Archive | April, 2013

Pet fair

20 Apr

Last weekend there was a pet fair in Lleida. It is held every year in the Camps Elisis park. There was a display of different kinds of pets and there was an agility show with dogs of many different breeds. Also there were ponies for the children to ride.

First, there were common pets: cats, dogs, rabbits… Notice the cat has two different eye colors.

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There was also a section with an exhibition of birds of prey and owls where children could have their photo taken with the birds:

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There were also more unusual pets such as Vietnamese piglets, parrots, chinchillas, ferrets and others.

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The ferret looked like it was more than ready for a nap. It was a good display and a nice opportunity to see animals close up.

 

This is what happens to local heroes during carnival…

13 Apr

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This is a statue of two local heroes, Indívil and Mandonius which is in the centre of Lleida, Catalonia. You would think that the status of local hero would grant you some sort of special treatment or respect.

Think again.

People in Lleida do have a peculiar sense of humor. There has been a tradition going on for as long as I can remember of dressing up the statues for carnival. This year the heroes went from Iberian warriors to science fiction icons. And this is not by any means the most humiliating experience they have gone through. One year they wore red underwear!

Anyway, here is a bit of history about these heroes. They were Iberian leaders in the third century B.C. They both fought bravely for the independence of their kingdoms against the Carthaginian and Roman invasions during the Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.).

Indíbil was an Ilergete, an Iberico tribe which settled between the Pyrenees, the rivers Ebro, Segre and Gállego. This territory was around their capital Ilerda, nowadays called Lleida (my home town). Mandonius, on the other hand, was an Ausetan, a tribe which settled around Ausa, now called Vic.

Both fought as allies of the Carthaginians against Rome when the Romans attacked the Iberian Peninsula to counteract Hannibal’s advance in Italy.  Publius Cornelius Escipion convinced Indíbil and Mandonius that they had been betrayed by the Carthaginians and brought them over to the Roman side. Ilergetes and Ausetans fought by the side of the Romans to get the Iberian Peninsula back from the hands of the Carthaginians.

They were soon to discover that the Romans had not come to bring them back their independence but to submit them to their rule. So they continued fighting against Escipion who beat them in 206 B.C. This is the moment when Indívil and Mandonius decided to join forces against the Romans. In the year 205 B.C. the Iberians would not give up and they started a new rebellion against Escipion. Indívil died on the battlefield and Mandoni was crucified together with the local leaders.

Although they lost, for me, the important thing about these heroes is that they would not give up and kept fighting the Roman war machine against all odds.

That should grant them some respect. But not during carnival in Lleida I’m afraid.

The cat model

7 Apr

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I was recently given a new reflex camera and I am still learning all the concepts for photography. It is a lot more complicated than it looks.

Today I was using the camera to take photos of my bags for my shop when I turn around and I see my cat Nin in the first pose enjoying the sun. I could not resist and I started shooting. Usually my cat just shoots away when he hears the click of the camera, but today he kindly decided to pose, yes, literally pose, for the camera.

He looked so cute and relaxed enjoying the sun. He really looks like he is live, very natural. I want to be like my cat, with nothing better to do than to lie in the sun and relax all day. What a hard life!

Hoot, hoot!

3 Apr

If you like owls, you will love this project.

I made this a while ago for my two nephews as a Christmas present. They started a pillow fight with them as soon as they unwrapped them.

You can use mink, fleece, quilting cotton, corduroy or any fabric that is used for making stuffed toys. I made mine with some kind of artificial suede, cotton and felt for the eyes and the legs. I also used ric-rac trim for the bodies. Then used the stuffing from two cushions to fill them up. The final size is quite big and cudly.

If you want to make your own, you can get the pattern and tutorial here: http://weallsew.com/weallsew/files/2011/07/BERNINASnugglyOwl.pdf

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