Ten green bottles and an exhibition

Click, click, bang, bang!

The flyer

The flyer

Dear photographers, we truly owe you an apology. This review was supposed to be published in January but got lost in the vast archives and forgotten for a bit. Luckily, Mal has re-discovered it last night and here you go – an excellent report from photography event is now online for your enjoyment! Please excuse the slight delay!

TEN GREEN  BOTTLES AND AN EXHIBITION

Every time we write about our photographer friend – Kevin Casha – it is because he is having an exhibition. And on each occasion in our reviews, we mention food (see HERE and HERE). Perhaps our minds are acting funny and link those things together: the photography and the food. But perhaps there is a good reason for it. Anybody who is taking photography seriously will tell you a simple truth: you run around with heavy gear all day long, you deal with demanding people, you edit at nights. You consider yourself lucky, if you have time to grab a burger and a cup of coffee. It is no surprise that you start to appreciate what’s on your plate when you have a day off and time to do some cooking! Also this industry (or art in general) doesn’t pay well, so we are all starving artists in a sort of way.

Exhibition flyer

Exhibition flyer

Ten Green Bottles official logo

Ten Green Bottles official logo

Those who know us and Kevin will agree, that all three of us hold culinary arts in high esteem.  You may wonder what is the point of this longish and (pseudo) philosophical entrée. If you got to this point you have already guessed that Kevin had a new exhibition and that food was involved.  But this time it was no finger food but luxurious sweets, chocolates and exquisite wine. All thanks to a venue called Ten Green Bottles.

Ten Green Bottles Entrance

Ten Green Bottles Entrance

Selections of wines available at Ten Green Bottles

Selections of wines available at Ten Green Bottles

Hampers!

Hampers!

Ten Green Bottles have not been chosen by accident. Named after popular children song, this retail outlet specialize in affordable wines from all over the globe . They also offer many local and international spirits, including a good selection of single-malt Scotch Whiskey. But TGB is not only known for their ability to satisfy the most fastidious and particular customers. The venue has 650 m2 of beautifully decorated storage/exhibition space that can be used for tutored wine tastings, media launches, corporate and artistic events. Located in Zebbug, on Mdina Road, the place is easily accessible by car and public transport. Combination of all of the above, make Ten Green Bottle a perfect spot for entertainment. Since we have missed the opening night, we decided to visit Ten Green Bottles on our own on 29th of December and see everything for ourselves. In short – we loved the art, the store, the wine and the food to bits. And especially The Very Sexy Shiraz – exclusive drink from a place called Darling in South Africa (we bought a bottle for a friend who was really delighted!)

This is what we call party supplies!

This is what we call party supplies!

Sweets on display

Sweets on display

Mini-bar

Mini-bar

If you’d like to visit, 10 Green Bottles are opened every single day between 10:00 am and 19:30 on weekdays and between 9:30 and 13:30 on Saturdays. Their official Facebook page can be found here:  https://www.facebook.com/TenGreenBottlesMalta

You can also find more information about  Very Sexy Shiraz here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Very-Sexy-Shiraz/6787307772

Ten green bottles were standing on the...table

Ten green bottles were standing on the…table

The most delicious food and the drinks, however, were nothing in comparison to the photographic celebration entitled “Transitions” that was the main reason of our visit. Advertised as “Voyeurism through different perspectives”, this collaborative exhibition by Kevin Casha & Ali Bosios was opened on 11th of December 2013 and  lasted until the first days of January 2013. We were probably some of the last people to see it but it made a huge impression on us. Mal considers it to be one of the highlights of 2012 among photographic events.  Kevin Casha and Ali Bosios are skilled artists and nobody needs to be convinced about their use of cameras and lenses. However, Transitions, was something more than just official display of talent. Kevin was returning to the roots of his trade and looked for the elements that made him interested in taking pictures in the first place. Ali – who begins her artistic journey – just had her baptism of fire.

Exhibition review by Therese Debono

Exhibition review by Therese Debono

Second page of the review. Therese is a talented photographer in her own right. Please visit her page at: www.facebook.com/theresedebono

Second page of the review. Therese is a talented photographer in her own right. Please visit her page at: www.facebook.com/theresedebono

Kevin Casha

http://kevincasha.com
https://www.facebook.com/kevin.casha

Kevin can put many titles next to his name: multi award winning photographer,  Malta Photographic Society’s (MPS) Photographer of the Year (1986, 1991, 1993, 1994) and Malta Institute of Professional Photography’s (MIPP) first Photographer of the Year in 2004,  president of MIPP. One of the most awarded photographers in Maltase history. Teacher and artist. He has trained hundreds of aspiring photographers and students, helped organized countless events, exhibitions and seminars – we could write books about him and there still would be much to tell. Kevin Casha is a true legend and one of the pillars of Maltase professional photography. Having a chance to see his works in real life is a privilege and we enjoy each opportunity. This time, Kevin’s pictures were stripped to minimum, to their bare core. Forget about years of experience and tricks you know. Put away the expensive cameras and lenses, say no to the digital image processing. The only things you could see in the frame were the raw emotions and black and white palette.

Kevin Casha's pictures on the exhibition

Kevin Casha’s pictures on the exhibition

Another picture of Kevin's work

Another picture of Kevin’s work

Three of Kevin`s prints

Three of Kevin`s prints

It is not easily to return to your roots, but Kevin once again was successful. His images were perfect in each detail, yet they were very simple at the same time. Looking at them you got the impression, they formed a part of news article or larger series of pictures from event coverage.  They touched on different topics: social issues, every day activities and street life. The simplicity was their biggest strength – they were powerful shots of modern society we have created and that we live in. Use of only two colours did not limit the influence the pictures had on the viewer, they told a story and the message was crystal clear. We only wish it have been easier to photograph the frames – the sunshine coming from outside was almost blinding and the sunrays and reflections are sadly visible on our shots. Mal has tried her best, but it was impossible to win with Mediterranean sun!

Kevin statement

Kevin statement

Rita's favourite picture taken by Kevin

Rita’s favourite picture taken by Kevin

Ali Bosios

http://www.alibosios.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ali.bosios
Ali’s artwork can be seen here: http://alibosios.wordpress.com/

Alixandra Bosios aka Ali, is one of the most intriguing and immensely talented young photographers on the island. Born in 1987, Ali showed an interest in photography at the tender age of 5, when she discovered an old SLR camera. For the next several years, she would constantly borrow her parents’ equipment to experiment and learn, proving that her love for pictures was not just a child’s play. Miss Bosios is currently a fine art student at MCAST Institute of Art & Design specializing in nude portraits and artistic photography. The creative traits run deep in her family and Ali is following the footsteps of her great grandfather, Professor Giuseppe Briffa (1901 -1988), a prominent Maltese artist whose paintings are decorating numerous churches on the Island and Gozo.

