woensdag 29 december 2010

last month ( ..... uh, no ! )

In the consternation of describing yesterday's felting failure I totally 
forgot to show my finished December journal quilt

starry, starry night / wintersolstice

winter and summer next to each other

the whole stack together

uh ..... NO
August is still missing !

So, after finishing a belated pair of (christmas present) socks for my daughter,

and a helping hand with another pair that she is knitting herself,

and a felting failure ...

I finally brought together the greens I want to use for August
and started ripping strips for (again) a woven background.

(I didn't have to rip up shirts and boxers like some people do
although the result turned out beautifully,
 look here)


dinsdag 28 december 2010

a bargain ???

With the December journal quilt finished
I have some time again for other things.

Today I was working very hard on a present for someone.

In October on the "Handwerkbeurs" (Needle Crafts Fair) we bought
some lovely red dyed wool for felting.
We bought it from Francis and Bart, two Belgian guys
who have the most funny supplies
for needlework, knitting, weaving, etc.
that you will not find lightly anywhere else.
(And they are funny guys)
The wool was not that expensive either ...

Daughter used the wool in a wonderful round meditation rug
like a big mandala
with a base of white needle felt and some other colours as well.
It went okay, but the red wool was "bleeding" enormously,
but that stopped after a LOT of rinsing !

(Later she had trouble with some bowl she was making
of the same red wool)

So today I started with a shawl of a nice sheer cotton / linen fabric
and laid the red wool on the back side

added water and soap and started by hand, then I rolled it up
in bubble wrap and started rolling ...
and rolling ... 
and rolling ...
but after quite some time of rolling ...
it still was NOT felting !!!!

So :
that bargain we thought we had
wasn't a bargain after all !
If there's anyone out there who bought the sáme wool then :
for some reason it won't work !

dinsdag 21 december 2010

working on December

With the "Teeth cloth" finished I can go on now with
the December journal quilt.

a small woven star
(woven into the blue woven background)

and stitched !

The big star in the middle got some "magic thread" and .....

a face

 When the face was there I suddenly realized that it looked more like a sun !

Like the "summer solstice sun" in the June quilt !
So this one will be the "winter solstice sun" 
By the way : our sun is just an "ordinary" star
like so many, many, many others ...

(Manya also made a lovely star, with a story !!!)

maandag 20 december 2010


By now the christmas / new year cards that we sent this year
will have been delivered I guess
so :
here it is for all my blogging friends

I have to explain a little bit

in Dutch the words for "fairy" and "eleven" are the same :
elf !

Happy holidays and an enchanted magical 2011 !!!

zaterdag 18 december 2010

for Penny

Penny in Canada showed a fantastic looking Blue Jay
we don't have that bird here
but we have a
"Vlaamse Gaai" 

I do think that's the same kind of bird
which is mostly found in woodlands.
We don't have much woods here in the west of our small country
but fortunately these birds visit us in wintertime in our garden.
Man is making all the birds very happy by providing
delicious food for them!
Thus we are rewarded by many feathered visitors.

vrijdag 17 december 2010

Ta Daaa !

Well .... it was more like pfffffft ... than ta daaaa this morning
but I made it in time !
Though my hands were shaking doing the last stitches
and the thread got entangled time and again
and I had no time to do the name on the back in stitches
so I just wrote it in pen

"show me your teeth"

Lots of teeth, not only in the horse's mouth, but also on top and bottom
many different tiny scraps and many stitches for all the patients
drops of blood
a bit of sunshine
( for another six months without the dentist
ánd for a healthy pair of teeth )

For the backing I had two pieces of red fabric
I opted for the blood-red with white dots,
 the opposite of the white strip with the red dots on the front,
for the obvious reason ...

and this morning :

snowflakes were falling !!!

( thát's why it had to be the red with the white dots backing )

( Willem said he liked it, that it was special ...
... that's what hé was as a dentist ! )

donderdag 16 december 2010

old beast .... new beast

I started my December journal quilt with a woven background
all in dark blues : the night sky ...

Then I started with the biggest star,
the one that will have 
a spiral heart 
but :
not now!

This is my latest project that HAS to be finished tomorrow :
an old "beast" of Jude's Patchwork Beasts Class 
which I followed this summer.
I made two similar pieces in pale yellow and white
but I didn't know very well how to continue
so they were still lieing about
waiting for Inspiration ! 

