28 November, 2014

Snowflake

Another snowflake, stitched with two shades of blue shimmering yarn and decorated with silver and blue pearls. In the background, I added blue shimmering paper, and as it seemed a little too dark to me (or was it just that the white paper was a little too small?), I added a silver sticker with snowflakes.
The two shades of blue are probably not visible on the photo: the swirls are light blue, the rhomboids are little bit darker.
challenges:
- fadengrafik-challenge: snowflakes
- trimmiescraftchallenge: Christmas present
- fussyandfancychallenge: happy holidays
- craftycatz: anything goes
- everybodyartchallenge: snowflake
- craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge2: anything goes as long as it's Christmas
- craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge: getting ready for Christmas

26 November, 2014

Milky way

A while ago, I browsed through my colouring images and almost melted when I found this cutie. Isn't this a lovely little mouse? :) I'm not sure whether it's climbing to the moon or parachuting, but it was way too cute to ignore it.
I decided to use in on one of my future projects, and even before I thought about the details, I remembered this starry cardboard I bought ages ago. I think it was part of some paper package, I liked it but I never really knew how to use it. On the one hand, it's pretty dark to me, and on the other, those stars didn't seem to fit anywhere. Until I figured out they do fit the mouse :)
For the card, I used the sketch from tuesdaymorningsketches. The image is coloured with coloured pencils. To match the starry background I added golden glitter paper, a blue and golden ribbon, and a sentiment that says "Happy holidays". 
In the end, I used a couple of stars: a punched golden star and some star-shaped pearls. These were my sisters' actually, she must have used them back in primary school for her crafting. When she had no use for it she gave them to me. That was ages ago, but I somehow keep stuff like this, thinking I *might* need it some day. In the end, I forget about some of my treasures only to re-discover them later, while others are always in the back of my mind, waiting for their moment to come.
How about you, do you keep things for "maybe later"? Everything? Some of them? Dou you keep things for years or do you clean up your reserves every now and then? Did it ever happen to you that after sorting things out, within a couple of weeks you were working on a project, thinking "If only I kept these a little longer"?

challenges:
- tuesdaymorningsketches
- cutecardthursday: stars
- come and get it challenge: winter
- crafts4eternity: furry friends
- fairytale-challengeblog: Christmas with animals
- acreativeromance: something old (stars)
- chocolatecoffeecards: favourite holiday (Christmas)
- thatcraftplace: anything goes
- craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge: getting ready for Christmas
- craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge2: anything goes as long as it's Christmas
- craftyhazelnutspatternedpaper: patterned paper
- ooh-la-lacreationschallenges: Christmas
- pennyschallenges: anything goes
- fabnfunkychallenges: anything with die cuts (star)
- justinspirationalchallenges: winter
- craftysentiments: use die cuts (star)
- wordartwednesday: anything goes
- milkcoffeechallenge: lots of embellishments
- basteltantenchallengeblog: bling bling

24 November, 2014

Let it snow

Is it this time of year already? The time of frosty mornings, gloves and caps?
Today was the first time I took out my winter jacket and it felt just right. As I'm usually cold pretty quickly, I've been wearing gloves for quite a while now, and it seems to me that the "real" winter is on the way. Sooner or later, that means snow. Loads of it, please!
Even though I don't love cold temperatures, I love snow. Snow adds something special to the winter atmosphere. Of course, I'm talking about the white fluffy version of it, not the brown mud in the streets.
Every year, the first snow is something special, and it always makes me smile to wake up and find out that nature has changed overnight. Growing up in Austria, I might even say that if something as essential as snow is missing for Christmas, it doesn't feel like "real" Christmas.
And still, I can't tell what makes it all so special. Is it the fact that - unlike rain - snow falls silently and slowly? Is it this wonderful snowy sound under your shoes? This special warm glow, even when it's foggy outside? That everything seems to be more quiet that usual?
No matter what it is, I can't wait to go home for Christmas, spend some time with my family and cuddle by the fireplace. No shopping, no gifts, no stress.

