Guest post by Mr. Wanderlust

Several years ago, we wrote a post to explain the process behind our wooden creations. Since the recent unveiling of our Sea Turtle Collection, we have been pleased to welcome new clients to our website. In addition to our earlier post, we would like to walk you through the process of making each wooden turtle pendant.

We are pleased to donate 20% of the sale of each item from our Sea Turtle Collection to Sea Turtle Conservancy, the world’s oldest sea turtle research and conservation group.

I usually work in the evenings after my 9-5 job, karate lessons, clean-up at home, and the Wanderlust Juniors’ bedtime, so there is not much time left before I myself have to head to bed. Still, I make the most of every spare minute.

 

Day 1:

Once I know what design I want, I choose the wood. I have a variety of wood in my collection, in all shapes and sizes. While some of the lumber I use is already cut to a specific suitable thickness, other wood comes in logs or blocks that have to be sliced (or ripped) with a bandsaw to achieve a workable thickness. For this particular piece, I chose to use Yellowheart.

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So many choices! Black Limba; Cocobolo; Wenge; Purpleheart, and Yellowheart. All our wood is obtained from sustainable sources. For every item sold, a tree is planted. We believe in giving back to the earth more than we take away.

This piece of wood was larger than I needed it to be, so I cut it into a workable piece slightly bigger than the final piece. The remaining wood was reserved for another project. No waste here!

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Seven holes were drilled and then it’s off to the scroll saw.

The thin blades of the scroll saw reciprocate up and down. I guided the wood onto a very thin blade and maneuvered it around to cut out the design. The blade I use is very thin (0.008 inches thick) and can break easily if the wood is pushed too hard or too fast against it. For each of the holes, the blade has to be dismounted, looped through the hole and remounted onto the scroll saw. The cutting here takes time, as the walls between the cut segments are thin and can break if one is not careful.

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Once the holes are cut out, the turtle shell starts to take place. Next, it’s time to glue on a backing and let it dry overnight.

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Day 2:

Once the backing is dry, I return to the scroll saw once more to cut the outside shape of the turtle.

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Next, I choose the inlay. Anything can be used as inlay, but I like to work with crushed stone, metal, glow-in-the-dark material, and crushed shell. For this pendant, I used crushed shell of different colours. I temporary blocked all the holes, leaving one exposed, and then carefully filled it with the inlay material. This process was repeated for the remaining holes, working one at a time. I then filled everything with a low-viscosity epoxy. Once the inlay is in, it’s time to let the inlay cure overnight.

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Day 3:

Once the inlay is solid, it’s time for the next stage: sanding, sanding, sanding and more sanding. For this, I used a variety of files, sanding pads and power sanding tools. Starting with 80 or 150 grit (depending on the density of the wood) and working up to up to 1500 grit makes the pendant smoother and smoother as it takes the final shape.

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In the middle of sanding at about 400 to 600 grit, I drilled the hole for the eye in which I placed the finding to which to attach the necklace chain or cord.

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Once the hole had been cut, I continued hand-sanding and shaping until the pendant was ready for the next step. Once satisfied with the sanding, I applied the first layer of natural oil onto the pendant. The oil slowly penetrates the wood and adds luster. I wiped off the excess after about an hour and left the rest to sit overnight.

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Days 4, 5, 6

Each day, I applied a coat of natural oils onto the surface and wiped the excess after letting it rest for at least an hour. This process is necessary to allow the oil to build up for a long and lasting shine. I need to wait about a day between layers, so this process adds time to the work. I do not coat my pendants with lacquers or any hard curing top-surface treatment because such treatments can wear off after the piece has been worn and handled. I like to keep the wood natural. I have noticed that the more I rub or handle the pendants coated with multiple layers of oil, the shinier they become over time.

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Patience! The pieces are awaiting the next layer of oil.

 

Day 7

Almost ready!

After about four (oh yes!) layers of natural oil, the pendant was buffed using a high-speed linen buffing wheel.

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I added the hardware and took a few photos of the finished piece before adding it to our website

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So there you have it. This is how a piece of wood is turned into a beautiful pendant in one week. I hope I have answered any questions you might have about how each piece is created.

If you have additional questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.

