BOOKS I READ IN APRIL

April has been a good reading month. And it’s for two reasons: for one I was able to score a free month of kindle unlimited and so I always try to read as many books as possible. And the second reason is I have discovered audio books. Some of the unlimited books came with an audiobook so I was able to switch when from reading and listening. Amazing when you spent hours on the sewing machine with face masks. Ok, I stop my rambling as you probably want to know what I have been reading. Here are the books I read in April:

The Spirit of the Dragon by William Andrews | ★★★★★

What’s it about: A love story that spans decades and wars survives misunderstandings and intrigues and is build on trust. Korean history is again woven into the story and so we fight alongside Kim il Sung and experience the heartaches of time from 1937 to today when we follow the work of a human rights activist.
What I thought: I just love the way William Andrews is weaving his stories. We meet characters we’ve heard about in the two previous books and see their side of the story. But if it is your first you can still easily follow and don’t miss out. The story itself is always interesting, at times heartbreaking and gives a good picture of life in Korea. I found it very entertaining (not sure this is the right word) and could not stop turning the pages.
Language: English – already translated to German
Recommend to: everyone. Seriously I think this is a book or better the last one in the trilogy every one should read.

craftaliciousme seeking creative life book review April spirit of the dragon Andrew Williams

Der Rabbi by Noah Gordon | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: A rabbi and his life, his struggles in the first half of the 20th century in America. He lives with a wife who is a Catholic convert and the struggles they face when trying to build a community and a synagogue.
What I thought: I was a bit disappointed to be quite honest. I believe I’ve read a book by this author in my youth and found it very exciting. This one not so much. Very slow, not much has happened. It wasn’t that you learnt much about Judaism. Not much about the life of a rabbi and yet at the same time there were words used you could often not understand without knowledge of the specific faith. It was a bit weird.
Language: German originally written in English
Recommend to: not sure you would like it so I’d say everyone if you have time

Valkyria Trilogy by Clannon Miller| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Lilli and her sisters had to flee their own world (Asgard) and are now hiding on Earth. Until one of them is abducted. When they try to rescue the missing sister they start getting involved in century old wars, involved with gods, elves and demons while finding love and life.
What I thought: I enjoyed the world of Valkyria, the different dimensions we jump in between, the fierceness and power that comes along with the strong female characters. However I could have done without the permanente sexual references that gave me more than one eye roll which reduces this rating by 1,5*.
Language: German
Recommend to: everyone loving a good urban fantasy and isn’t afraid of explicit scenes

Hansen Saga 2-5 by Ellin Carsta| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: The story of a merchants family in Hamburg being in business for coffee and cocoa in the 19th century. We jump between the family in Hamburg – where the run a trading station, Vienna – were they have an outlet and coffee houses , and Cameron – where they own a plantation. Every family member has their own story and we follow them through their lives.
What I thought: I listened to it while seeing and it was perfect for that. Good entertainment, engaging stories and I had my favorite characters while I disliked others. It is probably not the very best historical fiction I’ve read/listend to but it is a good story.
Language: German but available in English too
Recommend to: everyone loving historic fiction wanting to know about colonial Cameron and Germany’s Hanse trades.

Zum Kaffee mit Mr. Dalton: Vollkommen verhext (Die Aseptischen Magier III) by Lilly Labord| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Third book in a series of a secret magician circle that is trying to save the world from the mean council.
What I thought: I was so looking forward to finally continue this series but somehow this book couldn’t deliver. It felt like the first draft. The characters had no development specially the main character seemed to dwindle to shadow. The whole story felt dreaded out – sitting in a coffee house while plotting the next big coup that isn’t coming. Boring. Also I felt like the whole world is really not original.
Language: German
Recommend to: if you like fantasy and sorcery and enjoyed the first two books give it a try

Overall this was a good reading months with 10 books in total. I abandoned one ( All the birds in the sky). Did you read anything good you want to recommend? Let’s hear it in the comments

Happy reading

Tobia

Corona Diaries – Week 7

Ahhh this week is over. I am glad. Corona week 7 was not something I need again. I struggled for the first time. I have had lots do do but not the right motivation. I wanted to be outdoors and felt cooped up in this huge city. It was a week I wished I lived in a rural area where I could have just roamed free. Let’s have a closer look:

craftaliciousme-seeking-creative-life-corona-dairies-I

Number of days at home?

