Friday, 22 August 2014

Allium afternoon



 This afternoon I've been drawing and photographing last years Allium seed heads from my Mum's garden.


Such amazing structures.


With crazy seed pods.


Thursday, 21 August 2014

A sweet gift from Japan



I had a visit from these lovelies recently. The two ladies on the right are sisters. Keiko (in the stripey dress) lives in the UK with husband Leigh and cute baby Sakura and Yoko lives in Osaka. They have both been readers of my blog and after they had read about my Japan trip they made contact and we talked for a while about how to get my lamps to Japan. 


Yoko surprised me with this lovely gift. She remembered my blog post about our Sunday morning trip to the most beautiful craft fair in Kyoto and how much I liked the chopping boards made by Babbo Craft

 

What a sweet thought. All the happy memories of our Japan trip came flooding back.

Yoko has recently started her own website called Momo selling Japanese Craft. There are lots of beautiful things to choose from, chopping boards included!


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

All The Luck In The World


Amsterdam has the kind of shops that make me wish I had a shop... in the split second before I realise that I  DO have a shop! Oh good. Then it is time to be inspired :)


We were very taken with this one in De Pijp called All The Luck In The World. It's nice to learn that it is a mother and daughter duo. We were mother and daughter shoppers too and both loved it at much as each other.


We discovered it at night and waited until 1pm on Sunday for it to open. We had to leave at half past to catch our plane so we didn't have long.


It's a beautiful mix of vintage and contemporary homewares, linens, jewellery, lighting and furniture.


All gorgeous.





I'm so looking forward to visiting again...with an empty suitcase next time!


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Maartje van den Noort


My favourite hour of our twenty-four-hours-in-Amsterdam was going to visit Maartje van den Noort in her studio.


I wrote about Maartje's work in Illuminate but I never got to meet her at the time. 


I wrote about her studio - an old sailors home on the dockside with grand stairs, high ceilings and huge windows. It was as lovely as I imagined.


Look how beautiful the light was.


I love her work. Her drawings excite and inspire me. She makes such beautiful lines.


It seems we are inspired by similar things and we had a lot to talk about.


It's always nice to talk with other artists about their processes and their dreams.




I could have stayed chatting and drinking tea for many hours but it was time for us all to go.


Maartje, thankyou for having us. It was a joy. I look forward to seeing you next year when you come to visit England.

Have a look at Maartje's lovely work on her website here.

Amsterdam


On the way home from Middelburg we stopped off in Amsterdam.


 We only had twenty four little hours which really isn't long enough.


We found this lovely apartment on Air B&B (have you used this amazing service yet?) and our host, Stevie was a lovely singer from Louisiana.


The apartment was in De Pijp which was a whole new bit of Amsterdam that I haven't seen with lots of great shops (blog post to follow about them) and places to eat and drink.


We even saw cats on motorbikes. Two of them haha.


I would be happy to live in Amsterdam. I'd like to be one of the women you see on their bike going home with a big bunch of flowers.


We had the most lovely visit to Maartje van de Noort's studio as well (but that's a whole other blog post too).


 We had our tea under a tree...


and then walked around until the sun went down.


and all the lights came on


and our little legs could carry us no further. We wished we could stay for a week!

Monday, 11 August 2014

A week in Middelburg


We went to visit our dear friends in Middelburg in the South of Holland.



Monique and Jill used to be our next-door neighbours but they moved back to The Netherlands six years ago and we miss them a lot.


It was nice to spend some time with them in their pretty and peaceful town.


All the buildings are so well looked after. The windows gleam and you can see your reflection in the paintwork as it's so shiny!


 Often the church bells are ringing.




There are 'Stick Roses' everywhere. Here's Ffion being one.


They have many nice beaches close by. It was so good to swim.


We didn't quite manage a tan like these two beach babes though!


There was ice cream.

Heavenly ice cream!

We had lovely walks.


We explored the countryside at the edges of the town.



The hedgerows and meadows call wherever I go.



I took some Queen Anne's lace home to draw.


A perfect week of resting and playing with some of our favourite people.


 It's a bit of a shame when your friends live so far away...but it's nice to go and visit them in those far away places. 

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