Thursday, 28 July 2011


This is the last post for this blog. 
All new post will be written down here:

Thanks, Annemiek

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Dutch Plums

My brother has an orchard and is one of the top 10 plum growers in the Netherlands. Last week they started picking the first plums of this years harvest.

This year he will be one of the selected sellers by GIJS, they select the best of Dutch fresh fruit, vegetable, dairy, ... suppliers. The website promotes their wares which are sold through the supermarket chain named PLUS in the Netherlands. They already came to interview him and take pictures, but his profile is not online yet.

Anyway of you see plums in the PLUS supermarket with this card on the crate you know they come from my brothers orchard :-)

Looking for something to bake with plums, there's several recipes on my blog, just type plum in the google search bar which you find on the right hand side of this blog and you will find them all.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Remembering Max

Max went missing on Monday the 27th of June. For days we searched, called and handed posted flyers in the whole neighborhood, put them up in shops and put pictures on lost and found animal websites. Yesterday our neighbor was working in the garden and did a sad discovery, Max had been lying there all along. Several times I had had the urge to look there, but thought it would look strange if I was looking in the neighbors bushes. Maybe it's better that I did not find him, maybe it would have been, than we might have been able to bury him somewhere else, at my parents place where he was from. Now the neighbor buried him there as he was to far gone to move. I have not seen him, my hubby had a quick peek and I asked the neighbor for Max's collar so we would be sure. Don't know why I asked, I guess because I somewhere hoped it would be a different blue collar from a different grey cat.

I never felt so sad after loosing a pet, others died of old age, but little Max was only 14 months old. He had been born the 22th of April with 4 sisters and brothers behind the pig stall of my parents's neighbors. His mum is the neighbors cat, but they were happy to find new places for the kittens, so my mum took care of 3 and I took 2 home with me on Sunday the 13th of June 2010

We named them Max and Sientje.

Our two older cats did not much like these lively youngsters, but it did get a bit better and once I found them all on the bed together, a rare occasion.

It was so cute to see Sientje trying to connect with Sam and Mol when Max was still alive, 
now it's just heart breaking.

These are the things I want to remember about Max, in random order:

he loved water, he had to have a drink from the bathroom tab the last few months 
and was utterly fascinated by it

he would come and wonder at the washing machine when I was there to switch it on
he was fascinated by the ice on our pond

he was always happy, even after 5 visits to the vet in a months time he was not cross with me for always taking him there and having to give him tablets

he would always come sort of skipping home on his long legs when you called, 
we nicknamed him long shanks for a while
he would be waiting behind the scullery door in the morning, were he slept with his sis
in the evenings he would be waiting to be fed and than go to bed, 
if it took longer than expected he wouldn't start meowing,
but just go outdoors and than be back when I called him

he would lean against your hand when you would pet him, sometimes nearly falling over

he loved chasing flies and eating them

when we stepped from the shower Max would go in to drink the water
he was afraid of cars and would often still choose the backdoor even if we went in through the frontdoor
he had his own favorite chair, of which I don't even have a picture of him in it
he loved to bite your fingers and nose

he would lie and watch with his front paws crossed at the world

he loved playing with his sis and she with him

if you woke him from sleep his eyes would open in a special way

he would sometime sleep with the tip of his tongue sticking from his mouth

he would follow me often from the house to the atelier and sleep near where I worked

he would purr at the slightest attention and could "type" like the best

he loved to play with feathers or little ball shaped plants he had found outside

when we came home by car often he had been waiting under the hedge beside the parking
when it was hot he found himself a place in the shade under the lavender 
or would lay with his belly flat on the cool tiled floor

he would talk to flies, bees and birds
he was patient and would hardly ever meow, or else very softly, 
like when we took him and his sis in the car to stay at my parents house
he was just absolutely cute, sweet and funny

he was curious, full of life and happiness

Below is the last picture I took on the 1st of June, he had curled up beside the garden table were I was taking pictures of some jewellery. It is hard to believe he is not going with us to our new house, where ever that may be. The last thing I remember is him pressing his paw against the door to open it, to go out with hubby who was leaving for the train.

Notre petit copain, you are dearly missed and you will always have a place in our heart. 

Friday, 24 June 2011

Friday Find - Spoons

For a while I've had somewhere lurking in the back of my mind the idea to do something with spoons. When I came across this shop I was convinced, I am right, there is more to spoons.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


A while ago a fellow crafter, Lief Van Rosendaal asked me if I would like to participate in a temporary shop near Antwerp in October. Of course I would :-) I have just finished designing the flyer for this event.

The location is an old train station, so we named our shop KADO KADO, it has the rhythm of a train and KADO means present in Dutch.

