Sunday, 2 June 2019

a heartfelt connection

 behold, for 'tis the OBK in his formal Summer Cloak!
I had started out making him something light to wear in warmer weather, however once the three layers were all stitched together with tiny running stitches, it felt too stiff for casual wear. 
So it was decided he would wear it on more formal occasions; birds, butterflies, checkered fabric from the boys old cot-sheets, home-dyed/printed squares, pink bits from Nancy, polka dots from Jennifer, colourful stripes from Julie and a bit of magic thread for the heart and binding from Jude

thank you all
for your generous offerings
we love using them!
on behalf of the OldBirdKing

Saturday, 25 May 2019


Today I wanted to share my latest cloth exploits (and some slightly older ones to boot), however as I cannot detect my most recent photo's which are on my phone, whilst blogging on my laptop, it's as if they haven't been synchronized - whatever that means, really - modern times ugh! I decided to share what is available.....with the added bonus of making a post which isn't too long.
So, I am showing you my first batch of clay brooches.
They are for sale, although I'm still making up my mind about prices, any suggestions?

Sunday, 5 May 2019

so much to be grateful for, Part 2

what the settee looked like before
and then, below

on the far right is Django's sofa

collected even more yesterday....

first batch of Catharina swatches dangling above work counter top
sorted from left to right: 100% cotton, 50/50% mix linen/cotton, 70/30% mix linen/cotton, one batch 70/30% linen/wool mix, one batch 100% wool, on the right 100% linen
all so very gorgeous light scrumptious in fact and easy to sew, I imagine

Leiner Leinen

Toubab Paris
be sure to check out this site!

  It all truly started 5 years ago when Django arrived in our lives as a puppy. When we were away he would chew up whatever he came across. Sometimes a shoe, other times the pillows on the settee, resulting in a slightly-worse-for-wear settee: one cushion left intact, one 80% left over, still usable though....two completely ruined cushions and lots of tears in the rest of the cover. I used an old woolen blanket to hide the worst and in Winter sprinkled several outdoor cushions all over indoors. It is always a moveable feast in our household. This is how we managed for a couple of years.
Fast forward to a couple of weekends ago, when Joke, a neighbour further down the road let her house be transformed into a 2 day pop-up store 'Luxury Delights', organized by Catharina, who runs her business Interior Help  and Chantal Osmosis Interior.I went not intending to buy anything (how little do I know myself)
First I fell in love with a linen tea towel, which I bought with my husband in mind, not that he does a lot of washing up, but he does shoot and many of the animals depicted on the tea towel are well known to him and have at one time or another ended up on our dinner the buying had begun! I got to talking to the lady who was selling various of the items on display, soft furnishings, designer lamps and also jewelry designed by an African designer based in Paris; all the jewelry is hand stitched by women in Parisian sewing workshops where they still have the skills for haute couture stitching. I noticed the broche and also it's price, a mere 30 euro's, and decided I would buy it for myself: a unique hand made piece! It came in the beautiful blue bag. I was so very happy and as I mentioned had gotten to talking with Catharina, who when I told her I work with fabrics asked if I also worked with linen and if so, would I be interested in her stash of linen swatches? Well, you can guess my answer.
And so, a day later she returned with a bag full of goodies and I have given them a place in the studio. I have so many ideas: dresses, tablecloths, pillow covers, small pillows....

On the second day the pop up store was open I got to talking with my husband about the carpet in the living room, which had also seen better times (thanks to Django too) and wasn't it time we bought a new one? To my amazement he agreed at once and of course I had a card up my sleeve: the antique rug you see in the photo's was also for sale at Catharina's! At a price we could afford and so the rug entered our house and inspired me to at last get round to fixing the settee: I ordered a mattress for the seating area and have been hand stitching the rainbow cover for the past couple of weeks, the fabrics are from fabric swatches I found on the street, I kid you not! They have been waiting patiently in a basket in the studio for years now. I washed the settee covers and dyed some parts (using a commercial dye: Dylon navy blue) together with several cushion covers, two were tie-dyed and turned a bright indigo blue, others were cotton/polyester mix and became a faded jeans blue, the original settee is green, the one whole original cushion has been transformed into two back cushions with the dyed blue/green covers..... the ottoman and the red chair came from my mother-in-law's house. The ottoman has a new hand-sewn cover, the thick cotton fabric came from several swatches from the same road find. 

