Friday, December 31, 2010

Retrospect on 2010

What happened in january?
  • getting up very early, the morning will never be the best time for me
  • teaching students is more annoying than rewarding
  • I find my do-it-yourself skills
  • a lot of job interviews --> a job!!!
What happened in february?
  • moving to Essen and together with my boyfriend
  • decorating the flat, which I love (both decorating and the flat itself)
  • starting my job
What happened in march?
  • painting flowers on my wall because my boyfriend was sick and tired and I needed a quiet activity
  • visiting my friend Ey in Bremen. It was a pity that she moved so far away, but I love that we still keep in contact!
  • eating the most expensive lollipop of my live (because I loose my retainer and need to have it replaced)
What happened in april?
  • painting my mural in the hallway
  • I started growing strawberries on the windowsill, which I will definetly repeat next year!
  • my friend *wollmaus* moves to Essen, looking for a job! We start meeting regularly again
What happened in may?
  • our little monsters move in! They still only accept to be touched when bribed with pumpkinseeds but secretly they love us! I hope.
  • boyfriend really gets into playing Ultimate Frisbee, I try to support him and not be grumpy if I don't see him on the weekends and 3-4 evenings a week
What happened in july?
  • I sewed my first piping and trun hawaiian fabric into a pretty dress. All in all my most successfull sewing month this year!
  • my first trip to Bonn, but unfortunately mostly spent working
  • I started planning the holidays in september, so I can get some discounts on the bookings.
  • the first Natron und Soda Kreativ market was taking place and enjoyed my time with the girls there a lot!
What happened in june?
  • another Natron und Soda Kreativ market I participated. Maybe I should try to sell more than I take home?!
  • I walked on the highway, because Essen was culture capital of Europe this year
  • I got a new (to me) camera and learned how to take night shots
  • Boyfriend and I went to several movies int he open air cinema. I loved it!
What happened in august?
  • I start running (again).
  • Mera Luna with Feindflug! I loved he meeting with Forum members there because it was more cosy and small than the one on the WGT. Mera Luna is also much more laid back than WGT when you think about clothes and behaviour.
  • I tried again to sew from Burda and fail miserably. Maybe I should present the results here. But this might destroy my image... ^^
What happened in september?
  • holidays in Ireland. First holidays with my boyfriend. What can I say, we need to make compromises, because our expectations about holidays vary a lot...
  • boyfreind has his first really paid modeling gig. I'm so proud!
What happened in october?
  • my modeling boyfriend has another gig where I meet Wu again after several years. His fashion line is amazing!
  • This time Ey is visiting us here in Essen. I think she will come back (gothic parties are so much better here! ^^)
  • on halloween we decide more or less spontanously to meet Neisi and ::victoria:: in the Eisenlager. It was okay but not the best party ever. Still looking for the halloween holy grail of parties...
  • I get interested in more vintage and 50s dressing, and try red lip stick while it's day outside
What happened in november?
  • work, work work and did I mention that I worked a lot?
  • my 26th brithday and I still don't feel grown up
  • my first soufflee is a success
What happened in december?
  • I got all my christmas presents in time. I'm so proud that I didn't have to stress out on the last week before christmas!
  • comfy time with my family. Although they are crazy I love them to death!
  • free time so I got some sewing done.
  • Christmas Market meeting with the Natron and Soda people. They kind of dominated my year, no?
Now I'm really looking forward to next year! All best wishes to my readers and a happy new year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dark ages – Dark shopping in Essen

As I will be traveling a lot this month I try to prepare some posts upfront. I might take some time to reply to any comments, but I hope this small "dark shopping series" has all the information necessary. If you have any recommendations for further shops just tell me, I'm always happy to get to know less mainstream goth shops…

Coming back to the "if you've never heard of them, how can you claim to be gothic?" old-established shops here in Essen. Who has never heard of "Dark ages"? While their online shop is – as far as I known- even more known, they sell here since several years. The shop is larger than the other stores I present here (except the Bullet store who matches in size of the gothic portion), about 150 square meters. Therefore they also offer more stuff and clothes.

I think it is a little disappointing that they cling to big brands a lot. They offer Sector 1, Mode wichtig, hell bunny, and even a small selection from cyberdog as far as I remember. But nothing new and exciting, this is the same stuff you can order online. I just go there if I'm not sure about sizing, but as they match internet prizes you can buy there in real live as well.

