"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" is one of those books that keep you awake at night. Usually I read a chapter or two in bed and instantly fall asleep. Well, not this time.
I bought this book with a couple of Sherlock Holmes novels and an Agatha Christie book, determined to give crime and mystery novels a try. Little did i know that this was a lot more than a crime novel.
It is a story about a boy who has Aspberger's syndrome and tries to find his place among people. He decides to investigate the death of his neighbour's dog and finds himself in the middle of a lot more mysterious situations and tough choices. A wonderful story about an outsider who lives in his own world, but sometimes takes a peek at the real thing. A very sad book with a surprisingly happy ending. You won't be able to put it down before you read the last page. At least I didn't.
After four whole months spent in Vienna, we finally found time to visit one of the museums here. I love when I can see and touch pieces of human history and I really loved the Natural History Museum. I was able to see some great pieces and, more importantly, I could understand almost every word of the guide that walked us through the place. (She was speaking in German).
What makes this museum one of the most important ones in the world is not only the fact, that it has a rich collection of more than 30 million objects, but the beautiful building that it's situated in. A real work of art.
We saw authentic bones of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, fallen meteor pieces, gemstones and oh so much more.
My favourite piece was the statuette of Venus of Willendorf. It was displayed separately in a special dark room and looked amazing. I don't know, there is just something very special about, don't you think? By the way, did you know that it was discovered here, in Austria?
The most precious piece (not historically though) in the museum is this flower bouquet made entirely out of different gemstones. The Empress of Austria, Maria Theresa, gave it as a present for the name day of her husband. Wouldn't you love a present like that? :)
I'm not going to lie. This photo manipulation isn't entirely my idea. But what's a better way to learn and get better at something than imitating?
Yesterday our German teacher gave us a couple of beautiful round postcards of Wien. They were cut out in hoops and we had to put the right pieces together. (There was a grammar exercise behind this, I promise. It's not like we play games all the time.) I found this fascinating. It looked so simple and yet so unique. Of course, I had to try it out on Photoshop. And of course, I am addicted now.
The possibilities are endless, but the original idea of hoops is by far my favourite. Which one do you like the most?
You know what I really love? Seeing people doing beautiful things. Creating. Celebrating. Smiling and singing and making the world a better place. That is why I wanted to share with you a glimpse of what lightened up my day, hoping that it would make you happy, too.
On my way home the other day I heard a beautiful melody coming from across the street. And just like in cartoons, when the mouse smells cheese and floats in air to find it, I lifted off the ground toward the source of the lovely sounds. A bunch of really talented guys were playing all kinds of instruments, creating beautiful music for people to listen to on their way home. There were dancers, jongleurs, magicians and mimes, all giving away all the love and passion they've got. And wanting nothing in return except for a smile. Or a little pirate dance.
Although I always take such bad quality videos, I want to share one with you, so you can be a part of it, too.
I haven't been around much lately, but it is only because I am pretty fleißig! Ha, here's a new word for you! It means busy!
I may not have enough time to draw, but I still take random shots of pretty things around me that make me happy. And oreos dipped in milk always always do.
I haven't seen Dexter in more than a month, but I watch pictures and videos of him every single day. This is a very funny one I came across a couple of days ago. Isn't he the cutest?
Right now, Vienna makes me happy, even though sunny days are gone and it gets pretty cold outside. We found a wonderful cafe called Kafka (I had just finished reading Murakami's "Kafka on the Shore" when we came across it and I was really excited). It's a small place perfect for a cup of tea on a rainy Sunday... a hidden treasure!
Marshmallow cakepops and rainbow sprinkled ice-cream can always cheer me up after a long day, and so can a beautiful pink polka dot van. Ah, I wish I could have one just like it and drive it around town. Just imagine!
And last but not least, time for wishes always makes me happy. Do you wish upon same digits? I always do. And let me tell you, wishes do come true. Just wish carefully! :)
What is a better way to spend a sunny day at a former royal park, feeding ducks and squirrels and walking around beautiful flower gardens?
Schönbrunn Park literally means "beautiful spring park" and I can only imagine how it would look like in spring. There are several flower gardens, an orangery, the oldest zoo in the world (which we didn't visit, but made friends with a couple of wild ducks and a very friendly squirrel) and a maze.
It's a wonderful place for picnics - too bad we discovered it on the last sunny day of October. Next time we go there we will be better prepared. And we promised to bring more nuts.
If you have followed my works for some time, you probably know by now that I am all about details and textures. Sometimes it takes me hours, other times it takes me days to finish a certain illustration, but for me it's the most enjoyable part of drawing.
