Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - year in Review

This year is mainly over, so I thought I might make a yearly review like last year.

1. Lost or gained weight?
Stayed the same. Like last year!

2. Cut or grew your hair?
Cut my hair, a lot! Wait for pictures...

3. More short or wide sighted?
Same-same. My glasses still work and my brother wears the same glasses strength as me!

4. More or less money?
More. A lot more (income and savings)!

5. More or less spending?
Also more. A lot of vacations this year!

6. More or less physical activity?
About the same. But I enjoyed it a little more.

7. Most stupid plan?
Wearing a velvet waist for WGT with about 30°C!

8. Most dangerous plan?
PHanding in a grant application in short time. Was not successful!

9. The best party?
I didn't go to many parties this year, I definetively need to change that!

10. Most expensive purchase?
My South-Africa vacation! Worth every cent, though!
 
11. Most delicious food?
Everything I cook with my boyfriend. We are damned good cooks! ^^

12. Most appreciated book (s)?
All of the Walter Moers books.

13. Best movies 2014?
Guardians of the Galaxy, More Sherlock (the BBC series), Penny Dreadful, Bones

14. Best album 2014?
No idea. Also something I need to work on in 2015.

15. Best concert 2014?
VNV nation at the Blackfield festival - same band, different place!

16. Most time spent with...?
My boyfriend. And no regrets here!

17. Greatest time spent with…?
My boyfriend, friends and family, I'm seriously blessed with them!

18. Could have spent more time with ...?
Visiting places I don't know yet.

19. Main feeling in 2014?
More anxiety and uncertainty. And love!

20. First in 2014?
Knitting, visting South Africa, hanging cupcakes on my Christmas Tree

21. Done once again in 2014?
WGT, visiting Berlin, visited friends and my family, written a paper, worked a lot

22. Three things I could have done without?
Buying more stuff, being sick and stress at work

23. Most important thing I wanted to convince someone of?
I can be a better person

24. Best gift I gave away?
Lots of scarfs and hats!

25. Best gift I received?
Amsterdam!

26. Best thing someone told me?
I'll be there for you, no matter what!

27. Best thing I said to someone?
I'll be there for you, no matter what!

28. In short, 2014 was...?
Exhausting

Have a joyful New Year!


May all your dreams and wishes come true!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Knitted gifts

I made some more knitted gifts this year. My friend Sintra liked Paisleystern's wollen hat so much that she wanted her own in another colourway. She asked for green and black, but this was the best I could do:

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And for my brother's girlfriend I made a circle scarf - the wool is really soft, fluffy and warm. She loves teal and related colours, so the choice was easy for me:


Did you make gifts for Christmas? 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Week in Review 52/2014

What did I see?
This week I saw some intriguing stained glass windows with modern x-ray pictures. They were done by Wim Delvoye in Belgium:



What did I listen to?
Carol of the bells

What did I ask myself?
Is the year really already over?

What did I read?
Nevermore by Neil Gayman, but only the first 10 pages...

What did I work on?
A jacket for my aunt

I was happy about...
spending time with my family and my lovely boyfriend

I was annoyed about...
having to work a little on my days off. Yet again!

I bought...
nothing!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

More socks - just for me!

After the first trial socks that were for my boyfriend, I made socks just for me! The colourway is pink-red-purple this time and the socks are much smaller - my boyfriend has 6 sizes larger feet than me!

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I made these while I visited Neisella for a long-awaited chatting date. She has moved since my last visit, but her new flat looks even prettier than the old one - who would have thought?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Another waterfall shirt

To make it short, I made yet another shirt from Simplicity . I love the pattern and wear shirts I made from that pattern as often as I can. I even wore this one out to a scientific conference already! The fabric was bought by Alfatex in Bremen while visiting a friend with another friend (Sintra).

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The cool black and red batik jersey is really versatile and I used matching two-coloured threads for the twin needle hems:

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Merry Christmas to everyone!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Tree 2014

It all started with m mum giving me a cupcake bauble. Such an innocent act, but it lead to the desire to make a candy and sweets decorated Christmas Tree! I got some more of the cupcake baubles in different sizes, some over the Internets, some in real life (Bremen! With my friends!). And I convinced the boyfriend that his manliness only gets bigger when he tolerates a mainly pink tree... ;) This is the result:

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And with more atmospheric light conditions:

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I love my tree! And finally it feels a bit like Christmas and not only like cold weather...

Monday, December 22, 2014

More knitting - Hats this time

As we have several knitting frames in different sizes, I made some other tings as well. The second largest frame is perfect for hats, so I made a hat for Paisleystern for her birthday (and forgot to take a picture before giving it to her) and two hats for my dad and his girlfriend:

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As you can see I played one of them very safe (the blue one for my dad) and made a very plain hat. On the other one I tried something new: I knitted two wools at once to make a two coloured rim and I added a pompom! I had a fancy pompom maker which I bought from Idee (a notions shop here in Germany).

