Thursday, March 30, 2017

Here Comes the Sun



16mm diameter - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Whew! Looking back at the past few days, it's been a pretty heavy week on the Mosaic a Day blog! Here's a little sunshine to brighten your day. It's finally warming up here in Egypt too, and I'm excited as tomorrow I head to "Upper Egypt" (South of here...it's complicated), for more sightseeing. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Remembering



14mm by 10mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Occasionally I get asked how I ended up living this crazy life I lead. The short answer is I went through a tumultuous divorce. After a long time of being unable to remember my ex husband with any kind of fondness, I've found myself softening over the past year. I now mostly remember the happy times, the times which remind me of why I married him in the first place. Which is helpful, because those memories make me feel less foolish for having married him. So these days, I hope wherever he is in the world, he is doing alright, and found his happiness. 

These earrings have the colouring of the engagement ring I had then. I loved that ring.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Watermelon


45mm by 15mm - Mosaic gold and filati in sterling silver
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I am sad today. I woke up this morning to the news, albeit expected, that my uncle Evan had passed on. Evan was a pretty special character. Born with Williams Syndrome, which went undiagnosed for years since it wasn't "a thing" yet, he lived a life that presented more challenges than a lot of us face. But face it he did, and with a sense of humour that with certain people, tended towards some pretty astute teasing. He liked construction sites, the library, going on the bus, and walking. He taught himself to play the organ by ear alone. As he was so much younger than my mother, and she had children young, he was almost more of an older sibling than an uncle in our family. 

One of his great joys was food, which made his late diagnosed esophageal cancer that much more heartbreaking, as he was not able to enjoy his favourites for many of his last months: diet Coke, pork ribs, and watermelon. 

Safe travels Evan. I'm sure there's watermelon waiting for you. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

Towards the Light



45mm by 15mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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I work pretty hard at being as self aware as I can be, and some days it's easier than others. We all have good days and bad ones, don't we?  But at least, it's forward movement, I think...always moving towards lightness, towards happiness. I hope you also work towards being the best version of yourself you can be, even on the days when that feels REALLY hard. I promise you can get there. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hoarfrost


45mm by 35mm - Mosaic gold, quartz in sterling silver
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I may be in Egypt, but I am always inspired by past vistas and adventures. My last couple of days in Canada--so sorry you folks STILL have snow, I was treated to some stunning hoarfrost. Now, anyone who knows me knows I have very little good to say about winter, I don't mind visiting it once and awhile, but I'd hate to live there. This hoarfrost, however, was just stunning. Reminding even my jaded self that winter has its delights.

Pictures courtesy of Lorna Anton:



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dust in the Wind


14mm by 10mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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We keep hearing this horrible rumour. It's still just a rumour, as we have yet to confirm it, to see it with our own eyes. We are told Sandmaggedon is nigh. Apparently every year at this time, brutal sandstorms blow through Cairo, coating everything. And then "winter" turns to summer. Schools may be shut down. Laptops and cellphones need to be protected by plastic bags when leaving the house, as the sand—annoying on the best of days—will get everywhere. This hellish nightmare apparently occurs in March. It has not yet happened. With trepidation, we wait. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Homesick



16mm diameter- Mosaic gold, pebble from Perissa beach in sterling silver
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Late last summer my friend Blythe came for an impromptu visit to Santorini. She was leaving her home in Tanzania and stopped enroute to her home in Canada. It's gotten me thinking...I have so many homes now. I realized several months back that I felt homesick, not specifically, but rather, generally. It is now just a constant state of being for me. I am always a bit homesick. I guess that's the price for the joy of having so many people in so many places that I love. 

Blythe requested this pendant to commemorate her time in one of my homes. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Curry



16mm by 16mm - Mosaic gold, smalti in sterling silver
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I've probably mentioned, but I LOVE how I can get anything delivered in Cairo. Things like procuring wine and getting groceries will never be the same. And of course, there is little need to cook, as bringing in food is so cheap and easy...and lots of international variety I wouldn't have expected. We've had everything from Egyptian, to sushi, to breakfast!  But one thing that I love is that there are some excellent Indian food places, serving up some fantastic curry at about a third the cost of the same in Canada. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Agua Blues



 28mm by 7mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Despite having many things to recommend it, there are few things I don't like about Cairo. A main one is it's lack of ocean. I find the sea very soothing. One of my favourite things about being on Santorini, or any island for that matter, is that I can be near—preferably in—water everyday. I feel like a part of me is missing to be so far from the water here in Cairo. These earrings express my love of the sea. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sand Dunes




50mm diameter - Mosaic gold, Venetian cabochon in sterling silver
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So when went to the Pyramids, I had to do the touristy, but essential ride on a camel. It was remarkably uncomfortable. I did not feel like a poised Bedouin princess, riding through the desert to the next oasis, I felt in extreme danger, even with a camel with a disarming name like Daisy. Blythe and I had previous agreement that we only had a short "camel window", meaning we weren't prepared to do it for very long. I was glad our camel window was short. But I'll admit, it was worth the photos. 
I love Daisy's expression here. 

