Earth Garden 2014 – A guestbook full of cats part two

Aye Gardeners!

Welcome back again! Another day, another blog and we are still showing off our collection of super cute cat portraits! Yes, the ever popular part two of Earth Garden 2014 guestbook review is right here. Be prepared to discover amazingly talented kids, great artworks and a lot of imagination in its purrrest form. Vanadian Avenue has always been a cat-crazed team and we are very proud of that! Looking through the colorful pages of our guest book, we have to admit, we are not the only ones. Malta seems to be an animal loving nation.  Keep it up folks. The more, the merrier as we say!

If you would like to see the twenty pages, please click on the link below:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/earth-garden-2014-a-guestbook-full-of-cats-part-one/

And now ladies and gentleman, we will show you a collection of works that should be exhibited in MOMA or TATE art galleries. Let’s hope that one day it will be!

Everybody say hi to Nacho, the smiling cat! Johan and Grainne found our stall at the Earth Garden by complete accident and they wouldn’t go without leaving a mark. The mark has a long flowing tail, pointy ears, long whiskers and a big smile. This is a sign of a spoiled kitten and that’s how we like our pets to be. A big thank you for your kinds words about our works and it was great to meet you both. And pet Nacho from us, will ya? Nacho is a real kitten and deserves a lot of love and attention.

Page twenty

Page twenty

Our next visitor, a  young lady named Sasha decided to use a palette of colors to bring her talking cat to life on page 21. This fantastic beast has a yellow head, purple tail and orange-blue body. Don’t be afraid, this particular creature is very friendly and likes to talk to humans quite a lot. Sasha is an expert on talking cats and has studied them carefully. She was convinced that we can learn their language pretty quickly as each meow has a clear meaning.  Some wise words from a little girl. We should always listen to our pets and kids. Listen, not just hear them – there is a big difference there!

Page twenty one

Page twenty one

It’s a family affair! Four girls (two sisters and two cousins) named Bibi, Amelia, Dora and Amaryllis overtook our stand for nearly half an hour but the merry bunch had the time of their lives. The girls ranged from age 4 to 12 and they all share love for arts and cats. The extended familia owns a cat called Olli that has been portrayed several times on the picture below as sleeping, playing with a ball of yarn, hunting for a goldfish and just looking straight at the visitors. The youngest girl was unable to draw cats yet but she bravely participated by doodling several bugs that Olli likes to chase around their house. As professional artists, the girls signed their artworks using pseudonyms: Am, Mia B, Do and TD. Look out art world, the super talented family is going to be  very influential  very shortly!

Page twenty two

Anybody who has ever been involved in an organization of a street event will admit that guys are not easily convinced to participate. It takes a lot of encouragement and sometimes even pleading to make them change their minds. We don’t really know  where it starts as children of both sexes love to draw, play and they do not need any extra initiative to just have a good fun. The older the kids get, the harder it comes to convince them to show  their skills or try something new. It is especially hard with boys as ever 10 or 11 year old will find a myriad of excuses not to do anything. We treasure every picture we receive but those made by boys are especially cherished. Gilbert, one of the boys who approached our stand, left us a brilliant artwork. His cat is comfortably sitting on a meadow next to flowering plants. Gilbert also added a short message that reads “Thanks for the cat love”. You have some serious skills Gilbert! All the best!

Page twenty three

Page twenty three

Another contributor named Matt reigns on page number 24. His extraordinary talents put even the experienced artists like Rita to shame (she isn’t afraid to say so). Matt’s drawing of a crazy kitten on a midnight walk shows great sense of humor and breath-taking dedication to the smallest of details. It didn’t took him more than 10 minutes to come up with this beautiful artwork and as we watched him work, we were grinning with delight. We are sure that Matt has been drawing for a while now and we would love to see more of his works. If you are reading these words Matt, please get in touch with us!

Page twenty four

Page twenty four

Kyle Cassar is one of the youngest contributors to our guest book. Kyle is a Maltese boy and he is 8 years old. He likes to draw, play and loves animals. He created  a very unusual cat, a cross between a feline and some unknown species that looks to us a bit like a dinosaur! And the dino-cat is being followed by another very curious creature that can be described as a slime-fish 😀 Good work Kyle. Not many artists could come up with two new races on a single artwork!

Page twenty five

Page twenty five

Page 26 belongs to Dean, aged 14. He is another boy that decided to  try drawing a cat at our stand and the results are beyond fantastic. We need to encourage boys to create and draw more! Just look at his cat portrait – perfect proportions, a great abstract pose, unique style. This kitten needs a bit of color and it will fetch a nice price at the next  arts and crafts market. Dean – your skills are brilliant. Please do not let anyone discourage you from practicing. Keep on doing what you love and in one time you will be a professional artist. Please, come to Ta’ Qali next year and bring your portfolio with you. We will see if we can help you set up your own stand!

Page twenty six

Page twenty six

 Do you ever wonder how the artistic world will look like in the future? We do it constantly and that’s why we are looking for talented individuals. Darryl, a five year old visitor featured on page 27 could be the next big thing. He is incredibly passionate about drawing and didn’t need any encouragement to grab a pen! He got so excited while creating that he draw not one but three pictures! He was also the only artist  to run out of space on a single page and he claimed another for his art. Way to go, Darryl!  Art needs space and every obstacle can be resolved. We will be watching your progress!

