Guest post by Kristin: apples in my garden

Hi, I am Kristin at Krickelin and I am
 guest blogging here today.

I usually write about pink flowers, messy thoughts,
tangled braided hair and nude bathing in the ocean.

But, let me put these things aside
and welcome september and  the autumn.

Let me tell you about the small apple tree 
outside my kitchen window.
Bugs are eating on the apples
so that my kids refuse to take them to school.
But I use them.
A lot.

Apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

Apple kisses.

Apple games in the garden.

Grilled apples with cinnamon.

Apple martini with my love.

I wish you a wonderful autumn.

Some thought about change....

When i took a little walk early this morning i noticed how much change the nature in my neighborhood had gone through just in the last several days. Autumn seems to have set in full speed here now and i can't use the words "late summer" anymore when i am describing the days because suddenly there is VERY AUTUMN here. All the late summer apples in my neighbors garden have fallen to the ground, yellow and orange leaves are dancing in the wind and not to mention the air: so fresh now that my cheecks fastly turns red.
I have been writing on a letter to a friend these days and i was writing down some lines of John O'Donohue, a writer and poet that we both treasure.These are the lines:

"To break the dead shell of yesterdays. To risk beeing disturbed and changed". 

Oh how i LOVE these words....and when i wrote them down these incredibly beautiful photos (that i have fallen completely in love with) by Madelyn appeared in my thoughts. For me her photos ARE poems.
Both the words of O'Donohue and the photos by Madelyn makes me think about change.......change both in nature and in my own everyday reminds me of what nature has learnt me over and over again while i have been viewing the changes of season: to resist trust let go embrace more....

Scandinavian poetry, part eight.

I am so facinated by all the insects and small animals there is to be found around us,
this little one took a rest on my veranda floor some days back. He reminds me of a King wearing his long soft velvet cape! A while back i read the book The sound of a wild snail eating and in summer The book of bees, it is such a facinating thing to learn more about the worlds of these tiny creatures...

A poem
by the norwegian poet Rolf Jacobsen (1907-1994)

Green light

Creatures that rustle in the shadows, all the crooked
deformed ones in the world, with tiny feet and far too many eyes,
can hide in the grass- that's why its there,
silent and full of moonlight among the continents.

I have lived in the grass among the small ones that resemble broken twigs.
From their towers of cowslip the bumblebees came like bells
into my heart with words of magic order.
The wind took my poem and spread it out like dust.

I have lived in the grass with the Earth and i have heard it breath-
like an animal that has walked a long way and is thirsting for the water holes
and i felt it lie down heavily on its side in the evening like a buffalo,
in the darkness between the stars, where there is room.

The dance of the winds and the great wildfires in the grass i remember often;
-the shadow play of smiles on a face that always shows forgiveness.
But why it has such great patience with us deep down in its iron core,
its huge magnesium heart, we are far from understanding.

For we have forgotten this; that the Earth is a star of grass,
a seed-planet, swirling with spores as with cloudes from sea to sea,
a whirl of them. Seeds take hold under the cobblestones
and between the letters in my poem, here they are.

Translated by Roger Greenwald.
From North in the world: Selected poems of Rolf Jacobsen.

Scandinavian poetry, part seven

by Rolf Jacobsen

Colors are words’ little sisters. They can’t become soldiers.
I’ve loved them secretly for a long time.
They have to stay home and hang up the sheer curtains
of our familiar kitchen, bedroom and den.

I’m very close to young Crimson, and brown Sienna
but even closer to thoughtful Cobalt with her distant eyes and
     untrampled spirit.
We walk in dew.
The night sky and the southern oceans
are her possessions
and a tear-shaped pendant on her forehead:
the pearls of Cassiopeia.
We walk in dew on late nights.

But the others.
Meet them on a June morning at four o’clock
when they come rushing toward you,
on your way to a morning swim in the green cove’s spray.
Then you can sunbathe with them on the smooth rocks.
     -Which one will you make yours?

Translated by Roger Greenwald.
From North in the world: Selected poems of Rolf Jacobsen.

