Friday, February 27, 2009

This week...

I have been thinking about spring! Yes! It's on its way!
He estado pensando en la primavera, que ya llega.

I have been spending lots of time (but not enough) practising my belly dancing routine. I'm performing (in a group) for my very first time next Friday! I'm nervous but, at the same time really looking forward to it!
He estado ensayando para mi primera actuación como parte de mi clase de baile de danza del vientre. Estoy nerviosa, pero al mismo tiempo, me apetece mucho.

I have finally finished reading The catcher in the rye.
Por fin me he terminado El guardián entre el centeno.

Prints, Patterns and Patina - a workshop with Martin Bergström

I have booked myself a place in this workshop at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London.
He reservado un lugar para esta clase.

I'm still unravelling myself. I wasn't very inspired by my camera this week, though. But this post has made me want to take my camera out again.
Todavía estoy haciendo el curso de Unravelling. No me he sentido muy inspirada por mi cámara esta semana, pero este post me hace querer usarla de nuevo.

Photos by B, The book cover archive, Mikael Schulz (via Fashion and Textile Museum website)

If you really want to hear about it...

I have finally finished reading The Catcher in the Rye for my Reading Dangerously Challenge. As I said, I read this years ago in Spanish, but I most definitely didn't get it, and in fact, could not remember very much of it.
"To tell you the truth", I was not impressed at first this time either. I just wasn't interested in Holden's ramblings and was losing all my patience with him. But suddenly, after his conversation with a cab driver about where the ducks go in winter, I was strangely hooked. I was back on my teenage years, and I felt the pain of feeling that nobody cared, that nobody understood, and that I was alone. I found myself nodding when he said things like
"All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to."
Because it's just so true. And the pain, the confusion, and the self-awareness is so real.
Towards the end, though, I started getting tired of the self-pity. I could see how Holden was spiraling out of control, and I lost my patience with him. I could not understand his resistance to grow up, and I wonder if that comes when reading this book now, because I now know that, despite the fact that adult/real life is hard, it's so much better than being an insecure teenager with an identity crisis.
If it's been a while since you read this, read the digested version from The Guardian here. Hilarious.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Inspired by book covers

The book cover archive website is a beautiful collection of book cover designs. Just flicking through them, you'll find tons of amazing designs, but you can also search by publisher (Penguin, anyone?), by author, or designer (The Jonathan Safran Foer book covers, all by Gray 318 are instantly recognizable), and even by typeface! There is also a blog with news on book and design.
These are some of my favourite covers, but I'll be posting some more, grouped by different colour or theme in the next weeks.

La página web The book cover archive website (La biblioteca de las portadas de libros) ofrece una colección de portadas de libros preciosa. Solamente mirando las portadas, encontraréis muchísimos y originales diseños, pero también se pueden ver por editorial (las de Penguin son clásicas), por autor o diseñador (las portadas uno de mis autores favoritos, Jonathan Safran Foer, todas del diseñador Gray 318 se reconocen enseguida), en incluso por tipo de letra. La página también tiene un blog (en inglés) con noticias sobre el mundo del libro y el diseño.
Arriba podéis ver algunas de mis portadas favoritas, pero iré añadiendo más en las próximas semanas.

Twitter and cool graphics

I love Twitter, and I know the basics of how it works (although I know there is sooooo much more you can do with it that I haven't grasped yet. I'm still learning...) This video only explains the basics, but it's so well explained and the graphics are so cool and sweet, that I've already watched it several times.

Twitter in Plain English from leelefever on Vimeo.

From Noquedanblogs

Monday, February 23, 2009

Inspired by nature...

We spent the weekend with J's family. They live in the countryside, and we all made the most of the lovely weather (EVERYONE was talking about it in England) and went for a walk in the woods. I loved the different colours that we could see around, specially the blue among the trees, and the yellow light of the sunset.

Hemos pasado el fin de semana con la familia de J. Viven en el campo y hemos disfrutado mucho del tiempo (como siempre, el tiempo dicta lo que se puede y no se puede hacer en Inglaterra), sobre todo cuando decidimos ir de paseo por el bosque cerca de su casa. Los colores que nos rodeaban eran preciosos, sobre todo el azul que podíamos entrever cuando los árboles nos dejaban, y el amarillo de la puesta de sol.

My Oscar favourites

Penelope Cruz with a vintage Balmain dress. She has had this dress for three years and was saving it for a special occassion. We've seen lots of white and strapless dress in the red carpet this year, and she was leading the trend.