Thank you for reading,

Mr. Wanderlust (Pawel)

 

 

 

Does it not feel as though this year is just zooming right past us? Here we are, in October, and just this evening, as I was putting my summer clothes away for the colder months, I realized how quickly the seasons appear to be transitioning this year. Thankfully, Pawel and I were able to make the most of the summer months, starting with backyard barbecue dinners in early May, camping during the last weekend in May, and many other interesting daytrips and getaways all through until the end of August. And although the month of October is my favourite month of the fall season, I know that it, too, will make a swift grand exit. Hey, at least we’ll get to say goodbye while dressed in costume!

Since this is one of my favourite months of the year, I am determined to make the most of it. I will continue to explore all the luxuries of this beautiful golden month; I will continue to create; and I will seek to be inspired every day in order to inspire others. It feels as though this year has been a roller coaster ride for many, and we all deal with challenges. Yet, I want to make life sweeter. Every day. Who’s coming with me?

To go along with the above theme, I will share with you a recipe for a fantastic sweet and heart-warming soup. I first experimented with this soup two winters ago and its simple and delicious flavour brought me home to comfort.

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Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Ingredients:

2 medium-large sweet potatoes or yams

1 tbsp butter or ghee (to make the soup vegan, you may use EVOO or coconut oil)

1 large white or yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 medium carrots, chopped

7 cups vegetable stock or water

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 bay leaves

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

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Method:

1. Wash and bake the sweet potatoes for about an hour at 350F (preheated oven). Using a fork, pierce the potatoes to ensure that they are soft enough. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool before peeling them and chopping into 1-inch cubes.

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2. In a heavy-bottom cooking pot, melt the butter / ghee / oil on medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook for a few minutes on medium heat, until golden and soft.

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3. Add the chopped sweet potato and carrots to the pot and continue cooking for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in the salt, turmeric, bay leaves, and cinnamon (if using). Continue cooking for another minute, stirring constantly.

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5. Add the vegetable stock or water and bring to a boil. Then, cover the pot and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.

6. Allow the soup to cool. Then, discard the bay leaves, and puree in batches in a standing blender or use an immersion blender. The consistency should be completely smooth.

7. Serve and enjoy!

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I served this soup for lunch last week with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds. On the side are two mini pitas with avocado and sea salt on top, with baby spinach, homemade sour cabbage and carrot slaw, and a drizzle of EVOO.


 

Come visit us!

Pawel and I are thrilled to have a booth at the Fall Made by Hand Show on October 18th and 19th at the International Centre, Mississauga. We will showcase our wooden jewellery, wine bottle stoppers, and belt buckles.

If you are in the Toronto area, visit this wonderful show to purchase unique handmade products. It’s a great opportunity to start your Christmas shopping early. We will be at booth 110 and look forward to meeting many of our clients there.

Best wishes for a colourful and sweet first week of October,

Katia

Dharma Wanderlust

 

It all started with a creative writing exercise during which I was asked to write a vignette about my hair. Sitting at my sewing machine table that doubles as a writing desk, I smiled to myself as I typed the first words of my personal hair story. Here was a Pandora’s box, opened wide. At the time of writing the story, I was determined to let my hair grow. I wasn’t going to touch it until mid-December, when I was planning to return to a salon for a simple trim that would keep me looking presentable and avoid the awkward in-between stage that is inevitable with the growing out of hair. For a reminder of how my hair looked a week ago, refer back to last week’s post.

My hair and I have been the best of friends and we have been sworn enemies. A few times, I painstakingly grew my hair long only to get bored with it, walk into a salon and confidently say to a stunned hairstylist standing behind me and facing me in the mirror, “Just chop it off!” Okay, maybe my words weren’t as bold. Instead, I would sigh and say, demurely, “I think I want to go short again.” It feels liberating to have the old hair drift onto the sleek hardwood floor. There is something akin to a feeling of true pleasure as I would take a deep breath, look at my reflection in the mirror and realize how fantastic my hair looks. After each dramatic transformation, it looked — and felt — like a different person was gazing back at me. I would walk out of the salon, standing a bit taller, and catch myself constantly bringing my hand up to my freshly cut hair to play with my new short style.

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The last time my hair was long, in September 2011. This photo was taken in San Francisco.

