My birthday gifts

IMG_9072.JPGMy 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.)

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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!

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And tiny succulents. 🙂

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The fluorescent nail polish is from Oana, who also gave me this bunny watch that I am wearing these days.

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Rodica made me this beautiful pencil wrap, were I keep my Policromos pencils. Souris likes it, too.

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I also got a lot of clothes this year (from Rodica and Alina).

Oti gave me this nice notebook, with drawings of flowers inside.

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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).

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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.

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I was got chocolates from my friend at work, but those are long gone before taking a photo of them :).

 

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Autumn

It seems that I only post phone photos lately. But I do hope to finish soon a film and have some nice photos and I have to take pictures of all my birthday gifts this year and post about them here.

This brooch is a fleamarket find from a long time ago, but I don’t think I ever showed it here. Actually, this is the first timeI wear it. The green nailpolish is a birthday gift and I love it.97FA0915-B80B-4BD2-91E0-DEF4423163F650F8EF52-6512-4188-B9AD-84C87990B1AC

Pinhole photos of this summer

I have finally found the time to scan these pinhole photos. I didn’t make so many of them this summer, but I am content with some of these images. There are times of change for me (my school moves to a new location) and my time seems so limited. But more than my limited time, my mental space seems crowded with all sorts of thoughts and worries. But I am hopeful, too, that change is a good thing this time.

 

Some new drawings

It’s really relaxing to me to make these drawings from time to time and just observe small scenes from our house. Also, I get to use my big collection of all sorts of colored pencils (I’m slightly obsessed with color pencils, I should make a post with all my sets, some found at the flea market and some bought new). The last set I bought have multiple colored leads, actually they have a few nuances of the same color in each pencil. I really like them and I use them a lot combined with other pencils I have. IMG_0007IMG_0008IMG_0009IMG_0004IMG_0005IMG_0006

Psychology and the Cosmos

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I found this book on my grandparents’ bookshelf. I never read it as a child and I don’ t remember its cover, probably it used to be in the back rows of the shelves. It was written by Iuri Gagarin and Vladimir Lebedev (a medical doctor and a specialist in space psychology, as it is written on the back cover). A note from the translator tells us that Gagarin finished this book on the 25th of March 1968, a day before his death.

I read this book hoping it will contain all the wonder and hope that was associated with space travel in my childhood. The chapters go through all the things that used to make me daydream: the immensity and silence of the Cosmos, imponderability, time perception, the friendship and trust among the crew that goes out in space, the shining stars that  seem closer from up there.

But also the book is a long stream of anecdotes, some historical, about explorers of other unknown and lonely territories like Antarctica, some contemporary about their friends and colleagues, other cosmonauts, these stories being by far more interesting. A long stream of these stories, scientific facts explained very simply, quotes from Kant and Lenin, speculations about the future of time travel, description of the soviet man written in empty propaganda language. A lot of talk about “manliness” that is necessary for conquering the outer space, for winning the ” duel with nature”. A lot of really disheartening and so so sad references to experiments on animals, but I didn’t’ read those passages and pages. One wildly rude mention of some unnamed tribes in Africa and one “Indian” ( was it someone from India? from America?) who irrationally believe in the reality of dreams.

Among all these, the smiling faces of the first cosmonauts, photos of the crafts they made in the isolated rooms where they were practicing the silence and loneliness of Cosmos, pages about imponderability that I used to obsess about as a child, being sure that I will experience it myself someday. And by far the  most interesting thing in the book, accounts of cosmonauts who have first seen the blue and violet haze at the curb of the Earth, who have seen the sun in Cosmos with its blinding light, who traveled inside a burning knot while their space craft was entering the atmosphere. The reports the cosmonauts wrote in a clear and simple language shinning with an eerie beauty.

I searched for Tereshkova in the book. She is mentioned a few times. There is a story about her wedding. There is mentioned that, while male cosmonauts were chosen from among pilots, women who didn’t have any former flight experience had to train more. She appears once more towards the end of the book as a kind and motherly colleague, comforting the worried Lebedev before he jumps with a parachute for the first time. He calls her Valia. There is also a photo of her in space.

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I read this book together with my child double, trying to imagine what she would have felt or thought reading it. She would have shivered the same way as me at the pages about animals and she would have rushed trough them. She wouldn’t have noticed that all the attributes necessary to be a cosmonaut are written in male form. She would have thought that in the distant future of her adult years space travel will be available to anyone (as a poem in the book titled “We will live to see it” promises). She would have nodded approvingly to the description of the beauty of life in communism.

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I tried to read this book with her and remember her hopes now when the world is so bleak. Reading about space travel now is reading about the same issues: going to Mars, sending out long term manned missions to distant places of our star system and beyond, creating the ecosystems inside these ships, dealing with the psychological aspects of such travels, etc. But the hope and the wonder is completely gone now, when people compete to receive a one-way ticket to Mars in order to be in a reality show, when space exploration missions are private ventures based on the commons of knowledge acquired in the sixties and seventies and often funded by public money, when the colonization of space is in direct connection to the necessity of leaving behind our dying planet in order to go somewhere where even the air you breath would be a commodity.

I used to love looking at these kind of photos, at his smiling face while the water from his cup is floating in front of him. IMG_8733a

Diary blouse

This blouse is something I partially sew by myself as a school assignment, but also as something for myself to wear. My friend helped me with some of the sewing, but I made a lot of things by myself, too (I copied the pattern, I cut the fabric and I did some of the sewing). Also, I dyed the fabric (an old cotton sheet) with onion peels and turmeric and I embroidered the text. So, I can say I did a lot of it :).

The fabric is really nice, the old cotton has a softness that only something that was used for a long time gets. Also, I like the color that turned out after dyeing it. I lose some of the color with each washing (even if I fixed it with vinegar and I wash it only by hand in cold water), but still it becomes paler and paler. But, at some point, I can dye it again, because the embroidery thread I used is synthetic, so it won’t be affected by the dye. But, for now, it’s fine.

I embroidered on it a text in my handwriting that you can see only if you come close enough and you make an effort to read. There are random thoughts that I had while working a lot at home during this spring, but if you don’t read them, they are just a vibrating color and texture. The text, roughly translated, says: ” …the small noise that the needle makes when it goes trough the fabric…I listen to the news and a sea of anxiety and despair overflows…sometimes, hope…when you get closer to reaching the age of forty, everything is the same, only you judge yourself a little less harshly…and getting legitimization from others is much less important…sometimes…this body that carries me through the world so well…maybe there is some more ice cream left in the fridge… ”

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