eigen kweek / tulips from the garden

With so many Dutch beauties blooming away, showing a field of pinks, purples and reds, I couldn’t keep from cutting some for a bouquet… I have to tell you, the garden has me in its grasp! It makes me do things I haven’t really done in years, since I was a kid, like picking flowers and the cheer joy it brings… And like back then, this bouquet I gave to my mother.

The more delicate tulips like the white/pink ones with the frizzed edges (tulipa Huis ten Bosch) or the red parrot tulip on the right (with the curly petals) seemed a little lost amidst the rest, so I thought it would be nice to admire them up close in a vase. Yes, it’s that latticino vase from the March calendar! There are still plenty in the front garden though, charming neighbours and passers-by and it almost seems they are somewhat complementary to the rampant dandelions on the driveway, lol (I still have to deal with those). Can’t wait to fill up the rest of the front garden at the end of the summer (so far it’s been “tulip’d” about halfway)…

Tulipa Huis ten Bosch, Purple and Candy Prince
Tulipa Huis ten Bosch, Purple and Candy Prince, and muscari and forget-me-nots in the back
lily of the valley
Lily of the Valley getting ready for May

Tulipomania or Tulip mania was a short period in the 17th Century in the Netherlands during which tulips became immensely wanted; prices rocketed and then plummeted again. Combined with the popularity of the Vanitas theme, this also led to many wonderful still lives of flower bouquets and botanical paintings…


Remember that tub full of tulip bulbs in October? After a whole winter underground, they’ve been popping up and one by one they’re starting to bloom… Different types of tulips means they all have their own internal clock, some have started blooming early and some are still waking up… It’s fun to discover who’s up next!

1  It started with snow drops, crocuses, intensely fragrant hyacinths and then the narcissus…

bulbs! blooming and everything!

The front garden is by far not finished yet, but is already looking a lot more cheerful than a  year ago. About half of the surface is now covered in tulips and muscari! Shades of blue, pink, salmon and purple (and dark red which I thought would be black!).

bulbs! blooming and everything!

  • The white ones at the front with purple streaks are Tulipa Flaming Flag,
  • the dark red ones are Tulipa Ronaldo -both are blooming in their second year
  • the glorious & tall salmon pink ones are Tulipa Van Eijk
  • the pale pink ones are Candy Prince and their purple counterpart Purple Prince
  • for some reason there was a row of stray yellow-red tulips that bloomed first, making a mess of my color scheme! LOL

bulbs! blooming and everything!

bulbs! blooming and everything!I’m not sure what these red ones are either, but the pure white tulips scattered here and there are Tulipa Purissima and Candy Prince are the pink ones…

More photos at flickr and you can follow my tulipo- and other gardenmania on Pinterest!

bulbs! Tulipa "Van Eijk"
Big and gorgeous Van Eijk Tulip

Hello surface!

tulip bulbs!
the tulip bulbs are eager to go underground again…

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js It almost seems to have become a yearly ritual, returning to this virtual home of a blog in October. I like the term “resurfacing”, as if life takes part under the surface of the earth for a period, seemingly inexistent…until it suddenly pops up again, showing its face. Springtime in autumn, hehe.

Well, most of my invisible, underground work in the previous months consisted of dealing with Dad’s Alzheimer’s and the changes it brought to his and our lives, and working on my Master’s thesis for art history (which I finished in August). It has been a turbulent period but we’re all in a better place now than we were before. And in the mean time I’ve also been adjusting to a new town, to this new (old) house and a neglected garden that I’ve been tending to.

Creatively I haven’t been as prolific this past year as I wanted, as I needed to focus on other issues. So even my creativity went underground. Luckily the garden has been a great teacher. Getting my hands dirty, learning about the soil, the plants, doing garden archeology, finding “treasures” (well… mostly just rusty beer bottle caps really, lol) and learning about the people who lived here before and how they treated the garden… And the best thing about a neglected garden, is that your imagination can take it anywhere!

Off you grow! Have a look at the garden journal on flickr and the inspiration for it on Pinterest.



and now for something slightly different…


I made a collage.

