Sunday, 29 September 2013

Shop Update

Spring is in the air in the Southern Hemisphere and I can smell summer around the corner. What better way to celebrate than with some bikinis!

Now in the shop!
xx

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Taking Stock

Hello there!
Things have been a bit quiet around here lately. I've been sick and life got a bit on top of me, but I have some exciting news coming up soon!

And on another note - Do you read Meet me at Mikes? It's a great little blog by a super lovely Aussie lady and I thought I'd do some sharing using her Taking Stock List for this month;

Making : Crochet blanket
Cooking : Pizza
Drinking : Lot's of water I can't seem to get enough lately
Reading: Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Wanting: to have more fun!
Looking: out my back window at the green trees and hill
Playing: Agricola 
Wasting: Lot's of time on Pinterest 
Fixing: up everything ready for our move back to Aus 
Deciding: How to ship all my things back to Aus
Wishing: I was in Aus already!
Enjoying: Time spent with friends
Waiting: until I can share my big news
Liking: Autumn
Wondering: What I will miss from Germany
Loving: My Husband
Pondering: What the next year will bring
Considering: What to do with my life
Watching: Channel 101
Hoping: Everything goes smoothly
Marvelling: At the change of seasons
Needing: To Dance
Smelling: Pizza in the Oven
Wearing: Warm looking sweaters (apparently!)
Noticing: All the berries everywhere
Knowing: I will miss my Friends here
Thinking: about the Future
Feeling: Much Happier
Admiring: My mother, for her strength
Buying: Things from the markets
Getting: Older
Bookmarking: Too many practical websites!
Opening: My door as often as the weather will allow
Giggling: Not enough
Feeling: impatient


Swedish Tea Strainer and Red Rose Earrings from the Rheinaue Flea market
PS How sweet are my Flea market find Tea strainer and earrings!

xoxo

Sunday, 28 July 2013

My First Dress

Here it is the first thing I've ever sewed from a pattern!

Nice colour for a sack ;-)

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out except for the fit. It looks like a sack unless I wear it with a belt and even then the top doesn't fit quite right, it's a little too large and loose...

Me and my BBQ, we're chillin'

I didn't make a muslin or anything so I guess that's a lesson learned! Next time I think I'm going to trace the pattern onto some paper and do a rough fitting with that. 
I got some lovely Deer and Doe patterns in the mail recently which I can't wait to get started on. How cute is this top from Rue des Renards? I had to have the pattern :-)

xx

Friday, 28 June 2013

Shop Update the 70s

Some lovely 70's style items in the shop now!


xx

Thursday, 13 June 2013

ATM Doorways and Bikinis

Another regular item I want to introduce around these parts is an ATM. No not the hole in the wall you're thinking about, where you service all your cash needs but a "what I'm up to At The Moment" -or what I've been working on recently.


First up is a crochet garland to brighten up our apartments front door. I was inspired here through pinterest and from this lovely little lady's door.


I've been Cooking with Spargel! I actually made this mushroom and asparagus, polenta based tart from the Bojon Gourmet Blog. I made it a bit less gourmet by using button mushrooms instead of shitake and there was no truffle salt in sight, but it was still very yummy! It's the first time I've made polenta that didn't taste like meh -am I doing it wrong or is plain polenta just not nice?? (My spellcheck doesn't like polenta and wants me to change it to tadpole based tart, hmm doesn't sound as good).


The aforementioned crochet bikini. A little wonky but coming along ok! I had some problems to begin with which involved the bikini decreasing too quickly, and a lot of questions involving far too much laughter from my friends about how my itty bitty bikini was coming along! I sorted that problem out only to be stuck again at the moment, not sure if there is a mistake in the pattern or I just can't read it properly...
Would you wear a crochet bikini?
xx

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Listening to now....

I'd like to start sharing here music I think is great on a regular basis. First up is a remix of a great indie folk band I recently discovered -Daughter


Youth (Love Thy Brother Remix) - Daughter from Up All Niight on Vimeo.

It made me want to go out and really live my life to the full.
What do you think?
xx

Monday, 10 June 2013

Shoppity Shop

Snuggly jumpers and cardigans in the shop soon!


