Guten Tag and Schnell Schnell

As you might have guessed from the title, we have done it. We’ve moved back to the German speaking world. I’d like to point out though that the outskirts of Vienna aren’t exactly the “schnell, schnell” type of place. I just thought, not everyone might understand “Grüß Gott” and “Wiener Gemütlichkeit”.

Anyway, I am now trying to sort out my life. You know, crossroad, choosing which way to go, all that sort of stuff. Basically it is like being 18 again. Without the parties. And with grey hair instead. And a wobbly tummy. And three children (hence the wobbly tummy, nothing to do with chocolate). But apart from that exactly like being 18. Where was I? Oh yes, cross road. As Atelier Oursonne hasn’t been a global player just yet I have officially closed my business in the UK – you might have read about it in the Financial Times. The question now is, should I start again in Austria?Where would I get my supplies from? (Shepherds Bush is not quite in walking distance anymore.) Maybe with a more tailored range of products? Tailored to which target group? Maybe under a new name? One that people can actually pronounce and maybe even spell?

Plus, legally things aren’t so easy over here. Lots of regulations. You actually need to have proper education for lots of business types. Imagine, hairdressers are actually fully trained. As hairdressers! Obviously the downside of this is that I can not just start selling amazing handmade clothes only because I am incredibly talented if I do not own the right certificate proving that I have actually learned how to do this.

Plus the whole mother and housewife thing is suddenly much more time consuming. School starts at 8 and finishes at 1 or even worse 12. Which means I have to provide lunch and dinner. Oh, and snack for snack time. Just fruit is not acceptable apparently. I am suddenly spending lots of time in researching and producing healthy snacks. I might start a blog about that actually.

And you get much more living space for your money than in London (surprise, surprise) which also means more cleaning space. Something I hadn’t considered. Plus that garden! Not only does it need to be looked after (Apparently. I have only noticed that the neighbours have much nicer gardens) but nature is actually creeping into the house as well. And whilst the crawling baby is doing his best at eating all the dirt (and possibly some of the creepy crawlies too), somehow it makes me have to hoover on a daily basis. Sometimes even twice. Said baby is quite good at making dirt disappear but actually produces even more dirt when provided with real food. Anyway, all those issues mean less time for sewing.

So, should I go back into business? I would actually be overflowing with initially-brilliant-then-turning-into-nightmare-workload-ideas. I’ll show you next time. All I need to do is getting those pictures on the computer. Easy. So you just stay where you are and wait for me to come back with them.





Scrap Sunday: Slightly bigger tissue issue

I know you are waiting for the big one, but let me tell you one thing: moving houses, actually moving countries with three children takes up slightly more time than one would have thought. Especially at the end of term with all those extra activities to attend.

Sure, they all help a lot, sorting out toys, peeling down wall stickers,…

Especially the little one. He kindly wakes me up at 5 o’clock in the morning, so I can make the most of my day and then goes and searches for all those small pieces on the floor that my old eye can’t even spot and examines them carefully if they needed to be processed any further. In which case he takes care of them and kindly hands them to me after a day or two.

He is actually a big fan of tissues hence the big tissue issue you are all waiting for. But back to the small one for now.

Initially I thought that there won’t be any teachers’ presents this year but very last minute (we are speaking of the eve of the last nursery day) I decided they should get something. It just wouldn’t have been fair.When my daughter had left her nursery, I had made bags and badge holders using fabrics I had used for her clothes.

So I quickly cut out lots of squares for tissue covers.


I had found the pattern when I was looking for my knitted one from last week. Funnily enough this one by Two Brown Birds features also contrasting edges (through the lining fabric)

At 7 am the next morning (I’m sure the neighbours appreciated I hadn’t started using the sewing machine at 5am) I quickly made the 4 I needed for nursery.  The other ones followed later that day and the next morning. I have to say, this project is really quick. Basically 4 seams with a little bit of ironing in between (ideally). However, it annoys me to know that there are ugly seams inside which can potentially be seen. I zigzagged them as well as I found it not secure enough with raw edges.  And I do wonder how much more time it would cost to make a reversible version. But enough talking, lets have a look. I guess you’ll recognize some of the fabrics.



I’ve tried to use some of the fabrics the teachers might now (difficult due to uniform, so it is all about the sunhats)  so they would actually be reminded of my children,


or fabric to match their personal style:



or cute fabric (you know because my children are cute)




or because a pretty piece of fabric had about the right size




or simply because it was the manliest and scariest fabric I found (for the male deputy head teacher🙂 ) – which happens to be a hopefully good reminder of my son too (not because he is scary)


Which one do you like best? I find it really hard to decide.

Oh, and in case you were expecting another post about tissue issues soon, forget it. The packers are coming tomorrow and the whole week will be about getting to Vienna, settling in and unpacking some of those boxes.

