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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Sunday, March 18, 2007
999 Things - German is fun!
Wow. I haven't added to my was-supposed-to-be-added-to-regularly-and-get-super-long-list. Since I am busy doing a lot of not terribly intresting things, I'll share a couple things with you that make me really happy to speak the German language. If any of you have never considered learning a second language, I highly recommend learning a few words of something just for the fun of it. Words that seem dull as dishwater in your native language will often take on a whole new light and wonder in another! Really! Taking the time to learn another language is one of the greatest gifts I have given myself. So here's a couple fun German words I'd like to gift you all with. Happy Sunday everyone :)

81. The German version of 'in the middle of nowhere' is im Arsch der Welt, which means 'in the ass of the world.'

82. A Thingamajig is a Dingsbums (when pronounced it sounds like dings-poomps). When I first got here, everything became a Dingsbums.

83. Names Jutta (sounds sorta like Utah, but with the stress on the first syllable) and Knut (K-noot). There was a story on the news a couple days ago about a baby polar bear in a German zoo, whose name is Knut. He was so adorable I've decided to replace cute with Knut, because it's just more fun to say ;)

84. Darn! = Quatsch! (Kv-ah-ch!)

85. As a knitter, I love that German patterns call picot trim Mausezähnchen (little mouse teeth).

86. Quotation marks are sometimes referred to as Gänsefüßchen or 'little goose feet'

87. All nouns are capitalized. It's amazing how things as mundane as Nosespray or a Hamsandwich (this would be a super compound Noun in German) seem more important somehow with a big, fat capital Letter.

88. Although I don't have much of a sweet tooth, one of my favourites at the bakery is a Bienenstich or 'bee sting cake' - named so because of the honey glaze on top.

89. A vacuum cleaner is a Staubsauger - literally dust-sucker.

90. If something is really great, you may hear someone say that it's Affengeil or 'horny as a monkey'!


posted by tatjana @ 9:22 p.m.   11 comments
Sometimes Blogger is a pain in my Dingsbums!!
For those of you ladies using Bloglines, I was fiddling with Labels for my blog posts today and seemed to have somehow gotten a bunch of old posts to pop up again. So don't be frightened if there are suddenly a bazillion posts of mine on your Bloglines list - and don't feel you have to read them either, especially since at least a few of you already have ;)
posted by tatjana @ 9:17 p.m.   1 comments
Monday, March 12, 2007
You are all just the bestest ever! I swear, just as I had clicked the publish button, there was this little rush of panic as I though - Oh my god, did I really just post a picture of myself in pink fishnets on the internet!?! Not that I'm the type to get easily embarassed - if y'all knew have the stupid things I do on a regular basis, you would be hard pressed to believe I wasn't doing it on purpose. But there's just something a bit intimidating about knowing that your stupidity has been saved for all prosperity on a medium that is open to the whole world.

Hehe. Actually, come to think of it that's pretty funny! Maybe I should post pictures which are really embarassing, like those of me at the annual Whores and Transvestites Party (oh google, who will you send to my blog now?) . The idea of it is that everyone who attends, whether male or female, must dress like a horribly tawdry hussie. It's loads of fun! I think one of the things I miss the most here is dressing up for Halloween, so when this party comes round, I take full advantage. I just love dressing up! It's so much fun to look for the tackiest, trampiest things possible, and to help the boys with their boobs! I am the official champion boob maker. We use latex gloves we still from the lab and fill them with water. Not too much though! Otherwise you have fingers sticking out of your boob ;) You tuck the fingers underneath and put the "boobs" into an extra big bra - and voila! Boy with boobs!

Anyway, back to my makeover-in-progress, I really appreciate all of the comments and suggestions, as obviously, I need all the help I can get ;) As I said, I need to get away from the frumpy things I have been wearing lately, but I'm not sure I can go back to the things I used to wear before the descent into frump began (ie pink fishnets). I think Risa made a good point that I could maybe find a compromise between the two extremes. It is very tempting to go back to one of my many past looks...the hippie in torn jeans and beflowered hair, the punky girl with combat boots and purple hair (and the fishnets of course) or even the Bjork fan with little buns and dots on my face. But the idea here is for a new me! As I think I may have hinted at before, Stuttgart is not so much a style haven, so me needs be looking for inspiration someplace else! Although I have had a long term love affair with Vogue, what I really love best is your everyday style queens. Growing up in Toronto, I was constantly amazed at the things people wore - so I was really happy when I noticed there are quite a few Toronto folks on Wardrobe Remix. If you haven't seen it before, check it out - it's awesome! If you find looking through that many pictures a little tiring though, you can always check the week's highlights on Bits and Bobbins, which is run by the group's creator. There are also links to other street fashion sites, like the famous Sartorialist and the cute cute cute Hel-looks of people in Helsinki, many of whom qualify as walking works of art.
But of course, inspiration aside, the main component of real style is certain personal je ne sais quois. It's all about working what yo mama gave you ;) As we all know there is nothing more beautiful than just being your own wonderful self. With that in mind, I leave you with a poem that darling Helen left a link to in reply to my last post. Enjoy!
When I am Old I will wear Purple!
When I am an old woman,
I shall wear purple - -
With a red hat which doesn't go,
and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandles,
And say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
and gobble up samples in shops
and press alarm bells
and run with my stick along public railings,
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit!
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at ago,
or only bread and pickles for a week,
and hoard pens and pencils
and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
and pay our rent
and not swear in the street,
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner
and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised
when suddenly I am old,
And start to wear purple!
--Jenny Joseph

