Friday, April 22, 2011

back from trip to Italy

We went to Italy with our two friends for the last week and returned home yesterday night. We had such a great time! At first we went to Pisa, and saw the famous leaning tower, beautiful "Il duomo" and baptistery. There is also a great jewish cemetery. Pisa is lovely, but there are crowds of tourists and ugly tourist stuff. I loved smaller town Lucca (which is near Pisa) much more. There is a roman amphitheathre rebuild into enclosed circus with houses - from the outside, you can still see the ancient foundations and arches. It´s really impressive. There is also a beautiful church, with very detailed front portal. We went to the sea too, although the west coast in this part of Italy is not very suitable for sea-bathing and swimming (at least not in aplril :). And at last we went to Florence - the colored marble cathedral is really huge and breathtaking. I enjoyed looking at the elegant shops as well. I didn´t buy any clothes - but I loved that pink linen dress in the photo above. I kind of regret not bying it :). At least I asked my husband to take a photo with me and the dress... In Florence there is also an interesting bridge "Ponte Vecchio" - there are houses built into the bridge, filled with jewellery shops. I´m very inspired by the architecture and vegetation we saw. I´m looking forward to painting and making things. Also, I want to eat pasta all the time :). The only thing I wasn´t very fond of was the nights - we slept in a tent, and it was pretty cold.
images: 1.Pisa, 2., 3. Florence cathedral, 4. Florence Ponte Vecchio, 5. Lucca Piazza del amfiteatro, 6. Lucca, 7.-9. dresses I liked and a lovely shop in Florence

Thursday, April 14, 2011

an award for me!

I´ve been awarded by the great lizajane at the Stylish blogger award. I´m pretty happy about that! I´ll be away for a week, so I thought it would be good to find the time and write something "fun" about myself now! So, instead of cooking, here goes...

1. In 2008, when pregnant with my first child, I´ve been diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, which was a horrible, life threatening experience. It caused me problems with my health that continue to this time and I´m also having hard time planning my second baby (and deciding if it´s a good idea to have a second baby...).

2. My husband works as a preacher, and we basically have a church in our garden! It looks great and you can run around it, too... (I run around our church frequently, while my daughter plays in the sand :).

3. I´m a terrible wife and mother: I´m very untidy person. Our place is such a mess, all the time. At other places I visit, I often wonder: how do they do that? What am I doing wrong? :)

4. I´m really bad at sports. I suffered a lot during school years, because I was the one who was always the last one at everything, the slowest and butter-fingered person and the one nobody wanted in their team :).

5. I can look in the distance with my right eye and read with the second one! Hahaha, amblyopia can be handy sometimes!

6. Since I was little, I´ve loved painting. Especially portraits and houses/architecture. I love this much more than sewing (sorry, machine!).

7. I love going to cemeteries, they just seem tranquil and romantic to me. I like to walk in big cemeteries, they are always so calm. I like to read about all the people and look at their photos. Unfortunately, my husband hates this. Cemeteries remind him of death too much... And he just wants to go on with his crazy life, you know? :) Once we got locked in a large cemetery in Prague with two swedish turists, because we were there past the opening hours. The turists were really scared, but of course, after some time we found someone from the staff to let us go :).

I should maybe nominate someone too? I can find only one: Laurwyn from Quirky pretty cute. I really enjoy her blog and her attitude! She´s also very fun to read.

and this is why I want to learn to crochet!

Simply because of these two things that I admire so much :). Sandra Juto´s wristworms and Camilla Engman´s softies. I thought about buying these from Sandra, but she stopped making the styles I liked most... And the little animals Camilla Engman makes... oh my! I love them badly. I know I can´t make anything as pretty as this, and I know it takes a lot of time to be able to do something similar. But I want to try! So far, I´ve made two poor rectangles and something that looks like a little cap :). Also, does anyone know how is the face (and maybe the rest of the body too, minus the head) in the photo made? The stitches look so tiny! It´s maybe because she used small hook and thin yarn...? (Excuse the lack of proper crochet terms, please :).
I have an exhibition planned for autumn (maybe two of them...), so my biggest task now is to paint, paint, paint. It takes quite a lot of time, so there is not much sewing ahead of me. I wanted to finish my black dress before we leave for Italy, but I wasn´t able to accomplish that. So that´s the only thing I want to get done soon.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

crocheting... again

I borrowed few books from my friend and I try my hand at crocheting for the second time (after unsuccesful attempt a while ago). I would really really like to learn to crochet... However, it´s still a little intuitive thing for me, as the yarn fibres seem just so many and sometimes it gets a bit chaotic :). I would like to be able to make hats, soft toys/animals, maybe a scarf or a blanket... but so far I´ve only made this little rectangle. It´s made with the most simple crochet technique (I think... unfortunatelly I couldn´t find how it´s called in English...) and I wonder why there is the pattern - it turned out structured, while I thought it will be flat with no lines. I´m going to read my books, but it always looks easier in the book than it is in real life :). One of the books I have is pretty funny. It´s called something like "Crocheting: questions and answers" (it could be also called "Everything you wanted to know about crocheting, but were afraid to ask ;), and it addresses crocheting as it was some kind of difficult philosophy. There is a long list of "special thanks to..." in the beginning of the book, and it´s divided in countless chapters with names like "Loops". Maybe I´m weird, but I think this is pretty hilarious :).

Guim Tió

I came across this artist on flickr yesterday. He paints portaits over magazine photographs and leaves some sections unpainted to reveal the photo underneath (mouth, hair, few letters). I think it´s pretty impressive!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Esther Pearl Watson

I just love Esther Pearl Watson´s paintings. They are a bit naive and childlike, which I love in art, because it makes such a strong impression. But one can see that they are very well made. There is a lot of mystery - these paintings tell us stories, and we can wonder if it´s something that really happened. The scenes are usually quite busy, with people, animals, houses, objects. Oh, the objects! Esther often paints (it seems, from what I´ve read), some kind of flying "saucers", UFOs, that her father used to construct. Weird, isn´t it? Maybe it´s just a mystification? I hope not. Her use of colour is very vivid and bright. There is a LOT of colour and the paintings seem so alive.

sewing outside

Today was such a lovely day, sunny and warm. I had an idea to take my sewing machine outside and work on some projects in our yard. It was such a great idea: I could be outside with my kid (she hates to be inside the house when the weather is so nice), and doing what I want at the same time! I repaired my husband´s coat´s pocket (not exactly what I enjoy to do, but it had to be done...) and started making my black summer dress. I´m a bit worried about how it will turn out, as I´m sewing without a pattern, but I hope it will be ok. The only downside of the "outside sewing" was the wind, which was getting stronger and stronger during the day (and in the end was so strong that it ruined few things in our garden and our gate...). But I´m definitelly doing this again, maybe with embroidery or something.