Day 30: No passion for fashion! 62 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

DISCLAIMER: Images below may cause distress, particularly to those very interested in fashion.

So as promised today’s post will be about fashion. Not just any fashion. My (no) passion for fashion and how my style developed over the years . I came up with this idea when reading my friend’s blog recently. I guess you could say that she is a bit like me, as long as it does the job, she wears it until it falls apart. At the Maison Bentley Blog Party I realized most blogs were fashion themed. Nothing wrong with fashion or any of those, mostly women, who blog about it, but what about us, who just simply do not care about latest trends, must have bag of the season or how high those heels of Victoria Beckham are. I rather get a good bottle of wine, box of Brie, good quality drill or fancy paint. I do not enjoy clothes shopping either, but give me enough money and send me into DIY shop, paint or furniture store and I won’t come out before closing time.

What is it that makes me and other women different to those, who eat, sleep, live for fashion. I guess there are two reasons: it might be the way you were brought up and where. In my time, there was not much choice and I guess there still is not for someone like me. Ever since I left nine years ago I have never purchased an item of clothing back home apart from shoes. And now the second reason is that clothes do not fit, so it becomes a massive malarky. I have inherited dad’s figure and always been quite a big girl. Partying, eating lot of wheat, not really eating the right food or being stressed were many of those reasons. Being top-heavy did not help either. Over the last few years I am gradually loosing weight and now I am at the point that all the clothes I will show right at the end is so loose I could really do with a shopping trip, but that is not going to happen for a while as there are more important things to deal with, so I guess I just have to look like I expect big flood as we say back home.

Here we are, I hope you enjoy my fashion journey, and if you really cannot bare how hideous it is , feel free to switch it off and come back tomorrow. xx

I was born in communistic Czechoslovakia in mid eighties. No choice of anything, You had to even queue to get bread, there was nothing on the shelves and you always had to search for things at the black market. You could make the most of it by receiving clothes from the western world (very rare) and make them to fit you or knit. My mother loved knitting ever since I remember, so I always had enough jumpers. My favourite things to do were running around the forest, fishing with dad, playing football with the boys, building houses with lego, chasing deers and hares, when running through the fields and making boats from tree bark. Just what one typical tom-boy girl likes to do.

very little

Later, when Communism fall, we became free Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic not long after, I also started going to school. Things changed and I guess options were little broader, not as yet amazing. This is probably the last time you see me wearing bright pink and that picture of me wearing skirt and turquoise tights is only my mum’s idea of selection for school photo. I hated it and cried for about two hours. I know I am smiling in a photo, but it is only because the photographer told me to do so.

being a kid

Not long after I became a teenager. Terrible times! I really did not feel comfortable with becoming more girly, I hated everything around me including my parents and all the things they forbid me to do including going out to all those rock and punk gigs I wanted to go to. I felt that only black can make me look better and more desired flat looking like. Perhaps to the point I may disappear. When I look back at those photos, i cannot believe it is the same person and I just want to simply go and give myself a hug and say it will all be good.

black times

The times, when I was not impressed about living at home having to listen to my parents was particularly when I had to attend family events, weddings etc. No need to explain why..?

bad shirts

The black period kept being swapped with times of me looking fairly hippie. Not exactly like the sixties hippie, more the central european hippie. Tearooms were my second home, so anything batique style, layered and looking a bit different would do. I kept going with this style mostly to the point of just before getting to the university.  Some of the pieces are purchased in Britain, where I am finding out that I can get clothes in my size and it does not have to look so hideous. Now there might be few exceptional cases for example when I bought that beautiful sparkly dress (I know what you thinking- sparkles?) from Monsoon, but worn only about three times. It was just after Christmas and I have worked  for months and months very long hours. Being in town I wanted to spoil myself and ended up picking this dress costing nearly £100 already reduced. Ridiculous price to me at that time if you ask me. I just about fitted in, feeling excited and not being realistic at all, I bought it. It always had a success with the boys, but for the wrong reasons as if I talked to them, they would not look into my eyes. It was hanging in my wardrobe for years not being worn until I gave to it charity and realized it is time to become more sensible.

hippie

And there was the university! I think personally that is when the big changes started to happen.  I got accepted into theatre design degree and obviously as a fond of anything to do with paint, scenic painting, making things, I also had start learning about costume. Costume? What? Do I have to? You want me to learn how to sew?..You get the hint. The other things was a peer pressure. Not only because I was the oldest in the class, foreign one, with no interest of what is going on in the class, because I went through lot of grieving at that time, but also with no interest in clothes whatsoever.  I have slowly been nudged by other 13 girls and two boys (one of them was gay doing the costume) into becoming rather aware of what I should and should not wear. One day very kind soul brought me a leaflet from Topshop advertising the experience of personal shopper said: “Kat, I think this could really help you!” And you know what it did! The personal shopper did very well based on the fact my size of clothes is instantly sold out on non existing in what I like or that I was a bit difficult to start with. She told how to think, what to look for etc. I did spend lot of money, but she completely revamped my wardrobe and I still own that black and white dress with oriental ornaments. And I got compliments from the class, so that felt pretty good too.

topshop

You could say I became more confident in what to wear and learnt how to shop. Sometimes it was success, sometimes I look back and I would change it, but overall it was all definitely improving.

got more confidence

She says thinking that sometimes she had to be a bit out of her comfort zone, especially when it came to college fancy dress parties…

dress up

So how is Kat before and after… I think I did it. I somehow managed to find that sophisticated style with bit of that quirky look still there somewhere. You can never stop learning, so we will see after next shopping trip as my clothes are fitting pretty loose right now.

now

(However if you ask when I feel the best, pictures below show it perfectly. I mean it is my job and how practical I can be and have to be. No point wearing labels when you are splattering paint around.)

my fav

So if you managed to get to this point, that is pretty good. I congratulate you, you are one very strong fashionista. I wish there is more hope for me one day, when it comes to clothes. But I do not think I will ever get to the point as my mother- that half of the larder is filled with shoe boxes.

Back tomorrow, Kat xx

Day 29: New lot of Posts and Blogs I like!63 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

I better get this post out quickly as I am starting to feel quite sleepy. I ended skyping up last night with my very good friend, who currently lives in Belgium, pretty much in the middle of nowhere less than an hour from Brussels. We finished at nearly 3am, when I was falling asleep on my keyboard. He is pretty much the male version of me. So if you are reading my blog, you get the idea quickly of what sorts of intellectual chats we have wondering about our love lives, spontaneous journeys out and about around the world and by the locals back home labeled as the weird foreign ones. So anyway that meant today as one of my very few days off in the last few weeks I ended up cleaning my room, doing washing and slowly pottering around the house. I managed to wrap those beautiful presents for my beautiful little girls, when I was their au pair and hoping to send them tomorrow. The wrapping paper was really cool (bought in WHSmith) and really made me want to get some presents myself (thinking oooh it is my nameday soon!) If you are wondering what is nameday, it is a day when all the people of the same name celebrate the day. And of course you get your birthday and we also celebrate the 1st June – Children’s Day. Schools usually prepare fun games and there is no teaching, just playing and fun going on. Oh lucky those Czechs. So with nameday just to finish the idea, when you are a child it is considered small or equally same celebration with cake and presents as your birthday. As you get older, it is a really good excuse to go out and let your hair down. You do not expect too many presents, it is more about socializing. We have a calendar with names for each day, so perhaps I could do a post if people tell me/send me an e-mail with their names, I can prepare a post and give you a reason to go out. I bet now you are all excited. Let me have a little think about, but feel free to start sending your names in.

Day29

I also did a bit of social networking and reading through my blog and post notifications, which arrived in my mailbox over the last seven days. I tried to increase the number of Post I like you can actually see, but WordPress won’t let you see more than 15. When I counted them, I discovered I like 29 of them. That is a lot of love for 7 days!!! (Blame the Maison Bentley Style Party-  no, no I am only joking, obviously that was great as it spreads the message about other bloggers much faster).

I have a little surprise for all the fashion bloggers tomorrow since I went through the whole list and most of them were fashion themed. So I guess prepare yourself for the worst since I am the opposite of fashionista. I though I will be writing a post with my take on fashion…

So here is what I enjoyed this week:

Learner Mother

http://learnermother.co.uk/2013/10/27/on-life-being-precious/

http://learnermother.co.uk/2013/10/27/silent-sunday-27-10-13/

http://learnermother.co.uk/2013/10/25/on-a-night-at-the-beach/

http://learnermother.co.uk/2013/10/18/on-beach-days-in-pembrokeshire/

http://learnermother.co.uk/2013/09/02/bring-on-september/

The Culture Monk

http://culturemonk.com/2013/10/25/stupid-cheerful-really/

http://culturemonk.com/2013/10/29/what-do-women-really-want/

http://culturemonk.com/2013/10/26/stealing-babies-really/

http://culturemonk.com/2013/10/22/it-sucks-to-be-alone-really/

http://culturemonk.com/2013/10/23/when-it-disappears-really/

Blog Party:

http://maisonbentleystyle.com/2013/10/27/welcome-to-the-maison-bentley-style-blog-paaardy/

http://cocktailsandcountrytales.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/welcome-to-the-maison-bentley-style-blog-party/

http://maisonbentleystyle.com/2013/10/28/thank-you-xxx/

fashion:

http://fashionmayann.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/philip-johnson/ and http://fashionmayann.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/lindt/ 

http://cocktailsandcountrytales.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/buying-a-mulberry-handbag-and-the-importance-of-shopping-ethically/  (very special like for this one, as I got inspired to soon write about my frugal experience I had in the past. )

http://fashionwithfeli.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/maison-bentley-style-blog-party/ (I follow the blog) 

Interiors, home decor, arty things:

http://chasspain.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/atmosphere-francaise-a-melbourne/img_2897/

http://myasmusings.com/2013/10/01/9-diy-embellished-pumpkins/ (I follow the blog)

http://myasmusings.com/2013/10/23/organizing-your-craft-supplies/

http://myasmusings.com/2013/10/29/how-to-style-a-barcart/

http://ashleyadores.com/2013/10/09/travel-log-lacma-lampposts-104/

http://bulanlifestyle.wordpress.com/sketch-a-day-challenge/sketch-of-animal-french-bulldog/ (I follow the blog)

http://bulanlifestyle.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/sketch-of-the-day-181-stencil-on-cupboard-live-by-the-sun-love-by-the-moon/

Literature:

http://jackiemallon.com/2013/10/17/bridget-jones-is-in-my-office/

not sure how to label it:

http://kukolina.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/weekend-photo-challenge-week-7-how-do-you-feel-about-posing/

http://kukolina.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/would-you-take-a-baby-to-a-party/

http://longandluxe.com/2013/10/11/of-mermaids-secrets/

Blogs:

http://kittnoir.wordpress.com/

http://aspoonfulofstyle.co.uk/

Day 28: Week four review and my first ever driving lesson! 64 days to go

Kat doodles about life:

I am alive! Just so you know that there is no one else writing this post.  I have experienced the weirdest feeling ever, that I am in charge of this huge metal object, which moves around. However Thank God the instructor has extra pedals as they were needed few times and he sat in a passenger seat driving for me turning the stirring wheel around. It has been raining all day, but an hour before the lesson it got so bad I was really freaking out, got to tidy up my room and kept busy hoping to forget what is it I have to do pretty soon and cannot avoid. The same situation, when you are trying to write your dissertation, but somehow there is always something more important to do.