A very vague idea for a present was all that was needed.
Some days ago I finally started : about time !!!
(but sometimes pressure works great for me)

A lot of TEETH were needed !
For this will be a present for our dentist, who is retiring from practice.
( I don't like to go to the dentist : there's always some kind of trouble
but ...
HE took away my greatest fear for dentists looooong ago ! )

At first I thought it would be a dog ....
... but then it turned out to be a horse !
You see ? Even the magic thread is already in place !!!

There is still a LOT of stitching to be done
so :

vrijdag 10 december 2010

keep on going

She likes her skarf very much, just the right colours.
This afternoon we had her party and later a lovely
dinner with children, friends and family.
She was wearing a wonderful jacket in those purply colours
(could not have chosen better !!)

This is the mandala I made last Wednesday.
We are working about "animals of power"
The Owl

And I started making the Christmas / New Year cards
for this year. Some years I just buy them, some years I make
them myself. Last year I used the stamps I made when I broke
my wrist in May (that was the only thing I could do instead of
sitting still for four weeks in a plaster bandage)
This time I wás thinking about felting but ......
I made another stamp.
(out of pencil-eraser : nice soft to cut,
and just the right size !!!)
Not finished, but I didn't have another block ... so I will buy that tomorrow
( when I'm off to the knitting group, for the last time this year )

woensdag 8 december 2010

another present

My sister-in-law turned seventy in September
but then they were not home, this Friday we will visit them.
Finding a present was a tough one, I made already
several things for her, so ......what now ?
Last night in bed I suddenly knew !
Colours she will like I think, and long pieces of bubble wrap

 ... lots and lots of ringlets layed out on silk chiffon ...

After wetting it all I had to make sure the inside of the circles was
free of stray fibers ( sorry : bad colours in this picture )

After rinsing and rolling in a towel it was ready for the picture

I hope she likes it

( and they don't follow my blog (yet) so I am safe showing it now ! )

Tonight our drawing group had the last Mandala night for this year
in Februari will be the next one.
.... no time for pictures yet : ... later

zaterdag 4 december 2010

what a present !

I have to tell you :
today we celibrated  (one day early) "Sinterklaas" !
Although the tradition is that the children get presents,
grown-ups get presents too ....

I got the book "Eco colour"
by India Flint !!!

That will be a lot of reading, translating and ... dyeing !

(Then I read that T gathered lots and lots of leaves
from the ironbarktree ... for dyeing ! Just a pity that
Australia is soooooo far away from Holland ... )

woensdag 1 december 2010

in - betweens

Here are some of my in-betweens for this moment
A large part of Europe is caught up in a cold spell of winter
so I'm knitting a new pair of socks.
Because I had nothing "on the needles" for the Stitch'n Bitch club
on Saturday, and I gave away a pair (that were slightly too big)
to a visiting friend with cold feet yesterday.
When it's freezing weather like this 3/4 of our population
is hoping that the freezing period lasts long enough to make the ice
strong on all the small and big canals and lakes we have:
ice skating is a national sport !!!

I learned that Sara badly needed to knit a vest because
many houses in Spain don't have heating !

And for the newborn daughter of a nephew I made a small drawing
( I dread the moment my Karisma box of coloured pencils will be over and out
I still have some replacement, but after that ....nothing : out of production ! )

And because it is December 1 :
special awareness day for aids

( Can you imagine that many young people today are not having safe sex because
they rather take pills afterwards, when they are hiv infected ?
... incredable when you see the results of this disease in Africa )

dinsdag 30 november 2010

in time !

Yesterday I finished "November" and I took
a detail picture by the light of my day-light lamp
You see I couldn't help myself :
I hád to give one of the trees a face.
It's a rather sad face ... 
( although a tree thát old must know that shedding your leaves
isn't too bad, there will be lots of new leaves next year ) 

I made the leaves out of the tiniest snippets of fabric and painted tyvek.

This morning I took a picture of the whole quilt.
I based my design on an old Dutch nursery rhyme by Rie Cramer.
When I close my eyes I can see the picture that went with it in the book.
( november, november,
daarkomt een hele vlucht
van kleine gele bladertjes
gedwarreld door de lucht

november, november
de wind zwiept door de takken
ik loop de dorre blaadjes na
maar ik kan ze haast nooit pakken ! )

( lots of tiny yellow leaves are flying through the air,
the wind blows, I run after them, but I almost never can catch them )

With this one now finished I can start with "December"
there will be a lot of stars in it.
( of course "August" is still there ... waiting !
But there are always so many
little projects that come in between ...)

donderdag 25 november 2010

a bit of stitching ... a bit of sauna

"November" is taking shape,
the little trees in the distance are done.
I love how the middle one turned out :
made with a bundle of old embroidery thread
At the bottom I doubled the threads and pinned them down
and devided the ends into branches, big and smaller ones,
then I stitched the lot.
The ends of the threads that were too long
I put in a needle and took them to the backside.

