Scraphappy at the Library: Fall Display!

 

IMG_4903Even in in the Cincinnati Area Fall is finally over! Not being a summer person…it makes me very happy. Cold windy walks, hearty stews and soups, winter clothes and candles everywhere:it’s invigorating!

Fall at the library means “ Back to School” and the Summer Adventure programs are over. So time for a new display.

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I made fall dioramas. The Glass containers are bought in thrift stores etc. Collected Mother Nature’s gifts during my walks and made the lovely mushrooms with scrap fabric. I used an Ann Wood pattern. Her patterns are fabulous!!!

And Fall means falling leaves and migratory birds. I folded all these birds from wallpaper, this paper was left in our house by the previous owners. I used this free pattern.

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The leaves are cut out of the leaves of discarded books and painted with leftover paints from the children’s programs. You can see the lettering coming through, which I thought was very appropriate ;o)

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The only thing bought new is air conditioner coil that I used to make the swirls to attach the leaves to and hang the birds from. It’s playable, re-usable for other displays and costs only $10.-.

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Ha, een nieuwe herfst en nieuwe decoraties. Ik ben altijd zo ongelooflijk blij als de lange hete zomer voorbij is in Cincinnati! Heerlijk met rode neus en wangen verwaaid  weer thuiskomen van t wandelen , stevige soepen en stoofschotels, warme truien en knusse kaarsen. Dus ik heb me natuurlijk laten inspireren door vallende bladeren (gemaakt van kapotte boeken) en trekvogels gevouwen uit overgebleven behang. De herfst diorama’s zijn gemaakt met vondsten uit de natuur en de paddestoelen met restjes stof en t patroon komt van Ann Wood. De glazen schalen waren voor een prikje uit de kringloop. Het enigste wat ik nieuw kocht, zijn de koperen buizen voor ‘verwaaide bladeren’. T is eigenlijk een onderdeel voor een airco, kost een tientje en ze zijn herbruikbaar.

And for more Scraphappy posts , follow this link please!

Happy Fall and Love and Liefs,

Johanna

Oh Snap and No Drawings to Show For Either!!!

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Some memories stay engraved in your mind with date and all: two weeks ago, Friday morning I made the bed and whilst bending over I felt a sharp pain in my back which I had not felt for long time. Snap!!! I could hardly walk, not sit up straight, not lay down. Ouch Ouch ouch…

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The next few days I spent dozing of on muscle relaxers, soaking in the hot tub, scurrying through the house in the most inelegant way. Mr. Walker felt so sorry for me whilst I wailed and moaned  I complained just a little because in the greater scheme of things life was still good right?

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Of course it was, Monday morning I called a chiropractor and he turned out to be a man of action who does not waste time! An hour later he was doing his witchcraft with high tec machinery and skillfully pulling and twisting my arms, legs and spine, which I bravely tried not find scary at all ( in vain)

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So for the past two weeks, I could not sit up right, so no drawing to show for what so ever. I did read plenty of books.


And I did have fun crocheting these pebbles..and they fit so nicely with my green and blue light. Do not watch too closely, crocheting is not really my thing. Raveled it here

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I admired greatly a quiche I baked (yes, that is rather pathetic indeed)

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Knitted one sleeve at my from the top down cardigan.


There was snow and cold, as you can see in the first photos. I had cut a few branches earlier and put them in a vase. If you wait long enough, they will flower and you have a little Spring at home.

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I laughed out loud when the Oldest Walker Boy send this photo all the way from Toronto.We debated wether this was left by a contemptuous dog or was Mr. Snowman trembling in his little snow boots about the upcoming winter storm?

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We have nice Spring weather now…and I am knitting an Easter Hare in happy anticipation. You can already see it’s pretty behind ;o)

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And this is what Charley is suggesting every time, I lay on the floor, doing my re-hab exercises. That is twice a day…

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Lately: Looking for Sunshine, Yoga Knitting, and More…

 

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“It is a serious thing //just to be alive / on this fresh morning / in this broken world.”
― Mary Oliver, Red Bird

The Oldest Walker Boy send me this beautiful photo of the view from his office in Toronto. The sun broke through glorious.

