August 21, 2014

The Light is Changing

 I can feel fall every time I open up my studio window.Leaves are starting to turn, which seems a bit early, but I'm not going to complain. Not too exciting around these parts, and it shows for lack of photos on my post, hahahah. I've been holed up at home cutting capes and little linen mice this past week. I'm trying to get some of them in the shop in time for the holiday season. Last year, the capes did well for Halloween, and even Christmas, so I'm starting on those first before some fall/winter apparel. I just bought THE most darling new fabric for lining some of the capes,and I can't wait  to show you! Think retro vintage Little Red Riding Hood :) I'm waiting to receive it in the mail before I make anymore capes.

I think I mentioned before that there are quince trees out back didn't I? Well, they are right outside our bedroom window and they are covered in fruit. Anyone have any good recipes for them? I do know that they have to be cooked first, but besides quince jelly or preserves, I'm looking for something savory maybe to make with them. Maybe a trip over to Pinterest might be in order hahah. Speaking of recipes, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the blueberry cake I made not long ago. We loved it so much I made another one last weekend! Go over to Smitten Kitchen and check it out, you will not be disappointed! Love that blog so much I put the cookbook of it on my wish list, and Caitlin and Cyrous gifted it to me. I really want to make more of the things in that book! Sometimes you get stuck going to the tried and true books that you love, but I really need to crack this one open and make some feasts from it. Right around now I start to get my cooking mojo back and start thinking about all the wonderful fall treats that lie ahead. Good bye summer, I won't miss you at all.
Up date on Riki bird.....I have him almost finger trained, and I think he might be ready to come out of his cage to explore. This always makes me a bit nervous, but he is a lively little guy and I don't want him to be stuck in his cage, and not have a fun life of adventure. Wish me luck, because I MIGHT take him out this weekend.

August 11, 2014

Back From the Summer Daze

Hello all!  The rest of July flew by after our return from Europe, and I'm feeling the dog days of summer in the worst way. Heat always kills me and now we enter into August, which I'm sure will show no mercy with the temps.
Enough about the weather though! Lots still going on, like the little birdie up on top. Quincy passed away on the 1st of August. Always so hard and sad to see a little living creature die. Enter Riki! He is already proving to be quite charming and talkative. I actually got him to get on my finger today, which is one step closer for me to release him from his cage to roam. I'll keep you posted on his progress.
Even though it is hot out, the leaves are showing me that fall is around the corner. We have a gazebo out back with grapes, and lucky for us, they are delicious and ready to enjoy right now. The persimmons are going to be beautiful when they ripen and I will have to dig out some recipes for them. My mother in law gave me her persimmon pudding recipe, that she use to make for Christmas. I may give that a try when they are ripe.
This past weekend we helped move Caitlin and Cyrous to their new apartment. They will be much closer to the school now which is good, and I'm loving their new neighborhood. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a pic I posted of the area. Caitlin will finish her last year of college this school year, and I'm sure she is more than ready to move on from University life!
I'll be working on some little linen mice, like the one pictured above(with clothes of course) for the holidays. I'll announce when they will be in the shop as usual. The liberty top that I started before I left for Europe, is finally done, and will be for sale either today or tomorrow.  It's a cooler day today, so I'm off to work in the studio.    Didn't want too much time to slip by without a new blog post :)

July 31, 2014

Germany Part 4

Here is a little peek into our friends beautiful flat in Munich. They were so kind to let us stay there after they left for their honeymoon. If apartments and flats looked like this in our area, I would chuck everything in a second and downsize to fit into this lovely space. Everything is thoughtfully laid out and efficient. I love how they decorated it as well, and it really reflects their personalities. The building was built in 1910.  I loved, loved the stairs! The old wood steps have that wonderful sound to them when you walk up them. You can just imagine all the history and the people that would have walked up and down those steps.
While living in Europe, it was always so fun for me to see how architecture changed as you crossed borders into other countries, or within the country itself, because of many influences from other cultures.  I really also loved how light filled it was and the two balconies that it had on both ends. Their neighborhood is really nice and quiet, and you would never know you were in a bigger city.
Many thanks again for letting us stay there Hans-Gerd and Marion, can't wait until we get together again!

On another note....It is hotter than hades over here and my energy level is very low. I can't seem to motivate to finish anything for the shop, because I start to move around and get so hot and annoyed, even though the AC is on! Every summer it's like this for me, no matter how I try and gear up for it. If and when we get a break in the heat, I sure hope I can get some more things done, because it's making me a bit sad to keep walking by my work space with no motivation to go in there to work!
It's hot the minute I get up, so it isn't even like you can start early and get things done before it gets hot!  Anyone else out there hating the dog days of summer? Sometimes I feel like I'm alone in my loathing of summer :(   Hope you enjoyed a virtual trip to Germany!

