Lately….

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Little important nothings of the goings on at the Walker Residence. Like the summer nights that gradually start a little earlier, now midsummer has passed. It’s really noisy with crickets and cicadas chirping and buzzing like mad.

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Charley adorned with her favorite jewel is looking out for those cheeky raccoons!

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And what a glorious feeling it was, to safe together with a neighborhood boy and two police officers 11 little ducklings who had fallen in the sewer. Mama Wood Duck had alerted us with running in circles around the grate of the sewer. Amazingly, once we started hauling up the little babies, she settled herself underneath a bush in the garden calling to and collecting her brood.  The long limbed lady in hat is me, the handle of the net was a bit short and my arms were by far the longest…

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Summer baking..a lovely lemon pie and an upside down apple cake.

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Experimenting with markers…that’s actually quite hard to work with!

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Summer reading consists of revisiting classics like ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Middle March’ .But I also enjoy this delightful 1930 children’s book ever so much! I am certainly of a later date but it still brings happy memories!

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Youngest Mr. Walker was here for a week, and Charley enjoyed going for drives even more!

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And I always enjoy watching water striders. They have so many different names. In Dutch they are called ‘skate riders’ .

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But the Stars of Summer in my opinion are these elegant water damsels.

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De zomer gaat door, met steeds langere zomeravonden, samen met politie agenten en een buurjongen eendjes redden uit t riool , taarten bakken, lekker lezen, experimenteren met stiften , een bezoek van de jongste Walkerboy en leuke dieren in de natuur als schaatsen rijders en waterjuffers.

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Lately….

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What happened in every day life at the Walker residence? Well, there was a fabulous tea party with a couple fabulous friends in honor of a birthday.  The weather was perfect…

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Then the weather turned nasty hot and our backyard birds were so happy with our fountain.

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I gave a lovely smart cookie of a girl a book and card for her 6th birthday and look what she send me for a ‘Thank You Note’ !! What a talent and a promise for the future!!!

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It is always a secret wish of mine, to have chickens scurrying and scratching around in the garden. However, we travel too much and Charley loves chickens in different way (nicely cut up in her bowl…) So I am very happy with this jolly fat chicken, I found in a yard sale for 5 dollar and she takes care of herself!!!

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Knitting these mittens is such bliss…at least when my hands are not too hot and sweaty.

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And I finished and blocked this colorful shawl. Charley thinks it matches her coat very well.

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Wat gebeurde er zoal in Huize Walker de laatste tijd? Nou bijvoorbeeld een gezellig thee partijtje met gezellige vriendinnen. Vogels die verkoeling zoeken van wel heel heet weer.Een bijzonder leuk meisje die een wel heel fraai bedankbriefje stuurde voor een cadeautje met kaartje. En ach…deze gezellige dikke kip!! Slechts 5 dollar op een garage sale en zij zorgt ook nog es voor zichzelf. Charley was teleurgesteld want zij ziet liever een kipje lekker in t pannetje ;o) Zij wilde wel even fotomodel zijn voor deze gebreide sjaal…en als t niet klef heet is, brei ik ook graag aan deze wanten.

Happy Canada day and Happy Fourth of July…a nice long weekend for all here in North America!
Love and Liefs, Johanna

Lately…

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Well Spring has sprung and gave, next to work in the garden, lots of beautiful flowers in home to enjoy.

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There was painting to be done, the kitchen looks nice and shiny again.

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We had lovely warm days and I had plenty of time too, to just sit in the garden and watch birds and ‘our’ squirrels. They hardly left the owl box they live in and I suspected they had babies.

DSC_1049-001And indeed , we got some glimpses of them. There seem to be two…I am not always a fan of those greedy squirrels but this is so cute.

DSC_1040-001Knitting at the moment is this simple shawl but such a joy with this incredible yarn in the most beautiful colors. I so wanted to knit in colors after reading this book about Sonia Delaunay.

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I watched the documentary on Vivian Maier and I am fascinated by her story. A sad story too in a way. I ordered her books from the library and I am enjoying it so much…what an incredible talent this remarkable woman had!

