Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow your Blog 2015

Thank You Vicki at 2 Bags Full for holding the 2015 edition of Grow Your Blog. I had so much fun last year participating I thought I would participate again this year. 

Hi, My name is Jean and Ich bin ein Berliner! 
I have always wanted to say that and now I can! Welcome to my new location in the world. We moved here in early January. Last year for this event I was living in France. France is taking a break right now from us so that we can participate in some other opportunities.

First stop opportunity: Berlin! 
There are some trade-offs to moving to Germany. I worked in France but here, I am a "lady of leisure". That takes some getting used to. One would think it would mean more time to sew, but that has not yet been true. It takes a bit of effort to move, unpack and get your bearings in a new city and never mind a new country and language.  So many changes...
This was the view from my old apartment. 
Such a great people watching spot. Some times loud, but always a fun place to live. Our place was so much fun location wise that we had friends hold an art exhibit in it last year.
You can read about it here if you would like. How cool is that?

Here is the view from my new apartment. Not as big, no sunny windows, but it has location. location, location. I could throw a stone at the old wall! I am so glad it is not operational anymore I would be living in East Berlin.
You will note, not quite the same view but so far all is good. I am told we should have snow.

Living in France and now Germany has made me a serious collector of sorts. I am addicted to moldy smelling old lace, vintage fabric, threads and buttons of all sorts. Latest case in point:
That is my latest haul from a second hand store in Brittany France bought in late December that I will soon blog about.

Now collecting is all well and good, but I get bored just petting my collection. I want to use it, and use it I do. I am working on a bag right now from an vintage church alter piece I picked up last year. You can see the whole, well most of it here in this blog post.

This is the second bag I will make with this. the first one was this bag
What a great way to use up worn out jeans. The bag I am working on now, is linen based and I have a long way to go. The hand work sewing the vintage lace edging in place can be done on Berlin's mass transit (U,S,M or bus). I am doing a lot of exploring as of late. Here's hoping the final product to will be simple and fun.

Now for a give-away. No strings attached and mailed anywhere in the world. I am using some of the smaller Cluny lace in the lace I bought in Brittany. 
I cut 2 and have made one. This one is mine the second one is in pieces on my work area. It is similar but not identical. It is a small notebook and there is a place to put your pencil or pen (Pencil/pen not included, you need to find your own.) I love it. I always keep a notebook in my bag and I can never find a writing utensil to actually make notes. Now I can.

Drawing date is 15 February. Make sure you come back or that I have a way to contact you so that your notebook can be mailed to you. If the winner does not come forward by the end of February, the notebook will be donated to a local charity here in Berlin that sells handmade twice a year for a hospital. Last year's winner did not come forward and the piece was sold for 15EUR by a charity. SO remember, either way, there is a winner.

If you are a follower, thanks for following. If you are not I hope you want to tag along for a journey of reusing vintage lace and whatever else comes along as I sew here in Germany, France or where ever I will have the opportunity to be next. Wait, did someone say China?


  1. Oh my goodness! What a delightful blog. I love blogging and look forward to following you! i can tell if we lived close to each other we could be horrible influences on each other - HA! Take care -

  2. Oooh your vintage lace makes are lovely - I am visiting here via the Grow Your Blog hop and look forward to popping back again soon. Have a great day. Sunshine Girl - Grow Your Blog Section 24.

  3. I love the lace bag you made and the notebook is beautiful

  4. Hi there! Nice to meet you. I've added you to my feedly.

    I too have lived abroad three times in two different countries - Taiwan and Germany. Germany looms again in the next five years or so too. =)

  5. Dear Jean, Welcome to Grow Your Blog party. Been to Berlin before and I love it.. the food is really great. Hope you'll have an enjoyable stay here. May you'll made some new friends and have new followers in the weeks to come. Big Hugs from Singapore

  6. I love your work with vintage materials, enjoy your new adventures in a new country. I am a new follower to see what else you make-Kathy

  7. Great work (as usual!), Jean! Enjoy your new home!

  8. So beautiful. I love old laces too.

  9. I do love old lace... and have quite a box full of my own. In addition I sell a good bit in my antique shop... called strangely enough "Lavender and Old Lace." I don't sell on line however. I am a bit envious that you are getting to live in Germany and that you lived in France. What great opportunities for finding really old lace. Not quite as old here in the US.

