Sewing shoes

After I had a hard time sewing moccasins, I decided to make something easier to get my enthusiasm and courage back before finishing them. And are there easier shoes than sandals? I doubt. So sandals were my choice, the medicine of self-confidence.

I had slightly thicker leather this time, but surface treatment was different, much more suitable for sewing shoes, which was a great experience and lesson. Not only thickness matters!

Another good experience is that having real pattern worth! Unlike the moccasins, I spent time preparing 3D duct-tape pattern exactly on my foot. It’s nothing complicated and thanks to it all the sandal parts fit perfectly.

The only problem was material shortage. Originally, I bought this small piece of leather to make a tablet case with the intention to make a simple zentangle drawing on it. Then I changed my mind for sandals instead. And you can imagine the difference in material demands between shoes and a small tablet case 😊

Finally, I so-so put the pattern down on the piece of leather, using  every available scrap. Actually, I would like to have tapes over my instep longer, but there was no more to take.

After cutting all the leather parts and sewing them together (with a great help of awl) I glued the leather insole to the sole, which I cut out according to the pattern, using a 6 mm thick shoe sole rubber sheet. I left the glue work for 24 hours with a heavy load on top of it.

sandal_in_mirrorThe final step was to place hook-and-loop fasteners and the work was done! Not perfect, but pretty good I would say. I didn’t break any needle and didn’t cause any injury 😀

Your comments and improvement recommendations are welcome!

Thanks for reading,

Ivana

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Rose of my heart

Many call it weed, complain about ugly smell of blossoms, but they run to it for help in case of heart weakness. Yes, I’m talking about hawthorn (Crataegus) from the Rosaceae family.

I love hawthorn since childhood, mom taught me to know its taste and healing value. To be honest, I prefer hawthorn to a thousand beautiful roses. All the fragrant roses fit into well kept gardens around noble houses, but it’s not me.

I have a thorny nature and hard stone inside. More likely you can meet me on a walk in the forest or wild nature than elegant in the city or artistic garden. I can do it as much as hawthorn. There are cultivars that grow in urban parks, but they almost lost their healing effects through breeding.

I spent a long period of my life in a busy city and I wasn’t unhappy. But I was slowly losing my basic essence, which was pointed out by my physical body. When I was finally willing to admit it and change my lifestyle, the body began slowly to recover.

My whole lifestyle has changed from busy to slow but I have time to see the beauty of life in great details and enjoy it better. From time to time I watch things that I already knew as a little girl. And that’s why I devoted my colorful drawing to all the hearts and healing power of weed roses like hawthorn.

Love, Ivana

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

As I was born and grown in the communist Czechoslovakia behind the “iron curtain”, I didn’t have a clue about Patrick’s Day for a long period of time. We’ve been taught and brainwashed about great soviet heroes and holidays instead.

Fortunately, we were allowed to keep some of the old myths, legends and fairy tales as well, especially if they didn’t sound too religious. And so we got the hidden wisdom through elves, fairies, witches and other fairy-tale beings.

One of those mythical characters is Vodyanoy – a completely green creature that rules over the waters. Because we don’t have a sea in my country, Vodyanoy usually lives in ponds, lakes or deep river bays. He looks elegant, prefers green or red top hat and has a tailcoat, from which the water is always dripping. We really have a lot of stories where Vodyanoy appears. Some Vodyanoys are good or cute, others are evil and scary, but you can easily recognize them because of green color and water, dripping from their clothing.

The reason, why the Vodyanoy myths came back to me in these days, was the last prompt on Deviant art. The challenge was to draw a green picture in honor of the St. Patrick’s Day. I tried to fulfill my intention, celebrating the Irish heritage. I drew for hours but the mind didn’t flow in the Irish mood at all. So much green has caused to me to see more Vodyanoy, sitting in a really green pond.

I would say that no matter how many things you learn in life, cultural roots remains with you for ever. What do you think?

