Monday, 31 January 2011

The Song of Sparrows

As I have mentioned in my post "Casi casi", there are some nations that have been producing extraordinary films these days and now I would like to tell you about one such.

If you are a moviegoer (again, I do not consider Cinema Cities movies) and pay minimal attention to quality films, you surely know how popular contemporary Iranian filmmaking is. If I should pick and name only one director from this deeply unhuman and still much more human country than ours, it would have to be no other than Majid Majidi. I saw several of his makings: Children of Heaven (Bacheha-ye-Aseman, 1997), The Color of Paradise (Rang-e Khoda, 1999), Baran (2001), and still have some that I must see. Majidi knows how to portray children and through their eyes, the society and the world around them and he clearly showed his genius in "The Song of Sparrows" (Avaze Gonjeshk-ha, 2008).

There are two main characters, a man (Karim) and his son. The man depicts more of the material world, the boy more of the ideals of this world. They both have their big and smaller plans, they have their ideas and intentions, and they have the strength and belief to bring them to reality. But when they get close to this reality - well, that's when the world enters and shatters many dreams. But, it leaves still many dreams alive and does not distort their truly and deeply good, human self inside.

One thing I love about Majidi (and many other Iranian directors) is that he works with non-professional staff instead of trained actors. This proves almost always brilliant - these people really live the circumstances, they are truer than most of the trained actors we see. Here, they are the sparrows - the small, ordinary creatures that still have dreams and that still long for a happy and meaningful life.

I recommend this film to everyone: to those who are used to quality movies - you will not be disappointed, and to those who think that American films they see really have any meaning - watch this and you will understand what filmmaking is really all about. After all, we are all sparrows.

Purple haze

This lovely colourful piece was also made this weekend. It was awfully cold outside so I opted to stay in the warm house and create. Only the photos were taken outside, as you see.

I experimented a bit with the materials, this kind of string is new to me and I have used it for the first time now, I hope this is a stronger one which quality will be needed for this design. The earring itself is very light as all the beads are of wood but I wanted to be sure the string will hold on with the bend too. Also, the lock is a new thing to me, so far I only used other kinds. I will check how this one works. I am sure I can also make many other uses of it other than this.

Anayway, they remind me of someone who I considered my friend and maybe one day I will again. We'll see. Until then, I have the earrings.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Blue stars

As I have told you in my first post, I am just a beginner in making jewelry and there are many things to learn. One of them is to be faster and to have all the moves already "in my hand" so they become more fluid and more like a routine. Of course, sometimes I have to think about how to solve and realize an idea, but the general moves and tricks should become less the moves of a beginner.

So I was very happy to have this feeling when making this earring: it took me only a few minutes to finish. I hope this did not show in the quality of them. The recipient was a colleague of mine (another one) again.

These are a bit heavier due to the ceramic beads (the star) and the minerals (the white cube).

Please also pay attention to the star-shaped little plate that I used for the photo shoot: I got it for Christmas from my boyfriend, after longing for it each time - and a long time - I ever entered a Butlers shop. Lovely, isn't it?


The American doctor

Never saw the movie Doctor Zhivago? Where the hell have you been living in the last decades?

Never mind, even if you have seen the film you will probably have positive memories about it which are good to recall.

Besides world cinema pieces which clearly explain why "actresses" and "actors" of the kind of Jennifer Lopez are a BIG zero, I also love watching old classics, pieces that have shaped the history of cinema, and not by being the most forgetable ones - which can often be said about the films you can catch in the Cinema Cities of today.

So last night's program was Doctor Zhivago - by David Lean, from 1965. What we all know: the story is set in the era of the Russian Revolution, showing us a panorama of the Russian history and society through telling the story of a man and his family. David Lean has an experienced hand in creating colourful tableaus with such a great scope (but only after directing more intimate films, like the wonderful 1945 love story "Brief Encounter"): he directed "The Bridge on the River Kwai", and "Lawrece of Arabia", from where he also took his cinematographer to Doctor Zhivago. There is another person he took from Lawrence of Arabia and made him famous - the Egyptian-born Omar Sharif.

Originally Lean wanted to shoot this movie in the then-Yugoslavia but in the end the location was Spain. But you will not notice, Russia is all around. I must say that at the same time the USA is all around too, and this is why the film is not 100% perfect in my eyes. If it had been made by a Russian director (impossible in those days), Julie Christie playing Lara would not be wearing perfect make-up all along the story and Omar Sharif playing Zhivago would also have some more hair on his face when travelling for weeks on a cattle train with his family.