The link to the facebook page is not yet the nice short version, as we need 25 fans first, so feel free to like this page so we can change that soon. Thanks!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Straw Bale Houses

Last Saturday I went with my hubby to a course and workshop about straw bale houses organised by Casa Calida. As we are looking to move we want to keep all options open and had come across this affordable method for a new built home.

Each straw house has a window of proof,
a large one in this case.
We learned that:
  • mice don't like these houses, as the straw is mostly cellulose, which they don't eat. It too tightly packed and enclosed for them to built homes in.
  • straw houses breath, they take in extra moisture if it is too damp and evaporate this dampness once it gets to dry. So very nice air inside these houses :-)
  • you need little heating, a large house can be heated with 6kW wood burner
  • you can do a lot of the building work yourself
  • your house can be spacious, with large windows and mezzanines, last are good for air circulation
  • it is strong, some houses dating back from 1914 or so are still around and in good condition
Want to see what a straw house looks like? Have a look here. You see there is no typical straw house. But the basics are more or less the same everywhere, stacking straw and sealing it with loam:

My creation by Two-Trees

So after a day looking at straw bale houses and getting to grips with the basic building techniques, we were convinced, now all we have to do is find a bit of land to built it on ...... and make our wishlist:
  • an open plan kitchen with an AGA or similar heat storage cooker, this will give a nice background heat, besides great food
  • an open plan living/dining room with a Bullerjan woodstove, the smallest Bullerjan is enough to heat the hole house :-)
  • lots of large windows, facing south
  • sun-heated water
  • a warm bathroom, so if need be (electric) underfloor heating in the bathroom
  • a mezzanine
  • a windmill to make electricity
  • lots of room for books
  • open bicycle storage, always ready to go
  • large light atelier
  • large garden with room for vegetables, fruit, chickens, ...
  • a special window of proof
  • outside is clad with a mix of wood and a natural chalk-mixture
  • straw in the floors and roof too, maximum natural insulation!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Happy Stats

Another week passed, do not know where the hours went, it was over in a jiffy.
But now time for some happy stats.

  • Going on a workshop learning about straw bale houses, how to built one and finish it with a layer of loam.
  • Seeing a full rainbow and start of a double.
  • Firing the kiln with many custom orders and all coming out just perfect.
  • Listing many new items in my etsy shop.
  • Seeing a hummingbird hawk-moth, rare site in our parts of the world.
  • A new handmade cat collar for each of our cats.
  • Bug ring in the post from Renathe, so special. I'll wear it today.
How was your week? Hope you found lots to smile about too.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Monday Mood Pit Fired

Monday Mood Pit Fired by TwoTreesBelgium

1  2
3  4

Today is firing day, with a pit fire and raku. With all of our ceramics group we created items espacially to be fired in one of the above techniques. In the pitcures you see examles of pit fired pieces. One never knows how it will emerge from the fire, which adds to the fun. More pit fired items om etsy here. If you want to see how it works, read this blog post from last years firing day.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

My creative space: auction-eye-hospital part 2

If you read my last post, you know I have been working on an artwork to be auctioned for the eye hospital in Rotterdam. The auction is now online (in Dutch) and the first bids have been placed. Saturday the 4th of July the auction ends during the benefit dinner and party.

So here a pictures of the final work:

light box forest creatures (4)

I painted the box an off white, so the contrast with the clay would not be too harsh.  Two holes in the back make it easy to hang the box well. On the back you also find clay Two Trees logo and my signature. The batteries are easy accessible and so is the on/off switch. The white box is 25x25x6cm and each clay block approx 9x9x4cm. If you want to bid, you have to press the link "formulier" on this page, fill in the name of the work (light box) the bid you want to place and your details. If you like to see more pictures, go here.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

My Creative Space - auction eye hospital

A friend of mine is a doctor for the eye hospital in Rotterdam. They have a very modern and different approach to the hospital experience as I learned when I attended TEDx Rotterdam last year:

Perhaps just as different is the charity football event which they organise for the 5th time this year. A team from the Rotterdam eye hospital plays against a team from the Moorfield (UK) eye hospital. They will play in "de Kuip" so not just any football stadium. During the after party an art auction is held to raise money for the hospital. This year I'll be one of the artists contributing. I'm happy to be part of all this.  

Cause everyone is a bit blind in the forest, as one cannot see the trees from the wood ;-) And besides there's always these unexpected creatures suddenly blinking their eyes at you. So I created 4 squares in clay with textures of tree bark.

