Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How long is a hiatus?

I knew that I had put this blog on the back burner, but I was genuinely surprised when I realised that it had been five months since my last post. Five months! I have now been living in The Netherlands for six, and while I'd like to say that the time has flown in a haze of travel, friends, adventures and Euro-mayhem if I'm honest the time has been more of a 'haze' then a 'haze of...'.

The life of someone with FMS and CFS/ME is a part-time one at best, and over the last few years I excelled at my part-time lives. I made the most of my abridged energy and was a passionate and productive crafter (just like my first post outlined it was my goal to be), a dedicated teacher, a fabulous friend, a supportive family member and an efficient afternoon-napper. When 2011's challenges came I expected to deal with them as I had in the past: hibernate for a while until the sun shone again. Unfortunately, however, it became harder and harder to see the sun.

My move to The Netherlands was to start with a couple of months of rest to get my body back on track. I looked forward to slowly finding new crafty haunts and letting myself naturally come back to what I love to do. My health, however, had other ideas. Six months of rest and I am still unrefreshed. My part-time life has become more of contract-work arrangement. I refer to it actually, as my 'shifts': The morning shift where I eat breakfast and make the bed, check Facebook (a godsend in staying connected for the chronically ill, but I'll save those reflections for later), and small activities such as shopping or fixing something around the house. The afternoon shift, which consists of sleeping from after lunch until, more often than not, dinner. The evening shift where I eat, attempt quality conversation with my wonderful Dutchman, and watch TV. On good days I'll read (it can be difficult to focus on the writing when I'm hazy), prepare dinner or poke around in the craft cupboard. With the support of the aforementioned Dutchman I'll also have lovely local adventures - a trip to the Baby Goat Farm on Mother's Day, for instance. On bad days - which sometimes turn into weeks - I'll hibernate in bed and wait for that gorgeous sunshine.

It's interesting how dreams can change. Where once I dreamt of my illustrations gracing the shelves of Borders, being unable to keep up with the retail demand for my journals or marrying my love of design and theatre in a visual production role I now have more humble wishes. I dream of my Dutchman coming home from work to the sight of me at our dining table, glueing pretty paper to cardstock with a big smile on my face instead of the sight of me curled up under the doona.

This post is a difficult but honest one. It is a 'catch up' to my readers (whomever they may be) in the real sense - this is what is going on. It's also a validation of sorts for me, as the next part is dedicated to the things that I have been able to accomplish this year. I may have only had one project a month rather than the multitude that I had in the past, but each project still gives me a huge sense of satisfaction. Each project is my little bit of sunshine.


Some needlepoint cushions in my downtime. And apt words, don't you think? Koffie means coffee, and slaapkop means sleepyhead.

Embracing the Dutch language in my own little way...


A wedding scrapbook made to order, in the style of one created last year.
The finding of vintage fabric goodness and a visit to the Sunday Market.


The debut of San's Skulpturen at the aforementioned Sunday Market. A great but exhausting day where I was filled with pride once again at the creativity and skill of my Dutchman. The DSLR was dusted off  and I conquered Photoshop on a Mac for some product promotion, and my cutting and glueing skills were put to good use too - making price tags for his stall!

San's Skulpturen original commissioned piece.
A dolled-up poster of our first collaboration.
The artist at work with some fascinated spectators. At times the crowd was three deep.


April was huge. We moved into our new apartment and got busy putting our stamp on it. We also celebrated our one-year anniversary (and got inspired Modernista-Nouveau style) with a few days in Barcelona.

Ik hou van jou, Sander.
(I express myself the best in vintage scrabble tiles)


In May, my lovely little cat arrived from Australia. Yes, she flew in from Australia. My creative passion for the month then became cat photography. And oh! She is so very photogenic!

Hanging by the lamp     -     Moth?!     -     Pausing for the strike...     -     Where'd it go?

And now it is June...

And I feel all caught up. In fact, this post has been quite the cathartic experience and I'm grateful for its effect. It seems that I have been quite busy after all. And as a side note,  after a month of photography Little Girl has become quite the diva. Check her out photo-bombing a San's Skulpturen product photo-shoot...

Yes, you are the centre of attention.


  1. welcome back, keep blogging where you can, always good to read you!