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My Crafting Books

Publié le par Charly C.

Hi all!

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Fashion Related Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

Various Crafting Books

Here are 5 crafting books:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romanian Crafting Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burda Magazines

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

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

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

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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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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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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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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Restrooms in Bucharest - clean? unique?

Publié le par Charly C.

All living creatures have needs, and being able to take care of them is important. We clearly generally know the type of public toilets we can come across in our home-towns. But how about when we're abroad, or in cities we don't know? 

I obviously haven't been in all public toilets in Bucharest, but I have been in quite a few, and I can give you a few tips of where to go if nature calls. 

First of all, people can find public (and eco-) toilets on the side of the street. They're not the best thing to walk into, as they smell and are quite small, however if nature calls and you can't take it anymore, they'll have to do.  

The picture below is the toilet my grandparents used to have, in the countryside, near Bucharest. They recently revamped it, to look a bit better, but I haven't been there yet to see it. 

Traveling in the countryside, you might have to use one of this type of toilets. people there don't have running water, nor a sewage system.

Traveling in the countryside, you might have to use one of this type of toilets. people there don't have running water, nor a sewage system.

Next public toilets in which you can just walk into are the ones in the shopping centers and malls. In my experience, these can be a hit or miss when it comes to cleaness and smells. There are cleaning ladies doing their job on the clock, but sometimes they get overwhelmed as well, or maybe the toilet gets flooded. 

Overall, these toilets are cleaner than the ones on the side of the street. Many of them have a pretty standard design. While some have a rather unique design. For instance, one of the malls that opened quite recently, has an upside-down design, if i can call it that. When i walked in it, i thought i went to wonderland. 

Retro looking sinks and other elements were attached to the ceiling while the fittings you were supposed to use were modern. I believe there were actual toilet seats inside the stalls, hanging from the ceilings, that were fitted into lamps. I surely got dizzy, and expected to fall at any moment, but luckily it didn't happen. Surely this was on purpose, and the feeling I got was because it's not normal to see on the ceiling stuff that are usually on the floor.

you are seeing things right! the last picture is blurry, sorry :(you are seeing things right! the last picture is blurry, sorry :(
you are seeing things right! the last picture is blurry, sorry :(you are seeing things right! the last picture is blurry, sorry :(
you are seeing things right! the last picture is blurry, sorry :(you are seeing things right! the last picture is blurry, sorry :(

you are seeing things right! the last picture is blurry, sorry :(

If you're going to a cafe, restaurant, or bar, toilets are generally even more clean. They can also have a more unique design. For instance, the restroom at Starbucks coffee in Unirii Square has a really nice look. See the pictures below. 

The first sink is found before entering, and I like it more than the others inside. The wall decoration is really cool too. 

Some locations have more stalls, while others have just one for each gender. There could also be a situation where both genders have to use the same toilet. Well, whoever needs to use it will have to wait for their turn, of course. 

Starbucks UniriiStarbucks Unirii
Starbucks UniriiStarbucks UniriiStarbucks Unirii

Starbucks Unirii

Do's and don'ts in a Romanian public toilet

Do expect privacy: the doors are generally hitting the floor and there is no space between the door and it's frame. 

Do expect to be able to lock the door the stall. We don't like to have to hold the door with our hands, though it could be helpful at times.

Do expect to find toilet paper. The Eco toilets might not have it though.

Do check to see there is topper paper in the stall, before you do your business. 

Don't throw the used toilet paper in the toilet- there are small trash bins in the stall for it, or whatever other trash you have. The toilet can get flooded if TP it's thrown in it. Some people don't follow this rule and flooding and smells happen as a result.

Don't under any circumstance sit on the toilet, nor climb it. You can sit if you have weak legs, but put some TP on its edge. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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What is tea like in Romania

Publié le par Charly C.

an apple tea at McCafe

an apple tea at McCafe

In Romania we call tea "ceai" and this word is very similar to the Chinese 茶 "cha2" where it originated from. Romanians have many different types of tea, and most of them are used as natural remedies.

This means that most teas here are made of various parts of various plants or trees. For instance we have cherry stem tea as a mild solution for UTI and not only, or linden flowers tea for a fragrant tea meant to calm you down. 