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DSC_1104-001My sister was here with my brother-in-law for a whole week …such bliss. She spoiled me rotten and amongst the many presents she left me with, this lovely donkey for my collection. She shook her head…

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Am I the only one who loves these??? Mr. Walker says, he likes them best in my studio ;0) …but I am still moping and sulking now my sister travelled back all the way to The Netherlands.


So best remedy for that: busy working again! For instance on a tea themed card set a lovey friend requested…it makes me very happy!

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Aaaand Mr. Walker and I did also some very exciting traveling ourselves!! Can you guess where we were? More about that later.

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Nou dat was een drukke tijd met veel werk in de tuin en ondertussen genieten ook van schattige eekhoorntjes, de keuken kreeg een likje verf, mijn zuster en haar man kwamen op bezoek vanuit Nederland (en gingen weer terug, snif!) Lekker breien en weer druk met tekenen. En meneer Walker en ik zijn op reis geweest…raad eens waar we waren?
Meer daarover later!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Kelly’s Bear, Cold Birds and Judy’s Prize

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Finished Kelly’s bear…with the cold spell in the forecast, it seems he is in a good place. I hope, he falls asleep again soon and does not wake up before Spring;0)

And I will keep on feeding the birds until that time!

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And the Lovely Judy (please check out her blog, it is such a cozy place!!!) won the pillow cases. So please Judy, email me your address at colorpencil.2014@gmail.com and I will send them to you ASAP!

Have a lovely weekend!

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.

Birds!

DSC_7089 ‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’ -Henry David Thoreau DSC_7243 Although I love birds and love watching them, I do not know one warbler from the next. I have no clue what species this nimble nest builder is, but we enjoyed watching him/her weaving its pretty nest in the reeds.

We met this stately peacock in the zoo the other day, walking freely over the patio with an attitude of ” Why yes, I will pose for you for I am beautiful!” DSC_7167 And some more beautiful birds that were willing to pose for our camera… DSC_7296 DSC_7332 Love and Liefs, Johanna

This week…

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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.

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

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OK..it 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.

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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.

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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.

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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

This week… and Happy Easter!

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Spring, sunshine! Easter is just ahead of us. I made this sweet little bunny for a sweet little girl.

Mr. Walker and I went for hike at Long Branch Farm. The river was running its course again and brings new fossils. There are still icicles in the background but they will disappear soon enough now!

I made this hare for our own Easter decor…it has been too long since I made an ‘artful creature’. The air dry modeling compound used for head, hands and feet is called ‘Delight’ and I love it. It is featherlight but very strong.

We cleaned out the owls nest box..clearly it was used by squirrels during the cold winter. We put in fresh wood shavings to attract the owls…and this young couple squirrel said “Thank you so much and the location is perfect too!” So..I guess I am stuck with nesting squirrels;0) I hope we see lots of the babies when the times comes. I should read up on squirrels…I really do not know much about their family life come to think of it. I do know they ate all the snowdrop bulbs I planted last year…

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I did read up on Doll’s Houses. It has been a lifelong wish to have one and that wish was rekindled after seeing a nice documentary on it. Apparently, quite a few artists have a doll house, it kindles the creativity.  Well…now might be the time, why not?

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So what is left for me, is to wish you all a marvelous Easter Weekend!

Ha, de lente breekt nu echt aan na de lange koude winter. Nog wat ijspegels in de achtergrond maar die smelten als sneeuw voor de zon;0) Maakte een knuffelkonijntje voor een lief klein meisje en een eigenwijze paashaas voor onszelf. Ben aan t lezen en nadenken over een poppenhuis… t schijnt goed te zijn voor de creativiteit en ik heb er altijd al graag een willen hebben…En Meneer en Mevrouw Eekhoorn hebben intrek genomen in de nestkast die eigenlijk bedoelt is voor uilen…tja, hoe maak je dat nu duidelijk aan eekhoorns ;0)  Vrolijk Pasen!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

This Week… and a Little Give-a-Way

Oh man…Facebook is still making me mutter, grumble and scream. I have decided to let it rest until I have had another meeting with my IT fellow…aka Youngest Mr. Walker, very soon. But I still know how to make a nice collage ;0) And no better subject than my sweet friend, Princess Charley.

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Tralalala…Spring Equinox brought glorious weather and yes…Spring has sprung and what better way to start it with cleaning up the garden and having a nice bonfire to get rid of the ‘winter debris’.

