Mittwoch, 30. Mai 2012

Same, same but different...

Ich muss gestehen, ich träume schon lange von einem wunderschönen, handgetöpferten Geschirrservice. Einheitlich, schlicht, schön und doch jedes Stück individuell. Leider ist Töpfern immer etwas kompliziert, da man ja auch eine Gelegenheit zum Brennen braucht, und überhaupt muss man das erstmal so richtig können. Naja, jedenfalls, bisher sieht es in unserem Geschirrschrank noch so aus, wie zu meiner Studentenzeit in der WG. Alles ist bunt durcheinander gewürfelt und aus den unterschiedlichstens Perioden meines Lebens. Hat auch was schönes, wenn ein Geschirrschrank Geschichte erzählt. Das soll er ruhig auch weiter tun. Trotzdem, so ein schönes Set für besondere Momente und Gäste ist ein Herzenswunsch. Bis der in Erfüllung geht habe ich aber nun eine andere Lösung gefunden, inspiriert von der wunderbaren JenMun(a), deren handbemaltes Geschirr mich in seiner Schlichtheit einfach verzaubert hat. Zunächst wollte ich mal ein Set Tassen haben die zusammen passen. Ich fand auch direkt die passenden weißen Tassen, groß und trotzdem mit einem dünnen Rand, genau so, wie ich es mag.

Dann haben Aaron und ich erstmal die Porzellanmarker ausprobiert und haben zwei alte kleine Tassen damit bemalt die ich noch rumstehen hatte. Sehr originelles Design ist draus geworden :-)

Für die richtigen Tassen habe ich mir dann bei Pinterest noch viel Inspiration geholt. Und bin dann auch fündig geworden. Leider kann ich für das Bild keine Quelle finden, da der Link nicht funktioniert, sonst hätte ich gerne dem Urheber Kredit gezollt.

Vor dem entgültigen Design habe ich noch viel herumprobiert und mit Farben experimentiert. Letztlich ist das Türkis mit dem Marker entstanden, das Grau aus Schwarz-Weiß Mischungen aus dem Töpfchen mit Farben die ich noch hatte: 

Mal sehen, vielleicht stelle ich mir so nach und nach ein ganzes Service zusammen...

P.S. Not joining Ginnys for Yarn Along today, since there was not a lot of knitting going on last week. Instead I designed my own mugs. I am still dreaming of my own, hand pottered dishes, maybe one day I will own it but until then I want to at least serve coffee in simular mugs from now on...

And how do you like this old and redesigned teapot I found in a store for handmade items last week? It looks almost like a doodle with a marker and it's brilliant I think! I really have to start looking for plain thrifted dishware.

Dienstag, 29. Mai 2012

Gratitude - Dankbar

It is your family.
Let your feet dangle.
Don't pass on your responsibility.
Say clearly yes.
Say clearly no.
Lay down on the earth with your child and watch the stars.
Be brave.
Do what you are afraid of.
What is really beautiful today?
Mind your own limits.
Say clearly "I don't know"
Walk barefeet through the wet grass.
You only owe yourself.
Show it when you are happy.
Show it when you are sad.
Sing out loud and wrong when you are cycling.
Enjoy the wind in your hair.
Read books that make you feel good.

Manchmal gibt es Tage, da gibt es so vieles für das ich dankbar bin. Eigentlich gibt es natürlich jeden Tag viele Dinge, aber an manchen Tagen ist das Glück einfach greifbar. Ein solches Glück kam heute mit der Post aus Österreich. Wunderschöne, selbst fotographierte (!) Karten, liebe Worte, und ein Fläschchen Heilung für meine chronisch verstopften Nasennebenhöhlen, eine Huflattich-Tinktur von Maria vom Kreativberg. Hab ganz, ganz lieben Dank dafür Maria! Ich liebe auch die Worte auf der Karte, sie sind so ermutigend, das tut gerade sehr gut und gibt mir das Gefühl doch manchmal etwas richtig zu machen mit meiner Familie, denn das lange Pfingstwochenende war voll solcher intensiven Momente mit meinem Kind und uns ging es wunderbar damit eine dreckige Wohnung zu haben und stattdessen einfach den ganzen Tag im Park sitzen zu können. Mit Hilfe meiner wunderbaren Schwester (auch bekannt als Tante Auto) habe ich dann am Montag sogar meine gefürchtete Steuererklärung hinter mich gebracht, mit Schokokuchen mit Sahne lässt sich so etwas aber auch viel besser verkraften :-) Und es tat gar nicht weh und wir bekommen tatsächlich sehr sehr nötiges Geld zurück. Ich verstehe wirklich überhaupt nicht, wieso es mir immer soooo schwer fällt. Im Nachhinein bin ich dann so dankbar, dass es geschafft ist.

