Friday, 29 June 2012

What colours for the dress?

I was searching for suitable summer dress all spring. I had two strong requirements. It must be some kind of natural fiber - cotton, linen, whatever, no viscose or other synthetic materials. The second - my size and age must fit to the style of the dress. No strapless. Nothing really short. And nothing too girlish with little flowers.

Do you think I did find one? Nope. There were hundreds of dresses, even maxi dresses, but all had at least something wrong.

Linen is a bit complicated to sew because seams must be done very strongly so material will not rip apart after few days (no simple zigzag technics), but that's the only bad thing about the material. Colour is nice - quite dark and bold. And design feels very comfortable, indeed. I loved, I really, really loved making this dress.

But then I started think what to wear with it, and now my hapiness is gone LOL... Wardrobe woes!

 It's dark red. What I already have? A bright orange silk vintage jacket... would really cheer the dark red. A matching silk equestrian scarf, the same dark red as the dress with blue edges and yellowish golden beige for the carriage wheel in the centre.

Accessories? Dark blue shoes, bangle and earrings... Looks like all must match but I'm not really happy.

Picking up a dark blue jacket - all looks so dark...Orange shoes - well, I'm picky about my shoes so I would not shop online...
Then there is a possibility to combine beige pashmina wrap and straw hat, decorated with that silk scarf. Again, not exactly right combination...

I also have open toe sandals, exactly the same colour as dress, but then  I have problem with earrings and some kind of bracelet....And the main problem - the handbag. What type? What colour?
Do YOU have any idea how to better accessorize this dress?  I really would like to see your ideas.

A day out

Sewing is fun but the girl need a day out sometimes - a breath of fresh air and sun... It' s summer (at least we believe in such! LOL)

I was happy to spot some of our orchid species - my fav of course is Platanthera bifolia because of its wonderful smell but these Orchis militaris also are qute nice to see, especially on the busy path - it means that people here have started to respect the protected species.

The little busy stream was still high after all the rain we had here, and covered by starving mosquitoes LOL

Actually it was raining most of the time so I cut the time out quit short but it did not kill the great feel of the summer...

With garden full of strawberries summer is just here despite the weather.

And now just some pictures from my garden right after the rain.All well known, old fashioned low maintenance flowers for lazy ones like me.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Today among other projets like putting together a large warderobe, moving sofas and other such activities beyond the sewing machine, I stared new page about Baltic ornaments, symbols and their meaning. Always wanted to do but never had enough time as it is fairly large project.
Our ancestors, creating a new pattern always put some meaning in it. Well wishes, good luck, strenght and protection and such things. For example, this one ornamental block on the left is mine, created by computer programm, based on my birthdate. It has no meaning for you but I will definitely use it one way or another. Funny actually, but it fits me.Vertical centre is about masculine power in my life which is fairly right, and also, as it  hasn 't completely closed center part on the horisontal line, it says that I'm not very well balanced with my feminity which also is right.

Even if you do not believe in anything, putting together a meaningful pattern is worth it as our thoughts we put in our creations, do carry some energy. This the reason why I do not value much things produced by factories as they do not have such a value in them, rather opposite as they are made without any thought about who will use the said thing.

Yes, there are beautiful printed cards, made by fantastic artist, but one like this will be valued much higher by me simply because one little heart did put all her love in this one to say "Mum, I love you so much!"

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Happy end

So, Mr Noir's little holidays are over.  Here he is, waiting to meet his owner. And me, hoping that it will be his owner, that the search is over.

And then... then...

yes, the owner appeared and Mr.Noir aka Gray convinced me that it really is his owner.
There were no doubts for me.

Overall happiness!

So this is a happy end. And you know what - we already miss him. LOL He was such a good dog to be with. To play with. Very nice fella. I hope that he is really happy now and does not miss us at all.

So off they went... Two happy boys together. Gray even looked back which we really appreciate. Thank you, Gray, for a nice company!

So the happy end is a happy end and now I can concentrate back on my projects. I hope to complete two of current ones today and then start working on the pillows. Today thunderstorms are promised again so it's perfect time for some sewing.

Sometimes I wonder am I really so lazy in comparison with many other quilting bloggers who manage to complete a new project nearly every day?

Monday, 25 June 2012

Updates on Mr Noir

There are good news and bad news.

