Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Noro story

Just in time at the end of the month june (Gabs!), another finished project.
I highly recommend knitting a pair of sublime Noro Kureyon socks for yourself. Simple. Warm. Vibrant! It's like sucking on one of those magic lollies that keep changing in incredible color. And the stunning kimono's are just as bright no?
Ahhh things Japanese...


Friday, 26 June 2009

turkish markets

Twice a week in Kruezburg the street turns into a Turkish market place. With limited German skills and absolutely no turkish, shopping can be a little intimidating but we find it's the best place for fresh fruits, veggies, and spangled belly dancing tops.

germanyweek - 11
There is some really amazing food here and its all super cheap. Were talking feta, olives, fish, hummus, handmade sweets, flat breads, produce galore, hot food stalls, etc. One of these days I am going to splurge on nuts, dried fruit, and baklava but we are trying to live frugally at the moment.... though I am sure I can figure out a way justify these things as necessities.

turkish markets
The market is not all Turkish....

turkish markets
but it mostly is.

germanyweek - 09
Okay brace yourselves NZers, you can get a kg of fresh olives for 3 euros. That alone has made this move worth it.
My creation
Its not just a food market, you can actually find all sorts of pretty things to look at. Two different ideas of pretty pictured here :)

turkish markets
When I get back into the mood for crafting, all the buttons, ribbons, and fabric I need will be waiting for me here. One of my current flatmate is a puppeteer/playwriter/musican who has a sewing machine, so I have the hook up. But I am not missing crafting yet. strange.

germanyweek - 07

Anyway, I have not been updating as much as I thought I would.... the experiences are just happening too fast! Also at the moment my commute to work tires me out. Its an hour and half by bike (total) and by the time I get home, I just about fall over.

my work
Its a gem of a job though, so I am pretty greatful. One of the boys I look after is a budding artist and with his supper supportive and laid back parents, finger painting turns into body art quite quickly.

Well that is totally enough from me here, hope you are all well!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Catching up...

...in the shop (so tied up with working at the gallery - I couldn't do an update last week, but hope you like this weeks'...). Tree pinnies and duckling dresses. Lieveke is such a poser!

ps scrolling down to Kimberlee's post, I recognise so many things and parts of Berlin, it makes me all melancholic and reminiscent...I've seen it change so much, having been there the first time before the fall of the wall even. Eh now you must think I'm old... I'm not I'm not, ha.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

this past weekend in berlin

Several rivers run through the city so there are many beautiful canals. We walk and walk and walk around all the time so I can't remember where this was.

If you look at a map of Berlin, there are huge areas marked in green indicating the copious amount of city parks, far more than I have ever seen in all the cities I have been to. In the suburb of west Berlin where I nanny, there are something like 126 kids playgrounds to choose from -some featuring goats! Others are made especially for very young children, or have a water theme, and there are some outdoor exercising areas with manual treadmills, exercise bikes, and elliptical running machines so that the general public can exercise communally and outdoors. Forget the gym baby!

The photo above shows an overgrown park in a Turkish area not far from the Berlin wall. Parents chat on the balconies of their apartments so they can keep an eye on their children playing below.

Something old, something new. This the main tourist drag by the German History Museum where many visitors buy expensive tickets for guided bus tours. Little do they know that the city bus routes through the same area for a quarter of the price. Luke tried to get a picture of this gorgeous building but couldn't seem to get one without masses of people or buses. Oh well, its very fitting this way.

An abandoned squat that luke happened upon. Gloriously decorated, no?

Squatting has a long political history in Berlin. People occupy abandoned, decaying buildings that have been empty for years and left to rot by the original owner often because the building no longer has enough capital value. The squatters make improvements, pay all the bills, keep it up in running, and often open the newly renovated space to the public as a bar, music house, artist space, shop etc. However, if the tides turn and the area goes up in value again, the original owners often want to space back and thus squatters can be forced to vacate.

As you can imagine, the fall of the communism and the reunification of Germany had a big effect on what buildings where abandoned, what land/areas where desirable, and what is desirable and high in value now. It's pretty complicated and I am just starting to get my head around it. Squatters rights are a big deal here, and the various groups of squatters have unified to ensure more political power. Many of the people we know are very pro squatter.

Anyway, here we are enjoying the cold 'summer' weather. My job has gone from super full time to 3 days a week so I hope to post more often with probably less information overload (though being brief is not my strong suit).


Sunday, 14 June 2009

They are so colorful

Enjoy this week...

