<![CDATA[  Mauricius blog - Blog]]>Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:57:44 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[                                     Pros and Cons to visiting Santorini]]>Mon, 03 Aug 2015 22:09:02 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/pros-and-cons-to-visiting-santorini
Some of you who follow my Facebook page  will already know I was vacationing on Santorini. I stayed there for a whole week (7 whole days), so I got the chance to really explore it (renting a scooter helped tons!)
I must say I was a bit reluctant to book this last-minute deal on Santorini. I sounded a bit cheesy and touristy, but a couple of bloggers whetted my appetite by posting some truly amazing photos of Santorini and I decided to give it a whirl. I do not regret it as it really felt like being caught in a fairy-tale and dream-like post-card, but after a week of staring at sunsets and all that beauty, I left feeling like I've only touched a tip of an iceberg in terms of Greece's mysterious and beautiful history and geography.  If anyone is up for an in-depth exploration of Greek treasures in September, let me know!!
Hopefully a couple of pros and cons will explain how I felt about Santorini and maybe give you some useful insights.

Exterior design

This may come off as odd to put this in the first place, but it really was one of the things that startled me the most about this island. No stranger to Greek islands (I visited the island of Corfu in 2007), I was faintly familiar with great sense of esthetics the Greeks posses, but this has surpassed my memories and imagination. How can everything be so crisp, clean and colour-matched with the scenery? If Italians are my fashion heroes, I now know who to trust when it comes to combining the natural environment with man-made decorative and useful out-door decor.


We got this complimentary Greek meze in order to wait more easily for our orders. In "Mele and Thymari" in Kamari.
Pistacchio ice-cream with real salty pistacchios. What a delight!
A very charming candy shop in Pyrgos by the road.
Santorinian salat. Same as Greek salat, but all the ingredients are produced in volcanic soil of Santorini. Those leaves are pickled caper leaves, by the way. Super yummy, too :)
Greek platter in Pyrgos
Santorini's own locally brewed beer, Yellow Donkey (you can also get a Red and a Crazy Donkey) Tasty yet somewhat pricey. It's cheaper counterpart, also produced on Santorini, is called Volcan.
The best cakes in Santorini. Brusco bar, Pyrgos.
Sampling on some great Greek beers.

Here are only some examples of what you can get your paws at when dining out in Santorini. The best meal we've had was at Taverna Psaraki in Vlychada, where we had some really fresh blue fin tuna. I would suggest following your nose and you can hardly be dissapointed. Prices of mains are sort of reasonable when compared to Slovenian prices (10-15€ , but together with deserts, starters and drinks it can come a bit costly. 

Views & Sunsets


You can learn more about cycladic architecure here.


Beaches in Santorini are both varied yet uninamously distinct from any other beaches I've known so far. The most notable difference is that due to the island's volcanic origin, the send or pebbles (you can get both) is of black or dark grey colour. The other characteristic is that the sea gets deep quite quickly (with the exception of Eros beach). You can also find great bars next to most beaches,  serving  drink and food right to your door..., erm, sunbed.


There's something about Greeks' sense of aesthetics.

Getting around & other practicalities

Santorini is extremely manageable. First of all, it is a small island. The public transport (local buses) work well, though there is a junction at Fira, where you always have to change to whatever destination you are headed to. It's not too expensive either, with 1,60 € per ride. Taxis are available and our guide told us that the rides cost approx. 15 €. However, what is really cool about this island is the omnipresent rent-a-vehicle services. You can rent a scootor or other motorcycle, ATVs, buggies and cars of course. The prices are reasonable -  for example, our scooter costs 18 € per day, but we could have it for 15 € a day because we rented it for 6 days. That's 7,5 per person in exchange for ultimate freedom of movement!
Another positive thing about the Santorini is that it feels really safe. Unlike some other touristy destinations like big urban areas with lots of crime, it appeared that Santorini is composed of tourists and those who rely on tourists for their living. So why would anybody bother stealing ? 
AND, there were no mosquitos. There were no mosquitos! Not one, I kid you not. I am not sure why that is (maybe due tp its dry climate), because usually the destinations as south as this come with a complimentary bunch of these cute little fellas but not in Santorini ;-)
Even though Santorini is undoubtedly a very touristy destination, it did not feel crowded at all, and we were there in the peak season. It wasn't abandoned either. Just the right kind of crowded - for my taste, anyway.
As mentioned previously, Santorini is a thoroughly touristy destination. This means great infrastruture, convenience, cleanliness, renovated towns and restaurants, but it also means there are only a few places where you can enjoy in "genuine" island culture, whatever that is. The 10,000 or so inhabitants and a a number of seasonal workers coming from all parts of Greece amount to probably less than 10 % of all people staying on the island during the summer months, meaning you can't get a clear image of the island's genuine life, at least not during the summer months. So, if you are into that, I suggest going for a smaller Greek island, like the neighbouring Anafi, or going to Santorini during the autumn or spring months. A kind shop owner explained us that is much more empty and has many uncivilised beaches where you can go skiny-dipping at your heart's desire.   


Prices in Santorini are probably a bit higher compared to some other, less prominent Greek islands, but there are still some services or items that can be obtained cheaply. Some examples of prices:

Small beer: 2,50 – 3,00 €
Large beer: 4,50 €
Cocktails: from 9 €
Basic dishes like Pizza Marguerita / Spaghetti with tomato sauce: 6 €
Fancier main courses: 10-15 €
A glass of wine: 3-4 €
Gyros pita: 2-3
Soft drinks: 3-4 €
Frappe (Nescaffe with ice, the most common form of coffee): 3 €
Scoop of ice-cream: 2 €
Ticket for a local bus: 1,60 €

Last but not least, many of you must be wondering what it is like to travel in Greece with the crisis going on. Honestly, if I didn't know about the crisis I wouldn't notice anything special. Tourist infrastructure is fully functional and the majority of people you see there are anyway tourists. Lots of them are Greeks themselves, but nonetheless. People come there to enjoy the holiday and I bet the situation is similar in all predominantly touristy resorts. Only occasional depressed-looking faces remind you that not everything is as it should be, but overall, the waiters, shop assistants and other staff are, at least for the benefit of tourism income, braving the hard situation as best as they can.

                                                                     Overall verdict

For experience-hungry, I would recommend visiting Santorini for 2 or 3 days as nothing quite matches the unique views, finest examples of cycladic architecture and unique geology of the island. There are even some neolithic ruins to be explored in Akrotiri and some artefacts on display at the archeological museum of Fira. But after 2 or 3 days, I would suggest moving on to another island – there's a lot to be covered in the near vicinity – Anafi, Ios, Naxos, even Crete is not that far off. On the other hand, if you are looking forward to some fine wining and dining, staying in one place and soaking up the sun on great beaches while watching memorable sunsets, and doing some fancy shopping in the evening, you will enjoy staying longer than that (especially if money is not such a big object).
<![CDATA[Give the Girl the Right Shoes and she will Conquer the Dancefloor!]]>Mon, 01 Dec 2014 13:16:37 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/give-the-girl-the-right-shoes-and-she-will-conquer-the-dancefloor

I happened to chat with a couple of girls the other evening, and it was about shoes, one of my favourite subjects. Both conversations ended by me promising to send them the links to the online shops I have been referring to, so I figured: why not share this information on my blog, maybe someone else can find it useful?