Caffeinated teas are not traditionally popular or used over here, though in recent years their popularity increased thanks to the international influence and trends. Fruity teas are also raised in popularity quite recently.

linden flower tea on top, a "modern" mix in the middle, and a "common" mix at the bottom

linden flower tea on top, a "modern" mix in the middle, and a "common" mix at the bottom

The linden tea is one of the more expensive types of tea over here. This must have something to do with the relatively short period in which these flowers can be harvested - end of May through the first week of June.

If you're lucky enough to have linden trees where you live, and you have an enough tall ladder, maybe you can pick some flowers next year. You need to let them get dry for at least a few days before consuming. 

You can mix them with any other tea, of course, but it's best by itself, or maybe with a fruity mix. All by itself, it doesn't even need honey - the tea is both fragrant and sweet enough.

how the "modern" and fancy tea mix looks VS the "traditional" linden one. Sadly this Dorel brand doesn't have good teas, I got tricked. :(how the "modern" and fancy tea mix looks VS the "traditional" linden one. Sadly this Dorel brand doesn't have good teas, I got tricked. :(

how the "modern" and fancy tea mix looks VS the "traditional" linden one. Sadly this Dorel brand doesn't have good teas, I got tricked. :(

Where to buy

There are several place where you can buy tea when in Romania. The supermarket is the easiest option, and most of them have a decent selection of teas. They are mostly green, fruity, or plant based teas. Some have brought fancy mixes as well that can be even offered as gifts.

Another place is the drug store. Their selection however is not that great, and you're highly likely not to find fancy teas there. They might also be a bit more expensive than in the supermarket. 

Another place is represented by holistic shops. These places sell all sorts of natural remedies, so naturally [sorry about the pun ;) ] they'd sell a variety of teas as well. Their selection of fruity teas might be disappointing, but they have plenty of herbal teas for many health issues.

Some gift shops or book stores are the last place where you could find tea. Of course, in these places the teas are pricier and the fancy and "modern" type. 

i picked my own linden flowers and mixed with a "fancy" tea. YUM!

i picked my own linden flowers and mixed with a "fancy" tea. YUM!

How to make

Unlike green tea that you can only brew for less than 30 seconds for it not to get bitter, most of the Romanian teas should be brewed for some 7 minutes at the very least, and generally about 10 minutes. 

For 1 cup, usually 1 teaspoon or maybe 2 of product is [are] needed, if it's a loose tea. If it comes in envelopes, so already portioned, only one envelope per cup. 

They say that if you want to benefit from the "remedy" teas, you should drink them unsweetened. However this is not always possible because sometimes the teas are bitter. If you must add something to make it more sweet, just try to add honey. 

this is how I make tea...

By the way, if the tea is portioned, there are usually 20 servings per box. You can find bigger boxes than that, of course, but it's more rare.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Annoying commercials and impossible standards

Publié le par Charly Cross

All of them! It really doesn't matter what they promote because all of them are trying to sell impossible things! This is one reason why we don't own a TV set, even though at times I wish we did.

I'm pretty sure others may have written about it as well, but I still need to rant. You can stop reading, if you don't like rants, I guess. One of the reasons I'm putting this one out is in hopes for more people to be inspired to speak their minds and DEMAND realistic or trustworthy ads. Here it goes.

 

THEY ARE ALL LIES!

This phrase pretty much sums it up. I could end this here, but I must provide some proof for this claim. Let's start with beauty ads.

MASCARA: Do you know that ad for that mascara that makes the lashes appear 3000 times thicker and longer than they really are? That's a lie! There's no mascara available that gives that much volume. That can be obtained ONLY with fake lashes.

image belongs to its author.

image belongs to its author.

I can't even leave aside the amount of photoshop that went in her eyes - the eye ball itself doesn't look normal at all [#shameloreal] - this ad is full of lies. No human being has this much of a difference between their upper and lower lashes. YES, some people HAVE naturally long lashes, but I've only seen it on guys, for some reason. I also wonder if Gwen is really so self centered in her private life - saying about her own lashes they're outrageous is not a good way to present yourself. I also have to point out that people have all sorts of fine lines on their hands, and that some people have a different skin shade on their hands compared with their faces.

 

HAIR PRODUCTS

The hair products that are commonly advertised are hair-dyes and shampoos. However those ads are also all lies. If there's a famous face used in the commercial, it's safe to assume they use professional products applied by professionals. Also, keep in mind that some hair products actually make your hair more dry than it needs to be, especially when used by themselves. -Don't tell me you didn't notice this!- To have a gorgeous looking hair you need to help it with some masks or oils (especially after a certain age).

