Local Heart, Global Soul

April 30, 2014

Trying To Inspire Them To The Love Of The Flowing Line…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s the evening that Little Mr. is away from home for a sleepover.  As per yesterday’s post Himself, Kiwi Daughter and I availed ourselves of the opportunity of eating out without “the fussy one”  and later, meal enjoyed and back home, Kiwi Daughter wants to do a family activity with Himself and I.

More specifically she wants to have a drawing competition. She’s got a book that shows you the basic steps to draw cartoon style figures and wants too see which of the three of us can do it best.

My heart sinks: I’m a detail fanatic and whilst I studied graphic art, I hated the module we did on cartooning.

We used to be set the brief: the cartoon would be judged by our use of as few lines as possible. I could never resist adding a few extra line here, there and well …everywhere.

I ask Kiwi Daughter if we could maybe just draw an object in the room instead. “Later” came the reply, first a few cartoons.

I explain that if you want to gain confidence as an artist then learning to “see” an object and then to transfer the knowledge of what you are seeing onto the paper is something that only practice can perfect. Copying someone else’s work doesn’t teach you the skill of how to represent something yourself.  Kiwi Daughter imagines herself to be arty, but rarely practices drawing at all. ” Too much work” she says. I don’t understand this at all, if you love to draw then surely it’s not “work”, it’s pleasure isn’t it?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The cartoons to be copied are chosen and we have a time limit so set to work. The first cartoon is a lady based on the form of an “omgekeered druppel” (upside down droplet) and the second is of a man based on the form of a “boon” (bean).

I think that the results between us were very even, there were few lines and the instructions were easy.

Kiwi Daughter then insisted on one more cartoon from the book, but I could choose which one. I choose a complex one because I want to get her away from her comfort zone of the most simple drawings.

Kiwi Daughter quickly gives up saying that her effort looks like a robot and Himself says his looks like an angry old lady. Mine is less of a success too, I’ve made her too long in the face and not wide enough.

Now we proceed to drawing something in the room.

Complex items like furniture are swiftly vetoed by Himself and Kiwi Daughter who demand something really simple please… I have a box of drawing pencils, how about we each take one and draw that? In the end I’m designated as the winner, but it doesn’t really count because I studied practical art back in my school days.

More important were the squeals of exclamation as the attempts were made, the giggles and the fun of a little competitive spirit. Next time we will do it again with Little Mr. taking part too and maybe slowly but surely I can get them inspired to draw for the love of the flowing line…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself’s effort…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi’s effort…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi Daughter’s pencil…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then Himself’s…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then mine…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)



July 18, 2013

Competition Result: Did YOUR Comment Have The Winning Ingredient?

Filed under: Competition,INDIA,Indian Cusine — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Apologies to everyone who entered my competition to win some specialist Indian cooking  ingredients and have been patiently waiting to see the results.

I will be totally honest and tell you I got distracted by end of year school events, family and work commitments and some traumatic events concerning friends and family.

The days have slipped away like water though my fingers and I complete and utterly forgot to go back and sort out a winner… something I’m rectifying right now. I copied all of the comments into one sheet and handed it to Himself to do the judging…  he’s read all of your comments and chosen:  “Doggy’s Style” as the lucky winner to be the lucky recipient of a box of goodies.

The winning comment was :

“Guess who is gonna reproduce this one over the weekend?
Yeah, that’s right, me!!
I could smell the roasted cumin and cilantro, delicious.

Comment by Doggy’s Style — June 13, 2013 @ 10:15 am | Edit ThisReply

…and Himself picked it out because he said he could really feel the enthusiasm behind the comment.  He was also influenced by the fact that it was clear from Doggy’s responses and links that he’d actually tried out some of the recipes, so double kudos.

Congratulations Doggy!!!

I’ll be in touch soonest to get hold of your postal details so that I can get your box of goodies off to you as quickly as possible.

I’m also going to add that if anyone would like to have a copy of the recipes in their “plain”state (without photos) for easier printing out, just contact me and I’ll email them to you.

