10 Things I ♥ in March

March19Faves
don’t trust the B- | I3 by Diana Scherer | the embroidered computer | osmia bicornis

It might be a bit late but that doesn’t change the fact that I liked things last month!

  1. I just finished Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23 within less than a week and I think it’s hilarious. Diverse (and also horrible but strangely lovable) female characters are so important and this show is doing a fantastic job!
  2. How amazing is the art of Diana Scherer? The Dutch artist combines graphic design with nature by letting roots grow in patterns and the results are so gorgeous! I’m getting beautiful Solarpunk vibes from her work, especially I3.
  3. This CollegeHumor sketch on hypermasculinity is just fantastic, and it sums up so many things that go wrong in advertisement – and, honestly, in Western society in general.
  4. Osmia bicornis, the Red Mason Bee, 2019’s insect of the year for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Bees in general are so wonderful and I keep them in mind while planning my balcony garden for this year.
  5. My Family. Or rather families, plural. My LARP family, my family of friends that I’m slowly building here in Hanover and of course my two blood families. I think they don’t even know how much strength they give me simply by existing, and how much I love them.
  6. Russian Doll was a fine enough series (have you seen it yet?) but what really stuck was the, well, theme song Gotta Get Up by Harry Nilsson. It has a lot of things I love in songs – accordeons, great chords, brass, short, choppy rhymes, a march-y beat, relatable lyrics – and it’s basically the first thing I listen to in the morning at the moment.
  7. Onion Peel Dye. I’m currently trying my hand at natural dyes again and the sunny yellow from fair onion skins is one of my favourite colours ever.
  8. Warmer Spring Days – I even went barefoot on a walk through the hills behind my mother’s house for a few minutes! We still get cold days (which is perfectly alright with me) but you can clearly see where nature is going right now.
  9. I started a diary again – but a drawn rather than a written  one. After going through it again I remembered how much fun my travel diary from our last Amsterdam trip was for me and decided to have one for the journey that is my everyday life, as well.
  10. Okay, how amazing is the Embroidered Computer by Irene Posch and Ebru Kurbak? To me – who has barely any idea about how these things work – this is such a magical piece of art and I absolutely love the idea (again, very strong Solarpunk vibes).

Doneday: Rustic Kitchen Towels

Doneday (formerly known as Finished Things Saturday but now moved to Mondays) is the (usually) bi-weekly counterpart to my UFO Fridays. While there I show you what I’m working on, Doneday is about finished projects – I used to think that small things weren’t worthy of a separate post but now I just put them in this feature and feel less silly about it. They deserve it! For more Doneday, look here.

Country Tea Towels (2)

Recently I relentlessly threw out all the kitchen towels that didn’t spark joy anymore – stained, worn out or plain ugly – and at the end of the day we were left with only two or three that we would actually use. I’m a big fan of the concept of decorative everyday items: Things that we use, if pretty (or aesthetically pleasing) enough, double-function as home decor which in turn means less overall clutter because we don’t have to put up additional decorations. I also like everyday items to decorate my spaces, but that’s a completely different topic.

Country Tea Towels (1)

Anyhoo, after sorting out the not-so-pretty ones we were left with far too little to go on about out normal kitchen life so I set out to get new ones. The problem? The ones I found pretty weren’t very good at doing their primary task (or packaged so I couldn’t feel them to get an idea of their quality), and the ones at the thrift store – tried and tested – either looked like the ones I just got rid of or weren’t a design I liked.

Country Tea Towels (4)

But a girl can sew, and when I found the perfect table cloth – rustic weave, blush light pink, yellow stripes woven in and, most importantly, able to take liquid – at the thrift shop I just decided to make the new tea towels from this. I simply cut it up into six pieces, hemmed them, added hangers and was done with it, a super quick project.
Each towel is about 30×40 cm and has a hanger on each smaller side, this way they won’t wear out as quickly (a trick I picked up from one of those “Granny’s Old-Time Tips & Tricks” kind of books when I was a teenager, and somehow it stuck), made from another thrift find, sunshine yellow velvet ribbon.

Country Tea Towels (3)

In the end these are far more satisfying to me than any store-bought version. They aren’t a compromise, nobody else has them and they were made out of thrifted material which is great for the planet, too. And they make me smile every time I dry the dishes. What more could I possibly want from a kitchen towel?

What have you made recently (maybe even out of pre-loved materials)? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear!

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

UFO Friday

UFO Friday is my (usually) bi-weekly series where I show you what projects I’ve been working on (UFO standing for UnFinished Objects). For more of these, look here and for every other week’s feature, Finished Things Saturday, look here.

UFO 19-10

While it has been uncharacteristically warm for mid-October lately, Nature starts taking what it hers and the herbs on my balcony slowly start to get ready for winter. High time to start my tiny harvest and preserve what I can get, and the first one to get cut back was my lemon verbena.

UFO 19-102

It’ll need a bigger pot next year either way so we’re considering re-potting before we take the plant in for winter – verbena doesn’t fare well in our climate during the cold months. I’m looking forward to brewing the first infusion from this harvest – it’s my first own beebrush, and I’ve always loved the smell of the leaves so much!

The next step is trying to make cuttings, just in case something goes wrong (and because more plants are always a good idea), and then I’ll go on to harvest my curry plant.

