Archive | Englisch

I heart letterpress

>

According to Wikipedia, “Letterpress printing is a term for the relief printing of text and image using a press with a „type-high bed“ printing press and movable type, in which a reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image.” And who wouldn’t trust Wiki?

When I think of weddings, or any other event that requires stationary of some kind, I think of letterpress. Beautifully engraved, soft paper with a stylish and sophisticated look. Digging through tons of wedding invitation ideas for my best friend, I could not avoid looking into letterpress possibilities and soon figured: the US are far ahead of us. We can still hide behind Gutenberg but in terms of crafts at home, we are way behind! Since fall last year, you can buy a small printing press to indulge into this great hobby at home: Lifestyle Crafts sells one for $150 and they even have a blog to show you how to use it. My birthday is in October, just to let you know.

Of course, you can always build your own or buy a house that is big enought to feature a professional press in your crafts room.

Letterpress printing was invented in Germany in the mid-15th century by famous Johannes Gutenberg and is recently being rediscovered as something any one can do. And here, weddings were the starting point of a movement, too. This time it was not me looking for invitations, but brides wanting something special. Wiki says: “Letterpress publishing has recently undergone a revival in the USA, Canada, and the UK, under the general banner of the ‚Small Press Movement‘. Renewed interest in letterpress was fueled by Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, which began using pictures of letterpress invitations in the 1990s.” Thanks, Martha. And yes, when I did my research for this post, I found tons of small printers or even just hobbyists who produce the most beautiful things, for example Jordan .

Letterpress is actually quite easy to do: the hardest part is your imagination as you have to invent the layout yourself. Yes, you can buy printing plates, but how much fun would it be to see your own design come to life? To have the soul of your event in the invitations, the rsvp cards, the save the dates, the thank you notes? Anything is possible, I guess. Unfortunately, there are not too many places where you can learn how to do all that, but I am sure that the trend will soon make it over the Atlantic or the channel respectively. I am here to greet it, with lei and streamers. I may even compose a welcome song.

In Germany, there are some excellent business printers who excell in the traditional printing and offer special designs for special occasions: impressiona in Hamburg or Officina Polychroma in Hamburg.There are so many more, but I can list only a few, right? More beautiful images can be found at the National Stationary Show’s homepage. I could sit here all day and browse and browse and browse…

Want to know more?
Introduction to Letterpress Printing
Briar Press
Resources for Letterpress Printers

— Cati Basmati impresses lines onto her forehead

Autor: Cati Basmati, Blog: www.catibasmati.blogspot.com

Bild-Titel: Holger Bischoff

Bild-Text: Wikipedia/Rama (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 France license)

Posted in EnglischComments (0)

Organize yourself

I am a big fan of organization. Actually, I am in love with organizing. I have calendars for my appointments, some of which I check daily, and notepads for reminding me to check those calendars and little notebooks in which I record ideas for things to do.

However, recently I discovered, stuck in the house with tonsilitis, that going from 12-hour- workdays to 0-hour-workdays does not necessarily translate into getting things done that have been on the various lists for a very long time with the excuse of not having enough home-time. Being at home does not mean using that time. Even if you are not sick but just home for a day.

Usually, my days start at 6:15 am, when the alarm frentically buzzes and kicks me out of bed. I usually decide on what to wear the night before to save me from those long minutes of fighting the rising panic of having nothing at all to wear. That saves a lot of time and energy and in an instant, I am ready to go. Sometimes, two instants. I leave the house at 7:15 am and return at about 6 pm. And then the busy time begins.

Busy time is the time between work, which pays rent and food, and sleep. Busy time is the time during which I do the things I like: writing, cooking, baking, not household chores, watching movies, shopping, reading. But since the time between getting home and getting the household chores done is so limited, I always feel that I should organize myself so much better to help me get things done. Hence the calendars, notepads, notebooks and such.

