Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Amsterdam and Cycling

Hi Dear Folk,

I would love the thought of riding my bike everywhere.  One summer when Rob was about seven, we went up to Canada and visited Ottawa, that was when we had our Ford Conversion Van and a pop up camper, loved that van, super comfortable.  Back to my thought and that is cycling.  We always used to take our bikes on vacation.  This particular day when we visited Ottawa, there was no place that we could find to park in town, so we drove up a very steep hill, I do not remember names, but you had a wonderful view of the rivers, we parked in a park area and rode our bikes down into town, yes even Rob he was quite proficient.  So all day we cycled around town using some bike paths and other times on the roads, at the end of the day, I'm talking 9:00 PM or later at night, Rob and I were pretty tired to cycle up that long hill.  So we sat in a cafe and had coffee and soft drinks, with these old Russian men playing chess, while Mr. B. cycled up the hill to fetch the van and then came back down and picked us up.  Rob was invited to watch and teach him chess, happy memories.

This is the end of the green in front of the museum area.

Walking to the market.

The market street along which is the Bazaar Restaurant that I mentioned in an earlier post.  Many of the shops which are behind all the stalls, put their stall our in front of their shop, interesting.  We both bought some fabric printed with photos and a map of Amsterdam, will make a nice bag.  The fabric shop was wonderful, so many very Dutch prints.

These are the herons that we saw that night, they must almost have permanent residence here.

If you notice at the top of the apartments they all have hooks for hoisting up furniture.

I could quite see myself with this lifestyle bikes and trams.

I want to go back when the tulips are out and visit some of the countryside.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Crochet Tea Cozy and More

Hi Dear Folk,

I may have got a little carried away with my flowers on this tea cozy, it will certainly keep the tea hot.  It turned out a little smaller than I thought it would so had to try several teapots to see which one it fit, but of course I found one, having so many choices as I do.  I was going to line it, but realized I need all the stretch I can get and a lining would limit this, so my cozy will stay as is.

This lovely mohair cardigan was a charity shop find in Halstead, Essex, as soon as I saw it I knew it needed different buttons.  This is what I had in my stash of buttons and it seems most appropriate as they were made in England, so much better.

Took some of my photos taken of paintings in the Rijks and made them into cards.

I have been keeping my eye out for a long while for an apple peeler and yes it did eventually turn up at the thrift $2.39 with 25% off, Yes!

I bought the above book as I recently watched a series about Liberty of London and have always loved their fabrics, so when I saw this smock top with a skirt and many other patterns I couldn't resist.  The collar is detachable, so worn with or without, very eighties, as this is when it was published.

Should be handy.

After going to the Kaffe Fassett quilt exhibit, I was hoping I would come across some of his books, just love the colour.  Most of his designs are for knit and not crochet, so that's my next hurdle, learn how to knit.

Ran across this old industrial looking office lamp, made by Art Specialty, Chicago, I would think circa forties or fifties.  I love it, a little worse for wear, but that adds to the character.  This led to a total rearrangement of one of my desks in the Simla room.  It certainly needed it, good old dust and polish.  Few things taken off, and a different, smaller typewriter added.  By the way I even got to polish the brass, but that was after this photo was taken.

I was so tired last night I went to bed at 9:00PM, which led to waking up at 1:30AM and did you know the birds start their dawn chorus at 3:00AM, oh yes, back to bed at 5:00AM and up at 7:00AM for work.  But those lovely quiet hours in the morning, listening to BBC Radio books.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Catwalk At The Rijks Museum

Hi Dear Folk,

One of the exhibitions at the Rijks was the Catwalk Exhibition, and other displays of Dutch fashion from 1625 to 1960.  Jean and I definitely wanted to see this so we headed straight over to this exhibit.

Chairs were positioned all around an oval, which turned with the dressed mannequins on it, a fashion show.

 If I narrowed it down to three favourites on the Catwalk they are the following and I will add a fourth choice.

Above left is my fourth choice, Edwardian Tea Gown.

First choice, Avondjapon, evening dress with mirrored floral pattern, as you can see I took front and back pictures.  Designed by the Italian  Maria Nina Ricci c 1938, who founded her own fashion house in Paris in 1932.  the gown has an underskirt and a tunic.  the draped silhouette recalls the clothing worn by women in ancient Greece, on which many 1930's evening dresses were modeled.  The abstract floral pattern lent the design a contemporary character.  It is a beautiful dress.

