Saturday, January 31, 2015

Getrödelt Gefunden Gefreut: February

It´s the first day of the month, so it´s time for a little show and tell :). This time I want to share with you a little something I bought online. You know where. Here it is:

Amazing, right? ;) It doesn´t look like it but this is a photoalbum. From the 40s. Filled with pictures of a group of student nurses dating from 1941-1943 in various situations at university, in the forest, at the front and also some pictures of their lives after war. All in all it contains around 80 pictures and I probably paid a little bit more than I would have if I had seen all the photos. But it´s a nice addition to my collection and at one point I will upload the whole thing to my tumblr for everyone to enjoy.

Oh look, a little thief photo assistant.

Girls day out in the forest.

The "bigamist", as the note says.
I wish there were more informations on this ;)

"Going home"

The last picture shows photos of "Ulla im Feld", probably at a field hospital, and after having watched several documentaries about WWII and its horrible field hospitals I wonder how she handled her war experiences and how the other student nurses got through war. I actually had hoped to find more field photography in the book, but these were the only two.

Don´t forget to check out the other GGG entries and feel free to comment :).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Aaaand it´s 2015!

Wow, how did that happen? I still remember writing last years first post and it feels like it was only yesterday. 2014 was a mostly great but stressful year for us at Pennyland (it's like Graceland, but without the money and the fame and Elvis), after all little M will already be one year old in two months.

I'm not a person for new years resolutions. I think if you want to change somehing about your life you can do it any time of the year. But my goal for 2015 clearly is to go back to healthier eating habits. With all the stress that comes with a baby, a job and household work it's so easy to end up in the cookie trap. The sweet, sugary cookie trap. Because it's much easier to open a package and eat a cookie with one hand than to wash and eat an apple. And let me tell you, there were eaten a lot of cookies over the last 10 months. And chocolate. And other sugary stuff.

I wish you a fantastic 2015, full of health, love and happiness. Do you have any goals for the new year?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Let´s talk about books! - a Q&A

 (Look, it´s a post! Can you believe it? And it only took me about 1 month to write.)

I found the questions about reading habits on lovely Jessica´s Chronically Vintage, very much enjoyed her responses and wanted to answer them myself. While I don´t find as much time for reading as I´d like to right now, there was a time when I very much prefered books over people. The number of books we (as the Mr. is a fellow bookworm), own is insane and there´s always coming more. My love for literature runs in the family, I´d even go so far to say that I come from a family of book hoarders!
 You now have the chance to learn everything about my relationship with books. I for my part learned that I can get really emotional about literature. Maybe it shows ;)

Do you snack while you read? If so, what is your favourite reading snack?
I rarely do. Not because I don´t like to, I just forget that there´s food around. But when I do it´s probably chocolate or cookies. Sometimes, in the warmer months, an apple will do.

What is your favourite drink while reading?
I´m a milkaholic, so basically milk is my favorite drink for everything! But as I can´t drink milk all day I often choose water or, in winter, a nice big cup of tea.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
For me that´s a big no-no. My parents taught little me that "you don´t draw into books!" and it stuck with me. Making light notes with a pencil was the maximum for me in school and nowadays I refuse to do any writing in books at all. I rather make notes on a separate sheet of paper. On the other hand I always find it charming when I find handwritten notes in old books. I own one in which someone made notes about the pronounciation of french names and it´s hilarious.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
Bookmarks, definately bookmarks. Most of my books look like they were never read and I always get upset when they show any signs of use. I don´t even know why, I guess I just love the perfection of a fresh out of the press book. But again, on the other hand I love old books that show their age. When the paper has become really soft, the corners are rounded and somebody accidentally left a fingerprint. 19th century and early 20th century books have a very special paper quality that feels so nice between the fingers.

