• Ceramics,  Travel

    Ceramics studio visit

    There is more than one way to get to this hidden ceramics studio in the remote part of Carpathian mountains in Poland. The most direct route weaves through now sparsely populated mountain range, alternating between mature forest and occasional pastures and open vistas. Only blooming wild apple, pear and plum trees, remnants of once thriving orchards in villages, are visible mid-May. The most direct route to this village consisting of only 3 homes leads through a concrete block reinforced stream crossing. On the other side, gravel path winds through a valley to an artist’s home and workspace. Japanese inspired shapes and muted colors have found a comfortable home deep in…

  • Travel

    Nautical New England

    The spring was slow to come this year. The usual escapes to the countryside were turning more into small town and villages wanders, so a coffee shop or a store or a pub was never too far for a quick stop and warm up. When I think of moodiness of historic lanes, stair paths, and steely skies and ocean, and a meandering walk, with a pure intentions of getting lost at least for a moment, Marblehead is a jewell. Late April Sunday afternoon was very quiet, a far cry from summer traffic, laud exuberance, colorful crowds…Plenty of time to contemplate each house’s historic marker, trying to imagine its inhabitants going…

  • Essay,  Food,  Travel

    Carpathian wild & foraged food

    Inevitably during our day trips we get to this place where the paved roads end, gradually becoming gravel, occasionally concrete blocks for stream forging, only to dissolve into paths that might end at the last house before the dark wall of the woods. Or, you might find yourself picking up an asphalt road on the other side on mountain. The seasons are spectacular, if unpredictable, for those on the lookout for a quiet drama, for those with no expectations, those determined enough to venture out there in any weather, even when told there is ” no mushrooms this year” because it is too try, or too wet, or too many…

  • Essay,  Travel

    Photo essay: Kraków

    I came a long way in my approach to travel as it was during the last few years. Obviously, 2020 put an abrupt end to it all. All of a sudden my mantra became “work with what you have”, or better yet, improve it! Let’s face it, it was not a choice, it was a necessity. More on that later. It allowed me to evaluate my entire photo collection and to move away from essentially just collecting them and always looking to the next trip, to working with what I have, and distilling what I want, moving forward. It was a turning point when I settled, with intention, on telling…

  • Food,  Holidays,  Table Styling

    Cosy and festive at home

    Celebrating New Year’s Eve at home this year, with intention. The “recipe” is quite simple: boxes and envelopes stuffed to the brim with vintage family photos, something freshly baked and something moody and smooth to sip. Few easy ornaments to test the creative spark of the day,  and off we go into the stories of the past. The brandied dried fruit of Christmas time made its way into homemade scones and vintage inspired concoction. The photos create stories and mysteries to ponder on. Who was the your woman climbing  the trees in one photo, and looking like a poet’s muse in another? Who was Clara?

  • Essay,  Food,  Holidays

    Home for the holidays

    Home for the holidays, as in “staying” not “going”, “making” not “buying”, “planning” not “head-spinning”…The year of the pandemic brings on a different kind of Christmas and a deeply personal story. Call it looking for a silver lining, perhaps, but this is the celebration of the handmade, the slow, and the meaningful. The celebration of small measures, imperfection, joy of finishing a project started few months ago, or another two weeks ago. Brings the memories of collecting color tin candy wrappers all year long with my Grandmother to wrap large walnuts to hang on a Christmas tree on December 24th. The memories of cutting straw and delicate tissue paper for…

  • Garden

    Summer flowers in urban garden

    Summer flowers or summer blooms? Could I include a blooming cucumber plant in my “flower” list? What about blooming basil, thyme or mint? The mood, and objective, of our backyard has certainly shifted this year. I was aiming at creating working city garden for a while now, but this year gave me the final push. Halfway there model no longer worked. When spring turned into summer backyard turned chaotic, completely lacking any colorful annuals unless self sown, veggie producing container garden jungle. Here are some of my favorites, all grown from seed this year, most saved from last years plants. I am missing names on many of them. What started…

  • Ceramics,  Travel

    Japan inspired ceramics

    This blog post has been planned for a while…The story was going to start like this: ” Last year, I was planning a trip to Japan that was going to end in a remote Japanese ceramics village, but I ended up in a remote Polish village creating a travelogue of the exquisite Japan inspired ceramics. Does it mean that this year, 2020, I will end up in Japan while planning a trip to Poland?” That draft was written in January this year. The world has been ravaged by the pandemic since, and our travel remains, for the time being, an armchair traveller’s one. I cannot help though, but to share…

  • Travel

    Roadtrip: The impossible charm of a small Czech town

    One particularly rainy evening in October last year brought me to Starý Plzenec, a small town in west Bohemia. Little over an hour from Prague, it is decisively off the beaten path, and requires a detour from the highway (and detour around its much bigger neighbor Pilsen). Another words, perfect. My brother and I were taking a road trip through Czech Republic on the way to Germany. Small town vibes and old world charm were definitely high on the agenda, as we left rainy and moody Žižkov district of Prague (my enthusiastic “new favorite!”, just brought a confidently restrained “I knew it” smile on my brother’s face). After all, he…