Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has sprung in Bavaria!

and it is LOVELY!

I am just loving this spring weather. It just makes me so happy. No more coats, no more shivering, no more huddling by the heater...instead there's sunshine and open windows and nice breezes and flowers and more hours of sunlight and I love it! :)

Since it's not always nice weather, I feel like Germans make the most of it better than people in ever-warm climates do. As soon as the sun comes out, they're outside, planting, grilling, relaxing, drinking. They're ready for spring as soon as it appears.

I've especially noticed the flowers for sale that are popping up everywhere. In one week, every shop (even the Commissary!) is putting out pallet upon pallet of beautiful, sweet smelling spring flowers, and there's always a crowd of German women with baskets full of flowers to plant. When I was in Marburg I loved the daffodils and hyacinths for sale but I worried about crushing them on the train ride back to Bavaria. So, first chance I got back home I went and bought some purple hyacinths to decorate the table. Then I bought some pansies..and now I'm trying to control myself and not go crazy so Fionn ends up coming home to a jungle. Hehe. :)

of course, with spring comes Easter, and there's been lots of Easter decorating all around. I made a little Easter basket with my ceramic Marburg egg, a chocolate egg, and 2 turmeric dyed eggs I made here at home. One has "2012" written on it and the other says "Frohe Ostern von Fionn und Shannon" which is "Happy Easter from Shannon and Fionn" in German. In keeping with the true meaning of Easter, there's also a card that says, 'Happy Easter: Our Lord is Risen!' It kinda brightens up the table, I think.

All up and down the street the Germans are decorating their trees outside with Easter eggs, which gives it a really colorful, cheerful look. I think it's a really cute idea.

On post there's been a lot of decorating too since one of the units is coming back from deployment. Things are buzzing as people put up ribbons and welcome home signs and everywhere you go you hear their wives talking about how excited they are. I feel really happy for them, I can't imagine how tough it must have been for them all this time. Definitely not an experience I'm looking forward to.

Speaking of being apart, my own handsome husband is coming home this week! Even though it's only been a few weeks, I'm glad it's over. I've really missed him!

Switching topics, I've recently picked up a new hobby that I really love. Embroidery! Now before you turn your nose up, give it a chance. It's actually really easy, really relaxing, really cheap, and really portable. What's not to love? My mom used to do needlepoint and cross stitch (along with other cool things like that, she's so talented) and I was always so fascinated by all the stuff she was able to create. Plus, as a history major, I always loved these handmade things our ancestors were able to create with such ease. It seems like such a beautiful, neglected art that more people should know about.

So I stumbled onto a blog where a woman posted some pictures of her embroidery. It was beautiful, and I was inspired. A few clicks later led me to more websites and I learned that you can pretty much embroider anything. If you can draw it, you can embroider it. I learned a few ridiculously easy stitches, and on the train to Berlin to see Chelsea I drew a heart with our names in it (so 3rd grade haha) and it wasn't too bad! I ordered some iron on patterns from Sublime Stitching, a website that helps you stitch fun, unconventional things (want pin up girls or a dachshund or a mermaid on your tea towels? She's the woman to go to) and made a little wedding sampler. It was just an experiment, but I love it so much I can't wait to make something else.

Best of all, if you're artistically inclined (as I sadly am not) you could just sketch your own designs and stitch those, or trace over them with a transfer pen and follow the lines as you stitch. Ridic easy and super fun. Not to mention, it's so inexpensive. All you need is embroidery needles ($3-5, but you could probably find them cheaper in the US), an embroidery hoop ($5-7), something to stitch on (this could be anything!) little sharp scissors ($4-7) and embroidery thread (I'm using DMC floss, which is anywhere from 30-60 cents, depending on where you are. If you're buying it on the Germany economy it's more expensive but it doesn't seem to be that way in all of Europe). I went to the Craft store on post and picked up handfulls and it still only came to like $5. And I've got like every color imaginable.

Right now I'm thinking about making a Bavarian themed sampler, maybe something we could hang outside the door. We'll see. Possibilities are endless!

Ok, so here's my first project. It's not perfect but I loved making it and I can't wait to make more. Oh, and I should've ironed it before I took pictures but...yeah. Sorry!

anyways, that's it for now. Are you as excited about spring as me? :)

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