A bag for the Nikon

Can you imagine? – you have an idea and a plan that you’re obsessed about but then certain circumstances interfere your plan and you can’t put it into action. And though you have plenty of other things to do you find yourself stuck in boredom because the alternatives are yet not so cool as the project you’re obsessed about and you end up doing NOTHING? That was me this week! The fabric for my new quilt didn’t arrive yet and since quilting was the only thing I wanted to do in my vacation week I pretty much didn’t do anything spectacular (besides starting a drink-more-water revolution).

On Tuesday my sister-in-law and I went to the little fabric store Stoffwerk (where I bought the fabric for my first quilt) and without intention of buying anything I fell in love with these 3 fat quarters. They’re from Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley collection and they’re in this incredible blue and grey tone I like so much these days.

I remembered this little purse that I’ve seen on the Stitch Magazine Cover Fall 09 and I imagined the Hope Valley fabrics would look nice. And I actually needed a bag where I could slide in the big Nikon when I’m on tour so the idea was SEW A PURSE!

Tuesday night I scribbled a bit – thinking of how the bag should look like. Since I have no pattern (which you actually don’t need for this kind of purse) I thought of how to enhance the fabric. Quilted and patchworked elements and stitches?

Yes… it turned out a little bit different but that’s the fun about it. You have to see the product in order to find the best looking treat.

This is what I cut out: 2 lining pieces, 2 outer fabrics, 2 pieces of interfacing, some stripes for the patchwork elements, a doily, and a stripe for the strap and zipper. The fabrics for lining and outer are all from Ikea. In our closet is a inexhaustible source of this grey fabric I could make another 194 bags from it….

I started with the doily bag in the lining. I cut half of the doily and sewed it onto the fabric. Stitched an additional space for the phone. Done! But I didn’t like this much because then I realized it wouldn’t match the style of the purse at all. THAT’S what I mean by you have to have your project in your hand in order to see if your design makes sense… I’ve put this aside and hoped for another idea later.

The stripes that I’ve cut from the Hope Valley fat quarters were randomly sewn together (I’ve added 2 stripes of plain fabric, too)

After sewing the patchworked part on the outer fabric I’ve drawn some circles and SERENDIPITY on (with a fabric pen that goes away after washing, of course) just to have a lead on where to stitch. On the back I’ve pressed on a piece of interfacing and started to machine stitch. I think as long as the interfacing is not too thick you can easily machine stitch little things with a normal sewing machine. I have a small Pfaff that isn’t a professional quilting machine but still this works pretty good.

I did this on the front an back and while I was stitching I thought of another design that I liked better and ditched the idea to stitch SERENDIPITY on the front. This is the result (and YES I’m too lazy to change my bobbin thread all the time).

Somehow I still wanted my sweet SERENDIPITY to be somewhere so my solution was to stamp it on the side panel of the bag.

After that I pinned the side parts onto the front (and back) and stitched along so that the first part of the bag was done.

Back to the lining bag. I took some of the outer fabric and a scrap from the blue Hope Valley and sew everything together.

Now it came to the tricky part that I’ve feared the whole time. I wanted the bag to have a zipper. But since I have the outer bag and the lining bag I had to think of where to put the zipper. Here’s how I assembled the zipper on 2 stripes of fabric.

The question now was: WHERE to sew this on? Lining or outer bag?? I tell you upfront: my decision was WRONG! I pinned and sew it on the lining bag. Then turned the outer bag on the left and put it INTO the lining bag. I left a bit open in the lining bag for the turn afterwards. After sewing everything together and turning the bag inside out  it first looked good BUT now the lining bag was outside and  my outer fabric was inside. Would have been ok if this was the intention. But it wasn’t so I ripped it all open again….

Pinned the zipper on the outer bag and sewed again. YAY. THAT WORKED!! Then I closed the opening in the lining and basically the bag itself was finished.

From the grey fabric I cut a long stripe, folded it right sides together and sewed along. To turn this stripe back to the right was the thing that needed the most time during this whole sewing project…. then pressed and stitched along randomly.

The strap was attached on the sides of the bag and finally – after 5 hours – I was finished. And in love.. I must admit.

I think after my first quilt this was my first BIGGER sewing project. It was not really difficult but without a pattern and with all the ideas what I could stitch on it just takes some time. And it’s so satisfying. A little bit of patchwork and quilting, machine stitching, a zipper… all the good things in one project :-) It’s a GREAT project for those who are not yet experienced with patchwork and quilting. Try small things first and see what happens. It’s fun!!

Cake Love – Der Gugl

Do you like cupcakes? Well then you gonna love GUGLHUPF (pronounced google-hupf). This cake is a traditionally German made of yeast dough, baked in a special pan and is unbelievably easy to bake. It’s pretty similar to a bundt. In this country everyone knows and loves Guglhupf.

The other day I read about this new online shop named DERGUGL that recently opened in Munich. They sell boxes of mini cakes with special flavors like rose + physalis, or cocoa + lemongrass, egg nogg + lemon. But of course they offer a normal chocolate one as well. All the mini cakes are handmade and put in adorable boxes of 4 or 9. They even have gluten free guglhupfes. Very thoughtful I think.

der gugl

But what I like best is that you can book 2 super fine extras for special events. An adorable pink mini-truck from which you can get your cakes or/and a sweet lady with a vendor’s tray as a flying dessert buffet. What an awesome idea.

