This is the best shot from my phone camera out of a rush this morning. As we prepared to go on with our day and about to bring my daughter to Kita, I couldn’t help but to stop and admire this glowing daybreak— the real Autumn pink skies are back! I am no fan of using filters in my photos, but this one is no exception—no filters needed.
Within 2 minutes, there is this amazing slide show of the sky. The glow of the Dawn. What a glorious day break. It was pink, glorious orange, against the bluish grey skies and the fluffy clouds looks like a watercolor wash painting I am trying to replicate many times! This is the first time I captured for this season and I am sure will be more to follow in the coming days as we approach Winter.
Even my daughter was smiling while she’s gazing up in the sky. Trying to describe the natural beauty that she see. But after like 2 minutes or so, the sky is changing once again in its hues. The grey clouds are starting to form into darker shades , hovering the sun.
Just like that and the skies showed us one fleeting moment. I’m just grateful that before we finally go through our day, the glow of the dawn shined upon us, within 2 minutes!
” A life with plants is vibrant and full of joy “…
I go by these words nowadays.This is the reason why I respect the social media that I am engaged into right now especially the platforms that I am sharing this Blog and my artworks as a self-taught artist. Instagram , for example have made me discover the beautiful side of loving plants.Talented photographers, gardeners, home makers and all these crazy plant people have created a whole new definition of indoor gardening .You think it’s just a new trend, I tend to disagree, for me it has become a lifestyle. The kind of inspiration that I love. If you love nature overall , I guess its very difficult to not appreciate the primitive and raw forms of life that surrounds us— plants! Come to think of it, when people wants to feel better, or release some tension, they go to nature. I live in a very green city, I have an access to green parks and forest within 5 minutes away from my doorstep. I always visit parks with beautiful landscapes, with blooming flowers and plants, or simply taking a walk into green forests to have a quiet time and nature always do me good. I am so thankful that my new home now, Bavaria, is an oasis of nature. It is no wonder I wrote many things about nature here.
It’s a natural stigma, like an old adage. Even from the beginning, people gravitate to something that make them feel good, an addiction in a good way. Studies shows the many health benefits of simply getting your hands dirty by gardening. Its one proven way to release chemicals Dopamine and Serotonin. It’s not just for old people. Now I understand the joy we had while “Strawberry picking” last Summer or just by drooling over the new sprout of leaves from my plants.
It’s like seeing the eyes of my daughter when she smiles— its beautiful!
This post is very personal to me since this is the story of how I find an outlet of happiness by “nurturing” plants. I have shared to you how I’ve felt when I sold my first painting. It’s a moment of pure joy, a newfound purpose. When I have “revived”a dying plant, something left with only few leaves, but then grows back and bloom, the feeling is the same. My journey as a crazy plant lady started with a small pot of Chrysanthemums I placed in the garden, plants some stem cuttings of Jade plants ( I didn’t even know how to grow them, I just tried my luck!) followed by few succulents and cactus, then the addiction began. There can never be enough. I am always on the look out of houseplants that are both beneficial and gives aesthetic boost to my home. With this, I involved my husband and my daughter. They know how crazy I am with plants because they know plants make me happy. Here in Germany, where the level of self-wellness is very high, it becomes a second nature now for me to create a lifestyle for a better quality of life.
Just like parenting, plant nurturing is a journey of self-discovery of how much love you are willing to give. It’s way more than just watering them. You’ve got to feel your plants, getting to know them, and watching over them like a mother. I am a first time mother and nurturing is something that I am continuously learning up until now. Being an Expat-mama where I don’t have the luxury of having my immediate relatives for support have forced me to discover myself through the ups and downs of motherhood. It was not easy, there were sad days and tears were shed, especially when my daughter is sick or facing developmental delays. But there were also tears of joy, a sense of being needed, of being loved-back in return. It’s priceless. I know many mothers & parents can relate to this feeling.
Plants have helped me in the process of learning how to nourish a life entrusted to your hands—and let yourself be nurtured in return. This an important part of fostering a strong, secure sustainability practice or else you will just waste money. Plants are no cheap and requires maintenance just like having a pet. It’s a beautiful purpose in life. I’ve lived in 4 different apartments in the last years and every time I build a new “home” for myself. Each one is a different surrounding and Expat life is like camping. A modern-day nomad. When you are new to a foreign place, or unsure where you are going in life, I find ways to fully integrate as much as possible. This is the reason why I always try to find beauty here in Bavaria. I focus on the positive side and making this place feels like home. Being a crazy plant mama helps me refocus my energy on staying grateful, abundance, presence, and manage my stress accordingly. My plants have help me “set my roots” here in Germany.My plants have taught me how to become a better person! And they remind me that my actions have a significant effect on them. I don’t think that I can make a single plant alive if I am neglectful. Having houseplants requires responsibility.
Just like Painting, colors, shades of paint and the medium that I use allow me to embrace every shape and form to create an art composition. I’ve become fascinated with plants and colors that I usually see in my surroundings. Germans are good home makers. I love the way they make their gardens and decorate their balconies with houseplants. From large curtain-less windows, I got a chance to sneak peek on their huge planters, with cascading plants all over. There’s something about the way a place looks so peaceful and cozy when it’s adorned with plants. I noticed that Germans also love fresh flowers.They have different plants and flowers for each season and one of the things I love about visiting the Fresh market is the fresh blooms in display! And speaking of Bavaria, here, almost, or at least from what I see, no matter how tiny your apartment is, there is always a pot of plant or flower in it.
I’m telling you, my biggest expenditures lately are my Plants and painting materials. The two important things that gravitates me to living a less-stress life.Living with plants in every room of our apartment have become a new natural for me in a short period of time. Some have stayed, and some have had to go, but the best part overall is seeing a growth happening, right before my eyes. I killed many of them , I was sad, disappointed at my self and blamed my “overwatering” nature. I am no expert, nor a green thumb. I just experiment, follow the rhythm of nature, researching about how to care for each type of plant, and this actually works for me to keep them alive, and especially —thriving.
