Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Random books are fun sometimes

Well how about that? A book called Friday Night Knitting Club - it's just like our Friday Night Crafting Club! I had to grab it, when I saw it. It is pretty interesting so far, I might make it a habit of randomly picking up books. Also I got my yarn on mail and am now happily knitting my shawl. Soft yarn in beautiful color, good book, yummy candies (thank you mommy!) - are a good cure against a 12 hour school day!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

I turned 23 and am so happy about it! Time flies so fast! But I am grateful to God for the amazing 23 years that He gave me, filled with joy and support of my loved ones! I am determined to always celebrate my Birthday and always enjoy my life no matter how old.
Today I had school literally all day (from 7:30am to 9:30pm), but we squeezed in a lunch of my choice with my hubby and my friend, my mommy brought me a beautiful cake with candles that did not want to blow out and provided enough smoke to set the smoke detectors crazy (haha), my instructors sang me "Happy Birthday", and I had some great patients in clinic today (including my husband). So all in all it was a great day with many wishes, kisses, hugs, presents, and smiles. I love my birthday!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Friday Night Crafting Club - hexagon quilt

Finally we met again! It has been so long since we all gathered to craft all together. There was coffee and waffles with strawberries and whip cream, there were many conversations, and Sonya introduced a new project we are going to work on - hexagon quilt. I am of course making a baby blanket and I will talk about the fabric I chose in a separate post. There are actually a couple of things I want to talk about, but just don't get enough time to write. But I will get to it hopefully this week.
Anyways, the club is as fun as always! Hope to see everyone soon!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wish list - Design Book Love!

Did I mention that I find books inspiring and rely on them as my source of creativity? If you have been reading my blog, you know I say it very often! My collection of interior design books however is near non-existant, so here are my first picks.

Nostalgia (I might make it a series)

Only eight years ago I could not have imagined that some day I will be parking my Infinity next to a jewelry store to take my diamonds in for semiannual inspection (at any age, let alone 22!) Heck, if someone told me that I would have any car, or a place of my own I would laugh long and hard! Now granted it is not all that glamorous, my Infinity is over ten years of age and the only diamonds I have is my wedding ring, still I find it funny that the thing I craved the most for the past week is this simple desert from Soviet Union times of my childhood.
In the land of any possible food imaginable, I am having my tea with wafers covered in cooked condensed milk and with every bite I purr from the divine pleasure. So weird! Do you remember it, do you know what I am talking about, people? These wafer sheets and you just spread condensed milk on them layer by layer? Our whole "cake" was gone in one day, aperantely my hubby finds it very indulging and addictive as well, no surprise as although we were born in practically different countries, the limitations of the post Soviet Russia and Ukraine made our lives very similar to one another, which I am grateful for!
I think we are going to make more, and it is delightful to think that my future children can have it and love it as much as their parents did when they were kids.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Two little heads

The little project that I was talking about earlier today is my new doll. It has been a while since I made a doll, or a bear for that matter, but for some reason I got inspired and decided to try and make a little girl. I only made few dolls in my life and I am still looking for my style, I think I am moving in the right direction now. I always used polymer clay and viscose for hair. I've made cloth and clay, clay only, I used yarn for hair as well, I drew my own eyes and used glass eyes. I seem to like cloth body and clay head, arms and legs. The hair and the eyes are still an experimental venue for me. I also want to try different clay medias like paper clay.
But back to my new work in progress... This girl has some amazing hair! I spent hours wigging her and it is worth it! It is soft and natural and it stays on her head, and even can be combed! I made the base for the wig out of cloth and then glued it on her head and it turned out perfect! When I will be making my next doll I will be sure to make a wigging tutorial. She is going to be wearing some warm clothes as she has a baby polar bear for a pet and as we all know those creatures don't live in hot climates. I made the bear head while the doll was drying or baking and I used the kit I purchased long time ago. It is not easy to make a tiny bear like that, but I am learning to incorporate needle felting in bear making and this is something I wanted to do for a long time.
I will be sure to show the final product. This little duo has been such a pleasure to make so far! But there is much more to be done! For now I have to go back to bed and be sick, as I get tired very fast.
What exciting projects are you guys up to?

