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…

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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 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.

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 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

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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 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 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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Day 61: Paperwork Productive Saturday! 31 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

What a productive Saturday! Lots of paperwork done, so do not get bored of the list! Based on the fact I only just got out of bed and finished breakfast around 1pm, I managed to do lot more than I anticipated. Communication about the next project moved on and I have a meeting set up next week to discuss it. If nothing won’t be in the way and there will be enough interest, I could roll it in first thing in January. How lovely! After I had some e-mail communication with one of my bosses to find out about few other things.

I also managed to clean up my mac and got rid off about 1.5 GB of crashed files and all sorts.  After that in the whole afternoon and evening I have only seen that rainbow wheel once and I can actually open all applications without waiting for half an hour, which seemed to be the ongoing theme for who knows how long.cleanmac

I wrote two invoices and send them off. Officially open up the self assessment form online for this tax year. I have put all the receipts from interpreting in, so that is one section out of four done, done and dusted. And not only put all the receipts in to the form I have told you about yesterday, but also put in most of my receipts for design work and transport. And with about hour and half to spare now, before running to work again, already cooked dinner and writing this post. I think I may have to treat myself and stay out for a bit after work tonight. One well running computer and enough sleep and what it can do. Magic. Back tomorrow Kat xx

 

Day 60: Getting ready for winter! 32 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am one very happy lady today. I have been freezing cold in our house for quite a few weeks. The reason for it is as the floors are still work in progress, the carpet is not exactly everywhere, so as you keep walking from room to room, the change in temperature is quite obvious. And since we try to keep the house shoes free (she coughs ehm ehm), I have realized two pairs of winter socks are no longer enough. So this morning I happened to be in town, so I decided to brave the shops and quickly get some tights, very excited to get some thermal ones, I will be testing them on my bicycle at 3am tonight, and also got those house slippers. And gosh they are lovely. I have slipped in and I have not taken them off since then. Quite honestly I would be even happy to go in them to work. Alright I know I am taking it to the extreme now, but they are just so warm! So here we are little Instagram photo of my feet, I know, how classy is that.  I just need that hot water bottle I have been meaning to get for years and I am totally ready for this winter of winters!

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The rest of the day I spent planning my next two to three months and see much time I need to work, can work and have to work in other jobs and how much rather I want focus on my artistic work and move on with this search for the right job. I am realizing how much I have actually going on at the same time and things are getting in the way. I have spent time replying to people, but there is still quite a few to answer to as there are some more potential plans to be seen, and finally got that Linked In up and running again. With my next project I am planning to do I have also realized it takes time, when you are waiting for other people to reply and make decisions and then they forget or something goes wrong and the whole thing gets postponed without you even realizing. One thing I am learning thanks to David Allen, doing the back and for forth communication and task managing. I am one of those people: I want it now, let’s make it happen! If I get excited, there is no stopping. I reckon tomorrow or Sunday I will do a bit of  two third review as it is getting to this point now and I have not got long and need to really focus. That is all from me today. I hope you will have great Friday night or weekend, and I am back tomorrow. Kat xx

Day 59: Day of bits and bobs! 33 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

Alright today’s post is will be a bit all over the place, but here we are:

 

 

 

If you have not noticed yet, I have added new category Interior Design to the rest on the list and tagged few more relevant posts from the blog to add to it. Updated my Instagram account of all the latest photos I have taken, but only posted via WordPress.  Today I have gone through more receipts and invoices for interpreting and after searching my external disk for ages finally found that document I use for putting in receipts and invoices, so here we are. Some parts are taken from the sample from given by HMRC, if you attend one of their courses. If you are starting out and have no clue about tax and just want to make sure you do it well, I highly recommend them. They are free of charge, well at least in Wales they were, but you may have to wait for a while as there is a long waiting list.

 

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Last night I could not sleep, so I ended up reading few very good blog posts, which I will be mentioning in upcoming times, but I would definitely like to mention and pass on little bit of blog loving for recently found ‘winolady’ and ‘That Little Engine that Couldn’t.’ Winolady looks like is fairly new to blogging when looking at her page, but I was impressed by her posts especially one about the relationship age gap and about dealing with death.  On the other hand your day will be definitely brightened up by reading a post by That Little Engine that Couldn’t posting his How to be a Teen Writer Without Making Me Want to Punch You in to the Face. I could not stop laughing and wish I had a clue about blogging when I was a teenager rather than writing into visitor’s book in the tea room. But hey, technology was not quite there as it is now. Mind you it was the way to impress my first ever boyfriend, so I guess I could not be that bad.

 

 

 

 

Back tomorrow. Have a lovely day! Kat xx

 

 

 

 

Day 58: Designing for Interiors: Task 2. Colour chart! 34 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

Today finally I had one Godot arriving and for the second one I just have to continue being patient with Vladimir and Estragon and see what happens. So anyway not to tease you the whole post with secrets, I have finished the spatial scrapbook, so all pretty images are in three different notebooks, all nice and tidy.  The next one on the list are the tasks from the course Designing for Interiors I did last year. I already did the first task as a post, very long time ago, but I thought it would be great if I post all my homework and get the unfinished ready, so they can go into my portfolio. The first course was about basic rules such as colour, texture, ergonomics, mood board etc. and the second one was all about history of interior design. We started applying all the knowledge into practice and it was a lot of fun.

Task:  Choose two photos of room interiors from a magazine. Identify the colour scheme for each image e.g. ‘complementary’,’monochromatic’.  By using paint charts, select and match the range of colours for each one as closely as possible. Then select colours which will harmonise or complement each one.

Feel free to join me in doing these tasks and post yours. There is never enough practice, when it comes to choosing the right tone. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

Interior design exercises copy

Day 57: Spatial scrapbook. 35 days to go?

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:
Today feeling not exactly great. Just about when I recovered, I start to feel a bit funny again. And I would not be surprised if it is my exciting Saturday night out or last night celebrating name day, but at least I can honestly say it was worth it. Here are some pictures of my presies (roses, Cat socks and a letter from my grandmother in the post)and Thank you to everybody for the wishes.

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As I was curing myself from all sorts pains today, hovering around my phone for few news like a vosp, I did end up feeling more as waiting for Godot. And he better comes tomorrow, because I am running out of patience. I decided to use my no brain power and instead of doing tax return I turned to spatial scrapbook, full of 3D inspiration ideas of both interiors and exteriors. So here are some of my favourites to get you going in you are thinking of starting one too. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 56: Name day celebration! 36 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I often get asked “What is this name day, you celebrate?” Well simply said it is a day, usually indicated by calendar, when all people with the same name celebrate the day. It is some sort of small version of your birthday you could say. When you are a child, you still get present and cake, when you get older it is good it is good excuse to let your hair down. When it comes to the most common names such as Josef (Joseph) or Vaclav (Wenceslas) in Czech, it is very likely most restaurants will organize special dance evening and prepare special celebration menu.  Thankfully my birthday is in March, my name day in November and that is still far enough from Christmas time. When your name is Eva (Eve), it is annoying as  you would expect two lots of presents, but that does not always happen. My mum has her birthday in November, two weeks later she shares the name day with me. There are names, which have male and female version. Like Jaroslav and Jaroslava ( meaning Spring celebrating), they have two different days to celebrate, but I know if both names exist within the family you may join them together. Some of the names haven religious or pagan tradition and you would find that they are represented by saying certain phrase. ‘ Svata Anna, chladna zrana’ (Saint Anna, early morning cold. Her name day is end of July. It means the summer is going to be soon over as it is getting cold and wet in early hours of morning.

I hope you have some kind of understanding now, so, what I thought today, I will make a list of names and find out in Czech calendar, when we celebrate it, so you may give yourself reasonable excuse to go out. If you like to read more about name day simply type the word into search engine or type ‘svatek’. I find that Czech and Slovakian calendars are different, and this tradition seems to be so far only Eastern European one. So Happy Name  Day to everybody, I am off soon to celebrate mine today with few friends and few cocktails.  Have a lovely day and back tomorrow. Kat xx

P.S. This list is just a guide, so please bear that in mind. The names may vary in translation. If you cannot find your name in the list, try this website and pick the most similar sounding name, it will show you the exact day. If you cannot find your name, I suggest you do search engine or post a comment and I will try to find out for you.

