Day Trip: Prague

Taking a day trip in a major city like Prague was not an easy feat to accomplish, but we did it. And I’m so glad we did! We loved Prague! There was so much to see it was impossible to fit it all in, but we saw as much of the city as we could in the time that we had.

Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, is about a 6 hour drive from where we live in Germany. So for this trip to be a “day trip” we took a bus that left at 2 am Saturday morning, and returned at 4 am Sunday morning, basically book-ending our trip with two very uncomfortable nights of sleeping on a bus. The base coordinates trips like this all the time, and this is the 2nd we have done, and probably the last for a while! It’s great that the base offers trips like these; they bus you down to the destination, drop you off in the center of the city, and then you get back on the bus at the end of the day to go home. The time spent in the city is all yours, no planned tours, you have the freedom to see what you want. I’m all for taking advantage of this type of trip when a good deals comes around, but going for a full 24 hours really does take it out of you!

To start off our day in Prague, C had found this attraction called Mind Maze. The concept of it sounds kind of strange, and I’ll admit we were a little skeptical, but it ended up being one of the funnest things we did all day in my opinion. The idea of it is, your group is locked in one of two themed rooms (our room was the Alchemy room, based on the search for the “philosopher’s stone”) and you have one hour to use the things in the room to find your way out. Our group of seven found the “key” to getting the door unlock in 23 minutes, which was a new record!

After we finished the mind maze, we started to make our way around the city to see the major sights. Here are some photos from our day.

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Wenceslas Square

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Astronomical Clock

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Tyn Church

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Charles Bridge

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Vltava River

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Charles Bridge

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View from Prague Castle

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Prague Castle

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St. Vitus Cathedral located within the Prague Castle

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Strahov Monastery

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Petrin Lookout Tower (often called a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower)

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After walking over 13 miles (according to Fitbit) on cobble stones, my feet were extremely tired, but we saw some great sights and hope to go back to spend some more time in the city of Prague.

This past week my sister and brother-in-law visited and we took some wonderful day trips that will be posted soon!

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Day Trip: Luxembourg (round 2)

This month we had two very full Saturday day trips. The most recent of those day trips was this past Saturday in Prague! But as I am a bit OCD, I have to go in chronological order, so I must first address the previous weekend, when we made our second trip to Luxembourg.

Soon after we moved to Germany, C’s cousin took us to Luxembourg. (If you missed that post you can find it here.) We really enjoyed our first trip, and so I was excited to go again. And this time, we visited all new places.

Our first stop was the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch. This museum was incredible! The main focus of the museum is the Battle of the Bulge. There were several displays to recreate the conditions during the battle, endless amounts of found objects from the war, a weaponry room, a large space displaying military vehicles, and a good portion of the museum was dedicated solely to the Luxembourg military and their history through the Battle of the Bulge and other wars.

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After a morning spent at the museum, we drove down toward Luxembourg City to visit the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial. While the visit here was very somber, it was good to see this resting place of the fallen soldiers who died with honor aiding and protecting. This is also where General Patton is laid to rest.

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Just down the road from the American National Cemetery is the Sandweiler German War Cemetery. Again, another very somber place to visit on such a beautiful day, but it was interesting to see the two cemeteries back to back.

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After the cemetery visit, we made our way into Luxembourg City for the rest of the day. We found a place to eat a very late and overdue lunch and then walked around the town, visiting a few shops here and there. Then after grabbing some gelato, it was time to head home. The museum and cemeteries were very interesting and I am glad to have visited them. If you ever find yourself in Luxembourg I recommend checking these places out.

Coming soon, our day trip in Prague!

Why Not 100 Percent?

That is a question that I had to ask myself over and over again leading up to October.

To recap, earlier this month Weaving & Weather started a small campaign to help raise awareness and funds for breast cancer. My inspiration for this campaign is my beautiful, caring, strong, faith-driven, 7-year-breast-cancer-surviving (or in all actuality you could say thriving, because seriously, she gave it 110% the whole way through her treatments, and she’s now more fabulous than ever) mom.

If you missed the initial post that launched my Pink Collection (I think I’ve been watching too much Project Runway), you can find it here.

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Back over a year ago when I was still in the process of getting my Etsy shop set up, I knew that I wanted to do something special for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and making a collection of pink scarves to sell and give back the money to a breast cancer charity just felt like the right way to go. So during September while I was making the scarves and really thinking about how I could help, I struggled with how much money I could donate. I really wanted to give 100% of the sales from the scarves to charity, but being such a young business with lots of little over head costs here and there… I just didn’t think my little business could do it. Therefore, I decided that the very most that Weaving & Weather could afford to donate, was 75% of the sales. Which in all honesty, I am still struggling with that as I type these words because it’s been very hard to justify not giving 100%. But I have used my own money along with help from my family to start up this business, and unfortunately my sales didn’t skyrocket at soon as I opened the cyber doors to my company. And registering Weaving & Weather in Germany has had it’s added fees as well.

