31 December 2008

Almost there

Sir Terry Pratchett and Commander Plant ;-)

Sir Terry Pratchett - apart from well deservered it takes getting used to ;-)
Two of my favourite artists!

That's what Yahoo said:

Plant, 60, most famous for fronting rock band Led Zeppelin in the 1970s, becomes a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) under Britain's ancient and complex system of honorary titles.

Plant has forged a successful career since Led Zeppelin's demise in 1980, recently collaborating with singer Alison Krauss on the acclaimed album "Raising Sand."

Pratchett, 60, best known for his satirical "Discworld" fantasy series, becomes a knight, one of the queen's most important honors, and will now be addressed as a "Sir."

"There are times when phrases such as 'totally astonished' just don't do the job," he said in a statement.

"I am of course delighted and honored and needless to say, flabbergasted."

In December 2007 Pratchett announced he had a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease, and earlier this year he donated 500,000 pounds ($725,000) to research into the disorder.

30 December 2008

Something old, something not so new...

It's still freezing outside, even during daylight. I love these winters! Unfortunately the decks between the buildings here are as slippery as the proverbial slope, even under normal circumstances. The humidity from the sea leaves a wonderful slick of ice on the wooden planks of the decks...
The grass looks stunning!

Under Ice


Still, we venture out.

Tomorrow it will be for something mundane - broken toilet seat needs replacing. I kid you not, it has taken on a life of its own and some metal pin is broken. No chance to repair it, so replaced it will be. At the same time I will look for nice and small pillows for our bed and a - by preference wooden - storage box to store my inks and other writing devices in. Think ink pots, refills for fountain pens and the likes.

I have finished spinning the ultra pink batts from Feltstudio UK and the beret I made out of it is almost complete.
At the same time I have knit my first ever handspun yarn into a neckwarmer and Ysolda's Urchin - just on 15mm needles for the neckwarmer and 9mm needles for Urchin. It's superdupermega warm and will keep this little mini-mo if mine nice and cozy when standing in the early morning chill on the platform, waiting for my train.
I'm waiting for the buttons to arrive to finish the neckwarmer. Since it's made out of BFL, partly undyed and some other wool in more natural colours I got some real wood buttons - yes, again off Etsy. Either the Loggles or the spalted Oak Wood Buttons, I don't know yet. I'm tending towards the Loggles at the moment.

New spinning fiber is also on the way to me. I find spinning to be therapeutic, even if it's only with a spindle at the moment.

It's funny, ever since I got the mini-mo (best creative un-do since my beloved zig-zag cut back in 2006) I find myself counterbalancing this unusual cut (for a 38 year old in any case) with a certain, unusual oldfashioned way to dress. Think lace, think hats, berets, shawls, scarves... Carefully chosen. Even jeans never looked so good with a nice blouse and scarf to complete it. I'm finding myself looking at knitting patterns I haven't considered so far. Old fashioned, solid, never out of fashion and wonderfully unique. It seems like contradiction, but to me it makes sense. And feels good. I wonder, what my therapist will say when she sees me beginning of January. Well, I feel a lot more alive than I have for most of 2008.

Going out in style

This is a perfect example. A lace hat, crocheted out of Catania Cotton in Creme and long time ago, my Elizabeth Victoria neckpiece, a wonderful coat I got from my Mom (she drowns in it) and the cuff I got from Bonzie. Who sees the "underwear" in winter? Black trousers and a black sweater make up the rest of the outfit. Simple and sophisticated!
And I can tell you one thing: my husband loves it! The last week has been full of compliments :-) Especially yesterday ;-)

Irish Ensemble

Friday I have an appointment to have my eyes checked. I will get a second pair - the frame has to be sent away to get new glasses fitted and I simply cannot exist without my glasses. I always had two pairs, but since getting this frame it's been my sole companion. I've been looking around the optician's store yesterday already and saw only one frame I might consider - think Harry Potter in red. I don't know yet how it looks on my nose, but I will find out. Something tells me I might end up with bi-focals...I have problems focusing clearly especially when looking up from knitting or reading and looking into what I call middle distance (like to see my train approaching the station or the houses across the lawn). Reading or knitting is fine (as far as I can tell), so I wonder what has changed.

And it looks like February will see me here. I haven't been to Zwolle yet, but from what I read it seems to be a rather interesting and lovely place (Woodhenge? A woodhenge was found?). I hope the weather will be fine - but it's two months until then. Rotterdam was so much fun and I would love to get some more fiber and new ideas and chat and have fun with like-minded people.