What is interesting is the bargain selection which is usually larger than the one in the internet. So sometimes you come to look for your 5th corset and return with an arm full of dresses (hmpf – not that that ever happened to me! ^^)! They also offer a bunch of accessories like arm warmers, socks with anatomically correct bones or cyber goggles in every variation. While all of them are mass produced, we all know how different combinations make the outfit interesting. I should mention their wall of shoes as well, where guys and girls can find the high heels or combat boots of their choice. The don't have Iron fist shoes, but have Inamagura and Demonia.

Another interesting buy might be the home accessory section. Who wants to impress his guests with black opium candles or black toilet paper might yjust have found the right shop!

Location (where is the shop, is it easy to find, parking etc.):



While the store is not exactly in the city centre, there is a lot of parking spaces for little money around. With black signs and totally black decoration in the window, it is hard to miss the store!

Design (is the shop clean, are there changing rooms, ambiente):


The shop is clean and not stuffed, and the organization in different sections is pretty clear. I don't like that the "hide" some of the sales items in the regular sections, so sometimes you have to stray from the sales rack and go through everything else as well. On the other hand you might find some hidden jewels this way…

Selling range (only selling big brands or independent designers? How many different brands?):


Well, they sell only brand stuff. No independent designers, no handmade stuff. But the selection is pretty good and the black toilet paper is definitively unusual.



The staff is nice and helpful, they even order stuff from the other store in Dortmund if it is sold out in Essen. I don't like that you can't return reduced items, so you better try it on while at the store!

Overall rating: 16/20 zombie thumb ups

Yes, overall I can recommend the store. I just go there for accessoiras and sales items. But while you are here, just take a look and maybe you find something to take home. Otherwise I can recommend their online store, which offers all normal selection items.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Well, I guess we all knew...

Your Personality Is Like Ecstasy

You're usually feeling the love for the world around you - you want to hug everyone.

And while you're usually content to sit back and view the world with wonder...

Sometimes you're world becomes very overwhelming and a little scary.

At your best: You're totally buzzing, and every little thing makes you happy.

What people like about being around you: You're a one person party. Dancing, hugging, tons of smiles!

What people dislike about being around you: Once you're done partying, you're pretty exhausted and depressed.

How addicted people get to you: Not very. Though don't take it personally. They still like you!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Exchanging dark elder against old cloth!

When I visited my friend *wollmaus* last week, she was sick - I hope you feel better now and spend your holidays relaxing and recovering - so we just made a short gift exchange. I gave her a bag which I sewed from some of the cloth that I mentioned yesterday. The stripey fabric was a seventies skirt in size xs, the knitted farbic was a handknit cape. Even though I still can't knit, I gave her something hand knit...

The buttons were also included in the box... The bag is big enough to carry a whole pullover around during knitting while traveling. It can be turned and worn inside out as well:

And what did I get in return? My very own dark elder! I proudly present Mr Knithulu!

He's a little shy after eons of sleep under water, but every now and then he stretches his wings and threatens to kill us:

And for those who don't know who Cthulu is, you might just need to watch this video:

Monday, December 27, 2010

Old to new

When my father's girlfriend sent me my presents this year, she put some old cloth (part of them from her recently deceased mother) in the box as filling materials and for me to wear or use. Both are nearly a head smaller than me and stayed very slim, so most stuff just didn't fit at all. But some cloth could be reused:

I cut this blue woolen dress up in two parts: One skirt and a shirt. I will keep the collar which is very well sewn (by hand, I guess from her mother) and change the body of the shirt part which involves a lot of unstitching. This will take a little longer, but I already finished the skirt part:

I added a stretchy jersey part on top, so this skirt can be worn comfortably during the "stuffing season" (family meetings around christmas). I kept the hand sewn hemline, because I admire the clean handstitches!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Secret Santa @ Natron und Soda

As every year I participated in the secret santa at my favourite forum. Every year you enter three wishes and hope that one of them gets fullfilled. Preparing a gift for someone is not mandatory, but I usually like to gift other people! So I always sew or make something and every year good karma brought something back for me...