I certainly made sure he is aware of the fact I know nothing about cars, certainly never driven and before I started the engine made him laugh by checking if he has an insurance. He was really lovely about the whole thing and I am really pleased I choose him (she says after only one lesson…). I cannot imagine sitting next to someone, who gets angry or stressed, when you are learning skill like this as it is a lot to take in the first time round and I tend to freeze and cannot concentrate, when someone expects you to understand with flick of a finger. It brings back memories of Maths and English lessons and I feel instantly nervous and sick just thinking about that school experience. Now if you have never driven before like me you get told about how to sit and what are all the buttons in the car for. I probably got to wash his car windows three times when pressing the wrong buttons, it was pretty hilarious. It must be a common thing, because they were pretty clean before I even started. You get told about all the different procedures you have to follow when driving and then we got on to do the real thing. Weirdest thing was to understand that the car can move without me touching the gas, that you turn your stirring wheel slowly going in, but really fast on the way back and you will stop and jump up with the car if you don’t put the gears back to neutral position.

If you would have talk to me about anything like this yesterday, it would go through one ear in and through the other out, however now I finally had a go, I am somehow getting the idea what is it people talk about. There were two really helpful things to know- when he kept comparing the car to the bike. It made so much more sense, what does when and why. And the second one is when he was trying to explain the biting point. I got it pretty much first time round and he was fairly impressed with that. Obviously it only needs adjustment, when i get used to doing all the steps in the right order. I thought of it later on, because lot of people kept saying it took them ages to figure out how to do the the right touch. And then it came up in my head why! During my theatre design degree I got to learn how to use industrial sewing machine and years later I purchased my own Singer. Getting to learn how to touch the pedal with right sensitivity was almost impossible at the beginning. I guess the fear of being killed on the road equals the fear of getting your fingers accidentally stitched with the fabric, if you push too hard. So here we go, who would have thought my sewing skills will be applied somewhere else.  Two hours later I got out of the car, feeling pretty pleased with myself, even simply because I was still alive!

This week was kind of about two things the theatre production has been confirmed and I will get to start work on it in few days time and the blog party. I got learn how to communicate with people better and based on one of my post on how people perceived me I consciously started making difference in how I behave in certain situations or what I say and it seems to be helping. Receiving Swiss chocolate as a present helped me in recovering from the bicycle fall and the rest of the week I spent blogging about Maison Bentley Style Blog Party and how I (used to) party. Not as much rock’ n’ roll as it used to be. If you get to click on the Party Blog, there will be a list of blogs you can visit and get to read and perhaps find something you will get to love to read apart my blogs posts of course 🙂 I will be making my way through the list, so I will let you know about my likes.

If you are in Britain, enjoy this gorgeous sunshine today and I will be back later. Kat xx

P.S. And this is why I have to learn?! https://katdesigner.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/i-noticed-in-your-cv-that-you-dont-drive-currently/

day 28

Day 27: Party Day! 65 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

When I said last night in my post I am on fire, I did not realize I will be posting picture of one the next day. The only thing I am going to say is that keeping things cool are making someone’s heart melting like the room temperature is on max. day 27 p1

I continued the party after last night’s shift 3 am end celebrating only with orange juice, but kept it eventful all day including spontaneously baking a courgette cake with slightly changed recipe. Very yummy and very wise to leave the whole tin, where it was baked, as it also brought some compliments on my recent figure weight loss. Well, well, well. day 27 p2

Not much of a post today, rather informative you take it, as the day has been dedicated to Maison Bentley Blog Party. Good job I am having next three days off scheduled in to prepare for my next freelance job. I will be working my way through the list and certainly let you know about my favourites. Very impressed so far how bloggers took in the idea of party as a post.

Three quick notes at the end: 1. Last night I met one of my design clients at the club, where I work. Well embarrassing! I mean she was so lovely about it, but it makes you think, I am definitely at the wrong place and doing too many things. 2. This clock going back thing already punished me the day before as I turned to work an hour early. Just simply woke up and carried on after only having four and half hours of sleep, just when I could do with the extra hour. Oh well. I made it up with two-hour nap in the afternoon before running in to do the night shift. 3. Last but not least is my first ever driving lesson. TOMORROW! Expecting wind and rain like we have not seen for twenty, thirty years I send a message to my driving instructor asking if he plans to postpone this Monday lunchtime first lesson and he replied: “Hi Kat, a bit of bad weather shouldn’t bother us too much in the car! We’ll be fine. See you monday at 12.” So I guess that’s a no, we are not rescheduling the first lesson. Post over! Think of me tomorrow. You petrified Kat xx

Day 26: Welcome to the Maison Bentley Style Blog Party! 66 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Dear readers, since you are here most likely joining in with the Maison Bentley Style Blog Party, I would like to all welcome You dearly. The blog is called My journey on becoming full-time designer and it is exactly what it says on the tin! I have been blogging on and off for about two years (with rather more gaps than blog posts)and it has been only recently- probably in the last six moths- when I really got into it. And ever since being fed up of my life with four jobs and not much income, on 1st October I started a challenge to put my creative degree into full-time use and I am on fire ever since. Sometimes you just need that kick or slap or even both and that is exactly what happened to me, when I could not get the job I wanted purely because of not knowing how to drive. So ever since day 1, I have done my best to be productive, and then having to write about it in order to get that job (so if you have one for me, feel free to get in touch..:-). Obviously since this is daily challenge not every day my creative juices flow as well as during the others, but I hope this gives you some kind of idea and perhaps a kick to yourself about wanting to change your life and do something you always wanted. So feel free to join me in with the challenge whatever that dreams of yours is- giving up smoking, saving for a car or simply mastering your language skills or if you know any graduate, who does not know what to do with themselves finding the feet within the job market, send them to me!

Now since we are partying and celebrating new chapter in Maison Bentley Style Blog, I thought I show you some of my classic oldies, how I party in Czech style. Long gone are the days of dreadlocks,  too much drinking and nonstop party! My perfect night now is staying in with cup of tea, watching Xfactor, if I wouldn’t have to go to work on Friday and Saturday to work. Because to be honest when I finish at 3am, there is not enough time to get to the point of party spirit, where everyone is already by then. And after two glasses of wine I usually have enough… oh something tells me I getting old 🙂

Enjoy my blog and enjoy the party, Thanks for reading. Love Kat xx

So when it comes to Kat and a party…..

… there is always food involved …

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… there is always some kind of alcohol involved … (or recently more cups of tea)

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… there is always a bunch of crazy men around … (but really fun and lovely)

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269954_10150229771410518_6221423_n 

… and there is always me doing my usual cuddly, friendly, fun, hugging, sometimes emotional- thing …whatever it makes everyone happy in my company ...

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See you soon. Kat xx

Day 25: Exciting invitation to a Blog Party! 67 days to go!

Kat recommends:

So since I should be writing two posts today and running out of time, I decided to dedicate this one to an exciting invitation: Blog Party! As I already featured Mason Bentley Style as one of my recent favourites, Kate came up with great idea to celebrate her recent blog and label split with a party, which may open up to new exciting opportunities. So if you have a blog or if you just fancy spending this Sunday reading other bloggers’ work, (and dress up, drink, eat and dance as you like, because you should not get embarrassed doing that in your home) feel free to click here: http://maisonbentleystyle.com/2013/10/24/blog-paaardy/ and join in. You can post your blog link to the comments and most preferably prepare a post on Saturday night, so it is fresh and early up and running on Sunday morning for everyone to see and read. It is an exciting way how to get more readers, learn something new and as our local Bristol weather forecast says only wind and rain, it is a perfect excuse to “stay in and party”. So there it is PARTY ON! Love Kat xx

THE GREAT GATSBY 

Image source: Mason Bentley Style blog

Day 24: Things, which save the day for me! 68 days to go!

Kat doodle about life:

So- I have been busy with work yesterday and then I went out ( you could call it networking), so I apologize for the late post. Since falling off the bike, my body is suffering increasingly from lot more pain, so I thought I will share some of my personal tips for times, when your day is not exactly going the way you imagine.

DISCLAIMER: I am not taking any responsilibity of shown examples in case something goes wrong. I use these examples and they work for me, but obviously your health or situation may not be quite right for them to be used. “Just sayin’.”

Duck tape, double sided tape, super glue, superglue activator– many times I found myself in situation, when you need to quickly tape something or fix it. Duck tap is pretty much always the “saviour”. If you are using superglue and cannot keep holding little pieces until they stick for example when using thick one (especially in modelmaking), spray it with activator, the superglue freezes within seconds.

day 24 p2

Padlock– apart from the obvious locking your toolboxex, I did use it on my painting dungarees (plus I also used duck tape), when I lost the button. Or in case there is no sewing kit available. Not the most glamourous, but it will do, what you need it to do in emergency.

day 24 p3

Aloe Vera Gel (transparent)– I have been swearing on this product for a while. It is not this exact one as the picture, because I accidently bought lotion this time instead of gel. I use the gel for any cuts, burns, pimples, moisturize the skin. It works on everything and it soaks in within literally seconds unlike creams to make skin smooth and soft and heal fast.

day 24 p5

Food– any food really saves my day. On a hangover morning I really enjoy grilled English breakfast, bacon and mushroom sandwich or chicken sandwich. Smoothies are also great solution.

day 24 p7

Solulable paracetamol– Dissolve it in glass of water and it works instantly within half an hour rather than taking tablets. And it doesn’t have that horrible taste such as.

day 24p4

Deep Heat Rub– If I do too much exercise/Russian dancing, gardening or just like now I am in pain from falling off, I use this. It stinks up the bedroom, but it does work, or helps it to calm it down.

day 24p6

Water and cup of tea– I guess not much to say about that one.  I cannot leave the house or come home without one. I have a water bottle on the go when cycling constanly as I am always thirsty. If you want to see how hydrated you are and which products to use get keep your skin hydrated, well known British drugstore starting with B has machines in stores for you to be tested. When I had that test done, the lady had to do it twice just to make sure my result is correct. I had hundred percent hydrated, which only happened once before when testing someone else in that entire time she worked on this project. Asking how do I do  that, I just simply answered I barely use any cream, I don’t smoke and I drink water constantly.  So here is the secret.

day24

What are your ways how to make the day better or your solutions in emergency situations? Please share with us in comments.