27 December 2008

Peaceful days, family and knitting

Christmas was nice and quietly spent with family back home.
We arrived noonish on the 24th and my sister and her husband arrived on the 25th.
Our family tradition is warm potatoe salad on the 24th, with a roast and veggies on the 25th. Other than this it's really a family get together, chatting, relaxing and having a good time. Despite other expectations no comments from my parents on the mini-mo, my sister loved it and would like me to grow a tail in the back and maybe a lock at the front. She said she prefers it over "simply short" and that it's "getting better and better". Yay!

In the train, having fun with knitting a scarf:


All of us:


My sweater project on the table grew quite a bit. It's again one of those UFOs, and will become a FO! I'm determined!



While I according to my sister don't need a basic knitting guide she felt (and rightly so) that some basic information always in reach isn't a bad thing. I already fell in love with a pattern I HAVE to try.

Sunset 25.12.


It got significantly colder during the Christmas days and today it's freezing even during daytime. Which causes solid wet dreams with our Frisian citizens.

We are avoiding the shopping frenzy most likely going on today, we have already prepared for a quiet weekend with a veggie soup and rice today and some spinach tomorrow.

Today will be spend with some laundry and cleaning, some knitting, some pattern admiration and lots of coffee.

Talking about pattern admiration:
This is great! A knitted guitar.
I came across this while looking for the stackable cats pattern .

Another find:
This blog, though in Turkish is quite a find, let me tell you that. Some treasures to be found, and lots of inspiration, even if you don't understand the language.

22 December 2008

Pixie goes Punk

Pixie goes Punk and loves it.
Family will probably get one or the other heart attack!

Spontaneous idea while strolling through downtown The Hague. We just came out of the American Book Center and were actually planning to make our way homewards when I discovered a branch of my favourite hair dresser. New place, only in public service for almost three months. And Stephanie, returning the hammer she borrowed from the neighbours invited me in...

Result: obvious.
Obviously very much in love with this punk design. The back is asymmetric, with the mohawk part not straight down, but to the side, ending in a point on the lower left.
Three colours (magenta, blue black and a dark red)- and big big kudos to Stephanie, her idea, design and handiwork!


It's amazing how different I look.

All in all a great day!
Well, apart from the fact that some idiot from the building next door shot fireworks at me, hitting the ground barely two meters from my feet. Who needs sport when you can get your heartbeat up to 200bpm while taking one step? Needless to say - police report filed. I have absolutely no tolerance for this kind of bullshit! Especially not since certain buildings are known for their yearly mayhem. The agent lady I reported this to only got the address and her reply was "Oh, it's the apartment block." Yep, we know where the yearly chaos and destruction originates.

21 December 2008

Pale Moon

There could have been no better day to finish this.
I'm in a finishing mood lately, yesterday I completed a gigantic cropped sweater (picture to follow, I'm not in picture mood today), today Pale Moon has finally been finished. I only had to assemble it and embellish the disc. An hour later and I have a new addition to my wardrobe.

Made out of a small amount of Sassa Lynne's Medium Cotton Thread and a tiny amount of Gedifra Super Gigante.
Hook used: 2.5mm
A hippo's behind button, purchased at ButteredParsnips.etsy.com, a glass bead bought in England and various smaller beads from my treasure have been sewn onto this disc.
New choker ready. Will be worn tomorrow when we venture into town.

The Point of Roughness


13 December 2008

Dear Diary...

...today I have been mooned.
This little and extremely funny incident happened when my husband and I strolled over the Saturday market downtown.
It was the most beautiful weather, ice cold and sunny, so we cuddled up and ventured out and about.

My outfit of today
I have the tendancy to ignore cliche plus size dressing rules and I love to mix and not quite match. Style is personal, oh yes!

