Sunday, December 12, 2010

New tenant in the house

I have a new tenant in the house! This is the new lamp I bought yesterday from the antique fair. He looked so cute and ugly and pitiful at the same time, that I had to have him. The man who sold it to me said he was made in Austria at the beginning of the 20th century, so that would make him 90-100 years old. Maybe that's why he seems so so tired. Or maybe he's just suffering under the weight of his own kitschiness :)

Am un nou chirias in casa! Aceasta este noua lampa pe care am cumparat-o ieri de la un targ de antichitati. Era asa de dulce si urat si demn de mila in acelasi timp, ca n-am putut sa-l las acolo. Domnul care mi l-a vandut zicea ca piticul a fost facut in Austria la inceputul secolului 20, astfel ca ar avea 90-100 de ani. Poate de-aia pare asa de obosit. Sau poate sufera doar sub povara propriei kitschioshenii :)
Even if his history were all a fake (which is quite possible, I'm no Austrian gnome expert), I would love him no less. He gives the room a very nice mood.

Chiar daca istoria lui ar fi cu totul falsa (ceea ce e foarte posibil, nu ma pricep la pitici austrieci de ceramica), nu l-as iubi mai putin. Ca sa nu mai zicem ca face o atmosfera foarte faina in camera.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Crafty Christmas Club

Those who know me also know I'm one of those Grinches who don't look forward to Christmas for any reason. This year, however, I am planning to go at least 90% handmade in my gift-giving. So far, the making of presents is progressing nicely, but it's frustrating having to keep my creations secret.

Sooo... I'm pleased to announce I have just been invited to join the above-mentioned blog, where I hope to find inspiration, receive suggestions and share what little I know or have done.
I must admit this is making Christmas just a little bit exciting for me (but don't tell anyone!)

Oh, and those of you who expect presents from me this Xmas..., don't look on this blog, ok?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chocolate anyone?

This is the result of another group project, entitled "Cafe ou chocolat". It was meant to produce quilts using materials we all received from Smaranda (thank you, they really were lovely!) and keeping to the theme "cafe ou chocolat".

Acesta este rezultatul unui alt proiect de grup, intitulat "Cafe ou chocolat". Acesta a avut scopul de a produce quilturi, folosind materialele primite de la Smaranda (multumim, au fost chiar frumoase!) si pastrand tema, "cafea sau ciocolata".

The choice was easy for me: absolutely chocolate! So this is what came out:

Alegerea a fost usoara pentru mine: absolut ciocolata! Si iata ce a iesit:
An 80x60cm large box of chocolates, which I dedicate to Teodora, without whose black Ikea pillowcase I couldn't have completed this project. Thank you! :)

O cutie de ciocolata de 80x60, pe care i-o dedic Teodorei, fara a carei fata de perna de la Ikea nu as fi reusit sa termin acest proiect.

I cut up said pillowcase in (more or less) equal squares. I then used acrylic fabric paint to make the golden chocolate wrappers:

Am taiat sus-numita fata de perna in patrate mai mult sau mai putin egale. Am folosit apoi vopsea pentru textile pentru a face ambalajele aurii:

When all squares were dry and extremely well ironed, I put the chocolate shapes within each wrapper. I played around until I got the positioning I wanted:

Cand patratele au fost uscate si ras-calcate, am pus formele de ciocolata in interiorul fiecarui ambalaj. M-am jucat pana am ajus la pozitionarea cea mai buna:
I used a double layer of batting underneath each chocolate shape, to make them pop out of the background.

Am folosit un strat dublu de vatelina sub fiecare forma de ciocolata, pentru a le face sa iasa in relief fata de fundal.
After the chocolates were all in place, I proceeded to quilt around the chocolate shapes, in the most uneven and haphazard manner known to (wo)man, and which I will not show you here. Still, the end result was not as bad as I expected.

Dupa ce formele de ciocolata erau toate la locul lor, am purces la matlasarea lor, in cel mai inegal si haotic mod posibil. Cu asta nu va voi arata poze. Totusi, rezultatul final n-a fost chiar asa de rau pe cat ma asteptam.
If you would like to see the other group members' interpretation of the theme, go here.

