Monday, June 29, 2009

Oh, So Random

You may have heard me mention Jane (Spain Daily) a time or two here before. She was tagged recently to list seven things about herself and she passed the invitation on to anyone else who wanted to join in. So I thought I would oblige her request and share a few random things about me.

1. I have never liked cola. When I would get a tummy ache or the flu my mom would give me "Sprite", but I would cry and beg her not to make me drink it.

2. When I was younger I would always scrape the toppings off my pizza, eat the crust and dough first, and then the cheese and pepperoni... yeah, I know... weird, probably just as much as separating the marshmallows in my "Lucky Charms", eating one food at a time, or eating the crust of the toast first and then the center (Note: I don't do these things anymore)

3. For some reason, red is the one color that I don't like to put in my garden.

4. I eat an egg almost everyday for breakfast. If I don't eat protein in the mornings I am hungry an hour later.

5. Growing up I dreamed of getting married at my parents home in the summer and then honeymooning in Europe... the facts are that I got married in January, went to the beach for our honeymoon, but ended up living in Europe.
(so I guess it all evens out)

6. I hate to sew with a pattern... it just takes too much time to line everything up, measure it out, when all I really want do is start sewing.

7. My friend Phyllis in Texas asked me why I never told her before that I could take good pictures, to which I answered that I didn't know that I could. ( I really only started taking pictures when I started my blog.

Friday, June 26, 2009

100 Waters and a Bowl of Cherries

On the drive to the countryside farm of my parents-in-law, we made a slight detour through the little town of Uelzen. The purpose of our diversion was, of all things, to stop and see the railway station. In preparation for the 2000 world's fair Expo, the residents and politicians of the city started an initiative whose purpose was to create an environmental and cultural railway station.

Unlike most railway stations that I have been in, the colorful and unusual architecture set the normally ordinary structure apart. Designed by Friendenreich Hundertwasser (literally translates... Hundred Waters) the building boasts of colorful tiles laid in unsymmetrical patterns, solar panels, an inside fountain, and a living roof all in a style that is not the typical architecture that one expects to find in Germany. In addition, museum shops and a restaurant completed the whole "cultural" atmosphere.

I laughed inwardly when I saw the "kiss and ride" circle in front of the station for customers dropping off loved ones at the station, because English is so commonplace here.

Upon reaching our destination, it was clear that an afternoon walk was a "must" ... just to soak in the sun, breath the fresh air, enjoy the quietness, and appreciate the things that refresh the soul because the busyness of everday life diverts one from it. Our stroll led us under the canopy of two large cherry trees that were burdened with branches of beautiful, red, fruits for a tasty afternoon snack. It just doesn't get any better than this...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Corner View" Music

Traveling and sightseeing this week with my parents, has taken us to the beautiful port city of Bremen, just miles from the hometown of my husband... and what a perfect place to end up in for the "corner view" music theme.

One of the famous stories connected with the city is the "Bremen Town Musicians", a tale by the brothers Grimm of a donkey, dog, cat, and rooster "all past their usefulness on the farm, soon to be discarded by their masters. One by one they leave their homes and set out together. They decide to go to
Bremen, known for its freedom, to live without owners and become musicians there." A statue, somewhat of the city symbol, has since been erected in front of the city hall depicting the tale and many visitors touch the hooves of the donkey for luck or wishes to come true. (Wikepedia)

The streets were peppered with corner musicians despite the on and off rain, creating melodic surprises and bringing the streets to life. It seemed as though just about every genre of music could be heard floating down the streets.

At one point, much to our delight, a "baker's choir" traveling from Cologne stopped in the city square to sing their hometown song. It is not everyday that one just breaks out singing on the streets... it was almost stepping onto the set of a musical.

Recently when we visited the city park we were welcomed at the entrance by a gentleman playing a "Drehorgel". I was delighted by the greeting that we received and it reminded me of one of my first trips to the Baltic Sea. These are the type of traditions that I live for.

... for more musical delights, don't forget to visit Jane at Spain Daily. Our travels carry on this week to the next town and I will only rejoin the group next week.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Spargel Essen

There is only one other meal that I would put in the same classification as Thanksgiving, best-meal-of-the year category... and that is Spargel Essen (White Asparagus Meal) How could one live in Germany and not delight in the much anticipated seasonal meal of white asparagus, smoked prosciutto, potatoes, and sauce Hollandaise?

Starting in April and running until the end of June, one can find giant strawberry stands selling white asparagus and fresh strawberries all over Germany, which the two seasons always coincide. If you eat the one, you always know that the other will be served with it... they just go together like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, corn on the cob and butter, Easter and eggs, wine and cheese... you can try to separate them, but they are just not quite as good unless they are together.