Page twenty seven

Page twenty seven

A lovely artist named Rachel is gracing page number 28. She drew us a smiling ginger cat and called him Ginger. Or Grumpy. Or any other name will do as well! It doesn’t really matter how you are addressing the cat, if it wants to acknowledge you, it will. If not, there is absolutely no use in calling the kitten, you will be utterly ignored! Rachel had a lot of fun creating her fluffy friend (just look at the cat’s tail – it  must be half Persian!) and left a playful message to other artists. It reads: “Meow! My name is Ginger…. Grumpy…. The multi-names cat….you name him! She also signed her artwork with a cat paw print. Very cute 😀

Page twenty eight

Page twenty eight

An amazing artist known to us only as Sara P. pictured every cat owner’s biggest nightmare: scratching! Forget about the scratching posts, your feline knows better. That expensive wardrobe, an antique bed, posh armchair or your new beautiful leather sofa – they are there for your kitten’s comfort and  convenience. And once the item is (nearly) destroyed, the cat proudly announces the triumph with a loud, high-pitched MEOW. It usually means “come and admire my masterpiece”.  Sara – it was a pleasure to talk to you. Please come back again next year!

Page twenty nine

Page twenty nine

Page 30 and our first manga inspired cat artwork! A lovely artist nicknamed Kittimi stopped by and expressed a desire to draw as well. Equipped with a  pen she quickly came up with a superb manga sketch of a cat girl. When we asked her about her preferred style, she admitted that she has been creating comics for a longer period of time and that she soon might be looking for a place to exhibit her works. Comicon Malta crew, your immediate attention is then required. We are not sure if the sketch is a self portrait or maybe just a drawing of Kittimi’s original chara, but the girls have great skills.

The artwork is  signed with a huge heart and writing “Kittimi was here”.

Page thirty

Page thirty

The next artwork has absolutely nothing to do with Earth Garden or our cat shop but is cool enough to be included. Sometimes visitors are leaving us some cryptic messages, mumblings and rumblings without any sense or coherence. The artwork drawn by Darryl (yes, the same one mentioned on page 27) shows a collection of geometric (mathematical) shapes both in 2D (plain) and 3D. The figures include cylinders, squares, triangles, ellipses, circles and cones. There is also a row of numbers at the bottom of the drawing that reads: “1 123”. If anybody knows what that means, please contact us at rdabrowicz@yahoo.com. Thank you.

Page thirty one

Page thirty one

Hey artists! Please sign your works! It is a truly devastating feeling when you are trying to compliment  somebody’s work and you don’t even know their names! Page thirty two belongs to a big, pink cat with a long flowing tail drawn by very talented but anonymous artist. And we cannot even remember his or her face! So many people signed the guestbook, hundreds more came to the stall – it is simply impossible to remember all of them. Please take a look and admire – the force of art is strong with this contributor!

Page thirty two

Page thirty two

Maltese artist named Julian Spiteri was more than happy to share his imagination with us and contributed a small round kitten with short front paws, large eyes and cute expression. His artwork displayed on page 33 is a great proof that you don’t have to have an amazing painting techniques or advanced skills to be able to draw! A bit of sense of humor, open mind and willingness to have a good time – that’s all it takes. And the results are very good. You never know, maybe signing a guest book could be a start of an artistic career or at least a beginning of rewarding hobby!

Page thirty three

Page thirty three

Roberta Micallef is not only a gifted artist but also a very kind person as well. Her artwork (which she called a “hamster cat”) is dedicated to a rock legend – Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. Roberta arrived at our stall when we were packing with three of her friends. They were all sixteen and each wore a different band tee, Roberta rocking out in a Sonic Youth merch. At first she was afraid to draw something, but when we told her that “riot gurls” have no fear of art, she agreed and created one of the most amazing designs in the whole book. We have promised to send it to Kim herself. Roberta`s kitten seems to be a magical creature – it has a magic wand and a performing magician’s top hat on his head. The artwork is dated and signed. It says: “Hi! Kim xxx This cat is for you. 06/06/14”.

Wait a minute! Cats cannot wear hats and do not carry wands! This is not a cat portrait; this is a drawing of an animagus in a cat form! There must be a Hogwarts-like school in Malta as well!

 

Page thirty four

Page thirty four

Time flies when you are having fun. It feels like we have just barely started and suddenly we find ourselves on the last page! The last artwork in our guest book has been made by  11 year old Sebastian Camilleri and his 10 year old partner in art, Zane Calleja. This unstoppable duo have prepared themselves well for the task: they cleaned the table, put the drawing materials in front of them, sat comfortably and went wild! Their cat is green-pink-orange-blue and black, has a fluffy tail and is named Whiskers. The cat is real and lives with the kids in their apartment. A house without a cat is not a home!

Page thirty five

Page thirty five

And that’s all dear readers! The guestbook for Cat Store is done, photographed, described and available online. We are still trying to edit pictures from the Earth Garden Festival and soon you can expect a full blown review of the 3 day event.

For now, thank you for your attention, enjoy the art and if you’d like to visit us again, come to Ta’ Qali National Park next year. Earth Garden 2015 and we shall be there again!

Have a great day,
Rita and Malcia Dabrowicz

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Earth Garden 2014 – A guestbook full of cats part one

Hello Earth Gardeners!!

We know, we know! It’s been nearly a month since the festival has ended, but we are so busy we barely have time to sleep! A lot is going on in the background (like fighting for tickets to red carpet premieres!), yet we are trying to catch up and bring you all the wonderful news, hot gossips and extraordinary images we have taken during our outings and travels.

