Saturday, September 26

My sister is finally here!!

Lots of things going on, now I just have to find the time to tell you about it ;D It's coming, I promise!! Xoxo!

Saturday, September 12

Baby Shower in a Box

Yesterday I picked up a large package from the post office (one of many actually, since my sister is slowly moving here through the mail) and it was a baby shower box!!
It said in clear writing on it "Do not open unless under camera supervision!"
I was by myself, but of course I had a camera-

Okay, so I was being a bit of a smart-ass...

(Hey, I was having fun.)

And as bad S.A. karma would have it, my camera battery died! So I don't have any more photos than that.

But there was so much great stuff in the box!!! My family is something else, let me tell 'ya. There was loads of fabric, flannels, sheets, ect., handmade and passed along blankets. A baby book! Which is good because I have refused to buy one from the BX, haha... Picture frames and little kids' dishes. Clothing! And BOOKS! Tons of books :) Including all the Corduroy books, which is sweet because that was my teddy bear growing up. And Stellaluna, which I've never read but now I will. And Blueberries for Sal! (You must read that book, all of you!) There was so much more, I have to sit down and write thank you notes tonight for all the wonderful things these wonderful people put in the box.

I'm so blessed to have such a thoughtful family! Not only were the gifts perfect but there was almost no packaging, items were wrapped in fabric pieces or sheets and tied with fabric ribbons. One box was wrapped with the top and bottom separate, I'll use it to put all the cards in from the baby showers and the birth so that Johnny can have them someday.

This was our second shower, back in May Emily threw one for use before everyone left here- and it was the same then, everything was so thoughtfully picked out and wrapped, I love that the people we know and love take such care to pay attention to the way we live around this house. The frugality, craftiness and appreciation for passing things on is recognized and admired by both Chris and myself!

My favorite part of both of these showers is yet to be announced. I promise you'll love it too!


The mail has been good to me lately, today it bestowed upon me something I treated myself with.

On Etsy there is a seller, Sasaki Bags, who makes all these great hand bags and shopping bags out of old coffee bean bags. She's in Hawaii and we've almost become sort of pen pals over the past few weeks. It's been really nice to talk about random things with a random person, especially someone I admire for using such a cool material that would normally be thrown out to make something so fun and useful.
I got this as a shopping bag but I think it'll be the only purse I carry for a while!

And then today after finishing up a tattoo I actually remembered that there was a shop I had been meaning to find down by the base. A good friend of mine had a beautiful apron and she told me she bought it near an Abby and that there was a lot of nice things in the shop, I have just never gotten around to finding it. So this afternoon I drove out into the country a little ways and finally figured out where it is. Or, at least I think so. If not that's okay because this shop was a super find anyway :)

There was a row of hand carved Enten (ducks) out on the parking area, and I HAD to pick one out for J's room! This one had such great character to him, he really stood out...

Then inside, amidst the hand built furniture, I came across these two little cars- I know Chris will love the jeep, and I absolutely adore the van. The old man who made all of this (Ben) told me he made the jeep because he used to have one that he restored (which is what Chris wants to do), and the van because he wants to buy one and road trip across America someday (which is what I want to do). How could I resist?

There were some really lovely paintings that Ben had done, I'd like to buy one someday before we leave here. There were at least three poppy paintings, which I'm a sucker for.

I love how around here you can walk into a store and get to know the owners just like *that*. They really take pride in their shops and are always happy to see new faces coming in.


Oh! I made bread the other day for the first time in ages. It served me well for lunch today!


Thursday, September 10

Two weeks ago...

I'm back! And I have a few weeks worth of photos to share.
It dawned on me this morning that my camera cord is the very same as our external hard drive cord and that it's attached to the external in Brenda's living room next door, where Chris left it of course! (And naturally I thought of this at 5 am when everyone was still soundly sleeping). A quick search of his computer bag yielded the actual external cord and so now I have uploaded photos, yay!
*Be warned, this is a very long post!*


First and foremost, please welcome baby Anton:

He is lovely and my friend Megan gave birth to him a few weeks ago already.

He's the first baby I've sat and held since being (sooo) pregnant and he really brought me an incredible sense of calm while in my arms. I've always loved holding babies but have kept a melancholy detachment from them over the years since they always made me a little sadder than I'd like to have admitted. But now, after such a trying 5 years, all feels right with the world and babies are a pure joy- as they should be!


We finally 'harvest' our plum tree. Chris and I wallowed out in the mud and picked about six gallons of plums without ever picking above our heads! That tree is actually breaking in spots from the weight of the fruit, but I just can't keep up and we don't have the room in our freezer(s) for any more. They are so pretty and juicy! And, since it's already gotten a bit cold, they have lasted long and are a bit sweeter than I was expecting.

Thankfully the landlord taught me how to open them easily- I was cutting around the pit of each one, like a peach, when all you have to do is press it between your thumb and forefinger until it pops open and the seed comes right out.

Luckie was excited about this process! For good cause too, once my fingers got really juicy the plum halves sometimes popped right out of my hands and then they were fair game.

I will dry and save a lot of the pits for future planting and to give to a few people I know who expressed the want for a plum tree.