Back soon, whenever I return from working marathon. Kat xx

Day 23: The honest truth! 69 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

Last night I sat in the kitchen with my dear friend having the usual catch up of how our days went. We were both fairly enjoying it as we have few creative projects on the go and I was very excited to share the news about the scenic work on the production being confirmed. Ever since being a child I enjoyed hanging out with adults and anyone older than me. I would listen to their advice and try to take it in.  I have been listening to my friend for years and always found it beneficial. However you need to experience it yourself. Particularly in the last three years since graduating, I can honestly say, I learnt the most from my mistakes. I started to learn and practice speeches in my head and what I could possibly say in different situations depending on how the conversation flows.

 

From telling her how I am putting this into practice it turned into conversation, which ended nearly four hours later. We talked about how person can get perceived depending on the language, slight nuances and style they use and I began wonder is it also my problem? After so many years in this country I do not even notice, so it was fairly shocking, when she told me how sometimes she gets confused with my behaviour and what and how I say it. To be honest it was fairly upsetting. Does that mean that my forward style has been scaring people from talking to me? I know I like to joke and sometimes I am fairly sarcastic, however it is not meant to purposely hurt anyone. I guess I just sometime say what everyone is only thinking…oops. I think (well I would like to think) that I come across as happy, fun, helpful, tolerant, motivated, hardworking person, who wants to do best possible job and make sure that others feel the same way.  Over the years I met three groups of people. First one are my friends. We laugh and joke together, share experiences and they like my forward enthusiastic style (or perhaps just really want to know about crazy life adventures). The second group I think are people, who have to work with me or meet me on regular basis, so they have friendly conversations with me, we do what we need to do and part again. And the last group are people I either have to work with or I know, but even I make the maximum of trying to connect with them, they ignore me or never connect with me on that personal level. I have been wondering for years why that is. Is it because of the lack of common interests or experience? Are they too shy? Is it the barrier of not being interested in taking time and speaking to a foreigner? Or is it just simply because I am too annoying because of my behavioral patterns? Perhaps could it be the experience I had within the catering and theatre industry, where you work on fast paced bases, giving and receiving orders, reporting constantly back and forth to people without being overly polite? Who knows?!

 

Now how do I solve this situation, which has been haunting me for years? My friend suggested few things. Step outside of the conversation you have and watch the language you both use. What are you both saying? What is their body language? How long are you speaking? I understood what she meant, but did not really think how to make it happen. The next thing she suggested was make sentences shorter. Get to the point. I have been aware of that problem. She gave me right example of me telling her the story when falling of the bike and how to say it in two sentences. So the other person can follow-up with a question if they are interested in knowing more or not and move on. I felt very stupid, when I realized, she is so right. Obviously on this blog I write and it is slightly different medium, but I suddenly found out what I kept doing wrong with talking to people for all these years. Hours later trying to sleep I felt confused thinking about practising my politeness, shortening my speech, why no one told me before or simply said this is how I feel about you.

 

 

 

 

So this morning I went to work. Today’s job was to interpret in Czech for a client in probation service. The key worker asked simple questions, but the client was describing every single detail of the story of what happened. It suddenly hit me, without even thinking I stepped out of the conversation and realized how annoying I must across as, when describing every single detail not relevant to the discussion. Perhaps it is a Czech thing, or may be a foreigner’s thing. We feel so worried about others not understanding us, we overload them with too much information to make sure they get it and understand fully. At the end of the session I was having friendly chat with the key worker about what it is like to work as an interpreter and how rewarding it is.  I suddenly noticed changed in her behaviour, when she started to get little impatient. So I thanked her and got up to leave and her body language brightened up. It was weird! Later on this afternoon I met another friend and I ended up having really great conversation with exchanging one or two sentences each time. We did not do this do this for ages. I suddenly felt lot happier.

I just I wish I would have known all this lot earlier.

Now to finish this post on even brighter note I am posting few pictures of that Swiss chocolate I got from a friend and finally picked up from post office, led light I bought, I am very happy with and using right now when writing this post and presents I picked up for my little girls in Netherlands, when I was their au pair.  I mean the real question of this post should be: ‘What do you get to a ten-year old and fourteen year old for their birthdays’?

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading, back tomorrow xx

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Day 22: Production is confirmed, next week start! 70 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

We had summer of amazing sunshine, now we have autumn of amazing rain. Non stopping rain. There are two jobs I should be working on, but I just simply cannot because as soon the water dries out, it starts pouring down again and since they are exterior kind of jobs, it makes it all a bit impossible.

I got very soaked this morning cycling to work, good job kitchens are mostly warm and “dry” places. On the way back, stopping for a production meeting as part of the journey, I cycled with real care but ended up getting covered up in mud and having my legs bruised from falling off my bike in the forest. I guess that would not happen if sitting in the car…

None of this really matters too much and I can get over it quite quickly because… Firstly my pain got little forgotten about, when purchasing Vienetta ice cream as a healing product, I may have to keep going for some more.  And secondly, more importantly, I managed to get the college production work confirmed and I will start next week for about a week. I have discussed with head of drama what needs to be done set wise and I only need to wait for the carpenter to build it. I have given out few tips of possible design solutions, when we came across reusing old cloths and backdrops. We went researching to the basement of the school, where part of the production will be also taking place. It was absolutely brilliant, dungeon look like space screaming for some exciting drama, and then I got asked to organize and declutter their costume and prop store. Only just by being there for ten minutes, two spare backdrops were found, so next week I will look for more to make them into required piece of scenery.  Really great meeting with all the problems resolved and confirmed week of work. I cannot wait to start!

Before I went to this production meeting, I also visited the art department and discussed few details about the costume workshop I am doing with year 9 week after half term. Drinking too much tea for the last two days made me way too proactive at 2am, when I should be sleeping, but instead I kept writing e-mails with lists to do for the workshops. I am suddenly wishing a day has 48 hours or we can be like birds, which only sleep few seconds and wake up refreshed…

And how was your Tuesday? What happened? Back tomorrow xx

Day 21: Week three review and my favourite blogs& posts! 71 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

Right today I should be reviewing my week, but I want to tell you about my favourite posts and blogs, so this will be super quick! I am on fire right about now! I have been productive or creative or both for the last 21 days and then managed to write about it, which in my eyes is special for definite. I had some lows such as passing out in hospital on Tuesday, but the rest of the week has been definitely on high. There are four different art projects I am suddenly putting my hands on, spreading myself over the internet, and just simply networking with other people in real life. It all feels lot more natural and somehow working. I have 71 days left to find myself full-time creative job within theatre design, interior design or any 3D spatial based industry or become fully self-employed. It is weird that somehow things have moved on quicker in the last three weeks then in the last three years since I graduated. There must be something about how people see you, how do you come across and in what way how you put yourself out there. I cannot explain it, but I hope you get what I mean. Anyway last thing to say to sum up this week is I celebrated nine years of living in Britain and today made group of retired ladies in a nursing home listen to me reading the post about it out loud after they finished their Monday afternoon quiz. Since I don’t see my grandmother very often, it is nice to hang out with them at least, and if it makes their day special, so why not to do a good thing. Plus they really (apparently) enjoyed it and clapped at the end. Very sweet of them!

I have added a new feature to my blog page. You can see ‘Posts I Like’ (Go to Appearance-Widgets-Posts I like)   now added to the left hand side column right at the bottom.  By being proactive for the last 21 days, I keep having about one new follower a day signing up to what I have to say. I have now 22 of them, how great is that!!! Thanks very much everybody! So I thought I would like to spread some love around, say Thank you for supporting me and let know the others about the great posts I get to read! Unfortunately some of them do not have Like button, but are worth mentioning. There are blogs, where I like the posts, but necessarily follow the page. It is because it is just not really my thing to read on ongoing basis, so please do not get offended. So here they are:

Learner Mother I have known Michelle Davis for years and always admiring her non stopping desire to do things. I guess when you have a husband (my now ex boss), two businesses two run and three children, there is not much of a choice. She writes about her life as a mum, her business ventures and house renovation and many other things. I just simply love her style of  writing, really useful advice she gives out and genuine interest of what is going on and how to help. My favourite blog posts recently are  On sleeping teeshirtsOn Credit Unions and On SW Broadband. If you like, you can follow Learner Mother as a blog and get e-mails from her. She won’t appear in my Posts I like, since she went self hosting, but she is working on how to get it back, so her posts can be liked. If anyone knows how to do it , I am sure you will praise you for telling her.

MasonBentleyStyle MasonBentley is a London based fashion label set up by Anna Mason and Kate Bentley. I think the main blogger is Kate, who started following my blog and although I am not really that fashion kind of person, I fall in love with her style of writing.  It connects fashion with the real world out there and makes it more I guess human is the word. Today’s post informed readers about splitting up the blog and label, but there are new plans, so I am sure there is lot more great work to be seen from both of them even they part separate ways. My recent favourite posts are A special day x talking about IVF, loosing babies and her daughter celebrating 7th birthday. Very moving! To the point it brought tears to my eyes. And the other one I really enjoyed is The Weekend x. Kate went to vintage fair in London, there are some really great photographs and I am sure lot more to see if you are a fan of this style.

The Culture Monk Kenneth Justice is blogging about I guess the life and people’s behaviour. He is reacting to everyday situations and putting it into wider prospect. When you look at his page, he has fairly big following, which indicates he must be doing something right. Since Kenneth started to follow my blog and I started following his, I really enjoyed these posts:  Just Today Please…REALLY???. He’s just too into you… Really???I thought We We’re Gonna Be Friends Forever…..What happened??

and here are few posts or blogs I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily follow.

