happy new year


i'm never quite good at making/keeping resolutions but i think this year, at least i'll make some goals instead of promises. trying not to make the list too long. one step at a time

send more postcards. i don't write enough, i know it. and i'd like to, mostly because i love getting letters in my postbox from far away places. one friend is famous for her poetic ramblings which i always look forward to reading and i should return the favour more often.

make time for art. morgan recommended this book course, the artist's way, to me a while back and i put it on the back burner, knowing full-well that i wouldn't find it in a budapest book store. now that i'm in canada i can pick up a copy before heading back. it's a writing/creating 12-week course that makes making time for expression a priority. i'm going to do it.

get into classics. i haven't read enough classics, i know it. i was browsing at chapters yesterday and was embarrased to think i've never read a jane austen. so this year, i'm putting these classics on my priority reading list (any more recommendations are very welcome):

the old curiosity shop - charles dickens
persuasion - jane austin
sons & lovers - d.h. lawrence

365 projekt. i've been following a few of you that actually did this and what persistence. now that i have a smaller compakt camera to take around with me, i hereby challenge myself to the 365 photograph challenge. (can i make one side note: i might at times substitute drawings for photographs because it is still considered "image-caputure", isn't it?), starting the first of january 2011.

now that i've written this out, it's a tall order isn't it?
at least two and four can be combined (cheating already).

what are your resolutions for this year?

**update (01.01.11): 365 under way at tumblr


chickens and a viszla

i'm pretty wowed by the miniature setting on this camera.
introducing widu, the hungarian viszla
and the gaggle of chickens at frogpond farm


good things come in three

between seasonal jobs, regular work and the pace of the holidays

// i've forgotten all about this.
there are a few little treasures i'd like to share

mr. scruff, a manchester dj, is also my favourite tea-maker
he spins vinyl by night and designs these incredible tea flavours (and their packaging) by day
have a listen to jazz potato here.

second: canon sd1400is

this little compakt takes hd video and has fish-eye and miniature settings
the perfect small addition to my camera collection. finally excited about having a pocket digi-cam instead of taking my bigger sx20 around here and there.

third: frogpondfarm ice wine

i've mentioned this n-o-t-l winery before and i was gifted a bottle of their 2007 riesling ice wine 
golden sweet nectar, this bottle is coming to hungary with me next month.


eran hilleli [videos]

totally captivated by the animation in these three short films.
the first won an animation prize on vimeo and for good reason.
not too many words for you today, these moving pictures certainly deserve a better introduction. all i can say is,


Between Bears from Eran Hilleli on Vimeo.

Three and a Half Seconds About Life from Eran Hilleli on Vimeo.

Inside_Out from Eran Hilleli on Vimeo.


art gallery of ontario

an afternoon in the 'big city' turned out to be just what i needed after more than a month at home in niagara. my first stop (after being sufficiently caffeinated at the orange alert) was the a.g.o

it would be no stretch of truth to say that frank gehry is one of my favourite artists
his guggenheim in bilbao is a spectacular cathedral of lines and curves (not much credit goes to the collection housed inside it but that's another bone for picking)

gehry's piece in toronto is nice, simply. it fits but its one of the more conservative pieces he's done, using his fish motif on the dundas side, similar to his sculpture on the barcelona harbour

the curvaceous staircase did make me smile, like a snake coiling in and out of doors and through the ceiling //

[img 2] julian schnabel: big girl

i can't help take photographs in art museums and galleries, as i have studied art history, theory and the philosophy of the image and aesthetics, i like to bring home some of the paintings that particularly attracted me, ones i had an experience with. big girl was shot sneakily behind the back of the security guard from my pocket. a quick out, click, in without a notice.

do you do the same? how do you feel about no photography rules in musems and galleries?

one more info:
the ago is free to those under the age of 25 (score! since regular admission is $19) until april. take advantage of this again and again.


christmas spiced salt

using old magazines to make some cut and paste holiday cards but i came across this small project. the ingredients are super cheap and are great little tokens to bring along as a hostess gift for a friend who loves to cook. 

// christmas spiced salt //

200g coarse sea salt
2 tsp red peppercorns
2 tsp crushed red chilli
4 star anise
sterilized jar*

the salt mixed with the red peppercorns reminds me of holly berries in the snow. the magazine article suggested using the spiced salt on steaks and roasted chicken. of course, as a vegetarian, i filled a pretty glass bowl with it and put it on the table, ready at a moment's notice when i need a dash of salt.

i filled a few jars up with it and tied rubber-stamp printed kraft paper around the tops for wrapping.

