Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Our cast had 140 performers in it. Except for the sugar plum fairy and the cavalier they were all local kids. I feel so blessed that the Colorado Dance Theatre ( local non-profit organization) gives children the opportunity to do this each year. Unfortunately with the economy being so bad we had a much smaller audience this year. But as they say: "The show must go on!"
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The article was not about my shop. It did not mention me in particular. It really was about the many different kinds of etsy teams you can join on etsy. But the mention of my very cool team, the naturalkids team, was followed 4 pictures with shop links of items from various team members. One of them was a picture of my miniature Pocketdolls - the one shown below. Wow!
At first I could not figure out why I had so many views on newly listed items. To my shame I have to admit, I still have not set up google analytics which helps one track such things...I just don't have the time and energy to figure out these little technical details. Then I saw that my hearts had gone up by over 100 in two days. I had over 40 sales in 3 days.
So I went to the forums and asked. Some nice person pointed out the fact that my little dolls where featured in that article. Now I can only imagine what an article written by me could do for my shop...I will put this idea on my list for New Year's Resolutions: Propose article to etsy...
Got to run folks and play catch-up, make sure I get everything made and mailed out in a timely fashion. Luckily I have worked out a good system. I blogged about it last year around Christmas time when things got very busy over here.
Thank you Etsy for featuring my little dollies! I am very grateful this Thanksgiving that my sales in November were up and I can afford Christmas present for my family...
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It was 20 years ago from yesterday. Oh my gosh! One feels really old thinking about being there life when it all happened. Where has all that time gone?
I was 21 years old, had just moved to Berlin to be a student at the Free University of Berlin. (one of the institutions of higher education on the Western side of the city!) Berlin was a city of students back then. Only few people wanted to live there. In fact so few that the government created an employee bonus, called the Berlinzulage, to encourage people to move to Berlin and work there.
It was the island of hope in the hostile communist East.
I was a student in the North American Studies program at the John-F. Kennedy Institute. Of all things - what irony!
I clearly remember the events of that night. In the early evening hours a good friend of mine called me on the phone. She said: "We must go to the Brandenburger Tor. All hell is breaking loose there. I heard on the radio that people are climbing up on The Wall."
It was a very cold November night when I left the house. I was wearing my thick winter jacket. But the closer we came to the Brandenburg Gate the thicker the masses of people became. There was an atmosphere of partying and laughter all around us. We ran into some friends who had brought hammers and chisels, prepared to take The Wall down tonight! People were lending each other a hand to climb up. Once up there there was a strange mixed feeling of fear and enthusiasm. As one stared down into the chasm of the deathstrip one wondered... There were soldiers, Eastern security personal, with weapons. Were they going to shoot at us? But people threw down gum, candy, cans of coke. It appeared that this strategy was working. No shots were fired. The guards were actually smiling. More and more people felt encouraged to use the tools they had brought along. Out came the chisels and hammers, and we started to take down The Wall that night!
In the picture you can see my little piece of history chiseled from that wall 20 years ago. Long long ago...
Monday, November 9, 2009
Ich war damals gerade mal 21 Jahre alt, war aus dem WESTEN zum Studium nach Berlin gezogen. Berlin war damals eine Stadt voll von Studenten. Nur wenige Menschen wollten dort leben und arbeiten. So wenige, dass die Regierung den dort Beschaeftigten einen Bonus zahlte, die sogenannte Berlinzulage. Berlin, eine Insel im feindlichen komunistischen Osten.
Und ich lebte dort und studierte Amerikanistik. Ironie des Schicksals...
Ich werde nie vergessen, wie mich an jenem Abend vom 9.11.1989 eine Freudin anrief. "Komm schnell, wir muessen zum Brandenburger Tor! Da ist die Hoelle los. Ich habe im Radio gehoert, dass Leute auf die Mauer klettern".
Es war eine sehr kalte Nacht als ich das Haus verliess. Ich trug meine dicke Winterjacke. Aber je naeher wir dem Brandenburger Tor kamen, desto dicker wurden die Menschenmassen. Und in der Masse vergass man die Kaelte. Es war Partystimmung , alle lachten und freuten sich beim Erklimmen "Der Mauer". Wir trafen Bekannte, die Hammer und Meissel mitgebracht hatten. Es war schon sehr komisch. Die Mischung von Angst von der Mauer herunter in den Todesstreifen zu stuerzen, und seltsamem Enthusiasmus. Unten im Todesstreifen standen eine Menge unsicherer Sicherheitspolizisten, die nicht wussten wie sie reagieren sollten. Oben wir, die Wessies, die Kaugummi, Suesskram, und Cokedosen zu ihnen herunterwarfen. Diese Ueberredungsstrategie schien zu funktionieren. Kein Schuss fiel, und in dieser Nacht begannen wir mit dem Abriss "Der Mauer".
Auf dem Bild koennt Ihr mein Stueck Mauer sehen, welches ich in der Nacht persoenlich herausmeisselte. Mein kleines Stueck Geschichte. Lang, lang ist's her.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Waldorf style dolls are usually gender neutral. The only way to tell a boy from a girl doll is by the clothes the doll is wearing. I once received an email from a customer who had bought a boy doll, asking where the doll's "you-know-what" was. Blush...What was I to say? It had never even occurred to me to make a doll that was realistic in that respect. I have never seen a pattern that included genitalia indicating the gender of the doll.