At the moment, sunshine is a bit of a rare commodity here and it almost seems to reflect the state of the world we are in right now. Its hard, very hard not to be weighed down by the daily news I find. I am not going to discuss that, this blog is not about politics and the likes. But I find it difficult to make a post about my important nothings. However I am going to because I need to. We all need to find things that replenish our energy and make us keep going on doing what we believe in..right?

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Here you see a moment of sunshine in my living room…


I tidied up my card rack after Christmas. I love my card rack. It reminds me of lovely people and the beauty of great images. This year’s Christmas cards will not be discarded, they find their way as book markers  and make me smile every time I pick up a book and I read a lot of books!  


I baked scones and drank tea and lit so many candles on days the sun is hiding.


Lots of comfort yoga knitting too! These slippers looked so funny when they came fresh from the needle but they look so dainty when on the foot! Pattern here.


Finished my summer bag! I repurposed one of Mr. Walker nice cotton shirts. He wears them to work and when too old for wearing, I use the nice fabrics for all kinds. In this case, I lined the bag cleverly (if I may say so myself) with the breast pocket part so I have a nice inside pocket without any difficulty. There was a some yarn left for a little pouch for my shopping cards. Raveled it here.

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I picked up the “from the top down cardigan” again. I am not very patient with bigger projects. But we are getting there.

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And I started knitting a blanket!! The perfect project for me. Little squares in a wonderful lace pattern. It’s called the Tulip…ahw, the national flower from The Netherlands ;o) BTW the gorgeous deep purple yarn is a blend of merino and possum, send to me as a present all the way from New Zealand by my friends from Union Homestead…finally found a purpose for the beautiful and to me unusual yarn. Its so soft!!!

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And the ultimate “comfort food”: finding a new perfect fitting dress!!! This is better than pizza and chocolate!! What are the odds of finding my favorite kind of dress in a perfect size: a 100% wool jumper dress, in a second hand store…it was never worn, the label was still on it. I paid $12.- dollar. (And keep in mind, I am a royal 6ft+, finding clothes that fit , is a serious undertaking!) If you heard some yodeling…it was me!!! And I apologize for this selfie…I send it even to my sons that’s how happy I was. They were good natured about it, bless them!!

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Och hemel, t lijkt allemaal wat grijs: ‘t weer, ‘t nieuws. Dat laatste ga ik niet bespreken want deze blog gaat niet over politiek. Maar t maakt me wel somber en ik vind t moeilijk om over gezellige niemendalletjes te babbelen. Toch ik ga t wel doen, want ik heb  iets nodig om vergane energie weer aan te vullen…dat hebben we allemaal nodig toch?
Dus mooie momenten van zonneschijn vanuit t kantoor van mijn oudste zoon en in onze woonkamer. Ik word ook blij van gezellige kaartjes en als ze niet op t rek hangen dan worden t boekenleggers. Heel veel breien en kopjes thee en kaarsjes en lekkere warme scones. En och hemel…als je luid gejodel hoorde…dat was ik in mijn nieuwe jurk. Past perfect , ondanks mijn lengte, en nog een koopje ook. Dat is zelfs een selfie waard!! (Met excuses)

Love and Liefs, Johanna

The Walker Residence in Mid Century Modern Christmas Style..Sort Of…

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Finally, the house is in Christmas glory!! Much later than other years for two reasons. Well, my previous posts already revealed that on account of that crazy long summer weather my seasonal clock was a bit confused. Kerry’s fantastic blog helped to get me in the mood and I shared many memories and thoughts with her…might as well use them here to accompany the many photos I made this year ;o)


The other reason is, that the Walker Boys are coming home for the Holidays!! These hardworking, studying lads normally have to work all through the season and we travel to Toronto. But this year, they made it happen! The Oldest Walker Boy is arriving on Boxing day and the Youngest Walker Boy on the 30th!! We will have a proper Christmas on New Years Eve. And of course, by that time, I do not want to be bored with our decked halls and trimmed trees, the young menfolk love the Christmas decor!


So here goes…the Walker Residence in Mid Century Modern Christmas Style! Some photos look a bit weird because I used a wide angle lens.

