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22 February 2013 @ 01:42 am

This is a Russian campaign against Article 6.13.1 (of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation), the federal bill which is to ban the “propaganda of homosexuality among minors”. You can enjoy the full insanity of the bill in English here. It was already approved by their Parliament in its first reading, and has two more readings to pass.

So the Love is Legal site is where people’s photos and accompanying messages opposing the bill and supporting the Russian LGBT community are posted. I asked one of the Russian activists if I could join the campaign, and he gladly gave me his permission. I sent my photo and my message to the campaign’s email address, and this is the end result:

My message is in Russian (thanks to ilupin for the editing), so I’m translating it into English for you.

I am a volunteer who works with gay teenagers. I know from experience what it’s like to talk an underage boy out of killing himself over the Internet.

For such teenagers, the information that they are perfectly normal and no worse than the others can be literally life-saving. They need information and educational resources, and not protection from the “propaganda” of what is absurd to propagandize. They need to know that they are not alone on this planet. I am against Article 6.13.1.

Darina Ivanova

ETA: I'm making this post "sticky" for some time because I think it's important.

09 February 2016 @ 02:33 am
Here is the first pattern that I managed to release: Merry Snowman by Darina Ivanova. I've now managed to get some of my test knitters' photos on my pattern page, so you can see them there; that was the only "legitimate" way to make the photos accessible to people who are not Ravelry members.

I just love it how different the "personalities" of all those knitted snowmen are. And by the way,I wonder why blue and purple are such popular snowmen's scarf colours. :)

I also want to use this opportunity to thank my favourite toy designers Sara of Rabbit Hole Knits and Stana of Stana's Critters Etc. for helping me to get started. :)

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ETA: The history of my prototype is very interesting: I promised it to one of my charities to for our Christmas/winter themed fundraiser before I had even started it. Then when my mother saw the finished toy, she fell in love with it, but of course she couldn't just claim it for herself. So in the end my father bought it from the charity to give it to her as a New Year's gift, and the snowman stayed in the family. :)
Current Mood: accomplished
08 February 2016 @ 02:28 am
Does any of you have any knowledge of what this event is really about?

I'm asking because the Bulgarian version is being organized by a not very subtly homophobic organization.
06 February 2016 @ 04:28 am
My wonderful English chosen son decided to buy me a gift; it was sent on 28 or 29 January and it reached me on 3 February (wow, that Royal Mail is fast!). :)

So now I have a whole four balls of yarn that was made in Canada from US cotton and bought from England. :D

I wanted very badly to see and touch this yarn because it's the special favourite of some of my knitting buddies on Ravelry. It's thicker than any Bulgarian or Turkish cotton yarn I've seen in my home town, by the way, and I don't know if it is a good thing or bad thing. And yes, that Lava Lamp colour that I had such a craving for looks just as cute "in person". :)

And now I can't stop smiling at that bag of yarn because it reminds me of my chosen son. I'll make my way to that young man some day, and give him a big big hug! :)

It came in this unremarkable bag:
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But there was this prettier Wool Warehouse's bag inside:
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The yarn itself:
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Current Mood: happyhappy
31 January 2016 @ 03:41 am
I unexpectedly saw these snowdrops on 26 January, in a garden pretty close to my home. :)

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There were also some mystery buds next to the snowdrops:

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That garden was surprisingly ice-free for that day:

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Some more snowdrops in another garden near the first one two days later. The weather was already getting warmer and much of the ice had melted, I could walk freely almost everywhere, but it took two more warm days for the rest to melt and evaporate.

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And the snowdrops in the first garden revisited.