This year the wish I fullfilled was romantic cuffs with unusual buttons. And so I drafted my design, tried to fit them for my wrists (as the person to be gifted didn't leave any measurements) and sewed them up:

The lining was some Ikea pillowcase which didn't fit my room any more. The sheet for the blanket is residing in *wollmaus*' kitchen! I also added some ruffly border and fly buttons, which were the most unusual buttons I had in my stash. I hope the gifted Person likes them...

While I was working on my gift, I recieved a gift myself! As every year, I tried to wait until christmas before I rip the paper and do my little happy dance. And as every year I fail miserably! ;) So, here you can see the very best oven cloths, ever!

The picture is nowhere near colour accurate. They are black and bloodred, almost one cm thick and let me take my cookies out with ease. I'm the world's worst heat whimp. I even call my boyfriend to take my pizza out of the oven! Now I can face the oven myself... Thanks for that, dearest secret santa! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Good intentions for next year

Ever thought about getting rid of old stuff in your live to have space for yourself and new ideas? There is a german saying "Alte Zöpfe abschneiden" (cut off old hairtails) which is exactly what I did:

Here is what I looked like after coming back from the hairstylist afterwards (I also added some darker colour):

And then I made some more pralines, as you might have guessed by my licking my fingers! ;)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More christmas presents II

Last time I showed you the making of raspberry chocolate truffles, now I can show you some white chocolate stuff as well!

I made some Caipirinha truffles which were filled again into empty white chocolate balls:

I have to admit that these balls are really great, everything is round and pretty when you are finished and there is a lot less mess than with my other creations. Might just be me who dirties the whole kitchen while melting chocolate, though! ^^

As you can see my boyfriend helped me make them and he did very good. He must have been a pralinier in his last life! After popping them out of the cases we dunked the truffles in molten white chocolate:

And added some brown sugar on top. Hey, no caipi without the brown sugar! And it made them even prettier...

As we made a lot of them (mine and boyfriend's extended family will be gifted), we stored them in the oven to cool down. What an irony!

For those of you who look at the details; yes the ones in the oven were sprinkled with dried flowers. Those were orange truffles which are also delicious!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Burda Style 1/2011

New year, new Burda magazine! I was really looking forward to this issue because Burda promised some 50s style patterns. Unfortunately I didn't like one of them! I kind of like the coat patterns, but find them rather uninspired. The only thing that makes it to my top list is the grey 8 pieces skirt on 2nd place. It might be a simple pattern which doesn't make me want to buy the magazine, but I like the style and might have just the right fabric at home... The third place goes to a nice and comfy pullover with a huge wrap around collar. While I like the pattern, I don't need to buy it to sew a rectangle to a basic longsleeve, even if the fabric looks interesting. The winner from this issue is even simpler: A jersey wrap shirt! I like it, it fits different occasions when sewn in different fabrics. Uni jersey for sports and the afternoon of, patterned jersey for work and silke jersey for formal innings.

Burda never does things half wrong. This is what I learned from this years collection. In this issue, a boxy sweatshirt, a formless dress and pampers pants encourage my opinion. Even if one forgets that these boxy eighties shirts were even ugly when they were in during the eighties, a pattern is seriously not necessary to sew them. And even if one intends to make these formless pants that can cover ault diapers, this pattern was in -I guess, I didn't count- 3 or 4 issues this year. Why put it in the first issue next year again?!?
And the dress might work as a cover up for several pounds one gained over christmas. But why not sew something flattering with more style? The fabric looks rather nice and was wasted on this dress...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Natron und Soda meeting @ christmas market in Essen

As every year, Natron&Soda members from all over the Ruhr area gather at the christmas market in Essen. This year it was not only as nice as usual but the falling snow added some more christmas feeling!

We met at the main station and then walked over to the medievil part of the market to drink mead and glühwein.

Birgit-Lisa, Martex and Thanatos talking, Schwarzpulver and her boyfriend in the back

Martex (the conqueror) and Thanatos

Martex after a hairstyling session with Charlie (on the left)

::victoria:: and Charlie, Fusselkopf's back is on the right

*wollmaus* and Neisella, our russian Zarenina

Neisella's animal friendly fur hat is an amazing instrument to bring people together, we realised when we tried to warm up at the Unperfekthaus later:

Charlie was jelous and captured the sheep I bought for my colleague

On the way back to the main station about 5 hours later, Neisi and I spontanously decided that we needed to ride a merry-go-round. In the snow. This was the epitope of christmas spirit. I swear! ^^

And of we go!