vrijdag, augustus 11, 2006

Of to the beach

It will be quiet here for a couple of weeks. We are of to the beach. Have been awfully busy packing cleaning (getting people in the house) . Packing is hard. We've little space as the dog is coming with us and well we all need our woolen sweaters and raincoats. You know that heatwave we dutch people couldn't stop complaining about? It is gone.................

It is 15 degrees and pooring with rain today. But we'll have a good time anyway. Last year the weather was beautiful but all we have seen is the local hospital so we're hoping for better weeks now! First thing I packed was a craftbag. Brought a doll to finish, embroidery stuff (stitchettes) m,y glue gunn (fun with shells ) and even knittingneedles.. ( I need to relearn and what better time!)

donderdag, augustus 10, 2006

For Enzo

and for his parents and brother who will have to say farewell to him tomorrow. Enzo was only 16 months old when he died on monday on his big brothers birthday. And only 9 months when he lost conscience still eunexplained for as far as I know. I never met him nor his family anywhere else then in the computer. I've been thinking about this little boy a lot though this week and the last months. If you are a praying person could you say a prayer for him his parents grandparents and brother? I know it will mean a lot to them..

dinsdag, augustus 08, 2006

The only correct way to dress a bed

Especially for Amy. You cover you mattress in a sheet (you know the ones with the gathered corners). You put a nice duvetcover over duvet. You put pillowcase around pillow and you sleep in it.. For warmth and cold adjustments we've got four season duvets. It is basically 2 duvets with snaps to attach them together a thick one and a thinner one. In autumn and spring you sleep under the thick one. In summer under the thin one and in winter you attach them together.. I mean what help is a sheet when it is cold?

Both camera's act funny but I'll post anyway

The pictures are a bit dark thanks to weird settings my husband used and I can't seem to turn of.. I' ve flashed my livingroom before here here and here.. but I'll do it anyway.. My kitchen all of it! The coloured things you see are paintings of my children on our door of fame! The shelvingthing is trusty Ikea We have a seasonstable in there and toys low down but we try to keep it open and airy as it as more roomdivider than shelving in our home. The coach is vintage martin visser a 60 's icon. We reupholstered but it is stained already thanks to me being to anxious to start a cover. I will do it really soon.. Linen with darkbrown wool edges.. I didn't plan on reupholstering with the children being so young but the stuffing was broken down and dusted the entire room. It was my in-laws coach before.. The print is a siemen dijkstra reproduction of a birch wood ( the link actually is from the place that makes these amazing reproductions an giclee prints too.. ) . He makes amazing woodcuts with up to 30 colours! I saw this in a framingshop and bought it right away which meant I had to take it home on my bike! The lambskin is washable and a favourite with the children. We had a coffee table below the lambs and took it away when son started walking and now we need to either put it back (don't know about that yet) or buy a new lamp! We are trained to avoid crashing in to it but our poor visitors..

You are missing the childrens corner there because that picture would't focus. Really need to check out this camera because I will be on holyday for a few weeks and with no crafting I'm going to photograph for real.. (I am not one who always takes nice photographs I've got to think about it.. )

Oh and for more fun comments on dutch life and crafting I found Stitched in Holland

maandag, augustus 07, 2006

Where I tell about weird Dutch things and ( promise to ) flash my livingroom

One of the things I love about blogging is the fact that it exposes me to weird little foreign cultural things I didn’t know before.. Sometimes this things make me chuckle. I still can’t get over the fact that Americans don’t wash their duvet covers but instead put sheets under them It seems so uncomfortable.

I sometimes thought about blogging them but I know from experiences that it sometimes can hurt a bit when someone chuckles about completely normal things..
So instead I made a list of things that might make you laugh when you are not Dutch.

Of course we are as diverse a people as everywhere so this is generalizing of course and tongue in cheek too.. (Gotta be careful have a lot of Dutch lurkers here it seems…)

1.We are Dutch , we live in the Netherlands. There is not such a thing as Europe and there are no Europeans. Not in the way that there are Americans anyway.. We have different languages, different cultures the only thing we share is ugly money (our old money was so beautiful, I miss it more for that reason then because of everything being way more expensive) and a shared feeling of superiority when we deal with Americans.

2. It is way easier in this country to be overdressed then underdressed. We are a very informal nation. In my experience being overdressed is a worse crime too.

