Hooking up a Reef

There’s half a planet between me and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I haven’t had a chance yet to visit that fascinating continent. However, I have snorkeled in Thailand before, and have thus experienced first-hand the overwhelmingly amazing, colorful, magical life of the ocean. It made me feel like a big clumsy oaf, floating among those graceful creatures  – that may have had something to do with the fact that I was 6 months pregnant at the time also. But it did make me feel humble and grateful to be there, and I have fond memories of a tiny yellow fish that swam next to me all across the bay. He was the precise shade of my diving goggles, and probably thought I was one hot big mama ;-)…

Anyway, I was recently told about a bit of Crochet Activism for Great Barrier Reef. It links back to the awesome hyperbolic crochet art/science project I wrote about before in one of my first posts, mathematician and co-creator Dr Margaret Wertheim’s TED talk on the subject. So the German branch of the WWF are trying to bring attention to the dying of the Reef also, by creating their own similar project, and I was glad to be able to contribute these sea shells: IMG_2359_2 IMG_2360

If you’re quick, you can still participate, they’re asking people to donate their contributions by the end of next week. Should have shared this here before, but as I said in my last post, my shoulder – and a great deal of very difficult honorary work at my son’s school – kept me away from Blogland. You can also sign an online petition to the UNESCO if you feel as do I that this particularly spectacular piece of our planet needs saving – it’s on the WWF link above.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back on the horse, so to speak, to deal with the ups and downs of a hot Texan stuntman’s love life ;-). Does that mean I’ve traveled the whole world in one little blog post…? Gotta love the Internet.

Take care and enjoy your weekend!

Books, Books, Books

At our house, we have about 3000 books. They live in two huge floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and they make a nice backdrop for both our family and our dining room. Movers usually hate us as soon as they set eyes on those shelves, and I can’t blame them. Books have a tendency to pile up, especially when you grow up on reading as I did (lonely kid, sucked at sports, stressed out parents – you get the gist), read your way through childhood and puberty, blew through Science Fiction in your early twenties, went through an intense serial killer mystery phase next, and only came to a screeching halt when you became a mom and got a life.

As the proud owner of an e-reader, I’ve lately become reluctant to add any more to those shelves, with the exception of gifts and the free copies I get from translations. One of those just arrived, it’s the book I worked on last fall, ‚Bistronomy‘ (‚Food Revolution‘ in German). It was a true joy for me to hold it in my hands for the first time :-). I’m reasonably proud of it, and hope ‚my‘ author, Australian food blogger Katrina Meynink, will make a splash in the German market.


And then a few weeks back, shortly before I blew my shoulder and couldn’t write for a while, I received another cool book in the mail. It’s this crafts book by fellow blogger, writer and crafts aficionado Paula Matos, and I promised I’d write her a review here. I’m so happy to finally be able to keep that promise – my sincerest apologies for the delay, but I was in a lot of pain, and barely managed everyday life one-handedly. Inflamed shoulders are not for the weak-hearted.

Paula’s book is called ‚Häkel dich glücklich‘, and it consists of a selection of awesome photo tutorials for very cute and easy to do decorative crochet projects. In the back, there are also photographed tutorials of crochet basics for absolute beginners, and I have to say I wish I’d had that book on my hands when I was first force-taught how to crochet by my teacher Ms Enzinger in grade school. (It’s actually no small feat for me to have overcome my trauma from back then, and surprising that my fingers remained intact – my dignity certainly didn’t!)

Paula has great taste and sense of color – in fact, the whole book is simply bright, beautiful, and inspirational. She does wonderfully easy to follow tutorials, and those who know me will appreciate that I’m not saying this lightly. As I have written before, patterns are usually not for me, and I forgo them whenever I can. But I will try to make Paula’s pin cushions from page 45, because I love them so much. See how pretty they are? They look good enough to eat!

There’s many more fun projects in there, you even get to make that owl from the cover if you want. So if you find yourself in the German DIY crafts universe, looking for a lovely crochet book, I highly recommend you go with this one. It’ll teach you without depressing you by being too complicated, and it will make you want to boldly dive into the world of crochet, yarn and color. Paula, congratulations on a great book, and may it become wildly successful!

The last book I will mention today is the one I’m currently translating. It’s a romance novel, by a very popular author who has written herself into the prestigious N.Y. Times best seller list. I’m really excited to try my hand at something that has a little more zing to it than my usual nonfiction. The story takes place in sunny Texas, so that’s where I need to get back to now, raisin‘ my haaat to y’all with a hearty Yee-Haw!!!

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Enjoy the lovely month of June, everyone!