All this to say, I just wanted you to know that the 15% that I am not donating from each scarf to the Oklahoma Panhandle Chapter of Pink Heals for Breast Cancer Awareness month, is to assist in covering the costs of my materials, packaging, and shipping. I am not making a profit on the Pink Collection of scarves, but in order to come out even, I had to make a business decision.

I hope this doesn’t scare anyone away, or make anything think less of me or my business, but I just needed to be transparent with my customers.

There are still 3 of the 4 Pink scarves available for purchase at weavingandweather.etsy.com. If you would like to help me in supporting Pink Heals for Breast Cancer Awareness, please jump on over to my Etsy shop and take a look! Hopefully in the future, I will be established enough to be able to give that full 100 percent!

Breast Cancer Awareness: In Honor of my Hero

As many may know, October has become known as Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are so many great fund raisers and organizations out there for research, education, and financial assistance, and as the disease has made its way into my family, I wanted Weaving & Weather to take part in the national movement to raise awareness.

My mom is a 7 year breast cancer survivor. My mom is my hero.

In 2007, my mom discovered a lump in her breast and out of precaution, saw her doctor who performed a lumpectomy to remove it. She didn’t want to make it a big deal, and neither did I, because I knew that there was no way my mom could be susceptible to cancer.  After the quick surgery and recovery, she and my dad went in to the doctor for the biopsy results. I remember thinking that it should be a very quick appointment and that they would be home soon. Several hours later they finally came home, with the unsettling news that there was malignant tissue in the tumors that were removed.

On March 13, 2007, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 3B breast cancer. At that stage, she had 4 spots of cancer in her breast, and the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes under her arm.

She started Chemotherapy treatments in April of 2007 and continued the treatments through August of the same year. Once she finished Chemo, her doctor performed a second lumpectomy, to remove any remaining tissue that had been cancerous. She then went on to Radiation treatment 5 days a week, totaling 40 treatments. Monday through Friday, a friend or family member would drive her 2 hours each way for Radiation; once she was back home everyday, she would go to work and resume her day as usual. She was, always has been, and always will be a fighter.

Her last Radiation treatment was right before Thanksgiving in 2007. After that, she continued to take medication for 5 years, and has slowly come down from a doctor’s appointment everything 3 months to now, only once a year.

My beautiful mom and big sister, shortly after my mom finished Radiation treatments.

My mom is a fighter and a survivor. She is the strongest and most faith-driven woman I know, and I feel very fortunate to be her daughter. 2007 was a rough year; it was extremely difficult to watch my mom go through treatments, knowing that everything was out of our hands. But I knew, and my family, our friends, and community knew also, that God had a plan and would take care of my mom. And He did. With a lot of love, prayer, and support, my mom led our family through her fight with breast cancer, and we are so much closer because of it.

She was too young, too busy, too loving and caring, and too full of faith and hope to have something like that happen to her. But cancer does not discriminate. The disease can happen to anyone; and as it has happened to my mom, my sisters and I know that we have to be very proactive and attentive in our own lives concerning our health in this matter. And no matter what your own family’s health history consists of, I encourage you to be proactive in your lives as well.

In light of the impact that breast cancer has had on my mom’s life and my own, I have woven a collection of 4 pink scarves to sell during the month on October. 75% of the sales from each of the 4 pink scarves will be donated in my mom’s name to our hometown’s local chapter of Pink Heals.

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Pink Heals is a national organization that is divided up into local chapters that operate on their own in their community. 100% of the donations they receive go toward helping someone in their local community who is going through cancer or another debilitating disease. The Oklahoma Panhandle Chapter, helps by providing gas cards to those who need to travel to and from treatments and assisting with bill paying for those who need help financially. In addition to the funds they provide to individuals, they have two pink fire trucks that they take to non-profit events to raise awareness for breast cancer, as well as doing home visits to raise morale. If you want to know more about the this charity you can find the Oklahoma Panhandle Chapter Facebook page here. Or if you are interested in looking at the national site to find out if your local community has a Pink Heals chapter you can find that information here.

August Goals: Revisited

Since September is now upon us, I thought I would take this Labor Day holiday to revisit my goals from August to see how I did.

Weaving & Weather Goals

Work 5 (relatively) full days during the week.  I might have accomplished this one in a round about sort of way, but I did indeed work at least 5 days a week. Most weeks, I did not go 1 day without doing a little work here and there. For instance, maybe instead of 5 full days, I worked 4 full days and 3 half days. Overall, I am happy with the amount of time I spent working this month. 

Finish and list 10 scarves by the end of August. I did finish and list 10 scarves in August, however, 2 of those scarves were custom orders and were not open for public purchasing. 

Start developing new product ideas for the shop (this may prove to be a long work in progress, but stay tuned). This goal went a little untouched this month, I am sorry to say. But I plan to work on it more in September.

Write 2 blog posts about the weaving process or finished products. I did write two blog post that focused on aspects of my business. If you missed them, you can find them here and here

Over all, I am very happy with the business goals that I accomplished this past month! And to top it all off, I sold 6 scarves this month! 

Now on to the personal goals.

