Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The reality of a dream

Have you ever fallen into the trap of buying only something that's perfectly finished, flawlessly decorated, even when the thing you bought was not of necessary use for you at the time?
Well, I have to admit, I did. And I think home decor magazines (and not only them) are the perfect bait for such a trap, with all of those pictures lurking you into having "a dream life", a life of luxury even you can now afford... But if you can get a glimpse beyond that "dream life", you realize what you see is often overrated, and in the end the price you have to pay for such a life is... life itself.

What happened with home-made items, no matter how clumsy they're made? What happened with reusing and reshaping old things we don't use anymore? When did we decide effortless is the way for progress, and when are we going to stop lying to ourselves that just because we got that thing into our home in less than 30 minutes, that makes is cheap and affordable?

Well... these are just a few thoughts I have in my mind in the last few days. And because of that, when I shortly visited my favourite fabric shop - it's quite small, but very cosy and the owners are two very nice young ladies - I decided to buy a piece of printed fabric, very cheap just because during printing process,  areas of spread paint appeared here and there. I didn't have something specific in my mind for it, but I particulary liked the floral pattern, of a dark, indigo blue shade.

Later on, I thought: why not pillow cases? The fabric is sturdy, not very soft, so they should get quite nice. I also wanted them with piping edges, so I used in addition for each pillow case: four pieces of white cotton rope, four strips from an old T-shirt and three buttons from an old cardigan..
And the result? Two cheap 40 x 40 cm pillow cases, with floral pattern and buttons enclosure.
Pretty nice, I'd say!

Vi s-a intamplat vreodata sa picati in capcana de a cumpara un lucru doar daca era perfect finisat si impecabil decorat, chiar daca acel lucru nu va era si neaparat necesar la momentul respectiv?
Eu, trebuie sa recunosc, am facut-o. Si cred ca toate revistele de tip “home decor” (dar nu numai) reprezinta momeala perfecta pentru o astfel de capcana, cu toate acele ilustratii ce ne ademenesc catre “o viata de vis”, o viata de lux pe care pana si tu ti-o poti permite acum… Dar daca putem zari macar o clipa in spatele acelei “vieti de vis”, ne putem da seama ca de multe ori produsele sunt supraevaluate si ca, in final, pretul pe care trebuie sa-l platim pentru o astfel de viata este… viata insasi.

Ce s-a intamplat, oare, cu lucrurile facute de noi, indiferent cat de stangace ar fi fost ele? Ce s-a intamplat, oare, cu refolosirea si remodelarea lucrurilor vechi din casa, care nu ne mai sunt de nici un folos? Cand am hotarat ca lipsa efortului reprezinta calea spre progres si cand vom inceta a ne mai minti ca doar pentru ca am obtinut un lucru in mai putin de 30 de minute, aducandu-l acasa, asta il face si ieftin si accesibil?

In fine… astea sunt cateva din gandurile pe care le am in ultimele zile… Si din acest motiv, intr-o scurta vizita prin magazinul meu preferat de tesaturi – un magazine mic, dar foarte primitor, in proprietatea a doua tinere doamne foarte dragute – am hotarat sa cumpar o bucata de material imprimat, foarte ieftin doar pentru ca in urma imprimarii, vopseaua se intinsese pe alocuri. Nu l-am luat pentru ceva anume, insa mi-a placut mult motivul floral, intr-o nuanta inchisa de albastru-indigo.

Ulterior, mi-am zis: de ce nu perne decorative? Materialul este destul de gros, rezistent si nu foarte moale, asa ca ar trebui sa fie tocmai bun. Si pentru ca am vrut sa am si snur pe margini, am mai folosit pentru fiecare fata de perna  4 bucati de sfoara de bumbac, 4 fasii dintr-un vechi tricou de bumbac si 3 nasturi de la un vechi pullover…
Rezultatul?  Doua fete de perna ieftine, de dimensiuni 40 x 40 cm, cu motiv floral si inchidere cu nasturi. Destul de simpatice, zic eu!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The orange bird of prosperity... reloaded

Even though I love cooking, I never had an apron till now. When it was imperative to use one, I improvised and put a tea towel instead. But to be honest, most of the time I'm not using anything... and of course, I end up having flour all over myself and my kitchen!
As I said, till now. Because my "orange bird of prosperity" gave me a playful idea: why not making an apron with this pattern? And I did! Yesterday. It was a crazy day: I spent most of my time measuring, and cutting, and sewing and cutting again... and finally, I got a pretty neat and cheerful apron. Here it is!

