Category Archives: Photography

on pregnancy and journeys

Here comes a longish post on pregnancy feelings so if that’s not your cup of tea feel free to skip.
on the last few weeks of pregnancy | little home by hand blog
Nearly 37 weeks now. Truth be told, I’m very much enjoying these last few weeks of pregnancy. A quiet time for once, resting, feeling baby squirming and nudging, sometimes softly, sometimes forcefully and at times painfully. A comfortable, reassuring sensation by now instead of the novelty every kick was just a few months ago.

The knowledge that these days of secret communication are numbered and fleeting makes them all the more precious and finally, after all the things demanding attention and decisions in the last few months, I feel free to concentrate on them and treasure them.
on the last few weeks of pregnancy | little home by hand blog
9 months of pregnancy have flown by so fast. These last few weeks are a sweet spot before the unknown, life as a family of three, hits. I’m lucky of course. Apart from some back and hip pain, dizziness due to low blood pressure and being heavy and clumsy on my feet, I feel surprisingly well. Maybe due to the fact that chronic back pain was my daily companion for over two years, the comparatively small discomforts of these final weeks bother me little. Sure, I miss being able to walk more than 30 minutes at a time or get up from the floor withough assistance but I don’t dwell on it and anyway, I know this phase will pass soon enough. Unlike with chronic pain, swimming in an sea of pain with no land in sight and nothing to hold on to, the shore is now quite a bit nearer than I’d like at times. It is, after all, unknown territory we’re entering and who knows what we’ll find?

It’s an adventure and I’m at the same time eager for it to start and apprehensive. We’re in a good, safe place and everything coming is still a rather fuzzy picture. I always feel like this when I travel as well. I love the planning stage and look forward to a trip for weeks and months. Yet when the day finally comes to pack up and close the door behind me I suddenly have a strong urge to stay. Home has never seemed so sweet and comfortable and safe than in that moment of leaving it behind, however temporary the parting. This feeling quickly dissipates once I hit the road or the plane touches the ground at my destination (ugh, I hate flying). Excitement and a thirst for new experiences and impressions then take over.
on the last few weeks of pregnancy | little home by hand blog
Maybe that’s what it’ll be like when this baby arrives, that as soon as I can hold him or her in my arms I’ll forget to feel bittersweet about the end of pregnancy and will just look forward to the exciting times ahead.
We’ll see.

For now I’m sitting back, stroking the belly and feeling baby move in response, enjoying my sweet spot.

taking a breather

Fall – my favourite season.
The change in the air, the turning leaves, the golden light and the crispy mornings – I want to soak it all up before the cold comes.
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
This year especially the weeks feel so rushed – so many appointments, so much preparation for the house and all that goes with it. Thinking about insurance and money stuff makes me anxious.
I needed time away from it all and we set out on Sunday for a small hike.
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
A few hours in the sunshine followed by apple pie with cream and a hearty veggie soup at home in the evening and all is right with the world.

travelling europe: le marche in italy, four days in june

“I feel at home right from the moment I step out of the plane into baking heat and sunshine. This region of Italy holds so many childhood memories, fuzzy with age. The smell of pine trees and sunscreen. It’s like visiting a place you used to live in, familiar and strange at the same time, a tugging at the spider web of memories. The places have moved on but your memory of them hasn’t.

I am travelling with my dad, to stay at my friend’s home and it feels like a last vestige of childhood – tagging along, everything taken care of and organized, no obligation attached except that to enjoy myself.

I am enjoying the heck out of myself. I’m soaking up every minute, storing it carefully in my mind for future reference and just swim along with the rhythm of the days. Perfectionist me is on a break.

This is partly due to the fact that my Italian is decidedly rusty and I can’t carry lengthy conversations anyway (oh, who am I kidding, make that any conversation at all). In a region not much frequented by foreign tourists my timid “Parla l’inglese?” is without fail met with a friendly but firm shake of the head, no. As a result my vocabulary in sign language expands vastly in just a few days while I stumble through my sparse Italian.”

travelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blog

“As always the food is simply amazing. Every time I come here I’m shocked by how good it is. I think it comes down to the fact that Italians just adore good food. During dinner on our first evening, enjoying a gentle breeze on the terrazza, revelling in the goodness laid out before us, the main topic of conversation is where we’ll eat in the next few days (at home or at a restaurant). Once that is settled we move on to what exactly we’ll eat and (if made at home) how we’ll go about preparing the ingredients. The discussion takes hours.

The food is always simple – meat salted and roasted, tomatoes sliced and drizzled with olive oil, a chunk of parmesan cheese, zucchini and eggplant thinly sliced and roasted with a crust of breadcrumbs. It’s a revelation.”

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travelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blog

“We stroll through ancient hilltop villages, eat well, drink a lot of white wine and just enjoy the heat, the sea air and the rhythm of Italian life (Coffee and brioche for breaktfast, pasta for lunch and a long, lazy family dinner stretching well into the evening hours).