So, here it is, my shopping tips for buying shoes for swing dancing or other occasions!

*disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies below and the views I am expressing are purely my own. The photos are taken from respective websites*

1. Re-mix Vintage Shoes, US

This US brand  is arguably the most popular choice with swing dancers around the world.

What I like most about these shoes is their beautiful intricate details and lovely colours, a very attractive combination of vintage design and fresh, vibrant colours.

As a comfort-driven shoe lover, I also appreciate the fact that they are made of extremely soft leather, reducing the "breaking in" time right down to zero (provided you get the right size) and the heels and soles are designed to ensure comfortable wear - I can, for one, attest to that as I had never before really been taken with wearing high-heels, but these shoes totally converted me! Also, as I am often between sizes, I very much appreciate the fact that they offer half sizes, so you can really get a shoe that fits as if it was made especially for you.

However, there are some specific problems to acquiring them, especially if you live outside US, so I prepared some hopefully useful tips, especially for EU-based buyers:

The sizing
I know many of you are reluctant to buy shoes online, because you are afraid they wouldn't fit. My advise is to find a re-mix shoes owner with the same size as yourself and try them on. You should also be aware of the fact that Re-mix sizing varies. For example: I am a European size 37 with narrow feet and my sizes in Re-mix are the following:
Boardwalk: 7
Anita, Bloomsbury: 6.5
Balboa, Emily: 6
Also, be aware that the width of your foot can affect your size. If in doubt, I would suggest dropping an e-mail directly to Re-mix and asking them for advice, they have always provided me with very informative answers ...

The fit
Even though re-mix generally makes comfortable shoes, some styles are less appropriate for dancing than others. If you are a beginner and especially if you are not used to wearing high heels, I would suggest going for a lower heel (e.g.  around 2 inches/ 5 cm). Also, it is very important that the foot remains stable and firmly set in the shoe while dancing - in my opinion, lace-up shoes are the safest (if not the most elegant) choice in this respect. I never wore heels in my life and I think Boardwalks were a perfect style to begin with.

You should also take into account that the soft leather tends to stretch with time, so a shoe might grow bigger, making slip-on styles most likely to become loose. Lace-ups and shoes with an adjustable strap are a much safer choice.

Customs charges
If you are based in EU and order from US, you will be faced with customs charges, which can be quite unpredictable, and depend on the total amount paid, country, ... and god knows what else. One of the girls I talked to had a really traumatic experience: in addition to 196€, which was the total price of shoes + shipping, she had to pay 75 € to the customs office - AND the shoes didn't even fit her in the end *yikes*
So, unless you know some tricks to keep these charges at a reasonable level, your best bet would be to have it brought personally by somebody travelling from US to your respective country.

Alternatively, you can order from an EU-based retailer; there is one (https://www.facebook.com/Remixshoes?fref=ts) that charges the same prices as the original webstore.  If you want to try the shoes on, you can visit their booth at some events (listed under "events" on their fb page). The shipping costs 20 € for up to three pairs.  All in all, this is quite a bargain, especially if you consider you do not risk any customs charges, the only drawback being that they have a limited choice of styles, colourways and sizes.
There are other EU retailers, but the prices are higher: http://www.revival-retro.com/retro-clothing/womens-remix-vintage-shoes and http://vinsinn.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=remix.

Another advantage of ordering from EU stockists is that returns are a lot cheaper and easier to handle.

2. Leodance, FR
 - http://www.disc-nroll.com/chaussures.php
I ordered these a year and a half ago and they work like a charm. At first, I found them somewhat less comfortable than Re-mix (partly because they were too big), but after a while,  my feet merged with them beautifully. They offer a couple of styles which you can customize by choosing your prefered colourways and materials. The prices range from 90 - 120 € plus 10 € shipping, with no threat of custom charges if you are ordering from EU.
3. Aris Allen, US
(http://www.arisallen.com/, http://www.dancestore.com/Womens-Dance-Shoes.aspx)
I have never owned a pair, but they seem to be pretty popular with swing dancers, at least some of the stlyes. They are relatively cheap and are available in several cities across Europe, too. See http://www.arisallen.com/retail_locations.html for full list of stockists.
For some more first-hand information on this brand, see http://lindyshopper.com/?s=aris+allen
4. Johnson Shoes, UK
Again, no first-hand experience, but they look nice on the website and they are highly customizable, offering not only all imaginable colours, materials (leather, suede, patent, nubuck), but also a selection of patterns (snake skin, perforated, crocodile skin), meaning you can actually create your own unique shoe.
5. Balboa Zin Shoes, South Korea

These look absolutely stunning to me - and they seem comfortable. If anyone dares to order shoes from South Korea, please let me know about your experience!
6. Ol' Woogies, IT
Some lovely wedges and the perfect flat saddle shoe!
7. American Dutchess, US

These are made out of leather, except for the soles, which are made of smooth fake leather, making them most probably danceable.
8. Tara Tango, US
Even if these are tango shoes, I have heard many a top-level balboa dancers(s)wearing (by) these ...
9. Saint Savoy, Austria
This is a new brand, to me at least, but they seem like a company that know a (swing) dancer's needs and there are positive testimonies by reknowned swing dance instructors on their website.
Psst, I heard it through the grapevine that they are holding a booth at LSSF 2015!
Last but not least, I would like to stress that there is no need to buy an established brand of dance shoes in order to find your perfect dance shoe. Different feet have different needs and even the best of these brands may not cater a style to fit your feet (no pun intended).

So, in addition to what I said above, I would suggest going to some nice shoe boutiques and searching for shoes that have a smooth sole (not neccessarily out of leather), a stable heel of moderate height and upper that firmly supports your feet, and trying them on, tirelessly.

Plus, if you intend to spend 150 € or 200 € on shoes anyway, you can get yourself an even better deal than you would when buying the above listed brands, plus you will look unique on the dancefloor, which certainly is something I value myself.

That being said, I am giving the (dance) floor to you! I know these tips are be no means exhaustive and there are probably more experienced dance shoe connoisseurs than myself around, so I would like to encourage you to write down any comments, reviews, tips, personal experience you may have and could be of use to dance heel shoppers!

Happy shoe shopping!

<![CDATA[Slovenia's less travelled destinations: Kostanjevica na Krki]]>Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:16:53 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/slovenias-less-travelled-destinations-kostanjevica-na-krkiHello, darlings,

no, I have not forgotten about you, you are always somewhere in the back of my mind and I finally managed to push writing a new post to the foreground. What can I say, lately, life has been generous with things to do on an urgent notice, phew :S

The weekend before, I visited a tiny town, which is situated on a small islet on river Krka. "Slovenian Venice", it is lovingly dubbed, and I became interested in it due to this article: http://www.mladina.si/161618/benetke-na-dolenjskem/.

