About the colour blue and earrings and the throat chakra



Jewellery ... I love wearing it, who doesn't. Colour .. naturally I love understanding it and using it in my paintings. So I now include a hand made (by me) range of delicate earrings inspired by the yogi Chakras.

7 years ago or maybe 8 I was leaving a job in London and starting to create this blog Beehiveartsstudio... the blog suffered a few changes in terms of names ... I have settled on the beehive arts studio. At that time I was painting, doing monotypes, exploring many visual creative avenues  .... but my intense curiosity took me into more areas ... creative cooking, exploring the world of making natural cosmetics, making jewellery inspired by my own art, designing bags .... The name of the blog is so fitted to the way I am, to who I am ... and again .. the name is connected to my ..... maiden name .... which in Romanian means ... "the one who has beehives"  ....would you say that ... everything is "hidden" in the name? More about this in a later blog ..... 

Back to my first  pair of earring, the ones you see in the image and here  ....the teal blue ones, inspired by the throat chakra ... because I believe we all need to have our voices heard. Wear this pair of earrings when you need to express what you know and feel. Wear it in your next yoga class when you want to concentrate more on the way you communicate with yourself and the world around you.

I would also wear them in the office, when you feel that you need an extra support to ... make your voice heard, to talk about your ideas in front of your boss, to be able to communicate clearly and efficiently with the ones around you. 

Blue is also the colour that our human nervous system responds to when it needs to settle down, to become quiet, when we want to enter into a more peaceful mode, more dreamlike, when one is ready to start ones own meditative practice. This is why we do feel so good close to the sea, this is why many times, when life seems overwhelming I love a long walk by the sea because this brings me back to a more balanced self. 

Remember that ... colour heals, colour empowers us!

About Tove Jansson and the book Work and love



How do you come across new books? Somebody recommends them to you or do you simply allow your intuition to take you to that special shelf and your hand stops at that particular book that actually has been waiting for you? I am definitely in the second category and this is how I came across Tove Jansson in the first place. I had no idea who she was, I have never heard of the Mumins but I was attracted by the cover of the book, the fact that it was the biography of a female artist, and that the book was peppered with lots and lots of images of her paintings, illustrations, on top of biographical images. I was in the gift shop area of  De la Warr  Pavilion in Bexhill and bought the book there and then. 


The book proved to be a success …. I have not only learned about the fascinating life of a woman artist born in 1914, I’ve learned about life in Finland, about the ups and downs of being a working artist, about living a life aligned to what mattered to her most … love and work, about her  timeless children’s classic characters, about the many facets of her as a mortal soul. Her views on life and non conformism reminded me of the Bloomsbury group you will also notice the similarities.  Reading “Work and love” by Tuula Karjalainen  will  be  a rich and wonderful experience as it will make you cry, laugh, be amazed and of course fall in love again with memorable characters like the Mumins as well as I am sure it will  be an opportunity to enter another person’s reality through her paintings and in such way, it help you connect to a free spirit of a different era. 

How to make a traditional Russian beetroot soup and a healthy energy bar


We live in a world where cookery books seem like travel books - glamorous images of fresh vegetables and captivating words about the magical ingredients in the sauces are everywhere. As someone who has self-published books on creative subjects I know all too well the amount of effort that goes behind the production of a single book. And when that book has lots of beautiful, colourful photos the publishing process takes even longer and the time and effort involved producing it is truly incredible especially if you are doing it yourself. Small armies of people work behind  the scenes in publishing companies in order to launch these books. But I am not going to talk to you about the production of books. Not now! What I want to say is that .. today's cookery books are beautifully created and they deserve the eminence of coffee table books. 

Sadly, the large numbers of incredibly eye pleasing cookery books does not mean that people cook more on a daily basis. People seem happy to buy colourful cookery books, seem happy to watch fancy cookery programs, while munching on crisps and pop corn.............  We live in a more and more voyeuristic world!    It feels increasingly like we are going to the cinema to watch people ... cook!


Years ago, while growing up in Romania, I remember we had two cookery books in our small flat...two books filled with black and white.....text ... no images ... none whatsoever. In spite of that or maybe because of that ... who knows ... there was always activity in our kitchen, my mother chopping vegetables, chopping meat, boiling, frying, cooking all sorts of lovely dishes without using loads of ingredients, with few spices. Yet, every day, day in, day out, after she returned from work, she always seemed able to produce tasty and healthy meals, every day ... I will always remember the yummy  smells reaching me in my bedroom across the hall. 

