DIY String Art Pumpkins | Motte's Blog

It's the Halloween weekend and I’ve already spent a good ten minutes this morning practicing my horror grimace in anticipation of the trick-or-treaters. I’m getting pretty good at the undead-but-not-yet-starved Zombie face. Though on second thought, that could just come down to the cold I caught weighing down my facial features; and the smell of baked apples in the oven giving me the rumbly-tumblies!

In any case, Halloween can come, I am prepared!

I’m just messing with you. Kids don’t do Halloween around here! The neighborhood is much too nice; and traditional for that matter to welcome Celtic ghost stories into their homes. Though I do have reason to believe the old lady next door is in fact a witch. I can hear her wicked chuckles through the walls even late at night and I’m pretty sure she hides a broomstick in that weird fabric shopping trolley of hers!


DIY Painted Sunglasses | Motte's Blog

Fall is fast approaching - my favorite season, minus the freezing temperatures and mud-stained carpets. I’m also not a big fan of rain boots despite living in the UK that one time. I never could make them look cool on me, them Wellies.

I will however forever enjoy sipping mulled wine amidst rainbow-colored leaves dancing in the golden sunlight. And knitted everything.

Speaking of that blinding light bathing late afternoons in a sea of red and orange, I am pleased to confirm that sunglasses will still be needed until winter truly is upon us and the darkness has swallowed us whole.

Because I might or might not have acquired a noticeable, yet slightly unnecessary amount of sunglasses over the past summer months. And frankly, I hate to see them go to waste so soon.


DIY Paper Envelopes | Motte's Blog

Yes,I am still writing letters. And yes, I am still looking for the best ways to dress up said letters and make them stand out of the crowd.

I’m on a mission, really.

The goal is that one day the mailman will no longer need to stop and wonder “Whoever sent this lovely note?” (as mailmen typically do). Because he’ll already know. In his new-found wisdom, he’ll be thinking “This striking message wrapped in hand-dyed galaxy paper, adorned with do-it-yourself crochet stamps, labelled with glow-in-the-dark writing and raining glitter all over my shoes can only have one source: Motte from Berlin.”

That’s the dream.


Paper Poetry VII | Oscar Wilde | Dreamer | Motte's Blog

Make Yourself at Home | DIY GUEST TRAY

DIY Guest Tray with WiFi Password Display | Motte's Blog

Summer time means vacation time! Beach huts, oversized hats, tan lines and freshly squeezed lemonade! What more could you need? Besides a million bucks and an Academy Award, that is.

But while that's all peachy and nobody wants it to end, it's time to face the facts: Summer is already coming to a close. I know, I know! I didn't want to say it, but really there was no way avoiding it! The days are getting shorter and our sleeves slightly longer.

To me this means that most of you will already have returned from your holidays and have returned to your everyday routine.

As is the case for me. It's been silent here for a while, because yes, I too have been skinny dipping and sipping mimosas. Or something similar.

Back in the (much too) familiar pace of things, this year, I have come up with the best way to brave the daily grind; to remedy those daily-routine blues, that post-vacation syndrome.


Recipe | Lemon and Yoghurt Cake in a Jar | Motte's Blog

I'm not sure why I've kept this recipe from you for so long. Because it is simply divine.

And I know what you're thinking.

No blogger has ever put a recipe out there without claiming it to be "the world's best", "a must-try" and "grannies favorite".

As I am not a qualified baker and have no professional culinary training whatsoever, I don't even want to make such a claim.

But! You are just going to have to trust me when I say with absolute certainty that this is at least the best cake in a jar that I have ever made! It is super moist and incredibly lemony. I took a first bite and thought I was chewing on the most gooey lemon bar. Which is saying a lot. Because lemon bars.

Crafter's Know-How | THE BLANKET STITCH

Crafter's Know-How | The Blanket Stitch | DIY Embroidered Postcard | Motte's Blog

Soundslike the most cozy thing on the planet, but does involve needles, so a word of caution.

The so-called Blanket Stitch is a super easy embroidery technique to encase a piece of fabric - or in this case, a postcard - in cute trimming that evens out the edges and creates a neat finish.

