Sunday, 24 January 2016

love struck

 “I made a choice,” he said, “and the choice was I publish it. No matter what.” Knausgaard to  the New Republic, April 2014

same place   different moments

the small group is slowly gathering weight 

roots spread downward

the thread beads in&on the Strange Creature were inspired by Liz - I'm going to Texas -, in particular her Patch 21, the black hairs on django are an echo of Heather's intricate pieces over at True Stiches

naked branches reach upward

Five of my literary girlfriends and I were in The Hague last weekend at the Winternachten festival 2016; I got to 'meet' my literary hero Karl Ove Knausgard, the Norwegian author of the autobiographical series of six novels My Struggle. Here you see me offering him the title pages for him te sign, which he graciously did! Our conversation consisted of me asking him how he was (I believe he said 'fine') and him asking me if I wanted him to sign all six* pages? (oh, would you, I managed to mutter) Why do we stumble in the presence of those we consider to be great? I behaved like a teenage school girl, beaming the whole day in a daze of love-struck, giggly stupidity. Happiness is moments like these :-)

 *I had torn out the title pages of 5 of the 6 novels (each book is big and heavy) and brought along just one complete volume as one of the friends I was with had borrowed it a long time ago and returned it just in time:

the loose pages have been cellotaped back into the books; I can honestly say the man is as real as it gets in a novel, he did not disappoint us on the day, if anything he was even better 'in the flesh' than on the page.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

new arrivals and introductions in what is now known as The Dwelling

 It has been a while since I last posted and a lot has happened, is still happening in fact!
As some of you might already know, in particular those who also read Nancy's blog Pomegranate Trail, a brave group ventured out from her place to ours. After a surprisingly short journey they arrived almost two weeks ago. Despite the fact we weren't completely prepared (the trip took them less than a week and we were still reeling from the New Year's celebrations)they were of course given a huge, warm, albeit make-shift, festive welcome. 
Hugs, kisses, bustling, unpacking, shedding the occasional tears of joy and relief at having made it safely across the Big Divide. There was music and dancing and merriment of all kinds, lasting well into the small hours, or so I'm told as I went to bed early, it being a Wednesday night and me having to get up early the following morning! 

Communication with the outside world on the subject was impossible as my laptop let me down, i.e. gave up the ghost as we say in Dutch......and I ended up having to purchase a new one, which always means a lot of getting used to, uploading, installing et cetera and so forth. Hence the delay.

No more of the latter, we will start the introductions right away
our porcelain Doll has acquired a new fan, the Tiny Mouse who immediately fell under her spell. Beside her we see a huge box of chocolates they brought along, yummy, who doesn't love chocolate?
Porcelain Doll now has at least three suitors and she can't make up her mind who is to be her beau, spoilt for choice indeed. 
As was to be expected BirdBoy and DutchBoy (the one on the right with his mischievous grin) hit it off straight away. Together with a couple of like-minded fellows they gathered in BirdBoy's mess of a room, to chill I believe it's called, and I dare say other than sleep/chill out there, they're more likely to be found all over the place intent as they are on experiencing Great Adventures. Hopefully they will not get hurt, or if and when they do, I hope I will be able to fix them......I'm sure they'll get into trouble. However, I am not really worried about that, as the OldBirdKing is more than capable of dealing with them in the appropriate manner.

in what has now become the nursery we find the Twins in their swinging basket, watched over by Sally on the left, to the right in the cot Big Baby. He does own the large red suitcase and was used to sleeping in it, but as soon as he spotted the empty cot he declared 'Mine!' and so it is.

Whitey the polar bear finds the Twins highly amusing and enjoys watching over them, offering Sally a break from time to time.

'drumsticks' Gorilla has never been properly introduced although he has been with us for quite some time now, so here are a couple of comments on Drumsticks
'He's a very happy fellow', says OBK
'He always has a smile on his face', according to BirdBoy. 'He's not fazed by noisy children and together they can create a Lot of 
Loud Music' adds GhostBird.
'He has a lovely voice and he knows hundreds of lullabies by heart' Emily whispered in my ear.

Need I say more? That is precisely the reason he's in the nursery and when he's not banging away on his drumset or singing a merry song, he's quiet as a mouse, keeping to the tight sleep-schedule Sally has worked out for the babies' naps.

.....crumbs after breakfast

isn't he a cutie? I believe I have fallen in love with this Doggie. He has a great personality, expressed in his gentle but solid observations, such as 'a tree is only a tree when rooted'
deep huh?

In the image below in the OldBirdKing's room we see more newcomers. On the right seated on the lizard, Mr PR who according to Nancy set the whole troupe off, as it was initially his desire to join our Gang. Lying on OBK's bed is LittlestBoyBaby, who had literally lost his head. You'll be happy to know Nancy, the head has been glued back on and we are all very careful with him. This is also the reason OBK has decided to let him sleep in his bed for the time being. OBK will sleep with Otter who will be able to keep him warm during the Winter's months.

Meanwhile in one of the kitchens Mexican Lady has found her new home together with Mrs. Simpson, 'call me Marge, dear' 
'buenos dias Marge, yo soy Frida'
They have been twittering non-stop about recipes, where to get the best ingredients for all of their favourite dishes - many of which I had never even heard of - since they have met (I exaggerate, of course).
They love food, cooking, discovering new recipes and talking about food, cooking and looking up new recipes. Although how they manage to understand one another is beyond me, as Frida speaks Spanish and Marge English, oh well they are very happy together and I am so glad they have found each other. 

