maandag 23 september 2013

I am Allright...

Sometimes I want to write a post about a subject, but when trying to do this it doesn't work. I t seems that I can't find the right words, the right sentences, or the right mood.
At the moment when writing this, that occurs to me. That is why I write this now , and I hope the right opening will appear.
What do you want to write I asked myself...

I want to write about myself. On how I feel after Bram passed away, and how I cope with everything. In previous posts before -and even after- he passed away I have always been open about the situation we had to deal with.
I want to write about the things I do at he moment. 
My experience of living again alone after living together for more that 30 years.

Let's start than.. just as I talked to friends last night.

I often get the question: How are you? 
Usually my answer is: More or less allright.

Some days go better than others, but I can see at change happening within myself. The enormous pain and sadness I felt at the beginning has changed into a more acceptable feeling of loss and sadness. Tears can turn up at unexpected moments. But I know when that happens it will pass away, and I will feel better or lighter. I don't mind it if a day is partly filled with sadness.. That all is part of the process, and I am not afraid of it.
Ofcourse I often feel vulnerable, and there is the other feeling that this beautiful man is under my skin. That is a good feeling for me. I cherish that.

On the other hand, the feeling that he will never come back is there too. And that is something so difficult to see and feel. I know it when my mind is clear, but in a way I always hope that when I come home he will be there. I miss him. I even miss this man I had to take care for over the last years. It is a strange period in my life. To deal with something that I have never experienced before. 

I can say that I totally rely on my own feelings. That I don't need advice in that. Mourning is very personal. and no one can fill it in for you. I feel I am doing well...

Usually I go twice a week to the graveyard. 
To bring new flowers. 
To talk to him or be quiet. 
The amount of time is not important. Being there is enough. 

I got a poem send by Jos van Hest which is about going to a graveyard. That says it all.
(sorry, it is in Dutch..)

The graveyard is in the middle of the woods. About 20 minutes on my bike. There are always birds singing. You can see and feel the change of the seasons. Spring brought green leaves, and now with Autumn at the doorstep the leaves are turning into Autumn colors. 
For me it is a place to get into terms with everything. That is why it is good for me to go there as many times as I want.

Last week we did place the stone. It is logical for me to do this with my best friends P & A. We have done everything around the funeral by ourselves. We only had the undertaker for all the practical things which needed to be done. The rest was done by our circle of close friends.
So, to place the stone was one of the last steps we had to do. It all went fine, and was very special. Some moments in your life you will never forget.. this was one of them.

Ireland -and especially Connemara-  was a very special place for us over all the years we went there on holiday.
That is why this picture from the "Twelve Pins" was on the funeral card.

And that is why the stone on his grave comes from Ireland too. Simple engraved with his name. Simplicity was one of the key elements in his life..and especially in his working life as Interior architect.

(I am not going to show more about his grave. That is to personal for me, but because Bram was often mentioned in previous posts I think this just right to do.)

And that is also why the Crocosmia (or Montbretia) bulbs from Rossadillisk -which Anne did send me- are planted. It will be a little Irish Landscape at the end.

Well, I can honestly say that I feel More of Less Allright.

I did start working after the holidays. 4 lessons each day, and that went well. Tomorrow I get 2 hours extra and the plan is that I will work all the hours after the Autumn holiday in October.

After the poetry festival I asked if I could be a volunteer at the theater: "De Bouwkunde", just around the corner. They said yes, and now I already have worked at the cash- register for 2 evenings. Next will be the bar upstairs. There are great benefits in doing this. You can see the performance for free, and get discounts on other performances in town.
I haven't seen many performances over the last years, so this is the perfect chance for me to see at least 2 of them during a month.
I am not a person who stays inside the house. Even after he passed away I went outside. Since that day I make a walk each day. Walking brings me in balance. I wasn't feeling to well yesterday, so I decided to make a long walk alone. I did a walk we used to do together, but which we couldn't do anymore together for more than 6 years. Memories turned up of course while walking but I felt really better afterwards. But it might also have been the coffee with that "Appeltaart met Slagroom" after the walk that did the trick..

Bram and myself are so called People People and have always been interested in the world around us. That hasn't changed for me at all. And I am lucky with caring and supporting friends around me.

In a way it seems that Life has taken me back, and that I have taken Life back. Partly I think because I have a positive attitude toward life in general ,and deep inside I am an optimistic person. And partly because we have spoken about my life before he left. He always told me that for him it would be much more easier than for me.He was right in that. We have always talked about the issues of our life, and life in general. We have been extremely lucky with each other..extremely lucky that we have met, and shared our life for so many years.
I still have kept my positivity, and even from this hard time in my life I can see a positive outcome (but not every day). Mouring is Hard work every day... 
On the other hand.. I can understand that after losing the love of your life you can enter a dark part within yourself, and that you can fall into a deep depression...
Not for me at the moment......

But.. I have to admit..on the other hand..
I still HATE cooking and eating alone..
I HATE sleeping alone..and waking up alone..
I HATE coming home alone..
I just don't like it to live alone..
But I don't make it bigger than it is..some days I cook..some days I don't..
I am just not used to it, and it is just not so long ago that he passed away..
To be exact..25 weeks ago tomorrow..

Tonight I am going to see the 1949 Movie: "Jour de Fête" by Jacques Tati. I have seen the un-restored version about 25 years (or even more) together with Bram and I remember that we couldn't stop laughing. Tonight is the restored version, and Bram will sit next to me.

Last saturday -after visiting the graveyard with T- we went for coffee and cake to the Autumn-market at  the Nursery: Kwekerij "Het Nieuwe Veld"
I took some beautiful shots with my I-phone...and I feel that is a positive end of this blogpost..

donderdag 19 september 2013

About Dutch Fishermans Ganseys..and a bit More..

In my previous post I promised to write about the just released book about Dutch Fisherman's Ganseys. Written by Stella Ruhe.

In Dutch the title is: 
Visserstruien uit 40 Nederlandse vissersplaatsen.

There is an English translation with the title: 

Dutch traditional ganseys. Sweaters from 40 vilages.

(I couln't find it on Amazon, but there are some book(web)shops in Holland who also deliver all around the world.)

For many years I had on my bookshelve the only book on Dutch Fisherman's ganseys. Written in 1983 by Henriëtte van der Klift-Tellingen. The book is printed in black and white, has many pictures from beautifulganseys in it, and it tells the history behind them.
It is a good book, but the new book is better and more interesting. (but more about that book later in this post)

I have never made a gansey for myself, but I have always been attracted to them. 
Dutch ganseys (and the same is for English one's) tell a history from fishermen who conquered the sea in small vessels. Dutch ganseys were made from ca. 1875 till 1930-1940.
Always made by the women who stayed at home when their fathers, husbands and/or sons where at sea. Knitted in100% wool yarn, and usually in the colour blue, sometimes black or beige. 
A simple shape (T-model), and only knit and purl stitches and sometimes with cables where used. Very tradional (but nothing is worng with that), and they could last for years.
All fishermen communities had their own pattern. You could recognize that patterns, and all in the community would know where it came from. Also used when fishermen drowned and they could be recognized by their sweaters.

They were not made anymore halfway the 20 th century. Not that the fishermen didn't like them anymore, but because women were not interested anymore in knitting. Besides was cheaper to buy good waterproof garments than make them yourself.

Years ago I have done a schoolproject for which I had to do some research in Volendam. 
Volendam used to be a very important fishermen village, but is now one of the top tourist attractions. 
One things a lot of tourist love to do..(and I did it a few times too, with colleagues, students and friends..) is to have a picture taken while wearing the Volendam Costume (not the real one ofcourse with gold jewlery etc..). But it is fun..and funny..and all fake ofcourse..

Next to that I had to visit the beautiful little Volendam Museum. It tells the story of the village in the past. Now, there is money in the village, but in the past it was also a very poor village. No romantics there 100 years ago. Poverty and big families (Catholic!)

At home I have some copies from old photos taken in Volendam at the beginning of 1900.

1 girls knitting while walking  with her sister or friend among the village. Probably chatting and laughing while the sun shines. Laundry is drying in the sun and wind. They wear the traditional costume with simple wooden clogs.

But I also have a copy from Fishermen working at the harbour with behind them the vessels. The man on the left is wearing a traditional Volendam gansey. 

Probably knitted in black yarn, and in Dutch called: Sajet. This yarn is made from the fleece of the Texel- sheep. Short fibers  so not ideal for spinning, but with 5 threads and plying the perfect yarn would appear. Dyed after that with indigo, so the bright blue appeared. The yarn had a beautiful, natural gloss because of the lanolin in it, and you can't compare it with yarns produced nowadays. It was warm and water resistant  So perfect for working at sea.

It is not available anymore -they stopped producing it in the 60's- which is a pity, because it is beautiful (I know the look of it). 

Hotel Spaander in Volendam has a beautiful collection of paintings about the life in village seen through the eyes of painters. They stayed free in the hotel, but had to leave some paintings behind. Years ago a book was published about this collection.

Inside this book I found this painting by John Retting (1858-1932) from a little girl knitting. It might be a gansey for her father or brother.

Volendammer women where used to knit from a very young age. Always take your knitting with you. (see also picture above)
In the book are also more examples from Volendammer ganseys worn in daily life.

There is even this little boy wearing one.
If you look closely you can see 2 sections in the sweaters. There are horizontal bands. One has only stockinette (all knitted int he seaming!) while the other band has a variation..moss stitches or other combinations from knit or purl stitches.
The stockinette part was named ebb, while the other section was called flow.

A story was told to me by a member from the museum, that when the priest appeared at home you could continue knitting when you were doing the knit part (had to be evenly knit), while you had to stop when you were doing the other band.

Now to the book from Stella..
The book is a real Gem!!
The lay-out is Beautiful and Modern.

The opening page shows a map from The Netherlands with all places featured in the book. Stella has done research in all those places, and the book tells her enthusiastic story behind the ganseys and the research she has done.

After that page the next page tells it all.

A fisherman from Paaesens-Moddergat is proudly standing in front of the camera. In his right hand a big fish, and if you look closely to his arms you can see that he is wearing a kind of loose sleeves over his gansey.
This picture sets the scene for the book. You should be proud of yourself if you wear a hand-knit gansey. 

A lot of history can be find in the book. I was particularly attracted to a picture from Dutch Fishermen taken in Lerwick (Shetland isles). 

I have seen similar pictures in the Shetland Museum in Lerwick myself. The Dutchmen fishing for herring in the rough Northsea and very far out from their own village in the Netherlands. The storms and danger...they have been very brave.

In the book patterns and the specific stitch-patterns can be found from that big trip round the coast of Holland. All knitted again in various yarns. From Lopi Einband, LettLopi till Drops Baby Merino, Lima and in SMC extra merino... and in the New 100% Dutch yarn: Scheepjeswol Zuiderzee. the perfect color Blue for it!!

Here is the newly knitted Volendam black Scheepjes Subtile...worn by..perhaps a fisherman..

On the back cover you can see all ganseys featured in the book..

I hope for Stella the book will be a big Hit..
It is already for me the best knitting-book of the year. 

Now the rest of the Knitting World is waiting to be conquered..just as the Dutch have always done in their History of Sailing the oceans in the past..

O Yes... and bit More... is written on the top of this Post..
I did block the scarf for Marijke, (the angle-nurse -BuurtzorgEngel- in Dutch who took such good care for Bram and me. She was very happy with it, and she will take it with her to Ghana where she will do voluntary work for a few Months in a clinic..Very warm during the day, but cold at it will be usefull..

Pattern: Suki.
And yarn is from Shilasdair..

And I continue spinning...
All about practice..
So here is 156.80 mtr. of BFL..
Very Soft..

Not that even...
Plied.. and Proud!!

And More Fleece from Wol met Verve has arrived...

I am real into a Spinning Mojo at the moment..
One Day I have to go back to Knitting...Have to..but not NOW..

maandag 16 september 2013

A Delightful Sunday-Afternoon Filled with Art....

I just came home from a Sunday afternoon full of Modern Art..
Last Thursday I got invited by a friend to go with her to the opening of the exhibition:

at CODA in Apeldoorn this afternoon. (Thanks José for taking me with you!!) 
It is about a Collection of Jewelry by the owners of Gallery Ra in Amsterdam. In the past I have bought some items at this gallery, but over the last years, jewelry for me got out of sight. Since following the goldsmithcourse I got this interest back. Last evening I suddenly found an old 70's leather bracelet - worn by Bram - back. 

It is rather funny that he did wear this bracelet, because wearing jewelry wasn't something for him. It took some time before he said yes to me question that I really would like to have us a ring after being together for 20 years. But.. he did..and a jeweler made us 2 beautiful silver rings..with a little piece of gold.

But, I can see him wearing this with an silk India scarf and boots. At least..that is what he told me once..Yes..those wear the days of an artistic man.

I have found this photo from the beginning of the 70's, and he is wearing a rather sturdy leather watch strap. Very fashionable in those days. It is still in a box downstairs. 

He has kept it always in a box next to all the letters he got from his former lovers and friends (It tells his personal history and on rainy afternoons I like to read some of them). This bracelet is from that same period.

And the mustache? He has always kept it...and I loved it..still do, when I look at photo's from him. 
They say that man with a mustache are vain..
Yes..he was (in a way), and I loved that too...
Nothing wrong with men who are vain as long as they take themselves not too serious...

Since last night I wear his bracelet. 
And,I decided this morning to wear his bright blue Ralph Lauren shirt next to it, and it makes me feel good. Next to being with me in my mind,he is there too when I wear his shirts. 

A lot lot of jewelry lovers were attending the exhibition. In a way it was an exhibition next to the exhibition. was kind of trip through 50 years of modern jewelry.
Those 2 bracelets have always been favorite to me, and I still would love to wear them.
If only I had the money to buy them..

1972,Hans Appenzeller. Aluminium/ Rubber.
1971/1990, Francoise van den Bosch, Anodized Aluminium.
I have had the ring in the middle for years. Designed by Paul Derrez in 1975. When I had sold an item from my final collection at Art school I finally had to money to have that one made for me. At that time I was 31 and I did wear it till last year (a total of 23 years, day in and day out), when the silver broke and it wasn't possible to repair it. Now I only have the perspex pieces...who knows I might buy another one in the future. Simply because it is such a good design and a good design for a men's ring.

I think Paul Derrez is also featured in this broche -made out of fur and silver- named: 
Mr. Paul by Noon Passama in 2001.

I have a similar one. but mine has thorns to it...but...really have to search where it is left. And I know I have to buy a new dried rose for it.

1993, Esther Knobel, Metal/ Dried rose.

But, there is another bracelet which has always fascinated me. 

Made by Otto Künzli in 1980, and the title is "Gold macht blind". Inside this rubber tube is a red golden ball. You have to trust the designer that is is true...I so Love this thought.

One of the most personal items is this collier made out of circles taken out of an antique plate, which was used at dinners at the home of the collectors. Made in 2009 by Gésine Hackenberg.

LAM de Wolf made this collier from wood and textiles in 1982, called: Little Square, I have a multiple from her here at home which was made especially for Gallery Ra.  It is hanging at the wall for more than 20 years, and I still like to look at it.

Next to all jewelry, there is the exhibition "Paper Art", which I already visited with my colleague Riky in the last week of the summer-holiday.

A really "MUST SEE" I think. 
The magical world of paper in all shapes and forms.
Just some images for you to see, but better GO ends at 27/10/2013.

I came home round 4, and on my I-phone was the message that there was another opening at "Kunstenlab" in my city. 
Why not go there I thought?? 
Took my bike and went.

While biking I realized myself, that over the last years Bram and myself hardly went to see art, or went to openings. We both have missed that, and we often talked about it. Sometimes I went alone, but going together has always much better and more interesting.

But now I have to go alone. There is no one waiting for me at home. I can stay as long as I want. And in a way I love this freedom, despite the fact that (ofcourse) I miss him at those moments. 
But on the other hand I know he would like me to go and enjoy it.
He would be disappointed in me, if I wouldn't go to these events and stay at home instead of enjoying them. Luckily I am an Out-going person and I have no fear to talk to strangers.
And of course he is there too in conversations as I had this afternoon. 

The exhibition is called:
"Shared Heritage"
Group exhibition about the history of slavery in the art.

It is an interesting and often confronting exhibition on the topic of Slavery.
One part stepped out for me:

The installation 'Talking Hats' by artist Renée Koldewijn is about the subtle way the female slaves offered resistance against their oppressors. They developed with the headscarf a secret language. By the way it was folded around the head, they harbored secret messages.

This is exactly where my interest goes when I think about garments (which is so different from talking and thinking about trends in fashion). 
It is the message behind it..
Why do you wear it? 
What do you want to tell??
What is the history??

Those dolls, made in Senegal..they look the same in their appearance, but all are different. 
All have different DNA...Plastic DNA one could say..

I had a very interesting talk with Renée (and another woman who was born in Senegal) and was touched when we spoke about mourning and what color one would wear in the situation when a loved one passed away. At that point Bram appeared..
White, Black and Red are possibilities.
Red...that is kind of special for me if you have read my blog-post on the importance of red for me.

There are 2 dolls in the installation who wear a hat when someone has passed away and you can recognize it at the folded cross at the back.

I really would like to buy this one if it is not too expensive for me. I will contact Renée about it. It would be a nice gift to myself as part of my Mourning process.

Mieke, the director of Kunstenlab invited me to have dinner with all artists and I had a nice conversation with Margot de Jager. Her work is also in another exhibition in "Kunstenlab" with the title: Surprised, Lost (together with very delicate work by 

Being a "Textile Lover" I really liked this work of her. Paint combined with fragile stitching..

It was Truly: 
A Delightful Sunday-Afternoon Filled with Art....

I Promise:
Next time it will be on Knitting and Spinning..
Yes..did block that red Scarf and still spinning..
And a little review on the Gansey book..