101 Things in 1001 Days, № 3 – A Review

I’ve been doing my version of the Day Zero Project for almost as long as this blog exists. Back then I called them Daring Deeds, and while I never made it through one of my lists in their entirety I always found them comforting. The general idea is to finish a list of 101 tasks in 1001 days, like a crossover of New Year’s resolutions and a bucket list.

This one was my third installment of the challenge. I started back on February 20th, 2016, so the 101/1001 III would have ended on November 17th, 2018 originally –  if I hadn’t reviewed it in March ’17, replacing 15 items, thus adding 150 days, making the end date April 16th 2019. I decided to end this one early – so many things have changed and changed again, and while I really wanted to do these things back when I wrote them down I don’t feel this list anymore. To use the words of a certain Japanese decluttering expert, it doesn’t spark joy anymore. So to wrap it up, here’s my review on this list, just to throw the new one at you at the end of this post (so just jump there if you’re not here for the extensive commentary).

I finished off 26 items on this list, and a few were still in progress (and might have made it to the next list, too).

  1. Move. We moved to Hanover in August 2016 – I’d never been in the city before the actual moving day but I haven’t regretted a day of this new life.
  2. Visit the seaside. I ticked this off with Zandvoort, Northern Holland, during a trip to Amsterdam. We’ve been at another Dutch beach since then – I still haven’t shown you the pictures but I definitely need to because wow, those dunes were beautiful.
  3. Go to Scotland. → Better luck next time.
  4. Go swimming 13 times. Eh, 7 out of 13 isn’t that bad. I’ll try again, though.
  5. Visit 13 museums. I’ve got the weird feeling I haven’t counted quite correctly… I think I made it to four five six (I think I’m done counting now), but I’ve already got a date for the next time. You can see some of these trips here, here and here.
  6. Get rid of 101 items. Onwards to more of that!
  7. Get clasps for my harp.
  8. Sit in 3 artist alleys. I won’t be at the new thing they’re doing with the RPC this year but at least I’ve got a post about RPC ’16 (I’m also a regular at KeksCon now, which might be comparatively tiny but absolutely lovely and welcoming).
  9. Get my bloody B.A. degree. Ugh. Don’t ask.
  10. Win NaNoWriMo again. → Oh my, NaNo. Last year just didn’t happen at all, but the one before sparked a project I’m still working on, so I count this as a success anyway.
  11. Attend a concert. I went to Les Yeux D’la Tête’s Liberté Chérie tour back in 2016 and loved it.
  12. Visit 3 castles. I’ve been to one (with my 90-year-old grandmother, no less), which isn’t as great as two or three, but better than nothing.
  13. Go to Drachenfest or Epic Empires → I didn’t finish my character in time (she got her own point on the new list, though) and had a particularly bad Summer in general so it’s probably better I didn’t go. Trying again, though.
  14. Go sailing.
  15. Wear Lolita 13 times. I wore Lolita twice, or maybe three times, and even once at a meet-up but in the end I think while I still absolutely adore the style it’s just a bit too much fuss for me – I’ll never be good at not sitting on the floor everywhere.
  16. Get another tattoo.
  17. Go back to Amsterdam. Twice, even (2016|2018). Ugh, I love this city so much.
  18. Go to London.
  19. Have a Meriastron group photo shoot.
  20. Attend a LARP outside of my fantasy comfort zone
  21. Visit Berlin. I did. Wasn’t that overwhelmed, but the thrifting was nice. Might go back someday.
  22. Take a ballet class. I had to stop again because of my damaged knee but I really, really liked it.
  23. Go rowing on a lake or river.
  24. Have 5 picnics. We had two or three. More to come.
  25. Draw a tarot deck. Oof. This one is an absurdly ambitious project, anyway. I’d started once at uni but by now have forgotten the suits I made up. → I still want to do something like it, though, so I’ve toned it down a bit for the next list.
  26. Learn soldering. → This one’s a keeper
  27. Make cocktail recipes for all Bastion spirits (and post them). → So is this.
  28. Try 13 new recipes. I made *inhales* cinnamon-chocolate cake, pear-apple chiffon muffins, Autumn Equinox quiche, spice apple cake, cinnamon apple loaf, potato loaf, lazy curry, pumpkin pastries, pasta with Alfredo sauce and salmon on veggies.
  29. Back a Kickstarter.
  30. Learn enough Dutch for a simple conversation. → Still tryin’.
  31. Learn to identify 5 constellations other than the Big Dipper and Orion. → I feel so bad about this one, I don’t even know why.
  32. Do yoga every day for a month.
  33. Learn 3 new knots. I only learned one, but that one I used a fair amount.
  34. Make a Amy Brown-esque fairy costume and wear it somewhere.
  35. Get a driver’s licence. Of course not.
  36. Make a banner/button/thing for my “online tribe”. No, but I finally came up with a name a week ago!
  37. Have 5 bonfires. We had three, and I guess I would have succeeded in this one hadn’t it been for the intensely hot Summer of 2018 and the subsequent ban on bonfires and ConQuest. Oh well.
  38. Learn 5 historical dances. I’ve joined a club for historical dancing and am proud to say that I rarely miss a class, introvert tendencies notwithstanding.
  39. Ride the old-fashioned merry-go-round in Frankfurt in Lolita and take pictures.
  40. Dye pale pink stripes into my sidecut.
  41. Learn Sütterlin writing and keep it in my head this time. I realised that I’ve got to use it if I want it to stay in my mind entirely (and not just the frequently used letters) but I think I’m doing good.