Daca vreti sa vedeti interpretarile celorlalte membre ale grupului, mergeti aici.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Old debt

It is time for me to finally present the results of a group project involving dolls. Each of the participants recived a surprise pack with materials that she had to incorporate into a doll or softie of her own choosing and design.

E timpul sa va prezint in sarsit rezultatele unui proiect de grup avand ca tema papusile. Fiecare dintre participante a primit un pachet surpriza cu materiale pe care a trebuit sa le incorporeze intr-o papusa sau intr-un animalutz ales si proiectat de ea.

At the end, the creations were revealed and everyone got to see what her materials had turned into. So here goes:

La sfarsit, creatiile au fost dezvaluite si fiecare a avut ocazia de a-si recunoaste materialele si a vedea in ce s-au transformat. Asa ca, iata:

The Mirunosaur made by Miruna:
Elena's Milixina, set on stealing the heart (and life savings) of old Mr. Cotartza:
Milixina Elenei, hotarata sa-i fure inima (si economiile) domnului Cotartza:

Daniela's ET and his delicate flower:
ET al Danielei, si floricica lui delicata:

Mariana's Dolly:
Dolly a Marianei:
Iulia's cute ladybug:
Buburuza simpatica a Iuliei:
Nusha, Carmina's hilarious hen:
Nusha-gainusha haioasa a Carminei:
My respectable Mos Cotartza:
Respectabilul meu Mos Cotartza:
And the guest star, not part of this project but an active part in the exhibition of Craiova, Cici:
Si invitata surpriza, Cici,care nu a facut parte din acest proiect, dar a jucat un rol important la expozitia de la Craiova:
I hope everyone had fun and realised that making a doll is not rocket science after all. Definitely easier than making a quilt, at least for me! :)

Sper ca tuturor le-a facut placere, si ca toate si-au dat seama ca realizarea unei papusi nu e chiar asa mare lucru. Cu sigurantza e mai simplu decat sa faci un quilt, cel putin pentreu mine! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Doua surori

Let me show you what I made before going on holiday. Two dolls for two blonde blue-eyed and very cute sisters.

Sa va arat ce am lucrat inainte sa plec in vacanta. Doua papusele pentru doua surori, una mai blonda si mai dragutza decat cealalta (surorile, nu papusile).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New cutie on the block

I made a new cutie doll for a friend's little girl. I used Swedish fabrics for a half-Swedish kid. :)
Am facut o papusa noua pentru fetita unei prietene. Am folosit materiale suedeze pentru o copila jumate suedeza :)

The pics are as good as I could get them on a rainy day, before rushing out the door to deliver it.
Pozele sunt cat de bune puteau fi intr-o zi ploioasa, facute in graba, inainte sa fug sa livrez papusa.

I'm eagerly expecting to find out what she will be named.
Abia astept sa aflu cum o s-o cheme.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Update on my talents

Just thought I'd show you a mismatched array of things I have produced in the last month. First of all, I found a calendar- teatowel at a thrift store and loved the image on it,

Ma gandeam sa va arat o colectie haotica de lucruri pe care le-am produs luna asta. In primul rand, un prosop de bucatarie cu calendar pe care l-am gasit la un second si a carui imagine mi-a placut f mult, I bought it, cut it and turned into a little quilt. I'll hang it in my kitchen as soon as I decide upon the location.
...asa ca l-am cumparat si l-am transformat intr-un quiltuletz. O sa-l pun pe perete in bucatarie, imediat ce ma hotarasc unde.
Secondly, I made a gift for my godmother. I knew I wanted to make some jewellery, but that was the only thing I knew for certain. So after drawing about 10 necklace versions, deciding on the winning one and starting to work on it, the new (and infinitely better) idea came to me, so I dropped what I had begun and started on this:

In al doilea rand, am facut un cadou pentru nasa mea. Stiam ca vreau sa-i fac ceva bijuterie, dar asta era singurul lucru sigur pe care-l stiam. Asa ca, dupa ce am desenat vreo 10 variante de colier si m-am hotarat asupra celei castigatoare, am inceput sa lucrez la ea, cand mi-a venit brusc noua (si infinit mai buna) idee, asa ca am lasat din mana ce lucram si m-am apucat de asta:
I had never done beading before, but with the help of a free book (discovered by Teodora), I managed a final product that I'm very proud of. It took me about 24 hours of solid work but hey, what are nights for? To me it looks Indian, to others it looks Egyptian. What do you think?
Anyway, I'll definitely make more stuff with this technique...but possibly less shiny :)

N-am mai lucrat cu tehnica asta inainte, dar cu ajutorul unei carti gratis (descoperita de Teodora), mi-a reusit un produs final de care sunt foarte mandra. Mi-a luat cam 24 de ore de lucru dar pentru ce sunt noptile? Mie mi se pare ca arata indian, altora li se pare egiptean. Voi ce credeti? Oricum, sigur o sa mai fac chestii cu tehnica asta...probabil mai putin stralucitoare, totusi :)
And last but not least, I made my very first item of clothing! Which took the shape of some very simple wrap-around pants, but I love them and have worn them a lot already. I'll be back with less pathetic pictures; here I had to edit out the messy room behind me.
Si nu in ultimul rand, am facut primul meu obiect de imbracaminte! Care a luat forma unor pantaloni petrecuti foarte simpli, dar pe care ii iombesc si i-am purtat mult deja. O sa revin cu poze mai putin jalnice; aici a trebuit sa tai afara camera dezordonata din spatele meu :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hot sexy...Pops

Ladies, let me present to you the most eligible bachelor of 2010. On his street at least, anyway.

Doamnelor, dati-mi voie sa vi-l prezint pe cel mai ravnit burlac al anului 2010. Ma rog, cel putin pe strada lui.

Mr. Octavian Cotârţă, or Moş Cotârţă, as kids on the street call him nowadays, has been retired for a couple of years. He now fills his spare time by reading scientific papers and looking after his garden.

Octavian Cotârţă, sau Moş Cotârţă
, cum ii spun copiii de pe strada, e pensionar de cativa ani. Acum isi umple timpul citind lucrari stiintifice si ingrijindu-se de gradina.
And of course, looking for a lady to share his retirement years with. After all, he's still going strong and is still rather handsome and well groomed, isn't he?

Si, bineinteles, cautand o doamna cu care sa-si imparta anii batranetii. Ca doar se
tine bine inca, e chipes si ingrijit, nu?

Sure, he has the odd ache here and there, but so do all of us.

Desigur, il mai apuca cate o durere pe ici pe colo, dar toti suferim de asa ceva.

I must not forget to tell you that Mr. Cotârţă is not just any old pensioner. He used to be a reputed ornithologist in his day. Yeah, don't look at me like that! He even had a new species of bird named after him. The moşcotârţă is a medium sized water bird with interesting dotty plumage. Unfortunately, Mr. Cotârţă's thesis on the bird was just as dotty, which lead to Oxford University's repeated refusals to publish it.

Sa nu uit sa va spun ca Dl
Cotârţă nu e un pensionar oarecare. A fost mare ornitolog la vremea lui. Da da, nu va uitati asa la mine! Exista chiar si o specie de pasari numite dupa el. Moşcotârţa este o pasare de balta, cu un penaj interesant, bulinos. Din fericire, tot de balta au fost si cunostintele prezentate de lucrarea Dlui Cotârţă, care a condus la refuzurile repetate ale Universitatii Oxford de a o publica.

Oh well, life goes on. A nice lady to make tea and watch birds with would be nice though... Any volunteers?

Dar asta este, viata merge inainte. Ar fi frumos totusi sa aiba o doamna draguta care sa faca ceai si cu care sa se uite la pasari... Se ofera cineva?