Golden days and sensing a little bit of autumn in the air...


When i had my friend visiting, Norway showed itself from it's most charming side:
endless sun and warmth. The summer weather here this year has been quite a sad thing, lots and lots of rain so it was very lovely with some sunny and warm days.
I am sensing a little bit of autumn in the air already but i am saying to myself that it is just an imagination for i am not quite ready for autumn yet....what about you?

"Skin remembers how long the years grow
when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel
of singleness, feather lost from the tail
of a bird, swirling onto a step,
swept away by someone who never saw
it was a feather. Skin ate, walked,
slept by itself, knew how to raise a
see-you-later hand. But skin felt
it was never seen, never known as
a land on the map, nose like a city,
hip like a city, gleaming dome of the mosque
and the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope.

Skin had hope, that's what skin does.
Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
Love means you breathe in two countries.
And skin remembers--silk, spiny grass,
deep in the pocket that is skin's secret own.
Even now, when skin is not alone,
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves." 
Two countries by Naomi Shihab Nye

These days....

Rain, rain and endless rain....means minimal time spent in the garden and much time on the veranda and inside the house....then one needs a new houseplant (or two)....*smiling*........this time a Streptocarpus.
I hope your summerdays are not as wet and rainy as mine!!!!

Scandinavian poetry, part six

photo by saara

The Silence Afterwards
by Rolf Jacobsen.
translated by Robert Bly.

Try to be done now
with deliberately provocative actions and sales statistics,
brunches and gas ovens,
be done with fashion shows and horoscopes,
military parades, architectural contests, and the rows of triple traffic lights.
Come through all that and be through
with getting ready for parties and eight possibilities
of winning on the numbers,
cost of living indexes and stock market analyses,
because it is too late,
it is way too late,
get through with and come home
to the silence afterwards
that meets you like warm blood hitting your forehead
and like thunder on the way
and the sound of great clocks striking
that make the eardrums quiver,
because words don't exist any longer,
there are no more words,
from now on all talk will take place
with the voices stones and trees have.

The silence that lives in the grass
on the underside of every blade
and in the blue spaces between the stones.
The silence
that follows shots and birdsong.
The silence
that pulls a blanket over the dead body
and waits in the stairs until everyone is gone.
The silence
that lies like a small bird between your hands,
the only friend you have.

Scandinavian poetry, part five

-photo by saara
A beautiful poem
by the norwegian author and painter Stein Mehren (born 1935)

I hold your head
I hold your head
in my hands, as you hold
my heart in your affection
as everything holds and is
held by something other than itself
As the sea lifts a stone
to its strands, as the tree
holds the ripe fruit of autumn, as
the world is lifted through worlds and space
So are we both held by something and lifted
to where mystery holds mystery in its hand
Translation is by Elizabeth Rokka.

Conversation with Patrice A.

It's time for a new conversation post in here, i LOVE these posts! 
I always find myself uplifted and inspired by getting a little peek into the lifes of these wonderful creative souls who so kindly answers my questions and takes photos so when can see some glimps from their world...*smiling*....
This time it is the sweet Patrice A. who we are getting to know a little bit better, enjoy!

 V: Can you first tell us a little bit about yourself?
P: I am a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother of two boys. I am an interior adviser and designer, was an interior design teacher for over 10 years and graduated from the Art Academy. I have a love for drawing, etching and linocut printing.

V: You are an artist working with many different techniques like for example drawing and lino-cut printing. are there any techniques you feel closer too and are there any un-tried ones that you feel like exploring in the future?
P: My first love has always been and will be drawing. Just a pencil and paper, clean lines, with as little as possible tell as much as possible. Besides that I love linocut printing and have started painting again, like the bird portraits on unbleached linen which I combine with beads.
What I would like to learn in the future is weaving, making fabric and print it. And pottery. I have a thing for bowls which fit perfectly in your hands.
But at the moment I am trying to knit my first sock ;^)))



V: Can you share some thoughts with us about the topic of creativity? do you think that everybody has creativity in them, is it essential for you?
P: Yes, I think everybody has creativity in them and yes it is essential, important, to me. I am a better person when I create, when my hands are working.

