Creative Manifesto – creative motivation for slow days

Ever since I read Clare’s post about her Creative Manifesto I knew I had to make my very own version of it. Today I finally do. Probably because I am already stuck on what to write and I can use all the creative mojo.  The creative manifesto is something to help spark creative motivation on slow days and remind me on how to get back into the creative flow, stir motivation and preferably get going. 

craftaliciousme seeking creative life creative motivation for slow days

My pick-me-up list for slow days includes:

  • take a photowalk
  • go outside and take a walk in the park
  • participate in a challenge
  • read a book
  • scroll through Pinterest a bit
  • read blogs
  • drink Earl Grey with a dash of milk
  • eat warm chocolate pudding
  • leave through a magazine
  • look at art or photography
  • stroll the hardware store
  • tidy up the craft lab
  • make popcorn
  • doodle a little
  • dance around a little
  • have an inspiring conversation

If ever I feel like I am stuck I tend to do one of those things. It’s not always that easy. Because to be honest I often feel very unmotivated to even get my butt off the couch but I know the list above is helping getting out if the slowness.

It’s also helpful to remind myself of the following things:

  • you don’t need validation
  • you are enough
  • have fun
  • enjoy the process
  • be curious
  • relaxe

If you are in love with podcasts and they also give your lazy, unmotivated self a kick in the butt you might enjoy those episodes to spark some creativity:

So now I’d like to know what your creative motivation for slow days is? Looking forward to your comment.

Happy day to you

Tobia

Spring Bucket List 2019

I went for a walk and found spring. That reminded me I could write a new bucket list. But let’s have a quick look at the winter bucket list and how I did:

  1. ✔️Read a Christmas Book – I read “The Cricket on the Hearth” from Charles Dickens Christmas Books. It was ok but nothing tops a “Christmas Carol”
  2. ✔️Spread Random Acts of Kindness – I hope I did but then you can always do more.
  3. ✖️Ice Skating – no winter in this part of the globe
  4. ✔️Christmas Movies – I did however I feel like there is nothing new out…
  5. ✔️Cancel all appointments in December – so liberating
  6. ✖️Planning next years Christmas – did not and have a feeling it’s not gonna happen
  7. ✔️Taking a photo walk – I did and found spring
  8. ✔️Crafting – I made stuff for the advent calendar swapping but nothing else
  9. ✔️Christmas Concert – I went by myself as my own Christmas party
  10. ✔️Celebrate Dads 60th – we sure did. Twice.
  11. ✔️Find a word 2019 – my word ist Trust. Read more about why.

I am a bit surprised that almost all got checked of the list. Throughout winter I felt like I didn’t manage to cross anything off. Perception is a weird thing.

spring bucket list seeking creative life blue sky with magnolia blossom

Okay enough let’s dive in and start Spring. I mean officially. Because it only does when there is a list, right? Here we go:

1. Enjoy the first ice cream/sundae of the season.
Nothing better than being outside, enjoying the sunshine and diving into some ice cream.

2. Have a family reunion.
We’ll meet up again at my family home with my family, cousins and all for a weekend together. We are planning on visiting a chocolate factory. Do you want to tag along?

3. Start the 100DayProject.
It starts tomorrow April 2nd. I’ll be trying to improve my photography by drawing daily challenges for myself. You can follow on my Instagram and the #100daysofcraftaliciousimages.

4. Have a Spa Day with a friend.
We had to postpone twice but hopefully we can enjoy that day soon.

5. Doing some more Easter Eggs.
I’ve already started saving blown out eggs from last meals and I’ll be doing a few more of my beloved Sorbian Easter Eggs and this modern Ukrainian folklore ones.

6. Start BBQ season at our friends house.
Nothing more needs to be said unless you’ve got good recipes. I want to have those.

7. Do a detox week.
It’s time. Always feel better afterwards.Maybe before the spa day.

8. Pretty up the balcony.
And opening up the outdoor home office. so looking forward to it.

9. Check of a few more books on my Reading List.
I realised that a few books on this list don’t intrigue me as much anymore then beginning of the year. Anyone else feeling that shifty? Still so many good books on my TBR. What’s you next one?

10. Plan a vacation.
Recently got a wedding invite to Australia. Unfortunately it’s already beginning of May. Not sure if we will manage. But besides that I want and need a vacay.

