- zen tea pot & silk sipping cup, P&T

As you might have noticed I am a few days late with my new year's post but since my focus lies on s-l-o-w I've decided, first week of the new year is still fine.  So I am sitting, completely un-rushed in my cosy new flat, sipping a very indulgent cup of deep asana and pondering about the irresistible hope we put into a new year. We look back on our accomplishments and mistakes we made and plan what to do differently. But really it's these little slips and imperfections that make us who we are -- like the cracks that appear inside my tea cup after each pour and that lend it its distinct beauty.  Not every crack needs fixing and not every plan will work out...  Strangely, I get a definite feeling of contentment coming from that thought.  Because sometimes it's nice to just be and concentrate on the present.  So here is to all of you: Happy new NOW!


Entschleunigen (verb || to decelerate; to slow down) is my new favourite German word. It should definitely be included in the list of the 7 German Words We Should Be Using in English.  It sounds so lush and effects me in the most wonderful & calming way - just by saying it out aloud ;)
Applying it to any everyday situation that I find stressful including the hunt down for individual AND conscious gifts for all my family, it sparked the perfect solution - to get all my Christmas shopping done in one magical shop.

Entering Paper and Tea one grey Sunday afternoon before Christmas, we cheered up immediately when invited to take our coats off and greeted with a taster of a delicious blend of black tea, orange and vanilla as well as a piece of cake!  Straight after we were taken on a tour around the shop picking up essential background on the individual benefits and scrumptious smells of the various handpicked and all organic teas and blends sitting in the countless drawers and on display.
With the help of the super-friendly P&T expert we put together a customised selection of some fabulous treats for everyone including: Gent's Choice for sophistcated dandys dads, Wild Child for rebellious little sisters (or brothers), Yogi's Delight for conscious Mums & a Vodka Infused Tea Kit for unconventional step mums (lol).

I only found out about this shop very recently so I was thrilled to discover a completely stress-free shopping experience and fab Christmas presents that can be enjoyed & finished up without surrounding ourselves with more unnecessary clutter!  You can find Paper and Tea twice in Berlin:

- Bleibtreustr. 4, Berlin-Charlottenburg, 10623.
-Alte Schönhauser Straße 50, Berlin-Mitte, 10119.

or online.


This year I've been plotting to give preluved jewellery gifts to all my friends which gave me the perfect excuse to indulge in my favourite past time - browsing Berlin's vintage markets, this time for some gold old sparkles.  Not only do they make fabulous Christmas treats for a bargain but I absolutely LOVE vintage shopping since it offers a great alternative to conventional gift shopping - saving the planet one reclaimed necklace at a time ;)

I managed to pick up a nice selection of different silver chains which I want to make into pendant necklaces using some decorative paperclips that I've found at Linie Clara Kaesdorf on my last stroll through Mitte.  To add a touch of class I decided to present them inside some re-usable upcycled jewellery bags which I made from old linen sheets I had lying around.

If you are looking to do something similar & fancy a little DIY this weekend you can start getting creative with this easy gift bag tutorial using old table cloths or other decorative materials you can find. In these crazy times of over-consumption it's so precious to experience the joy of giving handmade gifts to your loved ones!!


- Tranquiliity Bath Oil, Neom
- Moon Rivas Collage Artwork by Meric CantanLoved & Found

Re-charging my senses instead of feeling overwhelmed by it all is my newly applied motto to stay focused and feel energized throughout a long and hectic winter. So my new routine includes:

HEARING: 10 minute meditation breaks - for positive projection & protection helping me to hear my inner voice and find #peace from within (also helps to battle urges of road rage during Berlin rush hour).

TOUCHING & TASTING: taking time to bake once a week - to try out some delicious and comforting flavours & textures as well as spending quality time with the minis.

SEEING: taking a morning run through the park every so often - to enjoy the changing shades of nature and maintain a sense of groundedness.

SMELLING: and lastly the thing I look forward to the most (let's be honest): a warm silky bath to relax tense muscles and fill my senses with wonderfully fragrant peace and quiet for a perfect night's sleep.

The most essential ingredient for the latter is this great little bottle containing nothing but bliss and goodness. The neom organics tranquillity bath & shower oil contains a very high percentage of pure essential oils, which not only smell wonderful but also have true therapeutic benefits for body and mind!
Since smell is the only sense in the series of five with a direct link to our emotional control centre, essential oils have been found extremely effective to help us release blocked emotions such as anxiety, anger or fear and continuously balance them.

I find it fascinating how we can influence our wellbeing and prepare ourselves for the challenges of modern life by fine-tuning our sensory system. So I was intrigued when I came across a feature in this month's Loved & Found magazine introducing Moon Rivas - a Catalan contemporary choreographer who experiments with technology as a tool to alter human sense in order to enhance the perception of the world that surrounds us.  

