Articles avec #tips tag

Publié le 10 Août 2020

Hello all!

As you guys know, this year started off on a meh side.. well, at first, Australia was on fire. Then the 'Rona happened, and now everyone is more or less confused about things. 

In Romania, the stores, restaurants, and other places have been closed for 2 months. Once they opened, we went shopping again. Of course, I feel like we went a bit overboard with some stuff, but let me tell you that 2 months is a long time. And some other places around the world were closed for longer, or had to reclose. And that's sad. Depending on when in time you read this, you most likely already know all this.

So, back to today's topic. If you don't already know, a thrift store is also called a second hand store; it's a shop where people buy items that have generally been already owned and used by other people. In some cases, the items can be in a 'like-new' condition, may even have the original tags attached, or simply broken or well-used, and i have no idea why they're being re-sold. 

With all of that to be kept in mind, you can find some really good deals or treasures in these shops, and today i want to brag about a few of the things we found. 

Two Pairs of Shoes

Personally, i try not to buy used shoes. I recently realized that i feel a bit icky about people's feet in general - especially touching them (i imagined a situation in which i'd have to give a pedicure to a stranger). My partner's feet are the only ones (besides my own) that i feel comfortable enough to touch. 

As you can see from these pictures, these shoes are in quite good or very good condition. The sandals look as if they haven't been worn at all. The shoes have been worn a little bit, but the top and the heels look very good. 

These shoes are not my purchases but given their condition and since they're under the same roof with me, I thought i'd share them. Let's just say these cost much less than what they would sell for on eBay or other sites. 

The pumps are leather all around, and this means that they can easily be repaired if needed. And if we find a good place that offers such services. 

I will not be wearing these as they don't fit me and aren't my style, but Anna will. And she says they're very comfortable and easy to walk in. 

Vintage Pyrex (approx. 1977)

These casseroles (?) are made by Pyrex England. This pattern is the JAJ Sunflower pattern. When looking it up, you'll see there are at least 2 designs called Sunflower. This is the "less popular" one? 

I blame the MadGirlsVintage youtube channel for this purchase. She has an impressive Pyrex collection, in generally 2 colors only: pink and aqua. She has a few pieces in other colors as well, as she tries to "complete" her sets. 

Well, I don't want to reach that level of collecting Pyrex items, but these 2 pieces made me pretty happy. They are also pretty useful in the kitchen as I actually cooked in them, in the oven. 

These Pyrex casseroles are round. I probably wouldn't have bought them if they were oblong. Most likely because I already have a heat-resistant glass oblong casserole, from the Borcam brand. 

Decorative Plate

I'm not sure what color you see, but this is a rather pale pink or pale red? I'm not sure. The plate itself is rather thick. Its design is clearly supposed to be in the style of the well known Spode Blue Room china sets. 

To be honest, I always liked those plates, I never knew who made them, nor did I know their price. I did think they are ancient plates and vases from China, which are very expensive. I just didn't know that companies reproduced and reinterpreted them. I was much younger, and now I do know those things. 

I purchased this plate because I thought it might be valuable for resale or something. Well, I don't plan on re-selling this plate any time soon, but use it instead. In any case, if I do decide to re-sell it, I would make a bit of money off of it. 

I want to buy more plates in this style. I'm hoping to find them in black or green, preferably blue. This pink doesn't look appealing enough to me. I find pink to be a difficult color. To match, wear, use...  In any case, I will have to see if I still find anything at all, as well as if I like the design and the color. 

These plates were sold in a book outlet. And I didn't buy any. I wish I did get a few. But In a way, I thought it's a bit ... hmmm ... offensive in a weird way.  

All in all, I'm happy with these finds. I will keep on searching for such treasures in the second-hand stores. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #shopping, #vintage, #second hand, #fashion, #tips

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Publié le 8 Février 2020

Hello!

Today I have a solution for old clothes that don't fit anymore, and thus they sit in the closet, collecting dust. This solution will save your wallet, give a new life to both your clothes and wardrobe, and create a unique personal style, because YOU ARE unique!  

Most clothes that we buy come in standard sizes. They assume that if your hips measure 100cm, then perhaps your waist is around 80 or 90 cm. This is not always the case. they make clothes in standard proportion, but our bodies are not always proportionate. 

My body for instance, is as much as an hourglass as it can, hence there's a significant difference between my waist and bust, and waist and hips. However, if it wasn't for my chest, i could fit into tops that are sized Small because my rib cage is pretty small. 

