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Meet German mom Indre living in Berlin...

Monday, 7 June 2010 by Irene Hoofs

My name is Indre Zetzsche and I live in Berlin (Germany) since about15 years. I still love that creative-lively and at the same time relaxed city. Although I take a critical view at several developments especially the increasing gentrification, which will – I fear – destroy lots of creativity and the specific spirit of Berlin.....


......I am mother of a nearly adult boy (17 years) and a little girl of almost 2 years. As senior consultant in a political and management consultancy in my regular occupation I mainly keep busy with strategies, processes and communication. But the creative-artistic matter always plays an important role in my live.


My last project is a picture book for young parents A Walk with Mascha (Spaziergang mit Mascha). It is a sort of poetic collage of a baby point of view and parental fantasy. You can a have look at the book (or order it)at the little online-shop of my dear friend Ieva: annasusanna peter & hanna. Unfortunately it is only to refer in German but if you wish I will have it translated. Together with Ieva I am currently working on the art project: tomorrow it will snow =  morgen schneit es, for what I have written a poem in 9 numbers (in German) inspired by Ievas photos.


What kind of house do you live in, are you and the kids happy there or is there anything you all terribly miss?

My husband, our daughter and me, we live in a typical Berlin workman´s house from the end of the 19th century (my son stays with his father since his 14th birthday). Unfortunately our landlord has replaced the lattice by plastic windows and the floorboards by laminate. But however we love our flat in the 4th floor: It is bright and sunny, light and airy. If I had a wish, I would wish to live in an huge old fabric building with ceilings as high as the sky and rooms as wide as the flat country round Berlin. There are lots of old fabrics in the east of Germany and sometimes dreams come true … ;)


Do you like to spend time on decorating your home and the children´s room?
Oh yes, I would say, decorating our home is one of my passions ever since I was a child. As a little girl I arranged whole flats in my daydreams. For me it is a very meditative and also creative work. I love to discover new interior design, original furniture and fancy accessories– and have to be careful not to become addicted.


Where do you look for interior inspiration, favourite magazines, websites, blogs?

There are so many inspiration sources that I sometimes nearly go crazy. It is like a sensory overload. But you ask me for my favourite sources. Well, I read the Elle Decoration since 13 years and from time to time I buy other interior magazines, e.g. H.O.M.E or Schöner Leben. But the most inspiration sources I find in the blogland. Besides Bloesem and B.Kids I continuously follow for instance: fromscandinaviawithlove, catherinehug, dinge die ich mag, domesticcandy.


What’s it like to raise a child in your town?

To raise a child in Berlin means on the one hand lots of spots in really good kindergartens, many playgrounds and parks where the little ones can romp or drive their training bikes and many child-friendly cafés and restaurants. On the other hand, Berlin is a typical big town with lots of traffic, noise and polluted air. I am happy to have a little garden where my daughter hopefully will play soon under the big old trees – hopefully because the garden has been abandoned for 6 years and there is a lot to do now.


What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?

A perfect day for me is spending my time with my two children. They love each other that much, seeing them playing and romping together fills me with great joy.


What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?

Actually, my daughter is too young to do handicraft work and my son is too old. Thus I can only tell what I would like to do. Besides painting I would like to do collages (like my picture book I mentioned above) and new things of old things, e.g. playhouses made of old cartons. But first of all I would like to work with papier mâché. It is such a wonderful material: light and plastic. When I was a student (studied cultural science) I have worked intensively with it, creating lamps and different accessories. I am really looking forward to doing animals or string puppets together with my daughter.


Books, websites, local shops you can recommend to get advice and ideas for kids crafting?

I know two wonderful blogs full of brilliant ideas for kids crafting: Joel is the most creative father I have ever met and Frau Liebe (means Mrs. Love) is the most inspiring kindergarten teacher I know. On their blogs and you will find thousands of ideas and inspirations.


What are all time favourite books for the children?

Well, as a fan of good illustration I recommend picture books by Charley Harper, Wolf Erlbruch or Eric Carle. My children both love the “crawling”-books by Ali Mitgutsch. And of course the stories of Astrid Lindgren like Pippi Longstocking or Michel/Emil from Lönneberga are real must-haves.


What are nice activities you can do with children in your place and what could you recommend when people are visiting?

In Schöneberg (that´s where I live) and environment you can do a lot with children. I especially recommend the zoo in the city and the Nature Park Südgelände. The latter was the biggest hump yard in Berlin until the 2nd World War. Then it laid waste for nearly 50 years and the nature has recaptured the area. Now it is home to a wide variety of rare and endangered species of plants and animals. Children feel like in a jungle and parents enjoy the mixture of nature and art, urbanity and wildness. 


In addition, Schöneberg offers a variety of family- or child-friendly cafés like the children-culture-café Kalimero or the family-café Emma & Paul. And if you like “treasure hunting” you will find lots of wonderful second-hand-shops for children, e.g. klix or Lumpenprinzessin = means princess of tatter.


More about Berlin-Schöneberg you could find on my blog: Frau Mima

..Indre Zetzsche..

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