As a dancer Moon's performance is dedicated to movement and cued by a seismic sensor which is part of her elbow. In Waiting for Earthquakes she translates vibrations, transmitted whenever the earth starts shaking anywhere in the world, into dance reflecting the intensity of the universal motion of the earth moving.  
To many of us (including myself) the idea of having technology stitched to our body might seem unnatural and from a parallel world but with this multi-sensory experiment the artist sparks the vision of a far more conscious interaction with our planet than your typical smart phone zombie, constantly checking in on Facebook and quickly growing detached from anything natural.

Demonstrating a new take on being rooted in nature, this triggers some very profound questions such as - if we now have the possibility to connect to the planet's heart beat and to amplify our senses to re-discover our world, would that automatically result in us taking better care of it and of our own wellbeing??


It's time to slow doooown, so this post is out of my new office for the day - our bed. Since moving flats, preparing our new collection and rushing the little men to school and back our lives have adopted a spiralling pace.  After a month of running on adrenaline and coffee I felt the craving to experience the suspension of time and decided to take a step back to the middle.

It is easy to enjoy precious moments once you consciously allow time for them - like catching the first light of the autumn sun on a morning run in the park or watching my little (nine year old!) man helping me prepare dinner, eagerly picking up all the steps and then stirring away with a smile on his face. These are the moments when life reveals a little of its secrets... 

Feeling content by enjoying simple things is something my grandma was an expert in. Thank God she was here long enough to pass on some of her wisdom and skill to me! Fixing things was the thing back in her time and since I can never bring myself to toss precious things I've decided to follow her example by repairing some of my favourite cushions. 

Their covers started to wear thin from washing and loads of little holes and frays appeared which I really liked the look of. To make a feature out of them I lined the area with an old white tea towel from underneath (with sewing machine) and sandwiched a matt gold all over sequin patch in between the cover and the lining.  I used a simple running stitch to apply other left over fabric swatches I had, to cover some of the holes from the top. Finally I framed them by using the same embroidery technique which is very similar to the Japanese art of Sashiko stitching. 

Making these covers took some time but I so enjoyed doing the embroidery, letting go of my routine and worries to soothe my busy mind and regain a sense of sanity among my daily chaos as well as some beautiful new pieces to decorate our bed with - once I'm out :))


- Cushions, Von ERIKA 
- Graphics, Loved & Found

The recent editorial of Loved & Found magazine which was inside my delicious goodie bag from last Friday's Press Speed Dating event at LNFA, quoted the theory of positive uncertainty by American philosopher H.B. Gelatt and explored its incredible relevance in rapidly moving times like ours where changing our minds will be the most important change in the future, and the hardest.

I'm the worst when it comes to making decisions so the approach to think uncertainty is necessary to come to a balanced conclusion about your future is very comforting! It takes off all the pressure and provides the flexibility to adapt to changes about your decisions as the results develop.  So instead of worrying about the outcome it gives you room to focus on your future plans and to follow your vision!

Doing exactly that is newcomer homewear label von ERIKA, the joint venture of artist Tanja Deschner & photographer Christina Eckert who share a fondness for nature and the affinity to capture the beauty and calmness of local forests & wildlife in either pencil or through the lens.
The fusion of their styles is like a breath of green air for your home with cushions and other home fashion items featuring stunning oversized live drawings of wild animals & digital prints of their natural habitats.  When I met Tanja at the LNFA event she was excited to tell me that she studied animals since she was a teenager and can draw them from memory! The label's attention to detail carries through everything they do including the use of GOTS certified materials and organic print colours.
Von ERIKA's pieces are created to comfort and to last and are pieces of art in themselves. I am most certain that is a future plan worth embracing!


- Fisherman Knit Jumper, Antiform 
- Mini Wool Skirt, ROHstoff
- Gold Bangles, Vintage
- background 'Neues im Oktober, Paul Klee
photo Renata, edit Annett

October represents the month when leaves are falling and temperatures are dropping.  It used to be that my mood dropped right with it and I felt drained of energy and enthusiasm... My outlook on the chillier months completely changed when I came across a painting with a beautiful meaning by modernist painter & Bauhaus teacher Paul Klee called ‘Neues im Oktober’(Fresh Beginnings in October)

Its message is very motivating: Old things starting to fall off to make way for a new beginning. Turning falling leaves into a symbol of hope and new perspective puts a super positive spin on the coming months!!  So let’s embrace the colder season and pack away floaty dresses & flip flops to shine some warm light on crisp tailoring and chunky knits!

For Autumn I like to pick transitional pieces that work well across the season like tailored skirts and shirts. They can be worn as layers even when it gets really cold.  I mix them with wooly knits like this gorgeous hand-knitted jumper from the new Antiform collection made with reclaimed yarns.
Antiform is a unique fashion label with a completely new business model that pushes the boundaries of how to design and produce fashion, working exclusively with waste fabrics sourced from heritage fabric mills & factories in the UK!  

