Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Konyarnika on Vitosha 2023

With a forecast of possible rain on the weekend, this Saturday we chose a close to home destination - Zlatnite mostove and a short circular trail we hike from time to time - to peak Konyarnika.

The day was sunny, but quite chilly for the season, with rain bringing clouds gathering above us.

The snow on Vitosha is rapidly melting and the rivers are full-watered and roaring.

Hike info:

Destination: peak Konyarnika (1782 m)
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 9.5 km
Elevation gain: 400 m
Total duration: 3 hours
Average difficulty: 3 / 10 


One of my most favourite places on Vitosha - the meadows of Konyarnika. I love the feeling of vastness and spaciousness there.

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxer shorts
I: lingerie, hoodie, Sabrina Slims

We had our picnic near one of the huts along the trail.

And back to Zlatnite mostove along an alternative trail.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Colorful Calf Length Burda Jeans

Finally yesterday we had the long-awaited sunshine and warmth in a series of cold rainy May days. It's been so cold, that my bougainvillea, which I took out on the balcony in the beginning of May, counting on the fact that summer was just around the corner, began withering from the cold. And guess what - it's 9C and raining all day today. But that is today, and yesterday we took pictures of my new calf-length colorful jeans.

I've been planning on sewing a pair of jeans and dreaming of colorful jeans for long. Apart from all the jeans pairs I have in my Burda magazines, I specifically bought no less than 7 jeans patterns and I'm planning on testing at least two or more of them this year. Actually making a pair of jeans was N6 on my Make Nine list, so at least I can cross this one out.

For my piece of colorful cotton denim with elastane I chose Burda 6534 from their spring/summer 2017 catalogue. It is a classic jeans pattern, slim legs, two lengths - full and calf, slightly lowered waistline, at least this is what it says on the cover.

My first and most basic mistake was that I didn't make a muslin. I know I am not the Burda style figure type - that I have confirmed every time I sew with Burda patterns. Their model is much taller than me, with broader chest, shoulders and waist and smaller hip to waist ratio. I have wider hips, narrow waist, I am much shorter - how did I expect the pattern to fit me?

Of course, I made some adjustments for length at the length lines, but the main issue with pants is the area between the waist and the crotch - and there are so many variations there in lengths and widths between figures. Yes, now I know my lesson - if I want my pants to fit me well, I do have to make a muslin first.

One call I made right - I chose the smallest 34 size, although I am supposed to be 36 according to Burda tables. But I know that their pants run large on me, so at least that I made right. Then I measured the pattern pieces, compared them to my actual measures and decided that things looked OK. 

As it turned out - the front line is too long on me and the pockets are to high - I should lower it at least by 2 cm. Meanwhile I need to raise the back with at least 2 cm, as I have a fuller bottom and I need more length there. At the same time I had to take in the waist at the back by 5 cm! and additionally some 3 cm at the side lines, because the jeans were gaping awfully at the waist.

Pattern: Burda 6534
Size: 34, needs adjustments
Fabric: cotton denim with elastane, 1 m
Time to make: two weeks

Yesterday I visited my favourite fabric store again, but alas, they didn't have any colorful denim fabric on stock, they had even ran out of this one, so I returned empty handed. I mean, of course, not literally empty-handed, I did buy some other fabric, as all normal people when visiting their favourite fabric stores do, but there won't be any other summer jeans soon and I did want to try my notes on another pair. However, I'll be testing one other Burda jeans pattern these days and I do plan to make a muslin first.

A cute squirrel we saw in the park, while filming the jeans

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Kamen Del 2023

 I have a new favourite circular trail on Vitosha. My most favourite is probably still the one from Aleko to Cherni vruh and then back along the high altitude circuit, but this new one definitely ranks very close. We tried it for the first time last year, when Gaby was visiting for her BSc graduation and this Sunday husband and I repeated it and confirmed our complete fascination with it.

The trail starts from Zlatnite mostove, but quickly deviates along unmarked and secluded paths, gradually climbing up towards peak Kamen Del.

The entire trail to the peak was abundant with purple crocuses. I know, crocuses are common on Vitosha, but so many at one place I've really never ever seen in my life.

Hike info:

Destination: peak Kamen Del (1862 m) along circular trail
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 14 km
Elevation gain: 480 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 5 hours
Average difficulty: 5.5 / 10

Peak Kamen Del, probably the most scenic and visited peak on Vitosha, after Kopitoto.

We had our lunch here on the peak, with a view to the plateau and the city below.

The Rezens and Cherni vruh, still covered in solid snow:
Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxers, Knipmode cargo pants
I: lingerie, Plantain blouse, hoodie, leg warmers

After our lunch we continued along the trail on the plateau
and then took the track down to Kikish hut. This was the most interesting and scenic part of the hike.

Some parts of the track had been destroyed by the snow and winds during the past winter, but it was still passable, even if with some difficulty (just a tiny little section with a snow drift).

I always feel additionally pumped up, when the place we hike is extraordinarily beautiful.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Adventures in Gardening

This year I felt enthusiastic about growing my own salad. I have plenty of decorative flowers at home and on our two small balconies. During the years I've even had trees, grown from seeds - right now I have an avocado and a lemon tree. Unfortunately, it turns out, they will never bloom and give fruit, because most of these supermarket bought varieties are hybrids, which are barren, when grown from seed.

I've tried my hand at growing spices - dill, parsley, basil; presently I have two pots with rosemary and lavender. However, I've never tried to grow vegetables on the balcony - most of them require space and lots of soil. But I read about lettuce, and it turns out you can grow it in balcony pots and have a bunch of fresh leaves for your sandwiches and garnishes.

As a start, I bought two packs of seeds - a lettuce variety and rucola (eruca).

21 March 2023
I filled two balcony pots with soil, made eight nests in every pot and added 5-8 seeds in each nest. Watered them and started the eternal waiting and inspecting.


26 March 2023
Four days later the first indications of germination were present in the rucola pot, six days after potting all of the nests had growing plants.

31 March 2023
Ten days after potting the lettuce was also growing strong.

25 April 2023
One month after potting I picked my first edible leaves as a garnish to an asparagus omelet.  

May 01 2023
We had our first green salad with lettuce, rucola and cucumbers.

08 May 2023
The daily harvest :)

I am quite fired up so far. Right now I have a third pot with wild geranium, which is occupying half of the place for pots on the balcony and I'm thinking of moving it to a more shady place and putting two more pots with crops - more lettuce varieties or maybe strawberries of the vertical growing variety. I so wish I had a garden - I'm a city girl with a country heart :)

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Pchelina 2023

Our traditional spring hike to Pchelina dam. This place is so damn beautiful, it can really make your heart sing. I only hope this is not the last time we see it in its glory, as there were signs of construction works and uglification around it :(

The dirt road to the rocks was ploughed up and widened, the shrubs on the sides cut and mutilated, and some parts of the lands around the dam were cordoned and under construction. This place is one of the few really naturally beautiful places around and it should be protected from development :((

Thankfully, the land and paths around the chapel were more or less untouched.

Hike info:

Destination: Pchelina
Mountain region: Kraishte
Total length: 8 km
Elevation gain: 160 m
Total duration (plus beer pause): over 3 hours
Average difficulty:  2 / 10

The day was quiet, and unlike Pchelina on weekends, when it is packed with tourists, we were the only people on the rocks for quite a while. It was divine, just to stay lazy in the sun, to watch the water and the birds and to sip our beers.

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
I: lingerie, Houndstooth Hoodie, Green blouse
Husband: men's boxers, Knipmode cargo pants

After a long pause on the rocks we continued downstream and walked around the dam.

We should always come here on work days, that's settled!