28 december 2010

Doll making

My last post, my nativity scene for 'this week I saw',  disappeared miraculously. But repost a nativity scene after Christmas is as we Dutch call it 'musterd after dinner'.  Christmas was wonderful though. We did some skating on Christmasday, and really, nothing in the whole world can make me happier than skating with my family! Although my two sons playing christmas songs on their guitar comes close.

I'm making a lot of plans for crafting again! Making dolls is something I love to do. I made Molly, a rag doll for Lauren, she still love to play with. I made dozens of doll's clothes and I made some dolls similar like my Snowwhite. I did it without a pattern, adjusting by 'trial and error'. When we were in New York, I visited Purl Soho, a wonderful craft's shop. And there in the windows I saw this little doll from Mimi Kirchner. Made of woolfelt and quite smaller than my dolls use to be, but a bit similar. Purlbee, the blog of Purl Soho even provides a free pattern! I tried it and made this little doll for my niece Livia. I made her also a box with a little matrioskha on it. I didn't had enough felt out of one piece to make the dress, but nevertheless I'm satisfied with the way she turned out.

23 december 2010

Snegoerotjsjka ornaments

Inspiration is such a beautiful thing. Rahel posted these Etsyfinds on her blog, and I really loved them and then Hetty showed us the ornament she made for a friend. Put one and one together, add a little inspiration and you get my little ornaments. They're made of woolfelt, some leftover beads, chainstitches and french knots and about the size of a praline. The lovely girl is Snegoerotsjka, the snowgirl, a painting from Michail Vroebel for a Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov opera. My own snowgirl just came in with the deepest red cheeks I've ever seen... Tomorrow the children will get their skatingdiplomas. I was a very proud mother when I saw my sons doing 'pootje over', the proper way of skating the curves. We're ready for Christmas since we're doing the 'grand tour' this year; seeing both parents and inlaws. There happens to be ice near to my parents in law, so we'll  probably do a little skating on Christmasday!

20 december 2010

Sometimes a happy childhood can hit you in the face

What a start of their schoolvacation this is. These three boys are always together. The two on the left are Casper en Valentijn, our sons,  and the one on the right is the boy nextdoor, their best friend. Sometimes it strikes me that I'm watching their childhood memories. The children are on a skating course, as always in their christmas vacation, and I skate along with them, so there won't be a lot of drawing and crafting to show you. The hours after skating are filled with sleighing, snow fights and drinking a lot of hot chocolate. It's just plain perfect! I wish for all of you the same thing!

17 december 2010

Deze week zag ik/ This week I saw

This week I saw a good friend returning. Snow makes me happy, no matter what! It's living the fairytale. This is my first contribution to DWZI van Roos en Daan, inspired by Jill's Today I saw. Actually I feel a little obliged, at least to myself, to draw something, but I liked this fairytale picture I made so very much. So I try to do a drawing next time.

13 december 2010

St. Lucia

I love traditions, even if they're not my own. Today it's st. Lucia's day. In Sweden, the youngest daughter, dressed in white gown with a red sash is the Lussibrud (Lucia bride). She wears a crown with candles on her head and serves saffranrolls to the rest of the family. I can't help wondering how this was done when they hadn't electric candles. A lot of beautiful long blond hair must have gone up in smoke, I guess. We didn't send Lauren to school in a white dress today, nor gave her any saffranrolls to treat. Two tangerines is all she's got, festive enough for a tradition which  isn't ours. What are your traditions in the period of advent, I love to hear...

9 december 2010

Waldorf traditions after all

When I was growing up my parents were very involved in establishing a Waldorf school in the place were we lived and everything that came with it. Once I became a teenager I got very annoyed by everything concerning antroposophy. I didn't want to have anything to do with it. To me antroposophy was associated with stale sourdough bread, men in handspun sweaters, women in dyed skirts (we're talking the seventies) and damp cloths as a medicine for almost every illness, all covered with the heavy smell of arnica,which I still can't stand. My parents weren't like that at all, I must add. And then I became a mother.  A lot of routines and traditions from the Waldorf school seemed pretty nice to me, actually...So today, Joseph and Mary, very waldorfy indeed, are making a long yourney trough our livingroom before they arrive at the manger. They are made out of woolfelt and silk. I've whipped them up myself, but you can buy kits like this overhere. The cardboard christmas tree is our adventcalendar from the Wiener Werkstätte. The blue picture is a cyanotype which I bought from etsy, waiting patiently to be framed. And to complete this tour: the rowing man is my husband, on a drawing I made him when he got forty.

