Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Discovering the world: rainbow

Flower stamps

On Sunday Katya got excited about seeing a rainbow for the first time, by the end of the day we saw three. As a child I remember sitting on the riverbank and windowsills watching the rain and spotting the rainbows, but more recently a whole year could pass without me seeing one. Since I started working there wasn’t much time left for looking out of the windows; worst still some of the officerooms I worked in didn’t have any windows. So the whole days could pass without knowing if it was raining or sunny outside.

Now I may not have time for other things, but there is plenty to spend outside and looking out of the windows. And while watching my daughter splashing in the puddles I’m grateful for the pleasure of seeing the rain as an act of beauty, part of the creation and growth process instead of viewing it as a nuisance. And sometimes there is even a rainbow to be spotted in the distance.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Flower stamps

Flower stamps
Geninne posted a video of making a stamp, she makes it look so effortless. It took me much longer than ten minutes to make two new flower stamps. Practice makes perfect. What should I turn into a stamp next?

Monday, May 11, 2009


Next Sunday we are planning to go to the airshow. It was really amusing to watch Clive try to explain to Katya what airplane is (I think he described it as train with wings that flies), until he realized that she flew on airplanes enough times last year to knows what they are and how they look like.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Handbag love

I love handbags. The people, who know me in real life, may express disbelieve at this statement as I own few and buy new ones very rarely. But I do. The problem is the ones I love are usually too expensive or too impractical or often both. I like unique bags that are outlandish, full of colour, texture, embroidery, images, stories. One day, when I learn all the skills I'm aiming to, I may be able to create few perfect ones for myself. For now I couldn't resist making this cute buttercup bag, even though it is too small to be really useful for me now - I need a bag that will hold at least a ball, a kids book, sunscreen and lunch for the Little Girl and myself.
New olive green bag
After I finished making it I stumbled on to a tutorial, which explains how to modify the original free pattern to include a zip - maybe I'll make another bigger one.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Changes in the garden

On Saturday we physically exerted ourselves by walking around beautiful countryside. The next two days of the long weekend we worked in the garden. Today my whole body hurts, but at least there is some progress to be seen outside.
Changes in the garden

Monday, May 4, 2009

Virginia Woolf

On Thursday I finished reading A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf and had a strange desire to hug the book. I also felt a profound sadness knowing that the author killed herself. I keep on wondering what other books would she write if she lived; what female writers and poets would she have a chance to read and enjoy; what would she think about the rate of change in the lives of women.

On Saturday we visited the Monk's House, her country retreat, and walked in the surrounding countryside, which only raised more questions and increased my desire to find out more about Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell. Here are some quotes from the book and photos from our visit.

... a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction...
The garden writing room
Virginia Woolf's garden writing room at Monk's house

So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.

River Ouse
River Ouse, in which Virginia Woolf drowned herself

When I rummage in my own mind I find no noble sentiments about being companions and equals and influencing the world to higher ends. I find myself saying briefly and prosaically that it is much more important to be oneself than anything else. Do not dream of influencing other people, I would say, if I knew how to make it sound exalted. Think of things in themselves.
Tulips in the beautiful garden of Monk's house

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Nasturtium inspired stamp

I want to create few semi-abstract stamps to use in the collages, so I'm taking a careful look around my surroundings for inspirations.
Nasturtium stem
Intertwined nasturtium stems helped me to create this one.
Handcarved stamp
I'm sure I'll carve more once they flower, but for now I'll concentrate my attention on African violets and tulips.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I created this simple collage after reading Annabell's Why do you do what you do? post and watching Suzi Blu's journal playshop video.
Green square pincushion
Recently I had incredible amount of fun trying out new craft techniques and taking life drawing lessons. And so for now I try not to ask myself questions about my reasons for creating and learning all the various techniques I encounter. Even the most innocent questions are bound to awaken the internal critic and make my efforts appear silly and worthless. For now I'm just going to concentrate on the pleasant feelings I experience while drawing, painting, making collages, sewing, etc