Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Café in Istra

One of the first (non-profanity) Croatian phrases I learned was “Želite li nešto za jesti?” or “Would you like something to eat?”  In Croatia, food is a way to welcome someone into your home.  It is a thing to share and to appreciate. 
The phrase “eating on the run” does not translate. You don’t see people walking around drinking out of disposable cups or eating paper-wrapped food.  I have never seen a Croatian eating alone in his car, which is a disturbingly common sight in America.

My inspiration for this month’s challenge: I found the extraordinary in the ordinary in a small café in Groznjan, Istra, Croatia.  In this tiny town of 785 people, accessible only on foot, you can find half a dozen tables set just like this.  Even on a picnic table over wooden benches, you’ll find water and wine glasses, plates, silverware, and of course olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 
Themel_Istra (3)

In Croatia, meals are enjoyed at the table.  As in, sitting down.  For a length of time.  Preferably with friends and family.  A meal can be anything from a couple slices of bread and cheese, a little gelato, a slice of pizza or a 3 course seafood dinner.  But in every case, the point is to stop whatever else you’re doing and savor it.
Technical details: mostly cotton fabric except for the glasses, which were made with silk organza. All attached with raw edge applique and sewn with free motion machine stitches.


  1. Oh....I so admire how well you see and interpret what you see. (Looking forward to my next issue of QA magazine too...so I can see more of your work. Congratulations!

  2. So true about the eating and food culture Kate. I will be visiting relatives in Slovakia this year and eating and drinking! is all part of the experience.
    I love the transparency and reflections you expertly capture- it makes me want to be in the picture.

  3. I love your thread work Kate! you create such depth and dimension with simple shapes and colors. My father used to say that Americans "eat" while other cultures "dine". I love to linger over a meal with family...

  4. You have produced wonderful luminosity and depth! Bravo! Kate.

  5. Good advice for everyone....to slow down and embrace the ordinary, the day-to-day. You've captured the simplicity of the table so magically with the all of the glassware - I'm just in awe!

  6. The Croatian phrase brings you a new view of life, and it also reminds me of the trip to Croatia in 2011. Everything was just like you said. Your work also reminds me the beautiful scenery! Amazing!

  7. A truly inspired rendition of an ordinary scene, with beautiful threadwork, as L-M said! Croatia sounds like a place I'd like to savor.