Goodbye, Mum

Mum’s sewing box, made by my granddad

As things go, real life got in the way. Mum had been unwell for a while, nothing serious though, and passed away unexpectedly on May 1 at the age of 80.

So blogging had to step back for some time, as well as crafting. Slowly things are untangling again and I’m trying to find bits of time to introduce a couple of things that have been left on the list, in no particular order.

Mum’ sewing box, a basket of haberdashery and two button boxes found their way to The Boudoir, as well as her sewing machine and a lot of other things useful to me.


A sign of life

You may have noticed I haven’t published anything since July. In my last post I told you I’d make the Art Lab my main blog. Well, I changed that back after a few days. Too complicated for my old little brain to switch between two blogs.

For quite a while I have been experiencing increasing problems concerning writing and reading. To put down the words I have in mind in writing has become an awfully big challenge. No idea where this comes from – nobody seems to know what I’m talking about. The gp will get me another appointment at the neurologist’s as soon as possible. Apart from that I’m suffering from general exhaustion and lack of concentration. I’ll be seeing a specialist soon about that, hoping he can find out what’s causing this. Blood test results have all been within the normal ranges so far.

Also, I took more efforts on getting rid of things that I have collected during the last two or three decades. This is a very slow process, of course, but I’ve already made visible progress.

And what did I do craft-wise? When I felt like it, I worked on a couple of old things and tested new (for me) techniques. Some small projects got their finishing touches and because I couldn’t find what I needed, I spent about three and a half months researching and drawing my own 2019 planner/journal/diary thing. More socks and paper beads galore – I’ll try to post about everything soon, although with less words than usual, I’m afraid.



From the Magic Garden of Wonders, this year’s motto at Kiel Week’s Spiellinie

It’s been a little quiet again around here lately. Real life sometimes isn’t the fun you’d expect it to be.

At the beginning of May I suddenly started to have issues with my feet. Out of the blue I woke up one morning with an aching foot. As I could hardly walk anymore I saw the orthopedist who decided I had just overstrained my foot. Can’t be, and no, I didn’t change from sturdy winter boots to thin summer shoes, I don’t own such things. But he’s the expert, right? So it was painkillers and feet up, but it wasn’t long until the other foot started to ache as well.

All my best wishes and two thumbs up 👍 👍 to everyone who had or still have their own issues – feet and knees and viruses and the like. I would have loved to comment on everyone’s blog but was unable to.

Of course, Kiel Week took place without me this year, so no pictures except the one above which I took on Friday on a little detour on my way home from an appointment.

At least, all this fuss gave me enough time on my back to knit. I’m now one sock short of the next finished half dozen pairs.

And finally, after quite a while has passed since I applied for it, I’ll be getting help with my real life issues (health, money, work and general chaos). I’m counting on you, Mr. X!

Currently I’m in the middle of re-organizing my craft projects. I’ve put those out of my sight that lack ideas or material. The ones left plus some fresh ideas are now in a new lottery which will be starting soon. Right now I’m working on bits and pieces, finishing this and that but have nothing to show you yet.

The Art Lab will be freed from layers of dust and will become my main blog from July on. There are a lot of things on my list I want to try out, things that are different to what I have been working on so far. Of course, I’ll continue to blog on The Boudoir as well, albeit less frequently on both blogs for a while.

A word on spam comments: I love to read your comments – except the ones from someone who puts a What? under each and every comment from my readers, unaware of the fact hat Akismet is blocking this spam anyway. For a while though, I’ve limited the time you can leave your comment to only a couple of days, so hurry. 🙂


Clueless through time and space

It’s been a little quiet around here for a while. Real life has been so demanding that I was hardly able to stand upright most of the days, let alone to do some blogging. Lots of trouble with my new phone and internet provider led to more trouble with the old one. My freezer broke, the new one didn’t work properly and had to be replaced again. A couple of repairs in my flat followed. Healthwise, there were a lot of pit stops and I still have got no concrete results yet. I contacted  every local authority I could think of for help and assistance, without much success either. Maybe I’ll get the first appointments in a few weeks. Add to that weekly appointments to help me with finding a new job as well as stress management at the ergo therapist (believe it or not, I’m currently in a state that I’m getting stressed by the relaxation exercises). You may also have noticed I closed this blog temporarily – someone had put my stuff onto Twitter, I couldn’t deal with that for sheer exhaustion.

Of course I wasn’t able to do much crafting, just some brainless knitting – a few pairs of socks got finished. I’ve added a litte gallery to the sidebar (scroll down) and will post about them properly in the future.

To cheer me up a little, I got myself a new flatmate – meet Nils, the Merry Master of Slothy Slowness.

Expanding universe

collage from original artwork by F. Ibañez

Sorry for the radio silence, my life has been exploding around me somehow. Regular services will be resumed after cleaning up.


Rescue mission accomplished

When I tried to open my oldest blog about a week ago LiveJournal forced me to accept their new Terms Of Service or I wouldn’t able to use my blog anymore. They provided an English translation of the new TOS which in their own words wasn’t legally binding. The original and binding one was in Russian. Also, they referred to a lot of Russian Federal Acts without  giving an explanation what they were about and of which of course I had no knowledge.

LJ had been sold to new Russian owners a couple of years ago, but were still hosting the data in the US. After some digging around on the internet I found out that a couple of months ago the LJ servers had been moved fom California to Russia. Of which the users had not been informed.

Well, I had to accept the new TOS – what else. Next thing was trying to import my blog to WP like I did a couple of year ago. But alas, LJ have been blocking their API for quite a while so WP had no access to their data.

Red alert. Rescue mission required. Urgent.

