Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's still Christmas over here!

Hi there!
December 25th is Christmas everywhere, but here in the Netherlands there is a second day of Christmas celebrations too, which is today. The first day we usually have guests, but this year we have visited my aunt and today we are staying home, relaxing.

This is our Christmas tree. I never have a theme, or a theme color as I just keep every ornament that I have got and I really get attached to it. I prefer glass blown ornaments, especially vintage ones. Well let's take a closer view.

This is one of my absolute favorites!
It once belonged to my parents, who are no longer with us anymore. I inherited their Christmas decorations. This glass top, whip or tumble (I'm just not sure which word matches the dutch word 'tol') was in our Christmas tree as long as I can remember.

I don't have many ball shaped ornaments, only some vintage ones which are all decorated, just like this one, which belonged to my grandparents. Many of them still have candle grease over them, remember the time we only had real candles in the Christmas tree? I still can remember when my father came home with the new electric candles, oh boy weren't we modern people?

My father's workmate and buddy 'Kees', was a glassblower, working at the same laboratory as my dad. Of course our glass ornaments were vulnerable, and I loved playing with them, so once in a while my mum asked Kees to blow some new ornaments for us. This bird is a real 'Kees' and we had several psychedelic ornaments like this one, including a very large treetopper, which came out of the box broken last year.

Once a year Kees held a demonstration blowing glass and then there was the opportunity for children to blow a glass ornament as well. Blowing glass is a special job, you have to blow precisely, when you blow too soft the glass ball will not get bigger, if you blow too hard the glass ball will implode and you will end up with something like this:

Kees died of cancer about 25 years ago, but we still cherish these ornaments and he will come alive a little bit every Christmas in our house.

I also have a lot of crafted ornaments, starting with the paper Christmas bells my brother made with real glass glitter that has tarnished over more than 40 years
My daughter and son have made several ornaments as well.
Unpacking the Christmas decorations is a true walk down Memory lane to me. I wouldn't want to switch with anyone in the world!

This little Christmas gnome is my husbands pride. He, his elder brother and his sister got one each from their aunt and every year this little fellow gets a very good spot during the Christmas days.

My children used to choose a few ornaments every year and had their own little trees, but this year we only had one tree. The yellow cab was one of my sons favorites of course. I also like to buy christmas ornaments during the holidays, of course in Disneyland Paris. This 'watch'ornament says summer 2007 Germany.

I can talk hours about my Christmas ornaments, I really enjoy them and that is exactly what I am going to do now, wishing you a very merry Christmas as long as it takes!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Swapping again

Hi you all out there!

I haven't been able to write for a while due to the loss of my uncle Willem December 9th. My uncle was 87 years old and ill, but still so much enjoying life. We miss him. I wasn't in the Christmas-mood at all and I didn't feel like writing.

Though I am still not entirely in the mood, I'm going to write a post, as I promised Anja to do so, which is good, this is a good opportunity to start writing again.

A while ago Anja asked me whether she could make a special Christmas gift for me. Yes those people really exist!! Of course I was flattered, but let's face it; I'm not the queen. So I told Anja that it was alright for her to make a gift to me, as long as I was permitted to make a gift for her as well and Anja agreed. Yes! Another swap was born, it seems that I can't write about anything else.

And a few days later this beautiful package was waiting for me!

And these beautiful things were inside

Anja crafted me a Christmas card and bought me an genuine antique card, both are so nice!
She made me an object; a jar with a nostalgic image, so lovely decorated, well look for yourself. On top of this page you can see this goes sooo well with my other Christmas decoration.
Last but not least she sent me a Christmas ornament-bird. Anja is a 'clairvoyante' apparantly, because I have Christmas birds in all sorts and sizes; I love them and this one was not in my possession. Thank you Anja!!

Oo it's so nice to receive such presents and to be able to give something back. Swapping is so 2008!

Remember to check Anja's blog it's all about her home, a true classic house, enjoy!

Just a few words about another swap; Vicki from Hollyhocks received my part of the swap after about six weeks, but she isn't angry with me at all. On the contrary hahaha, it was such an exciting swap, thanks again Vicki and good luck!

Well I hope to pick up blogging from here again. Wishing you all happy holidays!
Hugs xoxo L.

