Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Visas & spider webs

Yesterday I received my new UK Visa - spousal one this time. The changes in visas are good representations of my life: from Working Holiday Maker to Highly Skilled Migrant to Spousal.

On Saturday I went out to photograph the leftovers of the fog, but ended up taking photos of spider webs instead.

1. Spiderweb low in the grass, 2. Behind the vase, 3. Caught leaf, 4. Detail of spiderweb

Saturday, 27 September 2008


TATE Modern

Have you ever attempted to push a pram with one hand against the oncoming crowd, to keep an eye on your child to make sure she doesn’t fall off the bridge or get stepped onto and to take photos all at the same time? My multitasking abilities are improving daily. Luckily for me the Millennium Bridge has a small mesh section, though which one can see the shore beneath and while Cat was looking down in fascination I snapped one good photo to remind her about our Friday outing to get Papa from his work place.

Millennium Bridge & St Paul's Cathedral

Friday, 26 September 2008

Reading & Listening

I went on the book reading binge, which means that I haven’t done much crafting and my brain turned into the muddled confusion of ideas. Once I’ll sort them out, I’ll try to write about some of the books I read in the last two weeks.

Actually looking at my short craft list of 8 items, most of them start with “figure out the materials required” or “buy the materials required”, so hopefully I’ll find time to go shopping on the weekend.

I do manage to draw almost every day – there are very few things that make me as happy as drawing. Fresh flowers come close.

I’m also knitting a baby blanket while listening to TED (highly recommend) and interviews with Sir Ken Robinson, but the blanket deserves its own blog post. I used to love listening to the radio as a child and glad to discoverer the availability of online podcasts that can be listened whenever one has time.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Colour Inside and Out

I love colour, but until recently was afraid of it: I struggled to tell which colours worked well together; I would often wistfully walk past bright clothes; I would settle for safe blacks, whites, browns and neutrals. And then I started beading and taking photos and looking at the incredibly beautiful photos and creations of others.

I started to notice my yearning for having brighter colours in my surroundings and clothes, my desire to confidently use colour in my own work, my wish to understand the colour theory. I read, but more importantly I looked for colour lessons in other’s work and nature. And is there a better colour theory teacher than nature?

Eventually I joined A Year of Color group on Flickr, created and run by HappyThings. Last year, every week, she choose a combination of two colours, this year’s the theme is Colour Inside & Out. Having to photograph a certain colour each week really makes me pay attention to my surroundings and find colours in the most unexpected places. I didn’t think we have much red in our house, but I found some and finding red outside during autumn is too easy.

Since the new year of colour started just last week, you can also join and discover the colour in your life.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Silver knot

I finished making another Chinese knot necklace, this one with the lampwork bead by Kathryn Ward.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Tapestry of water

With finest needles
finest beads
lawn and dew are making
a tapestry of water...
From Entries on Light by Mimi Khalvati

Saturday, 20 September 2008

First machine sewing project

I bought a sewing machine. Actually, according to my Flickr photostream, it happened a month ago; but last weekend I finally started my first sewing (and second embroidery) project and finished it on Thursday.
Even while making this simple coin purse I learned a lot. I guess there is no substitute for learning by doing, but to prevent myself from making too many silly mistakes I will be grateful for any sewing book recommendations. I have two books titled Complete Sewing Course (one mine, one from the library), but the amount of the information in them is overwhelming. I would prefer something that teaches some basic skills in small chunks with lots of projects for each skill set. Our library recently upgraded their computer system and the side benefit was that now they link to the large number of other libraries and I can reserve books from any of them for free to be delivered to my local library. So lately I was able to find almost anything I wanted to read.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Discovering the world: wooden blocks

1. Short & tall, 2. Dinner time, 3. Nap time, 4. Someone isn't sleeping

After seeing Cat stack up cardboard boxes, I remembered the wooden blocks my parents bought at the beginning of the year and took them out for her to play with. She is using only round blocks to create tiny towers (you can see one on the main photo), but loves watching us make elaborate constructions and enjoys knocking them down.

P.S. She is past her sickness, though still has a horrible sounding cough.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Back to posting

I am back to blogging, at least I think I am, though I’m starting to give up any idea of the regular posting. Cat was sick for last few days and slept really badly: waking up often at night and getting no more than 45 minutes of sleep in the afternoon. Any disturbance to my routine makes me feel lost and unable to find energy and time for writing down my thoughts, even though there is some free time left.

The oatmeal bread (recipe from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course) worked out really well and I'm eager to make it again. I decided to improve my cooking skills and so borrowed Delia's book from the library intending to go through all the sections and recipes systematically. However looking at the contents I straight away realised that my plan will fail - there are SIX chapters on various baking and desert making and I couldn't resist trying these recipes first.

Today, after Cat woke up at 5:30, I made scones for breakfast. They came out lighter than I expected, but are delicious. There is slightly different scone recipe on Delia's website. There are plenty of other great recipes there and useful cooking tips.

Here is some miscellaneous info for you about me - I tried scones for the first time at 19!

Thursday, 11 September 2008


I was actually planning to write a longish post today, but after spending about 3+ hours booking flights to Australia (online and eventually by calling the travel agent) all I want to do is relax (and bake some bread). The flights are booked (thanks to the second travel agent, who seemed to know what she is doing unlike the first one). Cat and I will be in Oz from the 3rd of December until 9th of January and Clive from 25th till 9th.

Monday, 8 September 2008

New name

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
William Shakespeare. Romeo & Juliet

While creating a user picture for Julia, I finally tackled making a new header for myself and in the process changed the name of my blog. It was bothering me for awhile that I don't have Fioleta anywhere in it's name; and with the Cat growing and this blog becoming less about her and more about me the "Ordinary Miracles" name no longer felt right (though don't think that I don't consider myself a miracle - we are all miraculous). I reserve the option of changing the name again, but for now I'll call my blog "Fioleta's Journeys". And here is the small good bye to the old name (sent to me by Driftwood):

Friday, 5 September 2008

Silk & wood

After all the fun of the long weekend Cat decided to sleep better at night and less during the day; and I'm still adjusting to the new routine and haven't done much crafting or writing or photo taking.

However I made another autumn present for myself - Chinese Button knot necklace with wooden beads.

Olive green is one of my favourite colours, so I couldn't resit getting some silk cord in that colour even though the shop had very little left and I wasn't sure if it will be long enough to make a necklace. On my return home I remembered about the wooden beads I had for at least a year and was very glad to finally use as I love the feel and look of wooden beads, but didn't want to have necklace made out of them only. I was very glad to find out that there is enough cord for it to just fit over my head. Very good and easy to follow instructions for making knots can be found in Chinese Knots for Beaded Jewellery book by Suzen Millodot )

I had to take the photo of the unfinished necklace while the sun was out (it was raining for 3 days and the forecast predicts more rain): I tightened the knots a bit more and still have to cut of and seal the ends using cigarette lighter flame (don't think we have one in the house).

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Welcome, Autumn.

The signs of autumn were around for a long time, but now the summer is officially over and I can accept the trueness of these signs. Autumn and spring are my favourite seasons, but it is hard not to feel slightly sad while putting away summer clothes that didn’t get much wear this year. However, I can now enjoy the crisp freshness of the morning autumn air, the sound of rain at night and the sight of fog in the mornings. Welcome, Autumn.