Kim got me this gorgeous colouring book for my birthday. It’s called Animorphia by Kerby Rosanes and has a lot of animal and nature things with tiny doodles in and around it. I’ve started colouring in it this week.
Nice, and relaxing. Felt tips going smoothly over the paper. Spotify on in the background, or maybe some TV that doesn’t require undivided attention. Tea at hand. Even some baklava one of those evenings. Perfect moments like that.
I’ve started with the interior cover pages. The right page is now done, the left one is in progress.
Earlier this week my cousin’s baby was born. Mom and I have making a fun little gift basket for the baby and the parents. As part of that, I’m making a hanger thing. But since I’m incorporating her name on the hanger thing I couldn’t start actually making it until after she was born and we knew what that name was going to be.
I have thin MDF shaped like birds, butterflies and hearts. I’m covering those in patterned felt. The front side gets a letter of the baby’s name and some embellishment. A bead, a charm something like that. Then I’m attaching them together so it can be hung.
At first I was going to go with a horizontal hanger, but after I had the first two shapes attached I realised they were too heavy. It wouldn’t stay without tipping over. So I will be removing the bits I need to re-use, and start anew.
The vet appointment went sort of as expected. Monkey was throwing his usual hissy fit. Together the vet and I managed to get one shot done. Then we let Monkey be for a bit and decided to do the other two next.
Milo was easy, he didn’t want to move so he just sat there in as tight a ball as he could make himself 😀 Captain wasn’t planning on staying on the table this time. He immediately jumped off to look around. After putting him back on the table, the shots and a re-check of his ears was easy.
By then, Monkey was sitting in a corner. I managed to grab him and just hold him as I usually do. He was looking over my shoulder to the wall, giving the vet excellent access to his neck for the second shot. So while I held his head, he growled and she pricked 😀
This morning I went to Groningen. Gert alerted me to a book sale at a thrift store there a few days ago. We met up at the bus stop near the store and headed there. They were selling the books by weight, one kilo for a euro. We combed throught the books on offer and I came away with nearly 2,5 kilo’s of sale books. And another two from outside the sale for a euro each. Total score: ten books for €4,40 😀
I found some good novels. One of which was on my wish list (Vrij!), and another one I’d borrowed from Gert once and also wanted myself (The Athenian Murders). Also got a couple interesting non-fiction books including a dictionary of superstition.
This is how Mr. Squeekypants and Mr. Clumsyass spent a whole ten or so minutes when I went to bed the other night. I don’t think they’ve ever been this close to each other without either one of them running off or protesting. Progress!
The day after was another relaxed movie day for me and Gert. We started the afternoon with a drink outside enjoying the sunshine. Then we hit the cinema for The Transporter Refueled. This isn’t normally a movie I’d go see in the cinema. Or at all, really. I’ve not seen any of the previous movies either. But we saw the trailer a couple times before other movies and it just seemed so fun. And it was. Some semblance of plot but mostly a lot of fast and skillful driving and some action in between. I enjoyed it very much.
We then went on to see The Intern. I had fairly high expectations of that movie. I like Anne Hathaway, I like De Niro and from what I’d seen in the trailer this seemed to be a smart comedy without an overdose of romance. I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed. Hathaway and De Niro were awesome together. I liked the plot a lot. It was nice to see the modern-ness of it. Female CEO, working mother, stay-at-home husband, trying to find a balance between work and private life, internet, social media all that stuff. It really is a movie of this time and I like that it’s more a slice of life thing. The issues don’t magically get resolved just because the end of the movie is approaching. It has it’s happy(ish) ending, but there’s still work to do.
Tomorrow I’m taking all three monsters to the vet for their annual regular shots and their semi-annual anti-flea shots. Always a fun operation to run. Monkey hates the trip and the vet. Milo is generally terrified but quiet and calm. And Captain is the wild card. This will be his second time at the vet. The previous time I got his ears done and he got the anti-flea shot. Then he didn’t mind and was curious to walk around the room and sniff. This time around he knows what’s coming…
The first cake for my birthday party tomorrow is in the oven. As good a time as any to put up a new blog post 🙂
Yesterday I went to the Oosterpoort for my birthday present to myself. I saw, well, listened really, to the Sinfonia Rotterdam and the Laurens Cantorij performing the Requiem of Fauré.
