The kites garden-A legendary place

Hello friends! It’s been a while since I wrote you something, I hope you are still here because I have an interesting travel story for you. This summer I visited many beautiful places and I’m going to show you some of them in the following blog posts. Today I’m telling you about a legendary place in Romania, not very well-known, called The kites garden.gradina zmeilor (3)The kites garden is a natural protected reservation, located in Salaj county, Transylvania. This `garden` is a forest where we can find groups of giant stones with irregular shapes. They were formed in many years by the water, wind and different natural phenomens. This place is unique for our country and because of that, local people gave interesting and funny names for each stone in the forest and some legends, as well. Now, I invite you to walk with me in the garden and meet the beautiful and magical `kites`.gradina zmeilor (1)gradina zmeilor (5)gradina zmeilor (6)The pathway in this forest is really interesting because the ground is covered in sand. This environment was formed thraugh many years and this sand was formed because of the water that washed the stones every year. It is not an actual sand, is more like a calcarose mud which creates a unique pathway in the forest. At the end of this path, we will find the giant stones (the giant kites). From the edge of the cliff it can be seen ` The Kite and the Kitees (the kite and his wife)`. The legends said that this is the home of the kites and also the place where the kites bring young girls which were stolen from their parents.

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The Kite and the Kitees

Going further in the woods, we will find a path full of a beautiful and very big kind of fern. On this fern are hidden little animals like the common lizard which you can see if you’re quiet because they can get scared very easy. Following this path, it leads us to other two giant stones, called `The monks`. This place is like a desert in a forest, all of the trees are grounded in sand and between the stones we can walk through a tiny path with no vegetation only chalk and rocks.gradina zmeilor (9)gradina zmeilor (7)gradina zmeilor (10)

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The monks

gradina zmeilor (11)There are many stones in this reservation with different names that local people gave them, like The Catana Girl, Old man, The Captain, Eva, The Thumb, The Sphinx, but we had a short time to visit this garden, and we couldn`t find all of them. Maybe next time I will show you multiple images. I hope you like this little hike in a beautiful and wild region of Romania.Watermark in Full Color

 

 

 

 

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The power of Marigolds

Hello friends! Today I invite you in my garden and kitchen to find out the secret power of Marigolds and how to use it.

The Marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a very common flower in Europe, that grows almost everywhere. Calendulas are considered by many gardening experts as among the easiest and most versatile flowers to grow in a garden, especially because they tolerate most soils. In temperate climates, seeds are sown in spring for blooms that last throughout the summer and well into the fall. The Latin specific epithet from its name, officinalis, refers to the plant’s medical and herbal uses.

20190720_142015.jpgCalendula was named by the ancient Romans, who observed that the plant was in bloom on the first day (Latin: kalends) of every month. They looked upon the plants nonstop-blooming as a symbol of joy, and cultivated it in their gardens to spread happiness. Ancient Egyptians valued it as a rejuvenating herb and in India they are used to decorating temple altars. During the American Civil War, doctors on the battlefield used the flowers on a large scale to treat open wounds. It proved effective as an antiseptic, staunching the bleeding, preventing infection, and speeding the healing of wounds. Today, this plant is still used in many ways, mostly in pharmaceutical industry and I will show you how to use them at home.galbenele 1Marigold oil recipe

The marigold oil is used for multiple purposes, such as healing wounds, skin allergies, sun protection, acne.  Basically, calendula oil is an alternative remedy to treat various skin conditions as well as improve the quality and appearance of the skin. This oil is alsovery easy to make at home.

galbenele 6Ingredients: dried marigold flowers and regular sunflower oil (optional you can use olive oil or grapeseed oil)

All you have to do is to put some dried flowers in a glass jar and cover them with sunflower oil (1/2 flowers, 1/2 oil). Then let this composition in direct sunlight for 7-14 days. When the infusion is done, keep the oil in a dried and cold room.

