Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bloggy Birthday and Giveaway!


    Hello there dear friends!

This weekend marks my Gypsy blog's first birthday,  and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you!

When I embarked on my journey into blog land, it felt like jumping in the ocean without a life jacket (I can't swim)...
yes, it was that scary! But I had to do something creative, something daringly wonderful,  because I was in a very dark place at that time in my life.

And with the loving encouragement of a very dear friend, I took the plunge, and never looked back....


Anita, my treasured friend and mentor, thank you for introducing me to this most fascinating, exciting world of creativity, wisdom, talent, inspiration, fun, and FRIENDSHIP!

I feel so blessed by all of the positivity, encouragement, and loving kindness of YOU, beautiful blog friends!
You are very special to me.....


A huge thank you to  my wonderful followers and kindred spirits on all  three of the blogs! 
I am so touched and happy that you delight in visiting and sharing my little corner of joy....


And now, for the giveaway!

Many of you are familiar with brilliant Ari Cohen and his equally brilliant blog, Advanced Style....
What a celebration of Life and The Art of Life!!
His beautiful and inspirational models have finally arrived in book form, and Ari is working on the Advanced Style documentary!
(With our help, fingers crossed...)

Please leave a comment, and I will enter you in a drawing for a copy of this wonderful book...

I'll announce the winner next Sunday, June 3rd...
Bonne Chance!

I am also including this LINK
to the documentary film project. I happily donated a bit, and I hope you might consider a donation as well. In no way am I connected to the film or Ari, I simply believe in this project and message with all of my heart! My contribution is a tribute to the memory of my family's beautiful and inspirational matriarchs...

Thank you all so much!

xoxo, Irina



  1. WOW.

    Irina, you have been like no other friend here in town. I am so blessed to HAVE YOU near me, and we can so easily see each other when we want (with planning!!!!) as opposed to not being able to readily see our other dear blogger friends. Your kindness, enthusiasm for poetry and LIFE and GODness has been a gift to me. I cannot believe an entire YEAR has passed! HAPPY BLOGBIRTHDAY! WoW how the English language (or any world language, for that matter) has changed due to our technology!!

    MAY YOU HAVE MANY YEARS of joy and creative discovery in your blogging my dear! AND....I SO LOVE ARI'S vision here. Count me in on the giveaway!!! GROSSES BISES, Anita

  2. Hello Irina:
    Congratulations on reaching this important milestone of one year of writing your wonderfully inspiring blog posts.

    It is we who are the richer for 'knowing' you and for having the privilege of being welcomed into your world.And, what a world it is. Always creative,imaginative and uplifting, regularly thought provoking, sometimes sad and, on occasions, filled with joy and laughter. You warm our hearts with your tender words and your thoughtfulness.

    We wish you many, many happy returns with your blog. We shall look forward to staying with you you on the ride!

  3. Dear Irina
    First, congrats on your blogg anniversary... You have brought such joy and happiness into my world. I am so happy I came to know you and am honored to call you my friend.
    Ok... As you put it, your humble painting... Far from it Irina... It is beautiful, soft, I love the wash of colors. You are a very talented artist. Thank you for your kind words.
    Bisous! Penny

  4. Dearest Irina...Happy Bloggyversary dearest...what a year for you....all those sayings ring very very true!!! What an adventure it all is and oh, the people we meet on the way...Blessings to you and many happy years of Dzintra xo

  5. Congratulations!!!! Oh how I love this to add it to my blog list! So many sweet sweet people that really has been a blessing to me too. Hugs.

  6. Dear Irina, congrats to your blog birthday! You do such a great work here - the inspirations you give are so uplifting and encouraging every time! Am sending you champagne and love!
    P.S: Am a fan of advanced style too!

  7. Congratulations dear Irina!

    Wishing you many more years of inspired blogging. What a lovely giveaway too! You are a darling soul.


  8. Congrats on a year of blogging! :D Great giveaway too, that is such a good blog, so many stylish ladies! :)

  9. Happy Blog Birthday Irena! You have expressed so beautifully what we all feel as we connect with kindred spirits while following a creative path. It's very grounding and we all need that in our lives. Namaste dear friend.

  10. oh my goodness, this post is so beautiful... i have tears!
    i have always felt you to be such a lovely soul.. so sweet, gentle, bright, creative and magical, but know i know how brave you are! i am filled with even more admiration. i am so very glad and grateful that you took the plunge one year ago, because the world of blog is even more light-filled with your beautiful presence. bravo my dear, wonderful, lovely irina!
    and bravo to the the wonderful and lovely anita too for her support and introduction :) isn't she a star? to me she is, very much so.
    and you with all the joy and friendship you have given to myself and others are also a star. you are a true artist, a kind and generous friend and there a good bit of fairy/angel sparkle about you. your blogs, like yourself are irresistable and long may they reign xoxox
    many congratulations on your firts bloggyversary!!! wooooohooooo!!!
    huge special hugs and lots of love xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox dorothy

  11. Sweet Irina

    You are such a joy and breath of fresh air, always sending heartfelt and thoughtful comments. I wish you a very happy blog anniversary and thank you for all the brightness around you!

