Small kitchen - small decoration!

I really like our kitchen. It's awfully small and sometimes a pest to cook in because as soon as there's something more elaborate, you have to do the dishes in between and that gets annoying. But all in all, I'm very happy with what we made of our 300€ cheap kitchen. There are still a few things that need to be done, but once everything is alright, I'll update the blog with pictures of the complete kitchen.

For now, there's one thing I want to show you - my little wall of fame.

Please excuse the bad quality of the picture - it's too dark to take a better one at the moment! There are a lot of different things to be seen here, let me break them down!

On top, there's a really old grater we found in our old apartment. Same goes for the one on the right below it - that's an old cutting board. I really liked the floral design on it and wanted to incorporate it somewhere. The small pot lid was just too cute to throw away, another thing I found in the old apartment (and yes, we really did find so many things when we moved out tat we'd never used or even seen before!)

The three picture frames that have handwritten things inside them are old recipes. The one in the lower right corner is from my mother's first cookbook, she let me have that page because she never cooks it, it's a recipe for cheese soufflé. The one in the center is from the lady that lived in our old apartment before we moved in, I found it together with a super old Dr. Oetker cookbook and since she left us so many things in the apartment, I wanted to take at least a small piece of it with us to our new home.

Now, the one on the upper left is the one I'm really proud of. I found it in my grandma's old recipes. My grandma's father used to have a butcher's shop, he passed it on to my grandpa, who passed it on to my uncle. It closed a few years ago because of the economy, but this recipe keeps it alive! It's the recipe for our famous Fleischwurst (pork sausage) that we won a few prizes for and that I ate every day. And now I have it in my kitchen!

The frame with the wooden spoon contains a page from that old Dr. Oetker cookbook I found, the page describes everything you ever wanted to know about soups - and what people back in the 1950s thought of it! The spoon isn't quite as old as that book page, but it sure looks like it!

It's been quiet...

... The move and everything that happened with it had us really, really busy. So busy that I haven't even had time to take proper pictures of what the apartment looks like now! There are still a lot of projects that need finishing. Our 'entrance area' (I can't really call it entrance area, it's too small for that, but hell, I'll just go with it) needs a LOT of finishing. Our 'pantry' (again - it's actually too small to call it that) needs organizing. The curtains in our bedroom need shortening and I need to make a lamp for it (it's totally a real and proper bedroom, though). Our dining area needs everything (I need to build a bench, re-paint chairs and table, hang more pictures, build a new lamp). Our kitchen needs curtains and a bit more decoration. Our living room is okay-ish, but The Doctor build a huge picture frame that he had some sort of crazy idea for, so now we have to get a picture printed for it and then hang it. I got a pouf though! I'm very happy about that. One picture that perfectly describes the chaos we've dealt with is that one here:

The first coffee on the first morning in the new apartment... in the middle of pure chaos.
 Of course, it doesn't look like that anymore. We've been living here for 4 months now - hard to believe! But even though we've cleared out the chaos, there's still loads of things to do. I'm almost glad that it's still too cold to use the veranda and the garden yet. I've planted a few bulbs, but the time for the rest of it has yet to come.

Yep, we still have to wait for spring to truly arrive here. Flipping through my phone, I've found a few pictures - they're not the best quality and most of it isn't finished yet, but here we go!

That was the first room we got done - to be exact, I didn't have anything to do with it. But The Doctor made sure his little music studio was done a day after we moved in.

Our new huge bed! We still have to buy mattresses that actually fit - ours are 10cm too small each, so there's a little gap between them. It's great to store a water bottle though, for whenever I wake up thirsty. Behind the curtains, there's our closet - I'll take better pictures of that once it's bright outside and we've found a solution to hang more things, we're running out of space currently.

Our beautiful stove - it's kept us warm through winter. We just ran out of wood today, so it will have to stay empty and cold until next winter. Let's just hope the sun comes out soon!

