a sentimental journey, looking to the past, living in the present

a grey day, after glorious sunshine yesterday back to the dreary drab, we keep on walking

here & now
linen, Singer No.66 machine stitched
now what?
no idea exactly what it is

a shroud

a table cloth

a quilt

looking back 

I found this pack in a cupboard in my mum's study.
A collection of random photographs from 1973 of me in one of my bedrooms, I alternated between the smallest and the largest on the top floor; these were taken in the larger of the two (before I moved to the attic in the garden house, aptly named The White House, for my last year in high school, my last year at home in fact, but that's another story)

One of my many collections: the dolls in their corner where they had their own beds and several sets of clothes and toys to play with.

I remember I felt a great responsibility for their well being.

Me on the left with my sister lying in my bed, perhaps she was pretending to be a patient and I was taking care of her.

Part of the dollhouse in my cupboard, there was more on the book shelves to the right but I don't have a photo of that just now. The dollhouse was a big part of my life, even then.

It would seem I started collecting, reorganizing and building dollhouses at an early age; in 1973 I was 10 years old.
I'm almost sure my mother took these pictures.

In amongst the black&whites a colour image; 1976 Hellerup Denmark, me cartwheeling in the garden of my mum's childhood home, where her twin brother continued to live until he died at the age of 63 in 1997, the house was then sold.

a leap forward in time and into town yesterday

I must have passed this shop countless times over the 23 years since we live in one of the villages close to town. Up until yesterday upon entering The Crazy Quilt for the first time, I had not properly registered it was a shop.
In the shop window is a doll house which I have of course noticed before and I have  often admired it's contents, but I have somehow managed to always miss the opening hours on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, for surely I would have wanted to enter...

violated my own rules and went ahead and bought some samples, throwing my financial caution to the wind, telling myself I would be able to produce equally beautiful, highly salable pieces with the aid of such exquisite cloth. I bravely restricted myself to buying just these Italian scissors, three bits of scrumptious cotton and one very necessary reel of Guterman beige for the Singer.  Two  of the fabrics are genuine batik from Indonesia if I remember correctly. As I was mesmerized by the myriad of gorgeous fabrics from all over the world I could barely listen to the kind proprietor, who is a fountain of knowledge and divulged a multitude of facts on the fabrics themselves as well as on the many different types of thread one can use for quilting, sewing by hand and on the machine.  
It suddenly dawned on me 1. how little I actually know about threads and whatnot and 2. how complacent and set in my ways I have become. Things have got to change I say to self!
The shop hosts so-called 'quiltbees' on the Wednesday mornings of the uneven weeks, I think I will have to give it a go.

Another black dog accompanied by two friendly birds, I try and make them regularly, alas due to lack of discipline I do not get to paint one every day. This too must change.
The text in the photo below 'please admit one elephant' is not mine, it belongs to the artist Victor IV....this again is another story worthy of at least one post dedicated entirely to him.


I have been hand sewing these small patchwork squares with no real idea of what I intended to do with them. I simply enjoy having something to do in the evenings when I sit next to the husband on the couch whilst he watches football.....
Now that there are four I am considering making a large quilt again. This time I have the Singer to help me along with the longer in-between strips and also for experiments with the actual quilting, as I find that part tedious at times and do not enjoy using the hoop, which I cannot do without as I tend to then sew too tightly and warp the entire cloth.
Tada, these are my small challenges which I realise pale into utter insignificance in comparison to f.e. the Corona shut-down of an entire country, or elections overseas, but they keep me sane and steer me away from worrying too much about our aging parents who require loads of attention from us kids in their big house down south. Things are forever sliding and I will be there this Sunday, after having attended a party with my beloved husband on Saturday.

Life goes on


Dana said…
I love the pictures of you and your dolls and collections....shades of the OBK. The cartwheel picture is completely insouciant...I can't help but smile. I know what you mean about getting into a rut. It is so easy just to do things the way you know when most pursuits have a whole understructure of knowledge and experience that could change your methods for the better.
Saskia said…
hi Dana, 'a whole understructure of knowledge and experience' yes that's it really what I mean...I feel such an amateur, but then I cheer myself up as that means I love what I do;-)
and insouciant, now there's a word I hardly use, if ever! it does sum it up though
your comment helps me focus, thank you
p.s. I realised my video wasn't working, as I hadn't uploaded it properly, fixed that..... you might want to check it out
love the Video....reading above, went back and yes. working now.
Need to go back in your archives and find that one with OBK
Nancy said…
Oh my gosh! Your young you! I love seeing this so much, knowing how far back the love affair started! Now you have many of my childhood pieces in your adult Dwelling :) This post was just great!
Mo Crow said…
love those old black & white photos and your old Singer is working beautifully!
Saskia said…
You work so hard Grace! I think I'm singing with GhostBird, will check where that one is....

Yes my young me Nancy, it's weird how one can forget so much of what happened in childhood (or even last year!) and how memories come flooding back with the help of a photo; I honestly feel I'm becoming more and more myself, whatever that is, as I grow older. I am so grateful you trusted me with your pieces, this adds depth and meaning to the entire Project that is The Dwelling!

There's something rather moving and evocative about black and white photos Mo, and the Singer is a working treasure in the studio.
Liz A said…
as always, there is so much here and I do love that ... the pictures of young you ... the four cloths with their varied size pieces going this way and that (the one with the red batik is a stunner) ... your drawings ... and the quiet knowledge of your family's journey ... peace to you and yours
Debbie said…
I used to have a dolls house which was an architectural design for a real house, it had a lovely chunky table and chairs which somebody must have made for me. In the attic I have a 1/12 scale dolls house which I made from a kit and a collection of furniture. I seem to have grown out of it now and will probably donate it to the charity shop I work for.I will however hang on the the small hat shop I have,which I made most of the hats for, the owner was made from a kit.
Saskia said…
that red batik is from the Crazy Quilt Liz, absolutely scrumptious and more where that came from.....and thank you for your support on this journey

hi Debbie, oh you must hold on to your hats! I have to admit at being perplexed by the multitude of ways to spell Doll's house, dollhouse, dolls house, doll house, we have but the one in Dutch 'poppenhuis', maybe I should stick to that, haha
Patty said…
Those photos of your childhood rooms, we only grow up and grow into
ourselves, don't we? I love the gauzy fabric in the video. Some very important way of using it will show up. Also the beginning quilt
squares...beautiful. You showed admirable self control in the fabric store! May I borrow Poppenhuis for a cloth?
Saskia said…
of course Patty, I'm now very curious to see how you will use it! Yes, we do grow into ourselves.....if and when we give ourselves permission....some, like my husband, have never strayed which to me is a reminder that it is possible. I look to our sons and see the same, this fills me with gratitude!



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