Day 92: Challenge accomplished!!! 0 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I have done it! I got to the end of the tunnel of 92 days to the lights of 2014!!! What a journey and by saying that meaning still on a journey, but with so much more exciting stuff ahead, who knows what happens?! Before I do all do thanking, let me sum up this rather eventful year and as You can see on my PF 2014 card I have included some of those moments.

So this year I:

  • celebrated 9 years of living abroad and in the UK alone, you can read more about it in Day 20. I know- way too long and I only planned three months…
  • got more design and decorating working for private clients, and discovered some delicious cupcakes on the way.
  • went back to theatre design and scenic painting, when working on a show based on Nick Cave’s songs.
  • realized how much I enjoy teaching and motivating others, so I did some lecturing and workshops of all sorts.
  • moved a house, which was big chapter of my life,  and created myself a big studio space in a new one with wall ready to be painted on.
  • was blatantly reminded of my fears stopping my career, so I finally started learning how to drive. Yes, what a drama queen… it is not actually as bad as I thought!
  • went home to The Czech republic after year and half, enjoyed it way too much and looked for going back home to the UK again.
  • started a challenge to be productive for 92 days in row and succeeded. As right now you are reading the last post!
  • lost the man, who I thought shared my soul, but nevermind I wish him all the best and I am ready to meet new friends again.
  • am very proud of my little French sunshine, who never seem to stop to surprise me and who was accepted into Sorbonne, although I now miss her dearly.
  • finished the second course of Designing for Interiors and ever since I am thinking how to make it happen for real.
  • …  and there is so much more, but not enough of virtual space…

pf2014

My lovely readers, all of You who read my doodles on regular basis, all of You who read them sometimes, and You who are here for the first time, I THANK YOU ALL!!! I Thank You for Your support coming from the ones I know, who are reading, the ones who I think are reading, but do not want to admit it and the ones who read, but I do not know. I appreciate all the likes, comments and shares during this journey. You have been my silent whip getting  me up and making me do things. In 2013 I had some pretty sad times, good times and some really amazing times and met lot of great people. And of course as You know me, there is always something exciting happening in a life of Kat. So whoever was part of the journey, I am lifting my cup of currently full of honey, lemon and camomile tea and I say: Na Zdravi and have a great New Year 2014!

See You all in 3 Days time with my new challenge full of dreams and resolutions, take care and all the best! With Love Kat xx

Day 91: Nearly there!!! 1day to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

 

Hello people, well this is very exciting, I am writing the one before last one post of my challenge! Gosh, who would have thought I will get to end. I certainly did not think so. Tomorrow I will be writing special PF 2014 post to sum up my year including the challenge, so this is my last opportunity really to sum up my day. As you know I got ill again, so I spent the day in bed. However I did try my best. Carrie in Sex and The City film says to Samantha  and Miranda after them getting her flat back to her just by using the phone and wi-fi during the “honeymoon” holidays in Mexico: “God, You two can rule the world!” Well I felt exactly like that. Messaging, texting, calling, social networking from comfort of my bed whilst eating a beautiful plate of cheese and biscuits and drinking countless cups of tea with honey and lemon. Simply joy!

 

I have been spreading the link to my challenge to pretty much every website I could, contacting my friends, who kind of thought about it in the past or planning to join me vaguely confirming and helping to make few people think differently about how to approach the resolutions with fun and not as I must. There is one thing I was wondering about, I have currently a friend, who lives in Belgium and he is learning Dutch. I have been trying show him ways of learning the language in more fun way. Is there anyone, who has great tips for that or fancies meeting up with him? He is a very street wise guy, loves to travel and is very funny. I told him perhaps starting a blog or something, where he can learn new word a day. There is a very useful page on Facebook, where you can learn useful “street” words in English/ Czech about three times a week, so I wondered perhaps if there is anything similar for Dutch. Any suggestions for websites, films, anything what comes to your mind, are welcome

 

What made me really happy today, my new student (you know that talented chef I have been telling you about) managed get through an interview and is invited for a trial period this week as kitchen porter. I am so happy for him. I hope he gets it! I have no doubt about him feeling like a fish in a water as soon as he is back in the kitchen environment!

 

So that is it, I cannot think of any other update, apart from feel free to share my link to the new challenge and I will see you tomorrow! Love Kat xx

https://katdesigner.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/join-me-in-new-3-days-challenge/

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Day 90: Life is giving me lemons, so I am making a lemonade! 2 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

My life is again well exciting, so I am being punished for it once again. My body is on strike and I am running around the supermarket searching for Lemsip, Aloe Vera Gel and a birthday present after finally finishing my fourth shift of this weekend. I meant to post this last night, but I got a bit too high after all the medication, I only managed to watch online tv and browse Facebook for the rest of the day And trust me I am not excited about this coughing, blowing my nose and not doing anything prospect either. I am so bored, I think I could solve a jigsaw puzzle without any problem and in no time. Well at least I had time last night to think about my next year’s resolutions, there are plenty of them, I can say. So see you later with the update on this being ill malarky and make sure you stay warm. Love Kat xximage

Day 89: Interesting posts to see!!! 3 days to go!

Kat recommends:

Alright guys, today is super quick one as I spent the day surviving work and entertaining residents of a nursing with my Christmas stories and if you ask, they of course did love them very much. When I got back instead of having a nap before running to work again meaning any minute now, I spent it by promoting my new challenge and spamming posting pretty much anywhere I could think of, where they would like to join my new year’s resolution challenge. I will love you muchly if you share this link:  https://katdesigner.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/join-me-in-new-3-days-challenge/

Back tomorrow, have a great Saturday! Kat xx

P.S. I did go through some e-mails last night (from 150 down 100 post notifications) and this is what I found and thought was great to see, so check it out!

A bit of an emotional read to start with by Put up with Rain called Internal Bleeding.

Some inspiration for your New Year’s Party(?) from Fashion Mayann in her window display: To start with Marge Simpson, after the check the red shoes or perhaps something lot more extravagant and out there. 😀

And last but not least the very stylish Maison Bentley Style taking camera out during her walks around London checking out the London Eye and snooping on others’ Christmas Door Decorations, so her family can do some fun Christmas making and show us the result.

JOIN ME IN NEW 3 DAYS CHALLENGE!

JOIN ME IN NEW 3 DAYS CHALLENGE!: 3 Days Challenge, 122 Posts, One Year! Better You!

Would you like to get yourself motivate it? Does your New Year’s resolution fails before the end of the 1st January? Is there something you always wanted to achieve, but never got your act together? Loosing weight, learning how drive, taking photographs more often, going to travel, but did not save enough money? For the last 3 months= 92 days (nearly there) I have been blogging every single day. It got me so motivated, I am on fire to get me where I want to be. So why not to join me and do the same thing for yourself?! I achieved more in the last three months then I anticipated and that virtual whip of people reading of what I am up to has definitely worked.

So what do you need to do is to e-mail me (katerina.t.designer@gmail.com) with your challenge updates or ideas, or your blog address or add it to comments below this post. I will always be posting every third day, so from now on you have simply 7 days to figure out what you want to do be doing and on 3rd January 2014 we will be starting and I cannot wait to read your blogs or just e-mail updates with how you are doing. I will be regularly updating that first post if someone joins us later.

If you feel 3 days is not very relevant to what you would like to achieve, you can extended to anything up 7 days, but I guess nothing more than that. Feel free to join the comments, so we can perhaps help you what to do with your updates or posts. No offense to anyone, but I am really looking for genuine people with genuine reasons to join the challenge and learning new skills or self developing. None of this earn money by blogging, clicking on blogs or competitions or anything else is welcome. However if you do this and still to want to join the challenge, for example you like cooking, then please create specific challenge category for recipes and cooking and drive links to that section. I do not want to send away people for the wrong reasons. I am reserving the right to withdraw blogs if they are not following rules or are inappropriate.

