30 July, 2017

A rainbow of lavender

After missing the lavender season last year (and the year before), I was eager to get myself some of those wonderful blossoms in June. I went past the flower market every now and then, looking out for lavender, but I could never spot it. After repeating the procedure a couple of times, I was beginning to think I somehow managed to miss it yet again. But one day, suddenly here they were: piles of lavender, tied to small bouquets that spread its scent all over the place. 
I got myself three of them, thinking the amount would be just fine to get crafty before I'd head home next day. 
Soon after I brought them home, I put them in a vase to keep them fresh, took out my stash of satin ribbons and started braiding the tiny stems into colourful fagots. 
I started using up long ribbons one by one, but unlike them the amount of lavender in front of me didn't seem to change. In fact, I had the feeling there was more and more of it. 
Even though I started by mid afternoon, and I only paused for minor physiological needs, I was far from finishing my project in the evening. And the amount of lavender still didn't seem to have changed in my favour! After some more braiding, evening became night and by midnight, I was more than happy to have bought "only" three bouquets of lavender. 
On the other hand, I was still stubborn enough to keep braiding because there's no way one would throw lavender away, right?
Slowly, night became morning and it was only one hour before I was due to leave for my train that I finished my last lavender fagot. 
Needless to say I was pretty much useless next day, trying to catch some sleep on the train and hiding underneath my blanket as soon as I got home. Nevertheless, the scent of lavender as well as the colourful fagots were absolutely worth it. 
In addition to a rainbow of lavender that resides on my studying crafting table, I gained quite some space in my ribbon stash, too :)
little contribution to the July collection of Create in Austria - artwork created by Austrians and/or in Austria.

613 avenue create: ATG
brown sugar: ATG
C.R.A.F.T.: summer
city crafter: something with S (satin ribbon)
come and get it: add flowers (lavender)
crafting with an attitude: ATG
crafty catz: ATG with optional twist "not a card"
crafty gals corner: ATG
crafty sentiments: ATG
creative inspirations: ATG
creative moments: ATG/birthday
cute card thursday: ATG
everybody art: summer
fussy and fancy: ATG
love to craft: ATG 
pile it on: primary colours and/or something with "S" (satin ribbon)
through the craftroom door: ATG
wortartwednesday: ATG

27 July, 2017

Merry and bright

Just a simple Christmas card for a quick sign of creative life.
For my spring exhibition, I picked a couple of old Christmas cards, but I also wanted to present some new ones. As most of the old ones featured rich stitched patterns, I decided to create a couple of CAS cards, too. 
For this one, I took a picture of a deer from an old calendar and placed it on a card base of brown natural paper. Since it turned out to be too brown altogether, I placed a white embossed background paper that matches the snow on the image.
To make the transition between the background and the card's focus more obvious, I added another layer of dark brown paper.
To make the holiday message clear, I used a piece from a block of Christmas papers that says "May your days be merry and bright".
On the inside of the card, I solved the problem of too much brown with a layer of white paper that is attatched to the background through a decorative border from the same block of Christmas papers.
little contribution to the July collection of Create in Austria - artwork created by Austrians and/or in Austria.

613 avenue create: ATG
a bit more time to craft: ATG
gem of a challenge: Christmas in July
ABC Christmas challenge: N for new (new paper block), O for old (old calendar)
cardz4guyz: Christmas in July
crafting with an attitude: ATG
crafty gals corner: ATG
crafty sentiments: ATG
craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge: ATG as long as it's Christmas (optional twist "embossing")
craftyhazelnutschristmaschallenge2: ATG as long as it's Christmas
creative inspirations: ATG
creative moments: ATG
cute card thursday: ATG
fussy and fancy: ATG
little red wagon: sing a song (Bing Cosby: "White Christmas")
love to craft: ATG 
less is more: no stamps
12 months of Christmas: oh deer!
through the craftroom door: ATG
unicorn challengeblog: Christmas in July
wortartwednesday: ATG