And then, I would get bored with it. Suddenly, everywhere around me were images of gorgeous women with luscious long locks. Long hair envy. That’s what it is. Likewise, after years of growing my hair, I would get that old familiar pang upon seeing a pretty gamine pixie cut on someone who looks perfectly chic. I would turn to the person next to me (usually Pawel) and say, “Oh, I really want to get my hair cut short again.”

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This is what my hair looked like on most days, as I would wear it tied back in a bun. Nothing to write home about.

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And one more photo from that SF trip, just because I’m feeling nostalgic. See what I mean? Boring, pulled-back hair.

Each journey to growing my hair has been long and arduous, taking years. My first short haircut, in 2004, was inspired by Meg Ryan’s hair in You’ve Got Mail. In 2008, I decided to get a chin-length cut on a whim. Unfortunately, I went to a terrible new salon and the hairstylist was a bit over-enthusiastic when I told her I’m comfortable with having my hair cut short, so I ended up with a shorter style than I had expected to see. Nevertheless, I loved it. And in 2011, I did it again with an inverted bob, donating 10 inches of my hair to be made into a wig. Since then, I have been attempting to grow it, only to get bored with it once my hair reached a shoulder-length bob style.

Long hair is easy to hide on a bad day when we don’t have much time to style it. On most days, I would wear my hair in a ponytail or wrapped in a bun. Short hair is practically impossible to hide, especially on a humid summer day when I leave the yoga studio following a sweaty class looking every bit like a mad scientist, with curls sticking out in every direction. And yet, short hair is easier to style and looks fabulous with a great cut. So, what to choose? That was my embarrassing inner dialogue, and yes, I will confess — blushing all the while — to thinking about my hair too frequently, obsessively.

So, I decided to step into my grown-up shoes and make a decision about my in-between hair. I called the salon and booked an appointment.

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Et voila! The result is a pixie cut that I personally am very happy with.

So, I will keep my hair short for the next while and enjoy it to a hilt (an expression that I will shamelessly confess to have adopted from Audrey Hepburn). Thankfully, Pawel has gotten accustomed to my hair antics and is no longer shocked by my inch-long hair. At the end of the day, it’s just hair and I love to feel great.

***

Last week, we shared with you a recipe for our butternut squash and apple soup. This week, the apple theme continues…

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While I was growing up, my mom, who is an excellent chef but doesn’t enjoy baking all that much, would sometimes get the baking bug and make a rustic apple cake. She passed on the recipe to me, and it’s actually a simple traditional Russian recipe for an apple cake that goes beautifully with tea on a chilly Autumn evening. We made a few substitutions to the original ingredients.

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APPLE CAKE

Ingredients:

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2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup coconut sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk (almond milk would also be great in this recipe)

1/2 cup butter, melted (feel free to use coconut oil)

3 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (be sure to use tart apples that will remain firm while baking)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Melt the butter in a saucepan and use a small amount of the butter to grease a baking pan (we used a pan that is 8 by 10 inches in size).

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2. Whisk the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, sea salt and cinnamon in a bowl.

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3. Whisk the eggs, milk and melted butter together in a separate bowl.

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4. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then, stir in the chopped apples.

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5. Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake on the middle rack for approximately 30 minutes or until the cake appears golden-brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

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6. Allow the cake to cool. Slice and serve with a cup of your favourite tea.

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Enjoy!

***

Over the past weekend, Pawel finished this beautiful piece, inspired by the goddess Pele.

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Both Pawel and I are big fans of mythology from different places around the world. The story of the Volcano goddess Pele is truly fascinating. And really, who isn’t interested in the magic of volcanoes? Right?

Do you have a story about your hair that you would like to share with us? How about a favourite recipe that features apples? Or, you can simply let us know what you think of the Pele piece, or any other material from this week’s blog post.

Have a great week!

Katia

Dharma Wanderlust

In Southern Ontario, Autumn is in full swing. And we love it. Unfortunately, like many of our friends, we have also been affected by the cold virus. That’s something that can happen with the changing of the seasons.

Now that we are mostly feeling better, we have been going outside every day to enjoy the changing landscape and enjoy the crisp chill in the air. Apple-picking is a favourite fall activity for our family. The boys always get a thrill out of running through the orchard and choosing the juiciest apples they can find. So, on Sunday, we dressed warmly and headed to our favourite organic orchard to pick apples.