The World’s Top 10 Best Ever Kit Kat Cakes. Blogger Russell also made me laugh when reading his little About, which comes in with e-mail notification, when he started following my blog: ” It is my job to make Websites famous! Maybe I could even help your blog to grow? But if you are reading this because I started following your blog then your blog doesn’t need it because it is already pretty awesome otherwise I wouldn’t follow it, and it is as simple as that.”How brilliant, you made my day Russell!

Nurse Reveals Top 5 Regrets People Make on Their Death Bed   That doesn’t really need much explaining…

Reasons Why You Should Travel While You are Young ItsRonEvan’ s blog about travels, adventures and tips.

A life less organised  Lovely and cute little blog full of reviews where to eat, drink and enjoy yourself in Bristol. It arrived in my e-mail account yesterday evening, so I haven’t had much chance to discover it properly, but it is written with love and certainly that personal critical touch. There are few sections about pub crawls in little areas of Bristol discovering all the local ciders and ales. If you like to be out and about I certainly recommend to follow nettastrophe’s blog.

Stay tuned for more blogs and posts in the future and if you share or follow my blog (www.katdesigner.wordpress.com) or like my Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/kat.portfolio), I will be over the moon! Thank You! Back tomorrow Kat xx

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Day 20: A place you call home. Crossing the 9 years mark! 72 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Today is a fairly special day. Not that something exciting would happen event wise, but it is more anniversary kind of day.  I already crossed that nine years mark of being abroad in June, but today it is more significant because it is in the UK alone. I came over in order to be an au pair. An advert on a job site showing beautiful images of countryside around Church Stretton and Shropshire was good enough reason for me to go and say yes after I spent four months in Netherlands doing exactly the same job. I had three to six months in my head and then wanting to move on to au pairing in France and Scandinavia. But that never happened and nine years later I am still living in the UK, still with the desire of living in France and traveling the world.

I still remember that sunny autumn afternoon, when my grandmother accompanied me to the bus station in Prague after three weeks of holiday back home after the Dutch trip. I soon realized the food supplies may not be enough for the whole journey, so I had to act very savvy and make it last until the next morning as I had inadequate amount of foreign money for stops in other countries on the way.  We arrived at London Victoria Coach Station at 5:30 am the next day and I had to wait until about  4 pm for the next bus to take me to Shrewsbury. I had £20 in my pocket, which back in Czech  Republic at that time was equivalent of enormous amount of money, I believe you could say around 60 beers. (Just remember that was 2004!) It was unbelievable! I was suddenly in the country I was only taught about at school and picked out randomly as my A level topic in Geography and English language. What a coincidence!  All the talk about Queen’s guard, English breakfast, pigeons, black cabs, fog, driving on the left became very real. I felt perhaps even too real as I was walking out of the bus station with my big 3 stone heavy backpack, small back pack in front of me and an art portfolio in my hand, when suddenly massive double-decker bus nearly hit me as I was going to cross the pedestrian. Right I have to start keep looking right first, not left! Oh my gosh! Wake up! Thinking to myself! Feeling very excited I ended up walking into Hyde Park to sit down for a bit and look at the London map I just bought, so I can see what The City has to offer before I have to catch the next bus. I sat on the bench in a foggy, turning sunny, morning Hyde Park watching pigeons and texting those exact things  to my friends back home of what I could see, smell and feel at that right moment. It was simply just way too surreal.  You would never think such a situation can stuck in your mind for so long. I remember it like it was yesterday. Later on in the day my hunger was getting worse, so I decided to buy a sandwich, but opted for a baguette of cheese and tomato, because I felt I am getting more value for money. How wrong was I! For half of baguette they charged me £4.50! I was horrified as a tourist wrongly comparing prices and what it could get me back home. For some reason apart from cafes and sandwich shops I did not notice any supermarket, so I guess buying it from a cafe next to Parliament and Big Ben, explains it all. Oh silly me.

People often ask me if I like this country?! Well of course I like it! Otherwise I would not be still living here nine years later! I have created my life here, working on my career, I made it work for me, I worked hard, people gave me opportunities, I got myself through two educational institutions and many other courses, and I met some really wonderful and dear friends along the way. Quiet honestly I consider myself British. In a patriotic sort of way. Obviously I am still Czech as my passport says and I did not resent my home country in one way, but I made sure I made it work and felt homely here. I joined and blended within the society and certainly expressed my feelings in case someone was trying to accuse me of stealing jobs, benefits, not speaking English or putting me into the same group with Polish people. I paid tax for all these years, picked up all the colloquial language and even a British boyfriend along the way. I fall in love with English breakfast (minus the baked beans) and Christmas minces, forcing my Czech friends and family to try during Christmas visits including the famous pudding and brandy sauce. I fall in love with the weather and all year round temperature, which allows you to wear pretty much the same clothes just with an addition of few extra tops when required. Obviously that had some impact of me not getting it quite right when trying to go out on a night out back home in minus twenty Celsius and foot high snow in high heels and little black dress and not much else. That particular lesson was quickly learnt. I fall in love with British politeness and everyone wishing each other lovely day, banks, post offices and shops being open during the late evenings and weekends including making all the required information needed online or over the phone comparing to the byrocratic system back home.

I just simply fall in love with this country and that is why I am still here. And I know that even some people I know back home judge me for calling Britain home, it is not that I would hate my native country, I still call home ‘home’ too, I just feel very happy here and I call every place or country around the world home, when feeling the same way. Plus entertaining my friends when speaking Czech with Welsh or Bristolian accent is priceless and I really do not mind being known as the English girl. And for those, who judge, I have developed simple way to shut them up: ‘Take your passport, book the ticket, pack the bag and do it yourself! Then we talk! ‘ They soon realize you cannot compare the amount of money you earn here to being lonely on your birthday, during Christmas or when simply things are just not great and you cannot pop over to your local pub to have a chat with your mate. I do not know how long I plan to be here. I may have to return next month or simply never. I am enjoying living like the character from Happy Go Lucky, so I guess I leave it until my inner soul says that’s enough!

Thank you reading and Thank you for being part of my 9 years (and longer) experience. With love Kat xx

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Day 19: Having to blog on just a “normal” day! 73 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Ok, here it is. I know I decided to start this challenge on my blog in order to find creative job, but sometimes you ned to give yourself a day off from doing so, especially if this is a daily one. So I apologize in advance if you do not find this post very exciting to read. Sometimes you just need to do “normal” things, like “normal” people do. For example food shopping, cleaning, cooking, fixing stuff, organizing or simply doing nothing, because you are too exhausted. I woke up around lunchtime coming back from work at early hours of the morning, so it took a while to switch that “awake” mode on. Hoovering was needed, so threw myself into that task and finished the three floors of our house also by moping certain areas. As moving into this big house is a fairly recent event, we are still in the middle doing things up and moving furniture around, so that is kind of what happened this afternoon. We rearranged our kitchen, dining, sitting area so it feels lot more cosy, better solution for the winter period and we took time talking about other interior options. Being in a mood for cleaning I organized my shelving unit in a larder, cleaned my room and got ready a spare mattress for a friend, who is staying over tonight.

So although productive, but you can call it pretty average day. Before I run to work again, here are three pictures of something very simple and practical, which you may perhaps create yourself.  I did it, when I moved in, and got reminded of when making friend’s bed for the night. I was lucky to be able to decide what to do with my bed, as in rental properties you may not be so lucky, it comes in four sections. They are just those simple wooden structures, covered in fabric. I cut holes on both sides of the two out of four sections, and attached excess fabric to the frame with staple gun. With metal hooks attached all four pieces back together. I slotted in two found boards (or if you are lucky to find one, which fits) and put it inside to create extra storage space covering the whole half of bed. In half of created space I am storing shallow plastic box from Ikea with vases, mugs, other decoration. In the front half I am storing camping stuff, sleeping bag and rucksack. Things you may never need, or they need to be on hand, but nicely tucked away and hidden under pieces of calico inserted between the frame and the mattress. Might come up with more sophisticated solution for the furniture in the future, but it is certainly serving the purpose for now.

Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 18: Exciting arty news! 74 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

So today I went to work in the kitchen as usual. At the school. I have not been there since last week, because I went to different places to work and I had time off. But the day has turned out in a completely different way, than it normally does. I bumped into an art tutor I never see around, first thing in the morning, before I even walked into a kitchen. She was very excited about the meeting later on with a head of art department I had scheduled. Then I bumped into her again and within minutes later I saw the head of art himself, again who was excited to see me. How lovely I thought to myself! Then I saw drama teacher, who was guarding the pupils during my theatre design lectures in the past. And she said : ‘Ooh the head of drama was talking about you being involved in our next show. ‘ Minutes later I am meeting him and we are arranging for me to come up and pick up the selected cd with music of Nick Cave used for their new upcoming show. So I agree and we talk about swapping e-mails with ideas and other information. Gosh that felt like day in the office but with the difference of me pushing jugs of water around the dining hall. So after work, I quickly grabbed lunch, run into the theatre picking the cd, then I met the technician, who builds their sets, so we scheduled another meeting for next week and then I run into art department for a meeting about workshop. I have been asked to teach four sessions with year 9, ending with fashion show at the end of the term. That all means making costumes, shopping in scrapstore and genuinely going to have lot of fun. Afterwards I had a chat with the head of art again and told him about my two ideas and asking him about how to create the proposals for it and who to talk to. He was very excited and very supportive. It only gets to show that if you want to make something works, you have to get it out there, speak to people and make it happen.

 

So I thought “What a brilliant day! “. Then I got home and there was a parcel ticket that there is a delivery waiting for me at the local post office. It is the Swiss chocolate I got as a Thank you, when doing the Sports themed poster for a party in Zurich. How fantastic!!! The day cannot get any better. Well it could, but I do not think my boss will suddenly text, I am giving you night of work, paid. So I better go and write all those e-mails and schedule in all the designing for this weekend.

I hope you had a wonderful Friday yourself, have a lovely evening. Kat xx

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Day 17: Who will be so lucky? 75 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Today it will quick one,as I spend the day working, cycling, making my room reasonable tidy, going through paperwork and receipts and food shopping as nothing was in the larder apart from spices and washing powder.