I’ve heard the Requiem performed before by a local amateur choir and I really liked it then. However, that time the accoustics weren’t great, and the musical accompaniment was a solo piano. When I saw this performance on the list with a full symphonic orchestra and a professional choir, I knew I wanted to go.
Before the show I attended the introduction. There, the choir conductor told us about some key pieces of the Requiem. He had brought along a part of the choir. They performed small sections, a few lines at most, to show what the conductor meant when he discussed the pieces.
When the actual concert began, they started with the Ouverture from Cosi fan tutte by Mozart. This was followed by the Suite from Midsummernightsdream by Mendelssohn. After the break it was the Requiem’s turn.
As I had hoped, it was spectacularly beautiful. The accoustics in the Oosterpoort are very well suited to classical music.
Earlier this week, I also bought myself another early birthday present. I’d been thrift store shopping a few weeks ago and spotted there a spinning wheel. I looked at it, but decided to leave it. I was tempted, especially considering I want to do more traditional crafting, and more re-enactment. But it wasn’t priced and that usually means expensive and I just wasn’t sure.
Then Elfia happened. There, watching Margreet work her spinning wheel, I realised I really did want it. So Wednesday I went back to the thrift store and got lucky, it was still there. I got one of the sales associates to price it. She barely knew what it was, had to ask me if it was complete.
I don’t know much about spinning wheels either, but as far as I could tell, it was complete. I said so, and she priced it at € 12,50. I immediately agreed, cause that was a steal. The wood is in great condition, and once I figure out how all the loose bits attach, I’m sure it will be a working machine.
LootCrate’s theme this month is Summon. That on its own wasn’t really enough to interest me. But then they teased about there being Blizzard items in the box. So I caved and got one. First thing I saw when opening the box, was a Pikachu hat. I’m not a huge Pokémon fan, but I did watch the cartoon a lot when I was a kid. So the hat is a hit, and it’s nice and warm, too. The next item was a gold coloured Homer Simpson as Buddha thing. This was a major miss. I don’t particulary like The Simpsons, and find this thing really just tacky.
Then came the Blizzard items. The first was a Hearthstone shaped stress ball. It fits nicely in my hand and I’m very pleased to have a real-life Hearthstone to match my in-game one in World of Warcraft. The second item was a Hearthstone coin with a code for three free card packs in the Hearthstone game. I don’t play that a lot, but it is a nice time kill in quiet moments. So free card packs are much appreciated then. The coin is of a solid metal with a nice feel.
Another really good item was a miniature version of Baby, the card driven by the Winchester brothers in Supernatural. I’d gotten Nienke one of these for Christmas last year and I’m really happy I have one for myself now, too.
Lastly, they included two summoning themed games. The first one a mobile game, with the ability to unlock extra content by scanning the LootCrate box. The second a card game of sorts. They included a booklet of cards for one player. Which means I will never play it, as I would need to find someone else who also got this LootCrate. Of course, I could copy the cards, but that looks bad and is too much effort for a game I’m not that interested in playing.
Overall, the Blizzard items, the car and the hat are fantastic and make up for the okay games and the tacky Homer. I am pleased I bought this box.
This month’s theme was Hyperspace. There were only five items in the box as opposed to the six or seven in previous months which was a little bit disappointing.
I love the little springy USS Enterprise, even if it feels somewhat cheap. The plushie BB-8 looks fantastic. I like it’s feel and design, but I don’t know yet if I’ll keep it. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, I’ve seen the older movies once, a long time ago. I will be seeing the new movie once it’s out, so I’m keeping the plushie at least until then. Depending on what I think of the movie, and BB-8’s part in it, I’ll keep it or put it in the gift bin.
The Jurassic Galaxy art print is fantastic! It mashes Guardians of the Galaxy with Jurassic World with cameo appearances of Terminator and Star Wars. Beyond this print and the Doctor Who one from a previous box I’ve acquired some more art print or small poster stuff that I want to display. I haven’t quite figured out how I want to do that, though. but I am really excited about it.
