Sunshine blog award

Thanks Milica from Starseed Handmade Jewelry, for including me in your list, even if I have no idea what else you said ;-)

The Sunshine Award, is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blog world.
The rules for accepting this award are:

Put the logo on your blog or within your post. Check.

Share the love and link to the person from whom you have received this award. Check.

Pass the award on to 12 bloggers and link the nominees within your post.

Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

Ok, let's go.

1. Susannes Sammelsurium
We "met" in a Flickr group for spool knitting, but there is so much more to learn from her blog. Sorry, guys, it's in German only.

2. Spool Knitter
If you like spool knitting and even more, old and new knitting spools, this blog is a must. Maz has not only a great collection, but also shares techniques and ideas.

3. Starving Artists Team
What can I say? I love my Etsy team and it doesn't get more creative than that, believe me.

4. Handmade in Europe
Again, what can I say? Even if it's still pretty new, I love my ArtFire guild. These gals are a hoot!

5. viri-design
Elvira does not only sew great things, she is also a great friend, warm-hearted and big fun. Another German blog, so go and learn German now, you are missing something! ;-)

6. Eddy G - the Place To Be
Her wisdom makes me laugh and think and her knitted goodies are just fab!

7. ColtPixy
You should already know her name because she is the talent behind my dragon Tomomi. Check it out, there is so much more she can do.

8. Kitty Creates
I adore her felt critters, but who but you can I tell them I am madly in love with an evil lemon and a zombie potato??

9. Chopoli
I won't say anything about it, go over there and look for yourself. Her creations are unusual and so beautiful!

10. Julie Eakes
I admire polymer clay artists. This one is great. Take a look. Go. Now!

11. Creager Studios
Wow. These are not your everyday dolls.

12. Little Studio Photograph & Jewellery
Even if it weren't for Meg's beautiful items, I would go there for Arwen the Wonder Dog. I'm in love!

Ok. Check and check :-)

There are more of course and for those I didn't include please don't think it's because I don't like your blogs!! And as with all lists I make the order here is absolutely random once more.

15 books I will always remember

Reading Astrid's blog made me do this. In very random order, I should add.

  1. Andersen's fairy tales – it was a gift from my godmother. It doesn't contain all of his fairy tales, but the ones I love most (maybe because they were the first for me?). I see the illustrations before my inner eye when thinking of these tales. I wonder why my favorites are all the sad ones …

  1. All of the adventures of the Lockett children by Mary E.Atkinson (who also wrote the Flicka books that I never read because I was never one of those horse-crazy girls). These books are hard to find, but they are in my collection at last.

  1. The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald. Actually I like all books by Betty MacDonald. Her „grown-up“ books can always make me laugh no matter how often I read them, the children books are full of fantasy.

  1. George Washington Carver, the man who overcame by Lawrence Elliott. Carver is one of my personal heroes. Born as a slave's child he went to school whenever and wherever he could. He finally became professor in Tuskegee, Alabama.

  1. Mamal by Niels Meyn. It's about one of the first mammals on earth. My favorite illustration in this book is a T. Rex tearing up a triceratops. I can assure you I didn't grow up to be a violent person anyway ;-)

  1. The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett. I'm a hardcore Pratchett fan, but I think this one is my favorite.

  1. In the shadow of man by Jane van Lawick-Goodall (she was still married to her first husband then). I was 12 when my godmother gave me this book for Christmas and I can't count how often I read it. It's the story about how Goodall came to Gombe for the first time.

  1. Innocent killers by Hugo van Lawick and Jane van Lawick-Goodall. Jackals,hyenas and African wild dogs are seen from a different point of view.

  1. Leave a message for Willie by Marcia Muller. I love the whole Sharon McCone series, but this one is special to me. It's the only one of the series not translated into German and I translated it as a surprise for my sister which means it was practically hammered into my mind afterwards.

  1. The cat who came in from the cold by Deric Longden and all of his other books. You don't know him? Read him!! This is British humor at its best.

  1. Serengeti shall not die by Bernhard and Michael Grzimek.

  2. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The first volume is the best. It's like a road movie and I love road movies.

  1. MASH by Richard Hooker. I own the whole series, but the first two are definitely the best.

  1. Relic by Douglas J. Preston and Lincoln Child. I'm a fan of their books, but this is the best one.

  1. Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. I love each and every one of them. Another Doyle favorite of mine is The Lost World.

This is a strange mixture. Wow.


Meet a special lady with a gift

And no, I am not talking about myself.
If you followed this blog, you might know that I lost two of my furkids last year, Merlin and Gandalf.
In memory of Merlin I wrote this post to show the beautiful portrait pendant a dear friend had made for me. As a matter of fact I am looking at it right now.
The chance to get a very special memory of Gandalf came when one of my artisan friends asked me about my wire crochet pig. We decided to trade.
Her part of the trade arrived in the mail today. Although I had seen a picture of it beforehand, the actual item took my breath.

Meet Shannon Ivins of Pigatopia. I hope she won't mind that I mostly stole her own words from her ArtFire bio.

"I make artwork to help rescued animals ranging from Pot Bellied Pigs to cats and dogs, even chickens. I have 13 pigs, 8 dogs and one cat all of which are rescues. Some their families no longer wanted, a couple were abandoned after years of abuse, others had no choice but to find a home due to health issues. The money generated from the sales of my items is to pay vet bills, shelter and food for animals that have been abused and rescued. I have made crafts and art as far back as I can remember. Over the years I have been told that I am an artist. I decided to use that talent to help those who cannot help themselves. I work in gardening and I use my art to relieve the stresses of everyday life. I hope you enjoy looking at my work as much as everyone else and hope you have a great day."