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Yes! Our Santa (Saint Nicolaas, yep the real one) is in Holland! It's the time of giving and receiving presents. And today it just looked like Santa visited my home already, as our postman delivered a package from Norway. The generous sender is Sol from My kind of blog.
A while ago I asked her whether she could buy me the Norwegian home decorating magazine "Vakre", as I couldn't get it here in the Netherlands, or perhaps we could swap. And yes she did!! Isn't that wonderful, just helping a complete stranger?? Thank you so much for that gesture. But that is not all! She sent me a Swedish magazine as well, and some pictures she has made herself. You should check her blog as she is a very talented lady. On top of all that some very lovely "Tilda" pictures, I'm sure I am going to use them while crafting some Christmas decorations. Thank you very much Sol! Hope you will not need the hankies for too long!! Take care!
Does Santa looks familiar to you? Well sometimes he is in my bedroom too...need I say more? Hoping he will bring some more presents to our home on December the 5th!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pay it forward part III and some other updates...

Hello everybody!

As I told you in my virtual prom post I would post anything I could find, what should have been in that post: well here is my date! Elvis is alive and better...he is in my bedroom!! Hahaha! Isn't he gorgeous? Actually (no one should have guessed of course) this is my husband, dressed to be ambassador of 'Bloom'. Bloom is a UN-project his company wants to support. It's goal is to accomplish that every child receives a proper education (one of the human rights). My husband is going to raise funds tomorrow night dressed up and acting as a quiz master (the word bloom sounds the same as our word for flower). I am so proud of him!

Now for the final part of 'Pay it forward" (see 11-1 and yesterday). I want to show you what I have made.

These are little note-books. I have bought some cheap ordinary note books in a dime store. I have put wallpaper paste on the cover and glued some vintage wallpaper on, cut them straight. Then I put on a piece of cut musical paper (or in one case a paper doily) and on top of that an old picture of a girl with hat (which started its life as a Christmas card). On the hat of the girls I have glued a (fake, what did you expect?) gem. As this is NOT a note book that should be used at home to write down your grocery needs, but this should accompany you on your exciting journey through the world, ready to take every inspirational thought in your handbag. When being in a purse in the company of a used hankie, some candy a plastic bag and so on, this note book could easily get wrinkled, which isn't good for inspiration. That's why I have taken some elastic ribbon to keep this note-book closed. I have closed the ribbon by putting on a little rose on both ends.
These were the first 4 I have made. And I have sent them to Elizabeth and Elly, both ladies have very inspiring blogs, check them!! One was sent to my cousin (whom you have met in a previous post) and the last one was given to Z. my neighbour, whom you are about to meet any moment, as I visited her and she showed me her collection of antique knickers. Is this a cliffhanger or what? See you soon, have a nice weekend! LiLi

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Pay it forward part II

Hello friends!

One of the nicest things is to open your mailbox to find a little parcel there for you. Well that's what happened to me today. The 'Pay it forward' gift from Jenelle from Sleepy Hollow arrived this morning! (Remember Pay it forward? See my post 11-1-07.)
And this is what Jenelle has made for me:

And when you take the tag out of the little envelop it is even better:

Thank you so much Jenelle, you did a terrific job!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

welcome to my virtual prom!

Hi all,

As we all know today it is November the 20th; time for the virtual prom Natasha Burns (see the link on the right side of this post) organized. Of course I'm in, and now you are too; let's party! At Natasha's there will be more fun and the opportunity to blog-hop to other virtual prom-bloggers.

Growing up in the early sixties these were my role-models (yep those opponents were right...) I loved all those fairy tales, dreaming of being Cinderella at several balls (yes I'm honest, I was planning to attend quite a few) in the future. I felt sorry that I wasn't a princess and there was no Prince here at that time either, but when I would grow up I would certainly look and act like a princess. I would live just like Barbie, being well dressed all the time. I didn't know what a prom was, because they didn't exist over here, still don't by the way, so I wasn't longing for a prom. So this will could be my first prom actually, thank you Natasha!

I just couldn't wait to be a teenager. One of the most appealing things of the early sixties were the shoes. High heels of course, but those heels were no stilettos but real needle pointed heels, over here we called them needle heels. Oh my, the sound those needles made, metal clicking on stone, ah, there was no bigger goal in life than to achieve that one was wearing them...but I had to wait of course.
When I was about seventeen high slim heels returned to fashion. Ah, I would wear them all the time; at school, in the disco, as a slipper (mmmm yes) in our house. My parents weren't so happy though, we were having wooden floors and all floors were having millions of tiny dents as I was dancing all the time...