In ciuda faptului ca imi place mult sa gatesc si deci, mi-ar fi fost necesar, nu am avut niciodata pana acum un sort. Atunci cand am avut neaparat nevoie, am improvizat, folosind un prosop de bucatarie mai mare. In majoritatea cazurilor insa, nu folosesc... si bineanteles ca de fiecare data, sfarsesc prin a ma umple de faina, la fel si bucataria!
Cum spuneam, pana acum. Pentru ca "pasarea portocalie a prosperitatii" mi-a dat o idee buclucasa: ce-ar fi sa-mi fac un sort cu modelul asta? Si mi-am facut! Ieri. A fost o zi nebuna, petrecandu-mi aproape tot timpul masurand si taind, cosand si descosand, apoi iar taind... dar in final, mi-a iesit un sort tare vesel si simpatic. Iata-l!

 linen patch applique with hand embroidered bird / petec de in aplicat, brodat manual

 decorative hand-made buttonhole / butoniera decorativa hand-made

  • poplin hand-made apron
  • linen patch applique with "orange bird of prosperity" pattern hand embroidery
  • decorative linen belt applique on the edges 
  • two decorative rounded hand blind stitched patches, on the sides
  • button closure

  • sort de poplin hand-made
  • petec de in aplicat, cu broderie manuala "pasarea portocalie a prosperitatii"
  • benzi de in decorative aplicate pe marginile superioara si inferioara
  • doua petece rotunjite surfilate manual, aplicate pe marginile laterale
  • inchidere cu nasturi 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The orange bird of prosperity

Dupa ce am terminat fetele de perna Cucuteni, am ramas cu o buna bucata de in si n-aveam nici cea mai vaga idee ce sa fac cu el. Mi-au trecut prin minte mici proiecte, dar nici unul n-a zabovit prea mult. Asa ca am lasat-o deoparte, sa dospeasca precum aluatul, asteptand nasterea dulcei paini.

Si lunea trecuta, fiind in trecere prin magazinul meu preferat de tesaturi, am vazut o bucata de poplin portocaliu (am o apetenta pentru portocaliu, galben si roz deschis in ultima vreme... cred ca mi-a lipsit prea tare primavara!) ce mi s-a parut potrivit pentru inul ramas. Tare bine ar fi mers ca margini de prosop!

Hmm... dar asta ar fi fost primea mea incercare de acest fel, asa ca mi-era cam teama si-am stat ceva in cumpana daca sa-l cumpar sau nu. Intr-un final, mi-am luat inima in dinti si l-am luat: doar n-o fi chiar atat de complicat??!! Ei bine, colturile mi-au dat mare bataie de cap - s-au incapatanat sa nu iasa tocmai in unghi drept frumos (ceea ce se poate vedea cu usurinta...) - asa ca mai am mult de exersat la capitolul asta. Dar per ansamblu, sunt bucuroasa de ceea ce mi-a iesit.
In final, am obtinut trei prosoape si o fata de masa luuuunga. Ma rog, au fost patru prosoape, dar v-am spus povestea cu colturile...

Faine-faine, totusi ceva lipsea: erau prea simple, aveau nevoie de o broderie. Asa ca m-am gandit  "pasari", dar modelul ce-l aveam era mult prea complicat si cumva nepotrivit cu cele doua tipuri de panza.
Si cum se spune ca noaptea e un sfetnic bun, dimineata m-am trezit cu pasarea in gand! Am desenat-o rapid si pentru ca mi-a placut la nebunie, am numit-o pasarea postocalie a prosperitatii. 

 pasrea portocalie a prosperitatiii / the orange bird of prosperity

After finishing my Cucuteni pillow cases, I had some linen left and I did't know what to do with it. Some ideas came into my mind, but none stayed for long. So I left it there, to raise like a dough, waiting for the good bread to come out.
And last Monday, visiting my favorite local fabrics shop, I saw a piece of orange poplin (I kind of like orange, and yellow, and pink lately... I suppose I miss spring a lot!) which I thought would match my linen and make a beautiful edge for a napkin, as a bound seam.

This would have been my first project of this kind, hence I was nervous about the results.... Nevertheless, I took my courage and decided to buy it, see how I can manage with such a difficult task. The corners gave me a lot of trouble - it didn't come out exactly right-angled (which you can easily see...) - so I have to practice a lot, but all in all I'm happy with the results.
In the end, I had three napkins and a looong table runner. Well, there were four napkins in the beginning, but I told you about the corner thing...

