yule{tide me over}

we've had a few white cristmasses recently {belgium}, but not this year of two thousand and thirteen. we have had rain, and a stiff wind that blows any which way. i've had to fasten the cap, straigthen the scarf and pull up the mittens to the elbow. here's what i've been doing indoors.

finally adding the pulls to the few kitchen drawers i own. have been enjoying many televised cookery specials, enjoying yuletide from afar, whilest screw driving. 

folding and unfolding napkin papers into voluminous flower heads to adorn the throughway between front room and library.

have been rearranging my very own little corner of nigella, our larder. it is finally up to scratch! 

putting a christmassy-end of year curtain on the front room windows, bar the {promised} angels. one ended up in the tree {definitely not handmade}.

preparing food, glorious {sweet} food for boxing day. 

and finally. the "christmas" blanket! one roll unfolds twenty six squares. i'm doing two rolls a day, if i'm lucky. i did say.... i was going to show off the blanket by yuletide. here's, erm, one quarter? ☻

happy days to you all, and to the darkest ones of the year, in our nordic hemisphere. 
now. wait! is that narnia, calling? 
see yaaaaa >>>>>

corner view ≈ hobbies

as a child i played school alot. usually by myself. i drew in many notebooks, was even making some from scraps of paper. i hung out alot in my auntie's parlour, squawking vintage bits and bobs. sometimes she took me into the attic, scratching for more paper bits. those were high days, actually. sometimes i could not sleep from sheer excitement. 

i learned knitting from mother, and i learned crochet from others. i was never into sports, having held up with swimming on a regular basis just the once, for a good three months, as my son took lessons. 

i've always liked walking. reading has never left me. writing makes me happy. photography is an evolving process from the small childhood throw aways to today's trusted camera. 

i'd like to think hobbies change as we progress in life, purely for appetite's sake, but it seems to me the trusted ones resurface gently. the only newish one i might add to an incomplete contemporary list would be yoga. i've been at it for a few months and the calm and concentration flowing from it really helps. like poetry. jane's corner view, francesca's hosting, kristin's theme.

drawing | garland

i stood in  the thrift shop, groping underneath a christmas layed out table and stumbled upon mini x-mas baubles. like some twenty plastic bags, of which i brought home just three.

straightaway i fancied a garland with baubles, and started one yesterday, discovering fairly quickly time could easily grow into an issue. 

which it did, so for now, i've clumsily hung a green strand over a kitchen shelf, and i started crocheting a string for the orangey baubles. i honestly have no idea whether all of my baubles will find a strung home. ☻

leaving me a tad stranded, i am overly excited to check out your own interpretations of garland. here's looking at you, blog friends and creatives, and thank you all, for being so generous with your time and effort!

 patrice  barbara  ariane  dania  sus  tanïa  celine ♥ stefanie  cindi  norma  milady  kristen  joanne  emily 
 tammie  roberto  mano  lucia  kerstin  leena  kim  renilde 


there was this word popping up in the back of my head, a mixture of resurging music and a symbol to the end of a year tradition {not forgetting dorothy & her glittering red shoes on sunday afternoon}. 

a tiny little word with such an impact : made from paper, textiles, organic matter; folded, strung, festooned, patched up together, wreathed, ...  you name it. 

are you putting up garlands, in the month of december? because if you are, do take up on the drawing challenge and show them off this weekend, dec. 14th-15th. ... we'll string along just fine :   patrice  barbara ariane dania  sus  tanïa celine stefanie cindi norma milady  kristen joanne emily  tammie  roberto  mano  lucia kerstin  leena  kim  play ♥ you ♥ too ♥ play ♥ ...

corner view ≈ blankie

beth happens to chose a corner view theme that has had me literally hooked. the "reds and pinks" has turned itself nicely into a fully grown and daily used couch blanket. {UPDATE THOUGH.... this is a blanket post...} ☻

the "green waves" happened after crocheting a baby blanket for tera. i couldn't stop the addictive pattern. 

an oldie, i call it my "mock tudor rose". i hooked this one up as i sat through many seasons of the tudors.

this one i've been talking about recently. slight drawback : i air counted 444 squares, of which just 387 seem to be sitting inside the box. having measured three length rows to the bed, i've discovered i'll need at least double the amount of squares. ☻

and in case you wonder : i crochet to calm myself down. i've been called a compulsive neurotic but i'm pleased to say i feel for this winter nighttime necessity. jane's corner view, francesca's hosting, beth's theme.

drawing | swanlights

.... and not a swan in sight ☻, but listening to them, as i slid through vintage story books, putting my smallest scissors to use. stefanie tickled everyone's fancy i hope, she sure did mine.

corner view ≈ view on my street

for the longest time (all of two years), we had this evening view from our house, at the front side. i'm sad to say some 16 apartments-new-build now sits in front of heavenly beautiful natural theatre. i know it's there, we just can't reach it with the eye no more.... jane's corner view, francesca's hosting, kristin's theme.

drawing | everyday objects

i had my everyday mugs all lined up on the kitchen table, to have a good look at them and then paint them. for some reason, and as i walked sniffing the early december (!) air,

i decided upon a different everyday object, hopefully for the next whole month : my trusted crochet hook. i am finally assembling the 444 squares sitting in a card board box into a winter blanket. with a bit of luck, i'll be showing it off somewhere around christmas.

kristen did paint her kitchen everydays, and i LOVE 'em. go see, do. 

drawing | autumn {in herne bay, UK, part III}

it was on a late summer's day in 1985, when a farewell comittee consisting of one aunt drove me up the north sea ferry wall in oostend. my trolley took a dip and i hadn't even reached english soil. waving aunty's comments bye-byes, i left belgium. just 24 hours later my new life opened up before me, waking up in a canterbury b&b, planning.

