Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ecseri piac: a history lesson, photography still lifes and shopping all in one place

I have always enjoyed looking and touching things from the past...old dishes and cups, clothing and table-clothes, old boxes and tins. There is such mystery in these old things. Who owned them? What did this object mean to the original owner? How did this object end up at a flea market?

Today my friend Sue and I visited Ecseri Piac in Hungary. It is a fantastic market full of old world treasures...and some junk. It was very quiet today at the market. Only half the vendors had set up (it is Wednesday). This ended up being a good thing as everyone was relaxed and chatty without being pushy. Vendors were even open for me to take photos.

I wanted so badly to buy a few of these.
I love the colors! They wanted 30.000 ft. ($150!) no thanks.
Can you even guess what this is?? I will give you a hint...people come here for "dental holidays" because Hungary is suppose to have great inexpensive dental facilities.
I think this is an old dentist chair and to the equipment.

I like the patterns on these mugs.
Since living in Hungary I have gained a wealth of knowledge on Hungarian folk arts and motifs. I saw this plate and I was immediately drawn to it. It is very Hungarian but so unique as it is in black and white and has so much detail. I wish I would have asked how much it was. It is really beautiful.
War medals from pretty much every era you can imagine.
There is a Hungarian history lesson is in this display.
These are a few photos from last year. We actually saw these same weird puppets today. They are still looking for a home.
What are the children that played with these bears doing today, now that they are all grown up? This photo is interesting because I just realized that in front of the bears is an old camera. It is almost like these bears are posing for one last photo. (eladó means for sale)
Forgotten toys.
If you are ever in Budapest I highly suggest a trip to Ecseri Piac. You will get a history lesson, photography experiment and shopping all in one place.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

sometimes you just need to paint

Sometimes I just need a brush in my hand instead of a pen. Sisters Gulassa had a post a few weeks ago that I can't get it out of my head. It was a simple post but it has inspired me so much! I just must paint. Let go of the pen and computer and let my relaxed hand holding a paintbrush...paint.
Last year I was on a mission to find silk paints locally. I bought many different brands but the colors and technique did not compare with what I bought in the states. So, I have all these silk paints that I will never use. Well, today I found a purpose. They makes great paints on paper!
I primarily used only used black paint because I thought it would be easier to scan and manipulate in the computer. Who knows? Maybe these will turn into actual prints...or maybe just stay as reminders of a nice day of painting. Either way, I must thank Cyrille and Lise over at Sisters Gulassa for inspiring me to pick up a paintbrush!

Monday, April 26, 2010

alluminare interview

Do you want a little insight into me, my design process and inspiration? Michelle from Alluminare interviewed me last week. Click here to read the Interview.

Check out the new products from Alluminare with my designs!
I love this pattern in curtains!
Were you surprised by any of my answers in the interview?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

a cup of coffee with a side of inspiration

Yesterday was my birthday. I usually get weird around my birthday...unsure of how I feel about it. This year was different, I was in a very good mood. Maybe it was the nice friend I meet for coffee or the friends who were in from out of town that we meet for dinner. Or maybe it was the wonderful husband who made me feel like a million bucks. Whatever it was, it was good day.

Today, I am a bit tired. I am on my second cup of coffee and not very productive. Time to step away from the computer and sit outside with my sketchbook.

Before I head out I thought I would tell you about a company that I just heard about. They are called Green Gate. They are based out of Copenhagen. Their stuff is so sweet!

How did I hear about them? I received the below coffee mug yesterday as a gift from my friends Andi and Ed. A great (and inspiring) gift! Thank you!

I just love everything about Green Gate! The colors, the patterns, even the photos are so well done. It makes me crave summer!What do you think?

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

photo candy

I love BBC day in pictures. I saw this today and just loved the photo. Wish I could do a little shopping in this mans shop.

Monday, April 19, 2010

happy birthday magnet sale

It is birthday week over here :) and to celebrate I am offering $1 shipping on all magnet orders bought from my Etsy shop!

Click here for more info: happy birthday magnet sale

Offer ends on Sunday, April 25!

Dotty Floral

Art Nouveau

Signature Floral

Folk Floral

Hungarian Floral

Friday, April 16, 2010

life without the web?