V: Is there a certain time of the day that you find yourself more creative? are there a special "setting" you need to have when you work?
P: I am a morning person, I like the early mornings when it is quiet and you still have a whole day ahead.
Most of the time I work in silence, no music. I like my workroom quiet and tidy. All the things I need around me, our dog Splinter on his blanket and a fresh mint tea.

V: What is beauty for you...where do you find it/see it?
P: I find beauty and inspiration in the things around me, my family, people, our garden, nature, just life itself, life as it is. But also in a museum, dance/ballet, books, movies, magazines, blogs, so many things….


V: And what makes you happy?
P: Many things can make me happy, little things, daily life, kids, the smell of their hair after playing outside all day, the tiny warm body of our dog, sunshine filtered through the leaves, the smell of the woods after rain, coffee with frothed milk and chocolate, meeting and talking to people, reading a book, working in silence, a cello….

V: Do you have any artists that you especially like?
P: Alberto Giacometti, his drawings and paintings, August Rodin, Johannes Vermeer, Fon Klement, KLaas Gubbels, Jasper Krabbé and Gustav Klimt. The designers Hella Jongerius, Piet Hein Eek, design studio and duo Makkink & Bey, Charles and Ray Eames, Theo Jansen and Scandinavian designers. But also Sheila Hicks, Dries van Noten and Mina Perhonen, or the garden designer Piet Oudolf, choreographer Hans van Manen and more…

V: At your blog you mentioned that you have a father that can create anything from tables to a whole house if needed. did he learn you a lot of creative things/crafts while you were growing up and did you two spend much time creating things together?
P: What I learned from my father is that if you wantyou can make everything. I learned to think practical and be precise. He learned me wood skills like to saw straight. When we weregrowing up, my father completely rebuiltour house and I helped him a lot. We were and are a good team. And he still likes to make things, like a sideboard or a wall as we did last month at our attic or the small wooden houses.


wooden houses made by patrice's father and the wire house is made by one of her sons

V: Do you have a favorite poem, saying or quote that means something special to you?
P: My favorite quote is: ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain.’ Because I often forget and worry too much about unnecessary things.

V: You once told in a post that you don't use a lot of jewelry but i am curious to know the story behind the silver rings that you are always wearing...they are so pretty : )
P: Ha, my rings. The first one are three rings together, connected. My love gave this one to me when I was pregnant with our first son. The next one is a single ring similar like the three connected ones. I don’t remember why and from whom, but it makes four and we are a family of four: me and the kids (the three) and my Love (one), or three man and one woman ;^))
The third ring, like a pearl rim is a reminder to do things step by step, slowly, every day, bit by bit.
The largest ring on top has an opal. After my grandmother died, years ago, it was specially made for me. She always wore a necklace with an opal. When I graduated from the Art Academy my love gave me a ring in the shape of a crown as a crowning of years of study. It is still one of my favorites but unfortunately to small at the moment.

another favourite quote

collection of rings

V: What are your wishes for this summer?
P: I wish for summery weather, with sunshine and enough wind so we can go sailing every day with our beautiful sailing boat. And i hope to see the sea and paint it.

V: Some future dreams or goals that you are focusing on?
P: Dreams…. Some dreams I have for years, I should just start doing!

V: How do you picture yourself ten years from now?
P: Ten years from now we live in an small farmhouse with a large garden with flowers, vegetables and fruit trees, ecological polyculture. There is a shed which is my workroom, for my interior business, but also for making my linocut print on fabric, a small side business for making aprons and tea towels like I already do now and then. And in ten years time I have started teaching again, art lessons for children, because I miss being a teacher. That would be nice.

patrice in her fairy-tale : )

All photos by Patrice.

Scandinavian poetry, part four

-photo by saara

 Some of my favourite poems by the Norwegian poet Rolf Jacobsen (1907-1994)

Just delicate needles

It’s so delicate, the light.
And there’s so little of it. The dark
is huge.
Just delicate needles, the light,
in an endless night.
And it has such a long way to go
through such desolate space.
So let’s be gentle with it.
Cherish it.
So it will come again in the morning.
We hope.


