Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween Tutorial

Happy Halloween everyone! To celebrate I want to share a lovely, fun Halloween tutorial for you to create the Pretty Little Studio papers and some old-fashioned elbow grease!


When I was visiting the states a few weeks ago my sister and I found these cute little wooden coffin boxes at Michaels. They measure around 7” long and 3.5” wide and are unfinished pine*.

Supplies Needed:

*note: the coffin in the supplies list is slightly larger than the one used for this project example.


Step 1: Paint the inside and outside of your box with the selected acrylic paint color, I used orange for the first box and black for the second.

Step 2: When the paint is dry, used the box as guide to make a cutting template for your inside pages.

Step 3: Accordion fold your cardstock leaving the first and last page slightly longer than the inside folded papers. The outside pages should be large enough for the template, and the inside folded pages should be slightly smaller so that when you cut around the template you do not completely cut the folds that hold the pages together. See the image below as a guide. Then lay the template over the folded cardstock and cut out the shape.

Step 4: Cut the Pretty Little Studio Scaredy Cat Collection paper to fit each cardstock page. Don’t worry about being precise, ragged edges add to the spooky look. You can also cut a paper to make a lining for the inside of your coffin. Attach your photos, and a Pretty Little Studio Scaredy Cat Collection lemon slice to the bottom of each.


Step 5: Coat the top of the outside of your box with glue and liberally apply glitter, make sure that you allow the glue to dry before shaking off residual glitter!

Step 6: While the glue attaching the glitter is drying on the lid of the box, accordion fold your crepe paper and attach the ends with tape to form a circle shape.

Step 7: Once the glue is dry, and all remaining glitter has been shaken off the outside of the box attach the crepe paper circle and the Pretty Little Studio Vintage Circle Tag to the front with a hot glue gun.


Step 8: Use a white pen, I like the sharpie poster paint pen to journal on the back of the mini-album cardstock paper (optional) and enjoy!


I love using my boxes for decorations around the house, it is so much fun when someone comments and I open the closure to show the little album containing our holiday memories! The little black box is heading to my sister back in the states…but secretly I really want to keep it…


- Katie

Burg Frankenstein

Last weekend I spent the day with 100 guests at the Burg Frankenstein in Darmstadt, Germany. It was so fun to be able to experience a Halloween event in a castle, especially an old, decrepit castle that may have sponsored Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein. The castle has been known as Castle Frankenstein since the 13th century when it was built by the Frankenstein family (which has since died out). During the 1600’s an alchemist by the name of Johann Conrad Dippel was born in Castle Frankenstein which was then being used as a hospital. Dippel was made famous by conducting various experiments and breaking from the church leading to rumors of him making deals with the devil, and other accusations. Some of his beliefs included the thought that a soul could be transferred into another body through the use of a funnel. Dippel’s birth in the castle may have been what linked the idea of a scientist creating new life through experimentation with the name Frankenstein. Whatever inspired the 19 year old Mary Shelley is unknown to me, but I really enjoyed viewing the castle and imagining the possibilities.

If you are planning a visit to the castle during the Halloween season with your family please be advised as some parts are really scary! I tend to be more of a ‘cute’ fan than ‘blood’ fan so while I really enjoyed the visit I cannot say that I would take my children. Enjoy the pics and stay tuned for my Paris re-cap and mini-album!

DSC_0924 copyDSC_1034 copyDSC_0938 copyDSC_0940 copyDSC_0967 copyDSC_1016 copyDSC_0998 copyDSC_1022 copy

- Katie

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Saturday, Love Paris

Mr. C and I are currently roaming the streets of Paris…eating croissants, drinking espresso, and madly in love.

oo la

Image Credit {Pinterest}

While we are gone check out my quilted tutorial project at the Pretty Little Studio blog for paper inspiration.


Can’t wait to share stories from our fabulous day when we arrive home!

- Katie

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Little Introduction…

My name is Katie aka Mrs. C. and I am an American who dreamed of living overseas and found that dreams can come true as I now live in Germany with Mr. C., my little puppy Eggs.


…I spend my nights…

Dreaming of faraway places, recording my memories, having cocktails with friends and creating fabulous DIY projects.

…I spend my days…

Working hard in the corporate cyber world, moonlighting as a volunteer USO tour guide on the weekends, and seeing the world with my best friend Mr. C.

…I believe…

That everyday can become a life adventure if you view it through the right lens.

Thanks for visiting my blog and click the link below to check out the other great blogs in the follower hop!


- Katie

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Elimination 2011

Have you ever had an epiphany…when you realize that the way you are living your life is not the way you want to live? When Mr. C. and I moved to Germany we assumed we did not have much stuff…we were wrong.


Imagine having a group of strangers come in to your house, pack everything up and then give you a weight… a weight that declares to the world just how much crap you own. It went something like this,

“Mrs. C. we have weighed all of your household belongings and you have 9,000 pounds of household goods".”