Most of the pitted and halved fruit will go into the freezer for future jam making. My mom and sister will be here soon and I figured it would be more fun to make and can jam with them here! I still need a few supplies to do it correctly anyway, so that gives me time to dig through some Flomarkts.

After those bags were full I made blueberry plum syrup for the vegan pancakes Chris made for all of us on Sunday morning. All of us being Cora, Zak, Brenda and me.


And then I made tarts until I ran out of flour! Not to worry, I bought more and will be tarting again today hopefully. Any takers?


This weekend was our little town's Back Öffen Fest. It's a sort of harvest celebration where the volunteer fire fighters come and set up tents and tables and this little baker man makes loaves and loaves and loaves of bread, all in a brick oven fueled by fire. He has been baking his whole life, his family for over 100 years. The wives, families and friends of the firefighters then serve up slices with blütwurst (bloodwurst), käse (cheese), and butter. The cheese and butter come from a lady here in town who's family has also been making for over 100 years.
This year was the 20th festival and it got pretty crowded.

Here's the view from our front door:

The baker makes all the dough at his bakery one town over and brings it all here in little baskets the morning of the fest. He loads up the oven with hot coals for a while then scrapes them all out and throws them back into the fire below. He then throws an eggshell into the oven to see how hot it is, the temperature is determined by how quickly the shell turns brown. Once he's satisfied with the heat he loads about 20 loaves into the oven and shuts the little iron door. About ten minutes later he opens it, rotates all the loaves and shuts it back up. Another ten minutes and this is what you've got!

The locals eat it with Apfelwine (either straight or mixed with water or cola) as Brenda and Cora so kindly demonstrated:

The people are so nice and funny after a weekend of drinking! Last year I went over there and he baker showed me how he bakes everything, and this year they gave me a t-shirt that translates to "the Kingdom of Krames" which is the little area of the town we live in. They joke that Luckie is the royal Krames dog (since the Queen of England has four corgis).


I don't know though, there seems to be only one royal dog around this kingdom!


This last week I was able to finish up Cora's tattoo right in time for her departure for her new life back in the States! It's easily one of my favorite pieces in my short-lived career.

As well as this Luna moth, which I did on Brenda's chest a few weeks ago:


I've also been sewing a bit more. I have a list of projects a mile long but every once and a while I start something new. These bonnets were made on a whim as gifts for a few new babies. The patterns for these and the booties were purchased at Precious Patterns on Etsy.
This one has a hand crocheted flower that a friend of mine made and some antique lace from the early 1900's:

I think bonnets are a great way to use my old lace and trimmings and buttons, and they are not so big so I can use favorite scraps of fabric that would otherwise go untouched.
For this one I used a plaid flannel my grandmother passed onto me and homespun German linen that, from what I'm told, was made over a 100 years ago. A small handkerchief was used to make matching booties and yoyo's. I think I got the flower buttons from Katie and they look to be from the 1930's:

What happened to the heirloom pieces that babies used to have passed down? I really thing we should bring that back! They may be a bit decorative but we shouldn't be afraid to actually use what is out there before it disappears into history.

As for new things, I tore apart and remade our car seat cover using fabric that was gifted to us. I'm not brave enough to do this on my own, so I bought a tutorial on Esty as well from Puking Pastilles. I was very glad for the helpful instructions! I usually do things on the fly but this was kind of a big project that I wasn't prepared to mess up ;}

Here's my Rag Bag I mentioned in a previous post, it's the perfect place for all our clean dish towels! I set a basket below it for the dirty ones and I feel quite organized now (it doesn't take much to amuse me!):


Most, if not all of you, know my husband is Military. One of the things that I believe is very important is supporting our surrounding community and the troops who are going to and from war. I'm not very good with groups of people so I really don't do much within the squadron, but I'm trying to find ways to help out otherwise.
When Chris was in Baghdad a lovely spouse made us a deployment flag. They look a lot like the ones families received during WWII. Eventually they needed someone else to sew the flags so I happily took over about a year ago. I don't generally like making the same thing over and over, but each time one of these is finished I feel very proud and can't wait to give it to Chris to take to his commander.

Another thing I've been up to is sewing boxers for Sew Much Comfort. This is a fantastic organization and anyone can help out. You don't have to do the sewing but you can donate items of clothing or, more simply, money.
I had eleven pairs to sew and I kind of let them back up, so this week I'm sewing two pairs each morning to get them finished and out the door.

I highly recommend that if you can help out then please do. There is no political motivation swaying one way or the other, only the motive to make wounded soldiers as comfortable as possible in their recovery after sacrificing so much for us.


And lastly, a quick shot of the great lobster painting Zak made me! He now lives in my kitchen and I'm going to start adding more lobster details to the room as the year progresses.

That's it for now, I won't be so long gone the next time!

Monday, September 7


My camera cord is MIA. Ugh. I have a lot of photos to upload and post from the last two weeks, so keep your fingers crossed that as I sift through the contents of my living room the little bugger will show himself.

In the spirit of staying motivated (and feeling accomplished) I thought I'd list a few *done* items. Some things for you to look forward to:

Plums. GALLONS of plums and what to do with said fruit.

Volunteer sewing.

Baby sewing.

Gift sewing.

Bird tattoos.


Needless to say, I'll be back! Xo!