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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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Romanian style spinach - with milk!

Publié le par Charly C.

This is the first entry for 2019, so happy new year! I will try to update you soon (fingers crossed) with how I managed to keep my last year's new year resolutions, and which are the new ones. 

You know I have (paid) work to do when I start writing or doing anything else out of stress. .. as long as I can get some stuff done, I should be forgiven? no? only if I meet the deadline on Friday? I'll meet it. ;) 

And now on with the recipe! First I have to tell you that this recipe first appeared on my old blog, back in March 2017. However, last night I re-made it and took more pictures, so I post this as a fresh entry, but with both old and new pictures.

They say spinach is very healthy for you, but not everyone likes it. I must say I REALLY like spinach for some reason. Too bad I'm not eating more of it, though.

I'll not go into why is it good for you, or give one hundred reasons to eat it. I'll just advise you to try new recipes for the foods you don't really like.. or better-said vegetables you like least. I'll share a rather simple recipe that hopefully will make you curious enough to try it out. Perhaps you'll even like it.

Romanian style spinach - with milk!

There is a bit of garlic in this Romanian recipe - in the original version which I want you to try. You probably know by now I don't eat or cook with onions or garlic, but I will share this recipe exactly how it is done - as I believe most of you will like it better this way. Let's say that you can easily get nauseous because of this food if you don't add garlic, and you can't use onion instead either.

INGREDIENTS: (4 servings)

  • 1 kg (2 pounds) fresh spinach *
  • 5-6 tablespoons oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 800 ml cold milk
  • salt [to taste]
  • 8 eggs [2 for each serving]

METHOD:

  • Wash your spinach well, several times if needed. Make sure you have only nice looking leaves in there. [skip this step if you use a frozen product like me]
  • Boil it for a few minutes in salted water. It should look cooked. Strain.
  • Grab your wooden chop board and a non-metal spatula or spoon** and finely chop your spinach. [you'll skip this step for frozen products, as they might already be chopped]
Romanian style spinach - with milk!Romanian style spinach - with milk!Romanian style spinach - with milk!
  • Heat oil in a pot large enough to hold 4 pounds of food, as you'll add all the ingredients in here. Chop or mince your garlic*** and add it in to cook a bit. The garlic should become a bit translucent not brown (or the food becomes bitter) just enough to give some flavor.
  • Add your flour and mix well and wait for it to become a bit brown.
  • Add half of your milk and let it simmer for about a minute - you should have a white [thick] sauce at this point. Mine was a bit lumpy because I didn't mix/stir well enough. Avoid lumps in your sauce [if you can].
  • Add your chopped spinach and stir.
Romanian style spinach - with milk!Romanian style spinach - with milk!
Romanian style spinach - with milk!Romanian style spinach - with milk!
  • Add the remaining milk until you get the desired consistency. Don't forget to add salt. Let cook until it becomes steamy again. I personally didn't feel I needed etra milk.
  • OPTIONAL:  add a teaspoon of sugar and vinegar (or juice from a half lemon). I didn't add these, so I'm not sure if it will taste better. Apparently, some older women cook it this way. ****
  • Fry your eggs sunny side up, and place 2 on each serving, and serve!
Romanian style spinach - with milk!Romanian style spinach - with milk!

Bon-appetit!

You can also serve with fried chicken liver like seen below, but it simply tastes better with eggs. We eat fried liver in Romania - chicken and pork liver are most popular and delicious when hot!

NOTES:

*I used frozen spinach because it is impossible to find fresh one in December, around here.

**we have special butcher knives made of wood or silicone. 

***I'm not sure if there is a taste difference, but the idea is not to use the garlic cloves as they are.

****The first time around I didn't add neither lemon nor sugar. Last night I added lemon. I used the juice from half a lemon for the whole quantity of food.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Mac&Cheese recipe

Publié le par Charly C.

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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Oriental salad - Romanian version

Publié le par Charly C.

I haven't posted a recipe in a very long time, i believe. I think it's time I shared something - a salad this time! It's easy to make, pretty good for the upcoming holidays, delicious in my opinion, and is also vegan friendly! 

Well, ok, what I'll share is not vegan friendly because I used eggs, BUT keep the eggs out and you can safely enjoy it! If you're wondering why I had to specify this is a Romanian version of the salad, is because Google showed me a different type of salad when I searched for the name of this dish. 

I'm not exactly sure what's the story behind this salad, all I know is that it's pretty easy to make, and that it's never enough. 

