понедельник, 7 апреля 2014 г.

Masha and the Bear Russian Fairytale

 Once upon a time there lived a Grandfather and Grandmother,
and with them was their little grandaughter Masha.

Masha wanted to go into the forest to gather mushrooms.
"Go little grandaughter, only don't get lost!" they said.
Masha walked and walked about the forest and got lost.
Suddenly she saw it, an izba! (a little wooden house)
The little girl went into the izba, but no one was there.
"Who lives here?" "Where is the owner?" she called.
But in that izba lived a big bear!!

In the evening he returned home, saw Masha and was so happy!
"You will live with me now."
"You will stoke my stove,"
"You will make my porridge,"
"You will feed me porridge,"
"I will never let you go!"

Masha began living in the bear's izba.
In the morning the bear went to gather food in the forest.
"You don't go anywhere!"he said.
"And if you run away, I will catch you, and eat you up!"

Masha began to think, how could she get away from the bear?
The forest was all around, and she didn't know the way home.
Masha thought and thought and thought some more.

She baked some pies and put them in a great big basket.
"Bear, please let me have a day off so I can go into the village." she said.
"I want to take these pies to Grandmother and Grandfather."
"No, I will take the pies myself" said the bear.
"On the way, don't open the basket," warned Masha.
"Don't eat the pies,"
"I will be in a tall tree in the forest,"
"I will see everything you do!"
"alright." answered the bear.

Masha laid the pies in the basket.
"Go outside to look to see if it's raining." she told him.
The bear went outside, and Masha climbed into the basket.
She put the big plate with the pies on her head.
The bear came back in, picked up the basket and went to the village.

The bear walked and walked through the forest and got tired.
"I will sit on this stump and eat the pies." he said.
"Don't sit on the stump,"
"Don't eat the pies,"
"Take them to Grandmother,"
"Take them to Grandfather!" shouted Masha.

The bear looked up at the trees.
Masha is sitting high up in the tree, she sees everything! he thought.

The bear walked into the village.
"Open up quickly, I have brought pies to you from Masha!" he called.
The dog saw the bear and ran straight at him!
The bear was frightened, dropped the basket, and ran into the forest.

Grandfather and grandmother came out, opened the basket, and there was Masha!
Grandfather and grandmother rejoiced,
they began hugging and kissing Masha, and calling her a clever girl!


понедельник, 3 марта 2014 г.

Our "Working" Vacation to Russia

So..last month we went to Russia to see our family and,in the same time looking for new merchandises for our store" Click here "and  new collaborations.
It was a nice trip,interesting and with some good results :).
Our first stop was in Moscow .On Arbat street you can find and Dunkin Donuts & Wendy's, Starbucks and other. In one word: a little USA in Moscow :).

Our next and the last stop was in Saint Petersbrug.This winter we was a little disappointed because we did not find any snow but happy to see our families.
We had a great time there,spending our days in museums like "Hermitage","Ecaterina's Palace","Church of the Savior on Blood",watching Russian Ballet at Mariinsky Theatre  and more other interesting things.
Hermitage Museum

Ekaterina's Palace

Ecaterina's Dress (made from paper)
Church of the Savior on Blood
Our Moms
And "the cherry on top of the cake" was our visit in a Matryoshka WorkShop.
Our visit was unforgotten.We had a really pleasure to be in that place wich is wonderful,unique,where you can find talented and nice people.Thanks,Olga Smirnova for your hospitality!
And also,Russian Dolls Boutique is the first store in USA that sells their unique,collectible matryoshka dolls.


We really enjoyed our "working" vacation  :) !!!

четверг, 9 января 2014 г.

Troika-The Russian Symbol

Of Russian origin: Troika

As fast as a bird

Troika is the traditional Russian carriage drawn by a team of three horses harnessed abreast. It has become a symbol of Russia and is widely employed in folkloric scenes, movies (such as Doctor Zhivago), paintings and literature.
It first appeared in the 18th century and was mainly used for postal services, for transporting passengers (mainly for long distances) and later in festivities such as weddings. The Russian troika is known for its high speed (up to 50 kilometers an hour) and was often compared to a flying bird.
The high speed was possible due to the special training and arrangement of the horses at the carriage. The horse in the middle, called the shaft horse, trots and acts like a locomotive, while the tracers - the horses on its sides – maintain a brisk gallop. This method of arranging the horses became popular not only for speed, but also for endurance, good cargo capacity, maneuverability and safety; a three-horse carriage was much more stable than the two-horse carriage widely used in Europe.

Special breed of drivers and horses

Driving a troika required special skills. Those wishing to become troika drivers had to be trained from a young age and be physically fit; the arms of the driver sometimes had to endure up to 50 kilograms of weight while trying to maneuver the horses. The special arrangement of horses also allowed the driver to control the load on each horse.

At a certain point the driver could lash one side horse so that it would run faster and let the other rest. The profession of
troika coachman was hereditary and prestigious among peasants. Coachmen were also exempt from capitation tax.
Not only the drivers needed special training – but the horses did too. The Orlov Trotter, the most famous breed of horse developed in Russia, was considered to be the best troika horse because of its long stride, speedy trot, stamina, and at the same time, beauty and elegance.