I liked them, still something was missing: they needed an embroidery of some kind. I thought of birds, but the pattern I had in my mind was pretty complicated and didn't go along with my fabrics. So, now what?...

They say night is the mother of counsel, and they're right! The next morning, my bird beautifully came out of the tip of my pen. And since I love it so much, I called it the orange bird of prosperity. 

si colturile buclucase / and the troubling corners....

- prosoape de in cu margini aplicate din poplin
- dimensiuni: 39 x 39 cm
- fata de masa de in cu margini aplicate din poplin
- dimensiuni: 30 x 200 cm
- broderie manuala in alb si portocaliu cu fir de bumbac Perle Cotton no 5
- puncte folosite: stem stitch si French knot

- linen napkins with poplin bound seam edges
- measures: 39 x 39 cm
- linen table runner with poplin bound edges
- measures: 30 x 200 cm
- hand embroidered with white and orange pattern using cotton thread Perle Cotton no 5
- used stitches: stem stitch and French knot

Sunday, March 11, 2012

somewhere, over the rainbow...

uneori, in cele mai intunecate momente ale vietii noastre, frumosul se incapataneaza sa iasa la suprafata. cand totul pare pierdut si fara iesire, iar lucrurile isi pierd rostul,  ceva din noi reuseste sa-si strecoare spre inafara lumina.
sa fie doar o compensatie?.. sa fie, poate, expresia efortului de-a ne pastra luciditatea, un mod de a ne “arde” si depasi  nevroza?... 
ori mai degraba oglinda pe care Sinele ne-o aseaza in fata, pentru a vedea ca suntem mai mult decat pierderea, durerea si intunericul? ca suntem, nu o temnita, ci campul verde ce transforma suferinta-n flori si lacrimile-n curcubeu…

sometimes, in our darkest times, beauty grimly fights to come to grass. when all seems lost and helpless and things become meaningless, there’s always something inside of us sliding out its light.  
is it just a compensation?... is it, maybe, an expression of the effort to keep our mind in one place, a way to “burn” and overcome our neurosis?...
or rather a mirror, laid in front of our eyes by the Self, for us to see that we are more than loss, pain and darkness put together? that we are not a prison, but the green field who turns suffering into flowers and tears into rainbow…

  • prosop alb de bumbac 100%
  • margini crosetate cu fir de bumbac Perle Cotton no 5
  • broderie manuala cu model floral si curcubeu
  • puncte folosite: french knot (curcubeu si flori roz), bullion stitch (trandafiri), running stitch, stem stitch, tête-de-beuf (iarba), rosette chain stitch (florile galben cuoranj), feather stitch (tulpini trandafiri), fishbone stitch (frunze pline), detached chain stitch (florile mici fuchsia)
  • pret: 62 lei
  • 100% white cotton napkin
  • picots crocheted edges using cotton thread Perle Cotton no 5
  • hand embroidered with rainbow & flowers pattern
  • used stitches:  french knot (rainbow and pink flowers), bullion stitch (roses), running stitch, stem stitch, tête-de-beuf (grass), rosette chain stitch (orange-yellow flowers), feather stitch (rose stalk), fishbone stitch (leaves), detached chain stitch (small fuchsia flowers)
  • price: 14.5 Euro

where have all the flowers gone?...

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?...

Joan Baez - Where have all the flowers gone

  • prosop alb de bumbac 100%
  • broderie manuala motiv floral, cu fir de bumbac Perle Cotton no 5
  • puncte folosite: shain stitch, satin stitch si raised chain stitch
  • pret: 52.5 lei 
  • 100% white cotton napkin
  • hand embroidered with floral pattern, using cotton thread Perle Cotton no 5
  • used stitches: chain stitch, satin stitch and raised chain stitch
  • price: 12.5 Euro

dimineti de iarna / winter mornings

prosopul de mai jos este unul dintre primele brodate si, totodata, unul dintre cele mai dragi.
delicatetea combinatiei bleu-maro deschis imi aduce mereu in minte blandetea diminetilor de iarna, devreme, cand pe ici pe colo, mici ramuri isi itesc varfurile somnoroase de sub gulerul protector al zapezii.  

this napkin above is one my first embroideries and, at the same time, one of my dearest.
the delicacy of this combination of colours - light blue-light brown - always brings back the gentleness of early winter mornings, when here and there, small branches peep their sleepy heads out of snow's protective collar.

