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Friday, May 14, 2010

Small Wonders

Everyone I know has had their life filled to capacity this month.  Maybe it was the late spring, and now we and nature are rushing to get everything done before the hot lazy days of summer.
photo of yers truely coming from the Amserfoort junk store

I have just returned from my annual trip to Holland, returned from rain into rain - and hot muggy weather.  In my car yesterday, I realized how grateful I was that I could be a fat, capitalist pig sitting in my Air Conditioned vehicle. At first I felt the usual guilt thinking such a thing, but then I remembered those days in the distant past when I would drive around with my windows rolled up in hot, sticky weather so others would think I HAD air conditioning. Of course it never occured to me that when they saw my twenty year old, rust bucket Plymouth Demon, they knew (if they thought about it at all) that I was an idiot.

So Holland - I might as well get to the most important things - FOOD.  Here's Joke's home made Pannenkoken with bacon, ginger and pineapple. and then drizzled with syrup. And Apple Tart at an outside cafe after a visit with Joke's parents.

Gobbling down Kibbling(fried fish) in the flower market. 
And gobbling down a giant, warm siroopwafel in the rainy market. 
 I went over to Holland to visit and teach my new book and felt class.  We held the three day workshop in Joke's living room with the dye kitchen in the garden.  Worked wonderfully, especially the light that came through the window wall that turned  busy students into Vermeers.

The books, both the Quick Wrapped felt journals and the beaded and stitched coptic bound books were beautiful and hopefully have inspired a talented group of felters to try new ideas with their resist dyed felt.
There were the other Dutch haunts that I simply couldn't miss anytime I have the chance to visit: The national flea market that happens on the Queen's birthday,  (Bought a fabulous hammer that was too heavy to bring home) and the fabulous antique store in Utrecht which has one aisle down the middle big enough for one person to walk sideways to the back.

Oh, did I mention the Saturday market had more than food.
We drove to Joke's parent's along  beautiful Dutch roads, and to Ellis' house in Zeeland with long rows of trees in the distance.
Ellis, a fascinating and talented felter,  lives in a marvelous ancient house with the kitchen of my dreams.  She made us fried eggs which magically glowed on the aga stove, and bread which looked like it came from the 16th century but tasted fabulous.
Ellis works with LARGE felts, so raw and exciting.
I had wanted to write this blog about books and felting and workshops, but the photographs just jumped in and and are saying much more than I could.  I guess this is about small, wonderful things that are all around us all the time, but sometimes it takes going elsewhere to sharpen the eye and instill a sense of wonder about far away places, people and times.
A weaver's workbench from the basket museum
Wooden shoes no longer used
Fig tree at Ellis'
Another view of Ellis' supernatural  fried eggs
 Small wonders - Dutch beer and my i-touch in the rain.


  1. :) it was such a pleasure to have you both in my kitchen Chad and eat and talk felt. Hope we will meet again.

  2. i think you had a wonderful time!!! Well, I did!!!! Now enjoying a G&T while reading your blog....life is good ( althoug i didn't think so this afternoon when you called....)

  3. I just enjoyed my trip (oops, I mean your trip) to Holland. And the books... oh my!!! What a great opportunity.

  4. Wonderful work! I just came via Sweetpea Path... glad to find BOTH of you... thanks for the color and inspiration....

  5. Oh Chad, thanks for sharing. I feel like I have taken a little trip to see Elis and Joke.

  6. thanks for dropping a pebble into facebook
    followed the ripples back here to your blog
    those books are lovely
    best wishes