After a very long and cold winter, spring has finally arrived. Brace yourselves! The trees might feel confused because it’s warm all of a sudden, but they certainly try their best to catch up.
I had plans you know… Each year I’m visiting the magnolia trees with my best friend. We take pictures and just admire its beauty. Never missed one since I’m in Szeged. This year was different though. They began to blossom very quickly. I wanted to shoot some portraits, I even found a model. Last Monday after work we were heading to the trees on Széchenyi Square. And then there was nothing… There weren’t even petals under the tree.
It made me very sad that I missed it this year, but instead I was shooting pictures of other natural beauties. There are thousands of colourful tulips as well in Széchenyi Square, they are certainly worthy of attention. Then I went to my hometown, Kecskemét for the weekend and took some shots there as well in Deák Ferenc Square and my parents’ garden.
Wishing all of you a beautiful spring! I hope you find beauty around you.
It’s time for me to tell you that I love fairs! I always have that homey feeling and I’m curious what creative things I’ll discover that day. This is how I found Beton Botanika, that unifies my love and collecting passion for succulents and an awesome idea.
Lady Fraise (LF): How did you come up with the idea to use concrete for pots and jewelry?
Beton Botanika (BB): The idea came to me in 2015 when we were renovating our house and I started to deal with concrete as a material. I was looking through many foreign home desing magazines and concrete was starting to become more popular for indoor coating and as decoration. I was amazed by how simple, pure and unique this material was. Since I had all the ingredients at home to make concrete, I started experimenting with it in my free time. I started from classic concrete, that is used to make pavements, but I figured out quickley that it can not be used for smaller objects. So a long experimentation started to find the perfect consistance. At the beginning, I only made pots and after that I started making jewelry as well, mainly things that suited my style. I found out soon, that you need an other consistance for them, so a new experimentation phase started.
LF: What is concrete like? Is it hard to work with? BB: Concrete consists of 3 ingredients: cement, water and gravel. With the adequate proportion of these you can create this steady material. For pots and jewelry you need a very smooth mixture, and you can only achieve this by decreasing the size of gravel grains. Many people ask me: isn’t concrete too heavy to wear? But it’s wearable indeed, I always tell them to try my necklaces on to see how slight they are. This misbelief about concrete being heavy comes from its original use for building houses, while we usually measure gold in gramms.
Concrete is nor a feminine material to work with. The stock itself is very heavy and you need some strength for shuffling and transporting as well. There are not so likeable works, like grinding, but the consequence pays off all the trouble. I do think that despite of the weigth and rigidness of concrete, I can make very feminine objects from it.
LF: How is a pot made? What are the technical facilities you need? BB: First you have to mix the dry ingredients of concrete than add the right amount of water. The quantity of water is the key, because if the mixture becomes too dry, you can not work with it, and if it’s too fluent, the concrete will become too weak. Then I put this mixture into silicone or plastic mould. The procession ends with alienating the waterbubbles with shuffling techniq. A couple of days later the concrete solidifies and I can remove them from the moulds. The whole hardening process takes weeks. Hot weather and quick drying can make concrete useless, so it is important to keep it wet for a while. I make many kinds of pots: traditional grey and white cement, I can add some oxide staining to it or later decorate it with acrylic painting. I try to make a wide variety of products. Concrete goes great with geometrical forms and it enchances how pure it is, or by using acrylic staining I can make marble-like staining or basically anything else.
LF: What inspires you while working?
BB: I think it is important to always have something new. A new shape, new colours or a new pattern. The black, white, gold, silver an animal patterned pots are very popular so I try to intergrate with seasonal and holiday themes into these as well. The creating process is so interesting, because you can only see the definitive colours after it is fully-dried.
LF: Where can people find you creations?
BB: Beton Botanika is a novice enterprise, so people can not find them in stores. I always take my creations to Bödön Piac in Szeged, which takes place on every second Sunday of the month in Szeged Pláza. I have a Facebook and an Instagram accounts, so I can take online orders that I take to my customers or post them. I’ll try to show up on other fairs in this region or maybe in Budapest too.
LF: What are your plans for the future?
BB: I’ll try to pass my creations on to more people, so they would know that concrete can not only be used for achitecture but for decoration to an office, a living room or children’s room. The forms and patterns are varied, anyone can find something they like. I also think that because we can not spend that much time in the environment, we could at least try to surround ourselves with plants. On one hand, they are very pretty to look at and on the other hand, they can make us think. These succulents may need less caring than other indoor plants because they store water in their fleshy leaves. With the animal patterned pots we can show our children how to live in harmony with nature inside our apartment. Jewelry like clothing is a form of self-expression, many people like to play with accesories. If somebody wants a simple but unique jewelry, it takes a lot of time to find the right one. Concrete as jewelry material has a lot of possibilities itself, but I couldn’t create half the things I planned yet. You can always play with forms, material and colours. The purpose is not to think only of greyness associated with, but to be brave enough to wear astounding things.
