Monday, September 30, 2013

Business First, Then Sally Bag

Today I need to take care of the business side of life - balancing the checkbook, paying bills, writing birthday cards, scheduling classes - and only then may I continue working on the new sally bag that I designed and just started.  For the latter, I'm enthralled with how the new design is coming out - it's one thing to work it out on paper, and quite another to see it woven in color.

So here's the beginning of my little project.  At least with my travels coming up, it's portable and easily workable on the plane.......  but first, back to the paperwork.....

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Slower & Simpler - Life is What You Focus On

Our lives this weekend have been the epitome of slower - walks in the rain, board games, coloring, reading, talking and sharing, and focusing on each other.  Which, of course, brings to mind an article that I just read:

How To Focus A Wandering Mind

"A recent study by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert sampled over 2,000 adults during their day-to-day activities, and found that 47 percent of the time, their minds were not focused on what they were currently doing. Even more striking, when people's minds were wandering, they reported being less happy. This suggests it might be good to find ways to reduce these mental distractions and improve our ability to focus. Ironically, mind-wandering itself can help strengthen our ability to focus, if leveraged properly. This can be achieved using an age-old skill: meditation. Indeed, a new wave of research reveals what happens in our brains when our minds wander -- and sheds light on the host of cognitive and emotional benefits that come with increased focus." This article shares more about the mind that wanders and its "remedy". { read more }
A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe. --Wayne Dyer

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sharing the Magic

My son and his family are visiting me on the island this weekend, and I realize how much I love sharing my island retreat.  I see it anew through my grandsons' eyes as they see the deer right off of the deck.  Our slow meandering walk down to the beach brings special moments to observe nature and the quiet peace that surrounds me every single day.

Even the gentle rain is soothing, almost insisting that we slow down and simply breathe.  We may go into the Village....or not.  We may read, or play games, or simply visit. The days are full of teaching moments for the young ones, and soothing ones for the rest of us.

It doesn't matter what we do - except that we are together - on Lopez - and I can literally see them relax.

The magic of Lopez is effecting us all.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Art Made From Books

If you want a book that will inspire you, please check out Art Made from Books:  Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed, compiled by Laura Heyenga.  It is absolutely titillating.  (I believe some of the same work is also represented in 500 Paper Objects: New Directions in Paper Art by Gene McHugh.) 

Once I discovered Art Made from Books, I realized that Oprah was a bit ahead of me and mentioned it on her website with this review:
Books take on a whole new life in Laura Heyenga's anthology of groundbreaking artists who've stitched, sliced, cut and carved bound literature to create anything from an intricate chess set to a huge area rug to a literary jewelry collection. (Never fear: The artists use recycled or discarded books—that otherwise would end up in landfills!). In fact, the real joy of this book comes from discovering how each individual starts with the same item and yet ends up with vastly different works of art. 
No matter who found it when, it is well worth checking out of your library.  I'm perusing it on my Nook, checked out from the library.  But it just may be one of those books I'm going to have to buy.....

Thursday, September 26, 2013

On Island

Getting close to the ferry terminal to come to the island yesterday, the clouds and rain that had accompanied me from Seattle parted for perfectly blue, sunny skies.

The salt air, the quiet, folks relaxed and smiling -

I'm gently folded back into my island life.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Destiny, Growth, and the Return of Owls

As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.

- Denis Waitley -

This quote caught my eye, then the article it headed, then the original article from which it came. A few brief excerpts are below, but it is well worth the full read.

In this important article, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman asks us to reconsider how we evaluate an individual's potential. We tend to "conceptualize ability as a static property, something hard-wired into the brain by genes that are prepackaged and already activated at birth." And if someone does not display that hard-wired ability early on, we dismiss him or her as un-gifted and less likely to succeed. The reality of achievement is far more complicated: abilities often reveal themselves over time, are fostered by finding purpose which may come at any stage in life, and can develop from facing obstacles that we often consider road blocks to success. Here Kaufman makes a compelling case for treating everyone in our lives as if they have the potential for greatness. { read more }   (from
And for those of us further along the aging process:
Young brains may be faster at memorizing Backstreet Boys lyrics, but older brains have some clever tricks up their neuronal sleeve that put all the years of ripening to good use. In the brain, information gets passed through wires called axons. Helping the wires deliver the information is a fatty coating called the myelin sheath. Research by neurologist George Bartzokis and his colleagues at UCLA suggests that as we develop, we lay down more of these sheaths, transforming the brain into a high-speed, wide-bandwidth Internet-like system.
Myelin speeds the transmission of information, but knowledge itself, and the proliferation of nerve connections and circuits by which we access it, depend on the acquisition of experience. And that takes time. "We become wise by being able to access information differently with a wider perspective," says Bartzokis.
And wisdom??
It can be difficult to define Wisdom, but people generally recognize it when they encounter it. Psychologists pretty much agree it involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs. There's an awareness of how things play out over time, and it confers a sense of balance.
Wise people generally share an optimism that life's problems can be solved and experience a certain amount of calm in facing difficult decisions. Intelligence—if only anyone could figure out exactly what it is—may be necessary for wisdom, but it definitely isn't sufficient; an ability to see the big picture, a sense of proportion, and considerable introspection also contribute to its development.

The return of owls (ceramic, embroidered, patterned) in the stores and craft shops (didn't we all see these in the 60's and 70's?) makes more sense to me now.  Owls...wisdom...healthy axons....all connected!  (Hmmm, and yes, it's a little scary how some of my axons are connected.)


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Little Black Rose

Woke up yesterday morning with thoughts of using two specific techniques in a new basket.  Four hours later, the Little Black Rose was posing on my work table!  Techniques include God's eye, twining, lattice twining, countered twining, and a braided border.  (These last two baskets have more than made up for the issues with she-who-will-not-be-named.) 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day Star

Sometimes, designing a new class basket goes like a dream (unlike a certain little black basket that we will not mention ever again).  My newest addition is Day Star, a shallow bowl or tray.  For weavers that want to know, techniques include my own 9 pointed star base, lattice twining, twining, triple twining, feather lattice (or interlacing spiral bound lattice), and a lattice twined rim.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Slower & Simpler - Simplicity, Blogs & A Year Completed

My first year on Lopez Island is over.  Wow.  So "A Fiber Artist on Lopez Island" is the blog's new name.  Expect the writing to still be random, hopefully occasionally inspiring, and with my usual and somewhat quirky sense of humor.  Oh, and possibly posting just a bit later in the morning every day (Lopez is known as "Slow-pez, afterall.)   To sum up the first year?  Absolutely better in every way than I ever imagined it could be.  I truly am living my dream.

And what could be simpler than to share my favorite blog on simplicity (  ...listing their favorite blogs on that same topic??  And it even has a note at the end about "how to simplify your blog reading habits", which seems to me a bit circular and catch 22-ish, but there you go! 

6 Blogs to Inspire Simplicity and Minimalism

I’m not the avid blog reader I once was, but I do love discovering people writing about simplicity and minimalism. I especially love sharing their work with you. On my search for blogs that were new to me, I chose these six to share based on the following parameters:
  • no advertising
  • clean design
  • inspirational stories
  • practical advice

6 Blogs to inspire simplicity and minimalism

1. The Other Side of Complexity

My name is Mike Burns.  It’s important to me that I love the people around me well. I want to add value to people’s lives and pass on helpful ideas about life, contribution and relationships. Life isn’t always exactly how we thought it would be.  It can get complicated.  I don’t want to surrender.  I want to work through life’s complexities to find what many people call “simplicity on the other side of complexity”.

2. 20 Liter Life

A space for Franklin and Vince to chronicle and share our experiences and thoughts as we endeavor towards a life of minimalism, sustainability, and personal growth. We created it so that our friends and family can stay connected with our travels, but we also hope to contribute to the wealth of knowledge that is out there for people looking to simplify, explore, and create. Here we can share stories, photos, and videos, while also giving our two-cents on travel, minimalism, self-discipline, health, fitness, and our philosophy of living damn good.

3. Minimal Millennial

Hello! My name is Ennaree, or Enna, if you prefer. I’m working towards simplifying my life and improving my personal health, wealth and happiness, and I’m excited to share what I’m learning with you! I want to reach out to Millennials especially, since I belong to this generation. From what I’ve seen, we are a mixed bag of consumers and minimalists, victims and heroes, artists and drones, and I want to share my personal insights on how to lead productive, creative, and meaningful lives.