Earth Garden 2014 may be a history now but it was one of the best editions so far. Brilliant people, sunny weather (yay for that), great music and fantastic visitors from all around the world. No jokes here, we have meet some great folks from Scandinavia, Brazil, Iran and even United States. Ladies and gentleman, Earth Garden has always been a multicultural and diverse  event but we are slowly becoming an international sensation! 20 .000 people came  and partied with us during those three days. If that’s not a success, then we don’t know what success is. For us, Earth Garden was an absolute sensation – you don’t have to agree with us, but this is our blog and we tell you we are always right!

Each year, we have a guest book at our stand and posting scans of it has become kind of a tradition. We love reading all your comments, reviews and ideas for future editions and we are grateful to all visitors who stopped at the Cat Store this year. If you are reading this, THANK YOU guys! You rule and hope to see you again next year.

As usual, please take a look at the previous links that we have published before the festival. It will give you more information about what we do and how we prepared for the three day cat extravaganza:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/earth-garden-2014/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/back-to-the-garden/

You can also read our review of Earth Garden 2013 by clicking on the links here:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/looking-back-earth-garden-2013/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/earth-garden-2013-review/

So, are you ready to see what’s inside our guestbook this year? A bit of warning before we proceed any further. Our guests felt truly artistic during the weekend and left us with nearly 30 uber-cute cat artworks! We have to admit that we simply adore cat portrait and those are the best we have ever received. Cat lovers of the world unite and enjoy. Furry power to all!

Welcome to  the Cat Store!

Welcome to the Cat Store!

Page one has been graced by the combined talents of Eleanor (age 3) and Sophia (age 5) of Malta. Both girls love cats very much and it is evident in the large number of big red hearts attached to the cartoon feline. We think that the kitten wears a hat on his head or maybe this is a flag flowing above him. Either way, the girls were pretty happy with the picture and we are happy to have met the duo of supreme cat portraitists of the future.

Page one

Page one

Page two brings yet another cat portrait, this time from a young lady named Christy. As you can see, her cat is looking straight at us and its tail is a bit wavy – it is probably an invitation for a game of chase. The cat’s claws are extended and he or she is ready for a play. Christy left us three kisses and we are sending three kisses back your way!

Page two

Page two

Page three belongs to Victoria and what a great cat picture she has left us! Just look at this absolutely cute kitten: its tails and ears are up, his head is tilted slightly to the left and the cat is standing on his back paws. Every cat owner will immediately recognize this pose – it is time for a diner! Just make it a good one! Victoria signed her name  above her masterpiece and each “i” has a little heart instead of  simple dot. Thank you sweetheart!

Page three

Page three

Say hello to Iris from Venezuela! This is probably Rita’s favorite cat: big, fluffy with small ears and big tail. Purrfect! Sadly, we don’t speak Spanish, but the writing above the cat says “Gatita Venezolana” which can be translated as “Lovely Venezuelan”. The affectionate term “gatita” can be applied to either a young girl or a female cat. You learn something new everyday!

Page four

Page four

Our next kitten looks like a lot of mischief! Staring directly at the viewer, ears up, tail hidden  – a sweet picture of purrfection and innocence except for that wicked smile! The cat is probably going to climb the curtains in a second you turn around or hide a pair of your woolen socks under the sofa so you don’t find it until Christmas cleaning. Page five and the artist is Maltese lady named Ilenia Brincat. Ilenia was shy at first and claimed she doesn’t know how to draw  but when she came  to visit our stand some time later, she discovered that her picture has inspired others to draw. Imitation is the biggest form of flattery!

Page five

Page five

What a lovely pair of eyes! Page six belongs to Sarah and she came up with a picture of a sitting cat with the biggest amber eyes that we have ever seen. The cat looks a bit caught off guard, but it seems to be a positive surprise as there is a smile on its face. Did you know that cats can see better in darkness than in the daylight? The combination of their excellent hearing and the ability to see in low light condition makes them superb hunters. Human eyes cannot match cat vision and we cannot count how many times we have tripped on our black kittens in the darkness on the way to the loo. Sigh. We nearly forgot to add that there is a lovely paw print  near the bottom of the picture.

Page six

Page six

Emma Montebello from Malta is featured on lucky page number 7. Three paw prints and a one very sleepy abstract cat. We do not know Emma’s true age, but she seemed to be about 9-10 years old and she truly enjoyed drawing animals, especially cats (of course!). She visited our stand with her parents and a brother named Ernesto.

Page seven

Page seven

Seeing his sister Emma having a blast, Ernesto couldn’t help himself so he grabbed a pen and left a mark of his own! This  is the first cat drawing in our guestbook that actually portraits a pair of cats instead of a single kitten. Ernesto drew a momma cat with a baby  on a leisurely walk and added four paw prints, one more than his sister. He also signed the picture with his full name: Ernesto Griggio Eduard Salucem. Wow.

Page eight

Page eight

Super sweet, yet rather shy artist named Olivia Arnold came to our stand to see the paintings first. She had briefly looked through the book and we could observe that she was fighting the urge to draw. After few minutes of encouragement from just about everybody around the stall, she grabbed a black marker and drew this lovely feline. Then proclaiming that she will be back next year, she ran away after her guardians.  We are pretty sure that Olivia can create many fascinating paintings and this was only the beginning!

