September 19, 2014

Summer Adventures in Poland + the Baltic Sea

I needed some adventure this summer - preferably by the sea - and many friends told me that Gdansk, Poland was a lovely coastal city... And they were absolutely right, it is gorgeous.

The Old City of Gdansk was 90% destroyed during WWII. After the war, the city was carefully reconstructed stone by stone using historical photographs and drawings. The beauty of Gdansk today is a testament to the strength and willpower of the Polish people to rebuild their city, a process which took decades.
Gdansk had a magical atmosphere in the early morning light
while everything was quiet and the shadows fell across the historical facades.
The evening light was equally rich and glowing +  this was the view from my apartment window.
I adore the sea, and even though the water was quite cold, I always find the salt air and sun refreshing.
One day we took a ferry ride over to the Hel Peninsula
where we spent another day playing in the sea and sand
and we were greeted by a fantastic sunset upon our return to Gdansk.
I loved the Polish pierogi dumplings - filled with mushrooms, cheese, spinach, pork, sauerkraut, and potatoes - all so good!
On our final days in Gdansk this colorful knitted tree made me smile -
and of course my sweet girlies too!
After a short weekend break at home, I was off again - this time with adventures of my own...
I visited the car-free island of Hiddensee, Germany which was very peaceful and relaxed,
and the historic town of Stralsund which has charming historic architecture
in the typical Hanseatic style.
There were also colorful, little cottages to discover in hidden courtyards
and big fancy historical boats in the harbor
some with regional names :)
In Stralsund, I discovered a knitted door! 
I thought this was quite a fascinating display, and it made me wonder who lives there?
The next stop on my Baltic Sea adventure tour was the city of Binz on the island of Ruegen.
Here I found clean, wide beaches to wander along
cute white wicker beach chairs to protect one from the wind
and this super cool lifeguard tower from 1968, designed by East German architect Ulrich Muether.
The streets of Binz are lined with old-fashioned wooden Victorian style houses
with lots of fine "gingerbread" details and windows.
Some looked almost like little fairytale villas, fancy and cozy at the same time :)
I hope you've enjoyed my Baltic Sea tour today!

This summer I loved unplugging and spending time with my family in Poland -
but it was also good to be on the road by myself for a few days too.

I realized that I truly need to see the ocean at least once a year,
and since the Baltic Sea is only a 3 hour train ride from Berlin,
I'm planning to make these trips to the sea a regular practice :)

How were your summer adventures this year?

Greetings from back in Berlin,



August 8, 2014

Berlin Art Workshop: Creative Ladies from Around the World

Hi there! I wanted to catch up with you today and offer a special sneak peek "behind the scenes" at our first Berlin Art + Adventure Workshop!

Just a short time ago, an amazing group of talented ladies from Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and the US all met up here in Berlin for a colorful, joyful celebration - and it was such a delight to meet them all. (The next international group is coming in September + you can join us here.)
My talented friend Christine Gerlach, co-creator of Rosenrot Berlin, did an incredible job of making beautiful, handmade decorations to greet and welcome participants as they arrived in our light filled, historic Berlin studio.
Christine's decorations added just the right touch of color and festivity to put us all in a creative mood.
We worked really hard to make the studio cozy, comfortable, and inspiring...
and we even added a "reading + resource corner" full of books and journals with loads of collage and mixed media art ideas and examples.
photo by Martina Rehberg-Kortner -

photo by Martina Rehberg-Kortner -
A special thanks goes to Christine for being such a great help throughout our Berlin Art + Adventure Workshop week.
What a lovely group of creative ladies we had visiting the studio from all corners of the globe!
You can see how concentrated everyone was working,
and there was a productive, lively atmosphere during our studio mornings.
Of course we took time out to eat delicious food during our studio breaks too :)

Ximena Jurado Llosa was our gifted chef from Ecuador who treated us to healthy, gluten free, vegetarian lunches each day.
Among Ximena's specialties were the glorious gluten free desserts she prepared freshly for us - little edible works of art to enjoy.
photo by Elke Colle - estudios de cococita

photo by Elke Colle - estudios de cococita
We had an adventurous time seeing Berlin during the afternoon - including going on a river boat tour, walking along a section of the former Berlin Wall, sampling ice cream, drinking coffee, taking a neighborhood stroll, and visiting several top art galleries and museums, which featured works from ancient times to classical modern and contemporary.
photo by Martina Rehberg-Kortner -

photo by Martina Rehberg-Kortner -
Our evening meals in Berlin were very special together, filled with lots of laughter and good times.
After all of our busy art making and touring in Berlin - using materials we collected here and there...
we painted and glued and cut and collaged...
with lots of creative energy and happy spirits...
and by the end of the week, we had a gallery wall full of beautiful creations.

On our final studio morning, we took the time to have a closer look at everyone's mixed media work, while enjoying a homemade Sunday brunch.
So much great, unique artwork here! Each piece was thoughtfully created with an individual sense of style and expression.
I'm so very proud of our lovely group of international women for their bubbling enthusiasm, kindness, generosity, and talent!

Thank you all for making the journey to Berlin, and what a pleasure to celebrate your art + creativity.

p.s. - **From September 3rd-7th, we'll be having our final Berlin Art + Adventure Workshop for 2014 - and there is exactly ONE spot still free!**

For more details about this year's Berlin Art + Adventure Workshop - and to read what the participants had to say - click here - and I'd love to meet you in September!



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