I was intrigued by the fact that a town with 750 inhabitants produced as many as 40 currently living artists, active in different fields. Supposedly, it is due to a charismatic and ambitious grammar school headmaster, who equipped his school with donated paintings and statues by Slovenian artists of the highest rank. Additionally, the town hosted colonies and residencies for artists from all over the world. 

I just fell so much in love with the idea that if you are surrouned by art and professional artists since young age, you are more likely to embrace the idea of becoming a professional artist yourself. I grew up in the capital of Slovenia and certainly did not get such encouragment from my surroundings and I believe it is true for a lot of other Slovenians. Not the ones that grew up on this magical island boasting 11 artworks per person, though ;-))

Anyway, the trip was pure bliss, a sunny Sunday, filled with lots of exquisite art. At one hour from Ljubljana, and an entrance fee of only 3 €, it is well worth a visit. I am no art critic, but I personally liked the permanent exhibition better than the ones in Slovenian National Gallery and Modern Gallery combined.
Statues left by guest artists from around the world.
This is by no means the most representative selection of works. I encourage you to check it out for yourselves.
Can't you just FEEL the softness of this velvet?
I wish you an energetic start of the week!

Maruša XX
One of the beautiful views on our way back.
<![CDATA[Fresh Monday]]>Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:46:23 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/fresh-mondayHello,
how are you coping with this Monday? I was lucky to be outside, in the city center (I was demonstrating against our government's reckless privatization) just when the sun was kind enough to shine for a couple of 10s of minutes. I also noticed, after several days of heavy rains and staying mainly indoors, how colourful the foliage still is, I was so sorry I didn't have my camera with me. Next time.

I am recently trying to get back to painting. The external push came from the fact that a society I belong to holds a group exhibition on 11th December, so I have to stock up on some new works.  Of course, you will all be kindly invited to the opening, once the date is officially confirmed.
On the other hand, painting or any kind of creative activity is also good for fighting the depression that tends to sneak up on me as the days grow shorter and greyer. Yikes :P
work in progress
I hope this image sparks some good vibes in your grey Monday. I wish you a great start of the week!

Lots of sun,


<![CDATA[My favourite retro clothing shops]]>Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:10:23 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/my-favourite-retro-clothing-shopsI have been away quite a while, a flu caught up with me, but the good news is I am back from the dead and I prepared this small list of my favourite online resources for retro clothing which you can have a browse at, whether just to get some inspiration or to actually buy some cute ensembles to wear at swing parties, if you are a swing dancer, or some theme parties.
I will talk about retro fashion (or vintage-inspired, as I had put it in the title) and not pure vintage,


retro refers to a contemporary object or style containing elements of, but not replicating, an object or style from a previous era. (Urban dictionary)


vintage refers to clothing at least 20 years old, representative of their era. (An old white t-shirt is just an old white t-shirt, even if it’s from the 70s. High-waisted bell-bottom hippie jeans from the 70s, however, are iconic from that decade, and thus qualify as vintage.) Vintage can be used clothing, or it can be deadstock: clothes that were produced but never worn, still with their original tags. (http://psmundus.coop/)

*all photos and videos by respective brands/shops*

1. Lazzari

This one is quite pricey, but I do adore their collections and they are ever so sweetly presented. The dresses are usually made of silk or some other fragile material and thus only dry-cleanable, which is totally unpractical from my viewpoint. Nevertheless, I seriously consider buying some of their accessories (shoes, bags, belts) when they're on sale. It is convenient for EU-based buyers, because they ship from Italy, so no custom charges, but it's a 20 € shipping if you total price is less than 200 € (hello, collective purchases!)

2. Dear Creatures

Lovely designs and not too out of reach price-wise. Unfortuntaley, there come countries they don't ship to (among them Slovenia), but you may find some of their styles at www.modcloth.com or use some mail-forwarding service. Not too practical, I'll admit, but still lovely lookbooks to indulge in, wouldn't you agree?
3. Orla Kiely (http://www.orlakiely.com)

This one is definitely way out of my price range and probably that of most people I knew, I daresay (a dress at 400 €, anyone?), but it is still lovely to watch her presentations, because who knows when one might win a lottery ... A girl can dream, right?
I chose this one because it actually involves dancing to jazz music. I am not too sure about the dance though, is it waltz, tango, ...? One thing I am sure of is that it is not swing dance :) Nevertheless, a lovely video to watch :)

And, of course, I am not able to resist anything with a "Wes Anderson" signature:

Doesn't this just make you  want to go camping, study butterflies and, erm, wear some pink berets? Totally adorable, music included!

4. Pepa loves
Really cute and affordable things, whimsical retro with a Spanish twist. Need I say more? Ok, here's some photos :D

5. Rock my vintage
This is actually a multi-brand store, stocking several retro clothing labels, but also genuine vintage pieces. It is a lovely site to browse through, and is UK-based.
6. Asos
Not exactly specializing in retro wear, but it does have a vast selection of styles and brands, and due to the fact that retro IS on trend, you can easily find something that ticks this particular box . Plus, there's free shipping!
Here are some suggestions:
And that's it for now! I wish you all a lovely evening!

<![CDATA[Shopping in Trieste]]>Mon, 06 Oct 2014 17:37:23 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/shopping-in-trieste
Hello darlings!

 Yesterday I went shopping to Trieste with my friend, Jasna. Theoretically, the journey lasts only 1 hour by car (from Ljubljana), but if you include the time you spend orientating about town + looking for parking it amounts to 1.5 hours. Still, a small journey like that and you enter a whole new gelato-flavoured world. 

The idea was to look for shoes (loafers to be exact), because in my opinion, Ljubljana has very few nice shoe shops + the weather forecast promised much nicer weather towards to West. :) And it was really quite hot in the middle of the day, I could have gone bare-legged.

The whole shopping experience was actually beyond expectations, even though I didn't quite get what I came for. This wasn't my first trip to Trieste, but I am continually suprised at how beautiful its architecture is and how its shops are full of spirit, making a shopping experience much more interesting than your usual visit to the mall, which I personally find almost unbearable.
Notice the art deco details?
Apart from a great selection of shoes (and clothing as well, but I was mainly focused on shoes) - most of which were beyond my price range to be honest - the extra bonus were these adorable looking old-school shops that looked like from another era. Take a gander at this shoe shop, for example - isn't it charming, as if time had stopped in there or like from Wes Anderson movie? And it is not something that has been made recently due to vintage being on trend, but rather that has persevered, and stayed intact throughout the decades.
Another thing I really liked was that the center not only has clothes boutiques and restaurants, but shops specialising in some basic things, like cleaning supplies, making the city center actually livable, as Jasna had put it.
Jules-Verne-20,000-leagues-under-the-sea diving helmet. Steampunk ftw.
I finally opted for these heavily discounted lace-ups, I think they were quite a bargain. Very good-looking Italian design, with lots of attention to detail and the uppers made entirely out of leather.  They have this bohemian feel to them, and are slightly out of my comfort zone, but definitely not uncomfortable to wear!
Last, but definitely not least, tiresome shopping deserves a reward. We were positively impressed by the service of complimentary peanuts, chips and cucumbers along with the sandwiches.
Ciao a tutti!
Have a nice Monday!


