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Unconditional love and its issues

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello world~~~

I just watched a short video in which a (very wise) rabbi was talking about why unconditional love is problematic. And I agree with him. 

My earliest memory of hearing about "unconditional love" dates to several years back. I was visiting a forum dealing with spirituality. I came across this term in the section called "twin flames" (like soul mates, but apparently the bond is stronger - I just call it "special snowflake"). In a nutshell (and generalizing), the users (mostly women) posting here were obsessed with a specific man who entered their lives at some point in the past. In most cases, the man either had no idea or was simply not interested in the woman.

If a man came and posted a similar story, well his story seemed to receive less attention or he received a lot of criticism. Also, almost everyone was labeling him a creep. the women posting a similar story? no! they were considered normal, received a lot of support and encouragement.  Double standards to the maximum! 

What I never understood is what exactly they understand or mean by "unconditional love." After hearing the rabbi talking, I finally understood almost everything. I'll post the video first, and then I'll go a little deeper into my reasons of thinking why "unconditional love"  (as a term) has problems and so on. 

NOT my video

As you can see, according to the rabbi, telling someone "i love you unconditionally (no matter what you do)" disregards the person, their personality. You also force your emotions or feelings onto them, and if they don't feel the same ... you appear as a creep, selfish (you decided how you're going to feel, and nothing can change your mind).. 

Now, I've been thinking about it. I can't see how people CAN think that they "love unconditionally". There's always a condition the person or the item MUST meet in order for you to feel anything towards them/it. And I'll give you a few examples next. Unconditionally comes from the word condition, which in many cases is a cause for something. 

You hear many women saying they want to become mothers. If you suggest they adopt, they'll flat out refuse no matter the arguments you bring. Their main reason to refuse is that "they can't see themselves loving the baby/child the same way they would on who grew in their bellies, who shares their blood." It's clear that many mothers love their children BECAUSE they gave birth to them. Giving birth is the condition a child must meet, to receive their mother's love. 

You can say there are many women who love their adopted baby/child. Not going to deny that. In this scenario, she loves him because she generally loves children and REALLY wanted one. She might also find the baby really cute, and I have yet to find a person who DOESN'T like/love cute people or items. Getting used to living with or caring for some alive creature can also lead to loving them. 

You'll also hear people saying "I love (ITEM) so much because it...". BECAUSE! And yes, they said they love an item. This simply means they're really happy to own the item, BECAUSE -it makes their life easier; or it's of a really good quality, and they won't have to buy another identical (similar) one any time soon, or because it's a status symbol (shallow reason, but still a reason). 

Unconditional love and its issues

Now, I should mention that "love" is a pretty strong word and feeling. This is why in some Asian countries, you'll be hard pressed to hear anyone saying "I love you" or "I love this (thing)." They'll say instead "I really like you" or "I like you a lot." You'll often hear these people saying that "love" is a word they'd say to their significant other, on the death bed. 

Looking at a situation in this light, I don't think anyone would say on their death bed "I love this (ITEM)" but they'll say they love their children, partners, friends maybe. in this light, you can safely assume these Asian people would actually say "I really like this ITEM" and never "I love the item." This is something WE (Westerners) should also do, if our languages allow it. I am doing it. I started using less "I love/I hate....." a couple of years back. I still feel like saying these words, so I'm not perfect. 

I also think that some folks might sacrifice their lives (life?) to save that of another human. Sometimes the other human can be a total stranger -it happened, after all. I don't think anyone would sacrifice their life to save an item from destruction, even if it was the item they said they loved. I find this beyond absurd. Items can be replaced after all, even if the new one won't compare to the original.  

Now, I hope that you can see there are different levels of "love," at least is English. Some other languages have different words to point to the intensity of the feeling.  

So, what do people mean when they say "unconditional love"?

I also hope that you managed to see there's always a reason a person or an item receives our attention or affection. So, "unconditional love" doesn't exist. What does exist instead, is "love without expectations". 

You can easily say "I love you. I know we can't be together, so I have no expectations from you." This will put some pressure on the other person, or make them feel uncomfortable, however, they have some choice in how they'll act from now on. In the first option, they have none, they'd feel like a prisoner. 

You can see how this 'love without expectations' can be directed towards children and pets too. And I believe it's pretty obvious that when a person says "they love the item," they actually EXPECT it to perform the same for a very long time. This 'term' (if I can call it that) cannot be used in relation to items. 

Just a side thought from A. A says that they felt unconditional love in the past. They said it's VERY rare for humans to feel this type of emotion, because it's nearly impossible, as I tried to show you above. A does believe it can exist, however I personally don't think i ever felt it. I will not deny A's experience.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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At 13, they're STILL children

Publié le par Charly C.

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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6 Tips for a beginner seamster or seamstress

Publié le par Charly C.

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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Recipe for Roasted Potatoes

Publié le par Charly C.

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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What happened with the...

Publié le par Charly C.

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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Forgotten knowledge from my granny - by A

Publié le par Charly C.

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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General and vegan stew with potatoes

Publié le par Charly C.

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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My first sewing projects

Publié le par Charly C.

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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winter thoughts (2019)

Publié le par Charly C.

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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A disappointing school festival a la japonais in Bucharest

Publié le par Charly C.

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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