Monday, 20 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XXVII

This is the final blog for the artfire competition. I asked my boyfriend to help me pick the final gift. We chose this cute pirate bracelet. We both love pirates and I've already blogged about dragons, kittens and horses :D

If you want to buy this cute bracelet, click here.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XXVI

Isn't this bracelet adorable? I love the colours and the little snowman bead, the perfect bracelet to wear at your next Christmas party! I discovered this cutie here on Etsy.

I am currently working on some Christmas themed bracelets myself. I'll post some pictures during the next few days :D

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XXV

My students discovered my facebook page and started to send friendship requests. But I had to deny them all. I want to have a place where I can talk about my work with friends (my privacy settings are set that way!) without having students read it. But we have another social network in Germany that you can only get in by invitation from someone who's already a member. So I told my students that I'd sign up if one of them invited me. And they did! LOL!
So, why am I telling this story? One of the students that friended me has a horse and loves everything that has to do with horses. When I discovered this bracelet I had to think of her. Maybe I should pass the link on to her. For everyone else who loves horses, here's the link to the item:

Friday, 17 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XXIV

My future mother-in-law loves turtles and I discovered this awesome turtle necklace on Etsy! When you flip through the pictures of this cute pendant you'll see all the different shades worked into the glass.
Therefore, all you turtle lovers, follow this link to see this little cutie in more detail!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XXIII

Today's theme: SMURFS! My boyfriend finally arrived from America and he got me a huge smurf!!!! Isn't he adorable? There are even two finger smurfs attached!

Therefore I thought I should look for something smurfy on Arfire and I found this hilarious hat!

Maybe I should get this one for my boyfriend in return? If not, I have an online friend who adores the smurfs. This hat would be a perfect gift for her!
So, if you have a friend who's a smurf fan, too, look at this link and get one!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XXII

Last year my future mother-in-law got me two sizzling cupcakes for the bathtub in my stockings. They were awesome and I was checking Artfire to see if they have some Christmas themed sizzling cupcakes, too. But during my search I found these cute handsoaps!
They look like lights from the Christmas tree and are perfect in so many ways. Either you use them for yourself and make your guests smile when they use them, or you add them as accessory, decoration and additional gift to the gifts you already have for your friends and family!

Check out this link for the lights soap:
And when you have time, check the other items in this store, too. There's soap for everyone!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XXI

Do you have a gift for the Secret Santa at your office, yet? If not, then maybe this cute Nightmare before Christmas necklace with a Jack Skellington charm is the one to get! I love Tim Burton's style and I'd love to get this one at our Secret Santa.

You can find this necklace right here:
They also have other styles of the charm, just check out their store!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XX

Simple but beautiful. I love these earrings. You can find them by following this link:

Apologies that I don't write more today, but besides job interviews I have a vocabulary quiz to grade and lessons to prepare, my next post will be more detailed, promise!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XIX

My boyfriend invited me to see the musical Wicked this year. It was awesome. Both of us didn't know the book before we saw the musical version. So when we went to Washington in summer we brought the audio book along with us. I have to admit I have never been able to finish it. I kept falling asleep when it just got crazy. I'm glad I saw the musical before we started with the book!

Nevertheless the story of the Wizard of Oz is quite cute, and I discovered this cute Oz bracelet! Look at all the charms! It must have taken ages to find them, not just Dorothy and the tin man, but there is also a scarecrow, a lion, a balloon and so much more! And look at the red shoes!
If you want to get it as a gift for someone who loves the Wizard of Oz story, follow this link:

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XVIII

Today's gift suggestion is this cute fairy bower! I love the little leaf beads and the sitting fairy charm and the curled silver wire. This is the perfect accessory for every dreamy girl who loves fairies. And it would be perfect to match your elven outfit for the Texas Renfest! (

In the store you can also find a matching earring and necklace! Follow this link to your elven dreams:

Friday, 10 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XVII

I love Alice in Wonderland and I love the Chesire Cat! And I love polymer clay! Therefore I think this little Chesire Cat sculpture would be the perfect gift! Look at this huge mischievous grin!

Of course, I have to learn about glow in the dark polymer clay through awesome items like this. I wish they would sell sculpey polymer clay in Germany, too. I have so many ideas for stuff using glow in the dark clay. I hope my boyfriend remembers to get me some before he's coming over next week. :D

But anyway, this adorably cute Chesire Cat can be found here:

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Snow update

Do I have to say more? :D Snow storm!

