Design: cats & dogs

I’m writing this post beforehand and I’m time-posting it. That way you can read this post at the same moment my friend Carla unwraps her birthday present and finds this:


A shawl pin in the shape of a dog, shitting sparklies!

It has a long pin at the back that you weave through the fabric.


I so much hope she likes it…. she is a dog person and has a sense of humour. But still…

I had the most fun designing these, as you know. Finishing them was quite a task…

The brown sparkly flowers can be turned around, then they are just plain silver. Carla likes silver. As do I.


I made two more:


These are the ones that started it all. They are proper dogs, no sparklies.

A year ago I promised to make these two friends shawlpins, it was a commission. But I couldn’t muster up the energy or inspiration to make them. Not even cats. For a whole year long! I felt guilty and inferior every month, but I just couldn’t face the wire and the hammer.

They both graciously understood and haven’t pushed me. For which I am SO GRATEFUL! That’s when people truly understand how life can be hard and that consentious people don’t need pressure.

And then that lovely time came when Pippi visited and I could finally put my appreciation into inspiration into wire-sensation.

The moment you read this, one of them is dropped off by the postman, the other one is dropped of by me. These are gifts, because I so much appreciate them them.

I hope they all like them!

In other news I also made some cats, with brush and ink. This is one of the five x-mas cards that háve to go out this season. I’ve painted five thus far, written and send off two.


I’m in no way content with these. The paper was way too smooth for the ink, it didn’t hold very well. Still it was lovely to do so I made them anyway. Then my husband said to use them because “as long as you can make out what it’s meant to be, you can get away with it”.

That’s one way of dashing past the inner critic.

Now I’ve got to dash. Birthday party to go to. In my own car. Wearing my festive dress. Bringing pins. And, on the way there, picking up a set of dumbell halters. I’m going to work on my back muscles.

Holle Time Day 6: s(h)itting dog, dancing lady

I keep planning to tell you about the Atlas Profilax experience but things get in the way. Fun things!

So let me get the fun thing out of my system first, then I’ll jot down some fast things about my experience.

Frau Holle time for me means going with the flow. As long as I keep my rest schedule and manage to enjoy my social calendar I pretty much get to do what I want. All of the Grown Up Things To Do seam to be taking a back seat.

In stead of sewing up curtains for the three bare windows we have I find myself researching wool spinning colour theories and playing with roving. Those windows really need curtains! They’re single plated glass and the rooms are COLD! But no: colour study! Wool!

Instead of clearing the table where my husband spend his workdays and which I showed you yesterday I find myself bending shawl pins that I’ve been postphoning for ….oh…well…. 8 months now?

Luckily my husband has eye blinders for my clutter. They’re one of the pillars of our marriage.

But those pins, let me tell you!
As you know I’m handy with my hands. And I have a thing or two for letting things evolve in the moment, when it comes to art or design.

Now I haven’t been able to bend pins for over a year now because I want it too bad. There are a couple of people I want to bend pins for and this amount to such pressure -in my own head- that I’m unable to let things flow or enjoy the process. It’s the same reason I won’t knit for anybody nor make art for anybody. Or create things with the intention of selling them.

Yesterday Pippi was here! And we were sitting on the couch, chatting away, knitting. Pippi is the kind of person who doesn’t mind that I hadn’t removed the protective fleeces from the couch -because cats- nor that my hair is weird -because no time/energy to cut but have hat so there.

And it suddenly was there: that free time and free mind to bend some pins. I’m looking to make two pins for two friends who love dogs.

First one was a sketch. Second one was a success. Still a try-out.


Third one was a real one, in silver wire. Turned out ok. It still needs to be hammered down, this will give the wire character, more like a brushline with variation in thickness.


I was on a roll! I moved on the the fourth one. Oops!


This one looks more like it’s pooping…


I’m sure there are people who appreciate a pooping dog shawl pin. Just add a brown bead!


That’s when I rolled of the couch laughing, taking Pippi with me.

So there you have it. Holle time Day six is about poo and laughter.

Now: AtlasProfilax!

I briefly explained what it is. Reading back I don’t think I can explain it any better. But let me emphasize that in now way are the bones manipulated. All that is done is that the muscles keeping your head in place are nagged untill they relax a tiny little bit. In that split second the skull assumes its natural position, sitting comfortably and straight on the two little bone parts of that top vertebrea that are made for supporting the skull.

This is a shift of millimeters, you cannot see or feel it happening.

You can see and feel the results though. At the back of your ears, a bit downwards, left and right feel the exact same now, when you stroke and poke there with your fingers. That’s also where the muscles are located that the practitioner is harassing.


Only takes 5 minutes. 2 minutes prodding on one side, 2 minutes on the other and one again on the first site.