The good - his owner is searching for him which is great. He had called today to one of radio stations which accepts "dog calls". He also left his phone number.

The only bad thing right now - the phone is switched off and not responding. Now radio station is calling for him to respond. LOL

And we made a big mistake. His real name is not Mr. Noir. His real name is Mr Gray ! 

So hopefully Mr.Gray will soon be in his owner's arms.
Gray just recently lost his owner. Yesterday, during all the funeral preparations he escaped to, most likely, search for his owner ho did not returned from hospital. Her son was devastated - it's mother's dog who he has promised to look after with all his heart.  And now dog is lost!

He was searching for the dog this morning before the funeral, and now hos phone is off because of that. One of his friends just called to explain the situation.

So... yes, there are bad news and good news, going all hand in hand.

Lonesome George dies

Yesterday BBC announced some sad news. The last Pinta giant tortoise has died. With no offspring and no known individuals from his subspecies left, Lonesome George became known as the rarest creature in the world.

Another one has gone. Lost. Forever. Because of the actions of this terrible vermin - human. I'm not crazy green or something but these news always leave me really sad about human race. About how bluntly irresponsible we still are, taking one space out of gene pool after another even without an excuse. 

For the last 50 years of his life without anybody of his own race around he was feeling probably quite lonely.

More about his story here.

We stomp around this Planet like reckless monsters, killing everything and everybody on our way. And gradually such way of living has started to haunt us back. It only seems that we are getting stronger. The sad reality is rather opposite... sometimes I wish the declined health would reduce the human population faster, before we'll manage to completely kill this Planet.

Mr Noir

Last night we were walking our dogs, as usual. Suddenly out of the blue appeared little perky black gentleman who wanted to join the team. A Dachshund mix. After about 30 minutes of playing it was clear that something is missing - the owner.

It was late, it was time to go home and little fella was still playing with us, ready to follow wherever we decide to go.

Sigh... You know that moment when you do realise that you simply MUST make a decision.

Well, it was easy. I called the little fella. In response he jumped on my lap and licked my face (in case I hadn't already noticed how nice boy he is). I attached the dog lead to his collar - sure, right, are we going home?

So, yes, we went home - our two and this little fella. Our dogs were ecstatic - nice playmate to be taken home - Woo Hoo!

Last night he spent trying out ALL the toys of our dogs. Ecstatic. He tried all the beds and settled for the night with the child. He was the first one to bark when neighbours walked past our doors. He settled in. Right from the doorstep.

This morning he refused the dog breakfast. These little boring bits in the bowl... Yeah, probably there are some miserable dogs who eat such stuff, but no, thank you.

Our breakfast was something completely different. As soon the fridge door was opened, one black head was in it to check out what he would like to have for breakfast. (Cruel me - dog biscuits or nothing. )

Then we went to the vets in hope that he will have a microchip. No. Microchip is absent. No names or numbers on his collar either. But the dog can tell a lot about himself and his owners. He was acting perfect at the vets. Friendly, happy, intrigued but not frightened at all.

Vet removed a thick. A nervous teckel with some attitude problems would create a drama. This fella just sat there - polite and friendly, and vet got a proper kiss as well after the procedure. According to vet, this little one is no older than 2 years, probably 12 - 18 months, not spayed, very healthy and one lucky boy.

Last night I left messages already on our dog-missing sites, and today I left an information in all city shelters and major vet clinics. I really do hope that he will find the way back to his owner very soon because there is definitely somebody who is crying for him. If not, he will go to shelter. In hope to find a new owner. I can't keep him, of course. But until then:  Mr. Noir, s'il vous plaît!

It is still raining cats and dogs outside so I will try to arrange all my current projects in line:
to complete the bag for the picknick blanket,
make the pillows,
re-arrange one red linen summer dress which is a tad bit too big for me around the top. Three little jobs and a strange dog... not much for the day, isn't it? LOL

Sunday, 24 June 2012


There are not so many spots in Europe where really old, pre-Christian traditions are still alive, and our Midsummer madness is one of them. Of course, it has changed over the centuries but somehow it has  managed fit into the modern world as well.

