I don’t get out enough, a realization that always hits me whenever I do go somewhere and immediately feel refreshed and inspired by new sights and sounds and smells.
The good kind of inspiration, not the Pinterest kind of inspiration that has you in awe and whispers ‘you could never make anything this awesome’.
Last Sunday afternoon I needed a walk, a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery. It had been raining all day and I had been working away in front of my computer. Late afternoon, the rain stopped and it started looking friendlier.
J and I drove out to a nearby village and went exploring, walking in the woods, admiring the old streets and generally soaking it all up.
Sleepy German villages can be utterly charming and I fell in love with the place immediately. The streets and gardens were lovingly decorated with flowers and there was beauty around every corner.
Remind me to get out more.
My friend and her baby girl, seeing and sniffing and feeling the rapeseed fields bloom. More rapeseed photos on my photo blog.
I confess that after feeling pretty great the first three months of the year and using that energy to work very hard, this spring and the change to summer time two weeks ago has me feeling a bit tired and in need of sleep. I’ve frequently headed straight to bed after work these past two weeks, just catching up on sleep. I guess the time change plus the weather playing rollercoaster recently just throws me a bit off balance.
I’m itching to start sewing and creating again and in my head the projects are just bouncing around, not quite ready to be put into action.
I completely redid my photography website, a digital spring cleaning of sorts. How do you like the new colors and the fresh look?
Spring is here and as always, I am so excited to get out and grow things! We’ve had unnaturally warm and sunny weather in the past few weeks and the balcony is already coming alive – sorry US readers, I’m just telling it how it is. We had the never ending winter last year!
My seed order has arrived and I’ve started most of them. This year I will be growing tomatoes (a personal variety from a friend of a friend’s garden in Spain), peppers, lots of salads, sugar snap peas, spinach and kale. That’s the plan anyway. The hardy herbs, mints and strawberries are waking up from their winter sleep too.
New on the list this year are flowers, I will be trying violets, nasturtiums and snapdragons to brighten up our little space. The calendula seeds I mixed in here and there last year have survived the winter and this little guy was the first splash of color to surprise us a week ago.
To start seeds I have three ‘classes’ of plants: Some are started indoors and kept inside until the end of May. These are the delicate tomatoes and peppers as well as some flowers. I have set up my DIY light box again, which has served me very well in past years.
There’s also a little poly greenhouse on the balcony (just a shelf with foil cover) which acts as a cold frame where I grow the salads, kale and some flowers. Others such as the peas and spinach can be started our in the open directly.
There’ll be updates on this little balcony garden frequently throughout the growing season.
What are you growing this year?
this spring and sunshine. So, so much!
Maybe it was the long winter and cold this year, but I’m still soaking up every ray of sunshine I can get and watching my balcony and the world around me come to life feels invigorating.
Hello, italian mint!
The ponies are happy too, finally it’s time for freedom and green grass again after spending winter in their stalls.
Love these little flowers! My mom gave me a few from her garden last year but they never bloomed. I kept them all the same and this year they’re blooming in lovely colours from pale rosey to bright orange to lush dark red!
And finally, I’m feeling creative again after a late winter lurch and look forward to getting back to my sewing machine soon. The dress above is from Zara, it was so gorgeous I had to have it even though it’s polyester. Oh, all the Downton Abbey inspired prettiness of Zara’s spring collection! I love how TV inspires fashion. I spent all weekend trying to wrap my head around how it is made so I can make my own copy in a cotton silk or even (imagine!) some luxurious washed silk.
So, my mood has increased exponentially in the last few days because it is actually, finally, spring around here! Warm wind, sunshine and the earthy smell of nature waking up.
All the better because I had a day off today and spent a wonderfully relaxing morning on the balcony, soaking up sunshine and the “Call the midwife” series by Jennifer Worth (SO good). I literally feel like a new person, and this even though I spent all day Sunday scratching old wallpaper off the walls of a friend’s new house and should logically feel tired and sore today.
The balcony is coming to life with a few flowers I picked up at the nursery and the sight of them cheers me up no end. Some tomato and pepper seedlings are thriving indoors in my trusty light box. I can’t wait for nature to really take off this year!