Thank you  to everyone who took the time to comment…it’s always fabulous to get feedback and see what you thought of the step-by-step recipe posts.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 6, 2011

Stroopwafels explained and you could be in to WIN!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Today I am introducing you to a firm Dutch favourite: Stroopwafels.

These are made with a batter that is cooked on a specially made and patterned hot griddle, then they are quickly sliced in half horizontally to produce two very thin biscuits (cookies)  which are in turn spread with stroop and the two halves are rejoined with the stroop holding the two halves together.

But what is Stroop?

hmm… it’s a syrup, kind of caramel in flavour but different… it’s definitely not the same as Karo syrup, or Maple syrup, Corn Syrup, Golden Syrup or Molasseses (Treacle).

Each of these has a taste all of their own… and so too does Dutch Stroop.

The resulting stroopwaffel is a  thin biscuit that’s a sweet treat full of flavour. You can get them in different sizes, they come in the regular sizes and in mini’s but generally fresh ones made on street market stands are even larger than the regular sized ones pictured.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Standing on the footpath, eating a freshly made stroopwafel literally hot off the press is definitely something that you need to do in order to complete your cultural experience if you ever have the opportunity to visit the Netherlands.

My personal favourite is not really the most traditional of stroopwafels, the filling is the same but the outside biscuit is far thicker and whilst there is a lattice pattern on them, it’s not the same as the waffle “look” of the more traditional versions.

I prefer them to the others simply because they  they keep the great caramel flavour but are a little  less sweet than their traditional counterparts.

There are two schools of thought on the “best” way to eat stroopwafels:  some say that cold is best, the caramel syrup is more solid, but the other camps swears that the only way to eat a stroopwafel is to place it on top of a cup of hot tea, cocoa or coffee, and to let the heat of the steam soften the stroopwafel  and it’s inner stroop, to eating perfection.

Me? I prefer them cold. (….But what that actually means is: “They never last long enough to make it to the cup“) (sigh) Don’t  be fooled by the photo,  it’s a demonstration model only, the cup is empty and the stroopwafel lived not after the shutter clicked closed.

So… now that I have annoyed your tastbuds with a glimse,  I was suddenly reminded by my 101 Task list:

“80. Run 10 Give-a-Ways on my blog.”

…So here’s a chance to get a taste some of these for yourself.

Yes!!! A  competition and  chance to win some Stroopwafels Dear Readers! 

All you have to do is to write a comment to this post and I will put your name on a piece of paper. Entries close Midday Friday 12th August.

Then, on the evening before my post of  Saturday 13th of August  one of my kids will win the fight to draw one of the names out of the hat and  you might be that lucky winner! So…  Stroopwafels are added to the shopping list next week, who’s going to be the lucky one to get them in the post?!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 6, 2010

Please Open the Gold Envelope: A Winner is announced… 

Filed under: Blogging & Writing — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Yes, we are finally there, I have read and deliberated and hum-ed and ha-ed over who should be the recipient of the “Kiwidutch Prize for best summary that sums up your blog Contest” . It’s less important that I share your passion, (I may and I may not to various degrees) but I want to feel your passion, all the bits of you that goes into your writing and see that you write from the heart.

Deciding a winner was not as easy as I first thought it would be,  I assumed that one of you would stand head and shoulders above the others.. but that was not so, each of you puts a great deal into your musings, and it shows. Some of your posts amused me, some fascinated me, some bewildered me and some I just got lost in, in both a positive and negative manner… but I do understand that we are all unique individuals and that our passions reflect our uniqueness, so it’s par for the course.

So… I have decided to do a short summary of you all, but the Winner gets the biggest slice of the cake OK?

I was going to post the Winner last, but come on, they came First, so let’s put ’em up here first where they belong!

And The Winner Is.. Ta Dah, pass the golden envelope … complete silence and a dramatic pause for the mandatory drum-roll !  anincorrigible with his “Ramblings from a bass fishing enthusiast “ Blog!

He begins his sublime writing with a brilliant  title for his blog ” A fool at one end…    and a worm on the other” and his way with words gets even better from there on in.

