#CIJRoadTrip – Croatia: Varaždin

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s travel to Croatia – Varaždin with Zlatka from Laurelisjewelry

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I live in Varaždin, Croatia. There is a lot special stuff about this little town, these are just a few of them:

Varaždin is a small historical town which first written reference was on 20 August 1181, when King Béla III mentioned it in a legal document.

It was declared a free royal borough in 1209 by the Hungarian King Andrew II. The town became the economic and military centre of northern Croatia. Due to Turkish raids, the town was structured defensively around the old fortress, and acquired the shape of a typical medieval Wasserburg. In 1756, the Ban Francis Nadásdy chose Varaždin as his official residence, and Varaždin became the capital of all of Croatia. It hosted the Croatian Sabor and the Royal Croatian Council founded by Empress Maria Theresa.The fire of 1776 destroyed most of the town, resulting in the administrative institutions moving back to Zagreb.

By the 19th century Varaždin had been completely rebuilt and expanded, with flourishing crafts and trade, and later the manufacture of silk and bricks. The theatre, music school, and fire department were founded.

In the 20th century Varaždin developed into the industrial centre of Northwestern Croatia
Varaždin represents the best preserved and richest urban complex in continental Croatia.

The Old Town (fortress) is an example of medieval defensive buildings. Construction began in the 14th century, and in the following century the rounded towers, typical of Gothic architecture in Croatia, were added. Today it houses the Town Museum.

The Old and Contemporary Masters Gallery is located in the Sermage Palace, built in the rococo style in 1750.

In 1523, Margrave Georg of Brandenburg built the town hall in late baroque style, with the Varaždin coat of arms at the foot of the tower, and it has continued in its function until the present day. There is a guard-changing ceremony every Saturday.

There are many baroque and rococo palaces and houses in the town. Worth particular mention is Varaždin’s Croatian National Theatre, built in 1873
A baroque music festival has been held annually in Varaždin since 1971, and attracts some of the finest musicians and their fans from Croatia and the world. Recommended to visitors is also the historical street festival Špancir fest every September.

The city features its old city guard, named Purgari, in various city ceremonies as well as the weekly ceremony of the ‘change of the guards’ in front of the city hall. Additionally, Varaždin police officers patrol on bicycles in the warmer months.

Varaždin’s cemetery date back to 1773 and it was long time an ordinary place until 1905, when Herman Haller had an idea to make it more beautiful and park-like with large trees and alleys for citizens to stroll through. The reconstruction of the cemetery was done between 1905 and 1947 when it got the form for which it later became one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe. It is an outstanding example of landscape architecture and protected cultural and natural park.

Today Varaždin is a popular destination for the summer holidays. The city has numerous areas of interests ranging from cultural areas (reflected by many museums, galleries and theaters in the area), shopping centers in the downtown core, various sports and recreation facilities, also a rich history in cuisine. The close of the tourist season is marked by two annual festivals. he annual ŠpancirFest begins at the end of August and ends in September (lasts for 10 days). At this time. the city welcomes artists, street performers, musicians and vendors for what is called “the street walking festival”.

The city also hosts the Varaždin Baroque Evenings festival, first held in 1971. The festival honours baroque music and culture, both of which hold a special place in Varaždin’s identity.

Varaždin is also the host of the Radar Festival, which hosts concerts at the end of summer. It has already hosted various popular artists as Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, The Animals, Manic Street Preachers, Solomon Burke and many others

Herzer Palace - Varaždin - Croatia

Herzer Palace – Varaždin – Croatia

Varaždin Civil Guard - Croatia

Varaždin Civil Guard – Croatia

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

Varaždin!
Zagreb
Zadar
Trakošćan
Plitvica Lakes
Islands

Varaždin Main Square With City Hall - Croatia

Varaždin Main Square With City Hall – Croatia

Varaždin Old Castle - Croatia

Varaždin Old Castle – Croatia

Varaždin Streets - Croatia

Varaždin Streets – Croatia

Varaždin Špancirfest - Festival In Late August - Croatia

Varaždin Špancirfest – Festival In Late August – Croatia

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

Not very much. I am mainly inspired by fantasy and Gothic, but sometimes I find inspiration in medieval history of my town.

