Learning how to sew

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After a very long time of planning this, I have finally started to learn how to sew. This is the first thing I’ve done, a shirt in a funny cats in outer space print, using a simple Burda magazine pattern. I was really motivated by the fabric (that I have found in a fabric outlet store), otherwise I would have probably just stopped after making several mistakes and having to rip out the thread for at least five or six times. I found especially difficult to finish the neckline hem and in the end it didn’t come out perfectly, but it is totally wearable.

It was really funny to wear this top in school. Several kids stopped me on the hallways to compliment it or to ask from where did I bought it. I could proudly say : “I made it myself.” 🙂

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Sampler

I have started stitching this using a big embroidery hook I have received as a gift recently. I plan on learning different embroidery stitches on this big canvas, but for now I just write a list of things our dogs love. It’s very relaxing to stitch these funny, happy thoughts in the anxious evenings when I’m too tired for anything else.

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My birthday gifts

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My birthday was 10 days ago, but I was so busy these days and I neglected my blog. I took a sick day today, in order to heal from a flue, that kept nagging me for some time now. So, I have found the time to take pictures of some of my birthday presents, of the hand made, vintage and second hand ones, my favorite kind of presents.

My friend Rodica made me these beautiful bags. The bigger one is from an interesting fabric that looks like paper.

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img_4926She also made me the white blouse in this photo. The vintage Japanese yellow cardigan is also a gift from her, but form last year.

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This beautiful fancy dress is also made by Rodica, initially for her sister who wore it for some special occasions. But her sister decided to give it to me, as I usually wear fancy dresses with cardigans and such in informal situations, too. I was very glad to receive it. img_5018img_4938

My friend Maria gave me a ring for my figural jewelry collection. Also, she transformed for me a nineties troll doll without any hair or clothing. She made the hair out of a mineral and she created for the doll a cosmic dress :). She never liked troll dolls but I like them a lot, so she spend a good deal of time on it :). IMG_5026.JPG

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Also, she transformed the cover of a notebook that I used to have since a long time ago, but I didn’t want to use it as I was embarrassed by the colonialist map on its cover. This transformation deserves its own post, in details. IMG_5001.JPG

My favorite coworker gave me this set of geometric shapes used by teachers in the eighties. I wanted such a set for a very long time, but it is kind of expensive to buy online and I have never found it at the flea market. I was very happy to finally have them! They were produced in a factory from the town I grew up in. IMG_4954.JPGAnother coworker gave me also a beautiful gift of a book she illustrated,  a tasty syrup and this soap she had made herself and wrapped in a doily. IMG_4944.JPG

Oti found at a second hand shop this cute t-shirt. IMG_4942.JPG

And the kids at school gave me these flowers that we have planted in our urban garden. IMG_5771.JPG

It wasn’t only my birthday last week. Our dog Cici was born sometimes in October, this is the time frame our vet estimated. So, he put down in her id the same birthday as mine. We had celebrated together :).  dscn9846dscn9848dscn9849dscn9844

This summer

I had such a good summer, full of fun, work, good thoughts, serendipity, hopefulness, crafting, walking, just being, worrying much less.

Here there are some of the things I’ve done this summer:

  • We found by mere coincidence a very nice trainer for our anxious dog Souris and he is so much better now. Before the training we couldn’t convince him to walk outside our neighborhood, he had aggressiveness issues and he would have panic attacks for different reasons. This past month and a half he took long walks in different parts of the city, interacted with humans and dogs and he really enjoyed it! His aggressiveness decreased, although he will always be suspicious towards humans. But his life is so much richer now and training him and meeting with other humans and dogs in training became a great hobby for us too. We look forward for every occasion to go walking and training with Souris. These photos were taken in the exact spot from where we rescued him four years ago, a former socialist chemical plant, now a ruin. Our trainer suggested this spot for different agility exercises and we liked the coincidence of going back there almost on his gotcha day.img_1585img_1616
  • I took two job related exams and I was quite successful with both of them. I enrolled a master degree in textile arts (as my second specialization, I graduated painting a long time ago). But having this second degree in textile arts could be useful in my teaching and hopefully it will be interesting for me. So, I’m back to school as a student in October 🙂
  • We reorganized one of our rooms that we use as a workshop and I have the pinhole photo to prove it :). It looks messy in the photo, but it is actually quite organized now. We have now a really large table for the computers, sewing machines, etc and large cupboards for our stuff. Also, we have reorganized the book shelves and now we know were to look for specific books (literature, philosophy, art, teaching related books, etc). img_0019
  • Together with my friends, we published a text in an art magazine and we prepare now  another text and art work for a different art magazine.
  • We have filmed a video in which we used the gardens that people organize around socialist apartment buildings as metaphors for how people negotiate/appropriate/share/fence off/etc. the public sphere. We have finally bought our first DSLR for this project and it is very nice to have a good camera (even if I’ll continue using my film cameras, too).
  • We have rescued 3 little kittens and with the help of the greatest cafe that also fosters cats, they are all in their forever homes now. These two brother and sister went to the same home. 13909294_10153847975553947_9043498345081988863_o13913937_10153847975408947_3950095764275990514_o
  • I have embroidered, wove and drew just for the pleasure of doing colorful things. (The case in which I keep my pencils, markers and fancy journal is a vintage beaded purse, a thrift store find my friend gave me). dscn9687dscn9669dscn9670dscn9674dscn9678dscn9681
  • I cooked creatively and that always relaxes me.
  • I took care of my health, drank more water and walked a lot.

For this fall, I plan to enjoy school and being with the kids, work on some projects, go to the forest to see mushrooms and colorful leaves at least once, read, write in my diary, send out snail mail to my pen pal, add some new pieces to my mineral collection, take many photos, relax and just be.