Daisy, contemplating her sand dune existence.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Zanzibar Magic


30mm diameter - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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It may sound crazy, but I sometimes need a holiday. I got that opportunity last week with Blythe as she had a school break. She suggested Zanzibar, which had been one of my favourite spots when I was in Africa in 1997. It's got great food, beautiful beaches, sunsets, and a main town with streets that twist and turn as though they are encouraging you to lose yourself. Our week was delightful, and the memories made are lasting ones.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blytheness - NFS



28mm by 7mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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There are not many people who are as lucky as I am, for anyone who doesn't know my friend Blythe is missing out. I can't think of anyone who makes me laugh as hard, live as hard, and love as hard as she does. She is who I am staying with in Cairo. She rescues me when I need rescuing (I rescue her right back), she hugs me when I don't even know I need one, cracks the best one liners, and pours me a drink when, well heck, whenever the moment calls for one. If you don't have the privlege of knowing Blythe, I sincerely hope you have a Blythesque person in your life.

These earrings were her recent birthday gift. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Banks of the Nile



12mm diameter - Mosaic gold, smalti in sterling silver
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So where I am currently live, Cairo, is a desert. There is sand everywhere, and even the air itself feels dusty. Okay, that could be the smog, which is so thick somedays I can start smelling it inside the apartment as I walk from the bedroom towards the balcony doors in the living room. So you can imagine my surprise when I first saw the Nile after about 2 weeks of being here. I'm not sure what I was expecting...I think my brain had somehow decided the desert would go right up to the river. Of course that is not the case; along the Nile bank is such lush greenery that my eyes, now unused to seeing that colour, nearly bugged out of my head at the beauty. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Cape as Red as Blood



12mm by 12mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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So the friend I am visiting here in Cairo teaches high school literature at an International School. On my first weekend here, she and I went to the school's musical production of "Into the Woods", a relatively well known musical. The girl playing Little Red Riding Hood, wearing the "cape as red as blood" was decent, but I'll be brutally honest, the rest of the production was at times cringeworthy. Except....except for the cows. The gal playing the non speaking role of Milky the Cow, with body and back legs sewn on (attached wheels dragging said legs behind her) managed to steal almost every scene and even upstaged a pretty dramatic musical number by starting to eat the set's foliage. But even she had competition, namely Amal the cow. A real cow. On stage at a high school play. Amal looked like he had a bit of stage fright and mooed softly.

Later, we asked the drama teacher how he got the cow. "This is Egypt. You can get anything. I have a cow connection." 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Piece by Piece, Block by Block



65mm by 20mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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So a week ago today I crossed an item off the bucket list, seeing the Giza Pyramids. I have been fascinated with ancient Egypt since I was a child, and finally being here—19 years after I first planned to go—is amazing. We had a great tour guide too, so enthusiastic, and I can't wait to have him again for the Egyptian Museum. 

And as I was taking these photos, I was struck by how much the pieces of this mosaic meld into the blocks of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, and how they were built much the same, piece by piece, but on vastly different scales.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Falafel



16mm diameter - Mosaic gold, smalti, filati in sterling silver
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Many of you know that in addition to mosaics, ancient history, and wine, I am a bit of a foodie. One thing that surprised me when I arrived in Egypt was how different the falafel are here. I was surprised to find that it was bright green inside, instead of the usual pale yellowish beige of chickpeas. A brief bit of research indicated that this is because Egyptian falafel, as opposed to falafel in other Middle Eastern countries are made with fava beans, and not the standard chickpeas. 
The falafels can be seen here on the bottom left. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Some Like it Hot



14mm by 10mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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So ironically, Egypt is chilly. Far chillier than one would imagine. I have worn a sweater every day here, and occasionally a down filled cardigan when I go out. I was not expecting this. Luckily, it is getting warmer, but in the meantime, my friend and I are headed off for a beach holiday on Friday, far to the south in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Hopefully we blue-eyed blondes will not have skin this colour when we return.