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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

BURDA Wednesday


This Wednesday I have for you a jolly autumn edition of our dear BURDA magazine. So, allow me to lead you back into October of 1954.

You are about to see some mighty inspiring ladies at their best. And I, for one, am quite excited to share this one with you, because it's one of my top-ten editions.

Let's begin.

Beginning with red.
Combining red, power outfit with white gloves, scarf and earring 
is giving this suit even more impact.

NEW! Decaffeinated Nescafe.. here it is,
a revolution in coffee drinking.

Have you thought we'd forget about them? No, here are
Marianne and Stupsie in special model for October.. red, again
(I have told you, I rather like this issue)

Elegant and classy. 
Dresses are amazing, but take a look at the details on the suit in the right corner:
the subtle lace and you're changed into a stylish lady.

Is this the first time we see bangles here?
I'm guessing they are made from Bakelite.

These are "autumnal street wear"
meaning: these are the latest trends
in coats... and hats.

Now, we are well into a "no waist" time of coat history,
and it's not really my first choice, 
but these do look appealing.

One word: "stripes".

Stripes are the "thing" to have this season:
horizontal, vertical... angled.. just as long as you're stripped.

"Joyous as themselves - this is the fashion the young ladies want"

Bows - but, beware of the on in the middle:
it's positioned on your hip, so it's to be worn only by truly slender ones..
or it will do more harm than good.

Fur (there's no need to make it a real fur, ladies) - just
even dash of fake wild spirit will do.

Dress materials explained.

This image, and the next one
are showing us how to look best at home.

Why not - gents can look dashing in their house-attire, too.

"Mirror, mirror on the wall"
(pardon me, I had to) :)

Magnificent night-wear.

Botton left - it's the sewing machine needles,
and I believe that I have those somewhere.
Grandma bought them long time ago.

Little beauty secrets, shared by all:

I swear by cold cream. It's been almost a year since I've stopped using soap for my face, and (to knock on wood) my face has remained clean and acne-free. There are no dry-patches and no unwanted redness. And all that by the usage of good old, cheap, cold cream.

I hope you're having a great mid-week.
...and in case you're celebrating May 1st as International Worker's Day: may you have a splendid weather, great barbecue and lot of fun on your day off!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Love story: Kissless partner

Hello there!

Have you been longing for your fresh and new edition of Heart Throbs magazine's love stories? I hope you did, because I've got a lovely story here for you all.

Joyful ending to yet another magazine, and yet another week. I hope you're enjoying your weekend.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

"...and I think to myself what a wonderful world."


While you are reading this, I'll be well into my walk. A wonderful walk it was last time I took it, and I hope to repeat that amazing, warm, feeling within me once again. It's an annual Hiking Marathon, my dear friends, and I'm embarking on a 35 kilometer (22 miles) long journey.

Naturally, you will read all about it when I come back, when my emotions settle down, my thoughts clear out (and my feet stop hurting).

I will not leave you with just this statement.
There's a wonderful story that I have found a long time ago; it's from a book named "Our village"; written  by Mary Russell Mitford in 1893.
I would like to share it with you today.

