sergio membrillas illustrations.

darling illustrations by sergio membrillas. i would pick up any book with his quaint little drawings in them. he also does some editorial work that is worth a gander. these little owls are my favourite, go figure. i can also imagine how warm it must be to snug up under a bird's wing with a mug of tea. the new chicks this spring are lucky little birds. (i think maybe this fantasy comes from my childhood love of falkor from the never ending story, even though he is a dragon)


watching the swallows go to and fro

im not sure i ever saw a swallow in real life before. i see them by the dozen now that spring is on its way. some how in the last few days swallows have bumped into me. the first was in a little child's tune david's mum was singing to his nephew while they made baby gymnastics, "swallow swallow eagle eagle" moving his arms this way and that.

the next was the following day when there were no seats on the train back to budapest so david and i stood in the corridor. the ticket inspector stopped to chat with us, a really nice guy that is making the best out of a pretty drab job... "do you have your tickets? show your tickets" up and down, up and down travelling across the country sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. he stopped and when he realized i didnt speak a word of hungarian he started rhyming off all of the chinese proverbs he knew in english. one of them was "one swallow doesn't make spring."

the next morning i saw my first swallow on the way to work. i thought about the train ticket inspectors words and didnt get my hopes up for spring. then i saw another. spring must be on its way. now the birds start to come back from africa. i like it a lot. some birds i never saw before in canada. this spring will be new for me.


a cloud of words.

 a funny cloud of words from the kfar blog. it is really amazing the little things you can find from here and there, this one site wordle occupied my mind for longer than it should have i think. word clouds. very nice. (click to see it bigger because the preview is quite small) it looks kind of like a finger print though.

Wordle: just one peanut


post birthday / vintage suitcases


i can never help to steal a shot of old men and their vintage suitcases, knowing full well that they bought it new and have been using it ever since. this one had a really old malev logo on the front, a hungarian airline company, but it was already obvious that i was taking a photograph of this man and i was not stealth enough to grab a side shot. and besides, i was not about to ask an old hungarian man to take his photograph. i dont think im at that level yet. this was taken in the metro this morning.

marzipan birthday cake at david's parents house this weekend. so strange to see my age on a cake again. i didnt have this type of candles since i was a child. we laughed and said we would save them for when its davids turn to turn 32... in a good few years but still. 

my favourite surprise this year was finding a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard. okay so its just pb, but if you took a pb and j sandwich to school from grade 1 to 12 and still loved them after all those years you'd have some idea how much i love peanut butter. its one of the most expensive things in the grocery store due to lack of peanut growing and because north america seems to be the only continent obsessed with it. in any case, i am happy david bit the bullet and bought me a jar of definitely over priced peanut butter for my birthday. the way to my heart is definitely through my stomach.. and pretty pictures.

vingt trois. hmm. 


get ready, its time to go.


today is friday. what a relief.
syntax orchestra is up tonight.
chocolate cake is in my tummy tonight.
earl grey tea and french champagne.
birthdays come just once a year.

today its here!


empty tea cups

evening tea in a tea house near blaha luijza ter. with floating turtles, jumping turtles. we found a spot by the window and chatted until the whole house was empty. chocolate chili for her and caramel rooibus for me. so nice to meet with gabi outside of office hours. figuring out the world and budapest living together. one pay check at a time ha. its nice to not count the forint and treat ourselves for just one night.

its so nice to find someone else that has such similar experiences living around in foreign countries, moving for love. leaving behind one world to live in another. its cool but easy to get lost in the 9-5 mindset, routine. sometimes i forget i even live in budapest and i am just living, not really aware of what is going on around me. ive been here just four months now but already i forget little details, i dont think about canada hardly at all these days. 

its just short today. time to run. 


jump its almost spring, i really think

photo by Mylla 

i am starting to see sevens and rain clouds in the long-term forecast. maybe its too early to say but i think we are on the brink of spring. winters are supposed to be short here in budapest, and i hope they are right. its about time to fish out thin stockings and flats at least in my imagination. finding a pair rain boots is my next priority. perhaps even an umbrella.

photo by bluebirdvintage 

"i found a dream to rest my cheek to" -miss ella fitzgerald

a quick jaunt to vienna.

