Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spooky Halloween everyone!!

Halloween Round Robin Teaparty

Just wanted to let you know: our Round Robin has been sighted again - flying in America, across the Atlantic and in Europe!
I thought I would invite the lovely ladies I am sharing this adventure with, to come over for a cup of Halloween tea. We had a wonderful time, as you can see below!

Please - I know this little piece of digital fun has been done very primitively - it is definitely not a piece of art. Just a bit of fun for my girls. I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Reorganizing (again) and new beads

I am reorganizing my room. Got the computer set up on a smaller table (because the computer takes up so much space, I can't use the table for anything else anyway).

On the other wall: a used cabinet from a printer - Max snagged this several years ago and wanted to use it for his tools in his workshop. But for some strange reason, never did. This spring, he fixed it up and now it is in my room (it just barely fit through the door with 0,5 mm to spare). I have my paper and ephemera and pencils and art stuff in there and on the top I do my art work and my packaging.

I was at a bead show today. Found some treasures, but the light was already fading when I got home, so these pictures are not the best.

I can't wait to start using these! Lots of yummy stuff to get the creative juices flowing...
And yes, I do have a penchant for green!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Flea Market

Hello friends! Today was flea market day - it wasn't raining, not freezing - so, excellent conditions to go spend a few hours sorting through the flotsam and jetsam of humankind, discovering treasures, tools, secret keepers, typically Bavarian items and other wonders in general. Please join me!

I have never been able to comprehend how someone could think this was a means of transportation...

Beautiful secret keepers - so many intriguing keys!

A wall sconce that formerly graced a church, resting on an old armchair.

Ahh, Bavaria! A typical collection of deer antlers (the deer here are smaller than in America) and a quite Bavarian gentleman.

Typical Bavarian lederhosen.

Vintage glass treasures from the Czech Republic and Germany.

There is something so fascinating about old tools.

Oops, that's me, lost in thought about the printmaker's cabinet we didn't buy... no room in the house... darn!
But I did bring home some small treasures:

A simple little cutlery box, with some old lace (is this what you call tatting? I have no idea what that is), some brass trim, a brass cat stamping, some old watch cases, some old printing supplies...

More watches and more trim; not sure this is brass.

A peculiar little metal tray filled with little keys and "stuff".

A very delightful day at the flea market. Hope you saw something you liked! Have a lovely Sunday! Maybe I'll see you at the BOC Open Studio tour later!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Still too cold

Does anyone know what this prickly thing is????

Well, most of you live in North America, so you wouldn't recognize it - it is a hedgehog! More particularly, it is a baby hedgehog.

He doesn't want to get too close to me.

He is still very small. That is not good in the light of this cold weather. Hedgehogs hibernate in the winter. This means they have to have a good store of body fat to carry them through the winter. They eat insects, slugs, frogs, toads and will also eat young mice, eggs or birds, if they come across them. They have very sharp teeth (believe me!) and are protected by law in Germany. Their greatest enemy is traffic, as their main protective strategy is to curl up into a very spikey ball and just wait. Or run. They are not necessarily as slow as the fables would have you believe, but they are no match for a car. They are so protected by law, that if you find an injured or sick hedgehog, you are required to take it in and care for it, or to bring it to a humane society or nursing station (people that have made it a personal cause to care for hedgehogs that are in need). However, it is prohibited to keep them as pets. To make it through winter successfully, hedgehogs should weigh about 1 kg when going into hibernation. They wake up considerably lighter.
I didn't weigh this little one, but I don't think he weighs more than 150 g at the most.

Here he is next to a dish of some cat food. You can see how small he still is. Hedgehogs love cat food. In the fall and even sometimes in spring, I find a hedgehog on my doorstep eating out of Casanova's dish. I do often put out a dish for them, so that they will be ready for hibernation.
But in some years, it gets cold too early. Or the young ones are born too late in the season. Then I have to take one of these little guys in. If I'm lucky, the weather will get mild again and after giving him a bit of "catch up", I can let him back out. In other years, I will find a little guy late in November or even in December, that will not make it on his own. So I take him in. I have an used rabbit cage (from the flea market - where else?) that serves as home. A box with lots of paper and tissue to make a nest (they are actually night active), lots of newspaper and wood shavings to soak up their mess and a bowl for water and for food. They behave like pigs, which is probably the reason for the hog in the name. Their digestion is fantastic (yuck!) and they eat like there is no tomorrow. Good thing they love cat food, I always have enough of that. Oh yeah, they are also full of fleas and ticks (make mental note to go get some of that Neem spray)!

I left this little one outside, they are predicting a rise in temperatures for the coming week. But I will be keeping my eyes open. If necessary, I will take him in and feed him until he has the right weight. Maybe even keep him all winter, watching over his hibernation. Wouldn't be the first time.

Honestly, look at that face! How can I help it?

Edited: Barbara was wondering how I would catch him, if necessary. That is the easy part - they just curl up into a ball of spikes, protecting their face and soft underbelly. You put your gloves on and pick them up. I guess this is part of the reason it is illegal to keep them a pets, they are so easy to catch. But most people are not aware of their diet necessities, thinking they are more like rabbits. Which couldn't be further from the truth.

On another note - yesterday evening, Socks caught a bat. Seems she was quite in tune with the Halloween feeling. Talk about what the cat drags in!! Poor little guy!

Sorry, no flea market treasures today. It was raining cats and dogs this morning - which usually means, extremely meager pickings at the flea market. So we stayed home.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Halloween season

There are Halloween parties going on this weekend in blogland! Although I am not having a party, I thought I would show a bit of my witchy side today. Anything to avoid thinking about the dreary cold and rain outside...

This lovely witch was a gift from Max, many moons ago.

