Thursday, 28 June 2007

new creations

My posts are going in packs, so my creations.
After sniffing of touch for newborn baby, as I told myself, I came back to finishing forest set of finger puppets. Made especially for Kinga, Ada's elder friend.
As always, I loved making it. Deer is my favourite item right now, though I love wolf, bear and hare also. Creature in the middle is a ghost of the forest, mini version of my monsters - guardians. So is this one - taking care of all the forest and all creatures living there.

Speaking of a deer - at Trinlay Khadro flickr site one can see a poststamp from Lalootka-land (that's how she called it and I like it very much). There is a deer there to show the associations with a city Trinlay lives in.
I'll better go to sleep and postpone making a purse for finger puppets till the early noon - it's dawn, birds are starting to sing, and for me - sleep time.

matrix got me!!!!!! silly Aloutka! and children of the silence

After checking Krista's blog as almost every day (I wrote few blogs ago that I like her without actually knowing her in person), I've learned that her Hillary is already on our side of the reality. She named her baby Hillary Marie - good name. Have I mentioned that I'm an expert (in a way) in names and tradition of christening? Well, my PhD is all about it, heheheh :)
And - silly me - I was moved to tears by the information and beautiful photo of happy mother and daughter. CONGRATULATIONS, KRISTA AND HILLARY MARIE!"
Sniff, sniff...
I know the reason - though Ada is the most wonderful daughter in the world, she's not a newborn anymore. She is a big toddler, running around, speaking words that are not just her private language but each day more understandable, loudly singing, laughing, putting nappies on her head for fun, wanting to draw in my notecard, to be giggled, posing before the mirror, etc. She is growing fast, imitating grownups, almost grownup herself! I'd just like to feel this feeling of having newborn again! It was such a great thing to birth her and to have her in my arms. Well, I see that labor and storm of hormones made a gap in my memory and I don't remeber any discomfort or pain of pregnancy, heheheh. Besides, and that's another thing, Ada was very silent and calm baby from the beginning, and even midwifes in hospital were surprised by her zen meditative mood. So were our neighbours and landlords - everybody expected rush and loud. She just had her eyes opened but spoke a little. Child of the silence.
Omph, I'm back to myself - that's better. I'll better go finish birthday present for our young neighbour!
And I wouldn't be me if I hadn't noticed the information that Krista is already home! I have to check the information but it seems in Canada women come back homes after just labor! Or a one day. In Poland women are kept at least 3 days in any case. Very interesting.... I'll use it in my medical anthropology lecture. Next semester, of course :)

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

busy day

I found again the Paperpod creative and ecologically aware company using cardboard as a material to design toys and furniture. It's brilliant, indeed! I checked the price of this cupboard house and though it's not costless, 30 pounds is not exaggerated price for such an item.
It's fantastic - simple, decorative, beautiful and helps to teach children creativity. I feel like becoming fanatic of this idea.... Hm - poor Ada ;) (My parents are still disbelieving we want to raise her at least untill her 3 years without a constant contact with a tv. Actually we don't have a tv at all)

I'm preparing a gift for the first friend Ada has - Kinga is 9 years old neighbour of ours and likes to play with Ada. Tommorrow is Kinga's birthday as she herself told me, pretending she was just interested in a day of Ada's birthday :) . I'm making a set of finger puppets for Kinga - forest set. She doesn't look acustomed to handmade goods and toys, rather for plastic toys and lots of tv, but I hope she'll like it.

Today I received another custom order - thank Goddess!. Our friend Bartus wants me to make a dog - Alsace type - for his little nephew who loves his pet dog. I have an idea how to make it - propably wolf fingerpuppet will be my inspiration.

It seems I'll have a nice website! SOON! Even very soon. DD Paul designed a nice site for Kazawa Project : bright, with funny sketches and friendly colours and, what's the most interesting for me, with beautiful stripes as a decoration. But Adam doesn't want it - he preferes to keep the old layout. I don't quite understant him, but on the other hand, I can not compain - I love stripes! Especially in such brigh colours, like my favourite folk stripes. And I need a banner (and typography) as soon as possible. To start etsy shop, among the other thing. Poor DD - he doesn't have an easy life with a partner like Adam...

