Fans of amber, take a look at our compilation of unique amber objects!
(Not including amber jewelry or common carved amber art objects such as amber statuettes)
Mother Russia’s cat breed… the Russian Blue.
The Russian Blue (aka archangel blue) is known for its intelligence, playfulness, companionship, and of course, its silvery-blue coat. Some Russian blues are smart enough to learn interesting tricks, and they are playful enough to actually play “catch” like a dog. They are extremely friendly and loving towards their owners, but can sometimes be shy around strangers. Their somewhat magical blue-grey coat is thick and short-haired and their eyes are usually green.
Many unique trinket boxes for various occasions and different people…
When you don’t know what to gift someone (friend, family, teacher, associate, etc…) I always recommend faberge style trinket boxes because you can always find something for somebody when it comes to these… even when you didn’t originally think so… for example, an elephant with its trunk in the air is a symbol of good luck, so you could gift this to anyone, because we all need a ‘lil luck in our homes, right?
Another cool thing about these keepsake boxes is what you choose to put inside of them. Personalize the trinket box gift with a little note, small jewelry item, a lock of hair, chocolates, money… the list goes on forever!
The Summer staple: the flip-flop. Now in trinket box form! So cute.
Pineapple Trinket Box
Sparkling pink strawberry
Porcelain is a ceramic material created from clay and water. The mixture is molded and then heated at temperature above 2,000 F. Usually in order to create a more realistic skin tone the color is added to porcelain. If there’s no color added and the doll is left unglazed it is called bisque doll. Bisque dolls are the most expensive and the most exquisite.
Porcelain dolls have always been in demand. Some are very rare and collectors have to pay a lot of money to get them. Others are relatively cheap and children love playing with them.
But first let’s talk a little about the history of dolls in general and porcelain dolls in particular.
Did you know that the oldest doll is about 35,000 years of age? Continue reading
St. Valentine’s Day is surely one of the most popular holidays in the Western world. The holiday became known in Russia after the fall of the Iron Curtain, when different cultural values and trends of the West entered the country and were absorbed by Russians, hungry for something new and fresh, and different from everything they had known before.
You probably know the history of the holiday. It is named after St. Valentine, a priest who supposedly lived in the third century and performed secret wedding ceremonies for Roman soldiers who weren’t allowed to get married. Another legend says that St. Valentine was a Roman priest who was arrested and later executed for helping persecuted Christians. He was interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II. The emperor liked Valentine and wanted him to accept Roman paganism in order to save his life. But the priest stayed true to his faith and was persecuted for that. Other sources say that his jailor had a blind daughter who was healed by St. Valentine before his execution. He wrote a message for her signing it as “Your Valentine,” thus starting the tradition of sending Valentine cards. But nobody knows the truth because the records of real St. Valentine were lost during the persecution of Christians by Roman emperor Diocletian. There are even more than one St. Valentine associated with the holiday. There are St. Valentine of Rome, and St. Valentine of Terni. The Catholic encyclopedia also speaks about a third St. Valentine martyred on the same day in Africa with a few companions, but nothing more than that is known about him.
“The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid.” (Wikipedia)
In some cultures, St. Valentine’s Day is also associated with the coming of spring. However, no matter how romantic and special this day might be, it hasn’t become as popular in Russia as it is in the US, or Great Britain for instance. And there’s a reason for that. Continue reading
What is an Orenburg shawl?
An Orenburg shawl is a very thin, yet warm and strong, lacey shawl that originated in Orenburg, Russia in the 18th century. It is made from cashmere-like down fur of the Orenburg goat. It is commonly called “wedding ring shawls” because it can literally fit through a wedding ring band. Continue reading
This post highlights some of our most popular, fun, interesting, and unique shares that took place on The Russian Store’s Facebook page. Now you can see some of the greatest Russian things all in one little post, instead of scrolling through years of posts.
10 fantastic photos:
1. A magnificent hot air balloon shaped just like a traditional Red Roses matryoshka nesting doll from Russia! Everyone loves this photo!
And just for fun… since we showed you a hot air balloon shaped like a nesting doll, here’s a look at our (sold-out) nesting doll shaped like a hot air balloon! ha!
