30 April, 2015

Kraków part I - Barbican, Florianska, St. Mary's Basilica

I got all excited about Kraków last year only to find out the ESO conference was reserved to post-graduates. This year however, they decided to invite another species: the student. Way to go!
Since going to Kraków by train takes about 13 hours, it would be a waste of time and money to go for business only, so I decided to extend the conference trip to a nice little holiday with mom and explore the magic of Kraków.
The trip itself was pretty ordinary, and as it was by night train I didn't get to see much of what was passing by outside. Except of a wonderful sunset that promised a great day.
As we could check in at the hotel after noon, we would go directly to the old town. 
First things you see when going from the brand new train station to the center is probably the massive monument dedicated to the victory in the battle of Grünwald
and the medieval checkpoint Barbican (Barbakan) just in front of the Florianska gate.
Next is the park Planty, that surrounds the Kraków old town like a green ring. It is decorated with many flower beds, fountains and monuments, such as the one of Jan Matejko - which is quite accurate for a painter ;)
Florianska gate with artists beside the city walls and its patron facing the Florianska street, that leads towards the main market square (Rynek Główny).
The early morning photo is deceiving as this is one of the most crowded streets of the old town ;)

Like all the main streets, it leads to the Rynek where two major buildings stand out: first, the gothic Basilica of Our Lady (Kościół Mariacki)
Even though it looks rather simple from the outside, it hides very rich decorations and colourful wall paintings, and a huge wooden altarpiece by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz). Unfortunately, the photos in bad light do no justice to the true beauty.
You may wonder, How come the towers of this impressive building are not the same size? How could an architect, who was obviously great, do something so obvious out of place?
According to a legend, there were two architects - two brothers - who were responsible for one tower each. The older one was eager to finish his task first to prove he was the greater master. However, once he was done, it became obvious that he was not only a great master, but also a great teacher to his brother. Out of envy because of the beautiful tower that was still in progress, he stabbed his younger sibling one day, and threw his body in the neraby river. After that, the city council decided to cover the roof of the unfinished tower as it was. The older brother, not able to live with his guilt, made a confession and commited suicide.
In fact, one of the towers was raised some time after the church was build to serve as a watch-out with trumpet players who used to warn people of fire and impending attacks. Till today a tune is played every hour in memory of the trumpeter who once saved the city by playing the hejnał as Tatars were approaching for a surprise attack in the early morning. And till today, the tune stops at the moment it stopped back then when the guard was shot by an arrow.
~ to be continued ~

28 April, 2015

Blue Asia

Another oriental-inspired card, this time probably a little bit unusual, because my imagination of Orient are warm and bright colours.
I decided to try the opposite with an image I found on the internet quite a while ago (therefore without image source). I printed it twice and used one print as the main motif, and the other one to cut out flowers and create a 3D effect on the card. Then, I decorated the blossoms with tiny silver stickers and even tinier sticker-leftovers. As it was still too much blue, I added a silver border to the image. 
To complete the card, I stitched a pattern in matching blue and green shades, which I decorated with a couple of rhinestones. As I stitched directly on the white cardboard of the card, I covoered up the interior part with an embossed blue paper (not pictured).

- craft-alnica: oriental-inspired
- 4 crafty chicks: inspired by a book (One Thousand and One Nights)
- allsortschallenge: bring on the bling
- crafts 4 eternity: ATG
- moving along with the times: let's get reading/book theme (One Thousand and One Nights)
- ladybug crafts: ATG
- fadengrafik challenge: Easter/ATG

23 April, 2015

(Rail) Roadtrip

Kraków, my lovely Kraków!
We've made a trip to this gem of a city in high school and I instantly fell in love with it. I dreamed of coming back one day, but I never thought it would take me so long.
Just a little more and I'll be able to explore it all over again...

22 April, 2015

Beautiful tulips

One last Easter card for this year to remind you of the current Fadengrafik Challenge "Easter bunny on the way". Well, bunny is long gone, but he seems to have left a basket full of eggs and beautiful tulips.
For the card, I decided not to mix too many colours. Instead, I kept the focus on the stitched centerpiece and made the rest in soft beige shades. To match the sketch at cheerfulsketches, I added a ribbon with lace and three flowers which I made from bought petals and pearls.
That's about it for today, and there's still plenty of time for you to play along at the Fadengrafik challenge. Link up anything Easter related, just make sure it's a pickpoint/embroidery project.
However, in case you don't have any Easter card leftovers or haven't started making next years' cards, you may make it an "ATG" challenge and enter any card you want ;) 

Since my bunny only brought me chocolate eggs, I had to get the flowers myself.
I decided to take a bouquet of those red tulips at the flower market, and got two additional bouquets for free! A red one of fresh flowers, and one in yellow and pink that was meant to be thrown away as it wasn't all too fresh anymore. Still, all of them were in full bloom for about a week, making sure the smell of spring spread all over my apartment.

