Articles avec #impressions tag

Publié le 16 Septembre 2020

Hi all!

I think it's time for me to talk to you a bit about the books I own that help me with sewing or crafting stuff in general. 

DISCLAIMER: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I used these affiliate links to give you the option to check the book out, for yourself, if you so wish, through a well-trusted seller. While I will be very glad if you buy any of the linked items, the decision to do so or not, belongs to you. Thank you for reading!  

I own books, magazines, and some leaflets. I will talk about a few of them in more detail than about others. I'll also mention which are the ones with more interesting projects and stuff. 

Gotta mention that I didn't read them all. I didn't have enough time to do so. At least not yet. Plus, some of them are not really for reading as they have just projects and how to do them.

Most of these books are in Romanian, and I'll put them last. or after the ones in English. 

I have also 3 books that are more useful for those interested in fashion per se. I managed to read 1 of them, and about half of each of the other 2. 

My Fashion Related Books

These are my fashion related books. More fit for a coffee table, i suppose? But I don't have a coffee table, so they'll live with my craft books. 

  1. Elsa Schiaparelli's Private Album -affiliate link- 
  2. Vintage Fashion -affiliate link-
  3. Fashion Designer's sketchbooks (2) -affiliate link-

One is about vintage fashion through the 20th century, one is about fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, and the other one talks about the process used by fashion designers to create their clothes. 

The book on vintage fashion is interesting for those who like or want to dress in the style of a decade of the past century. You get to discover designers, the silhouette promoted at the time, along with some historical context. 

It is through this book that I got an interest in Elsa Schiaparelli, and I was pretty excited to buy her Private Album book. I will talk a it about this book on my Obscure Reviews site, and I'll add a link here when that happens. 

To learn more about the creative process in the Fashion Designer's Workbook, there is a little interview with the featured designers as well as a little presentation of their sketches and a few of the finished look. I have to mention this is the 2nd volume. 

Various Crafting Books

Here are 5 crafting books:

  1. made at home -affiliate link-
  2. biblioCraft -affiliate link-
  3. 18th Century Embroidery Techniques -affiliate link-
  4. Simple Contemporary Quilts -affiliate link-
  5. Easy Embellishments for Creative Sewing -affiliate link-

From this list, I read half of the 2nd and the 3rd. I also read a bit of the first. If you're interested in reading a bit more about the "made at home" craft book, I have a review on my Obscure Reviews site

What can I say about these books is that they give a bit of introduction to present the book. They also give plenty of rather easy projects you can do, with step by step instructions. 

On top of this, you also get to see the final result. The made at home, Contemporary Quilts, and biblioCraft are books mostly for making home decor items. Or items you can use around the house, such as tea towels, pillow covers, quilts, and more. 

The Easy Embelishments book shows projects that you can do for your clothes. If you need some ideas or a bit of guidance for upcycling this book can be useful. This is all I can remember from it from just browsing and looking at the pictures, as I didn't read it.

The book on 18th Century embroidery techniques is quite interesting. It talks about methods, shows pictures of embroidery done at the time, where can it be seen, and more. 

Expect a review of this book on my site, at some point, and this post updated when that happens, because I am reading it, as I already mentioned. 

Romanian Crafting Books

There are quite a bit of crafting books in Romanian, that I own. About 4 of them are specifically with traditional embroidery or cross-stitching designs. One is about crocheting and making these interesting lace doilies. Though you can use them for whatever other purpose. You can see an example in this Instagram post i made last year.

Two or 3 of the books explain how to make your own patterns for various types of clothing. They rather lack explaining how to place the pattern on the fabric, which is the preferred sewing order, and so on. I think they were aimed at more experienced dressmakers and not beginners.

I used one of these books to make a/the pattern for an ankle-long cape. If you're interested in a post related to how that went, I'll be happy to talk about it. 

These books are from the 1970s and 1980s. The one on top, called Almanah Femeia is a booklet or a tiny magazine. It features knitting, crocheting, and embroidery work. 

The tiny book in the right upper corner is where I found the design I used on my jeans jacket. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, last year i embroidered my jeans jacket. And I talked about it in this entry

The same book also had the design you can see on the big doily in this IG post from last year.  And here you can see it being worked on. 

Here you can see some work in progress on a bookmark with a design from the yellow book. And here is the final result.