The moon thumbs through the book of the night.
Finds a lake on which nothing’s printed.
Draws a straight line. That’s all it can do.
That’s enough.
A thick line. Right to you.



What sower walked over earth,
which hands sowed
our inward seeds of fire?
They went out from his fists like rainbow curves
to frozen earth, young loam, hot sand,
they will sleep there
greedily, and drink up our lives
and explode it into pieces
for the sake of a sunflower that you haven’t seen
or a thistle head or a chrysanthemum.

Let the young rain of tears come.
Let the calm hands of grief come.
It’s not as evil as you think.

Scadinavian poetry, part three

Scandinavian poetry is sadly not often translated into english but luckely one of my favourites are:
the swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. Tranströmer is considered to be one of the most influential Scandinavian poets of recent decades and was awareded with the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Some days back i came across this film by the British director Martin Earle illustrating excerpts of Tranströmer's poem "Schubertiana", enjoy.

guest post by cloud gatherer hold me down


beneath this cloudless sky there is nowhere to hide. the epitome of naked. motives are questioned. their magnitude in relation to hearts. i trace the constellations in and beyond my own flight path and wear the contradictions like a second skin. i can teach you to read these maps; to listen to the gentle thundering beneath your bones and the way the hallowed ground sings and screams that love is the opposite of gravity. and i'll dance in your palm when the moon is on fire warning of battles to come, where worlds are tasted on blood stained teeth and the road of our spines all cracked and worn leads back to where it all started. but let me ask you, if i were to say "sacrifice is love made holy", with what would you reply? and would i even understand? reading the pattern of your words, peeling them back until red turns gold and drips and i start to wonder for how long have you been wielding lightning bolts from your palms? and what of these invisible walls? are we not gods? come closer...

the morning is tinged with blue. im exhaling warm clouds and coming to the realisation that this body isnt big enough for me to scratch the names of all i love. i'm moving onto the walls. the already written pages. making new maps. searching for the life behind eyes. even those whose smiles cannot disguise their disenchantment. i worship the god in you. all of you. in me. in the books and the trees and earth and i eat all the rainbows. the strings of words one pearl at a time. until what? until i reach the hearts and mouths from whence they came. and then? nothing and everything. only the knowledge that my desire continues to expand until i can no longer touch the edges. and you. carved in stone made flesh forever standing in the centre of the storm. so do it just because. because of the flower in my hair. the silver wing around my neck. because the blue changes shade dependent on her mood. because the wind blows through the house and rattles all the windows. because we are all corners and curves. not one or the other. but both. or none. do it mouth to mouth and break the skin. do it because im cannibalistic in my desire for offerings of blood and guts. deeper than transparent things like raindrops and tears. because there are only so many times you will see the moon full. do it only completely when you feel it pressed hard against your edges. a haunting or possession tightly held by ghostly hands. do it because to not is to lose it. because i want to see my fingerprints everywhere...

sitting by midnight lakes reflecting stars below and above it becomes impossible to tell which way is up. once during a long lost night i heard the wind, at least i think it was the wind, whisper my name. and not even this name, but rather my real name. i am a journey. a story. a circle. an ouroboros. harmony of asymmetry. so old i am unable to tell you where i begin. contemplating cosmogony provokes the longing to remember all of our explosions. reciting stories locked in scars and chests where only angels dare to tread. both archer and prey. i pray. i know not to whom, but i say thank you. alot. grateful for having nothing and everything to learn. and LIFE. in which to leave my map. my mark. my trail of meandering dirty footprints. i was here.

words by cloud gatherer hold me down

art work "second skin" by julie massy


Please call me by my true name
Thich Nhat Hanh

Don't say that I will depart tomorrow --
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his "debt of blood" to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.

