Sunday, February 26, 2017

Amethyst, February birthstone

Amethyst is a semiprecious stone and the February birthstone. It occurs in beautiful hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple. The ancient Greeks believed the stone can prevent intoxication so amethystos means “not drunk” in ancient Greek.

Amethyst is a beautiful stone therefore there are many stunning jewelry pieces made of it. Just take a look at our Russian Artists team members' amethyst  modern and vintage creations, we are sure you will like some or all of them!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Candied lemon peel recipe

This is one of my favorite recipes for a winter sweet treats. I had lots of lemons this winter and was looking for an easy way to store them for future use.
So I froze the juice and used the peel to make a candied lemon peel. All you need is sugar, water and of course, a lemon peel ( I am using a lemon Meyer one and just love how thin and fragrant the skin is).
 Here is how I made it:
1. Clean your lemons with warm water and wipe them dry. Cut in half horizontally and juice them, using citrus juicer. Strain the juice through fine mesh colander and pour into prepared ice cube trays. Save the peel.
2. Cut the half lemon peel into quarters. With a flexible knife, remove the inner white lining and discard it. Cut the lemon peel into long skinny strips. Pack it in the prepared measuring cup (I am using 2-cup measuring cup as a measure) .

3. Heat 4 cups of water until it boils. Add 2 cups packed lemon peel, reduce the heat and cook about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the peel with a slotted spoon and set aside.

4. Add 4 cups of sugar to the water, increase the heat and cook until the sugar dissolve, constantly stirring. Add the peel, boil about 1-2 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring from time to time.

5. Remove the peel out of the syrup with a slotted spoon and transfer it on to prepared cookies trays lined with a parchment paper.

6. Let it air dry for a couple of days. I am tossing mine from time to time to make sure it will dry well. If it feels dry enough, it's time to store it.

I am using a glass jar with a vacuum seal and storing my candied peel in the refrigerator. The leftover syrup can be used also so I just sealed it in jars and put it the refrigerator.

Recipe and photos by Tanya agardencottage

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Garnet, January birthstone

Garnet is the January birthstone which has been used to make gorgeous jewelry pieces since the Bronze Age. It comes in many colors but the most common is deep red.

Take a look at garnet jewelry our team members has to offer at their shops today. Beautiful, isn't it?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Shortbread cookies recipe

January is the perfect time to bake. It is so cold outside that we crave comfort food. We at the Russian Artists Team love to share good ideas so here is a great recipe of delicate shortbread cookies made using an embossed rolling pin. You can buy a pin like this on Etsy or use your regular one if you want your cookies plain.
The recipe and photos were provided by our team member, Tetyana Otruta ( ).

Ingredients for basic recipe*:
200 gr unsalted butter, softened
150 gr powdered sugar
1 medium egg
390 gr all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

* If you'd like to make your cookies chocolate flavored, add 30 gr. of cocoa but reduce the flour (the same amount 30 gr). Add an orange or lemon zest from 1 fruit to make them citrus flavored.

How to make them:
Beat the butter with a sugar until creamy. Add the egg and flavor, if using (orange zest or cocoa), then add a flour. The dough will be soft so wrap it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about an hour. Roll out the dough with your regular pin 5-6mm thick, then use your embossed one. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and place them to a freezer for several minutes before baking them.

Preheat the oven to 375'F. Transfer the cookies to parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake for about 5 to 7 minutes.

Holiday exchange 2016

Yearly holiday gift exchange has become a tradition for our team. Last year 19 team members from 8 countries  participated in this fun event. There were 7 team members from Russia, 3 from USA, 2 from Latvia, Bulgaria and Israel (each) and 1 from Iceland, Ukraine and Check Republic (each)

Every participant was assigned a person to whom she (he) anonymously gives a gift. Participants also did not know from whom they will receive a present so it was a lot of fun to unwrap those packages. Albina Manning (aroundbeads) was the hostess for this event.

So let us show you the chain of Holiday gifts of 2016! (to enlarge the picture, click on it, right click View image)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Winter Holidays gift exchange 2016

It's time for Russian Artists Team's holidays gift exchange! Please hurry, the applications are accepted until November 13 only. Visit our forum for details.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Featured artists: Olga Gogole, graphic designer and illustrator

Russian Artists Team on Etsy has so many talented artists. We love to introduce them to our readers and share their stories. So today, please welcome Olga Gogole, graphic designer and illustrator from OlgaGogole shop. Visit her shop, you will love her art as much as we do.

Here is her story:

 I am Olga Gogole from Latvia. I am 36 years old, and I have been drawing all my life. Putting together the years in art school, art classes and art academy, I spent at least 16 years perfecting the skills. I adored drawing even back in kindergarten, using every piece of paper I could find. I remember my teacher told my mom that it might be worth considering showing me to a psychologist J

I certainly had my moments of creative stagnation when I wanted to abandon it all and start something totally new. Sometimes it was unclear where to head and what I want to do next. I aspired to get higher education in arts, but it seemed like an impossible dream at times. Eventually, with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, I made the dream come true, and finished Latvian Art academy, majoring in graphic design. Higher education in Latvia is of very good quality, but it is full-time attendance only, so there was no chance to have a regular-hours job during the studies. As they say, there are only 24 hours in a day, but there is also the night J During my first year at the academy, I founded the graphic design company. I studied during the day and drew posters, logos, leaflets, designed corporate style for the clients at nights. My company will celebrate 10 years anniversary next year.

I certainly did a lot more graphic design in the early years of my professional development, as well as worked as full-time packaging designer for a large cosmetics producer “Dzintars”. Later on in my career, I increasingly turned to illustration. Sometimes I draw for my own pleasure, and I love when the works end up light and positive, in one go. I like when people buy my ready-made works, not the pre-ordered ones – this means that they like them as they were intended, the way I see them and that buyers relate to my perception and the mood I was in when creating the piece.

After the birth of my son, life certainly changed. Thanks to my child, I started focusing on illustrations for children and collect children books illustrated by famous artists, frequently when visiting bookstores on my trips abroad. 

Olga Gogole,
Graphic designer and illustrator.

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