Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Random Ramblings ...good bye 2009

Another year makes way for a new decade.
I am not the person to announce New Year's Resolutions, but for every new decade I have a vision. About new directions, goals.

Have my desires for change been more radical in the past I feel like I am in a good place now.
Instead of re-inventing, changes of patterns and minor adjustments are my goal for 2010.

And as a nice analogy I attempt the same for my craft.
Advancing, perfecting, diversify.

My newest project: hairpin lace for different garments and even hats.

New hats with structured patterns will be part of my focus in 1010.

My book library is growing thanks to this great site

Snowstorm in Oklahoma on Christmas Eve

Our daughter came all the way from Germany to be with us on Christmas. We were happy to have 3 of our 4 children home on Christmas Day.
Even though our activities were limited by the winter weather we enjoyed a good time together.

And Sherlock Holmes turned out to be a great movie.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Sunset

Oklahoma's hidden beauties are serene nature scenes that are breath taking. Compared to a winter evening in a German big city, small town Ponca City, Oklahoma does not have the flair of a busy vibrant metropolis, but the burnt orange sky and fancy cloud formations always fascinate me. I love the laid back living in the Native American state ("on license plate for OK")

(Christmas market in downtown Bremen, Germany, home for several years before moving to the USA)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Early Christmas Gift to myself

will be an early break from my business this year.

Thanks so much to all of my amazing customers who have ordered for the 1st time or repeatedly from my little enterprise on Etsy, Artfire or my Purple Sage Designz web shop.

It's been a great year and your purchases made it possible for me to work from home and be my own boss.

The deadline for last Christmas shipping is almost upon us and I have decided to devote some time to myself after all orders will have been shipped (which hopefully will be tomorrow).

Even as small handmade business owners we should value the truth in:
"Work to live, don't live to work".
It's so easy to forget to smell the roses when a filled order box gives us a load of self-esteem, sense of pride and accomplishment besides the monetary reward.

There is a time to stop. And go out into the sun, play with the dog or just window shop in the little historic down town area while a cheesy "Chestnuts on an open fire" is filling the street with Christmas sounds from speaker mounted on top of the holiday decorations.

Please check back for new hats and patchwork after the 29th Dec, I still have my website open for business but please keep in mind that your orders may not arrive in time for Christmas if purchased after the 16th Dec.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Time is ticking away

Hours are running quickly these days, it's a matter of perception. Despite the physical law of an hour and a minute staying a constant.
I believe it is defined by our living in the future, we think about when the holidays are here, when all orders are packed, when all gifts are wrapped.....thinking ahead and not living in the today.
Since my daughter will be home for Christmas, I keep thinking about this one week around Christmas when I can have some daughter-mother time with her again.
She is here just once a year.

I have not logged into twitter for months, not sure I will keep up social networking. And I am still not convinced that I will need a facebook page ever.

Random projects:
I have found a great wholesale source for pure hemp yarn, in outstanding quality for crocheting and knitting.
And I have started to list a few skullcap sized beanies, to broaden my offer on different hat styles.
They are available on Etsy (pictures).
Have a safe time, grab a cup of tea and just sit back for a while. To make that clock tick slower:)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I received a newsletter today and I believe the senders won't mind my copying & pasting here.
They have summed up what I have been thinking about for quite a while.
(article in whole at NearSeaNatural's blog)
And it won't hurt my feelings if my customers will take this suggestion to heart and not buy from me on Black Friday.

Southwest Creations Collaborative, and why we have no Black Friday deals.

And secondly, I know many people are out there looking for Black Friday deals, but you're not going to find anything special here. Why not? Multiple reasons, really. First, we want our employees to spend time relaxing and recuperating Thanksgiving weekend, instead of going crazy -- we're thankful for everyone who works here, and they need a break! Secondly, even though we're a business and we dearly love and appreciate our customers (and we truly do!), we think there's a very good point behind Buy Nothing Day. Our business is built around sustainability -- we're encouraging people to think about what they buy and make and do, and we know that's what our customers do; you don't need us to be your conscience! But Buy Nothing Day is built around the idea that just for a day, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, what if you refrain from buying anything? Do it in solidarity with the millions of people who have no choice, or to end up without a retail hangover the next morning. Do it just to prove you can! Adbusters, who founded BND, encourages you to "not only stop buying for 24 hours, but to shut off your lights, televisions and other nonessential appliances. We want you to park your car, turn off your phones and log off of your computer for the day." Go for a hike, read a book, sing a song, feed the birds ... we'll still be here when you come back online, and we'll have some marvelous fabrics and goodies waiting for you!

