If you thought hand-made embroidery was boring, the Instagram account of Julia Aleshicheva, 81, will change your mind. The Russian babushka, who describes herself as a “dementia fighter,” is making handicrafts cool again!
Follow @girl_from_1938 and start enjoying colorful works depicting cats, women, characters from the Bible, reproductions of famous paintings, and even a portrait of Spice Girls! The latter, by the way, took the artist 2.5 months to make.
The account is run by Julia’s grandson, Yan Gorkunov, who adds text (in both Russian and English) explaining each masterpiece. He also posts “Stories” featuring Julia – she answers questions and shares memories from her life.
Born in 1938 in the Soviet village of Spirovo, Julia didn’t have any art education. Yet this was not a problem for her. “Inspiration and desire to do something peaceful and pleasant help her make embroidery, despite her age,” reads one of the posts. “Age means nothing for art, because art never grows old.”
Julia only started doing embroidery five years ago, explains Yan in one Insta story. She was going through a hard patch in her life after the country house where she spent much of her life burnt down – and embroidery helped her cope. “It gave her the opportunity to escape from her worries,” Yan says.
Positive feedback inspires Julia to continue creating and while she likes reading comments online, Yan says she loves receiving letters, so he encourages Julia’s followers to send letters to his address in St. Petersburg.
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