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My dearest ornament is this strange glass bear-like creature. It was given to me when I was a little girl in the sixties and my sisters and I had our own ornaments and of course a big part of the holidays was spent on moving the ornaments in such a way that our own hung most prominent ;o) It hangs since a few years in my own tree and its a tiny miracle it survived many moves, attacks from pets and curious little children hands!



A lot of our furniture and nicknacks I found at garage sales and the likes. But Ikea understands Mid Century Modern too ;o)


Christmas music: I love of course the fifties golden oldies but my favorite Christmas song is Faye Lovski, “Christmas was a friend of mine” https://youtu.be/GnXdnUZmJ_o. She is singing about the Christmas of my youth! And I really like Jonathan Jeremiah’s “Happiness” https://youtu.be/ZjsbbdsFOOU because it reminds me of our long distance family traveling to each other for Christmas !

Horrible Christmas Memory: I was once in a Christmas pageant, I think I was 8 years. I was a rather clumsy little girl, due to late developing motor skills. Oh how I wished to be the Angel but the teacher for saw many troubles with me so she decided I could be one of the shepherds. Disappointing for me, but still at least I was ‘in’. Alas..I managed to get my robe hooked on the manger, it tumbled over and baby Jesus (thank goodness represented by a baby doll) rolled of the stage. Everybody was in shocked horror and I could add another moment of shame to my long list.

Splendid Christmas Memory: Years later I was head of the ‘children department’ in the church where we lived at that time and together with the other moms we started Christmas celebrations for the tiny toddlers. It was just 15 minutes (taking short attention spans in account) and there was always the delightful squeaky old wooden donkey involved who would bring Mary on his back, pulled by Josef into the church. A little story, a little song and a treat…and than outside for the live Nativity Scene. Oh those shining little faces!!. Within a few years hundreds of people came to it. It made me really happy and when people complained about tumbling toddlers in the church, you can understand they were met with stern reproaches and a quote of Jesus himself who stated “let children come to me!”.
(I grew up with many different churches and beliefs…to me its quite simple: as long as Love and Peace is the message, I am happy.)


Christmas Reading: I like to re-read “Miss. Buncle’s Book” by D.E Stevenson..not really Christmas, but so cozy. And of course never a Christmas without a good Murder Mystery of the Nice Kind:Snow storms, chique family, big mansion and butler are key ingredients. And the sweetest Christmas book of all: The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien. On our honeymoon in Great Britain in 1988, we searched high and low for a copy which in itself was already a joy. But we finally found it in gorgeous bookstore in Edinburgh …one with dusty windows and mahogany bookcases. It was the best!!!

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Love and Liefs, Johanna

Sketch Journal Project: Festive Mood , An Amazing Present and a Wonderful Book!

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Yes, yes, yes, finally the festive mood for my Favorite Time of the Year is coming!!
Thinking about a nice Christmas drawing..or maybe a collage this year?

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And oh my goodness, look what Kerry send me. Months ago she had seen this moon and hare in my sketch journal and she contacted me by email. She wanted to use it for an embroidery work. Kerry is a textile artist as ever there is one and her blog is fantastic. The little sketch did not work and I was all to happy to help my dear blog friend with a better drawing. And now…look what she just simply send to me!! Such kindness. And how I admire those lovely tiny stitches.  I just got it today and I am looking at all the time, now I have to find the right spot to hang and do it honor.

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And I would like to bring another blog friend to your attention, before I return to my untrimmed tree and bare halls. Laurie from Notes from the Hinterland, has published her first book! I ordered it right away. It came Saturday with a nice Christmas card and I have already finished it. It is such an excited book for teens and grown ups alike!
And look what she wrote in it….my ears started flapping with joy right away!!

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Hè hè ..eindelijk in kerstelijke stemming! Eens wat ideeën geschetst voor Kerst tekening. Het is uiteindelijk de favoriete tijd van t jaar voor mij!
En blog vriendin Kerry stuurde me zomaar dit prachtige borduurwerkje dat ze maakte naar een van mijn tekeningen. En blog vriendin Laurie heeft haar eerste boek gepubliceerd en in de mijne schreef ze ook nog eens een aardige opdracht.

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Terug naar de kale boom en volle dozen met versierselen!!