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Upon returning home with our delicious bounty, I was filled with inspiration to get in the kitchen and cook something seasonal and heart-warming. More on that below.

In Ayurveda, the fall season is governed by Vata, which is composed of ether and air. It’s no surprise that for many of us, this season also signifies the start of the cold virus. The lazy, lingering summer days are rarely strictly structured, keeping us up late at night and encouraging us to take cat naps in the hot and hazy afternoons. The following fall season signifies a complete change in energy. Suddenly, everything moves faster as we try to get back to our regular routine, sometimes anxiously struggling to keep up. This sudden change in routine can be incredibly stressful for the body and the mind.

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As someone with a dominant Vata dosha and a bit of Pitta, I love the fall season for the relief it provides from the humid and hot summer days. However, I get cold very quickly and when it seems to me like most people around me are walking around in September with short-sleeved t-shirts on, I can be seen wearing a cozy sweater. I no longer feel self-conscious about this. I do what I need to do to take care of myself.

What else do I do to take care of myself, following the lessons of Ayurveda for the Vata season? Well, I’m glad you asked. I’ll share with you what I do, and please feel free to borrow these ideas for your own self-care, particularly if your constitution is mostly Vata.

I go to sleep between 9 and 10 p.m. every night and wake up at 5 a.m. This ensures that I get 7-8 hours of sleep on most nights. In the morning, after oil pulling and brushing my teeth, I drink a tall glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice and then exercise for an hour (yoga, cardio, pilates, or weights). After I shower, I do an oil massage before sitting down to have breakfast.

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I eat at approximately the same times every day: breakfast at 7:30 a.m.; lunch at 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.; dinner at 5-5:30 p.m. I consume a lot of healthy oils (avocado, coconut oil, EVOO) and hot, unctuous, mostly liquid foods such as steel-cut oats with cooked apples and cinnamon, soup, vegetable stews, etc. I still eat my greens (kale and spinach are great), but I either sprinkle the leaves on a hot bowl of stew/soup or consume a salad massaged with a lot of oil (see above) immediately prior to eating my soup/stew. I eat cooked/roasted root vegetables with — again — lots of oil. Why is oil consumption so important? The air and ether qualities of Vata mean that during this season, we have a tendency to feel dryness. We need the moisture, both on the surface of the skin and on the inside of the body.

If you, like I do, eat meat occasionally, I would suggest eating salad (at room temperature), followed by lean meat at lunchtime. Our digestion is strongest from 10 a.m. to 1-2 p.m. As such, my substantial meals are breakfast and lunch. Dinner for me is small and simple. Usually, I will have a bowl of soup with a toast of sprouted grains topped with avocado and sea salt. Eating dinner before the sun sets is also ideal, because our digestive system slows down after sundown. Of course, since the sun starts to set earlier these days, it’s best to try to eat dinner at around 5 p.m., if possible.

Interested in additional information on self-care during this season? I love this website and use it frequently as a great resource.

So, to summarize, this is a time to sloooooow down and get grounded, luxuriate under warm blankets, eat grounding food with healthy oil, and get plenty of rest. What about exercise? That, too, should be more grounding at this time. Long walks are excellent, as is a yoga practice with slow, deliberate Vinyasa and standing/balance postures held for a few long breaths. Restorative yoga is excellent right now.

A couple of years ago, shortly after our younger son was born, I felt I needed to get outside and move, but I also craved rest and relaxation to get me through the long days of taking care of our two children. And no, that pattern has not changed. Here is a video I made during that time, a how-to of one of my favourite restorative yoga postures, Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose):

Feel free to use a few blankets and cushions in lieu of the bolsters and blocks, if you do not have those at home. Relax and breathe in the pose for about 10-15 minutes.

So, back to the weekend… Here is what I cooked using butternut squash and the beautiful apples we picked on Sunday:

 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLE SOUP

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We started with a few basic ingredients:

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Then, we chopped the onion and sauteed it with ghee while continuing with the preparation of our apples and butternut squash…

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We reserved the butternut squash seeds and roasted them later on a baking sheet at 300F for about 30 minutes. I didn’t add any oil or sea salt to the seeds this time, but that’s a great option, if it’s the way you like your pumpkin/squash seeds.