I have searched for hours to find the stuff I needed for this blog...yes I never throw things away, but where are those things when I need them??? I finally found the last high needles I bought about 20-25 years ago (gulp). And of course I wanted to put them on:

Oh no, when did Cinderella get out and an ugly stepsister came in?????

These shoes are far too small for me!! O no, now I cannot go to the prom without proper shoes...
Actually I never wear high heels as slippers anymore. I have turned from Barbie into my own mother, or worse. My mother was wearing slippers with a little (rubber) heel in the house and I am wearing crocs (no pictures please).

So no prom for me anymore.

Oooh and I wanted to show you my first ballroom dress made out of Laura Ashley fabric, that my mother made me when I was about 16. Could have well been a prom dress, don't you think? But I cannot find it, instead of blogging the day away, I should be cleaning and sorting out and throwing and giving things away.
That first ball when I was wearing that dress wasn't a big success though. Instead of dancing all night, my friend (girl next door I.) and I were sitting all night. There were about 400 girls and maybe 20 boys with their (steady) girlfriends. Mmmm, that wasn't going to happen to us for a second time. Yes, we were not taking these ballroom lessons to SIT in our ballroom dresses. The balls and so called soirees (that's a smaller ball) we had after that unsuccessful start, we took with us a male companion from our highschool; Eric. Eric had to dance with us all night long and my friend and I just switched him over. Looking back I can still see him sweating while my friend and I were dancing the night away. Mmmmm it never occurred to us that perhaps Eric needed some rest too...

When you look carfefully you can see in the picture I still love beautiful gowns and skirts. I almost never wear pants. The only pants I like are the kind Marlene Dietrich used to wear or those kind of ethnic pants with embroidering and stuff. I don't have jeans because they don't look good on my what the French call derriere.
Another thing I would certainly wear to a prom (or a ball) is nice jewelry:

That little empire state building in the back is my very pink lipstick that I used to wear with those high heels above, but it now turned into a kind of orange. This is only a part of my collection of costume jewelry, but I never wait to wear them at a special occasion, because when you look carefully you can see we are having these special occasions all the time.
You should create your own fairy tale and your own prom and have fun always.

PS. when I find something like the Laura Ashley ball gown I will post it, but I have to publish my post now, before the 20th is over...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My first swap...

Hi all!

No this isn't a peek into my wardrobe, before the prom. This beautiful dress was made by Vicki of Hollyhocks a wonderful blog and such a creative lady. Vicki and I decided to swap 3 magazines after my birthday party and this is what I received today:

Yes Vicki can count, but she even decided to give me a bonus magazine, the retired Home Companion, ooh I am so lucky! These magazines are fabulous!! I needed some Christmasinspiration and here it is! Why cannot they make such wonderful magazines here...? And how on earth did Vicki suspect that I couldn't live any longer without such a lovely needle map?
I'm really happy with what I received, but will Vicki be happy too? We will not know for quite a while because I have sent the magazines standard, while Vicki sent them priority to me, so mine are still somewhere in a slow boat sailing the Atlantic. Oooooh I'm such a Dutchie, such a novice and I am so embarrassed...

Vicki, today I sent you a little package priority (of course) to ease the waiting, I'm so sorry. I thought I asked you about everything and more before swapping...To be continued...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Virtual Vintage Prom

Hi all!!
I have never been asked to a prom...until...I was at Natasha Burns' creative blog
Wow, of course I am going to this prom, now I finally have the chance. Ah you'll wait and see what I come up with, and every bloke will be sorry that he never asked me before...
Blokes? Here in blogland? Are there actually any blokes in blogland?? Ok, little joke...hahaha!
If you are a real promgown and/or vintage clothes/shoes/costume jewellery fan, just join the fun. See you the 20th!! Have fun, LiLi

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Having a party with my cousin


Last weekend I was staying with my cousin, who was celebrating her 46th birthday. We are like sisters, being the same age, (OK, OK, you are two weeks younger M.) and sharing the same interests, crafting, collecting almost everything with a slight preference of dolls, tea-sets and dinner-services everything cheap and bought at the flea market, yes we particularly like bargains of any kind!!
As it was her birthday I brought some presents; I made her a personalized banner as well (as I did for my own birthday). Made from cardboard, vintage wallpaper, old magazines and old music paper, it hides all kind of personal information about my cousin.

First of all she has always been a very good dolls mother and now a real life mother of 4, so this flag speaks for itself:

Every little flag had some ribbons attached and at the end of some ribbons some clues about M. That very little doll (8 mm) is actually a button.

