Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
First was a blog win from generous and talented Sarah at incaknits, some gorgeous handmade cards with pictures of her handknits. Thank you so much, Sarah, I love them!
Then there was also this:
Mister Django did an awesome job with his artwork, too, and sent his greetings with the biggest grin ever.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
So after I picked up the kids from school we enjoyed the spring warmth with a little smoothie picnic in the courtyard in front of the house, where the sun hits just perfectly in the afternoon. With banana-raspberry smoothies the finishing of the little book with the skinny golden rubberband was quickly done.
I also finished the cover of my new little calendar, just glued some paper on and added the extra hooting owl with the year stamped on it. Here as well I added rubberband to keep it together and used little flower eyelets.
The paper came from "The Green Stack", 70% recycled paper, my latest favorite. Warm, earthy colors and the cutest designs ever.
And then it happened, of course it did. I woke up and my first born baby was almost 10 and the little one...? Look at this!
Most of the new books, especially the thrifted ones, usually first get piled up in the studio, where my little girl joined me the other day, grabbed books and started to read. Fluently. I was stunned. When did this happen?
Usually I'm the one who reads to her at night and once a week she has to read a book for school, so when she started reading one book after the other, I was blown away by this "miracle". Do you think I should start looking for a suitable college????...
I have yet to tell you, why books go in the studio these days: I had this idea of transformation, started collecting cheap boardbooks and finally have been working on this for the last days:
The magical transformation of a Winnie book into a little photobook of appreciation with pictures of a Christmasgift and some follow up photos for friends in Germany.
Boardbooks is the way to go for this, because it saves you the cutting of the cardboard, offers rounded corners or other fancy shapes, and shaping the patterned paper after glueing it to your page is an easy and fun task with a sanding block or a similar tool.
I chose an identical layout for every page, the only difference in the size of the handwritten page element. I added a stamped title on the front cover (which translates into "the perfect gift") and a stamped "danke"/"thank you" on the back. Since I am not happy with the book popping up (something that you cannot really avoid, since you are adding layers to the inside pages), I put eyelets in the back and will add a black rubberband to hold it shut. Ding dong - spur of the moment quick decision will place the rubberband over the end of the title on the cover. Hmm. Live and learn, right?!
I still like it. For a first.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Have a great weekend, especially you, my dear brother! I miss you!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
He had made this 3-dimensional pencil drawing of what he loves best these days and for me he had made it a German tank!
I loved the days, when he painted flowers, frogs and snakes for me, but here I was really touched by his effort to please us both - to combine our passions (his for the army and mine for everything artsy) to create this picture.
I should probably also mention that he does not really like school, so of course he ranks his hobbies higher. He always tries to find a way to weave the two together, like he recently gave a report on General Patton. Today he beat all previous efforts: he had to write a story that started with the words "water is good for...." and managed to turn that into a story about a combat situation. I am serious. That is art, too. Right.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Finally I have to show off this:
I started a new pair of socks, Opal yarn, that was a generous gift from German fellow knitter Susann (Ravelers click HERE), thank you again! The colors are stunning and I can't stop knitting, which has not happened in a while, I like it.
Have a happy, bright and colorful Monday!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Back to vintage ...day.
This picture was given to me by a German friend, who used to write humorous columns for a small local newspaper in Germany. I met him, when I worked in a nursing home for a while and took care of his wife. I always enjoyed talking to him and hearing his stories. He was of course much older than me, could have been my grandfather..
One day he gave me this picture, I don't remember why, possibly because I had asked him about the war. He gave me the photo to keep, it shows him in the white coat with a friend in Russia. It has always fascinated me, knowing him as a funny person, always joking, happy and good humored and then the contrast to the situation they must have been in, when the shot was taken. Cold, scared, hungry, fighting a war, that had not been their choice, but yet seeing them in a splitsecond where they apparently managed to push all that away and smiled for the camera, had some wine and relaxed with a cigarette while sitting in front of what seems to be snowed in ruins.
My friend passed away last year. I will remember him.
Friday, March 6, 2009
We are at the end of a week of change.
Spring has definitely paid us an early visit, I've seen a lot of blooming trees and temperatures have been up into the 70s, yes, my German friends, that is wonderful 21 Celsius!
At the same time we, as in husband and me, have made the much needed decision to alter our, as in the family's, eating habits. That means more homecooked meals, less eating out, and while we've always tried to eat healthy, this is yet one step forward and incouragement to dig out those dusty cookbooks and try something new! And please leave me a comment if you know a good internet site with healthy lowfat receipes.
Also, I got back into the groove with my running. Yes, I am trying to shed some pounds, but no, I will not bore you with the gruesome details, let's just say, I am seeing results. Today I went out for my 4th run of the week and while I initially thought I'd have to walk in between, I ended up extending my regular run of average 47 minutes to one of 1 hour and 15 minutes. I have to admit, that I am lucky enough to get quick results and this morning the scale showed me a number that I have not seen in probably a year, which feels real good.
On the technical side change means a new toy (or should I call it a gadget, Kathy??), which is the latest fancy HP Photosmart printer. I had recently bought a quite cheap Kodak printer and while I usually love the Kodak quality, this one turned out as the super flop and was quickly returned to the store after one trial, where I spent over an hour on the phone with tech support and still got only cr... prints. I have yet to discover all the features of the new printer, but so far I got perfect photo prints and one great copy out of it. Yeah for Mom's new toy!
All this (well actually not quite the printerthing, but whatever..) brings me - believe it or not - to Michael Jackson, who has just announced his comeback after 12 years with a series of concerts in London. So I found this. Hmm. Not bad, but I really wonder what all the marching and the helicopterthing is for. My favorite part is the flash of the monster-Michael from the Thriller clip, but the ending? Boy, that made me just laugh out loud, dude, I admire you for you selfconfidence!
Oops, but I got sidetracked. Talking about all the changes for the family and myself makes me love one of Michael's songs even more, I have to say though, that it gives me the creeps to hear him sing about children. Well, just listen to this old song, which is on my iPod in the playlist 'runningstuff'. Wise words and a good beat, too.
And here, same song (you really don't want your kids to watch this version!), but with pictures that make you realize how lucky we are to have everything we need. Just a friendly reminder to always do the best we can to be a better person and to do what's necessary to make this world a better place. Thanks, Michael.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
This made me so very conscious of the fact, that it is really what we as parents do, that makes the difference for our children.
We cannot keep the darker moments in life from them, as much as we want to protect and shelter them, they will sooner or later have to experience sadness and loss and have to find their own way of coping with it. But if we talk to them and let them know how much they were loved by those we lost we keep memories alive . Thank you, Fiona, for showing me that this worked for you and that you have not forgotten about your Opa!
It also made me realize, how important it is to slow down, stop and look even when life gets crazy and runs at what we call "Hotwheel speed".
Enjoy the little moments, slow down and look, while I am now waiting for my kids to come home from school, because I really really want to talk to them.