Local Heart, Global Soul

August 25, 2016

From Cute To Creepy, Quirky To Classical…

Around Burg Satvey Castle in Mechernich, Germany and in and around the Restaurant Kreuzritter inside it’s grounds, are many ornamental features. Everything ranging from cute to creepy, from quirky to classical styles are represented so there is a favourite to please all tastes. Enjoy!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Restaurant Kreuzritter / Burg Satzvey Castle / Mechernich / Germany

Burg Satzvey Castle / Mechernich / Germany

February 7, 2014

Palatial Inspiration: Dreamy Decoration…

This post is made up of photographs taken during  my visit to the M.C. Escher museum  in the summer of 2012. The exhibition is located in the former winter Palace of Queen regent Emma, on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague,  The Netherlands and the interior is ornate and full of beautiful patterns. I love architectural detail,  ornate patterns and want to store some of the images on my blog to use as future artist inspiration in some of my own art work. For my readers it is however, an amazing look at the beauty of the former winter Palace…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 2, 2011

Felt Christmas Ornament, the Kiwidutch Version…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s the beginning of December and for many western countries the shops have the  Christmas decorations out,  the background Carol music on and are cranking up their offerings of merchandise  to reap  the commercial benefits of the Christmas festive season.

I love the Christmas festivities too, but prefer to try and keep things  low key and true to the origonal spirit of  Christmas as much as possible by emphasising the value of gifts that are handmade with love, time and patience.

Tasks 11 and 12 on my “101 Tasks in 1001 Days”  project  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/about/101-things-in-1001-days/   are to make a handmade Christmas tree decoration for each of my two children, each year.

Many of my decorations in the past have been cross-stitched: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/stitching-ornament-heirlooms-for-kids/ but I’ve been branching out into felt ornaments in the last year and fancied making something a bit different  than cross-stitch  ones for a change.

Then I stumbled on a craft post on the internet that got me thinking… Jessica Okui  at  http://zakkalife.blogspot.com/2009/11/craft-project-felt-christmas-ornament.html  made a beautiful Christmas decoration from felt, ones that echoes a design of  paper or card decoration designs I have seen around  for years.

I liked the idea of working it in felt, but there were a few points about Jessica’s version that I still felt I wanted to tweek for my version.

First I knew I wanted all the edges of my ornament  to be stitched. Secondly, I knew I  wanted to stitch the two pieces of felt next to each other that radiate directly from the top and bottom of the ornament instead of leaving them oen as they are in Jessica’s version.

Lastly, I wanted not just to stitch the  sections together with thread but also to add beads. Shiny, sparkly beads, to twinkle in the light of tree lights.

So… here is a Step-by-Step tutorial of  the Kiwidutch Modified Version of a Felt Christmas Ornament.

Materials:
– 6 circles cut from felt  (mine each measure 6-7 cm / 2 inches across).
– Beads of your choice
– Needle that will fit through your beads. (a sharp needle goes though the felt easier than a blunt one)
– Embroidery thread of the colour of your choice ( mine match either the bead or the felt or both)
– Thread in contrasting colour  (for basting)
–  Decorative cord or ribbon for hanging up your ornament (20-24 cm / 6-7 inches)

Method:
1) Cut six circles of  felt fabric in the colour of your choice. I die-cut mine but tracing around a small jar lid would work just as well.

2) Place two of the circles over each other and with a contrasting basting thread, make a loose line across it vertically and horizontally, effectively making your circle into quarters. Then, still with your basting thread, divide each quarter in half again so that you finish with two circles of felt sewn together, and marked out in eighths.( This sounds more complicated when it is, the photograph below with the white circles and blue thread should make it clear).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

3) At the top of one of the basting lines, and stitching through both layers of felt,  attach a bead then blanket stitch the two edges together until you reach the next basting line,  add another bead, blanket stitch to the next basting line and add the last bead.  You will now have three beads attached with blanket stitch joining the sections between them.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

4) Repeat step (3)  only  at the ends of a basting line with a bead on it.This will give you a circle with: bead-blanket stitch, bead-blanket stitch-bead, then a basting line with no stitching  or bead at either end, and then bead-blanket stitch, bead-blanket stitch-bead again. (Again, it sounds complicated when I describe it, but the photo will show  you how simple it is)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

5) Repeat this process with the other two felt circle pairs. Once they are all completed, fold your decorative ribbon (for hanging it up)  in half and secure it to one side of the middle layer, then line up the other two sets of  felt  on the outsides so that the beads match.