I'll be making one or two more posts later today, about two projects that we actually got done, or almost done, and hopefully bring back some life to this blog! :)


A teeny tiny gift

My coworker's wife just had a baby two days ago. I love shopping for baby clothes because everything's tiny and cute and soft and it has teddy bears and dinosaurs and unicorns on it and, to be really honest, I'd love to wear dinosaurs and unicorns, but it seems I'm too old for that.

Anyways! While I love shopping for it, I've never been good at turning it into a cute gift. Cuter than the little socks and shirts are on their own. But then I found this pin on Pinterest that turned baby shirts into muffins. They'd just roll it up, put it in paper muffin cups and then in a box and voilá - shirt muffins.

So, today I went to a baby store, found a cute blue shirt that I wanted to use as the muffin base and a beige cap that I wanted to use as topping. I also bought muffin cups and pre-made hard frosting for decoration.

I tried my very, very best to roll the shirt up and fit it into the cup, but it was way too big and looked really ridiculous. I folded some doily to make it look like a muffin cup but that was even worse. And when I was on the edge of giving up and just wrapping newspaper around it, I thought "Why not just use the cap and put the shirt in the box without being muffin-ed?"

And so I tried. It took me a few minutes, but eventually I figured it out. I pushed the top of the cap down in the middle so the cap was only half as big and then started to roughly form a circle out of the lower seam. Then I pinched and squeezed the top of the cap so it looked muffin-ish and secured the bottom with ribbon. I placed it in the muffin cup, glued the frosting on top - and there I had my lovely little baby cap muffin.

I'm really surprised that it turned out so well because as I said - I'm usually not very good at it. Once you've figured it out, it's not too hard to make. I made a gift back out of wrapping paper, put the shirt and muffin inside and then glued it shut with a doily. The results are below, I hope you like it.

The "muffin" inside the gift bag, together with the shirt I got.

Baby cap muffin!

The doily-ed gift bag!


Flea Market Finds

This week, it's actually just one find and it wasn't a real flea market but an antique market. We have those in Wiesbaden once a month or every six weeks, I'm not exactly sure. I was looking through the upcoming flea market dates because we need to get rid of some things before we move as well and saw the antique market. I've been there once before, a few years ago, with my dad, who loves flea markets. So much actually that he took my mom there for their first date. Guess I inherited that.

It was awesome. There were so many great paintings, old machines (for example type writers, coffee grinders, etc.), chandeliers, furniture... I could've bought it all. Unfortunately, since it was all antique, everything cost about a fortune. I found lots of cute little paintings that would've looked great on our walls, but I can't afford spending 60€ on a painting that's smaller than my hand.

I did find one little treasure though!

It looks so gooey and romantic, I just had to buy it. I got it for 5€ even though the guy who sold it initially wanted 10, which makes me a little proud because I just started actually buying things like this at flea markets. Usually, I just gawked and wanted it all, but never had room for it.

Well, now I can gawk at my little swan and think up a story about it while I hopefully finish the stupid shelves that I've been working on today.


Wall Art Inspiration

In his room back at his mom's apartment, the Doctor had a huge picture on the wall. Not photo wallpaper or anything the like, but a real picture that he painted there. He told me that he'd like something similar in the new apartment and since most of the ideas are mine and rather... well, not exactly manly, I want to give him something that's his and that he can admire. Rather than the pretty paintings I'm hanging on the wall.

I googled black and white art, paintings, pictures, wall art and wall tattoos, but didn't find anything I liked. Most of it is girlish or floral and that's really not the right thing. In my head, I have a lot of ideas. But I'm not a good painter. It all looks great when I think of it, but the moment I try and draw, it turns into a mess. I need inspiration, I need something that I can look at and then draw something similar in order to make something that looks nice. The idea I had for the wall was a sort of "two against the world" or "breaking out" theme. Two people in a house on a hill (maybe those two people will be framed) and outside of the house and/or frame, everything's crazy. I thought of flesh-eating plants, zombies, wild patterns, unicorns and all that other stuff that goes on in my brain when I'm left to think.