My daily routine includes tending to my plants, as I tend to my love ones, feeding them & nurturing them. I am grateful every time I roll down the roller shutters from our living room to let the sun floods the entire house, giving the golden sunshine to my plants.Through the days, I dream of new ways to grow green life indoors and cultivating new plant sprouts. I clean the house surrounded by pots of Jade plants, ferns, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ( or lucky feather),Monstera deliciosa, and Alocasia. I prepare meals for my family in the view of my stunning Oxalis Triangularis, and Snake plant ( Mother-in Law tongue plant) . We share sumptuous meals as a family in the dining area with my Lily (my Fiddle leaf fig tree) , Calatheas, and spider plant. In our garden, I plant herbs, and grow tomatoes, leeks, rosemary, basil and paprika from leftover veggies. Plants bring beauty into our lives and illuminate for us just what that kind of beauty can do to change the texture of our days and reconnect us to the cycles of the moon and stars and sun. If you are searching to live a more meaningful life, search for more beauty. Stop the negativity. And that begins, as all life does, with plants.
I read in one article that house plants reflect how you feel as a person because they are completely dependent on you. You can tell by the state of your houseplants whether you feel good about yourself or not.
“ Plant addiction or not, it really doesn’t matter. If you love what you do and you have joy in your life with whatever you fill it with—-it’s your choice. All addiction pathways are the same no matter what the chemical.
As long as you feel rewarded you reinforce the behavior to get the reward.”
So in other words it all comes down to the fact that we can’t change our craving nature but we CAN change the nature of what we crave.
What do you crave for in life?
I am curious to know, what is your channel of happiness at this moment?
Do you also love plants? How was your experience?
Please feel free to share your opinion of this post and if you are thinking of starting an indoor garden for yourself, you might want to check out what I’ve written on Houseplants that I actually didn’t kill.
Thank you once again for reading my friends. A long weekend is coming up over here in Germany and I am already busy thinking how to spend those days! Can’t imagine that within a month, I’m going back to school and start a whole new routine! Until next time.
As a normal consumer, I am always keen on checking where does a certain product is made from or manufactured. Who doesn’t like good quality? Back then at my work as a Quality Controller and in-charge of the Laboratory, my Boss would always tell our visitors that our Lab is being assessed by a German Lab. It may sound as a cliché but then it always brings the thumbs up.No further explanations needed.
There is something about things that are labelled with “Made in Germany” , or designed and of German origin. It is recognized worldwide as a label of highest standards, value and quality. And talking about German efficiency, It sounds right, and sells right. As an Expat here I value these things very much. I came from a third world country and the mention of “European made, or made in Germany”always gives me an assurance that its a great product. This is my personal opinion.
The other day, me and my sister were talking online when she shared to me that one of their sub- contractors is Viega Deutschland (Viega Press Systems). She asked me if I knew of their products since they mentioned that they are made from Germany .The moment they knew that its German-made, they have greater faith.
I have been living here in Bavaria for over a year now, and I am telling you, living with German efficiency has a tremendous impact in my life. Germany’s famous stereotype things are way more than their Beer, Cars and Sausages. Yes, the world-famous Oktoberfest (Beer Festival) is one big magnet from Munich, but have you ever wondered what other ORDINARY things you are using everyday, that actually originates from Germany?
or invented by Germans or Americans of German origin?
I was totally amazed that there are so many things which I discovered to be authentic German inventions. Keep on reading , you might realize that these are quite ordinary, so common, and that we can’t live without these things anymore.
Made in Germany, Ordinary yet Ingenious!
EASTER BUNNY (or Osterhase)
The Easter Bunny, at least as we know it today, first appeared in 16th century writings in Germany. In the 1700s, Pennsylvania Dutch (Deutsch) settlers brought the tradition of the Easter Bunny with them to the new world. Their children believed that if they were good, the Easter bunny would come and lay eggs and treats into nests the children made out of upturned hats and bonnets!
Yes, the Envelops, office paper, printers, notebooks, filling cabinets, they are all made in Germany (or at least their size has been established in Germany).
If you are familiar with ISO, EN, and other Quality Standards, I am sure you know DIN. TheDIN is the acronym for “Deutsches Institut für Normung”, which is the German national institution for standardization (=ISO). The DIN created the DIN standard that specifies the paper size (DIN A3, DIN A4, DIN A5, etc.) that is used all over the world, with the exception of US and Canada.
ADIDAS AND PUMA
Even if you are not a sneaker fan or into sports, I am sure these top of the line brand of sneakers always rings a bell. You know that when you got Adidas or Puma shoes under your feet, you feel great. Adidas (the shoes with the three stripes) is the second largest sportswear manufacturer worldwide and was named after its founder, Adolf (Adi) Dassler. Adolf started producing shoes in the 1920s in Herzogenaurach near Nuremberg with the help of his brother Rudolf, who later formed the rival shoe company Puma.
Do you own a pair? What’s your favorite design?
I have been using this brand of drawing and writing materials from mechanical pencils to technical pens for years! With HQ in Nuremberg,Germany, Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG is a German fine writing instrument company and a manufacturer and supplier of writing, artist, and engineering drawing instruments. The firm was founded by J.S. Staedtler in 1835 and produces a large variety of writing instruments, including drafting pencils, propelling pencils, professional pens and standard wooden pencils.
I live in the city where the HQ of Audi is located. Audi is the big thing here in Bavaria and of world-renowned top of the line car. Germans are crazy (in a good way) about their Autos, and cars are a big deal here. I understand why Germany is on top when it comes to cars. Name it, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, and Porsche to name a few. German car makers make a very good reputation worldwide. But safety is also something that goes with German-made brand, the AIRBAG.