  42. Visit the ballet. → It was too late that I realised that Hanover gets live performances of the Nutcracker each Wintertide. Dammit.
  43. Find my analogue camera (or get a new one). I’m using my Dad’s now.
  44. Shoot a roll of film (or one disposable camera) quarterly. I figured out how unrealistic this is for me – I’m usually carrying at least one camera and rarely want to commit to only one format, so digital and film (as in moving picture) get the most use. → I’m trying to pack the analogue when I’m out an d about with a large backpack, anyway, though.
  45. Get a projector. Now we only need decent speakers for the living room.
  46. Attend a Steampunk Convention. Maybe it’s better this way.
  47. Frame my Edge of the World Bookshop paper bag and hang it. It’s right (more like left) next to me as I type this.
  48. Develop a vegetarian or vegan version of my favourite British pastry recipe. → It made it to the next list.
  49. Draw and publish a web comic. → So did this (since list № 1)
  50. Learn how to make sound samples.
  51. Make a Crows in Trees sample. I still really like this idea, but around here it’s gulls rather than crows.
  52. Design a font (and upload it).
  53. Write and record 5 songs. → I’m holding on to this one. I want to get back into making music of some sort, I just don’t quite know what exactly.
  54. Compose/write/arrange a song with sound samples. Whatever I’ll do in terms of music, maybe it will include samples. Maybe not. We’ll see.
  55. Try Mermaiding. Wow, finally another one to check off.
  56. Open an Etsy shop. → I’m still busy figuring out my spoons and schedule, not to mention the bureaucratic mess but this will eventually be a thing.
  57. Read 20 books (books for uni don’t count). You can find a few of my recommendations here: 1|2|3
  58. Try forging. This one didn’t make it to the next list but in my head it’s still on there.
  59. Get back to a 75cm waist.
  60. Take part in Inktober. I haven’t made it through to the end during the last two years but I learned so incredibly much, not only in terms of style development, but also about myself as an artist. Here’s my Inktober tag, if you’re interested.
  61. Ride a steam train – dolled up if possible
  62. Make a “living picture” cosplay. → Still wanna do this.
  63. Overhaul my blog design. → And this. It’s almost done, it’s only stupid perfectionism and a few insecurities keeping me from finalising it.
  64. Weave a basket.
  65. Try pit-fired pottery making.
  66. Master a session of Changeling: The Dreaming ten times (at least). Sadly, no. This didn’t make it onto the next list directly, let’s face it, it’s something I’ll just do either way given the chance.
  67. Go outside for one hour per day for a month. I never make it, it’s so frustrating. I’m just too much of a homebody.
  68. Celebrate the wheel of the year.
  69. Have a decided me-/princess day once a month (and blog about it if possible). I never managed to do this – what’s a me-day anyway? I’ve gotten far better at taking care of myself, though, so I’m labelling this as a “work in progress”.
  70. Make bento at least once a week for ~6 months. What can I say, I’m just really bad at feeding myself properly (this is why the boyfriend does most of the cooking).
  71. Go climbing 3 times. → I think it’s going to be easier now that I’ve lost a bit of weight and gained a bit of muscle.
  72. Manage winged eyeliner.
  73. Go to the sauna 3 times. I only went once. I’m just much more of a swimming person, even though I know it’s really good for me to sweat it all out.
  74. Make cream puffs. Nah, I found a really great bakery to substitute that.
  75. Learn to play my mandolin. I’m trying, does that count?
  76. Go ice-skating 3 times. I didn’t go once since I’ve started living in a city with a rink again! Aaargh!
  77. Draw in 5 museums. I’m trying include this in my future museum visits – I really enjoyed when I did, but for some reason I rarely go to museums on my own, and I don’t want to bother the people I’m with by letting them wait because I need to sketch this thing right here.
  78. Attend a Lolita meet-up.
  79. Sew a JSK.
  80. Make and post 3 tutorials/patterns/recipes.
  81. Draw/paint a new self portrait, either Art Nouveau-style or pseudo-historical.
  82. Make ram’s horns to wear.
  83. Get character pictures taken of Noionella de Hague-Magvalie (steampunk or fantasy).
  84. Sew a frilly apron.
  85. Have/host a sew-along. Are those even still a thing?
  86. Make a Merida cosplay. I still want to cosplay, either one of my favourite characters or a piece of art, → but I’ve generalised the idea a bit more for the new list.
  87. Make the Butterick 5970 blouse. Ugh, this Edwardian beauty. I should probably just order that pattern…
  88. Grow something edible in the backyard. Turns out our backyard soil is polluted like the rest of our quarter – there used to be a chemical plant around, apparently, but after a second move (same house, different floor) I’ve got a balcony, and that worked.
  89. Cleanse my place quarterly.
  90. Make a silk banner for Meriastron. I still haven’t shown that one off, have I?
  91. Try absinthe.
  92. Have living herbs in the new place.
  93. Use the enamel powder I inherited.
  94. Fit Scoundrel’s ring.
  95. Sew a velveteen justaucorps.
  96. Find a favourite café in Hanover.
  97. Take 101 outfit pictures. I took 15. 101 was a bit lofty of a goal, anyway, but I’ll keep trying, okay?
  98. Needle-bind something.
  99. Knit something.
  100. Crochet something.
  101. Make a new list.