Jacob– Jakub 25.7.                                          Victoria- Viktorie 10.3.
George- Jiri 24.4. Isabell– Izabela 11.4.
Andrew-Andrej 11.10. Emma– Ema 8.4.
Julian- Julius 12.4. Olivia– Olivie 2.10.
Adam- Adam 24.12. Ivy- Iva 1.12.
Michael-Michal 29.9. Emily– Emilie 24.11.
Edward- Eduard 18.3. Claire- Klara 12.8.
Alexander-Alexandr 27.2. Madison– Magdalena 22.7.
Arthur- Artur 26.11. Francesca- Frantiska 9.3.
Daniel– Daniel 17.12. Camila- Kamila 31.5.
Anthony– Antonin 13.6.  
MAtthew- Matej 26.2. Anna- Anna 26.7.
Nicholas- Mikulas 6.12. Alyssa- Alice 15.1.
Lucas- Lukas 18.10.  
Christian- Kristian 5.8.
Natalie- Natalie 21.12.
Eleanor- Eliska 5.12.
Patrick- Patrik 19.2. Elisa- Eliska 5.12.
Hugo- Hugo 1.4. Katie- Katerina- 25.11.
David-David 30.12. Georgia- Jirina 15.2.
Gabriella-Gabriela 8.3.
Gabriel-Gabriel 24.3.
Christopher- Krystof 18.9.
Alexis- Alexandra

 21.4.

Joseph- Josef 19.3. Adele- Adela 2.9.

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Day 55: Random nights out are the best! 37 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Not sure about the artistic nor personal productivity level of this post, however last night and all today was for me all about so much fun like I have not had in a very long time. After spending freezing cold shift by the door at the club, I was tempted by few friends to come out for few drinks. I have arranged to meet a friend this afternoon, so I did not really wanted to go out, however good point was made and I was simply in. Like I need much persuading.

So I am having few drinks with friends sitting down to little table at some point. Guy sitting next to me happens to start talking to me and his friend joins in. One of them says he is a Geography teacher and I reply  that I love Geography and that I have A-level in that subject. So we decide to have a competition about general knowledge from population, mountains and islands to  cities and countries. Even sober I am so slow with my duck buzzer, I only managed to answer two questions. But even with the other guy being so quick, I won the final winning question,which city is the best,with the very obvious answer, Bristol. I knew something was not quite right as the guy giving questions was quite rubbish at it, especially showing his flaws by not knowing the answer to a question ‘What is the population of Britain’ having to search it online. Eventually I found out he was a writer in advertising. And the other one gosh I do not even remember as he came up with few options like teacher of chemistry for European Union students and then he acted as a spy and we ended up talking about sulfuric acid a its translation in Czech. I mean how random is that having a quiz session, comparing our cycling muscles and talking chess in a night club full of dancing people.

I was having so much fun, that my friends I came to see decided to leave and I was left with this lot. We wanted to continue the fun and since I can cook something out of nothing ( meaning I pretend I am Ainsley Harriott from Ready, Steady, Cook and look into people’s fridges and whip at least two course meals at 5am), but none of our houses could accommodate this rather lavish party. They decided to take me to a secret club, whatever that was open at 4 am, who knows, but half way through the Park Street Hill I pointed at popular cocktail bar and through knowing the security at the door I got us in through the lock in. Falling asleep  for a bit in between them I kept waking them up as getting finally little more merry, still having fun conversation throwing my usual hugs and kisses around. They finally decided to leave, pretty much both asleep. I kind of felt I will have to make that way home too, when an offering hand of another after party came up. So I happily agreed and went to pick up my bicycle.

Now the randomness of the night and day left me so happy, I still had to smile about 7pm coming back home and I am still smiling just thinking about it. Hopefully this weekend was finally the first time of a new chapter after that bad break up and I can go back to the fun and life loving Kat again, who happens to be a partner in party time crime. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

P.S. Challenge for Mr.Writer, who had to write me a poem. This is the result.

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Day 54: Life of an interpreter! 38 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Today is just the usual Saturday. I did a bit of cooking, house cleaning and little bit of chilling out thinking about days ahead. Last night, going out into the world out there to work, I nearly got frozen. Did I miss something during this week whilst in bed? Did UK suddenly change the position of where it is on the global map… ? Layers all the way, I still was not prepared for it. Nor the customers. It was so cold, barely no one was out and about either. We went home earlier, but I still could not sleep until the usual time as my brain was thinking about events of the night, but I am not going to bother you with that as I have enough to digest.

So what else I was up to today. Well, you will be pleased to know I sat and did more of tax filing, going through my interpreting sheets, checking all the right dates and information. I started doing this job in my second year of university. An advert posted on Facebook stating that local language agency is looking for someone to do the job. You do not need to have interpreting qualifications to start with in order to get into this job. There different levels and as long as you can tick some of those requirements and pass the initial interview, you are fine. I was slightly apprehensive about this whole thing, never mind even looking smart for the interview. Rasta girl in a suit from Primark with her first ever handbag, well that is who I was, but my boss was very impressed and I got the job.

I had five assignments in three days to start with and let me tell you, not something pleasant I was prepared to be part of. Many of you are very likely to have a friend from a foreign country and when you meet, you talk about your life, what happened, jobs, funny things. Well that is very far from the job of an interpreter. We also talk, in my language and English, but it may vary from simple things as filling out forms, clearing the mistuderstanding, being a part of medical examination to lot more complicated situations like family divorce issues, being nearly attacked during the session or talking about children and verbal and sexual abuse. I was literally thrown into this nasty world and I had to learn how to swim.

However not everything is bad. Five years on I still do this job for two language agencies and freelance and it pretty much always amazes me that there are people, who live in this country for many years and still do not speak the language. Or some of them are here short term, so there is the obvious need. I still cannot believe I get to sit on a chair and get paid for talking. Not much, as it is only hourly paid job and you are more likely to work somewhere between 1-3 hours depending on how often they need you. Which may vary  from twice a month to once in six months, plus different agencies have different rules about travel allowances and expenses.

But I do help people, so they can move on with their lives and their problems. The look on their faces is priceless and “thanks” they have for me and the staff I am dealing with mean personally a lot to me. It often leaves me wondering how lucky I am. And it is only because I overcame the fear of talking to strangers, learned the language and during my first year in Bristol barely spoke to any of the native Czechs or Slovakians. I blended in within the society and here is my reward years later. With the numbers of people ever here, working in factories and catering, hanging out within the community asking pretty simple questions within the Facebook group rather figuring them out themselves, no wonder how many people find themselves still with no vocabulary and knowledge, however managing to survive here for quite some time, but in a need of an interpreter, when it comes to something more complicated.

So here we are, not always walk in the park, but very rewarding job, I am very happy to do. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 53: It’s tax tiiimes! 39 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

As you can tell today’s post is about tax. Oh yes, it is that time of the year, when all freelancers are starting to worry if they should forget about it until it is really late, well more precisely the 31st of January deadline date, and spend the money now on extravagant parties or presents. Or become very well organized and have already paid sometime in summer.

When I graduated I joined this freelance party too, so I guess I am still learning and when it comes to tax I am finally getting the grip of by filling my third tax form. My first time I was fashionably late as you should be going to a party. Last year I managed to that with a day to spare! I know! I can see that admiring nod of yours! So I became a helping hand of my at that time boyfriend and organized his receipts, plus cooked roast dinner. I know! I can see that another admiring nod of yours!

So this year I though I may aim for perhaps a week or month advance? Well I am not going to lie, I know I have overpaid some tax somewhere and I know Her Majesty is not going to give them to me until I fill that self assesment form. And that is lot of fun, when it comes to having four jobs. I work for two different companies being employed and I am self employed  and providing two different services. Obviously something is wrong, because I never have any money… hmmm.

