rubber stamps // new years eve.

i couldnt resist taking a look around etsy this morning. i found these little rubber stamps at norajane. i have been looking for an owl stamp for a while now and this is one of the best ive found so i scooped it up immediately. i couldnt resist the acorns as well since the prices are so reasonable. i am very much looking forward to adding them to my envelopes, packaging and letters to friends, family, and loves.

i also updated the shop (long time coming) with some recent drawings and collages envelope sets. take a peek here.

new years eve tonight. painted my nails red and playing dress up to figure out what to wear to the party. beers are chilling in the fridge. celebrations celebrations.


forgotten photobooth.

revisited. some old photobooth images i found today.
laughing about peterborough and rubidge street and making coffees and thinking in the orange room upstairs with lindsey. we made the most sense in that room. uni books and notes everywhere and spray paint on the carpet. a window to crawl out on for cigarettes on the rooftop. the cat was there too sometimes.

my purple curtain in spain, always the tree shadow was dancing on it. casting lines and shapes.

a teapot from granada in spain. mint tea inside. its metal-ness makes it quite impractical for tea drinking unless one enjoys burnt skin on burning metal. but it is pretty to look at. antique hammered metal.

my bedroom at my parents that i lived in for the few months between school and budapest. picasso on my walls, jade plants soaking in the morning sun and my grandpa's old radio. plays like a new guitar. the dial is always set to jazz fm the premier jazz station for canada. i miss the green walls actually.

les enveloppes.

cut and paste again on these little envelopes i found in a stationary shop on the corner. five forint each. a steal. acetate and fibre paper, some thread and mesh. i think they make lovely additions to any package or parcel.

set of three. 11 1/2 cm x 7 1/4 cm


light // pencil drawings // camera

staying home from work today resulted some arting and some cooking, some photo taking and some dressing up. i received a package from home today from my mom. some ornaments for our tree and a canoe-shaped cribbage board. super lovely but now we need to find some playing cards.

laundry and some new fabric, little flower buds that used to be a nighty but i am working to turn into a light dress for summertime... a long way away it seems from now. im glad i brought the japanese dress book with me here. it will be useful now. working to set up the etsy shop again, it was pushed under the rug in the last couple months with moving and readjusting. im ready to open again though, so im back to weighing packages and photographing drawings and vintage nighties.

tomorrow is wednesday, already?


hand-made ornaments.

two hand-made ornaments for a brother and a father of my hungarian family.
i hand-embroidered their names and simple holiday symbols on some natural unbleached muslin and backed them with some leftover holiday fabrics and filled them with natural cotton and some whole cloves for a holiday scent. easy and classic. the thread is italian and strong. i found it in granny's attic. i am tempted now to start making some for my canadian family. there is nothing wrong with a head start when i have the time and the fabric now, right?

i didnt give myself enough time so i was sewing on the train en route to the waiting holiday celebrations. i did manage to finish it and the train conductor did give me a few looks seeing a girl sewing on the train. im not sure that it happens often.


back in budapest from the countryside. this time we drove in and saved money on the train. 
box of belgium truffles and gerbeau cakes. soups and canned peaches from granny. we have now a cupboard full of cookies and treats. i knitted knitted the last two days and need some more wool now. waiting for the shops to open after their holiday sleeps. 

new skirt forgotten in the attic from a long time ago. silk slip inside and flowers flowers. two nighties from an age past and gone but i will remodel them for some summer dresses when i get my hands on a sewing machine again. 

i am already anticipating the warmer weather to come even though it seems that winter has only just begun. a small bout of warm wind and thaw gave me a little hope that spring will be beautiful and the summer ever more beautiful. in the mean time soup for lunch and tea in the afternoon. wool socks on my feet and a scarf around my neck.



sitting in the mood to knit now. the windows are fogged up from the heaters and the warmth inside. i am still waiting for mister frost's arrival on the panes but no signs yet. the evenings get dark early so i am crawling home from the metro after office work in the dark. i thought at one point it was getting lighter, but i think it was just my imagination. i am inspired by these knitted cowls that wrap around. i forgot my cowl in my closet at home, not really thinking about winter in october when i was packing. so it might be time to knit another one. waiting for the free days to do so, holidays are good for that, catching up on reading and all the sewing that has seemed to pile up on my desk. (how does that happen?)

