Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tangerine Season

Winter has come a little earlier this year. It is freezing cold outside and it has been snowing for the past couple of days. Which is always good news for Dexter who runs in circles like crazy every time we go out for a walk. Playing in the snow is his second most favourite thing in the world. After eating, that is.
I've taken out all winter equipment. Enormous amounts of both tea and tangerines are in stock - because it's not truly winter without the smell of freshly brewed tea and the sweet taste of tangerines. My sketchbooks are full of doodles I can't wait to see finished and a whole bunch of lovely books are waiting patiently on my nightstand. I can't be more prepared for winter than this. Oh, wait - I can. And I am, because I write lists. As in winter-to-do-lists.

Last year's ice-skating was a total failure (but enormous fun, nevertheless) so this time I need to be a little more serious about winter sports. Maybe even try skiing or snowboarding. I also have some running challenges I need to take seriously before the end of the year, so that I can start clean from January on. New recipes and learning this and that in illustrator are constantly on my list, so I'm not even mentioning those. 
What do you have in your winter to-do-list? Any brilliant ideas I could steal? I'd give you a tangerine for one. :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ф is for Flamingo.

Ф is for Flamingo (cyrillic f is pretty, no?), AM is for Arctic Monkeys (lovely songs in the new album, this one is a favourite) and november is for tangerines and mint tea. Аt least that's how things are around here.
I wish you all an amazing week - mine started pretty sweet :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Read of the month: november

Мy very last read of the month post was in October. Last year October, that is. Wow. I assure you I haven't been neglecting books for that long - I just stopped sharing my current reads here for some reason. I wanted to start keeping track of what I read again - it keeps me motivated to finish books faster and I'm always interested to hear your reviews and recommendations, too. 
This month's read is John Steinbeck's Cannery Row. (Bulgarian edition here on the photo, much older than I am, as you can probably guess). A lovely book about ordinary people and extraordinary human relations; about the goodness of men.
I remember seeing my mom read this exact edition every once in a while when I was little. She loved it and used to tell me I would read it one day too, when I feel it's right, and fall in love with it as well. My mom knows best. 
Cannery Row doesn't follow an exact plot. It is a short story about a couple of unemployed men and their difficult yet very adventurous life in the cannery district of Monterey, California. It is extremely well-written, utterly funny and heart-warming. Steinbeck pays all the attention to little things in life, little gestures, small talks, sunrises, self-proclaimed artists who create crazy things, but believe they're making the world a better place. The main emphasis here is on the dignity and value of each person - be they a prostitute, a scientist, a shop-owner, a derelict. You cannot help but fall in love with the whole set of characters who are funny, witty, and most importantly - good
Тhe book is brilliant. Definitely read it if you have the chance - you will fall in love with it as well. I would know.

Dexter posing with Cannery Row. He can't get enough of the attention.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lego Lunchbox: pumpkin somethings

Lego Lunchbox today:
6 pumpkin somethings - I can eat no more than two but I have to show people around I've actually baked something, no?
Flavoured yoghurt drink - here's a secret - I only picked the strawberry flavoured yoghurt because the cap was red and it matched my lunchbox so well. But we all know forest fruits is the better choice. Just so you know.

А couple of weeks ago a colleague of mine shared a most excellent recipe for pumpkin cookies with me. Being the crazy pumpkin lover that I am, I couldn't resist trying it out immediately. I have to admit I changed it a bit (unintentionally, of course) and my version can hardly be called cookies... so i just call them pumpkin somethings. But don't let that discourage you! I promise these are the tastiest pumpkin somethings in the world!
If you want to try this recipe at home you are going to need: oat grain; oat bran; raw nuts - I used almonds, cashew and hazelnuts; apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, a tablespoon of coconut oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and... some pumpkin would be great, too. Roast about 3-4 pumpkin wedges until they are fork tender and let them cool. Then peel off the skin and put the flesh in a food processor. Once the puree is ready, you can add the sugar and oats.
Blend the nuts and seeds and add them to the mixture as well as the coconut oil. Grate the apples (I used raw apples, but if you like you might roast them beforehand as well) and add cinnamon and vanilla. I keep myself from giving you exact proportions, because this is more of a do-whatever-feels-right recipe - experiment, add or remove whatever you like and I'm sure it will turn out great - you might even make actual cookies, instead of somethings. But hey - no judging: somethings are pretty tasty as well.
Since my mixture wasn't exactly homogeneous (my puree was too much, I suspect), I used cupcake cups for the baking. The whole place smelled of cinnamon for so long afterwards - it didn't even matter that the whole thing came out as little pies more than as cookies.
These pumpkin somethings are great for breakfast or for in-between meal snacks. Obviously I've had them for lunch, too. They are very nutritious and have all magical ingredients for a wonderful day. Dexter says so, too. If you don't believe me, trust him - he's quite the expert.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Little Town Illustration

November has finally settled in: days are getting shorter, nights are getting colder and winter is just round the corner. I make raw nut power balls, drink lots of freshly squeezed orange juice and spend as much quality time with Illustrator as possible . Which means that - yeah - I pretty much stay at home most of the time, drawing little buildings and cloudy skies.
What do you like to do in November?

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Rubik Illustration

You can find this illustration on my Etsy shop.