Artfire Competition - Part XVI

This gifting idea is totally geeky, but absolutely awesome! I used to participate in roleplaying games like AD&D for years while I was still at school and I have various sets of roleplaying dice myself. But I never thought of turning them into jewelry!
But this necklace absolutely rocks! And if you have a closer look at their store, you'll even find dice earrings!

Therefore you better hurry and follow this link to more geeky stuff!

More Winter Impressions

Going to work was impossible. The school busses didn't come either. So instead I put on my new winter boots from that arrived yesterday (and OMG I love them!), took my dog and tried to go for a walk with him. Boy, I tell you, this walk was better than any workout at the gym. Trying to walk through 25cm of snow was extremely exhausting for me and the dog. :D
I had my camera with me, too, so I took some awesome winter pictures. The sun came out and it was just beautiful!
I just have to share these pictures with you!

Is he trying to disguise as a sheep? :D

Early Winter Morning

I'm still at home. I don't have to leave for another 40 minutes, so we'll see how it goes. I'm leaving quite early, so I'll have 1.5 hours to drive to work when it usually takes 35 to 40 minutes.
My sister already called to let us know that she made it to work and I haven't heard anything from my mother, so I guess driving is possible as long as you drive slowly.
Our neighbour couldn't even leave their garage this morning, but with a lot of pushing and pulling the car she made it as well.
However, they had to drive into the "less snow" direction, while I'll have to drive right into the area of craziness. :D Nevertheless I wanted to share some pictures with you that I took this morning when the sun started to rise.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

I usually never win anything...

...but this time I actually did win something!

I totally forgot to tell you that besides participating in the artfire competition to win a camera, kindle, or photo studio (which is still running until December 20th), I am also participating in an Advent competition on DaWanda.

Every day they ask you a question and you have to use your facebook account to be able to answer it. And every day they will pick a winner for a different gift. My winning question was "Which DaWanda gift would you give to Angela Merkel?" I found a funny cloth shopping bag with the writing "Fuck the crisis" on it and posted the link. :D It was one of two answers that won that day.
And our prize?

This funny cushion! I sent them my address yesterday, so hopefully it will arrive until Saturday! (Although, with that much snow outside I am not sure if the postman will make it to our house :D )

I wonder if that is a good sign and I will be lucky with the artfire competition, too? We'll see!

Crazy Winter Weather

What a day! It was grey and pouring down with rain all day until about 6pm. Then the heavy rain turned into heavy snow. Within the next 3 hours we got about 20cm-25cm of snow. As soon as I was done shovelling the snow away on the pavement I could have started again, because the part I had already freed from snow was covered with a new thick layer.
If it keeps snowing like that I won't be able to leave town and get to work tomorrow... fun! I'm pretty sure my students will be devastated when I cannot come to teach them English grammar. ;)

This is what it looked like at about 8:15pm. The pics are quite bad because of my camera (have I mentioned that I need a new one already?) but I think if you look closely you can see the deep path me and the neigbours shovelled free. :D

Artfire Competition - Part XV

I had to laugh so hard when I discovered this bottle of Dragon Snot! Let me quote from the item description: "Medicinal uses? No idea! Magical properties? Again, clueless! "
Therefore it is the perfect gift for your Secret Santa at the office, or for any fantasy geek! It will definitely make the gifted one laugh!

You can get this bottle of snot here:
More snot is available in their store!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XIV

Compared to yesterday's long posts, this one will be rather short. I've wrenched my neck somehow and will lie down in a moment again, trying to relax the muscle with a nice warm hot water bottle.

Nevertheless I wanted to show you this amazing necklace I discovered on artfire last night. I just love everyting about it: the birds, the blue colours, and every tiny detail.

Follow this link and you can flip through more pictures of this adorable necklace!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Happy Saint Nicolaus Day!

It's the 6th of December and therefore we celebrate St Nicolaus Day here in Germany. I have many friends from all over the world, so you might not be familiar with the myth of St Nicolaus and the traditions that are connected with it over here.
Therefore I thought it would be nice to tell you a little about the history of St Nicolaus and how it is celebrated.

St. Nicolaus was a bishop in Myra, which lies about 100km southwest of today's Antalya in Turkey. There are many myths around him and the good deeds he did during his livetime so that the Catholic church announced him a saint.

