Sunday, December 17, 2017

Baltic Christmas Day 17 - Memories of puzuri, then and now

Today we welcome Ilze Lucero to 24 Days of a Baltic Christmas! The photographer, artist and designer in Michigan joins us on Day 17 with a glimpse of her childhood in Latvia…

One of my Christmas memories growing up in Latvia was making puzuri - Christmas mobiles made of straw, popular in the Baltic region (in Finland they are known as himmeli). I usually ended up with several small ones that we used as ornaments on a tree.

I remember going to the Ethnographic museum and seeing intricate complex mobiles tied together and spinning as the air moved through the room, and it fascinated me, and brought me wonder and joy.

As years have passed and my life journey has brought me to the United States, I try to bring some of my Latvian traditions to our family life. We bake hard gingerbread cookies. After a visit with family in Latvia this summer, I was inspired to make puzuri – well, a bit of a modern take on puzuri – I used thin bar straws and fishing line, and embellished some of them with beads. I'm hoping to make quite a few more and let them hang in my windows as well.

I love seeing how age-old traditions blend with everyday life; how digging in the past brings happy memories from childhood, as well as makes new memories for the family.

Paldies Ilze! I have the same fascination with watching puzuri spin and twirl in the soft light of a Christmas tree – so magical!

Ilze is a photographer, artist, and graphic & stationery designer in Michigan. Over the last few years she has started designing traditional Latvian-inspired clothing and Latvian greeting cards, a collection of which are available through her Zazzle store. Ilze has also recently started a personal photography project - Portrait of a Latvian Nomad - with a goal of photographing portraits of Latvians scattered around the world.

Ilze does have a few Latvian Christmas designs that would be great gifts, so please make sure to take a look at her graphic and stationery design sites on Redbubble, Zazzle and Etsy, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Ilze’s photography portfolio is on her website, Facebook and Instagram, and more on Latvian Nomad can also be found on Facebook and Instagram. In addition to the traditional Latvian-inspired designs she has more than a few great gift ideas that carry across her love of the natural world – something we Balts all have in common.... Take a look!

Clockwise: Belted Latvian mug, Geode iPhone case, Lielvārde motif throw pillow, Lielvārde iPhone case (buy here)

Thanks for joining us today on the Third Advent, and please pop in tomorrow for a surprise appearance by some favorite webcast personalities!


  1. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be part of this project

  2. I, too, love blending the old, traditional with modern concepts - like making huge puzuri from bamboo purchased at the crafts store!


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