Sunday, 30 March 2014

private conversations

walk in the woods with youngest son K. to the fallen tree, a huge willow; he spotted it on his bike-ride home the other day; for a change of scenery he often cycles back through the woods, according to him it's a lot less boring than the straight road home; I am a happy mum when he says things like this. 

 the obvious difference between this boy and his mother: he immediately climbs onto the tree and I stand watching and hadn't even considered clambering up, I take pictures; I also measured the length of the tree by taking big steps along side it: 28 plus the stump-left-standing I'ld guess at 30plus metres.

on our walk back I asked him what he thought of my work on the Project and all the stories of the beings dwelling there (the reason I popped the question was because my Danish family wondered what my boys thought of me and my fanatastic world? I'll have to ask them I said, but I think they're just used to me and what I do)
K. answered: well, mother at least you are able to express yourself with all this creating and I think that is a good thing.

I just had to smile

house with verandah-in-winter-mode i.e. enclosed, as the trees are still very naked you can see all the way to the back of the garden, where the dike forms a 'natural' border; below the plum blossom, I wish you could smell it's sweet fragrance

Friday, 28 March 2014

spirit world

as if to prove me wrong, I found this flattened toad-specimen on the pavement in town today, followed by the serendipitous find of the earring with fake pearls and a cross.....I refer to the entertaining conversation I had with local bookshop keeper at de Mandarijn about all kinds of subjects, philosophical, political, artistic and trivial.....somewhere amidst all this I disputed human beings own souls, and at that exact same moment remembered my dog, whom as you know I hold in great esteem, and had to admit to the possibility of animals perhaps possesing a soul; 

was it then a coincidence afterwards to find the lifeless skin and a symbol of life-after-death providing me with at least a question mark to the possible existence of such a thing as a soul?

 what I really like about wandering into an actual bookshop is finding a book you weren't looking for, or had forgotten about and when you see it you realise you do want to buy and read it, btw I love this particular Penguin edition, new to me:

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

copenhagen kopenhagen kobenhavn

last weekend I was in Copenhagen with my mother and sister visiting family - my mother is Danish - staying with one aunt, dining at another aunt's house, invited for coffee in yet another abode; we talked a lot! saw many cousins, nieces, nephews, it was great, saw lots of Copenhagen as well and luckily enough the sun was out

one of my cousins (or cousin-once-removed) lives in this apartment block (above) of which there are quite a few in Copenhagen, they are much coveted by the Danes: lots of period features (which period I'm not sure) beautiful high-ceilinged stately rooms and a tiny kitchen at the back, her place also has a wonderful view of one of the many parks (no pic)
Anyway, visiting and staying with family was wonderful, lots of fun and we all agreed we have to do this again, once a year at least!
I love these colours, everytime I visit Denmark I promise myself this year I will paint our house and then cannot decide on the colour: blue, red, orange/ day...who knows; this particular square is one I went to (many years ago) with a friend, on the lookout for the 'in-crowd' you can imagine in the summer it's full of tables, chairs and people! Nowadays I prefer coming here during the day, walking, looking and then going back home to my own bed.

card from one of the many boutiques we entered, my mother might order a dress from this one (for her 80th birthday!)

ha, a thirsty dog!
Charlottenborg entrance, the royal Danish academy of fine arts, where I spent a wonderful two months studying art & life many years ago

up there behind those windows was where I painted large canvases lain out on the floor

the garden at the back leading onto the sculpturers' studios, where we sat in the sun and enjoyed our spartan meals in the  evenings

Thursday, 20 March 2014

fabulous mail

 an eagerly awaited envelope from Australia arrived yesterday: beautiful earrings from Roz, I'm so happy I want to keep them off to Copenhagen tomorrow with my mother and sister visiting family (on my mother's side): aunties, cousins, nephews, nieces and squeezed in between perhaps some shopping, how delightful
I love the asymmetry
I've modified these two pieces, bringing spring colour; above I have only added a green bird print, below I've cut the piece in half and sewn straight colourful lines of running stitch and made a 'wire-doodle'
they are now Spring Birds, they will fly along with me to Denmark as presents

Sunday, 16 March 2014


onion dye results, a coin-clamp and wood block clamp resist; the greys occur thanks to the chemical reaction with the metal clamps, coins and washers

there's even a hint of pink

left: week-old avocado dye, right onion dye

here you can clearly see the difference in colour intensity: the bright yellows and pinks are obtained in a fresh, first dip-into-the dye-pot, the paler shades are achieved as the dye-pot 'ages' and weakens  

yellow blooms

love how there is so much light in the woods and how far you can see through the naked trees

 the boys are back from Italy both came bearing gifts: almond cookies from San Mianiato and coffee from Rome; another kind of gift from friend M who deliverd the dead bird together with her son, her brother, his husband and their daughter

Friday, 14 March 2014

found him this afternoon on the path that runs through the nearby golf course; just look at his hands, held together as if he's holding onto something precious, it also reminds me of one of those tai chi movements I forget what it's called, I'll have to ask the husband; he(the frog) is still a bit too fresh to come indoors so he'll have to stay outside for just a little while longer; meanwhile the present occupants are quite excited at the news of yet another arrival, they have lots of questions: how tall is he, is he handsome, what does he smell like? is he hungry, if so, shall we send someone out to give him something to eat, a drink maybe? Frog what do frogs eat?? (no answer, no surprise there then) where will he sleep, are there enough blankets? yet another arrival and everyone's busy, well almost everyone.....

thankfully I have finished another small quilt, the largest so far, more than adequate for our large frog

Thursday, 13 March 2014


repeated last Sunday's walk with two friends this morning; again we gathered around Tungsten's grave, no seeds but I 'planted' an old stump with an eye on a ribbon, a gift for him from friend A. who brought it back with her from her travels in Marocco; I like to imagine he's not alone out here but looked after and surrounded by the wild animals

how the willows grow

back home, playing with fire, a walnut dye pot left to simmer, I'm trying to get the old dyes from several pots to become a kind of walnut-concentrate, dark enough to use for printing; coffee pot on the go, my first outdoor brew of the year, coffee tastes so much better out in the open air, suppose everything does really

frog and gnome still wearing their winter moss

quote found years ago in a newspaper

it's not a pretty front garden, but we like it

yet another attempt at getting the 'fine-wavy-lines' on a different cloth, so far I have been unsuccessful, just gotta keep on going