Penélope Cruz con un vestido vintage de Balmain. Este vestido lleva guardado en su armario tres años para una ocasión especial. Se ha visto mucho blanco en la alfombra roja. Nuestra Pe, como siempre, perfecta y a la moda.

Freida Pinto, always beautiful, on a blue dress by John Galliano. I think more acctresses should take a risk with colour.

Freida Pinto llevaba un vestido azul precioso de John Galliano. Creo que mas actrices deberían arriesgarse con vestidos de colores.

Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana for you and me) wore a fantastic fairy tale dress. If I were to go to the Oscars (you never know...) I'd like to wear something like this. Because, if you don't wear a dramatic dress then, when would you?

Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana para ti y para mi) llevo este vestido de cuento de hadas. Si yo tuviera que ir a los Oscars (nunca se sabe...) me encantaría llevar algo así.

Congratulations, Pe!

I have always liked Penélope Cruz. I remember my two projects for my Website design course at University all those years ago were "Spain in the Oscars" and "Penelope Cruz". Very appropriate for today!
She deserves this because she's still taking risks with her acting, and still working in Europe despite the Hollywood glamour. Because she didn' t get an Oscar for Volver, and because she's one of the few good things in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Siempre me ha gustado Penélope Cruz. Recuerdo que mis dos proyectos para la clase de Diseño de páginas web que tuve en la Universidad fueron “España en los Oscars” y “Penélope Cruz”. ¡Muy apropiado para hoy!
Se merece este Oscar porque todavía se arriesga con sus películas, y trabaja en Europa, a pesar de que no tiene el glamour de Hollywood. Porque no se lo llevó por
Volver, y porque es una de las pocas cosas que merece la pena de Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Sesame Street

Of course, I looooved Sesame Street when I was a child, except I knew it as Barrio Sesamo, which translates as Sesame Neighborhood. Funny, uh? This was huge everywhere and of course, Spain was no exception! But I didn't know until recently that this wasn't a Spanish product. I think it was an episode of Friends, where Phoebe is watching it with little Ben, that made me finally accept it. I think I didn't want to know before, really.
We had all the American characters, but with different names, either translated into Spanish (Cookie Monster was El monstruo de las galletas) or with different Spanish names (Bert and Ernie were Epi and Blas). We also had some local recurring characters! And even though now I'm all for watching the original version of films and TV programmes, and I don't mind subtitles, this is the one thing I don't like in its original English. It feels WRONG! Epi and Blas did not talk like that! I don't want to change my childhood memories of it!
So, anyway, the reason I was thinking about this was this article on CNN about the background of some of the characters. It's pretty surreal.

Friday, February 20, 2009

This week...

I started the Unravelling course. Our first photographic assignment focused on our feet and it has been very interesting. I has made me stop and look where I'm going... and maybe more importantly, where I stand. It's amazing how much you can learn from yourself (and others) just looking at your feet.
So this is what my feet have been doing this week:

They (and the rest of me) have also:
  • Watched The Bicycle Thieves: heartbreaking
  • ... and Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Not a bad film, but a mediocre Woody Allen film. I expected so much more. Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson do what they can, but the rest of the acting (and the stories) is pretty boring. Also, theirs were the only characters that I found interesting, the rest of the characters are such cliches... And the voiceover? Is Woody just becoming lazy? I hope not.
  • Finished watching the third season of Heroes: Love this series, lots of action and fun, and it also makes me think about destiny, whether good and bad really exist, and the consequences of our acts.
  • Still reading The Catcher in the Rye, and also Norwegian Wood and Due Considerations.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

100 days, 100 songs, 100 locations, 100 dances

This is so cool! I so want to do the same!
¡Me gusta tanto que quiero hacerlo yo también!

BOOMBOX from Ely Kim on Vimeo.

Found @ Even Cleveland

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Portfolio working

I've found my calling!!!!!! Or shall I say callingS?
I've already said that coming back after a year traveling was much harder than I ever imagined. Of course, I knew I’d have to readjust, but I kept reassuring myself than it would be fine… after all, I was happy before I went. I didn’t realize how much I had changed, how, in experiencing so many different cultures and people (locals and travelers), I had started to think that we all have to find OUR way to be happy.
Working is of course, a big part of our lives (unless you win the lottery, something I'm working on!), so how happy we are in the work place does make a difference. I do like my job as an editor in a big educational publishing house, but I cannot bear thinking that I’m going to be doing the same thing for 30 more years. Of course, freelancing is an option, but I don’t feel comfortable with no fixed income, either. And so I was getting restless, angry at myself, beating myself for not being "normal", always getting bored of everything so easily, ungrateful, when so many people are losing their jobs...
Until I found an article in a magazine (I forget which one) about portfolio working! 'Portfolio working' basically means having several jobs or sources of income, either it being two part time jobs, one part time job and some freelance work, freelance in several different areas, having your own business and working part time at the same time... it is a working life tailored to your other life, you know, the important one.
This is now my medium term goal, building a portfolio of jobs. Writing and editing are always going to be a big part of my personal and professional life… but I’ll complement them with other things, that I've done in the past or that I want to explore. Right now, I’m excited about teaching, translating and magazine writing again, and I'm looking forward to explore stationary, textiles, bookbinding, photography… I only need to find a way to bring them all together.
Crazy? My mother certainly thinks so...
To find more about portfolio working, go here and here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sit and experience

