We have been working on renovating our little house to be able to sell it without feeling guilty about what we sold. Don’t want anyone to move in and find out the house is built on a lake and the walls are made of plastic. So we’re trucking on and making someone a cozy and warm home.

On the other hand, we’re trying to find the perfect little house, surrounded by green and calm and enough room for a doggie.

So we’re always deep down in decor books and house idea pins.

Sometimes I bump into stuff I really like and want.

Let me share my finds with you:

I love tiles! Tiles and wood. Tiles tell stories, wood gives warmth. I like tiles on the floor, tiles on the wall, even tiles on the wood. Tiles, tiles, tiles!
I like those white subway tiles, those tiny glasslike tiles, those textured tinlike tiles, those old Flemish floor tiles with patterns but most of all those blue and white ones with dainty little stories on them from Holland.  I own two at the moment. My mother-in-law wanted to chuck them, but I salvaged them! One is a picture of a harbour with a house and a water tower by the shore and one pictures a shepherd with a stick. They will be incorporated in the new house when we find it.
Recently I discovered that these kind of tiles are being made again! But with a twist, ofcourse. Check out Paul Bommer’s collection.  I want them all!
Today I found a couple of Dutch girls making tiles with modern pictures on them of old stories. Red riding hood, an old school yard, a fox trying to eat a girl, it’s all there. Again, I can’t choose! And what’s even worse… you can have them make your own tile, with your own little story. Oh… ooooh…

Big Draw-ing challenge, part I

As you know, I’m participating in the Big Draw-ing challenge by Plutomeisje.
I can’t really draw, but I read Plutomeisje’s tips and I stole with my eyes and just tried.
The first batch is variable. There’s some good and some bad.
Let’s see, shall we?

1. Doodle

I understand that doodling is mindless, so I emptied my mind and started… well… doodling…
It took a drop of water, so there’s a little spot. But hey, it’s my first attempt.

2. Close-up

A friend of mine makes super cool close up pictures of critters. They are so interesting. So I decided to make a close-up drawing of a fly.

3. Through the window

When I’m under the shower in our bathroom, there’s a tiny slither of window I can see through. The only thing you see is our car and the cars passing by. Sometimes I dream that I’ll take another peek and see something really dreamy, like a unicorn or a big grey cuddly friend waiting for a bus shaped like a cat. If you know who I mean.

My car drawing is very two dimensional, so I need to work on that. But look at that tummie!

5. Sea Animal

It’s a cloudy picture of a drawing of a whale. What’s there to say. It was easy and it took very little time.

What do you think? Do I need to give up or keep on trucking? Whatever! I like doing this, so beautiful or not… I’m going on!

Historical weekend, part II

On sunday we decided to say goodbye to the most relaxed place on earth, Dok!
There was a flea market, so my boyfriend rummaged through the records and I went book hunting. I found a girl who liked the same books as me and so I ended up with 7 (!) new old books to read in the fall. I’m fluffing my pillows already!

In the afternoon we were summoned to my parents’ place for cake. My mom told us she went to Antwerp last week to go visit the new museum about the Red Star Line, but it hadn’t opened yet. The queen had to come and snip the ribbon for it to officially open. The Red Star Line was a boat that traveled from Antwerp to New York between 1873 and 1934 for immigrants to the States. It took them 3 weeks of boating to arrive in America. Then they went one of two ways: to a happy life or to hell. The museum tells the story of many people who took the jump and left Europe for America.

Turns out my mother had someone in the family who took that very plunge and moved to Ontario, Canada to become tobacco growers. When my mom was still a kid, her aunt from overseas came to visit and left a great impression on the little girl. She had a weird accent and she looked so different. A year after their visit the aunt died, her husband remarried and the link to Canada was cut. But my mom still has the pictures. Which is mega cool.

Here’s auntie Alice with her husband Cyriel on the boat home from their visit in 1956.

Here’s their crops from the tobacco fields.

Here’s their car.

And here she is in front of her house.

And then she died. The town she came from is written horribly wrong. It’s supposed to be Letterhoutem. I suppose the clerk at the town hall didn’t know this tiny village in Belgium. :)

Historical weekend, part I

We had quite the historical weekend over here.

A friend of ours finished his Phd last week, so he had a big party in his parents’ place in Ypres. Now you youngsters may not know this, but around Ypres, there was a lot of battle in World War I, so the place is packed with old cemeteries and trenches and museums and what not. Coincidentally, I’m reading ‘In Europe’ by Geert Mak and I’m on the second chapter, which talks about the first World War. So I thought it would be fun to go see for ourselves what Mak is talking about.

Now we all know war is the silliest thing in the world, but this one was just plain redonkulous. Apparently everybody in Europe was aching for a good fight and when Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was killed in Sarajevo, they found a reason to do so. So Austria-Hungary declared war to the rest of Europe. Germany, The Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria joined the Austrians and that was that. The fight was on.

