I am very much about planning these days. Actually I have always been. My purse has always been full of post-its with to-do lists. But now with the little lady by my side and back at work, there is really no un-planned minute in my days anymore. Zero. I am planning what I do when, how long I have to prepare for the event and when I need to start planning for my plans. That way I can anticipate that everything works out the way I want it. I sometimes wonder if I spend more time making plans than actually doing things. And that anticipation -may it be positive or negative - is actually taking control. And when I reach the event, it almost feels like time stands still. Are we living in the anticipation space and will never get to the final desired event? Who of you is similar to me?

When you google “Anticipation” you get 19.9 million hits. According to Wikipedia, anticipation can refer to:

  • A Guinness advertising campaign
  • A type of non-chord tone
  • When the severity of genetic disorders increase with each generation
  • The early pay-off of debts
  • The concept of an agent making decisions in artificial intelligence
  • A 1971 song and album by Carly Simon
  • An emotion involving pleasure in considering some expected or longed-for good event, or irritation at having to wait.

My biggest take away from the Carly Simon song is that anticipation is a word you can NOT sing in a melodic way: AHHHAN-TICI-PAAAIIII-TIOOOON MAAA-HHAAA –KES ME WAIII-HIII-TING?!?! Seriously, what was she thinking? (sorry to you Carly Simon lovers out there – I am a 70s child, but I guess when I started seriously listening to music, we were already in the 80s).

The biggest beading anticipation I had in the last weeks (certainly a positive one) was waiting for the one and only fair in the area that is focused on crafting. Last week we finally went to the Creativa in Dortmund, Germany. It was huge. We spent the whole day there and saw only about half of the booths. This was me in paradise. Since it is over an hour of a drive to get there, we went only one day (which was also a good choice to make when it comes to my budget for beads and craft supplies and the space I have to store it – maybe we should buy the large empty house of our neighbors?).

There was not that much “technique stuff” as I hoped, but more sellers offering their current lines. But I got something new. It is this:
A tiny “kiln” for enameling pendants and beads.

Look at the tiny pan and the little metal pieces to cool off the elements. I felt like playing in a doll house. I know it is the cheap and simple kind and most of the bead people who have tried it out go to torch-fired enameling – it seems to be a hot trend (if you have not seen the enameled beads of Barbara Lewis of Painting with Fire, then please go here and buy some, they are so gorgeous). I don’t have a torch right now, and it is probably a good thing because if I would have one, with my luck I would probably set the house on fire. So I was wondering if this “kids” version would work as well. It says that the temperature will reach 160 degrees centigrade (320 F), so it might work for polymer beads as well (which can cause toxic fumes when putting them in your oven too long – that would be me as well).

So after not having time to unpack it for a week due to a lot of overtime at my strategy work (talking about a lot of time to anticipate), I enameled my first pieces today. I only got a few colors, to try it out first. I was actually surprised how well the kiln worked and I think they turned out really nice (for my first attempts) – do you like them? I think I will become an addict pretty soon.

What is true about Carly’s song is the waiting piece. Getting prepared for something to happen. Assuming what can be. And time spent for waiting for that event. Can’t we skip this waiting period and jump right into the fun of it? Why we focus on this waiting time so much? On something that has not happened yet. On something that is not real.
So here is my to-do list for today:
1. Enjoy.
2. The.
3. Moment.
Forget your anticipation and to do lists, and go bead.

The wedding

The wedding was nice (seen from the couple's point of view). Wonderful guests, a nice ceremony, beautiful dresses, and a fun atmosphere. The ceremony was held in a old villa, so it was a bit kitsch but I like kitsch. Unfortunately, when the couple kissed, everybody started clapping. So what is unfortunate about that, you might ask. Well Baby Girl got all upset and started screaming so bad that the ceremony had to be interrupted until I (sweaty mommy) left the place with screamy girl.

