Ah! Sunflower

 

 

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“Busy like a bee!” (September 2016)

 

As autumn comes nearer every day, I´m trying to soak up every bit of sunshine before it gets all cloudy and gray around here… just like a sunflower🙂

I´ve always admired these beautiful flowers, especially for their name-giving ability to follow the light, even on a rainy day.

And I just love watching all those bumble-bees, bees and other insects busy harvesting the nectar.

 

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The Approach (Sept. 2016)

 

All sun-flowers on these photographs were taken from tiny gardens that have been planted over the years on the edge of the former airport Tempelhofer Feld.

It seemed to me that the tinier the garden patch, the bigger the flowers got! Some of the mighty heads surely weigh over 2 pounds.

 

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The sunflowers reminded me also of one of my favourite poems by William Blake:

 

Ah! Sunflower by William Blake

 

Ah, sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun,

Seeking after that sweet golden clime

Where the traveller’s journey is done.

 

Where the youth pined away with desire

And the pale virgin shrouded in snow

Arise from their graves, and aspire

Where my sunflower wishes to go.

 

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lovely giant (Sept. 2016)

 

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well hidden (Sept. 2016)

 

Not only insects love sunflowers, but birds too of course – here you can see that half of the seeds are already picked😉

 

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supper time (Sept. 2016)

 

Wish you all a golden and beautiful autumn – or, if you´re living in the Southern Hemisphere: a blossoming and sunny spring!🙂

 

My Slightly Different Count Dracula – Chapt. 11: Murder is not an Option

Click here for Chapt. 1-10

The bitter taste of the coffee Count Harecula had been forced to drink, hit him like nothing else ever had.

No, that wasn´t quite true, something did had the same effect on him: it was his first ever bite into a juicy rabbit – an overwhelming sensation that seemed to be unrepeatable no matter how often he tried to reevoke it.

The only difference to that occasion was, that the coffee tasted totally revolting (much worse than the beer) whereas the blood had been incredibly delicious.

And yet it seemed that his brain asked – no: demanded! – that he take another sip of the brew. Rather grudgingly he obeyed and noticed with surprise that the second gulp didn´t seem to be as disgusting as the first one.

“Good, isn´t it?” asked the old woman with a grin and nudged him with her elbow.

“It´s my special blend. Only the best and strongest beans for me!” she declared proudly.

“If you want more, don´t be shy. I always bring several canisters for our meetings.” With that she took her leave and hurled herself to some other attendants.

“She´s remarkable, isn´t she?” said his Lady with a twinkle in her eyes. “Always full to the brim with pure energy and cheerfullness.”

Although Count Harecula still had to digest yet another new sensation, his overactive mind hadn´t missed one essential information this evening had provided him with.

“So,” he said, trying to be nonchalantly but awfully missing the target, “your name is Lizzy.” The chipped mug in his hands felt reassuringly warm and he took another sip in order to hide his already masked face.

“Yes, it is! Well, actually it´s Elizabeth, but no one really calls me that.”

“Very pleased to make your aquaintance, Miss Elizabeth,” Count Harecula said and bowed slightly. He wished that kissing hands was still fashionable but times had changed… for the worse he often thought.

 

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“Very pleased to make your aquaintance, Miss Elizabeth!”

 

“Oh, please! Call me Lizzy!” she said and stretched out her hand for a handshake. Count Harecula nearly threw his mug away just to be able to hold her hand with both of his. Now it was him who didn´t want to let go, and when she retrieved her hand, he felt like she´d ripped his heart out with it. Just like that.

“Well, if you insist… Lizzy,” he said with a slight tremor in his voice. He actually feared that he would break out any moment and sing one of his favourite arias out of pure joy.

“I hope you don´t mind me asking… but why are you wearing this mask?” she said and pointed at the object in question.

The joy he´d only felt a second before evaporated in a flash and was replaced with utter embarrasement.

“Oh! This… well, I thought since you´ve said that the meeting was anonymous …” he let his sentence drift out, hoping that she would fill in the blanks, and added a nervous laugh.

“I see. Yes, that does actually make sense… in a way”, she replied. “Although you do realize that you just told me your name, assuming that it´s not a false one. And as you can see, nobody else is wearing one”, she said and winked at him.

The sweat that so far had restricted itself to his forehead, now seemed to break out of every pore.

Although he longed to tell her the truth, he simply couldn´t because he feared she would think of him as a regular fighter. He might be a killer, but by no means was he a roughneck. (It really wasn´t possible not to kill the tiny rabbits when he was sucking their blood – he had tried several times to retreat before their little hearts stopped beating, but everytime he had already taken too much for them to recover from the attack.)

He decided then to go onto the offensive and hide his true motives for wearing the mask behind his well-known vanity.

“Why? Don´t you like it?” he asked, adding a hurt look to make sure. This wasn´t at all difficult for him. Although the advertisment in the costume shop had stated that this particular item would make him just as irresistable to the ladies as Zorro himself, he now began to doubt that the satin tie held up to its promise. Maybe he should go back there after the meeting was over and retrieve his money.

