Monday, 30 April 2012

Queen’s Birthday

Today we celebrate our Queen’s Birthday. It is a national holiday.

I had a orange donut.


Hubby had a Tompouce (a Dutch pastry). The Tompouce has two layers of puff pastry, topped with smooth orange icing and filled with very sweet yellow pastry cream. I’m not a fan of Tompoucen!


On the left is our Queen Beatrix and next to her are our future King & Queen.


We pottered in the backyard and during our breaks I basked in the sun Batting Eyelashes. This is the first sunny day since a long time. According to the weatherman it will be also the last. More rain predicted for the coming days. When will summer arrive in the Netherlands?

As you can see the right side of the backyard is doing fine.


The left side is a little barren. The brush underneath the Magnolia tree has most likely not survived the sudden cold winter we had in February. The Platanus still needs to show its leaves and the Red Robin is doing its best.


The espaliers (leibomen) in the front as backyard are doing fine.


The hydrangeas are growing well.


A close-up of one of the flower buds


Guess this one didn’t survive the winter either. It really looks dead to me.


The Beech Hedge is doing ok.


This also applies to the re-planted beeches. 


I finally replaced all my winter clothes in the closet for summer clothes. The winter clothes have been put into large containers & will remain in the attic till October (hopefully).

I thoroughly enjoyed my long weekend. Happy that I’m having a 4-day workweek.


In my dreams I aspire the life depicted in Doc Martin, tv-series. Yes, I’m truly am a Nouveau Zen Country Bohemian girl incognito Big Grin.

Although it is not Cornwall, I found that Northern Wales gives me the same sensation.

Lucky for me, I’m only in season 2 – I can still dream for 3 more seasons.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Attitude for Gratitude – week 17


A disposition is a habit, a preparation, a state of readiness, or a tendency to act in a specified way. It reflects the concept of personality traits. Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviours in various situations. This week I had to reflect on my personality traits and my disposition. I’m happy to say, I’m happy who I am. Sadly, the ‘others’ aren’t. They don’t accept me for who I am and what I can bring them. I’m grateful that I posses the ability to accept, or tolerate differences and diversity in other people or groups of people.  It's important to understand that diversity affects performance, motivation, success, and interactions with others. In most workplaces they prefer homogeneity. It has taken me a long time, but I can accept that we can’t change everything, but I can change myself.

I love this note I got from the Universe: Asking someone to change, Helen, is like pruning a tree: neither will ever be the same again. Scarier still, is that you can't quite know in what new directions they'll grow. But hey, it's still your call. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Sadly, we aren’t always able to choose our circumstances. What gives me strength is to know I’m not alone in this. We can change however our own circumstances. I belief that my circumstances is the catalyst I need to come into action.    

I like to innovate and integrate where this brings benefits to healthcare in general but specifically for (future) patients. This is my Intrinsic motivator. I usually ask ‘what’ & ‘why’ we are doing this. This doesn’t make me popular with managers. I wonder how a leader would react to me. To me a leader is a “fearless innovator” who challenges the status quo and is unafraid to take high risks in search of high rewards, for customers, employees and shareholders alike. At the moment we are all in search of those ‘leaders’.

I’m gladsome for being able to replace my old SatNav with a new one. Driving in my car has become an better experience since I have the Nuvi® 3590LMT.

I feel upbeat after meeting up with Linda Collins yesterday. It was an inspiring meeting. I’ve gotten the urge to pick-up the needle and thread again. 

I’m rapturous after meeting some interesting people Friday. It would be great if I was able to meet them again soon.

Still a little intoxicated after my meditation session last Thursday.  Meditation has long been thought to have beneficial spiritual consequences, but science has also backed up claims of physical benefits. Meditation helps relax us, release pent up stress, and makes us feel more at peace. Especially the last benefit gives me joy.

The countdown for my 5-year blogoversary has started. How am I going to celebrate? The blogging experience has been exuberating. Although there are times that I don’t know what I’m going to write and many times I have nothing quilt-related to report, I still get a lot of pleasure from blogging. So I think I will continue blogging for another year.


Last Wednesday my SatNav acted a little funny or actually he (Bruce) didn’t do anything. Normally, Bruce guides me to all the places I want to go. This time, he remained in limbo. So I told him, I couldn’t accept this kind behaviour. He either started telling me where to go, as I don’t like being lost, or he would be replaced.

Can you believe what he did, before shutting down completely. He changed his gender. All by himself, he had become a lady. A lady speaking with an British accent. That is the last thing ‘she’ did for me.

So Thursday I made a decision and replaced Bruce 2 for a Nuvi® 3590LMT.

May I present Bruce 3:

Driving in my car has become an better experience since I have Bruce 3. 


I had to take this last photo while driving. Being a little naughty I know. But as you can see there was no other traffic on the road (do you believe me?) Anyway, the road signs on my Nuvi® match the ones you can see on the road (real time). It has the same city names. This blows my mind! And made me smile too. 

I won't be lost any longer! Now I have my new Nuvi® 3590 to show me the way Cool. I will always get there!

On the way back from Zutphen yesterday I had to stop and take some more pictures of these Alpacas.


They have noticed me!



Naturally I couldn’t contain myself at Petra Prins. I bought these back with me. Will I ever have time to make some of these quilts?




These are the 3 scarves I mentioned in my previous post.


I’m wearing the green one at the moment.


Because Cook&Co is only around the corner from Petra Prins I had to pop in. Bought these 2 things:

Measuring jug – the little one


A steamer basket



I’ll end this post with a colourful picture. These are the flowers I bought for this weekend.


Sorry, still haven’t made time to do some quilting! I’m letting myself be distracted by ‘life’.

Positive effect of blogging

My Saturday turned out a little different than I thought it would. When I woke up and checked my inbox I saw a e-mail from Linda Collins. About 6 weeks ago, she informed me she was coming to the Netherlands for a visit, after visiting Pour l'amour du fils, in Nantes. As driving is not an issue for me, however long it takes, I e-mailed back and told her to let me know when she could fit me in. It would be great to meet again.


So in the afternoon I got into the car and drove to Zutphen. We had planned to meet after her Reiko Kato workshop at Petra Prins. While waiting, I met up with Phyllis. Which brings me back to the title of this post. Both Linda and Phyllis I met in Houston last year. It is really amazing what a little blogging and a visit to the International Quilt Festival can lead to. Phyllis has a blog now too. You can find it by clicking here.  It was great seeing her again, after having a great and informative chat while driving from the airport to the hotel (last year November). And now she has a blog, I can get in touch with her. Last year, I forgot to ask for her telephone number and name. How sad is that? Yes, I got a little distracted by the sites and information she gave about the quilt show.

Linda is one busy lady. One thing I’ve learned this afternoon, while drinking a lovely cup of tea, is that she travels a lot. I’m a little jealous of her European tour. Read more about her travels here. What a great life she leads. Quilting & blogging has brought her so many great things. It was great catching up and listening to her Aussie accent. Looking forward to our next meeting. Who knows, we might be able to fit in some quilting, next timeHappy

For those who are wondering, we had tea here. We were even able to sit outside!

Petra was so kind to take a picture of us. I forgot to take one when I was in Houston. I sometimes wonder, if I had my thinking cap on during that week. Well here we are together.


I wonder where we will meet next time. Will it be Australia, some where else in Europe, or maybe again in the USA.

I would love to say I was coming October. Look what she is organizing.

Quilts In The Barn 2012.

Infinite Variety Revisited.

An Exhibition of Red And White Quilts.

5th, 6th, 7th October 2012

Also featuring Red And White Antique Quilts

by Mary Koval.

Sadly this year I will have to give it a miss, but can’t wait to read all about in October.

It is always a joy to take pictures in Zutphen. An impression.




I bought the scarves in the background.



Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Diary of 5 (or 6?)


quill and watch

Join the Diary of Five community here

A diary of 5 was created to give your senses a gentle work-out. To help you to become more aware of those little moments around you.

I am seeing... (sight) house sparrow flying outside of my window. They don’t seem to be deterred by the rain.

I am hearing… (hearing) the sparrows chirping away, They seem very content & happy out there. In the background there is also a buzz coming from my computer and if I try really hard to focus, I am also hearing  Teddy’s new water drinking fountain

I am smelling…. (smell) fresh coffee beans warming up in my coffee machine. I’ll be going downstairs to brew myself another cup of coffee real soon. But first I have to finish the ironing! Love the smell when I breathe deep with my nose when pressing our clothes (shirts, t-shirts, pants / trousers etc). The scent from Persil Pure Moments lingers a couple of minutes as the steam subsides.

I tasted …… (taste) a toasted slice of bread with lime marmalade for breakfast. The taste is still lingering on my tongue. 

I’m feeling ….. (touch) calm & happy

Sixth sense… spirituality I’m responding to circumstances of my life with affirmations of trust.  Life is a process of change. Therefore, anything that involves change contains within it the “demand” that we adapt to it, in one way or another. How we perceive the change really determines how we manage to adapt to it. I am able to embrace the change with open arms. Understanding trust dynamics is essential for conceptualizing both the governance of people (in corporate society), and their agency, i.e. their participation, citizenship, inclusion and resilience. Where I am now is a catalyst for change. My spirit is being enlivened!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Attitude for Gratitude post – week 16

Entranced after hearing Jason Mraz – Traveler/Make it Mine in hubby’s music room. Wow, it sound hundred times better than in my car. I love his cd ‘Beautiful Mess – Live on Earth’. Last Friday I was listening to it on the way to work and I turned it on really loud. To soak in the happiness. I guess I wasn’t the only one who liked it. All of a sudden some people in other cars started to swing Batting Eyelashes.

On the 22nd of November he will be in Amsterdam. Shall I go?

Looking forward to his new album ‘Love is a four letter word’. In my next life I hope to be a backing vocalist! And be able to ‘sing a song, sing out loud, sing out strong’ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

I’ve decided to focus on me a little more and live ‘now’. Next to yoga, I’m now also doing a meditation course. It was very intoxicating. Meditation, allows me to be aware of my surroundings, develop a sense of sensitivity in perceiving every moment, and enabling me to accept stressful situations, instead of avoiding them. I experienced these benefits during my first session, increased awareness, a feeling of relaxation, better mental focus, and greater clarity of mind.

Feeling jubilant after my evening out with an ex-colleague. We had a lot of catching-up to do and did this while we had sushi. 

Found a new distraction: Pinterest. Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more.

pinterest-pin-I’ve already noticed that some quilters I know have their own board Winking 

Yesterday, we had our annual family BBQ gathering at our house for our birthdays. Yes, hubby and I nearly share the same birthday. Isn’t it a coincidence, our birthdays being only one day apart?

I made two cakes on Saturday. A chocolate cake


A carrot & banana cake


For the first time in a long time, we had our birthday gathering inside. Usually, the temperatures are mid-20 °C around my birthday. Except this year Sad

This is what I got from hubby. My own Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag


And, a colonial canvas hat


My family gave me enclosed envelops. This will go towards my custom sewing table that I’m letting been made.

Thursday was an exceptionally good day as I received some good news. Lets hope I can share it with you real soon On the phone

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
-- Albert Schweitzer

There is Sunshine in my Soul this week!