Google+ panpancrafts: 2009

12/26/09

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Visste du ha en god jul?

(this is Norwegian and if you´re curious, what it means, just follow the link and translate it)

It´s the 29t of December by now, forgive me that I write that late and less this season. This were quite busy days for me, so I´d better start off right away :)...

First of all let me show you some lovely pics, hubby took auround our house during the last few days:




It snowed for more than 3 days and I really hoped, that it would stay cold and white till Jul. And guess what? It did! After many years of rainy, warm or stormy holliday seasons, this year we finally had a white one! This was one of the best gifts I got this year (despite that I hated to drive the car the last days ;) ) Unfortunately it melted again allready, only some small white spots are left on the lawn. But the weather forecast expects another wave of frost and snow for new years eve.

Now let me show you some of the things I´ve made for Jul this year, some were orders, some were gifts:
a bag for mom, made of two incredible IKEA fabrics, with inside pocket for keys, wallet or tissues. When I bought this fabric mom and I stood before it for quite a long time, pondering and laughing, because we could not imagine, what the hell the squirrel plans to do with the cheese slicer on that bird´s cave... free the birdie perhaps? Maybe one day I´ll write an e-mail to the designer and ask ;).

I made lots of the good pasta oil for friends and colleagues, nearly 3 litres. The receipe (in German) you can find in one of my first posts ever... If someone is interested in an english translation, just leave a comment here and I´ll do it!

This is a very bright coloured waiter´s wallet, which was ordered by a colleague.

What else news to tell?


Since the 24th I work on getting all programms, applications and files I have stored on my new laptop, which is a fantastic fast and even good looking little cutie:


I wished for something like this for Jul, but now I´m still amazed, that I really should get rid of my old, slow and very noisy pc. Now more lagging in Dalaran (what a feeling! Even on a mount I was able to reach the bank in just one try and way below the usual 3 mintues!) , no more brewing another cup of tea, while the pc is starting or only saving a file...

I still use LAN, but that´s not a big deal, since I´m quite sure, we will need to buy a new router when we move latest, and that one will have WIFI.
The current setting (on which I´m actually writing this just right now) is the new laptop, my old additional desktop speakers, a 2nd. screen for better working with photoshop or even playing and chatting at the same time and my good old 5keys mouse, because I cannot imagine playing with the touchpad, despite it´s "intelligent": you can rezise windows with 2 fingers, right click with 3 and so on... charming :)

Today, among other things, I checked out some multi messengers, little programs that connect you with several instant messengers in one place at the same time. Since I used to use MSN, but my girls and some other friends use ICQ I did want to combine both, plus twitter if possible, in only one skin and one login. Another reason was MSN itself: under Windows 7, which is the pre-installed OS on the laptop, the login to MSN using the Live Messenger did not work and after 3 days of searching for a solution I simply have had enough of it.


So I played around a little with several freeware solutions: first trying pidgin and finding the options not sufficient for me (I´m impatient and wanted to find cute skins immediately for example), plus the login to MSN again did not work.
So I installed Trillian Astra as second choice and found it perfect instantly: adding new connections is very easy, it even supports twitter; I can tweet from there directly. I checked the pre-installed skins and choose "Baroque" with a transparency of 80%. Looks classy and georgeous! A chat with mom went through perfect, no lags or delays in transmission... I just love it!
Ok, you need to register an Astra account, which is just another IM, but you can install the program on your phone as well, e.g. it´s even available as an app on the iPHONE store. From what I have seen so far, I only can recommend it. If you´re accidentially searching for a multi messenger, just check out the
Trillian homepage. OK, enough advertisement for now.

I will work on the next little gift tomorrow. I´ll have to send out a little care package to one of my dearest friends, so I have to start with it asap... As usual ;)

New Years eve will be quiet, I guess, but maybe you, Girls (yea! YOU!), decide, that my plan was the best at last? Then it won´t be that quiet, sorry dear neighbors ;).


Later this night I will share some Jul photos, we had a great night with our family... and my self cooked dinner wasn´t that bad I hear ;)

Uh, before I forget: feel free to answer my question from this post´s title above and write it into a comment :) thanks a lot!