  10. Hello Jean! Ah, there is nothing quite as wonderful and beautiful as vintage lace :) Your creations are simply beautiful and well-made.

    I am happy to have come across your blog via the Grow Your Blog event. Hugs and blessings to you!

  11. Jean I became a follower a while back. I enjoyed your adventures in France and am looking forward to your adventures in Germany. Great party!

  12. On behalf of Vicki at 2 Bags Full, and myself, welcome to the Grow Your Blog hop! We apologize for the late welcome, as your assigned greeter didn't show for the party. You have a wonderful blog, I so enjoy all things French. Will be back later to look around more.

  13. Hi Jean... you are indeed a sewing enthusiast! Enjoyed seeing you handiwork.

  14. Always enjoy reading your blog! Thanks for the giveaway. Sounds like you are settling in nicely in Berlin. Hope you find more time to sew! (Hope I didn't win last year and forgot to check!)

  15. Jean,
    Always enjoy reading of your adventures... and coveting your lace. :)
    the bags you are working on are gorgeous! Definitely an inspiration--now you have me thinking of using some more of my pieces.
    I know you will enjoy your time in Berlin.

  16. Your're blog is lovely! I hope you have a good time with the blog hop! :D

  17. Lovely little notebook! Nice to meet you!

  18. Love reading about your sewing and living in Europe adventures. Hope you are settling in Germany well! Longtime MPCFanClub lurker here.

  19. Hi Jean, I'm visiting through the GYB event. You have a lovely blog and I love vintage lace. I would love to learn more about France and Germany and love Europe. I joined your blog via google friend connect. I do hope that you will visit my blog Julie's Lifestyle and enter my giveaway I have too.
    Thanks again.
    Julie at Julie's Lifestyle

  20. I love what you do with lace! Glad to have found your blog.

  21. You throw a great party. Thank you for inviting me!

    So that you know, I've become a Follower and when time permits, I'll be back to see what other beautiful things were made by your hands!

    What this party is all about is to GROW your blog and I'm hoping to do the same. When you get to Section One, check out A Country Chic Retreat and SuZeQ Creations, my personal blog, in Section Fifteen I'd love for you to follow and subscribe to.

    Happy crafting!

  22. Your notebook is lovely! Its nice to find a use for all of the lace we hoard. Ill be checking back to see what else you make. Enjoy your new adventure in a new land!

  23. I SO enjoyed your blog. It is gorgeous, as are the photos from both France and Germany. I have never been to either, so I really enjoyed the trip vicariously.

    You make BEAUTIFUL pieces, including the lace bag and your giveaway. I really enjoyed visiting your blog. It was a genuine treat and thing of beauty.

  24. Hello Jean, Just popping by on the GYB party , waving to you from snowy cold eastern Canada where we are in the midst of a nasty blizzard. Good day to stay inside, safe and warm and visit more blogs! Really enjoyed seeing your work, I'm envious of all the beautiful laces... I look forward to another visit and a longer "look". Hope you'll drop by to visit me too at Stitch Lines.

  25. Hi Jean - lovely blog and what a great vintage lace collection you have. That is a huge change to move countries, I can only imagine. I'm your newest follower and look forward to reading more. cheers Wendy

  26. Hi Jean...visiting from GYB! Love your lace/scrap talent! I am just getting into such a medium and making "crazy quilts" that uses lace and the like. I also like you fabric books. Another thing I have learned about and am thinking to make.. I just don't know what to do to make it usable! I have an affliction that...if I can't USE it for something, I don't make it! Ugh!!!!
    Cheri, the quilting nanny

  27. Hi! I love what you do with lace. What wonderful work!

    t_ktl at

    (also following.....but sometimes I get way behind)

  28. Wonderful vintage lace. I love the idea of the jeans and lace. Looking forward to your adventures in Berlin.

  29. Lovely to meet you!
    I love vintage stuff too!!
    Thank you for a fabulous giveaway!

  30. Nice to meet you. I'm visiting via GYB from St. John's, NL Canada. Interesting blog. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Thank you for stopping by my blog. When I got to yours, I almost didn't get past the photo of those lovely pastries......

