hand at taking care of an ice orchid, if you'd like.  Hope to see you on the other side of mid-week.



Sunday, 19 January 2014

Girl from the Town of Ceramics

As an immigrant to this country of Canada, I have never been particularly patriotic towards my home country or culture.  While familiar with the food, tradition and general culture of the region of  Poland, there was more encouragement to amalgamate or become part and a representation of Canadian culture as opposed to that of our home country.

In many ways it made sense to take upon the culture of the country to which we have come to live as opposed to holding on to a culture of the past, a culture which had represented a great deal of cultural upheaval.

As a student of archaeology, I learned about the importance of the role of the pottery pieces and  our ability to examine shards of them in order to identify changes within ancient cultures.  Pottery has been often utilized as a means of measuring the start of or end to a time period.  As well, pottery also  often documented outside influence(s), such as invading cultural influences, trade with different cultures and/or changes within a culture in and of itself.

Kelley who does the topic more justice than I feel I ever could at this moment in time) of Never a Dull Day in Poland is an American expatriate living in Poland and has done a fairly extensive and relatively recent post (2013) of her adventures within and experience(s) of  Boleslawiec and the lower Silesian region here and an historical post that's a little bit more in depth here.   But enough of the **academic blah, blah, blahs for today.

...We're talking imagination and inspiration...'Cause you know that's how this blog rolls...

* Peacock Pattern 
  While always having know of the prevalence of the pottery, and being given a few pieces by way of my grandmother over the years, I had never really took an interest the pottery, until that is a few days ago.

I was out and about and saw a sign in a shop window advertising that they sold ceramics from the Boleslawiec region, see: Distinctly Tea, I wandered in noticing that they carried stoneware ceramics from my home town and I became curious to see the extent to their collection.  I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered was that there was an entire wall, and several tables dedicated to ceramics from the Silesian region. 

 * 1. Blue Daisy Design 2. Shelves of Boleslawiec Pottery 3. Official seal of authenticity 4. City Centre Boleslawiec Photo here. 5. Peacock Pattern Design

While wandering and being overwhelmed by the beautiful and somewhat bohemian designs of the ceramics, the feeling swept over me that I wanted to purchase a piece for myself.  Out of all of the choices which you see on the shelves the choice was vast, I was drawn to the mug on the left, the so called blue daisy design. These mugs are popular and believe it or not, like any designer item (as these are often considered to be), fakes abound.  I contacted my resident certifier of ceramics aka mom, who had once apprenticed at the ceramics factory in Boleslawiec where the stoneware is made.

In the video you may see how the artist gains their inspiration and how the ceramics from start of finish are based upon the artist's inspiration.

If like me you are keen and curious about how all things are inspired, and the journey they take to becoming a reality, and if you're super super curious, nerdy and/or studious about the process check out this:

I think or at least I've found my life, that things (i.e. people books and in this case pottery), find you when you're ready for them. Even though I was always interested in cultural history, it was my own cultural history to a great extent which I have been denying.

As  I get older, and as I find that I am losing connection with the sources of culture information (i.e. grandparents), considering it a bit more closely I found that the mug was perhaps a moment of inspiration, to reconnect with my cultural heritage or to incorporate it a little more reality in my day to day life, perhaps in In a very nostalgic sense through way of pottery. But this is all in retrospect, of course.

At the time, all I knew is that I wanted to take one of the mugs home.  Once I found the appropriate contender (see the mug above), and having received the "official" go ahead, being called a 'silly girl' on top of it, (I care not, say what you wish), I scooped it up and ecstatically carried this mug away to it's new home. 

 As I type this, and reflecting on the day's adventures  enjoying a hot chocolatey cup of spicy hot chocolate, I hope that you're also keeping warm on this very snowy evening.



* Photos of products taken by Marta Komar for MWiktoria blog, this is not a sponsored post.  Pottery, teas, and the like may be found at Distinctly tea locations.
 **(Pssst, if you really like the academic twist you can always, and I would encourage you to check out the 'Museum of Ceramics in Boleslawiec)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Flamingo Sorbet!: Mid-Week Inspiration

 No, you didn't misread the title, it does say Flamingo Sorbet! I sincerely apologize for all of the horrific images your brain may have or may be at this very moment creating and ultimately presenting to you as your mind attempts to make logical sense of the title, it can't can it? 

