Watercolours of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia

I read about an absolutely amazing person and would like to share it with you.

Grand Duchess Olga was the youngest sister of the last Russian  Emperor Nicholas II (who was tragically shot together with all his family after the Revolution in 1918). She was born in 1882 in Saint Petersburg and enjoyed all the privileges of being a Princess. She was very modest and democratic,  didn’t like to dress up or wear jewelry and her mother, the Empress constantly berated her for that demanding her to look and behave as a Princess.

Portrait of Grand Duchess Olga by V.Serov

When she was 12 years old, her father Alexander III with whom she was very close, died and her brother Nicholas became Emperor.

olga

At 19 she married  the Duke Peter of Oldenburg. He was 14 years her older, he was gay and he was a gambler. Once he gambled away a million roubles (huge money!) of Olga’s inheritance. Needless to say she was very unhappy.

Olga with her first husband Duke of Oldenburg

Olga was always talented, all the children in her family were taught art and she’d been painting from the early childhood. She was very unhappy and lonely and she threw herself into painting.

Olga painting

She met a cavalry officer Nicholai Kulikovsky and fell in love with him.

But her husband being a mean and horrible person and enjoying his position of the Grand Duchess’s husband too much, wouldn’t give her a divorce.

Eventually their marriage was annulled by Nicholas II and sge married Nikolai in 1916. They were very happy together and had two sons.

Her second marriage to Nikolai Kulikovsky was a happy one

During the First World War her husband was fighting at the front and Olga and her Mother organised an army hospital in Kiev and she served there as an army nurse. She was awarded a medal for personal gallantry. Did you hear about lots of Royals who would do that?!

Olga as an army nurse in the Kiev hospital

In the war hospital. Emperor Nicholas II is looking at the soldiers.

At the downfall of the Romahovs during the Russian Revolution of 1917, she fled to the Crimea at the Black sea with her husband and children, where they lived under constant threat of assassination.

Olga escaped revolutionary Russia with her  husband and their two sons in February 1920.

Olga and her family

They joined her mother, the Dowager Empress, in Denmark (the Empress’ motherland). In exile, Olga acted as companion and secretary to her mother. After the Dowager Empress’s death in 1928, Olga and her husband bought a dairy farm. She led a simple life: raising her two sons, working on the farm and painting. During her lifetime, she painted over 2,000 works of art, which provided extra income for both her family and the charitable causes she supported.

Going to Canada

After the Second world War Olga was wanted by the Stalin’s regime as she had been helping the Russian emigrants. In 1948 Olga emigrated with her immediate family to a farm in Ontario, Canada. By that time her sons were grown up, married and had their own children.

With her two sons

With advancing age, Olga and her husband moved to a  little bungalow. Colonel Kulikovsky died there in 1958. Two years later Olga died aged 78.  At the end of her life and afterwards, Olga was widely known as the last Grand Duchess of Imperial Russia.

Here are some of her paintings for you to admire:

little cows

Little calves

Llandscape

Summer

Easter

Church

Portrait of N.Kulikovsky, Olga’s 2nd husband

0_74109_a18d189_L

…..

xmas

two sons

winter

summer

spring

Race for Life – Fundraising event for Cancer Research UK

Hello!

 

I am doing the Race for Life this year again. It is a fundraising event for Cancer Research which will take place on May,19th in Rochester, Kent, UK.

I will walk 5 km and if you, my friends, would like to sponsor me to help to battle this horrible disease – I would be very grateful.

I am doing it to celebrate me best friend Kim’s “the all clear”, she bravely fought breast cancer – and won!

I am doing it in memory of my friends and family who fought and lost.

I am doing it to help in the all important research into finding new ways to combat cancer.

\so, if you could donate even very little, please go to my page here:  THANK YOU!

<a href=’http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/irinausacheva?utm_source=website&utm_medium=rfl&utm_campaign=rflbutton1&#8242; title=’JustGiving – Sponsor me now!’ target=’_blank’><img src=’http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/App_Themes/RaceForLifeSponsorMe/images/badges/badge10.gif&#8217; width=’270′ height=’50’ alt=’JustGiving – Sponsor me now!’ /></a>

“Picking Out Flowers” secret revealed – Part Two: “Sunflowers”

I know it is not  a secret at all any more, but here is the second part of my flowers cushion project – “Sunflowers”.

It took me a while to make it because I sewed every petal separately by hand.  Still, I think the result is rather nice 🙂

I think it looks good paired with the first cushion, “Daisies”, too.

sf1

sf8

You can see it and many other cushion covers made by me here

Wonderful poetry!

Was thinking about the famous Russian poet Andrey Voznesensky, who died two years ago. He was one of the “Children of the ’60s,” a new wave of iconic Russian intellectuals led by the Khrushchev Thaw. He was actually an architect by his degree but instead of  designing new buildings he enriched the world of poetry immensely.

Andrei_Voznesensky

He wrote poems and songs lyrics, librettos to rock operas which had an enormous success. He read his poems   in front of the adoring crowds numbering in the thousands at stadiums, in concert halls and universities.

Here is one of his poems (in Russian and in a very good translation) I would like to share with you. He wrote it in 1977

Русско-американский романс  

И в моей стране, и в твоей стране 
до рассвета спят — не спиной к спине. 

И одна луна, золота вдвойне, 
И в моей стране, и в твоей стране. 

И в одной цене — ни за что, за так, 
для тебя — восход, для меня — закат. 

И предутренний холодок в окне 
не в твоей вине, не в моей вине. 

И в твоем вранье, и в моем вранье 
есть любовь и боль по родной стране. 

Идиотов бы поубрать вдвойне — 
и в твоей стране, и в моей стране.

Russian-American Romance

In my land and yours they do hit the hay 
 and sleep the whole night in a similar way. 

 There's the golden Moon with a double shine. 
 It lightens your land and it lightens mine. 

 At the same low price, that is for free, 
 there's the sunrise for you and the sunset for me. 

 The wind is cool at the break of day, 
 it's neither your fault nor mine, anyway. 

 Behind your lies and behind my lies 
 there is pain and love for our Motherlands. 

 I wish in your land and mine some day 
 we'd put all idiots out of the way.

“Picking Out Flowers” secret revealed – Part One: “Daisies”

In my previous post I asked you to guess why did I pick out two flowers – daisies and sunflower s- out of many others?

Well, I can show you Daisies now:

 

2013-03-21 13.40.10 d1

 

As usual, all details are hand-sewn with patience and love :). The cover itself is of a light blue silky fabric. I decided to try flowers applique this time, I have been making animal cushions before, so it’s a new venture for me.

The second part of my little “riddle” will be revealed a bit later (It’s not a riddle any more though :)) The second part is quite difficult and takes time…

You can see my other cushion covers here