So long...
Mone

11/15/09

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A night to remember - a call for old pals

I´m listening to Depeche Modes fantastic live album 101 at the moment and memories are haunting me. The first boyfriend who was a big devotee, I had have, Daniel in Gardelegen... and all the records I lent from him together with his record player, just to listen to the "A broken Frame" all night long. And later, after he had broke up with me "Waiting for the night" and the whole "Violator"
I was such a fan, my whole small 16 years old life then could have been described with Depeche Mode songs!

Now I´m filled with memories of friends, whom I´m afraid, I have lost long time ago, when I moved away from my home town. This was 13 years ago...

And again, there is this feeling of loss and a strange kind of emptiness.
So, my former pals Annett Meissner, Heiko Bauke,my flat mate Maik Zellmer, Christine Schroeter and her sister Katrin Schroeter, Mandy, my sweet class mates Andrea Stock and Antje Enseleit, all you guys from Gardelegen, where once was my home, the town I still miss, the Gods may know why. And all you others, who can remember me: show up, I somehow miss you!
I don´t have anyone left there, all I ever had, all my family now can be found at the local graveyards, and I cannot stay there just 2 minutes without collapsing, but still I believe that the 11 years I lived in this cute little town where so intense and imprinting, that I´sometimes still fell and think like the little, helpless girl I was back then...

Remember how we sang those songs? That we used to drink way too much Berenzen´s sour apple on our way to the "Volkshaus" each friday night? That I was miserable and used to feel like the 5th wheel most of the time? That I so envied Christine for looking so adorable and for making new friends so easily?

Now that I´m grown up I still feel the same sometimes, but occasionally I really feel the need to let you know: I´m ok, I´m fine and my life turned out to be better than I ever had expected it would be. If someone of you reads this, I´d be glad, if you´d say hello to me :)...


So, if anyone can remember - just show yourself. please!

A very nostalgic and beeing 17 and completely helpless again at the moment

Mone

11/13/09

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Haunted by a piggy bank and weekend plans

Of course it´s nothing special, you might think, but I´m a little proud to be honest, because my little piggy bank how to was kind of featured on Cut out+keep´s "Pick of the week":

How could anybody blame me, since I never had been honoured like this before :).

Tomorrow we will celebrate the 85th birthday of hubbys grand-aunt. So I´m busy with washing, drying and ironing the better pieces of my clothing. Meanwhile I plan my weekend activities and came up with the following plan:
1st: the polar fleece plaid for the master bedroom really needs to be finished, since hubby loves to leave the window open, even this time of the year.
2nd: It´s a shame and I really should be embarressed, but since 3 weeks or more my wallet, which I bought last august at a Dunnes store in Shannon/Ireland, is shreded and cannot be closed completely anymore. I should have sewed a new one for me long ago, but, I guess, most of you know, plans like this so often don´t work out. So again I put it on my to do list for this weekend.

The ordered wallet and pasta oil have to be delivered during the first week of December, so I have enough time left for this. The pattern is ready, I only wait for the auctioned leather to arrive here.

Let´s see, how far I´ll get with my plans...

Cheers
Mone

11/4/09

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Featured: Catherinette Rings


I just checked my twitter and saw that SteampunkRings tweeted a new ring added to his Etsy shop check it out! I just love it... have to tell my hubby, for the first time there could be a piece of jewelry I´d like to be given for Jul :)
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Crafty recources pt1 - STEAMPUNK

I just played around with some linking gadges to add some crafty sites I found and wanted to recommend, but I think, there are quiet enough gadges here in this blog design allready. So I came back to the good old link list in a posting.
If you run a site, that you think is missing here, just leave a comment with the url and I´ll gladly check out as soon as possible.

Part one will be honoring all the great sites, recorces and suppliers for the friends of Steampunk among you.

1. Ideas and inspirations

The Steampunk Home - musings for decorations and recorces for a steampunk´s home

2. Free supplies:

Free historical images
lots of historical imagaes: maps, technical, science, fashion snd so on, the resolution of the pictures might not be the highest one, but for a elegant home decoration and other non commercial purposes they work just fine.

