Sunday, December 31, 2006


A lot of people like Berlin - they probably don't live here!
To be honest: I hate Berlin. If I could, I would move this very minute.
Because there are too many people here:
People who don't like kids.
People who are very aggressive.
People who let their dogs sh.. everywhere.
Kids can't play in the park because there is dog poo everywhere.
They can't play in the playing ground because older kids harrass them seriously - e.g. footballs or other things get stolen.

The other day we had a doctor's appointment and went there by bike. Because of the heavy traffic we rode our bikes on the sidewalk (one after another: me leading, the twins following). People waiting at a bus stop gave us dirty stares; one, after seeing us, even stepped forward so we couldn't pass easily. Others shouted after us that we shouldn't use the sidewalk - that particular sidewalk was about 10 metres wide (!) and the ladies didn't have their dogs on the leash...
I had a severe headache when we reached our destination. These people make me sick!

About 2 weeks ago I was riding my bike on the sidewalk (I know it's not allowed but the motorists drive like crazy here). I always go very slowly. When I wanted to avoid a woman with a buggy she simply pushed me! I could have fallen onto the road...

The day before yesterday the following happened:
We wanted to do some last minute shopping and walked on the sidewalk. The kids were chasing each other. A woman on a bike wanted to overtake us (on the wrong side, she didn't ring her bell or shout) and hit Emma because she couldn't break in time. She did NOT apologize. She shouted that this was not a playing ground! Can you imagine the brazenness?? I don't mind people riding their bikes on the sidewalk but one has to be considerate and drive slowly. Of course I shouted back but she just drove on - without inquiring if anything was wrong or apologizing. She only showed us the middle finger and left - that's Berlin!
I am very sorry that I didn't take a picture of her. I hope to meet her again.

This list will probably be continued, I am sorry to say.

a peaceful, crafty and happy new year!

I made the snowmen that I posted about some time ago. They took ages but I am very pleased with the result. The photos are crap though - I always have problems taking pix of white objects...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Swapping with Olivia

This was my third swap but the first swap where both packages arrived. I still haven't heard from Mayumi - hopefully she got her box. I still didn't get mine. Ivy from Singapore wrote to me a couple of days ago that she is still waiting for her box. That's a real pity because I even made jam especially for her... and I received her package shortly after she sent it. I hope she will get her goodies soon!
So this was the second swap package that I received - and it was full of marvellous things. Olivia sent some beautiful fabrics and buttons, a magazine (missing in the picture) and sweets (the twins are at the moment tasting all the different flavours of the jelly beans!). She also sent a little pouch and a bag which she made herself I think! The kids are fighting over the sweetest stickers I have ever seen.

Here's a close up of the fabrics. Another incentive to get a new sewing machine - as if I needed one...

Olivia made this beautiful bag which is perfect to tote around a little knitting. Thank you so much, Olivia!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How to caramelize almonds

Now that my sewing machine doesn't work anymore I have some time to spend on other christmassy preparations. Friends and family have been asking about the almonds that I make every year. This morning I finally obliged.

I use 200 g of sugar, 5 spoonsful of water, 1 teaspoonful of cinnamon and some cardamom. Stir well and bring to a boil, than add approx. 200-250 g of almonds. Lower the heat. And then you just keep stirring and stirring and stirring.
Warning: don't ever touch any almond that falls out of the pan! Use a spoon!!

the sugar gets dry and you keep stirring...

Thank God, at one point the sugar starts to melt and now the caramelizing begins!! Don't forget to stir! I know, it's tiring!

Hmmm, caramel doing very well indeed - what a smell! It's a very sticky mass but stir you must!

Pour the sticky almonds onto a baking tray covered with baking paper and separate as best as you can, using forks or spoons. Let them cool down .

After cooling down, try to separate the almonds some more. Now you can try one, but you better start making another batch. They are really delicious (if I say so myself) and it's difficult to stop. And the good thing: they are less sugary than the ones you can buy...

Monday, December 11, 2006

good news

Last weekend we went to the Sinterklaas market in Potsdam, near Berlin and it was really nice. I expected it to be very crowded but it was OK. There were a lot of craftspeople from Holland. They were extremely friendly and explained what they were doing, Unfortunately I couldn't take as many pictures as I would have liked...

Here are Sinterklaas and Black Peter talking to a brave little girl reciting a poem.

The basket-maker really fascinated my daughter. She spent about 10 minutes watching him weaving and weaving. And look: it was sunny! But quite cold, mind you!

