Saturday, February 12, 2011

Too Precious to Miss: The Winter Sun

I remember a friend thanking the Sun on Facebook last week for waking her up in the morning: She was from Sarajevo, for sure, because we live in a city where the Sun keeps playing hide-and-seek almost all year long. When it shows off like it did during the whole last week, we just sit back and enjoy ourselves until it goes down. Now, look at the photographs below: I had a great opportunity to shoot Milou while playing with the oranges and grapefruits in the bowl. Everything in the room was leaving shadows as the heart-warming light was shining through the window. The scene with all those contrast of the colours, shadows, and Milou's hands filled me with a feeling like 'presentiment'.

"Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn
Indicative that suns go down;
The notice to the startled grass
That darkness is about to pass."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Annual Reporting Project

This is an annual reporting project by NB:Studio. The designers treated six separate articles as individual books which means they used different tone, colours and layout to make them individual and thus added interest. Then they stuck them together to house them in something memorable as Ben Scott from NB:Studio put it. 

Well, I do not like reporting at all but when I happened to see this project the idea of piling a letter in this reporting manner just walked into my head. I was writing a letter to Gizem who was my flatmate in Ankara then and divided my letter into parts to fit the individual booklets which made it possible to use different colours to highlight the transition from one letter to the other. I stuck all the letters into a regular office file colour paper to make it look more like a report. But the front cover needed an illustration or a photograph to tell the change in my life after I left Ankara. So I decided to stick a picture portraying all the thingies related to Bosnia and its multi-ethnic society. The cover would tell Gizem the overall picture of my new life here in Sarajevo in comparison to the years spent in Ankara. I added some images to the envelope as the final touch. 

Homemade Bread

I know what will follow after I've made this first loaf of bread: The infatuation will wear away and I will focus on some other experiments in the kitchen. However, the smell of this loaf as well as its mind-blowing taste has already taken its unique corner somewhere there in my memory. It's definitely worth the effort! Many of us think making bread is time-consuming and difficult as I used to do. But, believe me or not, it's easy, tasty and time efficient which I realised just as I was slicing my cooled down loaf. Moreover, you don't need any special equipment to make your freeform bread.  All you need is 

* flour (preferably all-purpose)
* milk
* yeast
* salt 
* sugar 

While the dough was rising, I took Milou out to the post office and posted a letter to a friend in Turkey. On the way back home, we stopped by the green grocer's and bought some fresh paprika and leeks which should tell you that you shouldn't worry if you outstretch the time for the dough to rise. The dough's so considerate! 

Here comes the directions:

  1.  Add a cup of warm milk to the yeast and stir until you get some tan-colored liquid.  
  2. Add salt and a little bit of sugar (Yeast feeds on sugar) to the yeast liquid and stir a little more. 
  3. Add the flour slowly. It will stick to your hands at first but keep stirring and adding flour till the dough doesn't stick to your hands and it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 
  4. Time for kneading. Just beat on it for some 5 to 10 minutes until you shape it into a ball. Punch it, squeeze it or twist it! It's the therapy you need!
  5. Put the dough into the bowl and a damp cloth over the bowl. Leave the bowl somewhere warm for one hour until the dough doubles in volume. 
  6. Punch the dough down and shape it using a bit more flour to prevent sticking, if necessary. 
  7. I just rolled it up and put the loaf inside of a rectangular cake pan with a cookie sheet on.
  8. Cover the loaf with a damp cloth or a towel and keep it for another hour in a warm place again. The loaf should raise some more.
  9. Put the loaf in the preheated oven at 200 °C and bake for about 25 minutes. Let it cool down before slicing. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homemade Snow Globe

M18 Hellcat? M7 Priest? M4A2 Sherman? PZPFW IV Ausf H? Any light dawned? Do not bother yourself much to associate the letters or numbers with the following nouns to reach a reasonable explanation or  guess. I also did not have the faintest idea what these numbers and letters stand for once until I denoted the whole WW II itself with all its events, people, vehicles, and the countries involved my most vicious enemy. Well, the names I listed above are the names of only a few of the World War II military tanks - my challenging rivals. Why? Because my husband is simply addicted to WW II. We haven't spent a single day without watching a documentary about a bloody battle, or looking at some old photographs from Stalingrad, or discovering a forum or blog about military vehicles dating back to pre-war days. He knows everything about the War in details. Whenever we enter a toy shop, he heads for the shelves where military model kits are sold. He hasn't got the largest collection of 1:72 or 1:35 scale military model kits of WW II vehicles but his tanks are the most valuable treasure he owns. That's my conclusion.

So, I decided to bury the hatchet with my foe and as an olive branch to present I rummaged the boxes full of plastic model soldiers and found this supposedly German infantry sergeant with his rifle in hand. I sprinted to the kitchen and took a baby-food jar. 

I adhered a pebble stone to the inside of the lid and then the soldier to the pebble. Any jar works for this, I guess. I filled the jar almost to the top with water, added a pinch of white glitter and a dash of glycerin (you can easily find it at pharmacies) to keep the glitter from falling too quickly. I screwed on the lid tightly. Here it is, my homemade snow globe with a German soldier from WW II in it. In a way, I captivated my enemy in a peaceful wintry scene. As I turned the jar over and back again, the scene in the globe was captivating.