Ali's black and white picture we liked the most

Ali’s black and white picture we liked the most

Another stunning picture by Ali during the exhibition

Another stunning picture by Ali during the exhibition

It is hard to believe that Ali started exhibiting her works just three years ago. However, in such a short period of time, she managed to secure several domestic exhibits and two international ones. Her first professional show was at Soul Source Festival in Floriana where she displayed her 7 Deadly Sins pictures for Sinful Clowns Collection.  In 2012, Ali showed Gas Mask Collection at Monte Kristo Estates (www.montekristo.com) and it proved to be an instant success. The photographs portraying the contrast between soft human skin and the harshness of the masks were so popular, that Ali received invitation to art gallery in Paris.  “Transitions” was the first opportunity for Ali to showcase her works with one of her teachers from Malta Institute of Professional Photography’s (MIPP) – Kevin Casha. Miss Bosios is a member of MITT and recently received her first qualification (LMIPP). Please keep your eyes wide open, as Ali is going to work during the summer on new series of photographs. The results will be presented to the audience probably in the autumn.

Ali statement during the exhibition

Ali statement during the exhibition

Ali's work in detail

Ali’s work in detail

Beauty in monochrome

Beauty in monochrome

For the exhibition, both artists contributed exactly 11 pictures each, shot only in black and white. All photographs were boarded with identical, simple black frames and hung on the walls in straight lines. Despite differences in topic, Kevin’s bare photojournalism and Ali’s creative fashion were ideally matched. You could move quickly from one panel to the other and the flow of emotions was not disturbed by any sudden change or disruption. Some of the visitors had probably complained about the pictures being too static and slow but we loved the cold sensation emerging from them and the (almost) still-life quality. Faces, poses, silhouettes, hands movement, distant looks – there is a vortex of fierce feelings hidden under the thick layer of mundane existence. It takes the heart of an artist and the observant eye of the photographer to uncover the riches of motionlessness to the public.

If you are curious for more reading, here is a set of links you may want to visit:

The Event – Past  Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/269642043158646/

The event review in MIPP newsletter (written by lovely Therese Debono)
http://issuu.com/m-i-p-p/docs/2013_january_newsletter_for_issuu_revised

MIPP
http://www.mipp-malta.com/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/308867885792902/

Rita and Mal would like to thank to all who made the exhibition possible!
Thank you and see you all soon!

xxxx
R+D

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Love Zimbabwe Spring Event in Hereford

Hello, Mhoroi and Sawubona!

World is full of surprises, let us tell you that!  If somebody have told us even yesterday morning, that by the afternoon, we shall stumble upon Zimbabwean fair trade market in the middle of Hereford, we would seriously thought they had too much cider on a Friday night. As strange as it may be, we have not only found the fair trade market in the same heart of the market town, but we also had the pleasure of meeting an incredible woman – Martha Musonza Holman. Martha has a resume that could easily put senior United Nations employees to shame: she is a very talented artist, mother, activist, teacher, spokeswoman and co-founder of NGO named Love Zimbabwe. Encountering people like her is truly a life changing event – only then we realize show lucky and privileged we are living in a country without war or hunger. The most amazing thing is, you won’t hear a word of complain from her! Martha is  a living example that it is possible to turn every struggle and hardship into something positive.

Official logo of Love Zimbabwe Charity

Official logo of Love Zimbabwe Charity

Sign near the door to Love Zimbabve Charity Spring Event

Sign near the door to Love Zimbabve Charity Spring Event

Love Zimbabwe is a registered charity (no. 1137434) trying to help people and artists living in Harare (the capitol) and its neighbouring communities. The charity has three major goals:

–  to provide a workshop for arts and craft producers and to have a place to work and teach others skills to trade,

– to establish permaculture into the way of life, creating sustainability for the community,

– to start a batik making business for a women’s group, who are mostly mothers supporting their disabled children.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batik)

To meet their targets, Love Zimbabwe Charity created a Community Interest Company (CIC).  The company brings African arts and crafts to the UK and sells them to private and corporate clients. All profits are going back to Zimbabwe, helping future artists to learn a trade and supporting those who are already working.  The money is also spent on providing the community with schools, clinics, running water and washing facilities. As an outcome, the artists and other villagers have steady income from selling their own goods and crafts; they learn new skills and have purpose in life – which is also very important.  Love Zimbabwe Company is part of fair trade movement and works tirelessly with many international organizations to break language and cultural barriers, introducing real, more positive vision of Zimbabwe to English and European citizens.

Traditional batik table cloth at the market

Traditional batik table cloth at the market

Clients shopping at the Love Zimbabwe spring event

Clients shopping at the Love Zimbabwe spring event

Martha Holman and her husband David live in Abergavenny, Wales with their daughter Tananka. They are both actively promoting the partnership between Wales and Zimbabwe and often travel to Harare to bring supplies for local schools and supervise their projects to be completed on time and according to budget. Martha is also working as a teacher and motivation speaker, visiting arts and craft shows in different parts of the UK. Her work with young children (traditional dance and drumming) has been officially recognized by Wales Council for Voluntary Organisations as part of Education for Sustainable and Global Citizenship (ESDGC) program. She is also the Fair Trade Support Officer for South Wales Schools and works closely with Waterloo Foundation and Fair Trade Foundation. Since 2007, Martha is also the chef organizer of popular African Green Village at The Abergavenny Food Festival’s Fringe market and The Wakes World Trade Fair. Her events have been sponsored by the British Council, The Welsh Assembly, Fairtrade Wales, The Cooperative, Oxfam Cymru, and Unltd Wales.