The title of this week's mid-week inspiration collage was inspired by image of the flamingos in snow. From there I simply let my imagination guide the way. 

 * 1. Adorableness 2. & 5. Dress, Cut Colour. 3. Art, Architecture, Photography 4. & 6. For the home

The result is a mixture of sometimes  ostentatious pairings of colour, cold and patten which creates a mood which is cooling yet uplifting and cheerful. After all, who can honestly say that they don't need a pick-me-up mid-week?



*All Pins curated by MWiktoria via 'Pinterest', all rights to the images apply to their respective owners.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside

Gizzy: "Are you ready for this?" Me: "Yeah I'm ready!...I'm not ready, I'm not ready, I'm not ready!"

This  was my response to the 'blowing snow', that I had found myself  slowing moving through, on a freezing Monday night in January through   two sets of glass doors, steadily moving away from the warmth and comfort of the indoors to venturing into the cold abyss after a watching the weather wreaking havoc outside of the window all day.  It was early evening, and it was necessary to leave in order to at least try and make it home in one piece.

At a pace of...well, that no way would've, could've or should've outpaced a snail, we made our way precariously through a wintery like sandstorm of epic proportions. 

While we drove at a crawl, well, she drove,  I tried to look out for potential dangers which may befallen us, the mild winters of Southern Ontario to which I would daresay we had all become accustomed, were a distant memory. In case you were wondering, we made it...or did we?

[insert dramatic suspenseful music].

Living in Canada, it seems that to individuals abroad, there is a prevalent stereotype  that all Canadians are accustomed to living in Igloos, frolicking with polar bears and "Eskimo" kissing.  Granted Canada is a vast expanse of land, for the most part the regions which are the coldest are often not inhabited with the majority of the Canadian population is located in the southern most geographical region(s).  Meaning most of us live very similarily to residents of the United States of let's say for point of reference, New York City.

The weather we're used well, for the past five to six years has been...the poor man's winter, as opposed to the winter wonderland one might envision when daydreaming of winter Canadian style. This year, was the year that winter decided to sucker punch North America with its full force of cold weather.  It seemed that everyone in some way shape or form experienced changing weather pattens of the dramatic kind.  Poking around the internet a teeny-tiny bit, suggests that the dramatic change in temperature earlier this week had to do something to do with the shifting jet-stream? Global warming? Polar shift? 

I'm sure there are perfectly reasonable scientific explanations, theories and conspiracies for global shifting weather patterns.  My body decided to go into survival mode.  With the drop in temperature, I cursed modern day grooming habits and the evolutionary lack of fur present upon my human form, I put on the heat as high as it would go dressed in layers and enviously watched Lily the cat frolic in her unabashed fur covered nakedness. This would be a good point at which to mention, that I do not generate my own body heat, I steal everyone else's.

As The weather moved away from the aesthetic of weather representative of a winter wonderland, and had become representative of a 'deep freeze', I went into survival mode.  Yet instead of hoarding, akin to Macaques relaxing within the hot-springs, the mission which I had bestowed upon myself was one of finding that same warming relaxation.  I found that in my need to escape the cold I was drawn to items which I believe are representative of comfort, warmth and in a very modern and digital sense I took to the internet. I found was that I was drawn to layers, knit textures, warming beverages and sweet indulgences.

1. Macaque in Japanese hot spring.  Here. 2. Pine trees. Here 3.  Knit layering. Here 4. Morning Coffee. Here 5. Strawberry Smores or one's of your choosing. Here 6. Icelandic Sweater Here 7. Mexican Hot Chocolate Here 8. Fair-isle chevrons cowel Here 9. Inspirational fire-side. 10. Bedded Bliss. Here 11. Embracing the Cold. Here

The things that I found drawn to were the things that I found that I, for the most part, sought protection against the cold.  Warming, comforting and indulgent.  All of these little bits and pieces I believed would help me stave off the sometimes harsh cold. At least for a time.  As I became accustomed to the idea of potentially being thrown into another ice age, I also found that I slowly came to embrace the cold.  Some of the images above harken to this change in attitude towards the cold.  If anything, the ostentatious change in weather patterns of the January cold reminded me of the tremendous impact weather has upon all of us.

