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Expectation VS Reality - DIY edition

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello there!

Did you expect to see me? neither did I. 

Do you know how people order things online hoping they'll receive something cool, something they think will look good, will make them feel better, and so on and so forth? 

I have done that. But i didn't expect things to be THAT amazing, to begin with. You can read more about that experience in this entry

So this entry is not about my expectations being ruined by a bad online shopping spree. Instead, I want to talk about a DIY project a did over the past 2 or 3 weeks. Well, i finished it last week.

I didn't plan on writing about it. However I shared it to this FB group and 87 people liked it and congratulated me for the result. 

The story goes something like this: 

When the stores finally opened back at the beginning of summer, fiance bought a small white Guess bag from an outlet. 

It was in a decent shape, with the only flaws being the several visible stains. On both sides. Unfortunately i don't have a picture of the bag :( 

I thought we can clean it. [FIRST EXPECTATION!]

[FIRST REALITY] hit when after several attempts, and several products, we realized that taking those stains out won't work. 

The DIY project begins!

THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM

The solution we came up with, was to paint the bag. At least on the front.

This was a pretty easy idea to put into practice. All i needed was:

  • acrylic paints - done!
  • paintbrushes - done!
  • inspiration 

The inspiration came from a google image search. I searched for "an easy acrylic painting" or something along that line.

And I found this picture: [EXPECTATION 2]

I thought it's a decently easy image to reproduce. So i started working. 

First, i used a pencil to draw the circle in the middle, and 2 vertical lines in the middle to "split" the background into the night/day halves. I also drew the curved line for the crescent moon and the "flames" around the sun. 

This part was THE easiest to complete. 

I then started painting and i used the lightest colors first. 

I don't have much to say about the painting process. I tried to make sure i don't leave white spots as the surface of the bag is textured, not smooth, as you'll see from the pics below. 

So, this is what I got. [REALITY 2] it's not AS pretty as the inspiration photo, but it's alright. I think. 

And when you open it, you get almost the same image. I didn't want the image to be split or incomplete when open. I also have the impression it looks more "intended this way by the designer" and not "oh, I painted this and did the shittiest job."

It had 2 loops for a shoulder chain. My fiance said they'll use it more like a wallet than a purse, therefore, I thought that keeping the chain would be in the way, in a bag. 

I hope this entry inspires you to find a solution when your favorite bag gets dirty and you can't clean it, and you also don't want to get rid of it. 

I didn't use a sealant, but I should, and I'll be looking for some sort of sealant. The light blue side is a bit sticky to the touch even though so much time passed since I finished this project. So, if you do this, make sure to use a sealant. 

See you in the next one!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Being a minimalist can be a bad idea in a crisis

Publié le par Charly C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As a hoarder, you might have:

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

As a minimalist, you might have:

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

Taken on August 31st, 2019 by me.

This "pandemic" taught me that: 

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

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

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

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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

Publié le par Charly C.

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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Victim blaming needs to stop!

Publié le par Charly C.

!!!!Trigger warning!!!!!

Please, if you are a victim of any type of abuse, AND the subject triggers you, it's best you stop reading now. The main type of abuse I will touch on is ra-pe. :( oh, and i dislike censoring myself.

I will add a picture to separate more the main/triggering part of this entry from this intro/warning.

 This article was triggered by the attitude/words/comments of a Youtube user who will stay anonymous

The subject of the video was neutral, peaceful, related to some degree to fashion. The user agreed with the video, but it was because of a wrong mindset, as the title (might) suggest. But perhaps you should not read further?

The letterboxes in a VERY creepy looking, old building in the Old City Center.

The letterboxes in a VERY creepy looking, old building in the Old City Center.

It's -September 2019- scratch that. January 2020 is here now because i didn't have enough power to write this to the end.

I didn't post in a very long time. And I honestly I can't believe I have to type this title in 2019. 

The truth is that there are still people out there that STILL blame the victims for what happened to them. 

As you already read I was watching a video on why it's important to wear modest clothing. The subject was in the right spot, nothing wrong with it -from what I could tell, nothing triggering. The author was saying BOTH men and women should wear modest clothing. There was no judgement passed towards those who don't. I literally can't recall anything wrong with the video - I really want to make this clear.

The idea was that non modest clothing gives away information about your body that others can use against you, usually through insults and body shaming. the author continued to say that insults make people feel bad (you don't have to be a genius to know this), and feeling bad can easily lead to sadness or depression and other bad stuff. On the other hand, modest clothing hides these flaws, people doesn't have such info to use against you, and will have to rely on other stuff, for instance your knowledge, personality, personal belongings, skills, so on. 

The idea is that the body is very personal and intimate, and this is why only our partners usually sees us naked - we're most vulnerable when naked. Many of us feel vulnerable in front of the doctor as well, hence some hospitals have those robes/gowns, to protect our privacy as much as possible. 

 

Whiskey at the age of 9, judging me.

Whiskey at the age of 9, judging me.

The user who triggered me was someone who answered to a comment whose author simply said they noticed how differently they (she) were (was) treated when wearing modest clothing VS when wearing more revealing outfits. I personally noticed a similar change, and i'd like to challenge those reading, to try dressing more modestly when going out or to work. 

The 2nd user came to say basically that when a woman dresses in a revealing manner, it means "she's asking for it." I honestly can't believe i just wrote that. It was 2019. it's 2020. i can't believe there are still people out there who STILL think this way. 

Men AND women are STILL guilty of thinking like that, and teaching their children to think the same. This is why the majority of sexual abuses go un-reported. How come are women thinking this way? I have no idea, but they do. Not believe me? just research the case of the 2 female tourists in Australia who almost got killed and one raped, but managed to escape and the culprit also got arrested. The judge was a woman, she found him guilty on several accounts, except rape! WHAAAT...? HOW??? 

There are some countries where society is still very conservative, and perhaps the citizens can't think outside the box. Romania is one of them, sadly. But this is not a good excuse. It will never be an excuse. 

Victim blaming needs to stop!

I want to make something clear:

The only thing people are asking for when putting clothes on, revealing or not, and then going out, is to be left the heck alone. not to be cat-called, followed around, flirt with or worse.  

There are the older generations who think like that, and i can accept we can't really change their way of thinking. But we can change the mind-set of the younger generations. We also have means of getting informed or of informing others. 

Both conservative men and women should understand once and for all that nobody wants to be abused. in any kind of way.

especially not sexually.

And you know what? men also get sexually abused -by women or other men. these abused men surely didn't ask for it, and some of the ones abused by other men, are not even gay.  

Victim blaming needs to stop. it needs to go back to where it came from because the 21st century doesn't need it. it doesn't belong here anymore. 

If you have a child, or know someone younger than yourself in your family, try and show and tell them that it is not OK to blame the victim for what happened to them. Nobody wants bad things to happen to them. Tell them it's also not OK to catcall or try and flirt with someone just because they dressed in a revealing way. Try to tell them that when they grow up, they should try and help those who are being harassed or pestered in any way. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Changing a jacket' sleeves

Publié le par Charly C.

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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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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