Friday, October 2, 2015

Little knits

(Yes, I´m still around. I know, I´m surprised myself.) Today I want to share with you this little kitted jacket I finished the other day.

The pattern dates back to the early 50s and is designed for children 1-2 years old. Now little M is 1.5 years old (whoa!) and the jacket fits rather tight. Like, tiiiiight. I was kind of expecting it since she is much taller than the average child her age and also just a wee bit chubbier. Not to mention that children were generally a bit smaller back in the day.
I started knitting it when she was around 1 and even went up 1 needle size but still... So, the thing I learned from this project is that I could put away all patterns for children under the age of 3 because by the time I had finished them she would have outgrown them. Which is a pity, because there are several knitted coats in my magazines that I would have loved to make for her. Oh well.

The pattern originally included a collar,
but somehow I didn´t feel like doing one.
I considered a crochet border but somehow messed it up.

dress: H&M
toys: vintage

I´m not sure about my next project but I´ll definitely knit up a long sleeve cardigan for her soon. And some cute dresses. And a beret. Because awwww ;). I have what feels like 30 options to choose from, so we´ll see.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Bought in June

Today I finally come around to blogging the flea market bargains I found in June. All in all I was quite satisfied with my first flea market in months. I mainly bought sewing supplies: buttons that I hope to use for a little knitted jacket for little M, a horrible 70s house dress whose fabric I want to turn into a little blouse or dress and a pretty sequined bow appliqué. And, my personal favorite, an old photo album. For the collection. Because I don´t have enough old pictures of complete strangers. But it was cheap and many of the photos are fantastic so I couldn´t resist! Not pictured is the massive sunburn I got for free.

So far July was budget friendly. Instead of melting at a flea market I made a bigger investment in the ice cream department ;). Do you skip flea markets when it´s too hot or are you heat resistant?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Getrödelt Gefunden Gefreut: June '15

"Mommy found a new toy in the trash."
The things the Mr. tells little M.

The other day on our way to the neighborhood playground we came across a pile of bulky waste and while I was distracted by a sewing machine case the Mr. instantly noticed and mentioned this little bedside table, assuming that I wouldn't take any waste home. Hah! Of course I did.

I'd guess it's from the 50s or 60s. It's a bit wiggly (one leg is to short for some reason), missing the glass plate on top and needed a good cleaning, but I think it´s quite cute. And I totally needed a vintage fix. You can´t imagine the excitement this little piece of furniture caused after several months of unplanned vintage abstinence. And it was for free. My favorite kind of find!

Feel free to check out the other GGG participants.

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.