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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.

25 July 2016 @ 03:00 am
Hello, this is just to let you know that I'm spending a lot time these days finishing a buch of toys (those fish again :P) for a real-life charity market in another city. I need to send them in the mail on Tuesday the latest to make sure they arrive on time, that's why I'm in such a hurry. I'll be properly back to LJ (and Facebook, and even Ravelry) when I finish them.

xxx Dari
21 July 2016 @ 03:46 am
It took me only 10 or 11 seriously hot days and nights in a row in the second half of July to radically change my attitude towards clouds and rain. :) It's amazing how what felt depressing and annoying suddenly became a blessing. :) It was such a relief that the ground and buildings suddenly got a chance to cool down during the first cloudy and occasionally rainy days, so we could finally have cool nights.

So, I suddenly got obsessed with photographing the clouds "while they lasted" for a few days until it become clear that the relief from the worst heat would last more than it was initially predicted. I now still enjoy every cloudy hour or half-hour, every gust of cool wind (even the wind gets hot on the hottest days!), and every mostly cloudy day feels like pure blessing. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm glad that the days are now getting shorter, so when the next heat wave inevitably strikes, the ground and buildings will have less time to heat up and emit that heat back during the nights. I'm afraid we'll soon be back to a daily high of 33 to 35C (91 to 95F), so I'd better enjoy the cooler period while it lasts indeed.

And now here are at last those cloud photos I took in late June. (Ouch, there were very picturesque clouds this evening, but I didn't have my camera with me, so you are only getting old photos :P)

27 June. The inevitable swifts wouldn't stop getting between my camera and the clouds, so I decided to treat them as a feature rather than a bug. :)
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A closer view of the same white clouds - and more swifts (alas, they are too fast for my camera, so some of them inevitably become blurs of motion in my photos).
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AMore clouds and birdsCollapse )
Still 28 June, and the view that can be seen for my favourite spot for outdoor knitting.
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A different angle and a different section of the same view.
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14 July 2016 @ 02:16 am
Wild clematis flowers (Clematis vitalba) on a fence that I often pass by.

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These photos are from 29 June when I first saw the spider, but it was still there the last I looked, which was yesterday because I just forgot to look today. ;)

It's a pity that I didn't manage to capture its web, which was clearly visible from below (that's a very tall solar light overhanging a bike/walking path that is part of my usual walking route, and a bit of the solar panel can be seen in the left xcorner of the photos). The spider itself must be huge because it looks pretty big even from that distance. It looks  black "in person" - again from all that distance, so I can't be certain. Plenty of prey gets cought in its web there (some of it is visible as tiny dots in the photos), and both spider and web have been unperturbed by the sun, wind or rain of I don't know how many days, so that must be a very good location indeed.

Cut in case you don"t want to look at spidersCollapse )
05 July 2016 @ 12:13 am
A question especially to the native speakers of English: do you know what "gormless" means? I somehow have no memory of even encountering that word before last night, so I'm trying to find out how commonly known it is. I've already looked it up, so I don't need anybody else to look it up for me; just tell me if it is familiar to you.

I've asked the same question on Facebook, and already gt one American who didn't know the word and one Englishman saying, "It's fairly common where I'm from" (which is Peterborough, I think). puddleshark, this is going to be interesting. :)
Current Mood: curiouscurious
03 July 2016 @ 03:40 am
As I was picking leaves for my silkworms and holding my “harvest” in my right hand, I reached out my left hand to get a dried leaf out of the way – and then I suddenly stopped in my tracks as I realized that I was actually touching a big moth’s wing. It’s good that I hadn’t managed to fully grab the poor thing by the wing and do some damage to it.

After I recovered from my initial shock, I took a good look at the moth; it wasn’t like the usual local moths; its wing shape was more exotic - something like this, but not exactly the same. It looked like a male, judging from its body shape (no place for eggs there to be sure and… generally shaped like my male silkworm moths). The creature just sat there motionless during my inspection. There was still water here and there on the leaves from the rain a couple of hours earlier, but the moth itself didn’t look wet, so I was a little puzzled why it didn’t try to fly away. It just didn’t occur to me that it might be playing dead, silly me!

Alas, it was no longer there when I returned with my camera, so there are no photos. I still wonder if it had flown away (or at least climbed higher where I couldn’t reach it), or its camouflage was indeed so good that I couldn’t really tell him apart from the occasional dry leaves on that tree.
02 July 2016 @ 12:55 am
I made this little dragonfly toy last November as a secret test of a pattern that was not released yet. The pattern is even part of a book o cat toy patterns, Knits for Kitties, which is for now only available in Kindle format, but the paper copy can be pre-ordered on Amazon. Can you tell tht I'm very excited for one of my favourite designers? :)

Here is the Ravelry pattern page for the dragonfly only (but you can't really get the pattern form there): Dragonfly Drop by Sara Elizabeth Kellner

I made this dragonfly for a young man (one of my Bulgarian chosen children) instead of a cat, so I took the liberty of using beads for eyes.

And no, I didn't get paid to advertise the pattern or the book. :P

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Current Mood: happyhappy
01 July 2016 @ 03:06 am
So, there are two Mirabels now (link to pattern again):

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And the kitchen has turned into a zoo, which is a good opportunity to show you some of my knitted toys that never made their way into my journal (ouch, I need to start uploading those photos to Photobucket, and deal with the chronological mess that is going to arise there). All toys in this photo are by the same designer, Stana D. S., who is one of my special favourites.
The brown chicken is mine, and is not going anywhere!
Chicken pattern: Charlotte
Fat cat pattern: Celeste

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And now the newest addition, from another favourite designer's pattern: My Little Goldfish by Sara Elizabeth Kellner. It's a tiny fishy: I have to remember to measure it tomorrow.

Two more photos of the tiny fishyCollapse )

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The only decent photo I managed on my usual background to show clearly the fish standing on its bottom fins:
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Current Mood: accomplished
28 June 2016 @ 02:38 am
I attended two outdoor knitting/crochet events in different cities this month because it so happened that the World Wide Knit in Public Day events in the cities of Plovdiv and Sofia got split into two different days this year and the end result was this fancier version of Mirabel the fish (link to pattern). Well, I admit that I also worked on it at home in between the two events. :P

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The fish while it still had fewer finsCollapse )

Then I was asked to add more and fancier fins because that seems to attract buyers at Bulgarian charity markets, although I think the other fish I had made strictly from the original pattern last year were liked well enough.

So I ended up knitting the last fin (designing it by trial and error) at the second event in Sofia. Now I’m making a second fish with the other set of fins I knitted at the second event in Sofia (I only took that one little ball of yarn there because the knitting event wasn’t my main goal; I was actually going there for Pride :P and I had to carry all of my luggage on my back for the rest of the day). Alas, I didn’t manage to meet all of my fellow charity crafters who attended the event in Sofia because most of them had already gone home to save themselves from the heat of that day, but it was still fun.

Getting to and from Plovdiv for the earlier event was much easier because it’s nearer, there were a whole “delegation” of three ladies from my home town, and one of us drove us in her car, so we didn’t have to ride a train or bus. The rest of the ladies were crocheting two group charity blankets there, but I was unfazed being the only knitter among crocheters and just took my own project with me to knit for the same charity. :)

Here are some photos of me knitting the fish at those events:

Look at us knitting or crochetingCollapse )
And now just me, still knitting away after everybody else was done. :)
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Current Mood: creative