Ok, here’s something I meant to blog about last year but never got around to: Ever since coming across vermicomposting on a stay in Canada four years ago I had been meaning to try it. So well over a year ago, despite all funny looks of our friends and relatives (vermicomposting is virtually unknown here) we set up a worm bin and bought a few small red worms at a nearby fishing shop, crossing our fingers they’d be the right type of worm.
I started off well, feeding them reguarly with heaps of kitchen scraps and wet newspaper. And then…I kind of forgot about them. I guess there is no excuse for neglecting animals in your care, even if they are only worms but there you go. The bin was in a hard to reach area and out of sight and the worms didn’t exactly complain about being hungry. The box never started to smell and it just sat there, through summer and fall and winter until I mustered up the courage to open it this weekend and take a peek.
Well, you can all breathe a sigh of relief if you were feeling sorry for the worms because I am happy to report they are alive and well and in the course of a year have reduced a full box of kitchen scraps to this:
Wonderful, rich compost which my tomatoes and peppers will love (and they’re still working on the egg shells apparently)! Awesome job, wormies, and I promise to feed you again and not forget you for another year!
A first approach, a quick cut of one perfect day at our beautiful barn.
Please be kind…I know it’s too choppy and shaky and short and all sorts of things, but it literally took me days to make it.
I learned loads making this and I’m hooked…even though video is so much more complicated than photography. I think I still prefer the (almost) instant gratification a lovely picture offers but I’ll keep on playing with video in the future!
It’s slow coming this year, but every day there are more blossoms on the trees.
We’ve had temperatures up until 19°C for a few days, but now they’ve dropped again to barely above 0. The quick temperature and weather changes have us all pretty tired. I took a day off work last week on the spur of the moment and spent it at home in my pj’s, cuddling the cats, sleeping, watching movies and doing some potting and planting on the balcony. It was just what I needed and I felt tons better on Saturday already.
I can’t wait to have the world green again.
I’m still in the planning stages for most of my spring wardrobe. I don’t think I’ll ever get as organized as some sewers, I have too many ideas flitting in and out of my head and I change my mind too quickly.
That said, I’ve picked out and bought some fabrics that I’d love to use for the next few projects:
The floral cotton is the one I used for the most recent Sorbetto top, so that one is crossed off.
I’m terrified of the silk, I haven’t even pre-washed it yet (just cold water and mild detergent? Or is that too much already?). I’m trying to decide if it’ll look better in a more fancy blouse pattern (like Downton Abbey Edith’s blouse…swoon) or a very simple top that shows off its gorgeous drape, like Sybils top. I’d have a pattern for that one already, a dead simple 1950’s top I’ve made once or twice before. I could leave the sleeves short or extend them a little.
Not pictured is a grey and cream striped cotton jersey, my first knit and a take on the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern.
The rayon was an impulse buy, I love the print and rich browns look good on me. There’s a reason rayon is called artificial silk, it’s soo soft and nice to the touch, I can’t wait to sew with it. Same question here as for the silk regarding the right pattern choice. Any suggestions/opinions greatly appreciated, do leave a comment 🙂
The voiles will be simple, versatile blouses that can be worn with anything. I’m drafting the patterns myself, using the Sorbetto top as a basic sloper.
I’ve discovered the beauty of keeping a notebook and jot down ideas on the way to work on the train or wherever. At home I try to convert the scribbles into drawings I can actually work from.
I’m also dreaming of some 1920’s inspired dresses with drop waists…ideally a simple but elegant pattern in a soft, drapey solid.
We’ll see how many ideas make it into actual garments, before a new idea and a new project takes their place in my head. At least the sewing area in our new apartment is much roomier and more inviting than trying to sew between the kitchen table and the hallway, like in our old apartment.
Oh, and did you see the beautiful Tiffany lamp on the table? A thrift store find! Quite pricey at 30€ (that usually buys half the store), but I had to have it and I love the cozy, warm light it adds to the otherwise rather dark room.
The best of all spring flowers. Now if only my pollen allergy wasn’t in full swing I could be outside for hours this time of year.
By the way, sorry for the lack of posts. I’m feeling a little uninspired about this blog lately for no apparent reason, but I do hope the words will come back soon.
I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather for the past week, focusing only on working and eating and sleeping enough, but after having just slept for 10 hours straight the world is looking a whole lot better again 🙂
I’m so, so in love with this spring. Everything is green and blooming and beautiful, and yet the air is crisp and clean. I don’t wish for hot, stuffy summer. It could stay this way forever.