Thursday, January 30, 2014

Go Broncos, Baby!

Are you a football fan? I have to admit that football is one of the sports played in the US that I don't quite understand. We don't have that in Germany. I grew up watching and playing soccer. It took me years to learn the rules of Baseball. I only learned  the rules how Baseball works because my son started playing it when he was 9. Man, it is complicated! I learned so many new words. They don't teach you sports-related vocabulary teaching foreign languages in Germany. It took me years and reading many books. I love that sport now. So maybe there is hope for football?

But despite my lack of knowledge when it comes to football, it is hard not to get excited about the local team's (Broncos') success this year making it to the Superbowl. It's so much fun going to the grocery store seeing all the workers dressed up in orange and blue.

So in honor of the team and all the fans, I made a miniature doll in the Broncos' colors to give away on my Facebook Fanpage. If you want to enter you must go to my page and share the photo. That is the only way you will get entered in the drawing on Superbowl Sunday. Please note the Giveaway is not for the jersey. Just the sweet babe.

 I am sure any young aspiring fan will enjoy this little pocket doll in the team colors very much. No matter if they win or lose the game. Even if you are not a fan you may still want to enter, just because you love those colors. Just remember to be a good sport, always!

Of course, I'd love to see the home team win. I will be cheering them on at a friend's house this weekend. Go Broncos, Baby!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cute little Muffins...

Do you like visiting antique shops? Back when I lived in Berlin I used to go to antique stores all the time. There are not too many in the town where I live now. Still, I love it. Unfortunately I don't have the money to buy the things I like. But one can walk around and dream, right? And sometimes one may even find a treasure that is affordable. Like this cute doll sized muffin pan.

I wonder if I could actually bake some real muffins in it? It looks like it's made of aluminum. What do you think?

And how long would I have to bake tiny muffins? I should probably get a doll sized oven next. =)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

fun with bunny eggs

Pink egg 5, originally uploaded by germandolls.

Since that first blue one was so much fun I couldn't resist and made another one. Tough job crawling out of eggs...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bunny Baby

Bunny Baby 3, originally uploaded by germandolls.

Check out what I made yesterday! What a sweet surprise it will be on Easter...
When my daughter was an infant someone gave us a pair of bunny ears attached to a headband to put on her for Easter. It was such a silly thing. You know like putting antlers on a dog for Christmas. She never looked cuter...

So I made this doll remembering my little baby bunny...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Postcards and Stickers

I had some new postcards made for my business a little while ago. I like to send them along with dress-up dolls I sell or a big order. When making postcards I have such a hard time choosing which doll. I would like to have postcards with every single one of them. Since each doll is a child of mine after all...

Maybe some day I'll have my own collector's set. Like baseball cards, right?

I also love my little stickerbooks. It is so much fun to put the cute tiny stickers  on my packages before I ship them out.

I will do a Giveaway for some postcards and/or a stickerbook soon. The stickers look so cute on a letter, waterbottle, or really any surface...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Back to Felting

After Christmas things in the shop always slow down a bit. Then it is time get out the wool roving and felting needles. Last year I made wet felted eggs for the first time. They were a lot of work but I very much enjoyed the results.

Have you ever  tried felting? It takes lots of patience and time. So I take my work along when I have to wait in places. The dance studio where my daughter dances is a great place to felt. Often a group of little girls will crowd around me curiously asking what I am doing. Children love to see artists at work.

Do you have a craft you like to take along? So much more fun than playing games on the phone, right? Also, we need to set a good example for the children. I am not saying that I have never indulged in timewaster phone games. A couple of years ago I managed to burn out my phone playing Pacman...Oh dear! After my Blackberry died that was the end of it. ;)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Auction Day For Valentines Day Doll

So 3 days ago I started this auction on Hyena Cart. I love that site. Got so many cool little shops on it. I listed the sweet Valentine's Doll you see in the pictures at a very low starting price. Two bids came in right away. Then another. But it didn't work out so well...The bidder wrote to me apologizing for a mistake they made. It was an honest mistake and I can understand. So to make a long story short: I had to start the auction over. If you are one of the bidders who bid I apologize and hope you forgive me. That's not way I intended things to go. I am so sorry!

Please, check out this auction ! If you have wanted to buy one of my dolls but the high price tag kept you from buying, this is your chance to get one of my sweeties for a good price. She even has a hand knit pink sweater. Such a cutey!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Accent - or be kind to aliens!


Accent - don't speak a word or they will know...