"I fear we no longer take the time to sit and experience"

She had decided to stop, to look around her, to feel, to laugh and cry. To pay attention. But, after a while, everything was a blur, life rushed back in, and she couldn't stop. She didn't have time to look around anymore. No time for flowers, or colours. Stones or trees. No time for lazy breakfasts and long walks. No time to enjoy.
And then, she remembered. She had to take the time to sit and experience.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This Valentine weekend...

I spent some quality time with J. We made a pact not to use our computers all day Saturday! Instead, we
  • watched films: Pretty Woman (I had forgotten how good it is, even now), and The Princess Bride (which, unbelievably, J had never watched before!)
  • cooked, or actually J cooked some delicious beef wellingtons and chocolate pudding for me
  • baked croissants and pain au chocolat
  • spent some time in the garden, since, for the first time in months, it wasn't freezing
  • I printed out and cut out my I love you more than blank hearts and put them all around the house for him to see
On Sunday, we visited some friends who had a baby while we were away in South America last year. He was very cute and all smiles!

Este fin de semana, para celebrar el día de San Valentín, J y yo hicimos un pacto: no usar el ordenador durante el sábado. En vez de eso:
  • Vimos películas: Pretty Woman (todavía me gusta, después de todo estos años), y La Princesa Prometida (que, inexplicablemente, J nunca había visto)
  • Cocinamos, o mejor dicho J concinó para mi, porque la cocina no es lo mío
  • Hicimos croissanes, con chocolate y pasas
  • Salimos al jardín, ya que or primera vez en muchos meses, no estaba helando y te podías sentar afuera con una manta
  • Imprimí los mensajes que había mandado al blog de I love you more than blank y los puse por la casa para que J los encontrara.
El domingo, fuimos a visitar a unos amigos, que tuvieron un bebé, mientras estábamos en Sudamérica el año pasado. ¡Era precioso y no paraba de sonreir!

Photo @ Flickr

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Are you saying I love you today?

I'm saying I love you with breakfast in bed for J and a walk in the Oxford meadow.

¿Le dirás Te quiero a alguien hoy? Yo voy a decirle Te quiero a J con un desayuno en la cama y un paseo alrededor del río en Oxford.

Mugs @ Bailey doesn't bark

Friday, February 13, 2009

British design

This new Royal Mail stamp collection, showing classic contributions of Great Britain to Design makes me feel proud of my adopted country. See the whole collection here.

Esta colección de sellos con imágenes de la contribución de Gran Bretaña al diseño me hace sentir orgullosa de mi pais adoptado. Podéis ver la colección completa

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Girls like boys

She's so beautiful... and she makes the boy look seem so easy. I'm not convinced about the shoes, I think it's taking it a bit too far, but love the overall effect.

Esta chica tan guapa hace que el estilo chico parezca tan fácil... No me convencen los zapatos, pero me encanta el efecto de todo el conjunto.

Photo @ The Sartorialist

Lucyna Moodie

This photo seen on Purple Area took me to Lucyna Moodie's online portfolio. I love how she uses colour and flowers for special touches in the spaces she styles.

Pinchando en la foto de arriba, que vi en Purple Area, encontré el portfolio de Lucyna Moodie. Me encanta como usa el color y las flores para añadir toques especiales a los espacios que decora.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More yellow

I absolutely love this look from the J Crew lookbook. The skirt is perfect, even more because it's in the colour of the year. The simple top and cardigan are accessorized with a fantastic stripe belt that makes the whole outfit feel special. And don't you think this room from The Haymarket Firmdale Hotel that I found at El beso is the perfect translation of the look into a room?

Me encanta este conjunto que he visto en el lookbook de J Crew. La falda es preciosa y todavía más porque es del color de la temporada. El top y la chaqueta, de líneas simples, se complementan con el cinturón de rayas que le da un toque muy especial a todo el conjunto. ¿No os parece que esta habitación del Haymarket Firmdale Hotel que he visto en El beso es la manera perfecta de traducir este estilismo a un espacio interior?