- fan-tastic tuesday: ATG + stitching
- crafty sentiments: Easter
- fabnfunky: lace
- pennys papercraft: spooled items (ribbon)
- scrapping4fun: ribbon/lace
- cheerfulsketches

20 April, 2015


Just a quick card today for the freshlymadesketches. I knew immediately what it will look like when I saw the sketch, and surprisingly stuck with that idea in my mind throughout the project.
I flipped the sketch and used a wrapping paper with bamboo that I had in my stash for years as the central background piece. Additionally, I used a green background paper which I punched at the endes to make it a bit more interesting. Between them, I used a dark green ribbon. In the lower part of the card I placed a cute little panda bear I found on pinterest. To make it look like it came right out of the jungle, I cut it out exactly on the lines and used 3D pads to fix it on the background. 
In the end, I added three buttons which I decorated with raffia. 

- freshlymadesketches
- cardz4guys: exotic/jungle/wildlife
- craft-alnica: oriental inspired
- come and get it: things that start with B (bamboo, bear, buttons)

18 April, 2015

Sushi girl

Greetings from Tokyo!
Before you come up with massive envy, I better clarify that I'm home, far away from the Land of the rising sun. It was more a mental journey last night that ended up with this Far East inspired card.

I wanted to play with Asian motifs for quite a while, and the newest challenge at craft-alnica is more than perfect to set my fantasy free. I found this gorgeous little girl on pinterest (originally from kettodesign.com) and printed it on white cardboard. Isn't she lovely, with a plate of delicious sushi in one hand and a bright red umbrella in the other?
Even though the layout of the card is pretty simple (sketch from cheerfulsketches), it took me almost as long as if I had started some stitching project.
First, to find the perfect turquoise/blue background paper that would match the image. Then, decide whether I'd use red shades to match the umbrella or soft pink ones for the beautiful Japanese cherry trees. In the end, I've chosen non of these. Instead, I went with yellow cardrboard which is a bit of a contrast and represents the rising sun.
The idea of cherry trees however stuck with me and I used it in 3 ways: next to a punched brown stripe that would be the tree itself, tiny white sticker-blossoms I found in my stash, and white background paper with a white floral motif.
In the end, I aded tiny pearls on the umbrella to make the central image pop out a bit more.

p.s. Mental journey or real one, after a crafting session that lasted almost til 8 am, I have a jetlag that really makes me feel like I've just landed in Narita.
p.p.s. No worries, it wasn't this card that kept me up all night. In fact I've finished two more, which I'll present after I complete them with a couple of rhinestones.

-craft-alnica: Oriental
- cheerfulsketches: sketch
- clear it out: yellow
- crafting from the heart: ATG
- crafty cardmakers: wings
- craftysentiments: ATG
- everybody art challenge: pearls
- fan-tastic tuesday: pearls
- fabnfunky: masculine
- fussynfancy: spring flowers
- handmade challenge: spring
- inspiration destination: ATG
- live and love:  signs of spring
- ooh la la:  lots of layers
- modsquad: colour wheel (yellow, red, turquoise)

14 April, 2015

Get well soon

Today, a card for mom's man who is about to have surgery. Nothing major though, but still nothing one wishes to do. Except if one is a surgeon probably :)
I thought I'd send a little Get well note to cheer him up, and used this wonderful bear-digi from Meljen's designs. It's actually a wrapped-up Halloween mummy, but I decided to remove the spiders and turn him into a patient.
As it's a man's card, I took neutral colours for the project, and not too many embellishments. There is actually no need for much addings as the background paper is like a decoration itself, so I only used a couple of pearls and roses. I also added a few small pearls to where some kind of bubbles were painted in the original digi.
In the end, I added a sentiment saying "Get well soon".
It might seem a bit shaky, but that's because I've written it when it was all glued together, and I had to avoid the roses while writing. It has nothing to do with the fact that I haven't practised calligraphy for ages, I swear ;)

- craft-alnica: musical notes
- 613 avenue create: ATG
- basteltanten challengeblog: animals
- 4 crafty chicks: die cuts (branches)
- clear it out challenge: ATG
- crafty calendar: add a sentiment
- creative fingers: ATG
- fan-tastic tuesday: punches (branches)
- inspiration destination: ATG
- papertake weekly: ATG
- pennys challenges: ATG
- scrapping4fun: ATG + 3 embellishments (pearls, roses, punched branches)

12 April, 2015

And then there were nine

Bye, bye books!
I guess I'll think of maculae, petechiae, purpura and rashes for a while when looking at lilies, but it could be worse. After all, everyone has some kind of déformation professionnelle ;)
9 more exams to go, that certainly is less than 10! It's not the short final yet, but at least it feels a little closer :)

And at least for a short while it was time to see the sun before the next exam gets me behind the books again. In fact, I was even a little too brave walking around in a pullover only, and barely made it to the pharmacy today to get something for my sore throat. At least I can say the glimpse of spring was worth it ;)

Even though many trees are still naked...
... many are blooming already...
... and it's just as colourful underneath them on the grass
Last but not least: make sure to take care of the kids, cyclists and motorbikes  - they've finished hibernation and are back to share the roads ;)