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...
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!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

"When in the Chronicles of Wasted Time"

Quan veig en documents del temps passat
Descrites criatures esplendents
i veig que en un poema afortunat
d'una alta dama es fan enaltiments,
llavors crec que els antic han desitjat
(al carmí de la galta sempre atents,
i atents als ulls i al rostre delicat)
expressar la bellesa que tu tens.
Perquè els elogis d'ells són profecies
que la teva bellesa a tots auguren;
però són versos de pretèrits dies 
i aquells mots seus tan sols et prefiguren.
I jo, que tinc la sort de contemplar-te,
no tinc paraules prous per enlairar-te.
GERARD VERGÈS, a Shakespeare, el més gran. Versió, molt aproximada, del Sonet CVI 

Friday, 19 June 2015

The Adventure Begins

Last January my parents presented me with (one-of) their long-awaited wedding present: a brand new sewing machine all to myself! However, even though it's been a little bit more than six months I haven't officially really "used it for the first time" yet. I haven't done any big project with which I could break the champagne bottle and launch the ship!

Things have changed a little lately, though.

For starters, when my husband and I visited my parents back in April my Mum gifted me with a very cute black-and-white checkered kitchen towel (or dish towel) with a big "True love is a big deal" written on it in pink. As the writing was of some sort of plastic printed material, and it occupied a large area of the towel, therefore rendering it unpractical for drying (let's face it, plastic writing doesn't absorb water very well) she suggested I turn it into an apron. I considered it a capital idea.

Then I received some money from my parents-in-law for my birthday to spend on something nice for myself. Some days ago I finally got around to use that while browsing around eBay for general tools and supplies for sewing and specific supplies for the apron design that I have in mind.

Then I declared myself ready to start off my first real project with my new sewing machine.

I've started out by ripping out the hem seams from the towel. At first I thought I'd use the existing seams for my benefit and use a black/white/pink bias tape for the parts I had to cut out, but in the end I decided I could gain a lot by ripping that hem - it would be a good thing as the towel isn't as big as an apron usually is (I was right, I ended up gaining a good 4 cm in length and width!) and use black/white/pink bias tape (haven't decided on that one yet... any advice on that?) to finish off all the hems and have a balanced, symmetrical look.

Now, after having washed it so that the fabric could settle (there were tiny holes left by the seams) I will iron it (upside-down, of course) and impatiently wait for the supplies to arrive.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

One Year Today

I fall more and more in love with him every day. I catch myself daydreaming about him and wondering when he'll be home again, all the time smiling at space like a silly school girl.

I still try to write poetry about him and what I feel for him, and can't manage it because I can't think of the right words or expressions that would say it properly.

I sigh when I think of sweet memories of moments spent together, chuckle when I remember one of his jokes, and laugh outright when a clumsy, comical occurrence comes to mind.

There is so much stored away in my memory, there is so much overflowing my heart, there is so much that has filled our time together.

And yet, only one year has gone by...

...and it has been the fullest time of my life. 

I wonder what will come next?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Wedding Pictures Pt. 2: Getting Ready (Him)

I can't believe that almost a year has passed since that happy day... it will sound cliché, but walking in the shoes of those who've said it before, now I know it's true: it seems like it was yesterday. Where has time gone? It flies by too fast...

What better time than now to get lost in memories and flash back to the past, to one joyous day I will always remember?

He, also, was getting ready for the day with a tummy full of butterflies... 

I can always trust him to choose stylish, classic, elegant shoes! (Yes, I'm a shoe fan person...)
What a dreamy suit!
Trust him to add a personal twist to his attire... he didn't wear the traditional tie, but a cravat.
I've always loved his hands... the hands of a hard-working, caring man.
Did I say dreamy before?!
He got to see a sneak-peek of our engagement pictures (they'd been taken four days before!). Not fair. :P
*Sighs*... what a man. 
My word, I can't believe this day was almost one year ago! It's still so fresh in my mind!

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Power of Prayer

   There is an eye that never sleeps
Beneath the wing of night;
There is an ear that never shuts
When sink the beams of light.
   There is an arm that never tires,
When human strength gives way;
There is a love that never fails,
When earthly loves decay.
   That eye is fixed on seraph throngs;
That arm upholds the sky;
That ear is filled with heavenly songs;
That love is throned on high.
   But there's a power which faith can wield,
When mortal aid is vain,
That eye, that arm, that love to reach,
That listening ear to gain. 
   That power is prayer, which soars on high,
Through (the Lord) Jesus to the throne,
And moves the hand which moves the world
To bring deliverance down.
- Author Unknown

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Wedding Pictures Pt. 1: Getting ready (Her)

Today marks the 11th monthaversary of our wedding day... only one month to go for our first anniversary! How time flies...

