Hippie circles!

One of my favorite musicals is "Hair".
It was my sister's record - record as in vinyl for the younger people among us. Black, big and it was not a good thing to scratch them. My sister generously allowed me to record my favorite songs to tape.
I didn't listen to the tape today. By now I have the CDs and I have my favorite songs on my PC and my MP3 player.
I wish I could dance.
Instead I let it inspire me. There was nothing much else to do after the title song had glued itself to my brain.

Do you remember the cool tie-dye t-shirts? I had more than one and I might even still have one in my wardrobe ...

Wouldn't this pendant go great with one of them and jeans and a jeans jacket?
"Hippie circles" is made from scratch. I handformed the sterling silver wire and I filled the ring with colorful copper wire (crocheted of course!).

Peace, brothers and sisters! ;-)

Oh, and by the way, you find this pendant in my Zibbet shop.

Felt critters

No, not by me, don't you worry. I've told you before that I can't sew if my life depended on it.
But I know someone who can.

She is witty, she is funny and she makes the most hilarious felt creations.
And now you have the chance to win one of them!

Go to her blog Kitty creates and check out her giveaway!
Comment on the blog, tweet about it, blog about it and if you are the lucky winner, choose from three fun items.

But don't you dare take away my evil lemon!!! :-D


Squeaky clean

I'm not talking about myself, but about my latest project.
The hedgehogs made me taste blood, not because they got me with their (non-existent ;-)) quills, but because I feel the challenge to see what I can do.

Once more my head is full of ideas which is dangerous for the other WIPs still lying around. On the other hand I'm still on vacation which is perfect for Frankenstein experiments.
Come to life, my little creatures, mwahahaaaa!

Today's "monster" is Mr. Pigster.
Mr. Pigster has had a little too much to eat over the Christmas holidays (just like his creator) and he looks as if he is on the lookout for more with his nose in the air like that.
Unusual is that he likes to keep very clean. No mud for this piggy! And I'm sure he squeaks while I'm not around ;-)


In the garden

The first close encounter with a hedgehog that I remember vividly - except seeing them as roadkill :-( - was many years ago at our local zoo, the "Tierpark" in Göppingen. It was winter and I was mucking out the wallaby stable. Of course in the winter there is even more hay in there than during the summer to keep our little Bennetts warm. So I was there mucking along, sticking my fork into the pile of hay in the corner when the pile suddenly moved.
Of course you already know what it was, but I didn't. I have been jumped at by rats before and automatically jumped back. But instead of a rat I saw a hedgehog, quite a big fellow too. No wonder the wallabies had stayed in the front part of the stable!
We decided to make him a new nest somewhere where he wouldn't be disturbed all the time.
I can't be sure, but I like to think it was him who came back many years to spend winter at the zoo.

Then of course there was the little fellow that was brought up by Frieda, the good soul of the zoo for many, many years. When he (or she? I don't remember) was stronger, he broke out of his box every night and wreaked havoc in the kitchen. Such a small creature, but so full of energy. She must fed him well indeed!

In my sister's garden there also used to be hedgehogs every, now and then. They scared the cats sometimes when they started grunting loudly. Served the cats right, you don't disturb a couple in intimate moments, even if cats think they're allowed to intrude anywhere and anytime.

A very close encounter with a hedgehog was when we had to "rescue" one. My sister and my mother walked me home one night and there he was sitting in the middle of the street. Sis and I both have soft hearts and we were sure he was going to get himself run over. I didn't have gloves on me of course, but at last he was sitting in a garden next to the road (I was so glad nobody came out to ask what I was doing in their garden!), probably a little confused what had happened to him now.

