Home of the Red Monster

DIY and craftiness. Helped me heal and makes me happy!

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Mouse by DM Mitchell

Its taken me some time but I am now deeply in love with my Kindle.
I don’t have space for all the books I read, some books are so heavy, I can’t hold them while reading, some writing is so small… *oh my! the pleasures of getting old*

So the Kindle is perfect for me.

And then I discovered the tons of free books you can get for the Kindle. I have a very broad taste, nearly interested in everything. And if I don’t like it: one click and its removed!

There are so many good books out there, many I would have never ever discovered.
One of them is

Mouse by D.M. Mitchell
It is an excellently written book, the characters come alive from the first moment, they have a lot of depth and you find yourself understanding even those that are disgusting.

This is from the amazon site:

It’s the summer of 1976 and Vince Moody is a quiet and unassuming projectionist at the run-down Empire cinema in the small town of Langbridge in the middle of the Somerset Levels.

His life is a drudge, and he’s going nowhere; the only female attention he gets is a stream of cruel jokes and jibes from the Empire’s cleaners, and especially from the obnoxious Monica Andrews. But his life is about to change dramatically when he sees and falls secretly in love with Laura Leach.

Laura lives all alone in an 18th Century folly known as Devereux Towers; a brooding old building sitting alone in its field a few miles from Langbridge. Recently returned to the area to bury her father and having inherited Devereux Towers, Laura is something of a recluse. The local children call Laura the ‘Witch of Devereux Towers’; some people call her ‘damaged goods’. She too is lonely and unassuming, a desperately troubled woman haunted by her dark, secret past. Haunted by what lies behind the blue-painted door in Devereux Towers which Laura lets no one enter…

Then Laura Leach meets Casper Younge. He’s handsome, well-spoken, gentle and loving, and Laura falls head-over-heels in love with him. Vince Moody is devastated to have lost the woman of his dreams, but he soon discovers that Casper Younge is not all he first appears. He’s blackmailing the Empire’s manager, Martin Caldwell, for one thing; and who is the attractive woman Vince sees Casper meeting in Glastonbury? What plans are they hatching?

Martin Caldwell is having serious troubles of his own, aside from managing the failing Empire cinema – his affair with Monica Andrews the cleaner has gone horribly wrong. His world is falling apart, and the last thing he wants is a visit from Casper Younge dredging up a murky past he thought he’d left behind.

Then both Casper and Monica go missing; the longer they are gone, the more the thoughts turn to their possible deaths. But if they are dead, who is responsible for killing them?

Soon, everyone is caught up in a dangerous spiral of events that draws them inexorably into a world of jealousy, deceit, passion, blackmail and murder, where the hunter becomes the hunted, the mice turn on the cats.

Set against the impressive yet claustrophobic landscape of the Somerset Levels, Mouse is a chilling exploration of the corrupt depths people will sink to in the name of revenge, power, greed and love and is D. M. Mitchell at his imaginative best.

Well, I think what will stay for me is a certain amount of understanding for strange characters, some of them with very unfortunate events in their lives. How to never judge something quickly, there is always a reason for everything.

And the ending! Now that was a surprise to me. The more I think about it, the more I like the ending.
Do yourselves a favour and read this book. Maybe its still in the free section of Kindle.


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Tea Towels, again

I have been making tea towels again. I find the size easy to manage and one can try new things easily.
At the moment I am very interested in screen printing. This seems to be a bit difficult but gives very good results.
Until I work up the courage to try that, I am fumbling around with freezer paper.

Here I drew a cat reaching for a fish.


I made two of them, one for my aunt and one for a woman that has helped me tremendously in the last few years.

First I drew the design, then copied it onto Freezer paper. Filled the design with fabric color.
Under the cat is a small border with one of my stamps that I made.
Wait for it to dry …
Then iron it, so it will last.


Then comes the applique, the fish.
Then I decided it needed some more touching up with fabric colors.
So wait some more for it to dry

And lastly the sewing of the edges and a small thing to hang it up.


They are a bit different, because each one is drawn separately.
Oh! And I’ve given up on straight lines. I tell myself there is no straight line in nature, so my tea towels are bent, not one line straight. But maybe no one notices. Maybe I should first stop pointing it out to everyone 🙂
Oh well, the intent is the important thing.
And both were made with love


I hope you like them!

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Ever since my mother brought a passiflora flower from the market I am in love with those plants. Of course this is not the right weather here in Austria for them. So the first two that I had .. didnt want to stay ..

But I dont give up easily and bought this beauty yesterday


Empress Eugenie

It is pink and white and purple in the middle. And the best! It has a very sweet smell! Something citrusy, wonderful!

I am so in love with that plant!


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Renovation of the bathroom

Hi, I’m back. Long time no see. I hope you’re well 🙂

After putting it off for three years *embarrassed cough* I finally made some changes in my small bathroom.

