Category Archives: Uncategorized


Finally, a new name and new look! Welcome to ‘little home by hand’ which already feels much like home to me. I hope you’ll love it here!

So what’s new?

  • the name! tidytipsy has been my blog since 2009 and the name has not felt right for me for quite a while. I decided it was time to change things around. ‘Little home by hand’ embodies what I want this blog to be: a place where I can share my love of homemaking and all things handmade. There will be posts on sewing, knitting, gardening and other home related crafts like making beauty products and household items. This year I’m focussing on healthy eating so that will hopefully feature prominently as well
  • the look! A clean, shiny and cohesive new design that I spent a long time getting just right. It already feels much better than the old one and with the sidebar cleaned up it is much easier to navigate and find your way around.
  • the categories! Above the header you’ll find the main topics I blog about arranged in neat little pages that give you an overview of the most popular posts. There is a special page for tutorials to make them easier to find as well as the categories sewing, knitting, gardening and travel. The only thing I haven’t been able to place for yet is the blog roll, but I’ll fit in in somehwere in the next few days
  • about page! I’ve updated my About page to summarise what this blog is for and to distinguish it from my photography pages
  • photography page! I talk a little about what photography means for me and where you can find my shop, photo blog and so on
  • the sidebar! Let me tell you I spent a LOT of time on it and it was worth it. It’s now much easier to find my other social media accounts at a glance (let’s connect on instagram, pinterest, ravelry and flickr!) and find your way around

I’ve worked very hard to get everything just right but if you do find a broken link somewhere please let me know!

What’s stayed the same?

  • me! I’m still the same person and I will blog in the same, very personal way. There will still be no paid ads on this blog
  • you! I hope this will be everything (and more) the tidytipsy blog has been and I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you 🙂
  • the content you loved! You will find all the content from ‘tidytipsy’ has already migrated here and the old links are being redirected

Say hello and let me know how you like this new space!



If you read my Giveaway post this morning and are wondering why it’s gone…I had to delete due to legal reasons which a lovely Etsy friend told me about. Silly me, I thought it was fine to give stuff away 😦 You live and learn I guess. If I find another way to do a print giveaway I’ll let you guys know.

catching up

So here I was, looking forward to being back in this space and taking holiday pictures and sharing my latest photo session. And then I got sucked into “The Hunger Games” books…I’ve been reading, reading, reading them back to back in the last week. On the way to work, in my lunch break, at home and far into the night. I simultaneously love and hate it when books do that to me. Love it because I get to go new places, experience people and emotions in my mind. Hate it because I can actually get lost in it and tune out reality somewhat. Add that I found the Hunger Games trilogy truly heartbreaking to read. I guess I’m too tenderhearted to read books that make me “watch” the characters in them being broken physically and mentally in the course of the story. I get too invested emotionally. Despite that, and once you get the fact that this is a story about war, not love, what a ride! I’m still recovering, going over parts of it in my head again and again.

Since my parents gave me a Kindle for my birthday I’ve been practically inhaling books. Some great ones that came before “The Hunger Games”:
The Joy of Less. Loved the concept and the tips, found the pace of the book a bit slow for me though.
Nightwoods. Another masterpiece by Charles Frazier, less poetic and more “readable” than Cold Mountain, but deeply touching and beautiful. Definitely highly recommended!
The Night Circus. There really is just one word for this book: magical. Not a big fan of the ending but working up to it was breathtaking.
Letters of a woman homesteader. So inspiring and refreshing and wonderful. I was continually amazed by this brave, independent and warmhearted woman and her unbelievably hard and beautiful life.

And to change the subject entirely, here’s a first round of christmas market pictures or rather, of our town in advent.

I went to the huge christmas market that is all over town and is pretty packed, even on a weekday. I’m planning on visiting some smaller ones in nearby towns. Lots of small markets are being held at castles and historic places in the weeks leading up to christmas.

We usually go for the food as well as the other booths but this time I must have eaten something that didn’t agree with me as I’ve been in bed with an upset stomach since yesterday. Drinking lots of chamomile tea and hoping it’ll pass soon and I’ll get to enjoy some more advent specialties.


I think it goes without saying that we are all looking with sadness and worry and compassion over to Japan. Sometimes something like that seems so far away, so unrelated to our lives but I realized again this morning that blogging makes the world look not so big at all:
I am so relieved that Mai and her family are ok. I won a giveaway on Mai’s blog last year (post is here) and have followed her blog through the birth of her beautiful daughter.
Abby from Infusion Fibers, another Etsy seller whose work I admire, lives on the Oregon coast which might be affected by a nuclear catastrophe and she is researching protective measures.
I am otherwise still lost for words on this tragedy, but I think this picture captures it well: (source: chibird)

so close

Happiness and Sadness. I am still overwhelmed by the response to my last post. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your encouraging words and your support! It does feel really really good to read all of your comments, I rely on that more than I should.
The same day I posted that, my grandfather died. We’ve seen it coming and it is still a blow.
Sadly I never had much of a relationship with my granddad. He couldn’t really relate to kids very much and to me he always seemed distant. I wish I had made more of an effort to understand who he really was. He fought in WWII, was a salesman by heart, hardworking and honest. He managed the office for my dad until well into his Eighties and, when we had to take that away from him because he was mixing things up more and more, he always regretted having become so “useless”.
He and my grandmother were together for nearly 60 years. How does life go on after losing that one person that you spent all your life with?

