Sunday, 19 March 2017

back & forth

 last weekend my mother, sister and I travelled north to Copenhagen for a long weekend, mainly to visit family - my mum's Danish - and celebrate a cousins-get-together, all organized by our mother, who is still a very active woman; the trip to Copenhagen has become a tradition in itself now, since this is the fourth year we went there in March (our dad and brother get to spend quality time together back at my parents' home) it is always such a jolly occasion and we get to catch up on all sorts of family gossip, as you may well imagine

 I added animals and fruits to these small pillows, they were gifts for our hosts

we stayed with my auntie M. where I recognize several pieces, love how she framed this one with the light shining through

my sister and I slept in my aunt's bed, at first we were accompanied by Fido the dog; once he realised his mistake he pottered on down stairs to lay by his mistresses's side
we did not merely visit relatives, for the benefit of our cultural education we (re)visited Charlottenborg, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts * where I spent a magical Summer back in 1987 painting huge canvases tacked onto the floor; many hours were whiled away in the small garden to the back, we, i.e. a couple of students, had a key to the back door hidden in the wall, so we were able to wander in and out all hours of the night & day 

back to 2017: in the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition * my spirits were uplifted by this grand old lady, still going strong at age 90!
Aase Seidler Gernes (b 1927)
'her exhibition contains works that span her entire artisitc oeuvre; since the 1950's she has created colourful textile works such as tapestries, tablecloths and unique clothing, all featuring characteristic patterns and geometric compositions'

 back home once more; went for a walk with Django on Thursday, as you can see it was very sunny and warm, oh how we northeners love the sun.....I had to pull myself across the water on this foot ferry, Django stood barking as he dare not step on and it was only as I alighted on the other side he decided he just had to jump into the water and swim across as I had no intention of hauling myself back again

 we step onto very dry, bare land, enjoying the quiet spaces; we didn't meet anyone during the entire walk, sometimes it's like that in our crowded country, even on a day like this

 adding yet more beings to the small pillows, a Funny man and a Party bird, making my husband burst out laughing

well, I guess laughter is good for the soul

Monday, 6 March 2017

what are they?

my absence was noticed: been here all the time, just not posting or commenting much; this happens from time to time, especially once Spring has arrived: the sun pulls me outdoors and looking at the laptop just doesn't seem as appealing; plus I have discovered yoga, am practising 6 days a week and loving it.....I have been making the small pillows - in the evenings mainly - and have finished the large one, it's like a ship carrying cargo, or it could be a whale; I imagine children playing with these soft toys, telling each other stories......

Saturday, 11 February 2017

sewing away

it was going to go somewhere else, however we all know a woman changes her mind more often than not, so the small tree patch has landed in this log cabin mini-quilt, not that I knew what it was until I learned about this motif, where other than over at Jude's, where I was carried away via the virtual waves to, very quaint indeed

wonderful how fast we are able to travel these days

the cream/green silk comes from Dee and the pale blue from Julie, the stained silk from my wedding dress; the very fine cotton is, if I remember correctly, from a blouse my sister-in-law handed down to me

it never ceases to amaze me -when I make myself think about it- how in such a small square there are already so many connections....I haven't even mentioned all the effort that went into producing the fabrics themselves, the dyes, the threads; come to think of it, everything I make is always part of something bigger, resulting sometimes as a final product at the end of a long line of human production and/or natural processes

humbling to realize how small I actually am; I tend not to think too much about the bigger picture (or my place in the world) focused as I am on my belly button, very much the centre of my world; child-like almost

moving on now to this larger piece: a Big Pillow, deviating ever so slightly from the smaller ones; it can't be any other way 'cos I want to keep this boat image intact; it started life as a seperate piece, became integrated in the Larger Cloth, which itself didn't survive and has been cut into several smaller pieces, most of which resulted in the Small Comfort cushions (or Soft Landings, I'm not sure what to call them really, are they seperate enitities or should they stay together?)
As I decided we needed new pillows on our beds, it meant I had a really nice down pillow left over (a couple of the oldest ones have gone to Django as well as to  the eldest son who no longer lives here, but in his student digs and needs five pillows, new and old, I haven't asked why)

I made the pillow smaller, i.e. narrower, as the down feathers have shrunk, fallen in on themselves as it were, and I want a full plump look, without losing the softness. I've had to use a ruler for drawing straight lines onto the fabric, and am now sewing the front and back to each other as neatly as possible; when I look at all those hand-sewn stitches, absolutely mind boggling and yet, also completely as it should be

Saturday, 4 February 2017


Arjen Lubach, Dutch comedian

I believe the only thing that can save us is laughter!

'tweet re-tweet' 
far from the turmoil on the world stage, at home surrounded by the beings in the studio, loving family members, the dog wagging his tail - apart from his not so subtle nudging urging me outdoors for a walk every 15 minutes or so - a sense of sanity, calm and well-being descends upon all those who dwell here....I feel grateful to be here, alive and healthy in this day & age, despite it all
although I too grapple with many petty so-called first world worries: a new phone that doesn't seem to be uploading the photo's the way I'm used to, hence the lack of posts these past couple of days; two phones arriving instead of one, having to send one back and fill in all kinds of incomprehensible forms; 'stay calm, breathe in breathe out, don't let yourself get upset'
switching energy supply companies, argh, very friendly woman named Claire whom I must have spoken to/emailed 20 times this week (I kid you not) but now if all goes according to plan we will be heating and cooking with renewables instead of adding to climate change* whilst cooking a healthy meal or taking a hot shower!

dealing with 2 different companies and stuff went wrong, not because human beings made mistakes (which we sometimes do) but because their 'systems' failed.....well we have all been there I guess; fortunately in both cases the two women I dealt with, wanted to help, be of service, we talked like real people do, we made jokes, in short we made it; Small Feats

have started practicing yoga again after a botched attempt in a class years ago, a much more intense kind, I think this might be helping as well

(*this is not an alternative fact)

latest small cushion, with a hare-in-hiding, a small green bird, full moon (yep, Jude related) blue silk from my wedding dress, rust marks lino print indigo dye lots of tiny stitches

thinking of sewing the tree-print-patch onto this one, adding a layer 

display on windowsill; the humble toothbrush has become purely decorative, I tried brushing my teeth with it: the wood is just so uncomfortable! too hard in my sensitive mouth, ha

ever expanding and contracting collection of small cushions, where have the other ones gone? memory's a fine thing

Saturday, 14 January 2017

blue skies turning grey

 yesterday snow and cold and winter in the land, today most of the white stuff has disappeared and temperature feels kind of like spring might be on it's way, as long as the sun shines....we've had wet snow, drifting by in swirls leaving no lasting impression, Dutch winters these past years don't quite happen
at least the studio is cosy and warm, snug with the wooden walls; i'm sketching with fabric, long drawings, landscape impressions, glimpses of blue moons - thanks to Jude - the beautiful squares are from Julie, i have so much to be grateful for.....

i thought of folding this one and now rather like it as is, the shape reminding me of a skirt, so that'll be it's title 'the half skirt'; still needs a backing for the left part plus want to integrate the right part more with the blue silk

Shakey Graves performing 'dearly departed'