<![CDATA[Summer Memories]]>Sun, 28 Sep 2014 22:27:49 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/summer-memoriesHello, lovelies,

as autumn collections are seriously beckoning even to me, a firm believer in that summer should be dwelled upon, invented, imagined, as long as possible, maybe now that autumn had officially begun (I know I know, it's almost been a week now, but hey), it would be about time to acknowledge the end of summer by making a small summary and start looking forward to autumnly delights. Have you given it some thought? What are you autumn must-dos / must-eats, / must-wears for that matter?? I was pretty successful at ticking off pretty much all my summer resolutions (http://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/summer-resolutions), but they were all more or less about indulging. The autumn resolutions, apart from hiking and admiring the autumn foliage colours, picking chestnuts and sampling must, should probably involve fresh beginnings, new plans, new hobbies and exciting stuff to look forward to as the evenings start to get longer, colder, even depressive. I will keep mine private for the time being, but rest assured I will keep on sharing whatever inspires me right here, on this blog.

Meanwhile, I am leaving you with some highlights from this summer.

@ one of the oldest theaters in Europe, Hvar town
Bois de Vincennes, Paris
Mura river, Slovenia
With Jasna
With Patty Diphusa
Eva @ Schengenfest
Lunch with tap dancers
Hvar island
That's all folks!
Happy start of the new week!


<![CDATA[Paris is always a good idea. Is it?]]>Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:15:04 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/paris-is-always-a-good-idea-is-it
How many times have you been to Paris? None, one, two, or more?

The day before yesterday I returned from my third to visit to Paris, and even though the trip was fine in the end (the last two days), I experienced a whole array of different feelings, not all of which were entirely positive. But let us start slowly.

  • Having a picnic in Bois de Vincennes (an alternative to Bois de Boulogne, which you might have read about in the works of Henry Miller or some other authors).
  • Mingling wiz ze »French« - 2 Chinese, a bunch of Bulgarians, a Cambodian, 2 Swiss (Bulgarian euphemism for people from Maghreb), a Serbian, a Bosnian and some other that were possibly half French => c'est ça la France
  • Feeling French vibes while sitting in a corner café with Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame in front of you. #lifeisgood
  • The inside of the Sacre Coeur – really nice ceiling and mosaics with lots of gold
  • Rowing a boat on a river and sending a message in the bottle to the potential rescuer, messing with swans, which can get aggressive if you bother them, which we can't help but ;-)
  • Beautifully contrasted works by Mapplethorpe and Rodin in Rodin's museum
  • Strolling through Marais, a Jewish/gay/alternative district … was surprised how gay-friendly Paris is (but then again, maybe all big cities are?), and how multicultural it is, and how us, Slovenians, are sooo straight and monocultural and it is not like that everywhere, thank god!




  • Counting how many times a person can get lost while looking for a particular house number on a U-shaped street, only to find the Café des deux Moulins, where Amélie worked in a movie, much smaller and less charming than what it appeared in a movie and not even sitting down to have a drink.
  • Walking while looking at a widely open map, only to feel a sudden pain in solar plexus (hello there, street pole!). Ouch!
  • Visiting two museums in one day and painfully realising your legs and mind/concentration, can't cash the checks your ambitions have written prior to boarding on project »Paris«.
  • Trying to reconcile male and female views on how to go about orientating in a big city.

It's been a long time (maybe more than 5 years) since I embarked on tourist endeavour the size of Paris and with so many famous and see-worthy tourist attractions you are bound to bite off more than you can chew, no matter how smart you think you are having bypassed the Eiffel tower and the Louvre. I also realised the spirit of travel depends a lot on who you're with or who you meet. There is only a limited amount of »tourist sites« a person can digest (well, also maybe depending on how you like them or how new they are to you), so incorporating a lot of social activities and time to do relax and do nothing is as important.

I curated a couple of photos just for you, hope you enjoy them! :))))

Sacre Coeur - a must!
I wouldn't much recommend going to Versailles. It's kitchy and void of any artistic value. Or if you do, get an audio guide and you may get some scoop on what was going on in this Marie Atoinette's bedroom, haha.
Versailles Gardens
Picnic in Bois de Vincennes
Duck face
A peacock
Dear Saviour! We have lost ourselves in the middle of our lives. We have been shipwrecked on the rocks of our trashed illusions. Please help us if you can or at least send some legal drugs. Give it to the ducks as the swans can get aggressive if you mess with them. Thank you. (The message was sent via empty bottle of red wine, but we have so far not received any word of solace, nor drugs for that matter. Will keep you posted on any developments, so watch this space!)
Rodin's museum:
Lisa Lyon looking almost like a male bodybuilder, wouldn't you agree?
"The kiss" detail
Happy tourists ...
Croque Monsieur & Croque Madame
Going out
So, what do you say, which is your favourite way to travel? Solo, in a couple, with one friend or a bunch of friends? Stay in a ho(s)tel or find hosting with the locals?
<![CDATA[From Faros to Hvar]]>Fri, 05 Sep 2014 12:10:52 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/from-faros-to-hvar I know, know, it appears to be a full-blown autumn, here, on the sunny side of the Alps. Alas, I happen to have the last of my summer adventures to post about, so bear with me, ok J Or, better yet, indulge vicarously in this summery atmosphere haha!


Of course, we had missed our ferry by a split second, but on the positive side, we got to experience this beautiful sunset-tainted colours on our ride!
When we arrived to Stari Grad to find a camping site there, it was already dark. But we took a stroll and the town and it had proved surprisingly clean, well-lit and well-maintained, full of palm trees and even lively (though the main party scene is actually in Hvar town). There was a loud party that could be heard all over the place, but that did not prevents us from falling asleep, we were sooo tired!