Varaždin Cemetary - Croatia

Varaždin Cemetary – Croatia

Varaždin Cemetary - Croatia

Varaždin Cemetary – Croatia

Croatian National Theatre In Varaždin - Croatia

Croatian National Theatre In Varaždin – Croatia

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

Not this fall! I usually had a place in Spancirfest, but now, with a little baby and job, I just don’t have time.

Gothic Victorian Earrings From LAURELISjewelery

Gothic Victorian Earrings From LAURELISjewelery

Victorian Gothic pendant From LAURELISjewelery

Victorian Gothic pendant From LAURELISjewelery

Black Punk Rock Faux Leather BraceleFrom LAURELISjewelery

Black Punk Rock Faux Leather BraceleFrom LAURELISjewelery

5. What are your social media sites?

www.facebook.com/LAURELISjewelery
twitter.com/laurelisjewlery
laurelis.deviantart.com/

#CIJRoadTrip – Malaysia: Selangor

Contributor post by Jessica of CrochetNature

Let’s travel to Malaysia – Selangor with Yee Von from whimsywhimsical! I visited friends in Malaysia years ago, so I quickly knew I wanted to write this post when the chance came up. Reminiscent memories of my trip include beautiful tropical surroundings, mouth-watering tastes of food, and a unique blend of cultures. Yee Von expands on these and more from her beautiful country!

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

Hello! I live in Selangor, Malaysia. The place I stay is actually pretty close to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and it is just a 30 minutes drive. Our country is famous for its tropical climate and natural heritage like shoreline mangrove, mountains and beaches. We live in a multi-racial society and get to celebrate different cultures and celebrations like Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and even Christmas, which make our country one of the highest numbers of public holidays in the world. The part I enjoy the most, thanks to our multi-cultural society, is that we get to enjoy unique blend of cuisine like nasi lemak (rice cooked with coconut milk), satay (beef / chicken skewer to dip into a sweet and spicy peanut sauce), Hainanese chicken rice or Roti Canai (local pancake to eat with Dhall and curries).

Satay And Spicy Peanut Sauce

Satay And Spicy Peanut Sauce

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

We have a good blend of metropolitan cityscape  (Kuala Lumpur), history & heritage trails (Melaka & Penang), jungle trekking and world’s longest canopy walk (National Park in Pahang) and of course an array of exotic islands and beautiful beaches for diving and snorkeling (Langkawi, Pangkor & Redang)!

Taman Negara National Park - Malaysia

Taman Negara National Park – Malaysia

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

Ironically, I didn’t incorporate much of my country’s customs and traditions into the items I created. Most of my artworks are inspired by the nature as I grew up in the mountains when I was very young.

Sipadan Island Resort - Malaysia

Sipadan Island Resort – Malaysia

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

I’m currently working on new collection of invitations for birthdays and baby showers while approaching retailers for my products. Also I’m getting ready for year-end items like calendar 2015 and Christmas collection. There are a lot of monthly craft fairs in the city but I didn’t get to participate much due to the timing and the amount of work!

10 Personalized Invitations - Those Perfect Berry Cupcakes Tea Party From whimsywhimsical

10 Personalized Invitations – Those Perfect Berry Cupcakes Tea Party From whimsywhimsical

Winter Wonderland - Greeting Card From whimsywhimsical

Winter Wonderland – Greeting Card From whimsywhimsical

20 Stickers - Squirrel & Skunk Party From whimsywhimsical

20 Stickers – Squirrel & Skunk Party From whimsywhimsical

5. What are your social media sites?

Pinterest : www.pinterest.com/chanyeevon
Facebook : www.facebook.com/pages/yeevon/125949550760513
Blogspot : chanyeevon.blogspot.com
Instagram : @chanyeevon

#CIJRoadTrip – Ireland: Dublin

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s travel to Ireland – Dublin with Gigi from Gigi82Knits

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I live in Dublin, Ireland. Dublin gives you a big city feel while the most beautiful countryside is only a short drive/ train ride away. Dublin is a great base from which to explore Ireland. At the same time, you get all the pubs and nightlife you want in Dublin, a huge selection of shops and shopping centers, museums, concerts, exhibitions, etc.