The celebration of Midsummer's Eve comes from ancient times as a festival of the summer solstice. The dates of real summer solstice vary year by year, so here it has blended witch Christian St. John's Day which is set on 24th June. Thus here we do celebrate Midsummer's night from 23rd to 24th June every year.

Midsummer traditions and celebrations are pre-Christian in origin, linked mostly with fire and water..Here it has nothing to do with Neopagans and all that - for us it's old, stable tradition which has survived repressions from Church and Soviets at different times.

One of the traditional beliefs is that all herbs, picked on Summer solstice, have most healing power thus that's one practical job to do - picking up your herbal teas for the long winter ahead. The knowledge about plants and their healing powers are still alive here. Each  family might have a bit different approach, but overall it would be hard to find somebody who has never tried herbal tea at some point in their life. Itš mainstream here especially for neverending colds during the winter. Quite interesting that modern medicine has accepted many of these herbs that our grand grandmothers had used over centuries without the scientific researches.

Next thing - decorating your home. Again, bringing all the wildflowers home for the night is some cleansing process, getting you and your home ready for the night.
Again, each region might have their own favourite plants, but for me it's Acorus calamus and Galium verum. Then the oak branches, red and white clover and Centaurea cyanus.  And ferns, a lot of ferns*. The rest is by choice, as one of our folk songs say: any plant is good picked on Midsummer Eve.

In old days when our ancestors lived in farms, the whole property needed some decoration as well. To be cleansed, to be protected. From witches, let' s say. From bad eye, from jealous and nasty people. For the latest the best protection is Sorbus aucuparia. Plant one against you nasty neighbours, make your door frame out of this wood or at least put one piece right down on the doorstep so any bad vibes will be not entering your home.

If you are farmer or at least a pet owner, you must protect them as well. Old days each farm animal got a wreath to protect them against bad eye an illnesses. Circular form of a wreath duplicate the form of a Sun and all the power it has. Now is time for you.

First thing is a bath. Or sauna or whatever it's called. Old days it was a little house a bit away from the main house, with a lot of stones and a proper stove in it. It was heated for several hours before bathing until stones went hot. Then it was time to pick up the birch (or even better - as many herbs as you picked up just right before) besom and a good time to get clean - inside and outside.

Then clean clothes, the best you had (or these days it's the right night to wear your national costume if you have one)and wreath for yourself. Midsummer's night is the only night when everybody - not only young girls - must wear the wreath. Not only for decoration, but mostly to protect us from all the bad energies released for the night and floating around.

Woman wear flowers, men - oak leaf wreath (oak is the strongest tree here,representing all the power, energy and fertility). It was always about wildflowers, but in 19th century to be more posh, girls started to wear also the garden flowers in the wreath, but now again it is more about wildflowers. Fashion trends even in this department! LOL

When all is ready, it must be late so time to set up for the night. Food and fire. Food as well has symbolic meanings. Beer and round homemade cheese. Nothing fancy like French cheese, but simple roll out of curd. And then on top all the little pies with different fillings and all the BBQ stuff nowadays. And then there is the fire to be lit at the sunset.

The fire is cleansing and protecting thing so it must be lit on the top of the hill as it protects as far as it is seen. Higher the bonfire is, better.

And now with all the food and beer is time for the feast around the fire. All night long as fire must be kept alive thus you must look after it. We do also believe that a person who goes to sleep that night, will be quite sleepy and lazy all the next year so better keep up!

Singing and dancing.. we do have plenty of folk songs. About 1.5 millions collected. But majority knows about 300, and for the lazy ones who does not sing at all (I do not want to spoil the feast!) the bare minimum is about 50.

Of course, over the centuries it has changed a bit. While wreath and wildflowers are the some, only the best of us know how to make a homemade beer ourselves, so it has been replaced with supermarket stuff. If you are living in six storey apartment block, putting a rowan tree on top of your chimney might end in hospital (or at least in police) so you just decorate your car before hitting the road out to country. You must be lucky anyway as all the road police here is out because on the overall drunk driving.

So the night might be like this one

or like this one last night in the centre of city when about 60,000 people gets together for BBQ and 15 different sorts of beer

So all in all, it is just a public holiday here, not much  different from any BBQ night out in the country around the world, but... It's still the magic of MIDSUMMER NIGHT.

