Sunday, 22 November 2015


 another small strip, there are quite a few now, to me this one resembles a path, so for now that will be it's name; sometimes people say things to me that instantly hit a nerve, stuff that seems so obvious I wonder why I hadn't thought of saying this to my self; recently my coach in the office said a really nice thing to me, she said I am capable of looking at myself with love; now that is a big deal to me.....and I have been mulling it over ever since, I try to see if I feel it and weigh the thought in my mind. 
I do, feel it that is and more importantly, I also try to look at others with this same attitude: one of love.....
not easy after the attacks in Paris last weekend, however I do believe that looking with a sense of love at another person is the only way out of violence, of any kind, 'cos there is lots of that around
fortunately we have a Dog, who makes me step away from too grandiose ideas about self and a walk in the woods with His happy-go-lucky presence brings me back down to earth

as November becomes colder (finally) the wood burner glows orange, offering comfort to all the studio's occupants and heat for the dye pot (apple and tea)

mrs. Simpson, meanwhile is busy in the OldBirdKing's kitchen, making stew with the help from a small blue Owl - he's on the plate on the stove - mind you don't burn yourself small blue Owl!
the tiny kittens aren't really helping, however the geese seem to enjoy their playful presence and so mrs. Simpson doesn't mind either

another remark that got stuck inside my mind, wasn't directed specifically at me, it was made by Grace in a post a long while back, so I couldn't say where; she mentioned how suddenly she had realised, in the making of a cloth, what Jude had meant when she said how basting two pieces of fabric together make them as one, and this occurred in this cloth on the right in the pic above, where the grey square meets the tiny strip next to it and they have merged in this sense together with the grey linen backing cloth.
the black dog isn't truly black, just an outline with specks, will have to think of something else in the next cloth!

this year's small Autumn cloth is finished, below you can see it hanging beside last year's
this one is a lot busier: reflecting my state of mind perhaps?
this weekend has been the first in a long while I had Nothing planned, so two whole glorious days of having to do nothing...just being here:

Saturday, 14 November 2015

bleu blanc rouge

After the initial shock, followed by emotions such as outrage, helplessness and anger, I am left with  questions.
What was your point, guys?
I imagine the 77 virgins waiting apprehensively, only to be disappointed yet again by an assortment of body parts thrown into their laps….how they thread their needles and string together a macabre necklace;  would they wear it, or stuff it into the box filled with similar necklaces.

Would you not much rather have met a (wo)man here on earth, to hold, cherish and love him/her? To have been cherished, loved and held in return?
Again I ask: what is the point?

Sunday, 8 November 2015


 find self in the studio, the Birdhut, such a special place, it's hard to describe what it means to me, in my search for words I open Norman MacCaig's  The Many Days, the first part of the first poem in the book rings true:

Ineducable me
I don't learn much, I'm a man
of no improvements. My nose still snuffs the air
in an amateurish way. My profoundest ideas
were once the toys on the floor, I love them, I've licked
most of the paint off. A whisky glass
is a rattle I don't shake. When I love
a person, a place, an object, I don't see
what there is to argue about.*

* my italics
...and so I don't, argue that is...I just Fall into it All

 and all the while listening to Joni

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Fate & Grace

they have lit a candle for a small new born, who has had a rough start in life; others are joining in however I could not squeeze them all into the frame

Sunday, 1 November 2015

an active life

various stacks

 a lot happened in the garden this weekend: 2 more trees were pruned (the lime and ash) resulting in two stacks, one with wood for the wood burners, one mainly twigs I couldn't be bothered to schlepp along to the other side of the dike; paving tiles were removed from around the pear tree, we want grass and wild meadow flowers instead, it's always good to have a dream-garden; looking at our house, the north-facing facade, it all still looks rather unkempt, or wild-ish, although in the image below it would seem the stairs are sort of okay to walk on again now that all the slippery leaves have been swept away. after all the raking I've done this weekend all I have now is one blister on my right hand, I consider myself very lucky indeed!

the start of a new journey, as we edge towards colder days; the top six squares are sewn together using Jude's technique, in this case using contrasting thread: very strong; I had to stitch an extra piece along side the left leaf as there wasn't enough fabric to sew with; the machine sewn leaves are the 'back' side, cut offs from a pair of linen trousers I dyed blue (commercial dye) and as I didn't want to keep the embroidered bits I replaced those with other linen, lino-printed squares and had these leaves to play with

Sunday, 25 October 2015

mind over matter, or perhaps the other way 'round

yesterday a couple of friends and I attended the BRAINWASH festival in Amsterdam; an entire day (from 1 pm to 1 am) dedicated to philosophy,
OMG and whew and wow!
We heard Michael Sandel - from Harvard University no less, and partook in a Socratic discussion on what is just, on what is the right thing to do, some more than others as there were 1600 of us in the audience! Anthrophologist/journalist Joris Luyendijk, whose most recent book Dit kan niet waar zijn about the London bankers world is a bestseller, which I too happened to have read making me feel worthy at being present; Laura van Dolron, theatre maker/performer, philosopher Marli Huijer, who spoke to us about Hannah Arendt's 'inter esse' and how there is always an in-between-space which defines what we think, see, hear, feel, are......Brooklyn based Guardian journalist Oliver Burkeman, who pleaded passionately in favour of inefficiency, I wholeheartedly concur; Farid Tabarki, who was introduced as one of the most
 influential persons on our planet*, although to be honest I had never heard of him, which probably says more about me; he is a trend watcher who has been travelling the globe observing and predicting where we're heading! His main claim is that in our so-called modern, fluid society what we need to do is LISTEN to each other, amen to that. Joep Schrijvers, author of international ever seller Hoe word ik een rat? or How do I become a rat? joined a discussion on the future of capitalism and a couple more whose names I can't recall.   
fortunately the talks were situated in various locations, so we were not just sitting and absorbing, we got to walk and talk a bit as well; en route from one theatre to the next we stumbled upon this cute book stall, I have never seen these in Amsterdam before, they always remind me of romantic

and here in the Theatre 'De Brakke grond', yet another bookshop: with an incredible selection of second-hand books and exclusive limited editions; I simply couldn't resist and bought three slim volumes to rinse my grey matter after such an enervating day

I am attracted by book covers, so the choice was made with my eyes rather than my mind:
the first I feel speaks for itself, or rather Herself: 'a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write' the one and only Virginia Woolf 

the second is an interview with the German author Rainald Goetz an unknown to me, the bookseller told me Goetz, during a televised literary tournament in 1983 said 'Ich schneide ein Loch in meinem Kopf' and adding action to words, he slit his own forehead with a razor blade and as the blood ran down his face he continued reading until finished, I became intrigued; the title suggests a passionate nature as it translates into "Anger = Energy' 

Book number three by 
Jean Cocteau, visual and word-artist, took me back to a framed poster of this exact same image we had in our family home, so this was my madeleine for the day and as the title refers to children, albeit terrible ones, quite fitting I think. 

* I exaggerate a petit peu

meanwhile back at the studio, tiny stitches connect dike to water