Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Little Italy and a Hidden Face of the Town

The latter for the three following pictures:

I have been having an eye for gardens lately, since my son started walking and he needs a space to run around. Especially gardens in the town appeal to me, those that you guess over a high wall, but don't see. They help a town to breathe. And they present an individual world for the one who founded it and who has it. No wonder that it has had such a symbolic in art for centuries, gardens are inspiration. I like those old ones, grown over, like this one on the first picture, I took it peeking through the gate, and there was another door hiding!
And these gardens were built between the medieval town walls (click on the pics!).
I am asking myself how many of my neighbors would recognize here their home town? It is a town where I grew up and where my parents live. Small, pretty, but just a little, old, but not as historical. Apart from few buildings on the town square (following picture) that are the jewels of the Czech architecture. Sorry for this partial photo. I focused on the play of the shadows on the roof part that I forgot about the blog readers completely.

Dominik got a new suitcase to keep his toys in it and he proudly walked with it on a Sunday afternoon walk with his grandparents.

I hope you have had nice Christmas holiday and Happy New Year to everybody!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Tags

Christmas tags is usually for me a way how to handle the fact that I never really painted or drew anything. Tiny things are easy. Still, this year I thought I wouldn't have a strength for it but then I saw these and I couldn't resist. And it turned out that I already had a material for it, we had been painting watercolor with little guy a lot, so I only cut up some of our doodles. I couldn't cut up those he made by himself, though, I thought they were too special (see below). I will keep them for now.

Happy Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dress that I would like to have

I don't know exactly what it should look like. I bought this strange but intriguing piece of fabric the other day, the pattern is big and the colors are odd, it looks very seventies to me. It just looked like from someone's blog so I got it. Now, the pattern for sewing: Since the way it looks the dress needs to be kind of slim with a wider skirt and maybe short sleeves so that the arms would be bare. Knee length. Or little longer. It is stretchy and thick so it can resemble a long pullover as well.

I have been having one pattern on my mind for a long time, it is very old, what a surprise, from the 70s, and I always liked it. (Look at her pose and a hairdo!!) It has raglan sleeves and, that is the thing, they are not short.

And as I know myself, at the end I will try to get off with it as easier as it could be and I will cut out something like this. Keep little wider the skirt. Not as elegant as the one above though.

And I will wear these knitted stockings with it. The blue will be the perfect match. My mum made them several years ago. I have never worn them, they were too tight round my thighs, now they fit well. Scary.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


- Our tree is an intellectual.
- Yes, he is.
- His appearance doesn't belong to his priorities.
- No. He is very hairy. He is a hippie guy.
(At home)

The decorations are made of glass and it is common here to have them on the tree. All the other trees in this country are decorated much more richly. We decided that we didn't like it and we purified it. Most of the decorations are from the bazar on Chlumova street round the corner. Ten years ago I would say that this is a communist tree, pointing to the fact that not only it looks poor like those decorated with apathy and standing lonely in a hall of a corporate company but it also has decorations used at that time despite most of them date back to the First Republic i.e. before 1939, but today I call it a Retro Christmas Tree.

These geometric ones I like the most this year.

I told Dominik that the tree was decorated by the Baby Jesus who came through a window into our apartment last night. And he wagged his finger, how dares he, little Jesus, to crawl through the window! In Christmas circumstances he looks on the picture like he is setting off on a reindeer.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Healthy cookies at Žižkaperk

This is where we live. Different view of Prague then you might know. Part of the town built in the 19th century, settlement of workers and poorer people coming from villages. This view has changed only little since then, but today it has much more romantic atmosphere, just for the same reason: it hasn't changed much. Still, back in the 1980s it was considered quite lower class and poor living, the apartments were small and 90 per cent of people heated them with coal. Just imagine the cloud hovering above the place!
So, the big TV tower on the very left, spoiling the view of the church, is a proof that such things weren't in Gods plan. I kind of like it anyway, it is a crazy cosmic-like piece.
Click on the pic!