Four days pass quickly but instead of trying to hang on to them with regret as long as possible I decide that it’s ok. I feel at peace and deeply grateful for these moments in time and cherish their memory.”

Italy makes me sentimental.

travelling italy | little home by hand blog19travelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blog

Instead of my usual narrative I decided to copy a few ramblings from my diary for you. I don’t often write diary entries but had some alone time while in Italy and felt compelled to take these notes.

For a soundtrack to these images have a listen to:
A Piedi Nudi – Collage
E Tu – Claudio Baglioni
Due Raggazi Nel Sole – Collage

Simple summer Pasta recipe

  • Cook pasta al dente
  • Mix cherry tomatoes, tuna from the can, fresh parsley and olives (optional) with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mix hot pasta with cold ingredients and enjoy

travelling europe: england

Why do we love to travel?

For me, travelling is a way to reconnect with myself, to soak up new experiences, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and to escape the buysiness and frenzy of everyday life.

Even though travelling can be very tiring physically it always leaves me feeling refreshed mentally. A couple of days in different surroundings and I feel my creativity stirring, ideas popping into my head, senses sharpening.

That’s why I like to take a few days off now and then, visiting friends who live elsewhere or just escaping for an extended weekend by the sea. I had long been meaning to visit my friend K again who lives in Chesham, London, with her british husband and their small son. Two weeks ago  J and I set out bright and early on Monday morning to catch the ferry to Dover. I love 5am starts – no, really! At  5am I am wide awake and excited to be going on an adventure (I then proceed to drop dead by 9pm every evening).

Once arrived we spent the days wandering Chesham, discovering nearby parks and estates and enjoying an english spring (bluebell season!).

Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.One of many advantages of staying with locals is that they know the best places to eat or order take-out. We had thai and indian cuisine for the first time and it was sooo good. Anyone know a great recipe for Naan bread?

Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.We lucked out with the weather and strolled through Ashridge and Cliveden in bright, ‘warming-the-soul-after-winter’ sunshine.

For our last night in England we headed down to Eastbourne, wanting to see the cliffs and lighthouse at Beachy Head and just to enjoy a whiff of sea air on the pier. We walked around the cliff top for hours, had a great dinner at Old Dave’s and dropped into bed exhausted at the fantastic Bay Tree Guesthouse (highly recommended, the place and owners are lovely).

Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.
Travelling England | little home by hand blog.
On the way back to Dover we took our sweet time and visited Scotney Castle which is actually a manor house plus a medieval castle plus a gorgeous garden – fantastic stop for a cloudy day!
Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.The real Downton Abbey?

Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.A magical garden landscape and a real feast for the eyes. No wonder I felt refreshed and bursting with creativity after strolling through this! I have a strange relationship with travel – afterwards I always need a couple of quiet days to rest and let my mind work through the experiences and at the same time it leaves me feeling energised.

Does it feel the same for you? Does travel energise or exhaust you, make you feel excited or uncomfortable?

the gift of giving – a giveaway and a sneak peek

There is great joy in giving and I find this strange blog world full of kind and generous people. Vibeke from the blog ‘A butterfly in my hair‘ is someone who constantly impresses me with her positivity and determination to find beauty in everyday life. She has a special birthday coming up this month and is hosting a whole month of giving to others in celebration! Head over to her blog to ‘meet’ all of the lovely and talented ladies participating in her month of giving.

The joy of giving. fotografiekoehler.etsy.com

I was honored to take part and get the chance to reflect on what the greatest gifts in my life have been through a little interview. I encourage you to do the same. Start your day by thinking of gifts you have been given in life and you will find yourself smiling all day.

Read my interview here on Vibeke’s blog and comment on that post for a chance to win a print from my shop. (Please head over to Vibeke’s blog for commenting, comments on this post here don’t count for the giveaway 😉 )

Beautiful Scotland - sneak peek. fotografiekoehler.etsy.comBeautiful Scotland - sneak peek. fotografiekoehler.etsy.comBeautiful Scotland - sneak peek. fotografiekoehler.etsy.com

I couldn’t close this post without adding some more images right?

Hope you like the little sneak peek at new Scotland prints I am working on – to be added to the shop very soon!

 

 

through crunching snow

snowy winter walk. little home by hand blog

This winter has been the real thing with weeks of icy mornings and a mix of rain and snow and slush. In this area of Germany the snow never sticks around for long but surprisingly only an hour’s drive can take you to a different world.

snowy winter walk. little home by hand blogsnowy winter walk. little home by hand blogsnowy winter walk. little home by hand blog

I still try to go hiking every other weekend. It feels good to be outside, to be moving. I can’t do other sports right now and hiking is really my only chance to challenge my body until the breath comes short and the muscles start to protest. It feels good.

We often pick the Eifel National Park – about 1-2 hours drive by car it affords endless walking opportunities (do you call it hiking or walking by the way?).

snowy winter walk. little home by hand blogsnowy winter walk. little home by hand blog

On this particular day we had set out early in the car with not a flake of white in sight. We had picked a 12 km hike (about 7.5 miles) which we estimated would be a comfortable distance to do on a winter day. Imagine our surprise when we arrived in a perfect winter wonderland!

