Monday, May 11, 2015

Textiel Festival Leiden

During the textile festival in Leiden I will be at a more than beautiful location, the Hortus Botanicus Leiden (one of the oldest botanical gardens in the Netherlands). In this garden I will have a little market stall nested in between the beautiful plants en flowers of this amazing garden. I will showcase and sell my handmade textile oriented items.

I am packing knitting needles made from branches of pruned fruit trees handmade by my loving father, crochet hooks I made from different kinds of wood, needles I made from hawthorns, beautiful woolen yarn hand carded and hand spun by my loving mother. So a real family business :-)

And maybe even more exciting, the Hortus Botanicus Leiden let me use some of their pruning wood of trees from this unique garden. I transformed them into beautiful handmade limited edition crochet hooks and buttons. All these items and more will be for sale from wednesday to saturday (13-16 may) in the botanical gardens of Leiden and afterwards the items will of course be available online through my etsy shop.

Hope to see you at the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden for a nice and serene walk through the gardens and of course a glance at my handmade items! Check out here how you can get to the botanical gardens.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hortus Botanicus Leiden

Sometimes it seems that wishes are granted, and fairy tales seem to come true. This is how I could best describe what I have experienced.

The oldest botanical garden of the Netherlands is located in Leiden (Hortus botanicus Leiden) and is celebrating it's founding 425 years ago (you are reading it correctly!). -check out their site here- My attention was drawn to their notification that one of their trees had to be cut down. As you all know botanical gardens always have unique specimens of all kinds of trees and plants.

I was in a courages mood and contacted them. I complemented them on their beautiful achievement (425 years and still standing strong) and also found some extra courage to ask them what they where going to do with the branches of this special tree. I send them pictures of my handmade crochet hooks, hawthorn needles and knitting needles. I ended my mail with the note I would love to make new items from those branches.

Against all expectations they wrote back that they loved my work and told me they where going to participate in a textile craft festival. They continued that my work would be an amazing asset to the selected artists invited to exhibit and sell items in their gardens during these textile art days in may.

They mentioned there was wood left from the tree they had cut down and invited me to come and pick out what I would need to make new work from their special tree. I was blown away, this was a dream come true! We agreed on a date I would visit. I wrote back that I wished to come a bit earlier to be able to walk through their amazing gardens and ancient glass houses. They told me they where closed for the public at the moment I would visit them, and noted that they would gladly let me wander around on my own during my visit.....

The day came, and there I was.. feeling like Alice in wonderland walking in awe through these amazing gardens and glass houses filled with the most unique and beautiful plants and trees in.

After spending an hour of wandering, indulging my senses and photographing I decided it was time to start collecting the wood I would need for my project. They also recently had to trim down another unique tree so there was lot's of choice.

At the end of the day I was invited in to have a cup of tea in the library (filled with plant oriented books and archives).


I left with two bags filled with the most beautiful wood and my heart filled with the most beautiful memories of what I had experienced that day.  I can't wait to go back with bags filled with all sorts of beautiful textile oriented items to sell in may! 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

waarmaakdag, paying it forward

A short while ago I got invited to be part of a great event. It is called 'waarmaakdag' in dutch, which translates into 'make it happen-day'. Professionals from all kinds of disciplines ranging from lawyers,  social media experts, tax specialists, design specialists and lots of more interesting people are asked to share their knowledge 'pro bono' with all participants of this event. This beautiful event is organized all over the Netherlands and I was invited to help as a specialist in my field (design) on a 'make it happen-day' in Leiden (a beautiful neighboring city of where I live).

traveling through Leiden
For me it was a very interesting first participation. Wondering what to expect I traveled by the break of dawn to Leiden. I met all the other professionals before the event began. A great atmosphere was already starting as every professional introduced them selfs. So much knowledge was going to be available that day! Every professional got their own neat desk which would serve as a consulting desk for all participants with questions. This was all happening on valentines-day so it felt a little like knowledge speed-dating!
my cozy desk for the day
When the event started, all participants started to consult with their specialist of choice. I was surprised how versatile the people where that took place at my desk telling their story's and asking their questions. It was really inspiring to be able see into their lives and work. Surprisingly I only had three people at my desk that asked direct questions that concerned design. All the other participants I had a chance to help, had such different questions. I was really intrigued and curious how I could help them. I quickly discovered that I of course did not only have to answer peoples design questions. I was able to use my creativity for any challenge delivered to me. It was inspiring to notice every person that left my desk, left it with a smile and renewed energy to take on their personal challenge. And in the process I also got in touch with people that could lead to some inspirational collaborations :-)

the location itself was inspiring already
The 'waarmaakdag' in Leiden was organized by the amazing initiative called de gangmakerij,
go check them out because they do a lot more interesting things!
These 'waarmaakdagen' are organized all over the Netherlands, check out for more info!