We went home after that - most of the guest went for a hiking tour, but we could not join with the stroller, plus is was raining outside. In the evening we went then to the reception, and I found a cool outfit in my wardrobe (well I guess it carries more treasures than I thought). I need to show a picture of it, difficult to describe. The bottom were pants, but they looked like a skirt, since there is another layer of chiffon on top of the pants; with that I wore a black top and a black / sparkly short knit knotted jacket. I think I looked good (oh oh, am I pampering myself again? I think I did though). So that also solved the nursing problem (no dress & getting "un-dressed" involved).
However, people also tend to applaude during wedding receptions unfortunately, so we went through the same story. She really does not mind loud noise, but everything that comes suddenly is a shock. So Nick took her home, only to realize after a half hour drive that he had no housekeys. Meli was sleeping by that time, so Nick spend some time reading on the terrasse and picked me up an hour later.

Besides all of that - they food was excellent. After some starters, they served salmon, asparagus in a vinagrette, lime joghurt dressing and basil mousse. The next course was a sorrel soup with diced tomatoes. Then followed beaf fillet with a herb crust, veggie variation, potatoe gratin in a redwine-shallots reduction. But the best was the desert buffet. I have never seen something like that and I wish I would have taken pictures. There was a whole room filled up with deserts, and I had (all very tiny portions): creme brulee, fruit variation, chocolate cake, inside-soft chocolate muffin, ice cream cake, fruit sherbet, and a cinnamon chocolate mousse. And I did not even tough half of the deserts available (which i deeply regret).

On sunday we went to Dortmund to the Creativa fair and I had a lot of fun. I had Meli in the carrier for about 6 hours (my back is strong like the one of a horse after that exercise), and she had a great time, and was either sleeping or talking. I guess she creied it all out the day before on the wedding. I got some pretty cool stuff at that fair, but I need to take pictures and come back later. But be aware, there are beads involved, textile, enameling and other goodies......

I am an ABS carnival blogger

Oh how exciting this is. I am now part of the ABS carnival blogger group. Every second month I will write a post about a secret topic (every second month because there is a number of people that there are two alternating groups). I have been thinking about my secret post for April. A thousand things come to my mind. But I am not going to write a book - I will make sure it will be crisp and short, and hopefully inspiring to all the people that will read this. Anyways. I. Am. Really. Excited. Join us soon for the secret topic of the month.

Preparing for the wedding reception

So I am invited to a wedding this weekend. The ceremony will take place on saturday morning at the town hall, and the dinner reception starts at 8 pm. So what will I wear. I have no clue. I am out of shape. I have a couple of dresses, but even if one of them would still fit I can't wear it. Since I am still nursing the baby, wearing a dress would mean that I have to get completely undressed every time she needs to eat. And this can't be done in a subtile way. So I need to somehow wear two pieces - skirt or pants and a top. I do not exactly know what in my closet is elegant enough to fit the cocktail dresses the other ladies will wear. So I am kind of putting my hope in this fabulous necklace that I yet have to come up with. So everybody will look at me and say - where did you buy this. I haven't really mentioned this yet, but one of my resolutions for this year is to start my own "business" selling a few of my necklaces on etsy or so. Now a quarter of the year is over and I haven't even contacted the tax authorities (everything works a little different in Germany). But I am determined. I can do it.
So back to the fabulous necklace design. I will wear something dark (most likely). Black. Maybe brown. When I think about weddings I always think about pearls. But since I am not the bride, this might not be necessary :)
Does anybody have a suggestion for something fabulous?

Sisterhood of the traveling beads giveaway

Heather Powers of Humblebeads had a fabulous idea. She started the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Beads". She will send a box of all those pretties in the picture out to a lucky winner, who will then get a chance to take some off and add some of his own stash and host the same giveaway. How cool is that. Since I am in Germany I can't participate (sniff), but I think this is so cool that I wanted to let all of you beaders out there know about it. Go over to Heather's blog and join the fun.

And the winner is.....

So here are the two winners for my giveaways - thank you all for leaving comments about your precious three. The one that made me think a long time was a comment from Le Shabbytique: Sanity. We forget how precious it is. But now - the winners...