Ireland

Ireland

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

I recommend going and experiencing the rough beauty of the Aran Islands on the West coast. Last year I went there on one of the (very few) days of actual summer, the rain gear stayed in the bag the whole time. The largest of the Aran Islands, Inishmore, can be reached by ferry or plane. On the island, I recommend renting bikes and touring on your own, taking as much time as you want. There are also locals offering tours in mini vans, which is probably the better option for rainy days. But I had a blast last year on the bikes. There are a few different routes to take, some longer or smaller. Stop often to take in the scenery. It’s possible to stay the night in a guest house or hostel, or you can take the last ferry back in the evening.

Ireland

Ireland

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

My shop is very specialized in socks, which developed into Christmas stockings which also has developed into selling the patterns. I’m offering Christmas Stockings made out of 100% Irish wool (Donegal Tweed), which is a pleasure to knit with. It’s the same kind of wool that the big Irish cable sweaters are traditionally made out of.

Western Ireland, Kylemore Abbey, Inishmore Cliffs And Beach And An Evil Cow We Encountered - Ireland

Western Ireland, Kylemore Abbey, Inishmore Cliffs And Beach And An Evil Cow We Encountered – Ireland

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

I’m selling exclusively online. But if someone local wants to meet up, I’m in the Walkinstown library (Dublin 12) Knitting Group, meeting every Wednesday 6.30 – 8pm for a chat with my knitting buddies and I also teach sock/ stocking knitting there. We have a group project that we raffle off for charity in the weeks leading up to Christmas, last year it was a patchwork blanket, the year before a nativity scene.

Small Christmas Stocking Knitted With Trees From Gigi82Knits

Small Christmas Stocking Knitted With Trees From Gigi82Knits

Personalized Knitted Christmas Stockings Set Of 5 From Gigi82Knits

Personalized Knitted Christmas Stockings Set Of 5 From Gigi82Knits

Knitted Socks For Halloween Costume Of Frankenstein From Gigi82Knits

Knitted Socks For Halloween Costume Of Frankenstein From Gigi82Knits

5. What are your social media sites?

Ravelry: www.ravelry.com/people/Gigi82
Blog: gigi82knits.blogspot.ie/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Gigi82knits/232077836803455
Twitter: twitter.com/Gigi82Knits
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gigi82knits/

#CIJRoadTrip – Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo

Contributor post by Jessica of CrochetNature

Let’s travel to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with Angie Rodriguez from TheLarimarShop! What a great place to create. I can only imagine the endless creative inspiration that comes from living in such a beautiful country. Read on to find out Angie’s inspiration that is unique to her part of the world!

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I was born and live in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic. Our country shares the eastern side of the Hispaniola island, the western side is Haiti. It is special because our island was discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, who landed on the north coast. Santo Domingo city, with its Colonial Zone, was placed in 1990 by UNESCO on the World Heritage List.

Colonial Zone - Santo Domingo - Dominican Republic

Colonial Zone – Santo Domingo – Dominican Republic

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

Santo Domingo – It holds claim to the first cathedral, monastery, university, hospital, customs house and other monuments in the New World. In the Colonial Zone you will find 11 blocks of historical and fun-filled streets, where part of the city walls can be seen, holding the oldest permanent settlement in the New World. There are over three hundred pieces of history, which include houses, streets and monuments.

The Dominican Republic can be undoubtedly regarded as a tropical paradise, with its many breathtaking and secluded beaches, many with pristine waters, white sand, and wonderful islets with endemic species that you can reach with speed boats and catamarans. All water sports are available, specially at Cabarete on the north coast and La Romana on the east coast, with beautiful hotel resorts.

Kite Sailing - Cabarete - Dominican Republic

Kite Sailing – Cabarete – Dominican Republic

Eco tourism takes you to mountains, rivers, and waterfalls, where you can practice many sports such as paragliding, horseback riding, river rafting, mountain bike, swimming and much more!

Cayo Levantado - Samana - Dominican Republic

Cayo Levantado – Samana – Dominican Republic

We also have must see lakes such as the Enriquillo Lake – the largest salt water lake and the lowest in the Caribbean, home to American crocodiles and many endemic species.