1. I received really interesting e-mail, but won’t reveal anything yet, as it more someone else’s project, but I will ask them if they are interested in getting the message out there. Certainly creative based.

2. I received response from Headliner, after nearly deleting the account last night as I was not getting any engagement via my Twitter or Facebook to promote my page and obviously spreading the message about me looking for a creative job. My promotion should be posted on Saturday evening, so I will update you on that, I am curious to see how much social traffic it brings. If anyone has an experience with this social media, let me you your opinion.

3. Recently I posted pile of postcards to send some love to my friends and family. I usually do it with special Christmas card, which included a quiz for the last two years, but this year I am feeling little more loving and missing everyone a bit earlier as I am not planning to go home for festive season, so I thought I will show you, what kind of beauties Bristol offers. I mean Suspension Bridge is first thing you notice never mind from the bus, but even on the plane!!! So who is going to be lucky this time? 🙂

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That’s it for today, I am off going to do little more research for creative meeting tomorrow after work. Have a lovely Friday.  Kat

P.S. I would totally forgot to tell you my first ever driving lesson is now officially booked for 28th October. So better get yourself somewhere safe that Monday. Love to all of you.xx

Day 16: My new interior design and diy corner of knowledge! 76 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So here it is, another addition to my white collection of furniture and white painted room. I have run out of space in my main two bookcases, so i thought I will keep my new bookcase just for my collection of interior design and diy knowledge. I have to go through and tidy it up properly, but I want to keep anything here from my inspiration scrapbooks, interiors design magazines (Elle Decoration and World of Interiors mainly), leaflets, brochures, books, list of stockists, wallpapers, paint samples etc. For the moment I put in also Domino Toolboxes for storing beads, buttons, sewing and modelmaking from Toolstation. For £5.40 each I think they are perfect for storage. The room starts to finally look more spacious and more organized with everything more on hand.

I am planning to do a post on bookcases, so feel free to take photographs of yours and send it to katerina.t.designer@gmail.com and you never know it may feature as a great example.

With love Kat xx

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Day 15: Out and about! 77 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Today, well it should have been yesterday, I am writing this post. And this is why! In the morning I had to go to the hospital to have some test done. As as said in previous post I do not enjoy shopping, so I made huge list so I can get all the things I need in one go after the appointment and not to bother again too much.  Well the day sort went according to a plan, but not as effectively I was hoping. After the test I passed out in the hospital, so it took me about hour and half to get back on my feet. All the nurses were really lovely I have to say, so Thank You to St Michael Hospital staff, and although they said it happens often, I did feel pretty embarrassed for taking up their valuable time and room, where they hang out for biscuits and tea. As I had a little outburst on my personal Facebook last night, there is just something that causes my body straight way to go blank and passing out as soon as there is a hospital involved, birth talk, blood test taking or having injection. Feeling ill for the rest of the day I had to bear going to deal with my paint supplier and do some research for my next job. At least I met two people I knew there, so that made my day little nicer. After spoiling myself with panini and blueberry cake, I was hunting for my new cycling winter equipment= this year I am going swapping bottled green look for navy blue and getting sorted for bicycle rides. Hat, long scarf and three pairs of gloves should do. They always disappear, who knows where?! Later I did more shopping and went for a friendly meeting ending it all by shopping trip to us all known Ikea. I really!!! had to go and pick up Billy bookcase, so I can make my room lot more tidy and have space for all my Elle Decoration and World of Interiors. Just missing a bus in front my eyes, I had to wait 40 minutes for the next one, which stops right outside of my house. I had no intention to carry it further than i did already. Another reason why to get a car I am thinking. Plus I had to go straight down to the tills and avoid all the temptation of this shop. As we all know. You never go home with just what you really need and went in for. Eating my dinner at 10pm, I was going to go and write a post, but when I sat on my bed, I fall asleep straight away and waking up at 7am this morning wearing my clothes from last night, I realized that may not happen. Although I nearly did give up when sitting in the hospital thinking sod it I feel sick,I might just go home,I am glad I didn’t. No matter how little the step, as long as it is there.

Back again later today, Kat xx

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Day 14: Week two review! 78 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Hello everybody, what an exciting day today! I am two weeks in and I cannot believe it myself. I have managed to do something productive every single day for the last two weeks and then having to write about it. Not something I would imagine of doing when running between shifts, going out few times during the week and even when feeling tired and admittedly a bit lazy. But even missing a day of writing although being productive, I managed to catch up, so we are on the right numbers and going strong. Today it is a quick review of what has been happening the last seven days and what I have been up to today:

  • On Tuesday I went to see Lanterns on the Lake playing in Rise record shop. Beautiful autumn matching sounds and voices. Just reminding, if you have not got anything else to do this Thursday in Bristol, they are playing in Thekla.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37pqMoW4z5s

  • Updates from fellow challengers: Friend n.3 just started working, but he is taking time to think about what is the plan when learning the languages and I am staying tuned for more info. Friend n.5 messaged me today and so pleased to say she has not bought one magazine all week and opened up new savings account!!! How brilliant and massive well done lady! Just think you are suddenly lot closer to purchasing that car. Lastly I got a great text from new friend n.6. He decided after twenty years of doing so to quit smoking and started counting the days with me by picking the courage. Very pleased to hear from you guys, just take little step, one after another and you will be on fire before you even know it.
  • Talking about jam jar turned into a bee saving jar, I counted all the change and it turned out £33 pounds in there, going straight to do some more good in my bank account. I am making note of the day and see how long it will take me to fill it up again using the same change with anything from 1p to 50p.
  • I have also experienced this week embarrassing red turning moment,  when virtual world of blogging turned into the real one.
  • On the other hand there are some exciting art projects coming up, so let’s keep fingers crossed.
  • And keep them crossed all of YOU start to look around as my provisional driving licence arrived. That reminds me I need to book that first lesson. Now where is this Some Day/May be list?
  • Going all technical I have discovered and shared some WordPress Settings wonders and wisdom of Joe Seeber. Updating my post About Kat and linking all social media accounts together. Ended the week giving few tips on how I organize my e-mail account.

So yeah that was the last seven days, who would have thought you can fit so much into your free time, going out three times, and working, eating and doing all the needed activities to function. However I think this means catching up and staying in more in this week.

As it is Monday and Week two review, I went through my drawers and looked at all pieces of paper with all tasks of what to do. I have not done it fully, but I covered the important ones. It did feel amazing to get rid off all the pieces of paper of tasks achieved. I have few unavoidable appointments tomorrow in town, so I made shopping list for anything from food to electrical equipment and furniture I need to go and get, but will see what happens tomorrow and how the day goes. Shopping is not my favourite activity to do, so I hope to make it painless as possible with meeting a friend for a drink later on.

Apart from making lists of what to do tomorrow, I cleared few e-mails, joined the Headliner.Fm to promote my blog, although have not  had much time to look properly how it works yet with Karma cash. If anyone has an experience with it, feel free to share your thoughts. And lastly I was catching up with my guilty pleasure telly (I rather not share which one) whilst sticking images of nature, buildings and architecture into my new 3D spatial scrapbook. I will be posting some inspiration pictures, once that is done.

And finally I have now 17 blog followers, 8 Twitter followers, 16 Instagram followers and 90 Facebook Page Likes and more countless likes between all of them. Numbers are growing and Thank You for your support in sharing it with your friends and I hope you will continue to enjoy my challenge updates. With Love, Kat xx

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Day 12: Lazy day! 80 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Very quick one, but by posting this I am finally going to catch up with that one day missing. I simply had a day of chilling out. I got back from second working shift in early hours of the morning and after hectic week I basically stayed in bed pretty much all day before running to work again fairly soon. I won’t bore you with pictures of my beautiful fruit breakfast or jacket potato and salad lunch, but here is little details of card, which has arrived in he post. My provisional driving licence! Oh lala! So here we are no more excuses. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to read post, which I also just wrote and that is Day 11. With love Kat xx

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Day 11: Updating and linking! 81 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So in a post of the Day 11 I would like to tell you about little update on the blog. On the left hand side, which is more dark blue, there are few things I have been confused about for a while, but I did not bother to deal with. So firstly it is different categories. In my dashboard I could see 6, however only 5 would show up. The only one missing was “About”. It was not until I decided to update About into About Kat and turn in into a post rather description or summary. I also ticked the box after I wrote the post to keep in About Kat category and published it. Here we are it appeared. I am sure there  must be a place, where my description was, but it could not be very clear to others either as no one would look at it knowing from Stats. Sounds like there always has to be a post in order for the category to appear.

Second thing I am a bit confused about is section Meta. Do You guys keep it there? Or what is it for? When I clicked on each category of this section it did seem to turn the posts in lot more more obvious order, but not as pretty. So I am wondering if there is any real need for it? Could anyone explain?

I recently signed up to Joe Seeber’s blog. He gives out tips on how to make your blog more attractive and general online advice. I recommend checking it out. One of the advice I used was getting rid off Search button. People are more likely to be disappointed with your page if they don’t find what they want. For small blogs under I think it was around 100- 200 posts, there is no need for them. Readers then enjoy more browsing around and read what you write about. I eventually managed to do that, but it took what felt as almost forever to find it in settings. I just tried to find it again, but got lost repeatedly.

Anyway what I found  is in Appearance , then going to Widgets, you can drag from following list what you like into the list on the right hand side and Create your own list of sections. You can tell your followers anything What Blog you follow to Calendar or Blog Stats. On that exact same page  in the column on the right by clicking by Recent Posts, you can change the amount of posts displayed on your page.  Just to promote my blog little more and show readers more of what I am doing, I went from 5 to 20. It may be a bit too much, but for now, I do not mind.

Finally the last useful thing to do is update your sharing options for other social media. In my About Kat post, I included the complete list of all social networks I am in, so readers can get better view my work or style or just simply get in touch. On your dashboard you can also do it by clicking on Settings and Sharing, filling in the right accounts. WordPress seems to be little limited with number of options, but I mostly use Facebook and WordPress and everything else is just to spread the message.

If you feel you would like to share another social media or network worth joining, comments or if you have any useful tip on how to improve personal blogs, let us know.

Thanks for reading Kat xx

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Day 10: Who read this blog? 82 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am still trying to catch up with that one day I have not been able to post. So hopefully by the weekend it will be all back to normal. Being ill last week and able to work from home gave me enough time to be creative and write about. This week I have been working all week, went out twice, trying to be creatively productive and kept writing posts about until late at night. Just too much going on.

