Sunday, February 28, 2010


Signs of spring
Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flower of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.
Edward Thomas

The snowdrops were photographed in Brighton more than two weeks ago. There are signs of spring all around, but the winter's cold and rain don't seem to want to pass. I long for the spring and all it brings: the warmth, the blue skies, the sunlight, the promise of new discoveries and accomplishments, the lifting of the soul, the renewal.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Knitting in the round

I was looking after my friend’s son on Saturday, so spent most of the Sunday feeling that it was the first day of the weekend, which may explain why I totally forgot to write the usual post with a quote. Ironically enough on Monday my husband stayed home due to a bad cold and I managed to complete a number of the boring household tasks only to end up with a splitting headache by the end of the day. The only cure for which was to go to bed early preventing me again from blogging or crafting.

Anyhow on Saturday I was very glad to discover that I can now knit (albeit very simple things) and look after two toddlers. I too clearly remember the time just two years ago when I needed extremely quiet and peaceful environment to manage knitting few stitches without getting horribly confused or knitting them a wrong way, which meant that knitting was reserved for evenings and progressed dreadfully slowly.
Knitted balls
The two balls knitted from leftover Noro Kureyon Sock following the pattern from Itty-Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson are my small addition to a hat requested by a very good friend.
Hat for newborn
The hat (pattern by Ginny) was so easy to knit and will hopefully help me break my fear of attempting to knit wearable items. I’m so much dreaming of knitting socks for myself as my feet keep on getting too cold every time I go outside this winter.

Unlucky for my sock-knitting plans upon seeing the little hat my daughter requested I’ll knit her one (multi-coloured, orange and red and yellow) and when we looked on Ravelry to find the perfect pattern, she also requested another hat, a toy and a vest. And wait, she also wants four knitted balls, not three as requested previously. Hopefully I have enough Noro Kureyon Sock yarn left, as most of it was used up in knitting a long rainbow snake.
Rainbow snake
I'm glad my daughter likes it despite the fishy face, which is result of me improvising instead of following a pattern, .
Rainbow snake
My husband also wants a beanie hat – light brown with orange and blue stripes, but thankfully is happy to wait. So maybe, just maybe, by next winter we’ll all have hand-knitted hats and socks to keep us extra warm.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crafting in 2009 and now

I finished more items in 2009, than I did in 2008, but only because I added some of my drawings to the final count.
Finished in 2009 Part I
1. Necklace for Stagasaurus (c365/134), 2. Necklace for Sister-in-Law (c365/135), 3. Finished (c365/145), 4. Matreshka border, 5. Jellyfish (c365/147), 6. Small stamps (c365/149), 7. Pan Chang Knot necklace, 8. Drying handdyed fabric (c365/154), 9. Apple pin cushion (c365/155), 10. (c365/156), 11. Doily (c365/158), 12. Square pincushion (c365/159), 13. New bag (c365/162), 14. New flower stamps (c365/163), 15. Yellow & purple (c365/164), 16. Head scarf (c365/167), 17. Another head scarf, 18. Finished Picnic Blanket (c365/171), 19. Strawberry skirt, 20. One more doily done (c365/175)

Finished in 2009 Part II
1. And aother one (c365/177), 2. Dyeing (c365/178), 3. It's starting to click (c365/179), 4. I am here (c365/180), 5. Day-dreaming (c365/183), 6. Dream book (c365/184), 7. Hexagons (c365/185), 8. Almost finished (c365/186), 9. Added a handle (c365/196), 10. Basket (c365/202), 11. Ready to gift (c365/204), 12. No more veg! (c365/208), 13. Autumn heart (c365/209), 14. Tiny mouse (c365/214), 15. Flower brooches (c365/217), 16. Quickly finished (c365/223), 17. Jingle Bells (c365/231), 18. Grey & Yellow (c365/232), 19. Airplane Octopus (c365/234), 20. Last item made in 2009 (c365/235)

I wonder how productive I'll be this year as so far I only have three completed items. Having a larger final number of projects completed isn’t the goal in itself, but in a small way it is a good enough indication of how well I avoided getting into the negative and self-critical attitude, which prevents me from finding time to do what I enjoy. So far this year I was having lots of fun partially by breaking my resolutions. I can’t really say that I made a New Year’s resolution not to learn any new forms of craft, but I thought it would be a good idea to concentrate on improving my existing skills. I haven’t lasted long. I found a book on papier-mache at the charity shop and took it as a sign to try making something simple. Luckily my husband can get newspapers for free from his office at the end of each day, so I didn’t have to break my second resolution to avoid buying new supplies unless I use up something I already have.

I also finally tried needle-felting, which I was yearning to do for the last couple of years. Amusingly enough when I just discovered online crafting community, I felt like everyone was trying out some sort of felting, while now every second crafter seems to be re-discovering or trying for the first time spinning. I’m glad that spinning sparks no interest in me whatsoever. I may be tempted to dye some yarn though.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The artists of being alive

And yet, I know artists whose medium is Life itself, and who express the inexpressible without brush, pencil, chisel, or guitar. They neither paint nor dance. Their medium is Being. Whatever their hand touches has increased Life. They see and don't have to draw. They are the artists of being alive.
"The Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation" by Frederick Franck

Sunday, February 7, 2010


If - as I hope - the how-to tricks with ellipses don't work for you either, there is no other way of drawing a sparrow or an eagle than to draw it ad infinitum, until the bushes on our paper are fuller of birds than any bushes ever were, and you know sparrow and eagle inside out, having been them yourself.
"The Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation" by Frederick Franck

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I was recently taking a long bath, partially because I like to, but mostly because we no longer had any working showers in the house. And the realisation of my own uniqueness suddenly hit me. Let’s see how many Russian women, who lived in Australia and are now living in UK and are married to South African and love painting, drawing & crafting do you know? But this awareness of my exceptionality went beyond all these and other random attributes I may be able to list about myself. I used to say that we are all unique, but this was different. For the first time I marvelled at how beautiful, precious and special I am. Not because of how I look or what I do or don’t do, but just because I am. And how I feel about myself or my current place in life at any given point in time doesn’t change the fact of my uniqueness.

I’m afraid that by this point you are rolling your eyes in the amusement or the incredulity at my self-centeredness. But do you know what the logical conclusion of that realisation is? I can’t do anything, but believe that each one of you is unique in a very beautiful and precious way. And I hope that instead of raising an objection to my momentary ability to treasure you and myself, you can smile and celebrate yourself as you are at this moment in time.