PS. *As this is G-rated blog I can't tell about all our summer solstice traditions, for example, about searching for the magic blossom of the fern. I will only mention the fact that association for family planning and sexual health here is named "Blossom of the fern" LOL

Friday, 22 June 2012

Summer solstice

This is again the time of the year, the summer solstice, when everything changes. The shortest night of the year, bonfires and wreaths of wild flowers, mosquitoes and BBQ.... And the sad understanding, that now we are starting our days towards the winter. I would say that it feels quite depressing.

On the other hand - strawberries are here to keep my spirit up and all the fields are full of wonderful flowers - so no, summer is still here!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Voting fun

So yesterday I entered my blanket for Internet voting, and it is doing surprisingly well. It feels really good as I hadn't been doing anything creative for years, many many years, and now I have my mind so tangled that I can't see what I'm doing. When strangers press the button and vote for mine (and no, I had not asked all my relatives vote for it :D ) for me it is like big pat on shoulder. 
I was considering about adding applique of a big, bright red dragoon on it and other options and then decided to leave everything how it is right now without any attachments.
One is clear - I really like the creation, whatever materials or techniques are used, so it is unstoppable now. I have no idea on what I will stop at the end, but my dream is to open an etsy shop and try to make my creations sellable. A dream, just a dream, but it would be great. (Everybody must have at least some dreams).
Until then I must learn so much - so many new materials and new techniques to try out and learn.

On the other note - being cheap makes life so much more fun when learning and trying. Yesterday I raided the charity shop in a big way - 25 shirts were purchased. These are only some of them - look great, isn't it? I really think that quilts started to use every last bits of material when they had value. Now so many materials are thrown away that could be recycled. At least these shirts will have second life. Recycling also keeps my not so thick purse happy - shirts are for 25 cents each and gives me about a square yard of material each. Nice, isn't it?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

I did it!

Yes, I did it! I completed the quilting today and now the quilt is spinning in washing machine already.
As I said, quilting is not nice - I still have serious learning to do - maybe one day I will take a class or two. Or will get the long arm machine instead of my old poor Singer. But anyway - it's finished and that's all that counts at the end.

I named it "Driving in rain" and hopefully will enter it tomorrow just in time for the contest. It will be fun.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Half done

So, the half of the picnic quilt is completed. It's not washed, it's not ironed - just right off the sewing machine, so looks even worse than it actually is.

As usual, I'm not happy with quilting, and it spoils all the fun of piecing, but that's life :D At least I can show that I am doing something productive, not only telling silly tales from the past.

Today I'm planning spent all day quilting to see if I can kill at least a half of the remaining pieces. I had a target - to complete it tomorrow as I have busy weekend ahead and I want to finish it. Tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Tales of the past I