Burda Magazines

There's not much to see here. I bought the most recent issues starting with August 2019. The older issues I found next to the trash. The oldest issue is from 1996. One issue is in Hungarian, and that's the only one I can't read. But if I get more experience in dress-making, I won't need instructions. The others are in German with Romanian translations (in an insert). The translations are only for the sewing instructions, not for the few of the extra articles. 

I also don't have much to say about these magazines, except that the issues became slimmer and slimmer. In the 1990s, they featured recipes as well, and some crosswords which allowed you to enter contests and win things. Then, they also featured pictures from the readers, with the clothes they made with the help of Burda. 

I didn't include the leaflets in here. I may make a separate post for them as they're printed on newspaper paper, and they got old and fragile. I'm keeping them safe. For now. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #DIY, #book, #impressions, #review

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Publié le 7 Mai 2020

Hello! Don't take this post that seriously. Really don't. 

I am well aware I posted a few entries talking against consumerism: here - here - here

I basically was wrong in that post, at least to some extent, because we need to consume things in order to survive. 

I am against buying more than we need, I am against always buying the latest releases of anything, and against buying things simply because so-and-so promotes the item. 

Minimalism is the other extreme. There is a whole niche on youtube related to minimalism. 

I started writing this entry on the 18th day of the martial law instated in Romania. At this point, it is unclear when this "protectorate" will end. The other day they said after mid-May. we'll see.

I'm posting this a week before the martial law is supposed to ease.

The thing is, we're not allowed to go out without a pass - we can write it ourselves. who we are, where we go, why, carry the ID, and heaven forbid the paper is wrong. All the stores and malls are closed. Supermarkets, drugstores, emergency dentists, hospitals are the only operating "businesses." And also places like home renovation and pet stores. Other businesses that still operate, the post office, taxis, public transportation, delivery companies. If you need anything else, like clothes, craft supplies, you have to order online. if you have $$. 

Can you see how being a hoarder is now useful? Can you see how being a minimalist is not/was not a good idea? 

Living in a city is also not a good idea. But living in the countryside, in Romania, usually means no running water. See the image below, for a better understanding - seen first in this entry.

In any case, in the countryside, we'd be able to go out of the house, in the yard to attend to the animals, to the food we grow, to the toilet (as in most cases it's separated from the main house where we'd be living). 

As I was saying, as a minimalist, you're probably missing many things you wish you had. As a hoarder, you're probably feeling pretty secure you're not missing anything you might need. 

As a hoarder, you might have:

  • Enough food to last you at least a month
  • Enough cleaning supplies to last you through the lockdown
  • An excuse to use them all up, clean the space and become more of a minimalist
  • Various games to keep you busy and entertained
  • A variety of tools that you can use to learn a new skill or make the things you wanted but didn't have the time.

As a minimalist, you might have:

  • A lot of empty space in the house
  • Not enough food
  • Not enough supplies
  • Just computer or smartphone games
  • No tools for a new hobby
  • A hard time finding in the supermarket what you need
  • An excuse to go buy some things that occupy space, but are needed during an emergency situation
Taken on August 31st, 2019 by me.

Taken on August 31st, 2019 by me.

This "pandemic" taught me that: 

  • Minimalism is not for me
  • Hoarding is not that bad - just make sure not to go out of control
  • You can be more sustainable as a hoarder as you have more items in the house to reuse and repurpose, and you dispose of fewer things, overall. 

Now, these are just some observations. I'm not attacking or praising any lifestyle or choices. 

You might hoard lots of plates and cups, but may have just 4 pairs of shoes and 5 pairs of jeans. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #advice, #bucharest, #impressions, #life experience, #life lesson, #people

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Publié le 5 Mai 2019

This post was triggered by one of the youtubers I watch, but I would prefer NOT to name her.  Back in February or so, she posted the video of her wedding day and the full name of her husband was (accidentally) revealed. This enabled the users of a certain gossip forum to discover the uncool way in which he makes money. Or better said, of how he became rich. 

The man runs 2 sites, each aimed at readers of a specific gender. The site with a predominantly male audience has some ... controversial  sections, which raised a lot of eyebrows for some of the youtuber's fans. 

At 13, they're STILL children

One of the controversial sections was presenting various pretty looking female models and actresses. So far, nothing wrong, right? Remember this site has a male audience? Well, the women features in this section were half naked and some even fully naked. A little presentation of the model was also provided - it includes her name and her age. With the help of Google, anyone can learn what type of model or actress the featured ladies were. Some of them played in adult movies. 

