Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Last minute preparations...
A witch of sorts and a ranger from the North...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Team Spirit

Check out all the awesome Etsy stores from the NaturalKids Etsy team featured in this poster! Please visit us here:

I love this new poster created by the NaturalKids Team leader, Beccijo.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Empty Chair

I had never attended a family funeral in the United States until this past Saturday. I was really really afraid. I did not know what to expect. Would it be different?

I was mainly afraid of the funeral service and the eulogy in particular. What is a eulogy anyways? I thought it translated into Grabrede in German, but my dictionary tells me it's simply "Lobrede", a speech of praise, in German.

Webster's definitions are:

1: a a commendatory oration or writing esp. in honor of one deceased

2: high praise

I guess I used to think of it as an attempt to sum up a person's life. I listened to two such summaries at each of my parents' funerals. Both speeches were prepared by church officiaries who did not know my parents from atom. My parents were raised in different faiths. My mother was raised Catholic. My father Protestant. Neither one of them attended church in the last years of their lives. But they never quit church officially. So once they died, a minister/priest appeared at the door to help bury them.

I wasn't in Germany when this happened. I was sitting on an airplane trying to make it to the funeral on time. While I was traveling my parents lives were discussed.

People, who had never met them, wrote a eulogy, based on the words and stories that my sisters told them. The outcome of each oration stunned me. As I sat in the little funeral chapel, listening to my mother's eulogy by a perfect stranger, I couldn't help but feel anger. It was all wrong! This was not the person I knew.

Strangely enough with my dad it was just the opposite. The female minister hit the nail on the head in everything she said about my dad. She really understood the complexities of my dad's life and managed to relate them to this odd gathering of people. How could this be?

Life is complicated. So is death. I am not sure how one makes a speech properly? Hard enough to just attend the funeral. How can you make sense of a life that is so complex? Who are these speeches for anyways? What is their true purpose? Are they really meant for the departed, to praise and honor them? Or are they more for those left behind, to comfort and let them know that they did okay, no matter how things played out in the end...

On Saturday I listened to Uncle Erasmo's eulogy. It was very different from either one of my parents' eulogies. This one came directly from the family and was read in a frail voice by a person who regularly attended church with uncle Razzy. Was it more true?

In the end, I don't think the speeches matter. They may comfort or upset the people attending at the time. What matters is that we pick up the pieces of our lives after people depart and honor them in what we do. Who was uncle Razzy?

He was a different person to all of us. How could anybody possibly know the sum of him? We can only talk about the pieces of the puzzle and remember what the whole may have looked like. Who sat in the empty chair?

A former: son, boyscout, son, veteran, postal worker, collector of beautiful things, believer, father, brother, husband, lover, friend, uncle - a good person who will be missed by many.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thank You!

I hereby want to thank all the dear people who have supported me during my illness and sent me emails, messages through facebook, conversations via etsy, cards, and even money to support me at this tough time in my life! I also want to thank the wonderful leader of my Etsy team, Beccijo who called me this morning to encourage me. It was good to hear your loving caring voice!

I really appreciate all of you so much, and words can't describe what your kind gestures mean to me!

Our little family will be traveling to New Mexico for the funeral of our beloved Uncle Erasmo. Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts as we go on this journey.

My Etsy and Artfire shops will remain closed until further notice!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The White Shores

I lost my mother-in-law to cancer in 2003.
I lost my mother to cancer in 2004.
My dad died the year after.

Yesterday we lost Uncle Erasmo...

I read in some German movie review the other day: Leben heisst sterben lernen. Living means learning to die.
I wonder if those lessons ever get us ready for it? I remember the white shores that Gandalf in Lord of Rings talks about...Some people call the white shores heaven, I suppose. I hope to find you there when it's my time to go.
We miss you all terribly!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why I am not around...

Friday night I fell on my tush and injured my tailbone. The wicked children had left a blanket on the stairs, and since it was night and dark I didn't see it.

It's hard to sit at the computer, sew, and do many things when you have an injury like I am finding out.
So for now greatings from my couch. I will spare you images of teacups, hotpads, pain med bottles...
If you ordered a doll. It may take while longer. I just took down all of my listing that included machine work. Hopefully the rest I can do laying down...
Children can be such a pain in the b...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Roaring for Boy Clothes!