I find that since I have been living in Germany, I look forward to this meal like I look forward to the Christmas markets. As with the Christmas markets, we have started our own special tradition to celebrate with friends. This year just happens to be the fourth year that we have shared this meal with the same friends, and as a special treat, my parents were able to partake in the traditional German meal.

After diner, only one word could cross my lips... "mmmm, herrlich!" (delicious, marvelous, magnificent, superb, splendid, glorious, wonderful)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Painting The Town Red

We decided to venture into the city this week and show my parents a few of the well known sites in Hamburg. My dad studied art at university and was quite interested when we told him of an art exhibit by Edward Hopper, who was well known for painting modern life if America. We were a little disappointed that the exhibit featured less of Hopper's works than we had expected, but found it to be inspiring nonetheless.

Of couse my husband and I played our "little game" again, and this time I chose a painting from Robert Henri depicting Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who had founded the musuem of American Art in New York City. I would probably say that the color first drew me to the painting, but there was something about her expression that I found particularly fascinating.

The photo that made it to my list was much more about the statement rather than the overall composition or artisic style, taken by photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White in 1937.

Interestingly enough, we ended up spending the afternoon in a fabulous cafe that was established the same year as Hopper was born. Of course my parents needed to be properly introduced to the traditional coffee and cake time in Germany and what better way to do that in a cafe founded in 1882?

With beautiful vintage tile to decorate the walls and ceilings, it is not hard to see why this afternoon cafe is continously packed... breathtaking. Somehow such a beautiful atmosphere just makes everything taste better.

... so much to see, so little time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Corner View" Street Fashion

My folks just flew in this past week for their own up close and personal "corner view" series and will be here for several weeks... so getting over jet lag was number one on the priority list. As you might have guessed I was not able to capture the "street style" in Hamburg as I had hoped, but...

... I did want to share this fabulous fashion blog called Stil in Berlin which chronicles "street style" in Berlin and several other European cities. There are some great links to other blogs which feature "street styles" from all over the world. Here are a few of my fav's...

... I'll be popping in and out sporadically over the next few weeks. We have so much planned and I imagine that I should have some really great impressions to share later. For more "fashion week" catwalks, just visit Jane at Spain Daily.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tula Pink "Neptune" Fabrics

Of course just about everyone who sews or works with patchwork fabrics has heard of Amy Butler. And since she has come on the scene, Heather Bailey and Anna Maria Horner are hot on her heels with their own fantastic fabric collections, but one designer, who I think does equally as brilliant work is fabric designer, Tula Pink.

Tula "who" might be going through your mind, but in ca
se you have not heard of her, perhaps I should introduce this talented lady. Neptune, a sea and nautical themed collection, is actually Tula's fourth fabric collection produced by Moda fabrics.

Tula Pink has set herself apart in the fabric scene and has defined her unusual and intriguing fabrics as a "delicate camouflage of hidden creatures and themes", which has become her signature style. What I find fascinating about Tula's work is that one does not immediately recognize the subtle hidden images in her fabric.

... like turtles, seahorses, mussels, and anchors.

... or small life rings with the ship name "S.S. Pink".

... mussels hidden in a bed of seaweed, paisleys, and swirls.

What memories or thoughts do you have about going to the beach or ocean?

Tula's Pink's fabulous ocean themed fabrics can be found here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Park & Garden" Final Impressions

At Gut Stocksee, there was so much to see, so much to take in... and what would a "Landpartie" be without beautiful grounds as the backdrop for a show called "Park & Garden"? The estate boasts orchards where fresh cherries and raspberries can be picked in summer for a tasty take home treat, and a Summer music fest and winter Christmas markets are held each year.

... an antique red car parked at the end of the Herrenhaus (estate residential house) driveway announcing the residence of the owner.

... an enchanting lake lead to a inner island area where rows of exhibitors continued. Many visitors stopped on the way to catch a glimpse of an unusual black and white duck feeding her chicks.

... the grounds of the estate showcased many individual gardens within the park grounds.

... exhibitors plants and shrubs were beautifully incorporated into the area to enhance the park and allow visitors to envision how they could be arranged.

... outside sitting areas surrounded by a wire and glass art piece added charm and beckoned to make an afternoon pause.

... perhaps you might recoginze this booth. Bold colors, strong patterns, purses in spring and summer colors, with jewelry to match... and let's not forget the fabric. Last year we attended "Park & Garden" as visitors, and this year as exhibitors, but both times left us full of impressions to last the season.

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