Fitting, because I too love to wrap myself up in a cuddly-wuddly blanket with not much more than a good book. Granted, it might just be a tad too hot for sheep's wool and piping hot tea; but a summer's night out on the balcony with a little padding under the bum sounds good enough for me.


Paper Poetry VI | Oscar Wilde | Motte's Blog


Crafter's Know-How | Embroidery | Lazy Daisy Stitch | Detached Chain Stitch

Also known as the Lazy Daisy Stitch, this embroidery technique is perfect for simple floral designs that can be done in a whim.

With just a few stitches, you'll have covered an entire bed sheet in a sea of daisies. It's that easy!

Fine, let's go with a napkin. Seems more doable.

In just a matter of minutes, you'll have turned an entire napkin into a flowering meadow!

At least, if you keep the stitches quite large and limit the number of blossoms just slightly. But it's still easy! And since you seem to enjoy my posts on "Crafter's Know-How", it was a no-brainer to me that I would show you how to master the detached chain stitch next!


DIY Pinata Gift Box | Motte's Blog

May and June are the birthday months it seems. It gets a little calmer only in the later summer months. That is, until November when the madness resumes in celebration of the fall children. Such as myself.

Don't get me wrong, I love a mad birthday bash. And I surely don't mind a cheese-cake stuffed fudge cake with an Oreo base sprinkled with chocolate-orange bark and caramelized walnuts, but do all my friends have to have been born within a two-month window?

For one thing, it's not good for my diet.

On another note, sometimes - that is in between two social gatherings thoughtfully put together to commemorate the life of another - I just need some time to reload my creative energy. Refill the tank. And sometimes a milk chocolate tart with almond praline and whipped coffee cream fresh from the oven, all warm and gooey just won't do the trick.

Unless maybe a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is involved.

That would probably work.


DIY Fern Stamping Gift Wrapping | Motte's Blog

I was about twelve years old when I first and truly felt bad about killing a plant.

But besides that minor murderous incident, I now look back on what might have been the best class trip of my school career.

Then in sixth grade, my class mates and I, plus two super-nice-people-but-very-strict teachers spent an entire week in a youth hostel in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. I now know that if it had been absolutely necessary, my mom could have come and got me in like two short hours. But back then, it felt like a long way from home.

Also, I want to be very clear that although there is no place like home, I did not tap my little red ballerinas and my mom did not have to come rescue me. Because I was a big girl, of course.

And I was no longer wearing glitterfied footgear.


Paper Poetry | Brothers Grimm | Motte's Blog

Best Summer Cocktail Recipe | THE HUGO

Summer Cocktail Recipe The Hugo | Motte's Blog

Hugo is like my new best friend.

If you haven't heard of Hugo yet, you can't possibly be European. For about a year now Hugo is on everybody's mind in this part of the world. He came into our lives so suddenly, but managed to sweep us off our feet even more quickly. I can't remember life without him really.

Hugo and I hang out a lot in the summer months. He is refreshingly sweet and cool at the same time. He listens patiently and always manages to relax me after a long day at the office. He brings people together. And to tell you the truth, he's immensely delicious. Visually and otherwise!

I could have him for breakfast, lunch and dinner - if you know what I mean!

Ok, I'm just gonna stop myself right there, no need to go down that route. Any further.


Paper Poetry IV | Henrik Ibsen | Motte's Blog


DIY Embroidery Hoop Dreamcatcher | Motte's Blog

What were some of your childhood nightmares?

During nap time, my biggest fear was the big, hungry crocodile living under my bed whose favorite dish just happened to be children's legs.

Because chicken legs just wouldn't do the trick. Trust me, I tried.

Crafter's Know-How | FRENCH KNOT

Know-How | Embroidery | French Knot | Motte's Blog

In crafting terms, I would say knots are not a good thing:

Tangled yarn that prevents you from finishing up any project; even worse, that requires you to go back and redo something you believed to already have accomplished; to actually deal with the complication.

I feel like there's a metaphor hanging in the air here... I can't quite grasp it, but it can't be that hard to take the idea of a tangled mess from the craft room into our daily lives.