However, every rule has an exception, and this "New Indian" proves it. Imagine spending three days drawing textures. Now imagine not saving the file. Like, never. (Yes, I do that a lot. I have a superstition that if I save the file, I will never finish it. Pretty stupid, I know...). Then imagine doing everything all over again, you're almost finished... and your laptop dies. Like, forever. And a little bit of your love for texturing dies, too.
I somehow managed to finish this illustration but to be honest, I don't think you'll be seeing details and textures from me in the next month. I will definitely need a break. :)
October rushed up quickly and so did everything I was looking forward to. My German language course starts next week (eek!) and we're moving into our new apartment in just a couple of days. Boy, am I excited!
October will bring many new experiences and a whole lot of new adventures. I can't wait to meet new people, get to know Vienna better, decorate our new place, and, last but not least, taste the ever so famous pumpkin spice latte.
It's been a long long time since I last read such a delightful book. I knew it from the very beginning, a book called "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake" couldn't be anything but good.
It is an extraordinary story of a nine-year-old girl - Rose, who discovers that she can taste emotion in food. The lemon cake her mother bakes on the eve of Rosie's birthday tastes like bitterness and loneliness and this changes the life of the little girl all of a sudden. Somehow, without wanting it, Rose knows way too much about the ones she love, but as she grows up, she learns that there are some secrets that will remain hidden forever.
The book is funny, witty, mysterious and sad at the same time. Goes really well with a slice of lemon cake (couldn't taste any emotions, hope you won't, either!) and a cup of earl grey latte.
When I was in Vienna for the first time I knew I wanted to come back. I fell in love with this city the moment I saw it. So I made a promise, to Vienna and to myself, that someday I would be back.
Well, I did keep my promise. It's been more than a week since me and my boy arrived and we are beyond happy. We both enrolled at a local University and now we are trying to find a decent place to live. It's been hard, since we barely know German, but it is also thrilling to know you're making a dream come true. We will attend a German language course first and we are so eager to start! But until then, we have a thousand other things to do, so we keep ourselves busy.
Only thing missing right now is Dexter, who is staying with my parents in Bulgaria. I miss him so much and I can't wait for us to finally settle and take him here with us. But... one step at a time, they say.
So, I don't think I will be able to post regularly this month, but I'll do my best. Do check from time to time to learn a new German word, ha! Have a wonderful rest of the week and never be scared to start from scratch. It feels delightful!
Believe it or not, in a land far far away (from where I am at the moment, anyways) there is a dog that has super powers. I cannot be sure of it, but that's what they say.
I've heard his name is Dexter.
He has those big brown eyes that can enchant you pretty easily. He can look you in the eye and make you do just about anything, they say. Like, give him your last (and most delicious) piece of pizza, for example. Or play hide and seek. Or run around the house, screaming "You can't catch me!", which he, eventually, does.
I've heard that his most special ability is to make people happy. People he knows or total strangers - it doesn't matter. He has all those hidden tricks that can make you laugh at any time. They say you fall in love with him the moment you meet him...
After visiting Germany, the Czech Republic was a must. It was way too close not to pay it a visit.
It wasn't easy getting there, though. We spent a couple of hours trying to find a parking spot and a place to stay. I wasn't feeling very well and I was this close to staying in the room for the rest of the day. But I couldn't. I knew I would feel sorry for the rest of my life for being in Prague and not seeing the famous Orloj, so I got over myself. I grabbed my camera and one little map of the city, and, leaning on my boy for support, we went treasure hunting.
Prague was just my kind of city. We only took a tour round Staromestske - the Old Town Square, but I loved every single detail. Long narrow streets, colourful renaissance buildings and beautiful gothic churches. And yes - I tasted the famous Czech beer. And although I don't like beer at all, I really enjoyed a cold glass of Pilsner Urquell.
We saw the great astronomical clock, attended an open Alfons Mucha exhibition and got to the top of the clock tower and I almost forgot I wasn't feeling well. I left Prague with severe cold and had the most unpleasant flight back home.
I can't believe it's already September! This summer went by so quickly, like every good summer does.
Everything changes in September. It gets more chilly and rainy and this means more hot tea and cuddles. There are some drastic changes going on in my life this and the following months and, honestly, I couldn't have picked more suitable time. I am nervous, I am frightened and I am definitely excited. You will see very soon what I am talking about.
Until then, enjoy the last days of summer and welcome autumn with all that it brings. I am sure there are some nice surprises waiting round the corner.
