Telephone timer

We were schoolmates sharing the same desk and best friends wishing to be sisters. We would see each other daily at school, visit each other often but still our time together always felt too short. We would sneak to our land line phones and call each other in the evenings, speaking endlessly about books and boys, hiding from our mothers and ignoring the shadow of the future phone bill. If one of our mothers would realize that we are on the phone for half an hour already both of us would say that the other one called and it just happened that she didn’t hear the phone ringing.

Our mothers could have definitely use these telephone timers when we were 11. They are lucite and from the sixties, with small sand-glasses inside.

We are still friends, of course, and even if we don’t manage to meet as often as we would like, we still talk a lot on the phone.

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Linking up with Idle needle's blog challenge Make, Thrift and Tell.

Ephemera

So strange to read a letter addressed to someone else 75 years ago. A girl writing from boarding school to her friend about going to the theater with her schoolmates, about homework, about wanting to buy a coat but they are so expensive. About missing her and their other girlfriends. And then, at the end, a subtle allusion to Germany and the war… the terror of history like a shadow over the small events from the boarding school.

Her neat handwriting, the golden envelope…

She also mentions sending a photo to her friend, but it is not in the envelope anymore.

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Linking up with Vintage Bliss Tuesdays.

New old rings

I have just received these rings that I have bought online. They are so pretty and they all fit right.

An Art nouveau ring for my collection (it’s sterling silver with moonstone).

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An old garnet ring in 800 silver (almost black in shadow and bright red in light, as garnets are, of course).

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And a really interesting small 800 silver ring, I’ve never seen another one like it.

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Linking up with Vintage Bliss Tuesdays.

Self portraits

When I first started drawing self-portraits, at 16 maybe, in art high school, I had this feeling of inadequacy that is so ubiquitous for girls and women, this feeling that my features are not quite right, that I am not pretty enough, etc. Something so general to feel not right in your own female body, no matter how close or far you are from the beauty standards. But drawing my own face, hands, my own body also had a potential of power and acceptance, of getting to really see, to really know the body I inhabit, the body I am.

I don’t really draw anymore, but I do take lots of photos of myself. Acknowledging that feeling of inadequacy embedded in my social formation as a woman, but also challenging it. Of course that most of these photos taken on film are somehow idealized and timeless, the softness of the film blurring the features and rendering the image to something very close to the mental image of myself. Still, the sinking feeling when I see a photo of myself from 10 years ago or from 5 years ago and I realize I have changed, I have grown older. But also, feeling glad I have outgrown some of the fears and insecurities from the self pictured in that photos.

I can imagine my face when I will be in my seventies. And I like this image and hope to live to see it. dec 2011_0026

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Other children

Of course that the big majority of the antique photos I have depict middle class people, who had the financial means to get photographed. These class photos are different. These kids, squinting at the camera, are from families of workers or peasants. IMG_0091 IMG_0102 IMG_0103 The last photo has on the back the name of one of the boys who was in the second grade, the place were it was taken and the fact that the boy, Bunica Mihai, was born on the 15th of February 1922 (so this photo was taken probably in 1929 or 1930). I have some other photos from the same boy. On the back of this one it is written: “When I was 16 and I started as an apprentice at the factory.” IMG_0104 IMG_0108 On the back of this one, he had written: “Souvenir from the time when I was an apprentice at the plant and we would work all together to revision the machines.” IMG_0105 IMG_0109 Although I have older photos than these ones from 1938, more beautiful ones and better preserved, still I consider these among the most precious.