Yesterday a dear Plurk friend who loves hedgehogs as well, wondered if I could make an ornament from wire. This was a challenge I could not resist.
I used gunmetal and ivory colored copper wire. The problem was that the ivory colored one is coated differently which means working with it is tougher. The wire also feels not as bendable as the gunmetal one. Listening to a concert of Max Raabe and his orchestra on TV helped to keep me relaxed enough to finish it.
Today I decided to try it in a different way and with bronze wire instead of the ivory one. The bronze wire also is not as smooth as my beloved copper wire and also I used smaller hooks, so it took somewhat longer, but in the end I was quite happy with the design. I think I was inspired by my Steiff hedgehogs.
I guess I'm not done experimenting yet. I need a good way to put ears and feet on there. And then there was the idea to make some farm animals .... hmm .......

Here you see them together in their little patch of (artificial) grass and flowers.


The last minutes of Christmas Day

Now I am sitting here in the dark and let my mind wander back to the last two days. Christmas Day is almost over for us here.
For me it was a peaceful Christmas. Getting together with the family, no drama, great food, relaxed talk - all around nice and perfect.
Except for the fact maybe that I didn't know what to wear to neither be overdressed nor too sloppy.

My life is not really as in the treasury I put together yesterday, but dreaming is allowed ....
By the way, there is still time to click and comment on Dressing up for Christmas!

18 more minutes for me to say ...


Santa is one day early ....

.... and he's in our kitchen!
Oh wait, I think I was wrong. That's not Santa. The tummy is right, but this one is little bit smaller.
It's Santa Greeb!

"Why has Mom closed the door? And why is she trying to humiliate me? If I just don't look, maybe she'll go away ...."

"Oh no! Where is everything?? I'm blind!! Couldn't she at least have gotten a cap my size?? I used to think she loved me ..."

"Oh yes, Mom, you are SO going to pay for this! Are you done destroying my reputation now? Why didn't you post the fun pictures you took when you tried to put this ridiculous thing on Ponder? And why don't you show them the scratches he gave to you as a pre-Christmas gift?"

No animals were harmed during the making of this post. One human was, but only to the usual degree.


Snake, chai, Christmas carols and snow

Today is the first time I really feel Christmas is near.
First I delivered a commissioned necklace, another snake in bright violet with pearly eyes, but unfortunately the color doesn't come out perfectly in this picture because I took it in a hurry before wrapping the necklace up. Then it was off to the vet's.

Since yesterday evening it had been snowing, not as heavy as elsewhere, but enough for me. Now that I'm not out in the streets (I'm really good at slipping in snow and I managed to do so five times today), I can enjoy the snow outside.

When I signed in at Etsy, T-West was just about to open, so I had to improvise and of course the first snow fall inspired me.
Have a look at The first fall of snow ..., there is still plenty of time to comment!

Now I am sitting at my desk, looking at the sugared roofs in the dusk, having my second cup of chai, I am listening to Christmas carols in different styles (just now it's a soul version), I had my snuggle time with Greebo (don't ask how I took this photo, it was tough) and I wouldn't be surprised if I turned around and saw Santa standing there.

If I didn't already have a date for tomorrow, I might just stay at home, watch Christmas movies, work on the earrings for my forum swap and soak in the atmosphere.

Over all it has been a good year so far. Most important is that I got to know a lot of people who are mostly far away, but whom I wouldn't want to miss in my life. They make me laugh, they make me mushy, they teach me things, they lift me up when I'm down (even if they often don't know they do).

Have a very "messy Kweznuz", all of you out there!
And for those that don't know the Blackadder Christmas episode - a merry Christmas!


Five gold riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings ...................

Not quite, but I couldn't resist to quote from one of my favorite Christmas songs (Twelve days of Christmas).
Four silver rings would be correct.
I think it's amazing how using different kinds, sizes and cuts of stones make each one look so different although they are all pretty much made the same way (except for the fact that I don't think it feels so good to have faceted beads in the back too, therefore I chose only to use wire there).

Here they are (and if you have a great idea for what colors or stones would look good in that design, let me know!).


A Christmas miracle! (And some hard work ;-))

You have seen parts of my desk before, mostly with a cat in the front like here. One reason for that was I didn't really want to show it to anyone.

