Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Source: Pinterest

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wedding News: The Calm before the Storm

Hey there!

I know it's been a while since I've talked about our wedding preparations, but the truth is: actually there hasn't been much going on for the last weeks.
The thing with weddings is, that you have to take care of lots of stuff early in advance (like the location, photographer, church, etc.) - but after this is done, everything feels a little stalled. And sometimes I'm worried that I'm wasting time and that there has to be something I can prepare - but I just don't know where to start! Does that make any sense?
So here are just a few random things we've been thinking or talking about, and things that are in preparation (accompanied by some Pinterest finds):

Source: Pinterest
(Spoiler No.1: Our Color will be Yellow!)

The Documents:
Documents may not be older than six months at the time of the wedding, so we've just started getting everything together: as an unmarried German citizen, it's all very easy for me: I just need my passport and a certified copy of my birth register (check). With John it's a little bit more complicated, because he's an American citizen and has been married before. Thank god he has been married and divorced in Germany, otherwise it would have been a bureaucratic nightmare, as the nice lady in the registry office told me. As for his former marriage, he only needs a certified copy of his marriage register (on the way). Since he isn't German, he also needs some kind of "marriage ability certificate", issued by the home country. Some countries participate in that, others don't, and - you've guessed it - the USA don't issue these certificates. What we need now is an exemption from this certificate, issued by the Higher Regional Court. Complicated as this usually is, we're lucky here: since John had been married here before, it's just an uncomplicated bureaucratic act to get this exemption. Nevertheless, I'm glad when we've got all the documents together and can officially register our upcoming marriage.

Source: Pinterest

(Spoiler No. 2: I'm thinking about Pinwheels...)

The Dress:
We've been to a wedding fashion show recently, and I've seen some really cute (and even affordable) dresses - unfortunately there was not a single one that I'd like for myself :( At the show they've also handed out small catalogues with the whole collection of the designers, and in one of them I've seen a dress I really liked. However, I have to wait a little longer with shopping: unfortunately after our summer vacation I've re-gained most of the pounds that I've lost in the first half of last year, which brings me to the next point...:

Last week we've started going to the gym again. It's so embarrassing crawling back after long months of abstinence, having to reduce the weights on every single machine, being frustrated to start all over again. But hey, it's worth it, right? The only thing I need is a shirt saying "Sweating for the Wedding" (seen that on Pinterest), that would definitely be the extra kick for my motivation!

Source: Pinterest
(Spoiler No.3: I'd love to wear my boots.
At least for a few takes at the photo shooting!)

The music:
That's the fun part of the whole preparations: choosing the music! And something that even John enjoys :) Everytime we hear or remember a song we like, we put it into a category: do we want it to be played at the wedding? If yes, will it be just background music during the day or will it make it to the playlist for the dance? Is the song so good, that it even makes it to the Soundtrack? Now here's another little spoiler: we've already decided that we'll give a CD as gift to our guests, our personal "Wedding Soundtrack" you could say, packed with the important songs of the day (the songs that our friend will sing at the church, our first dance, etc.) plus our personal favorites.

Source: Pinterest

(Spoiler No. 4: Yes, we will really be Mr. and Mrs. Smith,
so maybe this movie might play a role, too!)

So, it seems like I really had some things to show and tell, although I didn't even know what to write about when I started this post! :) Our next stop will probably be the jeweler's shop. The one where we've bought my engagement ring has a wedding-month in February, so we might check that out.

See you soon for more News,

Wedding Countdown: 149 days to go!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Meet Debi from "Dly's Hooks and Yarns"

Welcome to the second guest post in my new "meet in k-town"-series, and thank you all for the positive feedback to Jenn's guest post last week, I think that was a fantastic start! With this series I try to find a balance between brandnew blogs and blogs that are already very popular. My guest today is Debi, and I assume that most of us already know and love her blog, but let's hear how she summarizes six (!) years of blogging:

"Hi everyone - please allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Debi Y. and my blog is 'Dly's Hooks and Yarns'.  

My sister Teri taught me to crochet a granny square when I was in high school.  I really didn't do much with that until quite a few years later.  I was pregnant with my daughter Erica (who is now 30 yrs. old), when a friend of my husband kindly gave me a refresher course on crocheting.  I crocheted lots of blankies for Erica and gradually over the years branched out into all kinds of crocheted items.  