Please visit Martha’s offcial website at: http://musonzaholman.com
Or her newly created Twitter account: https://twitter.com/marthmusoholm (she is still learning how to tweet!)
To book an appointment or a meeting/talk with Martha, please contact her at 07879400897 or at Martha.fairtrade@gmail.com

If you’d like to know more about David and Martha’s work, please purchase David’s book “From A to Z – Abergavenny to Zimbabwe”. 50 pence from every buy is donated to the charity. You can buy it here:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/From-Abergavenny-Zimbabwe-ebook/dp/B00B0YBRVG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366567932&sr=8-1&keywords=David+holman+zimbabwe+diaries

Traditional rattle

Traditional rattle

Hand painted mugs and teapots

Hand painted mugs and teapots

The Love Zimbabwe Spring Event opened on 15th of April in All Saint’s Church in Hereford. The Church is located right next to the main square and has been active in the city for the last 800 years! Today, except for religious services, the All Saints Church runs a popular cafe and a gallery hall that is leased for many cultural events throughout the year. We haven’t been in the city centre for a while (the horrendous weather is to blame!) and sadly, we couldn’t come to the opening of the exhibition. It is very unfortunate, as we were told; we have missed quite a party. However, if you’d like to see all the amazing artworks for yourself, you still have the chance.  Martha will keep the ethnic market open till 27th of April and also has the plans to return to Hereford sometime this summer. It might be a good idea to bookmark this in your calendars. Visiting the fair trade arts and crafts show is the only opportunity to stock on very unique presents. Believe us; you haven’t seen anything like this yet!

 

a very unique dancing figures made from copper wire and bottle caps - ecological art is the best!

A very unique dancing figures made from copper wire and bottle caps – ecological art is the best!

Owls are incredibly popular this year and several of this fugures has been sold on the spot

Owls are incredibly popular this year and several of this figures has been sold on the spot

We have spoken to Martha and her guests about certain artworks that have caught our eyes and each item at the stand had a history. We know it sounds a bit strange, but Martha could talk for hours about when and how the items were made and by whom. These are not simple stories, sometimes it was hard to hear as they were full of corruption, human tragedy, death and illness. One of the wood carvings hidden in the back of the exhibition hall had one of the saddest background tales we have heard that day: police brutally removed a group of artists trying to earn money by selling their artworks by the roadside. Some of the workers were seriously hurt and had to escape to stay alive. They were too frightened to return to their usual spot and because they could no longer sale their artworks, whole families were starving! When David and Martha arrived in Chivhu in southern Zimbabwe to buy some sculptures from the artists, they were nowhere to be found. Thanks to detective work, two hour car ride through the jungle and some local connections, the couple were able to find the tribe and re-start the trade.

 

Wooden carvings with incredible amount of details

Wooden carvings with incredible amount of details

Collection of wooden staves - something for Gandalf!

Collection of wooden staves – something for Gandalf!

In 2005, Robert Mugabe’s forces destroyed one of the biggest local markets in the capitol in an operation “Murambatsvina”. As a result, 2.5 milion of people in Mbare Township lost their homes, work places and their livehood. This disaster affected the lives of two brothers, metal artists who worked with David and Martha in the past. Because two workshops they owned were completely demolished, the brothers could no longer support themselves and their families. Martha decided to ship all saved sculptures she could to the UK and tried to sell them in an attempt to help them. The metal birds were an instant hit among the British customers and they still sell well to this day.
Please read more about the operation here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Murambatsvina

Metal bird is one of the most popular  items sold at the market

Metal birds are one of the most popular items sold at the market

A whole flock of metal sculptures at the stand

A whole flock of metal sculptures at the stand

The most fascinating items at the market were the wire and beads animals. They are being made in the village of Kotwa, where Martha once used to be a teacher. The colourful figurines look amazing in the sun as the beads are especially cut and polished to reflect the sun beams, giving the viewer an impression of a halo surrounding the figures. The buyers could choose between African animals (lions, crocodiles, giraffes and elephants) and the Europeans ones (cows, sheep, dogs). We couldn’t find a cat and we filed an official complaint with Martha.  She promised to speak to the makers and have the cats ready for the summer! Puurrr-fect!

Wire and beads animals on display

Wire and beads animals on display

The Kotwa artists can make anything using the wire and beads. among the animals, we have seen cars and people figurines. Here you can see a figure of a lady carring traditional backet on her head

The Kotwa artists can make anything using the wire and beads. Among the animals, we have seen cars and people figurines. Here you can see a figure of a lady carring traditional basket on her head

The Love Zimbabwe Spring event was not only about traditional sculptures, metal art or batika clothing. We have seen handmade postcards, music instruments, African sweets and hand made semi precious stone jewellery. The jewellery was particularly popular with ladies and younger visitors. Zimbabwean earrings and bracelets are going to be very fashionable this year in Hereford judging by the number of girls going in and out of the exhibition hall tightly holding onto their treasured catches!

Hand made necklaces

Hand made necklaces

Another look at the jewellery section of the market

Another look at the jewellery section of the market

It was a real quirk of fate that we discovered the Zimbabwean fair trade market in the city. We had a real good time shopping and at the same time, we were given a chance to meet a group of fantastic and dedicated people. We would like to thank Martha and David for their time and information about the items, Annie (Martha’s Friend) for a nice chat and everyone else who visited and supported the people of Zimbabwe.

Sometimes, even buying something for yourself, makes a huge different in the world.
We shall leave you with a great picture we took on Saturday – a picture that is worth a million words and that all money in the world can’t buy. It is a picture of friendship.

Martha and Annie

Martha and Annie

See you next time, world!
XXXX
Rita and Mal

The Times of Malta Picture Annual 2012 – review

 Dear Readers,

All the Annuals in my collection

All the Annuals in my collection

I was planning to write this review few months ago (in December 2012 to be exact) but I kept on pushing it away in time. Partly because my life tends to get hectic on work – home – health – survival line, partly because I didn’t know what to say. It may sound peculiar, after all reviews are about books being summarized and presented to the potential reader. Hardly a rocket science, especially if you are running a blog.

But truth be told, it doesn’t matter how many pages of text you had delivered in your life. Some topics will be either so complex or personal or simply hard to approach, that they will leave you blank for a long while.

It is easy to be a critic these days. Anybody can be and everybody is doing it on the Internet. People shout about things, believing themselves to be right to tell others what to like and what to hate. And often what they represent is criticism of the lowest lows.

I have no interest to join a clique. Perhaps I am stubborn, but I want to write about things I care about. Things that I am passionate about.

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2006

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2006


“Photojournalism is a service industry. It provides awareness”

 Those who know me, will vouch that I can be one-track minded, obsessed even. Start me on photography and I turn monothematic. I can go on for hours. I have been dabbling in the medium for a while now; I don’t leave the house without my Canon camera. I devour any bit of information regarding photography: movies, documentaries, books, articles. I never seem to have enough.