In the end, I think the general feeling is that all is as it should be. He lived to be 91. He was ok physically and not in pain. His mind had been clouding over more and more in recent years but he was home until the end and not in a nursing home. He seemed to sense it. In recent weeks he used to cry bitterly whenever my father left again after a visit and he used to tell my grandmother (as she told me) that he hoped she knew that “he had always liked her very much and still does”. By stroke of luck my aunts and my dad were both present when he had to be rushed to hospital and they got to be with him before his operation. He never regained consciousness after the operation but still seemed to wait for my dad to come back (who went to stay with his girlfriend for a week, whose mother had just died) and my grandma and my aunt to be by his side to draw his last breath.
A good way to go after a good life, I believe. Still sad.

Thank you for reading and I promise to be back with the non-therapeutic posts soon.

things are looking up

…oh, finally! (click here for the song, maybe it doesn’t fit perfectly, but it’s in my head a lot these days).
For various reasons I have been leaving a very substantial part of my everyday life out of this blog: my job. For one, this is a blog about photography and whatever else I feel like doing on the creative side of things and also, you just never know who might be reading this.

Some of you might remember this post a couple of months back, right after I finished my thesis. The 3-month internship I mentioned did in fact turn into a real job pretty quickly, but that was about the only thing right about that job. That, and my two lovely colleagues (hi girls!), who pretty much helped me through every day.
When you get your first real job after college you are excited, hopeful, motivated, eager and a bit anxious to get it right. You don’t set yourself up for failure. When things get off to a tough start, you think “I’ll just need to put in even more effort”, “It’ll start being fun once I get my first paycheck”, “It takes time to adapt to this different environment”, “It’ll start to feel right in no time”.

When it doesn’t, doubts start bubbling to the surface. “Is it me or is it really them?”, “Am I not doing this good enough or is it really just impossible to do it right?”.
I wanted this to work so badly. As arrogant as that sounds, but I am not used to failure. All my life, I’ve stayed true to the motto “where there’s a will there’s a way”. But no will would make me like to go to work to be yelled at every day, to be pressured to treat both clients and employees in a way I don’t feel comfortable with and to feel out of my depth with the things demanded of me.

I guess sometimes it takes an experience like that to realize who you are professionally and act accordingly. When it happens on your first real job, tough luck. I’ll admit the last few months were pretty hard on me and it was starting to affect me physically as well. After a lot of thinking and talking with about everyone who would listen and countless rejections for job applications, I decided to quit and put my energy into looking for a new job, even if it meant an unknown number of months unemployment.

But then my luck turned and the one serious job interview I had turned into an offer to start on 1 December! It will be a completely different environment, a completely different line of business and a new start in a very exciting workplace.
Thanks to everyone who read this to the end! Wish me better luck this time!

I meant to post the first part of a little travel diary of my fun and carefree weekend today, but although I don’t normally comment on political stuff, it feels very wrong today to write about happy stuff and not mention yesterday’s tragedy.
I have never been to the Love Parade myself but my brother used to go and was planning to go yesterday as well, though he heard the news early enough and stayed home. A friend from the barn was planning to go but I don’t know if she did. A friend of my boyfriend’s planned to go but didn’t, as did my friend’s best friend.
Everybody I know knows someone who went or was planning to go and I still cannot believe that 19 people died and hundreds were injured in a town right next door. I am at a loss for words and so very very sorry.


Do you know the feeling when you’ve got something planned out and are looking forward to it and then at the last minute something goes wrong?
Well, my friend and I had this weekend planned forever, Western camp with friends in the middle of nowhere. I took 2 days off work and we were supposed to go today and learned yesterday that it wasn’t going to happen.
It’s not a big thing, totally insignificant really in the face of political crises and natural disasters like the BP oil spill. Except that it is, it’s a big thing to me. I had been looking forward to it so so much for such a long time and I can’t help but feel extremely disappointed.
I don’t usually write melancholy posts but that just had to get out.
And to at least end this with something pretty:

I guess we’ll figure something out, we always do.

one can only imagine

…what would happen in this country should we actually win the world cup! Minutes after Germany won the quarter finals match against Argentina we stepped outside, hearing the honking cars and this was happening in the sleepy little town we were staying in:

It was an impromptu party in the middle of the town, hundreds of cars honking, music playing and people partying in the streets. Now we Germans aren’t usually so exuberant, but it’s nice for a change 😉
Plus, the temperature finally dropped a good 10 degrees in the afternoon, so we’re feeling a lot better and I might actually get some sleep tonight.
My boyfriend and I must be the only people to hate this heat. In fact, this morning we didn’t go to the lake like we’d planned but spent 2 hours at Ikea (while waiting for my car to be fixed) because they had air conditioning 🙂