Monday, January 30, 2017

Ear Plugs as a Sign of Inca Noble Status

Inca noblemen wore elaborated jewelry, including bracelets, necklaces, pendants, ear plugs and nostril rings.

Wearing enormous plugs in the lower part of the ear, close to the lobe, was a sign of great status among Inca noblemen. Young noble boys received their first ear piercing and ear plugs during the annual Splendid Festival, when they were first recognized as adults. The materials, colors, and size of man's ear plugs indicated the status. Therefore, these plugs were made as large as possible, and were composed of precious metals and rare stones. By wearing them, the noble men developed stretched ears. The Spanish conquistadors called the Inca nobility "orejones," or "big ears." Within the Inca society, the large ears with ear plugs were considered prestigious.

Many precious metals and stones came from the northern edge of the Inca Empire, the modern-day Columbia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Eastern Heartland Cooking

The grouping of states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois enjoy a common  culinary tradition. The strong patterns of cooking and eating are originated from Dutch, English and German colonist. Men and women across this area depended on the fish and game they found in abundance. They planted incredibly productive farms and orchards. Their cooking was enriched by the diverse styles and tastes of the new wave of immigrants who followed them. All these elements combined gave the foundation to archetypal American food, or what in France would be called the country's cuisine bourgeois. The Eastern Heartland cooking is stick-to-the-ribs stuff, more plain than fancy, given the roots to substantial meat dishes, dumplings, breads, pies.

There is a range of foods in the region, from the sea-food, and  shellfish native to Long Island's waters, to the corn-and-pork sturdiness of the Pennsylvania Dutch, Indiana and Illinois farm kitchens, to the wonderful fish and game of Michigan's forests. It is a region where country cooking flourishes at its most impressive - but it is also the region that through the influence of two of its cities, Quaker Philadelphia and polyglot New York, taught the entire country how to enjoy the finest sophistications of the table.

Photography: Ida Tomshinsky, 2016

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Bookend: An Essay

What happens when you are removed from the frontier life? You become a bookend. You support the bookshelves of books to be open and read. You always wished to have more time to finish the 'list of books' that accumulated for many years. You always dream to escape to the quite reading room, the chair under the palm tree or the bench in the park.  Instead, you are reading remotely. What we learn that accessibility matters to ensure a good online reading experience.

Meantime, it is time to rethink how our physical books stored. We need a quick solution for overloaded bookshelves, small piles of books - under the table, at the small night table at the bed, and other multiphase places around the house. It could be even used the simple idea to join them all together in one collection by lifting them and transporting within the house. There so many ways for self-satisfaction: to read them for the first time, to read the again and experience all the emotions and fillings again (nothing wrong with it), to donate my books to the appropriate library (let other people to enjoy them), to sell them at the garage-sale (do we sell our best-friends?), and be happy that your books find a better home.

The bookend itself is an important item in the household: it is creative and functional in the same time. The bookend brings the support to keep books and their knowledge in one space capacity; and where is knowledge, there are winners, expending the notion of reading and literacy to successfully bit the ignorance.     

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


I looked at my bracelet-
No any beginning, neither the end.
Just a simple circle of life.
Does my bracelet placed to lit?
Does my bracelet reside in to lead?
It has a purpose as any wearable art
To warm up the heart
From the dusty memories of the past.
Let me follow the circle of brass
That does not have any rust.
Look, it was lit -
It leads with its powerful bead.
Ida Tomshinsky, 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Each Bracelet Has a Story

The memories will never be gone. They are evolved around someone’s right wrist. Each bracelet has a story. The souls live in each bracelet. The jewelry designers used their professional skills, the gift-givers put their unconditional love “to wear a bracelet on the arm by night and by day.” Sometimes, bracelets become symbols of whom people love and would it matter how these bracelets look? Each bracelet is a treasure of cultural heritage, inspiration, and beauty.

“To me my Julia lately sent
A bracelet richly redolent:
The beads I kissed, but most lov’d her
That did perfume the pomander.”

“Here is the bracelet
For good little May
To wear on her arm
By night and by day.”
Louisa May Alcott