Cookies made of olive oil, maple syrup, flour, cocoa, nuts, chocolate, raisons. They where meant for Christmas but I cannot find them now!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How Domík and Kubík went to a puppet theatre

A picture from a puppet show that we went to see last night. A scene from Bethlehem, Virgin Mary and the Angel of Annunciation and a little Devil who has mend his way, both above her. Very artsy play, kids liked it though, laughing and stamping, and the stage design was very playful and well done. The kids could go at the end and TOUCH the puppets. There was even a little snowman in the nativity scene.

So, part of the play was a bowl with two nut shells with candles floating on water. It is actually traditional Christmas stuff here (maybe somewhere else too) and it so common that I forgot about the beauty of it. So this morning, breakfast unfinished, we made some.

Dominik loved it and he was at least throwing dirt in water as he was not allowed to touch the lit candles. Floating and then drowning nut shells have a symbolic of life but we don't mess up with it in our family. We just watch them.
I wonder if you make these little candles where you live and if it has its own symbolic there.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Things for little people

Legwarmers for an 8 years old performed on a 30 something years old. Cast on 56 stitches and knit on two needles size 5. The rope pattern in the middle takes 16 stitches. Yarn: Austermann Inka, wool and alpaca.

I made these jeans for the little guy, I sewed them out of my old ones. I cut the front parts together with the "ready made" button part, I also left all the original decorative seams and sew the pieces together just next to them. In a similar way I inserted the original front pockets and reused the old belt.

I kind of want them to look like that it has been redone from the old jeans, that there is some wit in creating clothes but I also enjoyed hiding it and making up the way how to get closest to the original pair of jeans.
Click on them to see them larger!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Frogs!

White snowy pictures everywhere, so I am coming straight with Christmas ones.

This is a so called matrix for linocut prints. I ll be sending it out as Christmas cards. Happy joint project of my husband who drew it and me who cut it. For some reason frog and mushroom together represent happiness and luck and they appear on Christmas cards. On the old ones though. As they were so popular their beauty vanished and they became kitchy. And I think it is their time again, to come back. I don't have pictures of the cards but I have few nice illustrations from 19th century books, some of them by Richard Ricky Doyle. Mushrooms, fairies, pucks, trolls etc.
But they cannot compete with my husband's one!

And it is also time for gnomes. They bring luck. Did you know that? Especially when you carry them around in your pocket. This one was found on a flea market, he called my name, so I went and got it.

The smaller guy is a ground frost and he doesn't have a magic power, he is just in a fairy tale in a book from when I was a kid. It is a Christmas time so we pulled it out and read it before bedtime.
I wish you happy and relaxed Christmas preparations.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Special Edition: Cottage

I was going to show my son what the real countryside is. Open landscape, houses far on horizon, plowed fields, wind in tree tops and first of all no dirt, just that kind of clean dirt. Place where he can run wherever he wants to. He was perplexed. He is a city man. He likes watching cars going by, people around, noises and smells and mainly he likes cafes, where people bring something yummy to you on your table. None of this here in the village. Just some wet grass he was afraid to step on, open vast fields and endless sky were rather scary than beautiful.
As for me, I actually remember similar feelings from my own childhood and I grew up in a small town! I remember that everything in the countryside was yukky, who knows why, I definitely have the opposite idea today when I take Dominik out and have to prevent him from all the mess laying around. There is nothing wrong with wet rotten leaves on a muddy wood path anymore. So, my son will have to get used to this new type of outings I am going to do with him. Otherwise, I have nothing against the cafe regulars, because I am a one.

More pics at flickr.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kitchen Poetry 3

Making phonecall. Haló!