Geert Mak, famous historian/writer, traveled to the most important battlefields in the Westernmost part of Belgium, and we followed in his footsteps. We saw the Pool of Peace, a natural pond which sprung from a deep hole in the ground, caused by the biggest explosion of the first World War. English soldiers dug a secret tunnel under German trenches. The plan was to blow them up and kill the startled survivors. Only the bombs did not explode immediately. Which resulted in a group of English soldiers storming the trenches to shoot the ‘remaining’ Germans way too early. Since there was no startling bomb, the Germans weren’t very surprised and shot the bait that ran into their territory, only to be blown to pieces by the late, but very effective bomb seconds later. Word goes the windows in England clattered from the blow.
All these shenanigans resulted in a big hole in the ground, covered with German and English bodies. Years later, the hole began to draw water and became a pond. On the other side of the street, the English soldiers were burried. The cemetery is still there and you have to cross a local farmer’s meadow to go see it. The local cows seem to be used to visitors. But when I tried to come closer to hug them (I’ve always dreamt of hugging a cow) they ran away.

After the pond, we visited some more graves. The thing that struck me, was that everybody is burried nicely in rows, except for some lonely soldier or two, who are in a corner somewhere as to be forgotten. I wonder why… Gruesome detail: some graves are placed very close to eachother. This means the bodies of the people burried there were so mangled, they couldn’t tell which leg belonged to which person, so they burried them together. Must have been nice, that war thing…

At night, we wanted to eat at ‘Water en Vuur‘ in Diksmuide, because my friend who lives there says they have really good vegetarian food, but it was fully booked, so we ended up having spaghetti at my friend’s place. She recently had a baby girl. She’s the cutest ever. And it had been a long time since we’d seen our friends, so that was extremely nice.  The dog loved my boyfriend so much he fell asleep in his lap. Needless to say the man was in doggie heaven.

I hit the jackpot!

A friend of my sister’s mother (wait… uhm… whatever) rummaged through her attic and decided to give away some stuff.
Even though I have never met this lady, she gave me 6 books about classic dressmaking, written in the 70s, full of great tips and tutorials on how to make, create and finish good garments. Yeay! This lady is bitchin’! I couldn’t be happier. I knew she was cool when I heard she named her cat ‘Jaretelleke’ (girdle). It would’ve been ‘Bretelleke’ (suspenders) if it turned out to be a male cat. The lady is 90! Shouts ‘Jaretelleke’ every evening to get her cat to come home!

But for the books…. They even look great just lying there :

There are a few photos of outfits that kinda disturb me, but I’m not letting it ruin the fun. :)

O my… This is not cosplay, people. They really mean it! The lady on the left even looks reassured by her dracula like companion.

Oh and by the way…

This is what I found:

This is what this 90 year old lady made in the 70s… Oh dear me…

I feel I’m going to have a lot of fun with these books.
More when I learn more!

I’m back!

Lieve MindThatBird Crochet volgers,
Dear followers of MindThatBird Crochet.

Ik ben terug!
I am back!

Niet met the usual stuff. Ik haak niet echt meer (overload! na de laatste Facts bestelling)
Not with the usual stuff. I don’t really crochet anymore (overload! after last Facts orders)

Ik heb de laatste twee jaar nieuwe crafts geleerd. Ik heb geleerd hoe ik met naaien, bijvoorbeeld. Ik maakte al een hele hoop jurken en ander leuks. Ik toon het je binnenkort wel. :)
I’ve spent the last two years widening my array of crafts. I’ve taught myself how to sew. Made a whole lot of dresses and other cute stuff.
I’ll show you someday. :)

Op dit moment ligt het volgende op mijn naaitafel:
On my sewing table at the moment:

Geïnspireerd door die die Horror Mädchen heeft gemaakt. Mooi, he!
Ik probeer er wel een minder wijde versie van te maken, want wijde broeken werken niet echt in het Belgische weer. De regen maakt de pijpen loodzwaar. Dus ga ik voor een rechte pijp.
Inspired by the one made by Horror Mädchen.
I’m going to try to make it not that wide, though. I feel wide pants like that don’t work in a climate like Belgium’s. The rain tends to weigh it down. So I’m going to go for a straight jeans type pant.

En een gele winterjas met een circle skirt, die geïnspireerd werd door de trenchcoat die ik ooit kocht op een swishing voor 10 euro. Ik kan niet wachten!
A yellow wintercoat with a circle skirt vibe. Inspired by a trenchcoat I once bought at a swishing sale for 10 bucks. I can’t wait!

En… ik doe mee met de Big Drawing challenge door Plutomeisje. Het start pas in oktober, maar ik ben stiekem al gestart. :)
And then…
I’m participating in the Big Drawing challenge by Plutomeisje. It only starts in october, but I secretly already started.

Join if you haven’t already!