Sunday, October 25, 2009

Apartment building = Cool? Interesting? This one is!!

Today we made a little trip up to Darmstadt to check out the Waldspirale (wooded spiral) building. It was designed by famous Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, supposedly on the back of a napkin! This very cool building is not a museum or other attraction, it is an apartment building. No two apartments, windows or doorknobs are alike. That's right...doorknobs!

This particular building features all of Hundertwasser's signature elements, most importantly the complete lack of straight lines, living trees as important parts of the building, and brightly colored ceramic tiles and columns appear at random throughout the structure. The Waldspirale is a U shaped building that slopes upwards like a ramp and the entire rooftop is planted with grass, trees and flowers.
His rationale for designing one of his buildings was so that nothing ugly would be built in that space.

I'm so glad that Bill discovered this very cool piece of architectural art so close to where we live.

I wanted to created a scrapbooking template freebie inspired by the Waldspirale, but as these projects usually evolved into something else. Ah is still a pretty cool template even though it does have straight lines and some right angles! Enjoy!

download here

Monday, September 21, 2009

There's a bit of Fall in the Air!

This weekend Colin and I made a trip down to Stuttgart to see the big pumpkin display that they set up at the palace in nearby Ludwigsburg. This year was their 10th year celebration and their theme was fairy tales. They had Gullivers Travels, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella, Puss in Boots, the Bremen Town Musicians and several others that we didnt recognize since they were from German folk tales. Every display was made out of pumpkins and gourds! I dont know where they found some of the varieties of pumpkins that they used, but they sure were creative.

Here are just a few photos from the day....

Since it is pumpkin time that means that the leaves are going to really start changing soon also. I put together a word art freebie to share with everyone so you can go out and take some awesome fall photos and have your title all ready to go! I got it all zipped and uploaded to 4shared now.

click here to download

One more thing that I definately don't want to forget to share. Scrap Shanty is back online! If you like the sound of a cozy little group of scrappers who feel like family and share layouts, ideas and challenges then please join us! Paper, Digi, Hybrid, its all good!!!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A little nice goes a long way. I am at the ole Roche motel blog again! I have been caught up in the wonderful world of Facebook and with the summer and all I just haven't written any blog posts for awhile. OOPS!

Anyway, yesterday I was scrolling down through my facebook reading all about everyone's status and one in particular caught my eye and I had to follow the links and find out more about this. It was about something called Operation Nice. Basically the idea behind it is that if everyone was just a little bit nicer how nice it would be.

I was reminded of a story I once read about an old woman who was all alone in the world and was going to take her own life, but someone sat by her on the bus and smiled and talked with her. It was the first person to talk to her in weeks. The old woman changed her mind about ending her life that day. The person on the bus had no idea what a profound impact her "just being nice" had on this woman's life.

I don't know how true the story is, but the point it makes is true. We have such power to make an impact on those around us and beyond. It's like the ripples you get when you toss a pebble in a pond...the just go and get bigger and bigger and spread farther out.

Some wonderful crafty ladies decided to share some of their kindnesses this weekend by having a Operation Nice Blog Hop. You start at this blog and follow the links to all the others who are participating. Why? Just because they are nice! Who knows, you may find some goodies along the way.

I am not an official part of this blog hop, but I wanted to join in because I think it is so cool that all these people are making a point to be nice. I put together this bit of freebie word art for anyone who wants to to download and hope that you would go check out the Blog Hop, the Operation Nice website and also the site my friend Anam is a part of Scrapbook Calls cuz she is who I heard about all of this from.

click here to download

Thanks Anam, for sharing this with all of us. You make a difference!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What a BEAUTIFUL day!

After so many days of rain and grey it was SO nice to wake up to sunshine and blue skies this morning. Bill has worked all 7 days of the week for awhile so he was very anxious to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. We hopped on the autobahn and headed towards Heilbronn. There is this big hill with a castle ruin on it right next to where two autobahns meet there and almost every time we go past it I say "I've got to go up there and see it sometime." Sometime was today!

The ruin is called "Die Burgruine Weibertreu" and is above the little town of Weinberg. There isn't any parking right up at the top so we had to hike up through the vineyards. I had been wanting to do some walking so it was perfect. The views are amazing, you can see out over the valley and the patchwork of fields and other vineyards. Colin had fun looking for (and trying unsuccessfully to catch) the little wall lizards that were also enjoying the sunshine. The ruin isn't extensive but there are several towers and many trees and benches and flowers are here and there making it a wonderful place to enjoy the day. One thing that was especially welcome was the kiosk selling cold drinks and ice cream!

I also put together another digital freebie. It is so cool seeing that people are downloading them! Don't be shy....send me an email if you use it, I'd love to see how it turns out.

download link

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Jeffrey's big weekend

Friday Jeffrey officially became the JROTC Battalion Commander at Boys Town. He will hold this position from now until he graduates next year. What an honor!!
He truly has excelled this year and risen to every challenge headed his way. Along with his work with JROTC he has been rocking the academic area and was inducted into National Honor Society last month.
Jeffrey was very excited to share this weekend with my mom and dad. They had already planned to spend this weekend in Nebraska but came a day early to be his special guests as he became the Commander. Dad said they had seats up front right behind the Generals. I wonder if they got hit by any flying buttons? LOL

I am so tickled to see that people are actually downloading my digital template freebies that I had to put up another one. Let me know what you think!

download link

Saturday, May 02, 2009

How's about another template?