Sick with a day and a half to get better!

I am officially sick! And my last semester starts Tuesday so I have less than two full days to get better. I don't think that my patients will appreciate me coughing on them...
Funny thing is I actually like being sick when I can stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. And today one of those days, except I am feeling good enough to not lay in bed but instead sit and work on my little projects that I will talk about later.
So it is hot tea with lemon for me all day and chicken broth in the evening.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stuck -> Unstuck

I am stuck in my own silly head! And this time in a bad way. It has been a while since I did that, but I think I'm becoming more and more... depressed I guess, scared also, and definetely numb. I feel sick just thinking about going back to school. I am not ready for all the pressure, stress, and constant monitoring and evaluating. I am just not ready.
I also have been thinking even if or when I finish, what is next? I want to make mistakes, try things, move places, regret moving and come back... I want to get a big dog and think why did I do that, I want to be free to try things. But I can't. Because I have responsibilities. I wanted to be an adult so that I can be free to do whatever I want and now that I am, I have less freedom then I ever had.
So that and much more is going on in my head right now. Not good at all.
I'm sure I will come out of it stronger than ever, with more ideas, hopes and dreams. For now it is the little things I try to cling to. One of them being my mommy taking me shopping - what can be better right? Clothes makes everyone happier, and it sure gave me a little boost. The rest is going to come I am sure. I wish I could write about cold weather, hot tea, knitting, cozy slippers, and many other soft and cuddly things, and they are all there, I am just being real - I don't feel all that at this moment.
I am just going to take it one step at a time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Little photos

I have mentioned already that for Christmas I got the new Polaroid camera I wanted so much. Have been taking it with me and snapped a few photos of various events. I decided to keep a little journal just for fun. I still have to do a couple of pages like the one on our Russian Christmas, but here are a couple that I already did. I use materials that I find around or that have some meaning, like the background paper on the Christmas page is the paper that we used to wrap our presents this year... It is quick and fun, no rules, no boundaries. I hope to keep it going and become more creative at it.
I used an old scrap book that I had laying around, but I want to make a cover for it, just don't know what I want it to be just yet.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, husband!

Ah, even two and a half years later my heart skips a beat when I call him my "husband"! Twenty seven candles and a couple of meltdowns on my part later we semi-successfully celebrated Jenya's birthday! I am so thankful God gave me six years together with this amazing guy! He's my "old" man and I love him so much! I pray that there are many more birthdays to come so that we can perfect this event! (Maybe a few less tears and many more candles sounds like a great future!)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wish List - quilting fabric

We are about to start a new project with our Friday Night Crafting Club. Sonya is leading us into a hexagon quilting adventure. I am excited because I have been thinking about making a baby quilt for quite some time and the hexagon quilt sounds lovely to me!
I am now thinking about the fabric colors and patterns I want to use. There is this store on Etsy called Freshly Squeezed Fabrics that had me drooling over their fabric bundles like this one.
As soon as I thought of quilting, this was my first choice of fabric! This bundle is just so juicy and colorful! I fell in love with it at first sight. The only problem is it is very girly, and my deal with baby things I make, I don't use baby blue or pink so that it can be used by both boy or a girl. This bundle is just so girly, but I can't resist it!
Another bundle I fell in love with is from Purl Soho, of course, and it is solids in red to yellow spectrum! This one can be used by both genders and many more patterns can be used with it.
This is all I have for now. I also want to just go to local fabric stores and see if I can get some ideas for a theme there.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Isn't it interesting that the good memories also make you sad? I wonder why is there a longing to that past that we are so readily recall. Being nostalgic is a mixed and complex feeling. It is amazing how a cup of tea and wafers and a can of cooked condensed milk can take you right back to that long past childhood, where everything was simple, where there was no grey only black or white - good or evil, where there was no death, where someone took care of you, where you were at peace. Having this late evening tea with the little treats of my childhood made me also realize that I still have that longing to my dear Ukraine, that I am still some times home sick... I thought I was over that. Yet somehow, unexplainable thing happened - the sadness  the memories of the things that will never come back, the nostalgia made me happy.
Happy and sad - we immigrants and grownups always are.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Knitting Project - babywearing, snuggling, nursing shawl/ babyblanket