Christmas is unfolding...

It started all with some trees the children made. And once you've folded several reindeer, you're close to the whole ensemble...It was another late night to get it all  hanging and a lot of not so peace-on-earth-like words to accompany the process, but here it is. It was quit another process to get it on picture.  I tried different backgrounds and different types of 'snow'. Then heavy hail made me turn on all the lights, but now it has a dark wintery glow which probably goes along very well with the scene. We bought the wooden shelf with the lovely carved tree on the side a long time ago to serve as a season's table. In a few days it will be a manger. For now we enjoy Santa on his sleigh. (I even made tiny little origami presents...)

6 december 2010

christmas yarn star

 Bye bye Sinterklaas, bye bye winter, for now. We had so much fun saturday, but now it's wet and messy all over. Since I'm red-nosed myself the last few days, I can just as well show you the christmas star I made. These stars are really easy to make, following this tutorial. You can do it with your children, following this tutorial. Getting the pins in is the hardest part. From that point you're only five minutes away from a selfmade ornament. Minimum effort, maximum result!

2 december 2010

Gift tags

A friend asked me for gift tags. I want to show you an example or two from a series I made for her. Just by copy/past you can use them too if you like. Unfortunately I can't use them myself because these drawings are all over our house. I like the strophe of a Tjitske Jansen poem "het moest maar eens gaan sneeuwen" , but for now I wished it stopped snowing, because I want to do some heirons and pick my children up at school. I settle for walking, going by bike is not the smartest thing to do these days.  

30 november 2010

Last minute crafting for Sinterklaas

Just a few days till 'pakjesavond', the night Zwarte Piet might drop off a big bag of presents. In the meantime our sons are having other concerns. Valentijn is measuring the thickness of the ice (in a forgotten vase)  in order to be prepared when it comes to skating. The Friesian genes are strong ones, apparently. When the temperature outside gets below zero (Celsius), we're getting  feverish! We all love to skate. It's such a typical Dutch thing to do (social historian again...), that I have no words in English to describe this ice fever. As much as I love blogging, if the frost is here to stay, there's just one thing for me: the 'schaatsforum', to check the spots for reliable ice to skate on.

For all of you who might be less dedicated to all the goodness winter is bringing us, I show you some -very bad- pictures of the paperdoll we made last week, Valentijn did the purple and green one. I used old magazines for the pink one. The sleeves and trousers are in fact buildings. We totally forgot to add feathers on the hat, so we let  Picnik do it for us. We used this template and laminated it afterwards. We'll always have Paris, to show you how it works.

28 november 2010

First advent

And in the middle of all excitement which Sinterklaas arouses, it's suddenly the first sunday of advent. And what a great day it was. We are living near the dunes, and we did some deerspotting today. We saw stags with huge antlers and a lot of other deer. I don't want to walk around with this huge and heavy camera all the time, so the pictures are taken with my phone. Despite the poor quality I love the silhouette of my three musketeers!

After the long walk and a rewarding pancake afterwards, we were invited to a birthdayparty. I made two more pillows for the two brothers, a soccer player and a baseball player. Again this turned out to be the perfect gift...
Though we'll wait until the 6th of december to open the first doors on the adventcalendar, we do lit one candle on advent's wreath. We decorated it with a blue ribbon, which is actually the colour that belongs to this period. Usually my father makes them, but because it's the second advent before we see one another again I did it myself this year.

I felt like a real editor, changing my blog's lay-out for Christmas. If it wasn't the biggest cliche of all times, I'd say it's the most wonderful time of the year. December 6th I grab my Frank Sinatra Christmas album, and off we go. Time for "Kerst met Linus" (a Swedish televion series), The Polar Express, playing christmas carrols on our terrible out of tone piano, the whole shebang. I love it. More is more. But decorationswise I like to keep it simple. White, green and a little red, it's christmas after all.

