Sunday, 18 January 2015

quite a lot

Onze Lieve Vrouwe kerk=church in Maastricht, the statue of Mary, Sterre der Zee/Star of the Sea with lots of lit candles; the church is situated along the square just around the corner from where my old folks live in the centre of town. I popped down for a short visit with friend M. who had never been inside this church and so we wandered in to witness this spectacle; there are always people coming and going, lighting candles, praying kneeling taking pictures, she is obviously still very much a part of Catholic life - I am an onlooker, at my age baffled by the faithful, yet I hope respectful of their intentions and beliefs

back home on the north facing kitchen window sill a new addition: the doll's display table with two willow pattern tea services, the smaller incomplete version from my own childhood plus a slightly larger version with the van Nelle brand printed on it, which by coincidence was given to me by the same friend who accompanied me to Maastricht; the red metal cups and cutlery basket come from my paternal grandparents' house as does the display table, I remember playing for hours and hours with those toys


despite the cold weather and thanks to new beds for the boys I have started a fresh dye pot with pomegranate/red and yellow onion/avocado peels, tea leaves and a residue from a forgotten dye pot, hence the blue; this is not a natural dye, but comes from a bottle with blue biester powder which I dropped into the forgotten pot and I am glad I did because the blue finally took to the cloth as can be seen below:

although this might also have something to do with Maria's rinsing advice (I visited her last week and we had a lot of fun revealing one of her dyeing experiments, will show pics of that at a later, more appropriate date) fix the colours with vinegar! I only just remembered in the nick of time as I saw the blue seeping out of the fabric as I was washing it under the running tap, so blue and muddy greys. Fine.
Two more reveals in images below, one with the
blooming tree, where I'm sewing running stitch in horizontal and vertical lines in the small squares created by the invisible baste (very much visible on the back of course)so now we see undulating motion in the plains......


detail above on front; detail on back below....got me wondering: what if I started off with a removable baste followed by the horizontals and verticals and then after having removed the original baste was then left without the basting lines altogether? just running stitch squares in opposite directions


here more details on the stark tree cloth: the sheer curtain fabric has been kantha-d as well
just to clarify what my dyeing has to do with new beds for the boys: their new beds are 30 cm wider than the old ones, meaning the mattress sheets are too small, leaving me with a choice: either sew old sheets together to make them fit, or buy new ones for them (yes) and use the old ones for dyeing (even better) you can probably guess what I chose.....we all win, I now have a vast supply of dyeing material as the sheets are white and cotton, whilst the boys enjoy large beds, fresh linen and have admitted to having not slept so well in a long, long time (despairing parents of teens know how they love their sleep).

mooie momenten zakje = fine moments pocket

card from Maria, well this post is full of those

Thursday, 15 January 2015

good advice

rereading Pirsig (third time) thanks to a conversation I had at the office christmas dinner during which a colleague asked me whether I had fully understood this book - we were talking about his motorcycle whereupon I asked him if he had per chance read Zen & the art of... yes he had, admitting he had found it pretty tough going at times -
 my initial reaction to his question was 'yes' quickly followed by a 'I have forgotten quite a lot, though' and so I began again; it is full of wise 
mind boggling, soul searching Chautauquas, so I probably have understood far less than I thought!  
having started reading 4 weeks ago I have encountered three other men (including my husband) who have also read the book, so quite a few conversations have revolved around 'classical versus romantic thinking' et cetera. Whilst discussing Zen &...  the Tibetan book of the Dead was also mentioned and serendipitously there was a positive review on the telly (did not see that myself)so lo and behold it is all of a sudden a minor hype in book land, the latter that is.
I seemed to recall owning the Tibetan book myself, although I had been unable to locate it for time now. I have been reorganising books amongst other things and had not come across it so far. Today however it took just one look at the exact shelf it was sat on: yep there it was. See I wasn't going crazy, I do own this book.....and then whilst making the two collages below, a line of wisdom in a magazine, to which I would like to add: READ * SMILE

SEW*COOK*WRITE*DRAW*MAKE*GROW*READ*SMILE

'there's a black dog in the living room, his paws are very muddy, do we let him stay or not?'
off to friend R. in the UK who loves dogs

fallen angel, have not yet made up my mind where she's heading

Sunday, 11 January 2015

collage

 did a spot of printing with a couple of friends, forgot to take pics - although I did continue after they were gone, proof of which can be seen in last image and I had a go at collage after having read Julie's tips over at Threading the Dog here. Old magazines and books have been sacrificed for this


I used an old fake leather note book cover as print material, never used the note book as the paper was just too awful, very cheap quality; the paper I printed on is from yet another note book from India made with recycled materials 

Friday, 9 January 2015

another dream come true

from the rough removable baste to an almost complete kantha-ed cloth, from a stark nearly complete tree to who knows where?


i very much like the not-so-complete tree on the back
am sewing mainly in the evenings, have a second part-time job in my favourite bookshop de mandarijn, started yesterday..... am very excited.....


completely happy, very wet and fast doggy

Sunday, 4 January 2015

first Sunday of 2015

the weather was just so, so good today: clear blue skies, not too cold, no winds, just the sun and the fresh air to lure you out onto the open road; went for a morning walk in the woods with Django and the husband; then, later on with a couple of friends a favourite, circular walk from Fort Asperen on the dikes along the river Linge, passing through the picturesque villages of Acquoy and Gellicum back to Asperen, oh to be alive in the Betuwe on such a day!

summer house revisited, after frequent overdyeing I am now adding a bit of colourful stitching

and in both these pieces the tree is growing, I think there'll be a lot more trees this year



this small Autumn piece finally finished, it is a quiet piece, much like a calm day in the harvest season; imagine sitting outside with a cup of coffee basking in the warm afternoon sun, chores-for-the-day all done, the dog chewing his bone and once in a while he looks up at you and at these moments the two of you are completely content and have not a care in the world


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Best Wishes



although we're not all in the photo - we did set a time and date, but not everybody was able to make it here - we do all of us wish you a Happy New Year, may 2015 bring you the very best of everything you wish/need/hope for

(....and in the unlikely event, things do not go according to plan, make the best of what does happen to come your way....)

Sunday, 28 December 2014

black shadows on white


yesterday Django experienced snow for the first time in his life, his response to the white fluffy stuff was to race around in circles and then taste it (Tungsten used to do the latter as well)
Skies were grey with all the snow, which continued to fall overnight.....
.....so this morning we woke up to an even whiter, brighter world, including blue skies and shining sun; it was as if nature was calling out to us: get up, rise out of bed and go for a walk - here are Django and the husband in the 'uiterwaarden' along the river Linge, just on the other side of our dike