The founder of this little enterprise is a young woman – Chalwa – who was fed up only getting bad tasting pastries in coffee shops. Her team of 3 consists of Günter who does the magic in the kitchen, Lars who wants to open the first flagship store in Munich and lovely Kerstin, a student, the girl behind the tray who drives the truck, too.

der gugl

Their products can be bought either online but as well at Mutterland in Hamburg, at 3 locations in Munich and one in Erding.

I love this concept and give a thousand kudos to this brave woman who is strong and smart enough to have discovered this niche. Please visit their website DERGUGL.

(all images are property of www.dergugl.de)

One more egg + sharpies = easter egg update!

I did it again. It’s so much fun my head is full of ideas now.
This one is for a sweet couple in my agency who brought me a pack of Sharpie’s recently from the US and as they didn’t want to see my money I made them an egg. They love Las Vegas and so that’s the theme done in an old-school tattoo style. Hope they will like it!
Mark and Shy! This is for you! Thanx a lot!!

gambler easter egg

gambler easter egg

Eggs + Sharpies = colorful easter decoration!

I had this idea yesterday. I haven’t painted one egg since kindergarten but today I landed on the Sharpie’s homepage and when you can use Sharpie’s to paint on Chuck’s well… you can get freaky on an egg as well. Easter is coming faster than I thought so all I needed was a pack of white eggs as the pens were already there (ordered them from all over the states as in Germany they’re nowhere to find).

Easy task I thought but I was not aware that eggs get stamped before they hit the stores so I had the problem how to get rid of those pink numbers. Tipp Ex works. Works perfectly fine. But looks bad. Really bad. Don’t do it. My fabulous new colleague Annette had the idea to use a nail file and YES that is much better. I took a picture of the result but as there was nothing to see anymore… you get the hint.


tipp ex egg

eggs with stamp

I decided to have a theme. „Tattoo Eggs“ As I’m turning 30 this year a new tattoo is due so I painted the eggs with potential designs. First I blew them out which was a real mess but it provided dinner as well. Then drew on them with a pencil.

pencil scetch

Right after this picture here the egg fell down. If you consider to do something similar I recommend you let the eggs dry for a day so that the rest of the slimy inside isn’t all over your hands. First: it makes the egg slippery which isn’t the best factor to work with. Second: it’s sticky, your hands will get dirty from it and the mess will be all over your working area and now try to use an eraser on an empty egg….

sacred heart

This is how they got finished – I just used a black Sharpie for the outlines and colored the rest in whatever color came to my hand. That’s all the magic. And I like them a lot! They will make a super easter decoration arranged in a bowl.

I’ve made 3 traditional tattoo themes: Happy Easter with cherries, a diamond and a star. 2 swallows facing with a star underneath and a sacred heart.

tattoo eggs

tattoo eggs 2

Here we have a koi fish and a swirl with some cherry blossoms representing japanese tattoo style. Here I’ve found out that Sharpie’s don’t mix with water because I thought of making a more watercolor -ish design but unfortunately that doesn’t work. For the swirls on the koi egg I used a Copic marker with a paint brush tip which worked pretty nice with a bit of water.

japanese eggs 2

japanese eggs

And here we have a sugar skull which actually looks like an egg head which wasn’t meant to be but as it was the first egg I’ve painted I wasn’t aware of the bowing (and here you can still see traces of the pencil)

sugar skull egg

That was the first round of painting eggs. I plan one more session using something different. Don’t know yet. Wouldn’t have thought it could be so much fun. Before this year easter was all about eating chocolate and loads of lamb. But my creative juices are flowing now and I will not stop them :-)

Are you making easter deco yourself? What are you up to? Is anyone having an idea for a nice wreath? I’d love to see your suggestions.

Floating away…

Oooohhhh I was so excited about this event. I finally redeemed Martins christmas present and so we went floating yesterday. It’s the most relaxing thing I’ve ever done. A massage never took me where this floating got me.

That’s the deal. There is a water filled tank for two where you get in and technically float on the surface. The water is similar to the water in the Dead Sea. It contains so much salt that you can’t go down (0,7 kilo per liter). The temperature of the water is the same as your skin so when you float there is a point where you don’t know what’s water and what’s your body. WEIRD! So you sit in the tank, lay back… blubb, blubb…. and your body rises to the surface and this is the most incredible feeling ever. You don’t touch anything and just float! We’ve been inside the tank for one hour and the first minutes your head is trying to relax. It’s a small challenge to let go and to trust that you won’t go down. Then I was like „hm… what am i going to do here for a whole hour? i can’t stand this. i gotta move. what will we have for dinner? a whole hour?! no way!“ But then there was the point where I was so relaxed I fell asleep. Yes. In the water. Martin said I snored. I personally couldn’t tell if I was awake or sleeping but the owner said that this is a good thing. Means I was relaxed. And it’s true. I had some neck ache and it’s all GONE. And the mood… whoohhooo. We were both happy and wiggly. Another cool thing was that we were not wizened like after an hour in the bathtub. The consistency of that water doesn’t dry your skin but makes it super fresh and clean. On that picture you can see me relax and this is how it looks like :-) (don’t laugh!)

Overall that was an overwhelming experience and definitely something I will do again and again and again. It’s a bit pricey but worth every single cent! You should try it! Find the next Floatbase in your city and get carried away.

For Germany you can google „floating“ and you’ll find all kinds of results, for the US I’ve found the site floatation.com.

float tank

Double tank where we spent the hour

This is how it looks from the side. Image by floatbase.de


Me relaxing…