The temperature drop also reminded me how fortunate most of us are to be able to have access to all of little indulgences in order to help us through months of cold.  One of the indulgences which always helps to remind me of the beauty of the cold is the song 'Olsen Olsen' by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós.

Finally, these are just my thoughts on the cold.  I would be curious to know how you handle the cold.  Do you embrace its bite, or do you attempt to create a nest of warmth and relaxation?



Sunday, 5 January 2014

Salute to the Resolute!

Resolutions are funny things.  They seem to be a by product of the holiday frenzy which goes on from approximately mid-autumn to early winter, depending of course upon your view of when the holiday season begins.

For the majority of stores in North America, it is the very minute after Halloween signifies the beginning of the "holiday season".  Having once worked retail, by the time Christmas eve rolled around, the songs of Christmas were always present from the moment I woke up in the morning, to the moment I went to sleep...The soundtrack of my day, always there humming in the background was my experience of the holiday season working retail.  While the holidays may be a very special, exciting and comforting time for many people, the holidays are also filled with stress, anxiety and a fear of failure (that's right  ladies & gents I see the fear in your eyes).

There an old joke, maybe it's a saying and it goes something like this "There are only 364 days until Christimas"... Organization, they say, is key with this oh so ostentatious of holidays, with the highly organized amongst us, it is rumored, start collecting for the next holiday season... shortly there after xmas/new years/the holidays...akin to squirrels hoarding nuts to sustain them to the long cold, unforgiving winter.  For the rest of us, oh not so organized squirrels, we may see an item here or there, which we would consider, but we think we have time and so we wait...and wait...and wait. If done correctly, this will impart upon us a frenzy of stress, anxiety, and fear on the collective consciousness of all those who choose to take part within the madness of the holiday season.  We have been forewarned all of our adult lives about the consequences of procrastination, particularly in the form of the fairy tale with its idealized landscapes and all of its characters encompassing a level of extremely high morality normally not seen within everyday life, many of us falter.

 What can I say?  Life Happens.  We try our best, each and every one of us.  By the time we reach the end of the holiday season January 2nd  in most cases, we have taken our stress and exhaustion out on our minds, and bodies. The majority of us make it through, relatively unscathed and we can, if we so choose to ignore the fact  that we only have 364 days to go...until, you know.  In an ideal situation we would all give ourselves a long break from the tyranny of lists and responsibility, but as odd as it may seem, we turn up the stress to an almost unbearable level and we become concerned with setting ourselves resolutions for the new year.

The more I look around the more I notice that we are determined to punish ourselves for eating too much, drinking too much for having too much self indulgent fun over the holiday season (gluttony most likely being a by product of all the stress we had experienced).  As a collective, most of us would agree that a good number of people in society promise to diet, exercise, and get rid of all of their bad habits.

  I've never been one for resolutions. I realized very early on that if I tell myself I cannot absolutely do something, it's the only thing I want to do.  The resolution, whichever one it may be, well, it'll  sit there, tapping me on the skull until I give in. I find it curious that a new year (2014) which is supposed to signify new beginnings seems to be a continuation of the stress of the holiday season.

 I admire the conviction with which all of us want change, positive change, and change that could sky-rocket our lives into a life which we may not have been otherwise unable to imagine.  It's inspiring to know that so many of us believe that we are capable of escaping our current circumstance(s); our want to work for something greater. The resolutions the majority of us make in January set many of us up to fail because they are ultimatums.  Many of them are phrased in very black"(I will not) or white (I will) extremes, without leaving room for the reality of living within a human body within less than an idealized fairytale-esque reality.

Akin to the xmas music slowly but surely becoming part of my daily existence, I feel that in order to achieve, anything, let alone the resolutions we set for ourselves, we must be somewhat ready for the change (if only on a subconscious level), and it must be something we work at each day.  So this is me telling you to take it easy and give yourselves a break. Let your minds and bodies pause for a moment, consider that which you really need.  Consider whether jumping upon the band-wagon of new years resolutions suits your individual reality, instead of the collective reality set before you.

If you're one of those individuals who decided to make resolutions for 2014, you're a much stronger person than I, and I wish you all the best in achieving them.  Resolutions can be the first stepping stones to realizing change in your life.  The key is to not let them morph into boulders which will drown you.