So the name of the post is ‘Who reads this blog?’. Recently I read similar post by one of my friends ‘Learner Mother‘, a lady I know for few years and she has lot more to juggle in life than I do. She wrote really lovely post about how people come up to her and tell her that they like the blog. She does not know how to deal with it and starts to behave a bit weird. I really enjoy her blogging too, so I kind of smiled it off thinking oooh she is so humble and cute, but did not really understand why she reacts that way. Well until the exact same experience happened to me this week.

I worked in this school, where I used to come very often as temp in the past, but I did have quite a long break as it comes and goes within the temping industry. Anyway this group of girls I would engage with during lunchtime sometimes ended up talking to me and they were very interested in what I do regarding arts etc. Some of them took my business cards to have a look online. Anyway time passes and now about ten months later I appear at the school again, meet these girls and they get really excited telling me: ‘We have been looking at your work and one of our friends is reading your blog every day. She thought one of your posts was really good and really liked it, so she read it out loud to a class’.  I went bright red, which was certainly obvious straight away as I was wearing white catering coat. I was so flattered. You may think what is such big deal about teenage girl reading someone’s blog. Well firstly she did not dismiss it based on the fact, she has to read foreigner’s English and secondly she liked it that much she thought the effort is worth sharing with more people. To me is really beautiful thing to do, so young lady if you are reading I am giving you massive THANK YOU! as you really made my day. You never know reads your blog, but you also never know what opportunity may come out of that. Making people aware of what you do, that you are available and can do the work is vital. Otherwise people assume you have a job and you are doing fine.

Saying that I also did have a meeting about production I might be collaborating on. It sounds really exciting, but can’t tell you anything until it really gets confirmed. That things are happening and rolling, I am having another meeting within the art department about future workshop, so  we will see about that too.

Have a lovely weekend and back tomorrow for more. Kat xx

day 10

About Kat

Hello from Bristol in the UK! In June 2004, three days after passing A-level exams, I packed my bag with three stones of stuff, left little town in central part of The Czech Republic and got onto adventures journey abroad, which many years later still has not finished yet. I lived in sorts of places, did all sorts of things and now I would like to start this blog about my journey when searching for my dream career and make it full-time one. I would like dedicate this to everyone, who is at the start of their professional journey and let them know that they are not alone.

Now after about a year of on and off blogging, I decided to start a challenge and get a full-time creative position or become fully self-employed in only just 92 days, officially by 31st December 2013. Again this is not just my challenge, but it is  for anyone who would like to achieve their dreams, whether it is saving money for holidays or learning new skill and need some support on the way. I will be trying to do something creative or useful in order to get here and then writing a post about it. Sharing my highs and lows plus suddenly discovered knowledge. Thank You all for reading. With love Kat xx

E-mail Me: katerina.t.designer@gmail.com

Like Page: http://www.facebook.com/kat.portfolio

Follow Blog: http://www.katdesigner.wordpress.com

Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/katdesigner

Tweet on Twitter: @katerinatdesign

See on Instagram: katerinatdesigner

Share ideas on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kattdesign

Updated: 11th October 2013

Day 9: Your challenges! 83 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So today’s post should have been written yesterday, but I was keen to do more research on this, so I kind of had to wait and postpone:-) I would like to like pass on some motivation and tell you about the feedback I had in the past nine days.

So regarding You all, who I have been speaking to and the ones who said it sounds really interesting, however did not want and could not join this challenge I thought I will give out some examples of people, who were willing to think and perhaps need some encouragement from others. There won’t be any names, if they are reading, they will know, who I am talking about. So feel free to add to your wisdom, advice, experience as a comment, I am sure they will hugely appreciate it.

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Person number 1: She has two challenges. The first one is to start running and the second one is to find time to be lazy or said in rather sophisticated way to indulge herself. So how could she possibly do this? I was thinking there two ways of how to deal with the running. You can set yourself first a certain amount of miles and see it your tempo improves on every day basis, perhaps making note of the weather conditions might help to see how it affects it. Once she is comfortable with the pace, perhaps extending the journey again will improve as the fitness did during the shorter run. To make this work in a long-term, depending on how confident runner she becomes, perhaps finding a date or a half marathon or marathon in the calendar could work as a goal and working towards that. I used to run, however just for fun, so if there are any experienced runners, feel free to add what is the best way.

Now the challenge is to be more lazy or indulge herself. Now I stopped eating chocolate few months ago, there won’t be any of this on my list, but perhaps reading a book every day half an hour before you go to bed. Or even a magazine. As explained in previous post, as used from the book of David Allen, keep a pile of all the things you need to read through by your bed. You have that little time before falling asleep, it will make you relaxed. Depending on your mood, you can choose anything from fashion magazine, industry reports to just book you got for Christmas and still have not had the time to open. Perhaps taking bath could be another indulging moment. Pick a film for every night of the week. Call a friend.

Person number 2: So this is rather exciting as I share this challenge with him too and that is to get ourselves to drive. And his girlfriend wants that too. They both actually got themselves into a bit of a rival competition few days earlier, who can learn first. I was going to pass on some details when he sends an e-mail he promised last night, but I still didn’t get one. You won’t win like this Mr.?!  I received my passport through the post yesterday, so hopefully within the next two weeks I will receive the provisional one. As said before, I have already been forced/motivated to  go through theory tests, I reckon this weekend I will do more practising.

Person number 3: He would like to tackle a new skill and start learning Spanish or Chinese. Obviously the typical way would be researching colleges, however when it comes to learning languages I feel personally it needs to come naturally to you. So putting an advert on Gumtree or searching for one and perhaps swapping your language skills could be an option. I did it with lovely young French lady last year, who was here for Erasmus Exchange studying law. I taught her English and she taught me French. By the end up we ended up really good friends and spent many nights tasting wine in Gallimaufry on Gloucester Road. I did not learn much French to be honest, but she really improved her  English and here we get to another way of learning. Go to the right place. When I lived in Netherlands, in only four months just knowing basic school English and German, I got to understand pretty much everything they said in Dutch and could use some basic phrases, when speaking.   Exactly the same thing happened in Bulgaria during my three months Erasmus Exchange and I am not even talking about Great Britain. After nine years over here-  I speak, dream, eat, feel, do everything in English. To the point I cannot any longer speak properly Czech and for everyone back  home I am the foreign girls who speaks Czech with English accent.  So here we are find yourself a foreign friend and start.

Person number 4: He would like to stop smoking. Not only it is bad for you, it makes everything around you stink, nothing pleasant to smell for others and lastly think how much you are spending. What did you say? You wanted to go on that holiday? Just think if the packet costs about £8 and you smoke 3 packets in a week, that makes it £1 248 of saving. Now that is worth pretty luxury holidays for two. Or that shopping trip to New York. Whatever you fancy. Some of my friends find the quite easy to use vaping products. This particular friend is using tablets, apparently it is that kick he is after. He did have few wobbles, so let’s see how it he does in a long-term.

And last but not least friend number 5: She has also two challenges. The first one is to save enough money to buy a car and the second is to change a career and become massage therapist. We have been “finding solutions” last night over few cocktails and came up with few different options. How to save money for a car. Although it is not much, at least it is something to start you off. One way is to stop buying magazines. There is plenty of gossip online, again the same kind magazines are left in doctor’s surgeries or hairdressers and if you think about it even if you actually buy yourself one of those magazines, there is not much new you would not know about particular celebrity. Recently joining Twitter, I realized, they are all there anyway. If you feel you really need to keep buying a particular one as it is about gardening or photography then subscribe. You can save yourself half or in some cases even three-quarters of the price. So instead of paying £4, you only pay a pound. If you sign up and there is another magazine being published by the same publisher, they usually give discount again or even better deal. Another option is to sign to freebie websites and order your free copy of magazines offered. Again most likely it will come with a phone call few days later and option of subscribing for cheaper than you would normally. Buying expensive once a month magazine and two gossip ones per week, can save you around £120 in 6 months. But also think about the extra coffee, perhaps chocolates bar or sandwich you are purchasing at the same time. It all adds up and £5 is gone you do not even know it. My little way of how to keep the change is to put them into “bee jar”. I have two. One for pound coins, when getting a bus. The second one is for all the other change. And trust me it is getting pretty heavy right about now.

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Her second challenge is to change a career and perhaps becoming a massage therapist. My suggestion was to follow advice from a program: The Fairy Job Mother. Get in touch with all the saloons and say that you would like to spend a day following them and giving them a hand if they let you. Do it once every two weeks during your day off and in six months you will get amazing overview what it involves. You never know, who you may end up talking to and getting a job from. By offering your help for a day when not being really educated within the industry can give you clear idea if this is the right career for you and they get a help with putting dirty towels away. Obviously you have to start somewhere.

Enough for today, I hope you enjoyed reading about fellow readers, who are thinking of joining me. Feel free to let me know if you fancy joining us too and keep sharing and reading. With love Kat xx

Day 8: Costume scrapbook, part two! 84 days to go!

Kat doodles and recommends:

So today’ post is a bit late. I did the actual creative part on Tuesday as I was suppose to, just run out of time to post about as I went out for the evening. If you live in Bristol, there is always something going on and although my weekends are dedicated to work and during the week I prefer to meet up with friends for a quiet drink rather then standing somewhere loud doing  whatever you feel comfortable with under the expression “night out”. I went to a gig of the band Lanterns on the Lake in Rise, record shop, which is also known as Friska cafe  at the Clifton Triangle. They had a problem with the sound at the beginning, but it got fixed, but just I as I was just getting into enjoying it, they stopped. It only lasted half an hour, but it was worth it. It is very dreamy sounding music, very instrumental, mellow and lovely to hear. The lead singer is certainly very talented, she has that little girl’s voice, not quite sure how you call it, and although she was shy at the beginning, by the end she was cracking jokes about alarms. Personally I think it was freezer or fridge telling the owners of the cafe, the temperatures are getting higher then they should be. Who knows what it was…  Anyway if you fancy listening to Lanterns on the Lake in full on gig, they are playing next Thursday in Thekla or simply checkout their web or Youtube.

So on the day of me supporting someone else’s creativity, this is what I have done… There were still few more images to be glued in into my costume crapbook, so I have taken five more photographs, so you can get more inspiration what to put in.

