Thursday, 24 July 2014

In case you haven't seen this yet ...

(I don't know why I can't get that Youtube link 'in view', but when you click on the link you'll see it anyway.)

I do think we have a very good Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans. I highly appreciate his speech to the UN and still have to swallow etc. when seeing this and many other reports about the tragedy of the MH17.
I simply have to share this video ...

Today 74 coffins will be coming home and many more to come.

Frans Timmermans, yesterday at the airport,
embracing a woman, next of kin of the victims.
Source: RTL Nieuws

Have a good day.

Love, Carolien.

P.S. Words will come, I promise.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Day of National Mourning - MH17

Source of the pictures:

Monday, 30 June 2014

Too much for words ...

Good evening on this last day of June! Rainy spells here in Holland, and lots of spectacular skies. It's a real sport to visit the necessary shops between two 'showers' ...
Since it's raining so much, it's even quilting time! More about that later, first our 'energy consuming' events of the last few months.
As you probably remember, we had three girls studying for their final exams. The exams were held in May. Imagine ...
The eldest girl knew exactly what she wanted (study history and becoming a teacher at the sports school in Zevenaar) ... and she didn't pass her exams, even after a second try in maths. Shortage: 0,06. So sad ...
Her twin sister, who was so worried she wouldn't pass her exams, succeeded. Hurray!
And our youngest daughter didn't pass either, but she skipped the gymnasium part, dropped her Latin and will have her diploma anyway in August. She never thought of 'not passing' either.
I do hope you can imagine why I was absent for quite awhile. I do have the feeling the last weeks/months were so intense! My head is still 'bursting' a little. It was 'the world upside down'. So much has changed for the girls, so much has happened. So much to talk about, cry about, think about ... Add some extra work at the crematorium etc., etc. ... why am I looking forward to our holidays in July so much???!!!
But but but ... we did hang out our three flags in the end. Sofia and Fleur passed their exams, but Valérie worked very hard too and we're very proud of all THREE of them.
Back to today. This furry ball is snoring through the rainy day ...
I sometimes wish I could fit into that basket and have a nap on a quilt too ;) Not too bad ...
The spare hours to 'let it all sink in' were spent on the top of Cock and Yvette's quilt. No talking, just cutting and sewing. In silence.
I hope they'll like the result. The girls and even André think this top is 'cool' ...
Cock and Yvette just painted one bedroom wall in that striking yellow. Yellow, black, white and silver are the colours they use.
Time to move on with the back. I did cut 216 blocks of the same fabrics. It will be a bit of an experiment with the quilting part like this later ... we'll see. This is the first half of the back. Time to put the blocks together.
And on this last day of June, I'll always remember my mother. She had her birthday on June 30th. She would have been 84 today, but she passed away 45 years ago. I'll never forget her.
Have a great week!
With love, Carolien
P.S. A letter will be written soon, dear Jenny!!!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Rainy days II

Good morning! We have another grey, rainy day here in Holland. Time to look for some colour to cheer up.Well, here's a splash of colour! My second quilt block. Complete with Dutch bikes. Cock likes to bike to work, if possible. By the way: beterschap, Cock!
I was so relieved when Yvette sent me a message that they liked the block and the fabrics!
The weather in Venice isn't that sunny either, but what a view and what skies to admire! Wonderful!
Fleur sent me the first pictures yesterday evening, so sweet!
I bet she's still sleeping right now ... Anyway, I'm off to work.
Have a nice day! Dutch greetings, Carolien

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Rainy days

Good morning! Welcome on this rainy day! Yesterday it started raining and the plants are still singing now while having a light shower ... After I came home SOAKED - yep, biking while the heavens opened - I decided it was THE time to start with Cock and Yvette's quilt. No gardening, so it was perfect ...
I finally made the templates and started cutting some fabrics.
Oh my, time to make dinner already! Fresh carrots, baked potatoes and an omelet. Back into the rain to fetch a bunch of herbs to use in the omelet ... Such a luxury to have your own herb garden and wow! it tasted so good.
Then 'back to work'. Such fun to do this on a rainy day!
This is the first of six blocks for the top, the size of the block is 45/45 cm. The 'music part' is for Cock, my colleague at the crematorium. He is a direct colleague but also partly working in the music studio. He knows a lot about music and is a prof in our field on that. Making PowerPoint presentations and adding music to it, finding that specific piece of music for people ... well, you name it and he can do it. Plus having to answer all kind of questions and phone calls while telling me which channels to use for the next ceremony ... And there's so much more into it ... I get nervous at the thought alone to do his work.
And did you spot the sewing machines in the block? They make me think of Yvette, a very talented crafting lady. Wish I could crochet like her ... well, can't do everything, can I? ;)
This morning we were up early.
Reason? This young lady will soon fly to Venice, Italy.
The first one to have her holiday, together with three friends from Amersfoort. Have a great time, girls!
And so mom brought her books back to school this morning. Five big bags for three girls! All these books 'in their heads'???!!!
Before leaving the house to deliver these books and visiting the supermarket, I had cleared the table for my next quilt block-to-be. When I came home ... uhhuh? Playing yahtzee on my quilting table.
Yes, let's do that. I'll get that block done anyway. I don't know how yet. But I'm stubborn. Coffee.
Have a great day & happy stitching!
Dutch greetings, Carolien

