Friday 26 June 2009

Holiday at home

Here are some more photos from Zutphen - it really is a very beautiful town. Yesterday evening DH and I cycled to the city centre after putting the boys to bed (Oma was babysitting) and I took these pics. It does not get dark until about 11 pm now - how I love these long summer evenings!

This is the St. Walburgis Church, built around 1050 AD.

I love the doors of the Town Hall:

Today I went to the market with my mother-in-law and took some more photos:

Dutch strawberries are the yummiest in the world!

From tomorrow until next Friday we will be camping near National Park De Hoge Veluwe, so there won't be any postings for a while. Maybe I can post once more before we fly back to Brisbane on July 8th. (I don't want to leave!...)

PS Yes Thea, I have been wearing my Brisbane skirt! ;-)

Wednesday 24 June 2009

Back in the old country

It's great to be back in my own country! Of course it's lovely to see our friends and family again after more than 2 years, but it's also wonderful to be able to speak my own language all of the time, to ride a bike without wearing a helmet and to see all the beautiful old buildings. The one in the photo above is the Menkemaborg, a 14th century castle in Uithuizen, a small village in the province of Groningen, where my father lives.

We are now staying with my mother-in-law in Zutphen, a very beautiful and very old city in the eastern part of the Netherlands. She lives on the edge of the town, near the fields and the woods.

June of course is a wonderful time to be visiting the Netherlands - everything is so green and the weather is lovely.

Last Sunday my friends had organized a surprise party for my upcoming 40th birthday (September 18th, when we will be back in Australia). I had not expected it at all, so it really was a surprise! I got this beautiful bracelet as a gift from everyone at the party:

And just one quilty thing to end this posting: my mother-in-law has asked me if I would like to make a quilt for her to hang in her living room, over the piano. I am very flattered and look forward to starting on it when we get back to Brisbane!

PS More photos on our family blog!

Friday 12 June 2009

One more sleep!

Tomorrow we are going to the Netherlands!!! I hope they won't put us in quarantaine when we arrive at Schiphol Airport on Sunday morning - over 1300 cases of human swine flu now in Australia, and we all have a cold! (better not make any grunting noises, I guess)

I have had an earache for several days now, so went to see my GP yesterday who confirmed that I have a middle ear infection - very inconvenient, just before flying to the other side of the world! With antibiotics, painkillers and decongesting nose drops I hope the journey won't be too uncomfortable.

As you will understand, I haven't done anything creative this week, so no new things to show. Instead here are some photos of the place where I grew up, Appingedam. It's a small town in the north of the Netherlands, very old (founded around 1200 AD) and very pretty. The church in the top photo was build in 1237 AD (the tower was rebuild in the 19th century though). We hope to go to Appingedam during our holiday - I haven't got any family left there, but would love to see it again and show my children where I used to live.

I remember skating here when I was a child. Of course it's summer now in Europe and there won't be any snow or ice! It will probably be a little warmer than it is here in Brisbane now - this morning it was 2 degrees in our house when I got up!

I hope I will be able to post a few holiday impressions here. We are taking the laptop and camera with us, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Monday 8 June 2009

Shopping and playing

I realised I haven't told you about the Textile Art Festival yet. It was wonderful - I came home suffering from severe visual overload. Jenny Bowker's Collections Quilts were there - probably the most beautiful quilts I have seen so far. Stunning. The My Place Quilts were shown, a wonderful collection of quilts from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, among them the one made by fellow Art Quilts Around the World member Lisette.

I met some people I had so far only encountered on the world wide web, like Dijanne and Sharon, and some I had met IRL before, like Kate and Lisa.

And I bought lots of stuff... Beautiful handdyed fabrics from Lisa's shop, Dyed and Gone to Heaven. Lots of play things from The Thread Studio: rubbing plates, lutradur, Romeo, Starburst Spray... Some Procion dye and Lumiere paint...

And so I played! I used the screen printed pieces of fabric to try the rubbing plates, with a gold Shiva stick. See pic above and the next three photos. I like the violin with those curved shapes. I also like the two gymnasts, might do some more of these (without the rubbings though).

And I dyed some fabric. I love handdyed fabric. Once you have started dyeing your own fabric, commercial fabrics just aren't good enough.

Only 5 days now until we go to the Netherlands!!! We have been collecting Australian souvenirs for friends and family (you know, boomerangs, rain makers, koala cuddly toys etc), but I suddenly thought I could make some myself - bookmarks for my best friend and mother-in-law, made with my favourite Australian fabric:

(the small one was a cut-off and too cute to throw away, so I'll keep it. Don't know what I will do with it but I love it!)

Yesterday we went to South Bank. While the boys played at the playground I checked out the Young Designers Market. There I found Thea and her wonderful husband:

I couldn't resist buying her Brisbane skirt, so I can show it off in Holland! Isn't it brilliant? Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has one too!

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Even more screen printing - and some exciting news!

Yesterday I tried printing with a thermofax screen. Due to some technical problems I only managed to get 1 good print, but I will try it again tomorrow and I made the one print into a fabric postcard:

(I ordered the thermofax screen from Lyric's Kinard's website)

And what's the news? Well, my favourite Australian quilting magazine, Down Under Quilts, is going to publish an article about my Optical Illusion Quilt in their August issue!!! How exciting is that!!! (can you see me jumping up and down?) The quilt is actually in Sydney now, being professionally photographed - together with the Jacaranda Quilt, which will feature in an article in the same issue about spring quilts!