Monday, 25 June 2007

Sinead, Hildegarde and friends

Sinead, Hildegarde and friends
Originally uploaded by lalootka.
My new flatmates: lamb Sinead, and monkey Hildegarde. They are both young musicians: Hildegarde is composer (nomen omen), Sinead (nomen omen) is studying opera singing - one of her favourite artists is Bianca Casady They are very young so still keep their softies :)
After introducing lamb Amelia into a flickr world I realized that lambs hate to live in solitude - they need a company - the more sheep the merrier. Sinead warned me that few her cousins more are coming soon. And they are not silent for sure. (Her legs and arms are made of pure rustic linen. Next time I'll take thinner linen for this purpose).

We are expecting a concert soon - though Midsummer Night passed but there'll be another occassion soon: the end of term, exams and beginning of the Summer holidays :) - composer and conductor Hildegarde, solo vocal - Sinead. Though I love Hildegarde von Bingen , I hope that our Hildegarde won't imitate her fully.

Another addition to our growing lalootkas' company are vaderas, female wolf pack. I treat them as a modest contribution or rather hommage to the idea of The Mom Pack (it should be such an organization here in Poland).
I love wolfs and their perfect family organization. They are more loyal than musketeers, and more devoted to their children, and their mates than humans (in general). I still remeber wonderful book "Not so terrifing wolf" about researches among Alaskan wolfes by a young Canadian biologist who even ate mice to immitate wolf's diet and proove few of his thesis. Receipe for mice with bacon and cream is still in my memory.
But speaking about wolfs - I have to make some more of them for few sets of finger puppets and two of them will be a couple for custom order: the Noah's Arc.

And good news - Trinlay received Izumi today. At last, I worried a bit about it - it took so long! Trinlay is an expert in Japanese outfits, she has few kimonos and knows perfectly the difference between yukata and kimono. I wonder how she judges my production of kitty, her outfits and packages (I wanted to make it as simple and anasumed as possible - to follow the Japanes art of packaging, of course).

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

night at computer, hmmm

It's a 4.a.m. and I'm still at computer, searching and browsing other blogs - goodness, what am I doing? Isn't it time-wasting? I should be sleeping! By the way - Ada hasn't woke up even once till now! Or when she did she just said: "tata" and "ongo" which is her word for a tail and fell asleep again. Usually she wakes up twice. And want to eat. So I have to breastfeed and sooth her. And I usually fall asleep then. Leaving computer running.... Strange - but her sleeping so calmly shows that our Cape Canaveral-size bed is not spacious enough for the three of us. How to make her sleeping in her own bed? I'm a lauzy mother. When I come back after a half of a week absence to tell the truth I want her by my side! That's the main reason. She is 1,5 year and still breastfed, because it's good for her and lovelyfor me.

Tommorrow night will be sleepless as well - I'm going to Torun by train! Sigh.

Yesterday I was trying to upload the result of a personality DNA but I couldn't so here it is - it's confirmed - I have a personality!!! :)

Visiting other blogs I found such a quiz - what colour I am. Hm. well well

You Are A Blue Girl

Relationships and feelings are the most important things to you.

You are empathetic and accepting - and good at avoiding conflict.

If someone close to you is in pain, it makes you hurt as well.

You try to heal the ones you love with your kind and open heart.

But the most of fun I had with this quiz - what American English I speak - hehhehe,

Your Linguistic Profile:

40% Yankee

30% General American English

20% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

I can not analyse the results of this one, so I do not know if my English is understandable or not, I sound like a countrygirl of educated person. (Lack of data and impossibility to analaze makes me feel uncomfortable!). That's the only bad side of writing in English when it's your second language. 20% Dixie means that I use words from Luisiana? Or countryside girl's? Goodness...

