Dienstag, 2. September 2014

Exploring Vienna's Tourist Sights

Okay, I've got one last Vienna post left for you to and then you can decide for yourself, whether you should go and experience Vienna on your own. Of course you have heard and seen pictures of the most famous sights Vienna has to offer and naturally we had to have a look ourselves and, yes, they are amazing. I'm going to share pics of the ones I enjoyed the most with you and which will go into our calendar for next year. 
Yeah, we have started the habit of getting a new calendar with pictures we took through out the last year to reminiscence over in the new year, go figure.

One of the best memories will be the visit to the Prater. Yeah okay, so cliché, but come on, it's really grand and not that expensive. If you go there by tram, tram 1 that is, you have quite a long but very nice walk through the park along the Praterallee and then you have this amazing view of the ferris wheel.

And when you're on it you get a grand view of the whole of Vienna.

A little tiltshift action gives you this cool miniature effect, I love it.

If you prefer a little more culture, then go visit some castles, there are quite a few on offer in Vienna. Our hotel was about two stops away from the Schönbrunn Palace. We didn't go inside the building, but went around the park instead. They have a zoo there too, and a labyrinth, but you have to pay extra for that, and we didn't feel like going in, and the park really is amazing, so that was enough.

While we were there, wedding shoots were taking place, and you must admit, it is a beautiful backdrop for wedding pics.

This is the back of the palace where you can walk around the gardens with this huge Neptune Fountain and the Gloriette at the top of the hill. It is quite a hike up to the top, but well worth it. And it is obviously quite good for workouts too, coz I saw quite a few joggers running to the top and then going around the entire gardens for there after work run. 
Quite a cool area to get in shape, don't you think?

So, once you've managed to get to the top without wheezing too hard you get to admire the Gloriette in full. To make up for your imposed workout you can go inside and have coffee and cake in the Gloriette Café.

This is me, quite happy, before I got bitten by a mosquito, which swelled to enormous proportions through the night, which had me scared straight for days, it was sooo huge and hard, I thought I had a thrombosis, yeez, it hurt so bad, no itching, just pain, bah, I'm never going to go into the wild ever again, no no, never, never ever. We are never ever getting back together.
Oh, well, okay, maybe, we will.

If you can manage to take your eyes of the Gloriette and your cake, turn around and admire Vienna.
There, it was worth it, climbing up to the top, wasn't it?

If you haven't had enough of palaces, then you can go to Laxenburg. It takes about a half hour by bus to get there. My mom used to work here, yeah, really, she did, my mom and dad actually met here, so this is kinda part of our history ;) 

This is the Laxenburg Palace with offers you a huge garden to wander about. Once you get to the pond you can take a tiny ferry to reach the Franzensburg, which looks like a really old castle, but was actually built after the Laxenburg castle. You have to ring a bell to get the attention of the ferryman, and you do have to pay him, if you want to be set over to the castle.

Okay, so I just had to throw in this picture of an H&M store housed in this cool building on the Kärntner Straße. Mainstream clothing in a lovely one of a kind building. Just strange.

It was another happy happenstance that we discovered this Jugendstil clock, the Ankeruhr. The clock changes its figures each hour, the panel tells you who shows up at which hour.

Naturally, we had to have a look at the Hunderwasser house. I'd love to live there, it would be a great place for artists, but I doubt it would be very affordable for a struggling artist trying to make it in the world, this speaks rich people to me, only they could afford to live, but one can dream.

Have a peek at the toilet, while you're there, be inspired and maybe try it out in your bathroom?

While we were in Vienna, Tom Cruise was there as well. We came upon this crowd of people watching the happenings around the Staatsoper. They even reported on the Mission Impossible 5 movie shoot on the news. Here they were just rehearsing, the actual shooting took place at night. We did not get a glimpse of Tom Cruise, but that's okay, it was far more interesting watching the people watching.

