Monday, 10 July 2017

Photography Goals

"The sooner we become more intentional about communicating through our photography, the more powerful and clear our results will be"
- Mitchell Kanashkevich in Natural Light - Mastering a Photographer's Most Powerful Tool

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Have I an Object, Lord, Below?

Have I an object, Lord, below
Which would divide my heart with Thee;
Which would divert its even flow
In answer to Thy constancy?
Oh teach me quickly to return,
And cause my heart afresh to burn.

Have I a hope, however dear,
Which would defer Thy coming, Lord!
Which would detain my spirit here
(Where naught can lasting joy afford)?
From it, my Saviour, set me free,
To look, and long, and wait for Thee. 

Be Thou the object bright and fair
To fill and satisfy the heart;
My hope to meet Thee in the air,
And nevermore from Thee to part:
That I may undistracted be
To follow, serve and wait for Thee.

I have recently come to the conclusion that I lack a lot when it comes to memorization and storing away in my mind. I became aware of that when, as I sang to Bia through the day and its tasks, I saw that my repertoire was very limited.

Therefore I have made it a personal project to memorize hymns and verses. I do a considerable amount of work in the kitchen, and as there are kitchen cupboards on the walls, I got a clothes hanger with clips, snapped the hymnbook in and hung the improvisation from the cupboards' handles. Now, as I wash the dishes or cook, I work on memorizing whatever is hanging by either singing it or reciting it to Baby as she sits in her chair. So far I've learnt "Great is Thy Faithfulness". Now I am working on this one, which, as an  added thought, is one of my very favourite hymns. So beautiful! 

Next will be "How Great Thou Art"

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Butterflies Next to the Window


A pretty window always calls the attention...

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Out and About with Papa

This past winter and spring has been somewhat Hubby-less as he has had a couple of extra jobs he could only work at late in the evenings or on Saturdays. Therefore, it was with joy and excitement that Bia and I headed out with him last Thursday for a day together in the countryside/mountains. He had a small job to complete in a beautiful part of the country, so after he had finished we had the rest of the day to spend together among grass, rivers and hills.

Experiencing flowers for the first time! She also loved walking barefoot on the grass. I got to make her very first daisy chain! 
"That mountain over there is... (insert mountain's name)"
What a joy it was to go out once more among the beauty of creation with those whom I love best!
Hubby should finish the extra jobs soon, hopefully before the summer ends, so I am looking forward to more outings with him and Baby! ♥

Monday, 26 June 2017

Cherries

My parents-in-law have a very healthy, fruitful cherry tree. I had no idea how very fruitful a healthy cherry tree can be till one Saturday about a month ago my husband packed us off to my in-laws and spent the morning picking cherries. As my dad said later when I told him about it, "if the cherry tree is good, you can get bored of cherries!" I honestly don't know how many kilos Hubby picked in one morning - and the tree still had plenty left!

Needless to say, I spent the following week in the kitchen, choosing the best, fattest, juiciest cherries for cherry preserves and halving and stoning the rest for cherry jam.

I learnt last year that if you pick cherries, pick 'em with the stem attached. They will last longer and won't spoil.
Nine large jars of preserved cherries. Eat them cold during the summer or warm them up for a cozy winter snack!
I had to ask Hubby to pick some more the following week so that I could bake a cherry pie for him as an anniversary gift. He didn't know, of course, he just knew he had to pick some more because I'd used all of the cherries for preserves and jam.
Last winter we finished up all of the jams and preserves I'd done the previous couple of years, so this summer I have to get enough jam and preserves ready for another couple of years! Cherry jam and preserves, check.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Introducing...

...our first addition to the family:



Our baby girl Abigail Sofia (Bia for short), born January 24th at 17:14 hours and weighing 2,76 kg!