Only half of my blanket is quilted. Which is terribly slow. But my idea of cutting it into 4 smaller pieces for quilting really worked – it is so much easier to quilt just ¼ of a full blanket, so I’m quite happy butt still nothing to share.  So... while blanket is is on its way, I will share one of my treasures – one of my TV soap style true family stories. Sometimes I wonder what exactly makes us US, the people who we are. Genes? Location? Upbringing? How much of it’s our own will and how much is destiny? :D
The story starts in 1860, when a teenage boy from quite noble family lost both his parents due to pneumonia. He was raised up by two elderly aunts – both spinsters. Of course, he was rotten spoiled, but young lads still needs to get education, so he was sent to study agriculture and manor management to Germany (if facts are precise, Heidelberg University) along with his milk brother as a butler. 
To be honest, young nobleman was not into studying; he preferred beer and all the fun of the student life so he soon got the genius idea – to keep aunts happy, he sent to university his milk brother while he was enjoying life away from his old aunts. 
Milk brother did the good job and graduated with good marks under the name of the young nobleman. So when they returned home, young nobleman had the Diploma to show the aunts, and his milk brother – all the knowledge to run the manor.  And so it went. Young nobleman continued to enjoy life while his milk brother took the position of the estate manager and everybody was happy. 
Then the accident happened – young nobleman fall in love.  He put his eyes not on the young noble lady, but... on one of the maids in the manor. To cut the story, she became pregnant. The marriage was out of the question, of course – he was not so brave. But the young nobleman was not a bad boy, he wanted to sort out the situation in the best possible way.  So he offered a farm to his milk brother if he will marry the maid and adopt the child. 
The deal was done and the child – a girl was born 1898. All was great until the WWI started. Not so young noble gentleman and his milk brother went to army while maid and her daughter were evacuated deep into Russia – Samara. Mother found a job, daughter went to school.
Then few years later the typhoid epidemic started and the city, overcrowded with evacuees was in the mess. The city services did not messed around – it was a wartime – everybody who collapsed on the streets were delivered to the hospital, and if no signs of life – into morgue. 
The maid had epilepsy and when she one evening after her shift in factory collapsed on the streets, she also was collected. Sadly – she was taken right to the morgue. Her daughter searched for mother, and next morning, when morgue doors were opened to collect the corpses for burial, her mother was found dead at the door – with bleeding fingers when she in panic tried to scratch her way through the morgue door. 
So the young schoolgirl now was alone in Samara.  To find the job was easy, but cope with loneliness – not so. Then she met a young Russian army officer who was speaking her language and fell in love. 
Quick sidestep about the young officer – he was the 6th son of a farmer, and as such, needed to get away from home. He had some artistic talents so he became a decorator and later found himself into army engineer school – big way for a farmer’s son. His brother followed him into Russian army as well. In 1906, being a young handsome officer, he fell in love with a noble lady and they engaged.  
After few months later the windy lady met somebody else, and young officer was informed by post that all is over. He took it seriously, very seriously. He was so upset that decided to join the communist party in 1907 – all the nobles are crap. :D  So since then he was Russian army officer, engineer, and a member of communist party.  
Back to our story. 
So the young lady met this officer and they got married. The war was nearly over, the revolution took it’s turn so now they were both in Soviet Russia, both non Russians, and her husband, being an early communist and an army engineer, high in position. 
Husband was sent all over the country to build bridges and blow up buildings, and young lady followed. Their first child was born in 1922, then the girl in 1924, and then another boy in 1926.
 Soviet Russia that time was quite a wild place; groups of looters under different political shields were still rooming around. One of such groups attacked the train where young lady with her children were travelling. Being quite wealthy she had several fur coats (it’s a necessity in Russian winter, to be honest). Trains were crap, no heating, so the youngest child, just 9 month old, was sleeping neatly wrapped in the fur coat. 
When looters went through the train in hurry, they spotted the fur coat, not the baby in it, and grabbed it despite mother’s screams. The army was called in, the chase started just few hours later, and looters were caught with the fur coat. The baby was found only next morning near the embankment where the looters had thrown him out. He was buried there in hurry as the train needed to continue its way and today nobody knows where exactly is that baby’s grave. 
So lady now had 2 children. Her husband was successfully climbing up the soviet career ladder, when she received a letter from home. Her real father along with his milk brother both had died during the WWI and now she has become the official heir and owner of the whole estate.  To claim her rights, she must return home. 
The times were hard. Chances that Soviets will let them leave the country were really slim and the information that his wife is an owner of an estate, a noblewoman actually, would not only ruin his career, but most likely would cost them lives. So decision was made – keep mouth shut and carry on – forget about past, estates and the homeland. So they did. 
The army engineer became one of the head architects of St. Petersburg. His brother was still in Soviet army where he was accused for political disloyalty and shoot 1937. Soviets did expanded and the homeland of the couple became a part of the Soviet Union in 1940. The door was open and they started to think about possibilities to return back. Until then, their oldest son who just graduated, decided to go first and see the homeland of both his parents. 
So he went. It was a shock for him. Big shock. So the young lad, raised in Soviet Russia, went to church. And then, when German army attacked the Soviets, he joined German army – not because he liked Germans, or Nazi – he just wanted to fight against Soviets. His destiny was hard. He was captured by Soviets and as a POW sent to gold mines in Yakutia where he died in 1953. 
The lady and her family were still in St. Petersburg, when the war started. German army moved fast and reached St. Petersburg in 8th September, 1941. (If you are interested, search Wikipedia for Siege of Leningrad for more detailed info).  
Her husband had a chance to evacuate his family out of the city when the situation worsened, but they decided that it would not be fair to these who can’t leave.  So they stayed.  She and her youngest daughter  were taking bricks apart from bombed houses, worked in hospitals and did all other jobs what people were doing in that city during the blockade. And they all survived. (Sories about surviving Blockade are worth a book, not just a single post here :D). 
When the war was over, the lady’s husband was sent to their homeland as one of the ministers of the new, Soviet government there. But they were already living in fear – their oldest son had been in German army, now was in Gulag and if officials would found it out... 
They returned. Her husband was in government for several years until Soviet bureaucracy sorted out itself, 2 was added to 2, and he lost his position.  He worked as an architect, his wife - as accountant and they both raised their daughter back in the homeland. 
The lady lived a long life to tell me the story of her life. As a grand grandmother she was also the first story teller to my children. She survived the stomach cancer surgery and broken hip and died at age of 89. Her daughter is still alive and going on. 
So, this is the one of the stories from my family collection. Reads like a crappy TV soap script, isn’t it? :D Now it’s time to go back to quilting... Tempus fugit!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Tales of the past