12 hours, c'est tout. spontaneity won out again and we found ourselves in a van with 7 other buddhists heading to vienna yesterday afternoon to see ole nydahl's lecture at the university in vienna. it was a very nice evening, lots of friends from all around were there and his words were just as wise as ever.

today was a sleep in day since we didnt get home until four a.m. a sleepy morning of pastries and earl grey tea for breakfast this morning. belle & sebastian on my radio. a lovely lovely morning. if i sit just a little to the right i can see students learning foreign languages in the school across the courtyard. its nice to peek, i want to go to school again.

mid-woche //

im always looking for little signs of canada. a moose? definitely. even though stockholm tourist posters also use this symbol. visit stockholm, mind the moose. i could resist not catching this moose on an elevator to the car park in vienna last night.


weekends //

friday: was a day for wearing blue tights and cosy slippers. big cups of coffee and though inspired letters to friends in far away countries. i dug out my good pen and found an empty pad. i felt so inspired after watching bright star i hand wrote a letter. just one. but i put a lot of thought into that one letter. i am trying to put more effort into these little details again. its so easy to put away a pen and paper and vouch for the email when really, walking to the post office takes soooo much effort. shame on me.

saturday: meditation meditation, a little sewing and more meditation

sunday: heart day, valentine's day, david's birth day. we celebrated two holidays on sunday. what better way than to start it off with a sleep in and then banana chocolate pancakes? mmm delicious.

later we went to szechenyi, one of budapest's thermal spas. heavenly thermal spring water outside in the winter. the funny/strange thing was that a lot of other couples had the same idea we did about how incredibly romantic the thermal baths would be on valentine's day. imagine a steaming pool full of hugging couples. just lovely. we escaped indoors and jumped from one pool to the next and taking full advantage of the saunas there.

9 o clock dinner and vegan chocolate cupcakes with not so vegan whipped cream and a few cherries on top. an episode of due south and the weekend was finished before i could notice it had started. this always happens. i need to find the slo-motion button on the remote for life because it feels lately that the weeks fly by faster than i can notice.

tomorrow to vienna, just for a day.


a thought or two / post bright star screening

daydreams of pretty lace, hand-embroidered details. lost in the 1800s somewhere between rainy london alleyways and english meadows. will spring come this year? i have doubts when it continues to snow and rain and sleet and slush and wind. i am waiting patiently for the tulips to come and cherry trees to blossom.

hand-written letters, sealed in wax. those days are gone i fear, true letters written with quill and ink. i get so easily lost in romanticism. i watch too many period films maybe. there is something so enthralling, whimsical about them though, this age of gentleman and choreographed dances. ponds and walks through sparse forests that open up to fields of lavender. do these days still exist? maybe only in my mind and in yellowed pages of english classics.

i always feel so inspired in the late night evenings, when i can just rest and little thoughts find their way into my brain. some good ideas some not so good but there is always inspiration after a good film and a strong coffee. i turn on beach house and more comes. i am thinking about filming a little film with david's help/ he has a nice camera i just need to learn to use it. and wait for the streets to dry to go outside with it. i want to take it out for a walk. but its so cold and wet these days. i have never worked with film but i have always been interested in the moving image, moving pictures. i wish one day to be truly great at something. really great.


bertrolt brecht

i watched earlier this week a film called the live of others / das leben der anderen and i am still thinking about it. mostly about the stasi investigator reading brecht, the first breathe of poetry to probably leave his lips since he joined. watching him steal away brecht's book from a theatre writer's apartment and reading it alone to himself. brechts words foating up to the screen as the camera zooms away from him at a birds eye view.

this scene is so nice. the stasi officer is inspired to steal poetry and i think finds a little solace with himself, barriers breaking the more enthralled he becomes with the writer and his lady.

On a certain day in the blue-moon month of September
Beneath a young plum tree, quietly
I held her there, my quiet, pale beloved
In my arms just like a graceful dream.
And over us in the beautiful summer sky
There was a cloud on which my gaze rested
It was very white and so immensely high
And when I looked up, it had disappeared.