Not going to talk about the morals of those ladies, as they need to survive too. The striking problem was that several of the ladies there were actually UNDERAGE! Furthermore, some of them were as young as 13 or 14! Yes, 13 or 14  year old CHILDREN were talked about on that site. In this section I talked about! These CHILDREN are indeed models, but they're still 13 or 14 and at this age, they're children!!!

CHILDREN!!!

Most of the pictures were taken off of the featured lady's social media, specifically Instagram. I don't think anyone even asked for permission to use the images. But, I'm not here to talk about the legal implications - and I'm mostly speculating on the subject. I'm here to talk about the moral implications of showing pictures of CHILDREN among the pictures of scantily clad adult women who appeared in adult movies, on a site for men! 

To make things worse, the pictures of the selected CHILDREN were the most questionable as well. They included poses that somehow accentuated their butts, half unbuttoned shirts, upskirt shots, uniform skirts with a button undone and pushed down a little, and the list goes on. How their parents agreed to have those pictures taken, is anyone's guess. 

At 13, they're STILL children

So basically that site is like an online Playboy or other similar publication, for readers in Hong Kong. Do I need to explain what most (probably all, but don't want to use a blanket statement) men do when reading magazines like Playboy? 

Do you think it's normal for ADULT men to lustfully look at questionable pictures of CHILDREN? I don't think it's normal. I personally don't think CHILDREN should be featured on a Playboy-like platform. Does anyone remember the scandal that followed after it was discovered that one of the playboy bunnies, living in Hugh Hefner's mansion, was 17 years old?17! not 13, not 14. The media was up in flames because a 17 year old was living there (she most likely appeared in the magazine too, I forgot the details). Or when Britney Spears was taken photos in her underwear for the cover of that magazine? (The photographer locked himself with Britney in her bedroom. How did her parents allow it, is unknown, and subject for another time.) But in this case, we're talking about 13 year old girls, CHILDREN!!! 

One of the "articles" about one of the CHILDREN said "her body is nothing to write home about because she's underage." O.O If she's underage YOU DO NOT COMMENT ON HER BODY!! full stop. 

The issue was brought to the attention of the youtuber and her husband. What did they do? NOTHING! At first they ignored the comments, deleted them, and then DENIED!!!!! this is true.. People had screen captures of HIS site, and he was STILL denying it's a shady thing to do. 

She released a 30 minute long video in which she explained that this is the culture in East Asia. She ALSO said she doesn't see anything wrong with the articles (not that she knows written Cantonese), with the pictures nor with the site in general. VERY few people believed her, so she talked again in her next video about the issue. In the 2nd speech (posted at the beginning of her video) she mentioned she doesn't visit the site and that she doesn't necessarily approve of it either.  It also appears that her husband, as the OWNER of the site didn't know such articles and pictures were posted. Or better said that MINORS were chosen for them, even though it's him who should have given clear instructions in relation to what gets posted on HIS site and what doesn't.

At 13, they're STILL children

In the end it appears the articles with minors were removed. The decision was only done to appease the upset fans and followers. It wasn't done because he thought it was the right thing to do. 

People with such thinking usually have low morals or no morals at all. While there's an age difference of at least 10 years between them this speaks nothing of his morals. The fact that he liked her to dress like a school girl, or at least to make herself look as young as possible when together, DOES speak volumes about his morals. 

The issue happened back in February. I don't know what stopped me from finally speaking about it. Sometimes I believe it's better to speak about it later than never. Not that it really matters anymore, I did start writing this piece back in February - I just have no idea why I didn't finish it. Now I hope I did. 

 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #business, #impressions, #life experience, #people, #advice, #warning, #about life

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Publié le 28 Mars 2019

Hello all.

It's almost 2 years since I did a wish.com shopping haul. Read it here.

NOT a sponsored post, but I advertise an online shop by talking about it or about the items I got from there.

So here are the items I bought back then, in case you don't want to read the post. I recently watched a few videos in which youtubers were talking about their wish.com purchases. I thought I could update you with my experience.

3 watches, a shopping bag/tote, and 2 decks of cards. I really liked the watches. They didn't look as good in real life, but they still looked really good. And they worked too!

Well, what happened to all this stuff? 

I still have everything. But I can't use at least half of them.

