July 31, 2011

London Treasures

PICT0661cs

London - sitting on the first seat on the upper floor of a double decker and watching people, figuring out who the tourists are from their identical umbrellas just aquired from one of the hundreds of souvenir shops which apart from said umbrellas all seem to store replicas of Kate's engagement ring.

PICT0663cs

After I left Devon, waved goodbye to my Boyfriend and got off the coach a few hours later in London with beaches and waves still filling up my head. It's thrilling to arrive to a new city a finding your bearings, and after a good nights sleep I was more than ready to concentrate on some of the quirkier treasures of this great (by which I both mean wonderful and huge) city.

pink rooms
The Wallace Collection, Source

I've been yearning to revisit The Wallace Collection, a museum of 18th and 19th century art displayed in the original collector couple's London townhouse - I still felt like a visitor at the Wallaces' home, enjoying the decor and the furnishing of the house just as much as the paintings on display.

In each room they have a catalogue of the paintings so you can read about who is on the pictures and why - it was a bit like reading a 19th century gossip magazine, and it made the house come alive with chattering crinolined ladies who faint because Madame this-and-that wore that outrageous skirt when you-know-which Artist painted her portrait, "it's so terribly obvious she wants to seduce him"!

wallace collections
The Wallace Collection, Source

This visit only had me wishing for more quaint delights - so after hearing a lot about the Soane Museum, I decided to see it for myself. Whenever you're in London and would like to be transported not only in time but also in spirit, have a look at Sir John Soane's house. 

soane1
Sir John Soane's Museum, Source
Soane was an architect and utilised his talent to build a house that's not simply filled with nooks and crannies, it's entirely made out of them. Stepping into the house feels like descending into a labyrinth of narrow corridors an unexpected level changes, rooms whose walls turn out to be windows, that turn out to open onto another wall, that again turns out to be a window but opens onto a drop to the next floor... And everything is filled with Soane's collection of mostly architectural interest - antiques, architectural models and thousands of other bits and bobs. It feels like getting lost in a very eccentric person's brain.

(Photography wasn't allowed and it's very difficult to find good pictures of the place on the web too - you'll have to see it for yourselves!:)

PICT0689cas

What's better than spending a whole day in two museums? Spending the next day in only one. And if you've ever been to the Victoria and Albert Museum, you know you can spend not a day but more like a whole year there, there is just so much to see. When you're visiting a big museum, I recommend focusing on the topics you're most interested in, this way you can enjoy your visit and won't get frustrated at gathering way too much information.

So what I saw in my day spent there was the ceramics section, the Arts and Crafts movement room and 20th century jewellery - by which I was so blown away I had to get out and sit down, I simply had a shock of beauty.

Last but not least, I met the amazing ceramicist in residence, Claire Twomey.

PICT0672c3as

Talking to her about how she works was the absolute highlight of my London visit. She was so accessible and kind, so happy to answer my questions. I got to know some of her art projects - like her "Blossom" at the Eden Project, where she left thousands of delicately handmade unfired china flowers to slowly melt back into the ground.

twomey2s
Blossom by Claire Twomey, Source

Or her exhibition (or rather installation) of 4000 little blue birds that only lasted a few hours as the visitors took them home, one by one.

twomey1as
Claire Twomey: Trophy, Source

She talked about the creative process of the collective artwork she creates, which not only includes her and the others who work on the physical producing of her ceramics, but also the audience, who is encouraged to actively take part in her art - taking the objects away, breaking them, or watching them disintegrate.

It was an amazing visit - in two days I saw so much art, some being created right before my eyes, some finished hundreds of years ago, still it all came alive around me. I watched London life walk or skip or rush past me, sat on the top of double deckers and walked through vast parks. Two days to enjoy and be inspired by, what more can you wish for?

July 27, 2011

In Pieces

PICT0022cas

Because the detail shots came out so much better this time. :)

PICT0027cas

Which is actually not such a tragedy, as I wanted to show you my English souvenirs.

PICT0014ca2s

These tights and these boots.

PICT0018cas

I'm really not a big shopper when on holiday, I always feel better looking at new things and places, things I wouldn't find at home. So I got these boots in the course of about 5 minutes, while I run into a shoeshop in Barnstaple, looking for something waterproof. They were so cheap (15 Pounds), I couldn't leave them there. And they ARE waterproof, which was very helpful in the English summer.

