Stock taking II

by Anna

sewing a jersey beanie
mending my sore throat
ripping apart what I wanted to be a balloon paperbag skirt
knitting uh, right, the yarn store is moving: SALE!
drafting a simple skirt from that missoni style fabric

crafting little red dwarf hats
gathering ideas for lanterns
preparing for fall
painting with sharpies on jam jars
loving the crisp morning air

cooking zucchini-spring-onion-polenta with halloumi cheese
baking savory still a dream, but what do you think about a quiche involving pink pepper?
baking sweet crumble: redcurrant, plum, …
mixing apple juice and water
eating not as healthy as I would like
drinking apple-vanilla-rooibos-tea

writing papers for work
reading “La vie en mieux” by Anna Gavalda in French (only the second time I read for fun in French, let me tell you: it’s hard even though it’s my favourite author)
listening to my favorite childhood tunes by Rolf und seine Freunde
planning to soon find a new space (cross your fingers for me, PLEASE!)
going to Zucker für die Seele Designmarkt on September, 7

Melon infused: Home made melon liqueur

by Anna
dreierlei melonen aufgesetzter
When I made that salad with five kinds of melons I had plenty of melon leftovers. And I had them on purpose. Ever since Hetty send me the link to this delish rhubarb liqueur recipe, we have been experimenting with fruit and vodka infusions.
homemade melon liqueur
For years my Dad has been infusing blackcurrant in korn schnapps with a vanilla pod and rock sugar. The most appreciated hostess gift from my experience… While blackcurrant is tart, it works wonderfully with vanilla and its own weight added in sugar. Melon is more or less sweet itself, we won’t need as much sugar here.
melon infused drink
In the meantime cut up some melon: I used a quarter of water melon, a quarter of honeydew melon and also a quarter of sugar melon (Galia). I peeled them and chopped them in pieces that would fit in the bottle that I would let it sit in. I added half of the weight of the melons in brown rock sugar and added a bottle (75cl) of korn schnapps. This schnapps makes the smoothes liqueur. Vodka or gin work too, yet, they have different and for the gin very distinctive taste.
melonen likör
Let this mixture sit in a closed bottle in a warm and sunlit spot for six weeks. Strain and enjoy. I find that the liqueur mildly chilled, like straight from a cold basement, tastes best.

Put into a pretty vintage bottle and gift to your favorite people! Happy weekend!

Strawberry-Goat cheese-Salad

by Anna
strawberry cheese salad fraises fromage salade
Man, those last strawberries are so deep red, bursting flavour and oozing juice. They are just perfect! When my mum got out the hand-me-down recipe for strawberry salad that my grandma already used to make I got excited to change it up a bit. A bit. Because A: there are only a handful ingredients, B: only to omit dairy cream and C: it is perfection as is. If I may say so myself.

I had bought a basket of two kilos (yes, as in 2000g) of those delicious strawberries. I actually drive a bit to get the best ones – I am a bit of a strawberry snob – and I bought the ones that were picked the day before (talking ’bout snob?) because they get squished in a salad anyway. And they were the deeper red. You don’t need that many straberries. Unless you want to feed a crowd. Or eat the salad, like me, four days in a row…
erdbeer käse salat
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
500g strawberries
250g piece goat cheese (the original recipe says gouda, so that works, too)
green lettuce

oat cream (or any cream)
lemon juice
lots of pepper

Clean the starberries and divide in halves or quarters or leave them whole depending on their size. Remove the rind of the goat cheese (if necessary) and cube. Wash and dry the lettuce and chop it. Let these ingredients mingle in a bowl.

Mix about 100ml of cream with lemon juice to taste and some salt and a lot of pepper. Serve the salad either with seasoning on top or toss the fruit and vegetables in the dressing before serving.

I like to serve the cream-lemon-seasoned sauce extra to keep the salad fresh in case I need to store it. Also, people can help themselves to the amount of seasoning they like. That’s it. Happy weekend!