Uh-Oh! Your beloved Matryoshka isn’t perfect? Is it a bit too tight or a bit too loose? Perhaps it has a dreadful crack in the wood? Don’t worry, here is information on repairing a nesting doll…
If you are planning a visit to Moscow (with your children), there are quite a few opportunities both for you and for your children. And Moscow Zoo is one of them.
The Moscow Zoological garden was founded by the All-Russia Emperor Society for Acclimatization of Plants and Animals in the middle of XIX century. Throughout its more than 100-year history the zoo experienced its ups and downs, it was almost destroyed after the Revolution, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and economic crisis of the 1990-es it was in need of major repairs, but the city authorities have been doing their best to support the zoo, so it has been doing pretty well recently, the whole territory has been renovated and when I was there last time I noticed that there were more renovations taking place and I see on the website that there are even more renovations planned in the near future.
Moscow zoo is involved in several scientific projects in order to preserve genetic diversity of the animals of Northern Eurasia. The zoo has a new territory in Volokolamsk and a new Rare Species Breeding Center is being built there now. Creating the Zoo Museum is also in the plans.
The main source for support of the Moscow zoo has been the Moscow City Budget. However, in the recent years the zoo has started the Animal Adoption Program, so that any animal lover can help the zoo in its work by paying for the food and care for the chosen animal. Quite a few people and organization are already involved in the program, but not all animals are adopted yet.
So what animals will you see there? A lot actually. There are more than 5000 animals.
The first thing you’ll see after you enter the zoo is a huge pond with lots of fish and birds coming from various geographical zones. There are special houses built for the birds during their nesting period. After their offsprings are born, the rare birds are moved to special enclosures where crows can’t hurt the little ones. Here you will see quite a few kinds of geese, ducks and swans. Flamingos a bit farther away in the shallow waters of the pond. The first flamingos came to the zoo back in 1980s, and most of those first birds are still alive!
Wild cats are some of the most popular animals in Moscow Zoo. The exhibit shows white tigers and jaguars, snow leopards, the Amur leopards, lynxes, caracals and cheetahs, the fastest cats in the world. People often find white tigers and cheetahs especially fascinating. You will love white tigers. Most people think they are albinos, but they aren’t. It’s a color variation of the Bengal tigers. As for cheetahs, you can never get tired watching them. They are so elegant, so graceful, and so beautiful. Continue reading
As nesting dolls continue to grow in popularity, so do the way they are represented. From the original carved wood, to (unfortunately) plastic, to felt, to prints, and more, the craft of making Russian dolls is obviously here to stay. This post is specifically about one fun nesting doll craft… the matryoshka manicure!
The “full-bodied” matryoshka
The matryoshka face
The matryoshka inspiration…
These nails look like they are modeled after this very nesting doll…
The Easy Nesting Doll Nail design:
Grab a Nesting Doll Nail File and let’s get this nail-painting party started!
Its 2013, and a lot of Russians know that “Halloween” happens on October 31st, but many Russians don’t really know much about it, or care to know about it. Last year, there were only an estimated one in twenty Russians who planned on celebrating the holiday by dressing up. (http://rbth.ru/articles/2012/10/26/halloween_in_russia_19485.html)
But what about this year, and years to come? Do you think more and more Russians will fall in love with Halloween? I think yes. Why? Because Russians love celebrating! But, also because the warming up to Halloween that is happening in Russia, is among the young adult crowd.
There is no true Russian word for “Halloween,” but here are some Russian Halloween-y words:
Do you have any thoughts on Halloween in Russia? Are you a Russian American who celebrates Halloween? Comment with your thoughts or views on this subject!
It painted the room with rays of color,
But it felt as though it needed another.
So to The Russian Store I went,
to buy more figurines than I meant.
As nesting dolls grow more popular every day, crafters, artists and even non-artists are starting to make matryoshki out of all sorts of things! I decided to compile some of the more interesting ones here, even though I am definitely partial to the traditional, wooden nesting dolls from Russia. Continue reading
It is a popular question… but a hard one to answer specifically. Many people will ask something like, “well I have this really old nesting doll that I acquired through my Russian grandmother and it sort of looks like this…” Unfortunately, with just a description, and even with more information like a date range and signature, it is still an almost impossible question to answer easily. One must seek the advice of an art appraiser who specializes in Russian art and/or history. If you would like just a general idea of how much your nesting doll is worth, read on… Continue reading