Saturday, 27 December 2008
Jump on our merry go round and join a group of artists/crafts-women as they link hands around the world and tell you a little about their lives in art a
We are group of 8 women from all over the world, we have got together in what would constitute an example of peaceful idea exchange and diplomacy, and agreed to come to our blogs once a month and share a bit more about ourselves.
We choose a question and all of us have to answer it in our blogs. It will be very interesting to read what each of us has to say, taking in account how much our lives and crafts differ.
This months question is : how do you celebrate Christmas, what traditions do you have?
Well, the way I celebrate christmas has radically changed since I live here in The Netherlands. You see, Argentina (where I come from) is in the southern hemisphere...which means that christmas happens in...SUMMER! The holidays happen under the warm warm blanket of 35C to 40C. In addition, I grew up living right accross the street from a big, clean river and only 15minutes away from the Atlantic ocean. By mid- december school is out for summer vacations (until March) so this time of the year always means people with little clothes on, spending their days on the beach. Not precisely the same image one gets here considering it is grey, dark and cold. Not very recommended to walk around with little clothes, beach or not. The thermometre has barely come over 1C.
So, back in Argentina, the holidays have always meant family gatherings. Aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, grandparents, nephews...and whomever else. When you cross the threshold of 15 people... 20, 21...or 25 is not a big difference. In my house it was always 30 people. My mom and grandma would start at the beginning of December to plan the menu. Cold food, but in epic abundance. Porks would be sent to be roasted at mud-ovens, lamb, chicken, whole cows! salads of every color... the same day of the party my sister and I would spend it filling devil eggs, tomatoes with tuna, pears with rockefort... My father, in charge of beverages, would start "collecting" the alcohol in advance, using the holidays as an excuse to go visit wineries and buy cases upon cases of wine and champagne.
The best linen tablecloths, the best clothes and shoes and jewellery come out for the dinner party on the 24th of December. Dinner in Argentina is ussually at 9.30-10pm and on christmas' eve ussually later. When the clocks mark 12.00hours, children get their presents and we adults...keep drinking. I think we stopped getting presents when we were teenagers. The presents part never had a great importance in my family. It was more like...what do you need? That's the present. And we never really cared that there weren't presents for us. One thing we, girls, did get...was the premonitory pink underpanties: every christmas eve the single girls of the family would get a pair of pink underpanties. Pink marking your innocence (or virginity) and girly demour. On New Year's Eve - for a party much as the one on Christmas eve but with even more grandieur, food and champagne all nnight long- you are supposed wear them and begin the new year with your innocent knickers which will tell the gods and whomever else...that you are there all innocent ready for a man. When you are married, like me...you get nothing. Not even a tanga. Just a drunken husband to drag home.
The last time I spent christmas and New years in Argentina, after the family thing, we left at 3am to have some drinks with friends and then we went out. We walked back home at 7.30am and we went to sleep having previously had a swim in the river accross the street and a bit of breakfast (are we hobbits?).
I know it is too long already but... Christmas in NL. In our case we spent it alone, just the 3 of us eating a rich cheese fondue and lots of chocolate. Since we are very healthy...we pased everything down with a bottle (or two) of a nice white wine...you need it to dilute the fat from the cheese and chocolate! There were no gala dresses or things like that. By 8pm we were sitting on the couch getting ready to watch a movie...warm and quiet. Presents are exchanged on sinterklaas day (5/12) as I mentioned before. Some people exchage gifts on both days (and apparently in The Netherlands, crisis and all, people spent even more money than last year on the holidays).
There is first and second christmas day in The Netherlands: 25th and 26th. Nobody really knows what the 26th means... other than just another holiday (there aren't many in this country). And the 31st is the same. At midnight we go out and greet the neighbours, wish them a good year and back in. Too cold to linger outside.
It is quite a change for me. Not only because of the weather. When I call Argentina on these days and I hear everyone gathered, chatter, laughter, music; it does feel a bit lonely just the 3 of us... but c'est la vie.
I would like to wish you all the best for next year. Many of us have started this year this new crafty venture...sometimes with more success than other times, but -at least for me- always learning new things and new people. And that is what I take with me from this year. Hopefully next year will be the same, or even better.
Happy New Year!!!
If you are interested, you can read more Christmas traditions following the links of the other ladies in the Merry-go-round:
Anna, Half and Acre
Agathe, Le bar du vent
Ruth, Birdland creations
Sara, Crafts of Texture
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Saturday, 20 December 2008
Red Swirls and dots glass bead
Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita
Well, I've tried and tried but I can not see any graphics on Etsy, so unfortunately I can not do my "Saturday Shopping list" today. I find it irritating that I can't see pictures, takes for ever to go to my own shop (which means I haven't been able to list anything for a week) if it goes at all... The weirdest thing is that there are many threads on the forum with people saying the same... but there is not answer whatsoever from admin. Hello!!!!