Oriental salad - Romanian version

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 200 g black olives (for color; use seedless ones)
  • 200 g pickles
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 eggs (you can skip them for a vegan salad)
  • aromatic herbs  - parsley (fresh or dry), dill (i skipped it)
  • some salt and ground black pepper
  • oil and vinegar

This is the list of ingredients for a basic salad I found on a Romanian website. I know some people add more stuff in this salad. One of the most common ingredients is sliced onion, but you must know we don't eat it. Other ingredients I noticed were shredded cabbage, raw cucumbers (along the pickled ones), and pickled beet, and the salad becomes a bit pinkish. 

Do not add any type of meat in this salad, because then you'll make something else. 

Oriental salad - Romanian versionOriental salad - Romanian version

METHOD

Start by peeling and dicing the potatoes. Then throw them in a pot with water, and place on medium heat. Don't forget to add some salt - I used some pink salt, not that it really matters, but we were curious. I boiled the potatoes for some 30 minutes, but I don't think I had 1 kg.

The next step is to slice or dice the rest of the ingredients, including the olives and eggs. Don't forget about the other ingredients you want to add. 

Next, when the potatoes are done, rinse them with some cold water, and mix them with the ingredients. Of course,don't forget to add oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and the herbs. 

Oriental salad - Romanian version

Look at those vibrant colors! This salad is eaten usually by itself or sometimes maybe with steak or chicken. There's no need for bread when eating this dish. You might need to eat other dishes before or after it to feel completely full. 

I hope you like it if you make it!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

 

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I embroidered my jeans jacket

Publié le par Charly C.

As you already know I like doing things with my hands. I like coloring, or I like "improving" my clothes like I did these pants

The jacket I decided to embroider is off white, and from H&M, but from at least 2 years back. I doubt you'll still find it - when i bought it, it was sales season. I also haven't seen anything similar anymore. This jacket is pretty long, as it reaches below my butt. Its fabric also feels sturdy, and doesn't really let the wind through. I wish it had a hoodie - maybe I can MAKE one in the future? LOL. 

So the jacket has 4 large pockets on the front. The 2 on the chest have a flap, while the ones on the lower part have a bit of a different shape. I thought the jacket looks too plain and that I needed to do something to cheer it up, give it a bit of a fresh air. What better way to do this if not with some embroidery? And not just any type of embroidery, but specifically Romanian.

I embroidered my jeans jacket

So i searched for something in the book with Romanian embroidery I own and I also searched online. And I found the above design, completely black, originating from the Moldova area. 

I can only remember finding it on a Romanian online book store, and they were showing pictures of a few pages from inside the books they had listed. And U copied the model on paper. 

I embroidered my jeans jacket

I had no idea to start to embroider the design. It looks easy enough, especially if only one color is used. Another problem was the fabric as it is woven, but it uses a special type of weaving that makes it hard to count the threads. And if there's one thing to know about Romanian embroidery, is that it counts the threads in order to make a pretty, even design.

I decided to put the paper on the pocket, and to proceed with sewing through the paper. I didn't want to break the paper, at first, but i really had no idea or indication anywhere, on how to do it. 

As you can tell from the image above, it worked pretty well. Except for when i was done,and i had to break the paper. Can you guess what happened? The thread was loose. If you'll look carefully at the next 2 pictures, you'll see what I mean.

I embroidered my jeans jacket

Since I already embroidered one pocket, I had a better idea on how to proceed with the design, on the next ones. I didn't take pictures, but I'll try my best to explain if you want to reproduce it - but please give credit to the Romanian people.

If you'll use a fabric on which counting the threads is easy, it's even better. You basically need a 20 * 20 grid, as there are 20 rows and 20 columns.

If you use 2 colors:

Start with any of the red squares, but not the middle one. You embroider 2 rows of 2 crosses, then jump to the design in the corner that would be above it, and embroider in the same direction. When done, jump to another square, then another corner, then another square, then the 3rd corner, another square, then the one in the middle, and then the last corner.

You'd have to turn the fabric almost with each jump from the corner to the square. A lot of turning would happen when working on the second color as well. 

If you look closely, you'll notice 2 rectangles that intersect one another. I found it easier to work on them if I stat with the longer section, then the edge, then the shorter section, then jump to the next longer section, and so on. 

   the final look :)

the final look :)

If you use a single color:

I suppose that for when embroidering in a single color, the design would be easier, since you'd have to work on rows. I didn't want to work it all in black because I thought it would look too austere in a way. 

