Monday, December 29, 2014




Little Gurus by Olaf Hajek

This beautiful book (thank you, Sibylle and Timo!) is a feast for the eyes and a treat for lovers of yoga and art. I love the exuberance in Olaf Hajek's work. And to me these images are not only life-affirming, but also affirmation of the joy that creating such work must bring. I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed and stressed about various projects and commissions, but looking at these illustrations (as well as other artists' work, new discoveries and old favourites) has made me re-focus on the pleasure that is art-making.

After a week of knitting, reading, walking in the winter wonderland that appeared just after Christmas and letting ideas develop (or rather, resting enough for my brain to be able to come up with new ideas), I searched my mom's house for acrylic paints and spent this morning painting:

 Detail, work-in-progress


Speaking of illustrations, the second Jumbo book is out now (more information on my website. Blog post to follow!)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Making - eat, bathe, wear


|  Eat: Christmas cookies, as per German tradition: very rustic-looking Elisenlebkuchen (my sister's are perfectly round and smooth) and Engelsaugen (angel eyes), and with the leftover egg whites I made coconut macaroons (not pictured).  The Lebkuchen have all the Christmas flavours - ground cloves, cinnamon, mixed peel and rum. I also made several loaves of hazelnut-studded Apfelbrot (recipes for that and the Lebkuchen to follow in time for next year's seasonal baking - I have been meaning to add a page with recipes here, for archiving purposes - the internet is chock-a-block with food blogs, so I'm sure the world isn't waiting anxiously for my contribution, but it will be nice to collect some here, as a back-up to my notebooks and folders).

|  Bathe: These bath truffles were easy and fun to make. I used six drops each of geranium and lavender essential oils and both rose and calendula petals. Due to the coconut oil, they create quite an oily bath, which some people don't like, but it means no need for moisturising. They were sitting on the kitchen counter, which confused visitors to my house, as they look edible (white chocolate and rose truffles sounds good). I love having baths with Epsom salts - they are a good way to absorb magnesium via the skin and have numerous healing properties.

|  Wear: I knitted this simple scarf for John a while back; unlike many other projects (where did this year go??) I managed to finish it in time for the colder weather. He knew exactly what he wanted; he picked the colour and requested the white strip. Sometimes I like being given instructions.

Making things has been an antidote to the stress of the last few weeks. Using my hands is so therapeutic, a way to get out of my head - the thoughts it stimulates are of a less frantic kind. I have prescribed myself daily doses of knitting for the holidays.