The bag is the one item I'm getting the most use out of. It still goes strong, though I think I have to stitch one of the handles. It may have lost a bit of the color and gotten dirty a little bit, but other than that, it's still fine. The zippers are still usable and I couldn't see any tear or another type of damage than the one I mentioned.

The decks they're still in great shape - mostly because I didn't use one of them, and I minimally used the other. The tarot deck got the most use compared to the playing cards.  

The watches. This is where the issues start. They stopped working, one after the other, about 1 year of use. I wore the mechanical watch (the first one) the most. It had a soothing ticking sound. I forgot what happened. One day, it just stopped ticking despite it being winded. The other 2 watches, I accidentally stepped on one of them, in the dark, on the bed. It was instant killing. The other one wasn't working so great to begin with.  Was losing some 5 minutes per week. I only realized this by accident, after looking at it after looking at the phone. One day it stopped ticking even with a new battery. 

What are my thoughts?

First of all, I didn't have high expectations of the watches, except the mechanical one. Well, not even there, considering the low price I paid. All these items were pretty cheap, especially the green watches.  Well, now they'd be even cheaper. I currently feel as if I got ripped off, since many listings on the site say "free, just pay for shipping". 

Would I buy again?

Yes. In fact, I still ordered two items, and I will place another order next week. One of the items I ordered is for personal hygiene, it arrived, I used it, though I don't think it's a good option for me. 

The other item is actually some sewing machine bobbins. 30 pieces for $2, for the shipping. I placed the order yesterday, I paid, and now I'm waiting for the set to ship and to arrive. Buying these here, at this price, would only bring me some 5 bobbins. If you like sewing or DIY projects and you use a sewing machine, you know 5 bobbins are nothing. 

Do I recommend to others?

Well, sure, why not? Just pay attention to the seller's ratings, read product reviews and don't set your hopes too high. You might want to buy elsewhere depending on what you're after - say gadgets. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #impressions, #life experience, #review, #shopping, #advertising, #advice

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Publié le 10 Février 2019

As you already know, I now own a sewing machine. So, I had to start using it. So here, I'll share my first completed sewing projects.  I have to mention that the supplies I used were given to me - fabrics, thread, scissors. I only bought hand sewing needles and pin needles (which i still need to buy).

KITCHEN APRON

My first sewing project was a kitchen apron. It should be of no surprise, since I like cooking. I can't have too many aprons. Looking through the fabric pieces I had, to see which one would be a better choice for an apron, I found this "beauty". 

The colors on it are neon green and neon orange, and not this reddish color. I thought it was a pretty fabric for an apron - really where could I wear such a color combination other than around the house?

The fibers are man-made, most likely polyester. It's a pretty stiff fabric? not very thin, but thanks to the grid pattern on it I could cut it straight enough.

Now, I already had an apron from H&M, so I used that one as "guide lines". And because I forgot to take pictures from the start, you'll only see the already cut fabric. It also seems I had already one seam at least pinned down. The above picture, is actually of the left-over fabric, sorry to mislead you.

The colors are off because I did this after the sunset, and i have bad lights in the room - and i know everyone has them. Sometimes my creativity sparks in the evening, so I can't wait. I know it's a really bad habit. 

So, to cut out this shape, I laid the fabric on the floor folded in half, in such a way to have most of the left over on one side. I can't tell which side of the fabric is the "right" one and which one is the "wrong" one, not with this particular piece, pattern and color combination. I folded my old apron in half as well, and i simply cut around it. I'm pretty sure I left some seam allowance, especially since i had to turn the edge in twice to avoid unravelling. This fabric can really unravel fast! 

Then, i started sewing the straight edges, after I pinned them down. I wen't slowly since I had pins in the fabric, and I didn't want an accident to happen and ruin my machine, or worse. 

Then I had to make the ribbon-like strips of cloth that make the apron stay on the body. I cut 3 strips of cloth, 5 cm wide and some 60 cm long. The original apron has 4 of them, 2 tying around the waist and 2 around the neck, or a combination, depending on your imagination.

I also cut 2 strips to cover the rounded edges around the arms. These strips were also about 5 cm wide, and just a bit longer than what i needed. You can see a little bit of the ribbon after it was attached to one of the rounded sides of the apron. Because this specific ribbon was a bit longer, I left it as it was, and i sewed the other 3 ribbons to the "extension" - I didn't want the fabric to become too thick. Up close it doesn't look very nice, but from afar, nobody can tell i made this faux-pas. 