And then the other day, when I had idled away time in my sickbed, not getting anything done except for getting better, I discovered the pomodoro technique. It was invented by the people of MyTomatoes.com and it is a time management method based on the idea that you can improve your mental agility with the help of frequent breaks.

Basically, you work for 25 minutes (and those times are called pomodori = tomatoes) and then take a break of 5 minutes. After every 4th tomatoe, take a longer break of 15-20 minutes.

I am fond of the idea that taking breaks allows you to refocus and change your perspective, but in real life, I am a little anxious that my normal office day will not accept this genius little plan. For half of my time, I sit at a desk, translating manuals and marketing documents. I think during those 4+ hours a day, the tomatoes could ripen if it weren’t for the phone. But during the other half of my day, I organize my company’s “product training for employees and customers and further education for employees center“ (which in reality has a more witty name) and that is a totally tomatoe hostile environment. Too many phone calls, too many people who walk in to let us explain the world to them, too many projects going on at the same time.

Here I have had success with the list method. Every day (in theory: not really every day, but rather most days), I write a list of things I want to get done on that day. Then I cross them off the list once I completed those tasks. Crossing things of your to do list is a very satisfying feeling that encourages to get one more thing done. Plus, you always know what is going on which helps organizing the rest of the day or week after unexpected events.

But still, I do love the pomodori idea and am willing to try it for real come next week. In the meantime, I am trying to make it work at home and abuse it to make myself really get down to business. If those 25 minutes of idle Internet browsing are over, they are over little missy and you get back to work right now! Or I’ll cut that network chord.

— Cati Basmati would be a very strict boss


Autor: Cati Basmati, Blog: www.catibasmati.blogspot.com

Bild: Pomodori

Posted in EnglischComments (7)

Diapers in Style

For starters: I am not pregnant.

And I do not have kids.

But I have tonsilitis and am confined to the indoors. Which means that I am a bit bored, but eager for new stuff. Hooray for the Internet. And while I was browsing the wonderworld of online shopping, I came across a question I could not answer for myself:

Does a mother need a diaper bag?

Meaning: let’s pretend I have a kid. And said kid still needs diapers. That’d mean I’d wander the world with a) a kid b) the kid’s buggy c) ballerinas to avoid falling off my high heels when holding said baby outside the buggy d) my purse and then also a diaper bag? That is too much, isn’t it? Especially if I shopped a little and carry grocery bags or clothes bags or even a camera bag because I am a photographer. What do I need in such a bag that would not fit into a stylish purse? I agree, it should be a large purse, but still? Does being a mother mean that stylishness is for the others? The Non-Mothers?

There are so many chic and fancy bags out there that feature lots of inside space. Plus: they look good. And many of them are as easy to take care of as a washable plastic messenger bag. Yes, there are really cute ones of those out there, but do I have to surrender my before-mother-self to mother-self? Do I have to stop expressing myself with accessories?

What exactly do you put into your diaper bags? Diapers, I guess, but what else? Wipes, I guess? Cream? What else? Would it not all fit into your normal bag? Do you really need all that or could you cut back a little?Could you make room in your normal purse for all that you need for the baby and still be content? Still smile?

I am wondering and I hope that you can give me your insights on that. Please leave a comment.

— Cati Basmati is trying to find her keys in her purse


Bild: morguefile/clarita

Autor: Cati Basmati, Blog: www.catibasmati.blogspot.com

Posted in EnglischComments (0)

Isn’t Bavaria all about Lederhosen?

I appreciate a good bottle of something nice. I also appreciate bottles of any other kind, but that is a different story.

So when my brother asked for a place to buy a good bottle of whiskey – meaning a bottle of good whiskey – we went to Schneiderwind in Aachen. I am absolutely in love with that store. It always makes me want to take up smoking. Either cigars, seated on a leather couch in front of a fire-place, or a pipe, seated on the exact same leather couch in front of a fire-place. Which is located in my Scotland castle’s library.