So, back to topic. I had these 2 tshirts you can see below, but i can't wear them. The light green one is too transparent for my tastes :( The other one was extremely tight. 

How To Enlarge a Tshirt - DIY, Upcycling, Color-blocking

I liked the beige one more than the greenish one, so i wanted to wear that one But i had to be larger.

I measured it against a tshirt with a fit that I liked. In my case, i needed about 32cm more fabric.

The idea was to find strips of fabric that were 16cm wide, cut the side seam on the beige tshirt, and attach the strips to the new edges. 

This is where the greenish tshirt came in handy. It provided it side seam, already had hems, and was a very similar fabric to the other one. At least in weight -very light weight, and feel - very soft and comfortable, breathable. 

I measured, marked, cut and proceeded to sew. the pieces in. I measured 8cm on each side of the greenish top. Since it's already folded, 8x2=16, 16x2=32. 

I think i should have used straight strips of fabric, and not the seam sides of another tshirt with a different cut. It turns out, the greenish fabric was somehow loner than the beige tshirt. I had to create some pleats, to make them match. 

How To Enlarge a Tshirt - DIY, Upcycling, Color-blocking

When laid flat, the new tshirt looks off, but on me, it looks ok. 

So, to make it easier, the steps are:

1. find out how much room you need - measure your top and measure your body, and see the difference. OR, measure the smaller top against another one that fits good. substract the smaller from the bigger, and that's how much fabric you need (it's width). 

2. the easiest method would be to insert strips at the side seams. divide the width from above by 2, since there are 2 side seams in a top - the ones going from the armpits down to the waist and to the elbow/wrist. 

3. find a similar weight fabric or texture, and cut 2 strips equal in width - the value from point 2. Add some extra for seam allowance. Ideally, these strips would be the same length as your top, but feel free to be creative here. Don't forget about the hem on the lower part and at the sleeve, so they might need to be longer than your top. 

4. cut the side seams of your tshirt. 

5. sew the strips of fabric to the open edges of your top. And you're done!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #DIY, #advice, #fashion, #life lesson, #tips, #tricks

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Publié le 7 Juillet 2019

Hello all! 

I had a thin Zara jacket with faux leather sleeves. I bought it several years back during the summer sales, if I'm not mistaken. But as it goes, faux leather started peeling and I don't like that. I don't know who likes peeling leatherette, to be honest.  So, I thought to myself that I won't be wearing the jacket anymore though I could try to change its sleeves now that I have some good fabric shears and a decent sewing machine. I also have a few books that teach how to make sleeves and attach them to the garment. The only downside was that I would be ruining the pretty (and very cheap) fabric A got me (from a second hand store. It was there because someone cut it twice on bias, and it probably wasn't enough for their project.) 

So, my thoughts were:

  • I wanted to make something with the fabric
  • I HAD to use it (the fabric) in the end, somehow
  • the fabric was cheap - about $1 for a yard or so? I didn't measure it, sadly. 
  • I wasn't going to wear the jacket anymore
  • I would be learning something
  • I received encouragement to "just go for it!"

I don't think I needed more excuses. So I started with ripping the seams apart because I wanted to use the existing sleeve as pattern for the new sleeve. 

  • the sizing was the right one, especially the arm-hole
  • the length was ok - i could always cut a few extra cm if needed, which I did anyway.
  • I wasn't in the mood to learn how to make a sleeve pattern from scratch. That day will come, but it wasn't this day. 

Sadly, I don't have pictures for all the steps :( I thought of taking pictures when it was too late. Some steps don't even need pictures because anyone can do those with the right tool.

the process

I started by removing the sleeves from the body of the jacket using the seam ripper. My sleeves also had zippers, so I also removed those after. 

Once I had my sleeves, I took one and I placed it flat on some newspaper to make a sleeve pattern, so I can cut the new sleeve from some fabric. I placed the fabric folded over.  When I cut the fabric, I included more seam allowance vertically, but not for the width. 

I didn' like what the fabric felt against the skin, as I knew I would wear this jacket over a tshirt as well. This meant I had to find some fabric to make a lining. The fabric I found is brown and ugly, but serves the purpose just fine. 

