the sacred everyday life

Friday, 29. July 2011

Knitting socks

Facing my craftroom windows, there is a schoolyard. Now it is summer vacation time, and they are doing some rebuilding. They took down all the plaster from the buildings facade, and now putting on a new layer. There is one construction worker who sings most beautiful in arabic while he works. I love the harmonies of arabic music, although I'm not used to them and I could not improvise on them without a lot of practice.

Here's a pair of socks I finished yesterday:

skew1

Thursday, 30. June 2011

midsummer trip

On tuesday this week, we were riding around the city to visit Jungfernheide, a forest with lakes in Berlin. I packed sandwiches and a bowl of salad I harvested from our community garden.

ausflug picknick

We passed the prisons of Ploetzensee, and visited the memorial for the victims of the nazi dictatorship there. It's a strange feeling to be on a memorial site that was a prison during the Nazi regime, which is surrounded by a modern prison today, with some of the buildings in continued use.

ausflug ploetzensee

A bit down the road, there's a catholic church and monastery. The church is also a memorial church for the Nazi victims, and the nuns of the monastery are taking care of it and also they provide help for survivors of concentration camps on their visits to Berlin. I talked to one of the nuns and she explained to me the meaning of the churches' architecture. Later I spoke to a colleague, who had been working in organisations who remember Nazi victims, and who remembered the monastery from his earlier work.

ausflug kirche

Then we arrived at Jungfernheide and stopped by the lake.

ausflug see

ausflug sommersee

ausflug fischlein

stricken skew

I brought my knitting, a sock, which goes to BF because the foot section accidentally became way too long for me.

home minzetee

On hot summer days, I love mint tea, watered down, and with ice cubes. In this picture, the ice has already melted.

Wednesday, 19. January 2011

Moving stories

Today, I listened to some old episodes of Cast on, the knitting podcast by Brenda Dayne. Episode #16 was guest-hosted by Sage from Quirky Nomads, who told the story of how she'd learned to crochet and about her childhood, and how she reconnected with her mother after growing up away from her. She told the story and played the episode out with the song "Missing you" by Mimi Baczewska, and seriously, I cried like a baby, I was so moved.

I finished some socks recently, but I had not taken time to take pictures until today. It's a free Pattern, which can be downloaded at Ravelry and called "Filey Socks".

Filey Socken

Monday, 8. November 2010

Fimo-skulls

Fimo is the name of a german brand of polymer clay. It can be baked in the oven to have hard, lasting beads. Because I want to spin Artyarn occasionally, and because I took part in an artyarn add-on-swap, I made some fimo skulls. I have worked with fimo before, but that was when I was 15 or 16, and that was 20 years ago.

The material is strange, it's softer than natural clay, but it retains its consistency for a long, long time, one doesn't have to worry about the work drying out.

Most of the skull beads were sent off with the swap package, but I also kept some for myself.

skull4

There is even Fimo that glows in the dark!

skull5

skulls7

And last but not least... in fact it's a real big change in my life... the neighbour of a friend of mine had saved a little kitty who was found motherless in the countryside. But it turned out she felt a bit overwhelmed with the constantly active wild kitty and looked for a new home for her.. now she's here with us and it's great to have a cat again!

kiwigesicht

And.. now comes the time when I quit smoking.. two years ago! This is a photo I took on the first day of my decision to quit.. I was the last day I smoked cigarettes.

schnellimbiss

I'm glad I did. The process isn't even over now.. I mean, I don't think about smoking or cigarettes now, they have become totally irrelevant for me. I have put on some weight and dropped it again.. I mean the process of redefining myself. I'm still not finished discovering the personality that's me - without the crutch of an addiction. Which is interesting, but not easy sometimes.

sax

That's what I'm using my breath for now. And I have to learn to read sheet music. I can read some notes, and I can play some notes from the sheet, but not yet tell their name.

Friday, 7. May 2010

Miscellanous Stuff

I neglected this blog so much, that I can't write about a specific topic today, I've got to cover lots of stuff that's been going on these last weeks.

Spring is finally here and I have become involved in going green, living simply, and seed politics again. On April 17, we attended the international Via Campesina Action Day in Berlin.

viacampesina1

feeseeds

There was an exhibition about Via Campesina. For all who don't know what that is, here's a link: www.viacampesina.org. It's a worldwide movement of farmers and people without land. This movement is most alive and advanced in the poorer countries, but there are also activists in Europe and the U.S.

And there was an exhibition about urban Guerilla Gardening, and urban community gardens. I have decided to join a community garden, and my boyfriend is also interested in participating. Yesterday I was on the site of a community garden in my neighbourhood, and I took some fresh, wild rucola home with me.

Next, I've begun to make WbW Sampler Blocks again!


wbwapril2010

For nearly one year, my work on this sampler quilt had paused, and I added to the virtual design walls only dutifully and rarely, not to the pleasure of my fellow WbW sewers! Now that I'm back quilting and sewing, this is going to change. I have so much fun quilting again! And I took my old Bernina sewing machine to the shop to have it maintained, something which I had kept postponing for the whole last year. I'm getting it back on tuesday and looking very forward to it!

