Wednesday, February 29, 2012

As They Say in Romania.....

Mărțișor Fericit!
Which, loosely translated, means...

Happy March!

During my ten years in Romania I learned to love all the celebrations and traditions. They were joyful, meaningful and heart-warming times, especially if, as an ex-pat, one got to spend those times with a Romanian family. Regardless of the family's financial status there would always be numerous courses of the most fabulous food, and tons of good conversation and laughter. But more about that, perhaps, another time.

The celebration of Mărțișor (pronounced Mertzishore) was a little different, and rather than spending time together over a meal, it speaks of little gestures of kindness given to others, especially on March 1st, to celebrate the advent of spring.
There is much folklore and superstition surrounding the celebration of Mărțișor, as well as Christian and mystical meanings involved, and other countries in Eastern Europe also celebrate, in similar ways.

It was thrilling for me, each March 1st, to walk through Bucharest and see the streets lined with little kiosks, tables and displays, from one end of the city to another, with vendors all selling a multitude of mărțișore -- tiny trinkets (not much bigger than an 'inchie!'). Each trinket is tied with a tiny string braided in red and white, and the idea is to purchase the trinkets and give them to a 'special someone' in your life.

The tradition began, no doubt hundreds of years ago, with men presenting a trinket to their loved one. And since symbolically, it is correlated to women and to fertility as a means of life and continuity, the women would wear the trinket pinned to their clothing until fruit began to appear on the trees. Nowadays, the trinkets are given more as a symbol of friendship, love, appreciation and respect.

I loved giving, and receiving, martisore every March 1st. More recently martisore have become quite 'classy' and are produced in gold, silver or pearl.

Romanians are skilled artisans in every way, so I much prefer the handmade ones  and I actually brought home a few as mementos when I left Romania.

This is my favourite!

These two very pretty trinkets have petals and greenery sealed in clear plastic

My most treasured crystal duckie - given to me by a special friend

So...allow me to wish you Mărțișor Fericit this March 1st, leaving you with a youtube presentation of multitudes of varieties of martisore, no doubt being sold on the streets of Romania even as I write this. Enjoy the pan pipes background music too - so very Romanian!

Some of my fellow bloggers who are extremely creative and talented may find some inspiration here -- even for inchies!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Every Inchie Monday

This week I cheated a little with my Inchie, since the picture is not original with me.

But since the topic for this Monday is "mirror" I couldn't resist making an Inchie out of this photo -- because it is an almost every day reality for me!

Because we live quite close to our major highway, there are few places to which I travel, even locally, without taking the highway to get there.

I still never cease to be amazed at the number of HUGE trucks that travel that highway. And, at certain times of the day, when merging into the oncoming lane, it is tremendously intimidating to have to merge into a lane full of trucks as far as the eye can see, before and behind you, realising that you actually have to get in between two of them to get onto the highway, and then make your way...very carefully...across sometimes two more lanes to get to the fast lane, in order to get away from them all as soon as possible!

So this view from my side-view mirror is very familiar to me, even if, in this format, it is only an inch square!!!

Coming up:  March 1st is a very special day for me. 
I will be telling you all about it - so stay tuned!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Every Monday Inchie - February 20th

Our Inchie Monday topic this week is "Dream"

What else would I be dreaming about, in Canada, in February?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

You know you lead a dull life when...

...all you can talk about is the weather!

The snow was the really fluffy kind again today -- you can see the big blotches falling...

...more blotches...

...and they got larger!

A bright spot in what became a gloomy day once the snow stopped

DOTH, pining for summer, and heatwaves, and sailing and swimming and...!

Another bright spot: these are Paper Whites. OD (Older Daughter) gave them to DOTH as bulbs, at Christmas - they have grown like wildfire....

...and they are quite stunning...

...dazzling white...

but don't stick your nose too close --

they smell awful (but only up very close!)!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Every Monday Inchie - February 13th

I made it!  Just a day late, but here it is:

My Monday Inchie for the topic "Glow"

A pretty stick-on flower with a jewel for its centre and a background of crinkly tin-foil, using a gold ink pen to hopefully create a "glow"!  MorningAJ was my inspiration for this...check out her Glow Inchie.  It's fun to learn some alternative art techniques!

Check out my sister's Glow Twinchie here: it's very interesting!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sunshine and Shadows

We had quite a snowfall last night, and today, with temps around -15, it was pretty frosty out there. But a great day for some photos, since the sun was shining brightly.

I got kind of hung up on shadows today..... can tell we are surrounded by trees!

It was almost HOT in the office, with the sun streaming in...

with shadows everywhere

...spooky kind of shadows...

...this is kind of spooky, too. Can you see the c-o-old lovers among the trees?
They're not really there, it's all an illusion.
Let me know what YOU see!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Inchie Monday

Phew - just made it, with a few hours to spare!  Inchie Monday is challenging, but I opted for easy, this week. The topic is Flier (I think Flyer, in Canadian?)

This is a dove I cut out of a greeting card, glued to a piece of black origami paper.

Simple, I thought, but effective.

You can find many more entries here:

(read the comments and follow their links)