Posts from the “Berlin” Category

Mini excursion to Potsdam

Posted on September 7, 2014

Christian & Alexandra loaned us their adorable Mini and planned a ‘Mini Adventure Cozy Place Outside Berlin-Wannsee-Caputh Trip” for Thomas & me. Each step of the day was planned out – complete with a hand drawn map illustrated by their 6-year old son Ben. It included notes on where to sink our toes in the sand, where to find a cup of coffee with the perfect Seeblick and finally, which castles were best to visit.

With our cute wheels, we headed west out of Berlin. We walked around Heilandskirche first and then made our way to Cecilienhof Park. The weather was beautiful, so we sat in the park with a picnic, napped, found a warm spot for swimming in the Heileger See and then poked around the castle. We were then off to Sanssouci, another lavish castle with magnificent gardens. After a quick stop in Altstadt Potsdam for Kaffee und Kuchen, we watched the fairy go back & forth in Caputh over a delicious dinner.

It was a wonderful day of sightseeing as our time in Berlin was coming to an end. Many thanks to Christian & Alexandra for planning out such a sweet trip for us!

Bedding anybody?

Posted on September 6, 2014

This is the third batch of work from our summertime textile exploration. Working with bedding and its large scale is very different than the work we were doing with scarves and pillows. A 2 meter x 2 meter duvet cover, for example, cannot simply be dipped in a bucket of dye. So, we headed to the hardware store for large scale wood pieces, vices and clamps. With the help of the bathtub, a bunch of dye and a twist on traditional shibori folding techniques, we created these two bedding sets.

Scarf exploration

Posted on September 3, 2014

Scarves are another great canvas for textile design. We found beautiful cottons at our favorite Berlin markets and set about dyeing them in every way possible. We designed & cut stamps, mixed crazy custom dyes and rewrote the rules of traditional shibori to keep it interesting. Here’s a sample of our hand stamped, shibori and batik pieces, which we had fun shooting in the neighborhood.

Pillow exploration

Posted on September 1, 2014

This summer, we decided to put a deeper focus on textile design. We experimented across fabrics, techniques and dyes. A few of the pieces we’ve included here show the wide range of things we played around with, but by no means represent a collection. Here, we focus on our pillow designs and subsequent posts will show other bedding pieces and scarves.

Fabrics: we found linen to be heavier, have a better drape and be all around more substantive than cotton for pillows, so we used linen on many of our pillow designs

Techniques: most of our pillow designs were created by using immersion dyeing, direct printing, shibori (a Japanese term for several methods of resist-dyeing to make a pattern by binding, folding, twisting and compressing), stenciling, discharge application, traditional batik (wax resist) and/or block printing with stamps we made ourselves from found objects or foam

Dyes: we bought all of our textile dyes here in Berlin. They are: fiber-reactive dyes, discharge gel (which is like bleach), fabric paints and photo emulsion for textiles that develops in sunlight

More friends!

Posted on September 1, 2014

It was a busy August with even more of our dear friends coming to visit us in Berlin. Niko, Gina & Sophia had a layover on their way from Greece back to New Jersey, so we met at one of our favorite biergartens in the Tiergarten for dinner & catching up.

Abby flew all the way from New York for a quick 4-day visit, so we had to fit everything in: bike riding all over city, David Bowie exhibit where we had our faces tattooed (see post), dinners out, visits to the Berlin Wall and chilly afternoons in the park with rosé.

Michelle & I started taking annual trips together a few years back, and this year she hopped over to Berlin from London to visit & meet Thomas. We got back on our trusty bikes (see a theme here?), met Raimond & Stefan for dinner, spent a lazy afternoon touring Berlin’s canals by boat and sauntered through some of Berlin’s great flea markets & sights.

Thanks to all our friends who’ve been able to come all the way to Berlin to visit. We have loved having you!!

Schloss Charlottenburg

Posted on August 30, 2014

Over the last few months, we’ve found ourselves sticking mainly to the East side of Berlin. So today’s field trip was a trek to the West to visit Charlottenburg Palace. This ornate royal residence was built at the end of the 17th century in baroque and rococo styles. It even includes a room called ‘the Porcelain Cabinet,’ which holds thousands of porcelain objects as well as a stuffed deer hanging from the ornate molding. Outside are formal gardens and walking trails surrounded by beautiful woodlands.

Deutsch lernen

Posted on August 29, 2014

Ich bin jeden Tag im diesem Sommer Deutsche Sprachschule gegangen. Heute war meinen letzten Tag und jetzt ich fertig bin!

Deutsch ist hart und zu lernen eine neue Sprache schwierig ist. Ich habe mich zu viel durch die Sommer darüber beschwert. Am Ende, bin ich mit die Herausforderung zufrieden. Deutsch Grammatik ist ärgerlich, aber muss ich es los lassen. Dafür muss ich immer meine Haupt Punkt sprechen und nicht an der Grammatik zu konzentrieren. Mein Freund ist immer geduldig und hilfreich mit diesen Sachen!

Ich freue mich mit unsere Pläne für die Zukunft, aber bin ich auch ein bisschen traurig meine Sprachschule verlassen. Ich glaube ich muss wieder Deutsch sprechen, üben und lesen während wir in Indien sind. Ich möchte mit meinem Deutsch fließend zu werden!

Hinterhöfe und Hinterhäuser

Posted on August 28, 2014

Old Berlin buildings were constructed to account for the city’s extraordinarily deep blocks. As we walk through Prenzlauer Berg, Mitte or Kreuzberg, we peek through the main building carriage doors into these beautiful courtyards and Hinterhäuse hiding behind.

When these buildings were erected, the front houses were built as spacious apartments for officers, civil servants and ‘higher’ society. These Vorderhäuser open up to beautiful courtyards and then another set of buildings which were workers’ dwellings, garages and shops in the wings and rear houses. And in certain cases, there is yet another courtyard and a third or even fourth set of rear buildings, all completely hidden from the street.

We love walking the cobblestone streets of Berlin, spying through doors to see how deep some of these Höfe go into the block. We’ve spied the most beautiful ivy climbing the sides of Hinterhäuser, visited secluded courtyards filled with wildflowers and stumbled upon quaint restaurants nestled between the third and fourth set of rear buildings. All are little treasures we’ve loved discovering.

Biking in Berlin

Posted on August 25, 2014

This city was made for biking. In addition to riding my bike to class each day, Thomas & I tour all around Berlin to discover each of its different quarters. The city is pretty spread out, so some days we find ourselves on our bikes for hours. Our favorite spots are our neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, Mitte and of course the beloved Tiergarten with its wooded trails, English gardens and scenic lakes. Biking has certainly been a highlight over the course of our 2 1/2 months here!

Field of stelae

Posted on August 24, 2014

Michelle came to visit from London and we took one of our favorite sunny day bike rides through Berlin. We walked around the Field of Stelae, a somber memorial to victims of the Holocaust.

The monument is laid out over 19,000 square meters and includes 2,711 concrete pillars – called stalae – that create a grid-like structure. We walked through the unevenly sloping field and got lost among the gray forest of concrete. It created a slightly disorienting, wave-like feeling as we made our way through the columns, all slightly different in size.