For the big tree in front I tried several strips of brown fabric
At first I thought to piece the trunk between the background pieces
but I decided against it because then the size would not be right
( all the journal quilts are cut the same size : 21 x 30 cm )
I just placed the tree trunk on top of the background
folded it and stitched it down with extra space,
to pleat it down while stitching.

( I still need to think where to put my magic thread in this one )

When the Novemder day is cold and gloomy we always decide
to end it in our warm and cosy sauna.
So that's what we did today.

zondag 21 november 2010

faces, faces

My original plan was to stop with the October journal quilt
because I didn't know very well how to continue.
Then in the garden, I saw what was left of my New Dawn Rose:
lots of rose-hips in bright greenish orange
 ... then I knew how to go on with the faces !
(not all in a "rosy" mood)

One piece of fabric was replaced by another orange scrap:

and I drew and stitched some faces on a piece of dark blue fabric
like we learned in Jude's "Beasts class"

And here is the finished journal quilt for October

with lots of faces ....  ;-)

Now I could really set my mind on November!
Weeks ago I already made the sketches for November and December
(....and the still missing August ...)
The grays and blues and browns were chosen
and brought downstairs (to accompany the stacks already there)
The pieces for the background are picked but not yet sewn together
for I don't know if I do "patches" or "appliqué"
... probably a bit of both ...

Lately I thought my scissors needed to be sharpened
because it didn't cut very well at the point ....
NOW I'm not so sure anymore ........
( I think I have to ask Jude to "send" me a magic feather )

Here is the start of a little piece of November
It's always hard to judge how big the pieces must be
in order to fit together nicely
( that is: without making a pattern ! )

woensdag 17 november 2010

small stitches

I've always been impressed by the work the Kuna Indian women
( who live on the San Blas Islands, Panama ) are making.
The "mola" is part of their clothing. And although there have
been influences from foreign "conquerors", until this day
they pretty much stick to their own culture in this matter!
Many years ago I bought a mola (which is hanging on the wall)
Mola's are made in "reverse appliqué" with the tiniest of stitches!
( not a very good picture through the glass!)

In the October journal quilt that I'm working on now 
the pumpkin  has a zigzag mouth cut out.

After stitching it I admire the Kuna women even more !!!

I want to add a lot of faces in this piece, and although there are some
already in it I'm not sure yet how to continue.
So probably I will start on "November" ...
 then I'll have a bit more time to think about those other faces.

About two weeks ago I told Sandra that my fabric was neatly stored
on colour
in my IKEA chests of drawers.
I promissed that I would show her how it is
when I start looking for the right colour of fabric to work with.

(two out of four ...)

But móst of the time I'm working in the livingroom ... which means:
stacks and stacks and stacks on the dinnertable ... or on the floor.
( ... so much for tidiness ...)


maandag 15 november 2010

Jeroen Krabbé

Yesterday we went to the exhibition of the nine
paintings by Jeroen Krabbé 
in Zwolle.
They are about the life and destruction of his 
grandfather Abraham Reiss.
The paintings are big  220 x 150cm,
they are beautiful but their story is horrible ...
it left us in tears

and devastated

and silent

for a long time

(Jeroen Krabbé is a wellknown Dutch (film) actor and also a gifted painter)

zaterdag 13 november 2010

someone needs a heart ...

Wednesday in our mandala group I heard someone 
we know is very ill .... again.
There were some leftovers from a cloth I made
 this summer lieing about, waiting to be used.
That was the beginning and I started with a heart ...
now this little cloth is finished and I can bring it to her
On the back I wrote:
...even in dark times love will still be there

(you can see how small it is)

woensdag 10 november 2010

not me this time

When you are are close to someone with specific
skills it can be hard to unfold your own skills
into that same direction.
It is great to follow one's footsteps but it can be frustrating too.
My man never tried drawing because he thought he couldn't,
but lately with enough time on his hands ...
he started with geometrical mandalas

and he loves his new born skills very much!

He is very proud
( and so am I )