This photo's by Kiwidutch but it's blatently borrowed without permission from fellow blogger "anincorrigible" "Ramblings from a bass fishing enthusiast " Blog because the results were to be a surprise

Post titles such as “The curse of the fishing classes...”,   ” A bucket as large as his Enthusiasm“,   “The Bass hit the rod like a bag of cement“,   “Gently I swung a mackerel into the quiet of the dawn”   Drew me in, literally hook, line and sinker and even though my favourite part of fishing is receipt of a catch, gutted and cleaned all ready for a nice fry up on the BBQ,  I felt the passion shine though here.

Fishing for Bass is clearly a seasonal passion and snatches of which, must be intertwined with family obligations, so when it all falls into place and a  fishing “fix” comes to pass it is clearly all the sweeter than a hobby or passion that anyone could do any time, any place.

Add to this the clear question mark that is plastered on any non-fishing-enthusiasts face when the subject of fishing come up ” Where is the fun of standing swinging a rod and a line around for hours when you may not catch a single thing?  Not just once, but every time you go out? ”

Very clearly for me, Fishing  is certainly a sport for optimists.

This photo's by Kiwidutch but it's blatently borrowed without permission from fellow blogger "anincorrigible" "Ramblings from a bass fishing enthusiast " Blog because the results were to be a surprise

But I do understand, because I think it’s the urge to go fishing is maybe similar to the  urge that I have to put needle, fabric and thread together and to create something from scratch, or the urge to feel pastry being rhythmically rolled benieth my wooden rolling pin, with wispy dusting’s of flour scattered around my stone kitchen bench.

It’s all to do with the deep sense of satisfaction and the patience of waiting for time to bring a (hopefully favourable) result…

It’s the relaxation and meditation as your thoughts are your own and you can focus on the sparkle of the first rays of sunrise on the gently lapping water, the gentle waking up or going to bed of nature and the solitude of the moment, with nature, and so different to the compact and concreted everyday environment that most of us now live in.

Most of all it’s about finding the little spaces in your life and cramming them full of things that make you happy.

My very favourite post? This one, the description is pure poetry: http://anincorrigible.wordpress.com/2008/08/

This Blog looks like a Fishing Blog, but actually, it runs deeper than that. It’s all about embracing a passion and writing about it well.  I also love that a lot of the fish he catches are returned to the water alive… Brilliant !

Now I want to give a short review of each of the other entries.  In order of entry into the competition, only... Here they are (the first sentence for each of you is how I would have advertised you in the shortest and best way I could think of:

Skylar Hope and her blog “My Other Half Isn’t…” Skylar’s  “Search For the Semi Non Fictional Prince Charming“, is a insightful look into a young womans search for a life partner within a self imposed and stupidly-short time-limit with cool music stuff thrown in.

Kiwi says: Looking for “Mr Right” she quickly concludes that he is proving elusive and that the Prince Charming Pretenders give her  an emotional roller coaster ride as they puff up her hopes and let her down, oft none too graciously.  Kiwi’s advice to Skylar is you write well, you have clear, sensible values and Sister, do not make compromises to your core values to suit any dweeb… The Gentleman you seek is out there, he’s the guy holding out for a girl just like you.

christiangrblr and his blog “tehbigwebtheory”  Useful and useless tips and reviews of websites with dollops of the author Christian thrown in for good measure. For reviews on the wild side, written to inform or put a smile on your face, it’s quirky and interesting read.

Kiwidutch says: Christian Some of  your blog makes complete sense and/or appeals, and some had me lost in the jargon in an instant:  it probably depends on the age of your reader and their current awareness of the technicalities of todays modern age as to how well your blog will be perceived. That said, that’s their problem and not yours. Via Christian’s site I have amongst other things discovered singer Mike Tompkins and played with digital sand way too much… One thing Cristian, you mentioned I’d feel guilty if I didn’t pick you as the winner…Ha! I chose my winner on higher levels of reasoning so your emotional blackmail couldn’t reach me. ( and yep, I DO know you were kidding!) Get to the point a little more succinctly in some posts and you may be onto a winner…

chibivega in her blog “One of the Guys, An account of a chick’s time as one of the guys and keeping up with life” is an insight into being a Gal in a very non-Girlie pass-time, Computer Gaming. She gets her kicks, punches and shots quite literally out of the computer or TV and will either kick your butt or talk tactics if you wish to take her on.