Tiny LED lights will be inserted into the holes / eye sockets, which will give this effect when lit, 2 bright eyes:

All will be mounted on a white background, which I asked the local carpenter to make for me as I wanted it to be perfect with mitred corners and such, which I cannot do myself. The on/off switch and battery compartment will be hidden in there too. I hope it will be liked and fetch lots of money, the auction end of last year for another good cause of one of my story bowls was a great success, so I hope this will be too.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Art trail Tholen

Last weekend you could find me and my creations at the art trail in Tholen, Zeeland, the Netherlands. For me it was a first time, both to participate in Tholen and to perticipate in an art trail. For the city of Tholen it was the 15th time they organised this. It coincided with queensday, which is celebrated on the 30th of April each year. the weather was perfect and a lot of people were out and about. Besides the art trail there was a flea market too and lots of music performers. I had been assigned a space in someone's house. She "donates" a space of her house to the art trail for several years now.

 I was very happy with the location, a gorgeous old house near the church with a landlady who looked after me very well. Another upside from being at a market, to be inside, warm, with a toilet close and someone making you cups of tea :-)

The place was small, but that was perfect for my small creations, I had especially brought my collection of Dutch Folklore inspired items as a lot of them are inspired by Zeeland's folklore.

I met Andrea from atelier28 in Tholen at the opening, she is an etsy seller too and I had never met her in real life before. She gave me a warm welcome in her atelier. Her work is even more lovely in real than when you see the pictures in her etsy shop, which is well worth a visit.

I can't wait till we have a new house, we are in the middle of searching, 
and I can start buying decorations again.

Andrea wrote a blogpost about the art trail too, you find it here.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Spello 8/4/11

Feels like more than just 2 weeks ago when we were getting ready to fly back to Belgium and say good bye to Umbria. We had decided to spent the morning in Spello, have lunch and drive to the tiny cute airport of Perugia.

Bought some nice souvenirs, linen and olive wood

Saw some more marvellous churches and such. 

Had lunch at the place where we ate our first dinner

Bye Bye Spello

During the morning I had received a text message from ryanair saying something like: "if you want to change your flight contact..." we thought; strange, but nice of them to think we might want to stay longer. We would have loved too, but the cats were waiting for us at home.

When we arrived at the airport we found out that our flight had been cancelled, hence the strange text message. So we rang ryanair, they have still seats on the flight from Rome later that day. Ok, lets check if we can keep the car and drive there. We could, the clever lady from the car rental also pointed out, but if Charleroi is closed will be able to fly from Rome or just be stuck again. Hey, good point! So we rang back, double checked we would be able to land in Charleroi and booked. The airport of Charleroi had reopened at that point. So off to Rome, to hit the Friday afternoon traffic, but we made it on time.

Pity you can't see anything from Rome driving on the ring road. Like with Paris you at least can catch a glimpse of the Eiffel tower.

So we got a little extra of Italy, some more nice views and even sitting in traffic was not that bad, had our flight not been cancelled, we would have hit the traffic around Brussels, so Rome was a nice change. 
We were home just after midnight, the cats were trilled to see us. Usually Mol, the eldest is cross when we have been away for a few days, but 5 days was enough for her to be just happy as well :-)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Spello 7/4/11

Thursday 7th of April, our last full day in Italy, so we had to make the most of it. We started with cappuccino and croissants in a local bar.

Than we headed to Assisi, to see the basilica of St Francis. We were overwhelmed by the amount of tourists and nicely surprised to see "our" statue from St Francis again. The interior of the basilica is amazing, one was not allowed to take pictures, so you will just have to go see for yourselves ;-)

On wondering through Assisi, you could find me drooling in front of these shop windows. 
I did get me some nice nougat and meringue, some of it even made it back to Belgium.

This on top of the "dolci" we would have after lunch and dinner. Is it a holiday or is it a holiday ;-)

This nice mural on a ceiling in an alley somewhere in Assisi reminded me of Jeroen Bosch's work, I like the thin lines and that there is so much white in it.

More nice paintings, we saw these in several galleries, paintings with happy Luigi Silvis

After lunch we drive to Gubbio, another Medieval town. We were recommended by the landlord of our apartment to go here, as it's more authentic than Assisi (were in later century buildings were restored in a mediaeval style). We walked around for a while, just site seeing when we saw a sign for a funivia, a cable way. It was a bit more wobble and just a basket, so I did not think it very fun, but it was worth the views.

Temperatures rose to 27°C that day, so we were happy to find a nice pace with ice cream.

A little shop full of handmade notebooks with leather covers, in all sizes, too much choice.

We left Gubbio behind and continued to make most of our day by driving to lake Trasimeno, the sun had just set as we arrived at the shore. 

Some nice seafood for a change, although the pasta with fresh forest asparagus, we had previous days, is a real treat too.

Tomorrow our last day in Spello, with a little extra, stay tuned!