Sketch Journal Project: Cats!


Although I am certainly not a cat hater..I cannot say I am particularly a cat lover.
To me, they are always at the look out of favoring my favorite dress with their claws and adorning my sweaters with their hairs.
But the Walkerboys do love cats and share their apartment with two of them. The Regal Leo was first and since a couple of months this rather chubby girl called Raine joined the group. My son are sensible and put her on a diet.
Raine does not see the benefits of that yet but she adores my sons and abides Leo, s all and all she is a happy girl.

So after spending so much time with them no wonder my pencils produced this page…

Wat schetsjes en foto’s van katten…niet mijn favoriete dier maar de Walkerboys hebben twee exemplaren. Meestal zetten ze t liefst hun nagels in mijn favoriet jurk of strooien hun haren op mijn trui…maar ach, t zijn toch wel schatjes en goed om es te tekenen ;o)

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Pssst, it’s me, Princess Charley


So mom is busy with decking halls and trimming trees and cooking and drawing …

That’s all fine however it takes away her attention to the most important centre of the universe in her life: ME!

I have not even been shown on her blog for quite a while…(hidden in a stupid selfie, that does not count!)


So I have taken over the computer here and I am posting these magnificent photos of myself. I will not deprive you from my wonderful personality any longer!

There, does this image not make you very happy?!?!


And btw, I don’t know why mom is often muttering and grumbling at the computer. I found it easypease to make this post. Must be the subject, I’d say!

Voor mijn Nederlandse fans: hier spreekt Prinses Charley! Ik heb zelf maar even wat prachtige foto’s van mijn magnifieke persoonlijkheid geplaatst..vrouwtje heeft t maar druk met kerstbomen en koken en tekenen enzo. Alsof ik niet t centrum van t universum ben!!! Afijn, jullie zijn natuurlijk allemaal weer heel gelukkig na t zien van deze prachtige portretten.

Love and Liefs, Charley

A Christmas Joke For Bekki


‘If you see a fat man, who’s jolly and cute, wearing a beard and a red flannel suit;

And if he is chuckling and laughing away, while flying around in a miniature sleigh;

With eight tiny reindeer to pull him along;

Then – let’s face it – Your eggnog’s too strong!!’  (-Author Unknown)


So the lovely Bekki took on a challenge to tell three Christmas jokes on her blog and asked her friends in the blogosphere to join in. Here is to you Bekki!!

Love and Liefs, Johanna


Wovember: about 100% wool & being green, fashionable and thrifty

Had I not had the flu big time earlier this month, I would have made this post earlier in the month. How I love Wovember: a whole month of celebrating and promoting 100% wool. So much to read, enjoy and learn! And I see the nicest post too everywhere in the blogosphere, especially amongst the knitters and weavers, crocheters.

Well, I am finally joining in. Not about knitting this time. But about 100% wool clothes. I love clothes and I love to have a lot of clothes so I can dress properly for every occasion. I do not necessarily follow the latest fashions but I do like to express myself, my style through my clothes.  And I love good quality clothes, and 100% wool garments make me very happy. When taken care of with TLC, they practically last forever.


To create a wardrobe to my desire is a delightful challenge since I measure a generous 6 foot+  and I prefer skirts and dresses. So I am always on the look out for new additions to my wardrobe because the rule is: if it fits, it’s mine!  “And it will cost a pretty penny! ” you might add. What is a frugal Dutch girl to do? A simple solution: she shops second hand!


When I was a student, living on a tight budget and faced with a diminishing  wardrobe ( oh horror)  I discovered the noble art of second hand shopping. My fellow frugal fashionistas took me by the hand and taught me how to sniff out the quality garments in mint condition at flea markets, thrift stores, consignment stores etc. And I have never stopped doing this.


There is also another component to this. To shop second hand is green! Textile waste is a serious matter. In the US alone a shocking 25 million pound of textile waste is produced each year and only 15% is reused or recycled. And I am so happy with all the women who were bored with their outfits, sold or donated them instead of throwing them out!

So all the clothes you see here, showed by Sally, my faithful 1960 dress doll, are 100% wool, in perfect condition bought second hand. Two tweed skirts, two jumper dresses, a turtle neck , a jacket and a coat, all 100%wool, for about $100.- (including dry cleaning for the jacket , coat and the grey jumper dress) Not bad, right?


The red coat has a funny story to it. It was brought in at a church sale, the tickets were still on it, it was never worn. All the ladies who organized the sale tried it on but alas nobody was a match. “You have to be skinny giantess for this one, does a woman like that exist?” One of them exclaimed. And at exactly that moment I walked in and got everybody laughing…and they sold the coat to me for a ridiculous $3.- ( I did leave a generous extra for their fundraiser..)

The coat is from the 1980’s so you see that indeed 100% wool will last forever. I made new buttons, took the shoulder fillings out and shortened it. Tadaa….

And with all that frugalness I could afford these cute boots and the delightful 100% merino tights that will keep my legs nice and warm when hiking in winter!

Wovember viert en promoot elk jaar de hele maand November alles wat met 100% wol te maken heeft. Ik geniet daar bijzonder van en ook van alle posts die mede bloggers maken. Ik had al eerder ingehaakt als ik maar niet geveld was door een hele gemene griep! Maar goed, hier zijn we dan: al deze kleren zijn 100% wol en gekocht tweedehands voor pietluttige prijzen ;o) En dat is heerlijk voor iemand zoals ik die heel veel van kleren houdt, het is een fantastische manier van hergebruik!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Three Quotes: Everything’s Been Done Before…But Not By Me!