48 days – I have to admit I went outside more often. So did Mr. ♡. Monday I went grocery shopping and the husband had meetings and a went to the office. On Wednesday I had a photo shooting with my dad while keeping social distance of course. Then went for a another trip to the grocery store. And on Thursday I had big cabin fever so I had to go for a 70 min walk in the park.

How is the political situation?

I have no overview any longer. When I was in the park people did not practice social distancing. Lots of picnics and beer drinking went on. Also playgrounds were occupied. I foresee another wave of infections.

How is the work situation?

Still busy. Trying to get stuff done. Motivation is ok but could be better. I had an interesting job interview Thursday and I would love to get that project. We’ll see.

How is the mood?

Alright. In all the corona weeks this one was probably the one I struggled the most. I wanted to be outside more. I wanted to be more carefree. I wanted to go get some ice cream.

Any favorite moments?

  • Seeing dad from a far
  • Talks with the neighbors
  • Lots of reading and sewing
  • The smell of blossoms in the spring air during my walk
  • Nice feedback for my workshop I gave

What was the worst moment?

Sitting at home right now when actually I was supposed to meet with family at our annual family reunion.

What is stressful right now?

My self aspiration.

Any makes/DIYs this week?

Working on making a pouff. Wrote a letter.

What’s for lunch/dinner?

  • Asian Take-out
  • German Abendbrot
  • Grilled Chicken Breast with salad and fries
  • his: Pizza | hers: asparagus with feta and tomatoes
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • KFC take-out

And so we can put week 7 of this craziness into the books. How did you manage this week? Any amazing things happened? Or was it a lowlight for you too?

Take care and stay safe

Tobia

Corona Diaries – Week 6

Am I the only one or does it start to all blend together? This week I had for the first time lost a bit of track what kind of day it was and I had to fight a bit for motivation while I had a lot on my to-do-list. Let’s have a look:

craftaliciousme-seeking-creative-life-corona-dairies-I

Number of days at home?

41 days – as always went grocery shopping once and then had to run to the fabric store to get supplies. High demand of face mask… Mr. 🖤 still hasn’t left the house.

How is the political situation?

Well first bans have been lifted this week. Also announcements were made that playgrounds will reopen end of month. But chancellor Merkel said just because it’s possible we should be doing it all. Some states seem to see it differently.

How is the work situation?

Quiet busy actually. Putting in more hours lately. I am running a series of workshops and have to prepare those. Main problem I am my own worst critic and doubt everything I put on paper. So it takes forever and I surpass my calculated hours.

How is the mood?

Fine. I had one restless day but I used that one to go out for a long walk and to run errands.

Any favorite moments?

  • Sunshine, coffee and balcony
  • Seeing my mom from a far when she hang my Easter gift at the door knob
  • Listening to audiobooks while sewing
  • Realizing that the lilacs are already in bloom

What was the worst moment?

Going grocery shopping and realizing that all hygiene measures that were put in place (limited access of people in store, disinfected carts) were immediately stopped when the ban was loosened. This gives people a wrong impression and I could tell they came closer again.

What is stressful right now?

Preparing workshops. I don’t really enjoy doing them. I have a hard time figuring out what I need to teach as it is all clear for me. And I also don’t want to share all my knowledge – I know lot of people can’t understand that and it might sound egotistical. I just realized it’s true. You might wonder why I do it: a) money coming in and something I am grateful for these days b) stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing myself.

Any makes/DIYs this week?

Face masks, so many of them. Also repaired some clothing.

What’s for lunch/dinner?

  • Beef strips with green beans and toasted pretzel with potatoes
  • Pesto Pasta
  • His: pizza | hers: asparagus with feta, tomato and pumpkin seeds
  • Grilled cheese
  • Tortellini with tomato sauce
  • Burgers and fries

And so we wrap up week 6 of Corona-stay-at home-what-ever-this-is. How have you been doing? Any struggles? Anything amazing happening?

