Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Creative Space_Colour Purple

Some simle and still so lovely sewing: small fragrant lavender sachets, with lace on top, in pale lilac. I'm not the biggest fan of such pastel colours, and know almost no one who is, apart one friend of mine. She looooves purple in many shades. Good excuse to make something in this colour! And also an excuse to try my hand at sewing linen. Oh, linen, how I love thee! (though I think you are a bit of a pain in the butt to sew, my pieces, though so tiny, kept shifting). But the end result is wonderful and spreads such a tender smell. For myself, I am picturing lemongrass sachets :)

And here is some planned sewing: kitchen towels in waffle for myself, just plain towels, only to be hemmed, and linen for my Mum, with some Alpine charm borders; a stripy tote from Sew Mama Sew! tut (like a prisoner, remarked my husband about the fabric).

As for the plastic pockets for my sewing-to-do, it's my latest AHA-experience concerning my sewing projects organisation. If I find the time to do some cutting during my son's nap, I put then the cut parts in plastic pockets together with a post-it, wriitng the name of the project and some notes to myself (like Don't forget the hanging tags!; no, I don't think this counts as talking to oneself).

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Friday, March 23, 2012

My Creative Space_Swedishly Nostalgic

Some time ago (I think some weeks already, but I'd better not think in numbers, they scare me) I've firmly (ha!) decided to blog more regularly. I even made a blogging schedule for myself - Quotation Monday, Colour Friday, you know. Well, life got in between me and my blogging. It's all life's fault. Damn you, life! It's not that I was not blogging, I was. Just mostly in my head, and I can't establish a very good connection between my brain and Internet, oh, it would be great, don't you think? Telepathic blogging... You know a researcher who would be interested?

Anyway, I've finally managed to cut into some earlier acquired fabric and also acquire some more. Some of it is still waiting to be butchered turned into something gorgeous. It was very domestic sewing: pants for my occasionally walking 1-year old and a pillow case for our ergonomic pillows.

The pants were done with pattern from Burda Style, they are really the best. The patterns I bought from them always have detailed instructions, which is immensely helpful for a beginner! I've wanted to make pants like these: somehow babies/toddlers in those ballooning trousers never cease to make me go all  mellow. The fabric is flannel my Mom brought for me from Russia,  it says "Brave Captain" all over. When I was cutting out the pieces, I've realized the fabric is in the colours of the Swedish flag: blue and yellow. Totally appropriate, considering the 8 years I spent in Sweden.

For further consolidation of the Swedish theme, of course IKEA fabric for IKEA pillows is the best choice! Some years ago I started to use these ergonomic pillows from IKEA, you know, that look like this: (image is from

Image from

and never stopped ever since - they are the best if your neck is aching. But the problem is, that due to their highly individual sizing the regular pillow cases don't really fit, yes, you can fold, but it's pretty annoying. It took me several years to realize that a pillow case is very easy to make. I had already one store-bought, so I simply deconstructed it (without cutting, though), and

ta-da! I have two well-fitting AND colourful pillow cases! (those from IKEA are sold only in white; since my childhood I have a strong aversion for white bed linens). Just please ignore the fact that the houses are pointing in the wrong direction... The fabric is nice, soft but not sloppy, I think they will hold well. And another 9 metres or so of fabric with a very similar design are awaiting to become duvet covers...

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Sunday, March 11, 2012


Life is complex, we all heard that before. Life is never black and white, we heard that before, too. There are so many shades in between those black and white, you will loose count. But somehow, such statements are just empty words, unless you are standing face to face with reality, that shows you the rainbow, the one between black and white. And you realize, that not all good is good and not all evil is really evil. It all about where you stand when the brick hits you.

March, 11, 2011. Already the numbers 11 look ominous, don't you think? And look what has happened on that day! So much suffering, pain, sorrow. The world will never forget March, 11, 2011.

 I will never forget this day, either. But I will celebrate. No, not because I'm a cinic, but because this day has become the happiest day of my life. The day when everything fell into place, like pieces of a puzzle (and I have never been good at puzzles, let me tell you). The day when my son was born. The day when he finally came out to meet me, to be taken in my arms, to sleep close to me. The day when I could stroke his head not through the taught skin of my belly, but without any barriers between us. The day when he complained about being disturbed in the warm, dark, cosy, if somewhat smallish space he was accomodating the last almost 9 months and being pulled out into cold, bright light. He was not pleased, we all understood that, and he couldn't wait to tell us about it. But the next day – an angel smile. They say the smile of a newborn is nothing else than a reflex, but I don't care. I will always think this smile was FOR ME. Becase he was happy to be finally here, close to me. 

My heart bleeds for all the people who lost their loved ones and their homes on this day. Their lives has changed completely then. My life changed, too, and some things will never be the same.
But I will celebrate this day as a start of a new life, the day my son was born.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Quote for Wednesday_Please, buy a ticket

One more feature on my blogging schedule - a quotation every Wednesday. Why Wednesday, of all days? Well, in my prehistoric working life Wednesdays were always the worst days - they were the longest. And I changed jobs several times! Besides, it's in the middle of the week, it's like a breaking point - if you drag yourself through Wednesday, you can draw a sigh of relief and look forward to the weekend already.