Shoes: Doc Martens
Leggings: M&S Rotterdam
Skirt: Miss Etam - totally last season, remixed
Purple Shirt: Miss Etam
Stretchy Crossover Cardigan: Miss Etam - totally last season
Scarf: Noro Sock Yarn, made by me
Scottie Spoon Pendant: yipestoo.etsy.com

When we passed a booth I heard "Happy new hair" from behind me and turned round to face the gentleman (well, slightly questionable). We got into a little friendly discussion about unique people and somehow the lady of the next booth in line got involved. I had already turned around to commence my strolling when a bit of commotion broke out. I turned around again, looked at my husband and asked:"What happened?"
"Well, he mooned you?"
"Mooned me?" I started laughing.
The gentleman, not needing any further encouragement, said "wanna see it again?", turned around and mooned me again. This time for me to see. I laughed even harder, but we refused his kind offer to show us the other side as well. Though on second thoughts, with the cold nothing would have been visible anyway. I laughed for a little while longer.
Things like this don't shock me. Ask the guy in Central Park New York, who jumped out of the bushes next to me, opened up is trenchcoat to reveal his birthday suit, white socks and black shoes. I spontaneously burst into really loud laughter and I think this was not the effect he had hoped for. I'm sorry, but it was so cliche...

The market downtown is an eccentric mix of everything. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, cheese, spices, new mobile phone stuff, socks and underwear, bedding, bikes and accessoires, esoterics...you name it, it's probably there. Antiques and would be antiques.

Childhood memories - for both my husband and me.
Blaak Market find

I'd love to have this sewing cabinet.
And a lot of more stuff I saw...a dressoir for example...
A girl can always dream.

We got an old book about Dwarfs, some bread and mandarines. At the outer ends of the market the kilo was 1.50 Euro, in the middle 0.095cents to 1 Euro per kilo.

We had great fun! Around 2pm we made our way back to the Metro Station to get into the shopping district. Dear husband, who is slightly the little frost bite, needed some warm attire for the office, to wear over his shirts. We were successful and I have to say - very handsome, that guy. Too bad I'm already married ;-)

A rather late lunch was had at our favourite hole in the wall - best Saoto soup in the world!

The sun was already setting when we went back home. The wind got really chilly and I started to get tired.

We stopped for a cappuchino in the mall across the street from us - we wanted a little pick-me-up.
Happy Husband!

Wouter gave me his cap for some protection and wore his hood (he had his favourite red hoodie on). We left the mall, crossed the street and were home!
Greeted by slightly hungry cats, who are now happy and fed and cuddled up somewhere.
I have a hot cup of 15 minutes Peppermint&Liquorice tea right next to me and type this entry.

I still need to show you my memory wall, but that's for a new post. This one long enough already.

06 December 2008

The world needs more glitter!

One thing I actually like about this whole Christmas commerce is the selection of make up! I braved the Dutch last minute shopping crowd yesterday (HORROR) and went out to get some picture frames. While at the store I also found some great metallic eyeshadow and eyeliner in the most vibrant turquoise! Think Ziggy Stardust Life on Mars.
Add some glitter hairspray (barely visible in picture) and glitter lipgloss over lipliner and ready we are!
This is the time of year where I get my glitter make up for next year! Call me crazy, but I love my glitter! And I'm not afraid to wear it.


And yes, there is even glitter on my sweater. One of the reasons I got it ;-)

I'm not per se a glitter rock kind of girl, though I do appreciate an old Bowie or T. Rex. I'm more a prog-rock, heavy metal, folk music sort of flapper-hippie, but I do get my inspirations from everywhere.
Ziggy Stardust is legendary and I wish I could have seen one of the concerts.
I also wish I could have seen the old Led Zeppelin playing live. Same for The Doors and Janis Joplin.
I love some newer artists as well - Tori Amos is one of my inspirations and so is Amanda Palmer. Thanks to Bonzie I discovered Imogen Heap, which led to Unwoman. Emilie Autumn is quite nice as well.
Linkin Park covers my wilder darker side nicely. I like the raw emotions Chester portraits.
Metallica is great for falling asleep (I kid thee not), Depeche Mode and the old Marillion keep me company on the dance floor. Throw in some good old folk - Oysterband, Valravn, Shooglenifty and you have a very happy little pixie.
Just with lots of glitter.