Thanks for reading and extra warm greetings to all Irish people! 🍀

With love, Ivana

Mistletoe

When I was a small girl, we didn’t keep many traditions in our family. But having a Christmas tree and mistletoe was a must. I loved colorful lights and gifts, as well as the scent of fresh needles, but I didn’t care why people cut trees and moved them into their homes.

However I was curious about the mistletoe. Where does it grow and why does it look like a bird’s nest? What are the white mini-balls? And why people paint the mistletoe with gold or silver color? Isn’t green good enough for holiday’s decoration?

My mother patiently explained to me that the mistletoe grows high in the trees, so it’s not easy to get it. It symbolizes happiness, health and prosperity, which is also not easy to get. And some people are painting mistletoe silver or gold to increase the probability that it happens.

Much later I learned that mistletoe belongs to the medicinal plants and that people from ancient times attributed extraordinary and even magical qualities to it. I always felt great respect for the mistletoe, but my curiosity was always stopped by the knowledge that this plant is poisonous. Plus there were plenty of other plants I could play with.

Of course I noticed several nests of mistletoe in my neighborhood – high in the trees, difficult to access. Exactly how my mother said. But recently, I found mistletoe on the path, fell down in windy weather. It reminded me, that although happiness or prosperity seems to be far away, sometimes the opportunity falls down right under our feet. Then it depends if we catch it and make use of it.

I picked it from the path, brought it home and drew picture of mistletoe with the bird, responsible for spreading seeds of it. I hope you like it, and I double hope it brings you happiness, health and prosperity as my mother promised 🍀

Happy holidays!

Ivana

Taste of colors

Have you ever wondered how the colors smell and taste? I am sure they have their own energy that is not easy to exactly perceive, but we can play with associations. I will take a risk and show my inner self by giving you an example.

Red, when I close my eyes and ask for red, I feel the blood – wet and sticky blood with ferocious taste on my tongue. Something bleeds and calls the fragility on the border between life and death. My second attempt for red was juicy fruits of red color with a large amount of seed inside. This time life and fertility have beaten death 😋 But still I feel a kind of potential danger in red. It might taste great, I stay in alert.

Yellow. I smell the freshness of the lemon, but its sour taste is balanced by a ton of honey. Sweet and fresh sour mixed together, that’s how I taste the yellow. Yellow is the light why I’m not afraid to go to a dark cellar.  Yellow is the tool through which I can see the truth, even it could bring a huge shock.

Blue is an ocean at night, wide and deep, full of dark secrets. I feel how cold and wet the blue is. Anyway, for me the blue doesn’t represent the purity because I’m fully aware of millions microorganism living there. Plus I feel the salinity inside of blue and each grain of salt means the impurity which separates sterility from viable environment, with too high salinity of death on the opposite side. For me, the blue brings the alchemy of living environment or better to say how much secrets and impurities are acceptable in our lives.

Orange is a sun for me. I feel friendly sunshine on my skin or even a hot sunny day in the middle of desert. Orange is always smiling in my imagination, enjoying every second of life. Orange is fun, a sense of humor, a celebration of life alone and with friends. Orange is a must otherwise you would fall into sadness or depression.

Violet makes me feel lavender in the old cabinet, in which the spiritual robe hangs and only lavender prevents moths from destroying it. In my image the violets is full of grey as if the dust covered the spirituality.

And finally green, this is the place where I can freely run and truly be who I am. I smell all the shades of the forest, the resin of the conifers that improves my breathing and breaks the boundaries of my options in life. Inside of green, I can always touch my heart and read what is written inside.

So, this is my honest imagination of colors at the moment, I’m staying naked in front of you.  I’ll tell you next time how to read it, how to detect a possible problem and how to bring some harmony into it. Would you like to guess? Feel free to write comments, I’m curious. And if you like to share your imagination through colors, I will be honored.

With love, Ivana