c/o yarnovermovement

c/o wicksten made

in any case, ive got some new needles from granny in chakvar so theres nothing left to do except make a trip to the yarn store before heading back to fehervar in a few days and making sure there is enough to finish one. or two. or three. i have really left no time for making gifts this year, usually i have started this in october but somehow my lists and supplies got mixed up and lost and im scattering around looking for strings, fabric, glue and time. advent? wayyy behind.



trees sold on street corners. deak ter is the stage for buying trees i guess. david and i looked at 2 different corners and decided to hold off until we went for the third corner and found a guy, cold to the bones, selling smaller trees with their roots and dirt in a bucket. so that after the holidays we can plant it and hope it doesnt catch future holiday tree shoppers eyes. we will plant it in the countryside. its a great idea and we carried it home and decorated it right away. 

tinfoil is wonderful. 100 forint garland from the grocery shop, tesco lights, purple ribbon from david's mom's sewing basket, and fabric stockings we made together. candies too! we put in the charlie brown christmas soundtrack and away we went. so cool

we are trying to make this hungarian christmas as canadian as possible. so i started the sewing of stockings. i found a small fabric store near kalvin ter and 1/2 meter holiday swatches are one sale there. just enough for one stocking. one down, a few more to go i think. they dont have stockings here, im not sure why and how we have them in north america and they didnt come from or make it to eastern europe. but i will take it upon myself to introduce them into some special hungarian's holiday traditions from now on. 



a snowy afternoon with granny. not mine, david's.

barrels needed cleaning and wine needed filtering so i spent the afternoon drinking coffee and ballentine's with david's gran. she shared some stories from fifty-two years ago and we went through some old suitcases of fabric, drapes, yarn, and toys to find some treasures for me to bring back to budapest with me.

new curtains for our little apartment. i think the white / green will be a little brighter than the dark dark blues ones up now. two little stuffed mice from a long-ago childhood. now finding a new home on our shelf. long lost nighties and summer dresses waiting for remolding, 3 balls of cashmere yarn, and a few pairs of old knitting needles. she was happy to clear away some dust collecting things and i was happy to take some hungarian vintage finds away with me.

while the pea soup was cooking i had a chance to make some drawings too of her lovely old suitcases and her bed-side chair. her house is old and lovely, with loads of retro chairs and sofas, unfinished needle-points, and black and white photographs. simple and beautiful. i wish i had my camera to capture the snow resting on the ivy leaves on her brick wall out front. it was a cold day and i hoped the chicken's legs were getting too cold.




c/o for me for you
c/o rennes le chateau

i need to start putting on my thinking cap for christmas, i am pressed for time to get my parcels to the mailbox if there is any hope of them actually arriving in time for the holidays. im also on a tight budget since moving here and am looking for little projects i can make this weekend in the village. i am inspired by these two ladies' necklace making efforts. super beautiful and simple. i love it. rennes le chateau here and for me for you here. i will look for some second-hand chains and i might be able to find a craft store around this city too. home-made cards are already underway and so is the ginger man eating...



a slight mist and the mulled wine merchants open their carts. bright lights and ceramic mugs. borg borg/wine wine. twinkle lights. closed signs turn on their strings. open they read. alas. finally. once a year and the time is here. the christmas market is open. advent windows will be revealed every day on the gerbeau cafe and cake house. santa makes his round in the crowd, gifting children's faces with a smile and a pocket-ful of hope for the holiday season. all i want is to sip hot cocoa with a peppermint stick and watch reindeer films and dancing snowmen on the screen. tinny tunes blaring from laptop speakers and recycled red and green paper from last year's gift giving, twine for ribbon. to see trees alight in winter windows, walking by on the sidewalk through a neighbourhood. i dont think is possible here but reminds me of canada. 