There are days when I am so grateful for everything. More then usual. Like today, when a little package of happiness from Austria arrived at my door. Maria had send me wonderful cards and homemade coughwort lotion for my chronical sinus problems. The words on the card she send mean a lot to me, they encourage and make me feel like sometimes I am doing the right thing caring for my child and my family the way I do, not minding a dirty house and rather spending a wonderful Pentecost weekend outside in the park. On Monday my dear sister helped me to master my tax return. Supported by chocolate cake even stuff like that can be kind of fun and I wonder why it always seems like such a burden before it is done. Especially since the outcome results in some very much needed cash return.

Sonntag, 27. Mai 2012

Reaching out for Summer

This is really my very favorite time of the year, I can smell summer just around the corner, but I still enjoy the fresh early mornings, the chill of spring. And the days are getting sooo long and bright... There is so much to do and I have really got into preserving the treasures of the season. But first let me introduce:

This lovely lady arrived here yesterday. Isn't she lovely, my dandelion-girl? What a star at the natural table she will be! Thank you so much Marta!

I have been to the zoo today, work wise, with my clients. Nathan is gone all weekend to visit a friend in bavaria so Aaron came along too, he is not very interested in most of the animals (yet?). Maybe he is like me and prefers the closer look, the direct touch. The only picture I took in the zoo was the one of poppys and some blue ones, oh those colors...

Are you surprised I had to add some more color to myself? The few hours a day that we spend at home are mostly spend on the balcony. It is really amazing how much can be done in such a small space.

Aaron talked to his dad on the phone, in a language only he understands (my mum thought it was some African language first but it is mainly Aaronish). I love how he copies us exactly when he "talks" on the phone.

And last but not least the latest harvest and preservation actions: I just had to buy some more rhubarb so I could fill a few jars with jam, Next to strawberry, rhubarb jam is my very favorite and its hard to find in the stores. Maybe I will make even more but I am running out of jars at the moment.
Good the elderflower syrup will get filled up into bottles and some of it frozen in ice cubes. And the spruce tops have to wait at least three weeks before I need a jars for the cold syrup. Thanks to Martha again, for instructions and link. Spruce and elderflower I have all harvest just behind our house, I had never noticed any of those possibilities last year. Blogging rises awareness for such things!
We will try to squeeze in as much late spring living into this weekend as possible. Are you joining in?

Freitag, 25. Mai 2012

{this moment}

Joining Soulemama today for (this moment): A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Mittwoch, 23. Mai 2012

Yarn Along

Knittin and reading. My favourite things to complete a perfect day. So I am joining Ginny on Wednesdays for Yarn Along to share my passions with you. Come and join in if you like!

Oh how I wish my days had more then 24 hours. There are so many things I want to do, so many projects in line, books to read, posts to post, people to love, hours to spend in the sun and than there is work that wants to be done, meetings to attend etc. And I just absolutly love to sleep, I need a minimum of 8 hours to really make it through my day without downs.  So just a short post today to yarn along a little. My latest project on the needles (with my second sock from last week still not finished!) is this vest for Aaron. I wanted a simple, smart looking pattern, to show off the yarn, some handspun gotland sheep wool I got at the sheep festival last week. I plied it with some blue but over twisted single my sister gave me to free use. Mixed with the grey it is so lovely. Knitted up it reminds me of a forest lake shimmering in the moonlight. The ball is almost finished though so there needs to be a lot more spinning...

Suiting my rather limited reading hours I have got these days, I found this 40 pages book (The man who planted trees) in the library. Such a wonderful treasure! Its a bit like a fairy tale about a shepherd in the french alps who planted trees for many decades and by that rebuild a complete, dying landscape. A story about sustainability, believe, the strength of men power and simplicity. The story has been illustrated by one of my favourite illustrators, Quint Buchholt but that edition only excists in German. But there are some other nice editions available in English. This book also make a wonderful present!

