Thursday, 18 December 2014

book lovers silly season decoration

in accordance with the silly season instead of an actual christmas-tree I opted for a staggering mound of books attempting to resemble something like a tree*; to be fair I did try to buy one, I was never more determined to do so and visited three tree-selling-points, however I was so disappointed in quality and/or price, I gave up 

* if trees are triangular, straight edged and have titles on their backs that is

Sunday, 14 December 2014

such a simple and excellent Sunday

 had minor problems at capturing two moving black dogs Django and Felix in one image; I'm amazed at how well adapted they are to the cold, compared to what I have to put on to stay warm!

 I endeth today's post with a selfie smiling at a Sunday well spent: got up late, i.e. 9 o'clock and enjoyed a relaxed breakfast reading news papers, other blogs, the comments on the last post over here, followed by a great walk-in-the-woods with friend D. and her dog Felix; cleaned out several gutters: leaves were frozen into place after last night's frost; went into town in the afternoon where I watched a short play in favourite book shop de Mandarijn with friends M. and S., the play was fun and I felt cultural and part of society once more; afterwards we went for a cup of tea and chocolate at N. and J's house.....

I only just noticed many bottles* behind me in the first pic, which could imply that is the reason I'm smiling, however I am sticking to my favourite beverage: tea, as evidenced by last two pics of the day

* I have dubbed it 'the vitamin-cupboard' with all the upheaval of moving furniture in/out/about our tiny house, this cupboard now contains shelves for fruit and veggies, books on gardening, cook books and several small volumes of poetry and our supply of bottles containing alcohol 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

moving in

this was Wednesday morning on our walk, the light was just spectacular

meanwhile our guests have been settling in; the ducks and geese love water and decided the bathroom was their favourite place to be, okay then that's them taken care of.....
some of the food has found a spot in the kitchen, I'm thinking of adding a larder!

detergents et cetera in the cellar ( had to clear that out, we have so much junk)

ah, poor angry goose all by himself, serves him right for making such a fuss about everything...he's even mad at the trees.....

cow and horse conversing with the finger out on the balcony

pardon Pigeon's bum, he's rehearsing with the choir for Christmas eve

made a tree-thingy for the chickens and pelicans, they seem to like perching on a branch; notice Sally and Kitty are back for the holidays! mingling with the newcomers straight away; not only am I refurbishing the studio for all the critters, I am also moving stuff about the house, garden and veranda, we* are clearing out my mother-in-law's house as it has been sold and the new owners will want to move in soon
we as in: me and the husband, mostly him in fact)

the turkeys are very happy watching the dinner table from a safe distance, no way are they gonna end up ON the table, ha.

somehow the calf managed to get up here, probably with a little mischievous 'help' from our prankster BirdBoy

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

gimme shelter

'tis often the case that the month of December, with it's short dark days and long cold nights, finds many creatures adrift, on the lookout for a safe place to stay; sometimes for a longer period, other times just for the just so happens that this is indeed the case in our household, as of today.....
 after a long day in the office I came home to a warm and busy welcome: Julie of Threading the Dog informed me a couple of weeks ago I was to expect the arrival of certain small beings looking for 'a place to stay' and then she asked me to forget she'd mentioned this, which I promptly did. So imagine my surprise on entering our house this evening to find the kitchen full of birds, the odd cow and a stray horse. My husband sighed a huge sigh of relief as soon as he saw me and said, 'Darling, we seem to have visitors'.......Followed by a 'they appear to be hungry, or something......', whereupon he managed to sneak out of the kitchen into the living room where he settled on the settee in front of the telly and instantly turned deaf to the clamour that arose from the assembled group. To be honest I couldn't really tell what they were on about, so I nodded in sympathy and did a lot of 'hmmmm, hmmmm-ing' ( a trick I learnt from aforementioned husband) ................. when all of a sudden they became very quiet and I realised they must be very tired after the long, arduous journey over the ocean. Without further ado I swept them all together and tucked them snugly in a basket on top of some beautiful fabrics they had taken with them (amazingly polite and thoughtful of them to bring their own sheets! they have also managed to smuggle loads of food in their luggage, which helps a lot in the organisation of the studio-Christmas dinner - which you all know I'm kind of nervous about

they seem to love grunkernmehl, which was something I had never heard of; have googled it and I think it's spelt flour; as there are quite a few chicks* this make sense as it could be used for porridge; will ask more tomorrow as I prepare breakfast
* turns out the chicks (with the notable addition of one of the young geese) are a boy choir and the pigeon is their music director - in my mind that's the music organised for the x-mas do! I love it when things start to go smoothly (although there's still loads to do apart from organizing Christmas, as we're also clearing out my mother-in-law's house, meaning stuff is being moved from there to here and from here to here as well, if that sounds muddled up, it's because I am too)

coffee & biscuits

huddled together in the basket just before they fell asleep

All is calm once more for they are fast asleep, I'll let them sleep in tomorrow morning. Plenty of time to introduce them to the gang in the studio once they're up and running. As we didn't know when to expect them no body will be missing them just yet.......

....and now for a bit of music to shake loose those legs and let the mind wander free....

