(Life) Style Tips in May

MayTips

The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.
– Edwin Way Teale

Listen to music in the shower for a more complete soundtrack to your life’s movie. My favourite at the moment is Cecile Corbel to imagine myself standing under a waterfall surrounded by blooming brambly hedges. Indulge the cinematographer within!

Make your own hair mist with rose water, a bit of vodka or household alcohol for preserving and a spoonful of sugar, fill it up with distilled water and put it in a well-cleaned spray bottle (I re-used one from an empty deodorant). The rose water can be switched for vanilla essence, your favourite cheap perfume that smells like bubblegum or eau de cologne, of course.

Speaking of hair, I’m a bit obsessed with finding and making pretty or cute bandanas for Rosie the Riveter-style hair at the moment.

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”
Susan B. Anthony

It’s Bike Month, so give your wheels some care! Take them to the shop or to an open workshop where you can learn to fix most of your bicycle yourself, take care of flat tires and rusty handles. If you haven’t already, think about getting a box or basket for transport – bonus points for decorating it with faux greenery or other shiny things – and then go on a nice, slow ride down the river or explore the streets early on a Saturday morning when it’s still quiet.

Check the farmers market or a well-sorted hardware store for young plants that stray from the usual choice of rosemary and thyme. Get old varieties of your favourite veggies or aromatic herbs like Immortelles. There are absurd amounts of mint varieties, too, so take your time to find your favourite.

Strawberries small
And wild and sweet,
For the Queen and all
Of her Court to eat!
The Strawberry Fairy, Cicely Mary Barker

Strawberry season is just starting in the northern hemisphere – why not incorporate it into your outfits? There’s more to the motif than variations of kawaii – tiny wild strawberries match more untamed styles while large, dark fruits, embroidered with golden roccaille beads for seeds are perfect for opulence and sinister memento mori-inspired folks. Kitschy country revival stickers would look adorable on a phone case.

(Life) Style Tips in April

April Life Style Tips | Hedgefairy TalesTime to revive this series because I really enjoyed it!

“Might I,” quavered Mary, “might I have a bit of earth?”
[…]
“Earth!” he repeated. “What do you mean?”
“To plant seeds in—to make things grow—to see them come alive,” Mary faltered.
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

It’s high time to start planning your garden year (if you’re in the Northern hemisphere and you haven’t already)! Think about what you want from your soil this year and what you might need to change about your planting space to enjoy it even more. I know I’ll have to change something about the floor of my balcony to make it more inviting, and I need a few more pots. Off to the hardware store!

In the same vein, start growing your greens for this year on your window sill. By the time it’s consistently warm they’ll be big enough to make it out there. It’s a great way to re-use those egg cartons, and spotting the first green peeking through the soil is always a highlight for me. If you’re in the Southern hemisphere growing sprouts and shoots will complement your winter salads!

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Take long walks to take in the changes that Nature is going through at the moment on either side of the planet. Find places you’ve overlooked so far close to home so you can head for shelter if April showers strike!

April showers (and hail storms… and snow…)are a perfect excuse to invest in a pretty umbrella, as well. Museum shops and your usual trendy-ish chains carry art- and colourful ones to make you stand out from the crowd. If you’re not opposed to carrying around a full-size umbrella (I admit that I prefer the small collapsible ones) look for an unusual shape like pagoda, flatter or rounder. If all else fails there is always the option to sew lace onto your old umbrella, or put charms on the spike tips.

First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash.
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Spring cleaning can be an adventure of its own (or the start of one – I recommend reading the first chapter of The Wind in the Willows before starting). Throw out some things, put a fresh coat of paint around those light switches and smoke out the sludge and dark of Winter. If you’re heading towards Autumn clearing the air for the months inside is just as great.

Spring (or Autumn) clean your mind, too. Find a beach, river or pond and collect pebbles. Take your time to tie bad memories, unwanted habits and negative thoughts to a pebble each. Let them skip and eventually sink into the water to take all the bad vibes with them and wash at least parts of them away.