Now everything is clear! Everyone excited?!! Excellent!!! Love Kat

P.S. Do not forget it is about motivation, having fun and getting better. I know it sounds terrifying being committed to this for one whole year, but once you get going and have fun, you won’t even realize we are halfway through. There is nothing to loose, nothing to pay, just give it a go and see what happens.

Day 88: Back into reality! 4 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

This is my third post of the day, as I have been catching up with the last two, making quite a bit of effort, so I will keep this one short and sweet especially since I am off to work in few hours time. I will be honest, I am not particularly excited as I have another three shifts to go to this weekend, but I knew that long before, so no excuses to moan. Here is my last and final food picture as I have been treated by my friend Andy with cabbage salad and roasted duck, which would be the traditional meal to have on our Boxing day or the day after. It was very delicious making the day lot better. Off I go getting ready for the night. I hope you all had wonderful Christmas. Back soon. Kat xx

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Day 87: Feeling the pain! 5 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am feeling the consequences of last night, even it was so worth it! I opened my eyes looking at the unfamiliar window thinking where am I? Three seconds later, when I can focus little more I notice I am on the sofa in my friends house still wearing my winter jacket. Well that sounds like I had a great night although I do not remember leaving the pub, falling in heels and going to sleep. My amazing friends were ready with cup of tea, toast and ibuprofen, so few hours later I was ready to face collecting my stuff and cycling home. By the time I got home my hangover got lot worse as my blood run around my body and I could start to feel all the bruises. I spent the rest of the day treating myself to more potato salad, salmon fillet, chat with a friend comparing notes and browsing the tinteweb following everything, which did not require too much of brain power.

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I came across this new program on Channel 4 called Raised by Wolves, which was slightly more difficult for me to follow due to the strong accents, but I was interested in the fact it was written by Caitlin Moran, who was home educated, coming from a family with no money and lot of siblings. Loving everything a bit strange it sounded exactly like something for me. I did search Caitlin Moran more and I found this interview she did during her booksigning and I found it incredibly hilarous. It may not be everyone taste, but I felt we have a very similar sense of humour, although perhaps slightly too outrageous at certain points of watching all five parts. Plus I thought there is no one else apart from my sister, who can talk so much even I have problem getting my words in, and this lady is certainly on it. Back later. Kat x

Day 86: Merry Christmas n.2- in true British style! 6 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Katerina, Katerina! I can hear that judgemental tone in your voice whilst you are shaking your head after I will tell you about my Day 86, with Day 87 closely following with hangover. Oh yes, it was a blast! And how wonderful one. I do not think I had so much fun during Christmas Day like this before. Obviously I have many Christmas experiences behind, both in Czech and in the UK, but this year I will be thinking of it with a smile on my face. To make sure of it, I have informed and banned my friend from playing any Michael McDonald love songs, in case we go to his house for an afterparty as he made me once listen to them for hour and half just after I broke up with my boyfriend. That is what you call friendship and voluntary pain.

So this Christmas Day I was very kindly invited to a private dinner at the Brunel Bar in Clifton by Matt, who is a great chef there and who was in charge of fantastic feast of parma ham and melon as a starter, main course of turkey, beef, celeriac mash, sprouts, roasted potatoes and there was so much more else I do not even remember. Dessert of course fantastic Christmas pudding with Cornish clotted cream and Ice cream. Cheese board followed and I was in food heaven. Not to mention the wine was flowing and we were getting very merry dancing around the empty bar. It did not take long before all eleven of us were getting along and shared the jokes. All the guest were so wonderful and we have talked about all the topics from traveling, Royals,Communism, life, jobs and what is the secret of long-term marriage as five of the guests were in their retirement age.

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I have kindly offered help with setting up the tables and doing the waitressing as it is one of those things that once you worked in catering, your instinct is telling you instantly to pick three plates in one hand and another two in the other, stand up straight and get it to the table intact. I was fairly impressed I could so even wearing my heels and little black dress, which was not exactly ideal for cycling, when getting there. It is the shortest dress I own and good job there were not many cars on the road as I had to rush for 40 minutes with my bottom showing a bit too much to my liking. I had certainly heated discussion with one of my classmates about it in the past, where he thought I was being judgemental when I said it is typical for Saturday night here, but not back home as we simply cover up. And I still stand strongly behind my opinion. And ever since working in the club I can tell lot more.

We have moved on from Brunel to Fringe Bar owned by three wonderful French ladies and the fun continued. By that time I could have probably done with another dinner, even I have completely cleared all plates to Matt’s appreciation, I was so happy and in my usual hugging mood, all my friends were making sure we are having a great laugh. Wine intake has reached the limit, so I texted my ex boyfriend. I know! So wrong! But we have all been there… I wanted to speak to him, to have that cuddle and familiarity, but it was not meant to be. It is just that feeling that you still care about the other person and you miss having them in your life even you both know there is no future together. I do not go out very often and I am not used to drink this much, but hey it happens. Thankfully it was not long before I was taken home by my friends, but that is a story for another post. Back later Kat xx

Day 85: Merry Christmas n.1- in Czech style!!! 7 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Merry Christmas to me and everybody else, who officially celebrates today! If everything goes the way it should, as some of the plans have already changed, I should be attending another party tomorrow and I am having another dinner on Thursday, so that is why I am calling today’s post n.1! Mince pies are in the oven, whisky ready for tomorrow, fish is defrosting and potato salad is cooling in the fridge. And since I have promised the recipe, here it is.

Czech traditional potato salad ( for Christmas dinner and other occasions)

Ingredients:

potatoes, 1-2 onions, 3-4 carrots, 1-2 parsnips, 4 eggs, jar of gherkins, tin of garden peas, mayo, tartare sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, for decoration: red pepper, cloves, 2 boiled eggs. curly parsley

Instructions:

Simply said it is a bowl of potatoes and bowl of the other vegetables all together, all cut into small cubes. What you have to do is slowly boil pot of larger potatoes in the skin, then cool them in water, peel and cut into the cube shapes. In another pot boil peeled whole carrots, do the same with  parsnips (or today I used turnips, because parsnips sold out for some reason), and eggs, cool down in water and cut into cubes again. Tip the boiled cubed vegetables into a bowl together with finely chopped onion, peas and gherkins. With gherkins I normally use about two to three large ones, but it all depends on the size of a jar. They give the salad extra edge, so I feel you can never go wrong with too many. Plus I eat few as I cook along, so it is good to be prepared. Make sure you only use the whole ones, not the sliced ones, as the taste is fairly different. With the condiments I use one teaspoons of English mustard, 2 teaspoons of mayo, 2 teaspoons of tartare sauce is just about fine. I hardly eat any of these sauces nowadays, but for the salad it is just about the right amount. When you finish making the salad, see if it needs more pepper, salt, perhaps caraway seeds, we do add them to boiling potatoes too. You may need to add extra few gherkins or boiled eggs depends on the taste to bring it together. What you do is mix it well together and leave it in the fridge over night to get all the flavours mixed together and cool to get that firm crunchy feel. Before serving, taste it again to see if it needs any extra of the used ingredients.

There are different variations of potato salad depending on each family. Some people add an apple, some add “kabanos”, which is a type of sausage, similar type to German Frankfurters sausages you can find in Lidl. I keep mine vegetarian, just to make it simple for everybody. Back home we also use local mustard, not the English one I use here, and Hellman’s tartare sauce, which for some reason you cannot buy in the UK.

When it comes to serving I cut the side of the red pepper (where is the stalk), so I get that circle and put it into the middle of a fancy bowl to present it nicely. I slice the rest into strips to decorate the edges. You can boil two to three eggs, cut them in half and put in between the red peppers along the edge. My mum always used to use cloves to create smiley faces on the eggs, so I do exactly the same. Feel free to use some curly parsley  to finish the salad bowl of.