So last night I started! I took out that big over-floating folder and put everything in those transparent pockets and then started to go through every single one of them sorting it out into piles. I managed to get to piling it by jobs, forms, payslips, invoices, receipts, project receipts and started to write them down on a piece paper, so I can one day put them into my computer based form, which I created, and which would work well If I could be bothered to use on ongoing basis.

Thankfully there was a help on call, when my dear friend urgently needed a skype session, so I urgently had to leave my receipts in order to listen to an upset soul. Today I spent organizing few important (!) bits and pieces and mostly spent it hovering around my blog and the “F” social media network hoping to get a message from work ‘Stay warm in bed and look after yourself.’ Tax will have to wait until another time, but since all the receipts are all over the floor, it might have to become urgent soon. It is 6pm, so let me enjoy few more hours of procrastinating and then I am off to work as that magic message has not arrived. See you tomorrow everyone. Kat xx

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Day 52: Liebster Award! 40 days to go!

Kat is honoured, gets arty and doodles about life:

Last night I decided to clean up little bit of my WordPress Dashboard and put the things into the right place. I got rid off the category Kat shows her work, since it only had 2 posts. Over the time, especially since starting the challenge, I have realized I talk too much about all this art or what is happening, it becomes more relevant for category Kat gets arty. Plus I finally got the hang of tagging other categories within the post. So I can keep calm, it is all making sense and it is organized! Ufff.

The other thing I added is new 92 days challenge as a category and in the last few nights I have been thinking what will happen after I get to the point of 92 days. Quite honestly I am actually really enjoying this and I feel like it is certainly pushing me forward, so I do not want to stop. Not even for a little holiday, because knowing myself, I won’t start again. So what I am going to do? I was thinking perhaps do one, which is year-long? I know you all love to read about my unconventional life right? But then what happens if I find that job and become full-time art person? What happens next if I cannot write about what happens at work, because of the confidentiality clause?  So I thought the other option is to keep my challenge sweet and short. By month. And by tasks. I could perhaps do month of scenic painting, month of model making, month of.. hmmm let me think.

The other issue about my blog is: What do I do with my Czech version? I have become so bad with my own native language, I should really go back to it. At the moment is has only few posts and I have properly neglected it. Shame on me. Unless there is enthusiastic linguist, who would love to take on the challenge and translate my 70 posts so far.  However being witty the same way as me. Now that is a challenge! Working on two blogs is quite hard work whilst everything else is going on in my life at the same time, so I will have to give it a bit of a thought.

Last but not least in this post is Liebster Award! How amazing! The very lovely learnermother has nominated me, because she thinks I’m pretty awesome. Eeeh or rather my writing is pretty awesome. “Kat, where is your modesty?” Alright, alright, I am just too excited someone actually likes my doodling.

Ok, call me a bit stupid, but I have answered the same questions as learnermother answered, so when I found the real questions, I realized I have to do it all over again…dddhhh obviously my brain is not on back on track yet. So I thought at least I keep this one, because it has some entertaining you tube videos.

5. What was or would be your first dance at your wedding?

I am really bad with dancing or any steps, so it would have to be one of these Greek type of songs I learnt and have not forgotten yet: Zorba’s Dance or if you see me later on with little more to drink I will be more in touch with my Central/Eastern European roots looking like these boys at 03:45 holding my hands and kicking my feet into the air. Although might prove a bit of a problem with a wedding dress.

So here are my answers to those real questions.

1. What tipped you over the edge from thinking ‘I’d like to blog’ to actually writing your first post?

My friends always tell me my life is so exciting and so unbelievable I should write all my stories down. So I did and it was very much like watching Sex and The City. However being a blog novice I struggled with how many people know me and how do I protect my privacy, so I stopped. Sometime after I revisited and decided I should rather write about my non existing art intentions instead, so there it was.

2. You could be anywhere, right now. Where? And why?

Currently it would be nice somewhere nice and warm, not too hot, not too cold, I have not had a holiday for a long time, so nice trip away with a friend would be very welcome.

3. Twitter. Love it or hate it?

I would not say hate it, but it is not my favourite.

4. What’s your favourite joke?

I make people laugh, because none of my jokes are funny, so they laugh at me. But if its has to be my favourite ones are the ones, which come out of my mouth in a spare of a moment. “My standards are so low, I can’t go any lower” (on looking for a boyfriend)

5. Are you a shouty stormer-outerer, or a silent sulker?

A bit of both, it depends on the situation.

6. What’s your absolute worst fear?

I am getting over the fear of driving, so the next fear would to be not being loved I guess.

7. How often you do you cry?

All the bloody time. Give me X factor audition, Notebook- the movie or too much wine and good looking man, and I will be weeping rivers.

8. Are you superstitious and if so in what way?

Nooo. It is all in your head. Stop it.

9. Which blog post are you most proud of?

I noticed in your cv that you don’t currently drive ,

Day 20: A place you call home. Crossing that nine year mark!72 days to go!

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

So who I would like to nominate

Learner mother– Can we nominate someone back? If so I would do the same. Very witty, admirable lady with three children, two business, and one husband (he was my boss, so I guess that says it all, right?)… and she has always something on the go. She is just simply great. Definitely worth checking her blog. I do not know how she does it all.

Mason Bentley style– Well, well, well, what do I say. Very interesting lady, fashion blogger, great photographs, wit, blog party organizer, mum. She gives to fashion that rather more human look and I enjoy reading her post very much.

Fashion Mayann– I love, love, love her blog. Very artistic, very creative and very fun. She combines fashion with real life and her posts are about conceptual or realized designs of other designers. For me as theatre designer it is a joy for eyes, as the images she picks up are starting research point to my work.

Culture Monk– Alright I know I have talked about him so much, probably to the point of annoying now. If you like to know more read the post Day 51 or simply click on his blog to read. It is pretty good.

The crazy bag lady– Fab illustrator and a challenge lady. She has been pushed by a friend to get creative and her latest project was two hundred black and white illustrations of animals, objects and all sorts of other things. Her next? challenge is now to colour them and get them out there.

Project Pontcanna– My friend Mandi was illustrating her life around when living in Pontcanna in Cardiff. She is no longer living there, but I hope there might be a new project coming up based on where she lives now… 🙂

Spoonful of style- Another mum, who blogs, who is very stylish. Her posts are filled with glam, designer recommendations and trips out with children.

And here are my questions:

1. Who are your three favourite comedians and why?

2. What made you decide to be Kat’s follower or a friend?

3. What is your favourite book now and which one was it as a child?

4. The shoes to wear in Prague are..? Heels or flats? Do you have any connections to anything Czech?

5. How about everyday challenge, as Kat writes right now, would you go for that and what would you write about?

6. Do you have any regrets in life?

7. What is your next project? And did you start already?

Lots of love and looking forward to the answers, plus back tomorrow with the rest of you. Byyyyye Kat xx

Day 51: On culture monk, being atheist and having a faith. 41 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

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This morning I woke up about half ten, had some breakfast and went straight back to bed. My flu is a bit of a weird one this time, as I barely have any symptoms, but I am so exhausted and in lot of muscle ache, I have to go back to sleep. Before  and after falling asleep and waking up again around 3pm I decided to read and catch up with some of my blogs, which have been piling up in my e-mail.

Especially the ones from The Culture Monk. Ever since subscribed to his blog, and it was more that he found me when liking one of my posts… really I cannot remember, I have really been looking forward to each time it arrives in my inbox. However compare to the majority of posts, I have to be in a certain mood to read them. He writes about life, as you could say the serious stuff, and I am not always in my busy schedule prepared to take time to think about what he has just written, although it is pretty spot on. Being mostly in agreement with him, there is a part of me, which not always gets the part, when he talks about religion and God. And not in a judgemental way, I am just not one of those people, who believes in God. So I guess that makes me an atheist.