Late as it is, I still have to fulfill my promise of posting some of our wedding pictures. They were taken by a school-friend of mine with whom we've had good talks and discussions and sharing on the subject. He is quite good at this business, I'm sure you'll enjoy the pictures I share.

As usual, I will follow the "no-faces" policy, so if you're interested in seeing all the pictures, let me know. [smile]

Without further ado, here's part one of the day... she's getting ready for the big occasion!

First dream come true... hair-do, check.
My all-time hair-dresser did a wonderful job with my hair!
See that ring? It looks a little lonely... will soon be joined by a second one! *-*
Finishing touches... a gift from the ladies who sewed my dress.
Surprise! Everyone's at the bride's house!
The dress also came true, thanks to a custom sewer my dad unknowingly told me about.
Lace-up back... check!
My Mum helping me dress... check!
The perfect white, not-too-high heeled, classy shoes... check!
Rhomboid net stockings... check!
My Mum placing the veil... *-*
Another dream come true... a gift from the parents of one of my bridesmaids, friends from before I was a teenager!

Next coming up... he's getting ready!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Mums and Mice

Nothing can beat my Mum's birthday wishes... she always hits the spot, every. single. year.

THO CUTE! *-* Although I keep asking myself why doesn't the piano play at the very end, when they're all happily bouncing on the keys.

What would we do without our Mums, I ask you now?

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Quote For The Day

"It is the small temptations which undermine integrity unless we watch and pray and never think them too trivial to be resisted"
- Uncle Alec in Rose in Bloom by L. M. Alcott 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Random Post

It's been quite some time since I last posted. Many things have happened since - just to mention a couple, a conference in a chateau in France and a short visit to my parents over at northern Spain.

Bear with me as I settle down back to routine and to normal life... things shouldn't take long. I've many things to write and update about, but for now I am catching up in my housecleaning and baking in general.

So, in the meantime, here's a picture of the bread buns that have come right out the oven for you to enjoy!

P.S.: The weather over here is delightful, and we've come back to find our area transformed from bleak, bare and brown to alive, lush and green!

Friday, 3 April 2015

Dichter Und Bauer

The Poet and Peasant is an overture by Franz von Suppé that I first heard played as an arranged piano piece. My sister put a lot of feeling into her interpretation, so I've always enjoyed listening to it. Some days ago I was humming it to myself as I studied and was curious about it, so I looked it up on the Internet to learn more about it (I like to acquaint myself with the history of the pieces and composers I listen to). I found several orchestra and solo versions of it, but the original orchestra piece is by far my favourite. Therefore, without further ado, click play and enjoy.

To learn more about Franz von Suppé, click HERE.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Spring is Here!

Perhaps this announcement is a little bit belated, but with Spring being here and gracing us with beautiful, warm, sunny weather during the first couple of days she happened along (something new around these parts, believe me...), you will understand the impossibility of me staying indoors.

The weather has gone back to its old self again - cloudy, windy, grey, rather chilly - but it would seem that the little bit of sunshine I managed to soak in during the last couple of days has been enough to have me in the best of spirits this morning!

Without further ado, I will accompany the belated announcement with a beautiful song my Mum posted along with her welcoming of Spring.

This past weekend I found out, though, that in Romania Spring starts on the 1st of March, and Summer starts on the 1st of June. It was stated, therefore, that I was married in Spring and my husband was married in Summer.

Happy week, everyone! Toodle pips!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

"Little Irène" - Mlle Irene Cahen d'Anvers

Little Irene by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1880. Impressionism.

I've had a small printed picture of this portrait of Mlle Irene Cahen d'Anvers since before I was a teenager. One day my family received a promotional pamphlet of some kind of art magazine subscription, and one of the artists featured was Renoir. I was familiar with his more known works (such as The Piano Lesson, A Girl With A Watering Can, etc.), but had never seen this one, which was one of the three paintings that accompanied the mini-article about Renoir.

The moment my eyes fell on it I was so taken by it that I begged my Mum to allow me to cut it out and keep it for myself. It is a fascinating portrait! The girl's expression, the smoothness of her skin, her incredibly beautiful hair, the detail of the bow... I could look and study this painting for hours if I had the time.