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A Spring Hike made us smile at these very hungry ducks and wonder about Mr. and Mrs. Goose: they lay very still in the water when they spotted us. Maybe afraid, we would be interested in their nesting site? But normally they will honk and yell and hiss, to tell to buzz off right away. We have never seen this behavior before.

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Started knitting some easter eggs and I liked the pattern so much that I went overboard and knitted a basket full ;0)

Then my favorite magazine arrived..indeed the Dutch version of Country Living. So often I am asked : ” Are you ever homesick for The Netherlands?” and the answer is simply “No.” We were very happy in The Netherlands, very happy in Canada and now we are very happy in America. But I do miss my friends and family of course and certain foods and this magazine is a monthly joy and little dose of “Dutchness”.

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This month even featured a jolly knitting pattern of these egg warmers…what fun.But when I finished four, I thought, what am I going to do with it because I have so many egg warmers already ;0) So I am going to give them away to my lovely blog friends and you all inside and outside the USA can join in. Just leave me a comment why you need them and Charley and I will raffle them of as fair as possible. It is close to Easter so we better hurry up and we will do this on Thursday.

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Ik word helemaal dol van Facebook en laat t dan ook even rusten totdat de Jongste Meneer Walker me weer wijzer heeft gemaakt. Ik kan nog wel steeds een collage maken ;0)
Het is wel heerlijk lente geworden, dus lekker gewandeld en lollige eendjes en vreemde ganzen ontmoet. En gezellig aan t breien voor Pasen al en zelfs in t Landleven (jaja, hoewel ik nooit heimwee heb toch  een beetje Nederland in Den Vreemde;0) stond een gezellig breipatroontje. En toen dacht ik, ach…wat moet ik nu met nog meer eierwarmers?? Dus ik verloot ze onder mijn aardige blogvrienden..laat maar gewoon een berichtje achter en Charley en ik verloten ze donderdag…Pasen staat al voor de deur dus een beetje opschieten geblazen.

Love en Liefs, Johanna


Winter Garden and Long Exposure

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We had snow yesterday. By far not as much as the poor people who huddle together now to stay warm in the Big Blizzard. But enough to make a Winter Wonderland and bring the return of this fellow. We are pretty sure by now that it is a red-tailed hawk.

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Just a few days ago,I made these photos. I love the ornamental grasses in the garden. They bring color and texture almost all year round. And they are good place for all kind of insects to hibernate.

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I was just thinking that it was about time to cut them. The previous snow had left the bushes rather wild. In the back of the garden is a little wilderness. When I cut the grasses, I leave the ‘hay’ in a big pile there. This is to save the insects and it is fun to see how much other wild life that haystack brings, seeing the little holes there and birds on top, searching for goodies.

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There is more beauty in a winter garden.

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And than I looked thoughtful for a while at this bird box. It is made especially for owls and it hangs there empty for a year now. Sometimes I see birds fly in at night when the weather is cold, seeking shelter. That’s at least something. There are at least two owls in our garden, because I often hear them at night having loud conversations and keeping me awake. You see my irritation?

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Than Mr. Walker and I played again with the new lens (11mm to 16mm) This is a very good lens to use for long exposure photos. When you do that at night, you can photograph the movement of the stars. There is too much ‘light pollution’ around Cincinnati of course. But still good practice and a nice result. By the end of the summer, we have planned a camping trip to Yellow Stone Park. It will be dark enough there!

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Nou even wat sneeuw hier maar dat is niks vergeleken bij de arme mensen die nu schuilen voor de ‘Big Blizzard’. En de mooie roofvogel liet zich gelijk weer zien. Een paar dagen terug, had ik foto’s genomen van t siergras dat ik binnenkort moet snoeien omdat t zo fraai in de zon en vorst leek. Die uilenkast wordt maar niet bewoond terwijl de uilen me snachts wel regelmatig wakker houden…
Er is hier teveel lichtvervuiling om echt long exposure foto’s te nemen s’nachts. Maar t is vast goede oefening voor de kampeertrip die we aan t einde van de zomer gepland hebben naar Yellow Stone Park.

Love and Liefs, Johanna