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

When I learned about our Larimar stone, which is unique to the whole world being the only blue pectolite found so far, I decided to get involved with this natural beauty. The blue and blue-green colors, as well as the wonderful patterns reflect the blue colors of our Caribbean sea waters and the blue sky with white clouds. It is a stone that is hard not to fall in love with. This stone has been linked to the lost continent of Atlantis, as well as to dolphins, attributing special qualities to our Larimar stone.

Larimar is now our national stone and is a real representative of our country. With our Larimar, our Dominican craftsmanship has the opportunity to display its creativity to the world.

Larimar Collections From TheLarimarShop

Larimar Collections From TheLarimarShop

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

We are planning to participate in a Bazaar in Santo Domingo this fall for in Santo Domingo, Bazaars are one of the best way to promote handcrafted items locally!

Larimar Studs Earrings From TheLarimarShop

Larimar Studs Earrings From TheLarimarShop

Amber And Larimar Reversible Bracelet From TheLarimarShop

Amber And Larimar Reversible Bracelet From TheLarimarShop

Wild Boar Tusk And Larimar Stone Necklace From TheLarimarShop

Wild Boar Tusk And Larimar Stone Necklace From TheLarimarShop

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: facebook.com/thelarimarshop
Twitter: twitter.com/thelarimarshop
Website: http://www.thelarimarshop.com/

Blog:  thelarimarshop.blogspot.com/

 

#CIJRoadTrip – Indonesia: Bali

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s travel to Indonesia – with Katrina from DonBiuBali

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I live in a jungle on a beach on the Island of Bali, Indonesia. It is special because I had to adapt to a different way of living than Vancouver, Canada where I am from.

My Wedding - Indonesia

My Wedding – Indonesia

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

Ubud is a beautiful and spiritual part of the Island with rolling rice terraces, vegetarian restaurants artists. Amed is beautiful for diving and coral reefs with beautiful fish. Celuk is famous for gemstones, silver and gold. Lembogan is a beautiful Island best seen on a scooter, I like the underground house there and the cliffs with waves four stories tall. I love finding secret beaches and finding small villages off the beat and path.

Lembogan - Indonesia

Waves 4 stories Tall – Lembogan – Indonesia

Women Carrying Fish From The Sea - Bali - Indonesia

Women Carrying Fish From The Sea – Bali – Indonesia

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

In absolutely every way, my husband is Balinese and a huge part of our life is devoted to meditation and spirituality, Being surrounded by quality, handmade items and living a minimal life reflects in the essence of every piece we make. We don’t have much but what we do have is quality, beauty, paradise, we make our jewelry from absolute scratch, mixing, pressing, making, polishing, every aspect is done carefully, painstakingly and with love just as everything we do is done. I could go on and on, we are our art and our life we created from scratch together is the same.

My Husband Designing His Own Tools For Custom Jewelry Making - Bali - Indonesia

My Husband Designing His Own Tools For Custom Jewelry Making – Bali – Indonesia

Making Sterling Jewelry By Hand - Bali - Indonesia

Making Sterling Jewelry By Hand – Bali – Indonesia

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

I don’t do business in my community but I help businesses in my community. I do a lot of trades, someone owns the banana patch we live in, I help him market his home stay. I am also building three websites for local businesses. As much time as I can spare I like to give to others, there are so many beautiful people here who desperately want the chance to connect with the world and don’t have it because they don’t understand the technology and places like Etsy that can make their art seen and their dreams come true. I wish I could multiply myself to help more amazing artisans here.

Local Artisians - Bali - Indonesia

Local Artisians – Bali – Indonesia

Hand Woven Hand Dyed Sarongs - Bali - Indonesia

Hand Woven Hand Dyed Sarongs – Bali – Indonesia

Wearing My Own Jewelry Creations - Bali - Indonesia

Wearing My Own Jewelry Creations – Bali – Indonesia

Armlet 7 Chakra Solid Sterling Arm Cuff From DonBiuBali

Armlet 7 Chakra Solid Sterling Arm Cuff From DonBiuBali

Moonstone Pendant Personalized Sterling Silver  Necklace  From DonBiuBali

Moonstone Pendant Personalized Sterling Silver Necklace From DonBiuBali

Turquoise And Sterling Silver Cocktail Ring From DonBiuBali

Turquoise And Sterling Silver Cocktail Ring From DonBiuBali

5. What are your social media sites?

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/donbiu
Blog: www.katzwalk.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donbiu
Tumbler: don-biu.tumblr.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/donbiu

#CIJRoadTrip – Belgium: Leuven

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s travel to Belgium – Leuven with Wezz from cyberwezz

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I live in Leuven. If you look on a map it’s about 20 miles east of Brussels, our capital. Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant.