And then, last night when I was about to fall asleep, it came to me. Insanely twisted shadow planet! For those who don't know: Insanely twisted shadow planet is an Xbox game that's rather Indie and one even I can play. It's relatively easy to draw because it's black and white and only has a few spots that are coloured and I'm pretty sure that it would look amazing.

In our life, it's sort of tradition that I watch the Doctor play Xbox. I don't watch every game he plays, but when he played Silent Hill, for example, I sat next to him annoying him because, of course, I always know better. "There's something on that wall over there!" "Go right, not left" "Oh my god there's a monster. Oops, just a tree." So having a pretty picture that reminds us of it and looks great would be perfect for our bedroom wall.

It also fits the theme of "two against the world" because well, in this game, you're playing a little space ship that needs to fight its way through an insanely twisted shadow planet. There are tons of great looking scenes in that game that we could incorporate into the picture on our wall. I'm saving a few right here so I don't forget and can get inspired by looking at them again.

I'm planning on borrowing a projector from the Doctor's workplace (he's an event engineer so they have tons of them) and projecting it on the wall in order to draw all this - and then it's time to paint! Another idea that just came to my mind was painting the curtain that will be in front of our closet with this. I'll have to think about that, I've never really painted on fabric and I'm afraid that it'd ruin the curtains, the floor or would just look weird. But it's an idea!

I could imagine something similar for a kid's room, too. Maybe not quite as dark, but hey, I'm most likely not going to use black paint but something grayish with red accents in it. We'll see about that once we're in the apartment, we still have six weeks to go and with our teeny tiny budget, wall paintings are really the last thing on our bucket list. 


Kitchen Wall Inspiration

Those past days have been beyond busy. We had our current landlord over to check out the apartment to see whether or not they want to renovate it. Well, turns out they do. We expected that but thought that we could get out early because of this, that they could just renovate it during our last two months or so. Yeah, that's not working. We get one month off but that's it.

And as if that wasn't enough, because they renovate it all, we have to get everything out. Every wallpaper, every styrofoam ceiling cover and every flooring. Well, not every flooring, luckily we left the old PVC in kitchen, hallway and bedroom. But we have to get the wooden floor out of our living room and the new PVC we put into our bathroom has to go as well.

Yep... that's going to be a lot of work. I don't even want to think about it right now. We're starting this weekend so we don't have to do it all in the last minute. The Doctor is starting with the basement room that belongs to our apartment, we pretty much have to put it all in the trash because we don't have room for it. I'm guessing that's going to take more than a weekend. Not only because there's so much stuff in there, but because it's going to be a walk down memory lane with all these boxes he hasn't looked at in years.

In the meantime, I'm continuing on my upcycled shelf, I'm hoping to finish it later today or tomorrow morning. Most likely tomorrow morning. When I'm done with that, I'm starting with the kitchen, our biggest problem because it's full of the things that the tenant before us left here. The Doctor knew her rather well, it was an old lady and his mother cared for her until she died. She gave him the apartment and everything inside it.

But now, what I actually wanted to talk about!

Once we've got rid of all the things in the kitchen, we're hoping to actually buy a new, smaller one, because the kitchen space in the new apartment is rather tiny. In case you haven't seen the post with the apartment pictures, here is one of our kitchen.

Yes, that's all. We have room for everything, even our dishwasher, but there's nothing more. The kitchen furniture goes on the left wall and the one in the front, we're not putting any furniture on the right side because then we'd hardly have room to walk through it. Instead - I can use it for decoration!

With the red tiles and the white walls (and, of course, the wooden ceiling), the whole apartment has a rather rustic look. I'm going to embrace that style and use it for the decoration. The first piece I'm using here is my favourite flea market find that I bought last week - the fat man drinking wine. After all, the kitchen is a place to eat and make delicious food and maybe have a glass of wine, so that's just perfect.

His smile makes me so happy! I rummaged through our kitchen to see if the lady left us something else that I could use and I found it hanging right on our wall! I never paid much attention to it because there just isn't any decoration here usually and I've made my peace with that. I've seen those things, of course, but I never realized they were there!

An old cheese grater is the second piece that will go on our new wall. It's super simple, doesn't take up much space and looks nice, too. It's not art, but I'm confident that it will look great once it's on the wall with the paintings and everything else.

This one is number three. A really, really old thermometer that hung on our wall. The black parts aren't dirty, that's just the colouring of the leather casing. It even shows me whether it's going to be "rainy, uncomfy or pretty", I just have to take it with me and put it up for everyone to see.

That one is just an example - a tin plate. I'm not sure whether they're popular anywhere but in Germany, but my grandma has tons of them. We found two in this apartment as well, but they're not that pretty so I'm hoping that grandma will give me one of hers. I know that she has lots of them that are in the cabinet because she doesn't have room on her walls anymore. And yes, that's how many she's got.

Those are tin spoons. My grandma has many, many of those as well. Those two aren't particularly pretty because of the weird roof thingy, but I want one or two on my wall as well. I bet it could look great after working on the wood for a bit.

I found this one right here on Pinterest and knew I had to do it right away. My grandma's and my mother are great cooks, they really are, and they've taught me a lot about it, so that's going to be my way to honour them - ask them for handwritten recipes, frame them and hang them on my kitchen wall.

There's another flea market here on sunday, I'm hoping to find more art that fits on this wall together with the other pieces. I can't wait to decorate this, it's going to be one of my favourites in the new apartment, most definitely!


Our new small home

It's finally here - we went over to our new apartment again today to measure some things and take pictures. So, as promised yesterday, I'll try and de-clutter my head and post pictures with our ideas right here.

These are the stairs that lead to our apartment. The grass you can see here is part of our very own garden, which I'll show more of later. Our apartment is the one on basement-level. But since the house is on the hill, this bit of garden is the only thing that reaches our windows. The small window by the stairs is the bathroom window, the bigger one belongs to our bedroom.

Come on in! I'm not a fan of the red door knobs and everything, but our apartment used to be a kindergarten, so we've got a few of those. I initally wanted to have a bench and a huge mirror in the hallway, on the wall you can see in this picture, but we won't have enough room for the bench. I'm thinking of putting a mirror like the DIY window colour mirror in my last post up here. Maybe two small mirrors, we'll see about that!

That's our bathroom (who would've guessed!). We're upgrading from bath tub to shower, and yes, I mean upgrade, not downgrade. Neither of us is a fan of taking long baths and while it can be relaxing, nearly falling down and breaking your neck every time you need to climb out of the bath tub even though you only showered can get really annoying. We'll get rid of the red things in here, they're leftovers from kindergarten-times as well as the balloons on the tiles. Those will stay though, simply because we don't want to go through painting tiles again. Especially since they're shiny and white this time, not yellowish. We're moving all the things we had in our current apartment to this one, since we -just- renovated it all and bought/built new furniture, so we're not going to buy new things again.

That would be our bedroom. Yes, it looks bad, but that's only because the landlord hasn't put the wooden floor in it yet. Afterwards, it will look just awesome. We can look straight into our garden from the bed, which will be pretty much in the middle of the room. We're getting two twin beds, put together by a nice headboard, most likely made of pallets or something similar. In the lower picture (yes, I know, bad quality but the only one the Doctor took of this corner) you can see the little niche that we will turn into our closet. We're going for something like Martha's solution in my last post, all hidden by a nice curtain hanging from the wall.

