Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Expired for a Reason

So I had this bottle of Coke sitting in the fridge for quite a while. It expired.
Looking at this bottle I can't help but smile. First, because this bottle demonstrates how we tick:
We are so not into soda and softdrinks. Second, because (knowingly that we are not into soda) I had bought this bottle for a reason: Coke works for me as a remedy during those hot, humid summer days,  when my stomach feels weak and don't feel well. A few sips from this bottle and I am good to go. Only that there was no such day in 2016, no need for this remedy.

I started purging expired pharmaceuticals a few years ago. Once a year I weed through my medicine chest big style. The pile consisting of expired pharmaceuticals grew steadily over the last years, now it seems there is not much left to purge. So I was used to find those expired drugs that patiently sat in the drawer. But a Coke? Not a single small bottle (500ml) of Coke in 6, maybe 8 months? This surprised me. It is official: Coke plays 100% no role in our life.

Btw, there is a reason I took a closer look at the bottle: I needed extra space in the fridge, room for sesame oil and almonds. Those of you who are familiar with sesame oil know about its short shelf-life. It's hard to finish a bottle of sesame oil before it goes rancid. Not this time! The new bottle of sesame oil replaces an empty bottle. Living together with a partner who supports my choices, including the game changer – living on a plant based diet, matters.

Sorry if this posting made you thirst for a soda and you have none at your hands ... my sincere apologies!

Sugar? Always welcome.  :-) Pictured: Toffee Apple Cake

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Urban Spring Jungle


I guess this posting pictures my idea of Spring. a week in March 2017.

People heading home after work in the late afternoon sun.
Mid March and the light speaks cool colours. Warmer days are still to come, Kelvin-wise speaking.
After-work delight at "Bortolotti"
MaHü, the common place not far from the posh 1st district. First sunglasses have been spotted.
Wild garlic rush in the Vienna Woods, sunlight still reaching the gound. (Yes, we are still in Vienna).

These contrasting colours speak "joyous Spring" to me like no others: Y/B.
The public library has more to offer than just books. The stairs are one of the rare non-commercial urban public spaces in Vienna.
New company at the office: the Bumble Bee, chilling, waiting for the sun to show up ....
Ahhh! Warming up. Time to fly.

Enjoy the Spring-season!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Scrapbook History

31 years! It has been 31 years since I've glued these tickets in my "holiday diary", the ancestor of today's trend called Traveller's Notebook.

I guess this is my oldest scrapbook. How I loved it! It brought me a lot of joy.

My memorabila box holds several of these. This is the fanciest one. Others were simple notebooks like the ones we used at school. To me my traveller's notebooks from the 1980's are total pageturnes. I enjoy flicking through them.  

Journaling mattere 

 This simple notebook travelled through the Austrian provinces in 1987
I do remember this trip to Alpbach, but I could not remember the travel journal. 

I am surprised to see how easygoing my journaling was back then. Glue, a pen and tickets. No ruler, no rules:

And this is "me" today, 30 years later: 

Today's memory journals include a few new features, such as the handy photo printer at home and Washi tapes. :-)

One huge motivation that keeps me doing this is a podcast I have been listening to almost non-stop since January: The Scrap Gals podcast. Tiffany and Tracie are experts when it comes to scrapbooking. Their show is 100% motivating and inviting, I find myself sewing (!) notebooks and fllling them with memories on a monthly basis, all thanks to their podcast.

Too sad those rub-on letters are out of fashion. In the 80's and 90's they were quite common.

A few weeks back, looking at this page, I felt like this would have been something a young girl would do and enjoy a lot. In other words: Yes, this somehow does look childish. Well, having rediscovered my old scrapbooks I can say "Yes, I did enjoy making these!"
Joy comes easily.

Have a nice weekend!

PS: I blanked some lines for discretion.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Biker Jacket

This says it all:

Me, August 1989 before my last year at school
This jacket had been mine for a few weeks in 1989. I borrowed it from a friend, sharing clothes was part of our wardrobe life back then. The biker jacket came with a story: it belonged to a former police officer who had worn the jacket at work, on his bike. (Truth? Myth? Nice story anyway!)  Biker jackets where big. Flea markets where the place to go to.