My mother’s family have always been going to church and I was even baptised as a child. My grandfather being a professional violinist and his sister being professional pianist, both traveling the world most of the time, would find themselves when back at home most of their Sunday mornings playing for the local church and I would be hanging out with them as a part of the babysitting experience. Next to the organs up at the top of the church discovering the beautiful architecture and art around me. And that is part of me, which stayed around until now. I love going to any church anywhere I visit and I have always been fascinated by their beauty and grace. I mean Prague is full of them and they are always part of some drawing assignment. So I like them for the art, not for the religion. Thankfully my family have been pretty open with my religious education and apart from the occasional church ceremony, attending family weddings or my mum praying on Christmas Day during the dinner, we have not been forced to anything else, which I am very grateful for.

During my academic years I have certainly inclined more to the Darwin’s evolution theory and I decided to believe that there is someone/something up there, but I do not call him God (although we take him for granted in our everyday language) and I should really have only faith in myself, because quite simply if  I do not make the difference, there is no hope for me. We our in charge of our own destiny. And that is what brings me to people, when you meet and they start forcing you God or other religious theories. I do not mind having friendly conversation, but sometimes it gets too much and that is when I go: “Well if God exists and God is good, why did he send my father away? He was very good man, always made everyone laugh, worked hard and he was taken too young away way from me. ” “Oh Good would have wanted it they way””Ehh, no, I am sorry, but that is a lot of nonsense, because why he would take the good people and keep the bad people here?” At that point I become too angry, so I rather leave or the other person already gives up. I respect people’s opinion and willing to hear the other side of the story, but please have some decent reasonable answer prepared, when comes to this sort of topic.

I would never even think to write about religion on my arty blog, but this post has been inspired by reading today The Culture Monk’s post It’s about authentic love and a fake affair, which is about a man, who got rejected by his church, when he stopped believing in this particular church movement. He had to pretend he was unfaithful to his wife, so the church won’t reject her and the rest of the family and now as a consequence he has been forbidden to see his children, which I think is really sad, that can happen in a Western society of 21st century. I know we do not know the full story, however this should not happen. I am glad my parents were enough tolerant I can choose my own beliefs and act as I feel.

If you enjoy the sound of The culture Monk (plus or minus the religious bit as you choose) I recommend to check out his latest posts I liked:

I wanna be famous

Searching for a mail-order bride

This way to death by alcohol 

It’s about letting things go

It’s about the little things

Single people suck

Stupid&Cheerful

and many more. Back tomorrow Kat xx

Day 50: Being still and STILL BLOGGING! 42 days to go!

Kat recommends and doodles about life under some extensive dose of camomile tea and selection of colourful tablets (against flu of course):

Alright, well, I am ill. It is just the ordinary cough, sore throat and the usual headache and other ache. So I am going to live, just feel fairly uncapable of doing anything of any kind. I spent the day in bed, getting up only to eat and make tea and watched the great selection of Made in Chelsea, The Big Bang Theory, latest Deal or No Deal (gosh that woman must be feeling dreadful after having dream finish and dealing at 19k) and episode of Grand Design. I barely watch catch up tv, because I somehow do not seem to have time for it, so it was quite nice. However one day I feel the same as when I used to feel when a child, I am totally bored and have enough of this.

So today I am going to post few random things, which have crossed my mind in the last few days, so excuse the quality of non creative, partly not so very serious (since when I write about serious stuff) post.

1. Why creative people sometimes make no sense. What a wonderful blog post explaining Mihaly’s explanation to  this. He pretty much answered all my questions I ever had. I think I will add that book on my sort of wish list or list to read, because it sounds fascinating. And I can finally explain to people that my behaviour is normal… well normal within the making no sense chart of behaviour.

2. Which takes us to the second less serious thing to talk about and that is which character from book are you? Alright I know what are you thinking. It is one of those stupid  test you see on Facebook, but I could not help it. And after what you read on making no sense, you will understand that my result turned out to be a Tiger from Winnie The Pooh is just so true:

Tigger

You are Tigger. You are fun and rambunctious. You love to make your friends laugh and to have a good time. People like to be around you because you accept others without judgement and you are cheerful and outgoing. As Tigger says himself “Bouncing is what Tiggers do best.”

The books by A.A. Milne featuring Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends have been cherished for children for centuries. The first book was published in 1926. The world of Pooh is a world of enchantment. It is a world forever fixed in the minds and hearts of countless children — a world where Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga and the others share unforgettable adventures with Christopher Robin

If you fancy finding out for your self, here it is:

3. Jean Claude van Damme. Well I do not like action movies or never been a fan of those muscle kind of men like Lee, Schwarzenegger, Hulk etc., but I did watch few years ago documentary about Jean Claude van Dame and his rather human side to him you would not get to see in action films. And it was rather sweet. I was not exactly amazed by his recent project with that cold beer advert, but this week I stumbled over the new truck advert, where is presenting himself exactly how we know him. 2 trucks drive backwards and one of them moves away whilst he stand on their side mirrors and performs a split. I had to watch three times to actually see what he does and the video “behind the scenes”, where you can see his surprised reaction ‘What did I get myself into?’ when is told what to do. Brilliant, well done Jean!

and the teaser:

4. My friend’s brother is a founder of a company LEDeco solution,s.r.o., which is installing and is completely all about LED lights. They are based in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia and their latest project is lighting theatrical show.  There is a selection of sculptures based at the main square and lit every night for two weeks. Such as project has never been done before in Slovakia and so far it is very welcomed within the community and got the attention of local and national media. If you like to see more, here is the link to web and their Facebook page to see more. The videos are in Slovakian, so please bear that in mind.

Video 1:Video from TA3

Video2: Video by TV Hronka

Back tomorrow, with hopefully feeling more better. Kat xx

Day 49: My favourite storage solutions on the budget. 43 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

Alright today I am not feeling very well, so I only managed to do few things. I thought I have a little reorganizing day and perhaps to pick few things to give away to charity to keep the space clear. Over the years I have moved a lot. In the UK between houses to live in for at least six months it was six times and within two first two years it was fairly temporary, we are talking from days to months. In those days it was easy as I only had a bagpack, now I simply need a van. To keep all my tools, books and other things handy and organized I thought I will share my favourite storage solutions, especially if you are on the budget or do not have time to mess around. Feel free to add your favourites in comments.

These boxes are fantastic. I had them for over three years and now have collection of twenty. You can buy them from Argos and you get four for £20. They are 40 litres each and you find them under crocodile boxes because of their interlocking grey lid. They save lot of space, up to six can fit on top of each other. I use them for tools, fabrics,decorating, storing images and bits for projects etc. Everytime I move, they are the best solution to packing and the great plus after is you can slot one into another and put it away.
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The next space solutions are these metal mash drawer stands. I got them for my studio,because they were pretty cheap, I think somewhere £5-10 from IKEA. If you are careful, you can put another one on top. I use them for rulers, tapes, arty things and also for my paperwork, projects and blog ideas as a part of the Getting Things Done system.

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These baskets are from Ikea. I had them for probably seven or eight years, so pretty good for wear and tear for the price, as they not the cheapest if you are looking for quick fix. They had all sorts of purposes from storing my camera bits or photo albums to now being the “In basket” and storing spray cans and fixative glues. And pallettes of awkward shapes of course.

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The next two images are organizing toolboxes for bits like beads, screws, buttons, cotton threads. Anything small you like. They are around £5-7 from Toolstation and they sit nicely within the bookcase. If you notice little more,I  also collect the empty negative boxes and mini jam jars for beads. They can be put sideways, but not to get things mixed I suggest you keep flat.

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And final picture are wooden cutlery stands I use for pens and pencils straight on hand.

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There are many other solutions I like, most of them Ikea. Like simple computer table around £10 each. I have put a big board on top to create one big table, which can be easily taken apart and moved again.
Next thing are those cd/dvd or A4 size boxes. I store photographs in them now and they are practical and look good. Talking boxes they come up with package of two carboard boxes JATTENE, which takes up to 30kg each. I discovered them this summer and although a bit pricey and large to carry home by hand,they were fantastic and well solid for all my books. Cleverly designed interlocking system means you do not need tape, but I did rather use it. When you finish, just flat pack them down. No more need for random cardboard boxes. Very impressed.

