Friday, August 27, 2010

Little Black Dress

It only takes two minutes of time or less on my blog and one can clearly tell that color is "my thing". My dad is an artist, and growing up there were always splashes of color everywhere... he talked about how to use it, how to find other complementary colors for it, shades and tones, and what interest it can bring to just about anything. I can't escape it, and I don't want to. Sometimes I'm not sure if it is Germany, the big city, or just living in the North, but color really isn't the thing here. Classic black = chic. And while I agree with that for the most part, I just can't sever the fact that at the core of me that my soul cries out for color...

... which is why I was somewhat disappointed when I came home from shopping for an evening gown for the wedding with... you guessed it, a little black dress.

So in a search for that perfect pop of color for my boring black dress, I stumbled onto the website for My Pretty Little Things, which was my inspiration for the rest of my accessories. Bethan was so lovely and even shipped to Germany in a sweetly and carefully wrapped package... stunning!

One good thing that I was able to put away the boy/tractor fabrics for a while and trade them in for elegant silks and taffeta's and a little sparkle. I simply could not go to the wedding without something that I made, now could I?!?...

But now that Cinderella has had her time at the ball, it's time to come back to reality... sigh!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A German Wedding Evening Party

Usually after a German wedding there is some kind of champagne or coffee and cake reception, but the evening party is when it all starts. For such parties, many people go back their home or hotel to rest for a bit and then get dressed back up for the big event that same evening. This can sometimes be a very formal event, and this was the first time that I have worn an evening gown to a wedding where I was not one of the bridesmaids. At our wedding my husband was quite entertained when my mom asked him a little perplexed... "and you mean that the people actually come back?!?"

It seems as though I was just as captivated by the evening wear as I was by the afternoon fashions... lace and beading, colorful shawls, large glittering jewelry accents, and evening clutches to drool over, paying the closest attention to each small detail...

I loved seeing men dressed up like penguins in their stark contrasting black and white tuxes, seeming to be more interested in talking business or hobbies, while the women flittered around like proud peacocks observing what everyone else was wearing.

The father of the bride and his sister trumpeted the "call to eat" song, which is more of a tradition after a hunt, before everyone piled into the tent for an absolutely fabulous spread of food. I was escorted to my table by my Tisch Herr (table gentleman), whose sole task is "taking care" of his Tisch Dame (table lady) for the evening.

Many times speeches are given and often friends and families come up with silly skits about the married couple, which can be quite entertaining. Once the music starts, it is usually with formal dancing and I love seeing couples float effortlessly over the dance floor. It is an absolute must to bring comfortable shoes to the evening party because everyone dances until they just can't dance anymore... there is just no going home at the strike of midnight!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A German Wedding Garden Party

One of my husband's cousins got married this past month and it seems as though "what to wear" dominated quite a lot of our time. Weddings in Germany are quite different than they are in the States. Sometimes the happy "I do" ceremonies are a little short, sweet, and to the point, but I must say that Germans really know how to party it up! This wedding was even a little different than some of the other weddings that we've attended here... fancier, if you will. I hate to admit it, but I had to invest in three different outfits for the affair! (Oh, listen to me... you would think that a girl would find nothing better than to go shopping, right?)

After the church ceremony the party moved to the family home where people were mingling, drinking champagne, and what else would you expect... the ever talked about "coffee and cake time". The weather was not necessarily everything that a bride could wish for, but running in and out of tents for the light and fickle rain drizzle was much better than the 35 degree (95+ F) that it had been the weekend before. I had at first decided that I just wanted to relax and enjoy the event instead of toting around baby on one arm with my camera in the other, but I found myself completely fascinated by the fashions that I saw... beautiful large hats adorned with curling feathers, jackets and silk suits in bright colors, and accent ribbons and trims. With so much eye candy, I simply could not resist!

... You certainly didn't think that the party ended there, did you? Oh, no... there's much more to come.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend Treats

I'm looking forward to the day when I can plop my little one up on the counter top so he can quench his curiosity and see exactly what it is that his mommy does in the kitchen. When I was a little girl, I would always help my mom while she was cooking or baking and she would narrate everything she did. By the time I went to college, she felt that she had failed miserably as a mom because she thought that I didn't know how to cook. What she didn't know is that I had actually listened to the things that she said, but for fear that I would have to start cooking the evening meals, I never told her that I knew how.

This weekend I had a good friend and her two daughters for an afternoon visit. I thought that they would really enjoy baking something, just like I did with my mom all those years ago. So while walking the little one in the garden this last week, I had the idea to pick the red current berries (Johannisbeeren) before the season passed me by. The four of us plucked and talked and laughed enjoying the last of our summer weather, excited for the tasty treats that were to follow.

I actually picked this recipe up from my mother-in-law and I love how simple, light, and tasty it is. Puff pastries (blätterteig), filled with berries, and a tangy lemon juice and powdered sugar icing... divine and much easier than the jelly that I made last year!

Before I knew it, the yummy treats had been devoured and only one lonely pastry was left as evidence as just how good they were. Lucky for my husband there were a few extra berries to do a second batch. What a lucky man!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


What do you like to do with your weekends? Do you relax and take it easy lounging in the garden sipping tea and reading or are you out and about going here and there trying make the most of each minute of daylight?

I have to admit that I am totally smitten with the new fabric collection from Erin McMorris called "Weekends". Being the romantic that I am, the collection makes me think of what I would call the perfect weekend...

... sleeping in in the morning, waking up slowly with breakfast out on the terrace, enjoying even the last sip of tea before the day gets busy, riding my bike out into the countryside while taking in the cool of the shade of the old oak trees that line path, soaking in the beautiful displays of nature all along the way, stumbling onto a beautiful flower field, stopping to fill my basket full of fragrant finds, watching the bumble bees as they fly in and out for their sweet nectar, stopping for a leisurely pause to snack on the perfectly packed picnic lunch, and bringing that little touch of nature home for the guests that will be arriving shortly...

Sigh... What's your perfect weekend?

P.S. Erin's new collection can now be found here!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Buzz, buzz...

I saw a documentary recently about "intelligent plants". I was absolutely blown away and awe-struck at what some plants were able to do to flourish and multiply, attract food, and even repel threats. One plant that was featured was even able to emit certain fragrances to attract one particular bug that would then come and devour the bugs that were attacking the plant... talk about amazing!

These photos actually belong to this week's earlier post, but I thought they needed their own "section" to speak for themselves. I am fascinated at even how the simplest thing like pollination takes place with a little help from some very small friends...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sniff, sniff...

Summer is the time of year that always seems to be the most going on with us. My husband comes from a farming family, and he inherited the same passion, which often means that we are constantly on the road back and forth between home and work, waiting for the crops to be ripe and the weather to be fine... all at the same time. Time on the road does not allow for much posting... so what does one do in the country other than relaxing and taking it slow?

My mother-in-law is quite the gardener. I like to garden, but do not seem to find the time to take care of all those pesky weeds that haunt me each time I look out the window. This past weekend was spent mostly outside, lounging on a blanket with the little one while Omama (our affectionate name for grandma) worked in the garden, stopping in the afternoon to sip iced coffee and nibble on tasty cake while enjoying the shade under the willow trees... not really much time to sew or create and work was left on the back burner... it seems as if it is always a little bit of a "forced vacation" (at least for me anyways)

After I could lounge no longer, I just had to try to capture a little bit of summer's spectacular blossoms. Afterwards I shared the photos with my mother-in-law and she was quite amazed with the small and fine beauty that one often misses.. but isn't that is why it is good to take the time to "stop and smell the roses"?

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