Happy Knitting!

Montag, 21. Mai 2012

Oh sweet Rosemary...

There is a reason why rosemary is known to be an appetizing herb. I just have to spend some time at our balcony and there it is, this craving. I think rosemary is my all time favourite herb. Yesterday that resulted in some late night baking. The plan was to bake rosemary cookies but after I combined butter and sugar I found out we had run out if eggs so another batch of scones it was, only I substituted the raisins with a handful of fresh rosemary. They turned out lovely and just right with some chai latte.

All you have to do is:

preheat oven to 180° C

mix 100 gram butter, 
50 gram sugar, 
15 gram baking powder 
300 gram flour
a pinch of salt
until they resemble bread crumbs.

add aprox 150 ml milk very carefully not to stir too much, just combine wet and dry
put the mixture on a greased tray
form a flat circle and cut into a cake of eight pieces.
bake until surface gets slighly brown.

Cut open while still hot and enjoy with melting butter. 

Sonntag, 20. Mai 2012

Sewing Season

Something had to be done about my thread spools. They kept twisting and knotting and unwinding in the box I stored them in. They made me not want to do any sewing. Pinterest helped again! I saw a very inspiring picture of a thread holder which strangly enough turmed out to be by my africa traveling friend Lori. How small this creative blogging world can be at times... Anyway, Loris picture made me remember one of the driftwoods board I found at the shore back in March. And it was finally brought to use by piercing it with very, very many nails. Aaron wanted to sit on my lap the whole time, so nailing was a little challenging...

But we made it!

And I am very happy with the result.

May I introduce you to me precious little sewing space? We live in a rather small rented apartment of 64 qm ( 689 sf ) and I am so happy to have this little space to myself, always set up and ready to sew (except when it is very unorganized). You can see Nathans working out zone being right next to it...
The yellow drawing of a person is me, drawn by one of my clients, so well captured I must say!

It was about time I prepared my sewing space as some presents needed to be whipped up soon. The first thing that got done was a tool belt for a newly four year old busy worker (a friends son). Aaron didn't want to try it in so some drift wood had to do the job.

And my mum finally got her belated Mother's Day present, a Burlap Garden Trug, designed by Maya and shown in the first issue of Taproot. Oh how I love that magazine!

Now, after the first fast projects, I feel ready to get started on my much thought about and never actually begun quilt made from my grandmums old aprons (btw the belt on the tool bag is a belt from one of her aprons). And Barbara sent me a wonderful push up so, it has to be done, no more excuses! If you don't see any results in the next week or so, please keep pushing me!

Freitag, 18. Mai 2012

{this moment}

Some time back, Soulemama came up with this wonderful tradition:
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -

Mittwoch, 16. Mai 2012

Yarn Along - Cover up your needles!

Knittin and reading. My favourite things to complete a perfect day. So I am joining Ginny on Wednesdays for Yarn Along to share my passions with you. Come and join in if you like!

Last week there has not been too much knitting but I finished the first sock that I showed you last time. The one here is the second one but I forgot to take a picture of the finished sock although the colorway is very interesting and worth showing... Sorry about that. I will show you the finished pair soon, hopefully... 
Today I want to show you something else though, I prepared a little tutorial for you, because yesterday I got tired. Tired of loosing the stitches off my needles all the time. That happens because I carry my knitting with me all day in a small bag that is getting draged in and out of my backpack constantly. And at home there is this very vital toddler... 
I needed something to cover my needles. And I needed it soon. It was night and there was no way I way going to do any shopping to solve the problem. So some upcycling it was:

I needed some material that would be strong enough to stop the needles from poking through it yet flexible enough to cover them and keep them together. That's when I remembered the broken tire from my last bike repare. Lucky me... But you can basically use any strong flexible material such as leather, tarpaulin etc.

I cut two 5" (12 cm) from the tire and opend them on one side.

Then I used a round item to draw a circle of 3" (7,5 cm) onto the tire and cut it. Repeat with the second piece.

I marked twelve spots (like a clock) and pinched holes through the tire pieces.

