Thursday, 29 January 2015

Dutch bicycles

One of the things I miss most about the Netherlands is the way cycling is part of everyday life. In Holland everyone rides everywhere; to work, school, the shops, the gym (without wearing a helmet, too), and therefore you see bikes everywhere. During our holiday I took lots of photos of bicycles - here are my favourite pics. Bicycles are so photogenic, don't you think?

Monday, 26 January 2015

Australia issue of Down Under Quilts

Down Under Quilts 168, our special Australia issue, is now on sale. I am really happy with this issue - we feature Lucy Carroll, whose work I admire a lot, we have some great projects (love that Uluru quilt by Keith Wood) and share quilts from International Quilt Week Yokohama, the Canberra Quilt Show 2014 and A World of Colour.

My project for this issue are these Australia postcards - quick and easy to make, and great for sending to friends overseas!

(photo by photographer and textile artist Jolanta Szymczyk)

The magazine comes with a free fat quarter of this lovely fabric:

I had fun thinking of small projects to make with this fabric. Of course you could also use it in a quilt!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Holiday impressions

We are back from the Netherlands! It was a holiday with ups and downs - one of the ups was this castle we stayed in for Christmas, and another one was the snow (on the 27th of December), which the boys loved! Here is my youngest stepping on a frozen puddle - first time he encountered one of those!

The biggest 'down' was my middle son breaking his arm on Christmas Eve. Here he is looking quite happy with his orange cast (he got this one the day before we left Holland), but of course it wasn't fun when it happened, and with the original cast he couldn't swim, which was a shame as we stayed in a holiday park with a subtropical pool later on during the holiday... And it's still no fun, as the fracture isn't healing correctly so he will have an operation tomorrow to insert a wire :-(

A big 'up' was meeting some new members of our family  - the two nieces I made quilts for in the last 2 years, and this little fellow who was born just before we arrived in Holland. He got a quilt too but I can't show it here yet... (it's a project in the March issue of Down Under Quilts)

Another highlight of the trip was my eldest son Hugo (the gymnast) meeting his hero Epke Zonderland, World Champion and Olympic gold medallist on high bar, and watching him at his training:

Apart from being with family and friends I really enjoyed strolling through the old cities and photographing the houses, bicycles etc.

On my photo blog you can find a few series of photos taken in Maastricht, Aachen (Germany) and Zutphen (where the photo above was shot), and also a series of black and white photos made during our visit to the Efteling, a famous Dutch attraction park inspired by fairy tales and fantasy.

We had a two-day stop over in Jakarta, Indonesia, where we visited the old Dutch part of the city (the former Batavia). It was fascinating - some of the buildings and structures the Dutch built are crumbling and rotting away, while others have been restorated and used for new purposes:

More photos of Batavia are here.

In the Netherlands we had a few lovely, quiet days in a holiday house on the Veluwe, in the centre of the country. In our garden squirrels and birds came to enjoy the peanuts. I love robins!

On my husband's birthday we visited the Kroller-Muller Museum which was nearby. It has a large Vincent Van Gogh collection - I really liked this painting called Tree Trunks in the Grass:

Look at that detail!

I also liked this painting by Armando, called Der Zaun:

So much inspiration in this holiday! I may post some more photos in the coming weeks. For now I'll leave you with this one, as I catch up with work, get ready for the new school year that starts next week, prepare for my son's operation tomorrow and let all these impressions settle in my mind :-)