Materials: white linen and red wool. Its woven on a belt loom using the pick-up technique.

Till my quilting torture continues and I still have nothing to show, I decided to tell the story of one of my family’s treasures, way over 100 years old.
During the WWI the farmhouse of our family was quite a busy place. German and Russian armies were moving in and out, each leaving their  marks. The whole place was a mess, and nobody knew what will happen tomorrow but show must go on – farming is farming, war is no excuse. One night, returning back from fields, parents of my granny spotted an alien horse in the orchard.  Horse was nietly tied to one of the apple trees – ribcage showing out and limping on all 4. A ruined warhorse. 

It was impossible to say to which army the horse belonged but somebody definitely had a heart for it, leaving it behind and not dragging it into an inevitable death. During the WWI soldiers still had hearts for their horses. And this one was the lucky one.  The horse survived and become great friend and protector to my granny – she remembered that horse all her life and his story is still alive in our family.
The horse was tied to the tree with the old belt. Not an army product, but something very special – a hand woven belt which is part of our national costume.  Something special for the soldier to take with him – a memory from home, a talisman to protect. And he left it with the horse... 

One of it’s end horse had already cheved in starvation as he was not able to reach grass, but the rest survived.   

This type of belts has very complicate ornamental tracery. In each of these belts, there are up to 22 symbols (ornaments): God’s symbol, Mara symbol, Laima’s symbols, the Well symbol, the Sun symbol, the Fortune cross, Jumis, the Life symbol, the Cross of Crosses and others, which we do know and some which meaning is lost over centuries. Ornaments of the belt have similarities  with cultures of India, Tibet and Inca culture in Mexico. 

The complex, changing ornaments in the belt have led some researchers to conclude that the designs hold encoded information. The scenario for the origins of the Universe read into the belt; the belt as a meditative system; as a yet untested piece of knowledge of the Universe may or may not be true: much will depend on what and how we want to see. 

Anyway, many of us believe that this belt contains information about the genesis of the universe and the nation. (Who wouldn’t? It's ours :D )

Also mathematicians had looked into these belts and played with turning  these ornaments into binary codes. About 10 years ago the ornament building programm had been created and now it’s  awailable on where you can create the ornament of your own message – to yourself or to the next generations. 

Whatever – this is just a little peek into the past. During the WWII armies still had some horses but no hearts left – the Soviet army walked through the farm (again, yes, by some reasons, some people happen to live right on the path of every army), and one mare gave a birth to the foal. Just few hours later  mare was dragged further while foal was left at the farm to die. Family handfed the foal and it survived but horse did grew up being quite nasty beast. Mutantur omnia nos et mutamur in illis.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Back into childhood

Do you have very special memories from your childhood? Special toys (other than favourite Teddy Bear) or special memories which comes with these toys?
Today I had a day full of memories, straight back into my childhood, remembering my granny. When I was about the same age as my youngest, she did a great job teaching me everything she knew - from needlework up to archery :)

Now my youngest decided that she wants the traditional costume. I agreed to help with more complicated items but some are quite simple even for her 9 years, and traditionally girls are making their costumes by themselves.

The simplest thing is a weaved belt to start with. We do have few at home, 100 + years old, which can be used for pattern. My little loom, suitable for such job, was lost in history many years ago, but I managed to find one, about 40 years old, still in working condition (THANK YOU, LAURA!), exactly like mine were.