I don't mind that it is an old dining table (this is the 20s room - yes, the rooms in this house have furniture from different decades), but I very much minded that it was a complete and utter mess.
People who know me at work are surprised how messy I can be at home. At work I would never leave notes on a desk. Things are done? Throw the note away. Two pens, one pencil and one eraser at each computer. The drawers have to hold at least two pens and one pencil, more are allowed. And could you please put the stapler right where it belongs? This is 4.349347 degrees off to the left! Do I have to do EVERYthing alone here?
OCD? Yes. At work.
Then I come home. Keys on top of the last 3 "Spiegel" that no one had the time to read yet. The new book I bought on the dining table (the real one, not my desk). Cat, get off this chair, that is where my bag goes now.
Up to my desk. Writing down things I want to transfer into the computer on little notes. You want to know why I don't do that right away? Because my desk wasn't organised which mostly wasn't even my fault. A dining table only has one drawer and the rest is in the tall guy's desk and one of the files is in his computer and I would have to turn it on (no, we can't get the file over to my computer, but that's too long a story).
Of course I always had beads on my desk as well, a lot of biz cards lying around and the odd things you absolutely need - envelopes, stamps, stapler, letter scales, books, a spool knitter, coasters, a little wooden manikin ... you get the drift.

But finally the tall guy found a little cabinet for me and now re-organising was the task of the day (and much more fun than doing the laundry).

I won't bore you with the details, only with the results.

The cabinet is from a paper merchant's office obviously, at least that is what Wikipedia told me about the name that is printed on.

My desk. Do you want to bet on how long it'll look like this? ;-)


It seems .... it seems ...

... that my life consists of train rides and incidents and even if I had not planned to come up with another story so soon again, I just can't help it.
You remember the sign on my forehead, right? "Talk to me. Ask me. I'm the expert. And nice. I'll help you and I'll understand."

But this time I didn't understand. I wanted to, but I don't speak Italian. Well, I can say scusi and trente and pizza, pasta, Napoli and Roma, grazie and molto bene, but that didn't help in this case.
And it all happened because my train was delayed and it was cold outside.
As I was too early anyway and much too early now with the delay, I went back into the station where about one million other people were waiting as well (Did you know I'm (in)famous for exaggerating with numbers? If not, now you know.). And of all these people he picked me. For my charming self, for my great looks, for standing right beside him, who will ever know? ;-)
"He" was a young man with some papers in his hand and "he" was asking me in half English, half German (? not sure about that part) if I spoke Italian. At least that was what I understood. So I told him in English that I didn't. He didn't understand. He kept asking me in this strange mix, I kept telling him I didn't. That didn't hold him back from showing me the papers. One was a reservation for a train seat and (I think) he wanted to know what it meant that it said "64 Mitte". I told him that was the number for a middle seat in a compartment. He seemed to think it was the platform number where the train left. Finally he showed me his ticket.
Oh no!! He was in the wrong town!! He wanted to travel to Italy, had had to change the train on the way and had gotten off in the wrong town! I went to check the timetable on the wall and got the next shock. There was no way he could go from here! Now how to explain that he had to go back first and take a train from there? We did a lot of stammering, holding up fingers for numbers, looking at each other helplessly. I told him by gesturing that I'd go to the service point to ask and he gestured back he'd already been there.
The clerk gave me a slightly strange look when I said an Italian not understanding German needed help. I turned around and the Italian not understanding German hadn't followed me to the service point. Oh well, he wouldn't have been of any help anyway.
She told me he needed to go back and take a train from there. I said I knew that, but if she would be so kind to print out exact directions which she did then. Of course it now was much too late for taking the train he had reserved for.
When I came back, he came up to me looking hopeful. I gave him the printout, showed him what platform and then I failed. I should have taken him to the machine myself to get him a ticket for the way and I can only hope he made it without getting into trouble with a conductor.
Granted, I was in a little hurry myself by now, but for me the next train would have been fine, for him it made a big difference. I just didn't think of it at the moment. Is it an excuse I was not really awake yet? An explanation maybe, but no excuse *sigh*
In the end he shook my hand almost solemnly, smiled at me and said "Thanks".