Friday, 5 December 2014

how our eyes might deceive us

what has caught his eye?

slightly off-focus

 a small cloth I've been playing with since weaving class with Jude the main piece of fabric was dyed with a flour resist in a black-bean-dye I seem to recall; after having made the cut-out star/circle I've been adding bits of fabric 'on the back' that are just lying around, biding their time until my eye happens upon them and I am enticed to use them; the only guideline here was the cross shape made by the two oblong strips covering the hole and I wanted the whole to be two-layered, not quite there yet. I just love how when the light shines through, both sides integrate and you
can hardly tell one from the other.....

this is what it might look like, the christmas table for the beings

thought I spotted someone sitting on the OldBirdKing's throne, must be a trick of the light

Thursday, 4 December 2014

another heart-to-heart

After last week’s rant I am delighted to announce, I have overcome my dread of the Christmas season and am now able to look at December in a whole new light; I would like to thank those who have taken the time to comment and whose commiserations and words of wisdom from those-in-the-know changed my preconceptions……I am not being ironic, different perspectives have helped me reconsider mine: my attitude has radically changed! It's one thing knowing I don't really need anyone's permission to not embrace Christmas and all that it entails, but it certainly helps realising others before me have loosened up on festive obligations and that it works. That in itself is already a Christmas spirited gift from you to me.

I find myself actually looking forward to doing certain Christmas stuff, I’ll pick and choose the things I enjoy and leave the things I don’t like to others or conveniently forget about them.

Things I most certainly do enjoy:
- making decorations, many most all are Danish*, weaving paper hearts for hanging in a proper real Christmas tree and cutting tin foil snow flakes for the windows; and, this I’m longing to do, weave really tiny hearts for the Project, how small will I be able to make them?
- Making the house and studio feel cosy, Christmassy, jolly, full of fairy lights, candles, rugs, wood stacked beside wood burner, bake cookies for the boys with my German friend where they have this great tradition for baking the most scrumptious Christmas biscuits
 - I‘ll be making presents as per usual, so the gifts will at least be ‘unique’
- Finish the Project Christmas table cloth and make a long table for everyone to sit at plus a throne for the BirdKing
- Not make a to-do list, I believe I’ve kind of failed here
- Not worry about food, what I wear, shopping (‘cos I won’t be)anything else I’ve forgotten to fret about

the woven heart is actually a basket for sweets, so you end up with a Christmas tree full of treats

(*I mention yet again my mother’s Danish and Christmas is a big deal over there and so it was/is in our house)

it's darn cold over here, Winter is almost upon us although today without the icy cold winds doesn't feel as cold as it did yesterday; Django doesn't seem to mind at all and he'll jump into the water as if it were a warm bath 'throw the stick just one more time please, would you' and when I've decided enough's enough, off he trots ahead of me, running back and forth, back and forth 'come on you, keep up!'

Sunday, 30 November 2014

on the of christmas my true love said to me

There are twelve months in a year, after eleven relatively quiet ones we enter the dark month of December. And December always turns into a Very Busy month. Without wanting to, one feels overcome by an overwhelming sense of – let’s be completely truthful here - panic……Christmas Panic. I'm not kidding, let me list a few of the things we have to deal with that spring immediately to mind: Christmas shopping, Christmas presents, Christmas pudding, Christmas hangover(s), Christmas hors d'oeuvres, Christmas leftovers, Christmas outfit(s)(can I get away with wearing the same outfit several times, given that I move in different circles so the likelihood of the same people being at the same venue is infinitesimally small, hence one person noticing I’m indeed wearing same outfit twice is highly unlikely, then again, who actually cares?)*, Christmas guests, Christmas dinners, Christmas parties, Christmas office-do, Christmas decorations, Christmas to-tree-or-not-to-tree, honestly it’s not as if I haven’t been here before, as if I don’t know Christmas is coming and yet each and every year I feel trampled upon by it all; it’s almost as if the season of bewildered merriment and jolly red-nosed stress is ‘suddenly’ upon us.** Shorter days do not help either!

I suggested they could start by tidying and cleaning the kitchen whilst I'm in the office the next couple of days, so far no one has volunteered

This year is no different. To add to my general bafflement, the gang has gathered and declared they too want to celebrate Christmas ‘all together’ in a manner befitting Christmas, hallelujah! This doesn’t necessarily mean I am invited. Which is of course fine and dandy and I wouldn’t have minded or been particularly upset, however, they have asked me for advice – read ‘organise the festivities, and, worst case scenario, maybe even prepare food’ – in short ‘do my bit’, which is why I am becoming more and more tense, f******short tempered and find myself unable to focus on one thing. It involves loads of planning, never very high on my skill-list, starting with what is every being going to eat? There are seed eaters, carnivores, omnivores, vegetarians, worm- and insect devotees (which is rather difficult for the moths, beetles and butterflies to come to terms with, if you're not careful you might end up on a dinner plate) pollen-nibblers, honey-suckers and so forth. (who’s taking notes? Anyone?  Nobody! I am, of course)

Where are they all going to sit? Some don’t sit but prefer to remain perched on a branch, or are hanging on a puppet frame, others are so small they’ld be best served sitting on the table rather than at it. Then there is the question of cutlery and a suitable dinner service: are there enough plates and what sizes do we have, how many knives, forks, sticks, spoons, glasses, cups & saucers……who will be seated next to whom? Drinks anybody, don't mind if you do, no silly not now, I mean for Christmas, oh. Are dinner invitations forthcoming, if yes, who’ll be making them, if no, okay, however will we be sending Christmas cards? And again, who will make those? And who will deliver them, the list seems endless (and for what? I mumble, but nobody’s listening)

argh..............I will keep you posted.........

What I am looking forward to is making a long-Christmas-theme-table-cloth for them, hey ho
This will also give me a valid excuse to retreat from time to time, with a sewing basket at my side, a threaded needle in one hand and a dainty cloth in the other, whilst sitting on the settee in front of the wood burner, luxuriating in my solitude!

* the fact that these kinds of thoughts cross my mind is an indication of the level of despair I’ve reached, hihi=nervous giggle

** do men experience this kind of stress about these kinds of things, no you don’t have to answer, as the evidence ‘round here would suggest: NO, they do not and what’s more, never will do. Good for them.