This weeks photochallenge is - how could it be othewise - Christmas! I've been a day early this year with decorating the tree and turning on the lights. Since 2001 I've been using electric lights and no longer candels as that year on August 16 the building on the other side of the street burned down. Even if it is not traditional - I'm just too afraid of fire to risk it. As I spend Christmas Eve at my sister's and she HAS to have candles - my nephew decorates the 3 meters high tree and he is conservative as can be in that regard:-) - I don't mind too much and enjoy the lights every day instead of just on Christmas Eve.
I love to travel and instead of buying tourist souveniers I try to find something for my tree:
a gift from my sister, the star in the background is a gift from my mum
This bird I found in a shop in Vienna.
Acorn - from our family tree
a gift from my sister from a trip to Eastern Germany (Sachsen)
parrot from a caribbean cruise
orange glass star - a gift from my sister
Wishing a peacefull Christmas time for all of my readers!
Red and Green - the colors most connected with Christmas, but when I read this theme I remembered something else.
In February I spent a weekend in Pöllau at an oil painting class. It was freezing cold (I'll never forget that the sparkling wine froze in the bottle, when I put it out on the windowsill while I showered and changed for dinner!)
When I arrived in the afternoon I walked around the village, after sitting in the car for two hours I needed to move. These berries caught my eyes, shining red against all the green and white of the landscape.
Running like a hamster in it's wheel it feels like the weekend never will come but the carrot of getting the next part of the mystery helps to keep on running and then it is finally friday, the new part is available for download and I still have to finish the workday and then all the household things that need to be done to be prepared for the next week in the hamsterwheel, for the coming holidays and life in general.
Then Saturday late afternoon I finally treat myself to cutting the needed parts, put a DVD in the player and while listening to one of the TV Series I collect (after watching all the Criminal Minds Seasons it is time for something a little bit lighter so the choice fell on Castle) I get busy with my sewing machine.
Again I am too late for the link up, but last weeks theme had me in a tizzy! Kitchen? Take a photo of my KITCHEN???? To be honest, right now me kitchen seems more like a battlefield. Working overtime is not conductive to a clean and tidy kitchen.
As Christmas is coming nearer every day it is high time to start baking cookies though, so yesterday I did what was necessary and prepared everything for todays lunch a photo of which has to serve for my kitchen photo. It is a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi I found on the internet, out of his cook book Jerusalem, which immediately after lunch was put on my Amazon wishlist. Sooooo good!
The rest of the weekend was spent with the usual housework, shopping, working on the mystery quilt and finishing the top for the first baby quilt I am working on:
A Story Time Star quilt, a free pattern offered by Bonnie Hunter which I did once already. It is such a fun quilt to work on though that both the quilts I am working on are that pattern.
At least the first week ended up to be easy with 192 4-patches. I've decided to follow Bonnie's color suggestions but as I want to make this quilt from my stash I ended up having to use different grays as I only have fat quarters or half yard pieces at the most.
Now that the first part is done, I can get back to the two baby quilts I am piecing. One is for the new daughter of a colleague who decided to come three weeks early - clever girl, who wants to have a birthday two weeks before christmas? - and the other for a 1,5 year old grandchild of another colleague. A bit of "mindless" piecing in the evening is just the right thing I need to clear my head and get ready for another workday.
The year is drawing to a close, which is not only noticable by the cold, the shorter darker days but also by the rising demands and speed in my job and daily life. Add to that a vacation week which turned out to be quite stressfull and it's another catch up race for the photo challenge.
I love gardens of farm houses and also how indoor plants get put outside at shelterted places along barns.
Another chance to take a watercolor painting class I took at literally the last moment. First we painted Heldenplatz in Vienna, though for me the rider in front not only looks in the wrong direction but also looks a lot more like Don Quichote than Prinz Eugen!
Painting something I have not yet seen is always difficult. While I have been in Rome more than 20 years ago, this view is something I could not relate to. Just looking at this painting I see and feel how I have struggled with the motive, not daring to "just paint something" but trying to recreate something I had no way of doing.
The same thing happened with trying to paint Akropolis, thought in this case I just tried to paint part of a temple and greenery. Here I was also fighting the paper, which just eats up the color as long as it is wet and I did not take the time to wait for it to dry.
The same motive in indian ink which turned out a little bit better.