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Cook the squash and onions in a large soup pot, and then add the apples, a teaspoon of sea salt, and a teaspoon each of cinnamon and ground turmeric.

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Add enough distilled water to cover the chopped squash and apple, and then top with another 3-4 inches of water. You can use vegetable stock in lieu of the water.

Bring the soup to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes or until the squash is completely tender. Allow to cool a bit before using a blender to create a smooth consistency:

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Yes, our soup was steaming hot while we blended it, simply because we were hungry and our children kept asking when dinner was going to be served. I would highly recommend allowing the soup to cool before blending it.

To serve, we sprinkled the soup with cinnamon, but those roasted seeds were also great. We garnished the soup with the seeds for dinner the following day.

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The ingredients:

1 tbsp ghee (coconut oil or butter can also be used)

1 medium-sized white or yellow onion

1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and chopped, with the seeds reserved for roasting

2 apples (choose firm, tart apples that will hold well together during the cooking process)

1 tsp fine sea salt

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Enough water to cover the chopped squash and apples, plus 3-4 inches on top. An alternative is to add vegetable stock.

Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

***

Our final update is regarding our latest product finishes. We are preparing for the Made by Hand Show and creating new, unique, interesting pendants for you.

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Knitting-inspired pendant, made of Purpleheart wood and crushed shell inlay.

sup red amboyna burl

SUP-inspired pendant, made of Red Amboyna Burl, with turquoise inlay.

mantis purple heart

We do like insects! Praying mantis pendant, made of Purpleheart wood with crushed shell inlay.

As always, please leave a comment to let us know what you think of our new products, this week’s recipe, yoga pose, or about whether you enjoy the fall season as much as we do. If you did take the Dosha quiz (link above), let us know what your Dosha is and how you cope with weather changes.

Until next time, enjoy the week!

Katia

Dharma Wanderlust

 

 

As I mentioned in my previous post, Pawel and I had the pleasure to being a vendor at the Toronto Yoga Conference and Show last weekend. This was our first show since our official launch a year ago. Heading into the show, we kept our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts open to the different possibilities. Generally, we consider ourselves to be open-minded and open-hearted people who love to explore new ideas and can never find enough time in the day for everything about which we’re passionate.

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It also follows that we embarked on a new journey of exploration not even after but during the course of the show. Every evening, while driving home, we discussed the day’s events and shared our ideas. And it just so happened that we each immediately agreed on every single point that the other person raised. How about that for a married couple! 😉

Now, to explain how we arrived at the current entrepreneurial point in the life of Dharma Wanderlust, allow me to backtrack. In 2008, Pawel first started playing with woodworking. He transformed our one-car garage into a workshop, purchased a few machines, and went to work! Pawel started with wood turning, and later started to play with a scroll saw, making puzzles. Our children love to play with the puzzles he made for them!

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He may have just been experimenting, but everyone to whom he showed his work was thoroughly impressed with Pawel’s precision and craftsmanship. I encouraged him to continue working on this new hobby. And of course, he made a few beautiful items for me. 😉 Among my favourites are a gorgeous pen he turned for me, as well as this beautiful vase with three Purpleheart flowers inside:

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This piece travelled with us to the yoga show and many clients asked whether it was available for sale!

And because I’m absolutely obsessed with faeries, this is another gift Pawel made for me:

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To continue my story… About two years ago, Pawel wanted to take his passion for woodworking a step further and created an online shop called Creations from G. This shop allowed him to showcase his creativity. He was already making yoga-inspired jewellery at the time, but he also turned impeccable wine bottle stoppers, and they were highly popular!

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Somewhere along the line, we decided to create Dharma Wanderlust and felt that our clients would be interested in seeing only yoga- and nature-inspired jewellery, as opposed to an entire range of items. So, we put aside our other interests and moved toward jewellery.

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Allow me to be frank and vulnerable here. I have always been a girl of many interests. Even in high school, I spent my free time taking voice and dance lessons, practising yoga and meditation, sketched and painted, designed and sewed clothes (including prom dresses for a few friends), knit, and wrote (I started to do freelance writing when I was still in high school). When it came time to choosing a university major, I was torn between which passion to pursue: fashion design or journalism. I was accepted to both schools, which didn’t make the decision any easier for me. 🙂 I did end up majoring in journalism, but all the while, I continued to knit, dance whenever I could, and spent more and more time focusing on fitness and yoga. Throughout that time, I received a lot of criticism from people who told me that it’s time to choose just one serious occupation, as opposed to ‘dabbling’ in this and that. Those comments affected me more than I realized, became a source of uncertainty and took away from my self-confidence.