Originated in Germany and the first time in 1981 as optional equipment for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the airbag has now become standard. We all know that it has been helping to save lives ever since.
Have you ever had a headache? Everybody does and so this medication is known worldwide.In 1897, the company Bayer developed the first pain remedy with minimal side effects. Aspirin is one of the world’s most-favored medications for pain, fever and inflammation. About 12,000 of the 50,000 tons of Aspirin produced annually still come from Bayer. Aspirin was even taken on the first moon landing in 1969: there was a box of the effective pain-killer on board when Neil Armstrong flew in the Apollo 11.
A total milestone in the micro world! When livestock was stricken by a dangerous disease throughout Europe in 1870, Robert Koch discovered that bacteria were the cause of the disease. He was also able to isolate the bacillus that causes tuberculosis. With these discoveries, Koch founded a new branch of science: Bacteriology.
Johannes Gutenberg was a German craftsman and printer who invented the first printing press with movable type in 1450. This invention revolutionized printing, making it simpler and more affordable. Printed materials were made available to the masses for the first time in history.
How many card/ID’s you have in your wallet which has a chip card on it? Today, everyday life is inconceivable without the chip card: SIM (phone card) , credit card, patient card – all important data are packaged neatly in plastic. Your whole personal identity in one small chip. Even my Aufenhaltstitel ( my German residence card) has a chip!The chip card was developed by Jürgen Dethloff and Helmut Göttrup in 1969. In 1977, Dethloff applied for a patent for the microprocessor card, the so-called smart card, that can be freely programmed thus providing high functionality.
CHRISTMAS TREE (Tannenbaum)
Finland may claim Santa Claus but Christmas Tree came from Germany!
When I had my first German Christmas here last year, I was so curious and delighted even more of the magical tales of Christmas, especially White Christmas, with real snow and real Christmas tree. I never expected that Christmas tree tradition during Christmas originated in Germany. When I saw all the festivities in an authentic German Christkindlmarkt, and how Germans celebrate Christmas, I fell more in love with this tradition. A REAL tree glittering with shimmering lights in the snow is a dream come true.
In 1419, a Christmas tree was mentioned in a written document for the first time. This tree was decorated with candy and pastry and set up by bakers in Germany’s Southwest. The tradition to set up such a decorated tree at Christmas time spread throughout Germany and the whole world. Emigrants brought the Christmas tree to America, and in 1889 the first Christmas tree was set up in the White House.
PREGNANCY TEST and the PILL
In 1928 two German gynecologists: Selmar Aschheim and Bernhard Zondek created the first reliable pregnancy test in the history. All women dying to have a baby kisses this small pen-like invention once they found out they are pregnant!
On 1961 from Schering AG, With 50 micrograms of estrogen, Schering succeeded in simulating a pregnancy in the female body. The market launch of the first pill in Germany had far-reaching consequences: sexual lust no longer needed to result in the blessing of children.
Do you wear one?Contact lenses were invented and made in 1887 by the German physiologist Adolf Eugen Fick. He first fitted animals with the lenses, and later made them for people. These lenses were made from heavy brown glass and were 18-21mm in diameter.
In Philippines, people are crazy about Coke, while in Kuwait, they only know Pepsi. But did you know that the second largest brand of the Coca Cola Group originated in Germany in the early 40’s? And this is not a rumor, the official site tells the story:
“During the World War II: Germany suffered from shortage of resources, including the ingredients used in the Coca Cola formula. The German factory however made the most of those difficult times and managed to create a new soft drink, made of the available ingredients during war. Once the drink was formulated, the factory organized a contest and invited the employees to look for a name for the new drink. And they found one: the new drink was “fantastisch” and “fantasievoll” (adjectives in German that mean fantastic and imaginative) and so the new drink was called Fanta.”
I love and use this product for a long time up until now. It was another surprise to me knowing they are German-made! I literally grew up with this product. My mother loves this as well.
This round blue tin of creme can be found in every beauty section of leading supermarkets worldwide. It’s a classic skin care. However very few of us knew that it’s a German brand. Beiersdorf is Nivea’s parent company, which was funded in the 19th century in a chemistry shop in Hamburg. These days they still have their HQ in Hamburg.
This one is a lifesaver. I love Gummy Bears and my daughter is addicted to this. Here in Germany, they give this to children in the Doctor’s office, in the bakery, in the shops. When you live here in Germany, you will be surprised with the large aisle in the supermarkets allotted only for this product. So many types and flavors.
A sweet, colorful, tiny little bear in the palm of your hand. You pick it up to your mouth, and bite its little head off. The gummy bear. One of Germany’s most popular sweets was created in 1922 by Hans Riegel. He was born in Bonn, and opened a candy company called HARIBO, an acronym based on the letters of his name: HAns RIegel of BOnn. So next time your relatives asks for a souvenir from Germany, let them have a taste of this Gummy Bears!
Curious about how they manufacture Haribo Gummy bears? watch this!
JEANS AND YOUR LEVI STRAUSS!
Everybody loves wearing Jeans, and when you are wearing blue , you are absolutely IN. Jeans are forever, but did you know that they are born out from a German mind?
Levi Strauss was trained as a tailor in Bavaria before joining the California gold rush. Here he ran into prospectors and miners who complained about easily torn pants. In 1873, Strauss patented his idea of using copper rivets at the stress points of sturdy work pants. The Levi’s Jeans were born.
KINDERGARTEN ( German Pre-School)
Friedrich Froebel was a German educational reformer who invented the kindergarten (“garden of children”). He opened the first kindergarten in 1837 to protect children from misery at the beginning of industrialization. His kindergartens included pleasant surroundings, self-motivated activity, play, music, and the physical training of the child.
Here in Germany, we call this “Kita” and my daughter started recently in one of the local Kita in our neighborhood. Contrary to the American based system , here, Kindergarten kids are on “Play Based” system of learning and academics are not introduced up until the age of 6.
