Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pikler play group

My best friend Lisl is my go to person for all things early child development.
For the last four or five years she has been telling all those around her about Emmi Pikler, a Hungarian paediatrician, and her infant education theories. She works in a nursery run along the guidelines of Pikler and has been doing a lot of course work alongside her job. It's a pleasure when you see her interacting with babies and toddlers, you won't find a more loving or patient person and to see her accompany conflicts is something you've never experienced before. (When I worked as a nanny, I was picking her brain on a regular basis)
Needless to say, I'm proud of her, have huge respect for her work and can't wait to see where it will take her.
On my day off last week I went along to the Pikler play group she runs. She had asked me to take photos of all mums and toddlers, but I was almost more excited to finally see her Pikler world in action :) You can find information on a horribly outdated website here, see a bit of material here or read about main guidelines here. There is a lot more material in German to be found here.
A couple days later we visited a toy maker/carpenter, the only one who makes Pikler work materials in Austria. If you're ever around the Attersee region, it's totally worth to pop in.
If you have a baby or toddler, I can only recommend to check out one of the play groups. All the mums at the group I visited were raving about their time there, as is my friend Claudia who has been taking Miss K to one in her area.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

back in the city

Work in the opera world is over and I'm back home, trying to rest my tired legs... Not happening as 2/5th my Aussie family are in Vienna right now and there is lots of sight seeing and running around involved. Lots of photos and stories to come x

Friday, May 25, 2012

nature rules

Can you see the flower growing in the cracks of this bridge pillar... I'm still amazed by it, so pretty. Little tough guys found the perfect spot, how it is possible I do not know since it's just stone, but they found a way :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

current obsession

King Charles
Amazing. Random fact, I met his dad a couple years ago after KC won a songwriting award haha. I know, life is crazy and so random when it comes to encounters with different people all over the place!
Get his album here and follow him on twitter.

bright nail polish
Working in theatre you wear black most of the time so it's fun to bring a bit of colour in every once in a while :) Right now I'm wearing a bright orange called 'wake up'.
Anyone else out there who loves when different colours have names instead of numbers?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday morning

Sometimes I stop and look at my day and marvel how it is that I get to live this random, colourful, surprising life. Not deserving any of this, but God's grace got it all covered :)
I'm off to the theatre again, have a fantastic week everyone x

Saturday, May 19, 2012

natural fabric dyes

The other day I cooked black beans and while soaking them I realised how beautifully the water colour changed to a deep purple. Ever since I've been experimenting with natural fabric dyes, I keep noticing these things. I guess it comes with the obsession of finding new colours and plant materials haha
Well I decided to keep the soaking water when I drained the beans to cook them, boiled some scrap fabric in the coloured water, let it cool down added vinegar - curiously the colour turned red at that point!! - and let it soak for another two days.
When I rinsed and washed it, it turned out a lovely lavender colour. Instant win!

All other fabric printing and natural dye action to be found here

Thursday, May 17, 2012

gone fishing... not really

Sorry it will be a little quiet over here since that black hole called Salzburg Festival has sucked me in again for 2 weeks :)
It feels so good to be back, I love working here but silly Ian passed his cold on to me last weekend and I'm feeling rubbish. Not even tour made me sick this winter so I thought I was clear, but NO!
To fight the feeling of losing to the elements, I went along to a Renaissance dance class last night. Ahahaha the fun we had! Can't believe how people back then used their feet to dance and kept their upper bodies quite still. I was floating around everywhere on my tippy toes this morning as a result :)
Highly recommended!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

teeny tiny steps to change the world

change noun
def. to make the form, naturecontent, future course, etc., of(something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone

I first got into this whole environmental/green business during primary school. No kidding, it's true! It's where we learned to recycle and creating less waste and most of all we had a very exciting project about composting when I was in 4th grade :) For a while, even parents set out to create as little rubbish as possible, taking containers to the grocery store instead of using wrappers, etc. 
Anyway, going green in Austria is honestly not that big of a deal as most people are quite conscious about recycling, low energy use, bringing your bags to the shops and all of that. It's just a normal part of life. 
In 2007 Rob Bell and his church started a series called "God is green" and for the first time ever I heard about these things in a church environment. How did the church miss out on such a massive topic until recently??? Later that year, while on tour in Stockholm, I bought a book called "Green Is The New Black" and for the first time I read about how messed up the fashion industry is, when it comes to sustainability and waste. A bit ironic since I went to fashion school and I can't remember a single lecture even mentioning the environmental impact this industry has! Ever since, I've been reading more and more about it and been overly critical of where my clothes come from or what they are made of, if I buy at all haha A lot of my wardrobe has been swapped or passed on from someone by now.
A year later I read "Serve God, Safe The Planet" by Matthew Sleeth and it brought on another layer of how I view the world and why it is so important to steward this earth well.
Probably the biggest impact so far was reading Colin Beavan's book "No Impact Man" in 2010, it changed how I live my life. 
Things like using less water (I still suck at taking shorter showers), turning off lights, lowering the thermostat on my heating by a few degrees, riding my bike, walking up the stairs instead of taking lifts, etc. I even tried my luck at growing my own veg, which worked in London for some reason but not in Salzburg - it's all trial and error haha. Anyway looking back, quite a bit changed since then.
There are still a lot of days when I forget to bring a bag to the shops and I end up carrying groceries in my bag, praying that nothing will leak over my camera and books or phone haha At least I'm trying, right.
The most recent thing I've dabbled into is to create less plastic waste. After watching Plastic Planet, I was disgusted with how much plastic we use and how no-one actually knows what is in it or how unhealthy it really is. As a direct result of watching this film, I bought a water bottle and it's travelled with me for 8 months now, yay!
One of the areas that creates too much plastic waste is the bathroom. One by one I let pretty much all products run out and substituted them with alternatives. My toothpaste comes in recyclable packaging now, I went back to bar soaps and the biggest difference probably is that I went shampoo free almost 4 weeks ago.  I switched to a baking soda/water mix to wash my hair and I rinse it with a vinegar/water mix which I keep in two glass bottles. So random!!
A strange move if you ask me and after reading up on it I was sceptical at first, but my hair feels cleaner and softer than ever before. Also travelling has become very light these days which is always a bonus if you ask me!

It takes 40 days to create a habit. Some things you have to think through and ponder for a while before you do it, others you change in a day. It's all about teeny tiny steps to change the world. Don't underestimate how much you can accomplish by starting to change one tiny aspect.

Monday, May 14, 2012

packing once again

I'm heading to the wonderful city of Salzburg...  Hooray!!
Going with my sustainable lifestyle, I'll be riding my bike to the train station and take it with me on the train, just to jump out in Salzburg and ride to my Salzburg family's place, where I'll be camped out at for the next two weeks :) It will be interesting since I've got a massive backpack and hand luggage haha Somehow I wish I could document it :)
Anyway I'm so happy to be going back to work again. I'm sure I've talked about seasons before, there is a time for everything yada yada yada... This last season in between jobs has been a tough one for me. It's weird being in a place I once called home but doesn't feel like that anymore.
Being in a place you really hoped to be familiar with or feel comfortable in plus being out of work is a really strange combination. Way too much time to let your thoughts run loose.
It would be so easy to let go of God's promises in times like these when everything is just one gigantic question mark. Again I'm thankful for amazing friends who speak into my life and who encourage me and tell me off at times. There have been many conversations that have cleared my head and encounters with strangers that brought new perspective.
We all have a very unique race to run in this lifetime but can I tell you something... sometimes my race feels darn lonely compared to those around me.
Does it mean the nomad days are over - hell no (caged bird syndrome sets in way too early haha)
Does it mean that I've got to get out of Austria again - probably yes (it just doesn't feel right)
Does it mean that I gotta trust God with my whole life and believe that He has the ultimate plan for me - YES, YES and YES. To be honest, I've been really bad at this and let obstacles and difficulties distract me like nothing else. I gotta hold on to the things that have been spoken over my life and have faith that there is a way bigger part to this than I can ever believe or hope for.
Looking forward to two weeks in the theatre. It will be crazy and schedules are far from normal, but I can't wait to be back there.
Have a phenomenal start of the week everyone. Thank God for new mercies every morning x

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kasnocken feast to celebrate two besties

Right we've had one, two, three, four and five 30th celebrations and a few others, not documented on here and another one was added last weekend. A double take if you want.
Lisl and Drew were late in celebrating their birthdays but it was all the more fun to celebrate together. Up on Gaisberg at a restaurant famous for their Kasnocken we celebrated two of the best people this world has to offer.
Kasnocken galore
2/3 of team Spleen
birthday boy
birthday girl with bump yay
an English boy explaining Eminem's work hahaha surreal!
Who wouldn't want to have their best friends around for a night. Nice to catch up with everyone and feast on those Kasnocken. If you've never had them, sorry but you have to come to Austria for that one. 
This last picture is too funny not too share. Anybody ever thought what would have happened to Jesus if it would have been windy at the crucifixion??? Well here you have it. Nearly peed ourselves looking at that. Thing is, it's put up high in the corner so if Lisl wouldn't have noticed and told us, no-one would have known :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

