Lately and Hoppipolla Indeed….


What happened here lately? Well the winter so far is unusual mild. Last week a balmy 22C…that is crazy! However from time to time a few cold nights kick in and the world is so beautiful at sunrise then. 

And of course busy times with getting ready for the festive Season and entertaining a few lovely parties. Charley made it clear what her opinion was on that…


And I have been also doing a lot of reading. Somehow, reading and Christmas is connected to me, I enjoy it even more in the coziness of December.


My knitting at the moment consists of many projects and none finished. Shame on me!!



But I did knit these sweet premi hats. A project for the Children’s hospital. I try to make something special of every little hat and hope to bring a little smile in worrying times for new parents. (awful photo from cell phone, had to the deliver them to the volunteer group..more will be knit and better photos next time!) 


And I went to this fabulous High Style: Twentieth-Century Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Cincinnati Art museum with a group of like minded fashionistas. It was wonderful and of course I bought the accompanying book and I enjoy it so much!!!


And then I will leave you with a little personal note. A while ago I told you, I had troubles with my neck and without the boring details: I am now allowed to start swimming. A lovely BFF is joining me once a week, while I float on my back in warm water, carefully moving my arms and try to slowly strengthen my muscles. And I must say the first time, my usually positive frame of mind left me the moment I got wet. There I struggled in the water trying to find balance whilst this group of senior ladies were laughing and chatting, doing water aerobics and then this man of at least 110 years of age, jumped in the water and started his laps like an Olympic swimmer.
I sighed and felt older than all of them…oh what silly self pity!!!
So I slapped myself on the fingers, grinned at my lovely supportive friend and sang that song in my head that I was taught at Sunday school when I was a wee lass, about counting your blessings.
That brought back my common sense. So in case you feel too old to be happy today, I share another song with you (‘count your blessings’ was not on YouTube ;o)) Sigur Ros is an Icelandic band and you probably heard of them. Hoppipolla means so much as hopping in puddles. That’s what I plan to do, the rest of my life ;0) ( and please for you knitters out there , look at all the marvelous Icelandic knitwear in this clip)

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

Lately…Lots of Important Nothings


Whilst I was still daydreaming a little about Yellowstone Park, life went on most pleasantly. Fall has started and most of you know how happy that makes me. Long walks in colder temperatures, enjoying the colors and all treasures Mother Nature leaves us whilst she is preparing for a good rest.  It gives me a chance to show this photo again…already 2 or 3 years old. But I love it so much and can you imagine how many shots that took?;o)

I love the atmosphere Fall brings into the house, so delightfully cozy!

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Charley and I want to be outside all day and she is giving me the stare until I grab the leash!

Reading is so much better too when temperatures drop. I am really enjoying these books.

I was really happy to see this flyer from Rickey illustrated by me…

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I also spent a week with my sons in Toronto for Canadian Thanks Giving and it was a celebration of so much to be thankful for indeed.

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It made even worthwhile to endure the shenanigans of the most spoiled cat in the whole of Canada…

DSC_9636I cannot show much knitting. All these delicious yarns are going to be used for Christmas presents and I really have to keep my ninja needles clickety clacking to get it all ready before the end of December!

However, I will show you soon more of my experiments with pastels! I love working with it and it seems even lovelier on black paper.

Star Gazers

But first I am going to spoil a very special person for a whole week. Was I so happy to meet up with one BFF in I am again in high spirits and very happy because another BFF from The Netherlands is coming here. I am already at the airport, for I do not want to be late for her plane to arrive;o)

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Ach de weken vliegen weer voorbij na de heerlijke reis. Allerlei belangrijke niemendalletjes die te maken hebben met een verrukkelijke herfst, geheimzinnig breien voor Kerst, meer oefenen met pastels, Thanksgiving vieren bij mijn jongens in Toronto en hun immens verwende kat! En nu ben ik al helemaal door t dolle heen omdat ik weer een fijne vriendin uit Nederland op bezoek krijg!!! Oei, ik zit al t vliegveld zodat ik haar aankomst niet mis ;o)


Love and Liefs, Johanna

A Hike at Wayne National Forest


Mr. Walker and I went for a hike at the beautiful Wayne National  Forest. That is a huge park at the foot of the Appalachians. The drive was already lovely. And we selected the Wildcat Hollow Trail. Not a very long trail( about a 2 hours walk) since it was Charley’s first big hike after her surgery. She did excellent of course.