The person responsible for healthy teeth is the pharmacist Ottomar von Mayenburg. He experimented in 1907 with tooth powder, mouthwash and ethereal oils. What he came up with was a toothpaste he named Chlorodont. With a little peppermint added for good taste, he filled the paste directly into pliable metal tubes. And we’ve been brushing our teeth regularly after breakfast and before bedtime ever since.
Wherever in the world, New York, Singapore or Middle East, without safe elevator systems, the skyline of many metropolises would look different today. The TWIN elevator developed by ThyssenKrupp in 2002 represents a milestone in the history of elevator technology. The new system has two cabins in each shaft, arranged one on the top of the other, which can move to the individual floors independent of one another using the same guide rails.
I am running out of time and I don’t want this post to be a novel , I’m afraid its gone quite long .These things are all ordinary but come to think of it, what would be our lives today without them?
Bonus info: Other things such as the mayonnaise, Helicopter, motorcycle,MP3 format,refrigerator,Ritter Sport Chocolate,Steinway piano, tape recorder,telephone,television,Theory of Relativity (by Albert Einstein), Thermos flask, X-ray, Hugo Boss, Escada, Faber-Castell (from Bavaria), and the Scanner (Klitschograph).All these are genuine “MADE IN GERMANY” Contributions to the world!
More clever things you didn’t know but of German inventions are listed Here.
Thank you for reading my friends! Hope this helps you know more about the ordinary yet ingenious German contributions to the world! And if you are an Expat living in Germany, I am sure you live with these things, ingenously !
If you enjoyed this post, please don’t hesitate to leave some love and comments which one is your favorite! Until next time!
Looking back from the time I started with my journey with Painting last year, I have received numerous requests of doing more Landscape artwork. People always have a thing for replicating nature—like flower fields, mountains, seascapes, mountain views, and yes, even the skies. I have received many compliments when I am doing the Galaxy-effect sky painting, from which I viewed only as an intermediate attention. I won’t lie, but I created that piece accidentally when I only wanted to use up my leftover paints.
I have the impression that choosing a particular piece and subject of artwork is definitely a personal thing. Like for example, some of my friends cannot appreciate any Abstract piece, while here in Germany, most of the people I knew value my Abstract pieces. But I have learned that as a self-taught artist, you created what you love. You paint what your emotions and mood dictates, from your brushes to your pinsel. the medium that you used is totally depending on where you feel most comfortable with delivering your thoughts on your work. Doing artwork for the sake of making money out of it and pleasing your audience is something offensive to an artist’s creed. It forsakes your own talent, your own mantra of creating something that personify yourself. Not unless you decide to become a full-time Artist and you rely solely on painting to pay your bills. That would be a different story.
I have collected some pieces of my moody landscapes paintings and would like to share it with you here. To give you an idea, I personally loved landscapes, but I am definitely need a lot of learning more to do to make the best of this, especially when I am working with watercolors. These paintings are inspired by the beauty of landscapes that surrounds me. I tried my best to use my watercolor pallete to bring out the hues and texture to give an attitude to these paintings.Notice that they are moody, almost surreal and I used varying shades to re-create a view from my mind.
Here are some paintings I did for Moody Landscapes paintings in Aquarelle.
Autumn Reflections — 40 x 50.8 cm ( 16″x 20″) Aquarelle painting in 300G/M2 (140lb) Cold-press artist grade paper.
Waves in Turmoil – 36 x 48 cm (14.2″x 18.9″) Aquarelle Landscape painting in Artist Grade paper.
Prelude to Dusk – 36 X 48cm ( 14.2″ x 18.9 “) Original Watercolor/Aquarelle painting
Magical Spring Garden – 36 x 48cm ( 14.2″ x 18.9″) Original Watercolor/Aquarelle Landscape Painting
Let’s Go to the Tropics – 36 x 48cm ( 14.2 “X 18.9”) Original artwork in Watercolor/Aquarelle .
The “Autumn Reflections“is displayed in one corner in our living room before shipping to its new owner.
Some pieces were already commisioned for purchase and I am excited that my artwork will find new home.There’s a feeling of happiness whenever I create something and people would actually wanna buy it! I, myself haven’t purchase any original artwork in my life, so I truly respect the people who wanted to invest in my talent. It is a great encouragement and tool for motivation to continue mastering your craft. I guess that the best job in the world would be the kind that you really love doing, like a combination of your hobby or passion, and you got actually being paid to do it.
I don’t even have my own studio. I used our kitchen counter when I do some messy work and oftentimes, I am in our dining table to do what I love. Sometimes I do things simultaneously while waiting for other paintings to dry. I visited Art shops looking for art supplies and using the translator app in my phone (since almost all labels are in German), I make both ends meet. Many times, when I am painting, I am also doing some house work, looking after my child, and taking care of other tasks. If I give in to complacency, then I wouldn’t be able to do what I want to do.
There is really no excuse if you want something to be done.
I write this because for me——every piece of artwork is personal. Painting is something that I wanted to do until I grow old and that my hands can still grip on a brush.
What is your opinion of these landscape artwork? Do you like landscapes?
Feel free to share your comments, I would appreciate it!
Thank you once again for reading my friends!Until next time!
From time to time I squeezed some time to do what I love to do and that is painting.This one is one of my favorite pallete , the color scheme of green, teal, blue, white and grey—if you are going to ask for the name of the shade in an art shop or artist, you could simply mention Malachite.
Here are some of the photos of the paintings I did trying out the art of Fluid painting , by doing once again dirty pour technique using acrylics as a medium. This one is inspired by Malachite–the kind of hue I am obsessing about. This color is so rich , so trendy, and probably one of the great hues to work with fluid painting. I don’t know but when I see this shade in any interior or artwork, I am immediately drawn to it.
I am no interior decorator, although I love decorating, and making our home “homey” by incorporating the minimalist approach. I love the green hues as well, as I am a self-confessed plant-lover. I use this natural green in plant forms to decorate as I hate clutter. But if you have a kid, this is an understatement Ha ha! Recently I am finding happiness by growing plants and creating my indoor plant sanctuary. But green infused with more variants of greens and malachite mineral hues, is something, a statement of piece. A definite win-win. Depending on the hue, inspired by malachite minerals and gemstones you can choose wonderful color design for your ceilings, floor and walls and create peaceful and strikingly luxurious or unique and relaxed interior design and decor.
But what about creating an artwork mimicking this shade?
When I mixed these paints, I’ve never imagined that the result would be like this. This is the thing about fluid painting, its always a surprise. The formation of cells is one of the things that I find so fascinating as an artist.From the moment I see a cell cluster, I feel the excitement, and watching it transform is something that I always try to capture.
These images remind me of the aerial view of the ocean. These patterns are totally beautiful don’t you agree?
Malachite, the hue, is the colour of various copper compounds, some specimens of Jade and certain leafy vegetables. The Jade element is associated with China and New Zealand.The sea has a great many colours depending on the weather and the depth. This is the colour of the shallow sea on a sunny day. This colour is be typical of waves close to the shore. If you like landscapes with a sea nearby , then you must appreciate the waves against the azure bluish color of the waters. A truly work of nature’s art!
These gorgeous green colors work well for any interior and design style, creating a calming effect and adding personality to any room. From dark green to turquoise green, these colors are perfect for any room painting ideas, home furnishings or decorating with modern wallpaper. Green colors in malachite hues make perfect bathroom and bedroom designs. Dark green colors bring vibrancy into living rooms and dining room decorating.
This result really inspire me to create more paintings with same shades and texture, and much bigger.Here are some of the paintings I did recreating these hues.
If you are learning to paint and love to work on this technique, don’t be intimidated! I , myself have learned all these things only by researching, watching videos and tutorial about Acrylic pouring & painting. I am no expert and yes, you might not have the given talent but then everything can be learned if you are determined to educate yourself.
Well, it has been a productive week for me. When I looked at what I did for my free time then I am most happy. I hope you enjoyed this post and would appreciate if you share your opinion about this artwork. If you are interested to see more artwork like this, please follow me on Instagram. I post my paintings there and other craft things. I think they are worthy of following! Until next time!
I owe this post to the raw, pure and simple beauty of Autumn, the season of layers and golden glow. The season where I created my Art gallery series “The rhythm of Crimson“and the “Hues of Malachite“. As much as I love nature, I think its just proper to document these moments and share with you some snapshots around my neighborhood . It’s been in my drafts folder for a week now and it really deserves to be published.Today, I finally squeezed some time to sit behind my laptop and search through my photo archives to complete this post. I know its been a while since I write about my Wandertags , but yes, I must confess that time is super precious, and life really happens when you are in constant motion. No day-off,in lay man terms!
But when we are silent, it doesn’t mean that our lives are boring, it’s just means that adventures are happening.
I’m sure many expats like me can relate to this.Though I grew up in a tropical climate and live almost a decade in a dry, hot climate, I began to appreciate the beauty of the changing seasons here in Europe. Someone even told me that it must be heaven or paradise living in Germany. I humbly retorted — there is no such thing as paradise. Your happiness doesn’t depend on places, let alone tangible things. Though I love summer and I get cold easily, I am such an Autumn person. Give me a quiet, serene place with a simple view of gorgeous colorful trees and leaves on a bright, chilly autumn day, with warm socks, big sweaters, and a pocket of time to paint, then I will be in all my glory. My soul would be happy.
As me and my family entered into new routines and big changes, we are colliding with changes in nature as well. October is the time comes to dressed up in layers once again.Everyday, my feet stepped into a myriad of colors, the streets are covered in yellow-brown mosaic of leaves, it is really beautiful! As I go out in my day, in a rush but kissing and chasing the fog relentlessly. I am fully embracing my life in layers. With the beginning of late sunrises, and dark nights, I find comfort knowing that my life continues to eveolve.I won’t lie, it is a struggle to wake up 5:30 in the morning every single day. It is still dark when we go out, with crisp air, cloudy, wet and very foggy. It’s like the sun is also too sluggish to put on a show. I am most ecstatic when the sun starts to shine, because I know, it gets better during the day when its sunny.
Anyway, here I wanna share with you my side of the world , these photos reflect the life we have as an Expat family here in Bavaria, the south of Germany.This is what my everyday life looks like. As much as we love the European summers, I love the serene, quiet evenings, chilly mornings, and a soulful meditation that the Autumn weather brings.
Autumn (or der Herbst) means walking back to nature. Taking walks plays an important role in German lifestyle. Here, I’ve seen the other side of walking. Back then in Kuwait, I see walking as a penitence. With the dry and heat, walking is never enjoyable.Whilst here, it’s a physical activity, exercising your self-wellness . During Fall, walking is even more special on a carpet of crisp fallen leaves. Nothing beats the “Psithurism“or the sound of the rustling of leaves, the graceful descending movement of leaves falling to the ground, obedient to the course of gravity. The sound it makes is raw, making each step exciting. The different shades of leaves creates a unique mosaic, which only nature can do. I have tried to replicate the textures when I made some “Painting with Leaves”. I find the sight of the fallen leaves on the ground a pleasant reminder that even though everything is dying and falling during Fall, life can still be beautiful.
“All the trees are losing their leaves, and not one of them is worried “
Do you like foggy, hazy mornings?
Have you ever tried chasing a Fog? Another thing that makes Autumn in Germany special are the chilly, foggy mornings which starts from late September and can last up until November. The fog here stays up until 11 am!Have you ever tried cycling in the fog? Or just take a walk through the foggy forest on an early Saturday morning?