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The mystery flowers were beginning to look like daffodils, I think:

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That garden apparently gets a lot of sun, but I still hope they don't go into bloom too early because I don't expect them to be such tough survivors as the snowdrops.
Current Mood: happyhappy
20 January 2016 @ 04:10 am
This is what I did when I went for a walk in the new park yesterday. It wasn’t easy for me to make even such a tiny snowman because the snow wouldn’t stick together and stuck to my gloves instead. So it was good that I had remembered to put a spare pair of gloves in my purse this time. :)

His eyes and nose were segments of a Tuja cone that had already shed its seeds, same kind of cone as his arms/hands.
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He was this tiny:
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I revisited him today, and found that he had melted a little, so I made him a new face (had to use pieces of twigs because my old materials wouldn’t stick to him). I also had to replace one of his arms, which was a frustrating “exercise”, but I managed it. So much work to give him one more night of life, and maybe part of the next day… and take photos, of course. :) The last time I had that much patience for a snowman was probably in my childhood. :)

And if you ask me why I did it, the only explanation I have that I wanted (ore needed?) to do something for myself.

My chosen son in England said his new face looked much happier than the old one, which he found a little freaky. LOL

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And here isthe fence he sat on, with some of my snowman-making materials on the lower section.
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I felt sad when I finally had to part with him, but of course I couldn't take him with me. :)
20 January 2016 @ 03:52 am
hettie_lz, I thought that these rose flowers surviving all snow and ice are just the right thing for you, sister in arms. :)

I wish you all the strength you need, all the love you deserve, and all the happiness you can get. And well, I wouldn't be a Bulgarian if I didn't wish you good health. ;)

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20 January 2016 @ 03:44 am
I spent so much time repairing my father's torn old woolen sock that I probably could have knitted him half a new sock in that time. Luckily, I had some tiny balls of thatancient yran left.

But at least I patched it up so expertly that my village grandmother would be proud of me if she were alive to see it. :P

Here is the trickiest patch below the heel (attached to an older patch). I added some thin crochet thread to reinforce the wool because that's one of the most vulnerable places on a sock places.

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Current Mood: amusedamused
18 December 2015 @ 02:52 am

This is where my mother put the roses my father gave us for our coinciding birthdays. :)

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Current Mood: amusedamused
23 November 2015 @ 03:44 am
I've honestly lost track of how long it has been since I started a massive attempt to clean, tidy up and properly organize this room I live in. It may have been more than a month now.

The big autumn cleaning as such wasn't so much of a trouble; it took time and energy, of course, but it didn't feel overwhelming and depressing.

De-cluttering and organizing has been another matter altogether, as I had left the aftermath of all those knitting projects at once (I haven't yet managed to post photos of some of September/October's projects on Ravelry, let alone the social networks) get out of control, and there were unfinished projects, printed patterns, yarns, tools and crafts supplies (OMG all those mixed up beads!) everywhere. It didn't make it any easier that I wanted to organize even the smallest scraps of yarn (I use those to make pom poms) into an actual system instead of just throwing them into bags and throwing the bags into some cabinet or drawer. And of course there was the accumulating clutter of daily life (OMG pieces of paper with work notes of all sorts!), the out-of-season clothes to sort out and put away (or repair first, or just throw away), and the clutter inside wardrobes, drawers and cabinets that didn't leave room for usable objects. Ouch!

Organizing the yarns and craft supplies alone took me forever, but I'm now mostly done with it. But I’m still slowly and methodically going through the horrors of de-cluttering *sigh*. That’s why I’m very grateful from discovering the Discardia page.

It’s a little too first-world middle-class-y for second-world me, but the message that I appreciate most of all is “Don’t try to do everything at once”. It would indeed be too overwhelming to try to get rid of the debris of months, or sometimes years (OMG the incredible long-forgotten stuff I’ve been finding in a certain cabinet!), in a day or two. So at least I don’t beat up myself up if I don’t do much on any given day, or even deliberately give myself a break. I just do my best concentrate on the task at hand each time. And yes, starting with the most easily identifiable garbage of whatever area I’m cleaning up helps a lot.

I have no illusions about myself; as a creative person, I love chaos, and I thrive on it. The struggle is to reduce the chaos to that bearable level at which 1. I know where everything is and 2. it’s easy to tidy up the room for one of those family gatherings that are going to start next months.

And no, I don’t want to take any photos of the mess at any stage of cleaning it up. :P
Current Mood: determined