Monday, February 29, 2016

Putting the pieces together



Putting my pieces back together one by one.
Because sometimes pieces get scattered. And you may think a specific event in your life triggered the falling apart. When in fact those pieces have been wandering on and off for a very long time.

Everything may appear to be perfectly fine, and yet it just does not align. For a while I thought it was because the energies around me did not resonate with me. When in fact they were just patiently waiting for me to resonate with them... There is a fine line between all the realities we are continuously bouncing between, that can often be crossed without being conscious of the transition. And it works both ways. Both directions. Just as easily.

February turned out to be a deeply healing month. I knew it from the moment I turned my wonderful cat calendar (by Renka) that it was going to challenge me beyond expectations. And so it did.
And when life is out of balance I talk less and listen more. And after having listened carefully I start acting.

We all go though beautiful transitions. All the time. Whether we do it consciously or not. And when we resist it, that is when all the conflicts appear. Both internally as well as in our environment. And that is when that curl starts descending, and sometimes we have to hit that low end to be able to rise further up, than we've ever been... But I encourage you to take that road. Walk it out, and do not stray. You are not broken (unless you need an organ transplant, in which case you virtually are), you don't need to be fixed. Listen to your intuition, you soul will guide you through it.

What an exceptionally wonderful day we have... Not simply because it is a new day, not simply because it is a glorious Monday, but because it is leap day, which serves the synchronisation of the calendar year. It serves alignment. Now that is what I call a perfect way to conclude this month.

Live purposefully!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday

may we be grounded enough to offer love even when we feel that we are tested beyond our capabilities.
may we be present enough to recognize our strength in our vulnerable nature.
may we be strong enough to live that which we were called to do, and allow space and freedom for others to do the same.
may we stand firm in the wind, and dwell in a place of grace in our soul, a place which knows that calmer times follow.
may we be humble enough to open our hearts to emanate the love that lights up our entire being.
may we be generous enough to offer kindness and compassion to those in need.
may we live our days in the spirit of forgiveness
...each and every moment. here. now. constantly.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Slow living



slow// simple// enough

Most of us are fortunate enough to lead privileged lives. Not because we have limitless credit cards, but simply because we have a roof (or some have roofs) over our head, closets overflowing with garments, and food to eat on a regular basis. And whenever you feel sorry for yourself for not living in a larger home, and not buying even more expensive stuff, just remember how much excess you already have. Heaps of stuff you don't actually need, all those boxes filled with that which you label "clutter" and take down to goodwill.

Living slower doesn't only mean to buy small, source locally and live a conscious life in general. It is a start. A beautiful one at that. But slower living should also mean making time for and giving to those who are less fortunate. Is that not what we are called to do..?

Was it the full moon? Was it the wind?
Whatever it is, it keeps me awake.
And I can't help but wonder, in the moments in between, what is the way for me to not just stand above and reach down, but instead stand beside, hand in hand...

We so often pray for answers to our questions, when the mere fact that God had planted those questions in our heart is almost always enough. Because they offers direction.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Two for Thursday


...when you get to spend enough time with someone, be that a human or an animal, you will start to understand them on a different level, like your souls align and they require no words to be said for sharing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Porcelain jewelry


It is a little like with kids, it's so difficult to choose favorites, and almost every time I come up with a new style of earrings, it instantly becomes my new favorite. But the [MERMAID] earrings are just too precious to me. They are sort of an all time favorite. The combination of high fired porcelain and sterling silver, the lightness and dynamics of the moving beads... They are something else, something more, something to return to!

And the good news is, they are now available in matte chocolate, off white and marbled blue. HERE


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

finding the beautiful...



In all those years as children, growing up, we have the adults around us to protect us, to polish the path for us so that we may lead our journey unharmed, uninterrupted and untouched by any negative encounters, they try to teach us to avoid the messy bits and periods. Then we become these adults and we try to do the same to ourselves. We envision our journey and we hold unto it. We build walls to use as shields for protection, so that we may purposefully stick to that determination.

But you know what? Messy, weird and confusing times will come. And you can do nothing to avoid them. Aiming to teach yourself to be able to stand on solid ground at all times is not only impossible, but also stupid. Essentially you'd want to become a boulder, to stand firm. And to avoid life. In the end, by wishing to avoid the mess means, wishing to avoid life.

How many times have you found yourself with a whirlwind of emotions to sort through and a novel-worth of unanswered questions to ask?