The Wood

Spring is actually come now, with the fulness and almost the suddenness of a northern summer. To-day is completely April;—clouds and sunshine, wind and showers; blossoms on the trees, grass in the fields, swallows by the ponds, snakes in the hedgerows, nightingales in the thickets, and cuckoos everywhere. My young friend Ellen G. is going with me this evening to gather wood-sorrel. She never saw that most elegant plant, and is so delicate an artist that the introduction will be a mutual benefit; Ellen will gain a subject worthy of her pencil, and the pretty weed will live;—no small favour to a flower almost as transitory as the gum cistus: duration is the only charm which it wants, and that Ellen will give it. The weather is, to be sure, a little threatening, but we are not people to mind the weather when we have an object in view; we shall certainly go in quest of the wood-sorrel, and will take May, provided we can escape May's followers; for since the adventure of the lamb, Saladin has had an affair with a gander, furious in defence of his goslings, in which rencontre the gander came off conqueror; and as geese abound in the wood to which we are going (called by the country people the Pinge), and the victory may not always incline to the right side, I should be very sorry to lead the Soldan to fight his battles over again. We will take nobody but May.
So saying, we proceeded on our way through winding lanes, between hedgerows tenderly green, till we reached the hatch-gate, with the white cottage beside it embosomed in fruit-trees, which forms the entrance to the Pinge, and in a moment the whole scene was before our eyes.
'Is not this beautiful, Ellen?' The answer could hardly be other than a glowing rapid 'Yes!'—A wood is generally a pretty place; but this wood—Imagine a smaller forest, full of glades and sheep-walks, surrounded by irregular cottages with their blooming orchards, a clear stream winding about the brakes, and a road intersecting it, and giving life and light to the picture; and you will have a faint idea of the Pinge. Every step was opening a new point of view, a fresh combination of glade and path and thicket. The accessories too were changing every moment. Ducks, geese, pigs, and children, giving way, as we advanced into the wood, to sheep and forest ponies; and they again disappearing as we became more entangled in its mazes, till we heard nothing but the song of the nightingale, and saw only the silent flowers.
What a piece of fairy land! The tall elms overhead just bursting into tender vivid leaf, with here and there a hoary oak or a silver-barked beech, every twig swelling with the brown buds, and yet not quite stripped of the tawny foliage of autumn; tall hollies and hawthorn beneath, with their crisp brilliant leaves mixed with the white blossoms of the sloe, and woven together with garlands of woodbines and wild-briers;—what a fairy land!
Primroses, cowslips, pansies, and the regular open-eyed white blossom of the wood anemone (or, to use the more elegant Hampshire name, the windflower), were set under our feet as thick as daisies in a meadow; but the pretty weed that we came to seek was coyer; and Ellen began to fear that we had mistaken the place or the season.—At last she had herself the pleasure of finding it under a brake of holly—'Oh, look! look! I am sure that this is the wood-sorrel! Look at the pendent white flower, shaped like a snowdrop and veined with purple streaks, and the beautiful trefoil leaves folded like a heart,—some, the young ones, so vividly yet tenderly green that the foliage of the elm and the hawthorn would show dully at their side,—others of a deeper tint, and lined, as it were, with a rich and changeful purple!—Don't you see them?' pursued my dear young friend, who is a delightful piece of life and sunshine, and was half inclined to scold me for the calmness with which, amused by her enthusiasm, I stood listening to her ardent exclamations—'Don't you see them? Oh how beautiful! and in what quantity! what profusion! See how the dark shade of the holly sets off the light and delicate colouring of the flower!—And see that other bed of them springing from the rich moss in the roots of that old beech-tree! Pray, let us gather some. Here are baskets.' So, quickly and carefully we began gathering, leaves, blossoms, roots and all, for the plant is so fragile that it will not brook separation;—quickly and carefully we gathered, encountering divers petty misfortunes in spite of all our care, now caught by the veil in a holly bush, now hitching our shawls in a bramble, still gathering on, in spite of scratched fingers, till we had nearly filled our baskets and began to talk of our departure:—
