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November 2012
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January 2013

December 2012

A yummy dessert, a winter day and a bit of self indulgence

It is winter my darlings and although rain and wind are the only manifestations of this season in England I can always close my eyes and imagine that outside everything is covered in snow (thanks to the images posted by my friends on Facebook it is quite easy to remember how it feels) and that this is the perfect excuse for some comfort food.

When I came to England my baking skills were zero and stayed like that for quite a while ... the excuse is ... if I bake, we are going to eat all of those yummy cakes, if we eat ... we put on weight so ... no baking = keeping the kilos under control.

Jill E my dear friend and fellow artist is the one who broke my habit and .... here I was today ... cooking happily a tray of apple crumble, an absolute classic British pudding dish, something I absolutely adore. Jill's recipe is very simple and absolutely delicious so I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you. The quantities and ingredients other than digestive biscuits, butter and apples are quite up to you. One can be very creative really and this is another reason why I love it.

Apple crumble + digestive biscuits

550 g Bramley apples
1Tbsp lemon juice
150-200g digestive biscuits
25-35 g butter
sugar (it's up to you really ... I just add and taste and stop when it feels right)
2 tsp raisins
2 tsp chopped nuts

Peel, core and slice the apples and place in a saucepan together with the sugar, raisins and 2 Tbsp of water.
Cover and cook until the apples are very soft.
Transfer apples in an oven proof dish.
Melt the butter, stir in the digestive biscuits (remember to break them in small pieces and them crush them in tiny crumbles - use a blender). At the end stir in the nuts.

Add the composition on top of the cooked apples, bake for 20 minutes in the oven (180degrees) and that's it. Serve it with a bit of single cream or yogurt.

Enjoy it with coffee or tea! Yummy!

A yummy dessert, a winter day and a bit of self indulgence

A yummy dessert, a winter day and a bit of self indulgence


21 secrets and why art is important

Monoprints set 4

 

 

I discovered on line art groups almost 2 years ago when I was trying to remind myself that life is colourful, that there is kindness in this world, that there are still people who care about what they do on this planet!Yes, at that time it was that bad!

Joining on line art-courses opened a whole new world to me, helped me to find many kindred spirits who are now my friends, allowed me to express my emotions and enjoy the magical world of art more and more. 

 

 

So, if you want to experiment a bit with the paints and brushes, if you want to meet people who are ready to support you, if you want to learn how to bring more energy into your life, how to remove the clouds of sadness .... join on line art courses. 

Have a look at the following link 21 secrets  .... you will meet 21 exceptional artists and healers and trust me .... you will not regret it! 


About flamenco, the Venus bar and passion

A few weeks ago I was writing about "Duende" by Jason Webster, a book that inspired me, finally, to look for a flamenco class, a dance class that I've been wanting to try for a very long time. The name of the flamenco school I found while browsing the internet was .....Duende Flamenco :)  Coincidence or what?

When one is determined and when the time is right things happen!

A week after I finished the book I was already attending the first "beginners" class ... in my own town ... :) It always amazes me how many things take place in my town, how many things I keep finding. On the surface some are tempted to say that Eastbourne is a retirement town, a place where only dinosaurs live .........but give it a bit of time, use your curiosity and opinions start shifting.

To say that I felt accepted and welcomed from the very first moment by my new flamenco dance class colleagues is an understatement ... given that I joined the group a month after the group had started their current programme.

Our teacher, Helena's personality is infectious and I love that she combines hard work with motivation, humour with attitude, and is introducing you not only to a dance but to a whole new world! What I've realised is that flamenco is just like painting, something you can practice all of your life!

How amazing is that! And how uplifting and joyful it is to watch the advance group whizzing and turning and being able to express the flamenco spirit not only through crafted movements and castanetas but also through facial expression and hand movements. Yes, I know exactly how I'm going to dance in 10 years time.

Until then it will all be about posture (it really reminds me of my early ballet sessions), steps, new sounds with castanetas, another frustration (don't we all want to learn everything quickly), another great success when I remember another tiny, tiny step ........ and a feeling of exhilaration when the class is over and I'm on my way home. I know then that I've had great Me time!

Yesterday was doubly special ... we had our Christmas party and besides lovely presents from Helena and presents exchanged between us flamenco afficionados, we had a lovely meal cooked with love, dedication and inspiration by Victor, the owner of VENUS BAR in Eastbourne.

We had delicious tapas (including boquerones en vinagre, jamon cerrano, delicious bread, fresh REAL Spanish bread and so much more), the famous chicken paella, fish paella, patatas bravas, a delicious pudding with ice-cream ... oh boy it was a great meal and for a few hours we all felt that Spain was part of us and we were part of Spain. Of course the old movies with a flamenco theme shown as part of the Christmas extravaganza added to the whole atmosphere and wetted our appetite for a future trip to Andalusia, where it all began!

If you want to know more about flamenco classes, about cultural tours, about workshops and duende holidays have a look at www.duendeflamenco.co.uk

So a big OLE to my fellow flamenco aficionados for being so friendly, a big OLE to Helena for organising such a great evening yesterday and a big OLE for Victor, the passionate chef at the Venus Bar!

About flamenco, the Venus bar and passion

About flamenco, the Venus bar and passion

About flamenco, the Venus bar and passion


Embrace change now

The revolution in Romania in December 1989 led to major changes in my country - in theory, and in theory for all of us. When you are in the middle of a transformation as big as the the change from 50 years of communism and isolationism to full-on market capitalism you would expect things for everyone to change overnight - but in practice real changes were incremental, cumulative and happening much faster for some than for others.

