Sunday, September 8, 2013


... or alternative lemonade-seat of course.
Who does not know the situation? There is more people than seats at a party and finally some people take a cushion and sit down on a crate of beer. Highly uncomfortable, true. We have a solution.
Here you can see the cushioning I used.

Eva-Melina and me went to a housewarming-party of some friends and wondered about what to bring them. Weh thought about painted flower-boxes or homemade jam, but we decided to make a beer-crate seat, as this is a handy gift for a party, bringing your own beer and seat. A frozen joghurt shop beneath our apartment  uses these for their guests, but only with plain wood, so not very comfotable.

As you can see, we put four pieces of wood unter the seating area in order to prevent it from slipping from the beer crate. Then we took the staple gun and connected the oil cloth and the wood.  Be careful with your fingers, they are freakishly strong, those machines. 
So this is how we did it: We used a crate of beer we had all bought together in our holidays and which therefore is a reminder of this time. In a hardware store we got several pieces of wood, a staple gun and I had bought cute oil cloth on dawanda. To make the seat more comfortable, add some sort of cushioning.

Et voilá! Here it is! As you can imagine we filled it with beer before we brought it along to the party.

Knitting Season 2013 has begun

The last two weeks I have been on holiday, mostly visiting friends in various German cities. And as a lot of them have kids or will be having kids soon and as I happened to have a lot of time suddenly, especially on our long cross-country car-rides, I found great inspiration in all those small feet and heads to start serious knitting again. I am easily frustrated, so being done with a sock within an hour is making me very happy. So I started with socks. 

I proudly present the first sock I ever made (which look really odd):

I always thought they are too much work to knit, but it is actually a lot of fun. And baby socks are also so very cute. Next bigger project is a baby blanket. I am so much in the flow that I will be able to finish it soon and not make it another UFO. Plus the baby I am knitting for will be born in November, so there is a deadline. Creating all those little things in no time got me to thinking. And no, not about having a baby, but about a project I read about last year: knitting for preemies in hospitals. Baby clothes often don’t fit premature infants, as they are so very tiny. I bet parents, who are probably worried about their little ones, will be a bit happier, knowing there are people creating stuff for people they don’t even know. As soon as my baby blanket is finished, I will look out for hospitals that take donated clothes and will animate my friends to collect mini-socks and –hats. With fall approaching fast, time for knitting will increase for all of us, so if you feel like it, start such a project yourself, motivate your friends to help you and let’s make the world a tiny bit better.

Two heads, socks and I especially love the teeny tiny gloves

Fall is coming...

I don’t know if we can agree on that, but to me, every season is connected to a very special feeling and I could never understand those people who only love summer. (Although working fulltime now I can see why people care about all the darkness in the mornings and evenings, it can get depressing.) Summer is carefree, but also very exciting, busy, the feeling to have to be everywhere at the same time. Fall is wilder, winds and rain, great colours and also quieter, melancholic, great for deep thoughts, crafts and cuddling at home, cooking and watching series. I have to admit that after a summer with great weather like we had during the last weeks, I am looking forward to staying home more, being creative and lazy. Being lazy without feeling bad about it, that is fall and winter for me. And a feeling of slight sadness, which can be sweetly melancholic, as I said above.
Winter is similar, but also different, as there is Christmas. And snow (if you are lucky). Both tend to loose their magic a bit when you are older, but it is still there. Cookies, Glühwein, Feuerzangenbowle (I will post a great recipe, once the time is there. For some supermarkets, September seems to be the start of the Christmas season, but nope, not for me. Give fall some credit before winter comes.) gift-wrapping, gift-making…. I love it. 

Christmas markets can be magical, I like the songs. Bells ringing, glistening snow, cracking under your shoes. Coming home from the icy cold into a cozy warm home, drinking tea or taking a long bath. Taking baths is one of my major free-time activity in winter. (When I am not in the sauna, which is another perfect winter-activity).

Spring is romantic, everything comes to life, blossoms, buzzes. Now, outdoor activities become more appealing, think of feeling the warm sun on your skin, hearing the birds sing for the first time and realising how much you missed them. Smelling all the flowers, blossoms. You feel motivated for a fresh start. So does nature.

As you see, every season has it’s charm and every season can be your favourite, especially in the beginning. After a while I always feel tired of one season, looking forward to the new one, which is a great thing.