26 July, 2017

Erlangen part V - Watch and learn

Last but not least: For the second part of my Nürnberg Sunday, I tried to literally catch some of the museums. Due to the fact they'd soon close, I decided to go for the Albrecht Dürer house and the Toy museum. Mainly, since both were on my list of interest from the beginning, but practically, they are located very close to one another and if I wanted to visit more than one exhibition that evening, it would probably have to be this combination.
Why visit more that one anyway? Because Nürnberg offers a great deal when it comes to city museums: pay an additional 2.5 € to your entrance ticket in one of the city museums and you can use it as a whole-day ticket that enables you to visit as many of the city museums as you wish (or can) that day. How cool is that?
After leaving the Zoo behind I headed back to the city, pondering up the castle hill through the old center streets for some more fitness and vitamin D points. The houses are neatly renovated and give a feeling of ancient times, while the shop windows stand for Nürnberg's reputation of the "Toy capital" of the world.
And despite the fact that I've already spotted the Dürer house the previous day, I ended up looking for it again as the gravity of my attention focused on the houses underneath the castle walls for some odd reason. In reality, the master's house is located in the lower part of the square and would maybe need a couple of banners or something that would help people to find it right away. 
Once inside, however, the exhibition The Dürer house immediately takes you to an interesting trip through the past. In the house that was owned by Nürnberg's most prominent son, you can explore how the life and work of a recognized painter looked like. Living rooms are placed next to huge artistic areas, while everything is well explained on plates as well as on audioguide and interactive elements.
For the second part of the evening, I headed to the city's Toy museum. What I thought would be a funny little detour on my way home turned out to be an interesting journey through thousands of years of play and playing. Without exaggerating, one might say it shows everything from ancient clay figures to numerous stunningly equipped children's kitchens...
... Dolls in all outfits and sizes one can imagine...
... And lots of boy's stuff, too - even such that was supposed to inspire them to become a priest!
Omaha model railway. Built between 1950-1974 by dr. Wolfram Bismarck, one can only imagine how much work and patience went into creating the buildings, trains and 172 m of rails. Unbelievably, Mr. Bismarck never actually visited the original scene, building the functioning railway station based on photographs and descriptions only.
Modest post-WW2 toys...
... And reflections of more recent consumer products.
Special exhibition on music and musical instruments with lots of things that can and will produce noise.
When I finally left by closing time, it was already dark, meaning I would head straight to the station to get a good night's sleep before another week of counting the days till I'd go home.
To get through another week of whining and self-pity back in Erlangen, I again used my usual oases of calm.
And by the end of my stay, I managed to visit another interesting site, namely the Siemens museum. Its entrance is well visible but might seem to be disguised as a cafeteria, which hopefully doesn't chase potential visitors away. In the free exhibition that is set up in the Siemens building close to the hospital and offers many interactive materials, one can learn about the rise of the Siemens family... 
... The development of science in the field of radiation and the introduction of imaging technologies in medicine...
... And much more on what Siemens has to offer. 
Who knew that every medical system is built as a small model first, followed by a small functioning prototype, and only then by a functioning model in the original size?
Or that the 30.000 research & development engineers at Siemens make about 8.800 inventions a year, or about 40 each day?
Or how big and clumsy the first hearing aids used to be?
Urine samples now and then
One of the world's smallest ultrasound units, and a good looking one, too. With its weight of only 700 g, it's certainly a wonderful thing to have for any first responder.
And who would dare to imagine medicine without electrification nowadays?
Replica of Germany's first dental drill with an electric engine. Due to its bad isolation however, both patient and doctor were from time to time exposed to electric shocks of 110 V. 
Replica of an implantable cardiac pacemaker, 1958. Needless to say its descendants not only look, but also last much longer.
Variations of radiation therapy. Even though in use only a couple of decades ago, they seem pretty medieval in comparison to modern machinery such as the Ion-Beam Therapy Center in Heidelberg. A 670-ton gantry that can be positioned to the millimeter to ensure accurate radiation, while using as much energy as a town with 3000 inhabitants certainly is a stunning gadget.
Under the bottom line, the museum sure was one of my Erlangen highlights. Lots to see and lots to learn, and it certainly isn't meant for people with medical background only. Also, apart from the technological achievements, part of the exhibition is dedicated to coping with the unpleasant parts of history.
Nevertheless, at some point I was just happy to head home.
Because I expect my commitment to be respected, and the last thing I'd think of after two weeks of committing my time, energy and knowledge is facing accusations as ridiculous as not having given my real name in first place.
Because sometimes the feeling of closing the door is an unbelievably good one.
And because very soon I'd be heading back to Bavaria for a different kind of German experience.

~ the end ~