Montag, 17. November 2014

Celebrating Christmas in Germany

German Christmas Traditions


The German Christmas season officially begins with the first Sunday of Advent ( 30th Nov 2014)
Stollen, the oldest known German Christmas treat and Christmas cookies are often baked during this time. Gingerbread houses, nativity scenes, hand - carved wooden Nutcracker figures, Christmas pyramides and lighted city streets and homes are all signs that Christmas is on its way.

The Advent Wreath

The Advent Wreath is adorned with 4 candles. One of which is lit on each of the four sundays preceding Christmas. You can read more about this tradition in a previous post

The Advent Calendar

The Advent Calendar is a German invention that was originally designed to involve children in the festivities leading up to Christmas. The calendars are usually made of cardboard and have 24 small windows or flaps, one of which is opend on each day leading up to Christmas and contain chocolate or candy behind each window and sometimes even small toys.

My earlyer version of an Advent Calendar made of 24 matchboxes for hubby

Below's my latest version for my 4 years old grandson

Decoupaged with an owl napkin and painted with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics

Christmas Markets

When the Advent season opens, Christmas Markets also crop up in nearly every German town, large or small. The town squares, normaly dark early in the winter months, are lit up and buzzing with activity during this time. Townspeople gather together, listen to brass band music, drink beer or hot mulled wine or apple cider and enjoy the hearty traditional fare of the region.

A short impression from a Christmas Market in Moselle - Valley from Santatelevision

Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6th in Germany as well as in other European countries. On the evening before the 6th, children place their newly cleaned shoes in front of the door in the hope that Nicholas might fill them with nuts, fruits, chocolate and sweets. If the children have behaved well, their wishes will be fulfilled. Children who have caused mischief will only receive a switch, which symbolizes punishment for their bad deeds.

The Christmas Tree

The tradition of the Christmas Tree began in Germany during the middle ages and the first trees were undecorated.
Today, the Christmas Tree is usually put up and decorated on Christmas Eve,
though some families opt to erect their tree during the Advent season. Traditionally , the Germans used the fir tree, but nowadays the spruce is widely used. Decorations may include tinsel, glass balls or straw ornaments and sweets. A star or an angel tops the tree and beneath the tree, a native scene might be set up and the presents next to it. Germans also usually continue to use real lit candles instead of electric lights on the trees.

The Christmas Tree is taken down on New Year's Day or on January 6th, Three King's Day, at which the children can ransack the tree for the sweets and treats that decorated it.

Christmas Eve

December 24th begins as a regular workday. But by 2.00 pm, often even earlier, businesses close in preparation for the holiday celebration, a large part of which occurs on Christmas Eve in Germany. The tratitional evening meal includes carp and potato salade. Families sing Christmas carols together and may read the story of  Christ's birth aloud. Family members exchange gifts; children are typically the focal point of the gift exchange. The tradition of opening gifts on Christmas Eve was started by Martin Luther in the 16th century in favor of a celebration that honored Christ rather than a Catholic saint.
On Christmas Eve, German families, whether Protestant or Catholic and even those who are not regular church - goers - often attend mass of a church service. While the mass traditionally takes place at midnight, in recent times the services have moved into the early evening hours.

Christmas Day(s)

Both December 25th and 26th are legal holidays in Germany and known as the first and second Christmas Day respectively. Businesses are closed and time is spent with visiting extended family. Goose is the traditional fare on the first Christmas Day or perhaps rabbit or a roast. These are accompanied by traditional fare such as apple and sausage stuffing, red cabbage and potato dumplings. The second Christmas Day is usually a quieter time, a day for peaceful contemplation.

I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a Merry Christmas!
May lots of presents be under the tree and may you have a peaceful and fun time among your family and friends


Mittwoch, 5. November 2014

Guest Design for The Mirror Crack'd - Christmas Decoration

Hello crafty friends (:o)

Today i'm sharing a project with you i've created especially for

I was one of three winners at the first challange and honored to be asked to create a guest project

Challenge #3 Christmas Decoration

This month with the silly season rapidly approaching they like us to show them our skills in creating something to decorate our christmas.
We might fancy, making some baubles or maybe a christmas wall hanging. What about a glorious wreath or a fully decorated tree as a decoration?
Please remember, no cards

Here's my project to inspire you
Christmas Baubles and a matching box

Well...even the shortest describing would need a bunch of pictures to explain the techniques and some close up's are also needed.....and just because so many pictures would overload my picture cloud not talking about overextending your patience....

