Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today, it's all about flowers!



I cheated with these! ;o)

Self-made flower stamp


Now I must go, have to feed the little wormfriends! :o))

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The compost

Aaah, the compost! One of the many miracles of nature! First it's food and what you don't want to eat becomes stinky yuck, then you stir and you wait and out comes - earth to grow food on. How great is that!? ;o)

Well, I told you at the beginning of the year that we are looking into starting our own compost. Well, we have made some tiny steps since then.

First I thought I'd just try and make a tiny compost bin where everything can break down by itself like in a garden compost. I put the kitchen scraps in the bin and mixed it well with some soil.

I kept the bin upstairs in the attic which is well ventilated and it didn't really stink unless you took the top off (that I did a few times a week to stir the whole stuff).

I poked some holes through the bottom of the bin so that excess moisture could run out, but it wasn't really necessary.

I soon realised though that my plan was not gonna work. I think the bin was just not big enough to develop enough heat to break the stuff down.

I've been reading a lot about vermicomposting and how it is really ideal for small indoor composts, because the worms do all the work and therefore it doesn't stink and it works well in smaller containers, too. The problem is that the worms are really expensive if you buy them.

But last weekend, when we were back at my parent's place, the weather was really good and a group of people from their neighbourhood had started bringing out the fresh soil from their big shared compost onto a nearby field. We got ourselves a bucket and started digging up the little friends to take them home with us.

So now the bottom of our compost container ist filled with yummy compost earth and a small worm population that we will now try to feed well so that they will breed fast and soon be able to eat all of our kitchen scraps. (At the moment we have to be careful not to overfeed them).

I really hope this will turn out nicer than the first try and I must admit, I'm also quite in love with the cute little wormly-guys!

What do you think? Is it worth starting your own compost? Or would you rather wait until an easier solution presents itself? What do you do with your green waste?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A little celebration-giveaway

Even though I have been sick with some nasty cold the past few days and everything else has been put on hold for the moment (which makes me *sick*, especially with the great weather we're having here right now!), I would like to celebrate a little bit. *pops party hat on*

There's not only one but three excuses for that. First of all of course the new look of the blog, but also the new Facebook page, and then today I finally, after a loooong time of waiting, got my invite for Pinterest in my email.

Pinterest is a very beautiful and stylish site to find and catalogue pictures that you like. It's like an online pin -or- inspirationboard. There are thousands of adorable pictures of all sorts on the site, but you can also pin directly from any website that you might come across whilst surfing. And of course you can make friends with other people whose style you like and see their fabulous pinboards.

Pinterest is still in Beta and not open for signups, so you have to leave your email address and wait for an invite. I waited about two months, which is a freaking long time when everything you wanna do is just get pinning.

But here's the good news for all you people:

As a new member of Pinterest I can invite a certain number of my friends who then get their own accounts.

I will give away 5 of these invites as celebration-presents.

All you have to do is 
- like my facebook-page (over there, on the left), or follow me on blogger (you find the link at the top of the page when you're signed in) or with google friend connect (also on the left)

- and then contact me and give me your email address.

If there are more than 5 people participating, I will of course let the lucky fairy decide and make a lottery pot.

I'm already looking forward to giving away these invites and see you stylish people on Pinterest! Juhuuu! :o)

PS: Of course you can also join the giveaway if you are already following The Shiny Bubble!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Phoenix and ash and such

*insert trumpets and drumrolls*
Juhuu, I'm back!
The break turned out to be a creative one. As soon as I stopped thinking about writing posts, I felt the need to start working on the design of the blog. I've wanted to give it a facelift for some time but never got around to start on it seriously. But this time I spent hours researching the net, reading tutorials or begging Trev to help until slowly but surely all the things that were on my list started adding up on the page.

I think it is still not a masterpiece of design, but then for somebody who really doesn't know a lot about programming, I am quite satisfied with the amount of individuality that I got.

What's new, you may ask.
First of all, I updated the blog description and the section about myself, right up there, in the new navigation bar.

You can now like or shareposts on the social network site of your choice, aaaaand:

I have a facebook fan page!!!