The black sequined dress behind is a Jeanne Lanvin 1938.

Second choice, day dress post second World War, RAF silk pilot maps of Asia.  When opened they make no noise.  By Jeanne de Loos, Indonesia C 1945.  There was a shortage of textiles after WWII so Jeanne made use of silk escape maps.  These maps were carried by Royal Air Force crew members so that they could identify their location in case of an emergency landing.

And this is my third choice.

Black dress with a tie belt - Catharina Kruys Veldt de Mare C 1951 - c 1952

Catharina started out as a seamstress, at nineteen she married and with her husband she started a Fashion House Maison C. Kruys Veldt Mare.

Catwalk behind the scenes

The only thing is I always want to see how the dresses were constructed underneath and it's a great temptation to lift a corner up and take a peek.  I think that they should do this, or at least show photos of the stitching, seams and underneath construction, especially of old garments, I would find this most interesting.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

Hi Dear Folk,

After our toast, eggs and tea for breakfast at our digs, we set off for the Rijks Museum, which was only a couple of stops on the trolley from where we were staying.  In the morning we saw a peak of the sun, as you can see in the patches of blue sky.

The museum is considered Neo Gothic and was designed by Pierre Cuypers the son of a church painter.  He designed both the Amsterdam Central Station and the Rijks Museum and you can see the similarity.  He was Catholic and belonged to the Lay Dominicans.  After the Rijks was built many said that it was too church like and many additions were made over the years, hiding the original design concept.  In 2013 a ten year renovation was finished and took much of the structure back to the original Cuyper concept.

I did not take too many pictures of the internal architecture and should have done, I guess I was so concentrating on the art inside.  It was lovely to actually see many of the paintings that in a way you have lived with for years.

Here are Jean and I at the end of our visit, as you can see the sun disappeared.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Biggest Disappointment in Amsterdam

Hi Dear Folk,

Yes I did have a great disappointment in Amsterdam and it involves this bakery.  We said on our way back to our digs we're buy a cake here to take back with us to have with a cup of tea, and guess what it was closed, a tragedy.  At least I have the visual and can dream about the cake that never was.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bazaar Restaurant, Jordaan Neighbourhood, Amsterdam

Hi Dear Folk,

After checking into our digs and becoming acquainted with our host, I told you that story on a previous post, we were ready after a fun, long, quite cold day for a nice hearty meal.  This restaurant was recommended The Bazaar Restaurant, Amsterdam

We caught the trolley two stops this was about 7:00PM and by the time we got off and walked several streets over to Albert Cuypstraat, where they hold a street market every day, it was getting dark, it was a little on the quiet side, but OK.  We kept walking and couldn't believe our eyes dozens of herons were picking through the piles of trash, Eventually we found the restaurant with the big old doors.  We walked in and just soaked in the warmth and obviously very local people eating there.  The tile work and pottery all from North Africa, so wanted to buy a platter, the senses explode.

If you are ever in Amsterdam wander on out to Albert Cuypstraat 182, to the Bazaar Restaurant situated in an old church, in the Jordaan Neighborhood.  The prices are great the menu extensive with Moroccan and Turkish dishes, we were delighted with our food.

Unfortunately the only photos I have are cell phone photos, but if you go to the link above you will get the idea.  I had a lamb shank, accompanied with a side salad, and a very good fruit beer.  Jean had the stuffed peppers.  The portions are absolutely huge.

Jean's meal.

My meal.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Arriving At Our Digs

Hi Dear Folk,

Well as I said before travel is not for the faint hearted and neither is four flights of steps.

This is the entrance at the bottom, so one apartment either side on the ground floor.

Up one flight of straight steps and you are confronted with four doors.  One each to the left and right which are single apartments and then the two centre doors which you can see at the top of the stairs have three bells each.  We did not know which one to ring but eventually found out from a neighbour. So each door is locked and when you are let in, you are not buzzed in, our host had asked his sister to clean for him and she came down and let us in; there are another three apartments, one up each flight of stairs.  We climbed three flights of winding stairs to our apartment at the top.  We had a nice big bedroom at the front, overlooking this street.

Here is Jean looking at the paperwork for our digs.

Looking up and down the street.

We thought that our apartment could have possibly been built in the 1930's and I just kept thinking of Nazi soldiers and trucks going up and down and what it must have been like to look out of the windows and see that.

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