“No! Not at all! To be honest… I think you look very… dashing”, she said and her pink translucent eartips went darker in colour.

Dashing! No one had ever called him that before! Impressive, imposing and even majestic at times, but never dashing – Ha! He rather liked it!

But before Lizzy and Count Harecula could continue their conversation, the old woman appeared like out of thin air beside them again and ordered everyone present in a surprisingly loud voice to take a seat and commence the meeting.

Count Harecula couldn´t help feeling a severe grudge against her. The only thing that kept him from silencing her forever (apart from being in a room full of witnesses), was his now miraculously empty coffee mug. Without even noticing it, he´d drained the whole thing and felt the urgent need for a refill.

So, killing her, it seemed, wasn´t an option anymore. Well, at least not until he´d found out where she´d got her supplies from.

He´d been secretely hoping to have his Lady all to himself during the meeting, but as the seats were arranged in a circle that didn´t seem very likely.

Bad as that already was, his mood even got worse when he watched a young man taking the empty seat on her other side.

He was a tall and very pale looking guy with a mass of bronze-coloured hair that shone brilliantly under the harsh light of the halogen lamps.

 

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His Lady – Lizzy, he reminded himself – gave the young man a brief smile and then focused her attention back on the old woman.

Count Harecula could have killed this guy instantly.

What he didn´t know, was, that it was going to get much worse in the next hour – much, much worse.

 

To Be Continued…

 

Sepia Spell: The Cathedral

 

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Berlin Cathedral seen from the Friedrichs Bridge, summer 2016

 

As promised, I´m showing you this time the Berlin Cathedral (short for: Evangelical Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church) as it can be seen from the Friedrichs Bridge.

I decided to lie on the floor to give you a sense of the bridge´s width too, which really is quite impressive especially since it´s only for pedestrians.

But let me show you another one of the Berlin Cathedral…

 

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Berlin Cathedral, Summer 2016

 

The Cathedral is located on the Museum Island and has been build around 1905. At that time there still was a “Kaiser” in Berlin!

Although it´s commonly called a cathedral, it´s not one in the actual sense of the word, since it has never been the seat of a bishop.

 

Glazing Experiments

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Small bowl, formed on the potter´s wheel, fired and glazed

 

I´m sure most of you remember my post concerning the Art of Mastering the Potter´s Wheel about two months ago (if not, just have a quick look here).

Due to the summer holidays and my new job, I had to wait until now to begin with my glazing experiments on the little pieces I made back then.

I call them experiments because I´m mixing two or three different glazes on one piece and don´t know what will happen to them once they are forced to fuse under the enormous temperatures. As you can imagine, it´s always wonderfully exciting to open the hatch of the kiln!😉

Sometimes these experiments work out just fine, other times one glaze seems to absorp the other completely and you can´t see any difference at all.

 

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For the little bowl you see above and below (it´s always the same one😉 ) I used two different glazes called “turquoise snowflake” and “strawberry red”.

 

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As you can hopefully see (it´s quite challenging to photograph glazed pottery because of the reflection), both glazes tried to stay dominant but fused at one point or another.

 

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detail of glazed bowl

 

I did the same thing with different glazes on another piece of mine, this time a small vase.

 

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Vase, fired and glazed

 

The effects are always unpredictable.

 

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detail glazed vase

 

I also tried this technique with this cute little elephant one of my students made for me as a present a couple of years ago.

 

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Startled Elephant, fired and glazed

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Sepia Spell – Friedrichs Bridge

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Friedrichs Bridge, Summer 2016

The Friedrichs Bridge is one of my favourite bridges in Berlin. It has been built in 1703 and restored in the last years and serves now solely as a pedestrian bridge in Berlin Mitte.

It crosses the Spree and connects the mainland to the Museum Island – one of my favourite places in Berlin🙂

Normally it´s crowded with tourists but early in the morning you can have it all for yourself.

From here you also have a beautiful view of the Berlin Cathedral which I´m going to share with you next time!

 

 

Sepia Spell – The Entrance

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Entrance to the Grotto of Emmanuel Park, Berlin 2016

 

First of all: I want to apologize for not having blogged in over a week! And also for not responding as quickly as usual to all your lovely comments! And for not having read, liked or commented on your blog posts this last week!

I´m really, really sorry about all  that!!!

The reason for all this is, that I started on a new job past week and have been also facing some major technical problems with my PC – it crashed and rests in Cyber Heaven now😦

I hope to catch up with all of you and your wonderful blogs very soon! I already miss them and you very much!!🙂

In the picture above you can see the entrance of the Grotto I´ve been already showing you so many pics before. As for the motive, I thought it only appropriate given my current situation with entering a new world…eh job😉

 

Wish you all a very beautiful weekend!!!❤

 

Profiling

“Do you know this man???”