I have not yet started sewing with the new fabrics.....but once I do, I will keep you posted

Monday, 22 April 2019

an attitude of gratitude, part 1

a couple of weeks ago a package arrived from the States, courtesy of Nancy! Yay, lots of goodies for the Dwelling: how having to move forces one person to declutter and another to reclutter, hihi
good thing I love rearranging and refurbishing so much......
OldCat is sitting upon a handwoven rug - a Nancy original - admiring the 3 elephants performing their marble-balancing act, whilst a mysterious clay figurine (also made by Nancy) is hiding away to the left of OBK; the green/black glass snail is a gift from Rosie from the UK (he made a fast Brexit, all things considered)
Mr. Snail's wrapping paper

Easter Bunny is at close hand, making sure OBK, his visitors and other fellow Dwellers are kept well nourished and glasses are (re)filled

meanwhile in the garden of delights 2 huge Californian apples to choose from, Easter Bunny need not worry 'bout everyone getting their vitamins today

fancy those two drawn together.....La Belle et la BĂȘte, no insult meant Nancy!

DutchBoy reunited with his clog
a purple heart
bringing love
maybe peace
contentment, at the very least

scattered throughout the Dwelling are clay objects made by me, some more obvious than others
colourful fabrics arriving just in time for me to add to a Summer wrap I'd been stitching together for OBK; as it happens, he loves wearing pink....
 'no, what I said was I don't mind wearing pink, Saskia' OBK corrects me

a Mother Duck followed by her chuckling ducklings, aren't they the cutest, flew all the way from California too, phew, they sure deserve a break
They enter under the talisman I made for Mo's exhibition, 
which I now realize as I'm typing this, you can barely make out in this photo; I had not expected it to come back, but there it was accompanied by treasures from Mo, such as the flowery gauze, a handwritten note, the exhibition's invitation and........ 

.....the the White Star she made, as can just be glimpsed in the image below, in OBK's reception room

as one can easily see, there's a lot of stuff all over, no wonder Nancy's accompanying note got lost, although I'm sure it's Somewhere

 four clay birds, made by me, strutting their stuff for Grace, grateful to Margreet for allowing me to work in her studio and use her kiln!
there's loads more to be grateful for, but that will have to wait till another post......

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

countless stitches

 So, I think the quilt's done, in the sense that I'm done stitching on this one, for now.....I might add a couple more lines of running stitch to make the patches lay more flat, I'm not too keen on the 'bubbling' of some of them, but I have been sewing on this one for 2 months*, and I am eager to get started on a new one!  
The quilt consists of four layers: the patchwork top layer, a white sheet underneath that one, the batting and on the back a patchwork of larger (off) white fabrics.
I haven't measured it but I guess it's about 150-160 cm square, the width between my hands when I spread my arms, I feel this is a good size for me to work with
I have come to love the entire process, it has been a steep learning curve: apart from the technical aspects, I came to realize I just had to put in the hours, every seemingly boring step miraculously turning into meditative practice:
cutting the squares, ironing the edges flat, laying out compositions, sewing the patches together, sewing the larger patchwork pieces together, laying the patchwork top on the support backing, on top of the batting and making a white back patchwork, basting the layers together, and then the hours stitching back and forth 

Two dear friends and I have been dabbling in clay, one of them owns a studio with an kiln....useful when you want to fire up!
The postcard with meditating girl is from an old friend, we've known each other since we were 8

oh yes, my hair is short again and turning grey, have stopped dyeing