Hand-stitch from centre bead (top) to centre bead (bottom, through all six layers of felt. (Opps, I know the felt has changed colour, I forgot to photograph this step on the white one).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

6) Starting at one of the beads that is not on the centre line, blanket stitch only one layer of the two  along  the unstitched edge until you reach half-way along the circle,  take  the closest piece of  felt from the next felt circle pair and join them together with a bead. (look at the stitched and unstitched sections of  the centre of the ornament in the next photograph to make this clear).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The easiest way to stitch this is to make a zig-zag pattern all around one side of the ornament, joining all the centres in the middle until you get back to your starting point and then to turn the ornament around and blanket stitch the remaining unstitched edges in the same manner.

Voila! a beautiful hand-stitched Felt Christmas Tree Ornament, made with love and that will make your tree sparkle for years (and even generations)  to come.

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that in the red ornament photo above, there are eight circles of felt (4 doubles together) and not three, as in the white.   The  red and yellow ornaments were experients where I used eight circles of felt  (4 doubles together).  Whilst I first thought that eight would be better than six, the finished  product is I think actually too “squished” in appearance. If you pull one side to make it look right it immediately squishes up on the other side.

To the other extreme the even bigger white ornament was made with 24 circles:  twelve “doubles”and I quickly saw that it looks very cramped indeed. I also used white beads on that one and they hardly show up or sparkle at all (at least in comparison to the dark glossy beads I used for the others).

This means that six circles of felt (3 doubles) appears in my opinion to work best and these are my new Christmas favourites!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 29, 2011

You know You’ve “Arrived” when One Owl beats Four Lions…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I think that this doorway probably is one most photographed doors in The Hague, and for good reason.

It’s located on the building that stands on the corner of  Kneuterdijk and Hoge Nieuwstraat, directly across the street  from the building in this post:  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/new-458/.

This door was made when you could  “make an entrance”  into a building in grand style,  it said something about the building, not just the address you were going to but that when you got here that you had indeed,  “arrived”.

And what an arrival… this grand doorway is recessed a little back from the pavement, but surely it’s beauty arrests any passing eye that processes  a love of detail, texture, architecture and ornament.  If it doesn’t, then I venture to declare that the world is blind indeed to the skill and craftsmanship that produced wonders in stone-masonry.

Every time I see this door and stop to look yet again,  my first dilemma is not knowing where to look first.  Your eye is drawn up, down, left and right as one detail after another grabs your attention.

The door itself is quite beautiful in it’s own right with decoration galore  from carved wood, wrought iron and decorative panels  to scroll-work and brass plates…. … but there is still so much to see…

The two sets of fierce lions placed on the outside columns usually get my first detailed attention, the lower set are in gray and the upper set are in white.

Then you notice the wrought iron and surrounding decorative bits both in the door and around it,  but invariably your eyes are drawn to the little owl that stands upon two bound volumes, peering down with his knowing eyes from his vantage point in the semi circular cartouche  at the top of the door.

There’s a Latin inscription set around him, but alas I am no scholar of Classical languages, so whilst this little bird sits on his books of knowledge, I can only enjoy in blissful ignorance.

I drink in this door, the photos do not do it justice. One day when I’m mobile I will be back and I am sure I will find new detail to photograph next time too…

Not bad for a humble door fame eh…?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 24, 2011

Windows give an Outlook on the World…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another folder in my archive folder holds photographs of  interesting  windows that I have found on my walking journey’s through the Hague last summer.

Their various styles naturally reflect the periods of the houses they are in, but they are united in the additional ornamentation that feature in combinations of brick, tile, ironwork, decorative features and glass.

Looking around any building of like age in this city, these appear to be standard features and not “extras” at all…

…and this makes me seriously wonder at the supposed “advances” we have made in the plain featureless “plain” boxes that architects today churn out in modern cities all over the world.

I ask myself if the progression from old style to new has really been “progress”?

Personally, when I see the detail and beauty in the bricks and mortar here, I see a balance, harmony, peace,  beauty and sheer mastery that exceptionally few modern buildings of  the last half century can even dare to stand in the shadow of.

Look at the combination of forms, how well all the different pieces fit together,  for me it’s like looking at the very different instruments in an orchestra and hearing a symphony when seeing the whole.

These are details that make me stare, inspire me and make my inner artist dream.

Call me a hopeless romantic, but I think the world needs more dreamers…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 2, 2010

Hey Birdie ! .. come live with me ?

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

I like wood, I like stone, I like metalwork… I like quirky, whimsical things that are hopefully not too kitsch. Some days  you just stumble upon something you fall in love with.

This belongs to one of my neighbours. If  it ever goes missing  they know to come search my house first LOL.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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