Personal Goals

Run/exercise 5 days a week. It is often hard for me to stay motivated to workout during the week. Especially since it has been rainy with cooler temperatures here in Germany for the past few weeks. I would rather just stay in bed in the morning, than get up and get moving. I am happy to say, that I can cross this on off though! Most weeks, I actually exercised 6 days (one week, I slacked and only exercised 4 days, but I am saying that the extra days on the other weeks make up for that).

Study German Language for 1 hour each day (In addition to class time – I start German II in a couple of weeks!). I unfortunately didn’t do very well on this one. I studied almost everyday for 1 week. Then I started my German II class which meets 4 days a week and after having a good amount of it in the classroom, I didn’t look at my book too much outside of class. I need to work harder on this one in September if I really want to learn the language – which I do! 

Finish current book series (I’m on book 6 of 7 – I think – of the Outlander Series). I also did not complete this goal. I did however finish the book that I was on, and started the final book of the series. (Which I was wrong about in my earlier post, there are 8 books, and I was on 7 of 8.)

Try a new recipe at least once a week. And I did try a new recipe at least once a week, if not more. My intention was going to be to write posts about my experiences with the new recipes, but that is something that I didn’t get around to doing. (And I can never remember to take pictures of my food… And it never looks as pretty as food bloggers make it look anyways, so I really should just leave it to them!)

 

So that’s it for my August goals evaluation. I may or may not work out some September goals to share. Or I might just work on my unreached goals from August. Either way, thanks for allowing me to share my goals with you to try to keep myself motivated and in check!

 

Custom Orders

I recently took a custom order that, with the permission of my customer, I would like to share. My customer had specific ideas in mind. They wanted a solid purple scarf and a scarf that combined blue, black, and ivory, in an interesting stripe pattern. So we worked together, messaging back and forth to design the two following scarves.

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I am currently taking orders if you would like a scarf that has specific colors or patterns for yourself or someone special. Christmas really is just around the corner and it is never too early to start preparing gifts!

Feel free to contact me at my email: weavingandweather@gmail.com.

Or in a private message through: weavingandweather.Etsy.com or Facebook.com/weavingandweather.

Weaving in Pairs

This blog serves as my personal blog, but being as I took the name of it, and made it into an Etsy shop, I would like to do a better job of actually posting about Weaving & Weather. That being said, I would like to elaborate for you on little bits and pieces of how and why I do what I do. So if you are at all interested in the processes that I go through to make a scarf, stick around for some posts about my methods, tips, and tricks on weaving.

I don’t know if you have ever really thought about it, or noticed, but I often list two scarves at once. And the reason for this is, that I put enough fiber on my loom to create multiple scarves. About half the time, I try to plan out my scarves so that they can come from the same warp (the warp being the fiber – or yarn – that I dress the loom with; that is the yarn that runs the length of my scarf). The reason I do this, is to save time and supplies.

To make one scarf, I have to factor in about 36 inches of loom waste. So that is 36 inches of 240 strands of yarn that sadly and unfortunately has to go in the trash, because in all honesty there is not much else I can do with it. But if I put enough fiber on my loom to make two or more scarves at a time, then I still only just waste 36 inches. The waste does not double in such a case and therefore, I am saving supplies by doing more than one scarf at a time. And also, I only have to dress the loom once for however many scarves I am making. To prepare my yarn and dress the loom generally takes about 1/3 of my total weaving time, so if I only have to do it once for two scarves, I can use that extra time to weave more!

Now obviously, I don’t always weave my scarves in pairs, but if I can come up with two unique and individual scarves from the same warp, I am all about saving time and resources and delivering the products to you more efficiently!

So you might wonder how it is that I can have two scarves on my loom at once. Well, I have to really keep track of my weaving progress, marking every foot that is woven, until I reach the end of one scarf. Once I am at the end, and have woven my desired length, I then weave a decent amount with a packing material.

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For my packing material, I use a combination of strips of fabric scraps and (I know this will probably sounds weird, but this is how I was taught, and I am a firm believer in this choice of packing material) toilet paper – to clarify, clean, brand-spankin’ new, never touched the bathroom toilet paper. I have found that a combination of the two works the best for me to keep the warp tight like it needs to be for the weaving process. I would use all toilet paper, because I think it works the best, but you can only reuse it so many times before it starts to ripe apart, so the fabric is a studier packing material and I can use and reuse it as many times as I need to so as to not waste the paper.

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And the best part about this is, the part that is woven with the packing material, does not go to waste! It becomes the fringe for the two scarves that it is in between. Great right! I love that little trick.

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So, as you can see in this last photo. The first scarf I completed, is wrapped around the take up wheel, then comes the packing, and now I am ready to weave my second scarf! I love how putting double the amount of yarn on my loom can increase my productivity. And I give you my honest word, that in doing this, absolutely no quality is lost. I still spend the required time, effort, and concentration needed on my scarves because I take a great amount of pride in the work that I produce and would not use a technique that would decrease the quality.

So I hope that you enjoyed this little glimpse into the production of a handwoven bamboo scarf. Stay turned for more to come!