So here we are. A quarter isn’t too bad, especially given how bad last year was  for me. I definitely notice where I just stopped caring, and this is why I’m kicking it out. Starting over. You can find the new list here (and in the pages bar), and I’m really looking forward to checking it off.

One Decade of Hedgefairy Tales

I wrote this on February 24th, the actual blog anniversary. Real life interfered and I couldn’t be bothered to post this until now. That doesn’t make it less true, though, so here we go, you wonderful, special person you. ♥

10 Years of Hedgefairy Tales

February 24th has a couple of things to say for itself. It’s the birthday of one of the Brothers Grimm, Estonian Independence Day, and it also marks the premiere of Grieg’s Peer Gynt in 1876. 2009, however, is a suspiciously quiet year for this day – no major calamities, no remarkable births or deaths, no amazing feats or art or science. Instead, February 24th 2009 is a Tuesday on which a girl in her solitary room in a large German city presses the “Publish” button for the first time after having decided on a name for a blog.

Which brings us to the present day. Today marks the ten-year anniversary of this blog’s emergence from the depths of the internet (and my brain). Imagine Botticelli’s birth of Venus but with a few more wires and pixels. Today this blog has officially been around for more than one-third of my life. Ten years are a lot in internet time, and this blog has seen so many ups and downs, so many friendships forged and broken, several moves, a few life-changing events, and over a thousand posts.

10 Years of Hedgefairy Tales3

In the beginning Hedgefairy Tales (I think it was called Teaparties & Fairy Tales back then, but Hedgefairy was always part of the URL) was a tool for me to come out of a shell I had been building basically ever since leaving elementary school. At the time nobody who met me would have taken me for the desperate romantic, lace enthusiast and avid lover of lovely things overall that I felt I was deep inside. Granted, not all of these things are apparent even today but I’m far more vocal about it now (and I’m working on it). I was a closed-off, tomboyish, black-clad, cynical ball of issues ten years ago, but a ball of issues who wished for other things, for delicate ruffles and tea parties and old-fashioned things, for gentleness and magic. I was in dire need for this magic to happen, and luckily, it did. Thanks, Papa, for your internet connection and my first digital camera.

