Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The dutch fiber shed...

Lately my room seems to have become a collecting place for fleece…
I've been intrigued with textile crafts for a long while now, as most of you might know. I spin yarn, knit, crochet, embroider and do patchworks… Weaving and natural dyeing is on my wishlist to learn, as well as felting.
Last week a friend of mine thoughtfully sent me this video, that I also would like to share with you, since it has inspired me enormously… It has a complete new (or old kind of new) look on clothing ourselves and how we treat getting our hands at our essentials, like food and in this case; fabric and clothing. Holistic, as she calls it, and regional. Oh, and the best part of it: mostly handmade, handdyed, natural, filled with loads of love in the making.

This got me thinking… I want to do this too! How could I use this inspiration and turn it to something I could do within my own business, over here in the Netherlands, with my skills and time?
And then it occured to me I already have a start lying around me in my room.

There is a wonderful flock of happy sheep in Zwolle, where I live, that grazes the grass around the roads in one quarter of the city. A year ago I bought a fleece there, to practice on.. (My spinning skills are quite good, but never good enough to my liking.) So this fleece is regional and happy.
They told me the fleece they have every year doesn't really bring up enough money, the sheering is almost more expensive. It would all be used for stuffing pillows and things like that.

Then some weeks ago I lent someone my handcards in exchange for a fleece of one of her sheep. (I'd say a wonderful deal..) And there it is! It turned up nicely packaged in a box.. Another fleece from not too far away. Another one added to my little collection.

Wool received from a kind friend

Then I also have another one in storage I got from a farmer nearby, he was just happy it would be actually used. It is from a blue texelaar.. This wool isn't suitable for dyeing, as it is dark, but it has a wonderful blue shine to it.. Wow.. I haven't gotten round to washing it yet though..

And then the last and best addition to my loft-collection (my room is in a small loft, and so now, filled with fiber…): a wonderfully soft alpaca fleece. This is the first sheering of this alpaca, I suppose it is about 1 year old now. I met him, what a gently, shy, cute little fellow. I cannot tell you how lusciously soft this fiber feels.. You could compare it to the way chocolate-caramel-icecream feels when it melts in your mouth.. Only I wouldn't eat this stuff.
The even more wonderful thing of this little alpaca's coat is that it was gifted to me by a keeper of these animals at the local petting zoo, here in Zwolle. So, again, this fleece is regional. And the ex-owner of it very cute.

Pile of alpaca fleece

I don't know what my ideas will turn out into with this concept, but I know I have the start of it right here. And it's smelling wonderfully of sheep and alpaca.

I would love to connect people that have animals and fiber that would love to see it being used in a more traditional, loving way and crafters - knitters, felters, weavers, dyers, spinners… But I'm not sure where to start yet.
Your ideas on this would be very much appreciated! Let me know what you think.
Or maybe you even would want to connect some dots in this.. Do you own sheep or alpaca's? Know of a mill here in the Netherlands that still processes fleece? Know fashion-students that could use this? Drop a comment below or send me a message..

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Small update: gaining momentum

I've been back from house-sitting for a while now, but haven't been calm and clear enough to write anything. My days have been chaotic and nice and not nice. In the up and down flow of life, my life had been very UP, and now for a while had been a bit more down.
Before you start to feel pity for me or think I'm being dramatic: it is all a good thing. The going up and down and up and down belongs and I think my ups have become more up and my downs have become different, less down.
I accept that life goes the way it goes, up and down and up. It is how we gain momentum.

My stay in the forest has been refreshing and wonderful. Now I long even more to live in nature, closer to the forest.
Here a picture I took on one of my many walks, to give you a little taste...

The sheep-path
I would also like to give you a taste on what is going on in my studio. I have been slow, unfortunately, but the magic has not.
I finished the first few illustrations for 'Het meisje dat lang haar wilde' ('The girl that wanted long hair'), written by DaniĆ«l Doornbos. I'm very happy with how they turned out… Here a first peek for all of you..

Peek 1Peek 3Peek 2

There will be more peeks soon, as there are other nice projects just waiting to have their last bits finished and refined. And there might be more travelling, maybe even in the next week. I'm deciding what it will look like, if the outside will be more tempting than my studio work… We'll see.

"How long have you been doing this," I asked the spider that was weaving his web. "For eight now," he said.

Dorien Hannah

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Back view

I am away on vacation. Or sort of.
At the moment I am house- and cat-sitting in an apartment, surrounded by luscious forest.

House-sitting is an awesome concept. The owner of the house (and often pets) gets to leave their house for a while without worries about who should take care of their plants, animals, garbage and mailbox.
The sittee (haha) has great benefit because it could be like a free holiday, or even a way of life. I know people living a nomadic life, doing volunteer work here and there for a place to stay and food, and doing house-sitting. Win-win.
Why would you need parks with holiday homes, when the people that live in that area go away on vacation as well and leave behind empty houses?

Of course, there is the issue of trust. For a lot of people it will probably be a big stretch to let someone they don't know sleep in their house, hand them the keys and be away for a while. For me it is also about building community, the new way. By trusting eachother and helping eachother, we create a new way of being together. We acknowledge that we are in this world together. By supporting eachother with our own talents and what we happen to have lying around (an empty house for example), we make this experience that is life so much nicer and more friendly.
(And of course you can snoop around on facebook and ask around to check if someone feels trustworthy to you…)
We can learn and fully feel that there actually is an abundance, not a lack, and enjoy it and dare to share it freely.