It also makes me want to sit down with good friends and open a bottle of something nice. A gathering that would conveniently save me from a smoking-related death. Practical.

They greeted us with a sign advertising the Bavarian single malt whiskey Slyrs. Did the same happen to you just now that happened to me? BAVARIAN WHISKEY? DID SHE JUST WRITE THAT?

Yes, I did. The thought still frightens me, but last Friday, a week later, we wre sitting in the Brasserie Aix in Aachen, minding our business over fabulous food, when the menu all of a sudden offered a nice glass of Slyrs.

Is it a conspiracy? Global threat? Mossad, KGB, CIA?

I am not sure. But I was so stuffed that I was not able to make my mouth order a glass. So I am still curious. Very much.

— Cati Basmati raises her glass of tab water


Autor: Cati Basmati, Blog: www.catibasmati.blogspot.com

Bilder: SXC/shibumi

Weitere Artikel die Sie interessieren könnten:

Crossing Ljubljana off the list of cities unknown to me

Turns out: Aikido hurts

Winter hike in the High Ferns

Posted in EnglischComments (0)

Cupcakes – cakes in a cup

So I made cupcakes. Tasty, lovely, chocolate-coated cherry cupcakes. I heart cupcakes.

However, noone knows what cupcakes are. At least it seems to be that way here in Germany, because everyone yells out “Yummie, muffins!” and dig their noses into the fluffy inside.

Cupcakes are, let’s say, the sweeter cousins of muffins. Whereas muffins are rather conceived as snacks or breakfast, cupcakes are the queens of a dessert table and always have a sweet frosting, like buttercream or so. I place them right next to Créme Brulée.

As so many other traditions, recipes and customs, cupcakes have recently found their way over the Atlantic to Germany and cupcake stores start to open up. There is a very nice one in Berlin Friedrichshain, called Cupcake. Unfortunately, Aachen still does not have one. I’d rent a seat and place a standing order.

But back to my cupcakes. When I jumped up and down filled with joy about my baking endeavor, I realized that flour would be a necessity. However, there was not even the tiniest trace of flour in the house (except for the word “Flour” on the grocery list) and I had to come up with an alternative. I found a baking mix for joghurt-cake in the pantry but since I had already opened a glass of cherries, I was rather in the mood for a more chocolatish version of cupcakes. Plus I did not have plain joghurt. So I improved the recipe a bit.

With the help of more milk, baking powder and lots of cocoa, I managed to come up with very pretty, not so sweet cupcakes, filled with cherries and with a chocolate topping. I used a normal cake glazing I had left over from christmas, and using that was such a time-saver. Plus I found some marzipan cake toppers – also a christmas leftover – but I can always pretend that oranges and holly do have something in common with easter bunny’s carrots and all the green that spring is bringing with him. Who’ll notice once they start eating and go all “Yummie…”

— Cati Basmati is her own Betty Crocker

Autor: Cati Basmati, Blog: www.catibasmati.blogspot.com

Bilder-Text: Cati Basmati

Bild-Titel: Wikipedia/Brynn (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license).

Weitere Artikel die Sie interessieren könnten:

Crossing Ljubljana off the list of cities unknown to me

Turns out: Aikido hurts

Winter hike in the High Ferns

Posted in EnglischComments (2)

Daily dose of sweetness

The other day, I stumbled across the „sweeterie“, the lovely site of mary and karey who happen to love turquoise and ruffles: the t.ruffle girls.

Photographer and writer, they teamed up to create beautiful handmade cards that you can buy in their „shoppe“. Since I love the written words and sigh everytime I think of the good old times when letters were actually written by hand and mailed with a stamp and envelope, I have a heart for cards, stationary, pens and writing desks (e-mail, too, but that would not make a point here). I cannot for my life decide which ones of their card sets I like best, but thank God they are giving away a free set of cards if you order two sets. Go see for yourself!