And the tights of course... How brilliant are the little hearts? I was so happy to return to 20 degrees Celsius here in Hungary as well so that I could wear them. They're from Accessorize, where I'd blow all my money if they had stores in Hungary. It's sort of lucky they don't.

Oh, OK, here's a full lenght shot... :)

PICT0002ca2s

I also have some more photos and adventures to share from my London days - I spent two days there before catching my flight back to Budapest. Coming soon!

I wore: Shorts: Promod, Tights: Accessorize, Boots: Shoezone, Bag: Zara, 
Scarf: Chinese shop, Flowers: H&M.

July 24, 2011

Ocean Waves Weave Tales

PICT0132cas

PICT0130cas

Running into the cold cold sea in England, feeling your skin protest and guarding your tummy as you know you will get a shock once that's submerged in the ocean, then feeling the first wave break on your body and enjoying the endorphins erupt with such an unexpected force that you laugh out loud and you cannot but wait for the next wave, and the next and the next... And you don't care about the cold of the air or of the sea anymore. Brilliant.

PICT0159cas

PICT0188cas

I loved the ocean and the long, sandy beaches and the secluded, secret ones, the constant sound of waves rushing towards you. I loved the two sunny days we had and all the others when a raincoat and a wooly hat were required to enjoy the beach fully. I loved the rugged coastline and the sheep, the English families huddled behind windbreaks and tucking into fish and chips with relish, the kids screaming for ice-cream even in icy wind and the shells and stones and the grains of sand in everything I wore.

PICT0511cas

PICT0246cas

PICT0555cas

I could go on and on posting gorgeous pictures of the ocean, but let me show you some other delights of Devon too.

PICT0326cas


PICT0306casPICT0289cas

The house we stayed in, with the most gorgeous English garden... Thank you for the hospitality Vanessa and John, my Boyfriend and me were so lucky to stay with you!

PICT0401cas

The streets of Appledore, which were such an unexpected gem to find, and reminded me so much of Burano.

PICT0418cas

The Green Man festival in Barnstaple, watching people enjoying parading through the town centre and then listening to great music and dancing in the streets.

PICT0518cas

I cannot wait for the wind and the rain, the sun and the sea to direct me back to Devon again.

Oh, and while I was away, I hope you enjoyed the wonderful guest posts my lovely guest bloggers provided - I surely did! I'm already inspired to ask you all about something else to blog about, I guess I'd need more holidays for that! :)
Thank you again Waves, Pau, Sarah and Kirstin!

July 16, 2011

Be Inspired! - By Sarah from Just Take a Bow

Hello there, readers of Madeline Quaint! I'm Sarah and some of you may know me from over at Just Take a Bow. To help fill her blog with interesting (hopefully) content while she is busy with real life, Madeline asked me to talk about a picture that inspires me and then to briefly explain why. I'm not so good at following directions, though, and will write this post loosey-goosey almost-rule-breaking style.

Why?

Because I'm obsessed with the collective works of an artist named Darren Waterston. He is from California (he's practically local for me!) and I first stumbled across his work at the Portland Art Museum (which IS local). Curious after that, I had to check out more and I'm so glad I did.




Red Cloud, The Flowering, 2007

I'm drawn to the abstract (duh), but also simultaneous edge and soft present in the works. I think this aesthetic bleeds over into much of my life, to be honest.




Apocalypse, 2007

If I told you these are the only pieces I love, then I'd be a liar, guys. You should check out his online portfolio or just simply google his name (Darren Waterston) because it is easy to get lost in the work. Especially the walk-through pieces he's done, such as one in San Jose, California.




St. Clair, 2008

I find this art particularly inspiring because each piece is kind of like a mini adventure as you try to feel what Waterston was hoping for us to feel. This kind of long quote from Peter Clothier aptly captures the experience of the art:

"Seductively, they open up their dizzying spaciousness without the reassurance of a horizon line, nor even the orientation that might be offered by defined spatial relationships between the objects that mysteriously inhabit them. Forms and images seem to be given a necessary place, but neither their relative scale nor their metaphorical association permits us to tell ourselves a story that would fully explain their presence here. These are unexplored territories, whose indigenous life forms are at once as foreign and familiar as the images in a dream. To experience them we have to take a lot on faith: we must take the risk of adventuring without map or compass."