Monday, 19 May 2014

Special weeks

Loads of youngsters in Holland are working so hard right now ... the final exams! Valérie, Sofia and Fleur are 'in the flow' too. They started their second week today. The schedules are on the fridge ...
We're experiencing some exciting weeks right now. These girls have to focus! I try to 'pamper' them as much as possible. I watch them go and realize so much will change so soon ...
I had to work for 4 days and came home on Saturday evening. Pretty worn out, to be honest. André put me in a chair in the garden and gave me an envelope. Post from Jenny! 
Out came a long, REAL (which means: handwritten) letter, plus a lovely card, plus a beautiful handmade bookmark! While André was warming up dinner for me, I enjoyed reading that long, sweet letter.
And admired the lovely bookmark in the last small sunny corner of the terrace. Thank you so much, Jenny!!! I LOVE this bookmark. Another treasure to cherish for life ...
Please have a closer look. All kind of stitches, it's so charming! And I fully agree with the quote. You're such a special and dear friend, Jenny. I can't thank you enough for your friendship! That really counts indeed.
André, who's not much 'into stitches', but who was watching over my shoulder, spontaneously said: "That's beautiful!" Well, he doesn't often say that, you know ... ;)
Hats off for this hardanger work, Jenny! It's so sweet. It reminds me of my aunt Janny, who loved to make small hardanger table cloths. She made holes in it too, with a tiny pair of scissors, if I do remember it correctly, to create an 'open effect'. It looked quite difficult in my eyes! Please forgive me when I'm not using the correct words for the technique etc.
So ... I'll think of you ánd aunt Janny when I see this bookmark.
I will use this special bookmark in special books. Not in my 'reading-in-the-train-books'. Imagine it falling by accident on the dirty floor of the train! Brrr ... No, this one will stay at home.
It's more than a week ago that I made my last stitches. Here's my little shepherd with his two sheep.
Working on it, tralala ...
And here's sheep no. 3 and some flowers and bushes ... To be continued.
Talking about flowers and bushes ... Since the weather is so much better now, there's plenty to do in the garden. Last week I spotted some bargains in the supermarket. I mean: fruit bushes for 2 Euro in the AH? Couldn't walk past it. And that wisteria for 3,45 Euro is now mine too ;) It was my lucky day ...
I planted some strawberry plants in the garden and they start flowering right now. Couldn't wait though and bought our first Dutch strawberries. Mmm, they tasted good!
Well, last week was a special week and this one will be too. I will be glad when the exams are over!
Wishing you all a good week  & with Dutch greetings,

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Time for a nap ...

The window sill is Fietje's place-to-be. She spends many hours there. Watching the street activities, warming up above the central heating and napping of course ... Yes, you may go now, it's time for my nap!
Okay, I'm out of here, time to work in the garden. No punishment at all!
But wait! André made some good pictures of my two samplers. I never managed to make good pictures, due to the shade, the limits of my iPhone etc. He was so kind to take 'the professional' out. I never showed you these pictures, such a shame ... Well, better late than never?
Sofia's birthday present to me. I cherish it every single day!
The twin sister I made.
A short inspection of the front garden. The fun of our garden is that there is 'always flowering something'. I love that!
Few weeds to remove since the garden is 'carpeted nicely'.
In the back garden it's a special day! My dear Graham Thomas has 28 buds right now and the first one is out. After all those times we had to dig this plant up when 'moving house' and such a bad winter when we planted her here in Zevenaar (that awfully long and cold winter that started a few days after we put the plant in the soil, in January!) ... she is thriving again. She is a miracle and that she is!
Some fireworks since yesterday! No pinks, blues and purples this year ...
I fell in love with this Lantana Camara. I can't catch it (again ...) but it's glowing, so special! And the scent of this plant is heaven ...
I took this plant home to put into the 'little birds pot'. Isn't it amazing, three colours in just one plant?
I planted some iris bulbs last autumn. Thought they had almost died, saw just some spikey strange leaves. I even cut some away! (Sorry, sorry ...) Today the first flower opened. In just half an hour, you could almost watch it. Wow! I planted two varieties, a light one and a darker blue one.
After an afternoon in the garden (there's so much to do right now!) I made dinner, pottered on and mopped the floor. While waiting for the floor to dry I noticed Saartje and Sientje were playing peek-a-boo ...
It's about time to make some stitches now. 'Cause I feel like a mashed potatoe right now ;)
Yes! Another pattern of TIAG! It's called 'Voice of the Shepherd'.
I'm off, stitching ... Till next time!
Dutch greetings, Carolien