I finished another pickpoint card today. I sewed the same ornament that I used for the autumn pumpkin-soup-card, only with blue yarn this time.
I must say it really surprised me how the colour alone makes it look like a totally different pattern: what looked like a flower in orange, now looks like a snowflake.
I decorated it with pearls, and used a blue cardboard with snowflakes for the background. Actually, it might seem familiar to you as I used the same cardboard for my Christmas wreath. But that one was red, you might say. Well, it's red on one side and blue on the other ;) I really like the idea of a 2-in-1 paper that you can use on either side, depending on your needs. 

challenges:
- 4craftychicks: makeit sparkle
- pennyschallenges: anything goes
- craftycatz: winter theme
- delicious doodles: traditional Christmas (nothing is as traditional as Christmas with loads of snow)
- fadengrafik-challenge: snowflakes
- thepinkelephant: anything goes
- come and get it: winter
- craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge: getting ready for Christmas
- thatcraftplace: anything goes
- craftyhazelnutspatternedpaper: patterned paper
- ooh-la-la-creationschallenges: Christmas
- craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge2: anything goes as long as it's Christmas

19 November, 2014

Chocolate fairy

Today, I'm going to introduce a very special lady: the Chocolate fairy.
I love this fairy image, but I haven't used it recently. I was however pleasantly surprised when I found that my sister still keeps a birthday card I made with this fairy in green years ago.
Yesterday, I  decided to use it again. For the arrangement, I took the sketch from sketchsaturday. The colours just happened. Ok, they are probably a *little* inspired by chocolate. And even though one might think brown is a boring colour for a card, there are many different shades of brown that make it look quite interesting. And the little bit of orange and yellow fits perfectly for making it a bit brighter alltogether. In the end, I added a little fairy dust - little blue dots to make the background a little bit more vivid.
The very last piece however, was the rose that is actually rather the result of my silliness. When I clean the remains of sharpening my coloured pencils, I use the vacuum cleaner on the floor, and a paintbrush on my papers. This time I thought I'd save a little time using the vacuum cleaner on m desk, too. Needless to say, it didn't work as planned. Instead of removing the coloured pencils stuff only, it tried to eat my newly painted fairy, leaving an ugly crinkle that I had to cover up.
After the initial shock, anger and a few bad words, I figured a rose would do. It might not fit perfctly, but it's better than colouring the image once again ;)
Guess I was lucky that the cronkle was in a peripheral part, but I sure learned my lesson: don't even think vacuum cleaner would work on paper. Ever. But of course I knew that. I knew that all the way, I just don't know why I tried it anyway.
Another thing I realized: evn though I always considered brown to be a colour for masculine cards, I now see that it can be a great for girlie ones, too.

challenges:
- abc-challenge: X for Xtra special
- 4craftychicks: fairies
- meljen's design: hot chocolate
- robynsfetishchallengeblog: things with wings
- craftysentiments: 2 or more papers
- sketchsaturday
- papertakeweekly: soooo girly
- dreamvalleychallenges: anything goes
- milkcoffeechallenge: hand color image

17 November, 2014

Recycling

Again, some recycling cards.
For one, I used a picture of an owl from an old calendar. I struggled with the background for quite a while, but in the end I used a combination of wooden background paper and a flower punch atop of it, which reminds me of a fence covered with snow. Three more pearls in the right lower corner, and - finito.
The second card has a stitched ornament with pearls, which fits nicely to the alpine scenery in the background. This picture, too, is taken from an old calendar.
The first card goes for the following challenges:
- open-mindedcraftingfun: fowls/birds
- robynsfetishchallengeblog: things with wings