3. Chances are this is born out of the fact that we travel by bike a lot and the fact that it always rains here.. There are said to be more bikes then people in this country and a very tiny count in my own street lets me to believe this is true (my garage 6 bikes, my house four people). I don’t know any native healthy grown ups that can’t bike. One day I’ll make some bike pictures here in town for you because it is often an impressive sight (the parking problems for bikes are as severe as for cars in this town).

4 We don’t do customer service as a rule. It is the most annoying thing in the world. People in shops will be often rude. And if they aren’t when you buy something they are when you come back. I cherish the independent shops I frequent that have nice people.. They make life so much more enjoyable..

I used to defend my country on this issue against whoever would raise the issue (lots of expats at husbands work) but I’ve given up, it is true. I still don’t think we are overly rude though. We Dutch prefer to call that direct (it more or less means the same in English as in Dutch). We ourselves see it as a virtue.

5 A very popular Dutch saying is “doe maar normaal dan doe je al gek genoeg” that translates roughly to “act normal that is already weird”. Weird won’t be walking the street in drag or dye your hair pink or anything like that. It probably would be something like building a pool in your backyard or tell anybody how much you earn or buying too expensive clothes.. It is not recommended to be anything above average..

6 This means that we aren’t into celebrities that much. If you ever see something famous most people walk by pretending not to see this person.. We do have our gossip mags but most people really couldn’t care less about the private life of celebs.. (We really completely did not understand the whole Clinton thing.. the normal dutch response would be “What do we care what someone does in his spare time)

7Dutch is not a disease of the throat I this actually a beautiful language that I love very much. I found a couple of sites where you can hear it (and can hear the IJ in my nick.. ) and learn it. One of the fun things we do in Dutch is make up words combining two words..; I never realized I did this in English as well until Amy once commented on it.. I felt a bit stupid but well she thought it was cute and I can’t seem to help it.. English is a second language after all.

8 We like it when a foreigner tries to speak Dutch but we usually answer in English anyway. Very frustrating for expat friends!

9 We are not proud of our country. Well we are but we won’t tell. It is a difficult thing. Patriotism is not a good thing in this country unless it has anything to do with football (soccer that is) or speedskating. It is a bit like complaining about your husband. When you complain to a friend and she agrees with you. NOT GOOD.. We love to bitch about our country but we still think we are the best anyway.. But we would never say so..

10 we are a very small country and it is crowded. We live with 1,023 people on a square mile ( according to wikipedia) . So we have tiny houses on tiny pieces of land. This whole post that shas been in my head for a while really wanted to be written when Angela of colorfool asked us to flash our livingroom and then next week our diningroom. I assume she will continue with the kitchen the playroom the utility and bathroom 1, 2 and 3.

We don’t have that. I live in a rather expensive newly build ( I feel the need to say that I only added this to tell you this is not small for Dutch standards, it is actually quite standard. My explaining though is clearly caused by the idea explained in 5) and I have a open plan /livingroom/kitching/diningspace of about 30 m3 . .) I do not know anybody with more then one bathroom. ( we do have downstairstoilets don’t worry) I ‘ll flash my livingroom below..

11 modern is a word that is cultural bound. So often a foreign blog will tag something as modern and in my eyes it is old fashioned. Often very beautiful old fashioned but old fashioned nonetheless. We don’t do pelmets. We don’t do fringe, we don’t do brown furniture (unless it is colonial teak but that is a bit passé too)

Some links to enjoy dutch living:

A few of our magazines online.

And the biggest real estate site in the Netherlands. Most houses have interior pictures (The dutch word is foto) . The setting is amsterdam 200.000 up to 600000 euro’s. Change it if you feel adventurous…

You'll have to wait onpics of my livingroom because my camera won't work..

vrijdag, augustus 04, 2006


She naps so I could finnish and snap a picture

A wip with a touch of Skyblue!

I loved the idea for Amy's colouryear but I already missed white and lemony so here in a combined effort a Wip with a nice skyblue butterfly (the colour actually is called skyblue so then I decided to get my camera.. )

Daughter seems to be not charmed by the idea of appearing on mama's blog (as was quite evident yesterday really. So she decided to gor unning towards me anytime I wanted to snap a picture. So they are headless.. Well it is al about the dress anyway. I modified the tunic pattern and it seems to work Slight miracle here because I accidently cut the American way (seamallowance included, exept it wasn't ) because that is so obviously the best way.. It had to work because I already worked most of the day on that butterflies. They are from a small book with Danish paper mobile patterns I got in the thriftstore. Great for freezerpaperstencils..