Here are two projects fitting into the coming fall:

Rumtopf (Fruit in Rum)

 I started a Rumtopf. Fruit in rum, leo translates. It is a rather old-fashioned tradition, I think in my grandparents’ generation it was quite common. You need a high pot you can close, best made of clay, like the original ones in the 60s and 70s. I got a vintage one on ebay for 4 Euros, so have a look if you’d like to have the original Rumtopf-feeling. Then you buy rum, dark rum with at least 59% alcohol, brown sugar and fruit. I don’t like how berries get slushy if you put them into liquid, especially strawberries, so I decided to use only stone fruit (except for the red currant my mother in law gave me, but I guess they will keep their texture. So far I used apricots, I will buy cherries, use the peaches from my terrace and plums will also be a great add I think. Every time a fruit is in season, you take the stones out and put it into the pot, adding rum and sugar, till all fruit is covered. (To prevent floating, you can put a plate on the fruit into the pot). It is important to only use clean fruit and put the pot somewhere cool, best solution is the basement, to make sure it doesn’t turn bad. In the last phase before Christmas you can add Christmassy herbs and spices and then drink it with good friends around Christmas time. You can eat the fruit along with pudding, or bake a cake with it. I don’t even know whether I will like it too much, as I am not a drinker of heavy alcohol, but I just liked the concept of making it. And I am sure that my friends and family will be glad to help.

Another project is connected to the first: if you take the stones out of your cherries, don’t throw them out, use them to make a cherry-stone-cushion. That means to eat and prepare a lot of cherries, but it is totally worth it, especially for cold fall- and winter-nights like mentioned above. Just put the cushion into the microwave for a short time or – if you don’t have one- into the oven and lie it on your feet / belly / neck, to enjoy the comfortable warmth.
To create one, you have to make sure the stones are really clean. Best is, letting them sit in vinegar for a night, then cook them for twenty minutes and afterwards, to dry them, bake them in the oven.

As fabric you can take anything that will not burst into flames in the microwave, best is cotton or another natural fabric. I have already seen all kinds of cushion-shapes, it probably depends a bit on what you want to do with it. I tend to create longer ones, that I can lie around my neck. For your belly you might want to sow a bigger one. Also a great gift for cold days J


The last two weeks have been great fun, Mr. Schön and me spent them travelling around Germany, visiting friends in Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen, we went canoeing in the area of the Spreewald and went to the Baltic as well as to the Northern Sea. Before starting the trip I did some research about what not to miss (including the Blutsgeschwister store in Hamburg, my moneybag is still in mourning) and found a store where you can try so-called Sieben Meilen Stiefel, I will call them bouncing boots, as bouncing is what you do with them.
My better half has been wanting to try them for a while now and I thought it would be a great opportunity to visit the store in Hamburg.
Zlatko helping me putting the boots on for the first time

 I am really bad when it comes to sports done on anything other than my feet on the ground. It took me ages to learn how to rollerblade, I never tried skiing, for a reason and ice-skating for me means trying not to fall. So you can see why I was a bit sceptical about getting on the stilts.
In the shop a leaflet read that you need between 5 and 20 minutes to learn how to walk on them, so I thought, 20 minutes don’t sound so bad. Zlatko, the shop’s owner is a great, positive and interesting guy, who made me feel safe and comfortable from the first moment. The shop in Hamburg is ideal to test the boots, you can hold on to a ballet-like banister, a bit higher than in balletclass, as you are about 30 cm taller than usual and after a while, Zlatko takes your hands and winds them around to show you that you don’t need to hold onto anything. It is a great feeling. We spent two hours in the shop, learning to walk, to jump and to run, feeling a bit like kids learning to stand on their feet. It is a lot of fun, though very exhausting. Even when standing on one spot you are constantly moving a bit, which is a great challenge for you back and belly muscles.

Proud bouncers after two hours of trying

Now that we are back home we have used the boots almost every day and we get braver every time. The muscles are already getting used to all the training and it feels great to get fitter in such a fun way. If you happen to go to Hamburg, Zlatko’s store is definitely a good address to stop by, he is such a positive guy. Sundays hold a special treat: a long walk with other “bouncers”. Even as a beginner you can join them with rent boots from Zlatko’s shop and walk through the city of Hamburg. I guess with experience bouncers it is even easier as they have a lot of good advice and make you feel safer in the pack. You don’t need to buy them, Zlatko in no way urges you to, which may be a trick, as we bought them in the end, paying about 350 each. As we had our training on seven year old, heavily used boots, I am sure we will enjoy them for a long time. Try it! 

Running is even more fun than just walking. But twice as exhausting :)