Kiwi’s Conclusions:  Naturally she has her gentle side too.. and like all good action hero’s and heroines, a sidekick too. Hers is called Grendal and we are all sure he’s a secret Viking in disguise. Being a Chick in the mostly male dominated genre of Gaming probably means that sometimes you have to muscle up to hold your own. Even to someone as Gaming illiterate as me, it’s instantly clear from her posts that she knows her stuff and probably has no problem blasting past much of the opposition. Her WordPress theme suits her blog perfectly. Ka-Bam! she’s good!

Allegra and her blog “Here’s to Us, be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” (-Dr. Seuss). and gives literary reviews  to mostly recently published books via a rating system of 0-5 that’s backed up with great reasoning and wickedly  insightful critique.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi says: Add to that her Green ideals and she’s a Gal to admire. … and  the phrase “let me show you how to use that zipper ” and subsequent meaning is one that I could totally relate to since my late Mother was one of those types too.

Allegra is a Gal after my own heart, she crafts, cooks, lives reading and writing and it all shows…

Hey and she’s into “real” books made of paper (recycled paper of course) and wind energy! Kiwidutch reckons that anyone into Windmills is awesome!

(the book photo at right is for you Allegra and are ONLY our children’s book’s in their bedroom…

Himself and I have a large room downstairs filled floor to ceiling in every available wall with books, but with personal family photos and stuff that would be too personally identifying are also in there, so no photo of the “Himself’s Office” will be posted here.

( Influenced by your posted photos of your bookshelves!)

Pie is a mate from over the Ditch… and his blog “Pie And Biscuits, the good, the bad, the ugly and the downright ridiculous” is a fabulous Blog could be summed up in three words as “Cor Blimey, Limy!”

Kiwi says: I love his  humour and take on events in and around London where he lives and observations on the UK populous and the irks and quirks of political madness. (although  recently a local burglar wondrously managed even higher degrees of stupidity)

Pie’s posts are exactly as pastry should be: Morsels of deliciousness, with the buttery crispness what comes from being baked in dry wit, and the flaky crunchy softness that tickles your taste-buds and leaves you wanting more than just one bite.

Pie’s only crime is to often leave me in tears… tears of laughter that is, and I’ve learned not to partake of his blog whilst partaking of my morning play-lunch in my pause at work… because I usually can’t control my mirth and I live in fear of one day having to explain to our tech people how the beverage on the computer screen or keyboard got there after exiting my nose.

A Mall Cop is taking a small pause from blogging at the moment to work on his upcoming book. That said, his Blog “The In(S)ane Ramblings of a Mall Cop”  is well worth a read though of earlier posts, he has a style of writing that will find you hooked on the posts and then delighted at the twists that often appear unexpectedly at the end of them.

Kiwi’s comment: Who knew that life as a Mall Cop could be so funny? It’s an “inside” look on an inside world that the customer usually never gets to see. Mall Cop has the Security Pass to show us behind the scenes. Flash your library card and sneak inside…

milkayphoto is a Photographer not only with passion (I also have that) but with bucketloads of  Talent ( I don’t yet have that).  Her Blog “Milkay Photography, …because Life needs Pictures” sports photos that will take your breath away. With Pictures like this, Life is richer indeed.

Kiwi says: I’m a detail fanatic and clearly Tracy is too… Check out the Squirrels in the “Critters” section if you want your mouth to hang open and check out the Playground photos too.. I loved them so much that I bought the book!

You don’t need to go on safari to Africa to get majestic and awe inspring photos, Tracy proves that you can find them in your own back yard. Since as an apartment dweller I only have a garden in my dreams, I’m totally envious of the amazing shots that she captures there… and her blog gives me a smile to start the day with whenever she posts.

Finally, My Prankster,  blisterina is another superb Photographer,  and in her blog ” Moody Over 40”  she shoots in Film, often in Black and White and shows us the results.