You might ask why this is a wip if she obviously is wearing it? Well she refuses to have it of after fitting.It is pinless and sewn except for the closure on the back I didn't have enough fabric for buttonholes so I need to purchase some little satin ribbons I think!

donderdag, augustus 03, 2006

Domestic fantasies

Love this title. It so sounds as a cheesy movie for over 18..... Yesterday I stumbled over this post at green kitchen .. Go ahead follow her links aswell but come back for my views on the subject!

I think for me it is true this blog has it shares of fantasies about how I would love to live my life. I think I for most parts am quite clear on which parts are fantasy and which parts are real. To be sure I will give you some examples

,reality, fantasy , reality, fantas y, and a little bit of both

I don't care that sometimes blogs are more wishful thinking then the actual life for the writer. As long as it isn't stated as real life I am alright with it. I have stopped reading some blogs in the past that were to rosecheeked for my liking. Especially if sometimes they just go without updates for weeks. I know those weeks, I have those weeks and I try to document them here as well because I read blogs for inspiration ànd identification.

There are parts of my life I don't write about here because I chose to have this as a craftblog and for me homemaking is a part of that but not journalism, religion, politics and other stuff that can rise my bloodpressure everyday of my life (Although I recently thought that I could do a good post on how to get your pressrelease in the actual press being an editor. I could be persuaded in writing that..)

What I do strongly feel is that verbalizing ones dreams is the first step in accomplishing them. Blogging about how you would love to live your life is a great way of finding out what you really want and of making that more concrete. The better you know what you wish for the easier to go for it..

Realizing this must have been the most lifechanging thought I ever had.. I used to be the kind of girl that thought she couldn't change herself. People had to take me as I was. It sounded tough it was stupid.. Because I didn't really know who I was. I never checked the borders of my abilities. I had this strange ideas, mostly negative. About me being chaotic, emotional, clumsy , uncreative.. The only reason for me to try positive affirmations found here ( in dutch) one day was because I knew so well how the negative ones did work.

The possibilty of dreaming about my perfect future was handed me by my therapist when I was searching to overcome the fear of childbirth in my second pregnancy. The birth of my son had been quite dramatic and I feeled I had failed him. My therapist suggested visualizing the perfect birth the one I would want, if I would know it would go right. I found out I would have loved to give birth on my own with no-one around me at home . That was a no go area off course but knowing what I truly wanted I was able to control the atmosphere in the deliveryroom . I just told the midwife dr and nurse to shut up. It was really an eyeopener. Thinking about what I really wanted gave me some control.

At the same time I realized I could change, grow and learn and then so many thoughts and ideas formed. I searched for a way to express some of my dreams, goals and wishes and document the journey to an improved me and the result you are reading right now..

Yes sometimes my blog is a fantasy but it is a fantasy I try to make true...

woensdag, augustus 02, 2006

Look who came to live with us !

It's frida the Colour Me Orange Fraidy Cat that flirted with me every time I accidently visited Manda's etsyshop. I finally gave in and am so happy. Manda included some lovely fabric stickers with leafprints and them most lovely goldfishfabric pin (what is the word for such a thing in dutch we call this a button but it isn't a button?)

You must have noticed I don't like putting pics of my children on the web but well I had to show how beautifull my little tunic looks!

The weird name of this picture becuase in the same bunch I have made a picture to illustrate my own article about lebanon in the churchpaper I work for.

dinsdag, augustus 01, 2006

My sewingclass starts in september

so it was high time to try some clothes sewing on my own because well, isn't it fun to just figure it out all by yourself... ?

Mostly not, but this was actually quite fun. It is supposed to be a dress for girls 2 to 3 I lengthened the pattern about 7 centimeters and it is still not a dress but a very very cute tunic-thing. But jeez what were our parents thinking? The pattern is from a thrifted embroiderybook that I adore and the little owl is actually a embroiderypattern from the book (No, I don't know why I managed to give it a seals face.) It needed to be an owl because it is fitted with the cutest buttons ever. So cute in fact they got me trying my first buttonholes ever (That is easy!) Can you believe I only bought 5? ( I am so going back!)

I am in love with the way this thing stands out ( I think the biasbinding hem works great for this) and daughter loved to stroke it and say beautiful, cutie!

OH the fabric is the same as the bonnet form my last post and it comes from li in Singapore