The Dress – Retro Butterick ’60 B5748

by Anna
annas butterick retro b5748
Can I just let the pictures do the talking?
kleid nähen butterick schnitt
My friend Hülya took these photos last sunday during the blue hour (thanks ever so much!), so I could finally show the dress that Hetty doesn’t want me to wear to someone’s (really anyone’s) wedding. I had sewn it with no occasion in mind, but when I finished I felt like this was something to wear to a marriage. Now, that I see it in photos I totally get Hettys point. While in real life the blue of the flowers outweighs the white, in pictures it looks much lighter and then there definitely is too much white for another girls wedding. With that said let’s talk about this pattern!
butterick retro B5748
I love this dress and I love the pattern. It was my first Butterick and I am so pleased with the fit. First of all, I had never made a pattern where seam allowance was included – it’s the raddest thing! Then it fits ME like a glove, like really truly. Maybe I have a 1960s figure?!? I made no size alterations whatsoever and this is so rare. You have me cursing on many a pattern because there is always something concerning the waist, the darts or the bust. Here – nada.
diy dress easy
(Ok, being German I have to find the one tiny fault: Next time I would make the straps closer together i.e. make the upper front slightly narrower. Details, folks, details.)
dress twirls
I stuck with view A of the pattern, just omitting the front bow and the slits in the neckline. Which basically makes it a view B with a bow in the back. Whatever. Cutting was basic, sewing was easy. There are long darts but they posed no problem. I went with a medium weight cotton mix fabric with woven white stripes and printed blue flowers. It’s the same fabric Hetty used for this dress, just blue instead of her red.
Retro Butterick '60 dress
Fun fact: My fabric resembles the drawing on the pattern envelope a lot: Also blue flowers on white background. This is why I chose that fabric (from my stash) to make this exact dress. Even though I did not have quite enough cloth which makes the skirt shorter in some areas. Oh well. Would you have known? And since I am one who is more interested in the result than the process I have sewn in one session. Outcome: I am very happy with both the process and the result.
vintage pattern dress
This is a Misses’ / Misses’ Petite Dress. Considering I am 180 cm (almost 6 feet) tall and since I made this in a size 14 it is pretty impressive that it fits like this. The darts that come up from the midriff seam really work in my favor. Mental note to self: Make more clothes with darts like those. This is my first piece of clothing with darts from the midriff up. Was that a 60s thing? (Do not mention to anyone that I went to fashion school. I should know that kind of thing, no?)
rückansicht butterick schnitt retro
In case you are in Europe (like me) and pondering buying the pattern: I totally recommend you do. Wait for a sale. I got the pattern when lots of them were for 2.99$.
vintage schnitt kleid
I am wearing the retro Butterick pattern dress with a vintage petticoat, fleamarket bag and Mary-Jane-type skyblue leather kicks from a few seasons ago. Fun (well, not so fun) fact: I forgot the bag at one of the doorhandles on location. And then I forgot about forgetting it allover again. Will go tomorrow to check if it’s still there. If not, at least I have picture-perfect memories of it now. On the other hand, we photographed in the court of a prison that is not used anymore. What do you think my chances are of getting the bag back? – Ok. Enough. Happy weekend ~Anna~

I want to remember: My kitchen

by Anna
wooden kitchen counter
I had to have a wooden counter top. I considered sealing it at one point but is too darn pretty all natural… Also: recently thrifted tins and my Cookin’ Cowgirl oven mitt, a gift from Mimi about ten years ago
I have never shared more of my apartment than the gallery wall above my sewing machine in the hallway. Now that I am going to move, I realized that it will never be finished, neat enough (nor tidy enough), neither perfectly lit nor super well decorated to be photographed. I am not a neat freak and my ideas of how I want things to look change so quickly that I decided now is the time to capture my kitchen in pictures in the state it is right now. This is my kitchen today, August, 1st 2014. This is how I want to remember it.