trinkets and toys, handmade crafts and artisans trying to keep warm by space-heaters behind their small collections of goods. i want to support each and every one of them only for being here everyday of december. 




market day today. tesco day today. pizza in the oven. finally found some spinach at the market and homemade dough from yesterday means pizza on saturday afternoon with mozzarella, pesto, and deer sausage on david's half. mmm. almost ready. we got also speakers which makes music in our apartment more pleasant than when its desperately trying to blare unsuccessfully from the laptop speakers. 

we are the happy recipients of free depeche mode tickets when they come in january here to budapest. super cool. knowing people that know people is cool and completely unexpected. 

sketchbook working today and some reading. here is the latest. // weaving and collage.

also drinking tea and eating little cookies from a bakery in the market. the first time i tried the almond ones i immediately knew what christmas tasted like. so sweet and a little soft. brings me to a craving for turron. i am almost pulled into a trip to spain with the only goal of obtaining a box of these beloved cookies. i really do judge a country's culture on the tastiness of their cookies and cakes. hungary is doing really well so far. layered cakes with poppy seed and walnut filling are coming into season and i cannot wait for holiday baking with david's grannies in the village. 

happy saturday.



advent is here. happy first of december. 
one chocolate down, twenty four more to go. 

hanna has an idea that i would like to steal, its a drawing advent, one drawing a day until christmas. so cool. see her joulukalenteri here. seems however that i am already a day behind, maybe next year? or i start to create really quick, only 18 more minutes of december first on my watch now..


in the seagull again, a larger coffee and no more soda water. "j'etais un fleur," she says, hardly audible, maybe not even french at all. she is muttering with an empty coffee cup in front of her. the jazz sings in the background, a mellow touch to the keys and a clarinet hums. smoke in the air, doesnt bother me. lamp art on the wall. i think the muttering lady speaks also german. bike still in the hallway and there is still rain outside. old news--papers in hungarian and an adult comic magazine clutter the shelf in the corner. all i can think of are the unread articles, is it possible that any published articles go unread?


the IT crowd, slowly morphing, slowly morphing

ten days since my last post. ouch. sorry.

my enthusiasm and inspiration is being slowly sucked out of me by a 9-5 schedule but in no way do i merit a complaint. i enjoy the window i face on the third floor, looking out on post-communist blocks of flats, an abandoned square of space where i can imagine a building once stood. only thorns and thistles remain. greyed brick from smog and clouds. i am blogging and writing for eight hours a day, a very cool proposition. learning my way around blog platforms and html codes i have never felt so techy. in the evenings i rush home to kisses and the i.t. crowd. season after season, i am addicted to the lame computer jokes and how much i am reminded of my brother in high school. back at work the next morning, i look through the glass of the content writer's space to the rest of the floor. little mole eyes staring deep into the monitors, little circle glasses, wool socks and a can of soda beside the keyboard. this space is a living i.t. crowd. shudder. i laugh out loud at the hilarity of my situation. i turn around in my seat, looking back out the window and continue blogging. i have an office job, working a schedule i shuddered at since i knew 9-5 existed.

funny how things turn around.




saw this wall design by ed roth on design*sponge and can not stop thinking about childhood cereals "can't get enough of that honey taste, can never get enough" honeycombs and the blue, red, and green painted wooden blocks in square, trapezoid, and hexagon shapes to create beautiful tri-coloured mosaics on my fibreboard desk in kindergarten. this is the first time i worked with the shape that is recognized now by the bee's hives honey storage area. i am finding it in more places now. this wall. on the street, a piece of brown paper cardboard corrugated in a new way. there is something to special, angular and organic at the same time about this shape. 

i have a bright orange wall in my apartment. i wonder terribly if the landlord would mind if i honeycombed it light turquoise. maybe? david says no. but would be soo cool. i am also inspired by the wallpaper job on an older post at fieldguided. the walls here though are textured which doesn't make any sort of application easy. 



