Friday, February 25, 2011


What  better way to get inspired and recharge the creative soul (after 6 months visiting and caring for my friend who passed away January 19) than to see the beautiful art from other friends' blogs. It was Carole who got me interested in Zentangle. I had seen this before and my thought like usual: "I'll try it one day", adding the link to my favorites and forgetting about it until....I saw Carole's creations and how enthusiastic she was. She was the one who gave me a push to give it a try. Lucky her that her birthday was around the corner so I made my first Zentangle into a birthday card for her.

Zentangles are doodles that are created using black ink pens and are meant for relaxation or meditation while creating a design. You don't have to be a professional artist to do this. Everybody can do it. This link will bring you to many tangle patterns to try out. It's a wonderful site to learn how to Zentangle.

Here is my second one:

Like I said earlier, everybody can do it. I got my granddaughter Jasmina (9) interested too and Monday afternoon we tangled together. I downloaded a  Zentangle fill pattern sheet  for her where she could tangle her heart out. This was the result:

Then she started on her Zentangle, which she hasn't finished yet.
I think she did a wonderful job. Sunday I take her to the annual craft fair in Zwolle and participate in some workshops.

Matchbox Valentines

Matchboxes can be turned into little chests for keepsakes or trinkets or as a little gift with "a gift", like these matchbox Valentines filled with heart candies. Jasmina made them for her Mommy for Valentine's day. Aren't they pretty?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cards made at workshop

A few months ago I made these cards at Corine's workshop. It's called the grid technique. It's easy and it gives a nice background to your card. I used the Martha Stewart scoring board.

In another workshop we made Christmas cards:

It's jam-making season again.

Every year, in August and September, someone in my neighbourhood brings us plums, apples, berries etc. A relative of him has a fruit orchard and the trees bear so much fruit he cann't use it all by himself, so he gives most of the fruit away. This time we got a big box of plums. Too much just to eat them so I had a job to do: jam making.

Besides making the regular plum jam I also tried out some recipes. I found an interesting one on a german site: peach plum banana marmelade. I had to try this one and it came out perfect and taste delicious. Here is the recipe:

Peach Plum Banana Jam
500 gram peaches
500 gram plums
1 banana
juice of 1/2  lemon
1 kilo jam sugar

Wash and removes the stones from the fruit and cut in pieces. 
Add the banana and mash the fruit with a stick mixer.
Add the jam sugar and stir it until it has completely dissolved. Bring it to a full rolling boil and boil it rapidly for about 5-6 minutes. Add the lemon juice.Immediately pour hot mixture into sterilized jars right to the top and seal. Invert jars for at least 10 minutes then turn upright. This will create a vacuum seal. Let cool.

This was my first batch. Also made blackberry jam from my own blackberry bush.  Two more batches followed in that week. It's time consuming but well worth the effort.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Trip to USA

It has been 8 months since I've posted on my blog. It's way too long. After we came back from our  six weeks vacation to USA I couldn't find time to post as other commitments took priority but I'm back and will  begin from where I left off.

The end of June we left for 6 weeks for our annual USA trip. We took our grandson Quincy (10) with us. After staying the first week with my family-in-law in SC, we packed our camping gear in the car and headed west for a 4 weeks tent-camping trip. Our main destination was Rapid City. That had been on our list for a long time. Every month I receive the SD tourist office newsletter and there are so many things to see and do in that area, like the Badlands, Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore etc. So this year we drove the long 1600 miles (2576 km) to SD. (not to forget the way back!!)  Half the way we took a weekend break with our friends Yvette, Michelle and Clarence in Champaign IL where their annual music festival was held that weekend.
Rumba Na Biso

A Little and a Big Buddy

The Gang

We left Illinois behind us and headed to Rapid City where we tent camped two weeks at the famcamp of Ellsworth AFB. From here it was a short distance to all the atractions.

Prairie dogs at Roberts Prairie Dog Town.

Quincy took part in the Junior Ranger Program and earned a badge and pin. They had to examine the furs, teeth etc of animals who live in the Badlands.

South Dakota road side oddity: Skeleton man walking skeleton dinosaur near Murdo.

Quincy with poker Alice at the Wall Drug Store in Wall.

 Mount Rushmore.

 Arts and Crafts Festival in Spearfish.
This was my favorite booth from Angie Pickman. She makes the most beautiful cut-paper art:   I had to buy a card from her for my Australian friend Carole, who also makes lovely papercuttings:

Reptile Gardens.
Quincy with Methuselah, the giant tortoise and South Dakota's oldest resident. He was born in 1881 in the Galapagos Islands and weighs 600 lb.
   Custer State Park.
A herd of about 1300 bisons roams freely throughout the park.
Not to forget the begging donkeys.

Needles Highway

Part of South Dakota Highway State Higway 87, the Needles Highway, winds 14 miles through some of the most fantastic scenery in the Black Hills. This highway curves and winds through magnificent rock formations called "needles". It also has two tunnels blasted through sheer granite walls. These tunnels are less than 13 feet high and 11 feet wide!

Sylvan Lake
Known as the "Crown Jewel" of Custer Park, located in the Black Hills. There are several trailheads at Sylvan Lake. We walked the trail  around the lake.

Crazy Horse Memorial

The Crazy Horse Memorial was started in 1948 by Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear to honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians. When completed it will be the world's largest sculpture. (Mount Rushmore could fit inside just Crazy Horse's head alone.) Sculptor Ziolkowski Korczak depicted Crazy Horse with his left hand pointing in answer to the derisive question asked by a white man, "Where are your lands now?" Crazy Horse replied, "My lands are where my dead lie buried."

Mammoth Site
The Mammoth Site is a museum and paleontological site near Hot Springs, SD. It contains the remains of fauna and flora preserved by entrapment in a karst sinkhole during the Pleistocene era. Mammoth bones were found at the site in 1974, and a museum and building enclosing the site were established. The museum now contains an extensive collection of mammoth remains. Research and excavations at the site are ongoing.
It's the world’s largest mammoth research facility.
In the evening, on our way back to the campground, dark clouds were forming with still a bit of the blue sky peeping out.

Devils Tower in Wyoming
Also known as Bears Lodge, it is a sacred site for many American Indians.
The tower is popular by climbers from around the world.
The movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind was made here.

There are several  American Indian legends about Devils Tower. This is one of them:
According to the Kiowa, seven little girls went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. In an effort to escape the bears, the girls climbed a top a rock, fell to their knees and prayed to Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock to rise from the ground towards the Heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. The bears, in an effort to climb the rock, left deep claw marks in the sides which had become too steep to climb. (Those are the marks which appear today on the sides of Devils Tower.) When the girls reached the sky, they were turned into the star constellation the Pleiades.

We walked all around the Tower and saw:
This beautiful bird, a robin, was posing for me. 
 June is a culturally significant time when many (not all) ceremonies traditionally occur. These bundles of cloth are  prayer offerings
Thistle wildflower

On our way back we stopped in Aladdin with a population of 15!

A stop at the Mongolian Grill after a long day. Yummy!!!!

Bison art in the town of Custer, where we walked a 10k (6.2 miles) volksmarch.

After two weeks of tent camping at Elsworth AFB FamCamp it was time to leave and start our return trip.

Falls Park in Sioux Falls
 Quincy having a quiet moment enjoying the falls.

In NC we stayed four nights at this family campground in Asheville. I can recommend this campground to anyone with kids. Quincy had a ball out there.
The jumping pillow was his favorite.
Having fun with water games.

A sand lice (or flea??)
Looking for shark teeth.

We had three more nights left and decided to drive to the NC oceanside and camped at Ft. Fisher AF recreation area. From here we could walk  to the beach.

A beautiful sundown from our campsite.

Back in SC with my greatgrandma.

On our way back to Holland.