And then there are thousands of food photos from the past 21 months plus all those memories of happy times spent here that are etched in my heart…
lavendar kitchen faucet
I love that faucet. I hunted high and low for this one and I am glad I did! I will sell the kitchen but this faucet will stay with me.
2014 is the year of change for me. Today I started my new job. Next up is the move out of this – my – place. When I look back at the past months there was something new happening almost every month. While there certainly is one more thing I would like to experience this year, I can hardly wait for life to slow down a bit and settle in a new routine. A general life routine is good to be creative. The best ideas are born from boredom – or from necessity.
lavendar kitchen table
This table came with my parents house that was built in 1928. It’s an old childrens desk and judging my its style and craftmanship I guess it dates back to the early years of the house. Since its too low for me to eat at, there is an Ikea table base underneath. A floating table…
lavender kitchen cabinet
Is the color I painted the cabinets with lavender or lilac? It doesn’t really matter. All I care about it how well it looks with the gold (nail) polished knobs… And the note how much burgundy lace ribbon to buy for Hetty.
kitchen window sill
I was spoilt with natural light in this apartment. Even in the kitchen! And there totally is one of the rare photos of Hetty and me togehter.

Happy weekend!

Turnbeutel crazy

by Anna
turnbeutel selbstmachen
A couple of weeks ago, two friends and I went to the Netherlands to visit friends of us. While I did not take a single picture (my phone battery died and I could not be bothered to take the big camera), some pretty interesting things happened. First, we welcomed a hitchhiker on board: Roar, Danish, like the Katy Perry Song. Then we did what I absolutely did not want to do, we spent Saturday at the designer’s outlet. No need to say it was super crowded. Sunday was wonderfully relaxed. And I finally noticed my friend Hülyas turnbeutel. So fun, so easy to wear and so simple to make!
turnbeutel drawstring bag
I think, she preferred to call hers a sportbeutel, but this kind of drawstring bag just makes me think of elementary school physical education class. When it always was a turnbeutel for me. Anyhow, this one’s too cute for smelly shoes, so today I am carrying my purse, sunglasses and tissues in my new bag.
drawstring bag diy
There are lots of tutorials on the internet for this kind of backpack, but alas I decided to go my own way. I will be sharing what I learned when I started just making it without a big plan. There are some minor changes I would make for the next one, yet I am happy I took the most important step: The first step. Sometimes starting is the hardest, no?

How would you call a bag like this? Happy weekend! ~Anna~

Melon feta summer salad

by Anna
salade pasteque melon feta
What’s your favorite summer salad? Grilling cantaloupe melon with seasoned salt got me thinking and now I can add a new favorite to my list: melon feta salad. This works with one kind of melon, it’s delicious with three kinds and yet the more varieties of melon you add the more colorful (and tasty) your salad will be.
melonen salat schafskäse
Unless you are feeding a crowd it’s a great option to buy melons in halves or quarters. That’s what I did and still have leftovers. I made this first with three kinds of melon and feta plain, without any seasoning. We loved it. This time around I decided to spice things up and make a lemony coriander (cilantro) salad dressing. Ready to dig in?
fresh feta melon summer salad
Melon feta salad

1/4 water melon
1/4 honeydew melon
1/4 galia melon (a type of sugar melon)
1/2 cantaloupe
1/3 sugar melon

1 pack of feta

juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbs dried cilantro/coriander
1 teaspoon dried nettle
2 tbs balsamic vinegar (I used white)

First things first: I had trouble finding exact translations for some of the melon names. In your case I would not worry about buying the exact same ones, just a variety of different kids of melons. That being said, scoop put the seeds, peel and chop the melons in bite-sized cubes. I did not worry about the water melon seeds.
sommersalat melone feta
Mix the juice of half a lemon with the herbs and the vinegar. Wouldn’t fresh coriander be so much fun here?
Cube the feta and add it to the dressing.

