A Canadian gal in Stuttgart, Germany, who loves nothing better than crafting by the seat of her pants. See her snip, sew, knit, knot, glue, sculpt, splatter, spin, and of course, talk about herself.

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Monday, February 26, 2007
In which I am possessed by a Bronte sister.
After all of your kind thoughts bidding me adieu last week, I really hope you're not going to turn on me when I tell you how horribly slothful I was in Ireland this past week ;) Being February, the weather was not exactly cooperative - we had a fair bit of rain most of the week - but I still couldn't help losing myself in the romantic landscape of southern Ireland. Although not as dramatic as the luxurious greenery seen in summer, winter's more rough and tumble coverings seem the perfect setting for high Victorian drama. Having a terrible weakness for classic novels, I could only sigh and picture a dark, scowling figure wandering over the moors, or a headstrong, heartbroken girl rushing headlong into the rain. As melancholy as this may sound, I am a strange sort of person in that I am comforted by even the tragic romance. I am not only terribly romantic, but also an optimist, at heart, and I have always believed that where there is love, there is hope. So even the saddest love story will only serve as proof to me that love, even if it does finally bring pain, is nevertheless out there in some shape or form. And, of course, being young and healthy, I cannot imagine I am anywhere near the end of this great game of life and so can't help but believe that love and hope must come again.

My goodness! Can you tell I've been listening to Villette before bed?? I really don't mean to be quite so dramatic. Actually, things aren't looking nearly as bleak as they did before I left, though I am still haunted by several spectres of doubt (Damn you Bronte!!). But I can't bring myself to give up yet on a partnership I have put so much time and energy into, as well as made great sacrfices for. It's a strange feeling, I feel as though on both sides of the coin there is the possibility of great happiness and also great sadness. I suppose only time will tell. But some what may, I know I can handle it :)

So, to come back to my week in Ireland, being faced with some bad weather and - at the start of the week anyway - being a bit down in the mouth, there was nothing for it but to go shopping. I can't tell you what a joy it is to not only be able to shop someplace new (Stuttgart is dull dull DULL) that offers creative, pretty things and is even affordable! Saints be praised! Although, being in soon-to-be-moving mode, I had to control myself a little bit (what is the good of a bargain that will cost twice as much to ship to Canada?) I did manage to both see and buy a few lovely things. I was especially smitten with almost everything at this one shop in Limerick, called Avoca. They had the most darling little totwear! And all sorts of accesories to match. I tell ya, I could've got myself knocked up right then n there! I mean, look at the little lion patchwork, isn't is just adorable? I have no idea what I'm going to do with my fabric stash, so maybe I'll make use of some of it and try one of these on the weekend. Even if it doesn't work out, it's just one less thing to ship ;D

Yikes! I didn't notice how late is was! I've still got a bunch of things to do before I got to bed, so I'm afraid I'll have to do more show n tell tomorrow (I hope!). But before I go I want to thank you all again for your heartfelt comments, they mean so much to me. I just feel so lucky to know such wonderful, kind people. Oh, and before I forget, I try to answer all comments personally by email but there are couple of you whose addresses I don't know. So if anyone who hasn't gotten mail from me is feeling neglected, feel free to mail me through the link on my blogger profile and then I can answer you directly. I'm a bit behind on mailing at the moment, but I'll be catching up over the week. Good night, girls! Sweet dreams!


posted by tatjana @ 10:03 p.m.   6 comments
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Change of scenery
I really want to thank all of you for your support. Being so far from my friends and family, and not having many close friends here in Germany can make things especially difficult, so it's nice to know I'm not alone :)

I should probably say that, although I was already planning to go back to Canada sometime this year, what is creating so much uncertainty is that whereas before I was planning to make the trip with my partner and find a place to settle down and maybe start a family. Now it looks like I will have to take the trip alone. Matthias is no longer sure if he's ready for the move, and neither know if our relationship will survive it even if we were. It seems like all of a sudden I have no idea where I'm going, or what my future looks like. For a variety of reasons, we've agreed that I will go back earlier than planned and that he will come to visit so we can figure out if we can still find a way to make this work. In any case, I need to go home. I have frequently gotten homesick living here up to the point where I was constantly getting sick and periods of several weeks where I couldn't sleep properly. I'm sure this hasn't helped, or the fact that the only reason I've endured it this long is for the sake of the relationship. I think it's time for me to try and put my life back together in a way that I'm happy living, with or without a partner. Now it's just a matter of figuring out how.