Kitchen! Only this picture so far, you'll get the real impression of it further down, together with our awesome living room because this kitchen opens into the living room. We can see straight into our garden from the window. A friend told me that you never rent apartments without kitchens in the States, but over here, that's actually fairly common. We'd preferred to have a kitchen in there as well, but thankfully my parents are helping us out so we can afford to buy our own kitchen. We'll keep it simply and not too dark, since the kitchen doesn't have much space and we don't want it to look even smaller than it is.
On the right side, the side you can't see in this picture, there's a blank, white wall. We're not putting any shelves or the like there because then we couldn't move anymore, but I'll ask my mother and grandmothers whether I can have some handwritten recipes that I can frame and hang there. I saw this on Pinterest once and that's the perfect place to hang them!

Here it is, our wonderful living room. Together with me, super tired because the Doctor's best friend spent the night at our apartment and we were all up until three in the morning. I was taking pictures with my phone to send to friends straight away, so I'm pretty much in every picture the Doctor took. But I think you can still see the awesomeness in this room. There's one more of those huge windows on the right side, the one you can see in the upper picture. Actually, it's the door that leads to our terrace. And you can see the kitchen in the back and - oh yes - the fireplace. I've always wanted to have one of those! Our plans for this room are still a bit sketchy, we might change it up once we've put the furniture down.
So far, it goes along those lines: In the upper picture, there's the small footstool in front of the fireplace - that's where we'll put a bench and our dining table. We're closing the door between kitchen and living room with a counter that reaches as high as your ordinary table does so we can put things down here, for example plates, and use the room on both sides. On the living room side of the counter, we're going to make a little reading nook next to the fire, that's what I really, really wanted and we were worried about not having enough room.
If you look at the lower picture, that's where the actual living room will go. We are keeping our TV table and shelf above it because it's only a year old and too good to throw away. We're keeping our couch as well, but we're upgrading it. It's currently standing against the wall and since it will be in the middle of the room here, we're adding a board to the back for support. It's dark brown right now and I'm going to change that to grey and completely renew the fabric on it. That's going to take a while, but it will be well worth it. I can also use that wall for my gallery project.

Before we move outside, I'll finish up with the two tiny extra rooms we've got in this apartment.

Yep, they really are tiny. The one in the first picture is for laundry machine and other household items, we're adding shelves there to store all these things as well as things we rarely use but keep on hand. There are paintings shining through, another thing remaining from kindergarten-times. We're going to hide the room behind another curtain so those won't be a problem and if we really find they're too annoying, we can just paint the wall again.
The room on the second picture is meant as a storage room, but this is where the Doctor will keep his music things. It has the exact right size for his desk and he can keep all his guitars there as well. We might also be able to fit a few shelves into it so we have more storage room. Doctor says this is good for the sound, so I'll just go with it and be happy to have more room to put things.

And now.. the outside. Our terrace and garden surround our apartment so we have complete privacy. Combined, garden and terrace have about the same size and level of awesomeness as the apartment itself.

Isn't this great? It's huge! We can build our furniture out there rather than trying to find a spot in the kitchen, as we currently do. We can invite friends over, have barbecues, we could even run a marathon on this terrace! We don't have many plans for this part yet. The Doctor wants to ask the landlord if we could install a roof above a part of the terrace so we can keep outdoor furniture outside without having to fear for rain, dry our clothes, etc. I want to hang a hammock and possible swings from the support beams. I'm also going to try and make some tire-ottomans so we can hang out with friends outside. One thing we'll definitely do - we bought this Super 8 projector at the flea market on Saturday and we're going to use that to watch old movies in black and white one warm summer night on our huge terrace.

And finally, this is our garden. The garden hut belongs to the landlord, but we can use half of it AND we may use his lawn mower and all the other supplies he has in there. The garden continues around the corner towards the entrance, the part you saw in the first picture. The tree in the bottom picture is an apple tree that we may use for ourselves as well. And I can plant vegetables and herbs and whatever I want in there! Suffice to say, I absolutely love this. We're going to keep it furniture-free and use it only for planting and maybe lying on the grass.

I hope you like the apartment and the ideas we have for it. This will all make much more sense when we start moving and furnishing and decorating, I promise. And I can't wait for it!