The last but least storage are BILLY bookcases. Easy to put together,shelves can be adjusted to your needs and one little secret if you go for white option you save somewhere between £15-30 compare to the rest of the range. Since everything in my room is white, it makes it all look bigger even with so much in.

Just to be clear, I have not been  given any items above or asked to write about it. I just simply find them practical and on the budget,ideal for someone in a similar situation as me.

Back tomorrow. Kat

Day 48: Sunday in silence! 44 days to go!

 

Kat is silent and doodles about life:

 

 

I am attempting to write this post for the third time and nothing seems to capture quite well yet the tranquil moments of today. I have experienced total silence. Meaning apart from a shop assistant serving me, when scanning the coupons, which would otherwise run out today and I would lose out on £11 of savings. Apart from her I have not talked to anyone. Not even watching videos and songs on the internet, I ended up maiming to them. Not purposely, so I can write about it. It was just something, when I suddenly felt that I would spoil the beauty of the silence. I listened to the sound of keyboard, sizzling frying pan, boiling kettle, squeaky doors and beautiful quiet house. Listening to those sounds felt the same way you may perhaps when sitting in the darkness of theatre being sucked into the story hearing a pin drop falling and then someone suddenly coughs.

 

When I was a child, me and my sister, both Aries, used to be so loud whilst running around we would drive our pretty saint mother to many points of madness. She would wish for silence sending us to the forest behind our country home to calm down. Being quiet sounded totally as something impossible to achieve. The worst were the Christmas dinners, when she would pray in silence and I could not stop giggling. Very irresponsible and disrespectful, I know. But to me it was that awkwardness of silence. Until I finally got to the point myself.

I now love silence and to many of you knowing me personally this must sound like from a sci-fi movie as I simply never shut up. Well I do. When I am alone. When I work. When I eat. When I cycle. When I concentrate on something really hard to the point I look angry. When I meet someone cute I fancy, I am definitely lost for words. When I meet people, who I can see by looking at their Eastern European bone structures of cheeks or from conversation they have, I smile and it leaves people little puzzled. Or simply when I do not know what to say or how to answer a question, and do not want to be involved within an argument.

I have figured out that being silent is sometimes more powerful than any word used. I guess naming Kate Moss or Victoria Beckham speaks for itself. When sometimes working in the club and I do give to the disrespectful customers ‘the look’, it does enough more than thousand words. And my “do not mess with me” surname just adds that little extra cherry on top. So in silence turning to my glass of wine, I am leaving today’s post wishing you very lovely day ahead. Kat xx day 48

 

 

 

 

Day 47: Night and day of hanging out! 45 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So yesterday I somehow did not end up going home after Friday night’s club shift. Ha! You are thinking! Yes, my naughty side of me was tempted by the most known man of Clifton to go out after work. Since the last weekend stay in Clifton hoping to enjoy our one year non-anniversary with my ex boyfriend ended up in a bit of an awkward situation, I convinced myself that drunken everyone around me and all the not so sexy men with movember mustaches, might actually be the way forward this weekend.

However it was the same disappointment. I was sipping orange juice and attempting to run away from a guy, who followed me the whole time whilst I was there unsuccessfully wiggling my foot to some sort of rhythm. He worked in the navy, and did not know, where is Czech Republic. Highly offended, based on the fact Geography should be his number one priority, I was hoping to help him, when I said that there is no sea and he said he still had no idea. The final answer “Oh yeah” came, when I said it is next to Germany. He still followed me around the club afterwards and it had to take one of my middle-aged club customers to pretend we have been married for five years and he wants him to leave me alone. And the puzzled boy actually did.

I ended up crashing on my friend’s, who tempted me to go out, sofa at 6:30 am after having two-hour chat about recently discovering single life again and where do you find that matching person for the rest of your life. I guess we are both very sociable people, however single and certainly looking for that someone, who is going to appreciate us for our eccentric personalities, passions, we have and those simple things in life. Not for the money or the looks. And after reading Kenneth’s new post, I had to laugh, it is not just on my mind.

Few hours later I woke up calling my other adventurous female friend to hang out for breakfast and since we were joined by her other female friend the topic of course turned to men and I cracked them up with a quote: “My standards are so low, I cannot go any lower. I mean I am not expecting them to have great cars, fantastic jobs and wear expensive brands. Just them doing, what they love, and like me for who I am, and my not so ordinary lifestyle.  Why I am still single?”, I asked. Personally I think the answer is that I cannot help myself and always go for the eccentric freaks, bad guys, who have bags of issues and looking for that caring woman  trying to become their Mother Theresa. Online dating world is full of them and I am glad to leave it about two years ago already as the other female friend was telling us her recent experiences. They both said that my club job must be great way of meeting guys. Well  it is, but there is a big BUT!

The range of men is from being either ten years younger than me or the age group of 35 to 60. And it is very rare for them not to be predictable, boring and totally non creative with their: ‘You are beautiful…have beautiful eyes, shiny lips and very good English…!’ How much I would rather have someone talking to me about their recent trip to South America inviting me secretly on a date using excuse of ‘I will show you the photographs, if you like’.  I barely use make up, I do not like clothes shopping and for dates I rather pick that free activity like cycling or walking, just in case my date would leave me split the bill as for someone like me- budding free-lance artist- it is rather scary experience to check my bank balance. Never mind the fact I hate the feeling that I own something to someone. Going on a date with somebody who turns out to be not so great company, who is after a kiss or even more in a really bad scenario, is not for me. I know there are women, who do that, but I am not one of them. I like being independent, not just in love, but also at work. It may take you longer to get where you want, but at least you are free to leave whenever you want.

And not to be so negative ending this post since the whole night and day happened to be about men, I am sure finding that perfect man of mine will happen one day. If not, I am so totally prepared and made a pact with a male friend, that we will end up living together, just in case the ‘hapilly ever after’ won’t happen to us. However I was reminded that miracles happen by couple of friends and their absolutely beautiful, love of a first sight, cat (she says not being the dog or cat or any pet lover at all), I went to see later on the very same day. They are the perfect example or loving couple and if I could clone her boyfriend, I would. He is the most wonderful, loving, caring, polite guy I know  (well from how he comes across to me) and they have been like this for the last six years since she met him on a drunken night out. So I guess there is a hope for me! If she could find someone like him, sure I can.  And even with a bit of that right level of madness.

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Day 46: Celebrating half way point!!! 46 day to go!

Kat doodles about life and celebrates:

Today I reached the half way point of my challenge. Something quite unbelievable to me. So I thought I look back on what I have been up to and see how far I have come:

