Oh, thank you all so much for your encouraging comments on my previous post - it warmed my heart and I will make good use of your advice! :) Sorry I went AWOL for a while, I had my dad come over to visit for a few days and we had a busy schedule, but delightful. On Tuesday we went to London, just him and me, and saw the Christmas Market in Covent Garden.
The little things always do it for me - like the twinkling lights in the white wintery decorations everywhere, the smell from the cafes, the violin playing band (Pachelbel's Cannon in D - performed while wooing the passer-byes, sticking their violins in the rushed shoppers' faces), passing by Big Ben on Westminster Bridge, watching the red double-deckers and black London cabs speeding by in the drizzle and reading the poetry on the walls of the underground pedestrian tunnels. I thought this one snippet was appropriate as we've been having characteristic misty rain and thick, creamy fog these last few days (after the driest autumn since 1914). Love the first line - above the hurt sky is weeping.
Last night we went to see The Darjeeling Limited (finally - I've been longing ever since I heard Wes Anderson made another one!), in a little cinema in Winchester that used to be a church. Oh man... I just love his magic. His idea alone of letting his characters be oblivious of any constraints of finance is brilliant - it frees up so much scope for adventures and delightful quirks, like the careless travelling and (the wonderful) coordinated suitcases in this particular film. It being set on a train winding through India with all its colourful places made my day too, so many memories made me smile and glow. Oh I love going to the cinema - especially this time of the year!
I will keep you updated on the photo prints, I'm working on it :). So glad you like the idea! I've started up a little shop on Etsy and will fill it up with prints as soon as I've got things established with the printer. I'm all excited about it, but will have to pace myself so that I have time to finish the assignments I've got left to hand in before Christmas. Hoping you all are getting ready for the twinkly, warm and cozy vibes of December coming up, I know I am! :)
I never blogged about the project I was sewing on a while back. It was a quilted baby blanket and my friend Sophie received it a couple of weeks ago. The baby was a girl, called Tindra which in Swedish pretty much means twinkle, like the stars, sweet! I thought the baby could lie on the blanket on the floor, but Sophie says she'll save it for the winter and use it as a duvet, bless! It went surprisingly well sewing that, only one what the!? oh nooo... moment after getting half-way through sewing the wadding onto the outside instead of inbetween the outer layers. I didn't bind the edges, next time. Oh, and of course not all the patchwork squares lined up but it being the first time I tried it I wasn't surprised. The fabric is a mix of things, the sweetly patterned ones from Superbuzzy, the green linen from John Lewis, the blues from Laura Ashley, the peachy from a ripped kaftan that was in the cleaning rag-bin :), and the white is an old cotton bed-sheet.
Embroidery is a treat, I love it! I'm bringing a project to France next week, to do on the beach. The pattern for the rabbit is from this Japanese craft book - it's a lovely series. This ebay seller is excellent too if you haven't already found her, free shipping (takes a couple of weeks to the UK) and very good prices for the books.
As for any other inspiring sewing, it hasn't happened. I've been doing lots of this:
This was half-way through the second lot of curtains, I didn't bother folding and unfolding them between pressing and sewing.
I did a quick job of it all really, no pins and only one proper seam for the top. For the bottom seam I just pressed one fold and zigzagged across the cut edge, creating a neat edge for the front and the back looks a bit ragged, but it being for the boys' rooms the curtains won't be visible near the floor for very long anyway. Because the fabric is so thin it falls more gracefully this way too, not having too bulky and heavy a seam at the bottom (I tell myself :>). I didn't have to do anything with the sides as the fabric was just the right width for the job.
Finally I just want to show you this because it looks just like a picture I remember from a children's book which if I remember correctly features a very small girl, ponies, huge blackberry bushes and some adventure, don't ask me what. What was important to me as a kid was the berries because they looked so luscious, there being both blackberries and raspberries on the same bush. Blackberries aren't common in Sweden so I didn't know, but now of course I can see why they drew them that way.
When I go to Sweden next I'd like to bring my favourite children's books back with me. My parents were great with books, they bought lots and read something every evening for us in bed. Also, Amy reminded me of my Calvin & Hobbes collection which is also left in Sweden, that will have to come too.