(Oh, and did you know that shopping online is greener than driving around to do your shopping? And that study didn't even take into account a business's eco-friendly practices, which should make you feel even better about buying from us!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's been so busy...and thanks to a sweet customer

for including my beret tam into her outfit pictures which are featured on her cool style blog:

I won't touch the subject of my being busy, it's nothing I would like to complain about, it's just a state of being/living/breathing in the month of November, has been like this every November since I started selling my handmade hats. It's an explanation why my posts don't go into deeper details or musings these days.
I am thankful for having the chance to make a living for myself and provide my share for the family. And no boss to worry about, that's key to my satisfaction if I am totally honest.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Love this song and video "Possibility" by Sierra Noble

I saw this video clip on Hippie Moose's blog and "stole" it for a post.

Personal Memories about the Berlin wall and it's fall in 1989

On November 1989 I was in front of the tv set like every other German citizen who could not be in Berlin that day.
Even though many East Germans had already left the Iron curtain through Hungary it still seemed a miracle that the symbol of division between East and West would actually be torn down by the ordinary citizens who had lived in a divided Germany since the sixties when the wall was built.
Germany was elated. History was taking place.
Pedestrians for the first time came from the Eastern part of Berlin to take a stroll on Western shopping avenues like the famous Ku'damm.
Trabant cars with their blue smog emissions soon filled German autobahns.

As someone who had grown up with the ever present threat of a communist block close to home, I was so happy for the East Germans and East Europeans to gain freedom.
My home town is very close to the former border to the Czech Republic.
It was not Marx's communism theory, but the reality of failed approach of communism and socialism that had made them prisoners of their own country.

As the unification became reality and the 2 German states became one, some enthusiasm quickly
vanished as reality set in.
In the Eastern federal states of Germany unemployment became a big problem. The old DDR gave way to BRD life style, In social, educational and financial sectors the East was forced to adapt to the economical strong West.

Out of frustration, disorientation or plain envy over "hand-outs to non Germans" many former East Germans turned to Neo-nazi groups.
Homes for asylum seeking people from Africa started burning.
Non-white German citizens got attacked as well and grew very uneasy over this right extremism displayed by former communistic Germans who had once demonstrated brotherhood with Communistic states on the African and Asian continent.

It was a disturbing time for any German citizen who hated racism, nazi ideology and senseless violence.
I would not let my own daughter who has a dark complexion, travel into the former East. The threat was real and I grew ashamed of being German at that time. This overshadowed a lot of the events in the early 1990s.

20 years have passed, it's history and most young Germans cannot even imagine how it was before 1989.
When I listen to the Scorpio's "Wind of Change" it brings tears to my was such a hope filled time, and we believed all wars may have come to an end. When we saw the Leningrad Cowboys play their punky rock we thought the world had moved so much closer. Not only in music, but as a whole.

We didn't know back then that new conflicts would arise with countries we hardly had ever heard of...Afghanistan was a remote place somewhere, it's location on the map unknown to most of us.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A quiet All Hallows' Eve

Whether you are observing All Hallow's Eve or Samhain, wishing you a good day to remember those in the Other World. As the veil between the worlds is thin today.
This candle is for my dad, grandparents and all loved ones gone from us.

If I was in Germany I would be at my dad's grave on All Saints Day (Allerheiligen) where grave lights will brighten the dark time of the year. (November 1st).

If you're trick or treating with the kids be safe and have a great time.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Concert night: Lynyrd Skynyrd & Molly Hatchet

Lynyrd Skynyrd rockin' rollin'..............

(above: Lynyrd Skynyrd in action)

Molly Hatchet was the first group to play on Thursday night at the "7 Clans Paradise Casino in Red Rock, OK. (It's literally in the middle of nowhere and the Otoe Missouria tribe who owns this casinos prides itself "bringing big entertainment to our backyard"...and they do:)
Molly Hatchet played for about an hour and I can only say that I am not huge a fan of this technically good rock band, their songs don't hit home with me.

(Picture below: Molly Hatchet)

At around 9:30 p:m the crowd got really excited when the stage was prepared for Lynyrd Skynyrd.
I had never seen them live before, but I have owned every album out there.
And they didn't disappoint: their energetic Southern rhythms rocked the house (which was a huge concert tent, and we were lucky to have VIP seats, and sat in approx. 12th row, correction: nobody sat while Lynyrd Skynyrd performed newer songs and a medley of their older hits, everyone was standing, jumping, dancing, swaying and even the most stoic fans were tapping their feet).
It was an exciting 90 minutes, with fans going nuts at "Sweet Home Alabama" and they got called back for a last song, of course "Free Bird", I didn't expect anything else.
Even though the choice of songs and interaction with the fans may have been a bit predictable, it was what everyone was expecting, and in my case, even a bit more.
I was surprised by their energy (they have been around a long time now) and long variations of well known hits without distorting them, or ever sound boring.
I loved their stage performance, rocking rolling in an ageless manner.
(We took videos, but haven't managed to upload to YouTube yet).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New hippie tams and patchwork skirt, a picture blog post:)