I know this blog post is more than four months overdue, plus I have no idea whether this blog is still read by anyone. However, one of my favourite sayings is "better late than never". Amidst giving birth in a different country to that where I live, becoming a mother, still being a wife, and catching up with studies, housework, and - yes, sleep, I haven't really had a chance to sit down and write on the blog.

Now I have, and I take the chance to let you know about this huge change in our lives! Little Bia is a funny, sweet baby who has just started to sleep well. She started out tiny, and is now wearing six and nine month old clothes. Everything that she manages to grab goes into her mouth, and she loves cooing, squealing and screaming. True to her name, she fills our days with joy!

Friday, 30 September 2016

I Am Not Alone

Running errands and talking on the phone,
I am pleasantly reminded that I am not alone.
Little tiny hands, a precious rounded knee
pushing and twisting that no one can see.
Oh sweet child kicking up your heels,
it is our little secret that only I can feel.
I look forward to your birth,
when I can kiss your skin,
but for now I will just smile,
as I feel you play within.

- Author Unknown

Monday, 25 April 2016

Introducing Alistair and Tristan

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I decided it was high time for a new pet. We had been long talking about getting a pet rat (influenced by my sister, who already had one and recommended it as the best option), and due to my birthday coming soon I asked my husband to get me one for me as a birthday gift.

Then, after much reading and research, we decided two rats would be better than one as they are very sociable animals, and two rats give about as much work as one. It follows that Alistair and Tristan came to be part of our pet family.

In their case, a picture is worth a thousand words. I'm so glad we got them! They are so sweet, loving, funny, and endlessly curious and adventurous. They never cease to surprise!

Tristan... he is white with grey patches.
Alistair. He is white with a black head and patches.
They enjoy being on my shoulders. Alistair was almost falling
asleep there... and Tristan was curious about the flash.
Part of the awesome cage the hubby included in the gift...
I'll keep you updated. I take plenty of pictures and videos of them as we play or they sleep or explore... What an adventure!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Thought on Two Verses in Luke 11

"And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.
"But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it."
Luke 11:27-28 
"The spiritual link formed by the Word is more intimate and enduring than any link formed in the flesh."
F. B. Hole, New Testament Commentary on Luke chapter 11 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

1st of March

Hidden away in my study at home, buried underneath skirt designs, discarded patterns and an occasional rolling cotton reel, the moment I leave for afternoon classes feels like emerging from a deep, narrow cave into an exulting victory of colour.

It is the 1st of March, and the streets of Romania are celebrating the arrival of Spring.

During the last several days Bucharest has gradually shown the signs of change, and flowers had become popular, but as suddenly as a firework explodes at the end of one bright trail in the sky, so has the city burst into one enormous artificial garden, and they dominate the space. Wherever I look there is the shadow of a flower.

Being in a closed space doesn’t make a difference. Once inside the subway station the invasion follows me here. Mixed perfumes reach me as they take over the atmosphere. Women, young and old, wait for the train to arrive, and walk, talk and sit with a posy in their hands. They hold tulips, roses, and hyacinths, and I even see a solitary, proud orchid among the crowd of common flowers. Some are held upright, others upside down. Some are in transparent wrapping, with tiny hearts decorating it. Others are inside a small, decorative bag or in a pretty wicker basket. The subway stops with a screeching of brakes, and I walk into the coach. The world may have advanced technologically, but today flowers have taken over.

An old lady sits in front of me in the swaying coach and in her dry, shriveled hand she holds a fresh, red rose. I watch her and am impressed by the contrast. However, what does it matter that its holder is wrinkled and wasted with age? The flower she is holding will remain pure and unblemished for the day and will give her a small pleasure in her tired life.

I emerge downtown and again the transformation shocks me. The boulevard has become populated by street vendors offering home grown flowers, and corners are crammed with baskets carrying blossoms of every sort and kind. Those who are fortunate enough as to have their own shops stock their display windows with bizarre arrangements to attract clients. It is a riot for the senses.