*to sterilize your jar, wash it well in warm soapy water. rinse and dry in an oven set at 275°f. let cool before filling


kites fly, birds swoop

j'avais manqué ma ville. mais je retourne maintenant a une ville. completement nouveau.

comment-ce passe?
comment-ce passe?

je ne sais pas. j'ai oublié les mots. ils sont perdus.
ils sont perdus.

comment-ce passe?
comment-ce passe?

some days i just wish i was stranded on Gibraltar//


wrist worms

too tempted these days by comfy knits. is it just because it's cold outside?
i've been catching up on a year's worth of knitting projects these past days //
my pants are covered in wool fur

but i like it.

i love these: wrist worms crocheted by sandra juto
what pretty colours

what's tempting you this season?


winter accents

the first snow fall is always the most magical. especially when it comes at night and you awake, peek out the window after hearing the winds blow all night and you're greeted with a white cityscape. quelle surprise!

i spent the last few days in peterborough baking, drinking lots of tea and catching up with girlfriends. playing cut and paste and making gifts from hand in a bright orange room. we walked through forests, collecting winter greens to make floral arrangements with.

appreciating bright red dogwood and how festive it is, the sound of the word bullrushes on my lips, how easy it is to make delicious gluten free cranberry cookies and the smell of drying sage i forgot about in the porch //

my pile of kraft paper packages is slowly growing the more projects i complete. im doing an entirely handmade christmas this year, safe a few edible treats that i couldn't resist to buy (chocolates and imported liquorice).

more to knit, more to paint, more to sew.


cowl knitting

the last days have been foggy and grey. romantic though
in the way that the tress are laid bare amidst the silvery hue of mist
winter has its way of making magic in my heart
has knitting season officially started? it feels like its here
since my last pair of circular needles broke in my luggage this time last year,
i need a new pair.

already have some soft cream wool

time to knit a cowl//

(the first cowl i ever knitted, using a pattern from yarn over movement)

(in the works)

what are you knitting? socks, scarves and tuques?
on another note, im really mesmerized by all the holiday ideas circulating. but more on that later.


whisk lighting

the sweet paul holiday mag is out.
and im scouring the flea markets to find an old industrial whisk, to no avail.
but i've seen a similar project with an old cheese grater, and that i have


have you ever made a recycled lamp before?

make it yourself:
-one old industrial whisk
-hanging lamp set

1. make sure lamp set isn't plugged in
2. unscrew socket until it comes apart, unscrew the screws holding the two wires in place
3. pull cord through whisk, then reassemble socket
4. wrap one wire around one screw and tighten
5. do the same for the other wire (make sure the two wires are not touching)
6. screw socket back into position, twist in a light bulb
7. hang it up and turn it on!


remote islands, an atlas of

"Paradise is an island. So is hell,"
The Atlas of Remote Islands: 50 islands I have never set foot on and never will

written by Judith Schalansky

"The absurdity of reality is lost on the large land masses, but here on the islands, it is writ large. An island offers a stage: everything that happens on it is practically forced to turn into a story, into a chamber piece in the middle of nowhere, into the stuff of literature. What is unique about these tales is that face and fiction con no longer be separate: fact is fictionalized and fiction is turned into fact."

all mapped images are hand drawn and shaded to scale by the author //
awarded the most beautiful book in Germany

can you wonder why?


sewing homework

im taking quite leisurely sewing classes from my talented aunt. she even sewed my mother's wedding gown (once upon a time) and now she's passing on her drapery, hemming and dress-sewing expertise on to me. first lesson included hemming 101, the basics, the dirty basics and some tips.

task one: hem one pair of pants

remember that denim wine bottle holder i made earlier this week? she ripped the stitches out, not good enough. so with a new strategy to master that french seam, i will make it again and make an entire new one.

task two: re-sew first bottle holder, sew another one

i got my hands on a copy of the japanese stylish dress book. not speaking japanese, i'm happy the instructions are so clear and precise. she's going to guide me through one pattern with buttons, gathering and piping so that we can cover a few skills in one project. i have my eyes on dress G.

task three: translate pattern and convert japan sizing chart to canadian and then trace pattern, cut it out

for monday.


akos major on budapest

bone chilling photographs from akos major.
i don't remember winters in hungary ever being so powerful.

chain bridge looks motionless for the first time in history.
and parliament like an angelic mansion from a fairy tale story.

the danube is quiet and grey, it loses its brown/green tinge when winter arrives.
for a self-proclaimed "amateur" akos creates some beautiful images.

find more here
found via smallsight


denim wine bottle tote // diy

found this charming pattern on design*sponge
for a bleached denim wine bag

now, my fingers smell like bleach (even though i wore plastic gloves)
the pattern, relatively easy although pulling off a tidy french seam with denim and twill at a half inch isn't easy and mine certainly isn't tidy.

in the end the denim is too yellow for my liking but my mum said it's great. is it just because she's my mum? it's a good thing i've been invited over for dinner at a friends later this week, so i can tote a bottle of red in good hand-sewn style.