Anyway, here is a collage with some pics of a necklace I made with handfelted beads and one of the glass beads I made some months ago at that one day workshop. I just like the swirls on this one: white, red and transparent glass on top. The white has some streaks of cream and it looks a bit antiek-ish. I will list it later if I manage, or tomorrow!
Have a nice weekend everyone!
Friday, 19 December 2008
I saw something though that I really really liked and I knew my mom would like it as well. A beautiful necklace with 3 golden jade stones mounted with dragonflies and beads ...a beautiful necklace. So I thought, I'm going to order it for Christmas. Fabianne, the artist behind Easterya, had to make it for me so in the meantime we tweaked slightly the design for something I knew my mom would like. Loads of messages went and came from Turkey to The Netherlands...and then finnally, it arrived, the Bermuda Buttercup necklace in my hands...and neck.
It arrived beautifully packed in a little box with red organza and care instructions. A description of the necklace was also added (stones, etc).
Such beautiful craftmanship! so neat and well balanced. Gorgeous. I tried it on -obviously- and I'm afraid to say my mom will not be receiving this necklace for Christmas...this one is staying with me and I will be using it on Christmas night...sorry Mom....
I have to say, not only Fabianne is a very nice person and a gifted artist, but the beautiful creations, quality of stones, customer service, care for packaging, speed in delivery AND the fact that she offers free shipping, means only that I will be visiting her shop again.
Take a look....it's worth your time!
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Collage de fotos del Mercado de navidad
Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita
We did go to Aachen and we had a really nice time. Even though it rained the whooooole time and it was only 1C...cold and wet all day. But we walked around, saw lots of great stuff...mostly very good quality hand crafted items. Prices naturally according to the labour and I must say I was surprised to see to many great items and techniques. I really enjoyed it. However, if it had been 10 degrees warmer, it would have been fantastic! :)
We went to a big book store with several floors filled wth books where we got some stuff in spanish and alsp in english (so we both, husband and myself, can read them).
We had good food, and glüh wine, pastries and all those good german delicatessen.
We really timed our homecoming badly and we ended up in the highway at 5pm ...at the same time every person in Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands was leaving work...and people around this area move a lot from country to country for work, so the highway was a sea of car lights. Pretty for a picture (not so good for your nerves or the planet for that matter).
Here is a collage of pictures from yesterday. Click on it for a larger view!
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
I've survived! ahahaaa. Still with a cold but life must go on. I got bored in bed. After a while my head was boiling with ideas of things to do and try, so I got up and went to work.
We are leaving in a few hours to Aachen, in Germany, about 70km from where I live. We love going there everynow and then because it is a beautiful city with lots of history. But also, at this time of the year, one can catch the Christmas market... we are after wooden tree decorations, and that is one german especiality (not to mention the glüh wine as well...).
In the meantime, on my desk yesterday... this lovely hand dyed silk rods I bought a little while ago from a seller in Etsy (whose name and link I would post here if Etsy would let me access my own shop/account/graphics in general...according to the forums, there is a whole lot of us experiencing the same).
I will try something out with them really soon. For now I just take them out and look at them..and think..
I found the card of the artist behind this beautifully hand dyed silk rods. It is larkspurfunnyfarm. Do please visit her shop!
Sunday, 14 December 2008
So when is spring starting again?
Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita
I'm in bed, bored...and sick. Going through the folders with pictures (trying to organize them...what a task) I found some that I hadn't edited yet, from our trip to France last july.
These are wild flowers -most of them- and i love the colors and the fact that they are let to grow by the side of the road and not cut or fumigated. Lovely.
Have a nice sunday everyone. I'll be back soon.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
This is on my desk today. Ceramic beads/buttons I made. I just picked them up from the Atelier yesterday qlong with other goodies. I love how they look. Now I have to figure out a use for them... hmmmm
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
My kid has the flu which means that mommy will probably get the flu as well soon. Caring for him, the proximity... ussually means I fall as well... Dad on the other hand, never gets sick...hmmmmmmm
I have an appointment at the hairdressers (we all have in fact, it's a family appointment) but considering Seba's health, I think it will just be me. I neeeeed to give some shape to this mass of hair falling from my head. I'm in the mood for a sorta 50s style. Above the shoulders, falling to one side... mmmhdunno yet. My hair grows so fast that I can afford to have very short hair one month, a bob next and longuish hair soon afterwards (soon, a couple of months, I'm not a freak!).
Anyway, here I leave you with a new necklace. Red and grey dots. I just love the combination of the more calm and sober grey with a touch of passionate, strong red. Some people would say that is my husband's and my description: calm and ...red.
Needle and hand felted beads with glass (greyish ones), metallic and acrylic ones (red).
And it keeps snowing...
In the shop later today!
Monday, 8 December 2008
I will spend some time today reading all your blogs and getting a bit updated. It's incredible the pace of the internet world. I "neglected" it only for a few days and my bloglines is a bout to explode with unread entries.