106_6692

And in the crafts department I’ve been struggling with a skirt – I think I had to re-make the lining three times before it worked out as it was supposed to be. I’m always a bit wary when it comes to projects like that, afraid that they will not have been worth all the trouble in the end, but I decided to see this one through. Do you have similar sentiments sometimes? I’d love to hear about that in the comments (please tell me I’m not alone!).

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Something Borrowed: Zakka

zakka2I love checking out craft books. My growing collection of thrifted books is mostly from the 70s and 80s, with all the nice and not so nice things this entails (the boxy cuts. Oh wow, the boxy cuts.). But each time I go to the library I wander by the hobby shelves, scouring the boards for yet unknown treasures, and Handmade Zakka & Craft by TUESDAY – designer couple Togawa Tomo and Togawa Chiyo – was one of them.

Zakka Cover BNN
cover of the English edition via BNN

With everyday material and a little creativity, you can make fun, original, and cute objects.
This book introduces you cute and easy ideas to make everyday life more colorful!
Learn the fun of creating room ornaments from paper and thread, accessories from felt, the most exciting party items, and picture collections to enjoy with families! Children also love reading this book with you.
BNN

zakka4While none of the featured techniques were a mystery to me I enjoyed the book for its lovely ideas and the combination of really good design and simplicity. The Togawas prove that things don’t need to be complicated to look great, something a lot of other craft books either don’t mention or don’t achieve. It fits fantastically into the early Mori Kei aesthetic, calm and sweet and handmade, that I adore.

zakka6The overall design of the book is so charming, from the listing of materials in visual form to the artist features that are at the end of each chapter.

zakka5zakka1None of the materials used are really fancy in any way, nothing you wouldn’t get at the dollar store or even thrifted for a bargain on short notice, and they even make use of everyday items that are subsequently turned into indie movie-worthy art.

If you’re looking for inspiration for small, quirky projects this is the right book for you. My creativity was triggered by a house stencil skirt, I might have somewhere I want to go from there in mind, and I love it.

zakka7zakka3I’m also a big fan of just using small things, toys, tools, everything really, as jewelery so I was smitten to see something like it here!

The book has seven categories, stationary, toys and decoration among them and even a few recipes, so everyone should find something here. And the publisher is right, this would make a great book to introduce crafting to kids – but not only kids – with. With its neat design and the effortlessness of the projects that can be made in half an afternoon it’s just right to get someone into making things.

zakka8Would I read it again? Sure, and now that I browsed BNN’s craft book section I might need to make a bit more space on my craft book shelf. Yikes.

Something Borrowed is the title for my posts about books, comics and other works from the library. Libraries are amazing, please use them.

Pictures in order of appearance from the German edition (ISBN 978-3-86355-101-8):
TUESDAY T’s, p. 2 | miniature garden, p. 50 | material, p. 6 | fruit sticker art, p. 27 | googly eye cars, p. 109 | toy necklaces, p. 78 | toy pins, p. 81 | magnet fishing game, p. 111

10 Things I ♥ in May

May Favourites 2018

  1. Seeing the first tiny seedlings sprouting on my balcony. I’m not even sorry for flooding my favourites with gardening right now. By now, at the end of the month, they aren’t even tiny anymore.
  2. Painnt is my current favourite app to experiment with filters. It allows you to transform your pictures into paintings by VanGogh or Kandinsky, into sketches or into something that looks like it’s been torn out of a comic book. I’m just starting to play around with apps like this so I’m really curious where they’ll take me.
  3. While it’s a horrible time sink Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is just so adorable. I’d never played any incarnation of Animal Crossing before (I never had the device for it) so this was a first for me. But being surrounded by self-absorbed technicolour wildlife while I’m decorating a campsite with random stuff ranging from Victorian sofas to pumpkin carriages? Yeah, I’m in. If you happen to play please leave a comment with your ID so I can add you as a friend!
  4. Getting to make up new worlds and things with friends. I’m currently working on something for a more post-apocalyptic setting for once and I love it (and there’s hopefully more of it to come!).
  5. The slightly bizarre and otherworldly dream sequences in The Finder. I know I’ve mentioned the series before but I just finished it (I’m really distractable, okay?) and I think that is one of my favourite things about the whole thing. Also Maddie Hasson is still gorgeous.
  6. Look at this beautiful “Hands in the Dirt” block print by Kelly Louise Judd. as someone who comes home from with dirt under their nails just to go on working on the balcony garden I might have some need for this on a shirt.
  7. Experimenting with new techniques, be it crafting or art. I’m working on my first ribbon embroidery piece right now and it’s really satisfying (and so much quicker than thread embroidery!).
  8. Look at this strange and lovely Nesting Doll here. I love what people do with 3D printing and I’m a sucker for collector’s art toys. Make sure to check out the rest of the creator’s shop, the zoetropes are so cool!
  9. This H&M Lace Shirt (here’s a backup link for when it’s gone. There is nothing more annoying than dead links in lists). It doesn’t look the part at first because of the lovely lace but it’s SO comfy! I’ve got it in blue and (by now) tea-dyed white for now and I’m seriously considering getting powder pink and black, too, because it’s such a great basic piece.
  10. I adore lebanese-french artist Jumana Medlej‘s Food Illustrations. She also draws wildlife (I’m in love with pangolins, for ever and always) and cultural artifacts. I use parts of her British Museum and Pâtisserie icon sets for my desktop and they always make me happy when I look at them.