90. Szél Street Opening hours: Open every day! In January, February, March, November, December: 9:00-16:00, in April and October: 9:00-17:00, in May and September: 9:00-18:00, in June, July and August: 9:00-19:00
Tickets: 1600-2400 HUF
Click here for more information!
Every summer I visit my good friends, the meerkats in Szeged Zoo. These sweet little animals from South Africa are very happy to meet anybody and they are ridiculously photogenic, so this was a great opportunity to test my Nikon.
The world’s first zoo was founded in 1828 in London. The one in Szeged was opened in 1989. The founders started collecting animals already in 1985 and it consisted of 3 monkeys, a giant snake and a couple of deers and boars. Right now it’s the biggest zoo in Hungary (45 acres) and has a large collection from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and South-America as well.
Although I like this place, it makes me think every time. The sad thing about zoos is that animals are taken away from their natural habitat and they may not get all the things they need (for example: enough territory or proper food). But on the other hand a lot of zoos are now joined to the European Endangered Species Program to help animals that are close to extinction and also if someone finds an injured animal you can take it to Szeged Zoo and they’ll take good care of it. Their main job is to educate about all the species you can find there and of course you wouldn’t be able to see 95% percent of these animals in your lifetime. So it’s really not easy to decide what would be the right solution but maybe a little kid who today is a visitor will become a saviour someday.
Tropicarium and Oceanarium Budapest
37-43. Nagytétényi Road, Budapest
Opening hours: Open every day! Monday-Sunday 10:00-20:00
Tickets: 2000-2700 HUF
Although Hungary doesn’t have actual seas, there is a place in Budapest where you can easily learn about the animals living in the ocean. The ‘zoo’ introduces the Hungarian fauna side by side with tropical and sea animals. It currently has 7 sharks and 400 different species of fish. It is the place where you can pat rays and see sharks swimming above your head. In the rain forest room you can also observe how alligators spend their days and every Thursday at 15 o’clock you can see the feeding of the sharks by two zoologists. In addition, there is a room full of exotic birds and sagoins.
I have to admit that I have already been here more than once and I’m still amazed by the colours of the sea animals and often get excited in the gift shop. 🙂
Resting upside down is how all the cool people are doing it
Plitvicka jezera, 53231 Croatia
Opening hours: 7:00-19:00
Tickets: 35-100 HRK
Click here for more information!
My first trip to Croatia was absolutely amazing! It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and it brought my closer to nature. It is the ultimate hiking experience anybody can ask for. But if you are tired, you can also hop on a boat and just enjoy the view.
The Plitvice Lakes are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It is Croatia’s largest national park and consists of 16 lakes. These lakes can be divided geographically into Upper and Lower Lakes. The turquoise colour of the water is simply stunning and clear as a mirror. You can see curious little fish and brought down trees that are now covered with chalk. There are countless waterfalls. Even when you are walking on the stairs you can see them under your feet.
Waterfalls in Plitvice
The complex consist of 296 m2 and there are hiking routes from A to K (A is the easiest and K is the hardest). The highest waterfall is called Veliki Slap and is 78 m tall. Wedding ceremonies are often held here.
Veliki slap, the highest waterfall in Plitvice
Although the symbol of the park became the bear, you can only see them on postcards and magnets. But don’t you worry! Squirrels, lizards and friendly ducks are happy to great you.
It’s hard to say goodbye to such a beautiful place, but the view from above is also priceless. Hope I can come back someday.
When you cross the bridges water literally flows under your feet.
All my life I only had one pet. A turtle called Louisa. She had a very chill personality and was a great listener. Sadly, our lives led different ways after three years spent together in happiness. Since that I’m in a sorrowful and petless condition. Only my grandmother’s cats can chear me up. May I present you to Snowball? Or as I call him in my head, Chimera, which is so much cooler, right?
Chimera in Greek mythology was a very scary creature composed of more than one animal parts. Chimera means something else today. It’s in connected to genetics and it means that ‘a single organism composed of cells with distinct genotypes’. So two embryos that fused together, making animals (in this case a cat) look like it’s two different patterns. The most famous chimera cat of the world is Majestic Venus, who has a green and a blue eye, her fur is brown on one side and black on the other.
Genetics can play some funny games. My Chimera is different and he is beautiful.