Monday, 30 April 2012

Thoughts on letter writing

I love modern communication systems. I'm online constantly, I have a smart phone with an internet flat, I use Facebook, Twitter, Googlemail and WhatsApp and if Myspac would still be a thing I'd re-activate my account asap because I simply loved it. Our society's way of communicating is fast, it's honest, it's uncensored and it is global. The Arabic Revolution started as a Facebook group, the victims of the tsunami catastrophe in Japan found lost family members over Twitter and one can talk to friends on the other end of the world via Skype. Even though the power the internet has over us is kind of scary it is also pretty awesome. I have made a really good friend over a German social website for pupils a few years ago and I would have never gotten to know her without that wonderful magical thing that is the internet. We're in constant contact on a  nearly daily basis through Facebook, whenever I see something that she could like I just send her a photo, it's amazing! 
Still, we also use a very old-fashioned way of communication: Letters.

The art of letter writing is dying out, the only post we receive are bills and the stuff we order over Amazon and I hate that! I don't only want to take up a pen in order to do university stuff because a hand-written letter can be so much more personal than an email. A handwriting can tell one so much about a person, it's fascinating and to open a hand-written letter is one of the most amazing things ever!

When my friend and I first started writing letters a year ago I wanted to be able to make them very special and personal so I bought paper, glitter gel pencils ink, quills, sealing wax and seals over this year. 

Seal, Ink (silver!), Sealing Wax and Quill

The other inks: Violet, Black and Green

My fleur de lys seal

The seal with my initial

Up to now I have collected four inks (black, green, silver and violet), two quills, four sealing waxes (silver, gold, blue and read and a silver hard sealing wax (in German this kind is called Siegellack which would be translated with sealing laquer) aswell as various papers in different colours. I love to sit down and write all my stupid ramblings and fangirl ideas down in this unusual and kind of victorian way, it makes me nostalgic and even if I haven't got much to write down it is still worth the effort for the simple sake of writing.

Do you write letters? Or do you prefer emails?
Have a great day!

The Countess

Thursday, 26 April 2012

You have to be the change you want to see in the world

A few minutes ago, I was just sitting here at University with one of my closest friends, just chatting and wasting time when she got a phone call. Her mother, a politician, was invited to an open forum to talk about inclusion but unfortunately, she isn't able to go because she got the information at a very short notice. Therefore, she asked her daughter, my friend, if she wanted to go instead of her. My friend is studying to become a special education teacher and is an active member in the Green Youth like me so she knows quite a bit about inclusion. Of course, she took the opportunity and has just left me to prepare for the open forum which will be in a few hours. Good luck and have fun, by the way! 

I was really impressed that she got such a great opportunity. She gets to discuss with regional politicians and will be able to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in our society through her participation in the open forum. She is basically doing something to change the world, to make it a better place where everyone is seen as equal and important. Did I mention that I am really impressed?

To help her a little, I sent her some links on the topic while she was on her way home and while doing that I thought that I also really want to do something. I want to change the world. I want to make our society a better place. But how?
Then it came to me that actually, I AM already doing so, I just haven't noticed. It's the little things in life that make an impression, we are all important, we all have a voice. 

By sending her those links, I did something. 
By talking about the election that is coming up in our county (north-rhine westfalia) and telling everyone to get their friggin' asses up and vote I am doing something. 
By being and active member in the youth organization of a political party I am doing something. 
By being vegan I am doing something. 
By being a feminist and talking about feminism with people I am doing something. 
By becoming a teacher I am doing something.

Maybe I do not reach hundreds of people but only a handfull but still I am doing what I can to make this world a better place. If we all just go out, believe in ourselfs and fight for the things that we believe are good and important with all our hearts, we can do it! We can change the world. Not only for you and me. For everyone. To quote Obama: YES. WE. CAN.

So I leave you with this: Don't go on and on about how somebody should change the things you hate, you are somebody! And now excuse me, I have to go and learn more about medieval history to be able to teach it to children. They are our future and I want this society's future to be educated. 

Have a great day,

The Countess

Sunday, 22 April 2012

A spoonfull of sugar...

...helps the medicine go down in the most delightful way.
Sometimes little things can spice everything up. The sun coming out on a day full of revising which gives one the possibility to do the boring reading outside or maybe a phone call from a friend on a busy day. At some days this spoonfull of sugar can be a hair style. Yes, a hairstyle. 