Photo by the beautiful
Madelyn Mulvaney

a conversation with sofia/être soi

V: Tell us a bit about yourself Sofia.
S: Hello everyone my name's Sofia, I'm on my mid-thirties, I'm portuguese and I live since 16 years now in France just outside Paris. I live with my husband who is french. I have one sister, older than me. My mom died when I was still a child and this loss has been with me ever since, in whatever I do. I'm from the south of Portugal but I have always longed to live somewhere up north, especially the north of Europe. When I was a child we had family and friends where all over the world: Belgium, Germany, Holland, Australia, Canada, etc and even Macao. I have always been used to the idea of having the world as my home, just like in the song "wherever I lay my hat that's my home" : ) 

V: How would you describe yourself?
S: First of all I'm a maker; I exist to, and because I, create and I create to exist. I'm very opened to spirituality and I believe that what I do is my way of living my spirituality everyday. I'm a person who loves to learn all the time, I'm always looking for new ideas, I'm always searching, I never stop searching : ) With the years I have also learned to see life differently and to accept what I can’t change; this has been a major change in me and I’m grateful that thanks to my searches and to my open mind I have been able to arrive here and to continue my path. Of course, I also believe that nothing happens without a reason, so I’m sure that everything comes at the right time. Every day is a new day to learn what could be better than this?

V: Can you tell us about the title of your blog?
S: Oh, yes être-soi means to be yourself, this is what my blog is about, the possibility that we all have to be ourselves, the choices we make in life even if we think that sometimes it’s life that has made its choices for us, which erases the responsibility we have but at the end we are the ones who accept it or not. And this also means not only on a physical level but on a mindful one too, especially on this one. Sometimes we prefer not to see life the way really is, so we keep on telling ourselves that we made what was possible but deep down inside we know that we haven’t. Life is about transformation and fortunately it is never too late to learn and become who we really were supposed to be. On my blog, I write about everything, some more deep subjects but the most frivolous ones too, because life is made of both. I also wanted at first to talk about spirituality and I haven’t really done it on a regular basis until a few weeks ago when I started making some podcasts (holistic moments) about what I feel, based on my own experiences only.

V: You are an artist working with different mediums like textile, painting and also writing.
S: Yes, at the beginning writing was my first love, I never thought that I was able to paint because I didn’t knew how to draw, this is what I was told has a child, so I wrote all my teenage years, I wrote my first short story at the age of 10. I always kept on working with textile because this was and still is the only link I kept with my mother. Textile, painting and writing are all intertwined for me; they are all part of me and my story. My artwork is based on my personal and cultural/collective story. I was born 1 year after the Salazar dictatorship felt down on my country and I was born into a new world rocked by my parent’s dreams for freedom. They have long gone but I keep on dreaming for them too

V: Can you tell us a little bit about what you are working on at the moment?
S: At the moment my main work is a book I started writing, here in France we call it an auto-fiction book because it blends both reality and fiction and it is written as a journal with daily flashbacks into my memory. I’ve also started to work on “Tisserie de poèmes” which means more or less “ the weaving workshop of poems” , where like always I try to mix painting, collage, drawing and my words. And of course I continue to write poetry.

V: What inspires you?
S: Everything inspires me, I have come to a conclusion that it’s life: mine and others that inspires me, so it’s really difficult to say one or 2 things…. Life is art and art is inspiring!

V: What makes you happy?
S: A lot of things make me happy, mostly the little things of daily life. As happiness and any other emotion is not a permanent state I am very grateful to be able to find meaning and beauty in what surrounds me. But how could I not say that a perfect 2 hour walk through green parks and blue lakes are on my top list

herbarium 7, watercolor/pencil drawing

V: Artists that you admire?
S: Vilhelm Hammershoi is my favorite of all time, the beauty of the ordinary life he has painted puts me on a meditative state; it’s amazing. Louise Bourgeois is an icon for me, as she has succeeded to make art with her life and to exorcize all the demons in her life through her art and for that I admire her. I also love Sophie Calle, Annette Messager, Christian Boltanski. As for writers Fernando Pessoa, Florbela Espanca, Hélène Bessette, Sylvia Plath, Silvia Baron Supervielle, Virginia Woolf, Olivier Adam and Nancy Huston are the ones that I carry with me wherever I go.

