Sunday, January 27, 2008

Roses for my garden

It is time to plan my garden. I promised myself to do some research about English climbing roses for me garden and found absolutely stunning site of David Austin Roses at
Now it is time to choose what and where to plant this spring. I hope I can find right place for couple bushes of Crown Princess Margareta. Sometimes roses not doing too well on clay soil in my garden.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It is snowing again…

Real winter finally hit roads of Michigan. I spent morning shoveling snow in front of house – bad idea! It is still snowing, I just waist my time doing it.
However, I managed to pull my car to the road and slowly (really-really slow! I mean it!) drove to the Joe Randozzo’s – my favorite place to do shopping every Saturday. My plan today to make slow roasted tomatoes, staffed peppers and Muhammara - Bell Pepper Spread with some almonds and molasses.
Sure, I stop for some coffee and bread at Panera. Muhammara can be good reason to have slice or two sourdough bread.
No other plans for evening! My husband out of home till evening, so I can do some painting or needlepoint… Whoever I will feel inspired today. And read – Aristotle Nicomachean ethics. I found lot of appealing in the way how he describes it.
Almost forgot - there is new needlepoint I finished and finally framed. It placed in our TV / computer/ craft room, and waiting for another bird be framed one day.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tiny houses from Lithuania

Lithuania is a small country on the Baltic Sea.
I spent so many summer vacations there; I had so many friends and neighbors in Lithuania that it became my second home. Tiny village Nida – home of famous German novelist and short story writer Thomas Mann.

It takes an hour and half to drive to the Nida, then about half hour to Klaipeda, another small, sleeping town. Little café, where you can have taste of espresso - black, no cream. And taste of miniature cakes Mille-feuille – they call it Napoleon here, in US. I miss Klaipeda so much… (I found an image of Klaipeda at

And couple month ago I get so lucky! I walk to the Marshall and found two tiny, ceramic houses, made in Klaipeda!!!! Wow!!!! Who cares how much! I must have tem!

Now they placed on a top of dresser in my bedroom. I put light bulb inside both of them and every night, when I’m going to my bed, I can enjoy reflection of light, coming from the windows. Soft yellow in a dark room… Home….

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My sweet little needlepoint

"In the glad morn of blooming youth
These various threads I drew,
And now behold this finished piece
Lies glorious to the view.

So when bright youth shall charm no more
And age shall chill my blood,
May I review my life and say
Behold my works were good."

I don't know who wrote it, but I love this short poem, it is about me. I making few stitches every single evening. Well... May by I'm having couple days off during the year, but it is sad days.

Something bad must happened if I didn't take needle in my fingers.

Many designs I "borrowed" from old traditional samplers, some designs pop up out of nothing and I just quickly put them on a wool. All of them different - I newer was too committed to any single style.
I have mood for Quakers, Ukrainian, German or New-England today, but tomorrow it can be new idea and new design. I didn't use somebody patterns most of time, but often use them as an inspiration.
You can click on picture and open it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Swedish Folk Art

I try to do some Swedish painting yesterday using watercolors. It is interesting to see difference between Norwegian and Swedish folk art, even they so close geographically. Surprisingly, I found that it is much easy to do Swedish. I remember some book of fairytales from my childhood and try recreating some illustrations. I am not sure if it is close to what I remember, but that’s what I got finally.

Friday, January 4, 2008

His Holiness The Dalai Lama

His Holiness The Dalai Lama

December 3, 2007, Ann Arbor, Michigan — On
Saturday and Sunday, April 19 and 20, 2008, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will visit Ann Arbor where over the course of three sessions in two days he will teach on “Engaging Wisdom and Compassion” at the Crisler Arena of the University of Michigan.
The two-day educational program will be held in conjunction with a public talk, the Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability, on environmental issues presented on April 20th by the University of Michigan at the Crisler Arena in celebration of Earth Day. The teaching is being co-sponsored by Jewel Heart, a Tibetan Buddhist Center headquartered in Ann Arbor, The Tibet Fund, and the Garrison Institute. The Dalai Lama is recognized worldwide for his message of compassion and tolerance, his promotion of human rights and inter-religious understanding, his focus on peace through non-violent conflict resolution and his advocacy for the environment. Winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, the Dalai Lama was the recent recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Engaging Wisdom and Compassion His Holiness
the Dalai Lama brings us the ancient Indian and Tibetan teachings on wisdom and
compassion to inspire and guide our lives. The teaching will be based on
Nagarjuna's Commentary on Ultimate Compassion and Je Tsong Khapa's In Praise of Dependent Origination।


Gourds for Christmas

Every year I make some Christmas gifts for my friends. This fall I bought few gourds from the farm in Texas and try to paint on them with acrylics. No luck! Turn to be quite an ugly.
Then, when my doter was in the hospital, and I was completely insane, I spent all night drawing with pencil on gourds. By morning 5 or 6 of them was totally covered with tiny William Morris’ style ornaments, birds, rabbits, hedgehogs, fairy on the grape vine, bears with buttocks baskets, picking up berries, bunch of puppies the dog’s haven and many-many others …

Most of my friends got one or two of my gourds now. I have a dozen more already and continue to paint. Well, no pencil anymore, it is pyrography now.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Norwegian decorative painting - Rosemailing

My new passion. Hard not to fall in love with it. So many colors and designs. Couple weeks ago I found some really interesting tine-boxes from Norway and now I try to paint in the same style. Seems not too hard, but it take time and lot of practice to do it.

Rosemaling, the decorative folk painting of Norway, began in the Norway in late 18th century when Baroque, Regency and Rococo were introduced to Norway's rural culture. First artists who rosemaled would not have been land owners but poor, city dwellers. They being trained within a "guild" then would travel from place to place painting furniture or interior of homes for the healthy for the money or sometimes just room and food.

There is some of my painted furniture. I finished it couple days before Christmas.

Some old cartoon I love

My Latvian mittens.

I grew up in Latvia. Small town called Liepāja, located on the west part of Latvia in the Kurzeme province. Liepāja is known as the city where the wind born. I believe it is windiest city on the Baltic Sea.
It is truly small town with population less then 90 thousands people. I guess when I was 12 it was even smaller.
One if the best memories of my childhood is Ligo - this festivity takes place during the night between the 23rd and 24th of June – the shortest night of the year.
All over Latvia, all through the night people burn fires, sing songs, dance, drink beer and eat. People wear wreaths made of oak leaves or flowers, dancing all the night around bonfires, and sing summer solstice songs. During this night all the men, named Janis, are given special honor by putting oak-tree wreaths on their heads. (Well… I believe in my childhood all of them wear them). Also everyone was wearing national costumes. You can guess by color and pattern of stockings and woven skirts from what province they are came.
Latvians woman also famous for ability to make the most beautiful knitted mittens. I made few of them as a Christmas gift for my friends.