The traditional Czech Christmas dinner would be pea or fish soup, potato salad and breaded carp (or other fish) or special circled sausage. If you search for “vinna klobasa”, you will know what I mean. Our family always ate lot of fish during the year, so we would eat anything from eels, trouts to pikes on Christmas Day, not just the carp. You salt the fish, dip it in flour, eggs and then breadcrumbs, leave to chill and deep fry.

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After Christmas dinner when you go up to Christmas tree, once the baby Jesus has been round with presents, how exciting, you have sung the Christmas songs and you are just about ready to watch the Christmas fairy tale on tv, you can nibble on little sweet desserts. We call it “cukrovi”. They say if you are a good housewife, there should be about twelve different kinds made. I reckon whoever came up with that, must have been a man, as he had no idea how long these take to make. In practice it means that about a month before Christmas what you do as a child with your mum, auntie and grandma, you bake and decorate all these little sweet cakes and are forced to glue trays and trays of them with jam, cover in chocolate, decorate with nuts or whatever else needs to be done. By the time they are ready for Christmas time, everyone is so sick of them, so when I turn up from the UK for holidays at home, I am happily open to accept them from anyone, who had enough. Twice I was holding afternoon tea with tasting session of mince pies and the British pudding for my friends and it was rather wonderful. My mother was very happy, she no longer had to bake as everyone brought box of cukrovi with them! To see what I mean, just search for “cukrovi” and I am sure there will be plenty of translated recipes. I personally stick to the minces pies and Christmas pudding, my British favourites, if I am staying over here like this year.

After the fairy tale you would go to the church for midnight mass (even you do not really believe, it is a tradition). Everyone pops out for a bit for that little fresh winter walk or any pub, which is open. Since I come from a small town, it is really nice as meet lot of your friends out and about and have that little catch up. We celebrate Christmas Day also by eating lentil soup for lunch, or any non-meaty dish and to make you stay away from any temptations as a child, we say if you do not eat, you will see a gold pig. One year I took it too seriously as a child and around four pm I fainted. That was the end of a golden pig fable for me and mum never allowed me to try again.

On the day you can also melt lead and dip it into the water. Depending on the shape of which comes out, you can predict future. Other old fashioned traditions are cutting apples into half or sending little candles stuck in walnut shells around in your bathroom sink. To keep the fortune at home, you keep few scale of the carp you have purchased from big buckets, which appear on streets just before Christmas, and put them under your dinner plate. After you put it into wallet with your change. It is suppose to bring luck and make the money stay with you or bring them to you.

So here it is, this is how Czechs celebrate Christmas Day on 24th December. Here is a picture of my dinner and hopefully tomorrow I will get to decorate the salad properly in style, when I go and celebrate with my British friends. For now I wish you all the best, everyone have fantastic time and I am back soon. With love Kat xx

P.S. Look what present Baby Jesus brought me! Isn’t it wonderful?! Perhaps Santa will bring a car tomorrow. 😀

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Day 84: After party day! 8 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So it is the day after the party! Sleeping until late, but no hangover or other pain, which is brilliant. Last night was really great. It was rather magical evening and I have enjoyed myself immensely meeting all these new people.  I spent the day catching up with posts from the last two days, because I was so busy working. In case you have noticed on Facebook Newsfeed too many reposted links, please feel free to have a laugh as I cannot count properly to 92 and missed out on few numbers in between. Anyone up for giving me private Maths lesson?! Anyway moving on, I spent few hours on finishing the PF 2014 card and here is a sneaky peak. I will be back soon as is it 24th December and that means my official Christmas Day according to the Czech calendar. I am making traditional potato salad, so you will be in a treat as I will be sharing the recipe in case any of you fancy adding it to your festive menu. Back soon. Kat xx

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Day 83: Positive Image Winter Solstice Party! 9 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Since coming home at 7 am, I spend most of the day in bed and when I woke up the time got spent by wandering around the house, cooking, eating, and getting ready for long anticipated party. Positive Image organized a very special treat after their art charity auction in a form of decadent 1920’s themed Winter Soltice Party! As you know, I do not like dressing up, but I am glad I did as the venue, where it was held, was a very stylish secret bar called Milkthisle, right in the heart of Bristol city centre. I have walked past many times, not knowing there is such a space, as you have to ring a bell and wait for someone to open the door for you. One of the companies I worked for even had an office two doors down and Bristol Backpackers hostel, where I lived on few occasions,  is in that same street. Even nine years later, Bristol does not stop to surprise me or it might be the case of me not getting out that much. I suggest you check it out yourself and get amazed by three floors of fantastic interiors, which took me back to my childhood, when visiting my grandparents’ home with dark wooden furniture, up to the ceiling bookcases full of classics and the grand piano. As we were all dressed up the part, it all felt like we are at someone’s house party sitting in very comfy leather armchairs, sofas and or wandering around the house to see what is going on in different rooms. And there was the great funky music and the Djs. By the end of the night the intimate atmosphere made everyone talking to each other making new friends and having a great time. Well certainly I did, getting to point of doing my signature move of Russian dancing and spinning around countless times. Oh that was fun! And all for the support of Children’s Hospice Soutwest. There was a group of us coming back home together, so I whipped some pasta pesto with feta cheese to make us all happy and we continued the party. I cannot wait for the Summer Soltice 2014!

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Day 82: Work, Sleep, Work, Sleep, Work, Party! 10 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Hello my dear followers, I guess everyone is wondering what happened to me in the last three days. Do not worry I am still doing the challenge, but it has been very hectic. I went to work on Friday night, got few hours sleep, went to work a day shift, came home, got few more hours of sleep, went to work to do the night shift and after I went out for a bit to finally celebrate end of this hectic work festive season. Well until next weekend, when I am doing four shifts. Brilliant! I ended up surrounded by seven security men (including two from my work) and had so much fun joking with the guys, I only just manage to get home at 7 am on Sunday morning. I love nights like this, it makes up the time when I am braving the cycling in the middle of the night, in the middle of the rain. And there was plenty of that this weekend for sure.

So anyway not much of a productive day, but on Friday I had a chat with one of my Czech friends planning our Christmas dinner together and we ended up talking about his smoking habit and how he is planning to stop next year. And I thought of this thing, which might be useful to some of You readers. I am doing this with my university debt. It is the way to remind you visually, where you are, how far you have come and have to go. He is also planning to buy new camera, so I said just imagine that every time you want to buy a packet of cigarettes or smoke one, put money aside and you are suddenly lot closer to it. It will be a great reward!

To see that something is happening and the price or target you are trying to achieve is not just some abstract number, I came up with this little visual help. We all know the little Ikea paper tape measures. So I took one and marked every centimeter line as a target and when I send it off to a special saving account each time, I mark off the amount in black. It is a gentle reminder it is still there, but working positively on your mind that you are getting there, not long to go and there is that celebration time when you reach zero. See my Champagne time arrow pointing. That is it for now. Back later. Kat xx

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Day 81: Third driving lesson and getting others motivated! 11 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am not very good at getting up, in case you have not noticed. I like to have time to wake up slowly, have a good breakfast, check the e-mail, and then start. When working in catering, there are not many days like this. I used to even wake up 4 am to start at 5 :30 am. Thank God those days are over. I am rather used to work until late at night or early hours of the morning, or even to carry on the next day without any sleep. I had many of these ‘the adrenalin is high, let’s just carry on’ situations during my theatre design degree. Being ill for the last four weeks did not help either, because my body clock is used to sleeping whenever, so last night I set up my alarm on about ten different times as my third driving lesson was booked for 8 am. It was either that or driving on 24th December, which is my Christmas Day. What do you think happened? Of course I overslept! Good job I had everything ready, so in five minutes I was sitting in the car trying to quickly wake up before we swap the sides. I guess it is a good exercise to experience, because it will happen in real life simply knowing how much I like ‘the mornings’.