Steampunk wallpaper - a blog full of fantastic artwork for your timeless desktop and that even for widescreen as well!

3. General informations and communities

brass goggles - an enthausiastic bunch of people who love and live the lighter side of Steampunk (just like me ;) )

Steampunk fashion - crafty fashionistas and fashionistors showing their great works

Steampunk workshop - loads of informations, links, interviews and more

4. Steampunk can be fun... it should be actually :)

Clockwork Couture dress me edition - by artist&illustrator Annie Stegg, a funy interactive way to decide on your evenig wardrobe, ladies!





11/3/09

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How to - the papier-mâché piggy bank in 10 steps


Ok Folks, I promised and here we go: in this post I´ll show you how to make a papier-mâché piggy bank. Some of you might recall this from your childhood days, so, if you have improvements or better ways to do it, don´t hesitate! I wanna know!

About piggy banks:

Piggy banks or coin banks are quiet common here in Germany, I got my first one aged 4 to save money aunts and my Granny´s rummy friends sliped me from time to time, and when I became 6 we bought a new bicycle from this money (I´m quiet sure, Granny added the most, but it was the concept of learning how to save for something you cannot affort right away.) Nowerdays I had one, where I put all the change in and saved for my new Necchi.

So much for the idea of having a piggy bank, if you did not know these ones before.

Lets get started. First of all, of course, the list of things you´ll need for this project:


what youl´l need:

- ballons/aerostats (best take simple, round ones, at least 2, more depending on how many piggies you want to make)
- lots of old, shred news paper,
- wallpaper paste
- water
- egg carton
- loo paper roll (the carton roll from the inside)
- tape
- 2 sided carpet tape
- craft glue
- acrylic paint or opaque water colours
- 1 bigger paintbrush for the wallpaperpaste, some other paintbrushes for the colours
- clean flowerpots as stands
- craft knife
- scissors
- clear varnish spray


Ok, now you have collected everything you´ll need.

How To


1. read the instructions of the wallpaper paste carefully and prepare a small amount of it as per instructions. You won´t need more than 1/2 cup at once.

2. blow up at least 2 ballons to the size your piggy should have at the end (1 ballon is a backup, if the first one bursts somehow ;) )

3. brush the paste on one half of one balloon and stick newspaper snippets on the gluey parts. brush more paste over the glued snippets and put the balloon onto the flowerpot to let the paste and paper dry. Go on with the back up balloon.

4. if you don´t mind to get sticky fingers, go on with sticking snippets to the other half of each balloon.



5. let dry for at least 30 minutes, if the paper is dry again on most parts, repeat steps 2&4. Go on and put layer over layer, untill you have a good feeling about the thickness of the papier-mâché. I made 7 layers, because I wanted to make sure it won´t rip later.

This is the time consuming part of this project, of course, you can speed it up by gluing several layers at once, but then the paper can rip during the drying process. Again, I wanted to play safe here (at least it should be a birthday present and I had a timeline to meet ;) If you want to do this with your kids, maybe it´s worth to take the (honestly not that big) risk, just to keep the little ones interested and active in this.

5. after you have enough layers and a dry papier-mâché balloon, cut out 4 feet out of an egg carton. trim them to make sure, the piggy later won´t have any unballancing issues. Then decide, how long its nozzle should be and cut it from the loo paper roll. Using the craft glue stick the feet and the nozzle to the ballon, let dry and, if necessary, use the tape for more firmness.




6. to adjust the feet and nozzle prepare another small amount of wallpaper paste and newspaper snippets. stick them as described in step 2 - 4 on feet and nozzle until the edges are soft.
Using more snippets mold the nozzle more detailed and also mold the ears. To mold one ear I started with 2 sqare shaped snippets, which I glued together to the half, so that I got a triangle. This triangle I sticked to piggy´s head and tighten it with mor glued-on snippets. due to the still wet paste it is possible to mold the ear very good. Repeat the steps for the 2nd ear. If you are happy with piggy´s shape, let the little one dry completely.

