Sunday, October 16, 2011

About Clouds, Flowers and Dreams

It seems that my perception of time is slightly of lately. By lately, I mean months... It's possibly due to my lack of sleep and other joys of getting older. Am I slowing down of sorts? I sure enjoy little musings and off time more then before, and I'm not even feeling guilty about it! Last week we had some lovely autumn weather and I thoroughly enjoyed laying on my chaise longue contemplating my last flowers and watching clouds passing by.
They were so fluffy, creamy and sugary that I was seriously tempted to fulfill my childhood dream and climb on them with a spoon to eat them.
Yeah, I was firmly convinced that the clouds were made of tons of whipped cream.
 So much beauty in the moment, transformed to happiness of one dreaming hearth...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wild and Wonderful World of Jean Paul Gaultier

If you visit my blog from time to time, you already know that I'm not a prolific blogger. When I started my blog in 2009, I taught I would make a new post at least three times a week. Well, it didn't work out that way for many reasons and I felt guilty all the time. Then I remembered why I started blogging in the first place: to practice my "movie" English! And also to be a part of the wonderful blogging community by sharing little things from my life. So I'll continue blogging this way and I hope you'll continue visiting...I appreciate it so much!

I had my birthday earlier this month (numbers are not important) and since I was on vacation, I went to see the first international exhibition devoted to the celebrated couturier Jean Paul Gaultier in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk 
My interest in fashion is a remnant of a dream that I never pursued. As a very young girl, I wanted to study textile arts, fabric and fashion but my parents wouldn't approve my choice at the time and so I studied German language (my second love) and became a teacher. I wasn't really obsessed by fashion, I was rather fascinated by the art of creation and transformation of materials into something original and wearable. I did learn to sew and I still do it from time to time, but I never did what I really wanted to do with my talents and passion.
Trough the years of having an eye on fashion, I started to love and appreciate the incredible work of Jean Paul Gaultier. So it was clear for me that I couldn't miss the wonderful opportunity to see his work presented in the first international exhibition devoted to the celebrated French couturier.
I went to museum in the company of my daughter who also loves fashion. We were both smitten by his talent, inspired by creativity, passion and exquisite attention to detail of his haute couture creations that are truly pieces of art.
Several times during the exhibition I was moved to tears by his originality and craftsmanship. I loved the exhibition so much that I plan to go see it again before it ends October 2nd. If you have a chance go and visit the exhibition, I highly recommend it not only for Gaultiers impressive work but also for the exposition itself and its particularly innovative theatrical mise en scène and multimedia approach and animated mannequins - stunning!
I invite you to see the pictures I took during my visit here. Click on Slideshow to see the details. Enjoy!


Friday, July 22, 2011

IKEA Catalog 2012 is here !

IKEA Catalog 2012
 I never mentioned it but I love, love Ikea for so many reasons. Each year I'm patiently waiting for the new catalog - it's like this old crazy habit of mine, can't help it. Looking trough the new Ikea catalog=joy!
So click on the picture and flip trough the pages chock-full of inspiration...enjoy! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fruity Summer Cake Recipes

I was just searching for the recipe to use the raspberries I have when I stumbled upon Sweet Paul's digital magazine. What a delight! This summer issue is full of delicious treats, lovely DIY ideas with instructions and everything is so beautifully photographed too.
If you are not familiar with Paul Lowe's work (I sure wasn't), he is a New York based food and interior stylist whose very successful blog is also worth bookmarking. Get your dose of summer by flipping through the gorgeous summer issue of  Sweet Paul Magazine!
I'm off to make those divine raspberry tarts with mascarpone cream filling. Enjoy your weekend!

P.S. Some more summer delights for you to make : 50 Best Summer Cake Recipes


Friday, July 8, 2011

Simple Photo Editing Software

If you have a blog, you most certainly have to take, edit and post photos. If by any chance you have and use Photoshop, this post is not meant for you. I wanted to share with you the simple and comprehensive photo editing software I use. If I take a photo and it absolutely must be edited before posting, I don't like to spend hours doing it because first, I'm am not overly patient and second, my skills being limited, I can't make it perfect and I don't see need to do so. The software I use is IrfanView. This image viewer and editor is my longtime favorite, and with good reason. IrfanView is simple, fast, and free.
This program lets you open and edit images : cut and crop, apply batch conversions, add, sharpen, or blur effects, create panoramas and change color modes easily. The interface is not fancy but I find it simple and intuitive, it should be easy enough for most users to figure out. It contains simple Erase, Draw, Fill, Rotate, Draw an Arrow, and Color Picker commands. You have to download it and install it on your computer, but it's very light, only 1,5 Mb. You can easily find online an IrfanView tutorial for beginners.
The other one I love for many reasons and use very often is Picasa from Google - great editor and picture manager. This one must be installed on your computer too.

There are also many excellent and free online photo editors. Here is the collection of 10 online Photoshop alternatives for simple photo editing. Have fun!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Heart is Overflowing

This is a thing I rarely admit to anyone: I love people. Just like that, people in my everyday life or even people I read about. I so love people who are nice to others and to the world in general, who made a discovery benefiting to the humanity or who just help an old women cross the street, those who make us laugh I love dearly and those, men AND women, who are able to give an uplifting compliment to every women they know, hence to every human being they know - we all need it. I have this thing, this moment when I feel my heart overflowing with love and joy and in some of this situations I have to restrain myself from hugging people around me.
Now don't get me wrong, I've been hurt by people and I suffered but I forget easily and I simply am not able to hate - I'm so happy about it!
I too love doing nice things for people around me. Just last week I made some "faux" cupcakes for the birthday of a young girl I work with. I bought brownies but I decorated them with cheese frosting and colorful sugar sprinkles. Everybody loved them, but there was a young girl who is allergic to peanuts and she couldn't eat them, didn't want to take a chance with bought brownies. So I decided to make it up to her and I baked  cupcakes myself, decorated them exactly like those brownies before and brought them to her in the beginning of this week. She was flabbergasted! She couldn't believe I've made those especially for her. I got a big hug and she was so happy, she even called her mom and her friends to tell them about it.
But to tell you the truth, I'm the one who has gotten the most from it: one of those priceless moments that fill your hearth with joy...