Believe it or not, cooking or preparing most of what you eat is not just about cooking it is also about relaxing and slowing down ...it is about sharing stories of the day around the kitchen table, about listening and about communicating in a warm and healing space, about being mindful ... there  we are ... the word so many people worship nowadays.  

The other day, on a very, very hot summer day I just felt the need to cook a traditional Russian beetroot soup. It is the type of a dish I remember enjoying when I visited my Russian family in Saint Petersburg and Orel. It is easy to make, delicious and healthy. 

Here is what you need to do:

Prepare the ingredients:

2 medium size beetroots peeled and grated

1 carrot peeled and grated 

1 onion peeled and chopped 

1 tomato diced 

4 small potatoes peeled and chopped 

2 litres of boiling water 

1 Knorr cube

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 grated cabbage

1 squeeze of lemon juice or more depending on your taste 

2 bay leaves

3 garlic cloves crushed 

1 table spoon olive or sunflower oil 


Now for the preparation: 

There's not much to do really. Just heat the olive or sunflower oil in a cooking pot, add the onion, sautee the onion for a few minutes, add the carrots, beetroots, potatoes. Sautee the lot for a further 10 minutes, add the bay leaves and the garlic.....then add the boiling water and then the cabbage and the tomatoes. Next ... nothing ... simply let it simmer on a low heat for about 1 hour and it's done. Enjoy it with a dollop or two of sour cream. Sour cream is a very popular addition to many dishes in Russia and I love it. 

I was never very good at cooking deserts, the type that my mother used to prepare, so any time I come across something sweet that I feel I can prepare, something that does not require the oven ... I am ready to have a go at it. 

The other day I came across something called Three Ingredients Energy Bar .....and of course I had to have a go. The result is not only pleasing .. it is really delicious and goes very, very well with a cup of Turkish coffee or tea. 


So, here is the recipe;



1 cup of almonds

1 cup of dates

1 cup of dried cherries 

....that's all

Put all of the ingredients together in a mixer, pulse until they are all mixed and chopped finely. Next, place the mixture on a plastic sheet or a non stick sheet of cooking paper, spread it evenly (use a roller), cover with another sheet of non stick paper and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take it out, cut it in squares and store the pieces in an air tight container, in the fridge. They will last for a few good weeks (less the one's consumed ....so two days!!). You can of course make them in the shape of small balls if you want. 

They look very nice if you add some cocoa powder on top. The truth is that you can be very creative with this type of recipe and start making your own combinations using sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, raisins, raw cocoa and of course much more. 







Why reading is good for you


Once upon a time reading was just the natural thing to do ... we were encouraged to handle and to feel comfortable with the different books in our kindergarten .... and our parents or our grandparents or our teachers read books to us. From the age of 8, in Romania, we were supposed to be able to read by ourselves ... some did so at an even earlier age. What I am saying is that reading was ... just normal ... just like eating, going to school, playing ... just normal ... part of the fabric of our life from the earliest age. 

Just like exercising, reading is a practice that improves the more you read... a practice that becomes a habit that stays with you for the rest of your life ....at least this is my strong belief. 

Confucius said that " No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance". I agree with him, of course I do! 

I grew up in a communist country where books were treasured and were obtained with sacrifices ... one had to queue for hours to buy a popular title ... for example Shogun ... I remember queuing for hours .......and not getting my hands on the book as the shop, as was not uncommon, ran out of stock in front in me. And old habits seem to become a part of life. I don't remember going into any of my friend's houses, then as a youngster or now as an adult, and not being confronted with rows of laden bookshelves - but then our generation grew up in a time when during the week we only had 2 hours of television a day and most of that was news or reports of great achievements!


Nowadays everything seems to require an explanation ... why we should eat more vegetables - because it will positively impact our health, why we should exercise for the same reason, why we should drink lots of water (the quantity varies depending on which "specialist" you listen to) because ... and so on .... So, it looks as if these days it is helpful to show why reading is good for us in order to motivate people to pick up a book. If you need that extra encouragement here is why ... 

  • reading is ... exercise for the mind. Just like our bodies, our mind needs to be exercised in order to keep fit, yes it does
  • reading for 30 minutes a day flexes those mind muscles, it ignites your imagination, it makes you think, it energises your curiosity
  • reading ... slows your heart rate, eases the tension in your muscles 
  • reading .... increases vocabulary, improves your use of grammar, nurtures creativity
  • reading .....helps you express yourself with more confidence

And to really exercise the mind it's good to choose a diverse range of books to read from, various genres  .... 