The breed was named after its developer, Aleksey Orlov, and usually only very rich people could afford the animals. Sometimes Orlov Trotters were given as Russian state gifts to foreign officials.

Troika bells

As the troika became widespread, the creation of special signals to regulate troika traffic became necessary as they ran at very high speeds, especially postal troikas, and there were no traffic rules at that time. Sound signals were developed to let the personnel at the next postal station know when the troika was approaching, so that they could prepare fresh trotter horses.
Peter the First  tried to implement the European practice of using horns, however the coachmen preferred to send out a deafening whistle. However, this kind of warning was later banned and replaced by shaft-bow bells, which became an integral part of the famous Russia troika. The Valdai bells were particularly famous, producing a clear "singing" sound so that some even compared the Russian troika to a musical instrument.

A troika was usually accompanied by about 100 bells, on the bridle, on the saddle and inside the many harness brushes. The singing of the many bells, some in minor, others in major, combined with the sound of hooves running, created a unique melody, pleasing to the ears. But troikas were also a joy for the eyes with their richly decorated harnesses and bows adorned with painting and fretwork.

Troika races

With the development of railways, the troika was no longer used in postal services. It was still used during special festivities, such as weddings and also became a sport. competitions were extremely popular in Russia in the middle of the 19th century, especially during winter.

The first competitions were held at the Moscow hippodrome in the 1840s. In 1911 the Russian
Troika was showcased in the World Exhibition in London. However in the 1990s the interest in troikas declined to a point that even the existence of such a carriage was under threat of disappearance.
Thanks to a group of enthusiasts led by Alla Polzunova, the greatest female troika racer during the Soviet era, the sport didn't die and is now making a comeback. Troika competitions have been initiated in such cities as Yaroslavl, Kostrom, Vologda and Moscow. Competitions have also been organized in France, at the event "Russian Days in France." Since 2000, Russian troikas regularly participate in the "Russian Days in France" and the "French Days in Russia" annual cultural events.
The word troika (which means “threesome” in Russian) is also used to describe a trio of three individuals, such as political or historical figures.

Teremok (Little Hut) Russian Fairytale

Click here to buy this doll!

Once upon a time, a little fly built a tower in the forest. A flea jumped by, saw the tower and knocked on the door:
"Who is it that lives in this nice tall tower?"
"I, the little fly, and who are you?"
"I am the buzzing mosquito. Come live with me!" And a little field mouse ran by and knocked on the door, "Who is it that lives in this nice tall tower?"
"I, the little fly."
"I, the buzzing mosquito, and who are you?"
"I am the little field mouse."
"Come live with us!" And a croaking frog hopped by and knocked on the door, "Who is it that lives in this nice tall tower?"
"I, the little fly."
"I, the buzzing mosquito."
"And I, the little field mouse, and who are you?"
"I am a croaking frog."
"Come live with us!" And a nervous rabbit bounced by and knocked on the door, "Who is it that lives in this nice tall tower?"
"I, the little fly."
"I, the buzzing mosquito."
"I, the little field mouse."
"And I, the croaking frog, and who are you?"
"I am a nervous rabbit."
"Come live with us!" And a sly fox ran by and knocked on the door, "Who is it that lives in this nice tall tower?"
"I, the little fly."
"I, the buzzing mosquito."
"I, the little field mouse."
"I, the croaking frog."
"And I, the nervous rabbit, and who are you?"
"I am a sly fox."
"Come live with us!" And a gray wolf came by and knocked on the door, "Who is it that lives in this nice tall tower?"
"I, the little fly."
"I, the buzzing mosquito."
"I, the little field mouse."
"I, the croaking frog."
"I, the running rabbit."
"I, the sly fox, and who are you?"
"I am a gray wolf."
"Come live with us!" So they lived happily in the little tower.
Then a big bear came by and roared, "Who is it that lives in this nice tall tower?"
"I, the little fly."
"I, the buzzing mosquito."
"I, the little field mouse."
"I, the croaking frog."
"I, the running rabbit."
"I, the sly fox."
"I, the gray wolf, and who are you?"
"I am the big bear."
"Well, come on in!"
The bear tried to climb into the tower, but no matter how he tried, he just didn't fit.
"I think it would be better if I lived on the roof."
"You will squash us all!"
"No, I won't!" The bear sat down on the roof, and smashed the little tower. All of the other animals managed to jump out of the tower, and went back to the forest to live.

вторник, 3 декабря 2013 г.

The Story of Russian Lacquer Boxes

Lacquer boxees are,perhaps,the most exquisite of all Russian art.They are hand painted with almost flawless technique in a tradition that goes back to Peter the Great and can only be described as masterpieces.
On them are painted scenes from fairy tales,legends,history and great work of art.Often these scenes are so finely detailed that thy are painted with a brush of only a few hairs and requie a magnifying glass for their execution.The scenes are ones one would expect to find only on large canvases,yet they are rendered on box surfaces of only a few square inches.For this reason,lacquer boxes are often called miniatures.

