Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Keep[ it simple" she said


The Festival of lights show at my friend's amazing Victorian home which is full of wonderful art, imagination, and little girls. is being held once more before they sell their home and move on.
I have not been felting for a long time, so I really have nothing for the festival.
Not participating is not an option, we have become family.
So, Amy said, "just do something simple, a few little things, it does not matter."

With that in mind I stabbed out five little bodies to make "simple" elves.


This is the first of the five.

 He is nine inches tall, and this is his pet, also nine inches wide.
I am incapable of keeping it simple.
Now I am on a roll, and will have to get busy to have enough to take to the festival.


It is so good to get back into stabbing, Feels just right, Stabbing raw wool into some sort of creature is amazing, As I have said before, I have no control over what happens, I am not responsible, the wool just takes off and becomes what it will. this time the spider surprised me, in a pretty great way.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

red stuff here and there


Red is not for everyone, It is an attention getter - not everyone wants to be noticed. When I was very young I wanted my super power to be invisibility. I still try to achieve that especially at social gatherings where I do not know people well. I find out what color the walls are and wear that color, I stand very still...I have nearly achieved my favorite super power.
And what might yours be?



Red just pops ! - everything seems more dramatic, even boys lying around in the sun. Or a door to a kid's shop.


The almost red chair sits waiting to be noticed, It is not quite red enough. Not quite dramatic enough. Perhaps that is why it is edging closer and closer to the canal...



Red is cheerful, looking though red shuttered windows has got to make the day look better.


more orange than red I suppose but still - a grabber!


This little dog does not like red, he is angry about red...
Red is also an angry color.


and this little dog is dead...in red...the shop owner loved him very much and could not let him go.
an ever faithful little shop companion. Red is one symbol for LIFE- so there you go...a confusing photo to carry around in your head for the rest of the day.


Photos from Amsterdam and Bruges.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Socialist housing, living in art.


Quite by accident Stella and I found Het Schip at the Spaarndammerplantsoen, 3 blocks of Proletarian housing, built during 1911 to 1920. At the turn of former century, the working class had been living in dismal conditions, burning peat, no water, no electricity, families of eleven living in one leaky cold room.
1901 the Housing Act was passed to improve the lives of the workers and families, which stated that everyone is entitled to good living conditions, with rooms, toilet, cooker, heat, garden Post office, school,and a community house.
IT was no longer possible  for greedy private owners to collect rent from workers living in dire conditions. 
Financed by cooperative housing association, run by worker's collective...socialists!


Het Schip is now an expressionist museum of Amsterdam school of Architecture, 120 apartments initially, now narrowed down to 80, still alive with inhabitants- the waiting list is about 15 years...

Living in art, sculptural interesting buildings , sideways tiles, symbols of freedom, fairness, socialism, the proletariat, the all, are cleverly woven into the fabric of each wall, building...amazing for the time, has got to cheer you up even on the coldest Amsterdam day! Humor subtly throughout, tiles in the pavement of adorable animals doing adorable animal things.





Patterns in brick of all sorts.
We went into an original apartment, kept pristine. It was roomy but not too much so, had separate bedrooms, a nursery, kitchen with a cooker and ice box, table for kitchen activity, dining room, living room, hallway- the lot! Windows- leaded stained glass, a small garden for each apartment, a little garden shed. WOW! I so want to live there, who wouldn't! I am sure it improved workers production as well , so nothing lost except greedy landlords...


At age 27 Michel De Klerk had shown promise in his architectural skills though he had not yet done anything but study and draw...He was hired for this project- he poured all of his skill, vision and talent into this new idea of low income housing.
He died 3 years after completion.


The housing act of 1901 is finally loosing steam somewhat, after two world wars and the new influx of immigrants, the increase in wealth, people now want to OWN their own rather than subscribing to the socialist idea of all in it together...rent freezes, low income affordability. And so, greed returns as it inevitably does with humans.
If you are in Amsterdam be sure to go to this neighborhood, the entire section is glorious, reestablishes that humans , at one time in history, did it right.
although, there is THIS! The HAM.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

la dame de fer


The zillions of antenna  at the top of La Dame De Fer are what saved it from demolition. Radio and communication became very important, more important than the "eyesore" of the Eiffel Tower after it's construction for a world's fair...
 It truly is the most impressive structure I have ever seen! Just amazing up close, MASSIVE and breathtaking!
It has it's own colour, Eiffel brown, which is applied every seven years, about fifty tons of it!
 The seventy some names of scientists , engineers and mathematicians are gold, the horses knee is pointing your eye in that general direction. 
Of course, not a singe female name is up there- that was then...


I did not go up in the little red elevator, I just stood at the bottom and gasped. It is astonishing. I did not expect it to be so, having grown up with it's image on everything in miniature, I really was not prepared for it's Majesty!


and it's elegance. She is a magnificent Dame!


Monday, November 10, 2014

art in the hall and more train from Portland



I walk with Erik to  the school, say goodbye, look around the halls a bit. Art on the walls- the top addressing the homeless problem in Chinatown. 




Train station not far, Grab an amazing sandwich at Lovejoy Bakery and eat outside with eight dogs, and several babies. Just like Europe where dogs are welcome and can sit at the table with their people.
The station ,  a step back in time, very clean and very nice.






We board, I am traveling business class, leather seat by myself by the window. The conductor forgives me for erasing the e ticket from my phone, even finds me a better seat than the one assigned to me.
Train moves along through pretty country, about an hour in, it stops, the conductor apologizes, blames the coal trains hauling their evil from Wyoming and buggering up passenger trains, We wait, Conductor goes out into the beautiful day and seems to be very pleased with it.
Nice break! 

I do not think he was entirely cross about the delay...

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