Hello! I am not so quiet anymore, just busy again. Trying to finish all my homework before we go on holiday to France on the 22nd. Every previous summer I've spent my holiday on my family's island in the Swedish archipelago so this will be the first summer I miss that. No sunbathing on the warm smooth rocks, skinny dipping in the sea (Swedish style), hanging out by the barbeque with my brothers, preparing lunch salads with my mum, watching the evening glow over the water, feeling the peace of early mornings, seeing the sun sparkles on the waves. It breaks my heart and I miss being together with my family, but I felt this year I had to choose. D and I have never had the time or money to go on a real holiday together, we always either visit his side of the family or mine. Which is lovely, but we need a life of our own too.
Our little cabin on the island won't be empty and lonely though, my oldest younger brother and his girlfriend will live there for a while. I hope they remember to take the hammock out for the tree, it needs to be swung and read in at some point each year.
Paris started out just as rainy as Britain, oh bummer... We hid under umbrellas through the worst of it, just short of reaching the Eiffel tower (see it just beyond the trees). Wide rivulets were forming on the paths and we had some fun navigating across those, or exploring the Mekong delta which is how my dad experienced it. He can rarely take anything out of the ordinary seriously. Actually, not much of the ordinary either, now that I think of it. He's the one holding the umbrella in the picture by the way.
I love the French newspaper and magazine stands everywhere. Not just a great place for some gossip, but like an open-air bookshop too. That's my mum in the picture.
I'm fond of the fruit and veg displays outside the shops, I keep a lookout for them in Britain too. There's something so wonderfully old-fashioned or exotic about it. We managed to find a small market too which made my day. The berries were sold there. Along the little square where a line of shops - the greengrocer, the fishmonger, the butcher, the charcuterie, the boulangerie (bakery) and the winery, all in a row!
Mum and I found a pair of sandals each - her red with white dots, mine black.
Carl Fredrik (my brother) and I enjoyed ourselves in the evening with taking night-time shots out the window of the neon lights beyond the hotel. He is one budding photographer I think, he's got a great way with the camera and is so imaginative. We tried catching the headlights of the cars passing on the street below and had a lot of laughs in the process - quick, quick, now! Aaawww... Again - now, now!
We strolled along the Seine on my last day, after window shopping in Saint-Germain-de-Pres and I like that kind of holiday time the most. Just wandering along, seeing what you find and ending up wherever you do.
One of the things I like the most about travelling are the exotic smells. Doesn't really matter what, just whatever reminds me that I'm in a foreign country. I still suddenly find myself back in India whenever I smell anything resembling the smoke from smouldering burnt rubbish and it always makes me happy before I realise what I'm actually smelling. :) In France it was more from baking wafting out from the boulangeries, smell of lunch from the sidewalk restaurants, a wiff of incense from an open doorway, laundry somewhere or just summer sunshine warming the pavement.
In the end we ended up by Notre Dame and sat people-watching on the side for a while, resting our feet. Wish I could have spent some more days with them, strolling around breathing in the atmosphere, but there it is. It's back to work for me now. I'm so revitalised though, it did the trick those two days. I'm inspired too, French people have so much better taste in clothes than the British (sorry!) and I saw many people who had their own style going on. Perhaps that is a capital city phenomenon, but still. I love seeing different cultures.
That was a happy little holiday for me. Thank you mum and dad! Love you.
Finished my essay and my assignment! I am so slow, but I am at least done and relieved. Two less on the road of many this year. The weather has been supportive (I'm not being sarcastic!), pouring outside when I had to stay indoors and write and then breaking up into sunshine and blue skies when I went out. It's nice weather for ducks they say and I believe they're right. The neighbour and his duckpond support a very large community of ducks for the moment. Most of the little ducklings that have been born continually through the spring and summer made it into adulthood and are paddling around the fields. They're hilarious when they're all in a row, all 15 or 20 of them at a time, waddling home with their beaks in the air and in a terribly important rush. When I finally get a good shot of them I'll show you.
I've begun drawing a bit again. I've always drawn on and off since I was a child, I'd do lots and then suddenly stop. Several times I got rid of all my equipment of pencils, paints and brushes and sometimes I saved them again before they were given away. I didn't keep anything of what I drew, or created for that matter. This drawing is one of the few kept because it's part of my personal history in a way. When I was in uni feeling miserable, not wanting to become a doctor but not knowing it yet, I went to see an amazing psychotherapist.
She had as her speciality a kind of visualisation technique where I would lie down on her couch (only then - the armchairs is where we spent most of the time!) and she would guide me to relax and then give me a scenario. This time it was to picture a person, an inner best friend and ally that is only there for you and who you can tell anything. I pictured her. She can do all sorts of things (as you can see :) ), symbolising things I didn't feel I could do, stuck and trapped as I felt then. She's happy too, and open. I still talk to her quite often, she didn't really leave me since then.