Page nine

Page nine

Hey look who is back! Ernesto returned to our stand alone and decided to add yet another kitten! Page 10 and second drawing of the cat-friendly child.

Page Ten

Page Ten

It was a brief visit (no more than five minutes), but Yanika made a lasting impression. At first, the drawing doesn’t resemble a cat. Very untypical narrow and long ears,  round body, tiny paws and a thin tail. However, Yanika left us a description that this is definitively a picture of house cat and we decided to do a bit of investigation. Uncle Google to the rescue and viola! The picture shows a rare modern Balinese cat breed! They are wonderful, happy and affectionate family members that get along with children, dogs and other animals.  To learn more please click on the Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balinese_cat

Page eleven

Page eleven

Next two pictures belong to cat – drawing workshop alumni: Brogan and Julia. They had left us an excellent cat portrait in our book last year, which can be seen under this link: https://cocamidemea.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/brogan_giulia.jpg

Both ladies returned to Earth Garden and were looking for us at the ethnic market on purpose – to see if we were having a stand and hoping to be able to draw again. They approached us with big grins on their faces and asked if we remembered them. And surely we did. It is hard to forget the duo – their humor, creativity and energy is simply astounding.

Page 12

Page twelve

Brogan and Julia decided to challenge each other to a cat portrait duel. Each of them took a separate page in order to create a drawing with a message. Brogan went first and decided on a pirate kitty (with a patch instead of an eye) and a puurfect pun.  She also left a cunning message to her friend and other visitors saying:

“My friend Giulia is going to try to outdraw me. Let’s pretend that she managed.”

Gulia responded with a stylish cat lady dawning (wearing flower crown and a peace sign which were in fashion at this edition of the festival) and another pun (“meaow ya doing?”).

Page 13

Page thirteen

We love both entries but since this was an epic cat portrait battle – you will have to decide who won.  Brogan and Gulia, it was a pleasure to meet you again!

Despite looking like a traditional guest book page, page number 14 is quite unique. This is the first page without a cat portrait on it! A lovely visitor named Gerada wished us “Love and good vibes”. She also included a post scriptum that says “Cats…lots of cats…”. Yep, the more the merrier as we say!

Page 14

Page fourteen

And we are back to colorful cat doodles! Our next artist named Chloe showed her amazing cartoon skills on page 15. Three big hearts (blue, white and pink), five kisses and a cute feline fellow named Nippers.  An interjection “CATS” is decorated with exclamation mark that has another heart instead of a dot. We have a feeling that Nippers is not just an artist’s imagination but a real cat that stole Chloe’s heart!

Page fifteen

Page fifteen

Having seen the previous artworks in our guestbook, Maltese girl Ria decided to draw something original and truly unique.  She created the biggest cat portrait yet and decorated it with elaborate patters, lines, dots, swirls and serpentines. If you look closely, you will notice that the picture actually shows two cats instead of one. The bigger one is called Cori and the smaller is nicknamed Frizzi (he sticks out his head from behind Cori’s back). Ria has also admitted that she “loves cats”. We all do, Ria! Thank you for stopping by!

Page sixteen

Page sixteen

Christabel Petita, our next guest left us her contact details, signature and written confession that she is a cat lover on page 17. Christabel bought one of Rita’s artwork and an official certificate will be dispatched shortly to her. Thanks for everything and enjoy the cat inspired art!

Page seventeen

Page seventeen

Another page, another artist and another cat artwork! Page 18 belongs to Marilyn and her creation is a larger-than-life-kitten sitting peacefully on the sidewalk and watching the world go by. This green-eyed spotted beauty has long whiskers, pointy ears and swirled tail. The cat must be very happy as there is a big smile on its face!

Page eighteen

Page eighteen

Page 19 is the last page we want to show you today. Two wonderful artists, a bit of friendly rivalry while drawing and a lot of fun! Sadly, we do not know who they are, but one of them must be called Bernie as seen on the picture below. Bernie is responsible for  creating the smaller cat (we named it Bernie’s cat) and the bigger one is called Kiki the Kitten Cat.  Binge Qubnid is a strange combination of two words: an excess and cuteness of fluffiness. This could be anything really: a collective pseudonym for the artists, a name of an animal friendly website/club or Facebook page.

Page nineteen

Page nineteen

We cannot believe it! NINETEEN pages scanned, edited and posted for your enjoyment and we are still half way through the guestbook! There must have been something in the air at Earth Garden as visitors kept coming in flocks and everybody wanted to draw us a cat!

Please come back tomorrow as the best is yet to come!

Have a good day,
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Earth Garden 2013 Review

Hello cupcakes!

Just one day left! 24 hours and we will be back in lovely Ta’ Qali National Park for a whole weekend of fun. We are so excited, we can barely contain ourselves. Cats are packed, table and chairs prepared, balloons ready to be blown up –  a bit of a rest and off we will go. Being a part of Earth Garden is  a true privilege. We have said it many times in the past and we will keep on repeating: this is one of the best independent culture festivals on Malta. A must go if you are visiting or living permanently on our beautiful rock!

The gates of the festival.