 I have a huge respect for photographers because it is not an easy career path. I admire their bravery, their selflessness, their dedication and contribution to society. As an aspiring student of the medium, I can at times idolize them. I put certain photographers on pedestals.  One of the issues with this review was that I know personally people behind The Times of Malta Picture Annual and some of them I even call friends. It’s hard to be objective then.

There are four main photographers at The Times of Malta/The Sunday Times:  Darrin Zammit – Lupi (who also acts as an editor for the Picture Annual books), Chris Sant Fournier, Matthew Mirabelli (he was Picture Annual acting editor in 2008) and Jason Borg. Recently, Paul Spiteri Lucas, Mark Zammit Cordina and Paul Zammit Cutajar had joined the team on more or less regular basis.

Over the course of six years this bunch of photographers has been working long hours for months on end. There were times when they came home to sleep at 5 am; they have missed time with their families. Occasionally, they been so tired that they could hardly talk but still were able to deliver. They have won highest industry honours; some of them have been beaten or threatened while on the job.

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2008

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2008

These aspects of photojournalist’s work are often overlooked when you see the glossy, beautifully printed picture book. All the sacrifice, long working hours, lack of any personal time and sometimes danger encountered in this field of work cannot be translated and put into the final product. Photos and stories that photographers document take a central stage and what happens to the photographer is not that important.

Photographers are observers, for most of the time they are invisible. And as James Nachtwey put it, photojournalism is a service industry; it provides society with awareness.

Sorry haven’t been in touch, am so bogged down in a big project at work”

 I have met all four Times of Malta photographers in October 2006 during a very boring journalism course. We have been teaching the teacher but it proved to be a fantastic networking exercise, at least for yours truly.  In the weeks afterwards, I have been trying to get some criticism of my photos and sent an email to Darrin Zammit – Lupi asking for advice.  He didn’t have time to offer tips but told me something much more interesting. His first message was as follows:

“Sorry haven’t been in touch, been so bogged down in a big project at work, all I’m managing to squeeze in is work and few hours sleep every night. A project which, I’ve no doubt, you’ll find very interesting once it’s launched next month.”

Curiosity killed the cat. I began to ask him more and more questions, poor Darrin must have felt interrogated.  Yet his next email offered some answers:

“Project is a photography book; being published first or second week of December…you should start seeing adverts for it from next week. Editing a photo book has been a lot tougher than I imagined, but what a fabulous experience it’s been”.

This was the first time I ever heard about the Picture Annual.  When the book came out in December 2006, it blew me away. It was 192 pages, offered several categories (news, daily life, people in the news, sports), had international news photos section and only costed 16 EUR. Each photo was printed separately on one page on a high quality paper. It felt more like an art-book than your usual photography publication. There was a fantastic introduction by Victor Aquilina in the beginning of the book explaining the idea behind the it. Mr. Aquilina is the former editor of The Times of Malta and a true force behind the whole project.

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2009

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2009

The Picture Annual was received very well by the readers and general public. I could tell you few jaws hit the floor in the community because people would’t believe it was possible for a small Island like Malta to have a proper photojournalistic publication.  It turned out to be a first book in an ongoing series. The project now established itself as an award winning publication. With seven books on the market, the latest one was issued in December 2012.

Yes, the one I will finally review, so read on.

“Here’s my EUR 27, what do I get?”

When I was buying my copy of Picture Annual 2012, the person next to me uttered this question to the seller.  “A bloody good book” – was the reply and it can serve for a review if you have no time to read my story – telling. You get a great quality of a publication that can stand proudly on your shelf or act as a great gift. Great value for your hard – earned cash, if I have to say that.

But it is a bit lame.  I would waste several great resources if I was just concentrating on value for money.  For example, do you know how the Picture Annual is made? How the images are selected, how the editor works?

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2010

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2010

Scroll down and see the link below. It will take you to an article for 2009 edition. The movie there is actually a three minute description about the production stage of the Picture Annual by Editor Darrin Zammit – Lupi. There is nothing better than to hear it from the main source:

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20091223/local/best-press-photos-of-2009.287038

Also, in the press there have been two great reviews that deal with the historic and aesthetic aspects of press photography.  If you have some time to spare, it is a very interesting read.

By Kenneth Zammit-Tabona:

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130106/books/Memories-are-made-of-this.452226

And by Patrick Fenech (a great photog himself):

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130102/arts-entertainment/creating-the-decisive-moment.451716

Let me also make note that this year The Times Picture Annual 2011 edition was awarded second place in the non-fiction category of this year’s National Book Award. The video below is in Maltese but if you want to see the editor sweating it out in a suit just scroll to 1:06 😉

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20121221/local/prize-for-the-times-picture-annual.450457

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2011

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2011

Right, praises and additional reading aside, time for statistics 🙂

The Times Picture Annual 2012 is 192 pages long (if you don’t count the cover), filled with 150 images printed on a 150 gsm silk matte paper (same type of paper used for publishing art books if you ask). So from the start you get a very good quality paper, beautiful and detailed printing.

The book is divided into several categories such as: news, people in the news, daily life, arts and entertainment, sports and foreign news. The last section consists of images from Reuters and AFP photographers (although Darrin Zammit – Lupi is featured there with his photo of drowned cruise liner Costa Concordia).

Pictures cover the period between November 11, 2011 and November 10, 2012.

It has been a very hectic year: floods (in the Birkirkara area), political meetings (5+5 Dialogue Summit), state funerals (former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, former President Vincent Tabone), murders (Duncan Zammitt who was killed in front of his newly born twins on New Years Day) and rock concerts (annual Isle of MTV concert in Floriana).  Life in Malta is never dull and the photos tell the extraordinary story of life that unfolds on a daily basis.

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2012

Cover of The Times Picture Annual 2012

Some pages will make you weep. Photo on the page 40 shows Former President Vincent Tabone celebrating his 70th wedding anniversary with his wife Mary on November 23, 2011. Page 41 shows the coffin of Mr Tabone being taken out of church on March 15th 2012. Life and death in just four months. Both images have been captured by the same photographer.

Some pages will make you smile, like the photo of Charles Cremona (on page 81) who waves a big Maltese flag to greet cruise liners visiting the island from the roof of his house (he has since became an unofficial institution).

There is an aww – factor on page 94 that displays a photo of two young boys and a pug. The best picture ever to show why you need to have a pet.