So recently I finished my blanket and am so happy that people are interested in it, this is the first time I made something without a pattern and I am happy to know I can actually pull something like that! Yey for me! Haha!
But as soon as it was done, I began searching for the new big project to work on. (Actually I started looking even before I finished the blanket. Searching is one of my favorite parts in the making of something new). So here is what I found - a shawl that can be used when nursing, baby wearing, snuggling, can be a baby blanket or even a cape! Amazing, what can be better, right? I found the pattern here, and it is easy and oh so lovely! I had a skein of madeline tosh merino in maple leaf and I am loving the results so far!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Done! - Big project:Bubble Baby Blanket!

It all started as a summer vacation project to take to Russia with me. The yarn was obtained and the idea began to come to life. Then it all changed to something completely different. At the end it turned out to be a 46" x 46" Bubble blanket that I am  utterly in love with!
What makes it warm and cozy is the bamboo yarn that I picked with my mother in law and she later had to send me more via mail. So this blanket technically made a complete circle around the earth when it was only a ball of yarn! It was then carefully planed and crafted with memories and love in every stitch by yours only! It is a baby blanket that can be used in a crib as well as baby bed up to a few years of age, I am sure.

If anyone wants to reproduce, most of it is double crochet back and forth, except for the skirt and the trim. I am going to attempt to make a sort of a pattern to explain what I did.

Bubble Baby Blanket (BBB)
I used 100% Turkish pure bamboo 3.53 oz 241 yds in five colors about three skeins in each color
Round 1 (color 1): chain 220
Round 2 (color 1): ch 3 *dc 5, make the bubble: dc 5 in next st turn the work upside down insert the hook in the bottom of the same st and dc 7 more in the same st, slip st in the first stitch of the bubble (you can find some pictures on how to do the bubble here, the directions are in Russian, but the photos will help)* repeat from * to * until the end of the row. Turn the work.
Round 3 (color 1): ch 3, dc 220, turn the work
Round 4 - 30: repeat round 2 and 3 alternating the colors until you crochet 30 rounds (or the color strips repeat in all the colors three times over)
This completes the skirt of the blanket.

Round 30 - 130: beginning with color 1 **ch 3, dc 220 turn the work** repeat from ** to ** for 100 more rows alternating colors every four rows.
This completes the main part of the blanket.

Round 131: slip st into the first st,*** form a bubble: ch 3, do 4 incomplete tcs in the same st so you have five loops on your hook then slip yarn through all of them, ch 1, slip st in the same st you have been working on, slip st in the next 3 st (I got this idea from here, only modified it a bit to make the bubbles bigger, but this lady has more pictures to explain the process) *** repeat from *** to *** until the end of the row alternating between the five colors of yarn.
This completes the bubble trim

And you are done! Very easy-peasy, just a bit time consuming. But the results are wonderful! I can already see how much fun it would be for the little one to play with all the bubbles!

I am now actively seeking a new long term project, possibly a couple. They most likely will be baby related again. I will be sure to share!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Merry Russian Christmas!

Yes, our holidays keep on going! Yesterday was a Russian Christmas eve. My mom made a delicious traditional dinner with mane dish being crapes with all kinds of sweet and salty stuffings! It was yet another lovely warm dinner with family and friends, my mom is amazing at gathering people around her table!