The gates of the festival

We have been blogging relentlessly about Earth Garden in the past week. If you want to see our coverage of 2013 edition please click on the links below:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/looking-back-earth-garedn-2013/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/looking-back-again-earth-garden-2013-workshop/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/back-to-the-garden/

Our newest entry regarding this year’s edition can be found at:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/earth-garden-2014/

As the previous edition of festival is concerned, what we didn’t cover yet is the 2013 set up of our Cat Shop and the general conditions of the Ethnic Market. And let us tell you – it was something we will be remembering for a long time. Action, great friends and some challenging weather made Earth Garden 2013 truly unique experience.

Arm wristband and a car pass given to the exhibitors

Arm wristband and a car pass given to the exhibitors

First of all, a year ago, the festival itself was returning after unscheduled break. Lack of funding prevented Earth Garden from happening in 2012. To this very day, we still can’t understand how anybody would fail to see the importance of supporting local art scene (oh wait, maybe it is one of the reasons why the previous administration is currently sitting on the opposition benches in Malta), and made a decision to cut off the entire artistic community from one of the biggest commercial events in a calendar year.

Yes, you read it correctly – Earth Garden is a commercial entity: you pay to get in, you pay to exhibit. However in today’s economy, even commercial events do need support from the establishment. Sometimes a small contribution can literary make or break an entire festival. This is exactly what went down in 2012. Not enough sponsors came on board and the local community was left out in the cold.

You need to understand local scene in Malta – arts and crafts makers have limited appeal on village festas and only few proper markets are organized on the island. Patches Market is set up four times a year and they are highly selective (they work with whom they like, if the don’t like you – forget about being invited). Malta Artisan Market is another circuit which recently started being organized on a monthly basis – but that’s still not enough if you want to live from your craft. So each and every festival with craft market should be treated like a national treasure – it provides tourists with unique, made in Malta goods and puts some money in the pockets of artists (who tend to earn less than 10 000 EUR a year, that’s below minimum wage if you ask). Yet this simple maths doesn’t seem to stick with the powers that be.

Our cats waiting to be adopted.

Our cats waiting to be adopted.

Box of cat treasures

Box of cat treasures

Stand in its full glory

Stand in its full glory

Thankfully, in 2013 the organizers of Earth Garden pulled all possible ropes and secured enough funds for the event to continue. People flocked to the Ta Qali National Garden, even despite horrible weather and we have never seen so many visitors and so many exhibitors. It must have been around 50 stalls out there – something extraordinary to see.

It was fun to set up our Cat Shop. Few days prior to the festival, Rita went to Birkirkara and came back few hours later with a large folding picnic table. She said it was a bargain and it would suit her perfectly for s stand. You can never underestimate the shopping skills one can learn from “Cash in the attic”. We used a big rattan box for additional space and we were pretty much covered. Rita decided to decorate the entire area around the stand with balloons. Have some balloons on hand and kids will appear in no time, all eager to assist you in decorating. We have been huffing and puffing and pumping entire morning and it was fun. In the end, we had one of the most colourful stands as far as eye could see.

Cats and soap dishes.

Cats and soap dishes.

More shots.

More shots.

Stand from another perspective

Stand from another perspective

While Rita was encouraging both children and adults to draw cats, Mal was stopping random strangers to take their portraits in case they wore something with a cat pattern. We are going to continue doing so this year – our small homage to the Humans of New York project. We will call it Cat Fashion (or Cat People of Earth Garden). Or something along these creative lines.

The view from the from of our stand.  Taken at the moment when everybody were setting up.

The view from the from of our stand. Taken at the moment when everybody were setting up.

The view from the back of our stand

The view from the back of our stand

Balloons, lots of balloons

Balloons, lots of balloons

Being  a part of the Ethic market is not only about you and your sells. It’s a place where you come to see your friends, meet new people and have  some of the craziest conversation possible. Can you imagine discussing Søren Aabye Kierkegaard philosophy, new fashion trends, ways of mixing non alkoholic drinks and vegan cuisine, all under five minutes? Everything is possible with a cup of a hot chocolate in hand and with a group of crazy artists around you. You will never, ever get bored during Earth Garden, remember that!

Socializing is what Vanadian Avenue does best and we would like to introduce you to some of our favorite partners in crime. We will start with a lady that brought entire fashion world in The Mediterranean to their knees just last week at Malta Fashion show. Ladies and gents, give a standing ovation to Fransina!

1. Handbags by Fransina

We have wrote about Fransina on pour blog nearly a year ago when she was  just starting up her business. It was obvious to us that she possesses not only a great talent for designing, but her sewing skills are second to none. As we predicted, Fransina is taking the fashion community by storm now. From her humble stand at Earth Garden to the red carpet catwalks of  Malta Fashion Week – this is an amazing progress in just 12 months! Fransina’s handbags have been featured in several fashion shows and her profile was featured in New Designers column in the festival booklet. Fransina works with metal frames, fabrics and leather to create a unique retro vintage style that will seat your heart in an instant. She is a graduate of the prestigious Manzoni Fashion House

Hand made handbags by Fransina at Earth Garden 2013

Hand made handbags by Fransina at Earth Garden 2013

And the gifted designer herself!

And the gifted designer herself!