I know I should be studying, but I always tend to get inspired in these exam or study periods… Of course I’m not supposed to give in to it, so most ideas get scribbled down a sketchbook. But it is tempting, and now and then I have to let myself go a little…

With glass, metal and fire lacking I have to do with what I can find. Quite literally: this is a little collage made out of a handful of thorns, 3 butterflies, 2 bees, 4 cat’s whiskers (probably Yang’s and Shelley’s), a bumblebee, a mosquito and a pupa. I’ve collected them over the years, they died of natural causes (or quasi natural, as one of the butterflies was trod on by a toddler :-/ ).
I love the organic shape of wings, of thorns, of whiskers…They seem perfect even though each one is different.

The work wasn’t all that different from gluing murrine on a sheet of glass -only, with such light wings I had to take care not to breathe to hard! V-e-r-y delicate work. But boy it felt good! And now I I’m satisfied and can get back to the books. Until the next idea strikes… 😉

“there’s still life in this lady yet!”

– Lestat, dancing with a corpse (Interview with a vampire, from back when they didn’t have to sparkle and just could be delightfully evil) (oh, and this cute snippet: Lestat angrily playing a bit of a Haydn sonata -how come the bad guys always have such a great taste in music? :-p )

snails & rose petals

Yes, I’m here! My full time library job and the daily commuting to Antwerp has kept me pretty damn busy since March so everything else had to be postponed (or canceled like library school… :-/ ) for the time being. But it definitely is an enriching experience. And since my contract ends in July I’m gearing up on my new art projects -I’ll introduce them in separate posts.

Meanwhile I haven’t yet told you about my internship at the Sint-Lucas Library back in February-March. It is part of the Hogeschool voor Wetenschap & Kunst with its art and architecture department situated in Ghent. It’s the only (Flemish) art college still having a glass program, by the way…

Sint-Lucasbibliotheek Gent

Working in this library (with a nice glass section) felt like being a kid in a candystore! The main library users were art school students and staff, and I loved to observe how most of them used (or rather didn’t use) the catalogue and went for their gut feeling and let themselves be inspired by what they found in the stacks (that’s how I like to work as well, even for academic purposes – sort of a combination of classical search strategies & intuition/association).
The library also has a neat blog, a librarything with the new acquisitions and a flickr page, and you can like it on FB.

I haven’t had much studio time in the past 3 months, but I did manage to snap some kitties, critters and flowers…

Assepoes & the weathered bench

I do love this portrait of Assepoes on the weathered bench though.

And those pretty poppies… check out the original sizes of the garden photos on flickr, and download them if you like!

macro poppy!

glass + copper. No more, no less.

Two materials I’ve been wanting to combine for a long time. They go together so well, and I was eager to work on a project in which I could combine the techniques I had learned for each medium. Sawing out the forms in copper, sanding them, designing the murrini at the torch, arranging them and firing the little squares (the “gardens”) in the kiln, and finally setting them in the panel. It took me about a month.

The grass green glass was my red thread. It’s one of my favorite transparant shades -it reminds me of summer and the sun shining through leaves…it just makes me happy. So I used that in all the green murrini, but mixed the shades with other colors.

When seen from afar you can just make out the colors of the glass squares and read the quote, but as you come closer you see more colors and finally all the murrini. It is quite detailed, the squares are each 5 x 5 cm, the murrini between 1 and 7 mm each. The whole piece measures 15 x 78 cm (without the bar and the chains).

“Nur der Mensch schafft einen Garten, niemals die Natur. Sie sehen also, wie unsere Entwicklung vor der Intervention des Bewusstseins abhängt. Es gibt zwar den Faktor der Entwicklung, der Evolution in der Natur, aber sie vollzieht sich langsam, sie benötigt Millionen von Jahren.”

C. G. Jung, Traumanalyse

The garden is a metaphor for our own creative process. A garden doesn’t occur naturally, we create them consciously. But a garden is also a reflection of nature, so by creating one we tap into the same creative process as nature uses and connect with her within ourselves. And that brings balance.

That’s why creating is so vital to us…

work in progress pictures:



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