P.S. This man-doll is part of a group project with my online quilting group. I will post all the dolls as soon as they are all ready.
P.S. Acest papusoi e parte a unui proiect de grup, cu grupul Peticelul. Va voi arata toate papusile imediat ce sunt gata.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Expo Craiova

My online group is currently exhibiting their work in Craiova. Over 40 original, pretty and very well received quilts. Just thought I'd brag. :) More pictures here.

Grupul meu virtual, Peticelul Romanesc International, are o expozitie la Craiova. Peste 4o de quilturi originale, frumoase si foarte bine primite. Voiam doar sa ma laud. :) Mai multe poze aici.

Daca aveti drum prin Craiova, mergeti si vedeti, e deschisa pana in 11 iunie.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First tenants

As soon as the tree was firmly in place, fixed with four bolts and meters of double sided tape, some living facilities had to be provided.
Imediat ce copacul a fost fixat bine pe perete, cu patru suruburi si metri de banda adeziva, trebuiau furnizate si locuinte utilate.

Built around a solid reinforced cardboard core,
Construita in jurul unui miez de carton armat,
...and benefiting from all mod cons like electrical wiring... beneficiind de toate facilitatile moderne, cum ar fi instalatie electrica...
...this treehouse provides a modern, comfortable living space.
...aceasta casa-in-copac ofera un spatiu de locuit modern si confortabil.

At the same time, it blends into its environment through the clever use of quilted faux-bark walls...
In acelasi timp, se armonizeaza cu mediul inconjurator, datorita folosirii ingenioase a peretilor quiltati din imitatie de scoartza...
...and natural leaf roofing. a acoperisului natural din frunze.
You must agree that this unique combination of features makes for an irresistible dwelling.
Trebuie sa recunoasteti ca aceasta combinatie unica de trasaturi concura la crearea unei locuinte irezistibile.

And it seems like I'm not the only one to think so. Look, somebody has already moved in!
Si se pare ca nu sunt singura care crede asta. Ia uitati, cineva s-a mutat deja in ea!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I have not been completely idle lately. Close, but not quite.
N-am fost cu totul lenesa in ultima vreme. Aproape, dar nu chiar cu totul.

Do you remember this project? It was in September last year that I started it. I appliqueed and painted and turned it this way and that and it still didn't look like anything. On the one hand, it was way too big to handle. On the other hand, no matter what I did to it, it still looked like a torn sweater stuck to a piece of curtain. The "customer" was getting restless and pushy. She wanted her tree. And she was right to, I mean, it's been 7 months!
Va mai amintiti proiectul asta? L-am inceput in septembrie anul trecut. Am aplicat si pictat si l-am tot intors pe toate partile, dar tot nu arata nicicum. Pe de o parte, era mult prea mare. Pe de alta parte, orice ii faceam, arata tot ca un erseu rupt atasat de o bucata de perdea. "Clienta" devenea nerabdatoare si insistenta. Isi voia copacul. Si normal, doar trecusera 7 luni!

So finally, one morning at the beginning of April, motivated by my friends' encouraging remarks (and I quote: "You do realise that rag will never become a work of art?") I decided to start over, but this time with a whole new approach. So, here we go!
Asa ca intr-un final, intr-o dimineata de la inceputul lui aprilie, motivata de remarcine incurajatoare ale prietenilor (si citez: "Iti dai seama ca o carpa ca asta n-o sa ajunga niciodata o opera de arta?"), m-am hotarat sa o iau de la capat, dar de data asta dintr-un unghi complet nou. Deci:

How to make a tree meant to cover up a mouldy wall area:
Cum sa faci un copac care sa acopere o suprafata de perete mucegaita:

Step 1: Chop up the old project! Ooh, that was liberating.
Pasul 1: Se taie tot ce s-a facut pana acum!

Step2: Realise that you now need a new lot of fabric. Go and buy a second hand cotton sheet.
Pasul 2: Se daseama ca acum iti trebuie alta bucata de material. Se merge si se cumpara un cearsaf de la second.

