Maramures is an old county in Northwestern Romania. Largely rural and agricultural, Maramures has held onto traditional farming and lifestyle methods, choosing to use manual labor to plow their fields and harvest their crops. Fine detailed handiwork is valued – and results in stunning embroidered fabrics, beadwork, carpet weaving and wood carvings. The cultural traditions of the Maramures region date back to before the Renaissance era, and have been carefully nurtured and preserved, and handed down through generations.
This season our designers were greatly influenced by a common item of traditional dress worn by Maramurian women and girls – a traditional red and black striped dress or skirt.
Honored as traditional garb for girls and women of all ages, you will still find variations on this style and pattern across the region.
This season our designers took a modern approach to this inspiration, and created our Maramures Dress:
With its bold black and red stripes, and its ability to be layered with warm leggings and cozy mocknecks, this dress is perfect for the winter and holiday season.
Today is the first day of Orangutan Awareness week and next Saturday is it the first ever International Red Panda Day! These two animals are very dear to me. I spent 2 months volunteering with orphaned orangutans in Malaysian Borneo and since moving to the Bay Area I often volunteer with the Red Panda Network. And seriously, have you ever seen an animal cuter than these two little orange beauties?
The top photo is of Walter, the first red panda I ever saw. He lives at the Bronx Zoo. (Photo by my lovely sister Laura). That little guy on the bottom is Sen, he was only a five months old when I first went to Borneo, I fed him his first banana. He is very special. I miss that little sucker. (Photo by Beddy Tiun, a Ranger at Sabah Wildlife Department).
It’s a great opportunity to teach your children about wildlife and what we can do to protect them.
Here’s a list of some things you can do:
1. Download the Red Panda Activity pack and help your child become a Red Panda Ranger: Download here
2. Visit your local zoo. Follow these links to find a zoo near you with Red Pandas.
4. I put together some “Orangutan Facts for Kids” after doing a presentation for my sisters second grade class. There’s lots of good information about what candy to avoid and FAQ’s from then 2nd graders.
5. Adopt a Red Panda or an Orangutan. Its a great way to support a good cause and fun to get letters and updates on the animal you are helping. The orangutan link I included is to adopt Sen (pictured above).
Let us know what activities you decide to do with your kids!
Our neighbors in San Francisco, Mod Cloth, featured a great interview on their blog recently with Stephanie Baum on her company Steff Bomb. Her handcrafted plush food characters contain so much personality, and I love how she can take something as abstract as a giro and give it a face and persona.
Everybody looks a little worried…perhaps because they’re about to be eaten?
Check out some really fun interviews with Stephanie about her creative process here and here.
In the spirit of celebrating Etsy artists from the region of Old World Hungary, here is another new favorite. Eszter Schall is a Hungarian painter, graphic designer, and illustrator. I love her bold use of colors and her use of squares.
Feeling lucky? The blog Pika Land is doing a giveaway of one of Schalle’s pieces on their site here.