The snow was ankle deep and untouched, sparkling under blue skies. It smelled clean and frosty like open spaces filled with snow always smell.

So much for poetry. After the first quarter hour of laboriously tromping through the hard, shiny mass we realized that those 12 km would maybe be a little more challenging than we had anticipated.

snowy winter walk. little home by hand blogsnowy winter walk. little home by hand blogsnowy winter walk. little home by hand blog

It was one of those hikes where perfect beauty matches perfect exhaustion – we lost our way and ended up making a detour thus bringing our total up to 15 km and four hours with no opportunity for a real break. One of those times when you find your limit and push past it out of necessity, feeling ridiculously proud afterwards as you nurse your aching limbs. One of those days where a hot shower and a comfortable evening on the couch wrapped in blankets at the end of it has never felt so good.

I love those days.

The light is coming back, slowly but surely.
winter walk in germany. little home by hand blog.
winter walk in germany. little home by hand blog.
winter walk in germany. little home by hand blog.
After a month of little opportunity for outdoor time J and I took a 12km walk in the nearby Eifel National Park last weekend. The forest smelled of snow and freshly cut wood and we enjoyed stretching our legs in the squeaky mud of not-yet frozen dirt trails.

Mmh, sawdust and resin – high up on the list of best smells in the world.
winter walk in germany. little home by hand blog.
winter walk in germany. little home by hand blog.
winter walk in germany. little home by hand blog.
January was meh. It started with me crashing my car on the Autobahn after slipping on a patch of ice – first major car crash in my life and it really shook me up. In the same freezing, snowy, icy conditions I’ve braved driving day after day and while of course it’s best to get back into it immediately this business of confronting your fears is exhausting. Adding in a cold and lots of dealing with insurance stuff there wasn’t much time for blogworthy activities in January. So, not sad at all that February is here and the light is coming back, a little bit more every day.
winter walk in germany. little home by hand blog.
winter walk in germany. little home by hand blog.
winter walk in germany. little home by hand blog.
How are your New Year’s resolutions going? I unfortunately had to give up the daily yoga (it made my back much worse) but I’ve taken up a plank challenge instead. I try to do 10 seconds longer each day and am up to 2.5 minutes already.

hiking in germany : eifel

The fourth advent calender door is open and today I am giving away a print of mine on my Facebook page. Have a look and participate for a chance to win!

***

Hiking has become an outlet for me, a way to get back in touch with nature after being cooped up inside all week. Especially in winter I feel the urge to get out, to get moving and warm in the fresh air and sunshine.

hiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand blog

Of course, the sunlight hours are few and few in between at the moment. Often the days start out foggy and wet like on this trip. We were lucky, the sun fought its way through and we enjoyed our little trail (the Bergheidenweg in Germany’s low mountain range ‘Eifel) very much.

hiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand blog

A small hike of 10km this trail still offered a variety of beautiful landscapes. Being away from the noises of the city, with just the rustling leaves under my feet and the odd animal sound in the air I could literally feel stress and worry fall away.

hiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand bloghiking in germany. little home by hand blog

I’m looking forward to taking more hiking trips this winter and I hope you enjoy these little photo documentations!

tea time and an etsy advent calender

December is tea time (well technically it’s tea time year round for me but in December the amount of tea I consume daily increases exponentially).

I’m talking about my love for tea on Vibeke’s blog in a little interview so fellow tea lovers head over there and have a look.

tea time

The waiting for Christmas has officially started and I am trying to preserve a bit of the season’s magic among the daily rush that seems to intensify in the streets at this time of year.

The Etsy Germany team has decided to sweeten the wait with an online advent calender this year and every day a new door opens on a giveaway on their Facebook page.

Pssst, my shop is participating too so keep a close look on both the Etsy Germany Page as well as my own Facebook page this week 😉

walking in the woods

Fall smells so good. The rich, earthy smell of wet leaves and colder nights, mingled with the comforting scent of woodsmoke from a chimney being used for the first time in months.

I feel the urge to be outside and in motion in the crisp air, to walk and climb until I am pleasantly warm and breathless.

hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.The woods around here are exploding with color and I treasure every minute of this season. I could spend all day outside, hiking, leaving civilization behind (and it never really is far behind in this densely populated part of Germany).

hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.Given the choice I would hop on a plane to Scotland right now or drive down all the way to the Alps. As it is, I try to make time to explore areas within an hour’s drive. These photos were taken two weeks ago on a day trip. We hiked from the Müngstener bridge up to Schloss Burg.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my phone photos from the day already. These days I seem to shoot as much with my phone as with my ‘real’ camera.

M6hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.With the daylight hours spent like this and the dark time in the evening used knitting by candle light, that is one perfect day.

What’s your perfect day? Similar to mine or completely different?