Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cooking New Recipes

I love cooking, but because I'm usually quite busy, I often end up cooking the same old recipes from my trusty recipe book. I make stuff that's quick and tasty, so that I can have a warm meal and not spend hours in front of the stove. However, I like playing with new recipes as well when I have time, so I was looking forward to the holidays as a time when I can try out some recipes that I got online.

This time I tried a bunch of recipes from a really nice cooking blog called smitten kitchen:
- The clementine cake, which sounded weird at first when I read I had to boil clementines, but ended up being quite moist and delicious: . One advice from me is to either buy organic clementines and boil them with the peel and everything, or otherwise peel them and then boil them. It's just that regular clementines have all kinds of nasty chemicals in their skin, so I wouldn't recommend using it in your cake if that is the case.
- Red pepper cream soup:  My recommendation for this recipe is to serve the soup warm and sprinkle it with crumbled feta cheese and freshly chopped parsley instead of using creme fraiche.
I have my eye on several other recipes from this lovely blog, but I'm not sure I'll have enough time to try them before the new year comes.

I also tried two pancake recipes from Martha Stewart, because I was craving some American-style thick pancakes. Both turned out quite delicious, so I'll be making them again.
- Cottage cheese pancakes with lemon:
- Chocolate-pecan pancakes: Because it's not very easy to find pecans in Bulgaria, I used walnuts instead.

All in all, the internet is full of great cooking blogs and recipe websites, and I like to explore. Four new recipes is not bad for this holiday, and hopefully I'll be able to try more new stuff once I finish my degree and have more free time in the evenings and weekends.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Art for Christmas

My friend Lilly lives with her boyfriend, and last time I was at their place I noticed that they didn't have any artwork. They also had some beautiful blank walls that were just crying to be filled, so I decided to paint a couple of abstract pieces for Christmas this year. Lilly really likes red, and their couch is a reddish-brick color, so I decided on a red theme, and here is what I came up with. Admittedly, the photo is probably terrible, since I only remembered that I hadn't photographed the pieces two minutes before I had to leave for their place and give them their gift, so I just clicked a photo for my archives without much regard for removing reflections from the glass and so on. Maybe after they put them up I can ask them to photograph them again.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winter Wonderland

After submitting the last two papers for the quarter last Saturday morning, Pavel and I drove to Borovets, a ski resort an hour away from Sofia, to see some friends who were there for the weekend. It had been snowing the week before, and it started to snow again once we were there, so it was quite the winter wonderland. The hotel where our friends were staying had a very nice fireplace in the lobby, and we sat there for hours eating delicious cherry pie and scrumptious chocolate cake, enjoying the warmth, crackling fire, and the snowy views. It made me want to take a few days off, go to a place like that, and enjoy some lazy times with a book. Pavel would say I'm wacky to be staying in when there are those great slopes to conquer, but I am quite content to stay in and chill while he and the others are skiing. I'm just not much for sports in the cold outdoors. Except perhaps ice skating - I actually love that!
Anyway, here are some photos of the snowy trees. I hope we have a snowy Christmas in the city as well.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Botanical Photos

I promised the customary fall botanical photos, and here they are. I have to admit, I find rose hip particularly fascinating this time of year. Every fall I go crazy shooting rose hip, but I just can't help it. It's so interesting with its red fruit and colorful leaves, and it usually makes for a great bokeh background. Something new I found this year was this gorgeous yellow fern, which had such a bold and shining color. I like different things about the different seasons, and the thing I like best about the fall is the amazing color.  Greenish yellow, gold, warm orange, fiery red, crimson with hints of purple, vermillion and warm brown, coupled with shiny blue sky - wow!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The World from Above

I promised more photos from my photography trip to Belintash, and here they are. I though I'd post a few photos that I took while flying, just because it's really cool to see the world from above. In fact, I was so busy looking around in awe when I was up there, that I caught myself completely forgetting to take photos. It's not like I haven't flown in a plane before - I've done it many times while I was studying abroad, but it's not the same when there is no cabin. I would love to take some photos from a plane sometime, though. Next on the blog agenda are my customary fall botanical photos. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Flying in the Fall

