..... filled with X-mas memories. Each year I make some new, each year my boxes in the attic are getting filled more and more. The little ornaments in our X-mas tree were from my grandmother and probably 50-60 years old. The X-mas stable was made by a friend (Ben, he died in 1999) somewhere in '92 or '93. The Santa Claus was one of my first projects and made in 1989. The embroidered X-mas hearts are from my first X-mas swap. The X-mas quilt on the chair is my first X-mas quilt, made from westfalen fabrics, it took me two years to finish it. The mooses are from this year, the wallhanger in the hallway from last year. The little socks Rob and Caro from Marne, so is the table runner. So everything means something to me. Just a few days more to enjoy and then another year to wait.
I did sent my package to Jewells in Australia, and I got a package back from Teresa also from Australia. Everybody had to wait till X-mas day opening it. So Rob and I had lots of fun at breakfast unwrapping our gifts from several parts of the world. Isn't this snowman made by Teresa very cute. THANKS TERESA, it's hanging on my door now. And doesn't Rob looks good with his new Seattle scarf.
Palace Soestdijk is temporarily open for public (till 31/12/2010). Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard lived here from 1937 till their death in 2004.
So I arranged tickets for my parents (and myself) as a birthday present. We started with a lunch in the "Organgery" and then we had guided tour through parts of the palace. It's very special to walk around the rooms wich you only know from the TV. The central block contains several official reception rooms wich are still decorated and furnished in the original style, with beautiful paintings along the walls. The right wing (Baarn) was the family wing, most of the family rooms are empty now.
I must say the palace looks much bigger on TV, the palace is rather small, and especially the family rooms, like the study rooms of Bernard and Juliana are very intimate and cosy. It's lovely situated in the park. Espcially now with all the snow. The big question now is: what are they're going to do with the Palace. I hope they keep it open for public, because it's an very interesting part of our history.
Originally it was build around 1650 as a hunting lodge. In 1814 King William II and his and his Russian wife, Princess Anna Paulowna, had Soestdijk converted into a real summer palace, they added the two wings and furnished into Imperial style. The Queen Mother Emma was particularly fond of the Palace. In 1928 she received a special present on her 70th birthday: electric lighting at Soestdijk Palace.
It was not until 1937 that Soestdijk Palace became permanently occupied, when Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard took up residence here after their marriage. In 1940 after the invastion of Germany they left and they returned in 19945. Even today it is still remembered how on Queen’s Day the complete royal family viewed the festive parades from the steps. (Wich are rather small and narrow, so it must be really crowded with all the family standing there.).
Unless all the snow, we still spend the weekend in the eastern part of the Netherlands, visiting my mother-in-laws and my parents.
When I was a kid my mum had an old sewing basket, to keep her embroidery thread. I still remembered it. So on this lazy sunday morning at my parents house I asked my mum if she still got it. And yes she found it on the attic.
She made this at school when she about 15 years old, so I can tell you it's over 50 years old. The condition is rather good, it still got bright colours, and it only needs a few repairs.
It's about 11 inches high and made from wool and jute. My mum and I decided to make new ones, so now we're in the search for some wool and jute.
Since friday we got lots and lots of snow here. I think here in The Hage we have between 8-12 inches snow now. And although there is a lot of complaining, no trains, no trams, and lots of traffic jam, Paco doesn't care, he adores snow.
Maybe you didn't know, but they do exist, a special little X-mas bag to carry your blackberry. Isn't it cute. The pattern is from Brenda Gervais.
But I won't use it before the 5th of december, first we have Sinterklaas in the Netherlands.
Do you know Sinterklaas?
Sinterklaas is a traditional Winter holiday figure in the Netherlands, Belgium, Antilles and Suriname, he is celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas' eve (5 December) . It's a childrens feast and celebrates the name day of Saint Nicolas (280–342), patron saint of children and sailors. Saint Nicholas was a bishop of Myra, present day Turkey. But there are more myths about Sinterklaas. Just some important things to know:
- Sinterklaas has a staff and mischievous helpers with black faces, they're called "Zwarte Piet"
- Sinterklaas rides the roof tops with his gray horse Amerigo
- Children put their shoes filled with straw and carrots in front of the chimney, and sing little songs, they hope Sint brings them little gifts.
- He's arrving in november by boat from Spain, his boat is loaded with gifts. - Adults make little funyy poems to go along with the gifts to tease each other a little bit.
Sinterklaas is his usual name. The more formal name is Sint Nicolaas or Sint Nikolaas. He is also known as Goedheiligman or simply Sint.
I know as we were little kids, Sinterklaas was always a very exciting time.