Love and Liefs, Johanna

Lately: Peaceful, Calm and Tidy

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With all the worldwide upheavals I needed more than ever my home to be a safe haven of coziness to cope and stubbornly ploughing on with what I believe is right. So here some pictures of what gives me joy and energy. This is a rainbow cloud. It’s the second time in my life, I spotted one..a good omen right?

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Charley and I enjoy the Fall view from our house on top of the hill.

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img_0461During our invigorating cold walks we discovered more beautiful fungi.

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At the thrift store, I found this crazy vintage owl jug, which I use as a vase. It makes me very happy! (and ohlala, only $2.-)

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img_1970I made some pretty toad stools myself. Sewing is not one of my better talents but this was such fun to do and I was happy with the results. Aaaand I could use these old tea pots which I bought for pennies because of the pretty decorations on them. (One man’s junk…) The pattern for these toadstools can be found on Anne Woods beautiful website.

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Charley came back from her bi-weekly bath (she has a skin condition) and shivered. My darling girl is getting on in age. I loved seeing her comfortably taking a warm nap under her blanket. (Also a nice thrift find)

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And lately, Mr. Walker and I love these chai chocolate puddings..so pretty too in the little mason jars. Very tasty..but yes, how can chocolate not be???



And of course, the ultimate healing thing to do…baking the apple pie!

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Wishing you all good apple pie moments in your life!

Love and Liefs,
Johanna

Lately…Important Nothings and Downton Abbey!

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Well we had a little breather with cooler weather last weekend. Mr. Walker and I enjoyed a good walk at Rowe Woods..such joy!!!

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Ragweed season has started and our Darling Girl is allergic to it. Her skin gets so itchy and she starts wriggling and crying. So immediately of to the vet for her shot and on coming home, she made sigh of relief and continued with her favorite activity.

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IMG_1499With apologies for this rather blurry photo…but all this packing material was used to send  the three little bottles of vitamins in the front of it….


The Walker boys and I text a lot and send each other photos during the day. The Youngest Walker Boy received some doodles making fun of the difference in height between him and his Princess (she is adorable) and him spoiling those cats! ( there is always a lot of teasing going around amongst the Walker Clan)

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I showed the Oldest Walker Boy this book and we decided to challenge each other drawing a map…this was his, of course so creative and original!!

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Mine…your traditional medieval map. Good practice but not very original.

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And what a great book this is!! Cocktails and literature…best of both worlds and beautiful illustrations to boot! 

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And I leave you with all these photos of the splendid costumes from Downton Abbey!!! The traveling exhibition arrived at the Taft Museum and my friends and I ordered tickets all ready last spring and were of in a thunder gallop as soon as our time came up!! There was a lot of ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aaahs’ ….and I would be very happy with that red coat!


Have a great weekend!!

Love and Liefs,
Johanna

New Years Resolutions and Sketchbook Project

schetsboek1001Midsummer has passed, so time for me to check on how I am doing with my New Years Resolutions. Well not too shabby, me thinks, even with my exercise program! 

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But I am still slacking when it comes to using my sketchbook more…So I studied different books on the subject and I liked this one best. It encouraged me to start a Sketch Journal. I opened this post with an image of my first page, which clearly states the purpose of this journal ( as recommended by the book) and I will commit myself to use it once a week and show it here.

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Here some sketches of one of my summer favorites : honey bees…because I am a honey monster ;o) I eat honey on my toast, pancakes, stir fry dishes, scones and much, much more. And the full moon on Midsummer was called the honeymoon

This photo is from last year. This is a bumble bee another summer favorite of mine. You can read the funny story attached to it here.

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Juni alweer! T jaar half om , dus maar es kijken naar de goede voornemens van januari.
Niet zo slecht, zelfs meer beweging/sport gaat aardig goed. Alleen t gebruik van een schetsboek…oei! Dus ik heb mijzelf verplicht om 1x per week een bladzijde in mijn spiksplinternieuw schetsboek te doen en hier te posten.

Love and Liefs, Johanna


Sketchbook

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I have started my New Year’s resolutions ahead of time. I am going to work more with a sketchbook! I have never used it much and was always criticized by teachers for it (rightfully so..) I usually have the habit of creating the artwork from the first sketch.