I was at my computer this morning doing my morning ritual of checking the news and diving into blogs. (Yes, I am a blog addict.) I came across an interesting story on decor8. I clicked on the link and over to this article I went: Life without the Web. My (probably crazy) plan to give up the internet.A man living without the computer and internet for 4 months.

First thought, I envy him. I sit in front of my computer more than I'd like to. I work from my computer, I get my news from my computer, I stay connected with family and friends through Skype on my computer, I even watch movies on my computer. (At least I can proudly say we do not own a television.) And, because many of my clients are in the USA, I end up checking my email right before I head to bed. I like to make sure I have taken care of last minute client needs before heading to bed-it is a sacrifice I am willing to make to be self employed and living in Europe.

I got to thinking, how can I manage my computer time so that this machine isn't open and staring at me for 15 hours a day? Lets face it, I get a ton of work done when my computer is absent. Remember that weekend escape I took last month? I left the computer at home and I ended up drawing more that weekend than I had in a long time. I actually created a whole fabric collection while I was off in the country side. (By the way, I have big news to share in a few weeks regarding this collection!) So, although I cannot give up my computer like

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

a studio obsession

I love messy studios, watching an artist at work and looking closely at a painting that is half finished. I love the smell of turpentine, the colors of dried paint on an old artist palette, the messy apron with paint strokes all over it. It reminds me of my mom, painting in the evenings while my sister and I tried to give her peace and quiet while she worked on her dream as an artist. That is why I love the smell of turpentine. The smell I associate with my mom being busy doing what she loved.

Over the past few years I have become obsessed with artist studios. You can learn so much about a person by being in their studio. You can truly feel their energy, their personally, their being.

A few days ago I bought the new Hungarian Elle Decor. It is a fantastic issue full of color print and pattern. But the pages that I can not stop looking at are the ones about Claire Basler. The photos of her in her studio/home painting are mesmerizing. I love how she has brought the outdoors in. I love the tree branches in the large vases. I imagine she feels like she is painting in a forest while she is working.
Her paintings are wonderful. They have an Asian feel to them. I like the colors, the mystical feeling I get when I look at them. I imagine running through fields before a storm. Check out her website for images of her artwork. Click here.A confession: I actually have looked at these photos for so long that last night I had a dream that we bought a warehouse and converted it into my studio and our home. It was HUGE with high ceiling and lots of rustic feel. One big room cleverly divided into small living spaces.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

kis alma haz (little apple house)

I often write about this adorable place in a small town outside of Budapest called Csákberény. I love this place. It is comfortable, cozy and inspiring. And it belongs to my dear friend Catherine. Well, Catherine and her husband have decided to start renting these cottages. So, now you too can spend a weekend in what I think is a little piece of heaven.

a short walk from the cottages

Click here to go to Catherine's Vineyard Cottages. You can see photos and prices on the site.

cozy up next to the fireplace
morning view
folk life
swimming pool to cool off
Most of the photos above were taken by Barnabas Imre.
You can see more of his work at

A little secret....I just designed collection called "folk life" (I will tell you more later). The collection was designed while Steven and I spent a long weekend at the Kis Alma Haz (little apple house). I just wrote up a little description of the collection...this is the feeling I get while at Kis Alma Haz.

  • Warm breeze. Sun on my face. Fresh laundry hanging on the line. Flowers in bloom. Bees buzzing. The call of distance birds. Resting on a gingham blanket. Eating fresh strawberries and sipping sweet tea. The country calls and I crave the folk life.

Someday I will have my own Kis Alma Haz:)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

prints prints and more prints

It has been a hectic week. I am preparing as much work as possible for Printsource. Printsource New York is the premier market for surface and textile design in the USA. They are the hub for the world’s top creative talent, Printsource showcases hundreds of collections by international surface and textile design studios and agents. England, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and the USA are just some of the countries featured each season at the Show.

I have been working with Group Four Design Studio since last fall. It is a perfect fit for me and I love working with them. So if you are in New York check out my work at the Group Four booth F17-19. For more info on Group Four click on the logo below.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

on a personal note

I don't talk much in this blog about being an expat overseas. I guess I envision this blog to be focused on design and creating. Well, a very good friend of mine is s freelance writer for the Budapest times and wrote an article about friendship as an expat. It it a fantastic explanation of friendships abroad. I wanted to share as he can say it better than I can. Enjoy the article.

Budapest - our current home