The little prop toy lion is all happy. He appeared to be roaring when I was taking the pictures. Or am I only imagining things? I have been wanting to make some more doll clothes that appeal to little fellers for quite some time. Finally a customer got me going. She asked for an outfit with toy cars. Then I remembered I had this cute green fabric in my stash. Oh my gosh.!It's soooo sweet. How could I keep in the drawer for so long? And next came out the little zoo pattern. It has a bit of pink in it. But as we all know: Tough guys like pink!

So dear Boys - and Girls, I hope you will enjoy my new two-piece sets that I made with Christmas in mind! Dear Parents, I am sure you will enjoy these cute sets, too, and find them nurturing and fun. Each little boy should have a doll to take care of and love! For surely they will grow up to be loving dads to their children if they get a chance to practice while young!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ready For Shipping

Just finished this sweet little girl. I am so pleased with her. It will be hard to let her go out into the world. Hope she will be loved as much as I loved creating her...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Grape Harvest in Germany/ Weinlese in Deutschland

Lots of women in this picture... Where are the guys? I will start from the left going to the right. You see my sister Sabine, my mom's cousin Ludmilla (who we all referred to as Tante Luddi), my mom, my oldest sister Susanne, my second oldest sister Christine, my cousin Ellen, and me.

The little baby in the basket is my youngest sister Kathi. Kathi was born in 1972. The picture must have been around taken around 1973/74. Kathi couldn't walk yet. So when we went to harvest the grapes, we carried her, all bundled up in her cozy laundry basket, up and down the rows of the vinyard.
To put this picture in context, one has to understand that I grew up in the Nahe-river valley. It's one of many famous wine growing regions in Germany. My parents were not winegrowers themselves. My father inherited a couple of vineyards from his dad. We would harvest the grapes, and then my dad would sell them or trade them to one of the local winery's for some wine. Not quite sure how it all worked. Fact is, we had to go out in all kinds of weather and pick the grapes. It was hard work. Even more so when you had to carry little sis' up and down those steep hills...But I remember those days fondly - now that I am older.

I'd like to live here...

'GnomeLand' by EvesLittleEarthlings

Gnomes, where gnomes live and what gnomes love, by the Natural Kids Team.

Gnome Baby Softie- ...


Wooden Toy, Autumn ...


Daniel the Boy Gnom...


Papa Gnome Bendy D...


Autumn Hand Knit Gn...


Gnome Home Needle F...


Waldorf Wool Felt G...


Brown Gnome, a kni...


Toadstool Home - Ne...


Wee Forest Children...


Felted Playscape - ...


Evergreen Play Time...


Carved Waldorf Gnom...


Mini Brownie Doll


Three Personalized ...


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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Harvest: Part Two

Can somebody here please tell me the difference between a pumpkin and a squash? I'd like to know.

Remember our gardening project? The wait is finally over! No worries about frost. It's been so warm in Colorado, we lost fear of imminent frost destroying our crop. 110 days to mature? No problem!

We went and harvested 8 giant ugly squashes on our community patch. How can something as ugly as a Zucca Barruca taste so yummy? It looks like the skin of a witch covered in warts really...But oh, the things you can make with this squash.

Last week we cut a single squash in half. It weighed 20 pounds and provided food for our two families for several days. We roasted it and ate it on the side with dinner. We baked it in the oven, and from the pulp I made: pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin soup, and 3 panfuls of muffins. Delicious. I will share my recipes soon! For now just enjoy the pictures of the harvest!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Frieda Johanna Seckler (October 4, 1936-March 29, 2003)

I miss you Mama! I will light a candle for you today!
If you have lost a loved one recently or still feel a lot of hurt years later please visit this site for comfort!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Woodmouse meets GermanDolls

It was love at first "site". The first time I visited Amber's shop I looked at her wee wooden toys and said to myself: I really want these to come live in the pockets of my doll dresses. Finally my dream has become a reality. Last week the cutest little mouse moved into one my signature Pocketdresses. They look so sweet together. How cute is that? You can purchase this OOAK toy in the NaturalKids Team shop. And while there, make sure you look for more items made by my beloved team.
I will blog about another project really soon here. Stay tuned for more NaturalKids collaboration projects! When a group of talented artists gets together you get amazing results...