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I hope they will like their self made Christmas gifts, but I will have to wait a few more days to hear their response!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Review La Maison Victor

This was the other sewingpattern magazine that was bought in Amsterdam's main station. I never actually heard of this one, but it seems to be one of the modern sewing magazine that don't expect much of the reader's sewing knowledge.

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The pictures are pretty nice, so even though my Dutch is virtually non-existant I was quite entertained looking through the magazine.

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All of the patterns have very detailed (Dutch) descriptions, so the pictures alone make me confident that I can sew the patterns. Although I also worked with Patrones without speaking any Portugese, so I might not be the best example here... ^^ There are also some knitting instructions for a pullover which i do not understand at all and can therefore not judge at all.

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The patterns are for women, men and children which I really like. I also like the modern and clean style of everything, nothing seems overly fuzzy or complicated. in fact, I think that many of the garments made from the patterns are so en vogue that you could probabaly buy them in stores right now!

The first pattern I intend to sew isa blouse for which I bought fabric in Bremen second to last weekend when visiting my friend Ey.  The fabric a georgette with cat heads in black and white, I guess you will soon see it on the blog:

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Week in Review - 51/2014

What did I see?
Besides the fourth season of Downton Abbey (Oh my goodness, all the drama!), I saw something fun and Christmas-sy this week: Christmas beards! My boyfriend is not fully convinced yet to let me decorate his beard, but I still try and think I can make it till Christams Eve... ;)



What did I listen to?
ASP - Schwarzer Schmetterling

What did I ask myself?
Should I just relax or sew something?

What did I read?
I read into a German book, but it was so boring that I put it aside after 10 pages. So much for reading pleasure... Otherwise only sewing instructions

What did I work on?
A steampunk tornure, socks, a shirt and a blouse.

I was happy about...
Finally not having to work that much any more!

I was annoyed about...
Still I have to come this weekend to work again...

I bought...
Christmas presents and a watch with pulse control.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Amsterdam

As I already told you, my boyfriend gave me a day in Amsterdam as a Birthday gift, which was just amazing! I have never been there before because I somehow suffer from being geographically stupid: I always estimate closeby cities further away! Before heading to Antwerp this spring, I would have said it was more than three hours away when it actually was a mere 2 hours. Same with Amsterdam, I always assumed it was 4 hours away - it is actually about 3 hours drive!

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Anyway, when we arrived we had a blast. The first thing we really saw was the central station which was pretty busy even in the morning. All in all the city was pretty crowded although we went there on a Friday! We first entered a huge shopping centre called the Bijenkorfand looked for expensive shoes and christmas decorations. I've never seen dinosaur christmas decorations before, but I was in awe!

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Next we entered the city centre and walked a bit around. Since I spent most of my study years in Münster which is close to the Dutch border, I knew that I needed to buy vla (a kind of custard, very delicious) later but I didn't want to carry it all day. So our first stop was the Anne Frank museum and on the way there we already saw many of the beautiful Grachten (canals).

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Next to the University of Amsterdam we saw some cool grafitties like this one with the Last Supper reinterpreted:

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We had a short lunch with pancakes (Poffertjes  = small sweet pancakes for me and a large pancake with cheese and ham for my boyfriend) and walked over the flowers and plants market next to a gracht. We bought some tulip onions to plant in my dad's garden, but there were also hemp starter kits for the interested. Actually, the whole city smelled of weed and most of the shopkeepers we encountered were more or less high. Well, it is legal in the Netherlands to smoke pot but we were not interested...

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And next to pot, seemingly many tourists are also using many different kinds of drugs. Next to this former customs house we found this sign which warns tourists that cocain with heroin is sold and already killed 3 tourists!

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Some of the store decorations were really cool, like the fabric shop we entered with zippers and feather boas in the window or this lovely sweets shop with hairdoes made from candy!

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Most of the malls were decorated with Christmas stuff already, but I somehow really liked it:
 
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Our dinner was laso very Dutch; we went to a Febo, an automatic fast food restaurant. You can get warm fast food by simply putting some coins in the automat and get something fatty and delicious! I got chips speciaal (with curry ketchp, mayonaise and fresh onions) and my boyfriend got some frikandel (meatball) with that. Not the most fancy food, but great nevertheless!

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We said goodbye to Amsterdam after the night set and this wonderful view of a Hotel next to the central station and the cool house of cards statue in front of it! We will come back, we are very sure...

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Socks, I made socks!

If you read this blog for a little while you know that I tried to learn knitting for several times and always failed hard. Despite different teachers (school teachers, my mum and Paisleystern tried so hard and are very good teachers indeed), I'm just too impatient for knitting. In contrast to sewing (especially with a sewing machine), knitting takes virtually forever! I also tend to pull the wool differently every row so everything is wonky and I loose patience after 5-6 rows. So I finally gave up on knitting altogether until I develop a serious case of patience and stubbornness...

