Tuesday, 24 November 2015

My shop is open & Tour around the house to see the paintings available

I have opened my online shop recently ( LINK:   farandaway  ) and to show more of my paintings I have shared a journal post about them as well. Each and every one of my paintings were created with love. During the process of painting, I always imagined what the painting will look like in the space of a room. Sometimes it is easier to see things when they are put into context and I think it is the case with paintings as well. Please come in.

I love a turquoise pigment and its various shades. Most of my current paintings share this colour. As you might have noticed some furniture in our house is painted with the the same shade.

We live in a rented house at the moment, hence when we moved in we have used lots of old furniture and have re-purposed some "ancient" pieces. For example the end tables and old chairs that were repainted and might be some 30 years old I believe.

The souvenirs from our travels enhance the room character. The wooden animals are really from Africa  and the big bowl could tell a story of its own from when we were transporting it by car from UK. Even though our home is temporary, it has our touch everywhere. 

One of the few disadvantages from living in a rented property is that I simply cannot drill holes into the walls for my paintings. Hence I put them on display as they are. Luckilly, the mantel of the fireplace is great for such purpose. Another 
useful spot for painting is an old repainted wooden table that belonged to my late grandfather.

These are my current paintings available for purchase. I hope you like the tour around the house.

The 3 bigger paintings are 80 x 100 cm and are ready for your purchase. 
Looking for nice homes only! :-)

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Insights on photographing a pet

If you ever read my blog or would pop into my Instagram, you would see it is full of pictures of my labrador, also known as my Chocolate darling. I said this before that ours, was a love on first sight. He was put into my arms, licked my face and we had a bond. I believe I took a first picture of him  in less than 5 minutes after he was presented to me.

The first photos were of a chubby, sleepy puppy who soon became a playful little thing who would run around until too tired. He could sleep just anywhere. One day we found him sleeping with his head next to pink carnations. (Butter wouldn't melt!)

I didn't stop photographing Akim even when he reached adulthood. (How do you stop, if this fluffy brown thing becomes your shadow? :-) I have created a label called What we did today, to keep memories of our everyday lives captured in photos.

He never misses an opportunity to see what I'm doing. (Like when unwrapping my Shibori dyed sheets). He would bring me a ball or put his head under my arm for a cuddle. If I am to busy in the garden with hanging of the washing and so on, he would eat some tall grass in meantime.

When I joined Instagram, it also didn't take me too long to make my chocolate darling a frequent part of my posts. My lab even has hashtag now (#akimchocolatedarling) so I can easily group the photos. I can't help taking photos or videos of my chocolate furry chum munching on strawberries, grapes, mulberries, currants, cherries or blackberries with me. We are speaking of a dog that even eats raw pumpkin, peaches and nectarines!

The one thing that I love about photography is capturing of my closest environment, my imminent surroundings, including the people, pets, events and places. To me, it isn't pointless to take the yearly photos of the same garden. I love the seasonality of everything in life.
Today you might think that something looks the same as it did last year. My experience is that it doesn't really. Everything changes and I always like to see it through my photos. Whether it is family, garden or dog photos, these become mementos of things you no longer remember so clearly.

To some people, it might seem strange to photograph a dog. Yes, it is "just" a dog. Yes, he can be naughty, attention seeking and annoying sometimes. But the majority of time, he is my velvet eared friend whom I wouldn't change for the world and I am thankful for being so lucky to have a dog like my Akim.

Photographing my dog made me learn so many new things about photography. I learned about using the right metering, light, shutter speed, aperture, taught me about being ready, to recognize when is the right mood and moment to photograph. These were very valuable lessons to me.

If nothing else, this is something that makes me happy. I also always thought that photographing my furry baby would be a good practice for photo taking before I have my own baby.   :-)

FOR MORE TIPS, PLEASE SEE MY TUTORIAL How to photograph a puppy.

Monday, 21 September 2015

What we did today {33}

Summer is gone for good. The days are slowly getting shorter and the air is crispier in the mornings. However I can't feel too sad for too long when the rays of an Indian summer still shine out there.  

The lovely grapes are ripe and we will soon pick these to make a new vine for the year as is our family tradition. There are quite many vinemakers in the family at the moment. 

The veggies we grow in the garden are slowly getting tired of producing. The tomatoes were really nice in the summer salads, full of flavor and sun. 

Juicy and crunchy green apples are finally ripe as well. I always enjoy to pick a fresh apple directly off the tree. (Unfortunately this is the one fruit that my Chocolate darling isn't allowed to eat.)