On my blog 'Dly's Hooks and Yarns' - you will find over 100 of my free patterns.  There are baby blankies, baby hats, purses, scarves, squares, coffee cup and bottle cozies, kitchen items, Holiday items, and so on. 

For a little over a year now, I have been posting a regular segment called 'Two on Tuesday'.  Each week I post 2 things that has made me smile.  I invite you all to join me in posting on your blog 2 things that make you smile - you are more than welcome to use my picture.  We all need to reflect on the happy things and be thankful.   

Another one of my on-going projects is my 'Dly's baby hats & blankies'.  In February 2011, I started crocheting baby blankies to donate to the local pregnancy center.  A few months ago, I decided to add the baby hats.  This is just a small project that I do to maybe lift the spirits of a new mom who has found herself in a situation that she really wasn't planning on.

I'd love it if you would drop by my blog for a visit. The coffee is always fresh, but you'd probably want to bring your own cookies or cakes - I'm not that good of a baker. ;)


I also host a bi-weekly link blog called 'Did You Make That?'.  This link blog is for anything crafty -  whether it's crochet, knit, plastic canvas, scrapbooking, baking, cooking, jewelry making, sewing, quilting, mosaic work, woodwork, pretty garden designs, anything really - if you made it, show it off.


Back to the baby hats.  In my opinion, hats are the cutest baby item to crochet.  They are so quick and easy to make and the pattern possibilities are endless.  You can crochet cute hats, funny hats, fancy hats and even animal hats. 

Here's the link to Crochet Pattern Central where you can find a ton of baby hat patterns:

For just a few dollars worth of yarn and a little bit of your time - you can make a baby look even more adorable.  :)  


Debi Y. :)"

Thank you Debi for this nice overview of your diversified blog! If I were to compare blogland to College (the way I know it from US movies and TV *gg*), Debi would be the friendly girl that comes to you on your first day on Campus and introduces you to her friends. And even after a while, when you've already found your way around and made friends of your own, she always remembers to stop by and asks how you're doing. Thank you for that, too!! :)
Oh, and just in case you've missed it: yesterday Debi posted another super-cute wiggles baby hat with free pattern, you have to see that!

Wishing you all a happy Sunday and good start into the last week of January,


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Source: Pinterest

Aaaah... love in the Movies!
You know what's missing here?

"Here's looking at you kid!"
(Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca)

What are your favorite Movie Quotes?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Meet Jenn from "Color 'n Cream"

Welcome to the first guest post of my new series "Meet in K-town"! I'm happy that Jenn has come over for a little Sunday chat. I've only discovered her wonderful blog Color 'n Cream a few months ago, and fell in love with it immediately. But let's hear what Jenn's got to say about herself and her blog:

"Hello, I'm Jenn from Color 'n Cream and Barbara asked me to do a guest post on her lovely blog. So here I am.

I'm a 30 year old craft addict. I live in the Netherlands and love it here, even more since we've moved back after living in Thailand for a year. It's been a great experience (also for our 2 girls), but I love the Dutch climate so much more...

I've been crafting all my life, owned a sewing machine by the age of 9  and was always busy sewing, felt crafting, drawing, embroidering, making collages, and what not. I started crochet only 3 years ago. Learning crochet took me quite some time, but I was determined to do so! I did it with tutorials and books, reading each word over and over 'till I got it right. I was actually inspired to start crochet by an article about Sarah London in Flow magazine. I tried when I was younger but didn't have the patience then. Luckily I grew in to it and I'm totally hooked now. I just can't stop!!! I love watching those little balls of colorful yarn turn into whatever I want.

My blog is only 4 months old. I kept on postponing it until 'the time was right'. I was always scared I wasn't capable or interesting enough. But after 3 years of wanting, I decided the time was right! And then my blog was born. I don't work much with computers and it took me a lot of time and energy to make it look like it does. Now I'm even making picture frames in Photoshop...

What's obvious about my work is that it's always colorful. Hence the name Color 'n Cream, my 2 favorite things in the world. Sometimes I try to work with less colors, but I always end up with a 'Color Bomb'...

