Sunday, October 5, 2014

So very fall...


We went kite-flying yesterday. I´ve always loved that, and felt like it was the pure embodiment of fall - fall, and ultimate freedom, though now that I´m writing this, it does feels weired to see that in a kite - that´s never free, but always captured with it´s line... 

However, I enjoy kite flying, and now my twins do, too. 
This weekend, they got infected by the joyous feeling of wind getting caught in the kite, carrying it up, and feeling the power to hold something that´s so far up in the sky. They´ve asked me to go again as soon as possible, and I´ll be happy to oblige. 

Can you see my spot in this picture? :)


I didn`t take it too often, though - my spot - I was busy running around between the kites. As I said, I love kite flying. 

More very fall things we did this week? 

Finding natural forts in the hedges along the bike trail...

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...going to the farmer´s market, with it´s noises and smells and the turkish vendor that sells a whole big box of figs for 3 Euros only, and where there´s an instant companionship among the buyers - unsurprisingly, cosidered the close physical proximity of them :)

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What about picking apples?

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We can apply a nice check! to that, as well - our good friends invited us again this year to help them pick some from their big apple tree.

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This year´s harvest was a lot smaller than last years, but I´ve got my jars ready to cook some apple sauce tomorrow, and the dehydrator is running right now :)

 
 
We kickstarted the first of our Halloween preparations for this year - yay!

And my maybe favourite thing this weekend - which I liked even more than the kite flying! - was our backyard campfire. 
 
 
Tim spontaniously came up with the idea - getting some wood and making a fire - and it was so awesome!

I so enjoyed sitting around the fire, roasting bread and potatoes and eggplants, and we sat until it was pitchdark...
... and we read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in the light of Eva´s mobile phone torch app and looked into the embers and coals. Very, very sweet. 

Music: 
For this pos, this song :)
a) because Joe Purdy does make some nice music, 
b) because this song was featured in an episode of "Lost" that Tim and I are currently watching and
c) because it contains a ukulele, and there is no happier instrument. 
 
And with this, we´re gliding into our school break for fall - see you!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Goat cheese, grains and pumpkins


 

So - today is a national holiday in Germany, to celebrate the union after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and that means - everyone´s on the road, enjoying the free day and going on various kinds of trips and excursions. 

We had splendid weather, so off we went!
First, we visited a pumpkin farm. Like, for real. Yep, that´s how cliché we are - but we liked it :)

As you can see, the twins were over the moon for the very tiny baby pumpkins, and spent their pocket money on a really small pumpkin they now use to decorate their toy castle. 

They also liked the really big ones - this one was - behold! - Europe´s biggest pumpkin! At least that´s what they said :)

Our next stop was a mill. 


A private, small, very green mill, in a very remote area surrounded by fields. 


We were allowed to have a peak inside, where the miller explained how everything worked, and we dipped our fingers into the fresh flour. 


Next stop: The goat farm, with the cheese manufactury.


Hooray for feeding goats!

May I also point out the stellar-fashionista combination Ronja is wearing here? Note: Dress from the flea market, combined with a hat she crocheted all by herself the night before.


Feeding the goats rocks, especially when one gets cool shoe covers. Later, we even got full-body covers:


And then we got to see how the cheese was being made:

Of course we were allowed to try it, too. And I questioned the lady about how to make some at home, so you can expect some cheese-themed project in the future.


 Ronja and I had this on our mind for a while - I mean, it´s only the next logical step, following our own honey, eggs and all sorts of juice, sirup and jam, all though we will not - mark my words - NOT - get a goat for our garden. We won´t. But cheese - we can try to make some. It didn´t sound too complicated.


I do admit Eva had a tough time.

She felt too old and too awesome to be included in such childish activities, which I guess is okay - and she did hold herself quite gracious, given the circumstances she´s a teenager who´s not in the slightest interested in her family´s agricultural adventures and was yet being dragged along by us. And I was able to cheer her up with some cookies from time to time.

And speaking of food:

Freshly baked bread, goat cheese, butter, homemade fig jam, homemade plum juice and home made honey - oh, and peppermint tea fresh from the garden - that´s paradise :)

As for today´s music:


This was our sing-along tune in the car today. I love this song. I absolutetly adore it. The original is awesome, too, but I´m posting this cover because I really like how the two boys harmonize. But what´s best are the lyrics - oh, they are so fun :)

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blue sun printing

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This is one of those projects I saw on pinterest and wanted to try ever since - you need paper that is sensitive to light, and sunshine, and then you get some magical results. Basically, working with it is a mixture of art and a really neat science experiment, so, what´s not to like?