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Down And Back Again

It feels almost weird to write a blog post again but I'm so glad I'm back. Last couple of months were a bit of a roller coaster. I was struggling to maintain my daily schedule and the little energy I had went to my job, after that I was like a balloon without air. I knew it must have been a matter of health but I couldn’t find the time to go see my family doctor - you know how it is with a new job. And usually when something goes wrong in life, it's an easy downward spiral from thereon. And I went on neglecting the warning signs my body sent me until I fell unconscious and ended being transported to the emergency room. I was diagnosed with anemia, the kind that develops when the body has had a low level of iron for a long time.Two blood transfusion later I was able to go home. It took me almost another week at home to start to function normally and to slowly go back to work. There is really nothing intelligent I can say about my self-neglecting (read: stupid) behavior. I can only hope that I learned my lesson.
Why is it that sometimes you have to loose something in order to learn to really appreciate it? Like your health...or other things money can't buy.

On a more cheerful note: am I the last one who learned about Pinterest? When I came back to the blogland, the buzz war all about pinning, everywhere! Learn more about it here.
Needless to say, to an image junkie like me this is the most needed source of daily dose of inspiration.
 Thanks for visiting and please stay healthy!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Salvation Art - part four

It's been quite a while since I last bragged about my little "Salvation Art" collection. So here it goes again!
This is an oil painting that I found about ten years ago in a little shop that doesn't exist any more. When I saw it I was immediately transported by it's atmosphere to the narrow streets of my beloved Istria and Dalmatia. I saw myself strolling slowly in the late afternoon sun, listening to the sounds and voices coming from open windows, being comforted by the sight of the clothes moving gracefully in the wind on the clotheslines suspended between the old stone houses...
I decided to buy it right away, I think I paid about 15$ for it - my second most expensive Salvation Art piece!   It's about 90 cm by 60 cm (3 ft x2 ft) and signed by "Etta". I couldn't find out  more about the artist, there is an American artist Etta Deikman but I haven't been able to establish the link between her and this painting.
I love to look at it and I'm still stunned by the calming effect it has on me. Can't change it, I'm a romantic, nostalgic fool... I'm already looking forward to show you my next piece of found art!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Quick & Simple Heart-Shaped Dessert Recipe For Valentine’s Day

Scratching your head in search of last minute idea for something simple and very quick to make for your loved ones? Me too! So it happened that I remembered a simple recipe for a very versatile dough I used to make long time ago. Added an apple, some brown sugar and cinnamon and here is the result:
I think it looks lovely and certainly handmade but it took me less than 1 hour, with baking time, to finish it. As for the dough recipe, you'll need the same amount in weight of cottage cheese, margarine and flour. Nothing else, no eggs, no salt, no sugar...
I made the dough with 250 g of each. If your cottage cheese is to grainy you'll need to make it smoother with a hand blender or in the food processor. Add the margarine and mix well - mixing thoroughly with a fork is OK. Add the flour and continue to blend the ingredients with a fork or with the wooden spoon. If your dough feels to wet add a bit of flour.
Roll  the dough out  on the floured surface approximately 0,5 cm thick (1/5 of an inch), cut the hearths with a cookie cutter and place them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle each heart with some brown sugar and cinnamon if you like. Cut a small apple into thin slices and place 2 of them on each heart. Bake them in the oven on 380° F/180° C for 25-30 minutes. I wanted to color some apple slices in red but didn't have any red  food coloring left so I mixed some strawberry jelly powder with water and brushed the apple slices. Let them cool a bit and dust with icing sugar. If you want to make something more fancy here is my Valentine's blog post from last year. Bon appetit!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Building An Ice Palace

So I guess I WAS completely frozen in the end. Maybe not because of the freezing weather... I just read my last post and thought to myself that, in those almost two months since I didn't give a sign of  life, the situation didn't change much. I continued to struggle and to ask myself if I made the right decision. This really was a big change for me and it isn't over yet. What frightens me is that on the one side I appreciate the security and the stability of the job but on the other side I am overwhelmed by the desire to do something big and crazy. Like moving (again!) far away. Or creating my own company. Both of the ideas sound tempting and frightening at the same time. It's almost like a life decade thing. In my twenties I did the usual: studying, marrying and having kids. In mu thirties I started a new life and a new career in Germany. In my forties, I came to Canada and started another, completely new life and career. Well, okay, I didn't change my husband nor my kids, but everything else was new.
As I was taking a walk last week near my work place, I was passing by a construction site of the "Bonhomme  Carnaval" Ice Palace. It struck me that I was given the opportunity to build my life like the ice palace. I had to work hard and in difficult circumstances in order to build something strong and beautiful for my family. But unfortunately it couldn't last, so I had to do it all over again.
Sure It was different each time but beautiful non the less. I'm very proud actually of those palaces I had built even if they weren't meant to last. Am I ready to tackle a new one? I sure miss the excitement of it!
And as someone said it so wisely: change is the only constant thing in life... Thank you for being so patient with me!

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