When I see fog, I feel like I am into a quest. I remember last year when I was so engulfed with these foggy mornings and crystallized spider webs, making me spent most my weekend mornings chasing the fog. There’s something about it that is so eerie, so mystical, and mysterious . The cast that it makes on the trees and surroundings is a sight that is imprinted in my mind. I love photographing these moments. In this photo,the Donau river almost disappeared, it’s unseen because of the thick fog, but you know it’s there.
Of course if I talked about Fall in Germany, Oktoberfest and every city’s Volksfest will surely cross your mind. All these festival are almost legendary. Just right before the chill creeps into our window sill, we enjoyed once again the warmth inside the beer tents, with a Breze (Pretzel) in the hand and danced through the groove of traditional volk music. Our Herbstfest ( Fall Beer Festival) is one of my favorite festivities,the carnival, and the total coziness of celebration is really one of -a-kind, especially in our region, the beer capital of the world—Bavaria!
What I like about taking time to observe nature during the morning rush is that you can capture it in its raw form. When I passed by to this street everyday, it is full of students, in a hurry, everyone is chasing the time. These trees itself are witness of time, enduring the cold, and obediently abiding to the call of nature to shed all its leaves in order to give way to another growth. Through all these process, she cast no worries.
Since the time that my daughter started in the Kindergarten, Fall brought us a new meaning as well. It signals growth and moving forward. The time for Big Little steps to be made, and taking the leap on second chances. I, too, had been moving forward in my life. It was not an easy, or comfortable one, but then this is where I find meaning of my daily purpose.
Just like this flower in between the fallen leaves, it still stands out and bloom. Autumn is her season to shine. A purple one against the browns. Sometimes, life’s challenges comes like a contrast and its the way we respond that resonates with our surroundings. Lately, my family is plagued by the challenges that my daughter faced in her “Eingewohnung” in the Kita ( Kindergarten). This is the phase where she faced with so many new things and her skills are challenged, she, herself is being challenged physically, emotionally, and most important —socially. As parents, we feel the stress as well, but then we decided to hold on to each other and stand out.
The orange , red and yellow leaves in constant transformation gives me glorious sight everyday, invoking positive vibes and encouraging resistance. The cold, long German Winter will come soon, but we are staying still.
If you might wanna know, there are so many things that comes up only in Autumn, a seasonal thing I must say. Like for example these clouds of mushrooms, they are everywhere, almost invincible! Our streets are also full of chestnuts, acorns, pine cones, and beautiful twigs. We have adorned our home with the pumpkins we’ve got from the fresh market and yes, my plant sanctuary gets even more cozier with the addition of colorful callunas!Germans are crazy about their gardens, and indoor plant sanctuaries are as common as Biergartens!
German Autumn won’t be complete without the warm orange shades of Pumpkins. The warm colors of Fall —the burnt orange, reddish, plum, and burnt sienna are my favorite shades .A parade of pumpkins or Kurbis is every child’s delight. Pumpkin pie, Lebkucken, Stollen, Apple picking and cozy sweaters are always a hit everywhere. The smell of freshly baked goodies, gorgeous warm glow of candle lights while tucked into warm socks–all these are simple comforts for the soul during Fall.
One thing that I have learned lately in my life is to be content, with what I am and with what I have. Autumn in the same way is the season where I appreciate the contentment in my own home by paying attention to what I already have. A time when the year is on its last leg and it doesn’t do you good have regrets. Lastly, we don’t have Fall season in the Philippines and so I am grateful that I have this “privilege” to live in this place.
“The Trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go…”
Have you enjoyed this post? If you live in a place with a season like Fall, what do you appreciate the most during this time? and if you have one photo that describes your life right now, what could it be?
Would it also be fallen leaves?
Feel free to share your thoughts about your favorite moments during the changing seasons.
Thank you for reading my friends! If you have more time to kill and you want to see more of my personal Art Gallery like my current obsession now, the art of Fluid Painting using acrylics, please add me in Instagram. I share and post there my current artworks and I think its worth the follow.
It’s that time of the year once again, Autumn is here, probably my favorite time of the year because of all the amazing Fall colors I see everywhere. I live in a very green city and our region is transformed into a haven of colorful foliage at this time. I am Asian and this season is totally absent from where I grew up so I am very grateful that I see this beauty. Before, the magic of experiencing Autumn is unknown to me, not until I moved here in Germany and live with this season of cold, wet, rainy and yet fascinating metamorphosis of nature colors.
I’ve always been interested in the color-changing process of leaves during Fall. I knew its science and natural phenomenon but still, I am susceptible to its charm. I find it totally relaxing to watch nature and its beauty in its simplest form.
Even more rewarding when combining this with my favorite hobby : Painting.
There is something about doing what you love and enjoying it at the same time. It is always a win-win situation!
All you need is a head full of imagination and creative enthusiasm and you will be on the right track. My Blog is full of my rendezvous about my Expat life here in Germany, as well as my personal journey of mastering my own craft. Painting is a journey. It is a lifestyle of discovering of what you are capable of doing and not inhibited by insecurities. At the beginning of Fall, I have created new abstract paintings inspired by Fall colors using Acrylics. It’s something that I have never done before.
Many times, when I don’t know how to do something or I haven’t mastered yet a certain technique, I am hesitant, and always making excuses not to do it in the first place. But then I’ve learned that the only way to find out is to try. I have never tried painting with leaves before but I got an inspiration and wanted to replicate the natural leaf patterns that a dried leaf has by engraving them through watercolor paints.
The whole process is quite easy. This is a great DIY Home project especially if you have little kids and wanted to engaged into a creative project. The materials are quite handy. If you have the free time and willingness to learn, then its one of the things I recommend you to do .You might even develop a hobby out of it.
Materials needed :
Fall leaves in different shades, shapes and colors of your choice.
Watercolor paper ( you can prepare it in postcard or in any medium paper you like but it should stand heavy watercolor washes and wetness, so I recommend an artist-grade paper.
Watercolor paints or Acrylic paints
Sets of brushes
How to do it?