The garden and nature has changed its colors to a more rich palette. The grass is lush green after a long dry summer. It was so hot that we had our own figs which has never happened before. 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

New life

"It's funny how day by day nothing changes but then you look back and everything is different."

If you would have asked me a few months ago where do I see myself, I do not think I would really believe the reality of it. I would probably tell you that I wish I can  have a home to share with my partner and my chocolate darling.

Even if I tried (and trust me I am a dreamer) I don't think that I could have dreamed a better home for us to find. We got quite lucky and have found a sweet and rather large house to live in that is located on a hill in Bratislava. It came with a big garden for puppy to roam, with a lawn, lots of smaller fruit trees and with a big cherry tree that has you-wont-believe-this: a tree house and a swing!

It took us few months to furnish the 7 room house as it came unfurnished. I won't lie about moving in together and I fully disclose that it had a few challenging moments.
There was lots of packing in the two bedroom apartment in the center of the town that my partner resided in previously. We were moving in at the end of June and rented a big van. This operation has required lots of upfront planning and many, many back and forth trips.

At first, everything in the house smelled so different, there were lots of boxes to be emptied, stuff to be sorted out. It was slightly frustrating and tiring. (Of course it was!)
We did numerous trips to IKEA (you wouldn't believe how easy it is to turn a small KIA into a furniture truck - it carried a mattress, big dining room table for 12, Lack tables and lots of other pieces in one go).
There were endless days of furniture building where we had to run to a store because we didn't have a proper screwdriver.

But 3 months later, I think we are pretty much settled in. The rooms are ready, we know where is what. The house doesn't smell strange to us anymore. The puppy is fine and settled in as well (if only he would sleep in his new kennel, silly thing...)

It is so nice to finally have a house that is not just but now it's a 


Monday, 25 May 2015

Pastel color painted chairs DIY

I love creating pretty things and extending the lives of pre-loved old items. These chairs are almost 20 years old. We got them when we moved into my parents house (28 years ago). I have painted the mint coloured over a year ago and I have been using it at my desk the whole time. As I stumbled upon the other three chairs, I knew I had to do something about their appearances as well.

The chairs are old, not perfect looking, one had a wonky leg as well. I had to wipe the cobwebs and dust the old dirt off them. Then I sandpapered the surface so the paint adheres better.



For the painting, I have used acrylic paint which I have mixed with a liquid pigment for acrylic colours. When I was buying the paint, a shop assistant advised me that the paint should resist some rain as well. The turquoise / mint coloured chair and the light blue one come from the same pigment bottle. For the lighter one, I have only added few drops of the pigment for a gentle looking shade.

I must admit that I caught a bit of a painting fever. I painted lots of other things that day, like an old basin that I have found in the shed.

The table was sandpapered and is to be painted as well. I might try the peeling paint effect. This table is even older than the chairs.

As you can see, I had a little helper. My chocolate wouldn't leave me alone and at the end of the day, few of his whiskers, ear, back and mouth were coloured with different shades of paint. Luckily I washed it off.

 It took me two coats of paint on all of the chairs to make the colour look even. I have used an extra coat for the seating part of the chair.

The kennel and the yellow chair were painted with the same batch of paint. I wanted to try a yellow shade which is perfect for the summer. The kennel was painted pale blueish before and after two coats it turned out to look nicely and the old paint was covered completely.


Some of the chairs will be moved into my new home next month and there are few more painting projects that I have already planned ahead. I need to buy one more kennel for the Chocolate darling, there is one more chair left to be painted (I'm thinking salmon pink), the old table above and couple of stackable tables.   :-) 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

It would be lovely to sleep in a wild cherry tree

"It would be lovely to sleep in a wild cherry tree all white in bloom in the moonshine" said Anne. The taller this tree grows each year, the more adorable cherry blossoms grow on its branches. This is what it looked like two years ago when my puppy was young.

I feel really lucky to have this magnificent tree in the backyard. I hope it will grow old and tall and will stand in the garden for many years to come.

Our cherry tree was planted the same year as I left for Australia in 2006. It has changed the appearance of the garden. It looked so much different when I moved back home after 6 years away.

The change was for better as it has added so much more character to the garden. It has more gardenish look now. I believe that every garden should have an old fruit tree. I always dreamed of having a tree house. And now that I am thinking, the house we are moving into next month DOES have a tree house!  :-)