The porcelain-painter wearing a traditional Dutch bonnet! She was very talented and had some beautiful things for sale.

Another craftsman who fascinated my daughter. Again she spent a long time watching him plaiting the seat of an old chair. He was very nice and talkative. And he's wearing traditional wooden clogs!

It was a very nice afternoon but in the end our hands and feet were freezing. I can't imagine how the craftspeople could stand the cold!

bad news

my sewing machine died last Friday which is terribly inconvenient. I have so many presents to finish! It teaches me a lesson: don't leave too many wips, finish your crafts as soon as you can!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bomb threat? Swapping with Ivy!

Still no package from Portland but I got a little package from Singapore. Ivy sent me tiny pieces of fabric and some trim and ribbon. She also sent some sweets the children will definitely love. She enclosed a little craft book on patchwork. And there are two obscure thingies that look like fire crackers. I think it will be safer to wait for Ivy's explanation before trying them... Thank you Ivy and I hope you like our package!!

This is everything Ivy sent from far away Singapore. Sorry for the crappy photographs...

Bomb threat in Berlin? Maybe! I am not sure if these little things are fire crackers, little bombs or sweets?? They are called haw flakes... will there be a flour explosion when you bite into them?

And here is a close up of the fabric. I think it's very nice. I hope to use it soon!

Monday Monday

Monday again! But at least it's sunny outside, quite a pleasant fall day! I have been crocheting a little over the weekend and here is the result:

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I wanted to make little bunny stuffies for some time now and I finally did a couple of them yesterday. I chose a piece of old linen which I thought would be perfect, then I made a simple drawing. Everything was really easy until I had to turn the buggers inside out - what a pain those long ears were! I actually had to use tweezers!! I stuffed them with a little polyfill and some fresh lavender and there they are:

I think they are quite cute but next time I will make some bears with tiny ears...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

swappy di swap

Still no package from Portland and also no mail from my swap partner if she received hers. Maybe she's still on vacation...
Nevertheless, I mailed the package to my swap partner in Singapore on Thursday and really hope to have more luck this time!
I haven't been crafting a lot lately. I am very busy at work but unfortunately still not earning enough money:((
Autumn is in full swing now and it often is stormy and rainy - but not now, so we can do our shopping without getting wet... I wish it was sunny, though. I think I couldn't live in Scandinavia where it stays quite dark even during the day. It must be very depressing.
But look at these guys! Aren't they the cutest ever??? I found the link on mollychicken's blog and immediately fell in love! Definitely have to make some for Christmas!! They really make me smile!

In the meantime I made a Russian matroshka. I've seen them somewhere, probably ebay. Here is the picture that I downloaded:

I think they are very sweet but I don't like the crocheted faces. As I don't have those tiny buttons and I am too lazy to embroider the flowers, I made her a belt, I used rocailles beads for the eyes:

Have a great weekend everybody!

Monday, November 06, 2006


It's really weird. I posted my swap package to Portland in the end of September and presumably it hasn't arrived yet. My swap partner is on vacation, so I hope there is someone there to pick up her mail. I haven't received my package either although she sent it at the same time. That was nearly 6 !! weeks ago now.
On the other hand I already received books that were sent from Japan and Hongkong much later! I hope our swap packages aren't lost...
I haven't managed to do much crafting lately. I have many many WIPs that I don't want to show pictures of but didn't finish anything. Probably that autumn depression at work...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

everything's relative...

isn't it??

Of course, one knows they do all kinds of things with models before taking the pictures and then afterwards they do all kinds of things with the pictures - but to see it from a-z is rather frightening!
I wonder, what do all the little girls think when they see beautiful women on the billboards, in magazines or on tv? I don't remember but I think it wasn't that bad when I was little. Emma can't have it from me but she spends an awful amount of time in front of the mirror - and that's although she's rather a tomboy! Hope she will cope!
And actually I think it's not much different for the boys - very disconcerting!

Friday, October 20, 2006

another one...

Another Japanese craft book that I'd love to have. Amazon Japan charges so much for the postage that it's probably better to wait till someone sells it on ebay...

Sunday, October 08, 2006


autumn and winter aren't my favourite seasons. I don't like the darkness. It makes me moody and lethargic. I could do without rain and cold weather. Maybe it's because we live in a small flat. It gets crowded and you can't escape...
But good news: I got a piece of green fabric that will look nice with the felt pouch I showed in my last post. I look forward to finishing it and start something new! Maybe I will do more felting?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

WIP and linen tape

I want to show my current WIP. I am wondering what lining to use. Off-white would be boring but I don't think that I have a nice orange fabric, need to check and that can take ages as I am the owner of tons of fabric...