Meli was so kind to help draw the winners. I assure you she did it randomly and had no preference for any one of you who played along.

The winner of the China landscape earrings is Lisa of Lucidmoonstudio (which makes me very happy since I just won a gift certificate from her giveaway - but it actually would have made me happy for everyone of you who left so lovely comments.).

And the second winner, who will get my Blue Pond earrings is Cindy.

Please contact me and let me know your shipping addresses, so I can get the goodies out to you asap. So sorry for those of you who did not win, but thanks to everyone for playing along. This was fun and I will certainly do it again soon, so stay tuned for something bigger and better ;-).I hope all of you will have a sunny sunday.

If I were

I answered those questions, recently seen on Lori's blog. For the fun of it, you see what Nick answered for me in brackets.

If I were a month I'd be June (September)
If I were a day I'd be a sunny day (Wednesday)

If I were a time of day I'd be midnight (noon)
If I were a sea animal I would be a starfish or an octopus (a seal)
If I were a planet I would be the moon (Jupiter because it is the biggest one - thank you, Nick!)

If I were a direction I would be the wrong one (South)

If I were a piece of furniture I would be a bed (a bed)

If I were a liquid I would be red wine or a tear (champagne or red wine)
If I were a gemstone I would be a chalcedony (a petosky stone)

If I were a tree I would be a magnolia (a willow)

If I were a flower I would be a freesia (a snowdrop)
If I were an element of weather I would be rain (fog or dew)
If I were a tool I would be a hairbrush (broken or a screwdriver because you can use it for everything)

If I were a musical instrument I would be a voice (12 string guitar - because I am not a solo instrument)

If I were a color I would be teal (cobalt blue)
If I were an element I would be air (water)
If I were an emotion I would be calm, harmonious and the love for my Meli (lighthearted)

If I were a fruit I would be a lemon (a tomato - because it is a fruit but it wants to be a vegetable)

If I were a facial expression I would be a happy face (a grin)

If I were a sound I would be a song (a background sound but a nice one)
If I were a car I would be a horse carriage (a Citroen)

If I were a food I would be thai soup without coconut and fish or shrimp (something blackened)

If I were a material I would be silver or cotton (glass)
If I were a place I would be an island in Greece (home)

If I were a taste I would be garlic, lime and chili (sour or salty)

If I were a scent I would be bergamotte (a mix of rose and rosemary)

If I were a body part I would be a heart or an eye (fingertips)
If I were a song I would be something swing or jazz, hometown glory or fix you or young folks or... (song song blue - which was actually chosen by my mum to be my birth song)
If I were a bird I would be a piping plover (not the birds you have, right? an ostrich, penguin, - no: a piping plover)

If I were a gift I would be something really personal (birthday gift)

If I were a street I would a boardwalk by the ocean (a street that leads to a farm or a boardwalk by the ocean)

If I were a city I would be San Francisco or Thira, Greece (Troyes, France)

If I were a pair of shoes I would be comfy shoes (the favorite pair)

Have fun to think a bit about yourself, and share your answers on your blog if you like.

A small world

I made this. I know it looks a bit like a kindergarden project but since I do not have any kids in that age I guess I need to admit it. I made it. And please pay attention more to the thoughts than to the execution side of it - I know I need to get better at that.

So what it is? It is actually a voucher for a friend of mine who will celebrate her 40th birthday - the party will happen tonight. A lot of friends have collected money to give her this spa weekend. It is in a nice hotel, and she will get all kinds of baths and stuff. The good thing is that there are three other ladies that are going with her, so we booked her the "girlfriend package - beautiful sheherazade". In their little group of four, they will get an individual make up training, they will have their private fitness class and enjoy wonderful meals. (I am not going and can you tell I am jealous). And because the girl that was supposed to do the voucher is gone for a work trip until late this afternoon I offered to do the crafting. They thought about a piece of paper with some cut outs of the catalogue explaining the event (which I did of course, see picture below) - but I can do better than that. Nobody has seen it yet, but I love it (even though it is kind of kindergarden-like).

