Wednesday 27 February 2008


Elsie, one of our most naughty and smart dogs, is a black terrier. We call her black sheep in turkish Kara Kuzu.
Today we went to the vet for her spring cleaning (trimming) and we just wanted to show you how she became!

Here she is excausted of all the emotions during a long beach walk to the vet and then a long battle with the vet. We won't call her 'kara kuzu' (black sheep) for a while, she'll now be 'kara karınca' (black ant) untill her hair grows back again :)

Sunday 24 February 2008

The Oya Collection

Turkish women are ‘handmade’ champions. A handmade trousseau is a must and a way to measure the suitability of the bride to be. Incredibly beautiful stuff (and some very ugly) is made by hand for that trousseau.

One of the cornerstones is the ‘oya’, that being the generic name for all the finishing’s of the traditional headscarf, worn by the Turkish woman. This oya patterns have countless variations, depending of the region, but also of the marital status of the woman. Special (wider) oya’s are used for praying shawls, used at the mosque or religious celebrations, but also while reading the Koran at home.

It is of no importance if the girl usually covers her head or not, in her trousseau a large amount of oya’s is compulsive, again depending of the region, up till three hundred (!!). There are places where the female wedding guests get one as a remembering, but more often than not all those beautiful oya’s get buried in a chest for ever. The old ones, made with silk thread, are a very sought after collectors item.

These oya’s can be made in a diversity of techniques: crocheting, tatting, needle lace, among others, in every case including, or not, seed beads. The variations are endless and the resulting lace trimmings are often breathtaking.

Less known is the use of those oya’s by men as part of the outfit of the efe’s, (efeler in Turkish). Today these efe’s are mostly folkloric dance groups, but they have their roots in the 16th century, when groups of partisans, or outlaws, fitted out like that, rebelled against the lords of that time. ‘Efe’ is still a synonym for brave hearted, what, wearing a crown of flowers and diaper style pants, is not a small fait. And…hell…they have the best oya’s on their head, with huge needle lace flowers.

It has been a real pleasure to incorporate these beautiful oya’s in our jewelry. They make gorgeous, feather light earrings, and different kinds of necklaces…with a taste of the east!

Friday 22 February 2008


A few weeks ago we where invited to the wedding of a very good friend. Mum couldn’t come because of the surgery she recently had (if you are curious look a few posts back). But I was really happy to hit the roads for new adventures!
Kütahya is a very strange city, full with beautiful historical buildings but also full of strange people. We bought a very old house there years ago with the dream to renovate it but never had the chance to realize it (financially). We still own that house and it was full of dust and other unpleasant things. I had to clean it for two days but it was good to check things out.
The road was good and the journey great, I arrived very fast (within 5 hours) without any problems.

I was staying at some friends whom I hadn’t seen for 6, 7 years and it was very nice to see them again. I went Wednesday the 13th and Thursday morning it started to snow a little, quite normal for middle Turkey. The plan was to have fun and go to the wedding at Saturday and then drive back on Sunday. But the snow… well it suddenly wasn’t slow anymore…

With all the snow excitement I mostly forgot to take pictures because it was windy and wet and freezing cold. The snow kept on falling and when it was finally the wedding day it was impossible to go by car…Luckily the wedding was close by and it was great. I really enjoyed it although I am usually not really a fan of weddings.

A friend would come, who has a big car to put some stuff in that stayed in the house. Thanks Heaven he was there other wise I still would be there. When he came Sunday morning he said there was only a little snow, so we packed our stuff quickly and started our journey at 1 p.m.
We thought that after Afyon it would be okay. Usually it takes less then an hour to arrive there but it took 2.5 hours. We ate a little and went on. But the snow just would not stop. Snow and more snow. Just when we thought it would end it even got worse… the wind blew up the snow and everything was white, snow white…

I took some pictures at the beginning where I still could drive with 1 hand, but afterwards I could hardly see anything and a lot of cars where smashed or hidden under a thick blanket of snow. So the pictures are only the beginning… the journey took 14 hours (instead of 5) and we where like zombies when we arrived.

