Monday, March 31, 2008

architectural walk

This morning I met with some other women from my church and one of them took us on a little historical walk through her neighborhood in the city of Karlsruhe. The area was filled with old, big, beautiful homes and many built in the Art Nouveau style.

She showed us some specific homes where prominent Karlsruhe citizens lived in the early twentieth century who were taken from their beautiful homes and stripped of their positions and killed during the 1930s and 1940s because they were Jewish. Some of the homes had little plaques in the cobblestones sidewalk outside the home with the names of those Jewish families who died during the War.

It was really interesting, a lovely morning for a walk, and the homes were so pretty!

Friday, March 28, 2008

favorite shop friday: black bags

I've been keeping my eye out for a new bag. I don't think I've found quite the right bag yet (isn't finding the right bag or purse such a personal thing?)...but today's featured shop just might have it...Black Bags!

Black Bags have beautiful and cool bags in just the size I'm looking for: big enough for me to carry all that "just-in-case" junk in my bag I've convinced myself I need as well as a few of those extras I like to have on hand, like a water bottle or dictionary, when I spend a couple of days in Paris or take a long train ride to Karlsruhe to shop....but not so big that I feel like I'm hauling luggage everywhere!

But there are really two reasons I think this shop is worth showing off to you today: quality and style!

Leslie of Black Bags hand-makes a very professional looking bag! Her handbags and her shoulder bags have a nickel magnetic snap closure, three exterior pockets and three interior pockets as well as a hanging key fob...and I so need that! It's a miracle sometimes that I can find my keys in my bag!

In fact, if you do have the tendency that I have to loose your keys in whatever bag you have you can buy some very good-looking key fobs from Leslie:

But maybe my favorite part of her bags are the very cool and very beautiful fabrics she uses...she truly makes a bag for every kind of person!

I can't decide if I'm more of a paint-by-number or a chocolate mint sprig kind of girl:

Go pick out your favorite Black Bag at!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

happy (belated) easter!

I hope your Easter was so nice because mine was certainly so so nice!

We had lots of family: my sister-in-law and three of her daughters came to visit for the week and we had so much fun playing in Germany and France and not much time for blogging!

I'll share photos and adventures soon...but for now, Karl and I are both trying to recover from the colds we caught over the holiday...(sniffle * sniffle * cough * cough)...I'll be back to blogging soon!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

favorite shop friday: couture16 designs

We've got my sister-in-law and three of her daughters visiting us this week! We are having lots of fun adventures which I'll blog about another day. But, since there are so many girls around my home this week, I thought I'd feature a very girly shop.

Ruth of Couture16 Designs makes and sells historical costumes, gowns, dresses, bonnets and much more to make you feel all kinds of romantic!

I love this beautiful copper-brown regency dress...

...I always wanted to star in my own Jane Austen romance!

I adore this World War I era blouse...

...such delicate, pretty details!

I love this beautiful summer outfit...

...It makes me feel like spending the hot months with the Great Gatsby!

There are many more pretty things in Ruth's pretty shop to help you escape to another more romantic world so make sure you take a look: And there's even more at her website and blog (including one of the prettiest wedding dresses I've ever seen!)!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

eating an old meal

Last night Karl and I ate dinner at our town's oldest continually running restaurant and inn, Zum Schwanen. (In this photo the restaurant is in the white building with the green shutters to the left.)

Since 1618, Zum Schwanen has been serving traditional German food and offering a bed for the night in the old city center of Bühl.

This is the first time we had been there. I loved the comfy interior...this kind of coziness is very typical of Germany.

The walls were covered with old images of Bühl. And the dinner was just as cozy and yummy! I had a very typical German meal of roast beef with gravy, sweet red cabbage, and potato dumplings...a meal that has probably been on the menu at Zum Schwanen for the entire 390 years it's been serving the citizens of Bühl!

Monday, March 17, 2008

searching for a pot of gold

Yesterday morning, we noticed this beautiful full double-rainbow off our balcony...

The best part of it was that the rainbows ended in the nature preserve beyond our home. And with the cost of making our move here to Germany permanent looming larger before us every day...I'm really hoping to get a little bit of luck o' the Irish and find that pot of gold when I go on a walk through the preserve today...