So today I set everything up for my young lady to start with the basic technique, just to get the feel of weaving, and guess what? I had a fight 10:30 PM to convince her to leave the loom and go to bed.  "Pleas, just few more rows, PLEASE!"

She likes to make things. To make necklaces and earrings, occasional dress for her Teddy Bear or a little toys, some basic knitting and now she is keen to help with quilt, but weaving...  I was looking at her shining face and tried to remember myself when my granny was showing me the basics of weaving. The same feel, I do remember. :)

How much fun and happiness one old toy can give to multiple generations! I do believe now that my youngest will grow up to continue the traditions. My oldest already is into it - today she shared her latest yarn shopping stories and planned projects.  And now the youngest got the bug as well... Thanks to the old toy loom.

Of course, all this fun today means that no quilting was done at all... Small price to pay for all the fun. 


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Quilt in progress and a hole in my head

While many are busy with Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations or dreams about weddings I quietly carry on with my quilt.Putting bits and  pieces together always is the best fun for me, especially when I make something like this one - so far I have just a slight idea how the final product will look.
So I'm curious and excited. I'm not a fan of well planned works and hate following instructions. I start the job and just follow where it takes me. Keeps things more exciting for me as I never know exactly what the final product will look. I need some fun before the quilting part starts which is like a torture for me.

About other things... It' s crow baby season when they start flying out. This morning around our house 3 babies were hanging around - none was able to fly properly. As we have quite large cat population, this evening only one was seen around. Well, it's getting dark. Crows are hanging around, protecting their baby, but they do not see in dark, so this night baby would not survive - cats hunt well in dark. So I took the baby and tried to put higher in the tree. Wuff! And a big OUCH from me! One of crows attacked my head and I must admit - it hurts. Baby is now safe back on the tree but I have quite painful hole in my head, bleeding. And even worse... The antiseptic... Usually I use something simple as hydrogen peroxide... But in my hair? :D The purple spray? The same effect - I would look fabulous with purple hair. So the only choice was spirit. I have no spirit at home, nor vodka. Only toilet water. So I did used that. Can you imagine the smell? :D That's  the price to pay for being good.  :D

Sunday, 3 June 2012

A bit of old resin

  Yesterday at the fair I bought for myself two things - an amber necklace and a wooden spatula.
I love unpolished, raw amber necklaces/bracelets. Why? Because I like amber and (mostly!) because I’m over 50 now. Seriously, when you are getting older, wearing amber is just mandatory (well, if you believe in all these things, of course; I do :D ).

By scientists, Baltic amber (succinite) is a fossil resin from the Eocene Age which formed under natural conditions over 45 million years ago.  
Amber has a unique ingredient called succinic which is what provides its remarkable health benefits. 

Baltic Amber has much higher levels of succinic acid than other ambers, thus it is considered the most therapeutic  amber in the world.  
By some, succinic  acid works as an inhibitor (an agent slowing down or totally stopping the loss of) of potassim ions  and an antioxidant. Therefore, it  may be called a scientifically described, modern elixir of youth.  By others, amber is electronegative so it produces negative ionization where it’s touching the skin and negative ionisation helps the body repel illnesses.
Succinic Acid is claimed to have antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals. It can act as an analgesic (pain killer), anti-biotic and an anti-inflammatory and is used in the production of some antibiotics, vitamins and amino acids (vi). It is believed that small amounts of succinic acid may be absorbed from the amber into the bloodstream when it is worn in contact with skin.

Whatever the scientists say, the facts are – amber keeps ticks away from dogs if dog wears amber, baby teething go much easier  if baby wears amber and elderly people suffer less joint pain and such if wearing amber. I’m not a dog, I’m not a baby so - obvious – I’m into that elderly category.

Spatula... Just because. Nice wooden spatula is always useful, and this one has such a nice juniper wood handle. Juniper wood also has some... well, reputation. :D

Juniper (along with lavender and thyme) is considered to be particularly effective as antiseptic and disinfectant. Juniper oil can help reduce swelling and joint pain and is used to treat arthritis. And most of all – I simply like the smell of juniper.  

If you want to know prices, it's 8 EUR for the amber and 5 EUR for the spatula.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Arts and Crafts Fair III

Amber is traditionally ours, but now a lot of other materials are used.