Wednesday, March 27, 2013

That 70s Nostalgia...

While I redesigned some aspects of my blog I realised how much the result reminded me of the 1970s. That is no coincidence, I love designs of the 60s and the 70s and am a highly nostalgic person. (Our roaring Twenties-Party a few months ago was a huge succeess, I will post some pics of the resulting photo-wall later) My love for the 70s was reinforced while working in a 70s clothing and design-shop as a student.

It used to be in Bochum, but apparently has just moved to Wuppertal, with more space and an additional lounge-bar. If you are interested in furniture and clothes from the era of the Bee Gees and ABBA go there. The owner is a crazy guy, always friendly and funny, a bit nerdy maybe. I can't wait to see their new shop:

It used to be great fun, help peole sorting out outfits for their parties, wallpapers for their living rooms and also meet people with the same taste in music and clothes as me.

For the same reason I enjoy watching Mad Men, the hairstyles, clothes, cars, furniture from the 60s are all so special and classy. People made an effort in looking nice. I can't help myself but I don't see it nowadays. It is great that everyone can dress as they like (at least when they are over 16 years old), but I still long for the more distinguished look of the 60s. There is no point in arguing that living in the 60s would be my dream, as I know I couldn't have lived the life I am living then. Women were even more supressed than they are now, so I probably would have hated it. But if we all dressed a bit nicer and a bit more like then, wouldn't that be nice? (Excuse my daydreaming....)

Banana Republic have made one step into this direction, with their Mad Men collection:

Hooray, Spring is here...

... at least in my projects. After I finished the knitting project for the baby daughter of friends of mine, I decided to make myself something with the same kind of wool, as it was so nice to knit. As we all need more colour in our life I chose mint green and dark green and did my first ever knitted "picture". (Maybe, if I practice, I might be able to create another "Alf Jumper" for Eva Melina, she told me she had one as a kid she really loved.)

Those are the tulips I did. I know, they are not perfect and not very detailed, but I am still so happy that it worked out without having any plan or advise. Plus, the red makes a nice contrst to the rest of the cardigan. I am knitting it in one piece and will sow the short arms to it afterwards. As it is supposed to be worn in spring and summer, I am optimistic and will do it without long arms. This is how far I have gotten to up to now. As there is a long weekend with shitty weather ahead I will try to finish it till next week:

Creating stuff with your own hands is so very satisfying and it doesn't matter whether you are planting, cooking, repairing, knitting, crocheting or painting anyhting. Just being "creative", meaning you are the active creator of things, changing your environment in your own way, is remarkable. It should be a very small thing, and yet it feels like the grandest things of all.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Post modern inglorious basterds

Have you ever heard of Louis Theroux?
Yesterday, while I had to kill some time, I searched the web for documentaries and I found one that really impressed me deeply. (I have mentioned how much I love movies, but I mostly watch nice, funny, or also scary movies, but usually I prefer the fun ones. But do you know what I mean when I say the deepest impressions leave the really not-fun movies?) Theroux's "The Nazis" is one example of that kind of deep impact. (Other movies that kind of freaked me out are e.g. "The Cube", "A clockwork Orange" or "Ajami", I recommend you to watch them.) It shows how Theroux meets some members of a Neonazi community of California. Watch it and then read on:

As a German I might be supersensitive to the topic, but some scenes are so shocking to me, they give me goosebumps. Most of the guys are a bit stupid and hypoctritic, you could say and you can tell they know about it, the way they react when Theroux asks them about their Mexican friends or their Peruan clients, they get along so well. But a blonde woman, you see her right in the beginning of the movie, really scared the hell out of me. Her little daughters, not standing a chance of getting to know about the world, as they are hometaught and apparently have very little contact with the outside world, depress me. To me the woman's actions is close to child abuse and I am glad that in Germany she would not allowed to keep her children. One the one hand it is great that there is so much freedom in the US, on the other hand I almost get sick when I see a bunch of people Sieg-Heiling, adoring Hitler and supporting the Ku Klux Klan. When you grow up in Germany this seems so unreal and disgusting. Do you think they would feel any different if they had visited Auschwitz? I don't know. And there is no way denying that there are no Nazis in Germany anymore, not at all and I guess they are as scary and as deeply racist as the people in the BBC docu. But I guess most of them wouldn't speak to a camera that open and proud about it. At least most of them would be too ashamed and too scared to do so.

I will definitely check out more of Theroux's documentaries, his courage and the way he insists on the most akward topics, deeply impressed me.

Do you have any tips, any other impressing documentaries? For me, I have to say it, the BBC is and always will be the masters of documentaries. It is one of my dearest dreams to one day work for them. And although my career so far has turned into another direction, I will not give up my hope.



... probably is the most fulfilling aspect of life.
Think of the games we played as kids, how we could play a game for hours, completely forgetting about time and place. Whether you are pirate, scrubbing the ship and partying with you mates, a detective, investigating a case or imagining you had a talking dragon as a pet, imagination is a strong force and I think all of us need to dream more. I used to lie flat on the floor, watch at the ceiling and dream myself into another world. When was the last time we did that? Probably ages ago, so maybe we should try it more often.