The snow never ended until Muğla which is only 1 hour away from home. It hasn’t snowed all winter and everyone thought I brought abundance to Kütahya because snow means water. But I have to say abundance can be pretty dangerous :D

Sunday 10 February 2008

The basics

I am a blogland lurker. So, that must be said. I am one of those silent lurkers that ogle and read and never say a word.
I never know what to say, or I don’t feel comfortable saying it, or don’t think that anybody else would be interested in reading my comments.
But I read several blogs on a regular basis and I love blog marathons. What are those? Well, when I discover a blog that appeals to me, I go to the very beginning, let say when the woman in question started blogging, lets say two years ago…and read then from the start till now in a couple of days.
Whoa, that gives a voyeuristic kick of sorts. Well, now I am too harsh on my self. It is kind of fascinating that immersing yourself in somebody else’s life’s.

What is my type of blog? Not the commercial one, of course. I understand that some people make a living out of their blog. Very clever, but very boring, all those adds. Worse are the blogs with adds in disguise, you know, with a side bar with their ‘favorite links’, that happen to be advertisements. Also boring are blogs that offer only a preview of the items in their shop.

No, the blogs I love are the ‘daily life – real people’ kind. All those women out there, raising their kids, cooking their food, knitting their socks, gardening, sewing, painting, nursing, caring , working ,worrying, loving…
It is overwhelming, so much energy, so many skills…
More often than not, they make me feel inadequate, unskilled. And that is because I only master a few of what I consider the basic skills.
You know, the women out there, in blogland, they do it all: gardening, baking, sewing, photographing the results and post them for us, the lurkers, to enjoy. Thank you so much, ladies, you are awesome.

That brings me back to what I consider to be the basis skills, those that every body should learn, not talking about abilities that you are born with…or not.
These are for me the basics:

1 – Read and write.
Seems obvious, but is not. In this country, millions of people cannot. Parents wanting to keep their kids submissive, don’t send them to school (specially girls). Governments wanting their citizens manageable, don’t build schools in remote areas where certain ethnic groups are prone to be unruly.

2 – Master your mother language.
In word and in writing. Thoroughly. Correct spelling, correct syntaxes, you’ll come so
much farther in life if you master those. The power of words.

3 – Learn decent English.
If you like it or not, being fluent in English, opens doors to other worlds, to all the world, as a matter of fact.

4 – Learn how to drive.
That may seem strange in a basis skills list, but driving gives you independence, and that is what all this is about. If I had to choose between a high school diploma and a driving license, I’d choose the last.


4 –Learn how to cook.
Here begin my problems. If I try to fry an egg, big chance that the yolk will end on the countertop and the shell in the frying pan. Feeding my family is torture for me. These has also consequences in my social life, of course. Inviting people to dinner is out of the question.
I love perusing recipes, though, and blogs with a fair amount of cooking. Weird, yes.


5 – Get computer skills.
All those blogging mothers out there have…
No, not I. I use the computer like a type writer and to roam the internet, of course, but
Estella has to post my ramblings…yes, I am deeply ashamed…I told you, inadequate…

So, now back to Etsy to try and find some art to illustrate all these and make it a bit more palatable…

Sunday 3 February 2008

Hard Working Girls

After all the hard work of months, no, years, we finally are getting results :D

This lucky cuff made it twice to the frontpage!

We also particepated in 'the handbook of handmade', a book where 35 Etsy sellers show their goodies and tell their stories. It was really nice to see the result: a little book in great colors and everything choosen with care.

The man who organized this, Timothy Adam, has is own great shop at Etsy.
If you would like to buy Volume I or II or would like to participate in Volume III check Timothy's shop!

And one last nice thing, when I checked the ammount of hearts two days ago, I was surpriced by the number 1111, I always have something with numbers and like to play with them so I took a screenshot of that :)