Do you stop to smell the flowers?

“Action is magic. When you start taking consistent action, you will see results!” -Marie Fowleo-

“A goal with out a plan is just a wish.” -Antoine de Saint-Expery-

Now…imagine a man with a violin playing in the subway…read on…

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist.

Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the top musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written,with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people.

The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty?

Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Here’s the video

What have YOU noticed today?

Have you stopped to smell the flowers?

To play with your child instead of hurrying along?

To kiss your husband and appreciate how he washed the dishes or whatever?

To call an old friend?

To interact with a stranger?

To prepare food with your own hands and sit down and taste it?

To say thank you to someone…eliniz sağlik(health to your hands)

To notice how beautiful the ice has crystallized on the window (this is one of my favorite things in the morning…through one window when the sunlight illuminates it so beautifully!

Can you share with me something you noticed or appreciated today? Did you perceive beauty in the unusual?

The above necklaces are some more examples of OYA, the Turkish needle lace. The red is crocheted while the white and purple are woven using only a needle and thread…that will make slow down…

xo

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Busyness planning…

Well my darlings, many of you know of my craftiness and wanderlust and my hope to bundle it into a sweet business package or two:)

My biggest excuse or complaint is not that I can’t do it but my lack of time, or is it my own focus? This new path has not been paved for me before…Fresh asphalt found and laid by me…so…

I have enlisted help;

A: My most important job still is mother. And mothering is no joke. I have the utmost respect for single-mothers, all mothers truly! If you do it well that involves constant attention, teaching, monitoring, healthy food preparations and clean ups, laughter, patience and so much love but I am trying to balance it all a bit more. Chasing balance…(megs)

B: Between my own dear mother, my hubby and his enrollment in English courses that offer childcare it is such a gift! Dearest aunties and uncles close by are so sweet to help when they can!

C: Finding a schedule…I have to work in the mornings! This growing baby belly makes me sooooo sleepy other times of the day! Or evenings if a nap was fit in:)

D: I enrolled in a small business class at women venture to kind of figure out if this is a feasible, viable idea for me and my small growing family. Trying make a real go of it. Help with pricing and where to sells…so hard…the making and collecting is the fun part …not so much a fan of the rest of it:)

I have scratched the name Mavisu Designs and am leaning towards Tied to Travel?, Traveled and Tied? something…anyone help me brainstorm here…silken wanderlust?…

Here is my “elevator pitch” for the class…the 30 seconds you may have to tell someone what you do:

-Tied and traveled designs are my jewelry lines that evolved from two of my most life changing experiences, the loss of my father and living abroad(ultimately making a second home) in the country of Turkey.

-Tied: stems from repurposing my father’s stunning silk ties into modern, wearable art. Custom orders are very welcome to help you keep a bit of your loved one close.

-Traveled: While living in Turkey I was constantly inspired by bold colors and textures. These collections use hand-dyed Turkish silks, semi-precious stones, gold plated brass and hand-woven needle lace flowers with their own story to tell.

So…

This is a design I did for my sister using on of our Dad’s pasley ties(he could pull of anything and look handsome, even look manly in pink!), vintage buttons, rough cut dyed agates, baroque pearls and a little lace…

You like? I am kind of a tease as many of you said you liked my Turkish imports…but I promise I am getting my act together and things will be up for sale soon!

Thanks for reading…

Thanks for looking…

Thanks for the support…and patience…

xo

Treasure Hunting…

My visa was almost up so we rode out to Aydin; around and around from goverment building to goverment building keeping baby girl content with runs up and down, up and down the stairs and these…

Snow in a cup with cherry or mulberry syrup. My husband assures me that this is real snow from clean peaks on top of the mountains that they harvest in the winter and save for the peak of summer season. Yum!

I know pre-electricity/refrigerator times they would cut the ice from the lakes in MN and stuff the huge slabs in hay filled barns for the humid summers there (random fact via my wonderfact father-I miss you and these factoids…)

I remember opening the door when we were young scooping the fresh snow into plastic KEMP’S ice cream buckets with metal spoons and pouring orange juice all over it. Fun to eat and fun to watch the snow melt.

Then we heard about acid rain?

Anyways the pazar women I contacted initially about the lovely lace on their headscarves didn’t quite pan out. These women they know how to hustle. They work hard especially over the hot summer months and again they know how to make a buck. So although I had asked them if they made the lace themselves and they said yes these our ours, actually ‘ours’ translated to ‘our villages’ lace.

Long story short these connections didn’t quite work out and too much time lost in translation between hubby, them, me, my auntie…but my man knows I’m serious about the hunt…that is good.

Next we went off to my husband’s childhood stomping ground, Nazilli for a new lead…

We’ll see…met a few lovely ladies and got some info on some good villages…

The thing with all this hunting is that so many women need jobs in Turkey. Through Catherine at Bazar Bayar I found out about an organization KEDV, Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work. Rumisu sisters had some inspiration in their beginnings

The most awesome treasure hunter job I have heard of; the buyer for Anthropologie, Keith Johnson, Man Shops Globe on the Sundance Channel.

I am going to study this…

Oya is Turkish Lace

I am up with the crickets and roosters today. The heat woke me up and my brain has kept me awake…

Nice to sit alone in these early hours. The air is cool. Listen to and feel the wind.

Peaceful in knowing my little family is safely asleep upstairs.

And now to finish this post…

Ever since I came to Turkey 4 years ago(has it really been that long?) I have loved my hubby, the food, the sea, then the oya…(something like that anyways).

Going to the weekly pazar(farmer’s market) I would salivate over not just the fresh figs, or whatever else was busting with colors and scents but the pazarcinin yemeni; village women hustling fruits and vegetables have the most gorgeous examples of this ancient handicraft sewn around the borders of their loosely tied headscarves.

I would go to certain women’s stalls to buy their potatoes just so I could have a closer look at what flower was laced into the scarf, what pattern they chose, how many colors were used.

As a natural crafter myself I would fascinate over the amount of time it must take to make these intimate flowers or geometric shapes and the potential in what else could be done with it.

For a long time I would just look…

I would collect too. Traveling to different cities across Turkey; Iznik with its tiles and the first time I saw scarves for sale.

Kaş and the island of Kekova where women would row out on little boats to trying to hawk their wares to the tourists on the bigger boats.

Close to Didim we have the village of Kapı Kiri Köy on Lake Bafa where these women are competing with each other so ferociously that it takes the fun right out of looking. The supply is high and the tourists must come to them so the prices dive way low, but so overwhelming. They stalk you…

In Eskişehir I found a shop that had high quality pieces and appreciated this craft as an art. They had examples of oya in forms other than just the borders of head scarves. Such as the lovely necklace above.

I was happy to have recently come across a book, Osmanlı’dan Günümüze Oyalar, Oya Culture Since the Ottomans by Taciser ONUK, Translation into English by Barbara Blackwell Gülen. (My hubby got it for my birthday:)

The history is amazing. This craft has been preserved, passed down from generations and came to a peak during the ottoman times in the palace atelier and held on, passed down through tradition by village women.

Not only is it beautiful but there is language inside of it. “…when people remain silent, colors, motifs, the environment and “oya” speak.”(from above book),

Also found this gorgeous blog, rumisu by two sisters who have a done a wonderful job modernizing this craft.

Now I have made contact with those women whose figs and oya I revered. (I know sounds like I contacted aliens but for me it felt like that- different language- different culture-you just try living abroad…another post)

Seeing where that step takes me…xo