Sunday 26 February 2012

Blog award, and search terms

MrsC did me a great favour and nominated me for a blog award. I mean, that means someone reads my blog, and enjoys it, and that means what I'm doing here, sitting in front of a computer, does have some meaning for someone, not just me. That's very nice for a blogger to know.

As blogger awards usually do, this one also comes with the obligation to nominate other people. Five people who have under 200 followers. I'm not sure I'll come up with five, but let's see...

Jan-ul, whom I happen to know, a little bit, in real life, and who makes all sorts of beautiful things and shares tidbits from her life on her blog - it's an ecclectic mix, but all of it is interesting in some way. She definitely deserves more followers than the few she's got now.

She Wears Shwe shwe - I have no idea how many followers she's got, but she's certainly getting next to no comments (and I'm definitely partly to blame myself, because often I don't know what to say, I'm just staring in awe). So head her way, please. You'll get to see lots of beautiful South African fabric. That's always a good thing, right?

Searching for a Balance - ditto about followers. Lisa's blog is thoughtful and fun and nice to look at, and shares all those pretty little things in one's life, the beauty of kitchen dishes and cats sitting on windowsills... I can relate.

Peanut Butter Macramé - only 48 followers? I did not expect her to make it on this list. Lady Katza makes such fabulous outfits that that number is really beyond me! And yes, outfits. She makes pretty clothes and styles them fabulously.

Sew And So - One of the first I thought of, but originally I thought the borderline was 100 followers, and was a bit sad (and happy at the same time) to see Becky had 108 or some such number listed. But, hey, it's 200, so she makes it - I love her blog. I don't read it quite regularly, but I love it. It's one of the first sewing blogs I ever read. She writes in such detail about her sewing, and does a lot of refashioning which I like.

So that's five people in the end! And I suppose I could find more. Maybe I'll start my own blog award to honour them. :-)

In other "news", I looked into my Blogger statistics, after some time, and looked at the search terms - a regular blogger entertainment. It's a bit funny, but mostly weird, and also humbling, because I'm in no way an expert on the things people search for.

Why do three of the search terms that come up regularly have something to do with Edwardian clothing, when I made it quite clear here that it's not an area I'm knowledgeable, or particularly interested in? That's what makes searching blogs for information so... unreliable. But also fun, because you often get to see the things you search for through other ordinary people's eyes.

My favourite search term is "estonian silver jewelry brooch traditional dress tallinn". It's a bit of an obligation. One day, I promise myself, I will have a post on my blog that will fulfill that search. (Currently, it leads to the Latvian folk costumes in Ventspils. A lot of a leeway there.)

Thursday 16 February 2012

The Literary Heroine Blog Party 2012

Kellie is holding another Literary Heroine Blog Party!

The questions in this year’s questionnaire are similar to last year’s, so I’m leaving some of them out, because I’ve already answered them.

Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!

Completely random likes: I like the smell of phloxes (my favourite flowers EVER), clover, gum/resin (the stuff that comes out of trees when you cut them – never would cut trees just for it, though!), our cats‘ hair (it’s such a lovely, dry, warm smell).

Five of your favorite historical novels?
Still the same as last time, I think: Filosofská historie, Pan Tadeusz, The Secret of the Kingdom, Quo Vadis, Silver Rose/Green Brigade. I was considering others that could go on that list, but in the end I decided these pretty much summed up everything I like in historical novels.
Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why?I don’t remember the name of the hero of Green Brigade anymore :-(, but I liked him a lot. He was young, and still searching for his place in the world, but already had ideas for what was right and what was wrong and what he wanted to do. Just looking for ways to do what was right. Also, he was the chivalrous sort of hero. I liked that. Simple.
Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Hard to decide between so many characters! Especially as with some of the books it’s difficult to decide who is a main character and who is secondary.
I love many of the “figures“ in Pan Tadeusz, and Robak (whom I listed as my favourite character last time) is probably a secondary character; but I think my favourite secondary character from all those books is actually Frybort from Filosofská historie, because he’s fun as a secondary character. He does not take life very seriously; yet he takes some things in life seriously (and has fun doing them). It’s a refreshing sort of character to read about.

If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?
One of my dream vacations from last year happened! And I did nearly everything I wanted to do there...
I think for the purposes of this year’s questionnaire, I’ll pick Wales. and I would do lots of hiking, and visit the old mines, and old railways, and old buildings, and whatever else old is there to see. :-)

What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?My fascination of last year is diminished now. See, I do not look for time periods and cultures in books, I rather look for good stories written well.
But out of those five historical books I listed, two take place in the first century and among the first Christians; another book I considered listing also takes place around there. So I guess that could be it; probably because there are good stories to tell about that time and setting.

If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?I’d still enjoy being one of the heroines of Božena Němcová’s fairy-tales; but I’ve been thinking about Susan Pevensie a lot lately, so perhaps I’d be her. An England Susan Pevensie who’s coming to terms with her life and what her time in Narnia actually meant for her and that yes, it did happen. Something like that.

Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?My old panda teddy (made by my aunt; I got him when I was four or some such age). He goes with me nearly everywhere, now it’s a habit. The photo below is from my first time abroad ever, in Austria in 1999.

In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…
I kind of backed away from this question last time. I have to agree with one of the other participants, though: for me, it’s definitely Jesus. I did not realise it last time, but he was my first hero ever, and all the others have some aspects of him in them, I think.
Some of the others: Winnetou, Edmund Pevensie / King Edmund the Just, Jarka Metelka, John Walker, Zayne Carrick.
Do not worry if you do not know them. I think I’m going to do a series of posts on my favourite heroes. One day. For now, why I like them:
Winnetou (from Karl May’s books) for being noble and a proponent of peaceful solutions, and not speaking more than necessary, and being the amazing sort of hero who likes apple strudel and tells the lady who made it.
Edmund for becoming better than he used to be, and being a good brother and a good king and a good person overall. And knowing railway lines and connections.
Jarka Metelka (who comes from a Czech comics and books series) for being generally awesome yet very humble, never stealing the spotlights. He can be funny, too, which is a nice quality in a character.
“Captain” John Walker (from Arthur Ransome’s books) for always doing his best, and admitting failures. For doing things for others, not for himself.
Zayne Carrick (who comes from the only Star Wars comics series I’d love to own one day, and here’s why:) for being one of the best heroes ever. In such an unexpected setting, no less. He’s clumsy and makes mistakes, i.e. he’s human; but he’s always doing what he thinks right, always thinks of others, however lowly or adversary they may be, and does things for others, even giving up his own safety (potentially life) for others. And he never kills anybody. John Jackson Miller, I like your hero of Star Wars more than the original ones. Much more.

Sum up your fashion style in five words.Eclectic. Reckless. Classic and elegant wannabe. (OK, that’s six words. Please, disregard “and”.)

Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.
The Baltics. Especially the few days at Karitsa, which I will hopefully finally write about soon. It was such a special time.
(I’m looking a bit beaten in some of the photos; I had a running nose as a reaction to heats. The fact that it disappeared eventually and never came back that summer is one of those great things that happened in Karitsa. A small great thing.)

Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.
“Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” – 1 John, 3,3
One of the biggest revelations to me recently. Not exactly the verse itself; the discovery that the words I put into one of my characters’ mouth years and years ago are actually based on an actual biblical verse. It felt right when I wrote it; now I know why.
And it’s something that’s inspiring to me right now.

"Josh, who do you think is a pure man? Spiritually."
"Spiritually? Nobody of mankind."
Vladyka grew a little sadder. Josh's hand took his shoulders and lead him out.
"Look at the sky," said Josh. Vladyka looked up. There was an amazing expanse of wonderful pure and fresh blue colour spread above them - such a great wonder on the first of October.
"This is pure. See? It's a great miracle. Now it's incredible having no clouds in the sky; they will certainly come soon. But you will remember this beautiful one. And it will stay beautiful… If you try being pure you will be pure for others. They will appreciate you as someone who wants to be pure, does something for it and there is something of it in him, and then that awareness of the purity remains. Understood?"
"Perhaps. And what does being pure mean?"
"Well, this is difficult. But it contains unselfishness, kindness, self-denial, humility and such things. You know, like not keeping good things only for yourself and avoiding bad things. Nobody knows exactly. God knows. Don‘t you mind me speaking in such way?"
"No, actually."
"Well, Jesus was like that… Perhaps this could help you."

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Refashioning, Alabama style

It's the style of Alabama Studio and Natalie Chanin, but I am only obliged for it to Anna of Pleasant View Schoolhouse.

My design placement is much more random than theirs. It's because I'm trying to cover stains on the T-shirt. There will be much more of the appliques; right now, it's on a slightly weird spot - because the stains were on a slightly weird spot.

I'm using motifs from a border pattern I found years ago on, and some I am inventing myself as I go. I hope the end result will look fine...

Friday 10 February 2012

The Baltics 2011: Tallinn, part 4 - The flower festival 1

There is finally, truly winter outdoors - not just temperatures under zero, which they have been for quite a long time now, but also SNOW! Sparkling in the afternoon sun; and I'm sitting inside, in the warmth... of 18 degrees Celsius. *ahem*
So, let's go back to summer and flowers!

Because there was a flower festival in Tallinn. There were themeatic flower arrangements (or whatever you'd call it) - now that I look through my photos, it seems most of the themes were "Rahvusmustrid" ("National patterns") or "Rannaküla aed" ("Coastal village garden") - I guess the themes were set? Most of them were created by Estonians, but there were some by people from other countries as well.

It was situated outside the old city walls, at the North-West side, I think.

This arrangement was called "Fisherman's Dream".

Cornflower is Estonia's national flower.

This "national pattern" was inspired by crop circles.

While this "national pattern" display was inspired by prehistoric artifacts.

Here's one traditional folk pattern.

And one, I presume, traditional garden.

In the meantime, the temperature in the house has risen to 20 degrees, which is more pleasant to live in. More flowers next time. :-)