For now, I leave you with a new front page on Etsy (thanks for the heads up Charlotte) :
Bottom row, in the middle: Black Magic Necklace
And a new necklace just listed: Winter Night
More pics in the shops!
Have a nice week everyone!
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Tonight the second day (for this family is multiple days) and hopefully, more gifts!
I just added yesterday this new necklace to my shop (yes, working in between packing presents). Very simple seed like grey and white handfelted beads.
Icy wool it's called...
In the shop...
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Now, apparently, when Nicola retired from his bishop career, he moved to Spain. He started then this fashion which goes on until today for every retired person in Europe to move to Spain. When you go to Spain these days you never know whether you are in Sweden, England, Germany, The Netherlands or...indeed Costa Brava or Madrid. Quite surreal, Dali would be proud.
Back then, the character of our story, took a servant or helper whatever you want to call it, Zwarte Piet: Peter the Black or something similar. Some say he was a morish servant.
Anyway, once a year, Sinter and Zwarte Piet sail from Spain to The Netherlands bringing Americo, Sinter's white horse with which Sinter will ride around the kingdom checking that children have been good.
For a month previous to the 5th of December, the actual day of gift exchange, children leave their shoes at night along with a carrot and water for Sinter's horse. In the morning they find in exchange candy, nuts, peanuts, fruits, small gifts. These derives from the middle age's custom of poor people leaving their shoes in churches at this time of the year so the rich people could put a coin in it. The fruits and nuts is a pagan custom. For those who aren't european, you have to understand that in this time of the year, everything looks dead here. Grey, cold, lifeless. Nuts and fruits (apples and pears, the last crops of the Autumn's crops) symbolized more fertile moments... in the dark and middle ages, fruits and nuts were spread on furniture, even the floor as a way of paying tribute to mother earth... and wishing reaaaaally badly the sun came out already so they wouldn't have to freeze their buts anymore and could eat something decent!
So, on the 5th (in NL and ex-colonies /6th in Belgium) Sinter comes and presents are exchanged. You are asigned one family member to whom you have to write a satiric poem about things he/she did during the past year and give a surprise, something funny.
Now, that is sort of the story. How did it go from San Nicolai to Sinterklaas... you know.. fonetics. I can tell you how it went from Sinterklaas to Santa Claus (if you say the first really fast, it kinda sounds like the second).
One upon a time (1600s) New York was New Amsterdam. The place had been populated by dutch immigrats, those running from the religious persecution in this country. There they followed their traditions, among which was...Sinterklaas. American Revolution... the english or new americans (not sure about this) took over New Amsterdam and re named it New York (see how smart this pilgrims...everybody followed the same formula to name their new territories: NEW + city from birth place which they miss like crazy). The english not being able to cope with the difficult dutch fonetics (who can!) called it Santa Claus...
OK.. long enough? There are of course several different versions of all this. This one is the one that kinda matches more historical events and I don't know... I like it better.
In this family we have Sinterklaas a couple of times: Friday with grandma, uncles, cousins, etc... saturday with parents in law, bro in law... sunday I sleep due to headache (try to follow a whole lot of dutch people speakign at the same time). Monday I go to the dentist with tooth pain after tons of candy (because it is all accompanied with candy...marzipan, chocolate, sugar coated nuts... all yum!), tuesday I go to the gym and run for hours in a futile attempt to burn a tenth of all this! :)
Here is Sinter:
And that was all for today class... we will return tomorrow :)
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Ok, charms charms. When you are asked to send samples of a certain dimension for a promotional bag (200 of them, although I won't be in each one. I run out of biz cards!), you think...suuuuure. In a month? of course. And then a week before the deadline you think..and now? what am I going to make? Can't make 20 scarfs...20 brooches? 20 necklaces?? mmmh no. So, 20 charms, needlefelted, wet felted, wired and embelished by yours truly. For your bag, cell phone or even as a pendant because I made a nice hook for hanging. By the way, I need proper jewellery making tools because my fingers hurt from pushing wire!
So here: not yet embellished...
All packed and ready to be sent to headquarters in Germany.
And now, to finish attaching a million seed beads to an organza super huge nunofelted shwal/wrap/pashmina. This is for a gift for Sinterklaas.
This post is too long already, tomorrow children, a lesson on germanic traditions: Sinterklaas. Don't say this blog isn't an anthropological gem! So rich in knowledge! :)
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
I'm burried under what seems a million different hand felted balls, beads, wire, papers bags...and I don't know what else.
i'm making charms for the DaWanda World 2009 Promotional bags. I'm a bit late so now I'm rushing while I also work on Sinterklaas things (a sort of Santa version from germanic peoples...comes on the 5th of December with presents).
So, I will be back soon.
I still can't see pictures from Etsy... can you tell me if you see the pictures on the mini Etsy here on the right hand menu?
Will be back soon!