Saturday, July 30, 2011

Above the Clouds

Waiting for the ride
The children and I got our first ride in a hot air Balloon today at the Weld County Fair. Every year a ballonist from the area offers free rides for people who otherwise would probably never be able to afford this.

I was a little scared. I don't like heights very much. The Balloon was tethered to the ground and we did not really lift off and go very far. But still...

Getting situated

Have you ever travelled in a hot air Balloon? I was really surprised how strange it felt. In a matter of less than a minute you are high up. Floating above the earth. You hardly feel the wind. Reminded me of a song called Ueber den Wolken by  German singer and songwriter named Reinhard Mey.

Take off

                                                  Ueber den Wolken
                                           muss die Freiheit wohl grenzenlos sein...
                                           alle Aengste, alle Sorgen sagt man
                                           blieben darunter verborgen
                                           und dann wuerde
                                           was uns gross und wichtig erscheint
                                           ploetzlich nichtig und klein...

                                                 Above the clouds
                                               Freedom must be endless
                                               All fears and sorrows - they say     
                                               Remain hidden beneath
                                               and then everything
                                               that seemed big and important to us before
                                               becomes small and negligible

I am so glad I overcame my fear and tried it. We didn't go up above the clouds. But it was a truly an amazing experience.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


i saw this young entrepreneur in my neighborhood this week. he looked so cute it made me smile. after all we are in the same business...

he told me he made $2.55 yesterday selling his wares. then his little sister started to cry because she wanted a toy he was selling to another kid.   kids....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eat your Peek-a- Boo Beets!

Our community garden patch has been amazing this year. We have enjoyed many fresh vegetables this year. Some of them the kids are not too happy with. Cauliflower was a bust. But the kids love beets. As you can see in these playful pictures...

The best way to eat beets - in my opinion - is baked. Just cut the tops and roots off and scrub the beets clean with a brush. Take a fork and pierce them a couple of times. Then wrap your beets in a layer of aluminum foil. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until soft. Depending on the size...If they are big it can take 90 minutes.

Then break the foil open and enjoy your beets with sourcream and some chives sprinkled on. Heavenly!

But don't throw out those tops! They are quite delicious. You can cut the stems off and sautee them in olive oil and garlic. Then add the cut up cleaned wet leaves. Once the leaves are all wilted this makes a lovely side! I love to splash a bit of lime juice on top of mine...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pray for the Children in Norway!

robot boy 4, originally uploaded by germandolls.
when I am sad about all the evil things that happen in this world - I make dolls. it's my therapy.

then there is prayer...

today is Sunday. I am about to head to church where I will pray for ALL people. the ones on the right, the ones on the left side of the aisle, and mostly the ones that don't know me from atom but hate me because I am different...

I will pray for the people who hate me me because i have a different accent,
because I am a foreigner,
because I am a stranger,

the ones who hate me because i don't have the same political opinion.

it's a very sad world today.

Pray for the people - children - who were murdered in Norway. why did the man kill them? Because they were the children of people who had a different political opinion and belief system!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Finally Here - the Bee Line Dresses

Bee dress 3, originally uploaded by germandolls.

Hope you'll love this fabric as much as I do. Comes in green and pink.

Monday, July 18, 2011

From the Annals of the Crazy German Lady...

I am feeling a bit depressed today. Our baseball season has come to an end, and I will really miss watching this amazing American sport. Being German I had not known much about baseball until my son started playing. I instantly fell in love with it! There is nothing that get's your adrenalin pumping like a game of  Little League kids going at it...

But there is one thing that really bothered me all summer. I had never seen such waste, mountains and mountains of trash, than at those little kids' baseball games. Most of this trash came in the shape of: Water Bottles.

I felt like a total outsider carrying around giant gallon sized refilled waterjugs from home. I could feel the the stinging looks. Lookey here:" There comes the crazy German lady again with her water bottles. Or was I imagining it? My son was the only kid - I am pretty sure of it - who had a water bottle in the dugout. I kept jogging over to refill his drink bottle about three to four times per game. Was it too much work? Not really. Not much different from grabbing a throw-away bottle from a cooler.

I know they all thought I am bit cracked. But what seems crazy to me is that people would pay up to $10 per gallon of bottled water (or even more at concession stands) when you can bring it from home for about 1cent per gallon. This is not the reason I am doing it. I was doing it because I like to avoid trash at all cost! I just don't like it when a giant overflowing trashcan obstructs my view of the baseball field. Sigh!

Here are some facts I found on the Internet. Maybe I should print them up as a handout for the next season? Will they still give me that look?

• Unlike soda and other carbonated beverages, there is no deposit on water bottles
so fewer are recycled.

•Nationally, only 10% of plastic water bottles are recycled—90% end up as either garbage or litter.

•30 million single-serve non-returnable containers end up in landfills or as litter every day.

• We spend millions annually to clean up plastic bottles that litter our highways, parks and open spaces.

It’s a Waste of Energy

• 18 million barrels of crude oil equivalent were consumed in 2005 to replace the 2 million tons of plastic bottles that were wasted instead of recycled.

• Manufacturing that much plastic releases more than 800,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change.

• If we recycled the water bottles used in New York, we would save more than 67,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

• In New York, the oil used to make our bottles is equal to 66 million gallons of gasoline; enough to power 120,000 automobiles for a year.
Taking Action

• Since New York adopted the bottle bill in 1982, 90.6 billion beverage containers have been recycled.
Roadside container litter has been reduced over 70%.

• San Francisco and Los Angeles have banned city departments from buying bottled water. Ann Arbor, Michigan is calling for city events to be bottled water free. Salt Lake City urges city workers not to buy bottled water.