Since my last post that involved whining about the weather turning bad, we've had very nice weather. I went to a photography trip this weekend to the Rhodope mountains with a bunch of other photographers, and we had amazing weather. In fact, we got to fly on a motor hang glider and take photos from above. I mean, wow! Here is just a quick sneak peak; expect more photos later this week.
Oh and this is actually my 100th post! Yey me!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Last Days of Summer

Summer ended quite abruptly this year. One day it was sizzling hot, and a second later it was rainy and 15 degrees colder. Not fun! I am a bit sad to see the summer go, partly because this year I didn't have many chances to enjoy it. I also just bought two folding lounge chairs for my backyard, but I didn't have a chance to sit in them because it was cloudy and rainy for the past week and a half. It's finally sunny again, but it is a little chilly - definitely fall weather. I would like more warm days, please!

In order to prolong the summer, if only in my mind, I decided to post some photos from my vacation in Greece. Blue skies, sparkling seas, boats, and white sand beaches...dreamy! This year I was really craving the beach, with its salty air and the sound of the waves. I needed to be outside for a whole week, sightseeing or relaxing with my Kindle and a good book.

The sea brings all of these beautiful marble and quartz rounded pebbles to the shore, like the ones that you can get in home decor stores for a ton of money, so I went crazy and brought back something like 10 kilos of stones in three colors. It spent quite some time laughing at myself for that, but it was worth it, because I put some of the pebbles in glass cylinder vases I got from IKEA and arranged them with my big glass cylinders of pine cones  to get a nice setup. It goes really well with the natural and chocolate and milk tones of my living room. And it was pretty much free :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Lately it takes me forever to write a blog post. Scrambling to finish the summer quarter of my MBA (which means that I am actually done with half of the program), I pretty much spent most of my scarce free time sleeping :) I did, however, go to one of the Sofia Breathes festival days one Sunday after my exams. I really like street fairs and stands selling handmade stuff and street performers. I took s few photos, and here is a small selection of them - a cute colorful pixel painted chair, a line of linocuts featuring scenes from Bulgaria and a guy spray paining a gorgeous butterfly. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Abstract Painted Paper Collages

I was looking through some of my old, and some slightly less old, painted paper collages this weekend, just to see if I still like them. Turns out I do, and very much so. You know how sometimes you create something, really loving it at the time, only to look at it a year later and think to yourself "what was I thinking?" Well, this was not one of those moments.
I started making such collages for an assignment for one of my painting courses in college, and I was having a really hard time at first. I seemed to be doing the same thing over and over, and I was struggling with creating engaging compositions that were not representative. My professor encouraged me to try harder, to let go, to play around with the shapes and colors, and I ended up completely loving it. At the end of the class I told my professor that I see more of myself in these abstracts than in any of the other landscape or still life work that I did before. I still believe that.
Anyway, I have about twenty seven collages that I like, both new and old, and I think that's a good number. I am thinking of bringing that number up to 40 or 50; they will make a good collection for an art show along with something like 15 bigger oil pieces. So here are some sneak peaks of the collages I have so far:

And by the way, how annoying is it that there is no rubber cement in Europe - I mean, what's up with that?! Supposedly it's something to do with hazardous materials, but it just sucks. There's no other kind of glue better for making these collages than rubber cement.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Pale Light Summer Abstract

Here is another abstract that I painted a few weeks ago, which turned out quite nicely, I think. I really like the colors in this one; they kind of remind me of a pale yellow beach with light blue and grey pebbles and clear water. I want to be in a place like that right about now, actually. So far this summer has been tough on me, and a vacation seems far away and uncertain. I'm trying to decompress whenever I can, but I'm still stressed from all the stuff I'm trying to juggle at the same time. Usually I find summers deliciously slow, with hot afternoons and iced tea, pale sunsets and warm nights, but this year I'm finding myself fast forwarding through the days like a crazy person. There's no time to stop and enjoy the season. I'm trying to work on slowing down a little, but, at the same time, I would like to finish my MBA as fast as possible. Then I'll be done with my education - yey! I'll just study fun stuff after that, like painting or photography :) Oh, I'm sooo looking forward to that time! In the meantime, enjoy my newest painting:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Red Abstract

