Giving Back with Christmas in a Shoebox

Ever year when Christmas comes up I think “Oh I could no should do this charity thing.” Every time I think I get into it later. Every year I am too late. This year I really want to do it because honestly is there anything holding me back besides my laziness? My perfect happy world where I pretend I have oh so many problems, stress and burdens? No I don’t! I have a family, a roof and food on the table, even a job and free time to do things I love. I can go out at night without being scared and more often than not I take all that for granted. Isn’t it time to give back. Time to show some appreciation. Time to share at least my wealth.

Christmas in a Shoebox giving back

As I said this thought is not new. Last year I was too late for the “Weihnachten im Schuhkarton” project. This year I am right on time. It starts today. If you are not familiar with it keep on reading.

It is pretty simple: You pack up a shoebox of gifts for a child who might have never opened a present before. There are a few ground rules like only new stuff, differentiate between boy/girl and age, and no war associated toys. Then drop it of with a 8€/9$ donation at one of the many places world wide. Voila you are done.

And even if that is too hard: You can just do it online by sending the donation via payable right now.

Not that hard. Read about the Christmas in a Shoebox project in more detail here in German / English.

Last year 11 million boxes were packed. The most boxes were packed in the U.S. but what kinda blew my mind was that Great Britain hold second place. Before Canada and all German Speaking Countries. So I looked a bit closer – because sometimes I am a numbers nerd – and realised that over half a million packed boxes looks a lot on paper it is still only 1-2% of the population. However it also makes me quite sad that Germany comes in at 0,44%. I don’t know something just doesn’t feel right there. Is this country really so self absorbed? I hope not.

Anyhow maybe you want to join me in this little thing (you can do so until November 15th). I went shopping for the first items today. I am still pondering the budget I set myself on but here is a list of things that might work for a 5-9 year old girl:

  • coloring book
  • diary with lock
  • pens, crayons, water color
  • chalk for street art
  • skipping rope
  • doll
  • stuffed animal – check
  • beads
  • necklace
  • tooth brush & tooth paste
  • headband
  • mittens
  • scarf
  • Hot chocolate powder
  • some chocolate
  • gummy bears

Happy October to you,

Tobia

If you are interested in this project read last years report.

Fall Bucket List 2018

Hello again,

Did you enjoy the last days of summer? I sure did but I have to be honest I am looking forward to cooler temperatures and the cozy home feel that comes with the fall season.

fall bucket list 2018

Just this week I was visiting my friend and instead of just hanging out and chatting our time away we ended up making apple sauce from her 7 apple trees  – and chatting our time away. This inspired me to make a fall bucket list. Actually the first one on this blog – how did that happen?

  1. Making apple sauce.
    I realised I have never done it before only watched my grandma.
  2. Sewing a maxi skirt.
    I want to expand my wardrobe choices. I created a new pinterest board and am inspired by this look.
  3. Make a tassel necklace.
    As I didn’t get it done in summer – let’s try in fall.
  4. Try a new pumpkin recipe.
    Let me know if you have any good ones.
  5. Drink lots of tea.
    Nothing more to say…
  6. Read even more books.
    I let you in on a secret: I already managed to hit my reading goal for this year. Come join me on Goodreads to share some fun.
  7. Taking walks in the park and cemetery and observe the leaves changing.
    It is always such calming experience.
  8. Go mushroom picking.
    It’s a long lost love and I wish I could make time to do so. Maybe this year.
  9. Celebrate my mothers 60th birthday.
    It is really weird doing so. I remember celebrating my grandpas. Anyone else having strange feelings?
  10. Participating in a charity.
    I’m thinking about going the “Christmas in a shoebox”. The last years I’ve been too late.
  11. Going to BLOGST a blogging conference.
    Lucky me snatched a ticket third time in a row so I will be going to Cologne in November. Who will I meet?
  12. Work on my craft lab.
    This is so embarrassing but I put it out here: I am still not done with this room. I really want – no need – to finish it by the end of the year. It drives me crazy.
  13. Making a floral arrangement for Sunday of the Dead.
    And maybe donating it to an unattended grave.
  14. Sitting on the balcony listening to the rain.
    Preferably wrapped in a warm coat and som hot beverage in my hand.
  15. Reading more blogs and commenting.
    At least on the weekends I want to catch up and leave some lovely words.
  16. Enjoying a spa day with myself.
    I have to admit that I prefer those days maybe even a tiny bit more compared to having company.

What plans do you have for fall. Love to hear about it in the comments.

Happy fall,

Tobia

Being an artist for 100 days – #100daysofcraftaliciousdrops

Another one in the books!
If you followed along on Instagram in the last months you couldn’t miss my crafty endeavor. I challenged myself to learn more about watercoloring and aquarell painting and so I joined the annual fun of #the100dayproject where artist meet and challenge themselves to try new things, dabble with new techniques and just play around.

You may also know that this was my third year in joining (read about #100daysofcraftaliciouspatterns here). And it was the easiest year yet.