4. Twenty One Delights

It all started with a list of 21 things that I love. Chronicling my journey toward a simpler, more meaningful life, Twenty-One Delights is about making room for the things that matter most. I’m Joelle Birano. I live in Hawaii with my husband and 2 daughters. This blog chronicles my commitment to de-cluttering my life, physically and emotionally, and rebuilding myself to be more productive, more focused, more content and better able to recognize and pursue the things in life that truly matter. If my journey can inspire and help someone along the way, even better.

5. Zen Presence

Zen Presence is about life.  It is about awakening to what is important in your life.  It is about mindful living, identifying your values, and what adds value to your life.  It is about slowing down enough to experience life first hand.  Finally, it is about helping others to do the same.

6. Simplifying at Home

My name is Ellen and I’m a wife, working mother and soon to be former home owner. Over the course of a year I slowly began to realize how far I was living from what I said were my priorities and values. There were bad habits–spending too much money on restaurant meals and convenience foods because who has time to cook, and then bemoaning my bad diet, which was compounded by a sedentary lifestyle because the only way to fit the gym in after eight hours in a cubicle is to get up early or stay up late and I had no energy (because of my sedentary lifestyle and bad diet). And there was guilt–all that convenience packaging, not keeping up with my friends and family, mostly following the law but otherwise not being much of a citizen or good community member. And there was the feeling that my life was a lot of work and not a lot of fun. Does that sound melodramatic? Good. I want to set things up for a Hollywood ending.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gwen Fisher Class

My schedule today includes an amazing opportunity to take a class with Gwen Fisher (  in a friend's lovely home, surrounded by beading friends, working on Ionic Polyhedra in varying those geometric forms!

 Whenever I can take a beading class, it feels like I'm playing hooky....or at least a mini-vacation.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

At the Fair

The opportunity to demonstrate basket weaving at the Puyallup Fair (our state fair) is always energizing and fun.  People are often amazed at the variety of materials and techniques that we use.

Couple that with raspberry scones, learning about new electric spinning wheels ( which were absolutely amazing and inspiring, watching a bobbin lace demonstration (one day, I'm really going to learn this), enjoying the chainsaw carving, and of course purple (not red or blue) cotton was a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Camera Research

Yesterday I spent part of the day researching cameras.  I want to be able to take pictures of my own work, as well as those for examples in my patterns and photos of baskets for my book (to one day be written).  My head is swimming with details of digital, compacts, super zooms, and SLR-like cameras. As with any information gathering process on the internet, there is way too much to easily assimilate.

After listing, sorting, comparing and deciding on a budget range, the choice has been thankfully narrowed down to two or three possibilities.  I have no intention of becoming a professional photographer, that is quite clear!  I want something above the point-and-shoot range and well below the top of the line.

But I am thinking that it will be fun to have a real camera around, rather than relying solely on my cell phone.  Maybe then I can better capture some of the sunsets and sights of my island home, that the cell phone camera simply isn't designed to catch.  Be forewarned, some fruits of my endeavors just may show up here as well.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Grant Proposals


After some appointments today, the rest of the day will be spent gathering pertinent information in order to write several grant proposals. I would definitely rather be weaving, but sometimes the business side of things has to come first.  It always sounds neat to say "I'm an artist"......if people only knew all the paperwork, 'busy-ness', and non-artistic stuff that goes with that!!

Writing for grants is tiresome, detailed, and feels so unproductive to me in the moment.  There is never a guarantee that one will be awarded the grant.  But I keep reminding myself, I definitely won't get anything unless I write the request! (Sort of like the dilemma of not buying lottery tickets...really hard to win if you don't buy them.  Come to think of it, writing grants is pretty similar to a lottery.)

It's also a challenge to have such a clear plan or path for future work, that a detailed, specific request can be formulated and succinctly written to accomplish that work.

Perhaps the challenge is getting the right and left sides of the brain to work together.  I'll keep the ibuprofen handy.....

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Light Heart

With two more unfinished baskets awaiting completion, sand on my shoes from the beach, and basking in the warmth of new friendships and renewed older ones, I'm trying to settle back into reality.  Sophie was well cared-for by her sitter, but will obviously be my constant shadow for a few days.

There are appointments to make, meetings to attend, unpacking to do, bookkeeping to complete, deadlines to keep, classes to schedule, and lists to make, let alone the weaving that is beckoning.  For the moment, however, with a purring kitty on my lap, I will attend to the staggering accumulation of emails with a light heart.