You can imagine I left that day with a smile that wouldn't go away :-)   

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Almost there!

After working like crazy on a very succesful christmas storm, I decided to take some time to renew the technical side of my etsy shop. And because everything was sold out (so happy about that!) I am collecting wood in nature and carving away to finish new hawthorn needles and crochethooks! I also found the time to develop some new lovely products I am sure you will all love. Can't wait to show all the new items, I'll keep you all posted!

Monday, September 22, 2014

limited edition extra large hawthorn needles

I've wanted to make these beauty's for a long time now but i couldn't find the time with all kinds of projects on my mind (which I'll share with you later on). Because the regular hawthorn needles all of a sudden sold out (yeah!) i realized i had to find some time to finish the limited edition. And here they proudly are, my newest finished product. Made from the largest thorns from the may-tree. Looking a little different from the smaller regular hawthorn needles, which where one color, these needles have the unique quality of having a darker colored tip. The needles are longer in size. They are also stronger which makes them great for the coarser textile crafts. I could only make a few of these beauty's because the largest thorns are a rare find. So if you would love one these beauty's to complement your sewing equipment, be quick!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

beautiful 'thank-you card'

It's always wonderful to get positive feedback from costumers. But I've never expected to receive such a wonderful 'thank-you card' from someone who got my wooden needles as a gift!  This one deserves a special place on my desk!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Interview in Trouw

Voor iedereen die vandaag of gisteren de krant Trouw doorbladerden kon het vast niet ontgaan zijn. Er stond een groot interview met mij in het katern duurzaamheid & natuur. Ik was erg vereerd dat de getalenteerde Maaike Veldman mij vond via internet en graag een interview wilde afnemen. Ik ben ook verrast dat het zo'n mooi artikel is geworden. Breed uitgemeten met allerlei foto's van projecten en producten. De grootste foto is van de jurk van het project Staindress. Voor degene die erg nieuwsgierig zijn geworden naar het verhaal achter deze opvallende jurk/verschijning kun je hier meer lezen over dit project. En daarnaast waren er nog foto's van mijn nieuwste collectie handgemaakte Haaknaalden van gevonden hout, en handgemaakte houten naalden gemaakt van meidoornstekels.

All of you that opened the national dutch newspaper Trouw yesterday or today must have given it a glance. There was a big interview concerning me and my work. I was honored to be contacted by the talented journalist Maaike Veldman. Who found me through the internet and wanted to interview me. After a long and interesting conversation with her I was pleasantly surprised to find such a big interview including several of my projects. Under which the notable dress from the project Staindress, for whom is curious about this project you can read more here. Also included where several items of my newest collection containing handmade wooden needles and handmade crochet needles made from found twigs.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NEW Knitting needles from branches

For some time now I have been working with my beloved father on a new product. Knitting Needles made from branches.

These knitting needles are made from pruning wood of different kind of trees.
The trees used have an ideal wood, but is only cut for pruning. The tree has better growth and fruit trees give more fruit after pruning. Pruning occurs yearly to improve mostly fruit trees. So no trees where cut down for these wooden knitting needles! Due to this, this product is very sustainable.

After pruning, the branches are hand selected to mach each other by size.
They are stripped of bark en hand sanded to make them smooth enough for knitting and to keep as much detail as possible.
Afterwards they are treated with a little bit of natural beeswax to preserve the wood.

These unique knitting needles can be purchased through my web shop.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Shop is online!

Finally! My very own shop is online!
It has two kinds products in it at this moment, The wooden needles and the wooden crochet hooks.
Soon there will be more to see and buy! You can visit my shop through this link or through the "shop" button above on this site!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Visiting Textielfabrique

I recently discovered this super cool sustainable initiative called 'textielfabrique' and ow my god I was sold. Such a beautiful philosophy and beautiful sustainable fabrics and yarns they have. I discovered that the shop/atelier was just a town away from me! I got in touch en visited the interesting woman behind this initiative designer, producer and teacher, Maaike Gottschal. We talked a lot about our experiences in natural dyeing and also investigated possibility's in the future. She also showed me her atelier/shop. It was so nice that I couldn't leave without buying myself something to experiment with... can't wait to find time to try this! In short it was a wonderful trip, let's have more trips like these!

A sneak peak in her atelier/shop. Showing wool she recently dyed herself by hand using walnut and cochenille
The 100% organic Indigo Starterkit I couldn't resist buying.

Having a glimpse inside the box reveals a lot of interesting things including marbles! Can't wait to try it!