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No, I haven´t changed my profession and joined the profiling specialists of the FBI, I merely am practicing the art of drawing profiles now.😉

As it happens it´s not as easy as I first thought. It´s just as equally important to get all the proportions right as with a full-front portrait, otherwise you can´t recognize the person being portrayed.

So, my question for you today – and I very much hope that you enjoy this kind of riddle😉 – is:

Do you know from which famous painting/man I took the liberty to make a sketch from with the picture above?? (Here´s a clue: it´s italian and from the early Renaissance.)

Please feel free to suggest anything that comes to your mind! I´ll be looking very much forward to it😀 The winner gets full boasting rights for at least a week😉

 

As with the drawing below, it depicts one of my friends who graciously allowed me to use him as a model – luckily for him drawing profiles doesn´t take as long as a real portrait😉

 

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A Storm´s Coming…

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Clouds over Tempelhofer Feld, looking west (July 2016)

 

As is often the case in summer, I´ve been on a short round on my bike at the former airport “Tempelhofer Feld” a couple of weeks ago when suddenly the clouds that started gathering in the west, rapidly came nearer.

I made a few pictures and went home as fast as possible. Literally two minutes after I shut the door behind me, rain started to pound down!

I´m showing you these pictures because in my mind clouds can be wonderful pieces of art created by nature and I never can stop marvelling at their beauty (or look for hidden creatures and pictures😉 ). Also my friend Su – a fantastic photographer! – over at Zimmerbitch encouraged me to share my pics😉

(So, if anyone´s to blame, it´s her!😉 )

The whole scenario on the field reminded me of a poem I just read by one of my favourite poets, Robert Frost.

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Tempelhofer Feld, looking north (August 2016)

 

Storm Fear by Robert Frost

When the wind works against us in the dark,
And pelts with snow
The lower chamber window on the east,
And whispers with a sort of stifled bark,
The beast,
‘Come out! Come out!’–
It costs no inward struggle not to go,
Ah, no!
I count our strength,
Two and a child,
Those of us not asleep subdued to mark
How the cold creeps as the fire dies at length,–
How drifts are piled,
Dooryard and road ungraded,
Till even the comforting barn grows far away,
And my heart owns a doubt
Whether ’tis in us to arise with day

And save ourselves unaided.

 

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Do you know any storm or rain related poems you´d like to share?

 

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A Pair of Puffins

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A Pair of Puffins (acrylic on canvas; 30×24 cm; August 2016)

 

Thanks to cutting back a little from blogging, I managed to finish my latest painting – A Pair of Puffins – that I started a couple of months ago! (Usually it takes a month per painting.)

Puffins are one of my very, v e r y favourite birds and I´ve always been – and always will be – in love with them (luckily my boyfriend doesn´t mind😉 ).

The striking colourful beaks are partly shed off after breeding season and appear much smaller and duller in comparison. As you can see, my puffins are still in full swing😉 They are also known to form long-time pair bonds or relationships.

If you want to know more about these fabulous birds, you could go to Wikipedia of course, or – and that´s a special recommendation😉 – visit this wonderful blog by my friend Inese! She´s written some very beautiful blog posts about these lovely birds and made lots of terrific shots that I can´t keep from gazing at🙂

One Lovely Blog Award

I´ve been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by my awesome friend Shay-lon over at Staying healthy isn´t a crime (btw: great blog title, isn´t it?). Thank you sooooo much Shay-lon!!!🙂

Please visit her truly amazing blog – Shay-lon writes wonderfully about many things considering health and fitness, shares her knowledge with us and generally is such a lovely person!! I´m very proud to call her my friend!🙂

Her latest hobby seems to be awarding me for every possible Blog Award or Challenge, and I´ll be very busy the next weeks to get them all done😉

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The Rules for the One Lovely Blog Award:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them (done!)
  • Share 7-15 facts about yourself (going to!)
  • Nominate 9-15 bloggers you admire and contact them to let them know (likewise)

Facts about me:

  • I´ve studied art history and archeology.
  • I belong to a very small minority of people who learned latin a n d ancient greek at school.
  • So far I haven´t painted in oil yet (only in acrylic) because it´s much more smellier and expensive.
  • I´m neither a vegetarian nor a vegan but eat any kind of meat very rarely anyway.
  • I´d love to have a tattoo but utterly fail at deciding on the design and therefore very likely will never get one.
  • I still prefer to go to the real cinema every once in a while instead of home-cinema.
  • I like wearing hats but am still missing a nice Indiana Jones-like Fedora.
  • Any fresh croissant in a 50 mile radius isn´t safe from me.
  • I once coloured my hair red in an attempt to look like Kate Winslet in “Titanic” but ended up looking like a popular german cartoon character called “Pumuckl”. Quite needless to say that I ran to the drugstore next morning and coloured it right back😉 https://i2.wp.com/bilder1.n-tv.de/img/incoming/origs14261136/3402732365-w1000-h960/Pumuckl.jpg
  • I like watching documentaries – to learn something while you´re watching TV is just awesome.
  • I like reading books about mountaineering but never “climbed” higher than 800m.

 

My nominees for the award: