Springtime visitor

We’ve all been longing eagerly for spring – the sun has hardly been out this year (and it’s April already!).

My dad put up bird houses and feeding places all over the garden and during winter we had a bunch of cute little visitors like sparrows, blackbirds and even doves from time to time. Dad decided to keep feedings the birds through summer as well (he’s a big fan of birds and also tries his best to save endangered species from extinction).

Last week, it looked like waiting for spring and feeding the birds finally paid off. The sun came out and this cute little (well, actually not so little) visitor showed:

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A beautifully coloured woodpecker!

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Isn’t he preicous? With this angle, it might not look quite like it, but I’ve actually taken these pictures from inside as he was sitting right in front of the lounge window, eating away on the fat balls and occassionally peeking inside to where I was sitting. Too cute!

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A beauty, isn’t he!? Only a shame that Luigi wasn’t around to see him. I’m sure he would have liked that. (Luigi doesn’t catch birds, he makes friends with them. I’m not sure whether he is that lazy or just a really strange cat, but he would sit right next to a tiny sparrow and not even attempt to catch it…)

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Cat Life // Luigi Photo Dump

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Luigi has a pretty tough life these days. He’s got about 10 houses to check in the neighbourhood – every morning he runs off to check on the next-door neighbours, then he goes on to the next house and then … Continue reading

The cat & the jar | WEEKEND WIND UP #52

You probably recognise him – this is my cat, Luigi.

Mischief managed!

I love my kitten, but I also love looking at artwork that incorporates cat motives.

Have a look at some of my favourites:

1. A colourful coffee jar transformed into a “cat” jar by Eric Barclay

2.  Pretty print by Donna McKenzie (via corelladesign)

3. Lego art (via flickr/marioanders)

4. No post without coffee – cat coffee art via curiousphotos

Now don’t ask me which one is my favourite, I couldn’t possibly choose one, they are all so beautiful. (Especially this one here, haha!)

I would certainly love to have that Donna McKenzie print hanging on the wall of my lounge one day. And the cat jar on my kitchen counter. And my future kids would play with the giant Lego cat while I sip my cat art flat white.

Which one do you like best? 

Luigi update

I’ve had a pretty hectic week – mostly because I spent a lot of time at work (learning to bake wonderful cakes), but partly also because of Luigi.

We noticed that whenever Luigi came back from visiting our next-door neighbour he would be very aggressive and smell funny.

{via Wikipedia}

A lot of research made me wonder if he might have been in contact with valeriana when spending time at our neighbour’s – and that plant is not good for cats at all.

Apparently they get into a delirious state, get funny looking eyes and get especially very aggressive.

After the first symptoms wore off, Luigi was still feeling sick, so we decided to keep him inside while our neighbour is home and only let him out when the neighbour is at work.

Luigi doesn’t like it, but since we stick to those principles, he is feeling so much better and looks healthy and behaves normal again.

– But now that you know the story I think it’s time of some happy Luigi pics!

Do you have any experience with mysterious behavior of your pets? 

Crochet Craziness IV – Granny Squares | WEEKEND WIND UP #41

I have already announced it yesterday – today I have a granny square-tutorial for you.

I decided to keep it as simple as possible and take pictures of each step, so that you can easily follow what I was doing.

Make sure you know the basics before you start (it’s less upsetting when you know the stitches before – trust me, I speak from experience!).

You find basic stitches and crochet tipps here and here.

Click the pictures to enlarge.

Start with a chain of six stitches (1). Pull yarn through the first stitch (2) to close the round (3).

For the first round, start with three chain stitches (1). Pull the yarn through to make a double crochet stitch (5,6).

Make another double crochet stitch (7,8), then 3 chain stitches (9).

Add three double crochet stitches (10), three chain stitches, three double crochet stitches, three chain… until you end up with a tiny square (12).

And that’s basically it.

The pattern for the inner round and the first round is: 

ch ch ch ch ch ch – – – o

ch ch ch –  dc dc – – – ch ch ch – – – dc dc dc – – – ch ch ch – – – dc dc dc – – – ch ch ch – dc dc dc – – – ch ch ch 

Now, if you want to continue, just go ahead, but if you want to change the colour to have the second round in… let’s say turquoise for instance, you need to tie a knot and cut off the white thread.

Pull the new (turquoise) thread through one corner and repeat steps 1 to 12 – with one little change: in every white corner go three double crochet stitches (dc)- three chain stitches (ch) – three double crochet stitches. Between the corners, there is just one chain stitch.

So the pattern for the second round is:

(corner 1) dc dc dc – ch ch ch – dc dc dc —– ch —– (corner 2) dc dc dc – ch ch ch – dc dc dc —– ch —– (corner 3) dc dc dc – ch ch ch – dc dc dc —– ch —– (corner 4) dc dc dc – ch ch ch – dc dc dc.