the 30s continue

Claudia got the biggest birthday box filled with lots and lots of little presents! Her eyes lit up like little kiddo's eyes at Christmas :)
Sometimes you don't need a big party to celebrate, just a lovely evening out with a handful of people. She is a very special lady and I'm glad to have her as a friend!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

new boots - almost

In January I wrote about how one of my resolutions for 2012 was to fast from fashion. You can read about all of that here. Well last week I brought two pairs of boots to the cobbler to get them reheeled. Not sure if I would have chucked them out before this year (or the whole fasting fashion experiment), probably not but I wouldn't have made the effort of finding a cobbler and taking them there, leaving the boots somewhere in the back of the closet waiting to be found during my next move.
The leather is basically brand new but for some reason or another soles on shoes are made paper thin, and wear out in no time at all, these days.
The black pair of boots is my absolute favourite - slouchy pirate boots - and I'm happy that they have been fixed and are good to last for another two seasons. To be fair the whole thing coast me about as much as a new pair of boots, but it is money well spent and less rubbish in our landfills! This sustainable life will cost you, you have been warned :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

May Day hike

May 1st is a public holiday in Austria and most of the time people go hiking. Why? I have no idea, but I was really motivated to get outside and walk. I called on the entire family and one after one kept telling me that they were working. On a holiday!!!
Anyway my mum was up for it and as my brother had the morning off we decided to walk from my parents place to his place. It's a 12km hike through the Vienna Woods, there are perks when you live close to vineyards and hills :)
lush spring greenery
It took us 3.5 hours but we made it, thankfully most of the path leads through the woods otherwise we'd be burned to a crisp in the ridiculously hot sun. Ulrich met us about five minutes from his house but cooked lunch for us never the less haha.
Nothing better than to get out into the open and see creation in its splendour. Thank you God x

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Thanks for all the genius you've brought to music and film and for making the world a better place.
Love goes out to the Yauch family and friends x

Friday, May 4, 2012

Christina's birthday hang out at the lake

Probably 90% of my closest friends have turned or are turning 30 in the span of 18 months, so it's been a constant celebration ever since Simon kicked the whole thing off last March :) More evidence of that night and how crazy we can look to be found here and here.
We're something like 9 birthdays down and two to go to complete this round! It is insane but who doesn't love a good party and what better reason to celebrate a great friend and get all the best people together to show them some love, right.
Last Saturday it was Christina's turn.
pretty sure it's illegal to photograph while driving but I couldn't resist the snowcapped mountains and lake and overall gorgeousness
these three were my extended siblings growing up, them and us three kiddos were up to all kinds of mischief and we talked about this not too long ago, but we have had THE most amazing childhood. 
so blessed!
 crystal clear and freezing water, made it in all the way up to my knees but nothing compared to these mad people:
What an afternoon/night at the lake we had: hanging out in the sun, barbecuing it up, strolls around the area, drinking freshest water, wading or swimming in the lake and playing games with the kids... Since it was April we had all seasons combined into one day: snow on the mountains, 33 degrees C summer weather, spring and part fall when you looked into the woods. All a bit crazy :)
That piece of land where we had our little barbecue is usually jam packed in the summer with campers and all locals said that they had never seen it that empty. Yay.
Happy birthday Christina, it was so good hanging out and celebrating you xxx

Thursday, May 3, 2012

current obsession

image via here
Brit comedy
I've been re-watching The IT crowd and Miranda recently. I cannot stop laughing and oh my goodness I feel like that kind of humour is just so much closer to Austrian humour than US stuff could ever be in a million years... so dark and deadpan and most of the time ridiculous border lining bizarre - oh hello the mighty boosh!

bike rides
Now that I finally have my very own bike (Ella - black, beautiful and she's got soul!), I feel like I can easily give up public transport, especially since they raised fares - in your face Wiener Linien!
Anyway every time I sit on it I start humming this song :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jonathan Harris: cowbird and humanizing the web

Jonathan Harris: Cowbird And Humanizing The Web from Piers Fawkes on Vimeo. as always via swissmiss :)
I watched this talk this morning and knowing myself, it will accompany me for a while :) I agree with so much he is talking about, mostly with the way we have become copy cats and a massive advertisement for  ourselves rather than just being ourselves.
If you have 40 minutes, I'd recommend you watch it. Thank you Jonathan Harris!