No doubt, this piece of leather made me feel so cool. The first day at school, after the summer, walking up those steps in front of the school gate, where the guys used to hang out and scan us – the girls. I am not sure how well I actually rocked the coolness this jacket incorporated. What I can say for sure is that the guys did not handle my altered appearance all too well, speaking from their comments.
Being a girl, d'awwh...

Today I find myself scanning shops for "the certain jacket". Biker jackets are back, now tighter and tinier than ever. And of course pricier than ever.

btw: The red tan in my face comes partly from the hot turtle neck I was wearing, inside my friend's room, partly from the old photo paper (almst 30 years old, colours change over time) and of course from long days at the public pool.

What this photo also tells me: take photos and keep them. They bring joy.


Friday, 3 February 2017

Photo Journaling 101 aka Analogue Blogging


Last week's memory journals/notebooks quickly morphed into "rapid photoalbums"–  "rapid", because compared to other, still empty albums, which I had sitting on the shelf for years, this goes really fast. Japan (2007!),  Cuba (2001!!) - untouched albums! The photo piles are neatly stacked and  sit next to empty albums. Well.

Why not put photos on paper on a(n almost) daily basis?

I noticed that many photos have a story to tell. Who is going to tell the story, if not me?

Besides the photos that need the story behind the moment, there are many unspectacular stories,  small anecdotes, nevertheless, they often make my day.
Now those small stories have the chance to become memories, thanks to the photo that pictures the moment. The photos "pin" small moment to my long-term memory.

I remember my great-aunt looking at a family-portrait from her childhood. She was 99 years old and was suffering from dementia. Holding the wooden frame in her hands, looking at the photo, her mood changed in an instant. She smiled. She was happy.

Ok, it is probably not the main purpose of my new hobby, to create a pile of "Happy moments for possible future deseases". Speaking of purpose: Is there any purpose at all? Maybe just "happy moments for today".

Sounds better. :-)

Now enough with the talking, let me walk you through the process of photo journaling:

This is the set-up:
One month = one notebook. The month of January comes with a winter landscape on the cover

Next to me sits the Canon Selphy photo printer:
It takes 40sec for a moment to become a memory.
It's playful, soooo playful ...
I can do whatever I want to. I arrange, combine and smile. A lot. (I guess this pretty much nails my understanding of "playing")

First steps into the world** of those colourful Washi Tapes:
Seriously? Yes! Finally!! The January Cure makes it into the Photo Journal

How popular is photo journaling?

I could find numerous videos and blogs on Traveller's Journals/Midoris, bullet journaling and art journals (those journals which come with lots of watercolour on curly notebook pages), but there almost hardly any blogs/videos on "Photo Journaling" out there. 

Carrying a journalist-gen I love going into depth, exploring recently unknown topcis, to compare and also to look at the background that comes with most stories. Recommendations are very welcome!

Can you recommend some blogs/vlogs on photo journaling? I am curious to hear about them.
Wait ... photo journal  .... journalist....  Ha! This all adds up.  :-D


* The innocent world of Washi Tapes has the potential of becoming a "Universe of Japanese kawaii-ness full existing of al kind of paper craft supplies. You have been warned

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Analogue Blogging aka Memory Journaling

New year, new passion? 

Hello dear readers!

I am busy (yes, again), designing the foundation for future memories and it comes with a lot of paper. Nice paper of all kinds, countries, weights and colours. A playful, recently revived passion of mine. As far as I can remember, paper always brought joy. (*)

(*) The only time it did not bring a lot of joy was duing our hike to an acient paper mill in the middle of France on a hot summer day. We really did earn that visit. Lasting memories. 

Paper from Italy and England, companies with a long tradtion, dating back 200 years and more
 Playing around with various types of paper and  - also important - finding the favourite proportion.
Trimming notebooks to a preferred proportion

Approaching the right proportion. Which proportions do I enjoy? What proportions feels good in my hands? Which one is nice to look at?
The blue notebook to the left has a fine proportion for text & photos and allows a good amount of unused space on the pages. Inspiration: SZ DVD Edition. The grey notebook to the right has (almost) the proportion of the popular "Midori Traveller's Notebook". (the width of the Midori notebook measures ca +3mm)
Very much to my surprise the Midori-width is almost the Suhrkamp's pocketbook-width. Those pocketbooks do seem small, but they do hold a lot of words. Those books are a 20th century design icon. But with a width of 11cm, any 10cm-wide photos is likely to cram a page. I will stick with the proportion of the blue notebook. For now. :-)

Here I have been playing around with the trimming: flush trimming, overlapping covers ...