24 november 2010


Yesterdat the boys spent their afternoon making 'sinterklaas-surprises'. I feel like a social historian or something, explaining our traditions all the time, but on the other hand; I like reading about someone elses too. When you stop believing in Sinterklaas, that's when the real thing starts. Making surprises (pronounced in a sort of French way) and writing poems that are meant to tease the receiver.  A surprise is a crafted funny package to put your present in. For instance, a paper mache horse for a classmate who's all over poneys. Not seldom made of paper mache.Off course that's all I can say about it now, though I've no illusions whatsoever about nine- to twelve-year-olds reading this blog. 

I was asked quite a few times whether I make this drawings myself, well indeed I do. The blue one is in my favourite style. But I also did a charcoal drawing. Quite bishoplike don't you think?  (Sinterklaas, or St. Nicolaas, was in fact a bishop).  

22 november 2010

Origami Christmas

Ever since we've been camping next to a Japanese group who wanted to climb the Eiger Nordwand in Grindelwald, I love origami. The friendly lady in the tent next to ours made me an origami boy for my poetry album, obviously because she thought I was one... Well, I was about eight years old and my hair was conviently rather than fashionably short. My mother bought an origamibook and a lifelong love started.

At West Elm in New York I saw this little porcelain origami reindeer. Mine now! Off course I had to try this at home. It took me a lot of awful coloured origamipapersheets, which I tend to use for such purposes,  but I succeeded in the end. The trick is to get a sheet that's a little big bigger (at least 20x20cm). The diagram I used is from this book . I used an A4 sheet made square. Although it's a bit thick, the result is quite sturdy. So happy together, I think I make some more.

Note: Since all three of my children wondered how the picture was taken, let me tell you: it was in our yard. We definitely don't have a christmas tree yet!

18 november 2010

Zwarte Piet

Maybe I should have been writing this post  in Dutch, readers from abroad might think we've gone crazy overhere. Whereas Santa has his elfs, Sinterklaas has his  Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes). In the weeks previous to December 5th, children place their shoe at the fireplace and in the night, when Sinterklaas rides his horse over the rooftops ("trippel-trappel"), Zwarte Piet goes down the chimney to put a little present in their shoes. The fact that he's black, is not because of the chimney, but because of his Morish origine. There was a lot of discussion whether this might be insulting for coloured people living in Holland. In Amsterdam they experimented with all colours for the Pieten, but honestly a Red Piet or a blue one, it just not the same.

For all of you who love this politically incorrect but yet adorable tradition, here's my Zwarte Piet as a doll. If you''re interested in making one too, please let me know.

16 november 2010

Good times

Just back from a wonderful trip to New York.  But since sjoe sjoe and noeksblogt recently lured us with their posts about this incredible city, I'll leave it to that. (Although I've never read about Kiteya Soho, a great japanese shop, go visit it when in NY). We had a great time, that's for sure. In the meantime, all things exciting were happening overhere. Sinterklaas made it through terrible weather, and it was heartwarming to hear our daughter tell about the diary that was in her shoe the other morning (which off course I picked out for her before we left). So let the good times come, I'm totally ready now! Just another two drawings to warm you op as well.

7 november 2010

Paper lanterns

We had a blast last night! Thanks to everyone who made it a wonderful 12,5 years anniversary. The paper lanterns were beautiful, but my hand was not so firm when I took the pictures. I used the repper pro to  design the paper for some of the lanterns, based on the invitation for the party. This little lanterns are so easy to make, but if you really want a tutorial you can find it here ore via one pretty thing.

5 november 2010

Crafting for boys

This year I made all of Valentijn's friends a pillow. This is the last one, it's for his best friend who's having his birthday party. I think I gave it a kind of tough touch, at least that was what I was aiming at. I made a lot of soccer players, but also goalies and a sailboat.

And now I'm heading back to what I should do. Making paper lanterns. We're having a party this saturday and because it's almost St. Maarten it's paper lantern themed. It seemed such a nice idea at the time, I hope it works out to be that way. I'll try to make some pictures.

3 november 2010

Yes, we can!