I rebel against walking inside the building, wanting more of the rich feast that is unfolding before my eyes. The colours and the smells, the feeling of being among fresh and young blooms, the promise of Spring they bring, all call to me and tempt me to stay longer in this unusual occurrence. I know that tomorrow all this will be over.

Ultimately my spirit submits once more to work and a closed door behind me. After all, I have the comfort of memory.

Friday, 15 January 2016

El Oscuro Rincón

"Heme aquí instalado de nuevo en el oscuro rincón del cual salí por un momento para tener el gusto de estrecharos la mano una vez más, (...) marchar un poco y recordar las agradables aunque inquietas horas de mi antigua vida. Cuando se deja una ciudad por otra, particularmente hoy que todos los grandes centros de población se parecen, apenas se percibe el aislamiento en que nos encontramos, antojándosenos al ver la identidad de los edificios, los trajes y las costumbres, que al volver la primera esquina vamos a hallar la casa a que concurríamos, las personas que estimábamos, las gentes a quienes teníamos costumbres de ver y hablar de continuo."
- Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Desde mi celda, Carta I

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Our Wisdom

"Our wisdom is to know that we can do nothing without the Lord Jesus - with Him, everything that is according to His will." 
- J. N. Darby, Collected Writings 

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year

Dear family and friends,


While the previous year transitions have not meant anything else to me other than time with my family and plenty of music and laughs, for some unknown reason, I have looked forward to changing to 2016 very much, and was very expectant. Now we are here I feel unexplainably joyous and excited, and, excuse the cliché, but I literally can't wait to see what is ahead of us.

To all of you, many blessings and much happiness in this new year we've started. I hope your time is full of everything you need and may you be showered with love!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Three Weeks...

...of Mediterranean beaches to walk along and pine tree forests to hike.
...of sunny, mild weather and not too cold temperatures.
...of bird watching outside the kitchen window at the diverse little 'uns that come to pick at fallen olives.
...of visiting old friends and enjoying catching-up conversations over a cuppa.
...of walking among cobbled streets in old towns and (yes!) taking pictures of worthy-of-note details.

...of staying at my parents' in my old childhood home!

This trip has been long-awaited and hoped for, and it doesn't seem real that we are actually here, that we've actually been here since Monday! Time is flying and I am trying desperately to enjoy every second of our stay here. I know that the parting day will come and we will ask ourselves, WHERE did the time go? Therefore, here is me, leaving in a rush so that I can drink in the beauty of time in Catalonia.

Friday, 4 December 2015

What I Know

'Tis what I know of Thee, my Lord and God,
That fills my soul with peace, my lips with song;
Thou art my health, my joy, my staff, my rod;
Leaning on Thee, in weakness I am strong.
- H. Boner 

Friday, 10 July 2015

On Romanian Expressions

"The limits of my language means the limits of my world"
- Ludwig Wittgenstein

As I re-read old entries on this year's scrapbook/diary/design/inspiration/life book I stumbled upon several expressions I jotted down once which are quite funny. Romanian is a fascinating language in many ways, and one of those is the idioms it has. They're not only funny, but if you imagine them being said in a villager's accent, they are even picturesque.

Here's the list of the favourites I collected:

  • A Romanian is not surprised - his face has fallen off (L-a picat fața).
  • A Romanian won't lose his temper - his mustard will jump off (Îi sare muștarul).
  • A Romanian won't lie to you - he'll sell you doughnuts (Vinde gogoși).
  • A Romanian won't tell you to stop wasting time - he'll tell you to stop rubbing the mint (Freca menta).
  • A Romanian doesn't have unusual ideas - he has a curly mind (Minte creață).
Of course, there are more, but these are the ones I chose and saved on my book as the funniest and most interesting of all. 

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Beginnings Matter

As I listened to a favourite piece of music I studied my reaction to it and realized that with that specific one the beginning was the part which gave me the goosebumps and took my breath away (literally). Mostly in other songs the middle part is the one where I find all the character, and there are some others where the end is the part that I wait for throughout the piece. But when it comes to beginnings...