Most of my love comes from my mess. Those rough periods, the doubts, the guilt, the shaky ground and moving sand, the rollercoasters. The sleepless nights and long jogging sessions. The mistakes, the incosistencies and the not-good-enoughs. Then those cleansing tears, the timeless silence and the uplifting void. It is a journey. It offers progress. It gives life a new breath.  It fills the heart with gratitude which transforms every molecule within into love.
You have to let everything fall apart, before you can understand what is steadfast in your soul.

The darker it is, the brighter the stars shine.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lace platters and dishes


I managed to drag myself out to the studio both yesterday and today. And by saying "dragged" I am not very far from the actual meaning of the verb. Being self employed is full of positive traits, but taking a sick leave is not one of them, since there is no one to fill in for me, while I'm dying on the sofa at home. There were orders that needed to be finished by a certain date, so in between I manged to fire and finish quite a few lace platters and dishes, which I am hoping to shoot and add to the shop over the weekend.

The whole place smells like eucalyptus, it helps me breath better, and ginger tea will soon flow from the tap too (and perhaps shortly through my ears, if I have to drink it much longer)! Any tips to overcome this silly flu? At least my temperature stays put now... I hope your end of winter is germ-free!

Be on the lookout for the new dishes over the weekend, I am looking forward to adding them to the shop. This firing turned out perfectly!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Six terms


Flu // Ginger tea // Kitty love // In PJs // Under blanket // Tissue-stuffed nose

Life, lately. No fun.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Who are you?


I'm going to ask you one thing. Who. Are. You?
Who are you?

How would you define yourself to me, had I asked you that?
What would you respond to that sort of question? I can almost see you. Smiling or laughing awkwardly, responding with, what do you mean? Well, I simply  mean, who are you?

Let me try to answer that for you.
At one point in life I would have started describing how I looked, where I was from, what were the things I liked and so on... Later, in my early twenties I would have defined myself by the activity I was at that point occupied with, such as being a student or a volunteer, etc. And perhaps in the  beginning of my seeking journey I would have told you I was a ceramist.

Now, in this very moment, I can say only this. I am myself.

All my life (well, I say that as if I were 65), I have been searching for my passion, my purpose. A lived my days filled with curiosity, continuously seeking it. I clearly remember being a bit jealous on every friend, and cousin who had known from a very early age what they wanted to become when faced with this question. And rigourously stuck to that resolution. I admit. I was jealous. And to some extent I might have envied them.

I was a child with so many interests and hobbies. Also very many subdued ones, those that felt right, but for some unexplainable reason I repressed them in my heart. You know I came to understand that the only way things can change is if I am willing to believe that I am worthy of experiencing the great depths of life. If I am willing to accept that I am worthy of being blessed with phenomenal experiences. But even though these feelings were twisting up in the deepest of my soul, I could still not point myself into the right direction. The way to my heart was like a labyrinth, if not closed.

I have mentioned this before on this space, but perhaps the meaning of those words was not quite clear. So let me repeat it for you. Six years ago, I have found  the way to my heart. A process that did not come into being overnight. It was a process, a struggle, a difficult period when tension was almost tangible. I was impatient, rebellious, discontented and repulsive. When our world, and everything we thought we knew is shaken right down to the core we do everything in our power to fight back. Change does not come about seamlessly, it is not a peaceful manifesto, but comes about through a battle. A fight between the mind and the heart, the core essence of our being.

But when against all odds, after every small and big battle has been fought, both on the inside as well as on the outside, after sleepless nights and long walks in the broad daylight have passed, a peace overcomes every single cell of your being. This was the time I wrote those two sentences down, that you can read on the right hand-side, right bellow my introduction photo, when you open up this page.

Your presence matters. Your existence in this world is enough to prove that. But you don't have anything else to prove. To anyone.

I grew up with an overwhelming wish to make a change. I gathered knowledge in this sense and kept trying to look for ways to contribute to making this world a better place. You know what the conclusion was after all of this? I didn't stand a chance. It consumed me. It drained me. And it deepened my frustration in everything that I have found faulty with how the world functions.

So I stopped aiming at this. It was a process, and it still is a continuous progress, but I no longer wish to change the world. I am just being myself.  In everything I say, in everything I do and in everything that I am. If my identity was defined by the activity that brings so much joy to my everyday life, the activity that occupies most of my days, then I would not be where I am today. I am not a ceramist. Nor am I a jeweler. Or an artist. I am recognised through my work not because I am talented in any of these crafts, but because I am true in what I do. But if I had to leave my business behind, and would be called in another direction, I would not lose ground. Because it does not define me. What I do is not who I am. Being grounded in your truth is not bound to your external reality. Standing firmly on your inner ground is a very powerful inner reality, a timeless one, that is not rooted in the knowledge and wisdom you gathered throughout your life, nor does it stem from the belief you came to profess after your life experiences. It is an inner voice. This energy is not located in you, but moves through you. A flow, a realisation, an unexplainable will that takes you beyond that which you never thought possible.