So if you're so inclined, would you please klick like there on the left, so that little square fills up with lovely people's faces very quickly??
If you aren't following The Shiny Bubble on Networked Blogs already, you will see new posts there as soon as they are out, and of course I'll be adding additional information and pictures - and so can you! ;o)

I'm quite excited about that and I hope it will help to add some structure and coherent design to the blog.

And of course I haven't forgotten about all the interesting things I promised to tell you about before I went away. I am currently working on writing up all these posts.
See you soon!

Monday, March 21, 2011

taking a break

Hello everyone,
it seems I'm taking a break from blogging. It could be until tomorrow, or maybe until next week. Ever since the happenings in Japan blogging has felt a bit strange. And now I'm working at a new place for a few days and I had a shitty weekend and have some difficult stuff on my to-do-list this week. All in all not the best circumstances for my energy levels, so I just wanna let you know that I'll blog as the mood strikes me.

Once I'm back on track there's a loot of stuff lined up that I have to tell you about... so please check back later!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Time for candles

Initially I intended not to lose too many words or even a post about the desaster in Japan and everything else that's going on in the world right now (the press has its back turned on anything else than the Fukushima power plant these days it seems, but all over Arabia there's unrest and it seems like Mr. Gaddhafi is getting away with another slaughtering...).
It's sweet that the topic is all over the blogs and facebook and everybody is expressing their shock and sadness. It just feels unreal to me. After all, the internet is words, not feelings or deeds. 
But as I, too am devastated by the news every day, and I can't brush it off and it feels so strange to blog about mundane things while such things are happening. But then, bad things are always happening in the world... 
You see, I'm very divided there, and since my blog intends to be a little insight in my life, this strange post pictures it pretty well, as it is. 

No more words then. But in my window, there will be a candle burning tonight. 

My creative space

I've finished the first version of the lineart for the first book project yesterday, it's such a great feeling! Then lately I've been into small craftsprojects again. They're instant gratification and it's a cool way for getting all the crafty supply-stuff off my desk to make room for new ideas.

Here are some peeks from drawings and sketches:

Head over to kootoyoo to see more people's creative spaces!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

365 things - week 13

Wow, people, in the last post I crossed the 100 line!! yikes! And on my list, I'm already well past half the number of items I want to give away. It's so exciting!

Lately I've always talked about how good it feels to give stuff away. That is only part of the good things, though. This project is about giving away what I don't need, not giving away as much as possible (although sometimes that's how it feels and it's part of the fun!) or living with as little as I possibly can (although, as a person who likes challenges of that kind, I might like to try it one day!).
Therefore project 365 is not only about giving things away, but also about deciding what I need. It can either be something I consider - after conscious and lenthy thinking - important enough to buy it, or just the conscious decision to keep something in the house. Because it is useful or otherwise important to me.

It happened to me twice in the past week that I had an item on the list to give away and then crossed it off again because I realised I want to keep it. One was the big print of van Gogh's "Café de nuit" which is one of my favourite paintings and has been with me since my teenage years. I realised I just don't want to part with it, I still like looking at it after all these years.
The second thing I decided to keep is my daylight lamp. I got it when I had really bad winter depression also and I haven't used it in two years, because it seems like I have other strategies to deal with the blues now. But I'm just not ready yet to give the lamp away. It was quite expensive and I'm a bit afraid after just two winters it would be a bit too optimistic to part with it. So it will stay.

I think I was wrong when I said it feels so good to give stuff away. That's not the whole truth. I think I have to say: It feels so good when the stuff that you have consists of less and less clutter and more and more things that you've consciously decided to own.

Items of this week:

All these things went to the Brockenhaus, except for the sign language book. It's in German and about German sign language (not Swiss), but it's a nice introduction. Anybody interested?

Enjoy your Wednesday!

little simple kitchen

My kitchen is tiny. It is not even a room, it's a counter with a fridge, some cupboards, a sink and one hob.
It's not really the sort of kitchen for people who like to make things themselves. But we are trying to make the most out of it. We have an additional two (electric) hobs that make it possible to cook more than just a pot of soup or some spaghetthi.
When I moved in I also purchased a small electric oven, but I stopped using it because it's just not the same and only takes up a lot of space on the counter.

