Between the years ...

Between the years
is a kind of nowhere land, a time that belongs to dreaming, thinking, sleeping, decluttering, planning - at least this is how a feel about these days after christmas. A break from "it all" to prepare for a whole new year of new beginnings and new adventures. I'll sign off until the beginning of January - with lots of new things to share with you. Enjoy this special time the way you like best - and have a wonderful start into 2012 - see you soon! 

Photos via

Merry Christmas, one more DIY - and a BIG Thank You!

This December,
That love weighs more than gold!
Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

How are you lovelies? Have you decked the halls and wrapped all the presents? I've still got a little bit of work to do, but not very much - and look forward to a peaceful and relaxed christmas time and after with my 3 boys (4, if the tomcat counts!). Am curious already, if the christmas fairy will give me the magic wand i secretly asked for - the one that gets everything clean and tidy in the wink of an eye, accompanied by a sweet birdsong!

Thank you so much for another year of bloggy friendship and fun! Your sweet comments mean so much to me - and your blogs do! I just love how the blogworld is an antidote to the bad "news" we get everyday and shows, how many people are out there, celebrating life and adding to it's sweetness and beauty.

Because i want to do a bit of planning for next years blogging, i would like to hear, what you would like to have more of here:
original art
interior decorating
design and lovely things
fashion and styling
easy DIY's
lovely food
... i'd so appreciate, if you took a moment to tell me!

In case you're in the mood to make one or two more things - this is how we created the things in the photos above. The big X:  tale a cardbord letter from a shop, and cover it in simple cotton wool - from pads you use, to take of your make-up, by gluing it on to the surface in a "snowy" manner. The ornament: Use several layers of tissue papers, cut them in a round shape and sew them together in the middle with a sewing machine. Then fold the layers to ball shape, and add a string and a crystal - ready!

Have a lovely and loving celebration and a wonderful start into the new year! 
Photos: Martina Voigt-Schmid, Robin Benito

Monday Love: DIY-shopping bag

Are you looking for a cute last minute present idea? This bag can be ready in an afternoon of crafty fun. We took a vintage photo of my friends mum, printed it on a sheet lazertran and ironed it onto a plain white linen bag. The photo was then embellished by hand with buttons and ribbon, to match the pictures nostalgic appeal. This bag is a handy companion, because it can be kept folded in your handbag and taken out for that extra bit of shopping you have to do sometimes. Breadrolls for sunday breakfast look very good in it as well as fresh veggies and flowers from the farmers market!
Have a spelndid start to your week!

Bag design: Monika Dziondziak, photo: Robin Benito

Friday Art: New collage paintings

Fresh from the studio: some new little canvases in a mix of acryllics and collaged parts of vintage books and papers - the first one got sold already! I hope to present some of my smaller works and prints in a little online art-shop soon and hope to find time to work on that "between the years".

How's your christmas preparations going so far?  I hope to accomplish most things over the weekend and just take it easy. After a very busy year, i feel a great need to slow down and let go and allow for some me-time. Happy 4th of advent dolls - will come round for tea and coockies and see what you've been up to!

Photos and artwork: Martina Voigt-Schmid

Monday Love: Fluffy Angel

The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly.  
G.K. Chesterton, "Orthodoxy"

This cute little angel came down to me from the heavens of blogland, to be exact from the Netherlands part of blogland, in a packet from my sweet friend Saskia from "Join my Joy". Saskia sure knows how to bring joy to others - she's a constant inspiration to look at the bright side and make the most of every moment!

Have a lovely flight through the week and don't forget what i have heard: We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another!

Photo: Martina Voigt-Schmid

Friday art: Shoes for you!

Put on your red shoes ...
... and dance the blues! Shoes are such nice little objects of desire - they express personality and style. The shape of beautiful shoes always inspires me, and time after time i get back to painting some of them. Especially those i can't wear. High-heeled Stilettos are so chic - but mostly to painful to dance in - what a pity!

I have 3 more shoe paintings at work now and hope to get on with them over the weekend. Keep warm and cozy lovelies (for those who reside in winterland, like me!)  A beautiful shade of red always helps me to feel warmer imediately - on canvas, on bedsheets, on something to wear - give it a try!

Painting: Martina Voigt-Schmid

Monday Love: Shirt into skirt DIY

I love this easy project, for it shows how to make a skirt in 8 seconds - without having to use needle and threat or a  sewing machine. Just ideal for people like me - who love to make things, but are not, hmmm, exactly talented when it comes to needlework. You take a T-shirt with a wide enough neckline, that you can step into - so that the shirt sits around your waist. You then take the empty arms and tie them into a pretty bow - ta daaaaa, finish! To see a more detailed instruction, have a look at this amazing blog here

 Hope your week is of to a fab start lovelies! I'm at home today with a bad cold, but actually enjoy having some time to rest and catch up on myself and think about all kinds of things i have planned.
See you later!

X-mas shopping with some "Ooh la-la"

Have you started shopping for presents yet? I usually start rather late - somehow i need the frisson of the little bells ringing to get going. Today, i'll hit the town and hope to add some sparkles to my secret "Treasure box" (that noone is supposed to see before christmas!). I have a big family, with lots of nieces and nephews, so, lots need to be done! To strengthen myself, i intend to have hot chocolate with a girlfriend in between. 