Those ads are made against a green screen, some of the models use hair extensions. They also use some guys with sticks to flick the hair of the model to give the impression of more bounce in the hair. Pretty sweet and deceiving, right?

 

CLOTHES, ACCESSORIES, GADGETS

The clothes ads are perhaps not all lies - with the exception of the very photoshopped models they use. But that's a well known reality and nothing shocking. What the ads for the products have in common is the complete absence of reality, such as: a normal person will never stay in that pose the whole day, or go to the same places the model was taken to for the photo shoot. This applies to rich people too: they're generally busy getting more rich [more power to them, I guess] but they still wouldn't stay motionless throughout the day like in some ads.

I also don't think an experience will become better or worse thanks to the clothes or accessories I use. For instance, if I buy a bathing suit from an ad and I go to the beach I will still have the same experience as when wearing a 20 years old bathing suit that was not advertised for. The weather would be the same as well, regardless of what I wear.

And please don't tell me I can find the love of my life while running just because I chose to wear a certain watch, like seen below. I also won't have more fun or run [work out] more/ better with it on.

image belongs to its author.

image belongs to its author.

 If I choose to work out I'll do so because I want to lose weight, and to find an excuse to flirt. I saw a similar ad in a supermarket - I found it ridiculous. If I go buy groceries that's what I need, not a new significant other, and I'm certain many of you will agree with me.

 

THE SMILES OF THE MODELS

Could they be more unrealistic? I don't mean their perfectly white teeth, but the smile itself. You might argue that they heard a really good joke, but how many times or how often do we hear a really good joke? Sadly, not often enough.

Some people might even think there is something wrong with them if they can't smile at all times with a big wide smile. They might think there is something wrong because their teeth are not perfect looking and a perfect white color too. The hard reality is that the average person can't really achieve this "standard" and they shouldn't feel pressured to do so either.

I also have the impression I should reach a certain level of happiness if I use those products or brands ... but I don't. I don't think anyone does.

 

PRODUCTS THAT DON'T WORK

Well, I suppose the whole entry is related to this. However there are some items that do work and they are advertised - pain killers for instance. They might not work for everyone based on their personal conditions and other factors, but do work for a large amount of population.

Here I refer to certain cleaning and beauty items that are supposed to work but do not: there is either no change at all or they make things worse. How many times have you seen ads for products that are used by professionals? Not too many times, right? Because those actually work.

 

UNHEALTHY PRODUCTS or SERVICES

There are a few words to say here: Coca-cola, McDonalds, KFC. How healthy are they? I thought so.. Not to mention their taste, ethics..... and the list goes on.


These thoughts are my own. The post is NOT sponsored. [how could it be? LOL]

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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Coloring for adults

Publié le par Charly Cross

Despite coloring being generally considered a children’s activity, more and more coloring books are printed these days and they target adults.

These books are usually called “Art for Mindfulness” or “Mandalas for Mindfulness” and they’re a perfect way to relax at the end of a stressful day, especially for those who dislike watching TV and prefer a more rewarding activity instead.

Opinions on the book

I got one of these books too, as a Christmas present - I really wanted one. My motive was to have another way to explore my creativity and to express myself, other than writing or cooking. 

Coloring for adults

Please continue reading here!


© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

Publié le par Charly Cross

As I write this, 2017 is almost over. Clearly I must draw a line and summarize what happened this year. I should also create a sort of bucket list or New Year resolution at the end of the post. I posted a half-year conclusion in July or so, therefore one at the end of the year is a must.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

One of the first things to happen to me, was to realize that full-time employment is not for me. And it's not as if I didn't try. See, I have a creative brain/ mind, and for me this translates into a difficulty to stick to a routine, to do what others [AKA bosses] tell me to do. I can do it but just short-term. Not to mention the effects full-time jobs had on my body and on the relationship with my partner.

We decided to focus our energies we know we can do, do them well, and try out new things. This basically means concentrating on the tasks and projects from the clients, this blog, and even starting a proper YouTube channel. I already uploaded a couple of videos there, and I only have a few views.