  32. Just found your blog through the GYB. Your work is beautiful!

  33. Oh I hope you have wonderful adventures in your new city. Your lace projects are so pretty.

  34. I shall bookmark your BLOG. I love it. I hope I win the beautiful notebook.

  35. I can't wait to see more of your collecting and life in Germany!

  36. You have (and had) a wonderful view! I love working with recycled denim too, but have had to give it up recently. It's a little too heavy to work well with arthritic fingers unfortunately. So nice to visit with you and to see your work and your collections. Cheers!

  37. Good luck with your lace collecting, and re-purposing. Enjoy living in Berlin.

  38. Hi I'm follow Love the lace
    I will be back you see your things

  39. C 'est toujours un plaisir de te lire Jean! et de voir tes projets se réaliser...!!
    Bonne chance!

  40. I absolutely love the combination of denim and vintage lace. How exciting that you get to live in such interesting places - even though the view is not quite the same I hope you enjoy Berlin. I'm your newest follower! Susan

  41. What a lovely blog! I loved old lace bits and use them in my doll making. How exciting to live is such fascinating places!! I'm a new follower and so glad I stopped by.

  42. Such lovely creations! I also tend to accumulate bits of lace and trim and fabric, but have a terrible time actually putting scissors to it. stays in a drawer until the next time I go looking for something. Then I take it out, look at it, think about making it into something wonderful! But...can't bring myself to cut it. Back into the drawer. Not very creative or useful! I like your way MUCH better :)
    My fingers will be crossed for your fantastic giveaway, and I shall begin searching for a pencil right away, to be prepared just in case I am the very lucky one.
    Thank you for taking the time to visit me at where I can always be reached through a comment. It has become much more reliable than my email!

  43. Hello Jean
    It's lovely to meet up again at this year's GYB party.
    And now you are living in Germany! I imagine it was hard for you leaving France.
    You're in the right place for collecting vintage lace and linen.
    I'm travelling to France again this year to spend time with my daughter and granddaughters and I will surely visit a brocante or two or three in search of pieces to bring home with me!

    Your notebook is charming and wonderful to have in one's handbag - the Cluny lace is very special.

    Enjoy the party and making new friends!
    I'll be back to see how things are in Germany!
    Please come over and enter my giveaway too.


  44. Hello from NYC! I hope Berlin is treating you well these days. I visited Berlin for a week in 2005 I think it was! Time flies. I stayed in Kreuzberg and took the subway all by myself to tour the city. :)

    I like your fascination with lace. I'm the same with embroidery floss. It's so beautiful, I don't even want to use it!

    Thank you for your beautiful giveaway, it's great!

  45. I'm glad to be visiting your blog again this year. You have been through big changes I see with the move! I love your notebook and your sweet journal pages not to mention your antique and vintage laces - I too create with these in so many of my fabric books, cards and keepsakes.
    You may like to enter my Giveaway on my GYB post also!
    Only a few days to go now!
    Wishing you all the very best,

  46. Jean, it is so good to hear from you and see that you are settling into your new home. Can't wait to see what you discover in Germany and hear all about it! Barb in Bethel, OH

  47. Jean, So glad you are settling in Germany. What an adventure! Love traveling with you through your blog. Love to be in your drawing.

  48. Jean, your work is beautiful as usual. You are a woman after my own heart. I love the old vintage and heirlooms. My ancestors did a lot of lovely handwork but unfortunately my mother didn't share my love of these precious things. While I was at college she got rid of almost everything that I valued so much. She also gave away my great-grandmother's beautiful Singer sewing machine with the cabinet. I used to sew on it and loved it, but in my mother's eyes I already had a sewing machine and she didn't need it. I have collected a few pieces over the years that were someone else's precious heirlooms. My mother still doesn't understand why. She looks at a piece of old linen and lace and see the holes and thinks that it needs to be thrown away. I look at the same piece and see the work that went into it and feel a warm feeling towards it. I wish I had areas around me, like you have, to be able to find such precious things. You are truly blessed. Cathy in Frederick, MD