Tomorrow I will be catching up with a blog post, which should have been posted tonight, but it will be all about challenges and feedback  people have given me. Stay tuned, with love Kat xxx

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Day 7: Week one review! 85 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

7 days! Hellooo!  I am feeling very excited as I managed to not only do something creative every single day for the past seven days to get closer to my career, but I also managed to blog about it. What is rather more exciting, I feel a bit of a thrill from blogging and the adrenalin is high pushing me more thinking about ideas. I have now actually that many, I feel almost as 92 days may not be enough to write about all of them. And I know this must sound pretty hilarious. I have also noticed the speed I am writing these posts with. Depending on the subject, but it takes me somewhere between hour or two with the corrections and adding Instagram (katerinatdesigner) picture to make it look more exciting. I am also starting to feel that my written English is improving. Obviously long way to go, but I am working on it, so it is a progress. There is a Czech band called Mnaga & Zdorp and they sing this beautiful song that ‘even a journey can be finishing line’ (search for ‘I cesta muze byt cil‘).

In one week I have done and wrote about more things than I would imagine if I did not make so much fuss about it to the outside world. The push has certainly worked. I am fearing the moment when someone  will message me asking ‘Where is your daily post’? So far I covered topics from purpose of this blog to tips on how to organize yourself and get things done based on the advice given by David Allen. From the important theme of cv, different cv sites and useful feedback on mistakes in my own cv to joining Twitter (@katerinatdesign) in order to get more people to join my challenge, update me achieving their dreams and obviously making my point of looking for creative career more obvious. I started tackling my fear of driving and got myself to watch the theory dvd. Having a bit of emotional roller coaster from high to low, to high and low again I am finishing the week on high celebrating when getting to this point by inspiring people with scrapbook ideas in yesterday’s post and going to pass on another little paragraph from David’s book today. During the past 7 days I received some really wonderful supportive messages, had many new followers and even few people telling me what they would like to achieve. Although no one has confirmed officially what they will do or if they actually started. So come on people, take an example from me and get on with it! And trust me, you will feel great! Don’t be shy and e-mail me on katerina.t.designer@gmail.com

Since this post is about weekly review, David Allen is giving out these tips to do so:

  • Loose paper into basket.- Get a basket or a box and fill it up with anything you feel you need to deal with. From receipts, postcards, objects, your diary ,pieces of paper, notepads, drawings etc. Absolutely anything. If it doesn’t fit inside, describe bit on a piece of paper. Go around the house and do it with every room(for example decorating the room, fixing broken light in the hallway). Like this you will end up with clearer space to work on and all your things to do in one box.
  • Process data.- Go though the box and use simple diagram technique I have posted in Day 1 post.  Do I need this, if no, Trash it. If Yes, do I need to make some kind of action with it? If not file it into review or read, if so and it takes less than two minutes, do it. If longer divide it- put into to pile Next Action, Waiting for (e-mail reply, buying certain equipment or something else to happen in order to do it, last pile is future someday/may be things to do)
  • Previous data from calendar review.- Fairly straight forward, look at what have you done this week or add tasks or things to relevant pile.
  • Upcoming calendar.- the same again, but this coming week or possibly a month if needed.
  • Empty your head.- Do you need to pop in to see your friend or send timesheet in, write it down. There is a very high chance it may disappear from your head and you will totally forget it.
  • Review projects (and larger outcome).- Look at projects  you are working on and want to work on and don’t leave until you write a note of what is the next task on it. Do you need to call Pete to start organizing event in order to promote your products, either call him now or put it on the list of calls. You won’t move on with a project until you establish what is the next step.
  • Review next Action Plan list.- Go through the pile of tasks which make take longer than two minutes and do as described within the point above.
  • Review Waiting for.- Waiting for phone call (were you expecting one, did the person forget), has your order arrived yet, so you can get on with things etc.
  • Review any relevant check list.- I hope that speaks for itself.
  • Review Someday/May be.- You would like to learn French, take an exam, learn how to drive, plan trip around the world. Think what is the next step to make it happen. Do you need to start researching language schools online, start saving etc.?!
  • Review Reading& Support files- Go through magazines or leaflets or anything you collect over the time, if you find something interesting to read, tear the pages out and put in pile of reading, which you can do before going to bed, or keep it together and just highlight pages it with sticky post it notes.
  • Be creative and courageous.- 😀

Advice points above taken from the book of David Allen: Getting Things Done and explained by me.

Have a lovely day, take care and don’t forget to update me on your progress. With love, back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 6: Scrapbook Sunday! 86 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Yesterday’s post must have done something within the virtual space, because I have four new blog followers and seven new Twitter followers. So Thank You all very much for that and obviously Thank You to all the other supporters, had some great messages and e-mails coming through. Today it will be very quick as Sunday is a chill out day and quite honestly I have taken the opportunity to soak up some more sunshine before it completely turns into non stopping rain here in the UK. It has been really gorgeous today.

Now here is the topic- Scrapbook. I have seen seen few months ago interior designer Kelly Hoppen showing her scrapbox to someone as a source of inspiration and thought to myself: ‘I have been doing this ever since as a child.’ My obsession with collecting pretty images, magazines, fabrics, scraps of materials, pieces of nature, got my to a bit of a hoarder, but I managing it with care, although some of you who know me, may do not agree. I have probably collected boxes full of someone could call junk, but they have been carefully selected, glued into books and forgotten about. I decided recently to sit down, read all the magazines, cut out my favourites and I created 3 different books for inspiration. One is full of general research, anything I like, which does not fit anywhere. Second one is purposely for costumes, fashion, model poses, faces and expressed emotions. They are fantastic source for costume drawings and making them look really exciting. After all you want a character to stand out, no matter if it is catwalk or stage. The third and last for the moment is for spaces, interiors, exteriors, nature, sculpture and 3D based art. Again anything, which could potentially make you go “woah”, when walking into somewhere.

So today I just show you five little examples I found over the last few days and I hope it will get you start collecting too.

With love, back tomorrow, Kat xx

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Day 5: Are you a quitter or a goer? 87 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I was hoping to write only about relevant stuff on this blog, avoid my actual personal problems, names or soapy moments. However I will do the opposite today and I am sorry if I offend anyone with my emotional diarrhea. Because it is relevant to this challenge I am working on. Last night, the relationship I was in for pretty much nearly a year, has definitely come to an end. We were together for nine months and two months ago it came to end. Since then we have been both going through moments of sadness to moments of joy we are no longer together and can move on, meeting up and arguing, spending really nice days and evenings together, getting merry and promising each other new hopes. However last night when having another conversation about us giving a second chance to this relationship, he suddenly refused to do so. Hang on I am thinking, isn’t a relationship about giving each other support, working on it, doing compromises, improving for yourself and the other person?! Surely if you plan to be with someone for the rest of your life, you need to be prepared to solve few problems on the way to find compromise. Apparently not everyone shares the same view.

I realized that really- I am a goer. For me quitting is not an option unless I feel I have done my personal best, it appears I do not have relevant skills, or I should think about changing a direction. If I had quit, I would never come so far where I am now and experience so many amazing moments. I have run away from the au pair family. I have been walking around streets looking for a job in freezing temperatures. I cycled miles in darkest nights to wash dishes. I shed sweat and tears during my theatre design degree. I went through hell went my father had cancer and then died. I can think of so many more pretty dark moments in my life and could have gone: “You know what I do not care anymore, I quit, I am going home to that sweet little pink protective bubble”, but I did not and I do not think I ever can. And that is the same thing, when you look for a job or want to really achieve something. A bit like X Factor, some people just want it lot more than others. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get to it, you know it will happen eventually.

So you know what, I am moving on. In a relationship or in a job, you cannot force your partner to be with you or boss to keep you, but you can learn from it and find someone else, who does. You will push each other further and make it work. I guess I just have to find another goer so we can share our dreams together and make them happen.

With love Kat xx

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Day 4: Joining Twitter! 88 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So today it is going to be a quick post, as it is Friday and I only just got back this afternoon from night out watching Driving Test Success DVD. I am seriously not joking. And it was rather successful, if anyone wants to know.. For the first time ever I have to say, it really helped that someone else motivated me during this challenge. Someone who I normally have to motivate and give him a kick to do things. Obviously not too literally.  I was forced to watch and practice the whole dvd! That included 3 sets of 50 test questions, 10 hazard spotting videos, 13 questions of Show Me, Tell Me and way too many of Highway Code questions. Well exhausted afterwards ,but pleased to tell you I have passed all three tests with scores 44, 47, 46 points out of 50.  But I did obviously discuss lot of the questions with my helper and had to have it explained. Overall it was not as difficult as I thought it is going to be. Unless I was just lucky to get all the easy questions. It might be combination of cycling, common sense and luck, that I came with the right answers. Now I can happily sit down, start reading through the theory and practice on my own.   As soon as I get my provisional licence back, I can understand what is this steering, breaking, lights in a fog and different gears kind of questions all about in real life.  So thank you everyone for the support, especially Mr. Helper last night, I am getting there.

Regarding my post yesterday, there is a new e-mail in my account from CV Site about general help on cv. I will share it, when I get to write another post on changing my cv again. I am reminding to everyone if they think they have the perfect cv and would like to share it with everybody or tips on how to write it, feel free to send it to katerina.t.designer@gmail.com or if you know anyone, who would like to join the challenge and achieve their dreams in 92 days. Apart from that I also managed to get some changes done to my e-mail account like updating addresess and changing few folders. As seen on the picture in my post on Day 1, both ‘E-mail account’ and ‘Email to:’ boxes are empty with only one task to do. So pretty cool going.

Lastly- I have joined Twitter. I have been avoiding to do so for a long time as I never really liked the idea of spending more time on social media and did not quite get those weird looking links flowing around the world wide web. However since I am writing and working on this challenge, I thought I will give it a go. Surely it cannot hurt and I can always cancel it. So if anyone fancies following me there or giving me tips on how to use it properly, feel free to find me as @katerinatdesign and you should see my first tweet linking Day1 here on WordPress. Since we are helping and supporting each other to find jobs, stop smoking, loose weight, save for exciting trips or as certain someone mentioned to me  find half an hour of indulgence every day, let’s do everything what we possibly can to go us there.