You can't really tell from the picture, but first I sew the sleeve to the lining (former sleep wear i believe) at the wrist-end. I then pinned down the sleeve to the rest of the fabric, and then I cut the lining. (note 1)

I also sew the lining to the tartan, before assembling the sleeve together. I figured that shiny and slippery fabric would be difficult to work with if it's not attached. I also ran a zig-zag stitch. (note 2)

Originally, the previous sleeves did have lining as well. I couldn't use it though. The seam allowance was fraying badly. Additionally it was shorter, because the leatherette was folded over some, like the sleeves on suits and coats. 

As I said, I wasn't going to learn how to make such sleeves. This means that the brown lining can be seen at the wrist level, on my sleeves. It also looked ugly. I decided to run a top stitch to see if it looks any better, and it did! See the picture below.

If you do a sleeve like I did here, I highly recommend you do the same. In my opinion, the piece looks 'done more professionally.' You can do this top stitch AFTER sewing the sleeve, so that  the seams would lay flat against your wrist, and rub less. If I ever do this again, I'll know what I need to improve :)

 After my sleeves were complete, it was time I attached them to the body of the jacket. The sleeves I made were a bit larger than the arm holes of the jacket. I started pinning the sleeves starting at the armpit seams going to the top. At the shoulder part, I needed to create 2 pleats. Gathering the fabric is an option, but not for this lined tartan. The pleats give the sleeves a more structured, put-together, "professionally done" look, in my opinion.

And this is the final result! What do you think? 

extra step

However, before attaching the sleeves, I decided I wanted some lining for the back part of the jacket as well. I used the same ugly brown one as for the sleeves. The jacket is very thin, and the spring was cold this year. I wanted some protection from the wind, and the lining would provide just that. 

I used the back of the jacket to serve as guide for a pattern, drew it on paper, cut the brown fabric, and sew it onto the seams of the jacket. I don't have more pictures, sorry. :( 

 That's about it! Don't skip reading the notes below to learn what I wish I did differently.

See you soon! 

Note 1: The funny thing is that while I tried to sew the right side of the tartan fabric to the lining, i only managed with one sleeve. The other one, the tartan is on the wrong-side. I obviously saw too late. I didn't and won't go back to fix it. 

Note 2: I wish I assembled the tartan first into a sleeve, then the lining, and then attach the tartan to the lining at the wrist. I thought of this too late. 

Note 3: This project is from April 2019. I didn't get to watermark the images. Now with my arm in a cast, doing so is more difficult. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #DIY, #sewing, #upcycling, #tips, #tricks, #learning, #advice, #fashion

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Publié le 9 Juin 2019

Hello all~~

I have no idea who doesn't like pizza. But there are people out there that have dietary restrictions, and so ordering pizza can be difficult. For us, it is a little overpriced, depending on where you oder it from and it's not always good either. 

A's mom started making pizza at home, and it's a really good one too. spicy, with lots of ingredients, and several of them. one is big enough to fill you up, especially if you don't eat a crazy amount of food at once. But A's mom moved out of city, and it's difficult or us to go there to get pizza if we were to ask her to make some. Also getting the ingredients is difficult for A's parents because they don't own a car, so they have to either call a cab (it can get expensive) or rely on the public transportation that is not always reliable. 

 

Long story short, we decided to make our own pizza. A asked for the recipe, and she said she's going to make it. I said "fine" because I think there's a trick to making pizza that I'm not aware of. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • pizza dough -or base, or whatever you want to call it. We can find it already made in stores over here. At Carrefour it's really cheap too. we got 2 packs, with 2 pizza dough in each.
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes 
  • mozarella cheese - ALL the cheese you want or like. make sure it melts, like mozarella cheese does.  
  • 200 grams olives - get the pitted ones or the already sliced ones, you'll save time. 
  • mushrooms - as much as you want, i guess. The pizza in these pictures didn't have mushrooms. :(
  • 1 bell pepper - red would be best
  • corn - we like corn on the pizza. 
  • tomato sauce - you can use pizza sauce, but regular tomato sauce is fine too
  • aromatic herbs -basil, thyme, parsley, whatever you like
  • some ground black pepper
  • some salt
Homemade vegetarian pizza -recipe

NOTES:

You should know there's no set amount of anything when it comes to the ingredients. A just adds "as much as it fits on the pizza dough."

If you're eating meat, you can add salami, sausages,maybe bacon.  Basically any type of meat you like. A says it's a "trial and error" until you find the balance you like.  Of course you can replace some of the ingredients with others, but the pizza made with these ones was by far the best. 