7. paint the piggy as you like and let dry completely.



8. varnish the piggy with 2 or 3 layers of clear varnish spray, again let dry completely. Use varnish spray very carefully and not near children and pets, the best is to use it outside, at least keep the windows wide open!

9. using a craft knife carefully cut a slot for coins (and notes ;) ) into piggy´s neck. If you don´t want to make a noise with a bursting ballon, just stich into piggy with a pin and wait a while, the air will pass off qietly and after this cut out the slot.
The empty balloon will stay inside piggy´s belly anyway, but that´s ok.

10. the pigtail you can make out of paper, pipecleaners or a wire glued to thick fabric like I did and glue it on piggy´s bottom.


Idea: you could prepare some piggies for your kids and let them do only the painting.

Decorate you piggy bank as you like.

*Done*

This was the piggy bank how to. I really woul love to see your piggies, so if you consider making one, don´t hesitate to send me a picture of the result. I´ll publish them here, if you allow me to.

Thanks for you attention :)

Mone




11/2/09

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Followup: Recent work & random tales

I just reviewed the pictures I have taken over the last few weeks and saw, that 2 projects weren´t mentioned here so far.
But the most obvious thing I learned by sorting, reviewing and deleting unneded stuff, was, that since I work for Kodak´s digital support I have taken bazillions of pictures. Of course, because I work as a technical advisor for the support staff, I need to know the products around quiet well and if I´m honest, there is no better way to find out about digital photography and what functions you prefer. I can use all of the cams and learn, run tests and finally found out, which one I love most. I don´t need a reflex camera for my purposes, I think, for my needs the Z915 or Z950 are the chosen ones, while I guess, I´ll go for the first one. I defenitely love working in this job! :)

But back to OUR business ;) 2 months ago, my lovely mom in law had have her birthday. She dreams of having a special bed by IKEA, and since we cannot affort to buy it I decided to make a piggy bank as a gift at least. It´s dreaming of the one bed and wants to be feeded with money untill we can go back to this funiture store from heaven and buy it :)



It´s made of an air balloon and papermâché, the feet are made of egg-cartons, it´s painted and finally sprayed with clear varnish. The bedcap I sewed and taped it with 2sided carpet tape over one of the freehand modeled paper ears. An How To I will publish asap, it´s a funny thing, we made these in school when I was little and I remembered making these piggies was fun.

Now 2 pieces of random stuff...

1st: Finally A picture of me, which I actually like :):
It was taken at my bff´s birthday party (she is the left one). This was one of the first pictures after having the tonsils removed, not beeing able to eat afterwards for 2 weeks and then starting with WW, because I did not want to gain the allready lost pounds again. It´s pretty amazing, how obvious the lost of 26 pounds did change the face as well ;). So, I´m quiet happy about the result and (forgive me) a little bit proud of myself too. The aim is to loose another 12 pounds, just to reach a good BMI, and then I´m fine with it again :).

2nd: Lets do a little time-warp...
When I was 3 years old, one day my dad took me on a trip to the town (we lived in a small village back then). We went for shopping and so on. In front of a toy shop window I suddenly stucked and did not want to leave, because I had seen something, I wanted to have desperately. It was a little blue bunny with white trousers and a face made of rubber. These toys were some sort of modern back then in the GDR. After I had started to cry and acted up terribly for a while, my poor daddy saw no other choice than to buy the damned thing. I still remeber me schleping it the whole way home from the bus stop, holding it by it´s lugs. It was my best friend over many years. But years later I moved and somehow lost it. I searched all over, and finally... ok, it´s not HIM, my "Blauer" (this was his name, which means "blue one") had eyebrows I had painted with a ball pen, when I had have a flue aged 5; but I got his twinbrother at ebay:

Isn´t he adorable? Just think of how old he must be, they were produced back in the 70´s and 80´s. This one, I never, ever want to loose again, because, besides I still have some photos, it´s the only item I have to remind me of my childhood.