The tiles were awful. Obviously not too awful, but just plain ugly. Unfortunately I didn’t make “before” pictures. Every time I looked at them I wondered who would produce such ugly tiles… and who would buy them and think it a good idea to have them in the bathroom …

I found a very good paint, made for bathrooms, and just painted over the ugly tiles. I was amazed how easy it was. It’s not a permanent solution of course, but until I magically get enough money to make everything new, until that time it will be good.


The bathroom is really small and it’s hard to make pictures.
Here you can see the rod for the curtain. It was plain grey, I covered it with Washi Tape.
Then the window was a dirty white and so I covered it in my ever popular yellow plastic cover.


Here you see two Tenugui. I buy them on Etsy from this guy

I love japanese fabric and I thought the carp would feel well in my bathroom.

Here you can see my jewellery stash. Most of it self-made.




The little blue dog was an old metal key dish. I painted it blue some years ago and it guards my small earrings.

Then I decided this small bathroom needs a mirror sky.
I really like it (again very hard to make a picture of it, sorry!) and I will expand it some more, probably over the whole ceiling.
Its just that I am afraid of heights and standing on a ladder, doing things over my head is not my preferred thing to do. So for the moment I am enjoying what I have and working up more courage to get on the ladder again 😉


I hope you like it!

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Here is another mobile that I made.


I took wire and wrapped this with other, thinner wire, to make it look nicer and more stable. At the end I made a little place for my squirrel to sit. It likes to sit by the window and look out.

Some felt balls, nice paper and my beloved glass globe.

It sways gently, because its immediately on top of the heating and the warm air makes it dance.






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Fox Love

My love for foxes continues …

I made this small fox, he loves his little nest that he is sleeping in, it has a nice cushion of grass so that he lies comfy.

Meine Liebe zu Füchsen hält an …

Ich habe diesen kleinen Fuchs gemacht. Er liebt es in seinem kleinen Korb zu liegen, innen drinnen ist Gras, damit er weich liegt.


I love these alert little eyes!

Ich liebe diesen aufgeweckten Ausdruck der Augen!


and how one ear is slightly crooked – he is a funny, sly, little one!

und sein Ohr, das leicht eingedrückt ist! Es gibt ihm einen verwegenenen, lustigen Ausdruck!

Here are the other ones I have made so far.

This one is big, hangs on the wall.

Hier sind die anderen die ich bis jetzt gemacht habe.

Dieser ist gross, hängt an der Wand.


And this one. He came to me at a difficult time of my life and made me happy. Unfortunately I cannot get a good picture of the colors. It always looks to harsh, to hard. But in fact it is gentle orange with a little red.

Und dieser. Er kam zu mir in einer schweren Zeit und hat mich aufgemuntert. Leider gelingt es mir nicht, ein gutes Foto von ihm zu machen, die Farben kommen immer falsch raus, zu hart, zu extrem. Aber tatsächlich ist ein ein ruhiges Orange mit ein bißchen Rot.



Cat on a bag

Here is a small bag I made for my sister. Actually its not so small, about 20×20 cm. But it is intended to be used while travelling as a cosmetics bag.

I spend an insane amount of time trying to decide which fabric to use, worrying too much of “did I chose the right ones” “will she like it” and on and on. Usually I get just fed up with myself after some time and start sewing.

Hier ist ein kleines Täschchen, dass ich für meine Schwester genäht habe. Tatsächlich ist es nicht so klein, 20×20 cm. Aber ich dachte es könnte als Kulturtäschchen bei Reisen verwendet werden.

Das schwierigste für mich ist, mich für den Stoff zu entscheiden. Ich sorge mich ob ich wohl die richtigen Farben genommen habe, ob sie es wohl mögen wird etc etc, irgendwann ist mir alles zu viel und ich fange an zu nähen.


The fabric I finally decided upon has red birds and light blue flowers on it and I made a cat applique, because my sister has a very sweet cat.
On the inside there is a vintage fabric with some fishes on it.

Der Stoff für den ich mich entschieden habe, hat blassrote Vögel und lichtblaue Blumen, darauf habe ich die Katzen Applikation genäht, als kleine Verbeugung vor der wirklich reizenden Katze die meine Schwester hat.
Für die Innenseite habe ich einen alten Stoff genommen auf den Fische gedruckt sind.


As always a little side compartment.
Wie immer eine kleine Seitentasche.


And a felt ball, some glass beads and a small cat figurine to be able to grip the zipper better.
Und für den Reissverschluss eine Filzkugel, Glasperlen und eine kleine Katzenfigur.


I am going through a difficult time in my life right now and I have alienated myself from my family. This seems to be important for me, to come to terms with my life and what has happened. But I don’t want to hurt anyone, this is my difficult decision, so I hope to tell her that I love her with this little present.

Ich bin gerade in einer schwierigen Phase meines Lebens … habe mich von meiner Familie entfernt … es scheint, dass ich es nur so schaffen kann mit meinem Leben Frieden zu schliessen.
Aber ich will niemanden verletzen und daher dieses kleine Geschenk damit sie weiss, dass ich sie liebe.