Sunday, 26 September 2010

Monday Mood

Taking hubby's car to the garage today for a check up.

1. 135 Auburn Boattail by Paul McWain Photo
2. Road Cushion 1 by  Syko
3.Vroom Vroom Blanket by Cuddled with Love
4. Traffic Jam by Cassia Beck

Happy Stats

  • breakfast at a friends house in Antwerp last Sunday followed by strolling around 'Zuiderzinnen': all sorts of acts and performances in the area where she lived related to literature
  • yoga, so glad I started following classes again
  • taking pictures of new creations, Max was so good to give a hand, well paw, getting the lighttent ready
  • making my mum, sis and my self happy with a cardigan for us each from Maija Fashion 
  • going to the esty meeting in Amsterdam, so nice to meet so many other etsy sellers and Matt and Benedikta from the Berlin office
  • driving to Amsterdam and back with Mitsy from Artmind (express your feelings with ceramics), great to have great company when driving far
  • staying with Marta from Martice (all to keep your laptop cosy), so good to meet her, she is just great
  • sharing a booth at the Crafty Markt with Liesbeth en Barry van Pinipiru (if you're looking for a great t-shirt look no further and they're organic too!) and meeting many other etsy sellers there too

Friday, 24 September 2010

Sweet Saturday

This Sweet Saturday I have for you a recipe for a little nice nibble to take with you. As I am doing to today, bringing it to the Crafty Markt in Amsterdam to share with others.

Apricots in puff paste
  • 1 roll of ready made puff paste
  • 12 half abricots (may come from a can)
  • 100 gr soft butter
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 100 gr ground almond
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 egg
  • dash of amaretto or similar
Either you make one big one or several small one, I made small ones, 12 in total. In this case stamp 12 smaller circles from the large puff paste roll and put one in each baking mould (buttered). Else just fold the paste with the baking paper into a baking tin. And make some tiny holes in it with a fork.

Mix the sugar, butter, ground almond, amaretto, flour and egg and put one teaspoon in each mold. I did about a table spoon but this is too much, as you will see later. If you make a big one, just poor all in the tin. 

Top off with a half apricot and bake for 30min at 180°C.

you see here a tablespoon is just a bit too much :-)

PS If you make the individual ones you'll have mix and puff paste left over, just be creative with this and put it in the oven with the baking tray full of 'proper' pies. 

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Le Veauthibault 2010 - Paper Kiln

Today I want to share some more memories of my trip to France with you. 
The last full day we made a paper kiln and it was a lot of fun. 

Most of us had prepared a little bowl in the days before so they were dry when Friday came.  
We used a grill form an old BBQ as a base. We made a channel underneath to be able to add wood and fuel the fire. On top we constructed a basket in metal wire to hold the ceramics. 
We filled the basket with charcoal and the dry clay pieces.
We stacked wood we had collected on our walks around the basket.
We wrapped the wood with cardboard, leaving a hole for a chimney in the top.
Than followed 7 layers of clay slush and newspapers, one layer slush, one layer newspaper and so on.
The finished paper kiln with a cute chimney and holes either side to light the fire and add more wood.
What to do with the left over slush.....slush fight!
Watching the kiln shrink as the fire burns higher and higher,
we kept adding wood until is was well alight on all sides.
Well into the night we removed the paper surround,
the wood had burned away and all the charcoal is glowing.
This is good, we need much heat for long around the pieces.

In the morning we found it like this. Perfect result, only 2 bowls were broken,
most likely because there was air trapped in the clay.
These are the ones I made, I had added stripes in copper-oxide and a glaze.
For the glaze it had not been hot enough so that came off or 

it was because the glaze was too old and past it's sell-by-date.
Well hope you enjoyed our fun day too and maybe it will inspire you to make your own paper kiln.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Monday Mood

I spotted this Monday Mood before starting mine:
I think it's a great idea, so I'm joining her and make my own mood-board from items sold in the Europe for Charity shop too. You find a selection of great items donated by artist from all over Europe in all colours, shape, sizes and price ranges :-)

Rhodonite and Onyx Earrings - donated by Alatvian

Dancing silk felted scarf - donated by IngerMaaike

Purple pinback buttons (set of 2) - donated by SoleDeVita

Magenta and sparkling charcoal crochet flower brooch - donated by TheBroochBoutique

Interested in buying any of the above items, you'll find them here any many others:

Happy Stats

This weeks happy stats cover the last 2 weeks, as I was away to a rain drenched ceramic market last Sunday, which did not make me happy but this all did:

  • thinking of new designs
  • laughing and creating in good company whilst enjoying good food in France
  • will take part with my work in a local December shop run by a group of local artists
  • getting lots of cuddles from our kitten Sientje, she really missed me :-)
  • planning a trip to Ireland to my writer friend Shauna to work more on our project 'story bowls'

Wishing you all a wonderful new week!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Sweet Saturday

We have 2 apple trees in our garden, so here a quick and easy recipe for an apple pie. Most of the work is in arranging the slices of apples neatly on the pastry.

Here (in the back) as part of the dessert buffet for a family BBQ
Apple and cream on puff pastry
  • ready made puff pastry
  • 2-3 apples depending on size
  • 200 ml cream
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180°C (hot air with extra heath from underneath if possible)  
Roll the pasty on to a low baking tin and prick holes in the bottom with a fork all over. Peel the apples and slice them, lay them like rooftiles neatly on the puff pastry. 

Mix the cream, sugar, cinnamon and flour and pour this over the apples. Bake for about 25 min at 180°C


Entries for the EST challenge

Last week I won the EST challenge set by Anastasia from L'Acccent Nou, so now I'm hosting the new challenge and I choose 'heritage' as the theme. Here the entries, new ones will be added regularly, from which a winner will be chosen Monday 20th of Sept at 20h Belgium time.

