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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Guerrilla Antics

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I’ve been reading reports online about yarn-bombing, knitters taking their knitting to the streets and using it as installation art in public places. Mostly in the United States, but this has also been occurring in Canada and Great Britain. Budapest isn’t a place that I expected to find it. After all, there is little evidence of a fibre arts tradition here. I’ve yet to find a yarn shop, despite searching, and I had the devil of a time locating a dealer to look at looms (more on that in a later post). So, on my way to the gym this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see this:

 

Hey, is that knitting on there?

Yes, it is pouring rain and I’m in a hurry to catch the metro, but I have to stop for a closer look.

Wow! Someone has been busy.

I love it! This is outside a very busy metro station on the Buda side of the Danube, where numerous bus and tram routes cross paths. I’m astonished. Usually this is a hang-out for some of the less desirable elements and they are nowhere to be seen. There are tags with words:

Pretties the place up, don’t you think?

“Guerrilla Knitting 2012” in both English and Hungarian. Wonder where else this will crop up? Must keep my eyes peeled. Art shows up in the strangest places.

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Beach Time!

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The week was supposed to be one of relaxation and enjoyment of time at the beach. Here, on the plane journey back home, I’m wound up so tightly that I can’t sit still. I’m uncomfortable and fidgety. I’ve barely relaxed since we sat down on the three hour flight, half of which still lies ahead.

It seemed to start out okay. The trip to Malaga was uneventful, if a tad early for my natural body clock, and we arrived to brilliant sunshine. The apartment was ready for our early arrival and we dumped the suitcases, heading out to explore the resort grounds. Oh my, but it was gorgeous! Two freeform swimming pools with loungers and umbrellas awaited, as did an inviting sand beach. The gardens were amazing. A nice selection of restaurants and cafes were only a short walk away and there was a snack bar beside one of the swimming pools. We eagerly changed and headed for the water. Paradise!

Unfortunately, the accommodations didn’t live up to their promise. We woke after our first night with some sort of bites on both of us, though mine were worse than the husband’s. We hadn’t realized just how uncomfortable the bed in the master was until the next night, due to exhaustion…..that first night was the only decent sleep I had for the week. With each successive morning, the number of bites on my body multiplied, but we couldn’t locate a source. Was it possible that there were bedbugs? Maybe. The photos on the Internet looked just like mine. So the management were notified and arrangements made for an exterminator to investigate. He discovered nothing. However, my complete enjoyment of the holiday was pretty much ruined. I tried to get past it, but every time I even contemplated sleep, all I could think about were insects on my body. Ick.

We did do some exploring in the area. Marbella is so beautiful, particularly the old section of the town where we spent a full day. The food was excellent. These seafood-deprived Canadians gobbled fish like we might never see it again. We also investigated a time-share resort on the beach that we would love to invest in, should we ever have the opportunity. It operates world-wide, so we haven’t totally lost our minds, in case you were wondering. Maybe one day.

So now we head home to attack the mountain of dirty clothes in the suitcases and prepare for yet another trip, departing tomorrow. We are going to visit our Canadian headquarters, located in Germany. Apparently, the weather isn’t anything like it was on the Costa Del Sol. All I want is to be able to sleep. Without itching.

Homage to the Goose

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Gotta love a city that hosts a goose liver festival. Yes, you read that correctly. The castle grounds were taken over by lovers of liver for three entire days. Lots of food, lots of drink and entertainment on a sunny afternoon. What more could you possibly wish for?

Check out the mascot –

Disco Goose

Isn’t he too cool? They had a pen of live geese too….hopefully unaware of their ultimate fate. Hungary celebrates goose in its traditional cuisine. Usually roasted, it is served with potatoes cooked in goose fat and braised red cabbage. In many restaurants, the pan-fried liver is placed on top. But at the festival, the liver took centre stage. You could have it grilled, fried or made into a sort of pudding that I didn’t find particularly appetizing. Our dinner consisted of fried potatoes (in goose fat, naturally), fried onions, and grilled liver. Oh, and lemonade. Yum.

Dinner!

There was even goose liver ice cream. The husband had to try it, of course. It was interesting in that it only had a slight hint of liver flavour. Mostly, it tasted like pálinka. Boozy. He didn’t waste any.

The best part of the festival was something entirely unanticipated. We were sitting on a stone wall, enjoying the lovely weather, when we noticed that the stage was being set up for a performance. The fellows testing the microphones were hilarious, making lots of percussive sounds and singing all sorts of stuff – opera, pop, etc. Great voices. It turns out that they weren’t roadies, but the members of  Vivat Bacchus, the a cappella group about to perform. We ended up staying for the entire  thing, even though they sang pretty much entirely in Hungarian. I wish I’d been able to understand they lyrics, as apparently they were all about wine. They were very entertaining. They finished with an outstanding rendition of “Billie Jean”, complete with dancing, crotch grabbing and the moon walk. But in Hungarian and about wine. Fabulous.

And how was your weekend?

Busy, busy

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The past two weeks have been insanely busy. I don’t know that I’m trying to do any more than usual, but it sure feels that way. This week had two special art seminars, one on drawing and the other on painting, but they didn’t take any more time that my classes have otherwise. The structure was just a little less formal. And I was the only student for drawing. Which is perfectly okay by me – I quite enjoyed having a one-on-one with the instructor, even if it did take my out of my comfort zone. Drawing the same still life and portraying different emotions with line is something I’d never even considered before and it was an interesting exercise.

Drawing to Emotions

The other exercise I did was also new to me – using cut pieces of fabric to draw. Very different and I quite liked the outcome. I may play with this technique in future.

Drawing with Fabric

There has also been knitting and spinning. Two, yes two, projects are finished….finally! These were unbelievably boring. It is my own fault. I know that I need a challenge in my knitting or I end up putting it down and moving on to something else, just to keep my brain awake. So, I have a pair of socks for my hubby and a cute little dress to send off to my youngest granddaughter. Unfortunately, although the dress pattern is adorable, it is also way off in its yarn requirements. Since I had planned to make another one for her sister, this fouls up my plans. Unless I get creative, I won’t have enough yarn. Sigh. This sort of thing has happened to me quite a lot lately with independent designer patterns. There is a cardigan in the works, for me, but since I haven’t gotten very far on it, I’ll talk about it later.

As usual, I have several spinning projects on the go. But I think I’ll tell you all about them another day.