Thinking about it, only two pieces came to mind in which the beginning is what I love most about the piece (make sure your volume is turned up!):



Daniel and I went to a Johann Strauss New Year's Concert in Barcelona in 2014, and one of the last pieces they played was The Blue Danube. As I live and breathe today, I tell you that when the lights turned down low and in the expectant silence the first violin notes were heard I got such a lump in my throat I couldn't breathe, and I got goosebumps all over. 

Beginnings matter!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Wedding Pictures Pt. 3: Getting Ready (Details)

The one year milestone is definitely behind us. We had a beautiful First Wedding Anniversary in Bulgaria (more to come on this, perhaps...), and my expressions of "I can't believe it!" and catchings of breath are over (or perhaps not so frequent).

However, I still enjoy going over the wedding pictures so much! I enjoy writing these posts because I get to look at them once more and each time I remember a small detail I hadn't noticed before. I love the small details that give meaning to a bigger picture, so these pictures are special to me.

Without further ado...

Hairclips and other things...
The special rose-centered accessory that the ladies who sewed my dress gifted me with.
Watching, waiting...
Tying...
Learning how to tie one's tie...
My lantana outside in the garden... so beautiful!
The rings...
The rings on my father's guitar... (Daniel plays the guitar beautifully)
My grandmother's pearls (which I've wanted to wear on my wedding day ever since I received them) along with
my father's guitar and my sweet Verdi, a life-long friend.
My sister attaching the rings to the cushion...
One of my bridesmaids playing the piano...
My sister checking my brother's tie...
Adding baby's breath to the bridesmaids' hair... *-* What a lovely idea!

Oh, what I'd give to re-live the whole day again... so beautiful, so precious, so unforgettable! ♥

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

On Baskets and Flowers

Do you remember this?


I expect not, because I don't recall ever posting it on my blog. I did, however, post it on my photography tumblr, so perhaps you might remember it.

A beautiful flower basket that Daniel gave me on the 14th of February 2014 during my visit to Romania. Wasn't it lovely? This, however, was more'n one year ago, and the basket, which I kept, was empty. It was sitting forlornly on the inside sill of the sitting room window, and attempting (pitifully) to decorate it.

Today I had a sudden inspiration, and after some time of work, I got this result:


Of course you can't compare it to the original, you see? (Nothing really compares to what the hubby chooses, really) but it's colourful and it looks bright, pretty and cheerful.

First of all I partly filled the basket with bright green tissue paper. Then I added the two leaves, one on each side (I followed a very confusing and altogether non-recommendable tutorial for them, so I'm not going to link it) and filled the rest of the space with more of the same tissue paper. Finally, once all of the lilies were finished, I positioned them on the creases of the tissue paper combining their different colours for a mixed effect.

I used six different origami paper patterns (they were very thankful to finally be used. I've had the origami paper packet for years and have hardly used it), one for the leaves, and five for the lilies, and followed this tutorial for the flowers. It's quite easy and I ended up doing them without looking at the instructions (and I better, as I had to do the same ten times!).

My next craft is a quote I want to do for the kitchen using small cardboard letters.

Monday, 22 June 2015

J. S. Bach's Complete Lute Works

I discovered this quite by accident. If you've ever used YouTube lately, you've probably noticed that a relatively new feature, an "Up Next" video option, unless you cancel it manually, automatically plays another similar video to the one you've been watching.

I had started the day off by playing Henry Purcell as I worked, and absorbed in my chores I suddenly realized that I was listening to an unfamiliar piece of music. Puzzled, I came to check what was going on, and it turned out that the "Up Next" video wasn't Henry Purcell but Bach.

His complete lute works, at that. They're beautiful, peaceful and perfect to work along to in a relaxed manner. There are almost two hours of music, so once you start playing, you should be done with your chores by the time the video is over!