I was shocked! How had two people and a tiny little dog accumulated so much stuff? Then friends who had moved overseas told me,

“Only 9,000 pounds? That’s barely anything! My household goods weighed over 18,000 pounds”

This made me compare 18,000 pounds to 9,000 pounds and my feeling of embarrassment and shock about the amount of stuff Mr. C. and I owned turned into a feeling of being comfortable, satisfied, self righteousness,

…“I only have 9,000 pounds, I am doing great!”…

until my reality check when they dropped all 9,000 pounds of goods in my German house.


The true horror of all of this stuff did not really hit me until my parents came to visit. We had this big, beautiful house and no where to put anything! Before the dust had settled on their suitcases I had a plan…

Elimination 2011

I have to say after only a week of Elimination 2011 Mr. C. and I are doing great. We now run around the house declaring loudly, “eliminate!” as we add another item for removal to our foyer. This declaration prompts much laughter and encouragement because we each know how hard eliminating really is.


The best part of Elimination 2011? That we are eliminating the things from our life that hold us back, the unorganized pieces of our past that we think hold the keys to our memories, rather than realizing that this 9,000 pounds of stuff is really preventing us from making new memories in our lovely new home. I am not saying it is easy…but it is liberating…and eliminating with your best friend? Simply amazing.

So here is to the future, a future where a moving man looks at me in shock when he loads my items and tells me how much it weighs…a future where I know each and every box that is loaded into the moving van and can say that I  truly need and want every item in those boxes…and I look the moving man (or girl) in the eye and respond proudly, “it’s called elimination buddy!”

Do you have items in your home that are keeping you from living life and experiencing your adventures? Remember this phrase,

“Eliminate 2011 , You Can Do It!”


- Katie

Monday, October 24, 2011

Garmisch-Partenkirchen Part 3

Ok…here it is…the final chapter regarding our happy days in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Splashes of memories containing the Zugspitze, the Partnach Gorge, a kind man named Freddie and an amazing Italian spaghetti. Do you often find yourself on an adventure and when it is over the memories seem to blur and blend until all you remember is the emotions? I think the emotions from this trip will always be with me.

DSC_1358 copyThe Partnach Gorge

I will remember awe at the sight of the mountains and lakes…I will remember compassion for a man who lost so much…I will remember the awkwardness, sadness, joy and laughter while visiting family I thought was lost to me. And I will always remember how thankful I felt to be able to bring my parents to Germany to visit with their family and friends, to bring back their childhood adventures.

DSC_1394 copyThe Partnach Gorge

Have you been on an adventure lately that leaves you with so many emotions even reflecting back on it gives you the chills? Perhaps a happy memory like the birth of a child or a sad one due to the death of a loved one. We often think of adventures in terms of happy exciting things rather than realizing that we have adventures every day, both good and bad. That moments when our emotions cause the breath to catch and the heart to beat faster, the moments that form our everyday adventures of life.

This is what I try to remember…not to scrap and document each and every small moment of memory but to scrap the emotions that make up my life adventures.

Have you been reading all of the Garmisch-Partenkirchen posts? Check them out: Garmisch-Partenkirchen Part 1, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Part 2, A Chilly Family Walk.

- Katie

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Animal Crackers for Max

Poor little Max…he has to chew on his shoe! Doesn’t he have some super cool wool toys? I think Aunt Katie and the Wild Olive etsy store need to come to the rescue!


My little nephew has plenty of toys as all little first born children do (as a middle child myself…trust me on this lol)…but I could not resist this cure little Animal Crackers pattern in the Wild Olive etsy store.

il_570xN.194334624Image Source: Wild Olive Etsy Store

I am working hard to embroider these cute little crackers! Love how these look but are thinking you are not great at embroidery and don’t really want to start a big new adventure without help? Then check out the Wild Olive blog for embroidery tutorial goodness!


Have you made handmade toys for the little ones in your life? I would love to hear if you have and why they are special!

If you reading my Garmisch-Partenkirchen series, Part 3 is still coming so stay tuned!

- Katie

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Chilly Family Walk

Brisk winds, a sweet little dog named Cindy, a rusty turn style and an ice cream stand serving “American” pizza…closed due to the cold. A garden full of bounty and a cellar packed with hard work and smiles…lot’s and lot’s of smiles.

Tall trees, a rocky beach and a monastery in the distance cresting above a hill.  My Aunt in broken in English tells me my Grandparents visited that monastery…I now want to visit. So many memories trapped, stolen and forgotten…we all listen in close concentration while we visit. We know and understand so little of our family that we do not, will not miss a single breath of what she says…because her breath is filled with precious memories.

World War II stole so much from my family. It caused my family to regard their memories not as old friends to be remembered with laughter, warmth and the occasional embarrassment of youth and folly…but as enemies.