I had little trouble finding the paper in Germany - much less than I expected - searching for solar-papier on amazon go me quick and very affordable results.

The paper came, delivered in dark plastic:

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It is not super sensitive - you don´t need complete dark to work with it. I had my kids find the stuff they wanted to place on it before, so it wouldn´t have to be exposed too long, but you don´t have to hurry placing the leaves or toys or whatever you take on the paper - if you do it inside.

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We worked in the kitchen, placing the sheets of paper on a frame we used instead of a tray, so we could carry them out to the balcony into the sunlight.

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I think my favourite is Miro´s playmobil artwork:
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When you start, the paper is all blue, but after some minutes out in the sun, it turns completely white - except, of course, for the parts covered with stuff.  One trouble though is wind - leaves or lace are swiftly blown away, so you get no proper print. I´ve read about covering the paper with glass, but I didn´t have one at hand, so... we just tried shielding our paper from wind the best we could.

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Sometimes more, sometimes less succesfull.

As soon as your paper is completely white, you can rinse it in clear cold water.
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The image will first dissolve, and later, when it´s dry, reappear. Really cool :)
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Right now, these prints are still hanging from our ceiling, looking awesome, but I could totally see fragments of them used on greeting cards or in mixed media art pieces. And we´ve still got some paper left :)

Music:

If you haven´t seen this perfect video, do yourself the favour of watching it, at least to the point when the clothes start raining - it will make you happy for the rest of the day :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Easy cozy hooded sweaters

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I´ve been making these sweaters now for I don´t know how long - it´s always the same, basic pattern, and you can change it however you want to - leave the sleeves to make a vest, make it longer and slightly slimmer to create a dress for a girl, applicate all you want... I really love it. 

So, since I lost the pattern, I picked an old sweater from Mehmet, folded it, and roughly traced around it for the seam allowance. It was late and dark, but it looked like this: 
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After I´d cut it from fabric, it looked like this, and I went to bed happily: 
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Usually, I take fleece, but this time I found some fleece-lined thick, rich jersey fabric, with a surface smooth enough to allow me to iron-on the shark print.

So the next morning, I lined the pocket with bias tape (so it doesn´t fringe):
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If you add the pocket before you assemble the whole thing, that makes it much easier.

And then you proceed the way you like it - since I made sleeves consisting of two parts each, I first attached the front sleeves to the front, then the back sleeves to the back, and then assembled the two sides, sewing down from the shoulder to the wrist, and from the other side of the wrist, via the armpit, down to the bottom. (I hope that makes sense.)

I added some elastic in the hood, attached the hood,

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and had my sons pose for me:

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 Yeah, hemming the sleeves too would certainly make sense.

They are wearing them right now, though - it suddenly turned quite cold over here, and they´re having swimming class today :)

Music for the day:

As much as I´m tempted to go with that "Sweater Weather" song, I´m more in the mood for some smooth JM :) If you don´t just listen, but watch the video, you get to see a nice guitar being built, too!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dear Scotland,

I´d have wished you independence.

Two years ago, I found the idea of an independent scotland ridiculous, outrageous and unbelievable, but then we had an awesome scotsman in our home who totally convinced me otherwise.

I was anxious for the results, and excited to see how an independent Scotland would change Europe. A peaceful separation of a two countries I grew up taking as a granted union felt refreshing, and I - as everybody else, I guess - imagined the watershed-effect for countries in a similar situation - Catalunya, Belgium, Wales - would we become a different Europe? 
I wished all the best for the Yes-side, because I liked the dedicated, but overall constructive way of the debate, and I stayed up late and got up early to see the results. 

Well, maybe a Union with Britain is not so bad after all.

Here´s some consoling music:

5 minute hat from an old sweater

Ronja had this blue, knitted sweater that she´d long outgrown but still regularly wore, despite the arms being to short, so I snitched it from her.

I didn´t want to throw it away, though, because I could see why she loved it - it had some nice, elaborated knitting patterns.

So I made a hat from it:


I simply cut out a shape roughly resembling a hat and sew it together. 


So now it´s Evas cozy winter hat :)  

Music: 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fig tarts

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These are super easy and yummy and fast to make.

You need
  • Ready made dough, a kind you like
  • Figs, obviously - one for each serving
  • Goat cheese
  • Bacon
  • Honey to drizzle over them
All you need to do is spread the dough in your dishes, put cheese in it, cut the figs into quarters and nicely arrange them on top of the cheese, add the bacon (or leave it, to make it veggie), and put them in the oven for 15 minutes.

When they come out, you sprinkle them with honey.

Enjoy :)