dinsdag 19 augustus 2014

Staycation


This year we were able to have our yearly holiday in April/May, thanks to Eline’s school for once making the clever decision to give the kids 2 weeks off (rather than the usual broken up period of a few days off, a few days school, a long weekend off, a few days school etc.) .

But this did mean we stayed home during the summer, a so-called staycation. And we loved it! Most of the time is was beautiful weather and there still was lots happening.


A few examples:

 
First of all and a highlight was meeting Melissa. I have been a follower of hers for some time so when the opportunity presented itself and she and her family were in The Hague a meeting was quickly organised, and although – due to their schedule – it was short, it was fun! We hit it off (as did the husbands) and even the tops we were wearing looked alike, apparently we own the same shoes too.


Melissa’s first book was published last week, you may want to check it out on her blog.

We met at the Café George which had only opened two weeks earlier. We were lucky enough to be invited for the opening night which was very enjoyable.
The place looks fresh and clean, the atmosphere is great, service is very friendly and the food is yummy! And nothing wrong with free champagne on opening night!





 
 


Then there was the recital by Wibi Soerjadi, at his estate Wulperhorst.


Not only known as a brilliant pianist, but also for his love of everything Disney, this was the foyer



and this the room where the recital would be held.



Even the carpet was it style!


We were not allowed to take pictures of the recital, but is was fabulous. I think there were only about 40 people there at the most and being so close we had a good look at his hands, amazing. To my surprise he played a number of pieces he composed himself.

After the recital there was a draw and we won a bottle of Prosecco and a cd to be signed during a meet and greet!
Wibi was really friendly and took all the time posing for pictures (by which time he was wearing gloves to protect his hands).

 
 
 
Now the weather has turned and slowly different fruits are ready for picking. I was able to pick some beautiful plums from a friend’s tree.

and yesterday made it into a plum cake, which tasted great. I used this recipe if you want to make one too. Think it would work with other fruits (apples?) as well.

 

These were just a few highlights of my staycation.
Of course there was time for sewing too, more on that in my next blogpost.
Enjoy your week!
 
Phyllis
 

woensdag 23 juli 2014

maandag 14 juli 2014

Feathergirls update, a bee is born and a Summer Fair




Several things to talk about in this blogpost:
 
First an update of the second Feathergirls quilt I am working on, remember the Ohio Stars? Well I made a few more, here they all are:



Head over to fellow Feathergirl Hubertine (click) to have a look at her progress on her second Feathergirl quilt.
Then on to something completely different:
Over a year ago I received an email from an English quilter who had moved to The Hague, had seen my blog and asked me if I knew any English speaking quilters in The Hague. I suggested we meet, we exchanged details and it turned out Emma lived in my area, only a 5 minutes’ walk from my house. Since then Emma and I meet regularly for a chat and to quilt.
Two months ago I went on holiday and on the plane to Houston I met Tanja who is Dutch but who had moved to Houston over 20 years ago. Talking to each other we found out she lived near our hotel so we met for lunch one day, with the husbands.
She told me she had a Dutch friend Agatha, who had lived in Houston for years, but had moved back to The Hague and was also a quilter. She gave me her details and back from holiday I got in touch with Agatha…… and guess what…. she lives a few doors away from Emma!
 

Agatha regularly meets with another quilter, Marleen, who lives around the corner from her… turns out we all live within walking distance of each other!
So last week I invited the ladies around to my house. We enjoyed it so much it will become a regular fixture in our agenda’s: a bee is born!


 

And then last Saturday there was the Summer Fair of De Quilthoeve. As usual, everything looked perfect! And the weather gods were kind. I spent a few wonderful hours there looking at all the booths with fabrics, cross stitch projects, brocante, jewelry, cakes etc. and meeting with other quilters.
Here is an impression
 
 






I guess for many of you it will be time to go on vacation now, we already had ours, so we are staying at home this summer, but for those of you who are still going: have a great time everyone!

Phyllis




  
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 

vrijdag 4 juli 2014

Happy 4th of July!

 
You and your country have given me some of the best times of my life. Every time I visit I try to meet and speak to more of you so I get to understand more of your country and how it works.  And the more reasons I find to love it and to respect it.
Every system has its drawbacks but count yourselves lucky you live in a country that gives you so much personal freedom and challenges you to be the best you can be.
You are right to celebrate this!
There is a wonderful series of Dutch tv right now made by Michiel Vos, the Dutch son in law of Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives, on his journey to become a real American (for Americans, if you can watch this in the US, some fun, private scenes of Nancy Pelosi in this as well). The second episode will air tonight on VPRO.
 