It’s a vibrant student city with the oldest Catholic university in the world. It was founded in 1425! Thanks to the mix of students from all over the world we have an amazing variety of restaurants and bars. The nick name for the Old Market is “longest bar in the world” with roughly 40-50 bars siding around the square. Since the square has been made pedestrian area it is the best place to enjoy a drink and go “people watching”. It’s also a place where various free concerts and other events take place during the summer months. We have a sublime patrimonium of classified architectural buildings, lots of them belonging to the city or university, especially the city hall and the university library are worth mentioning. Leuven is also called “Little Bruges” for it’s lovely architecture and everything is within walking distance. Lots of shopping streets are for pedestrians only. Lots of walking tours are organized, ranging from a historic walk from when the first stones of the city were laid, architectural tours, the seven wonders of the city, and of course this year especially the commemorative tours on the first World War when our city was bombarded.

Leuven is also the home town of the Stella Artois beer, brewed here since 1366. Beer is Belgian heritage and lots of new micro breweries are starting up again, and produce good beers!

Then, of course, there’s Belgian chocolate…. Need I say more?

Leuven Stadhuis - Belgium

Leuven Stadhuis – Belgium

Old Market - "Marktrock" - Belgium

Old Market – “Marktrock” – Belgium

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

– Leuven of course!!

– Brussels, it’s our capital city, the heart of Europe and has an interesting architecture. There’s the lovely old buildings contrasting with the modern office buildings. Belgium is a kingdom, and the Royal Family resides in Brussels. You may have seen one of the quirkiest buildings ever in a picture, the Atomium. It was build for the World Expo in 1958 held in Brussels and is THE tourist attraction of our capital. It represents an elementary iron crystal, but enlarged enourmously. The top ball has a 360° view restaurant.

– Bruges, the Venice of the North as it’s also called. Particularly look for the famous lace. (also Brussels is known for its lace work) Very touristy, very busy in the summer months so remember Leuven is called Little Bruges!

– Waterloo for those interested in history there is the site where Napoleon lost his battle. It’s not far from Brussels or Leuven. Well, actually, nothing is ever far in our country as it’s so tiny you can drive 2 hours in any given direction and be in another European country!

– Ieper with the Menengate where they still play “The Last Post” every evening at 8pm and they have been doing so since 1928 to remember the fallen soldiers of the first World War. Over 54000 names are carved in the stones of the gate. While you are there you should also visit the museum of the Flanders’ Fields and make a trip to at least one of them, the poppy fields look amazing and the white crosses will make you silent and reflect on what never should happen again.

– Antwerp, the Diamond city. Do visit the Diamond Museum. It’s also our fashion capital with a fashion academy that has produced some famous designers; like Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs and more.

All I have told you so far is mostly about Flanders, the northern half of our country. The north has a coastline with vast sandy beaches and dunes, and borders the North Sea, the great divide between Belgium and the United Kingdom.

In the south, we have a more hilly landscape featuring the Ardennes where many battles have been fought during the second World War. The Battle of Bastogne is a famous one, and was fought under very harsh winter circumstances. The series “Band Of Brothers” is worth watching, for this alone, to see what our people and the allies went through. Now, the region is very pretty, and many go there to spend their holidays.

Our country may be a tiny speck on the globe, but we do have 3 official languages. In Flanders, we speak dutch, the same language as The Netherlands although there are some significant differences.

In the southern part we speak French, like in France, but again, with some differences. The French usually can tell.

And then there is a smaller German speaking community. With Brussels being a tourist attraction, a home to a tremendous amount of international companies and having the headquarters of the NATO based there, English is a good language to learn if you want to stand a chance on getting a good job in the capital.