It is true that for many,  television is way more tempting nowadays, computers, smart phones and the rest the same - but the stories they tell are so short, short clip after short clip, it's like looking through an album full of holiday snaps, it's not the same as experiencing the holiday, the whole full story, because something that puts the whole holiday story into proper context is always missing.  Sooner or later I believe we are going to pay a price for spending our time dipping into short clips of what is going on in the world ... our own sanity will be influenced by not seeing the whole story ... emotional, physical .......because 99% of life and living is not like the clip. 

Groucho Marx was pretty spot on when he wrote .... "I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book." 




How do you make calendula salve

Calendula salve


Years ago while still living in Romania I remember buying from a pharmacy,  calendula salve in a small white plastic container ... I liked the yellowish colour and as always when you buy something from a pharmacy you think ... oh boy it must be very complicated to make, this must be a secret only people with specific training know. Little did I know that 30 years later ... I will be making calendula salve. Of course it took me a while to get comfortable with the field of making natural cosmetics, of course I had to read lots of magazines, books, blogs, of course I had to try and make mistakes until I learned how to get the right balance of ingredients, the right temperatures, the right way to infuse oils. Nothing comes easy, nothing happens over night but if one is passionate and curious ........ magic happens. 

I love my time in the kitchen, weighting oils, being very careful to respect the recipes .... mixing and waiting for the oils to solidify ... and take the form they need to take. 

Calendula salve

The next phase is making the labels, creating them, printing them .... one cannot do things fast ... but slowly and with patience ... this is something I had to learn and probably my 3 years of tai chi practice helped and continues to help. 

So, the other day I made another batch of calendula salve. Why would you make such a product? Why should you have it in your cupboard and better still in your bag? Here is why! 

First of all you need to know that calendula salve is a traditional healing balm or ointment and it takes its name from the plants name Calendula officials, also called marigold. The plant has a high concentration of flavonoids which are actually antioxidants. Known to have anti allergic, inflammatory, microbial  properties calendula salve is ideal for treating a range of cuts, abrasions, bruises, sores, rashes, ulcers and fungal conditions. The salve also hydrates, nourishes and supports skin and can be used as face moisturises, lip balm for dry lips, bug bites ..... 

How do you do it? The recipe below is the most basic calendula salve.

First of all you need to infuse olive oil with dry calendula flowers. There are 2 ways of infusing the oil ... a quick one and a slow one (details in a future blog entry). 


4 oz calendula oil

1/2 oz beeswax 

Once you have the calendula oil and beeswax you are ready to start the process. 

  1. Add water to the bottom pot of your double boiler, and then pour your calendula oil into the top pot and place above. You can also create a double boiler if you don’t have one. The main thing is that the oil needs non-direct and even heat to prevent burning.
  2. Bring your double boiler to a low heat and grate in your beeswax. Once everything has melted, stir the mixture, and then quickly turn off your burner.
  3. Now you can put this mixture into a liquid measuring cup to make pouring your final product easy. Slowly pour into each tin, and allow the salves to cool.

One hour later ... it's all done .... put the lids on, labels and ... that's it. Enjoy! 


Cold pressed shampoo and apple vinegar rinse





I've been making and using my own cold pressed shampoo for a year and a bit. It started out of my appetite for trying new natural recipes and simply because I wanted to see if ... I was or not able to make such a product. Only after that I realised that ... yes I will not buy anymore shampoo and conditioner from the shops and in this way I will not have to get rid of yet another plastic bottle. And also ... I realised that I was continuing a tradition that was actually normality for my grandmothers on both sides of my parents. 

There is so much we can learn from our ancestors, so many bad habits we can replace and live a life more in tune with our true selves and nature. But this is another story for another time. 

I would like to write a little bit about what and why do we need sometimes to use an apple vinegar rinse after we use a shampoo bar. 

OK so here we go. 

When you transition from a liquid shampoo in a bottle to a cold pressed shampoo, you might go through an adjustment period. Some people get used to it from the very beginning.  There are really many things that can affect the way the shampoo in a bar shape will work for each person. Some of the issue are linked  to  your hair, the water in your area, the products you use or used on your hair, the specific shampoo bar you are using and even your hair washing technique.


First of all you might want to know that raw apple cider vinegar  is packed with nutrients, it brings back body and shine, it decreases residue and clarify, stimulates the scalp, decreases dandruff. The use of vinegar infused with a variety of plants and essential oils can be traced back to the Romans and even to the nineteenth century. 

It can happen that when you transition from a liquid shampoo to a cold pressed shampoo bar you are let with a "weird hair" feeling. This happens when the soap residue does not completely rinse out of your hair. It is very important to make a good lather and to RINSE properly the shampoo from your hair.  


You can of course rub the bar of shampoo directly on the hair but you can also rub the bar of soap on a sponge until you create a good lather and then apply it on you hair.  

