Monday, February 28, 2011

insp-i-love weekly

Bonjour mes amis,

I am so excited that my husband is coming back this week!  He's been training in Florida for three months.  It has been quite uncomfortable here without him - not horrible, but not great and I managed.  I have been looking forward to this coming week, everyday, for three months.  Needless to say, I've been growing more and more distracted as the day of his arrival approaches.  I even forgot about a dentist appointment I made on Friday.  Instead of being at the dentist at 10am, I was obliviously lounging around my apartment, drinking coffee and reading blogs.  Ooops.  I only realized that I'd forgotten all about it last night just as I was about to drift off to sleep.

Anyways, here are some discoveries I made this week that I'd like to share.  Not as many as usual, but I promise they are so unique and worth it.  Keeping in theme, it seems, with photography this week, here they are:

1.  A photography blog, called From Me To You.  I urge you to check it out, especially if you love photography and/or fashion. She does this amazing thing where parts of her pictures move!  I have no idea how this is done, but it's so magical!  For some examples, look here, and here.  You will love it.

2.  Another interesting photographer: Eszter Burghardt.  "Edible Vistas is a series of photographs by Eszter Burghardt in which beautiful landscapes are created out of food and shot with a macro lens. Some of them are made of milk and cake." - Jamie in Art via Design Milk.

Ich wünsche euch allen eine schöne Woche voraus.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

George, the photographer.

Recently, I learned that a member of our family, on my husband's side, was a famous photographer between the 20s and 50s.  Pretty interesting. After some research, I discovered he was indeed prominent.  George Honyningen Huene was a fashion and portrait photographer.  He worked a great deal for Harpars Bazar and as chief of photography at French Vogue!  Isn't that amazing?  He wrote books, photographed a lot of celebrities and later worked as a special visual and colour consultant for the Hollywood film industry.  Finding this out makes me feel giddy somehow - I just find it so cool.  What a life! I wish I could have met him.

Anyways, here are some of his pictures I gathered all over the internet for you to enjoy.

1. George Hoyningen-Huene, Lee Miller, 2. George Hoyningen-Huene, 3. George Hoyningen-Huene, Portrait of Horst, 1931, 4. New York 1940
1. George Hoyningen-Huene, 2. 1930s Fashion, 3. New York 1940, 4. New York 1940
1. http-_elogedelart.canalblog.com_archives_2009_11_02_15651184.html, 2. http-_falkorlovesyou.blogspot.com_2010_09_blog-post.html, 3. http-_myvintagevogue.blogspot.com_2009_07_photo-george-hoyningen-huene-1933.html, 4. http-_pepperminnts.blogspot.com_2010_09_term-3-essay.html


Monday, February 21, 2011

More on language...

I stumbled across these mini films called "Live the Language" via a post on  Fast Company's Co. Design

"Commissioned by language-teaching company EF, these magical promos use kinetic typography to capture the pure beauty of speaking mother tongues in Paris, London, Beijing, and Barcelona.
If you've ever been young and alone in a foreign country, we're betting you'll melt after watching "Live The Language," a series of videos which combine exquisite typography and playful visuals to cinematically capture the joy (and uncertainty, and terror, and everything else) of learning a new language in a strange city. (...)  If you watch closely, you'll notice that director Gustav Johansson makes the foreign words onscreen subtly move to match the quivering handheld camera: a pitch-perfect visual metaphor for the fumbling, tentative experience of learning and using foreign words." - John Pavlus

Well, he's totally right.  As a foreigner in a strange land, I find these videos really do capture a lot of that essence. And yes, a little part of my heart did melt as I watched them.


EF - Live The Language - Paris from Albin Holmqvist on Vimeo.


EF - Live The Language - Barcelona from Albin Holmqvist on Vimeo.


EF - Live The Language - Beijing from Albin Holmqvist on Vimeo.


EF - Live The Language - London from Albin Holmqvist on Vimeo.

Are you inspired now to visit another country for a while and learn a bit of their language?  I am!  But only after I feel comfortable with German.  One thing at a time...


Saturday, February 19, 2011

language overload

During the last three weeks, I did an intensive German course.  It really gave me the boost I needed.  My German words are flowing out better, I speak to my cat in German now and I think in German a lot more.  I'm totally happy about English is suffering.  I feel like I'm in a weird state.  As I acquire a new language, I'm losing parts of my other languages.  I rarely get to use my French or Italian. 

