Thursday, May 29, 2014

Zelfgemaakt Markt

I've been busy these last couple weeks preparing for the Zelfgemaakt Markt in Utrecht this Saturday. It took me most of a year to figure out how to search for Dutch craft markets (turns out they are called creamarkten...) so I'm really looking forward to finally trying one! Here's just a small preview of what I'll be bringing. I even had a chance to revisit wood drawings, including a traditional handmade Dutch klompen which I decorated with tulips (I'm sure the Dutch can always use more tulip-y things) bordering a view of the Dom Tower in the center of Utrecht. It's a holiday weekend and the weather should be decent, so here's hoping for a good turn out!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

First Choice Sale

Craft fair season is starting, but I'd like to give my Etsy shoppers first choice! If you've had your eye on anything in my Etsy shop, now is your chance to save 20% with coupon code FIRSTCHOICE. This coupon expires when I pack up for my first market on Saturday (drop in to the Utrecht Zelfgemaakt Markt if you are in the area), so use it while you can!

Friday, May 16, 2014


I'm really getting in to collages! I like how the dried flowers look in this one. They are "weeds" that grow along the sidewalk dense as a yellow wall. I couldn't hardly wait for them to dry to try them out, and I think they worked well. The lace collar is from a vintage lace pattern. The design in the background is based on an old deco ironwork gate. In my mind it leads to a garden, so the collage is named "Gardens."

It makes me happy to create something that is just about beauty. Not all art has to be shocking, revolutionary, or have abstract meaning. Isn't it just as important to celebrate what is beautiful in the world?

The collage consists of various papers, knitted emroidary thread, dried flowers, watercolor pencil, marker.

Friday, May 9, 2014

International Living's Incomes Abroad

I was consulted for an article in International Living's Incomes Abroad magazine. It's a very basic summary of the process I described under my DAFT posts. I would also say that getting the residence permit is only the very first step to building a life in Europe. Actually living abroad isn't without its challenges. I wouldn't guarantee the last sentence unless you are proficient in Dutch, but I also live in an area where people rarely practice their English so it really depends on the community. Click here for a larger image if you'd like to read it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Great Basin Images (plus...Blogaversary!)

Play Me A Happy Song is one year old! Even scarier...that means I've been in Europe for a year and a half now. I still miss things back home, not the least of which, my last park--Great Basin--and it's wide open places, natural beauty, and friendly people. Lately I've been enjoying some amazing photography of the area made by one of my friends. I had the pleasure of working with Kelly for two seasons, and his knowledge and enthusiasm always impressed me. His expertise ranges from the geology beneath our feet to the stars above our heads, both of which are dramatically captured in his photography.

He has graciously let me share with you two examples of his work from his website, Great Basin Images. The first one is a great shot of the type of quirky and unexpected remains one can stumble upon in the desert. The back-drop is the awesome night sky, one of the best in the continental U.S. Just looking at this makes me homesick--sorry Europe, but you lost your stars several million light-bulbs ago!

Find this photo on his website

The next photo shows some local history. That's another thing I love about this area, so many artifacts and old structures that have just been left lying in the desert, preserved by the dry climate and sparse population. These are the Ward Charcoal Ovens, which operated in the 1870s to produce charcoal in support of mining operations.

Find this photo on his website

These are just a couple of his photographs from the Great Basin desert. You can see some more awe-inspiring skies and scenery at Great Basin Images.

Or, if Facebook is your cup of tea, follow him here.