Friday, March 14, 2008

favorite shop friday: sarah jane

How much do I love today's shop?

Yep, this much!

At Sarah Jane you will find the sweetest children's illustrations you'll ever hope to see!

You can decorate your home, your children's room and your lives with her wonderful illustrations in the form of prints... invitations...

...and notepads...

Sarah Jane is a mother of two and the inspiration her children give her is shown in the child-like movements of her illustrated children... the sweet nursery rhymes she illustrates...

...and in the adorable animals who show each other as much love as I'm sure Sarah Jane's children show her!

You can find her illustrations at You can also become inspired by her life and work at her blog:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

my life's journey

I have had a wonderful year this past year. But now it's time to move on to the next thing...namely, a job.

When we first moved here nearly a year and a half ago, we came for a temporary assignment for my husband's job. But I did not have permission to work, so I'd been living a bit of a leisurely life (and yes, it's been nice!). But now that we've decided to make our move here permanent, it's time for me to find a job!

So I've slowly been working on my resume, both updating it and translating it. I admit, I'm being pretty slow about it, so my husband gave me a deadline to have a draft completed by the end of today. So guess what I've been working on most of the day?

I'm learning that a German resume has a lot of differences from an American resume. First of all, I have to have a photo of myself. Great. I have to give a lot more personal information like my marital status and where I was born. I also have to attach a copy of my degree. Except that I'm pretty sure my degree is in storage in America so I'm not sure how I'm going to get around that one yet.

I also learned that a resume in German is called a Lebenslauf, which literally means, "life's walk" or "life's journey." I kind of like that name. Here, on these two little sheets of paper, is the path of my life.

I guess it's time to stop blogging about my life's journey and start finishing it up...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

signs 3

This sign shows you where you can park your car when you want to go on a hike through the Black Forest:

This sign also shows you where you can park your car if you want to strut through the Black Forest like a fashion model.

Friday, March 7, 2008

favorite shop friday: ugly kitty

Renee has one ugly kitty...

I mean really ugly...

Isn't she the cutest thing?

Her name is Quasi and she's owned by Renee who named her shop after her: Ugly Kitty.

You can find all kinds of wonderful things at Ugly Kitty like giant pincushions and little pillows...

...dorky magnets and and cool pins...

But my personal favorite are Renee's address boxes made with recycled paper...

Renee also does amazing stationary including custom wedding invitations...

And last, but certainly not least, at Renee's shop you can also give to the Ugly Kitty Fund which goes to the Cool Cat's Rescue Center, a no-kill adoption center where she adopted Quasi. So even if you're not in the mood to buy today, at least go give...because how can you say "no" to this face?

I know I can't so I'm off to make my donation and drool some more over those address boxes. Find Ugly Kitty and Quasi at

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

this photo is for me because i deserve it...

So...remember how I was bragging that time about how we're getting an early spring in Germany while the US is buried under lots of snow?

I think I jinxed our spring...

It's snowing right now. Big white flakes of snow. That's accumulating more by the minute. I guess that's what I get for my bragging...sorry.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

diamonds and bars

On Thursday I spent the day in Karlsruhe to visit a contemporary arts museum for a wonderful exhibit of Amish Quilts.

Diamonds and Bars: The Art of the Amish was wonderful! Most of the quilts were made between about 1880 and 1940 and were from a collector, Maria Schlumberger, and most came from Pennsylvania and Ohio. And most were made of the recognizable simple piecing patterns, solid deep-colored dyes and intricate hand-quilting.

I had never seen such a collection of Amish Quilts in person. I was impressed both by how simple many of the patterns were pieced and yet how amazingly intricate the quilting patterns were...these quilts were deceptively complex. My own quilting seemed so little by comparison...what masterpieces! It made me wish we were moving back to Ohio after all!

Since I can't take you to the exhibit myself (which I would really like to do) then look through this online exhibit of Amish quilts...enjoy!

"--it keeps us warm, it soothes our pain and relieves our burdens, it commemorates important occasions, it preserves family history, it demonstrates skill, it encourages social interaction, and it supports intimate communication." --Robert L. Freeman, A Communion of the Spirts -- African-American Quilters, Preservers and their Stories

shop update

I got my shop updated today with several new items...go take a look!

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