Me modeling a brand new patchwork skirt (it's actually blue but I played around with the pictures for my blog:)
for sale on Etsy

(tams all for sale on my web site)

We have Lynyrd Skynyrd tickets for this Thursday. If you love Southern classic rock, stay tuned for my next blog post.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear to my heart: Crafting For a Cause (CFAC)

(From the yahoo group's landing pretty much sums up "charity" and our motivation to give)


I do not know how long I'll live

But while I live, Lord, let me give

Some comfort to someone in need

By smile or nod, kind word or deed

And let me do what ever I can

To ease things for my fellow man

I want naught but to do my part

To "lift" a tired or weary heart

To change folks' frowns to smiles again

Then I will not have lived in vain

And I'll not care how long I'll live

If I can give... and give... and give

(Author Unknown)

Even if you are not a member of this crafting group (non-profit), you can help by doing some Christmas shopping at Crafting For A Cause (webshop & info)

Handmade items, sewn, beaded, crocheted and crafting supplies, everything at more than reasonable prices. And the proceeds go to a propane fund for families on the Pine Ridge Reservation who are most in need.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quickie update

Do you ever feel like time is the most precious possession?
Nice to have money, things, food, but time is such a concept hard to grasp. You start valuing it once it gets rare. As with advancing age it seems to run faster. Filled with more tasks and things that need to be taken care of.
In a new study released (and presented at CNN) modern women tend to feel unhappier compared to their sisters of pre-feministic days. Reason are "over-achieving" and a lack of time, the kind of time that belongs to us women!

With no invoice on my desk I feel joy today. An afternoon completely open to spend however I please.
That's the true luxury of the 21nd century.

(My past week was productive and eventful with crocheting, selling, attending a sweat lodge, consulting our accountant, cleaning, socializing, thrifting, shopping.... )
This uneventful free Saturday is my reward:) and battery charger.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New tams on the way

While I crochet a lot of black and brown winter tams (many people love it simple and solid in classic colors), I have time to dream up new stuff.
The actual making is on the back burner though.
But I had time to realize a few ideas:
front: the boyfriend tam (brown/beige)
left: the tam with multi colored braids
more patchwork tams (last row)
and some striped tams in cotton and acrylic, with a random color choice.
Now if I had a little fairy helper sew in the loose ends I'd list them tomorrow, but as I am on my own, I'll list them "whenever I get around".
...a little preview!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our daily bread

comes from a bread baking machine.
(Potato bread and country white bread in the picture).

It's the best alternative to kneading the dough by hand and and baking in a conventional oven. Time often is scarce and I am still a novice.
But since I come from the "bread country" Germany I had to find a way of accessing fresh crusty rye breads. I had already been so desperate to spend $14.95 on a 3lb loaf of traditional sour dough rye bread at a German deli in Tulsa.
It's trial and error now, but I haven't purchased store bread for weeks now. Most loaves were delicious, but some had to be tossed out, for example my sour dough breads that were...just sour.
But once hooked on a dense cispy crust bread there is no going back to "wonder" sponge bread.
For me bread is such an essential staple in my diet.

The baking mixtures are still the most reliable sources, but I have started experimenting with home-mixed flours and ingredients like butter milk, oils and herbs.
If anyone has some "sure" recipes to share with me, please do...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Impressions of Bavaria, Germany

(Catholic Southern Germany, Calvary hill top cross on Parkstein's volcano mountain)

Just a few photo impressions for today.
I had planned to write a blog post along the lines of "Torn between 2 worlds", but haven't sorted my thoughts yet.
(It's funny how life consumed us right away as soon as we returned. Washing machine had to be replaced, orders filled, dust cleaned away, weeds pulled, lawn mowed...:)

(a rainy day in Nuernberg)

Nuernberg castle

Beautiful fountain in Bayreuth

Busy shopping district with street musicians and cafes, and you walk downtown and no cars allowed, yeah!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reply about v-stitch

I couldn't find a way to reply to a specific inquiry by Taylor R.E. Services about the v-stitch in my free hat pattern, hence this post:
skip 2 stitches at a time as shown in the image above. Click on it for full view.
I personally only use 1 chain stitch between the dc stitches.
(Image copyrighted by owner, I just borrowed it from the web:))

I am back from Germany

I am exhausted, a 27 hour trip took its toll on us.
Waiting for hubby to upload our own pictures...coming soon.
Today is catch-up and early bed day:)
Beautiful views of the Oberpfaelzer forests and the wood covered ancient volcano tops.
(Pictures of Pressath, Rauher Kulm and Parkstein)