May 31, 2012

his 13th birthday


we had a wonderful 13th birthday yesterday, even though elias got himself a full day, with school, ballet practice and 2 hours on a project (a presentation of the canton du valais). never the less the grandparents were visiting for afternoon coffee with a big strawberry cake made by grandma, o so yummy.
the garden has been a good place to celebrate, garlands hanging, a photo band decorating the tree and lots of happy  people enjoying the day.
and there was dinner, a big table all enjoying elias' favorite food, i was challenged with the request to serve asian food. so i picked thai, sticky rice, cucumber sauce, peanut sauce, and satay skewers, and yes it turned out to every ones likening.
o yes, remembering the big boy being born, the time i realized i have become a mother. i was never really contemplating or giving it a whole lot of thought how i would want to be a parent, though i absolutely love it (at least most of the times), of course there are moments when i'm puzzled and question myself about what's going on with me and around me. wow that little boy back then is a teenager, wanting to become a ballet dancer, starting off with dance academy in august!

i brace myself and learn to let go, to not hang on, to help him more than ever find his own calling. i'm just so grateful for being able to have elias in our family. belonging together knowing we share the love of life and many passions, and we learn to live together every day, not just laugh and have fun together, but also learn to forgive and love through our faith in christ.

May 30, 2012

some dinners and the chestnut tree

i'm working hard on finishing off last years cherries, there are still a few pounds in the freezer. i have started to bake all kinds of 'cherry pie", some with ground walnuts, ground hazelnuts, ground almonds, coconut flakes. some more custard like pies and others which are with just a little creme, etc. you get the idea. they fly from the table and i'm glad for that.
then is the asparagus season upon us, i have been able to buy local green asparagus at the market and we had them in risotto or what everyone liked in those little pockets of puffy pastry, what you don't see, there is a layer of cured ham wrapped into the packet too. on other occasions i served just plain asparagus with a piece of goat cheese, and yes that was gone and called for more by all, except thea she loved the cheese but not "that green bean", mama i don't like that...
i'm sure she will eventually get her palette to like even the green asparagus.

and then behind the house, our chestnut tree has been in bloom it was wonderful.

May 29, 2012

crocheting is happening

we got a good time crocheting over the weekend, the hocks were picked up and naomi as well as elias got started with new projects, while i was happily doing granny squares for the sampler afghan. simple 3 rows, 14 of them. it was lots of fun, and yes i'm already impatiently waiting for next friday's "week 3", by blair
i'm so loving the simple crocheting and still it's new to me. i have not crochet for a long time...
and using up old stash is fun and feels so good to me. i love shopping for yarn and wool, it's so wonderful to feel the new strands and choose new colours. but for now i'm very content to use what's in the house, though i got two new balls, a pink and a light blue. it was needed to brighten up the rather dull stash in my house.
i'm very curious how everything will end up looking, and i'm so up for the surprise.

naomi an elias started working on some kind of potholders with strong cotton thread. it's rather hard to work with it, but they didn't give up yet and there are some clear goals set.

May 28, 2012

loving the weekend

we were at my parents for the long weekend (pentecost was celebrated on sunday, and in switzerland we add a monday holiday). it was wonderful, great weather, tending the wines with my dad loving the buzz of all the bees in the flower beds around the house and where ever we went. there was a very special place in the woods, a bit of a clearing with lots of brumbles. the kids and myself, we all stood still for a moment, closed our eyes and listened...
of course fresh bouquets on the dinner table and of course fresh "thurgauer" strawberries, it's the time now to enjoy the local berries. they taste wonderful (since mid february we had strawberries in the store, from all over the world, just not from here!) though i didn't buy one berrie, they didn't even tempt me as there was absolutely no smell to them. this is very different now, i got some from the market. no resisting, as the smell of strawberries was in the air!
loving them and so do all around me, there will be more of this red treasure.

May 25, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

May 24, 2012

a look at my list for 2012

 i did write a list at the beginning of the year. and now i do want to check up on it, so here we go...