That trip was unexpected and definitely not well planned (I wish I had packed more warm clothes!) but I am enjoying every minute of it. I am basically driving from town to town so I don't have enough time for sightseeing or taking pictures, but it still feels good to explore new places and meet native people.
I have only been in small peaceful towns so far and I am really looking forward to visiting one of the bigger cities to get the full picture of Germany. What really makes it special here are the people. Everyone is so kind, so helpful and nice, that all I want to do is talk talk talk. I only wish my German was better...
While searching the internet for different types of little birdies I could draw, I realised there are just so many and all of them look gorgeous. I was so fascinated by all the pictures I saw that now I'm considering the idea of creating a huge set of little birds illustrations. Wouldn't that make the coolest art wall there is? I really think so... :) ~
When I saw the last Harry Potter movie I decided to start from book one and experience the magical story once again, from the very beginning. Reading all the books one after another, without waiting and guessing when would the next one come out (ah, but it was so much fun!) made it easier for me to understand little details and spot all the hints J.K.Rowling had left.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was the only book of the series that I'd read once and I didn't really remember much, so it was like reading it for the first time.
I will definitely miss the books. I will miss the suspension before another one was published. I will miss lining for tickets for another movie. But you know what - I'm glad I was a part of it. From the very beginning.
Sweet colourful cocktails, cheesy romantic movies, cute night talks under the stars and endless toasts "To us!" - this is how me and my favourite girls spend a night out together. As we study in different cities, we cannot see one another as often as we'd like, but that makes it even more special when we reunite. There's a saying that goes like this "The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart" and that is exactly how I feel when I am with my girls. We have grown, we have changed, but we still share our secrets, take goofy pictures and sing silly songs together, just like we used to.
Sometimes what you have is more than enough.
Mine is sunny and rainy at the same time, which I think is the ideal weather for sipping raspberry ice-tea and drawing little birdies. I'm currently pretty obsessed with sets so I think there's another one coming. Little birds on the way! :)
Oh! I am very happy to tell you that the e-course I took part in is now open for registration! You can read more about it here. I am sure you'll find a lot of interesting stuff there, especially if you're an art lover!
My attempts to get to know my country Bulgaria and its history better led me to a beautiful stronghold just a few kilometers away from my hometown. The remains of medieval Cherven date back to the XIV century, when the town grew to become a centre of craftsmanship and a key centre to trade and culture. Cherven (which in Bulgarian means "red") had a fortified inner city on rock ground in one of the near river's bends and an outer city on the hills that surround the area. The town is now a national archaeological reserve with remains of 13 churches, tall defensive walls, a well-preserved keep from the XIV century (photo #4), residential buildings and workshops. Breathing the air of this place, touching the solid rock walls my predecessors had built to defend the town and walking on the same paths they used to walk made me realize that history isn't that far away after all. I felt, for a moment, like I was a part of it.
Wouldn't it be great if we could magically keep our most dearest dreams somewhere and relive them whenever we want? Sometimes I just wish my dreams were stuck in my dreamcatcher, waiting for me to release them and see them once again.
This illustration is a part of a bedroom set I am working on and although it certainly cannot replace the real thing, I am sure it has enough energy to keep the nightmares away.
Among the many things that have made me happy lately are Dexter's strange talent to play the piano, swirly colourful lollipops, collecting sea shells, rapiers and little crabs, receiving pictures of waterlilies in the middle of the night from a dear friend, vanilla & cherry cupcakes (my new favourites!), cuddling with Dexter, bubblegum vending machines, peacock feather earrings, my granny's old camera and playing backgammon on the beach with my favourite boy.
Thanks to everyone who participated in my first giveaway! And thank you for the song suggestions, I listened to all of them and already have some favourites. Anyway, the winner this time is Brooke, so congratulations, lady! Please email me to claim your prize and to give me your mailing address :)
Harry Potter takes a very special place in my heart. Ever since my mom bought me the first book, I've been crazy about all things magical. I was 11 when it all began and ten years later (oh my!), I feel exactly the same. I planned to read the books once again (not that I haven't read them a couple of times each) before the last movie came out, but I only managed to finish three. Now I am reading "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and I'm trying to find the rest three books in English so I can read them, too. Do you know a good site that has shipping to Bulgaria? Because I cannot seem to find one... Thank you!
Since I reorganized my memory board, I thought it would be a fun thing to share.
I love to keep my memories close to me, that's why I store them in boxes, put them in frames or pin them on boards. Every little thing that I keep reminds me of something beautiful and special!