Have you ever heard of the "flow"? It is a pyschological concept, meaning to immerse fully into your activity, forgetting about everything else, which usually goes along with a feeling of deep satisfaction. Funnily enough I got to know that concept through my studies of media science, but then again, a movie's mere cause of existence usually is getting you into a flow. But I guess, every action can give you a flow experience, it could be ironing as well as painting, you just have to do it with all your heart. Knitting actually has helped me a lot, evoking this kind of pleasure. The feeling of creating something durable, someone might use for ages, is a top-benefit. The first knitting I did was actually just for the purpose of knitting, I found it so relaxing. And nowadays, making gifts or something nice for myself makes it even more appealing. Learning something new and getting better at what you love to do is also some benefit I adore it for. Just like playing the guitar always makes me feeling good, knitting never fails to do so.

By now I have already finished some projects, below you see a jumper I did for the kid of a former colleague of mine. I did it with the pattern of the little elizza-book I mentioned in the first post. The buttons are little apples and I love them. The good thing about little kids is that you can dress them anyway you like to and though I wouldn't wear a jumper like that myself, I find it adorable on a kid.

Next Sunday we are invited to friends who also have a kid and I want to make a jumper for her as well, so keep your fingers crossed that I can do it in a week. I will keep you posted on my progress. Mr. Schön's hat is almost ready and it suits him well. (Acutally he looks a bit like a bandit with it, but of course I am proud that I could make something for him.)

Have a great Sunday and take care!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Schön, Frau Schön...

...Oh, it has been a while...

As many of my friends are writing blogs and much more of my friends are not able to speak any German, I will continue the blog in English. 
A long time has passed and I will try to write more regularly now (Probably the resolution of most bloggers) The inspiration for a blog of my own actually came from the big German handcrafts-blogger community. Sewing, knitting, crocheting, fantastic diy-products all over the web! They have given me so much inspiration and even when the first own projects were rather hard work sometimes, the motivation you can get out of a movement like the diy-blogger one is amazing. Three of my favourites are: 

A very colourful blog full of ideas, mainly accessories and decoration. I love her tutorials and also the design of her blog, I really need to work on mine, once the weather is bad again. (It's actually sunny outside, I can hardly believe it.)

This woman is really incredible, not only does she manage her family, her job and her blog, but she also frequently sews the most amazing vintage dresses. I hope that someday I will be able to make myself similiar clothes. Apart from her talent considering her wardrobe, she is also commenting about political issues, holding up the feminist's flag. I wouldn't call myself a feminist, but when it comes down to equal rights for everyone I am all for it.

Again a mother, writing a blog, sowing. I love her way of writing, you have the feeling of communicating with a friend. Her kids are so lucky to have such a cool mum, creating nice things for them.

Although I do not have kids and am not planning to have any, it is a lot of fun to make clothes for them. For once, because they look so cute, second, you can take the most shocking colours, kids will love that, (although I admit that so far I have used colours I would wear myself for the kid's stuff.), plus you are finished just so much earlier. Luckily, there are already some people I know that have kids and are always grateful for something handmade, may it be as crooked as it is.

My next knitting project will be a hat for Mr. Schön. Difiicult thing as he is the most critical man I know. Whatever I make, I love in the end, I even love every little mistake in it (or that's what I'm telling myself), but my better half spots these little defects immediately and is always kind enough to point them out to me. So keep your fingers crossed he will like the hat.

Apart from my (hoped for) progress in handcrafts, I will also write about things that come to my mind. At the moment, due to the "fasting-project" of a good friend of mine, involving not to buy any plastic till Easter, I think a lot about how the little things we do every day can already help our environment. If just everyone always had a cotton bag with them, no plastic bags would be produced anymore. We actually already have enough of them on Earth, we could just let them circulate between us. To get more information on the issue, read Eva's blog, it is really inspiring.

Apart from making my own clothes, decoration, etc. I also appreciate good food. We get a box of organic fruits and vegetables delivered every week, which always gives us a lot of ideas about what to cook. Plus we live much healthier with all the veggies and we would never buy a frozen pizza or lasagne, not because we would never eat fast food or ready made food, but simply because with this box we have so much stuff we have to cook, we cannot afford to not cook in a way :). As a student and before that I used to not care much about what I ate or even if I ate. (which meant, I used to be a much skinnier than I am now and sometimes I miss my skinny state, but then again, giving up food is not an option), but within the last years, through friends I started caring, enjoying cooking, high quality ingredients, trying new recipes, it has changed a lot in my life, acutally it is a whole new way of life. Probably enjoying is the main aspect of being. That can mean good food, it can also mean making someone happy and enjoying it. From time to time, if I find a very good recipe or we have another food night at our home, I will let you know, sharing experiences with dishes and ingredients is always a good idea.
At the moment we are in the frantic bread-making phase. We bake a bread almost every day and it is so much fun, so good and also quite cheap.

Loving creating things, I use our huge balcony to grow plants. Pretty flowers live peacefully next to vegetables and fruits and as the season has just started and the first sunny days have pimped peaches and strawberries I will let you take part in the planting, caring and harvesting process. The satisfaction I gain from planting sometimes makes me wonder, whether I would be happiest on a farm, growing crops, having chicken and milk-cows... But then again, no. Cinemas, Ice Cream Parlours, Restaurants, shopping almost around the clock... I don't want to miss that, am too much of a city-girl.

Let the plants grow and let the sun shine till November. And may my blog grow just like my tomatoes!

(Wow, that sounds so solemnly, may the force be with you!)

Take care and try not to buy plastic!