If you are not too much into writing cards or having pictures on your wall, because you either do not have friends or live in a dark cavern, you can enjoy the daily candy if you like. Well, you can if you have internet access in your dark hole, so make sure that is available first. But then again, you are reading this online, so I assume you have Internet. I will stop thinking now.

— Cati Basmati loves the two yellow flowers


Autor: Cati Basmati, Blog: www.catibasmati.blogspot.com

Bild: Holger Bischoff

Weitere Artikel die Sie interessieren könnten:

Aikido hurts

When browsing makes me feel good

Hotchoc

Posted in EnglischComments (0)

Hotchoc

Every time the geek and I need a little soul-pampering – which can be when life is not so nice and we need a treat, or it is very nice and we need the cherry on top, or life is just so-so and we need it to lean towards the nice side – we go for some hot chocolate (me) and tea (geek) to the local Chocolate Company

It is located right in the center of Aachen, equally near the cathedral and the home of all my future books, the original Mayersche Buchhandlung, so a visit to the chocolate heaven can easily be included in every trip to the city.

The store is really small and you sit on tiny chairs that always remind me of French summer garden terraces. It smells like heaven – or at least this is what I imagine heaven to smell like: chocolate. The geek immediately sits down, because his life is so much easier than mine once we snatched a table. I however need to pick my Hotchocspoon for the day from over 50 varieties. A Hotchocspoon is basically just a block of chocolate with a wooden spoon in it. This block is then dipped in very hot milk so that the chocolate melts and the spoon can be used for its purpose of all spoons: stirring. It is my most favorite invention, right after water closets and the washing machine. And my phone. And maybe Nusspli. Back to the story. I used to love the milk chocolate with pepper most, but milk chocolate with ginger and white chocolate with rasberries are good, too. I have not yet tried the ones with alcohol (comes in little tubes that are closed by the solidified chocolate and once that melts, the alcohol can freely flow into the drink), but life is still young…

After only about 734 minutes, I pick a spoon and take it over to where my hot milk has arrived ages ago. What has also arrived is the most heavenly cake I have ever tasted in my entire life. Read: 25 31 years. They have a perfect little cake – not pieces of cake, but one entire cake for me only – that is a sponge cake bottom with a cream layer and a marzipan crust, topped with rasberries. Eating it is like pure joy and if I am every forced to marry food, this will be my choice. Or I marry steak and have a sweet affair with the marzipan-rasberry-cake. Yet to be decided.

The sweetness of both the cake and the hot chocolate is very difficult to endure and it has taken all the years from August 2004, when the Chocolate Company store opened up in Aachen, until today to master this feat. But I am sure that you can do it, too, with a little effort and stamina.

Go start practicing right now! I’ll save you a seat!

— Cati Basmati kisses the floor on which the Hotchocspoon cupboard stands


Autor: Cati Basmati, Blog: www.catibasmati.blogspot.com

Bilder: Cati Basmati

Weitere Artikel die Sie interessieren könnten:

Crossing Ljubljana off the list of cities unknown to me

Turns out: Aikido hurts

Winter hike in the High Ferns

Posted in EnglischComments (1)

Crossing Ljubljana off the list of cities unknown to me

So I went to a conference in Ljubljana and it turns out: I’m glad I did! Not so much because of the conference, that was rather dull, but because of Ljubljana.

When my boss first asked me about 2 weeks ago whether I could imagine going to Ljubljana to interpret at a conference of my company, I was „Yes, of course, I can do that“ while on the inside I was all „Whereto? Ljubljana? Let me ask Wikipedia where it is first…“. Turns out, Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia which is the northernmost of the former Yugoslavian states. I am not so good at geography, especially when it comes to those states. I am working on it, I promise. Especiall now that I know that it was once part of the Carolingian Empire.

