Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kayah and Bregovic...A musical treat with Polish and Balkan flair.

It's leap year, it's snowing outside, I just finished a grilled cheese and cup of tea, and I'm about to head over to my studio in the room next door to begin painting the three new drawings I made earlier this week. February is coming to a close and now off towards March and springtime!

So, why not celebrate with a song? My friends Razvan and Eleana introduced me to an album,Kayah and Bregovic, a couple of years ago and I've been listening to it a lot in my studio while I work lately. Goran Bregovic, born in Sarajevo, is a famous musician who is inspired by the music of the Balkans and Kayah is a very successful, Polish singer/songwritier. Here the two pair up for what became a wildly popular Polish album in 1999. The lyrics, music and video to "Prawy Do Lewego" are fun and entertaining, telling a story about what happens during a rowdy wedding on a boat. 


"Prawy do lewego"

W dużej sali duży stół
There is a big table in a big hall
A przy nim gości tłum
There are a lot of quests at the table
Gospodarz zgięty wpół
The host bend in an half *
Bije łychą w szklankę
Is hitting a glass with a spoon

Cisza chciałbym toast wznieść
Quiet! I'd like to make a toast
Jak można to na cześć
If it is possible in honour of
Ojczyzny w której wieść przyszło życie nasze hej
Our homeland in which we lead our life

Racja brachu
You are right my brother **!

(Więc) wypijmy za to
So drink up for that !
(A) Kto z nami nie wypije
[B]And who won't drink with us
Tego we dwa kije
We will took him into two sticks ***
Prawy do lewego
Right one to left one
Wypij kolego
Drink up mate !
Przecież wiemy nigdy nie ma tego złego
We all know that it never happend any bad things...***

A na stole śledzik był
There was herring on the table
Zobaczył go pan Zbych
Mr Zbych saw it
I pojął dobrze w mig
And he figure out in a second
Że śledzik lubi pływać
That the herring likes to swim****
Wstał by nowy toast wniesć
He gets up to make another toast
Za rodzinę świętą rzecz
In honour of family which is a holy (blessed)
No i teściowych też
And in addition for mother-in-law too
Rodzina to jest siła!
Because the family is the power !

Racja brachu..........
You are right mate...

Dzisiaj młodzież już nie ta
The young people of today are not the same (as in the past)
Użalał się pan Stach
Mr. Stach was complaining
Lecz machnął ręką tak
But he waved his hand so hard *****
Że wylał barszcz na panią
That he spill beetroop soup on a lady

Nic to jednak przecież bo
There is nothing to warried, isn't it ?
Sukienkę można zdjąć
She can take off the dress
A toast wznosi ktoś Za dobre wychowanie
But the toast is rising for good manners

Racja brachu.........

Pana Kazia kolej to
This is Mr Kazik's turn
Więc krawat ściągnął bo
So he take off his tie
Przecież postarza go
Because the tie makes him look older
I choć był już na bani
And although he was already drunk

Bez pomocy z gracją wstał
He stand up with a grace
Jąkając się dał znak
Stuttering, he made a signal
By wypić teraz za
To drink now for
Balony pani Mani
Mrs Mani's boobs

Racja brachu............

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Revisiting Poland


This morning I got out of the shower and was surprised to see how the house was darker than when I woke up! The gloom and impending rain inspired me to share some beautiful photographs with you from a sunny, summer day spent at a Skansen (Open Air Museum) in Poland last August.

Come with me to re-visit this Skansen in Tokarnia nearby the bigger city of Kielce, Poland. An old world village atmosphere is created with regional architecture, old & well maintained peasant homes: many white washed with thatched roofs, lively & colorful cottage gardens, a wooden church with hand painted interior, wooden sculptures by a folk wood carver/craftsman, altars and crosses marking your journey along the pathways, rural dwelling interiors with, herbs drying in entry ways, masonry cook stoves, embroidered linens, decorations honoring special times of year, ritual and traditions and geraniums in the window sills and paper cut curtains for decoration.

I hope you enjoy this summertime stroll where we'll see many things representing a rich, rural lifestyle and some cultural traditions found in Poland. I love feeling the sense of spirit infusing these places, objects, gardens with beauty, meaning and connection to the land, history and people of this place.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

True Love Grows

Happy Valentines Day! I hope your day is spent doing something you love, treating yourself to something special and spending time with loved ones. I hope you enjoy some chocolate too!

I just finished this new gouache painting, "True Love Grows" this morning. I wanted to post it as my Valentine's Day card to you.

And now a song by Nina Simone that came on as I was painting this piece. It perfectly fits with my idea for the painting and the title of the piece...
True love seed in the autumn ground.
True love seed in the autumn ground.
Where will it be found?