Stay cool, if you are in the heat, and if you are living in a cool spot...lucky you!

July 26, 2014

In and Around Munich Germany Part 3

Are you tired of my travel photos yet? As you can see Munich kind of stole my heart and I could not get enough of all the sites and interesting goings on.  We started out this day at a Beer Garden with the most delicious food! Of course those pictures uploaded towards the end of this post, even though I tried to get them on the top! Anyway, it was such a wonderful experience and the particular spot we went to was the very oldest in Munich, which made it even more cool! Oh those pretzels......I could have eaten the entire basket by myself! The rotisserie chicken melted in your mouth like butter, and the German potato salad was such a great accompaniment with its lovely vinegar dressing. Of course we cannot forget the beer! I'm not a drinker but I do enjoy an occasional beer or spirit now and then, and when you are in Germany, it would be an insult to not drink a little beer no? After lunch we went into the main center of Munich "Zentrum" and wandered around with no real agenda, just looking and taking it all in. David has been to Munich many times on business, so it wasn't new to him, but for me it was all simply amazing and I loved the vibe of this city and the nice people that we encountered. My first experience of Germany was back in 2004, when we were living in France and took a holiday to the black forest area. It really wasn't long enough to really "get" the culture. This trip really made me look at the German culture more realistic and from my experience, I can honestly say, I love Germany and really want to go explore more, maybe Berlin next time.  
We saw some funny things, like that guy that was basically passed out from drinking way too much and possibly experiencing heat related issues. Shortly after I snapped that photo of him, his friends tried to wake him up with no luck! It was kind of scary there for a minute, because they had to slap him. Then while wandering around I kept noticing that random German people were wearing the traditional clothing that I have shown above in many forms. Some looked like they were just shopping for the day, so it wasn't like there was a festival or anything they were a part of. So, for anyone who reads this that is German, is this normal? We didn't get a chance to ask our friends this question, since they went off on their honeymoon the day after the wedding.
The shops were a delight to brows through, and of course my favorite was the toy store, where I purchased a Steiff bear. Look how cute their toys are!!! My husband said if he were little again and had a choice, he would want to be a kid in Germany. I think I would have to agree!
The final part of my trip I will be showing the surrounding area of where our friends live and a small peek of their flat.  I love where they live, and now when I think about them, I can picture their day to day life and its surroundings!  Come back for the final installment  :)

July 25, 2014

Germany Part 2 Museum Day!

If you don't like museums, you best be on your way hahah.  Anyone who knows me, knows museums are a true passion of mine. I studied museum and gallery display in college, and at one time really wanted to pursue this as a career. I could spend hours in them, and I'm lucky that my entire family adores them as well. My girls were babies in my arms when they first started going to them, and I can happily say that now they too find them as fascinating as I do, as well as important to visit. I feel that when you go to a foreign country, your first attraction should be to visit a museum. It tells volumes of the culture. The most fascinating thing that I found while going to countless museums in Europe and staring at all the portraits especially, is that the locals still very much look the same! Living in the United States, you don't really get to see this, since we are all a mixture of cultures.
I also enjoying seeing just how each country runs their museums. Some countries are quite laid back  with their antiquities and some aren't. I found this the case in France and I was surprised that in one of the museums in Munich, which housed the above "Sunflowers" by Van Gogh, was spotty in their security. They were on top of it for people to not take any back packs in, but laid back while a hoard of Chinese tourists posed with said Van Gogh and leaned against the frame! I will never understand why people feel the need to have their photo taken by the painting! Take a picture of the painting and enjoy it later, why must you have your cheesy self right by it? Anyway...... I decided to snap a few highlights and up close details of paintings that really struck me. I have way more than this but chose some real beauties to put on here. Don't you just love the up close shots of the Van Gogh paintings. One is of the Sunflowers and the other is of a field in France that he painted.  The second to the last picture is of Albrecht Durer. I remember studying this painting in my Art History class and thinking it had such presence and soul to it. So happy I got to see it in person, since he is one of my favorite German painters.
We went to Four museums that day, and lucky for us they were all in one square block and not overly huge.  The other bonus was the fact that we went on a Sunday and only paid one Euro apiece for each museum.
My next will be of the old part of Munich, then I think the next post will be on our friends cool flat, along with some fun neighborhood shots.  Come back if you aren't already too bored with my vacation pictures :)