I can just picture them over a pair of denim cut-offs can't you?

xx

Sunday, 2 June 2013

ATM

At the moment I am sewing a dress from a pattern for the very first time! I have sewed things in the past but never from a pattern. I'm attempting Burda pattern 7113 which is a re-release of a 60's pattern for a dress, cape and bolero (I'm just sewing the dress).  I would have picked something a bit less involved than a fully lined dress however my Mum convinced me to go with this. She obviously has more faith in my abilities than me!

Burda 7113 New Vintage Pattern

All cut out

Apparently Burda patterns are a bit different to others in that you have to add the seam and hem allowance (they aren't included in the paper pattern). This took me soooo long, it was a real pain.

I'm also crocheting a bikini from a vintage German pattern. This is definitely diving into the deep end with my level of both German and crochet. It took me ages just to work out the diagram was in cm and not stitches... I do like a challenge though and this is definitely keeping me on my toes.

I also have some amazing pieces for the shop and am waiting and hoping for some sunshine so I can take some decent photos.

xx

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Worlds Most Beautiful Spring Garden

If you didn't know, Keukenhof is a big garden (32 Hectares!!) situated in Lisse, not too far from Amsterdam in Holland.  It is touted as the worlds most beautiful spring garden and after being there I believe they could be right.  Holland is famous for its tulips and at Keukenhof it's all about the tulips. They do also have daffodils and hyacinths but the tulips are the main attraction. I never knew tulips grew in so many different colours, shapes and sizes!


The park itself is full of beautiful trees, water ways and meandering paths creating a perfect backdrop to the flowering bulb display. We almost went there a few months ago but were told the tulips weren't in flower and I'm glad we waited so we could see the full splendour.


The weather was overcast and threatening rain when we went, which I think was actually a blessing as the crowds didn't seem to be too thick. And then the sun came out in the afternoon.



There are also lots of flower fields in the area, where tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are grown for their bulbs. This means you can see the fields in flower. After the peak flowering, the flower heads are cut off (or vacuumed off in some cases!) so that the plants energy goes into growing more bulbs and not into seed making. The bulbs are mechanically harvested and then separated by hand. I'm sure if you know someone from Holland, they will have done this as holiday job as a kid/student or know someone who has!


If you get the chance I definitely recommend visiting Keukenhof and the surrounding fields in springtime.

xx

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Leiden

Last weekend we went to Leiden, Holland to see the Tulips in bloom at Keukenhof. Leiden is about 25 mins away from Keukenhof by car and is connected by buses which run around every 10 mins. So it makes a perfect base to see the tulips.


Leiden itself is also really picturesque with windmills and canals aplenty, and worth visiting. It has a lovely market on Saturdays, with fresh produce, cheese, stroopwaffels, clothing and fabric (I got some pink tulle).  Small enough to wander around by foot Leiden is still big enough for a nice selection of restaurants and shops. It also has a lot of museums, but we didn't get a chance to see any of them.



 This was the canal we could see from our hotel room.

DO NOT PRESS! Installation 
Close to our hotel we saw some great art installations -This one was my favourite, who could resist a big red button and "Do NOT Press" sign....
xx

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Birdy

Here is a little birdy for you...

xx

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Free Shipping in Germany!!



A couple of German based Etsy sellers have come up with the great idea of holding a joint promotion to highlight the growing number of German Etsy shops. Participating shops (including mine!) are offering free shipping for orders within Germany for the whole month of March (I got in on the action a little late...).
Just use the coupon code "versandfuerumme" when checking out for free shipping anywhere in Deutschland!!

These are some of the great shops I've discovered through this initiative;




What are you waiting for - get shopping!

xx

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Plait Ear Warmer / Headband DIY

Growing up I had a beanie or two, I used to wear them in winter sometimes. They were more a fashion statement than anything else though. It wasn't until I moved to Germany (ie a climate which has really COLD winters) that I actually "got" what the beanie was about. That is was actually a very functional accessory, necessary to keep you from getting brain freeze (which doesn't only occur from eating ice cream I have discovered!) and to stop your ears turning into lumps of ice.  Then I discovered ear warmers. The beanies little sister, when you want to avoid aforementioned ice ears but perhaps aren't feeling the commitment of a whole hat. So naturally I wanted one, but I had also just discovered crochet and wanted to make one myself. And so can you!


