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Last Sunday we made the ±hour and a half train journey from Amsterdam to Nijmegen, nestled close to the German border, for our first (of, hopefully, many!) gig of the year – Scout Niblett at Extrapool.

The winter sun was shining and with time on our hands before the gig we did a bit of exploring of this new-to-us ancient town (first settled by the Romans over 2000 years ago). There were plenty of good discoveries to be made…

atmospheric ruins

golden light

the hard-working (even on a Sunday) River Waal

black swans, and other plumply perfect feathered friends

trails through the blue

elegant spires, onion-topped towers
(and ducks flying in pleasingly wonky formation)

feisty felines… definitely masters of their domains

winged watchers

a giant bunny balancing a bright red ball on his nose (highlight!)
[“Uitkijkkonijn” by Florentijn Hofman]

and Scout…
despite having a nasty cold and feeling very lousy for it, had us all captivated with another goose-bump inducing performance of raw emotional power.

I’m just re-surfacing after a week and a half of pressing deadlines… made more pressing by having spent the previous week taking it easy in sunny Spain! Quality time spent with friends in Zaragoza and enjoying waves of great music together at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, it was a week filled with…

Garlicky-shroomy-pintxos-goodness

and barflies.

Technicoloured…

graffiti.

Solar power

and shade gratefully received.

The world’s smallest dog?…

… and the smiliest dog?

Good music…

…good for the soul (pictured: Lichens & Low, 27 May on the ATP stage).

Mass protest for social change…

… ‘Yes, We Camp’ (well, not us… but a LOT of committed Spaniards).

Exploring new places

and being treated to beautiful, aurora-like sunsets.

Mediterranean blues

and a thousand other colours.

In the words of Phosphorescent‘s Matthew Houck (who got our gig-going on the 4th day of the festival off to a great start, evening sun shining, cold beers in hand): “here’s to taking it easy”.

More Spain pics to follow soon… the light!, the colour!, the textures!, the street art! :)

We spent last weekend at ATP’s ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ music festival in Minehead (on England’s south west coast). This year’s curators, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, succeeded in putting together a fantastic line-up of musicians for three days of musical awesomeness, and over the course of the weekend played three heart- and gut-wrenchingly beautiful sets themselves.

After days of freezing temperatures and extreme weather in most parts of the country Sunday saw the appearance of the sun in a startlingly clear and intensely blue sky. So, with a few hours to spare before the music kicked off again at midday, we headed down to the beach for some seaside antics. It was crisp and cold and beautiful!

long winter shadows & chibi totoro in a contemplative mood

pebble appreciation!

tangled

tributaries

lifting our skinny fists like antennas to heaven

Driving back across the Somerset hills to Bristol airport on Monday morning, filled to bursting with good music, we felt like we’d passed through the wardrobe in to a Narnia under the White Witch‘s spell…

Ahh… good times :)

I’m anticipating another longish stretch of weblessness (from now until my ailing computer is resuscitated… for which I am keeping my fingers crossed!). In the meantime more ‘advent calendar’ doors have been scheduled…

Have a great weekend!

It has been a damp and rainy day here in Amsterdam, coinciding with a very welcome gap in work commitments.

A perfect day for cranking up the volume…

… singing along… and cut-cut-cutting!

Today has been a grey old day in Amsterdam, but I’ve been continuing with some colourful papercutting to keep the grey at bay.

In stark contrast to the peaceful monochromatic winteriness of the wolf and bear cards that I blogged about earlier in the week my papercutting has taken on a positively summery direction, colour bursting at every seam.

I’ve raided my paper stash – of Japanese origami and washi papers, saved gift-wrap and envelope security patterns, ticket stubs and other ephemera – collected over many years and in many different places…

i ♥ paper

envelope security patterns

… and I have been cutting and layering them to create what I’ve dubbed ‘rare blooms’ (as each papercut-thread-and-sequins-concoction is very much one-of-a-kind).

It’s a completely addictive activity and so much fun!

On the subject of fun… tonight we’ll see Scout perform at the Occii (I think its small size will make it the perfect intimate venue for her, always in my past experiences, intense & exposed performance), and tomorrow we’re off to Brussels (just a hop and a skip across the border) for more musical fun in the form of the Toutpartout festival @ Botanique (can’t wait! Although I’m gutted that The Cave Singers and Jason Molina have had to cancel due to illness – get well soon one and all!).

In between all the excellent music this weekend I’ll be participating in the Etsy Holiday Sale (I’m thankful for modern technology and the virtual ‘shop’, which allows me to be in more than one place at once :). My small garden of rare blooms has taken root over there.

Whatever you’re up to this weekend, I hope it’s fun-filled and colourful!

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A couple of weeks ago, during a particularly stressful time, we were asked by our neighbours to kitten-sit while they were away for a few days... turns out kitten therapy was just what we needed #purrs 😺 Today I downloaded these pics off my SLR and thought I'd share 'em here... because everyone can do with a bit of kitten therapy in their lives! #kittens #kitten_therapy #grey #sansa #british_blue #black #jax (scroll right for Jax!) Summer solstice sundowner, 22h05, 21 June #summer_solstice #northern_hemisphere #sunset #sundowner #brouerijtij #beer #ijwit #thirst_quencher #sandy #beach #parnassia #north_sea #ocean #netherlands Last night’s summer solstice sun sinks slowly into the misty North Sea #summer_solstice #northern_hemisphere #sunset #soft #mist #north_sea #ocean #beach #parnassia #netherlands Jellyfish silkscreen print detail… #screenprinting #silkscreen #screen_printing #printmaking #ink #work_in_progress #drawing #handdrawn #stippling #jellyfish #cnidarian #tentacles #oral_arms #pattern #tangle #intertwined -o- https://tinyurl.com/yclpowve Detail of a recently completed screenprint, entitled ‘forest fauna’, on Fabriano’s beautiful ‘Blu Notte’ (Blue Night) Tiziano pastel paper #handmade #screenprint #silkscreen_print #printmaking #fabriano #italian_paper #texture #ink #white #blue #forest_fauna #bat #bird #graphic #pattern #intertwined #organic #flora Jellyfish ascending... #work_in_progress #screenprinting #screen_mesh #film_positive #exposed_screen #printmaking #drawing #handdrawn #jellyfish #tentacles #oral_arms #pattern #tangle #intertwined

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