Post 20: Resolutions Review February! 102 to go!

Kat doodles about life and reviews month of February as part of 3 Days challenge:

Design career–  Right, I will be very honest, there was not much art or design going on this month. I have been so busy earning money in other ways, I only managed to do a sketch of Fyodor Dostoyevsky on the train. I also had to move the furniture in my room once again, which means I have not finished Darwin on my wall yet and there were things everywhere for quite some time. However I did buy subscription to a new interior design magazine as I got discount since being subscribed to another one already and I have managed figure out some plan of how to be more organized when it comes to following all my resolutions. Alright, swiftly moving on.

Blog every three days– I am on top of my list with all the posts I should have written, so that is all good. If you search through February posts with numbers 12-19, one of them is dedicated to posts and links worth to be to be mentioned and one of them is about books. There are few other interesting ones which include mentioning spelling book for children from Carol Voorderman and great recipes to try.

Translating blog into Czech– The young man, who expressed the interest of translating my blog after he did it for the first time, never got back in touch after receiving my reply with comments on his translation. Looks like he is no longer interested then. I had a chat with a friend and he said he is more than happy to help me with the correction, when he is off work, so I just need to get myself into translating all my posts.

Social networking– Running between jobs and barely being at home, there is not much update on social networking either. I have not really had a chance to look that that traffic via Facebook adverts yet, and I just about managed to keep up reading my favourite posts. Most of them on my phone in bed just before bed time. Hopefully with my new schedule I can soon catch up and do little more.

Teaching and interpreting– Lots going on in this section! Obviously you may know I got offered a job interpreting for another company and I have done quite a few assignments with them this month. Definitely interesting new experience worth to have.

Next wonderful news is I managed to get another student, so that will also keep me busy working from now on. He is little more advanced than the other one. I spend few days preparing lesson plans and managed to get some books to use during the lessons. Getting my student-chef speaking more, I slotted in one very practical session and it was so much fun. You can read about our ‘best ever spaghetti bolognese’ and blueberry & banana pancakes in one of the posts.

Learning how to drive– That is a bit of disappointment as I have not done any driving or any theory learning this month at all. I know, shame on me. Do not worry, I am aware of that, every time I pass a car with L sign. But I did a bit of thinking and I decided to leave the lessons until I have lot more spare cash to go and pay for frequent slots and have them something like once a week. Until now I was practicing every two to three weeks and it is not quite working out with the money flow for other things and the work timetable. I need to learn often enough, so it becomes a second nature.

New people, new opportunities– I met up with few friends over the last month catching up with what is going on in town, getting carried away having a bit way too much fun as usual. If you are reading  my blog regularly, you must have noticed also my post about my upcoming birthday and having a bit of that question time of what I am I doing with my life, so hopefully things are going to turn around soon for the better. And I need to learn how to be less scattered and let things roll more.

Learning Autocad, Sketchup, creating a website, saving money– I have turned into my mother and finally wrote down all the receipts from the last few months. I ‘spoiled’ myself and got new cycling shorts (and they are ever so comfortable, better be for that price), few books, got the magazine subscription and paid few bills and sent some money to save. Regarding the AutoCad, I was in touch with someone, who is offering private lessons, but I have not really discovered it any further.

Overall February was not perhaps as productive as it could have been, but I have done lot of teaching, interpreting and running between my other two jobs, so hopefully that will give me better start in March when it comes to other things. Last two weeks have been definitely more pleasant to cycle around and you can smell the spring in the air. Mind you there are still those horrible unexpected showers and you never know about possible March frost appearing. But March has always been my month, so I am hoping things are going to get going and I will put that timetable to a good use. Back soon Kat xx

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Post 14: The Best Spaghetti Bolognese I Ever Had! REALLY! 108 to go!

Kat doodles about life and cooks:

As you may remember I have mentioned that one of the next lessons with my student-chef will be practical and we will be cooking the recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese according to the recipe he was solving as a quiz.  So on Thursday I made to it to his house and we got started. Apparently he was looking forward to it. For anyone, who is up for trying this recipe, I have taken the original from BBC Good Food website. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will tell you what we have changed or added. As soon as we started cooking and I was making him to tell me the right orders in English, he soon took the “make it up as you go along” approach. He does this for living, so he knows what he is doing, I thought.

Instead of 500g of minced beef we went for 700g and with the streaky bacon, not sure where he got it, but it looked beautiful like from the real butcher and not from the supermarket. It was just well thick and long. And definitely plenty. As he is still not very familiar with some of the items or supermarket aisles since he has been here only few months, he was trying to convince me that the local shop does not stock tins of plums tomatoes, so he replaced it with two good quality jars of pasta sauce with basil. We used about half of the punnet of cherry tomatoes to give it that little extra taste. When it comes to all the other ingredients we used extra celery sticks to make up the amount to feed everyone for dinner time, instead of one, we used two glasses of wine (and the rest for us) and instead of beef stock cube, real made chicken stock was used. I think probably around 1.5 litres. We managed to grate in the whole triangle of parmesan cheese and we skipped using the bay leaves. Everything was left to simmer and we got on with the rest of the lesson.

By the end I was proper hungry and when he served the sauce with freshly made pasta, I can tell you I was in food heaven. It was really nice to share the result of mutual effort. In the past I was lucky that my two previous boyfriends shared my passion for cooking, so we would either share the time cooking together or I would get surprised by them having cooked some lovely meals for me. ‘Love goes through the stomache’ as we say in Czech, it is certainly true in my case. So if you are man trying to seduce me, here is it the way. I am not a big fan of Spaghetti Bolognese as I was not really lucky to have them in places where a lot of herbs and spices are allowed, so usually it would taste really bland and mine are full of extra different things. However after having one bowl cooked according to this recipe, I am sure I could fit another one in without a doubt. After this amazing feast, I fancied more, so I thought, why don’t we extend the lesson and make a dessert.

I had a selection of Valentine’s recipes ready for him just in case he would need to prepare something for work, but they all needed good few hours of work, so I suddenly thought of a recent recipe LearnerMother posted and it was Banana and Blueberry pancakes. She shared it originally from the blog A Girl Called Jack and it is so simple anyone can do it in literally no time. So we popped in again to the shop (I showed him where the tins of plum tomatoes are) and got more ingredients like blueberries and bananas. Not sure how much is in the recipe for the blueberries, but we used the whole punnet again, and the same approach of ‘making it as you go’ when getting the right mixture, so probably more than the recipe is stating. Finally making about 10 mini pancakes. All finished with maple syrup and icing sugar on top. As soon as other members of his family arrived all the food was literally flying off the plate. We all then had a wonderful evening full of fun chatting about life, so I cannot wait to have another lesson like this.

I am sorry there are no pictures, we ate it too quickly before I realized I should have taken a photo.

Back soon Kat xx

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 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 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 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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