(Psst... I added the emphasis.)




Night-in-Gal, 2001; Reverberations, 2008

In short, I think what inspires me most about this artist is the idea of the journey in each piece, plus the ruthless combination of color and monochromatic palettes. It frequently feels like he has created a natural scene but the landscape itself is almost supernatural. And, obviously, I'm obsessed with the work.

I hope you liked what you saw. I seriously encourage you go to check out his site because there are TONS of amazing things to look at.







Thank you Sarah for this amazing guest post, I've never heard of Darren Waterston before, but I'm definitely looking into his work after I return from England! Absolutely beautiful!  
What do you think? :)

July 14, 2011

Be Inspired! - By Pau from Titine and Totoche

Hi all, I'm still on holiday, but don't despair, I've asked some of my favourite blogger-friends to fill in for me! I loved reading about Pau's sources of inspiration, I hope you find them just as uplifting that I did! Hop over to their blog to read more about Venezuelan life and subtle and fun style! 


tt_port
Hello! My sister and I blog over at Titine & Totoche, though she’s more behind the scenes. We’re from Venezuela and we love fashion, food, nature, travelling, cats and music. :)
When Madeline asked me to guest post on her blog, I was so happy and slightly nervous because the task included finding inspiring pictures. I always see pictures around the internet or in books that I like or make me think about other things, but inspiring? I really had to think about what inspires me, and because of it, this was an excellent mental exercise.

tt_pic1
Source: http://bit.ly/pH1V23

What inspires me: 1500 musicians (choir & orchestra) playing together

The Orquesta Juvenil Simón Bolívar and its director Gustavo Dudamel are currently a source of
great pride in Venezuela. In a politically divided country, through their amazing music they’ve been able to bring us together and get lots of recognition abroad. This picture then, symbolizes the importance of music; it also reflects hard work and dedication.

tt_pic2
Picture by Titine and Totoche

What inspires me: Books/ Stories/ Novels

Through books we learn about new places and life lessons, historical events and imaginary ones too, we bond with characters and travel through time. I’ve never ever cried watching a movie, but I’ve cried reading books.

singing_rain_pic3
Source: http://bit.ly/rqTw6Q

What inspires me: Music, love, song and dance

This is one of my favorite movies. The song, the dance, the reason why he’s actually dancing and the rain/ splashing action are absolutely fantastic.

tt_pic4
Source: http://bit.ly/q59wUX

What inspires me: A mountain range that hugs my city

My city is located in a valley, surrounded by the most beautiful mountain range El Ávila. It’s visible from the east to west of the city, and it’s a symbol of cultural identity. Its greatness and changing colors make me instantly happy and calm. The first picture is a painting by Manuel Cabré who throughout his career only painted the Ávila.

Thank you so much Madeline!! :)

You're very welcome Pau, thank you! :)

July 12, 2011

Be Inspired! - By Waves from No Signposts in the Sea

Dear Readers, at the moment I'm on my way to England for a much anticipated holiday, yay!

So instead of me, some of my favourite blogger-friends will feature on my blog. I asked them to choose a picture - any picture - that inspires them, and explain why or how.

waves2
I'm so proud to present the picture that Waves from No Signposts in the Sea chose as her inspiration, and the brilliant piece of writing she sent me. I'll definitely re-read it many times, and I recommend everyone to read her blog too - she inspires me to think out of the box when it comes to blogging, to write more and write better, to step over the consumerist side of fashion blogging and let my creativity lead.

waves

It is the custom in some parts of western Finland to let an old house rot while the new generation builds a new one on the same lot. It is a bizarre sight: huge, wooden mammoths of houses barely standing in tatters, while a newly constructed building towers beside it, full of life. You wonder why the people didn't just fix up the old house, but for whatever reason this is the way it has been done for generations. I guess no one really questions the logic, apart from outsiders like myself.