Though made of plastic, I fondly remember the Ken-Doll I received one Christmas Eve in the 1970s. My sisters and I always thought it was kind of curious how Ken did not have any genitals. But did it make us doubt his manliness? Not really. All it took was a bit of imagination.
A lot of commercial toys these days don't leave room for a child's imagination. For example, coloring books, where the child fills in the blanks, but there is no room for his or her own drawings... I'd rather buy my child an empty sketchbook! After all, that is what Waldorf dolls are all about. Waldorf dolls, in their purest form, have intentionally no features at all or very simple ones. Dots for eyes and a line for a mouth. Some artists will put a nose. I usually don't. I am always amazed at how much expression you get from this simplest of faces. I enjoy the pure an simple beauty of these doll.
I don't like clutter. It makes life so complicated. I like wide open spaces. I like an empty canvas or empty piece of ruled paper. Oh the possibilities...
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I had it with that cheap machine and was anxious to buy a new machine for my little business. So I went to library to do some research . I found this neat little book at my local library by John Giordano. I don't know too many guys who sew, but does this guy know his stuff! The book's title is:
The Sewing Machine Guide: Tips on Choosing, Buying, and Refurbishing.
I really learned so much from it. So if you are in the market for a new sewing machine you may want to read it!
After lots of research I ended up purchasing a Bernina 1008. I solemnly swear, they are not paying me to say this! This machine is just great. It is a mechanical sewing machine - not one of those fancy schmancy computerized machines. But boy, does it work well! I have worked with it for over a year now and it has NEVER let me down. It sews through all kinds of materials.
I guess the part that really killed me, was the easily accessibility of the bobbin case. The old machine was as inconvenient as it could get. Whenever the thing got jammed with lint (which happens a lot with those cheap machines) or there was a tension problem - I had to take a little screwdriver and open it up. Sooo much time wasted!
I also highly recommend Giordano's book because not only did it help me make a decision buying the right machine - it also had a great deal of information on how to care for my machine after I bought it!
One tip I found really helpful was the Giordano's recommendation to purchase a small vacuuming device! You know, like the type people use for their computer keyboards. Whenever lint collects in the bobbin case, I just take my little vacuum out and voila - all clean in seconds! It is so much better than blowing the lint into the machine - like it did before.
I hope this post of mine helps someone who needs a new sewing machine. I am also glad I listened to my husband's words. He told me to NOT buy a used machine but get a new one. I had played with the idea for buying a used model over the Internet. DH said: Why would you buy someone else's problem? When buying for your business you should buy the best NEW machine you can afford.
I am so happy I followed his advice. I am totally happy with my machine and how it has enabled to me make lots of cute doll clothes.
Happy sewing to all of you!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Along the way we did encounter some problems. For some reason the bees did not build their combs straight down from the top bars. On some bars they built multiple "sheets" of comb at a slanted angle. You can see that in the closeup picture below. There really should just be one comb per bar. This sort of messed things up because we were not able pull the bars straight up and out. The crooked "sheets" of comb needed to be cut because they were stuck together in places. In the process we had some loss of life and honey. Very frustrating.
Why are the bees building crooked comb? Any beekeepers out there? Could it be because the hive itself is not sitting straight on the ground - but slightly angled? My husband rested the hive on a couple of benches from an old picknick table.
In the other closeup you can see some unfinished honeycomb. The cells are not closed or capped off. Apparently the bees decide when the honey is at it's best and put a lid on. We opened the hive twice over the last five months. I only have pictures from the first event.
The uncapped honey was not very sweet and as tasty as the final product. The last time we opened the hive we got a few beautiful chunks of the most delicious honey comb. We did not take a lot. We want our pets to be able to survive the winter and continue their happy life in our backyard. We got ONE precious jar we will savor down to the last drop over the next few weeks.
Plus, I got some wonderful beeswas to seal the wood buttons for my doll clothes. I love our new pets. They stung only twice. Luckily the kids and I got off scott free...
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Die Kindheitserinnerungen (die Erinnerung an Holly Hobbie Puppen) einer lieben Kundin inspirierten mich zu kleinen Veraenderungen bei meinem Puppenkleid Design. Die Aermel und Tasche fuer das Pueppkleid sind aus einem einfarbigen Material, passend zum Stoff, genaeht. Dank meiner geheimen Stoff-fee - konnte ich dieses huebsche Kleid aus einem total suessen Japanischem Stoff kreieren. Der gefaelschte Patchworkstoff ist in den Farben lila, rosa, und gruen gehalten.
And check out the cute little boots I made to match this dress! They have a darling butterfly design needlefelted to match one of patterns from the dress. For an even more realistic look the butterfly's feeler are sticking out from the dress.
Und schau mal an welch suesse kleine Stiefel - von mir passend zum Kleid gefertigt! Sie haben ein Schmetterlingsdesign, welches durch nadelfilzen entstanden ist. Die Fuehler der Schmetterling sind aufgestickt und wirken sehr realistisch.