An evening in the park

There is this one place that I am sure to take my children to some day many many times. It is simply breathtaking! It is full of old trees and lakes and ducks and peacocks. A couple of days ago I took my friend Mila there and we had some hot tea with scones, fed some ducks, sketched a little, and walked around. We got bullied by two geese but Mila saved our lives by finding a little branch to shoo them off. It was fun and relaxing! The steaming tea, the fresh cool air, the golden sun, the water, the birds, Mila's red hat and my wooly mittens - everything was just right! That place always makes me happy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Big project complete

I had two big projects. One of them is mom's doily. She said she would like one and I took on a challenge a while back. Of course it had to be challenging, I picked a very intricate and detailed pattern, but it is finally done. Now she wants to make a pillow out of it, which I think will look lovely. In any case it was very pleasant to give her this little token of my love and gratitude and to give it just because, without any occasion.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Great book/ great blog

I recieved most of the books I was drooling over earlier this week. I looked through them, my favorite so far being The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule. She is right up my alley, talking about being creative with your children. She brought me to tears with her introduction talking about feeling a need to create when she got pregnant. Knitting a little sweater for her soon to come baby, made her feel present in the moment, meditating, getting ready, putting her love into something feasible for her future child. She described my feelings exactly. Although I am not even pregnant yet, for the past year, I have been channelling my desire to be a mom and creative flow into clothes, blankets, and toys for someone to enjoy some day and it helps me wait purposefully.
I was gulping her book in until I found out she also has a blog (of course!) called SouleMama, where the photos of her family, their beautiful house, their snowy winter, their trees, sheep, and chickens, made me want all those things I always dream about all over again!
Why is there never a book about someone raising a healthy family in Vegas, in the desert?.. That would be a great incuragment to me.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The love of slow mornings

One of the things I am definetely enjoying during this winter break is the slow mornings. Slow and lazy, which makes me feel guilty, but I remind myself that these twenty-something days are for that purpose - to be lazy and to gain strength for the last battle (my last semester in dental school). So there is always a cup of tea, blog reads, then I go back under warm blankets and read or crochet. I know I will be remembering these days with envy very soon. So I am enjoying them while they last.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Love Dare - Day 11

I know I skipped a week or so in this whole dare thing, but I am back into it and will keep going as consistent as I can.

Love Dare Day 11 - Love Cherishes
This chapter is one of those that I highly agree with and it really speaks to me. It talks about considering the person you married as part of your own body, like the Bible urges us to. If you broke your arm, you are not going to cut it off, because it is broken, but instead, do everything you can to make sure it heals. When you are married, your spouse becomes a part of you, when you are happy so are they, when they are hurt, so are you. The problem comes when we all come to a painful realization that the person we married is far from perfect. So why in this culture is the marriage treated like it is an object that you own, say a car - if you don't like it anymore, if it is broken, just replace it by a newer model? So many sources nowadays state that you should kick the broken one out of your life to open room for something better that awaits you down the road... Shouldn't broken marriage be carefully nursed back to health?
The book urges to not let the culture around you determine the worth of your marriage. Instead, your marriage should be a picture of love between two imperfect people who choose to love each other regardless.
I highlighted "with the smile" because I will do anything for my husband, but sometimes I strugle with doing it with a smile. If he asks me for a favor at an unconvinient time, or something I really dread doing, I tend to have a problem with just doing it. I want to do help him, but I have hard time hiding the fact that I am not happy about doing what I have to do to help him. It is work in progress...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kitchen renovation progress (miniature)

Well, I did it. (You can see the before pictures and the plan here). Actually I did most of the work the first couple of days, but I was waiting for all the parts to come in to finish it. They came in yesterday, and today I put everything together. It is far from perfect, but I am delighted in the results! I used acrylic paint and a brush on most of the furniture, but the appliances were spray painted (I am in love with spray paint now! Lookout the world!) Now we just need to figure out how to cut the flooring without damaging the delicate little pieces, and the renovated kitchen can move in. The biggest part is still not started - wiring the house for electricity. But we take it one step at a time!
I received some lovely little bits and pieces along with the faucet, that was a gift from my brother - everything is so lovely! This house will truly be beautiful some day!
The photos are not the greatest quality, but I couldn't wait to share! I guess you get the idea, it is now white, black, and stainless steel. :) I will make sure I post photos of it once it is inside the house!