maandag 28 september 2009

Sewing for the fall

The worries about Pelle are fading. We had a talk with his schoolteachers and they are going to monitor him, but for now there’s no reason to search for another school. I’m glad and happy. Happy because when I look at him, I see a boy who’s vivid, lively and really enjoys living. Who’s very happy most of the times. Who’s really sweet and cuddly. Who makes my heart sing, when I just want to listen to it. I don’t know what the future will bring, but will I ever? So I better enjoy living with him and letting his soul touch me.
All the more reasons to sew for him and make him the clothes that suit him and reflect my taste: colorful and sweet.
Since I so loved the green pants I made him last year, I wanted to make something similar, but in another colour. The pattern in Ottobre didn’t size up till 104, so I improvised on another pattern from a Dutch magazine called Knippie.
It came out very fine.

I also made a T to go with it and am working on a sleeveless sweater.

The blue of the T is made from a PJ from my father-in-law.
It's really a pity Pelle's not able to get to know him any better (he died when Pelle was one-and-a-half year old) because this was a humorous, social and active man whom I respected very much, so I like the little connection.

Tomorrow sewing-class starts again, and I’m going to finish yet another pant. More about that later.

donderdag 24 september 2009


School is paying of. Pelle wanted to do some cutting the other day. "In school you can cut", he said and of course I added as quickly as possible that you can do those things at home too. So here he is, making small cuts all around the edges of the paper.
The long awaited sign of something crafty!
(Tomorrow we have a talk with his own and the remedial teacher. I hope Pelle can stay there for the moment, because he has really bonded with both his regular teachers. And I love the idea of having him in the small, caring school in the village. I keep you posted on this).

zondag 20 september 2009

handmade in the kichen, part 2

This is the cover of a cookbook my mother made many, many years ago (I think during the sixties). She gave it to her mother-in-law, but she didn’t appreciate it very much. For this head-strong lady, handcrafting had to be useful. Embroidering or making thing from felt was too posh. Your time was much better spend knitting socks, sewing aprons and clothes, working in the vegetable garden.
But my grandmother died many years ago (reaching the age of 92) and now I own the cover and the cookbook. With a slightly moralistic tone concerning the household and lovely recipes. And probably one of the oldest pieces of handcraft of the many my mother made.
Thanks mum! I love it very much.

donderdag 17 september 2009

Opening up

I have not been so active with this blog lately because I didn’t sew that much (my serger is out of order, tomorrow I’ll pick it up from the repairmen) but more importantly, I had something else on my mind.
Some of you might know that I have had my worries about Pelle’s development. I wrote about it before. I can disappear into a black cloud once in a while, when I see him acting so differently than other kids his age. And when the teacher of the toddlers playgroup noticed him not at all playing with other children, I worried more. So we had some talks with an extra-care organization and this summer Pelle did some tests. Which he didn’t do well at all. They concluded that he has a developmental backlash and is retarded. Frankly, I find that a rather bold conclusion for a test that took only 40 minutes. But nevertheless, I have to face the possibility that they are right. That this boy of mine will not be like other children. That he has trouble learning new things and skills. That he will never go to college or a normal school.
That’s not something I can easily accept.
Because I have my dreams for him, which are basically him wanting to have the same live as I have. Going to college, having a job out in the world, finding a spouse, having kids, earning a living. That’s my view of having a good life. Of being happy. And it may turn out differently for Pelle. What’s in store for him? I don’t know and I think this scares me. And then the cloud is there, and I feel depressed.

But there are other thoughts as well. And other responses. Like really feeling and seeing my emotions. Mark and I are meditating almost every evening and are more and more drawn to a Buddhist view of the world. So I have my practice of really entering my emotions, so to say. And it’s a bit like my fear for driving. When I really look at it, I come to the conclusion that I can handle it. That it doesn’t mean my world is ending. Because my world is bigger than the images I have of a future for Pelle. There’s an open space which I can enter with him. My happiness should not be dependent on a narrow path I sketched in the future. I don’t have to be that narrow-minded. I don’t feel that enclosed. Now that I am confronted with my fears I feel the world is opening up for me, for us. Opening up like it has never done before.
Of course that doesn’t mean that my worries are gone. Or that the clouds are all blown away. But there’s a new perspective. I’m on a hill with Pelle, holding his hand. And there’s a beautiful valley below us, waiting to be explored. Mark is already a bit downhill. So here we go, the tree of us, entering a new world. Descending step by step. With a warm heart and faith in our minds.

I so love you, kiddo!

dinsdag 8 september 2009

Handmade in the kitchen

On with the series of handmade items in my house. We’ve strolled through the utility-room and enter the kitchen. First, there’s the rack with the aprons and potholders.

This one was made (crotched) by Mark’s grandmother. I won it many years ago with Christmas. Each year, we play a game with the whole family where we slide wooden stones along a board, into various holes. Don’t know how it’s called in English. (Sjoelen in het Nederlands).
Another pair of potholders are made by my mother, using patchworkstips.

Then there are various aprons.

I made this one for Mark when his hair was still dark. Yes, that’s very long ago. It’s from a magazine called Ariadne, which was loaded with tons of craft ideas each month. Crocheting, knitting, sewing, they had fabulous designs. Many issues made me dream away when I was teen. I so miss a magazine like that in Holland. (Ariadne still exists. But they changed the format into Home and Decorating. Pity, pity).
I appliqued the image of the druid from Astrix and Obelix by using the sewingmachine.

This apron is for Pelle. I bought it in our Fair Trade store in the village. It’s made in Latin America.

Our most recent one. Ready-made with comments from Mark’s colleages.

We end this tour with a look into the drawer with the bibs. There’s one from Astrid, which started this blog , and one (stained, sorry) I made when Pelle was a baby. The front is inspired by the cotton back.


So here we pause. And have a nice cup of tea.

dinsdag 1 september 2009

Goodbye to all that

After one day at school Pelle is fully potty trained. After all the efforts I put into it this summer I can hardly belief it. This is the child who did not want to use the toilet at all. But I guess he wants to please his teacher (he kissed her in the schoolyard, this afternoon. Yes, he can be so charming).
So it was time for me, to finally clean up the commode. A thing I had hoped to do a long time ago. And then sentiments took over. Because now there’s nothing anymore that relates him to his time as a baby. And I so loved to change him when he was little, because he always looked at me, and I so loved this special way to have eye contact with him. No that’s gone. Along with the diapers I threw away all those baby like clues. And felt a bit sad.