What to Wear #39: Roses

Not actual roses, though that would be cool, but I woke up with roses in my head and I have previously mentioned on this blog the special meaning that they hold for me. It’s going to be another warm day, so a sleeveless outfit is the desired choice, but with evening weather changes possible, black leggings will join this slightly shorter dress, and some beaded green earrings picking up on the tone of the leaves on the dress. I find tones of green work with most flower-patterned items. You know, flowers, leaves, nature, green etc.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What to Wear #38: Because I’m a Disney Princess, That’s Why!

Yes, this is indeed what is printed on one of my favourite T-shirts ever. I found it on Visual Statements and it basically provides an answer to any “Why…?” question people might ask regarding your actions/ tastes/ activities etc. When you get tired of answering yourself, just point to the T-shirt. Accessorizing with one of my favourite scarves (most likely found at C&A) and a pair of earrings that reminds me of summer and a good friend’s wedding.

What to Wear #37: Mischief Managed

I do own clothes to wear them repeatedly, not just once, hence today’s choice is the Marauder’s Map dress I have already had the pleasure of mentioning on this blog. I’m not sure if I’m up to no good, but then I’ll know for sure only when I put on the dress.

It’s a comfortable fit and provides built-in reading entertainment should it be too crowded on the bus to take my book out of my bag. I have yet to locate Harry. Map-wiping for two different looks is not included yet, but I’m sure someone’s working on it. Then again, I don’t have a wand, but maybe a non-verbal spell would work.

The dress laces up in the back, so it’s better to get that set before you put it on, making sure that the dress both fits well and you can still out it on/ take it off without having to undo your hard work with the strings.

Knee-length black leggings will join the ensemble for that ever-present possibility of a strong breeze in the lovely city of Hamburg, as well as these earrings I grabbed on sale a couple of months ago (most like in SIX or one of the usual suspects), a ring that reminds me of my visit to Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Paris and a dab of lipgloss. Ready to geek! I mean, ready to go.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Marble Painting for Beginners

Thanks to a friend I happened on Studio 42 in Hamburg and took their class on marble painting. Result: it’s addictive! While doing it does require some space and covering up to avoid a mess, the whole process is exciting and even a little addictive. Obviously there are various levels to the technique and the creations that full-time marble painting artists come up with are mind-blowing. But those of us just starting out or looking for some artsy, creative enjoyment can proceed with full assurance of producing a unique, (mostly) abstract print full of colours playing off each other.

Read below to see one example of how you can do your own bit of marble painting.

What you need:

Rectangular shallow basin or tray – size depends on the paper size you’ll be using for your painting

Bigger basin

Glass sheet

Drying rack

Drawing paper

Old newspapers

Acrylic paints

Paintbrushes

Toothpics

Water

Bowl

Thin sponge

Thin rubber gloves from a pharmacy

Aluminium sulfate

Ox gall

Step by step:

  1. Fill your tray or basin with water, but not all the way to the brim, leaving an inch or two.
  2. Add the ox gall to the water (if you Google this, you might find that opinions differ on how much to add and whether to add any to the tray at all – take your pick!)
  3. Put on the rubber gloves.
  4. Mix your colours in small jars or containers using the acrylic paints and add bottled water so that it will be possible to shake/ spray the paint on the surface of the water later on.
  5. Mark one side of your sheet of paper with an X.
  6. Dissolve the aluminium sulfate in a bowl of water (ditto on the amounts in terms of different opinions), soak the sponge in it and wet both sides of the paper with wide, even strokes.
  7. Set paper aside to dry.
  8. Dip the brush in the prepared colour you want to start with. Hold the brush in one hand, positioned above the surface of the water, and gently, but firmly tap it against the index and middle finger of your other hand. Ideally, paint splotches will fly off the brush and settle on the water’s surface. Repeat this with several colours. Use a toothpic to create patterns.
  9. Turn the sheet of paper with the side marked X facing up towards you, take the bottom corner on one side and the upper corner on the other, and lower the sheet, placing it on the surface of the water.
  10. After a few seconds, pick up the sheet by both upper corners, and transer it to the board or sheet of glass in the larger basin. Douse with water to get rid of excess paint, then carefully transfer to drying rack. Use wide strips of old newspaper to skim the surface of the water in the tray before the next session.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All photos by @juniperlu

Siren

Well, this is certainly attention-grabbing. While mermaids have long since been part of popular culture across the world and enjoyed regular depiction in various interpretations in literature, TV and film, it looks like the momentum is gaining with the upcoming 2018 addition of a new TV show. But unlike the bright colours and sunny summery vibe of the popular Australian teen show H2O: Just Add Water, Siren aims at dark, mysterious and even scary.