  • I have now 36 blog followers, 2 828 views and most visitors come from UK, Czech Republic, United States and France. All together I had people from 45 countries visiting and they include even places such as Trinidad and Tobago, Laos or Oman. Well I feel I honoured to entertain you in all those places.
  • With the rest of the social networks- here are the stats. On Instagram I have so far posted 95 images out of 15 are personal and the rest belongs to the blog posts. And with comes 18 Instagram followers. With Facebook page we have onto moved 92 likes and hoping soon to cross that 100 mark! Last but not least is Twitter. You can obviously see there is not much love between me and this social network going on, as I still did not get the idea about hashtags and only have 9 followers.
  • I had some great reactions from readers, who were random, meaning the virtual ones. But also the ones, who I do not know that well and they suddenly popped up on my real world telling me, how much they do  (or do not)  enjoy it and lastly had friends, who have been so lovely saying it is almost like sitting in the pub with me having fun times. (And I guess without the stress of them not getting a word in..well I hope I am getting better in this since I wrote that post about honest truth…)
  • I have blogged for the last 46 days, which meant 7 days a week and if it somehow did not happen, I did something, but posted about it a day later. Which meant I had to do another post the very same day. I amazed myself, I can tell you. At the moment I go between the adrenalin of what do I write about today to thinking I cannot wait to tick my done box today. My days have definitely become productive.
  • I have been nominated for Liebstered award by @learnermother and to prove that there is something you enjoy in my posts here are the five most favourites: Day 1: Keep motivated! 91 days to go! ,  I noticed in your cv that you don’t currently drive , Day 30: No passion for fashion! 62 days to go! , Day 20: A place you call home. Crossing that nine year mark!72 days to go! and last but not least Day 28: Week four review and my first ever driving lesson! 64 days to go!
  • Over the past 46 days I have been telling you about CVs, Cv sites, organizing e-mail, joining Headliner and Polyvore, which I have not had time to discover yet properly.How to update the page and which settings work and do not work on the blog. I have been spreading the blog love and attended a blog party, which brought more readers to my page and I also got introduced to some great writers, artists and people, who share the same passions. I have been telling people about David Allen and how his Getting Things Organized book changed my life in getting over the fears like exams or that driving.
  • There have been the slightly less interesting posts when I was going on about doing the typical household duties, cooking, cleaning,  shopping for lamps and bookcases, presents and recommending what to watch, read or listen to. Including sending some Bristol love out into the world in a form of a kiss on a postcard. Just don’t forget that I also run between the club, the kitchens, occasional interpreting sessions and yes that design work I am trying to get into. Plus this daily blog… since when is a day only 24 hours?

So the question is ‘What I have happened to do in order to achieve getting that full-time job or becoming full-time freelancer’?

  • Well I realized I am definitely not a quitter!
  • I have inspired other people in joining me with the challenge with their personal challenge.
  • I had some nice words about this country, when I reached 9 years of living here.
  • Received a real Swiss chocolate as present for one of my the commissions I did!
  • I have bought books on learning how to drive, got in touch with my driving instructor, ordered a provisional licence, got over the fear of getting into the car and now actually enjoying it after my just second lesson. I mean the malarky I had to go through, I would give myself a slap for it. What a drama queen!
  • Got a scenic painting job and helped with the design of the production based on Nick Cave’s songs Carny. Also helped with the costume sourcing.
  • I had four teaching sessions on hat making workshop with year 9 pupils.
  • I have a new art project coming up- meetings in progress.
  • I have told people about my scrapbook collections and finally managed to start dividing images to the right places such Costume one, Set or Architecture one or totally Random one.
  • I have also organized a costume store, so it looks nice and neat.
  •  And I have told people about different bed storage solutions.My  friends asked me few days ago: ‘Would that ever happen without you writing the blog every single day?’ And with no hesitation I said : ‘No, it would not.’ Finding that something I know, which pushes me, is the most important thing to get myself going. Give me two years of time off and nothing will get done. Give me two hours and you will see the miracles. I have been getting better and do not think about doing tasks as burden or something very scary and overwhelming anymore. I do not have time for that. I just simply get on with it, looking forward telling you about it. So Thank you for reading, and for your support. I would not get this far without the silent pressure of knowing that people are reading. Have a lovely Friday night and I am back tomorrow. Kat xxx
  • day11

 

Day 45: Please, can you send me an e-mail with your real name and a photo with your bookcase?! 47 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am finally getting back to the normal myself, although still a bit tired and a bit slow. I have taken time off other jobs until the usual Friday and Saturday night shift, so I have enough time to recover for the next adventure. And so there should be one soon. I have literally just finished writing an e-mail with a request for a meeting about new art proposal and instantly got very positive reply. How lovely! So I shall see when this meeting is going to happen and I will obviously let you all know once it is confirmed and happening. We have been discussing this with my friends last night and positive thinking and visualising method seems to be doing the magic trick.

I spent the day catching up with my usual needs such as cleaning, hoovering, cooking, sorting out banking and paperwork and collecting everything organized into “In basket”, so I can make a sense of what I am doing next.  Since I have been running around for the last two or three weeks, I though I will spend some time today on the computer catching up with e-mail, blogs and my own blog page. I have clicked through vast mount of piled up blog notifications, cleared my e-mail account to some sort of acceptable level, but it still needs more work and I updated my WordPress page. If you are reading this post, you must have noticed already. I am not going to lie, I have been taking inspiration from other bloggers and since the blog settings are so vast, it takes a while to figure what would like to keep on your page or not.  Please feel free to comment, how are you finding the new set up.

So Firstly I got rid off the Meta Category and moved all of them around as I felt they might be working better together. I have added groups such as Posts You Like, but at the moment it is only showing the latest week, so hopefully it will update soon as it says in settings. Straight after I added shortcut to my Facebook Page, so feel free to like it. At the moment I have 92 likes, so hopefully will be celebrating 100 soon. And Instagram straight after. As I occasionally blog about posts and blogs I like I thought to the addition of Posts I like, I will also add the Blogs I like. It makes it clearer, what is going in the world of others, who write about similar interest I have.  I know I have not written a review for two last two weeks, but hopefully like this you can always catch up with the latest updates.

And now can you help? 2 questions to ask you!

1. What is your real name? Please send me a quick e-mail with your name to katerina.t.designer@gmail.com as  I will be preparing a nameday post soon (about two weeks time) and telling people, when to celebrate the day of their name. Simply explained something like a second birthday. If you are still unsure what I am on about, read this post: Day 29: The new lot of Posts and Blogs I like! 63 days to go!

2. What is your bookcase like? Or perhaps even you may own a library/the whole room is filled with books. Please take a photo and again send it my e-mail katerina.t.designer@gmail.com I am planning to do a post about bookcases and reading and cute reading corners. So if you feel like you would to share some inspiration and show how it is organized, please do. so.

Good night and back tomorrow. Kat xx

Day 44: Carny production! 48 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

So, where do I start with this? Last night I went to see the opening night of Carny, production I have been working on for the last two weeks, painting the set. It was rather experience, because it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning. I also realized I shared that bottle of red (Muriel Rioja,2008), which I was given by my housemates as a present and we had rather merry few hours, when I got back. When I was telling my friend, that I am not sure what to expect and that it will be rather interesting, I was quite right. I have not seen any of the rehearsals, so I could only imagine from hearing snippets, when painting at the back of the theatre.

The show was a devised piece and most of the script were ideas of the students, so you could tell it pretty much became actors showcases. Music of Nick Cave was the link holding it together and taking us through the world of circus and prison. Obviously you could not help noticing it is a school play, but there were some really good points, which with little more practice could really push the piece or these perhaps future actors to be to another level.

Firstly I enjoyed the interaction with the audience. Within first few minutes we were asked to get up few times and clap, and as the show went on, you could never be sure when is someone going to run up to you picking you up as a volunteer. Good job we sat little more further away from the middle walk away as some of the actors were taking the roles pretty seriously. Another thing, which I really enjoyed was the physical movement and choreography. As the show was just over two and half hours long to keep the strong face, remember all the movement and choreography including the actual very strong physical acting was very admiring. Scenes such as the prison with one with electric chair was very moving as they all gathered so closely and as one item were pretending to be electrocuted.

Within the circus showcases were few hidden gems. I particularly enjoyed the the satiric comments and confidence of flying in black bird lady. Her wit was so clear, she also got a great final applause. The other admiring acts were the gymnasts, particular when jumping up and flying over six laying down volunteers, singing angel and black ghost elegantly walking around the stage magically  appearing  giving another dimension to the performance of others.

There were times during the show I had no idea what is going on, but I could  not help myself being excited when is the next shocking moment going to happen. You could probably compare it to Marmite, you either loved it or hated it. And strangely I have to say I enjoyed it. It must have been the randomness and the whole thing including the outside tent full of dead body parts, bunch of workers running through the foyer during the interval and the smoke and lighting effects giving the show another three-dimensional feel. And obviously the set tying it all together. Since the technician, who made it and I painted it, I guess I cannot really comment without being impartial. However I really enjoyed the crispness of prison sign once lit and those three doors disappearing right at the back. The excess length of the tarpaulin tent sheets were used as decoration for the middle entrance and together with carnival sign appearing lights it just all worked together. It was rather good evening out watching something rather unusual.

