Wednesday 29 November 2017

Nag Champa incense

So here's a post completely unrelated to almost anything i've ever posted before. I didn't even think that was possible.

I am posting about Nag Champa. Not any Nag Champa, but my favourite. Yes, I like incense sticks. Not always, not all of the time and I like them best on the terrace, but I DO like them. Especially the blue ones, Satya Sai Baba.  So, I've noticed there are different packages around and I've also noticed they smell differently and a lot of people on the net noticed that, too.

I just wanted to add to the confusion and tell you, there are two companies, that nearly look the same package wise, one in Mumbai
and one in Bangalore   and I personally like the Bangalore one best. I am not completely sure what the exact reasons for the two factories are, they seem to have the same roots, but the Mumbai one seems to have them machine rolled, whereas the Bangalore ones are handrolled.

How can you distiguish them? Well... there are subtle differences in appearance, only nobody knows how long that's going to stay like that. The sealing sticker on the side is different (two bars vs. three bars) and the logo on the sticker is slightly different (Mumbai has more like two C's, the Bengalore one is more an S with stripes, be aware though, the package print itself is more or less identical!).
Also the Mumbai one seems to have LLP written after the Shrinivas Sugandhalaya. The Bengalore company writes either (BNG) LLP or none of that. The Mumbai Company also has something with ISO 9000-2008 or so printed on it. We are talking about Indian incense here. ISO? No, sorry, I don't buy that.

The packages have been changing over time, with new pictures and stuff on it, so the only thing I can tell you now (November 2017) is:

There are two companies: One in Mumbai and one in Bangalore. I like the product from Bangalore better. Comparing pictures on the two homepages (see above) helps. For the moment the seal (two stripes = Mumbai, three stripes = Bengalore) is a good indicator.

Friday 24 November 2017

Christmas lantern Special

For the Christmas market of the kindergardens, I had to contribute something. So I thought I'd do some arts and crafts. I've not got tons of time but they luckily don't expect masterpieces. So I thought I'd try something I've always intended to try and never did - making oiled paper lanterns. :)
I really enjoyed folding these lanterns, so I can really recommend making them even if you don't have to supply a christmas bazar. They create a very cosy atmosphere.

I find it easiest to first fold and glue the lanterns and then gently rubbing them with baby oil or rapeseed oil (or any other neutral oil). You could even add a drop of scented oil (e.g. lavender or cinnamon, but that's not necessary). I also recommend putting a little glass inside, to protect the paper and prevent fires.

Here are my results

Lampion 1

Lampion 2

Try the Lampion! (A4 sized paper)

Lampion Laterne

English instructions:Lantern

I've made slight alterations to the pattern above, because I like very crisp folds. And the version in the original patterns always ended up a bit tattered. But the method behind it is the same. Just the red lantern has two folds more, and the yellow a few less.

Here is the folding pattern for the red lantern above
The pattern for the yellow lampion lantern can be found here:

Waldorf star shaped lantern

The Waldorf/Steiner Star shaped light (A3 sized paper)

Waldorf lantern
There is also a video how to fold it, it is in German, but not too difficult to follow
Video Waldorf lantern

English instructions: Star shaped lantern

Tealight holder - I didn't fold these, it's from
This is also a very pretty, extremely simple tealight holder and you can also make 24 of it in rainbow colours and use it as an advent calender! Super cute!

table light (includes pattern for paper lantern cut, pentagon), I couldn't find english instructions, but it is supereasy. :)

And talking about Pentagons, there is this classic Waldorf lantern, too! (it is made from pentagons and results in dodecahedron with stars!). I found it easiest to cut 10 pentagons (so you leave to top and the bottom open) and then just light a candle and put the lantern over it. After printing the pattern on yellow (or any other sort of paper), cut them juuuuust inside the marks, otherwise you have the marks left on the lantern (like me...)

Dodecahedron lantern - I LOVE geometry!

Pentagon star lantern (with pattern)
English instructions: Pentagon star lamp
my pattern: (A4 sized paper)

**** Be careful with fire and candles. Put them on a heat proof surface and don't leave them unattended. If you don't know how to handle fire, use LED candles, they are safer****

short url:

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Macramé lights

Just imagine I HAD actually lit the candle inside!

So today I did some DIY again. And it was so supereasy and though I'd share it.

I've always wanted to try out Macramé. I can't really tell you why, because I've never really seen anything made from Macramé that I wanted to have. Possibly it is because my mother always made fun of people making stuff with Macramé technique. So for years this wish to do Macramé was there... and then this happened:

(I know, the video is in German, but just switch of the sound and follow the pictures, it is SO easy)

I really like the way those lanterns look (especially the hanging one), so I though, why not give it a try, especially as I had all material required (empty glass, anything goes here) and string (it is 24meters juteyarn in dark green, which i normally use to wrap parcels and presents).The glass is from jam.

And because it is November, you see this lantern NOT swaying gently in the garden
but peacefully hanging from the back of our door. 

Super easy project, took me about 30minutes (the kids helped, too).

Sunday 5 November 2017

Jeans Mend

Yes, these are my jeans. 

Just a quick post of my newly mended jeans.

I hate buying jeans, I don't find any that fit properly and they keep changing the models so if I finally find one, that I find out i DO like, they are not on sale any more. Like this one.

The area (you can now see mended) was really really thin and nearly gone, so I decided I had to do something or I would have to go and look for a new pair of jeans or make one (I am still dreading making jeans... because of everything...).

I took a piece of wool loden (which is soft, thin and durable) and then used a sort of sashiko-whatever-works technique. Done. When worn you can't really see the spot.

Yummy Yummy Pumpkin bread - a recipe


So, I am sharing a recipe. One of the most "moreish" cakes I've ever made. It's like you eat so much from it you start feeling sick, take a break, and as soon as you don't feel sick any more, you want to eat that cake again, it is THAT good!!

Believe me, I am not a very passionate cook. I don't particularly enjoy cutting and mixing and stirring for hours. And i don't particularly enjoy trying out recipes if it involves pots and pans.

However, I do enjoy baking, I like making roasts and cakes and gateaux, but because I've learnt that cake every day just isn't a really clever thing, I am not doing that very often.

BUT today I just felt like trying something new. And because it is pumpkin season here, I wanted to try's pumpkin bread. I had made her pumpkin pie with pecan praline sauce before, it was really nice (especially because we don't really do pumpkin pie over here in Germany, it's not very common...), and that sauce is ooooohhhhmmmm..... yummy (here's the recipe:

But even nicer (AND easier!) is the pumpkin bread. Make it. Now. DO IT!

I made the pumpkin puree from scratch (we can't buy pumpkin puree in tins here, it seems it is a common thing in the US), and as it is super easy I don't really understand why one would buy it, but anyway.

The cake was gone in about 4 hours. And the children didn't even get much from it...
That is one of the reasons why I didn't take a picture. Another reason is, that my cakes don't always look good. Don't ask me.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

The Doomsday Clock

I have to admit, although this doomsday clock existed since the late 1940s, I hadn't heard of it. Shame on me.

But it is really worth visiting the page and reading about the latest political developments worldwide and learn, why it is 2,5 minutes to Midnight.