I've been making tutorials and I love it! All the nice comments... It's just so much fun to help people creating. That's the way I've learned it as well. I must say it's pretty time consuming though!! This is my latest tutorial, the Vintage Flower Potholder.

Well, I hope to see you over at my blog Color 'n Cream and that you'll be inspired.

Thank you so much, Barbara, for your invitation! And good luck with you wedding plans!!"

Thank you Jenn for this lovely first guest post, I'm glad to have you here today, and I hope that a lot of people will visit you "at home"! :)

Have a great Sunday everyone,

Friday, January 18, 2013

Free Topic Friday at The Crochet Boulevard...

... please hop over and share your crochet!

The Crochet Boulevard

Other than the link-party, there's something else I'm looking forward to this week-end: On Sunday I'll publish the first guest-post here on my blog. Want to know who comes to visit? Well, it's.... aaawh - you don't think I'm gonna tell you now, do you? :) Please come back on Sunday and join us for a coffee chat!

I also thought I'd tell you about my new obsession: right now I'm totally addicted to playing Songpop on my smartphone (but I'm sure you can play it on other devices as well, my brother's playing on his tablet). On their website they describe it as "Music Challenges between Friends", and that's exactly what it is: you pick a playlist (I mainly play 50's, 60's, 70's and all kinds of Country), then you listen to five song samples and try to guess them correctly (the quicker the better), and then you send the Challenge to a friend (or a random stranger). Your friend plays the same Challenge and then picks a playlist that he likes and challenges you. John usually kicks my butt with Motown and Hard Rock. It's fun! The more you play, the more "coins" you earn, and the more coins you've got, the more playlists you can "buy". (But don't worry, the whole game is free!) - So, does anyone of you play yet? Or would you like to start playing against me? My username for this game is barbara1811, maybe we'll play together, soon! :)

Have a great week-end everybody!


Friday, January 11, 2013

May the Force be with you!

How are you doing on this Friday Night? Here's a little something that I've made before Christmas (I had already posted a little teaser on my brandnew Facebook-Page): Star Wars fans should recognize it at once (I hope): it's an R2D2-hat:

Some weeks before Christmas, a friend of my sister-in-law asked me if I could make this hat for her son, who is a huge Star Wars fan. She (the mother of the boy) gave me her son's Star Wars craft's book for kids with the written pattern for the hat in it, and I thought, well, that should be all easy-peasy...

For the basic pattern I had to make alternating rounds of single crochet and double crochet stitches. It didn't take long to figure out, that everytime the pattern said "single crochet stitch", they actually meant a chain stitch (easy to see: every dc-round started with three sc's...). It took a little longer to find out, that everytime they wrote "half-double crochet", they actually meant single crochet. Now you might wonder, if I just confused the British and the American crochet terminology, but no - the pattern was written in German!! But I guess it was due to a bad translation of the original pattern, that those mistakes occured - it's just sad, that the pattern wasn't tested (or even looked at) by a crocheter before they published this book...

Funnily, every other row started with something like this: "yarn over, make a stitch..." (which one??), "yarn over, make a stitch in the same stitch..." (okaaaayyy....) "yarn over twice, make a stitch, starting in the same stitch, ending in the next stitch" - WTF??? Honestly, I had no idea what that was supposed to mean, or how it would make an essential difference to the pattern (at the start of the row, which is the backside of the hat) and so I didn't even give it a try!

On we go: next came the big blue field for the camera, which was supposed to be worked in as you go, just changing from grey to blue at the right position in every round. In the end it looked liked a distorted trapezoid. I was disgusted.
Next came the little blue boxes/lines/windows. Although I had exactly the number of stitches that was written in brackets at the end of every round, the pattern didn't work. Not - at - all. In the first pattern round, I still had too many grey stitches left, in the following rounds their stitch count didn't come close to what I've made, and so I had to improvise and use the pictures of the finished hat as a help.
When I was finally finished, the hat was way too short, the form was somehow weird (a little pointy at the top), the fabric was too tight and not flexible (with lots of sc-rounds) and overall it was more than ugly. I didn't mind too much, though, because I had already decided to make another one when the big blue field turned out the way it did, and I just wanted to see where else I would have to make some adjustments.

I started a new try (the one you see here), and made all the necessary adaptions: I adjusted the shape at the top of the hat, making it flat. I've worked mainly with dc-rounds and switched to sc's only where the color-pattern required it, this made the hat more flexible. I didn't crochet the big blue field in, but made it separately and sewed it on afterwards. I improvised with the blue boxes/lines/windows rounds, using the pictures in the book to guide me. Instead of just crocheting little circles (representing cameras and light bulbs) and sewing it on, I added some buttons here and there for a more original look: e.g. the big black camera on R2D2's head was supposed to be a flat black circle only, but I added two black buttons to the circle, a huge one with a smaller one sewed on top - I think this part looks really cool, and very camera-like :)

Luckily, my younger nephew is a friend of the boy I made this hat for, and so I could use him as a model, to see if the hat fits - and it did (and I've heard that it fits the new owner, too)!

I'll be back soon, maybe next time with some more Wedding News - on Sunday we're going to a wedding exhibition with fashion show, that should be fun! :)


Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Riddle Solved

Do you remember? In my end-of-the-year post I've asked you what this could be:

You had some pretty good and creative ideas:
  • a crochet hook case (2 times)
  • a teapot cozy
  • a tissue box cover
  • a cowl
  • a yoga-mat roll-cover (I especially liked this idea)
to tell you the truth, I hadn't really expected that anyone would get it right, but indeed... you did!! One of the above is the right answer, look:
scroll down a little...

Rajeswari got it right, it's indeed a tissue-box-cover! I've seen this idea a while ago in a Japanese Crochet Book. The stitches and the design were completely different, but I liked the idea of the "wrap" - no measuring and fiddling around with the right size so that the cover fits around the box, or tricky-to-do openings, just a piece of crochet, two buttons and that's it!

Now, of course nobody really needs a tissue box wrap, but nevertheless I just had to try it: as I said, I liked the simplicity of the idea, and it's a great way to try new stitch patterns! And that's what I'm mainly into right now. Last year I was crazy about motifs, but for a while now I'm drawn to interesting stitch-combinations. And this little wrap is ideal for playing around with stitches and colors (although this is a rather wild color-combo... *gg*), and even with different kinds of borders. Oh, and buttons! :) I'm quite sure you'll see a lot more tissue box wraps on my blog this year (maybe with tutorials)!

Here's another one I've made:

I've made this one for my Dad for Christmas. You know that my Mom got her big Christmas Blanket, and I wanted to give him at least a little something handmade, too (along with the gift-card for the DIY-store, which was his main - and always very appreciated - Christmas present). As a little joke, I've wrapped the items seperately, the cover was one present, the tissue box was another one. No matter which one he opened first, it would be confusing to him, I thought - and it was! :) He opened the crochet wrap first. After putting it around his shoulder, his arm, and even on his head, he finally buttoned it around his thigh, convinced it was a leg-warmer, waiting for the other one. And he had to wait a little, because we were twelve people celebrating Christmas Eve at my brother's house! When it was my Dad's turn again, he opened the present with the tissue box and was completely puzzled again. He didn't make the connection to the wrap (the "leg-warmer" *gg*), but thought the box might contain the gift-card he was hoping for, and so he tore up the box and pulled out the whole bunch of tissues to see if the gift card was hidden in there. By that time I jumped in and solved the riddle :)

My Mom, by the way, was completely surprised by the blanket and loves it a lot! I actually thought that she had already suspected something like that, but she said she had no idea! She had opened my other present first (a pair of warm home-slippers) and was obviously surprised when she discovered that there was another big present box for her under the tree. She was so happy when she saw the blanket, and it was so good to see her like that again!

Hope you like the first two wraps, I guess I'll be back with more, soon!


Friday, January 4, 2013

New Theme-Party at The Crochet Boulevard!

Happy Friday to you! A new year has started over at The Crochet Boulevard, too - this time you've voted for Toys, so please hop over and share your crochet goodies! And while you're there, don't forget to place your vote for your favorite topic in February!

The Crochet Boulevard

Have a fabulous week-end everyone!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Source: Pinterest

 "Cheers to a New Year
and another chance for us to get it right!"
(Oprah Winfrey)

May 2013 be YOUR year!
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