As you can see, i managed to finish the embroidery. It was pretty easy too, once I got used to it. But of course I also cheated a little bit. With the design copied on a different paper, i poked holes with a pencil, to mark the fabric with a visual guide. 

I didn't cheat perfectly, as you can probably tell. The crosses are not all the same size and are not perfectly aligned either. It took me 4 days in total to complete, with just a few hours per day. I'm pretty happy with the design, i think it's cute and cheerful, and that it looks quite authentic. I have nothing to compare it to, so i'll just stop here.

See you guys!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Fighting Consumerism

Publié le par Charly Cross

We all know we live in a highly consumerist society, or era better said. This can easily be said about technology, clothes and even food. 

Technology these days is poorly made ON PURPOSE to be replaced often. Why do you think Apple releases a new iPhone every 6 months or so? their excuse is: "we added a little fix" or "we improved this little thing," and so on.

The same can be said about clothes - at least about what we call fast fashion. Except their excuse is "that you MUST keep up with the trends." There are of course several other aspects in our lives where we're told "this season you MUST buy this or that in order to impress" and the list goes on and on. 

You know what? you must not keep up with any trend! you must not impress anyone with newly bought stuff either! 

Fighting Consumerism

You know what? I've had it! a long time ago. And as a result I did all I could to stop buying new items. At least on full price. There are only a few exceptions, because I can't find everything discounted or as second hand. I also started sharing with A coats, shoes, scarves, tshirts - mostly because that's all we can share, since A is much tinier than me. 

Below are some of the stuff A gave me - i chose to show you 3 pairs of pants. One of the pairs is pink and thick sweat pants, which is one of the most recent "gifts". The oldest is the pink silk pair with an over-sized upper part, while the black pair are some ripped jeans for which i must lose some weight. 

Fighting Consumerism

I started buying clothes only when there are sales, or from discounted boutiques - so basically the stuff other people didn't like anymore. Let me give you some examples below: 3 pairs of jeans from an discount outlet and 2 tshirts on clearance from a known store (fast fashion, which I'm not very proud of, but I figure that sometimes it's ok if there's an item that we really really like. it's more wasteful if the stuff gets destroyed, in my opinion, and a shame for the work of someone.) 

And yes, 2 of those pairs of jeans are identical, because they fit me so well, and they are so comfortable. The material and the seams seem of pretty good quality as well, and the price was unbeatable - 10 lei a pair! (about 2.5 USD?) The darker large pair is also made of a good quality fabric - thick and heavy, and not stretchy at all. I thought they're designer, but i think they're fakes. Meh! 

I also checked the clearance section of another fast fashion store, but the men's section. I found 2 pairs of jeans that i really like how they look and feel. See them below as well, in the 3rd picture.

Fighting Consumerism
Fighting Consumerism
Fighting Consumerism

I also got some clothes and footwear for free, from a "swap shop" event I found on facebook. There's a jeans jacket, 2 pairs of boots, and some tshirts.  A got a few dresses as well, and a flannel shirt. I'll include a pic of a few of the items, not everything. 

One of the tshirts I got had a few holes in it, that I didn't see when i chose it. I didn't think much about them, and I decided to mend them somehow. 

Speaking of free stuff, remember my post about the expensive stuff I simply found? That's another way I fight consumerism. or by using facebook groups like freecycle, where people give away for free, the items they don't need or want anymore. 

Fighting ConsumerismFighting Consumerism

I mentioned earlier I mended some clothes. Luckily, these days fashion is very permissive and allows patches over patches as well as destroyed garments. 

On the tshirt with little holes, I used some clear nail polish to prevent the holes from getting bigger. Then i proceeded to sew on, by hand, some small patches or (printed) ribbon. The ribbon was used as a tag on some other item A got from another outlet (i think). 

Fighting ConsumerismFighting ConsumerismFighting Consumerism

Another way we saved some money and fought consumerism, was to share some of the clothes we own.  The easiest is to share the jackets and the shoes, like in the picture below. But granted, we can't share all the shoes nor all the jackets. 

The home clothes and socks are other items we share, just because it's more convenient this way. 

Fighting Consumerism

I want to hear from you, how do YOU fight against consumerism, and if you have any other tips for me. :)

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Seaside adventures in August

Publié le par Charly C.

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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