My last lesson was five weeks ago, plus with this late start, I thought I am going to be terrible, but it was not as bad as I expected. Obviously there were few panic moments, but it was just due to getting into more complicated traffic situations. However there was an improvement from first to second gear straight away, putting gear into first one, when starting, I even went up to 30 mph, drove up some fairly steep hills, went through junctions with more traffic and lot more stopping and starting up and down the hill.  The car suddenly does not feel as terrifying and certain moves are becoming a habit. I am quite happy I waited this long, because I have the knowledge of the highway code from cycling, less things to learn, nevermind doing it in second language and on the opposite side, and I am confident enough to say something in case I would not be happy with my driving instructor. Mine is so friendly, patient and easygoing, it makes such a difference, when I make a mistakes. If I would be 17 and had a stressed driving instructor as you hear some of the horror stories, I am not sure if I would be strong enough to say I am not happy with the way you teach me and I would go blank and panic even lot more . Thankfully that is not the case and so far I am making progress, so that is great to know.

I spent the afternoon getting few things done including correction of my new student’s cv. We spoke on the phone later and he was very excited telling me about that Italian cookbook I left there, as I mentioned two posts ago. He was very happy flicking through, translated four recipes, wrote down the vocabulary he needed to look for in a dictionary and even made one of the recipes! How impressive! I was so pleased my personalised first lesson got him so motivated, so when he goes out tomorrow searching for the job again, I hope he is more successful. I am sure he will be speaking in no time with this attitude.

It is really wonderful, when people believe in you and you believe in others. Getting excited, more understanding and patient were the qualities I missed a lot in my school days from some of my teachers. It does not mean you are stupid, just the way you learn more effectively is different and you should not be punished for it. I have discovered that once I left abroad, had the experience of life and started to study the Foundation Diploma in Art&Design, here in the UK. When coming home for holidays I started doing these talks in Art and English lessons back at the same school, where I started. And I can tell you my English teacher was not happy, when I told the students that I was really bad and definitely not her favourite. And as the years went on and I got accepted to university here or passed CPE last year, she would still have that judgemental look on her face every time I saw her and would not really believe me. And you know what and I may never be absolutely perfect, but it is more than enough to make me live the way I want to. Bohumil Hrabal, writer, who went to our school, who failed in Czech language, or Albert Einstein, when failing Maths, were always my great heroes. And look how far they got! Failure does not mean stupidity!

It is not about how much you know and being academic type, it is about how you find it, use it and make it work. It is about being motivated, believing in your dreams and working hard for them. Attitude Czech education is definitely missing and when recently reading this article, it seems it still does, although it may be getting better since the new generation of teachers is going in and the speedy development of the technology. So anyway to end this critical point I have about Czech primary and secondary education, I am very happy about this rather productive Friday and how great it is to bring happiness to other people when using the right teaching methods. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

day 12

Day 80: Start on the PF2014 card! 12 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

Today after work I decided to tackle my room and make sure I regain my floor space back. And it got done! Books are back in the bookcase, although all over the place. Theatre stuff back on top of the wardrobe and camping stuff back inside of the bed. I have also covered my flat cardboard boxes in fabric and stuck them around the bed to see if it helps with the cold. One step closer to a better functioning bedroom/studio.

Now with Christmas and New Year fast approaching I am rather forced to sit down and work out my year once again. I cannot believe literally how fast is gone! I wrote a list and it covered pretty much two full pages of A4. It goes on and on. And I wish I could create the quiz like I do every year, but somehow I felt that I want to do little more sophisticated one this year, no jokes. You never know I might entertain you somehow in my last few posts, when I perhaps reflect back on the challenge and the year as a whole. So I tried to scribble all my events into basic symbols and see what I could do with it. Here are some sample pictures, but you have to wait until it officially arrives in your mailboxes. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 79: Problem finally solved! 13 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

‘Tinteweb’. I have been going on about it for the last nearly three weeks and even I am bored of it now. I hope that for my own sake, this is the last time I am mentioning it. Yesterday, before and after the lesson, it stopped working again. I have moved the furniture around, set up all the cables, swapped netgear boxes, switched of router and mac mini countless times. Still nothing! Not even one bar. It got me thinking what was it,what made it work, when I moved it temporarily. Perhaps it may be the bookcase right next to the wall causing the problem, which was not there previously. Messages about airport connection were on every time and then it hit me. Eureka. Airport is inside the machine. And I tried the machine in a different position, when placed on the bed. So I moved my mac mini less than a meter away, closer to the router direction and from nothing it went to 4 bars! Right now it is late at night and it the connection has not dropped once since I have changed it around early evening, not even during streaming videos. Problem solved. I wonder what Mr. Sheldon Cooper would say to this?!

 

So I connected all the other equipment, run lot of cables around, but they will need sorting out, so I just wait to get more time to clear my room. Tonight I have been mostly creative with my dinner, creating space in my room and organizing next few weeks meeting up with friends over potato salad and drinks having fun Christmas.  Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 78: So I have got a student…! 14 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Few days ago I have been sitting in a cafe for more than two hours translating a form for a couple. In that time I have earned more than doing the usual shift running around the kitchen. It got me thinking I should really spend more time soon giving this type of job little bit more and let the years of experience work for me without doing the extra sweating. In the afternoon I was browsing Facebook having a little a break and in one of the groups for “our people” stumbled over a post, where this guy was looking for an English teacher. So I messaged him and we arranged to meet up on Friday afternoon, where I have shown my cards and said: “This is who I am, take it or leave it!”. After a chat, he promised he will get in touch and he did! We had our first lesson today and it was very exciting! He is very ambitious young chef with already enough impressive cv for Czech standards. I am sure he will go far, just need to work on his English now. I left my Italian cookbook there, so he better be flicking through before his bedtime as we speak. I mean even when I got there, he was making a base for Czech dumplings… so he must be keen. I wait for visits at home and grandma to make them. I spent pretty much 90% of the time speaking in English (otherwise he would have said I need lessons in Czech, the first time I met him was bad enough), so I can imagine his head must be like a balloon (Lead Balloon). After I left few minutes later I met his brother in a supermarket whilst on a hunt for my dinner (see that lovely image below) and he was rather excited about getting his little brother finally speaking English. For sure, there is no running away from me, when it comes to talking. Well, if not scared too much and that call for second lesson comes in… Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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And speaking of of certain balloons…

Day 77: High on paint this time! 15 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

After posting last night, I got again into writing more e-mails and cleaning up my e-mail account. And there I have discovered long time sitting e-mail notification from a Maison Bentley Style Blog Party. I went through all the blogs listed in the main post long time ago and made some great friends, but there were so many other comments below and people adding their blogs at later date I decided to go through those last night. Plus I could not sleep, as I did that during the day, so why not to use that time in more productive way. Plus before falling asleep  I have finally figured out next year’s challenge. So I think. At least for now.

I have recently signed up to few blogs recommended by Learner Mother, so I have been having a look around those too.  Lia in Brussels is interesting blog about cultural events in Brussels, from gigs, theatre shows to exhibitions and. I highly recommend it even  if you do not live in Belgium, as lot of the stuff is fairly exciting to read about. Next blog is by Free Falling into 40 with her very funny take on Potty Training her children and her still being honest about major failure of this task. I will end this bit by talking about 44andfourth and her funny take on being a mum living in Laos and then by reading the best post ever of this week, which made me smile from beginning to the end and that is When The Going Gets Tough(ie) by Put Up with Rain. I found it personally so hilarious, it still makes me smile now I write about it.