reminding myself briefly of the previous night's downpour, i braved a cloudy sky and a bumpy busride into herne bay, an east kent seaside resort's name exactly the same as my hometown's (bar the bay, we have no sea at home). by the end of a promising day i'd landed myself both a job and a bedsit. the autumn sun had begun to shine brilliantly. i felt as if i'd come home. at last.

this is the second time since the eighties i came back to herne bay. i'd booked a room in a b&b called the priory, which in 1985 was called worth house and functioned then as a youth hostel for up to fifteen problem teenagers, in desperate need of some counseling and loads of tlc, joined by some fifteen staff. i became staff soon after my kitchen trainee days. 

i succombed gladly to many memory flashes in anticipation, and now as i'm back in belgium, memories flood still. i think fondly of cook mary, who patiently taught me how to make an english custard creme. i stirred a milky tea {for sentimental reasons only, because i don't like white} in my single room, bemusedly staring into the overgrown november back garden. if i remember the house lay out correctly i was given j's room. j was no easy chick to handle. how would j be today?

i searched and found back railway station back alley, still overgrown in exactly the same spots! i easily made my way back to both houses i lived in, and lingered in front of them.

i sniffed sea salty air, rotten weeds and broken shells, all seemingly washing ashore aplenty. not a single olfactery detail of the whole area, down to the petrol station's gasses, smelled different. a trip down memory lane can be so profusely repleneshing.

i've let this week's dc theme mingle with my trip and remembered just then i'd drawn an autumn leaf a year back. i decided to recycle that drawingi played about a bit. {a postcard of the ° drawing is available in my shop.}

doesn't this repeat pattern version make you long for a proper bar of chocolate? it does me and i don't know why! ☻ ariane shows us more of autumn. as always, and please do, walk with me, through herne bay, UK. 

let’s hang {+ give away winner} | into the next town {UK, part II}

i don’t think i have ever been anything else but a seeker. as of today i’ll commit head on: i am the seeker. i will most probably always be the seeker. searching being the drive force behind the creative process, i seek. {i’m guessing we all do.}

naturally i also want to find. to do so i’ve been asking myself defining questions. what makes what i do mine? a query happening over and again, many times. a day. yes. i’ll admit to that too: it is tiring. very, very tiring. i think i may hang my queries out to dry.

for now, i drew the give away winner already, hand on my heart; eyes closed. congratulations on the happy occasion, babies. your tiny parcel is leaving on monday, if you send me your postal adress.

now. anyone sending me their snail mail address {woolfenbell[AT]gmail[DOT]com} receives a signed tinyWOOLF postcard {not in the shop} anyway; an early season’s greeting, a sharing, let's say. ♥ can i also thank you all for your best wishes on the opening of my tinyWOOLF shop. feel very welcome. now. let's return to england...

the reason why in the eighties we rode into the next town from our remote seaside stead was to gaze at such shops as waterstone's, boots and WAREHOUSE, to next lose ourselves spending pennies. the tearooms we hung out in were authentical, no chain rubbish. {sorry for the hearsey feeling up there in the image. look closely! that horse is doing a muybridge : all four up in the air at the same time.}

also when i lived in kent i dreamed of getting into canterbury art college. remembering my application days fondly i now realize the lack of a stable mentor {and an impressive portfolio} quickly broke off that ambiguous caprice. it doesn't half raise a smile today.

walking those familar streets many thoughts arose, primarily of the '...if ' kind; the alleys of old felt revived, whilest discovering many new ones; the cathedral's quiet cloisters having remained reassuringly square and free to the public. i used to dream here alot, in the shade. last week i silently shot some images ...

... before fleeing the early evening chill, all of a sudden drawn in by lingering young boys' voices, practicing evensong. as the main cathedral lights were being turned off, the presbytery filled up, leaving everyone inside snug and loyal. before the mass hand-outs reached my seat though, i slipped out again, chasing another blast from the past. for now, all of my canterbury here.

margate, fargate {UK, part I}

back in the eighties we hurried through margate, nobody lived there. to our scrutinous eye, those who did were mad and bored. there was a fairground, which we regarded with the greatest scrutiny. and in summer the louder part of britain came to sprawl on beaches, splash in grey north sea waters, hang shamelessly from said fairground attractions and devour on greasy spoon concoctions. 

still. a dynamic visual arts centre turner contemporary {only just visible on your extreme left} seemingly rose from the northern seas beyond, in the exact spot where ex-resident and famous painter jmw turner stayed. besides local, controversial artist tracey emin, who grew up in margate, there's now plenty of vintage in margate. and splendid refreshment space for the tired and the lonely. cupcake cafe below.
some pastel refurbishments have turned grey housing estate grounds into gallery space, awaiting tourists and art lovers. in margate? in margate! thus i walked, avoided rain, sniffed salty air, dipped an imaginary toe, and slurped enough coffee to keep me going.

one of the reasons i came to margate in the first place was london based artist alex chinneck's installation "from the knees of my nose to the belly of my toes". dig it? it is a well impressive piece of fun art, although for some reason i missed a zip up / zip down button to have the house front move up and down on command. ☻ naturally all else that i saw is also here

drawing | tattoo

i started the drawing on the eurostar train back home last night, and completed it today on another inland train line. the funniest thing happened as i dug up my fountain pen too. can you see it? i kinda like that small spur {image left}.

i find messages in the world of tattoo may be bold, no? words may lie, right? as i passed above tattoo shop in peckham yesterday afternoon {image right}, i thought if anyone can call himself the king of tattoo, then i can call myself queen of hearts for the day, only just using my first name's intial. ready for decal! patrice holds many tattoos in her palm, on her arm, on her heart? errrr, on her face??? 
UK images to follow as soon as possible. not just yet. ♥