design, craft and daily creativity

2021 journal

13 August 2021

Still here and enjoying Regensburg in the summer

There’s been a long gap since my last journal entry… apologies! I decided now is a good time to round up a few seasonal pictures from the beautiful Regensburg Altstadt and Donau river. Places like this are very special it’s important to keep a record, as we are so lucky to live here. Enjoy!


7 May 2021

A productive year (craft-wise)

Well, what to write about this time?! Still no trips, or meetings, or adventures... I had a browse through my photos and thought it would be satisfying to round up some of my knitting, sewing and baking projects. These are the things that have kept me occupied and calm through the last months… As they fill up my wardrobe and bring a smile to my face, I share them with you.

I also share links to some of my current favourite websites…





16 April 2021

Facetime craft-time!

In the long list of fun Facetime calls with family and friends, comes another light-hearted craft project with my sister. We have concluded it is possible to do most things by Facetime while it’s the only way to keep connected… Mr Motivator and Jane Fonda exercise classes, baking, nail-painting, colouring, quizzing, afternoon tea-ing… I ordered two of the following felting kits from Stoff&Stil and once they had arrived we had a great time working on the project together! I have to admit that I did manage to stick the very sharp needle in my finger, requiring a plaster, but apart from this the outcome was incredibly cute. The cats we each made have their own personalities and mine now proudly hangs on the end of the clothes rail in my bedroom. The pack included plenty wool to form the cats around the polystrene balls. The instructions were pictures on the enclosed sheet, which seemed minimal but actually were fine and needed no words. The price was good and we are very happy! Another fun memory.


30 March 2021

Easter, Ostern, イースター 2021

Not long now until the long Easter weekend. If it is in your calendar of celebrations, enjoy the free time and chance to rest from the usual routine. Again, the covid situation means that we cannot celebrate in the way we all want to, but just like Christmas I am looking for all the small ways to be cheerful! That means a lot of delicious food, family and friends on video calls and walking if the weather is good. I am sure there will also be plenty time for sewing, knitting, crafting... 


12 March 2021

Note blocks…..

Before I write about the note blocks, I wanted to say that I was planning on changing the picture on my home page until I checked the local weather forecast for the next week or so. I think I will wait! Maybe we have more snow to come and I can save the pretty crocus photo a little longer. So, regarding note blocks. I am a paper person, I have notelets, note blocks, pieces of paper, Post It notes, notepads and diaries for everything. I love digital media but I am definitely not someone who can either remember everything they need to, or have everything neatly on the iPhone. For a long time I have wanted to create some A6 sized note blocks with some of my stamp designs - for use by me and as gifts and maybe eventually to sell, let’s see… After a bit of reading online I discovered and emailed the customer service team a few times with a couple of queries. As it was a bit of a test-run, I didn't want to spend a huge amount of money, but still wanted a good quality product. I pressed 'order' late on a Friday afternoon and by noon on the following Tuesday my pretty note blocks had arrived! I am really pleased with the quality of the printing, it is just as I expected. The information on the website regarding design and submission of files was clear and concise and the delivery was tracked and super quick (my only negative point is the lack of delivery options. For such a small order, the delivery option was pretty expensive and that is what made me resist ordering for a while.) So, while I admire my note blocks and use their pages for any and everything, I think ahead to the next project possibilities...


19 February 2021

Craft kit from

Now, this DIY craft kit from was designed to be made in time for Valentine’s Day on 14th February… but I wanted to save mine for a few days after that date, as I had a WhatsApp Video Stammtisch with my German craft-loving friends. We each had a personal project that we worked on while we chatted and I was very happy to add the finishing touches to this very pretty heart dried flower wreath. Instagram caught my attention and ‘made' me order the kit and I’m pleased that I did. It was lovely to receive eveything in a parcel to the front door, ready to begin. While we wait for in-person workshops to begin again safely, (I miss holding my own workshops so much!!) doing projects like this at home, either alone or in the virtual company of friends or family, really brings a smile and sense of satisfaction. It’s worth thinking about your skills or new skills you’d like to try and taking the time to find something to fit. I also enjoyed messaging Beata, the lady that creates these beautiful kits, to thank her personally for the kit. It is small things like this, that keep us all going and add to a sense of community, however virtual or limited at present.


28 January 2021

Video call shodo class resumes

I was very very pleased to recently have my first shodo class of 2021. Using Skype, my sensei (teacher) in Kobe, Japan, holds a one to one class with the same skill and know-how as if we were together in the same room. As well as working on the project for that week, we enjoy a chat and catch up on news at both ends. In the photos below, you can see the stages (3 of many, many stages!) in reaching a piece worthy of hanging. This lesson I wanted to work on the 4 kanjis for the seasons, spring (haru 春) summer (natsu 夏) autumn (秋 aki) and winter (fuyu 冬.) I am currently enjoying adding delicate colours to my shodo work… it is not something that I did while living in Japan but I began once I resumed classes by video, now living in Germany. The process of learning and repeating the black strokes of the kanji is rewarding and when I know those strokes well enough, I feel confident to add more feeling and emotion with colour. Thank you Noriko のりこ ありがとうございます!


18 January 2021

Virtuel-Stammtisch (virtual meet ups) continuing into 2021!

I’m already looking forward to the end of this week - with a group of crafty-friends from the local area, we will have a WhatsApp video call and catch up. At the same time, we will share what we are all currently working on, whether that is something pretty to decorate the home in this post-Christmas wintry season, the latest jumper to be knitted or some beautiful flowers crafted from old book pages… It is similar in idea to the two Virtuel-Handwerkkurs-Stammtisch WhatsApp video calls we enjoyed together last year. I chose something that I thought my friends would like and shared my knowledge with them. Not as in depth or involved as my usual workshops  but still a chance to see each other and share craft time together. Below are photos from these two Virtuel-Stammtisch… I know many of us are enjoying video calls with people we know and also new friends, to learn, meet and share time. It is a very precious tool to have.


11 January 2021

Happy New Year

It’s not the start to the year that I’m used to or that most people are used to. But even so, it’s important to remember to keep strong, positive and safe while we work on and wait for things to get better. I am still here working on many creative projects, keeping in touch with those dear to me and generally trying to keep healthy and happy. I hope you can do the same. 💓

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copyright all images and content Caroline Barley (unless otherwise stated)
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