Indeed, this was a great classic of its time and no wonder why. The story was great, the common fate of the Russian people provides many stories to be told. The colours are beautiful, the actors do their best, and the landscape plays an equally important part in the movie. Once the director said "I think people remember pictures not dialogue. That's why I like pictures." No more explanation is necessary. In this, David Lean did a perfect job.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Black tufa

This morning I had some free time in the house alone so out of all the great choices on what to do I decided I would make a pair of earrings, this time for myself. Of course finally I ended up making several pairs as it all just went so fast.

My usual method is to pour on a plate all the beads I have and first to make compositions of matching colours and materials, and then I choose the one I like the most. As these days I have made a resolution that my ears will tolerate earrings from now on after this break of several months, I thought it was time to make something for myself and I always needed a good pair of sophisticated, black earrings. So here it is, made of wood and tufa.

I must say that I had two not-so-perfect, but very enthusiastic assistants at the photo shoot: Marvin and Indy, our dogs, who could not stop thinking that the little things I was walking around in the garden with are no other things than food I was about to give to them.


Thursday, 27 January 2011

For R

Today finally I had the chance to give somebody a necklace I have made especially for her some weeks ago and could hardly wait to finally be able to present her.

Her wish was a white necklace slightly longer than the style she usually wears. When I started to make the necklace I already knew that the white thread is not enough and I will need to give it a bit more emphasis but I was not sure if she will be happy with the black lace or not. In the end it turned out (well, according to what she told me...) that she liked the idea.

You can find everything from ceramic beads to a small metal star on this piece. I do not like over-constructed things without any freedom or spontaneity so it was obvious that the beads will not be symmetric.

I am sure I will experiment more on this style, already bought some more textile threads!


Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Oh happy day

Today was a good day in the life of La Kukac, let's see why:

1. I met the lady who was the recipient of the earrings in my post called For Gabi / Yo también and she was wearing them!
2. The necklace presented in my post For anyone out there met its new owner.
3. I learnt the origin of the crop which I used here - it is the crop of the lotus flower.
4. I wore the brand new necklace pictured below and got some compliments, thank you. Just according to my promise, it was made using the above mentioned lotus flower and some other wooden and ceramic beads applied on a leather string.


Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Last October I was on a business trip with two of my colleagues. We had a couple of free hours in an afternoon and went to do some shopping as we had a long wishlist from the office and our family. In one shop we all received a free bracelet from the shopkeeper and we decided to found our "Bracelet-alliance" right there. This was the bracelet that inspired the Christmas present for three of my friends. I made similar, but not identical bracelets for the four of us. Each was made on the same scheme by using small black beads with three more emphasised pieces but they all wore a bit of the style of the owner thanks to these three beads that were different.

The one I show you here is mine. For myself I chose this natural, beige colour. The beads were applied on a fine silk thread but even this thin thread was too thick for some of the creamic beads so I had to work on them to enlarge the hole a bit. This is why you see some white powder on the ready piece above, this powder of course disappeared at the first wearing.

Very simple, easy-to-make bracelet, with a lot of variations. Can go with smart clothing and with casual as well, it all just depends on the three major beads. I might be doing a lot of this style later on...


Monday, 24 January 2011

Casi casi

As I promised on the first day, I present you the sister-piece of the first earring. And really it is a sister as the recipient was my sister this time.

The concept is the same but the pieces that make it are different this time. I used a small pink star instead of the brown wooden rolls. The medium sized bead matches the big one in its glittering glaze. So nothing new, just another interpretation of the same idea.

And here it is, another film I have just seen. Normally I do not watch so many Spanish films but again we chose a new one from this country. As I see it, Spanish cinema had its golden era in the 80s and 90s, since then there have been new arrivals at the top of the world's filmmaking and Spain lost some of its glory. It might be the reason of using up all the exciting topics after the end of the Franco-era and not inventing new ones, or it could be just that the main Spanish directors and actors have stayed in the same old stories and roles and the new generation has not arrived yet. There have been exceptions of course but this is my main feeling. Well, anyone can disagree.

Just as much as the last one, "Yo también" has had its huge effect on me, "Gordos" ("Fat People") was a bit of a disappointment. After reading about the awards it was nominated for or even won, I expected something more. Well, this is not the right word - I expected something less, but (using an especially appropriate word here) heavier.