Two years ago I got to visit one of these old, abandoned houses. It hadn't been lived in in decades, but it still stood there courageously, next to a huge lake, its outside paint worn out completely, its rooms filled with the strange smell of rotting wood and mold. Musty wallpaper leapt off the walls in shreds. Swallows had found their way in and built a nest in the kitchen. The wood-burning stove lay there rusted, and a selection of round, metal-rimmed eyeglasses hung off the wall, gathering dust. I took a lot of pictures of the house that day. For you, I chose one of ceiling paint chipping down. I am drawn to things old, broken, textured, lost.
Many people find images of abandonment heart-breaking. There is something gut-wrenching about the visible evidence of no one caring. And yet there is beauty in decay - be it in a wrinkly, toothless smile of a 100-year-old, in wilting flowers, a road with potholes, the punches we take, the sadness we encounter in life through loss and carelessness. There is beauty where it doesn't even exist. One of the most inspiring experiences in human life is the inevitability of heartbreak.

July 11, 2011

Summer Nights

summer1

After surviving record heat for a good few days, I'm finally off on a holiday tomorrow to escape the heat! (I'm going to England!:)
I'm looking forward to feeling free and just letting go of everything! :)

Being away will be a great opportunity to recharge, get new ideas and find inspiration - not only blogging-wise. So... I asked some wonderful blogger-friends to fill in for me while I'm away and choose a picture that inspires them and explain how or why. The posts I've already received are absolutely amazing -  thank you so much, Girls! So check back soon, I hope you will find their choices and descriptions just as inspiring as I did!

summer2

These wonderful pictures capturing Budapest nights were taken by the amazingly talented Zsófi Raffay.

You can't really see what I'm wearing but it's a black H&M dress and belt, a pair of dark blue Tamaris gladiator sandals, a black Zara bag, a turquoise H&M belt worn as a bracelet and a turquoise scarf worn as a bolero.

July 9, 2011

Heatwave

PICT0340cas

Some pictures from the rainforest... Or from a Budapest garden.

PICT0355ca23s

It's 40 degrees Celsius in our neck of the woods, if you're interested. Which is a 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Woooh... A good enough reason for not being very talkative - let the atmosphere speak for itself!

PICT0344cas2

I'm still smiling though! Soon it's holiday time! :)

PICT0351ca2s

What I wore:
Dress: Second Hand, Sandals: Bata, Hat: Accessories, Belt: My Sister's, 
Bracelet: Handed Down, Flower: Jojó Art Shop

PICT0347ca2s

July 3, 2011

The Little Black (and Cheap) Dress

PICT0204cas

This little black dress from H&M is the perfect blank canvas. I love the lenght, the simplicity, the price... But most of all, how utterly comfortable it is. It's flattering without showing too much skin or being constricting. I'm gonna wear this dress like half of the summer.

PICT0211cas

I love this jacket and I'm so happy to show it off to you in this summery ensemble - luckily the weather's quite cool these days. It's a traditional garment from Transylvania, beautifully handmade and to top it all, it's probably older than me.

PICT0214c2as

PICT0205cas

This next one is rather a stupid shot, but you can see how the lining of the jacket is made using two totally and absolutely different materials. Quaint, ha? That's why I love it!

PICT0197cas

I'd like to thank each and every one of you who left me nice comments and good advice about my poor back. It feels much better now - I swim a lot, do excercises and still sleep on the floor. (However horrid sleeping on the floor sounds, it's actually really comfortable.) Apart from the water taking out almost all the colour of my hair, which I don't really mind anyway, I'm happy about my progress. Thank you again for your kindness!

PICT0212c2as

And now for something completely different: If you use Chrome you might not be able to see Disqus comments, so cannot make any either... Please do not despair, and change to incongito mode, where everything will work (click on the wrench thing in the corner and choose opening a new page in incongnito mode). Really upsetting, I hope they work something out soon... I love reading your comments so anything that hinders you from writing is my enemy.
I'll keep stalking Disqus about it. In my scary dark sunglasses.


What I Wore: Dress: H&M, Jacket: Handed Down, Sandals: Handed Down, Earrings: C&A, Belt: I think my Mum made it, Sunglasses: I don't remember, Flowers (in hair) (just seen) (haha, I was always amused by the "just seen" thing in magazines): H&M.