Saturday, May 31, 2008

an all-american date

Last night Karl took me up to the city of Karlsruhe where we saw the new Indiana Jones movie at a theatre that showed it in English (not even German subtitles!) and then we went to eat at a Subway. And guess what we had with our meal?

Free refills! Ice! And root beer!!

And from my excitement you may assume that all three of those things are near impossible to find in Germany! Normally, I pace myself with my drink because you pay for every serving. Normally, ice is never an option. Normally, root beer is completely unknown.

I'm sure I'm not impressing anyone with my bragging but it sure was a treat for me!

Friday, May 30, 2008

favorite shop friday: esther coombs

So you want to have a tea party. And tea parties mean little sandwiches, tiny pastries, tea bags, and, of course, most importantly, tea cups. Enter Esther Coombs.

Esther finds dainty tea cups and transforms them into urban treasures with her modern sketches:

She'll also supply you with a cake stand for all your cucumber sandwiches and petits fours that is as delicate and beautiful as it is modern and edgy:

I'm in love with her work! Now I can be feminine, old-fashioned and dainty (which, let's face it, is so much fun sometimes) while I drink my tea without losing any of my urban modern independence.

If you love her work, too, and are going to be in London next week, you can get a first-hand look at more of Ether's wonderful work at Pulse at Earls Court (a trade fair for homes) in London on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of June. Or if you're not lucky enough to be in London next week, then go check out her work at her website - - or her shop -

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

art history lesson: horses running more post about horses (I told you I had a thing for horses). Except this time I'm mixing it in with my other love: art.

Taking so many photos of horses running over the past couple of weekends made me think of the first photographs taken of horses running.

But before people were photographing horses running they were painting horses running. And the funny thing about how they painted horses running is that they really didn't understand how horses ran.

You see, it was believed that at some point in a horse's gallop, all four legs left the ground at the same time. And it was widely believed that that point was when the legs were all stretched out away from the body. And so when artists painted horses running they were usually painted in this form with all four legs stretched out and off the ground.


This kind of painted running horse is often called a Rocking Horse...'cause they look like rocking horses!

So then, photography was invented...and, in the 1870s, this very smart English guy, Eadweard Muybridge, got involved in a bet over if and when all four legs of a horse leave the ground when running. So he set up this ingenious system of cameras and trip wires and - viola! - got a series of photographs of a horse running.

And guess what he found? The legs of a horse are off the ground at the same time when they're all gathered up underneath it...not when they're stretched out! So Muybridge won his bet and created the first stop-motion photography!

So there's your fun art history fact for the day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

getting to know me

For the first time in my personal blogging history I got tagged! Rachel of Cornflower Blue Studio tagged me with a Q&A. So here it goes...some things about me that you may already know, may be itching to know, or may not care one way or the other to know but you're going to hear it anyway:

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

I was 23, living in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, an art history major at the University of Utah and working at their Admissions Office.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?

cut fabric for two twin-sized Black Forest quilts I've been commissioned to make
watch as many episodes of Gilmore Girls season 7 as I can while I cut fabric
go to the post office
cut more fabric
watch more Gilmore Girls

3) Snacks I enjoy:

chocolate chip ice cream
straciatella yogurt
fresh strawberries

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Pay off our student loans, buy a little house in a pretty part of Europe, spend a month every year in a different part of the world, buy an original painting by Wilhelm Hammershøi to hang in my bedroom, anonymously donate a lot of money to different educational programs keeping and creating art and music programs in public schools (because I have to list something non-selfish, right?).

5) Places I have lived:

Ponca City, Oklahoma
Houston, Texas
Rexburg, Idaho
Berlin, Germany
Provo, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Flint, Michigan
Wooster, Ohio
Buehl, Germany
(wow...that's a lot!)

6) People I want to know more about:

Sarah at Porch Swing (An old friend and I already know how she'll probably answer these questions, but you should get to know her, too!)

Allison at In a Nutshell (Hosting a very cool bag swap and whose blog I only recently discovered, due to the very cool bag swap, and I need to get to know her, too!)

Martha at Sew Fab Martha (A frequent visitor to my little blog, so we finally need to get to know each other a little better!)

Julia at Ithaca Waldorf (To whom I'm sending my handmade bag for Allison's very cool bag swap so I better get to know her especially since I just found her blog and it looks very cool too!)

This is me at one of my favorite places in the world, the Great Blasket Island, gazing at the western coast of Ireland on my 33rd birthday last year...definitely a place I'll spending a month at with my billion dollars!

Monday, May 26, 2008

another day at the races

Remember how Karl surprised me for our anniversay with tickets last Sauturday to the horse races? Well, a couple of weeks before this surprise, I bought tickets to the horse races, too! Karl had subtley tried to discourage me from getting them, but it didn't work. But no worries...we just got to go the the races AGAIN on Saturday!!

But you're probably tired of my horse I took photos of the next most important part of going to the races...the hats!!

I don't know why horse-racing requires women to wear big, feathery, gaudy, strange, elaborate hats, but I got some shots of some of enjoy the racing hats!

Even the little ladies wear hats:

This one is a traditional Black Forest hat...the red pom poms mean the girl is single, black pom poms means the girl is married:

It was a very exciting day with some very exciting races! There was another thrilling jumping race that resulted in not one but two jockey's being thrown from their horses and then the favorite horse, who was way ahead the entire race, stumbling on the last jump causing the underdog horse who was listed as having the most outside chance of win! That was one happy jocky that came off the track! Anyway...I'm going to have to leave you with just one more horse photo (I liked the way this one came out):

Friday, May 23, 2008

favorite shop friday: whimsy & spice

I'm very jealous of all of you living in the United States today...because you'll be able to enjoy today's favorite shop while I - because of international custom laws concerning shipping foods - will only be able to drool over these amazing photos and names!

Take a look at this: Chocolate Orange Cardamom Shortbread!

Whimsy & Spice is the perfect marriage of a Brookley pastry chef and art director together creating the most beautiful and yummy foods you'll ever see in cyberspace! Like Rose and Black Pepper Thumbprints:

And how can anyone be forced to choose between the Chocolate Chili Cashew or the Cinnamon Chocolate Malt biscotti?

I found this shop through someone else's recommendation who was able to enjoy tasting them, too, so I hear they're as delicious as they look! But for now...I'll have to be content with just looking at the Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows:

But you can go enjoy not just the sight but the smell and taste of these wonderful yummies at

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

9 years and counting...

Karl and I were married on 18 May 1999...9 years ago Sunday!

We had a weekend-long celebration full of surprises for me!

Karl planned a weekend for us and didn't tell me a thing about it. He told me to pack an overnight bag, put me in the car and drove us not too far away to Baden-Baden, checked us into a pretty hotel, and handed me tickets to the horse races!!

So we spent Saturday at the track and had so much fun! I was one of those girls who grew up in love with horses...and I never got over it. I was giddy with excitement every time the horses rushed past us as we stood on the track rail!

It happened to be the first race day of the season and they had this bag-pipe band playing between races:

One of the last races of the day was a jumping race that had a thrilling moment: on the last jump, one of the horses fell, throwing it's jockey who, luckily, rolled clear of the other horses still jumping over the fence. Horse and jockey were's the jockey after the race strolling down the track to collect his rider-less horse:

That night we strolled around the beautiful streets of Baden-Baden and ate an Italian dinner outside along the sidewalk. The next day we drove up the mountains overlooking Baden-Baden and visited the old castle we could just see from our hotel window. We've seen and done a lot in Baden-Baden, but we've never visited the old castle ruin that overlooks the city. And we were actually quite surprised at how big and complete the ruins are!

Most castle ruins around the area are not much more than a few broken walls and an empty tower or two. But the old Baden-Baden ruin is complete enough that you could actually imagine the spacious halls, catch glimpes of disappearing staircases, see where the old fireplaces once kept the stone rooms warm. The ruin was one staircase after another going up towers, into large halls, into dark underground was huge! And beautiful!

A glimpse of Baden-Baden below the ruins:

It was such a fun weekend...Karl did good! Only proving again that I sure did the right thing in marrying him!

Friday, May 16, 2008

favorite shop friday: sweetnellie

Let me introduce to you...Kay.

She is a foreign correspondent for the BBC. She is also addicted to CNN and, of course, BBC World News. She likes a sensible haircut because there's no time to fuss with your hair when you're a foreign correspondent. She is also a Snoot from the wonderful shoppe Sweetnellie.

Trish is the creator of Snoots, wonderful little creatures (that she assures us "have been taught to mind their manners and so make excellent companions") sold in her wonderful little shoppe.

A particular favorite of mine is Bingham.

The Chicken Gatherer is small but just the right size to gather little chicks.

Please don't miss getting to know Cecil and his Spring coat.

And Gimlet, while apparently having a bit of a sweet tooth, will sure to brighten up your days!

In fact, I'm sure all of Trish's Snoots will brighten up your days, your homes and your lives sitting quietly nearby with all their good manners. Go find the right Snoot companion for you (for they can be quite diverse) at And visit Trish's blog, for a sneak peek at Snoots about to enter her shoppe and to get to know the Snoots she's created!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

doors and windows

I somehow found this cool blog recently called Portes et Fenetres. It has inspired me to share with you some of my own cool photos of doors and windows I've collected on my travels.

Burg Thurant, Germany

Riquewhir, France

Dingle Pennisula, Ireland

Notre Dame, Paris, France

Riquewhir, France

I actually found I had a lot (I like taking photos of doors and windows, too) so you're sure to see some more in upcoming posts!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Yesterday was another holiday here. It was an absolutely beautiful day so we took our bikes out and cycled to a nearby village that was having a music festival.

There was a large tent behind a pretty little church filled with locals drinking beer and eating wurst and listening to a big band playing...well, just the kind of music you'd expect!

It was a lovely afternoon! Cycling along a path with a beautiful view of the Black Forest, the music, the wurst, the cute was all so very...German!

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