That was until Burgtreffen this year when I learned how to make socks the easy way. And now I have finished my first pair!

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So, you might ask yourself two things: How did she do it and why are the socks made of such thick wool? It both goes together, as a used a knitting frame like this:

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You put the wool around the knobs of the knitting frame and pull it over with the needle thingy. Very easy, but there are two disadvantages
  1.  you can only knit right, so the wool rolls at the hems
  2. and you can only knit very thick wools otherwise the holes are pretty big and the knitting gets too loose
So I made the first pair of socks and it didn't even take that long. These are huge because I made them for my boyfriend who loves me so much and always has cold feet! Next on the agenda are some Christmas presents and socks for me, me, me! :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Week in Review 50/2014

What did I see?
We did a bit of Trash watching this week with my special friend Dolph Lundgren as He-Man in Masters of the Universe and Flash Gordon. I also saw very cool 3D grafitties on the Internet by the Portugese sprayer Odeith:



What did I listen to?
Queen - Flash

What did I ask myself?
How is it less than two weeks until Christmas?!

What did I read?
Only work related stuff, a lot about RNA

What did I work on?
A shirt and a steampunk tornure.

I was happy about...
My lovely boyfriend and catching the sewing bug once again!

I was annoyed about...
Work. It's really time for Christmas...

I bought...
Nothing much besides Christmas presents and ingredients for Christmas cookies.

Review Knipmode

During my stay in Amsterdam I bought two issues of sewing pattern magazine that are not available in Germany. One of them was the hyped "Knipmode" from which I often heard but that I never had in my own hands. The sellers on the Dutch fabric market often use these patterns to demonstrate finished garments from their fabrics, so i knew I could expect laid back and simple styles with a little twist. To avoid copyright issues, I took rather low resolution images, but I guess everyone can understand what I'm talking about...

Since this was the winter edition, many of the patterns are intended to make pretty christmas dresses. This is nice on the one hand because I love seeing the cute creations, but on the other hand I rarely wear fancy dresses so I don't sew them besides historical stuff. *sigh*

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Many of the patterns are simple in a good way, like not too many details so that fancy fabrics are not overwhelmed with a lot of fancy stuff. I also liked a lot that they used normal models and not the skinny ones that usually appear in Burda. And that the patterns are the center of attention even if the picture might not be as "Vogue-fancy" as Burda's style:

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The amount of patterns is comparable to Burda and the price a little higher (7,95 Euros), so it is an option when I come around to buy another one:

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Like Burda, the Knipmode has some sewing tipps. In this issue, they center around sewing knit fabrics. I would love to understand what the writing says, but the pictures are very helpful already!

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There is also one special designer pattern which seems to be very easy in this issue. It is mainly tubes of elastic fabrics with some see through material added:

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All in all definitively worth a try if you are an advanced seamstress and do not need to rely on the written explanations or are able to understand Dutch - which I can't. But the patterns are great and greatly visible in the pictures taken on the models. If I come around sewing again, I'd love to sew the dress in the second picture!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

South Africa part 2

The last report ended with us leaving Johannisburg to fly to Capetown. Oh Capetown, beautiful Mothertown! We arrived to see the sun going down over the Table mountain. What a great first impression! We also had another tour guide here, Luidger Pooth. Much better than Eva, although we didn't see him that much. We spent our first night on Upper Longstreet -the party street with lots of restaurants, bars and people. We stubled upon a movie shot of Charlize Theron and participated in a wild party in the background. I'll keep my eyes open for the finished movie!



The next day we did our own hop on hop off tour through Capetown, but again the weather got worse as the day went on. This was the beginning:

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And when we decided to go up with a cable car on top of Tablemountain, the view was spectacular:

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We didn't see much, but had a lot of fun anyway! We also saw wild seals in the harbour of Capetown near the Victoria and Alfred Mall:

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On the next day we traveled on to Mosselbay which is directly on a peninsula and has lots of beautiful beaches. The view from my hotel room was spectacular!

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We walked a lot through the town and visited beaches and shops (I bought some fabric here for the Burda Vintage dress).

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But my highlight was the whale watching tour we organised the evening we got to Mosselbay. We saw humpback whales and dolphins and seals!

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On our second to last day we headed back to Capetown via another beutiful scenic road. Again, the stones and the overall landscape reminded me a lot of the wild west in the USA:

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 We also did a little whine tasting on the way:

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We liked some of the cheeses and wines so much, we bought a bottle of whine and cheese with bread and made a little picknick in the hotel! Actually, we would have liked to dine out and eat the stuff for breakfast, but there was a power shortage while we were looking for a restaurant and everyone sent us off because cooking is not that easy without power... But we had fun anyway!

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On the last day we took a final trip through Capetown and then took off for another flight to Johannisburg and then to Frankfurt again.