Another train story without an ending, sorry. I really hope he made it, no, makes it, it's a long ride and he won't be there yet.

Maybe I should take a course for important train-connected words in different languages .....


Another story by the train lady

I should have taken one "S-Bahn" (local train) earlier, I knew it. Only because I wanted to finish something, I didn't,and so I chased my delayed train out of the station instead of catching it in the nick of time.
On the other hand I would have missed something, but I didn't know that when I trotted to the next track and got on the later train. At least this one wasn't delayed.
At the first stop my sister came on the train, on the other side of the wagon. She didn't see me, but the train was too crowded anyway to find seats next to each other.

At the next station we stopped, people got off, people got on, but ... hey, we didn't move on. We stood, well, not us (except for a few luckless passengers who hadn't found a seat), but the train did. I suspected the earlier train was still in our track, but then the announcement came:
"Dear passengers, due to an emergency ... an emergency with a doctor ... a doctor who will be here soon, we can't continue our ride at the moment." Ah yes. That was an unusual announcement and don't forget I have been commuting for 23 years. Unusual was not only the fact that there had obviously something happenend ON the train, but also the way the conductor sounded.

Around me people started calling their family, others discussed the announcement. A merry group of three thought the conductor might have had a little too much mulled wine, the girl next to me thought he had sounded upset, my sister later voted for out of breath.

We waited. After a while from the corner of my eye I noticed some red and white jackets entering the train (not alone, I suppose, although THAT would have been really exciting). That was all we saw. At least after a short while the train began to move again.
Suddenly there was another announcement:
"Passengers going to Geislingen and Ulm should get off in Goeppingen. There will be a fast one - behind me."
People started giggling again. A fast "one"? I felt as if this man did that on purpose to keep us in a good mood inspite of the delay of now "circa 21 minutes" of which he hoped "we might be able to reduce it a little". What an entertainer!
Then he continued: "You know we had an emergeny in the train, an emergency ...". Here you could hear he was about to tell us what happened and ears were popping up like bunny ears. "An emergency, well, you know how that is." What?? The ears went down again. He didn't want to tell us? Of course we knew he was right, it was none of our business at all, but we happily had given away "circa 21 minutes" of our lives, didn't we deserve to know what for? Obviously not.

Shortly before Goeppingen I got up to pick up my sister at her seat. We stood together at the door when the conductor went for the final kill:
"I want to remind passengers going to Geislingen and Ulm - and only there! - to get off at Goeppingen to take the train - now what's it called again?" After a little pause he told us the train number and "it's faster". I was surprised he didn't get any standing ovations for that. Many of us were standing already, giving a little applause wouldn't have been difficult to do ;-)

Still talking about this train ride we went to my sister's bicycle when suddenly a person with her hand raised to a high five appeared behind us - sister # 3.
"Who else is for founding a fan club?" she asked and we high fived each other.
Then she told us she had been sitting in the same wagon, just on the upper deck.

Welcome the three members of the "Unknown Train Conductor Fan Club 2009"!! ;-)


They couldn't be more different

I am talking about the two necklaces I listed on Zibbet today.
It was an impulsive decision to join Zibbet, but now that I am there I try to fill up the shop a little and as I still had a few things around that only needed to be woken up from their hibernation (although it was summer and fall, but that's ok, you know what I mean), I found I like the setup.

Today I listed this "old" piece, from my early days. The colors and the beads are so bright and bold that I thought a simple design would work best.
It's from two twisted strands of crocheted copper wire and the beads are glass that is "filled" with color and glitter (now am I a glass expert or what? *lol*)
Looking at it gives you a summery feeling which is not too bad now that the days are very dark here.

The other necklace is a new one. When I got these frosted Brazilian amethysts, they made me think of frozen berries right away. Only they didn't stick together.
Compared to the other necklace this is a very feminine design. Classic understatement with a twist.

Why don't you check out my Zibbet shop?

Hmmm, those brown tigereyes on my desk .... I must have some brown wire somewhere ....