11. Find a birthday present for Mr. ♡
And a good one as we are having a round one to celebrate. Suggestions are welcome.

Do you have anything fun planned for this spring season? Share away and leave a comment or visit on Instagram.
Happy spring season

Tobia

My experience with Operation Christmas Child

Last night I was a Christmas Elf. Remember my post about “Weihnachten im Schuhkarton“? Today was the day when Operation Christmas Child happened and I handed in my package. Also my sister and I volunteered to help get the packages ready for shipping. Let me give you an inside story of what I’ve learnt and a peek behind the scenes.

shoebox for operation christmaschild

Already in October I set out to fill my shoebox and get little gifts. It was actually a lot of fun shopping for a kid as I never really do and there are some cute things to get. This was in my shoebox:

shoebox items for operation christmaschild

As I said volunteered by helping in the “Christmas Workshop”. In Germany there are two locations (Berlin & Birkenfeld/Pforzheim) where all packages will be checked, sealed and distributed to the countries. We had a 15 min training session with a video and then we were sent to our packing stations. All packing stations had team leader who we could ask all our questions. At the table there were 4 positions.

  1. checking box for label boy/girl, envelopes with money, writing was appropriate
  2. checking items if they comply with guide lines and custom requirements.
  3. sealing the package
  4. putting shoeboxes into transport packages, labelling, sealing and dropping off at warehouse

We quickly combined 1 & 2 as the workflow was better that way and the shoeboxes didn’t get too messed up.

operation christmas child Weihnachten im Schuhkarton Weihnachtswerkstatt Berlin

My job was to check items in the boxes. I made a list of things I learnt and what is helpful for people checking the boxes:

  • Most people pack for the middle age group 5-9 years. Then 2-4 and the teenagers 10-14 had the least packages.
  • Make sure shelf-life is end of March following year. We had to remove all candy that didn’t apply. Sometimes leaving a package having no candy at all. We were able to fill that up with donated items. This is due to custom relations.
  • If you pack candy, always insert full packages. Single candy bars, small gummy bear packages, bonbon, etc. we had to check every single item. Sometimes that was 30 little pieces which takes forever. All items without minimal shelf-life needed to be removed.
  • It’s helpful if the letters are on the top not the bottom so the box doesn’t need to be unpacked entirely.
  • Don’t wrap the present. We had to unwrap them if we couldn’t guess what was in there.
  • No soap bubbles as it’s too dangerous – kids might drink it.
  • Wrap shower gel/shamppo in a bag. We had to do that to a loooot of items. Also some already came in damaged.

Most of the boxes had really nice ideas and items in them. Every once in a while there was a box that was just so sad – only half filled, old/used/damaged stuff. There were boxes I dumped completely in the garbage. I wonder what people think. But most of them were really fun and gave me ideas for the next year:

  • snow boots and slippers
  • vest
  • musical instruments (xylophone, harmonica, claves)
  • earrings
  • nailpolish
  • purses
  • watches
  • pacifier

packages for operation christmaschild

We were there for 4 hours and we were around 50 people working. At the end of the shift we managed to sent over 3,000 shoeboxes on its way. The goal this year is 100.000 boxes. If you live in Berlin (or Pforzheim) and feel like helping there are lots of open spots to sign up.

If you are not close enough to volunteer you could still pack a shoebox online. Or just donate a bit to run the operation.

Maybe I find time to help again this year. Otherwise I will pack another box next year. Have you every participated? Or do you support another organisation? Would love to hear about it.

Happy Sunday,

Tobia

Disclaimer: This post contains links to the Operation Christmas Child. Due to current (German) law this needs to be labelled advertising. However I was not paid to talk about it, I just think it’s a nice little project to do. Furthermore I have linked a few of my older articles because I believe you might enjoy them. Some of the photos were taken by berlinmittekind.

Best Traditions I Grew Up With

It is storming outside, the fall leaves are dancing in the wind and my coffee warms my hands while I was reminiscing in childhood memories. I realized I had some fun traditions I grew up with and wanted to share today:

1. Die Fete | The Bash

Every Saturday after my dad’s birthday we celebrate “Die Fete”. BUT it is not just a birthday party it just kinda happens to fall close to my dad’s birthday. It originally started out as his party I am sure but it is much more now. Since my dad’s college days he invites his friends and companions to this bash. Every single year! In 2018 it will be the 30th+ time. And since it is such a fixed date most people have it marked and will show up. Everyone makes time for it. And if something comes up they know next year they have another chance. I think my parents have created a really great way of staying in touch with their friends, introducing new people in the mix as they grow older and even having been matchmakers too. And even though I am over 30 now and don’t live at home there is still one guy bringing candy for the kids.

traditions and memories

2. Der Rundbrief | The (Family) Newsletter

And this brings me right to the next tradition. Every year before Christmas a newsletter was sent out. Again mainly my dad writes about what happened the last year in the family and shares his thoughts with his friends. The very end of the letter always ends with the invitation to above mentioned gathering.
I always loved those letters and since they have been written since I am alive I can basically read my life in them. Since I moved out I receive my very own copy.

