dinsdag 28 augustus 2012

a big thank you

Time and again it happens :
a pleasant surprise is coming through the mailbox.

This time I got some advance notice
but I had completely forgotten about it
In the envelope was a brown paper bag
and inside that :

the promised "scraps"

Well ..... yeah
but placed on the floor the patch grew bigger and bigger

multicoloured beauties on end
(if I had laid them out without overlap it would have been a square metre !)
Even some lovely glittering thread !

Thank you SUS !!!!

(a warm coloured gift, from a warm friend, living in a cold country)

All that gave me spirit enough to draw
a comfort mandala
for a very sad family
(of which I'll only show a small piece)


Even Man has started with his mandalas again

 But he has other talents too,
like the homemade sausage rolls
for granddaughter's postponed birthday party last Saturday

they were goooood, not a single one left

zondag 26 augustus 2012

the cat and the princess

The pop-up play book Katy the Cat
by Lucy Cousins
was very popular with our grandchildren.

I bought it when the eldest, now 11, was still very small.
The second one often played together with his sister,
and the third one will play with it (no doubt)
when he's a bit bigger ...

I wanted to give felted figure making
another try :
Katy the Cat (Kaatje Kat) would make a good model.

I started with what was left
of the long fibred sturdy wool that Gabi had given me
to try and make some animals,
which worked really fine !

The humble beginnings

All the important bits were first made out of Gabi's wool

and later covered with the coloured "bergschaf" wool
I got from Hawar some weeks ago.

Hi Katy, are you there already ?

Well, still very soggy and soapy and fááááár from finished !

In the meantime I had noticed
that there would be another "Princess" tonight
(I have missed at least four of them this year !)

I don't know her proper Latin name
but because she blooms at night
(with a very sweet and heavy fragrance !!!)
she is often called the "Princess of the Night"
The bud is rapidly growing in a good week or so
from 1 cm to this 28 cm
When it points upwards I know it will bloom that night
This night !

So this time I had my camera ready

Within the hour it fully opens

Voilà : a heavily perfumed pretty princess

woensdag 22 augustus 2012


The blue tit was almost dry
(he isn't that big,
just a wee bit bigger than his natural size)

So the last bit I needed to do
was make his eyes.
Because he is so small 
I needed only a few fibres of black and white wool
a felting needle

(auch, be careful :  felting needles are incredibly sharp !)

He sat quietly on my hand

he wasn't even afraid

of the cat !!!

Though I have put him somewhere safe,
because Bella likes to play with all kinds of soft small things

dinsdag 21 augustus 2012

split personality

When I'm working om some technique 
(like felting figures at the moment)
ideas will come bubbling up
which lead to
new projects

Another thing to try to accomplish

Only a rough start ...
but then :
I knew "exactly" where I was heading

thin layer upon thin layer "it / she" was growing

Ohhhh ... attaching the arms is such a pain ! 
Making hands also

And finally, late at night, there she was :
(photographed the next day)

my little mermaid

the split personality

...... half I'm it and half I'm she .....

Ahhhhhh, it brought back memories
of the lovely Esther Ofarim
singing this song in her mermaid suit on Dutch television in 1964
(o, my ..... thát long ago ?) 

And the next one

but not yet finished

I almost forgot :
remember my dear friend H ?
(at the moment in South Africa,
 where she, among other things,
is sponsering a village school with lots of LEGO)
She gave me another bag of goodies

lovely lace and the finest embroidered batiste you've ever seen
Thank you !

zaterdag 18 augustus 2012

hot !

Summer has arrived finally !
And right now it's so hot
you should keep out of the sun
sit quietly indoors and do little or nothing at all.
I went to the Stitch'nBitch group in Rotterdam
(by bike and boat, like I always do
knitting on my next pair of socks)

(some early birds)

 A lot of ladies
(there is sometimes óne young man)
went afterwards to the Alpaca farm, near the village where I live, 
where a special "wool" day was held
(so I took the next stop on the boat back)

There we were warmly welcomed by the owners of the farm
and then almost all of us visited the alpacas.

A sweet bunch but very shy

They were recently shaved, with a funny hair-do left.

