Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The spaces we create are who we are.

I love my hometown.
I like the architecture, I like the park early in the morning, I like taking long walks near the Danube. Being back in Rousse brings up so many good memories and it is all so nice, but I had been having the feeling that something was missing (aside from all my dear people around the world). It took me quite some time to realize what that was and when it hit me... I decided to immediately do something about it.
Rousse is missing art. Any kind of art. You could see the occasional tags or graffiti here and there, but that's it. And that, I don't like.
I am a huge fan of random street art and simple installations. It gives spirit and colour to a seemingly ordinary place and transforms it completely. So I started scribbling down ideas in my notebook of how to change things around here. I had to begin from somewhere.
I decided to make a couple of messages and put them on random places around town as a start. I didn't think about details: I didn't have a single clue about the materials I would need or whether it would be possible to hang the messages as high as I originally had imagined it. Luckily, it all came naturally.

For the letters I decided to use a material called Fibran, which is basically used in building constructions and industrial applications. It is light, easy to work with and comes in a pretty colour, too. I printed large A4 letters in Arial and cut out paper stencils. I outlined the letters I needed on the fibran plate and used a sharp paper knife to trace the outline. The material I decided to work with feels a lot like compressed foam and doesn't require much effort to cut but is delicate and can easily break or bruise if pushed. It is also thick (which gives a nice 3D look to the letters) and might be a little tricky to keep the perfect proportions of the letters.
I cut out four different messages: Eat slow dream fast, This won't be here tomorrow, Dance in the rain and Go on an adventure (last one still waiting to be hung on a special place). I then glued the letters to narrow wooden laths and left them all dry for a couple of days.

The toughest part of it all was the installation. Fortunately, I had someone to do all the hard work for me (thanks, mr. Ugl!) and it actually seemed pretty easy from where I was standing, but this is probably because I wasn't on top of a ladder, hugging a tree. We chose the places carefully during the day and waited till it got dark (we didn't have a permission to hang anything, we needed to be extra sneaky!).
We didn't want to tape, glue or damage anything, so we used cable ties to hang our messages.
Тhe people we met during the installation were all so curious and positive about the whole thing, which made me very happy. I didn't know how to answer all their questions, because - honestly - it was just a spontaneous thing. I was often asked about meaning and purpose and I had to come up with a clever answer to that.
The meaning is whatever you want it to be. I don't expect you to take my words seriously and dance in the rain (but then again, why not? It sure will be fun!). I just want you to think about possibilities, nice things, adventures. I want you to see a message and relate to it. To stop for a second and look at it. Take a picture. Feel good.
The purpose?
The purpose is always the same: smile.

I am pretty happy with how things turned out. A lot could have been done better. We will have that in mind next time - but for now - it is all good. 
I haven't got the slightest idea how long will it take before someone decides to take the messages off. If you are in Rousse you might have already seen them. If not - don't worry. New ones will replace them soon. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Raw Nut & Date Power Balls

I am going to warn you from the very beginning: this recipe is addictive. There is no making it once, that is for sure, because these little balls taste like heaven. And are probably one of the best pieces of candy you could eat, too.
There is no specific recipe for this. I've already played around with different ingredients a couple of times and it works perfectly fine with whatever I decide to add/remove. I will give you a basic ingredient list, but feel free to change it the way you like it best. There is no way it won't work - be brave!

For about 50 power balls you will need:
2 tea cups of raw hazelnuts,
1 tea cup of raw almonds
1 tea cup of white dates
a handful of: goji-berries, raisins, salvia seeds and coconut flakes
3 table spoons of coconut butter

The only thing you need to do is grind the fruit and nuts very good in a blender or a nut-grinder. Add more dates or raisins if you like a sweeter taste, more butter for a creamier mixture, more power foods (goji-berries and salvia seeds) for... well, power.

Use the coconut flakes, salvia seeds, goji-berries or whatever comes to mind for decoration. Make a colourful batch! Leave in the fridge for half an hour and there you have it. Easy as this.

These power balls are the perfect treat for any occasion. They can satisfy any sweet tooth, they are very nutritious and high in energy and the best part of it - absolutely raw and natural.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Color me: exhibition for kids

"Color me" is a an interactive exhibition for the little ones, part of Sofia Design Week for Kids. A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a favourite illustrator of mine and was thrilled when she invited me to take part in all of this.  
I immediately loved the idea of kids having fun with original art. Еspecially in such a wonderful way. А coloring fort sounds like the best place to have fun, doesn't it?
Seven illustrators created different worlds and characters for the kids to choose among and the finished fort looked a lot like Wonderland. The only thing it needed was coloring.
And coloring it got. 

I had to learn basic Illustrator for a day (which was a great thing since I've postponed this for ages) and it was both fun and frustrating at times. I lost sketches, lost a finished project and made two new ones on its place so at the end of the day it was all good. A stag, a hedgehog and a beaver proudly represented my take on Wonderland. 

I was smitten by the finished project, by all the wonderful works and especially by the kids having fun with what we'd all done together. I even took a minute to leave a mark somewhere there, too. 

thank you to Denodada for this lovely photo and also thank you to the cute little girl who is coloring bravely.