Ok, enough childhood memories, another crafty thing I sewed last month was this:


A tiny belt pouch. It´s that small, because only my cell phone and a locker key need to find place in there. I wanted to have one for the gym, since most of my sporty pants don´t have pockets. I need some music while running and lifting some weights and use the phone for this. It´s working well with the pouch, the inner lining is made of polar fleece, so the display of my nokia gets an extra polish each time:



Again, this was a complete "free style" pattern. I only decided, which fabric I wanted to use and the shape the pouch should have. The rest was fitted to the cell phone and to the last zipper I had on stock ;).

Ok, thats it for now, just let me check the pictures for the piggy bank how to and I´ll come back with that!

wishing you a wonderfull night,
Mone

11/1/09

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having a nap... | TweetPhoto


having a nap... | TweetPhoto

10/31/09

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I ♥ cookies

Yes I do! And that´s why I have to add another recipe to this little blog. It´s based on the " Soft and Chewy Chokolate Chip Cookie" recipe from MarthaStewart.com, with which I played around a little.

I call it the Nuts´n Nougat Choclate Shock. It´s packed with chocolate, almonds and hazlenuts and just perfect for a cold and rainy fall sunday afternoon with a hot chocolate or tea and a good book.


Nuts´n Nougat Choclate Shock


Here we go:

Makes about 3 dozen

1 (110g)cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 (app. 160 g)cups grounded hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup ( 2 sticks/ 225g) unsalted butter or marge, room temperature
1/2 (60g) cup cranulated sugar
1 cup (120g) packed light-brown sugar or treacle
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon bitter almond extract
3 tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella)
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups (app. 200g) slivered almonds
2 cups semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350° (175 C°). Whisk together the flour, grounded nuts and baking soda, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer (using the paddle attachment) combine both sugars (or sugar and treacle) with the butter, let mix on medium speed until it gets nice light and fluffy. Than reduce the speed to low and add salt, vanilla, the eggs, and bitter almond. Beat about 1 minute, Add the flour and mix until just combined, than ass the hazelnut chocolate spread and mix on medium speed until the dough is nicely brown. At last carefully stir in the slivered almonds and chocolate chips.

2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches (5cm) apart on baking sheets (lined with baking paper).

3. Bake until the cookies get darker (but not black ;) ) on the edges, but still are soft in the center (8-10 minutes). let cool them down completely, eat them all at once imediatelly or store them in a airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Copyrightinformation: this recipe is based on the "Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies" Recipe by www.mariastewart.com, this text
partly is taken from the mentioned recipe as well.


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Kale Season starts tonight!

While fall continues, the temperatures sink and the sky most times is hued in grey, here in Northern Germany, many start to have an appetite for kale. Traditionally it is cooked first after the first night frosts, we had those in the last days, so I needed to stock my freezer with 3 kilograms of this jummy vegetable.

I´ll cook it today, because we invited my Mom in law over for tomorrow evening to have the 1st of this years "Gruenkohlessen" and this dish tates best warmed up again, we think.

For those of you, who´d like to know my recipe, here we go, but bear in mind, that some of the ingredients are very "German", it depends on where you live, perhaps you have a vendor nearby, who sells German specialities. If you cannot get any of the recommended suasages, any smoked sausages will do, I guess. Some people also add pork belly (pure or smoked) to their kale dish, but I don´t like this sort of meat that much, at least it´s pure fat, isn´t it?

Traditionally salt potatos are served as side dish, plus, and here comes one reason, why this dish is a good reason for family and friends to meet: a jigger of good, ice cold Korn schnaps or aquavit is the traditional degestive for the adults. Serve chilled beer or Water as drinks.