Step 3: Sketch the outline of the tree on paper, then transfer it to the sheet. Cut out and sew onto cotton batting.
Pasul 3: Se deseneaza conturul copacului pe hartie, apoi se transfera pe cearsaf. Se decupeaza si se coase pe vatelina.
Step 4: Apply the same technique to the branches and roots. Sew them onto their stumps. Swear a little when you realise that, despite your careful measuring, they do not match up. Sew everything, right sides facing, onto a backing (which incidentally is the old green curtain you chopped up at step 1), turn and iron. Do not get discouraged when your father says it looks like an albino polyp.
Pasul 4: Se aplica aceeasi tehnica radacinilor si crengilor. Se cos de cioturi. Se injura putin cand nu se potrivesc, in ciuda masuratorilor precise. Se coase totul pe un spate (care se intampla sa fie chiar vechea perdea verde pe care ai taiat-o la pasul 1), se intoarce si se coase. A nu se descuraja cand tata zice ca arata ca un polip albinos.

Step 5: Give it some colour! Enjoy getting yourself covered in paint. Love the result. Gloat and say "who's an albino now!"
Pasul 5: Se da niste culoare. Se face mizerie cu vopselele. Se adora rezultatul. Se umfla in pene si se spune "acuma cine-i albinos!".
Step 6: Give it some texture! Throw everything you have onto it (lace, knitting wool, decorative threads, felting wool etc) and cover everything with black tulle.
Pasul 6: Se da textura. Se arunca tot ce ai pe copac (dantela, lana de tricotat, fire decorative, lana de impaslit etc) si se acopera totul cu tulle negru.
Step 7: Quilt with variegated thread to create a bark effect. Love the result even more. Sew on some bits of the previously chopped sweater to complete the bark effect. Rip the tulle in various spots and pull out the felting wool, to create a moss or lichen effect (green on the branches, brown and grey on the roots).
Pasul 7: Se quiltuieste cu ata in degrade, pentru a crea un efect de scoarta. Se adora rezultatul. Se coase niste bucatele din jerseul mai sus mentionat, pentru a completa efectul de scoarta. Se sfasie tulle-ul in diverse puncte si se scoate lana, pentru a crea un efect de muschi sau licheni ( verde pe crengi, maro si gri pe radacini).
Step 8: Wait until 10pm, the day before Nora's birthday. Sneak into the room when she is not home, attach the tree to the wall with double sided tape (nothing too permanent, she might hate it and want to take it off immediately). Put double sided tape on every single leaf (previously cut out of the old project, plus some old shirts) and attach those to the wall too. By now it will be past midnight. Enjoy the result for a minute, then go home.
Pasul 8: Se asteapta pana la 10 seara, in ajunul zilei de nastere a Norei. Se strecoara in camera cand ea nu e acasa, si se lipeste copacul de perete cu banda dublu adeziva (nimic prea permanent, s-ar putea sa nu-i placa si sa vrea sa-l ia jos imediat). Se pune banda dublu adeziva pe fiecare frunza (taiate si astea din vechiul proiect plus niste bluze vechi) si se lipesc si frunzele de perete. Acum va fi deja trecut de miezul noptii. Se admira rezultatul un pic, apoi se merge acasa.

Step 9: Receive an excited phone call the next day, expressing in many ways how much she loves the tree. Feel relieved that the whole overdue tree issue is no longer threatening your friendship.
Pasul 9: Se primeste un telefon entuziasmat a doua zi, in care Nora exprima in multe feluri cat de mult ii place copacul. Se simte usurare ca problema copacului intarziat nu ne mai ameninta prietenia.

Step 10: Blog about it.
Pasul 10: Se pune pe blog.

Below is my happy customer. I hate that the tree is so droopy on the right hand side, but she arranged it and loves it like that, so who am I to question?
Mai jos este clientul fericit. Nu-mi place deloc ca pomul e asa de lasat pe partea dreapta, dar ea si l-a aranjat asa si asa ii place, deci cine-s eu sa o pun la indoiala?
I have another surprise in store for her, something to attach to the tree, you know, to make it look more lived-in. :) I'm hoping to finish that soon.
Mai am o surpriza pentru ea, ceva de atasat la copac, sa-l faca sa para mai locuit :) Sper ca o voi termina in curand.