So, enjoy the blog free time as long as you can – I’ll be back


Scrap Sunday: Small tissue issue

Small tissue issue means there will be a big tissue issue post too, I just don’t get much time for crafting or blogging these days. It is all about decluttering and phone calls. Speaking of decluttering (I know, I am already getting off the track in line 3), I realised that the best way to declutter is to transform clutter into gifts for dear friends. Imagine, you are giving someone a pot and this person will then always remember you when she or he uses that pot to cook a delicious meal for family and friends (it is a big pot). Or when you give away some precious yarn instead of a knitted item. That way people can remember you not only when they are wearing or using whatever you knitted for them (which would be very time consuming for you) but you are also giving them the pleasure of creating something with their own hands. Of course I wouldn’t recommend giving someone hand dyed silk/merino if that person needs … say… two years for a tiny knitted square.

Anyway, back to Scrap Sunday and the tissue issue.

In my last knitting class, when we were celebrating the most outstanding projects people had finished over the course of a couple of weeks, months or even years, I realised that whilst I had helped many people to fall in love with knitting, I seem to personally have moved on. I rarely find the time to knit and focus much more on the sewing recently (or not so recently). In fact I am slightly jealous of my own students who have progressed so well and achieved so much whilst I am not able – for whatever reason – to stretch myself knittingwise.

So I decided to get started with a new and cool project soon, there is no point now just before moving and in the meantime to knit at least a little something for a friend who has patiently been waiting for a promised birthday gift since…. well, a while.

I came across a pattern for a tissue cozy (I guess a mobile phone would fit too) and made one using some left over pink Rowan Purelife Revive that I had used for a dress for my friend’s daughter and some green Stylecraft Cotton Classique.


I added a bow because the little girl is always wearing cute hair clips. Well until she looses them.  I am so pleased to finally have used my knitting needles again, I even took the time to put it on ravelry.





A bit like a japanese linen top. Except not really.

I am really busy these days, organising and attending leaving parties, baking tonnes of cake for said parties with greedy guests (you know who you are), cancelling memberships and contracts, trying to find out relevant information about national insurance, taxes,… and obviously decluttering. Decluttering is always important when you are moving. Basically this is why we are moving. There was no way we would declutter just because we do not have enough space for the amount of clutter we own.

One extremely useful way of decluttering is to use up fabric. I know technically this will only shift the fabric from the fabric pile to the wardrobe but there is more space there than on the fabric pile. So it is decluttering. Really.

I told you I meant to make a Frau Aiko. I had already cut the pattern when I realised that I didn’t have enough fabric and made a skirt instead.

So I used a piece of purple cotton. Frau Aiko is a very simple blouse with straight lines. I find it a bit Japanese style, something I really like. I know Japanese style looks best on slim and petite Japanese women which is why I never wear Japanese style stuff but I still bought the pattern, knowing it might not bring the best out of me. I thought it might actually look cool in a plain colour and with a slightly stiff woven cotton. A bit like linen. Even though that wasn’t what I had initially in mind.

Anyway. It turns out it doesn’t look cool Japanese with me in it. And not linen like.

My 6 year old said: Oh, did you make a waterproof apron ? (I assume on of those for crafts with sleeves). I personally thought rather of scrubs. I could definitely hide a stethoskope in those pockets.

IMG_5246I am not entirely sure what went wrong, well apart from fabric type choice, patternlessness (if you knew anything about fabric you’d know this means fabric without a pattern, I guess some boring people would call it plain) and possibly style choice for my personal needs.

I think on that first picture you can also see a few details (I know, once again I thought I could get away with a non ironed piece but you know, it is all done on purpose) which I actually don’t really like. I find the proportions of the sleeve really odd. The combination of over-cut shoulders with a 3/4 length sleeve is not for me. But then that is something that wouldn’t be so obvious if I had used a patterned fabric.

I also don’t like the proportions of the pockets. Although I do like the pockets as such.

Last but not least I think the facing is a bit too narrow.

After all that I would like to point out that I am blaming Frau Aiko for this non-success (calling it failure would be a bit over the top).

The whole concept of a boxy short blouse is just not making me look any better. I might give it another go in a different fabric, something with more drape. And more colour. Obviously. Although I do love the colour as such.

But enough talking, lets have a look at the result.IMG_5247

IMG_5250In case you were thinking that clearly this blouse needs to be teamed up with trousers rather than a skirt, well I did try and it did not look good at all. Maybe I was wearing the wrong trousers.

For the pictures I decided to wear my skirt (I have already altered it to take it in – it fits now almost perfectly) because Frau Aiko is in the same colour as the skirt hem:


Ok, I had been wearing the skirt all day and couldn’t be bothered to get changed.

Looking at the pictures now, I find it actually less odd than it felt. Still don’t think I will ever wear it. Might just go to the charity shop. In which case I would have successfully decluttered🙂

And now, I’ll send this over to RUMS to see what others have been creating this week.