Waiting for Spring

Waiting for Spring

So the wonderful Alys said: ” Tag you’re it! You can do the three days quote challenge!” And because she promised I could do it any way I wanted to do it, I agreed. And I have been enjoying the three days quote challenge on many of my other favored blogs…so here goes!

As most of you know, I do not blog every day, so I decided to put three quotes in one post.

1: ” Everything’s been done before..but not by me!” -Octavie

This is a quote from the talented Dutch illustrator Octavie ( and loosely translated by me) When I read this, I immediately adopted it as my motivating motto. It helps me overcome my shyness about my own work, of trying out new things, to not be taken aback when people ‘snort’ at what I am doing. It was really quite a big thing for me, to start this blog and show my work…however it has brought me nothing but joy and encouragement! Kindred spirits from all over the world!

2:“Letting go is the lesson. Letting go is always the lesson. Have you ever noticed how much of our agony is all tied up with craving and loss?”
― Susan Gordon Lydon, The Knitting Sutra: Craft as a Spiritual Practice

Letting go is a theme in my life, wether it is the bitter sweet letting go of children growing up, or the more definite process of leaving house, job, friends and family behind to go to yet another country or the very simple rule ” when something comes into the house, something has to leave’ for me as a vintage collector to keep control over my treasure hunting. I found that if I do indeed ‘let go’ of the past, of ‘stuff’ and embrace the space that letting go creates…that I learn so much, that holding on to relations despite the distance is possible, and new lovely people arrive in our lives, and beautiful things find new better homes and make the beautiful things in my home even more beautiful. ( you can interpret that in every sense of the word;0))  

3: “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Yeah, yeah…call it superficial but I needed something down to earth as my third quote and too many of my predecessors already quoted the great master Dr. Seuss so I consulted the other wise philosopher:Winnie the Pooh. I hope, I do not disappoint you..but it is me all over ;0)

Just Like Pauline, I am going to break the rule and not tagging other people. However, I would really love to see more bloggers taking on the three days quote challenge.
I will leave you with a delightful little movie brought to my attention by Mary Lou from Sticks-a-GoGo. Get your tissues ready…I was fluttering my handkerchief most pleasantly.

Have a great weekend!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

The Joy of Recycling and a Prize!!!


Well, Charley and I did a little dance together..I because I won a prize and Charley because she loves a little dance;0) Dear Timeka from Sewlovable was given a three months subscription by the website The generous girl decided to organize a give-away and I won! Wow, the website is amazing and almost overwhelming!! Having lots of fun with it.

Also check out Timeka’s lovely website with beautiful sewing, stylish fashion, and delectable recipes!

So now you are wondering about the shirts? Charley and I tried to do a selfie whilst dancing but failed miserably. Ah but Sewlovable got me thinking about my own sewing. (Not nearly as good and presentable as Tamika’s.) Mr. Walker loves his cotton shirts. I do too because he looks so dashing and handsome in them.
But extra bonus : once worn out, I use the lovely fabrics for all kinds of everythings. Like these vintage style potholders.


Some cushions and granny squares.

And these nice pencil cases together with left over funky fabric from curtains. Got that idea from Cathe.


Ha, gezellige fotos van dingetjes en dangetjes gemaakt van Meneer Walker’s oude overhemden. Zoals je ziet, houdt hij erg van zijn overhemden…ik ook want hij ziet er bijzonder appetijtelijk uit ;0) Ik dacht eraan omdat ik een prijs heb gewonnen van Timeka en ik 3 maanden nu een gratis abonnement heb op deze website.

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Fifty Faces of Charley Dog

This week, I should have finished a few drawings. Studied the many secrets of drawing in Perspective. I should have done garden work and Spring clean the cupboards (making space for the loot from the coming garage sale season)…..
Ha, but all I did was chitchatting with my youngest son, going for hikes with him, cooking delicious meals for him, seeing a movie ( The new Avengers..awesome!) playing board games and more board games….
The delightful young man is staying until Monday and then I will be hardworking again and catching up with I left lying around. Charley will be as in the first photos, sighing, moping and grumpy and missing her best friend. Poor Girl!

Since many of you remarked on Charley’s expressive face, I will leave you with some pretty pictures from her, though I do not think there fifty ;0)

So what are your plans for the weekend?

Love and Liefs, Johanna


New Sketches and a Winner..or Two

alana living room002Here some more sketches for the children’s book project



And oh, so many kind , funny , lovely comments for only four egg warmers. So Charley and I wrote down the names, put them in a bowl and Charley picked one. And after that she needed a little lay down to nap…

The lucky winner is…Kerry all the way in upstate New York. And I so loved Joanna’s story too: someone bringing you eggs as an act of kindness and comfort in times of need. A soft boiled egg is my absolute number one comfort food. So, if Joanna can wait a little longer, I will knit a few for her.

For everybody else a big hug and we will do this again!

Love and Liefs, Johanna


Another Diorama


‘Children have one kind of silliness, as you know, and grown-ups have another kind.” -C.S. Lewis


I love making dioramas. I saw this glass cone and knew it was perfect for another diorama. I just opened my drawer with small/found/discarded thingies…and out came this little sea world.


I suppose psychologist have something to say about this…but I am not such a deep thinker ;0)


Here and here are a few more.

Love and Liefs, Johanna