The next day, we decided to explore the island. First on our list was Jelsa, which was as pretty as any coastal town, with buildings aligned around the harbour.
It nevertheless sports this thoroughly un-orthodox souveniur shop:
Beach #1 - part of a naturist camp near Vrboska. Pretty cool shingle beach, all in all.
Beach #2 - Milna. The prettiest beach we've seen on the island. There is however a possibility to go swim on some islands near by (Pakleni otoci), which we haven't tried out this time around.
Changing cabins with a vintage twist.
We opted for "vagabond" travelling style and cooked all our meals ourselves (save for occasional slice of pizza). It is pretty convenient if you already have a car to drive all the utensils around.
Ze chef at work!
Voilà - delicious risotto frutti di mare (with canned tuna, actually :D)
Hvar town - finally. I was so anxious to see it, reading so much about it in the guidebooks. Was actually smaller than I expected, the shopping was ok, though somewhat mediocre (it almost comes as a rule that the most genuine souvenir shops are to be found in less popular destinations), but all in all, the nightlife was truly exciting and accomodating to most tastes (we even found a swing/jazzy bar with live music) and the tourist crowd was interesting enough to indulge in people-watching. Sadly, no paparazzi snaps this time, I have yet to master this skill! ;-)
Bloody Mary
On our last day, we visited the "Tvrdalj" - a sort of fortified residence that a renaissance nobleman and a poet Petar Hektorović built in order to protect himself and his friends from invaders. I find it really fascinating how "sea resorts" like Hvar and also Korčula, had such rich histories and were actually at their peaks during the renaissance period, having a great influence in the region at the time, only to slip into oblivion for a couple of centuries, after which they were revived as touristy destinations in late 19th /early 20th century.
Fish pond
The Garden
The place is full of metaphysical inscriptions in Latin.
Under the Tree of Knowledge?
Coming back to the title of this post: Faros, meaning a lighthouse, was the name the Greeks gave to the island. But when the Slavic tribes came, the word was difficult for them to pronounce, so they dubbed it "Hvar". I can only guess how strange this may seem to any speakers of non-Slavic languages. 
Sućuraj / I have been intrigued by lighthouses ever since I saw Wes Anderson "Moonrise Kingdom" and would find it incredibly romantic to live in one. This one can actually be rented for holidays, so who knows?
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this last summer whiff of a post and are ready to kick start into Autumn! Any particular plans/resolutions? I will try to come up with some, just like I did for summer, haha ... turns out I ticked off most, if not all of the items on the list. Anyways, more on this in one of the next posts, so stay tuned!



<![CDATA[Hopping the Adriatic - Korčula]]>Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:16:10 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/hopping-the-adriatic-korcula
This little guy hopped on our car in Dubrovnik. It must have gotten bored, spending its entire life in only one city. I don't know how, but it managed somehow to get all the way to Korčula.
On our way to Korčula. A view from Pelješac peninsula.
Grasshoppers, Mexicans, you name it!
Taking the ferry ride to Korčula. Impossible to capture those immense stretches of blue!
This secluded bay was part of our camping site (Camping Vrbovac). Very still, perfectly clear blue water.
Morning face No. 1
Morning face No. 2
My first impression of Korčula was that it is much more culturally genuine than Dubrovnik. Lots of young creative people there. Art galleries were more original and less commerically orientated, there was live music in several bars, with some really groovy and accomplished musicians. I was suprised to find two designer stores in such a small town, both stocking carefully curated pieces by reknowned Croatian fashion designers.
The old part, hiding behind the walls, has an interesting leaf-shaped structure, supposedly to protect it form wind and sun. Houses are aligned like veins in a leaf.
Another interesting fact is that the town claims to be the birth place of Marco Polo. In addition to a Marco Polo museum, there is also a chain of Marco Polo themed stores scattered around the town.
Land Gate / Kopnena vrata
These kinky sculptures are to be found on the facade of the cathedral.
This reminded us of Ljubljana.
Another view of Korčula town.
We also drove to a port town called Vela Luka, which is some 50 kilometers from Korčula town, on the opposite extremity of the island. Some photos from there:
I really liked this eclectic art gallery. Some "winter" necklaces made of wool, mosaics, earrings, watercolours as well as paintings with maps incorporated in them, some of which were not even for sale. Loved it!
These may seem a tad unprofessional, but they contain so much more spirit than the tacky pieces you would normally find in coastal art galleries.
Funky mosaics on the pavement.
This is one of the smallest churches I have ever seen.
Last, but not least, I would like to remind you that I am taking part in the Big Blog Exchange competition, which, is "... a unique project where 16 passionate bloggers swap blogs and countries with each other simultaneously for 10 days - and share their experience with the world ..."

If you like my blog and would like to contribute to me becoming one of those 16 fortunate bloggers, you can vote for me by filling in your e-mail address and then confirming the link in your e-mail, here: http://www.bigblogexchange.org/profile/2014/5735088218177536

Thank you so much for your support!

Watch this space for more hopping adventures!



<![CDATA[Dubrovnik Diary (part two)]]>Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:36:39 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/dubrovnik-diary-part-two
Being accustomed to Croatian coastal towns, Dubrovnik struck me as an odd mix of familiar gastronomy, architecture and natural environment on one hand, and multicultural, colourful and even stylish tourist crowds, that could be seen in any major tourist capital city of Europe, on the other.
Lots of pretty ladies in golden, strappy, studded summer sandals wearing trendy summer dresses and playsuits. Large Italian (extended?) families – they seem to have this knack for travelling in groups of 10+, surprisingly high number of French-speaking (mostly young) people, as well as a handfull of Asian tourists.

When I visited Dubrovnik for the first time some 15 years ago with my parents, I got the impression it is all just about the old town, neatly packed behind those walls, but this time, as I was staying some half an hour walk from there and a 15-minute walk to the nearest beach, I discovered just how vast an area of the Dubrovnik municipality is. Thanks to this year’s heavy rains, the greenery was really luscious and present everywhere; in the parks, along the roads and even among densely built houses.

As for the beaches, there are several “city” or “hotel” beaches in the area, full of deckchairs and parasols, which are for rent for 40 and 30 kunas, respectively. I can’t say too much on behalf of those, except that the water is nicely clear and in really nice shades of blues and turq. On other, less civilised parts, the coast consists of rugged rock, making the access to water quite difficult. That being said, I am sure locals know and go to places they keep for themselves and possibly, if you make some effort, you could discover them yourselves.

As already mentioned, Dubrovnik covers a vast area, and using a car is not exactly the most optimal choice, especially cost-wise. Parking fees apply almost everywhere and they rise to as much as 25 kuna per hour (around 3.3 €). Public transport is well organised and easy to use, but no less expensive – a single ticket costs 12 kuna (around 1.5 €). Bringing a bike, a scooter or a motorbike could be the answer, though the up-and-down terrain makes the first two options somewhat less attractive. Which leaves you to a whole lot of WALKING, which I did, most of the time, but it made up for my daily exercise.


Dubrovnik, especially the old town, is possibly the most expensive city in Croatia, but most definitely the most expensive sea resort in Croatia.

A couple of examples:

A pizza slice: 23 kuna (you can find one for 14, but looks much less yummy)

A two-way ticket for a funicular going to the hill above the old town: 100 kuna (14 €)

A milk coffee on the Stradun (main street): 23 kuna

A traditional beard shave: 30 kuna

Last, but not least, a few words on my tap-coloured evenings. There was a tap festival taking place during the week I was in Dubrovnik, Boštjan attended the workshops and I joined a couple of evenings. The best party took place on a boat and I was surprised by how relaxed the atmosphere was. One of the most striking and positive things about this festival overall was that there were so many children and very young people (mostly from age 8 to 18, but there was a couple of older people as well). I truly don’t understand how swing dancers can brag about swing encompassing “all generations” when there is hardly any children learning how to swing dance. In Slovenia, there are even very few high school students envolved. Also, teachers were much more integrated and approachable than I have experince with swing festivals, but I was told by tap dancers that this festival is unique also in this way.
A world-class tap teacher dancing with an 8-year old kid.
I hope you enjoyed this post, next post will be about the island of Korčula or Korkyra in Greek, so stay tuned!

