Tuesday, 3 April 2018


 at the bottom of one of my baskets, the one I carry back and forth from studio to house, and back again, containing several small 'cloth projects' various needles, a pair of strong reading/stitching glasses, a pair of sharp tiny pointy snipping scissors, lots of small strips of cloth and a multitude of threads all caught together, in said basket I found a small bundle of assorted fabrics Jude had sent me more than a year ago, one of several she sent me in fact, tucked away in other baskets no doubt! to my shame I must now admit I had completely forgotten about this particular bundle, which is kind of weird as I do remember being quite excited on unwrapping and unfolding it, to find tucked in there this patched piece and thinking to myself: from the hand of our Teacher, here for me to observe and learn from!
And I had done nothing with it for over a year now......that was about to change

I looked at the piece,and noticed it was machine stitched, which surprised me a bit, maybe it was an old piece, maybe not even stitched by Jude, anyway all of a sudden that no longer mattered; how to make it mine as it were, how was I going to use it? I first tried sewing it onto another thin bit of fabric, I actually did, looked at it and it just didn't feel right
so I pulled out all that stitching and undid the machine stitches and started to hand-stitch the parts back together again, Jude-style so the seams fold flat of themselves, thus making it mine in a manner of speaking, something I could work with
 then for my favourite running stitch in 4 directions, the patched piece was sewn onto a thin piece of cotton, lovely to work with; it had now become a 2 layered piece, the start of a new small pillow; I looked hard for a piece to match this one and found a hand-dyed piece from I believe Maria's though I'm not quite sure; this was sewn onto the same thin cotton cloth, again running stitch in a square, starting in the middle; colour wise all very subdued; for a final flourish, a dash of colour: threadbeads and I miscounted thinking I had made 7 red ones adding on 7 orange and 7 green ones only to realise once I started with the blues I had in fact sewn 8 red ones! 8 blues then....having made up my mind that the patchwork was out of kilter as well, so asymmetrical thread beads were imperfectly perfect; I also thought it needed a bird, stitched one and thought the better of it, cut it loose...hmm sounds friendlier than it was: there no longer exists this particular bird

front and back the two sides are united and stuffed, and there we have it: another Small Pillow

Saturday, 17 March 2018

sometimes i need quiet

snow is fluttering, very lightly, over here
most of the garden is still green and mud brown
wind blowing from the north east
cold and noisy
the studio is a sanctuary
where needle & thread, paintbrush and paper, gifts from friends
offer the hands a way out of overthinking mind
and the heart solace

Friday, 16 March 2018

a small goodbye

 my mother-in-law died Wednesday 14 March, in the afternoon, surrounded by a couple of close family members myself included; what you could claim to be a 'good death' she breathed her last gasping breath and then as we sat watching and listening: nothing, not a sound and we knew

she was gone

apart from our dog Tungsten I have never witnessed a death of a living being I have been emotionally attached to
it's unnerving and moving in ways I hadn't considered possible

I know I'm not saying anything new here, but for me this actual experience was an unknown

we have been sad and out of kilter, none too much though, as her passing was expected and in a strange way even welcomed; she suffered from dementia and had long gone, in a sense

I say to self how I must remember to embrace the living whilst they are here

always when I feel at a loss I go for long walks, being outdoors and breathing in and out is all it takes; and then in the evening, sitting and stitching, making a small pillow 

the pale yellow and blue fabric comes from Dee, the brighter blue from Jude, the polka dots are from a scarf that happened to come my way, the rust resist is from one of my own dye pots

Sunday, 11 March 2018

ever more small pillows, unexpected presents & a minor cheat

packed snugly together within a frame, thinking of how best to display them; above themed according to a pale palette

here the blues are telling their own tale

 a week ago (or more?) a box, full of - as it turned out - delightful presents; completely out of the blue, and all the way from  over the ocean, from lovely Dee (one of my favourite (blogs)) above everything still wrapped and then below partly unwrapped, small offerings for The Dwelling & a couple of items I am likely to use for other creative activities....


loving these tie dye results,  using previously plant dyed cotton shirts and a silk blouse, they were all turning into a rather sickly yellow/brown and so I decided to dye them with commercial dye: jeans blue for the silk blouse and the shirt on the left below; a mix of olive green and royal blue for the vest and other cotton shirt (I also dyed several pairs of trousers plus a faded, favourite towel, which turned out absolutely fabulous and thoroughly refreshed, nothing to post about though) I really like how the plant dye still shows in parts

back the The Dwelling and some of the presents
the small porcelain bird has taken up residence in OBK's room, where he is enjoying a sandwich and tea whilst waiting for OBK to wake up; I am sure they will have loads to twitter about, world politics and the likes.......

cheeky Cupid has landed in Ms Smith's Studio, where he imagines he'll make interesting modelling material for her, hmph.....

Sunday early afternoon mini-concert: the violinist Hippo plays a merry yet spiritual tune for an impromptu Jolly Cactus Gathering(in the far right notice mr. PR is dozing off)

the wooden church found a spot in the temporary Buddha space, we're not particularly devout here, nor very strict in our dogmas, living as harmoniously as is possible with such a mixed bunch of critters!
always remembering:
breath in breath out

ah, mr PR decided to skip the concert; here he is, sitting on the new green chair, drinking tea/milk/coffee with BigBaby and Woodstock, in the posh new cups (we do so like to be surrounded by beautiful things!)

a BIG thankyou from all of us here Dee, a small token of our gratitude is on it's way to you

Sunday, 28 January 2018


ms Smith has been busy and highly productive: she has already finished several colourful paintings and 2 small pillows; the tiny birds love being in her studio, in part because that's where I moved their staircase to; Woodstock and BlueOwl are big fans as well, and have become her assistants (wish I had a couple of those!) 
the yellow wooden bird on the right plus what I think is a hedgehog are queuing up, eager to pose for their portraits.....  

have been sewing and stitching as well, adding to what I like to call my installation, titled:

Friday, 26 January 2018

state of flux

the Dwelling - doors closed
 Big Changes, hence my absence here, plus change equals unrest, leading to unhinged, irregular routine, if you can call it that.
Anyway, coming to the point, in short: got fired, last job ended December 2017, entered UnemploymentBenefit-land, the weirdest of bureaucratic worlds, discovered I don't do forms well, got caught in catch22 loops; thought I had decided to take time off and rediscover the full-time working experience of the Studio, seriously started tidying up the Studio, continued in the Dwelling,  still could not stop, started helping my parents, then a friend of theirs...and then my light-bulb moment......
THIS is what I do pretty well & I enjoy it, and there are folks out there willing to pay for my services

What it boils down to is this: I want to start my own small business (still need a name in Dutch!)the business being 'tidying up your house, be it one room, the entire house from attic-to-cellar, hereby bringing order to your kitchen/bedroom closet/mind, whatever you feel needs decluttering'

The Dwelling now looks like this, not quite finished as I think I want to add paintings on the front, when the doors are closed and a few items have been added since I took these photos:

Buddha on the left requested a small pillow, for, as he explained, sitting on your bum for over 2500 years is at times hard!
BuddhaBird let him use his as he in turn wanted to get close and cosy with one of our new arrivals, a sweet little doll from E's house

an artist friend! Ms Smith bustled in, she is very articulate and (extremely) energetic: she has managed to finish several paintings, and two small pillows (none of them in the photos, sorry) as well as entertaining all who come and visit her in what is now a very nice Small Studio in the Dwelling

the violin playing hippo and grey mouse also wandered in from E's house; as you can see the musical performance is much appreciated by all who have gathered together in the Celebration Room; OBK is delighted to make their acquaintance 

shelves in the large kitchen