And for many of those for whom December 1989 opened immediate opportunities to throw away the shackles of the past even they did not always see the real impact it was having on their lives. You just carried on living for today, but living at a much faster pace.

For some, change meant just more products on the prettier shelves, easier, more comfortable trips abroad on newer planes, more TV broadcasting of programmes that made us laugh or inspired our new curiosity, it meant the freedom to criticise (carefully), the freedom to display your new wealth, for others, particularly the older members of our society, the freedom to become even poorer.... and so on.

For the younger generation the opportunities opening up in front of their eyes over the months and years meant new careers working for foreigners or new owners of old businesses, or trading for themselves across our new open frontiers - some left the country for good, something that was not permitted before for most of us.... they all embraced change. 

Others, even some of the young, stayed doing much as before ... they went to the same job (by newer, cleaner bus), did the same thing before and after...... and started to fear about losing their job as old activities disappeared or were taken over. The ingrained attitude that nothing can be done to improve my life, ingrained over grey decades of sameness, was I am where I am, I need to keep my head down and things will be OK........with OK meaning the safety of no changes, respecting old Communist rules and ideals in a completely new environment ......and yet feeling increasingly alienated, lonelier, getting more and more frustrated that life around them was getting "louder", that others, not them were enjoying the new world and the opportunities created by it!

One can embrace change anytime! I strongly believe that. But is that just a person who has done so speaking? 

I've been painting for almost 9 years now, much to my mother's ridicule. Although she was able, occasionally, to see the joy it gave me, her logical brain saw this as a useless waste of time, even a stupid activity given the need to adhere to the old ways. The paints and brushes and books I sent her in an attempt to encourage her to join my journey was met with heated rejection. Intense negative reactions came with the fear of embracing change. 

It took my mother, alone in her flat in Bucharest, a few good years to join the world of self expression through paints ... but much to my joy she now paints from time to time .....and I was over the moon to receive a Christmas present two days ago, including two of her new paintings (the photo is below).

What has happened? She gave herself limited permission to embrace change! And guess what ... she realised that ... embracing change is not bad at all!

How about you? 

Embrace change now

 

 

 

 


Art is about letting go

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Art is about letting go .... letting go of perfection, letting go of the SHOULDS, the HAVE to(s) ... Art is about giving yourself permission to express yourself ..... is about diving in and awakening the artist within....... diving in and dancing with the real you ...with the  the divine sparkle of light that is immortal.... 

Art is about people ..... like-minded people, loving, generous, supportive, non-judgemental, inspiring... 

 

 

Art is about the paints ... watercolour, oils, acrylics, oil pastels, chalk pastels, inks, charcoal, pencils .... Art is about the brushes and sponges, the palette knives and the forks, and the cloth, and the fingers, and so much more ... 

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Art is about being curious, about removing the barriers of insecurity, is about building or re-building a relationship with yourself, is about healing the past, about enjoying the NOW and looking at the future with love. 

Most of all ART is about allowing it to be part of your life and listening to the whispers of kindness and compassion and joy .... is about the cocoon of safety and colour where you can step in anywhere, anytime and feel rejuvenated, peaceful, optimistic. 

 

 

 

 

Elisabeth Murdoch said "I always believed that a mother's role, especially to a young adult, is one of kindliness, affection and courage, and perhaps one hopes to inspire them to rise to the best that is in themselves."

I would say that this is the role of a mentor, a teacher, a coach, a friend who really touches your life and changes it forever! 

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I've had the joy of meeting such a person. It is Pauline Agnew. Have a look at her website at www.seedbedstudio.net and learn about the exciting course she has for you starting with January 2013.

Give yourself permission to get in touch with your feelings and express them through art! Do it ..now my darlings! It will be a great way to start a new year!

See you! :) 

 


Beanzz Cafe or saying yes to opportunities

"There is an invisible, infinite part of ourselves that I call soul. The soul is our spiritual core; it is the divine spark of life that always was and forever will be. Think of this spark as a light that burns brightly within you. This is the essence of who are, and it is contained in each breath you take." - James van Praagh

The soul ... paints, sings, laughs, cries, hopes, celebrates .... is deep and passionate and remembers .....

When I paint, I paint with and from the soul, I paint what I feel and I listen to what my soul wants to "talk" about through the paints and brushes. I don't know about you but I find that painting is my way of saying OLE like in flamenco. The other day I was watching some amazing flamenco dancers and singers. I loved their capacity to express their emotions with their faces, voices, hand gestures, uninhibited, free, proud!

Although I am mortified to let myself go and dance from the soul or sing from the soul ... I can ... paint from the soul and I cannot tell you guys how liberating it feels.

A few days ago I was invited to exhibit in a local coffee shop. My logical brain started to whisper wildly ... no way, you cannot, it's not enough time, they might not like your paintings and so on ... luckily my soul was wide awake and took over the conversation saying a very big YES.

So, boys and girls ... you are invited to enjoy a cup of coffee in Eastbourne, at the Beanzz Cafe, and starting with today, December 4th, 2012 until January 15th, 2013 see my paintings as well.

The paintings ... are coming from the soul.

Love and light to you all!

Beanzz Cafe or saying yes to opportunities

Beanzz Cafe or saying yes to opportunities

Beanzz Cafe or saying yes to opportunities