OMG - speaking of language: right now I've noticed that comments and information on blog layout are in Polish! It used to be in English, so it's fresh new! Good! Very good. Propably I switch it unconciously. Unconciously - exact word for me. If I want to write in English and to manage without Polish, it's not useful. Or it is? But that's my mother's tongue. (it's interesting that in English you call it that way, when in other European languages it's a rather connected with a father, which is not proper: maybe fathers are inspiring for children but they are mothers who teach children to speak, I believe). No, no, no - too late for sitting and time-wasting.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Respect habitats. Knut.

polar bear in the sea
Originally uploaded by lalootka.
Well, it seems I started making polar bear just in time - Dec. 5, 2006 Knut, first polar bear in Berlin zoo, was born. Sad story actually, because, after the death of his twin brother, mother rejected him and poor baby is raised by humans. And zoo workers use his cuteness to promote Berlin zoo, at first, and the idea of environemt and habitats preservation - this very Respect habitats. Knut . Excellent idea, of course. But I haven't been to zoo for ages - I have mixed emotions about it. I'd like Ada to know bio-diversity of earth but I pitty those animals living in cages (though they are not cages).
And I pitty Knut - I know that I anthropomorphise the cub of the polar bear, but - 6 months cub is a tiny baby, isn't it? And he lives without mama. His mama is 3 meters tall predator, but it's a mama!
I accessed Design Can Change programm and made a pledge: to do my best to design with a least effort for nature. Which means using pre-loved materials (I love this word pre-loved, I saw it at Maki Squarepatch site), maybe natural cotton or wool stuffing. That's a challenge. But actually, even dishwashing or morning shower can be a challenge. Or diet!
Life is not easy.
My students are funny - they were writing esseys at the Medical anthropology seminar about various types of alternative medical treatment. And they did it fine - quite fine. But just few of them had real anthropological conclusions and showed me the context of such phenomenons. On the other hand I apprieciate their point of view, way of thinking which is so different than mine. I'm quite satisfied with the seminar programm and result - "quite" means that we should have more time for such project than just one semester.

I envy Tony - on this picture - he can swimm all day long. Today is unBEARable heat and swimming in such a cool blue water like he does would be relief for everyone.
(...Maybe I should make larger bears - polar bears are the largest bears in the world. I'll think about it....)

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

lamb Amelia dreaming 'bout Australia

Yesterday night I made this pal(m) creature - it's rather tiny, bit less than my palm's size. The shape of her body is the simplest possible - just oval. As a black sheep of the family I chose my favourite colour - but her mother withh be larger, for sure. Because I want to make mother-sheep. White. They'll suit to my story about Lucinda. But this lamb is not Lucinda, it's Amelia.
(I'm not especially satisfied with a photo, but so far I don't want to make another one).

Ms Malgosia called to offer us a kitty, the real one - two months old, grey and black kitty, and to say that Tony and Franky bear brothers are fine and kids like them. Though she was frankly enough to say, that all four parents of boys like them even more! Well, it happens. But she said, she loves them - I apprieciate her taste and opinion.

When Ada was napping and I had an hour for myself, I got a brilliant idea - how to connect my social anthropology with my artistic ambitions and soft toys making. Today I won't say a word about it, first I have it thought detailed. And to make sure I can make it. And that I will.

If this idea won't work maybe I'll follow Amelia....

indie business and VR

Blog managment is not an easy thing, I've noticed. After some hours of other blogs survey I think that generally people put a lot of effort to achieve popularity. And that's ok. So should do I. Let's call it investement: of time, work and attention.