'But where is May? May! May! No going home without her. May! Here she comes galloping, the beauty!'—(Ellen is almost as fond of May as I am.)—'What has she got in her mouth? that rough, round, brown substance which she touches so tenderly? What can it be? A bird's nest? Naughty May!'
'No! as I live, a hedgehog! Look, Ellen, how it has coiled itself into a thorny ball! Off with it, May! Don't bring it to me!'—And May, somewhat reluctant to part with her prickly prize, however troublesome of carriage, whose change of shape seemed to me to have puzzled her sagacity more than any event I ever witnessed, for in general she has perfectly the air of understanding all that is going forward—May at last dropt the hedgehog; continuing, however, to pat it with her delicate cat-like paw, cautiously and daintily applied, and caught back suddenly and rapidly after every touch, as if her poor captive had been a red-hot coal. Finding that these pats entirely failed in solving the riddle (for the hedgehog shammed dead, like the lamb the other day, and appeared entirely motionless), she gave him so spirited a nudge with her pretty black nose, that she not only turned him over, but sent him rolling some little way along the turfy path,—an operation which that sagacious quadruped endured with the most perfect passiveness, the most admirable non-resistance. No wonder that May's discernment was at fault, I myself, if I had not been aware of the trick, should have said that the ugly rough thing which she was trundling along, like a bowl or a cricket-ball, was an inanimate substance, something devoid of sensation and of will. At last my poor pet, thoroughly perplexed and tired out, fairly relinquished the contest, and came slowly away, turning back once or twice to look at the object of her curiosity, as if half inclined to return and try the event of another shove. The sudden flight of a wood-pigeon effectually diverted her attention; and Ellen amused herself by fancying how the hedgehog was scuttling away, till our notice was also attracted by a very different object.
We had nearly threaded the wood, and were approaching an open grove of magnificent oaks on the other side, when sounds other than of nightingales burst on our ear, the deep and frequent strokes of the woodman's axe, and emerging from the Pinge we discovered the havoc which that axe had committed. Above twenty of the finest trees lay stretched on the velvet turf. There they lay in every shape and form of devastation: some, bare trunks stripped ready for the timber carriage, with the bark built up in long piles at the side; some with the spoilers busy about them, stripping, hacking, hewing; others with their noble branches, their brown and fragrant shoots all fresh as if they were alive—majestic corses, the slain of to-day! The grove was like a field of battle. The young lads who were stripping the bark, the very children who were picking up the chips, seemed awed and silent, as if conscious that death was around them. The nightingales sang faintly and interruptedly—a few low frightened notes like a requiem.
Ah! here we are at the very scene of murder, the very tree that they are felling; they have just hewn round the trunk with those slaughtering axes, and are about to saw it asunder. After all, it is a fine and thrilling operation, as the work of death usually is. Into how grand an attitude was that young man thrown as he gave the final strokes round the root; and how wonderful is the effect of that supple and apparently powerless saw, bending like a riband, and yet overmastering that giant of the woods, conquering and overthrowing that thing of life! Now it has passed half through the trunk, and the woodman has begun to calculate which way the tree will fall; he drives a wedge to direct its course;—now a few more movements of the noiseless saw; and then a larger wedge. See how the branches tremble! Hark how the trunk begins to crack! Another stroke of the huge hammer on the wedge, and the tree quivers, as with a mortal agony, shakes, reels, and falls. How slow, and solemn, and awful it is! How like to death, to human death in its grandest form! Caesar in the Capitol, Seneca in the bath, could not fall more sublimely than that oak.
Even the heavens seem to sympathise with the devastation. The clouds have gathered into one thick low canopy, dark and vapoury as the smoke which overhangs London; the setting sun is just gleaming underneath with a dim and bloody glare, and the crimson rays spreading upward with a lurid and portentous grandeur, a subdued and dusky glow, like the light reflected on the sky from some vast conflagration. The deep flush fades away, and the rain begins to descend; and we hurry homeward rapidly, yet sadly, forgetful alike of the flowers, the hedgehog, and the wetting, thinking and talking only of the fallen tree.

