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Berlin - Day 1: Warschauer Strasse & Minigolf

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Jason and I have wanted to go to Berlin together for ages and luckily, we got tickets for Christmas from his family. It was such an amazing present and we had been looking forward to it for what felt like forever. The time finally came, and off we went for our long weekend away. We knew there was so much we wanted to do there, we had done plenty of research and planning so we knew it was going to pretty action packed. Because there is so much I wanted to say about it (and there is SO many photos!), I've decided to do a separate post for each day. I'm hoping these will be useful and interesting if your intending on travelling to Berlin in the future as well as being a travel diary for me to look back on.

So here's day 1. We got to the airport at 4am which was a pretty fascinating experience in itself. I haven't been abroad for about 7/8 years so it was really exciting just to be inside an airport again! I couldn't believe people were working on the Mac counter at 4am! Anyway, we got to Berlin and we had a bit of a nightmare finding our accommodation. We stayed in an apartment we booked through airbnb, which worked out to be very cost effective. I would say though, if you use airbnb, make sure you get plenty of info from the landlord. We annoyingly weren't told that there was a buzz in system on the building or the number to look for, so it took us a while to get in to the place! However, the apartment itself was ideal; close to the station, we felt safe and had everything we needed. 

The Berlin Wall - Warschauer Strasse

Our first stop was Warschauer Strasse. Jason has been to Berlin before so he was keen for us to visit one of his favourite places on the first day. The area was really cool, there was graffiti artwork everywhere you looked and it had a really chilled and relaxed atmosphere.

One of the main attractions in this area it the East Side Gallery. It is a section of the Berlin Wall which has been turned into a piece of artwork with different murals by numerous artists across it. I was honestly expecting it to be huge so I was really surprised by how slim and inoffensive it seemed, especially considering less than 30 years ago it represented something in such contrast to this. 

We took a walk to find some food and discovered a quirky little area where there was a mixture of street food and little shack/mobile/pop up restaurants things...We ate at a vegetarian Mexican restaurant where I had a burrito which was lovely and Jason had a quesadilla, which was disappointing. Win some you lose some! We also indulged in our first German beer of the visit, which even I thought was yummy and I don't particularly like beer.

What I also liked about this area is that it felt very arty. There was again, graffiti everywhere but there were also artists dotted around sitting in the evening sunshine sketching the buildings. The architecture was pretty amazing so I can understand why artists would be attracted to the area, lots of dilapidated buildings and beautiful houses hidden away. Just as long as you avoid the drug dealers, this area is pretty nice! ;)

Schwarzlicht Minigolf

We decided to check out an underground crazy golf venue that we had heard about through friends. The golf is under a cafe/bar in a huge, lively(!) park. It was relatively easy to find if you go into the park, however we got confused and walked around the outskirts for about 15 minutes until we realised this! Damn not having wifi, can't live without google maps! That won't be a walk we will forget in a hurry...

The golf itself was a generally a really fun experience and unlike anything we had done before. The course was split into different rooms which were decorated with different themes and layouts. It was pretty awesome. It cost about 13 euros for us both to play so pretty cheap and it was a fun way to spend our evening. 

HOWEVER, now this is a big however! This area was the only place in Berlin that we didn't feel particularly safe in. There were gangs everywhere and the park seemed really dodgy so walking through it wasn't the nicest experience! Also, from the moment we got off the train we were offered drugs a number of times! Now this might be because we look young and potentially like druggies?!? WHO KNOWS. But yeah, if I'm honest, I don't think this is an essential outing when you visit Berlin. If we had done more research on the place, I think we probably would have given it a miss. Be that as it may, It must be very popular as it got quite busy whilst we were there. So if you have some spare time and your not really bothered by the area, it's a good laugh but I would 100% recommend you go in the daytime. 

So that's day 1! After this we went back to our apartment and did some serious planning for the next day. Luckily, our apartment had wifi which meant that we could do some serious google mapping of the places we intended to visit so that we wouldn't end up getting lost again. 

Pop back for day 2! 

Much love, 

Katie x


Embroidery Hoop - Wedding Gift

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My dear friend Nicola is getting married this week. I knew I wanted to make her a keepsake but also something that, if she wanted to, she could display in her newly extended house. So something memorable, homely and lovely. This is actually my first official attempt at designing/making an embroidery hoop for decoration. I love looking at hoops on Tumblr or Pinterest so I couldn't wait to try to make my own.

I'm actually really pleased how it turned out. It took a very long time to make, I know embroidery is time consuming but because it was a gift I checked it over like a crazy person. It had to be perfect. I tried to incorporate Nicola's love for pastel colours with an image that represented the couple on their wedding day.

I used my felt flowers technique from my Mother's Day tutorial for the bouquet. It was very different having to make them so tiny, it took me a few go's to get the size right!

I used backstitch for the text and just a simple running stitch for the felt applique. I copied the font from the beautiful invite to try and tie it in with the wedding's theme.

I made the bunting by using self adhesive fabric that I had bought from Tiger a little while ago. I think looks really fun and pretty.

I rummaged through my supplies to find a small piece of lace that would fit perfectly for the dress. Nicola's real wedding dress is embellished with lace detail so I feel like it made it more personal and special to include it.

To finish the piece, I added a piece of ribbon and tied it in a bow so it can be hung. I'm really pleased with it and I think it looks super pretty. Nicola herself is very creative and loves making things so I'm sure her wedding will be absolutely beautiful and unique. I'm completely gutted to be missing it as I will be in Berlin but I cannot wait to see photos! I'm sure it will be a magical day :)

As for the embroidery, I loved this little project and I look forward to making the next one!

Much love,

Katie x
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