Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A New Kitty on the Block

I love cats, but I have never owned a cat, not even once. But I have had many cats.

They just come to me. One day they turn up at my door and decide that they like the place and come back over and over again. They are not allowed inside because the Geek has really heavy allergies against pet fur. The cats know that, however, every now and then they succeed in sneaking inside. I think they just want to show me that they are cleverer than I am - and I admit to that. 

There was a beautiful ginger cat coming and staying in my yard for several years until she died last summer. It took some time until a new cat turned up - One day this April, this little white cat sat on my fence, staring into my kitchen. During that day I noticed some signs for a lost cat in our neighborhood, the description fit this little cat exactly. So when she turned up the next morning again, I called her by her name "Geeda" and she immediately came over to me, let me pick her up and just cuddled against me. I called the owners, and it turned out that she was living close by. She just has to cross a couple of backyards to reach my place.

Since that day in April she has come almost every day. She loves to hang out in my garden, sleep in a shady spot and always comes out to greet me when I step out onto the deck. She is a real cuddle cat.

She loves to chase little bugs and would wait for them, watch them - still playfully (she is still very young, a cat from the shelter), but one day it won't be playful anymore, unfortunately.

She also loves to distract me while I'm preparing classes. She knows darn well that she's not allowed on the table, but does she care? No way!

 Here she hangs out in my hammock, giving me a big fat yawn.

 While Ginger was still around I had found this little critter house at the thrift store, but Ginger never really liked it. Geeda, however, loves to sleep in there and find some shelter if it rains.

She is a sassy little cutie pie, but I love her. I'm so glad that there's a cat around again who is so affectionate as Geeda. I make sure not to feed her because I want her to go back to her owners who clearly love her as well - they are just not at home during the day, and Geeda definitely loves company. In the end, it's always the cat who makes the choice.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Made in Germany 14 - Street Life

Freiburg is an old University town in the very Southwest of Germany, close to the French border. It has an extended pedestrian zone (like so many towns and cities in Germany), and in the streets, lanes and alleys you can find these small canals, smack in the middle (watch out where you're going) or on the side. I love that someone placed a bunch of summer flowers, probably just purchased at the farmers market, right next to it. Thoughtful little touches that light up the day.

Do you have something German to share? A special memory, story, book, food, photo? Leave your URL in the comments and we come and visit.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Piece of Art

Can you tell what this is?

It is a CPU cooler (a Thermaltake V1) - a fan that can be built into a computer.
The Geek had bought this for the PC and when he took it out of the package I thought how beautiful it looks. So I brought it out on the deck to take some pictures. The warm light of the setting sun was an extra bonus.

This is what the fan looks like:

Isn't it beautiful?
And this beauty will disappear into the depth of a computer...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Recovery Time = Creative Time

The recovery time after my surgery has tested my patience quite a bit. There are many things I simply cannot do yet - lifting for example. Have you noticed how often you lift something? Something that is heavier than a mug full of some delicious latte? Do you know how often you use your abdominal muscle? Coughing and sneezing is the worst!

Consequently, I spend a lot of time reading and in my studio (aka the dining room). This little (5x5) bird canvas has been on my mind for quite a while, and the background was painted before I went into surgery. After that it hang around a bit until I finally got the kick to finish it - and I like it. The bird is made of fabric.

Kaefer saw the fish canvas that I finished some weeks ago and told me she wanted one for her room, so I took out a 6x6 canvas, painted it and cut some fish out of patterned scrap paper since she wanted it really colorful. I enjoyed playing with this one, and Kaefer loves it.

I also played in my art journal and created some backgrounds on a few pages - this one is my favorite.

I'm quite happy that the recovery time has turned out to be a rather creative time. I'm convinced that it helps the healing process.

I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday and Sneak Peek Friday - both sites are full of wonderful artists (go check it out). I hope to visit as many as possible of you, but I can't promise. The painkillers that I still need (though in a lesser amount now) make me tired a lot and I can't sit at the computer for a very long time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Made in Germany 13

The cloisters of Chorin Monastery in the state of Brandenburg, East Germany.

This monastery is built of the typically red brick, but it has a very light orange shade that is hard to see during the day; however, when the sun starts to set, it suddenly glows in all shades of orange-red. It is absolutely stunning. The atmosphere gets very special, even a little mysterious in a very good way. The place was almost magical.

Do you have something German to share? A special memory, story, book, food, photo? Leave your URL in the comments and we come and visit.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Short Update on Surgery

Hello my blogging friends - see this laughing horse?

I love to laugh, but I can't do it yet - at least not in this heartfelt way. It still hurts too much.

So, I had my surgery last Friday - I arrived at the hospital at 1:30pm and shortly after 7:00pm I was already home, in my own bed. Yep, they kick you out pretty quickly in the States. Honestly, I much more prefer it this way. They took out the gallbladder including five stones, one of them really big, about 2cm, it's shiny black and looks like licorice. After the surgery the surgeon said to the Geek that I must have been sick for at least a year, if not even longer. In hindsight, it makes sense - the tiredness and fatigue, the phases of depressive mood, the low energy etc. I had simply thought it's because of menopause. Hm, obviously not.

He (the surgeon) promised that I will be like a new person when everything will be healed. I can't wait.

I still have a long way to go, and at the moment the painkillers are my best friends. I take it one baby step at a time, and during that time I won't be in blogland too much. I hope you understand.

I was so touched by all your good wishes, prayers and healing thoughts. I am convinced that they helped. You are such wonderful people and I feel blessed and grateful to have met you in this wonderland of blogosphere.

You're simply the best!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Off for Surgery

I will have my surgery this afternoon and I have no idea how long my recovery will take. So I will be away from my blog for some time, but hope to being able to peek in every now and then.

I leave you here with a photo of Mama Owl I took yesterday evening.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WOYWW 105 and Owls

After the big anniversary last week I guess we are "back to normal" again. I never had so many WOYWW visitors to my blog as last week - it was quite fascinating and I visited some artists for the very first time - and it took me until yesterday!

I'm still playing in my art journal -

I love this heart stamp - one of the "discoveries" during the "She Had Three Hearts" Workshop with Christy Tomlinson.

Blue - I do feel a bit blue. I had a terrible stomach pain attack Sunday a week ago, and on Thursday I had an ultrasound. The diagnosis is that I have multiple gallstones, one of them is 2cm big and stuck in the neck of the gallbladder which doesn't seem to be good. My doctor would love to see me in surgery sooner rather than later. So I'll have an appointment with a surgeon on Thursday and hope to get more information then. In the beginning it really scared me, I had nightmares and felt overwhelmed. After I had talked and e-mailed with several people who went through this as well, I feel a bit calmer. But still a bit blue... I found that it's very therapeutic to be creative and have worked quite a bit in my art journal. It really helps. That, and working in the garden.

Oh, and here's the latest photo of the owls. They are nine weeks old now and seem to be very ready to move on. They're really big now and can fly very well. I guess they won't be around very much longer. We believe that they are boy and girl; I named them William and Kate.

If you want to snoop around the world and see other artists' desk, you just have to hop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to get the whole scoop. Have fun! Happy WOYWW!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Made in Germany 12 - Poppies

At last week's "made in Germany" Elizabeth wrote that one of her most enduring memories of Germany is of "the beautiful cornfields with poppies and cornflowers blooming". Oh, I can so relate to this. Since June is a month when poppies and cornflowers are at their peak in some areas, I have a photo of a typical cornfield here - again in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the same area as last week's photo of an abandoned building.
Quite a difference, don't you think?

Do you have something German to share? A special memory, story, book, food, photo? Leave your URL in the comments and we come and visit.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Over the Rainbow

OK, my picture is not "over" the rainbow... This is Inspiration Avenue's weekly challenge, and it took me a while to find something appropriate. I finally came up with this end of the rainbow that we saw in Yellowstone a few years ago. What fascinated me about it was its fiery appearance, it looked like fire was falling out of the sky. It does match those burnt trees in the foreground, doesn't it? I intensified it a little bit in Photoshop Elements and added a Kim Klassen texture "dusty rose" and this is the result.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Art Journal: Sweet Songbird

Almost two weeks ago I started a new ecourse with Christy Tomlinson about Art Journaling, "She Had Three Hearts". This is my second class with Christy, and I really like it. I felt a bit stuck with my art journal and needed a kick in the butt - and I certainly got that one! I feel so inspired, I've learnt new techniques and remembered old ones, and the best, I paint and paste and write all the time. I absolutely love it. I'm actually working on two books at the same time so that I don't get too impatient during those drying times. I'm more than happy about this creative boost and hope it will last for some time.

This page only needs some journaling and then it will be done. I used acrylic paints, watercolor crayons, oil pastels, Pitt pens, stamps, fabric, music sheet and book paper. I was surprised how quick the page was done, I'm usually a slow worker. But at the moment I can't get my ideas on the paper fast enough. A completely new feeling. It's gorgeous.

I'm linking this to the ever growing Paint Party Friday and Sneak Peek Friday - on both sites you can find wonderful artists that you don't want to miss.