My memory board is full of fun photos. I have old-time photos of my mom and dad, pictures of Lazar long before we met, photos with my best friend in our favourite photo booth, my very first dog and cat, even Dexter's somewhere there, too. I keep a drawing made for me by a dear friend, funny notes, tickets of first-time experiences and a tiny book about friendship. I also have a golden padlock that used to keep my diary safe and a Ying-Yang badge that I wore in high-school. I keep a special Hogwarts letter that I made when I was about 12 (and crazy about Harry!) which reminds me of lovely times when all I could think about was magic. After seeing the last Harry Potter movie (I cried like a baby during... the whole movie), I pinned the flyer to remind myself that, indeed, it all ends.
I think I need a bigger board though. There are so many new and precious memories that I need to keep! How about you, do you like to keep your memories close? I'd love to have a glance in your Pensieve! :)
This is a quick illustration I finished a couple of days ago. I am thinking about redecorating my room in Rousse and I might actually take off all posters and put framed pictures instead. This one would surely look good on the wall above my bed, I think.
What have you been up to lately? I am currently working on a very fun project called Make art a part (of your life) and I am actually pretty excited. You'll be able to see it very very soon!
This is one of my most favourite places around my hometown. It's a very beautiful park called Teketo and it's surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
Me and my boy come here a lot. We ride pedalos and eat vanilla ice-cream. We feed the animals and sometimes play scrabble in a little wooden hut. Dexter loves the place, too! He is a bit afraid of the frogs that jump around the lake but he really enjoys the company of a female bear that seems to be in love with him and offers him her food. (she is in a cage and Dexter runs around it like crazy.)
It's a lovely place to be all year round but it's just perfect now when the lilies are blooming!
When I was little, summer wasn't official until we made watermelon lanterns. Well, I announce this summer is now... official!
Last night my boy helped me carve a watermelon lantern (is this our new summer tradition? I think so!). We lit a candle inside, put it in the garden and drank watermelon smoothies in the soft pink light. Yes, we are nerdy like this. But kind of romantic, too.
Ha! You've guessed it! The last animal of my African set is... a zebra!
I just couldn't miss featuring one of the most beautiful animals! This illustration is my most favourite one because it took me only 2 hours of work (the Cheetah took me more than six.) and because to me, it's the most realistic of them all. Which one do you like best?
In other news, to celebrate summer, I decided that I would host my very first giveaway. Yay! You could win all four illustrations of my African set (1, 2, 3, 4). I am sure they would keep you great company!
To enter this giveaway simply leave me a comment below with your favourite song at the moment! (I will listen to them all, I promise!). This giveaway will be open until the end of July so you've got plenty of time. Good luck! :)
Although Dexter has been hyper active lately and keeps distracting me every single time I sit behind the computer, I managed to finish number three of my African set. Yay! This cheetah literally took me forever to finish. (Partly because of Dexter, of course). My initial intention was to draw a tiger, but the details were quite familiar with the ones I will be using for the fourth illustration, so I took your advice and did the cheetah instead. It's for all of you, cat lovers! :) While I am still working on the last illustration, you can see the Giraffe and the Rhino, or even try to guess which the last animal of the set will be. Ok, I'll give you a hint: it's black and white. Is that too easy? :)
Thank you all very much for helping me pick up different and favourite African animals. I've already assembled the "perfect four" and all I need to do is... finish the sketches. The set will be ready in a couple of days, I think.
The Rhino took me some extra time, though. I was concerned it didn't look like a rhino at all, so I made four or five sketches, all from different angles. I think you can tell what animal it is now, can't you? :)
Here is another one of Nick Hornby's books that I really enjoyed. ("About a Boy" was magnificent!). "How to Be Good" is about a man who wants to be good, to help people and to save the entire world, and a woman, who once knew she was good, but is not that certain any more. It is all about how hard people find it to know how to be good, to understand what good actually means.
Although the end is a bit unsatisfactory for my taste, the book does offer food for thought. And it certainly makes you think whether your ideas of good are right.
What do you think, do you know how to be good? Or, like me, you are still learning?
When I finished this I immediately thought it would look great in a set of three or four. It's been awhile since I've drawn sets so I thought it would be fun. Could you help me pick the other two or three animals? I was thinking about a lion, but I'm not pretty sure I could use the same technique there... I'm making some sketches of elephants and zebras, too.
Please do tell me what is your favourite African animal! I might not have think of it and it could be just the one I am looking for! :)