It was beautiful…I have never seen such tall trees, looking up made me almost dizzy.


This sweet little river we crossed several times and it proved our new hiking boots are really waterproof.


By the end our tummies were rumbling and close by was this gorgeous dam and lake: what a perfect scenery for a picnic!


Here I am trying to pull a Sunday face for a decent snapshot for the family album, whilst Charley has here eye on the chicken salad..clever girl!


Hope you all had a great weekend!
Love and Liefs, Johanna

Thank You So Much!


alanavainmoon002So many people left kindhearted comments on the last post! Charley, Mr.Walker and I want to thank everybody so much for leaving such loving and kind and encouraging messages! It was heartwarming!!! Charley has healed quickly and without any trouble. The vet was just as happy as we are and declared Charley ready for any kind of action. All is calm, peaceful and tidy again at The Walker Home.

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So back to work too. I finished the Moon and Sea drawing and these two drawings for the children’s book.

alana hosrse shipwreck2002Which of these two horse and boat scenes do you like best?

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I finished this ‘poster-like’ work. It is rather bigger than I normally choose. It doesn’t even fit on my scanner. It was more for practice but I am rather pleased with the result and wonder if it would look nice in the dining room, currently under renovation.


And I am leaving you with wishes for a lovely weekend, and with these rough sketches. Whilst outside it is rainy, hot and humid (bleuh), I thoroughly enjoy thinking about December and Holiday Season;0)



Zoveel lieve berichtjes zijn er achtergelaten op de vorige post, dat was hartverwarmend!  Charley is weer helemaal de oude en de dierenarts was net zo blij als wij en ze mag alles weer gewoon doen. De rust is weer gekeerd bij The Walkers! Dus maar weer es aan ‘t werk. Nu t weer zo vochtig en warm is (Blueh!) Dus wat winterse, kerstelijke ideeën, is wel erg prettig!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Taking Care of Charley


We had quite a scare here. A few weeks ago, Rickey discovered a black spot in Charley’s right eye that worried him. The vet confirmed is was indeed a tumor but thank goodness a benign one. She predicted, the tumor would grow slowly and in about a year, the eye would have to be removed to prevent acute and very painful complications.


However, we noticed the tumor was growing quite fast. Charley’s eye started bulging a little and she slept restless. We decided not to wait any longer and have the sugery done immediately.

Removing an eye is complicated surgery and we are so fortunate to have a vet nearby who is specialized in eye care with small pets. She did a wonderful job!!!
But especially for the first few days, Charley needed a lot of care and attention. She needed lots of medication, we had to make sure she ate properly (thanks goodness our darling girl loves cooked chicken more than anything else in the world!)


She was out of balance when walking and clearly quite anxious and not understanding what had happened to her. But as always our Brave Darling Girl trusted us completely and we could pamper, and encourage and protect her as she needed. She is healing remarkably fast. I was so grateful to be home with her. (Whilst Charley sits in one of her favorite spots, Mr. Walker reads the news to her.)


You can see why I was not able to work on anything. After the weekend, I expect things to go back to ‘normal’. But for now I am happy to look after my dear friend, who when I am sick, will lay all day on my bed with her paw on my hand and does more for me than any pills will ever do!


Charley is geopereerd! Ze had een goedaardige tumor in haar oog en t oog moest verwijderd worden om nare complicaties te voorkomen. Geen kleinigheid maar de dierenarts heeft t bijzonder goed gedaan en Charley vertrouwde ons volkomen en laat zich goed verzorgen. T herstel gaat dan ook verrassend voorspoedig! Ik slaak een zucht van verlichting en was blij haar te kunnen verzorgen want mijn lieve vriendin zorgt ook altijd goed voor mij wanneer ik ziek ben…

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


This Week…


Total Bliss at the Walker Home now the Youngest Mr. Walker is here for two whole weeks!!! Proud mom here lets you all know, he passed his second year of college with flying colors. Some serious mollycoddling is in order and Charley is just very happy to have her friend at her side…


And how about this? A lovely, unexpected and funny gift from a very lovely, funny friend!!! Truly, I was speechless by this act of random kindness. And those of you who know me a little better…know I did have a secret little fluttering handkerchief moment…


I want to finish this drawing. I have a hundred ideas on how to but none of them seems plausible so far…


But I do have a new (to me) little friend in the studio!


