Thursday, September 12

The clothier from Balmora

Curitiba has few fabric stores worth visiting, since most local shops are expensive and sell fabrics of a terrible low quality. The only alternative for those who expect to find something out of ordinary is to purchase it online, for you can choose from a larger variety of patterns and get the cheapest prices. Though I’ve never done it myself (fearing to feel too much expectation only to receive something completely different from what I ordered) I’ll have to make a research on safe online shops if I’m to have my vecona-inspired outfit for the next victorian picnic done. Despite wishing a victorian dress or something closer to medieval elegance, once the opportunity of taking part of this event arrived I immediately pictured my favorite fashion designer’s outfit in my head and decided to go wearing what seems to be a fusion of victorian and steam-punk. My next task is to find extra quantities of black and white striped fabric (which will be used for the bloomers and is most likely going to be cotton – lack of better options) and black wool for the cardigan. Besides my falling in love with this specific outfit, there’s also a practical reason for why I chose this one among Vecona’s creations. Whereas a witchy velvet dress would be hardly ever used (if not on these underground events) the striped bloomers along with the black cardigan can be dressed in several occasions. Let me say that I’m not exactly the sort of person who’s got an agitated social life, so giving the circumstances I’m not in position of spending my money with clothes that will rotten inside my closet with no use.

Over the past weeks I spent my free times in front of the sewing machine working on a piece of my project, something that had to be delayed for three years. The truth is I couldn’t get too involved in such things while eagerly waiting to be admitted to a top university, therefore my only options were either focus on the tests (Brazilian universities select their pupils through multiple-choice tests as well as essay tests – the public ones are free and awfully hard to be admitted to) or spend the rest of my life messing around. The second option was clearly out of question so I laid aside all my hobbies and plans for a greater good. Finally the storm is over and now I have plenty time to dedicate to my ideas, such as the blouse in the picture below: 

~victorian striped blouse made out of cotton
Silk lining~

Once my hands touched the texture of a fabric it amazed me how much I had forgotten the sensation of working on something handmade: for a second you’ve got an amount of cloth and in a blink of eyes it materializes into something beautiful in front of you! The cotton used to sew this blouse was bought at Imperial Fabrics (not the best around here, really), but it was on sale and I got two meters for only R$24, 90. Since they were out of silk I had to chase it in other shops and found it at Huddersfield Fabrics (their products are much better if compared to Imperial’s – so does the customer service). I found these delicate black flowers early this week and bought about 10 planning to use them on a Gothic Lolita headdress, but as I was working on the last details of my blouse I felt like something was missing, so these little beauties were added to the buttoning and now I’m pretty satisfied with the result.

~(Oh and before I forget let me list here the small soundtrack that made my afternoon's work worth it: Juli-  Immer Wenn Es Dunkel Wird, Süchtig, Mit Verbundenen Augen, Dieses Leben, geile zeit, Das Gute Gefühl, Elektrisches Gefühl (click to listen) - I am addicted to this german pop band, though this is not my favorite kind of music I like it because it helps me to learn german, besides, the lead-singer's voice is very pleasant).~

The striped cotton of higher-quality is sold at Casa Belem, one of the trendiest stores specialized in crafts and with the best variety of materials in the city. They offer prints that vary from polka dot, cherries, stripes, flowers and cupcakes to Russian dolls, skulls and red roses (most of them are imported so that one meter might cost more than R$ 45). There you can also buy sewing machines and take courses on cut and sew, patchwork and crafts in general...  Below: two pictures taken inside the store displaying imported fabrics and handmade products, such as cushions, beanbag chairs, dolls, purses, lampshades, wooden boxes and so on all extremely expensive. For more information check their website: 

Tuesday, September 10

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, that are dreamt of than in your philosophy"

The end of the semester is just around the bend and I still have one schoolwork for the classic studies course waiting for progress, three tests and a phonetic transcription requested for this thursday. My friends are in charge of handing it over to our linguistic teacher, since I’ll be off to my homeland due to health problems. Luckily, most of our teachers will be attending to a conference that will last from wednesday through friday, so this event kind of came in handy for a zombie girl in desperate need of a doctor. 

Every time I plan to read my papers over the weekend and put my academic life in order I fail miserably, sunday has only a couple of hours left and so far I haven’t opened a single book. In spite of this indisposition  I’m managing to keep high scores and finishing all my schoolwork within the deadline. What I can’t stand are the literature classes, not because of literature itself, the problem is the technical analysis we’re suppose to do on classics of world literature. Whenever I read a book I allow my mind to slip into the story in an attempt to feel its essence, to understand the character’s feelings and to experiment a different existence, not to bother if the tale is been told by a first or third-person narrator, let alone to run my eyes through countless pages looking for technical details. 

It doesn’t matter how much I try to be up to date with this course, from time to time I realize that I’m still falling behind. And as I’ve just said this is not a matter of enjoying reading classics or hating them, for the last required book of our list was Madame Bovary and I absolutely fell in love with it! That’s the same with Hamlet. Not long ago I dropped by Chain’s library and bought a book containing three of Shakespeare’s most famous plays: Macbeth, Rei Lear and Hamlet (the part in which Ofelia dies is so beautiful! Below you can see a pre-Raphaelite painting! *-*).

It’s already known that I’m majoring in linguistics so our reading list is obviously huge. If up to a certain point I felt any enthusiasm with the books required for the literature course, all this enthusiasm began to disappear as soon as I heard my professor’s speech on “How to read” and “What to focus on”. But as the old and cliché proverb says: life is not a bed of roses. Anyway I’ve had wonderful times in company of my classmates and this certainly make up for my stressful moments. Another helpful tool that can help freshmen is to divide the time between college papers and fantasy books. I for one devoured a collection of stories from Celtic mythology, you should try it!