About Christmas And A Few Of My Favorite Things

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“At Christmas everybody invites their friends and thinks little of even the worst weather.”  Jane Austen, Emma

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And my dear friend Jane is so right. What is not to love about Christmas, about the Holidays! Celebrating and being grateful for love, hope, new life and old friends.

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Of course, I have not been in the shops anymore since last November;0) Cannot find much Christmas spirit there to be honest!

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And yes, yes, I do love the decorations too…Kitsch and all!! My vintage Christmas music all through the house (poor Mr. Walker…)

DSC_9785And talking about friends…this delightful chalk ware dog from the thirties was a present form my lovely friend from The Netherlands, who visited me not so long ago. ( and I moped for the longest time after she left again…) She knows me well, I was over the moon with it. It looks so much like the first dog, Mr Walker and I had together , named Saar. I pat it on the head every morning and think happily of my wonderful friend and that fabulous Saar!

DSC_5324And if you want to know how to make these lovely little dioramas yourself, here is the link to my previous blog.

DSC_5306Ach wat weer verrukkelijk knus met al die Kerstspulletjes overal!! En die leuke hond was een cadeautje van mijn lieve vriendin die hier onlangs was. T lijkt precies op onze eerste hond, Saar. Dus elke morgen krijgt ze een aai over de bol en ik denk blij aan mijn vriendin en aan Saar. En als je ook van die leuke mini diorama’s wilt maken, hier is de link naar mijn vorige blog.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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

Treasure Hunting

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Learning new skills seems to be the theme in 2015. Of a more lighthearted nature but by no means easy, is learning to play the ancient and noble game of Mah Jong. I really enjoy it, even more so because the group that is teaching me/I am playing with are not of a competitive nature. Talks and Teas are equally important..such bliss!

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And the game it self is so beautiful, the tiles little works of art. And then one the ladies announced, she had a vintage set made of bakelite for sale. I was of in a thundering gallop.
I love bakelite..the colors, the soft glow, the touch. I am so happy!

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And than I realized, I have not shown you any of the treasures I found over the last few months. I enjoyed your listening ear so much the last time!! Forgive me for neglecting you in this way and let me correct this fault right away;0)

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Such a lovely feminine breakfast set. Too flowery for the Walker Men but since I often breakfast by myself..it makes me very happy.

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And oh, I am such a sucker for star and snowflakes patterns. So this little plate makes me also very happy.

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The illustration on this pretty little container is by Marjolein Bastin. She is Dutch and used to come to a flower shop owned by one of my sisters…that makes she and I cousins, right?

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There are four more of these lovely liqueur glasses..so delightful to find a whole set ( paid $4.- for them, sigh) That pitcher might not be keeper: too big for syrup and too small for iced teas. But I fell for the hip uranium orange;0)

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This pitcher is much better and I already had the glasses.  A perfect $2.- spend , I’d say!

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And the best for last: these two Harrison Begay prints looked so sad and forlorn in a thrift store. I almost felt guilty when I paid the four dollars for it. Now they hang in full glory in my studio and are greeted and enjoyed every day!

Be still my heart…Garage Sale Season is only around the corner! Tally Ho!

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Even wat opscheppen over de gezellige aankoopjes in kringloop en antiekwinkeltjes van de afgelopen maanden. En ik krijg les in t eeuwenoude en tamelijk ingewikkelde Mah Jong spel en deze prachtige vintage Bakelieten set, heb ik gekocht van een medespeelster. Ik hou erg van Bakeliet;0)

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Mrs Walker luuuurves Christmas!

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Haven’t done much studying or drawing, I admit. I was too busy putting up the tree and decking the halls. I love Christmas, I really do.  I love the soft twinkling of the lights, the ornaments in the trees, the excitement of planning the dinners and lunches, the fuzzy warm feeling when receiving an invitation to one.

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And above all, I love what Christmas represents. For me that is, love, gratefulness and new beginnings. I can not help it, that is how I feel, always done so;0)

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I happily sing a long with my vintage fifties Christmas songs, exclaim oh and ah when the lights are plugged in again for the first time and secretly smile with anticipation when I wrap the presents.

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Mr.Walker is true man from the Northern parts of the Netherlands…that means a man of not too many words, solid as a rock and true to his word…but also a man of not too many frills. So when his wife starts unpacking the boxes with shiny and glimmering stuff, he secretly sighs.

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When he hears the fifties tunes again..he shudders a little. When I start singing along in the stores, he will give a stern look and a raised eye brow…I will bow my head and keep silent ;0) He is the centre of my universe and I respect where he draws the line in all this Christmas yodeling.