Also, if you like what you see, don't forget to vote for me on this link:


Lots of sun :-)


<![CDATA[The Pearl of the Adriatic]]>Sat, 23 Aug 2014 10:33:04 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/the-pearl-of-the-adriatic Enchanting the likes of George Bernard Shaw (one of my favourite historic figures, btw), Lord Byron and Napoleon, as well as the Game of Thrones set - Dubrovnik will hardly set to disappoint anyone!

And it is HOT in here! With the summer weather playing such poor tricks on us this year, it is a welcome end-of-August experience of the quintessential Mediterranean summer, the kind we remember from our childhoods.

Some fast facts about Dubrovnik for the uninitiated:

- It is situated on Croatian coast, on the very south of Dalmatia region, near the border with Montenegro;

- Dubrovnik is famous for its walled old town, dating back from the Middle Ages;

- It acted as a wealthy, independent city-state for prolonged periods of time in history;

 I tried to study some extra functions on my modest camera, so here are some of the results.
The building to the right reminds me much of the famous Doge's palace in Venice.
Renaissance-style architectural details can be spotted all over old town.
A much-needed rest by the fountain on a balmy evening. Summer bliss!
The detailing on this door almost seems art-deco-ish. Any thoughts on that?
As in all touristy places, there are quite a lot of tacky souvenir shops around, but you can always find some precious exceptions, like this one here.
An old-fashioned barber shop
This is my last full day in Dubrovnik, I have been here for a whole week already and I have lots more material to share with you guys, so stay tuned for that  and don't forget to vote for me if you like my blog. :)

You can do so in two short steps: 1. you enter your e-mail 2. you confirm your vote in the email sent to your adress.

This is the link:


Big hugs,


<![CDATA[Schengenfest Review (Friday)]]>Mon, 04 Aug 2014 14:45:37 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/schengenfest-review-fridayI decided to attend Schengenfest, because I wanted to visit at least one music festival this summer (http://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/summer-resolutions). The music performances were supposedly very good (die Antwoord, Laibach), but I did not enjoy them so much, which may be because a) I could barely keep my balance on my heels, which got stuck in the mud, inhibiting any attempt at dance b) I was not drunk enough c) I am not a fan of these particular music bands d) I am musically challenged (but that's another story). 

I also did not like the fact that the festival was so commercially oriented (maybe Grossmann festival (http://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/thats-gross-man) had spoiled me) - they introduced their own "currency" - a plastic card with partially refundable deposit, which I lost the first time I used it - I thought it was fairly unpractical, because you couldn't pay anywhere with cash, and the food and beer prices were slightly exaggerated.

Nevertheless, trips are fun, so I enjoyed the whole affair with some good 'ol laughs with the best of girls, swimming in the ice-cold Kolpa after a night-long accumulation of filth (both from inside and outside), and generally enjoying nice hot summer weather! (I will nevertheless choose my summer festivals more carefully next year!)

Here are some pics:

On our way there ... still looking good!
Me trying to emulate "the summer festival look".
I love this picture!
This nearly 50-year-old Laibach Singer was SO hot! (The pictures don't do him justice at all.)
In the mood!
Some fine South African asses - die Antwoord
After-the-show look ...
The morning-after freshness
Some people are evidently naturally resistant to after-festival grumpy looks ...
This is what Schengenfest did to my boots! :D
Hope you enjoyed this post!

Lots of summer moments to y'all :-*


<![CDATA[My First Animation!]]>Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:55:43 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/my-first-animationThis animation came into existence a couple of weeks ago, when I attended an animation workshop. I was not overly ambitious, because I was afraid I would give up before finishing. But at least I managed to get some idea about the process of making an animation. I don't think I will pursue this as a hobby, though, as I have my hands full as it is. ;-)

Now I only have to figure out which song to choose for the background. Suggestions welcome :)

Happy Thursday everyone!

Maruša xxx

<![CDATA[That's Gross, Man!]]>Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:03:50 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/thats-gross-man Not really. Or not predominantly, for that matter.


Grossman Fantastic film and Wine festival is all about (not necessarily in this order): camping, smoking, wine-drinking, concerts, zombies, documentaries, lame low-budget horror films, hanging out, bathing in Mura and partying 24/7 if that's your cup of tea (erm, wine;-)).


Apparently, there were some good quality films that were screened (some people told me), but I did not see any.


Ah, and that Ljutomer! I did not expect it to be this big, it is actually a real town (I apologize here to all the genuine Ljutomer inhabitants for this condescending statement, blame it on my ignorance / the fact that I am, after all, from Ljubljanopolis :D), with a real big square that many a Slovenian town could be proud of! The serving staff in bars and restaurants were SO friendly and hospitable, everything was affordable and within reach.


Needless to say: I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! (well, starting from 12 hours after arrival, when the assimilation phase was over).


What I love also is that the festival was small enough to run into same people over and over again, yielding the impression that, by the end of my stay, I had gotten to know half of the participants, which is, I warn you, only an impression, considering there were people there that I knew, but have not come across one single time during my stay. Nevertheless, you still get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside.


FINAL VERDICT: I'll see you there next year J


Some photos that definitely don't capture the spirit of it. You should come see for yourselves J

Naturally, we got lost on our way there. So we took advantege of the sunflowers in the background to take this picture.
Storks. Prlekija reminds me a lot of Prekmurje. Which is not surprising, because they are so close to each other. What I find even more interesting is that the architecture of houses reminds me of those I saw I Vojvodina a few years back. Must be something to do with the Pannonian Basin ...
Morning coffee ... luckily we had a bar just 30 meters from the camp - pure luxury!
A famous Slovenian punk band - Niet. Complete with mosh pit.
The most over-looked Slovenian singer-songwriter, political activist and rebel: Marko Brecelj.
Zombie in the making ...
Zombie in action ...
At the screening ... a nice change from +30 degrees Celsius
No comment.
<![CDATA[In the Land of Blue ...]]>Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:24:43 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/in-the-land-of-blueI am just dropping by to say a quick 'hello', before going off to a film festival (yes, yes, keeping up with my summer resolutions:  ).

Last week, I tried to combine work with pleasure, so I moved my office to the sea-side, only to find out it was extremely tiresome ... of course if was hard to resist the temptations of lying on the beach with those infinite strecthes of blue, jogging along the coast at sunset with all the wonderful pinks and blues and greens, visiting charming neighbouring towns ... and then working at night, on a less-than comfertable chairs and desks haha :D. Still, I managed to catch some tan along with some precious visual experiences, see the photos below for reference ... 

<![CDATA[Four Seasons in the Life of a Swinger]]>Wed, 09 Jul 2014 18:03:34 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/four-seasons-in-the-life-of-a-swinger Hey everyone!


It is summertime, which is a sort of downtime when it comes to our local swing scene, with regular Tuesday nights suspened, leaving us to ad hoc gatherings and local or international summer camps . Incidentally, I have come to a point where I have to re-think the role of swing in my life. Where is this lifestyle leading me? Where do I want to go with it?