Well after, what I did, was I signed to new weekly link swapping for all the different social media, so I spent this lunchtime about two and half hours by going through all the different links, clicking on Likes and Follow of selected  members of UK Bloggers. It did bring enough Likes so my Facebook Page was suddenly on number 99, so with a bit of hinting to my friends, which I am very grateful for, we got to number 106! How fantastic! I have few notes of browsing through some blogs, when I get a bit of time and connecting with the ones within my arty field, but to get you more traffic and people reading it is worth doing once in a while.

Craving proper food for the last few weeks of illness I went onto cooking good quality sausages and rustic mash with three different types of cabbage and broccoli, which I decided to have again for dinner. It was a feast I am telling you. Just a little trick what I do with the mash, I do not bother with peeling the skin, as it tastes better (well to me it does), salt, pepper, few cloves of garlic whilst it is boiling with caraway seeds, and once done after adding butter and milk, more of fresh garlic, caraway seeds if needed (in Czech there is never enough caraway or poppy seeds in anything, we simply love them) and lots of chopped curly parsley or coriander. All these ingredients make it taste and smell divine.  If there is no milk, you can substitute with yoghurt or houmous, which is another great tasting ingredient.

And getting back to work meant writing more work e-mails about January project, which I have some more work to do on this week, uploading  pictures to Instagram and replying to my new student, who is starting lesson tomorrow. He is a young ambitious man, so I am sure he will make the most of my knowledge of British life and my language skills, since my other skills are questioned by my housemates when voluntarily offering my help to paint this afternoon. I shall not bother with these type of teasing comments next time and watch them instead making comments about missing a spot 🙂 Now I will rather move on with getting ready to sleep after this very productive, in my eyes, day. I will see you all tomorrow. Good night Kat xx

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Day 76: Handmade Christmas and PF cards! 16 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

Today’s post will be simply more about pictures than me mumbling on about other things. I ended up in bed sometimes around 6 am after one very busy night at work, slept most of today, then helped with a bit of DIY scraping and after I was catching up the finals of XFactor. Feel free to judge me, yes, I do watch this show.

So it is time to think about the this year’s PF  card for everybody. Since moving furniture around my collection of letters and cards I loved the most and meant something to me from others was pretty much on hand, so I thought I will have a look if there is a perhaps inspiration for this year. Feel free to add pictures of other handmade Christmas cards into comments! Back tomorrow. Kat xx

Here are some of mine:

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And here are some of others:

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Day: 75 Catching up with ‘tinteweb’. Since it is working! 17 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Well I was very glad to get home last night, crashing straight to bed sometime around 4 am as I had enough after being reintroduced to the world out there again. Woke up late today and decided to catch up with the good old gmail since I have finally non failing ‘tinteweb’ as one man says. Working in my new corner feels actually really nice, still enclosed or cosy you can say, but for some reason still very spacious. I managed to plug the most important cables together for now and got on with it. I wrote to friends and family, thought of how to prepare for few of my next projects and wrote few relevant work e-mails, organized my next driving lesson and spent the afternoon unsubscribing from newsletters, as it is getting a bit too much again. I am going to do some more of that the next few hours and I am straight back to work with most likely visit to another club afterwards as me and one of the security promised that last night to another security, who will be working there tonight. He did once bring me flowers, you see not all doormen are horrible, there is a soft side to them. However I need to stay good and not to get too excited, cannot think of another week in bed being ill. Back again soon. Kat xx

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Day 74: Internet connection is present! 18 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am sorry if you were expecting this post last night in case I became you daily read before going to bed. Yesterday was quite manic. I know I woke up late again, but it is a part of a recovery plan and no work in the morning, so why not. I am feeling lot better and even managed to get out of the house for couple of hours to get myself prepared for the Friday night at work. Thinking of doing some work I sat at the computer and after pretty much two weeks of no internet connection or barely minimum connection it got the point I run out of my patience and had to do something about. After switching my computer on and off three times, I could not bare trying once more. I decided to try that more complicated option of getting all cables out and moving it from one to the other side of the room to see if moving it four meters closer to the router will help. And it did! I had full four bars showing. And the connection did not fail once, whilst I was organizing a work meeting for late that afternoon.

Unfortunately that meant I am facing the fun activity of completely moving my room once again, which in my nearly recovered state was still not fun idea. So I had to empty both of my bookcases, storage under the bed, my chest of drawers and my wardrobe and night table. The state of my room looked like I have created myself something similar to go ape challenge. I slowly moved all the furniture back and forth trying to figure out the best position according to the plug sockets, still keeping the room spacious and having all the right objects near each other. Eventually I did and here are the pictures. Still messy and not finished, but improvement. Well you would think. I am writing this post in a new spot. The connection has not failed yet, good times, however the connection is only between one and two bars. And just about when I am writing this, it goes to three and back down to one. I wonder if someone is playing a practical joke on me. Hey, these are the problems of 21st century. Back later. Kat xx

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Day 73: I am so very excited! 19 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

As random it may seem today’s blog post name, I am actually really excited. Hmm two things if I do not count my ongoing love affairs. First is I only have 19 days left on this challenge, oh my god, how amazing. The numbers are now below twenty, it is all coming to the end and I will be able to breathe properly without having to squeeze my brain cells to their maximum every day. I was having this discussion today with someone about the quality of posts and I know it is not ideal sometimes. I have to go to do the shift during the day, another one at night, cycle back and forth from all these shifts, do the normal things normal people do like washing, shopping, cooking (did I mention chill out?) and then being productive and then having to write about it. Never mind still having that fun. Exactly there is just not enough hours in a day, he cracked by laughing at me being sarcastic. But what I love about this doing daily challenge that it definitely kicked me into the right direction ( may be I should write one direction and see how my stats go up) and from next year I want to start a new challenge, be more artistic, but blog less to have that time. Plus I am sure you must be fed up of reading my doodles every day. So here we are 19 days to go. (She writes whilst dancing on her chair having that big fake smile on her face way past her bedtime.)

And secondly why I am excited is I have finally hit that Submit button on that tax form. And that made me very excited too. I thought I will have that same feeling already by finishing it two days ago, but it did not really happen. I was a bit like, where is it, happiness where are you hiding? It was not until I found out if I am owning money or getting them back and then I got the result. Getting money back. Whoop, whoop. I know this does not sound very nice to some of you, but I have overpaid a lot of money in one of my jobs I started last year, so seeing more than adequate amount of money on my payslip going somewhere else than my bank account kept making my almost cry every month. So I decided to get me going with the driving lessons again. I bet Joel will be very happy, when I tell him tomorrow. I know, how nice of me supporting the British economy rather stashing it in under my pillow or in the bank.

Now there are few other things to tell you about:

I have joined the UK Blogger Facebook Page. You can find some useful posts on how to solve some of those blogging problems and make new friends. Anyway I posted one, where I introduced myself and had a thread with someone going Day 72 buy yourself a proper domain name, so a bit of search and few hours later I actually did. I now own http://www.katerinadesign.co.uk How exciting! I have been searching for something like this for a while, but none of the pages with my name would be available. Plus I do not really know if I want to start a company or just keep my name, so I thought keeping a name is fine until I figure out what I want to do. So website project I guess will be on my list of challenges for next year. I am most likely to team up with someone clever, who knows how to do this, but I want to do it properly this time.

Another exciting event to mention is Winter Solstice Party. If you are in Bristol, want to go out on 22nd December and experience 1920′ madness, you better check out this event at MilkThistle organized by Positive Image. I will be there! So I guess that will be mad enough already!

Last little thing today, because it is really getting late and I am on massive sugar rush swing from eating Pecan Danish, which I treated myself to since getting out of the house first time in five days and being on a diet of paracetamol, rice cakes and Covonia cough syrup. They were 3 for 2 offer and I thought I am getting really good deal by buying three boxes with three each in, for the price of two, but when I looked at the receipt, there was no deduction. So I ended up with 9 pecan nut maple danishes (eeeh and so far ate four- I know, I know, don’t judge me, I am a pig) for the price of 3 boxes. That might be why I was finding everything so exciting when I started writing this post. Hmmmm…my eyes are still wide open, yes the sugar is still high…nearly 2 am, oh dear.