12 November, 2014

Tea time

Even though it's already mid November, it's unusually warm for this time of year. Still, as I'm pretty sensitive to cold, I know that once the low temperatures kick in, I'll be sticking to my cup of hot tea.
This is my first card using one of the Meljen's Designs digis that I won at Just Inspirational Challenges :) I love this mug of cinnamon-flavoured tea with autumn leaves. To match the autumn colours that I have used to colour the image, I've chosen a background paper with brown scripture and beige cardboard for the card. In the end, I decorated it with falling leaves and a few beads.
challenges:
- meljensdesigns: autumn brights
- glitternsparklechallengeblog: autumn colours
- milkcoffeechallenge: hand color image
- craftysentiments: anything goes
- acreativeromance: winter warmers

Singing in the rain

The current abc challenge says "W for water", and although one may associate water with sea, mermaids and underwater life, I've chosen to go with that other water - the one coming from above. There has been pretty much of this kind of water lately, with parts of Slovenia being flooded once again this year, and they say it's more to come.
This cute Precious Moments girl obviously lives in safer areas and decided to go for a walk with her red umbrella. Leafs are falling from the trees as the wind blows, but she seems to have fun anyway.
For the outline of the card I used a sketch from the current sketchsaturday. Choosing the right colours was a bit more dififcult asI have made a pretty colourful image. In the end, I've chosen a turquoise paper with flowers, which is mainly hidden, and a light brown background paper. To complete the autumn scenery, I added some blue pearls and a sign saying "singing in the rain".
The little girl is right: there's nothing better than a walk through the bright coloured forest. Riversides can be an interesting sight in autumn - the reflections of trees can be quite surreal at times.
challenges:
- abc challenge: W for water
- sketchsaturday
- glitternsparklechallenge: autumn colours
- milkcoffeechallenge: hand color image
- craftysentiments: anything goes
- meljensdesigns: autumn brights

A floral ornament

A rather simple black & white card, which has a floral ornament as its centerpiece. For the background, I printed a patterned paper with black swirls. The ornament itself is printed and painted over with black calligraphy ink. In the end I added two small white pearls, and that's it.
challenges:
- sweetpeastampers: let us remember/sympathy/thinking of you
- tuesdaythrowdown: swirls and pearls
- delicious doodles: remembrance/thinking of you

09 November, 2014

Madame Butterfly

I must say I struggled a little bit with the current butterflyspotchallenge - 3 design papers, and I'm such a less is more kind of person! Especially, I like not to mix too many different colours and patterns as I think it steals the attention from the message a card brings.
Yesterday however, I found bumblebutton, a wonderful collection of vintage images. Among them, a stunning lady in black and white.
I decided to go through my papers to see if I had any matching black and/or white papers. After searching, comparing, searching some more, putting back and taking them out again, I found a few sheets that I thought would do. For the decorations, I repeated the whole procedure once more. The outcome is a black and white card with roses and butterflies. 
In general, when I start a paper project, I like to go through my stuff and find the matching pieces before I start working. I often change minor things while working - when I see things don't fit the way I imagined, when I remember that other piece that might fit in here, when I see the half-finished card and realize I'd like to use another punch or a different ribbon... But at least for the main tools like papers, I can say that I need to have them together before I start my project.
For the arrangement of the cards however, I usually don't make any plans or sketches - they just "happen". Well, except in a sketch challenge ;) For my other projects, I start working with the central piece (an image, a stitched ornament...) and then work my way to the backgrounds and embellishments, comparing colours, shapes and materials.

So, once I have chosen the papers, I had to arrange them and chose the ribbon. Then came the embellishments. I was sure about using white roses, but till the end I couldn't decide whether to use white or black leaves with them. As you see, I decided to punch them in white.
I was sure about using butterflies, too, but again - should it be a black or a white one, a small or a huge one? Finally, I've chosen both colours and my big punch. In the very end, I remembered I must have a single black pearl somewhere, a leftover from a sympathy card. I always keep such remains, thinking I *might* need them some day. Today, I did - black pearl on the white butterfly, white on the black one.
Unfortunately, the shimmering floral pattern in the white paper isn't quite visible on the photos. In reality, it's lovely.
Nature is becoming black and white, too, especially with the clouds not going away for days.
challenges:
- fan-tastic tuesday: add one butterfly
- butterflyspotchallenge: 3 design papers
- crafts4eternity: ribbon and lace
- craftycatzweeklychallenge: ribbon and/or lace
- papertakeweekly: anything goes
- sweatpeastampers: let us remember/sympathy/thinking of you
- fabnfunky: use 3 embellishments
- bastel-traum: black/white
- comeandgetitchallenge: pearls and lace
- thatcraftplace: anything goes
- 4craftychicks: bingo B - free (image), ribbon, pearls, black/white, circles (roses)
- wordartwednesday