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Many of my friends in the blogosphere share their sketchbook and I studied them all carefully over the last year. So instead of using my scrap paper, I have bought a real sketchbook with nice firm paper suitable for different medium.

DSC_9831Here the first results. A study of faces looking up and ‘playing’ with an idea for a Christmas drawing. I enjoyed it very much.

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I think it made me think more carefully about the composition in this one.

And talking about art and being educated. I really enjoyed these books lately. “Facial Expressions” was a good tip by Jill. You see, how much I learn from my fellow bloggers?

Love and Liefs, Johanna

This week…All Important Nothings!

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How much fun that give away was! Although I was a bit sad for the ‘non-winners’, I really enjoyed the enthusiasm of the winners and the nice emails that followed. For the non-winners: Laurie has a fun give-away on her blog!

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The weather is hot, …even the eggs are sweating ;0) That is all I will whine say about it.

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It just means indoor fun with new knitting projects. I am still knitting away left over yarn. This Fair Isle project is perfect for that.

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I bought new yarn too. This glorious yarn is a mix of merino and yak. I had never seen that before. A little research learned me that Yaks provide excellent wool suitable for all kind of fabrics, used already for thousands of years by the people in the Himalayas. Louis Vuitton discovered the fine quality of it a couple of years ago and made it popular.
This name is so suitable, Tenzing Norgay was Sir Hillary’s sherpa and friend and they were the first to reach the top of the Everest. The yarn is delightful, soft and smooth and incredibly strong. And while I am knitting I think of Yaks,( and I love cattle of any kind) and mountain climbers..bliss indeed.

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I read these two delightful books about the fabulous illustrators Dr. Seuss ( one of the wisest men ever) and Virginia Lee Burton.

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Than on a summer midday this little fellow walked in our garden. It is a box turtle not often seen during the day and their numbers are sadly declining fast. I had never seen one before. I quickly took a photo because he was walking really fast. I think he was disturbed by landscapers next door and he was heading for the next garden. Not a good idea with dogs every were. I quickly grabbed the snow shovel and gently scoped him on it ( I respect the jaws of any turtle!) and brought him to the fenced of ‘wilderness’ in the back of our garden where he quickly dug him self safely away in the compost heap. I hope, he found a good new home there! That compost heap is their for the animals so he will be safe..I love that idea!

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I also love oatmeal and to my delight I see oatmeal recipes popping up left, right and centre.
This bread is fun to bake and delicious! With this hot weather I am good with a salad, some cheese and cold cuts and this bread. I did use sweet potato instead of pumpkin since the pumpkin has not really started yet (snif)

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And a few of my friends came over for a knitting circle and I baked a salmon quiche for lunch to share with them. This is my own recipe where I mix a small tin of salmon with three eggs, 1/4 cup of sour cream and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese,  add mustard, garlic,chives, thyme and oregano, pepper and salt. Use any kind of non-sweet pie crust you like and bake in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes and than 15 minutes more covered loosely with foil. This quiche is best served cold. My friends loved it.

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And I will leave you all again with a funny story. I was at supermarket and the store-manager said:”Boo” in a funny way to try to startle one of the employees. That girl was cool as a cucumber but I, who was deep in thought and studying a label, almost jumped through the roof. That alarmed the store manager again and we ended up laughing our heads of and hugging each other and many customers laughed with us. To quote my dear friend Jane Austen: “…able to make a spectacle of herself where ever she goes.” Anyhue, when I left the store, she gave me this bunch of flowers as a ‘Thank You’..well no need for that but I loved the flowers nevertheless and it resulted in other hug.

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Ondanks de wamte (de eieren zweten zelfs) toch een leuke week met nieuwe breiwerkjes, fraaie boeken, lekker bakken en delen met vrienden die gezellig langs komen, een schildpad die de tuin in kwam wandelen en een bos bloemen die ik kreeg van de manager van de supermarkt omdat ze me per ongeluk aan t schrikken maakte. Ach, dat hoefde natuurlijk helemaal niet want ik vond t wel grappig maar de bloemen zijn wel erg mooi.

Have a great weekend,

Love and Liefs Johanna.