The prodding is done with a prod. A handheld little jack hammer (or that’s what it feels like). Yes, a monkey can hold the prod. But it takes a clever person to know where to prod exactly and to come up with the idea in the first place.

I found the treatment painful. Not extremely but it was quite annoying.

“Annoying” is also how my body experienced it. During the five minutes it started to panic a bit. My palms became sweaty and my body entered Fight or Flight, preferably the last one. I tried to talk it down, calm it, soothe it. It was like soothing a child while you overpower it so the doctor can give it a painful but well meant treatment. It wasn’t fun. But I overruled my body and submitted it to the treatment.

Five minutes over we sat on the chair for a bit, my body and me. We noticed no difference from before. My body grew extremely annoyed with me. It was positively insulted that I had submitted it to this uncomfort.

I’ve never experienced anything like this, it was like there are two entities in this body. Me and my body (which is also me ofcourse). I pleaded and apologized and mentally cuddled my body but it was having none of it.

I stood up, still no difference.

Then I stood with my toes on one of the lines of the floor tiles and I looked down. I could see the top of my breasts. They were facing forwards. This is novel.

I looked up and asked the practioner what he saw. “level shoulders” he said. This is new too.

Untill the treatment I was skewed. My left shoulder was in front of my body, my right behind. I compensated by holding my head tilted so I can look straight ahead.

My hips are not level either, usually. Right is about three centimeters higher.

I usually wear my shoulders around my ears, I’m that much stressed. This is also where my RSI comes from.

Five minutes later I was at the front desk, paying the man. There was an ache coming up in my back. Muscle ache. It grew and grew. My right shoulder too, man, it started to hurt.

My body was still insulted and wouldn’t talk to me so I figured it might be some kind of punishment. However, I didn’t have a vegetal reaction and there was no other pain or ailment. I felt comfortable leaving the building, walking down the street towards the busy Amsterdam street where the tram and the traffic and all the noise was. So I did.

While walking I felt freedom coming down on me. I felt so souple. I could turn my head all the way to the right (haven’t been able to for years). I could move my arms any way I wanted too. I felt so … tall. It was as if I was stretching without effort. I walked tall and proud. That’s why I decided to linger in the city and enjoy it. Also because movement would help the muscle ache which was now severe, all over my shoulders and upper back. And moving will help my body explore its new soupleness and possibities.

There was a bounce in my step.


Since then, two full days later, the muscle aches are diminishing. There’s only a bit left in my right shoulder. I’ve felt like dancing constantly. And have been doing so, in the kitchen. I naturally take on a straight position when I stand or sit. There’s no effort involved in this. My shoulders are level and I wear them low now.

Somehow my intestines have found a better nesting position in my pelvis. They don’t blob over it like they used to. I had a muscle ache in my buttock for which Robert had a probable explanation: my pelvis has naturally tilted. I’m “tucking my butt under”.

I’ve been out of the house every day since. First day I went to the organic farmer’s market. Haven’t been there for years! The noise and people, I could cope with. And again: I was walking tall. And hungry. I’m so hungry! But not for my usual foods. I crave fish and vegetables. So I bought two kinds of trout -my totem animal- and celery root and made myself dinner. Twice. Ate the lot of it too!

The other day me and Pippi went out to get sushi and I didn’t mind one bit to take a detour to get something at another shop too. Noise and people, where?

Now I’m getting down from my fluffy cloud I feel. The first honeymoon is over. Old habits and old postures are creeping back, I found myself wearing my shoulders for earmuffs again last night.

So now the working part of the treatment has started: I have to actively work on keeping my muscles loose and long. Having a nice posture. Not overeating.

Today I am going for a yoga lesson. Because yoga is specifically recommended for this treatment. As are massages but on these days right before x-mas I couldn’t find a masseuse.

Also: this is not a cure all. I still need my pills and hormones, I still need my rests. But boy, has there been a lift of body burden for me!

Last night I have slept through the night.


This week I entertain the thought that the body is a natural habitat for pathogens, just like any environment hosts critters. I have visions of a pond in the woods; the wild plains with big beasts and biofilms in the shower. All environments where there are conditions, food, critters trying to hold on, trying to survive, altering their environment, the environment altering them, other organisms hunting them. Why not the body too?

White blood cells are the predators of these critters. It’s that video I showed before that keeps popping up in my head. The hunted bacteria and the hunting blood cell are in their element, their environment, they know all the ins and outs and hiding spots, they are at home.

In systemic illnesses there’s an overburden and the environment is overwhelmed. Poisoned. It cannot function properly anymore. I’m thinking… medicine might be more like environment management than something else…


Sorry for the many words, few pics. Pics take time with me… Now I’ve gotta run, yoga starts in a bit. (I can run! yay!)