08 November, 2014

Yellow

Today's crafting post is a simple yellow and white butterfly card.
Actually, it was meant to be a last-minute entry for the butterflyspotchallenge "emboss your butterfly". I never thought I could do anything for that task as I don't own any embossing tools, so when I remembered this pack of embossed papers the challenge was almost over. It contains papers of different colours embossed with different ornaments, and among them, a few are embossed with butterflies. I used them very little though, so there's no wonder I almost forgot about them.
When I saw I had just about time for a quick card before the linky widget expires, I thought it *might* turn out if I hurry. I cut out 6 different yellow and white squares which I arranged on a plain white card. The embossed yellow squares don't need additional decorations, on the white ones however I put a rose and a couple of yellow butterflies with pearls. Also, it's the first time I used my new punch - I fell in love with the big butterfly when I first saw it :)
In the end, I turned out to be just 15 minutes too late for the link up, but the card goes for a couple of other challenges instead:
- fan-tastic tuesday: add one butterfly
- fabnfunkychallenges: 3 embellishments (rose, butterflies, pearls)
- ladybugcrafts: bright colours
- papertakeweekly: anything goes

Now that the days are short and full of clouds and rain, it's hard to take proper photos of my cards. I think I had three attempts for that one until I was more or less satisfied with the colours, explains the *little* delay in posting.
It's much easier to picture flowers in sunshine, like the krizantemes in our garden :)

interview with Jani Brajkovič

Today, a different kind of post. I just have to share this great interview with our boy Jani Brajkovič, looking forward to more luck in future. After everything that went wrong in 2014, this guy really deserves some happy moments and all the best with UnitedHealthCare. 
Translated from SIOL.NET - make sure to stop by there for the photos ;)
 
Saturday interview: cyclist Jani Brajkovič 

"I got rid of the weeds, now I'm surrounded by the right people"

 
 
Jani Brajkovič, born in 1983, professional cyclist. Father of three children, living in Dubai and Novo mesto. The 5th most followed Slovene athlete on twitter with more than 40.000 followers. He was U23 World Champion (2004), winner of the prestigious Dauphine (2010) and the most important Slovene race, Tour de Slovenie (2012). Numerous people lined the roads of Slovenia back then, especially around his hometown Metlika. He remains to be the best-ranked Slovene cyclist in the legendary 3-week Tour de France (2012), which he finished 9th overall. This year however, he will try to forget as soon as possible, except of the 3rd place at Burgos. He learned many new things, things about people and relationships, too. On January 1, 2015, he will be on a new path. Improvement or setback, take it as you like. He'll put on the jersey of the American based team UnitedHealthCare, which expects a lot from him.

The 2014 season was for sure your worst one in the past ten years. Would you agree with that?
Yes, the worst by far.

Have you already analyzed your moves, the reasons for such a bad season?
I think there was a whole set of circumstances, with things piling up and getting worse. Like every spring, I had problems with allergies, but I put myself together in time for the Giro d'Italia. I was well prepared and really motivated, I think at about 97% of my abilities, but then came the crash and elbow fracture and everything went to hell. It was a big setback. I hoped the things would settle as they should, but they didn't. I think at that point it would be better if I broke my collarbone, as an elbow fracture is much more difficult. It was a complicated fracture, and that's why I lost a lot of time. May, June and half of July. It's true that I rode my bike, but it was a regular bike ride rather than something serious.
In August I performed well at the Tour of Burgos, where I finished 3rd overall. I was really well prepared, I got more confident, I was happy and optimistic, and expected to be nominated for the Vuelta. In the end, that did not happen and it became more or less obvious that Astana won't extend my contract.