The image below is the scene, when were we walking into the auditorium. Actors were all they statically waiting.

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Day 43: Set is finished, so I am! 49 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

 

First thing, which came to my mind right now is the magic of day 42 and 49 days to go! I am nearly half way through and there is lot going on, however lot more to come, I believe. I have finished the set today, so I am hoping to take the next few days to chill out and do some more research on how to get into the arts and looking for the right jobs. Personally I am just really happy I started this challenge, it is making me push myself so much. Exactly what I needed to do so for ages.

Today I managed to finish the set and do a bit of detailing on last three prison doors. I know  promised to take picture, but there was so much to think about, when I was packing up my tools, that I only just realized half way through the bike ride home that I forgot. Well you just have to wait and see. I got tickets to go and see the show tomorrow, so I am really looking forward to it. As I said yesterday, had few sneaky peaks and looks very exciting. I could have watched the dress rehearsal, but I thought I will give it a go on the opening night, so I can dress up and swap those painting dungarees for little black dress and enjoy myself with friends I invited. I was planning to do some more work this afternoon, but I felt little tired, so I went to have a nap and I woke four hours later. So I guess I cannot call it a nap anymore..:-) I caught up with few friends on the phone, now writing this and can’t see myself doing much more this evening as I still feel pretty shattered.  So back tomorrow, most likely updating you on the show. Kat xx

To find out about the production, click here.

carnyposternow

 

 

Day 42: 2nd driving lesson and three prison doors! 50 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

 

 

Very good and productive day today. I only had three prison doors to paint, hoping to finish off today, but I will be going back tomorrow to do some more details. Oh btw. the tent  sheets are hanging up on the top bars and looking pretty circus wild. During afternoon I got to listen to the run of the show with songs of Nick Cave playing, had few sneaky peaks through the doors and  I am very excited to go and watch it myself in next few days.

 

The missing time must be the two hours I have taken out to do my driving lesson, which went really well. As I was picked up from Stapleton my instructor decided to make me to practice at the Downs. If you do not know Bristol, it is basically fairly flat area at the top of the hill with lot of greenery and parks around. It is great for walks and other fun activities. He picked up an area right at the back near Westbury on Trym and Badminton School, on the way to Blaise Castle. ( Now if you ever decide to walk like I had to last year on Christmas Day..”Let’s go for a little walk”..5 hours later only just about got back with in quite a bit of a state and still had to do all the cooking… So brace yourself to be taken via woods and all sorts).

Now back to the lesson. We went through few things just to clarify what was I up to two weeks ago and off I was driving. A bit scary the first time, especially when I asked him to remind me how to stop and he said I will show you, when we need it. Oh great I thought, my jokes are coming back to me. But actually it was perfectly fine. I drove three times with left turning around the Downs and then after I had to swap and try my first two right turn rounds. Each of the rounds was about three or four minutes long and I have to say I was fairly chuffed with myself. I have never thought I could become so fluent in just a second two-hour session. And so as happy was he.  I also got to try  stopping and starting on up and down the hill. Obviously there were the learner’s mistakes like getting the order of movement right, when starting, and I did have a bit of a wobble stopping in the middle of T Junction, because I accidentally pressed break instead of gas as my foot was not on any pedal. The big thing during the session was to keep an eye on parked cars on left hand side. I am still thinking as a cyclist, trying to keep closer to the left rather to the middle of the road and especially when changing gears between 1,2 and already 3 today. But overall very happy.

 

 

 

 

When I got back in a very an excited mood, it felt like I did not even have a lesson and just kept carry on with the scenic painting. Not only I had plenty of energy still left (that’s what happens, when you feed your car with petrol and not yourself with food to produce the power), but I also got to realize for a split second how useful it is to sit in a dry warm car as we were swapping seats back whilst it was drizzling with fine rain. Hmmm this is most likely not looking good for my bike, well at least in those winter/rainy months… which you how many there are since we live in the UK…

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Day 41: Sunday catching up! 51 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So yesterday I woke up really late again, getting up sometime after lunch. I have been doing so many long hours for the last ten days, it has been taking the most of my energy. I did the usual cleaning, washing, cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner at the same time.I did a bit of banking, receipts, cleared few e-mails from my account as they are piling up, especially since I signed up to notifications to blogs I like and caught up with my a bit of weekend tv catch up.

 

Talking tv I also got to see a really nice film this weekend. I know what are you thinking, I thought she was busy, but this is about 2:30 am, when I got back from work. You do need to chill out little bit after listening to eighties songs all night. So the film is Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. Now I am not really into dogs, but within five minutes I got into watching it. I t is a really lovely story, how a puppy finds its new owner and how they become best friends. And what happens after a one certain tragic day. It shows the companionship and loyalty, which dogs offer for many years. I did try really hard not to, but I shed few tears at the end. Here is the video on Youtube, but the sound is not very clear sometimes, so feel free to search other sources.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxNMzVDp4wQ

 

Day 40: DIY, roast and work (again). 52 days to go!

 

Kat gets arty and doodles about life:

 

So since I have been doing crazy hours in the last ten days and the weather has not been in very nice either, on Saturday I only just about managed to get out of bed around 1pm. Not that I wanted to, but I have been  dragged out talked into doing some DIY and as I promised earlier that week cooking roast dinner. So the pork (with pickled garlic, tarragon, marjoram, paprika, cumin seeds and oil with carrots in the tray went into the oven, as well as tray of potatoes, radishes, courgettes, onions.  Cabbage, leeks and swede for mash went into steam selections of pots. I do not tent tend to post food  pictures, because I find it rude teasing other people with all these images, flavours and smells, which come with it, but this time I will make a little exception. So gravy topped it up and shame that Vienetta ice cream was in my own freezer on the other side of the town. So cup of tea had to do.

 

day 40 p2

 

 

Now this DIY I have been helping (?) with  is to prevent the water coming through the wall making it wet. So the plaster and flaky areas have been scraped and sanded and this sheet of plastic had to be put up on the wall for the water to drip down into drain running along the walls. Since having done stretching canvas for scenic painting, this looked like the same thing. Well apart from the fact it is pretty hard stretching plastic. The other half of the team was not exactly into listening my directions, but once he realized I might be talking sense (for once), he agreed to me pointing out which direction to go on the next special screw he kept putting in. About six hours later the whole sheet nearly covered  two-thirds of the ceiling. It was rather work out holding the sheet up in my arms and making wobbly parts into flats ones waiting for screws and sealer to go in whilst listening to the great sounds of drilling next to my ear and dust flying into my face. And after this work out, after the dinner and few episodes of 2 Broke Girls, I was off to work again.  Kat

day 40 p1

 

 

 

 

 

Day 39: Finished hanging signs and second tent! 53 days to go!

 

Kat gets arty and doodles about life:

 

I know, I know what are you saying, I am two days late!!! I am very sorry! But! I have been doing things, actually way too many so haven’t had time to post. So here is what happened:

 

On Friday I had my last of the four workshops for hat making out of scrap material. All the pupils from year 9 at Colstons were really lovely and although some groups were way to quiet at the beginning, which sort made me nervous, although it may have been that shock of me walking in with my “Owl in hiding” hat and some groups were well excited from the first minute, but they all enjoyed it.  And by the end of the double lessons I had them all either doing fantastic brainstorm session, rocking the catwalk with my hat to try to and really getting into this whole fashion show idea. I had a wonderful time and I am really hoping to come back in few weeks time to check on their progress.

