Monday, January 27, 2020

Saint Petesburg at Night: Academy of Fine Arts. Sphinxes

I'd like to continue our strolls along the river Neva and today I tell you about the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts that was founded by the Russian empress Catherine the Great. She named it the “Academy of the Three Most Noble Arts” and chose a place for building at the bank of the river Neva. The empress herself laid the foundation stone of the building. One of the earliest neoclassical buildings in St. Petersburg was completed in 1788. 


There are some superbly decorated interiors, particularly the Raphael Hall and the Titian Hall.
The main architect of the project was Jean-Baptiste Wallin de la Mothe, who was invited from France to become the first professor of architecture at the Academy. De la
Mothe and the two Russians artists Felten and Kokorinov became the first professors to teach at the Academy.

Two Egyptian sphinxes dating from the reign of Amenhotep III (about 3,500 years ago) are considered one of the best examples of the ancient Egyptian colossal sculpture stored outside of Egypt. Once they stood on the Avenue of the Sphinxes in front of the tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep III.

They were bought in France in 1832, on behalf of the Russian emperor and sent to St. Petersburg. A granite quay became their permanent home and they are among the most famous statues in St. Petersburg. 

Yesterday was my birthday, lilies on my table:

Friday, January 17, 2020

Begonia Semperflorens Blooms on a Windowsill

It is winter outside, rain, snow, dark days and low temperatures. My wax begonia blooms on the living room windowsill despite the weather. I think it liked in my house. In  September I had potted begonia and transported to the city home.

Now the wax begonia pleases me with its small red flowers that open almost every two days. I also love fresh and green foliage of begonia, flowers resemble butterflies perched on bright green leaves.

I've cut a few begonia cuttings to root new plants for next summer.  Do you love this plant? Have you ever grown wax begonia in your garden or on your balcony?

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Orthodox Christmas: Gingerbread House

Orthodox Christmas is on January 7, Santa gave us a box. It was a set of gingerbread cookies and decorations for the assembly of a gingerbread house. When we started to make the house, adults helped children or vice versa - everybody had fun.
First, we examined the gingerbread cookies and started making icing for drawings and gluing parts of the house.


Painting you have to compress the icing bag with force. The first drawings appeared on the front and back sides of the house.

Then the responsible work began, gluing of gingerbread details with icing. Front, rear walls, two side walls.

We fixed both halves of the roof with a thick layer of icing, put the chimney and started decorating the house. There are marzipan people, marmalade, cookies and bagels in the set. We have had enough icing and all the decorations were placed on the gingerbread house.

Have you ever had such set for Christmas? Would you like to make the gingerbread house with your loved ones?

P.S. This house is edible during two months, if stored in cool conditions.

My video: Birds in the wintry garden  

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New 2020 Year! In the Garden

January, the coldest month here, sometimes snow, rain and frosts occur, the days are short and dark. A thin layer of snow fell down in the first day of the New year and I wanted to go to my garden to look at it in the snow. The snow has not melted yet, although the temperature was +1 C. 
My garden sleeps, covered with a white blanket. The water in the pond froze and turned into ice.

I can't walk for a long time because of cold. But love to shovel snow from the paths, look at the birds. They often fly up to the bird feeder so I add seeds and some lard for these little creatures.

On January days the sun rarely shines through low gray clouds. It is sad to look at the bare trees and shrubs, only spruce, thuja and pine trees are green against a white and gray background.

As it quickly darkens I prefer to early return to the city. Do you love walking in cold days or you prefer to stay at home? Howbeit,