Still, today I spent my afternoon making three different batches of dough for yummy selfmade food and it all works very well.

Spaetzle, ready to get crammed into the tiny freezer. It's a runny dough made from flour, eggs, salt, oil and water, no waiting required. They are then scraped into boiling water. You can either eat them directly afterwards, or keep them in the fridge or freezer.

Selfmade pasta drying on the windowsill. The easiest dough ever. Flour, salt, some oil and water until it is smooth. Then roll out and cut. They keep in the fridge for a few days, or about a month in the freezer. If you dry them, they're like the normal pasta you buy. Just better.

And finally, I made some more Pita breads. It's a normal yeast dough that needs to rise for a couple of hours, but then you 'bake' the breads in a big frying pan with a lid. This recipe works so well I have been thinking about making small 'Zopf's for Sundays. I'll keep you posted.

So you see, there is actually quite a lot that can be accomplished even in the smallest kitchen. I love how going simple still makes things work - often even more nicely and much less complicated than before. If you really want something, there is always a solution. It requires either money, time, or creativity. Your choice!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Project ReStyle: Stamp-O-mania!

Hey, remember that skirt with the stains? Well, it seems like I found a solution:

Well, obviously, these stars *look* quite magical, but they can't make the stains dissapear. But when I wear it, nobody's gonna notice! (Now you know what sort of person I am... :p)

I made the star-stamp myself with a bit of linol I had left from the No-Pants-Ride, and it worked so well I dabbled in it some more.

I carved a little heart out of an eraser. That's much easier to do than linol, because it is much softer, and in the end because it is a block it really makes a nice stamp that's easy to handle. I'm so gonna get some more erasers to try more difficult designs. Oh and the idea is from Holly at "Two Cheese Please", she's the absolute expert in carving and she's got a nice tute on making your own stamps!

Speaking of links, here's a flat you totally have to see: Cesa's Recycled Home over at ReNest, such an amazing sense of style, how she uses all that 'garbage' is just breathtaking!!

In other news, I'm still studying hard to catch up on the news. The more I read the more I realise that I have no foundation whatsoever to put all these snippets of information on, so it only makes me look into deep holes of knowledge that I'll have to fill... but I'm working on it.
Meanwhile all this theory will not keep my from sending my best thoughts and prayers out to all the people in the world who need them. Everybody's writing about that these days, so I feel I don't have to flatten it out, too, but of course it's on my mind and makes everything else I babble about feel a bit mundane. But it won't help anybody to sit on my butt and cry. I feel like making an effort to understand what's going on is soothing me quite a lot.

Something that's also making me sad or rather quite angry is that Blogger seems to be all over the place these days. The design-editor doesn't work, picture uploading is only possible in the really ugly old post-editor, but for linking I have to switch to the new one or edit the HTML directly (yay, I actually remember how to do that...) because it seems broken, and and and... I thought nowadays it should be possible to make a smooth and handy UI that actually works... I was planning on a big makeover for the blog to fit the new design, but this really puts me off and I'm thinking about switching the host again... *meep*

Computer-related, but nicer: I also took up studying BASH a few days ago, because it makes me crazy not to know what's going on in my computer. The laptop is my second-best friend on this world, so I want to be able to read his mind. ;)
Well, that's also hard, and today's lesson left me quite flattened, but Trev went through it again with me in the evening, and now I feel like I've got some really really basic understanding of stuff... that means it's getting interesting now!

What are you learning this week?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A busy weekend - in a way

Hey all, I hope you had a great weekend! We sure did and we've been very busy.Not what you think though - we've hardly been out. The busyness was due to happy and sad reasons.

Happy first, we each have a new toy:

Trev borrowed a coloring tablet from a friend for me to try and I've been playing around with it all weekend because it has to go back on Monday. It's a very cool tool to color sketches in Photoshop or GIMP. I like 'reallive' colorwork alot, but the computer version is quite addictive. I might want one for my birthday...