Her artwork goes from portrait pencil sketches to watercolor pictures, from paper mache to ornaments with clay, from glass etchings to wood burn items and I haven't even mentioned her dark art yet!
I could post so many pictures from her shops here, but I would really prefer for you to go over there and look for yourself, so you can see the wide variety instead of only a few choices.

But maybe you are curious to see what I got?
I'll show you a photo of Gandalf first. Can you see his crooked smile? The upper fang had been pulled on that side and he always got his lip caught under the lower fang. Here you can also see well that he had only one eye, the other one had to be removed after an infection he got when he was a baby on a farm before he was rescued.

Now look at this "book". Shannon did a wood burn portrait of Gandalf on it. Isn't it amazing how she caught the little smirk and his face, the fur and the impressive fluffy tail? I can't stop looking at it. And being a librarian I of course love that it's a book.

The book also has a secret, though. It's not merely a decoration, but it has a drawer inside! Is that cool or what?

Shannon, as a matter of fact I should say much more, but here let me just say that this is a very special piece to me and now I can only hope even more that you will like my part of the trade, too.
Words can't tell how grateful I am. Thanks!


Loving inanimate objects

Have I mentioned that I love my new crochet hooks? I have? Hm. But have I also mentioned why I love them? Have I mentioned that they go down ALL the way to 0.75 mm?! And have I told you I already bent the smallest one when I had to try it on fine silver wire? I knew that would happen, but as I won't ever use it for yarn, it doesn't really matter. I bent it back and it will be able to enjoy its retirement mostly from now on.
I'm still excited because now I have the right size for everything. Before I didn't even know 0.1 mm could/would make so much difference.
Others get excited about a power tool and I jump up and down for some sticks of steel. Life is funny.

A few weeks ago I had already started making more yarn baskets in different sizes and colors and with different handles. These two are from each end of the spectrum.
For size comparison I photographed them with a good old 2 Pfennig piece. That is about the size of an American 1 cent piece.

This basket is 1.5 cm or 0.6 inch high. There is space for two tiny balls of "yarn". It would make a better earring than a pendant, but in my excitement about this new experiment with a 1 mm hook I forgot to keep counting and I don't know yet if I can make a matching one.

This is the biggest basket. It's not much higher than the tiny one, but about twice as wide, so four balls of "yarn" fit into it. These are from colored copper and from bronze wire.
It's still waiting for its bail.

Here now is a picture of all the baskets together and here you can also see the difference between the "big" and the small one.

I can't wait to experiment more! ;-)


Finally snatched a treasury again!

Since I'm back at work I have problems keeping up with things. Like the laundry. Emails. Photo projects. Blogging! And treasuries.
Today I didn't forget about it and I even had time at the right moment.
Check it out, maybe you'll see something you like! If you love something ...


I am so excited!

My Plurk friend Teresa and I decided on a swap a while ago (I'll let you see soon what she sent me for the yarn basket pendant I sent her (and I really hope she will like it!)) and the extra bonus was that she got me these crochet hooks on eBay. As I didn't have to pay extra shipping, it was cheaper than buying them here! 24 hooks in a case!
I wish I didn't have a dinner appointment, I so want to stay at home and try them all! :-D


A new bed!

So much bubblewrap and it's all for me? What a cozy bed!

P.S. He's sleeping there now ..........


My little zoo at home

Not counting Mr. Pigster who hopefully will arrive in his new home soon, my little zoo has grown to six animals now. Two of them will leave me in a while as well. I am sure they will be replaced soon, but not forgotten.
New additions to the household since last time are another pig, the elephant (he did cost me nerves!), a fish and a plump little bird. Pigpig - hey, I never claimed to be good at giving names - as the biggest is about 2 inch long.
I wish they were easier to photograph, but no matter from what direction you take a picture, you see wire through wire and that makes it a little difficult.

I hope you can enjoy anyway!

Antique show finds

Always in the first week of January is a small antique show in Göppingen. Whenever we are on vacation and have the chance to go there, we do.
Sometimes there is nothing interesting at all and we don't expect fantastic surprise bargains, but over the years we have found some pretty things, some at really nice prices.

The tall guy and I have a different approach to any kind of market. I go there thinking that I won't find anything. I mostly stick to the books, old and new, and try to browse all the other things. The tall guy is, well, tall and can look at the tables a lot better. While I have to walk an aisle twice or go on a zigzag course, he'll just walk in the middle and look.

Since the antique show moved to the town hall, it's even smaller than it used to be. That leaves me a little more time to look around.
All these finds were actually discovered by me this time, maybe my eye is getting more trained to look at props for photography. Do I sound proud? Well, yes - a little because as mentioned before I'm not the master of spotting things.
I knew the tall guy would like the folding rule and even more the top modern calculator ;-) Both of them would be a nice prop for me and a great decoration for his room. He thought the same thing, so I left him to discuss the price (something I absolutely suck at) and continued my rounds.

A while ago there had been a thread in my SJA forum about photographing rings. One of the members (thanks, Andrea!) had brought up the idea of gloves. I remembered I had some old lacy gloves from a fleamarket a long time ago and I think it worked out fine, but peach and light green is not suitable for all wire colors, so I thought I'd start looking for some cream or white ones.
As luck had it, this show was just the thing. A lady had a whole box of gloves, black, brown, white, leather, wool, satin, long ones, short ones ... I picked out the two pairs pictured. Seeing how small they are, immediately images of neatly dressed young girls going to church came to my mind. I experience that a lot, that I long to know the story behind an item although I know I never will.
Instead I got to hear the seller's story (remember the sign on my forehead? ;-)).

So I guess you'll see these items more often in my pictures now, at least parts of them.