Thursday, July 31, 2014

The August Break

August is just about to arrive (already??!!!) & I'm joining in with the August Break again this year.

I'm aiming to post a photo for every daily prompt on my instagram & here on the blog will be, well I haven't quite decided, other than a weekly-ish wrap up of the instagrams, a few of the photos from my trip & perhaps a few things that have been lurking in my archive. And that's what the August Break is all about really - letting go of whatever pressures or expectations you feel about blogging & just having fun with it :)

August Break 2013

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

a few thoughts...

...about travelling.
Kind of a random scattering of things that have been kicking around in my brain about travelling & my trip - I've been having a lot of trouble writing this post & I think it's to do with the idea that I should have something profound, or at least really eloquent to say. You know - life-changing epiphanies, witty observations, secret things/places I discovered....silly, I know, but still, the thought is there. So I think the only thing to do is just go for it...

~ I travelled by myself - no companion, no tour group, just me - & I'm glad I did. There were definitely moments when I wished for a companion or two, someone to eat dinner with, or photograph in the nice light, or watch my stuff when I had to use the restroom, but for the most part it was good. I was quite pleased with my ability to find my way around & not dither too much when trying to decide things.

~ Since I got home a number of people have asked about how safe I felt travelling by myself, but to tell you the truth it's not something I really though about. Not that I'm a risk taker or anything, but maybe because I'm not. So I wasn't out after dark, or wandering around dangerous places, or getting drunk - I was sensible & aware of my surroundings, but not worried.

~ People were very patient with my lack of language-other-than-english skills & lots of people spoke at least a little English, so it wasn't too difficult to communicate most of the time. I did (attempt to) say hello, please & thank you in the appropriate language, although I wouldn't claim very good pronunciation. Of course, being fluent in French, German, Polish & Czech would have made things easier, but I don't think the lack had a negative effect.

~ & a few practical things: you have to pay to use public toilets most places (at least in the countries I went too) & the price varies, generally once you are in a museum/gallery they will be free (because you've already paid to get in); be careful buying water - sparkling is very common & if it's been bouncing around in your bag for a while...; having a calico bag/shopping bag is very useful, even just for extra water or your jacket; having a phone with google maps or the equivalent is very useful.

I think that's it for now - this post already contains way more words than usual - I might come up with more later of course, but I'm just going to be happy with this & hit the publish button :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

moments of light | europe 2014

1. Prague Castle, Prague \\ 2. Notre Dame, Paris \\ 3. garden at Versailles, Paris \\ 4. Schloss Sanssouci, Berlin \\ 5. Kazimierz, Krakow.

Monday, July 21, 2014

dobrý den | prague

& finally, Prague, the last stop of my big adventure (more here)...

1. Old Town Square \\ 2. rose garden on Petrin Hill \\ 3. view from Old Town City Hall tower \\ 4. forest near Karlestein Castle \\ 5. inside Prague Castle.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

lovely links...

It's been cold, wet & well, wintry here recently - makes me want to spend my days baking, reading by the fire & drinking copious amounts of tea...

Been enjoying following Ali & her family on their big adventure.

Mums are awesome. & we should tell them so.

This will probably make you cry (but you should watch it anyway).

A bamboo forest. Somewhere in Utah. The vast sky. A touch of loveliness. Beautiful woodland belles.

Speaking of baking, there are lots of delicious sounding recipes out there, like apple kuchen, or pear, raspberry & amaretto cake, or sage & walnut bread (because home-made bread is the best), or these blueberry & cream cheese rye muffins, or kahlua crunch cake just for something totally indulgent.

A story.

And the Doctor, of course.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

dobry wieczór | krakow

Next stop Krakow, as seen here...

1. St Mary's Basilica \\ 2. somewhere in Kazimierz \\ 3. Wawel Castle \\ 4. top of the mountain, Zakopane \\ 5. city sunset.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

recently | creative

A little peek at something I've been working on since I got home - a new design for our range of hand painted bags (& aprons). Very much inspired by Polish/Baltic florals, papercuts (wycinanki) & folk art - hopefully the first design of several we will be producing. I've drawn, re-drawn, scanned, enlarged, printed the design & it is now ready for me to cut out a stencil, before we can start painting.

I'm really enjoying drawing these stylised florals - I kept this one quite simple, but have also been having fun with more intricate designs - & along with some other influences/inspirations from my travels, they should start appearing in all sorts of mediums...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

cześć | Łódź

A few tumbled images from a couple of days in Łódź...

1. Manufaktura \\ 2. Open-air Museum of the Łódź Wooden Architecture \\ 3. Manufaktura \\ 4. Piotrkowska Street

Friday, July 11, 2014

a few good things...

1. little treasures from my travels (more on that soon).
 2. pretty flowers on the kitchen table.
3. freshly baked Anzac biscuits - quick & delicious.
4. reading a mystery story or two.
5. I bought this scarf in Paris - it went nicely with all my blue, purple & grey clothes.
6. winter sun-showers.
7. birthday cake & celebrations.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

dzień dobry | warsaw

First stop in Poland, from my tumblr...

1. Stare Miasto { Old Town } \\ 2. Wilanow Palace \\ 3. Foggy morning in the city \\ 4. Łazienki Park \\ 5. View from the Palace of Culture & Science.