Remember that ...... RINSING is key.

If you feel that you hair feels a little bit heavy and oily .. apply the apple vinegar and here is how. 

Pour, squirt or spray the rinse onto wet hair. Massage into hair and scalp and pay special attention to the ends. Let sit for a couple minutes. You can rinse the hair again or leave it on as the smell will disappear after a few minutes. 


You will need to make an apple vinegar rinse solution by combining one part vinegar to 9 parts water, shake the solution and pour it in a spraying bottle or any glass bottle you have available. Keep it in the bathroom and use the solution with confidence. 

Sometimes I like to infuse the  apple vinegar rinse solutions with all sorts of dried plants or fresh or even I add some drops of essential oils but about all of this in a future blog entry. 

Orange shampoo bar


A simple, decadent lemony solid body butter

Lemony solid body butter

It is an incredibly rainy, windy June day in Eastbourne today, one of those days when one needs to add a jumper to just feel comfortable in the house. It feels more like a late spring day or early autumn one and not at all summer ... but hey ho, one needs to adapt and carry on, regardless. As most of my fellow entrepreneurs know our working day has no beginning and no end and the same with the week ... sometimes Sunday is our Monday and Saturday or Tuesday and we relax whenever we feel that we need a break. This is exactly what I've done today ... after a photographic session (nope I am not the star of this session but a few of my KORINA Collection bags) I felt the need to ... take a break ... an active one. 

As an avid reader, half an hour of reading relaxes me happily but I am also tempted to carry on and carry on .... forgetting about the time ... so trying a new natural cosmetics recipe is what helped me relax today. 

Making my own natural cosmetics is now definitely part of my life ... I love the endless recipes one can try, the delicious ingredients, the smells, the simple act of weighing precise quantities of oils and butters and essential oils (it is exactly the opposite of the way I am in front of an easel when rules are nowhere to be seen) .... the melting and stirring and waiting and melting some more and stirring some more and ....trying with immense curiosity the result of my efforts. It is indeed a highly rewarding activity from many points of view. 

Let me share with you today the recipes I've tried ... it is not the first time I am doing this product .... solid body butter ... I have tried other combinations but today ... it was a lemony solid body butter recipe as I love the lemony smell .... 

What do you need? 


20 grams cocoa butter 

30 grams coconut oil 

20 grams beeswax 

The beauty of making your own cosmetics products is that you can recycle old cream containers ... and this is exactly what I have done! 




Add the cocoa butter, coconut butter, beeswax into a double boiler and let it melt slowly. Once melted, remove from the heat, let it stay for a few minutes and add the essential oils. in this case, I have decided to add lemon essential oils about 20 drops. Pour the mixture into your containers and let it cool. If you are impatient you can of course put in in the fridge for half an hour. Hmmm yes do not worry if you spill a bit on the side ... once it cools down you can peel it easily with a knife :) 


This solid body butter is a great skin moisturiser, perfect for your elbows, feet, knees  .... Have a go ... make your own ... the smell is divine 




An introduction to intuitive painting ... through a book!


Life, paint and passion 


Are you an artist?  Do you paint. What do you paint - a house, a portrait of a loved one, your pet, the sea - Is this it? Are you doing your best to follow other people’s rules, do you watch lots of tutorials, copy other artists, are you striving for the perfect painting?


What would it be like to paint without your internal critic whispering in your ear, without it passing judgement on your techniques, or your choice of the perfect brush, or the perfect colour combination? What would it be like … for a change … to learn by allowing art to take you where it will through uncontrolled discovery?


What if I tell you that there are other ways to create art by simply allowing what is within you to emerge and to speak through shapes and colours? 


If you have an inner critic, I would really recommend you read “Life, paint and passion” by Michell Cassou and Steward Cubley. The book comes with a warning from me … a happy warning … this book might, just might, help you to paint like never before - with a new found feeling of freedom. Get the book, read it, start painting! 



Cleopatra inspired milk and Himalayan salt bath


I am a big fan of everything related to Egypt .... but my post is not about history but about beauty. Nobody knows for sure if indeed Cleopatra used to take long baths in milk but it is a great thought isn't it? Given the cold weather in England and the fact that the Brits are not quite used to keeping their houses very warm (yes I am sure my Romanian fellows will not quite believe this) having a bath is something relatively common ... yes it warms you up, it helps you relax and release the heavy emotional weights one has to carry during the days  .... it allows you to sing your favourite song or listen to an audio book or music or simply be and meditate in the presence of a candle ..... 

