Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Red haired amigurumi girl Lola

I want you to meet my freshly finished red haired amigurumi girl. Her name is Lola (shorten from Lolita). You can find previous post about her here. Since then she has got eyes, smile, new handbag with a flower in it, bead necklace and a blue ribbon in her hair.

I had some problems with choosing name for her at the beginning. But it simply came to my head after I've made the finishing touch.

Lola enjoys sitting on my crochet patchwork pillow and looking through the window on blooming chestnut and lime trees. She likes sun and fresh air.

Her bag is a full-featured bag. It opens and she can put anything in it (anything that fits, of course).

She likes to be photographed, particularly with a crochet flower and she isn't scared of it's size :)

So now Lola is a full member of my amigurumi family.

Hope you enjoyed her company!

Chestnut city - Kiev

Hello and thank you for stopping by. Today I'm going to show how beautiful the capital of Ukraine is during this warm May days. And the reason is blooming chestnut trees. They are everywhere. It doesn't matter on what street in Kiev you will appear, you'll definitely see at least one chestnut tree. It is very easy to distinguish it from any other tree because of plenty of white/pink pyramids on it.

There are few stories about how did chestnut trees appear in Kiev.

Due to one of them all main streets of Kiev were planted with chestnut trees just before the visit of Russian emperor Nicholas I in 1842. They were brought from Balkans. But maybe the emperor didn't like them or something else happened and all the trees were cut down. Emperor's favourite poplars were planted instead on that places. But people liked chestnut trees, took cutted branches and planted them on the backyards near their houses and everywhere they could. That's how Chestnut tree became the most numerous tree in Kiev.

According to another story first chestnut trees were planted in Kiev Pechersk Lavra in 1825 and they spread through the city from here by Kiev people, because the trees have a lot of advantages: they are very unpretentious, grow quickly, bloom in young age, can grow everywhere, even on clay, frost, shadowy and extraordinarily beautiful.

There are about 2 millions of chestnut trees in Kiev. About twenty of them are more than 150 years old. Among them we have 350 years old Peter Mohyla's chestnut tree (25 meters high and 1.1 meter in diameter) and 200 years old chestnut tree near St. Sophia Cathedral (24 meters high, 1.15 meters in diameter). [source]

Chestnut tree is the symbol of Kiev. Chestnut leaf and bloom were on the official coat of arms of Ukraine during soviet period.

This symbol is often used on emblems by Kiev organizations, companies, etc.

We have few types of chestnut tree in Kiev: horse chestnut, Ohio buckeye and red horse chestnut. They all are not edible. Also there are white and pink colors of chestnut blossom.

Remember, I showed you few photos of the chestnut tree in front of my window in my April post. Well, it changed a lot. Have a look.

Here are some photos of chestnut trees from different parts of Kiev.

Chestnut trees near the main building of National Technical University of Ukraine 'Kiev Polytechnic Institute' (where I'm about to graduate).

Chestnut trees near the red building of Taras Shevchenko's National University.

Chestnut trees on the main street of Kiev - Khreshchatyk street.

Chestnut trees on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square).

Hope you enjoyed my little excursion. Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Embroidery Companion by Alicia Paulson

Hi there! I hasten to share my happiness with you! Yesterday finally I received a package from amazon with my new book - "Embroidery Companion" by Alicia Paulson!

It came!!! I was so happy when I received a notification - a small piece of thin paper with my surname uncorrectly translated into Ukrainian. We ran to the post office, wondering if we can get our package using documents with correct surname, waited in a queue, explained the problem with surnames, finally got the package - a carton box with two books. We handled it in our hands for few seconds, looked at each other and quickly started to open the box, unwrapped the books... and breathed a little bit of American air, that we believed left between the pages. :) We definitely miss US more and more after spending 5 unforgettable month there last year.

Now I'll tell you a story about ordering these books. I was ordering a present for my boyfriend's birthday ("Thinking with Type" by Ellen Lupton - also a very good book with nice design, a great typography guide, we'll use it for our web development projects) and decided to make a little present for myself also. How clever I am. :) Anyway, we wanted to check buying on amazon from Ukraine, cuz we usually have problems with international purchases/shipments here. And of course, shipping to Ukraine isn't too cheap, unfortunately. I also had a $25 amazon gift card, that I won on a giveaway on one nice website I follow - and I was waiting for a good opportunity to spend that money on something useful and pleasant.

I don't know why I had chosen book about embroidery, I used to do this some time ago, but I never was a fun. Well, now I understood that embroidery is a great thing for decoration. I can decorate my amigurumi, particularly their clothes, using it. I always wanted to make my own handmade embroidered shirt - national Ukrainian dress. I even have details with transfered design on them. They just need to be embroidered and sewed together. Hope one day I'll finish this and will be able to wear embroidered shirt made by myself. For now I have his one made by my grandma. You won't believe, but I was wearing it when I was a child and it still fits me. I love it and I love wearing it very much. It reminds me about my grandmother and I know that she made it with love for me. That's much more valuable than shirts from the supermarket.

And now enjoy some photos from my new book. They are beautiful and inspirational.

I discovered crewelwork for myself from this book! It a very interesting technique. Can wait to try...

I'm really happy that I have chosen this book. It will be a great embroidery companion for me.

See you soon and have a great day!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New crochet creation

In my previous post I've mentioned a new amigurumi family member. Yes. It is a girl. She has red hair and is wearing her new blue striped crochet dress. She is not completed yet, but anyway I want to share with you. Have a look.

Check back soon for new updates! ;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

9th of May

Today is the 9th of May and Ukraine as long as other post-soviet countries is celebrating a Victory Day, that marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the Second World War. It is the 66th anniversary this year, but we still have some veterans alive. This day is an official national holiday. I've spent this day in my small home town Pryluky and we've got a little parade with orchestra here. Also there was a small exhibition of retro cars.

It was a nice sunny day, so I had an opportunity to take few nice photos of flowers I found during our after-parade walking.

Some blue flowers.

Apple blossom.

Dandelion and a bee.

We were walking in the historical area of our town, there are few old churches here. I'm going to make a small excursion for you later.

Yesterday we've got a mini sushi party. Just salmon-cucumber sushi.

Also I caught some sky in my purple tea cup while drinking tea with purple wrapped chocolates :).

After all that we had a family crochet time. My mom was working on her patchwork blanket.

And I've created a new amigurumi family member!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flickr Favorites "Shiny"

1. Amethyst Vision, 2. Amethyst Crystal, 3. Purple and magenta beaded butterfly necklace Glasswing Jewellery, 4. Purple, 5. shiny & distracting, 6. Purple Bird Weed, 7. Purple Baloons, 8. Purple Crocheted hoops, 9. Butterfly Bracelet

I'm glad to join this nice tradition - at the beginning of every month Atrmind gives the theme for flick favorites mosaic. This month it's "Shiny". I decided to connect this with my love of purple color. The selecting process was a great pleasure for me - I've got a good portion of purple-shiny-therapy. Thanks a lot, Artmind!