Like so many others in the blogesphere, I'm trying to consume less, starting with a month of not buying anything. If I'm tempted, I'll watch this video again and I know I'll change my mind straight away. To watch and know where your possessions come from, click here.

House inspiration

I love the house of the couple behind ZAI. Simple, uncluttered and beautiful. More here.

Me encanta la casa de los creadores de la tienda ZAI. Simple, sin objetos innecesarios, y preciosa. Podéis ver más fotos aquí.

Found @ Visual Notes

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is visually beautiful, with magic dancing scenes, melancholic sunrises, and a charmingly alive New Orleans. The movie is by no means perfect (see more about what I thought here), but I left the cinema in a romantic mood, thinking about the randomness of life and the importance of appreciating the small moments with the people we love.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button es preciosa visualmente, con escenas mágicas, amaneceres meláncolicos y escenas que muestran el día a día de la ciudad de Nueva Orleans. La película, desde luego, no es perfecta, pero me hizo pensar en el azar, la vida y la importancia de apreciar esos pequeños momentos que pasamos con nuestros seres queridos.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Found @ Blurb

Beatifully simple: Clotheslines
Sunny and sweet: Trois Semaines
Both books @ Blurb

Marie Antoinette

When it got released, Sofia Coppola’s film, Marie Antoinette was much talked about. Fashion and décor magazines run articles and editorials inspired by its aesthetic: luxurious, feminine and excessive. For some reason, I refused to see it then, I only saw it some weeks ago and I liked it more than I expected. Of course, I loved the cakes, the shoes and the dresses. But for me, the most inspiring scenes were the ones in Marie Antoinette's country retreat. Simpler decoration, white and floaty dresses, nature... It must be because I’m in a moment in my life where I want to relax, get rid of some baggage and live a simpler life.

En su momento, se habló sin cesar de la película de Sofía Coppola, Marie Antoinette. Las revistas de moda y decoración realizaron editoriales y artículos inspirados en la estética lujosa, femenina y excesiva de la película. Yo la vi hace poco y, aunque me gusto más de lo que me esperaba y no puedo negar que los pasteles, zapatos y vestidos son espectaculares, lo que mas me inspiró fueron las escenas en la casa de campo de Marie Antoinette. Decoración más simple, vestidos blancos y vaporosos, el contacto con la naturaleza…. Será porque estoy en un momento de mi vida en el que quiero relajarme, deshacerme de cosas innecesarias (materiales y de otros tipos) y vivir de manera mas simple.

Some of those films: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I've just seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. A magic story about time, love, family, American history... About life and death. About old age, and young age. About someone aging backwards while all the people he loves grow older. About mortality, and the importance of making the most of life.
The fact that Brad Pitt's character ages backwards is actually not that important for most of the film, as he seemed to go through the same stages of life that a boy growing old would do. It's only when he becomes a father that he starts really thinking about the consequences of growing younger. I felt that was one of the problems with the film, the characters were rather uninteresting, bland, with nothing much to say. So much so, that not even great performances by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett could save them.
The film is beautifully shot, and the images sometimes told the story better than words... and perhaps that was the problem. During the film, I kept thinking there was something wrong, something banal, boring about it. Of course, it was only when I read that the screenwriter was Eric Roth, who also wrote the most boring film in cinema history ever (yes, Forrest Gump) that I understood. As much I was enjoying the cinematography and the acting, there were several moments when I just wanted the movie to end. I looked at my watch (of course, never a good sign) about an hour and a half into the film and thought, OMG, and the love affair hasn't even started yet!
There were, however, charming scenes, and the sad but beautiful ending made leave the cinema thinking about life, the randomness... and the beauty of it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Chick flick

I'm in the mood for a romantic comedy... or three. This is exactly what I need at the moment. Something to make me laugh and forget the winter, the routine, the stress at work... Being back at work after a year off has been incredibly hard and very, very stressful. So much that it's affecting the rest of my life, and my self-confidence. I need to cheer myself up and I need to get inspiration from fabulous women who have it all... almost.
So I'm really looking forward to the second Sex and the City movie!!!! I cannot wait... but I'll have to, so in the meantime, I'll watch He's just not that into you (remember that Sex and the City episode that then inspired the book and now the movie?) and Confessions of a Shopaholic. I read the Sophie Kinsella's books when I first moved to England. I needed something light and easy to read as my English wasn't that great and this was perfect! They made me laugh so much, and the movie looks as funny.