1. see the exhibit on miro, monet, mathisse and one other special exhibit at the kunsthaus - nope didn't make it and it's over now

2. help amos how to ski and naomi how to snowboard during our february vacation - yes amos is skiing and naomi is loving her board

3. knit a cardigan for myself with the wool form portugal - yes all done and wearing it often

4. don't forget my friends birthdays and write them a birthday card - so far so good, though there are many still left in this year

5. visit one of elias orchestra rehearsals until march - yes thea and i made it to an open rehearsal and it was lots of fun, we also went to the opera "das verbotene land" the three older kids participated in, on mothers day and it was just plain amazing here

6. get used to my new camera - not yet to confident, i still need a bit more time

7. be more calm and relaxed when things not work the way i planned it - o well this one is hard

8. go through my cloth rack and just keep what i was wearing within the past year - i did this and brought one bag to the second hand fair in late march

9. sew a quilt for thea with the fabric already stacked up - just finished her loulouthi 10. read 12 books, including some fiction and magazines

11. finding the time and quiet to meditate on the word and pray in my daily routine - not routine yet, now and then i manage to carve out some time in the mornings

12. sew a dress or two for the girls - one is being worn, there will be more to come

13. say yes to my kids more - work in progress

14. have a more positive attitude - work in progress

15. go hiking in the summer months, at least one high mountain with the kids - plan is made for mid july

16. use the stew pot more for one pot meals - forgot out that one, though there will be the cooler time of year...

17. be able to not control everything and every moment in life and still be happy with what's going on around me - work in progress

a few more to add::
18. participate in a crochet along
19. helping elias transition into a new school and intense dance training after the summer brake (this is probably more for myself than for him)
20. go out for a nice dinner with joel
21. visit the paul klee center in bern

May 23, 2012

my purple streak

the past couple days were loaded with all kinds of shades of purple and pink, those colours are definitely not my favorites but i caught myself in the moment. the moment of thinking about this coloure shades and then especially as i bunched the wildflowers from yesterdays bike ride (yes i did stop, put my bike with hitched trailer a side and picked flowers on the way side...), i became keenly aware how purple they are and how much i loved them, specially the wild columbines.

and then within two days thea's new dress with hood is ready for the lady. she has been wearing it since the moment i allowed her (it was sitting for about 24hours without being hemmed...). and she is so very happy about the ability to choose which fabric she want's to wear outside. of course the hood makes it to her favorite dress to match her older brothers...
the dress seems a bit long, though we both don't mind, as she will grow into it in no time. the pattern is sprout, from make it perfect, the fabric is "camden fair" from alexander henry's collection. the very nice voile i found in my stash, is so soft and just the best thing to wear to the skin.

May 22, 2012

"granny square" sampler

i stumbled across blair's blogpost which she has posted a bit ago, and it didn't let go of me. the inspiration board was just stunning and so wonderful for the month of may. i read more and more and soon enough there was the post of the granny square sampler last week. of course i was quick to look through my bag of wool and yarns and found what i was looking for, i maybe have to add one or two strands, i'm not sure yet of what coloure, if you have an idea let me know with a comment....

it has been a while since i took the crochet hook into my hands, except to teach the kids how to do some basic knowledge. though i remember having once crochet a vest, which amazingly made it into naomi's wardrobe by last fall. the vest was being made by me in sixth grade, recalling this makes me count a many a year back, it must be about 28 years. wow, i almost can not believe this myself. but i have seen her wearing that vest, with my own eyes, and i will take a pic next time she is wearing it to give you a peak too. for the moment, naomi is not very keen to be on the blog right now, but maybe i can convince her, it would be fun.

having collected the yarn, i could not hold off, i had to start the first square. i was glad blair has already posted the first assignment: two blocks with 5 and one with 7 rounds, they will be coming soon.

