One of the things I love about early summer (especially as we pretty much skipped spring this year) is being outside at all times of day and hanging out with friends.
The boys must always have meat of course. Me, not so much. I feast on pasta salads, grilled feta cheese with dried tomatoes and lots of garlic butters, tuna spreads and guacamole.
It turned quite chilly as the sun went down, but I’m already loving this summer.
Find last year’s post on Italy here.
Last weekend I flew down to Italy again for four short days of visiting. My dad needed to go on business and I tagged along to visit my friends.
My Italy is
a warm welcome by friends both old and new.
baking summer heat, dry and salty.
swimming in turquoise water so warm it feels like silk on the skin
colorful, shady streets in the city centre.
a sweet baby boy, who I last saw when he was only a few weeks old and who has won my heart so completely that it was so hard to part from him, knowing he won’t remember me when I’ll see him next.
tiny village shops to buy the best goods in town.
waking in the middle of the night because it’s still basically too warm to sleep.
drinking copious amounts of Estathé, the taste of my childhood.
More photos and infos on Italy over on my photo blog.
I’ll just sit back and dream about sun and beaches and good food and speaking italian while trying to blend out the second cold and rainy summer in a row here in Germany. Back next year for sure.
EDIT: Wow, there’s something to coming home to near 3.5k views and 40 Emails in the course of a few hours since I last checked! Welcome everyone who has found my blog via StumbleUpon and Freshly Pressed today! Hope you are enjoying yourselves here 🙂
EDIT2: You guys are amazing! I’m at nearly 180 emails today 🙂 Btw the action is over here: My Scotland Post
Our solstice weekend was spent near the Danish border in the north of Germany. My dad and his girlfriend celebrated their joint 60th birthdays with a big garden party, complete with a midsummer bonfire and singing.
We left late on thursday for the long drive north, spent friday at a beach at the Baltic Sea and saturday at the party before heading back south for a near 9 hour drive on sunday.
Deeply inhaling the salty sea air mixed with wood smoke from a crackling fire outside has recharged my batteries as only sea and fire can do. I needed it so much not only mentally but physically as well. I needed the step back, asking myself what the hell was I thinking overworking myself like I did in the last few weeks. Being a highly sensitive person overexerting myself is dangerously easy and I’m known to come home crying from exhaustion on a hard day. Unfortunately I’m too far from the sea to have its healing powers readily available! Having said this, I’m taking it easy this week, taking my time catching up on blogs and comments, sorting through the photos from last weekend and playing with the video sequences and of course, not working so long and hard. Have a good week!
Time for another balcony garden update! We are in the midst of a tomato rush.
We picked all these for sunday night dinner and made a nice easy tomato sauce to go with spaghetti. We even had some left for the freezer.
We sowed and planted four types of heirloom tomatoes: the small red ones, tigerella, green zebra and a yellow type. As you can see, the tiny sweet red ones and the tigerellas have been most productive so for next year I’ll probably be replacing the other two with new types to try. The yellow ones especially haven’t done great and are very soft.
The leaves of the tomato plants are starting to yellow and shrivel and after letting the last of the fruit ripen the plants will be ripped out.
The zucchini plant is on its last leg as is the cucumber. We had three big cucumbers from it though and still need to eat these two biggies.
Apart from these there are still plants just getting started as we head into fall early this year (my, it gets dark early here with all this rainy and cloudy weather). The peppers are growing nicely, some plants only just flowering, some already laden with small peppers.
The herbs are still doing nicely and we have a first baby melon!
I tried brussels sprouts from seed because I like them so much. I read they are hard to grow but so far mine are doing great and I only regret not having two or three pots of these instead of just one.
There is also new lettuce to be had in a few weeks. Two trays of mâche and arugula were eaten by slugs but the others are doing great.
So I’m excited to see the fall plants grow in the next few weeks.
Way to start a blog post, right?
Truth is, I feel like writing but there isn’t anything to tell.