I've edited a video for you...hot off the press

Grab a coffee and have fun watching

This was really a fun project...especially creating something christmas with 18°C/64.4°F
A warm autumn is still holding the line in Germany

Now...feel free to hop over to The Mirror Crack'd and take a look at the DT creations for christmas

Happy crafting! (:o)

Thanks for your appreciated comments



Mittwoch, 29. Oktober 2014

Collage Cards

Happy wednesday, dear crafters (:o)

Today i want to share some collage cards with you.
I recently bought the La Blanche Classic Limited Edition 12" paperstack at HSE24 with absolutely yummy vintage papers. 48 pages with 24 stunning designs.
Of course, this stack is sold out now

Some examples

Honestly you can create millions of cards with this stack.
Here's what i've made in only two days

The card below opens like a book and is made from the back of a paperpad, an old book page and a piece of fabric

Here i used corrugated cardboard as a base for the cards above and below

I also used some christmas collage cards from the last year edition of La Blanche

The burlap above isn't straight...but who care's?
Handmade, vintage and unique (:o)

A little mini book 3" x 3"

I used DecoArt Triple Thick to the front and back cover

This mini was assembled with La Blanche Washi Tape and it's extremly high translucent
The little man on the right and the poststamp stripe is this washi tape and applied to the background which you can still see through

Endless possibilities
Happy scrapping!

Thanks for reading and your appreciated comments



Montag, 27. Oktober 2014

Texas Longhorn

Happy monday, crafty friends (:o)

I'm a little bit sad, because i couldn't catch up with the Art Retreat - De Craftorij in the Netherlands last weekend, where Andy Skinner and France Papillon were holding workshops. 
My Goodness! All participants had put the pedal to the metal. A lot very cool creations popped up on Facebook.

 Otherwise i've spend the money i've saved into some foam board 

The center piece

I started with DecoArt Media Texture Sand which was painted with Media Fluid Raw Umber at the background. The tribals are a copy from the internet and had a layer of hot glue. They are applied to the background with DecoArt Media Crackle Paste

The focal point

I've bought this Longhorn skull ages ago at Artist Trading Post. It's adhered to some metal filigree pieces with E 6000.

Layers of  Media Fluid Acrylics as a wash were applied, combined with a lot drybrushing

Everything was assembled to an A4 size foam board.
This panel was painted white in the first step, followed by Media Fluid Acrylic Yellow Hansa light. Washes of orange and red colours at the edges
Stamping on top
The hanging sign is a creation of a popsicle stick (painted with texture sand and raw umber) and two tiny wooden spools underneath

Hope i could inspire you with my Texas Longhorn

Thanks for your appreciated comments
Happy crafting (:o)


Mittwoch, 15. Oktober 2014

Body Beautiful Part 2

Hi crafty friends (:o)

Are you ready for Halloween?

I had an order to transform an old - fashion candleholder. I already changed the face of the little boy as i noticed, that i didn't took a before picture.

Below you see the transformation of the back with laser - cut wings and Aves Apoxie Clay

I mostly buy plastic skull heads on Ebay. I've cut the back of the head open with a dremel and used the clay to adhere the skull to the little boy's face

Next part was painting DecoArt Media Gesso, Media Fluid Acrylics and Media Crackle Glaze

Well, some kinda *body beautiful*, don't you think?
Maybe you like to join the challenge at The Mirror Crack'd, too? The theme for this month challenge is everything featuring the human form. No cards or digital pieces.
If it's going to be quiet on my blog the next days it's because i've booked the new online class with
Michael DeMeng starting friday 17th.

I'm learning how to transform a discarded incandescents into bizarre little goodies for the seasonal tree.
I'm pretty curious (:o)

Thank you peeps for reading my obsessions and leaving your appreciated comments