So, naturally, when Pawel and I chose to start Dharma Wanderlust, I felt we would not be taken seriously if we were to offer a variety of products.

How wrong I was!!!

Since launching Dharma Wanderlust, we have enjoyed great success and our jewellery is now featured on the retail shelves of local yoga studios. We are proud of our work. In the background, I have continued my personal exploration and have learned to accept my myriad interests. I now know that it’s perfectly okay to continue to pursue various interests at the same time. I wouldn’t want to hold myself and my partner back by restricting our self-expression.

Phew!

At the show last weekend, we came to the realization that our main focus has always been on HANDCRAFTED work, as opposed to jewellery. We are not a jewellery company. We are an artisan business. That is the future of Dharma Wanderlust: handcrafted, unique items made with love.

Photo: We are always growing! We don't believe in staying in one place for too long, settling for what has been tried and tested. We believe in choosing adventure over stagnation. We love to travel, and even when we don't have a chance to pack our bags and go someplace new, we make our own adventure in other ways. Our personalities are multifaceted. We enjoy a variety of books, activities, and our friends would say that we have more hobbies than we can manage. And we're okay with that. Most of those activities involve crafting, working with our hands, and always creating, creating, creating. That is who we are.</p> <p>We put all our love and passion into creating beautiful items for you to enjoy. We have been listening to your suggestions and have combined them with our own interests. The result will be Dharma Wanderlust travelling in a few new directions. We will continue with our yoga line, of course, but will also introduce new items for a wide audience, based on our other interests. </p> <p>So, watch this space!</p> <p>Katia and Pawel<br /> Dharma Wanderlust

As a couple and business partners, we are always growing! We don’t believe in staying in one place for too long, settling for what has been tried and tested. We believe in choosing adventure over stagnation. We love to travel, and even when we don’t have a chance to pack our bags and go someplace new, we make our own adventure in other ways. Our personalities are multifaceted. We enjoy a variety of books, activities, and our friends would say that we have more hobbies than we can manage. And we’re okay with that. Most of those activities involve crafting, working with our hands, and always creating, creating, creating. That is who we are.

We put all our love and passion into creating beautiful items for you to enjoy. We have been listening to your suggestions and have combined them with our own interests. The result will be Dharma Wanderlust travelling in a few new directions. We will continue with our yoga line, of course, but will also introduce new items for a wide audience, based on our other interests and our true passion.

We are currently working to re-design our website and will add MANY additional categories to the existing jewellery line. We are excited about these changes and are looking forward to sharing them with you as soon as they are ready.

Watch this space for updates!

We invited you to send in your questions to us about anything related to our work. So, allow us to answer…

Question: “I saw that you are now making malas. They are stunning! When can I buy one?”

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We have been planning for a while now to start making malas, and we are thrilled to introduce them soon. We are currently working on full-length malas, as well as stacks. Each item will feature one of our unique pendants.

We will officially introduce the malas at the Toronto Yoga Conference and Show, to be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from March 28th to the 30th. We are very excited about joining the show this year and look forward to meeting you there!

Question: “Where do you get the great ideas for the shapes of the wood pendants?”

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Our yoga-and-meditation-inspired pieces are in the shape of a lotus blossom. We love the image of the lotus and its symbolism of purity and clear focus. Other collections were inspired by nature: water, landscapes, sand, canyons, and of course, the bees! Many of our designs are created from the natural shapes and grooves within the pieces of wood we choose to use. We enjoy working with natural ‘imperfections’ of the wood, inlaying the grooves with turquoise or crushed shell. Some pieces of wood we use already look intriguing, so we do not do much to change the original shape of the piece. For example:

Surrender to Dance

The above piece, Surrender to Dance, was simply sanded and polished. And it happens to be available on our site right now!

All these factors contribute to the unique nature of our work. We enjoy one-of-a-kind pieces, and even the ones we reproduce will always be unique in some way, as there are always going to be colour variations in the wood and inlay we use.

