Russian Fairytale: The Snow Queen

Russian: Снежная Королева, Snezhnaya Koroleva

Tale of the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

Once upon a time a magician made a magic mirror. In this mirror, a kind face became wicked; a look of hate was reflected as a look of love. One day, however, the mirror broke, and if a sliver of glass from the mirror entered someone’s eye, that person’s soul became evil, if another pierced a heart, that heart grew hard and cold as ice.

In a big town two children, called Karl and Gerda were very close fri...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

Russian: Сказка о Бабе Яге, Skazka o Babe Yage

Once upon a time an old man, a widower, lived alone in a hut with his daughter Natasha. Very merry the two of them were together, and they used to smile at each other over a table piled with bread and jam, and play peek-a-boo, first this side of the samovar, and then that. Everything went well, until the old man took it into his head to marry again.

So, the little girl gained a stepmother. After that everything changed. No more bread and jam on the ta...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

Google Honors Yuri Gargarin

The First Man in Space

April 12, 2011 marks a historic event for humanity. 50 years ago, the former Soviet Union sent the first human being beyond the Earth’s atmosphere into space. After the fall of Nazi Germany and the end of WWII, the United States and the Soviet Union remained as the world’s most powerful nations. The two countries entered into fierce competition with each other in order to obtain the rank of world’s most powerful nation. The Cold War began, and with it so too did the first i...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina

Russian: Руслан и Людмила, Ruslan i Lyudmila

In days long since past, Prince Vladimir of Kiev held a magnificent feast in honor of the marriage of his daughter Lyudmila and the knight Ruslan. Three jealous suitors looked on – Rogday, Farlaf, and Ratmir. The festivities lasted for hours and when they were over, Ruslan led his beautiful young bride to the waiting nuptial bed. Suddenly a light flashed through the night sky and a clap of thunder shook the ground. A strange mist appeared and from some...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

Russian Egg Gift Giving

Did you know that colored Russian eggs have been given as gifts in Russia for more than a millennium? It’s true!

Since the egg itself is a symbol of new life, it is a perfect gift for a family with a newborn. There are numerous eggs in the store collection that represent Mary and baby Jesus, which would be very appropriate while being a statement of your faith. But don’t think that eggs are just for babies: young adults to older adults will find them to be a very surprising and delightful gift as...

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Posted in Russian Eggs by Arina Anashkina

Fred Smith - Artist - Surprise, AZ

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Fred "Smitty" Smith Paints His Colorful Modern Art On A Nesting Doll

Fred Smith Nesting Doll Art Fred Smith's Nesting Doll Art


Look at this fantastic stacking doll created by artist Fred "Smitty" Smith. He used just a few colors to create a bright and modern looking matryoshka nesting doll. The unfinished wooden doll (six dolls total) needed a white slate first. Then, it was up to Fred's imagination.

Smitty started as an artist as a young boy. He enjoyed all sorts of creating art bu...

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Posted in Arizona Artists by Lindsey Mae

Does Turquoise have different types?

One of the most popular gemstones, turquoise has been world renowned for thousands of years for its beauty, and its color. From prehistoric times until modern day, the turquoise stone has been a symbol of good fortune, and a timeless display of natural beauty.

Types of turquoise

Gem Quality Turquoise

Turquoise has been such a popular stone, especially over the last few decades that most of the world’s resources have been mined, making most of the great quality specimens long gone. The best turquois...

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Posted in Turquoise Jewelry by Arina Anashkina
How is Amber Formed Cartoon Comic Illustration


Amber has a humble roots – literally! It comes from an organic source: trees! This is why you may have heard the term "organic gemstone" thrown around when discussing amber. (However unlike other things that have an organic label, we’re not going to charge an arm and a leg for it :) ) Amber is actually formed from the resin of trees; this resin becomes fossilized over millions of years if the right conditions are met. Most often amber comes from pine trees. In this picture Tim the tree is just...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Arina Anashkina

Russian: Аленький цветочек, Alen'kiy tsvetochek

Once upon a time in a far away land, a merchant was preparing to set out on a long journey. This merchant had three daughters, and he asked all of them what they would like as gifts for themselves when he returned from his voyage. The first daughter requested a golden crown, and the second one wanted a crystal mirror. The third daughter asked only for "the little scarlet flower."

The merchant set out on his journey. It did not take him very long to f...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

Russian: Сказка о царе Салтане, Skazka o tsare Saltane

Long ago in a faraway kingdom, three sisters were sitting on the bench in front of their house in the courtyard talking, imagining what they would do if they were married to Tsar Saltan. One said that she would prepare a great feast for the entire world. The next said that she would weave linen for the entire world. The third said that she would give the tsar "an heir, handsome and brave beyond compare."

It so happened that the tsar, who was j...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

Sheri L. Harris - Artist - Vail, AZ

Gourd artist Sheri Harris paints a Russian nesting doll.

Sheri L. Harris of Vail, Arizona is used to painting on three-dimensional surfaces, in-particularly, gourds. Yes, gourds! She collects them from a family-owned farm in Casa Grande, Arizona. Once they are dried, she carves them and then embellishes them with paint and sometimes other materials. Sheri states, "These gourds are as hard as wood and will withstand the same gentle treatment you would give any fine wood carving." So when it came t...