Marigold cream recipe

Now, that you have the marigold oil, lets use it to create a special cream with many beneficial uses. You will want this cream in your house, because as my grandma used to say `it is good for everything`. Personally, I use this cream especially in winter for skin as a cold protection, for open small wounds because it has natural astringent and antibiotic properties and also, I use it as a lip balm and let me tell you, is the best you will ever try. As the oil, this cream is very easy to make and you will need only natural organic products. There are two recipes, one is a very old one used by most of our grannies and the other one is a new-ish recipe with more ingredients. I prefer using the second one because is no needed to boil the ingredients and in this way are kept all the natural properties.

galbenele 9Ingredients (old recipe): 500 gr lard, 5-10 cups marigolds (not dried). The ingredients are mixed together and boil for 20 min, after that you put the whole composition is some small jars and keep it in a cold room, maybe in the fridge (6-12 month).

galbenele 8Ingredients (new recipe): 100 ml marigold oil, 20 gr bee wax, 5 gr honey, lavender essential oil; Optional: olive/ grapes/ argan oil, coconut/ cocoa butter, essential oils (different flavors), just keep in mind you have to put 20% bee wax. Also, you will need some small containers (glass jars or recycled empty cream container). Now, lets make this cream together.

galbenele 10First you need to prepare a `bain marie`. In a pot with boiling water I put a ceramic dish on a large cookie cutter as a support (you can make any improvisation you like). After that I put the first two ingredients, the oil and the bee wax. When they are melted and mixed together is time to put the honey and a few drops of lavender oil. We put lavender oil not only for its flavor and scent, but for its beneficial too, this oil is a natural antibiotic and also, anti-fungal which means that prevent the cream composition to mold. Mix everything well and put the composition in the containers. You need to work fast because the bee wax strengthens rapidly. The cream is done, now you can keep it in a cold place for 6-12 months and use it as you wish.galbenele 15I hope you liked making creams with me and until the next time, I invite you to enjoy a cup of Marigold tea with honey and lemon (is the best)!

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New oil paintings – Tropical collection

Hello friends! This summer I was very creative and managed to finish my first oil painting collection. I chose to create a tropical collection because summer inspires me the most and I love the fresh and vibrant colors of a tropical beach and rainforest. So, I will present you today, 5 oil painting that I created with all my heart.

  1. Plumeria dream – Is an impressionistic flower painting and represents the plumeria flowers. You may know this flower by the name Frangipani and it is native to Central America. Is one of my favorite tropical flower and the one that inspired the entire collection. I wanted to paint this flower because is unique, delicate and interesting. I wrote an article about this beautiful flower some time ago, if you want, you can check this link: Plumeria. The symbolic meaning of this flower and painting is: new beginning, new life, charm, gracefulness, beauty.

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    Plumeria dream – Limited edition, no. 1/5, Size: 24×18 cm (9,5×7 in)
  2. Sunset on the Island – This painting is one of my favorites. Everyone asked me why I keep painting these palm trees. These paintings are images of a dream. I love to travel and my dream is to visit a Caribbean Island some day. I had a vision of my self standing under a palm tree on a tropical beach at sunset and every time I think what to paint next, the only image I had for the first time in my head is a palm tree. Also, the palm tree symbolize honor, truth, value, vitality, protection, fertility, resurrection, aspiration.

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    Sunset on the Island – Limited edition, no. 2/5, Size: 40×30 cm (15,7×11,8 in)
  3. Hawaiian hibiscus – This flower is also named Chinese rose and is native to West Asia. It`s a very common plant that grows almost everywhere, and they have multiple colors. I chose to paint it because even if it`s an exotic plant, I grew up with it and always reminds me of home. In culture this plant symbolize true love, sincerity and long term relationships. If you like to see more pictures with this beautiful plant, check this article: Hibiscus

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    Hawaiian hibiscus – Limited edition, no. 3/5, Size: 24×18 cm (9,5×7 in)
  4. The bird of paradise – This flower is named Strelitzia or The bird of paradise, because it looks like a bird with the head down and opened wings. The birds of paradise are well-known for there beautiful colors, but none of the looks like this plant, the name was just a figurative form. The flower is originated in California and it`s the official flower of Los Angeles city and it is also the official flower for a ninth wedding anniversary.

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    The bird of paradise – Limited edition, no. 4/5, Size: 16×16 cm (6,3×6,3 in)
  5. Toucan – The last painting from the tropical collection is a beautiful exotic bird. We can find this bird in the Amazonian rainforest and this is a `true` paradise bird. This creature represents communication and self-confidence since this bird is one of the noisiest and loudest creature of the forest.