We’re still apartment hunting.
It’s still wet and cool and rainy with a few rare bits of sunshine in between. It has been raining so incessantly that I haven’t been able to take photos of my sewing.
After so many days of it, it seems there’s no place for the water to go, the plants and ground just can’t take anymore of it.
So the moisture just hangs in the air like a fine mist, making everything damp and clammy.
Still, better than the heat wave most of the US has been having, for me at least.
Our unusually hot spring has been followed by a cold, rainy summer. For days we’ve had fog and drizzle and heavy rains with only few bits of sunshine in between. And the forecast says much of the same is to follow in the next days and weeks.
I’m not complaining.
Living in a top floor apartment, hot summers can be hell. We had some unbearably hot weeks last year . I actually like a fresh wind and though I could do without constant rain, I don’t really mind that much. I have a good rain coat and on barn days both the pony and I are much more eager to work when it’s cool.
Other than that we’ve been lying low at the weekends, sleeping a lot and trying to catch up on emails and friends and ideas (oh, the ideas…). By the way, I got on Pinterest and now I’m hooked. And so inspired. More and more ideas.
This is the best tea I’ve had in years: Fresh peppermint leaves, fresh ginger or ginger syrup, limes, honey and candy sugar. Heaven.
I couldn’t resist another photo of the kitties. So sweet those two.
Phew, I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without posting before, has it really been over a week? But I am back now, after a wonderful and exhausting weekend in Italy (pics to come!) and after a week that just flew by with work and family stuff.
But now, on to the sewing stuff! I’ve been really inspired by the beautiful costumes of some films I saw recently (this one and this one especially) and bought some vintage patterns on Ebay at a whim. They arrived earlier this week:
I knew they were vintage, but I was still amazed that they were so…well…old! Faded brown paper so brittle that it feels like it would crumble in your hands, I love it!
Of course I had to do a bit of fabric shopping immediately and get to work on the very simplest piece, the top:
The pattern calls for a side seam zipper. Now I am absolutely not confident when it comes to zippers, so I decided to leave out the back tucks in the shirt and see if I could pull it over my head then which worked a treat!
I was also pretty scared of the arm and neck facings so I finished the neckline and the arm holes with bias tape. I am thrilled with how it turned out!
I’d read so much about how vintage patterns and the sizing and fit can be tricky, but this one fits me perfectly and I am so happy with it!
I will definitely make this shirt again with some fabric that is just now on its way to me from the US. I will probably modify the neckline a bit, I had to wear it with a strapless bra because it sits so low on the shoulders.
As you can see on the pattern pictures the top is meant to be worn tucked into slacks or a skirt. I spent hours looking for a skirt that sits at the natural waist like the picture but of course that is not the style right now so I will probably end up just making the skirt as well and tackling that scary side seam zipper! I do so long for a pair of high-waisted slacks like the ones Anna made but they are definitely way out of my sewing comfort zone right now!
By the way, if you’re interested in vintage sewing, head over to Casey‘s and Jen‘s blogs, I spent hours there in the last weeks 😉
We’ve been having very warm and sunshiny weather for the last two weeks and it really feels like summer already, so we had a few friends over for May punch with sweet woodruff and strawberries and to have the first barbecue of the year.
The May punch (I know it’s not May yet, but the timing was good this weekend for everyone so we were a week early) turned out really nice. I have sweet woodruff growing on my balcony and froze the leaves for two hours before letting them sit in white wine for another 1-2 hours. The strawberries add sweetness and the punch smelled deliciously of the sweet woodruff.
Everybody brought along something and we had lots of salad, tomatoes with mozarella cheese and mizuna leaves from our balcony, feta quiche and garlic butter.
Grilled feta cheese with pepper puree and dried tomatoes (soo delicious).
It was warm enough to sit outside and talk long after dark.
I do hope spring makes a comeback, but I quite liked this summer preview as well.