The Master, on the other hand, sold his old and rather big synth and instantly bought a new one that is small and cool and can easily be placed on our kitchen table. It's the first time in ages that he's really sat down and enjoyed some music making, and I could really see how good it is for him. Work is very stressful atm, but music makes him calm and relaxed.

Well, the other kind of busyness started on Friday, when I heard about the horrible things happening in Japan. I mean, there have been a lot of major catastrophes and big political changes happening all around the world lately, and it made me sad, of course. But I'm not so much of a news-person. I don't have a telly, I don't listen to radio much (more for the music) and I don't read any newspapers apart from the occasional one picked up on a tram or train. So all of that has just been dribbling in via headlines and people telling me. And somehow on Friday evening whilst talking about pros and cons of nuclear powerplants with a friend, I suddenly realised how little I know. I mean, you can tell me literally anything about that sort of stuff, and I would have no clue as to believe you or not.

It just can't be that I don't even know where Libya lies, that I have no clue where exactly in Japan the quake happened and that I'm not even sure which country Mubarak used to rule.

Well, I'll put a stop on that, I promised myself. I don't want to be a clueless dummie anymore.
So I sat myself down and started reading the news of a few big papers to get at least a little up to date with things. And then I went on with looking at Wikipedias list of all countries of the world, copying their names and flags and capitals down in my journal. That's how I spent most of my Sunday. I'm gonna find out more, I just have to decide where to start. It will take a lot of time and effort to make up for all the ignorance I've accumulated here, but I'll get there...

It is shocking, of course, with all the bad news at the moment, but it also makes me feel a bit better to slowly build a coherent picture of the events in my head and starting to understand what's actually going on.

So you see, there's been a lot going on.

Have good start into the new week!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Grateful for: Being me

It sounds a bit egoistic, I know, but that's not how I mean it. I don't want to say that I think I am perfect or anything, quite the contrary. The one thing I can say about my life so far is that I've always felt uneasy about it in one or the other way. Sometimes that made me go crazy, but sometimes it is also a good thing. It makes me want to move on, to investigate about what's going on inside myself and how I affect my surroundings. I think that uneasiness is actually what sparked my interest for environmental issues. It's the driving energy behind everything I love to do. 

Being me also has always been a question of accepting to stand out. Not because I'm better, but because I am different. Different in the way that everybody is - it's called individuality these days. But know what? Even though we're told that our society is exalting the concept of individuality, they're actually only joking. Adverts tell us exactly where we have to shop if we 'know what we want', or to 'make your own style'. Has any of these adverts ever made you feel like it's ok not to feel like shopping? See. And that's only one thing. 

So I think I've worked and am working pretty hard on accepting to be me. Just me, no masks or anything. Let me tell you, dropping one of these masks in fall 2009 almost made me dive into a big depression again. It still hurts inside when I think about it.
Taking time off to work on things that are not really gonna earn me a living, nor include travelling (the only socially accepted reason for being unemployed in Switzerland) was another hard step.

But oh, it is SO worth it. I have never felt as liberated, peaceful and full of meaning than these days, where I wake up every day and make the day mine. 
It might not work all the time (I have been caught browsing the web instead of working... shame on me!), but it will work out eventually, and I love it. 

Have a happy weekend everybody, make it yours!

Much love
(and Teddy)

See what others are grateful for:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My creative space

I sat me down to a box of beads and some fairy gifts today. The great thing about fairy gifts is, they love it when you take them home... but they also love it when you bring them back. So I make something nice out of the stuff and then put it back in the wild. It keeps me from drowning in pretty stuff or having to toss it after a while and it makes the fairies happy and the world more pretty.

Well, come to think of it, some people might call it littering, but nevermind.
So sometime soon, when it is dark, I'll be hanging these in some trees around the house:

What's going on in your creative space? Tell us and link up on kootoyoo. (Also see many more spaces there!)

Self portrait thursday

It is a day for wearing an old jumper, tights with nothing over them, and pompons on your shoes.

My window doesn't really have such a cool shape, but I do have blossoming beans in it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stylish blogging - I'm trying ;o)

I'm so proud that Rachael from Squiggly Rainbow honored me with the Stylish blogger Award. How cool is that? Thank you so much Rachael!!

