Dienstag, 30. Dezember 2014

Happy anniversary, Wonky Heidi!

Happy anniversary to me! 

I look back upon an exciting year of writing and publishing my thoughts online and it was amazing! 
To celebrate this event, my friends from JMS Design (http://www.jms-design.de/) helped me to update my layout and bring my very own design onto the website. 

Don't you love it? Because, I totally do.

Thank you all very much for your kind interest in my work and I wish you all a smashing New Year!

Samstag, 27. Dezember 2014

Christmas Gifts

It looks like I have been a very good girl this year because Santa or the Christkind, as we say here, has been very busy, delivering presents to me!

I don't want to give ratings, like "best present ever" because I don't want to spoil things for next year. But this very special one I have to show you, as I have been waiting for one for years and years and years....

My very gifted cousin-in-law Celeste gave me this fine painting. Celeste Palacios is an Argentinian artist now living in Cologne selling her paintings and prints through her website www.celestepalacios.com .

                            Isn't it awesome and aren't you all dead-envious??

Montag, 22. Dezember 2014

Run-up to christmas

My fourth and last work christmas party started at the huge and very alternative christmas market "Tollwood". 

Tollwood 2013 courtesy of N. Smith

We met up at the "Feuerzangenbowle" stall and had a couple of those. 

Feuerzangenbowle is a German speciality, which Wikipedia explains like this: "Feuerzangenbowle is prepared in a bowl, similar to a fondue set, which usually is suspended over a small burner (rechaud). The bowl is filled with heated dry red wine spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise and orange peel, similar to mulled wine. The Feuerzange was originally a pair of tongs, but nowadays it is common for a purpose-designed metal grate mounted on top of the bowl to hold the Zuckerhut (sugarloaf or literally "sugar hat"), a sugar cone around seven inches long. The sugar is soaked with rum and set alight, melting and caramelizing. The rum should have at least 54% alcohol per volume and be at room temperature in order to burn properly. More rum is poured with a ladle until all the sugar has melted and mixed with the wine. The resulting punch is served in mugs while the burner keeps the bowl warm. For some the ceremony is more important than the drink itself, celebrating the gathering of friends and conveying a notion of Gemütlichkeit."

Just as well that we had to take a 15 min walk to the restaurant, because those mulled wines can really muddle your brains.

We had dinner at the "Augustiner", a Bavarian Inn, famous for its beer. It was a cozy, yummy and entertaining evening. The highlight, of course, the "Kaiserschmarrn", my favourite dish ever! It's a pastry dish from Austria best described as torn, fluffy pancakes.

To keep you updated on the crafty front, here the latest piggy, already named "Herr Schröder" by its new owner.

The latest from the Wonky Homewear Collection: The fir tree doily.

Last weekend found me at my brothers place up to my elbows in dough, producing delightfully wonky but tasty biscotti, mince pies, all-spice brownies and vanilla crescent cookies. 

We produced a right mess but survived with the help of (in my case) vodka, gherkins and salmon sandwiches!

Last but not least: Having a laugh!

Sonntag, 14. Dezember 2014

Christmas Market in the Countryside

Yesterday my lovely friends took me for a drive to Lake Schliersee. It is a tradition for us to visit the  Christmas Market at Markus Wasmeiers Farmhouse Museum.
Markus Wasmeier is one of Germanys national treasures, a former worldcup skiing champion (and hero of my childhood) who after the end of his skiing career founded this amazing museum. He chose a piece of land, bought up old farm houses around Bavaria, to dismantle them brick by brick, beam by beam and to rebuild them as a tiny village, preserving them for future generations.
We've been visiting for about ten years now and the beauty is, that it is forever changing and growing. There are oven houses where there's always something baking, there is a distillery, they are brewing beer, growing flowers and selling herbal teas. They also keep bees, sheep, pigs, geese and chickens.
It is shut between November and April but on one weekend in December the christmas market opens.  

Unfortunately there was no snow but hey, it wasn't raining either! After a hearty meal of roast pork and dumplings at the Inn we strolled around, sampling mulled wine and gingerbread, checking out the wares. Ranging from homemade jams and pickles to woollen and wooden everything and lot's to eat!