  • prosop alb de bumbac 100%
  • broderie manuala cu fir de bumbac Perle Cotton no 5
  • puncte folosite: chain stitch, french knot si scroll stitch
  • pret: 54.5 lei
  • 100% white cotton napkin
  • hand embroidered using cotton thread Perle Cotton no 5
  • 2 sides hemstitched
  • used stitches: chain stitch, French knot and scroll stitch
  • price: 13 Euro


uneori curgem, alteori baltim…
uneori alergam, alteori schiopatam…
uneori vedem, alteori dormim…
uneori zburam, alteori ne taram.

at times we flow, but other times we live as ponds
at times we run, but other times we limp a little...
at times we run, but other times we live asleep
at times we fly, but other times we have to crawl...

dinspre vechi catre nou,
dinspre natura catre obiect,
dinspre culori catre umbre,
dinspre inauntru catre inafara.
si din nou, in sens invers…

out of old towards new,
out of nature towards object,
out of colors towards shaddows,
out of the inside towards the outside.
and again, in back motion...

curgand sau baltind,
alergand sau schiopatand,
vazand sau dormind,
visand sau tarandu-ne
cautam perpetuu...

flowing or living as ponds,
running or limping,
seeing or sleeping,
dreaming or crawling,
we're perpetually searching...

rostul de "a fi".
the meaning of "to be".

- fata de masa alba 30 x 180 cm din bumbac 100%
- margini crosetate cu fir de bumbac Perle Cotton no 5
- broderie manuala "reintoarcerea cocorilor"
- puncte folosite: stem stitch
- pret: 105 lei

- 100% white cotton table runner 30 x 180 cm
- picots crocheted edges using cotton thread Perle Cotton no 5
- hand embroidered with "the cranes return" pattern
- used stitches: stem stitch
- price: 25 Euro


Trecand prin timp, il insemnam sub pas -
Asa il reprimeste universul.
Dar insusi timpul, cand prin el pasim,
Ne schimba tainic inima si mersul.
Nu batranetea,-n urma alergand,
Spre moarte pasul cearca sa ni-l poarte,
Ci doar maturitatea creste-n noi
Si ne maturizam pana la moarte.
Geografia timpului - Nicolae Labis

Passing through time, we mark it underneath our steps
This is the way the Universe accepts it back.
But Time itself, when stepping through it,
Misteriously changes our heart and pace.
Not old age, chasing from behind,
Our steps to death is struggling to carry,
But only ripeness grows within ourselves
And we keep ripening until our death.
The Geography of Time - Nicolae Labis

simboluri ale cercului vietii / circle of life symbols...

the soul-bird

the tree of life

Prosopul de mai sus reprezinta viziunea mea personala asupra arborelui vietii, simbol al evolutiei cosmice - moarte si regenerare - si, in acelasi timp, al propriei noastre evolutii spirituale.
Precum un arbore, si noi germinam dintr-o mica samanta - reprezentata aici de ghinda - ce poarta inlauntrul sau esenta noastra, totalitatea. Apoi, de-a lungul anilor, ne continuam cresterea hraniti si incalziti de lumina soarelui, iar cand soseste clipa, luna rasare si noi trebuie sa parasim aceasta lume.
Stramosii nostri daci aveau credinta ca dupa moarte, sufletul raposatului se ridica la ceruri sub forma unei pasari. Marturie in acest sens stau extraordinarii stalpi funerari din lemn sculptat (simbol al existentei noastre pamantene), in varful carora este asezata o mica pasare albastra: sufletul celui plecat.

The napkin above depicts my vision of the tree of life, which represents the circle of cosmic evolution - death and regeneration - and, at the same time, a symbol of our spiritual becoming.
Just like a tree, we germinate from a small seed - the acorn - that carries within the essence of our trueself, of our wholeness. Along the years we continuously grow, nurtured and warmed up by the sun, and when the time comes, the moon rises and we have to leave this life.
Our ancestors, the Dacians, believed that when we die, our soul rises to the skys as a bird. In some rural parts of Romania, in isolated villages, we can still find in graveyards, not crosses but beautifully carved wooden pillars (symbol of our earthly existence) and on top of them a small, blue bird: the dead man's soul.


  • prosop alb din bumbac 100%
  • margini crosetate in scoica, cu fir de bumbac Perle Cotton no 5
  • broderie manuala "arborele vietii"
  • puncte folosite: stem stitch si detached chain stitch
  • pret: 44 lei  


  • 100% white cotton napkin
  • shell crocheted edges using cotton thread Perle Cotton no 5
  • hand embroidered with "tree of life" pattern
  • used stitches: stem stitch and detached chain stitch
  • price: 10 Euro