First,clean and make sure your leaves are clean and free from dirt like mud or sand.
Create the background wash for your card or poster by brushing your preferred color as a background. I choose warm tones like red, burnt sienna and light browns.
Once the wash is dry, arrange the leaves in the paper and make sure they are flat. You can start by brushing the other side of the leaf with high-consistency paint and then flip them over to the paper, just enough to lay them flat. This is very important in drying and getting the patterns engraved in the paper in the drying process.
Once you arrange all the leaves and pattern you desired, you can add more colors, just to create a more liquid, or more texture to the painting. You can intensify the colors by painting all over the leaves, making it more wet. Make sure not to add colors that makes a “muddy” appearance or the colors blending to each other.
Place your painting in a place where it will not be touched or moved so that it will dry fast and the leaves remains intact in the paper.I do this overnight and remove the leaves once I saw that it becomes loose from the paper.
Remove the leaves slowly.
Add more color or enhance your painting with other effects to highlight the texture and tone.
Remember, PATIENCE is the key in creating a wonderful, personalized and unique artwork. It doesn’t need to be expensive,it just takes a hand full of creativity.
Have you enjoyed reading this post? I hope so and l look forward to hear your feedback if ever you have tried it. What was your approach?
I hope you enjoy this wonderful time to do something creative like this. If you need more inspiration, make sure you follow my Instagram feed, I post there some creative ideas and DIY projects I do . Have a lovely week, my friends!
It’s probably bicycles and Tulips which are obviously one of the great statistics coming from the Netherlands, not to mention the Great Dutch masters and painters. But when it comes to Flower-mania, the pedestrian crowd in the Keukenhof gardens is something that I really find fascinating.Look, my photos maybe didn’t do justice but these photos says it all.
Few weeks ago, as a jump-start for Autumn, thousands of tulips bulbs were once again prepared for planting in the Keukenhof gardensin Lisse, The Netherlands for the preparation for the Spring Garden season opening in March 2018. Looking back from our last visit last Spring, these was my pedestrian experience when we are in this place, add the fact that it was also an Easter holiday! Tulips are as common as Biergartens here in Germany. It flocks everywhere, in gardens, balconies, along the road, and even on the wild outskirts.
But the most extravagant au-naturelle display of the tulips grandeur is along the side of the road, where flower enthusiasts and botanical addicts just like me, likes to wander and linger, for free. I’m telling you, the crowds are huge, the traffic is crazy. More than the crazy crowds I’ve seen during grand sale in Avenues in my life in Kuwait. People are in constant motion. Photographs are endless!
Wherever you go in the neighborhood in Lisse in the Netherlands, you are always guaranteed with a view. Tourists and locals, are rewarded with a scenic view of the tulip fields, acres and acres of flower fields, blooming like a rainbow plastered on the ground, which gives endless panoramic vistas even to passers- by or in-transit passengers.
Pedestrian lanes in the Netherlands has a signature of this. You can’t take your eyes off from the beauty of nature in front of you. Seriously, whether you are driving, cycling or walking, it really doesn’t matter.
It is a journey always guaranteed to be pleasant and any pedestrian is rewarded with a view !
How about you, Do you like crowds?
This post is inspired by this week’s Photo Challenge : Pedestrian
I know the nursery rhyme ‘ Baba Black Sheep’ but Blue Sheep ???!!
While I was living in Kuwait, I knew Sheep because of Ramadan and Eid Al- Adha. If you must know, they are prime element of Islamic celebrations.I saw them from the same “Camel farms” I’ve visited and they don’t normally “graze“in Kuwait city but they are being ushered to the animal market especially during the Muslim festivities of sheep ritual slaughtering.
But here in Germany I’ve seen something different.
Today we’ve seen a flock of ‘Blue Sheep ‘ grazing right in front of our Altes Rathaus ( or City town Hall ). Totally eye-catching and one-of a kind. In the middle of the square, there are approximately 150 pieces of Blue sheep sculptures, erected as a symbolic art project which promotes mutual tolerance and peace.
From the artistic minds of German artists Rainer Bonk and Bertamaria Reetz from the design series ‘Blue Sheep’, the Blue Flock Art Project was first exhibited to public in Lido, Venice in 2009 as Germany’s contribution to the “OPEN 12” , an international sculpture and art exhibition. Since then, they continue to roam around all over Europe to promote their advocacy for peace , tolerance and equality. They normally “graze“in historical places, landmarks and iconic cities to create an artistic juxtaposition.
I live in Bavaria and our region is celebrating now the world-renowned Oktoberfest and the sight of overwhelming men in Lederhosen and lots of cleavage sight for women in Dirndls in beer tents downing mugs of beer has now been a typical sight for me. But seeing these blue sheep for a change is really refreshing, especially for kids. You can imagine how delighted my daughter is when she saw the sheep, and she explained how many are they!
Why they are painted Blue?
They come in bright Ultramarine Blue color, which is the color of the Earth, ocean and the sky. I recognized this color since I have these in my paints. Blue is a primary color, a powerful base of the color spectrum. It symbolizes peace, unity, freedom and space. It embodies all good moral aspects.
What makes the Blue Sheep special?
Every blue sheep is painted and crafted in the workshop for mentally disabled people ( Duisburger Werkstatt für Menschen mit Behinderung GmbH) , SBK Gmbh in Cologne,Germany. If you are interested to get a collector’s item ,you can learn more about this project here.They have a special offer for schools and hotels.
The Blue Flock of Peace Art Project have been to key places around Europe like Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Köln, Bozen, Dresden, Heilbronn,Dessau, Berlin, Hannover and Strasbourg among others.
I must say that my Wandertag with my daughter today has been a fascinating one. It’s definitely Fall here now in Germany and I am so looking forward to wander and discover nature’s best, its vibrant colors and festivities.
How about you, have you ever seen this type of sculpture?
