• Carpathian harvest fairytale | totallybydesign.com
    Travel

    Carpathian harvest fairytale

    Fairytales happens when you believe in them. In the power of ordinary, imperfect, wabi-sabi that is….The power of little, but emotionally charged things, the power of imagination, the power of child-like (not childish!) enthusiasm. I headed to my hometown in Southern Poland recently knowing that some lovely objects are waiting there for me, thoughtfully gathered by my Father just for my photo storytelling. An old kitchen hutch, a table with peeling paint, but gorgeously preserved top by years of oil cloth cover up, a bench. They all come from an old log cabin home nestled on my parents property waiting to be re-invented, re-imagined and hopefully relocated, although this might…

  • Culinary Rome | totallybydesign.com
    Travel

    Wanderlust: Rome part II, the culinary adventure

    I did not expect to be so smitten by the food culture in Rome. I know, seriously, how was that possible? How many cookbooks on Italian cooking can be found in an average bookshop? How many cooking shows are out there? Well, I do have an excuse here – I hardly ever watch tv. But the true reason is different, and so prosaic…that is downright silly.  Years ago, I worked in an American-Italian cafe as a cook. Menu was very limited, and while the wood oven pizza, which I had nothing to do with, was great, the pasta with alfredo sauce or shrimp scampi must have turned my taste buds…

  • Rome guide | totallybydesign.com
    Travel

    Wanderlust: Rome, off the beaten path

    Rome has been a complicated destination for me, for years. The complicated kind of love…I remember days when I was in high school and one summer my brother and I tried to convince my parents to drive to Italy from our southern Poland home. We took the map, drew somewhat straight line, taking the Alps thankfully into account, and pleaded with all our might to head south. The car, a Polish Fiat, would probably survive the trip, my parents’ pockets, not so much. It was the old Eastern block days, when no one could travel outside of Eastern block, unless proved a significant amount of funds in dollars (!) available…

  • Trastevere, Rome | totallybydesign.com
    Travel

    Spellbinding Rome

    Rome deserves whole paragraphs, if not books, on its magic. Sometimes loud and colorful, sometimes elegant, sometimes understated and mysterious at the same time. It is impossible to separate history and contemporary life. Here are a few captured moments that evoke the spellbinding word to me most. Welcome to the corners of Trastevere, Rome.

  • London Guide | totallybydesign.com
    Travel

    Wanderlust: London Guide

    My recent trip to England started with a whirlwind day and a half in London. From the moment I resurfaced from the tube station at Holborn coming from Heathrow Airport, the game was on. I was meeting my brother for a day (him en route to Scotland, me making my way to rural Dorset), the time was short. We bumped into each other outside the station, what are the odds. Our meeting place was carefully pre-arranged at the hotel cafe, with plan B and C of course, knowing me…We dropped the bags and instantly headed down the first street that looked interesting. We meandered through Soho, posed for touristy photos…

  • Shaftesbury cottages | totallybydesign.com
    Garden,  Travel

    English cottages of Shaftesbury

    I saw the Gold Hill in Shaftesbury on Instagram some time ago and frankly, I thought it was at least a little bit doctored image…How could this fairy tale really exist! When I arrived in Shaftesbury recently for a photography retreat with Marte Marie Forsberg, I made sure to arrive the afternoon before. I needed my time with Gold Hill. I left the bag at the hotel and instantly went for a stroll through town. I admit, I was a bit chocked up when two minutes later, following the crooked path behind the church, I saw the cottages of Gold Hill. I even took a selfie (gasp!) for my parents.…

  • Candle tea and cake party | totallybydesign.com
    Travel

    Flower photography and visual storytelling with Marte Marie Forsberg – Part 2

    It always comes down to flowers for me. The slightest chance that I get to hold a few blooms and arrange them, photograph them, re-enact a ‘story’, and I am there. Never mind it is across the Atlantic. That is how I felt about this workshop and opportunity to style and photograph alongside Marte Marie Forsberg and her special guest Anna Potter of Swallows and Damsons. On a brisk March Saturday morning we stepped into a room filled with flowers. Not just any flowers. Flowers that you dream about, but rarely see by the bucket. Jonquils, lilacs, ranunculus, roses, tulips and lots and lots of eucalyptus and brambles! Anna did…

  • Bowl and flour | totallybydesign.com
    Travel

    Food styling and photography with Marte Marie Forsberg

    Back in November, I did a very brave and uncharacteristically rush and spontaneous decision. I bought, within minutes of seeing it going live, a spot in Marte Marie Forsberg’s “Flowers and Food Visual Storytelling” photography retreat. I remember somewhat frantically emailing Marie “where is it exactly”, having barely ventured outside of London in my UK travels. If you are like me, and follow Marte Marie on her Instagram for a couple of years now, you know the story of the thatched cottage, the rolling hills, the moody pubs…Traveling there seems like stepping into the mysterious fairytale though, bit like boarding the train in Harry Potter movie. Luckily, Marte Marie responded reassuringly…

  • Rabaul trekking | totallybydesign
    Travel

    Wanderlust: Visual storytelling, Papua New Guinea

    Ever wondered what that really means? I have dedicated 2016 to be my year of discovery, mindful travel, and observation. Last year’s 3 week trip to Papua New Guinea gave me an insight into conquering apprehension, hesitation, procrastination and…downright fear. I will always plan my trips meticulously, I will always give myself extra time to get from point A to point B, that is just my nature, but after that, I will let go.  Often you have to let things go, there is just no other option, like when you get stranded at the tiny airport, waiting for the engine parts to be flown in, or finding accommodation on an old…

  • Flat white Brisbane | totallybydesign
    Interiors,  Travel

    Australia: indoor/outdoor living

    This past weekend reminded me that I still have not posted my favorites from Brisbane visit this summer.  I guess, I needed a cooler weather to truly capture the feel of the city that seems to have perfected all season indoor-outdoor living.  Where the doors are always open (or gone altogether), where you warm up quickly by the fireplace in the morning with your flat white,  before heading out on the porch to eat.  As I watched my Sunday evening guests huddle around the grill trying to warm up hands (yes, I made everyone stay out as long as I reasonably could!), I thought about Brisbane… Then, there is flat…