The setting for the show is a fishing town, Bristol Cove, with some dark history as far as mermaids are concerned. We can expect a case of the past not staying hidden, however long ago that past took place, and erupting in all sorts of hair-raising ways. Mysterious new arrival in the form of an unusual-looking young woman, a town rooted in murder and all that thrashing in the water we see in the trailer – it’s not mythical, it’s real! “What would it take for you to believe me?”

 

 

 

 

Moonlight Becomes You by Mary Higgins Clark

“This is my child! I didn’t give birth to her, of course, but that’s totally unimportant.”

That’s one of the passages that stayed with me ever since I read Moonlight Becomes You by the great Mary Higgins Clark for the first time, a book that went on to become one of my favourite works of fiction.

Maggie Holloway, a successful photographer from New York City, goes with a date to his family reunion party. While the date quickly leaves her to her own devices after arriving, entirely by chance, Maggie runs in to her former stepmother, Nuala Moore. The closeness the two women had shared in the past, some twenty years ago, when Nuala was married to Maggie’s now deceased father, is immediately rekindled as Nuala recognizes “her child”, and the two piece together the circumstances that lead to them falling out of touch. The themes of family, always present in Clark’s novels, as well as family ties forming outside of blood connections, are opened as Nuala embraces Maggie and the two look forward to once again being a part of each other’s lives.

Sadly, the mutual happiness of the two women is cut short. Shortly after meeting, Nuala is murdered.

In pure genre tradition and with Clark’s unmatched skill for threading suspense like beads on a wire that becomes more taut with each page-turn, Maggie makes the decision to follow the trail of troubling questions filling her mind and becomes embroiled in the search for Nuala’s murderer.

The terrifying opening of the novel, almost suffocating in its depiction, grips readers, and grips them hard, not letting go. A classic, tested tactic, yet despite being a first-class whodunit, as all of Clark’s novels are, there is so much more to this book than just the finely executed components of a classy suspense thriller.

Maggie is a creative, sensitive, resourceful and independent heroine, whose own personal history unfolds throughout the book, giving the reader insight in to the reasons for her decisions, desires and actions with Clark’s trademark empathy and non-preaching descriptions. Anyone who has experienced the joy of being creative, the irresistible pull of molding the ideas in your head in to something tangible, will relate to Maggie’s literal molding of clay as she tries to make sense of the weight on her mind and in her heart.

Then there’s Neil Stephens, one of the love interests. Despite being successful, independent, well-raised and having a wonderful relationship with his parents, Neil apparently has some romantic involvement issues. These issues influence not only his treatment of women, but also, ultimately, their treatment of him, something he runs up against with Maggie. While Neil is never disrespectful, rude or uncaring towards his dates, Clark once again manages to examine an ever-present societal development. While Neil’s parents are proud of him, and their happiness when they see their son leaps off the page, they don’t pull any punches. Clark lends voice to Neil’s sympathetic mother, who hits the nail on the head in a conversation which is not necessarily entirely about marriage, but in the context of the first-time romantic brooding Neil is going through, she couldn’t have put it better.

“You know, Neil, a lot of the smart, successful young men of your generation who didn’t marry in their twenties decided they could play the field indefinitely. And some of them will – they really don’t want to get involved. But some of them also never seem to know when to grow up.”

Add the clearly meticulous research of a chilling historical topic and the lovely seaside city of Newport, Rhode Island, and you’ve got yourself a book I was (re-)reading slower on purpose. Moonlight Becomes You is another memorable masterpiece I will be coming back to again and again.

What to Wear #36: Denim Diva

Even if only in my mind. For what would a week be without denim?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The leggings and dress combo, or leggings and pretty much everything combo, has been praised by me often enough, and today is no exception. A relaxed, but still put-together outfit for the last working day of the week, as well as prepared for the 15-minute changes between rain and shine we’re currently experiencing over here.

This post is really short, but I figured I would make the length proportionate to the amount of time it took me to get the outfit assembled. *Ever so slightly smug.*