Add the melon cubes and toss is gently in the dressing. There you go: 5-kinds-of-melon salad with greek cheese!
melon feta salad
Did you notice, melon and lemon have the same letters in different order? A couple of times I wanted to write the name of the other fruit. But now it’s all in order… Enjoy your melon lemon salad..!

Baltic Sea – Usedom

by Anna
Möwe Mario
I thought I was back on track with blogging… But life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Nevertheless I managed to spend almost three days at the coast.
Usedom strandaufgang
Zinnowitz, island Usedom
Smooth sand
Endless pier
Small patches of fir forest
Always a breeze
Breathtaking sunsets
Stunning mansions
Walking everywhere

Those paths from the promenade through the fir trees – or hedges, as seen above – to the beach – this is where I leave all my worries behind!
Baltic Sea Beach

Stock taking

by Anna
I loved the concept of this kind of post when I first saw it here and felt inspired to do my own stock taking post when I read this awesome blog post idea round-up on sunday morning. I will stay within my blog’s themes – DIY, handmade fashion and home made food – will still giving you a little bit of insight in my life/mind/heart.
sewing button holes on yet another dress
mending a rainbow colored dress for my sweet little cousin
ripping apart my favorite bag to remake it
knitting still this sweater (been on a long hiatus)
drafting the perfect handbag (I am all about bags right now)

crafting (non-fashion related) nothing (!)
gathering supplies to make a paint box purse
preparing to soon make my own espadrilles, there is a design contest on Burda!
painting dots on leggins using Q-Tips could have used Hettys Oropax method as well
loving the idea of making a macrame waistcoat

cooking basic and with lots of rocket salad
baking savory scones with fresh herbs Gourmet Guerillas way
baking sweet honey thyme tarte as inspired by this
mixing a dairy-free version of “Solero”
eating too many cookies
drinking Rotling wine by Eckes Wallhausen and “Caipi Espanol” à la Moccaklatsch and lots of Chai tea

writing a presentation on the phenomenon of FLOW on the typewriter I just bought so cheap – just kidding
reading a lot of books again lately, currently Der Glückbringer found at the library booksale
listening to George Ezra (and to the rain – isn’t it supposed to be summer?)
planning a move
going on a trip to the Baltic Sea for three days tomorrow and to the Netherlands for a weekend in July
Here at Meet my at Mikes is a list by Pip with prompts for taking stock posts – so much fun!

4 ingredient creamy cheese sauce sans lactose

by Anna
four ingredient pasta sauce
I am pretty traditional when it comes to pasta sauce: All I need are tomatoes, onion and some herbs. Makes me happy every time. A couple of weeks ago when my fridge did not provide any fresh ingredients anymore, and there were no canned tomatoes either, I rocked what I got. And it was awesome. All I had was one 250 ml pack oat cream, three slices of lactose-free herb cheese, and lots of basil. Pepper is usually always on my cupboard. But just so you know, you’ll need lots of black pepper, too.
basil pepper lactose-free cheese sauce
Creamy cheese sauce
250 ml oat cream
3-5 slices herb cheese (lactose-free) I use Le coq de France by Aldi
two handful of basil
lots of ground black pepper

pasta or gnocchi

Heat the oat cream gently. Tear apart the cheese and add it. Pepper. Let it simmer for a while and stir to prevent it from sticking to the pot.

Cook the noodles or add pre-cooked gnocchi to the mix. Add more pepper. Let simmer.

Pepper some more. Seriously. Taste. Might need even more pepper. Add the basil leaves. Yum.
creamy cheese sauce
It’s kind of funny that the sauce, the thing I am talking about in this post, hardly shows in the pictures. Yet it’s there, I promise! Also, while it looks pretty in the photos, better serve this with another kind of lettuce than rocket. It takes away from the cheese and pepper taste. And speaking from experience: The sauce is even better served with gnocchi… Enjoy!