Have a lovely Friday evening. Back tomorrow Kat xx

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Day 3: From High to Low! 89 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Alright, it is nearly 4pm of UK time and I am already writing this post, whilst outside it has not stopped raining second day in row. I think that is it for today, enough me sitting at the computer. I have been doing so for the last three days, wrapped up warm, recovering, drinking countless cups of tea.  I fancy a change. I started high and now I am feeling my energy levels are going down. Well there might be few reasons for that. Sleeping too much in the last few days and staying awake last night texting past my usual bedtime, being woken up by three demanding phone calls at 5 am, was the start.

When I got out of bed feeling fairly shattered, Ilooked into the fridge, finding it empty. Forced walking out of the house, I came backa with a treat in a form of nutella jar. How wrong I was. I stopped eating chocolate about three or four months ago and felt much better ever since, so hoping that little chocolatey treat will make me feel better turned into something like eating gurkin. It tasted horribly sweet and I am thinking Oh no, I have lost this little life saver. Never mind this sugar rush which brought me down few hours later.  There was a little hint of hope, when I managed to clear and response to my e-mails within only 7 minutes, but not long after there was this reply from CV Site waiting to tell the truth I didn’t want to know.

So apparently there are few issues, which prevent me from communicating my skills in optimum way. The first paragraph states following: There are grammatical issues …, … it is too colloquial…, …if an employer reads that you are ‘stubborn’ it would be off putting within the context …, … mentioning four jobs doesn’t send out positive impression. Alright with grammatical issues I can agree. That has always been a problem, I am not a native speaker, I can only keep learning and trying, because I know it will always follow me. I am not entirely sure why ‘stubborn’ used together with ‘perfectionist’ and ‘willing to learn’ does not translate as ‘motivated until achieving the goal’. I guess the negative feel of the word used without its context coming from someone, who is an Aries in zodiac, is not exactly giving the friendly willing approach. Lastly what is wrong with having four jobs? Is it the lack of focus I might be giving impression off? Surely having two different self-employed positions show that you are on your way to turn them into careers, whilst the other two part time jobs show commitment and secure regular income in order to pay bills and food offering to take time off when needed. Why all the cv gurus, employers or general advice out there tell you to keep going and making sure there is no gap on your cv and now being told that if you work too much sounds wrong. Anyone else had similar issue before?

Second paragraph is focusing on employment history. It is vast…, …for very brief periods, this would not instill confidence any potential employers…, You clearly have a lot of skills but CV needs focus…, … I appreciate that a lot of jobs are short term…, … better to provide details of the work and the props you designed rather than the designer/directors names. You clearly have a lot to offer, …you are creative and have flair but a CV is still a formal document and you need to adopt a few conventions in order to illustrate your talents and competencies without coming across as disordered. Looking back at my cv after reading this, was so painfully true.  I think the problem is when you are preparing your cv during your graduation time and not having that much professional experience, you are told it is important to tell all the directors and designers you worked with having to stretch it making it look reasonably good, but as time goes it may become a bit too much and I think that what happened to me. Taking your cv and giving it to people asking them to look at it with their critical eyes is nerve wracking and depressing, but the most helpful as knowing the weakness of your enemy.

They finished the e-mail by saying this: … Overall Katerina, it is a quirky and fun approach but that just doesn’t work for a CV and it would benefit from a rewrite for ease of reading… Further down were priced packages to make it perfect with extras added in case I would like to take this offer to improve it under the professional eye. Alright Thank you very much, but I think I need few days to take this all in and think about this changing it completely. In case anyone would to share their cv, which bagged them that job they wanted, feel free to send it to katerina.t.designer@gmail.com and perhaps share few tips on how they think which is best way, please do so. I am sure everyone reading will appreciate every handy advice.

I am ending this post with photograph of my ‘fun’ evening ahead. I have been offered emotional support and forced watching Driving Test Theory DVD, possibly so I am prevented from covering my eyes and having to focus. So I guess I will update you how it went tomorrow. Lovely evenig to everybody. Kat xx

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Day 2: Oh the CV malarky! 90 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So day two of the challenge.  I woke a bit tired after not being able to sleep much last night thinking about the challenge plus I blame two cups of strong tea I drink straight after each other. Yesterday after posting, I sat down and cleared all the e-mails into relevant folders and made all tabs clear, so every day, when I wake up, I can deal straight away with what is relevant. There is lot more deleting and organizing within my e-mail to be done, but that is for another time. This morning it only took me less then hour to reply and organize all e-mails and social media I have received during the night with nothing more hanging to be done in my account. How brilliant.

When going through tasks and trying to get yourself out there, I have realized that keeping up with cv and updating all social media is the most important thing nowadays. I decided to dedicate the day to updating my cv and uploading it to different sites.  Recently I did that with LinkedIn account. That is quite a good one to use as a starting point. However they allow you only to put limited amount of characters under one job, so when you work as self employed, listing all the little jobs in one may not be enough.  So I looked at all sorts of the jobs I did and under my company name created three kinds positions. One for theatre design relevant work, one for painting and decorating, interior design and decluttering and the last one for general artistic work. It suddenly made lot more sense for everyone to look at and understand what I do. I have applied the same system onto my cv today, but just make sure you keep saving the document as you go.

In the summary of who I am I used to use one particular paragraph for years, which may have sounded professional , but I felt it no longer had that crisp fresh sound, so I wrote, who I see myself as with simple few adjectives characterizing my life and work attitude, current state and aspirations into the future. No more then five sentences should do the trick.

Within my e-mail account I had e-mails from about 4 different job sites. I went through each of them and with different levels of luck managed to upload my cv. Jobsite as first, which keeps sending me not very relevant job offers for design positions. Unfortunately all the ones, where you need to be computer  geek and somehow the beauty of designing or building real model is no longer needed. You would think that website like which is advertising on national level would have different options for uploading your cv apart from word file. Perhaps jpg or most likely pdf, separate fill in  boxes, if it comes to the worst as txt. Especially after you have just spend hours tweaking your pages to making it look the part. Several uploads of the files have failed. Well not only that, after I spent updating details in the form, they have disappeared after the file hasn’t uploaded properly, so I had to do it again.  Cup of tea break was needed to lift my spirits up. As soon as I sent in the help line form in I have finally figured out the problems. Turn your fancy word document into plain text with no columns or anything else. When saved as rtf, after save it again into document, but keeping it plain. Hallelujah, it uploaded, but let me tell as a designer, it is not looking exactly great. If you are not able to change your details within the site program, it feels pretty useless even having to upload it in a first place.

Guardian website was lot more user friendly. They had all my previous details saved already, so I just checked if they are correct, updated and moved around jobs and ready I was. Highly recommend it. I did not have that many e-mails from them as website in the past, but now with fully updated previous jobs I am hoping for more luck.

CV Site e-mail ended up in my account somehow without really knowing how. I have a feeling it came together with paid membership for LinkedIn I had once tried. They offered me free CV check as a member of their anticipating partners, but have never used it, so I decided give it a go since it is needed now more than ever. With technical issue of not letting me to the free check up as advertised I e-mailed them and within few minutes I had lovely lady messaging me back asking me to send her my cv. Brilliant. Will definitely post you on that one. Their site has a partner site called CV library, so I will be uploading cv there once it is returned.

Lastly UK Staff Search  was probably the most quickest in the whole process. They simply asked for e-mail, uploading the file and within second you had the form with all boxes filled with relevant information taken from the uploaded cv. I have corrected the employment and education history just by simply copying and pasting information from my original document and here it was , done.

So that is for today, enough for sitting around at computer. I am reminding everybody join me in my challenge, or please spread the message around and let me know what is your dream. Keep that 92 days spirit and get it achieved by the end of the year. Better start now and really make it happen, than attempting to turn it into New Year’s resolution. Have a lovely day a take care. Kat xx

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Day 1: Keep motivated! 91 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Staying focused can be very difficult. I am bright example of that. Unless it is exciting enough and does not involve food or paint brush, my mind wonders off miles away from thinking is it cup of tea or lunch time yet or what is going on in the world of Facebook. Getting myself recently into position, where my room/studio is getting into the right shape, purchasing new A3 printer and just generally sorting stuff out, things are moving in the right direction, but how can I stay focused and motivated.

Well, I turned back to my “friend” David Allen and his theory about “Getting Things Done”, which I have been practising for more or less year and half and it worked wonders for me. I recommend to read his book to fully understand the theory and how it works. In a simple way he is telling how to make the things happen from little idea in your head into the final outcome by following simple rules. So for example when I have been hassled for years by my family members to get that English certificate done. To me although I did not feel I need to, as well as looking like a very daunting task. I went from little tasks such as researching online to doing little practice test on the Cambridge University website. Then moved on to researching the exam days, paying application fee, ordering test book, going for the first part of the exam and then passing the second part. Now more than year late holding my certificate, it feels like it was not difficult at all. Why was I even scared of it for all these years? I am applying the same technique now with learning how to drive. Some of you surely know from reading my previous posts.

So here I have my challenge. Today as it is 1st of October 2013 I start and by the end of this year, which is another 91 days away I would like to be fully free lancing or employed as an interior designer or anything to do within the theatre/ visual merchandising/ decorating industry. Turn my four jobs into one and show there is hope and it is achievable since I am sharing this blog with readers in similar situation.

Recently ordering my new set of business cards I ended up with many empty boxes, so I turned them into reminders and I keep them now next to my computer. Each task with a date on it is written on a separate piece of paper and they are constant reminder of what to do even I wonder of somewhere else for a mili second. You start with ‘In basket’, where you put any pieces of papers, receipts, objects, notes of things to do you need to deal with. The next step is ‘Process’ them, after ‘Organize’ them, ‘Review’ them and finally ‘Do’ them.  During practising this theory I have realized there are two types of tasks I tend to do. Practical ones like file this bank statement into right folder and computer based ones like research this particular company.  I have decided to divide second group into four different boxes and name them : “At mac”, “When Online”, “E-mail Account” and “E-mail to:”.  As I am not feeling very well at the moment, I have taken that time off today to go through “E-mail to:” and managed to sent 19 e-mails,  11 Facebook messages and 2 LinkedIn InMail messages.  Obviously you don’t want to spend every day just answering e-mails. However  it is that little by little, which gets you, where you want.

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To finish this post I am adding the basic diagram David Allen is using for working out tasks to give you an idea. Are you currently thinking of starting personal challenge yourself?  Is it loosing weight, learn certain skill or saving money for trip to Australia. Please do get in touch here or send me an e-mail katerina.t.designer@gmail.com and share your challenge. We can support each other  in this process and make it happen. Take care for now and looking forward to hearing from everybody.

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