May 21, 2012

"die gestrickte metzgerei"

how exciting is this! a knit-crochet butchery window! this is just so much fun to look at. it took me by surprise, i was not aware of this exhibit at nova lana, and it was a wonderful surprise. it took thea and me some moments, just standing there and admiring all the different pieces of meat and sausages. we missed the opening and i'm truly sorry about that, as with such pieces of art, i would absolutely wanting to know the creative person working, producing, crafting this. her name is one more exciting fact in the window, madame tricot.
if you happen to live somewhere in the neighborhood, please stop by the "gestrickte metzgerei" it's well worth a good look. and by the way on tuesday and friday mornings (until 11am) is weekly market and the window is right there in the middle of the market, at metzggasse 13.

May 18, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

May 17, 2012

the finished loulouthi

finally we got to take photos, thank you joel for being patient with us,
after deciding on how to quilt and then binding it with two different fabrics, as i ran out of one kind, i'm very happy the way the finished loulouthi looks.

of course thea is super happy having a bigger quilt, she was still using her baby quilt at night and it "is getting smaller" by the day, at least it seems that way.
and for me, i'm now starting a new sewing project, i have already piked some fabric and a pattern, a dress with a hood. of course i will tell you more about it, as soon as i have something to show for.

May 15, 2012

the girl and her flowers

a friend was coming home with a big wild flower bouquet a wonderful sight, just taken from the meadow! o how much i do love those flowers. they are just wonderful, and of course are growing right here in front of my eyes. and of course such beauty in the kitchen made naomi think of more....
she quickly  recalled what we did a couple years ago, using the cardboard toilet-paper rolls for starters. we cut four slits about 1/3 of the roll to fold them into a bottom, to be able to fill the rolls with soil. placing the tubes all in a bucket to keep them steady and this way we will be able to water plentiful. the seeds of naomi's choosing were sunflowers, the not super high ones but with brown, orange and yellow heads. we are now tending our little seeds and will wait until they germinate, and grow into little plants. naomi has already an idea where they should be planted...

and then talking about sunflower seeds, i really liked the following project, of course it's a very different kind of experience, but wonderful never the less.

May 14, 2012

"das verbotene land"

here is the trailer, it's a nice little glimps of the making of the opera "das verbotene land". though it's just a small window into a huge project, with over 700 kids and youth involved. some from beirut (lebanon) and most of them from winterthur (switzerland). elias was part of the stage orchestra (the musikkollegium winterthur was the main contributor of coaches and musicians). amos was practicing with about 20 kids, doing the acting. and naomi was participating with her class, they were all moles....

i can't really tell you how much work went into this opera, maybe you can tell from the following pictures that lots of kids were involved, some school classes were working just on costumes and props etc, it was wonderful to listen and beautiful to watch. and yes everything was done by kids, even the composing of the music for a full orchestra.

for the grand finale there were 350 kids on stage (from kindergardeners to young adults).

all photos by joel

May 11, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

May 10, 2012

loulouthi-quilt :: quilting and binding

there we go, finally i embraced the sewing machine, put some rubber gloves on my hands and started free hand quilting. it took a couple month to think and ponder until i some how knew what i wanted with the loulouthi for thea.
all of a sudden it was very clear, after lots of moments i was convinced my original idea of quilting it in lines was not going to be the right thing. and i also knew that i did not want a very tight free motion quilt-line. what's left? quilting in the seems? it felt boring to me.... it was a relatively easy line of spirals and squiggles i decided on and i'm so very pleased by it's look. more photos of the finished quilt, when i'm done, all done with the binding.
binding the quilt was a learning by doing in the past projects and with this one too. but i did come across the wonderful tutorial here and was following it thoroughly, it worked great, thank you Vicky

the lilies of the valley are in full bloom behind the house and this is so very perfect, as the back of thea's loulouthi-quilt is a vintage fabric (from my mother in law's mother or aunt or great aunt, i'm not sure how old), but it has woven lilies of the valley, a wonderful texture and just right for my little daughter.