Another good thing that happened was for me to see a popularity increase for this blog. Again, it's not much, but seeing it has been viewed daily at least once, is a start. I started to post several times a week, I even have a "cultural" day, and things seem to be going well, even considering that now I'm technically on a break until I move the site. I'm also really excited about the short stories that will appear on the site.

On a personal level, my partner and me are now closer, we always hold hands when we go out, not to mention we're also almost always together. Can't tell you how happy I am, and not to mention less lonely. We got to experience many new thins this year, to visit new places - like the National Village Museum, try new treats like this ice cream. We even went on a ghost-hunt before Halloween, but we failed at seeing any ghosts.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

I also started cooking more, though I don't really have what to show for, except these "artsy" crepes. I also started bullet journaling, however it evolved more into a planner kind of thing. In any case, it seems to help me stay more organized, and to show me that I am doing things, and not just waste my time. It also seems I managed to keep a more clean house when compared to last year. I don't know if it's thanks to planning, but I'm pretty sure it's related to actually being home.

From a financial point of view, 2017 wasn't the most abundant, but we were together and this mattered more than the money. I rather be poor and with my partner than being rich and without her. <3

I'm also proud of myself for studying more Mandarin, for proving to myself I can even complete DIY projects. Of course this is not much, and other people are much more advanced than me, but I have to start somewhere. I'm proud and happy because I feel my creativity reached new levels I didn't think possible, and I feel more worthy.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION?

I never did something like this before, so I don't really now how to start.

  • workout more - make a habit out of it
  • walk more
  • cut the amount of swear words from my daily vocabulary
  • stop talking badly about others (ooops, I have a bad habit)
  • communicate more
  • continue with Mandarin (at least twice a week)
  • be less lazy
  • be less envious of others

I'll have to incorporate these into my planner somehow. I hope you had a good year, I pray the next one will be better, and for health for everyone.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

Pictures belong to their makers.

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How many Hanzi do I know?

Publié le par Charly Cross

I believe in this post I mentioned something about posting an entry on how many Chinese characters -hanzi- I know. This post is it.

I don't really have much to say about this, but there are a few clarifications I must make.

This list below shows translations for single-character words, but I do know a few that are formed of 2 characters. I will create a list for those words sometime in the future as well [ahem, whenever I remember I guess, ahem].

screen capture :)

screen capture :)

I included only the translation I'm more familiar with, though I do know some of them have many other meanings. But that is ok, because other meanings can be learned at a later time. I didn't translate the numbers. The meaning of some of these characters was easier to remember because several years back I wanted to study Japanese. I still have some materials for that, but it basically collects dust.

I may not know the reading of all of them -seriously, there are a handful with which I still struggle to remember how to read, but I know what they mean, or how to translate them.

The list is a little over 100 characters long, but I'm pretty sure I didn't include all the Hanzi I know. This simply means I must have skipped or forgotten to add some. I think that if you want to learn and keep track of your progress in a foreign language, then a spreadsheet can be useful.

A small notebook is a good alternative for languages that use a different script than what you're used to is also helpful because by writing the words by hand, you'll memorize them faster. Just make sure to write on each page the same amount of words if you want to keep a good track of your vocabulary. Using several notebooks might also be a good idea: one for grammar, one for new words, another one to pair words up.

Please remember that even though I started this Mandarin learning journey last year, I didn't have time to do it every single day. For crying out loud, I had some 3 or 4 months when I had a full time job when I had no more energy to study. And even this year, with all the free time I ha, I didn't dedicate it all to Chinese - you could say I'm not that serious about it. Mostly because I still want to like it, rather than stress about it.

I should probably tell you what tools do I use to learn Mandarin. There are several websites:

  • archchinese [learn how to write and read each hanzi, their traditional form, and more],
  • allsetlearning [focuses on grammar and you don't always have the translation or the reading on the page],
  • learnchineseez [learn how to write the hanzi, their traditional form, reading(s) and (main) meanings]. All these sites offer free materials to help your individual studies, but you might want to get a tutor as well if things are easier for you that way.

[I'm not affiliated with any, not getting paid by them - just the tools I used and helped me the most].

See you on Tuesday with an esoteric entry, on Thursday with a review, and again on Sunday with another blog entry related to my [boring] life. Bye~~


©Charly Cross 2013-present. All rights reserved.

You can buy merch inspired by this post from over here.

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