I recently got the most amazing bookbinding linen tape from this ebay-seller. It comes in 6, 10, 13 and 19mm width and has a very nice quality. I want to use it for stamping because it's very difficult to get nice trims that are affordable... But first of all I will have to make the stamps - I will keep you posted.

Oh, and I finally posted the swap package for Mayumi. Hope she likes the things I got for her!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Felted again

Felted flower brooch 2

After a long break I finally managed to do some felting with my daughter. I felted a couple of flowers. I made brooches of two of them that I am selling on etsy. I am also working on a clutch...

toy sewing machine

toy sewing machine I found on ebay

This is a sewing machine that I found on ebay and wanted to give to my 8 year old daughter but I am not sure if it works. Unfortunately, it didn't come with instructions :((
There doesn't seem to be a space for batteries, so maybe it works without? Would appreciate if anybody could help!

Sunday, September 17, 2006



There are so many Japanese craft books around but just the two books that I want most seem to be out of print. So, if anyone has one or both of them and doesn't need them anymore (fat chance of that, I know), please send me an e-mail at!

Monday, September 11, 2006

thrift stores, 2nd hand clothes

for those of you who like to visit thrift stores, there you go (haven't been to most of them and am not sure if they still exist...!)

Falbala Knaackstrasse 43, near Kollwitzplatz, 10435 Prenzlauer Berg
tube station Eberswalder Strasse
Faster, Pussycat! Mehringdamm 55, 10961 Kreuzberg
tube station Mehringdamm
Garage Ahornstrasse 2 /little road off Einemstrasse, 10787 Schoeneberg
tube station Nollendorfplatz
Kleidermarkt Colours Bergmannstrasse 102, 10961 Kreuzberg
tube station Gneisenaustrasse/Mehringdamm
Made in Berlin Potsdamer Strasse 106, 10785 Berlin - Tiergarten
tube station Kurfuerstenstrasse
Tenderloin Alte Schoenhauser Strasse 30, off Muenzstrasse, near Hackescher Markt, 10119 Berlin - Mitte
tube station Weinmeisterstrasse
Treibstoff Bergmannstrasse 106, off Mehringdamm, 10961 Berlin - Kreuzberg
tube station Mehringdamm

I also found a list of markets you could visit while in Berlin but I am not sure if it's up to date!

Craft and fabric shops in Berlin

(not complete! Changes possible!!)

craft stores

idee. Creativmarkt

Wilmersdorfer Strasse 108-111
10627 Berlin – Charlottenburg
opening hours:
mo - sa 10.00 - 20.00
they don’t have a working webpage
tube station Wilmersdorfer Strasse

another branch around the corner from KaDeWe department store (see below)!

im Storkower Bogen
Rudolf-Seiffert-Strasse 3
10369 Berlin
tel 030 - 99 49 90 61
opening hours:
mo - sa 09.00 - 20.00
S-Bahn (S42, S43, S8), stop: S-Bahnhof: Storkower Strasse
Bus 156, stop: S-Bahnhof: Storkower Strasse

Hobbyshop Wilhelm Rüther
Goltzstrasse 37
10781 Berlin-Schoeneberg
Tel 030 - 23 63 68 3
opening hours:
mo – fr 10:00 - 19:00 h
sa 10:00 - 16:00 h

more branches here:
Berliner Strasse 90/91
13507 Berlin-Tegel
opening hours:
mo – fr 10:00 - 19:00 h
sa 10:00 - 16:00 h

Kollwitzstrasse 54
10405 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
opening hours:
mo – fr 10:00 - 19:00 h
sa 10:00 - 16:00 h

Breite Strasse 37
13597 Berlin-Spandau Altstadt
opening hours:
mo – fr 10:00 - 19:00 h
sa 10:00 - 16:00 h

fabric stores

Frau Tulpe Stoffe & Accessoires
Veteranenstrasse 19
10119 Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg
opening hours:
mo - fr 10 – 20 h
sa 12 – 18 h
tel. 030 – 4432 7865
check their website (Produkte: Stoffe, Accessoires)

Frankfurter Allee 50
10247 Berlin
Tel. 030 / 291 83 54
opening hours:
mo - fr 9.30 – 19 h
sa 9.30 – 16 h
tube station Samariterstrasse

