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Archive for the ‘Things I sometimes do’ Category

At last…

This is a good example of something that doesn’t even take an hour to make, but I was putting it off because I ‘didn’t feel like it’. Finally, it is done, and I’m quite happy with it.

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I made this for my nephew who just turned 2 years old. At that age, I never know what kind of present to get, so I figured I’d just make him a toy. Somehow, making a red care seemed appropriate. I hope he’ll like it.

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Ikkishir is the cupboard I made myself (I love giving random things names). Most of you know about this. But not many of you know about the lessons I learned from it. Besides the See-I-Can-Do-This!-lesson, there was another rather important one that I would like to share with you.

I made this cupboard when I was not happy in my work. After doing project management for some time, which I was probably rather good at, I had to admit to myself I was not happy in my work (which hurts!). Every evening I’d come home and think I had not really done anything beside crisis-management and talking to clients and making sure other people knew what to do. The Builder inside me started objecting. Well, the Builder inside me was actually rioting. He was planning a revolution.

So I took some time off. Thinking that the time will give me great epiphanies and insights. Thinking that having all this free time would help me know what I wanted. Thinking that not having to do anything would make things better.

I started planning to make this cupboard and making other things in my house prettier. I had wanted to make this cupboard since the first day we moved in here, so now I finally had the time to turn this dream into reality. I started having ideas and executing them. And I waited for the wisdom to descend and come to me.

Every morning I would wake up (at eight, not at six, but still pretty early) and worked on the cupboard or on other things. Sitting on the floor with all that wood surrounding me, listening to some music, looking at the sun shining, life was pretty good. But I still did not get any answers. I did not even have any clear questions forming in my head.

The cupboard was done right on time. I only had a month or so to finish it and all of a sudden, there it was! I had built my very own see-through-cupboard. Yay for me!

Still no new insights.

(more…)

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Some time ago, my sister gave me a piece of wood. Of course, she already knew I enjoy making name plates. I gave her the following piece as a Christmas present. I think it’s wonderful because the piece of wood has not been worked (apart from sanding it down). The font is an imitation of her own handwriting and I was happy she recognized it as such.

And, while I’m at it: here’s another piece I made some time ago. This was for my parents-in-law, but then they moved to Australia, and now it’s still at my house in Holland…
The wood was found on the streets and I just cut out the shape I wanted it to have. I just used a fretsaw and some sanding paper to fillet the edges. I let them choose the font.

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Some of you might not realize it, but our parent’s won’t always be around. Nor will our grandfathers and grandmothers, beloved uncles and aunts or all the other people you love. I realize this. Maybe slightly too often. This is why I asked my mother one day to tell me her story.

I wanted to know how she lived her life. I wanted to see what she would tell me. I wanted to understand what she had once believed in and what she is like. I wanted to hear her own story. Her story had value to me. As all stories of the ones we love have value to us alone.

I took her to a beautiful monastery and then sat her down. And she started to talk. While she was talking, I typed everything she said. Then, I edited her story, but only in the slightest way, and gave her back her own story.

To me, doing this was very important. I wanted to record something of her, before it would be too late. I will do this with my father too, some day. And it gave me the idea that others might feel the need of a written story too.

So I encourage you: go write down your parents’ story! Or that of someone else whose story you alone might value. If you need help, I can get that story written for you, since I’m trained in qualitative research and a good listener. I also enjoy writing and hearing about other people’s lives. And sometimes, talking to a stranger is easier. Just send me a message.

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A friend of mine has a label: Blooey. I bought the t-shirt, I really dig those funkylittlemonsters!  So for his birthday, I made one from felt. Still have to practice a bit, but it kind of looks like the same funky little monster, doesn’t it? Remko, you rock!

Funky little monster!

Sweet!

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When I got an iPod and iPhone, I tried knitting my own case (because the cases in the store are so horribly expensive). That didn’t quite work, so I turned to material I sometimes make little animals out of: felt. I think it’s wonderful, because it weighs nothing, feels good, you have lots of colors and it handles nicely.

This is my newest one (I’ll post older ones soon), made for my father-in-law… not sure he’ll be too happy about the eyes, but I liked them!

felt case for iPhone with eyes

He's looking at me!

felt case for iPhone

Initials, a personal touch to the case

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