But I am even more happy that Mr. ♥ and I started to adapt this tradition the year we got married. Now he sits on December 23rd and writes a wonderful letter of all the things happened to us that year. The things we are grateful for, the things we struggled, the people we miss. It is a wonderful way to connect. Unlike my parents we do sent it out via email though.

3. Adventsstündchen | Advent hour

My love for advent and Christmas was ingrained early on. My mom used to sit us down during advent and craft with. We would light the advent wreath, would have a plate of cookies, sometimes listen to some music or play the piano or flute and make little project. Like straw stars, paper stars or lanterns. We would learn poems, sing songs or think about the Christmas play. Make Christmas presents for friends and family or bake cookies. It was always such a magical time and one of my most treasured childhood memories.

4. Weihnachtsspiel | Christmas Play

For many many years of my life I was performing Christmas plays. And I am not talking about the native plays you do in church though I did those too. No we had pretty specific schedule on Christmas Eve and when who got presents. And while we got ours after church and before dinner my parents got theirs after the Christmas play performed by my sisters and I after dinner. It all started during Adventsstündchen where my mom asked if we didn’t wanna sing a song for dad on Christmas. Once we got older we decided to do those little things on our own. We were putting lots of thought into those plays – even though often we only started the day day before Christmas. I remember one time we were doing the play in English (I started having english class only 6 months earlier!), one was a quizz show with a modern and the old Santa and yet another one where we traveled around the world. One of the funniest one was actually a native play we did where my little sister (only 4/5 years then) played every single role but Maria & Joseph. It was hilarious with all her wardrobe changes. Too bad that I cannot remember them all. And no there are no tapes just memories.

5. Dads Stories

You could put down our intensive vacation travels as a tradition too. Mostly twice a year summer and winter we would go exploring the world. And usually not twice to the same place – only exception would be skiing areas. But as much as we loved the vacation we were always specially excited about the newest story my dad would tell us. It was always a story related to the area we would visit or a topic that was relevant. So there would be a story about marmots when hiking in the Alps and one about mosquitos when we were visiting the Mecklenburg Lake District. There was a story about wolfs and foxes and tunnels when I was hiking in Poland (1988) with my dad and only years later I would discover that he actually told me about the political conflict. I so wished I would have wrote down all the great stories. They were so entertain but always had an educational aspect.

Looking back on those traditions it seems like I had no chance than to fall in love with this time of year. Many of them just revolve around the Season. Or maybe even back then my little self absorbed those the most as it was important to me. Who knows.

But I am curious if you have any traditions that have stuck with you. That always keep coming back to you and that hold warm fuzzy memories. Please share, I’d love to read. And if you decide to write a blogpost too make sure to link it.

Happy strolling down memory lane,

Tobia

Pine Needle Wreath – Advent Wreath 2017

pine needle advent wreath | adventskrank aus nadeln

Hey there,

Writing my advent wreath posts is the sole reason this blog exists. Yes, pretty sure it is true. This year I want to share a Pine Needle Wreath with you. Not a regular pine wreath but one made of needles.

You may wonder what the difference is? Oh there is one! Mainly time. But lets start from the beginning!

Remember my post about the Pine Needle Star? Ever since than I had the idea in my mind that those needles are meant for more. I knew I wanted to do something with them when they were still green and fresh and looked vibrant. Then I came across this idea on Pinterest. I was thinking about doing that but of course I didn’t get around.

Some things need time. So I thought about it a bit more. And then it hit me – somewhere, sometime. Use the single needles and glue them to a wreath form.

OK, so tutorial this year is pretty simple and all you need is:

♥ wreath form, preferably wrapped green
♥ glue gun
♥ pine needles, I used black pine needles but you could use other that are bit longer
♥ time, lots of time and a bit more time oh and don’t forget patience

1. I started out wrapping my wreath form with a white paper because I lacked fabric.

pine needle wreath | nadel adventskranz

If I could redo it I would use a dark green fabric. As the wreath will be see through at certain places depending on your viewing angle it really doesn’t look too great. I had to glue in more decorations than I originally intended to due to that.

2. Start glueing pine needles in little batches to the form. Layering them so that you cover the entire wreath form.

The smaller your wreath form the shorter your needles should be. Otherwise the wreath looks rather messy.

3. Once you are done you can seal the needles from loosing color with simple hairspray.

simple pine needle wreath | krank aus Tannennadeln

And that is about all you need to do. Unfortunately it does take forever. This advent wreath is by far the most work intense one I have done in the last 15 years. I think I worked a solid 8 hours on it. However I love the look of it and think it was worth all the time. This idea was in my head for so long it just need to be executed.

pine needle advent wreath | krank aus tannen nadeln

Now let me know, would you attempt it or is it just too much effort?

Happy advent prepping,

Tobia

pine needle wreath | nadel advent kranz

linked to MMI | Freutag | Kerstin & ichWeihnachtszauber

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