For the next step I used two strong elastic strapes (the blue one in the first picture turned out to not be strong enough but I found some brown left overs) and pulled each of them halfway through the holes as shown in the picture. Repeat the same with the second circle.

I fixed the elastic with a knot at both ends pulling the circles together as good as I could.

Last I tied the two pieces together. The length of the elastic should depend on the size of your needles. The elastic should be under tension when on the needles. Done! Such a fun way to upcycle!

I hope my tutorial was helpful for you.

 Oh, and I almost forgot, of course there has been some reading, even a lately rather rare visit to library in fact with some good outcome. A book about dying with natural colors, a knitting book for women of weight which I was very, very happy to find in the library as it has been on my waiting list at Amazon for month now and an easy reading murder mystery (only available in German) located in Brittany/ France which I read on my train ride to work these days. All of them make me happy on different levels, just like knitting different projects at the same time for different ocassions. You know what I mean, right?
But for now, I will hop over to Ginny and see what you have been up to last week. I see you around!

Happy Knitting!

Sonntag, 13. Mai 2012

Celebrating Fiber

First, of course, I want to wish all of you mums a wonderful and happy Mothers Day! 

Since I gave birth to my son I realize how I have started to find a deeper and more intense connection to the rhythm of the seasons. In nature and our home. I really want to show him all there is, this earth is offering us in plenty and I love to watch him while he discovers his world step by step.
There seem to be so many beautiful things happening around us every day if we just find the time to stop and appreciate them. Having started writing this blog and especially reading how you fellow bloggers live the seasons has added to this feeling even more. In the last weeks I have read some blog entries about sheep festivals and I was filled with excitement just by the thought of such a great event. 
A festival for fiber... I so wanted a tradition like that to be a part of our seasons too, just like I read this morning on Rhythm of the home. But I was sure, I would not find anything like a sheep festival anywhere near Cologne. Until my lovely sister, Aarons Tante Auto, a great spinner, asked me yesterday if we wanted to join her today to go, exactly, to a sheep festival. Did we want to go? You can imagine my joy...
The festival toke place in a very pretty open air museum, a small village that showes how people have lived in that area in the last centuries. You can watch all the old crafts, the farming, the living and today, plenty of sheep and other farm animals. Let me take you on a tour if you don't mind:

Here they are, the sweeties, still sweating with all that wool on there bodies...

... here they get undressed. It was a hilarious sight to watch this big ram sitting on a small stage, very patiently in a position like this, getting warped very naked. A wee bit like a peep show...

They had very many different breeds to show, this is a black German Heath, with very impressive horns.

A very smalll German Heath, a fully grown up dwarf version, so cute but very serious...

I just wanted to sit down and join in if I had only brought my wheel.

So much yummy stuff. I really had to hold close to my wallet.

The older kids could join in all sorts of activities, like felting, spinning and other crafts.

Hey, watch out for Lotta. She is a very cute Llama, everyone totally loved her.

And are those little fellows not extremly cute with their colorful knitted hats?

Even at times when there is no sheep festival this museum is definately worth a visit but today was just perfect, the weather was mild and sunny, everything was so very, very fresh and green, exploding with life.

Oh yeah, this little man enjoyed our outing too, very much indeed.

Did you know the very uncommon chameleon sheep ;-) very hard to find some...

My tour has ended now, but of course I didn't come home empty handed. What I toke home is plenty: a happy, very tired child, many images on camera and in my head, wonderful memories, lots of new information and, well, some wool for spinning:

The grey wool is from a Gotland Sheep, the very white is Wensleydale and the stuff with the dreadlocks is freshly warped today from some unknow (it came from a huge bag with different fleeces) but very soft sheep. That stuff is fanstastic it contains so much lanolin you can cream your hands just by holding it.
One last things I got, for free as a sample, is a garden fertilizer made from sheep wool. What an interesting product, I will have to find out more about that soon. If you speak German and are interested too, you can find out more here.

After this beautiful day I am sure, joining the festival of fiber will definatly become part of our anual way to celebrate the seasons. Oh yes!

Now, if you please excuse me, I have to get back to my wheel for a few more minutes ;-)
I hope you all spent a wonderful Mothers Day, just the way you needed it.