Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Arwen!

Arwen is 1 year old today! Happy Birthday, sweetie! Unbelievable how fast this year has gone by. I remember holding her for the first time. So small, smaller than Foofur, but with those huge paws. She's grown into the size of her paws now. Still cute, still a puppy, full of misschief though, playful and happy. I can write about her for pages and pages long, but I'll let the pictures speak. Look at her first year in pictures on Facebook or Hyves (same pics, resp. English and Dutch comments). Enjoy!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Litha and more

Last Monday I had a very special Litha celebration with my coven. I really feel welcome there. I like them and I think they like me. :) Anyway, I have found my path back again. I feel at ease and confident about it. I can't share everything here. That's a pity, but that's just the way it is. I'll still share whatever I can.

Last year after I left the Temple of Ara I really felt bad, out of balance and lost. Now I can see it as something in the past. Phyllis Curott will always be dear to me and I've learned great things while working with her. I'm proud to have had her as a teacher. And a terrific part of the legacy is a group of wonderful women to work with, the Lowland Systers.

This is the robe I made for the Litha celebration. As you know I'm not a sewing-star (that's a huge understatement...) so I had help from Wonder and Ron. I have two belts: one straight and one braided (what a work!). The fabric (100% cotton) was white originally, but I decided to dye it. A bit of a gamble, but it turned out just the way I hoped it would! I bought the shawl some time ago and the colour fit perfectly.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

And the winner is...

Mike, you've just won a free copy of 'Learning To Stand'! Congratulations! Please e-mail me your home address, so Claudia can send you your prize. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Learning To Stand

Last year I let Claudia Hall Christian hijack my blog to promote her fabulous novel The Fey (see blogpost). Now it's time to let you know about the second novel in this series: Learning To Stand. I read it a few weeks ago. I was really looking forward to see how Alex' story would continue and I wasn't disappointed in any way. If you liked The Fey, you'll like Learning To Stand. I love both!

After all Alex Hargreaves has been through everyone expects her to move on. That's not as easy as they make it sound though... Alex struggles to get back on her feet. Meanwhile the world around her doesn't stand still. Things happen around her and she has to get herself together. She's the only chance of survival for a little kid. With the courage of despair she leads her team into a very dangerous encounter.

The book grabbed me and I couldn't lay it down. Page after page I wanted to read to know what would happen next. Indeed, a page-turner par excellence. Interested? Claudia is offering you a 20% discount on all of her books. Use discount code "BLOGTOUR" in her Create Space store. Learning To Stand is also available at Amazon, but it's not possible to offer the discount there.

But it gets even better! If you comment on this blog post you are automatically entered to win a FREE copy of Learning To Stand. I will wait until the beginning of next week to give you some time. Just like last year I'll put the names of the commenters on little papers and pick one blindly, so... take your chance and leave a comment!
Claudia will be checking in and answer your questions.

Some links to visit:
On A Limb With Claudia - Claudia's blog
Stories by Claudia
AlexTheFey - home of the Alex the Fey thriller series
Denver Cereal - serial fiction by Claudia

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Herbal fun again

Today I made a wonderful walk in the dunes with Foofur & Arwen. While they were walking around me I picked some red poppy (papaver rhoeas), not the opium poppy: that's papaver somniferum. Back home I put them in alcohol, oil and hot water (separately). Internally poppy helps against coughs, throat aches, hemorrhage, nervousness and insomnia. In external application it has a soothing and moisturising effect on the skin.

I love my herbal experiments. I have made quite a few. At the moment this is my window sill in the kitchen:
From left to right: herbal vinegar, lemon balm oil infusion, poppy tincture, echinacea root tincture, rosemary oil infusion, poppy oil infusion, valerian root tincture and poppy water infusion. On the far right is water with gemstones.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Ceramic art

Some time ago I noticed a picture on Flickr by Suzie Ridler that showed a lovely ceramic bowl. I did some searching and ended up at Etsy. De Baun Fine Ceramics sells beautiful handcrafted bowls, incense burners and more. They have all been created by artist Diane De Baun. She has been working with clay since the early 80’s. Her websites are full of wonderful ceramic art, so it was hard to choose! After a while I had narrowed down my list to two bowls. I couldn't decide, so I just ordered both! Last week they arrived and I love them! The left one with cats and triple moon is 4 inches in diameter, the right one 4 1/2. I've put them on my altar.

Do you want to shop for yourself? Here are the links:
De Baun Fine Ceramics - website
De Baun Fine Ceramics - Etsy Store

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


The last months have been tough. Ron officially lost his job on May 1st. We knew that beforehand, so we acted early to get all the paperwork and applications done in time. To cut a long story short: we did the right thing but the social security authority made a mess of it and sent us from pillar to post. I'll spare you the details, but it was very frustrating. We've had quite some weeks... Both depressed and desperate, but somewhere deep within determined to overcome this. And it looks like we are finally on a winning streak. We aren't there yet, not by a long shot, but I'm moderately positive.

Despite his qualifications and experience it isn't easy for Ron to find another job, because he is too old at 45. Unbelievable, isn't it? He had to think about what he would want to do first. That took a while to figure out. Some time ago we talked with my brother and he suggested that Ron would start his own business. Ron worked out the idea and we did some research. The social security authority agrees the plan is good enough to give it a try! So now we are at the beginning of a new path. It will take time to bring it about, but that's okay. At least we can work towards a positive future again!