Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cards and card making

I remember that when I was little I used to make cards all the time: for birthdays, holidays, and any other occasion. I loved to make these special little gifts and give it to people I care about, and they were always happy to receive them and appreciated and cherished whatever childish scribbles and drawings I managed to produce.
But when I grew a bit older, I've started to judge my own work and to realize that it wasn't perfect, not even "good enough". I realized for a fact that I cannot draw or paint. I could not construct precise right angle for anything in the world. And that's how I gave up on card making (not that I was aware at that point that there is such a thing as card making craft) or any crafting to be honest. I found other things that I was good at and pursued them instead.
Years and years later, a craft bug dormant inside of me for so long has woken up again and I've started to make my own cards once more. I guess I was older and wiser enough to realize that giving something special to someone you care about, and into what you invested your emotions, imagination and time, is much more valuable than being able to produce a masterpiece for everyone to marvel. Even with 20-something, I still had serious trouble with right angles. But I found myself enjoying the process of creating and trying more and more, so that in the end I stopped caring about imperfections and started giving the best I could. My blessing was (and still is) in the fact that around myself I have people who do appreciate an honest gift and can recognize emotions and intentions when they see them.
(a birthday card for my friend, made from read an black corrugated cardboard, golden foil, white copy paper and a cute little good luck sticker)
Only later did I learn that there are many people who love to make cards, that there are books written on the subject and that there is a recognized craft called card making.
I don't have many pictures of the cards I've made, but here are some I've found, made in recent years.
(card for my friend's graduation, made from baby rose cardboard, white copy paper, silver foil from a pack of cigarettes - reuse whatever you can and YES smoking IS bad and NO I don't smoke, silver star stickers and a golden tread)
And remember, a single smile can be worth more than all the praise and flattery in the world!

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's the World Food Day today!

A Billion for a Billion - How can the online billion help the hungry billion World Food Programme

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Music for hot summer evenings

It is summer and I am in Novi Sad. Ideal situation to go and visit some of the concerts from the "Novosadian Musical Summer" event. Thanks to my friend Ana, who is on vacation (otherwise, fat chance that she'd go out on a work day) AND who reads newspapers regularly, we went to see something that she descirbed as: a string quartet playing a little bit of everything, even some modern pieces... I was wanting for good old live classical music, and so we went.

First surprise was the discovery of a beautiful concert place under the clear sky: the garden of a recently renovated high-school dorm which I have walked by so many times in my life but never had a chance to glimpse into and see the museum-like interior and its hidden treasure - the garden. It was a romantic, almost unreal, setting. Rows of chairs, a small stage, dimmed lights, greenery around and stars above. A gentle summer evening in which beautiful music lures the senses and makes you forget everything - that was the promise I felt in the air.
Perhaps, everyone in the garden had gotten that overly-romantic notion, so the Reality had to bring us all back to Earth - sending swarms of mosquitoes on us was naturally the first choice for the hot summer evening. It was unpleasant, no doubt, but also kind of funny - everyone was swaying and moving and protesting. And it got us in the right mood, and by this I mean less romantic mood in positive sense, for what we were about to listen.

It was a concert of a string quartet, Ana was right about that. But who said that string quartets have to play classical music? This particular quartet plays adaptations of modern rock and pop music! After first few sounds, I've hurried to look into program that I was using and a weapon against mosquito armies attacking me from everywhere. Reading that program was like reading my computer play list - verbatim. Song after song it was everything familiar and loved and I got more and more excited at the prospect of hearing them in this new interpretation. I was definitely caught by surprise and it was a really pleasant one. I love to listen to adaptations of modern music for classical instruments and orchestras: Apocalyptica and their interpretations of Metallica, Royal philharmonic orchestra playing Oasis, just to name a few.
When I read the program I knew I was in for a musical treat, and so it was. I loved "Seven nation army" with help of a percussionist, "Bring me to life" and Moloko's "The time is now" sung by Teodora Bojovic. This was the first time I think that I had a chance to hear her preform live and I must say that I wasn't disappointed at all. That's the kind of voice I could listen over and over again.
All in all, it was a night of surprises - pleasant surprises (if we disregard the fact that we were fed like a feast to starved mosquitoes), let me not forget the one when one of my favourite high school teachers sat in the empty seat next to me which gave us a chance to chat a bit and catch up on old (and recent) times.

I was only disappointed because I didn't bring my camera to record some of the concert, but obviously someone did that since I was able to find this video online:

In this video: String Quarter "Intermezzo", Teodora Bojovic - singer, Igor Vincetic - percussionist
in concert, July 20th, 2009, Novi Sad

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Our origami display

I had to share this with the world. I think it looks great, and to prove me right, every person who saw it too shared my opinion.
I'd like to be able to say that this is my doing, but it's mostly not. Only precious few models are my contribution. The rest of them have been folded by my origami-crazy sister - no unfolded paper shall be spared by her folding-obsessed fingers!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good old choir times

Few days ago my sister and I stumbled on several videos of our choir on YouTube. Silly me, I thought there were no videos of us there!
Obviously, I'm not the only one who misses and cherishes those good times. I used to sing in Sonja's choir for over seven years and had a pleasure to spend my time singing wonderful pieces of choral music with fantastic people and a great conductor. In those seven years the choir had traveled to Budapest (Hungary), to Choir Olympics in Bremen (Germany), to Riva del Garda (Italy), to Varna (Bulgaria) and to many places within our own country, including one unforgettable working summer vacation in Igalo (Montenegro). Times I've spent with the choir, on and off the rehearsals were one of the greatest time in my life, and I positively know that I am not the only one who feels this way.