Green Cabbage Recipe
(a quite fast/easy but jummy one by my Granny)



makes 8 - 10 servings

You´ll need:

3 kg kale (fresh or deep frozen, personally I don´t like the canned one)
3-4 big onions
500 - 600 g smoked pork chop - depends on how much you like it ;)
6-8 groats sausages ( you can do without them, if you prefer)
6-8 boilded Mettwurst sausages or scalded sausages
2/3 cup of oat groats
1 l vegetable stock ( no shame to take instant)
1/4 cup vegetable oil or marge
2 table spoons mustard
4 bay leafes
2 tea spoons allspice
salt, black pepper and additional allspice for seasoning

How to:
1. Chop the onions in fine dices, roast them gently in heated oil in a big Dutch oven. Fresh kale of course also needs to be finely chopped. After a few minutes, just before the onions get brown, add the kale and stir while it is roasting. Put the lid on the oven and let it simmer at medium heat for about 10 minutes.
2. Add the vegetable stock, oat groats, bay leafs, allspice and the mustard, stir until everything is mixed up well and put on the lid again. Let simmer for another 10 -15 minutes.

3. You now can slice the smoked pork chop, dice it or leave it as it is, just as you like. Add the chop, all sausages (groats and Mettwurst ones) fold all in and let boil the cabbage for the next 30 mites. The groats sausages might blow out sometimes, but that´s ok ;)
4. Meanwhile you should prepare and cook enough salt potatos for your servings, cool the Schnaps and decorate the dining table. Dont forget to check your kale and stir it from time to time to prevent it from scorching.

5. After 30 minutes check if the kale is done and season the dish wit salt, pepper, additional allspice and if you like, some splashes of Worcester sauce (but thats not traditional, I guess ;) ).


6. If you had left the chop in one piece you should slice it now.


7. Serve the kale hot, either in the Dutch oven with the meat and sausages still in it, or in a bowl and the meat and sausages on a seperate plate.



"Guten Appetit"

cheers
Mone
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Happy Samhain!



While searching the net for some Samhain/Halloween inspirations I tripped over this gorgeous blog: Vintage Pallette Art. Just look at those amazing old photos and the crazy artwork by Lori Davis; I love this!

Recently I re designed this blogs layout and started with the shop all over again. It´s a little frustrating, because I´m not good enough in php scripting to feel comfy with the fantastic os-commerce tools, so I need to stick with my very old sharewared xaran shop. All web based solutions for free I´ve seen so far did not match my needs. So, If you know a provider, who offers an online shop solution, where I can add more than 1 damned picture per product, where I can manage and offer more than 100 products plus where I can fit the layout matching my blog and website and, most important: who offers a shop solution for free - please let me know.

On wednesday this cute baby finally arrived:
Goodbye my old mechanical ones, hello automated times! I allready managed to check her out a little, but, of course I developed my annual tendinitis just in time, s that I have to wait a few days, before I can start all over again. My 2 old sewing machines will end up at ebay tomorrow. They are in good conditions and well kept, don´t hesitate to bid on them! :)

A new order came up last week as well, so I ´ll also work on a new wallet design this weekend. This will be a kind of waiter´s wallet, with lots of pockets for cards and photos and a huge change pocket. The patterns we agreed on are 2 beautyfully retro-syled fabrics by IKEA called Malena, the 2 below this stack
(image by IKEA):
Inside I will use thin and soft lamb nappa in a matching red or pink. This will be quite a task for my new Necchi I´m really looking foreward!


8/17/09

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a 6-months summary...

... or the "same old song", to quote anothor song title by another great band - PAIN this time... by the way: While HE was doing this: we were doing that ;)

Yes, it was... uhm, let´s say quite satisfiyng having this fantastic artist in front of us and playing all the good stuff. For those of you, who are not into Metal that much, there is talk of Peter Tägtgren, who had held court with his solo/side project PAIN two weeks ago at the Wacken Open Air. But this blog isn´t about Metal or music in general, so, if you´d like to see more pics of strange guys floundering in mud, defenitively drinking way too much alcohol (at least some of them ;) ) and having a good time over all, then, feel free to check my flickr for this years photographical loot or see, what I and my beloved pals uploaded to our myspace pages ;)

But, how did I get the "same old song" thingy in my mind? Just, because, it´s allways the same: I plan, I set a deadline only to myself, for getting things done, like the shop or the never ending updating-my-homepage-nightmare or, most annoying, finally getting my driver licence. But there´s allways something strange happening. And, in this case(s), it did again. No dramatic stuff almost, but enough to receive setbacks in all the mentioned points. Anyway, here I am, and here I go.

