Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wedding Day Teaser:: Custom Leather Bracelet.

I thought I would share a little wedding day teaser. A few weeks ago, I was contacted to design a custom leather cuff bracelet as a wedding gift. This bracelet held a little secret.... it was designed to have a little message stamped on the inside of the bracelet for the wearer.


But you will just have to wait and see what it says. Congratulations to the lucky couple today and I hope they are enjoying their destination wedding!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Faworki (Angel Wings).

Another food loving blog of sorts. This was a fun surprise to be a part of and get to see the person actually be gifted a custom pair of Polish pastry earrings that I had made. It was a custom Mother's Day gift order, but we decided it would be nice since I am visiting to surprise the lucky mom with them while I am here. And what better way to serve up a delightful surprise like that then with an actual tray of delicious pastries.

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These sweet crispy Polish pastries known as faworki are made out of dough which are shaped into thin twisted ribbons that have then been deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

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A little fun fact that I learned today: The Polish word faworki "was the name reserved for colorful ribbons attached to either female or male clothing, especially such ribbons that were given to medieval knights by their ladies." Also, the word faworki ethnologically came to Poland from the French word faveur, meaning "grace" or "favour".

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This mom truly loves her
faworki and it was such a treat making these for her.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Food-Loving:: Bolivian Food.

So for those of you who frequently read or happen to follow my blog know that Bolivia has a special place in my heart and is a truly unique place to me. I don't know for how long I've had this desire to have some good Bolivian food, but unfortunately there really isn't any great Bolivian restaurants here in the Pacific Northwest. So I did some internet research on Bolivian food in Florida.

Restaurant Boliviano

And to my amaze I found a restaurant (Las Americas) that specializes in Bolivian cuisine in Little Havana, Miami. Eeek! I couldn't wait to try just about everything that was on the menu.

Restaurant Boliviano

I had invited my mom to dinner and was truly excited about this because she has never had any Bolivian food other then the anticuchos (grilled beef hearts) I had made at home. Needless to say it was quite a feast. We started off with some salteñas-- a type of Bolivian baked empanada. I know I have mentioned in previous posts my love for these. Perhaps, I should try to make some on my own and share them on the blog.... what do you think?


Looking over on the menu I noticed that one of the soup specials for the day was sopa de mani (one of my favorite Bolivian soups), but the waitress soon informed me that they had just given another table the last order. So we ordered some bowls of sopa de quiona instead. Quinoa is a tiny yellow grain that is grown in the Bolivian highlands. An interesting little fact: the Incas held the crop to be quite sacred and actually referred to the quinoa as chisaya mama or "mother of all grains", the Inca emperor would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season by using "golden implements".


I wanted my mom to try a typical dish from the city of Cochabamba (side note: Cochabamba is definitely one of my favorite cities in Bolivia). This dish known as silpancho has quite a few different layers. The bottom of the plate consists of a base layer of rice, which is then followed by layers of potatoes, on top of all this is a super thin schnitzel-style meat, which is then covered with yet another mixed layer of chopped tomato, onion and parsley. All of this is then topped with either one or two fried eggs. Let me tell you when I first encountered this meal at Palacio del Silpancho in Cochabamba I was left a bit speechless and wasn't quite sure how I would finish it all. Las Americas Restaurant didn't disappoint.... it was pretty close in flavor to what can be found in Bolivia.


Plus we also had some pique macho, which is a meal that consists of chunks of beef, sausage (hot dog type) plus french-fry cut potatoes and to top it all off sliced boiled eggs, tomatoes, onions, olives and jalapeños. The entire dish is then finished with ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. Typically in Bolivia instead of the jalapeño, a locoto pepper garnishes the dish. This pepper is primarily found in Central and South America.


Along with the meal we had mocochinchi - a dehydrated peach cider. This is probably one of the (if not THE) most served beverages in Bolivia. You can find it in any region of Bolivia and is surprisingly quite sweet. In Bolivia you'll see this sold on street corners and in parks and plazas, usually in large glass jars, along side other drinks such as chicha and somó. So as you can tell that it was quite the feast and it definitely helped fill that craving I had for Bolivian food.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Work in Progress:: Re-Styled Vintage Daisy

Just wanted to share with you a sneak peek into one of the NEW re-styled vintage pieces that I am working on, which will later be available in my Etsy shop.

re-styled vintage daisy

I love playing around with the vintage pieces. I especially enjoy just putting them all out in front of me and just moving the different pieces around just like in a puzzle searching for the right piece. I have always had a love of all things vintage since as long as I can remember. I think my grandmother finds it a bit funny that when I visit her in Poland, how I can become so entertained for hours looking through random old things. I'll be posting more pictures of the necklace when I finish the piece and I promise to entertain you with some vintage treasure travel tales.

PS- I really like how these all of these vintages pieces flow together, what do you think? I personally think it would be a lovely piece for a bride.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Morocco:: Lemon Fashion Shoot

I posted a sneak peek on my facebook page earlier today from Claire Eliza's "Lemon" fashion shoot with Miss Layne. I just wanted to share with you yet another glimpse here on my blog. This shoot featured one of my favorite necklaces (Morocco 3- Necklace) from my diseño collection.

lemons shoot

I love how this piece gives a glimpse into a shape that is typically seen throughout Moroccan architecture. This simple scalloped shape can be seen used over doorways, on windows, adorning arches, and throughout the ornate tile work. I just can't imagine when I have the chance to travel to Morrocco, how truly engulfed I will be in the stunning architecture. Not many people know, but at one point in my university career I wanted to study architecture thus now you can better understand my slight love affair with architectural details. But for now I dream of traveling to Morocco through my architecture books.

Claire has put together another absolutely lovely fashion film that actually features the necklace pictured above. Thank you Miss Claire! Go ahead and take a look below:

To see more pictures from this shoot and other fashion shoots, please head on over here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Work in Progress:: Kelly Green Bridesmaid Jewelry

Hello everyone! It has definitely been quite some time since my last blog post. My trip to Florida was absolutely lovely and a much needed break from studio work. I definitely got a ton of inspiration and I'm looking forward to sharing with you the new collection that will be out later this spring. But until then, I would love to share with you some custom orders that I am working on.

Today, I would like to feature a special green inspired necklace. My friend contacted me if I had any green jewelry. Her friend is getting married and she is one of the bridesmaids. She forwarded me an email with the inspiration for the necklace--- the kelly green ties that the groomsmen will be wearing.

green tie

She told me that she really liked my re-styled vintage collection and would love to have a piece of jewelry that incorporated vintage elements as well as it being a statement piece. I came up with some sketches and emailed the following ideas to her.

green inspiration: sketches

From those sketches I was able to find out what Maria liked and didn't like, which resulted in the following design.

work in progress: detail

The necklace will incorporate a mix of magnesite turquoise, a strand of silver colored freshwater pearls, a lovely vintage chunky faux gold chain plus two strands of green mother of pearl shell coin beads. Plus some lovely vintage art deco glass buttons in green which will be incorporated randomly throughout the necklace. I can't wait to share with you the final piece, but you'll have to wait until May for that! ;)