[find the pattern here]


lost // in translation

bob: Can you keep a secret? I'm trying to organize a prison break. I'm looking for, like, an accomplice. We have to first get out of this bar, then the hotel, then the city, and then the country. Are you in or you out?

charlotte: I'm in. I'll go pack my stuff.

bob: I hope that you've had enough to drink. It's going to take courage.


la muerte de la taberna

La muerte // Death
entra y sale // comes and goes
de la taberna. // from the tavern.

Pasan caballos negros // It passes black horses
y gente siniestra // and sinister faces
por los hondos caminos // by the deep ways
de la guitarra. // of the guitar

Y hay un olor a sal // There is a scent of salt
y a sangre de hembra, // and female blood
en los nardos febriles // in the hot nostrils
de la marina. // of the marina.

La muerte // Death
entra y sale, // comes and goes,
y sale y entra //  and goes and comes
la muerte // death
de la taberna. // from the tavern.

[federico garcia lorca]


sherman in a retrospective

Joy, every time I see Cindy Sherman's "Untitled Bus Riders" (1976). Those photographs never sit still. They travel, shift, become. Always.

once a friend unexpectedly sent me a cindy sherman "retrospective" catalogue in the mail from a show in chicago. just recently i rediscovered it in a pile of old books with too much dust on it. she's just as incredible as ever. what's not to love about her 1970s film stills?


nesting in canada

nesting. is that what they call it when you take your time to settle in to a new surrounding?
im nesting then. at my parents home after being away one year.
seems like just a week ago that i was packing for budapest

now im home for a few months of recuperation, so they say, before heading back.
honestly, i can't wait and im unexpectedly disappointed in what i thought "home" would be like after a while. but really, it's nice but just different and yes

[different is beautiful]

but different is different. have any nesting tips? 


budapest -> toronto


hammerhart hat gesagt:
with just one full day left in budapest, im scrambling to put a suitcase together, spend as much time in one special pair of arms as possible and plan for next week already. it's terrible // a complete mix up and surprise.

i shouldn't be surprised. it's always like this. the autumn sun doesn't give up and i wish i could pick wildflowers for days and days.

suddenly the idea of leaving doesn't feel so good. i'd trade my trip home to stay for anything.
holding on to broken gilded mirrors found in attics, white mums from grannie's garden, goulash soup cooked over a fire and old scarves i forgot about in the closet.
can't i take everything?

it's only three months, i have to keep telling myself, it's only three months.
and i'll be back in my hungarian world once again.
until then, i'll re-located to my childhood bedroom in a city near niagara falls. dusting off my sewing machine and making art again. my hands miss that, making art and threading needles. with a far away boyfriend and lost contact with high school friends, im certain there'll be time to sew.



a weekend in barcelona in few words.
1) hotel diagonal zero
2) recognize this plaza from "vicky christina barcelona"?
3) sculpture by joan miro
4) looking for parc guell
5) thrilling curves and lines at the joan miro foundation


italy // bari to brindisi

thanks to ryanair i could fly from bratislava to bari for very cheap.
thanks to hospitable italians i could successfully hitchhike from bari to brindisi.
thanks to good fortune i slept for free on the beach the first night.
thanks to the water gods, it rained like i've never seen for 3 days.
thanks to meditation, it didn't matter.
thanks to italians for inventing pasta, and cooking me plate after plate of it.

for an entire week.

thanks to hospitable italians i could successfully hitchhike from brindisi to bari.
seven days on the road meditating, exploring, swimming, singing and enjoying the leather straps of my sandals between my toes one last time before welcoming autumn.


this is my sperm whale

neil harman sent me a whale in the mail
i expected a small drawing of a sperm whale, something to hang on the fridge or pin to my wall, add to my art collection that is slowly growing.

no // no // no

i received the hugest what i could even image in the mail, life size, at least of a small baby sperm whale!

thanks for my whale! [neil is the coolest ever]
if you want to be part of his whale migration project, send him an email, the further away you are from the uk the better. i had my whale mailed to hungary, but it's coming to canada with me in three weeks, i just hope i can find a wall big enough for it.

"Oh, the rare old Whale, mid storm and gale
In his ocean home will be
A giant in might, where might is right,
And King of the boundless sea"
-Whale Song


already on the next

while you're reading this im somewhere on a plane heading to italy for seven days of bliss, meditation, sun and hopefully the most delicious pasta and wine i've ever tasted. 

bari // brindisi // polignano al mare // alberobello // osturi

see you in a week, and a bit.
because after italy, i have a short weekend trip planned to barcelona.

this girl travels.
[20 days until i leave]