Post 2! So Many Good News Coming From Everywhere! 120 posts to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets organized:

It feels like forever since I posted the last time. I know it has only been three days ago, but it does feel little strange, too long ago if you ask me.  Within the first few days of my new challenge, it felt really wrong not posting, now I feel slightly less guilty. I have also nearly recovered again from the cold, which came back, but I am taking week off just to take it easy and make sure it won’t return back. And I am hoping to start properly through those very important lists and catch up with all those thing I meant to during Christmas break.

So what happened in the last three days?! Well we started the challenge, full of resolutions and dreams. I have a lovely bunch of people on board, so I hope you had a little look through everyone’s blog. I have been spending rest of the Friday linking and posting the first post pretty much, everywhere I could, replying to those, who would like to join in and replying to all comments. Quite honestly, when saw my written list of resolutions down, out told to the online world, it did freak me out. It is certainly NOT ambitious at all. Unfortunately all those things on the list connect with each other, so it is like a vicious circle. So I better get on with printing the list and making an action plan, and David Allen better comes to help on this. During the weekend, which was pretty much spent the whole entire time at work with few hours of sleep in between shifts, I have been on a mission how to solve the tasks. I sat going through each one, came up with action plans, scribbled over pieces of paper and then took a big notepad and dedicated 10 pages to each of those resolutions. Like this I can see what I have achieved whilst keeping important notes together. I will still follow the David Allen ‘pieces of paper’ system, but this will keep me focus within each project. I also gave them importance and lined them up accordingly in my notepad. What a result!wpid-IMG_20140106_203208.jpg

Recently on Facebook Page of UK Bloggers I had a thread about Facebook Pages to see if anyone had any experience with paid adverts. I started creating one and then left it off, as the comments were a bit discouraging and I also run out of time to continue. Few days later Facebook sent me promotional  £25 voucher to have a go and finish my advert, see if I like it and if it makes a difference when promoting. So I gave it a go. After few freaky moments of updating the payment bit, I eventually got to the end. We shall see if it makes any difference. But I thought I share this with you, in case you might be lucky too receiving a free voucher.

Apart from organizing my tasks, promoting my page, I have spent most yesterday afternoon after work  and today clearing my e-mails, updating the account, replying to people and reading blog posts of others. Three exciting things have been mainly on the agenda from all that correspondence. At first I received a reply from someone, who is interested in working with me on the Czech part of my blog, which is very exciting stuff! And secondly I have been e-mailing with people back and forth about my new upcoming project I have been going on about, but kept it secret, just in case it all goes wrong. I should have a presentation on Wednesday. Hopefully by the end of the week find out if its going ahead. So I reckon preparation time tomorrow making it extra exciting. And lastly I might be involved in  new exciting online project for Czech/Slovakian community, but it is all very much at the beginning, however it is nice to be contacted by someone, who believes you are the right person to make it work.

Talking about work I also have to share another fabulous news with you, which is that my student since changing his cv and braving the restaurants again, went through two interviews, one trial and got offered a job to start the very next day. And not just a kitchen porter work due to his language skills! Someone believed in him so much, he got offered the position of a chef!!! I am so proud of him! He told me he was little freaked by the three male staff in the kitchen constantly talking to him, but I am sure he will soon master that. Apparently the head chef is making sure he understands and has a lot of patience with him, which is fantastic news.

And to finish this post with it seems to be all good news, I will give you update on Mr Sawlid and Mr.Dj and their non- smoking resolution.  Mr Sawlid proudly telling me today he cut down on half of what was smoking making conscious decisions about replacing his habits with different solutions. Well done! Mr Dj was back on cigarettes, when I got to work on Friday night, going in and out about eight times. After having a chat with him about it, he assured me he will stop after his birthday weekend. I joked that the next day he will have to do 10 press ups or pay me £10 for each cigarette, if he goes out. I do not know if he thought I am being serious, but he certainly made an effort and only went out three times that night!!! So well done him too!

How are you guys getting on with your resolutions? Back soon. Love Kat xx

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 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 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 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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“I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”

Kat doodles about life:

So today’s post is actually about something that happened last week, but it is in my head ever since and it feels like when you hear a song, but it is on the loop. It is increasingly getting on your nerves and it shouts out loud. ” I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”

The time has come. I have been avoiding to this ‘skill to must have ‘ for certain (well most of them) jobs for the last ten years.  And I have managed to become very creative about how to get things done, how shift stuff around and how quick I can become compare to bus, car or train commuters. Me and my bicycle are pretty much one item and I quite honestly I use it and abuse it, but then I treat it to a good service twice a year. I have been told so many times by my close and very wise friends that having a driving licence is certainly “that” thing, which will get me a better job or getting me home without getting wet at 3 am, when I finish at work and the list of reasons why goes on and on.

Well apart from enjoying the countryside views on my rides there are two reasons why I still haven’t pass the test. Firstly I don’t want to get fat. Or more fat than I am.  Or shall I be polite to myself and say large instead. Everyone, who knows me personally can confirm I love to eat. Pretty much anything and I don’t mean junk food. I just love food. Full stop. Oh the colours, the smell, the experience. Oh yes. So to keep going with my passion I am absolutely fine with having to ride to work and out and about for an hour a two a day and get sweaty. Plus the extra motivation of being paid for it why not. Why would you want to become one of those people, who drives around and then has to go to the gym and pay for it in order to stay trim, when you can do it for free.  And secondly I am terrified, well of the speed car can go. You will be laughing that comes from someone, who loves watching Formule 1 races and finds it incredibly exciting. Well it is the same person, it’s me.  Somehow I feel that on the bicycle you are in charge of that speed you are going.  Plus that freedom of you can go anywhere and become part of a road or cycle path or just simply part of the pavement if the traffic gets a bit too much for example those massive three lane roundabouts.

Two weeks ago I treated myself a new A3 printer, scanner thing and got really excited about updating my portfolio. Exactly around that time local interior design company posted an offer of paid interior design internship. How fantastic, I thought to myself, thinking the universe is sending some positive messages. Great e-mail communication with the owner of the company since the start. ‘Great, keep going’ I am thinking to myself whilst resizing images in Photoshop at 4 am, when the cold shower comes in… the e-mail says: … “I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”… It was like slap in a face. My attempt of cycling to Bath or getting a train and cycling just outside of Chepstow may have made impressive impact of ‘ I really want this and I will do anything’. Unfortunately the job role involves visiting clients even further away from these locations in the middle of countryside. You will  have to carry mood boards and pieces of furniture around. I guess they may not appeciatte me turning up in cycling shorts either.

So here we are. The truth no one wants to hear. ‘Sorry you can’t get the job, because you don’t drive. But I will keep you on file.’ How lovely. There is a hope? Writing this post is somehow encouraging for me to go and get in touch with that guy with dreadlocks (yes that special bond between all people ever owning dreadlocks including me), who owns a driving school and drove past me few months ago. He seems like cool and calm kind of guy, who could help me conquer my fear. It may sound stupid as anything, but if that is beginning of me passing a test and getting on the road in order to get that better paying job, I better start writing an e-mail to him right now.

Fun card I created for a friend.

Fun card I created for a friend.