Your journey is yours. And yours alone. No one can walk the same road.
If there's anything I wish for you, it is for you to be able to embrace that road. And believe that you are worthy of receiving and embracing the truth, that arises in you. Each and every human life has a purpose in the world. A purpose, that is always shown, but most of the time we are too distracted to recognise it. Sacrificing your own truth, by hiding away from the flow and direction that moves your energy is the greatest mistake you will ever make. And the only way to listen to it, and act upon it, is to look deep into your heart, shut your mind out completely and let the essence of your being manifest, let that energy carry you where you need to be.

The stronger you think you stand, the harder you will fall. The stronger you feel you stand, the higher you'll rise. But if you do fall, remember, you have not failed your journey. You've merely come to a crossroad, that will allow you to get back on that energy that carries you closer to fulfil the higher purpose of your existence.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February studio scenes


We're having such a warm sunny February, it melts my heart and sinks my boots into a thick layer of mud out here at the studio. Good old countryside life! Meanwhile inside the studio there's a more refined "mud" that's being carved into rings, one by one (and every once in a while this happens; it's part of the job, and works on my patience levels). For those of you waiting on cobalt platters, there's a porcelain firing that is coming up very soon, which I am very much looking forward to. High firing is a lot rarer in Jasmin Blanc studio, and always makes my heart skip some beats while the kiln is cooling. I have some very awesome experiments in process, so this firing will be even more exciting. Hopefully I will have some awesome stories and photos to share, if not I will at least have a few lessons learned. We will see next week.

Many of you have been asking me about the "Matsumaini" collection, which I planned on launching before Christmas, but haven't gotten around doing that. I'm really sorry! Obviously I am very excited about it and looking forward to sharing more with you guys, but I will need to ask for your patience a little while longer. I have a few new ideas added to the whole concept and it took a bit more time to develop. But I'm getting there, so just bare with me.


This batch is from the previous high firing (porcelain fires at a lot higher temperature than earthenware clay). I will have new designs coming, if the firing will be a success! Keep your fingers crossed.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Recipe: Coffee rum balls


Praline wannabees with less chocolate is what the title should really say, but I went with the truth instead. So if you're feeling lazy for kneading and turning your oven on, here's something to munch on after lunch.




Coffee rum balls 


350 gr finely crushed vanilla cookies 
250 gr mascarpone cheese
4 T castor sugar
150 ml strong coffee 
1 vanilla bean 
1 T rum essence
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 T dark cocoa powder 

I would like to point out firstly, that even though we are mixing everything like when children "bake" in the kitchen with their mothers, and as simple as this truly is to make, it is crucial to use quality ingredients. Don't get the cheapest, toughest, tasteless cookies, because coffee will not cover that up.

So I'm sure not much explanation is needed, basically you mix cookie crumbs with the mascarpone cheese in a large bowl. Dissolve the sugar in the warm (not hot!) coffee and add it to the cookie/cheese mixture gradually. Slice the vanilla bean open and scrape seeds out, mix into the dough, along with rum and cinnamon. You can use your stand mixer on dough setting, but I like to keep things as analogue as possible, that way I have even less washing up to do, and so I use my hands. I'm cheap like that!
Cover the bowl with clear plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for 30 minutes.

When it hardened a little take it out and start forming the dough into small balls. Roll them into the cocoa powder and place them on a platter. Keep refrigerated and serve directly from the fridge. Also, keep in mind, that significant amounts of coffee and dark chocolate were used for this recipe, so you might not want to eat them after dinner if you're not a caffeine junkie like some of us.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hello February!

The reason I am glad to greet February is that I know winter cannot stick around for much longer. As I said before, I am that friend! So just bare with me. But if I disregard the dreadful cold of these last winter months (which was kinda hard to do in -15 C!) I must say I love their rhythm. Always have. The subtle shift of moods and energies, the cozy teas and dinners with friends, that glass of wine shared discussing sweet nothings and everythings. I become nostalgic. Yet very present. I might romanticize it more than I should... But I am okay with that!

Follow Jasmin Blanc on Instagram to see fragments of my studio moments.