I really do love my life.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Immersed in Basketry

While being immersed in basketry and the inspiring artistry here in Oregon, some of us have been talking about the evolution of basketry, and our local love and use of natural materials. That basketry is not a common craft in this modern world is what probably makes it even more appealing to some of us.

 A nice, short summary of the history of basket weaving may be found at

Since our hunter gatherer days all humans on earth have required various vessels for eating and drinking and for gathering fruits, seeds and the various reeds and fibres invaluable to their weaving achievements.
Those that lived near rivers used baskets and bags woven from local fibres to aid their extensive fishing and hunting forays.
They were used to trap fish in rivers, gather shellfish from the sea and to scoop up fish or eggs gathered from nests of birds and waterfowl. And, as well as being used for carrying food, baskets could also be used for carrying babies.
Weaving is an activity the first human beings on earth did together.
Baskets are mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh*, a heroic tale from ancient Mesopotamia rooted in the ancient wisdom-tradition of humankind some two thousand years before the Christ event. Modern archaeologists have found a great deal of relevance to both ancient sites and cultural practices in its prose.
All cultures on earth have basket weaving traditions that date back before the times of Gilgamesh, which we are still learning about. Indigenous tribes on every continent, including Australia and America were involved in basket weaving.
The key to their success was an innate and intimate understanding of their natural environment, as well as their skills in designing nets, baskets and bags that were both flexible and adaptable.

*"You loved Ishullanu, your father's date gardener,
who continually brought you baskets of dates..."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Loving the Oregon Coast

Weaving baskets, teaching classes, visiting with friends, beautiful weather, all in an amazing setting.
Life is very, very good!  (Weaving done by Donna Crispin)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Oregon Bound

All packed up and heading to Oregon this morning for the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild's Tidal Twinings Fall Retreat.  Only teaching three classes, so am hoping to get some work done on two new class baskets on the other days...if I can refrain from visiting too much, that is.  (Actually, that is the blessing of chat with other weavers and see what they have made in this past year.)  And yes, one of my projects is the infamous and illusive little black basket that has defied me to date (but I I am ever hopeful).

Carry Awl (woven around a cork to protect the sharp ends of awls)
Cubed Squared (lattice twined)
Mini Rib Baskets

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Need for Lists

Peripatetic or not, I still need my packing lists...not so much for the usual personal care items, but trip specific:
- teaching supplies (the worst thing I can imagine is arriving to teach and not having essential materials)
- materials and tools for weaving projects
- sales items (with requisite receipt book, credit card swiper, petty cash)
- last minute errands (library, pharmacy, bank)
And it gives me an excuse...if I forget something, it's because it wasn't on the list!!!

Why do we love lists? Let us count the ways:
1. Lists bring order to chaos. "People are attracted to lists because we live in an era of overstimulation, especially in terms of information," says David Wallechinsky, a co-author of the fabulous Book of Lists, first published in 1977 and followed by subsequent editions. "And lists help us in organizing what is otherwise overwhelming."
2. Lists help us remember things — at the hardware store, for the vacation trip, Christmas presents. The One Planet Education Network, or OPEN, is a global online education content provider that counts Harvard and Columbia universities as clients. OPEN also swears by lists. "Checklists help you remember what you have done and what you have to do," the curriculum reminds the students.
3. Most lists are finite. They don't usually go on and on. And if they do, you can skip to the bottom of the list. The Internet Movie Database, for instance, lists its "bottom 100 movies as voted by users." The winner — er, loser — is Zaat, a 1975 sci-fi fiasco.
4. Lists can be meaningful. The Steven Spielberg classic Schindler's List is based on the true story of a German businessman who used a list of names to save more than 1,000 Jews from the concentration camps. It is ranked eighth on the American Film Institute's 2007 list of 100 top American films of the past 100 years.
5. Lists can be as long or as short as necessary. Jamie Frater, a New Zealand opera singer, maintains a list-keeping site called The List Universe. Recent posts include "20 Great Quotes from Ronald Reagan" and "Top 10 Codes You Aren't Meant to Know." A list, Frater says, should be "as long as is necessary. Some lists need be only a few lines an item, others a few paragraphs. I seldom write more than one paragraph, but occasionally the need arises to do so." Frater adds, "This question is a bit like asking an artist: 'When is the painting finished?' It is when it is."
6. Making lists can help make you famous. Notable list makers include Thomas Jefferson, Peter Mark Roget, Martha Stewart and Benjamin Franklin. "A methodical and wry man," wrote Franklin biographer Walter Isaacson in Time magazine, "Franklin loved making lists. He made lists of rules for his tradesmen's club, of synonyms for being drunk, of maxims for matrimonial happiness and of reasons to choose an older woman as a mistress. Most famously, as a young man, he made a list of personal virtues that he determined should define his life."
7. The word "list" can be tracked back to William Shakespeare, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. In Hamlet, the Bard refers to "a list of landlesse resolutes."
8. Lists relieve stress and focus the mind. "Lists," sociologist Scott Schaffer told The Oregonian newspaper, "really get to the heart of what it is we need to do to get through another day on this planet."
9. Lists can force people to say revealing things. In his 25 Random Things roster, former California Gov. Jerry Brown reveals that his favorite cereal is ... Flax Plus Multibran.
10. Lists can keep us from procrastinating. We put this one off until the end. Making a list enables us to get our heads around really big tasks — and helps us tackle the work one aspect at a time. But a list is only useful if it reveals a truth, solves a problem or leads to action. Making a list, for instance, does not necessarily help procrastinators. As DePaul University psychologist Joseph Ferrari told Psychology Today in 2008, people don't put off work they must do because they lack list-making skills. And, in turn, making a list does not get the job done.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Nomadic, Peripatetic, or Simply Unsettled?