In the post title some may have noticed a change of name for the Project, which will remain an ongoing project for as long as we're all. A proper name for the actual place where the Gang all live has eluded me since the beginning. Nancy once again came up with a name so fitting and right, I fail to see why I hadn't thought of it myself. From now on we will call the house The Dwelling, so be it.
Nancy we cannot thank you enough for what you have given us, the many beings, the delightful names and even more importantly, your trust and faith All would be welcome and made to feel at home here in the Dwelling. 

Nancy, I realise there was even more in your box, we will get round to that in a later post, rest assured!

Thursday, 31 December 2015


Cook and Ratatouille are besotted with this dainty lass, who arrived here last week thanks to friend M; Ratty claims to be in love as well, although I suspect he enjoys his biscuits even more than he does gazing at the girl! It does mean there's a lot less cooking going on than required, however as there are so many beings here these days, more and more chip in to lend a hand at whatever needs doing, so nobody's hungry if that's what you're worried about.

in between christmas and the new year´s celebrations a small box-like package arrived from Grace of Windthread, amongst other things it contained this small shelter made from a tiny gourd! Our Frowning Frog quickly jumped in and although his expression might suggest otherwise, he says he's very happy with the swinging contraption; for the time being it's hanging in the OldBirdKing's bedroom, perhaps we'll move it outdoors once the nights get warmer and he can sit there star-gazing.
As can be seen, many have gathered in OBK's room, not just for the photo-shoot, they just love being close to him, so I have laid quilts and blankets on the floor and now many of those who choose so can sleep close to him.

notice the teeny tiny dog next to Patch?

I call this one HOME
- it started out as a walk with the dog and then became something else, as is often the case - 

the double glass frame measures 21x26cm

wishing you all the best for 2016

Thursday, 24 December 2015

From wandering in the woods & to pondering in the mind

As I look back and see my younger me, I have a few regrets, for example:
Why didn’t she just grab what was in front of her and take that particular risk?
I would now, why not then? there isn't an answer......fffffffast forward............

They say with age wisdom grows, I’m not so sure about that. What I do know is I am more grateful for what is:
From a solitary state of being in the studio, albeit surrounded by small – dare I say magical – beings, to mundane office-life full of other folks, with their own stories, desires and needs;
from days filled with chores and walks with Django, tea with close friends to long nights full of reading, love-making and sleep.

Fortunately, life these days makes more sense than it ever has.

happy holidays where ever and with whomever you are 

the magnificent Paul McCartney in London 2015 'Maybe I'm amazed' as am I!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

fullness of life

early Saturday morning an owl's nesting box ready for inspection from the BirdWatch Folks; it faces south east away from prevailing winds and incoming rain! We can see it from one of the kitchen windows and hopefully we'll see owls flying in and out this coming year; it's placed on the right where the two big trunks separate just above the ivy-line, as it's painted dark green it is a difficult thing to see in this particular photograph 
Margaritifera auricularia

or as we say in Dutch: rivier mossel, roughly translates as river clam

why have I never properly noticed them before? certainly not enough to want to bring them back home; perhaps because there were so many lying about as I wandered into the fields this morning, where my presence chased away a flock of Canada geese, and as they flew up I saw all these empty shells along the canal's edge.
The insides are so pretty with their rainbow-shine: pearlescent

Maybe the colours reminded me of the latest dye-result, this T-shirt I dyed as a present for N. it's his birthday today, we'll be popping over later.
 there's avocado peel, red and yellow onion skins, coins and washers clamped, plus tea bags and a very much diluted walnut residu all in the magic mix here, fixed with a drop of vinegar and washed with coconut hand soap, to make it smell nice!

 as the days are really falling in on themselves, day becomes night all too soon, as can be seen in the photo below, where the window pane appears to be black and it's barely past 5 p.m.
this small journey I call MoonDog is also a present, this one's a going-away gift for our external coach who will be leaving us next week; images taken against a dark and a light background, so you get a better idea of the actual colours, or so I hope....

MoonDog 2015
appr. 9x23cm

the 'black' block is actually dark grey linen

meanwhile, a christmas tree of sorts has arrived in the OBK's kitchen; went for lunch at a friend's  yesterday and came back home with this bonsai glass bead tree; added a few baubles of our own, hey ho the happy season is upon us! at last, they sigh..............

Sunday, 6 December 2015

say yes to the dress

dress finally out of the dye pots; after the first dip I decided the lower half needed more umpf, as I wasn't happy with the hem part and the middle, which is a bit too 'heavy' in comparison with the rest.....and so back into the dye pot overnight.

as I still wasn't satisfied with the waist, I added a textile paint print with the 'rolling pin-branch' and now it has more depth/life

small cloth path, a landscape
knowing you would like to see me wearing the dress: tada!
you can't tell from the photo, but I've kept my trousers on here and that works, so I could wear it as a dress ánd as a longish kind of shirt-dress, so it could be worn almost all year round

detail of a small cloth, with ragged patches which have been stitched on to try and achieve an integrated look; the dog was first drawn with a marker in one go (scary) and sewn with just one thread as the marker also offers definition, just to see how and if this works