Today I met with some girls to do some crafting for the traditional may trees. In the end of the post I will giove you some information on the may trees but for now, let me continue with the hair style story. As I knew that I had to painting and wood cutting I didn't wear any rings or long necklaces and I also had to wear a toned down outfit. Also, I thought it would be better to wear my hair up because paint in the All in all, I was sure I had to look really really boring today. Gosh, I sound superficial right now, don't I?
Well, Never mind. I saw the opportunity to do a nice hair updo which is something I don't do often enough. I have really long hair and this updo is one of those that I won't be able to do nicely when the hair grows any longer. It isn't really anything special, just three english braids, one on top of the head, one in the middle and one pretty low in the neck that are put in a bun. I love that hair style because of the wonderful silhuette it creates, it reminds me of a very simple version of the updos one can see in the Elizabeth movies. Normally I'd put a whole lot of accessoires in the bun but as my outfit was pretty simply it would have looked odd.

Did I mention it is unbe-fucking-lievable hard to take a decent picture of your own back of your head? Well, it is!

About may trees:

In Germany may trees are traditionally given to girls/women by their boyfriends/ suitors/ Counts in the night of the first of May. They are put in front of the girl's house and decorated with ribbon and a wooden heart with her name on it. The ribbon colours have special meanings as well as the chosen tree. Here is the one I got last year from the Count, or at least a close up:

Harry potter writing, The Count is awesome!

What is your personal spoonfull of sugar?

The Countess

Dark Sunshine Award

The lovely  HajaMiel at Written Before Dawn gave me my very first award, thank you so much!

Post the award picture with a backlink to the person who nominated you
Answer the ten questions posed to you
Pass on the award to 10 or more bloggers

Favorite color:  
Black in clothes, jewel tones in general. Oh, and pink!

Favorite animal: 
Turtles and fish. Also bats and owls are probably awesome but I have never seen one in real life.

Favorite number:
 2, 4 and 13

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: 
Tab water. Seriously.

Facebook or Twitter: 
Facebook. I do have a Twitter but I don't use it as frquently as Facebook.

My passion: 
History and writing. 

Getting or giving presents: 
I'm like a little child, I LOVE getting presents but I also like to put deep thought in the perfect gift for someone. Inlike to give away selfmade things.

Favorite pattern: 
I am very fond of tartan.

Favorite day of the week: 
Wednesday and Saturday.  

Favorite flower: 
Uhm, I don't really know... The flower of the vegan logo? I like all kinds of flowers as long as they are growing in nature and not standing in a vase. 

Ok, now I have to nominate people. I would nominate HajaMiel but she just got the award so I'll skip her even though she'd deserve it so much! 
 I'll only nominate five people because I am new to blogging and don't follow that many people yet.

1. Zelde
3. Corin

Have a great day,

The Countess

A concert outfit

On Thurday I went to see Schandmaul (malicious tongue), a German medieval folk rock band with my boyfriend. I gave him the tickets about eight months ago for his birthday and the concert was supposed to take place in Feburary but unfortunately it was rescheduled due to an illness the singer had. So of course, when we finally got to see them I was really excited. Excited for me means that I want to wear an appropriate outfit to honour the occasion. As I am not really in medieval wear I decided to wear something Victorian inspired instead. 

I had to make sure that my outfit was still comfortable as I wanted to dance and jump. I saw many girls with corsets, ankle long skirts and platform shoes during the concert and even though they looked really nice I pitied them. A concert should be attended to enjoy the music, to dance and to sing, not to look pretty and to show off.

Here is what I decided to wear:

The jabot is handmade

Inside shot because the colours come out more vibrant here

Have a great weekend,

The Countess

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Jewelry supplies

Today I got some new crafting supplies in the mail. I ordered them about four weeks ago but as they come from Hong Kong that is not really a long shipping time. The products are really nice, I'm very happy with the quality and I have already sooo many ideas what to do with them. 

I got 12 glass pendants, 2 red pendants, 4 golden bases, 3 silver charms and 3 bronze charms. I immediately started to glue the red stones to one of the charms and to a base of a ring that I still had lying around.

I'm sooo excited to wear this combination for the first time, I think it adds a lot of elegance to a look because those two pieces remind me of old victorian jewelry.

My favourite piece of the whole bunch

Aaaaand some more

I want to make charms with people I admire such as Elizabeth I., Oscar Wilde or Marie Antoinette.

Have a great day, 

The Countess

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A letter to your past

I have stumbled over the idea to write a letter to my younger self. I have seen this idea all over Youtube and thought I could give it a go myself. While many other people choose to write a letter to themselfs ten years ago I have decided not to go that far back for one single reason: 10 years ago I was 11 which means that I was basically a child. I had no idea who I wanted to be in the future, I am not even sure that I thought about the future or understood it as a concept. That's why I only go back five years in time.

Dear sixteen year old me:

First of all: Don't worry. Things do get better. This time is the worst of your life but gthat means that your future is going to be amazing. You have just made an awesome friend, keep her around, she will still be really close to you in five years. Also, her stories are always hilarious.