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    Toucan – Limited edition, no. 5/5, Size: 18×13 cm (7×5 in)

I hope you like my new oil paintings and if you are interested, they are available for sale on my etsy shop: AdelaFineArt

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7 interesting facts about Lily

Lily is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Liliaceae. The Lilium genus, from this family, has 80 species of bulbous plants that are generally hardy and few species require the protection of a greenhouse. In the wild, lilies are found in a broad zone encircling the Northern Hemisphere. The flower of a lily has 6 petals with prominent stamens, which makes this flower really easy to study by the botanists. Flowers are available in different tones of colors from white to dark red, except blue.

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7 things you might not know about lilies:

  1. Some species (Lilium brownii, Lilium pumilum and Lilium dauricum) have edible bulbs.  They are cultivated for food in Asia, specifically in China, Korea and Japan.
  2. We can find many colors of lilies and some of them have different color tones on the same petal. Often we can see some dots in a darker tone than the rest of petal, these dots are called simply `freckles`.
  3. Lilies have different meanings all over the world. The Chinese believe they bring good luck, whilst in the Assyrian civilization, they were considered to be a holy flower. Greeks associates the lily with motherhood and Christians believe this flower to represent chastity and innocence.Lily (5)Lily (3)
  4. There are many kinds of flowers which have been called “lilies” but many of these such as the day-lily, water-lily, and arum-lily, actually belong to other groups of flowering plants.
  5. In history is said that the Greek God Apollo presented the Lily of the Valley to Aesculapius, the great healer. Today, a number of lily species have health beneficial properties, and certain species contain compounds that are used in medicine. These medicines treat depression, heart disease, angina and anxiety. Additionally, many parts of the world use them to treat a variety of other illnesses, usually in the form of an essential oils or balms. Beauty-wise, certain extracts from the lily can brighten the skin and reduce scars.
  6. Lilies have an extremely long vase life, this can be increased even further by removing the pollen found in the flower. Those who choose to display the lily in their office or homes should embrace this tip.
  7. This plant is highly toxic for some animals. Even small amount of pollen can induce poisoning and can be deadly, especially for cats.

Lily (2)Lily (1)If you want to find out more information or see more pictures, there is another article on my blog about the lilies. Check this link and use the translation button from the right corner of the page: Fleur de lisWatermark in Full Color

Source: Encyclopedia of Garden plants and Flowers by Richard C. & co.

Geamana Lake-an ecological disaster

This month I visited a strange and interesting place in Romania, in Apuseni Mountains. This place is called Geamana and was an old village that today lies under tones of industrial waste. You have to follow a beautiful and wild path in the forest to find this village, but when you arrive there in front of your eyes raise a giant lake. It’s an apocalyptic image of a village flooded in mud surrounded by a beautiful mountain landscape. Most people said that the place is haunted, maybe it is, but nobody died there in the period of the disaster. Maybe the place is haunted by the thoughts of hundreds people who lost there homes and cursed the ones who did this ecological disaster.

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Everything started in 1977 when dictator Nicolae Ceausescu decided to exploit a huge underground copper deposit. The wast from Rosia Poieni copper pit was discharged and the whole village was sunk and turned into a decanting lake. The process slowly progressed in time and 400 families were evacuated from Geamana and their village.

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The slurry, which continues to pour into the valley today, is a result of „froth flotation,” a process used by Rosia Poieni and most other copper mines around the world. Rock rich in copper is ground into powder, then put into baths of bubbling water. The hydrophobic copper flakes cling to air bubbles, creating a coppery froth that is skimmed off the top of the baths. The remaining slurry is discarded. It is this waste that drowned Geamana. And the lake continues to rise, climbing the walls of the valley at the rate of around 1 vertical meter each year. Along with the slurry from the mine, some sections of the runoff lake have turned red as a result of „acid mine drainage.” The acidic red water is a result of rain and springwater running through the minerals exposed by the mine. (source: http://www.rferl.org/a/romania-sinking-village).

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Today, only a few families live in this area, and they are almost completely isolated. From the Geamana village remains few house roofs and the church that can be seen in the middle of the lake.

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Black locust – an extraordinary plant

Robinia pseudoacacia is commonly known as black locust, false acacia or simply locust. Is a medium-sized hardwood deciduous tree endemic to a few small areas of the United States. Because is an invasive species, the locust was easily introduced to other regions like Asia or Europe. When the black locust has been introduced to a new environment, it tends to compete with native species and take over in that environment. This species loves the sun and grows rapidly in open areas with lots of light and no shade, driving other sun-loving plants away.  Also, the black locust’s fragrant white flowers compete for pollinating bees, increasing the competition with native plants.

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Acacia honey is classified as “the best honey”, but is wrong to consider it as the best and most useful. As a matter of fact, there is no bad quality honey, yet it’s true that acacia honey is the most preferred type. The honey is extremely light colored, lemonish white or yellow-green, and if relatively free of other floral sources, it can be very transparent, like liquid glass. The aroma is floral, fruity, delicate, very persistent. The flavor is very sweet, slightly acidic with hints of vanilla and no aftertaste. The flowery notes are noticed best in the finish.

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The name ‘locust’ is said to have been given to Robinia by Jesuit missionaries, who fancied that this was the tree that supported St. John in the wilderness, but it is native only to North America. The locust tree of Spain (Ceratonia siliqua or carob tree), which is also native to Syria and the entire Mediterranean basin, is supposed to be the true locust of the New Testament.

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The Goldfinch in art and symbolism

Hello friends! Today I present you my second painting from the `Birds` collection, `The European goldfinch`. As the previous bird painting, `the blue tit`, this one has a story behind it as well.etsy3The goldfinch is a common European bird, known by its scientific name, Carduelis carduelis. We can find it in Europe, North Africa, and recently was successfully introduced in Australia and New Zealand. The bird is recognized by the colors of its plumage which is golden-brown on the body and red on its head. Goldfinches are commonly kept and bred in captivity as pets, because of their distinctive appearance and pleasant song. Unfortunately, the popularity of goldfinches as a cage bird in Victorian Britain led to huge numbers being trapped to supply demand, causing the population to crash.

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This bird might be common but its symbol is a strong one. It’s not much known that the goldfinch appear in the Christian symbolism. Because of its favorite food, thistle seeds, it is associated with Christ’s Passion and his crown of thorns. The goldfinch appears in many paintings of the Madonna and child, including the Madonna del cardellino or Madonna of the Goldfinch, painted by the Italian renaissance artist, Raphael (1505-1506). The painting represents John the Baptist offering a goldfinch to Christ as a symbol and warning of his future. An other painting with the same name, was painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1767-1770). It is also an emblem of endurance, fruitfulness, and persistence. Because it symbolizes the Passion of Christ, the goldfinch is considered a “savior”.

 

(Madonna of the Goldfinch – Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1767-1770) (right), Raphael (1505-1506) (left))

This little bird inspired many artists, not only painters. Antonio Vivaldi, composed a Concerto in D major for Flute “Il Gardellino” (RV 428, Op. 10 No. 3), where the singing of the goldfinch is imitated by a flute. Also, `​The Goldfinch` is title of a novel written by Donna Tartt, who won the Pulitzer prize for fiction, in 2014. A turning point in the plot occurs when the narrator, Theo, sees his mother’s favorite painting, `The Goldfinch` by Carel Fabritius (1654) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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My own version of the goldfinch is a 13×18 cm oil painting on stretched canvas. If you are interested, you can find the original available on my shop .

etsy3The goldfinches on the railway paling were worth looking at
A man might imagine then
Himself in Brazil and these birds the birds of paradise

(The Great Hunger by Patrick Kavanagh)

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Rainy day of Spring

Hello friends! This Spring was very rainy, but the tulips are blooming anyway. You know how much I love tulips and of course, I had to make some photos before they lose all the petals. Despite the rainy weather, I took a walk in the botanical garden to admire them and make some pictures. If you want to find out more about the tulips, I invite you to read my article `The tulip garden`, or if you want to see more picture visit `the tulip collection`.

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The story of a blue bird

the blue tit

Hello friends! Today I want to show you my recent painting and the story behind it. I named this piece `the blue tit`, after the bird with the same name. Actually, the real name of this bird is Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and it is a common bird in Europe and Asia. It is easily recognizable by its blue and yellow plumage and small size.

I tried to reproduce the best that I could the color of the bird. In reality are way more details on its body. A typical Eurasian blue tit has an azure-blue crown and dark blue line passing through the eye and encircling the white cheeks to the chin, giving the bird a very distinctive appearance. The forehead and a bar on the wing are white. The nape, wings and tail are blue and the back is yellowish green. The underparts is mostly sulphur-yellow with a dark line down the abdomen. The yellowness is indicative of the number of yellowy-green caterpillars eaten, due to high levels of carotene pigments in the diet. The bill is black, the legs blue-ish gray, and the irides dark brown. The sexes are similar, but under ultraviolet light, males have a brighter blue crown. Young blue tits are noticeably more yellow. 

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The blue tit – oil painting on canvas (13×18 cm) – 2019

This bird has an interesting story, even it is very common, and we can find it in parks or gardens in the early spring. The color of its feathers are pretty unique because blue is not a very usual color that we see on animals and people are generally attracted with unusual things. Maybe that is way through years in different cultures this bird received interesting symbols.

The Blue Tit symbolizes a loyal and faithful love, because this birds have only one mate in life. Blue Tits never fly far distances from their homes, so the sight of them always denote good tidings to a sailor. It would mean that land is near. Blue Tits are also believed to carry the spirits of sailors who have died at sea, to their home in heaven. The Blue Tit can represent the best things in life, in Celtic symbolism is seen as a powerful symbol. During the earlier eras of our life, Blue Tits were connected with the gods and the soul of those people who died. The Greek and Roman’s believed in gods who transformed themselves into Blue Tits. Killing a Blue Tit was considered to be an immoral practice.

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This is a beautiful and simple bird with a powerful meaning of life. I hope you had the opportunity to see one, it is a magical creature indeed. But if you never saw one, I gave you the opportunity now. You can admire my reproduction of this tiny little bird, oil painted on canvas. If you want this painting on your home, you can get it from my online shop or send me an email if you need more information.

Shop online: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AdelaFineArt

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The legend of a perfume

Spring is the best time to talk about flowers and their essential oils. From ancient times, the flowers were used to decorate gardens and homes. Some physicians found the flowers beneficial properties, some used them in rituals and some people discovered their essential oils and perfume. But like the most of the great discoveries there were made by accident. This is also the story of a famous natural perfume, which is today the symbol of Capri Island. This perfume is fascinating and unique because after all the years they kept the original recipes and all the fragrances are made only with ingredients find on the Island.

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The legend tells that in 1380, upon receiving an unexpected visit from Queen Joanna I of Anjou, the father prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. Giacomo hastily created a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers on the island. After three days, he noticed that their water had acquired a fragrance unknown to him, so he went for the answer to the father alchemist, who trace the origin of this scent back to the wild carnation of Capri, the Garofilium Silvestre Caprese. This water became known as the first perfume of Capri.

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History confirms that in 1948 the prior of the Monastery discovered the ancient perfume formulas and, with permission of the Pope, revealed them to a chemist from Torino, who then set up one of the smallest professional laboratories in the world, which came to be known as `​Carthusia`.

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Via Camerelle – This scent shares its name with the most prestigious street of the Island. The freshness of the lemon and orange, mixed with the fragrant notes of sea moss and cedarwood create a flavour amazingly akin to the natural yearning for the sea flowers and genuine living.

The tradition is now continued and the traditional production method used by the Carthusian monks are still in practice today. Only the highest quality products are used, and after the fragrance is filtered and distilled to perfection, it is bottled and delicately wrapped by hand. In the men`s products, the essence contain rosemary hand-picked on Monte Solaro, while the Capri wild carnation finds place in the women`s fragrances.

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Today Carthusia has put into practice its centuries-old knowledge in order to develop a culture of perfume unique in the world. Over the years, it has refined its mastery about the olfactory sense, refining and structuring its comprehension of essences, in order to grant to those who choose its fragrances the purest and most intense emotions. Nowadays, as in the past, all stages of production are carried out by hands to guarantee the accurate application of the natural methods involved and the precious care of traditional craftsmanship.

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All Carthusia fragrances have a hidden yet indivisible bond with Capri. The feelings and emotions of Carthusia products are the result of dedicated and professional research into components derived exclusively from Capri’s environment. These ingredients meet, mix and match in the Carthusia laboratories, producing unique harmonies of scents that create perfumes as great as the island from which they come.

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Fiori di Capri – The refined floral notes deriving from the lily of the valley and wild carnation blend together with the enigmatic allure of sandalwood, ylang-ylang and oak.

The symbol of the company, a beautiful work in liberty style, was created in 1948 by the painter Mario Laboccetta. It portrays a „flower siren” that brings to mind the surreal and mythological landscapes of Capri’s heritage. She appears to be in the midst of an evolution, blooming with a myriad of colorful flowers, from which Carthusia perfumes descend, achieving a logo which recalls both art and nature in all their forms.

Source: https://www.carthusia.it

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