Ich finde es wunderbar, viele Sprachen sprechen, aber wenn mann diese Spachen nicht benutzt werden sie rostig und sie ineinander bluten (kann mann das sagen?). Das taugt nicht viel, oder?

Quando parlo francese adesso, mi ritrovo spesso a corto di parole. Quando vado in ristoranti italiani e vuole parlare con i camerieri italiani, questo "mix" divertente di tedesco e italiano viene fuori e qualche volta non me ne accorgo. Che cosa sta succedendo?!

 Je suis tellement contente que ma langue maternelle était le français, que mes parents m'ont mis à l'école anglaise en dépit de cela et qu'ils m'ont fait aller à l'école italienne le samedi. Je suis heureuse que je me suis déplacé en Allemagne et que je dois apprendre l'allemand. Mais je pense que j'ai besoin d'être plus active dans le maintien de toutes ces langues. 

I have a plan.

I will try to watch and read things in every language I know every week at least once.  Of course German and English are already covered, but maybe I should subscribe to some French design blogs and read Italian news.  And from now on, I will write posts on my blog in different languages once in a while. I think it would be good practice.  I have added a translating option on my blog so you can still read those posts in the language you want.

"a più tardi"... 
ummm, j'veux dire, "à bientôt"
... oder, "bis später"
... I mean, "see you later" 
Ach quatsch!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nest Bassinet by Scott Wilson for Offi

It is not hard to imagine how traditional nurseries and children’s rooms can really clash in a modern home.  Which is why we love the Nest Bassinet by Scott Wilson.  It has been designed with safety, functionality and comfort in mind.  Its bent plywood shell with rich wood veneers and chrome metal base boast a sleek modern look that is simultaneously soft and natural. Perfect for the modern nest. As if that wasn’t enough, this expertly thought out bassinet can also easily be converted into a play table and a toy bin.  For more info visit Offi

LINK Lighting by Ramon Esteve for Vibia

Inspired by the city skyline, the Link lighting system can add enormous dimension to overhead space. This cubist, modern system was designed by Spanish architect Ramon Esteve for Vibia.  Link makes a bold statement with its clean lines and quadratic forms and comes in matte white lacquer or graphite grey.  Link is made up of 4 modules of varying sizes and heights, which can be easily linked together as desired to achieve astonishing silhouettes.  Ideal for the home or office, the result is ultra stylish, yet with a slightly mysterious allure. The indirect ambient lighting created by the Link system is quite enchanting because of how the light trajectory is manipulated by the different heights and sizes of the modules.  Learn more about Link modular lighting at Vibia.

Berlin Apartment by Berlin Rodeo Interior Concepts

Sparkling, tantalizing, Berlin Rodeo Interior Concepts can really make your head spin and leave you wanting more.  This lofty apartment in Berlin (Wilmersdorf) Germany, was converted and renovated by Berlin Rodeo to eventually become the contemporary and funky space it is now. The virtuous parquet floors, and the beautiful ceiling molding are the perfect backdrop on which to lay the modern, streamlined and sometimes whimsical furniture and decor chosen for this space.  Splashes of color against an achromatic and/or neutral setting is exemplary of modern interiors.  In this case, Berlin Rodeo smeared some golds, blues and reds on their canvas.  Their choice of modernized classical furniture styles, contrasted with sleek innovative items and charismatically unique pendant lamps in every room keep the space fresh.  For more modern enticement visit Berlin Rodeo.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Today was a grey day.  I forced myself to go out for a walk and decided to go down by the Main river.  There's a walking path along it that's quite nice.  I haven't been able to go there lately because the river was overflowed and the path had completely disappeared.  But today it was fine.

Despite the grey day, it was a really great walk because the greens of the landscape were so intense and so saturated.  The birds were chirping hectically.  "Spring is coming! Spring is coming!" is what they seemed to be chanting.  It was beautiful.

See you later,


Purple Sky.

Purple sky in Frankfurt.
View from Hauptbahnhof.


 Jack looking goofy.
I can't stop laughing at this. 


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hausaufgabe + Kaffee & Kuchen = sehr gut!

