Monday, April 9, 2018

Gabriele Münter and Biergarten Season

Saturday I was feelin' alright so Roland loaded me into the Cabrio and we caught an exhibition of paintings and photos by Gabriele Münter on the second-to-last day, at the Lenbachhaus in München. This article about the exhibition has images of some of the paintings on display. The exhibition was arranged thematically, instead of chronologically--portraits, landscapes, abstracts, etc--and there were a lot of pictures on loan from private collections. I scribbled a lot of notes.

Also saw an old friend from Milwaukee.

When my brain was full and the exostose ached, we stopped by Aumeister on the way home for dinner.  And by "dinner" I mean Schnitzel, Pommes, and Bier. :)  This summer I would like to pack more picnics for the traditional Biergärten that allow you to bring your own food as long as you buy their beverages.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Osterküken (nicht Osterkuchen)

Cute little German chicks! I was able to follow the instructions pretty easily, but I cut the beak for the first test chick too big and it looked more like a finger puppet than a cute chick. None of my rotary cutting equipment is metric so I used a 3-3/4" x 2-1/4 rectangle for the bodies.

The two-color cotton cord for the legs was a little expensive--I had the rest of the materials leftover from other projects--but it's so *cute*. And there's still enough on the spool to make a whole army of chicks, as a fun alternative to doing something meaningful.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sloth Factory

I finished some things!

These pink sloths went to live with Roland's nieces, so I can talk about them now.

Friends forever.

The pattern is from Funky Friends Factory. I also have one of her cat patterns, but I am still looking for the perfect fabric. The sloths have velcro on their arms and legs so they can hang from branches.  We bought the pattern, body fabrics, and colored velcro in Iowa, and the felt in Freising. The claw fabrics were in my stash but I think two of the three were purchased in Germany.

Total time from start to finish: two months of not-sewing-often-enough.

The claws were tricky.

We really got inside his head.

Attaching the head to the body.

And it's just that simple.

Our test sloth (who we are calling David Lee Sloth because we are awesome) has special button eyes that we bought in Iowa along with the pattern, but the girls are young so I appliqued felt eyes onto their sloths for safety. I think I prefer this look, I like the cartoon-y-ness of the big wide eyes.

Now I want to make more stuffies. Maybe smaller, faster ones.

Stole the name off the Internet, of course!

Friday, February 23, 2018


I am still having a hard time forcing myself to write thoughts longer than a tweet. I found a weird black lump on Smokey two weeks ago and he had it surgically removed last week. It's thrown me off a bit, and he has been super grumpy. Roland and I took a 3D printing seminar at the local FabLab and I've struggled with understanding the drafting software. I'm actually cleaning things to avoid thinking/doing other things. Yikes.

I have finished a pair of small projects, and a bigger project I can blog after we give it away (Überraschungsgeschenk). The first is a Fasching (Mardi Gras) costume for my teddy bear sidekick. The reversible cape is a scaled-down version of the play dress-up cape I have been making for children since 2008; I know I followed a tutorial from a blog but it's been so long I can't remember where. She wore the ensemble to the town Fasching party, where we enjoyed drinking beer in a light snowfall.

While I was looking for the hat beads I found a wool felt pincushion I started in 2015 and got as far as completing the top. Was very quickly finished with some leftover polyester filling.

The pattern is from American Homestead. I bought it when she spoke at my former quilt guild. Her samples are prettier than my pin cushion; I left out the french knots because I didn't know how to make them. I can probably do better now, but I donated my wool felt collection when I moved. Oops.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Snowless in Friedrike

It's 40°F and sunny (also a little breezy). So this morning I made my International Snowman Day snowman out of buttons, with the help of my trusty bear companion.

I'll probably stick a magnet on the back.

I'm also looking for something I can make for supper without going shopping; it's not actually dangerous here, I'm just feeling agoraphobic.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Englischer Garten: Crappy Cell Phone Pics™

Yesterday I went to the US Consulate in München to renew my passport. This could have been done by mail, but the website was a mess--links to different forms than the text indicated, rules for photos completely missing (I found them on the website for the Embassy to India)--so I made an appointment, and started following the instructions and became increasingly anxious.

Very late Thursday night, literally hours before my appointment, I reviewed the instructions on the website, and they had changed. Since Thursday morning. Previously you brought euros for postage, now you bring a prepaid self-addressed envelope. In Berlin and Frankfurt a specific DHL product is required; in Munich you can bring anything with enough stamps. Having no idea how many stamps were necessary,  we tracked down a DHL counter near R's work and bought the specific product on Friday morning. Which took a long time, as the guy behind the counter didn't actually know that he sold this product (that we could see hanging on the wall behind him) at his counter.