Freitag, 29. August 2014

Vienna's Butterfly House

So in my last post I shared lovely Jugendstil places in Vienna with you, now I have to share the beautiful butterflies that are housed in the butterfly house in the Burggarten right in the center of Vienna and just hundred meters or so from the Museumsquartier. The entrance fee is 6 Euros for adults.

The butterflies are in a hothouse which looks just like a small jungle and also feels like that inside, so don't wear you winter clothing during your visit. It reminded me a lot of the Palmengarten here in Frankfurt, alas, we don't have any butterflies there yet, what a shame.

Okay, so I don't know anything about butterflies, so I can't tell you what these pretty little insects are called, so just enjoy the pictures and if you know the names of any of them, please feel free to leave a comment down below. 

It was really stunning to go around the rather small but lovely decorated place and behold all the different butterflies. I had to go around the house twice, as I couldn't get enough of admiring these little creatures. Enough said, enjoy the pics.

So, yeah, definitely worth a visit.

Donnerstag, 28. August 2014

Jugendstil à la Vienna

A week long holiday is great, even more so, when you can spend it in such a beautiful town as Vienna. Lots to explore and lots to see, and of course especially lots of lovely things to eat aka cakes.

I really enjoyed my stay here and was quite glad I could leave the horrible cold weather we have been having in Frankfurt behind me, it was only fresh during the first two days, otherwise we had sunshine and warm weather. Absolutely the right conditions to explore the lovely Jugendstil sights, and castles and even a buterfly house.

So bare with me when I now share with you a few insights into a lovely city with many fantastic old buildings.

We started our first day at the Naschmarkt, while I didn't take any pictures of the food stores themselves, I did shoot the Jugendstil buildings all around on the Linke and Rechte Wienzeile, they are just amazing and so pretty.

Just look at the beautiful paintings on this house, love it.

We discovered the Fillgraderstiege by happenstance while on the search for a nice background for my newest dress, if you go up the steps you are just a few steps away from a lovely fabric store with Africa prints, sadly they were on holiday, while we were there. Just hundred meters further along you reach the Mariahilfer Straße, a very long shopping street.

You can see several fantastic Jugendstil doors while wandering around the city, they are amazing.

Of course you have to look at teh Stepans Dom, while in Vienna and if you walk toward the street Am Graben you will come upon a Jugendstil toilet you can actually use, be sure to have 50 cents handy though.

Here you can see the indide of the toilet, I do not know what the men's toilet looks like, but the lady's toilet was dandy. Do try it out.

We were walking toward the Karls Platz when I spied a golden dome I jusThen I discovered it was the Secession and was happy as a clam, cos I really wanted to see that building. The golden dome is really an eyecatcher.

The best advice I can give if you decide to visit Vienna, get a weekly train ticket, discover the city by tram and especially walk, walk, walk.  We really did a lot of walking in Vienna, I was quite sore in the evenings, but we wouldn't have seen most of the most interesting places, had we just used the public transport. For instance we would never have gotten to see this Jugendstil bridge - die Hohe Brücke. 

An we would definitely have never seen the Orient Hotel right next to it.

You can go up this lovely little stairway and go on exploring. 

Vienna is a lovely city to visit and we had a wonderful time there.

Samstag, 9. August 2014

Birthday Cake Dress

I made Cake. 

That is to say, I made the Tiramisu Dress Pattern by Cake and I also baked some cupcakes. Because, well, last Saturday, 02. August, was my birthday and I wanted a new dress to celebrate, and of course indulge myself with lovely delicious cupcakes. And indulge I did. Don't look too closely at my waistline, please

Vegan Lemon Mango Cupcakes with "Cream Cheese" Topping, DELISH

with a Union Jack cupcake case, come on, although I'm practically a German, I am really British, it has to show somewhere

I really love the shape of the dress, the faux wrap part at the top and the circle skirt at the bottom is just heavenly and just fantastic for dancing in. I know, because we went out clubbing at night and it twirls and twirls and sways and twirls ridiculously well. I can imagine it would really show of well while Salsa dancing ;)      will someone please teach me??!!?