The idea is not bad: take obesity and the society, obesity and our inner self, and you already got the picture. The goal of the director was to show us all the fears that make us gain weight. This time my general feeling was that the authors wanted to grab a lot but could not handle all of it. A little less talking and a little less action could have done good to the film itself as it felt a bit overcrowded with all these people and their lives happening at the same time. You can follow, it is not the problem - but you cannot really feel what is going on underneath in all these souls. You know their reasons, you know their life stories but because they all tell you right in the face and leave nothing to the viewer's imagination or wit.

Still, having said all this, it was not a terrible movie. Just a totally average one. I just expected more laughs or more drama, but this movie could only offer the two in a more American way than it would have felt right. Mr Daniel Sánchez Arévalo can do much better.

An interesting fact is that not all the actors actually had to gain weight - Maria Morales, the actress playing Leonor had to gain 20 kilos when at the same time Leticia Herrero, the debuting actress playing Sofía had to lose 24 kilos for the film, as according to the storyline she succeeds in losing all that weight before her life takes a different turn again.

In case you go and see it: listen to the song which is repeated some times during the movie, called Casi casi, in its new version sung by Raphael. Well, this one is georgeously fitting into the film!

Saturday, 22 January 2011


As yesterday I did not make any new jewelry and I feel like you also need some breathing time once in a while, again I'm presenting a film.

This is a brand new documentary on show now in the cinemas, called "Babies". I am not really fond of babies or children but after reading about this documentary I thought it might be interesting. It presents the first year of four babies: one from Mongolia, one from Japan, one from Namibia and one from the USA. What we see is that their life differs in a lot of aspects but in many, it is the same: the central role of the mother, children or pets around them, learning to talk or walk, and so on. This is the main theme that makes it stand out of all the other films showing the subject of childhood or being born, and in this field, it succeeds.

Unfortunately I cannot say that this movie changed my life or made me think differently about anything and also, it became a bit boring after about 40 minutes. Maybe, for someone more crazy about children will enjoy it more than I did - well, you can also give it a try.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Pink breeze

Another manicure - another earring.

This time a really light, ladylike pair, so light you don't even realize it's in your ear. Two things make it special and catchy: the rose colour and the tiny crop (don't know the name in English).

I discovered this crop today and I love it so don't be surprised if you see it later again in one of my works. Easy to work with, light and lovely - makes the simplest work special.


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

For Gabi / Yo, también

Today I made a pair of earrings for the wife of a colleague. I have never met her - but I know that she likes natural things, she adores bellydance just as I do and that she also likes things made by hand. And also, that these days she loves wearing red and dark red or magenta colour.

So the earrings I made for her try to be a shy combination of whatever she might like. I just hope one day I will see her wearing them.

But there is something more I would like to share with you today.

For those who know me it is no news that I am a huge fan of world cinema. It can be anything truly valuable and meaningful coming from any corner of the world, movies from Vietnam to Iraq, but yesterday I saw a film made in Europe. It's a Spanish movie from 2009, the title is "Yo, también", or "Me too" in English (the Hungarian title is so stupid that I will not even mention it).

In a nutshell the story is about a 34-year-old guy with Down-syndrome who after finishing university (which is already a feat) starts working in his first job. There he meets a woman whom he feels for even though the two could hardly be more different: the lady spends her nights at discos picking up guys for one-night stands. But against all odds the two start a serious, but still laughter-filled relationship somewhere between friendship and love, but however we call it, it is honest. I will not spoil the story as I hope many of you will take the time to watch it.

Actually it did not clear up from my mind even for the night. While I was sleeping, the back of my mind tried to figure out the whole story, what could have been happening in the heart and soul of these two people, what the end really means and why it was all so beautiful.

The leading actress is no other than Lola Dueñas, whom you could have already seen in "Mar adentro" ("The Sea Inside", 2004), another great movie.

There is so much to learn from this movie, go and see it- and if you are from Hungary just like me, I've got good news for you: it is on at the cinemas, go hurry up and buy a ticket for you and your loved one!

Monday, 17 January 2011

For anyone out there

Today I wanted to make something really fast so I just poured all my beads onto the table and started to match them by colour. Of course most of them are green... I could have done earrings but this time wanted to make a really simple but lovely necklace, maybe for myself, maybe for any friend of mine, but truly without any particular purpose other than the joy of making it.

It is made of wood only on a fine white leather string. Very simple, very natural!

It can be worn as double (as I put it on) or single necklace or even as bracelet. Anyone who likes it can take it for free, you know where to find me!