And of course there is Etsy and DaWanda, and tons of gorgeous shops online as well. Have a look at the IHOD gift guide, assembled and designed my lovely blogfriend Anna, who is one gifted girl indeed.
For additional inspiration, please also visit my dear friend Anita, she has a blogpost full of amazing shops for you, plus she does the sweetest cards and tags herself!

Photos 1-4 via Kate Spade

Monday Love: DIY booksign

Nostaligc photos ...
i have a whole box of them, and sometimes i open it and revell in the spirit of times past by looking at portraits of my great-grandmother, countess Marie-Louise D'Harnoncourt and her brothers, sisiters and cousins. She was an adventurous spirit who once ran away from her home chateau with her house teacher and caused a big scandal. One day, i would like to write her story. This year however, i got the photos out to play and my good friend Monika designed sweet ideas for handmade presents for our magazine KidsLife, using these romantic pictures.  

These booksigns are easy to make. She printed the photos in desired size on lazertran and ironed them on pretty, eggshell colored cardbord, cut it in shape and adorned it with simple, elegant ribbons. They adds such a lovely, personal note to your presents, if you intend to give away books.

Have a fabulous start to your week dear ones - and see you soon!

Photo: Robin Benito

Mini spa vacation

Fire at the poolside ...
was maybe the best thing about the monastery "Marienhöh" we have visited for the past 3 days. The nuns have given up the place and now it is transformed into a lovely spa-hotel in the midst of quiet woods and meadows, far away from everything. It's a perfect hideway place, very friendly and beautifully done, and i so enjoyed taking some time with my hubby to just relax, swim - and eat lots of good food after a peroid of so much work! Will take the feeling into the weekend with me. Have you started decorating your house for christmas yet?

Photos via

Monday Love: DIY-candle holders

Happy monday lovelies!
Since the evenings are getting longer and darker now, we need more light in the house - especially candle-light. Although the flames may be tiny, they really do warm us and lighten up feelings as well! These glas-holders are an idea from our latest issue of KidsLife, and they are so easy to make. You cut papaer doillies and fix them with a straw-ribbon on simple glasses. Put a tealight in and - voilá, it looks so pretty!

Photo: Robin Benito

DIY christmas ornaments

Get ready to see things in a different light!

This is an idea from our recent KidsLife-issue: Sweet christmas ornaments made from house and baking supplies. These cupcake papercups make such a sweet hanger - all you need to add is thread and some beads. The weather here is grey and cold - just right for a crafting and tea-afternoon. Are you planning to create something this weekend?

Photo: Robin Benito

Street fashion: Camel coat

“Grab your coat, and get your hat, Leave your worry on the doorstep Just direct your feet, To the sunny side of the street.”
Dorothy Fields

There's just something about camel-coats that makes you look so chic! Every girl should have one - you put it one, and you're dressed. Wether it's long and glamorous, like the one Barabara von Enger wears in the first picture, or short and sweet like the one shown by Taylor Swift below - somehow, it always adds elegance to your daily look! The first picture was taken during a fun bloggers meet-up and stroll through town last week with the fabulous Barbara - my first excursion into street fashion! Have a glam start to your week flowers, and don't let the cold bite your pretty petals!

Photos: 1: Martina Voigt-Schmid, 2: my daily, 3: Ravens Haven, 4: Star Style Inc.

Friday Art: Love the moment!

Colored leaves come flying down
like rain - our garden is filled with a soft yellow carpet that hides the green. Meanwhile i play with my new camera and with my new wellies and with soft november clouds hanging low in the mornings - such fun to sit on them and fly of to work!

Today is 11-11-2011. I'm planning to meditate with friends at 11.11 pm CET  to envision peace on earth. Thousands of people are meditating today, so, if you feel like joying in, be welcome! I think this time is very auspicious - much tension but also much hope. It's a full moon as well, and the witches say, full moons are the best times to make a wish come true ...

Photos: Martina Voigt-Schmid

Amazing Mlle Gaston!

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.Sigmund Freud
Long november evenings are great sometimes, to go to the cinema. I can't wait to see "A Dangerous Method", the new film by David Cronenberg, starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Vincent Cassel - and - my lovely friend Julie Gaston, in the role of Freuds oldest daughter.
Even if the role is only small, it is very exiting to see her in a great production like this one!

Set on the eve of the World War I, A Dangerous Method is based on the turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud, and Sabina Spielrein, the troubled but beautiful young woman who comes between them. If you get a chance - go and see it too, would love to hear what you think!

Photos: 1: Robin Benito, 2,3,4:

Monday Love: Beautiful autumn

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  
Albert Camus

 We had such a warm and sunny start into November! These pix are from a visit at my painter friends house and i love the mix of flowers, fruit and colored leaves, of fresh things and faded things, all beautifuly woven together by golden rays of november sun. Have a grape - and a sweet and lovely start to your week!

Friday art: Painted fashion

John Keats

Some collaborative painted fashion pictures by me and my friend Andrea. They were not done in fall, but to me, they fit really well into this seasons color scheme, and the silver dots might as well be raindrops or autumn mist. Are you ready for the weekend like i am? I so look forward to painting, walking, reading and some "dolce far niente", all surrounded by golden leaves!