Author Archives: donnad

Easter Gifts and Decorations

In my last blog, I showed two icons [reverse paintings in glass] from Romania. In both Romania and Bulgaria the walls and ceilings of the churches are completely covered by icon style paintings. The picture below is of the interior a church in Bulgaria, but I do have many pictures of church interiors in Romania.

In Russia and throughout the world, Faberge eggs are very famous. As I mentioned in my last blog ,Easter is the most important religious holiday for Orthodox Christians. In Russia eggs are blessed and given as gifts  on Easter Sunday.

In 1885 Czar Alexander III was extremely impressed with Carl Faberge’s work and commissioned him to make an Easter egg as a gift for his Empress on Easter morning. His Empress was delighted with the beautiful egg and Faberge continued to make imperial eggs until 1917. His eggs and other items became extremely popular with the Russian aristocracy who bought both large and smaller eggs which the women could wear as necklaces or pendants.

Below is a replica of a Faberge egg which I purchased in Russia[#684]  In addition, I have 2 small eggs also purchased in Russia which can be worn as earrings or a pendant.

This little rabbit [#685] and cloisonne egg [#686] would make good Easter decorations or gifts. The rabbit is metal land looks as though it is brass although I couldn’t guarantee it. Also, I have similar silver coloured metal rabbits. I have many small cloisonne Easter eggs in various colours.

The eggs below [#687, 688, 689] were made by the Huichol Indians in Mexico whose crafts are very famous. The eggs were made on a wooden base covered with a thin layer of beeswax overlaid by pine pitch. Then small beads are pressed into the glue like substance to make the patterns. Needless to say, this work is very time intensive.  These eggs could be used to make an Easter tree.

There are more Easter decorative items below [#692, 693,694]. The small stone rabbit is from China as is the beautiful golden cloisonne egg and the small cloisonne bird.  Most of Faberge’s eggs contained a surprise inside the egg. The small cloisonne bird could be used for that as could any other small item -a ring?

Remember that Orthodox Easter is on May 5 this year, so if  you need a gift or decoration, there is still plenty of time to order them.

I realize that my shipping cost seem high, but if you order more than one item the shopping costs would be less.  Even though for Paypal you would have to pay the stated amount up front, I could reimburse you by cheque and I an  honest person.

Happy Easter!

Donna Davidson

Easter 2013

Easter will be here soon. It really annoys me that some calendars are so “politically correct” now that they don’t even mention religious holidays such as Easter.  This year Western Easter [Protestants and Roman Catholics] is on March 31, whereas Orthodox Easter is on May 5.

For Orthodox Christians Easter is the most important holiday of the year. I have visited Romania, Bulgaria, [Russia, Greece-many years ago]. Both the Romanians and the Bulgarians seem to be very religious and have highly decorated churches. Romanians have a tradition of making reverse painting on glass icons.  This was started in a monastery in Nicula, Transylvania during  the 17th century.  Traditionally, many icons were painted during the winter.

I bought a number of these icons in Romania and have two which would be particularly suitable for Easter. Item #196 below is a beautiful icon of the Virgin Mary with the crusifixion in the bottom right hand corner. The gold in the painting seems to be gold leaf rather than gold paint.

Item # 127 is an icon of the crucifixion. Again the gold seems to be gold leaf rather than gold paint.

Now for something a little more secular. #562,563,564 are lovely small cloisonne eggs from China which can make  fairly sophisticated Easter gifts or be used for Easter decorations.  Also, I have similar larger eggs which are not on the website.

A hand carved wooden rooster from Bali, #141 is an item that could be used as an Easter decoration, too.

One last suggestion this time around is  a delicate quite beautiful metal bird from Laos. #143

I am intending to put up pictures of some of my other Easter items soon. -Hopefully before our Easter, but definitely before Orthodox Easter

MARCH – Birthday Gifts for Pisces

March is here and spring is coming soon. As March is the time for birthday gifts for the Pisces people on your list, I thought I would give you some gift ideas. The Balinese hand carved fish panel [#29] below would be a wonderful gift!

Balinese hand carved fish panel - 25

Also, I have two hand carved and hand painted fish mirrors from Bali. #24 is the larger one.

Two hand carved and hand painted fish mirrors from Bali 19

The smaller one [#25] is beautifully painted.

Hand carved and hand painted fish mirrors from Bali - 020

I have a number of very elaborate hand crafted fish from Thailand which can grace a coffee table of hang on a wall. [#526]

Very elaborate hand crafted fish from Thailand - 281

A lovely ceramic fish from Bulgaria would make a great gift! [#527]

A lovely ceramic fish from Bulgaria  - 282

An intricately hand carved wooden fisherman from Bali [#132] would be a good gift, too.

An intricately hand carved wooden fisherman from Bali - 0106

Other items with fish motifs are #637, #683, #668, #669.