Saturday, 15 January 2011

In exchange

I have a colleague who during her weekends is learning to become a nail artist. Every now and then she comes to my flat and gives me a manicure for free, she takes it as self-training. So I decided not to let this be done totally free of charge and made her this pair of earring.

The design is as simple as can be but still I feel the whole sotry works because the star is so lovely. Of course there is a coin attached in the end, no wonder about this.



The first thing that made me smile today is this bear in the blog of Esthi. She has announced a game, anyone can participate just by leaving a comment until 20 January. Check it out by following the link above and win this cute bear!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Greetings from Perugia

This piece all started with the bow. We were in Italy, Umbria and one day strolling along with my boyfriend I saw them in the window of a small shop. I became obsessed and for the next days we were hunting for the shop to be found open, not an easy task! But in the end one day we could get in and I bought the bow in red and blue as well and was the happiest person in the world. I didn't have an exact idea or purpose in mind just knew that I loved them.

Coming back home, this is what I made - the second pair of earrings I have ever made. I will soon show you the first one too.

So it is a nice romantic memory. Also, we found out one day that there is an antique market in the town so we had to rush there. I bought a Tibetan ring but also bargained for some coins. Maybe you already noticed that I love coins - I love the idea that they can come from every corner of the world and bring a small piece of that part of the world in my hand. This is me - browsing for coins:

Foxy cat

This cat was supposed to be a fox... But the recipient decided it was a couple of cats.

All I got as instruction from my friend was "but you know my style" so I tried to do something girly - but not too much. Here it is, the latest earring I made this week.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Bracelet for Mum

The bracelet I made for Mum was also a present. It is of fixed size so I tried to make it slightly longer than what would fit me. As it turned out, not only our faces are alike, but also our wrists... So I took the bracelet back home with me and had to redo it.

The tiny heart was a kind of message, a little surprise from me - from someone who finds it hard to say things but prefers to show them somehow.

Mum says it's very comfortable and she doesn't really notice it because now it's just the right size: not moving but not holding too tight. I hope she doesn't only say this because she is my Mum! :)

On her hand:

The warm necklace

This is not the first nor the last necklace I have ever made but definitely my favourite so far.

I had the bow for a long time but never thought of it as material for a necklace until I was sitting at my desk on a cold winter evening and was browsing through my beads looking for inspiration. So I looked at the bow - and suddenly knew what to do. Making it was real fun, maybe exactly because I had no certain idea before actually starting to make it. The big coin fell off one of my bellydance scarves, the small coin you already know from the previous post. The small mug is a precious memory from the Historical Carnival of my town, in August last year. There was this guy selling all kind of metal beads and medals, you just couldn't choose!

So the result is this: a warm, soft necklace with a lot of love and fun!

Amd this is how it all looked on me the next day:

Monday, 10 January 2011

Lucky coins

This next one is again an earring. I bought a lot of coins and wanted to make something really bold and ethnic, something heavy but still feminine. Then one day I found the hands and this is what turned out of the whole idea. It jingles and it is heavy so it would only fit someone who really likes the feeling. I kept it for myself and wore a couple of times but for the last few months I haven't been able to wear anything in my ears (this is a curse for an earring-lover!) so this ethnic pair is just waiting for me to put them on again.

And I've still got some coins on stock!...

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Green earrings for Kata

To start the blog off I present here one of my very first works which I made not for myself. As for most beginners, I also experimented (and still do of course) on myself to make my technics more polished and find my own path, materials and style. I am still well on my way to get there so please do not get over-critical, but still, any opinion is welcome unless it expects more from me than what I am currently able to do. Hopefully I will improve from one piece of jewellery to the next one, thank you for the patience!

The earring was a present for the sister of my boyfriend whose only request was something green. In the end she only received it for Christmas accompanied by a bracelet as even though we both live in the same city we just could not find the time to meet. I was happy to make something green, this is my favourite colour but after a certain point you just cannot afford to have one more green thing on you without looking like a total idiot.

My overall philosophy is avoiding the usage of any artificial material as much as possible. I prefer working with wooden beads, ceramics, textile, or whatever I can find during the long walks with our dogs in the woods or on fields. The one thing I cannot wear on myself and also hate to see on others is plastic, please do not expect me to work with anything such.

Later on I made another pair of the earrings you see here but this time using pink as the base colour matched with black and of course the small beads were slightly different too. Unfortunately I failed to take photo of that one before giving it to my sister - I might do it next time we visit her at home.

So welcome to the blog and come back again! And do not hesitate to ask for any jewellery you would like for yourself, I wil be happy to make it for you!