I hope you’re enjoying the change of the seasons as much as I do! What’s your favourite thing about April? Let me know in the comments!

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.

Review
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*)

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!

Year of the Sun Resolutions

Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it
– L. M. Montgomery

New Year’s Resolutions are a bit like the holidays – they are full of hope for some people but mostly (at least where I come from) they are met with contempt, a remnant of stupider times, a relic that nobody really wants, handed down by well-meaning but square and archaic ancestors) by which I mean grandparents and meddling aunts and the like).
I, however, like New Year’s Resolutions. I like fresh starts in general, and while I agree with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s quote above that every day can be a new start I always felt extremely comfortable with the concept and symbolism of a new year.

As cliché as “new year, new me” might be I like making resolutions and even if I don’t always stick to them here are mine for 2019:

Skip fewer Historical Dancing classes

I’m one of those people who enjoy sports and movement but has to drag herself to actually do it. Having regular classes helps a bunch, though, and with friends they even double as social time (two birds, one stone). Historical Dancing also has the merit of being not only fun but also useful for LARP purposes (provided I can make my crew dance at some point) and other projects. It also helps to have people who kind of hold me accountable, or who just expect to see me there because I’m a regular, which I’m trying to become.

UFOs

Work off those UFO kilos

While I did a decent job losing some of my own weight last year my project piles were not so successful. No matter if by completion or by throwing them out I want to reduce my UnFinished Objects to at most half the workbench storage (as I’m typing this the whole thing is stuffed to the brim with precariously balanced piles on top). I not only want to craft more again, I want to use what I’ve got and I want to FINISH things.

Do more Yoga & swim more

In the same vein as my dancing resolution I want to do more yoga – the mindfulness is good for me and it’s a great way o get the blood flowing in the morning – and to get back into swimming. The next indoor pool is only a couple of minutes from my place so I’ve got no decent excuse not to go swimming at least every other week. Maybe I’ll invest in a waterproof mp3, too, so I can soak up info (hello, vast world of podcasts and audio books!) and splash around at the same time.

Explore

Explore

I’ve been living in Hanover for over two years now and I feel like I’ve seen nothing yet. I want to get to know this place more, learn its secrets, its hidden gems, its past.
And I want to go out into the world as well. Leave my comfort zone. Discover new places, see more cities and castles and cursed towers. I want to travel, not even necessarily outside the country because there are so many spots to find here yet – and on the way find out more about myself, too.

Make the Content I’d like to see

I think this might be a two-part resolution because it includes the question what it is that I want to see in the first place. I see a bit of a journey ahead of me in that regard but I’m looking forward to it.There are so many things I want to make – mostly videos but I want to revive this blog – or rather, revitalise because it’s not dead, I only need a good healer, not a necromancer – with its original thoughts and a good dose of faerie glamour.

wild

Be fae and feral

I think these will be my defining words for 2019. I like them. I’m fae. And I was feral once, wild and untamed. It’s not that I don’t value civilisation – I’m writing this on my tablet and you’re reading it over the internet and I spend uncanny amounts of time on YouTube and Netflix, and thrifting is hard without civilisation, you know – it’s more that I feel like I’m missing something about myself. And this thing I hereby, in passing, vow to find again.
I think this one actually ties in well with all my other resolutions, especially the exploring and crafting ones. And I can’t wait to see where it’ll take me.

Of course and as always there are the tiny ones – watch what I eat, read more, spend more time outside, the works – but these are the big ones. Do you have any resolutions, big or small, for this year? I’d love a comment about them (I’m always curious).

This post is part of #28DaysOfBlogging, a challenge to post every day in February.
Today’s posts on other (predominantly German) participating blogs:

Increase Creativity | Mondkunst | Haus und Beet | Digitallotsen | Mami Rocks | Applethree | Vorunruhestand | Gut Essen in München