Goals

The school year is slowly coming to an end (there is only one month left) and even if these last weeks happen to be really busy (with some unpleasant aspects, too) still the thought of the long vacation days at the horizon make everything better.

I didn’t do so good this far on my goals for this year. I planned on reading more literature and on writing more often in my diary or just writing about my thoughts and feelings more. I do write a few lines everyday in my planner, but that is more an account of what I did that day, whom did I saw, what I managed to accomplish, etc with the occasional mention of some more private thoughts. This is quite good for me, to have this routine of writing down a few things about my day, but I miss very much that feeling that you get when you write endlessly in your journal. So freeing and comfortable.  It’s not that I wouldn’t have the time to read and write more only for the mere pleasure of doing these things, it’s more that I don’t find anymore the mental space in which to be in order to do them. The interior space in which to quiet down the thoughts about all the stuff that I need to do, about the worries, about all the trivial things from my days, the space in which I’m not constantly refreshing my email, etc. Usually I can find this special state of mind in the train, when I’m traveling during the day and the scenery keeps changing outside my windows. But I don’t travel that often… Sometimes also the rain outside creates a good space for me.

Anyway, during my summer vacation I really hope to read and write more. Also I have the ambitious plan to finish 10 embroideries and 20 drawings. Not sure if this is possible, as both these things take a lot of time for me. But I’ll try.

Meanwhile, I made these two drawings in the last month. They are not big (I used A4 paper) but still they took, I think, around 4 hours each to finish. I used to be much quicker :). I plan on drawing more of these random aspects from our house, some self-portraits and maybe some images of my street and neighborhood, too, like another kind of diary.

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Cabbage rolls and cake

Both vegan, of course. We made soooo many cabbage rolls yesterday, we have two big pots that we cooked for this time and the content for another pot in the freezer for another occasion. They are really good. The stuffing is made with chickpeas, soy granules, onions, carrots, pleurotus mushrooms and champignon mushrooms. The cake has nuts and bananas.

It’s vacation already and even if I still have things to do, it will be nice to sleep longer in the mornings. I also plan to draw things, mostly everyday stuff from our home.

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2017

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I’m not sorry to see 2016 go, as I’m sure many people around the globe feel. So scary and so heartbreaking many times…

But for me personally many good things happened too, as much as it is possible to separate the general atmosphere of doom in the world from my own life. I had a productive year, I took some decisions that may create a safer future for me (still very uncertain that this will be the outcome, but at least I do my part), I took care of my health, I cultivated my friendships. Cici came into our family this year and our 3 dogs get along really nicely. Tonight, we will have our first New Years Eve with her :).

So, for 2017, I thought about a few simple goals (like read and write more, learn to sew, learn some embroidery techniques, use our DSLR more). But mainly I plan to stay grateful for my sheltered life, for being surrounded by human and non-human loved ones, for being able to do work that I feel it’s meaningful and fulfilling (most of the time). Worry less, do more.

After almost one year

…I have finally finished this embroidery. It was a really busy year, especially in these last months. I really cherish all the quiet time I can get, but my brain has trouble stopping and just letting go of the anxiety of all the things I have to do. Embroidery always helps, so I started already a new one. I hope to finish it in less than one year :).

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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.

Summer

I have finally managed to finish a roll of very expired Kodak 400 film that I had exposed in my Olympus Mju -1 camera. I like using these very grainy, very bluish, not so nice expired films that I had bought in the flea market for very cheap in this sharp little camera. It is the only combination that can be somewhat interesting or at least acceptable with these films, that I wouldn’t want to waste even if I don’t really like them.

These are images from our neighborhood this summer. As relaxing as they seem, I didn’t have such a quiet summer till now, with some job related exams to take and other responsibilities. But tomorrow is the last exam and after that the real summer vacation may begin. We do have things to work on still, but only pleasant ones, like filming neighborhood gardens for a project and thinking about lessons for the ecologic education course I will continue to teach in fall.

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