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Posted in Arizona Artists by Lindsey Mae

Russian: Сестрица Аленушка и Братец Иванушка, Sestritsa Alenushka i Bratets Ivanushka

Once there lived an old man and his wife, and they had a daughter named Alyonushka and a son named Ivanushka.

The old man and the old woman died, and Alyonushka and Ivanushka were left all alone in the world.

Alyonushka set off to work and took her little brother with her. They had a long way to go, and a wide field to cross, and after they had been walking for a time, Ivanushka began to feel very thirsty. "Sister...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

Massive Gemstone Unearthed in Russia

No, not amber... a very rare colored diamond!

When you think of diamonds, what part of the world do you think about? Alaska? Canada? Africa?

Well, from approximately 1969 until 1999, Australia was the world leader in terms of amount of diamonds being mined within the country. During these years Botswana and Russia were second and third respectively in terms of diamond production. In 1998 all of the known Australian deposits had been all but depleted, while new deposits were being discovered at a r...

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Posted in Russian Fun Amber Jewelry Gemstone Jewelry by Arina Anashkina

Russian: Морозко - Дед Мороз, Morozko - Ded Moroz

Many years ago there lived an old widower and his pretty, diligent daughter Nastenka. With time, the man married a second time to a woman, who had her own nasty and lazy daughter, named Marfa. The woman doted upon Marfa, praised her at any opportunity, and she despised and hated her stepdaughter. Nastya had to work hard every day, and nevertheless her stepmother was always unsatisfied and made her work more and more.

One day the old woman invented ...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

Russian Fairytale: The Frog Princess

Russian: Царевна-лягушка, Tsarevna-lyagushka

Two or three hundred years ago in some kingdom there lived a Tsar who had three sons. One day the Tsar called his sons and said, "My children, all of you have grown up to a manhood. It is time to think about marriages. Each of you should shoot an arrow as far as you can. The girl who catches your arrow will be your bride whom you will marry."

The eldest son shot an arrow and a boyar’s (nobleman’s) daughter caught it. The middle son shot an arrow and a m...

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Posted in Russian Fairytales by Arina Anashkina

Mirrors of Matryoshka

Dress up as a Russian Nesting Doll!

Check out these look-alike Russian dolls! Great ideas for your very own nesting doll Halloween costume or matryoshka themed party.

Nesting Doll Costume

I adore the over-pronounced eyes seen on the picture to the left. Big eyes is a must when becoming a proud Russian doll, as traditionally they have big eyes. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the original source for this wonderful picture. It's very cute how she matches her the nested doll; it looks like she may have painted her ow...

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Posted in Russian Fun by Lindsey Mae

Russia's 2016 Olympic Team Delays A Flight Due To A Giant Nesting Doll

According to Patrick Reevell of ABC News, "A flight carrying part of Russia’s Olympic team back to Moscow from Brazil was delayed for hours by a giant Russian nesting doll that was too large to be loaded onto the jet."

The Monday, August 22nd flight was delayed at least 3 hours!

"Dmitrii Simonov, deputy editor-in-chief at the popular Russian sports newspaper, Sport-Express, posted photographs on his Twitter account of the bulbou...

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Posted in Nesting Dolls by Lindsey Mae

Russian Kitchen

Zhostovo Trays & Tea Glass Holders

About Russian Zhostovo Platters & Trays

The people of the Zhostovo village have been involved in harnessing their skill of making decorative trays for over 150 years. The trays carry brilliant images of bouquets, gardens and flowers against black background highlighting the diversity of nature. This tradition of tray making began sometime in the 18th century. This art of tray making was pioneered by Filipp Nikitich Vishnyakov.

In the early 19th century the tray ma...

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Posted in Russian Souvenirs by Arina Anashkina

Borscht! Two Ways

We collected two recipes – one simple, one complex – for you to use as a guide in making your own borscht.

Easy Russian Borscht (from

Simple Borscht Ingredients:

  • 6 to 7 grated beets
  • 2 lg. onions, grated
  • 4 or 5 carrots, grated
  • 1 head cabbage, grated
  • 5 or 6 beef bouillon cubes
  • 6 to 8 c. water
  • 1 c. white wine
  • Sour cream

Simple Borscht Instructions:

Combine all ingredients (except sour cream) and simmer a few hours.

Serve hot with a sour cream dollop and maybe some dark rye bread with ...

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Posted in Russian Food by Arina Anashkina

Russian Beet Salad

In the Winter we warm up with a bowl full of Borscht… in the Summer we keep cool with delicious Russian Beet Salad!

It makes a great appetizer for Russian dinner parties and a unique dish to bring to any pot-luck party or Summer picnic gathering.

It can be made and served a variety of ways.

The most popular method to making this interesting salad involves grinding or julienne-cutting the beets.

You can add walnuts, onions, carrots, potatoes, or other ingredients to alternate the taste and texture.


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Posted in Russian Food by Arina Anashkina
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