Fiction, non-fiction, or both?
Both. Many of my favorite books are fictional stories with a historic background. The combination of entertainment and learning by reading is great and I love to dive into the life of centuries gone by. One of my biggest pet peeves on the other hand is badly researched historic fiction. It´s driving me mad. The german book market (like many others, I guess) is flooded with terrible historic novels aimed at women where the hero is ALWAYS a pretty young female and there is always some sort of love issue and she always has to be all modern and liberated and it´s all ridiculously unrealistic. Don´t get me wrong, I´m all about liberated women, there have always been some, and I don´t mind if there is some romance in a story, but it´s a pain in the butt to find something beyond the clichée because historic love drama sells like sliced bread.
Once in a while I also stumble upon an interesting biography. And of course, due to my job, I also have a little selection of books about design, art and illustration that I browse for inspiration.

Are you the kind of person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
I can stop anywhere without a problem. I´d be in big trouble if I couldn´t. Have you seen how long chapters can be sometimes??

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
Nope. I´ll just assume that the author might have had a reason and that the explanation will follow. I once wanted to burn a book throw a book across the room because I had to realize that the author had copied whole passages from a nonfiction book about life in medieval Cologne for his novel. Doing research is fantastic, but copying complete scenes? You poor little man.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
Sometimes I do, but mostly I hope that the context will help me out. I´m just so lazy.

What are you currently reading?
Right now I´m reading "Sanson's memoirs" by Charles-Henri Sanson, the memories of the Sanson family who, for generations, were the hangmen of Paris. History, murder, intrigues, yes!
I´m also reading Tove Janssons Moomin adventures to little M as a bedtime story. I haven´t read it before but really enjoy it. The characters are all a bit grumpy it seems, that´s a nice change!


What is the last book you bought?
That´s a tough one. I actually have no idea. I did buy a book with bedtime stories some months ago, I remember that, and I´m pretty sure I bought something for myself after that, but what? I also downloaded some free classics to my phone - Shakespeare, Dumas, Goethe - so I´ll just take that as my answer ;)

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?
At one point, as a teenager, I decided that it would be better for me to read one book at a time. I tend to mix up characters and storylines and that´s not a good thing because I sometimes had to re-read whole chapters or even the whole book. Also, if I´m reading one book and want to read another one it just motivates me to read faster.


Do you have a favourite time/place to read?
Reading in the garden or on the balcony is my favorite. That only works during the warmer months of course, but I LOVE when the sun warms my skin while I´m reading. On the other hand I also like to cuddle myself into the sofa in winter, when all the small lights of christmas decorations and candles give a cosy feeling, a warm blanket covering my legs. Mmmh, it´s nearly that time of year again.

Do you prefer series books or stand-alones?
It really depends on the story. Sometimes a story is told in one book and it should be left at that. Other times I finish a book and am so happy that there will be more. For example the Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud had to consist of several books to show how the characters develop over the years. I´m not sure if the prequel really was necessary but it was a fun read. And then there are those books whose characters you love, about whom you want to read so much more, but there is only that one book. Those are the sad moments of reading.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
I hardly ever get asked to recommend a book but if somebody wants to hear my opinion I pretty much always mention "All quiet on the western front" by Erich Maria Remarque. It´s a brilliant book and still so terribly relevant. One of the few books I re-read several times. We had to read it in class when I was around 15 and it was literally the only "forced" read I enjoyed. (Since then I re-read several of the classics I had to read in school and was surprised that many of them actually aren´t as bad as they felt back then.). Other recommendations would be the above mentioned Bartimaeus Sequence or anything Raymond Chandler for a relaxed read, Dumas' "The three musketeers" just because it´s my favorite book ever, Frank McCourt's "Angela's ashes", Vikram Seth's "Two lives" as well as "Baudolino" and "The name of the rose" by Umberto Eco, both amazing historic novels.


How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author's last name, etc.)  
I organize by genre. Novels and stories are also organized alphabetically by the author´s last name. It´s all rather similar to a library system and the only things as organized as my books are my vintage magazines and my CDs. I also have a special corner where I put the "what to read next"-books so I don´t have to browse through the whole collection every time I´m looking for something to read.


