My Blog List

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vivacious Butterflies

The butterflies from my tote had modified and multiplied and  finally settled on my skirt.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Create your personal business card

I´m new in business and till now I had no need for business cards. After tomorrw I would like to make a gift, a bag from my shop, and there would be no harm if I include a business card.  - Just in case!  - How can I get cards in such a short time? - Merely by makig them by myself. So think, Dunja, think! Be creative!  And -  Hop! - I figured it up. You can make yours the same way a did mine:

1. You need card paper (I used a wall calender sheet) and

2. Write on your computer the text you want on your card and  print it.

3. Choose pictures from your computer and print them in the size you prefer. My size was 3" X 1,5"

4. Cut the pictures and the text sheet out.

5. Adjust the length and the width of both sides an stick them together.

6. Now the only think to do is to cut the cards in final form and it´s done.

Easy, cheap, unique, and BEAUTIFUL!  Isn´t it?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

News from Nina

It´s sommer and we have school vacations in Croatia. Before parting for holidays Nina has as usual spent one week with her school mates on the Adria. Here I must allow the Croatian state realy takes care of socially and otherwise hadicapped children. 

As Nina´s special boarding school is closed during the  vacations she is supposed to spend the sommer at her foster familiy in the country - about 100 Km from Zagreb. I met  the family last sommer and was deeply moved by the  warmth I felt visiting them. They give a home to three  foster girls during the vacations.

It is a modest working man´s houshold. However the girls are well supplied with all they need and the most important is the kindness, generosity and love they get from their sommer foster parents.

During the sommer months I´ll send Nina post cards to let her know I care. Should I visit her once or twice? I haven´t made my mind yet. She was the happiness itself when I visited her last year and the miserablest child when we had to part ...

(All pictures in this post were taken last sommer)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Help, I need your advice!

Hi, here I´m again. Last week was rather unpleasant for me - I underwent a comlpicated eye surgery and had to stay in hospital for some days. But no, I don´t complain. It´s OK now and  it´s going to be better.
I need  your advice regarding my next project. While in hospital I recieved my order from Salzanos shop on Etsy.  I couldn´t wait to come home and open it. Here it was -wonderfuly arranged - my hand designed fabric with mushrooms!

Isn´t it perfect? Look at the details.


At the moment I just have to wait until my eye has recovered and then I intend to make out of it a tote for myself - the kind of the other totes in my shop, and to wear it in fall and in winter. Now I´m undecided what colour to choose for the back side: olive-green, purple, dark red, brownish, ...?
Help me with your advice to make up my mind! Thank you!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Have you ever ....

felt the urge to kiss a book you are just reading? To kiss the book as expression of gratitude to the writer who had the wit and talent to put into words your vague ideas about a subject.  

 It happened to me reading on my Kindle  Margaret Atwood´s collection of short stories The Tent. In a concise way she speaks about live and lifes, this and that - and in eleven sketches about orphans - the topic that concerns me very much because of my orphan friend Nina

 ... is blank.
M. Atwood opens our eyes telling her stories with wit, witticism, irony and dark humor here some exemples:

....... they´re so easily broken.

and further:


The longer I ponder the condition of orphanhood the more I´m worrying about Ninas future. What will her life be like? What will happen one day when she sets sail  and heads to the open sea  without advice and help of a generous benefector ?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Easter holydays with Nina

We had a wonderful time, Nina and me, at the seaside in Klenovica. She was so happy stroling along the beach, baking, cooking, playing with her new doll, ...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Why in English?

Why do I write my blogs in English insted in Croatian? It would be so easy to  express myself in my mother language. It would be done in a few minutes. Insted of that I fight my way through grammer rules and dictionaries. While writing my desk looks like this :  computer screen with an open dictionary, paper, several glasses, because my eys are anymore adaptable, some other dictionaries on the bad next to my desk...
Well, why all that? There are two main reasons - English developed to an universal media. Almost everyone can undestand it. I can get more readers with a blog in English. After all, that´s the common reason why people  use English in their communication

The other reason is personal: As little girl, not even in school age, I saw Tarzan movies with  J. Weismuller acting Tarzan. He became my hero, and when my mam had explaind he was speking English I made my decission: I must learn English so a could visit Tarzan.

My mam had a hard life. She was a self-supporting mother and she had spent many hours at her sewing machine to pay my private English lessons. (How grateful I´m now for all her sacrifices!)  I was doing well for some years, but at the age of fifteen other priorities showed up and my English got forgotten -

until our two daughters left Croatia for Canada ad Australia. English  became an urgence now! Hurry, search your brain for traces of English.  I started to read National Geographics. What a nightmar! After I had finished  a page I didn´t know what I had read. Slowly, very slowely,  it got better and now I can read and undestand every text. But writing in English is still like doing a challenging homework. 
Well,  I was  language teacher -  I ´m stubborn - I must muster it!

I have been teaching  for almost fourty  years . Now my only student  is myself. As student  I can say I´m a amiable teacher - no punishements, no bad marks. But as teacher I admit there were much  better students in my  career. This last one is to sloppy, to inattentive, to thoughtles, to .....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Meet my Sweet, Belowed Friend Nina

That´s Nina in the age of six when I met her, four years ago, in the home for orphan and abused children in Zagreb. In her group she was the only one sitting without saying a word. It turned out she can´t pronouce words due tu some sirious injures in her early childhood. I arranged myself in the way I could visit the children twice a week and take one by one out  - to  the zoo, the children´s theatre, for a walk ..... Some of them were not free to go out with me because their parents  or relatives had came to visit them. Nina was always avalible - nobody visited her.

In the course of weeks I  became Nina´s teta Dunja (teta menas aunt in Croatian). Entering the children´s home I heared them calling: "Nina, teta Dunja came to visit you!" So everybody considered I belonged now to her and I was happy with this progress. For, I liked her from the first glace. She was, and still is, a sweet, gentle, little girl. 
Our relation became closer and closer. As for me, my emotions twords Nina  are grandma´s affections. I´m a "substitute" grany with the best wishes for her grandchild. And -  I have chosen NinasSmile for the name of my Etsy shop because I want very much she would smile in her future  life. 

There is also  a blog about Nina posted in Aprile.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How I´ve got fish to swim on my bag?

It´s almost every day that I wake up at dawn with the first birds singing in our garden. Still in half-sleep i try to check up my programm for the day. This and that has to be done ... And than a new idea hits me - Let sew a bag with fish! What kind of fish? What kind of bag? If I make the bag I´ll have to  postpone other tasks. Never mind, I like the fish-idea. Now hury, get up! The idea could have been forgoten in one hour time.

How does it start?
First look through all the places where fabrics, buttons, threads, ..... are stored
and heap them up. Quite a mass, isn´t it. Now select fabrics that fit best.

 These would be fine for the fish. As basic fabric I´m going to use white cotton.

 Parts of the bag are cut up: the body, pockets, straps

 and fish are ready to be appliqued.  May be some buttons ond pendants could be nice as decoration? I habe bought them recently from my friends shops, SandArts and craftzee.

 Here, the pockets are almost ready! But what would be better - like this

 or better this way?

Yes, that´s better. Now the only thing  I had to do was to sew the parts together. And here it is! Voilá! 

Was it easy to make it? Yes and no. It took  all together about three or four hours but it made fun.