Me apetece muchísimo ver una comedia romántica... o tres. Es exactamente lo que necesito para olvidarme del invierno, la rutina y el estrés del trabajo. Volver al trabajo después de un año fuera me está resultando mucho más difícil de lo que esperaba y el estrés amenaza con asentarse de nuevo en mi vida, un compañero permanente difícil de espantar. Necesito distraerme y divertirme con algo que no requiera mucho esfuerzo.
Así que tengo muchísimas ganas de ver la segunda película de Sex and the City, que ya está confirmada. Pero, mientras tanto, este mes, veré He's just not that into you y Confessions of a Shopaholic. Los libros en los que se inspira esta última son los primeros que leí cuando llegué a Inglaterra. Necesitaba algo facilito para practicar inglés y elegí esta serie. Me hicieron reir muchísimo y la película espero que tenga el mismo efecto.

Genius video for a beautiful song

Soon she's down the stairs
Her morning elegance she wears
The sound of water makes her dream
Awoken by a cloud of steam
She pours a daydream in a cup
A spoon of sugar sweetens up

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Using photography to connect people

Recientemente, me he encontrado con varios proyectos de fotografía en los que se anima al fotógrafo a hacer fotos de desconocidos. Lo más interesante es que además deben charlar con ellos y descurbrir algo sobre ellos. En The thought project (El proyecto del pensamiento), Simon Hoegsberg hizo fotografías de 150 personas en la calle y les preguntó qué estaban pensando justo antes de que les parara. Podéis ver las fotos y los pensamientos (en inglés o alemán) aquí.Por otro lado, 100 strangers (100 desconocidos) es un grupo de flickr que anima a sus miembros a hacer fotos de desconocidos y a charlar con ellos para descubrir algo sobre sus modelos. Podéis ver algunas fotos aquí.

I recently came across two photography projects that encourages photographers to take photos of strangers. The interesting thing is that they also must find out something about them. In The thought project, Simon Hoegsberg photographed 150 people in the street and asked what they were thinking when he stopped them. You can see the photos and the thoughts here.

100 strangers
is a flickr group that encourages members to take photos of people in the street, talk to the subject and find out something about them. You can see some of them here.

Beautiful Oxford is covered in snow...

Monday, February 2, 2009


La nieve siempre me hace volver a mi niñez. Así que esta mañana, fui a la oficina caminando, jugué, me caí un par de veces... ¡y me lo pasé pipa!

Snow always takes me back to my childhood, and so this morning, I walked to work, I played in the street, fell a couple of times, and had fun!

Hasta que llegué al trabajo, claro, y me tuve que conformar con ver la nieve desde la ventana.

Until I got to the office and had to settle for watching the snow from the window...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

If you really want to hear about it...

Yep, I have finally started my year of reading dangerously with The Catcher in the Rye. I've actually read this book already, many years ago. I can't say that I didn't like it, but I definitely didn't get it, or at least, I didn't get as much from it, as many other people seem to have. Perhaps I was too young, perhaps it wasn't the right moment in my life, perhaps the Spanish translation I picked up wasn't very good.
I'm intrigued to see if my experience this time is similar or completely different. I'm a different person in so many ways that I wouldn't be surprised if it was. I'm much more centered now that I used to be, I'm more aware of everything around me (or at least, I like to think I'm), but, above all, I'm so much more open to other people's experiences, opinions and ideas, and so much more confident that being challenged is not longer a threat but a very welcoming experience.
So, I'm off to read and will let you know what happens.

A pretty red umbrella

It´s raining outside and I hide behind the window, not wanting to face reality. If I had a pretty red umbrella to cheer me up, I could venture in the rain. If I was feeling stronger, I would fight the black umbrellas. My red umbrella and a smile is all I need.

Photo @ Overflowing via Vespertinal

Film inspiration

La película Mamma Mia! transcurre en una pequeña isla griega, donde el personaje de Meryl Streep vive con su hija. Tienen un pequeño hotelito y, a pesar de su estado algo ruinoso, es un sitio encantador y el lugar perfecto para pasar unas tranquilas y románticas vacaciones. Y si de paso, nos encontramos por allí a Pierce Brosnan, o Colin Firth, mejor que mejor.

Mamma Mia! is set in a beautiful small island in Greece, where Meryl Street's character lives with her daughter. They have a small hotel that, despite much needed repairs, is the essence of shabby chic. The whole place is perfect for a romantic and tranquil holiday. And who knows? We may bump into Pierce Brosnan or Colin Firth while we are there!

Collage made @ Polyvore