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posted by tatjana @ 2:09 p.m.   8 comments
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Everybody now - 'I feel pretty....Oh so pretty...."
We all know that women are known for certain weaknesses....shoes, chocolate, designer handbags...I'm sure many a husband or boyfriend could adds scores to such a list. I, of course, am just a girl like any other - I too often get my thrills from a shoe or clothing rack. And as I mentioned in my post about Ireland, I am not above shopping my blues away ;) It must be said, however, that since I've been living in Germany this tendency of mine has nowhere near reached the heights it did while I was in Canada. This is mostly due to me still being aghast at many of the prices here (it takes me micro-seconds to figure out what each price would be in "my money" ie Canadian dollars) and that this does not happen to be a region that caters to the vintage or retro shopper. That said, I am ashamed to admit that my manner of dress has gone appallingly downhill over the last year or two. I have slowly gone from being a dresses-and-skirts-with-funky-bags sort of girl to a rarely bland mix of jeans with t-shirts and usually not so exciting cardigans. It's amazing how something like this can sneak up on you! I think my younger self would have been horrified to know that I would become a regular wearer of dull outfits like these...

Don't let the romantic German background fool you! I am clearly a woman in need of help. Now, you can't tell in the first picture, but I'm almost positive I was wearing running shoes. Not that there's anything wrong with running shoes - they're very comfortable, practical and have their time and place - but they'd never be called glamorous, or even stylish. Besides, we're aiming for girlie, sexy even. I mean, let's be perfectly honest here, I have no problem with getting older, my mother is pushing 65 and still by far the most beautiful woman I know - but it's a fact of life that the effects of gravity on my girliest of parts is becoming more palpable by the year and frankly, I think I need to show off what I've got while I still got it ;) If I am lucky enough to live that long and still have my wits about me, I still plan to be the most colourful of fashionistas when I'm 80, but I'm pretty sure I won't be doing it in a short skirt. So, in the spirit of looking like a girlier girl, I could not resist this hot little number I found today at H&M. I tried to take as good a picture as I could, but I sadly had little success in capturing the cuteness of this dress. It's cotton jersey in teal (*so* comfy! and still girly!) with 3/4 length sleeves and cuffs with 3 little buttons. I'm a sucker for cuffs. There's some gathering at the yoke and at the tops of the sleeves, as well as the cutest little keyhole in the back! (oops! forgot to get a pic of that too)

As can often happen with a solid-coloured dress though, it needs some kind of waist definition, hence the pink sash around the waist. I'm going to look through my fabric stash for something I can make a belt out of, which I also need for another tunic-y type dress I have. I've been wanting to make a couple fabric belts ever since I fell in love with those used over dresses by Noa Noa, a Danish designer who makes the lovelist fairy princess type things. I have already collected a few of said things, but they have such a light, airy quality to them, they seem out of place in any weather other than balmy sunshine, so it looks like I will have to wait a bit before pulling them out of the closet :( But I'm hoping this new purchase will be a good transition outfit, until I can start wearing my summer things (which are not quite so hopeless) and most importantly, get me to wear my pom-pom shoes more often!

I really love these. They're just so ridiculous, and they match the dress perfectly! I found them on sale for 10 Euro in the middle of fall, which was very grey and rainy - not good for suede flats. So these have been living in the closet since then. Do you think the pink fishnets are too much? I couldn't help it, I've been starving for colour. Now I've got to go rummage around in my collection of trinkets and try and get in the habit of wearing jewellery again. Enough of lonely, neglected earrings! No more spinster necklaces! Mama's not only got a new (sorta) pair of shoes, she's got a new dress to match - and she's gonna show it off ;D

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posted by tatjana @ 7:52 p.m.   13 comments
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Pssst....over here...LOOK!
alpaca sweater - in progress
He he. Excuse you me while I flash you my knits ;D

Sorry to be so lazy about posting, but in between my swing dance classes which finally started up, working late and trying out wall climbing, I've hardly been on the net at all. Or home, for that matter. But I'm trying to keep my knitting going on the train to and from everywhere. I'm curious to see what this sweater is going to finally look like when I add the variegated yarn for the yoke. No matter what though, it's going to be a wonderfully soft and cuddly sweater. If you haven't tried the baby alpaca from Knitpicks before, you really should. I found it pleasant to knit with and it just makes the loveliest, softest fabric. I also just love the delicate heathered colour - it's hard to show in 2D, but the colour has more depth than what you can see in the picture. Ok, I've got to run and sort through more of my yarn and fabric before turning in...sadly I have too much stuff to take it all home with me, so I'm going to have to sell off what I can on eBay before I go. That is, whatever I can convince myself to part with. Wish me luck ;)

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posted by tatjana @ 9:32 p.m.   4 comments

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