espresso served with soda water. 2 sugars. kozonum szepen. i walked past, turned around. smoke and pastries. a table behind the stairs and at the counter a dread headed waiter. the ashtray is full but none of the butts are mine. sore throat / itchy throat, just looking creates a cough in my throat. uhh i hate soda water. it is the most unquenching liquid apart from vodka. the writer by the window smiled when i came in. im a writer too he doesnt know that though. because of my accent they all think im american. im not. theres a lot of art on these walls. good and bad. bikes in the hallways. ive walked by here three times before actually coming in. im chicken. i dont know why im scared of hungary. im a little ashamed to not speak hungarian. the guy across speaks english / british. so it much be an english safe place. i think i am just scared to get thugged for looking american or something. david says this place is rough but that rough? i dont know. i am making things in my mind again. he is wearing a pearl-stitch knit sweater. grey. a yellow folder on his table. he is scribbling. a leather jacketed fellow comes by with greased hairs to have a look. a brief chat and nothing more. he is still scribbling. green socks & leather loafers. the kind i can imagine that caleb wears.i even think there is tape on his glasses. i like him instantly. black polished nails by the window drags long and hard, staring at the grey street on the other side of the pane. this place is called siraly or seagull. dogs are invited.  

hemingway and espresso.. a perfect combination?

"My excuse is that I make the truth as I invent it truer than it would be. That is what makes good writers or bad." Hemingway (True at First Light) 

a very nice quote from ernest hemingway's true at first light. i wrote it down of a scrap of paper when i read it for the first time. i have read it again, and reread it. i am about to start a writing job, not fiction writing but my job will be defendant on my ability to write clearly and creatively. to sell destinations to the travelling public. to allure and attract and build together for them a potential scene on the french riviera in which they might find themselves. click click and they could be on a flight tomorrow to the destination of their dreams. two more clicks and the hotel is booked and one more click, why not read an online travel guide about the destination. my job is to write that travel guide. have i been to the french riviera? i have only seen it in my dreams and so i write about it as such, of course with a little google research as well. i dont think i invent, more probably i embellish on what i discover and fill it as best i can of what i hope it is like to be there. it is definite that i would write these logs and descriptions completely differently if i were to visit these places in person. i dont think i am a bad writer though, or falsely leading travellers to places i have never been before. if only this type of writing instills in me the itch in my feet to travel and discover the places of which i am writing about again and again, across oceans and over mountains. i will go to the french riviera. on my way to spain.



this city is getting ready for christmas. fashion street is alight even more than it usually is from monte carlo's casino. a little further and  i can see the museum across the river. the freedom statue. buda castle and chain bridge, lit in all the right places for night time photography. it is warm and cold and im glad i wore my hat. thom yorke in my ears and couples kissing along the boulevard. peter pan immortalized in bronze, sitting near the tram stop. i turn the corner and four bmx'ers cross me in a line, heading for the old bus station at deak ter. this is where to go to find a new trick. it is a 24h skate and wheel show. the one with the biggest scar wins. there is something i cant really put my fingers on. the leafless trees? my almost blank moleskin? the garbage picking gypsy at the opposite corner? it is just walking. the slow and dependable stride that takes me from one corner to another, creating lines on the map as i trace the streets. i am in a world of maps again, it always starts in a new city this way. maps / walks / midnight lights / non-stop traffic.



>time to air out the rugs.
>parliament/ a picture of that cool looking building over there.
>andrassy utca. 
>reminiscence of an older day/ rusted wheels but still purrs.
>saint stephen's basilica/ around the corner.



dear deak ferenc ter, you are too cool.

this is my home now. at least not all of it, just one little cube of space in it. bright and yellow in the afternoon sun. i can imagine how nice it was as a palace in the 1800s. a little royal marble on my door step. rumour has it that hofi geza lived one floor up. even cooler.

today? finding tree hugger dan's coffee shop near the opera house and then settling in a cozy chair to read for a few hours. tomato soup for dinner with leftover lentils and rice. looking for some fresh basil too. there is no soup without the basil. 

is it really november? really?



slippery elm and rose hip tea.
ecchinacea tablets and a worn out handkerchief.