For their new fisherman knit jumpers & dresses, Antiform collaborated with Krenow Knitwear who knit sweaters for the fishing community in Devon and Cornwall. When the owner David decided to retire he approached the Upcycle Label to develop knitwear with all his remaining yarns.
The Antiform knitwear pieces come in different shades but I love this tan colour with a hint of soft tangerine as it adds a new shade to the usual black and grey.  Made me want to get out my vintage bangles and feel all golden & glorious!


- boxy jumper, Antiform
- necklace,  vintage
image, Renata, edit Annett

This week has been very exciting.  Not only did I move house but we also moved into a new studio!!
Atelier Kreuzberg is an eclectic mix of artists, designers & software innovators for the creative industries.  With so many productive juices flowing this makes for a great start of my new venture which will soon be revealed right here!
To top it all off I've received a parcel from upcycle label Antiform with two gorgeous jumpers - just in time for the cold season and for my first autumn style post!!  Watch this space :-)


I have been tied up with some extremely exciting projects in the last couple of weeks as you might have guessed from my lack of blogging ;)

At the beginning of the month I went to the MUNICH FABRIC START fair.  It was great to see a massive development in the field of sustainable textiles. My favourite discovery were some super soft denim qualities made from Tencel. I would definitely love a pair of jeans made from that!! You can read all about it and more in my report on the brand new sourcebook blog

For the rest of the fashion week month of September I have been preparing an upcycling caps collection which will be showcased on HUMANA day this Thursday here in Berlin.  Using pre-used bed linen, table cloths & upcycled clothes from the Humana vintage store I put together some simple blouses & geometric tops featuring scattered silk left overs and bits of lace.

Also included in the new collection is a deconstructed sweat shirt. In the process of making the pattern I found a great way to revive pre-used jogging pants as their trouser legs make excellent sleeves. For the front panel I jigsawed different pieces of lurex silk mixing silver and copper, hmm!!
So here comes a sneak peak of the new ROHstoff cropped sweat top. The sweater will also be showcased in Thursday's installation and can be pre-ordered from now. Just drop me a line via email or in the comment box together with your email address.

HUMANA People Day: 24th September 2015, from 2pm, Frankfurter Tor 3 | Berlin 10243. 


- Jungle Fever print swimsuit, We Are Handsome
- up-cycled mesh maxi skirt
- Jungle Fever print artwork, We Are Handsome
- silver espadrilles, TOMS

Following the tropical temperatures we had in Berlin the past few weeks all I wanted to do was to cool off. We decided to try some of the nearby lakes (Groß Glienicker See & Schlachtensee) and were pleasantly surprised.  The water was amazingly clear and the kiddos absolutely loved exploring the 'wild jungle' forests ;) 

Since I like to carry as little as possible I decided to quickly upcycle myself a new maxi skirt to go with my jungle-fever swimsuit. The lush silver lurex mesh was an obvious choice of fabric since I love all things sparkly. I decided to contrast it with a waistband made from sporty cycling jersey which I had left over from the bomber jacket. The skirt has become a new favourite and creates an array of possible outfit mix-ups such as printed beach top combos for various occasions - everything from a lakeside or forest-midnight outing to just hanging with friends on a warm Summer evening.

Making the mesh maxi skirt requires a little time, some transparent sparkly mesh (or any jersey you have hanging around the house, maybe an old tube dress, etc.), some more jersey for the waistband, some elastic and a sewing machine.

I don’t even remember where I got this fabric from since people donate their preluved things to me all the time ;) 
It’s been in my to-upcycle pile for quite some time and already came as a long tube. Since the fabric is very transparent I folded excess fabric to the inside of the tube to create an under-layer and then added an elasticated waistband to the fold-over edge at the top.

1|| To prepare the skirt body you can also use a large jersey rectangle, fold in half & join at side seam.

2|| Prepare your elasticated waistband as per instructions, seal elastic at ends with overlocker and close waistband by stitching opposite ends together.

3|| Attach waistband to skirt by threading top of skirt through closed waistband - so the skirt lays inside the waistband - and stitch into place.


As promised I will show you how to make your own denim pencil from an old pair of jeans to complete your summer wardrobe. You will need a pair of old jeans, a sewing machine, tape measure, chalk, thread & pins and a craft knife for distressing - I chose a pair of stretchy denims since it gives a little more around the hip area but non-stretch jeans will be fine too.

1|| find a suitable pair of jeans (my sample is a size 8)
2|| on my sample I measured ca.27cm from top of waistband at side seam to determine cut off line
3|| mark with chalk and repeat on opposite side seam (includes 1cm seam allowance)
4|| cut off denim legs in straight (this is important) line and prepare bottom half
5|| prepare top half of skirt
6|| join top & bottom halves of skirt by pinning in place first before you sew them together
7|| add distress by scratching & slicing denim in desired places, finish off with a wash and fray extra if you wish!

Please let me know how you get on & show me a snapshot of your version on instagram :))