And the action and drama is portrayed on page 156 during a football match between Italy and Malta on September 12, 2012.

A true roller-coaster of emotions, it can make your head spin.

Is there something I don’t like in the book, you may ask. Not in particular, however I wish some things were added. I have mentioned before that over the years, the team of photographers has been enlarged. The staff photogs have been joined by regulars and freelancers and the book shows it.  There are some good shots by Natalino Fenech or Ian Pace for example in the Picture Annual and it would be very cool to learn something about the photographers. A small bio in the contributor’s column would go a long way I believe, especially since the four staff photographers enjoy large bios in the book.

The foreigner news section mostly consists of Reuters and AFP photographers. It would be fantastic thing if it was opened to include AP, Noor or VII or other agencies. I know it may be not possible technically but just imagine how diverse it would be.

Last but also very important – 2006 and 2007 editions are out of print. Perhaps it is time to think about re-runs?

If you want to buy yourself a copy of The Times Picture Annual, please scroll down to the online shop:
http://books.timesofmalta.com/title.shtml?s=2E0B5B85-7DD414234035-65C6&sa=30

You may also follow The Times Picture Annual on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Times-Picture-Annual/213637462921

By following, you will be able to also see the newspaper’s Picture of the Week feature. It’s a good exercise, trying to guess which image will make it to the Picture Annual for 2013.

*****

Flyer for Darrin Zammit - Lupi talk about Libyan conflict

Flyer for Darrin Zammit – Lupi talk about Libyan conflict

All right, readers. Hands up if you are still paying attention. There’s something you should know and you don’t want to miss it.  The editor of Picture Annual, Darrin Zammit Lupi will be having a talk on his coverage of Libyan conflict for members of MIPP on 30th April 2013 at Corinthia San Gorg Hotel in St Julians. If you ever wanted to become a member of MIPP but never had the right incentive, now you do. This will not only be a great occasion to meet one of the best photojournalists on this island, but  you can actually see up close and personal  how journalists cover a major story for a number of months. Darrin is not a war shooter, so there will be no corpses or blood (sorry to disappoint!) but he has some amazing stories to tell and you can learn a lot.

Please scroll down to the even page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/145971265581724

Or see the newest MIPP newsletter for details:

http://issuu.com/m-i-p-p/docs/2013_april_newsletter_issuu

MIPP  newsletter (April 2013) showcasing the `Libyan Conflict` talk by Darrin Zammit Lupi

MIPP newsletter (April 2013) showcasing the `Libyan Conflict` talk by Darrin Zammit Lupi

Below you will find all the resources you may want to follow up the work of Darrin Zammit – Lupi:

https://www.facebook.com/DarrinZammitLupiPhotography

www.darrinzammitlupi.com/

http://darrinzammitlupi.wordpress.com/

http://blogs.reuters.com/darrinzammitlupi/

Thank you for your attention (I did warn you I could go on forever on my favourite subject!)

malicia

Malta Artisan Fairs – Artistic Spring Market in Valetta

Good day artists!

Please don’t hate us, but we are having a ball! The last weeks were really busy, yet we have been to many places and seen things  that we have never seen before.  We went to wedding fair in Hereford (review is coming up shortly), travelled to see rare porcelain museum in Worcester and been hanging with the best artists in The Mediterranean. Yes, you heard that right. Malta might be a small island but it has a great and vibrant artistic community. To be perfectly honest – the island is a great place to live if you are an artist. Beautiful views, sunny weather, houses of character can be easily turned into ateliers, cats living in flocks in any neighbourhood (artists like cats, you should know it!), slower pace and great minds to discuss your art with. We don’t have to mention the tourists invading Malta each year from early April to late January. They are always looking for souvenirs and hand made items. Setting a small stand in your front garden near a busy shopping street is the way to go.  You just sit under the umbrella with a drink in your hand and watch them line to buy something from you! Trust us, sometimes it is just that easy! * (after purchasing a special trading license that is. You know death and taxes 😛 – Mal)

Malta Artisan Fairs official logo

Malta Artisan Fairs official logo

Despite working on their own most of the times, the artists are sociable creatures and they enjoy getting together for a tea and gossip exchange. Crafts markets are the perfect opportunity to meet others, sell something and have fun. So far on our blog, we have written about English heritage fairs that are incredibly popular in the United Kingdom. This time, we visited the Maltase artisan market to decide who does it better – The UK or the Maltese locals. Please take a look at the chosen artists and make your own mind. We already decided the winner – but we ain’t telling a word!

Phoenicia picture from the official site

Phoenicia picture from the official site

The Artisan Spring Market has taken place in Valetta on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th April 2013 in one of the most beautiful, 5-star hotels on the island – The Phoenicia Hotel in Floriana. For a whole weekend, between 10:00 am and 18:00 pm, the incredibly posh Phoenicia Ballroom was turned into a special spring market filled with live music, exhibition halls and food stands. We were mighty impressed, the English markets are usually organized in the open fair, on main squares or on large green spaces near city centres. Maltase have a different approach – they have rich history, unique architecture and a taste for splendour. Visiting  a market like this will leave a lasting impression. Elegant 1930’s interiors, professional attitude and jazz standards would turn every visitor into the firm believer in Maltese genius. The Hotel has been used by Queen Elizabeth II during her official visit to Malta, so if it’s good enough for her, it is good enough for us!
You can visit the hotel’s official website here: http://www.phoeniciamalta.com/

Main hall of the market with banner advertising local food, arts and crafts

Main hall of the market with banner advertising local food, arts and crafts

Now, before we proceed any further to show you the wonders of the market, we need to say a good word about the organizers. The body responsible for the event is called Malta Artisan Markets. The organization has just been launched in 2011. Despite being the new kids in the business district, Malta Artisan Markets are part of The Definitive(ly) Good Guide Co, the publisher of The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants in Malta & Gozo and The Malta Baby and Kids directory. The lady responsible for the smooth operating of things is Charlotte Stafrace, and she holds the position of market’s manager. Charlotte and her team (Denise, Kristina and Andrea) did a splendid job of keeping everybody happy and everything right on schedule.  Another market is booked for the beginning of June, so hurry up!

If you have any enquires or  you’d like to join them, please contact them at:
Malta Artisan Markets
Address: 34 Bishop Palace Street, Vittoriosa, Malta
Telephone: (00356) 2180 2383
Email: manager@maltaartisanmarkets.com

Or do it digitally by visiting their official website: http://www.maltaartisanmarkets.com/
Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/MaltaArtisanMarkets

All right! Now, after the introduction is done and the pleasantries are said, we can move to the best part of the blog: stalls reviews! Mal and Rita have chosen the Magnificent 7, in our humble opinion, the most talented and outstanding craftsmen/craftswomen we have met during the weekend! Of course, every stall was wonderful and each artist deserve an honorary mention, but sadly we are not able to write about everybody. Without any further delay, let us introduce you to Magnificent number 1!

Company: Decorizeme
Owner: Miriam Cassar
Contact: (356) 7762 8833 or by email: miriammin@onvol.net
Website: http://decorizeme.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/Decorizeme

Diamonds might be the girls’ best friends but a true lady would never say no to Swarovski’s crystals. Jewellery maker, Miriam Cassar loves working with the crystals and the results are breath taking. Miriam is the owner of Decorizeme, a small company specializing in designing and making bracelets, necklaces, earrings, pendants and other items using Swarovski’s elements (crystal beads, peals and geometrically cut stones). Each piece is one of a kind as Miriam doesn’t like making the same items twice. If you decide to buy something from her, you have the confidence you are supplying the special person in your life with an uncommon gift. We have spoken to Miriam about the way she makes her small masterpieces and about the newest trends in domestic design.  Mrs Cassar is also an experienced interior designer and her Shabby chic style of decorating houses should be introduced in the UK. All those overpriced “country living” specialists, could learn a thing or two from her! Her line include scented candles, hanging hearts, hanging hearts with T lights, plaques, painted frames and Christmas decorations.
Please visit Miriam’s blog for the newest information about her products. We have been informed that she is opening a virtual store for international clients shortly.

Miriam, the owner of Decorizeme is pictured giving a standing ovation for the live band playing jazz standards

Miriam, the owner of Decorizeme is pictured giving a standing ovation for the live band playing jazz standards

Decorizeme stand at the market

Decorizeme stand at the market


Company: Hilda
& Anna Quilting & Patchwork and Design Matters Ltd (also known as Christmas All YR)
Owner: Hilda and Anna
Contact: (00356) 7952 3792 or (00356) 9949 8037
Email: Christmas.allye@yahoo.com
Website: not known

Do you know that everything happens for a reason? It is hard to believe but even the most unpleasant or stressful situations always lead to a happy end. We would have probably missed the lovely ladies at Hilda & Anna Quilting & Patchwork and Design Matters Ltd, if it wasn’t for an unfortunate confrontation at other stall (we won’t reveal the name). Mal has approached one of the exhibitors to take several pictures for the blog, when the owners angrily started to shoo her away. We were told to leave and not take any pictures.  Before the discussion turned really sour (enough to make the babies cry), we have been approached by Hilda and Anna. They had nothing against us taking pictures, they even asked to have copies sent to them. We didn’t just stop to take few snapshots – we bought three pillows with cats for Kat-a-log project! Olympia is at cloud number nine and cannot wait for the parcel to arrive. Both artist are very skilled with needles and can make everything from patchwork rugs, traditional quilts, mascots (you should see the penguins and a giraffe!), pillows and bed covers. Hilda and Anna are well known to Artisan market visitors as they also participated in market in 2011 in Senglea. Please wait for a new issue of Kat-a-log to see pictures of their kitten-friendly crafts!

The beautiful creations and Anna and Hilde

The beautiful creations and Anna and Hilde

Closer look at the stall with the owner in the background!

Closer look at the stall with the owner in the background!

Company: Create Hope
Owner: Collective
Contact: (00356) 7925 5387 or by email: sciclunamark@hotmail.com
Website:
http://www.create-hope.com/home or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Createhope/293354550679584

Create Hope is a Maltese art collective selling hand made crafts and artworks to collect money for charity. Their motto is to bring the smile to those in need. Create Hope has a huge catalogue of items you can purchase: mascots and toys, bracelets, hand made purses and bags (including real leather ones), jewellery, tea light candle cards, magnetic bookmarks, scarves, hats and shoals, Christmas decorations and our favourite – Bubble wrap Advent Calendars! We have taken a closer look at the crafts presented at their stalls and we can only tell you one thing – they are simply beautiful. The makers are using the best materials available on the market to ensure the best quality and long life of the final products. Please remember, by supporting the collective, this year you are donating funds to Fondazzjoni Suret il-Bniedem, a NGO fighting the problem of homelessness on Malta.
To learn more, please visit the organization’s official site: http://www.fsib.org.mt/

A lovely representative for the artists collective at Create Hope stall

A lovely representative for the artists collective at Create Hope stall

One of the creations in details - isn't it beautiful?

One of the creations in details – isn’t it beautiful?

Company: Designer bags by Fransina
Owner: Fransina
Contact: (00356) 9966 6184 or by email: fransina684@hotmail.com
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/FransinaHandbagDesigner

The title of Magnificent number 4 belongs to a lady named Fransina. Her stand at the market has been placed between the stalls of Burlesque Candles and Monstri Boo. Francina is an incredibly talented hand bag designer that dedicated her entire life to the passion of creating. At 16, she started studying fashion design and then spend nearly a decade working in the fashion industry. After founding her own business Designer bags by Fransina, the artist has been working hard to establish her position on local and international markets. We have a great feeling about her and we won’t be surprised to see her excellent handbags in exclusive boutiques in London or NYC one day. Fransina makes bags and purses for every occasion (garden parties, wedding receptions, White House Ball and Red Carpet galas), but also special covers for tablets and smartphones. A real fashionista should have at least one bag from Coco Channel, Louis Vuitton and Fransina. Remember about that!

Handmade bags made by Fransina

Handmade bags made by Fransina

Fransina with her family member at her stand at the market

Fransina with her family member at her stand at the market

Company: Burlesque Candles
Owner: Joanne Monte-Bello
Contact: (00356) 9962 1184 or by email: jomontebello@gmail.com
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/BurlesqueCandles

After visiting Fransina’s stand, we didn’t have to look far for another Magnificent artist – Burlesque Candles were located at the neighbouring stall. Joanne Monte-Bello, the project’s originator and the owner (two in one!), is an acquaintance we hope to meet again at Earth Garden festival in Ta’Qali this year!  We had a long chat about our Earth Garden experiences, ecological candles and friends from New York  who happen to be vegans and animal activists (Hi Val!!) Jo’s products are handmade using exotic fruits, dried flowers and spices mixed with natural essential oils and candle fragrance. Each candle is inspired by Burlesque Dancer and has approximately 50 hours of burning time. Rita’s favourite is the ‘LUSCIOUS LOLA’ – candle that smells of lemongrass & ginger. Especially for the market, Jo has prepared an unique promotion,  a free baby Miss L’Amour candle was given to every customer who purchased two other candles.  Please keep your eyes open as Joanne is on the roll and will be attending few other markets – she recently book a place at Earth Garden 2013!

A very burlesque stall of  Burlesque candles

A very burlesque stall of Burlesque candles

Company: Monstri Boo
Owner: Dor Attard
Contact:  (00356) 9931 5930 or by email:
doriatt7@gmail.com
Website: https://www.facebook.com/MonstriBoo or www.etsy.com/shop/monstriboo

We nicknamed the three neighbouring stalls: Designer bags by Fransina, Burlesque Candles and Monstri Boo, the ladies corner. All three companies have been started by a woman and have been exhibiting next to each other. Monstri Boo is our Magnificent number 6 and be aware, the monster toys are so sweet you will fall in love with them at the first sight. The project belongs to immensely talented 19 year old artist Dor Attard. She describes herself as a person with the “hobby of creating stuff”. Indeed, Dor sews, paints, draw, sculpts and “does anything her eyes want to do”. Her’s creations are made from good quality materials and fake fur, have buttons for eyes and are filled with polyester cotton or fabric scraps. We have spoken to Dor for a short while at the market and purchased a cuddlable white plush rabbit for our friend Olga. Now the rabbit will be on her way to Poland!
If you’d like to get a monster like that for yourself, come to Valetta Waterfront on 28th of April as Monstri Boo will be taking part in street market there!

For the newest information about the company, please visits Dor’s official blog at: http://monstriboo.blogspot.co.uk/

Monstrii Boo stand at the market

Monstrii Boo stand at the market

Monstri Boo White Bunny we bought as a gift for a friend. She will love it!

Monstri Boo White Bunny we bought as a gift for a friend. She will love it!

Company: Lexy Creations
Owner: Alexia Vasallo
Contact: (00356) 7702 0978 or by email:
lexvassallo@gmail.com
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/LEXY-Creations/296628230356960 or http://lexycreations.webs.com/

You know the saying, save the best for the last? Lexy Creations, our Magnificent artist number 7 was the last stand we visited on Saturday and it quickly became one of our favourites. One look at the beautiful and colourful creations of Alexia Vasallo and we were sold! Financial analyst by day (she holds B.Com HONS in Economics from University of Malta and MSc degree in Finance & Financial Law from University of London), Alexia in her spare time has a second career as a crafts genius. Handmade jewellery, personalised gifts (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine, Carnival, Easter etc.), cards, wedding/engagement invitations, envelopes, kids toys and figurines, home decorations, souvenirs, masks – we are convinced that Alexia can do it all. Her creations are quite popular and she is a frequent guest at other Maltese arts and crafts markets and festivals. The Times of Malta has also wrote article about her – how cool is that! If you’d like to read it, please click here:
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130204/thezone-careers/a-business-opportunity-with-a-part-time-hobby-in-crafts.456189

The colourful world of Lexy Creations

The colourful world of Lexy Creations

Close look at the personalized gifts presented at the market

Close look at the personalized gifts presented at the market

We hope you have enjoyed reading the review from our first Maltase crafts fair. The festival was not only limited to arts stands, as the guests could also buy food from local producers and listen to the live band playing. Since art has always been our primary interest, we decided to skip the food stores this time to give our readers a review concentrated on the artists and their creations alone. However, we would commit a huge social blunder, if we didn’t thank the excellent musicians for making the visit to the market a memorable experience. The band was simply called “The Band” and the members come from the School Of Music. Their rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s classics will be remembered for a long time. Thank you so much gentlemen, we had a real ball!

Live band playing in the background

Live band playing in the background

Another picture of the band playing for the guests

Another picture of the band playing for the guests

If you have any additional information about the market, as usual, please send us a message. The contact address is always the same: rdabrowicz at yahoo dot come. We would love to hear from others who attended and to exchange opinions.

Be back soon as we have Helen Stringer, wedding fair and lots of cats coming your way very soon!
For now, have a great weekend!

All the best from Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz xxx

***************UPDATE! 2013.04.14****************

Wow! We would have never imagined, that our blog would become so popular! The response from the artists, organizers and visitors was amazing. Thank all of you so very much!

Please take a look at several comments we have received!

1. Malta Artisan Fairs have posted a link to our blog on their official Facebook page:

A link to our blog has been published by the organizers

A link to our blog has been published by the organizers

2. Crate Hope – an art collective gathering money for many charity projects, were also kind enough to featured our review on their FB profile. Thank you very much Joanne! Your stand was the best!

Create Hope were so kind to us!

Create Hope were so kind to us!

3. Burlesque Candles – Joanne Monte-Bello not only posted a link to our blog, she actually shared some of the review itself! Please support Joanne’s business, as her candles are simply the best!

Few nice words from Burlesque Candles

Few nice words from Burlesque Candles

4. Decorizeme ‘s owner,  Miriam, was really suprised that we featured her in our blog. We are suprised she was suprised! Mrs Cassar is a real jewellery queen, and her designs can turn any girl into a princess. You have our word for it!

Decorizeme comments were really sweet - we love to surprise people.

Decorizeme comments were really sweet – we love to surprise people.

5. General public – we are truly thankful for our readers! Thanks for your time and clicks! Our stats show we have fans even in Nepal, Australia, Slovenia, Brazil and The Philippines!

Two days and much ado about something :)

Two days and much ado about something 🙂

***************UPDATE 2! 2013.04.16****************

 It’s very rarely that we would do two updates to the same entry but since our review is quite popular, why not 😉 Actually we wanted to share a photo of our friend in Poland – Olga – who just received her present and she simply loves the mascot. She keeps it next to her bed. She wanted to tell the creator of Monstri Boo that the bun will be taken care of.

Here she is posing on Facebook with the Bunny monster. Ten of her friends just got jealous.

Olga and the Bunny

Olga and the Bunny

Have a great day and keep on visiting!
Rita and Mal xxxxx

The cat collector or Kat-a-log part 13

Hello feline friends!

Holidays came, holidays went and now we are back at work! We hope you had a lovely Easter break. It was a bit cold and the winter is not letting go just yet, but the forecast is looking promising for the next few weeks. It is going to be sunny and dry and all the neighbourhood cats will be out and about lounging in the sunny places. Olympia has prepared several new entries for the Kat-a-log and we will be publishing at least one entry a week – we have a huge backlog!

If you are interested in the previous editions of our cat-friendly project, please take a look at the links below. Any additional information about the figurines we have featured are always welcome too. Make, model details, date or year when they were issued – that kind of data is exactly what we are looking for! Got any tips or leads? Email them to r dabrowicz at yahoo dot com. No spam, thank you very much!

Kat-a-log Part 1: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-1/
Kat-a-log Part 2: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-2/
Kat-a-log Part 3: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-3/
Kat-a-log Part 4: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-4/
Kat-a-log Part 5: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-5/
Kat-a-log Part 6: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-6/
Kat-a-log Part 7: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-7/
Kat-a-log Part 8: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-8/
Kat-a-log Part 9: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-9/
Kat-a-log Part 10: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-10/
Kat-a-log Part 11: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-11/
Kat-a-log Part 12: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-12/

Now, dear audience, be prepared to meet 4 kittens from Olympia’s vast collection of paws and tails.  Some joined the collection years ago and some are making their debut this month. Please, clap your hands for the loveliest creatures under the sun!

Kat-a-log Feline no. 47
Two sides of a cat: The artist cat and Ivy League
Official name: Salem
Country of origin:
Malta, made especially for Olympia in  2010

The majority of cats in Olympia’s collection has been bought as gifts from her family members and friends, but this incredible kitty is literally one-of-a-kind item. The hand-cut copper sculpture has been commissioned by Malicia and made by renewed UK artist Jackie Roberts during the Patches Market (arts and crafts festival) in Valetta. The order has been made on 25 of September and the sculpture was delivered on 14 of October 2010.  As you can see on the pictures, the cat has a metal collar with a small fish shaped tag that says “Salem”. This is a reference to Olympia’s favourite black feline – a real cat we must add! Another interesting  fact is that the background for the first picture has been provided by Olympia’s original abstract artwork.

Jackie Roberts’ official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.roberts.98
The artist resides on Gozo and is open for commissions!
Patches Market official site on FB can be access here: http://www.facebook.com/patchesmarket

The artist cat

The artist cat

Ivy league

Ivy league

Kat-a-log Feline no. 48
Two sides of a cat: Rest after work and Le Freak!
Country of origin:
Piekary Slaskie, Poland  bought in circa 2004

The Kat-a-log project is a family business thanks to involvement of relatives and friends, but sometimes Olympia herself goes cat-hunting. This was the case of the glittery fridge magnet that Olympia spotted in our hometown of Piekary Slaskie, in a local store, not far away from our grandparents’ house 🙂 It is a perfect example that sometimes you don’t have to look very far to find a real treasure.  We do not know who made the cat, but the artist is responsible for an entire animal collection. Our fridge is decorated with several of his creation including a rare yellow mimosa butterfly and a peacock. Judging by the vibrant colours, Kaolin based modelling clay has been used to make the cat and a small black magnet keeps the kitty in place!

Rest after work

Rest after work

Le Freak

Le Freak

Kat-a-log Feline no. 49
Three sides of a cat: The constant gardener, Growing up green and Study in red
Country of origin:
UK, given as a gift in March 2013

Cat number 49 is the last of the three kittens given to Rita by Gill, her colleague from work. Gill’s mother, Agnes was a big cat lover and collected figurines for many years. She sadly passed away in early March and Gill decided to re-home the furry creatures.

The first cat has a number 31 and can be sound here:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-9/
The second is marked with number 45 and can be viewed here:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/the-cat-collector-or-kat-a-log-part-12/

Gill is not sure who sculpted the cat from coal, or how log it has been in Agnes’ possession. The local antique dealer thinks the cat was made in early 80’s, so it can be considered vintage. We photographed the black beauty at work, where Rita’s co-workers set up a small windowsill garden. The results are stunning, don’t ya think?

The constant gardener

The constant gardener

Growing up green

Growing up green

Study in red

Study in red

Kat-a-log Feline no. 50
Three sides of a cat: White cat, black cat and Lenny the lamb, Easter egg and Chocolate halves
Country of origin:
UK, bought by Rita in April 2013

Hooray! We have reached number 50! The “half-a-hundred” cat is actually two cats, how cool is that! The pair of porcelain kitties consists of smaller white cat with black pattern and a bigger black cat with a white pattern. They are bound together with a golden threat. Rita found the pair in local RSPCA charity shop in Hereford during the Easter gift sale. The branch was collecting money for the adoption of newly accepted animals. How could we refuse such a noble cause?  We do not know who donated the kitties or who made them, but it doesn’t really matter! They are now part of Kat-a-log and Olympia is very grateful! The duo has been given an Easter themed photosession and look what they did to our Easter egg! By the way, Lenny the lamb is a ginger cookie baked by Costa Cafe each year around Easter holidays. You are late this year, but try your luck next Spring!

Remember, if you are living in the UK or Malta, the local adoption centres always have donated items on sale and the money will be used to re-home animals or treat them. Do not buy live animals, adopt them! The Herefordian branch is 90 years old this year so it is a grand reason to celebrate!

Please visit RSPCA here: http://www.rspcahereford.org.uk/
Malta SPCA offcial page is here: http://www.spcamalta.org/ or find them on FB: https://www.facebook.com/spcamalta

White cat, black cat and Lenny the lamb

White cat, black cat and Lenny the lamb

Easter egg

Easter egg

Chocolate halves

Chocolate halves

Wow, what a great edition of the Kat-a-log this has been! Olympia sends her greetings and wishes everybody a belated Happy Easter.
She says that number 13 is never unlucky and she reminds her readers to serve their masters (cats) and pet the best friends (dogs and other animals) 😀

Kat-alog will be back next week so mark the date in your calendars!
Have a great day,

xxxx
Rita, Mal and Olympia Dabrowicz

[Edit 10/04/2013]

We did a little test. There is a hugely popular Facebook page dedicated to paws and tails only – Just Cats – that we follow regularly. We have decided to show them a link to the blog and see if they would like it. They did and even gave us a mention! See the screenshot below and you can visit the page for all your daily feline fix by clicking on the link:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Cats/225287950833585

Mmention on the Just Cats Facebook page

Mention on the Just Cats Facebook page

Isn`t it purr-fect?

m/r/o