Step One -Choose your yarn, I went for two colours but you can do three or one...


Step 2 - Crochet three long strands using double or triple crochet -you want them longer than the circumference of  your head.


Step Four -Plait the strands. I used a peg to secure the ends while I did this.


Step Five - Sew the ends together so its one continuous plait.


Done!


Now enjoy your warmer forehead and ears!
xx

Friday, 8 March 2013

Cowl Neck

Here is my first attempt at a cowl scarf thingy....




It was simple to make just using granny stitches. I love how the stitches and colours came out but the size is all wrong -its too big to fit snuggly round your neck but too small to go around it twice.
You live, you learn!
xx

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Baked Bean Pizza

I love baked bean and cheese toasties. The crunch of the toasted bread, the tomatey goodness of the beans and the deliciously gooey cheese are a perfect combination. I also love pizza (I mean who doesn't, right!) and then the other day while searching in my kitchen for something to eat I had a brainwave. Why not make a Baked Bean Pizza!!  A nice twist on two classics.


Once you've made the pizza dough (Jamie Oliver has a good recipe -the semolina gives the base extra crunch), it's super easy.
Just spread out your beans, top with grated cheese and bake like normal.
For an extra flavour boost, diced onion and ham/bacon sprinkled onto the beans is delicious!

xx

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Munich


Last November I traveled to Munich with my husband and mother-in-law. November was cold! but there was enough autumn colour left to brighten up the city. Especially the gardens. 



The above photos are from the Englisher Garten.  The English Garden is a huge park in the middle of Munich and is named thus because it is in the "English Style". It has a more flowing natural feel than most German parks at the time it was created. Most other parks were rather formally structured like the Hofgarten  (below), with lots of paths, hedges and fences.




We stayed at Hotel Mons am Goethe Platz. For the price the hotel has a reasonably nice modern acetic and furniture. When we stayed however we found dirty curtains, mouldy showers and an unfriendly reception. We had paid for breakfast to be included. One morning while eating breakfast we were told we hadn't paid, when we insisted that yes we had, the matter was dropt but very ungraciously and with no apology for the misunderstanding.  Breakfast didn't have a lot to choose from, but what was there was good. Overall I wouldn't recommend staying at Hotel Mons.

One place I would recommend if you are in Munich is the Vietnamese Tapas Restaurant Tonkin.
It is located not far from Hotel Mons at Lindwurmstrasse 65.

It was almost full when we turned up without a booking and they happily seated all three of us, even though the only table available was a table for two. We all ordered the same dish, a curry with sweet potato and rice. We all agreed it was delicious! I also had the fresh squeezed orange juice and it was super refreshing, sweet  and delicious. The service was fast, friendly and unobtrusive. To top it off the decor was quite something special as well -especially the brass ceiling.
This place totally got my thumbs up, I wish I lived closer so I could go there again and try more of the dishes.




I didn't get any photos of Tonkin so the above two are from Gastroguide M√ľnchen.

xx

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Op Shopping Tips

I love to go or op-shopping (aka thrifting). I've been doing it for quite a few years now and in two different countries -Australia and Germany. Some might say I love it a little too much -I even went op-shopping on my honeymoon! With my husband of course :-)

After reading some other bloggers takes on the do's and do not's (some of which I agreed with and some of which I didn't), I wanted to share some of my tips for you to keep in mind for successful op shopping/thrifting.

Thrifted Shoes

Op Shopping / Thrifting Tips


Don't be afraid to dig! Although many op shops today are lifting their game (and their prices) with regards to the display and sorting of their stock, many are also charities which are not the best in this area, so it really pays to have a look through everything. To me this can be part of the fun. That perfect bag might be on the bottom of a pile of terrible bags. That really sweet babydoll dress might be in the kids section!

Check for major flaws, especially if you are not someone who's great with stain removal or handy with a needle and thread (or if you just know you will never get around to fixing stuff!). There's nothing worse than getting home with your new dress and finding a huge rust stain or snag you didn't see earlier.  I have a huge pile of clothes which need to be fixed and have come to realise its better for me not to pick up things which need a little TLC as I'd rather spend my time on other pursuits.