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However, since he knows how much I love Christmas and above all whole heartedly agrees with what it represents…he has bought for me a Christmas ornament each Christmas time for as long as we have been together and that is more than twenty five years. These little doves were the first…by then I already knew he was The One.

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Meneer Walker is een Noordeling, tja en dan is al de glitter en franjes rondom Kerst wel iets om even heimelijk van te zuchten. Maar Meneer Walker is t ook met me eens dat Kerst vooral gaat om liefde, dankbaarheid en weer een nieuw begin. En omdat Meneer Walker een fantastische vent is, die weet dat zijn vrouw heel erg van Kerst houdt, koopt hij elk jaar voor haar een kerstversiering. En dat doet hij al meer dan vijfentwintig jaar!

Love and Liefs, Johanna.

 

A Gentlemen’s Apartment, Part Two: the Details.

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Well, after my thrilled, happy yodeling yesterday, you guessed right:I really like the new dwelling of the Young Misters Walker.

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Here some details, that make me very happy. These candles are made out of wax but work on batteries…so clever!

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And how about this original Underwood typewriter from about 1927, next to a very modern printer?

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And smart 1960 traveling case for a whiskey decanter with some Star Wars collecties.

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And the Lads sure like their espressos

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This Fox protected the Youngest Mr. Walker from drafts in his former apartment. Read all about it on my previous blog, if you are interested that is ;0)

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Oh look, real Johanna’s on the wall..the college funding is secured ;0)

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That pumpkin pie was Thanksgiving dinner’s dessert and soo good!

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This chair is a design by Karim Rashid for Umbra. Not very expensive to buy new but I paid only 3 dollars for it in a thrift store some years ago. And it is remarkably comfortable. Leo the Cat agrees and more about him tomorrow!

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Och hemel, t is wel duidelijk na mijn vrolijk gejodel van gisteren dat ik erg blij met t nieuwe appartement van de Walker Boys. Hier nog wat meer kiekjes..en meer over de kat morgen!

Love and Liefs,

Johanna.

Hunting Season So Far…

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Thrifting for treasures to beautify and decorate our home is one of my favorite activities. Items I consider beautiful and that have a past from another loving home, just thrill me to the core. How wonderful can going green be? And than as a true Dutch girl of course…it has to be for the right price!

We moved last year from a rustic country bungalow in Canada to a cool modern house in a lovely suburb in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Walker and I decided that a change in decor was necessary and we both like Mid-Century Modern from the fifties to the seventies. Mix and match as we think is gorgeous ;0)

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The good people of Cincinnati do not care for the sleek lines of Mid-Century modern. Very good, I say, more for me! And I have snapped up so many ‘too-good-to-be-true’ items for ‘too-good-to-be-true’prices already. Every thrift store, garage sale or flea market makes my heart throb!!

Mr.Walker and the Walker boys love the way the house turns out but do not like treasure hunting, let alone me going on and on and on about all these excellent finds. Since they are really lovely fellows and the centre of my universe, I forgive them and so you, dear reader, are the next victim….

These gorgeous Drexel hutch and side board were last year’s best scores.

Here this year’s loot so far…

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Two lovely pieces of Kobe enamel ware ( $5.- for the two) , a 1950 Mellita coffeepot (love that color, $2.-) and how about that gorgeous Hornsea spice rack…good as new!  ( can you believe it, only $8.-!!)

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Lovely 1950 wine glasses (6 for $3.-) The two milk glass beakers look so lovely on the dining table with tea light candles ( $0.50 each) And how about that ice bucket with silver plate rim…for only $5.-! Be still my heart!

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And the BEST so far, finally after 2 years of hunting, the dining rooms chairs I was looking for and wanted so badly. Where did I find them? Just down the road, at a garage sale! The young lady that was selling them, told me her parents-in-law bought the set years ago ‘at some Scandinavian Design store’ and gave it to them when they just moved and were a little short for cash at that time. She was shaking her head all the time in disbelief and clearly considered her parents-in-law reckless hippies. She moved the set to the basement as soon as she could afford it. She wondered if 40 dollars, for the whole set was too much? Ha, before she finished her sentence the money was in her hand and the dining room set in my car ;o)

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The chairs came with a table, but I like my own table better. And I needed a bigger table in my studio anyway, so…tadaaa!

Mijn buit zover van t jagen op koopjes dit jaar, op garage sales, antiekmarkten en kringloopwinkels om ons nieuwe moderne huis te verfraaien. Ik ben zo blij dat retro home decor niet in de smaak valt bij t publiek in Cincinnati ;0)

Thank you for listening.

Love and Liefs, Johanna.