I'm an avid reader (well, or used to be, in the BB time, that is, Before Baby), and I've always collected quotes from books I've read. Inspirational, philosophical, or just strikingly similar to my own thoughts - I think I have already accumulated volumes, if I really put it alltogether. And then I even moved on to the movies, thanks to DVDs, otherwise you have to be pretty darn quick to jot down what catches your attention.

This time it will be a movie - Eat, Pray, Love, you know, where Julia Roberts is gorging herself on Italian food and then goes to India to detox (well, that's my version, somewhat simplified). Honestly, I haven't seen the entire movie yet, somehow I haven't been able to see it to the end, mainly due to disturbances of a baby-ish kind. Well, anyway, I've seen enough to hear a story about an old Italian man, who every day goes to church and begs a statue: Dear statue, please, please, please, let me win a lottery. One day an exasperated statue comes to life and says: Dear man, please, please, please, buy a lottery ticket. I was so astounded by this that I'm actually not able to find any words, and yet something is bubbling inside every time I think about it and has to be put into those so-hard-to-find words.

I mean, it's so obvious, isn't it, that if you want to win a lottery you have to start somewhere? Like, buying the damn ticket? BUT THEN, IF IT'S SO OBVIOUS, WHY DO WE FORGET IT ALL THE TIME????? This wisdom is international - don't expect favours raining down on you while you are enjoying a siesta on your backyard. You have to work, just to get that very backyard. And then to work some more, to be able to have a siesta. And maybe to afford a comfy chair to stretch out on. And a gardener, to mow your lawn... But I'm deviating. I guess I can call myself a fatalist, though not necessarily in a pessimistic way - I do believe that we have a path to travel, and yes, some bad things have to happen to us too, but they are stepping stones, lessons to be learned. In the end you will get your reward. There's only one teeny-tiny catch: you don't know from the start how hard you must try. Oh, if we could know everything beforehand, life would have been so much easier, don't you think? (And so exceedingly boring, too).

But reading about this statue, so annoyed by the human stupidity, made me contemplate about my own life. Have I done enough? Do I sit idly and wait for things to happen? (well, some events, and wonderful, marvelous, long expected and almost given up on DID occur without any interference on my side whatsoever, but I see it more as an exception).

I guess, it's not a lame starting point for thinking about you weekend, huh? What about a nonchalant remark to your husband about that intriguing restaurant you passed by earlier this week...

P.S. Yesterday I've started reading Eat, Pray, Love. Only a few pages, and she's already my guru. Elizabeth Gilbert, here I come!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Vive Le Livre_Beasts in the Belfry

Following the lead of Felicity from Gifts of Serendipity, I've managed to squeeze two books out of this month (well, to be entirely honest, I've cheated and started in the end of January (February is too short, even with one extra day!!!!).

The first book is Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. I read some of his other books (too) many years ago, in my teens, but My Family and Other Animals I knew as a screen adaptation (a lovely one!). The book is hilarious, I have to say at once, and that chaotic family of his is simply marvellous (my favourite is Larry, with his sarcastic jokes and observations). 
But it turned out a bittersweet reading for me. Bittersweet, because re-reading novels from my youth always evoke mixed feeling in me, you realize with a bang, how much you've actually CHANGED. 
Bittersweet, as it surfaces the memories of things, places, people I most probably will never see again. Perhaps, not reality for many people, but for me, yes. Reading about the colourful Corfu, its scents and flavours made me feel the smell of eucalyptuses once again and remember that night of full moon, that made the streets look almost as it was daytime, only they were deserted and still (on a less romantic side, I was having a pretty bad toothache then, otherwise I would have slept soundly through all that beauty). These days are gone and remain only in memories and some bits and pieces in pictures. 
Bittersweet, as not many will understand this, this „melancholy of my own“. I am mostly surrounded by people who were born and raised in one and the same place. They have their childhood friends close to them. They can gossip about old school friends (as they have all the information, who got married to whom and all that). They can make it into a tradition to meet at a certain time of the year at a certain place and keep it for 20 years. They can see their friends (and themselves, too) getting older. Well, that was perhaps not the most advantageous part of it, and in fact I'm feeling less melancholy already. Boring? For me, no. It's just a matter of standpoint, after all. My childhood was very different, cut in two by three years in another country, another continent, and was followed by quite some moving around in my adult life. I don't find that predictable life of other people boring, even though I would never want to change the past. Matter of standpoint, after all.

Which brings me to the second book, full of animals as well – Yann Martel's Life of Pi. I read it some years ago, and could vaguely remember the plot. The end was immersed in darkness, the only light glimmering in my brain was that the end was brilliant. It was, indeed, as I realized after having finished the book for the second time. I will not spoil your pleasure now by telling you about the end, you have to go and read for yourself (and don't skip the rest of the book!). Let me just tell you that there is a lonely boy, a life boat bobbing on the waves of the Pacific and a menagerie, out of which remains only a Bengal tiger, when the rescue finally takes place (the boy lives, too, to tell the story).
What I loved about this novel is it's main topic behind a thrilling plot – what is fiction, telling stories? How much is actually just imagination of the teller in every story being told? Should we call it straightforward lying or is it, after all, art? These all are questions without a direct answer. If it does exist, then literature will simply die. 

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