METHOD:

  • Spread the tomato sauce on the pizza dough.
  • Sprinkle with the condiments - or the aromatic herbs you chose.
  • Add cheese. The more the merrier. ;) It's better to slice it before putting it on the pizza
  • Then add everything else. Make sure to slice the tomatoes, mushrooms and anything that is either too big or has a shape preventing it from staying put on the pizza. Chopped also works.
  • Add more condiments on top. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes, on a really high heat setting, on baking paper. Our oven has a special "pizza" setting, and anymore than 15 minutes in the oven can burn it. NOBODY likes burnt pizza. 

Now you can enjoy it straight from the oven, though leaving it for the next day is perfectly acceptable too. 

Bon appetit~~

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #Cooking, #DIY, #baking, #food, #recipe, #tips

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Publié le 3 Mai 2019

Hello World~~~

As you probably know already, I recently started my journey into the DIY and sewing world. I was gifted a sewing machine for Christmas by my mother and a pair of tailor's shears last month, by someone else. The shears i linked are very similar in appearance to mine. 

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!  

Aren't they beautiful? To me, they're beautiful. And they're also heavy. 

Well, they were cheap and made in China - the box was covered in Chinese writing, and although I started studying this language, I'm still a beginner (read that, as in I made no more progress since this post) and hence, I cannot read what it said. I also threw the box away. What matters more is that they cut what I need them to cut.

While 4 months are definitely not enough to say "I know things," I did learn quite a bit. Here are my few tips if you just start this journey and you feel overwhelmed.

Fair warning though: some of these tips are for those who consider making a living out of their skill, hence they need to appear professional. Other tips are more like a warning, details I didn't think of when I decided to take on this hobby/journey.

1. learn the right names of the tools

I'll talk about 3 different tools, as examples. 

a) For instance, I was saying "my scissors" when in reality I own a pair of shears. In all honesty, I thought these two words refer to the same item, but they're used in different parts of the world. In a similar fashion to how some people say "trousers" and "pants" when referring to the garment covering the body from the waist down, with 2 hoses, one for each leg. 

When it comes to shears and scissors, the difference is in the holes through which your fingers go in order to manipulate the tool. The shears have a larger lower hole, while the scissors have equal holes. 

b) Similarly, if you're into sewing or making (your own) clothes (or for your family), you also have to learn the proper names of the fabrics. If you're interested in up-cycling or refashioning clothes, this aspect might not be as important. 

Personally, I'm in the process of learning about fabrics:

  • fibers (how the name of the fiber was used to name the fabric, though in some cases it's another type of fiber used. Take for instance "linen" used for "linens" made of cotton), 
  • origin, or where you're more likely to find certain types of fabrics. As an example, lacebark originates in Jamaica, and is as fine as muslin.
  • how they're obtained - knitting or waving, natural, synthetic, man-made.

c) Still related to tools, you'll find 2 types of sewing machines: domestic and industrial. You should learn the differences between them! This video explains better, and even shows an industrial one. There's also this other video better showing the differences between sewing machines at different price levels, though all of those are for domestic use. I learned the following from the 2nd video:

  • sewing machines with a front loading bobbin are faster than the ones with a drop-in bobbin. 
  • some machines have 2 lights instead of one, and the difference that makes is quite something.  
  • industrial machines will only have 1 type of stitch - for instance, just running stitch. They can also load a bobbin at the same time you're sewing, whereas a domestic one can't. 

 

2. learn how to correctly use them

If you learn what differentiates one tool from the other (say, shears and scissors), you can also learn how to use them. Usually this happens at the same time.  

This page opened my eyes to how I'm supposed to hold and use my shears. This other page has more types of such tools, and names some of the best you can find. 

Maintenance is important and part of correctly using the tool, if you want it to last for years to come. Not long ago I learned that I'm supposed to clean and oil my sewing machine every week, if I use it often. If i use it now and then, I'm supposed to clean and oil it every time I plan on using it. 

In my experience with my machine, it needed cleaning and especially oiling after about a month since I got it. I can't say I used it a lot in January, but in February it already started to be rather noisy. Once I oiled it, it started purring again, like when I got it.  

Learning about textiles, you'll learn that some fabrics simply are not good for certain projects. You also learn how to care for the end product without destroying it, say through bleaching or simply washing.

3. find some sort of mentor and/or muse

Or at least a person with whom you can connect, or inspires you to go through with your project. As a beginner in any trade, actually doing the task can be a bit scary, right? "What if I cut this fabric wrongly?" "what if it turns out really ugly?" 

