Do not despair, dear readers! We have not quit you again! It’s just that we’re currently spending Christmas with our families, which leaves precious little time for blogging. Rest assured, we will keep on blogging in the new year. You are not abandoned!
Happy Christmas, everybody!
Love, Vili Flik.
“Nobody can rule guiltlessly” Saint-Just
Ok, so I’ll be the first to admit that Darkness at Noon (1940) by Arthur Koestler is perhaps not the most cosy, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas read. However, the book is brilliant and should be a must read for everyone everywhere.
It is set in Russia in 1938, and starts with the main character, Rubashov, being arrested in the middle of the night. This short book (at least according to Wikipedia) “express the author’s disillusionment with the Soviet Union’s practice of Communism.”
We follow Rubashov into imprisonment, through interrogation, corruption, and torture. The book is so well written that when I was reading it this summer, in a room full of people, I had to force myself to look up every now and then just to remind myself that I was not in an interrogation room headed for a show trial, and that I was, in fact perfectly safe. It’s a book and a story that gets under your skin. And it should, seeing that it actually tells a story that many were forced to experience in the 1930s.
It is not nearly as cozy as I would like it to be (though slightly cozier than this picture makes it out to be), but it is spacious, and as I am not planning to stay in my current apartment for longer than absolutely necessary, I can’t be bothered decorating too much.
So in the meantime I wait and I dream about my future sewing room, the ultimate sewing room, the one I will have next to the library (yes, I will have a library! Come to think of it, maybe I will have the walk in-closet in between so the sewing machine doesn’t disturb the tranquility of the reading room). It will have a window overlooking something nice, and my cats will sit in the windowsill looking at birds (one of my life goals is to become a crazy catlady (not to be confused with a crazy catwoman) and I pretty much have the crazy part down, just need a kitty or ten), and there will be lots and lots and lots of fabric, in every color and pattern! It will be good and fine and fentestically fentestic!
Here are some wonderful and inspiring sewing rooms that I kinda wish I had:
Aren’t they nice and inspiring?
By the way, for those of you who desperately wondered how my shawl turned out, here it is:
And in action:
When I was a kid (around 7 or 8), I read German author Michael Ende’s book The Neverending Story (1983) ten times in a row. I’m not exaggerating – I think I had it checked out of the library for a whole year, probably hoping for it not to be a fantasy and to open up and take me to its world like it does main character Bastian. When I got a bit older, I discovered some of his other books, mainly the fantastic and amazing novel Momo (1973).
Momo (or Momo oder Die seltsame Geschichte von den Zeit-Dieben und von dem Kind, das den Menschen die gestohlene Zeit zurückbrachte which Wikipedia informs me translates to Momo, or the strange story of the time-thieves and the child who brought the stolen time back to the people) is about a young, poor girl whose “superpower” is her amazing ability as a listener. Her listening skills help the other children (and adults) stretch their imaginations and solve their problems, basically making her their muse. She lives in the ruins of a theatre in relative happiness and harmony. Until the Men in Grey appear. They are thieves of time, convincing the adult population to “save” time by placing it in the Timesavings Bank for later use. However, after agreeing to do so, they forget all about the men – all that lingers is the idea that they should save time. The only person immune to their power is Momo, and she must save the city and her friends from the evil men.
Years later, this is still one of my favourite books, and one I strongly urge you all to read if you haven’t already. No matter what age you are.
Yes, I love Gibli! I mean, who doesn’t? They’re the best!
And their 2008 animated film Ponyo on the Cliff, is no exception.
It is kind of a twisted take on The Little Mermaid: Brunhilde is the fishy daughter of a wizard and the goddess of the ocean. Her father is working on a concoction that will bring the ocean back to its glory days, when dinosaurs walked the earth and swam the sea. His reason for doing this is that the humans are a selfish, polluting lot of idiots (so there is a nice moral there), and well, who can argue? However, Brunhilde is the adventures type and she soon escapes and travels to the surface where she meets a boy, Sosuke.
Sosuke saves Brunhilde from a glass jar she is stuck in and keeps her in a bucket (believing she is a normal gold fish) ,and names her Ponyo (which, honestly, is a much better name than Brunhilde). Ponyo is soon brought back to the ocean by her father, but she is determined to become a human and live together with Sosuke. In a daring escape, she spills all of the magical concoction into the ocean, thus disrupting the balance of the universe and dooming all humans to extinction.
But who cares when you can have legs and eat ham with your new best friend?
A storm approaches. Will the world be saved? And will Sosuke pass the final test?
This is one of those Gibli films where you feel like you just enter in the middle of a story and get to tag along for a bit. Many questions are left unanswered (most of them regarding the wizard), but what the film lacks in story-building, it more than makes up for in charm. Ponyo is the cutest little freak to ever have come out of the ocean!
So yes, I highly recommend this film. And all other Gibli films.
For my birthday last year, the o so highly exaulted Elin gave me an awesome orange and green fabric. That fabric has now finally become a skirt (and a dress, but let’s focus on the skirt for now).
Check it out:
Skirt: Read! by Hanna Volle
I would like to present to you one of my favourite shoe designers, Lola Ramona. Her shoes have that perfect blend of style, fun, classic and quirky design, and wearableness (is that a word..?) which make them perfect for any occasion. I currently own two pairs, with a third on its way recently ordered online. Now, living in the middle of nowhere (more or less), the only shop that sold these in my area has just gone out of business. No wonder, considering the lack of style on display in town every day… Fortunately, we live in an age of online shopping, so I can still get my Lola Ramona fix – and as they are not too expensive, I will definitely continue to buy them! Why, you ask? Well, take a look at these goodies:
Polka dots, bows, and stripes are signature features, which is perfect for us gals here at Vili Flik! (In case you haven’t noticed, these features do tend to pop up in our own designs…) She also prefers a round toe as opposed to those less flattering pointy ones, and the heels are sturdy enough to walk in without dying. The colours are usually black and white, primary colours and rockabilly pink. Get out there and get a pair of Lola Ramonas! You will be stylish in no time!