Iceland Inspiration

IMG_0237bI’ve recently returned from a fabulous adventure in Iceland. So vibrant and rich in history and natural wonder and yet so very mystical at the same time. This country has taken a little piece of my heart and hidden it away for good, most likely behind some breathtaking waterfall deep in the cleft of a cliff off in the glacial mountains.IMG_0087Someday I will return to retrieve it, but for now I can close my eyes and remember each taste, and scent and texture, and that is enough. Pure ice-cold water enjoyed straight from a stream after a long mountain hike, the comfort of hand-warming street food eaten curb-side in the wind and rain, the tang of the sulfur in the air and the salt of the ocean, the warmth and softness of Icelandic wool – All are ingrained in my memory and will serve as inspirations for years to come.litlareykjahlid_product_1_1024x1024

While touring around downtown Reykjavic, my husband and I stumbled upon an amazing boutique called Farmers Market. I fell in the love with their rustic farm-chic style immediately.

varmaland_par_product_2_1024x1024I’m a huge sucker for chunky knits, knee high socks and just a touch of grunge and this place had just that. My husband walked away with a wonderfully soft and cozy wool undershirt (featured in the photo above). Every time he wears it I picture him coming home to our cabin after a long day of chopping wood and shearing sheep to spend the evening cuddling with me next to the fire while sipping whisky and quietly chatting about our future. Well…I guess we don’t have a cabin…or the sheep, we don’t have those either…or the wood-chopping for that matter, so maybe just fireside cuddles and a few cocktails will have to do! As for me, I see tall leather boots, long woolen socks, soft knits and BIG scarves wrapped loosely round and round my neck as my winter uniform.

Hello and welcome!

My name is Mary Gross, and you have just stumbled upon my “creative outlet,” as some would call it. This is my respite for an overworked mind – A place to let my thoughts, dreams and ideas flow. As a wife with a full time job it is often hard for me to find the time and energy to do the things I really love, like cooking, designing clothing, and crafting. My hope is that as I blog and exercise my creative muscles, I will no longer feel like a closeted what-have-you. This is my motivation to make and do the things often talked of but rarely acted upon.

So why the fox and the elephant? Foxes are known for their adeptness and survivalist nature. They move silently and swiftly with all intelligence given to them. They are great listeners. They entrance others with “charm” by dancing and leaping and acting silly. They are also alluring, dressed in coats that change with the seasons and accessorized with a spectrum of eye colors. The fox represents my love of sleek styling and design. It also symbolizes my desire to hone my skills; to be able to create more quickly and proficiently with intention and cleverness.

The elephant is an odd yet beautiful creature. It is my symbol of strength, wisdom, and loyalty. It embodies how I seek to tackle those large challenges in my life that seem impossible to conquer…like starting a blog, for instance. My dad once asked me the question, “How do you eat an elephant?”  He asked this when I was facing a particularly daunting task one day. Being unfamiliar with the saying, I proceeded to grab hold of an invisible prehistoric-sized leg of meat with both hands, threw back my head then flung it forward, sinking my teeth into the flesh whilst snarling like some predator. The correct answer is actually “One bite at a time,” mind you, but when I think about it, I suppose my answer wasn’t too far off. When met with overwhelming challenges, the best way to commence is often by first taking a leap of faith and sinking our teeth deep into the matter then proceeding on, bite by bite, step by step until we conquer the beast or mountain in front of us.

So there it is. These two creatures may seem like unlikely friends, but together they become something worth striving for. With this blog, my aim is to take those large obstacles, whether it’s roasting a whole duck for the first time or designing my own pattern for the coat I can’t stop envisioning, and tackling them piece by piece, bite by bite with as much cleverness and finesse as I can muster. And if it gets messy, well then that’s just part of the fun too! I hope you will join me as I bite my way through life.