I’ll be writing you soon with some ideas for Easter gifts.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming soon.  Don’t leave it until the last minute to buy a rushed gift for your beloved. [S]he deserves better than that! There are many items on my website which would make very appropriate unusual gifts. Item #27 below, a hand carved relief wooden panel of Rama and Sita, the great Hindu lovers from the sacred Ramyana Epic would make a spectacular gift! Item #26a is a larger panel of Rama and Sita. Also, these carvings would make great wedding or special anniversary gifts.
This heart shaped box made out of colored palm leaves from Lombok would make a very unusual, appropriate Valentine’s gift for either a man or a woman. [Item #307]
Do you frequently send flowers to your beloved on Valentine’s Day just because it is the easiest?  They are very nice for a few days, but then they are gone. Why not give her [him] a marble box with beautifully carved flowers which will last much longer and be a great deal more useful in the long run? Items #298, #299 below would make wonderful permanent Valentine’s gifts. Items #294, 295, 296, 300, 301 have lovely flower patterns, also.
If your budget is not very large, or if you just want to give a smaller gift, these small hand carved Balinese wooden statues of lovers might be just what you are looking for.  Items #590, 591, 592
Representations of marriage couples are extremely important in Java and are often found in Javanese homes. Item #124 below is just such a traditional marriage couple. All the marriage couples on my website are from Java and are hand carved and hand painted wood. Take a look at #125, 126,127, 128. Items #129, 586, 587, 588,  589 are smaller carvings.  All the marriage couples are suitable gifts for for Valentine’s Day, engagements, weddings, and anniversaries.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Christmas is coming soon and I bet there are many of you who haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet. If you live in the Montreal area, you can do One Stop Shopping at my Montreal Bazaar.  I have items for men women and children and many inexpensive stocking stuffers which are not on my website.  My official Open Houses are over, but  I am still open for business until noon Mon. Dec. 24.  I am expecting some people on the afternoon of Sun., Dec. 23, so that would be a good time to come. You can also make a special appointment with me if that time doesn’t suit you.  However, please telephone me at 514-739-5744 if you plan to visit. I live in the Snowdon area.

Item #294, a beautiful hand carved marble box from Viet Nam would make a great gift for a man or woman – or teenager. This hand carved wooden box from Lombok would be a good gift for a woman or man.  – #302

Children would find these sand animals from Thailand fun – #658

Item #657 would be a perfect stocking stuffer of the cat lover on your list.

Last week a friend wanted to buy a wall hanging or panel for his wife.  I showed him a number of items including one which he thought would be too elaborate for his wife’s taste. However, when he showed his wife my website, that was the one she chose. So, if you are not certain about a friend’s or relative’s taste, you can make a better choice by having them look at my website.

I am originally from British Columbia, and when I would return there from traveling abroad, I would ask my relatives to pick out a number of items they would like for birthday and Christmas gifts. Before I left, I wrapped their gifts and for those special days they received gifts that they liked.  You could be sure that a relative or friend would like the gift you are planning to give them by having them pick a few from my website.

I hope to see some of you before Christmas, but if I don’t, Merry Christmas!  For those of you who receive money for Christmas, feel free to contact me after Christmas or in the New Year.

Christmas Sales

Hi Everybody,

Christmas is coming soon and I’m having a series of Open Houses which I hope you can attend.  I have many more items than appear on my website such as jewelry, scarves, place mats, toys, and more wooden objects. Many of the objects are less expensive than the ones which appear on my website.  For example, I have two 10 inch hand carved wooden Santas from Bali for $5 and $7.  The Open Houses are as follows:

Sun., Dec. 9              13:00 – 17:00 hrs.

Thurs., Dec. 13       17:00 – 21:00 hrs.

Sat., Dec. 15             13:00 – 17:00 hrs.

Sun., Dec.16             13:00 – 17:00 hrs.

Address: 4710 Queen Mary Rd., Apt. 9 ,[near the Snowdon Metro]

Telephone: 514-739-5744

If these times don’t suit you, You can telephone me or e-mail me and make a separate appointment. I’m open until Dec. 24.  My store is in my apartment, so if you come, be prepared for a surprise!

I hope to see you before Christmas!

Tibetan Tankas

Last year, I visited two monasteries near Xining which are very famous for their tanka paintings.

A tanka is a painting of Buddha, a Buddhist deity or a linage guru. A traditional tanka is framed with rich brocade borders and the painting itself has many Buddhist symbols. They have been used for hundreds of years in temples and homes for meditation. Below are some pictures of tankas hanging in a Tibetan temple.

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There are two types of deity paintings; benevolent and wrathful. The wrathful deities are protectors of mankind and destroy evil.

IMG_6779

The female deities or goddesses are called Taras. Here is a statue of some Taras outside a Tibetan monastery near Xining.

IMG_6793

I bought an authentic tanka painting in a Tibetan temple ( #180). Below is a picture of the monk who sold me the painting.

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Also, I purchased some tanka reproductions framed in the traditional brocade near a 1,500 year old Buddhist cave. These tankas are much less expensive ( # 181, 182, 183). Below is a picture of the Buddhist cave.