True love deep in the winter white snow.
True love deep in the winter white snow.
How long will it take to grow?

You know true love buds in the April air.
You know true love buds in the April air.
Was there ever a bud so fair?

True love blooms for the world to see.
True love blooms for the world to see.
Blooms high upon the July tree.

Friday, February 10, 2012

What's Cooking?

Whole Food Kitchen

A dear friend signed up to take this online whole foods course a month or two ago and included me as her friend on this journey. She said, "Kim, February is a great time of year to get some fresh inspiration in the kitchen, new wholesome recipe ideas and learn about many tools and supports to transform your kitchen and meals into a healthy and delicious experience." At the time I thought, "Sure. Why not? I'll try it." She was right. I wasn't aware until this week how the mid-winter, what should I cook?... I want to eat healthy....thoughts had been nagging subconsciously in the back of my mind. This course is just what I need. Thanks BethMarie!

I'm at the very beginning of the 3 month long course and I am super inspired! It does not have to be a time consuming project and right now that is a good thing. I'm finding that I can take the information shared and run with it or be selective in what I try and how much I'm involved.

Yesterday I tried three new recipes and all were delicious and simple to make. Want to see?

-Sesame Ginger Spinach Noodle Salad
-Honey Miso Baked Tofu


-Raspberry Oat Bars

We sure ate good last night! The minced cilantro, spinach and carrot gave the Sesame Ginger Noodles a great texture and lots of healthy vitamins, nutrients and fiber. The Raspberry Oat Bars were a fun new experiment on how to healthfully satisfy my sweet tooth. The recipe called for Sucanat but I tried using coconut palm sugar instead.  This sweetener is from the nectar of coconut palm blossoms. It's organic, nutritious and is a low glycemic index sweetener. I've found my alternative to the evil white stuff.

Check out the Whole Food Kitchen's creator's blog Beauty That Moves. I've just begun looking at it but it seems to be full or beautiful photographs, inspirations and has links to various workshops Heather teaches about nutrition.

I think I'll go eat some lunch now. 

I hope you have a healthy, happy weekend!

Monday, February 6, 2012

February in Bloom

We're a week into February and although this winter has been relatively mild, without a lot of snow, I still enjoy looking at the juxtaposition of my house plants, which live near the windows, against the icy, bare treed outdoors. I have a big picture window in the kitchen/dining area and put all the plants that are blooming there yesterday to take a picture. The amaryllis my mom gave me for Christmas began blooming this past week. Cyclamen, geranium and euphorbia are blooming now too and the jasmine is about to go into blossom. What is better than having some alive color in the house this time of year? When the jasmine goes into bloom the unmistakable scent comes along to brighten the house too.

Last week was a good week but also challenging. I have had feelings of being overwhelmed lately by my desires and goals. I have a number of projects I'm working on right now.  I'm creating two series of card designs and these are in the works. I continue to think about and look into my desire to create my own small home business. I'm trying to put into words what I am creating and why for my business plan and also so I can share my vision with potential clients and businesses that may hire me or carry my designs. I just signed up for and started a Photoshop course at a nearby community college as I have a big need to learn how to master computer art and design programs. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, these computer design programs are not easy for me to learn. My brain starts to hurt and feel overwhelmed by all of the options, choices, symbols and actions programs like Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator have. I know I'm just beginning and that I need to be patient and keep trying. It's hard though especially when doubts come a creeping into my brain.

Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed I have a hard time motivating, creating and focusing. I had such a day last week. I just couldn't be productive the way I had hoped and planned. I went for a walk, cooked food for some friends who had a tragic and untimely death in their family and read a book but I sure didn't make any head way on my list of goals set for my creations and small business. While this is happening I begin to think negatively about myself and my ability to achieve my goals. Uhhggg. My whole life and being comes into question and doubts lurk, ready to make themselves known. As if an unproductive day isn't hard enough? Why do I have to go into self doubt mode?

Well, it was just a day.... and I did accomplish some of my goals this week. Some days and weeks are just better than others. The flowers and how they bloom in their season, when ready, remind me that you can't necessarily force things. Sometimes I need to be ok with following unconscious rhythms, having slow days and trusting that I will have rock n roll days too. I still strive to blossom and realize my hopes and potential. I desire the naturalness and peacefulness I see and witness as my amaryllis unfurled it's blossom over the past days, as my cats have their rhythms without judgement of themselves and as the chickens uninhibitedly enjoy longer days spent under the hemlock tree and in the sunshine while receiving energy as their egg laying picks up. We all have our own rhythms.  The amaryllis, cats and chickens seem to be OK with theirs. Why is it sometimes hard for me to be OK with mine?