We learn all those languages in school. Depending on what direction you pick, at the very least you’ll be taught the basics.

Our main national sports are cycling and football. And not soccer as the US calls it, this one is actually played with your feet!

Oh and when we were traveling in the US we noticed that what is sold there as “Belgian waffles” doesn’t even come close to the real thing. What you really want is a Brussels waffle, or a Liège waffle. In fact, there is no such thing as a Belgian waffle! Each region has their own specific version and is very different from any other.

I’m sure I did not cover even half of what I could have told you about Belgium!

There is so much to see in our little country, I can never give a complete list!

Brussels - "Atomium" - Belgium

Brussels – “Atomium” – Belgium

Flanders Fields - Belgium

Flanders Fields – Belgium

Menenpoort in Ieper - "Last Post" - Belgium

Menenpoort in Ieper – “Last Post” – Belgium

Antwerp - Belgium

Antwerp – Belgium

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

Since I live in a student city and in a country with an abundance of greenery and flowers thanks to the soft climate, I very much like to use vibrant colors, but also quality materials for “easy to wear with every outfit” jewelry. Recycling is a big thing here, so I try not to waste anything, and this works especially in the glass fused jewelry I make.

Ardennes Region - Belgium

Ardennes Region – Belgium

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

I’m working on a line of commemorative glass jewelry with poppy fields as well as a line of sterling silver combined with pearls and gem stones.

I will be doing a few shows in the fall, some of which are small and very close to home.

Since about 5 years there is an active community in our street and we organize quite a bit of events. Last winter we did a “street talent” month where everyone could show their talent to everyone else. The idea was that behind each door lives someone with a talent, no matter how big or small, everyone has a talent. Let’s open our door for others to see that talent. I was amazed at the diversity! There was music, theatre, pizza baking, italian cooking, painting, sketching, green thumbs, trip organizing, beer brewing at home and more. And that’s just our street alone, imagine what would happen if this was done on a bigger scale! (I gave a few workshops on making your own earrings, so much fun!)

Glass Fused Earrings from cyberwezz

Glass Fused Earrings from cyberwezz

Heart to Heart Earrings In Matte Gold From cyberwezz

Heart to Heart Earrings In Matte Gold From cyberwezz

Cretan Stone Pendant III From cyberwezz

Cretan Stone Pendant III From cyberwezz

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-World-Of-Wezz/145042285605164
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/cyberwezz/
Twitter: twitter.com/cyberwezz

#CIJRoadTrip – India: Banswara

Contributor post by Megha of byTheArtBug

Let’s travel to this tiny town in India with Me (Megha – byTheArtBug) and Natasha from byTheCrochetBug. Natasha is my younger Sister and so Banswara is the place where we grew up!

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I live in Banswara a beautiful small town in Rajasthan, India. Banswara is also known as “Land of 100 Islands” because there is a large man made reservoir (Mahi Dam) which has more than 100 islands.
It is also rich in natural beauty, wildlife and is a quiet place away from the hustle bustle of a busy City.
The town itself has more than 200 lakes both natural and manmade.

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Sunset at a nearby Stream

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

India is a huge county. There are several natural and historical places to see. Although it is really hard to select few, a few must see places would be visiting the Taj Mehal, National parks (like Gir, Ranthambore, Kanha national park, Corbet national park), there are some really beautiful hill stations like Shimla, Kullu Manali, Mount Abu. There are several beach destination in the south of India, Goa is one of the most visited beach destinations in India, plus there are a lot of beautiful churches to see.
Rajasthan, the state where we live is very colorful and rich in culture and history.

Here are some local Pictures…

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500 Year Old Temple

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Mahi Dam

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Jua Falls

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Tiger – Ranthambore National Park

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Dancing Peacock at a nearby forest area

3. How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

The colorful culture has inspired the following item of my shop:

Back to school strawberry snap clip fruit jewelry hair accessory 2 pairs red pink blue mint purple yellow

The handicrafts made from hemp twine are also very popular this inspired me to make several doilies, coasters and organizers from 100% natural hemp twine.

Handmade crochet rustic triangle coaster set of 4 or 6 natural hemp eco-friendly earth friendly

The following piece is inspired by the bead work popular here:

Handmade tatted earrings red with clear seed beads and clear glass crystal beads

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

Craft fairs like USA are not yet popular in my town.
However the seasonal festival fairs are quite popular in which local handicrafts can be seen.
Me and some of my friends who also love to crochet try to meet up once in every few months to have a small crocheting get together.

5. What are your social media sites?

I am not so active on social media sites but I love Pinterest.
Pinterest
www.pinterest.com/thecrochetbug/
Etsy shop
www.etsy.com/in-en/shop/byTheCrochetBug?ref=si_shop

#CIJRoadTrip – Italy: Salerno

Contributor post by Megha of byTheArtBug

Today let’s travel to Italy with Lia from Ghirlandiamo.

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I live in Salerno, a not so big town in South Italy, near to Naples.
We are on the sea and the weather is warm and beautiful for the most part of the year.
Salerno is making big progresses: it’s renewing town architecture with a lot of new particular buildings, designed by great architects from all over Europe!
We all are proud to live here!

Salerno - Italy

Salerno – Italy

I’m so lucky: my town is on the middle of two splendid coasts: on a side there is the Amalfi Coast , wonderful and famous , and on the other side there is the Cilento Coast, less known but stunning too and still wild enough.

Cilento Coast - Italy

Cilento Coast – Italy

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

People coming here have a large choice of places to visit, as Salerno is
– 30 minutes far from Paestum: well known for its rests of Greek Civiliization;
– 40 minutes far from Amalfi and a little bit more from Positano: famous all over the world;
– 40 minutes far from Naples: no other words are needed about it

Paestum - Italy

Paestum – Italy

Amalfi - Italy

Amalfi – Italy

Positano - Italy

Positano – Italy

3. How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

I think all that (I mean the sea, the sun, the place where I live and its ancient civilization) strongly influenced the way I am, that, in turn, is deeply expressed in my works .

Made in Italy is appreciated all over the world and I think my creations convey my Italian taste in the modern and personal style of a warm, friendly and congenial Mediterranean woman.

Summer wreah, made in Italy, handmade, a piece of wall art, year round wreath,  nice either as front door wreath and wall decor
Picture with heart shaped stones, made in Italy, wall art from Amalfi Coast, decor with  Amalfi and  Positano stones , Amalfi Coast souvenir
Wreath, door wreath, wall decor, gift idea, made in Italy, home decor, wall art, year round wreath,  front door wreath, wall hanging

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

I’m going, with other crafters, to organize a temporary shop in the ancient center town, as in Christmas time here come many tourists.

5. What are your social media sites?

My shop is on :

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/Ghirlandiamo
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ghirlandiamo
Website: www.ghirlandiamo.com

#CIJRoadTrip – Perm, Russia

Contributor blog post by Jennifer from CaffeinatedPapercuts

Today we’re traveling to Perm, Russia with Katya from KittyAprilHandmade. I snagged hers to write about as I have ancestors from Russia and was in awe of her photos; WOW!

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?
I live in Perm. I think its location makes its special, the city is situated in the middle of Russia. So there is great nature around it. It`s very cold (can be -30 C) in the winter and warm (+20) in the summer.

Perm - my home town. On the photo is one of the churches at night.

Perm – my home town. On the photo is one of the churches at night.

The main bridge over the Kama river looks beautiful at night.

The main bridge over the Kama river looks beautiful at night.

The former Meshkov Mansion now the Local History Museum in Perm.

The former Meshkov Mansion now the Local History Museum in Perm.

There`s a wide river flowing through the city - the Kama river. This is the view on the Art Gallery from the riverside.

There`s a wide river flowing through the city – the Kama river. This is the view on the Art Gallery from the riverside.

This is how trees look in Perm in the winter if it is about -30 C. (Yes, it happens here!)

This is how trees look in Perm in the winter if it is about -30 C. (Yes, it happens here!)

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?
Russia is the biggest country in the world so it seems a difficult question. I myself have been to only a small number of Russian cities as my country is enormous. I think everyone should see Moscow, St Petersburg, visit Altai region, Lake Baikal… Taking a train trip across Russia would be a great and also quite a challenging idea.

St. Basil Cathedral - my favorite building in Moscow.