Well, I'm lucky and happy to say that I found at least 1 person to support me when I feel scared, or when I'm not sure of what I do. They are A, and they also inspire me with things - mostly with the written stuff. But A can also give great advice when it comes to color combination, or gives an honest opinion if asked "how does THIS look?" 

I'm pretty lucky to have discovered someone I could call a mentor - Angelina, the lady behind BlueprintDIY (her Youtube channel, and her Instagram). /shoutout! She actually gave me the push I needed to enlarge a pair of jeans so that I could wear them. Let's get real, I wouldn't have lost the extra 5kg I needed to get in these pants. I will post another blog entry about this process. ;) 

Someone telling you "just do it!" or "go for it!" is all it takes at times, to actually get over the "what if ..." fear. Instead, you could get the excited "what if this turns out great?!" Which is what happened with a 2nd project about which I will write soon enough, but I will offer a spoiler for it right here:

 

4. don't be scared of making mistakes

As a beginner you'll definitely make mistakes - everyone makes them. And you know what? Even those with experience in the field will make mistakes. Luckily, when you sew, a mistake will not cost someone their life, like it would happen with a doctor for instance. However it can prove more time consuming and more expensive. 

Remember that you don't really learn anything until you try things out and make mistakes. One of the things you'll learn is what you could improve, what technique to stay away from because it's incorrect, and so on.  

5. fabric IS real fabric - no matter its origin

This point was triggered by a video I watched - I forgot which one. The lady speaking (giving advice) was saying to go to thrift stores to buy sheets and curtains to use for your projects, especially as a beginner. This way, you avoid ruining "real fabric" and waste money. I suspect she meant brand new (virgin, if you will) fabric, that was never used for anything else before. 

But, in my book, when you take an item and cut away its seams, it turns into "real fabric." It still cost some money, even it was just 50 cents yesterday, or 100 dollars 10 years back. As long as the material is in a good shape and big enough to make something out of, I call it "real fabric." 

6. it takes time and more actions than what you thought

Let's just say you can't just take a needle and some thread and start sewing: you need a plan first, or a goal. This can be - fixing a hole, applying a button, re-doing a hem, and so on. 

But before you get there, you might have to measure some stuff, draw a pattern or two, cut it, cut fabric, and then sew pieces together in a certain sequence. Depending on what you're making, you might have to try the item on from time to time. Depending on the item and number of pieces you have to sew together, and details you want to add, you'll be spending a few good hours "sewing."

But don't worry: the end result might be worth all the effort. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #advice, #tips, #DIY, #business, #fashion, #life lesson

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Publié le 17 Avril 2019

Hello everyone!

The Great Lent started in Romania - this is the lent before Pascha (or Easter). It lasts for 7 weeks and is the longest of them all, hence the name. OK, now it's close to the end, as I kept on delaying editing pictures and writing. The article is finally here!

During any Lent, Romanians are supposed to fast by eating a vegan diet - so no meats including fish, no eggs and no dairy products. (hmm, I actually don't know if honey is forbidden or allowed.) This page explains better the rules of fasting. It also makes no mention of honey, and thus I think it's allowed.

In any case, when buying premade foods in Romania, we should pay attention to the packaging to say "de post" - this means the product is vegan-friendly.  If you don't want to eat honey, search for the word "miere" (=honey) in the ingredients. Fish is allowed for consumption on certain days during the Lent (fasting period). 

  • Romanians don't celebrate Fat Tuesday nor Ash Wednesday. Good Friday is not a public holiday either, but the 2nd day of Pascha (Monday) is a bank holiday, and only hospitals, police, public transportation, and a few shops still stay in business. 

I already have a few vegan-friendly recipes posted, and I want to share with you the recipe for Roasted Potatoes as well - this is an important recipe to know how to make if you love potatoes because they're awesome when roasted. 

Recipe for Roasted Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 larger potatoes, preferably suited for baking
  • salt
  • oil
  • powder black pepper
  • other herbs or condiments you like
  • also, a baking tray

METHOD:

Peel and slice your potatoes. Make sure to have rather thick slices and not thin. If they're thin, reduce the cooking time by 15 minutes to avoid burning them. 

Take a baking tray, smear it with cooking oil, place your potato slices in it. 

Smear your potato slices with cooking oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and all the condiments and herbs. 

Let bake in the oven for some 45 minutes, on medium heat, preferably on the middle rack of the oven. 

You can now serve!

I made this recipe over and over, and I didn't always take pictures. This is why some of them are dated "December 2018." The light is bad because I usually cook in the evening and therefore the artificial light is not great.  