So yeah that little last thing: these three beautiful blogs I stumbled over. Have a read, they will bring a smile to your face. Goooood night! Back tomorrow darlings. Kat xx

http://cristianmihai.net

http://putupwithrain.blogspot.co.uk/

http://thesecretdivorcee.blogspot.co.uk/

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Day 72: Living Frugal Life on £7 Per Week! 20 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Another day of my cold, where my brain is not exactly in its best form, I decided to cook some proper meal, which perhaps may work the magic. I have been craving minced beef chilli for a while, so right now it is on the stove together with rice simmering. I do not cook it very often. I used to. When I was living frugal life (we are talking July 2010 onwards) .Which I kind of still do anyway, just slightly upgraded. Perhaps it is a reminder of those sad times, when I felt so desperate and thought life cannot any better. I know it also could get worse, but every month I would live in a fear of losing the roof above my head. I was so skint, the only way to save money was to live on my cafe tips of about £7 (if there was a rugby on it would get to about £10) I would get once a week and the rest would go to pay rent, bills and overdraft.

If I had only known how quickly your life can turn around year after recession happened, days after I graduated and I found myself as self-employed artist with government help refused, I wish I would have been less naive about my job prospects. That is what happens when you are so honest filling the forms. Working since fifteen years of age, always being very good with money, this was my first time I applied for benefits and wish I have never even bothered after the way I was spoken to and treated. College has a great name, I was ready to do work the usual 12-15 hours days, but there was no work. I found myself in a world of unpaid or late paid invoices or only free work offered, which I could not take, because I had no way how to get to those places nor what to eat on the day, never mind being exploited and thinking how I am going to pay for my rent. Perhaps I should have taken on just a normal job, forget the art and give it a time. But then is it not something totally against the idea, which have been grown in our minds for all those years, that this what we have to do now and if you leave the industry, you will be forgotten?!

For the first time in my life I was not enjoying the life I was living. I had nothing to look for or no dream or goal to work to. For someone like me, who was always up to something, quite unbelievable. Months later I got so depressed, I could not even bring myself up to look for work and the debts were going sky-high. It was so embarrassing telling people what sort of situation I was in, never mind attending social events, because I felt like a moron not being able to pay for a drink or bring a present, so I just locked myself in a room and barely kept coming out. Never mind telling my mother, because it felt like an epic fail and I would not want to worry her, so I rather was not in touch at all. Smart price and value brand became my best fiends and the only thing to wear in winter were those Primark shoes for £1.

 

So I had to start living frugal life. My weekly shop would involve going around Asda with a calculator and basket and counting every single penny to make it worth. To start with I would make my own bread recipe. It tasted like a rye bread, but not very nice. It was a Jamie Oliver recipe, but I guess I compromised on the ingredients, so what would you expect. Still you would save more than eating half of the loaf in case just buying basic white. To save on any oil or butter or spread on toast, the 2 kg margarine would have to do. To jazz it up, I would go over with garlic or the cheapest brand jam. I know what are you thinking, jam tasted pretty horrible. I would also buy a big 2 kg bag of oats and with little bit of water and two full spoons of the cheapest yoghurt would have it for breakfast. In case there was a bit of money left the raisins or sugar would make up for the sweet taste. For lunch and dinner there would be probably three different meals I would swap around.

Number 1- potatoes. Buy a bag of cheapest potatoes and then you can turn them into mash ( by using milk you make up from dried version) or upgrade and cut them into wedges and cook them in the oven just with onions and garlic, salt, cumin and paprika powder. Here we are dinner solved. Number 2- minced beef chilli. Fry enough onions to make up the bulk, and then buying the cheapest minced, which does not even look like meat. Fry it long enough in a separate pot to get rid of the fat and add to onions, and then loose carrots. What I would do a lot is buy a big 2 kg bag of red kidney beans and chickpeas, soak them, cook them and add to the chilli. After add the frozen sweetcorn, which turns out to be cheaper than buying tins. Add cheapest plum tomatoes, tomato purree, paprika and enough garlic and salt and with cheap rice, job is good in. White rice is not ideal, but if your budget does not stretch to the brown option, which fills you up for longer, there is not much of a choice apart from basic pasta. Finally number 3- good old indian dhal. Literally just need rice, red lentils, onions and garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander in powder. Don’t forget that into your £7 budget you also have to fit those basics like tea (80 bags for 27 pence, they do not taste as bad as you think, although some of my visitors would probably disagreed), toilet paper, tooth paste and soap (3 bars for 35 p. That’s what I call bargain). No need for shampoo like this. Obviously you could not buy everything on the list at the same time, so week by week as the tips would come in.

 

So that is it. I reckon I lived like this life for about a year. There were some light moments, when I got the occasional work and went a bit crazy with spending on better food or other essentials. After a year since graduating I decide to leave Wales and move back to Bristol, where I could at least live with my friends and get myself into better place. And it did work. I got other three jobs, where the hours are not great, but at least I am making the needs every month and this year particularly the design and decorating work has been coming more my way, but I am still keeping low and not jumping for joy. Becoming poor and living below the standards can happen to anyone of us and you do not even know how. Although I do have a bit more now and can afford the little luxuries sometimes, I still get reminded of that life. Like going to a club and buying a cocktail for £7, which starts that red flashing alarm in my head for stupidly spending money. But hey I do not do it every day. Back soon. Kat xx

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Day 71: Tax done! Finally! 21 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So my self assessment tax form is done! Finally! Well I say done, online it says 85 % done, but I am only waiting for one of my bosses to get back to me with a code and I can click ‘Submit’.  With two jumpers on today, hanging around the house trying to get better I thought I need to do something, which can give me just enough excuse to stop for the social media breaks and food and will get ticked of my list of things to do I have recently told myself to achieve within the last thirty days of the blog challenge. So I took that time today for printing receipts, invoices and other bits out. Going through each receipt, bank statement, mile I have done and putting it all into right category. And finally it is done. I was really hoping to get better in this, doing my numbers as I go along, but has not happened yet. There are another 3-4 months until the next tax form can be filled again, so I think I will start properly with the April 2014-April 2015 one. Apart from that nothing really exciting happened today, so I am sorry in case you were expecting magic. If have not done your tax return yet, I am only going to say: ‘Go and get on with it!’ 😀 Back tomorrow. Kat xx wpid-IMG_20131122_172454.jpg

Day 70: Latest blog posts catch up! 22 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

So it’s Monday, I have been ill for the last three weeks now, so I decided to take another week off and for good to get rid of this cold, because it is doing my head in. What is worse that I had to cancel a special plans last night, which I never ever do. Not good at all,  but I do not think my company would appreciate me coughing every five minutes. So today I am sitting behind the computer catching with my latest likes, followers, posts and here are some for you to share.

Being recently nominated for Liebster award I have passed on my questions and here are the answers: A Spoonful of Style answered in her sixth months anniversary blog post and shared with more awards with her readers. The next award post is here by The Crazy Bag Lady, who is very inspirational and again is on my list of popular bloggers.

 

I have recently enjoyed few posts, so I would mention the article of A Spoonful of Style on a programme about Liberty. I have not watched it myself yet, but it is will added to my list for sure. Few years ago I have seen a documentary series, I think it was called The Next Big Thing and upcoming designers would come to an open day of stores as Liberty, Habitat and Boots. It was fantastic to see their journey and see the progress they would make. On those basis, I will be watching.

 

Very interesting post recently came from learnermother. She is currently dealing with Welsh education and her little boy finding it hard in certain subjects. They are English-speaking family, but him attending Welsh school causing a bit of trouble when it comes now to more difficult subjects and homework. Are you bilingual or had a similar issue when educating your children in two or more different languages? Perhaps you can help by sharing your story with her.

