Friday, February 29, 2008

100 DC - season II

Have a cookie and read on! *^v^*
(recipe later in this post)

Today is the first day of my second 100 Day Challenge. I promise (myself) to be more concentrated on my goals and the means stay the same: meditating, exercising, affirming, keeping a journal, keeping my eyes and ears open to the world that surrounds me.
This challenge will last till Sunday, June 8, 2008.

Here are the things I want to manifest in my life:

I want to loose weight and be fit again. Mainly for the sake of being fit, because I was really unpleasantly surprised during my recent holidays when I had big problems with walking up and down the hills and even tall stairs!...
I want to sell my paintings. Yes, I really want my "children" to go out and meet the world. ^^
I want to manifest an abundance of money into my life. I'm tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
I'll be still working on manifesting a new place to live, this wish has a huge potential!
And one more thing - I want to manifest a new me, not afraid of traveling by car. Yes, I'm scared of car trips, not as a driver but as a passenger, irrespective of who's driving, and longer trips are a nightmare to me... I don't know why, I've never been in any major accident (and the one I was in seemed rather funny when it was happening...), so I have no idea about the source of my fear. But anyway, the season of travels is coming and I don't want to suffer anymore.

GO! *^v^*

Now, the recipe for the cookies (taken from the blog of one Polish cooking enthusiast ^^):

Cookies with white chocolate and dried cranberries (and raisins)

- 1 cup of flour, 1/2 tspn of baking powder, 1/2 tspn of salt, 1 cup of oatmeal - mix together,
- mix into a soft cream: 125 g of butter, 1/2 cup of dark muscovado sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar,
- add 1 egg and 1/2 tspn of wanilla extract,
- add dry ingredients, mix everything well,
- add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup of nuts (walnuts, pecans, ect), 3/4 cup
of white chocolate chips or 1 crushed chocolate bar. (I also added some raisins).

- form a dough (it will be sticky, don't worry), put it into the fridge for about 15 minutes,
- then heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsjus/375 degrees Fahrenheit, put a baking paper on a tray
- with your hands form small round cookies and place them on a baking tray, make sure you leave about 1 inch between them because they grow during baking!
- bake for 15 minutes in 180 degrees Celsjus/375 degrees Fahrenheit, when they are ready, take the tray out and let the cookies rest for a while, they will get harder.

Be prepared for a wonderful smell of white chocolate melting almost immediately when you place the baking tray into the oven! Next time I may reduce the amount of sugar (they are REALLY sweet in this version), experiment with milk chocoalet instead of a white one and maybe add some more nuts or sunflower seeds/other dried fruit.*^v^*

PS.: Look who's here! *^v^*

Thursday, February 28, 2008

100 Day Challenge finished

Today is my last day of my first 100 Day Challenge.
It was a great experience throughout the whole one hundred days, although I wouldn't be myself if I sticked to the plan of working towards that challenge everyday... Well, there were times when I totally forgot about it and then came back to it after some time. But all in all I think I enjoyed it and want more! *^v^*

Let's look through the things I wanted to manifest in my life:

I definitely was constantly inspired for my paintings, not only that but also inspired for my sewing, art journaling and other projects & ideas! *^v^*
I didn't sell my paintings but this category needs more of my attention and some marketing skills, plus some braver attitude towards it, I am aware of that.
I didn't manifest an abundance of money in my life, so this point stays for the next 100 Day Challenge! =^v^= .
I definitely attracted into my life people who inspired me, supported me and helped me with what I'm doing. I found some great books and a great mentor - my Women Circle leader Maria. So, this task can be regarded as "checked". ^^
I also wanted to manifest a new place to live, which didn't happen but I think I got inspired to find my way to live my life and it may result in a new place to live outside the city, who knows? And if not, I have some plans for improving my current residential situation. *^v^*

I highly recommend this exercise to anyone, it teaches disciplines, concentration on goals and brings a lot of happiness when things start to manifest!

Tomorrow I'm starting my second 100 DC. =^v^=

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New arrivals

This email came to me yesterday:
"I can confirm that your order was dispatched on the 18th February."

What was my order?
Rowan magazines, of course! *^v^*
So, it's on the way, somewhere on the continent, maybe already reaching the Polish border, maybe tomorrow it will land in my mailbox?!...
I really must hurry with Durrow!

I wanted to show you my new painting in progress:

Looking good already, isn't it? ^^ I'm really happy how it's coming along, there will be of course a lady there in the corner, plus some more details. As you may remember, I somehow repeated here what I've done on my journal page, because I felt it should be expanded on the canvas plus Robert said "It's a pity you did it in the journal, so it cannot be looked at all the time."
It will be different, though, no little girl and the Bird-like creatures, and I have a new phrase to accompany that painting. Keep coming back and all will be revealed! *^v^*

Rho, I decided to leave the dress the way it is - just to walk slower and pay more attention to the surroundings. Be more present where I am at the moment, not just rush around. If it means leaving home earlier in order not to be late - so be it! I'll try to take some good photos of it this weekend. *^v^* And wood fires are really great, I observed that food cooked on the wood fire taste better and keeps warm for longer than the food cooked on the gas stove. It seems that wood is much more energy efficient (can I say it that way?) than gas. And definitely more magical!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

10 things worth cheering about

Following Penelope's example, I'm listing 10 things worth cheering about right now:

1. Cat in my lap during breakfast.
2. Semolina with cranberries and cranberry juice for breakfast (my latest first choice! *^v^*).
3. Warm breeze on my cheeks (Spring is definitely coming! ^^).
4. Arranged dinner with my friends next Sunday (I'm cooking! ^^).
5. Waiting for Rowan knitting magazine.
6. I'm painting today!
7. Mango in my fridge.
8. Art goodies I'm going to get from my foreign friends! ^^
9. My husband's good ideas!
10. Fingers covered in acrylic paint.

What are you cheering about? *^v^*

My two latest journal pages: Mierkinie is the village we spent our short vacation.

This one was fun to create! ^^

I especially like the fish - they are lifted above the page on the folded paper, yikes! *^v^*

The latest photo of Robert's Durrow (all covered in cat hair...): as you can see I'm knitting both fronts and the back at the same time (I'll split them when time comes for decreases), plus I'm knitting cables on the body, too (special request! *^v^*). It's coming fairly quickly, i hope to finish it this week, Robert cannot wait to try it on! =^v^=

Monday, February 25, 2008

The story of one dress

I'd like to share with you something that gave me a real food for thought, and it's connected with my recent holidays.

One day before our trip I sewn this dress out of two pairs of my old jeans (yes, it's a dress). I worn it for the first time on Thursday, 14th, and used it throughout our holidays. I traveled in the car in it, did some sight-seeing, visited a museum, ran up and down the stairs in our guest house several times a day, even went for a long walk in the mountains.
It was absolutely comfortable all the time and I never thought it could be otherwise.

Then, on Wednesday after we came back home, I was in a hurry to get to my Women Circle meeting, so I had to do big steps and even run to catch a tram.
And you know what?
This is not a dress for being in a hurry.
It's too narrow, my legs got caught in it when I was rushing through the city and I felt like I'd fall down for a moment or two.

Me, in this dress, doesn't fit the city rush anymore.

Some more photos from my trip:
Our guest house.

Me knitting Durrow. *^v^*
Robert in the snow.

Robert keeping us warm. *^v^*

Folk Art Museum in Sejny.

Kate and me (in Lucinda cardigan! ^^).

The gang in front of the old Lithuanian style house (unfortunately it was closed during Winter and we couldn't see the inside...)

PS.: Durrow is eating up the skeins like a hungry animal, I'm glad I bought additional yarn! I also made some modifications to the pattern - as you know I'm knitting a cardigan, not a pullover, but also I added two cables at the front and two at the back according to Robert's request. *^v^*

PS 2.: Yes, Krissie, it is a Suwałki region, and I was high up, very close to the border with Lithuania, at the Hańcza lake.

PS 3.: Thank you, my dears, for your offers of sending me the glue and brads, you are great! *^v^* PJ, send me your email, please, because I cannot find yours on your blog...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I'm back!

Still a bit tired after my short holidays, I'm back and full of energy and inspirations of different kinds! *^v^*

First of all, I've brought several cooking recipes that I'm going to try out at home very soon (I'll share them with you, of course! ^^)

I finished knitting both sleeves of Robert's Durrow's, sewed them both and knitted about 15 cm of the body of the cardigan. Am I fast or what?! *^v^*

(Here is me modeling one sleeve in our bathroom mirror, the bathroom was really tiny in our room! ^^)

On the other hand, I didn't knit any rows on my mittens (they even stayed at home...) and didn't touch my art journal... In my defense, I have several ideas in my head and collected some ephemera for the spreads. ^^

I let myself be inspired by the colours of the Winter landscape of the Suwalszczyzna region, just look at those photos and see for yourself:

We stayed at a very nice place with friendly owners and great food, took several trips to the nearby towns or places of interest but mostly we stayed indoors, drank beer in front of the fireplace with cats in our laps, crafted a lot, talked a lot, had fun and forgot about the outside world. *^v^*

Back to reality, I have some journaling and painting plans, I cannot wait till my Rowan comes, I'm knitting Durrow and it eats the yarn skeins up like crazy (lucky me I ordered some more skeins...), I want Spring to be here already!, I'm having another Women Circle meeting tonight, a new batch of paints came and Robert was so kind as to go the Post Office to pick them up *^v^*, and I have lots of laundry waiting for me, so off I go for now. =^v^=

Now, one more thing, here is my big request to my American readers: who would be so extremely kind to send me a bottle of Mod Podge or Golden Gel Medium Matte and a handful of simple flat brads?
I can offer you a big thick envelope full of collage papers and ephemera, you won't be disappointed!
I cannot find any good glue for my journaling here, I've tried acrylic medium matt by Talens but it doesn't work... I can see that it leaves the thin white smudges on the paper, and it's not what I need for gluing down the papers or napkins in my artworks... But I've heard wonders about both Mod Podge and Golden medium. And brads - well, the only ones I could buy were the tall metal ones, which are not suitable for my journal.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How about that!...