Do you have any book recommendations? Are you reading a book at the moment?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Getrödelt, Gefunden, Gefreut: September

Hello and welcome to a new month of thrifted-goods-sharing! (I actually started writing this post for last months GGG but little M got her first tooth and it haven´t been weeks of unicorns and rainbows!)
I have to stretch the GGG rules a bit because the vintage piece I want to show today has been in our possession for 2 years already. But the story behind it is just to good to not share. The story also includes the whole furniture for a bedroom, of which we own some pieces, too, but I want to focus on this piece of furniture for now.

In 1945 the appartment of the Mr.s great-grandmother, a professional seamstress, was bombed out. Rumor has it that she lost everything but her sewing machine that was rescued from the ruins by an american soldier (movie material!). So, basically, she had no furniture. And off to the black market she was. She got all those cupboards AND her complete bedroom furniture for, hold your hats, two cartons of cigarettes. How crazy is that? Naturally it has some flaws due to its age but also due to material weakness. Iron screws were obviously hard to get in 1945 (as was pretty much everything) so the maker went with brass screws that are rather soft and lose their shape easily. Building this thing up wasn´t easy. And as you can see in the first picture we have to replace one of the glass panels.

When I first met the Mr.s great-grandmother, a wonderful little lady (little M got her middle name from her), she was already in her mid-90s. And when I first entered her living room it was love at first sight. The rounded corner? Oh my, so cool. And the glass sliding doors reminded me of a little cupboard my grandparents had owned and that I  loved when I was a kid. When she passed away two years ago I couldn´t stand the thought of her beautiful furniture becoming firewood. At that time we were still living in a tiny appartment with absolutely no room for anything. So what should we do? We had to make a very quick decision and ended up storing everything in the cellar of somebody my in-laws know. Last year we moved and had the perfect corner for our inherited furniture. Although I have to admit that it looked better in the old ladies small, cosy, all white and pale appartment.

The best thing about it? It hides so much of our mess. And it gives us the possibility to display things without having to dust everything off every week. It´s also pretty childproof as even I have a hard time opening the doors without the keys ;) And there´s lots of room for plants.

You might want to take a look at what others have found last month.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

June in purchases

In June I got 5 Beyer knitting magazines for 2 € each, dress clips (that are missing some of the stones, which wasn´t mentioned by the seller, but I don´t complain. They are soooo pretty and shiny :)) for 9 € and old photos. Lots of old photos. I got one album in the first auction and a big lot of pictures in the second. The album is okay, nothing that makes me scream Hooray, but the box of pictures was full of little treasures that made me a veeeery happy girl. Just look at the cabinet cards! I actually didn´t know exactly what I was bidding on, both auctions had nearly no pictures. Same goes for the magazines, I´m only keeping them because they feature nice clothing for little M.
All in all I didn´t even spend 40 €, I think. In my book that´s a success.

How do you handle badly described ebay items? I didn´t rate the seller yet as I have no idea what to write.

Friday, July 18, 2014

I´m a mermaid!

I finally came around to dyeing my hair again. After all it had been more than one year as I chickened away from bleaching during pregnancy. My hair was looking horrible. "I don´t care if it´s 30 °C, I´ll wear that hat" horrible. Now at least my hair looks fabulous while the rest of my face sings the song of sleep deprivation ;)

(It´s hard to tell from the picture, the top layer is turquoise, the bottom is green. My two favorites!)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Getrödelt, Gefunden, Gefreut: June 2014

As we didn´t make it to any flea market yet I want to share with you something I won on ebay last month for 8.80 € (Hey, big spender!). It´s a pattern catalogue for, again, SOGRA patterns dating from 1940. The catalogue came with a pattern sheet for 16 of the shown outfits - which of course was the main reason for me to buy it.
I have to say that I was slightly surprised by how prices for pattern magazines have developed during my absence from ebay. I had always considered them to be rather high but lately they have become just a little bit ridiculous. I think I might need a safe for my collection! (Of course they are still cheap compared to some of the american mail order patterns I see online.)

Without further words, enjoy 1940s latest fashion :)

And as always, check out what the other Trödlers have found.