100daysofcraftaliciousdrops - being an artist

Let’s see if I can come up with a little fun list of noteworthy things and stuff I learned along the way:

  1. You don’t need much to join and get started in this project. Overall I spent approximately 30€ in paint and pens. It could have been even less because in the end I mainly used 1-2 pens. As for the paper I recycled the inner core of where wrapping paper is rolled on to. Of course this took some time preparing and cutting up in my squares but I appreciate using materials that are otherwise a waste.
  2. To be honest the kraft paper was a real challenge. It had some coating that was water resistant – not ideal for watercoloring. And so I was actually thinking about scrapping it on day 50 to experience with real aquarell paper. (I already got a pad.) I just couldn’t manage to make the edges look all fringed and cool. I am glad I stuck with it though because it made me think outside the box and figure out new ways to achieve what I was trying to get.
  3. I think I used about eight different techniques for all my images.
  4. It is very calming to watch the paint move around on paper and find its way.
  5. I usually only spent a maximum of 15 minutes on the project. A bit longer when I took a process video. (Check it out a compilation on my Instagram highlights).
  6. Sometimes I felt guilty for not taking longer to do it. I asked myself if I didn’t take it seriously.
  7. I never really had the feeling I want to quite. I actually complained a week before it ended to Mr. 🖤 that the project will end and that I am so sad.
  8. I always painted on the assigned date but was slow on posting to Instagram. However I have to admit there where two days where I completely forgot because I was so tired and one day where I deliberately decided to do two pieces the next day.
  9. I like the blue ones with white pen the best. I actually think they look much more interesting if pen is added.
  10. I already have two ideas for the next 100 day project. That only proves: Creativity breeds creativity!

When I started the project my goal was to end up with at least 50 pieces or art. In the end I got 74. Here are a few of my faves:

100daysofcraftaliciousdrops faves - being an artist

Now check out the whole collection #100daysofcraftaliciousdrops and let me know what your faves are. Also if you are interested you can check my highlights on Instagram for a few process videos.

One thought that I had during this project was: When are being an artist? When is the time you become legit? Who defines what an artist is? Do you have to sell a piece? Do you have a gallery show your work? Do you have to call yourself an artist? I really don’t know and would be interested in your opinion.

Happy weekend and stay crafty,

Tobia

SUMMER LIST 2018

Hey there,

When I was on my why home from Düsseldorf yesterday and saw the peachy sky pass the train window I realized it was midsummer. What better night to sit down and scribble down a summer bucket list to tick off.

summer bucket list ocean view beach pebbles

Here we go:

  1. Eat a ton of water melon – not as much as I thought I would though.
  2. Sit in the park and read a book – always great bing in the park. If only there weren’t so many dogs.
  3. Watch the grey heron catch a fish – I watched him but he wasn’t hungry.
  4. Take a photo walk
  5. Go to a gallery or a museum
  6. Buy a car – we finally did.
  7. Take a weekend trip with Mr. 🖤 – Yes! We had a lovely weekend in Lübeck.
  8. Have a BBQ at our friends – Yes! Loving BBQs with my friends.
  9. Go to a baptism – Check.
  10. Sew a shirt – unfortunately didn’t find time but bought the fabrics.
  11. Make a tassel necklace – no *sadface* -> move to Fall Bucket List.
  12. Finish the #100daysofcraftaliciousdrops project – I did and I am so proud too. I talked about it here.
  13. Enjoy early summer mornings on the balcony – Oh yes I did.
  14. Create a new ice cream flavour – no I didn’t. But I checked out quite a few new ice cream parlours in town.

Seems like I am on a run when it comes to making a list. Now I just need to put it in motion. Wish me luck.

If you need even more ideas for your summer check out my summer list 2016 or 2017 and then share in the comments so I can have a peak.

Happy summer

Tobia

At the Moment #4

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Life is in full swing over here and I am actually happy. I am busy but not too busy. Of course I could always do more but I don’t stress and I like it. As the tradition has it I do a little snapshot of the moment to celebrate my birthday (if you are interested here is 2015, 2016, 2017).

sunset at büsum waddensea creative life

 

.I think: 

This last year has been really good to me. It was better than most in the last years which doesn’t mean it was easy but I do feel it is going uphill and that is something I haven’t felt for long. However it also made me realize I am heading into being “old”. I don’t feel this way at all but it is what I realize in conversation more often and in reactions by people when they hear my age. Someone recently told me “so you are heading towards 40” and my reaction was at first “no, oh wait… yeah I guess I am, never thought about it that way”. When I considered this comment later on I wonder if it wasn’t a bit rude… Anyhow I don’t mind.

.I like: 

That Mr. ♥ and I have done some little weekend adventures lately in Berlin. Just little things like taking a drive to the lake (ok, we test drove cars but still). Walking around in the neighbourhood. Starting to implement eating at the dining table and not only in front of the tv. Also he picks me up every time when I arrive late at night at the train station. Makes me happy.

