Tuesday, 18 February 2014

doodling asparagus & blueberries

The other day my lovely friend Eva, who's living in Boston right now - way too far away from me - kindly asked me to design a pattern for her mouthwatering food blog Pilgrim Soup. So after some time I actually drew pretty things instead of millipedes and cockroaches. I really enjoyed it!

Asparagus made the cut. Yay!

 I'll go back to drawing my usual weird things for now, though it's good to try something different once in a while, also to see people's feedback. And it keeps things interesting!

Here are a few other ones I played around with, which do you prefer and what can you see it on- clothes? wallpaper? stationary?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

vintage fair & canal walk

Even though Birmingham is England's second biggest city, comparing to London not that many exciting things happen here. So when there's a vintage fair, you go to the vintage fair. This one was Lou Lou's at the Town Hall, check out their next ones all around the UK! 
I went with my housemate Louise and we had a great time, the place was definitely buzzing, there was even a 50's style singing group which added to the atmosphere really well. OH and the cupcakes.

I loved all the patterns on jumpers and dresses, but I have to be careful with my finances so I resisted and was quite proud of myself I must say.

It must have been the event of the weekend because I ran into many of my classmates- like Manshi!
I have always loved hats. Don't think I could actually dare to wear one like this in public sadly.. One day.

It wasn't actually raining for once so Louise and I went for a walk along the canal and past some beautiful canal boats. I used to live on one (much smaller and less fancy) in London and it made me remember all the good times on that little boat. Sitting on the roof, watching rowing boats go by, feeding swans, watching the fire but of course also showering in the gym, dropping things in the river, freezing our butts off when the wood ran out, getting our mouths filled with midges and other fun things like that. I regret nothing, it was an amazing year on the Thames.

Canalside Cafe is probably one of the only really cute cafes in Birmingham- such a romantic little spot. Their rhubard & strawberry crumble with ice-cream was really to die for, I might have scared some customers by making a whole load of noises when eating this delicacy. They also have a fire and do all kinds of meals. Can't wait to drink cider by the canal there in the summer, almost like back on the boat..

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Oxford rendezvous

Yesterday was Oxford day! It was so nice to be back there after 4 years, it's such a cute little place. The tourists were annoying but being from Prague, I'm pretty used to that. Speaking of Czech things, on the way from Birmingham to Oxford believe it or not, 3 Czechs about my age got on the bus with us and I have probably never felt less homesick. Also one of my earphones wasn't working properly so I unwillingly heard everything they said, which made me want to jump out and hide any proof that I was of the same nationality.

Other than that, we had such a good time with my housemates Sophie and Alison, laughing, eating, shopping, eating, walking and more eating. I loved all the little hidden places and cute little houses and the details on them. We were pretty lucky with the weather too.

Sophie & Alison
cute little roofs pointing up to the blue sky
you can never go wrong with bricks.
Swedish looking houses
as soon as the sun is out, everything is good.
a bit of Antony Gormley
Turf Tavern- the most adorable pub- ideal for hobits!
artsy fartsy
us being shiny happy people.

One of the main reasons for me to visit Oxford was the Pitt Rivers Museum, which I'd heard such great things about. So I let the girls explore the town further (which means local sweets shops) and made my way there. 
To get to the Pitt Rivers, you first have to walk through the Natural History Museum, which I actually found more inspiring for the kind of work I do. Squid-like things and worms pickled in goo, fossilized dinosaurs and trilobites- what's not to like. So get ready for some weird looking patterns soon.

my first thought: Hogwarts!
shut up. no you shut up.

And now to the kingdom of Pitt Rivers.. There were things everywhere. I didn't know where to look first, it was so fascinating- artifacts from all over the world; things like Eskimo jackets made of seal intestines, necklaces made of bear claws, wooden Himalayan masks. Just a shame the lighting wasn't very good so lots of times the objects weren't even that visible. Children were doing little treasure hunts around and the atmosphere was generally really nice and homey. Oh and I found out that Sir David Attenborough was involved in reopening the museum in 2009, which made me appreciate this gem all the more.

Before getting back on the bus we just had time to pop into an Oxfam bookshop and I found a 'Czech for beginners' book there! I love how you can find random books like that.
 Oh and guess who was back on the bus with us? Yep, those 3 Czechs together with a snoring lady. Happy times!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

internship joy

So I got pretty good feedback for my first Masters term which made me really motivated. I know some people have it the other way around, that they are actually happy when their marks aren't that great which makes them work harder. I'm the other way around. I start doubting myself and whether I should actually be doing any of this. Then I realize there is nothing else I want to do (or can do) so I get back to it anyway but yeah, this time I was happy with it- is the summary of this rambling.

Last week I got an internship at Pattern Textiles, which I was so excited about! My mom told my Grandma, who called me straightaway to tell me: "Congratulations on your scholarship!"
Don't you love how Grandmas just have no idea what you're actually doing, as long as it's kind of looking hopeful and making you happy.. She's the best.
I start in mid-August, which works out perfectly as it's right after I graduate and it will last 2 months. It's a really nice looking east London brand (Bethnal Green- maybe I'll bump into Kate Nash or the guys from Bloc Party? Yeah, I think I lived in London long enough to know that actually doesn't really happen.) doing designing in the studio- they told me to bring some old clothes since there will be a lot of practical work- dying, embroidery, sewing and all sorts of things, which sounds like exactly what I was hoping for.

Here are some examples from their collection:

It'll be so nice to be back in London, especially in the summer, that hasn't happen in a few years. Can't wait for picnics, Colombia Road market, warm summer rain and happy people. London just completely transforms during the summer. Of course I'll actually be working full-time so maybe I won't get any of that but I'm sure it'll be worth it. There's always weekends, right?

St James' Park, London, 2011