I'm trying to find time in my insane schedule to paint more, but it doesn't always work out. Lately I've been spending most of my weekends sleeping - that's how exhausted I am at the end of the work week. Still, I am trying to work up to having enough paintings and collages for an art show and, perhaps, an Etsy shop. Here is one of my latest abstracts, very red and fiery. I'll be coming up with names when I have enough paintings, and that's always a very fun task for me.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Highlights from Sofia Design Week 2012: Numen/For Use

Would you call it architecture, design, art, or installation? No matter how you classify the work of Numen/For Use, you would most likely say that it's completely awesome. At least that's what I would say. I'm sure if some critic read what I just wrote, they would frown at the word "awesome" and demand a more sophisticate way of saying the same thing, but for us regular bloggers "awesome" would have to do.

Numen/For Use are, or were, mostly known for their furniture design, but I was very impressed by their installations and theater set design. I'll start with the installations, since they have the most "fun factor" and they completely astound with the simple fact that they are done with nothing more than....wait for it....TAPE! Yes, you heard that right - tape!

The Croatian-Austrian design collective makes amazing architecture-like structures from tape, and these structures go on to become fun-filled playgrounds for the young and old alike. I never would have thought to do anything with tape, but here these people are, making architectonic forms out of the material. The fact that tape is elastic and just gradually stretches or bends if it has to carry heavier loads instead of breaking makes it perfect for people roaming the structure, like you can see on the photos below (the photos are all from the Numen/For Use website - no copyright infringement is intended). The photos are from installations done in Melbourne and Frankfurt. I would have loved to play around in installations like these. How great would it have been to have something like this in Sofia?!

Apart from the tape installations, I definitely found Numen/For Use's theater set design very intriguing. You can look at their website for all of their projects, including a set made all of glass and mirrors, but here I'm just going to show you one of their projects, which made a particularly strong impression on me. Again, I think what I was most impressed about was the fact that very simple tools were used to create a very original effect. For a theater production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Zagreb, Numen/For Use created a set made pretty much entirely out of curtains. They played around with the idea that the curtain is what separates the real world in the theater from the imaginary, fantasy world. Here they cut the red curtain into strips, so that they could achieve a smooth and very magical transition between the real world and the story, as well as between the city and the woods, where all the magic and confusion in the play happens. The curtains turn into magically lit trees, with people and fairy creatures moving in, out, around and above, appearing and disappearing like they are truly a part of a dream. Watch the video below and you'll see what I mean.

Head over to the website to enjoy more projects like these.
All photos in these post feature projects by Numen/For Use and belong to them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Highlights from the Sofia Design Week Forum 2012: Raw Edges Design Studio

It’s that time of the year again! No, it’s not Christmas…It’s Sofia Design Week!

I attended the Sofia Design Week Forum for the first time last year, and I was blown away by some really great presentations, unique projects, and lots and lots of creative design. That’s why this year I was really looking forward to attending the forum again. Unfortunately, I had a Marketing exam scheduled on one of the forum days, so I missed something like three lectures. I was quite annoyed by this development, as you can imagine. Oh well, what can you do…

Anyway, last year I wrote two posts describing some of the interesting ideas and designs that I saw (which you can read here and here), but since I missed some lectures this year, I thought that this time I would do a series of posts highlighting some of the most imaginative and exciting things from what I did see.

 I thought I’d dedicate this first post to Raw Edges Design Studio, a design collaboration that I actually knew of before the forum. In case you don’t know who they are, they are the ones that made the gorgeous parquet floors shown below for Established & Sons, Stella McCartney stores and Design Miami/Basel Global Forum for Design. These beautiful floors in lush colors are featured pretty much on every design blog I’ve read, and it was a real delight to be able to have Yael Mer and Shay Akalay as speakers in this year’s forum.