To attach the narrow fabric to the rounded edges, I pinned down the fabric first. I had to make sure to attach the ribbon to the 'right' side of the apron, as once i made hems, it had a right and a wrong side. Then i used a straight stitch from one side to the other. I twisted the ribbon over to the front, and tried to pin it down with the raw edges in, and straight stitched it in place. It looks a bit wonky on the wrong side, but who can tell? 

To make the ribbons that keep the apron on the body, I first had to stitch the edges be hand. the fabric was being difficult and I don't think I would have managed to do it by machine from first try. I had to make sure the raw edges stay inside the ribbon. I folded the ribbon in half, and straight stitched and attached to the apron. 

And now the apron is complete! maybe not quite as complete as I want it to be. And can you spot the mistake? the neck-ribbon is twisted. Twice. and sewn in place. Yes, I didn't pay attention to that. And it kinda bothers me, but I won't fix it.

So, if you pay a bit of attention to the H&M apron, it has a white pocket. I put it there, because I feel it needs a pocket. So, i decided to make a small pocket for my new apron. And the nice part is that this apron and its pocket will look much better because they're from the same fabric. 

The pocket is not very big, and I had to follow a similar approach as with the ribbons. I had to make sure the raw edges stay inside the hem/stitched part, so I made sure by using some thread, needle, and my hand. One of the edges, the one you see stitched by machine was the salvage part of the fabric, so I only turned it in once. I was then able to attach the pocket to the apron, and now it was really complete. 

NECK-TIE FOR THE BEAR PLUSH TOY

The second project was a neck-tie for this plush toy.  Well, I has to fix one of its eyes as well, as it was broken. I bought it on sale, for half the original price, because of his missing eye. I felt bad, ok? The non-shiny eye is actually a button I had.

I thought the bear looks a bit boring or sad, so I thought it needs further grooming or cheering up. I decided to make a ribbon of sorts, that I would tie around its neck. I once had a flannel shirt that I didn't like for some reason. I cut it into pieces, hoping i'd make something else out if it, at a point when i didn't have a sewing machine. As a result, I decided to cut 2 strips from that fabric, and sew them together into a ribbon of sorts.

I first sew together 2 of the short edges, and then around the new longer strip, then to turn it inside-out. The idea was pretty good, but in practice it was pretty difficult. The new strip/ribbon was a bit too narrow and it was difficult for me to do. I only learned a trick for it to be done fast, a couple of days later. 

The new ribbon was pretty long, and I decided it worked well as a neck tie. So, I made a tie knot around the bear's neck. I didn't think the look was complete, so I decided to add a button as extra decoration. I wasn't going to use that button for anything as it looked pretty ugly on its own. On the neck-tie, on the bear it looks quite elegant? chic? I find it pretty at least. 

I hope you also like my projects. What else should I make? I already have in mind to make some clothes for Barbie. That's for a different, future, blog entry.

See you soon!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #DIY, #fashion, #impressions, #review, #tips

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Publié le 29 Janvier 2019

winter thoughts (2019)

Desolate. 
Naked bushes scattered on the shalow snow
Make me feel as frozen as the air. 
The cold deserted scenery makes feel welcomed
Others pay no attention -
too much in a hurry to reach their destination
This is how winter nests itself in our hearts. 

winter thoughts (2019)winter thoughts (2019)

Everything is quiet, cold and white. 
In the night, yellow and white lights show the roads blanketed by heavy snow. 
Hungry beasts bear their teeth at anyone daring to venture in the darkness. 

winter thoughts (2019)winter thoughts (2019)
winter thoughts (2019)winter thoughts (2019)

December just started as I start typing this. But knowing me, it will take a while for me to gather my thoughts and finish it.  -As I post this is already the end of January. lack of inspiration.-

However, I need some sort of a conclusion for 2018. It will help me with remembering things when I'll be older. Placing events according to a time frame is not my strongest point.  It does seem like I have many weaknesses, doesn't it? At the very least, one of my biggest weaknesses is (still) cleaning, as we all remember.

I'm sure you remember i drew a couple conclusions at the end of the past years. I'll link the 2017 one here, mostly for myself ... and to be able to compare the 2 years better. 