Love this book: knitting and brilliant illustrations in one!


Kelly remarked the other day that I had Ninja Knitting made me smile to think of a super hero who’s super power is knitting! I love knitting so much and I always have more than one project in progress…socks for long drives, socks with patterns for quiet moments, complicated patterns for challenge and this scarf pattern is just a joy!! I knitted a purple one but gave that away to a dear friend and forgot to take a picture. Now I am knitting it again in this delightful yarn…it will make a nice Christmas present.


Christmas…what am I talking about??? It is Spring!!!


Have a lovely weekend!


Een week van hoera-de-jongste-is-thuis, nogal wat gezellige breiwerkjes, een lief en grappig cadeautje dat een kopje thee nog lekkerder doet smaken,een tekening die maar maar niet af wil en heerlijke Lente!!!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

It is Finished!!!


I am chuffed to bits , excited and I admit, a little proud to see Gary’s Professional Dog Grooming website all brand spanking new..with illustrations from yours truly! Rickey Kinley, the owner of this wonderful facility,  takes care of Charley for Boarding and Grooming for a couple of years now and helped Charley ( and us!) when our sweet darling girl got all anxious after she was attacked by two dogs and was wounded badly. Rickey’s positive enforcement method of training worked so well and in no time Charley regained self confidence again and made us all happy as ever! Rickey also has a great face book page btw. Over time , he will use more illustrations on Website and Facebook.


Pup to Penguin

So all of you who wondered about that connection between dogs and Zoo animals…go and read Rickey’s interesting About Me page.


So now..onwards and upwards, here some study work from this week. Focussed on pastels and perspective. The marketplace is ready for color.

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And drawing these dog pictures is so much fun. They will come back because the background is not done and I think I will use it for collage. But…does anyone recognizes this sweet little dog???

Och hemel..ik ben wel een beetje trots dat de website helemaal klaar is. Ricky Kinley, de eigenaar van deze fantastische hondenkennel/trimsalon/ hondenschool, werkt ook in de dierentuin. Dat verklaart dus de connectie tussen wilde dieren en honden ;0) En nu weer gewoon verder met de studie!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

This week…


A week full of Spring surprises..have a cup of tea and I will tell you all about it. First of course, this pair of ears peeped from underneath the deck at the end of a nice Spring day…I wondered who they belonged to.



Ah yes, a little raccoon…hungry awoken from hibernation.

DSC_6536 started raining, I let the little fellow have a good meal.

The garden was full of daffodils..but alas a few violent rain storms made daffodil season very short this year. Blue grape hyacinths proved to be of sturdier material. This little jug is just perfect for a little bunch, it makes me very happy.


The vultures are back and every day there is a group of five ‘floating’ over our neighborhood,in the morning and in the evening. I wish to make a photo that shows all five gliding in circles majestically. They are an acquired taste but I think they are beautiful!

Of a totally different beauty are these tree swallows…Spring has not really begun without them.

Mr & Mrs Squirrel have properly settled down and are very territorial. So they actually prevent more squirrels from coming into the garden which is a good thing for the bird feeders. And I just love the idea that the adorable couple snuggled up cozily in their new home, lined comfortably with dry leaves and lots a hair from a shedding Charley.


Talking about Charley…I was very surprised to find my darling girl nicely snuggled up too. She was very surprised that I did not approve.

Now she is waiting for the company of dear friends who will come and stay for the weekend.


Ha, de lente brengt zoveel nieuw leven en verrassingen: kleine wasbeertjes, grote  gieren en snelle zwaluwen en veel regen ook. (vind ik niet zo erg) De eekhoorns hebben zich helemaal gesetteld en houden andere eekhoorns uit de tuin. In Amerika hebben we erg veel eekhoorn! Charley had zich ook comfortabel gesetteld..maar dat mocht natuurlijk niet ;0) Nu wacht ze op lieve vrienden die hier gezellig een weekend komen door brengen!

Love and Liefs, Johanna