Today I used the pearl sugar I got from Hanna - and look at the result, a whole gang of cute kanelbullar! *^v^*

Tomorrow I'm leaving you, my dear Readers, for 5 days, because we are having a short vacation with our friends, so I baked the cookies to take a piece of home with us. ^^ We are going to the Polish Great Lakes region, although there are no swimming plans, not this time of the year. I promise lots of photos and maybe some finished journal pages (I'm taking with me my big journal and some art supplies, what to choose, what to choose?...), I'm also going to knit, of course. And drink wine, and sit in front of the fireplace, and generally have fun! ^^

But first, I promised you the photos of my new products for the folk gallery - here they are:
The Chickens!
And The Eggs!

The Chickens can be used as egg warmers for your breakfast boiled eggs, and the Eggs are the Polish Easter tradition - called Pisanki (plural).

Here is how I knitted them (you can modify the pattern, these are just guidelines):
- cast on 11 stitches (leaves a proper size hole to fill the egg with a cotton wool after it's finished), distribute them among three dpns
* means "repeat"
r1: k
r2: k1, [m1, k1]*
r3: k
r4: k
r6: k2, [m1, k2]*, m1, k1
r7: k
r8: k
r9: k3, [m1, k3]*, m1, k1
r10: k

- here insert a 10 or 12 row pattern of your choice

r10: k
r9: k3, [k2tog, k2]*, k2tog
r8: k
r7: k
r6: k2, [k2tog, k1]*, k2tog
r5: k
r4: k
r3: k
r2: k1, [k2tog]*
r1: k
r0: k1, [k2tog]*
- put the yarn through all the remaining stitches, pull tightly
Fill the egg with cotton wool, sew up the other end. Voila! *^v^*

And two new spreads from my journal:
This one is based on a saying about the rat race, it just came to my mind in the form of such picture:

This is the Year of the Rat after all! *^v^*

And this one is a response to Suzi Blu's prompt - accordion pages. I added two kinds of "beyond-the-surface" elements on my "Body is my temple" spread.

The accordion page on the right - it can be closed with a paper band or open ad unfolded,

and the Turkish fold page.

I love such elements and I want to add more of them in my journal and my paintings, yikes! *^v^*

Look, what I found in my mailbox this morning:

A handmade Valentine postcard from Myriam! Thank you very much, it's one of these moments when I think to myself "I should have thought about that, too!...", but in fact my letter to you is on the way! =^v^= Darling, you will be soon working in your own art journal, I can feel it!
Happy Valentine to you, and to all of my dear Readers, have fun as I intend to do tomorrow and for the rest of our 5 day vacation (and for the rest of my life, in fact! *^v^*).

PS.: I've just found out that my dream pattern from Rowan 41 - Joy cardigan, is not knit but crocheted!... Oh, no!...

PS.2: My dear American readers, I will have a big request to you when I come back from my vacation, so please remind me about it, okay? =^v^=

PS.3: Jezzabell, nie zostawiłaś mi adresu email i nie mam jak Ci odpowiedzieć, napisz do mnie a odpowiem Ci na pytanie o etsy! *^v^*

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tree in a cup

My latest finished art journal pages:

"Talks with Relations" is the name of the first Clan Mother (details in the book by Jamie Sams , we work with this book on my Women Circle meetings). I feel that stones are my very close relations.

D'Blogala's prompt IT'S TIME.
I know that clocks have usually two hands, but that's how I wanted it to look like. Surprise - the hands are actually movable! *^v^* (I sewn them onto a page, couldn't find flat brads for it, they are not available in Poland it seems...)
More and more I'm having this feeling that I want to leave the flat surface of the page and go 3D!

I started Durrow for Robert and I love, love, love the yarn I bought!
It's a Polish brand by Interfox called Merino, 50% wool/50% acrylic, it' soft and very good for cables, a doesn't have this acrylic squeakiness, if you know what I mean. ^^
I also am very pleased with the on-line shop I bought it from - the shipment was quick and I got tons of yarn samples, yikes! ^^ I will buy this yarn for more projects, as soon as my Rowan arrives! *^v^*

I'll leave you with a Saturday morning tea art - Robert drank the tea and that's what was left on the bottom of his cup - a tree (or is it a cloud?...): *^v^*

Happy Sunday! =^v^=

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I want to be a Rowan girl!

I finally made up my mind and bought two Rowan knitting magazines, number 41 that I wanted for a long time and the fresh number 43, the new Spring/Summer issue! *^v^*
Here are my favourite designs from that issue (click them to see the larger versions):

I know it's A LOT and there's no way I could knit all of them, but I will knit some of them definitely, because they are just lovely and I want to be w Rowan girl! *^v^*
I cannot wait when the magazines land in my hands!