That's what I loved about this therapy and this woman, it and she helped me find friends and strengths inside that I didn't know I had. She did it in a way that I felt was respectful, supportive, nurturing, honest and open. She was really there for me and that was what mattered most to me, not the talking or the going over of this and that. She was a surrogate mother, father, true friend and helper and she didn't judge me or what I said. Not to say she didn't raise a few eyebrows and interject a few 'really - are you sure about that?'s, but she didn't judge it, just pointed it out.
Anyway, I'm thinking of showing a few more of my pictures from that time because I'd like to go over them again to remember some more old friends and experiences. You're most welcome to view and read about them and I hope you don't mind me bringing up some personal things. Sometime I'll show you what I'm drawing for the moment too. Oh, I forgot to say - she, my inner friend, asked to be drawn on an envelope, I don't know why or how that came into my head, but that's what she said. I think it had something to do with movement, like an envelope isn't created to lie around and be pretty, it's useful and independent in a way. I drew her while on a train journey too - so movement indeed!
I'm going away for a while now, on some other train journeys, first to college and then to Paris to see my parents and younger brother who are there on holiday. I'll be back on Wednesday and oh I hope I can find some quirky or sweet French things to take pictures of and show you. Well, one is a given I suppose, but I don't know if it's worth it. I mean I won't even see the thing for what it is, I've seen it so many times before and there can't be that many new angles to capture a tower from, can there? I will enjoy myself in any case and boy do I need the change of scenery. Take care of yourselves until then. Have a lovely weekend!
Happy July to you!
I am happy with the way the weekend turned out. Minus the hot soup and the studying which didn't happen we managed to...
watch a film (Pride and Prejudice: I plucked the courage to suggest a girly film and I loved watching the costumes)
put up the kitchen shelves (they have been a project in waiting for ages now),
get a dining table (I love it! It used to be D's desk and I just painted the legs white while he polished the top leaving the dark stain and the worn look of it),
buy an oven (oh, the things we can cook now!),
and paint the chimney breast in the living room (green! Yes, the red was lovely too, but I have shared a room with it for two years now and it was time for it to go).
On a completely different note, I have added another Long Story page, about my family if you're interested.
I hope you enjoyed your weekend and I wish that July will bring joy and summery adventures for you!
Jeg er fuglen som banker på din rude om morgenen-
og din ledsager som du aldrig kan kende-
blomsterne, der viser de blinde vej.
Jeg er den skinnende gletsjer over trækronerne og-
klangen af malm fra kirkespirene-
jeg er tanken der overrasker dig ved middagstid
og fylder dig med en sær lykke.
Jeg er den, som du har elsket for længe siden-
jeg har vandret ved din side om dagen og betragtet dig-
og lagt munden mod dit hjerte,
uden at du vidste det.
Jeg er din tredje arm og din anden skygge-
som du ikke har hjerte for men som aldrig kan glemme dig.
I am the bird that flutters against your window in the morning,
your fellow traveller and guide, whom you can never know,
blossoms, that light the way for the blind.
I am the glittering glacier over the tree tops and -
the resounding of bells from the church spires.
I am the thought that surprises you at midday
and fills you with such joy.
I am the one you have loved long ago.
I have walked beside you during the day and looked intently at you
and put my mouth against your heart
without you knowing.
I am your third arm and your other shadow -
the white one,
who you don't have space for in your heart
but who can never forget you.
Happy Easter everyone! Spring has arrived - with sunshine, warmth and fresh green everywhere. I've been soaking it up with my parents and youngest brother who came to visit for three days, being proper tourists discovering some places I've never been in the New Forest. I was able to wear my new summerdress for the first time along with the sandals I've already insisted on wearing for a couple of weeks, come rain or shine.
One of the projects on my list for the college break is on its way. I want to create a crafty corner (where there used to be a bright green homemade cushion sofa that never got sat on), a place where I can have a little table for my sewing machine and a shelf with my fabrics, yarn, knitting needles, sewing notions and other stuff from my stash.
Stage one - clearing out said sofa and surrounding items was completed a week or two ago. Stage two - replenishing stash: wooden sewing box, embroidery thread, craft books and sewing tools accomplished last week. Stage three - acquiring shelf, table and desk (related project part of grand plan of improving room interior) not quite successful yesterday as table was not available in any IKEA in all of Britain. However, I'm inspired so am sure I will find something for the purpose eventually. Pics to follow.
I wish you all lovely spring days and inspiration for everything you do.