Rybovaření / Kitchen Poetry 2

How am I going to feed the fish with dumplings?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kitchen Poetry

So this is my contribution to this Kitchen Poetry show that simple sparrow is hosting this week. Honestly, this pic is little outdated but as there are no rules I guess it doesn't matter. My kitchen today was exceptionally left abandoned most of the day and maybe a nice picture of a place taking its rest would be nice but, sorry, nothing turned out of it well. Lets see tomorrow....
And by the way, I looked up the other participating pictures, they are hard to compete with. I think that many cuisine and interior magazines could be envy of them. This blogging world has become as good, if not better, as them!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

No Halloween in Czech Republic

Pictures from Halloween parties have been around blogs lately. Here we don't have it but we have All Saint's Day on the 1st of November. The main activity is to go to cemetery and light up candles on graves of your relatives. Our deceased are far away so we went to a cemetery in the neighborhood, which is also the biggest in Prague and has many old and abandoned graves. It looks spooky at places. But on this special day it was packed with people and it felt very comfortable to walk around, the graveyards lit in the night. Dominik liked it especially, it was his first experience of this kind.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tender Yarns / Něžné vlnky

On Wednesday morning I received a beautiful parcel from raining sheep. In the post office round the corner where I usually collect some official letters, bank reports and this every day life stuff, suddenly they handed me this parcel scented of distances and I realized that my bloggy life materialized in a real thing and I am holding it in my hands. The surprise rose even more when I opened it and this soft and colorful skeins fell out of it. It is Noro, the softest brand and it will be good for a pair of gloves, or a pair of hand warmers, or leg warmers, front part of a sweater for me, for the litle guy, a hat, a scarf and so on. If I didn't have three other things that have been already waiting for me to be finished I would just jump on knitting. Thank you, Raina, I will not owe you for long.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What happened to Bomull?

Which is the Ikea coverlet, as you all obviously know. As a cheap piece of fabric of immerse qualities it ended up as a bathrobe that we just needed in the family one day. Here it is:

And continuing in the Scandinavian manner, this little bag made out of the remaining fabric has been embroidered in this sort of folkish style dashed by Cilla Ramneck's designs for her book which (for me) has an incantation in the place of the title: Sticka Virka!

Friday, October 17, 2008


These pants are made of an old sweatshirt bought second hand and never worn. It was enough to make two pairs, one in the collage picture bottom right (the pocket on the back was originally on the chest), the second pair (upper left) I sew out of sleeves putting a kind of patch on the bag so that I would fill the missing material. These PJ’s that Dominik has been wearing now inspired me to do that. The stretch belt was originally the hem of the neck and fits perfectly his round belly now.

Pants have been the only pieces of clothes that I have been sewing for my little guy. I don't need any pattern for them, I cut them after the old pants. It pleases me to use up the old clothes that I have that I don't want to throw away and don't know otherwise what to do with that. Also, I feel very ecological making clothes like that, almost ready to make Dominik pose for me in between the backdrops of our dilapidated apartement.

To view the images larger click on them!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Magic Noro

I always wonder about you who knit so fast how are you able to do it? How come, that you whip a sweater in a month and at the same time a pile of socks and hats and who knows what else? It always takes me several months before finishing something, even a glove (well, I don't know, maybe not a glove). I thought it is because I also do other stuff like taking care of the child but it is actually why I started knitting again because that was one of the very few things I could do while watching him when I didn't feel like playing with him. Knitting showed up to be like a good time consumer. I am probably just slow. I like slow films, Béla Tarr, for example. A book called something like Appraisal of Slowness. So I cannot be a fast knitter at that point.

Noro sweater for my little guy has Noro only on the front. First, it was expensive, so I got only one skein, Second, this kind of wool wouldn't feel nice on him and he would refuse it. So the back is Alpaca wool from Austermann, called Inka (I don't know if anyone is interested in this information really but it is such a habit on blogs so I do it too) and the sleeves are hundred per cent acrylic and it is a Czech brand called Elian. The color combination is my husband's achievement, beside being slow I am also indecisive. The pattern is my own or rather say doesn't exist, I just proceeded according to a different one that he already has. So that is the sweater. The little guy screamed only a little when I made him to dress it but now he doesn't protest anymore and he maybe even likes it. I like it too.

And, yes, the curtain, that it is photographed on, it is maybe the most nicest of all shown here (beside Dominik), VERY OLD, from the 60s, also rare because at that time, in socialist Czechoslovakia, it was hard to find designy things up to date.