Turquoise and Copper earrings by Alatvian ,
who's taken her inspiration from mother Earth's rich heritage

Basket from Scheveningen - Holland by P8Accessories ,
who's taken her inspiration from her mother's hometown

La Dame Espagnola - necklace by Star of the East,
who has taken her inspiration from her Spanish roots
Well, it's 20th of September past 20h and these are all the entries, lovely ones, but few. Was it too difficult, was my description of the theme too vague, was everyone too busy, was it a boring theme, ..... I don't know.
Anyway I liked all the entries and I would have been forever doubting about whom to choose, so ask my hubby to pick a number 1, 2 or 3. He picked  number 3, so Star of the East is the lucky winner. Hurray!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Le Veauthibault 2010

Sunday the 5th of September we left with 3 cars and 1 van with 10 women and 1 dog from Belgium for 7 days to 
Le Veauthibault in France to create with clay, porcelain, silver(clay), glass, fimo, paint, paper, plaster and wood.

Below the view from my place in the atelier and impressions around the house. 
Usually I would go for a short walk in the morning, sometimes Thibault, the dog of the landlord would walk with me.

We had a real good time, the evening we filled with playing games, visiting the local wine farm or sitting around the fire watching stars. The landlord Jacques made our breakfast, lunch, dinner and entertained us with ghost stories in the cellar.

All in all I had a great time, created a lot of which I will share more later.

Button Wednesday

few weeks ago I decided to send a surprise gift to my biggest fan and you can read all about that on her blog.
I send her some of my buttons as she is a huge button fan and creates with buttons too.

Here are some other buttons I made:

This set of 3 in red of which one has a little cat is available from the Europe for Charity shop on Etsy
currently supporting the people of Pakistan.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

EST Challenge

What a surprise (I've been computer-less since last Sunday cause I was off for a creative week in France, no internet, hardly a working cell phone, so no news what so ever) to find I won last weeks EST challenge. So many thanks to Anastasia from L'Accent Nou and sorry for the delay. But here we go, I guess it will be fine to close this challenge the 20th of September (say 20h Belgium time)  instead of the 13th, else there will be very little time to create.

I'd like to challenge you to make something in spired by (your) heritage. Why heritage, well I just spend a week in 16th century house, lots of heritage there and I like history and folklore (hence my jewellery inspired by folklore from the region where I was born and bred), but not in a dusty, rusty kind of way, but as part of today and the future. Please send your entries to annemiek [at] twotrees [dot] be or via an etsy convo.

See the entries here:

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Happy Stats

Here are my happy stats for the past week:
  • packing for a creative week in France
  • visting Mix-Art and found they sold more of my creations
  • making more story bowls
  • firing 2 kilns
  • packing for ceramic market in Lommel
  • enjoyed the good weather
Picture from last year in Le Veauthibault

Friday, 3 September 2010

Sweet Saturday

For this Sweet Saturday I made for you a recipe with rhubarb. This comes from a book written by Anouck and Joris, who run the lovely B&B 'la maison blanche aux volets bleus' in Bretagne, France. They give cookery courses too, just check out their site to know more.

Rhubarb Pie/Cake - Tarte au Rhubarbe
  • 125 gr soft butter
  • 125 gr sugar
  • 3 eggs, split in whites and yolks
  • 125 gr self-raising flour (or plain flour + 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
  • 250 gr of rhubarb or 2 stalks
  • 10 gr coarse sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix the soft butter/molten butter and the sugar, add the egg yolks and flour. 
beat the egg whites until white peaks form and spoon this carefully through the mix. Butter a baking tin with a diameter of about 25cm, I dust it than with flour so the cake will come loose even easier.
Put the mix in the tin.
Cut the rhubarb into thin slices and spread these over the mix. Sprinkle the coarse sugar over the rhubarb.
bake for 30-35 minutes in a 180°C oven.

Enjoy - Bon Apetit!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

My Creative Space

As you might know I'm leaving this Sunday for a creative week in France. What will I be doing there??? Well I'll take wood, silver, silver clay, porcelain and dried clay. I'll will mostly concentrate on the coming X-mas season. On the handmade-Europe blog you could have a sneek-peek at what to expect from European sellers this autumn/winter. If you popped over you saw that it also featured my porcelain-star garlands, so I'll be making lots of stars. I will make long, short and even longer garlands with the stars and single stars too. Besides the garlands I have another nice cosy wintery item in mind with stars. When I'm fed up making stars I'll turn to silver, silver clay and wood, to work on some new jewellery designs I have in mind. The dried clay I'll use to make my own paperclay and maybe I'll use it there or I'll just use it later back home. From last year I know that time just flies even if we work all day and some evenings too. But it good fun too and the landlord looks very well after us, cooking lovely lunches, dinners and breakfast with fresh croissants...............hhhmmmmm

Anyway I'm preparing 2 large boxes filled with all above and the according tools. Why am I packing 3 days beforehand, well we have to deliver them to the person whom drives the van beforehand. Besides packing I'm also finishing some last little ceramic items to go in the kiln tonight. As I will not be firing or glazing in France I can do some glazing tomorrow and fire it all on Friday night.

Have a creative day!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

My Creative Space

Currently I'm making more bowls for the fair on the 12th of September in Lommel. As you may know a lot of my bowls feature animals. Sometimes I need to see some pictures just to get the shape and porportions right in my head. I google the animal in question and look through the pictures.

I already made a bowl with a standing bear today and wanted to make another one in a different position. Browsing I came across this story and I just have to make a bowl with bear and a cat now.  If it survives the firings you can come and see it at the fair in Lommel.