So lets resume the past months since my last post in more pics than words, not that you get bored by reading all that stuff ;)

1st: newly sewed things:

new mobile purses, the orange one was an order, the brown one I made for myself.



Another "FeKa", as a birthday present for Dani this time. Unfortunately I totally underestimated the hard conditions in Wacken, so both front buttons need to be re-sewed now :(



a non-sewed tablerunner - non gothic, non victorian, just spring-like ;):


A ready-made Opeth longsleve; the band´s logo on the front and logo plus quote from the song "To rid the disease" on the back, both prints made with Photoshop and transfer foil (the shirt I wear on this pic):


the back:


The quote says "I have lost all trust I had in you..."

2nd: new soaps:
from the top to the bottom: coffee, honey (1st try) and vanilla-cherry. And no: one should not eat them ;)


Coco-soap in progress back in march:


OK - more pics and news will be shared tomorow - I promise. But for now, that has to be enough, I need to sleep; the holidays are over :(...



2/2/09

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green ... man!

Allright, I guess I started a bad idea here, taking song titles as titles for my blog ;) but, since we lately had Liv Kristine here, let´s move on with TYPE O Negative, whom I adore totally... and one song from the album "October Rust" (one of my favorite albums ever) includes a matching song for todays post: Green man.

Yea, I´m totally on a "lets have everything green"- trip. But not only simlple green as out of Newtons or Goethes color circles, it has to be a soft, nice, quaint and romantic somewhere between olive and lime green. No kiwi, no neon green or mint green... ouch, don´t give me THAT ;)

So I redesigned this blog in a friendly green I liked (using photoshop to disclose th hex code for it). Just to make me more happy theese days. After not getting the anticipated job I quarrel a little with my working situation, but I´m quite sure, thats just passing. At the moment some new chances are showing up and I´m totally willing to take them.

Regarding my crafty life a big chance could be starting my own business. After I had some success with Dawanda I think it´s time to move foreward and open my own shop. So I was busy all over the last weekend finding an online shop tool I could work with, testing and playing around. At last I stucked with osCommerce, even I don´t know a damned thing about php scripting. I just tempted and I think it´s starting to look good and to work.

So, if you´d like to click the link on the rigtht side (my new store) and perhaps want to give me some advise? I really would appreciate it, because I just change this and that and try to finally get the shop I imagine ;)

First and most important thing to run your own shop is to have something, you can sell. So I spent the rest of my weekend and the 2 weeks of sickness with making new soaps, sewing, researching for new ideas and designs, reading and so on.

The new soaps are smelling quite delicous, but unfortunately they still need some weeks for drying. I made 2 different soaps out of the same base: an orange scented and a french vanilla scented bunch. My little studio smells all like this now... yummi!

I also made (and now we´re starting with showing pics again ;) ) some new wrappings for the already existing soaps, wrapped them and stored them in my (way too small) studio:

This is the new wrapping of the guest soaps I showed in my last post (with the soaps in the front)

I sold a lot of the other soaps during last december, thats the stock left: ( from left to right: the guest soaps, a pure olive oil soap scented with lavender; "Kalimpong Market" scented with Nag Champa, Amber and Cinnamon; and Lent Lily with Fresia and Orchid in big bars (also available as guest soap)


Maybe a better shot of the wrapping´s design. On the back side I added a word of thanks, a really short cuted overwiev about my product range, the ingediences and web links for more informations. Do you think, it´s ok this way?

It was dark allready, so I will take some better pics (for the shop as well) at the weekend.

Last week I also received an order from Amazon, inclouding this fantastic book:


It became a kind of bible meanwhile, I will visit all of the introduced blogs the next time. I simply love it, not only the crafters introduced in there, some of the patterns I definitively will reproduce, like the book cover or the little puoch shown on the cover.
If you didn´t have untill now, then I just can recommend: read it! If you´re unhappy and unsure sometimes if your crafting isn´t insane or way too much... here you read about guys, who were afraid of the same, who started their own thing, and, if we are honest, isn´t that what we crafty ones all want to have: our own thing and finding others, who love our stuff?
If you´re struggeling with these questions sometimes, or even if you´re thinking your are some kind of freak or insane somehow by collceting all that vintage fabric, whool or what else you need for your crafting: this book shows you, that you´re quite normal and healthy, you´re just creative and this is good :)!