I started the dress on Friday but had some difficulties, so I actually just finished it on time before we went to the club on Saturday. My fitting issues were, I had obviously cut out the complete wrong size, because once I had sewn it together, the bodice reached to the top of my hips instead of ending at my natural waist line, so I therefore now had a dropped waistline dress. I must admit, it didn't look too bad, but I prefer higher waisted dresses, so unfortunately I had to take the skirt and bodice apart again. Hard work. Well, tough. Don't complain, jsut do it.
I measured myself before cutting out the dress and checked the measurements on the pattern chart, but to no avail, I had to take the bodice in quite a bit and pull one side of the bodice over more than indicated by the markings on the pattern. I don't really know where I screwed up.

As you can see, my dress has longer sleeves than the original, because I can't do short sleeves, my wing arms won't allow it. I just lengthend the sleeves by about 20cm and made them a little narrower, which worked like a charm. I also doubled the waist pieces at the front and back so the fabric wouldn't get too distorted by the bulk of fabric of the skirt. 
The fabric is a very light weight jersey fabric I bought at the fabric market, it was quite cheap and will probably not hold up very long, but it works well as a wearable muslin, and I just love the colour and lace pattern on it.

The instructions suggest to wear the dress a few days before hemming it, as the skirt is cut on the bias and can stretch out and make an uneven hem, so I haven't hemmed the sleeves nor the skirt part yet, and maybe I'll leave it altogether, as it won't fray anyway. I'll wait and see what the hem says after a few more wears. It is definetely longer at the back than at the front, but hey, that's modern at the moment! All hail the high/low hem, yeah.

And now, just imagine dancing and twirling in this dress, please, swish swish, twirl, whoosh
To get in the right mood, listen to some 90's music, Backstreet Boys 'Everybody', Spice Girls 'Wannabe' and The Offspring 'Pretty Fly'
That and more was what we were listening to while dancing, soooo much fun.

No gaping! Even when I bend down.
I tacked the overlapping bodice pieces at one spot together, so nothing can fall out ;D

Recipe for my Lemon Mango Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Topping

200ml soy milk
20ml lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Lemon zest of one lemon or more, depends how lemony you want it
200gr flour
200gr sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
80gr butter (vegan: I used Alsan, you can use earth balance or some other kind of margarine)
vanilla extract to taste
lemon extract to taste

Mango jam (I got mine at an Asian supermarket)
250gr vegan cream cheese
100gr vegan butter
250gr powdered sugar
vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

 In a bowl mix the soy milk and lemon juice together and set aside for ten minutes.
Prepare a muffin tin and line it with muffin cases.

Cream the butter and sugar together, add salt, soda, baking powder, vanilla and lemon extract, if using and the flour and mix. After the ten minutes are over, add the soy milk lemon mixture and mix, but don't overmix. Spoon the batter evenly into each muffin cases and tap the filled tray on the work surface to pop any bubbles.

Place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 min, after the allotted time check with a skewer, if their done. If done, pull them out of the oven and let them cool.

While the muffins are cooling, you can prepare the topping.

Add the butter, sugar, cream cheese and vanilla extract to a bowl and whip thoroughly until creamy. It won't be a very firm topping, so it's best to place it in the fridge, to frim it up before decorating the muffins.

To assemble the cupcakes:
Using a teaspoon make a little well into the middle of each muffin. Get your jam and place a teaspoonfull of jam into each well and slightly spread over the top of the cupcake. Get yout topping out of the fridge and decorate each cupcake with your cream cheese frosting.


Donnerstag, 31. Juli 2014

Polkadot Wedding Guest Dress in Maxi

Eine meiner besten Freundinnen hat letztes Wochenende geheiratet und für diesen besonderen Anlass brauchte ich natürlich ein neues Kleid. Sommerlich leicht musste es sein, denn es waren an dem Tag so um die 27-29 Grad, aber doch auch "elegant" und farblich passend, denn sie hatte die Farben braun, beige, weiß festgelegt, da sie in diesen Farben gekleidet war. Nun war ich eine der wenigen, die sich tatsächlich daran gehalten haben, aber das ist ja auch das Schöne am Selbernähen, passende Stoffe findet man immer leichter als passende fertige Kleidung.