My speedster broom - this one is much shorter that a regular broom, making it perfect for flying in the city. Back when I lived in the city, that is.

a yummy real pumpkin and one made of metal, so that I have one all year.

more yummy pumpkins - I get hungry just looking at these. And they will land in the pot eventually.

and wouldn't you know it, the mice are watching... these are very vintage and I have to keep them where my cats don't get at them! At least these don't nibble my gingerbread house!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The "S" word

looking out the window yesterday afternoon

outside just after dark yesterday evening
It's too early for this - someone, please, make it go away!!!

Captain is bringing his "friends" inside to play again - it's no fun outside in the cold and wet, I guess!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Winter left her calling card

It was cold last night. Real cold. When I left the house this morning, it was 1°C. My car were all covered in frost. Not that easy to stratch away kind, no, the kind that really takes some muscle to remove. The car looked like it was covered with great big frosty fronds of farn. During the day we had several snow flurries. Nothing serious, it won't stay on the ground yet. But it is early this year. I'm not ready for winter yet.
My cats are spending alot of time in the house lately. They are restless, but they don't stay outside for long. Apparently, they are not ready for the cold yet either.

I know some of you are glad the weather is finally getting a bit cooler. All a matter of latitude, I guess.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Preparing for the cold season

I ache and I'm not moving very fast today. Indian Summer is over and the days will not be very warm from now on. We need to heat the house. I hear you ask: where's the problem - just turn on the furnace?
Well, we live in a very old farmhouse - we don't know for sure, but we're guessing about 130 years old. It has, of course, undergone changes during the decades, but it is still an old house. It does not have a furnace. We installed a stovelike apparatus in the kitchen, which heats the ground floor of the house; like a central heating system. It pumps hot water through the pipes and the heating elements. So far, so good. This stove is a wood fired stove. Which means - we need wood for heating. So every year, we need to fill our wood shed with wood (Yes, I do really live out in the country, way out in the country). Yesterday our firewood was delivered (more like, dumped in our driveway), the forecast was predicting rain and we were moving the wood into the shed and stacking it. Want to see what approximately 20 cubic meters of firewood look like? See below:

Well, now my back and my legs are aching a bit, but I will be able to keep the house warm.
On a lighter note (much lighter, believe me!), here are some fall impressions around the house.

We did go to the flea market this morning (before hauling in the last bit of wood; it did start to pour yesterday, so we covered the remaining wood pile with a tarp), but didn't find any treasures. Better luck hunting next time.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Around-the-World Round Robin Project

Round Robin

I am so excited to share the news with you! I was asked to participate in an international Round Robin necklace project!! And it is underway!

Our "initiatrice" is Cindy of Sweet Bead Studio - Thank you, Cindy! My collaborateurs: Véronique of Narrative Jewelry, Sharon of Livewire Jewelry and Esther of Mes Illusions Baroque; a group of really talented and inspiring ladies - I am very honoured to be participating in this project with all of you!!

Each of us has started a necklace and each piece is now on its way to the next person, who will add to the necklace and again pass it on. I can't even imagine how beautiful these will be when they are finished - but they will be very special keepsakes, I know! Imagine these necklace travelling back and forth between Europe and America!!

Apparently, we have gotten a bit carried away - because now it not just a necklace round robin. No - we have also added a bit of mixed media to document the stages of the necklace! Double thrill!

We have decided not to post pictures before the necklaces are completed, so as not to spoil the surprise for each of us during this journey. We will, however mention the round robin, when the necklaces travel.

Cindy, Esther, Sharon and Véronique - thank you for your friendship and thank you for working on this fantastic project with me! I am so thrilled and honored and excited and can't wait for us to complete this. Did I mention that I am excited?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

On my way to work this morning

This stopped me in my tracks this morning - what a sight!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pay-it-forward participants

There is no way I am going to be able to convince my husband to pick 5 names out of 6! So I bring you the six names who will be taking part in the Pay-It-Forward:

Lisa of Lucid Moon Studio

Esther of Mes illusions baroques
Pam of Wait Just One More Bead
Pattie of The Joy of Nesting
Erin of Tesori Trovati
Leslie of Bei Mondi

Thanks for participating!

Lisa, Pam, Erin and Leslie - please leave your email address, so I can contact you for your address. Esther and Pattie - I already have yours! I will be sending something your way within the next 14 days and look forward to you passing on the karma in your own blogs!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pay it forward

Earlier this week, I visited Sherry Lee's blog and she was talking about Karma. I also believe that what we send forth in this world will come back to us, good or bad, and I try to let this thought govern my actions. "What you send out into the world, will come back to you threefold."

Sherry had participated in a pay-it-forward and was now herself offering five of her commenters to be chosen to receive a gift. I was one of the lucky chosen. This means that it is now my turn to pay-it-forward into the world.

If you would like to receive a gift from me - no idea what it will be, just something that I hope will give you a bit of pleasure; please leave a comment in this post and let me know. The proviso to this is, of course, that you must be prepared to pay this forward with your own giving. Keep in mind that whatever is given need not be handmade or handcrafted. It can be anything that you choose to give to your recipients.

I will have my husband pick 5 random names from those that wish to participate on Monday, October 5th.

What a lovely way to spread some happiness...

Friday, October 2, 2009

New necklace!

Remember those feathers I acquired last week at the not so wonderful hat show? Well, they inspired me to make a necklace. A piece that is a bit raw amd primitive and colourful; something maybe a shamaness might wear. Made of brass, copper, glass beads, with an etched image and dangles that sport a brass bird, a tiny bird's nest with tiny fresh water pearls, carnelian beads, glass beads and one of my beach pebbles from Tuscany.

Birds of a Feather

click on the image to enlarge

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kitty pictures

What is this????

Oh, my kitty Socks!

We love the birds, right?

Captain says: we haz a snuggle.