 

Last but not least is winolady. Her post about baby? resonated in my mind for quite a few days and together Richard’s Herring article in Friday’s metro When I wish upon a star… I ended up in quite a philosophical mood and wrote this post on Feeling the Pressure on Day 68.

 

That is for today, I am going back to drinking more tea, eating paracetamol and hoping to recover pretty soon. Much love Kat xx

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Day 69: Would you like to help? 23 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and is asking for help (?):

Ok, where do I start with this? Perhaps saying that I do not like asking for help. I have always been taught to be independent and rather help others. There were times, when I desperately needed help, but still could not bring myself up to ask. So why now? I have discovered that if you do not tell to people how you are, what you do or simply that you need something, they will just assume you are fine. What I am trying to say is I am writing this blog- it’s called ‘My journey on becoming full-time designer’. I want to turn my four jobs into one and make just about enough living from it. I am doing this challenge, looking to becoming full-time employed or self-employed designer/artist in 92 days and I am asking for your help. You could say it is very ambitious, stupid, mad or even over-confident, but don’t we all have at least one mad dream? I have less than 30 days to go in my challenge and so far I hope you can tell I have been serious about this thing, committed and things are looking up. But could you help me in my journey? How? You are asking, well here is the list and I will leave it up to you. Even if it is that one little like or share to start with, I will appreciate it greatly. MASSIVE THANK YOU for reading and helping !!! Kat xx (Feel free to e-mail katerina.t.designer@gmail.com)

  • Click that little button on my blog Follow.
  • Share my wordpress blog address http://www.katdesigner.wordpress.com on your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, any social network.
  • Do you have any friends, who have just finished school/uni/left their jobs and do not know what to do with themselves or simply lost the passion for doing things? Tell them about my blog! They are not alone. It is perfectly fine to feel lost, so perhaps reading about my up and down journey will inspire them to do something amazing. And it will give you great feeling!
  • Like or share (or both) my Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kat.portfolio . In Photo Albums there are examples of my work. Feel free to click like any of those images.
  • Do you have any friends, relatives, people you know, who are interior designers, working on visual displays, theatre or exhibition spaces or anything to do with spatial 3D interior/exterior design/art industry? Can you tell them about me? Perhaps there is a way we could collaborate, swap skills or pass on the work. Do they live too far from Bristol in the UK? It does not matter. There is always that e-mail, Skype, social media etc.
  •  Do you have friends with special skills or blog you think, it would be amazing if more people know about? Get in touch via my e-mail and I will tag them in my ‘Kat recommends’ category.
  • I like to paint (from walls, to furniture, to paintings, to big mdf boards and canvases used as theatrical backdrops). I would like to start painting murals on the walls soon. I just simply like to make spaces look good.
  • I love decluttering. Give me a hoarder and I will be in seventh heaven. I have helped to my ex housemates, ex boyfriend and my boss to find clarity in their flats, wardrobes and sheds and they have been moving on with their lives ever since. My mother is super tidy and now has a cleaning business, so I guess that’s where it comes from me being the super organized freak, who can pack/unpack/organize in no time.
  • I like to cook. Actually I love to cook and I love to share the food with others and mainly I love to eat. I am known for my famous gulash parties, little decorated breads and potato salad. Everything else just comes up to my head and that includes cooking something out of nothing at 5am.
  • I like to talk and write. As you can tell. Mainly for fun. I work as an interpreter in Czech, Slovak and English language. I enjoy meeting other people, travel different countries and enjoy using the snippets of what I remember from learning German, French and Dutch in the past, when talking to others. I also have the same version of this blog in Czech language, at the moment neglected, perhaps any linguists around to help?

    And lastly I like to joke and have fun. Because without laughing in life we would not live for long or enjoy it to its maximum potential. My personal sarcasm and comments come out without a plan and sometimes may get me into trouble. Is it because I am just lost in translation and an explanation? I do not think so.

    So if you think, you can help me with any of these points or know anyone, who I could work with on any exciting project, I would be very delighted. If you know anyone, who can do with some helping, please do tell me about them too. You never know, who you stumble over mentioning something to someone in person or the social media. Thank you very much for reading and back soon. Kat (Feel free to e-mail katerina.t.designer@gmail.com)

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Day 67: Nonstop, I want to live nonstop! 25 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Last night after catching up with posts, meeting friends and catching up with native language sharing the latest gossip and few hours sleep, because when I got home it was rather fun to stay awake and then I had forms to fill in, I have barely stopped today and I am currently sitting on the bus (sometime in the afternoon this was written). My probably fourth journey today and third train journey overall. I was up at 8am this morning on my way to Filton, because I forgot to have my timesheet signed after work. And no timesheet means no money. Afterwards I made my way to a meeting in a different part of the town dropping paperwork for project in January I have mentioned before and went to watch and took photographs of the hat fashion show. It was great to see that the pupils have taken my words seriously and some of the creations were very impressive. And that included the make up and outfit matching the hats. After the show I have taken separate head shots and jumping group photo with some great posing going on. Once the photographs are edited by the department and up online, I am sure I will let you know. I am now going to the other side of the the town do some charity donating, food shopping and soon as I get back, I will start getting ready for work. Hectic, hectic day. Hopefully tomorrow I will get few hours to myself and catch up on posting. Back soon Kat xx

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Day 66 : Changing feel of the room with colour “4”! 26days to go!

 

Kat gets arty:

 

So this is the last of colour homework and after number three I decided to keep it simple white. Small rooms look better, whiter they are and although it is sunny one and we could afford to stick few cold tones in, I will stick with white this time. Now with this type of room anything will do as long as there are lot of different hues of the same colour and preferably very light. Do not forget if it sisunny room, all tones will appear lot richer then they are. So in my version, if you can see, too literally, (you might have to click to zoom) I have used All White on ceiling, walls, and chimney breast, Wimborne White on two walls along the chimney breast and architraves, picture rails and skirting boards with tone of Pointing. I think that Cabbage White could work really well in some way too. That is it for now. Back soon. Kat xx

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Day 65 : Changing feel of the room with colour “3”! 27days to go!

 

 

Kat gets arty and doodles about life:

 

Quick draft in my Dashboard is asking ” What is on your mind?” Well how very appropriate as right about now it is something like this: Do I manage to post this without another fail of internet connection and spending another hour switching computer on and off. Do I catch up with all four posts I am already missing, because technically I am only posting today to cover Wednesday and do I really need all the other nonsense going on in my life and that includes the ongoing cold I am suffering with third week running. AAAgh!

 

Now once rant is over I can tell you what I was up to on Wednesday. After work, which I just about managed to get through at my state,who would have thought that I will still be ill after having two weeks off and accepting those shifts, I had a meeting for my January project. I had a really good chat with the lady in charge and been handed over CRB forms, now I just need to create a poster, find enough “bodies” and we can roll. So that is well exciting. After I got home I started the battle with internet and catching up with posts once again.

 

So here is number 3:

 

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Now I will be very honest and I do not personally like this task. There might be few reasons for that. Firstly I like bright high pigmented colours and with small facing room north facing it is not exactly ideal combination. What we need are light, preferably warm colours, as we get the cold light inside. Secondly the Farrow and Ball colour chart, when I scanned different parts of it. colours changed with colour restoration or descreening. The samples did not come out as well as they look in reality. It was not that obvious until I started filling the black and white room with them and thought hmmm this is not really working. I may have to revisit this post and figure some right combination otherwise I cannot rest.

So picture number one is using Great White on chimney breast and walls and Blackened on two strips running along the chimney. You would think Great White will be white, but for some reason during the scanning it got picked up as this purple shade and Blackened looks more of a blue. As you can tell the importance of colour sample tub is very important. Personally I think the Blackened could be swapped for some red to make it little more warmer.