Now that I have build the foundation, I can move on to the next step, which is every bit as entertaining as the first one was: printing memories.

I will keep you posted!


Tuesday, 10 January 2017



You remember the view over Vienna? Well this time it's all muted pastells:

And it was cooler. Way cooler. Freezing cold. It has been freezing cold for almost a week. We call this time of the year "Hochwinter" - midwinter.

This snow that is meant to last for a few days (not something we can take for granted in Vienna. Usually snow thaws immediately after the snowfall in Vienna.

Well, this year does start mono-thematic. It's the Lainzer Tiergarten. Again.

I can't help myself: these surroundings are just too good and need to be shared.

Our walking route was exactly the same one we did choose a week ago, only this time it looked ... different.

The Trees are wearing tiny snow blankets and the visitors visibly changed their appearance as well:

 Mountain gear in the city. Because we can. haha. 

We started late in the afternoon - late in terms of midwinter - past 2pm. Ouch. Gates close at 5pm. We made it, in time. Mostly because I spent only little taking photos. Not much time for proper tree watching. A quick glance to the left and a look to the right. Check!

When trees become bending roads. I like this shot!

Me, tree-scouting
There is something wonderful about those heavy grey skies above Vienna during midwinter. They look really heavy, like lead.

 Carl Moll captured the typical heavy winter sky on a late afternoon beautifully over 100 years ago:
Carl Moll: "Belvedere in Winter" colour woodcut, 1903 as seen at the ALBERTINA (exhibition ends 15 Jan 2017)

There is not much going on in todays photos. It is quiet, coppice, trees and most of the animals who live in the woods take a rest while we walk ....

 .. and walk ....

...enjoying scenic views while we walk, all the way through l'Heure Bleu.

It's fascinating, HOW blue the light gets. You won't see the Bleue as clearly while being are out there. Our brains somehow filter those nuances. But the photos (out of camera) show them clearly:

This is where Vienna ends and Lower Austria begins.

.... until the moon finally lead us towards the closing gate, 5 to 5.

The park is now closed for good, until 4 Feb (only a small part will be open to public).Those days around Christmas and New Year are special, because the park administration lets us in and allows us to disturb the rest the animals need during midwinter.

Can you tell, I DO love this city.

Stay warm :-)

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The Good Old Traditions

Hello and a Happy 2017!

Frequent readers, longtime followers might remember that we love to start the new year at the Lainzer Tiergarten.

This year we expanded this tradition and went for a walk yesterday, New Year's Eve AND today.

Well, what a difference 10000000 fireworks make:
"Wien Blick" (Vienna View) yesterday, Dec 31st,  3pm, –before the fireworks: you could see Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg

Wien Blick Jan. 1st, 2pm. The view is gone. I guess you can say the Wien Blick is not worth it* the day after the fireworks. :-D Now we know ... (*it is a steep hike, up the hill)

Rewarding nature in the shade, touched by a few sun beams during the winter's day

No one halted to capture this magic. I had to. You know me. #whereabouts:Vienna

1 hour before the gates at the Lainzer Tiergarten close, still 3 km ahead of us. You can't just walk by, well, I just can't ...

Right in front of the gates the last photo halt. Funny, what people "need" to throw on ice surfaces. I don't quite get it. Yes, there is the moon.
The gates close at 5pm. By 5 it is already really dark. And there are no lights in the wood. So you better not be late.

Not pictured are the many Viennese people who visited the Lainzer Tiergarten today.

In case you come to Vienna and want to do something hardly any tourist does on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day: come to the Lainzer Tiergarten, you won't regret it! You can get there by public transportation.

Yes, these woods are a part of Vienna. A corner of my hometown I 💓, even in a moody light like today.

all the best!