The shirt this month is a Battlestar Galactica one combining the two versions of Cylons in a mash-up resembling a Daft Punk album cover. The last item was a Funko mystery box with a random Supernatural mini. I got Castiel, which I absolutely love! I am a bit puzzled though how Supernatural fits the theme.
Overall, I’m impressed with the individual items, but it did feel less as a whole with only five items of which only four fit the theme.
I had an amazing weekend at Elfia in Arcen. The atmosphere was great, the whole thing looked fantastic and our camp rocked.
Friday morning, Mellien and Bas picked me up and we drove to The Farm. There we packed up the rented van, Harry’s van and Anneke’s car. Bas had to go to work and would join us in the evening. With the whole group, the packing was done quickly, and we were on our way. All together we were ten people and three dogs.
After arrival, we had some trouble finding our designated camping site. With some help of the organisation, we found it. They had moved us to a better spot. We were now across from the main stage behind the line of food carts. So our back was towards that, and we faced a beautiful pond. The build of the camp went very smoothly and before long we were ready. The visitors wouldn’t be there until Saturday so we could relax for now.
The next morning, before the festival opened its doors, Jarig and I went to walk their dog. The park around Arcen Castle is fantastic and very elaborate. The big glass building is a greenhouse that also features a Jurassic Park bit complete with fake dinosaurs.
When we returned it was time to get the picture going. This meant find something to do all day so you’re useful, while having fun and presenting an interesting and pretty picture for the crowd. I mostly held fire watch where I kept the fire going and watched the food we were cooking. Beyond ourselves, the camp is dressed up with many accessories that make it feel even more alive. When the visitors stop and want to know more, or are impressed, you know you’ve done a good job.
It’s important that the camp always looks complete and lively. We get the free entrance in return for doing just that. So, during both days we took turns going out for a bit to stroll the festival grounds, take a look at other stands, maybe buy some stuff. Every one has something they can do that is sort of authentic to the middle ages. Julius gives little workshops in blacksmithing. Anneke cooks for all of us. Margreet spins wool, Harry does some wood working. Mellien does little felting workshops. Eva varies but this time around it was needle felting. Jarig, Bas and I don’t really have a niche, so we do whatever needs doing. Bas ended up assisting with the Blacksmithing a lot. And I did fire and tried my hand at some wood working with the small axe on the second day. This was quite fun to do, and I think I want to do that more often.
The evenings are almost an event on their own. After the visitors have gone, the music has died off, the sky has grown dark. Candles are lit, the fire is still burning. There’s a quietness but all around you hear the different camps still living. The last evening we sat around the fire for quite some time.
Monday morning we got up fairly early so we could pack up everything without having to hurry. In the afternoon we got back on the road to our Highland. Saying goodbye to Arcen for this year.
The stake I made. It needs some sanding to be nice and smooth and then it will be a gift for Nienke to hunt vampires with.
I’ve been packing to go to Elfia next weekend together with Eva, the whole family, Mellien and Bas. We’re spending the weekend doing a general fantasy-style medieval re-enactment there. We leave for Arcen on Friday and come back on Monday.
In between packing bags, I hit the crafting table on Tuesday. I made a quick-and-dirty apron from this large piece of old leather I have. It’s just meant as an extra accessory during the weekend so it didn’t have to be perfect. Plus, I want to keep most of the leather in one piece for when I figure out what I really want to make out of it. Maybe a belt. A belt would be useful.
I straightened out the sides and edges so the piece flowed better. Then I used some of the cut bits to make a neck strap. I then braided rough thin rope to make two bits of thicker rope. That thicker rope I ran through two existing holes on the sides to create the closure. Quick, and easy.
While working on it, Milo was quite interested in the leather. He kept sniffing it and wanted to sit on it 🙂
Yesterday, I went to a Mazerunner marathon with Kim. The second film was pretty good. It followed the movie close enough. It missed some of the nuance between Thomas and Theresa but that is to be expected of a movie versus a book. I’m excited for part three next year.
And speaking of cats, to save me from a separate post just for this, here’s a ridiculously cute Monkey a few days ago.