I tought about using the questions used for interviewing the crafters in this adorable book for my own introducion on my website. I will ask Anna for permission after I have finished this post, I guess.

Ok, let´s finish this... I just read a comment from a girl at etsy´s community, that she preferes short blog posts (sorry for needing that amount of words ;) ).

Next time I will show you my findings at our local thrifting store, a social network, that offers cheap vintage and used stuff to people in need and lives from our donations "Wilhelmshavener helfen e.V".
I just need more daylight to take some better pictures of it all.

So, stay crafty and keep on ;)

Yours,
Mone



1/31/09

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3 a.m

... thats a song from Liv Kristine I really like and by the way it perfectly fits right now, because it´s 3:38 in the night here, I´m still sitting in front of my PC and I´m not tired at all.

Meanwhile I asked at etsy for help regarding the international shiping issues and immediately I´ve got help from some cute guys, who told me, I should try it. So I will open a shop on Etsy tomorrow after taking some more pictures from the newest goodies.


But lets recall the last week first:
I`m still suffering from bronchitis but with antibiotics, a lot of tea and a warm room it works somehow. Since I´m certified sick still but couldn´t stay in bed all day I did some sewing and some designing for new soap wrappings. I couldn´t manage to photograph it all by now, but here is, what I have right now:

Last week started with the idea to customize a pocket calandar I was given as a present from a former colleague, who happens to work for a health insurance now:


I don´t want to schlep around an insurance advertisement with me all the time, so I started thinking and sewing. Something matching to the adorable handbag artsy crafty babe sewed for me a year ago came to mind. So I used the same chandelier styled fabric:


It took me some days ( I needed to lift up some of my WoW characteres some levels in the meantime and sewed other stuff, I admid) but finally this former green beast looks like this:





Later last week I recognized, that my pin cushion was not big enough. The logical next step for me was sewing a bigger one, that would meet my needs:



(Sorry for the messy picture) The new one has got 18 cm in diameter and I can hang it on my inspiration shelf, nearby and reachable everytime while I sew something.

Last weekend also hubby reminded me, that I had promised to sew a clothespin bag some months ago. On Sunday I was in the mood, so I sewed this one, after researching the net and getting some help for my pattern from
whip up´s incerdibele "Über collection of sewing tutorials":



The green fabric I had found at IKEA, quite frankly we never get to the checkout without any new fabric in the trolley ;). The bag has become a little crooked, what reminded me again of not drawing patterns freehand. The next one will be more exact, I promise!

This week was filled with doc visits once more and making more soap for the up coming shop. I designed, printed and glued together unique new wrappings for the already existing soaps, took new pictures of some of them, like the ones below and today made two new soaps, which, right now, are drying in the kitchen: one soap scented with french vanilla and another one scented with essential orange oil; both made from a base of olive oil, milk, shea butter and goat´s milk. Tomorrow I´ll know, if they came out well, but even after a few hours they began smelling fantastic! I´m totally looking foreward tomorrow, when I will put them out of their trays!

Below you can see a picture of the last soaps I made.

The white ones are made without any scent, they were made for allergic sufferers in the first place. The blue ones are scented with Lent Lily, Freesia and Orchid. The tray was a jul present from my mom in law. I love the look!

Both soaps are small "guest soaps" and, yes, I sell them. As long, as the shop is not updated and online again, just comment this post or send me an email if you´d like to buy some of these little ones. They come in a unique hand-crafted paper purse in a quantity of 4 soaps; you can choose if you´d like to have 4 unscented, 4 scented or an assorted pack of 4. Tomorrow I will post more new pictures from the new wrappings and the other soaps.


But that shall be everything for now, just the last, most joyfull and most important insight: spring is coming, at least the snowdrops in my garden are telling me this:




So long, have a peacefull and crafty night! I´d better go to bed now ;)

Yours, Mone




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