When I was younger I was notoriously known for not finishing anything. All this beatiful portraits, all one-eyed... Deadlines seemed to be a problem too. Discipline that's what I need. And although the town's library still can build a wing with my name on it because of all the fees I paid for turning my books in, way passed the due date, I'm making some progress on this subject. Yes we can; I finished a quilt which I started four years ago. Just like children and boats, you're supposed to give your quilts a name. This one is called "Holland Amerika Lijn". American stars on the front, and some 'boerenbontje' (typical dutch) on the back. Geeke, it's for you. I'm pretty sure you're not aware of this blog, so I guess I'm safe here. It's a thank you for her hospitality (we'll be staying with her in New York) and friendship. I hope she likes it. By the way, how do you like my 'vervlogen dagen' button on it?
Note: I finally nailed the photography-issue I was struggling with! For all you fellow bloggers: I discovered Blogger draft and that does more justice to my pics than the format I was posting in before.

1 november 2010

St. Maarten

There was a lot of talk about Halloween on the blogs I've been reading. And now I read a lot of posts about Sinterklaas, the Dutch version of Santa Claus, which brings presents to children (and grown ups as well) on December 5th. To me Sinterklaas belongs to the winterperiod. I'm still in this autumny mood. Our children are longing for Sint Maarten, November 11th. They all make paper lanterns in school and sing songs door to door for which they get rewarded with loads of candy. After that I'm ready for Sinterklaas. It inspired me for various drawings, I liked this one best.

29 oktober 2010

Quilting for New York

It is now when I'm writing this post, hence typing the words down, I actually notice how much my fingers ache! I've been quilting and I think only quilters now this particular pain. After about five years of talking about it, we've booked a flight to New York. A dear friend of ours is living there for almost ten years now and we've finally found the time, the money and enough babysitters to go! Four years ago I started making a quilt for her. She lives in Manhattan, but has a house in the woods upstate too. She is in desperate need of a quilt, I'd say. This quilt has been waiting patiently for four years to get finished, but suddenly there's no time to waist. That's why I've been quilting like fool for the last days. The fingers of my left hand are all bleeding now and that, dear friends, is how dangerous quilting really can be! The end is near and I don't want to jinx it by showing you already. But what is a post without a pic? This little quilt I made for Lauren, who was very into matrushka's last winter (or was I?)

25 oktober 2010

Autumn break

The autumn break, a week's vacation from school, has started for our children. Unfortunately our heating took a break too. We're using an electrical heater from the 1930's to keep us warm until it's fixed.
The children made lovely paintings, which we used to decorate the hallway, which actually is a very big word for a very small space. When they paint together, they get very inspired by one another, you can tell. The one on top is made by Valentijn (9), the one in the middle by Casper (11) en Lauren (6) made the one on the bottom. I'm very proud of them. The pictures are very blurry due to the total absence of good lighting.

21 oktober 2010

Button bliss

When I came home this afternoon, there was a bubble wrap envelop at the doormat. I told you before how much I like these envelopes. This was a good one! A week ago I ordered some customized buttons for Vervlogen Dagen at rememberwynn's etsy shop and she send me this beautiful package. I think she made the little box herself. Thank you, Angie, it's well appreciated.

19 oktober 2010


A friend of ours is a fabric agent. He sells fabric to fashionlabels. Now and again he makes me happy by giving me his leftover samples. A few weeks ago he brought  me a box of velvet samples and left me totally smitten (with the fabric...). Today I made a  ballet bag  for Lauren. I remembered this one  and that inspired me to make mine.
I made little eyelets at the bottom, so she can also use it as a backpack. I can't deside which side I like best. Can you?


Yesterday I got rewarded by  lightbluegrey who gave me the Versatile Blogger Award. This is a part of blogging I've never even considered. I feel very honoured, off course! But I also feel a bit akward and self-conscious, not because of the conditions -I have to tell you 7 random facts about myself, which I'm happy and willing to do-, but to give it away to other bloggers. The blogs I follow are from experienced bloggers,  (besides lightbluegrey...) and I think they have seen many awards come and go. I don't know any new bloggers, fill  in the empty chairs, if you like! So I decided in all modesty to accept the award, but leave it to that...