What makes a memory an enemy? Is it the nightmares? The remembrance of loved ones lost? The sight of a missing hand or the glance at a photograph of the home you watched burn to the ground. Is it the recollection of the baseness to which humanity can fall or simply the refusal to look your past in the eye and accept what happened?

This generation of my family is slowly leaving, going to a place where I hope these memories will be washed away but sadly this leaves a hole in my heart. So I continue listening to each breath…even when the language barrier is difficult. Each breath gives me a greater understanding of myself, a girl trying to understand where she came from. Each breath describing how my family survived and how the memories never spoken of shaped my life. Each breath intensifying my respect, love and admiration for the women who came before me. These women did not simply “scrap” their memories, they battled them, on a battlefield of the mind we can only imagine.


- Katie

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Garmisch-Partenkirchen Part 2

Have you been reading about our recent vacation to the Germany Alps? Check out Part 1 if you would like to read about our adventures from the start of our trip!

We started the morning with of course the necessary list:

1. Iced Coffee, don’t usually like but the resort coffee was great!

2. Ensuring the camera was ready, with battery charged…

3. Checking the blackberry for work updates


Then after a few quick shopping stops we made it downtown. The night before  it had rained and the alps, which had been green and brown with tree and earth were now covered with snow capped peaks…it was amazing…but also so cold!


While downtown we found this amazing store, Grasegger. They specialize in traditional and quality clothing according to their signs and if you sew…this store is a dream! They have bolts and bolts of fabric, trims, buttons and zippers all in traditional patterns with assistants to help you create the perfect dirndl. Unsure of what a dirndl is? Check out this site: Destination Munich to learn about this traditional form of Bavarian dress. In addition to the fabric Grasegger had beautiful clothing for men, women and children including little baby lederhosen! Don’t you just love the jackets in the picture below? I am trying to get Mr. C. to buy one of these, he would look so handsome in the green.


Mom and I stopped for at a lovely cafĂ© before meeting dad and Mr. C who were drinking in the sites of the Partnach Gorge. I had my first taste of an Aperol Spritz and it was amazing! My best friend has been telling me how great it is for a while, so I don’t know why I waited so long. Would you like to try your own Aperol Spritz? Check out the recipe below, and if you can’t find Aperol visit their web-site for more information.

Aperol Sprtiz, for 1 drink:


  • 3 ounces Prosecco (or any sparkling wine)
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • splash of sparkling water 
  • garnish of orange
  • ice


  • First, pour the Prosecco over the ice and then add the Aperol and splash of sparkling (or soda) water. Go easy on the Aperol! It is slightly bitter and too much almost guarantees you will frown when you take a sip *grin*. Finally float a thick slice of orange on top, while not necessary to the drink it adds a little freshness. Next time I make the drink? It made not be quite the “thing” but I may try a sprig of mint.

Did I mention my parents went with me and Mr. C. on this trip? In fact they kind of inspired this trip for us. My dad, born in Munich used to vacation in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area and we still have family in the area. Visiting the family was hard, and very emotional. They talked and reminisced with us about old family hurts, what we lost during World War II but most importantly shared laughter, acceptance and love. I am very glad that we were able to visit.

I have one more post to conclude are lovely trip, thanks for reading and let me know if you try the Aperol Spritz!

- Katie

Friday, October 14, 2011

Garmisch-Partenkirchen Part 1

As promised by Frankie and I earlier this week, here are the details on our trip!

We left the Stuttgart area and took a beautiful (luckily no traffic) drive down through the alps and into Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The view from the car was of snow capped mountains, alpine cows, castle ruins and even a glimpse of Neuschwanstein. We thought we had booked a beautiful cabin for the week and were surprised upon arrival, it was beautiful but only big enough for a gnome (not a 6’5 man like Mr. C.)! We quickly booked a room in the hotel, and I think the front lobby desk had a good laugh at our almost immediate change of lodging.

DSCN0351Views from the car passenger seat…a wonderful sight!

What a hotel! Referred to as a resort, the Edelwiess Resort and Lodge had everything you could wish for and more. Great stores, outdoor pool-sized hot tub over looking the alps, several restaurants and most important wonderful views of the majestic alps.

DSCN0366Morning sunrise from our hotel room balcony, can you believe this view!.

We were so blessed with lovely weather and were able to visit the Zugspitze. The views were so spectacular. Called the highest point in Germany at 2962 meters you can see for miles. They even had reference points for New York city which made us laugh…somehow I don’t think we were able to see that far!

DSCN0420DSC_1168DSC_1131DSC_1202DSCN0410Can you spy Mr. C. waving in this picture?

We were pretty tired at the end of our Zugspitze visit but still made time for a nap and visit to the Partnach Gorge and downtown Garmisch-Partenkirchen that evening. Stay tuned for the details in part 2 (hey, don’t complain my fingers are exhausted!!).

In other news my Studio Calico field kit arrived today…can’t wait to open it and start playing!


- Katie

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