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, April 15, 2007
Greetings from Bruchsal
Wait a sec, I've got to catch my breath. Ok, more busy-ness, more work, more tired tired me. But in between my during the week work for old job and weekend and evening work for new job, I have happily just found time to upload some lovely pictures we took last weekend on our day trip to Bruchsal. Another of them small towns in our neck of the woods, this time with a baroque palace that was just the purdiest thing you ever did see! I usually don't even like Baroque - a bit too overdone for my taste really. What is that saying? If it ain't Baroque, don't fix it? Hardy har har. Really though, I couldn't stop snapping pictures. All the little detailling everywhere, it just killed me. So check out my flickr if you have the time.
Oh, and since I was promising button making...I found this über fabulous tutorial on youtube for making fimo buttons! I started making a couple, but then didn't have time to take step by step pictures. But it was really fun playing with the Fimo so I'm definitely going to do that as soon as I have time to breathe again. If only I had a video camera and/or a friend with steady hands, then I could make a video tutorial! Wouldn't that be fun? Until then though, you can enjoy the funky little buttons in the video here :)
posted by tatjana @ 8:07 p.m.   8 comments
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Even if it is 18 degrees outside...
my feet are still cold ok? (BTW, for you Fahrenheit folks, that means 64 dgrees) But not with these cute little slippers! I really love them, I'm already planning on making about a billion pairs of them for christmas for every woman I know, and having a little wicker basket by the door filled with them for when people come over. Pay no attention to the fact that they look slightly assymetrical because I couldn't be bothered to follow a pattern. Yes, the flowers are slightly different too. But that's the charm of something made by hand! Yeah, so as you can see I sorta figured out how to crochet again, at least enough to make these flowers. Luckily I still had a wee bit of yarn leftover from the sweater, because I really like how the light purple sets off the indigo slippers. I'm not sure you can tell in the picture, but the slipper yarn is this wonderful all shades between violet and indigo sort of purple that I love. I found the yarn at the christmas market last year. The lady had no idea where the owner had gotten it, or how to get more, but the label says Tinki alpaca and that it is hand made and dyed with plants in Peru. You can tell it's been spun by hand, as it's a bit irregular and plied loosely, but it's not bad to knit with, and makes the softest, most wonderful fabric. I was only able to buy the two skeins they had in this colour, but I'm really happy to have made 2 projects from them that I will wear often and enjoy. Long before the slippers, I knit up a Panta (millions of which can be seen over on the Panta blog or the thread on Craftster). It's the perfect winter ear warmer, the alpaca could not be softer or cozier!

Ok, enough about cold weather and keeping warm. Southern Germany is heating up and turning all kinds of gorgeous. Yesterday being Good Friday, me and the boy both had the day off and decided to go out for lunch and a walk. We drove to Calw, a nearby town with a lot of old buildings. Dopey me forgot to bring a camera, so I had to settle for using the mobile phone and this was the only picture what turned out. But I promise I will go back and take more pictures before I leave for Canada, because this place has a lot of those little charming nooks and crannies that make old towns so wonderful. In between wandering around, we had a lovely lunch sitting in the sun. Although I don't normally have much of a sweet tooth I only had wild mushroom soup with a croissant so that I still had room for a big piece of blueberry cake with whipped cream. So yummy!
Oh, before I forget, I'm still trying to decide whether to make buttons for my cardigan. But since a couple of you seemed pretty curious about the process, I will probably go ahead and make some either way so you can see what they're like. After all, I've got a little stash of Fimo sitting around that I should probably use, otherwise I've got to drag it across the Atlantic with me, right? So Fimo buttons it is. I will also try and get some pics of some of my buttons, which can be tricky becuase they tend to make that kind of rattling sound that makes cats go completely berserk and start to try and frantically ingest those colourful little plastic things. But I'll do my best :) In the mean time, this is a bracelet I made a while ago with some of my metal buttons. I'm not totally happy with it, because I had a bracelet in my head and this looks nothing like it. Mostly because the bracelet in my head required a whole lot of jump rings and metal chain, which I didn't have. Can you tell I like working from my stash?