Coffee and cake at 4pm while doing my German homework makes me quite happy.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

insp-i-love weekly

Oh geez, guys.  I'm late on this post.  I've had a busy week or so.  I started a new intensive German class and it's taking all of my energy.  Plus trying to get my own school work done and all other daily chores and activities.

Well what matters is that I'm here now and ready to share!

via The Office Stylist
1. I've never seen a coat like this on a cat before. I find it so beautiful and unique, don't you?

via Dino Sanchez
2. Last week I suddenly realized I had a pain in my right hand.  It felt like a bruise on the fleshy part of my thumb.  I couldn't remember hitting my hand anywhere.  I thought about it all evening.  Shortly before bed, as I decided to give my German homework one last attempt, I picked up my pencil to write and I discovered where the pain had come from.  It was from using a pencil!  Since I started my German course I've been handwriting in class, which I realize is not an activity I really do anymore for extended periods of time; I type.  I couldn't believe it.  Then I saw these pencils by Dino Sanchez and thought them totally appropriate. 

via Freshome
3. This apartment in Sweden makes me feel good.  See more of it at Freshome.

photo credit: Fernado Guerra
4. This is a nursing home in Alcácer do Sal, Portugal, by Portuguese studio Aires Mateus Arquitectos.  I think it would be a nice place to retire, all modern and fresh.  Deezen featured it and that's how I found it.  I think the interior design will need to come alive a bit and the landscaping could be more interesting.  But otherwise very different, very cool.

via sub-studio design blog
5. I just don't like watches.  I never wear them.  But maybe if I could get a watch like this, I would!  They are a collaboration between ToyWatch and Missioni.  Limited edition.

Anything you'd like to share this week?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

upper intermediate? really?

I recently watched this talk on TED about why we have too few women leaders and why only a small percentage of women reach the top of their professions (Thanks Steph!).  I thought it was a good, inspiring talk and I agreed with most of it.  This week, I realized that part of that talk surprisingly stuck with me and helped me make a decision.

I met Camilla last Friday, a non-German woman, recently married to a German man and living in Frankfurt.  She is taking German lessons and was raving about the school she is attending.  Since it has been time for me to take a German course for a while now, I decided to check it out.  Turns out, she wasn't raving for nothing.  It's a very charming school, in a nice neighbourhood in the city, with highly qualified teachers and super friendly staff.  A little more expensive than the alternative I was considering, but the obvious quality difference and the fact that they told me I could start as soon as tomorrow led me to choose them.  If you are reading this and are living in Frankfurt needing to learn German, please do check this school out.  It's called A-viva.

So yesterday I attended my first class.  On my first visit on Monday we assessed my level by taking a short test.  I thought my level was B1, which is lower intermediate.  Turns out, they thought I should be in the B1.2 - the upper intermediate class.  I was a bit hesitant about this, since I really didn't want to be overwhelmed and I am a bit obsessed about doing things in the right order and not skipping steps, even if it slows me down sometimes.  But I agreed to try the class today and if I found it too challenging, I could switch.

I found the class a bit difficult and I felt that compared to the other students, my German was not as good. They had a better vocabulary and a better understanding of some grammar issues.  At break I was thinking about switching ... but then a part of that talk popped into my head - the part that says women don't get ahead because the are always underestimating their abilities.  I thought about this and wondered if this is what I was doing?  I'm definitely not one to shy away from hard work, but I'm always careful not to overestimate my abilities.  I don't know why I do this.  Maybe it has something to do with fairness or believing that you shouldn't lie to get ahead and that being modest is better than being vain...  But is taking a more challenging class lying just because I don't believe in myself?  I asked the teacher if she thought this was an appropriate level for me based on my performance and she agreed that it was without hesitation.   I thought about all the people I've met who say, "...but your German is quite good...".  I always push those comments aside because I assume people are just being nice.  So with these ideas in mind, I made the decision to stay in this class.  I decided to believe that even though I think I'm not good enough - I might actually be.   I hope that this class, and this decision will give me not just the boost I was searching for, but a power boost as far as my language skills are concerned, and allow me to get ahead faster and with more power.  Instead of being careful, I decided to get a little reckless.  I know, I'm such a crazy person, eh?  B1.1 vs B1.2... I'm just out of control!