Something about the strands (shackles?) of life, relationship ties, pant suspenders... There's something there, I know it! Knots are really just one big jumbled mess typically trying to teach us unnecessary life lessons. And who wants that, am I right?


DIY Lined Envelopes | Motte's Blog

Greetings from a maniac. Judging from these pictures you probably think I am a crazy bridezilla planning a royal wedding, à la "Just 300 more invitations to go!"

But no, I'm really just writing good old-fashioned letters. You know, putting pen to paper. Taking the time to find the nearest post office that's still open once I've finished up at work. Waiting weeks on end for a reply.

The worst is probably realizing that by the time you've actually received the expected response so much has happened that you could write a novel. But simply don't have the stamina. (Otherwise obviously I would. Totally worth it.)

So you just make do with a 2-page synopsis of current affairs.

Cast Your Vote to Win!

Mother's Day Contest | Motte's Blog

No time for snoozing, enter the comment contest now to win a mystery sewing prize!

Mother's Day is almost here and Motte's Sleeping Mask tutorial is featured over on along with 9 other top gift crafts. From dresses to purse patterns you'll find everything you need to shower your mom with love!

Follow the link and leave a comment with the name of your favorite pattern. One lucky winner will be selected at random to win a free prize!


DIY Pom Pom Garland Gift Wrapping | Motte's Blog

I don't know about you, but I get the feeling that all of my friends and family were born in the spring time. In May, to be exact. One right after the other.

Which calls for repeated celebrations, numerous treats and an abundance of gifts wrapped with poorly tied ribbons and over-used wrapping paper.

To counter this trend, I like to get super creative with gifts. But that usually means investing a lot of thought and time into the process. Which, let's face it, can more often than not take all the fun right back out of it.

After all, I am no brilliant-gift-ideas breeding machine. And even with advanced search machines at our disposal, when you have been gifting the same person for birthdays and holidays for the odd 20+ years, inspiration is sure to end somewhere.


Paper Poetry 3 | Bird Cage | Henrik Ibsen | Motte's Blog


DIY No-Sew Scalloped Pillowcase | Motte's Blog

Just to avoid any confusion, let me start off with a disclaimer:

When speaking of scallops, I’m not referring to seafood that comes in shells and with the occasional pearl.

No. Today we are not gluing saltwater clams onto pillow cases.


Crafter's Know-How | How to thread a sewing needle properly | 6 tips | Motte's Blog

The struggle is real.

Guiding that loose thread through that tiny eye is just ridiculous.

But not impossible!

I mean, most of the time I can't even see the damn hole, but our mothers and their mothers and their mothers and the occasional father have been sewing for centuries and somehow they managed to thread that damn needle!


DIY Bread Bin Recipe Organizer | Motte's Blog

Spring is finally here, so I say it is about time we get going with that spring cleaning.

And what better way to get organized than making your very own recipe collector? Because cleaning is tiring and makes you hungry. And there is so much baking to be done in the early spring months!

Happy Easter

DIY Origami Easter Bunny | Motte's Blog


DIY Crowned Bunny Easter Eggs | Motte's Blog

I you haven't dyed your eggs for Easter yet and you don't want your egg hunt to be an utter disappointment, it's about time you start crafting!

Probably the easiest way to get around that messy coloring station though is to grab a sharpie and add a simple smiley face to your eggs. That will certainly make someone's morning more cheerful.

But to step it up a notch, why not turn the eggs into little Easter bunnies?

Recycling Christmas Decor | DIY SNOWFLAKE EASTER EGGS

DIY Paper Snowflake Easter Eggs | Motte's Blog

Let's be honest.Easter may be on its way, but spring has not officially begun.

Yes, we are being teased by occasional mild temperatures. But truth is, it is still freezing most of the time, I haven't stored away my hats and gloves yet, and I only just took down the last winter decorations.

Some of which were these paper snowflakes I made in my pre-Christmas phase of glee. I'm still desperately trying to feel merry and bright so I decided to recycle them rather than simply throw them out.


DIY Easter Egg Cup Silhouette Band | Motte's Blog

I will admit this project did not turn out entirely as I had planned. But that's probably a good thing.