Milestone Alert : My green Goblin 3-Year old daughter goes to the Kindergarten!
It’s been a while since I’ve written some personal updates about my daughter whom I’ve written a lot about here in “Raising Natalie “. So I thought that after squeezing some quality time with my ever-beloved laptop which always reminds me of my Expat days in Kuwait since it has Arabic characters in the keyboard, I finally managed to put together this post to celebrate my daughter’s first days in Kita ( or German Kindergarten). And yes, I called it celebration, because I think, starting in Kindergarten is a great milestone to celebrate just like a promotion or a raise. After all, it’s a signal for growth. Not only for your kids, but for parents as well! Finally, my Third Culture Kid goes to Kindergarten!
So first, if you are a parent and your child goes to Kindergarten for the very first time, let me give you my warmest congratulations, and say “Well, done!”
I wanted to share our experience how did it go for us with my daughter starting her days in Kita here in Germany. I’ve written before how insane it is here to find a spot for our child to be admitted in the Kita. We literally waited for almost a year! Yes, A YEAR! With almost 10 schools we applied, only 1 responded. Sure thing, as a parent we all have our own preferences for which school we want our children to go, but here and on our case, it’s not just possible. You gotta take what’s given to you. The competition is so tight that you just put your hopes on luck! Anyway, we are grateful for the slot that has been given to us by the local ministry which takes care of these things. It is just in time for my daughter to be readily accepted since she just turned 3 years old last August and her school starts this September.
We ‘re all excited for her! Few weeks before she start, we always talked about Kita to her so she gets familiar with it. When we had our meeting with her teachers, we were asked to prepare the things that she needed like Regenkleidung ( rain clothes) like Matschosen, (which is really a German thing!) a raincoat,rain boots, hat, gym shoes, house shoes and extra pair of clothes(seasonal) just in case she make herself wet or dirty. We brought her some extra diapers just in case, toothpaste, tooth-brush, and her own File folder with her personal identification and a family photo.
Here in Germany, the education system is totally different from where I grew up, or from Kuwait, or in the Netherlands. Here, German focused more on children’s early development through free play, totally opposite from the American system where there is a stress on learning the academics at the very young age! Here, in simple layman’s terms: Kita is a place to play and learn things through play. Social skills are polished by stimulating the child’s development through unstructured modules. They learn things naturally and reading comes later. I never see any alphabet or numbers on the walls. I remember that in Philippines, Kindergarten & pre-schoolers are taught to read and write, paint, count and so forth and there is a reward system. Like if you behave well or achieve something remarkable for a certain activity, there is always the recognition. Remember the stars on the hand? Over here in Deutschland, those things are not the norm. I think I am the only one whose teaching my daughter to write and count!
When her teacher saw that my daughter reads the writings on the bulletin board and the names in their coat racks, she was really surprised! To top it off, I already announced to the teacher that my daughter is the only one who just can’t sit. She is so restless that she always wants to be on the go, running, playing and hyperactive. They saw it on the very first day. I haven’t even had the chance to say a proper goodbye because she already run into the playground and her teacher is running after her! We start with her staying in the Kita from 8 am to 11 am for the first 2-3 days, then gradually increase the times she spent there up to 2pm. On the first day, they asked me to leave after 1 hour and stand by phone to wait for any updates. Around 11 am, I picked up my daughter and felt relieved that she was playing by herself, cried a few times but they were able to calm her. I can see signs that she is ready for Kindergarten but the challenge of Separation and Hunger are two big things she is overcoming slowly, at her own pace.
My daughter is very social and yet uncontrollable especially when she is too absorbed with playing. She’s the explorer type so I know that the hardest part for the teachers to do is to tame her and make her listen. She has a lot of personality and her attitude stands out being the defiant. Oh yes, there were lots of crying, screaming, and defiance on these days and the worst thing is, she doesn’t like to eat or drink during Brotzeit (snack time) or even during lunch. She doesn’t like to be in their group, she refused to stay there in their room and prefer to be in the middle group where she spends her time pretend-playing, and obsessing about dressing up as a nurse and Doctor. By the end of the week, she caught her first virus , also maybe because we are having a terrible rainy-cold-crazy weather these days, so she got severe colds and when I pick her up, she was already warm.
It was not an easy start for us. In fact it gets bumpy at the end of the first week. Nevertheless, during the course of the days up until today, I saw that she made some progress. I was happy today because when I opened her lunch box, only few pieces of cucumber are left, we are making real progress! She sat in the table with her classmates and began eating together.I know there are more challenges to come for her, like sitting in the potty and probably sleeping there, but I trust that my daughter will overcome all these in due time and finally adapt to her new routine.
As for me, I don’t know about you or for other parents how did it go, but I really felt weird during the first day of my daughter in the Kita. Call me crazy, but I felt sad, disoriented ,and a bit out-of touch. I missed my daughter from the moment I left and my heart was crushed during the time I was going out to leave and heard her crying. I asked myself if I am a terrible mother? I can’t imagine that my hyper-active “kleine madchen“(little girl) will be needing me less and less. Its a mixture of happiness for her growth and yet why all these weird feelings inside me!? The separation anxiety is real now!
When it comes to the familiarization phase, it is important to observe and regard the many signs that our children sends out. There is a possibility that children react at a delayed stage (even months later) to an unsuccessful adaptation.
As the winds get chillier, and colder, signalling that Autumn is here and soon everything will be in full Autumn colors once again, my daughter is facing the new chapter of her life ; taking the Big Little Steps in the Kindergarten and we as parents, need to moved on as well. This Familiarisation period ( or Eingewöhnung in Deutsch) might not be easy from the start but I know, soon she will feel secure, safe and comfortable in her new environment. I am relieved that though the teachers barely speaks English, still we found a way to communicate and understand about the matters of her settling-in the Kindergarten.
How about you? How was your own experience when your child goes to Kindergarten for the first time? (If you have a child...)