Bits and Pieces

Straight and Round
Originally uploaded by indigo_jones

I’ve been meaning to blog bits and pieces of the past week or so, but keep getting distracted. None of this is particularly exciting, rather just little observations and amusements.

The thing of most interest for us has been the fact that we FINALLY bought a light for the living room. Now that it’s getting darker earlier, we’re realizing a need for more light. My end of the dining table is getting pretty dark. With the new light, we’ll be able to direct more light onto the dining table now.

The lamp we bought is the one pictured here. We had seen it hanging int the window of a vintage shop on Voorstraat and it had caught our eye. We had originally been leaning toward buying a lamp from Nisha, a great little shop, but when we finally went in and saw this one, we just had to get it. Somehow it just seems right with the yellow sofa and orange wall and the salontafel (coffee table) we’re planning on buying. The fact that it’s considered vintage when it’s roughly the same age as I am is something I prefer not to think about too much. The lamp isn’t actually hanging yet. We need to get some little hook to help hold it in place and we also need a bulb, but that should be easy enough to take care of, we think. *fingers crossed* The lack of the necessary hook helped get €10 taken off the price, so we’re not really complaining. We still like the light at Nisha and we may yet end up getting that for the dining room.

Now for the bits and pieces:

  • Christmas is coming. We’ve seen the first Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet items in the shops. Blokker had various toys and candies related to them, as well as Zwarte Piet’s sack and Sinterklaas’ bishop’s hook. Pepernoten are in the stores, as well, and were out at Café de Potdeksel the other night. Kris has a bag of them that was being shared with his friends and he gave us a healthy handful as well. They were better than the ones I tried to make last year. 😉
  • In terms of completely random observations, we’ve been amused at the difficulty so many people seem to have with parallel parking here on our street, even when there’s plenty of space. Many people end up on the sidewalk, others seem to just give up all together, despite enough space for two cars to park.
  • We don’t go down the alleyway next to the house that often, so we sometimes forget that the vines grow a bit quickly. The other night, we got a little note through the mail slot, asking that we trim the vines growing down into the alleyway. At least, that’s what we think it said. We were able to read enough to guess that that was being suggested. As it turns out, I think the woman who wrote the note saw us the next day — after we’d already trimmed the vines. She seemed happy enough and friendly enough from the brief (Dutch) exchange. Well, she spoke Dutch, we nodded, smiled, said a few “ja“s and all went on our way. Sometimes we manage to figure out what’s being said, even if we don’t understand the convo word for word.
  • Speaking of Dutch, we’re getting our first lesson on Wednesday afternoon. It’s a relief to finally have lessons lined up. Even nicer that it’s through a friend and one-on-one (two-on-one?).

Arts and Crafts

Big Bare Tree
I’ve been busy this week working on a few finishing touches for some of the rooms. I finally got up the nerve to start work on the canvases I bought a few weeks ago. The end result is seen above. I’m quite happy with it, actually, and it felt good to be painting again. Maybe I’ll have to do more of it. I’m also happy with how the image turned out split into two canvases. It helps fill the space and adds a bit of extra interest to the fairly stark, simple image. The basic inspiration came from a photo canvas I saw in a local art print shop. Then I started looking for my own tree photo to use for the image, but didn’t ultimately find the right one, so I went with a photo of a tree I found on Flickr, although as usual, I focused in on just one small part of the tree.
Pillow #1
I have also been busy working on one of the throw pillows for the sofa. One down, one to go. I would have finished the first one sooner, except I broke the needle on my sewing machine while trying to square off a corner. Oops. The fabric was such a great find. It’s perfect with the orange wall and the big yellow sofa. I’m hoping to get the second pillow finished tomorrow, particularly as we’re having company next week. A business friend of G’s is coming into town for the week, so the pressure is on to get the house presentable. The language issue should be interesting. He only speaks Italian and my Italian is pretty rusty; even more so since trying to learn Dutch. I get so mixed up that I end up speaking a gibberish mixture of Dutch, French, Italian and English. Horosho!

It’s been a fairly quiet week otherwise. Mainly because I’ve barely left the house because it’s been quite warm and humid. It got up into the high 80s a few days this week. When you have absolutely no AC and not even a small electric fan, it can be quite uncomfortable. It’s warmish today, but at least there’s been a decent breeze, so it’s not too bad.

Oh! One last thing. I continue to love our local fish shop. So friendly! Today we stopped in for some tuna. There was a new (to us, at least) guy working there who was helping us, but the guy we usually talk to was there as well. He threw in a free handful of clams for us to try; probably because of the conversation we had last week about clams. I think we’re fitting in.