Another thing I'm working on is food and my own nutrition.

brenessel

There's a book, "Food Rules" by Michael Pollan, and there's a blog, Cheap Like Me: Food Rules
Ms. Cheap covers all the food rules in an ongoing series of posts, and I find this so enlighening. I think I have to get the book some day.
By turning to eating better meals with more fresh veggie stuff and cooking everything myself from scratch, I've lost about 10 pounds since January, and because I enjoy this food more, I could stop eating junk food and chocolate and sweets nearly every day. Now I'm eating fresh fruits and raisins if I want something sweet. I do eat chocolate sometimes, but rarely. I feel great that way.

frittata

I also started walking (as a sport). I can't run because of my knee problems, but I can walk, and I found out that walking is just as good as running to do cardio training and stay fit.

Back to the gardening: Here's a pumpkin plant, very young, and very beautiful:

kuerbiskeimling

Monday, 21. December 2009

Winter day, finished projects, snowflakes and alien fingers

Today was the most wonderful winter's day this year. The sun was shining, and snow from the night before was turning everything white. I've taken the chance to take pictures of my newly finished shawl:

lappenkerchief2

And I'm wearing the sweater I made from handspun yarn. I love it so much, I'm wearing it every day. I originally made this "Silk kerchief" shawl (it's not made from silk, this is just the name of the knitting pattern) to give away as a present, but now I'm not so sure any more. I've heard people say how much they admire my Laminaria Shawl with the complicated lace patterns, and I don't want the recipient to be disappointed because she knows I can knit lace and I'm giving her only a garter stitch shawl. I wouldn't mind too much if it was not made entirely from fine handspun BFL and merino yarns. Oh well. It's very soft and warm and I think it's most beautiful. A tough decision - should I give it away or not?

And there's another project I finished:

tridactyl5

These are Tridactyl Gloves (The link leads to the free pattern page at knitty.com). I've added a fleece lining to make them windproof and they are the most wonderful winter gloves for bike riding.

wintertag

I love the winter sun.
What I couldn't catch on camera was just now on my way home, in the middle of the night, when it started to snow heavily. There were snowflakes as big as a quarter of an inch. And there was this moment when I wondered if I could see a snowflake, and I held out my glove and looked what fell on it, and there was the perfect snowflake, big, white, sparkly and wonderful. I think I haven't seen a snowflake like that since my childhood. But then, I had not taken the time to look for snowflake crystals in many years.

And I've seen a knitted graffiti on saturday:

knitted graffiti (not by me)

I love this idea. Must make one myself when I've got the time. Maybe a crab. ;)

Monday, 3. August 2009

old and new bike

Recently, I parted with my old "witch horse" bicycle, and it was really really a hard thing to do. I even had to cry some when I left it behind for good, to go to the bike shop to choose a new one.
I don't own a driving licence and have no car (of course), so my bike is my daily transportation around the city of Berlin. I had bought a diamond back bicycle, in 1998 or so, used, which carried me everywhere, it just flew, like a dream. As my gears and chain and everything were totally worn down again, and some other major repairs were necessary, I had brought it in for repairs, and when they started to work on it, it became evident that the frame was rusty and it was not worth the repair costs any more.
So I brought it to a DIY queer bike repair station, maybe it is still good enough for someone for another 3-4 years of use. As my knees are not really the strongest, I want a bike that runs easy and where everything works well.

hexenpferd

My old one, this spring..

fort

And my new one, which I already love!
It has got a steel frame, and since the geometry of the frame is very similar with the old bike, I can just ride it and it feels like riding my old bike. Only that everything is new.
It was made in the Czech Republic, by "Fort".
I'm really happy with my choice!

Tuesday, 26. May 2009

Summertime

I love fields full of poppies. This is summer, the real summer!
This pic was taken on a bicycle tour to the garden. 40 km, following the former Berlin Wall.

sommerfeld

My bike has been used nearly every day for the past 12 years, and some parts of it just are so worn out. Many parts have already been replaced, but I guess there's a new wave of repairs needed this year. Like any old vehicle. But I like it!

gartenmai092

And of course, my new hobby, spinning.

gartenmai091

I found that one of the most important things for a smoothly spinning top whorl spindle is a hook tuning. There's also a great Article on how to fix spindle hooks. Since I adjusted the hooks on my homemade spindles, they spin just great.
A wobbling spindle is not just an aesthetic problem. The wobbling slows the spindle down, and for some spinning techniques, especially long draw on the hand spindle, I need them to spin fast. I can really recommend this hook tuning!

Sunday, 3. May 2009

project 52: sun, spinning, biking

I didn't post photos to Project 52 for a while. Yesterday, we went on a bicycle tour on the Berlin "Mauerweg", that is a route for bikes along the former Wall. Of course I brought my spindle with me and this photo was taken at the end of the tour, in a park near our home.

public spinning

Wednesday, 29. April 2009

Wanna see Wednesday: Shower Stuff

This is what I use for showering:
It's a rose shower gel, without animal testing and made with natural ingredients. These "eco" - cosmetics are not overly scented, but the more I use them, the more I like the scent. It's not banging me on the head or shouting at me. This scent is just softly creating good vibes and that's what it should do.
In the front there is a bar of soap coated with felted wool. A friend, Petra, made this. I don't know how to use it yet. I'll have to ask her!

duschzeug

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