I know, you have just been through your very first break-up and no, it is not going to be your last one. 14 months are a long time, you are allowed to be sad. Try to be friends with your ex-boyfriend even though it is unbelievably hard for you. He is a nice guy and you'll regret that you haven't always stayed in contact.You will realize that the really nice guys aren't the ones you admire or the ones that admire you but the ones that make you laugh. Don't go for their looks but their brains because even though you hope that you look smarter when you are around them, in reality you just look ridiculous. You will fall in love. And it will be awesome. When this letter is written you are together since more than 3 1/2 years. You will have no intention to change that any time soon.

Quit guitar lessons, it's just not for you. Spend your time doing other creative things, don't waste it.

Be nice to your grandmothers. They will still be around in five years but that doesn't mean you can afford to miss any opportunity to speak to them.

No, you will not outgrow the asthma. But that's ok, it could be worse.

You are intelligent. Extremly intelligent. Never ever forget that. In your heart you have always been a Ravenclaw, not a Slytherin. Thanks to the gods you will still understand what that means in five years. 

Take an interest in politics, you will like it as soon as you start to deal with it.

Never miss an opportunity to read. You can never be overdressed (you already understood that) or overeducated. 

Go abroad. I know, you think you will loose your friends and that there will be lots of time after you A-Levels but trust me: There isn't. You will still hate the idea of leaving.

Your real friends are the ones who always stick around even though you have started to hang out with people they don't like. 

Please don't quit ballett, I know your back hurts but it will get better and you will regret quitting a lot!

You won't become a journalist and you will not go in the fashion industriy in order to write about it. You will do something way more awesome: You will become a teacher.

Being happy doesn't mean that everything in your life is perfect, it means that the things that make you happy are the ones you care about. The things you don't like about your life right now do not belong to those things.

Driving a car is not as scary as you think.

There will be a really short time when Dr. Who is on TV. Watch it, it's amazing!

That's it I believe. What would you like to tell your past?

Good night,

The Countess

I almost forgot... show you my favourite charm. I sent it to a dear friend of mine for her birthday but unfortunately I didn't take a picture before I sent it... Luckily, she has taken one and allowed me to use it (thanks <3).
I only made the Sherlock charm, the rest is hers.

Have a great day,

The Countess

Jewelry making

One of the things I like to do spend my time with is crafting so a year ago I started making my own jewelry. I usually buy my supplies at internet shops such as Etsy or Dawanda, it is way cheaper to buy the supplies and then make your own unique jeelry than buying it at a shop. I get to spend my time with being creative and in the end I have some nice new accessoires, how perfect is that?
Well, enough of the talking, pic spam:

The small one is going to be a brooch soon.

My pet name starts with a T

The whole bunch together

Hogwarts <3

We're all mad here

How do you like them? Do you make your own jewelry or like to craft in general?

Have a great day,
The Countess

Monday, 16 April 2012

15 things

Ok, so I reached 15 followers a few days ago and seriously: There are 15 people in this world (plus my friend Imke who reads this without following <3) who read the random stuff I post here? That is pretty awesome!
In order to honour that I want to post 15 random (hip hip hooray for randomness!) things about me.

  1. Even though I believe in the idea that intelligent people do not have to be good at sports, I go to the gym (irregularly though...) and love to go skiing and water skiing. Also, I love to ride my bike whenever it's nice, warm and sunny outside.
  2. If I were granted three wishes I would ask for a world free of war and violence, the end of world hunger and for justice for every living creature. Yes, seriously. I'm one of those weird idealists, haven't you noticed?
  3. There are 10 books on my bedside table right now, including one about the history of the woman's rights movement, one about 1000 important women in history, 3 biographies (Elizabeth I., Bismarck & Napoleon), Sherlock Holmes stories, spooky ballads and The Hunger Games.
  4. My favourite semi-precious stone is the snowflake obsidian. It reminds me of the fact that without darkness we wouldn't be able to see the beauty of light.

5. I'm a vegan for more than two years now it was one of the best desicions I have ever made.
6. I have never done/tried any (illegal) drugs. Ever.
7. I tend to be friends with the same people for a really long time, probably because it takes me quite a while to consider them as friends, I like to choose wisely.
8. I got into Pottermore at the first day of the Beta phase. I'm a Ravenclaw which wasn't a real surprise and which is nice even though I like Slytherin better. At least it isn't Gryffindor. 
9. I have pretty strong political opinions. I'm in favour of a meat tax, pro-choice, pro gay marriage and I think the seperation of state and church is very important. Also, I'm a pacifist. I'm a member of the Green Youth and the themes I'm most interested in are animal rights, queer and gender issues, anti-racism and education.
10. In constrast to the typical cliché that women love chocolate I prefer crisps! I could eat 3 bags a week....At least!
11. I'd love to learn Swedish or Finnish.
12. My favourite animals are turtles and fish. I hate spiders, I'm phobic.
13. I suffer from a pretty severe form of asthma and have to take antibiotics whenever I get ill which is about 5-6 times a year. I've had 4 pneunomias so far and too many bronchitis to count (about 3 to 4 a year I guess).
14. Purple lipstic is awesome.
15. I make jewelry with pictures of people I admire such as Elizabeth I. and Oscar Wilde.