My cousin is a cat lover. Only the dutch viewers can see a hidden message; my cousin is a beautician. There are some old advertisements in the background, one is an advertisement for removal of superfluous hair.

Here a picture of the happy M. herself complete with crown (brooch) and wings. The little telephone at the end of the ribbon is referring to those endless phone calls we are making.

The one with 46 speaks for itself, 26 (October 26th) is her birthday. She used to be a girl with 2 of those braids as the silhouette-girl. I don't know any one who is better with needle and threat and the sewing machine as she is. She taught herself at the age of 12-13 (could be earlier as well), so I attached some little scissors, a button and some threat at the the end of the ribbons of this little flag.

The day after her birthday we went into Belgium to a flea-market and we both did some amazing finds;

Some vintage ribbons at bargain prices, an old box filled with crochet needles. The knit-needle on card to knit around, (do you know what I mean?) was actually a gift from Mrs. H. We bumped into her on the flea market, as I told you she is always looking for bargains too.

Some stuff to use...old kitchen towels (found by my aunt and she gave them to me as a belated birthday present). An old jug, some french white and blue breakfast- and dinner plates.

A complete tea service. Here you can only see the teapot, but there's a sugar bowl, a milk jug, 12 saucers and 11 cups all with these little violets and all without any damage. Now all I need are some plates with violets...

This is a true amazing find; vintage paper doilies in all sizes, yes!! Ooooh they will come in handy crafting for the holidays I guess. And again, when you compare these treasures with the paper doilies they make nowadays the difference is huge...I guess that's why I like vintage and antiques. There is nothing like the real thing...

And some books filled with pictures for my paper crafts. The best find is a french illustrated Larousse 'petit' encyclopedia, about 2000 pages with so much information, beautiful illustrations...ah what a find! It's so beautiful.

Lots of old cards and family pictures, enough to reconstruct my past...

In my studio I have all kind of glass jars to keep my buttons and ribbons and little things assorted. This one is new, but as I bought it at the flea market I only had to pay 3 euros, instead of 12 or 19,95 euros in those so called 'gift shops'.
In the jar are some glittery figures on sticks. I guess they can be used on top of a cake. I only have 3's, 1's and 6's, so I have to wait a few years to use a pair of them. In 2009 my son will be 13 and my daughter 16. I have to wait until 2022 till my 61st birthday. I wonder if I still can remember where I have put them, then, mmmm perhaps I don't remember having them at all!

These will make my Christmas dinner, don't you think? It's silver-plated and very baroque, suits me fine!!

I have bought a few of those hairpin cards. These are so awesome. Every girl in the sixties was wearing these kind of pins to keep her braids or pigtails neat. True nostalgia! The artwork on these German cards is fabulous. 12 x 2 pins illustrated with flowers of the 12 months of the year. I'm going to resell these cards at eBay or at 'Marktplaats' the dutch auction site.

Last but not least some soaps. I always like those Avon soaps, these were still in their original package with some nice artwork on the box. Unlike most of my old slippers these still smell very good, but I'm not sure whether to use them or not, they are so nice...
It was such a nice weekend, I'm still enjoying it.
Have a nice weekend too...Love LiLi

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pay it Forward


Last night I was cruising through blogland and read in Lori's wonderful blog 'Faerie Window' (http//, I now this is clumsey but I cannot make a hidden url with my browser system, sorry) about 'Pay it Forward". Unfortunately I was too late, but this time I followed the trail and probably because it was Halloween I ended up at Sleepy Hollow and met the one and only Jenelle. ( What a lovely and inspiring blog, so I decided to join 'Pay it Forward' there.

What is 'Pay it Forward" and how can you join?

Here's how it works:

I have agreed to make a little handmade item for 3 people who agree to do the same thing on their blog to 'Pay it Forward'. The first 3 comments on this post who agree to do this will continue the chain of giving.

1. You comment on this post. (You still can comment and don't join btw)

2. You receive a handmade gift from me.

3. You post this message on your blog and offer a handmade gift to the first 3 who comment.

4. Thus the cycle continues and everyone has fun and receives a beautiful craft-gift!

I thought it was a swell idea!
I'm looking forward to receiving that gift, but perhaps even more to sending one. Please join Pay it Forward!

I will contact you about your address, have fun! LiLi M

My first craft challenge

Yes!!! It's November 1st in my timezone...

LiLi M. proudly presents:

'Masked people can and will be removed from the picture':

To have a better view, just click on the picture!

Have an inspiring day, LiLi M.