A : know what? that I am an Alien - the Ausländer. not from these lands. the outsider. which of these three things doesn't belong? I don't belong. yet I am are here. they notice the accent. it gives me away every time. it gives everyone license to comment. where are you from? I get so sick of the question. I used to work at a coffee shop. after the fifth customer for the day had asked that question I'd tell them I am Chinese. now I say I am from 13th Avenue. maybe one could pretend to be mute? learn sign language? I want to blend in.

C: Communication or rather lack thereof. it's not my Native tongue. please don't judge me if I don't get the subtle nuances. Did I say something that hurts your feelings? Maybe it doesn't sound so harsh in German. cultural differences, you know. there are things that are okay to say in German but not in English. it appears.

C: Cut off from the homeland. missing my family, my people, the very fabric I am made of. Food, Music, Culture - Language I understand.

E: Excluded, never quite belonging. what am I supposed to do when they sing the National anthem during sporting events? will they know I am not one of them? watching my kids with their hands across their hearts. nationalism. alienated from my own kids. so not me.

N: Not from here. Nobody. None of your credentials matter. Not employed. underemployed.

T: Troublemaker, at best. she is different. always complaining. why don't you go back to where you came from if you don't like it here? at worst, suspected of being a Terrorist. every time you cross the border being subjected to "special" treatment. more fingerprints. don't you have enough prints and pictures of me?  never been fingerprinted in my life. they don't do that in Germany. not during border crossings or for jobs. only time you get fingerprinted is when you are a arrested for committing a crime. Why is this still upsetting to me after 18 years?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Yarn

Molly is very excited about a new yarn I purchased. It's so soft and the colors are amazing. I purchased it in a destash sale on FB from MaizyMooKnits. Karyn knits the cutest little shoes and outfits for dolls.

I am not sure what I am going to do with the yarn yet. I just couldn't resist. The story of my life... I was thinking doll hair or maybe a sweet spring cardigan when I saw it. But for  now Molly has claimed the yarn as her pillow. How can I convince her otherwise? Dolls...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Molly - a health nut...

I have to say, I am a bit disappointed that nobody left me a comment on yesterday's blog post. Some folks commented on FB but a whole lot of Nada over here. The stats tell me tons of people read my post. Hmmm. Makes me wonder. But then blogging is a lot like talking to oneself. A type of diary that anyone can read. Why write a blog? Since I started blogging I found that it has really helped  me organize my thoughts and process my experiences as an immigrant. Even if nobody ever reads this stuff I really enjoy writing. So never mind - audience or no audience. I'll just keep plugging along.

Alas, I finished a new doll. I named her Molly. She is a bit of a health nut - like me. I am proud to report that I have stuck to the smoothie diet. My husband says that diet is nothing but the word "die" spelled with a t. Oh well, I am afraid I rather enjoying my suffering. Too bad I will have to pay a big fine at the library today since I forgot to return all those wonderful die-t-ing books on time.

My least favorite book of the lot I checked out was probably the book you see on top of the pile: Never Feel Old Again by Raymond Francis. Seriously, that book makes to want to stop eating, breathing, bathing, using phones and computers. According to that dude we are practically dead already, and the only way we may be able to come back to life would be to stop doing everything and buy the author's line of supplements. Don't read that book! My family declared me crazy whenever I quoted from it.

So I have decided to stick to the smoothies for breakfast and lunch right now, and enjoy a nice evening meal with the family. I have cut out pretty much all processed foods and traded unhealthy snacks for nuts and fruits. I am quite pleased with the results. I feel much more energized and convinced that I sleep much since I started on this regimen.

Another book I really loved besides The Green Smoothie Diet by Robyn Openshaw was 101 Foods that Could Save Your Life by David Grotto. It was fun to try out some new foods. Unfortunately some of the "superfoods" are very unhealthy for your budget. For example Goji berries. Have you ever heard of them? I found that a bag costs about $20. Now that is nuts!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Alone in Berlin

Not a single post in over a week. What's up with that? All I can say in my defense is that I have been busy. It's January and that means all the pennies I earned and spent for my doll business last year need to be counted so I can do taxes. This is not much fun at all, but it needs to be done. Those are the times I wish I could make dolls just for fun and give them away. I really don't like counting pennies. Who does?