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

hello berlin, it's nice to meet you

berlin first impression mosaic
(click to see more photos)

After 10 months of waiting on citizenship, 4 weeks waiting on passports and visas, and 35 hours of airplanes, airports, buses and u-bahn rides, we are finally, finally, finally here. phew!

Here are just a few things we have liked so far.

Bikes everywhere with different kinds of add ons to transport kids. Wagons in the front, kid seats on the back, front mount chairs, rear mount chairs, pull behind carts, half a kiddie bike connect to the back, etc. It's so safe and flat with tons of bike paths, and no one wears helmets. All the bikes are really great retro models. Such beauties! Luke is in love. me too.

DOGS!!!! I think when dogs die and go to heaven, they actually come to Berlin. I have never seen such a dog accepting city. Most dogs go out with no leads or leashes, they just run along side bikes or walk ahead of their people. Some how they all know how to heel, stop at the traffic lights, and wait outside shops for their owners. They even ride the u-bahn (subway). I see all this and miss Yoshi BIG TIME.

Everyone lives in apartments here. We were able to score a 6 week sublet with some americans right near the centre of the city (kitchen pictured above). Of course all the buildings are old and amazing. A lot of balcony's serve as people's wee gardens are are thus gloriously decked out. If you don't have a flower box, you may as well go home.

Great creative people! We had one friend already living here and so we have gotten to know a few people already, indluding our current roomates. A lot of english speaking creatives teach at these kids camps that last a week and pay the big euros. Savvy people tend to teach 10-25 weeks a year at these camps and then take the rest of the time to work on their own creative projects.

Anyway, I think that is enough for now. We are now settled and I have even found some well paying temporary work (helping out a really interesting family with their household until their permanent assistant comes over from L.A., I start tomorrow!).

But before I sign off, I have had several old friends and people from back home ask me, "How are you able to do things like this?" And I want to encourage anyone who thinks that living/working overseas sounds far fetched, because it is really NOT THAT HARD. You may have to be persistent, do some research, and be willing to take some risks, but its do able.

There are visas out there, you can find work, you can go and live just about anywhere and you can do it on the cheap. There are many teaching english abroad jobs that are really easy to get into, and there are working holiday visas available too. So go! have an adventure!

Here is wiki's explanation of working holiday visas.

okay bye for now. I will bring you more updates soon!


PS. Lies, those socks! crafting and living out of a suitcase just do not go together. My craftiness lives through you now! (at least for now).

Monday, 8 June 2009

Sock-knitters of the world

...unite and take over.

So this is what I get up to when only little windows of crafty opportunity ,
in late autumn colors :

1. jaywalker baby socks (ravelry!) in Lieveke's size, Regia - Kaffe Fasset colorway
2. tiny baby mermaid socks, made by Emily
3. more Lieveke socks, Regia variegated sockwool
4. and more more Lieveke socks, again Regia - Kaffe Fasset colorway (my favorite color combination and Regia is excellent sock wool btw : machine wash- AND dryer- able!)
If ten years any soul dared to suggest that I'd be knitting socks in the future I would have surely and smugly asked them to step out of my coolest aura-space and beam themselves up to nerdy-land. Hee.

If your Fench is up to scratch - check the lovely free patterns of Crea' Tricot. Otherwise just be inspired by these sweet projects!

NB Gabs m'dear I finished the jaywalkers on friday - it counts eh?
NB2 that weird last pic is Lieveke 'making a mushroom shadow' with her parasole. And why not.

All of you have a great first winter/summer week now
- Lies

Monday, 1 June 2009

Some orange and aubergine stuff

Tomorrow I'll be heading back to work... Can't believe it all goes so fast. What a lovely time off we had. Noor is already 6 weeks, and she will keep me company at the gallery - we'll have a little cot there. I'm a little nervous, just a tad,just a tad.

1. funky vintage pussycat top, in the shop.
2. in Belgium we call these flowers 'rooster's combs', I love their fierce orange and spiky shape
3. aha new Nani. will be making skirt and dress, I think...
4. and I also love the vibrant colors of this Trade Aid note book - a gift from Kimberlee (she knows what I like eh). I use this lovely book for scribbles on my knitting projects. Tomorrow Kimberlee will do 'the big leap' overseas, Berlin-bound.
She's assured me that she'll keep posting on our blog, so we can all keep up with her adventures, soooo exciting! For now : safe travel my friend, I"ll miss ya oh oh sigh...