V: When i say creative you say....
S: Alive

V: Something you have learned the hard way?
S: To let go: from a loss, from a lack, I’ve learned that we are stronger than we can imagine and that we can manage to go through anything in life.

V: What do you especially appreciate in your life at the moment?
S: My time; I know that we can’t have everything in life and that sooner or later things have to transform so while I have this time that my job offers me I’m happy and grateful. I had to say goodbye to a lot of things, and that includes a big part of my income, I have learned how to live differently, but nothing’s more precious than the time I have for me and for the ones I love.

V: How does a perfect day look like for you?
S: My perfect day is to get up at 8am and do some Yoga, than take a shower and eat a delicious and healthy breakfast, while doing it I listen to radio podcasts about philosophy, spirituality and literature and I browse through the internet. I make some household tasks while listening to these podcasts too. I than spend some hours until lunch normally writing or painting. I make lunch and eat lunch and after that on a perfect day I would stay home writing and painting again, but on a normal day I just go to the museum where I work until 6pm and come home where I will prepare dinner for when my husband arrives, we eat dinner and we watch a movie together just before going to bed early around 10:30pm this is a perfect day for me and it looks like I live it because this is exactly what I live daily

private poetry crocheted necklace
V: I know you treasure a good book, can you share some of your favourites with us:
S: Well, “The book of disquiet” by Fernando Pessoa is my all time favorite, it is my bible, the one that is constantly have beside my bed and that speaks to me at any moment of my life, than I have so many that it’s hard to name a few but I’ll try. “Cliffs” by Olivier Adam is a personal masterpiece, I’m on every page! Any book by Nancy Huston also, she’s an amazing writer and she writes so well about women. Also any Andrée Chedid’s poetry book is a must.

V: Do you have a favourite quote or saying that you would like to share?
S: Yes and it’s by Fernando Pessoa :

"I am nothing
I shall never be anything
I cannot wish to be anything
Aside from that, I hold within me all the dreams of the world."

V: Where do you like to be in ten years from now?
S: I just would like to be where I am but being able to pay my bills with what I create, no more no less just that.

V: And last: can you please share one of your own poems with us?
S: My pleasure They are all written in French so the translation is not the best, hope you’ll like it anyway:

I speak an unknown language
at the end of a colorless day.
Through the window, the
painless light sends me back
my split up image.
Just above the last cloud is dying,
on me,
over the imperfect hours.

I know now where I go.
After my coffee
I leave and
I forget my name.


Je parle un langage inconnu
à la fin d’une journée incolore.
Par la fenêtre, la
lumière indolore me
renvoi mon image fragmentée.
Juste au dessus le dernier nuage se meurt,
sur moi,
sur les heures imparfaites.

Je sais maintenant où je vais.
Après mon café je
pars et
j’oubli mon nom.

sofias blog, etsy shop and website.

A conversation with Joanne/Rhubarb in the garden

Time for a new conversation post in here my dear readers.
This time it is the lovely Joanne who has taken the time to share with us,

V: Tell us a bit about yourself and your life.

J: I come from a large and close family, that is growing larger every year! I am the eldest of eight children, and that is fine, but sometimes it comes with drama and crisis and high expectations that I almost always fail to live up to – I have two grown children, that for the moment still live with me (which is wonderful) but as for my life...let me tell you a quick little story, that does not give away too much detail, but a fair insight into how I have lived my life up until now...

My Great Aunt was the daughter of a Gypsy – her name was Sheila Snowdrop Christmas – (no, I’m not kidding) she had bright orange curly hair and was always smiling and laughing – she used to say how her and my grandmother would sit on the wall and pretend to be Lana Turner and Rita Hayworth! Whenever we visited our Grandmother, we would ask Aunty to read our tea leaves. We would have to turn the emptied cup upside down onto the saucer and turn it round three times – which we of course LOVED to do! She was always right, that was the magical thing about these readings, and the last time she read my cup (I had my three year old boy and one divorce behind me already at only 21), she told me that she saw lots of butterflies.
I thought this was wonderful, but she frowned and told me that it meant that I would find it hard to settle down to anything for very long, like a butterfly fluttering from one flower to another tasting everything...
I couldn’t see what would be so bad about that! I wanted to taste everything life could offer me, but now, twenty years on and I can understand why she frowned. It takes time to establish roots, to build a home and be rewarded with the sense of security that that kind of commitment brings – I’m just hoping that it’s not too late to begin trying to establish some roots at my old age!