Fransina’s official FB: https://www.facebook.com/FransinaHandbagDesigner
Fransina bio at Malta Fashion week: http://fashionweek.com.mt/28-designer-labels-brands-at-malta-fashion-week Fransina at Malta Fashion week Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=876948508999174&set=a.876946972332661.1073741861.207687515925280&type=1&theater

2. Burlesque Candles

Jo Monte-Bello, the owner of Burlesque Candles is an old friend of ours and we have been neighbors at Earth Garden multiple times. She is incredibly funny and intelligent, you can talk with her for hours and still learn a lot of new stuff from her.  Jo knows the candle making business inside and out and can give a sound advice on how to use the aromatic candles for relaxing, home decor and well-being purposes. Forget paraffin, petrol-chemicals and some suspicious oils that will make the entire house stink. Jo uses  real spices, herbs, flowers and natural oils to create beautiful fragrances. Our favorites? Kitty Kat candle (mango & papaya) and Ivy May (cassis & pomegranate).

Burlesque stand

Burlesque stand

Jo wearing her warm winter jackets as  the weather was  freezing!

Jo wearing her warm winter jackets as the weather was freezing!

And another very fashionable shot of Jo

And another very fashionable shot of Jo

Please visit Jo’s business FB page at: https://www.facebook.com/BurlesqueCandles

3. Berivan Serin Art Gallery

Berivan is an Turkish artist living and creating in Sliema. We have discovered her several years ago at a local arts festival where she had a stand with extraordinaire pictures painted on sea stones! Guaranteed, you have never seen anything like that before! Two of her artworks are part of Olympia’s Kat-a-Log cat collections and we are very proud of that fact. Berivan uses acrylics and oil paints in her artwork and exhibits them frequently.  She is open for commissions. Her telephone number is 00355 9960 9721.

Berivan proudly displaying her art at Earth Garden

Berivan proudly displaying her art at Earth Garden

Some of Berivan's  incredible stone artworks were  displayed at her stand

Some of Berivan’s incredible stone artworks were displayed at her stand

Last year, violent protests rocked Istanbul, starting with massive demonstrations on May 28th, just two days before Earth Garden opened for visitors. 3.5 million of people took to the streets after being angered by proposed changes to constitution and law. Police answered with guns and water cannons, injuring hundreds and killing 11 protesters. The unrest in her native country was very hard for Berivan as she feared for the safety of her family and friends. Support for local and independent artists is the most important thing in the world today. The money are not only allowing creators to earn their wages but can also help their relatives. We are lucky to live in a free country without war, hunger or radicalism. People in other parts of the globe are dying to be able to vote! Remember, remember – you can change the world with your wallet. Be aware and be smart!

Viva la revolution!

Viva la revolution!

Please visit Berivan’s official facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Berivan-Serin-Art-Gallery/269851559715713

4. Trash Treasures

There is a treasure in your trash and you don’t even know it! Trash treasure is a popular art recycling company operating on Malta (Sliema) and Italy (Rome). Two dedicated artists, Daniela and Giuseppe can create everything out of nothing and sell it with a profit.  A bit of skills, a bit of imagination, few random items – and something unique is born! Old plastic bottles are turned into beautiful lamps, scraps are twisted and turned into fashionable earnings, pendants and bracelets that would make Carrie Broadshaw faint with delight. Trash treasures are  displaying their  creations on Patches Market and  Earth Garden, so please visit them if you have a chance!

Trash Treasure stand

Trash Treasure stand

This is how you do it - turn an old plastic bottle into a decorative lamp!

This is how you do it – turn an old plastic bottle into a decorative lamp!

Trash Treasures official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/trash.treasure
Official website: http://trash-treasure.webs.com

Now, we are almost done. Almost. The last thing we want to show you are the pictures that Malicia took during our time at the Earth Garden. A bit of a mess, but this is what we like – spontaneity and freedom. Here they come!

Cat fashion at Earth Garden - our tribute to Humans of New York!

Cat fashion at Earth Garden – our tribute to Humans of New York!

Cat fashion once again - we want that shirt!

Cat fashion once again – we want that shirt!

Why Not Chill Out Zone - a favorite place to go

Why Not Chill Out Zone – a favorite place to go

Chill out zone from a different perspective

Chill out zone from a different perspective

Body painting

Body painting

Anybody fancy a bunny?

Anybody fancy a bunny?

Hand made jewellery, sadly we don't remember who the artist was.

Hand made jewellery, sadly we don’t remember who the artist was.

We loved the red handle holder. where can we get one??

We loved the red handle holder. where can we get one??

Some handsome artists kept waving at us. Any names guys? Give us a shout!

Some handsome artists kept waving at us. Any names guys? Give us a shout!

Ok, time to rest now and we will see you tomorrow at Earth Garden 2014!
The weather forecast is  good, so we won’t need jackets and  hot chocolate this time.

We love Maltese Summer!

XXXRita and Mal Dabrowicz

Looking back again – Earth Garden 2013 workshop

Greetings gardeners!

Thank you so very much for your clicks and visits! We knew our review of  cat drawing workshop for kids will be a popular topic among our readers, but we had more traffic than usual! Lovely stuff as Rita always says. We guess you want more and we shall not disappoint you!

For those who missed yesterday’s blog, here’s a shortcut. Please click on the link below and it will open in a new window:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/looking-back-earth-garden-2013/

We all know that children are very imaginative and creative. They don’t need any extra encouragement and will literally jump at the opportunity to learn how to create abstract cat drawings. Adults are a different fairy-tale.  Rita remembers their reactions when we offered them a chance to gain new skills.  Some visitors gave us strange looks and disappeared not to be seen again, others giggled, shook their heads and fought hard almost like we were trying to convince them to swallow a poisonous pill.  Luckily, adults can be persuaded to do everything when offered a bribe. The sweeter the bribe, the better.  If you are preparing any public event and you lack participants, offer them free chocolates or candies.  Success is guaranteed.

