Little moments

 The little things? The little moments? They aren't little. 
John Zabat-Zinn

Creativity can be a bit chaotic

Today it was sun and rain, off and on all day. And that's kinda how my day went. It started off a bit messily with some urgent panicky calls from work. There does seem to be some kind of curse that the day I take off is when everything goes wrong. But it got sorted. No stress.

I struggled with soldering a ring. It took forever. But I did it. I made a necklace which I think looks so cool but it needs a bit of a rework - wearability wise. I spilt a cup of tea over my laptop. Panic stations! But it's working.... mostly. A couple of keys don't work... but then there are TWO shift keys right? I had to make changes to a wedding album which I was dreading, but it was super easy. And I filled an order of this photo, it's so nice to be asked for prints. It's such a compliment.

And now I'm off to meet Jen to talk about more photo stuff and crafty bitching. I think I've earnt myself a drink.

Skipping school

I bought this large wooden bead last week. I totally flipped over it. It''s going to be suspended on a length of thick silver wire and turned into a necklace which I'll finish tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, as of this week I've got Thursdays off work for at least the next two months, so I can concentrate on other more important things...well more important to me anyway. And I am looking forward to it so much. I guess it's partly because I feel like I'm skipping school or something. But I'll be good. No ciggies on the back field.


This orchid belonged to Shona, who I used to live with when I first moved to Amsterdam. Shona left over a year ago now and the orchid has just come into bloom again. Every time I look at it I think of her and think how happy she would be that I haven't killed it yet. 


I remember the summer I picked everything,
flower and wildflower, singled them out in jars
with a name attached. And when they had dried as stubborn
as paper I put them on pages and named them again.

Wildflower - Stanley Plumly

Patch the havoc

Through portico of my elegant house you stalk
With your wild furies, disturbing garlands of fruit
And the fabulous lutes and peacocks, rending the net
Of all decorum which holds the whirlwind back.
Now, rich order of walls is fallen; rooks croak
Above the appalling ruin; in bleak light
Of your stormy eye, magic takes flight
Like a daunted witch, quitting castle when real days break.

Fractured pillars frame prospects of rock;
While you stand heroic in coat and tie, I sit
Composed in Grecian tunic and psyche-knot,
Rooted to your black look, the play turned tragic:
Which such blight wrought on our bankrupt estate,
What ceremony of words can patch the havoc?

Conversation Among the Ruins - Sylvia Plath

Wrong time

On Monday Mariko was meant to come and meet us at 9.30 am. She got up early and waited till exactly 9.30 am before knocking on the door. Except her phone was still on London time. And her phone didn't work in Germany.  So she had to email Marty in Abu Dhabi to text me in Berlin so I could find her. Mariko-san! You are the only one who can get away with such things because you are too adorable.


Berlin. 37 degrees. Slam dunk. Deutschebag. Bar 25. Trains. Prenzlauer Berg. Iced coffee. S or U. Notes. Sushi. Gorlitzer park. Grafitti. Brandenburger Tor. Stencils. Galu. Mariko-san. Sanne banana. Marty in Abu Dhabi. Toberoo and Sarah. Club Mate. Pho bo. Edelweiss. Checkpoint Charlie. Bier. 4th floor. Cafe sua da. Curry wurst. Flea markets. Amy Star. Heavy bags. Torsten. Photobooths. Bulletholes. Jüdisches Museum. Pretzels. 

So much for bark...

I had this great idea. I was going to mill some bark with a piece of brass and create this beautiful textured ring. It was going to have soft organic-looking edges and be all weird and edgy. So I collected up some bark, sawed some brass and squished it all together through the mill. And the result? Nothing. Bark is too soft and brass is too hard. Damn.
Not one to give up easily, I attacked a piece of card with a scalpel and milled that instead. Which worked. More subtly than I'd hoped, but I quite like it. I haven't given up on the original idea yet. Maybe I can try using seaweed... hmmm... or just some thicker card? I'm liking this fake bark idea the more I think about it.

The Summer Storm

The summer storm comes
Bolting white lightning; it goes
Muttering thunder.

The Summer Storm - Rebecca Caudill

Orange flowers

100,000 people gathered in musuemplein on Sunday night. Orange flowers fell from the sky. Despite it all, Holland lost. 

One very hot book signing...

Despite the heat on Saturday, so many people came down for Toby's Alledaags book signing. We met some lovely people, some who have been following the blog and others who'd seen articles online. Lots of familiar faces came down to show their support too, which was wonderful. The staff at ABC were so generous and friendly. A big thanks to them all, especially Jitse!

Toby drew a little portrait of each person who bought a book and it was so sweet to see their reactions. It was so cool to see how much people obviously connected to Toby's observations. An article on Toby and Alledaags came out in Het Parool today which is pretty exciting too. Go Toby! (There are some more pics here.)

Icecream grafitti

Laser 3.14 is an Amsterdam grafitti artist, who seems to have tagged half the city. His words are like short poems, sometimes provocative or just down-right funny. They always make me think twice. 

Speculaas icecream from Ijscupje is the best icecream in the whole world. That's all I have to say.

Unseen Beauty

How do you choose a name for a boat? We inherited our boat's name from the previous owners, who were New Zealander's too, hence Bruce. Such a sensible kiwi name. I love checking out the names of other boats we pass. Unseen Beauty is such a pretty name. In contrast. No-Nonsense seemed to sum up the owners perfectly.


Holland bet Uruguay. Amsterdam went mental. There were cars and vuvazelas honking all night. And this morning in Vondelpark there were groups of people still celebrating, drinking wine and dressed in orange, in the sunshine.