Thursday, February 26, 2009


I found out today that the shared taxis I've been taking and calling dolmuş are not dolmuş but "minibus." Minibuses can hold up to 20 people whereas the dolmuş is a yellow van that seats about 8. The word dolmuş means "stuffed"— an accurate description as these vehicles are often crammed with passengers. I also learned that they are charmingly called sarı karıncalar, "yellow ants," by city dwellers for the zippy driving style of the drivers.

Please click on the image to see it larger.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

victory in a sandwich

The weather has been miserable in Istanbul, and having been spoiled by San Francisco's glorious climate, I am having a tough time adjusting. I desperately want to go out for a walk, but the biting wind and icy rain is not exactly enticing. To avoid cabin fever, I went out to walk around Istinye Park mall and have a quiet lunch.

I am at the point where I can read and understand 90% of a menu in Turkish, so when I saw the words for "fig" and "cheese"— two of my favourite things on this planet— I knew I would be happy. I learned from the tartine I ordered that the word for goat is keçi, as the cheese was of course, goat cheese. Discovering a new word in a language is a victory, I get so excited that I want to use it immediately and tell everyone I know about my new word. Which is of course, what I am doing now. Oddly enough I learned the word for water buffalo yesterday: manda. There are these yoghurt vendors on the side of the road by the forest that sell terracotta and plastic jars of manda yoğurdu, yoghurt made from the milk of water buffalo. I cannot wait to try it— I've been told the yoghurt is so thick, you can scape it with a knife! It seems the key to my learning a language is through my stomach.

Please click on the images to see them larger.

Monday, February 23, 2009

snow green

There's this amazing thing that happens every time it snows— the Bosphorus turns this amazing pale green. It only happens when snow is on the way or falling from the sky. I remember being mystified by the colour change when I was a little girl, and I am happy that the wonder hasn't faded. When I saw the green yesterday, I knew. The green is best seen close to water level, but you can get a sense of it in the photograph above.

I thought it would be magical to walk down Istiklâl in the snow, with a paper bag of roasted chestnuts. It didn't occur to me that coming down the hill would mean a slight change of climate, so I ended up taking a stroll in the rain.

In a little alleyway that had piles of clothes on tables and racks for sale, I was delighted to find this cute sweater for 5 lira— $2.93 with today's exchange rate! I can't wait for spring.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

the ones that didn't make it

The weekend has looked much like the photo above— cold grey skies with precipitation alternating between snow and rain. And mud, lots of mud. I have taken the opportunity to stay in and work on some artwork, read and eat cupcakes. Since I haven't anything exciting to share at the moment, I thought I'd post a few photographs I've taken that didn't make it into the previous entries. I hope you enjoy them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

yeşilköy market

The Yeşilköy market is enormous— large enough to get a little lost in. It's the same sort of wonderful mayhem as the Levent market, just bigger. There's a lot more stuff to rummage through and the little "cafés" seem less haphazardly put together. I noticed each café has a different tablecloth pattern.

Click on the images to see them larger.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Angry Women and The Candy Collective Coup

Finished and mailed off to San Francisco today! My Angries are set to be auctioned off for charity at the 2009 Junior League of San Francisco Fashion Show. The theme for the event is "The Art of Fashion," and I am just thrilled that my ladies get to be a part of it. The Junior League is a charitable and educational organisation of women dedicated to strengthening the community through volunteer efforts, advocacy and grants.

In some exciting news, my interview in the latest issue of Candy Magazine has come out! Candy is an independently produced downloadable magazine that showcases Irish and international creativity. I am honoured to have been included in such a beautiful magazine— the talent is truly inspiring and the design makes me swoon. Check it out and download this fabulous collection of work here— oh, did I mention it's free?

See the full interview on pages 75 through 79.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"broken cookies taste the best."

Sometimes cold, rainy-snowy Sundays are best spent indoors, in pajamas, baking cookies with your little sister. We made a batch of deadly peanut butter chocolate chip and a healthier banana oatmeal. Cookies that were not presentable were naturally sacrificed, accompanied by cups of tea or milk.

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With a full and content stomach, I continued working on my latest Coup and an Angry Woman, part of my Angry Women in Party Dresses series. I've been drawing my Angries for a couple of years now, and selling them out of a gallery in SF. This one is to be donated to The Junior League of San Francisco's charity auction at their 83rd Annual Fashion Show, which is on March 14.

The Angry Women started as fun workplace doodling and evolved into an actual series of ink drawings. They are highly fashionable women that are of course, angry. I have a great time drawing them, and sometimes envy them for their fabulous gowns and jewels.