Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tutorial - How to Make a Handbag


Handbag Tutorial at lo spazio di lilla
"Ready to start sewing a fabric handbag with me? It isn't so difficult as it appears: follow the instructions step by step with a little bit of calm and patience!..." Read more

Tutorial - How to Make a Stenciled Tray Mat

Beautiful stenciling and I really love the way she attached the hem with ribbon then threaded it!

Stenciled Tray Mat Tutorial at craft.a.World
"Hello to all of you.
Today I am here with a tray mat project. This project includes stenciling and stitching..." Read more

Tutorial - How to Make a Large Purse with Pockets

LOVE the bag (and her photos)!

Not Just Another Pretty Purse Tutorial at Sew a Straight Line
"We’re out of the full-on diaper bag stage, no longer needing room for lots of diapers, changes of clothing, and bottles. But we still need to pack the random toddler paraphernalia. This bag is big enough for our cloth diapers and wipes, but also not too bulky that I feel like it would need it’s own seat on an airplane.

I put in both a cell phone pocket and a zippered interior pocket, so that I could stash, and later find, my necessities among the kid stuff. I even added a key fob. This is one seriously functional bag..." Read more

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Siberian "Ghost" Cities Scare

Link - article by Avi Abrams

Siberian Nearly-Abandoned & "Ghost" Cities Could Be the Worst Halloween Scare Ever

We'd like to call them "ghost towns", but they are clearly not abandoned. Amazingly, people still live in them, go to work in the harshest possible conditions (paradoxically making it the richest and mightiest industrial area in Russia) and then come "home" to relax in inhuman weather, non-existing infrastructure, in dangerously dilapidated buildings...

Truly, this is an "abandoned, terrifying, ruined environment", multiplied to the N-th degree! Judge for yourself:

(Norilsk, Siberia - images credit: Schegloff)

Just in time for Halloween: no skeletons, witches, or giant spiders - instead, something real and more terrifying - witness the life in Cherepovetz City (the name loosely translates as "City of Skulls"), the center of the Russian North-West SeveroStal industrial zone:

(image credit: Elena Chinarina)

Welcome to Norilsk - the Very Definition of Cold Hell

Norilsk is a true "Wild East" Siberian town, the quintessence of tough living, tough conditions and tough-as-nails people.

(images via 1, 2)

The average life expectancy in Norilsk is 46-48 years... Here is why (this is not a complete list, by any means):

- minus 10 degrees Celsius is considered "warm weather"
- this city is built on permafrost, so buildings deteriorate quickly and most are in crumbling conditions
- the city was originally built by prisoners (untold numbers of them died), so it is very probably haunted... (no, of course not, just kidding)
- the industrial pollution is on par with the worst towns in China - it's officially one of the ten most polluted cities in the world
- there are no homeless people, because nobody can survive minus 56 degrees Celsius.
- they have literally 45 days of night - the depressing, miserable Arctic night
- the city often endures severe punishing winds, up to 25 meters per second

The ecology around Norilsk is so atrocious that trees can spontaneously ignite from industrial chemicals in the ground - and so only burned sticks are left:

(images credit: Schegloff)

The local forest:

The local grocery store:

People spend their lives (and murderously cold winters!) in these apartments -

(images via 1, 2)

Some apartments still stand, while others have already fallen apart, their basements plundered for concrete by locals to build garages and more shaky housing:

Santa Claus lives here?... I think not -

(image credit: Vladimir Maltsev)

Those on the bottom floors fare the worst during the brutal winter:

(images credit: Evgeny Bugaev)

Mysterious ruins:

(images via 1, 2)


This permafrost makes any building's foundation unstable, which presents huge problems for long-term construction. In time, some areas begin to look like an earthquake disaster zone:

(image via)

Note the broken pipe leaking poisonous gases (right image):

"Welcome to Norilsk" is written in bizarre block letters, indicating the harsh realities ahead. A visitor is also greeted by strange do-it-yourself SUVs:

When winter comes, people are shuttled to work in buses... but it gets even more surreal inside:

(images by V. Makushkin, via)

Missing the bus could be a life-threatening situation:

Help does not come quickly:

This statue of Lenin points to a bright future, and a gaudy billboard proclaims a "Peace to All Children on Earth", but... happiness is a rare commodity in this terrifying place. See more pictures of Norilsk on GoogleMaps here.

(images via 1, 2)

When the power lines fail, this town seems to become a perfect setting for a "30 Days of Night" movie sequel:

Leaving Norilsk, we finally encounter a pleasing sight: the picture of a beautiful girl on a billboard. Which only reminds us of another billboard - a travel destination from The Truman Show - another surreal town "of no escape"...

Kadykchan: The City of Broken Dreams (and a glorious Soviet past?)

Only 300 citizens remain in this city, once a powerful resource center and a thriving coal mining community. Here is how it looked during the Soviet times:

And here is how it looks today (most buildings were abandoned in 1983, but there are still people who live in this ghastly environment):

Approaching the city, the atmosphere of abandonment and decay is palpable:

(original unknown)