Since that day many, many months
Have quietly floated down and past.
No doubt the plum trees were chopped down
And you ask me: what's happened to my love?
So I answer you: I can't remember.
And still, of course, I know what you mean
But I honestly can't recollect her face
I just know: there was a time I kissed it.

And that kiss too I would have long forgotten
Had not the cloud been present there
That I still know and always will remember
It was so white and came from on high.
Perhaps those plum trees still bloom
And that woman now may have had her seventh child
But that cloud blossomed just a few minutes
And when I looked up, it had disappeared in the wind.

-Bertolt Brecht, “Remembrances of Marie A.,“ in Die Hauspostille (1927) (S.H. transl.)
(Bertolt Brecht, Gesammelte Werke in acht Bänden, vol. 4, p. 232)


a little brown owl.

i found some brown owls  on the internet today, a crafting club called brown owl that gives badges for finished knitting, sewing, and crocheting projects. i am almost tempted to pull out my old sash that already has some badges i earned when i was four feet tall and as eager as a beaver to be the best stitcher in my group at pioneer clubs. 

the projects start simple but it is always a good place to start. i decided to start with the teapot cosy. i dont have a teapot yet since we didn't think it was an absolute essential when furnishing our kitchen here on a lower than low budget but now that we have a little more flexibility and we are settled i think the tea pot should make its way to the top of the list again. 

and a knitted tea pot cosy too. my needles need a new project and i have a nice collection of yarn from granny's attic. turquoise, white, red and rainbow... sounds like the perfect 1970s kitsch tea pot cosy i ever heard of. 

i wonder if there is a knitting or sewing group that meets around budapest, a real stitch and bitch. this is one of the things i miss most about canada, crafting friends to spend an afternoon with cutting, pasting, drawing and exchanging contour portraits with. 

on a side note i am the most pathetic person when it comes to public speaking. terrible terrible. i shake like a darn leaf. and i have to give a short buddhist talk tonight. eek


un petit video.

here is a short video david and i made a couple weeks ago. step by steps to making felt valentines day brooches like the ones in my etsy shop. it was strange having a camera peeking over my shoulder.. my hands first film debut. enjoy! i have already starting on some other valentines day crafts but if i write about them it will give away the surprise.

happy tuesday.


a quiet moment between breaths.

a quiet moment between two breathes. finally i have time to sit beside a bright window with a teacup full to the brim. my book is open and it is only half done. i like to read long books, even if it can be dry in the middle, because you can really spend time to sink into the stories. i am reading now about european history and it is anything but boring. history is thrilling if you have a good story teller. 

lavender candles make the room smell nice, almost as if spring has filled the air. i am full of cake and champagne.

i went closet digging with david today and i found a new pair
of pants and two belts. i like new clothes. especially grandpa pants that actually fit me. david calls them carrot pants but they are comfortable and soft. i will wear them often when he is not around because he doesnt like them too much. 

the light is just right right now. it is soft and the snow outside has been falling all night and all day, pulling the pine boughs down with its weight. its been a hard hungarian winter, granny says. im just glad it looks like home. at least for another month. and then the flowers will start to come up, granny says. 


an afternoon walk.

a few photographs from our afternoon walk around szekesfehervar. we went to the lake to skate and then took refuge in a little theatre house cafe in the city centre to warm our toes. in hungarian theatre is made up of two words, colour and house. i thought this was really cool when my limited hungarian knowledge  picked up on this. what is a theatre anyway but a place where actors put on a different colour, pretend, take on another face. hmm i think it made more sense in my head when i was there staring deep into my milk foam.


a photo album by frankie

i really like this. ive found it in a few places recently and i am very intrigued. i could use some photography inspiration as i havent even picked up anything analogue in months. i once loaded a roll of film into a praktica a couple of weeks ago, only to put it back on the shelf. not only is this terrible in and of itself but i just havent pushed myself to make a photographing day. i need to get back into the habit of tucking it into my bag before i leave for work, market trips or other outings here and there.