I found quite a lot of their projects very interesting, such as The Pond and Plaid Bench, which you can see on their website. I’ve included a photo of the benches below as well (© 2012 Yael Mer & Shay Alkalay). I am fond of their bright color palette, which is close to what I use in my jewelry and abstract art. I also love their Hole In The Floor shelves for books, which you can also see below. These look simply adorable to a bookworm like me.

Photos from No copyright infringement is intended. All photos feature work by Raw Edges Design Studio.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


OK, I guess I really enjoy logo design. I had to design a logo for a new fast food place called "Lucky Star" and I sort of went overboard. I gave them nine pages of logos. Yeah, crazy.
It's just that I had some ideas bouncing around in my head, and when I started putting them on paper and on the computer screen, I got more ideas, and I ended up churning out a bunch of different designs. Of course, some are simpler than others, but since the owners didn't really give us any direction, I decided not to discount any ideas.
I am kind of attached to the ones with the forks and the ones where someone took a bite out of the star :) I think those turned out pretty great :) Anyway, check them out below:

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I've been meaning to write a post about the logo I designed for my dad's company for more than a year now, but for some reason I always skipped over it in favor of some other topic. I actually designed the logo as a birthday present to him one year because his old logo was very old-fashioned and with a crazy blue and yellow flashy combination of colors. In reality, just by looking at his old logo, you wouldn't be able to recognize that the firm has anything to do with construction. This is why I set out to design something new and fresh for him.

I started by just jotting down some ideas and doodling on a scrap of paper to come up with some ideas for the logo. Sorry for the bad quality of the photo, but it is the only one I have of my doodles, and it will do for the purpose of this post.

I was also thinking of maybe having a Bulgarian and English version of the logo, but in the end, I decided against it.

I decided on the design idea that seemed the most appropriate for the business and that looked cleanest in terms of lines and shapes. My goal was to create a logo that had a clean and modern look. Then I played with some colors in order to decide whether the logo should have one or two colors. I used colors that would suggest materials used in construction, such as grey, brown and black, and I used different greens, in part as a symbol of land and in part to bring some "freshness"to the design.

At this point I showed the designs to my dad, we discussed them, and he decided on a design of brown and green letters. The one-color logos looked interesting to me because the letters P and C blended together to create on structure, but the two-color logos were perhaps a bit better in terms of readability.

Finally, I prepared some designs for his business cards. He liked the vertical designs, so these were the ones we got printed.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I've been trying to find more time to paint this month, while I am still on break between quarters, because once I start the new MBA courses I'll probably be back on a schedule of "don't have time for anything apart from school and work." I have painted five new abstracts in brown that I might end up hanging in my living room. Here is a sneak peak, and I'll post images of some of the paintings once they are dry.

Here are some details:

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Here are four abstracts that I framed to put in my art/craft room. They are tempera on paper and were originally meant to be used in painted paper abstract collages, but I quite like them on their own. They would go really well with the existing furniture and decorations in the room, such as the white bookcase and desk, the red puff chair and this awesome quilt that I got for my birthday last year.

I have been painting abstracts lately, and I hope I can get enough done this year to try and organize an art show, but, busy as I am, I'm not sure that I'll be able to find enough time to do it all. Still, it's good to have goals, I guess :)

Here they are:

Saturday, February 25, 2012


One of my college friends is involved in an online shop for scarves, Jawan, which is actually project helping the Afghan Scholars Initiative. About a month ago he asked me whether I could come up with something new for their logo. They did not want a sign logo, they just wanted me to play around with the name and slogan of Jawan Fashion and come up with a softer, elegant and modern look.
Here is a screenshot of their website:

I played around with fonts, different elements related to the scarves themselves, such as the tassels, and different colors, and I came up with the following logos:

From these, they liked the three below, which I made in their signature color.

Now I am just waiting for them to decide whether they would use any of these. Whatever happens, though, I quite like how they came out :).

Related Posts with Thumbnails