It was nice to visit the alpacas but in fact a bit too hot

And this little visitor was wisely left in the shade
 I made a little friend for my gray hare / rabbit yesterday
(he might become the "white rabbit" of "Alice")

(that's two, Gabi ... )

donderdag 16 augustus 2012

a try .... at last

Today, because I was baby-sitting,
I took some wool,
some soap
and a felting needle
with me to daughter's house.

When I was with Gabi in Germany
some weeks ago,
she gave me a bit of her special wool.
She washed it and then it went through the carding machine.
It is brownish gray and a touch of white.
Earlier I carefully studied the tutorial  PDF (with lots of photos) 
I purchased from her some time ago
and gave it a try 

(Because I didn't have my camera
there are not many "making-of" pictures,
only the ones I took this evening)

That was already a lot of work done when he came home


A white nose, tummy and tail

Tomorrow a lot of rinsing and making
his face
(I know it's a bit early for Easter,
but I might find him a little basket for his eggs !) 

Gabi was so right :
working with "Bergschafwolle" is great !

woensdag 15 augustus 2012

little stitches ...

When you don't know exactly
whére to start
then start with little stitches

On the embellisher I started with two half spheres and stitched them together
to a ..... pin cushion  (?)
(it might be a little present for someone dear)

And I love how the colours of the little sphere
is reflected by the colours
of the flowers from the garden !

I don't often pick flowers from the garden,
they better stay outside.
There you can enjoy them much longer,
but sometimes

(I had to cut down the jungle a bit
so : 
rather in a vase then in the bin !)

donderdag 9 augustus 2012

slow days

Nothing much is happening right now,
no work in progress ...
no new projects started yet ...
Plans ?
Ohhh yes, plenty.

But for the time being
only the garden gets attention.
The plants that clearly finished flowering are cut down,
others, still blooming, might need a bit of support.
I love seeing the change of the seasons
in all the different flowers.

One of my late-summer favourites

is this Altea Cannabina,
over two meters high sometimes and looking like a thin fountain
with no leaves but lots of pink flowers.  (3 cm)
They self seed very easily
but need to be replanted when they're quite small
because they make a long pen root.

Another beauty

Anemone Japonica
(with a visitor)
For some funny reason the water next to our garden
is full of duckweed this year

Though ... "duckweed" ... ?
It seems the ducks, swans and grebes don't like it at all !

(It's hard to imagine that behind that weeping willow
is a four-storey apartment building ....)

dinsdag 7 augustus 2012

what a weekend !

I very much enjoyed this weekend workshop
with Sara Lechner !
It was so góód in many ways.
Hawar is housed in an old school building.
Downstairs there is an exhibition area
and a shop with LOTS of goodies,
while the studio, two old classrooms, is on the first floor.
The lovely couple Meinie and Harm "run the show"

There were 14 of us
(and a lot of "embellishers")

Sara works a lot with this machine,
and you can do amazing things with it, rather easily
(but just be careful not to break any needles)

For me it was the first time,
I don't even have a machine,
others brought their own,
but Hawar had many machines we could use together.

On the first day we tried many different things
just to get the feeling of the technique,
to mix colours,
and to make little pieces into a bigger one
(but thát's really easy : a short overlap ... and punching !)

The Art Route "Open Stal", that's held in Oldeberkoop this month,
gave Sara inspiration for a new piece

It was finished during this class
and later joined the other beautiful art pieces Sara had brought along from home.

At first we worked in colour
and later mostly in white.

Right in the middle we were treated to a delicious Hawar-lunch

outside !

After this first inspiring day I could join a lovely bunch of ladies
(who know each other from another (felting) class)
and we dined on the terrace of a hotel
in the late evening sun.

Later, in my B & B room, I started with a bit of stitching.

On day two I was a really slow starter, I don't know why,
but eventually we worked on some new technique : making bowls
and we did some embroidery ...
while Sara started on her second piece, made of the test pieces in white,
and demonstrated her way of stitching

it was amazing to see it grow !

The last thing we did before saying goodbye
and having a last meal with newly made friends,
was visit Meinie at the shop.
(better than the internet, because you can féél it
and see the colours right !)

These goodies will bring a lot of fun !!!
(o boy, what a present !)