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Russian Treasures

August 18, 2010

I posted a few days ago about the Russian flag quilts I made for my friend’s daughters.  When we first started chatting about these quilts months and months ago we made a deal.  I would make the quilts for the girls and in return Josie would bring me some amazing Russian treasures.  I gave her a short list of things I’d like (you’d think I could have brought home all the treasures I wanted when I lived there.  But I didn’t.)  I am thrilled that she was willing to bring them for me.

This is a green amber pendant necklace.  I love green amber, it is just so pretty and when the light hits it you can see so many different colors embedded inside.  I brought home a small necklace and bracelet, which I still wear.  But I love how big and chunky this one is.  The picture just can’t do it justice.

These two drawings are done in ink, probably with a ballpoint pen.  I brought one home for my sister and I have always wished that I had one for myself.  And now I have two.  And I don’t know why, but I kind of really like them clipped up in my old pants hanger.

This is probably my favorite thing.  And I am so glad that she was able to sneak it through customs.  (Russia isn’t too keen on letting their antiques leave the country.)  It is an Agfa Anastigmat Jgestar camera and from what I can find it was manufactured in Germany in 1933.

Wow.  I know.  It’s a 35mm camera, but I have absolutely zero idea how to use it.  I need to do a lot more research to figure out what I need to know so I can try and take some pictures.  But for now I just know that it is awesome.

I love how this last picture turned out!  Josie brought me a few big families of blank Russian Matryoshka dolls.  I am not exactly sure what I am going to do with them. But I love this contrast between the blank dolls and my collection of washi tape in every color.  I have several painted sets that I brought home with me from Russia.  I know there is no way I can make these more beautiful than those.  I may be a lot of things, but a painter is not one of them.  One day I’ll take pictures of those and show them to you.  They are absolutely amazing works of art.  And I will set these blank one’s out on my desk and I’m sure inspiration will strike.  Eventually.

So what is your all time favorite souvenir?  Or what is the one that got away and you still regret not buying it.  Mine is some gorgeous marionette puppets that I saw in Prague.  They were so incredible and I am still kicking myself for not bringing one (or six) home.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2010 6:11 am

    That green amber pendant is beautiful!!

    When I looked at the blank Matryoshka dolls, the first thing that popped into my head was PENGUINS!!

    Maybe make them into Russian Arctic Animals? Me? I’d make them into dogs. Different breeds of dogs. But I am all about dogs. Dogs, dogs, dogs.

    Jillian of the 60b Photography blog posted about the scrap fabric flowers you made, which I loved since I sew and always have scrap fabric. I printed out your page & took tons of scrap fabric with me to the nursing home & started a project there with the old folks. We’re using the super tacky glue that sets quick unless I’m helping then we used a low temp hot glue gun so I don’t melt my fingers. I’ll blog about it & let you know when we’re done.

    I lived in Italy for 4 years, but someday, I will visit Russia. I can read Cyrillic quite well, but my 1 year of Russian in high school didn’t teach me enough to be able to translate everything I read.

    BTW – I would LOVE to see pictures of your craft room, even in it’s current state. 🙂 I’m working on my new studio & would love some inspiration.

  2. August 18, 2010 7:17 am

    What fun finds! I visited Germany in 2008 and kept waiting to shop – bad plan because our last day there was a holiday and all the stores were closed. I will say my favorite souvenir I’ve come home with is a voodoo doll from New Orleans.

  3. August 18, 2010 10:17 am

    I love Russian Matryoshka dolls! I have 2 different kinds at home! 🙂

  4. August 18, 2010 10:27 am

    My favorite souvineer is definitely the pen-and-ink drawing of a church you brought me home from Moscow. Love. Love love love.

    I also really like a pen-and-ink architectural rendering of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

    And, to mix it up, I use my scarves from Chinatown, San Francisco almost every day. 🙂


  5. August 18, 2010 10:27 am

    Awesome barter gifts! I just love that camera and hope you can use it one day (or not, and just admire it’s fabulousness on your studio shelf!). As for souvenirs, I must say that the Tibetan rug that my office chair is sitting on right now was the bestest thing I brought home from Nepal 20 years ago…I have purchased a lot of souvenirs in my day, mostly stuff I look at later and go “what the?”, but I adore this carpet.

    I think the blank dolls look amazing just as they are!

  6. August 18, 2010 7:12 pm

    I love all of them. But if I “had” to pick – it would be the prints. I like how you have displayed them!

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