Take care and stay safe

Tobia

DIY Jewelry Display – My Ikea Hack using The Stockholm Tray

I think the idea to make a DIY jewelry display is in my mind since I signed up for Pinterest in 20xx. Ok, maybe that was a bit overly dramatic but it is close. I always new I wanted to make some sort of hanging display for my earrings but didn’t quite know what I wanted or needed. I had a many ideas I walked through in my head but I never took steps to actually make them. As Mr. ♡ decided to throw out this newly bought IKEA Stockholm Tray because it didn’t quite fit in his office I snatched it up. After a few more months cluttering the apartment I finally went to work.

craftaliciousme seeking creative life DIY jewelry display

Last summer I spent a day in the wood workshop with my dad. I had a couple projects I wanted to work on. It was good to have some guidance.
Here is how I went about it:

Materials you need für your DIY jewelry display

  • wooden tray
  • wooden round stick in similar wood
  • drill with matching heads
  • sanding paper
  • paint if needed
  • carpenters rule, pencil

Unfortunately for you I was so caught up in the moment I didn’t really take step by step photos. I tried to explain what I did though.

  1. I had a huge mind block when it cam to measuring where to but my rods. Still have. Can’t grab the concept here even though my dad tried to explain multiple times (he graduated with a maths and physics diploma back in the day). I don’t understand how it works apparently my mind isn’t capable. Basically I did not measure.
    Here is what you need to do: figure out where to put the first rod. It should be one in the middle section. Drill a hole but make sure not to go all the way through. Repeat on the other side. Now measure the distance. This is the length of your first stick. Due to some mathematical theory/law/whatever it will always be level.
  2. Now you only need to use a distance meter to measure where to drill the next hole. Repeat until you are done.
  3. As for the studs I simply drilled some wholes in a slat. I didn’t do a very precise job but I am ok with that. It was a bit more effort to make them fit into the ledge as I could simply drill some holes.
  4. Once done sand down a bit and simply click the rods and slats into place.
  5. I decided to paint it all white as the jewelry pops more with a clean background.
  6. You are done. Now the fun part – hanging, sorting and displaying jewelry.

I am really surprised how many I accumulated over time as I didn’t expect to own that many studs. So I already ran out of space even though I got rid o f a few.

On another note I realized I used to wear a lot of purple as I own so many in that color but hardly wear them anymore. Over all I have 81 earrings – 27 handmade by me and 7 more handmade ones from markets or by friends.

I love that I can see them all on display now and can choose in the morning which ones to wear. It’s much easier to reach for some forgotten gems.

I am really happy how this turnt out. And also I was able to cross of #56 and #61 of my 100-things-in-1001-days-list.

Do you own a DIY jewelry display or how do you keep your accessories? I am always looking for fun inspiration so feel free to share.

Happy crafting

Tobia

Corona Diaries – Week 5

Honestly I’ve no idea what week we are in with this pandemic. I don’t really care, it feels like the new normal. See here we go for another round-up.

craftaliciousme-seeking-creative-life-corona-dairies-I

Number of days at home?

36 days
Left the house Wednesday & Friday for groceries. Friday also dropped off some letters.

How is the political situation?

The contact ban is still in place however a few things were loosened up a bit. So apparently smaller shops are allowed to open again starting Monday April 20. Also the schools are slowly starting again in some federal states. But mainly they are aiming for May 4. Events, concerts and co will not be happening until late summer as of now.

How is the work situation?

Actually quite good. Prepared my first online workshop and also my other client (the pro bono one) decided to pick up business again and we go full force into a new website project. So lots of things to do the next few weeks. Good!

How is the mood?

Good. No corona fatigue or depression so far. I am really happy that this does not effect me much moddwise.

Any favorite moments?

  • Receiving lovely mail
  • having a virtual zoo visit with my niece

What was the worst moment?

  • not getting everything at the store – definitely first world problems
  • when you want to finish a project and it gets stuck 5 minutes from completion with no apparent solution at hand.

What is stressful right now?

Still don’t care much for the shopping experience.

Any makes/DIYs this week?

I got out my adult coloring book and spend some mindless doodling. Also I painted the hall way. Wrote some letters and cooked a new recipe. Quite happy with the turn out.

What’s for lunch/dinner?

  • potatoes, sauerkraut & sausages
  • grilled salmon & zucchini / fishfingers & cucumber salad with mashed potatoes
  • pasta with ground beef and green beens (recipe from this book)
  • his: frozen pizza | hers: radishes in goat cheese
  • grilled salmon & zucchini / fishfingers & cucumber salad with mashed potatoes
  • grilled cheese with salad, baguette bread, fries

And this was another week. How have you been doing? Any struggles? Anything amazing happening?

Take care and stay safe

Tobia