Ten years later I’m a still-somewhat-socially anxious, tomboyish, autumn-and-pastel-coloured, slightly sarcastic ray of sunshine. Sure, there are clouds. Sure, there are issues that don’t just go away within a decade. But I’m in the best place I’ve been in ever since I left elementary school. And this blog – and that includes you, lovely person reading this – helped me so much getting here.

10 Years of Hedgefairy Tales2

I kinda would have liked talking about my big plans for the next ten years at this point, but I won’t. I’ll save my manifestos for a rainy day. This is just a post to say “thank you” to all of you who are here – whether you just came here by chance, know me from somewhere else, are visiting for the first time or are regulars – thank you so much for being here, leaving comments, sharing thoughts, enjoying content. I’d love to offer you a piece of cake or a mug of tea but I can’t, so the idea will have to suffice.

Thank you so much. All of you.

(And of course here’s to the next ten years! *clink*)

10 Things I ♥ in February

Faves February
Neill Burnell’s Photography | Steve Simpson’s Art | Bernadette Banner | Penny Blackfeather by Francesca Dare | Talliston House Study

February might be over already but that doesn’t keep me from sharing my favourites of last month with you!

  1. Penny Blackfeather, a regencypunk – It’s like gothic, but with more parrots – adventure webcomic by Francesca Dare. I read through the whole thing in one sitting when I was down with a cold and I’m so in love with it that I’m ordering the print editions, as well.
  2. I’ve had Laisse Tomber les Filles by France Gall playing in an infinite loop stuck in my head for over a week now. I like the song, though, so I don’t mind too much.
  3. Wow, the weather currently is so amazing. So much sunshine!
  4. Here’s a bit of a throwback to 2009 with Victoria Suzanne’s 25 Ways to Salvage a Bad Day, I just love her ideas. I sometimes miss the good old days when there were so many Lolita and Mori Kei lifestyle blogs around so I regularly go back and dig through the archives of those that are still online.
  5. My current watching obsession is Amazing Interiors on Netflix, I just love seeing what people with a lot of creative energy (and the funds to match it) do with their places, even if I wouldn’t want to live in them myself. My favourites would be Talliston and that fantastically baroque place full of diamonds in Paris, they are just so full of glamour and dreams, oh wow.
  6. Bernadette Banner’s Channel on YouTube
  7. A friend recently showed me this beautiful Retro Sailor Scouts pin kickstarter and I just had to include it here in the list! I can’t quite decide which design is my favourite, though, they are all so cute. Anyway, here’s Alice Starling’s Instagram and website as well, because her style is just so darling.
  8. The Mystical Wistman’s Wood photographs of Neill Burnell are some of the most magical landscapes I’ve seen in a while and make me want to visit Dartmoor as soon as possible. ♥
  9. The Art of Steve Simpson who makes super-colourful illustrations. I love his mid-century inspired style and his Voodoo and Día de los Muertos themes, they are so cheerful and happy!
  10. Inspired by the works of a friend I started making a Collage Smashbook lately with things I like, thoughts I have, outfits I’d love in my wardrobe and so on. I find sitting down with scissors and glue oddly meditative and can only recommend it.

So I was wondering lately… which social media channels do my readers use to keep up with this blog (or the YouTube channel), anyway? With the redesign peeking over my shoulder I’m trying to find out which options are the most used, mostly so that I know where to focus my energies.
I’m thinking about closing the Facebook page (mainly because I don’t really like Facebook anymore to begin with) but if it just so happens to be one of the main ways of communication with you lovely people out there I’d much rather use it more than abandon it!

So if you had a minute to fill out the poll down there ↓ I’d be delighted. Thank you in advance, and have a wonderful weekend!

Video: Amsterdam Souvenir Haul

This took ages to finally get here, mainly because it took ages to take a thumbnail picture that I really liked.  I hope I’ll have the time and spoons to write an actual post about my haul next time instead of only filming it but I’m really happy about how this video turned out!

Zorg voor jezelf, zorg voor anderen en blijf betoverd!

My Top Five Farmer’s Market Pet Peeves

Don’t get me wrong: I love my job at the farmer’s market. I love being out there in every kind of weather, I love handling vegetables, I love how I feel serving a purpose.

I don’t love all of our customers, though. Some of the people who buy our produce are lovely, no, the majority of the people is sweet and I’m always happy to see them. Sadly, we also get entitled, impolite, arrogant, impatient, demanding, condescending, the works, as well.
This is a list about those people.