V: How would you describe yourself as a person?

J: Well, we have a little joke at home – We have allocated each other characters from Winnie the Pooh.
My children decided that I am Rabbit!
My son is Eyeore (though he aspires to Owl,)
And my daughter thinks she’s Tigger, but is really Pooh!
We laugh because it’s so true! I AM Rabbit – I do think I ought to be Kanga (because she’s the Mother) But I’m not Kanga, I am Rabbit. I must be left in peace to potter about in my garden...

V: You are an artist creating both fabric and jewelry. I would love to know more about your work!

J: I have used many different materials since leaving Art School – and I used to feel guilty about that, as though I was betraying my art or something stupid like that! Now I know that it’s the expression of creativity that is the most important thing not the loyalty to the medium.
So if I need to paint, I’ll paint, if I need to write, I’ll work on a poem, and if I want to work with clay again, I’ll throw a pot, or make a mug. Right now, I am learning about the art of Silversmithing and discovering how wonderful it is to ‘paint’ with natural dyes on fabric! I sense a new direction for my artwork coming through this newly discovered medium, perhaps with clothing, or wall hangings. I’ve been able to knit and sew since I was little – taught by my wonderful Grandmother – and I’m so thankful to have felt her love for me as she taught me these skills. I miss her terribly.

V: If you were to learn a new craft what would that be?

J: Oh don’t tempt me Vibeke – I really would love to learn how to spin – which means graduating to weaving too – and then perhaps owning my own speciality flock of sheep....oh dear...the butterfly in me will not rest...

V: A part from creating what other things do you enjoy doing?

J: Yoga, walking, taking photographs, spending time with my nieces and nephews and family.

V: Do you have any designers that you admire the work of?

J: Jillian of the The Noisy Plume – she is always so surprising and sincere with her work, I love to see what she will conjure up next! I could not hope to produce work like hers, and would not want to, but she is very inspiring.
Agnes Martin – she truly feels like a sister of my heart – her paintings are perfection.
All Scandinavian Designers – FULL STOP – they just know how to keep it simple and right.
There are so many talented people out there – I discover more and more browsing through the internet, there are way too many to list.

V: How does a perfect day look like for you?

J: It has to have a blue sky – it instantly lifts me and makes me believe that anything is possible. And if the Sun is generous with her warmth, then that would complete the perfect day.

V: What inspires you?

J: Beautiful design, and images. I need my Tumblr – it acts as my “mood- board” - I used to hoard magazines, Art, Fashion, Interior design etc, but now I just browse through my Tumblr and am happy and always inspired to keep on creating.

V: What makes you happy?

J: My children and knowing how much I love them and will always love them.

V: What do you especially appreciate in your life at the moment?

J: Life, because it can be taken from us without asking for permission. So , yes, life.

V: Are there any places in the world that you dream of visiting?

J: An old friend once told me that I was the only person he had ever met with no internal compass, which means I have no sense of direction and get lost coming out of a car park! BUT minus the fear of getting lost, I’d love to visit all the old cities in the world, Prague, St Petersburgh, Vienna – I want to absorb the architecture, and colours and design, take photographs, write at old cafe tables, eat chocolate...

V: I think it so interesting to hear about the things people collect and why. You are collecting stamps joanne, how did this start?

J: Oh V, this is my secret obsession – it’s not cool to admit to collecting stamps...
but my collection is related to childhood – and Christmas (which is for Children too right?).
It began with a set of racing car stamps my Grandmother bought for my son when he was still a toddler – it began as a collection for him as a child – but now it’s mine!