I will not be doing any 'work', so if you would like to contact me, I'll probably be slow with sending a reply. I'll be back in my studio in two weeks (just so you know).
I do plan on keeping track of my time here by pictures and writing, so you might even see more of me over here, on the blog.

And let me introduce you to Tijgertje, my new roommate for the next two weeks.. She doesn't fully approve of the camera, as you can see, but is a sweetheart.
The photo above is the view from the front door.


Front view

And here the view from the balcony on the other side.. Equally glittering green!

Interested in doing some house-sitting yourself? Or finding a house-sitter? Facebook is the most personal source.. And then there are some more organised websites to go to.
Note that I don't have experience with these myself.. You'll have to see for yourself.. :)
The sitters club - This is a group on Couchsurfing. I strongly recommend Couchsurfing anyway! It is a great and social and cheap and fun way to travel and experience new things!
The homesit service in New Zealand
Aussie housesitters - Australia
Mind my house - An international housesitting site. (Quite big..) - Another worldwide housesitting site.
Trusted house sitters - another website...

Have you had some housesitting experience already? How do you feel about it?
Share in the comments below!

Dorien Hannah

Monday, June 2, 2014

Manifesting like a crazy person


I don’t know exactly what it was, but since that Divine Opening I have been manifesting like a crazy person. (I don’t know if that is a ‘thing’ to say, “manifesting like a crazy person”, but I like it.) I like it a lot!

I had been having some problems with things stagnating, money not flowing in, etc.
I made a very clear to-manifest list. I want to have at least this amount of money coming in, I want to pay off this and this amount of money that I had borrowed, I want a nice appartment and in the meantime, I would like this house to get clean and organised. Hello Universe! I want this!
As always, I felt a bit like I was asking too much. More and more I convinced myself that I deserved nice things as well. And actually, these things I wished for were pretty basic.
Well.. I almost can’t believe it, but I ticked off every thing on this list, in some way…

· Money – yep.
· Paying things off. – yep. Done!
· House clean – yes! I don’t know where I got that energy from?
· Appartment - …..

Yes, ladies and gentlemen… an appartment. The day after I received that first Divine Opening from Marleen, I came across a message where a house- and cat-sitter was asked. I sent her a message immediately. The day after we had a chat on the phone. Everything feels good to both of us, so… Appartment? Check. At least for two weeks. A really nice one (I think), including a sweet cat to take care of, located surrounded by nature. Check!
I am loving this new flow I seem to be in!

I will be using this opportunity to relax, spend time in nature and paint… Painting outside has been on my wishlist for a while. I have this idea that just has to be transferred to paints and paper. We’ll see!

Let’s see what I’ll put on my next to-manifest list…
A house, all for myself, I think.. I feel like that one is already on it’s way.

So.. tell me, what is on your wish-list? Just put it in the comments, let us send a reminder to ourselves and the Universe that… hello! I would like to receive this and this!

Again I’ll put a link to Marleens site and . I can recommend receiving a Divine Opening yourself. Find Marleen here.

Oh, and did I tell you why I like the photo I added so much? If you look real closely you'll see a ladybug peeping out from underneath a leaf. Life has little jokes and winks like these. Hidden treasures.
I begin to uncover and discover these treasures by keeping track of the things that happen. For example; the things on my wish-list and the things that come true from my wishlist.
Or the little gifts, like: "amount of ice-cream eaten today"… "Amount of bunnies seen from the train window while traveling"...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Divine Opening

The tree

Sunday I went to an evening to receive a Divine Opening.
The funny thing was.. I had no clue what it was. When I saw the event on facebook, I immediately knew I had to go there. I didn't felt a hard push, just a gentle good feeling about it.
Then when that day arrived, I was filled with doubts.. "Well, I don't have a lot of money at the moment," I told myself. "Maybe it would be nice to do nothing and just rest." Luckily my boyfriend was there to catch me in the act of sabotaging myself.

I just knew this was going to be very good for me. I never actually paid to receive healings or other things to get support in my life. It was time to finally invest in myself.
I suppose that self-sabotaging part of me knew it was going to lose this time, because it struggled hard. I felt scared, but also relieved and happy that I was really embracing myself again. I cried in the train on the way there.
And again, the magic in my life showed it's support to me. Remember how I told about the animal spirits supporting me, the ladybugs and rabbits? Well, I have honestly never seen so many rabbits on my way as this time. They were everywhere! Even smack in the middle of Utrecht, my bus drove past a giant statue of a bunny. I was baffled.

Now I feel so much calmer and in a strange way, more open. I have still no clue what this 'Divine Openings' is, but I guess that is the point. It is not a thing for the mind to understand, it is on a different plane.
It is about opening up, getting out of the way so your larger self (the Divine) can do the work for you.
I don't know how this is going to affect me long-term, but right now I am much more easily going along in the flow of my life. I am even already manifesting some really nice things in my life (which is way quicker than I imagined was possible.. wow).

If you are interested, go to to find out more about it.
Or check the website of Marleen Renders to read about it on her inspiring blog…

So… how is your manifesting going?
What is manifesting in your life?