Speaking of investment: so far I have to stop my flickr activity because I almost have the amount of 200 photos I could use. It would be better not to buy a pro account before I don't have some more stuff in stock. And that means some fabric stashes, felt and polyfil to buy. Besides, gazing at other's works took my precious time - though I loved it!!! I met so many wonderful artist there, so many tallented people. Thank goodness for internet. On the other hand:
I've even dressed my yahoo avatar in t-shirt of the ONE campaign. And today I was watching if Krista published any new photos on flickr - why? To know if she's OK! Her labor day is soon. Then I realized that's the Matrix - the reality I just believe in. I know Krista only as a flickr tallented photographer and sensitive pregnant blogger and what - I want to know if she'd delivered already or not! Slight contact and exchange of comments made me feel like knowing her very well. Strange thing, internet.

But - to contunue my first subject - I still have my goal in my mind: to make plushies and to draw for children. And some day to make clothing for children. Label "lalootka's attic" sounds good for me. Anyway - to be an indie designer, not a mass producer, of course. The reason is simple for me: I believe in educational and socializing role of handcrafts. Mass production does not have "soul" - handcrafted objects do. Generally people rather suffer from being just one of the mass and want to be unique and special. Handcrafted objects give you an opportunity to feel that not everything is produced in China yet. Popularity of any object with a tag "one-of-the-kind" is clear then. I don't see any other way of learning children the R-E-S-P-E-C-T :) for work of others, for their own work than to offer them beautiful, good quality, handmade objects: furniture, clothing, toys. And books of course - even books should escape from mass production. Idee fix? Maybe - but I just want to take my chance. Educating grownups in crafts is another thing worth thinking.

Well, I've noticed also that I collected a lot of interesting labels here - representing women's initiatives mostly! Good - I believe in girl's power. One of my faves is "the Moms pack" - I chose this button because as the only one it showed no too sweet and cute face of motherhood. Now I'm alpha female and can do anything to bring up my cub. My both cubs actually: Ada and "lalotka's attic". I'm so curious and excited if it's gonna work out! Goddess, help me.

I knew that something will start with a business - we moved into the house no 36 and in feng shui it's a number of investments and growing business.... :) We should live here some time longer and then move to home no 28 - "easy money", hehehe.

On the other hand - my survey through websites and blogs of indie designers will help Adam and DD to start with KazawaProject also. I believe that Adam will use my knowledge! Information is priceless, isn't it? I wanted KazawaProject to be a label gathering young Silesian artisans and designers of various fields, but so far Adam is interested only in jewelry. Summer will be test for us both (ot rather the three of us, counting DD) if what we do finds an interest and customers.

By the way: I received a custom order, tralalala. To make tiny animals for Noah's arc, fox plushie and blanket for a baby. Fortunately my "genius personal sewer" which means petite sewing machine works. Making blanket in hands only would take too much time.

Tommorrow I go to Toruń for final lectures with my students. And to start exams - I'll test them of ethnography of Poland and ethnography of Slavs. The worst thing for me is to give them notes - I want to be justice. Afterwords they will have a chance to give me a note - evaluation questionnaire, hm. I don't think I like it, but I understand the neccessity of such responce.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

geisha? no, swap

After making another kimono for swap kitty I'm sure - I'm perfectionist. I love to do things right. And when I get a manual of kimono making (I am ethnographer, aren't I? So I searched for it among ethnographic archives - an article about kimonos collection in ethnographical museum)
I decided to make another one - better one, of course. It has double layers, as it should have, both made of cotton - so it's rather summer casual dress, with linen obi, Yukata more than kimono, which we associate rather with silk. I couldn't make a bottom white dress - it would be too much even for me. I was trying to make seams as invisible as possible. I'm quite satisfied now, at last. Poor Sari had to wait so long, I have remorse. I cut a photo of tea house from my favourite Elle Decoration :) to arrange the scenery, though I suppose (or I know) cotton kimono doesn't suit cha ceremony - it should be silk. I picked a black outer cotton with flowers that make an impression of plum blossoms - havin' five petals each, and white bottom cotton with twigs.