Thinking of this made me realise that this hobby has a seasonal nature to it: let me propose a brief, less-than-perfect and unpretentious pattern of an average swing dancer's life cycle:


  1. SPRING. You acknowledge a desire to learn the art of swing; whether you've seen it on TV, in a bar, or a friend told you about it - you google to find some info, find out you don't need a partner to sign up for workshops and BAM, you find yourself shopping for dotted dresses and/or suspenders and going out to your first social dance. Especially if you're a follower, you start social dancing practically at once, a whole new world opens up, you meet new friends, a charismatic dance instructor, or maybe even a person of the opposite sex you feel attracted to. You are mesmerised by the performances of the more experienced/seasoned dancers and you want to be just like them (or die trying). By the end of the season, your classmates persuade you to attend first workshops, be it national or international, and you become even more enthousiastic by the new horisons that open up.

Lindy shock 2008
  1. SUMMER. In the summer of your swinging-life, your entire life takes on a swingin' lifestyle and your mentality is submerged by plans about which moves and  routines you have yet to master, which dancers you want to dance with, which international workshops you want to attend, etc. If you're more of an ambitious type, you may find a dance partner to practice your moves with. All your extra money is being invested in swing workshops, your travels revolve around dance camps and maybe you've proceeded from one polka dot dress or suspenders to a handful of pretty vintage inspired ensembles.

Herrang Dance Camp 2012
  1. AUTUMN. After summer's over, you will have decided, depending on your skills, motivation and talent for one of the following options:

        1- pursue a career as local swing dance instructor, perfomer, maybe even choregrapher.

        2 - if not, you may have to opt for another additional role within the scene: a photographer, organiser, DJ, gossip spreader, hair stylist, local swing band member, vintage fashionista, odd piece of inventory etc.


    The truth of the matter is - if you stop learning new moves and/or going to international workshops, you may find your inspiration withering. Unless you are willing to invest sufficient funds, time and effort into acquiring new knowledge, it becomes increasingly difficult to enjoy it, because your dances with individual dance partners become routine, unchallenging and dull. You may then venture to related disciplines, such as blues, west-coast swing, or even indulge in blasphemy and take up salsa or tango.

    Or, you become a regular piece of inventory and find satisfaction in the smallest of pleasures: talking and dancing to newbies, flirting, socialising  – and dance itself ceases to be the main point of attraction.

Blueberry Blues 2013 / photo: Anže Grabeljšek
  1. WINTER. Depending on the outcome of the previous season, you either stop completely, or change the frequency of coming to swing events, from only going to events you're involved in due to one of your secondary roles (DJ, organiser, …) or only attending  a couple of »gala« events on a yearly basis (grand openings, local festival parties, and the like).

Christmas swing party 2013

<![CDATA[Summer Resolutions]]>Wed, 25 Jun 2014 21:40:39 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/summer-resolutionsHowdy!

Summer officially started 4 days ago, so I am a wee on the late side to announce this year's summer's resolutions, but considering the summer weather has not been on its best behaviour either, I might as well be granted a pardon. I must admit I was so looking forward to this summer and I will do everything in my power to make it is memorable, energizing, beautiful and fun as I possibly can.

So here's a liitle wish list for my summer, if only to serve as little reminder or an inspiration:

1. Meet new people, make new acquaintances, sharing laughs, stories, ideas, and reasons to be good ol' happy :)

2. Enjoy summer beverages on warm summer days and evenings: ice coffee, cocktails (I am particuarly inclined to try out the Bloody Mary, which I have so far been avoiding due to its reputation of being disgusting). Nothing better than staying out in the city, bare-legged and yet completely warm even in the evening/at night!
3. Visit at least one summer festival in this part of Europe. My current favourite would be Grossman Fantastic Film and wine festival in Ljutomer:
4. go camping with my sweetheart, preferably in the wild.
5. Attend as many barbecues as I can. Summer = barbecue!
6. Spend as much time as possible at the sea-side, even if I have to work, it is still nicer to do it in the Mediterranean climate!
This was my selection of summer must-dos, I am curious if you have any of your own, or at least variations thereof :D

Lots of sun everyone!


<![CDATA[A Wes Anderson Inspired Illustration]]>Tue, 10 Jun 2014 23:58:14 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/a-wes-anderson-inspired-illustrationAs mentioned in my previous post, I am moderately infatuated by Wes Anderson's aesthetics. By "moderately", I actually mean that I have taken to googling stuff like "how to dress your home like Wes Anderson movie", "how to dress like a Wes Anderson character", etc. As it happened, I came accross some other, non less interesting Wes Anderson "how-to's", like this one - "How to turn your life into a Wes Anderson movie":


But before venturing into any serious home decor investments, I've tried to think of other creative ways to recreate the interiors atmosphere of Wes' movies. I was foremost inspired by his tendency to put labels everywhere, providing the viewer with a clear sense of structure, notion-wise, character-wise as well as space-wise:

Following Wes' idea of structure, I thought of putting a label on the door of each one of the rooms in my apartment, starting with bedroom:
The drawing is supposed to be a list of all the main objects in the room as well as typical activities taking place. It can also be viewed as a sort of cross-section of the room, something Anderson just loves using in his films:
 I will try to persevere and continue with other rooms as well, in order to really get the point through 8-).

I hope you enjoyed this post and I'll see you soon, hopefully :D

Lots of creativity,


<![CDATA[Latest Obession: Wes Anderson]]>Sun, 25 May 2014 15:23:52 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/latest-obession-wes-andersonHello, lovelies,

how have you been? As for me, I have been quite busy, admittedly, but I finally got un opportunity to catch my breath and share a little something with my blog readers.

I have recently become quite obsessed with Wes Anderson. It all started about two years ago, when I went to see his film Moonrise Kingdom, which, apart from being an endearing story of two 12-year olds falling in love and escaping into the wilderness, boasts a truly perfected aesthetics, which is evident from its meticulously designed sets and costumes:

Of course, my choice for next year's Shrove Tuesday was made at the moment of leaving the theatre:
I rediscoverd him a couple months ago, when I went to see his new film, Grand Budapest Hotel, which was followed by my borrowing The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Express from the library. I have yet to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Fantastic Mr. Fox (animated movie adapted after Roald Dahl's story), Rushmore and Bottle Rocket. However, the beauty of Wes's films lies in the fact that you can watch a movie over and over again and you will still find new and charming details that eluded you the first time . So, some serious endulging ahead :))) I could write a great deal more on Wes Anderson, but I will leave you with this sweet piece of commercial work he had done for a new Prada perfume - I think it pretty much encapsulates  the essence of Anderson's film-making approaches and as well as his aesthetic preferences:
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this post. I wish you a lovely Sunday (or whatever has left of it) ;-)