One option was to manually download my blog content without the comments month by month. But the resulting files are unsuitable to import into WP, which I knew. So I bit the bullet and transformed my entries into MS Word files one by one to have at least some kind of backup. More digging on the internet followed, as well as reading the TOS of various other blogging platforms. Finally I decided to try Dreamwidth again. Four years before, at the time LJ went to their new owners I had moved my blog over there but failed to customize it and deleted the account.

DW is operating on the base of LJ’s software code. And luckily I could export my blog to their site. Obviously they had massive import from LJ as they warned people their importing could take up to a couple of days as new import request were queued. Anyway, this was an option to save seven years of blogging so I started my import. All done in five minutes. Everything in place now, cost me one week of work.

I have deleted my LJ blog. Well, sort of. I still have 60 days access to undelete. But this is not going to happen.

While I was in deleting mode I have also permanently deleted seven of my WP blogs yesterday. Don’t worry, nothing important you would miss and still enough left. I saved export files in case I should decide otherwise. There are a couple more that will have to go as soon as I’ve decided what I want to keep. Watch this space.

Off now for something more pleasant.

Working behind the scenes


Some of my readers may know 2016 was a bit of a year for me. To keep it short, I started the year with a depression, then I lost my job, then had fun with a leaky roof and a landlord who was very reluctant in repairing this. Among other things.

In summer I got diagnosed with a personality disorder. The diagnosis was very helpful to me because it explained why I’m a little challenged on the social side and also made me understand certain other things. As for me, I axed the disorder part and kept personality. Because this is who I am.

To keep me busy during the time when I was not filling in forms for my health insurance, for the unemployment agency or for getting housing benefit, having appointments  at the doctor’s or reminding my landlord that the roof was still leaking I sorted my hoard humble belongings that I have gathered during the last 40+ years.

I’ve spent another couple of weeks in midst of piles of paper sorting my clippings and torn out pages from newspapers and magazines, my sketches and drafts of possible projects. I got rid of a lot of stuff. Being in my mid-fifties, I’ve got thirty more years if I’m lucky. The pile of remaining craft material I kept will pretty much cover that. 🙂

Unfortunately, I’m no longer able to produce the tiny and even hand stitches I was notorious for, my seams have become uneven. For this reason I will have to switch to machine sewing which will also affect the style of my projects. As you already know, a couple of my former projects have been abandoned with some more to follow, as much as I regret it because of the time and effort already put into them. I’m trying to finish as much as possible, though.

Last year I closed some of my remaining blogs and set up this one instead. But to be honest, I’m not quite happy with how it turned out because putting everything into just one blog doesn’t really seem to match my personality. On the other hand, I don’t want to re-open the other blogs again. Dilemma.

For some time now I’ve been struggling with blogging. As a result of my health issues lots of ideas do not get published because I’m simply unable to concentrate long enough to write about them. On a good day I’m able to scrape together a couple of sentences. On a bad day everything  just goes POP!  – You may have noticed that I mostly just leave a like on your blogs instead of commenting. It’s not that I don’t have nothing to say, but the moment I open the comment form the words just vanish into thin air.

So I’m quietly working behind the scenes these days. I’ve been busy with lots of things recently. Working on old projects and preparing the next steps, trying out new techniques, researching future projects. I’ve worked a little on this blog, re-arranged the widgets, dumped my virtual project baskets and added the projects I’m working on each month instead. Next on the list is setting up a couple of new gallery pages.

Wish me luck


All new! Well, almost…

For a couple of months I had a little fun with this, as some of you may know. Now look –

kueche01All new! Well, almost…

Yesterday I finally had some workers in, they removed the mouldy stuff in the kitchen and the living room and replaced a couple of plasterboards. The painter slapped on some wallpaper, painted most of the kitchen and did the remaining paint job today. Tomorrow the leaky heaters in the bathroom and the bedroom will be replaced. Some smaller repairs have been done already. The joiner has ordered a new custom made countertop for the kitchen which will be there in two or three weeks time.

So I’m through the worst now (hopefully) although I was told the roofer might be around soon to check the loggia’s drain and maybe do some work there.

Except for the bedroom and the bathroom, the whole flat is covered in a dusty layer as there are no doors separating my living room from the kitchen and hallway. Apart from the fact that everyone left their trademarks everywhere. More cleaning fun expected in the bathroom and the bedroom after heater replacement.

If contrary to my expectations cleaning should get boring at some point I’m ready to slip in some needlework. Be prepared. You’ll never know.


Minimal art – 1

minimal03mould on wallpaper, unknown artist, 2016

A horizontal line across the work accentuated by a short perpendicular line top left of center. This composition is balanced out by a dark multi-coloured cloud below the line to the right, carried out on a mottled backgroud of white and yellow.

Before I set up this blog I was planning to publish a series of minimal art on my old and now private blog, traces of art. I got inspired by a chapter in one of my ‘photography for beginners’ books and had already collected a couple of examples.

The above work of art comes from my kitchen. I’ll spare you the overall sight. I discovered it this morning after the cabinetmaker had removed one of the built- in cupboards. The roof had been leaking, the water was running down the kitchen wall onto the tiles, partly behind the cupboard. I noticed this in early April and immediately informed my landlord. Repair work started only when I reduced the rent after three months.

In a couple of days, the painter will replace the wallpaper and paint the corner. To me, this is like putting some band aid onto a fractured bone. By the way, did I mention there are two leaks in the living room, one from the roof (already repaired) and one on the floor by the loggia door? The newly discovered leak in the hallway? I’m now looking for a new flat as I’m not willing to take the health risk or having any more of my belongings damaged.