Tomorrow morning I will be flying to Ireland for 5 days and try to both relax and get back a better sense of myself. Sometimes between all stress and chaos of day to day life, it's easy to loose touch with your heart, with that inner sense we all have that tells us what's really important.

Funnily enough, I will be going with Matthias' mom. Luckily, we have always been good friends, and she doesn't yet know about the problems we're having. I haven't decided yet if I will talk to her about it, because I'm just not sure where my own head is at yet. But I love her dearly and am crazy about Ireland, so I think the trip will do me good. I'll do my best to take some nice pictures to show off when I come back, though I'm not sure what the landscape is like there this time of year. We'll see!
The pictures above were taken last weekend when I went to Strasbourg with a couple of friends. It lies on the border with France and is quite beautiful. There are a few more pictures on my flickr page. Thanks again all of you for being so understanding, and I promise I will be stopping by to visit all of you more often when I get back. Have a great week!
love and hugs,


posted by tatjana @ 10:00 p.m.   4 comments
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Free to a good home?
I could make some excuses here about how I've been sick, or had a million and one things to do for work, or didn't want to post til I found my camera again, but I won't. I'm going to be perfectly honest and say my life is falling apart. Don't be alarmed now! It's done this before, and with a few knocks and scrapes, I got out just fine. I'm a trooper that way.
But I don't have much of a reason left for staying here and it's time to make my way back home. It's surely for the best, as I never really felt at home here, but at the moment I still have more of a feeling of the leaving behind than the going towards, if you know what I mean. I have a few weeks until I can end my contract and then will be the long process of finding a new home and new job. At least I will be able to do it on familiar soil and have some of my friends and family around me. I don't have it in me to go into particulars right now, but I wanted you all to know that I'm not neglecting my blog (or yours!) without good reason. I just need some time to sort my head and heart out.


posted by tatjana @ 5:05 p.m.   9 comments
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz
We are working on a new research proposal, so I have been a busy bee this week. It is just amazing how much time and work goes into the process just to apply for research funding. This is for a medium sized project, with 6 partner organizations (besides us) in 5 different countries. I am off to Munich with my boss and a couple co-workers this afternoon so we can meet with some of the partners for dinner. I then get to somehow keep track of every point that gets discussed while they debate all day tomorrow on what should be done and how. But I don't want to think about that right now ;)

Now I get to take a little break to say hello to all of you and show you the pretty little things I made. This week was the deadline for an ATC swap on SwapBot and I had kinda forgot. Luckily I remembered in time and whipped up the two you see here and sent them off. I don't make ATCs as often as I'd like to, mostly because I find once I start I think of all these things I want to do with it and end up spending way too much time on them. But then, maybe if I didn't I wouldn't be as happy with how they turned out. The first one is called 'We will wake up soon' because I have had spring on my mind, and all the little sleeping flowers who I am wishing would wake up and bloom. We have been having all sorts of icky grey weather and I am longing for some colour. The second ATC is called 'Catching a breath of fresh air' and think of it as the beginning of the story of a hot little lace slip gone AWOL :D It made me really happy to cut out all the little technicolor bits and fiddle with my lace to find a part of the design that was really skirt-like.

Oh, I just remembered that I never explained what these ATCs were. I probably should have, because they look sort of wierd, but the meaning behind them is actually quite romantic. The first one is called 'Diego, mi corazon' which is Spanish for 'Diego, my heart' and is a detail from Frida Kahlo's painting The Two Fridas. She painted this after their divorce, showing a strong, whole hearted Frida comforting the one without Diego's love, with a heart broken and bleeding. It is a very powerful image of her immense love and despair. I added new veins of red yarn to try and show the heart as beginning to heal, that love would come again. The second ATC is taken from Diego Rivera's painting The Hands of Doctor Moore. Most of Rivera's painting and murals were political rather than personal, but here he shows his love and concern for Frida and his fear of her having to be amputated (she had many health complications due to a bus accident in her youth). He portrays her as El arbol de la vida (the tree of life) a popular symbol in Mexican art (and a favourite of mine). Here again I tried to introduce an element of healing, taking away the cutting hand of the doctor and drawing in new, live roots over the dead root/leg, as well as adding flowers blooming in the tree branches. I greatly admire these two artists and am also inspired by their great passion for life and for each other. Although, as I mentioned, they were divorced, they could not live without each other and were later married again. But there was a lot of suffering in both their lives and marriage, which can be seen especially in Frida's paintings. It has always been my rather romantic hope that they have both gone on to a place where there love no longer has to fight against the many problems they had while they lived.

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posted by tatjana @ 12:17 p.m.   8 comments

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