Gut, ich muss zugeben, auf diesen Bildern sieht der Stoff eher grau als bräunlich aus, aber dies liegt daran, das der Stoff je nach Licheinfall anders aussieht, aber er ist wirklich hellbraun mit weißen Punkten. Dieser Chiffon ist wirklich etwas besonders für uns beide, denn meine Freundin und ich waren vor Jahren mal in Offenbach bei Stoffe Hartmann und sie hat diesen Stoff für mich unter etlichen Ballen entdeckt, da er Punkte hatte, musste er mit. Der Stoff hat demnach bis vor kurzem in meinem Schrank gelegen und hat nur auf dieses Kleid und diesen ganz besonderen Tag gewartet.

Das Schnittmuster ist ein Burda pdf-Download, Modell 103 aus der Burda Style 05/2010 und geht eigentlich nur bis zum Knie. Ich habe das Rockteil also um etwa 45cm vrelängert, mehr gab der Stoff nicht her. Um nichts von der Länge zu verlieren, habe ich einen Wellensaum gemacht, also den Stoff strammgezogen und einen engen Zickzackstich benutzt. Gefüttert habe ich das Kleid mit weißem Batist, das ich bei ebay günstig ersteigert habe. Damit sich der Chiffon beim Zuschnitt nicht verzieht, habe ich den Batist zu erst ausgeschnitten, dann den Chiffon einlagig auf den Boden gelegt, darauf die ausgeschnitten Batistteile, mit großen Stichen aneinandergenäht und dann ausgeschnitten. 
Hat super geklappt.

Was das Beste an diesem Kleid ist, kein Reißverschlus!! Yeah. Das Vorderteil wird gesmokt und hinten gibt es ein Bindeband. Ich hatte ein bisschen Schwierigkeiten mit dem Vorderteil. Zum einen habe ich den Ausschnitt nicht ganz so tief gemacht, wie vorgesehen, dadurch wurde der V-Ausschnitt nicht richtig spitz. Daher habe ich nach dem zusammennähen die Spitze leicht gefaltet und mit ganz wenigen Stichen festgenäht. Dann hat sich das Futter immer wieder nach außen gerollt, obwohl ich den Ausschnitt untergesteppt habe (Understitch). Also habe ich den Ausschnitt knappkantig abgesteppt, Problem gelöst.

So, nun zu den Accessoires: Farbgebung war ja beige, braun und weiß. Ich hatte natürlich keine passenden Schuhe in diesen Farben, also mussten neue her. Ich habe auch wirklich beige Schuhe gefunden, die zu dem Outfit gepasst hätten, aber genau neben diesen beigen *langweiligen* Schuhen standen PINKE Schuhe. Ich muss nicht wirklich erwähnen, welche Schuhe sich in mein Herz geschlichen haben und mit mir mitdurften, oder? Ich trug an dem Kauftag übrigens auch mein pinkes Hawthorn-Kleid, das hat meine Entscheidung natürlich in keinster Weise beeinflusst *zwinker*
Die Blümchen am Ausschnitt waren übrigens Deko vom gedeckten Tisch.

Damit die neuen pinken Schuhe dann auch zum Outfit passten, mussten natürlich alle Accessoires übereinstimmen, also trug ich meine pinken selbstgemachten Fadenohrringe, pinke Armreifen und...pinke Fingernägel mit Pünktchen!!!
Nach der Trauung wurden an alle Autofahrer weiße Bänder verteilt, um sie an den Antennen zu binden und die Hochzeit so öffentlich zur Schau zu stellen. Ich als nicht Autofahrer habe mir eins der Bänder geschnappt und mir um eines meiner Armbänder gewickelt, so hab ich auch *Flagge* gezeigt.

 Verlinkt bei Rums

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