After that we decided to look how the other half lives and drove to nearby lake Tegernsee and one of the richest communities in Bavaria and popular holiday resort, Rottach Egern.
Their christmas market is situated on the shore of the lake. We saw a lot of middleaged ladies in fur coats with tiny and sometimes huge dogs. Most of the wares on offer wouldn't have looked out of place in an interieur design shop. 

But the sun shined and the crisp air was filled with smells of sausages and mulled wine.

Rottach Egern

Freitag, 12. Dezember 2014

Party, Party, Party...

This week brought me office christmas parties 2 and 3. 

On Monday we went first to the Market for some Glühwein (mulled wine) and when we got cold walked on towards "Beach 38" (http://www.beach38.de/en/), a beach club in the eastern part of Munich. It is a beach volleyball club/party location where you can stick your feet in the sand, have cocktails and play volleyball. In summer it's awesome with a great outdoor area. Most of us chose burgers with fries, which were really yummy but we were sitting too close to the doors to get the full, carribean feeling.  Still, due to my lovely colleagues it was a great night out.

After a very busy and emotional rollercoaster week on Thursday it was time for party number 3 at the very stylish "Marais Soir" in Munichs Westend. There were about twenty of us placed in the cosy, anthrazite-painted separee, with an orb form light installation on the wall. 

Although not usually a fan of the French Cuisine, I have to admit the food was amazing and the wine excellent. We had a four-course meal consisting of a tuna starter followed by fish ravioli, beef in red wine-sauce and finally chocolate tarts.

The Grauburgunder Grassnitzberg from Polz in Südsteiermark, Austria is one I recommend wholeheartedly! Unfortunately being there with all the departments bosses I had to show some very un-Heidi-like reserve and couldn't drink as much as I would have liked.

The staff was very attentive and one of my three bosses gave me his dessert - or more like my just deserts!

Stay tuned for tomorrows adventures in the countryside and this years visit to the christmas market at Wasmeiers Bauernhofmuseum (outdoor museum village).

Dienstag, 2. Dezember 2014

Sea of lights

Finally December is here and all of a sudden the whole city is a sea of lights! I'm loving it. It gives me this warm, fuzzy feeling that somehow everything will be allright.

Yesterday I was invited to an office christmas party. The first of four, I have to say! We went to a really cute kiosk situated close to the famous Eisbach inner city surf spot, called Fräulein Grüneis http://www.fraeulein-grueneis.de/ . Inside the former historic public toilet facility it's tiny so most of our group chose to stand outside on bar tables and around a fire, drinking mulled wine and eating curry. It made a great change from the normal restaurant visit and I'd recommend it to everyone.

I'll keep you posted on next weeks frolics!

outside the kiosk

well done front and ice cold backside
Meanwhile back at the ranch:

The ideal solution for the tiny apartment. Gotta love Ikea!

What's your colour scheme this year???

Samstag, 22. November 2014

presents, regalos, Geschenke!

 Between those two pictures lie at least 5 months. At first I wanted to make a stuffed cockerel for my little niece but somehow it didn't work out. So I put it aside and finally decided to make it into a cushion. What looked like a failure at first is actually a winner!

 This one's a "I'm sorry I forgot about our lunch date" token for my colleague.

This one's for me, a side-sleper pillow in my two favourite colors.

Dienstag, 4. November 2014

Christmas - dream or nightmare?

So Halloween's gone and it seems like we're on the express train to christmas. 

The past two months have been extremely busy at work and my full-on trip to England hasn't brought me any respite at all. As lovely as it was to see my friends again I squeezed too much into the one week and could have used another at home to relax.

I feel, like I should have opened up Santas workshop already but last weekend I had a case of 24-hour paralysis. As soon as I've stepped into my apartment on Friday it came over me and didn't let go until Monday morning. Apart from loading the washing machine twice and watching the complete second season of "Borgen" (excellent Scandi polit drama) I couldn't move a finger let alone brain cells. At the same time feeling rotten for not getting up and  producing tons of  unique presents on my sewing machine.

Don't get me wrong, I adore christmas and making gifts for the special people in my life but when I'm so caught-up in my office dramas it seems impossible to get into the right mood and creative mindset.

But maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way round? Maybe I should use my creativity to ease my work tension. 

Maybe the christmas Vorfreude/anticipation will lighten my heart? Maybe I should embrace decorating my castle like my friend N. using as much tinsel and candles as possible?