 

Second picture is done with the idea of contrast, what it could look like if you decide to use cold palette. They are Cabbage White on chimney breast and walls and Borrowed Light on the other two. I quite like this colour combination, however as requested in brief, I do not think it is going to work in the space due to the lack of space and light.

Lastly I thought I will try the warm scheme, but not happy about the result. White Tie on chimney breast and walls and Diminity of the other two walls along the chimney. On the actual colour palette, they look quite nice, but again on the screen of a computer, not that well anymore. Disappointed. I think more yellows and oranges will do, but did not want to make it look like nursing home. What I am going to do? This post is a fail. I think that is it for today, this will be obviously on my list again. Back soon. Kat xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 64: Changing feel of the room with colour “2”! 28 days to go !

Kat gets arty:

So another one of my homework today. The task is to make large room appear warmer and cosier. Obviously the first thoughts or making something look cosy would be using the typical colours like hues of oranges, reds, yellows. But in the second picture I will show you that is not necessarily true.

Now first example of the room has only red (Picture gallery red) and yellow (Orangery) in. Again Farrow&Ball colour scheme. I used white for the ceiling (and you could use Satinwood on architrave and skirting board) as the colours on the walls are quite bright already, but if I would want go all the way, the Orangery would be probably the way to go. What I wanted to show you with doing two different sample pictures is that you do not have to be scared of using bright colours. I personally do love the first one. Painted chimney breast and the rest of the walls painted in yellow will make the room appear warm and cosy and with the two parts of walls along the chimney breast will give it a bit of edge. If you do not like such a bright colour, you can stick wooden shelves in those spaces to create bookshelves, so the red will only appear where let you it. Again using the opposite colours on picture rail will tie the whole room together. But you do not have to do it, if you do not want to. Just decide once it is all painted and see how it works.

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As already mentioned earlier here is example when using the same yellow (Orangery), but with Olive green colour. This colour combination is a bit more pleasing to the eyes you can say, but feel free to jazz it up with some red accessories like cushions or vases in matching tones.

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I hope you enjoyed the post, and back with some more tomorrow. Kat xx

Day 63: Changing feel of the room with colour “1”! 29 days to go !

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

My dear readers, Let me first apologize for my absence on the blogging scene for the last two days. No, I have not given up or got lazy, it is the technology, which has let me down. We have some work going on in our area and although it has been bad, for the last two days my connection just completely disappeared, which made it quite difficult to post the type of files I was working on. Never mind, my mac mini is definitely sending the unwanted message that it will soon leave to Silicon valley after more than many years of loyal service, as it cannot longer pick up better network signal than a simple mobile phone. And I am not even talking about my mood after Photoshop quit, just about when I was going to save the image I have created. 1:30 am I thought ‘I am off to bed, going to work tomorrow morning, I am not even going to tilt the windmills’.

Anyway so today’s post is one of my homeworks I had to do during the  course Designing for Interiors. We got simple black and white drawing of a room with different requirements and change it by using different colours, tones, etc. Today I am posting: A ROOM WITH A HIGH CEILING THAT NEEDS TO FEEL MORE INTIMATE. There will be three more to go.

Now how do we do this? Feeling cosy is usually is associated with warm colour, however in my example there two options. I have picked up Farrow and Ball, the one before the latest colour series, because I do love their tones, and in warm version I have picked up colour  Straw for ceiling and Hay for walls and in “colder” version Pelt and Brassica. Now when say cold in brackets it is not exactly true, they may appear that way, however they have a bit of red mixed in, which still makes them fairly warm. The reason why I am choosing those darker tones on the ceiling is because we want to bring down. Almost as you would feel claustrophobic. Not completely, but if it is a big space, you just want to bring the walls and ceiling bring a bit more closer to you to get that cosy feel. My examples are pretty contrasting, so if you are not convinced just simply experiment with one colour in lighter versions.

What you may also think about is the application of the paint. In the first picture I have used the ceiling colour on architrave, picture rail and skirting board. Depending on what is in the room, I personally think you could even use it partly on the door or details of the furniture.  In the second picture I have done something different. I have introduced third colour, which is Farrow and Ball Plummett on architrave and skirting board and picked up picture rail in the ceiling colour just to give it a bit of edge.

task 2Great example of what I am talking is a house of my friend Sarah, who is a photographer and recently just painted her wall in very deep dark grey called New York by Crown. You would think, never in million years I would do that, BUT! It would surprise how lovely it looks. Obviously you have to be quite selective with how much of the room you paint, but you notice how many other colours are hiding in that grey and how they bounce off each other. Morning and general day light make the grey totally different to when it is evening and there are three different light sources on picking up and bouncing off the colours of red and orange sofas, armchairs, and  wooden tables. The house is still work in progress,  but even just using that grey in tiny little upstairs bathroom on one wall made a massive difference and turned shabby space into posh attic bathroom, well at least for that first impression look before she gets on with fully renovating that whole area. If you are still unsure I recommend checking out interior designer Abigail Ahern. She is bonkers! But great!

Back later or tomorrow with the rest, depends how much patience and network I will get. Kat xx

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Day 62! Two thirds in and still blogging…! 30 days to go!

Kat reviews her time and doodles about life:

Hello everybody, I hope you had all very wonderful weekend and very happy that tomorrow is Monday. Yes it is sarcasm, although I am having this Monday off, which you may not like to hear. That is what happens when you work 7 days a week doing all sorts of things. The perk  of it is picking up the days you may not want to work, but be flexible with other ones.So in today’s post I thought I will reflect on what happened in that last thirty something days and where are we heading. Well I am heading.

Most importantly I have been involved in Carny production working on a set- painting, sourcing costumes, organizing costume store and done four workshops with Year 9 pupils, which I think was great success. And they all survived my flamboyant entrance looking like a bird whatever else it may have looked like. I believe this week should be the final Fashion Show, so will do my best to go and see them and support the talent and efforts the same way I went to do so when watching Carny show. On the blog regarding  other creative work I have talked about my spatial scrapbook, personal favourite storage solutions and finally started posting my homework from Designing for Interiors course I did last year.

Doing the long hours during the show, working in the club and doing my usual running around have shown for the last two weeks as I have been suffering with the typical cold, but still went few times out, either after work or celebrating my name day or just simply wanting to have a bit of fun, and that is why I have not really fully recovered yet. Silly girl! I know! I know this sounds stupid, but it was definitely worth it, as I had so much fun in the recent two weeks like I have not had in a very long time. I met few really nice people (yes,  mostly men…), who showed me that I can move on with my life and have fun and I am only 28, so I better be making the most of it. I remember the times of me being 20 and 21 having the time of my life and then somehow things went a bit different direction and I spent the last 6 years rather sitting at home drinking tea. But there is nothing wrong with drinking tea, just so we are clear. What I am simply saying I need see what the world out there has to offer again.

The recent event also put me into a very reflective mood, so some of the posts were about nights out and searching for the right man as mentioned bove, about being atheist, being silent in the silent house and my experience when working as an interpreter. There is also fair bit of paperwork I have done, dealing with things piled up in my in basket for a good while, updated my WordPress blog, spread more blog loving for others and posted few links running around the world-wide web including recently watching the film Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. I have answered my questions when being nominated for reader’s Liebster award, had a second driving lesson, whoop, whoop,going very well, and finally started this year’s self assessment tax form. Sigh!

So where do we go from this?! I have 30 days left, pretty scary and pretty exciting at the same time! I had a think and these are the aims to achieve in the last third. Get more creative with my posts, get on with my personal online marketing, get the tax done, get those driving lessons back on track and search for more collaborative projects!  Simply said, harder done. At least there is a focus. I am off into the night and back tomorrow my lovely readers. Kat xx

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