Woke up this morning pondering the word "nomadic", and if that describes what my life has become.  Obviously, I turned to the internet for clarification:

A nomad (Greek: νομάς, nomas, plural νομάδες, nomades; meaning one roaming about for pasture, pastoral tribe), is a member of a community of people who move from one place to another, either with their livestock (pastoral nomads) or subsisting on hunting and gathering.
Sometimes also described as "nomadic" are the various itinerant populations who move about in densely populated areas living not on natural resources but by offering services (craft or trade) to the resident population. These are sometimes known[according to whom?] as "peripatetic nomads".

So would a better word for it be "peripatetic"?

traveling from place to place, esp. working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant, migratory, unsettled

And then that last synonym, "unsettled", got me a bit, well, unsettled!

All I was trying to do was find a label for what my life has become, moving from island to mainland, traveling to teach and take classes, and then traveling for visiting and adventure.  Hopefully soon I will add explorations and research for the book that is begging to be written. 

I just know that I am in a totally different stage of my life.  I fully embrace it, and love it, and maybe needn't define it.  But peripatetic does have a nice rhythm to it.....

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Slower & Simpler - the Manifesto

In my never-ending search for inspiration on living a slower and simpler life, I came across this post:  In it, he shares from “Blogging the Simple Living Manifesto.” The manifesto comes from author, blogger and minimalist, Leo Babauta and his site, Zen Habits.  Leo list 72 steps in his manifesto - well worth the read! 

The one that struck me the most?  Number 72:
Always ask: Will this simplify my life? If the answer is no, reconsider.

Leo also writes:  However, getting to simplicity isn’t always a simple process. It’s a journey, not a destination, and it can often be a journey of two steps forward, and one backward.

Hence my weekly reminders and search for ways to live a simpler and slower life.  In my case, it is most certainly a life-long journey....and at times I find that I need to retrace my steps.  Thank heavens it's not a race!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hummingbird Table Cloth - Done!

Over 6000 yards of  #10 crochet thread later, at 73" in diameter, and one year after it was started:

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Island Life in a Quote

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.”
Seth Godin

These words are on my mind as I pack up to head to the mainland.  I'm sad to be leaving, but thankful that I have days that are blessed and full, and the opportunity to be creating a life from which I don't need to escape.

So I'm not complaining that I need to leave.  Rather, I'm embracing the abundance in my life.
And as always, I promise myself that very, very soon, I'll be on Lopez full time.....

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Productive Day

Yesterday was wonderfully productive - weaving on the red basket, testing different resists for dyeing cotton towels, sharing in a Bahá’í fireside.  It got me wondering why it's easier to work on my art here on the island.  Because it's inspiring?  Or because I'm "away" from normal life, so I give myself permission to be creative, and to devote the time to it that it needs?