Drowning my sorrows in mulled wine every night at the local christmas markets with my colleagues? Placing mistletoe in strategic places e.g. over my desk?

Luckily Munich excels in christmas markets. Every neighbourhood has its own, there's an arty market, a gay (pink) market, a medieval market, an alternative market and lot's of traditional ones.
So here's to a busy, marvellous, special and sometimes quiet run-up to christmas.

Mittwoch, 29. Oktober 2014

My top 10 UK trip pictures

Number 1 arty-farty shot for Instagram: Waiting for the opening of the National Portrait Gallery in the morning.

A wet and windy visit to the seaside.

Blink and you'll miss it, catching a rare ray of autumnly sunshine!

Tower Bridge reflected in Boris Johnsons City Hall.

Most atmospheric, goosebump-giving shot: The installation "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" by artist Paul Cummins. Red ceramic poppies marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Number 2 arty-farty, I'll try everything to get an unusual piccie-shot of the wrought-iron fence of the Houses of Parliament.

You can never take too many pictures of the Tower Bridge!

The Royal Pavilion Brighton, amazingly silly and extravagant.

The double Shard shot! I was too stingy to pay 25 Pounds for the viewing platform. Somebody invite me for dinner at the Shard restaurant please!

The old versus new architecture shot. I got the Shard from every possible angle!

Montag, 27. Oktober 2014

Sew special - handmade gifts!

At last I managed to hand-over the latest batch of gifts so that I can proudly show them to you:

1. Apron with a very fitting detail, the cookery pocket:

2. The wedding gift, personalized sequinned pillow cases (made from scratch). Ideal for lovely friends with short names or whose names you can shorten.

 3. The  gift for the expecting mother, who can't have too many thingies to wipe off any kind of spill.

4. Handy make-up zipper bags for the already mentioned lover of toadstools and UK fan.

5. Very versatile, personalized bags to carry everything from knickers to toys.

Dienstag, 21. Oktober 2014

Viennese Waltzes in Covent Garden

Despite the horribly wet and windy weather I had a lovely morning when I came across some jaunty tunes  at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden during my trip to the UK. The little garden of the church is an old favourite of mine where I've been before to sit down and admire the roses. 

This time sitting down was out of the question but when I went inside to have a look at the charity christmas card sale I discovered the London Firebird Orchestra rehearsing for their concert "A Viennese Whirl - A magnificent selection of Viennese favourites by Johann Strauss II, reminiscent of the famous  Vienna new years day concerts, performed alongside other Austrian classics by Haydn and Mozart." 

I just couldn't resist sitting down on the church benches and listening for a good thirty minutes, my feet bobbing in tact to these amazing waltzes. How uplifting and inspiring! I instantly felt myself being transported back to the middle of the 19th century when the waltz was still considered "risque" by the London Society, because couples actually touched while dancing.  

"The waltz arrived in England in 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars when Wellington's officers brought it back from Continental Europe.  Influential dance master and author of instruction manuals, Thomas Wilson published A Description of the Correct Method of Waltzing in 1816. Almack's, the most exclusive club in London, permitted the waltz though the entry in the Oxford English Dictionary shows that it was considered "riotous and indecent" as late as 1825. The waltz, and especially its closed position, became the example for the creation of many other ballroom dances. Subsequently, new types of waltz have developed, including many folk and several ballroom dances." (Wikipedia).

The Waltz has always been one of my favourite dances and I'm now longing to get whirled around the ballroom by a handsome beau to some Strauss Waltzes....

Donnerstag, 9. Oktober 2014


Only two more sleeps until I leave for the UK! Tonight I started packing as I'll spent the night before the flight with my aunt and uncle who live closer to the airport. 
It turns out all the presents won't fit into my suitcase. Unfortunately it's too late to borrow a bigger one so I'll have to make-do with an old fake-leather bag I found in the basement. Or should I leave the gifts behind?! :-)

I won't be able to post from the trip as I don't use the Blogger App but watch out for my Instagram posts. I'll be able to upload impressions on the go.

As you know, I love Instagram, which is where I discovered the Australian "Hundred & Thousands Magazine. A handmade magazine, celebrating handmade" - just my cuppa tea!