So here is what we've found on YouTube:

This is a recording of the last two songs from "XV Rukovet" by Stevan Stojanovic Mokranjac, conductor is Danijela Hodoba Les, soloist is Neven Radulovic (probably in 2007). Photos in the slide show are from Choir Olympics in Bremen, Germany (in 2004). I'm on some of them.

This is a video from our concert in gymnasium "Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj" in Novi Sad, Serbia (in 2006). In this video we are singing a song "Veni sponsa Christi" by Sandro Filippi, conductor is Danijela Hodoba Les. (front row, second on the left)

This is the opening of the 9th Concorso Corale Internazionale in Riva del Garda, Italy (in 2006). Our choir was given the honor of singing the anthem of Musica Mundi at the opening of the festival.

Something unofficial for the end: members of the choir singing a folk song "Zvezda tjera meseca" in front of the fair in Bremen (where the competition took palce). This is a song our choir has sand after every event we participated in. It became something of a tradition.
This brings so many memories. I'm sure I have few more videos somewhere on my CDs. I'll have to upload them to YouTube too and share the good times with my dear friends and with the world.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In black

I used to wonder, then I wondered, and I'll just keep wondering ...
Why do bad things happen to good people?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Heart-shaped pancakes

What is the best pancake recipe? What is the best kind?
I say: the best ones are those made and given with love. And I just want to say: "Thanks!"

PS. And just so yo know, THESE are the REAL pancakes!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Mother's idea of a healthy meal (no, I'm not on a diet!)

Eat, eat and eat! That's the way to spend one's holidays. That's the recipe for celebrating any possible occasion. New year, Christmas, birthdays, Slava, anniversary, just name it. Sit down, eat, drink, eat and eat more.
And so this holiday season, that's nearly come to its end, has been a difficult one - for my stomach, that is. And that is why I sorely needed a break. So today, I decided to eat lightly.

These were my instructions: I want vegetables, just boiled with some salt, no add-ones, no meat, just veggies. Carrots - OK, peas - jummy, cauliflower - perfect! And a soup - just mix all the cooking waters and it will be great. And here's what I got:

Soup without anything inside it? Inadmissible! So I got a soup full of overcooked noodles, mushy and partly disintegrated.

Vegetables boiled with only some salt? Too plain, too boring. So the vegetables were boiled with added allspice.

Myself: "They are almost done, cold you please remove them from the stove in 2 minutes?"
Mom: "Sure!"
... half an hour later ...
Mom: "Do you think that they are done? Should I remove them from the stove already?"
Myself: "Argh!"
The peas were too soft, cauliflower molten.

Mom: "Well, if you insist, here are your boiled vegetables, but I really think you should eat something solid with it. Do you like the flavor? Hope you do because I just poured some grease over it and fried them a bit..."

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sonja'a Little Choir

This is a video of AKUD "Sonja Marinkovic" children choir "Zemlja snova" ("Dreamland") from Novi Sad, Serbia. The choir was founded in October 2008 and is conducted by our dear Danijela Hodoba Lesh.

In this video the choir is singing a beautiful holiday tune.
Aren't they simply adorable?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Books 2008

This is the list f books I have read in 2008
(removing it from the right side of the blog to make room for the list of 2009):

  1. "The Amber Spyglass" - Philip Pullman (in English)
  2. "The Zahir" - Paolo Coelho (Serbian translation)
  3. "Artemis Fowl The Opal Deception" - Eoin Colfer (Serbian translation)
  4. "The Family" - Mario Puzo, Carol Gino (Serbian translation)
  5. "Time Gifts" - Zoran Zivkovic (in Serbian)
  6. "Crimenes Imperceptibles" aka "Oxford Murders" - Guillermo Martinez (Serbian translation)
  7. "Grabljivica" - Simonida Stankovic (in Serbian)
  8. "Impossible Encounters" - Zoran Zivkovic (in Serbian)
  9. "Seven Touches of Music" - Zoran Zivkovic (in Serbian)
  10. "A Darkness at Sethanon" - Raymond E. Feist (Serbian translation)
  11. "The Library" - Zoran Zivkovic (in Serbian)
  12. "Sex and the City" - Candace Bushnell (Serbian translation)
  13. "Steps Through the Mist" - Zoran Zivkovic (in Serbian)
  14. "The Knight" - Gene Wolfe (Serbian translation)