I have only just today ordered a First Day issue and Presentation Pack of the Classic British Children’s Comics – The Dandy, Twinkle etc...I get so excited (see, I told you it was embarrassing!) I love my children’s illustrators ones, children’s books, and the huge Harry Potter collection, Lord of the Rings, The Magic Stamps, and the Thunderbirds ones...oh dear, answering this question is going to take up the entire space!

V: I know that you like to read, can you share some of your favourite novels with us and also a little bit about why you like them so much?

J: I actually lost the love of reading for many years – I tried and tried to rediscover this old love, but just was not in the right emotional state of mind for it. Then I joined La Porte Rouge’s online Book club this year to force myself to read, which worked! I have devoured – literally ate up dozens of book so far this year! Your recommendation was done in an afternoon V, I loved it so much. My son is the cultural deputy in our home, so recommended quite a few off the wall books, that I was surprised to find myself laughing out loud to. “A Confederacy of Dunces” to name just one....
I have read everything written by Virginia Woolf and I have re-read, countless times her short stories. Then when I discovered that she was influenced by Katherine Mansfield, I read her short stories too! They are perfectly constructed stories – no wonder Virginia Woolf was jealous...
On my bedside table there is always Sylvia Plath and Elizabeth Bishop...

V: Do you have a favourite quote?

J: “if you can’t say anything nice – don’t say anything at all...”

Because after all – there is always something good to say about a person – even if it takes a while to discover it!

V: Where would you like to be in ten years from now?

J: This one is easy – sitting in a rocking chair nursing one of my many, many (I hope) grandchildren!

Joannes blog,
tumblr, fabric site/spoonflower and Etsy.

A conversation with Olga/My white room

I LOVE making my conversation posts and i am SO happy and grateful that these inspiring women takes the time to answer my questions! It is such a wonderful thing to get to know them better. This time it is
Olga Inoue who has been so kind to share a little bit about herself, her life and work with us.
ENJOY and be inspired! I TRULY

Can you tell a little bit about yourself?

- I am a montessori teacher. I was studying psychology but now i`m taking a little break from work.
We have moved with a friend to another city. I have always dreamed of having time for crafts so for the last six months i have been working for myself, in my white room.

You are an artist working with lots of different materials. Do you especially like one of them?

- I can not say that really. My only feeling: today i am in the mood for wood,
the next day i want to draw, put some vintage brass parts together.
Every day i am finding myself falling in love with something new.

Do you have any favourite artists?

- I adore Klimt`s nature paintings, thin trees, autumn ones and flowers.
Hopper, because i love 30`s, 50`s, stylish america, bright sun.
Shishkin - russian nature, wild woods and greens of my native land.
also - Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Harriet Backer. And old japanese
Sumi-e painting.

What inspires you?

- Everything. Nature, weather, children, music, talking with people.

What are your interests?

- As i was working in a montessori school for a long time it became
a huge part of my life, so i`m interested in children development, exercises, toys,
crafts, especially the ones that were made near nature or according to it.
A time ago i started learning japanese and i just need to make some room for it now.
I love scandinavian cultures, the way they treat home as a beautiful and peacful space for living and creating. And that`s what i was aiming for - home and nature are my number one interests.

What makes you happy Olga?

- Just simple things as beeing next to the person you love, to be inspired, loved,
mornings, talking to children, drawing.

Do you have a favourite quote or poem that you will like to share?

- The one i put on the front page of my blog.
Poems - Brodsky for the past time and
there is my favorite author ever - Yuri Vizbor.

Do you have any creative dreams that you would like to share?

- Yes i do, i have plenty! But for now i am going to buy a pottery wheel to
make some bowls and cups, daily studying japanese and to organize
my very own small montessori class.

How does a perfect day look like for you?

- Spending the day with my dear friend somewhere new...a place we have never visited before, like a trip. Or it can be just spending the day at home, either one.

What do you especially appreciate in your life at the moment?

- Freedom and the capability of doing things i want to do at the moment.

If you were going to take a trip to another country wich one would it be and why?

- Japan. Dreaming of it for eight years now, ever since i had my first japanese student. There is something magical and pure in this country. And, Vibeke,

Olga's Etsy shop, homepage, blog and Facebook.

All photos by Olga Inoue.


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