So what does that say about how it will be when I move to the island permanently??  Will the creative juices still flow if I'm here all of the time?  Do I need a "retreat" setting to be open to inspiration?

Just thoughts to ponder as I work and weave.  I was an artist before I got here.  It's just so much easier to work here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Art and Fear

As I continue to work on my dragon piece, and worry and fret, I'm reminded of some very quotable nuggets in one of my favorite books: 
Art and Fear - by David Bayles and Ted Orland
Art and Fear cover
The work we have not done seems more real in our minds than the pieces we have completed.

Making the work you want to make means finding nourishment within the work itself.
The overwhelming majority of your artwork is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars.

Failed pieces are essential.

You learn how to make your work by making your work.

Artists don’t get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working. — Stephen DeStaebler
Art is like beginning a sentence before you know its ending.
An artist’s major discoveries usually come early on, and a lifetime is then allotted to fill out and refine those discoveries.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Challenging New Piece

The studio tour is over (which was amazing and wonderful), Labor Day weekend is done, and thoughts turn to new beginnings.  I started a new piece yesterday, and as usual, I'm wondering if I'm perhaps pushing myself too hard...too far...too something this time. 

It's has 278 spokes.....and will definitely be a challenge.  I converted an oval planter for the mold, simply because I love its shape....and with this many spokes, I really, really need a mold.  The designs I have in mind are dragons on each side (a far cry from my usual flowers, leaves and vines).  Here's the scary beginning photo:

If you don't weave,  I'll just share that that is a lot of spokes.  If you do weave, you'll know that it's a lot of spokes.  And yes, it's a bit experimental in shear size, shape, and even the design.

I do love a challenge.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Words II

My post on June 6 on words was one of the most read and reposted of all of my blog.  Here is a fun follow-up:

Eleven Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures

--by Ella Frances Sanders, syndicated from, Aug 31, 2013
The relationship between words and their meaning is a fascinating one, and linguists have spent countless years deconstructing it, taking it apart letter by letter, and trying to figure out why there are so many feelings and ideas that we cannot even put words to, and that our languages cannot identify.

The idea that words cannot always say everything has been written about extensively  -- â€Šas Friedrich Nietzsche said, "Words are but symbols for the relations of things to one another and to us; nowhere do they touch upon the absolute truth."
No doubt the best book we’ve read that covers the subject is ‘Through The Language Glass’ by Guy Deutscher, which goes a long way to explaining and understanding these loopholes  --  the gaps which mean there are leftover words without translations, and concepts that cannot be properly explained across cultures.
Somehow narrowing it down to just a handful, we’ve illustrated 11 of these wonderful, untranslatable, if slightly elusive, words. We will definitely be trying to incorporate a few of them into our everyday conversations, and hope that you enjoy recognising a feeling or two of your own among them.

1 | German: Waldeinsamkeit

A feeling of solitude, being alone in the woods and a connectedness to nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson even wrote a whole poem about it.

2 | Italian: Culaccino

The mark left on a table by a cold glass. Who knew condensation could sound so poetic.

3 | Inuit: Iktsuarpok

The feeling of anticipation that leads you to go outside and check if anyone is coming, and probably also indicates an element of impatience.

4 | Japanese: Komorebi

This is the word the Japanese have for when sunlight filters through the trees — the interplay between the light and the leaves.

5 | Russian: Pochemuchka

Someone who asks a lot of questions. In fact, probably too many questions. We all know a few of these.

6 | Spanish: Sobremesa

Spaniards tend to be a sociable bunch, and this word describes the period of time after a meal when you have food-induced conversations with the people you have shared the meal with.

7 | Indonesian: Jayus

Their slang for someone who tells a joke so badly, that is so unfunny you cannot help but laugh out loud.

8 | Hawaiian: Pana PoÊ»o

You know when you forget where you’ve put the keys, and you scratch your head because it somehow seems to help you remember? This is the word for it.

9 | French: Dépaysement

The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country — of being a foreigner, or an immigrant, of being somewhat displaced from your origin.

10 | Urdu: Goya

Urdu is the national language of Pakistan, but is also an official language in 5 of the Indian states. This particular Urdu word conveys a contemplative ‘as-if’ that nonetheless feels like reality, and describes the suspension of disbelief that can occur, often through good storytelling.

11 | Swedish: Mångata

The word for the glimmering, roadlike reflection that the moon creates on water.