this frankie magazine photo album is filled with photography from aussie artists and international ones and i am thinking i might take the jump and order it to be inspired by its 144 pages of photo-lovliness. its for sale for $29.95. but maybe i can find a used copy on ebay. perhaps perhaps.

here are a few sneek peeks i was able to collect on different blogs and sites.






milk pods, tea cups, daisies, and hornets, buzz

i cannot wait for spring. 

for picnics and tulips and being able to read while spread out on a blanket. for wearing little flats again with a cotton skirt. no more wool socks and no more salt on my boots. i noticed this week for the first time that it is slowly getting lighter in the evenings. on tuesday i left the office to come home right at five and it was not even dark yet, dusk but not dark. this is so encouraging. i want the weather to warm up, just a little bit. i know i will complain about the heat in the summer because my canadian blood cannot handle a 40 degree day no matter how cool the shade is. 

i am thinking about the emergency list that anabela posted on her blog fieldguided  posted and a few things come to mind that are top on my list of my winter emergency survival list:

- take baths with epsom salts
we dont have a bathtub here in out apartment but david's parents have a nice big one at their house so it is a good thing we are heading there this weekend. its always bath time when i go to szekesfehervar. on a second thought, budapest has some of the nicest thermal baths in europe.. i have been missing out on something really key here i think.

- visit an art exhibit with paintings from my art textbooks at school
there is a great exhibition  that just opened at the pushkin museum in budapest, degas to picasso. there is no better way in my opinion to spend a wintery day than in an art museum with a sketchbook and a few pencils. i like to take my time and sit down, talk about pieces that really strike me. i know art museums have a reputation to be quiet.. but people should talk about the art or else was is the point? art is for interactions.

- sip on some mulled wine in a small cafe
this drink will eventually phase out my usual hot toddy in the wintertime. i have come to dearly love mulled wine in this city. its very sweet and can be spicy. cinnamon and lemon and sugar does wonder for a cheap bottle of red

- wear a dress with a pair of warm tights
i hope to really dig out a nice old dress from the attic this weekend at david's granny's house in the village, chakvar. she has some really nice finds at her house and i have brought back a number of soft balls of yarn, old bedsheets with pretty patters and knitting needles from her house already. she is always so happy to see something worn again and this time im on the search for a new dress.


granola recipe on a wednesday night

tired already and its barely ten o clock. waiting patiently for a weekend rest to arrive.
staying up to make granola for breakfast tomorrow, an effort that never goes unnoticed.. cranberries, sliced almonds, austrian oats and hungarian honey make me smile in the morning, especially when they are all drowned in organic soy milk. mmm.

do you want my recipe?

here it goes:

4 cups oats (i mix half and half with plain large flake rolled oats and generic muesli from tesco)
1 1/2 cups sliced/chopped/slivered (however you like em) almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups dried fruits (mix and mingle, its the best policy... i like to put in goji berries, chopped apricots, raisins, cranberries and coconut)

preheat over to 300F
mix oats, almonds, salt, cinnamon and dried fruits in a bowl
in a saucepan warm the oil and honey and sugar until it is dissolved, then add the vanilla
mix the dry ingredients together with the wet and spread onto a baking sheet
bake 30-40 minutes, stirring every few minutes

let cool and wait patiently before pouring yourself a bowl.
it is perfect with some sliced bananas.

*dear me that photo is terrible. some days i am just too lazy to get out my camera, take proper photographs, upload them to iphoto and then onto the blog i just resort to the photobooth instead. my apologies..


hello february

a new month arrived today. i am so glad. i means frosty january is behind us and next month is march. this sweet little month is exciting for me. i am a sucker for handmade paper valentines, chocolates and cupcakes with pink frosting. february is birthday month for both me and my love. i can imagine that many pieces of cake will find their way to our kitchen table in the coming weeks.

february is also masquerade month in budapest
dressing up to scare away winter // hosting all night parties like it would be the middle of summer

last year at this time i was kneed deep in essays and art projects for uni. here are a few photographs of my old workspace in uni, one i miss but it was cool while it lasted. we were 9 in a old downtown house in peterborough, ontario for that year. chaos but definitely very cool.