So in this box, you have four "rooms".

The fitness room - with a small copy of the birthday girl. Notice the highlights of her hair and her pretty fitness outfit? I glued the "hardwood" floors in, and the mirror on the wall - when you do fitness, you need to see how your shape improves, right?

The restaurant is simple - it just has a table, plates and silverware - and napkins not to forget.

The make up room has lotion, a mirror again, nail polish, blush, and a shower gel.

And my favorite is the spa room. On the "hardwood" floors I glued a little paper bathtub, that even has "water" in it (made out of plastic wrap), and I made little towels.

The pictures on the walls are actually print outs from the website of the actual hotel where she is going to. So it gives it a more real flair. Isn't this an oasis? I would like to move in!

The only silly part is that I am not sure if I am going to the party. Nick and I said we wanted to bring Meli and the birthday girl asked us to leave her at home, because the music might be loud and she does not want to cut back on her party because of us. While there is a part of it that I can understand, we only come in a package. Plus I feel I can take the decision alone wheather something is too loud for my baby or not. Plus if I go (in that case I would go alone and Nick needs to play the babysitter) I have an hour of commute and can stay about an hour an a half to be safe that I am back in time for nursing..... well - that's life as a mommy.
But don't you like my little spa?

Jewelry from Round Rabbit

I spent money. I was looking for components in Nancy Schindler's store - and before I realized that I was in her finished jewelry store (and not her component store which is RoundRabbitExtra), I already fell in love with those two beautiful pieces. And I bought them. And I love them. I have been wearing both of them almost every day, and still can't stop looking at them. Obviously after that, I still needed to go to the component store - and I will take pictures of what I got when those treasures will come in. Visit her blog here.
Oh and don't forget to sign up fro my giveaway - only two days left.

Fun with Baby

So today was a good day. That was good because yesterday was not so nice, so I enjoyed the turnaround. I worked in the morning and in the afternoon we went to our weekly Tuesday - Play - Class. Now don't ask me what it is about. It is about playing with babies. And a bit of chatting with Mommies as well. The babies are naked (that is part of this concept that was invented by this Czech person), it seems like they can move better than with all the clothes on. And it is about 90 degress F in the room - so the babies are not cold - but the Mommies are sweating like crazy. But I need to say that it is fun.

Tomorrow is one of those busy days again. First we have an appointment at the hospital to get her hemangioma checked (every 6 weeks) - we will have to sit an hour in the waiting room for the doctor to tell us that it has not changed and that we need to come back in 6 weeks to get it checked again. In case you don't know what that is - it is the red spot Meli has in her face. It is a type of birthmark (a kind of benign tumor). We were told that a lot of babies have it, that it grows relatively fast for the first 6 months, then it stays for 2 or more years, and then it starts to fade. We could also do something right now and have it lasered, but that would mean she has to go in the hospital up to 6 times (3 days per stay) - without me (which is not going to happen!). And there is a chance that it will scar. Or to give her beta-blockers. We won't do any of that. We decided to wait. And if it is not going away, then we can still do something later. The doctors are fine with that. Her's is not growing anymore, so we can wait - it actually has not changed in a very long time.

Anyways. After the trip to the hospital, we will go to the next class - it's called early music education. I refer to it as the "singing class" or "the early music education class for mommies" - so I am not destroying my kids' understanding for music with my wonderful voice at her young age. We learn songs in the Tuesday play class, and I can repeat them until Tuesday night, and on Wednesdays, they mutate into one of the three standard melodies I know - unfortunately the text does not work with this anymore.

Please don't get me wrong - I am surely not one of those who needs to run from class to class, but I just enjoy dedicating some time to baby girl. Because after that I have to work in the afternoon while she will go for a walk with grandma and have a good sleep from all that entertainment.

See - it will be a busy day.