 

Friday I had an early start in the theatre turning up at 8am having to pack up dry tent number one before school assembly turns up, so I got to mix all the Rosco paints ready to go once the primer is dry on the tarpaulin number two and I am back from lunch. Again I had the great help of girls from Thursday of Natascha and Zoe and they have really been helpful and got stuck in. Since I had to make sure I leave early enough to run to work later that night I had to be quick and time efficient. I have chosen slightly different technique than the day before and it worked rather better. The first strips were drying as we were finishing the last ones. I swapped the choice of base colours and then putting the red and yellow into it, using little bit of dry brush, but mostly splattering to getting the desired look. If you compare the picture you can probably tell  the difference, but based on the fact they could not be done at the same time and we only had less than a day to do them, not bad. Let’s hope for some theatre lights to make them blend in.  day 39 p1

 

And then the signs went up. Very exciting! Lot of work went into placing them to the right point, as the Penitentiary sign has to cover the Carnival sign, as there will be a lot of theatre shock effect happening around that. Since I only have a mobile phone to take pictures with at the moment, the effects with Instagram filters wasn’t probably the best to show off, but I will do the best to post some show photographs once I get hold of some. But I hope you can see that lovely touch of gold glittering on  letters.

 

 

day 39 p3 day 39 p2

 

And lastly, since 8th November was sort of suppose to be kind of a special day, this weekend has turned out to be a bit of a personal disappointment and I have figured out that the choices you made in the past and they felt wrong to other side, have been actually the right ones to do. I have been going back and forth in my mind and in real for the last three months trying to figure what is going and now I can finally say I have done the right thing and now just have to look to the future. On that note, the free lip gloss sample in this month’s Elle must be the magic doing something as I had three men at work telling me I have beautiful shiny lips demanding my number. One of them especially was really funny, as normally comes in and is very polite and well behaved, however this time for ten minutes he kept leaning with his other friend over the cloakroom window demanding a kiss and a date repeating: “You have shiny lips. Can I get a Good night kiss?” It does light up the night and you get to forget about the rude customers, who forget I am actually working on a freezing door and I am not a supermarket offering two for one entry.

Kat xx

P.S. And no, he did not get a Good night kiss from me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 38: What can happen in one afternoon?! 54 days to go go?

Kat gets arty and doodles about life:

No time today at all to do things. Production deadline is looming and tarpaulin for the tent has not turned up on time, so we had to search different places for alternatives; which only left this afternoon to do one and second one for tomorrow. Not the usual timetable to a paint a cloth. If you want do a fine job, usually about a week or more is needed.Obviously depends on the amount of people involved painting. And also there is no such as thing as a script or a model, so I have to research myself or come with ideas on the spot. How fun!

image

So here we have sheet 8x5m primed and below I have an image how far I managed to get with help two lovely girls before they had to go.

image

Four hours later this is what happened.

image

And this is how you end up looking afterwards. 🙂

image

Carnival sign is up hanging on the curtain bar, but I run out of time to take picture, so there will be tomorrow. I have added second layer of gold paint and it looks absolutely great picking all the light shining like stars.

Back tomorrow Kat xx

Day 35: Prison&circus sign and mad hat workshop! 57 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

 

I had so much fun today! Not enough sleep, but I think the adrenalin kept me going on. I was finishing the stencils penitentiary sign (oh my god, still cannot say it properly) and getting materials ready for the workshop. Up again early again this morning printing. I did not want to wake up my neighbours last night… even my machine is fairly quiet, the night just makes every noise sound like ten times worse.

 

So first thing this morning was workshop. It was pretty hilarious, I set up my costume drawings, sketchbooks, tools and so on and walked out of the room to put my hat made out of toilet roll and mushroom box and walked in like on the catwalk of America’s Next Top Model flapping my owl wings. I did make them laugh and it took them about four attempts to figure out, what is it made of. To keep the attention of 23 young people of year 9 is pretty challenging, but I think I did my best to keep them entertained for  over an hour. My costume drawing of Ma b in a sausage skirt and tight pink top definitely made the trick as well as talking about bra strap elastic used as a form of scrap material in one of the projects. I had no idea until the teacher said to me I had suddenly all the boys listening. What I really enjoyed that two of the boys actually volunteered to try my hat on, so I could show the class how to walk and how to think as the character and they got a great applause at the end of their runway walk. “Work it baby” , Mr. Alexander would say. Great bunch of girls and boys and I cannot wait to do some more on Wednesday and Friday of circus, carnival and fun fair hat madness. Perhaps it is the big kid in me, perhaps they are those acting skills you must have doing theatre school even not being an actor or simply my aversion against boring classes I experienced myself as a pupil, although I can totally understand you cannot make it always interesting. So mad had off to all the teachers.

 

Straight after I went to crack on into the theatre with the signage. The prison sign is done, I got it all drawn and painted, but I think it will need one more coat tomorrow, so that should be fairly straightforward. And with the red carnival sign  I brushed in a layer of red into the brown, so it is definitely starting look circus themed. I reckon few more layers and I can start stenciling, and start on other bits and pieces. The picture below was taken in complete darkness, but with Instagram filter it is looking somewhere similar.

 

So today I had a really nice day and it felt pretty good being on the other side, feeling appreciated and doing things more meaningful. How was your day guys? Kat xx

day 35 p1 day 35 p2

 

 

 

 

 

Day 34: Ready for hat workshop made out of scrap material! 58 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

In the afternoon I was searching for few things getting ready for the hat workshop I have been asked to do. It is based on a project I have done during my degree and it was certainly one of my favourites. We have been making the whole costume out of scrap material, but this time it will be only a hat and obviously a fashion show at the end of the project. It took me about half an hour to come up with a mock up hat, so they can see how you can simple turn toilet roll, newspaper or mushroom box into a hat : ‘Owl in hiding’ I call it. Obviously the picture is only work in progress, I want to show them, what they can add and where to go with it. Since the hats will be presented in a fashion show, they need to make a statement, which I think mine is definitely making already. We already had a great giggle just taking photographs for tonight’s post. Since it will be a circus theme, more freaky and odd the better. I know this owl is random, but it just came up in my head, so here we are.. 🙂

Anyone made anything from scrap material before?

Back tomorrow Kat xx

day 34 p1 day 34 p2 day 34 p

Day 33: Font research! 59 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

So Saturday afternoon I was catching up with e-mails confirming what we were discussing with a director on Friday and playing with the font I am planning to use on signs. A bit tricky as letters will need to be size A2 and I am trying to figure out how to use my A3 printer. It is not as straightforward as I thought it will be. The printer decided to print P without the top curvy part and could not choose economy print either… so back to the drawing board and playing with settings.

day 33

Day 32! I am past third! 60 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

 

Right now, I am catching up with a post from last night. And I guess my lateness is also caused by having an hour nap after doing a full day in a theatre full of painting, researching materials and problem solving with a director. Later I had to dash off to catch the train and the do a late one in a club. I managed to squeeze one post in between this mad rush, however catching up with the day before. When recently posting my 50th post and now crossing the third mark in my challenge, I felt some sort achievement, who would have thought?! This little hobby of mine as it started and now almost feels like an addiction, particularly having to do this every day. You can compare it to someone holding a whip and keep saying come on, apart from the fact it is only me and my conscience. In recent weeks I feel I may have become little slack and blogging about although relevant topics to search for a job, not necessarily being properly creative. So I need to step up to the game and I think putting that portfolio together will be the next thing to do. I do have one and I started a new one already, when I applied for that interior design internship, but I want to make it more interior design based instead of purely theatre one and if I go for a job interview pages can be easily rearranged depending on what sort field it is.

 

Here is a little sneaky peak, what I was up to yesterday. I am painting two signs, one will be a prison one, the other is for carnival. I painted both with primer first, next layer was Rosco brown to support the richness of the next layer of red. It will be a great base for that wash of circus red.

 

Back later. Kat xx

 

bulbs1 

bulbs brown

 

 

 

 

 

Day 31: Costume store organizing, start on a paint job! 61 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and getting organized:

Here are some before and after doing some tidy up in costume store. I hope you can spot the difference. I have also done some priming of two  big signs, but they will be in next post. I guess I will give a little preview how theatre show happens.

costumes 1 costumes 2 mess1 mess2

Back tomorrow. I am off to work. Kat xx

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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… 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

day 18

 

 

 

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? 🙂

day 17 p1 day 17 p2

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

day 16

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

day 15p1 day 15p2

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

day14

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

day 12

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