Aside from that, there was this great 668 page book I got for Christmas. It totally drew me in.  I had to finish reading it. My husband gave me the 1946 novel Jeder stirbt fuer sich allein ( Every Man dies Alone) by Hans Fallada, a German writer. Apparently Fallada is a forgotten author who has been rediscovered recently in Germany and other parts of the world. The book I read hadn't even been translated into English until 2009 when it was published in the UK under the title "Alone in Berlin". 

I found this great summary that a reader from a US library wrote:

Written in 1946, but only recently translated into English, this novel tells the story of a Berlin couple who begin to leave handwritten postcards with subversive messages on them around the city after losing their only son, a reluctant soldier, in the invasion of France in 1940. Based on a true story, the book vividly conveys what it was like to live in a society where everyone was watching - and informing on - everyone else, where all your family and friends were tainted with suspicion if you stepped out of line, and the consequences included prison, concentration camps and the guillotine.

When you are a German national, a person with a German accent, living in the US or any other country, as a matter of fact, you are forever haunted by your history. I cannot tell you how many times the subject of Nazi Germany has come up over the years with various people of different ages and backgrounds. The ignorant things people will say at times still blow me away. I have had children in England, where I worked at a boarding school,  walk up to me with their hands raised Nazi greeting style, saying "Heil Hitler" to me. I had a roommate in North Carolina, mustache added with the other hand, do the same thing. Rather recently, a young boy age 15 or so,  asked me what I did during the war.  I am in my 40s, you know. Seems like there is something lacking when it comes to teaching history and perhaps good manners.

Will it ever stop? I think from now on I will point people in the direction of that book. It is the saddest yet at the same time most beautiful book written on the topic of what it was like to be a German during that time. This book will shake you to the core and leave you with the question: What would I have done if put in that situation? Would I have joined and become part of the system? Or would I have risked my life and stood up for what is right?  Hopefully none of us will ever be to put to the test.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

With Love from GermanDolls

Finally I have been able to realize this new Dress Design. It has been on my mind for a very long time - ever since I bought this supercute fabric with loveletters on it. I wanted to create a pocket for my doll clothes that actually closes and opens and can hold a message or small item (piece of candy). I think it would be so much fun to exchange small love messages via this dress. Or maybe give a little gift. Maybe it could hold a tooth. I am sure the toothfairy would find it convenient...

So much fun!

As my daughter would say: "Isn't it totally adorbs!"


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pink Goodness

Since I shared the picture of this lovely pink drink yesterday I thought maybe somebody who is adventurous wants to try it. Just in case...

 here is the recipe for the Pink Cabbage Delight

1 1/2 cup water
a couple of slivers of red cabbage, less than a quarter of a head of cabbage
2 cups of frozen mixed berries (you can buy big bags at Sam's club)
1 banana
1 apple

Throw it in a highpower blender and blend until smooth.

Even my son had to it admit that this one wasn't too bad despite the fact that it had a veggie in it...

I know these photos have nothing to do with the smoothie. But they are sweet and lovable and good for the soul!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

why wait?

I got an early start on my New Year's resolutions this year. What was my resolution? To eat healthier and cut down on meat and processed foods.

I checked out a number of books on nutrition back in November. I shared my thoughts on one of them, Mark Bittman's Food Matters, in a previous post. I thought why wait until the New Year when we really put on the pounds and eat gobs of unhealthy foods during the holidays?

I am so glad I did get an early start. It really paid off. Holding off on many of the sweets and adding lots of fruits and vegetables gave me tons more energy during this very busy season. It even aided me in shedding the pounds I had gained in June. One book in particular helped me to get on the right track. Green Smoothies Diet by Robyn Openshaw is a wonderful book I want to highly recommend to you. Not that I am an expert or anything. It just feels right...

Instead of buying each other Christmas presents my husband and I decided to buy a Vitamix blender. With this wonderful machine we have very much enjoyed blending everything from Kale to Goji berries into vitamin and nutrient packed smoothies. It's so easy and fun!

Selling this diet to the kids, however, has turned out a very tall order. How do you a convince a teen boy and tween girl to get over the green color and consistancy of a veggiesmoothie? Cats coughing up furballs make a more pleasant noise compared to a teenager asked to taste a veggie smoothie.  On the bright side: Fruit smoothies are not a problem... What kid doesn't like a sweet fruit drink?

Little mini-me loves this particular smoothie drink. It is made with veggies and not green but really yummy. It has red cabbage and frozen berries in it.

I think I can handle staying on this diet for quite a while.

What is your New Year's resolution? I wish you all Health and Happiness and lots of Engergy!