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Monthly Archives: May 2012

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Brush & India Ink Sketches

Today is my last art class of this session. I have mixed feelings about it. I will be happy to have a less complicated schedule – taking two classes eats up a huge portion of my week. But I will miss them. Not just the fun of making art, but also the camaraderie with the other students, many of whom are also here from other countries.

Drawing class finished yesterday with a fun brush and ink session, sketching anything and everything around the teacher’s flat. I can’t say that much of what I produced is worthy of posting online, but I had fun and learned more about what effects will and won’t work with this medium. I’ve had a blast with this class – the best thing is that I’m drawing and sketching on a regular basis again, after several years of not putting anything on paper. I think that the most valuable lesson I’m taking away is to just relax and have fun. Everything you do doesn’t have to be “ART”, it can just be marks on paper. I’m good with that.

Charcoal Still Life

Brush & Ink Dolls

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One year gone….

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One year ago this week, we were in Budapest on our house hunting trip. How fast the time has flown! As with most anniversaries, one pauses to take stock of the passage of time. This is no different. Life has changed so much during this past year. First, I am living in a country that at times seems to be the polar opposite of Canada, yet has many similar elements. The language is an incredibly difficult one. I would be lying if I told you that I was comfortable living in a place where I have so much difficulty communicating. But I’m managing. Without the internet, I’m not so sure I would be doing as well. Between email, forums, Skype, and the “live” relationships I’ve established here, I actually have more of a social life than I’ve had in years. Maybe even decades. Wow.

A quick, off the top of my head, random list of things I like about living in Budapest:

  1. Winter lasts all of two weeks. Summer begins in April. Enough said – I’m Canadian.
  2. An incredible sense of history, everywhere.
  3. The way the city sights along the Danube are lit up every night, all year. One day I’m actually going to get a decent photograph.
  4. The friendliness of our counterparts from different countries. We were sought out and invited into their social circle and included in all sorts of fun activities.
  5. Budapest’s summer drink is lemonade. It is amazing how many delicious variations they’ve come up with.
  6. Architectural details. I swear that I don’t actually watch where I’m going because I’m too busy looking up. Yes, I have bruises.
  7. Cell phone rates are cheap. So I use my phone instead of just carrying it around with me.
  8. The best tomatoes on the planet, except home-grown.
  9. This is the city of festivals. I mean, where else can you possibly find a bread festival? This weekend is the pálinka festival. I’m not going. Pálinka is not on my list of favourite things about Budapest. I am, however, counting the days until the wine festival.
  10. Café culture is booming here. I love to sit outdoors with a coffee, enjoy the weather and people-watch at this time of year. Though the cafés are no less busy during the off-season.
  11. I share a house with my husband. After a lengthy deployment, followed by a year of language courses out of town, we are living together again. We are referred to as the honeymooners.
  12. I can take art classes. They’re affordable and fun. I don’t know if the ones local to me at home are fun because I couldn’t possibly afford to enroll.
  13. New Year’s is celebrated with fireworks. The unbelievable display lasted for two hours, at least, beginning at midnight.
  14. The markets. Not just the fabulous food markets, though those are amazing. But the outdoor stands that pop up fairly frequently in the city core. They sell everything from food to soap, handicrafts to pálinka or mulled wine.
  15. The transit system, which is probably the best of any city I have lived in. And it’s cheap.

That’s all I can think of on the fly. Surely I’ve forgotten something important, but I’ll come back to it.

Fisherman’s Bastion

The Central Market, from the fountain

Hungarian Parliament on the Duna

Welcome to My Studio

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A Space of My Own

Here it is…..my very own mess studio. A place where I spend much of my time at home. It is a lovely, bright space, though much smaller than my studio at our Canadian house. I can say that I would prefer not to have a carpeted floor – we’ve already had a mishap with some red paint. It wasn’t pretty.

It is a bit disorganized, but I know where everything is. Or, at least, I did. I’ve spent a good chunk of the last week reorganizing. I took these photos last weekend. And then got totally consumed with trying to sort out a problem with my computer. Or rather, with the way the computer received the WIFI signal in our house. Seems that when my husband updated my operating system, something happened. The computer is working just fine (thank heaven!), but it just couldn’t keep the internet running for more than a few minutes. Anyway, it is all okay now. The solution involved moving the computer to my studio. Um, yeah. Like I wasn’t trying to do enough in this room.

The computer now resides on my sewing table, the red-edged table on the right in the top photo. At the moment, the sewing machine and serger are under the small work table shown above, but I think they will be relocated to the small office on the ground floor. It has a built-in counter running much of the length of the room, a closet with both hanging rod and lots of  shelving, and enough room for the ironing board. A couple of the rolling storage units should be easily be accommodated as well.

I’m thinking that maybe this will work out for the best. Getting the ironing board out of the studio will eliminate it as a dumping area. I can spin or knit in that spot and have a clear view of the computer screen if I would like to watch a dvd. Wow! What a concept! And I can leave art work out on the work table without compromising any textile projects I may have on the go. After all, art is messy.

Yep, this may be a good thing.