Irène's father, Louis Raphael Cahen d’Anvers, was a wealthy Jewish banker. In 1880 he commissioned Pierre Auguste Renior three portraits, one of each of his daughters. Irène's was the first to be done, but the family didn't like it, and asked Renoir to do a second portrait of the two other girls together (the result was Pink and Blue). That didn't please the parents, either, and after paying Renoir a mere 1,500 francs the portraits were hung in the servants' quarters. That obviously upset Renoir.

The history of this painting is a little complex due to WWII, and accounts differ from one another. However, it is presently exhibited at the Foundation E.G. Bührle in Zurich, and open to the public. What I'd give to see it in real life some day. [smile] For now my little version stands on my cork board and is admired every day.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Those Were The Days

They don't do these wonderful things for children anymore!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

What's Our Vector, Victor?

You know that when the first lesson in Linear Algebra on your online course quotes this clip (below, in bold), it's going to be worth it.

Roger: Flight 2-0-9'er, you are cleared for take-off.
Cpt. Oveur: Roger!
Roger: Huh?
Tower voice: L.A. departure frequency, 123 point 9'er.
Cpt. Oveur: Roger!
Roger: Huh?
Victor: Request vector, over.
Cpt. Oveur: What?
T.v.: Flight 2-0-9'er cleared for vector 324.
Roger: We have clearance, Clarence.
Cpt. Oveur: Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
T.v.: Tower's radio clearance, over!
Cpt. Oveur: That's Clarence Oveur. Over.
T.v.: Over.
Cpt. Oveur: Roger.
Roger: Huh?
T.v.: Roger, over!
Roger: What?
Cpt. Oveur: Huh?
Victor: Who?

Friday, 30 January 2015

We Have This Moment Today

Today, as I hung the laundry and sung along in harmony to a song by one of my friends and her family, I have been reminded of what a gift we have in the moment of NOW!

Originally written by Bill Gaither, this song has the capacity of sending thrills down my spine and giving me goose bumps every single time I listen to it. It's a song that challenges you to appreciate the small things of life, to enjoy, live and make the most of the present, because that's what we get - now. Yesterday's gone and tomorrow may never come.

This is the only decent version I have found on the Internet. There are plenty of others, but they had speeches or they were live. This version does not convey the feeling to me as my friends' version, but it is still sung lovely:

We Have This Moment Today
Hold tight to the sound of the music of living,
Happy songs from the laughter of children at play;
Hold my hand as we run through the sweet fragrant meadows,
Making mem'ries of what was today.
We have this moment to hold in our hands
and to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand;
Yesterday's gone and tomorrow may never come,
But we have this moment today.
Tiny voice that I hear is my little girl calling,
For Daddy to hear just what she has to say;
And my little son running there by the hillside,
May never be quite like today.
Tender words, gentle touch and a good cup of coffee,
And someone who loves me and wants me to stay;
Hold them near while they're here and don't wait for tomorrow
To look back and wish for today. 
Take the blue of the sky and the green of the forest,
And the gold and the brown of the freshly mown hay;
Add the pale shades of spring and the circus of autumn,
And weave you a lovely today.

Do we truly appreciate what we have been given? Do we recognize our happy family moments and small daily details as a gift and enjoy them in the moment?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Engagement Pictures

There aren't that many pictures that I can share from our engagement session. As you've probably noticed, or know already, I follow a no-face-pictures-on-the-Internet policy on my blog, so, as engagement pictures are mostly about the couple, there aren't that many that are face-less.

Nevertheless, allow me to share those which are. Some you may have already seen, some not. Whatever the case is, I hope you like them. :)

We went to two lovely places. The first one was an old town full of beautiful streets with cobbled ground and stone walls, benches in romantic places and ivies hanging over walls. Unfortunately, we don't have any surreptitious pictures from that place - all are of us close up or from a short distance. Sorry.

The second place gave us some opportunities for distanced or secret pictures, and although most of them were also of us, the photographers managed to take several which I can actually show to you. [happy smile]


We went to a nature reserve - some sort of wetlands, a swampy area full of small lakes and ponds right
by the seashore.

Such sweet narrow wood walks in between the ponds!

I said YES!

The ring. Yep, you've already seen this one... but isn't it a beautiful ring?

I feel so bad that I can't share all of them with you... there are some that are so beautiful! However, if you are a personal acquaintance and you'd like to see more of 'em, you can always e-mail me and I'll send you my favourites!