I prepared an ID of a kitty - her name is Izumi, Izumi Kazawa, and she is half Polish. Kazawa name is not a coincidence - it's my alias, Aloutka Kazawa, after Adam's name which is Kazała - and that sounds exactly the same. But Izumi again: she loves cha celebrations, peonies, midsummer and bluebirds. And red purses. (I decided to add red purses to every toy I make now - when Twinky Winky is suspected by gov. to be gay just because having purse, adding red purse is a joke and statement).And now - just to compare - a photo of Izumi. I called her after friend of ours, lovely girl, half Polish also. I hope that THIS Izumi will be as good kendo fighter, drawer and translator like this human one.

Another thing I made was my "business card" - I enjoyed making it, but actually I'm not sure if it's gonna work out. It's lovely to make handmade business cards but it's wasting time, isn't it? I can keep it also as a tag, or use an illustration. Anyway - drawing makes my day. I love aquarell pencils - and mix technique: some colours wet, some dry, pencil, PILOT V 5, and the result is quite satisfactory.
Few days without Adam here was very busy - Ada wanted my constant care and attention, and cryed loudly "dad" running around the house. And we made a lot of house work. I love my home clean and neat. We visited kindergadens, playing, having fun, building castles, reading books - for Ada pictures mostly. We had an walk to the forrest and saw goats and chickens - Ada was fascinated with feeding goats. While we were working hard, daddy amused himself in Prague - our beloved Prague. Amusement was not complete, he sais, without us, but I suppose he meant his pupils were not that sweet as Ada, though also very nice and intelligent. I'm sure they had had wonderful time together.
Ada still likes turquoise kitty. But she's fair enough to share her underarms and love between her and white teddy bear.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Children's Day part 2

When I get my parent's house on Lodz - I'm their twice a month visitor - we had a nice chat with Justyna and her boyfriend Johnny and mother late at night. Mostly about our unpleasant adventures with insects - Justyna and Johnny both have arachnophobia... :) and even discussing about spiders, fleas and other monsters made them thrilled. It's so nice to see them safe, happy (well, quite happy, Johnny has exams on his studies, and Justyna is waiting impatiently for the results of her high school final exams. But anyway - I love to meet them).

Sitting in a restaurant today I made a few sketches of Ada and me. When I'm longing work helps, especially sketching, sewing and inventing new toys. So here there are mother and daughter. Ada is keeping her toys - turqoise Kitty and girlie - bear Sophie (no night gown anymore) under her underarms - very fair. That's the way she really is keeping them while playing or going for a walk. Someday I will redo these sketches - they look interesting as drafts and I want them to be more detailed and clean. Sketching in restaurant is rather dangerous for paper, as I see now.
The below one is very rough but shows the most favourite place of Ada to sit. Hall stairs leading to our studio and my attic are fantastic and she loves to climb up there (with a help of our hands, of course)
I had some problems with posing "my" legs and feet, funny.

It's 3 a.m. right now - I suppose it's late enough to go to sleep.

Friday, 1 June 2007

International Children's Day

Another occasion for celebrations - everybody likes to have holiday and lots of fun with children today (o my, what rhymes, hehe). Beautifull weather helps to have outdoors activities. I'm in Torun, at the university, and next few hours will spend in train, travelling to Lodz. Since I just woke up this morning, I've been thinking about Ada and, poor me, children with parents are everywhere, and that's increasing my longing. I just received a sms from Adam with an information that Ada, after awakening, told him (which means she took his hand and lead him) to the kitchen to feed the cat. Charming! He was happy - he loves the cat and believes his daughter is special. But I have a contact with my special child just by a phone... Quite sad, actually.

By the way: the cat. That's an old photo of Kitty in cheongsam. I put it here because I hope to put another kitty's photo very soon. One-of-the-kind black kitty, name Izumi. And I want to have a fresh view for this one. To compare.

To chear up and to comfort myself I made some drawings of baby Ada and me but scanner doesn't function properly and I can not upload them, hrrrr. Well, I will do it later. Now I have to go, but maybe I'll add few words later today (when I get Lodz and a scanner).