When I was younger, I loved painting Easter eggs. Getting those hard boiled eggs all dressed up for Easter was a real treat. You know, lending the Easter bunny a hand; he just never seemed able to get the work done by himself.

But as I slowly grew older it seemed like a chore more often than not. My siblings would "give me the honors" and I would sit and paint so the entire family would have something pretty to hunt for and dig into at the breakfast table.


DIY Decoupage Easter Eggs | Butterfly Anatomy | Motte's Blog

It's no secret that I am into butterflies and moths and other winged bugs of all shapes and sizes. No discrimination here!

Though I do draw a line at the juvenile form of the Cereal Leaf Beetle. Can I get a YUCK mam! Google those and you will never sleep again.

Lucky Leprechaun Elixir | DIY TEABAG CHARMS

DIY Lucky Teapot Charms | Motte's Blog

Marshmallows over a campfire? For sure. S'mores? Most definitely. But those artificially colored, rubbery marshmallow treats supposedly called marbits that they put in cereal? No siree!

I really have no idea why kids enjoy Lucky Charms so damn much.

Though I was definitely one of those kids. No question.

Crafter's Know-How | SEWING ON A BUTTON

How To Sew On A Button | Motte's Blog

As a crafter I'm sure you are all too familiar with this scenario:

Friend/family/colleague approaches crafter.
"You like making things."
"You can sew."
"So you can reattach this button."


Paper Poetry II Motte's Blog


DIY Relationship Status T-Shirt | Motte's Blog

Let's just make this easy for ourselves. Not only on Valentine's Day, but all year through.

Am I in a fully committed, hopefully lasting and presumably loving relationship?

Yes. No. Maybe so.

Minus the "maybe so" because that's a little vague and doesn't help much at all.

"thus with a kiss I die" | DIY STORY CUBES

DIY Story Cubes | Motte's Blog

You should know by now that I am a fan of stories. Especially those on stages and screens and printed onto paper.

And every now and then I myself venture into the land of storytelling. On this blog for instance I tell you tales of my inner obsessions, my royal family and Mexican fiestas.

But coming up with something on the spot involving a proper beginning, middle and end isn't particularly easy. And I sure ain't a poet. I like to think I'm good at rambling. I throw some random thoughts out there and then put them in an order that hopefully makes some kind of sense. To somebody out there.


DIY Clothespin Markers | Motte's Blog

Since I didn't manage to do so last week due to my sister's little blogging interlude, this week I will be talking about getting organized.

À la spring cleaning, but without the sponges and liquid soap.

No detergents either, though I will be getting out the clothespins.


Paper Poetry | Motte's Blog

Tortilla Tricks | DIY WIRE TACOS

DIY Wire Tacos | Motte's Blog

"I would like to invite you to a taco night. Bring Mexican hats. And some swirly straws. We'll order some Mexican food. In the meantime, let's make some wire tacos."

This is what happens when I ask my little sister to write a blog post for me.

Sleeping Through the New Year | DIY SLEEPING MASK

DIY Sleeping Mask | Motte's Blog

That's kind of the dream, isn't it?

Pulling a blanket over your head and not returning to the daylight until the crocuses have returned and blue birds are singing sweet songs on the window sill. Plus, now that we've stuffed our bellies with turkey and cranberry sauce over the holidays, it feels only natural.

Bears. I always thought they know exactly what they're doing.

But according to my employer, hibernating isn't good for business, so these days I'm just trying to get a decent night's sleep.

Welcoming the New Year | DIY GOLD LEAF PAINTING

DIY Warhol-Inspired Gold Leaf Painting | Motte's Blog

It is the New Year! And I have decided to keep my resolutions short, simple and to a minimum: Be happy. Stay healthy. Laugh loads.

Or something like that. At least I'm pretty sure that's what it says in just about every lifestyle magazine once the old year comes to a close.

So while they may not be very original, I conclude from their repetitiveness and ubiquity that these must be the superior resolutions; the ultimate road to a fulfilled 2016; the crème de la crème of New Year's resolutions so to speak.