Shops are full of products promising the most amazing experiences ... bath gel, bath bombs, bath oils and so on .... Of course I used to buy them in the past and who knows I might buy some in the future but .... one day .... I looked at the ingredients stated on the back of a milk bath pack .... yes the names were written in latin (required by the law), tiny, tiny letters (It made me feel as if I definitely need to change my glasses) and much to my surprise ... the ingredients seemed very simple ... I realised I had them in my cupboard ... and ... I promised myself I will try and make my own Beehive milk bath pretty soon. This was 6 months ago ... today ... it was the day when my muse was ready to spring into action and ... yes I made my first batch. Was it difficult? Nope! Not at all! Was it a pleasant experience`? Oh yes! And ... I did lit a candle ... one made by me :) (but this is for another day)

Surely you already know. it but I will remind you that having a milk and salt bath allows your skin to rejuvenate itself more quickly resulting in radiantly glowing, satiny smooth and soft skin. Have a go! 

This is what you need in order to make your own milk and salt bath. 

1 cup powdered milk 

1 cup Himalayan salt (or sea salt) the fine version but also add a few table spoons of course Himalayan salt

rose buds and rose petals ... they do look good in the bath

10 drops essential oils (in my case I chose to use patchouli as it made me think of India) 


Mix the ingredients together, add the essential oils and ... store it in glass jars or other air tight containers. 

For your bath add 4 to 6 tablespoons  of milk and salt bath to briskly running water and enjoy a soothing soak. One last thing .... the Himalayan salt helps with cleansing, and detoxifying,  leaving your skin silky and ... refreshed! 

Citrus and Chamomile cold pressed shampoo bars



It's been a year now since I've made my first cold pressed shampoo bar. Of course everything started because of my curious mind .and ... having learned how to make cold pressed soap ... I wanted another challenge so ... cold pressed shampoo was next on my list. 

Years and years ago my mother used to make hot pressed soap at home and she remembered how back in a tiny village in Russia, her parents used to use this type of soap to wash their hair as well so I was not surprised to read that it is possible to make a cold pressed shampoo bar. 


My hair is bleached and coloured and I've never used lots of lotions and potions on it... let's say I am lazy  ... anyway ... the first time I used my bar of shampoo  I was really curious to see what the result would be ... nope I was not scared ....I was curious. Much to my surprise after I washed it, my hair was not at all entangled and dry as before but very smooth!!!! A huge positive as before I was struggling to comb it after washing it! I have also noticed that my hair was shinier and stayed cleaner for longer .... more positives And last but not least, the bar lasts a long time indeed. (by the way once you buy it from me you can cut it in 2 or 3 sticks and it is easier to use and to carry it with you while travelling) Everything I am sharing here is  based on my personal experience. In time,  friends tried it and became customers ... it is a product I love to make and I really believe in. Here are a few more bits of information about the 2 types of shampoo bars  I currently have.  oh and ....The shelf life? This is a good question ... I still have a piece from my first batch and it's really perfect ... and yes it's one year old :) 




This shampoo bar is scented with a blend of lime, lemongrass and lemon essential oils that not only give a delightful smell but will boost the cleansing power as well. Mango butter conditions the hair while the natural humectant properties of honey add extra moisture and shine. 



This shampoo bar combines the natural goodness of chamomile tea with nourishing honey to create a wonderful experience for your hair. Chamomile is a soothing herb that suits all hair types even the sensitive ones. Mango butter conditions the hair while the natural humectant properties of honey add extra moisture and shine. 


  1. Very good value for money 
  2. 100% natural ingredients
  3. Better for the environment
  4. Very practical 
  5. Makes the hair healthier 
  6. Great while travelling 
  7. Are multipurpose - can be used as soap bars and for washing clothes while travelling or camping 
  8. Are space savers 


  1. After you enter the shower, rinse your hair with plenty of water 
  2. Rub the shampoo bar directly onto your hair. Repeat until you have fully covered your hair
  3. Massage your scalp and hair until a good lather forms 
  4. Rinse the shampoo out of your hair 

I have to say that I do not use any conditioner after using the shampoo bar but, in case you need to use it here are a few options


1. In case your hair needs extra loving, do apply your favourite conditioner 


2. It could very well be that you do not need any other products added 


3. You can prepare a clarifying rinsing combination of 1 part vinegar to 9 parts water, add it to a spray bottle and keep it in the bathroom.  

After you rinse the shampoo from your hair, do spray the rinsing combination on your hair and rinse again with water. The smell will not stay on your hair.  This my darling is a very old way of rinsing the hair, of making it shine using pure natural products. My grandmothers used it ... my mother as well .... it's an old tradition .....