Ljubljana is just a little bigger than Aachen and that makes it the largest city of the country. Okydoky, I can do that. Surprisingly, it is not too easy to get there from Aachen, as it is not only pretty far away but also not the most thought after place of business, I guess. There is no direct flight from Düsseldorf, so I took a bit of a tour throuhg Mid-Europe this week. First from Düsseldorf to Vienna, then on to Ljubljana. Both airports were rather small and not very entertaining, which was a pity as I was stuck at both for quite some time, waiting for flights. It was worth it though, as I have never stayed in a hotel as nice as Hotel Slon before, where my own DVD player was waiting in my room. The highlight, however, was the shoeshine machine on every floor, which was instantly employed until all shoes where as shiny as never before. I love shoeshine machines!

The hotel is situated about 90 seconds from the city center and features reasonable rates, so if, stay there. No, they are not paying me for saying that, I just enjoyed the stay, even if it was for work. Of course, I booked my flights for times that allowed a bit of sightseeing. I arrived on Monday night at 7 pm and the city was empty as on a very, very late Sunday night. Hm. The city that never sleeps is another one, I know, but that was very scary. I took a short round-trip through the center just to get my legs working after hours on public transportation (train, aircrafts, airport shuttles…) and got a quick impression of how mediterranean the city feels, even with temperatures well below 0°C. With its beautiful baroque and art-nouveau-style villas at the river, the Ljubljanica, it reminded me a lot of Venice with its canals, just without the Lido.

The day I left I got up in time to enjoy the walk through the old part of town that my tour guide recommended. I started at the Franciscan church on Prešeren square, named after the famous poet, where a construction of three bridges crosses the river. I turn left, passing the baroque St. Nicholas cathedral towards Vodnik square, where a market makes me all happy as markets feature the most interesting objects of everyday life of a country.

The city’s symbol is the Ljubljana Dragon, which is visible everywhere, but most obviously depicted on the Ljubljanica-crossing Dragon Bridge. It symbolises power, courage and greatness, so it could be my symbol as well, I guess. Residence also call it the „mother-in-law“ bridge, alluding to the fearsome dragons on its four corners. At least that is what Wikipedia says. I go back to Vodnik square and then, climbing up a very steep path, I reach the castle that proudly resides on a hill above the city. The path is so steep, it is really tought to climb uphill. Every three seconds I stop to enjoy what the tour guides informs me is a beautiful view over the old part of town. However, I can only imagine the beauty, as Slovenia bids me farewell with heavy snow and fog. Thanks a lot, but everything still looks gorgeous. At the foot of the castle’s walls, having succesffuly regained my strength to resume walking and having returned to normal breathing, I see a funicular that connects the city center with the castle. Thank you it was closed that early in the morning, I think I may have thrown myself down on the ground, whining.

The walk back down the hill towards St. Florian church is quite steep, too, but features cobblestone, which is even more slippery than the snow itself on the other side of the hill. Maybe that is why sledding is a winter sport? I take the route back along the river, while the snow is still trying to tell me who’s the boss here. After a quick stop at the town hall, I return to the hotel to warm up and wait for the airport shuttle. What a beautiful city, I am sure I will return to enjoy a typical Slovenian doughnut outside a café in the sun. Hooray for Ljubljana.

— Cati Basmati is still losing all that Christmas weight


Autor: Cati Basmati, Blog: www.catibasmati.blogspot.com

Bilder: Cati Basmati

Weitere Artikel die Sie interessieren könnten:

Getting down to business

Eifelsteig

Zauberhafte Flötentöne

Posted in EnglischComments (4)

Turns out: Aikido hurts

Not necessarily when doing it, but the aftermath should not be underestimated. Right after the initial blind date with Aikido at Aachen University on Wednesday, my arms and legs felt like pudding. And shook like jell-o whenever I tried to use them in any way. Like driving home in my car.

My butt and thighs have been a nightmare ever since, especially after I had that glorious idea not to skip the regular Aqua-Jogging class on Thursday, as our usual “champagne and canapés” for the January birthdays were scheduled for right that evening right after class. Who’d want to miss that?

Well, I do appreciate feeling my muscles, because if they can get sore, they must exist. I hurt, therefore I am, or something alike.

So today has been a lot of not using the stairs and trying to hide in my office on a general basis. So much can be done over the phone and so many translations keep me tied to the computer.

But coming back to the actual event. Aikido is a very polite sport. There is a lot of bowing and mumbling and being very nice to each other in between saying hello and goodbye to the room. Which may have been a showing of respect to a scroll of parchment with what I guess was Japanese writing on it. Maybe this is the source of their knowledge about falling, which I will now never have, as I did not greet the banner with respect but only said “Goodbye Room” in a very, very low voice when leaving. So I am condemned to a life full of falling the wrong way, which YES, is the one where everything hurts in the end.

We did a lot of falling, by the way. It started from a seated position very low to the ground and we were just supposed to roll back slightly on one side and then over to the other side over our shoulders. That was easy. I perfected this motion in no time, even though starting leaning towards the right side and coming back to the left side was easier.

But.

There is always a but.

Turns out that we wanted to fall from more aspiring heights. Next came a lot of that same rolling-over-the-shoulders from a kneeling height. Seemed easy at the beginning. But. Again. Then came the dizziness. I guess I am rather made for sitting nice, with a Latte and the latest InStyle. So I skipped the part where everyone would just crush down out of a fully upright position, rolling over and resuming that statuesque position looking only to a different direction. This is so beyond me.

In between, lots of bowing and mumbling.

At the end we did some partner work, where one pretended to be an attacker and the other would just “use the flow” and have the attacker land in a very uncomfortable position, twisted.

But I survived and all my body parts are in the exact same status as they were before. Except for the shaking and aching. But nothing got broken. Hooray for strong bones.

Now all I need to work on is the falling. And the ability to imitate movements I see others make in front of me. Which is still a bit of a problem, like “Remember what he did and do it yourself. In the exact same order.” I usually fail after movement 2.

Now I just need to figure out the mumbling and the banner. Easy peasy.


Autor: Cati Basmati, Blog: www.catibasmati.blogspot.com

Bild: SXC/AcE

Weitere Artikel die Sie interessieren könnten:

Getting down to business

Eifelsteig

Zauberhafte Flötentöne

Posted in Deutschland, EnglischComments (0)

When browsing makes me feel good

So, after what seems like seconds only, I am done. Lately, I have been following a few design blogs and I have to admit that I missed something. Seriously, I missed the moment when TIME was handed out aboundantly. I read so often that people produce this in their free time, create that, redecorate the living room or sew a fancy evening dress. In addition to the 7 hours of charity per week.

How do they do that? I cannot even get myself out there to take a decent picture for the photo-project I would like to do this year: zwoelf2010. I am supposed to take one picture per month of the ever same object from the ever same distance and angle, thus creating a sense of time passing by. I think that this is such a really good idea and I have tons of ideas in my head. Where they are stuck with inner-me, as outer-me is unable to find the time to go out and do it. Lying on the couch watching TV can be so time-consuming. Well, maybe I wait until next year. Or I do an “eleven2010” and practice a little before I start. Or read a few design blogs to stress me out.

Until today. Everything changed just half an hour ago, when I read this:

Image found on Brown Button, thanks Kimberlee

I am productive. No pillows, no furniture moving, no graphic design, but lots of text, lots of words. So that is not too bad, right?

–Cati Basmati with a words-per-minute-output pushed by enormous amounts of Martini


Autor: Cati Basmati, Blog: www.catibasmati.blogspot.com

Bild-Text: Brown Button

Bild-Titel: SXC/fangol

Weitere Artikel die Sie interessieren könnten:

Getting down to business

Eifelsteig

Zauberhafte Flötentöne

Posted in Englisch, GrafikdesignComments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

Our Flickr Photos - See all photos

stockMagazin Newsletter