Last December I made my first resolution for the new year - you know the stuff I'd like to accomplish in 2018. I'll show a picture of it, and then talk about how I did.

winter thoughts (2019)winter thoughts (2019)winter thoughts (2019)

The first picture is last year's resolutions. In the second picture I recorded my workout progress or efforts, along with how much i weigh at the end of the month. The last picture shows my resolutions for 2019. 

I think I did pretty well with working out. It didn't turn into a routine, but I did work out more than I expected. I hope to continue on a similar note and to improve. However, so far throughout January, I failed. I also did pretty well with studying Chinese last year. I think the worst was the calligraphy as I practiced nothing in that regard, though I did write by hand throughout the year. Just not for this specific purpose. 

I also did pretty well with less swearing - while i didn't record myself talking, I always tried to censor out all cuss words. I still feel like cussing a lot, and a times i do let out some cuss words. I was cussing a lot in 2017 - this year, so far I think i cussed once or twice. 

snowmen and frozen naturesnowmen and frozen nature
snowmen and frozen naturesnowmen and frozen nature

snowmen and frozen nature

This winter came early - the first snow fell at the end of November. Of course people had to make snowmen. The 2nd one seen above, was actually VERY small -maybe smaller than the length of my palm? I had to squat to take a picture at its level. 

This winter didn't only come early, but it's also quite extreme. Last week it rained and there was a strong wind that turned the water into instant ice. It froze the grass, the trees, the fences, the parked cars, everything. Some tree branches even broke because of the weight of the ice.  

It looked beautiful - like a forbidden frozen city from a magical land where people were somehow transported. Yesterday, it all started slowly melting. I'm glad I took some pics. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #adventures, #bucharest, #impressions, #life experience, #story, #winter, #snow

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Publié le 23 Janvier 2019

So, first things first. This entry is WAAAAY overdue, oops, as the event took place in March 2018. I was so disappointed with it made me delaying talking about it. But I still have the pictures, and I think the idea was rather cute, though some might find it  a bit ... of a cultural appropriation, and you'll see why in just a second. 

A bit of a background

In February of last year, I saw the ad for a school festival, done in Japanese style. In Japanese, "bunkasai" means "Cultural festival ." I believe this was the 2nd or 3rd edition of this bunkasai, and was inspired by the school-life of Japan - most likely because this is the only school in Bucharest teaching Japanese. I learned about the event from Facebook, and it seemed interesting enough to go check it out. Gotta say that such festivals are not done over here, unless things have changed, and I didn't get the memo. 

inside and around the schoolinside and around the schoolinside and around the school

inside and around the school

As you can see fro the above pictures, there was snow on the ground because a couple of days before, a snow storm hit us. 

About the Event

The Facebook ad was mentioning all sorts of attractions at this festival, such as sushi, a haunted house, workshops with origami, caligraphy, drawing and not only, as well as (maid) cafes - basically what you'd expect to see in an authentic event in a Japanese school.

Everything sounded great, at least on screen. But of course, the reality was ... different to say the least.  It was disappointing ... and a bit cringy. Mostly because it looked like a cheap imitation of the real thing - with which i'm familiar only from manga and anime, where it looks different. Add to this, the fact that some of the students organizing the whole thing, were wearing yukata (=a type of kimono worn in summer, made of thin fabrics) in winter! Just no! 

We went there towards the end of the day, and this meant that most of the stuff were over or sold out, if you wanted to buy something. This added to the disappointment. To enter the haunted house [or room, better said] we had to wait in a long line, and we just didn't feel like waiting. 

Let me show you some more pics from that event, though they're not great in any way.

the halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted roomthe halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted room
the halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted roomthe halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted room
the halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted roomthe halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted room

the halls were decorated with large paintings made on paper. art from the drawing workshops, various writings from the calligraphy workshop, and the entry to the haunted room

I hope any future similar events will improve. I also think other schools could get inspiration from it and make their own unique events, or events that are more connected to Romania's identity and cultural heritage. 

We didn't spend a lot of time there, so we left. We went to McDonalds at Unirii Square. We got some fries that we gave to the seagulls on the river. It took them a couple of seconds to eat the fries. I don't have enough pics, and the ones I have are not even good enough, but I hope you like seeing some birds.

A disappointing school festival a la japonais in BucharestA disappointing school festival a la japonais in BucharestA disappointing school festival a la japonais in Bucharest

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #adventures, #bucharest, #impressions, #life experience, #people, #review

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Publié le 22 Décembre 2018

Towards the end of the month of November we decided to have some Mac and Cheese, but like the real deal. And yes, there is a non-real version too. So I asked A to search for the recipe as I never made this and I tend to just whip some dishes up, with no recipe and the result is not always good, as you can imagine. 

One of the things I need to improve is my willingness to follow recipes and the presentation. Sometimes I'm also under the impression the taste is not the one I imagine it to be. Since we have no reference point, we just have to think the food tastes good. However, the good news is that I plan on cooking more in 2019, even if I won't share everything I cook.

Enough babbling, on with the recipe! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250 g macaroni;
  • 125 g (real) butter;
  • 150 g cheese - we used a local cheese called "telemea" 
  • some salt 
  • some ground black pepper
Mac&Cheese recipeMac&Cheese recipeMac&Cheese recipe

METHOD

Boil water with some salt, and add the pasta. Let it boil according the instructions on the package - usually some 10 minutes. 

Dice the butter and shred the cheese. This way, the butter will melt faster. 
When the time is up, drain the water, add the butter and the cheese and mix.

mac and cheese

Let everything in the pot, on the fire for 2 extra minutes, then turn off the fire. 

When the time is up, add the black pepper on top. You can eat it right away, but better wait some 5 to 10 minutes so it will cool down a bit, with a lid on top. 

mac&cheese recipe

Let me tell you that this was the best pasta I had in a very long time. This is why I decided to share this recipe with all of you. Also, if you never tried Mac and Cheese before, this is a great chance to try it out. I know some folks prefer to make recipes that have been cooked by others before, and that were successful. 

Mac&Cheese recipe

Earlier I mentioned I used the cheese telemea. It's a Romanian cheese similar to feta, if I'm not mistaken. You're better off learning more about it from its Wiki page. It's usually salty or very salty, though less salty varieties have been made too. Nowadays, most telemea cheese on the market is made of cows milk, probably because it's easier to come by. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #Cooking, #food, #impressions, #life lesson, #recipe, #tips

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Publié le 11 Novembre 2018

We wanted to relax for a bit and get out of city. Since we have Ciel we can't go on a vacation like most people: Ciel needs someone at all times and it's not familiar with strangers. He also barely eats by himself.

We decided to leave for the seaside in the morning and return at night. With all the preparations I still had to return to get a scarf I forgot. When we got to the train station we learned the train would be 45 minutes late, but in reality it was an hour late.

While we waited, we got some pretzels for the road, as to avoid spending a lot of money on food.

Seaside adventures in August

The train was also over sold so we had to stand because there were no more seats available. Luckily A found a chair in first class and sat for most of the ride. Our tickets were for 2nd class. The train was also fast and had some air conditioning.

 

When we got to the resort, we found the beach quite fast. We had to find a seat as this was one of the most popular resorts at the seaside, so it was packed!

The first views of the Black Sea. there was a small lake in the resort, by the beach.The first views of the Black Sea. there was a small lake in the resort, by the beach.The first views of the Black Sea. there was a small lake in the resort, by the beach.

The first views of the Black Sea. there was a small lake in the resort, by the beach.

Here, we have too pay for chairs and umbrella, but not if we sit directly on the sand. However, we need umbrella and they're only available next to the chairs. The price was some $6 for a chair and they only take cash. The guy charging for the seats was gypsy and we suspect him off having stolen my phone.

 

I had the phone on me some 5 minutes before finding the right place, and I noticed it gone after the guy left. I also kinda felt something.. Like something was sliding up at the back of my pants, but I ignored the feeling.

 

The guy returned to see if we found cash, and in telling him we don't have cash, just the card, he started to be verbally agressive. Then we openly accused him off stealing, and he insulted us. We left and I managed to use A's phone to lock mine. Then I asked a to text my phone and ask for it to be returned. A lifeguard called us and met A and returned the phone. But! The lifeguard had no business to be in the place where it went missing. I literally walked between other chairs and the lifeguard has no reason to do so. Here claimed he found it.

 

I think the phone was returned because they couldn't use it or resell if it was blocked. I'm glad I have my phone back, but I lost some videos I took in the train, for I also erased it's data.

Seaside adventures in AugustSeaside adventures in August

In the end we managed to find some other chairs and we didn't pay for those. We stayed some 2 hours there I think.

 

We managed to go in the water and it felt nice as it was warm, despite the rather dangerous waves. Lifeguards were constantly on the lookout for people going too far and calling them back. The limit to the deep water was set pretty close to the shore too.

 

We found a place to eat and rest and recharge the phone a bit. Then we went on the beach again. This time we went in a different area and were forced to pay for chairs as there was no sand, just smashed seashells that were cutting into our feet. We spend some extra 2 hours there with constant visits to the shore. Of course I collected some seashells too.

Seaside adventures in AugustSeaside adventures in AugustSeaside adventures in August

Then it was time for us to return. Before leaving, we bought a bag, some sun glasses for A's mom, some sewing needles for me, a rabbit keychain, and some bracelets.

 

The return train had seats for us, but it was smelly! There was little luggage space too though we only had 2 bags and As purse. The trip was also longer and most of it happened in the night. There was a really beautiful sunset though. Once in the city, some 3 hours later, we managed to catch the last bus home too.

 

 

Seaside adventures in AugustSeaside adventures in August
Seaside adventures in AugustSeaside adventures in August

I fell asleep as soon as I got home, after checking on Ciel and seeing he actually ate by himself. He does that when he stays alone for too long.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Publié le 15 Octobre 2018

This blog entry is long overdue. At least a part of it. and at this point I'm not even sure I can still write it. but I have pictures i'd like to share ... or at least to keep safe somehow. 

So far, I have attended 2 cultural events in Bucharest. Or at least tried to because the first one didn't happen anymore because there was a strike organized by the organizers themselves. 

The first event - ballet at the opera

This happened in April of 2016. The weather was really nice at the time -sunny and all. I think we wanted to see Swan Lake but I can't be sure it's been too long back. 

We got there, got in, and we were waiting for the show to start. Except, we were waiting, and waiting, and half an hour passed and no ballet started. I took the chance to snap some photos there, as you can see below. 

In the end, the leader of the orchestra, or something, took the microphone and he announced there will be no show, that they're in a strike, and that we'll receive our money back. 

It was one of the biggest failures we could experience. It surpassed the failed shopping experiences from here and from here. Though, if i compare those 2 experiences with the failed opera, they might reach the same level. 

At least I got a few nice shots? And we might go again this year. We'll see. 

click on each to make it bigger ;)click on each to make it bigger ;)
click on each to make it bigger ;)click on each to make it bigger ;)click on each to make it bigger ;)

click on each to make it bigger ;)

The second event - Korean Culture quiz

This is an event that happened in October 2017, and was related mostly to South Korean culture - history, linguistics, and other aspects.

The event happened before noon, and it had free snacks, with croissants and mini cakes. I remember this big guy there, was taking and taking more food. We couldn't really eat at that hour, but we tried to, since the food and refreshments were free, and some of the cookies looked fancy, thus expensive.

Still in the hallway, at the entrance, there was an art exposition. I forgot if they were real paintings or just prints. They were representing various landscapes from across South Korea. Most of them were breathtaking. However i forgot who their authors were - Korean artists or Romanian students who visited Korea. Next are some of the glimpses of the stuff going on before the highlight of the event. 

 

 

 

Cultural events in BucharestCultural events in Bucharest
Cultural events in BucharestCultural events in BucharestCultural events in Bucharest
Cultural events in BucharestCultural events in Bucharest

The venue where the contest was held was pretty small, however, we had very good seats with perfect view of the stage. The contestants were sitting on the first row in front of the stage, and there were 2 stages of contest. When the first part of the quiz was done, maybe 6 out of the 8 participants went on the stage, and they kept on being eliminated until first 3 places could be named.

The public could also participate in extra pop quizzes, still related to the Korean culture, and yes, it included questions related to K-pop as well. The winners received CDs or posters with Kpop music or artists, and other goodies, but all related somehow to Korea. The couple on the stage, in the images below were the hosts, and the man in the last picture was the Ambassador of South Korea to Romania. 

I wasn't lucky enough to win anything - mostly not fast enough to answer? haha But somehow, the event was pretty fun overall. 

click each to make it bigger
click each to make it biggerclick each to make it bigger
click each to make it biggerclick each to make it bigger

click each to make it bigger

I do remember that afterwards, both of us were pretty drained mentally. This was despite having eaten some of the goodies, having drunk and the event not lasting for all that long. But I suppose, the Romanians really are vampires, after all, huh? hehe

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #bucharest, #impressions, #life experience, #adventures, #people, #culture, #event

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