is it cold season already? but ive only just arrived.
it is a good time then i guess to work in my new bed and my cocoon of soft blankets. keep me warm and safe. the new flat is nice, orange wall and zebra rug. dear me. small. we have just one cooking pot, a yellow one, three spoons, a butter knife and two tea cups. a few jars of home-made pickles from david's granny and a box of fresh onions, carrots, peppers, and  walnuts. 

no salt or pepper yet. but we have an italiano coffee maker with kicking horse beans but no grinder. not yet. so coffee will wait. hello deak ter.

met yesterday sammi from vancouver and we took metro tram and bus to find the communist statue park. 

nice ride / cold day / grey sky / full moon / stalin's boots



two post cards, a bag of broccoli, the hungarian design award 2009, and a dried-out croissant.

city market today. my heart stopped at the sight of so many vegetables. so beautiful. farmer's faces hiding behind a pyramid of kohlrabi. a fan of carrots, give me two please. and a citron. they show me the prices on a calculator, apparently my garb screams foreigner. i smile and szia stok away, bag of produce in my hand. 

walk a little further is the museum of applied arts. there is a nice design exhibit on. the building is a perfect example or art nouveau style that can be found everywhere, one just needs to look up instead of at the ground. this is a second-story city. 

stopped for a kave and croissant on my way home. the lady's bright red lipsticked-smile was nice. 

some drawings and notes from the exhibition of amerigo tot's work at the ludwig museum.



tuesday in budapest. have i been here 48 hours yet. i think exactly.
feels already like days. i am sleeping a lot jet lag kills me. eating hummus wraps and walking around and around. david is at work in the days so i am left for meditation and sight seeing.
it is an alright lifestyle i think! 

we are waiting for word on an apartment, then we can move in early next week. then the arting i guess can start. i already did some sketching yesterday, it is all so old here. i love it.



a weekend of meditation in toronto.

street cars and parking tickets. i hate to park in toronto. one can never truly know when the ticket writers are coming around. i am so interested in cities, large ones and small ones. i like to get lost in toronto, but to know some nooks so well. we discovered a nice little eating spot on dundas w. mother hen or sitting hen. it has excellent breakfast and is filled with all the silly mugs your mom doesnt keep when she redoes her kitchen. i love florida, or arnold family reunion slogans across in red and purple and yellow and blue! elephant salt and pepper shakers. it was so kitsch it was charming. loved it.

the remnants of a nice of fries a la french and bloody marys. 
complete confusion.

morning coffee beside the window at the buddhist center. plants to keep the air green and clean. a lovely third story view. too much cream though for a recovering vegan. 



i think i even like this town.

took me a few years to convince myself. but its not so bad here. i am nestled into my little green room again and have learned to deal with the throws of living with the family again. we have a routine now and i like the garden and riding my bike to the salon just to say hi to my mom. i spent so much time hating on this place that now im leaving and its an uncomfortable goodbye. sorry i didnt give you the chance city, but you'll still be here when i am back. this city is my home, nice to meet you again.

etsy shop will be canceled while i am living in hungary. maybe i will just start a new one there since i wont be able to ship canadian things, maybe ill sell hungarian ones instead. 



cold autumn day today. so i picked a pumpkin from the winery garden for dinner.

we fried it with black beans, sun-dried tomatoes, celery and red onion. salt and pepper. delicious. 
of course we toasted the seeds for on top and for a nice snack tomorrow at the grape&wine parade. it feels perfectly like fall with early setting golden light around six o clock and the crunchy leaves start to appear from the prematurely changing willow tree. 

stinging nettle tea is making me feel clean inside. i like this new tea.

i have a little less than a month left before i leave now for hungary. i am perhaps a bit anxious to pack and have been slowly collecting must haves for the trip in my old blue suitcase. so far: a ball of yarn and circle needles for long flight knitting, a travel pack towel, "in europe" a history book by geert mak who makes history interesting for people that never liked history class (me), david's favourite granola bars, ice wine from the winery. 

in the meantime, susi and i are making paper crafts and playing in the vineyards.