I hope you are having an amazing weekend.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

BURDA Wednesday

Hello there.

I would like to own a device that will give me the ability to show you this mervelous morning we are having here today. It's bright, the sky is clear, the air is fresh and is infused with the aroma of all the flowers in their bloom. On a day like this, I truly feel happy to be here.
Another great thing on a day like this: Burda magazine. Again, you wil be given a damaged issue. But (again) I will make it up to you with a magazine article with a similar thematic.. fashion, naturally! :)

Are you ready for September 1954?
(yes, I know, we missed out on Augus - it's gone and I'm sorry)

Now, I'm first to say "no" to brown, but then so cleverly combined,
this looks great.
Perfect way to refresh your autumn look 
(or, in case you're still struggling with chilly spreing mornings - this would do)

Even when I lose more that 3/4 of the issue,
I still manage to provide you with Marianne and Stupsie's best. 
I'm seeing a new fashion here, do you:
bright colored and matching hat and gloves - utterly lovley

 "Chose your favorite dress for the new season"

Practical coats.
Far more that simply practical, if you're asking me.

"For many occasions"
Indeed. I see these worn in the office, truly I do.

"The sophisticated lady chooses Frajana"

Models are divine, and the background
is enhancing their beuty and the general feeling when I look at the image

"The beautiful dress"

This is it for our Burda magazine for this week. Now, ? have found this lovely article on fashion; and feel fre to open the images in another tab, so you can read them in the larger view.

I hope you've enjoyed it.
And, I hope I managed to send you out a dash of my lovely weather.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Do you gulp, slurp.. or sip your tea?


You all know by now that I am an avid tea-drinker. And, it is quite un-common in this area; since most people still take their tea only when they are sick with cold, flu or have a stomach acke.

Tea was generally consumed within a lady’s closet or bedchamber and for a mainly female gathering. The tea itself and the delicate pieces of porcelain for brewing and drinking it were displayed in the closet, and inventories for wealthy households during the 17th and 18th centuries list tea equipage not in kitchens or dining rooms but in these small private closets or boudoirs. 
(Taken from “A Social History of Tea” by Jane Pettigrew)

These days, most of us have our tea on-a-go; if we are taking it at all. As I've already mentioned, over here, folks prefer their coffee, and tea comes far behind. Even then, when forced to drink it, many opt for a "herbal infusion"; most favorite of all being: mint "tea" (we are, naturally, all aware that mint is not tea) :)

Now, when it comes to taking tea (and all that follows); I have found an amazing tale: the Tale of the Raised Pinkie. 
Since ancient Rome, a cultured person ate with 3 fingers, a commoner with five. Thus, the birth of the raised pinkie as a sign of elitism emerged in etiquette rules. This 3 fingers etiquette rule is still correct when picking up food with the fingers and handling various pieces of flatware. This pinky “up” descended from a misinterpretation of the 3 fingers vs 5 fingers dining etiquette in the 11th century.
When we discuss this topic, it is unavoidable to start thinking about another favorite subject of mine: the proper way of doing things. It is quite clear by now, that there is to be no gulping of tea, and no slurping of it eather. 

Also, dare I mention the dreadful "cup-hugger" - the one who is most familiar with his/hers mug, and has the habbit if holding it with both hands, in a firm grip. I do not have anything against hugging your mug, and it is comforting.. while you're drinking your cocoa on a cold winter evening. But, when we are presented with tea, served in a porcelain tea cup, no "hugging", please.

And, let me paste another little etiquette-gem in here, will you?
Napkin placement — unfold napkin on your lap, if you must leave temporarily place napkin on chair.
Sugar/lemon — sugar is placed in cup first, then thinly sliced lemon and never milk and lemon together. Milk goes in after tea — there is much debate over it, but according to Washington School of Protocol, milk goes in last. The habit of putting milk in tea came from the French. “To put milk in your tea before sugar is to cross the path of love, perhaps never to marry.” (Tea superstition)
The correct order when eating on a tea tray is to eat savories first, scones next and sweets last.
Scones — split them horizontally with a knife, your curd and cream is placed on plate. Use the knife to put cream/curd on each bite and eat with your fingers neatly.
Proper placement of a spoon — the spoon always goes behind cup, also don’t leave the spoon in the cup.
Proper holding of your cup — do not put your pinky “up”, this is not correct. A guest should look into the teacup when drinking — never over it.