.I don’t like:

What I read on some of my “friends” facebook pages. Seriously how do you handle it. Specially political comments you can definitely not agree upon and are often times offended by. Do you “unfriend” even though there is a history and some sort of connection? I mean often times it is just repeated bullshit and we all know that getting into discussions there will do no good at all but where to draw a line? When do you put a stop to people spreading this sh**. Sorry but it seems like Facebook is full of that and nothing else is going on there anymore. It’s like an accident – you can’t look away because it’s so tragic.

.I feel: 

happy and content. And I don’t say this very often unfortunately. But it shows me I have made some right decisions in the last months/years and that does feel good.
I also feel the cool summer breeze on my skin which is a benefit after the heatwave we had and which is again heading our way.

.I wear: 

New earrings. I had to get a birthday present for my cousin and I finally “dared” to walk into a jewellery store I drove by for years always peeking in and thinking “oh well I can’t afford”. So when I went there with the goal buying something for her and realizing it was actually reasonably prized and really cute stuff I was a bit mad at myself. Why do I always restrict myself? Why do I not grant myself new beautiful things that I don’t need. Well I walked out with two new pairs and I couldn’t be more happy.

.I need: 

Nothing.

.I’m annoyed by: 

That I often feel overwhelmed with things I don’t understand. That I feel so “desperate” that I often don’t even start to attempt it or only half-heartedly because I give up on the way. And then I sit in a state of half-attempts and it annoys the heck out of me. Can I please get my motivation and drive back that I lost somewhere in the 20s?

.I want: 

Healthy hair. I don’t know if the first signs of age – than I hate it – or some weird other stuff. However I am rather sad. It’s just flimsy, dry, broken and nothings seems to works. I have a hair dresser appointment and will cut it off completely (20 cm or more) because I am done with it. Lets see if she can save something and work some magic anyhow short(er) hair here I come.

.I hear: 

Podcasts – check out my faves here, music – I recently discovered this album that I came to love and have on repeat

.I’m making: 

I am in the second half of “The 100 Day Project” and I am loving how easily this project flows. I am doing blue water color drops and often add some pen markings. Check out the #100daysofcraftaliciousdrops and follow along. I love playing around and trying new approaches. Unfortunately I am not always happy how my artworks turn out and sometimes I wish I new how to achieve certain things. I am usually not too patient with try and error but this is a fun way for me to play and explore.

creative life 100dayproject blue aquarelle

 

.I eat: 

Too much ice cream. I just can’t stop myself. I have declared this summer to find the best ice cream parlour in Berlin. So every time Mr. ♥ and I are out and about I steer him to a new place and we have to give it a try. If you can recommend any cool spots, leave a note!

.I drink: 

I am bit of a sucker for the San Pellegrino Orange lemonade lately. It has a tinge of bitterness to it that I quite like. Other than that I have lots of mint/lemon infused water.

.I smell: 

Berlin. Can a city have a smell? I somehow think yes. For me it is when it has rained in Berlin and the summer sun is just coming back out. The wet dusty asphalt with a pinch of heat. Somehow all the life of the city is in this moment. The ugliness, the party nights, the smelliness but somehow clean washed, the green parks and the freshness. A new start, a new beginning, a slow moment and all the possibilities…

.I miss: 

Blogging, reading blogs, commenting on blogs and just being involved. I am a bit lost here and I have to admit I was – for the first time ever – considering shutting this whole thing down when I had to get this GDPR stuff figured out. It is a lot of time investment and I feel like no one is actually here – but did I ever do it for someone else but me?!. Then I saw the results on a instagram survey: Do you still read blogs Yes 53%, No 47% and I was really surprise. I guess I am not alone feeling lonely. And I should read more if I want pople to stop back at mine…

.I regret: 

How some conversations have turned out lately. How words can be so hurtful and that you can not take them back once they are said. That I don’t manage to walk the line between saying what is in my heart and needs to be said and being heard without hurting.

.I dream:

Of a house or apartment by the waterfront. It is an instant stress reliever being at the water, watching the waves and smelling the air. I sincerely hope it will not be a dream forever and I wish it will not leave us broke in its wake because right now it is crazy in Berlin and it will not get better.

.I read:

I am currently reading book #16 this year which is not too bad. It is called “Das Mädchen, das den Himmel berührte” by Luca dDi Fulvio. I am not sure how I like it so far. I struggle a bit with the writing style and it’s not as easy to be read as other books hence it takes longer. My goal this year however was to read a few more “sophisticated” books and not only purely “low involvement entertainment” as I call them. So I guess I am on the right track. Let’s be friends on Goodreads and share our reviews there!

Now excuse me I will find me some cake and check back on what I wrote last year. I try not to have a peek before I start typing away because I like to see if things change dramatically or if they are on repeat. Nerdy? Maybe.

Happy birthday to me and happy day to you,

Tobia