Friday, May 28, 2010

Mai Favoriten

There are two things that I love about Germany in May that were never really knew until I moved here. I've raved about Spargelzeit (white asparagus season) before, but find that I cannot rave enough about the national meal that is a favorite this time of year. A squeal of delight always seems to come out when I see the very first strawberry booth of the season because I know the yumminess that follows... white asparagus and strawberries! In the States, green asparagus was the vegetable of choice, with white being completely unknown. (even though I had seen it in the stores before)

A very important note to those who have never eaten white asparagus and are possibly inspired to try it... you MUST peel it first! For any German reading this, the first thought that might come to mind is... "of course you peel it!?!", but this is not necessarily for the traditional green asparagus eater. My parents had quite a bad experience the first time they ate white asparagus because they assumed that you prepare it the same way as green... needless to say, they explained that they did not like it and could not see what all the hype was about over a stringy, tasting-like-a-pineapple-with-the-peel vegetable.

In May, spargel is deliciousness for the tummy, but Raps (canola) is candy for the eyes... oh, how beautiful. So, I married into a "farming family"...
that means lots of talks about tractors, combine harvesters, and all kinds of things that I am quite frankly not interested in. Despite my general disinterest in all those things, one particular crop has captured my attention. It is so beautiful to travel the countryside in Northern Germany in May... literally fields of gold everywhere.

I told my father-in-law recently that if I were a farmer, I would like to be a sunflower or other flower farmer... how could one ever be in a bad mood being surrounded with such splendor?!?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Soul Blossoms

I never thought the words would come out of my mouth that Fall just can't get here fast enough (especially since summer has just begun)...

For some girls they can never have enough shoes, others it is purses, but for me it is fabric! This past weekend was the 2010 Spring International Quilt Market in Minneapolis, Minnesota... drool! I've have been waiting patiently for all the updates on new fabric releases, and as expected Amy Butler delivers again. Her new Soul Blossoms collection is a bright and unusual mix of colors with strong designs... and I have them on order!!!

Soul Blossoms comes in two colorways, Joy...
... and a taste from the Passion color line... It might be safe to say that September is now my favorite month! Be sure to check it out here in Fall.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

An Extra Hour?!?

What would you do if there were 25 hours in the day... to have one extra hour each day?!? Would you still run short on time and wish for 26? What do you think you could get accomplished that you can't seem to get done now? All I know is that I feel like I have been using all 24 of mine to the fullest, and yes... still running very short.

A long list of things are asking for my time these days... inventory, preparations for our upcoming show, lots of sewing, cutting and sending out orders, folding what seems like double the laundry as before, and not to mention adjusting to being a new mom (I guess baby should have been at the top of the list since he now seems to dominate the majority of those hours.)

... But I decided to sneak away for a few moments to show you what I have been working on... trying tow squeeze 25 hours into 24. Sigh, just like my pre-pregnancy jeans... it's a pretty tight fit!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring Impressions

This past week we visited my husband's parents in his hometown for the first time since the baby was born. It wasn't and overly eventful day, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. In the afternoon after coffee and cake time, we took a stroll in the beautiful nearby park, with flowers and shrubs around every corner. I had the "honor" of carrying the camera this time, and found myself quite distracted and constantly having to catch up with my patiently waiting companions... some new bud here, a stunning flower there, well... you know what seems to dominate my camera lens this time of year.

We were quite excited to see how well my oldest nieces "special tree" was doing... and in full bloom too! My parents-in-law have planted a tree so far for each of their grandchildren. Our little one will be the third tree that they will add to their garden and I am quite excited to see what it will be. We will get to see it grow as our little man grows, and if the tree is anything like him, it will grow pretty fast.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Light It Up!

So I guess I really have been busy over the past several weeks, even having time for few projects here and there, but somehow not quite enough time to put it all together to share. It's been really fun for me to add a little "personality" to the baby's room and I thought I would pass along a lighting project using some of the super cute coordinating fabric. I simply bought a standard lamp and lampshade at Ikea and decided to go to work...

1. Starting at the back seam of the lampshade, trace onto paper (I taped several pieces of typing paper together) the top and bottom edges of the shade, rolling it as you go.

2. Once you have traced around the lamp shade, cut it out and use it as a pattern to cut your fabric. I added an inch or two extra (a few centimeters) at one end as allowance.

3. Spray the lampshade with an adhesive glue. Make sure that glue is suitable to use with fabrics.

4. Starting at the seam, line the fabric up and gradually lay it on the shade, smoothing out as you go to make sure there are no creases or bubbles. Roll the shade and continue with smoothing the rest of the fabric over it.

5. Trim any excess fabric and reapply adhesive glue to the seam if necessary. Also trim any excess fabric on the top and bottom.

6. Pick a contrasting or plain trim, as desired, and spray it with the adhesive glue. Once sprayed, lay the trim just slightly above the edge of the top and bottom of the lampshade for a finished look.

7. Then... Light it up!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

American as Apple Pie

So, I guess we have this saying that when something is "typically American" that it is "as American as baseball and apple pie". Supposedly it is when Queen Victoria of England in 1890 asked her baker to make her an "American apple pie" that the saying stuck. Later on it was turned into an advertising jingle.

... whether that is true, I suppose I will never know, but my husband just scored major points for bringing a little "America" home. This week's trip to Fegro (Like Metro for those living in Germany, or like Sam's for those living in the States) he discovered a little corner of "American" products... things I've been missing since I moved here. It almost felt like Christmas time when he unpacked everything.

Campbell's Soup! Mmmmm, mmmm, good! (Does the name sound a little familiar? Hmmm?)

I had actually asked my parents to bring some syrup when they came over to see the baby. With all the new suitcase limitations, they had to decide whether to bring syrup or baby clothes... they opted for the baby clothes. I guess it would be more "American" to eat syrup with pancakes, but since I have never been a big pancake fan, we ate it with "French Toast". The American syrup is too sweet for my husband so he always eats his with sugar beet syrup (reminds me of molasses)... kind of a Northern German thing.

Did you know that "French Toast" used to be called "German Toast"? Mmmm, Lecker!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Goodbye, April

Since April was essentially my "first" month as a mother, I did not get a chance to welcome it in the way I did that past months with my favorite Vogeler postcards. It seems that I only purchased the early spring months... I cannot really say why I didn't buy the rest.

We have a saying in English... April showers, bring May flowers... and I'm glad they do. I love early spring blooms, don't you? Are there any German sayings about April?

Happy May!
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