I come back to this space again, after a very long time. In the global dystopian atmosphere of this last year, seems strange to me to post here about happy and serene things. But anyway, here we go, these are the drawings I did in 2019 to document the streets of my city, the places I walk by everyday. These drawings are a diary, a compulsion, a daily habit, a way to alleviate anxiety and to keep my hands busy, a place to hide in, a safe space.
My birthday was almost three weeks ago, but these days seems very difficult to do things just for fun, so I kept postponing taking photos of all my gifts this year. But I really wanted to have a post about my birthday haul, because I enjoy looking back at these sort of things and I always like reading about other people’s gifts, too. So, finally I post about my gifts, even if most of the photos are blurry phone pictures.
For one year already, I have a closet for my art and embroidery supplies and other such things where I had only one shelf. The rest of the closet was one huge pile of stuff, of boxes built on top of each other. I was ok with it for a while, but lately it was driving me crazy. When I needed something in a box below, I had to take out the whole pile of things and then put everything back. So, one of my birthday gifts this year was shelves for my closet. I don’t have a before photo, but this is how my closet looks like now (even with the shelves it looks kind of cluttered, but now I know where everything is and I have easy access to all my things.)
And here it is my friend Maria installing the shelves for me.
She also gave me a nice, vegan and organic hand cream (that I didn’t take a photo of) and this great black Dala horse for my collection!
And tiny succulents. 🙂
The fluorescent nail polish is from Oana, who also gave me this bunny watch that I am wearing these days.
Rodica made me this beautiful pencil wrap, were I keep my Policromos pencils. Souris likes it, too.
I also got a lot of clothes this year (from Rodica and Alina).
Oti gave me this nice notebook, with drawings of flowers inside.
I kept watching online this Edwardian bangle for a few year now. It is hallmarked for 1911 and it’s really beautiful. I bought it with birthday money from my mother. I think it belonged to the same person as my other bangle from the same period (I bought it from the same seller).
And finally, my uncle bought me these very expensive watercolors. I already started using them a bit, but I hope to find time in the second half if November to really paint with them. The colors are so beautiful and vibrant. The pocket brush was included and I was relieved to see the hairs are synthetic.
I was got chocolates from my friend at work, but those are long gone before taking a photo of them :).
I have had this notebook for a almost ten years. I have bought it because I used to like old maps, before learning about what these maps were really standing for. I have never used it, I just couldn’t write in it. But it is an expensive notebook, nicely made. For my birthday, my friend Maria offered to transform it to me. She covered all the ships that went to the Americas in order to robe, enslave and try to completely erase entire civilizations and ways of living. She drew in the place of the colonial ships and the colonist with their weapons represented on this mid-seventeenth century map animals and peaceful Native humans. How the world should look like.
I don’t have a before photo, but I found this image online:
And this is how my notebook looks like now:
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.
She also made me the white blouse in this photo. The vintage Japanese yellow cardigan is also a gift from her, but form last year.
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.
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 :).
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.
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. Another 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.
Oti found at a second hand shop this cute t-shirt.
And the kids at school gave me these flowers that we have planted in our urban garden.
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 :).
- These last two weeks were so busy, with long to do lists and almost no time to just relax at home.
- I’ve traveled to Gothemburg last week to work for an exhibition. We were most of the time in the gallery, but still we did get to spend some time looking at the sea, sitting in sunny parks, eating delicious vegan food and taking some long walks in the late, never ending sunsets.
- I’ve took my Portuguese exam. Here are the dogs helping me study. I’m sorry the course ended for the summer, but I’ll definitely be back in fall.
- These are some new old rings that I didn’t got the chance to post yet. The gold plated one with a small sapphire is my favorite.
- Summer vacation will start soon and I really plan to be more productive. Journal more is one of the plans, so I have bought this really nice and fancy one with colored paper.
- The city is full of the smell of linden flowers and the skies are blue-green and lavender and stormy in the evenings. Times for being outside in the streets full of people, time for sweet and light melancholy and for unnamed yearnings.
- Sometimes feels like being happy is just a moment away, that forgetting about uncertainty and worries and just be is so much in my power… only sometimes…
These were some finds from a quick visit to the flea market yesterday. A notebook from 1909 that has illustrations for each month and two ethereal old photos.
A gold plated old chain.
A tiny knot ring that goes so well with my Art deco sapphire eternity ring.
And a pocket watch case, without the watch itself. I plan on fixing the cover that is not closing anymore and use it as an oversized locket. It is silver and very beautifully engraved and I really like the small character with a bird. The other silver watch case, with the acorn and leaves, is an old flea market find also.
I’m not sure what to use these vintage phone number notebooks for. I kept the small one a long time in my bag, thinking I’ll use it for something (maybe randomly write down ideas that match each letter) but I never did. The big avocado green one is new in its box, with a leaflet with other office accessories from the same line. It’s from the seventies, I think. I used to be fascinated with these kind of notebooks, you just dial in a letter and the book magically opens at that page, but back then there were lots of phone numbers to write down. For now, I keep hoping I’ll find a use for these and how they pop open at a certain letter it’s still fun :).
Linking up with Vintage Bliss Tuesdays party.
This is what’s left of my grandfather’s stationery collection from the seventies and early eighties. He kept his pencils and fountain pens and notebooks in a special drawer and we would take them out sometimes and look at them together, carefully. (He died when I was 6 and he was my only friend till then). There were much more fountain pens and colored pencils, but I used them and gradually lost them in primary and secondary school. There were also more notebooks and I still have those as my diaries from high school. I could never bring myself to write in this last one though, the most melancholy notebook ever. Linking up with Vintage Bliss Tuesdays.