Who has told you the news and how did they do it?
Nobody has told me anything, I just assumed it. The management of Astana never explained anything to me, nobody told me anything. Only Gorazd Štangelj (one of Astana's sports directors) gave me a hint that they probably won't extend my contract. This was probably the reason why they didn't pick me for the Vuelta. 
Truth is, there were other races after that where I got my chance, but those were races that don't suit me. Take the Tour of Canada, everything was decided in the final sprint, and even if I was in top shape I couldn't have finished in the top 10.

Which results counted for Astana? Top 3 only?
The only thing that counts are the top 3 places, in the big races like the Tour probably the top 10. The rest doesn't matter. After the races in Canada, I focused on the last World Tour race in Beijin, and skipped the World Championships in Spain. I trained on the Canaries and I think I was really well prepared. Then, we didn't go to Beijin at all (due to the cycling codex, a team with two positive cyclists within one season can't participate in the next scheduled race), and the season was over quickly. All in all, I had a really sad season.

In older interviews you expressed satisfaction about team Astana. Have the things changed much with the arrival of Vincenzo Nibali (this years' Tour winner)?
Actually, I didn't have problems with my position, the greatest problem was that I didn't settle in their way of work. There are two important things to consider, in the first place money motivates me least, and secondly nobody can motivate me by threatening me and putting me under pressure.

Did things like that happen with Astana?
Yes, during races sports directors via radio told us things that don't belong there. That we are bad cyclists, that we'll never get our contracts extended and things like that. It's not that everybody is like this, but some are and these things really hurt me.
Already last year I suggested to the team that I would not demand salary till the end of season if only they would let me race the way I can, not putting me under pressure and talking things like that.

How did they react?
As they have to pay cyclists according to what the contract says due to UCI rules, that did not happen. But it still had a very negative effect on me.

In your interview for Cyclingnews (*Cyclingtips actually ;)), you mentioned that you realized who your true friends are while looking for a new contract. What exactly did you mean?
People have often deceived me in life. Many people considered me as a source of money and attempted to use that. Not once, but a couple of times. I trusted too much. In the past two or three years however, I realized that things aren't as I imagined they would be. In the end, the only ones who stood by me were my family and two friends, the rest left after they obviously realized they couldn't benefit from me anymore.

You have stated a couple of times that the American way of thinking suits you better, and that this was the reason why you were looking for an American team. How does this way of thinking differ from others?
Personally, it's very important to me to feel like part of the family when I race, to feel this special connection between team members.

That they are interested in you as a person?
Exactly, to feel like a group that works, enjoys and suffers together. Not that you come to a race and within 10 minutes feel so depressed that you'd like to go home. You can't race that way! Or, that cyclists gather in small groups and stay by themselves, you gain nothing from that either.
The Americans are more open minded regarding things like that. They might sometimes seem weird to us Europeans, but fact is that one can really discuss everything and come to an agreement. I spent most of my career in American teams and things worked well there. Also in my new team UnitedHealthCare they surprised me with how organized they are. Considering the fact that they are ranked lower than World Tour teams, for which I've raced so far, I can say that I've never been in such an organized team. Really. The budged is several times lower than the budget of a World Tour team, and yet...

Is this the reason why you said that signing with a ProContinental team after riding in a first class World Tour squad would be an improvement rather than a setback, even though people might think the other way round?
To me, this is a new beginning. I will have a lot of opportunities to race for the GC. Additionally, the atmosphere in the team is very important to me. If I don't feel well, I can't perform well, no matter my shape.
For sure, Astana isn't the only one to blame, I'm probably taking part of the blame, too, as I didn't settle in the team, but that's how it is. It's really hard for me to change, to be what I'm not. But I'm not a hypocrite, and I often pay for that.