Then I took a series of trams to the city center, intending to while away the morning in Haus der Kunst, where the lady at the desk told me not to bother because there was only one exhibition. So I ended up in the Englischer Garten.

I had my real camera, but I'm still trying out this watermark app, so enjoy the Crappy Cell Phone Pics™.

I was nervous about the appointment, so I didn't really enjoy the park. But at least I got sunburned.

The appointment was fast and easy. I had all the correct forms, and they accepted US cash. I was also the only person in my time slot who had a prepaid envelope or stamps. Finally the crippling anxiety pays off!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Amerikanisches Rinderfilet mit Rotwein-Schallotten Jus

R took me to a nice dinner at the local steakhouse for my birthday last week (after a day of laying around watching garbage Twitter, sigh).  They get beef from Australia, Argentina, Ireland, Germany, and, for some reason, Iowa.  We splurged on the 300g Nelore filet from the New Year's menu and it was fabulous, served with a red wine-shallot sauce, herbed butter, and the house-special three "dips", which I tested with the sweet potato fries because the meat didn't need any help from anything (the ketchup with corn was called "mexicanisches dip" which pleased me; putting corn where it doesn't belong and calling it "American style" drives me nuts).

Mostly I'm test-driving a new watermark app, which will allow me to share progress photos from the phone. I'm also considering using it for all the cat Twitter.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Frohes neues Jahr!

I need to start this up again. I got bogged down with taking "progress" photos...I completed three 12" square identical quiltlets in Oct/Nov and gave two away as gifts, but processing the pictures and writing snappy text seemed less appealing than, well, everything.  Then I visited my folks for three weeks...lots going on there, including some quilt shop visits and some quilted coasters...again lots of photos and no interest in writing. When we got back to Germany it was time for Christmas.

Have also had a series of migraines due to the crappy spring weather, gallstones rumbling after a two-year hiatus, and a 102°F fever that popped up suddenly and knocked me out for the weekend of 2. Advent.  Nothing serious enough to go see a doctor, just enough to piss me off. On the bright side, there have been a lot of good and classic movies on TV, auf Deutsch.

If you can find the Norwegian movie The King's Choice with English subtitles, I can heartily recommend (or watch it in German like I did, ha ha). It's the story of Kong Haakon VII, the first democratically elected King of Norway, refusing to capitulate to the Nazis, at great risk to himself and his family. (The real star is a stuffed animal named Rudi, who was commanded by Haakon to keep his grandson Harald safe...and we know Rudi was successful because Harald is the king today.) Very well written, very good acting.

More later. Still trying to work out documentation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Goldener Herbst

Unrelenting solar death rays--Day 6.  The cats won't even go Outside, the sun is too hot. I got some chicken for dinner at the Wochenmarkt in the Marienplatz this morning, and had to wring the sweat out of my shirt after trudging back up the hill.

Naturally the Biergarten is closed for the winter.  10 Celsius degrees warmer than when it was open in May, but why would anyone want to sit outside and be refreshed when it's actually freaking hot?! 

We had a nice weekend.  Saturday there was a local fall/harvest/church festival with nice roast duck, handcraft stalls, and discount beer.  Sunday we went on a drive through the country to peep at farms and leaves, and stopped at a small airport to watch two-seaters, gliders, and helicopters at a cafe right next to the Flugplatz.

Monday I gave Smokey a bath, which was as usual traumatic for both of us, but he smells better now.  He got his revenge yesterday by pooping on himself and getting it on the couch, which is made from some weird automotive-upholstery garbage that can only be cleaned with plain water--and apparently not paper towels, because now it's all covered in little white bits I can't scrape off.  I secretly admire Smokey.  I also hate that couch.

Then I hiked 3km (did I mention unrelenting solar death rays?) over to the Sichtungsgarten, a final visit before it closes to the public for the winter.  Still a lot of color in the fall plants (and a lot of "green as neutral"), and bees, and spiders..... No beer though--the cafe is closed on Mondays, because why would anyone want to sit outside and be refreshed on a Monday!?

The pictures are all awful because I still don't know how to deal with the angle of the sun.  But they would be some interesting inspiration if I ever stop being a lazy piece of shit and start making things...

That's enough for today. Need to go think about doing something interesting to write about later.