Sunday, May 1, 2016

(Orthodox) Easter

As usual, every four years or so we celebrate really, really later - it has to do with the moon cycle and the new / old calendar. So here we are, starting the month of May with Easter!

Christ Has Risen! ~ All Pretty ThingsThis time my house had to be pleased with the harmony... as there was no time to clean anything (we usually do a serious spring cleaning at Easter, complete with washing all the windows, the walls, the doors... it's crazy, time-consuming, but oh, so squeaky-clean!). Not this time. It was barely time for cooking, we just finished the eggs :) The special meat-loaf was a must, but no sweet bread (Florin is the one eating it, and he's in Germany this week, we'll probably make the sweet bread next week). The cheese 'Pasca' is done as well, so I consider it done.

But I filled the house with flowers and hopefully good spirit. Which is, ultimately, what matters. Knowing what we celebrate and why and understanding the gravity of the moment. Preparing for Christmas is a joyful journey - preparing for Easter is a mixed one. On one hand, you must be sad for His pain and for what He went through for us, on the other hand, you must be happy knowing it's just a few more hours until everything is beautifully right in the world!

So from our family to you: may you be blessed and may your path be lighten up.

Christ Has Risen!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hello... still from this side

I have neglected the blog, not because I have nothing to say, but because I couldn't get together for long enough to say it.

Paraphrasing Adele (I love that song *a lot*): Hello!

No, I am not calling you from the other side :)

I've been busy, as predicted. Not done yet, almost there. Courses are done, I still have to mark the finals for the one I TA-ed, but my courses are done. I had wonderful professors (as usual), and I learned a lot this term. It was quite a challenge: for one of the courses we had insanely long assignments every three weeks (26 questions for each, and each questions would take me on average 1 hour to study, and another to write a solution). The other course was as challenging, however extremely practical, we had to literary go and try different tools for each unit. This professor went above and beyond his "duty": he came to my Master thesis presentation (and asked a lot of questions!) and then for his course project, he gave me a subject that fits into my research. Isn't that nice?

The thesis went well, I finished it and I will start soon the next phase with it. I presented it, I defended it, I am done - Master of Applied Science in Software Engineering. It seems so long ago!

The child and husband are both healthy and going on. I will have some news from hubby's side of the business, soon. He's busier than usual, but I guess that is good. I just don't seem to catch a break :)

On the artsy side, I let everything slide... something has to give, as I have discovered neither the time machine (or at least that magical gadget Hermione got from Dumbledore in her third year) nor a way to clone myself. I am not even sure I'd go with the clone, as I wouldn't want someone else to live parts of my life. I had some pale trials back in January to make some enameled pieces... they are still waiting to be finished. I have also tried metal clay again (copper this time) and, believe it or not, it is not yet fired! I am looking forward to fire them at one point.

Right now all I can do is admire the beautiful spring weather (chilly, but very sunny) and inch forward, one baby step at a time!

In March we took the High Performance Team to a camp in Tucson, Arizona. On the last day we visited the Bioshpere 2. I hoped for some life science extraordinaire, however, while in life science I've seen more interesting museums, that place is an engineering wonder! If you ever have the chance to see it, don't miss it - it's impressive to see how they built it.

Much to my surprise, what is the path to the actual domes peppered with?!

Boulders of Malachite and Azurite, from the hills (and desert) around the Biosphere. See, there is some pretty to look at even when I make nothing else but mathematical formulae. One day I will get to Tucson and do nothing but visit the places where Turquoise is mined :)

Right now... I have to get back to my study, I still have two huge exams at the end of the month. And tomorrow is Palm Sunday, next Sunday is Easter... baby steps...

And with this, I am going to thank you for stopping by and wish you all a great St. George day!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A New Year!

Happy New Year! I know it's not that new anymore, but I still write 2015 everywhere, so it's new for me :)

This past week, walking to and from the office, I've been thinking I haven't chosen my word for 2016 yet. I need something full of energy - the first third of the year will be brutal. I take 2 very intense courses, one extra, I TA a lovely course (the good news here is that this term students seem to be more interested, more aware, more present than the ones last year), and I have exactly 6 weeks to finish, defend, and send the corrected thesis to the department.

And while I am not going to think past next week, I know the rest of the year will be as crazy. Between the three schools (Florin's, William's and mine), home and everything else, it'll be a miracle to navigate through.

That being said, my energetic word for 2016 is bold. A little bit of "to boldly go where no one has gone before", a little bit of "adventurous", a lot of "fearless", some "daring" and a bit of "audacious" (in the good sense), my word of the year will help me stay focused and courageously inch forward, one step at a time.

What is your word / goal for the New Year? 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Art Bead Scene - Ornament Blog Hop

In a moment of insanity (it looks like I have lots of them lately), when Heather Powers posted on Art Bead Scene there will be an Ornament Blog Hop I said 'yes!'.

Then I had that moment of lucidity that follows the insanity: now what? I had no clear idea... so I did what I do best, leave it to brew. I don't know about you, but for me it really works (the trick is to tell yourself to brew the idea, not to forget it). Half of my work ideas come in dreams; I wake up in the morning and I suddenly have the solution of whatever issues I had.

This time I didn't dream about it, though. Couple of weeks ago, at Dee's studio, I simply rummaged through my IKEA box of boxes, looking for items. It had to be metal / wire, but I wanted some colour as well. I kept digging until I recovered an adorable blue cab with a matte finish, like etched glass (it is not glass, some sort of resin). From previous experience I know it's hard to use them in bezels, the finish is finicky and burnishing the bezel around is not looking good on the cab. While thinking of this, I kind of made the back for it, from copper, hammered and stamped. I thought one of those net-like bezels from wire would work best, I made the first raw on the net, then realized it will never go well with just the net, as the wire was too think (24 ga). There is a solution to every problem - and I found mine immediately :)

The cab is quite small (about 1" in diameter) and the ornament looked like it was missing something. Luckily for me, I always carry wire and enamel with me now.

This is what I ended up with:

Mystical sea creature: copper, enamel, wire working, blue resin cab, Art Bead Scene Ornament blog hop :: All Pretty Things

Isn't it adorable? What you see is the actual size (just a tad larger in real life) and the funniest part is that today I was wearing a dress in exact those 2 blues. So I think my ornament will end up being a pendant soon :) What's best than a piece that can be both?!

I am searching for a name - something with fish net / octopus / sea life comes to mind... I haven't figured it out yet. I might add the 3rd 'leg' - I had three of them, but for some unknown reasons, one decided to melt while torched... before I even touched the enamel. It just warped itself out of solid state into a semi-liquid state. Strange, I know, as all three legs were made the same way, from the same piece of wire, same torch. Oh, well, I will survive. Maybe it's some mystical sea creature - two-legged, yes, I actually like that. 

"Mystical sea creature" :) 

Thank you for stopping by - we'll all be hopping from the ABS' site, I'll try to add the list link here as well. 

Wishing you a peaceful season: may you celebrate what you believe in with your loved ones!