You mentioned the importance of good relationships in a team. What are the chances that such relationships develop?
In professional cycling, we meet on training camps in December and January, and after that, only at races. It's not like soccer where the guys are together all the time. We get our plane tickets, arive at the scene one day prior to the race, have a dinner and breakfast together, then comes the race and we go home again. We spend little time together.

When will you have your race schedule for 2015?
I'm with Astana till December 31.

New year, new beginning...
On January 12, I'll be going to Italy to meet one of UnitedHealthCare's sports directors, and discuss the programme and way of racing. Before that, we'll have a training camp in North Carolina from December 5 to December 18, where they'll take measurements for our jerseys, bikes and stuff like that.

How did the communication go with the new team? Who made the first call?
The biggest problem was that my former manager didn't really make efforts to find a team for me.

He was probably too busy with other clients?
Yes, the problem with big managers is that they're working for 50-60 cyclists at the same time, and they'll try to find teams for top riders in first place, because for a top contract they get the highest commission themselves.

How much does he get?
Five percent.

Of the annual contract?
Yes, that is if you get 100.000 € per year, he gets 5% net.

So, who got in touch with whom?
Already in August I knew how things are, and said I'd like to get into an American team. Since nothing happened till mid September, where major teams have no more places left, I started making calls and sending emails. As nothing happened till October, I decided to change managers. My new manager (Baden Cook) is in the business for only two years, he has ten clients and really devoted his time to me. It wasn't easy for him. Apart from the fact that the teams were full, there will be one World Tour team less next season, meaning 30 cyclists will lose their jobs. There was an Italian team, which was rather a plan B, so I insisted on an American team.
About two weeks ago, I first got a reply from UnitedHealthCare's manager, and that's when things began to develop really quickly. Three days after that, we had a conference call which lasted for two hours. They introduced their programme, and I was very excited. At that point, I was determined to turn down even a World Tour team, if they offered me a chance. Considering everything UHC presented to me, I was surprised in a very positive way and considering this years' season, everything turned out very well in the end.

Did they say they'd count on you as team leader?
Yes, even the fact that they offered me a two-year contract in these times, says a lot. Right now, you sign one-year contracts in cycling. They have rather long-term plans with me. They expect to ecome a World Tour team within two years. There were chances it would happen next year already, but their budget was too low, neither they had the cyclists, as most of the good cyclists have signed with other teams already. But they plan to do so in two years.

Do they expect to be invited to the grand Tours like Giro, Tour and Vuelta, where ProContinental teams can race with special invitations only?
Next year, they hope to be invited to the Giro, but I think the chances are small as Italian teams have priority there. We'll see. They have a good race schedule. I won't be having as many races as in the World Tour, but when I'll race I'll be able to go for the overall.

There is probably little chance to participate in the race of all races, the Tour de France, with this new team. Have you stopped dreaming about the prestigious French race, which has always been among your priorities?
Yes, for one year. But I think there'll be plenty of other opportunities.

Can we expect you to be at the Tour de Slovenie next year?
Maybe, why not.

Let's talk about crashes. They are quite frequent in your career. Have you ever considered that you attract them with your way of thinking?
Yes, there sure is some truth about that, the problem is also that I wasn't enough confident. The combination of all those things, lack of self-esteem, bad shape and the atmosphere in the team, leads to a point where you don't trust yourself, you hesitate while racing, and then things like that can happen very soon. On the other hand, a self-confident person is ready to go head-through-wall to reach their goal, because he knows what he is capable of, and crashes don't happen to such people.
Fact is that cyclists who race for themselves, not only as domestiques, also race in a way that matches the team leader, and on the other hand, those who aren't sure about what to do or not to do, give in during critical moments.
I think that most lay people don't realize how much fighting for positions happens during races, that all kinds of things happen which are never shown on TV. The races are very stressful, especially in the final 20-30 kilometers, in the first week of tree-week races, or in the first days of week-long races. If you are self-confident, you are focused on the race alone and things are a lot easier.

