29 December 2011

Mini Donkeys

In this Christmas break we have been house hunting again.  We want a house with a bit of land cause we want to keep some animals; our cats of course and some chickens, but also some mini-donkeys. We read about them on the internet, but one has to see them in real before making such an important decision. So today we visited Falcoo Farm in Damme near Bruges were they breed mini-donkeys.


They have 34 mini-donkeys, from grey to dark chocolate brown and all as cute and fluffy. 


They are when fully grown only 75-82cm tall, so about as high as your hip. They love to be cuddled.


 They have such a sweet character, so now we're sure; 
we would love to have 2 someday ourselves. 



9 December 2011

Decemberwinkel 2011

Today this years edition of the Decemberwinkel opened it's doors. It's the second year I participate and it's the 3th edition. It always somewhere in the area of Kalmthout, this time in the village Heide, north of Antwerp and not far from the Dutch border.  I took some pictures so you can have a sneak in the shop, but I do hope you will go and see for yourself if you have the opportunity. There really is something for everyone, perfect place to do some Christmas shopping.








All info, links to artists websites, opening hours, map of  location, go to the Decemberwinkel website.


8 December 2011

Secret Santa 2011

There was a knock on the door this morning, it was the postman, he had a parcel for me :-) 
Always nice to receive parcels, especially if you don't know who they're from or what it is. I guessed it would be from my Secret Santa Swap partner and it was :-)  

For those who wonder what a Secret Santa Swap is; it is organised among the members by the Etsy European Street Team, who can sign up to send and receive a gift. You than receive the info about the person whom to send a gift too. And you receive a gift from another member.

This tumbled from the parcel:


A lovely postcard with sweet Christmas wishes, some nice chocolate and marzipan and last but not least a lovely handmade bag.


The bag has all these tiny pockets for organising ones jewellery.


Curious who send me this gift? It was send to me by Isodora, Eloise and Maria Angeles, who run this wonderful etsy shop. A big thanks to them for this nice surprise!

19 November 2011

Sweet Saturday - Soda Bread

Soda bread is so easy to make and nice with some (salted) butter, honey or cheese. I learned about it and bought it often when I lived in Ireland. It takes less than 40 minutes including baking.



Ingredients:
450gr of plain flour
1 teaspoon of soda (sodium-bi-carbonate)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
400ml buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 190°C and butter a tin.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, add the buttermilk and mix until you have a moist dough.
Transfer the dough to the tin and bake for 30 minutes in the oven.
To double check if it's ready, it should sounds hollow when you tab it.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!


25 October 2011

KADO KADO

Last Friday evening KADO KADO opened it's doors. It is a temporary shop in an old train station, which is now in use as a cultural station named Tracé, which means rail or track. It's an art gallery, it's a place were art courses and workshops take place and it's meeting place.

We named our shop KADO KADO, cause it has the rhythm of a running train to it, staying in theme with the location. Kado means present and which presents are better than hand made presents?


 







What to do if you want to open a shop like this? In short:
  • find a location
  • find other artists
  • make written agreements on costs, insurance and participation fees
  • get everyone to label their items with a unique code and list these in a table, so you know what's in stock. Easy to do the calculations of what is sold afterwards too
  • agree when who is looking after the shop. You need someone at the till, the wrap up presents and to help people in the shop

You can still shop at KADO KADO untill November the 2nd, find our opening hours here.

The first weekend already was a huge success, so there's bound to be another KADO KADO in 2012 :-) Want to stay up to date; become a fan of KADO KADO on facebook.


14 October 2011

Friday Find - Knit Stools



Claire-Anne O'Brian creates these knitted stools; I think they are fab. Comfy sculptures for ones house :-)


 Ireland, where's she is from, has a great tradition in knitting, but she takes it to a next level. She uses traditional natural fibres: sheep and lambs wool and still knits a lot by hand too. But her design, 3D inspiration and use of a knitting machine, make you forget about wooly sweaters.


No surprise she won the Future Maker Overall Award. This is an award from the Irish Craft Council. Ireland has a great crafting tradition and is not shy to promote their crafts. 
They announced 2011 to be the year of crafts.


 The Future Maker Award  has enabled her to purchase an industrial knitting machine, without which it would be fairly impossible to reproduce this collection of stools and any future collections of poufs, cushions and chairs. Now all I have to do is find out where we can buy her wonderful creations.

23 September 2011

13 September 2011

Logo Design & Design Barter

Sometimes I like to do something else besides playing with porcelain and silver. I do love the digital world too, I blog, twitter, ..... and I designed my own website. It needs serious updating, but still I got the query from my yoga teacher, Martine, if I could design one for her. Of course I would I'd love to. Although she has been teaching for many years, she needed to start from scratch on the web-presence and everything which goes with it. One of the first things needed was a logo. For this I called in the help of the very talented lady called Alex from RALEV, whom designed the logo for Two Trees.

We, Martine and I,  brain stormed about the logo and sketching some ideas. We made a brief of what the logo should look/feel like: needs to include the symbol is the aum /ohm sign and a circle. The sign may altered to extend out of the circle, this way it also reminds of a scale. As life not always stays within the circle and you need to find a balance in life too. Martine, my yoga teacher does not stick to one yoga school, but takes what's best from different yoga teachings, so the alteration of the sign stands for this too. As she is more practical in her yoga classes, the sign may be sleek and modern. The circle may be bright green, like the apples, or orange. The lines of the sign are to have rounded ends, not like the square calligraphed ones one usually sees for this sign. Colour of the sign, an off black.

This is the logo which Alex designed for Martine:


It's just like with my own logo, I just gave Alex the gist of what it should be and she just captures it ten times better than you even could have imagined. So if you would like help from talented Alex too, you can find her via this cool website, it's called DESBAR and is a place where entrepenuers, develeopers and designers meet to share their skills. DESBAR is short for design barter and I just love the idea, why not swop talent instead of sending each other a bill. Be sure to check it out!

8 September 2011

Spoons

I kept something tucked up my sleeve for you. 
Something new I've been working on: Spoons!



Each with a different animal head.



Safely stored and shipped in a handmade fair trade felt lined paper box.

4 September 2011

Happy Stats

Sunday is here, so is September, time to sit down and reflect on the previous weeks.

  • Discovering a way to make yummy hot chocolate in our aeroccuni (a thingy from Nespresso to whisk and warm milk)
  • Running the creative back office for Conlibrio, a job which is a nice addition to and in balance with my time spend creating with clay, silver and glass.
  • Finishing the chair for the chair project, so good to see all chairs together.
  • Receiving wonderful feed back (happy tears) to a custom story bowl, such a compliment!


  • Learning how to screen print at the wonderful etsy lab at Pini Piru's place.
  • Enjoying a lovely dinner on a rare warm evening outside, a nice surprise from hubby :-)
  • Receiving more and more orders for custom story bowls
  • Sientje (1 of our cats) being happy too, she what she just typed: H00000000000000000iooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!ç!G000

3 September 2011

The Chair project - part 4

Today the group work of our ceramics group is finally on display. so this is the 4th and final part about the chair project. For part 3 and previous go here.

Each chair of each member are on display in the garden of Katrien Van Baarle. She is in our group too and organises a ceramics event in her garden every 2 years. She made the chessboard you see below, followed by the other chairs.













I do love the diversity of the techniques and finishes used. It is so nice to see them together.

Besides our group work there is work of several other ceramic artists on display. You see some of their work in the pictures below with some general impressions of the location. You can still go there today and all day tomorrow. More info here (in Dutch)








If you are near Antwerp this weekend, go have a look; it's well worth it!