Tuesday 30 January 2018

Whitework embroidery

While on my second year of "make and mend" and with an awful lot of bills coming in in August 2017 (car broke down twice, dentist, government fees...), I was looking for something else to do arts &crafts wise, that would give me new skills, need some time and is cheap as in "doesn't need a lot of special equipment".

So I started a project in whitework embroidery. I had been toying with the idea of whitework emboidery for some time, and have already done a bit of embroidery for the 18th century (crewel embroidery stomacher, very simple design). So it seemed like a good idea.

I found it really interesting. The stitches themselves are really easy standard stuff - only a lot of them and you should try to make them really even... I think I still need some practise there. A lot of it actually.

In case you can't read it, the letters say "We'll manage". Not We'll Moan Age. That's just the way I've embroidered it.

I think I used about 4 or 5 strands of white yarn (Anchor), and I only stitched with half of the thread (for whatever reason, I have no explanation for that, but once begun I couldn't really change it...). The fabric is a tight cotton fabric from my stash. The total cost was about 6 euros for the yarn. And it took me 4 months to make it.

After finishing it I mounted it on a canvas and now it is hanging in our bathroom. :)

It was a fun project. :)

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Waiting for flowers - transparent

While I was impatiently waiting for the first flowers to appear (and especially the snowbells!) I made some for the window. I was following the same book as usual (Mit farbigen Transparenten durch das Jahr, Kronshage und Schwartz).  The real challenge was to make this, while in the backround the children went through innumerous fights over - I don't know... "you are in my space" "I am not" and "don't drink the coffee" "I'm not" etc. :)

I am looking forward to the first flowers.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

January 2018 table

This is what the table looks like in January. The reed is back, the vase stays, the bark stays as well as the stones. Re-entry the igloo light. The little blue vase is still waiting for snowbells to be put it. This month the belle jardiniere is preparing ground and there is some holly on the picture and I noticed for the first time, that the dresses the lady is wearing all bear the zodiac signs of the month. At least that's what I think.

Wednesday 10 January 2018

There is nothing wrong with shopping...

Mike Petrucci (unsplash.com)

Lately, a few of my friends have apologized for shopping. I feel a little bad about it, I don't want to spoil anything for my friends. I also feel a little "ok, somebody obviously thought about what I am saying and (even better) also thought about their purchase and then decided for (hopefully) good reasons to get it anyway - no matter what that old bag is saying". Well done. :)

But I thought, I'd say it anyway: Shopping is okay. Spending money is ok.

If done with reason and sense.

We live in a world that has introduced money as a means to make exchanging something of value (even if it is imaginary) easier. Because it would be so much harder to trade sheepskins, gemstones or gold. We also live in a world that is based on shopping for competence - hardly any of us can make our own furniture, kitchens, bathrooms, we don't have the material and the tools... we need people and companies who do that for us. And that's a good thing.

I think it is lovely if you furbish you home in a way you like. If you do it every 3 weeks, maybe that's worth thinking about, but if you try to create a space with furniture and items of every day use that are good and last long - why not.

There is also nothing wrong with treating yourself to a special something - but maybe not every day?!

And most important - if you can't afford it - don't.

Yes, consumerism is a weeeeiiiird thing. :)

Monday 8 January 2018

GREED - DW Documentary - Part 2

In case you've not found part two to the documentary from last week. :)

Greed - A DW Documentary.

Sunday 7 January 2018

A Christmas table (December 2017)

So this is our December/Christmas corner. The children's agates are on it again, the reeds went out for soft fir tree twigs (albeit in the same vase with the same sand). As you can see plenty of christmas decoration. My favourite is the little ram made from wool. I got it in a Maroccan art shop (in Frieburg, funnily) about 10 years ago and the moths have nibbled on him a bit (poor thing), but he's still very cute and I wouldn't throw him out just because of a few dents here and there. I might take a bit of wool and needle felt away his injuries before he goes into "aestanation".

A lot of our Christmas decoration we have has some link to traveling (we'll never be able to make up for our CO2 imprint...). The little metal reindeer (there are 4, but you can just see 2 stripey ones in this picture) are from Riga, The little hears (red/white and blue white) are firmly stuffed fabric hearts I got in Laos. I will never understand, why in Lao I could get a design that strikes me as swedish, but there you are, that's how it is. The Frobel Stars I made myself. The wooden Nativity scene is made in the Ore Mountains in Germany. They are famous for their skills in woodturning. These little figures are all made by hand in this technique. I got them in Leipzig (a beautiful city!!) on the Christmas market from a stall with the nicest and most patient ladies ever (they had so many wonderful little things (and big, but I couldn't get anything big...) and I was overwhelmed...). This the company http://www.firma-ulbricht.de/   (no, I don't get any cookies from them, I just love the craftsmanship). Behind the miniature figures you can see a big piece of platanus tree bark, which we found on one of our walks.

I admit, I like a bit of blingbling, too, so we've put a small piece of amethyst and a small piece of rock crystal. My grandfather (maternally) had lots of big amethyst and rock crystal pieces which I adored when I was a small child (and was never allowed to touch... but we used to look at them together, how they sparkled!). I don't know what happened to those after my grandparents died, but I hold fond memories of both of them and these two little pieced remind me of them.

The table is never as static as it seems on the pictures, the kids rearrange the figures, the three holy kings move closer to the nativity scene, stones are added and taken away, some are painted. Even the teelightholder as exchanged, sometimes we have one the children painted on it, and they, too, change places.

Eugene Grasset, La Belle Gardinière, Décembre https://www.wikiart.org/en/eug-ne-grasset/la-belle-jardiniere-december-1896

Saturday 6 January 2018

Three Holy Kings - Window transparent

Another transparent for Epiphany (which is also my birthday...). I've made it around christmas and we put it up just after christmas and will stay there until the 3 Holy Kings have made their way to Bethlehem.

This is also made with the book "Mit farbenigen Transparenten durch das Jahr" by Michaela Kronshage und Silvia Schwartz.

I really enjoy the layering, which is something I've just recently discovered and I can't wait to make a sprint transparent. :)

Thursday 4 January 2018

A Winter table (November 2017)

We've got a little corner in our living room, where we try and decorate a little every month, according to season. It is also known as a "seasonal table" to Waldorf or Steiner aficionados, but it is not a strictly speaking waldorf table. It's just that little corner in our living room that is decorated according to season.

Here you see November/early December. We have a lot of reed growing next to a footpath close to our home so I cut a few and put them in a vase, together with some sand. The cloth is light blue linen (which should be dark blue or violet, if I understand the colour circle the Steiner year follows, but I haven't got that in the stash ans light blue is so matching...). The children found some pink and white Symphoricarpos (snowberry), which I now know is poisonous, and we've put them in a little vase. Around it are a few stomes and 2 small agates, which they got on a christmas market. My favourite candle holder (which I've had for at least 15 years), from Kosta Boda. It looks like an icy igloo and has the most beautiful shadows ever. Kosta Boda has the famous "snow ball" teelight holder (and a lot of other beautful things https://kostaboda.co.uk/)

We have a fixed set of postcards we use for every month - "La belle Jardinière" by Eugène Grasset (Art Nouveau). They are so beautiful, i love looking at them again and again. You can see art of him here https://www.wikiart.org/en/eug-ne-grasset/la-belle-jardiniere-november-1896 

This table was slightly changed into December, to then turn into our December/Christmas table. Which I am going to try to post, too, before Christmas is over.

Monday 1 January 2018

GREED - DW Documentary -

My husband pointed out to me this excellent documentary.
Learn about greed and its sources and what drives humans.