 The four great schools of Russian Lacquer Art

They are four schools of Russian lacquer art that you can collect.Named after the villages north of Moscow in which they developed,they are Fedoskino,Palekh,Mstiora and Kholui.Each school has its own distinctive style and charateristics.Some people concentrate on collecting boxes of a favorite school;others want a representation of each.

Fedoskino,the oldest,traces its roots to the late 18h century when lacquer snuff boxes were made in the village for grandees.It often takes its inspiration from classical Russian paintings,folk scenes,troika races and great persons.Its colors are usually subdued,its paints are oil and its representations are realistic.Artists in the Fedoskino school often adopt the striking technique f painting on gold and silver foil,mother-of-pearl and malachite with translucent paints which allow the effect of these materials to show through.

Palekh was an ancient center for painting icons which to this day adorn the churches and great cathedrals of Russia.But when thecommunists came after the revolutin in 1917 they prohibited the painting of religious motifs.Thus becoming unemployed,Palekh artists turned to painting lacquer miniatures adopting themes from poetry,legends,fairy tales and contemporary life.Instead of oils,Palekh artists paint with egg tempera.Their colors are bright and vibrant rather than subdued.Their human figures are somewhat elongated and their paintings are bordered with gold filigree.

Mstera artists also paint with tempera.And,like Palekh artists,they also paint scenes from poetry and fairy tales and adorn their boxes with gold filigree.Their colors are lighter and less contrasting than those of Palekh.

Kholui,like Palekh,was an old center for painting icons.As in Palekh,its artists ceased to paint icons after revolution.And ike Palekh and Mstera artists,Kholui artists paint with egg tempera.Unlike them,however,they are less bound by convention and exercise more freedom of expression.

среда, 27 ноября 2013 г.

My Mother's Apple Pie for Thanksgiving Day!

This was my mother's apple pie recipe. It will always be my favorite,i was growing with and I decidet to bake it for Thanksgiving day!

For Russian Nesting Dolls click Here!

For 8 inch round baking pan, you will need:
1 cup of sugar,
1 cup of all purpose flour,
3 large eggs,
1 teaspoon of baking powder,
1 tablespoon of vinegar,
1-2 large granny smith apples,

Put in a big bowl eggs and sugar.

 Mix with hand mixer until the mixture becomes foamy and pale yellow. Sugar should be almost dissolved.

Add the flour and baking powder. 

Mix it again until the batter is smooth.

Wash the apples, cut them into big chunks removing apple hearts. I cut the apple into teeny pieces, just because I prefer smaller bits of apple throughout.

Place the apple chunks in the batter, and mix the mixture with spoon or silicon spatula until all apples are covered with the batter.
When we finish,add few pieces of apple on the top.

Grease baking pan and sprinkle with flour. Bake it in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. 
Bon Appetit!

"Herring Under Fur Coat"-Russian Salat

 Getting prepared for Thanksgiving day with a russian salat  "Herring Under Fur Coat",,because all my friends love it. :)
To prepare russian herring salad, “Herring Under Fur Coat”, you need to have whole salted herring. And of course you need to know how to fillet it, so read this post if you don’t.
Herring Under Fur Coat is a word-to-word translation of russian name of this salad: “Seledka pod Shuboj”, which represents salted herring under a “coat” of boiled vegetables. So, as you’ve probably guessed, you will also need boiled vegetables (potatoes, carrots and beats) and green onions. In the rest, this is 5-layers salad with a lot of mayonnaise.
This salad requires some time and agility to assemble it, also it needs at least 12 hours for layers to soak after it is assembled. So make sure you have enough time before you plan to serve it.
for Nesting Dolls go Here


  • 1 big or 2 small whole herrings (pickled with a salt)
  • a piece onion
  • 1 big potato
  • 3-4 middle size carrots
  • 3 medium size beets
  • Mayonnaise
1.Prepare ingredients: boil carrots, potatoes and beets for salad, let them cool till room temperature and and skin; fillet salted herrings

2.Dice herring fillets (and pick bones if you see any)

3.Add chopped green onions as third layer and dress with mayonnaise

4.Grate boiled potato on big slots of grater and form round layer in the middle of the plate (make sure you have about 2 inches left till the edges of the plate):
5.Dress layer of grated potato with mayonnaise (yes, you need liquid mayo which is easy to pour):

6.Cover whole thing with an even layer of boiled carrots grated on big slots, use your hands to form the shape:
7.Spread mayonnaise on the surface:

8.Cover whole thing with an even layer of boiled eggs grated on big slots

9.Spread mayonnaise on the surface:
10.Cover whole thing with an even layer of boiled beets grated on big slots:
11.And again cover it with mayonnaise
12. On desire you can cover with am layer of boiled egg yolks grates on small slot:
13.Let salad to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, after put it to the fridge. Prepare this salad in advance, it needs at least several hours of “rest” after assembled so layers can soak juices of each other and mayonnaise. I usually prepare this salad night before I am planning to serve it:

Bon Appetit!