Have an idea of what you are looking for.
Before you go, work out what pieces you'd love to find. Are you looking for a summer dress? A winter coat? leather belt, handbag etc..  This helps with direction so you don't end up with stuff which your wardrobe just doesn't need. This also helps if you are visiting one of those huge stores where you could spend all week digging through everything! BUT don't necessarily limit yourself to the things on your mental or physical list (unless you are lucky to be thrifting somewhere big) -you might find thrift gold but its not something on your list. If it fits and you love it, you know you'll wear it and the price is right then Woot!! This is what thrifting is all about :-)

Know your favourite fabrics and colours.
Again this is for direction but it will also mean you will love your clothes more. Love silk? Get to know how it feels and you can run your hand along a rack of clothes and narrow it down to the silk ones. Prefer synthetics because they are easier to wash? Get to know the feel and look for those.  Keeping in mind the colours which suit you means you are more likely to end up with clothes which you look fabulous in! I love pink but I have rosy pink cheeks so its not a good colour for me to wear. So when thrifting I try to keep my eye out for more flattering hues such as blues and greens.

Try things on. This may seem obvious but its not worth buying something if it doesn't fit like a dream. So you found an amazing dress, but it doesn't quite fit you right, unless you are great at alterations or are going to display it -leave it. If its something easily fixable like the hem needs shortening and you're a wizz with a sewing machine then go for it! If not, my advice is leave it for someone else and the thrifting karma gods will smile on you another time.

Go often if you can
Things are always coming and going in these stores so by going often you increase your chances of finding something awesome.

Pick your Shop/s
Different thrift stores have different vibes. Church affiliated shops tend to be a lot cheaper in my experience, as they are run for charity by volunteers. But they are also often smaller and less well organised. Stores will often reflect the areas they are in. For example in swankier suburbs the residents will be more likely to donate better quality stuff.

Have fun with it!
Go with a friend if you can, smile, laugh at some of the outrageous/terrible clothes you'll see.
Have fun and feel good that you are reducing by re-using, saving your money and most likely helping out a charity!

xx





Saturday, 19 January 2013

Drink Write Wear See on Etsy

Etsy Spotlight!


Drink from this vintage coffee pot which has been given new life with some quirky nature inspired prints. I love the cute little fox. From Studio Robin Pieterse.


Write or draw something pretty in this amazing marbled hand-bound book. From Katy Goutefangea.


Wear these yummy wine hued geo earrings from A Merry Mishap.



See a beautiful hand cut silhouette of love birds on your wall from Silhouettes by Carolin.
xx

Friday, 18 January 2013

Sneak Peak

Here's a little sneak peak on something I've been trying out lately.  I listed this pair of shorts in the shop. They didn't go anywhere and I thought they needed something a little extra, a little personalisation. Enter me and my crochet hook....




What do you think?
xx

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Further Crochet Adventures


I made this as a gift for an almost-3 year old daughter of a friend of mine. I remembered seeing somewhere a crocheted crown and thought that would make a great present. So I gathered some inspiration and then I attempted my first crown. I made it with some thick acrylic yarn I had, but I made it way too big -it fit my husband! And the thick yarn wasn't giving the look I wanted so I went hunting for some more suitable wool/yarn.  I wanted some yellow or gold however the selection locally isn't huge and I didn't have time to go further afield but I found this hot pink yarn with sparkly thread in it. I love the addition of the sparkle but the wavy-ness of the yarn made it more difficult to work with (a heads up if you're thinking of trying it!).


This youtube video helped me get started on the crown. Video is great for learning! Especially as I haven't quite got the hang of following actual patterns yet (and I'm still confused by the european vs US terminology). And then although I can't quite follow a pattern yet I still understood enough of this free pattern to help give the points on the crown some extra definition.


I used the tutorial on youtube here for the star. She crochets way faster then me so I had to pause the video like a million times. I crocheted two stars and then just whip stitched them together leaving enough of a gap to push the wand handle in and secure with glue. The handle is made from three wooden kebab sticks, glued together and covered in the yarn. I thought it all came out pretty well and and I have video evidence the little girl loved it too!
xx