As for the conditions: 7 personal things about me:
  1. I studied history, but I wish I had attended an academy of arts instead, in hindsight...
  2. I'm a true follower of the three main rules of French cuisine; butter, butter and butter...
  3. I'm happily married for almost 12,5 years (and together for 20 years) with a man who would never have been picked for me by a matchmaker...
  4. I  cry every time I go to the movies...
  5. I like to sing out loud (and when I say out loud, I mean with serious volume) when driving  my car. People next to me on the driving lane seem to think that's very funny...
  6. I laugh too loud and talk too much...
  7. I don't like my newspaper to change. Not the layout, not the lettering, and most of all, not the size!
That's all there is to know, for now!

13 oktober 2010

Birthday party

It's all about birthdays lately. Yesterday we had Lauren's friends over for her birthday party. Maybe you remember the invitations for her ice-skating party. Well, we had a 'koek and zopie' (that's what a little lemonade-booth on the ice is called in dutch) and bunting made with my repper...

I made her guests medals and goodiebags with magnets...

But the most important thing of all: there was a very happy birthday girl! The party is finally over, she's turned six for real now!


Butterfly net

For her birthday I made my daughter a mosquito net. It's not that we get bothered so much by mosquito's in October in Holland, but she likes to make her room the cosiest place. I let a flock of butterflies land on this net, and hung a few of them in the middle with a pink pearl underneath. I love it, and so does she.


Hoewel ik een echt buitenkind was, was ik ook een lezer. In de zomer veranderde ik mijn kamer, zodat het bed onder het raam stond en ik eindeloos kon lezen bij het licht dat onder het gordijn door piepte. Nu heb ik zelf kinderen. Onze oudste zoon (11) verslindt boeken, net als ik dat deed. Alleen heeft hij wél zo'n handig lampje boven zijn bed. Onze jongste zoon (9) houdt helemaal niet van lezen, alleen van voorlezen en onze dochter (6) zit nog in de maan-roos-vis-fase. Tijdens de kinderboekenweek mogen ze alledrie een boek uitzoeken. Dit jaar was het eerste jaar dat er geen prentenboeken werden uitgezocht. Laat dat nu net mijn grote liefde zijn! Dus vanaf nu zoek ik de prentenboeken voor mezelf uit. Deze keer werd het 'de boomhut' van Marije en Ronald Tolman. Een echt prentenboek zonder tekst. Prachtig!

9 oktober 2010


Morgen is ons meisje jarig. Of eigenlijk de dag erna, maar we vieren het morgen. Een dag omkleed met rituelen en traditie. Eén ervan is de verjaardagstekening. Het lukt ieder jaar weer, de ene keer wat beter geslaagd dan de andere. Deze is mooi op tijd af. Geen nachtwerk dit keer. Alhoewel er nog wel een vlinderklamboe op de finishing touch ligt te wachten....

7 oktober 2010


Na een enthousiast gesprek met de makers, tijdens de Textieldagen in Tilburg, heb ik Repper Pro gekocht. Dit speeltje leidt me serieus af van de dingen die ik eigenlijk moet doen. Deze collage laat nog maar een fractie zien van de patronen die ik met behulp van mijn Vervlogen Dagenlogo kan maken! In mijn hoofd droom ik al over een eigen stoffencollectie!

Ook leuk, deze afleiding. Met z'n drieën in het fotohokje, gordijntje dicht en keten maar. Het kan hier.

6 oktober 2010

Hoe Michael Imre werd...

Twee jaar geleden dacht ik na wat voor kraamcadeautje ik zou maken voor een zwangere vriendin. In die tijd zag ik overal om me heen afbeeldingen van Joris/Michael die met de draak vecht. Ik kon er niet meer aan ontsnappen. Ik was er heilig van overtuigd dat het kind Michael zou heten. Mijn helderziende gaven bleken zeer beperkt, het werd Imre...En het zal wel met de tijd van het jaar te maken hebben en een onvermoede antroposofische erfenis dat ik in het begin van de herfst Michael waarneem!

30 september 2010


Zoals hiernaast al hoopvol aangegeven staat, ben ik druk bezig met het opzetten van een webshop. Een hele klus. Ik was een beetje zat van het administratieve gedeelte ervan, dus de zinnen maar even verzet met de het afmaken van dit schatje (als je het zo stelt komt er ineens een heel ander einde aan het sprookje...)