 
For everyone, enjoy this beautiful summer day and have a great weekend!
Phyllis


maandag 30 juni 2014

Two very different visits


Over the past two weeks I went for two very different visits, first I needed more material to finish this:



So I went back to Echt Studio, where I bought the materials in the first place, love that shop, all those colors against the white walls!
 

 

As before the ladies there were wonderful in helping me, this time Wilma showed me various ways of putting the granny squares together (that is Wilma behind the counter, but that is not me in front of it…)


 



I bought the balls of Drops cotton I needed, they are discounted now by 35%.  Sooooo…. If you want some, this is the time to get them!

 

My second visit was of a totally different nature. Eline cleaned out her room recently and had stacks of books she no longer wanted to keep. Because they were in perfect condition and what you would call ‘youth literature’ I mailed various places to see who wanted to have them and got a positive reply from the Ronald McDonald House in The Hague.
I was invited to bring the books and was shown around.



The Ronald McDonald House offers a place to stay for parents, families who have a sick child in the children’s hospital, in this case the Juliana Kinderziekenhuis, so they can be with the child as much as possible. It runs mostly on volunteers who do a wonderful job there and it wants to create comfortable atmosphere, a home away from home. Parents (or a family) have their own room




Their own space in the kitchen (they make their own meals)



There are shared living rooms (with bookcases!)



And even an outdoor terrace.

 

Usually a Ronald McDonald House is located in another building nearby, but in this case it is located right on top of the children’s hospital, like a penthouse, which makes it so much easier for the parents to be with their children.




I am sure there are corporate sponsors for these houses (the name itself points towards this, but I am sure there are others), but private persons can contribute as well, with money but also with items. At least in The Hague, the Ronald McDonald House specifies on their website which items they will gladly receive.

I received this gift as a ‘thank you’ for the books, but mostly I am glad that they found a good new home.



When Eline was a baby and toddler she had three emergency hospitalizations and I always stayed with her in her room on a fold up camping bed, so I know how it is to have a (very) sick child in hospital and needing to be with them. There was no Ronald McDonald house where we lived then, so I understand how importance of these houses.

It was an interesting afternoon thanks to the ladies there who received me and showed me around, they do great work over there!

 
Phyllis



woensdag 18 juni 2014

Crafts and food



Two of my favourite things!!

And I got plenty of both the past two weeks.

As mentioned in my previous blogpost I wanted a (hand)project to work on besides the second Featherweight project I am working at with Feathergirl Hubertine and I decided to work some more on Phebe. I have a difficult relationship with this project, I know I will not finish it this time, but working on it now and then for a period is probably the best way for me.

So I got everything out of the box, rearranged the fabrics and started prepping flowers for that (for me problematic……) second applique border.




Also, our bee was invited for the ‘house warming’ of the new premises of The Stitch Cottage, fellow bee member Sandra’s  - now only online  - quiltshop. She plans to be offering mostly BOM’s via her website (love this one!) , we loved her new workspace and hope to enjoy more bee nights there in the future.

 
Hubertine gave a little show and tell of the Jules blocks she is handquilting, using the big stitch technique
 


Food wise there was a lot going on, this is the time of year for outdoor events:


First , in one of our favourite neighbourhoods in The Hague, there was the Taste the Neighbourhood (Proef de Wijk) event where local restaurants presented themselves. For a few Euro’s you could try their food:



Spanish paella

 


Indian food




 
which was one of our choices
 


With the weather being so nice it was great to enjoy all these different tastes with other people sitting on the benches in the evening sun.

Also we are lucky, living in one of the suburbs of The Hague it only takes a few minutes by bicycle before we are in a wooded area with farms and fields. On the Whitsun (Pinksteren) Monday morning during such a bike ride there was a surprise: a farmers market!
Lots of stalls with lovely produce


Unfortunately we did not know about this (and had already enjoyed a nice breakfast) else we certainly would have participated in this, a breakfast in the fields where normally the cows graze….




We love going to food markets (and street food) ,we did plan to go to this one last Sunday: Pure Markt in The Hague.

And since we planned this visit we had a small breakfast that morning so we could eat this…. pulled pork from the bbq



Also here, beautiful fruit and vegetables, love those colors!

And this…. was  sooooo delicious!
 
The stall from the American Baking Company was irresistible, filled with beautiful cakes, cupcakes and pies, I had to have the peach pie, but since I really could not eat anything anymore at the time, it came home with me…..


To be enjoyed later on in the evening, together with more of this…. which is fun to do while watching the World Cup matches.

This was my view from the table enjoying my peach pie and crochet.
Whopper doesn’t seem that interested J !
But I will be back at the table with my crochet in a few hours’ time for the game, hoping our guys in orange win again, just like they did last Friday, wasn’t that just the most spectacular game?!!
 
Phyllis