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #Cooking, #advice, #baking, #customs, #food, #recipe, #romanian tradition, #tips, #vegan

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Publié le 22 Mars 2019

This entry is written by A. She shares valuable life lessons and common sense tips she learned from her (now deceased) grandmother. I think these tips are a must know for everyone these days, no matter where you live or who you are. 

This entry is a bit overdue, but the tips can still be applied. A second part might follow at some point in the future.

 

The cold season is also the season of the flu, and every year different strains show up. Of course, you can catch the flu or the common cold at any time. So, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about how my family dealt with issues like this in the past and to be honest never got sick. 

 

When I was a kid, my grandma used to be really careful with me so I wouldn't sick. There were times when I lived with her, my mom, dad, aunt - and sometimes other people would also show up. My grandma always made sure to separate every single dish, kitchen tool, and ask the sick person to wear a mask if it applied. 

 

Every dish was washed right away, boiled - which is really important when trying to get rid of germs - and the healthy people in the family were not allowed to use the same ones as the sick person. (We didn't have dish washers back then, and they're not popular even now.

 

Physical closeness also wasn’t permitted. No hugs,  no kisses, no nothing - you simply had to stay away from the sick person for as long as they were contagious. 

 

These things really helped and as a result,  my mother's sister and all the other family members didn’t get hepatitis when my mom got it. Of course, every disease requires different rules... 

 

Every time I would get a stomach upset I was put on a 24-hour liquid fasting period, after which toast, boiled potato and carrots were introduced gradually.

 

So, I would get well a lot faster than my friends and other people who usually suffered for days while still eating their usual diet. This is because the stomach truly needs rest when sick, and allowing it that time results in a much more speedy recovery. I’m still following these tips up to this day, or try to.

That was it for now.

Credits: 

text: © Charly Cross (2013 - present) and A. All rights reserved.

pictures: are from a book called Florals and Nature - Memories of a Lifetime, published in 2005, ISBN: 1-4027-1998-1, and they're free to use for any type of project. Read more (or buy) here. (Not an affiliate link. Not a sponsored post.)

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #health, #tips, #life experience, #life lesson, #tricks

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Publié le 25 Février 2019

Today I decided to make a stew and also share the process as well. This stew is 100% vegan, as i made sure not to use anything that was made by animals, or with their meat. 

I'm hungry, so let's start the recipe already.  Here are the ingredients:

  • potatoes -more than 1 kg (2.5 lbs? 3 lbs?) 
  • 2 medium carrots
  • some 300 grams of green beans  (less than 1 lbs)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt ? (depending on how salty you want it)
  • 1 or 2 spoons of cooking oil
  • sweet or hot paprika (powder)
  • black pepper (you can use both powder and whole, or either one)
  • aromatic herbs - packed individually. -see the image below

You can also add a small eggplant in this stew, if you want. I don't recommend zucchini nor baby pumpkins - I tried and I found the experiment rather unpleasant. 

METHOD:

Take the beans and 2 spoons of oil, and put them in a large enough pot, that you place on a small fire or heat source. 

Peel and dice your carrots, and place them on top of the beans. Also pour some water and some salt, and cover with a lid.

It's time to peel, wash and dice your potatoes. Potatoes cook much faster than carrots, and if the fire or heat is on medium to low, there won't be much to worry about. 

Once this is done, drop the cubed potatoes into the pot, and fill with water just enough to cover everything,much like in the image below. Now leave the pot to cook over medium heat for some 45 minutes.

When the time is up, you add the condiments, herbs, chopped bell pepper (mine was frozen, so you can't see it well), and 2 spoons of tomato sauce.

General and vegan stew with potatoesGeneral and vegan stew with potatoes

Now, after you added all that, mix and let sit on the fire for some 15 minutes more. This is enough time for the bell pepper to cook and for the aromas to mix up, and flavor the dish.

Next, you can serve lava hot if you feel like it, but I recommend you wait some 30 minutes for it to cool down a little - it will still be delicious. You can serve it as is or with lettuce or Greek salad, fried tofu or fried soy meat substitute. 

FOR MEAT EATERS:

You can also serve with chicken, with fried eggs, fish, and even with steak - basically anything that can be fried or roasted. You can put smoked bacon in it during cooking, if you really want to, for more flavor.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rédigé par Charly C.

Publié dans #Cooking, #food, #recipe, #tips, #main dish, #vegan

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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 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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