woensdag 29 februari 2012


In addition to yesterday's Yellow: bees. On the 14th of February I attended a bee-dinner at Retort Art Space. Vegetarian dishes, in which the colour of bees as well as their role in growth was obvious. A local beekeeper had an inspiring talk about the importance of bees for our lives and the threats that face bees nowadays. And in and around Amsterdam so much honey is produced; I hadn't realised before I listened to him. 2012 is The Year of the Bees. More and more cities are joining in beekeeping: Beehives on the roof of Tate Modern & Fortnum&Mason in London, a huge amount of beehives in Paris,  Berlin, New York: apiculture is taking off to resist decline of bees by pesticides and diseases. So I was happy to read this morning in the magazine of Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam that in April bees will arrive on their new roof! Hurray for this initiative! Three beekeepers will take care of them. We need more bees; and it's easy to think where they can live: the Townhall, schools, Zuid As offices, hospitals...all the buildings in my area Java eiland & KNSM eiland......the list is endless. I hope it will continue!

images taken from bee-websites

dinsdag 28 februari 2012


As Lidewij Edelkoort's Trendtablet is busy to make us believe and be part of: yellow will be the new pink. The increase of yellow in fashion is indeed truly visible. Be it the bright yellow, or the mustardy slightly brownish yellow. Yellow is also a lively colour in nature. So let's go; here are some yellows from a bee-dinner at Retort Art Space recently, from my favourite flower stand on Saturday's Nieuwmarkt organic market, from Malawi, Limburg and Scotland.

maandag 27 februari 2012


I'm working on new items in my textile collection. So I've started a brainstorm. Visuals and keywords, discussions with a designer friend, new keywords, new ideas. Books, samples, photo's, my new stocking which I bought in Chile, magazines, drawings, scribbles.....
Slowly it's growing. I'm not there yet, but a few things are clear by now: it will be knitted, it will be sustainable, it will be functional and it will build on traditions. One of the most inspiring quotes (by Denis Brown) which I read recently is:
"Some think tradition means copying the past. But a living tradition must move forward".

zaterdag 25 februari 2012


Oh snowdrops, I think that
You came in the night,
In only your nighties
And that's why you're white.
The world was all sleeping
With never a sound,
You wanted to see it
So came through the ground.
I think that you're smiling,
But still feel too shy
To lift your sweet faces
To smile at the sky

Melinda Kennedy

"I was here first," said the snowdrop: "look!"
"Not before me!" sang the silver brook.
"Why," cried the grass, "I've been here a week!"
"So have I, dear," sighed a violet meek.
"Well," piped a bluebird, "don't leave me out!
I saw the snow that lay round about."
"Yes," chirped a snowbird, "that may be true;
But I've seen it all the bleak winter through."
"I came betimes," sang the southwind, "I!"
"After me, love!" spake the deep blue sky.
"Who is it cares?" chimed the crickets gay:
"Now you are here, let us hope you'll stay."
Whispered the sun, "Lo! the winter's past:
What does it matter who's first or last?
Sky, brooks, and flowers, and birdies that sing,
All help to make up the beautiful spring."

George Cooper

donderdag 23 februari 2012


Here are some not-so-obvious reds. Ghent, Malawi, Scotland, New York, Enkhuizen, Sheringham.

dinsdag 21 februari 2012


Here are some whites. I've photographed them on Barra, on a ferry in Ireland, in Limburg, on my balcony, in a lighthouse on Mull-of-Kintyre and from my own textile collection.

maandag 20 februari 2012


Here's the bright contrast of many blues. Sparkling, soft, light, dark. In Enkhuizen, Malawi, Ireland, Scotland, New York.

woensdag 15 februari 2012


Sometimes just colour can be a connecting concept. Colour is so strong, it's everywhere. This is Berlin,Morocco, Amsterdam, London, Chile and Edinburgh. The warm tones, the contrast, the atmosphere....................

maandag 13 februari 2012

Herman Wijffels | De Nieuwe Liefde

Yesterday I attended the first-year anniversary of De Nieuwe Liefde, a cultural centre for debate, reflection and connection. Keynote speaker was Herman Wijffels. After so much he has done, he is now one of the members of the sustainable finance lab. He had a clear, inspiring lecture about the need for change. The idea of how to use money, how to organise society, how to deal with natural resources, how to organise the economy; all these have to shift. From linear to circular, from pyramid to network, from greediness to subservience, from ultra-specialism to broad views. We need the so-called cultural creatives, he said: people who take their responsibility and act as part of a whole and not just for their own good. That might be a slow development, but think of the 'tipping point theory': how little things can make the change. He's a real visionair, and one of my heroes.

vrijdag 10 februari 2012

Elmina Moisan

This is a painting by Elmina Moisan, the Chilean painter who lived from 1887-1938. Before I went to Chile I had never heard of her before. I came across her work at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes .
Besides the wonderful work by Maria Angelica Echavari of whom I wrote earlier, the section with Chilean paintings was a true treasure. This painting 'Interior' was my favourite. The first image is my secretly made photo, the second is from the museums' website. Mix both colour schemes in your imagination and that's about the true colours standing in front of the painting...

donderdag 9 februari 2012


Still lives in green. For I can't wait for spring.
With great ceramics from Scorlewald, a few of my favourite books, postcards from Scottish painters, recycled glass and Farrow&Ball wall paint.

woensdag 8 februari 2012

Global Citizenship

This weekend I attended the 40th anniversary conference of NCDO. Their new focus is global citizenship. The shift of development aid towards international cooperation is so clear and good.
There were mini symposiums, the battle of the cheetah's, an interesting debate and a few keynote speakers. The one who most inspired me was Juma Mwapachu; the current President of SID and former Secretary General of the East African Union. During his entertaining talk I scribbled down some keywords:
oneness (ubuntu), social justice, human dignity, the important role of women, sustainability, for the use of public goods it's important to respect ecology and human diversity, the global society is hugely integrated (f.i. IT) and plays an important role, youth can -and needs to- play an important role in building global solidarity.
(photo from sr8talkchronicle)

maandag 6 februari 2012

Elke Dag een Draadje

Today I went to see the exhibition 'Elke dag een draadje' in Verzetsmuseum in Amsterdam. The title is part of a saying hardly used these days: elke dag een draadje...is een hemdsmouw in een jaar. A thread a day is a sleeve in a year. A moving exhibition of embroidery done by emprisoned women during the Second World War. They smuggled the yarn and the needles into the prison by hiding it in the laundry which had to be done by family, and finished pieces were smuggled out in the same way. The embroidery was made on any piece of fabric. With the embroidery they first of all kept themselves busy, and it was also a way of documentation, communication and resistance. The exhibition shows some  amazing pieces. made with dedication and perseverance. Tiny handkerchiefs, edges of sheets, large pieces of cloth, pin-cushions, comb-covers etcetera. Daily routine, wishes and reassurances were written and drawn with thin yarn. Also shown were skirts made after the war. Skirts made from small pieces of fabric used during the war quilted together and embroidered with messages of joy and hope.

vrijdag 3 februari 2012

Knit Malawi II

The knitting is something the women have to weave through their daily life. And being a head of household, wife, farmer and mother that's a real challenge!