posted by tatjana @ 4:04 p.m.   8 comments
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
When bad busy becomes good busy
Ok, I think we can all agree that looking for work is just no darn fun. I mean, all the uncertainty and insecurity, the possibility of rejection, plus all the work involved in preparing a good resume, maybe even different versions, and letters for each potential employer. Since I'm not even in the country yet, I have mostly just been scoping out various NGOs and checking the not-for-profit want ads and have only applied for a couple things I didn't think I would get anyway, just because I won't be able to fill the position soon enough, or be in the country to attend an interview. But as luck would have it, today I took a big step forward in the journey from job searching to job having. After a lengthy conversation with someone I think I will really like working with, I have gotten an assignment to do for a paper which covers organic food issues, which is the area second closest to my heart after the goal of getting people fed. But since I decided to work in an area of the world where that's not the most pressing issue, I am excited about being able to work to make sure that what people eat is healthy and safe, not just for us, but for the environment.

This means things will be a bit hectic the next few days, while I try to get this piece written in between my regular work stuff, so hopefully you'll forgive me for not having a slipper picture today. If it's any consolation, I decided a button just wasn't enough and that I will have to make a couple crochet flowers to put on them, as long as I can remember how - I haven't crocheted anything in a dog's age! Wish me luck!
posted by tatjana @ 10:14 p.m.   8 comments
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Where have they gone?
The last two weeks....do you know? It's amazing the way life can just whiz past sometimes. Ever ask yourself (or someone else ask you) what you've been doing this week and not have any idea? That's pretty much what the past two weeks have been - huh? what was I doing? I just can't seem to keep track of all the things I have to do, and then on top of that, I keep getting urges to make things. Lots of things. I seem to have so many things going through my head these days I feel like it's going to pop right off!

As you can imagine, this has all left me feeling pretty frazzled, and I'm embarassed to say I've been running around with my bitch face on. Don't you hate it when that happens? You know you're being all yucky n irritable, but you're so stressed out you just can't help it? It drives me nuts. Even more so when I stop to think that this happens a lot more often since I've been here in Germany than it ever did before. I used to be known as a ray of sunshine! A happy bouncy ball of fun! I don't think I even want to know what people think of me here - good thing Germans tend to keep things to themselves ;D
But, on a more positive note, spring has officially arrived and I am much comforted by the gorgeous sunshine we've been having and all the little flowers pushing up their fresh little faces to say hello. Suddenly every little patch of grass on campus is peopled with darling little daisies, and these pretty little blue flowers I don't know the name of. It makes me just want to roll around in the grass! The birds are even more excited than I am, this morning I saw a couple of chickadees frantically collecting little bits for their nests, and from my office window I can hear their party-like tweeting most of the day. Thank god for spring!

As far as crafting goes, as I metnioned I've been wanting to make things lately, and have actually managed to start a couple of things, I'm just not sure I'll manage to finish them here's hoping I'll finish them! Two at least are very close to being finished, namely this cardigan, which only needs a button band and buttons and some cute little mary jane slippers I knit up on the train one day, which also need buttons. It's almost silly, really. I don't know if I've mentioned this, although I have showed off a couple additions to my stash, but I'm the biggest button lover. I can't get enough of them. I squeal with delight at the sight of vintage glass ones, and ooh and ah over bakelite. I fret over not using them for the right project, because they are all either one or few of a kind and sometimes I just can't bear to part with them. It's terrible! Anyway, I hae quite the little hoarde, but in spite of this it took me forever to find 2 buttons for my little slippers (which are the softest, cuddliest alpaca - I'll show you tomorrow!) and I haven't found any that are right for the cardigan. ARG! I think I may actually have to go out and buy some more! Oh dear ;) This may not be as much fun as it sounds though, because mostly I like to collect vintage and thrifted buttons, the kind of thing that often involves sorting through big tins and jars. Somehow they're not quite as exciting when they're all hung up on little rack along the wall, sorted by colour. (I mean, what fun is anything sorted by colour really?) It takes away the excitement of digging and searching and feeling all pleased with yourself when you find a perfect little treasure of a button. :) But since I am going downtown with a friend today anyway, I'll take a look if I find anything. Otherwise I may just have to make my first venture into making my own buttons, with some Fimo I've had lying around forever.
So as you can see, I'm trying really hard to keep myself busy with fun things, when I'm not alreay busy enough with the not so fun things. I have to admit though, I'm getting pretty antsy and really just want to get my arse back home. Oh well, at least I have less than 6 weeks to go! Woohoo!

posted by tatjana @ 6:41 p.m.   5 comments

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