    Big hugs

  12. Oh me, oh my, I keep falling behind. :0) (That's a clown face, by the way. hehe) Well, you know I like to visit my special friends when I can take my time instead of rushing, don't you? Well, I do!! :) (Not a clown face.)
    HAPPY BLOG BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! It just so happens that I just got back from the post office. And it just so happens that I was mailing something to someone. Ohhhh, I don't know, just someone.
    I am extremely thankful that you took that plunge even without a jacket. I am so blessed by you, love.

  13. Happy, happy one-year
    blogiversary, Irina!

    How wonderful that your
    blog helped you through
    a dark patch...and that you
    share your beautiful thoughts
    with others!

    Lovely giveaway : ) How fun!

    xo Suzanne

  14. joyeux anniversaire, irina. i'm so pleased to have found you. and so thankful for light myself...of which you are a part. i'm just working through a book called "do more great work" where you have to list your role models, then narrow them down to a few, then list four traits for each that you most about an exercise that makes you give thanks, when you realize all that you receive from people living now, and who have lived before. what wonderful gifts.

    and, yes, please do add my name to the drawing for your wonderful book.

    much more joy to you in years to come, and please never stop coming by and pulling me back into blogosphere when i forget, because it is always a delight to visit you.


  15. My dear friend, it has been a year since I know you ... I am so grateful of sweet Anita who made you start blogging because I came to know you and found a special friend in the "blogosphere". Congratulations! I wish you love, inspiration and sunshine on your path, my Black Sea sister !

  16. Dear Irina,
    Yes, you are an artist.. I would really love to see more of your work.
    I should go check your Etsy Shop... How sweet of you to come by yesterday and leave such kind thoughts.. I am so happy you enjoyed my rendition of Liz..
    Bless you dear one,

  17. Darling Irina,
    How did I miss your post. Your blog is such a wonderful place to visit and I am so glad you found the courage and inspiration to do it. It would be a duller world without it. And, to cap it off you have my absolute favourite playing, The Gypsy Kings!!!! I love them :-)
    Happy birthday dear friend.
    Much Love

  18. Irina,
    I just had to come back after seeing the "Advanced Style" trailers. How marvellous these women are, so inspirational. I feel a need to become more stylish and flamboyant. One of the good things about ageing is the ability to lose inhibitions and allow yourself to become who you really are. I love the one who said "my time is limited, i can't buy green bananas any more"!! Hilarious. I'm going to get on board and help fund them.
    Much love and thanks for sharing.

  19. Oh Irina, you are so very kind... Thank you so much. When I painted the hat ladies in the 80's I had just begun using watercolors.. I used them in the traditional way and this way.. I realize it does not look like watercolor, but just me going a bit out the box.. I love the washes that can be accomplished with watercolors. I think the miniature watercolor paintings in my slideshow at the bottom are more what it should look like, although I have not mastered this medium. I find it is very unforgiving, unlike oil or acrylics, but I do love it so..
    You are such a dear to leave such kind words of encouragement.

  20. hello
    i was just thinking of you and decided to come over and take in this wonderful post again. i enjoy your music too. i think i also have some gypsy in my soul (and some my roots too, from my paternal grandmother).
    do you like the music of jasmin levy? being sephardic it's very similar to spanish gypsy music and i love it.
    i hadn't realised this was your main blog. i like all three, they each have their own special atmospheres.

    sending you a warm hug from the depths of the english coutryside, carrying the scent of meadow flowers xxx

  21. Happy was the day that I found your blog! Happy anniversary and many more to come. Your gorgeous artwork and beautiful words make the world a much brighter place and my heart a little lighter. Happy hugs to you!

  22. i just left a response to your kind words on my blog and thought i had better copy and paste it here as well incase you did not find it there.
    i'm so glad that you like yazmine levy, i thought you would ;) and yes i am familiar with the lovely ofra haza, so sad that she left us so soon.
    i almost completely forgot about the 'bubble and squeek'. it's a dish that originated from the the left-overs of sunday dinner (greens and potato) being fried up for the following days meal, being a monday and traditionally wash-day meant there was little time to cook. egg and or cheese can be added but usually it is just fried up with onion and is actually rather nice. i tend to oven bake rather than fry mine and usually roast a few tomatoes and/or other veg at the same time to go with it.
    thank you so much for all your kind comments irina, you really are a dear soul xx
    i almost forgot! the weather has turned on us, i'm afraid. it has been raining buckets here today. however, the garden is very happy about this :)
    much love xx
    do you email? i think it might be nice to exchange addresses. i don't email a lot, but like to from time to time. i won't be at all offended if you prefer not to email.

  23. You are so sweet to come by Irina.. Your words warm my heart. Wishing you a peaceful evening dear friend.
    Love and blessings,


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