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Wednesday
Sep182013

Yes, another rug.

Hello, my name is Katrin, and I have an addiction to drugs. 

So you may remember that back in May I bought this blue rug for the dining room and while I tried to love it, honestly, I never really did. There were too many blue tones in that room, and while it looked fine on a sunny day, the space looked cold when there wasn´t enough light. Also, I really wanted something more rustic and with a bit more texture. 

So I bought this one. In the product description it says that this is a large, fringed version of a doormat, and while I am not entirely sure whether this a smart marketing move, it is basically true. However it does have that texture I wanted, and the color is exactly right. The day we put the new rug down, the sun was shining through the windows, and all of a sudden the whole room seemed golden. And the angels sang and all that.

In case you worry about the fate of the blue rug, it now lives in the hallway. I´m not sure whether it will be a permanent fixture there, but as we are heading into winter I´ll take everything that makes that drafty old house a little less chilly.

Sunday
Sep152013

Sleeping beauty.

There´s a somewhat larger town close to our village that is quite pretty. It even has a little castle! Technically I guess it would be more like a mansion, but castle is what everyone calls it. It is surrounded by a quite substantial, beautiful park with a pond and large trees and everything. Sadly, the castle itself has been vacant for years.

I´ve always wondered how it looked like inside until last weekend, when we read in the paper that there would be a guided tour. Of course we went, expecting maybe three other people to attend. Wrong. There were about 50 people waiting in the parking lot. Quite the event.

The thing is, the castle has a rich history and most of the people who grew up in the area have some kind of connection to it. In the past 100 years, the castle with its 40 rooms has been used as a nursery, a registry office and most important of all, a hospital. 

As we walked through the rooms together, it was amazing to listen to the stories that the other visitors would tell. "This was the waiting room where I spent so much time!", exclaimed one woman. Another would fight back tears in the beautiful ballroom like space, now derelict, where her daughter got married. Yet another told me how she would take her child to the nursery every day for many years (apparently you had to enter through the cellar, which caused many nightmares).

One older woman noticed my camera at one point and then would tell me about what to expect in the next room. "You must take a picture of this!", she said several times. It was quite endearing. Sadly,  I couldn´t take any decent pictures of the ground floor as the windows there have been nailed shut and the light was too bad (we walked around with flashlights).

All in all, such a great adventure. And so moving - to think of that space that has touched the life of all these people and now is an example for the decay of so many mansions and castles in this region. 

Wednesday
Sep112013

Let us talk about the library.

Ah, the library. I still remember that pretty much exactly two years ago, this was the very first room I painted, and also it was the first room where we refinished the floors (you can see a before picture here). Then we plopped shelves in the one part of the room (the library used to be two rooms which have been knocked together) and painted two walls "Down Pipe" by Farrow and Ball, and it looked like this. And then a long time nothing happened, until this spring I got a job where I can work from home. Which I do in the library. I bought an old desk that sits in front of the window and overlooks the garden. I´ll show you that part of the room soon.

What you see in this post is the other half of the room. Back in March, I had painted two more walls in "Dove Tale" (which I still love - it looks very purple in these pics but not in real life). Then the husband an I quarreled for months which chairs we should get for the space.

Then in June we finally had our new wood burning stove installed in here and I ordered the husband´s favorite chairs just to put an end to that folly. They´re blue. I am pretty sure you can see that. The thing is I still haven´t decided whether I adore the color or hate it. It changes from day to day. I think I will try to sew some neutral linen slip covers for them at one point. 

So this space is far from finished but it´s a start. I am thinking maybe a rug here, and different lamps, and I want to get something that replaces the Ikea stool under that woolen blanket. The little side table we found in my mother in law´s garage, it fits pretty great I think. The painting I got on Ebay and I adore it. The village could pass for ours if you´re not too detail oriented. 

Here´s Ludwig enjoying the stove. It´s a Morsö, it was a little very expensive but is worth every penny. It´s gotten chilly around here so today was the first day I lit the fire in here during the day. This was exactly how I imagined working from home - with a view of the garden and a fire burning right next to me. Lovely. 

Now, what do you think about the blue chairs? I bet these are controversial.

Sunday
Sep082013

The holiday that was not.

So, obviously I´ve been away. You see, we had two weeks off that didn´t go as planned. We knew they would be rather busy with a weekend in Munich visiting my family and another weekend hosting a get together with my husband´s family, but, you know. Still plenty of time for some rest and relaxation.

Unfortunately (or, in hindsight, luckily) Ludwig injured his paw during our stay in Munich. We took him to the vet, who wasn´t so concerned about the paw but the cardicac murmur he noticed during the general examination. Once we were back home we did further tests, and it turned out Ludwig has a heart condition, one with a rather bad prognosis. However there was a minimal invasive surgery that could help, but it could only be performed in Munich. As there is not much time to lose with that sort of condition, the surgeons were able to fit him in their schedule four days from when i first called. So after said family weekend with 12 people staying at my house (yep: 12), we took a nap and then packed our dog into the car for another trip to Munich. To cut a long story short: Everything went well, and he now has a normal life expectancy, which is a definitive improvement compared to the "a few months?" prognosis before surgery.*

So, whew? A bit more worries and stress than I would like in a holiday. But we´re so so glad that Ludwig is doing fine. SO GLAD. Plus, we were still able to have a few very relaxing days at home with great weather, and we have a weekend at the coast coming up in two weeks. So I won´t complain. 

Back to the regularly scheduled programming then! Speaking of which, I don´t think I´ll do monthly features of the walled/vegetable garden any more. Both are over their peak. Maybe a late autumn wrap up though. 

But, as autumn is near, I think it´s time to turn this into an interiors blog again. I have lots of house projects lined up. For example, I am itching to do further work on the kitchen - new shelves, a backsplash, and I have an idea for the floor... Big plans! Almost makes me forget that winter is coming. Sigh.

*We´ve seen lots of raised eyebrows over the fact that we decided to do a costly surgery... for a dog. I don´t really have an answer to that. I just know that it wasn´t an option for us to see our dog perish over the next few months, not if we can avoid it. As for the money, part of it will be paid by Ludwig´s breeder... and our part is more or less worth that dryer we´ve been saving up for. Guess what, I am happy to live without a dryer for a while longer if I can have a happy and healthy Ludwig running around.

Thursday
Aug222013

Our redhead.

I think there are some Ludwig lovers out there, so I thought I´d post some recent pictures. Above is Ludwig helping me harvest our carrots. He loves carrots and apples and peaches and bananas, raspberries not so much and beets are clearly disgusting. Bell peppers as well. 

Playing with our littlest cat Emma who is also the bravest and known to be chasing Ludwig (who is at least thrice her height) around the garden. 

Oh Ludwig, we love you so.

Bonus picture (not mine). Ludwig at eightish weeks. Oh dear, don´t they grow up fast.