Wednesday, May 30, 2012

the first week

Finally, I know.
Ever since we first landed it has been a bit of a sleep and whirlwind induced haze.
The first night we were here I think I slept a total of 13 hours!! The night before we left I got maybe 3 hours of sleep and then followed that up with no sleep on the flights here. The funny thing is that my body must still  be trying to catch up because I am falling asleep all over the place:
In a car. Check.
Bus? Check.
On our friends couches. Double check.
Restaurant! Yep, check ;)

Hilarious, I know. But, I guess a month or two of pushing too little sleep and too much coffee does eventually catch up to you. So here I am sitting in front of the computer typing, on a rainy day, next to a warm fire (Love the smell of real fire! Our 'fireplace' turns on with a switch. Ha!) and feeling completely and utterly relaxed. This is definitely something I was really hoping for.

There are other things that I looked forward to....mainly along the lines of inspiration.
Every nook, crevice and doorway, here, does that for me. There is such an interesting juxtaposition of architecture that can only really be attributed to a place that is so incredibly old.

Tallinn was first noted in books as an actual city as early as the 1200's (definitely a village long before that) so the layers of time can clearly be seen in its architecture. There are the outer city walls with turrets that dot along the perimeter of the old town that come directly out of some Robin Hood movie! Then there are the rows upon rows of colorful 15th, 16th and 17th century buildings within those walls. A town hall built in the early 1400's that still holds original public shackles on its outside wall and sits prominently in the cobblestone filled town square. It is all pretty magnificent to me: this capture of time that I have always found so fascinating.  

When the city decided to build an underground parking garage they found a treasure trove of ancient city walls and foundations. I photographed a piece here, while getting ready to enter the city center. They have built the garage around these formations....definitely the most interesting parking garage I've ever been in :)

The second night (after our marathon sleep sessions) we headed to this delicious restaurant in old town called Leib. This tower was one of my views from our outdoor table.

The sommelier opened our bottle of champagne with a sword to great fanfare...
A delicious meal, great company, plus these views, meant one of those evenings that will be filed away prominently in my memory.

The following day we came back to old town and spent several hours with a few friends and family, weaving in and out of the streets, exploring. I actually only got to see maybe a third of it even though we walked for a good 3 hours. I took many pictures, but as a forewarning:  there will be many, many more that will come from my planned future visits! I want to spend a great deal of time there in the coming months. 


 A large part of the city's walls and gates are still intact and were first constructed in the 1200s.
The boys, understandably, call this part of the city, the castle.

This was a view from one of the tower windows we climbed up within the city wall.

It's funny, but I guess the child explorer in me is totally drawn to enter every one of these type of tunnels I find.  It's incredibly exciting to go into one of them and wonder what I will end up finding. 


Every kind of door and doorway imaginable.
Seriously, just everywhere. I really do hone in on these details.....

This is Norbert's expression generally when I capture him in pictures. Totally tuning me out. I mean, he has to deal with it all the time, you know? I share this particular picture, though, because I want you to see my view from the table we are sitting at in the town square. All that walking required a stop for some Estonian beer. To the left of the picture is the Town Hall. I'll take better pictures of it later....

The following day I walked around here again with the boys, but without any photographing.
I had two eyes to watch two boys and that's all I really concentrated on besides soaking in my surroundings. Later, Norbert and some of his family met up for dinner so I had a few moments after to start snapping away. More eyes to watch two wandering boys.

On Monday, we went on a field trip with Norbert's mom's class....


Inside of her classroom

And right before we left I took a group picture. We spent the entire day there...even grilled outside for lunch. This will more than likely be the day that sticks out in their memory. They had permagrins the entire day :)

Okay, time for dinner...see you soon!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

IMPORTANT announcement

Good morning, everyone
(or afternoon, or evening depending on where you are in the world!)

Alrighty, so here's the deal:
We've been working our a$%es off this entire spring in preparation for not only this big, wonderful insanely busy sale we just had, but also because we are checking out of town for awhile.

The Melnikovs are heading to Europe for the summer.

We will be spending the bulk of our time in Estonia with Norbert's family (where he was born and raised), but we are also planning on packing in a good bit of sight-seeing and visiting family and friends around Europe.

We will be leaving a week from tomorrow, BUT our shop will NOT be closed.
It is going to stay open for the two months that we are gone.
We have, over the last few months, worked hard at creating an inventory that my parents will ship out for us as orders come in. Norbert and I will remain very connected online through emails, convos, facebook, and yes, my blog! 

We will also have a few shop updates while we are gone.
Lots of stones and one of a kind pieces only.
So, there will be a lot going on even though we will be residing over the pond.

We have been insanely busy!
We've been telling ourselves that we will look forward to getting on that plane and breathing a deep sigh of relief, but I can't tell you how freaking excited we are.

So there is one more very important thing to note:
Although we have created an inventory it will still be limited compared to normal.

There will be no rings or made to order bracelets starting tomorrow.
The shop will change to what is in-stock only.

So, if you have been eyeing something, now is the time to snatch it up because many items will be removed until we return.

Okay! With that said, here are a few process shots in the studio from the past week...

Coin earrings - ready for earwires and final buffing 

Sleeping Beauty stones set - ready for final buffing

Prepping wires for balling the ends that will eventually turn into earwires...

The center part of the Centre cuff - pre-soldering

Desert bangle - fluxed and ready for soldering

Desert bangles - pre and post sanding....ready for hammering 

Okay, off to pick up the little one from pre-school and then back to work....
See you on the other side :)

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Friday, May 11, 2012


Quick Update:
We are giving a way a pair of Peacock Hoop earrings, this month, over on the facebook page.
Head on over for details....

AND, I have a super important blogpost coming up within the next few days.
You'll get the explanation as to why I've been so crazy busy, lately, and what changes will soon take place.
Check back this weekend!

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