Ok, yeah, quite random, huh?

have a loevely evening,

The Countess

Saturday, 14 April 2012

It's Friday, Friday...

See what I did there?

It was Friday 13th!
While some people are afraid to go outside on that day I consider Friday 13th my lucky day. I find superstitions unbelievably interesting so logically I love Friday 13th. Also, my mum was born ona a Friday 13th. 
For a long time I never really understood why on earth people would consider a random day to be dangerous or unlucky so I did a little research. It seems that people believe that the number 13 is unlucky because it is irregular and destroys the completeness of the number 12 which is considered to be a harmonic and perfect number. Jesus had 12 Apostles, there are 12 months in a year, a clock has 12 numbers.... Do I need to go on? Also, the number 13 is a prime number.
Friday is cosidered unlucky for various reasons as well, the most important one for western culture being the fact that Jesus died on a Friday 13th. Naturally, back in time people would naturally think that a day that has two unlucky things combined- the Friday and the number 13- could only bring evil. 

How about you, are you superstitious? Did you have any accidents on a Friday 13th? My day was fabulous, the sun was eve shining.

Have a great day, 
The Countess

Thursday, 5 April 2012

About being British

Do not let yourself fool by the title, I am not British. I'm half German, half Spanish and have no British relatives whatsoever. Still, inspired by something, Zelde wrote in her last post, I'm going to write something about being British- at heart.

In December I went to a You Me at Six concert here  in Cologne. with them was a band called Canterbury, they're not well known here at all but I think they are in England. After the concert I went to talk to their drummer because I was blown away by their performance. I told him how much I liked their band name because it reminds me of the Ghost of Canterbury which I love because i study English. After saying that he asked me if I came from Canterbury which seriously confused me. I thought maybe I hadn't spoken clearly enough or had made some grammar mistake but it turned out that he had assumed that I study English IN Canterbury. The conversation went kind of like that:

He: Do you study in Canterbury?

Me: Uhm, no, I study here. In Cologne.

He: Oh, are you studying abroad?

Me (really confused): No, I study here, I have always studied here.

He: But from where in england do you come?

Me: I was born here!

He: Seriouly? You sound really English!

I was seriously confused. And a little proud.

An extremly similar situation happened to me when I went to Canterbury's very first own concert in Germany in January (or was is Feb.? I'm not sure...), again in Cologne.
After the show I asked one of their guitarists , if he would sign my ticket.

Me: excuse me, would you mind signing this?

He (with a surprised expression): You are English!

Me: Uhm, no...

He: You sound English! How did you do that?

Me: I don't really know, I study English at university...

He: Great job on the accent!

I always knew I had a british accent but I never thought I could be mistaken for an English person. One of my professors who comes from England said that I "kind of sound like Lily Allen". I'm not really sure whether he meant it as a compliment or an insult.

I love Great Britain and Ireland, I love the countryside, the language, the various accents (my favourites being the London accent, RP and the Scottish accent spoken in Edinburgh. I might post a Youtube video of one of my favourite people on Youtube later, littleradge aka Liam, he has the most amazing accent! Also, he looks like David Tennant.), I drink tea like a mad person and to me London is the most beautiful place in the world.
Therefore I have decided that even though I am not officially British I am definately an Anglophile and British at heart. Maybe I'll be re-born as a British awesome would that be?

What about you? Are you especially fond of a specific country or region? Why?

Again, have a lovely day,

The Countess
Did I already mention that the Count is frigging awesome? He is! It was my 21st birthday a few weeks ago (gosh, I'm getting old) and he gave me the most amazing tea set ever!

He found it at a flea market and that fact in itself is already awesome. It has a weird golden colour and is kind of mismatched, again: AWESOME! There are three cups and six saucers, as well as a huge tea potand one sugar and milk thingy each. It's made out of the most beautiful material, a really really thin porcellain that is nearly see-through and makes the nicest noises when you touch it with your finger nail or a tea spoon. And:

It's hand painted! You probably cannot see the deatils clearly because that golden colour is so damn shiny, it was impossible to get any decent photos. Most of the pieces have an asian lady in a green kimono but on one cup and one saucer she's wearing a yellow one which is pretty cool. That's what I love about flea market findings, you are always surprised.

Basically that's all for today, my lecture has already started so maybe I should start to pay any form of attention...

Have a lovely day,

the Countess

Monday, 2 April 2012

Stolen from a meme I saw

People write for the same reasons they breathe- because if they didn't they'd die.