It's a dare! Draw a cat!  Our poster advertising art lessons for adults

It’s a dare! Draw a cat! Our poster advertising art lessons for adults

Once our guests discovered that drawing can be fun, we had many willing students to teach (a bag of free sweets on the table served as an additional motivation). You should see how pleased and delighted they were after learning few basic abstract techniques. They created amazingly cheerful cat portraits and proved that sometimes all you need is a bit of spontaneity and positive craziness. Don’t be ashamed to act silly and unpredictable.  Life is not about doom, gloom, death and taxes.  Simple pleasures like that can change your life!

By the end of the weekend, we had enough cat artworks for a full blown art exhibition! Mal was kind enough to scan all drawings  so sit comfortably and enjoy the best abstract artworks on Malta!

1. Lady cat with dedication for Malicia from Mahii. The autographed masterpiece says “For a sweet girl, Malicia. XXX”

A cute cat drawn by Mahii

A cute cat drawn by Mahii

2. Cat attack! Six wonderfully abstracts cats drawn by Valentina, Frany and Chrissy.  The VFC art collective wrote that they are sorry, but we do not know about what. Not enough space for another cat? Should have said so earlier. We had additional sheets of paper!

Group effort by Valentina, Frany and Chrissy

Group effort by Valentina, Frany and Chrissy

3. We are not sure why but there is number 4 next to Tyra’s name. Her cat wears a stylish scarf probably because summer tend to be quite cold in Sweden.  Tack Tyra!

Cat by Tyra

Cat by Tyra

4. Red and black cats duo drawn by Steph (19 years old) and Bekka (17 years old) are cute as buttons. They are very happy as well. Just look at their faces 🙂

Two cats  by Steph and Becca

Two cats by Steph and Bekka

5. Very professional cat portrait by Roisin. It looks almost manga-like. Well done Roisin. Contact us if you  come across this blog. We’d love to see your other works.

Cat by Roisin

Cat by Roisin

6. Another visitor, Kym, came up with this  lovely, larger -than-life female (judging by her long eyelashes!) kitten.  Perfect in every detail.

Cat drawing by Kym

Cat drawing by Kym

7. Simplicity is a virtue in abstract art. A visitor named Marcon used some classical tricks for a great result. Rita especially likes  his soft quick  lines that fill out the cat’s silhouette. Beautiful job.

Cat drawing by Marcon

Cat drawing by Marcon

8. This cat is Rita’s absolute favorite.  Drawn by Miguel, 32 years old resident of Malta, his  feline is very original and unpredictable. Perfect proportions, absolutely mesmerizing face. Winner!

Cat drawing by Miguel

Cat drawing by Miguel

9. Antonella, 29 years old from Malta tried to convince us that she cannot draw. But we know better and we have a proof that she can! the cat is very talkative and says MIAOOO to all blog readers. Say hi!

Cat by Antonella

Cat by Antonella

10. Ilenia is yet another non believer, thinking that she is unable to draw a cat. Proven wrong! She named her delightful creation “Nikita” and that’s just ideal name for a stealthy feline.

Ilenia's cat Nikita

Ilenia’s cat Nikita

11. Pointy ears, extremely long tail, soft fur – this is a description of a new breed of domesticated cats discovered by English artist  named Gordon. Fédération Internationale Féline is in the process of registering The English Abstract Short-haired breed as we speak.

British cat by Gordon

British cat by Gordon

12. Our fist anonymous artwork is that of a dancing red cat. Anyone is claiming the authorship?

Dancing cat by Anonymous  artist

Dancing cat by Anonymous artist

13. Giulia and Brogan portrayed two distinctively different types of cats. Brogan(20 years old from Malta) went for minimalistic style while Giulia (18 years old) painted a peace loving feline. Brogan might be a dog person but she surely knows how to draw a cat. Greetings to you both!

Brogan and Giulia and their cats

Brogan and Giulia and their cats

14. The last cat is a big, fat blue striped boy that probably would own the entire neighborhood if he was real. Drawn by anonymous artist – it’s a real shame that you haven’t given us your name!

Blue cat by anonymous artist

Blue cat by anonymous artist

 

Many visitors and art students were too shy to draw or paint anything. They left us wonderful and warm greetings in the guestbook and we would like to share  the best comments with you:

Page full of comments - straight out of the guestbook!

Page full of comments – straight out of the guestbook!

Comments  - page two

Comments – page two

Wow! What a great memories we have.  So many cats, so many comments and so many new friends we have met. Earth Garden 2014 will start  this weekend (just  3 days left, we cannot believe it!) so please come and say hello.
We will be at Ethnic Market in our usual space so don’t  miss it.

Have a great time and we will speak to you soon,
XXXX
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

 

Looking back – Earth Garden 2013

Hellooo people!

Are you excited? We sure are! Earth Garden starts in just few days and we are already packing our cats pictures, figurines and other goodies into bags and suitcases. It will be our fourth time at Ta’ Qali National Park and we are truly thrilled!  There’s nothing better than Maltese summer, good music, great company and lots of cats! Earth Garden is known for its excellent atmosphere, interesting visitors and good organization – you just cannot ask for more.

