Hi friends! Wow, it’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for me lately. First of all, Helena and I have just released Episode #2 of the Clothes Making Mavens podcast, in which Helena interviews Lauren Taylor of the very popular Lladybird.com sewing blog. Want to know what makes Lauren crazy-mad? People who have no idea how much time, energy, and creativity it takes to write a blog post and assume you’ll be happy to just write a post about [insert product name here] on your own dime. I agree! And I love how fired up Lauren and Helena get while they discuss it. Check out the podcast and let us know what you think!
In other news, I have been away on a wonderful trip to Utrecht, Netherlands, Oslo, Norway, and Copenhagen, Denmark for the past couple of weeks.
I was in the lovely city of Utrecht for a conference. Utrecht hosts one of the longest-running weekly fabric markets probably in the world. Every Saturday for, like, centuries (if a simple Google search is to be believed). And guess whose flight was scheduled to leave Utrecht on a Friday? THIS gal here with the thumbs. 😦 So no Dutch fabric shopping for me.
My husband sent me this shot of the view from his kayak on the canals in Utrecht while I was sitting in a boring conference session. 😐 Karmically, shortly after Dave took this shot a little boy of about 5 came running out of his backyard on the canal with a giant pole, and tried to knock Dave out of his boat with it. lol
Dining by the canal in Utrecht
In Oslo I visited a couple of friends, one of them a former student of mine who is working on PhD in Oslo. It’s a good place to do one, as tuition is free and students get paid a salary while they’re studying. So very civilized. Scandinavians really have their shit together. I thought about fabric hunting in Oslo, but everything was just SO expensive there that I thought it best not to even look. Instead I enjoyed the impossibly blue skies and inspiring architecture.
The skies above the Oslo Opera House
Urban kayaking in Oslo
Buildings in Tjuvholmen, Oslo
Well hello, Norwegian sailors!
The monolith in Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo
Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo
Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo
In Copenhagen I got lots of sewing room inspiration…check out this amazing apartment I rented through AirBnB!
One of the owners of the apartment designs and sews clothes and sells them in a boutique in another part of Denmark during the summer. I didn’t actually do any sewing while there, of course (I wouldn’t dream of using someone else’s machine without express permission, and besides, I was way too busy sight seeing) but I did spend a good deal of time just looking around this room and sighing. It’s full of printed knit fabric (right up my street!) and has a lovely view out over a very large shared garden.
The rest of the apartment was equally inspiring…
…except maybe for the terrifying gnome (I think that’s definitely a death grip he’s got on that poor fawn).
If you’re planning on heading to Copenhagen anytime soon, let me know if you’d like the info for this apartment.
And, on a very sad note, Dave and I had to say goodbye to our beloved little kitty Miss Pie earlier this week.
We’re not sure how old she was when we adopted her nine years ago (definitely full-grown, although she was such a tiny cat that ‘full-grown’ doesn’t seem like an apt descriptor) as we got her from a rescue organization. We were told she’d had a very rough go in her early years. She had no teeth at all; she had to have every last one of them removed due to a chronic mouth infection which finally mostly cleared up after her last remaining teeth were removed. For the approximately two years prior to that, she’d regularly fling giant blobs of snot onto any nearby surface (including my sleeping face) every time she sneezed. I am grateful we didn’t have to spend all nine of the years we had with her being so rudely awakened and cleaning up dried snot from various corners of the house. Have you ever seen that book How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You? Well, Miss Pie was definitely out to kill me. Her favourite spot to sleep was on my throat, and no matter how often I pushed her off my trachea as I woke up suffocating, she always slowly edged her way back. And when we adopted a new kitten a few years ago, Miss Pie beat the SHIT out of him regularly for the first year or so that he was with us, even when he got to be bigger than her. I’m sure he’s mentally damaged from all the abuse. Sounds like a horrifying cat, no? Well, she more than made up for it with her cuddly nature. There was no lap that was off-limits; no tummy that didn’t require kneading with her tiny paws. That girl wanted to cuddle ALL THE TIME. And I was happy to oblige.
Miss Pie was quite sick with kidney disease and pancreatitis, and it was really time to let her go. On the day we had scheduled the trip to the vet, my husband and I spent the morning cuddling with her in the backyard under the sun. Just before we had to leave, we went into the house to get our things and left her for a moment. When we came back out, she was gone without a trace — which was quite out of character for her. She was obviously all ‘fuck this, I’m outta here’, which made me proud of my feisty little gal. A few hours later we found her sleeping on the neighbours porch, and she smelled of tomato leaves, which makes me think she must’ve traipsed through someone’s vegetable patch. So she had a very good last day on her own terms, and then we said goodbye.
Love you, Miss Pie. ❤
Miss Pie – forever a photobomber
And that, my friends, is my lengthy catch-up! I hope all’s well with you. Thanks for stopping by for a read.