KaDeWe department store
Tauentzienstraße 21-24
10789 Berlin
tel 030 - 2121-0
opening hours:
mo - fr 10 – 20 h
sa 9:30 – 20 h
tube station Wittenbergplatz

Wertheim department store
Kurfuerstendamm 231
10719 Berlin
tel 030 - 880 03-0
opening hours:
mo - fr 9.30 – 20 h
sa 9 – 16 h
tube station Kurfuerstendamm

also check out Turkish markets:
there used to be one on Paul Lincke Ufer just off Kottbusser Damm in Kreuzberg (tube station Kottbusser Tor), it used to be on Fridays but I have to check that...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

as promised

Here comes the promised photo of the octopi that I crocheted recently and forgot to post ... I've seen so many pictures of nice amigurumi that I thought I should try to make one myself. I really adore this sweet cat, but lack the patience to make one, I'm afraid. So I started with something small:

Octopus Tintenfisch Krake
Originally uploaded by zakkablog.

my amigurumi style octopi!
anybody interested?

für einen Froschkönig

für einen Froschkönig
Originally uploaded by zakkablog.

manchmal sind die süßen Kleinen Giftzwerge, aber ansonsten doch eher Prinzen oder Prinzessinen - mit diesen Schühchen dann auch ordentlich ausgestattet...

21.9.2006 Meine Nichte hat einen Sohn bekommen. Er wird der - hoffentlich stolze - Besitzer dieser Schühchen werden. Und für meine Nichte hoffe ich, dass er sich nicht zum Giftzwerg entwickelt!!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

so many things to do

Yesterday I wanted to take some pix of a few finished crafts but then the batteries were empty and I only managed to take a few. Unfortunately I couldn't go out to buy a new pack because I started my own online travel agency not too long ago and there are still so many things to organize and do... if you want to book a flight or journey, ask me!

Anyhow, here is a photo of a little bowl that I made from a yarn blend. I knit the bowl first and then felted it in the washing mashine. It shrunk by about 40 %. It can hold all the odds and ends that usually litter my desk.

I wanted to crochet some flowers but they were supposed to look different from the usual ones, so I made these little starfish-shaped thingies. They look quite beautiful on dark hair, so I attached them to hairpins :-))

Well, I didn't stop there. Why not crochet some daisies, I thought? Well, I think they are very sweet. This one is attached to a hairclip and also looks very nice on dark hair... What do you think?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'm an ambassador!

I'm an GYS ambassador!
I got that mail from Rikki asking for pictures and I will certainly spend some time clicking today or tomorrow.
I will also try to post pix of some of the things that I've been sewing and crocheting the last days. Maybe someone is interested in swapping for an amigurumi-style-octopus??

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Actually, the main reason I am starting this blog is because I also want to join gimmeyourstuff and start sending goodies to you and receiving parcels with goodies from all over the world - it's such a nice idea! I just hope there is somebody out there fancying stuff from Germany!!
So, let me know!
To contact me, please leave a comment and/or email me at ckebel (at)

The name of the blog already gives you a hint: I am really into Japanese crafts. I can spend hours drooling over pictures of craft books posted on flickr, everything is sooo beautiful! I do envy all of you living and working in Japan...
But I also like all those nice patchwork fabrics from the US and Scandinavian cottons - I guess it's obvious that I am completely crazy about sewing, knitting and crafting ;-))

But what would you get from Berlin / Germany?
* craft supplies, e.g. we do have great wool, also felting supplies (wool roving), embroidery floss
* a cut of an Indian saree
* sweets - we do have yummy chocolates, wine gums ...
* spices (also Indian! Cinnamon sticks or powder!) and other cooking or baking stuff
* herbal teas like peppermint or camomille
* German papers or magazines, small children's books
* handmade soap from India
* you name it, I'll try to get it!

I would love to receive:
* craft supplies obviously, e.g. fabrics, buttons, trims, preferably from Japan, Scandinavia, GB or USA (new and vintage)
* craft books / magazines from Japan (e.g. little sewing projects, sewing w/ linen, nuigurumi, zakka, felting)
* origami paper with patterns
* whatever else you may think of...

P.S. I am adding pix of some of the books that I am looking for. So in case you have one and don't need it anymore or you can easily get them, let's swap!! Can't seem to be able to upload a picture of this book - my absolute favourite! Plus the following...

P.P.S. In the future I will only send packages weighing up to 1 kg because supposedly they arrive at their destination much faster! Unfortunately, that also means: less goodies :(