Any other round follows the same principles – there are always three double crochet stitches, then there is either one (between the corners) or a group of three chain stitches (in the corners).

You can add as many rounds as you like and use as many colours and different types of yarn as you can possibly find.

I prefer to use crochet yarn, but wool or embroidery cotton works just as well.

Apparently, Luigi likes wool best.

And now – let’s go crocheting!

Blanket of all sizes, shawls, ponchos, skirts, pillow cases, rugs… granny squares are miscellaneous and stylish and we are looking forward to hear what you are making of granny squares.

What will/would you use granny squares for? 

P.S.: If you have any questions or if anything isn’t quite clear, don’t be afraid to ask. Luigi and I will happily reply to comments and emails! 

Crochet Craziness III – Some more basics

While doing all the tidying out and cleaning and everything, I took a break or two (or three or four or actually… well, you I think I get my point across).

And during that break I started a new project.

For about a year now I’ve been wanting to crochet a granny blanket – and I finally started!

Tomorrow, I’m going to show you how to crochet granny squares but before we get started we have to make sure to know the basics.

(Make sure to have a look at Crochet Craziness I, where exactly one year ago I put together a photo tutorial on how to start crocheting!)

On zzzebra, a German website for kids, I found a great tutorial for one of the most basic stitches, the double crochet:

Basically, you pull the yarn over the hook, insert the hook in the next stitch you want to work and pull the thread through the first two loops.

Then pull the yarn over the hook a second time and through the two remaining loops.

Too complicated?

Sorry, my explanatory skills might not be the best, but why not have a look at an even more detailed step-by-step guide here?

And if you need to start right at the beginning, have a look here, there is a great slideshow that explains how to start with a chain.

Luigi and I are now going back to work on some more granny squares (and granny square tutorials) to show you tomorrow.

Luigi’s outdoor adventures | WEEKEND WIND UP #39

I think it’s time to share some more pictures of Luigi with you.

He’s too fast for my camera most of the time, but I managed to get some decent shots of him the other day.

This week, he went outside for the first time and I am happy to say that he found his way back home. (In the first picture, you can see him on one of his many adventures – chasing ants. You obviously can’t see the ants, but believe me, he chased them!)

He is so cute, but quite exhausting, too, because he can never sit still.

I admit, the pics are a bit misleading because it looks as if he was relaxing on a garden chair all day long when in actual fact he was running around all the time…

So the following pic is actually more like him:

In other news, I am excited to tell you that my Tupperware order has arrived.

No, that was actually not what I was going to tell you (even though it’s true – my Tupperware stuff has arrived and I am excited!) – I’ve been awarded my first blog award!

The Joyful Sparrow passed on the Versatile Blogger Award to my blog! Thank you!

The rules have gone lost a little bit, but I believe I have to pass on the award to five other people (who shall be named in the following) and tell you some random stuff about myself.

So… let me think… I start with naming five bloggers who deserve the award, because that seems easier than telling you random stuff about myself (although that’s what I do here on coffeerocketfairytale anyway, isn’t it!?).

In no particular order (because all your blogs are awesome):

They have all been awarded because the post so many exciting, interesting and beautiful things almost every day and I really appreciate the value they add to my daily reading.

Okay… so the random stuff about me-part is a bit tricky… let me think again…

  1. I love baking, but I really have trouble making a decent sponge cake with buttercream filling.
  2. I probably know my way around in New Zealand better than in Germany, although I have been born here and lived here most of my life. (Plus, I most likely know more New Zealand towns than German towns.)
  3. I absolutely love (decent) journalism but I loathed being a so-called “entertainment journalist”.
  4. I can’t stay in one place for longer than three weeks without getting “the itch” – I am most likely addicted to travelling (if there is such a thing).
  5. I set the kitchen on fire yesterday. (True story – I made a cake and made one fatal mistake: I followed the recipe! That’s basically the gist of the matter, but I’m going to tell you that story when I tell you about the cake I made…)

It’s a… boy!

I have a few (exciting) things to share today.

First of all: I’m delighted about the lovely comments I get every week from you – and I’m especially happy about the comments I got on my last post in which I shared what’s meaningful to me. (I won one of the giveaways, by the way!)

Secondly, I would like to introduce you to {insert name}:

Isn’t he gorgeous?

He is the latest addition to our family, hasn’t got a name yet (my favourite is “Hemingway Calvados Sanchez” but that’s quite long…) and still mistakes our favourite pot plant for his loo.

He’s quite shy too (it’s quite difficult to photograph him) but the same time very nosy.

And he’s fascinated by my bare feet.

It’s difficult deciding on a name, so if you have any ideas… all suggestions are more than welcome!