Sunroot | Helianthus tuberosus | Five ways to make people at the farmers' market hate you | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.com

  1. People who can’t queue properly.
    We’ve got signs plastered all over the construction, “please queue at this end of the stall”, completely with a cute arrow made from carrots. I’ve had people stand right in front of one of these, spitting “I didn’t read that anywhere” at me just to storm off when I kindly pointed out that the hint is right there.
    We usually take our time to calmly explain that it’s about fairness, that it’s easier for us to see who’s next this way and that they will be served more quickly when they stand in line, actually, because we direct our attention there when looking for our next customer. The worst thing is that we, the staff, basically don’t even care, it’s the other customers who will get upset and start fighting, and it’s really uncomfortable to have to break up those squabbles. We even had an old man threatening another customer to punch him. People. Gotta love them.
    To be fair, some people just don’t know about the queue, don’t see the signs and assume that they should just stand wherever the things that they want are on display. Some people just accept what we tell them and then go and stand in line, and I for one always thank them for understanding.
    As for the people who insult us, tell us that they don’t care or simply throw the produce they were holding down at the table to storm off… Thank you, next.
  2. “Is this really organic?”
    No. We’ve got bio written all over the place for fun. Of course it is! Germany is strict when it comes to the declarations on organic merchandise, so yeah, it is, in fact, organic. And yes, you can use that citrus peel. No, the apples aren’t waxed, that’s just the variety, it produces a wax-like cover when stored. Also, no, we don’t import our apples. Would you kindly stop insulting me when I tell you that they aren’t from New Zealand? Thanks.
  3. People complaining about the weather,
    especially the cold, telling me that it’s really snug inside the stall and that we’ve got it sooo good compared to them. That might be the case if it’s well into the minuses outside and you just came it, but it gets zero-ish inside the tent, and I’m not only there for a couple of minutes to shop. I’m there all day. And let me tell you, eight hours in a somewhere-around-freezing point environment are harder on you than one hour of shopping in minus five. We only get heating once it hits zero, anyway, and if it rains the dampness will crawl inside everything you’re wearing. It’s not like we arrive to a fully pitched stall, either, we’ve gotta build that thing, no matter the weather. Just trust me on this one, and don’t tell me that it’s cold or wet outside. I know.
    Disclaimer: I actually like weather small talk because for us it’s not small talk at all. Just don’t pretend that my workplace is luxurious because the salad isn’t frozen.Shallots | Allium ascalonicum | Five ways to make people at the farmers' market hate you | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.com
  4. If you’re getting only one cent back think about just leaving it to the clerk who just finished packing your more-than-we-make-in-half-a-day organic grocery shopping. The time you wait for it is probably worth more than that. Just sayin’.
  5. “But it’s cheaper at [insert conventional, probably import-based place]!”
    That might well be, and you’re free to shop there! Nobody forces you to take your business to us. I’m not making the prices. And in fact our farm is already less expensive than some other organic places. There are reasons for the prices, however: Supply and demand. Effort (some plants need more care than others). Fair wages. Certified organic seeds. Scale of workable land. Scale of business. Growing organic food isn’t as easy as conventional. Sorry to break it to you, but the cheapest produce at the discount supermarket is probably neither organic nor locally grown.

We’ve got a surprising range of more-or-less locally grown organic produce at our supermarket, by the way. I don’t buy everything at work because even with my employee’s discount I can’t afford it all the time. I get that sometimes you don’t want to stand in a long line, but it’s still better than standing in the middle of the stall and not getting served at all, isn’t it?

Red & Yellow Beets | Beta vulgaris | Five ways to make people at the farmers' market hate you | Hedgefairy Tales https://hedgefairy.wordpress.comFarmer’s markets, especially ones that limit their vendors to locally grown produce or merchandise, and especially stalls that sell organic produce, have an air of elitism around them (but that might be a topic for another day), and sometimes they seem downright romantic, in a salt-of-the-earth kind of way. I know. I work there. But don’t let out the people who work there. Queue. If you can, round up, or at least don’t wait for one. Stupid. Cent. Be nice to people in retail. They are on their feet all day to make your life easier. Every smile, every heartfelt “thank you”, every bit of honest interest is worth so much to us. Make the world a better place, it’s really not that hard sometimes.

And if this post was too negative for you, don’t worry. I’ve got a list with things I love about my job queued up, so come back next week!