I had so much fun putting together that template for yesterday that I decided to knock out another one. Lets make it National Scrapbooking WEEKEND! :)

Welcome to anyone who is dropping in from the Digital Freebie website.

download link

Friday, May 01, 2009

It's National Scrapbooking Day!!!

I may even get to do some scrapbooking! Usually our weekends are reserved for 'get out of the house and see Germany' but Bill is working all weekend and it might rain so I might get to play.

Come join us at Scrapbook Shanty if you wanna get some ideas and play some games on NSD. I even tried my hand at making a digi template. first freebie! :)

download link

Friday, February 27, 2009

Monday, January 05, 2009

Winter Wonderland!

finally we got some snow!!!

I have been waiting and waiting and hoping for snow and now finally on the first day back to school for the kids it snows! Colin came home from school excited and hoping that it continues to snow all night so he can get a snow day tomorrow. I don't think he will get his wish, it seems to have stopped. It is still pretty cold though, so I hope the snow we did get sticks around for awhile. It is beautiful!!!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Looking back on 2008

This is just a VERY condensed version of how we spent our time this past year. Some months we had so much going on that it was difficult to choose just one photo to sum it up, but I did my best.

January it was very cold and we must have spend most of our days holed up in the house trying to stay warm because there were very few things on our hard drive that we took pictures of that month. One day we did manage to take all 3 of our cameras to a big park in Mannheim to try some 'shooting off automatic' photos.

During February Bill and Colin went to Italy on two different weekends! What Jetsetters eh? It was only possible because of several long weekends and our favorite LOW fare airline RyanAir. I was busy visiting mom and dad and everyone else in Arkansas during that time.

The reason I was in the States was mostly to see Jeffrey during his week of Spring break. Mom and I went up to Omaha and saw him compete in his JROTC drill meet, then took him down to Arkansas with us for his holiday. I had hoped to see some of my high school buds but some nasty weather ruined that plan.

I got home in Germany just in time to see Colin perform in Godspell! It was very cool seeing him up on stage singing and dancing and doing such a great job at it. He has really become a theatre guy...he was in every play his school did this year, earning him a letter in drama.

Things finally warmed up in May and we all came out to watch Colin and his friends take over the paintball range. They played all morning and had a great time pelting each other with pink and yellow splats. Even a few of the parents got out there...not Bill or I though, we had to keep our cameras clean!

As soon as Jeffrey's school year ended in June he got on an airplane and came to see us for a bit. We spent most of that time in Berlin, making the most of every minute we had there seeing museums, monuments, churches and the zoo. None of us were ready for it to be time to go home.

We celebrated the 4th of July on the base where they had a huge event that lasted all day. Colin took part in the American Legion flag ceremony wearing his scout uniform. He also correctly answered a trivia question and won a free trip to EuroDisney! Poor Bill had to endure a 10 minute sentence in the MP 'jail' they had set up there due to a warrant that Colin put out for his 'arrest'. haha! The fireworks were awesome as usual, but we did miss being able to shoot off some of our own.

August is our month of parties! We have 3 birthdays and Bill and I have our wedding anniversary. We have been married TWENTY YEARS!! Bill had to go to a school in Washington DC for 3 months and wasn't home on the 27th, but he had it covered! I was surprised to have a GIGANTIC flower arrangement delivered here at our house. It was so pretty and he was so sweet to figure out how to get them here from over there.

September it was just me and Colin in Germany still. One weekend we spent at a big benefit for cancer survivors and cancer research that they had on base. One of Colin's Doctors is battling cancer and the whole office donated their laps (of walking around the track) to him. They had people on the track for 24 hours! I got some photos of some of the participants and walked some and so did Colin, then I made a photo display for everyone to sign and give to Colin's Dr.

October has Colin's favorite holiday in it. Even though he is too big to trick Or treat he still likes to dress up and get out and scare people. He spends a lot of time figuring out what he wants to be and how he wants to make it happen. This year he wanted to be a scarecrow and have it be as realistic as possible so he could sit and look like a decoration then pop up and surprise kids who don't know he is real. It was right up to the wire getting his costume finished up...but everyone agreed he had to best one at the Youth Center where he went for the party.

November wasn't the best of months for me. A few days before Thanksgiving I stepped off the porch wrong and sprained my ankle badly ending up on crutches for a few weeks and am still not walking around perfect yet! On Thanksgiving day Bill told me I was to stay on the couch with my ankle elevated and he would handle it all. He did GREAT! Turkey dinner with all the fixin's AND all the cleanup all by himself!! How many husbands do you know who could pull that one off??

And that brings us to December. We all look forward to that, not only because of the obvious Christmas and the goodies and all but because Jeffrey gets to come visit during the holidays. Since he hasn't been able to do much Europe travel since he moved to Nebraska we wanted to go someplace other than just our house during Christmas vacation. RyanAir helped us along once again....we spent the week at Camp Darby in Pisa Italy! We had all been there before so we took daytrips elsewhere in Tuscany and on Christmas night we had dinner right around the corner from the famous leaning tower. Now thats a Christmas to remember!

(if you want to see the pictures bigger just click on the image)