One very popular myth is the story of a poor man, who couldn't wed his 3 daughters because he didn't have any money for the dowry. The only chance he saw was in turning his daughters into prostitutes to make sure his daughters can earn money and support themselves. Nicolaus heard about it and snuck to the house within 3 nights and threw a lump of gold through the window. Now reports vary here a little, some say he just threw it through the window, others say he threw them through the window and into the socks that were hanging at the fireplace to dry.
In the third night the father caught him and thanked him, because now he was able to wed his daughters and give them a propper dowry. In pictures Nicolaus is often shown with three golden balls, or, as in the picture below, with 3 apples, representing the lumps of gold.

Because of this story children place a boot outside of their bedroom the night before, which will be filled with oranges, nuts, and clementines in the morning of December 6th. Depending on how far this tradition is developed (and how healthy your family is living) you will also find gingerbread and chocolate in there.
Now you might say "Ewww it will all taste like smelly feet!" But be ashured that the holiday industry is good at producing little boots just for St Nicolaus.

And while you've been reading this, you might have remembered the stockings that people hang over their fireplaces in America. This tradition also derived from the story of St Nicolaus.

St Nicolaus is also known for caring for children. There are various stories about how he rescued children that were in great danger or were kidnapped. Therefore Nicolaus Day is a day for children.
In one of these stories he gave some money to three brothers and after a year they had to return and report to him what they used the money for. This might sound familiar to you as well, because today the question about which child was good, which one was bad is raised every year.
Of course all the good children get their boots filled with all the good stuff. But what about the bad children? Therefore St Nicolaus has his little helper Knecht Ruprecht. He was the one responsible for whipping the bad children with a birch and fill their boots with coal. Since beating children is forbidden in Germany, the story is often reduced to the coals.

Depending on how Knecht Ruprecht is interpreted he is either presented as a dirty looking version of St Nicolaus or as a demonic creature.

I went to a religious kindergarden and a religious primary school. Every December 6th our priest dressed up in a traditional bishop's robe and visited the children in kindergarden/primary school. Of course he had a Knecht Ruprecht with him as well. He told us tales of good deeds and then asked us whether we've been good this year. Usually we had to learn small poems and present them to him, or at least those kids who weren't too shy did (like me :D ). Then he passed out clementines and Walnuts.

The bishop's robe you see here is the "cheap" version of it. The one our priest wore was embroided with gold stitches and always looked very impressive.

The most popular poem is about Knecht Ruprecht and I don't know anyone in my age who has never heard of this poem before. Most of them can at least say the first stanza. Unfortunately I couldn't find a translation, therefore I hope you speak at least a little German so that you can understand it:

- Knecht Ruprecht -

von Theodor Storm

Von draußen, vom Walde komm ich her;
ich muss euch sagen, es weihnachtet sehr!
Überall auf den Tannenspitzen
sah ich goldene Lichtlein blitzen,
und droben aus dem Himmelstor
sah mit großen Augen das Christkind hervor.

Und wie ich strolch' durch des finstern Tann,
da rief's mich mit heller Stimme an:
"Knecht Ruprecht", rief es, "alter Gesell´,
heb deine Beine und spute dich schnell!
Die Kerzen fangen zu brennen an,
das Himmelstor ist aufgetan,
alt und jung sollen nun
von der Jagd des Lebens einmal ruhn,
und morgen flieg ich hinab zur Erden;
denn es soll wieder Weihnachten werden!"
Ich sprach: "Oh lieber Herre Christ,
meine Reise fast zu Ende ist;
ich soll nur noch in diese Stadt,
wo's eitel gute Kinder hat."

"Hast denn das Säcklein auch bei dir?"
Ich sprach: "Das Säcklein, das ist hier;
denn Äpfel, Nuß und Mandelkern
essen fromme Kinder gern."

"Hast denn die Rute auch bei dir?"
Ich sprach: "Die Rute, die ist hier;
doch für die Kinder nur, die schlechten,
die trifft sie auf den Teil den rechten!"

Christkindlein sprach: "So ist es recht;
so geh mit Gott, mein treuer Knecht!"
Von draußen, vom Walde komm ich her;
ich muss euch sagen, es weihnachtet sehr!
Nun sprecht, wie ich's hier innen find!
sind's gute Kind, sind's böse Kind?

Now you may say: Hey, wait a minute, this St Nicolaus has a lot in common with our Santa Claus! And you're right. The story of Santa Claus has its origins in St Nicolaus. But when you ask me if I have ever believed in "Santa Claus", the fat guy in his sleigh with reindeers, I have to tell you no, I never believed in him. I love the story, though, it is a very nice children's tale and I love Christmas movies like "Miracle on 34th Street".
But for me Christmas was always the birthday of Jesus Christ. I went to Sunday School at church since I was 3 or so. And every year we performed a play on Christmas Eve in church about the birth of Jesus. So this was always the Christmas story I believed in.
We got our presents from the Christkind (Christ Child), which is kind of funny, because the Christkind is supposed to be Jesus, as we're celebrating his birthday. And because he always shared things with others, he also shares his presents with us to celebrate his birthday together with us.
However, the Christkind is always presented as a female angel with long curly blond hair. :D

For me, the Christkind always looked more like a 3-year-old child. I mean, how do you expect an angel as tall as the woman on the picture to fly through the open window, leave the presents, ring a golden bell to let you know it was here, and then leave quickly enough so that the children will never see it fly away? You have to be small and fast for that!

My parents used to lock up the living room the whole day of the 24th and while my mother was at church with my sister and me to watch the play, my father placed all the presents under the tree. When we came home we had dinner and at the end my father would sneak into the living room, ring our small dining bell and snuck out through the side door into the corridor, while we stormed into the living room through the dining room doors.

So, this was my little report about how we celebrate St Nicolaus Day and Christmas. Share your holiday stories by commenting on this blog post!

Artfire Competition - Part XIII

Need some unique ornaments for your Christmas tree? Have a look at these adorable tiny books. I'm totally bookish. As soon as I have time with no work to bug me in the back of my mind I could lie in bed all day and read and read and read and read. Therefore these ornaments would be a perfect gift for me and every other book lover.

And if you think ornaments are not really a personal gift, why don't you fill the pages with little personal messages? Or write down a wish for you or someone else every year? You'll be soon standing in front of the tree reading all the tiny pages.

The book ornaments are sold seperately. I'd get them all to have a nice collection to add to the tree, but if I was to choose one, I'd go for the red book. Red is one of my favourite colours and with the cute white snowflakes it feels a little more Christmassy to me than the green ones. But as set with 4 green and 4 red ones both colours would be great!

Here's the link to the red book:

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XII

OMG, my post today is about the cutest thing I've ever seen. I discovered this item yesterday after I wrote my post about the I love Snow bracelet.
Melissa Dawn is a very talented fantasy art and jewelry designer and I fell in love with her book-shaped lockets! Look at this cute kitty that is resting on a flower!

If you want to buy this adorable piece of work, follow this link:

Make sure to visit her studio, she has a lot more jewelry and many different fantasy designs!

But this is only a small part of why I love this designer. When you visit her website you will find a button to custom jewelry. You can send her a picture of your favourite pet and she will turn it into various pieces of fantasy jewelry for you! It is more expensive than the regular pieces, but it is a great way to have unique jewelry and you can carry your pet around with you!
As soon as I have a perfect picture of my little Ronny, I will ask for the whole set of jewelry with my little angel on it :D

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part XI

It's hard to choose gifts from Artfire at the moment. Having 24 different wishes is quite hard when you don't feel the need for material gifts. Choosing supplies would be much easier, as I always have lots of ideas as soon as I see beads or other stuff I could turn into something nice.

Therefore I looked out of the window today and admired the beautiful shining white snow outside. So I just entered "snow" in the search engine and discovered this beautiful bracelet on the front page. In fact, it is a set that includes matching earrings, too.

I love the beads she used, especially the silver snowflake to close the bracelet around your arm. The glass beads she uses are all handmade, not by her but by other artisans.
This designer has various items from which she donates 50% to a charity project. This bracelet is one of these items. You can find this cute snow themed set here:

As much as I love it, there is also a negative side to it; the price. It costs $250 and therefore way out of my league. I already cursed my boyfriend for looking for an engagement ring that is as expensive as the one I wrote about a few days ago (and he would have picked an even more expensive one!). I wouldn't dare to wear the bracelet and earrings, being afraid that I might lose it somewhere or that i break something.
I understand that handmade beads are more expensive than the mass production ones and that she has higher supply costs. (Although the handmade glass beads I saw on Artfire and Etsy aren't that expensive either.)
And of course she wants to earn something with it and not just get the supply costs back. AND she wants to donate half of it to charity. Therefore the price has to be that high. But at the moment my priorities for spending money lie somewhere else than on jewelry.

Nevertheless, this set is a beautiful piece of artwork which you should get when you can afford it.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Artfire Competition - Part X

While looking around for more fantastic Christmas gifts I discovered this very cute angel. The artisan offers 12 different ones with the birthstone for each month. I chose to show you the one for March, as this is my birth month, so make sure to check out the shop of this artisan for your own birthstone.