The river

This kitsch but so pretty to me 🙂 small paintings were always with me. They were on the wall in the living room of my grandmother’s apartment, where I grew up. They are watercolors painted in the early thirties by a local painter from the little Transilvania town where my grandmother was born. My great grandmother bought them. My grandmother remembered this painter from her childhood because he was a friend of her uncle. She remembered the painter in the stereotypical image of the “artist”: with a black cape, a large hat and a gloomy mood :). He signed this small watercolors: Popovici M. My mother remembers visiting the exact spot where this watercolors were painted, on a river that crosses Beius, my grandmother’s town. This is so strange to me, because the images have an exotic feel, I would have said they are painted from imagination, but my mother says the location was kind of similar. They still have their original painted wooden frames and the original very thin glass. We used to have a third one, same location but in the night, painted in blues and with a very romantic full moon :). I really hope it wasn’t lost in the big move my grandmother had from one town to another, in the nineties. I still hope it will turn out eventually, hidden in the back of some cupboard or in a box or something. The two paintings I still have hang now in my room and I can see them from my bed at night. DSCN9536 DSCN9539 DSCN9533 DSCN9545 DSCN9557 DSCN9565


Linking up with Vintage Bliss Tuesdays.
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Instax

I really like this camera that looks like it escaped from a seventies science fiction movie. I have found it at the flea market in its box, with one film pack still in there. Probably the initial owners used one of the films, got bored and donated the camera still in its box. I payed for it around 3 Euros. I used it a lot since then. The film is expensive, but at least I can order it in Romania and I even was lucky enough to find a few packs at the flea market. The photos could be kind of boring though, because the flash goes off automatically if it’s not enough light and outside everything is too blue and somehow not sharp enough/not blurry enough. But it is nice for capturing funny, everyday moments.

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Sometimes, I use a filter that I keep in front of the lens to get rid of the blue hue and to have a more interesting effect. I have a collection of different filters that I have found at the flea market in various occasions. I always look for them and I have found all these for very cheap. The green one has a nice bakelite box.

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These are some examples of photos taken with some of the filters. The last one is without a filter, it is just funny :).

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Flower crown

This is one of my favorite found photos from my collection. There is no date or place written on it, so it stays somewhat timeless even if, at the same time, could be from my own childhood. A moment of happiness and also the shadow of the fact that this photo ended up at the flea market, eventually. I will never know what were really the relationships in this family but this enhances for me the symbolic power of the photo. It allows me to project on it an ideal of two equals taking care of the child in the beautiful light of a summer vacation. It allows me to imagine that the father wearing a feminine flower crown tried to signify something more then just making his daughter laugh. (Even if just him making his daughter laugh is enough for the nostalgic beauty of this photo.)

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Tools

I have a collection of really professional tools :). All of them are flea market and junk store finds.

I wanted a working children toy sewing machine for a long time, but they are quite expensive online. I would have liked a Romanian one called Rodica, which is also the name of my friend who is very good at sewing, so it would have been a nice match :). But this Soviet one is the next best thing, actually I think is better then the plastic Rodica, this one is metal and she works really nice. She has a simple chain stitch and I used it quite a lot already for my embroideries and also for some pouches I have made. Here she is, pictured with real Rodica’s sewing machines, ones that I also plan on using more in the future.

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Another plan is to learn how to weave. I have found in different occasions these three toy looms. Two of them, with already started pieces on them, are West German. The one with the hand painted flowers is Bulgarian.

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All of these impressive tools 🙂 are from the seventies or early eighties.

Learning to sew

I plan to use this book to try to learn to sew. Maybe a simple skirt, first? This 1980 book was aimed at young girls, helping them to built up for themselves a youthful, practical, elegant and flattering wardrobe :), this is what it is written on the cover. One of my two best friends, who is very talented at sewing, says it is a complicated book, much too difficult for an absolute beginner like myself. Among other things it teaches you how to draw patterns from scratch, etc. I like this thing, it is consistent with a way of learning from the socialist times, when you would be encouraged to understand the entire process, all the aspects of the thing you study. (For example the amateur photo cameras in the socialist block, even the very simple ones, supposed that the user would know some basic things about the shutter speeds and exposure time, etc, in contrast to the “Western” point and shoots). Drawing your own patterns seems kind of similar to me (although using printed patterns to sew is in no way similar to taking photos with a point and shoot). So, I’ll try to read this book and see if I can learn something and sew something. Maybe not that floor length lavender dresses, though :).

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Art deco

These are my two flea market finds from this Sunday: a dress clip (maybe part of a duet? or it’s actually a shoe clip?) from gold tone metal and clear rhinestones and a tiny lipstick holder. Both of them are from the thirties or forties. I have already wore the clip today, on the pocket of my sweater. The lipstick holder is from the brand Khasana. I’m not sure what material it is, if it is bakelite or some harder plastic. The smell test is sometimes so confusing to me. My friend’s aunt is visiting from the States soon and we asked her to bring us 409 formula :). “It’s not even so good for cleaning…” she said :). DSCN9458

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Linking up with Vintage Bliss Tuesday party.

Cacti and succulents

I am lucky to have one window that gets sun all day long. A perfect place for cacti and succulents, even if it is kind of small (and I always have to take space into account when I think about bringing home a new plant). One of the succulents bloomed these days. The tree shaped plant next to it seemed dead for such a long time but I couldn’t bring myself to trow it out. I’m so glad I postponed, because it’s not dead after all, it’s now full of new leaves.

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The doll head is a flea market find, it is a ceramic head from the eighties maybe. It was very cheap and great for a small cacti.

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The flower stand used to belong to my grandmother, it was bought in the fifties and I remember it well as a child, when it was painted in mint green.

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The big cacti was a gift. My friend started two years ago an urban garden next to our building. She is very much appreciated by many of the neighbors for the pretty garden. One morning we have found this huge cacti in the garden. Of course it is not a plant that could be outside in the cold winter and humid spring/fall, so I took it home to my sunny window. A few days later we have met one lady from the neighborhood that we know because she has a dog, also. She asked about the cacti, she was the one leaving it for us and she was glad that the plant is safe and very appreciated! I hope it will bloom this spring.

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These cacti were also left by someone (unidentified, this time) in the garden. It was a long stick, cut out from a bigger plant, with some damage in the middle. We have cut out the damaged part, put them into sand until they grew roots and they are ok now. Rescued cacti :).

Linking up with Idle needle's great party, Make, Thrift and Tell.