There is just one way of ending today's post: KEEP CALM; AND TAKE SOME TEA.

Sunday, 20 April 2014


Hello there!

This week , I'll skip our love story (no, no, don't you worry, I'm not canceling it). It's the greatest of all the holidays, that's why.

Easter Week by Charles Kingsley

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices;
Fields and gardens hail the spring;
Shaughs and woodlands ring with voices,
While the wild birds build and sing.

You, to whom your Maker granted
Powers to those sweet birds unknown,
Use the craft by God implanted;
Use the reason not your own.
Here, while heaven and earth rejoices,
Each his Easter tribute bring-
Work of fingers, chant of voices,
Like the birds who build and sing.

I must inform you that you are reading a text written by this year's All Round Family Egg-cracking winner. This is my year; I got up early, I took a good look and made an inspection of the eggs (the fact that I've boiled them helped - I knew which ones were cooked the longest, and therefore were the hardest). I prepared myself mentally, and that lead to this victory. 
Naturally, I have to thank my family for giving me their smiles, and not being sore losers. Anyways, there's always next year for them, right?

Happy, happy Easter, my dear friends!

I dislike using strong chemicals when I colour my eggs. I prefer more natural modes of making the eggs both elegant and highly decorative: Onion skins.
It starts with me roaming up and down our garden (my apologies for not writing you more on that, I surely will continue that series). When I'm certain I've gathered enough gorgeously decorative leaves I get one of the old stockings - it comes in handy to keep some number of those unwearable-due-to-a-run stockings (not only do they help this project goes smooth, but they are also an amazing filter).

You take a raw egg, place a desired leaf on it and put it into a peace of stocking. You stretch the stocking (carefully, not to break the egg) and tie it down with a sewing thread.
Place onion skins into a large bowl (roughly explained: more you put, stronger the color will turn out), and put your eggs in there as well. Pour cold water over the eggs and put it onto your stove (or whatever kitchen heating device you have got). When water boils turn the heat down and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. 
Note: If you want to compete with these eggs (in the above mentioned Egg-shattering family deal) you should take all the eggs out, except the one you're going to compete with (that you have marked) and boil that one for few more minutes. Don't tell anyone you've done it, or they'll accuse you of cheating. :)

Have a wonderful day, eat a lot of cakes.. and tell me all about it!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Two more days... Are you an Easter-prepper?

Hello there.

Have you noticed how time flies? Easter is literally just few days away; and it's high time we start some serious prepping for it. This year, both of my Easter(s) fall on the same day - need I say how relieving it is, since we can all prep together, and enjoy it.

For me; preparations start today; with the making of the first batch of cookies and cakes. And, another thing is to be made; one that makes this holiday more fun that Christmas - flower decorations. 
Usually, in our country, we like  to make little "nests" for the Bunny to come to and leave his present for the child. The "nest" is made by weaving the herbs into a nest-shape and then giving it a "carpet" of grass the night before Easter. The grass is to be "taken" by the Bunny - he'll nibble on the grass you offer him and in return he'll leave a present to you. And, I have much more certainty in Bunny arriving to the "nest" left outside; in our garden, because that's what real bunnies do.

Inside the house (besides the definite fun that is colouring of the eggs), we love preparing the special decorations. And, today, I'm sharing some of the vintage ideas with you.

This 1934 newspaper article shows how to decorate tin cans with crepe paper flowers for an elegant table decoration:

Not only do I give you a "how to" on table decorating, I'm also sharing with you a fine art ofcrepe paper flowers that will surely impress anyone. 
These patterns include directions to make quite realistic flowers including Chrysanthemums, Wistaria, Calla Lilies, Hyacinth and Roses, to name a few. Take a look:

It does not matter if you're planning an enormous gathering of all friends and family, or if Easter is a small family-oriented event; I'm sure these would make any table amazing.
How are your preparations going on?