St. Basil Cathedral – my favorite building in Moscow.

St. Basil and the Kremlin on Red Square in Moscow.

St. Basil and the Kremlin on Red Square in Moscow.

Canals in St. Petersburg

Canals in St. Petersburg

Ekaterina`s Palace

Ekaterina`s Palace

The views in Altai, I haven`t been there yet but want to.

The views in Altai, I haven`t been there yet but want to.

Altai (3)

Altai (2)

Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal

3. How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?
I haven`t really thought about it before but there can be some connections… Perm`s territory has originally had lots of nature treasures, there are wild animals such as bears and foxes in the forests. And on the flag of Perm there is actually a bear! So maybe it is a coincidence or maybe not that I love nature and create teddy bears, hedgehogs, squirrels and other animals with my hands.

Hedgehog Forest Friend

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?
This fall I am participating in Hugglets Teddies fair in London. I am really excited about it. Now I am creating my new collection of teddies and their friends for the fair.

5. What are your social media sites?

cherepkova.com
pinterest.com/kittyapril
twitter.com/Kitty_April
www.facebook.com/pages/K-i-t-t-y-A-p-r-i-l-Handmade/133154576711733
kittyapril.etsy.com

#CIJRoadTrip – Israel: Haifa

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s travel to Israel – Haifa with Liat from LiatiB

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I’m from Haifa, the 3rd biggest city in Israel (after Tel Aviv and Jerusalem).

Haifa is an industrial city in the north of Israel. Tel Aviv is the main city for designers, but in the last two years, Haifa started to invest in it’s young citizens and it’s art’s scene.
Haifa is a port city with a mountain that falls into the sea. It is a multi religion city where Jews, Muslims, Christians and Bahai all live together in peace (a very rare thing in our little country).

The view from my studio window, Haifa port and in the distance you can see all the way to the border with Lebanon - Israel

The view from my studio window, Haifa port and in the distance you can see all the way to the border with Lebanon – Israel

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

The main tourist sites in Israel are all the religious places like Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is the youngest and most populated city. Haifa is the city with the Gold Dome of the Bahai main temple- where it’s prophet is resting in peace.

But Israel has much more to see. We have snow in the winter, we have forests, we have beaches and a desert- all in one. When you can drive six hours from the north to the south of our country. If you want to come – talk to me, and I’d love to give you hidden sites to go and visit.

Haifa - The Golden Dome - Downtown Haifa - Haifa Port - Israel

Haifa – The Golden Dome – Downtown Haifa – Haifa Port – Israel

Haifa's "Bat Galim" Beach - Israel

Haifa’s “Bat Galim” Beach – Israel

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

Israel is a multi customs country with lots of different people from different countries, lots of different influences: Some Europeans, Some Arab and Some Westerns (and even Easterns).

Because of our constant fear from war and missiles that can start a war any minute, I’m choosing to use optimist happy character in my illustrations, with lot’s of vivid colors. If life is not that colorful and fun – at least my fantasy world is.

In my new collection, music is the main theme. It is also very fun and colorful, and I hope you will love it!

Downtown Haifa Art Fair - Israel

Downtown Haifa Art Fair – Israel

Downtown Haifa Art Fair - Israel

Downtown Haifa Art Fair – Israel

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

I have just launched my new music collection.
I’m preparing my Etsy shop for December holidays.
I’m taking part in a summer art fair and music festival – July to September -in Downtown Haifa.
Nowadays, I’m thinking of taking part in Haifa international film festival and it’s fair – though I’m not sure I will have time for that.
And I just bought my first home! So I will be busy in the fall, in the renovation of it and moving my home and studio to my new place.

Original Beach Pendant From liatib

Original Beach Pendant From liatib

Bossa Nova Dance Illustration Print From liatib

Bossa Nova Dance Illustration Print From liatib

Bossa Nova Set Of 10 Greeting Cards From liatib

Bossa Nova Set Of 10 Greeting Cards From liatib

5. What are your social media sites?

Etsy shop: www.liatib.etsy.com
My site: www.liatib-designs.co.il
My blog: liatib.blogspot.co.il
My FB page: www.facebook.com/pages/LiatiB/104832642896861?ref_type=bookmark