Are the cyclists in the pro peloton looking differently at you now, compared to 2012 when you were on top of your career?
Yes, there was more respect back then.

How does this become obvious?
In fighting for positions. When cyclists respect you, they leave you in peace, they let you race in the front. But if they know you don't belong there, that you're not racing for top places in the overall or for a stage win, they'll make you drop back. Everybody is afraid that your mistake will lead to a disadvantage for them, so they want to race in front of you.

I can imagine the races are stressful, but if you keep on racing, you must still enjoy it.
Well, it certainly isn't nice, actually that't the thing that is most nasty. But when cyclists are getting dropped and you can still be at the front, it's nice. That's the thing that gives you additional motivation. Even if your legs burn and you are at your limits, you can get an little more out of yourself.

It's no secret that Lance Armstrong is your role model, at least he used to be a couple of years ago. How did you accept his confession about using prohibited substances through the years?
I don't want to defend him, but fact is, at least in my opinion, that he wasn't the only one to do so in his time.

What time? Can you be more precise about that?
Late 90s and beginning of 21st century. However, truth is that Armstrong is the only one who is paying the price, which doesn't seem right to me. Lance Armstrong pays for mistakes cycling has done in that period of time. Everybody should pay, or nobody.

The general opinion is that everybody who finished in the top 20 at the Tour back then, used performance enhancing drugs. Your comment?
We can't know that for sure.

If Armstrong is a role model from the past, which cyclist would you point out today? Who stands out as a cyclist and personality in your opinion?
Uf, I prefer cyclists for three-week races. Looking at character and abilities, I'd expose Chris Froome. The Tour victory didn't change him a bit. He remains to be friendly and is always ready to chat, never aggressive, not even in the most critical moments, during position fights before the ascents. If he'll touch your handlebars, he will always apologise, even if it wasn't his fault. Yup, I like him very much.

What about your compatriots?
I think we pay too little attention to Kristijan Koren. We never hear anything about him.

Generally, there is too little talk about domestiques in cycling.
Yes, Koren, doesn't have many top results, but nobody sees how much efforts he puts in working for the team leader during the race, and from time to time he can race for himself, too. We could talk more about him. Cycling is a very thankless sport, especially if you are a domestique. Even if you're a top domestique, only a few people and some reporter will know about that, while the layperson won't know about you at all.
Luka Mezgec stands out as well. Considering the fact that he is a sprinter, he is really friendly and outgoing. In the last two or three kilometers he really does switch to sprinter-mode, but during the race itself, and outside of cycling, he is extremely friendly.

What about Matej Mohorič?
Mohorič is an incredible talent, one Slovenia never had before, all he needs to do is develop. Looking at how he raced and what he showed in 2012 and 2013, I believe he has great future ahead. He has no problem with what people talk or journalists write, he has such a strong character that things like that don't hurt him.

People talked about your great talent, too. Considering your promising beginnings, do you think you made what was possible with it?
I think I can make a lot more. I'm 30 years old and there are at least 5 years of professional racing ahead. Now I'm surrounded by the right people, I got rid of the weeds, and so I expect to achieve a lot more than I did in the past.

So, your statement that next season will be your best, didn't come just like that?
No. If I wouldn't honestly believe it, I wouldn't say it for sure.


Alenka Teran Košir, 8.11.2014


ps: Who noticed the "father of three" in the first line? Congratulations!

Christmas wreath

Again, a stitched card. Have I ever mentioned I love pickpoint? :) As Christmas is coming closer, I decided to make a Christmas wreath. Even though it's only made on paper, it's decorated like a real one with sparkling red Christmas balls. To make the green branches more visible, I used coloured pencils. For the background, I've chosen a red cardboard with snowflakes.
challenges:
- craftalnica: let it snow
- dreamvalleychallenges: getting ready for christmas
- useyourstuff: snow
- craftysentiments: smake it parkle
- allwayssomethingcreative: green/red
- creativecardcrew: christmas joy
- trimmiescraftchallenge: winter
- alphabetchallengeblog: traditional christmas
- papertakewekly: anything goes
- ladybugcrafts: bright colours
- fadengrafik-challenge

06 November, 2014

Simple necklace

As I looked through my beads lately, I realized I haven't used much of them in the last couple of months. In fact, I can't even remember the last time I made a piece of jewelry.
So, it was about time to use some beads.
I decided to sew a simple necklace with white rocailles and shimmering cubes. I'm not sure how the technique is called in English, it's similar to the Russian spiral and yet not the same. In German the necklace would be called "Fädelkette". I use this kind of technique quite a lot because it gives a nice spiral, and still you can make the spiral look differently by using different types of beads - glass wax beads, cubes, swarovski beads, glass crystal beads, glass bugle beads...
When I finished the main part, I tried something new: instead of sewing the ends of the necklace onto a clasp like I always do, I glued them into the end caps. I never did that before because I thought sewing is better than glue, but now I see that jewelry glue is perfectly strong and there's no fear the necklace would fall apart.
The necklace reminds me of something white, but not snow. Not even a wedding dress, even though it would fit nicely. It's rather something soft and fluffy, like the clouds on a warm autumn afternoon.

02 November, 2014

Swirls

Another piece that finally found it's match, and another last-minute entry for fan-tastic tuesday. When I stitched those swirls, they were meant to be the bottom of the easel card with roses. However, it was just too much of everything. In the end, the easel card got a simple text saying "Happy birthday", and the golden pickpoint with pearls landed in my to-be-used-later-somehow box.
Now, I have decided to use it on the same paper as I originally thought, only that the stitched motif would be the only center of the card. The soft champagne shades make the card look quite elegant, which is fine as it's meant for the birthday of a very special gentleman. A
nd yet I'm a bit confused as it looks a little too boring to me. On the other hand I can't think of anything that would fit on the card as it is now. Or is it just me who is hardly ever satisfied?
challenges:
- fan-tastic tuesday: monochrome

Black & white

When I stitched this pattern in autumn colours for the "Mushrooms" challenge at craftalnica, I thought it might look good in black and white, too. Now, I finally found the time to try it.
I decided to make a sympathy card with the stitching in one part of the card, and a short text in the other. In the end I changed my mind, and only added a sentiment saying "Sincere condolence". Next to the floral pickpoint I added a cross that I cut out of black cardboard.
I like to make sympathy cards from time to time, because you never know when you might need one. Actually, I can't really understand people who say they wouldn't know what to do in black and white, because that's probably one of the strongest combinations of colours one can get, and it gives you countless opportunities of use them. Also, making a sympathy card is probably more focused than making other cards, as it really is about the comforting message it gives, and not about loads of glitter and sparkle. You probably think twice before you add details, so you may even say it's a kind of meditation. And for those who don't like making the black & white cards because "They're sad", well, not thinking about the fact that our lives are limited won't make you live forever either.

challenges:
- craftycardmakers: cut it out (cross)
- fan-tastic tuesday: monochrome
- wordartwednesday: anything goes

Monochrome

Following the papertakeweekly sketch 79 I made a simple monochrome card. The flowers are stitched in brown shades, additionally I used brown background paper for the flowers, a swirled paper for the main background and a brown ribbon. In the end, I added a few pearls to make sure the card wouldn't all too boring. 
I'm not sure when or how I'll use the card, but as the text says "Congratulations" it will probably be a happy occasion.
- papertakeweekly: sketchie free for all (sketch #79)
- fan-tastic tuesday: monochrome

Glitter

Another Christmas card. I stitched the corners with shimmering yarn, added a few pearls and used a 3D motif in the center of the card. It's a rather simple card, but on the other hand Christmas cards don't always have to be overloaded with glitter. I guess my style will always remain "less is more" ;)
challenges:
- craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge2: anything goes as long as it's Christmas
- cutecardthursday: razzle dazzle
- fabnfunkychallenges: Christmas
- craftroomchallenge: vintage Christmas