The rules are to tell you people seven things about me that you might not know and then tag seven other people with the Award. So let's get going:

1. My most favourite color is yellow.

2. I am actually quite conservative when it comes to food. I always order what I know to be good. For example, I never eat any other pizza than Funghi, and if we eat ice cream at least one of the balls has to be choccolate.

3. I had to take the test for my driver's licence three times. I'm still not sure if I was being a real twit or if I was just plain unlucky.

4. I love fresh bedsheets!

5. When I was little I always wanted to be a truck driver. I think I was born a few years too late. There's not much romance on highways anymore these days. Just CO2.

6. I can sleep anywhere, anytime. I just have to feel mentally comfortable. I've slept on the floor on a train in Vietnam, with cockroaches crawling over my feet, in clubs, on chairs, and even on a motorbike, but that's not for trying at home.

7. If I could choose, I think I would like to be a stay-at-home mum.

There, I hope there was at least one thing you didn't know yet.
I am handing this award on to the following wonderful people:

- Sophie from Her Library Adventures - because she is a constant source of sweet inspiration
- Angie from Sew I thought, because who wouldn't like to know more about a girl who sews the most wonderful things like a stitching fairy?
- The beautiful Textured Leaf where I've been feeling at home so much ever since we both started decluttering
- The Rabbit and the Duck where wonderful Shannon always surprises me with her creations
- I would love to know what else but Pickled Herring Kathryn likes... ;o)
- Rachael who's a tree-hugging sister and blogs at Talk2TheTrees
- And last but not least, Holly at Mermaids Closet who convinced me that blogging is really something that's worth the effort.

Phew, that was a lot of typing.

And whilst we are on it, how do you people like the new design of the blog? I am still very happy with it. I love how it uses much more of the screen space, it seems to be much easier to read that way.

365 things - week 15

The stuff that I gave away this week is from the raiding of my altary. It is one of the places that just accumulates useless stuff over the years. When I went through everything I realised that I had way too many candleholders and other things of the 'this-might-be-useful-one-day' category. Well, now it is all gone.

I actually use the altary much more often since I decluttered and simplyfied it. It feels less weighty and serious now and much more inviting to just spend a few moments there.

DIYODS - do it your own damn self!

We live in a very small flat here that consists of one single room with integrated kitchen, and a separate bath and corridor, all tucked together on 30sqm. When I moved in here, this was one of your typical student's flats: Ugly carpet, greasy kitchen counters, etc etc. Although I am only renting the place I jumped into some major renovating action (thinking they can't take it too badly, after all I'm improving the place!), putting in laminate flooring, painting all the walls and changing other important details (like ripping out the ugly bathroom cabinet and replacing the stone windowsill with a wooden one).

Something that bugged me ever since those early days was a part of the kitchen counter that was closed up and seemed to have empty space behind it. Empty, unused space in my tiny kitchen! It makes me teary to think about it. But then, I just never managed to figure out how to take that board away.

This morning I felt the glory of the DIY-gods shine down on me and decided to give it another try. With Trev's help we finally got that bugger out:

Hallelujah! It needed some major cleaning, since they didn't bother to do any finishing work behind the scenes apparently.

And of course there were places that hadn't seen a dustrag in the past 50years

But that's all a blur behind the pinky-pink glasses of triumph and two words written in golden letters: STORAGE SPACE

Finally, all the recycling containers have a real home. It feels so relieving when stuff that has been homeless for so long finally gets a real place to stay. And because it still doesn't look exactly nice, I whipped up a little curtain to make it all neat.

Powered with that early morning success, I got some dreaded tasks done during the rest of the day and in the evening even dared myself to try and find a nicer theme for the blog. I have never liked ho busy the last one seemed, and I think the current one improves it heaps. I'm still testing the waters though, we'll see if I still like it a few days from now.
The only problem with energy-filled days like today is that I inevitably stay up waaay too long and the day after will be filled with headaches and puffy eyes from too little sleep. Off to bed, then!
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