<![CDATA[ A song I can't get out of my mind lately ...]]>Wed, 21 May 2014 00:20:05 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/-a-song-i-cant-get-out-of-my-mind-lately... is "Le temps de l'amour" by Françoise Hardy from 1964. It's in French and it is a bit nostalgic (therefore sad), which, as my friends would know,  I normally despise, but this one has kind of stuck on me ... it talks about being in love at the age of 20 :) It also has a quirky psychodelic riff in the background AND was included in the soundtrack of Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson. More on that in my next post. For now, I hope you enjoy this tune as much as I do ;-)
#wesanderson #60s #music



<![CDATA[A Recent Drawing in Pencil]]>Sat, 19 Apr 2014 13:45:58 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/a-recent-drawing-in-pencilI was recently inspired by some really well-made all-pencil drawings. I was amazed at how realistically a subject can be portrayed by means of a simple pencil on paper. So, I started working on a drawing of a lindy hop couple. Unfortunately I got into one of those "it's-gotta-be-perfect-moods" which usually completely blocks my creativity. Consequently, my perfectionist aspirations made me so saturated by this drawing that I ran out of energy, before got round to do the full-scale shading and rendering of the background I had planned. But hey, who knows, maybe one day I will finish it ;-)

Can somebody guess who the couple on the drawing is? Hint: they were one of the teaching couples at LSSF 2014 ;-)

I wish a Happy Easter to those of you who observe it, and a great weekend to everyone!

xx Maruša
<![CDATA[Watercolour portraits]]>Sat, 29 Mar 2014 23:20:45 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/watercolour-portraitsHey everyone!

It's me again, back from the dead 8-)

I've been away a while without any proper excuse other than life itself and I thank you for being patient with me.

Now, as I think I announced earlier, I am trying to do watercolours and the time has come to attempt some portraits. I realised portraits are quite hard to do well in this technique, but it is feasable if one has a good drawing as a base.

Please do not laugh at this crazy-dark-eyes portrait - it turned out rather goofy, but I like it all the same to a some extent:

The problem here is that the eyes as well as the eyebrows are obviously too dark in comparison with the rest of the colours. The same mistake I did with the portrait of my dad. The thing is, one sees eyes for the colour that they are in real life, forgetting that the darkness should actually be adjusted to the rest of the colours used. Huh. one learns all the time, no? :) 

I did not give up at my first attempt, so here is my try #2, Anna Calvi:

I am actually quite happy about the way this turned out, especially because the initial drawing wasn't too good.  I like the eyes better than the lips though.

Well, that's all from me now, hope you enjoyed this post! :)))

Lots of love,


<![CDATA[Retail therapy vs. "art" therapy]]>Sun, 23 Feb 2014 21:53:03 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/retail-therapy-vs-art-therapyI have been on a self-imposed shopping ban for 2 or 3 months now AND it has not been easy at all! I did not quite realise or admit it to myself before, but now that I am not allowed to do any shopping unless it's absolutely neccessary (which, sadly, rarely happens :P ), I am experiencing mild symptoms of withdrawal, therefore I can not lie to myself any longer - I was (I am?) addicted to shopping, at least to a certain degree. I was thinking what to do about this. The winter sales took off and the spring was approaching with its fresh SS14 collections and a certain number of summer shoes have found their way into my mind, taking way too much of my random access memory. So, what I did is I drew up a list of my current top 5 dream pairs of shoes and do what I do a lot lately to unwind: draw and paint them out of my mind!
1. Clarks and Orla Kiely collaboration. A decent pair of summer shoes actually IS one of those rare investments I need to make this year (currently, I only own a pair of sporty pink-coloured flip-flops and white canvas sneakers, neither of which rise up to te stature of a proper summer shoe, do they?) and these are my current number one. The only con is that they're a bit pricey (150 € including shipping) and I can't try them on. Recently, I've experienced so many dissapointments when buying shoes online that I am little reluctant to spend so much money for something I will only wear to justify the purchase, despite the discomfort they may be causing to my feet. Did I mention how much I dislike uncomfortable shoes? I'll rather not start just now. So, here they are:-

The natural colour makes them so versatile I think they would go with just about any article of summer clothing I own. The chunky 5,5 cm heel seems promising comfort-wise and is at the same time a high enough heel (I dislike completely flat sandals or shoes in general). The upper part of the sandal is made of leather, it seems like it is made to last AND it has been designed by Orla Kiely! A designer whose line of clothing I have been admiring form afar, but which is sadly significantly over-priced for my budget. Maybe this is a unique opportunity I just HAVE to take advantage of!

2. Next on my list is a pair of Re-mix. Swing dancers now what I am talking about, but for the un-initiated: it's a brand known for great comfort with its buttery soft leather and lovely designs which copy original styles from 1920s - 1960s. I have been wanting a new pair of Re-mix for ages and this is the pair I have set my eyes on currenty:
My only doubts about this style is that it may not be so durable due to its soft leather. I use the other pair of Re-mix I own only for dancing, so I don't know how these would cope with a day-to-day wear.

3. These cherry T-bar sandals are just too adorable to bear! I have been wanting a pair of Miss l fire shoes for a long time now, but I just can't seem to pluck up the courage and get a pair. One of the fears I have is that these my look as cute as hell, but would I actually wear them? They steal the show in their own right due to their rich ornaments and details, but I don't think I can afford to build a whole new wardrobe just to be able to wear them. And I probably only have one or two things right now that I could wear with shoes like that. Decisions, decisions ...

4. This is another pair of the brand I mentioned earlier and they are discounted because they are from the previous SS collection, but that's about the only pro (erm, well, of course they are cute- this goes without saying) I can think of: I am seriously doubting their comfort as well as the matching factor I pointed out above. It is a shame, because they would look great at one of those aloha hawaiian parties I am so fond of!
5. These shoes are not something I would seriously consider buying, but they are pink and scattered with gems! What more could a princess want 8-)
I now declare my "art" therapy experiment officially over! I realised just now that not only drawing, but also articulating my desires have a soothing effect. If nothing else, when I was finished drawing the third of the five styles I was lusting after, I wished I had wished less! Thank you for putting up with me through this therapy!

I'll be more than happy to learn about your current SS14 obsessions and any suggestions you might have for overcoming unreasonable, unwearable, over-priced objects of desire ;-)))

Lots of love,


p.s.: You can now stalk me on bloglovin'. Just click the button on the sidebar.
<![CDATA[Trip to Lille part 2]]>Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:05:53 GMThttp://marusabarle.weebly.com/blog/trip-to-lille-part-2Only 40 or 50 minutes away from Lille by subway, there is a town called Roubaix. It would be just like any other French town, but the reason it is worth visiting is its museum with an art deco style swimming pool dating from 1920-1930. It is called La Piscine (i.e. French for swimming pool). But to our surprise, the museum also hosts a very nice collection of paintings by excellent, although not so famous artists, statues, pottery and even textile exhibits. Here is a brief tour:
A cathedral of Roubaix
In front of the museum :)
I just love how this artist managed to capture people's emotions ...
True drama ... (this is part of the same painting as the photo above)
In awe ...
I hope I managed to capture the atmosphere of this beautiful gem of a museum and you enjoyed this quick tour ... I just love smaller, less pretentious museums hiding little treasures like these, don't you?

I wish you all to take time to observe the beauty around you!