Kiwi says: I have to confess that I’m a little addicted to Blisterina’s “Places” photos… they inspire me, and remind me that I have a LOT to learn about mastering the art of Photography.  Blisterina calls herself a “Luddite” which to me kind of implied backwardness, but her photos are FAR from backward and in not embracing the digital age, she actually captures the present in a manner that is brilliantly unique.

I know this post has been the length of a small novel… I hope it was worth waiting for. Many Thanks for some great new blogs to explore.. I will be back!!!

May 1, 2010

Announcing the “A to Z” of Winning….

Filed under: LIFE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This post continues my post of 23rd of March, https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/are-you-crafty-im-offering-you-a-chance-to-win/ where I am celebrating my good fortune of winning a wonderful embroidery book, by in turn giving away two copies of Country Bumpkin’s “A-Z”  Books.

I’m a firm believer that we must all be thankful for everything we have, and not be of the attitude that ” when I have (more money, a better job, more free time,  a particular car, a holiday, a big house,  lost some weight, a new hairstyle, better skin, a more understanding partner, any partner at all or any other material item or wish) that then I will be happy…

I’ve come to realise that yes, especially at some times of my life, many things on my “wish list” might well have made my life a little (or a lot) easier, but they might not have made me happier.

When in the past I have had literally just a few pennies to rub together, I might have wished that times were not so hard, but I learned in these times the true value of money and that giving  (and receiving) can involve donating more valuable things than cash… like Time, Energy and Skills.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I have learned that when you don’t have “stuff” , and when you have nothing to loose that you are often more fulfilled then when you have possessions that you have to lug around, make space for, keep secure and fret over. That’s NOT to say that all “stuff” is bad, it’s not, it’s just that I am slowly learning about the stuff I collect and that sometimes when you have outgrown it, or never use it that it might be time to “pass it on” to someone who can…

I’m learning to reflect every single day on the Wonderful things that I have, ok, my health is often less than perfect but many people have it worse… but I can look at my wee family and say Thank You God, each day, I can delight in things like a little boys hugs and kisses and a little girls proud artwork, their excited stories and pleasure in small wondrous things of life. I have a wonderful husband who’s a brilliant Papa to our kids and who is a soul mate in many respects.

I’ve learnt that opening my eyes to see a need and to help out if and when I can, brings a joy that is different to all others. I’ve learnt that in “passing-it-on” that which you hand out to others in life often makes it way back to you in deed and kind and in a multitude of unexpected ways from totally unexpected people.  This circle often takes years to complete, but complete it does… “cast your bread unto the waters and it shall come back to you tenfold” are wise words that do come to pass.

I’m no Saint, far, far from it, but sharing little joys is one of Life’s pleasures… if I need any Thanks at all, the best way to express it is to “pass-it-on” … invite someone who lives alone for a meal, they will value your company and chance for a chat  beyond measure. Babysit for free, couples with young kids usually never get enough decent moments to themselves. In busy traffic, make a gap and let someone stuck in a side street into the flow with a smile and a friendly wave, find some little way to make someones day brighter.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These books offer a brilliant instruction on a whole range of embroidery, handwork and sewing techniques and are my personal favourite because of  the clarity of the step-by-step photographs what accompany each of the techniques being illustrated.

Sooo Who are our lucky winners?

To make it fair and to give everyone an equal chance, I wrote the name of each entrant on a piece of paper, folded it into four, popped them into a bowl and then got an independent  adjudicator (Himself) to draw out two.

There was high drama as the papers were throughly “mixed” around in the bowl, A drum roll of anticipation and some excitement as we waited for the papers to be unfolded… Who will it be?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…. and the Winners are: Linda A of comment 8 ) and Kathleen of comment 14) Congratulations!!!

… and the next good news is that I have two small runner up prizes (Not a book but a little surprise Dutch gift)  to also give away so the next two names drawn were: zara_bear of comment 17) and Elizabeth of comment 3)

I will be contacting you all shortly by email to get your postal addresses etc.

Congratulations everyone! To be honest I have had so much fun with this I will certainly be doing give-a-ways again… watch the blog and be in to win!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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