We have to make a bit of confession: last year has been so busy that we forgot to upload  some beautiful pictures taken by Malicia. As you know, Rita is the marketing side of Vanadian Avenue and she is responsible for arts, crafts and stand at Earth Garden. Mal is the artsy – fartsy photographer, running around the whole festival site with big Canon camera and taking billions of pictures.  Her  photographic archives are bigger than those of Magnum and Reuters combined together and sometimes it takes weeks before pictures are edited and ready to be published online.

Since we haven’t posted anything from the last year’s festival on the blog yet, we decided to show you what have you missed.  Please be aware – it’s going to be so cute, you will faint from sugar overload! Don’t say we didn’t warn ye – kids and cute animals are ruling the Internet!

Official Earth Garden  AD 2013 poster

Official Earth Garden AD 2013 poster

A bit of reminder – last year’s Earth Garden took place on 31st of May -2nd of June 2013. Thousands of people arrived to celebrate ecology, culture, healthy life style and bohemian freedom. Ta’ Qali National Park was packed for three consecutive days – some  guests even complained that they had to look hard to find a place to sit! It was a great event for us.  We had our  small store at Ethnic Market, we listened to some  great tunes and had a lot of vegetarian delicacies to snack on. Rita sold several of her paintings and had a great time posing for pictures. This is what we call a life of a celebrated cat portraits! Meow!

Our biggest success, however was the cat drawing workshop for kids. The idea to teach the youngest visitors how to create abstract art was not new at all. For several years, we have been thinking of actually doing it, but for one reason or another, it was never used. It was Malicia who decided to give it a shot for the last time and the rest is history as they say. Many people stopped at our stand and discovered that painting could be so much fun.  It’s not as easy at it seems but you can start doing it  at any stage of your life.  The results are beautiful. Please take a look at the  pictures below to see for yourself!

Our guestbook was quickly turned into an art book by kids

Our guestbook was quickly turned into an art book by kids

Tell us what you think!

Tell us what you think!

Kids are wonderful creatures, we have to admit it. Give them a piece of paper, several coloured pens or markers and watch them create real masterpieces. They do not need much encouragement at all!  A simple “please tell us what you think” is enough to have them talking, laughing and drawing at the same time. Truly wonderful the mind of a child is” – Master Yoda was perfectly right on that (as about everything else too!)

Many kids approached us and took part in drawing classes, but we were only allowed to photograph only few of them. We are grateful to every parent that helped us to document the workshop and gave us their permission to picture the kids at work. Majority of adults were a bit suspicious and refused. We are not going to criticize them at all for doing this! The world is a big scary place and not everybody is honest. Please show respect to the kids and their wonderful parents and do not save or use those pictures anywhere. If you are parent/guardian of any child pictured here and you have changed your mind, please send us an email to rdabrowicz@yahoo.com We will take the pictures down if that’s your wish (but we will be very sad as we love how they turned out!) If you’d like to receive a bigger resolution of any photo – we’d like to hear from you too. Pictures are professionally edited and can be printed into posters of great quality. Let us know! (We will only send bigger resolution to family members – do not contact us if  you are a stranger!)

1. Samantha – the girl in yellow cardigan: six year old cat lover and a great artist.

Sam - The girl in yellow_cardigan

Sam – The girl in yellow_cardigan

Sam holding a framed picture of Tera, our mom's first beloved black cat!

Sam holding a framed picture of Tera, our mom’s first beloved black cat!

Sam's beautiful creation during workshop

Sam’s beautiful creation during workshop

2. Jaimelee – art lover and creator extraordinaire: 8 years old. She drew two cat pictures and we are know a real talent when we see it.

Jaimelee is hard at work!

Jaimelee is hard at work!

Jaimelee's cats

Jaimelee’s cats

another picture with excellent  depth and  a true abstract vibe. Puurfect

Another picture with excellent depth and a true abstract vibe. Puurfect

3. Sam and Jaimelee together – great minds think alike and great artists usually collaborate with excellent results. Sam and Jaimelee are sisters and the talent runs in the family!

Sam and Jaimelee thinking what to draw

Sam and Jaimelee thinking what to draw

And this is the end result

And this is the end result

4. Liam and Julian – two best mates and partners in art. Liam is 8 years old and Julian is 6 years old. Both equally gifted with real passion for kittens and drawing. Julian even named his creation Max. What a lovely name!

Liam and Julian concentrate on creating the best abstract artworks in the world

Liam and Julian concentrate on creating the best abstract artworks in the world

Creative process can be hard - Liam and Julian are doing their best

Creative process can be hard – Liam and Julian are doing their best

Liam's very elaborate cat

Liam’s very elaborate cat

Max - a cat made by Julian

Max – a cat made by Julian

5. Alissa – This four year old  princess traveled a long way to Malta from South Africa and she wouldn’t miss Earth Garden for anything in the world. She  sadly missed the workshop but was kind enough to  leave us a lovely picture. Thank you kindly Alissa, you are a great artist as well!

Alissa posing for a picture  after workshop

Alissa posing for a picture after workshop

Ali has a big heart and  left us beautiful comment in  the guestbook

Ali has a big heart and left us beautiful comment in the guestbook

 

Isn’t it wonderful? Art can bring the best out of everybody, that’s why we should create more. Forget about war, politics or conquests. Let’s grab some pencils and create something unique ! Don’t believe when they say that everybody is a critic. Everybody is an artist and that’s the truth!

It’s getting late so we need to go. Please visit us soon. We will show you some excellent artworks from adult participants!

xxx
Hug your cats (it’s an order!)
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz