Years after…

Years after

As my mother is not able anymore to live on her own, We are currently emptying out her apartment, where she used to live since 1986. This is what the all in my sister’s old room looks like, after all these years.

Since beginning of June we ( my sister, her partner and me ) have been sorting through the apartment every saturday. Which implied traveling early in the morning to Hamburg, then work the whole day there, and traveling back in the evening in order to have at least one day a week of relaxing at home. This saturday we have mainly finished the sorting and packing up. We are exhausted. Going through a whole life of stuff is physically and emotionally difficult, a lot of memories came up, stuff we had long forgotten about which were part of our daily lives during our childhood.
But now it is done, just need to transport the things we keep to Berlin and put them in storage.

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Berlin Culture: Finding Vivian Maier

For those who followed this extraordinary story on the net, like i did for some years already, the John Maloof’s documentary about the life and story of Streetphotographer Vivian Maier is now screening in Berlin !
I have been hoping to see it for quite a while and discovered this week that some cinemas in Berlin are showing it right now. So i went yesterday evening to Cinéma Paris on Kurfürstendamm and watched it. I loved it though many facts where not unknown to me !
One of the photographers interviewed about her work said that she had the rare ability to enter the private sphere of total strangers and that is how she accomplished these very authentic photos. And that this was also due to the fact that she used a Rolleiflex where the viewfinder is from the top so that you don’t have to put the camera in front of your eyes to take a shot.
If you love photography and especially street photography this documentary is a MUST.

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Vintage Gem

Berlin Flat: Vintage thermometer

Life is busy at the moment, my sister and me started emptying our mother’s apartment ( she’ll be moving to an assisted living facility ) which is physically and emotionally exhausting at moments. Plus the fact, that we have a three hour car ride to get from Berlin to Hamburg…
Anyway, here is one of the ( now ) vintage gems i found there and now has its place on my balcony.

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Berlin Flat: The Urban Garden, Version Spring 2014

As the sun was coming through yesterday i took advantage and took some shots of my urban garden ( aka the balcony ) as it is. I’m happy to be surrounded again by greenery, some plants were given to me or found for almost free ( had to make a little donation at somebody’s fence ) on the street, like the strawberries.
The balcony has been secured by a net, as Coco finds everything so interesting that she’d risk to fall down.
Berlin Flat: Balcony 2014

Berlin Flat: Balcony 2014

Of course, i planted some tomatoes again.

Berlin Flat: Balcony 2014

Coco photobombing…
Berlin Flat: Balcony 2014

Berlin Flat: Balcony 2014

And the happy cat enjoying the sun and to spend some time outside.
Berlin Flat: Balcony 2014

Berlin Flat: Balcony 2014

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Food Love: Chia Seeds

I always thought when i read “Chia” that people mixed it up and actually meant Chai. But no, Chia exists. It’s only when i read this article, that i realized what it was that so many blogs and articles were talking about.
The recipe sounded delicious and easy to do. So i gave it a try. And off i went to the Bio Company to buy Chia seeds. Then i bought soya milk, maracuja juice and dried fruits. And mixed it all , refrigerated it over night and had a yummy and healthy breakfast at work.
I tried some other variations, and must say these are now my favorites: Using vanilla flavored soya milk instead of the normal one and top it with fresh raspberries. That’s the weekend version. For the week i use the vanilla soya milk, a mix of dried fruits and nuts.

Here’s the weekend version:
Chia mit Himbeeren

Chia seeds are very healthy, read more about the benefits here.

Thanks to Angel of Berlin for sharing the recipe!

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Berlin Culture: Showraum Trofejas – (Zu) Decken – Textilkunst aus Litauen

On forth of April Gierdre Bartelt opened another beautiful exhibition at her showroom, called “(Zu) Decken” and featuring three female artists from Lithuania, all from the art academy of Kaunas which features a special branch dedicated to textile art.

One of the artists was Lina Jonike, whose work is stunning and beautiful, combining a traditional technique of embroidery with contemporary technologies such as photography and video installations. Parts of her work titled ” She likes tomatoes” were displayed.
The cycle of a growing tomato is compared to human life: from seeds to sprouts and fruits that are finally plucked. The artist used photography to express the poetical comparison of nature and human life. Symbols of reproduction – a pregnant woman and a pot with a tomato sprout – contain the meaning of the greatest miracle.

Trofejas: Lina Jonike

Unfortunately, i encounter a problem to upload the photo of the whole artwork, but the photo on linen of the pregnant woman, with the tomato’s lifecycle pictured around her.
Some parts were embroidered to stand out of the otherwise sepia-colored work (detail shown above ).

The tomato theme is also found on woven table runners and and dish cloths.

Trofejas: Lina Jonike

Trofejas: Lina Jonike

Other works from her were this covered motorcycle photo, with an acrylic plate superposed to the photo. The acrylic plate was embroidered which gave the art a three-dimensional feeling.

Trofejas: Lina Jonike

From Lina’s work was also shown an installation showing the death towel of her late father, printed on handwoven sets, called “Hommage to the father”. The textures of the handwoven sets emphasized the print and made them also feel very dimensional.

Trofejas: Laima Orzekauskiene

Trofejas: Laima Orzekauskiene

Lina exposed also several tablecloths, embroidered with seeds. I’d love them on a summer outside dinner, on a big table on a field, gathering lots of friends and good food.

Trofejas: Lina Jonike

Another artist is Laima Oržekauskienė who studied at the State Art Institute (present VAA, Kaunas Art Institute), where she obtained the textile artist’s specialty. From 1987 she is a lecturer of VAA, Kaunas Art Institute, from 1996 – the head of the Textile Department, from 2007 she became a professor.
She also combines woven jacquards and prints to give the work its special texture.


The third artist of this exhibit is Monika Zaltauskaute-Grasiene, but i haven’t any pictures of her art. She also studied at the Kaunas Art Institute.

As usual, i went out of the showroom full of inspiration.

The exhibition can be viewed until tomorrow, april 19th at Showraum Trofejas, Wielandstraße 31 in Berlin -Charlottenburg.
Open from 12 to 6 pm.

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Berlin Culture: Showraum Trofejas / Small Flowers Crack Concrete by Raili Keiv

Yesterday evening i went to the vernissage of a new exhibition at Giedre Bartelt’s lovely showroom Trofejas. This time she presents Raili Keiv, a young estonian designer who works primarily with porcelain.

Raili Keiv, who was present, studied ceramics and product design at the Estonian Academy of Arts (2013 with the completion of MA)
and spent several sabbatical in Germany and Denmark.

Here is how she describes her work:
“The basic materials that I use are both substance as
well as inspiration in designing my objects . The perfection and the
possibilities of the material such as china has for many years been
my topic . I’m experimenting with the boundaries of porcelain as a material. However, I am
stuck to the more or less functional aspects of the objects , which are often
related to the topic of coffee in combination . For small vessels for espresso I look for moments of tension at the
boundary between stability and instability. At the same time , I combine
porcelain with concrete, which in its brutality and severity of a contrast to the
porcelain forms and thus emphasizes the fragility of the material.
My experiments with materials are inspired by historic interiors ,
that are found in modern cafes and bars of Tallinn in the 1950s. This
was a process of experimentation , characterized by combining
substances and the search for forms in ancient and modern history. My
work is a constant game with all these elements.

To select the title of the exhibition inspired me a song of
Group Sonic Youth NYC from the album Ghosts & Flowers.”

These small and fragile espresso cups and milk spenders where lovely, i love the sleek and pure lines of them, as well as the black velvet covers she used on some of them.

Also, these coffee pots with the mugs, combined with concrete…beautiful. Perfect size for an afternoon coffee.

Or these. Concrete combined with with vintage porcelain. Imagine the cup of tea and some cookies.

Perfect to serve some snacks.

Raili also made these cups / bowls, some with uni-colored others with florals inside. These bowls actually “bowled”, they are not standing flat. Beautiful, bt i cannot imagine having them at home with an hyperactive cat…

Giedre also presented other baltic goodies like chocolate from Chocolote Naive from Vilnius.

And coffee from Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories

There were also these lovely hand knitted wrist warmers. I love these, they are so beautiful and well made. The photo doesn’t do them justice.

The exhibition is open on friday and saturday from noon to 6 pm until march 15th.

Showraum Trofejas
Wielandstrasse 31
10629 Berlin

Visit the websites:

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Through My Eyes: Schlosspark Babelsberg

It’s been quite spring-like weather wise here lately. So last sunday i finally took myself and my camera for a walk to Schlosspark Babelsberg. I’ve been there once before, but that was during a very hot summer, and for the only purpose to get refreshed by the little beach and water there.

The park was built for prince Wilhelm from 1833 on. For the garden architecture Peter Joseph Lenné was first in charge until Fürst Hermann von Pückler-Muskau took over. The castle was planned by Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

Most of the buildings are in pity condition, the castle is being restored currently, but money as well as a plan what to use it for is needed for the Marstall, which is where the horse stables were.

A little castle down by the water is now hosting a café.

I walked around the grounds for a good two hours, enjoying some sun, the views, the warm air. And the old buildings. Of course.

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Food Love: Pumpkin Gulasch

While chatting with a friend about food and cooking she told me about pumpkin gulasch. Sounded super-delicious to me so i gave it a try last weekend.

Making of: Pumpkin Gulasch
Making of: Pumpkin Gulasch
Making of: Pumpkin Gulasch
Making of: Pumpkin Gulasch

Take a Hokaido pumpkin, some vegetables ( i took carrots, potatoes and paprika ) and 2-3 big onions. Chop into pieces.
Glaze onions in a big pot in some oil, do the same with the pumpkin pieces in a pan, then add vegetable bouillon to the onions, add the vegetables and pumpkin, let simmer a while. Add sweet paprika powder, salt pepper and some coconut milk. Cook some pasta and serve with the gulasch.
An easy made and delicious autumn-meal.

Bon appétit !

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SUP – Stand Up Paddling

A couple of weeks ago i’ve spent ( again ) some days at my friend’s place at the baltic sea. When i arrived she asked if i wanted to try Stand Up Paddling (SUP) and of course i said yes. Because, even if i wouldn’t be able to stand up on the board it would be a lot of fun….falling off into the water.
So, one evening we went to the surf school and rented the boards and the paddles. The guy gave us a brief explanation what to do and off we went.
And it went well ! I was able to stand up on the board after a few seconds and started paddling. It was so much fun !
After i while i became very confident, was able to balance out the few waves caused by boats passing by. Maybe i became too confident, because that was the moment i fell off the board into the water.
I paddled quite a distance off the shore, was totally free of thoughts, it was kind of a meditation. And a lot of fun. And sportive, too. You actually work out a lot of different muscle groups.
I loved it so much that we returned the next day.
Now i’m looking forward to do some SUP here in Berlin, and maybe next year buy a inflatable SUP-board.

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