Question: “What is it like to be working together as a married couple?”

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Great question! 🙂 To avoid stepping on each other’s toes, we allow each other plenty of space to work separately and then meet to exchange ideas. Because our schedules do not always match, with Pawel working out of the house during the day and with me teaching yoga classes in the evenings, we email each other throughout the day to stay in the loop. While some couples spend their Saturday nights out at dinner-and-movie dates, we wait until the kids are in bed and then sit in the living room, stringing malas! Pawel and I have very different personalities, but we complement each other perfectly, which allows us to work well together.

Question: “What do you eat for breakfast?”

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Chocolate, of course! No, just kidding, though, we have experimented with chocolate making in the past. Hence the photo above. We love to make things with our hands, in case you were wondering. 🙂 Back to the question… Pawel is a cereal-and-milk guy who loves organic cereal by Nature’s Path. I usually have quinoa or steel-cut oats with dried fruit, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds, as well as coconut oil, lots of cinnamon, and hemp seeds or cacao nibs. As a Vata girl, I need my wholesome, heavier breakfast. In the summer, I enjoy smoothies for breakfast. We love our lattes and I alternate coffee with Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and honey.

That’s it for now. Thank you to everyone who sent in their questions! We hope you have enjoyed getting to know us better.

Love,

Katia (Dharma Wanderlust)

Here’s one for all the fans of The Hunger Games trilogy:

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Say what you will about The Hunger Games books and movies, I admire Jennifer Lawrence and her healthy body image. And as a devoted yoga girl who loves to meet healthy, vibrant, beautiful people who are comfortable in their own skin, the above quote is a breath of fresh air.

When Pawel told me about The Hunger Games after having read the books, I was skeptical. But I confess that watching the first film left me intrigued and I’m looking forward to the next installment, opening this weekend.

You may be wondering about the purpose of this post and where it’s leading. Since we, at Dharma Wanderlust, have become fans of THG, we went as far as creating a one-of-a-kind custom mocking jay pendant. Ta-da:

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We usually only make custom-designed pieces by request. So, this is a special necklace that is still waiting for a lucky owner. 🙂 Interested? Contact us for information: info@dharmawanderlust.com

Enjoy the film and make some time this weekend to go outside!

XO Katia (Dharma Wanderlust)

We love bees!

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The Bee Sweet collection was born of our deep concern about the decline of the bee colony. We love the bees, which play a crucial role in the world’s agriculture. We are working to raise awareness of the bee colony decline, which could have a serious negative impact. We hope that the issue can be reversed and, ultimately, resolved. For every item purchased from our Bee Sweet collection, we will donate a percentage to Pollinator Partnership (http://pollinator.org), to fund research and improve the health of the bees. Check out the collection, here.Image

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Meet Pommele Bubinga Muladhara Tree!

The first chakra, or ‘energy wheel’ in the body, is Muladhara, or Root. This chakra is associated with issues related to physical safety, stability, security and confidence. The symbol of the tree, with its roots reaching deep into the earth, reminds us to create a solid foundation and remain grounded in our identity while continuing to reach toward the sun as we learn and grow on our path.

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Pommele Bubinga, or African Rosewood, is red with darker red or purple veins running throughout.

And, just for fun… A bit of sister love, which puts a big smile on my face!

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Helena is wearing the Pommele Bubinga Muladhara Tree necklace, and I’m wearing the Elder Wood Muladhara Tree piece. This is actually quite appropriate, since I am the older sibling!

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This necklace is gorgeous! The colour is soft and simply stunning.

The first chakra, or ‘energy wheel’ in the body, is Muladhara, or Root. This chakra is associated with issues related to physical safety, stability, security and confidence. The symbol of the tree, with its roots reaching deep into the earth, reminds us to create a solid foundation and remain grounded in our identity while continuing to reach toward the sun as we learn and grow on our path.

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Box Elder (Ash Lead Maple, Manitoba Maple, or Elf Maple) wood is light in colour, with orange, red, or salmon-coloured highlights woven throughout.

You’re wondering where to find this gem, aren’t you? We won’t keep you wondering. Head over to our website to shop!

Happy Monday!

XO,

Katia and Pawel (Dharma Wanderlust)