IMG_7187

Here is a picture of a woman and her baby in a nearby town.

IMG_7197

Christmas is coming soon. If you’re not sure of what to buy for your family and friends, perhaps you can direct them to my website and see if there is something that appeals to them.

If you are in Montreal, you can avoid shipping costs all together by picking the items up yourself. Also, if you buy more then one item, the shipping costs will be less.

My website contains special Christmas gifts; an angel (#593) -3 available, a lamb which can be used in a creche scene (#594), a Santa Claus mirror (#592), and two reindeer (#596,597).

I have many more items for sale than are shown on the website and I’ll be having open houses on December 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th from 1:00-5:00 PM in Montreal. Also, you can make a special appointment with me. Please contact me for more details.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Tibetan Prayer Wheels and Prayer Bracelets

As I mentioned in my last blog, during my trip to China last year, I visited a part of China which is actually Tibetan.  Labrang  Monastery at Xiahe is a very large and famous monastery. Below is a picture of it.

Labrang Monastery

Prayer wheels are very important in Tibetan Buddhism and have been used for over 1,000 years. They contain printed prayers and when turned are believed to be beneficial to everyone in the world.  Monasteries have very large prayer wheels which people turn.  Each monastery has a different style of prayer wheel with intricate designs.  This is a picture of two of the prayer wheels at the Labrang Monastery.

Large prayer wheel

Most Tibetans have smaller prayer wheels in their own homes which they turn themselves. Below is a picture of an elderly Tibetan man a few miles from Labrang Monastery turning a small prayer wheel.

T. man and prayer whee

I purchased two small prayer wheels at a Labrang Monastery store [Items #185, #186 in Tibetan Objects].  Below is a  picture of the monk  wrapping up a prayer wheel that I bought. [He spoke English very well.]

Monk wrapping prayer wheel

Outside another monastery, a Tibetan man was wearing a prayer bracelet similar to Item #191 in Tibetan Objects. Items #192, 193 194 are smaller prayer bracelets.

prayer braclet

In my next blog I’ll show some tankas being  painted at a  monastery near Xining.

My trip to the north western provinces of Gansu and Qinghai, China

Last year I took a trip to China to see a friend in Beijing and as I had seen most of the main tourist attractions in China on previous trips decided to make my main focus seeing some of the 1,500 year old Buddhist caves which I knew existed in this country.  After doing some research, I decided to go to the north western provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. These provinces used to be part of Tibet, but were taken over by China in 1928.  I was delighted to be able to see a part of Tibet without having to get an expensive visa and take an expensive tour, but felt sorry for the Tibetans having to live under Chinese rule.
The first monastery I saw was the very large and important Labrang Monastery in the town of Xiahe.  It was founded in 1709 and belongs to the Yellow Hat sect which is the sect the Dali Lama heads.  In fact I was quite surprised to see pictures of the Dali Lama in at least two of the monasteries I visited.
At present, Labrang  Monastery has about 1,500 monks – some of whom speak very good English.  I was lucky enough to see them gather for a prayer session.  They arrived wearing or carrying their yellow hats, and sat on the steps outside the sanctuary. Before entering the temple, they took off their boots.
A number of Tibetans had waited on the other side or the square until the monks entered the temple and then rushed over to the entrance of the sanctuary. Many of them were carrying vassals full of yak butter. Being present at this event was a wonderful experience!
In the pictures, note the prayer beads the women are wearing.

Last year I took a trip to China to see a friend in Beijing and as I had seen most of the main tourist attractions in China on previous trips decided to make my main focus seeing some of the 1,500 year old Buddhist caves which I knew existed in this country.  After doing some research, I decided to go to the north western provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. These provinces used to be part of Tibet, but were taken over by China in 1928.  I was delighted to be able to see a part of Tibet without having to get an expensive visa and take an expensive tour, but felt sorry for the Tibetans having to live under Chinese rule.

IMG_6612

The first monastery I saw was the very large and important Labrang Monastery in the town of Xiahe.  It was founded in 1709 and belongs to the Yellow Hat sect which is the sect the Dali Lama heads.  In fact I was quite surprised to see pictures of the Dali Lama in at least two of the monasteries I visited.

Monks away

At present, Labrang  Monastery has about 1,500 monks – some of whom speak very good English.  I was lucky enough to see them gather for a prayer session.  They arrived wearing or carrying their yellow hats, and sat on the steps outside the sanctuary. Before entering the temple, they took off their boots.

Boots entrance

A number of Tibetans had waited on the other side or the square until the monks entered the temple and then rushed over to the entrance of the sanctuary. Many of them were carrying vassals full of yak butter. Being present at this event was a wonderful experience!

Monks steps

In the first picture, note the prayer beads the woman is wearing. If you check Tibetan Objects #187 -190, you will see that I have some prayer beads for sale.

– – – More about the Labrang Monastery and other monasteries in my next blog.