When I was a teenager I didn't have an idol sort of thing. That would have been in the Eighties and posters of Tom Cruise (blech) in Top Gun and the likes adorned my classmates bedroom walls. I had posters of star constellations and some drawings on mine. I didn't day dream of popstars or actors. My taste in music was different from the beginning - well, I started with Abba (still like them) and Chris de Burgh (I still like the old stuff) and from then on it got stranger by the year. Suzanne Vega and Latin Quarter, a now defunct and rather political band came up next. Depeche Mode and Eurythmics were the other half of me. Pretty quick I discovered rock (Deep Purple) and my favourite hangout became the best disco in the world - The Getaway! Yes, I was 15 when I first went there, together with my older, but very responsible friends. My parents knew and approved - I made sure they knew my friends and all of them were good ones. Always making sure I got home okay, looking after me...and it never was a bother, to none of us.
Anyway, the first song I ever danced to in a disco was Perfect Stranger - and then there was no stopping me. The Getaway was basically an old barn turned club, in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Three houses and plenty of trees, that's what the whole place consisted of. It doesn't exist anymore, but it set the tone of what kind of atmosphere I prefer for a dancing night out. Later Haus Spilles became my favourite, with music provided by Jethro Tull (Locomotive Breath), Rolling Stones, Doors, Janis and later a more grungy and metallic sound.

Led Zeppelin came in 1988. Best I gained and kept from a relationship.
Tori Amos also came in 1988. I never knew her songs would get so important to me. I sometimes call her my Faerie Godmother. She wrote the lyrics to the stuff that happened to me.

Progrock was always in there, but when discovering Queensryche it got stronger with me. Pink Floyd was listened to daily, though not volunteraly! Thanks Richard ;-) My old and best boss to date liked them and played them all day long - the same CD. Can drive you slightly insane.
The Dutch have a great progrock scene and with that Epica, After Forever and the creations of Arjen Lucassen were discovered.

The latest discovery was actually what I call dark cabaret - Amanda Palmer, Vermillion Lies, Emilie Autumn, Unwoman. A more electronic sound with great appeal to me. I'm still discovering.

But deep down inside me I am and always will be a glittery rock child. Sometimes with flowers, sometimes with leather and lace. Always with glitter. And something knitted. Never without.

And I seriously need to get my roots done! This mess called hair is growing like the proverbial weed! One of the pitfalls when having short hair: after two and a half to three weeks one looks like an exploded pillow! Bad bed hair! Berets and hats to the rescue. Though that usually asks for comments from friendly people around me. And I admit - it gets a bit warm sometimes. Especially when inside.

Creativity is ongoing in this household. I picked up a long neglected piece of left overs knitted into a freeform sweater.
Shaby's scarf is almost finished.
Wouter has a new hat. Marcus, my brother in law will also get one in red and black as per request.
I got myself some novelty yarn (Katia Can Can, talk about glitter again) for some lovely neckwear in jeans blue and burgundy. Two pieces, not one ;-)
I'm waiting for my new wooden drop spindle to start spinning this:


For all you knitters out there - and all you folks with a sense of sarcastic humour:

04 December 2008

Dead and alive electronics and wet cotton

I spent a couple of days with my family...
My Dad was released from hospital last Saturday, he is now the more or less proud owner of a brand new ICD. His diet has to change and he should stop smoking. But honestly - how big are the chances that someone smoking for about 50 years will stop? As much as I would love to see all my family members stopping (I am the only non-smoker) I simply know that this is not going to happen.
What exactly causes the heart problem ten days ago is still a riddle to all involved.
I hope the ICD doesn't have to do its job for a long time and that my parents will continue to make changes and improvements in their lives.

While I was gone no progress was made on Bubble Hue (I crocheted a hat for the husband while gone and worked on my merino tunic instead), so I finished it yesterday!
Wore it out today - not a good idea! Simply because it was snowing and raining and we all know how heavy cotton gets when it's getting wet. Bubble Hue is now drying and so is my coat ;-)

It's extremely difficult to capture the true colours of this multi dimensional life form :-)

And yes, I'm wearing a necklace in my hair. Why not?
While getting dressed I played with several necklaces and put one on my head, more to "store" it for a moment rather than anything else. It was a different one, shorter than this little beauty, but sparked the idea.
The length is perfect and I have matching earrings!
I like the idea and will dive into it in the next couple of days. Now I know the lenght and can start playing. Perfect for Christmas parties and likely to spark lots of comments. It seems that us short haired pixies are not allowed to play with accessoires, that's only for the long haired beauties! Ha! Nothing like this! Humbug! It's only a limitation in the mind of such nay-sayers. Why should I limit myself to glitterspray and hairgels to style my short tresses!
And personally I'm used to stupid comments regarding my looks, so it's water and the back of a duck.

During my absense a lot of Etsy mail arrived! This calls for a groupshot - once my camera decides if it wants to work or not. It somewhat gave up its electronic ghost after the shots today and might have gone to the place of all dead electronics :-(

It's cold and snowy and windy...tea time, I think!