Maine, Hawaii, California and Oregon have deposit laws that include bottled water.

What You Can Do

•Recycle or return all of your beverage containers
•Pick up bottles along the road or sidewalk and recycle them.
• Drink tap water—it’s better for the environment, even using a fi lter is cheaper than buying bottles.
•Get involved—help start a recycling program at school, work and sporting events.
•Buy and refill reusable bottles.
•Learn more about your local recycling program.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Eva's Doll

Eva top view 1 copy, originally uploaded by germandolls.

Isn't she cute? For a rascally little girl who loves to play soccer and hug dolls...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Do you know what day it is? Etsyversary

It's July 13th, 2011. Nope, it's not my birthday. It's my ETSYversary. Today, 4 years ago, I started my shop on Etsy. At the time I was really depressed because I didn't have a place to sell my dolls and doll clothes. Dollmaking was a hobby and I made dolls for friends and family - and gave them away. But once all the nieces and nephews had what they needed overcrowding became a bit of an issue...

I felt so lucky when I first discovered Etsy. A mom at my daughter's preschool told me about Etsy. Like me she was also a doll maker and struggling artist. She made different kind of dolls: Art dolls for collectors. But our plight was the same. If you live in a small US city in the middle nowhere - how do you find people who value your art?

I instantly loved the simple format of Etsy! When I first joined found myself rushing over to the computer each morning to check what had happened. Like a teenager in love. Wow, I had a sale! I'll never forget that morning when I woke up and someone had bought over half of my store: 33 items and paid a total of $850. Finally I could afford a good sewing machine...Unfortunately this never happened again. But I am happy to report that since I started I have had 1265 sales. I got nearly 1000 Feedback reports. Impressive, no?

I love the Shop Stats feature Etsy put on the site a while ago. It neatly shows you all the numbers in a graph. It's also a close reflection of what is going on with the economy. Not that I am an economist. Lucky me! Starting a business in the middle of a recession... Who has money for handmade dolls clothes and dolls when people (including myself) need to put food on the table for the family? But considering all of that - I have not done all that badly, and I am proud of my little business and my creations!

Here I am just another immigrant living the American Dream. Maybe one day I will make it and my little business will take off and provide our family with an income one can actually live on. I thank Etsy for helping me get a little bit closer to that dream...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cutest Bee Fabric

I just added this supercute fabric to my stash. Of course it's Japanese and who would not fall for this pattern? Isn't it amazingly awesome?
I can't wait to turn it into tiny shirts, little dresses, and whatnot.

What should I make first with it?

Friday, July 8, 2011

NK Blog Guessing Game Giveaway

Since y'all had so much fun playing detective I got another one for you! Please go visit the NaturalKids Blog and play my Plant Guessing Game.

You could win one of these:

Happy Guessing!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Piece of Cake: German Cherry Crumb Cake - Kirsch-Streuselkuchen

Here is a secret: My husband is a 3-time Weld County Pie Champion blue ribbon winner. I am not! I don't do pies. It's not a German thing. In fact, when we first started dating, we always argued about the usage of the word cake and pie. I'd call his pie a cake, and he 'd be very offended. "It's not a cake! This is a P-I-E! A cake is something different," he woud yell in frustration. Problem is we don't have the word pie in German. A baked sweet something is just a Kuchen/ cake.

Year after year the judge ladies at the fair would ask upon turning in the pie: Did he really make that pie?" They could not believe that a guy could make better pies than the old blue haired ladies...

Well I am not a champion pie maker. And I have never won any of the baked goods competitions at the Weld County Fair. It's just too intimidating with a husband like mine...But here is a really great recipe for an amazing German style cake!

You can make it with sour cherries or any other kind of tart fruit ( apples, red currents, any berries really, or apricots)

Ingredients for the batter:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 125 grams sugar
  • vanilla (powder or liquid version)
  • 200 grams flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powderpinch of salt

for the topping

1.5 cups sour pitted cherries or other sour fruit cut into bitesized pieces

for the crumbs:
  • a little over half a stick of COLD unsalted butter
  • 75 grams sugar
  • 150 grams flour

1.cream the butter with sugar, add the three eggs incorporating one egg at a time mixing it for about a minute, add vanilla flavoring

2. mix flour, baking powder, and salt together.

3. add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients one tablespoon at a time.

4. butter a springform (springform is the kind of pan that's round and the rim pops off after the cake is baked)

5. spread the batter in the springform evenly

6. put the cherries or other fruit on top and spread it evenly

 Make crumbs:
1.cut the cold butter into a small bowl
2.add the flour and sugar to it
3.gently work the flour and sugar with your fingers into the butter

Remember: you are not trying to make dough here! Just a lumpy mixture to spread over your cake!

Bake for about one hour at 375 Fahrenheit in preheated oven. Check with a toothpick for doneness...

This cake is really a piece of cake to make! I have been doing it since I was a young child in Germany. So don't be afraid to try it, and let me know how your's turned out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Winner of the Flickr Celebration Giveaway

I need an Angel!, originally uploaded by germandolls.
Sorry folks, I didn't get around to pick the winner for my Flickr Celebration Giveaway until this morning. Thanks so much for participating in it! You all did great work playing detectives and finding the dolls with noses!

My flickr Photostream has two dolls with noses in it. One is the Audrey doll and the other this cute little angel here!

Looks like noses are really popular and I'll be making more dolls with noses in the future...

AND THE WINNER IS...DRUMROLL: ulrike aka Mini' comment!